Introducing the perfect morning routine…
After waking up, you hop on your indoor bike for some fasted cardio. Immediately following your spin sesh, you enter your at-home sauna to both meditate and challenge your mind. (Somewhere Wim Hof is proud of you)
And finally, you finish your routine off with a dip into your cold plunge. At first, it’s a refreshing difference in temperature coming out of the sauna, but quickly your body temperature lowers and you begin experiencing the real benefits of a cold plunge.
What are the benefits of a cold plunge?
There are essentially two main benefits to a cold plunge (aka cold water immersion therapy) and they both revolve around recovery.
The first benefit of cold therapy is mental fortitude and strengthening. The first time you get into a cold plunge, it’ll be a bit of a shock, in fact, you’ll probably want to jump out immediately or only last 30 seconds.
Over time you’ll build mental grit and endurance. It’s not that it is more comfortable over time, it’s that you build up enough mental strength to endure it with confidence.
The second benefit is overall health. There have been plenty of studies showing the benefits of cold plunges on our health, including:
- Increased metabolism (you’ll burn more calories)
- Optimized immune system defense
- Reduction in inflammation
- Reduction in chronic pain
- Increased blood flow
As mentioned above, both of these relate to recovery and performance, you simply can’t recover well (physically) or perform at a high level without a strong mind and body.
How is a cold plunge different from an ice bath?
A cold plunge allows you to accurately control the temperature, whereas if you just pour ice in a bathtub and jump in, it’ll start warm, get very cold, and then progressively get warmer as the ice melts. This doesn’t exactly allow for precise recovery and finetuning what your body likes – as you might like it a bit warmer, or even colder than what a bag or two of ice can provide.
With a system such as The Cold Plunge, you can simply plug in a hose, set your preferred temperature, and… well, ‘enjoy’ isn’t exactly the word I’d use, let’s go with…optimize recovery! On top of this, you won’t have to worry about purchasing, storing, and logging around bag after bag of ice and waking up your entire block when dropping ice into your bathtub. In short, having an at-home cold plunge just makes life easier and more efficient.
The best cold plunge brands
Finding the right cold plunge for your home can be a tough mission, it’s generally not a small purchase commitment as they can be costly. But there is good news; we’ve done the leg work and research ahead of time to simplify your decision-making by breaking this down into different parts so you can quickly identify the best cold plunge in terms of quality, overall value, and price specifically.
The Cold Plunge
There’s a reason The Cold Plunge made this list for ‘best overall’, and well, it’s because it is. The cooling (and optional heating) mechanisms on this beauty are second to none. And albeit a small detail, I absolutely love the curve the back has, giving you just that extra bit of comfort. And to top it off, while it’s not nearly as cheap as our ‘best by price’ winner lower down this list, it’s still a somewhat affordable option in comparison to others on the market.
The Cold Plunge
- Payments plans are available using klarna and affirm
- Free white glove shipping for the contiguous USA
- Hot tub upgrade option available (up to 103F)
- Comes with an insulated cover
- 1-year factory warranty
- Includes ozone and UV sanitation
- Underwater light for night plunges
- Easily drain with a hose hookup
- Cooling down to 39F
- Comfortable seating with a curved back design
- The unit weighs only 150 lbs when empty
- Very easy to clean (interior and exterior)
- Costs roughly $1 per day to keep it cool enough for a plunge
- Hair trap only comes with the commercial plunge pro
- A bit bland with white being the only color available
The Renu Therapy cold plunge looks phenomenal, it looks like it could fit seamlessly in the living room of a billionaire’s home. But that’s not all Renu has going for it. Alongside being easy on the eyes, it’s also made with some pretty impeccable quality material. So, if aesthetics and material quality are what you’re after, this might be the one.
- Modern, aesthetic design
- Curbside delivery for the contiguous USA
- Five color & wood options are available
- 5 year (limited) warranty
- Fits people as tall as 6’5”
- Very high-quality build
- Premium price
- Tanks are heavy at 375 lbs
- Challenging to clean with the design and build of it
- Light comes at an additional cost
While the iCoolSport isn’t necessarily the “fanciest” or “prettiest” cold plunge on the market, it absolutely gets the job done, and in a very unique way – with the ability to deflate and relocate it in minutes without risking your lower back or needing to call backup.
- Sturdy design capable of withstanding nearly 200 lbs on the edges without bending or spilling
- Setup only takes 5-15 minutes
- Very affordable
- Very portable design
- Completely inflatable and deflateable
- Very lightweight (just over 22 lbs when empty)
- Military-grade travel case comes at an additional cost
- Sells out of Australia, so shipping times may vary
- Malanga GA, Yan N, Stark J. Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskeletal injury. Postgrad Med. 2015 Jan;127(1):57-65. doi: 10.1080/00325481.2015.992719. Epub 2014 Dec 15. PMID: 25526231.
- Swenson C, Swärd L, Karlsson J. Cryotherapy in sports medicine. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1996;6(4):193-200. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.1996.tb00090.x
- Buijze GA, Sierevelt IN, van der Heijden BC, Dijkgraaf MG, Frings-Dresen MH. The Effect of Cold Showering on Health and Work: A Randomized Controlled Trial [published correction appears in PLoS One. 2018 Aug 2;13(8):e0201978]. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0161749. Published 2016 Sep 15. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161749