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Whether you’re drinking cocktails, sodas, spirits, or water, an ice maker is an important sidekick. With a quality ice maker, filling and emptying ice molds or buying a bag of ice becomes a thing of the past. It’s a handy tool no matter the setting, though if you’re one to entertain, this appliance is sure to become your best friend.
Choosing the perfect ice maker for your home or bar comes down to a few key details: what kind of space you can allocate, the quality and type of ice you’re looking for, and how much you need at one time. For instance, if you’ve got a large household that consumes significant amounts of ice, you’ll want something in the home-friendly commercial range or a powerful countertop option. If you host the occasional small gathering and plan to bring your machine to other functions, consider something portable. Lastly, are you drinking casually or mixing up serious cocktails requiring large, clear cubes? Once you’ve laid out your priorities and needs, see our picks of the best ice makers for every scenario.
Best Overall: Vremi Countertop Ice Maker
Vremi has made a name for itself with this powerful and reliable countertop ice maker. This energy-efficient stainless steel machine is rather compact, measuring 13.5 inches deep, 9.5 inches wide, and 12 inches tall. And, at 23 pounds, it’s easily portable for parties, travel, and the like (no water connection is required). Complete with a removable 1.5-pound bucket, scoop, easy-to-use touch control, and an automatic shutoff feature, this super-quiet Vremi countertop model can produce nine, clear bullet-shaped ice cubes in 8 to 10 minutes—and up to 26 pounds of ice per day.
Best Countertop: Frigidaire Stainless Steel Ice Maker
Sleek, space-saving, and incredibly quiet, the stainless steel Frigidaire countertop ice maker is a silver bullet. With LED backlit controls, compressor-powered cooling to avoid overheating, and settings for two different ice cube sizes, this countertop model is portable and can be placed anywhere in your kitchen or bar. At 14.5 inches deep, 11.7 inches wide, and 15 inches high, this freestanding ice machine can make ice in less than seven minutes and can produce up to 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours.
Best Undercounter: EdgeStar Built-In Icemaker
This EdgeStar ice maker is both built-in and compact in a stylish, stainless steel and black finish, all at an appealing price point for home and office use. With a front-facing vent and reversible handled door, this unit serves as a functioning freezer for up to 6 pounds of ice at a time, and can produce 12 pounds total over the course of 24 hours. This machine is managed with a simple on/off switch and will even shut itself off when the bin is full of ice. At 15 inches wide, 20 inches deep, and 26 inches high, this ice maker will easily fit under any countertop.
Best Commercial: KOLD-DRAFT Cocktail Series Freestanding Ice Maker
KOLD-DRAFT, also known as “the king of ice machines,” is easily the top industry standard for bars and restaurants worldwide. This particular machine can produce up to 59 pounds of clear, large cubes (1 x 1 x 1.25 inches) per day, storing up to 26.5 pounds in its well-insulated chamber at once––the ice thickness is also adjustable based on your preference (with low, medium, and high settings), and the machine will automatically stop producing ice when full. This stainless steel ice maker is extremely easy to use and is self-cleaning. Note that a drain is required.
Best Design: Igloo Countertop Ice Maker
For those with aesthetics in mind, Igloo’s retro-inspired countertop ice maker is an excellent option. In seven minutes, this 9.6 x 14.7 x 12.4-inch mini machine makes nine small or large bullet cubes and can produce up to 26 pounds of ice daily (the inner basket can also store two pounds at once). Add water (up to 3 quarts), choose your cube size using the LED-illuminated control panel, and wait for your ice to appear––the ultra-quiet mechanism does all the leg work for you. This Igloo countertop ice maker includes an easily-removable basket and a scoop for serving. In addition to red, the machine is available in aqua, black, stainless steel, and white.
Best for Portability: NewAir Portable Countertop Clear Ice Maker
Commercial quality meets countertop convenience in NewAir’s portable ice maker. The machine’s clean lines and stainless steel exterior makes way for BPA-free interior parts powered by a compressor system and water-chilled rods, working to yield perfectly clear cubes time and time again. At 14.8 x 11.3 x 14 inches, this machine can produce up to 40 pounds of ice daily, with the first batch ready in as little as 15 minutes and subsequent rounds in around nine minutes. These cubes are also made to melt significantly slower than the average cloudy ice, meaning your drink will last much longer before becoming completely diluted if left to sit. To use the NewAir ice maker, simply plug in the machine, pour water into the reservoir, and wait––no installation or hookup required. This machine also includes a scoop, basket, and side-mounted drain.
Best Value: hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker
Get commercial-grade ice in the comfort of your home or office with this affordable ice maker from hOmeLabs. Producing 66 clear ice cubes in around 11 to 20 minutes and up to 143 pounds of ice in 24 hours at its max, this machine is excellent for parties, large households, and the like––hook it up to a water supply, choose your settings via the LCD-powered display panel (which also lets you adjust ice making time and ice cube thickness), and let the machine work its magic. Even more, its large storage cabinet lets you keep up to 29 pounds of ice at a time. The hOmeLabs freestanding commercial ice maker measures 17.6 inches wide, 15.7 inches deep, and 31.4 inches high and features a self-cleaning function. It also comes with a scoop, water supply hose, water supply connector, and a drain hose.
Best Nugget Ice Maker: GE Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
Pebble ice (also referred to as nugget ice) is great for tropical and tiki cocktails, cobblers, crusta's, blended drinks, juice, and much more; it’s also a type of ice that’s difficult to make in bulk without a machine. The countertop Opal model from GE measures 15.2 x 14.2 x 17.2 inches and is smartly designed with a water reservoir that refills itself if ice begins to melt, minimizing water waste. The machine yields ice in as little as 20 minutes and can produce a total of 24 pounds in one day, holding up to three pounds at once. The Opal is also equipped with Bluetooth controls, so you can manage its production from your mobile device with the free GE Profile Opal app.