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Typically, portable ice makers are freestanding machines that can produce pounds of ice rapidly. They are small enough to be kept on countertops or taken on the go, as they typically have their tanks and do not require connection to a water source. Portable ice makers help mix cocktails during happy hour and fill coolers for camping trips. In addition, they can begin producing ice cubes within minutes.
Since there are so many different types of ice makers on the market, you should look for a few key characteristics. Ensure that the ice maker you select quickly fits in the available space. You must also consider the ice production capacity of the machine to determine if it meets your needs.
Consider the machine’s noise level if you plan to place your ice maker near your primary living area. To find the best portable ice makers, we searched for machines that efficiently produce high-quality ice cubes. We also evaluated each machine’s portability, noise level, usability, and overall value. Igloo’s Automatic Portable Electric Ice Maker is our top pick because it is quiet, efficient, and portable. It can produce ice cubes in minutes and has its reservoir, so no plumbing connections are required.
Our Top Picks
$279.99 $249.99 $339.99 $133.17 $129.99
What Is An Ice Maker?
An ice maker is, as its name suggests, an appliance that produces ice. It is also known as an ice maker or ice generator and can be found in a home freezer or as a separate appliance. Home ice makers are also portable due to their ability to fit on a countertop.
How Does A Portable Ice Maker Work?
Immediately upon adding water to the machine, the icing process begins. Most countertop ice makers cannot withstand freezing temperatures, meaning they cannot store the ice they produce. The machine will recycle melted ice to create a new batch of ice if fresh ice melts.
Why Purchase a Portable Ice Machine?
There is a good chance that you are curious about portable ice makers and pondering whether you should purchase one. They are still specialized products but can be extremely useful in various circumstances.
Listed below are several reasons why you may want one:
- You host numerous parties and gatherings that require ice, but it is inconvenient to purchase a new bag constantly.
- The average portable ice maker can produce 24 to 26 pounds of ice per day, which should be sufficient for your small bar or restaurant.
- If you live in a dorm or small apartment and want access to ice at home, but your freezer does not produce ice, you will need an ice maker.
- Your local water supply is incompatible with an integrated ice maker (unsafe or hard water).
- You frequently go camping or stay in a cabin where ice cannot be purchased.
- A dependable ice maker can save you time, money, and gas compared to purchasing ice from a store or a freezer to make ice.
- A portable ice maker is a way to go if you work in a small office with no room for a large refrigerator, where people have more drinks than food.
- You like to chew ice but want something softer that does not damage your teeth.
- An ice maker is not a necessary kitchen appliance, but nothing beats the feeling of not having to refill ice trays in the freezer frequently.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Portable Ice Makers
You may be confident in selecting a Countertop Ice Maker, but there are eight factors to consider when choosing the best portable ice maker that you should pay close attention to get the best home-ice maker for your needs.
Size and capacity
There is variation in the amount of ice portable ice machines can produce, the amount of space they require, and the number of ice cubes they can hold. Manufacturers will include the dimensions and ratio of capacity in their product specifications, making it simple to confirm that you are purchasing the appropriate size or capacity.
If your portable ice maker spends most of its time sitting on a countertop in your home kitchen, RV, or boat, you should measure the available space to avoid purchasing a machine that is too large. That is insufficient. If you want to move your ice maker from one location to another or only use it when you have guests, you should check the appliance’s weight to ensure it is manageable.
If neither size nor weight is of particular concern, then capacity should be your primary concern. Unless you are willing to bag the ice for storage in a freezer, you need a machine that can hold as much ice as you need. An ice machine that is too small will not solve all your problems, while one that is too large will likely waste energy and space. Before making a purchase, you should carefully consider how much ice you anticipate requiring, as this will help you determine which ice machine is optimal for your situation.
Production capacity and speed
In addition to calculating how much ice your ice machine must hold, you must also ensure that it produces ice quickly enough. Typically, production capacity is measured in pounds of ice per day.
If you and your family or coworkers regularly consume large quantities of ice, or if you want to ensure that your party guests never have to wait for their glasses to be refilled, a larger production capacity will be advantageous.
Be mindful that someone will need a minute to pour additional water if you break through the ice quickly. Part of what makes this type of ice maker “portable” is that it does not require a dedicated water line. While this eliminates any complicated installation requirements, manual water addition is still needed. Someone will have to ensure that the ice doesn’t run out, even though it’s not a particularly enjoyable task.
Most manufacturers also specify in their product specifications how long ice takes for ice to form. Most countertop ice machines begin producing ice between 10 and 20 minutes after water is added and the device is turned on. This varies from model to model, so if speed is essential to you, you will need to keep an eye on it.
Portable ice machines are reasonably priced devices. Typically, they begin at approximately $100 and range up to roughly $350 for larger capacity models. Overall, there is not a substantial range in price. A comprehensive review of the reviews indicates that going one step beyond the most cost-effective models typically results in longer-term machines. Many of the least expensive ice machines appear to have issues within the first year, mainly when they are heavily utilized.
Consider a unit with a slightly higher price tag primarily because of its durability. Consider spending a little more on a durable ice maker if you intend to use it frequently or leave it plugged in constantly. However, if you only intend to use it for special occasions or when you have guests, a less expensive ice maker will likely suffice.
Another factor that will influence the global price is production capacity. Models with greater capacity will likely cost a bit more. Some features can increase the price of a machine, such as intelligent water usage or user-friendly controls.
If your portable ice maker is always on a countertop, you should probably consider which of the available models will complement its surroundings. You will quickly discover that counter ice machines are available in various colors and finishes as you explore your options.
Black, white, and stainless steel will be the most popular colors. Nonetheless, numerous units available will allow you to add a splash of color. Therefore, if all your devices are red, you have options to match. The aesthetic appeal is entirely subjective, so you need only explore your options to determine which models you prefer and which you believe will complement your existing home decor.
Simple to use
Portable ice machines are typically simple to operate. Most have user-friendly controls, straightforward instructions, and no installation requirements (only one outlet is needed). There are models with user-friendly button layouts that make them easier to operate, models with self-cleaning, or a simple feature that indicates when the ice tray is full. However, it would help if you were not overly concerned with knowing how to use a portable ice maker.
An intelligent water use feature that filters and freezes the water again as the ice in the machine melts contributes significantly to the ease of use. You will not have to refill the machine frequently or dispose of the ice you do not consume. You will still need to clean the ice machine between uses, but this function eliminates some of the steps you would otherwise have to take.
Self-cleaning ice machines simplify the most laborious aspect of using a portable ice machine: cleaning.
Freezing water is hard work. Therefore, any poorly constructed machine is likely to develop issues in a relatively short period. Unfortunately, portable ice machines are not the type of appliance you can purchase once and use for at least a decade; even most of the highest-quality models are unlikely to last that long. However, spending a little more can mean a year or less of machine use and several years.
Most portable ice machines come with warranties specifying how long you can expect the device to last (or giving you peace of mind that you’ll have a replacement if something goes wrong). Others allow you to purchase a warranty, which may be well worth the cost has given the number of reviewers who encountered problems with various models.
Reading reviews is the best way to determine how long you can expect your portable ice maker to last. People will complain if their model does not stay long enough to their satisfaction, and many will also take the time to commend a machine that operates smoothly for enough time.
Efficient use of water
Efficient water use is one of the most enjoyable features a portable ice maker can provide. If you do not consume all the ice produced by the machine before it melts, the device will recycle it and make it fresh again.
Since counter-ice machines do not keep ice frozen, there is a risk of water waste if the ice is not quickly transferred to a freezer or used. Additionally, you will have to deal with additional mess between uses. The intelligent use of water conserves water eliminates the need to refill the machine and ensures that the product can be used without running out of water and requiring frequent refills.
Best Portable Ice Makers For All Purposes
Here are the best portable ice makers currently available on the market to assist you in deciding.
1. Best Overall: Igloo Automatic Portable Electric Ice Maker
Igloo ICEB26HNAQ Automatic Self-Cleaning Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker Machine With Handle, 26 Pounds in 24 Hours, 9 Ice Cubes Ready in 7 minutes, With Ice Scoop and Basket, Aqua
This Igloo portable, compact ice maker has everything. The compact machine can produce up to 26 pounds of ice per day and nine cubes within seven minutes. The included basket can hold approximately two pounds of ice, and the scoop makes it simple to transfer ice to your freezer or cooler. This mini ice maker is exceptional due to the quantity of high-quality ice it can produce in minutes.
The Igloo ice maker is extremely quiet and has a control panel that is simple to use. Plug it in, fill the reservoir with up to three quarts of water, and choose between two cube sizes. There is no need to connect the unit to a water supply. The transparent lid at the top lets you see how much ice is prepared. The unit’s drain plug makes it simple to remove excess water when it is not in use. The Automatic Portable Ice Maker from Igloo is available in retro-inspired red, aqua, white, black, and stainless steel, and it looks great on any countertop.
- DESIGNED FOR CONVENIENCE: Portable sleek design, convenient and compact in size, the Igloo Ice Maker looks good on a countertop while producing ice for whenever and wherever you need it
- LARGE ICE-MAKING CAPACITY: Keep the water tank filled and this unit will produce 26 pounds of ice in a 24-hour period. Enough to keep drinks cold all day long.
- QUICK-FREEZING ICE: Makes 9 small or large cylinder-shaped ice cubes in as little as 7 minutes. The automatic ice maker will keep making ice until the ice basket is completely full.
- 2 ICE CUBE SIZES: Choose small or large ice cube sizes according to your preference.
- CONTROL PANEL: Simple to understand and illuminated with LED lights, the electronic control panel lets you know when you need to add water, when the ice basket is full and allows you to choose the size of the ice cubes.
2. CROWNFUL Ice Maker Machine for Countertop
CROWNFUL Ice Maker Machine for Countertop, 9 Bullet Ice Cubes S/L Ready in 7 Minutes, 26lbs/24H, Auto self-Cleaning, Portable Small Ice Maker with Scoop and Basket(Silver)
The CROWNFUL countertop ice maker is perfect for parties and gatherings. If you frequently host parties that require large quantities of ice, this pebble ice maker can ensure that there is always enough on hand. It saves time and effort, so you don’t have to leave the party to run to the convenience store.
This countertop-display portable ice maker allows you to enjoy pure ice without sacrificing kitchen space and features an elegant and stylish design.
Whether you’re consuming cocktails, sodas, or water, the CROWNFUL profile ice maker is an indispensable companion. It produces an almost endless supply of ice and is helpful. This compact ice machine can begin making ice cubes within minutes and will become your best friend at all events.
This ice machine from Crownful is one of the least expensive on the market at $100. Seven minutes are required to produce nine ice cubes, while the bucket can hold up to eighty cubes. In addition, consumers deem it a “great value for the money.”
The same button can turn the machine on, off, and into self-cleaning mode. In addition, convenient lights indicate when the bucket is full or when more water is required. “This ice maker is incredible,” wrote one customer. “I was concerned about the lower price, but it exceeds my expectations by a wide margin! It is quiet, quick, and produces delectable crunchy ice. I would not alter anything.”
- Ice Full & Add Water Reminders
- Adjustable Ice Cubes Size
- Auto-cleaning Feature
- Quiet & Efficient
- Easy Operation
3. Best Large Capacity: Euhomy Ice Maker Machine Countertop
Euhomy Ice Maker Machine Countertop, 40Lbs/24H Auto Self-Cleaning, 24 pcs Ice Cube in 13 Mins, Portable Compact Ice Cube Maker, with Ice Scoop & Basket, Perfect for Home/Kitchen/Office/Bar (Silver)
Most of the portable ice machines on this list produce less than 28 pounds of ice per day. If you’re looking for a larger and more efficient option, consider this portable ice maker by Euhomy that can produce 40 pounds of ice daily. It has 24 ice cubes per batch, and each cycle lasts between 12 and 18 minutes.
The water tank holds enough liquid for up to 120 ice cubes, and like other models on this list, it recycles any melted ice cube water, so nothing is wasted. In addition, there is a convenient eight-hour timer function: set it in the morning, and ice will be ready when you return home.
We have a large family and occasionally host gatherings. When the day calls for a little or a lot of extra ice, this machine is up to the task, “one client wrote. We’ve had it operating continuously for over two months with no maintenance beyond routine cleaning.
- 24 pcs Ice Cube in 13 Mins
- Auto Self-Cleaning
- High-quality Ice Cubes
- Lcd & Digital Display
- Water Recycling System
- Efficient & Quiet Cooling
4. Best for Travel: Costway Countertop Ice Maker
COSTWAY Countertop Ice Maker, 26LBS/24H Portable and Compact Ice Maker Machine, Ice Cubes Ready in 6 Mins, Electric High Efficiency Small Ice Maker with Ice Scoop for Home Kitchen Office, Silver
The countertop machine from Costway produces nine bullet-shaped ice cubes per batch, and the LED display indicates when more water is needed or when the ice bucket is full. Additionally, it comes with a scoop and is available in six colors. The ice maker’s small footprint allows it to be placed permanently on a kitchen counter or bar, but it is also portable enough to be transported.
Ice is present wherever and whenever you are. Equipped with a high-power compressor, a nine corrosion-resistant condenser, R134a refrigerant, and a 2.2L/74oz water tank, the ice maker is environmentally friendly, low-noise, and energy-efficient. The ice maker produces nine ice cubes in 6 to 13 minutes, allowing you to enjoy fresh, high-quality ice daily. The Countertop ice maker can have up to 26.5 pounds of ice per day, which can be consumed as desired.
When the ice basket is complete, the ice maker’s indicators will prompt you to remove the ice cubes, and when the ice maker is low on water, you will be prompted to add water. The control panel is user-friendly due to its clarity and simplicity. Observe the ice-making status through the transparent viewing window and remove ice with the removable ice basket and ice scoop for your convenience.
- Portable Ice Maker and Wide Applications
- Multiple Smart Functions and Convenient Operation
- Powerful Performance
- Save Time and Effort
- Countertop Ice Maker
- Low Noise
- Ice Maker Indicators
- Superior Material and Easy to Clean
5. Best for Quick Ice: NewAir Portable Ice Maker
Newair Counter Top Ice Maker Machine (Black), Compact Automatic Ice Maker, Cubes Ready in 6 Minutes, 28 Pounds In 24 Hours – Perfect For Home/Kitchen/Office/Bar AI-100BK
When the ice basket is full, the ice maker’s indicators will prompt you to remove the ice cubes, and when the ice maker is low on water, you will be prompted to add water. The control panel is user-friendly due to its clarity and simplicity. Observe the ice-making status through the transparent viewing window and remove ice with the removable ice basket and ice scoop for your convenience.
The two-button control panel allows for a simple selection of three ice sizes: small, medium, and large. Indicator lights indicate when water must be added or emptied into the ice bin.
With the NewAir ice maker, you won’t have to worry about maintenance! This unit is low-maintenance and has a side drain for removing excess water.
The compact size of the NewAir AI-100BK ice maker makes it ideal for countertop or tabletop installation. Move it wherever you need it, whether indoors or outdoors.
This portable unit can produce ice every six to fifteen minutes, so you will always have access to high-quality ice. It can produce up to 28 pounds of ice per day. It makes ice quickly in three sizes: small, medium, and large.
- Cleans up easily thanks to side-mounted drain
- Compact design fits neatly on counters and tabletops
- Get up to 28 pounds of extra ice per day!
- Portable enough to use anywhere – indoors or out
- Produces ice in as little as 6 minutes – no waiting
6. Best for Nuggets: GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
GE Profile Opal | Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank | Portable Ice Machine Makes up to 24 lbs. of Ice Per Day | Stainless Steel Finish
This high-tech GE ice maker is a splurge, but many consumers concur that it is “worth every penny.” One pound of nugget ice, known for being soft and chewable, is produced by the portable ice machine every hour. It is also equipped with Bluetooth, allowing you to use a free app on your smartphone to control it and create custom schedules. In addition, its sleek design and stainless-steel accents make it suitable for display.
Serve chewable, crunchy, crave-able nugget ice that is ready quickly and retains its flavor, unlike traditional hard cubes; Nugget ice is made from compacted ice flakes and is ideal for cocktails, sodas, and other beverages.
Never run out of crunchable nugget ice; this ice maker produces one pound of fresh ice per hour and has a bin with a capacity of up to three pounds.
Schedule fresh ice, monitor the status of your ice maker, and order accessories via the app on your smartphone.
Innovative design prevents clumping and leaks by recirculating melted ice back to the water reservoir; you’ll always have fresh ice thanks to an innovative, automatic ice maker that refills when your ice supply runs low.
Move your ice maker as necessary. Plug it into any 120v grounded (standard) electrical outlet and fill the reservoir with water; no water connection is required. As the ice melts, the water returns to the reservoir, which is re-frozen.
- Side Tank – Produce approximately 3X more ice with a side tank that easily attaches to the ice maker
- Automatic/Smart Refills – Always have ice at the ready with an ice maker that automatically powers on when ice is running low
- Three Pounds of Capacity – Always have all the ice you need with an ice maker that has three pounds (2.5 quarts) of capacity
- Portable Design – Easily move your ice maker as needed, thanks to a portable, compact countertop design that plugs into any electrical outlet
- Built-In Bluetooth Connectivity – Schedule fresh ice, monitor your ice maker’s status and order accessories, all through the app on your smartphone
7. Best for Cubes: Luma Comfort Portable Clear Ice Maker
Frigidaire EFIC237 Countertop Crunchy Chewable Nugget Ice Maker, 44lbs per Day, Auto Self Cleaning, Black Stainless & Winco Stainless Steel 4 Ounce Ice Scoop, Medium
This small ice maker has a compact and aesthetically pleasing design that is ideal for a countertop. This straightforward, trouble-free ice dispenser requires no installation and is simple to set up and operate. Get ice quickly, with a 15-minute per-cycle freezing time.
This ice maker produces clear, restaurant-quality ice that looks great in any beverage and melts five times slower than cloudy ice. This portable ice maker can produce up to 28 pounds of ice per day.
Luma Comfort is a Southern California-based manufacturer of home appliances and home comfort products. The company was founded in 2011 to create an innovative, high-quality home and outdoor appliances to meet the consumer’s ever-changing needs.
- Have clear, restaurant quality ice that melts 5 times slower than cloudy ice
- Powerful compressor produces 28 pounds of ice a day, so you never have to run to the store for a bag of ice again
- Simple, hassle-free ice dispenser requires no installation – just plug in, add water and wait up to 15 minutes to enjoy your first batch of fresh ice
- Cube shaped ice is created as frequently as every 15 minutes, so you don’t have to wait long to chill your drink
- With a side-mounted drain, storage is a breeze, and you don’t have to worry about spilling water everywhere
8. Igloo ICEB26HNAQ Automatic Self-Cleaning Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker
Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker Machine | First Cubes In 15 Minutes, 28 lbs. of Ice in 24 Hours | Countertop Portable Design in Stainless Steel – IM200SS
This portable ice maker from Igloo is comparable to our top pick in many ways (the same company even manufactures them), but it has two distinguishing characteristics.
In addition to a built-in carrying handle for easy transport, the ice maker has a dedicated mode with five automatic cycles for self-cleaning. In addition, it has a drain plug that is useful for draining excess water while rinsing the machine.
Keep the 2-quart water tank full, and this machine will produce 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours, enough to keep beverages cold throughout the day. A carry handle is attached to the ice maker, making it easy to transport wherever required. The automatic 5-cycle cleaning makes cleaning a breeze, allowing for consistently cleaner ice.
- Designed For Convenience
- Large Ice Making Capacity
- Carry Handle
- Self Cleaning
- Stores up to 1. 25 pounds of ice
- Quick Freezing Ice
- Simple to understand and illuminated with LED lights
9. Best for Variety: Frigidaire Ice Maker
Frigidaire EFIC103AMZ-SSBLACK-SC SELF CLEANING AMZ-SSBLACK-SC EFIC103 Maker Machine Heavy Duty, 26lb Ice per Day, Stainless Steel, Black Stainless
Are you looking for a quick and easy method to make ice? You need to look no further! Frigidaire has decades of experience in the production of premium cooling products. This ice maker is like others. Fill the reservoir with water, press a few buttons, and voila! Ice is made!
Your ice maker can produce up to 26 pounds of ice per day and produce the first batch of ice in as little as six minutes. Select from two ice sizes. The electronic control panel and LED indicators are the sole means of control. Easy to move around your countertop or bring it to the pool, on your boat, or anywhere else you’d like to have ice readily available. Once you add this to your summer gatherings, they will never be the same.
This portable ice maker from Frigidaire produces three different sizes of ice cubes, making it an excellent option for anyone who wants to switch it up depending on the occasion. Large ice will likely be the most effective option if you’re trying to fill a cooler.
If you need ice for smoothies or other frozen drinks, you may prefer small cubes that can be broken up quickly by a blender. In addition, you need not be concerned about the level of noise.
- 26lb Ice per Day
- Efficient & Easy To Use
- Modern Design
- Automatic Self-cleaning Program
10. FRIGIDAIRE EFIC189-Silver Compact Ice Maker
FRIGIDAIRE EFIC189-Silver Compact Ice Maker, 26 lb per Day, Silver (Packaging May Vary)
When you hear Frigidaire, you immediately think of reasonably priced, high-quality kitchen products. Well, the Frigidaire team is at it again. Presenting the Countertop Ice Maker, you will be hosting this year’s family barbecue. Therefore, you should immediately acquire this ice maker.
The LED design lets you check the ice level and select the desired cube size. The cover’s sizeable see-through window facilitates the visibility of the ice basket and shovel.
The air outlet will keep this machine running throughout the entire party, and the drain plug makes it simple to empty the ice maker afterward. All of this from Frigidaire, the market leader in refrigeration! 120V is the product voltage configuration
- Extremely quiet design runs at less than 38 decibels means your party music will never be overshadowed by your ice maker
- Fast ice produces 9 cubes of ice every 7-15 minutes so you will always have a cold drink ready to go
- Large see-through window allows you to see inside the ice maker without opening the lid
- A convenient drain plug allows you to drain and clean your ice maker quickly and safely
- An ice shovel is included to easily remove the ice in a clean and sanitary manner
Best Portable Ice Makers For All Purposes - FAQs
Infrequently, however, will a daily-used ice machine last longer than ten years. A conservative estimate would be four to five years or the length of the machine’s warranty. Beyond the warranty, however, there is no guarantee. Ensure that your ice machine undergoes routine maintenance and cleaning to extend its lifespan.
If you want ice, you must always keep it plugged in and running. The ice will melt, and the water will return to the reservoir if the unit is turned off. This is identical to your refrigerator or freezer because it requires constant power.
Portable ice makers usually cost less than a dollar per day to operate.
The presence of warm air causes the melting of ice. The ice dispenser in your freezer is located at the top. Warm air may enter your appliance and rise, as is typical for warm air. Warm air causes ice to partially melt, forming ice clumps that the dispenser cannot handle.
You may use distilled water with your portable ice maker but keep the following in mind: The water sensor in your portable ice maker is designed to detect the presence of water in the internal reservoir.
Portable ice makers are worthwhile because you can select the unit that best meets your requirements. Everyone has different needs when it comes to ice production. Some individuals desire a portable, compact device.
We carry the leading American brands of Commercial Ice Makers, including Follett, Ice-O-Matic, Hoshizaki, and Manitowoc. Some American Ice Maker manufacturers produce Undercounter and Ice Makers with Water Dispensers. In Easton, Pennsylvania, Follett Ice Machines are produced.
A single batch of ice can take between 7 and 15 minutes to freeze and drop into the storage tank of a portable ice maker. On average, portable ice makers can produce up to 35 pounds daily and store up to 2 pounds of ice.
There are exceptions, such as the EdgeStar IB120SS, to the general rule that undercounter ice makers require a drain line. These models function as a freezer and keep the ice frozen, so a drain line is unnecessary. Other ice makers cannot control ice, so it must be drained as it melts.
If you are considering purchasing a portable ice maker, you likely already understand why you need one. There is not much difference between models, so feel free to choose the one that best suits your preferences and budget.
The models on this list are the best portable ice makers currently available. They would be a great addition to your kitchen, office, camper, or any other location where you require a regular and convenient ice supply. .
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