What are the Best Ice Packs for Injuries in 2019?

We all suffer with injuries from time to time and there are various ways to treat both minor and acute damage. Many people will use pain relief medication to ease the discomfort but cold therapy is also extremely effective.

Cold therapy can be used to treat various injuries including sprains, muscle strains and pulled ligaments. When I’d get injured as a child, my mother would place a bag of frozen peas on the area which seemed to help. Frozen bags of vegetables are a crude form of cold therapy and thankfully there are now much better alternatives.

Before you decide to use an ice pack to treat an injury it’s always advisable to consult your doctor. Some people may not benefit from using an ice pack and your doctor will be able to offer their professional medical opinion.

Product
Details
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
Universal Cold Pack

NatraCure

Universal Cold Pack

5 out of 5

In the Ice Pack for Injuries category

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  • Also available with 2 Gel Packs for greater money-saving value.
  • COLDER FOR LONGER: Proprietary clay cold pack stays colder for longer than bentonite ice wraps.
  • MORE FLEXIBLE: Professional-grade clay interior stays pliable when frozen to conform to any body part.
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

5 out of 5

In the Ice Pack for Injuries category


Our #2 Rated
Reusable Cold Compress

ACE

Reusable Cold Compress

4 out of 5

In the Ice Pack for Injuries category

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  • Helps relieve pain and reduce swelling caused by sprains, strains, muscle aches, bumps, bruises, minor burns and more
  • Soft-touch fabric can be applied directly to your skin
  • Simply freeze and remove when needed
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Ice Pack for Injuries category


Our #3 Rated
Ice Pack-Hot Pack Combo

Tru-Care

Ice Pack-Hot Pack Combo

4 out of 5

In the Ice Pack for Injuries category

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  • Helps to relieve the pain from sprains, strains and soft tissue injuries.
  • Gentle on skin and does not need to be wrapped in a towel.
  • Store in refrigerator or freezer for cold or heat in microwave for heat.
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #3 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Ice Pack for Injuries category


Our #4 Rated
ColPac

Chattanooga

ColPac

3 out of 5

In the Ice Pack for Injuries category

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  • Patented design of the Chattanooga ColPac gently delivers soothing cold therapy and stays pliable during treatment
  • Provides instant pain relief to treat fever, bruises, sprains, strains, and helps to manage swelling
  • Each cold therapy pack is latex-free and is filled with non-toxic silica gel, so it's safe for all ages to use
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #4 Rated

3 out of 5

In the Ice Pack for Injuries category


Our #5 Rated
Reusable Ice Pack

TheraPAQ

Reusable Ice Pack

3 out of 5

In the Ice Pack for Injuries category

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  • ESSENTIAL - Reuseable Hot & Cold Gel Pack with adjustable extra long belt for all body parts. A first aid essential for...
  • REUSABLE - Can be used for BOTH warm and cold compression. The gel pack is reuseable and can be freezable while still...
  • FAST RELIEF, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE - Keep one handy in your fridge for a first aid icing emergency or your everyday comfort from...
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

3 out of 5

In the Ice Pack for Injuries category

Who Needs to Use Ice Packs for Injuries?

People of all ages can benefit from using an ice pack when they suffer from an injury. Children and adults use cold therapy to treat various problems and the elderly may even use ice packs to treat arthritis. Many professional athletes will also use ice packs to help to alleviate pain following an injury.

Even if you’ve visited a doctor and have been treated for an injury there are still some advantages to using an ice pack. Using ice packs in conjunction with elevation, rest and medication can help manage pain.

How do Ice Packs Help an Injury?

An ice pack is a simple way to administer cold therapy to an area of the body that’s injured and painful. The cold that’s emitted by the ice pack will have some effects on the body which can help to reduce pain.

When the ice pack has been chilled to the correct temperature it’s applied to the injured area. Ice packs can help to decrease blood circulation which numbs the area to reduce the level of pain. The coldness of the ice pack may also reduce some nerve activity which can also help to reduce the pain and discomfort.

Decreasing blood circulation with an ice pack is an effective way to reduce swelling that often occurs after an injury. Temporarily reducing the flow of blood can also help to reduce any tenderness felt in the soft tissue. Ice packs are often used to treat bruising on some areas of the body.

When an ice pack is used to treat an injury it can also help to reduce any inflammation in the area. An ice pack may also help to prevent cramping and muscle spasms due to the cooling of the skin, soft tissue and blood. If the area surrounding the injury is relaxed it’s more likely to heal and ice packs will help with this.

How do I Choose the Correct Ice Pack?

Most ice packs that are used do not actually contain any ice. Modern ice packs use numerous types of gel or clay which stays flexible when it’s been frozen. It’s important to use an ice pack that’s pliable so it molds to your body to provide effective cold therapy.

Ice packs are available in various sizes and the pouches are made from plastic or vinyl, with some accompanied by a fabric covering. If you use a plastic or vinyl pack you should use a barrier cloth to protect your skin against cryoburn. Ice packs that have a soft fabric covering can be applied directly to the skin.

You’ll need to use an ice pack that’s a suitable size for the area being treated. If you have a shoulder or back injury it may be better to use a large ice pack that can be secured with a strap. Smaller ice packs are available and are more convenient for neck, hand and foot injuries.

You should choose an ice pack that’s well made from good-quality materials. You don’t want a pack that’s going to split and leak because it’s been poorly made. When you buy your ice pack you should check all of the seams carefully before you use it.

Here are a few things to look at when you’re choosing an ice pack for injuries:

Chill Factor

Purchase an ice pack that freezes quickly and stays cold for a reasonable amount of time. If your ice pack doesn’t stay cold it won’t be effective.

Flexibility

Use an ice pack that’s still going to be flexible when it’s removed from the freezer. Having a pliable ice pack will allow you to wrap it around the area that needs to be treated.

Sizing

It may be worth buying ice packs in various sizes to treat different types of injury. An ice pack that’s suitable for hands and feet will not be large enough to treat back or shoulder injuries.

Storage

Make sure that you buy an ice pack that’s going to fit in your freezer. Some of the packs are quite large and you won’t want to take food out of your freezer to accommodate the ice pack.

Straps

If you plan to use an ice pack with a strap you should make sure that the strap is long enough for your needs. It’s also important that the strap can be fastened easily and securely so that the ice pack stays in place.

Gel Products

If you decide to use a gel-filled ice pack you should ensure that the gel is non-toxic. Any ice pack can split or tear which will cause the gel to leak. If the gel leaks and is harmful you may have a bad skin reaction.

Ice Packs for Kids

If you’re buying an ice pack for young children it’s a good idea to buy one with bright colors and pictures. Children are more likely to use the ice pack if it’s fun and appealing to the eye.

Dual Function

If you sometimes use heat therapy you can look for an ice pack that’s dual function. Some ice packs can be heated in the microwave or placed in a bowl of hot water if you’re looking to apply heat to your injury.

What Are the Best Ice Packs for Injuries?

We looked at a large number of ice packs and selected five that provide some relief when used to treat an injury. All of the products were similar in design and they all stay cold for around 30 minutes.

The main features we were looking at were price, quality and how long the ice packs stay cold. We’ve reviewed five products and listed some pros and cons for each one.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

NatraCure

Universal Cold Pack

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

The NatraCure ice wrap is sold in three sizes and has a soft material covering. The pack contains a special type of clay that remains flexible when frozen making it suitable for cold therapy. When the ice pack has been effectively chilled in the freezer it will stay cold for around 40 minutes.

The wrap has a nylon strap which keeps the pack in place when treating an injury. Customers who used this ice wrap like the easy to secure strap and said that the pack did stay in place. People additionally stated that they liked the fact that the wrap can also be warmed up and used for heat therapy.

Some users claimed that this wrap isn’t as cold as gel-filled ice packs that they’ve tried. Some customers also said that the strap was difficult to use and not very effective, and others commented on the quality of the Velcro used to fasten the strap.

Pros
Pro Pliable clay that hugs the contours of the body.
Pro Soft material that’s comfortable against the skin.
Pro Can be warmed up in the microwave and used for heat therapy.
Pro Low price.
Cons
Con May not be as cold as a gel-filled ice pack.
Con Strap may be difficult to secure for some people.
 
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

ACE

Reusable Cold Compress

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

The Ace Cold Compress is available in small, medium and large and has a soft fabric covering. The fabric cover eliminates the need to wrap the ice pack in a barrier cloth when applying it to your injury. When it’s been removed from the freezer this pack can be used for around 30 minutes.

This cold pack stays very flexible after freezing and it’s suitable for most areas of the body. Customers who purchased this compress liked the soft feel of the pack on their skin, and said that the sizes were accurate and that the compress provided effective cold therapy for their injury.

Some people commented that the stitching on their ice pack failed over a short period of time. Other customers reported that the ice pack had leaked and the chemicals had burnt their skin. Users also complained that the pack did not stay cold for very long and it had to be put back into the freezer.

Pros
Pro Soft touch fabric covering that feels comfortable against the skin.
Pro Available in a choice of sizes.
Pro Very flexible.
Cons
Con Pack contains chemicals which could leak onto the skin.
Con Stitching has a tendency to fail.
Con Compress may not stay cold as long as other products that are available.

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

Tru-Care

Ice Pack-Hot Pack Combo

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

The Tru-Care ice pack is available in four sizes and is filled with a non-toxic gel. The soft pack is comfortable against the skin and doesn’t have to be wrapped in a towel. The pack will deliver up to 30 minutes of cold therapy and it has a quick freeze time.

A great feature of these ice packs is that they’re quite thin which you may find useful if you only have a small freezer. Customers who purchased these packs have said they provided excellent pain relief. People also commented that the soft covering was very comfortable and the ice packs are flexible.

Some people who used these ice packs for a period of months have said that the seams came apart and the pack leaked. Other users criticised the larger packs for being a little heavier that they would have liked, and a number of people also said that the ice pack didn’t stay cold for more than 10 minutes.

Pros
Pro Available in four sizes.
Pro Soft fabric covering which is comfortable against the skin.
Pro Quick freeze time.
Pro Can also be warmed up and used for heat therapy.
Cons
Con Large ice packs may be heavy.
Con Seams may fail over a period of time.
 
 

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

Chattanooga

ColPac

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This ice pack from Chattanooga is available in seven sizes and it’s filled with non-toxic silica gel. The pack is made from soft vinyl and it stays flexible so it can mold to any part of the body. The pack can be chilled to the correct temperature in the freezer and it provides effective cold therapy for around 30 minutes.

A good feature of these packs is that they tend to freeze very quickly so that they can be used more frequently. People who’ve used these ice packs for cold therapy have said that they’re effective and very comfortable. Customers also said that the thickness of the vinyl makes the packs durable.

Some users commented that these ice packs are a little heavier than alternative available packs. Others have said that their pack split at the seam after using the product for a few weeks, and although these packs freeze quickly some people have stated that their pack did not get cold enough.

Pros
Pro Available in seven different sizes.
Pro Flexible and comfortable to use.
Pro Quick freeze time.
Pro Thick vinyl making the ice pack durable.
Cons
Con Seams may split over a period of time.
Con May not be cold enough for some.
Con The larger packs are quite heavy.
Con Ice pack can’t be applied directly to the skin.

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

TheraPAQ

Reusable Ice Pack

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

The Therapaq ice pack is available in one size and the plastic pouch is filled with a non-toxic gel. This ice pack has a useful strap so that you can secure the pack to the area that you’re treating. After placing the pack in the freezer for around 2 hours it will stay cold for approximately 30 minutes.

This ice pack is soft and flexible and can be used on most areas of the body. Customers have said that the Velcro fastening strap is useful and it keeps the ice pack securely in place. Users also noted that the ice pack provides effective pain relief and it’s comfortable to wear.

People who’ve used this ice pack said that it didn’t stay cold for more than 15 minutes. Other customers reported that their pack developed a leak after a couple of uses. Customers also said the plastic pouch that holds the gel was not as thick as they would have liked.

Pros
Pro Easy to fasten Velcro strap.
Pro Soft
Pro pliable and comfortable to wear.
Pro Pack can also be microwaved or heated in water to provide heat therapy.
Cons
Con Plastic pouch is reasonably thin.
Con Not suitable for treating small areas such as the wrist or ankle due to the long strap.
 
 

Our Choice

All of the ice packs that we reviewed are suitable for treating many different types of injury with cold therapy. None of these ice packs were overly expensive and they all stayed cold for a similar length of time.

After carefully looking at all of the products the best ice pack for injuries is the NatraCure Universal Cold Pack Ice Wrap.

These ice packs offer very good value for money and they stay cold enough for an adequate cold therapy treatment session. The range of sizes is good, the pack is comfortable and the strap is a useful feature. One of the other reasons that we selected this product as that it can also be successfully used for heat therapy.

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