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Which Ice Baths Make Their Own Ice?

Last Updated Aug 14, 2023

As cold plunging continues to gain popularity, many want to purchase ice baths to experience the benefits under their own roof (or yard). There are a ton of questions to ask when considering this new purchase, but there are two that we see over and over again:

How cold does the water get, and does the ice bath make it’s own ice?

Downsides of Buying Ice

Adding your own ice can save you money, but it has some annoying effects and challenges.

  1. There’s the convenience aspect: regularly purchasing and transporting heavy ice bags can be a hassle. There’s nothing worse than psyching yourself up to jump in freezing cold water and then realizing you have to run to the store or freeze some water which will delay your plunge.
  2. Then there’s the ongoing cost. Continuously buying ice isn’t just about the initial outlay; it’s a recurring expense that adds up over time. Purchasing a chiller will be more cost-effective if you cold plunge for long enough in hot temperatures.
  3. Lastly, there’s the issue of consistency. Achieving and maintaining the ideal bath temperature can be unpredictable depending on varying ice amounts and melt rates from ambient temperatures.

The Difference Between a Cold Plunge and an Ice Bath?

Ther are two mechanisms for cooling water; chillers and coils.

Chillers

Check out our chiller buying guide

Chillers are electronic devices that draw water out, cool it externally, and then return it to the bath. While effective for most cases, this method doesn’t yield the coldest results in water temperature, as the water’s external journey through the chiller limits the overall drop in temperature. Therefore, most chillers can only get down to about 37 degrees.

Chillers are also severely limited to air temperature. For example, if it’s a 110-degree day in Texas, even though your chiller claims it can get down to 37 degrees, it won’t be able to overpower the high heat.

Coils

Ice baths that use coils cool water in a different way. The coils are internal and built around the ice bath. Since the water never has to leave the ice bath, as long as it’s properly insulated, the coils will actually be able to freeze the surrounding water. Therefore, if you want to get the coldest possible ice bath and one that makes its own ice, you need an ice bath that uses coils.

Ice Baths that Make their own Ice:

If you want to get your water down to the absolute coldest temperatures possible, here a few options:

Chest Freezer

The cheapest way to acquire an ice bath that makes its own ice to use use a chest freezer. This is a popular DIY method that can get some great results if you are handy. There are plenty of guides available online; one that we recommend is this DIY Guide.

Morozko Forge

Check out our Morozko Forge Review.

The Morozko Forge is one of the most expensive ice baths you buy, but well worth it if you have the money.

Odin

Check out our Odin Review.

A great option and at around half the price of the Morozko Forge, the Odin offers a phenomenal way to reach the extra cold temps.

The Negatives of These Ice Baths

While these are the coldest ice baths in the game they do come at a cost.

  • If anything breaks, they are much more challenging to fix. With many more moving parts, you’d likely have to call a professional to fix an issue, unlike with a chiller, where you can swap it out for a new one and be up and running instantly.
  • There will be electricity going directly to the unit. This is another aspect you should be concerned about, as water and electricity do not mix. If it were me, I’d unplug the ice bath and test the water before fully submerging.

Final Thoughts

Not everyone needs the coldest possible temperatures for an ice bath and quite frankly the benefits are basically the same between ice baths that use chillers and those that use coils. Keep in mind there are always risks with cold plunging so consult a doctor if you are new or have concerns.

The Ice Brick

Long-lasting cubes for your ice bath