How much do ice baths cost to fill? What you need to know

If you already own an ice bath or are thinking of getting one, and you’ve asked the question how much do ice baths cost to fill, then read on!

Ice baths have been getting increasingly popular due to cold water therapy’s incredible benefits. From increased energy and focus to mental and physical resilience training, and proven physical recovery, it is no wonder ice baths have been a popular topic.

What are ice baths?

An ice bath is a practice that involves submerging a substantial part of the human body in a bath or plunge-type structure in cold or icy water for a specific duration. It is also known as cold water therapy.

For most people to maximise the benefits of an ice bath, you should aim for 11 minutes a week total, this can be split between multiple sessions. By hitting 11 minutes a week you will increase your stores of brown fat which boosts core body metabolism.

Generally for cold water therapy the ideal temperature is between 10-15°(around 50-60 Fahrenheit). The common recommendation duration for an ice bath is to never exceed the number of degrees in minutes. For example, don’t exceed 10 minutes in a 10°C ice bath.

The types of ice baths

There are many different styles of ice baths or cold plunges that can be used to practice cold water therapy. Below are some of the main types.

  • Portable ice baths: These are typically considered beginner ice baths and are a budget-friendly way to start practicing cold water therapy. Although the least expensive they can still be durable and get the same job done! Although you may require more ice to maintain the desired temperature. An example of a portable ice bath would be Lumi Therapys Pod Max.
  • Ice Barrels: The ice barrels offer a unique set of benefits over an ice bath, its compact size means it can be more accessible and it takes up less space, giving more opportunity to fit outdoors and indoors. A barrel can also have more upright space meaning it can be easier to submerge more of the body. Sitting upright instead of laying down in a bath style could be a preference for some.
  • Professional ice baths: Professional ice baths tend to be made of much more durable and expensive materials with a high-quality finish. Additionally, they should be fitted with particulate filters and chiller units, meaning it requires much less cleaning and no ice. Simply set the desired temperature and get in. All this convenience of course comes at a price, expect to pay around £4000 for one of these units.
  • DIY ice baths: These can include wheelie bins, cattle troughs, your normal bath, and converted chest freezers. If you have any of these available to you then it makes sense to try it to familiarise yourself with cold water therapy. I’d recommend converting a chest freezer if you can as these will have chiller units to keep the water cold and should require no ice. You can follow this guide to create your own DIY chest freezer ice bath

All of these types and products will offer various maximum water capacities which will impact the required cost to fill them up.

How much do ice baths cost to fill up?

With some of the huge capacities that these ice baths can offer, it is a normal worry to question how much do ice baths cost to fill up. There are several variables in calculating the monthly cost when it comes to filling up your ice bath, and those are;

  • Your cost of water with your water supplier
  • The capacity of your ice bath
  • How often do you refill the ice bath

The cost of water can vary between suppliers but in the UK it costs around 138 pence per cubic metre. A cubic metre equals 1000 litres, meaning a litre of tap water costs around 0.138p.

If we take the average capacity of an ice bath which is about 420 litres and we multiply that by 0.138, we get 58p. That’s not much.

Typically in a portable ice bath without a filter, you would empty, clean and re-fill the ice bath maybe twice a month. This means it’s only costing you roughly £1.16 a month! Not much money at all to experience all the benefits of cold water therapy.

People tend to go for dedicated ice baths due to not having to empty the water after every use. If you just want to use your usual bath then you’re likely to refill it a lot more, this could greatly impact the cost.

Of course, this is an example estimation using averages, it may be more or less depending on the water suppliers charges, how big your ice bath is, and how often you empty it out.

Remember if you own or are planning to own a professional ice bath with a chiller unit, then you should account for the electricity cost as well. Considering the purchase cost of that caliber of ice bath though, the electricity cost should be negligible.

Keep it cold

If you’re wondering how much ice you need for your portable ice bath, well this will depend on your desired temperature, generally for cold water therapy the ideal temperature is between 10-15°(around 50-60 Fahrenheit). Depending on the ambient temperature and water capacity you may need around 7-15kg of ice.

Typically you will need more in the summertime, and you may not need ice at all during the wintertime.

If you’ve been wondering whether to purchase an ice bath then I hope this article has helped influence your decision, cold water therapy is an excellent tool for managing stress, and building resilience through learning to stay calm in a naturally stressful situation.

Many of us will start cold water therapy through cold showers and eventually will look to upgrade to more immersive experiences through ice baths, for those wondering.. it is definitely worth the jump. Go for it and share your experiences with me below.





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