Plunge promises meaningful physical and mental recovery through cold therapy. With a thoughtful approach to the investment, it could provide value for those interested in regular self-sustained cold plunges to optimize health.
Cold plunging (or taking an ice bath) has seen a significant rise in popularity, with celebrity “banner carriers” such as Wim Hof, Joe Rogan, Tony Robbins, and Lady Gaga swearing by the physical benefits of cold water therapy.
Plunge — a self-maintained, indoor/outdoor acrylic cold tub — is designed for those looking for clean, cold water to supercharge your recovery in your own garage or backyard.
However, it doesn’t come cheap, and with several options including cold to hot and an XL version for additional space, it can be a sizable investment.
Read on for a comprehensive hands-on review of the Plunge to help you decide if this tub is a worthy home addition.
- easy install and set up
- safety-focused design
- lockable insulated cover included
- indoor and outdoor options for installation
- no ice or plumbing needed
- easy temperature regulation and control
- somewhat bulky, if used indoors
- chilling mode can be loud
- base model doesn’t include heating
- only a 1-year warranty
- additional cost for weekly and annual maintenance
Here are six things I learned over my first 6 weeks of using Plunge:
1. I feel consistently refreshed
I have used the Plunge between 4 and 6 times a week over the last 6 weeks and qualitatively felt a meaningful impact on my ability to recover and perform after intense exercise.
There are certainly days I’m not exactly eager to jump in, but each time I do, I get out with an overwhelming feeling of being refreshed and focused.
2. It’s good for a wake-up kick
Several mornings, I have tested a short plunge followed by one or two full submerges as my “caffeine” for the morning. Without a doubt, I have felt a jolt of energy and an increased focus as I start my day. Not bad for 2 minutes!
3. It’s easy to use and maintain
A top feature of the Plunge for me has been the ability to jump in at any time. In the past, I’ve had to drive to the store to buy 10–12 bags of ice and haul them back home to use in the bathtub. The Plunge makes it much easier to get and maintain a specific temperature efficiently to get cold clean water.
In addition, the weekly and monthly maintenance has been easy to follow. It takes at most 3 minutes a week to add the needed chemicals to the water and about 10 minutes to change the filter once a month.
4. The thoughtful design provides peace of mind
In addition to needing nothing more than a water hose (one time) and an outlet for use, the Plunge is designed to not be a huge mental lift.
The lockable insulated cover has been a great feature in our house, as it helps to maintain cold temperatures while preserving power use. But it mainly provides peace of mind, knowing my kids won’t accidentally climb into the tub.
5. It can be noisy
The Plunge is designed to stay within 2 degrees of the set temperature, and when it gets outside of that range, it triggers the chiller to cool the water. When that happens, you hear a louder hum (think loud fridge).
6. The additional cost does add up
As mentioned earlier, the price tag for the unit itself can be steep, but there are additional monthly and annual costs to consider as well. One is your monthly electric bill, as the unit runs continuously, which according to the company, equates to about a dollar a day (I have yet to verify this on my own power bill).
Second, to maintain clean water for recommended use of the tub, you could be looking at about $190 every 6 months in addition.
Plunge is a cold (or hot) therapy tub that operates without needing ice.
The unit is built to run continuously, filtering and chilling water to a desired temperature for no-hassle access. It’s as easy as removing the cover and jumping into the tub to begin your cold therapy session.
While cold therapy and cold exposure continue to be studied, some of the primary benefits include:
- reduced muscle soreness
- improved mood
- boosting of metabolism
- immune system support
Some studies have shown decreased muscle soreness for individuals that immersed themselves in cold water — under 59°F (15°C) — for 10 minutes.
The Plunge can be a great option for athletes, cyclists, runners, or anyone enduring repeated bouts of exercise that adds additional stress to the body.
With a wide range of benefits, cold therapy can be good for anyone looking for ways to improve or optimize overall health and or performance. With that said, we advise everyone to consult with their doctor prior to use, as cold exposure can impact blood pressure, circulation, and heart rate.
Can cold plunging help with weight loss?
A recent study in the International Journal of Circumpolar Health suggests that cold water exposure can have an impact on burning fat. In addition, it can “reduce insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity,” along with other health benefits.
Although, the study suggests that further conclusive evidence will be needed to validate the health benefits of cold plunging.
The Plunge has a variety of features, including:
- Durable design: It has an acrylic and fiberglass tub with a metal base that can be installed indoors or outdoors.
- No plumbing required: The plug-and-play design allows the unit to be installed quickly and easily without needing any plumbing. Just fill the tub with a water hose and turn it on.
- Filter and filtration: The Plunge comes with a 20-Micron Filter that picks up debris or hair that accumulates. The constant water circulation designs help to provide clean water for longer.
- Underwater lighting: There’s a built-in underwater light for any late-night or early-morning plunges.
- Phone dock: Included is a suction cup phone dock for use while you take the plunge.
- Cover: Included is a lockable insulated cover to maintain safety from young kids and to keep the water cold using less power.
- Rubber ducky: If you want some company during your cold plunge, the company provides a rubber ducky for your amusement!!
Plunge offers three models, with the base model listed currently listed at $4,990. This includes delivery and free in-home assembly in the lower 48 states in the US. There’s an additional fee for shipping to Alaska and Hawaii.
|Model||Plunge||Plunge Pro||Plunge Pro XL|
|Cooling Power||1/4 HP||1 HP||1 HP|
|Heating Power||1 KW||1 KW||1.5 KW|
Plunge offers international shipping, with pricing dependent on location, taxes, and customs processing. In addition, there are extended protection plans through Cylde, which are 3- and 5-year terms, at $338 and $667 respectively.
To make the purchase more affordable, Plunge offers monthly payments through Affirm. Included in the purchase price is a 6-month water maintenance box, following that another 6-month box is $190 dollars.
If you want to return the purchase for any reason, Plunge offers a 30-day window to get a full refund but does not cover the shipping cost.
The Plunge weighs 150 pounds empty and holds approximately 100 gallons of water, bringing the filled weight to 1,000 pounds.
The dimensions change based on the unit type, with the basic model at 67 x 31 x 24 inches and is recommended to be installed 16 inches away from any wall. One of the value propositions of Plunge is its plug-and-play design, which only requires a standard 110V outlet to operate. In addition, Plunge can be installed indoors or outdoors.
It’s delivered in one box with minimal setup required. Included is a water filter, which you attach to the end of a water hose to get crystal clear and clean water into the tub.
The reviews posted on the Plunge website are overwhelmingly positive, touting the value of adding the product into users’ daily or weekly routines to optimize their health.
Of the currently 200+ reviews on the site, over 95% are 5-star reviews that call out the mental and physical benefits of the product as well as the ease to install the product.
Currently, Plunge is only sold through their website, and there are no reviews on third-party sites.
Plunge is positioned as one of the leading cold therapy products, but as the market grows, so do the options. Here are a few of the other comparable cold therapy products:
The Ice Barrel is one of the most affordable options on the market at just over $1,100 dollars. It’s a nontraditional cold tub design, which is basically a barrel that has you sit upright as you plunge. It can hold up to 105 gallons of water with an easy drain system and portability.
However, the Ice Barrel is not self-maintained, requiring ice to chill to the desired temperature. It’s recommended to change the water every 4 weeks, with other units on the market having longer water lifespans.
The Renu Stoic is a self-contained unit, similar to Plunge, but is covered with high-density polyethylene with a wood top finish. The Renu is an indoor/outdoor unit with all mechanical parts enclosed within the unit for a sleek finish. The unit can chill down to 39°F (4°C), has multiple color options, and a 5-year warranty.
The main difference is the price of the Renu, which starts at $9,699. Similar to other self-contained cold tubs, there are additional maintenance costs for the upkeep of water.
The Blue Cube Mini Me Cold Plunge is a steel tank with a wood finish that can cool down to 36°F (2°C). It’s an indoor/outdoor unit with all the mechanical parts included in the unit, with a 20-micron filter that provides chemical-free filtration.
The Mini Me Cold Plunge is the base unit for Blue Cube, starting at $15,999, and has limitations for size, up to 5’11” in height and 275 pounds. The larger unit, the Malibu 56, starts at $26,999.
|Brand||Plunge||Ice Barrel||Renu||Blue Cube|
|Chilling & Temp||self-chilling to 39°F (4°C)||requires ice to chill||self-chilling to 39°F (4°C)||self-chilling to 36°F (2°C)|
|Design||acrylic bathtub||lightweight Plastic||HDPE with top wood finish||steel tank with wood finish|
|Warranty||1-year warranty with extension options||1-year warranty||5-year warranty||5-year warranty|
While Plunge does have a high price tag, as you look around the market at competitive units, it provides a highly comparable product at a much cheaper price.
If you’re in the market for a cold tub as a health or training optimization tool, Plunge is worth considering as a product that provides a simple, safe, and effective cold plunge.
However, It has a steep price tag, with additional monthly and annual costs to maintain performance.
The research around cold plunging is still developing, but there are studies that have supported benefits including reduced muscle soreness, improved mood, and a boost to the immune system.
If you’re interested in cold water therapy, Plunge can prove to be a solid investment.