The best portable ice makers are a great way to take the party with you. They’re super convenient and ready to go in a matter of minutes. Plus, portable ice makers are efficient, affordable, and they don’t take up much space in your kitchen.
We’ve curated a list of the top 10 ice makers available. Our overall favorite to make the cut is the EUHOMY Portable Compact Ice Maker. Why? Well, because it makes perfectly clear, restaurant-style, square ice. And, it makes a ton of it. Well, maybe not an actual ton, but it kicks out almost three times as much ice per batch as other machines on the market. However, if squares aren’t your thing, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered because that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Our Top Picks: Best Portable Ice Makers
Here are our favorite portable ice makers at a glance:
|Best Overall: EUHOMY Portable Compact Ice Maker. |
If you like the square, restaurant-style ice that takes a long time to melt, you can’t go wrong with this machine. Also, its ice production rate is well above average.
|Best Eco-Friendly: hOmeLabs Countertop Portable Ice Maker. |
Not only is this ice maker great at making ice, but it’s also energy-efficient.
|Best Budget: Magic Chef Portable Countertop Ice Maker. |
An affordable option that won’t disappoint when it comes to features. It’s even available in several color combinations to fit your style.
|Best Small: IKICH Portable Ice Maker. |
The tiniest and lightest weighing model to make our list also has some of the best reviews. It doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty nice to look at as well.
|Best Nugget Ice Maker: GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker. |
If you’re looking for that chewable, sonic-style ice, this is the machine you’re after. This is also the fanciest ice maker on our list, and it’s Bluetooth equipped.
|Best for Parties: NewAir Portable Countertop Ice Maker. |
Go big or go home? Why not go big and stay home — or go wherever you want. If you need a machine that makes enough ice for guests but is still small enough to take on the road, this one is your best bet.
|Best for Camping: Igloo Portable Ice Maker with Handle.|
It’s small, affordable, and has its own carrying handle that makes it even easier to transport. It also comes in a variety of fun colors.
|Best Looks and Features: BLACK+DECKER Stainless Steel Portable Ice Maker. |
This machine is sleek, classy, and full of bonus features. It even has a timer so your ice will be ready when you are.
|Best Multi-Use: COSTWAY 2 in 1 Ice Maker with Built-in Water Dispenser. |
Perfect for those of you who can appreciate the convenience of having your water and ice located in the same place. If you’re trying to hydrate more, this machine might be able to help.
|Best Brand: Frigidaire EFIC103 Stainless Steel Ice Maker. |
Another good looking stainless steel ice maker from a company that’s been cooling things down for many years.
1. EUHOMY Portable Compact Ice Maker
The best portable ice maker overall
Brand: EUHOMY | Size (In): 11(W) x 14.1(D) x 13.7(H) | Weight: 26.5 lbs | Ice Type: Cube/Adjustable Thickness | Holds: 2.2 lbs | Makes: 24 pieces/batch & 40 lbs/day | Price: 💰💰
If you want your portable ice maker to create restaurant-style ice for your home and your dinner parties, the EUHOMY’s ice machine is the best available. Unlike most of the other portable ice makers on the market, this model makes the same crystal clear, square ice cubes that you’ll find at most restaurants. If you don’t like cloudy ice and you’ve been searching for the best portable clear ice maker, this model won’t disappoint. It even generates 24 cubes at a time, so you’ll have enough ice for more than one drink after a single cycle.
This machine also produces significantly more ice in a day than most other models of comparable size and weight. There’s a push-button, digital display control panel that will alert you when the ice bucket is full or if you need to refill the water reservoir. It also allows you to set a timer with an 8-hour delay so that your ice can be fresh and ready whenever you want it. And you don’t have to worry about wasted water from melted ice — it gets recycled back into the reservoir. As a bonus, it even has an automatic cleaning function and comes with an ice scoop.
- Much less noisy than other portable ice machines
- It makes super clear ice that doesn’t have a weird taste
- The manufacturer is excellent about replacing problematic units
- Ice often comes out stuck together and needs to be broken up
- Sometimes the machine’s drop detection flap freezes and needs to be thawed
2. hOmeLabs Countertop Portable Ice Maker
The best home ice maker
Brand: hOmeLabs | Size (In): 9.5(W) x12.9(D) x 14(H) | Weight: 19.26 lbs | Ice Type: Bullet/two sizes | Holds: 1.5 lbs | Makes: Nine pieces/batch & 26 lbs/day | Price: 💰
The hOmeLabs Countertop Ice Maker is an excellent addition to any home. With a sleek, silver profile and an ultra-smart design, it’s one of the best countertop ice makers on the market.
This quiet and energy-efficient model means less noise and less drain on your pocketbook and the environment. Choose between small or medium-sized cubes for the perfect drink every time. Depending on the chosen settings, the hOmeLabs ice maker finishes each ice cube batch within 6-8 minutes.
- The ice cubes are the right size and shape for chewing
- Makes ice quickly and will fill the basket in less than an hour
- Very quiet except for the sound of the ice dropping into the basket
- Ice sometimes freezes together into a large lump of ice
- The bucket does not keep the ice cubes cold, so you need to scoop and restart each batch
3. Magic Chef Portable Countertop Ice Maker
The best budget portable ice maker
Brand: Magic Chef | Size (In): 9.5(W) x 14.1(D) x 12.9(H) | Weight: 17.8 | Ice Type: Bullet/two sizes | Holds: 1.5 lbs | Makes: Nine pieces/batch & 27 lbs/day | Price: 💰
Magic Chef offers one of the best countertop ice makers for anyone on a budget. And, this budget model won’t require you to make compromises in function or style. You can even choose from a variety of colors to make sure it will fit with your decor.
If space is a concern for you, at less than a foot wide and barely over a foot tall, this is one of the best compact ice makers on our list. This lightweight machine will have your first batch of ice ready in 7 minutes. The only downside is that it doesn’t hold a lot, so you’ll need to transfer the ice out of the machine more frequently than some of the others out there.
- If you use the small size setting, the ice is ready in 5 minutes
- The smaller size cubes are perfect for fitting into a water bottle
- You only need to clean it every 2-3 weeks to have super fresh ice
- The drain plug is awkward to access and isn’t well-designed
- The first couple of batches will only produce the smaller ice size regardless of the size you select
4. IKICH Portable Ice Maker
The best small ice maker
Brand: IKICH | Size (In): 8.7(W) x 12.3(D) x12.6(H) | Weight: 15.65 lbs | Ice Type: Bullet/two sizes | Holds: 1.5 lbs | Makes: Nine pieces/batch & 26 lbs/day | Price: 💰
With an overall rating of 4 ½ stars based on more than 5,000 reviews, this is the best rated portable ice maker that we found. It’s also the smallest and lightest of all the machines on our list, making it the perfect companion to take on a boat or RV.
The durable ABS shell has the look of stainless steel to blend in with most kitchen appliances but is much easier to clean. The machine also has an extra-large viewing window to make it easier to see how much ice is ready. The control panel is easy to use and will light up to let you know when your basket is full or when you need to add water. IKICH believes in their products and has an excellent reputation for customer service — they prove it here with a warranty that’s good for more than 2 years.
- Ice comes out pretty clear
- Melted ice drips right back into the reservoir
- The ice basket has handles on both sides, making it easy to carry
- The two ice sizes are both small
- Filling the reservoir up to the max line will result in your ice cubes sitting in water
5. GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker
The best portable nugget ice maker
Brand: GE | Size (In): 10.5(W) x 15.5(D) x 16.5(H) | Weight: 47 lbs | Ice Type: Nugget/one size | Holds: 3 lbs | Makes: 1 lb/hr & 24 lbs/day | Price: 💰💰💰💰
The GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker is one of the best portable ice makers on the market. It’s also one of the few countertop models that make the chewable, nugget-style ice. Coming in at a higher price than the others on our list, the Opal Nugget offers a vast range of features that are only available on this premium ice maker.
One of the coolest features of this machine is that you can set up a schedule and operate the ice maker via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet with the free GE Profile Opal app. Its intuitive and portable design makes the Opal Nugget Ice Maker easy to set up, move, and operate. There’s a large, 3-pound ice bin with a front-view window that keeps things cool and easy to see. If you start to run low on ice, this machine will power back on to keep your ice bin full. Any ice that melts is recycled back into the reservoir. The GE Profile Opal Nugget is expensive and geared towards higher budgets, but it’s well worth it for the quality.
- The night light is a useful bonus feature and looks cool
- Being able to install a water filter inside the ice maker is helpful
- The large water reservoir makes it so that you don’t have to refill it very often
- The machine is heavy
- Some reviewers had issues with very noisy machines
6. NewAir Portable Countertop Ice Maker
The best portable ice maker for parties
Brand: NewAir | Size (In): 15.3 (w/drain)(W) x 17.2(D) x 16.5(H) | Weight: 37.6 lbs | Ice Type: Bullet/three sizes | Holds: 3.1 lbs | Makes: 12 pieces/batch & 50 lbs/day | Price: 💰💰💰
The NewAir Portable Ice Maker is the best portable ice maker for home parties because it will produce up to 50 pounds of ice cubes per day. With an intelligent design and intuitive display, the NewAir ranks as one of the best portable ice makers available.
The premium BPA-free components and an ultra-powerful compressor mean you’ll never have to buy ice at the store again. There’s even an 18-hour timer, an automatic shut-off, and overflow protection built-in for your safety and convenience. With three ice sizes to pick from and a new batch of ice ready every 6 minutes, your parties are sure to be a hit.
Although NewAir tends to make quality products, we have noted some quality control issues in the reviews. For most people, this turned out to be a great machine, but it might be a good idea to get a warranty.
- It’s perfect for entertaining multiple guests
- The self-cleaning feature makes maintenance much easier
- The Ice bin is pretty well insulated, so the ice doesn’t melt right away
- The control panel can be a bit temperamental
- It’s quite a bit more expensive than other portable ice makers
7. Igloo Portable Ice Maker with Handle
The best portable ice maker for camping
Brand: Igloo | Size (In): 9.06(W) x 12.2(D) x 12.8(H) | Weight: 19.01 lbs | Ice Type: Bullet/two sizes | Holds: 1.25 lbs | Makes: Nine pieces/batch & 26 lbs/day | Price: 💰
The Igloo brand is known for keeping things cold, but how are they at making things cold? Well, it looks like they’ve created one of the best portable ice machines on the market. With an array of fun colors to pick from and a convenient carry handle, the Igloo ice maker feels a bit like an accessory and appliance all wrapped into one.
This model is amongst the smallest and lightest out there and still offers the option of small or large ice cubes in as little as 7 minutes. For portable ice makers, this one is small enough not to be a huge energy drain making it one of the best RV ice makers you can find. Have you heard of glamping? Why not take the glamour of modern luxury with you on your next trip into the wilderness?
This is another machine that appears to have a few issues with quality control, but the vast majority of the reviews were favorable. We recommend making sure to test run your ice maker before the return window closes to make sure you’re getting the best of the best.
- It only uses around 107 watts
- It doesn’t make clear ice, but the white ice that it makes is high quality
- The small size and carrying handle make it easy to take with you on vacation
- Sometimes the ice blocks the sensors making it think the bin is full when it’s not
- The bright, LED lights on the control panel make it hard to read the labels on the buttons
8. BLACK+DECKER Stainless Portable Ice Maker
The best looks and features in an ice maker
Brand: BLACK+DECKER | Size (In): 9.8(W) x 14.2(D) x 12.9(H) | Weight: 24.25 lbs | Ice Type: Bullet/three sizes | Holds: 1.76 lbs | Makes: Nine pieces/batch & 26 lbs/day | Price: 💰💰
The Black+Decker Portable Ice Maker is a beautiful product that functions just as well. With a sleek stainless exterior and an easy to use control panel display, this model is one of the best portable ice makers of this year.
It produces upwards of 26 pounds of ice per day and can hold just under 2 pounds in a large storage bucket. The unique electronic display lets you precisely control timing and water levels while giving you various indicator lights for proper maintenance. You’ll have the choice of three ice size options, making the B+D Portable Ice Maker perfect for home use, parties, travel, and more.
- Easy to drain and fill
- The small-sized ice is very chewable
- The medium-sized cubes work perfectly with a refrigerator’s in-door dispenser
- It makes a beeping sound that can be annoying
- It takes a bit longer to make ice than similar ice makers
9. COSTWAY 2 in 1 Ice Maker with Built-in Water Dispenser
The best multi-use ice maker
Brand: COSTWAY | Size (In): 10(W) x 15.5(L) x 14(H) | Weight: 21 lbs | Ice Type: Bullet/two sizes | Holds: 1.3 lbs | Makes: Nine pieces/batch & 36 lbs/day | Price: 💰💰
Sometimes ice alone isn’t enough. COSTWAY makes the best countertop ice maker and water dispenser with their 2 in 1 model. Why not have a water dispenser and ice maker rolled into one if you don’t have to compromise on portability or lose more counter space?
In addition to dispensing cold water and ice, this machine comes with a liquid crystal display panel, a delay timer, and lets you choose between large or small ice cubes. It can also make up to 36 pounds of ice in a day — that’s about 10 pounds more than the average countertop ice machine.
- It makes batches of ice very quickly
- Any ice that melts goes back into the water reservoir
- Having the water dispenser makes it easier to drink more water
- The machine is noisy
- The ice bin and water reservoir are a bit small
10. Frigidaire EFIC103 Stainless Steel Ice Maker
The best brand ice maker
Brand: Frigidaire | Size (In): 11.69(W) x 14.44(D) x 14.88(H) | Weight: 24.7 | Ice Type: Bullet/three sizes | Holds: 2.2 lbs | Makes: Nine pieces/batch & 26 lbs/day | Price: 💰
The Frigidaire EFIC103 Ice Maker countertop model is perfect for kitchens of every size. Plus, as a premium appliance manufacturer, you can expect excellent durability and efficiency throughout the lifespan of your Ice Maker.
This ice maker creates three sizes of ice cubes for any occasion — choose between small, medium, and large. The sizeable ice bucket holds over 2 pounds of ice, and the machine can produce over 26 pounds of cubes per day. The stainless steel finish offers added durability and a classy look that matches most kitchen decor.
- The water reservoir is large
- Having three sizes of ice is excellent for households that don’t all want the same thing
- This ice maker holds more ice than most machines — you don’t have to empty the bin every half hour
- The Ice cubes sometimes freeze into one large brick and won’t drop into the ice bin
- The sensors that detect when the bin is full or when the machine needs water aren’t always accurate
What to Look for in the Best Portable Ice Makers
Beyond just the price, here are some other things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for the best countertop ice machine.
1. Type of Ice
There are several different types of ice out there. These are the most common found in portable ice makers:
- Bullet Ice: This style of ice is the most common type produced by portable ice makers. As the name might imply, the shape resembles a bullet. The flat end of the bullet shape typically opens to a hollow center. Because it’s not solid all the way through, this kind of ice tends to be more chewable, faster to melt, and easier on a blender than many other types of ice.
- Nugget Ice: Nugget ice is another name for pellet, pebble, or sonic-style ice. It’s similar to crushed ice, but it’s made from flakes of ice that are compacted into little balls. It melts more slowly than crushed ice. Because it’s softer than regular ice, it can water down drinks. This kind of ice is a favorite amongst ice chewers and works well in blended drinks and soft drinks. One thing to note when you’re considering shopping for a nugget ice maker is that these machines are significantly more expensive than other models.
- Cube Ice: This type of ice, also known as dice ice, is the square kind of ice frequently found at restaurants. Cube ice is typically clear, solid, slow to melt, and varies in thickness between full or half cubes. Cube ice is probably the most versatile style of ice for a variety of needs.
2. Portability and Size
If you just plan on having the ice maker remain on your counter, you’ll only need to make sure it will fit. Be sure to allow enough space around it for the condenser to do its job. If moving your ice maker around will be a regular activity, the unit’s weight and size might be worth prioritizing over other features.
Of course, faster is better, but most of these machines will have your first batch of ice ready in less than 20 minutes. A more critical factor to consider when thinking about speed is how many cubes the machine makes with each cycle and whether or not it has a timer function that will get things started before you need the ice.
4. Ice Production Amount
Portable ice makers are limited in how much ice they can produce because of their size. However, there are two ice production amounts to look at when contemplating a purchase: the amount of ice the machine creates in each batch and the amount it can make in a day. The average portable model makes around nine pieces of ice per batch and about 26 pounds a day.
However, you can find machines on our list that make as much as twenty-four ice cubes at a time and models that will produce up to 50 pounds of ice in a single day. If you’re looking for an ice maker that can do more than that, you might need to look for something a little less portable than a countertop model.
5. Holding Capacity
Although most portable ice makers aren’t meant for storing ice, the amount of ice that a machine can hold at one time can make a difference in how easy they are to operate. Essentially, the smaller the holding capacity, the more often you’ll need to be on top of emptying the ice bin. With most machines producing ice at a reasonably quick rate, this can become a tedious process if the holding bin is small.
6. Special Features
Once you’ve figured out what your needs are, there are some additional features you might want your ice maker to provide. Many models have extra features such as automatic timers, self-cleaning capabilities, programmable timers, water recycling systems, and more. Be sure to check out the product specifications of the model you’re interested in to see what it offers.
How Does a Portable Ice Maker Work?
Now that we’ve had a look at the best portable ice makers, let’s take a peek at how they actually work.
Portable ice makers are relatively straightforward, and they work much like the ice makers in refrigerators and freezers.
Water is pumped into the ice tray inside the portable ice maker. Through the refrigeration process, the condenser and fan work together to cool the inner chamber. Once the water has solidified, the excess heat produced by the compressor releases, and the cubes simply slide into the bin — ready for use.
What’s great is that most portable ice makers don’t require a direct line of water. Just pour water in, and it’s ready to go. The only thing you need to have is a standard 115v plug for your ice maker to operate. Since portable ice makers are uniquely designed to be fast and efficient, you should have your first batch of ice in a matter of minutes! Pour the ice directly into your drink or fill a small chest, and you’re in business.
Benefits of Portable Ice Makers
There are many reasons to consider a portable ice maker for your home or outdoor area. From their ease of use to their speed and reliability, they are an excellent investment.
Check out some of the reasons you need a portable ice maker in your life:
- Portable. You guessed it! One of the biggest reasons to consider a portable ice maker is its incredible versatility. You can take it on camping trips, to your friend’s party, or just leave it on the counter. Portability means you’ve got options.
- Fast. Portable ice makers work very quickly. Most models only take a few minutes per batch, so that you can expect a full ice bin in a very short amount of time.
- Small. By and large, portable ice makers are small and don’t take up much storage space. This means you can leave it in the kitchen, under the counter, or pick it up and carry it without hassle.
- Affordable. One of the best things about ice makers is that they’re ultra-affordable. Many beginner models start at just over $100, and that’s all you need to get started.
- Efficient. Portable ice makers are incredibly efficient. Most models are capable of producing 26 pounds of ice per day. That would cost you an arm and a leg at the market and wouldn’t be as easy as just turning on your machine.
How to Clean a Portable Ice Maker
We’ve seen how portable ice makers work and the many benefits of owning one. But once your machine is up and running, you need to consider how to maintain it properly.
Regularly cleaning your portable ice maker is an important habit to form. Not only will your machine last longer, but the ice produced and the overall efficiency will be that much better.
Fortunately, cleaning your ice maker couldn’t be easier. Follow these simple steps to get a perfect cube every time.
- Remove the inner ice tray
- Clean the interior with an organic cleaning solution
- Wipe down the exterior with soap and warm water
- Dry the inside and outside of the machine with a soft cloth
- Reassemble the machine and run a trial cycle
For this guide on portable ice makers, our team spent 8 hours researching the most popular options from over 15 brands and manufacturers, big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each unit. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 10 portable ice makers on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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