At first, glance, picking a portable ice maker might seem relatively straightforward. You choose a model that fits the space you plan on using it, make sure it has good reviews, and you’re done, right?
Well, yes and no. You might get what you want, but you might also be missing out on a cool feature you didn’t even know about. Or you might buy a model which doesn’t meet your needs.
I’ve created this site to help you select a countertop ice maker to fit your needs. Below you’ll find the most common features you can expect to find. Once you get an understanding of what’s available, you can select the ice maker that’s perfect for your needs.
Below the comparison table, you’ll find the portable ice maker reviews and buyer’s guide.
Best Portable Ice Machines of 2016
|Della Express||26||12 x 16 x 15 in||24 lbs||$|
|Gourmia GI110||26||14.8 x 12.9 x 11.8 in||21.4 lbs||$|
|Mr. Freeze MIM-18 Maxi-Matic||26||15.3 x 15 x 11 in||22.6 lbs||$|
|Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S||26||14.8 x 11 x 14.7 in||21.2 lbs||$$|
|Igloo ICE103||26||12 x 14 x 15 in||25.9 lbs||$$|
|Hamilton Beach Stainless Steel||25||10.5 x 14.4 x 13.5 in||23.6 lbs||$$|
|NutriChef PICEM25||22||14.1 x 12.9 x 9.5 in||23.1 lbs||$$|
|Edgestar IP210SS1||28||14.5 x 14.5 x 11.75 in||25 lbs||$$|
|NewAir AI-100R||28||15 x 14.5 x 12 in||24.3 lbs||$$|
|NutriChef PICEM70||33||16.5 x 12 x 17.2 in||28.6 lbs||$$$|
Della Portable Electric Ice Maker Machine Review
This Della electric portable ice machine can make up to 26 pounds of ice per day. It makes ice in two different sizes and finishes each batch of ice in approximately six minutes.
The push button controls make using this machine extremely easy. The LED indicator lights will let you know when the ice basket is full and when to add more water to the reservoir.
- Solid reviews and ratings with very few lemons being shipped.
- Inexpensive compared to fancier models that do the same thing.
- One of the fastest cycles at just six minutes.
- Cubes can be thin if reservoir water is too warm. Fix this by adding the first batch of ice to the reservoir.
- A little noisy but that can only be expected from a device with a compressor.
Gourmia GI110 Review
The Gourmia GI110 is one of the smallest and lightest ice makers you can find. If space on your counter top is at a premium, this may be the right choice for you. It has a digital display and push-button controls, although there isn’t much to configure.
This machine can produce up to 26 pounds of ice per day, much like its bigger competition. It has a removable ice basket that can be used to dump your ice when moving it to your freezer. It also has an ice scoop that is the perfect size for filling glasses easily.
- Relatively quiet in operation. You will probably only ever notice it when it’s dumping ice into the basket.
- Excellent insulation. Cubes don’t melt very quickly when you set the size to large and have a full basket of ice.
- Has a clock and a timer you can use to program the machine.
- Instructions are a little difficult to understand.
- Digital display is not as easy to use.
Mr. Freeze MIM-18 Maxi-Matic Review
The Mr. Freeze MIM-18 Maxi-Matic is a standout machine and probably deserves to be higher on the list. It costs about 30-40% more than the competition. However, the higher price is justified by superior craftsmanship and engineering. Some people claim to have had their Mr. Freezer ice machine for ten years or longer.
I like the stainless steel finish on this model. The controls are easy to use and it comes with an ice bucket and scoop. Like most “smaller” models, it makes up to 26 pounds of ice per day in batches of 9 cubes. If you want an ice maker that looks nice and is extremely reliable, I would recommend checking this one out.
- External drain to empty water reservoir. Sure beats tipping it upside down!
- Complete stainless steel finish. Lid is black plastic with the controls trimmed in stainless steel.
- Extremely simple to use. On/Off button, ice full LED, add water LED. It doesn’t get much more straightforward.
- Requires a manual restart after refilling the reservoir. It’s easy to forget to turn it back on after it’s been refilled.
- Some people claim it’s noisy, although some people say that they hardly notice it at all. Probably depends on how close you are to it when the compressor is running.
Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Review
The Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S is a nice ice machine to buy if you’re not looking for anything fancy. It has one of the larger footprints and you might be surprised how big it is when you get it home. On the plus side, the large size equals large ice cubes. You could probably fit 4-5 of the cubes made on the large setting in the palm of your hand.
This is another 26 pound per day model. It has a plastic silver finish and weighs slightly less than other comparable models of this size. It has push button controls and LED indicator lights to let you know when its full or when its time to fill the reservoir with water. It also has a small window that allows you to take a peek at your ice while it’s being made and check how full the ice basket is.
- Half the price of other models. No reason to pay more.
- Makes nice big ice cubes. The large setting makes cubes about the size of cubes that come from an ice tray you fill with water and put in your freezer.
- Makes ice fast. Each cycle is only 6-7 minutes depending on how long the machine has been running.
- Ice can be a little smaller when you first turn the machine on. The cubes tend to get bigger the longer it runs.
- Looks kind of cheap compared to the stainless steel models. It does the job, though.
Igloo ICE103 Review
The Igloo ICE103 can make up to 26 pounds of ice per day. It has an oversized ice bucket that can hold up to 2.2 pounds of ice at a time. You can select between three different sizes of ice: small, medium, or large. It runs on just 120 watts of power and has a fan cooled compressor. It has a stainless steel finish and it lightweight enough to take with you anywhere you go.
Setting up the ICE103 is quick and easy. You fill the reservoir with water, select the size of the ice you’d like, and press start. Within minutes it will have completed its first cycle, and you will have fresh ice to use. Of course, to get 26 pounds of ice per day you will need to empty the ice bucket when it gets full.
- Doesn’t use much power and won’t cost you very much money to run it. Most people report between 10 to 15 cents of electricity per day. This all depends on how long the ice maker runs and how much your electricity costs.
- Sold by a trusted name brand that will have no problem backing up their warranty.
- Fairly quiet. The loudest thing it does is drop ice into the bucket.
- Not much difference in size between the small, medium, and large ice cubes.
- Takes up a lot of room on your countertop. This is not a small device despite how small it looks in some pictures.
Hamilton Beach Stainless Steel Review
This model produces nine ice cubes per cycle and up to 25 pounds of ice per day. The compressor has been engineered to last a long time and operates quietly. There are three LED indicator lights that let you know when the machine is operating when it needs water added, and when the ice basket is full. The reservoir holds 2.5 liters of water and the ice basket can store up to two pounds of ice. This model as comes in other colors like candy apple red and black, although I tend to prefer stainless steel to painted plastic.
Getting started with this device is super easy. You just fill it with water and press the power button. It only makes ice in a single size, although the sizes aren’t usually that much different in the models that offer multiple sizes. The ice basket is removable, so you can easily dump the ice you make into a cooler or put it in the freezer. It even comes with a plastic ice scoop to help you remove your frozen gems.
- Self cleaning function. You won’t have to worry about cleaning this one manually.
- Stainless steel finish. You won’t ever have to worry about rusting or fading.
- High efficiency compressor that is very quiet. This unit is very inexpensive to run even if you leave it on 24/7 and you can barely hear it when it does run.
- Doesn’t make as much ice as fast as comparable models. Not recommended for households that demand a lot of ice.
- Only makes one size of ice. Making smaller cubes usually means you can make more ice faster.
NutriChef PICEM25 Review
The NutriChef PICEM25 is a very straightforward machine that only does exactly what you’d expect it to; it just makes ice. The only thing you need to know about this model is that you fill it with water and press a button. No additional settings are necessary to get it running. It has a stainless steel exterior and a stain-resistant housing that is easy to clean.
Each cycle lasts about 10 minutes, and this machine can make up to 22 pounds of ice per day, slightly less than comparable models. There are two LED indicator lights that let you know when the ice bucket is full and when to add more water. There’s a small window on top you can look in to check up on the progress of your ice and see if the basket needs to be dumped. The ice basket can be pulled out to take out all of the ice, or you can use the included plastic scoop to dish out the frozen magic.
- Without a doubt the easiest to use model available on the market. There’s only one button to press, and you’ve got ice in about 10 minutes.
- Doesn’t make as much noise as other ice makers. The compressor is relatively quiet and makes a small hum compared to the sound you might hear from a small refrigerator.
- Smallest out of all the models reviewed. About the size of a bread machine. Won’t hog your counter like some of the other machines.
- Makes slightly less ice than most of the other models on the market; 22 pounds of ice per day compared to the 26 pounds that most machines can do.
- Doesn’t have any special features like being able to select the size of the ice you want or a timer to set.
Edgestar IP210SS1 Review
The Edgestar IP210SS1 costs a little bit more but offers every feature you could expect to find in a high-end model. It can produce up to 28 pounds of ice per day, nearly 10% more than the competition. It has a huge 1-gallon reservoir that’s 33-50% larger than other similar models, so you won’t have to refill it as often. It has push-button controls on the front of the device that allow you to select between three different sizes of ice.
The ice basket holds up to 2 pounds of ice. There are LED indicator lights that tell you when your device is full and when the reservoir needs to be refilled with water. Each batch of ice takes up to 10 minutes to finish, depending on the size of the ice you have selected. This model also comes with a plastic ice scoop big enough to fill a pint glass most of the way. There’s also a drain on the side so you can easily empty the water out which is especially useful when cleaning your machine.
- Detailed, helpful user manual written in CLEAR ENGLISH. You won’t have any doubt about the use and maintenance of this machine.
- Excellent customer service in the event of a product failure. Reading the reviews online you will quickly realize that Edgestar takes their customer service very quickly, which I think is extremely important when buying online.
- Very few complaints in the customer reviews online. Lots and lots of satisfied customers.
- The three different sizes of ice aren’t really that different.
- Large reservoir and large capacity equals large footprint. This is one of the larger models we reviewed.
NewAir AI-100R Review
Thew NewAir AI-100R is the red version of the well known AI-100 model. Other colors this model come in include black, silver, turquoise, and orange. I prefer the red model myself, and that’s the reason why I decided to review the red one. This unit can make up to 28 pounds of ice per day, much like the Edgestar listed above. It has an LED control panel and push-button controls. LED lights let you know when your ice basket is full and when to add water.
This model can create ice in three different sizes, although, like most comparable machines, the difference in size is negligible. It has a drain on the side that makes it super easy to change the water out and clean. The AI-100 has been a long-time favorite and looks nice in this fire engine red color. It’s tough to find a negative review about this model and thousands upon thousands of them have been sold.
- Well insulated design keeps the ice frozen for a long period. Even if the ice melts the water goes back into the reservoir to make more ice.
- A lot of customers report getting many years of service out of this model. The build quality is top-notch, especially compared to other models.
- Makes ice that is soft but still very crunchy. Perfect for anyone who loves chewing ice.
- Always needs to be refilled with water. I would recommend using filtered water of some kind.
- Plastic water cup may fail after a few years of use. However, this is an inexpensive part that can be easily replaced.
- Tap directly into a water source. Never fill the reservoir manually.
- Digital LCD display for programming and indicators.
- LARGE four pound refrigerated storage compartment. Almost half the storage of a 10-pound bag of ice you’d buy at the store. Your ice will stay frozen and won’t melt like other machines.
- Cheap looking plastic finish. Would have LOVED to see this one in stainless steel.
- The user manual is terrible and hard to understand.
NutriChef PICEM70 Review
The NutriChef PICEM70 is sort of the “Cadillac of Ice Makers.” It has all the bells and whistles you could ever want, along with a hefty price tag to match. The main feature that separates this machine from the competition is the fact that you can tap it into a water supply and never have to manually fill the reservoir. For me, that feature alone is worth its weight in gold. It also has a refrigerated ice storage compartment, so your ice won’t melt like it does on other machines.
Not only can you plumb this unit directly, but it also has a massive four-pound storage capacity. That’s nearly double the storage of every other portable model on the market. It has a removable ice bucket and plastic ice scoop that you can use to transfer your ice to the freezer or scoop it into a glass. The see-through window will let you monitor the process and check up on the ice basket to see if it needs dumping without having to open up the machine.
Best Portable Ice Maker Brands
Below you’ll find a quick index of every review available on this site sorted by brand along with a few additional resources.
You can also scroll down to the bottom of this page to see abbreviated reviews with large pictures.
We’ve taken the time to compile all of the possible features you might find in a home ice maker. Below you’ll find a list of features, along with an explanation of why each one is important.
This is the theoretical maximum number of pounds of ice your portable ice machine could make in a single day. Of course, this would only be possible if the reservoir was ALWAYS full and the ice basket was emptied when it got full.
How much ice do you plan on using? Most people would probably be satisfied with models producing about 20-30 pounds of ice per day.
If you plan to host parties or events, you may want to find a model which can produce 30+ pounds of ice or more per day. 30+ pounds of ice might seem like a lot, but remember, it doesn’t all come out at once.
Anyone searching for a counter top ice machine will want to carefully consider the dimensions of the machine they plan on buying. In general, the more ice a machine can produce in a day, the larger the footprint.
A small ice machine may fit on your counter fine, but it won’t necessarily put out as many pounds of ice per day as some of the bigger units.
A small ice maker will only weigh about 20-25 pounds while the larger models can get up to 35+ pounds. It’s important to consider the weight of your new machine if you plan on lugging it around with you to your RV, boat, or camp site.
A residential ice maker shouldn’t run you more than $120-$250, depending on the size of the machine and the features it offers. Even the best portable ice maker isn’t going to be THAT MUCH better than a machine costing $120-$150, so don’t overpay!
How fast do you need your ice? Fortunately, most portable ice machine will start pumping out fresh cubes in 15 minutes or less. You won’t have to wait long to start making ice cold beverages.
If you need a lot of ice fast, you might want to consider a model with the shortest cycle length. Some units will produce ice in as little as 6 minutes.
How big do you want your cubes to be? Some ice makers will only produce cubes of a single size, while others will allow you to change the size.
Of course, different machines will create ice cubes of different shapes as well as sizes. Some ice machines create smaller cubes that are generally referred to as pellets while other machines will create cubes that are much larger and might be called nuggets. Some machines can even create both and other sizes in between.
This is usually standard on most models. Don’t bother picking up a machine that doesn’t have overflow protection. Overflow protection turns your machine off once the ice basket is filled, preventing an avalanche of ice overflow.
Your control panel will help you control your device while also providing valuable information like when your ice basket is full and when you need to add more water.
An LED (Light Emitting Diode) control panel is found on basic units. Tiny LED lights will indicate modes being used and tell you when to add more water or when your ice is ready.
LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays) can be found on more advanced models. LCD displays will typically use words to display information, rather than using indicator lights.
It might not seem that important, but your ice basket plays a significant role in your ice maker’s functionality.
How much ice can your basket hold at one time? Once your basket is full, your ice machine will stop making ice. A small basket means less ice to use at any given time.
A removable ice basket is a great feature to look for. You can take the whole basket out and dump it into another container or bring the ice to your table or bar for making drinks.
The reservoir capacity is also good to know. It determines how much ice can be made before you have to refill your device. A small reservoir means you’ll be adding water continuously.