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The 5 Best Ice Makers
When my old ice cube trays couldn’t keep up with the demand in my home, I searched for the best ice maker I could find. I have three kids, and we live in California, which has mostly warm weather, so you can imagine how quickly we go through ice. While ice cube trays may seem like the natural best choice, my freezer is often too full to store them—especially after making homemade ice cream with an ice cream maker or liquid nitrogen. Keep reading for ice maker reviews and ratings below.
In This Article
The Vremi Countertop Ice Maker with Ice Scoop and Basket is the best ice maker because it works quickly and can churn out and store large quantities of ice for the household.
This unit is in the best ice maker category because it is fast—it makes ice in eight to ten minutes. I can fill this compact ice maker with about two quarts (2.2 liters) of water, turn it on, and then unload the groceries from the car with the help of the kids. By the time we get back into the house with everything, the ice is ready to use. We can have ice for our glasses to cool down the drinks we bought in big bottles from the store. Not only is it fast, but it also makes up to 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours.
I like its stainless steel finish and how it doesn’t take up very much space—it only measures 9.5 by 12 by 13.5 inches. It comes with a scoop that gets just enough ice from the basket to fill a tall glass, and the basket holds 1.5 pounds of ice and can be taken out of the machine for easy ice maker cleaning. There is no need for a connection to a water source since you fill it with water when you want to have ice.
- Uses only 120 watts of electricity
- One button operation with automatic shut-off when full
- You can barely hear the fan running
- ETL and FDA-certified.
- No refrigeration feature
The hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine is the best ice maker because it’s a commercial-grade ice maker that can supply ice for small businesses or giant parties.
If you have a large tribe for your family or you run a bed and breakfast, this is a commercial ice machine that makes 99 pounds of ice in 24 hours. This model has internal refrigeration to always keep 29 pounds of ice on hand. This is the kind of ice machine you need if you have a lot of people who need ice. It can easily handle the ice needs for a Super Bowl party.
This model is fairly quick and requires 11-20 minutes to make a cycle of 45 pieces of clear ice. It needs to be connected to a water line and have a floor drain to catch any water from melting ice so it can make ice without interruption. Even though the capacity is equal to a commercial-grade machine, the unit is not that big. Its footprint is 17.6 inches by 15.7 inches by 31.4 inches. It comes with a nine-foot water supply hose and a six-foot drain hose, and a large scoop for the ice.
- Comes with the connectors and hoses needed
- The ice-making time and ice thickness can be adjusted
- Continuous ice production with automatic storage-bin refilling
- Stainless steel interior
- Needs to be connected to a water line and have a floor drain
The Frigidaire Counter Top Ice Maker Stainless Steel with Lid is the best ice maker because it’s more affordable than other option and can still make 26 pounds of ice a day.
This ice maker has been refurbished and comes with a guarantee that it looks as if it were brand new. The full stainless steel exterior gives it a sleek and attractive design. It is a powerful ice maker and works fast. It can make a batch of ice in as little as six minutes, and it holds 1.5 pounds in the ice bucket at once. This ice maker makes up to 26 pounds of ice over 24 hours. The Frigidaire brand is known for its quality in materials and durability.
There are two sizes of ice that are possible from this machine—just push a button to make a selection using the LED controls. If I was on a serious budget restriction, I would consider getting this unit because of its price. If anything was going to fail, it would probably occur within the first 90-days of use, so the guarantee is likely sufficient.
- All stainless steel exterior
- Makes ice in as little as six minutes
- The ice basket comes out for easy cleaning
- The price is one of the lowest for the best ice maker category
- This is a “like-new” ice maker, not a brand-new unit
The hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop is the best ice maker because it’s a small ice maker that can also be taken on the go if you need it at a party or other event.
This portable countertop ice maker is the baby brother to the commercially-sized unit reviewed earlier. It has the expected feature of making ice quickly within just six to eight minutes, and the ice is a nice, medium-sized bullet-shaped cube. It makes up to 26 pounds of ice per day and has a storage capacity of about 1.5 pounds in the ice tray. It needs 2.2 liters (about two quarts) of water to fill it up for use. Unfortunately, there is no refrigeration to keep the ice cubes frozen, so the ice should be used when made or stored in the freezer.
This unit is the best portable ice maker because it has a small footprint on the countertop and measures 9.5 inches by 12.9 inches by 14 inches, making it easy to move around. It shuts off automatically when the ice basket is full or when it needs more water. There are also LED lights on the top control panel that show the operational status.
- Uses modest amounts of electrical power for operations
- Can be used anywhere that it can be plugged in and filled with water
- Makes bullet-shaped ice cubes in about six minutes
- Two-year warranty and 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee
- Can be loud during use
The IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop with Scoop is the best ice maker because can make ice in as little as six minutes and is extremely easy to clean out.
This unit makes ice fast—in about six minutes, it makes nine bullet-shaped cubes. The ice comes in two sizes: the smaller size is a shorter bullet-shaped piece that is created faster than the larger size, which takes eight minutes or more. This ice maker produces ice automatically until it either fills the ice basket with 1.5 pounds. of ice or it runs out of water. It shuts off automatically when full or when it needs more water. In continuous operation, it can make up to 26 pounds of ice in a 24-hour cycle.
Like all the portable countertop units in the best ice maker category, no plumbing is needed. Just pour in 2 liters (close to 2 quarts) of water, plug it in, press a button, and the ice is made automatically. By looking through the clear top window, you can see how much ice is in the basket.
- It only takes six minutes for the first small-sized ice cubes to be made
- When running, the noise made by the unit is less than 45dB
- The ice basket is removable for cleaning
- There is a drain plug at the bottom to let out any unused water
- Ice that is made will melt if not removed and put in the freezer
Features to Consider for the Best Ice Maker
Now that the ice maker reviews are done, it’s time to learn how to pick the best ice maker for your needs. When choosing the best ice maker, here are some characteristics to consider.
Very few people on earth have unlimited money, and if you’re like me, you’re not one of them, so you like saving a buck when you can. There are ice makers that range from inexpensive to being a pretty big investment. Think about your budget and how often you’re going to be using your ice maker. This can help you decide which one will give you the best value for your needs.
Once you start using the best ice maker, you will be hooked on it. My kids are constantly using ice, and they love slamming the lid shut when they’re finished getting what they need. For this reason, durability is a big factor when I look for an ice maker. If you want a machine that is durable, try looking into the ones made of stainless steel instead of plastic.
Even though these units are all easy to clean, be prepared to do plenty of cleaning if you want perfect ice cubes. Any dirt or dust or grime that drops into the ice ends up in the water reservoir below, and that water is made into the next rounds of ice. For this reason, having a machine that is easy to clean is extremely important.
A warranty may be a big consideration because the moving parts in an ice maker can break or fail. Buying a brand-name that stands behind their product with a warranty is something I prefer to do when that is an option.
Benefits of Using Ice Makers
The obvious benefit of having an ice maker is that you always have ice on hand without having to fiddle around with plastic ice cube trays. Most ice makers can make ice in just a few minutes—one of the fastest models I reviewed took just six minutes for its first batch of ice cubes. When you’re in a rush for ice or are trying to supply it for someone, a fast ice maker is a godsend.
Having an ice maker also means that you don’t have to go out to your local grocery store or party store and buy ice. And if your freezer doesn’t have an automatic ice maker, a countertop ice maker is extremely useful to have around. My freezer doesn’t have one at all, so used to have an ice maker, but it broke a couple months ago. I tried to get it fixed, but the price for a simple repair was more than double what a countertop ice maker costed. So if you’re in the same boat that I was in, getting an ice maker is a way to save money on an expensive repair.
Another benefit of ice makers that may be exclusive to my family is that having a source of fresh ice for drinks means we can use the old plastic ice cube trays for our snow cone machine and ice shaver for our friends and family with dairy sensitivities. Before we got the ice maker, it was always a fight to see who could get the ice first: the thirsty adults who just want a cold drink or the kids who love their sweet treats.
Precautions of Using Ice Makers
The main precaution when using an ice maker that sits on a countertop is taking care to be sure the water in the reservoir is clean. This is something you need to remind yourself to do, because when the ice basket is full, you can’t see down into the water reservoir. If the water has dirty stuff in it, the risk is that that stuff becomes part of the ice and then it can be hidden within an ice cube.
Once, I found a dead fly in an ice cube! I have no idea how it got into the water, but luckily, I saw the fly before I could put the cube in my glass. After that, I even started using bottled water to avoid the danger of contaminants in city water. Make sure the water is fresh, pure, and clean to make the best ice cubes possible.
My choice for the best ice maker is the Vremi Countertop Ice Maker with Ice Scoop and Basket. I like its design with the stainless steel sides and its black top. It matches the rest of my kitchen, which is all stainless steel except for the black metal top of the stove. It sits right on the countertop next to my blender. Now, I am making iced fruit juice smoothies. The smaller size ice cubes are easy to grind up in the blender with pieces of fresh fruit. The price of this unit was reasonable and it is well-made. I hope these ice maker reviews have been useful to you!