In case, you don’t have time to read the entire article, let me disclose that- GE Profile Opal is the best nugget ice maker and Frigidaire EFIC101 is the best compact and portable ice maker of 2021. I’ve personally tested various ice-making machines and checked thousands of customer’s feedback before writing this post.
Although every household refrigerator has a built-in ice zone but, believe me- it’s not enough. That’s why you too looking for the best ice maker.
If you have a home bar or you love organizing a party, your refrigerator can not produce that quantity. The ice maker machines are specifically designed to produce more ice cubes in very little time.
There are basically two types of ice makers- counter-top models that are light and portable and under-counter models that are a bit heavy and can be fitted alongside the wine cooler or any other appliances.
But, you may have a question in your mind- which ice maker is best for me, right?
It totally depends on your need. If you want a portable ice maker, you can go for counter-top models else under-counter models are always the best option. I’ve written another article on this topic.
Let’s have a look at some of the best ice makers of 2021…
Best Countertop Ice Makers 2021 – Top Picks
In my research, I found these are the best ice machines for home and commercial use-
- GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Machine – (Best Overall)
- Frigidaire EFIC101 Portable Ice Maker – (Best Portable)
- VEVOR 265LBS Undercounter Ice Maker
- Igloo ICEB26BK Portable Ice Machine
- Bossin Countertop Ice Maker
- Frigidaire EFIC103 Ice Machine
- hOmeLabs Bullet Shape Ice Maker
- Scotsman CU50GA Undercounter Ice Machine
- Euhomy Countertop Ice Maker
- Manitowoc UDF0140A Ice Maker – (Best For Commercial)
1. Top ice makers by uses
What are your uses? Are you looking for a home and residential use or do you want for commercial use? We have covered the top-rated ice machines for various purposes-
- Best ice maker for home bar
- Best ice maker for camping
- Best clear ice maker for home bar
- Best ice maker for commercial use
2. Best ice makers by price range
If you’re looking for the best ice maker for your budget then we have covered it by price range. Check the ice makers according to your budget-
- Top ice makers under $1000
- Top ice makers under $500
- Top ice makers under $200
- Top ice makers under $150
- Top ice makers under $100
3. Best ice makers by ice type
If you love some specific ice type, then here are a few ice makers category you’ll find helpful-
- Best nugget ice makers
- Best clear ice makers
- Best flake ice makers
- Best pellet ice makers
- Best shaved ice maker
4. Top ice makers by design
If you’re looking for an ice maker with an under-counter or countertop design, we’ve covered this for you-
- Best countertop nugget ice makers
- Best undercounter ice makers
- Best portable ice makers
- Best under counter nugget ice makers
- Best freestanding ice makers
5. Latest ice makers review
Read our unbiased ice makers reviews and decide if it’s suitable for you or not…
- GE Opal nugget ice maker review
- FirstBuild opal nugget ice maker review
- Frigidaire EFIC235 nugget ice maker review
- NewAir AI-100BK ice maker review
- Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 pearl ice maker review
- Hoshizaki F-801MAJ-C commercial ice maker review
Why Do You Need An Ice Maker?
If you’re someone who organizes pool parties frequently or if you frequently need ice for drinks then your refrigerator is not that economical. Also, you can not bring your refrigerator to the garden if you’re enjoying your drinks with family and friends.
In that case, a portable ice maker is highly economical. A portable ice maker is specially designed for the production of high-quality ice cubes in different shapes and sizes.
If your kitchen doesn’t have enough space then countertop ice makers are best suitable for you. It occupies less space and makes ice cubes faster. You can start the party after 8-10 minutes while the refrigerator takes 40-50 minutes for ice cubes.
These are some benefits of portable ice makers over refrigerators-
- It’s highly portable and occupies less space.
- The quality of ice is great in comparison to refrigerator ice.
- It can be used for outdoor parties and camping.
- It’s an economical option.
- It takes only 6-8 minutes for ice production.
- It gives you the choice to choose different sizes and shapes of ice.
- Portable ice makers are an excellent choice for commercial as well as home use.
- It can produce up to 300 pounds of ice daily.
There are a lot more benefits of portable ice makers. It gives you the true taste of ice in your drinks.
Best Ice Maker Buying Guide
Before buying an ice maker, you need to consider multiple things. We shall discuss at the different aspects one shall consider before buying an ice maker.
Countertop Ice Makers– If you’re looking for an ice maker for the home bar, kitchen, office, or juice parlor (if the requirement of ice is up to 25-30 pounds daily) then countertop ice makers are a great choice. It’s also suitable for pool pr garden parties, outdoor gatherings, RVs, and camping.
Undercounter Ice Makers– If there is a high requirement for ice such as restaurants, wine clubs, bars, etc. then under-counter ice makers are a better option. It has a high ice production capacity. It can deliver anywhere between 50 to 500 pounds of ice daily.
Freestanding Ice Makers– This type of ice maker is also made to fulfill the high demand for ice. If you want an ice maker for self-service places such as parties, restaurants, etc. freestanding ice makers are a better choice. Generally, space cleaning is very easy with this type of ice maker.
Before buying an ice maker, you should check its size and ice production capacity. If it’s suitable for the space you have, then go for it. If there’s a small space in your kitchen then you should consider a countertop design. You can place it on your kitchen or home bar counter.
3. Ice Type
There are majorly three types of ice- Nugget Ice, Bullet-shaped Ice, and Cube Shape Ice. You must know what type of ice do you need.
Nugget Ice– Nugget ice is the most loved ice in the world. It tastes amazing with drinks. There are millions of people who prefer nugget ice in their drinks. It gives the same taste which you get in a club. Nugget ice is also known as Sonic Ice, Pellet Ice, etc.
Bullet-shaped Ice– Pill-shaped ice or bullet-shaped ice is another favorite ice type for millions of people. It’s soft and chewable and best suitable for soft drinks, margaritas, iced tea, and blended beverages.
Ice Cubes– It’s a quite common ice type that is being served at various places. It melts slowly and keeps your drink cool for longer. The clear ice cubes (gourmet ice) are high-end liquors and upscale drinks.
We have published a detailed guide on ice makers guide. You can check that to learn more about different types of ice.
Best Ice Makers Reviews
1. GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Machine
I’m sure you’re fascinated by the beautiful ice cubes on the bar counter. It looks so attractive that, you already started feeling a hangover.
You might have thought that- how do wine bars produce those beautiful ice cubes?
Am I right…?
You too can make those beautiful ice cubes at home with the GE Profile Opal ice machine.
The GE Profile Opal is the best nugget ice maker. It’s popular for making sonic ice at a very faster rate. It would be your best friend at the pool party.
It’s a lightweight counter-top ice maker that will surely amaze your guests. This model is equipped with Bluetooth technology. Hence you can control and schedule everything from your smartphone.
It can produce one pound of soft and crunchy ice per hour and can be operated for 24 hours. It takes around 20 minutes to produce the first slot of ice.
It would be a wise option if you want to enjoy a club and bar experience at home.
- The design of this ice maker is beautiful.
- It can produce 1 pound of sonic ice per hour.
- It’s lightweight and portable.
- It comes with Bluetooth built-in.
- It can be operated for 24 hours.
- Expensive but worth.
2. Frigidaire EFIC101 Portable Ice Maker
Frigidaire is a trustworthy brand for kitchen appliances. I’m using an Induction Range by Frigidaire and am fully satisfied. That’s why I started exploring this ice maker because I trust Frigidaire.
This is the best portable ice machine that you can keep anywhere on your home-bar counter. You don’t need to run after the store with a bag of ice. Just bring this little ice machine to home.
The Frigidaire EFIC101 Countertop Ice Maker can produce 26 pounds of ice every day. That’s sufficient for a housewarming party. It has an LED control panel that allows choosing from 2 ice sizes.
- Highly portable design.
- Easy installation, just plug and play.
- It’s durable.
- Good customer support.
- It can produce 26 pounds ice per day.
- It makes noise when ice is emptied.
3. VEVOR 265LBS Undercounter Ice Maker
If you organize a pool party very frequently, the requirement for ice might be very high. This Vevor 265LBS Undercounter Ice Maker is the best commercial ice maker that fulfills high demand.
This ice machine is equipped with a 510W powerful compressor that produces 120kg of ice cubes every day. It can make 90 ice cubes in just 8 to 10 minutes.
It’s a heavy-duty freestanding ice maker which is built with a stainless steel body. The ice machine set itself includes the water purifier setup, hence you don’t need to install a water filter additionally.
The advance control panel contains various functions like ON/OFF setup, time schedule, fault status, temperature and time display, making, water storage, harvest, ice full, High temp, overtime, auto clean, and ice thickness adjustment.
- It has the capacity to produce 120kg of ice per day.
- The build quality is excellent.
- It comes with a water filter kit.
- It has a fully automatic control panel.
- It has large capacity ice storage.
- It comes with a 3-years warranty.
- Bit expansive.
- Takes more space.
4. Igloo ICEB26BK Portable Ice Machine
Igloo is a popular ice maker brand because of its portability and various more feature. The Igloo ICEB26BK is a countertop ice machine that produces 26 pounds of ice every day.
It can store 2 pounds of ice at a time, which means it’s good enough for the home bar or making cold tea or coffee.
The transparent lid allows you to look through. You can check the quantity of ice without opening it. Also, it has a removable ice tray that adds more flexibility to transfer ice cubes.
There is a beautiful LED panel that indicates the current mode of operation. You’ll be notified when the ice basket is full and if there’s any requirement for water. It produces bullet-shaped hollow ice that tastes great with various beverages.
- It’s very lightweight and portable.
- It barely takes 6 minutes to make 9 bullet-shaped soft ice.
- The ice is very soft and you’ll enjoy it.
- It automatically switches OFF if the ice basket is full.
- There is an indicator for notifying the water requirement.
- It doesn’t keep the ice cold for longer because of not great insulation.
- You’ll notice some noise.
5. Bossin Countertop Ice Maker
If you’re looking for a clear ice maker that takes 6-10 minutes in one cycle, this product is a good choice. Just like Igloo, it also produces 26 pounds of ice every day. But, I noticed that Igloo Countertop Ice Maker is more efficient comparatively.
Bossin Countertop Ice Maker is ideal for barbecue, outdoor parties, or basement bars. Because it’s very lightweight and portable.
It has a transparent lid, hence you can see the ice without opening it. The LED panel has the option to select Small and Large size ice. Also, there’s an Ice Full and Add Water indicator. The ice is made in the shape of hollow bullets and is soft. I personally loved the softness of ice.
- The installation is very easy- just plug and play design.
- Ice made with this machine is very soft and crunchy.
- It’s lightweight and portable, you can use it outdoor.
- It takes only 6 minutes in one cycle.
- It has easy to clean design.
- Ice starts melting once the machine switched OFF.
6. Frigidaire EFIC103 Heavy-Duty Ice Machine
This Frigidaire Heavy-Duty Ice Maker is made from stainless steel. So, you might feel it heavy but you’ll be satisfied with it’s ice-making performance.
There is an option to select from three different ice sizes. Depending upon your taste, you can choose between Small, Medium, and Large sizes.
Frigidaire EFIC103 Heavy-Duty Ice Maker is the best choice for home and office. The ice basket is quite large and can store 2.2 pounds of ice. It barely takes 7-minutes to complete one cycle and you get 8 ice each cycle.
- It has got a portable design.
- There is an option to select from three different sizes of ice.
- It has a sturdy and durable design.
- It only takes 6 minutes to start off with the first cycle.
- No drain required hence can be used in office too.
- Because of stainless steel, it’s a bit heavy.
7. hOmeLabs Bullet Shape Ice Maker
This hOmeLabs Ice Maker is a popular ice countertop ice maker that produces soft and crunchy bullet-shaped ice. It creates refreshing, chewable pill-shaped ice to keep your drinks icy cold.
This ice maker has a 2.2 liter of water reservoir. It stores 1.5 pounds of ice at a time. This much ice is enough to go for various rounds of cocktails, mocktails, and more.
It has the capacity to produce 26 pounds of ice in 24-hours. The portable design makes it the right choice for camping. All you need is a 120V power socket and your cocktail is ready to cheer.
- The pill-shared ice produced by this ice maker is soft and tasty.
- It operates silently.
- It’s portable and can be used for camping.
- The water reservoir is large hence you don’t need to refill it frequently.
- It has a transparent lid.
- The ice melts if you don’t transfer to a freezer.
8. Scotsman CU50GA Undercounter Ice Machine
If you have a big requirement for ice every day then this Undercounter Ice Maker is the right choice. It has the capacity to produce 64 pounds of ice every day.
This machine is made for commercial use and it can store 26 pounds of ice. If budget is not an issue, this one would be the best ice maker choice.
It makes clear ice cubes that add a better taste to drinks and beverages. Also, it can be used in the labs where the requirement is ice is more. Scotsman is a well-known brand and they provide excellent services.
I would say- this is the best commercial ice maker that has an excellent life. With proper maintenance, it lasts 20-30 years easily.
- Scotsman is a well-known brand.
- It produces 64 pounds of ice every day.
- It’s a durable ice maker.
- It has the capacity to store 26 pounds of ice cubes.
- Excellent customer support and service.
- It’s a costly product.
9. Euhomy Countertop Ice Maker
In case you’re looking for the best 26 lbs ice maker for home or office use then you must consider this countertop ice maker from Euhomy appliances.
The elegant design and great finishing look amazing on the countertop. It’s a really good choice for a home bar and office.
This Euhomy model comes in silver color with a food-grade plastic ice basket and scoop. The machine is equipped with an efficient compressor and great thermal insulation. Hence, it consumes much lesser electricity than refrigerator ice makers.
- It consumes less electricity.
- The quality of ice is really good.
- The water recirculates in the machine.
- It doesn’t cause much noise while working.
- The ice maker has infrared sensor that monitors the ice level and machine automatically stop when ice basket is full.
- It comes with one year warranty.
- It’s not suitable for large gatherings or commercial use.
- Ice starts melting if not transferred to the refrigerator.
10. Manitowoc UDF0140A Ice Maker
If you’re looking for an ice maker for commercial use, then Manitowoc UDF0140A is the right choice. It has a 90 lb ice bin that never lets you run out of ice.
Also, it has a daily ice production capacity of 135 lb which is sufficient for a juice parlor, cafeteria, and restaurant.
This ice maker comes with a scoop and holder with holder location options. The build quality and ice quality are commendable. It doesn’t attract fingerprints and looks clean and attractive.
- It has 90 lb ice storage bin.
- The body doesn’t attracts dust and fingerprints.
- It has pop-out air filter.
- The cleaning is very easy.
- It produces 135 lbs ice in 24 hours.
- You’ll get 68 ice cubes every 6-8 minutes.
- It’s expensive.
- Insulation is not that great, due to which ice starts melting.
- The ice cubes comes in a form of sheets and you need to break it.
Are you fed by running with ice bags in a store? No more, you’ve to worry about it. The GE Profile Opal Ice Maker is the best ice maker that you can go for. It has all the features with great portability. The Scotsman CU50GA is the best under counter ice maker that produces a large quality of ice every day.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
What is the best ice maker for home use?
It all depends on your need. If you want the best ice maker for home use then countertop design is best for 20-30 pounds of ice.
Otherwise, you can choose an under-counter ice maker if there is a requirement for more than 50 pounds.
Do any countertop ice makers keep ice frozen?
A countertop ice maker is made for high portability and convenience to use. Portable ice makers are compact and it has less space. So, it can not work like a refrigerator.
Hence countertop ice makers don’t keep your ice frozen. However, it only takes 5-6 minutes to produce one batch of ice. This means you can start enjoying your drink within 10 minutes.
How do I choose a countertop ice maker?
The countertop ice makers are lightweight and generally produce hollow pill-shaped soft and chewable ice. You should check its size, ice production capacity, type of ice it makes, and your budget before choosing an ice maker.
How do I choose an ice maker?
Your mind should be clear that what type of ice maker do you need. If there is less demand for ice then you can choose countertop ice makers. In case of high demand and commercial use, you should go for under-counter ice makers.
How do you clean an ice maker?
First of all, unplug the ice maker from the power socket. Now drain the water from the reservoir and wipe the parts with a clean cloth. You can use Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice for removing any scale. We have written a detailed guide on the ice maker cleaning process.
Who makes the best ice maker?
Opal Ice makers are the best portable ice maker if you want nugget ice. Apart from that- NewAir, Frigidaire, Euhomy, Igloo are some top brands for portable ice makers.
Can you make sonic ice at home?
Yes! You can make sonic ice at home. Opal ice maker is the best sonic ice maker. It produces high-quality soft nugget ice for drinks.