The Best Cold Plunges for Small Spaces, Customization, And More

A cold plunge entails quite literally plunging yourself into bone-chillingly cold water — somewhere below 59 degrees to be exact. People have been immersing themselves in cold, icy water for centuries to reap various health benefits. The act is backed by years of research proving the substantial physical and mental perks, such as quicker recovery, and higher energy levels and attention spans from the waves of norepinephrine you get with each plunge. (1) You can cold plunge anywhere you can create a tub of cold water really — some even use an oversized plastic trash can to immerse in an icy dip.

Many prefer a more luxurious pool or tub for their cold plunges, however. Cold water therapy is becoming even more common as many gyms, wellness centers, and spas pair this icy shock with saunas and cryotherapy tanks.

The speedy recoveries and mental health benefits users can potentially see from these plunges have built out an industry of products ranging from large, self-cooling spa-like plunge pools to pop-up plastic tubs you can throw in your shower. If you’d like to save some money on pricey spa memberships or wellness studio visits, these are a few of our favorite plunges you can put right in your own home.

Best Cold Plunges

Best Cold Plunge

Our number one cold plunge pick is both beginner-friendly and versatile enough to keep even the most advanced cold plunge enthusiasts hooked on the ritual.

The Plunge

If you are on the hunt to find the best cold plunge on the market, look no further than our top pick, The Plunge. This ergonomic tub design sits at 24 inches tall, 67 inches long, and 43 inches wide giving users ample room to lie down and relax in a soak. The Plug-and-Plunge design allows users an easier time setting up and filling up thanks to the added water hookup that works with a standard garden hose. The simple twist and turn valve located on the outside of the tub can help with draining the tub quickly once finished as well.

The advanced features — like both cooled and heated water options ranging from 39 degrees Fahrenheit all the way to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, circular filtration, and UV sanitation — combine to provide a versatile and easy-to-use plunge pool.

The Cold Plunge The Cold Plunge

This ergonomic tub design sits at 24 inches tall, 67 inches long, and 43 inches wide giving users ample room to lie down and relax in a soak. The Plug-and-Plunge design makes setting up and filling up simple — its water hookup works with a standard garden hose.

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Who Should Buy The Plunge

Who Shouldn’t Buy The Plunge

The Plunge hits temperatures ranging from 39 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s great for athletes hoping to hit specific temperatures, and those who are willing to dish out a little extra cash for a lasting build.

Best Cold Plunge for Small Spaces

If you’re living in a small space, but still want to house a cold plunge under your own roof, this pick is sized to fit into any area, indoors or out.

Ice Barrel

Classified as a cold therapy training tool, this product could be a perfect match for those looking to stick to the basics. To use the Ice Barrel, simply fill it with water and ice, then climb in with the added step-stool to take a dip. With dimensions of 42 inches high by 31 inches wide, this product was designed to mimic the actual size of a barrel. It’s only 55 pounds unfilled, keeping this product portable, compact, and durable.

It’s made from medical grade LLDPE plastic (low linear density polyethylene), which in less complicated terms just means it’s made with the same types of approved plastics you’ll find in medical supplies and food wrapping. However, it’s not super flexible, so don’t expect to be able to move around or relax a whole lot during your soak. The exterior spout can help with draining the barrel to clean up after use, as well — just make sure you have a location where you can safely drain the water.

Ice Barrel Ice Barrel

To use the Ice Barrel, simply fill it with water and ice, then climb in with the added step-stool to take a dip. With dimensions of 42 inches high by 31 inches wide, this product was designed to mimic the actual size of a barrel.

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The Best Cold Plunges for Small Spaces, Customization, And More

Who Should Buy the Ice Barrel

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Ice Barrel

The Ice Barrel’s simple design made from medical grade LLDPE plastic is combined with their rotomolding technology to produce their thick walled barrels, allowing this product to be properly insulated for an icy plunge.

Best Cold Plunge on Amazon

For online shoppers, our favorite Amazon pick is mainly for beginners wanting to test out the benefits of an ice bath, or those who just don’t want to spend a lot of money on a tub — it’s basic, but it can still get the job done.

WEY&FLY Portable Bathtub

This Amazon best seller is not only portable and foldable, but set-up takes just minutes since you don’t need to inflate it. The tub itself comes in one color — blue — and might not be the largest, but it does pack a punch with some other key selling points. The round, freestanding design can fit inside any standard shower or room since it stands only two and a half feet tall.

It is made with durable, safe, and non-toxic PVC materials, has alloy steel rings for a secure structure, and also includes 6mm of insulation for use in cool or heated waters. It comes with padded sides and a cushioned bottom for extra comfort during use. This tub doesn’t only include an exterior valve for draining, but also has a bottom drain hole to help empty the tub after each use.

WEY&FLY Portable Bathtub WEY&FLY Portable Bathtub

This round, freestanding design can fit inside any standard shower or room since it stands only two and a half feet tall. It is made with durable, safe, and non-toxic PVC materials, and includes 6mm of insulation for use in cool or heated waters.

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Who Should Buy WEY&FLY Portable Bathtub

Who Shouldn’t Buy WEY&FLY Portable Bathtub

As a best seller on Amazon, this product features ease of use, portability, and simple accessibility for most body sizes and shapes — plus, it’s the least expensive pick on this list, which is great for budget shoppers.

How We Chose the Best Cold Plunges

There’s a lot of cold plunge tubs on the market, which means there’s also a lot of statements claiming each one is the best of the best. We know that the best product will vary from person to person, so we considered factors like size, durability, price, features, and more to create a comprehensive list that appeals to a wide range of consumers looking to find what works for their individual lifestyles.

Size and Durability

Some tubs are bigger than others as some buyers have more room than others for these tubs in their house or yard. We included various sizes to suit these individual needs — our picks range from sizes smaller than a barrel all the way up to sizes more similar to a jacuzzi tub. In general, the bigger options tend to be better-built and more durable, but the smaller options can be durable as well with proper care. We’ve included both lasting builds with customizable base and deck options, as well as plastic tubs that may cost less, but probably won’t last as long.


Depending on how much money you are willing to spend, you can find plunge options with additional accessories, technologies, and features, as well as basic options that include none of these. Some people may be keen on finding a plunge pool to match a specific backyard aesthetic, while others may just want something they can pop open in the shower.

While there are those who may be looking for a fully customizable, automated cooling system, others may just want a simple barrel option that keeps electricity costs low — we’ve included both high-tech and no-tech options on this list. If you have the space, we have large tubs that can function as both hot and cold baths, clean themselves, and keep the water at the exact temperature you like. If you’re working with a smaller space, we also have foldable plastic options, as well as barrel options that feature drains, but require more manual sanitization.


We know money can be a major deciding factor in many situations, especially when making a large equipment purchase. We were dedicated to finding plunge tubs that had the best bang for your buck without compromising on effectiveness. Those who need the extra leg room may love a higher end option that offers room to accommodate for height, while other people may be happy trying a less expensive Amazon product to see how they like the overall experience first. No matter your price point, there’s a cold plunge option for you on this list.

The Benefits of Cold Plunges

Cold plunges have been around for years in different varieties — from use in ancient rituals to more recently, athletic recovery. Cold plunges have proved to help with mood, immunity, recovery, and weight loss.

Mood Enhancement and Mental Clarity

The research and benefits behind taking a cold plunge begin on a small scale, and even though we may not see it after one use, the results can come with consistency. Cold water immersion can trigger stimulation of the dopaminergic transmission in the mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal pathways in the brain. All that means is that as you sit and soak, your body can start working to bring on a rush of dopamine, the mood-boosting neurotransmitters, in your brain that produces a calming effect on your body, to help your worries melt away. (1)

Improved Immunity

The studies behind bodily health after cold water immersion have shown major immune benefits to taking a plunge. According to this study, cold showers and baths show significant improvement in the immune and lymphatic systems in our bodies. Cold water can boost white blood cell count over time — the more plunges you take, the more your body can adapt to the conditions and changes, potentially producing more infection-fighting cells with consistent plunging. There are claims that those who partake in any type of cold water immersion therapy have a higher chance of not getting sick. (1)

Physical Recovery

Not only can cold plunges help internally, but the aftermath of cold plunging on the physical body can be positive as well. As athletes train, their bodies, including ligaments and joints, may feel the wear and tear as their muscles adapt to vigorous exercise. Their muscles may begin to create minuscule tears, which in healing, can promote muscle growth.

But beforehand, they may experience the muscle fatigue that comes along with muscle breakdown. Studies conclude that jumping into an ice bath for a few minutes can provide improvement throughout the body, showing improved blood circulation, muscle recovery, and skin appearance. (1)

Weight Loss

Many studies on cold plunges show that the cold exposure increases Brown Adipose Tissue activity leading to an increased caloric expenditure, which can promote your body to begin the fat burning process. (2) Other studies have shown that subjects exposed to “cold stress” underwater had an 80 percent increase in their metabolism. (3) While cold plunging doesn’t promise weight loss, combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it can be helpful in the process.

What to Consider Before Buying a Cold Plunge

Cold plunges come in many shapes and sizes. It’s important to weigh your individual needs — like space and price — before diving into the buying process.


Everyone is working with different sized spaces for their cold plunge. Some may be cold plunging within the confines of their shower, while others may have a large portion of their outdoor deck they can use for a bigger pool. Before you decide which plunge pool is right for you, consider the amount of space you are working with, make your measurements, and weigh them against the different options available on the market before buying a pool you just “think” will fit in your space.


The many tubs, tanks, and pools you can choose from also come with varying features. Those who only have the time to plunge when the sun goes down may look into pools with extra underwater lighting, while early risers may love the automated cooling system to get things moving quickly.

Others may not want to deal with something so high-tech and would rather just have a barrel for an ice bath. List out the features you want to prioritize in your cold plunge before hitting the market to make sure you’re able to find a pool that will suit all of your technological (or lack thereof) needs.


Price is often a huge deciding factor for many customers. Some people may be able to dish out thousands of dollars with no problem, while others might find solitude in more affordable options — we’re talking price tags less than $100. Before purchasing your first plunge tub, determine what budget works for you, and find out what types of cold plunges fall into that price range before biting off more than you can chew.

Final Word

While there are many ways to adhere to the standard cold plunge, we suggest a full body immersion method, at least neck down, to see the best long term results. Cold plunges can expose the musculoskeletal system to the numerous benefits the cold can offer — like improved recovery, mental clarity, and weight loss, to name a few. No matter if you are a beginner, an avid cold plunger, an athlete, or even someone who just loves a cold shower every now and then, we have a pick on this list that can help bring the cold plunge experience to your home or gym.

Before buying your own cold plunge, be sure to consider the space you’re working with, the features you want in your product, and the price point you’re looking for. Whether you want the most advanced, customizable, self-sanitizing cold plunge on the market, or just a foldable tub you can fill with water and ice, this list has you covered. When you’re ready to tackle your options, go ahead and dive in.


Is taking a cold plunge better than taking a cold shower?

Both options are close in process and have strikingly similar outcomes on both physical and mental health. Cold water immersion is simply that, immersing yourself into cold or icy water for a short period of time. Cold showers, however, are more likely universally accessible. Those with access to a shower can experience a quicker, less daunting idea of submerging your body under water while still reaping the benefits that a cold plunge could offer.

How long am I supposed to cold plunge?

A goal time for beginners is around one to three minutes, and as you progress, anywhere between five to ten minutes for more advanced users.

What should the temperature be for each immersion?

Depending on experience, most cold plunges take place around at least 59 degrees Fahrenheit or below to trigger your body into a state of readiness. Remember: You can always make the water colder. Go at a comfortable pace, adjust, then work down from there.

Do I need to consult with professionals before using a cold plunge?

For first time users and those with any medical red-flags, consulting with your doctor beforehand is always a good choice. Cold plunges may seem like a harmless practice, but exposing your body to extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can take a toll on key organ systems and their functions if not cautious.