Ice Packs for Home Use: 9 Great Options

ice packs for home use

When you need fast relief from chronic pain or musculoskeletal injury, the best thing you can do is grab some ice packs. Whether you’re dealing with inflammation from overuse or a sprain from sports, cold therapy is a time-tested way to reduce pain, curb swelling, and promote healing.

Because ice plays such an integral role in treating musculoskeletal stress, every home should be outfitted with a reliable, effective ice pack or two. Be proactive and stock your freezer with the kind of therapy equipment you can count on to help you feel better faster.

Qualities of a Good Ice Pack 

A bag of ice cubes is better than nothing when you’re in pain. But for long-term, repetitive use, you’re much better off using a quality product designed for optimal function and fit. 

There are a few things to consider when looking for an ice pack:


Generally, you should ice an injury for 20 minutes at a time, max. To reap all the benefits of cold therapy, make sure your ice pack can retain its chilly temperature for at least 20 minutes. 


If you have chronic pain, such as back pain or shoulder pain, you may want to get an ice pack designed for those troublesome spots. I’d recommend also keeping handy a basic ice pack that can easily wrap around a joint, such as your knee or wrist. 

Straps or no straps

What kind of rigging will you need? Do you want an ice pack that straps to you or inserts into a sleeve, or one that just lies flat without any compression? 

Heat Capabilities

Many ice wrap products are designed to also retain heat. Although heat therapy is generally not recommended for pain and swelling, it can be therapeutic for other needs such as muscle stiffness.


If you’re looking for a wrap that’s only a couple bucks, you could find one at any drugstore. But a nice one won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Many of the high-quality ice wraps we use in the clinic cost less than $40. 


How well is it rated? One of the best aspects of modern shopping is the ability to check whether a product’s description matches the user experience. 

Common problems with ice packs:

Finally, there are a few issues common among ice packs, and you’ll want to look out for them when scanning reviews. 

  1. Leaking: Most ice packs contain a cold-retentive gel which may leak under pressure. To reduce that possibility, choose ice wraps that have stitched seams, rather than glued seams. 
  2. Stiffness: A bag of frozen peas is a popular ice pack substitute because it can flex around an ankle or knee. Your ice pack should similarly remain flexible, even straight out of the freezer. 
  3. Burns: There’s such a thing as too cold. Avoid an ice “burn” and prevent tissue damage by keeping a protective barrier – such as a cloth or towel – in between the ice pack and your skin.

Best Ice Packs for Home Use

I deal with a lot of musculoskeletal injuries, and I know there are many good options that will outshine a bag of frozen peas or dripping ice cubes. 

Below is a line-up of some of the best-rated, highest-quality, coldest-performing ice packs available online. I’ll even include a Walgreens ice pack for that familiar, drug-store ice wrap experience. 

ice packs for home use

1. Chattanooga ColPac 

Have you ever wondered what kind of ice pack your physical therapy clinic uses? I’m willing to bet that it’s the Colpac ice wrap from Chattanooga.

On a scale of lukewarm to arctic, this ice pack is frigid. You’ll love that it retains its chill for up to 30 minutes, well beyond the recommended span of time you’d need to ice down an injury. It doesn’t include a cover, so make sure you keep it out of direct contact with your skin. 

You can buy the black version of this pack in 4 sizes, including one to contour the neck. All are made from heavy-duty polyurethane and resemble medical-grade equipment.

  • Up to 30 minutes cold therapy
  • 4 sizes: from 6.5”x11” to 18.5” x 12.5”
  • No straps, no protective cloth/wrap
  • Not for heat
  • $16-29
  • Highly rated (87%) out of 14k reviews

2. FlexiKold Gel Pack 

ice packs for home use

The Flexikold and Chattanooga brands must be cousins, because their products are remarkably similar and equally successful. You really can’t go wrong with either one.

Flexikold boasts that, compared to most ice packs, theirs are thinner – without being less cold – because of the proprietary gel with which they are filled. Luckily you should never have to meet this unique gel, because it’s safely sealed behind double-stitched seams.  

As opposed to the ColPac black, the four FlexiKold ice packs come in conventional blue. If you decide to wrap the Flexikold pack around a joint or limb, just be aware that it comes strapless.

  • Up to 20 minutes cold therapy
  • 4 sizes: from 7.5” x 11.5” to 13” x 21.5”
  • No straps; no protective cloth or barrier
  • Not for heat
  • $11-29
  • Highly rated (83%) out of 30k reviews

3. Magic Gel Lumbar Ice Pack

lumbar ice pack

Magic Gel has adapted their eponymous recipe for ice packs of many sizes and shapes. I’ve selected just two to highlight. 

The first is a lumbar ice pack, which straps around your waist to ice your low back, hands free. The 46” strap is long enough to circumnavigate most users, and when wrapped a little tighter, provides helpful compression.  

Included with the strap are two ice packs, an easily understated bonus. Most ice packs take longer than 20 minutes to fully freeze. However, if you’re following a “20 minutes on, 20 minutes off” routine, you’ll need a second ice pack in your rotation.  

Both stitched-seam ice packs retain heat, which is a helpful versatility, considering the multitude of possible low back ailments. But when you’re using it for cold purposes, you don’t need to worry about ice burns or dripping condensation; each ice pack inserts fully into the lumbar strap. 

  • Up to 22 minutes cold therapy
  • (2) 8.5” wide ice packs
  • (1) 46” long strap and protective wrap
  • Up to 18 minutes heat therapy
  • $24 
  • Very well-rated (79%) out of 5k reviews

4. Magic Gel Large Ice Pack 

ice blanket magic gel

If you’re concerned the lumbar ice pack will be too small for your back, you should consider the large ice pack from Magic Gel. A veritable ice blanket, this product can cover a sizable area with potent cooling therapy. 

Just like Magic Gel’s lumbar wrap, this large pack is made from breathable neoprene and reinforced with stitched seams. You should still use a protective cloth, however, to guard against ice burns. A large pillowcase will do the trick.

Although this ice blanket is not heatable, it’s plenty versatile. Whether you’re recovering from a strenuous workout, wrapping a large limb, or even just keeping your seat cool, you’ll love this ice pack’s large footprint.  

  • Up to 28 minutes cold therapy
  • 1 size: 23.5” x 15”
  • No straps; no protective cloth or barrier
  • Not for heat
  • $30
  • Very well-rated (79%) out of 2400 reviews

5. Ohuhu Cold Therapy Pack

ohuhu ice packs

For a more conventional ice wrap, the Ohuhu is one of the best-rated available. Featuring two long straps and a hook-and-loop closure, the Ohuhu ice pack is designed for all kinds of injuries and needs.

While it’s best-loved for its cooling abilities, the Ohuhu pack can also be heated. Just be aware that microwaving the ice pack could split the seams and cause leaking. Best practice is to submerge the ice pack in hot water to heat it up.

The wrap’s 42” circumference is sufficient to surround most any ailing body part. The soft hook-and-loop closure ensures a secure fit, and you can incorporate light compression by drawing it snug. 

  • Up to 20 minutes cold therapy
  • One size: 14.5” x 5.5” for each ice pack
  • Two straps: 42” long in total
  • No protective cloth or barrier
  • Up to 20 minutes heat therapy
  • $18
  • Very well-rated (75%) out of 1k

6. Arctic Flex Neck Ice Pack

neck ice packs

If you have neck pain, headaches, or upper back pain on a consistent basis, then a contoured ice pack could work wonders for you. A pack like the Arctic Flex is shaped to rest on your shoulders so you can relax and enjoy hands-free, fuss-free cryotherapy.

Although 22 inches is plenty long for most users, you might find the pack too small if you have particularly broad shoulders or need to treat a larger portion of your back. But what it lacks in width it makes up for in coldness, delivering up to 30 minutes of chilly therapy.

The Arctic Flex is functionally versatile, capable of heat therapy as well as cold. But no matter its use, be sure to slip a protective cloth barrier between the wrap and your skin. The ice pack tends to sweat, so you’ll be glad for a little absorption.

  • Up to 30 minutes cold therapy
  • One size: 22.5” x 7.5” at widest part
  • No straps; no protective cloth or barrier
  • Up to 30 minutes heat therapy
  • $17
  • Well-rated (70%) out of 6k

7. Thermopeutic Compression Ice Wrap

shoulder wrap ice pack

For a specific injury like a torn rotator cuff or bursitis in the shoulder, you might struggle to keep a regular ice pack in the right place. That’s where a wearable compression wrap, such as the Thermopeutic, comes in handy. 

Essentially a shoulder brace with an ice pack insert, the Thermopeutic ice wrap can deliver up to 30 minutes of cold or heat therapy. Reviewers found the neoprene wrap easy to apply, secure, and tighten with one hand. 

Although you’ll pay a little more for this wrap than for a regular ice pack, you’ll be glad you got a cooling compression sleeve specific for your shoulder injury, with broad coverage for your shoulder and upper arm. 

  • Up to 30 minutes cold therapy
  • One size: fits left or right shoulders
  • Strong compression straps and full sleeve
  • Up to 30 minutes heat therapy
  • $35
  • Well-rated: 70% out of 1700 reviews

8. The COLDEST Ankle Ice Pack 

Sometimes foot injuries require attention beyond what a flat ice pack can give. By using an ice wrap designed specifically for the ankle or foot, you’ll achieve stronger compression, better cryotherapy, and a faster recovery. 

ankle ice pack

While there are a few outstanding foot/ankle wraps available, the COLDEST ice pack deserves a spotlight. Featuring brand-specific webbing technology, the ice pack achieves extremely cold temperatures, to the shock and often delight of its users.

Be forewarned – you’ll probably need a protective barrier for this wrap, such as a sock or towel, to take the edge off. 

This COLDEST ice pack is not interested in being the hottest as well, so there’s no heat capabilities for this one. You’ll enjoy the compression component, however, and how easy it is to put on and take off. 

  • Up to 20 minutes cold therapy
  • One size: fits left or right feet
  • Compression wrap; although still needs a barrier
  • Not for heat
  • $30
  • Well-rated: 71% out of 2800 reviews

9. I.C.E. Down Cold Wrap

For those who prefer a drugstore product, there’s a great Walgreens ice pack that deserves a spot on this list. The I.C.E. Down wrap is FSA eligible, which means you could use your Flexible Spending Account to cover the cost. 

The soft, flexible neoprene wrap is secured with a hook-and-loop closure, with no protective barrier needed. It’s the ideal wrap for a sudden sprain or chronic pain, and it’s a great one to keep in the freezer.

  • Cold therapy; not for heat
  • One size: 31” x 7”
  • Includes neoprene wrap with hook-and-loop closure
  • $35

Tim Fraticelli, DPT | Physical Therapist

Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.