The 5 Best Portable Ice Makers of 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.

We’re here to help you make an informed decision on which countertop ice maker you should purchase. In this post we’re going to take a look at the best portable ice makers in 2020.

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.

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 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.

The difference with portable ice makers, then the 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, and you turn it on and let it run through the water cycle. There are no hoses, drain lines, or water lines – its 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 with you on vacation, you can.

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 holding tank at the top of your unit, where eight small refrigerated tubes are placed into the water. Ofter time, the ice begins to freeze around those tubes and form an ice piece that looks like a bullet or hat. 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 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.

THE TOP 5 COUNTERTOP ICE MAKERS

BEST PICK 1 Luma Comfort IM200SS Review

Luma Comfort IM200SS Review

It's no secret that we all enjoy ice-cold drinks, particularly during those hot days. Whether you are looking to ...

User rating:
8.6
$186.99 $309.99 Best Price
Learn More
2 NewAir AI-215R Review

NewAir AI-215R Review

If you are looking for a premium portable ice maker that has a large output of ice, then you need to keep reading this ...

User rating:
8.6
PREMIUM PICK 3 The Opal Portable Nugget Ice Maker Review

The Opal Portable Nugget Ice Maker Review

I have some pretty exciting news for ice chewers! Now you can enjoy nugget or sonic ice at your home without buying ...

User rating:
8.5
4 hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Review

hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Review

Portable ice makers are beneficial to our life. There are lots of reasons why people would purchase a portable ice ...

User rating:
8.2
$119.99 $149.99 Best Price
Learn More
VALUE PICK 5 Frigidaire EFIC103 Portable Ice Maker Review

Frigidaire EFIC103 Portable Ice Maker Review

When it comes to ice makers, it's hard to find that perfect one. Each ice maker has it's own unique features and ...

User rating:
7.9

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

Each portable ice maker that we 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 about the top portable ice makers will be answered below to help you choose the right unit for the job.


Luma Comfort IM200SS Review

Luma Comfort IM200SS Review

The Luma Comfort IM200SS is a great portable ice maker if you are looking to produce clear ice.

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Luma Comfort Portable Clear Ice Maker 28 lb Daily, Perfect Countertop Icemaker...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: April 3, 2020 5:45 pm
$186.99 $309.99

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

Clear ice will melt 5-times slower than regular portable ice maker ice. When a portable ice maker creates bullet-shaped ice, it’s filled with small pockets of air. This is why bullet-shaped ice appears to be cloudy. These small pockets of air cause the ice to melt faster than clearer ice, especially when added to a glass of lukewarm beverage.

How much ice does it produce? 28 lbs a day
How small or compact is the unit?Weighs 25 lbs
How long does it take to make ice?15 Minutes
How much ice does it hold at one time?4.5 lbs
What type of ice does it create?Clear, Cubed
Where can this be purchased?Amazon.com / Amazon.ca

With clear ice, there are no air bubbles in your ice. This makes the ice last longer and, at the end of the day, look pretty cool in your glass. I wrote an article about ways you can make clear ice at home.

The Luma Comfort IM200SS offers you a great ice maker at a fair price.

It produces 28 pounds of crystal clear restaurant quality ice, it’s compact and would work great in a RV or boat. This ice maker produces ice every 15 minutes.

The Luma Comfort ice maker doesn’t manufacture ice the way regular portable ice makers do, instead, it 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.

Enjoy brilliantly clear ice from a trusted manufacturer. The Luma Comfort IM200SS is a perfect unit for clear ice lovers.


NewAir AI-215R Portable Ice Maker Review

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

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NewAir AI-215R Ice Maker, Red

& Free shipping
Last update was on: April 3, 2020 5:45 pm
$215.58

The NewAir Portable Ice Maker is a powerful unit that produces 50 lbs of ice every 24 hours. This portable ice maker is perfect for large families or for hosting social events and parties.

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

How much ice does it produce? 50 lbs a day
How small or compact is the unit?Weighs 36 lbs
How long does it take to make ice?7-13 Minutes
How much ice does it hold at one time?1.5 lbs
What type of ice does it create?Bulled-Shaped Ice
Where can this be purchased?Amazon.com / Amazon.ca

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 the compact design means that it can fit anywhere in your home.

This portable ice maker requires a 115V outlet for safe operation. It’s also compact enough that it can be easily transported.

The NewAir ice maker is one of the largest ice producers in the portable ice maker lineup.

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.


Opal Nugget Ice Maker​ Review

The Opal 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 lbs of ice each day.

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GE Profile Opal | Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

& Free shipping
Last update was on: April 3, 2020 5:45 pm
$548.96

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.

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.

How much ice does it produce? 24 lbs a day
How small or compact is the unit?Weighs 44 lbs
How long does it take to make ice?20 Minutes
How much ice does it hold at one time?3 lbs
What type of ice does it create?Nugget Ice
Where can this be purchased?Amazon.com

With bluetooth technology, you are able to create a schedule when you want to make ice using your mobile phone.

The storage bucket will hold 3 lbs of ice at one time, and the backlit ice bucket is a nice touch.

This ice maker looks really stylish. It’s stainless steel design and the backlit ice bucket sets it apart from all the other portable ice makers.

Remember, that this ice maker is one of the only portable units that produce nugget 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, 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 probably one of the most expensive ice makers on the market costing you about $500.


The hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Review

HomeLabs Ice Maker Review

If you are looking for an ice maker for your RV, an upcoming camping trip or want an ice maker that’s easy to transport, then this unit has your name on it.

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hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop - Makes 26 lbs of...

Last update was on: April 3, 2020 5:45 pm
$335.98

This small, compact portable ice maker is used for a variety of different tasks. There are a lot of people that will use this ice maker for their RV, camping trip or a tailgate party. It’s not only used for those tasks though. People use this small portable ice maker for their home bar, family gatherings or everyday use.

I have also seen people use this compact unit for their office, or their church. With 26 lbs of ice production each day, this ice maker is perfect for whatever you throw at it.

How much ice does it produce? 26 lbs a day
How small or compact is the unit?Weighs 19 lbs
How long does it take to make ice?8-12 Minutes
How much ice does it hold at one time?1.5 lbs
What type of ice does it create?Bullet-Shaped Ice
Where can this be purchased?Amazon.com / Amazon.ca

It produces ice in 8-12 minutes and can store one and a half pounds of ice at one time. This quiet operating ice maker features an auto shut off, simple operation and weights just 19 pounds.

You would describe this ice maker with one word – simple. There are no bells or whistles with this ice maker which makes it better in the long run.

It’s extremely simple to get ice from start to finish.


The Frigidaire EFIC103 Ice Maker Review

The Frigidaire EFIC10 is a good balanced portable ice maker. What I mean by balanced is that it has a good variety of features at an excellent price.

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Frigidaire EFIC103 Ice Maker Machine Heavy Duty, Large Stainless Steel

& Free shipping
Last update was on: April 3, 2020 5:45 pm
$119.97

It comes in three sizes: 26, 33 and 48 lbs of ice each day. I added Amazon links to direct you to the correct unit. Just click on the number to head over to Amazon and check out more specifications and price.

The more ice that you need, the more you’re going to pay for a Frigidaire ice maker. Yet, no matter which size you end up buying, it’s going to be a great ice maker for your home.

I have owned the 48 lbs ice maker for some time and love it!

We have that unit working all of the time. It downstairs in our laundry room and it’s pumping out ice 24/7.

Also note, that the larger capacity you decide to purchase will dictate how much the ice maker weighs. The Frigidaire EFIC115, which I own, weighs 40 lbs.

One of the best features of this ice maker is that it’s equipped with an oversized ice bucket (stores 2.2 pounds of ice at one time), you’ll never have to worry about not having the ice that you need.

How much ice does it produce? 26 lbs a day
How small or compact is the unit?Weighs 25 lbs
How long does it take to make ice?6 Minutes
How much ice does it hold at one time?2.2 lbs
What type of ice does it create?Bullet-Shaped Ice
Where can this be purchased?Amazon.com / Amazon.ca

I love the stainless steel design on this ice maker, and the simple operation is a great feature as well.

This is a great portable ice maker for a host of reasons. I recommend that you purchase the unit that produces a more ice. I know that it’s going to cost you more, but it’s better to have too much ice then not enough. You can check it out on Amazon by clicking here.


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 a portable ice maker 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.

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 maker machine and start enjoying the benefits of owning a portable ice maker.

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 size of ice you would like.

Low-Maintenance

Countertop ice makers are very low maintenance which makes them attractive to a lot of people. It’s easy to clean your unit, and most portable ice makers come with a side drain which makes it easy to drain the water out of the reservoir. The cost of maintenance for a countertop ice maker is inadequate.

High-Quality Ice

Another great feature with portable ice makers is that they produce high-quality ice. Most portable units produce ice that looks like small hats or bullets. This ice is soft and can be used for a variety of different purposes.

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 48 pounds of ice per 24 hours. 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.

Quality of Ice

Though most portable ice makers are going to give you high quality ice, I am more talking about the type and size of ice that you may need.

Most portable ice makers create bullet-sized 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.

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker creates awesome nugget or sonic style ice which 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 $100 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 not so much.

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 dimensions, and specs will be listed on the manufacturer’s website. If you are looking to put your portable ice maker in a specific place or want to carry it around a lot – it’s essential 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 how much the storage bin and water reservoir will hold at one time.

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 the unit produces is important because it’s the amount of ice you’ll have available to use in one day. Most portable units will produce 28lbs of ice in one day, but there are some that will produce up 48 lbs.

FEATURES THAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN YOU PURCHASE A PORTABLE ICE MAKER

When purchasing your new countertop ice maker, several features are available that you should know.

Most of these features are included with every portable ice maker, but I want you to be aware of them before you make your purchase.

Intelligent Water Use

This is that recycling feature 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.

This also means you don’t have to install a water line. You just have to fill your water reservoir and as the ice melts it returns to that reservoir again.

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. That’s why it’s important to check on 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. We 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.

Auto Shut-off

When your ice maker runs out of water you want it to auto-shut off. This feature is on most new 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.

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.

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.

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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