Have you ever gone to a party or a picnic and someone asks you to bring an extra bag of ice with you only to run out of ice at the party and end up having to go and get more ice? Or maybe you don’t have the luxury of an ice maker in your freezer at home. Maybe you want an extra ice maker for your home or your personal bar. Well, owning the best portable ice maker will solve all of these problems and more.
If you plan on making a lot of sun tea in your ice tea maker this summer at the park or on a picnic then you are going to want one of these. You probably have actually never heard of them before but they do exist and tend to make ice quite fast and efficiently.
In this article, we will go over some of the different types of ice makers and what to look for when purchasing a new one. We will also cover some of the best models of portable ice makers available for purchase on the market today and which one may be the best fit for you and your party needs.
How to Choose the Best Portable Ice Maker
Choosing a portable ice maker can be somewhat difficult since you probably have never heard of them before or never have owned one. Usually, an ice maker comes with the fridge you are purchasing and you hardly ever buy an ice maker separate from the actual freezer. So, forget about those ice cube trays and let’s get down to business.
First and foremost, you want to make sure the machine is made with quality materials. Make sure it is durable and strong, not flimsy or made of plastic. The inner workings should be able to make ice fast and easy with little to no maintenance. In case of something happening, it is best to make sure the machine comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee or a warranty to protect it. This will ensure that the machine will be covered by any damages that may occur while in use or during the shipping process.
You also want to sit down and figure out what you will be using the portable ice maker for. This will help you decide how big of an ice maker you will need or how fast it will need to produce ice. Some machines are able to produce faster than others while others have larger containers to provide the ice.
You will also need to know how much ice you want the machine to produce in an hour or over the whole day. This will give you a better understanding of the type of machine you will need.
Overall, make sure to find a machine you are comfortable with using. There is no point in buying a machine that is too complicated to use or just out of the realm of do it yourself.
The amount of noise the machine makes while it is running may also be a factor to consider if you are looking for something that is fairly quiet. It may be harder to try and see this without touching the machine though.
Also, the size of the ice cubes may be a factor as well. Some machines have different settings that control the size and shape of the ice cube while others can only do one style of cube. So, if you are wanting crushed ice over cubed it would be something to look in to.
Construction and Design
Portable Ice makers are sort of like portable ice cream machines. The overall design of the ice maker is generally going to be the same from model to model. They are usually the same rectangular shape but most vary in sizes and in weight.
The weight is something to consider simply because you may be taking the ice maker from place to place and you don’t want to have a very heavy machine to move around.
The size of the portable ice maker will also be a factor to consider. If you are wanting to place the machine on the countertop of your kitchen or in a small area of the house or bar then you will need to find a machine that is fairly compact or that will fit into smaller areas.
Also, the amount of ice the inside container can hold is important to remember. Some machines can produce up to 30 pounds of ice per day but cannot hold that much in the well. So, you will be having to keep constantly removing ice in order to make more. Make sure the machine is made of high-quality materials to ensure that it will last forever.
Most machines are either made from plastic or from stainless steel. Of course, the stainless steel is going to be the best route to take for the choice of materials but that doesn’t mean plastic will be the worst. If you do plan on buying a machine made of plastic, just make sure that it is ETL certified. As for the aesthetic look, most models have the option to get different colors if they are made of plastic.
8 Best Portable Ice Makers in 2020
Vremi Countertop Ice Maker
The Best Portable Ice Maker
You wanted the best; you got the best with this high functioning ice maker. It comes at a fairly reasonable price but does not come protected by any warranty.
This compact ice machine is able to produce 9 single, bullet shaped ice cubes every 8 minutes totaling up to 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours. The machine is very quiet and runs on only 120 watts of power making it very energy efficient. The machine does not require any water hookup, just place the water in the overflow and any ice that happens to melt while in holding is reverted back to the ice maker to be made again. The machine comes with an ice scoop and a 2-pound removable ice bucket. It also does not require any installation and comes in a compact size to fit any countertop or small bar space. The machine is also constructed of high-quality stainless steel.
- Comes with an ice scoop and a removeable ice bucket.
- Is able to produce up to 26 pounds of ice within 24 hours.
- Does not require any installation or any sort of water hookup.
- Does not come protected by a warranty.
Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
The Next Best Thing
The runner up ice maker actually is a better machine than the last one. It can do everything that one can and then some more. However, it costs around $400 but does come protected by a 1-year warranty.
The machine is whisper-quiet and runs on only 120 watts of energy making it also energy efficient. It produces 10 small ice cubes every 20 minutes totaling up to 24 pounds of ice every 24 hours. The removable basket is a little larger at 3 pounds and also comes with an ice scoop. It is also constructed of sleek stainless steel with a plastic window to see the ice that has been made. The ice maker is also able to be controlled via Bluetooth through an app on your phone so you can manage the schedule of the ice maker. The ice maker is very easy to use with no installation or water hookup required.
- The machine is able to be controlled by app on your phone for scheduling of the ice maker.
- Is able to produce ice every 20 minutes totaling up to 24 pounds of ice every 24 hours.
- Comes protected by a 1-year warranty.
- While it does come with a warranty, the machine costs upwards of $400.
IKICH Portable Ice Maker
A Close Tie for First Place
This machine is really something else when it comes to portable ice makers. It does cost a little extra but it does come protected by a 2-year warranty.
The machine is constructed of stainless steel which is easy to clean and easy to use. It runs whisper quiet on low energy being able to produce up to 24 pounds of ice in 24 hours. It will also produce ice with 6 minutes when ran on high. There is no installation and no water hookup needed and it is equipped with a drain plug at the bottom.
The machine also has a blue indicator light that lets you know when the icebox is full. It comes with 2 different ice scoops and a removable ice tray to make it easy for transferring ice to glasses for drinks. The machine has a very sleek and compact look that will fit most kitchen countertops.
- Comes protected by a 2-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.
- There is no installation or water hookup up required.
- Is able to produce ice every 6 minutes totaling up to 24 pounds in 24 hours.
- The machine does only take potable water and not regular tap water.
The Best Plastic Ice Maker
This ice maker comes from one of the best in the business that has been making cooler for years, Igloo. The ice maker is only a bit over a $100 but does not come protected by a warranty.
It is constructed of strong plastic which happens to be ETL certified with a clear plastic window to see the inside. It can produce either small-sized or large size cubes in a matter of minutes with up to 26 pounds of ice within 24 hours. The machine is quiet and does not require any setup or water hookups. There is a 3-quart reservoir for water and the ice machine can hold up to 2 pounds of ice at a time. The ice maker also comes in a variety of different colors.
- The machine is constructed of ETL certified strong plastic with a clear plastic window for viewing.
- It can make up to 26 pounds of ice within 24 hours.
- The machine can make either large or small ice cubes in minutes.
- While the machine is very affordable, it does not come protected by a warranty.
The Well-Known Ice Maker
This ice maker is also made by a company that has been making ice makers in the freezer they sell for many years. It is reasonably priced and is covered by a full lifetime warranty.
This machine is able to make ice within 6 minutes and can make a total of 26 pounds of ice within 24 hours. It is constructed of high-quality plastic that is ETL certified and is able to start right out of the box. It, however, does not come with a removable ice bucket but does come with an ice shovel. There is also not an alert to know when the inside is full but there is a plastic window for viewing while it is making the ice.
- It is reasonably priced and comes with a lifetime warranty to protect it.
- Is able to make ice within 6 minutes and up to 26 pounds of ice per day.
- Does not need a water hookup and is easy to install.
- Does not come with a removeable ice tray or alert for when it is full of ice.
Della Portable Ice Maker
The Sophisticated Ice Maker
This ice maker does a few extra things most other models do not. It is also very affordable like most models but does not come with a warranty to protect it.
The machine is made of high-quality plastic that is ETL certified and is able to make ice every six minutes in 3 different sizes. It also can make up to 28 pounds of ice per day and hold a total of 3 pounds at one time. It does come with an ice scoop but does not have a removable ice tray. It has a digital interface that has timers, alerts and different settings that is easy to use and easy to clean.
- This ice maker can make ice every 6 minutes and up to 28 pounds per day.
- The machine has an easy to use digital interface with all the bells and whistles.
- It is easy to use and easy to clean.
- Does not come with a warranty.
- Does not come with a removeable ice tray.
Northair Portable Ice Maker (HZB-12/SA)
Decent Choice With 2-year Warranty
This machine is a little more expensive than the rest of the models but does come with a 2-year warranty to protect it and 30-day money-back guarantee.
It is constructed of high-quality plastic and has a clear plastic viewing window on the actual unit. It is able to make ice with 9 minutes and a total of 26.5 pounds of ice per day. There is an alert that will let you know when it is full of ice. If there is any water that has melted from the already made ice, it will transfer the water back to the reservoir to be made back into ice again.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty to protect it and a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Can make ice every 9 minutes and a total of 26.5 pounds per day.
- Is able to transfer melted ice back to the water reservoir.
- It is a little more expensive than most models.
- Does not come with a removeable ice tray or a scoop.
hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Machine (HMEC010019)
Nothing Special But Gets The Job Done
This portable ice maker is literally a shot for shot of some of the same models on here. The only difference really is that it is a little cheaper than most but does not come with a warranty to protect it.
The machine can make ice every 8 minutes and a total of 26 pounds per day. It comes with a removable ice tray and an ice scoop for serving to your guests or placing in glasses. The unit is one of the smaller models available and is very compact, but does not skimp on the energy use or the production speed. It does have alerts and alarms for when the ice container or water reservoir is empty or full as well.
- Is one of the cheaper and smaller models of portable ice makers.
- Is able to make ice within 8 minutes and a total of 26 pounds per day.
- Uses less energy without cutting back on the production speed or quality.
- Even though it is one of the cheaper models, it does not come with a warranty to protect it.
For what it is worth, there is really not much difference between all the models available so it really won’t matter which one you choose. The best option is the first but you should also think about buying some extra warranty coverage just in case.