The Best Portable Ice Makers of 2021 (Reviewed and Tested)

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Updated 10-11-2020

You don’t have the budget, or the time to purchase, and test every portable ice maker that’s on the market today. That’s why it’s important to read reliable sources like icemakergeeks.com to help you out.

Before you can choose the right portable ice maker, determine which type of ice you need. Learn more about all the different types of ice, and their uses here.

THE TOP 8 PORTABLE ICE MAKERS AT A GLANCE

9
Newair Clearice40 Review

NewAir Clearice40 #1 FOR CLEAR ICE

● Use the coupon code to save 8% ● Restaurant quality clear ice ● 40 pounds each day ● Produces ice in as little as 7 minutes ● Push button controls and LED display makes operation easy ● Stainless Steel Design 🔌 2.6 amps
Newair.com best price
NEWAIR8
Read full review
✅ PERSONALLY TESTED & REVIEWED ✅ Clear Cubed
8.5
NewAir AI-215R review

NewAir AI-215R Review #1 FOR LARGE CAPACITY

● 50 pounds of ice daily ● Bullet ice every 6 minutes ● Programmable 18-hour timer ● Thick, well-insulated interior stays cold for longer lasting ice ● Self-cleaning function 🔌 2.1 amps
Newair.com best price
NEWAIR8
Read full review
✅ PERSONALLY TESTED & REVIEWED ✅ Bullet Ice
8.5
Frigidaire EFIC115 Review

Frigidaire Extra Large Ice Maker #2 for large capacity

● 48 pounds of ice daily ● Bullet ice every 7 minutes ● 5 liter water reservoir ● Three ice sizes to choose from: small, medium and large 🔌 3.2 amps
✅ PERSONALLY TESTED & REVIEWED ✅ Bullet ice
8.5

NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker #1 for nugget ice

● 40 pounds of nugget ice daily ● Nugget ice every 5 minutes ● Stainless steel design ● One button operation ● Self-cleaning function 🔌 2.3 amps
✅ PERSONALLY TESTED & REVIEWED ✅ Nugget Ice
8.5
Opal Nugget Ice Maker Review

Opal Nugget Ice Maker #2 for nugget ice

● 24 pounds of nugget ice daily ● Nugget ice every 20 minutes ● Stainless steel design ● One button operation ● Self-cleaning function ● Bluetooth & scheduling app 🔌 2.5 amps
✅ PERSONALLY TESTED & REVIEWED ✅ Nugget Ice
8
Ikich Portable ice maker review

Ikich Portable Ice Maker #1 for compact and light

● 26 pounds of bullet ice daily ● Bullet ice every 6 minutes ● LED display ● Light and easy to carry ● Great for an RV, camping or a boat 🔌 2.0 amps
✅ PERSONALLY TESTED & REVIEWED ✅ Bullet Ice
8
KBice Nugget Dispenser Review

KBice Nugget Ice Dispenser #1 in self-dispensing

● 24 pounds of nugget ice daily ● Ice dispenser ● LED display ● Self-cleaning feature ● Soft, chewable nugget ice 🔌 2.5 amps
✅ PERSONALLY TESTED & REVIEWED ✅ Nugget Ice
7
Costway Portable Ice Maker Review

Costway Portable Ice Maker #1 For BUDGET BUY

● 26 pounds of bullet ice daily ● Bullet ice every 6 minutes ● Several colors to choose from ● Simple operation ● Low noise 🔌 2.0 amps
✅ PERSONALLY TESTED & REVIEWED ✅ Bullet Ice

We’re here to help you make an informed decision on which countertop ice maker you should purchase. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the best portable ice makers in 2021.

If you buy something from an Ice Maker Geeks link, We may earn a commission.This doesn’t impact your price at all. See our ethics policy.

HOW WE RATE EACH PORTABLE ICE MAKER

We rate each portable ice maker on our website using the following criteria:

  • Affordability
  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Reliability
  • Customer Satisfaction

At the end of the day, we want to make sure that you get an ice maker that will serve you well, and does the job you need it to do.

🎥 If you don’t have time to read my complete article, then take a look at the video below which will walk you through our TOP 8 picks. ⤵️⤵️⤵️⤵️

It’s important to note that we tested all of the portable ice makers recommended in this article.

Whether the countertop ice maker is for your business, home, RV or camping adventure, we’re going to lead you in the right direction, and help you choose the right unit for the job.

HOW DO PORTABLE ICE MAKERS WORK?

Portable Ice makers are easy to operate

Portable ice makers are small, compact ice machines that can sit on your countertop or table, and take little effort to operate.

Every ice maker will need a water source to work correctly, and portable ice makers are no exception.

Pour water into the reservoir of the portable ice maker

The difference with portable ice makers, from other types of ice makers on the market, is that you pour the water directly into a water reservoir inside the unit.

This makes set up simple, you plug in the ice maker, you fill-up the water reservoir to the full line, turn it on, and let it run through the water cycle. There are no hoses, drain lines, or water lines – it’s simple to get started.

Because portable ice makers don’t have any eternal hoses for pumping water or draining excess water, the ice maker becomes portable. If you want to take the ice maker on a camping trip, on an RV, or on your vacation – you can.

Portable ice makers forms ice around a freon post

The ice cycle for a portable ice maker is straightforward.

You add your water into the unit and turn it on. The ice maker will pull water from the reservoir unto a small water bin at the top of your unit, where eight small refrigerated tubes are placed into the water.

After time, the ice begins to freeze around those tubes and form an ice piece that looks like a bullet or hat.

portable ice maker produces bullet ice

When the ice gets to its desired size, the portable ice maker uses heat to eject the ice from the tubes where they fall to the bottom of the tray.

A sweeper then pushes the ice into a storage bin where it’s ready to be used for your beverage.

Portable ice makers can be used anywhere. All you need is water and power, and you can start making ice in minutes.

DETAILED REVIEW OF THE TOP 8 PORTABLE ICE MAKERS

Let’s take a moment and break down these eight portable ice makers even further. We’re going to look at what sets each unit apart, and which one is right for you.

Each portable ice maker that I listed above have different strengths and weaknesses. The right unit for you is based upon what you are looking to do with the ice maker.

If you are looking to serve a lot of people, or looking for a portable ice maker for your small business, the type of unit that you choose is based upon the following criteria:

  • How much ice does it produce?
  • How small or compact is the unit?
  • How long does it take to make ice?
  • How much ice does it hold at one time?
  • What type of ice does it create?
  • Where can I purchase the ice maker?

The following questions for each portable ice maker will be answered below, to help you choose the right unit for the job.


1

The NewAir Clearice40

My Top Pick for Producing Restaurant-Quality Clear Ice
Produces Clear Cubed Ice

The NewAir ClearIce40 is your best choice for producing clear ice for your home our business. Its simple design, ice production and price make it the best value for buying a portable ice maker that produces clear ice.

Read more about the best ice maker that produce clear ice here.

Why would someone want clear ice? It’s simple.

Clear ice melts 5-times slower than regular ice. When a portable ice maker creates bullet-shaped ice, it’s filled with small air pockets that give bullet-shaped ice that cloudy look. These small air pockets cause the ice to melt faster than clear ice, especially when added to a glass of lukewarm beverage.

You’ll notice below the difference between clear ice and bullet ice.

The difference between clear ice and bullet ice

The difference can easily be seen when you add clear ice to a carbonated beverage. Clear ice doesn’t fizz and foam like cloudy ice.

You can read my complete review of the NewAir Clearice40 here.


Ice Production40 lbs of clear ice each day
Weight23 lbs
Ice Cycle Time7 Minutes
Type of IceClear, Cubed
PurchaseNewAir.com / Amazon.com

NewAir recently sent me the Clearice40 to test out and see how it performs compared to all the other clear ice makers on the market.

The Clearice40 review

The NewAir Clearice40 offers a great ice maker at a fair price. I choose this ice maker as my top ice maker for clear ice based on value.

It produces 40 pounds of crystal clear restaurant quality ice, it’s compact and works great as an ice maker for a camper, RV or boat. It produces ice every 7 minutes, which means you’re only minutes away from a glass full of ice.

The Clearice40 doesn’t produce ice the way regular portable ice makers do (the ones that make bullet-shaped ice); instead, this portable ice maker uses standard commercial ice maker technology.

The clearice40 uses standard commercial ice maker technology

This ice maker is easy to operate, and gives you alert indicators when the water is low or the ice bucket is full. It has a single button on the front of the unit which is used to turn the ice maker on or off. Operating the Clearice40 wasn’t difficult and it didn’t take me long to have it all set up and begin to make ice.

What I Liked
  • Produces 40 pounds of clear ice each day
  • Stainless steel design
  • Easy to setup and operate
  • Small and compact
  • Produces ice every 7 mins
What I Didn’t Like
  • No viewing window
  • Ice sticks together in one sheet

There are a few things that I didn’t like about the NewAir Clearice40. I didn’t like that the ice always stuck together in one large sheet when falling into the storage bin. I would often take the ice scoop and break it up into the small cubes.

It doesn’t have a view window on the lid of the unit, so you’ll have to lift up the lid to see if there is any ice available.

No viewing window on the clearice40

The design of this unit is sharp and clean. It’s wrapped in high-quality stainless steel, so the unit itself looks great.

To add water into the unit, you have a small opening on the very top of the ice maker. Use a pitcher of water and fill the Clearice40 to the full line, then hit the power button to begin making ice.

Adding water to the clearice40

The only complaint that I have with this portable ice maker is that the ice is large sheets in the storage bin.

The ice in the clearice40 is in one large sheet

It’s the same as a commercial ice maker that produces clear ice cubes, you have to take the ice scoop and break it up.

Enjoy brilliantly clear ice from a trusted manufacturer. The NewAir Clearice40 is a perfect unit for clear ice lovers.

2

The NewAir AI-215R

My Top Pick for Producing Large Quantities of Ice
Bullet Shaped Ice

If you are looking for a portable ice maker that can produce a large amount of ice in one day, the NewAir AI-215R is a great choice.

For my full review of this ice maker, check out my article here.

So much ice!

This ice maker doesn’t just look good, it’s also built to produce enough ice for the entire family.

The NewAir Portable Ice Maker is a powerful unit that produces 50 lbs of bullet ice every 24 hours. This portable ice maker is perfect for large families or for hosting social events and parties. It’s going to produce enough ice for everyone.

What I Liked
  • Design – Stainless steel or bright red
  • Easy Operation
  • Super large capacity
  • Commercial use
What I Didn’t Like
  • Heavy

The NewAir AI-215 is also large enough to handle small commercial demands. If you have a small coffee shop or restaurant, then this ice maker will do the job.

This portable ice maker produces 12 bullet-shaped pieces of ice in 7-13 minutes.


Ice Production50 lbs a day
Weight36 lbs
Ice Cycle Time7-13 Minutes
Storage Capacity1.5 lbs
Type of IceBulled-Shaped Ice
PurchaseNewAir.com / Amazon.com

This unit has an automatic shut-off feature that turns off the unit when the ice basket is full of ice or the water level is low. This protects your unit from being damaged over time and helps you to always have ice available for your guests.

There is also an 18-hour timer that can be useful for setting your ice cycle according to your schedule. The removable basket makes it easy to clean, and with the easy controls you’ll be making ice in minutes.

I absolutely loved the red design, which looked great on my countertop. The digital controls on the front of the ice maker were easy to use, and setting it up to make ice was simple.

The NewAir AI-215 Ice Maker is one of the largest ice producers in the portable ice maker lineup. It’s why this ice maker is our top pick in the large capacity category.

Most portable ice makers produce 30-40 lbs of ice each day, but this unit goes above the normal ice production with 50 lbs of ice.

The reason why we choose this ice maker as our top unit for producing a large amount of ice is based on the amount of ice it produces compared to the price. This ice maker is a great value with great features.

3

The Frigidaire EFIC115

My Second Pick for Producing Large Quantities of Ice
Bullet Shaped Ice

The Frigidaire EFIC115 is the portable ice maker that I have personally been using for the last two years. My ice maker doesn’t say Frigidaire on the front (It says Igloo), but it’s the same model.

I have actually seen the EFIC115 have 3 different brand names – Curtis, Frigidaire and Igloo.

I love this portable ice maker, and that is why it’s on this list. I have been using this ice maker for almost every day for the last two years and it’s still going strong.

Ice Production48 lbs of bullet ice each day
Weight40 lbs
Ice Cycle Time6 Minutes
Type of IceBullet ice
PurchaseAmazon.com

Right away, you’ll notice that this ice maker is heavy. It’s a total of 40 pounds in weight – it’s too heavy to be carrying around that for sure (even though it has nice handles on the side to help you). Last year, we decided to take the Frigidaire EFIC115 camping in our tent trailer.

The EFIC115 SS is built with high-quality stainless steel

It worked well. We placed it on a table inside the trailer and poured the ice, once full, into our cooler.

Below is a video I created on Camping with an ice maker, and it features the EFIC115 as the ice maker of choice.

What makes this ice maker so great is that produces 48 pounds of bullet-shaped ice every day. For the record, that’s a lot of ice. It’s easily enough ice for our family five.

The EFIC115 Produces 12 pieces of ice each cycle

This ice maker also has a nice stainless steel design. All of the controls are right on the front, so it’s super easy to operate.

What I Liked
  • Produces 48 pounds of bullet ice each day
  • Stainless steel design
  • Large viewing window
  • Easy to clean
What I Didn’t Like
  • Large and heavy

Just add the water into the reservoir, select your ice size (small, medium, and large), and you’re ready for ice. In about 7-10 minutes you’ll start hearing ice fall into the storage bin.

Handles make moving the EFIC115 easier

The stainless steel design is clean and elegant. Overall, this is a solid ice maker.

4

The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker

My Top Pick for Producing Nugget Ice

The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker is a small, compact countertop ice maker that produces sonic or nugget ice for a fraction of the cost of commercial nugget ice maker.

This ice maker produces 40 pounds of nugget ice every day, and it will make the first batch of ice in 5-8 minutes.

This ice maker has the accolade of the fastest and largest producer of nugget ice among portable ice makers.

The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker produces a lot of nugget ice

The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker has a stainless steel exterior, melt-resistant and insulated interior, one button operation and is made with BPA-free materials. Like most portable ice makers, you fill the water reservoir with water and then turn on the ice cycle. For this particular ice maker, you press the button on the front of the unit and it will begin to flash blue – it’s nugget ice time!

I absolutely loved that this ice maker continuously spitted out nugget ice all day, unless it ran out of water or filled up with ice. This is probably the only thing (maybe a couple of other things) that I didn’t like about this unit, it pauses when it runs out of water or fills up with ice, and you have to start the ice cycle again.

The NewAir Nugget ice Maker is a stylish ice maker

You could come to the bin for ice and it will be empty. This feature is great if you forget the unit on while on vacation, but it’s a terrible feature for every day use.

What I Liked
  • Great design and well constructed
  • Fast and produces 40 pounds of nugget ice each day
  • Simple setup and operation
What I Didn’t Like
  • Didn’t continuous run the ice cycle
  • Heavy
  • Loud

The NewAir Nugget ice maker is a little noisy when it’s making ice. It’s the same with all portable nugget ice makers, but I had to mention it to be completely upfront. When the ice maker begins to make ice the fan and compressor are noticeable, to say the least.

Also, this portable ice maker is heavy. Personally, I found it difficult to carry it around from place to place as it weighs 34 pounds. Find it a home and let it do its thing.


Ice Production40 pounds a day
Weight34 lbs
Ice Cycle Time5 Minutes
Storage Capacity4.8 lbs
Type of IceNugget Ice
PurchaseNewAir.com | Amazon.com

The water tank holds 2 litres of water, and the ice storage container will store 4.8 pounds of ice at one time.

If you’re looking for a nugget ice maker than you probably already know the great features of nugget ice, and why it’s called the good ice. Nugget ice is easy to chew, absorbs the flavor of your beverage and cools your beverage almost instantly.

The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker is a great way to get that wonderful ice without breaking the bank.

I personally loved this ice maker for my everyday ice cravings, and this is why it’s #1 for nugget ice.

5

Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

My Second Pick for Producing Nugget Ice

The Opal Countertop Nugget ice maker is a premium ice maker that produces wonderful, delicious nugget ice. This small, compact machine will produce nugget ice in less than 20 mins and will make 24 pounds of ice each day.

This unit has a lot of positives with its design and function, but there is one thing that I am not a fan of with this machine – it’s heavy. I found it difficult to lift out of the box, and put it on my countertop – it’s 44 pounds!!

Opal claims that you can take this unit with you camping or use at a tailgate party, but because it’s so heavy, I do not think you’d want to carry it anywhere far.

Opal Nugget Ice Maker

With bluetooth technology, you can download Opal’s mobile app and create a schedule when you’d like the unit to begin making ice. This is good for meals or events, just set up the schedule and there will be ice available to you when the event comes around.


Ice Production24 lbs a day
Weight44 lbs
Ice Cycle Time20 Minutes
Storage Capacity3 lbs
Type of IceNugget Ice
Best PriceAmazon.com

This ice maker looks really stylish. It’s stainless steel design and backlit ice bucket sets it apart from all the other portable ice makers (even the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker). When this unit was sitting on my countertop, it didn’t look like all the other cookie-cutter ice maker designs. It was set apart, and had a premium look to it.

What I Liked
  • Stylish design
  • Bluetooth
  • Stainless Steel
  • Easy to operate and setup
What I Didn’t Like
  • Heavy
  • Small quantity of ice

There was a time, when producing nugget ice would cost you thousands of dollars to purchase and install a commercial unit. Now with the Opal Nugget Ice Maker (or Newair Nugget Ice Maker), you can enjoy refreshing nugget ice at home.

I absolutely love this ice maker.

It’s stylish, makes great ice and is easy to operate. The unit isn’t cheap though. It’s the same price as all of the nugget ice makers on the market today – about $550.

Yet, if you are convinced that a nugget ice maker is what you’d like and style is important to you, then the Opal Nugget Ice Maker is a great choice.

6

The Ikich Portable Ice Maker

My Top Pick for Compact and Light

The reason I added the Ikich portable ice maker to our list, is because it’s one of the smallest, compact units I’ve tested. It’s not going to win awards for being the most stylish or best quality ice maker, but it’s going to do exactly what it’s designed to do – make bullet ice. In fact, this ice maker will produce 26 pounds of bullet-shaped ice each day.

The Ikich Portable Ice Maker is made from plastic. It has a stainless steel persona, but it’s far from the quality of stainless steel.

Ice Production26 lbs a day
Weight17 lbs
Ice Cycle Time6-8 Minutes
Storage Capacity1.5 lbs
Type of IceBullet Ice
Best PriceAmazon.com

Don’t get me wrong, this ice maker wasn’t made as a high-quality unit, it’s made to produce ice and be easy to carry around – which for all of those things, we give it an A. The greatest feature of this unit is its price (more about that in just a moment).

Ikich Portable Ice Maker Storage Bin

Right out of the box, I was impressed at how easy it was to move around. I also found that setting up the ice maker, and starting the ice cycle was pretty simple. I added the water into the reservoir, turned on the unit by hitting the ON/OFF button, and then selected my ice size (small or large), that was all.

What I Liked
  • Small and compact
  • Very light (17 pounds)
  • Produces 26 pounds of bullet ice each day
  • Affordable
  • Great for camping, RV or your boat
Negatives
  • Cheaper design
  • Drain plug on the bottom

The first batch of bullet ice was pretty small and useless, but as the ice cycle continued, I started to get a good amount of ice.

Ikich Portable Ice Maker full of bullet ice

After using the ice maker for about two weeks, I really liked how simple it was to produce ice. When the ice bucket was full or the unit ran out of water, the indicator light came on. Other than that, the ice maker just kept making bullet ice.

I found that after one hour, I had enough ice for myself and friends.

If you are looking for a really light ice maker, that’s compact and easy to store, then I recommend you purchase the IKICH Portable Ice Maker.

7

The KBice Self-Dispensing Nugget Ice Maker

My Top Pick for Dispensing Ice

An ice dispenser is a great addition to your ice maker. The ability to dispense the ice into your glass without actually touching the ice, is both sanitary and convenient.

The KBice is a great self-dispensing nugget ice maker at a fraction of the cost of commercial sized self-dispensing nugget ice makers (which can cost anywhere from 3-8k). It’s easy to operate, and fits nicely on your countertop.

Plastic covers the entire unit. From the grey plastic on the front of the unit (that is suppose to look like stainless steel), to the thin plastic side panels, this ice maker isn’t make from premium parts on the external level. The internals of this ice maker is a completely different story.

Inside this Ice Maker You’ll Find An investment Cast 304 Auger

It’s produced with stainless steel machined gears and is engineered with both precision and performance.

Ice Production24 lbs a day
Weight40 lbs
Ice Cycle Time15 Minutes
Storage Capacity1 lbs
Type of IceNugget Ice/ Self-Dispensed
PurchaseKBgoodice.com | Amazon.com

The ice maker produces around 24 pounds of nugget ice each day, and will hold one pound of the ice in its storage bin. The water reservoir will hold 100 fl oz, and I found the method of filling the unit with water, genius.

Filling the KBgoodice with water

You add a small funnel (included with the ice maker), inside a small door on the front of the unit. You pour the water into that funnel until the water reaches the full line (the unit will beep three times when its full). This means you do not need to open a lid to add water; this ice maker will fit perfectly under your cabinets.

Setting up the KBgoodice isn’t hard at all. On the front of the ice maker you’ll notice three buttons and several light indicators. There is a clean function that can be enabled by holding down the CLEAN button for three seconds. There is a MAKE NUGGETS button which allows you to start the process of making nugget ice, and there is the DISPENSE NUGGETS which is the button you hit when you want to fill your glass with nugget ice.

KBice Self-Dispensing Ice Maker Review

The four light indicators are: cleaning (flashes blue when the unit is running the cleaning cycle), water level (will be red when the ice maker needs more water), power (solid green when there is power going to the unit), and making ice (flashes blue when the ice maker is currently running the ice cycle).

What I Liked
  • Self-dispensing
  • Elegant design
  • Produces high-quality nugget ice
  • Easy to operate
  • Self-Cleaning
Negatives
  • No stainless steel

I found the KBgoodice self-dispensing ice maker to be a great ice maker. I found that the convenience of a dispenser to be a bonus, and the quality of nugget ice to be great.

I recommend this product.

8

Costway Portable Ice Maker

My Top Pick for a Budget Portable Ice Maker
Bullet-Shaped Ice on the CostWay Ice Maker

If you are looking for a portable ice maker for around $100, then the Costway Portable Ice Maker is the best choice for you.

This ice maker doesn’t have any bells or whistles, but it’s a solid unit that produces 26 pounds of bullet ice each day. It produces ice in about 6-8 minutes (the first batch of ice was closer to 8 minutes).

This ice maker comes in a simple black design with the COSTWAY logo printed on the front of the unit. It’s made from plastic that wraps around the entire ice maker, and a simple LED control panel on the top.

What I Liked
  • Affordable
  • Small and Compact
  • 26 Pound of ice/daily
  • Viewing Window
  • Quiet
  • 2.2L water reservoir
Negatives
  • Cheap materials

It was very easy to set this ice maker up and start making ice. I filled the water reservoir to the fill line, powered up the unit and then selected the ice size (small or large). That was all, in about 1 hour, I had a basket filled with bullet ice.

Ice Production26 lbs a day
Weight17.5 lbs
Ice Cycle Time6-8 Minutes
Storage Capacity2.5 lbs
Type of IceBullet Ice
Best PriceAmazon.com

I found this ice maker easy to clean and maintain. The only thing I had to do was fill it with water and empty the ice bin. Other than that, the ice maker produced a fair amount of ice.

For this ice maker, it is all comes down to it’s price.

If you are looking for an ice maker to bring with you camping or maybe a second portable ice maker for you home, and you don’t want to break the bank – then this is your best choice.


REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD PURCHASE A PORTABLE ICE MAKER

When it comes to portable or countertop ice makers, there are several benefits that make purchasing one an excellent choice.

Easy to Install

If you can count to ten, then that’s how long it would probably take you to take a portable ice maker out of the box and have it making ice.

Portable ice makers don’t need drain or water lines, and you don’t need anyone to come and install the unit.

Make tons of ice with a portable ice maker

If you’re a fan of recycling and hate wasting anything, then you’re going to love the water conservation system built-in countertop ice makers. Instead of the ice cubes melting and draining away, the ice melts and returns into the water reservoir, which is used for making more ice.

All you have to do is plug in your unit, add some water, and you’re ready to make ice. This means that you can put your portable ice maker anywhere there is a power outlet.

Portable Ice Makers Produce Ice Quickly

No waiting for freeze trays, you can have ice in as little as 6-15 minutes.

Highly Portable

The great thing about countertop ice makers is that they are truly portable. You can take them on the go with you, and use them anywhere there is water and a power outlet.

Small Investment

Portable ice makers are a fraction of the cost then under-the-counter or commercial units. As mentioned, they don’t need to be installed and cost very little to operate. For as low as $150, you can purchase a reliable ice machine, and start enjoying ice whenever you want it.

Easy to Operate

Portable ice makers are easy to operate.

Though not recommended, even a child could make ice using a portable ice maker.

All you have to do is plug the unit in and pour in some fresh, clean water, and you’re all set. Turn the power button on, select your ice size, and you’re off the races.

You’re going to have ice in minutes!

Customizable

One of the best features for portable ice makers is that you can choose which style or design you want.

There are so many types, brands and colors of portable ice makers that it’s easy to find one that will fit into the style and design of your home bar or kitchen.

Also, portable ice makers allow you to not only produce excellent ice, but also choose which type of ice you would like.

Low-Maintenance

Countertop ice makers are very low maintenance, which makes them attractive to a lot of people.

They are easy to clean, and most portable ice makers come with a drain so you can remove the water out of the reservoir for transportation.

The cost of maintenance for a countertop ice maker is small.

High-Quality Ice

Portable ice makers produce high-quality ice. With portable ice makers you can have bullet, clear or nugget ice.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING A PORTABLE ICE MAKER

Portable ice makers are great and produce high-quality ice, but there are some critical factors that you should consider before you buy your next unit.

Quantity of Ice

Before you purchase a portable ice maker, take some time and think about how much ice you would use each day.

Portable Ice makers usually produce 20-28 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period, but some ice makers will create as much as 50 pounds of ice per 24 hours (Like the NewAir AI-215R). When choosing your ice maker, it’s probably a good idea to always think bigger.

It’s a lot better to have too much ice than not having enough.

Type of Ice

The traditional portable ice maker creates bullet-shaped ice in three different sizes: small, medium and large. Some people are looking for a particular type of ice like sonic or nugget ice. For this type of ice, you’ll need to purchase a specialty unit like the Opal Nugget Ice maker or NewAir Nugget Ice Maker.

These units produce awesome nugget ice that’s is chewable and absorbs the flavor of your drink.

Before you purchase your ice maker, ask yourself what kind of ice are you looking to produce.

Price

The price of a portable ice maker varies by size, features, and brand.
Typically, portable ice makers begin at about $150 and can cost upwards of $500 for larger, more select units.

When determining which portable ice maker to purchase, you need to define your budget.

It’s an excellent rule to buy the portable ice maker that you can afford, but don’t think cheap. I recommend that you get the best portable to make without extending your budget.

Size and Weight

Every portable ice maker is unique. Some are small, and light and others are heavy and bulky.

This is often overlooked by a lot of people when they go to purchase a portable ice maker, but the size and weight are significant.

When you purchase your portable ice maker, the dimensions and specs will be listed on the manufacturer’s website. If you are looking to put your portable ice maker in a small place, or plan to transport it – it’s vital to get as light and as compact as possible.

Production and Storage

Another factor is how much ice the ice maker will produce in 24 hours, and the capacity of the storage bin and water reservoir.

cup of ice that looks so refreshing

Why is this important? This determines how often you’re going to be filling up the water reservoir or emptying the ice bin.

The amount of ice that your ice maker produces is the amount of ice you’ll have available to use in one day. Most portable units will produce 26 pounds of ice in one day, but there are some that will produce up 48-50 pounds.

The type of ice your ice maker produces is also another factor in how much ice it produces in one day. Normally, nugget ice makers produce a smaller amount of ice.

PORTABLE ICE MAKER FEATURES

Before you purchase a portable ice maker, consider these features.

Some features are pretty standard with most units, and some are more unique.

Intelligent Water Use

This is that recycling system that I mentioned above. When you don’t use the ice in your ice maker, it will melt back into the water reservoir. This water will be used to produce ice all over again.

The intelligent water feature is an excellent way of making sure you always have ice available to you. It’s frustrating when you grab that warm beverage, pour it into a glass, and discover that you don’t have any ice – terrible!

The intelligent water system keeps rotating the water, making sure that there is ice ready for you when you need it.

I mention this, because some ice makers don’t do this overly well. The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker will pause when it runs out of water or is full of ice and requires you to begin the ice cycle again. I find that this is an oversight by NewAir because you can go for ice, only to find it empty.

Also, this feature means you don’t need water or drain lines install. Everything is contained inside the ice maker.

Time to Produce Ice

The ice cycle is the time needed for the ice maker to make ice. Many ice makers only need 6 minutes, but some ice makers could take as much as 20 minutes (The Opal Nugget Ice Maker). That’s why it’s important to check the cycle time before you purchase an ice maker – the shorter the time, the better.

Color and Design

Because countertop ice makers are obviously on your countertop – they are always on display.

You want to make sure that the color and design of the ice maker is not an eye-sore. I know that the aesthetic appeal of anything is subjective, so you will have to choose an ice machine that pleases your creative touch or matches your kitchen.

Insulated Ice Bucket

Portable ice makers are not freezers; therefore, they rely on an insulated frame to keep cold.

Looking for an ice maker with a freezer? Check out my article here.

Auto Shut-off

When your ice maker runs out of water or fills with ice, you want it to auto-shut off.

This feature is on most portable ice makers today. The auto-shut off makes it better for maintenance – because you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off and damaging your unit.

Self-Cleaning

This feature is very convenient, and you’ll be glad that you have it.

Ice makers get surprisingly dirty over time; the self-cleaning feature makes keeping it clean a whole lot easier. The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker, the Opal Nugget Ice Maker and the KBgoodice Ice Maker all have self-cleaning capabilities.

Less expensive units will not have a self-cleaning feature, so it’s up to you to keep it clean.

Cleaning your ice maker doesn’t have to be difficult. You want to make sure that you clean it at least once a month, so that mold doesn’t form, and that your unit works great.

Conclusion

Choosing a portable ice maker shouldn’t be that difficult.

Consider why you need one and choose the best fit from the list above.

We tested all the ice makers listed in this article, and know that one of these units will work well for you.

If you have any questions about which ice maker will work for you, please leave your comments and questions below.

Ice Maker Geeks are ice enthusiasts that review ice-making appliances, research ice-related topics, and do their best to help you make an informed decision before you make a purchase. Over the years of running this website, they have learned a lot and are excited to share that knowledge with you. The article you just read is just a small sample of the work that they have been doing over the last several years.

2 Comments
  1. I’m looking for a portable ice maker that makes clear ice cubes, doesn’t make a ton of noise when working and, if possible, is all stainless steel. I don’t need to buy the top end or low end price-wise, just a sleek looking quite running portable ice maker that makes clear ice cubes.

    Thanks,

    Nancy

    • The best portable ice maker for producing clear ice is the Luma Comfort IM200SS. This unit is great, and makes 28 lbs of restaurant-quality clear ice each day. I have been using this unit for some time, and love it to pieces. If you want to learn more about this portable ice maker, click here and head over to my review.

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