Nitrogen vs Electric vs Hybrid Cryotherapy Chambers

    Learn about the different types of cryotherapy chambers, their specifications, differences as well as the PROs and CONs.

    When you're in the market for a whole body cryotherapy chamber the cost of the equipment can be one of the deciding factors, but apart from the price tag, it's also very important to consider how the equipment works and what would be the most suitable option for you.

    This article discusses the basic differences between the three types of cryo chambers, nitrogen, hybrid and electric, so that you can make an informed decision regarding your project, budget, and daily operation requirements.

    Lets start with a breakdown of the basic technical specification of the three available systems.

    Cryotherapy Chamber Systems - Technical Specification

      Nitrogen Cryotherapy Chamber Hybrid Cryotherapy Chamber Electric Cryotherapy Chamber
    Coolant - System Liquid nitrogen - Nitrogen Vapor Liquid nitrogen - Heat Exchanger Refrigerants - Heat Exchanger
    How it Works Processes liquid nitrogen into a gas/air mix which is thrust into the client cabin and circulates around the client. Circulates liquid nitrogen inside a heat exchanger to cool down breathable air which is subsequently pushed into the client cabin. The system is cooled through the exchange of heat between the compressor, condenser, liquid separator and an evaporator. Similar to a walk-in freezer.
    Therapy Type Whole Body Cryotherapy Full Body Cryotherapy Full Body Cryotherapy
    Price Range $40,000 to $60,000
    See Cryotherapy Chamber Cost
    $70,000 to $150,000
    See Cryotherapy Chamber Cost
    $110,000 to $300,000
    See Cryotherapy Chamber Cost
    Cost to Setup Facilities (Safety & Technical) $500 to $2,500 $500 to $2,500 $3,000 to $12,000
    Liquid Nitrogen Consumption Precool: 3 to 7 liters
    Session: 4 to 8 liters
    Precool: 9 to 10 liters
    Session: 10 to 17 liters
    N/A
    Power Consumption 1 hour Operation: 0.5 kWh
    Drying (1h): 3.4 kWh
    8 hour work day: 6.9 kW
    1 hour Operation: 2 to 4 kWh
    8 hour work day: 16 kW to 32 kW
    1 hour Operation: 6 to 20 kWh
    8 hour work day: 48 to 160 kW
    Electrical Requirements 110V or 220V 110V or 220V 220V or 480V
    Operating Temperature -175°F to -235°F / -110°C to -150°C(Some manufacturers claim temperatures of -300°F / -196°C which is not physically possible) -160°F to -220°F / -110°C to -140°C -110°F / -80°C for most models; some models claim to reach -160°F /-110°C
    Equipment Footprint 3 ft x 5 ft / 90 cm x 150 cm 3ft 4in x 6 ft / 100 cm x 180 cm 14ft x 27 ft / 400 cm x 800 cm
    Requirements for install Ventilation, LN2 Ventilation, LN2 Access to water with some systems, electrical compliance
    Lead Time 4 - 6 weeks 4 - 6 weeks 80 - 100 days
    Monitoring Operator, Humidity, Oxygen Monitoring Operator, Oxygen Monitoring Operator
    Pros & Cons Nitrogen Cryo ChambersHybrid Cryo ChambersElectric Cryo Chambers

    PRO's & CONs

    With many manufacturers and resellers of cryotherapy chambers on the market, there are many different approaches to product quality and services.
    Our PROs and CONs focus on the standards we believe are relevant to future cryotherapy equipment buyers. Some points may not apply to all brands.

    Nitrogen Cryotherapy Chambers

    PROS + CONS -
    2 Minute start-up time, no need to leave idle for hours, flexible operation Requires liquid nitrogen as a consumable
    Lower initial investment Liquid Nitrogen can get expensive in some areas or may be inaccessible.
    Non-claustrophobic environment Risk of asphyxiation
    Treatment Intensity
    (Balanced cabin temperature recommended)
    Risk of frostbite
    Colder treatment, ranging from -166°F to -220°F /-110°C to -150°C.
    Some units have modes and adjustable settings.
    Requires a ventilation system for gas to be evacuated outside. An oxygen monitor is a must.
    Routine maintenance costs and cost of replacement parts is minimal compared to electric systems. Nitrogen tanks may need regular maintenance.
    Small footprint of equipment May require a permit if storing more than 240 liters of nitrogen on the premises. See local regulations. 
    Breathing ambient air The body is exposed only from the neck down.

    Considerations about Nitrogen Cryotherapy Chambers

    Buying from Cryotherapy Machine Manufacturers vs buying from Resellers

    In the past, cryotherapy equipment was sold mainly by resellers, but the market became increasingly dominated by manufacturers. It is largely because some manufacturers now offer a full range of services and expertise that were previously only available through resellers.

    • Many resellers are not able to provide ideal warranty conditions, training, technical support, servicing, or post warranty care due to a lack of expertise or resources.
    • Be wary of resellers or manufacturers that don't offer on-site installation and training. These services help ensure compliance with health and safety as well as operation guidelines.
    • Manufacturers are usually able to provide better warranty conditions, training, technical support, service, and post warranty service.

    Differences between Manufacturers and Products

    Just like there are differences in the quality and technology between car manufacturers, the same applies for cryo chamber manufacturers. Different products offer different levels of safety, session quality, durability, services, and support.

    • Some cryo chambers come without a client lift - Nearly all clients will require booster pads for shorter clients and the client cannot be raised higher during the treatment. That can be limiting in some situations.
    • The balance of temperature inside some cryo cabin brands can greatly vary.
    • Go for a machine that carries at least a 24 Month Warranty.

    Our Recommendation

    Ask manufacturers and resellers as many questions as possible. Focus on session quality, services that are included or available, and training guidelines.

    Liquid Nitrogen

    If you want to start a cryotherapy business, apart from calculating the required investment and potential ROI, it's important to factor in the options for liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen can be expensive or can be inaccessible in some areas.

    Some nitrogen suppliers may offer older nitrogen tanks for rent, may be unreliable or charge excessive fees. Direct communication and coordination between the cryotherapy equipment manufacturer/reseller and the nitrogen supplier in the beginning can help clarify the long-term needs and technical requirements.

    Having a reliable Liquid nitrogen supplier is an essential part of running a cryotherapy chamber with an LN2 system successfully, that's why it's important to find the right supplier from the very beginning.

    Safety

    Operating a nitrogen based cryotherapy chamber may carry the risk of frostbite/cold burns.

    The risk is especially high with equipment operators that didn't receive proper Operator Training and in those cryotherapy chambers that don't have a balanced temperature inside the client cabin.

    Business Considerations

    Although nitrogen systems may be the cheapest to setup, to make it a success, it's important to have a good business plan, to find the right area with the right clientele and run your business with professional staff.

    Contact Our Team to discuss your ideas and to get more information on our Nitrogen Cryotherapy Chambers, the CRYO XC™ Plus and CRYO XC™.

    For information on claims that Resellers or Nitrogen Cryotherapy Chamber manufacturers often make check out Choosing the Best Cryotherapy Machine.

    Hybrid Cryotherapy Chamber

    PROS + CONS -
    Full body exposure to cool air Need for liquid nitrogen supply - Cost of liquid nitrogen
    Session intensity High consumption of LN2
    Breathable Cabin Higher purchasing price
    Small footprint of equipment Breathing in cold environment
    Treatment Intensity (In a balanced system) Claustrophobic environment
    Colder treatment, ranging from -166°F to -210°F /-110°C to -140°C .
    Some units have modes and adjustable settings.
    Requires a ventilation system for gas to be evacuated outside. An oxygen monitor is a must.
      Nitrogen tanks may need regular maintenance.
      May require a permit if storing more than 240 liters of nitrogen on the premises. See local regulations. 

    Considerations about Hybrid Cryotherapy Chambers

    Business Considerations

    • Hybrid systems have at least 2x higher consumption of LN2 compared to nitrogen systems.
    • Higher consumption of liquid nitrogen will require more frequent deliveries of liquid nitrogen or larger tanks stored on site.
    • Operating a system that consumes 10 to 18 liters per session can get very inefficient, especially if clients purchase sessions as part of an unlimited package and take full advantage of their pass or when it isn't possible to run sessions back to back and the machine is being started up for single sessions.
    • Hybrid systems are more suitable for locations that don't focus primarily on ROI or have a clientele that won't mind paying more per session if they enjoy the experience in the hybrid system.

    Experience in Session

    • Hybrid cryotherapy chambers offer a slightly different experience compared to the nitrogen and electric systems, because they are almost equally as intense/if not as intense as the nitrogen system, while also exposing the head to the cold. This is the greatest benefit of hybrid cryo chambers.
    • The downside to exposing the head to the extreme cold is that it can leave some clients uncomfortable due to breathing extremely cold air.

    Full Body Exposure

    There is an ongoing debate whether exposing the head (vagus nerve stimulation) to the cold air in a cryo chamber provides additional benefits to the user.

    • The vagus nerve runs from the brain to the abdomen and therefore a session in both a full body cryo chamber (Electric and Hybrid) and a whole body cryo chamber (nitrogen based system) exposes a large area that the vagus nerve winds through under the skin.
    • The slight advantage the electric and hybrid systems can have in stimulating the vagus nerve is that they expose the rear side of the neck, but not so much the head, as the rear side of the head is covered with a headband or other protective wear, and is also often covered by the users hair.
    • The research on the benefits of cryostimulation of the vagus nerve is inconclusive.

    Electric Cryotherapy Chamber

    PROS + CONS -
    Full body exposure to cool air High electricity consumption
    Does not require liquid nitrogen. High initial investment
    Breathable Cabin Sessions don’t reach temperatures as low as nitrogen systems. Only larger multiple room electric chambers can reach -150°F / -110°C degrees. Most single room electrics can reach -110°F / -80°C.
    No gas tanks to maintain Breathing in cold environment may be uncomfortable
    The only ventilation system required is for heat extraction.  Claustrophobic environment
    Many electric chambers can serve multiple clients at one time thanks to their size. This varies depending on the model. Expensive to service
      2-3 hour startup time

    Considerations about Electric Cryotherapy Chambers

    Electric cryo chambers have been around since the 1990's. Electric cryotherapy chambers use systems utilized in the refrigeration industry.

    The biggest drawback of electrics in the last 25 years was the coldest achievable temperature. At present, some multiple room electric systems are capable of achieving the required temperature for cryotherapy which starts at -160°F / -110°C.

    Single Room vs Multiple-Room Electric Cryotherapy Chamber

    • Each time the door is opened on a single-room electric cryo chamber, cold air is released from the cabin, unless there is an anteroom preceding the cold chamber that can hold most of the cold air within a multiple room system. 
    • Performance-wise, the single room cryo chamber is at a disadvantage to a system with multiple cooling chambers, as multiple room chambers have a much more balanced temperature throughout the session.

    Business Considerations

    • As the cryotherapy treatment cost in the electric system is generally set at a lower price point than nitrogen and hybrid systems, and the equipment may be more pricey, the ROI for the system may be drawn out into a longer period.
    • A lower cryotherapy session cost can open up the door to a potentially larger number of clients without having to deal with nitrogen.
    • However, it is equally important to research the potential footfall and clientele in the area as it is with LN2 systems and whether it is possible to maximize the potential use of an electric cryo chamber.
    • When considering electric, include the annual cost for refrigerants and their replacement, annual service fees, unexpected service fees in your calculations. Refrigeration specialists can be an expensive service.
    • Extended Warranty and service packages for some electric cryotherapy chambers may carry a substantial cost with some packages starting from $4,500 per year.

    Full Body Exposure

    There is an ongoing debate whether exposing the head (vagus nerve stimulation) to the cold air in a cryo chamber provides additional benefits to the user.

    • The vagus nerve runs from the brain to the abdomen and therefore a session in both a full body cryo chamber (Electric and Hybrid) and a whole body cryo chamber (nitrogen based system) exposes a large area that the vagus nerve winds through under the skin.
    • The slight advantage the electric and hybrid systems can have in stimulating the vagus nerve is that they expose the rear side of the neck, but not so much the head as the head is covered with a headband or other protective wear, and is also often protected by the users hair.
    • The research on the benefits of cryostimulation of the vagus nerve is inconclusive.

    Conclusion

    The conversation about electrics vs nitrogen systems usually revolves around electrics not being cold enough, nitrogen systems not exposing the head to the cold or being a safety hazard for using liquid nitrogen.
    Some may find the appeal in not having to deal with liquid nitrogen, others prefer the raw feeling that they get in the nitrogen system or the hybrid system.

    Essentially it comes down to personal preference, budget, what your clients are asking for, and the direction you want to take your business.

    We strongly recommend testing out different types of cryotherapy equipment prior to making the decision.
    If you wish to test out our product, get in touch with us.

    Contact Us

    FAQ

    Are there any used electric cryotherapy chambers in the market?

    There are hardly any used electric cryotherapy chambers for sale in the market.
    Compared to nitrogen or hybrids systems, buying an electric cryo chamber is a greater financial commitment and requires a better contingency plan should the business venture not work out. An electric chamber requires a $100,000 to $300,000 investment, this makes it more difficult to transfer a lease onto another business, and the list of potential buyers is shorter.

    Moving an electric cryotherapy chamber costs at least $20,000.

    Get in touch with our team if you're interested in getting more information about Electric Cryotherapy Machines.