Keep drinks refreshing with a continuous ice supply from the best ice makers

·Contributing Writer
·10 min read

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Filling the glass with ice from an ice maker
Filling the glass with ice from an ice maker

Even though refrigerators come with a freezer and ice cubes trays, they can’t provide a continuous supply of ice. You either have to use multiple trays at once or patiently wait until water freezes and turns into ice. Instant ice makers are a much more efficient and reliable option, especially for hosting large groups of people.

They can freeze water, producing bullet-shaped ice cubes within ten minutes, and do so in continuous cycles. So, you won't have to wait for hours to refill your ice baskets and enjoy drinks, juices, or cocktails. Since most people love having cold beverages throughout the year, we’ve gathered some of the most efficient ice makers of 2022 to help you grab a premiere example. These devices are not only compact and portable but also equipped with advanced technologies, producing ice cubes faster.

Top Picks

Top overall: Free village ice maker

Equipped with a quiet cooling fan, quickly dissipate heat to the compressor for long-term use
Equipped with a quiet cooling fan, quickly dissipate heat to the compressor for long-term use

Are you looking for an ice maker you can carry around with you? If you are, then this product has got you covered! It comes equipped with a next-gen compressor, consuming less energy and offering excellent efficiency. This device can prepare nine bullet-shaped ice cubes within five to eight minutes, so you won’t have to wait very long to enjoy a cool, refreshing drink. And, you can select the 'S' or 'L' option from its sleek control panel, giving you the desired shape of ice cubes. Additionally, the panel has indicators for water shortage and full ice tank alerts. This device’s operation is so silent, with a noise level of less than 45 dB, that no whirring sound will disturb your peaceful ambiance. And, since it generates heat, this model features a cooling fan for quick and enhanced heat dissipation. What makes this ice maker the best in the market, and our top pick is its self-cleaning ability. You just have to hold down the power button for five seconds, and the appliance will start a self-cleaning cycle.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 12 liters

  • Voltage: 115 volts

  • Weight: 16.75 lbs

Outstanding performance: AGLUCKY countertop ice maker

It has wide applications, whenever and wherever you are, ice is there
It has wide applications, whenever and wherever you are, ice is there

If you are looking for an ice maker capable of delivering consistent, high-level performance, this is the right product. The company has designed it to produce 26.5 pounds of ice every day (nine ice cubes within six to eight minutes) easily fulfilling your needs. And, all the ice cubes have smooth bullet shapes that won't hurt your hands and offer drinks a bit of class. The control panel also offers a sleek design with a power switch and a “select” button for choosing the desired ice cube shape. There are also two indicators for alerting you to a full ice basket or lack of water in the condensing chamber. And, his device has copper columns for operating at low power without making any unpleasant noises, like whirring. And, this product will always stay cool due to the powerful exhaust fan that evenly dissipates heat.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 0.68 liters

  • Voltage: 110 volts

  • Weight: 14.77 lbs

Compact design: ULIT countertop ice maker

Ice machine countertop creates crystal, bullet-shaped ice cubes
Ice machine countertop creates crystal, bullet-shaped ice cubes

Do you have a narrow countertop space where you can’t keep a big ice maker? If yes, this model is the perfect fit for you. It is compactly designed to have a small footprint even though it has a large, 1.5-liter water reservoir and might appear bulky. The ice maker has a copper condenser with foam insulation. This option won’t produce too much unpleasant noise or drive up your electricity bill. This device features a transparent top window, allowing you to watch it make nine ice cubes within eight minutes. And, the control panel has indicators alerting you to a full ice basket or an empty water reservoir, letting you step in and take appropriate action. One of this option’s more salient features is the included drain plug, letting you empty the water reservoir with zero hassle. On top of everything, this ice maker comes with a removable ice basket and ice scoop for quick, hassle-free use.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 1.5 liters

  • Voltage: 120 volts

  • Weight: 1.6 lbs

Great value: Silonn ice maker

You can make two different sizes of ice cubes
You can make two different sizes of ice cubes

If you’re looking for a more affordable ice maker, this product can easily satisfy your needs. The reservoir can hold up to two liters of water at a time, so you won't have to fill it frequently. This product can produce nine bullet-shaped ice cubes of varying sizes (options are selected from the control panel) within seven minutes. And, the infrared sensor will alert you once the ice basket is full, preventing excess power consumption and overflowing. Since this device operates at a sound level of less than 35 dB, you won’t have to worry about any unpleasant sounds disturbing your mood. And, this option also comes with self-cleaning technology, saving you time and effort while keeping your countertop squeaky clean. You can also easily watch the ice cubes through the transparent top lid.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 2 liters

  • Voltage: 115 volts

  • Weight: 15 lbs

Elite design: GE countertop nugget ice maker

Refreshing nugget ice is made from compacted ice flakes and is perfect for cocktails, sodas and other beverages
Refreshing nugget ice is made from compacted ice flakes and is perfect for cocktails, sodas and other beverages

This nugget-style ice maker can produce one pound of ice every hour while storing three pounds in its colossal storage compartment. And, since the water reservoir and storage box have transparent walls, you can keep a watchful eye on the water and ice levels. Plus, if there are leftover ice nuggets in the basket that are starting to melt, the water will be sent back to the reservoir, automatically filling it up. This device offers a compact shape for hassle-free transportation. So, using it at a barbeque, bakery, or garden party won't cause you any added trouble. All the ice nuggets are crunchable and retain their flavors, letting you enjoy your cocktails and cold drinks. On top of everything, this product comes with an additional tank holding three times more ice than other options available on the market.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 1.36 liters

  • Voltage: 120 volts

  • Weight: 47 lbs

A buying guide to the ultimate ice maker

Ice makers aren’t just used in homes. Instead, most products are designed to meet ice requirements at bars, cafes, barbeques, and more. Perhaps that’s why you can find an abundance of similar-looking products on the market. The variety of applications makes the identification process more cumbersome for everyone. If you decide too hastily, there’s a good chance you may end up getting the wrong product. Keeping this in mind, we’ve discussed a couple of potential factors you should use for comparing the ice makers we’ve shortlisted.

How do ice makers work?

The parts mentioned below contribute to the process of freezing water and producing ice:

  • A water pump

  • Condenser

  • Copper tubes and molds

  • Ice tray

When a reservoir has water above the threshold level, the pump will force water up through the condensation system. Water releases any stored heat energy and cools down as it starts ascending within the condenser tubes. Once it rises to half the length of the upside-down copper tubes, the temperature decreases to the freezing point. Then, a thin layer of ice starts accumulating around the walls of the tube, further increasing in thickness with time. Once suitable thickness has been achieved, the copper tubes will release bullet-shaped ice blocks into the tray.

Key factors to consider when choosing an ice maker

Ice making capacity

As you will find an abundance of ice makers in the marketplace, you should make sure your chosen product has enough capacity to meet your needs. For example, if you only plan on using this product at home, ensure it can produce nine ice bullets within eight or nine seconds. On the other hand, If you’re going to be using an ice maker in a commercial area like a bar, café, and more, you should choose a product that can produce nine ice cubes within seven seconds max.

Heat dissipation

Since these machines release a lot of heat energy during the condensation process, you should choose an option with a powerful fan. It will help dissipate heat, keeping the internal electric circuits cool. This will also prevent the appliance from overheating and short-circuiting, helping keep it in good working order for a long time.

Noise

If your ice maker starts making weird noises, it can disturb the peaceful ambiance of a party and make it difficult for you to use. So, you should make sure your chosen product operates at a sound level of less than 45 dB. This will make both the water pump and fan so quiet you won’t even know when they’re running.

Control panel

Ice makers come equipped with a sleek control panel where the power button is located. Apart from this, there’s a select button letting you toggle between small and large-sized ice cubes. With most products, the control panel will have indicators for water shortage and a full ice basket. Once the water level falls below the threshold mark of the reservoir, or the ice bucket gets filled to its brim, the corresponding indicator will start blinking.

Water reservoir

As these products have water reservoirs with different capacities, you should check whether the chosen product can produce ice continuously without having to fill the tank. For example, some options come with a 1.5-liter water tank, while others might have a 2-liter reservoir. If you want an ice maker for producing the ice cubes continuously for an extended period, you should go for a product having a 2-liter reservoir or more.

Transparent lid

Ice makers come equipped with a transparent lid, helping you keep an eye on the ice cubes and check whether the basket is full.

Self-cleaning

Some ice makers offer self-cleaning technology where you only need to hold the power button for five seconds, triggering the auto-clean function. This saves you from having to clean the product manually.

How much does the ice maker cost?

The average price range of ice makers varies between $89.88-$440.04, depending on many factors. For instance, if your chosen device comes equipped with an advanced infrared sensor, its cost will be more than a regular version without advanced features. Similarly, ice makers with a larger capacity will have correspondingly higher prices. So, you should compare these products, ensuring you don't spend more than you’ve budgeted.

How to maintain an ice maker?

Even though ice makers are easy to use, you need to maintain these devices to keep them working properly. In the section below, we’ve discussed some helpful maintenance tips that will allow you to use, clean, and maintain your product easily.

  • If your ice maker doesn't come with self-cleaning technology, you should use lemon with baking soda to clean the inner chambers.

  • Make sure to check whether the ice basket is full or not so that the appliance doesn’t consume too much energy.

  • Do not switch on the appliance before adding water into the reservoir as that might cause electrical damage like a short circuit, overheating, and more.

  • Another important tip for maintaining the ice maker is cleaning the air vent frequently, helping dissipate heat.

People also asked

Q: How long does it take for an ice maker to make bullet-shaped ice?

A: The total time for producing ice depends on whether the ice maker is equipped with a powerful condenser or not. So, you should get a product that can quickly produce ice without consuming too much power.

Q: Do all ice makers come with options for selecting ice size?

A: No, not all ice makers come with options letting you select between small or large ice bullets. You can usually find these buttons on a control panel marked as “S” and “L”.

Q: Will an ice maker increase my utility bills?

A: No, ice makers are equipped with powerful condensers that can produce ice bullets without consuming a ton of electricity. So, you won’t have to worry about paying higher utility bills.