People are trying this viral wellness hack to turn chest freezers into “ice baths” for their backyards

This clever idea makes the cold water therapy wellness trend more accessible at home. It costs less than $500, and looks pretty good, too

an outdoor bath on a terrace
(Image credit: Victoria + Albert Baths Napoli bath. Credit: @elquestro El Questro Homestead in Australia's Kimberley region)

Ice baths have been all over my feed recently, I can't get away from them. As a wellness trend, ice bathing isn't anything new, but it seems that more and more people are adopting the idea into their lifestyles. 

However, from the elaborate spa-like facilities you see online, you may have been convinced this ritual is reserved for those of us who can afford to spend out on a stylish ice bath. The best ones cost anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to over $10,000. 

If you want to embrace ice-bathing as a backyard idea, but want something a little more aesthetically pleasing than what's basically a glorified plastic bucket, there is a nifty hack floating around TikTok that you should know about.  

This idea sees creative DIYers turning chest freezers into ice baths and we think it is quite genius. No need for fancy technology, just an average chest freezer and a couple of other DIY products you may already have. Check out how to make your very own ice bath and you'll be reaping the rewards in no time.

What is an ice bath used for?

An ice bath is a form of cold water immersion that consists of submerging the body into cold water for a set amount of time.

The benefits of an ice-cold plunge are truly endless. While cold water therapy is not a new idea, and the benefits of cold immersion therapy have been known for a while now, ice baths have recently been popularized on Instagram and TikTok.

Some of the health benefits of an ice bath include muscle recovery, reduced inflammation, as well as mental benefits such as increased alertness and reduced anxiety.

If you have been drawn in by the science, or even the uber health-conscious people on Instagram who promote it, you will quickly learn how expensive they can be. That's until you discover this weekend project to make your own. 

How to make an ice bath from a chest freezer

It makes perfect sense if you think about. Ice belongs in a freezer, so why not utilize a chest freezer to make an ice bath? It doesn't even need to be a functioning one, so it's a great way to recycle something that otherwise often ends up in landfill. 

Follow these simple steps, gathered from the many DIYers who have made their own:

1. First you need to get a chest freezer. For this DIY you can acquire one second-hand to further reduce costs. Ensure the chest is at least 320L, and make sure to give it a good clean.

2. Next you will need to seal all the edges with a waterproof sealant. Make sure to get every corner to reduce the chance of leaking. Leave it for 24-48 hours to fully cure before moving to the next step.

3. Fill the chest up with water, leaving a hand width between the water and the top of the chest. Plug in the freezer and allow 48 hours to fully cool. You may wish to purchase a plug timer to turn your freezer on for a few hours every day.

4. Use a water thermometer to check the temperature, it should be between 50-60 Fahrenheit. Always unplug the freezer before getting in, do not close the lid whilst in it at any point, and do not submerge your head.


♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show

Things you might need

Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.