How cold is it in a cryotherapy chamber?

The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth is −89.2°C, while typical whole-body cryotherapy temperature ranges from -100°C to -180°C. That sounds like enough to turn any living creature into a frozen stone.

However, people pay good money to expose their almost naked bodies to bone-chilling cold for better health, athletic performance, or aesthetic purposes. Spas, wellness centers, and rehabs worldwide integrate cryotherapy into their treatment plans as it gets increasingly popular.

Let’s go deeper into the temperature aspect of cryotherapy to understand why the freezing range is critical for effective outcomes.

Has cryotherapy always used super-freezing temperatures? 

Obviously not. Our ancestors in ancient Egypt applied ice, whose temperature barely falls below 0°C, to numb pain, reduce swelling, and decrease inflammation after injuries. 

Through the centuries, the types of refrigerants for cryotherapy and the methods of their application have been changing. Whole-body cryotherapy of the kind we use nowadays emerged only after World War II, when liquid nitrogen (−195.79°C) became widely available. In 1978, Dr. Yamaguchi used it for treating rheumatoid arthritis patients in Japan. 

Soon, nitrogen-fed cryotherapy saunas were created, and freezing cold treatment became part of physical therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. With further research, cryotherapy expanded to sports medicine, where it has been used for decades. Presently, healthcare and wellness, as well as the beauty industry, have embraced cryotherapy for its benefits.

Why should the temperature in a cryosauna be that low? 

In simple words, freezing therapy activates protective mechanisms in the human body, which usually help it to survive in extreme situations. To trigger the reaction which involves the whole body, cold exposure should cause a rapid temperature drop on the skin. 

For better effect, it is crucial to keep the temperatures inside a cryogenic chamber ultra-low (down to -170°C) and have the skin exposed as much as possible. That is why a treated person enters a cryogenic machine with only underwear on. In order not to get the tender tissues frozen, a client also uses protective shoes and gloves. 

During a 3-minute session, the body goes into survival mode, sends blood to the core, and starts shivering, trying not to freeze.

Quite curious, all the magic happens not during treatment but after a session ends. 

  • The enriched blood rushes back to the periphery, delivering more nutrition to the cells and flushing out the toxins.
  • The metabolic reactions are boosted to burn more calories.
  • The body releases endorphins that make us feel full of energy.

These are the direct cryotherapy effects, but there are many “side” benefits, like better sleep, reduced pain, elevated mood, decreased inflammation, etc. 

Do all cryotherapy machines deliver the same freezing temperatures? 

Not at all. Cryotherapy machines running on liquid nitrogen are the coldest ones. The temperature  range they operate in varies from -100 to -180 degrees Celsius. Electrical and hybrid cryochambers deliver down to -110 degrees Celsius maximum. However, what’s more important is whether the cold environment is able to cause the skin temperature to drop from normal to 8-15°C. In this respect, both cryosaunas and cryochambers are effective.

Which is better – an electric cryogenic chamber or a liquid nitrogen-fed cryosauna? 

This question is a subject of fierce discussion between electric and nitrogen cryogenic machine manufacturers. In fact, both types of machines have their strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the choice depends on your business situation and preferences. 

With electric cryochambers, you should be ready for a high price tag (twice or thrice as much as a cryosauna price), high electricity bills, as well as mandatory yearly maintenance, more free space for the machine, and longer pre-cooling time.

Liquid nitrogen cryosaunas consume much less power, are space-efficient, and require 3 to 5 minutes to be ready to work. Still, with a cryosauna, you need to have liquid nitrogen readily available and take precautions while using it. 

Electric cryochamber promoters also claim their product to be better as it targets the entire body, including the head. Cryosauna enthusiasts counterpose lower freezing temperatures and people with claustrophobia. 

A walk-in nitrogen-fed cryochamber offers the best of both worlds by merging the cryosauna’s nitrogen feed with the closed design of an electric cryochamber. It features low power and nitrogen consumption and can cool down in five minutes. A price tag is also an average between the two. To learn more about Cryomed’s new offer, IceChill cryochamber, contact our sales team at or + 421 918 250 160.

Read more on the difference between electric and liquid nitrogen cryosaunas here.