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What is the Best Cold Therapy Machine? Top Units for Knee, Hip, Shoulder, and More!



Are you looking for the best cold therapy machine to jumpstart your journey to recovery and enjoy a smooth rehab process? You’ve come to the right place. Here at Ortho Bracing, we have carefully vetted and curated the top selection of the best cold therapy units the industry has to offer.

Cold therapy machines are devices designed to apply cold to a specific part of the body, using ice, tubing, and a brace or wrap that’s fitted to the desired body part. 

These machines are most commonly used to reduce inflammation and help speed up the healing process after surgery or an injury. A cold therapy machine is a lot easier and more effective than applying an ice pack, but works using the same scientific principles. 

You know you want to take advantage of all that these systems have to offer - so you can get back on your feet fast and live life without limits. But, with so many different cold therapy machines on the market, how do you know which one to choose? 

Don’t stress about it any longer - we’re here to help. In this article, we’re going to discuss what separates the top cold therapy machines from the rest. This will help you feel confident choosing a top-quality cold therapy machine that’s ideal for your situation. 

Why You Need the Best Cold Therapy Unit

What is a cold therapy unit good for, and why is it important to invest in the best available? When it comes to healing from an injury or recovering from surgery, your body has to come first. Here’s why the best cold water therapy machine is essential to your recovery. 

Minimize Pain and Swelling Naturally for a More Comfortable Recovery

Not only is cold therapy good for you when it comes to injury recovery and surgery rehabilitation, but it’s also a natural way to help your body heal. With the best cold therapy unit, you don’t have to worry about side effects or putting anything in your body that may cause you harm. What you get from a cold therapy machine is natural, effective, relief from pain, inflammation, and swelling. 

Get Back on Your Feet Faster

Although some people choose to recover from surgery or an injury without using cold therapy, it can be a slow process. A top-quality cold therapy machine can dramatically speed up your recovery by applying cold temperatures to the specific areas of your body that needs healing. When used correctly, cold therapy can get you back to doing what you love in record time. 

What Separates the Best Cold Therapy Machine From the Rest?

Each cold therapy machine has different features, pros, and cons. So what is the best cold therapy machine, and what makes it special? Let’s take a look at the features you should be looking for in the best cold therapy unit. 

Consistent Cooling

When using cold therapy, it’s essential that cold temperatures are applied evenly to the desired area. If the temperature rises too high, cold therapy is no longer effective and doesn’t help the body heal. If the temperature is too low, the tissue can become damaged, which slows down the healing process. 

The best cold therapy machine for shoulder injuries or other types of rehabilitation uses a pump and specialized tubing to ensure that the cold water is circulated through the unit at a constant rate. This way, the desired part of the body is cooled consistently, leading to rapid, healthy healing.

Comfortable, Simple Use

When you’re nursing an injury or recovering from surgery, you might be in quite a bit of discomfort. The last thing that you want is a device that’s complicated to use and adds to your pain. Instead, the best cold therapy unit is easy to set up, simple to attach, and ergonomically designed to ensure your comfort throughout your cold therapy sessions. 

Durability and Quality

It goes without saying that your cold therapy machine needs to be long-lasting and designed from top-quality materials. Are cold therapy machines worth it? As long as you are investing in a well-made, durable machine that won’t get clogged or cause leaks, a cold therapy machine is well worth the investment. 


If you’re still able to move about after your surgery or injury, you don’t want a cold therapy unit that will slow you down! The best cold water therapy machines are portable and lightweight, so you can enjoy cold therapy on the go. Many come with a battery pack, so you can help your body heal no matter where you are.

Adjustable Temperature

Different injuries have different recovery requirements. For example, how long to use cold therapy after surgery on your shoulder isn’t the same as how to recover from knee surgery. It’s important to invest in a cold therapy unit with adjustable temperature settings so that you can create the ideal healing conditions for specific body parts. 

Quiet Operation

When you’re trying to rest and heal, the last thing you want is a noisy machine running beside you for hours on end. Luckily, the best cold water therapy machines are designed to operate quietly, so you barely even hear the pump running. This helps to create a relaxing environment so you can focus on your recovery. 

Safety Features

Of course, safety is more important than anything when your health is concerned. The best cold therapy units are designed with your safety at the forefront. By carefully regulating temperature and circulating cold water evenly, a quality cold water therapy machine ensures your skin never becomes too cold, which could potentially lead to further injury. 

Warranty and Support

It’s normal to have a lot of questions when you’re considering which cold therapy machine to invest in. Find a knowledgeable supplier who can take the time to explain your options and make sure you end up with the best unit for your needs. For extra peace of mind, it’s always a good idea to select a cold therapy machine that offers a multi-year warranty, should you run into any issues. 

What is the Best Cold Therapy Machine?

Depending on what you’re using your cold therapy machine for, there are a number of great options available. Let’s take a look at some of the best cold therapy units and who they’re designed for. 

Breg Polar Care Glacier

If you’re recovering from a sports injury, the Breg Polar Care Glacier is one of the best cold therapy units available. This unit is also ideal for sufferers of chronic pain who are looking for some natural relief. 

This easy-to-use machine delivers up to 13 hours of cold therapy with each use and has the largest capacity cooler on the market. If moving around and refilling the ice bucket is a challenge for you, this is the perfect cold therapy machine. 

“I really do like this product. I have had over 9 knee surgeries and have used many different cold therapy systems. This system is super quiet and it last all night without having to add additional ice. I used frozen water bottles with cold water and it works great. I also give OrthoBracing 5 stars. The online ordering process was very easy and the product was shipped the very next day. I also received an email from one of the owners thanking me for the order. I highly recommend orthobracing.” - Curtis

Breg Polar Care Kodiak

If you’re wondering how to reduce post-surgery swelling, the Breg Polar Care Kodiak has the answers. This lightweight cold therapy unit has a great, compact design. It’s much smaller than the Glacier and delivers 6-8 hours of cold therapy with each use. 

The battery pack lasts for 10-14 hours, making this cold therapy machine even more portable and convenient. If you travel often, you can take your recovery on the go and not skip a beat.

“This device has been the most important tool in my recovery from knee replacement surgery. At 10 days post surgery, I still use it ~7 times a day. It is easy to setup and use and the ice lasts a long time. If I fill new ice and water early in the morning, I can use the device about four times throughout the daytime before I must refill with new ice/water. The team at OrthoBracing has been excellent with fast shipping and quickly answering some questions I had about power supplies and other details. I recommend this for anyone who will have a knee replacement.”- David

Breg Polar Care Wave

The Breg Polar Care Wave doesn’t just deliver cold therapy, it also uses compression therapy with cuffs that are specially designed for various parts of the body. This feature makes the Breg Polar Care Wave the best cold therapy machine for knee injuries. 

Compression therapy combined with cold therapy can reduce swelling and inflammation in the knee, helping to speed up the healing process. The synergy this unit offers is second to none - making it a no brainer choice!

“The Polar Care played a huge role in my recovery from total knee replacement. Preoperative classes had warned us that the swelling would hit on postop day three. My swelling was minimal, and the physical therapists have been amazed that my recovery is weeks ahead of others undergoing the same surgery. Very glad I made the decision to purchase the device!”- V.S.

Breg Polar Care Cube

The Breg Polar Care Cube is a simple cold therapy machine that’s small, lightweight, and very easy to use. This unit is ideal for first-timers to cold therapy, or anyone who wants a simple device they don’t have to worry about too much. It comes with a variety of ergonomically-designed pads for your knee, shoulder, hip, back, or ankle.

“I recently had a total knee replacement, I ordered a Breg Polar ice cube. It is small, light, cuff fits great and ice water stays cold all day. I ordered on a Sunday night, had some questions about sizing of cuff the person on the chat line was excellent!! She had all the answers to my questions. A few days later I received my machine. After the procedure it has made my life much more enjoyable!” - Rhett

Donjoy Ice Machine

As well as Breg, another of the top cold therapy machine brands on the market is Donjoy. You can learn more about Donjoy vs Breg in this guide. The Donjoy Ice Machine offers controlled delivery of cold therapy thanks to Donjoy’s semi-closed loop circulation system. It’s suitable for all body parts and comes with pads for knees and shoulders.

“This product is a game changer. Prior to getting this machine I was manually putting ice and bags. What a cumbersome task especially when the ice is for your wounded knee. This item arrived earlier than expected. Accurate product description. This machine is a game changer. I feel I finally can ice my leg without all of the hassle of running back and forth to get ice. The even distribution of cold water is amazing!! Highly recommend.”- Gabe

Donjoy Iceman Classic

Not only does cold therapy reduce inflammation, but it does it extra-effectively with the Donjoy Iceman Classic. This cold therapy unit rapidly reduces the pain and swelling associated with inflammation, and is ideal for post-surgery patients. The lightweight cooler design makes the Donjoy Iceman Classic one of the most portable cold therapy machines on the market. 

“This has made all the difference in recovery from knee replacement. The cool lasts much longer and is more comfortable than traditional ice packs. Definitely worth the investment.” - Juliann

Aircast Cryo Cuff

When should you use cold therapy vs compression therapy? With the Aircast Cryo Cuff, you can use both at the same time! This system is clinically designed to reduce post-operative swelling and help patients regain their range of motion. It’s also a great option for athletes recovering from an injury, and is available with compression sleeves for knees, shoulders, elbows, and ankles. 

“As a retired RN I found this product to be perfect for knee pain due to either knee surgery or arthritis. It's compression with icy liquid helps relieve knee pain and swelling wonderfully. Anybody that is still active but with arthritic knees should buy this product. It will help you get back on your feet and keep you active.” - WBradley

Which of These is the Best Cold Water Therapy Machine For You?

So, what is the best cold therapy machine for you? As you can see, there are a lot of different options to choose from. Breg products are top-quality, versatile cold therapy units that are highly customizable thanks to the large number of accessories that are available. 

On the other hand, Donjoy products offer a slightly more affordable option without too much of a sacrifice in quality. At the end of the day, it comes down to what you plan to use your cold therapy machine for. If you’re still not sure, talk to your doctor - they should be able to offer a recommendation for you. 

Tips for Making the Most of Your Cold Therapy System

Once you’ve got your own cold therapy machine, how do you make the most of it? Let’s take a look at how you can take advantage of everything your new cold therapy machine has to offer. 

Learn Proper Usage Recommendations

As with any machine, it’s essential that you learn how to use your cold therapy unit properly. Make sure you thoroughly read the instruction manual, and follow all safety guidelines. You might also like to explore some online tutorial videos to see how to set up and use your machine. 

Remember that each cold therapy unit is a bit different, so even if you’ve used a machine before, you’ll need to make sure you’re following the steps correctly to ensure your cold therapy treatment is both safe and effective. 

Enhance Your Treatment With the Right Accessories

One of the best things about cold therapy machines is that you can customize each unit to suit your requirements. With different cold therapy pads ergonomically designed for different body parts, each cold therapy unit can be turned into a device that’s specific for your injured knee, shoulder, ankle, back, and so on. 

As well as accessories, you can also buy individual replacement parts for each unit. There are Breg replacement parts if you need a new knee pad, and Donjoy replacement parts including battery packs. Aircast replacement parts include compression pads for different areas, as well as replacement tubing, lids, and more. 

Wrapping Up Our Buyer’s Guide to the Best Cold Therapy Unit

What is the best cold therapy machine? At the end of the day,  it depends on how you’re going to use it. Whether you’re looking for the best cold therapy machine for shoulder injuries or the best cold therapy machine for knee surgery rehabilitation, you can find it at Ortho Bracing. 

At Ortho Bracing, we stock only top-quality cold therapy units from the leading brands, including Breg, Donjoy, and Iceman. Our knowledgeable team is available 24/7 to help answer all your questions, and will happily provide recommendations based on your needs. What’s more, our prices are even better than if you purchased a cold therapy unit through your healthcare provider. 

Don’t settle for less. Get the best cold water therapy machine from Ortho Bracing today.