It can be easy to take ice for granted. Many home refrigerators offer a supply of crescent-shaped cubes with the push of a button. But when your fridge falls short, running out of ice can be a major inconvenience, especially during the summer.
Instead of having to rely on an unreliable or slow freezer, a countertop ice maker can keep you well supplied with fresh cubes for every need, from chilling drinks to filling a cooler. A compact ice maker is also a handy appliance for camping, RV trips, tailgating, or anywhere where you might want to cool down off the grid. We’ve found the best ice makers for homes of all sizes to help keep you and your beverages as cool as possible.
What to Consider?
Before you invest in a countertop ice maker, consider how much space you can dedicate to the new appliance. If you plan to use your ice maker regularly, you’ll need room on your counter to accommodate it. If your kitchen is small, look for a more compact machine that measures less than 13 or 14 inches on the longest side. If you have more counter real estate available, go with a larger machine, as it will produce more ice.
Second, consider sound. If your ice maker will be running all the time, you’ll appreciate a quiet machine that doesn’t hum or clink constantly. Look for one that produces less than 40 decibels of sound, which is about the noise level of a library.
Finally, how much ice will you need? Most ice makers for home use produce 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours. This is more than enough for households of four to six, assuming there are no major ice demands. Larger households or offices may appreciate a more productive machine that churns out 30 or more pounds of ice per day.
How Do Countertop Ice Makers Work?
Countertop ice makers churn out ice cubes on a regular schedule. They use water either from a built-in reservoir or from a connected water line. Reservoir ice makers will need to be refilled with water when they run out, but they don’t require any plumbing lines. Most ice makers require filtered water to prevent build-up from mineral deposits.
When the ice is made, it’s directed into a bucket where you can access your fresh cubes. When the bucket is full, your machine will stop making ice to prevent overflow. Many machines will keep your ice cool, but there is usually some melting as the ice sits. Some highly efficient ice makers can recycle the melt water. Other machines will need to have the excess water drained.
How We Selected?
Ice is an essential ingredient in the kitchen. From quickly cooling blanched vegetables and chilling fruit smoothies to keeping guests supplied with cool drinks on hot days, no kitchen is complete without a constant supply of fresh ice cubes. And as a chef, recipe developer, and food writer, I deeply appreciate the necessity of ice in the kitchen. This list of the best countertop ice makers includes well-loved appliances with features for every level of home cook, according to product testing, research, and consumer reviews.
Frigidaire EFIC189 Compact Ice Maker:
• Weight: 19 lb.
• Capacity: 2.6 pounds of ice
• Size: 15 x 11 x 14.5 in.
This high-powered ice maker from Frigidaire is a top pick for its thoughtful design, high output, and easy-to-use interface. The machine has a large clear plastic window on the top, so you can see roughly how many cubes you have left without opening up the top and letting in hot air. Choose from two sizes of ice cubes to fit your preferences, and you’ll have your first fresh cubes in less than six minutes.
- The machine produces no more than 38 decibels of sound
- It’s slightly larger than other machines with the same ice capacity
Crownful Ice Maker:
• Weight: 17.61 lb.
• Capacity: 0.8 liters of ice
• Size: 12.2 x 9.05 x 12.8 in.
This compact ice maker is a great budget-friendly option. It efficiently produces bullet-shaped ice cubes in under 10 minutes and will keep them cold. The machine is lighter than most, which makes it great for toting to picnics or on road trips. The company also offers a one-year warranty.
- The machine is quiet while producing and cooling the ice
- It has a smaller water and ice reservoir than other models
Aglucky Portable Ice Maker:
Weight: 16.89 lb.
Size: 12.3 x 8.7 x 12.6 in.
This ice maker is compact but high-performance. It can churn out up to 26 pounds of ice per day, and up to nine ice cubes in 6-8 minutes. Plus, it can make two sizes of ice for different uses; whether you're filling a cooler or just a glass of water, the ice will fit just perfectly. The ice maker comes with a scoop for hands-free serving, which you can leave in the machine when it's not in use. And thanks to a two-liter water tank, it’s totally transportable, with no need to hook up a water intake.
Taotronics Nugget Ice Maker:
• Weight: N/A
• Capacity: 3.3 pounds of ice
• Size: 16.7 x 9.5 x 16.7 in.
This large ice maker is great for offices or homes with high-volume ice needs. It can hold up to 3.3 pounds of ice at a time and produce up to 26 pounds per day. You can also connect the machine to a water supply and have a constantly refreshed supply of ice. The nugget-shaped cubes are perfectly sized for drinks.
- Built-in cleaning cycle for easy cleaning
- May be too large for some home kitchens
Frigidaire EFIC245 Self Dispensing Countertop Ice Maker:
• Weight: 19 lb.
• Capacity: 33 lb.
• Size: 12 x 17 x 19 in.
Frigidaire makes an attractive and hands-off countertop ice maker that makes filling your glass as easy as possible. The machine sits comfortably under kitchen cabinets and uses purified water in its 2 liter reservoir to churn out clear, nugget-shaped ice cubes at the push of a button. With no plumbing necessary, it can go wherever you go, as long as there’s an electrical outlet nearby.
- Produces 33 pounds of ice per day
- They recommend that users run 2-3 cycles and dispose of the ice before using it
Soukoo 2 in 1 Water Ice Maker:
• Weight: 33.5 lb.
• Capacity: 4.5 pounds of ice
• Size: 14.4 x 16.7 x 17.8 in.
If you’re looking for a way to make ice at home without tap water or hooking up a filtered water line, this countertop machine accepts barreled water. Of course, it also has a reservoir of its own if you’re out of barrels. The ice is kept in a spacious pull-out drawer, ready for easy scooping.
- Also dispenses water from a spout on the side
- Louder than some other machines
Sycees 2-in-1 Countertop Ice Maker & Ice Shaver:
• Weight: 40 lb.
• Capacity: 6.6 pounds of ice
• Size: 20.7 x 19.5 x 17.7 in.
This industrial-strength ice maker is for serious ice consumers. The machine can produce 18 cubes in eight minutes. Or, for slushie drinks or homemade sno-cones, it can churn out freshly shaved ice in an instant. The machine has an easy-to-clean stainless-steel casing and is surprisingly quiet for its size and ice-making capacity.
- Produces up to 44 pounds of ice per day
- The machine can be noisy when ice is dropping into the reservoir
Igloo Automatic Ice Maker:
• Weight: 19.22 lb.
• Capacity: 1.25 pounds of ice
• Size: 12.2 x 9.06 x 12.8 in.
Igloo makes a cute, portable, and highly functional ice maker that will fit with any kitchen decor. It comes in five different designs, including a pretty aqua color for a pop of retro flare. The machine has a two-quart water reservoir to produce up to 26 pounds of ice per day. The ice comes in two sizes and produces the first nine cubes in less than seven minutes.
- Carrying handle for easy transport
- Smaller ice storage capacity than other options
Snoworld Ice Maker:
• Weight: 20 lb.
• Capacity: 1.5 liters
• Size: 9.1 x 12.6 x 11.9 in.
Connect to the compatible smartphone app for this teched-out ice maker, and you can control your cubes from anywhere, at any time. The app lets you initiate ice making or self-cleaning. Plus, this machine efficiently reuses any melted ice water to generate fresh cubes. An infrared sensor inside stops ice production when the reservoir is full and prevents the machine from overflowing.
- Create an ice making daily schedule through the mobile app
- You can only access the self-cleaning and timing functions through the app, not on the machine itself
Igloo Large-Capacity Automatic 33 lb. Daily Ice Maker:
• Weight: 23.2 lb.
• Capacity: 2 pounds of ice
• Size: 9.65 x 14.09 x 11.54 inches
If you need an ice maker that can pop out cubes quickly and produce a lot in one day, this Igloo is a great option. Though it can only hold up to two pounds of ice at once, it can produce up to 33 pounds in one day if you’re on top of emptying its removable ice basket. It can make a round of ice in just seven minutes, and you can pick whether you want small or large cubes from the LED-lit control panel.
- Produces large or small cubes
- Only takes seven minutes to make ice