Have you ever needed chilled drinks or ice in the summer but forgot to put the tray in the freezer? In the scorching heat, it is very important to have ice all the time but it is very common to forget to keep your ice trays filled because there is so much more to do. Also, if you have guests coming for a party, how can you possible accommodate putting that many trays in the freezer? The solution to all this is simple, get the best ice maker.

We will help you go through the process of buying the best machine while removing any confusion that can cross your mind.

Let’s start with quick highlights in the comparison table!

Best Ice Makers Buying Guide

How small is the portable machine?

Portable ice makers as not very small, they just fit enough to be on the countertop. They are portable because they do not need a water line to get the machine started. They have a small water reservoir in which they can add their water and then produce ice. The limit of the water depends on the machine entirely.

How should I clean the ice maker?

Just like any good machine, you will have to wash your ice maker often even if you are only using water in it. They are not very hard to clean; they may take a few extra minutes of your time though. You need to ensure that you use the designated ice maker cleaner and put it in where the water in the machine. Start the machine and let it make ice as normal.

Do not use that ice ever! Throw it away. Then start another batch with regular water and throw that batch again. Your machine is now clean and ready to use.

Can I use my machine outdoors?

Even the portable machines require a plug system. However, if you have that outdoors, you can certainly use it without any problem. Keep in mind that the machine may malfunction if the temperature is too high and it may not be able to store ice as long as before.

Hence, it is ideal to not take a risk and use your machine outdoors when it is too hot as it can permanently destroy the compressor.

Why do I need a filter with my machine?

Your machine can run without a filter but the ones that have a filter are much more durable than others. The mineral deposits or other contaminants can easily be avoided in the ice and they can make the ice cleaner and better tasting. The machine will also require less cleanup in the process, making your machine last longer than regular machines.

The clean ice also tends to melt about 5 times slower than the cloudy ice which has contaminations making it much easier to melt. These are the reasons why professionals highly suggest having a water filter on your machine.

What is the difference between the production and the storage capacity?

The production capacity of the machine is the amount of ice that the machine is able to produce through the span of 24 hours or one whole day. The storage capacity is in case your ice maker comes with a bin, the amount of ice the bin can store falls under the storage capacity.

Top 5 Best Ice Makers(Compare and Reviews)

Short Reviews Ice per day Time for one cycle Water filter Price
New Air 50 lbs. 13 minutes No  $
KitchenAid 51 lbs. N/A Yes  $$$
Luma Comfort 28 lbs. 15 minutes Yes
Igloo 26 lbs. 10 minutes No  $
Nostalgia Retro Series 26 lbs. 15 minutes No  $

New Air Freestanding – Best overall rating

50 lb. Portable Ice Maker in Red

 

 The New Air freestanding is a large and stylish machine that can produce 50 lbs. of ice in one day without any complicated installations. The quick cycle ensures that you get ice fast.

  • Features

The bright and vibrant color makes a statement at any event. The machine requires no installations and you can put it anywhere so that the powerful compressor starts making up to 50 lbs. of ice every day.

The quick cycle time does not take many hours to make ice, that way you can get ice every time you need it. You can make up to 12 pieces in 13 minutes which makes it faster than many others on the market. You do not have to guess the level of the water in this ice maker, with the water indicator you can simply find out when there needs to be water in the machine.

The timer is an 18-hour system which you can set according to your convenience. The size is compact and easy to carry anywhere.

  • The choice between 3 cube sizes
  • Has an LCD display for easy programming
  • Water level indicator allows you to find out when water needs to be added
  • Makes up to 50 lbs. in a day with a timer that you can set at your own convenience
  • Get up to 12 cubes in one 13 minute cycle which makes it fast
  • Need to shift the ice to a different container
  • No water filter
  • Why do we recommend this?

The Freestanding is a simple and a very stylish design that makes ice quickly and at any time. You do not have to go through any complicated procedures to get the machine started. In fact you, you can set the time delay and watch it work its magic.

KitchenAid – Best High-end Choice

18 in. 51 lbs. Built-In or Freestanding Ice Maker in Stainless Steel

 

The KitchenAid is a freestanding and built-in icemaker of stainless steel. The machine produces up to 51 lbs. of ice with a filter lining to ensure that it is clean and pure.

  • Features

The KitchenAid built-in and the freestanding is a stainless steel machine built to last and remain in style. The machine can produce up to 51 lbs. of ice in one day and it has the ability to store up to 35 lbs. of ice.

There is a max supply option that increases the production speed by 56% which is more than the regular speed. There is a clean cycle option which makes the water in the system filtered from potential mineral deposits and cleaner ice is then produced. The water filter can be replaced when the indicator lights up.

The controls and the programming settings are hidden in the machine yet they remain convenient. Once the machine is not in use, it can automatically be shut off to help save energy. With 3 years of warranty, the company makes this product highly satisfactory to the customers.

  • The clean cycle option filters the water and cleans it of mineral deposits and contamination
  • Can make up to 51 lbs. of ice in a day
  • The machine can store up to 35 lbs. of cubes in itself
  • Speed option to produce ice up to 56% faster
  • No water level indicator to see when to fill water
  • Programming has no timer and is complicated
  • Why do we recommend this?

The KitchenAid is a high powered machine which has the ability to produce ice faster than any other machine. Unlike many other machines, you can store cubes in this for later use.  These features make it one of the most popular machines of its kind.

Luma Comfort Portable – Best Seller

28 lb. Portable Freestanding Clear Ice Maker in Stainless Steel

 

The Luma Comfort is a compact and portable design whit hatch makes up to 28 lbs. of ice. There are no complicated installations needed for this machine, simply plug and start the device.

  • Features

The Luma Comfort has many features that make it one of the best selling products in this category. All the features keep the machine portable. The machine does not need any complicated installations; you can simply plug it in and program it to get up to 28 lbs. of ice per day.

The technology used on this product allows clear ice to be made in a short time without any hassle. The machine indicates to you when there is low water in the reservoir or when there is enough ice.

The LED display and easy controls allow you to simply program the machine as you want and see it make ice in about 15 minutes. The clear ice even has the ability to melt 5 times slower than regular cloudy ice. The small design is perfect to be set on any countertop without any problems.

  • The small and compact design can be fit anywhere and run without complications
  • Produces clear ice which tends to melt 5 times slower
  • Check the indicator for low water or full ice levels
  • Ice is ready in as little as 15 minutes
  • No warranty
  • Does not allow you to store cubes which means that you have to shift containers
  • Why do we recommend this?

The stylish and portable design of the Luma makes it a great product. The machine quickly makes clear ice without any complications in the programming. These features make it one of the best sellers.

Igloo Freestanding – Best for the money

26 lb. Freestanding Ice Maker in Stainless Steel

 

The Igloo Freestanding has the ability to make up to three different sizes of ice. You can store the cubes in this appliance and enjoy a compact ice maker for home or another location.

  • Features

The Igloo Freestanding is a small and simple design that is made to produce up to 26 lbs. of ice in one day. The bin can store up to 2.2 lbs. for storage and can easily make three different sizes of cubes.

The control panel is digital and it notifies the user when the ice bin is full or when there is water needed in the reservoir. The machine has a sleek design which requires no drainage system. The cooling system of this machine is through a compressor which adds efficiency to the system. The stainless steel exterior keeps the body durable and stylish wherever you keep it.

The easy programming system allows you to simply plug and use the device without any complications. The compact size makes it perfect for home or office use.

  • Choose between three different cube sizes
  • Does not require draining after every use
  • Store 2.2 lbs. of ice in the bin
  • Notifies when there are low water levels and full ice levels
  • The control panel is made digital with easy programming to help with convenience
  • Production is pretty slow
  • No time delay system
  • Why do we recommend this?

The small and compact style of this machine with cheap price make it best for the price. The indication and no drainage system is convenient for users.

Nostalgia Retro Series –  Most popular

Retro Series 26 lb. Portable Ice Maker in Red

 

The Nostalgia Retro make cubes in a portable designed machine. The stylish and vibrant color helps you enjoy the style along with the great features that it has to offer.

  • Features

The Retro series is a stylish and the portable design that has unbeatable features makes it one of the ice makers that have the best reviews. The appliance allows the user to make up to 26 lbs. of ice in 24 hours.

You can also choose from three different sizes of cubes from the digital and easy to operate programmer. One cycle is ready in about 15 minutes. You can store up to a gallon of water in this machine to make ice.

The viewing lid allows you to check when the ice is ready without having to open the appliance again and again. You can also check the indicator for when the ice is ready and when you need to top off the water again. The company provides a scoop to go with the appliance for an added bonus.

  • Each cycle is easily produced in 7 – 15 minutes without any complicated programming system.
  • There is an indicator to help check the water levels and to check when the box is full.
  • You have the option to choose between three different sizes of cubes.
  • The small, stylish, and portable design allows you to have 26 lbs. of ice in a span of 24 hours.
  • No timer delay option on this appliance
  • Very loud when running
  • Why do we recommend this?

The Nostalgia retro series is the most popular in the market. The machine has many features like being able to produce three different sizes of cubes which makes it highly recommended.

Main features to look for when buying the best ice maker

To get the best machine you will need to make sure it has a few features and make a few considerations. Our buying guide will help you through the process.

Modular machine

This style is also known as the ice maker head. It is especially used for commercial purpose as it is large in size and it can sit in ice bins. The machine can produce from 250 lbs. to up to 1000 lbs. of ice every day.

Under counter machines

These ones are also suitable for commercial purposes but for smaller events. They can fit under 40 inch high counters and can produce up to 350 lbs. every day. These ice makers have a built-in storage bin too.

Countertop machines

These ones are perfect for home usage. They are also found in healthcare and offices. Their bin is small but they can produce up to 400 lbs. of ice depending on the model that you choose.

Size of Ice

A machine has the ability to produce different types and different sizes of the cube. If you need this option then you can get the models that have the ability to produce different sizes and shapes of ice. Otherwise, this feature seems useless when using this for domestic purposes.

Time of Each Cycle

Each cycle produces ice at its own time. Once again, depending on the usage of the ice maker, you will have to determine the time it will take for the machine to produce one batch of ice. The standard time is usually set between 10 to 17 minutes.  However, some machines tend to produce faster than others.

Choose the Bin Options

Most machines do not have the options of having a bin in them. If you want to store your ice, which you ideally should want to do, then make sure your machine has the combination type. The bin does not necessarily have to hold as much ice as the machine produces.

Choose the One with a Filter

If you would like more clear ice which makes the beverages better tasting and melts more slowly than cloudy ice, then you need to make sure that your machine has a filter. Keep in mind to change the filter every few days or as suggested in the manual.

Conclusion

After reading this article you might have made up your mind about the best ice maker. Our product reviews are made to ensure that you have an idea of the best ice makers available on the market.

With our buying guide, you can make a checklist to see the features that you want in an ice making machine and go for the one that fits your budget. To help you through this process, we have answered the customer questions in as much detail as possible.