The Best Water Chiller for Ice Baths: Top Rated [2024]

Cold water therapy is everywhere these days. Seems like everyone is taking ice baths and joining the cold plunge trend. I get it – who doesn’t love the rush and the benefits that ice baths offer?

But, have you seen the price tag on some of those cold plunge tubs???

Listen, I’ve done my homework on this. After tons of research, I’ve got the inside scoop on the best water chillers for ice baths, how you can create your own cold plunge experience at home, with no ridiculous price tag required.

Whether you want a high-tech water chiller to level up your routine or a simple one for your DIY ice bath endeavors, I’ve got you covered.

Say bye to constantly buying bags of ice or dropping a used car payment on a fancy cold plunge tub.

I’ll share my top water chiller recommendations to help you reap benefits, without completely emptying your wallet!

Illustration stating "Best water chiller for ice baths"

These Are The Best Water Chillers For Ice Baths in 2023:

1. Penguin Water Chiller: Best Overall

Penguin water chiller
Penguinchillers.com

Specs

Shipping:  6-8 Weeks

Weight: 39lbs (1/2 HP)

BTU/Hr: 5,000 (1/2 HP)

Recommended Cooling Range:  ~40°F to ~100°F (1/2 HP)

Dimensions: 16.25”W x 14.75”D x 12”H (1/2 HP)

Electric requirements: 110 – 120V / 3.9A / 450W  / Single (Phase), 1″ NPT inlet/outlet ports (female threaded PVC)

Pros:

  • Free shipping
  • 1-Year Product Warranty
  • Can be installed with a digital controller 
  • Easy to set up and install
  • Durable
  • Large cooling Capacity
  • Relatively quiet
  • Great for Hydroponics
  • Great Customer service
  • Affordable
  • Has Great Glycol Chillers 
  • Includes titanium heat exchanger

Cons:

  • If you aren’t getting a package you will need to purchase add-ons/ parts for an additional price.
  • Only ships in the USA.

Overview:

The Penguin chiller has earned its stripes as a favorite among cold plunge DIYers. And for good reason! This ice bath chiller has user-friendly parts that make installation on an ice barrel super easy. Plus, the price is a total bargain – way cheaper than having to constantly add ice before every plunge.

Another thing I love is that a heat exchanger comes included, which keeps the water and copper separate. Smart design there. I’ve personally heard rave reviews about Penguin from friends who have one.

So if you want a water chiller that isn’t too noisy, can keep around 150 gallons chilled, and has a simple setup, this is your ticket to icy bliss. The Penguin delivers on all fronts. For DIY cold plunging on a budget, you really can’t go wrong with this tried and true chiller brand.

2. Active Aqua Chiller with Power Boost: Affordable 1/2 Hp

Active aqua chiller
Amazon.com

Specs:

Shipping: 4-5 Weeks (Varies on location) (Amazon)

Weight: 49.4 pounds

BTU/Hr: 4,020 

Recommended Cooling Range:  39°F to 90°F

Dimensions: 19″L x 14″W x 19″H

Electric requirements: 510W / 120V / 5.4A

Pros:

  • Comes with an installation guide
  • Durable
  • Compact build
  • Free shipping
  • User-friendly control system
  • Quiet operation
  • High water-flow rates
  • Anti-corrosive materials
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Temperature-Memory System

Cons:

  • Additional insulation recommended
  • May struggle with extremely low temperatures

Overview:

This chiller is backed by a comprehensive amount of reviews and is great for beginners. It uses a memory temperature mechanism to regulate the water temp – pretty fancy! Overall, it’s a great basic chiller for home cold plunging.

If you’re just beginning your exposure to cold water therapy, this is generally considered a solid choice to start. It delivers on the basics and is reasonably priced as opposed to its $4,000 counterparts. 

One thing I really like is that it operates very quietly, unlike some other options that sound like a freight train. However, for more advanced cold water devotees, or if you’re looking to get ice-cold, this chiller may not be the most powerful.

But for beginner cold plunge enthusiasts wanting an affordable, quiet, and effective water chiller for home use, this one checks all the boxes. It provides good chilling capability without breaking the bank or ear drums.

3. Spartan 1/2 HP Wi-Fi Water Chiller – Best High-Tech Affordable

Spartan black water chiller
Spartanicebath.com

Specs:

Shipping: 2-3 Weeks

Weight:  73 lbs

Recommended Cooling Range:  39 F

Dimensions: 22 x 14.9 x 16.9 inches

Electric requirements: 110V / 60hz (US Standard)

Pros:

  • All-weather cooling
  • Quick and easy installation 
  • Phone-controlled
  • Includes water pump
  • Included UV filter
  • Low noise/vibration
  • Freon-free R134a refrigerant gas
  • Automatic defrost
  • Works with all ice-bath models
  • One Year Warranty
  • Includes all hoses and connector
  • Indoor and outdoor use

Cons:

  • More premium-priced

Overview:

If you’ve got some room in your budget but aren’t ready to splurge on the ultra-luxury chillers, listen up. This ice bath water chiller is totally optimized for convenience and has some killer benefits. I’m talking about controlling the temp from your phone, using it inside or out, and a top-notch filtration system that keeps your water pristine year-round.

For real, this thing has everything you could want for the ultimate ice bath experience – your water will be so clean with this ice bath chiller. Now, when it’s running, it needs 490W of power but maintains the cold temps with less energy. No worries about any complicated installation or freezing issues either. It defrosts by itself.

The bottom line is this accessible, easy-to-use chiller operates efficiently to keep your water ice cold. Without costing as much as a down payment on a car. If you’ve got the budget for it, this chiller offers everything you need and more for some amazing ice baths at home.

4. CryoSprings Water Chiller – Best Premium

CryoSPrings Water Chiller
cryospring.com

Specs:

Shipping: (Depends on location) (US and International)

Weight: 79.25 lbs

BTU/Hr: 

Recommended Cooling Range:  37°F 

Dimensions: 21.25″(L) x 12.25″(W) x 21.75″(H)

Electric requirements: 110v power outlet and a built-in GFCI

Pros:

  • Advanced technology and impeccable optimization
  • Great water-cleaning system
  • Can be controlled through your mobile device
  • 1-Year warranty
  • Indoor and outdoor settings
  • Has lifetime support
  • Fast cooling and heating
  • Has a safety lock (child protective)
  • Includes 1hp chiller/heater, Quick connect hoses, Pre-installed water filter plus one replacement filter
  • Aesthetic

Cons:

  • Pricier option
  • Not worth the investment for small tubs (made for up to 150 gallons)
  • A little on the heavier side

Overview:

If you’re running a business with an ice bath or take frequent cold plunges yourself, listen up. This chiller is optimized for commercial or heavy-duty use. We’re talking about a large tank with lots of “traffic”.

This cold plunge chiller also has an Ozone water filtration system keeping the water extremely clean whenever you need it. 

If you have the budget, investing in this water chiller is a great choice for cold water exposure at an optimized cold temperature. It’s the most high-end chiller on this list. If you just need something more basic and simple, you may want to opt for a more affordable chiller. But for commercial or heavy use, this chiller’s premium features make it a great pick.

How to Choose The Right Chiller For Your Needs:

Sticky notes Saying yes and no, representing a decision.

When it comes to choosing the right chiller there are several factors to consider. From location, and frequency of use, to how cool you want your water to be. Here are the things to consider:

Where will your ice bath or cold plunge be located?

Where you are planning to set up your ice bath plays a huge role in what chiller you want to opt for. 

Planning an outdoor chiller setup? Then listen up. Most chillers need some extra insulation and shelter if living outside. Why? Well, chillers are air-cooled machines, so the condenser, heat ejector, etc need protection.

Without adequate insulation and a shelter like a dog house or shed, your outdoor chiller is at risk. Exposure to sun, rain, snow, and other elements can damage those key components.

The temperature of where you are keeping the chiller is also something to consider. Depending on the temperature you will need higher or lower cooling rates and will need to monitor and adjust the water temperature accordingly.

What is Your Cold Water Immersion Therapy Ritual?

How often are you cold plunging? How cool do you like the water? Do you like ice in your water while plunging?

These are also things to consider when you are choosing a chiller. The more often and cooler you like your ice baths the more potent and likely expensive of a chiller you will need. If you want ice in your tub you may need to consider a glycol chiller or consider purchasing an ice-making machine to reduce the cost and inconvenience of constantly having to purchase ice.

How Big Is Your Container?

When choosing a chiller, first figure out the size of your tub or container. The volume of water it holds determines the chilling power you need.

Check the specs on any chiller – each model is designed to cool a maximum amount of water to a certain temp. A 150-gallon chiller won’t effectively cool a 300-gallon stock tank, for example.

Make sure to match chilling capability to your container’s capacity. Undersize and your water won’t get cold enough. Oversize and you’re overpaying.

Price vs Effort:

Determine how much you are willing to spend. Time or Money? Do you rather get a less optimized and simple chiller (get your DIY on) or purchase a more premium and optimized chiller (just set up and go.)

What are Water Chillers for Ice Baths and How Can They Benefit You?

A water chiller for ice baths is a device that cools the water to a desired temperature for cold immersion therapy, such as taking an ice bath or cold plunge. 

Chillers eliminate the need to constantly add ice every 20 minutes or deal with water that is too warm. They allow you to dial in your ideal temperature for DIY ice baths, ice barrels, or any cold plunge setup. You can watch some videos explaining how to use them.

With built-in circulation pumps, chillers efficiently regulate temperature. This enhances the experience and therapeutic benefits of ice baths. Investing in a water chiller optimized for cold plunging takes the guesswork out of temperature control.

Pros and Cons of Water Chillers:

Two sticky notes stating pros and cons

PROS

  • Maintain consistent water temperature - No more guessing with ice cubes or dealing with water that warms up too quickly. 
  • Customizable temperature settings - Dial in your perfect temp whether you prefer refreshing cool or extremely cold temperatures.
  • Built-in circulation for efficient cooling - Pumps circulate the water to regulate temp evenly throughout the bath.
  • Convenience - Chillers eliminate the need to constantly add ice. Just turn it on and enjoy stable cold temps.
  • Save Money Long Term- Using chillers to create your own DIY cold plunges can significantly reduce costs.

CONS:

 

  • Upfront cost - Chillers require an initial investment that ice cubes don't. But they can save money in the long run.
  • Ongoing electricity use - Chillers require power to run, while ice baths can be "free" if using ice (the cost of having to buy the ice is still applicable.)
  • Noise - Some chillers have loud operations, so placement is important.
  • Added complexity - Chillers require some installation and setup compared to just using ice.

Long Story Short:

Bottom line – water chillers are worth investing in if you’re serious about ice baths and starting cold therapy at home.

We’ve talked through the top chillers out there. Now pick the right one for you – think about your budget, how much water you need to chill, and your ideal temp range.

Watch some setup videos to decide what’ll work best in your space. Then install it and start reaping the benefits of perfectly chilled baths. No more fussing with ice or lukewarm water. Let’s get to plunging!

Water Chiller For Ice Baths FAQ:

Will I need Antifreeze for My Water Chiller?

No, not unless your chiller is outside and exposed to freezing temperatures.

Should I Buy From Alibaba or Ebay?

While the price is usually significantly cheaper you are risking low customer service, malfunctions, and lower quality.

If you are willing to risk it then it is possible to purchase from these sellers. If you know of a trusted manufacturer that is usually a better alternative.

What are the benefits of cold water therapy?

Cold water therapy, including ice baths or cold plunges, offers a ton of benefits. It helps reduce inflammation and swelling, promotes muscle recovery, improves circulation, and releases epinephrine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine (feel-good, concentration hormones.)

Can I adjust the water temperature with a water chiller?

Yes, most water chillers for ice baths come with temperature control settings. You can easily adjust the water temperature to your preference, whether you prefer a colder or milder cold immersion experience.

How do I clean the water in the chiller?

To keep the water clean in your chiller, it is important to regularly empty and refill it with fresh water. There are usually sanitizing kits included in your cold plunge tubs and chillers.  With some chillers, you don’t have to worry. They already come with Ozone and UV filtration. Hydrogen Peroxide is also great for cleaning these systems.

How much water does a chiller for ice baths typically hold?

The capacity of a chiller for ice baths can vary depending on the model, but they typically hold several gallons of water. It is important to consider the size of your ice bath or cold plunge pool when selecting a water chiller. Anywhere from 50-200 gallons of water.

Can I add ice to the water chiller?

Yes, you can add ice to the water chiller to further lower the water temperature during your ice bath or cold plunge. This can enhance the cold therapy experience and provide additional benefits. Some just like the feeling of the ice floating around. If that is your case, consider purchasing an ice maker to reduce costs.

Can I use a water chiller for purposes other than ice baths?

Yes, a water chiller can be used for various applications besides ice baths. It can help cool water for drinking or provide cold water for other therapies or recreational activities that require a cooler water temperature. 

About the Author, Sophia Victoria
About the Author, Sophia Victoria

Sophi is a health, wellness, and lifestyle blogger who uses, research, and tests products and theories to help others improve their mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. With her own eating disorder journey, regulating her hormones, and working with 10+ nutritionists, she deeply understands the health and wellness. Sophi is also well-knowledged in self-development and committed to sharing her knowledge, experience, and expertise with her readers.

Table of Contents