How To Find The Best Ice Maker For Your Needs

How To Find The Best Ice Maker For Your Needs

Few things beat an icy and cold drink on a hot day. Warm drinks can be anywhere from unpleasant to downright unbearable depending on the contents. While keeping your drink in the refrigerator will ensure that it is sufficiently cold, many drinks can't be refrigerated for a number of reasons.

Your only other option, in this case, is to put ice in your drink. When it comes to the various options you have when deciding how to make ice, you will find that one of the best choices is to invest in a quality ice machine. Finding the best ice machine can be tough, especially if you have never purchased one before, however.

Ice maker close-up.

This is why we are going to present our five favorite choices when it comes to finding the best buy ice maker. Before we get to the reviews, we are going to take a look at some of the reasons why it is important to ensure that you get the best home ice maker possible.

We will also be letting you know some of the most important aspects to look for in the best ice maker. If you already know what you want out of your ideal ice maker, feel free to skip directly to our reviews.

*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

Why You Should Choose Your Ice Maker Carefully

You will find that ice makers are similar to most other kitchen appliances in that they can get very pricey, especially near the upper range of products. It is for this reason that you do not want to end up getting the wrong model and suffering buyer’s remorse.

While this can be annoying for other products, it is far worse when it happens with a 2000 dollar ice machine. There are a number of reasons of reasons why you may end up disappointed with your ice machine, even if it looks like a quality model at first glance.

For example, an ice machine that looks big enough to hold enough ice cubes for your needs may end up producing ice cubes too slowly for your liking, making for a machine that is always empty. When selecting the best ice machine for your needs, you tread a fine line.

There are many factors to consider before you make your ice machine purchase, including the size of your family and the number of iced drinks you anticipate your household consuming.

Ensuring that your ice maker is designed to do the best job for your needs is the easiest way to find the best ice machine. There is never a single model that is best for everyone's needs since every customer has a different budget and needs that are distinct from those of other consumers.

Different ice makers.

It is also important to keep from falling into the trap of thinking that a more expensive model of ice maker will be superior in every way to a model at a lower price point. Some models can do more than other ice machines that are at least twice as expensive, so don't rely on price as your only measure of an ice machine's quality.

On What To Pay Attention When Choosing Your Ice Maker

If you want to ensure that you get the best ice machine possible, you only have to put some time into educating yourself about the various products at your disposal. It is for this reason that this guide will be especially useful to buyers who have never before purchased an ice machine and are wondering what to look for.


The size of your ice maker will play a large role in whether or not it will be suitable for your intended applications. You will find that certain ice makers are better suited for use in kitchens with certain characteristics. For example, a smaller ice maker will be able to fit into a kitchen which has less extra space.

You should also consider that a larger ice maker will be more expensive than its smaller counterparts since it will be more complicated regarding construction and design. Where the best small ice maker may cost a few hundred dollars, the best commercial ice maker may end up costing a few thousand dollars.

Keep in mind that smaller ice makers will be less efficient at making ice since they have less room to hold ice and for the refrigeration systems that are necessary to freeze ice quickly. When choosing an ice maker, you will have to compromise between compactness and capability.


The capacity of your ice maker is one of the most important things to consider because it will determine how much ice you will have remaining in your ice machine as a reserve. Whenever a cycle completes, your ice maker will deposit the ice cubes into a tray or a tub. The size of this container, along with the size of your ice maker, determines the capacity.

Ice makers that have a larger capacity are ideal for larger households, so you won't have to wait for each cycle to complete. Smaller capacity models tend to be empty all the time if there are a number of people using the ice in your home. Capacity is also dependent on the design of your ice maker and how intelligently the space is used inside of it.

Ice Production Speed

The speed with which ice is produced is another issue to take into account when trying to find the best ice maker. While capacity will help with the number of ice cubes that can be stored at once, it will be of little help if your ice maker is unable to keep up in terms of production speed to keep it stocked.

Ice production speed is usually dependent on the quality of the internal components which are used in your ice maker, but they are also reliant on the size. A larger ice maker will have more room for a more powerful refrigeration unit, and it will make for an ice machine which works faster.


The design of your ice maker is one of the larger influences on the price point and will also dramatically change the application in which you use it. For example, a best buy portable ice maker will be compact and easy to use, but it should not be the main source of ice for a household of several people.

On the other hand, the best rated under counter ice maker will be able to produce a larger amount of ice and sometimes even double as a freezer for storage of chilled goods. As you can see, the versatility and effectiveness of your ice maker are both heavily dependent on its design.

Ease Of Use

As with any other product, the ease of use of your ice maker is another important consideration. You will find that an ice maker which is easier to use will be more likely to see extended use. One of the main reasons for buying an ice maker is to stop having to play a direct role in the production of your ice.

Using an ice maker.

If you purchase an ice maker which is difficult to use or takes a lot of work, you might as well use ice cube trays instead. The ease of use can range from a simple user interface to having to ensure that your ice machine is stocked with enough water to make ice.


You will also want your ice maker to be durable enough to survive prolonged use. An ice maker which is lacking in terms of durability will likely also be lacking when it comes to reliability. Since ice makers are such expensive products, you don’t want to invest in one which will end up breaking on you, necessitating another purchase.

While ice makers aren't products that are regularly subjected to abuse, you will find that they contain a number of components that can end up malfunctioning. If any of these elements end up failing, your ice machine will be unable to produce ice without first being repaired.

Additional Features

When it comes to finding the best-rated countertop ice maker, you will find that you may wish to search for a product that contains features which improve convenience. This aspect is somewhat related to ease of use in that an ice maker which comes included with a number of extra features will be more pleasant to use.

For example, some models of ice machine will come included with a built-in timer to track the progress of the current ice production cycle. This will let you know when you will have ice ready for use. Another possible added feature is a self-cleaning option, which ensures that the internal components will be free of any accumulated dirt.

Best Counter Top Or Portable Ice Maker

First we will take a look at the best counter top or portable ice maker on the market:

Winner - Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker


  • Made out of stainless steel
  • The included ice bucket can hold up to 2.2 pounds of ice
  • Selection of three sizes of ice cubes: small, medium, and large
  • Features a simple user interface for improved ease of use
  • Can complete an ice cycle in six minutes
  • Can produce up to 26 pounds of ice in a day
  • Must be filled with 0.8 gallons of water to make ice
  • Features a drain in case ice melts
Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with a scoop of ice.


Our Rating

This model from RCA's Igloo brand is the best portable design that we have come across. While it may not come included with the variety of extra features that you can expect to find in a more pricey model, you will find that it is sufficient for most of your ice making needs.

We were impressed by just how reliable this model is, especially when you consider the relatively low price point of 130 dollars. We have come across ice makers that are available for about twice the price of this model, and even they were unable to match the level of quality and durability that you get out of this ice maker.

This is not our best rated portable ice maker only for its durability and reliability, however. You will also find that it is effortless to use, even for consumers who have never before purchased an ice machine. There are two controls on the front of the machine: a power switch and an ice cube size selector.

To use this ice maker, all you have to do is fill it with 0.8 gallons of water, turn it on, and then select the size of ice cube that you would like it to dispense. You have a choice of small, medium, or large ice cubes, depending on your needs and the application for which you will be using them.

Runner Up - Della 048-GM-48186 Portable Ice Maker


  • Produces bullet ice cubes
  • Can produce up to 26 pounds worth of ice in a day
  • Features a storage bin which is insulated and capable of holding up to 1.5 pounds of ice
  • Takes up to six minutes to produce a cycle of ice
  • Creates ice in two sizes: small, and large
  • Must be filled with water to produce ice
  • Features an indicator light for when the ice maker is full
  • Features an indicator light for when the water must be refilled
Della 048-GM-48186 Portable Ice Maker full view.


Our Rating

While it may seem like this model from Della is broadly similar to our winner in this category, you will find that this product has a few minor disadvantages when compared to the Igloo model. There are no major issues, and it is for this reason that this is on our list of the best ice machines, but there are some areas that can use some minor improvements.

For example, you can choose between two different ice sizes in this model as opposed to the greater number of options that you will find on some other models. Like most other portable ice machines that this model competes with, it can complete a cycle of ice in about six minutes.

This model has a moderately smaller ice reservoir than some of its competitors, at 1.5 pounds worth of ice, but it features a transparent window on the top so you can see how much ice is in it. There is also an indicator light on the upper part of the machine that lets you know whether or not it is full.

There is another indicator light that informs you whether your ice machine will need to be refilled with water to produce more ice. We were impressed with the insulation of the ice bucket, which ensures that you can keep ice in the machine while it is on without it melting too quickly.

Alternate - Thinkgizmos TG22 Counter Top Ice Maker


  • Can produce a batch of ice in about six minutes
  • Capable of making 26 pounds of ice per day
  • Ice tray is capable of holding 2.2 pounds worth of ice
  • Can produce ice in small, medium, and large sizes
  • Does not need to be connected to plumbing
  • Comes included with a 12-month warranty
  • Comes included with a free ice scoop
Thinkgizmos ice machine full view.


Our Rating

This ice machine is broadly similar to the other two options, but it has the disadvantage of being available at a higher price point. While the other two are available for a somewhat more reasonable price, you will find that this model usually retails for around 160 dollars, which is still relatively good.

This model, like most other counter top ice makers, does not need to be connected to your plumbing, so you can just fill it with the required amount of water and let it operate until it runs low. You have a choice of small, medium, or large ice cubes, depending on your need.

We appreciated that the TG22 came included with a 12-month warranty, which demonstrates the manufacturer's faith in the quality of their product. Another positive was the inclusion of a complimentary ice scoop. The ice production time of six minutes is relatively standard for this size of ice maker.

It can produce around 26 pounds of ice, which is in line with most of the other models you will come across when it comes to portable ice makers. The TG22 is also relatively small, so it will be able to fit in kitchens in which space is at a premium, so you don’t have to worry about it taking up excessive space.

Best Built-In Or Free Standing Ice Maker

Finally, here is our choice for the best built-in ice makers for you.

Winner - EdgeStar IB120SS Ice Maker


  • Features a front vent to ensure proper functioning in any position
  • Comes included with a 25-foot water line for connection to plumbing
  • Features a reversible door which can open to the left or right
  • Features a simple installation process
  • Can produce 12 pounds of ice in a day
  • Stores up to six pounds of ice in the bin
  • Automatically shuts down when the ice bin is full
Broken Link Checker full view.

Our Rating

If you want the best ice maker which can be used as either a free standing or built-in model, you will find few better options than this model from EdgeStar. While it may not be the fanciest ice maker, you will find that it provides the best value for money out of most other products in this category.

While it may not be suitable for those who want a high-end built-in ice maker, you will find that it is ideal for those who are not willing to spend over 500 dollars on an ice machine. It can produce up to 12 pounds of ice in a day, which may not seem like a lot, but it is sufficient for most applications.

Where this model shines is in its ability to store up to six pounds of ice in the included tub. The container is thermally insulated, so you can leave the ice in the machine without having to worry about it melting before you transfer it to your freezer. There is also the automatic shutdown feature when the tub is filled.

The inclusion of a reversible door ensures that this model can be installed in most cabinets without having to worry about positioning. The installation process is also surprisingly easy for a built-in ice maker. You also have the option of using this as a free standing model.

Runner Up - Sunpentown IM-150US Stainless Steel Ice Maker


  • Features stainless steel construction for added durability
  • Can be used as either a free standing ice maker or a built-in ice maker
  • Can make up to 12 pounds of ice per day
  • Can store up to six pounds of ice before needing to be emptied
  • Produces ice in the shape of crescents
  • Comes included with an ice scoop
Sunpentown IM-150US Ice Maker full view.


Our Rating

This is another excellent choice of built-in ice maker which can also be used as a free-standing model. You can position it in most areas of your kitchen thanks to the relatively small size, which makes it optimally suited for use in kitchens which are less than spacious.

The crescent-shaped ice is ideal if you want to be able to fit more ice into a relatively small glass. The inclusion of an ice scoop ensures that you will be able to get the ice out of the maker without having to purchase your own.

The 25-foot water line which is included with this model will ensure that you do not have to worry about this model being positioned too far away from a suitable water pipe in your home.

Like the other built-in ice machine that we reviewed, this model comes with a reversible door which ensures that you can position it in most cabinets, regardless of placement. The dimensions are standard for most cabinets, so you will be able to fit this model into most under counter locations easily.


As you can see, it’s easier to find your ideal ice maker with the help of suitably informative reviews. We hope that we have managed to provide a good selection of products that can cater to the needs of various customers. If you have any questions or remarks, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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