A portable countertop ice maker will make your life much easier, whether you can’t even imagine drinking a glass of water without ice cubes or often have a lot of people over for margarita night. These appliances keep making ice, so you never have to run to the store for a bag of ice at the last minute. You can choose a small portable model if you mostly want to fill up your water glass with ice throughout the day, or a large countertop model if you need to keep the ice coming during a party. There are ice makers that can make nugget ice or clear cubes for your drinks. Here is everything you need to know to choose the best portable countertop ice maker for you.
Things to Consider About Countertop Ice Makers
Make sure you have room for one of these ice makers before you buy. Measure the space on your counter or bar where you want to put it, and then look at the ice maker’s dimensions to see if it will fit.
Before you click “Buy Now,” think about how much ice you need. That way, you won’t end up with an ice maker that makes more ice than you need and costs you more in electricity bills. Consider that one pound of ice is enough for about two or three drinks, or that you will need about one pound of ice per person at a party.
The ice cubes fall into storage bins that are insulated but don’t have freezers, so the cubes will eventually melt. If you mostly use ice when you have people over, you might want to unplug the ice maker when you don’t need it so you don’t end up with a bowl of cold water.
How We Picked
Our Top Countertop Ice Maker Picks
- Best Overall: Igloo Self-Cleaning Portable Countertop Ice Maker Machine
- Best for Small Spaces: Magic Chef 27-Lb. Portable Ice Maker
- Best for Nugget Ice: GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker
- Best for Clear Ice Cubes: Professional Series Clear Bullet Ice Maker
- Best for a Large Volume: Newair Countertop Ice Maker
1. Best Overall: Igloo Self-Cleaning Portable Countertop Ice Maker
It can make up to 26 pounds of ice per day, so it’s a great choice for meeting your family’s daily needs or for an occasional party. About every 7 minutes, it makes 9 ice cubes in the shape of cylinders. You can choose whether the cylinders are big or small. It does this until the bin is full of 2 pounds of ice. When the bin gets full, the Igloo stops making ice.
This is a nice-looking appliance about the size of a coffeemaker that comes in several colours, including stainless steel. On top, there is a handle that makes it easy to carry into a party room or put away when you don’t need it. The control panel has LED lights that let you know when it’s time to add water or when the bin is full. When you fill the reservoir with cleaning solution and press the clean button, the machine will automatically run the solution through the unit 5 times. The ice maker comes with a scoop for getting the ice out.
2. Best for Small Spaces: Magic Chef 27-Lb. Portable Countertop Ice Maker
This model, like our best overall, can make 9 ice cubes in as little as 7 minutes and has a container that can hold 1.5 pounds of ice. Not only is it on sale, but it will also take up a little less space in your kitchen and make an extra pound of ice every day. It doesn’t have a handle or a way to clean itself, though. You can get the Magic Chef in stainless steel, red, white, black, or black and white. It also comes with a scoop.
3. Best for Nugget Ice: GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker
Do you already like nugget ice, or are you wondering what the big deal is? This kind of ice is also called “Sonic ice” after the drive-in that made it popular. It can be chewed, crunched, and is just plain addicting. Made of compressed flakes, the nuggets rise to the top of a glass and spread out evenly. They cool a soda or Long Island iced tea faster than regular ice cubes. Even though this model is more expensive, you’ll get a high-quality appliance with a lot of unique features.
This ice machine is slower than most because it only makes one pound of ice per hour. But the bin can hold 3 pounds, so when your guests arrive, you can have a big batch ready. Still, if you’re having a lot of drunk people over, you might want to stock up on nuggets in advance. As the ice in the bucket melts, the water is recirculated back to the water reservoir. This keeps the ice from getting stuck together. The side tank can hold one gallon of water, so you won’t have to keep filling it up when you’re having people over.
Using WiFi, you can connect this ice maker to the GE SmartHQ app. This lets you turn the machine on and off from a distance, check to see if the bucket is full or if you need to add water, and schedule when you want it to make ice. You can also use Alexa and Google to control it with your voice. When the Opal needs to be cleaned, you add a mixture of bleach and water and press the clean button. You can use it with a GE water filter that you can buy. This model looks like a high-quality appliance. It is about the size of a microwave oven and is made of stainless steel or black stainless steel. The machine comes with an ice scoop.
4. Best for Clear Ice: Professional Series Clear Bullet Ice Maker
This is the ice maker you’ll want if you like clear ice cubes in your single malt whisky. It makes 33 pounds a day of bubble-free, bullet-shaped cubes that last a long time. You can choose between two sizes, so you can put small cubes in your gin and tonic and big ones in your Scotch. Since the water tank only holds 2 12 quarts, you will have to keep an eye on it and fill it up as needed during a party.
On the control panel, LED lights tell you when the basket is full and when it’s time to fill the reservoir with water. It looks very nice with its smooth design and cylindrical shape. There is a scoop for the ice.
4. Best Large Volume: NewAir Portable Ice Maker
If your house is where all the parties happen, you’ll love the Newair, which can make 50 pounds of ice every day. In 7 minutes, it makes 12 cubes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. This high-volume machine is great for keeping drinks cool, and it will also help you fill a big cooler with ice for a picnic, camping trip, or tailgate party.
The control panel has an 18-hour timer to make ice at a set time, lights to let you know when the tank needs to be filled or the bin is full, and a self-cleaning cycle. This machine is, as you might expect, bigger and heavier than our other options, so it’s especially important to know ahead of time if you have room for it and where you’ll put it. Remember that once it’s on your counter, you probably won’t want to move it to the living room or dining room. It comes with an ice scoop, just like the other ones we recommend.
In conclusion, ice makers can be a convenient and efficient way to keep drinks and food cool and refreshing. They come in various sizes and styles, including portable and built-in models, and can produce different types of ice, such as cubed or crushed. Ice makers can save time and effort compared to manually filling and freezing ice trays, and can be especially useful for large gatherings or commercial settings.
However, it is important to note that not all ice makers are created equal, and the quality of ice produced can vary. Some ice makers may also be noisy or require regular maintenance, such as cleaning or filter replacement. In addition, ice makers can be expensive to purchase and install, especially if choosing a built-in model.
When deciding whether to purchase an ice maker, it is important to consider individual needs and preferences, such as the amount of ice needed, the space available, and the budget. Overall, ice makers can be a valuable addition to a home or business, but it is important to do research and choose a model that meets specific requirements and offers good value for money