They’re also useful in a number of other spots where people need more ice than a freezer’s ice maker produces, like in office break rooms or retirement communities, where a lot of different people want to be able to refill drinks throughout the day. And of course, they can be useful in many homes, both for parties when you have more guests over than you can accommodate with the ice maker built into your fridge and for families that simply go through a lot of ice every day.
Some portable ice makers come with warranties, which will give you a head’s up as to how long you can count on the machine to last (or provide the peace of mind that you’ll at least get a replacement if there’s a problem). Others allow you to purchase a warranty, which may well be worth the cost based on how many reviewers of various models had issues.
Durability is going to be the main reason why you should consider going with a unit that cost a bit more. If you plan on using it frequently or keeping it plugged in at all times, then you will want to consider spending a bit more to ensure you get an ice maker that is designed to last. However, if you only plan on using it for special events or when you have guests over, then a lower priced ice maker will likely fit your needs.
We transferred the ice to a container and let it melt completely. We then measured out the water and used its volume to calculate its weight (1 milliliter of water is equal to 1 gram). This gave us the total mass of the ice produced. So depending on the time it took to make and how much was made, we were able to calculate the amount of ice that each machine could produce in 24 hours.
Small enough to move on and off the counter, this impressive unit can make up to 48 pounds of ice per day, and it holds nearly 2.4 pounds for easy retrieval. Unlike other machines on this list, the Sentern Ice Maker only produces cubes—not bullet shaped ice. You can choose from small, medium, or large cubes by adjusting the cooling time, and depending on the size you choose the first batch of ice will be done in about 15 minutes. The clear, dense cubes melt slowly, keeping your cocktails cold without diluting them. Other handy features include a digital control panel for easy programming, a see-through window so you can monitor ice production, and a stain resistant exterior.
Our writers spent 5 hours researching the best ice makers on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 12 different ice machines to buy overall, screened options from 11 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 20 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.
According to customers, the Frigidaire Portable Countertop Ice Maker is a “game changer.” Though it's smaller in size (11.70 x 14.44 x 14.88 inches), this model still produces an impressive 26 pounds of ice per day, and you can choose between small, medium, or large cubes. The cubes are nice and thick, so they won't melt too fast, and the ice production is quiet and efficient. Running at only 38 decibels, you'll barely notice any noise coming from this machine. Other notable features include an interior bin which can store more than 2 pounds of ice, an ice shovel, digital control panel, and see-through window so users can monitor ice production without having to open the lid. Plus, the stainless steel exterior is sleek and modern, so it won't be an eyesore on your kitchen countertop.