5 Best Affordable Ice Bath Tubs When You're On A Budget

5 Best Cheap Ice Bath Tubs In 2024: Cold Plunge On A Budget

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Updated: December 19, 2023 with added scientific resources and citations.

We’re seeing more and more headlines about ice bath tubs and they’re really having their moment. This is sort of strange since ice baths have been around for years to help athletes recover from injuries. I guess that’s what happens when you throw a celebrity (or two) in freezing water and it goes viral.

While ice baths are all the rage right now, the majority of the brands getting endorsements are…uh-hum…expensive! Sorry, Joe Rogan. As much as he evangelizes the benefits of his favorite ice bath tub, which does look pretty amazing BTW, $16k is a bit too much to spend.

Related Reading: How To Build A DIY Water Chiller For Cold Plunge

We can’t all freeze our butts off like a rock star, but there’s good news! Cheap (inexpensive), high-quality cold plunge tubs that you can use at home can be had for very little money if you know where to look. To help you out, we scoured the internet and compiled a list of the 5 Best Cheap Ice Bath Tubs for those who are on a budget.

The Benefits of Cold Plunge Therapy

With all of the exposure that they’re generating, you would think that an ice bath is a miracle cure-all. Well, not quite and the benefits of a cold plunge will greatly vary from one person to the next.

Dr. Andrew Huberman, a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine, has stated many times the promising benefits a short burst of cold water can have on the human body. Besides building mental toughness, the icy shock can stimulate brown fat (the “good fat”), reduce systemic inflammation, and increase testosterone, among other things.

“Temperature is a powerful stimulus on our nervous system and indeed on every organ and system of our body. Cold in particular can be leveraged to improve mental health, physical health, and performance. Meaning for endurance exercise, for recovering from various forms of exercise, for actually improving strength and power and for enhancing mental capacity.”

Huberman Lab Podcast #66

As a personal challenge to myself, I too have embraced the cold plunge life. While I still struggle with the initial dip, I’ve noticed a marked difference in reduced muscle soreness and improved day-to-day recovery.

As I said, your results may vary, but if you’re looking for the cheapest, most affordable portal of entry, these are the best ice bath options available.

5 Best Cheap Ice Bath Tubs Of 2024

#1 Choice Ice Bath Tub on a Budget: The Ice Pod

budget friendly the ice pod that you can use at home

Get $10 off with promo code “RECOVATECH

The Ice Pod is one of the least expensive at-home ice bath tubs out there coming in at $120. With super durable, yet portable construction, you can set up and take down the Ice Pod in a snap.

The Ice Pod does come in a standard and a PRO version, with the PRO version adding twice as much insulation and superior materials. It will only run you about $30 more, so for long-term durability, it might be worth the extra splurge.

For your convenience, a handy drain plug is located at the base of the tub, saving you the embarrassment of trying to topple it over to empty it.

Also consider: LifePro Allevachill

Dimensions: 32 inches wide x 29 inches tall.

Weight: 8 pounds


  • Entry-level cheap tub for newcomers

  • Easy to assemble and tear down

  • Excellent price for the money


  • No extra room to stretch your legs

Best Inflatable Ice Bath Tub: Spartan Willpower

If you’re at all familiar with inflatable Stand Up Paddle boards (SUP), the Spartan ice bath barrel is constructed in the same vein. In other words, it’s incredibly durable, and once inflated, the sides are rock solid.

This inflatable cold plunge is made with industrial-grade stitching overlaid with a high-grade PVC shell that can be rolled up and carried away in the included backpack. It’s the ultimate solution for home or for people who want to take their cold plunge on the go. Best of all? It inflates in as little as 2-5 minutes with the included double-action hand pump.

Also to note, two chiller-ready valves are built in.

Read our in-depth review here.

Dimensions: 38″W X 30″H

Weight: 38 pounds


  • Superior design and materials

  • Folds down and fits into a back pack

  • Inflates in minutes


  • May be too small for taller individuals

Best Non-Traditional Ice Bath Tub: Rubbermaid Stock Tank

cheap DIY ice bath rubbermaid stock tank

It’s certainly not the most elegant DIY home solution, but it’s certainly an affordable cold plunge option! Meant for cattle and livestock, this 100-gallon Rubbermaid stock tank is large enough to submerge yourself and stretch your legs a bit too.

Because it’s meant for commercial applications, the construction is as solid as it comes. Unlike the other inflatable options that could be prone to puncturing, this tub will likely last you a lifetime.

A 1-1/2 oversized drain is located on the bottom for easy emptying and cleaning as needed.

Dimensions: 31 in. W x 53 in. L x 25 in. H

Weight: 32.4 pounds


  • Very reasonable price

  • Oversized for extra room

  • Superior durability


  • Aesthetically, not the best looking

  • Lacks any sort of insulation

Best High-End Ice Bath Tub: Ice Barrel

ice barrel at home ice bath

Enjoy looking like you’re sitting in a barrel of Kentucky Bourbon as you experience the euphoric high of near freezing cold water. Ice Barrel is by far the most expensive choice on this list, but still, it’s certainly worth considering.

Coolness factor aside, the Ice Barrel is actually pretty practical and comes with everything you need in the box. Holding up to 105 gallons of water, this made in the USA product is made of recycled materials which is always good for the planet.

Ice Barrel includes a lid to keep the bugs out, a stand, stairs to help you climb in, and a protective UV cover. Best of all, it is covered by a lifetime warranty should anything not hold up to frequent use.

Dimensions: 42” in H x 31” in W. The opening is 25” wide

Weight: 55 pounds

Related Reading: The Ice Barrel 300 Review


  • All-in-one solution with everything you need

  • Space saving vertical design

  • Lifetime warranty included


  • Higher price tag

  • More difficult to exit

Best Ice Bath Tub/Hot Tub Combo: Coleman 4-Person Inflatable Hot Tub

coleman hot tub can be used as a budget friendly tub alternative

Alright, now hear us out on this one. Yes, the Coleman SaluSpa technically is a hot tub, but a hot tub that’s not warmed up is basically just an ice bath, right? Exactly! There are no rules that say otherwise.

There are actually a lot of reasons why you should consider this as a hot tub ice bath combo. The first being the price. Priced around the $450 range, that’s a relative steal, especially when you consider that it’s first a hot tub.

That brings us to the second benefit, the pump filter. Unlike the other options, this one is self-cleaning which will save water and potential headaches.

Third, misery loves company, yes? If that’s true, you can now double dare your 3 closest friends to join you as you prove your insane tendencies to freeze yourself.

All in all, the Coleman Inflatable hot tub is the perfect ice bath…and hot tub.

Dimensions: 71″L x 71″W x 26″H

Weight: 73.11 pounds


  • Dual purpose hot tub and ice bath

  • Extra large size for 4 people

  • Includes a filter for easy cleaning


  • Will require more ice

  • Extra cost to reheat hot tub

Are Cheap Cold Plunge Tubs Worth It?

If you’re not sure if an ice bath tub is worth the insanity hassle, be sure to check out our article about the 5 benefits of a cold plunge.

We go into extensive detail and highlight all of the benefits of a cold plunge including reducing systemic inflammation, improving mental health, and much, much more.

If you’re on a budget and you’re not wanting to spend a ton of money, the cheap alternatives mentioned above are great. We should note, that a water chiller does make these infinitely better.

Alternatively, if you want to figuratively “dip your toes” into the world of cold plunges, try taking a cold shower for a week or so and see how you respond. Assuming you fall in love with ice bathing, then make the decision to buy a dedicated tub.

Related Reading: 5 Best Ice Therapy Machines

How Cold Does The Water Need To Be?

An ice bath needs to be at or below 59°F (15°C) to provide significant benefits. Immersing the body in cold water can help reduce swelling and muscle soreness, improve recovery time, and boost the immune system, among other benefits.

Be forewarned, that immersing the body in extremely cold water can be dangerous, particularly for individuals with certain medical conditions, so it’s always best to consult a doctor before trying an ice bath.

To make sure the water isn’t too cold, we suggest buying an inexpensive water thermometer so you can keep on eye on the temperature at all times.

Are Ice Baths Effective For Muscle Recovery?

As has long been the go-to for alleviating post-workout injuries and soreness. It’s been a locker room staple for years now. But do ice baths really work? Well, according to a recent study published in 2022:

Studies have found that CWI (cold water immersion) is one of the most effective recovery strategies implemented by athletes, with an effectiveness rating of 4.3/5

So yes, in certain scenarios, some sort of application of cold therapy can be helpful, but not always. It’s been suggested to see how your body responds before doing it too often.

Complimentary therapies: Muscle stimulator, Infrared SaunaVibrationFoam Rolling, Massage Gun

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