5 Best Ice Makers of 2024, According to Experts

If ice is a staple in your household, you’ll find a countertop ice maker is a lifesaver. With one in your kitchen, you’ll always have a supply at the ready.

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Updated on February 26, 2024

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Our Top Countertop Ice Maker Picks

Whether you simply can’t even think of drinking a glass of water without ice cubes or often have a crowd over for margarita night, a portable countertop ice maker will make your life a whole lot easier. These appliances churn out ice steadily, so you never have to make a last-minute run to the convenience store for a bag of ice. You can choose a small portable model if you primarily want your water glass topped up with ice throughout the day or a large countertop one if you need to keep the cubes flowing throughout a party. If you love to chew on nugget ice or prefer clear cubes in your cocktails, there are ice makers that can create these specialty cubes. Here’s all the information you need to help you decide which portable countertop ice maker is best for you.

How We Picked

In making our selections for best ice makers we relied on years of experience testing appliances. We did an exhaustive review of the category, comparing features and specifications of the various models. As we always do, we read what professional reviewers had to say as well as user comments on shopping sites. Our goal was to find a selection of reliable models that satisfied a variety of different needs and situations.

What We Like
  1. LED panel
  2. Handle
  3. Self-cleaning cycle
What We Don't Like
  1. Cloudy ice

With its ability to produce 26 pounds of ice in a day, this is a great choice for meeting your family’s daily needs or providing ice for an occasional get-together. Roughly every 7 minutes, it makes 9 cylinder-shaped cubes in your choice of large or small cylinders until the bin is filled with 2 pounds of ice. Once the bin reaches capacity, the Igloo pauses ice-making.

This is an attractive appliance that’s about the size of a coffeemaker and comes in several colors including stainless steel. On top, there’s a handle that makes it easy to carry it into a party room or put away when you don’t need it. The LED-lighted control panel signals when it’s time to add water or the bin is full. When you fill the reservoir with a cleaning solution and press the clean button, the machine will automatically cycle the solution through the unit 5 times. An ice scoop is included with the ice maker.

  1. Model number IGLICEB26HNSS
  2. Daily output 26 lbs
  3. Ice bin capacity 2 lbs
  4. Dimensions 14” x 11” x 16”
  5. Weight 22 lbs
  6. Warranty 1 year
$113 | Amazon $110 (reg. $125) | The Home Depot
What We Like
  1. Space-saving
  2. LED panel
  3. Handle
What We Don't Like
  1. No self-cleaning cycle

Like our best overall, this model will produce 9 ice cubes in as little as 7 minutes and has a storage container that can hold 1.5 pounds. In addition to a great sale price, it will take up slightly less room in your kitchen and make an additional pound of ice daily. However it doesn’t have a carrying handle or a self-clean cycle. The Magic Chef is available with your choice of a stainless, steel, red, white, or black finish and comes with a scoop.

  1. Model number HNIM27SV
  2. Daily output 27 lbs
  3. Ice bin capacity 1.5 lbs
  4. Dimensions 14” X 9.5” x 13”
  5. Weight 18 lbs
  6. Warranty 1 year
$129 | Amazon $110 | The Home Depot
What We Like
  1. Large water tank
  2. Can install a filter
  3. WiFi enabled
What We Don't Like
  1. Expensive
  2. Large and heavy

Are you already a fan of nugget ice or wondering what all the fuss is about? Also known as "Sonic ice," after the drive-in that popularized it, this type of ice is chewable, crunchable, and just plain addictive. Made of compressed flakes, the nuggets rise to the top of and distribute evenly in a glass, cooling a soda or Long Island iced tea faster than traditional ice cubes. While you’ll pay a premium for this model, you’ll get a high-quality appliance with lots of special features.

Churning out a pound per hour, this ice maker is slower than many. However, the bin can hold 3 pounds so it can have a big batch ready when your guests arrive. Still, if you’re hosting a drinking crowd, you might want to stockpile nuggets in the freezer ahead of time. As ice melts in the bucket, it’s recirculated to the water reservoir which helps to prevent clumping. The side tank has a one-gallon capacity so you won’t have to constantly refill it with water when you’re entertaining.

Using WiFi, you can pair this ice maker with the GE SmartHQ app which allows you to turn the machine on and off remotely, check to see if the bucket is full or if you need to add water, and schedule when you want it to make ice. It also gives you voice control through Alexa and Google. When the Opal needs a cleaning, you add a mix of bleach and water and press the clean button. You can purchase a GE water filter to use with it. About the size of a microwave oven and housed in stainless or black stainless steel, this model looks like a high-quality appliance. An ice scoop is provided with the machine.

  1. Model number XPIO13BCBT
  2. Daily output 38 lbs
  3. Ice bin capacity 3 lbs
  4. Dimensions 17.5” x 13.4” x 16.5”
  5. Weight 51 lbs
  6. Warranty 1 year
$489 (reg. $599) | Amazon $549 (reg. $650) | Best Buy $550 (reg. $650) | Crate&Barrel
What We Like
  1. Clear ice
  2. LED panel
What We Don't Like
  1. Small water tank
  2. No self-cleaning cycle

If you like clear ice cubes in your single malt whiskey, this is the ice maker you’ll want. It delivers 40 pounds a day of perfectly square cubes, free of bubbles to plunk in your high ball or your mocktail. As the water tank only holds about 2 ½ quarts, you’ll have to keep your eye on it during a party and refill it as needed.

LED lights on the panel let you know when the basket is full and when it’s time to add water to the reservoir. With its stainless-steel casing, it’s classy looking but you can also opt for a black or shiny red finish. An ice shovel is provided.

  1. Model number EFIC452-SS
  2. Daily output 40 lbs
  3. Ice bin capacity 2.4 lbs
  4. Dimensions 14” x 11” x 15”
  5. Weight 26 lbs
  6. Warranty 1 year
$159 (reg. $200) | Amazon $159 | The Home Depot $159 (reg. $179) | Walmart $200 | Best Buy
What We Like
  1. Large volume
  2. Timer for scheduled icemaking
  3. Self-clean cycle
What We Don't Like
  1. Large and heavy

If your house is party central, you’ll love the Newair, which can churn out a whopping 50 pounds of ice a day. It makes 12 cubes in 7 minutes in your choice of a small, medium, and large size. In addition to being a godsend for keeping drinks chilled, this high-volume machine will come in handy when you’re packing a large cooler with ice for a picnic, camping trip, or tailgate party.

On the control panel, there’s an 18-hour timer to make ice on schedule, lights to alert you when it’s time to fill the tank, or the bin is full, and a self-clean cycle. As you might expect, this machine is larger and heavier than our other choices, so it’s particularly important to decide if and where you have room for it ahead of time. And keep in mind, that once it’s on your countertop you’re not going to want to tote it around to the den or dining room. Like the others we recommend, it comes with an ice scoop.

  1. Model number AI-215SS
  2. Daily output 50 lbs
  3. Ice bin capacity 2.6 lbs
  4. Dimensions 17” x 15.3” x 16.5”
  5. Weight 37 lbs
  6. Warranty 1 year
$250 (reg. $360) | Amazon $280 | The Home Depot

What to Consider Before Buying an Ice Maker

Size: They take up quite a bit of space.

Before you buy, make sure you have room for one of these ice makers. Measure the spot on your countertop or bar where you plan to keep it and then check the dimensions of the ice maker to see if it will fit.

Capacity: Consider how much ice you need.

Decide how much ice you need before you add to cart, so that you don’t wind up with an ice maker that makes more ice than you need, not to mention costs you more in energy bills. Take into consideration that one pound of ice is enough for about 2 to 3 drinks or that you will need about one pound of ice per person for a gathering.

Function: They’re not freezers.

The ice drops into storage bins that are insulated but don’t have freezing units so eventually the cubes will melt. If you primarily use ice when you’re entertaining, you may want to keep the ice maker unplugged when you don’t need it so you don’t find yourself with a container of cold water.

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