Top 6 Best Ice Makers For A High-End Drink – Buying Guide
The best ice makers can provide quality ice for your drinks fast and conveniently. Ice makers generally come in two wide groups: under-counter and countertop models. So which model is suitable for you? Let's find out with us in today's article.
We have compiled a list of great products with a helpful buying guide. Of which, we prize the GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker for its quick ice-making process and big capacity.
Instead of searching “ice machine near me” for hours, why not spare some minutes considering our top picks? We don't want to waste your time anymore. Let's get started.
We will dive into the top 6 best ice makers with their pros and cons for your consideration.
#1. GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker – Best Overall
Our winner is the GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker. It stands out with excellent performance in every aspect. The machine can provide soft and crunchy ice within 20 minutes, thanks to its fast and powerful engine.
We are impressed with its capacity to provide up to 24 pounds of ice per day, and its bin can hold 3 pounds at once. Its side tank can produce merely 3X more ice and effortlessly attaches to the machine.
On top of that, this ice maker is also compatible with Bluetooth connectivity so that you can schedule to make fresh ice or monitor its status on your smart devices.
This best countertop ice maker does not require any water hookup. All you need to do is to plug it into a 120V grounded electrical outlet and fill the tank with water. As the unused ice melts, the water will return to the tank in which it will be made back into more ice.
This ice maker is also convenient when it can automatically power on whenever the ice is running low. Besides, there is an auto-off function to stop the ice production when the bin is full.
You will love its built-in LED lighting to illuminate the bin so that you can check the supply whenever you need it. Besides, it generates little noise of only 53 dB, which will not certainly annoy you when producing nuggets at high speeds.
We prize 10/10 for the outstanding performance of this nugget ice maker for home use. However, you might have to spend a small fortune on this machine. But if you often need ice for your drinks, it is a worthwhile investment.
#2. CROWNFUL Ice Maker Machine – Best For Portability
The Crownful Ice Maker is an ideal option for those who prefer portable and stylish designs. The machine comes with a sleek, chic appearance with a silver finish.
Besides, its compact size can perfectly fit your tabletops or counters. With the dimensions of 12.2 x 9.05 x 12.8 inches and the modest weight of 17.61 pounds, you can find it easy to transport to wherever you want.
It is an ideal option for events and parties, requiring constant movements and having a small footprint left to place an ice maker.
The machine comes with a water tank of 1.8 liters (about 61 oz) so that it can make up to 26 pounds of ice per day. It is large enough to restock coolers and compact enough for drink refreshments.
Besides, this best small ice maker can create nine pieces of big-sized ice cubes of 1.2 x 0.9 inches within only 8-10 minutes for enjoying beer, soda, to name a few. You will not have to wait for so long to enjoy a fresh iced drink.
There is also a clear window to allow the visibility of the process inside without opening the lid. We are also impressed with its intuitive one-button operation to make the start-up a snap. Everything seems to be easy with this ice maker.
Notably, this portable ice maker also comes with an ice scoop and detachable ice basket containing about 70 – 80 pieces of cubes to serve many drinks.
Besides, it boasts a cooling system that can operate at a low noise level. Thus, it will get in the way when having fun at parties and events.
On the downside, this ice machine doesn't feature a freezing function to deter ice melting.
#3. Igloo ICEB26HNBK Ice Maker – Best For Convenience
The next position belongs to the ICEB26HNBK Ice Maker from Igloo. It is designed for optimal convenience. Its compact size can fit well on a countertop while delivering ice whenever you need it.
Thanks to a two-quarter water reservoir, this machine can make up to 26 pounds of ice per day to serve you all-day use. There is also an ice bucket that can hold up to 1.25 pounds of ice at once so that you can keep your beverages ice cold.
It also stands out with a fast ice-making process that can provide nine cylinder-shaped cubes within only 7 minutes, even shorter than the two options above. We also love its LED light system to allow you to know when you need to refill water.
To boost the portability, the manufacturer also equips the machine with a carry handle attached to the device to help you easily transport it. Especially, we are pretty sure you will love its self-cleaning five cycle function, making cleaning up like a breeze.
It also comes in various lovely color variations to meet your preference. Nevertheless, we found that this ice maker generates quite much noise, causing irritation to users.
#4. Euhomy Ice Maker Machine Countertop – Best For Capacity
The Euhomy Ice Maker is ideal for those seeking an option with a big capacity for home use, office, bar, kitchen, or coffee shop. The machine can deliver up to 40 pounds of ice per day and a rate of 24 ice cubes per 12-to-18-minute cycle.
There is also a detachable ice bucket that can hold up to 2.2 pounds of ice at once, ensuring you always have ice ready when needed. Notably, when filled, it can create five cycles of ice cubes to make up to 120 ice cubes, serving many people.
We are also impressed with the water recycling system that can collect melted water and filter it to be reused to ensure no water is wasted. To enhance its convenience, the manufacturer also equips the machine with an ice scoop to help you remove ice easily.
Moreover, when the water tank lacks water, there is a light indicator to remind you to add water. And if the ice bucket is full, it will also tell you to remove extra cubes.
You will also love this machine as it allows you to adjust the ice thickness based on your needs, letting you make perfect beverages. On top of that, the machine outweighs other products with an exclusive refrigeration technology.
Accordingly, it comes with efficient compressors to deliver the highest quality ice cubes for you. Furthermore, this suggestion comes with a fast and silent cooling system to help you create ice cubes without causing any noise irritation.
The automatic cleaning function makes cleaning up much easier for you. All you need to do is to press the "Timer" button for over 5 seconds, and it will automatically start cleaning.
We also like its pure copper nickel-plated tray that can resist corrosion and rust. Accordingly, you can rest assured of enjoying ice cubes with high safety and hygiene.
Nevertheless, we found that this machine sometimes makes huge ice blocks.
#5. ULIT IM1226-S2 Ice Maker - Best For Budget
If you seek an affordable ice machine, the ULIT Ice Maker might be your answer. Despite the low cost, it does not sacrifice the quality and capacity much. This machine can make up to 26 lbs of ice per day with a 2.1-liter (about 71 oz) water tank.
Besides, it can generate nine bull-shaped cubes within only 8 minutes. Accordingly, you will not have to wait for a long time for ice cubes. This machine also comes with a powerful compressor that can cool the water effectively and quietly.
With a compact size of 14.4 x 9.4 x 12 inches, you can easily put it anywhere you want without worrying about the lack of space. You will find it quite easy to use as it comes with a simple control panel.
You only need to add water, plug-on, press the power button, and choose L/S ice to begin making ice. There is also an indicator light to notify you whenever the ice cubes are full, or the tank needs more water.
You can easily know the ice-making process thanks to a big transparent view window attached to the machine. Moreover, you will love its quiet operation with a noise level of less than 40 dB.
On top of that, this compact ice maker sets itself apart with an exclusive infrared sensor to automatically cycle and produce ice cubes. We also love its removable ice bucket and ice scoop to help relocate the ice cubes to drinks conveniently.
However, you need to keep an eye to this kit since ice cubes are easy to get stuck and stop the machine.
#6. FirstBuild Opal Countertop Ice Maker - Best For Design
Our last pick is the FirstBuild Opal Ice Maker. This suggestion will be a great addition to your space, thanks to an elegant design with a stainless steel wrap with black accents for a modern look.
It can wow your guests who see them before letting them try the fresh ice cubes it creates. With a dimension of 15.5 x 10.5 x 17.2 inches, it is perfect for any countertop in your house.
The Opal ice maker makes about 24 pounds of ice per 24 hours with a bin that can store 3 pounds of ice at a time. Besides, you will find it convenient when having Bluetooth connectivity.
Accordingly, you can set an ice-making schedule and track the process on your phone via its free FirstBuild app. This machine can also sense when its bin is full so that it will not overfill.
As the manufacturer also wants to ensure your ice tastes good, it equips the machine with an easy-to-install water filter to reduce taste, odors, and even chlorine. And there is also a cleaning kit to eliminate external and internal scales, helping your ice taste fresh.
On the downside, the ice can melt more quickly than other models.
What To Look For When Buying An Ice Maker?
Here are some key factors you need to consider when buying an ice machine.
Ice machines are available in various sizes, from portable models to those that require a large footprint. Depending on your demand, you should choose a suitable size that will not bother you.
For example, if you want an ice maker that can create ice cubes for parties and trips, it is advisable to choose a portable ice maker that you can easily bring to where you want.
Under-counter ice machines are often as tall as mini-refrigerators and have oversized ice buckets. Countertop ice machines are nearly half of the under-counter models' height. They are regularly as small as toaster ovens.
Meanwhile, a conventional portable ice machine can make 9-12 cubes per batch within several minutes. This capacity can serve 2-3 small beverages and merely twice as quick as under-counter ice makers.
In other words, smaller machines might work quicker than other big models. They make smaller ice cube sizes and might keep your ice colder as there's less space for air.
You might ask yourself, "How fast will you need your ice cubes?" Whether you want to generate lots of ice in a short time or want a consistent supply flowing can determine how critical speed is for you.
Several models can create ice fast, so you can get your party started early. But if you do not have enough storage space, it is wise to get ice machines that can cool ice for hours.
Ice Storage Capacity
If your machine can make a bunch of ice fast, yet it cannot hold much, you might need to keep taking the ice away and storing it in other places. It will be great to have an ice maker with a big storage capacity so that you will not need to unload it to make more space.
Types of Ice Makers
There are two main kinds of ice machines: under-counter and countertop.
* Under-Counter Ice Makers
An under-counter is an automatic ice maker. Under-counter ice machines can constantly make ice until the bins are full. While their price is much higher than countertop machines, they provide higher production capacity.
Also, they feature larger ice maker storage bins to contain 30-500 pounds of ice cubes at a time. These larger machines help you get a steady supply of ice all day.
Still, they need much more time to complete an ice-making cycle because of their bigger size. They are also too bulky to move around. Besides, all under-counter models need a stable water source that can provide adequate water for their system.
Thus, you will need to have a professional plumber for this type of ice machine.
* Countertop Ice Machines
A countertop ice maker is popular for light use. They are convenient tools for those in modest living spaces since they are quite portable. As they are smaller than the under-counter models, they can store less ice.
They can directly freeze your water without the connectivity to any water drain or line. You will need to manually fill the water reservoirs to keep the ice-making process running.
Most portable models don't come with cold ice maker storage bins. They can make ice cubes yet cannot hold them. And when unused ice cubes melt, these ice makers can automatically make a new ice batch.
If you want an ice maker to keep the ice frozen for later use, you might have to purchase an under-counter machine with a built-in freezer.
- Crescent ice: is ideal for soft, blended, and mixed drinks. It is normally about half the dice ice sizes. Thus, it can melt or cool your drinks faster. That's why it is less desirable to sip beverages like whiskey and cocktails.
- Dice ice: is perfect for mixed drinks and soft drinks. This type of ice slowly melts with a smaller surface area so that it won't change your drink's flavor drastically.
- Nugget ice: is suitable for fountain drinks, blended cocktails, and soft drinks. If you like chewing ice, it can satisfy you as it is easy to break down. Because of its soft consistency, it can melt and water down the beverages fast.
(If you want the ice that can last, it might not be your answer. Still, nugget ice machines consume less power than other kinds, so that it will save money for your electricity bills.)
- Gourmet ice: is frequently used in premium liquors and other upscale drinks due to its elegant and crystal clear look. It is the slowest melting ice, so that it can cool your beverages quite well.
- Bullet-shaped ice: is great for margaritas, blended drinks, soft drinks, and iced tea. As it has a hollow in the center, it can melt faster than other types of ice. While most of the other ice types are transparent, it appears to be white or cloudy throughout.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Portable Ice Makers Need A Water Line?
As they are easy to bring around, many portable ice machines have a water tank and do not need a stable water source. That said, there are several commercial ice makers that can require dedicated water drains.
Do Any Countertop Ice Makers Keep Ice Frozen?
No, they don't. The reason is because they do not have a freezing function like the under-counter ice makers.
Do Countertop Ice Makers Use A Lot Of Electricity?
It will rely on your models, yet most ice machines don't consume much energy. The draw might vary based on what your machine is doing – pumping, heating, or freezing. The ice makers might consume in a range of 50 – 160W per hour.
So you have gone through our best ice makers in-depth reviews. We believe these models can meet your demand for making ice. Of which, we consider the GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker for its exceptional performance in most aspects.
It comes with a fast and powerful engine to help you make ice in a short time. Anyway, if you have any further questions, please feel free to let us know. Thank you for reading!