Cheap DIY Cold Plunge: How to Build Your Own Chilling Pool

Cheap DIY Cold Plunge

I've been working out regularly, and after those intense exercise sessions, I often find myself longing for a way to reduce the muscle soreness and inflammation. I've heard about the fantastic benefits of cold plunges, but commercial cold plunge pools can be quite expensive.

However, I'm excited to discover that I can enjoy the advantages of a cold plunge without straining my budget. In this comprehensive guide, I'll show you how I built my very own cheap DIY cold plunge to help with post-workout recovery and more.

Why a Cold Plunge?

The decision to embark on the journey of constructing your own DIY cold plunge should be driven by a comprehensive understanding of the myriad advantages it can offer:

Health Benefits

  1. Improved Circulation: When you subject your body to the invigorating shock of cold water, it induces vasoconstriction, followed by vasodilation, which essentially means that your blood vessels constrict and then expand. This process enhances blood flow, aiding in the recovery from injuries, reducing muscle soreness, and promoting overall cardiovascular health.
  2. Mental Clarity: The experience of plunging into cold water can be nothing short of awakening. It jolts your senses and sharpens mental acuity, making it an exceptional ritual to kickstart your day with heightened alertness and focus.
  3. Enhanced Immunity: Regular exposure to cold water can bolster your immune system. It stimulates the production of white blood cells and strengthens the body's defense mechanisms, ultimately making you more resilient to various illnesses.
  4. Stress Reduction: Cold plunges are a natural stress buster. The release of endorphins triggered by the cold water immersion can alleviate stress, elevate your mood, and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
  5. Skin Health: Cold water is a boon for your skin. It tightens pores, reduces inflammation, and can give your skin a healthy and vibrant appearance over time, making it a simple yet effective beauty regimen.

Cost Savings

  1. Affordability: Opting for a DIY cold plunge pool is a budget-friendly alternative to purchasing a commercial one. It allows you to enjoy the myriad health benefits without breaking the bank, making it an accessible option for a wide range of individuals.
  2. Customization: Building your own cold plunge empowers you to tailor it precisely to your preferences. You have control over every aspect, from the dimensions and shape of the plunge pool to the water temperature, ensuring it aligns perfectly with your needs and comfort.

Now that we've covered why a cold plunge is a great addition to your lifestyle, let's get into the nitty-gritty of building one on a budget.

Cheap DIY Cold Plunge

Select a Suitable Location

One of the crucial initial steps in the process of constructing your cold plunge involves the meticulous selection of an ideal location. To make an informed decision, consider the following key factors:


Begin by assessing the available space for your cold plunge. Whether you intend to install it indoors or outdoors, it's essential to ensure that the chosen area can comfortably accommodate the plunge's dimensions. Adequate space not only facilitates installation but also contributes to a more enjoyable and safe user experience.

Proximity to Water

Access to a readily available water source is paramount when planning your cold plunge. Whether you opt for a natural water supply or a piped connection, ensuring that water can be easily transported to and replenished in the plunge is crucial for its functionality.

Drainage System

Consider the implementation of an effective drainage system to manage the water within your cold plunge. Proper drainage prevents the accumulation of stagnant water around the plunge area, ensuring its longevity and cleanliness. Be mindful of local regulations regarding water disposal to ensure compliance.


Think about how easy it will be for users to access the cold plunge. Ensure that it's conveniently located within your property, with clear pathways and safe access points. This not only enhances the overall experience but also ensures the safety of those using the facility.

Aesthetic Integration

If aesthetics are important to you, consider how the cold plunge will fit into the overall design and landscape of your property. Integrating it seamlessly into your environment can enhance both its visual appeal and functionality.

Privacy and Convenience

Think about the level of privacy you desire for your cold plunge. You might want to locate it in an area that offers a degree of seclusion while still being easily accessible from your home or other relevant areas.

Climate Considerations

Consider your local climate when selecting the location. In colder regions, you might need to take additional measures to prevent freezing, while in hot climates, shading or cooling mechanisms may be necessary to maintain the desired water temperature.

Gather Materials

To embark on the construction of your cold plunge, you'll need a range of materials to ensure its functionality, longevity, and user comfort. Here's a detailed breakdown of the essential materials:

  • Container: The heart of your cold plunge, the container, can be crafted from various materials to suit your preferences and budget. Consider options such as a stock tank, plastic tub, or even repurposed items like an old bathtub. The choice of container will impact the overall aesthetics and durability of your cold plunge.
  • Insulation: Maintaining the desired cold temperature is pivotal to the success of your cold plunge. Adequate insulation helps achieve this goal. You can opt for foam board insulation, which is a cost-effective solution, or expandable foam, which provides superior insulation properties.
  • Waterproofing: To prevent any unwanted leaks that could damage your surrounding area or compromise the plunge's structural integrity, you must incorporate effective waterproofing. This can be achieved through the use of a waterproofing liner designed for water containment or a specialized sealant suitable for the chosen container material.
  • Chiller System: The method you select to chill the water in your cold plunge depends on your budget and long-term plans. A basic approach involves using ice and water to maintain the desired temperature, but for more consistent and efficient cooling, you may opt for an advanced chiller unit specifically designed for cold plunges. Consider your region's climate and how frequently you plan to use the plunge when making this decision.
  • Water Filtration: Maintaining clean water in your cold plunge is essential for user health and comfort. Installing a water filtration system helps remove impurities and ensures that the water remains sanitary. Select a filtration system appropriate for the volume of water in your plunge and your specific water quality concerns.
  • Steps or Ladder: Ease of access in and out of the cold plunge is essential for safety and convenience. You can install steps or a ladder to facilitate entry and exit. These can be made from materials like wood, metal, or composite, depending on your design preferences and budget.
  • Additional Considerations: Depending on your specific requirements and preferences, you may need additional materials such as decking or landscaping materials to create a visually appealing and functional space around the cold plunge. Lighting, seating, and shade options may also be considered to enhance the overall experience.

Build the Container

Building the container for your cold plunge is a critical phase in the construction process, and it requires careful attention to detail to ensure its functionality and durability. Here's a step-by-step guide with expanded information on each stage:

Measure and Cut

Begin by meticulously measuring the dimensions you desire for your cold plunge. Keep in mind the user capacity and any specific space constraints. Once you have precise measurements, cut your chosen container material accordingly. Common container materials include stock tanks, plastic tubs, or repurposed items like old bathtubs. Precision in cutting is essential to ensure a snug fit for the insulation and to create a visually appealing final product.


Proper insulation is crucial for maintaining the cold temperature of your plunge. Apply insulation material to the interior of the container. You can use foam board insulation, which can be easily cut to size and adhered to the walls, or expandable foam, which fills gaps and provides excellent thermal protection. Ensure that all surfaces are fully covered, including the bottom and sides of the container. Adequate insulation helps reduce energy consumption and keeps the water consistently cold.

Seal and Waterproof

To prevent leaks that can damage your surroundings and compromise the plunge's structural integrity, it's vital to apply a high-quality waterproof sealant. Ensure that the sealant you choose is compatible with the container material you've selected. Pay close attention to seams, corners, and any potential weak points. A thorough application of sealant provides an effective barrier against water seepage, ensuring a watertight container.

Add Drainage

Installing a drainage system in your cold plunge is essential for ease of water changes and maintenance. Position a drain at the bottom of the container to facilitate efficient water removal. Connect the drain to a suitable plumbing system or direct the water to a designated drainage area, considering local regulations regarding water disposal. This drainage system not only simplifies water management but also helps prevent water stagnation, which can lead to hygiene issues.

Reinforcement and Aesthetics

Depending on the type of container material you've chosen and your design preferences, you may want to reinforce the structure for added stability and longevity. Additionally, consider enhancing the aesthetics of your cold plunge by adding finishing touches such as trim, paint, or decorative elements that complement your overall design concept.

Quality Assurance

Before proceeding with filling your cold plunge with water, conduct a thorough quality assurance check. Inspect the insulation, sealant, and drainage system to ensure they are functioning correctly and there are no visible signs of leaks or weaknesses. Address any issues promptly to prevent complications later on.

Cheap DIY Cold Plunge

Install Filtration System

Maintaining pristine and clear water in your cold plunge is essential for an enjoyable and hygienic experience. To achieve this, incorporating a filtration system is a crucial step. Here's a detailed guide on selecting, installing, and maintaining a filtration system for your cold plunge, along with additional information:

Choose a Filtration Method

When it comes to filtration, you have several options to consider, each with its own advantages:

  • Basic Sand or Cartridge Filter: These are traditional and cost-effective filtration methods. Sand filters use sand media to trap particles, while cartridge filters rely on replaceable filter cartridges. They effectively remove debris, sediment, and larger impurities.
  • UV-C Filtration System: For a more advanced and efficient solution, you can opt for a UV-C (ultraviolet-C) filtration system. UV-C technology uses ultraviolet light to disinfect water by killing bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. It also helps prevent the growth of algae and other organic contaminants.
  • Additional Considerations: When selecting a filtration method, consider factors such as the volume of water in your cold plunge, the quality of your water source, and your budget. UV-C systems are known for their exceptional water purification capabilities but may require a higher initial investment.

Install and Maintain

Once you've chosen the filtration method that suits your needs, it's essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation. Proper installation ensures that the system operates efficiently and effectively.

  • Placement: Determine the optimal location within or near your cold plunge to install the filtration system. Ensure that it is easily accessible for maintenance.
  • Regular Maintenance: To ensure consistent water quality, establish a routine maintenance schedule. This includes cleaning or replacing filters as recommended by the manufacturer. For UV-C systems, monitor the lamp's lifespan and replace it when necessary.
  • Water Testing: Periodically test the water in your cold plunge to assess its quality. Water testing kits are readily available and can help you monitor pH levels, chlorine or other sanitizers (if used), and overall water clarity.
  • Safety Considerations: If your filtration system requires electrical connections, ensure that all components are installed safely and in compliance with local electrical codes.
  • Professional Assistance: If you are uncertain about the installation or maintenance process, or if you encounter any issues with your filtration system, consider seeking the assistance of a professional pool or water treatment specialist.

Create Access

Ensuring easy and secure access to your cold plunge is a vital consideration for a seamless and enjoyable experience. Here's an expanded explanation of why and how to create access with steps or a ladder:

Importance of Access

Access to your cold plunge is not just a matter of convenience; it's also crucial for safety. Cold water can be shockingly invigorating, but it's essential to provide users with a safe means of entering and exiting the plunge to avoid accidents or discomfort.

Selecting Steps or a Ladder

The choice between steps or a ladder largely depends on your cold plunge's design and your personal preferences:

  • Steps: Installing steps with a gradual descent into the cold plunge is an excellent choice for those who value ease of access. Steps provide a more gentle and comfortable entry and exit experience, making it suitable for users of all ages.
  • Ladder: A ladder is a more space-efficient option, making it a practical choice for smaller plunge designs. Ladders are typically installed at one end of the cold plunge and offer a straightforward way to climb in and out. They are often used for more compact, upright plunge configurations.

Materials and Design

When selecting or designing your steps or ladder, consider materials that are suitable for wet environments and can withstand exposure to cold water. Common options include stainless steel, plastic-coated metal, or treated wood. Ensure that the design integrates seamlessly with the overall aesthetic of your cold plunge area.


Carefully plan the placement of your access feature. It should be located at a position that provides easy entry and exit without obstructing other cold plunge users or the surrounding area. For safety reasons, it's advisable to have the access feature positioned in a way that allows users to hold onto a railing or handrail for added stability.


Consider installing handrails along the access feature, especially if your cold plunge is elevated or deeper. Handrails provide additional support and enhance safety, particularly when users may be stepping in or out of the cold plunge with wet feet.

Safety Considerations

Prioritize safety by ensuring that the steps or ladder are securely anchored to prevent any wobbling or instability. Regularly inspect and maintain these access features to address any signs of wear or deterioration.


If your cold plunge is intended for use by individuals with mobility challenges or disabilities, take accessibility into account. Ensure that the access feature meets relevant accessibility standards, such as having proper handrails and non-slip surfaces.


Building a cheap DIY cold plunge is a fantastic way to reap the health benefits of cold exposure without breaking the bank. With careful planning, the right materials, and ongoing maintenance, you can create a refreshing and invigorating addition to your lifestyle.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when using a cold plunge. Never use it alone, start slowly, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying health concerns.

So, why wait? Start planning your DIY cold plunge project today, and enjoy the physical and mental rewards of this invigorating practice in the comfort of your own home.


Written by Just DIY

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