The Top 5 Best Commercial Ice Machines

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As a business owner, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment for daily operations, which is why having the best commercial ice machine can make a huge difference. It will impact how well you can serve customers as well as the cost of your utility bill. Consider the following commercial ice machine reviews and ratings to help you decide which product is the best option for your needs.

The 5 Top Commercial Ice Machines

Editor’s PicksBrandRating *
Best ChoicehOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine♥♥♥♥♥
Premium PickManitowoc 26-Inch Cooled Undercounter Dice Cube Ice Machine♥♥♥♥♥
Best ValueCOSTWAY Commercial Automatic Portable Freestanding Ice Maker♥♥♥♡♡
Runner UpMECY Commercial Stainless Steel Automatic Ice Machine♥♥♥♥♡
Honorable MentionKealive Commercial Freestanding Stainless Steel Ice Machine♥♥♥♥♡
is made possible by its users.
When you buy a product through a link on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

* Ratings are determined using our specialized rating system.

Because owning the best commercial ice machine is an important process for your business, we’ve done most of the research by compiling a list of the best options on the market. No matter what kind of business you have, read on to discover the best commercial ice machines available.

★ Best Choice
Best Choice for Best Commercial Ice Machine: hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine

hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine is the best commercial ice machine because it can make up to 99 pounds of ice in a day, plus its freestanding design is easy to install.

In most cases, the best commercial ice machine is used by restaurants, bars, and other food-related businesses for ice making; hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine is perfect for both commercial and residential settings. If you have a home wet bar or you entertain regularly, this machine is ideal for any situation.

Part of what makes this unit so desirable is that it’s freestanding. You can install it anywhere without having to worry about complex hookups or power requirements. All you need to do is plug it in, hook it up to a water source, and you’re ready to go. It can produce up to 99 pounds of ice in a single day and contains a 29-pound storage unit in the lower half, so you never have to worry about running low on ice. Even better, this machine can make ice in as little as 20 minutes, so whether you’re in a rush or you have plenty of time, this unit delivers.

Pros

  • 99-pound production capacity
  • 29-pound storage unit
  • Freestanding machine is easy to install
  • Quiet compressor is less distracting

Cons

  • In rare cases, the water connection may leak
♛ Premium Pick
Premium Pick for Best Commercial Ice Machine: Manitowoc 26-Inch Cooled Undercounter Dice Cube Ice Machine

Manitowoc 26-Inch Cooled Undercounter Dice Cube Ice Machine is the best commercial ice machine because it can produce up to 135 pounds of ice per day, plus it is easy to use, clean, and maintain.

For those situations where you need a ton of ice but want something more compact, we highly recommend the Manitowoc 26-Inch Cooled Undercounter Dice Cube Ice Machine for your ice dispenser. Part of your search for the best commercial ice machine should be determining your size requirements. In some cases, having a massive unit can be a good thing, since it provides more storage space. No matter your preference, however, Manitowoc is highly regarded within the industry, so you can feel confident in buying and using it.

Overall, this undercounter ice maker is best suited for bar applications, as it can produce up to 135 pounds of ice per day. The under-counter design of this ice machine is perfect for scooping drinks and staying out of the way. With a highly energy-efficient motor that can churn out a huge amount of ice, you don’t have to worry about running up your utility bill. Form and function are exquisite on this commercial ice machine because it features a gliding top door and fingerprint-resistant paneling. Easy to clean and maintain, using this machine is a breeze. Overall, this will be a high-quality addition to any bar or restaurant.

Pros

  • Compact design fits under most counters and bars
  • Produces 135 pounds of ice per day
  • Energy-efficient design
  • Gliding top door is easy to use

Cons

  • Limited storage capacity, so not designed for low-use applications
$ Best Value
Budget Choice for Best Commercial Ice Machine: COSTWAY Commercial Automatic Portable Freestanding Ice Maker

COSTWAY Commercial Automatic Portable Freestanding Ice Maker is the best commercial ice machine because of its freestanding design and LED screen. It can produce 88 pounds of ice in a day and can work for home or commercial use.

Not only is COSTWAY Commercial Automatic Portable Freestanding Ice Maker better adapted for low-usage applications, but it’s also cost-effective, so you don’t have to break the bank just to get some extra ice. For some people, the best commercial ice machine is the one that can produce hundreds of pounds of ice per day. For others, they need something a bit less intense. Either way, this ice machine is ideal for both home and commercial usage, depending on your exact needs.

Another reason to like this model is because it’s completely freestanding – it doesn’t require a water hookup. If you want to add an ice maker to your home’s wet bar or you want something a bit more versatile for your business, this is an excellent choice. Don’t worry about running out of water either, as the unit will notify you when its supply is running low, as well as when the ice storage bin is full. Better yet, this best commercial ice machine will automatically shut off when filled so that it doesn’t accidentally spill ice everywhere.

Pros

  • Portable, freestanding design
  • Cost-efficient model
  • Produces 88 pounds of ice per day
  • LED screen with notifications and warnings

Cons

  • Needs to be refilled regularly
♥ Top Pick
Runner Up for Best Commercial Ice Machine: MECY Commercial Stainless Steel Automatic Ice Machine

MECY Commercial Stainless Steel Automatic Ice Machine is the best commercial ice machine because it operates quietly and is energy efficient. It produces 100 pounds of ice per day and has a 33-pound storage container.

In the middle of compact ice makers, countertop ice makers and high-volume commercial ice machines is the MECY Commercial Stainless Steel Automatic Ice Machine. It has all the benefits of our budget and premium picks, but it’s also well-suited for lower-usage applications as well. Simply put, anyone can benefit from this ice machine.

As far as ice production goes, this unit can make up to 100 pounds of ice per day. It has an automatic sensor to shut off when the bin is full, meaning that you can leave it on all day and night without worry. Also, considering the bin can store up to 33 pounds, you should be good to go no matter what the situation is. Unlike some other ice machines, this model is quiet and energy efficient. You can install it in a busy restaurant or in a quiet home bar and it won’t disturb anyone. You can also feel confident that your utility bill won’t increase once you put this machine in place.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Produces 100 pounds of ice per day
  • Large 33-pound storage container
  • Sleek stainless steel design

Cons

  • Not suitable for outdoor applications
♥ Top Pick
Honorable Mention for Best Commercial Ice Machine: Kealive Commercial Freestanding Stainless Steel Ice Machine

Kealive Commercial Freestanding Stainless Steel Ice Machine is the best commercial ice machine because it has an automatic fill sensor and a large stainless steel container. It can make up to 99 pounds of ice in a day.

Kealive Commercial Freestanding Stainless Steel Ice Machine is a decent model that can work well for residential or low-usage commercial applications. In terms of performance, this commercial ice machine can produce up to 99 pounds of ice per day, with a storage capacity of 33 pounds. It also has a high-quality stainless steel container with a glass and metal lid for easy viewing. An automatic sensor ensures the machine shuts off once the bin is full, so you can leave it on all the time without problems. Overall, this ice maker is an excellent choice for deli counters, home, or office use.

Pros

  • Makes up to 99 pounds of ice per day
  • Large 33-pound storage unit
  • Quiet operation
  • Automatic fill sensor

Cons

  • Not ideal for high-volume applications

Features to Consider for the Best Commercial Ice Machine

No matter what your situation is, you want to make sure that you get the best commercial ice maker. To help you compare models and find the right one for your needs, we want to take a closer look at the features and benefits to consider. Before making a final decision, be sure to look at these elements first.

Production Capacity

As you’ll notice when browsing the best commercial ice machine brands, they will list numbers like 99 pounds, 130 pounds, etc. At first, you may think that refers to the weight of the machine itself. However, this figure indicates how much ice you can make in a single day, which is important because many commercial businesses need to produce a lot of ice to maintain their sales. As a general rule, restaurants will need around 1.5 pounds of ice per customer, bars need roughly 3 pounds per seat, and fast food eateries require about 5-8 ounces per drink. Based on these numbers, you should be able to find a machine that works. Also, keep in mind that it’s better to get one with a higher number, just in case.

Storage Capacity

Realistically, you won’t be pulling ice as soon as it drops from the nozzle. For that reason, you need a storage container to pull ice from throughout the day. As with the overall production, you need to make sure that the bin is sufficient for your applications. However, the only downside of having one that’s too big is that it can be challenging finding out where to put the machine. For example, bars require a compact model to fit under the counter, but they also have to be fast enough to keep up throughout a shift.

Freezing Speed

In most cases, the best commercial ice machine doesn’t have to be remarkably fast. As long as you have a large enough storage bin, you should be able to get through a day or a shift without any problems. However, speed will be an issue for high-volume establishments since you have to replace the ice as quickly as you remove it. The top models can make about two to three cubes per minute, so use that as a guideline.

Ice Shape

For the most part, restaurants use larger ice cubes for beverages, although some prefer to use smaller chunks instead. Another thing to consider is if you need ice for cold stations (i.e, a salad bar), you should use flakes since they will be easier to shape and will adapt easier to your needs. If you do require a different type of ice for different uses, you’ll need a different machine to create it, such as an ice shaver machine, or a machine that makes half cube ice, nugget ice, or full cube ice. While it may be tempting to buy one unit that can produce all varieties, keep in mind how much you’ll need to produce for each type—you may need a higher quantity than a single machine can produce. You don’t want to wait around for a new batch to come out because you don’t have enough ice, especially when customers are waiting.

Benefits of Using Commercial Ice Machines

Overall, the best commercial ice making machine should help your business thrive. There are multiple benefits to getting the right machine for the job, as we’ll discuss here. No matter what your situation is, a high-quality machine can make a world of difference.

  • Customer growth: As your business gets busier, you want an ice machine that will keep up with demand. So, even if you don’t use that much currently, you’ll want to anticipate your future needs.
  • Operational efficiency: Ice may not seem like the most crucial aspect of your business until it runs out. The best commercial ice machine will keep your business running smoothly and avoid potential delays and irate customers.
  • Energy efficiency: Although you will have to keep your machine on for long periods (potentially 24/7), the best models won’t add too much to your utility bill. Features like automatic sensors and even the shape of your ice can make a difference as well, so pay attention to these elements.
  • Compliance: Being in the food service industry means that you have to follow strict health codes. The right ice machine should have a water filter and ensure that you keep foods at the proper temperature at all times.

Precautions of Using Commercial Ice Machines

Having the best commercial ice machine to make quality ice can do wonders for your business, but not all units are created equally. Here are some potential downsides that can derail your operations if you’re not careful.

  • Insufficient bin size: While a compact unit may seem more appealing visually, it could hurt your bottom line if you run out of ice consistently. Either buy a model that produces more ice in less time, or get a bigger storage bin.
  • Automatic sensors: Fortunately, modern ice machines are typically excellent at shutting down when the bin is full. However, these sensors aren’t always calibrated well, meaning that you could wind up with spills or less ice than you need. If your unit is acting up, you have to get it serviced or replaced as soon as possible.
  • Cooling type: Most commercial ice makers are air-cooled, but some use water to remove excess heat. Unfortunately, water-cooled models can create a lot of waste, so they should only be used in specific circumstances.
  • Air quality and filtration: Dust, grease, and other contaminants can get into the ice machine and the ice cubes themselves. Be sure to clean and maintain your equipment properly to avoid potential health violations.

Conclusion

When it comes to running a successful business, the right equipment matters. As far as the best commercial ice machine goes, we highly recommend the hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine. As a freestanding unit, this machine is ideal for both residential and commercial use. Feel free to get ice whenever and however you need it, all without a complicated setup or maintenance plan.