Running out of ice is inconvenient and frustrating. Sound familiar?
So investing in the best portable ice maker within your budget is worth the expense. You’ll never have to rush out and spend money on bagged ice again.
Portable ice makers are lightweight and can quickly produce ice in large quantities. They’re ideal for parties, barbecues, holiday gatherings, home offices and more.
You can even make ice cubes to take with you in a portable fridge freezer for tailgating, road trips, or camping excursions. You’ll have ice cubes at the ready to put in your alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Ice Maker Comparison Table
- Our Top Reviews: Best Portable Ice Makers of 2020
- 1. Best Pick-hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Machine for Counter Top
- 2. Best Budget Pick-Della Portable Ice Maker
- 3. EdgeStar IP250SS Large Capacity Portable Countertop Ice Maker
- 4. Aicok Portable Ice Maker
- 5. Igloo ICEB26SS Portable 26-Pound Automatic Ice Maker
- 6. COSTWAY Counter Top Ice Maker
- 7. FirstBuild Opal01 Countertop Nugget Maker
- Portable Ice Maker Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
Ice Maker Comparison Table
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Our Top Reviews: Best Portable Ice Makers of 2020
In our review, we’ve selected seven portable ice makers based on the following criteria: portability, capacity, ease of use, maintenance, operational features, general design, and warranties.
Our in-depth reviews below can guide you toward the portable ice machine that’s perfect for you.
This energy-efficient portable maker is designed for easy use while still offering excellent features. It produces ice in just six to eight minutes.
You can even choose between small or medium bullet-shaped ice cubes. In addition, a basket and ice scoop are included so you can conveniently and quickly get the ice you need.
There’s no learning curve for using this high-quality portable ice maker. You fill the 2.2-liter water reservoir, plug the ice maker in, and ice starts forming. Within six to eight minutes, this ice maker can produce up to 1.5 pounds of ice cubes. This machine produces up to 26 pounds of ice per day.
Overflowing isn’t an issue. The automatic shutoff function kicks in once the ice basket is full. It also has warning lights to alert you when the water reservoir needs to be refilled. These features eliminate hassle and guesswork when using this product.
The energy-efficient design of this ice maker makes this model a cost-effective option. It has a water reservoir beneath the ice basket to reuse water from melted ice cubes. Additionally, it has a quiet compressor that uses minimal energy to cool. You don’t have to worry about a high energy bill.
Despite the convenient compact design, it holds and produces plenty of ice for standard use. This portable ice machine measures 9.5 x 12.9 x 14 inches and weighs 19.4 pounds.
One popular feature this pick doesn’t have is a self-cleaning function. This means you’ll need to hand clean it thoroughly on a regular basis.
It’s important to note that the user manual states that this portable ice machine is for indoor use only. This means it’s not a good fit if you want an ice maker for camping or sporting events. But if you don’t intend to use it outdoors, then this won’t be an issue for you.
The manufacturer provides a two-year limited warranty for this ice maker. You get repairs or a replacement if the ice maker has issues with workmanship. Make sure to keep your receipt. It’s required for using the warranty.
- Quick results – ice cubes in 6 to 8 minutes
- User-friendly design for convenience.
- Energy-efficient features for minimal power costs.
- Compact for increased portability.
- Made for indoor use only.
- No self-cleaning function.
If you want a portable ice machine that’s affordable and high-quality, the Della Portable Ice Machine may be a great fit. It produces ice cubes in as little as six minutes. You can choose small or large ice cubes. It can produce up to 26 pounds of ice per day, which is equal or comparable to pricier models.
This ice maker machine has user-friendly features that we like. The automatic overflow protection prevents ice cube build up while the ice cube basket holds 1.5 pounds of ice. The control panel is simple and easy to use.
You get all the must-have operations for a competitive price. The manufacturer has a helpful video guide below to show you how it works, too.
This portable ice machine creates ice cubes using a water reservoir that holds 1.8 liters of water. You fill up the reservoir, turn the power on, and choose your ice cube size.
It can produce nine ice cubes at once, and ice is ready within six to thirteen minutes. You can use the ice scoop that’s included to easily get ice the cubes.
The design of this portable ice machine is simple and convenient. The lid features a clear window, so you can keep an eye on the water level. The ice cube basket is well-insulated and holds up to 1.5 pounds of ice cubes.
This model has automatic overflow protection to prevent ice cubes from spilling out. The motor operates quietly so it won’t interrupt your get-togethers.
The control panel on this ice maker displays five lights and two buttons. There’s one on/off button and one button for ice cube size. The first two lights alert you when the ice basket is full and when the water reservoir is low. The third light indicates the power is on and the last two lights indicate the chosen ice cube size. It’s simple but covers all of the essentials.
This portable ice machine measures 14.5 x 9.75 x 12.75 inches and weighs 21 pounds. The dimensions and weight are both pretty standard for an ice maker.
The manufacturer provides a one-year limited warranty. The warranty covers defects in workmanship or material, and they’ll replace or repair defective parts.
The user manual notes that the manufacturer does not recommend the use of an extension cord. This may be inconvenient depending on where you plan to use the ice maker. For some buyers, this factor isn’t an issue.
Lastly, the manual also states that the ice maker cannot be used outdoors. This limits the portability a bit, so it’s not a good fit for camping, fishing, and other similar settings.
- Quickly produces ice within 6 to 13minutes.
- Low water and ice overflow indicator prevent issues.
- Plenty of ice – produces up to 26 pounds of ice per day.
- One-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- Manufacturer discourages use with extension cord.
- Cannot be used outdoors.
The EdgeStar ice maker is an ideal pick if you want a high-capacity portable ice maker. It stores up to 2.6 pounds of ice cubes at once.
The operation cycle produces ice cubes in about ten minutes. This design makes it easy to serve cocktails and other refreshing drinks at large get-togethers.
The additional features of this model are pretty impressive, too. It has an LCD display and control panel that includes a programmable timer and a self-cleaning function.
It also recycles melted ice back into the water tank for energy-efficient production. You get all of the essentials and more with this ice machine.
Unlike many portable ice makers, this one is made from commercial grade stainless steel. Most others are made from plastic. Stainless steel is known for being durable and easy-to-clean.
This high-capacity model produces up to 48 pounds of ice per day. That’s about twice as much as other portable machines.
The small LCD panel is displayed on the front. A clear oval window on the lid lets you view how much ice you have.
Additionally, the ice basket holds up to 2.6 pounds of ice at once. This makes it perfect for larger gatherings or events that last several hours.
The LCD control panel and display are user-friendly yet comprehensive. There are four buttons: an on/off power button, a size selection button, a timer button, and a self-cleaning mode button. The in-depth user manual makes it easy to operate the timer and self-cleaning functions.
The LCD display on this ice maker features seven different indicators: a power indicator, an ice full indicator, a water level indicator, a warning indicator, a self-cleaning indicator, a timer indicator, and an ice size indicator. The warning indicator means you should refer to the troubleshooting guide in the user manual.
This ice maker measures 15 x 17.1 x 17 inches and weighs 36.8 pounds. The size is larger than most other portable machines, but it’s still fairly compact. However, the weight may decrease portability.
The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty for parts and a 90-day warranty for labor. For 90 days, you get free labor to repair the product or replace it if needed. In addition, the manufacturer will supply replacement parts for free for one year.
It’s important to note that this model costs more than most other portable ice machines. However, the expense is due to the large capacity and output that it offers. Therefore, it’s a very valuable deal for buyers who need these features.
Lastly, the user manual notes that certain types of water – filtered, reverse osmosis, and distilled – can cause the ice maker’s sensors to malfunction. This means it may not detect water levels or ice storage levels correctly. Therefore, you’ll need to stick with tap water to get the best results.
- Makes up to 48 pounds of ice per day – 2x more than other models.
- Self-cleaning function eliminates maintenance hassles.
- Programmable timer to suit your specific needs.
- One-year parts warranty and 90-day labor warranty.
- Premium model comes at a higher price.
- 8-pound design is heavier than average.
- Filtered, reverse osmosis, and distilled water not compatible with ice maker.
The AICOK portable ice maker is user-friendly. It produces bullet ice cubes within six to ten minutes and creates up to 26 pounds of ice per day. In addition, it comes with an ice scoop.
You can choose between small, medium, or large size options using the LCD control panel. The ice machine can also be pre-programmed using the timer function.
The self-cleaning function keeps this ice maker clean without the need for scrubbing. It operates quietly thanks to the silent but powerful compressor.
The stainless steel and BPA-free plastic design is sleek and blends in with most decor. A transparent window allows you to keep an eye on the ice level.
This countertop ice maker machine operates using a quiet DC fan, a high-quality noiseless compressor, and current refrigeration technology. It uses an infrared sensor to detect ice and water levels for automatic functions. The insulation board is made from polyurethane foam and insulates the ice maker from external heat for temperature preservation.
When the 1.8-pound ice basket is full, this model automatically shuts off and signals that the basket needs to be emptied. The same function and signals are used to show that the 2.3-quart water tank is running low. These functions eliminate the need for constant monitoring and they also help conserve energy usage.
The control panel on this ice maker features an LCD display and four simple buttons. The LCD display shows the following: timer indication, time, error indication, ice size indication, full ice basket indication, ice status, and water shortage indication. The four buttons include an ice button, time conversion button, adjust time button, and ice size button.
The self-cleaning function is one of its best aspects. You simply add some water and vinegar and click a few buttons as described in the user manual. You don’t have to scrub corners and wash individual parts to keep the machine in good condition.
This model measures 9.8 x 14.17 x 12.87 inches and weighs 23.9 pounds. The size is compact and the weight is pretty standard.
The manufacturer provides a two-year warranty and 30-day return policy. Technical advice and customer services are provided indefinitely, too. This combination adds even more value and convenience for buyers.
Despite having options for small, medium, and large ice cubes, there may not always be a notable size difference. The manufacturer states the size is subject to temperature. Additionally, the size dimensions overlap: small cubes are 12-20mm, medium cubes are 15-25 mm, and large cubes are 18-30mm.
The ice cube size you choose determines how long it takes to produce ice. While seven minutes is the minimum, it can take up to thirteen minutes to make ice. This is nearly double the minimum time. So keep that in mind if speed is an important factor for you.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the clock only displays military time on this ice maker. This won’t be an issue for many buyers. However, some buyers may have a preference for time display.
- Automatic shutoff for energy conservation.
- LCD panel is comprehensive yet easy to use.
- Self-cleaning function for convenient maintenance.
- Two-year limited warranty and 30-day return policy.
- Three ice cube sizes may not vary much.
- Clock only displays military time.
- Takes up to 13 minutes to produce ice.
If a sleek design appeals to you, this Igloo ice maker machine may be a great fit. The sturdy plastic has a shiny silver finish that looks similar to stainless steel. It also features a simple and modern control panel with LED lights.
The large window on the lid makes it easy to view how much ice is available. It comes with an ice scoop and removable ice basket, so you’ll be all set.
In as little as seven minutes, this machine produces bullet-shaped ice cubes. You can choose either small or large cubes. Each cycle makes nine cubes-perfect for a tasty and refreshing drink. It produces 26 pounds of ice per day and operates silently. Therefore, it offers plenty of ice without the noise of traditional ice makers.
The Igloo offers great storage capacity. The removable ice basket can hold up to two pounds of ice. This is above average for portable ice machines.
The water tank holds three quarts of water at once. When you’re done using the ice maker, simply use the removable drain plug to get rid of excess water.
The control panel on this ice maker has LED lights to indicate different functions. The first light shows you when the water reservoir is low. The second light shows you the ice basket is full.
The last two lights show whether you’ve selected small or large ice cubes. There are two buttons on the panel – one for turning the ice maker on and one for selecting ice cube size.
The Igloo measures 9.6 x 14.7 x 12.4 inches and weighs 20.5 pounds. The design is compact and the weight is pretty standard. So these specs add to the portability of the product.
A one-year limited warranty is provided by the manufacturer for this ice maker. The warranty covers defects in workmanship and materials if the ice maker is used in a household setting.
The user manual explicitly states that it cannot be used outdoors. It also says “for household use only”, so that does limit portability a bit. But if you need an ice maker for home use, this isn’t an issue then.
Additionally, the user manual says it takes between six to fifteen minutes to produce ice. Fifteen minutes is more than double the seven-minute cycle that’s listed as a feature. Keep that in mind if speed is a top priority for you.
- Simple control panel is easy to understand.
- Sleek high-end look without a high price tag.
- 26 pounds of ice per day meet most user needs.
- One-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- May take up to 15 minutes to produce ice.
- Designed for indoor use only.
- Designed for household use only.
The Costway ice maker machine is the most lightweight model on our list. Easy portability is one of its biggest benefits.
However, its portability doesn’t come at the expense of capacity or power. Although it weighs less than 18 pounds, it still produces 26.5 pounds of ice cubes per day.
The operating cycle produces nine ice cubes in as little as six minutes. You get plenty of cubes quickly with this portable machine.
The compressing cooling system operates quietly but efficiently. Like other picks, it includes an ice scoop for convenience.
This lightweight ice maker machine has the same features as heavier ones. The water tank holds 2.32 quarts of water while the ice basket holds 1.5 pounds of ice. The operating cycle produces ice within six to thirteen minutes with an average of eight minutes.
The top of this ice maker has a window that makes it easy to see how much ice is available. The user-friendly control panel is right below the window. It has LED indicator lights to alert you when you need to refill the ice tray and add water.
The third light indicates if the machine is turned on. The last two lights indicate the ice cube size you’ve picked. In addition, the two-button design includes one on/off button and one size selection button.
This portable ice maker measures 9.5 x 14 x 12.9 inches and weighs 17.5 pounds. The size is pretty compact and similar to our other picks.
Despite offering two size options for ice cubes, there isn’t a very noticeable difference between the two. The manufacturer says each ice cube weighs 7-9 grams. If you don’t care about ice cube size, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
Lastly, the listing for this ice maker doesn’t include any warranty information. So you’ll need to contact the manufacturer directly regarding any warranty information.
- 5-lb design is very lightweight and portable.
- Produces 26.5 pounds of ice per day.
- Control panel is simple and user-friendly.
- Small and large ice cubes very similar in size.
- May not have a warranty – info not readily available.
This nugget ice maker lets you enjoy your favorite ice at home.Nugget ice cubes – AKA ‘Sonic ice’ – are chewable and crunchable small cubes that are often used in restaurants.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a non-portable model. This smooth stainless steel appliance is moderately compact and simple.
It features one circular button with an LED light that uses different colors to display the ice maker’s status. With this porter ice machine, you can easily create delicious iced beverages at home.
When it comes to ice cube production, this pick is impressive. The machine produces one pound of ice per hour and a total of 24 pounds of ice per day. The ice bin is spacious and holds three pounds of ice – this is twice the capacity of many portable machines.
This nugget ice maker features a unique design that’s user-friendly. It has one circular LED button that’s surrounded by a colorful LED light ring. Each color and light movement pattern indicates a different function or status. Everything you need to know is displayed.
The white moving light indicates that ice is being made. The solid white light indicates that the ice bin is full.
The semi-circle blue light indicates that the water reservoir needs to be refilled. The pulsing yellow light indicates that the ice maker is in cleaning mode and awaits confirmation for draining and refilling.
The rotating yellow light indicates the rinsing portion of the cleaning mode. The slow falling white light indicates that the ice maker is defrosting, which takes 30 minutes.
When the ice bin is full, a sensor shuts off the ice maker automatically. It will automatically turn back on to make sure that the bucket is refilling.
The ice bin features slots that allow water from melted ice cubes to go back into the water reservoir. This design recycles water for energy efficiency.
This portable ice maker machine measures 15.5 x 10.5 x 17.2 inches and weighs 44 pounds. The size is above average and weighs at least twice as much as our other picks.
Compared to other portable ice machines, this model is expensive. But it’s the only portable nugget ice maker. Non-portable alternatives cost about four to six times more.
One drawback is that it’s noisier than our other picks. The noise is inevitable due to the vibrating compressor. But since this machine is so unique, noise may not be an issue for nugget ice fans. This model is designated for indoor use only.
Lastly, the manufacturer backs this ice maker with a one-year limited warranty. The warranty covers product failure caused by any defects in workmanship or materials/parts.
- Creates nugget ice cubes for at-home enjoyment.
- Automatic shut off and water recycling conserves energy.
- One-button design with LED light is simple and convenient.
- One-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- Pricey compared to other models
- Noisy due to vibrating compressor
- 44-lb design reduces portability.
- Must be used indoors.
Portable Ice Maker Buying Guide
Many portable ice machines look alike and have similar features. However, each has unique qualities that suit different needs. Check out the video below for some tips on how to clean one.
Our buying guide will help you find your best fit. We cover essential factors to keep in mind such as: speed, capacity, and weight. The details in our guide can help you make a well-informed decision.
How to Select a Portable Ice Maker
The ice maker you select should offer the performance and features you need. There are dozens of details to consider – ice cube shape, product weight, included accessories, and more. Below are some considerations you should take into account before buying.
Portable ice makers are designed to freeze water very quickly. You want to choose one that processes ice at a rate that suits your needs. Our Best Overall Pick from hOmeLab produces ice in just six to eight minutes. Some models take 15 minutes or more. If you want an ice maker for busy gatherings, consider one with a fast processing cycle.
Every portable ice maker machine can produce a certain amount of ice per day. Our seven picks can produce between 24 pounds to 48 pounds per day. It’s important to choose one that suits your specific needs for ice consumption.
Before you make your final decision, it’s crucial to know the exact size of the portable ice maker machine you’re thinking of buying. You want to make sure that it fits wherever you plan to use it. Our product reviews list the dimensions of all seven machines. It’s a good idea to measure the dimensions of your countertop or any place you plan to use your ice maker.
Each model uses a different amount of power. Many are energy-efficient and use very small amounts. Some also have additional energy-saving features.
For example, there are portable ice makers that have an automatic shutoff function to conserve energy when ice isn’t being produced. Others recycle water by using melted ice cubes. You should look for these features if you want an energy-efficient model.
Product design covers many aspects of a portable ice maker. For example, some buyers may want a machine that’s sleek with an LCD display. Others want a no-frills model with a simple control panel. Some machines even have low-noise motors for quiet operation.
Color and materials are additional design factors. Overall, product design is a matter of personal preference. Closely review product photos and descriptions to make sure you get one that suits your taste.
Weight is a factor to consider because it affects portability. If you only plan to use your ice maker machine at home, the weight may not matter much overall. If you plan to use it in multiple settings, a lightweight model can be ideal. The COSTWAY Counter Top Machine is the lightest option on our list at 17.5 pounds. The heaviest option is the 44 pound Opal Nugget.
Ice Cube Options
This is another feature that’s mostly a matter of personal preference. Some models only produce ice cubes in one or two sizes. Others let you choose small, medium, or large. Most portable models produce bullet-shaped ice, but some produce traditional cubes. Our product reviews provide details about ice cube options.
Accessories may not be a crucial factor to consider, but it’s still something to keep in mind. A portable ice machine that comes with accessories offers you more value for your money. Examples of accessories include ice cube scoops and removable ice buckets. We’ve listed the included accessories in our individual reviews.
For many buyers, a low-maintenance ice maker machine is ideal. Most models require regular cleaning, but some are easier to clean than others. Maintenance also includes the process of setting up an ice maker. Some may be ready to use within minutes while others may require some product assembly. You should make sure you consider maintenance factors if this feature is important to you.
Most portable ice makers are typically covered by limited manufacturer warranties or guarantees. One-year to five-year warranties are pretty common. Some machines are also covered by money-back guarantees. For example, you may have 30 days from the date of purchase to return your portable machine for a full refund. We’ve provided the warranty details you need in each review.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do portable ice makers keep ice frozen?
A: No, portable iceare not designed to keep ice frozen. They produce ice cubes for immediate use or for storage in a cooler/freezer.
Q: How long do ice machines take to make ice?
A: It varies. The amount of time it takes depends on the portable ice maker. Some models produce ice cubes in just six minutes. Other models take up to 15 minutes.
Q: Does an ice maker need a water line?
A: No, an ice maker doesn’t need a water line. You fill a portable machine using tap water or bottled water.
Q: Do ice makers use a lot of electricity?
A: No. They use small amounts of electricity and many models are designed for energy efficiency. Automatic power shut off and water recycling features are two features that reduce energy consumption.
Q: How much water does a portable ice maker use?
A: The amount of water it uses depends on the water reservoir. This is the refillable water tank used to produce ice cubes. Many models hold approximately 2-3 quarts of water at a time, but it varies with each model.
Q: What type of water should I add to my ice maker?
A: You can add tap water and some forms of bottled water. But ice maker manufacturers discourage the use of certain types of water – always check the user manual.
For example, distilled water is drinkable but some portable ice makers have performance issues if this water is used.
A portable ice maker is a helpful and convenient invention. You get refreshing ice in minutes whether you’re at home, the office, your RV, or wherever an outlet is available. There’s no need to worry about the expense or hassle of buying bagged ice any longer.
Our Best Overall Pick (hOmeLabs ) meets the needs of most buyers. It’s energy-efficient and lightweight at under 20 pounds. The design is user-friendly and you get ice cubes in just six to eight minutes.
The production cycle creates up to 26 pounds per day. So it can supply plenty of ice for any event. If the Best Pick isn’t ideal for you, there are other great options to check out on our list.
We hope that after reading our detailed portable ice maker reviews and comprehensive buying guide, you’ll have all the information you need to select the portable ice maker that is perfect for your kitchen.