The TheraFrost ice bath features an inflatable tub made from industrial-grade airplane rubber that fits into a backpack (when deflated). It also has an app-controlled high-performance chiller that cools the water down to 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3° Celcius) and keeps it clean using an integrated ozone filtration system.
In this hands-on TheraFrost review, I’ll share how well this portable cold plunge has been performing since being added to our backyard spa, including why I think it offers an excellent balance of form and function.
TheraFrost is one of the best cold plunges on the market because it strikes a nearly perfect balance between form and function. It can cool the water down to a bone-chilling 37 degrees, and keeps it clean and sanitary using an ozone-based filtration system. And while the portable tub is big enough to accommodate even the tallest people, it folds down to the size of a backpack, making it easy to move. The included harmonizer can also provide additional health benefits by restructuring the water.
- Impressive cooling performance (down to 37° F).
- Powerful water filtration and restructuring system.
- Small horizontal footprint but large enough to accommodate tall people.
- You can control the chiller using a mobile app.
- The rubber tub might release endocrine-disrupting chemicals (only when exposed to hot water). Plus, black rubber creates more condensation than fiberglass or acrylic tubs.
I’ve been using TheraFrost for the past few months as part of my wellness routine, and I encourage you to read my article about the top ice bath benefits to learn more about why cold plunging is such a valuable tool for optimizing your health.
TheraFrost Ultimate Plunge Review
As soon as I took my first plunge in the TheraFrost — in a pre-release version that was on display at the 2023 KetoCon conference in Austin, Texas — I immediately knew that I had to get one for our home spa.
For one thing, I loved that TheraFrost was much smaller than most of the other cold plunge tubs I’ve tried, while also being long enough that I’m able to submerge myself completely in the cold water.
I also love the tub’s scheduling feature, which allows me to turn the chiller off overnight (when our solar panels aren’t producing energy) without requiring a separate timer.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty about the TheraFrost’s cooling performance and ozone-based water filtration capabilities, let’s talk about setting up the inflatable tub and chiller.
Therasage (the company behind TheraFrost) ships its inflatable ice bath in two boxes. One contains the tub itself, the inflatable lid, an electric air pump and an extra hand pump. I mention this because there is a small chance that the boxes won’t arrive at the same time. So don’t be concerned if you receive your shipment and the chiller or tub seems to be missing.
Frankly, I didn’t expect a powerful electric pump to be included and had planned to use elbow grease to inflate the tub. But the pump was a welcome surprise, as it inflated both the tub and the lid in seconds.
Once the tub was inflated, I grabbed our non-toxic garden hose (regular garden hoses contain lead and other chemicals that I don’t want in my bath water) and filled it up.
As the water level reached the “max fill” line, I noticed that the side walls of the tub were starting to bulge out a little. That’s when I realized I should have used a hand pump to add more air to further stiffen the side walls before adding water. The problem was that while the electric pump inflated the tub quickly, it’s not powerful enough to fill the tub so the walls can withstand the pressure of the over 100 gallons of water inside.
In my defense, I got my TheraFrost before it officially went on sale, and before the user manual was ready. I also refused a setup call with the company’s technician, so I’ll take the blame for that.
Fortunately, I was able to add more air even without having to drain the water, thanks to the incredibly powerful hand pump Therasage included with the plunge.
Once the air situation was fixed, I connected the tub to the chiller using two flexible and color-coded hoses, and attached the sediment filter to the back of the chiller.
The entire setup process took less than 10 minutes, not considering the time it took to fill the tub with water.
Speaking of water: we have a whole-house water filtration system from Radiant Life that produces clean water that’s free of the toxins and contaminants typically foud in municipal tap water. As a result, I had no concerns about filling the TheraFrost with tap water. If you don’t have a whole-house water filter, I recommend getting an inexpensive charcoal filter to remove the chlorine and other toxins from your tap water before exposing your skin to them.
If you’re wondering, it takes a couple of hours for the chiller to cool the water down from about 65 degrees to the tub’s max coldness of 37 degrees, but I just let it run overnight before hopping in.
Therasage made the inflatable tub out of high-grade industrial airplane rubber that’s lightweight but incredibly strong. As such, one of TheraFrost’s most notable features is its relatively small footprint of 60 x 30 inches. In other words, it takes up significantly less space in our backyard than most other ice baths, including the Plunge tube I’ve had for over a year.
Despite its small size, TheraFrost holds 101 gallons of water when 90% filled. That’s because the tub is 27 inches tall. As a result, even very tall people can submerge themselves fully in the water.
For reference, I’m six feet tall, and either my toes or my knees stick out of most other ice bath tubs — especially if I try to submerge my upper body up to my jawline. Not so with the TheraFrost! I can completely submerge myself in the tub and have the water reach my jawline.
That’s important, because the vagus, glossopharyngeal and accessory nerves (see below) run down the side of your spine; exposing them to cold water helps further intensify your cold exposure experience, leading to some of the health benefits of ice baths that I discussed in this article. Plus, I like being completely immersed in cold water because it helps me relax and surrender.
The other cool thing about the rubber tub is that, when deflated, you can fit it into the provided travel case and take it with you when you travel. Even if you’re not planning on traveling with the TheraFrost, it’s nice that you can easily move the (empty) tub around in your home or backyard.
After setting up the tub, I realized there was a better spot in our backyard. So I just drained the water and moved the lightweight tub by myself. I couldn’t have done that with my Cold Plunge because it’s too heavy and awkward to carry; I would have needed help from my wife or a friend.
One downside to the rubber tub is that it can leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals (e.g., phthalates) into the water — but only if you allow the water to reach room temperature or if you actively heat the water (we’ll talk about that in the section about the chiller).
I keep the water in my TheraFrost way below room temperature, so leaching isn’t a concern (it doesn’t happen in cold water). Still, if you decide to turn off the chiller for extended periods, I recommend draining the tub before the water can warm up.
The other downside to black rubber is that it causes more condensation than traditional tub materials (e.g., fiberglass or acrylic), especially if you operate the tub outdoors and if the tub is exposed to direct sunlight. I placed my tub in the backyard, where it’s exposed to direct sunlight for several hours every day. The temperature difference between the water inside the tub and the ambient air causes condensation and evaporation, so I have to top off the water every couple of days.
My other ice bath, which is acrylic, isn’t exposed to direct sunlight and doesn’t produce the same level of condensation, thus maintaining more stable water levels.
I think the pros of the tub design outweigh its cons, and I truly appreciate the smaller footprint paired with the extra space I have in the tub to stretch out.
Before moving on to the chiller, I should mention that TheraFrost comes with an inflatable lid you can secure using four clips (two on each side). The heavy-duty clips keep the lid securely in place in case of strong winds, and helps prevent leaves, debris and rodents from getting into the water. However, depending on how well you inflate the tub, the lid may not provide an airtight seal. So there is still a risk of insects getting into the water.
I should also mention that the clips might not be secure enough to prevent small children from getting into the water. So if you have young kids, you should pay extra attention to prevent accidents. Perhaps TheraFrost could consider lockable latches in a future model.
Chiller (Cooling Performance & Features)
The chiller is the heart of TheraFrost because it keeps the water clean and at the desired temperature. TheraFrost’s chiller can cool the water down to 37 degrees Fahrenheit, which is even two degrees colder than my other cold plunge tub.
To conserve energy, the chiller doesn’t cool the water continuously. Instead, it starts cooling once the water temperature increases to one to two degrees over the target temperature. In other words, even though I’ve set the temperature to 37 degrees, my tub’s actual temperature is between 37 and 39 degrees.
You can also expect the water temperature to rise temporarily by one to two degrees during use, due to your body temperature. In other words, if I get into the tub at 38 degrees, it may have warmed to 40 degrees by the time I get out. Fortunately, the chiller is powerful enough to cool the water back down to the desired temperature within a few minutes. That helps if you plan on taking back-to-back plunges (alone or with friends or family).
I should also point out that the chiller also has the ability to heat the water. However, considering the material the tub is made of and the potential for endocrine-disrupting chemicals to leach into hot water, I don’t recommend using that feature.
Plus, going from cold to hot water (or vice versa) requires a lot of time and energy, and I don’t think it would be practical to use the TheraFrost as a hot tub.
To control TheraFrost’s chiller, you can use the built-in touchscreen (which is on the chiller) or the accompanying mobile app (see below). I initially set everything up using the touchscreen, except for my custom schedule (to turn the chiller off overnight to save energy), which is only available via the mobile app.
One aspect of the touchscreen that could be improved is its brightness (or lack thereof). The screen is relatively readable indoors, but outdoors (and especially when exposed to sunlight), it becomes a bit difficult to read. The good news is you don’t have to mess with it once everything is set up (unless you want to change the water temperature or turn the unit off).
I mentioned earlier in this review that I like how lightweight and easy to move the empty tub is. The chiller isn’t lightweight. It’s heavy, but it comes on four wheels (with built-in brakes), to make moving it a breeze. The wheels also make it easy to access the back of the unit when it comes time to replace the sediment filter (which I do once a month).
The last thing about the chiller I should point out is that it has a built-in ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), which cuts the power to the unit in case of a ground fault. The GFCI is conveniently located behind a waterproof plastic cover on the left side of the chiller. TheraFrost recommends testing the GFCI every time before you step into the tub.
To keep the water fresh and clean for extended periods, TheraFrost combines a five-micron pleated sediment filter and ozone. The former removes debris, such as lint and hairs, and the latter sanitizes the water by killing viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.
I’m a huge fan of ozone for medical applications (e.g., treating infections and boosting the immune system) and water sanitation. Specifically, in the context of an ice bath, ozone offers an incredibly effective and maintenance-free way to keep your water clean and dramatically reduce water changes.
Using the accompanying mobile app (see below), you can even fine-tune the ozone treatment by selecting for how many minutes (within 20 minutes) the chiller produces ozone to sanitize the water.
The only thing TheraFrost doesn’t have is a UV lamp, which is another popular water treatment mechanism used in spas (and some ice bath tubs) to deter the growth of algae and bacteria. Therasage decided not to include a UV lamp because they have a limited lifespan of approximately 10,000 hours and require replacement every ~400 days if you operate the tub 24/7.
I’m not too concerned about the proliferation of pathogens because the ozone takes care of them. But I have noticed that the water gets cloudy more quickly than in my other ice bath tub, which is equipped with a UV lamp. Cloudiness isn’t a sign of poor water quality; it usually just indicates the presence of harmless algae. The good news is that you can easily keep the water clear by adding 1-2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide every 7-14 days. I do that proactively as part of my biweekly water test.
My schedule is busy, and I have a relatively lengthy chore list that includes walking our young (energetic) German shepherd and caring for our livestock. So I try to keep the stuff I have to do regularly to a minimum.
That’s why I’m such a fan of ice bath tubs that come with a chiller and a water filtration system; it means I don’t have to worry about buying ice, adding ice cubes into the water ahead of my plunge (as is required with the Ice Barrel), or dealing with frequent water changes.
TheraFrost is relatively maintenance-free. I replace the sediment filter every month and test the water quality (using test strips) every two weeks. Depending on the readings, I add some non-toxic (bromine and chlorine-free) water treatments such as hydrogen peroxide. By doing that, I only have to change the water every six months.
During the hottest months of the year, I might add more water regularly to replace what evaporates.
The entire maintenance regimen doesn’t take more than a few minutes each month, and I appreciate that.
I want to admit right off the bat that I haven’t dug into the purported health benefits of structured water, which is also known as ordered water. Some people hail structured water as a miracle treatment for low energy levels, cognitive dysfunction, poor sleep, gut issues and high blood sugar. Others claim it’s a scam that defies all laws of physics.
I’m still skeptical about the usefulness of structured water, but have seen a few studies that indicate that it can influence protein folding, thereby decreasing inflammation. Aside from that, one meta-analysis of animal studies from the past 20 years concluded that structured water has a positive effect by increasing growth rate, reducing oxidative stress markers, improving glycemic and insulinemic responses in diabetics and improving the lipid profile.
I’ll dive more into structured water over the next few months to see what I can find. For the purpose of this review, you should know that Therasage includes a harmonizer (it looks like a reflective sticker) that can structure the water as it flows through the sediment filter.
So if you’re a fan of structured water and buy into its health benefits, you’ll appreciate this extra feature.
Mobile App (Tuya)
TheraFrost’s chiller unit has a built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radio compatible with the Tuya Smart home automation platform. That allows you to connect the chiller to your mobile phone using the Tuya mobile app. Once connected, you can use the app to control every aspect of the chiller, including:
- Changing the temperature.
- Turning the flow sensor on or off.
- Viewing the current flow rate.
- Locking the touchscreen (to prevent accidental changes).
- Changing the temperature unit from Fahrenheit to Celcius.
- Creating schedules (to turn the chiller on and off at predefined times).
- Controlling the ozone settings.
- Turning the chiller on or off.
While I don’t use the mobile app regularly, I do think it’s useful because it allows you to create a custom schedule to turn the chiller off at night and back on in the morning. That way, the chiller doesn’t have to run all night when nobody uses the tub.
I also used the app to change the ozone settings to treat the water for three minutes every 20 minutes instead of one minute (the default setting). That way, the water stays in better condition, considering that my TheraFrost is outside (where insects and debris can get into it).
Arguably the main disadvantage of TheraFrost is its price tag. Don’t get me wrong, there are much more expensive cold plunges on the market. But $4,988 is still a lot of money.
However, what you’re paying for is convenience, because you don’t have to worry about adding ice and changing the water frequently. For many people, time is money, and TheraFrost offers a tangible return on your investment by saving you a lot of time.
You’ll also get features such as water restructuring that I haven’t yet seen in any other cold plunge (not even the super-expensive ones).
So based on that, I feel TheraFrost offers a lot of value. Additionally, you can use my affiliate code (MKUMMER) to knock 10% off the MSRP, which reduces the purchase price to less than $4,500.
One area that many customers overlook when purchasing expensive equipment is customer support. It’s upsetting when something breaks and the company behind the product won’t help you. I recently had such an experience, when our freezer broke after only three months, putting thousands of dollars worth of grass-fed beef at risk. Frigidaire failed to fix the problem. In fact, it’s been two months since the freezer stopped working as of this writing, and I still don’t know if and when it’ll get repaired.
Therasage appears to operate much differently. When I noticed one of the water supply lines got pinched during transport and was leaking water, they immediately reacted and sent me a new hose the same day. I appreciate that, and it feels good knowing that I’m taken care of if a problem arises.
Like I already mentioned in my review of the Therasage 360 PLUS (the company’s full-spectrum personal infrared sauna), you can return most of their products, including the cold plunge, within 30 days if you’re unhappy with your purchase. Additionally, Therasage offers a one-year warranty if you use the tub under normal residential conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
TheraFrost can chill the water to 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, you can expect your actual water temperature to hover somewhere between 37 and 39 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the ambient temperature and how long you stay in the plunge (your body temperature heats the water while you’re inside the tub).
No, you can use the mobile app to create a schedule that matches your ice bathing routine. For example, I usually plunge in the morning or early afternoon. So I created a schedule that turns the chiller off at 7 p.m. and back on at 6 a.m. Using that schedule, the water never warms up more than a few degrees. I just walked by the chiller at 7 this morning, and the water temperature was already at 39 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can safely expose the TheraFrost chiller to elements like rain and snow. Of course, the same applies to the rubber tub. I placed my TheraFrost in our backyard, where it gets regularly exposed to rain. Sometimes, I gently hose down the chiller when it’s dusty or covered in pollen. However, I recommend being careful with pressured water as it could get inside and damage delicate electronics. So don’t pressure wash your TheraFrost.
That depends on several factors, including the quality of your source water, how often you use the tub, whether or not you use any water treatment products, and how many hours per day the chiller is running. In the past, I changed the water in my ice baths every six months. I kept the chiller running 24/7, used non-toxic water treatment products bi-weekly, and plunged five times per week.
Based on my current schedule (TheraFrost only runs for 13 hours each day), I suspect I’ll change the water every four months or so.
The TheraFrost cold plunge retails for $4,988, but you can knock 10% off the price by using my affiliate code MKUMMER.
No, you don’t need a dedicated circuit. You can plug the TheraFrost’s chiller into an existing shared 120V 15-amp power outlet.
TheraFrost has many features that make it stand out from its competition. For example, the tub is smaller but deeper than most other tubs I’ve used, resulting in a smaller footprint without sacrificing the space inside. Additionally, the TheraFrost tub is inflatable, and the chiller has wheels, making it easy to move around. Combined with the mobile, powerful chiller and the water restructuring feature, I think TheraFrost is one of the best ice baths on the market.
Depending on the quality of your source water, I recommend initially treating the water with a chlorine and bromine-free oxidizer and sanitizer and then regularly checking using test strips to ensure your water quality is good. Depending on the hardness of your water, you might also want to add a softener.
Yes, the TheraFrost cold plunge is big enough, even if you’re over six feet tall or have broad shoulders.
Yes, the TheraFrost (including the chiller) can safely remain outside even during winter and with freezing temperatures. However, keeping the chiller running is important to prevent the water from freezing in the pipes. The chiller also features a built-in frost guard that prevents the water from freezing.
If you decide to unplug the chiller, make sure to properly winterize the plunge by draining the tub and the chiller, and by removing the filter housing.
TheraFrost Review: Summary and Final Thoughts
TheraFrost is one of the best cold plunges on the market because it strikes a nearly perfect balance between form and function. TheraFrost can cool the water down to a bone-chilling 37 degrees, and keeps it clean and sanitary using an ozone-based filtration system. And while the portable tub is big enough to accommodate even the tallest people, it folds down to the size of a backpack, making it easy to carry.
I’ve been using the TheraFrost ice bath for the past few months and love it because it’s large enough to allow my entire body to be submerged in cold water without taking up much floor space.
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance cold plunge tub to make ice bathing a regular part of your wellness routine, TheraFrost is an excellent choice.
Have you taken an ice bath yet? Let me know in the comments how your first ice bath went or why you haven’t taken the plunge yet!
Michael is a healthy living enthusiast and CrossFit athlete whose goal is to help people achieve optimal health by bridging the gap between ancestral living and the demands of modern society.