Taking the plunge into cold water has been known for centuries to have many health benefits. But what if you want to enjoy these benefits without leaving the comfort of your own home? In this article, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of both building and buying a cold plunge so that you can decide which option is best for you.
Before we get into that, let’s talk about the WHY
For the past three years, I’ve been getting up at 6:30 AM to prepare for my workday by 7:30 AM. Getting up so early wasn’t easy to do and I found myself drinking a lot of coffee just to get through those early morning meetings. After some time, I found it was no longer working and that I would crash in the afternoon. Luckily, I came across Wim Hof who is known for breathing techniques and ice-water submersion. Within a few days of starting, I was able to reduce my coffee intake in addition to swapping it out for Matcha Green tea on occasion. To make a long story short, not only did cold showers give me more energy but also helped me mentally feel more energized! There was a noticeable difference! That being said, full immersion into an icy cold bath seemed like the next step in achieving maximum health and well-being benefits.
I initially checked into many of the popular options such as The Cold Plunge and RenuTherapy, but didn’t find that any of them were in the budget I had in mind which was less than $1000 USD. I then checked out, Ice Barrel which was right around my budget, but didn’t like that you are in it vertically, and the Ice Barrel requires maintenance of having to manually clean it out frequently and replace the ice.
I then bought and tried out a cheap <$100 option from Amazon which was a portable inflatable (WEY&FLY) but found it made my shower area feel tight and was very hard to clean.
I didn’t want a cheap option that ends up costing me time and frustration.
I then found there was a HUGE community of DIY Cold Plunges using Chest Freezers. I found that I DIY to get what almost looks like a professional grade Cold Plunge. After spending many weeks researching and finally deciding to start buying the MANY individual products to DIY Cold Plunge, I found the following to be the best advice:
- Get the Frigidaire brand Chest Freezer
- Have a Line-X professional apply polyurea, sand, ,seal the inside with Line-X XS350.
- Buy the water chiller, water filters, ozone cleaners for the water all separately.
The members of “DIY Chest Freezer & Chiller Cold Plunges”, a Facebook community with over 18,000 people I had joined, typically pay anywhere from $1,300 to $2,000 for their projects. However, Line-X stores may not have standard pricing for their services, so estimates could be expensive or relatively reasonable. My local store in Boulder gave me a price of $3,250 which was more than I saw anyone else in the community paying. When I checked farther away locations though, some charged as little as $1,000.
Having thought this over for some time, I decided to go ahead and purchase all of the necessary items, aside from scheduling an appointment with Line-X. I was also checking the DIY community site on a daily basis and found some folks having leaks, freezer damage, etc. I started to get nervous about the DIY approach and felt that it would end up costing me a lot overtime as well as more maintenance time.
As I awaited a fair estimate from a Line-X location, which included all the steps I was advised they should do (applying polyurea, sanding, and then Line-X), The Cold Plunge had a great Black Friday deal. Even though The Cold Plunge cost $5,000, the deal included a five-year warranty and six-month maintenance. Taking this as a sign, I returned all my DIY items. I wanted to take this healthy habit seriously and buy the best products.
The Cold Plunge was easy to setup for the most part, except for connecting the water pipes to the chiller without any leaking. After a quick customer service call, I managed to attach the pipes without any leaks. It looks very slick, high-end and well built.