Top 5 Best Cold/Ice Therapy Machines of 2018 Reviewed

Why Ice Therapy Machines

Muscle pain and stiffness is an affliction that is all too familiar for those who love the gym, and for many, that burn is the gratifying sign of a rigorous and effective workout.

However, that fatigue often continues well into the next day, making stairs your worst nightmare and further exercise seem impossible!

Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate this stiffness and get back to your normal routine more quickly, without any need for painkillers.

Ice Therapy, or Cryotherapy, is a clinically-proven method of reducing pain and muscle spasms using therapeutic cold which allows them to recover more quickly after a tough workout.

It is also an excellent way to reduce swelling around soft tissue injuries, expedite healing after surgery, and prevent any further injury to the wound site.

Ice Therapy Machines are a highly effective, safe, and convenient way to deliver cold therapy, and can be purchased for use at home.

So for those with a serious gym habit, or for others wishing to reduce their healing time after an injury or surgery, an Ice Therapy Machine is an excellent way to keep your body in top shape!

In this article I list 5 best ice therapy machines currently available on the market and explain what you should do to buy the best ice therapy machine for your needs.

Top 5 Best Ice Therapy Machines

Cryotherapy Arctic Ice Cold Water Therapy with Universal Therapy Pad


The Cryotherapy Arctic Ice Cold Water Therapy system is an affordable and conveniently portable ice therapy machine which permits you to control water temperature accurately.

It is very efficient in supplying cold therapy, even with its small size. It makes use of a special technique (constant circulation compression) which has two controls: One for turning it on/off, and one for the timer with a constant/continuous setting.

The timer, which is built into the device, is a feature of this device which most users find useful.

And though the motor of the device hums while working, it’s not loud enough to be distracting during use.

This particular model also includes a universal cooling pad.

This cooling pad is a useful feature, as it can be connected to 6’ hoses which are well-insulated.

Tiny as it is, it can still supply 6-8 hours of cooled water in just one fill-up.

The Cryotherapy Arctic system is an ideal choice if you’re looking to get a small device which is also easy on the pocket.

This particular model can be used to diminish pain and swelling in the joints or any other body part you plan to use it on.

It also helps facilitate the treatment and healing of affected areas.

Ice therapy machines have grown in popularity because of how easy they are to use, and how well they work.

Using an ice therapy device such as this one can help decrease metabolism and trigger the vasoconstriction of your blood vessels, lessening their permeability, which also decreases the interior flow of fluids in your body.


The device contains a joint which allows for 360º circulation and cooling.

Has various benefits for your health in terms of reducing and treating pain and swelling in your joints.

The unit also includes some great features such as a latch top which can be locked, a control for water temperature, a pump which is low-voltage, and well-insulated hoses and lines which can be easily detached.

Includes a free pad, but is also compatible with different kinds of pads.


    • Portable and budget friendly.
    • ​Includes a variety of handy and useful features
    • Comes with a free pad for use.


    • You would need to refill the ice if used for more than 8 hours.
    • The Velcro pad isn’t very durable.

Active Ice Therapy System


The Active Ice Therapy System is a good choice for a powered device which is specially made for pain relief without the use of drugs after surgery.

It is user-friendly, and has a control for you to regulate temperature and flow rate.

The insulated water line is easy to connect and disconnect, whenever you need to.

It also has a timer for up to 30 minutes (this comes as one of the safety features) as well as a stretchy belt and a U-shaped bladder, which is universal.

Simple but very efficient, it is also quite durable, allowing you to use it for years.

This particular unit is quite bulky as it is able to store up to 9 qt of cooled water, making it ideal for home or hospital use.

As it is very easy to operate and also effective, this is one of the best options out there.

The Active Ice Therapy System can be used to relieve pain and swelling in the neck, shoulders, back, elbows, knees, ankles, calves and all other joints, limbs, and body parts.

Also, the universal bladder is versatile and flexible, allowing you to use it on any body part which requires cooling therapy.

To use this product, all you have to do is add the desired amount of water in the cooler and turn it on!


The device may have been designed for pain relief after surgery, but you can also use it for different injuries and treatments.

The uncomplicated system makes it very easy to use while remaining functional and efficient.

Probably one of the key features, the universal bladder is versatile, allowing you to use it on a variety of body parts.

Has a control which you can use to adjust flow rate and temperature.


    • 30-minute timer serves as a safety feature which protects your skin.
    • Handy for drug-free, easy pain relief.
    • The big cooler allows you to work with a large amount of water.


    • More expensive than other products on the market, though the way it is made looks cheap.
    • You would need to reset the timer every half an hour when using it for a longer time.
    • When in use, the device’s motor gives off a humming sound.

ARS Aqua Relief System Hot or Cold Water Therapy Device


The ARS Hot or Cold Water Therapy device is a useful and beneficial therapy system which can be used for hot and cold therapy treatments.

It comes with its own universal therapy pad, allowing you to use it for different devices.

The hot therapy system can be used for recurring pain or injuries, or hurting body parts which are not inflamed.

This kind of therapy improves circulation in those areas and decreases the pain you are feeling.

The cold therapy system, on the other hand, is most effective for swelling and pain relief in different joints, limbs, and muscles.

This device can be used on different parts of the body.

The ARS Hot or Cold Water Therapy system has a high-grade plug, which makes it safe to plug into any socket.

It also has a timer for up to 60 minutes with an auto shut-off feature.

This anti-interference model also has high and low heat settings.

This model has many health benefits.

Since the fluid is constantly flowing and circulating while the device is working, you don’t have to worry about damaging your skin while you are using it.

Using this product can decrease swelling, enhance the circulation of blood in your body, reduce discomfort, and even help with diabetes.

As it’s this versatile, the ARS Hot or Cold Water Therapy system is the perfect product for you if you want all the benefits of hot therapy, cold therapy, and hot cold therapy too.


Includes both hot and cold water therapy.

The hot water therapy setting allows you to adjust the temperature to your liking.

Has a bunch of handy features such as a timer, an auto shut-off feature, and high and low heat settings.

Includes foot warmers which are custom made.

Continuous cold therapy provides the user with different benefits to the body for treatment and rehabilitation.


    • Most effective for swelling and pain relief for joints, limbs, and all other parts of the body.
    • Use of this device gives the user myriad health benefits.
    • The device is able to provide hot water or cold water for up to 8 hours.


    • One of the more expensive models on the market.

Adult Shoulder/Elbow Cold Therapy Ice Wrap


This high-quality shoulder, upper arm, and elbow ice wrap targets different parts of your body.

It is an ideal products as it’s not only for the shoulder but for the upper arm as well.

Perfect for athletes and sports players, this product targets and supports parts of the body which are most frequently used.

Of course, it’s not only for sports enthusiasts and athletes; it can be used by anyone who is experiencing shoulder and upper arm pain.

Also, the arm cuff wraps your triceps and biceps, for support and protection.

Extremely easy to use, all you have to do is strap it on and insert the mini ice packs in the areas where you need ice/cold therapy, and secure it with the Velcro straps to fit your body.

The Adult Shoulder/Elbow Cold Therapy Ice Wrap is perfect for people who have sports injuries.

Pain relief and rehabilitation while healing from golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, injuries to one’s rotator cuff, bursitis, shoulder strain, and other such injuries, can be easily facilitated with this product.

Whether you’re a baseball player, a basketball player, a football player, a sports enthusiast, or someone who just enjoys physical activities, investing in a product like this will be very helpful in managing future injuries.

If you’re looking for a versatile, user-friendly product which is also easy on the pocket, then the Adult Shoulder/Elbow Cold Therapy Ice Wrap would be the best choice for you.


Eases pain and treats sports injuries involving the shoulders and arms.

The Cryo Blanket features an original windowpane design, which is included in the wrap.

Adjustable wrap allows you to custom fit the whole product according to the size and build of your body.

Designed for faster healing of injuries during the rehabilitation phase.

Easy to use and strap on.


    • Clean and easy to use.
    • Includes quick-freezing mini ice pack inserts which also stay cold while you’re using them.
    • Easy to use, lightweight, and affordable.


    • May not be fit for people with more petite body frames.
    • ​Doesn’t include a bag to transport the whole unit when traveling.
    • Can be a challenge to wear if the user has severe injuries, or is post-surgery.

Ossur Cold Rush Cold Therapy System


The Ossur cold rush cold therapy system is a very useful device used for cold therapy treatments.

This particular one comes with its own shoulder pad, which can, in addition to shoulder use, can be used on other body parts such as the hips and even knees, due to the adjustable shape.

There are also specific pads for certain body parts that can be attached to the system.

It is a very practical device, weighing just 4.6 lbs (2.1 kilograms) as well as is easy to use, making it a very good alternative to other, bigger, cold rush units.

The cold therapy system, with its variety of benefits, is used to relieve a patient of localized symptoms of pain.

It is purposely used as a post-traumatic and post-surgery treatment as well as an immediate pain reliever for athletes.

It efficiently eliminates symptoms, and is used to reduce the swelling in the affected area. A strong and durable motor provides a constant and strong cooling flow.

It is whisper-quiet, producing only 30 decibels of noise, which allows patients the rest they need while recovering from injuries.

It also has a unique locking lid feature, which helps prevent spills, and insulated walls that improve the cooling.

This ergonomic design also includes features such as an intuitive control knob and carrying handle, making this device very easy to operate.

The Ossur cold therapy system is prescribed by many physicians and safety instructors.

Ask for safety advice from them, or make sure to read the instructions carefully, and follow the warnings as there is a duration and frequency limit to the treatment.

The device has one of the highest ice-water ratios in the industry, providing continual pain relief for up to 6 hours.

Pain relief comes from the vasoconstriction of blood vessels, decreasing the flow of fluids in the affected area and lessening its permeability.


Includes carrying handle, locking lid, intuitive control knob, and insulated walls.

Maintains a high ice-water ratio for up to 6 hours, due to well-insulated casings preventing the transfer of heat to the reservoir.


    • Weighs very little and is easily portable.
    • Easy to use, and user-friendly.
    • The shoulder pad is very adjustable, and can be used on other body parts.


    • Ice needs to be refilled every 6 hours
    • The lid is difficult to open sometimes.

What are Ice Therapy Machines

Ice Therapy Machines are motorized or non-motorized devices used to deliver therapeutic cold to specific areas of the body, typically by using a pad or a wrap that can be applied to the site of the injury.

By pumping iced water through the pad from a reservoir, these devices are able to deliver a regulated and targeted blast of cold wherever you need it the most.

These machines are often recommended by doctors and athletic trainers to those experiencing muscle pain after working out, or to people wishing to speed up healing of an injury.

Ice Therapy Machines are medically proven to reduce pain and expedite healing and can be purchased for use at home.

They are very simple to set up and operate and can be conveniently used when relaxing in the comfort of your own home while watching TV in the evening, or even while you sleep.

As a soothing and effective method of pain relief, an Ice Therapy Machine is a perfect solution to those who regularly suffer from muscle fatigue, joint swelling, or have a significant injury that needs a little extra help to heal quickly.

Benefits of Ice Therapy Machines

Ice packs may be the traditional method of choice for most people when it comes to easing muscle pain or treating a wound using cold temperatures, but Ice Therapy Machines have been medically proven to be more effective for a number of reasons.

By using pads or wraps to deliver cold, Ice Therapy Machines allow for a more complete and effective application of cold than ice packs.

This is particularly true when treating uneven areas, such as the knees and elbows, where it can be difficult to get good coverage of the injury with ice packs alone.

What’s more, Ice Therapy Machines allow therapeutic cold to penetrate the tissues more deeply and last longer than ice, which can speed up recovery and reduce the need for painkillers.

Being able to adjust the temperature of the pad or wrap also reduces the risk of damaging the skin, which can happen when using very low temperatures and which is a potential hazard of using ice packs to treat a wound.

Many Ice Therapy Machines also use active compression, which creates a pumping effect that is similar to natural muscle contractions.

This helps to reduce lymphatic drainage and swelling, which when combined with the effects of therapeutic cold speeds up the healing process.

Those regularly using cold therapy benefit immensely by switching from ice packs to an Ice Therapy Machine, as it is a more effective, safer, and more comfortable method of delivering cryotherapy than using ice alone.

How Ice Therapy Machines Work

Ice Therapy Machines use a pad or wrap to deliver a blast of therapeutic cold to sites of injury or muscle pain, and can alleviate symptoms while simultaneously speeding up recovery.

By temporarily deadening nerve endings they can provide pain relief to sore muscles and soft tissue injuries, and can also help to improve lymphatic drainage, reducing painful swelling around wounds.

This is particularly useful when treating joint injuries, as swelling around these parts of the body can restrict movement and delay full recovery.

Ice Therapy Machines also slow cellular metabolism, helping to prevent further injury to the site which would delay healing.

When it comes to treating stiff, sore muscles after exercising, Ice Therapy can help to prevent spasms.

This not only provides pain relief but also improves mobility, meaning that you can be up and about again in far less time than if you used ice alone.

This allows you to continue exercising comfortably and without risking further injury, further expediting the healing process.

How to Use Ice Therapy Machines

Ice Therapy Machines are very easy to operate and can be used conveniently in the comfort of your home.

With only three components to a non-motorized machine, they are very simple to set up, and typically consist of a reservoir, a wall plug, and a pad.

The reservoir must be filled with iced water prior to use, after which you simply attach the cold pad and plug in the machine.

The pad or wrap is then placed on the area of the body you wish to treat, the machine switched on, and that’s it!

Sit back and allow the therapeutic cold to soothe and ease your stiff muscles, while you take it easy and enjoy the sensation.

Typical time of use for these machines is between three and four hours, though they can also be used for longer periods if your injury is severe enough to warrant treatment throughout the night.

Each Ice Therapy Machine will vary slightly in the way the pad attaches to the body, or in the amount of water and ice to use, but all will contain specific instructions that are easy to follow.

Proper storage of your Ice Therapy Machine is key when it comes to preserving the functionality and effectiveness of your device in the long run, and means you will get the best possible value from your purchase.

To disassemble and put away your Ice Therapy Machine, first switch off the machine and unplug it from the wall.

Next, remove the pad and hold it above the reservoir for a moment to allow the water to drain back inside.

When emptying the reservoir, it is important not to get any water on the electrical wiring, so disconnect the pad before tipping out the water at the sink.

Keeping the machine dry will prevent any bacteria or mold from growing, so be sure to wipe around the inside of the reservoir with a cloth or paper towel before putting it away, and give the pad a squeeze to drain out any excess water.

Some Ice Therapy Machines have filters, and if this is the case, it must be removed and rinsed after each use to prevent any buildup of mold.

Following these steps will preserve your Ice Therapy Machine and keep it functioning well for years to come.

What to Look For in Ice Therapy Machines

Ice Therapy Machines can work wonders when it comes to treating injuries, recovering from surgery or easing muscle pain, but it is worth shopping around to find the most effective option.

If you choose a motorized machine, it is a good idea to seek out a model with a long-running time, particularly if you want to use it throughout the night.

Many motorized Ice Therapy Machines will work continuously for around six hours, but some can last longer if used on a lower setting, which is perfect for those recovering from more extensive tissue damage.

Another consideration when buying a motorized machine is noise, as a loud motor will make it impossible to sleep through your cold therapy.

Consider purchasing a machine with a wrap attachment rather than a pad, especially if the site you want to treat is a joint, as this will allow for better coverage and a more effective treatment.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money, as a higher quality machine will last longer and deliver a more effective treatment, allowing for a speedier recovery.

What to Avoid in Ice Therapy Machines

If you are shopping on a budget, it may be tempting to consider buying a used Ice Therapy Machine.

However, no matter how much of a bargain it may seem, this is never a good idea.

Ice Therapy Machines are regulated medical devices, and so must be purchased from a licensed medical professional to ensure that all quality regulations are met.

Purchasing a second-hand machine carries all sorts of risks, from leaking tubes to poor temperature regulation, which can make them hazardous to use.

Faulty Ice Therapy Machines carry the risk of electrocution or damage to the skin, and when you buy a used machine, there’s no guarantee as to its condition or functionality.

Danger aside, it may simply not work as effectively, and with no warranty on second-hand goods, there’s nothing you can do to get your money back if your machine doesn’t work as it should.

When it comes to your health, it is always worth spending a little more on a better quality treatment.

With proper handling and storage, your Ice Therapy Machine can easily last for years, so it is worth investing in a decent machine that you will get the very best out of.


When using cold therapy, there is always a slight risk of damaging the skin.

It is a good idea to inspect the skin a few minutes after switching on the machine to make sure there is no damage, and again every 1 – 2 hours during use.

The most effective way to reduce the risk of injury is to keep a layer of insulation between the pad and the skin, particularly if you are planning to use your machine for longer than 20 minutes.

You should never use the very coldest setting, as prolonged use at such temperatures can cause a painful freezer burn, which won’t do anything to speed up your recovery!

Ice Therapy Machines can also cause alterations in blood pressure, so this should be carefully monitored, and you should discontinue using your machine if you notice any change.

Elderly patients are less able to conserve heat, so continued use may cause constriction of the blood vessels, which may cause further damage to the tissues.

Ice Therapy Machines are usually recommended by doctors, and you should always consult with a medical professional before using one to reduce the risk of injury or other adverse effects.


Ice Therapy has been clinically proven to reduce muscle and injury pain and is an excellent way to ease stiff and tight muscles after a tough gym session.

This takes the sting out of working out, and means that you can continue exercising without discomfort, and without injuring yourself!

For those suffering from soft-tissue injuries, or people recovering from surgery, cryotherapy can expedite recovery time by reducing swelling and preventing secondary damage, meaning you can get back to your normal life more quickly.

It can also reduce the need for painkillers, many of which have addictive properties or which can irritate the stomach.

Ice Therapy Machines are an easy and convenient way to deliver cold therapy at home, and are a far more effective option than using ice alone, making them ideal for those wishing to alleviate aches and pains so that they can get back to living life to the fullest!

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