Best Portable Ice Makers For Ice In An Instant

best portable ice maker reviewsPortable Ice Makers

If you’ve ever thrown a party or gone through a hot summers day without a cold drink, you know how important having some ice at hand can be.

This is where buying an ice maker can solve several problems.

An ice maker is capable of producing ice of different shapes and sizes, suitable for multiple purposes

We’ve looked at 38 portable ice makers and covered more than 63 hours of research and testing to create this review which lead us to recommend that the Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker stands out as the best portable ice maker to buy for most people. This home ice maker has loads of useful features and scored the highest with us and our product testing panelists.

Top Pick:

1. Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket

Why our reviews are trustworthy

We have covered ice makers, ice trays and ice cream makers here at for a few years now. Since we started covering them, we have logged many hours of research and testing (After which, a long, ice cold drink was needed by all). We’ve looked at a large number of types of ice making machines to create this review each year.

Did you know that the first artificial refrigeration demonstration happened in Glasgow, Scotland as long ago as 1748?

We always keep up with reviews from other noteworthy companies that also test or review products, such as, Reevoo, Which? and ConsumerReports.

Then we do our own testing by consulting experts (see credits at the end), and testing ourselves and with members of our consumer product testing groups to provide their feedback through our extensive product testing programs.

*This review covers top ice maker machines before and since the last time we created this guide:

Our Other Top Picks:

Who should get this?

Everyone who wants to save time by having an almost instant supply of fresh ice at home or if you have one already, take a look at the best ones on this list and ask yourself:

“Self, would you say such great things about the ice maker you have right now?”

If the answer is no, it’s time to get yourself a better one armed with this review.

Now, most of us enjoy an ice cold drink on a hot summer’s day or at a dinner party. We think about spending our hard earned money on all sorts of portable ice makers, read the best electric ice maker reviews until our heads literally spin and, allow people on TV and in magazine adverts to convince us that the best best counter top ice maker is theirs.

Well, to try and end all this advertising craziness, and to hopefully save you time, hassle and maybe a few dollars, I am sharing with you the results of our research and testing.

How we began the selection process

We started by making a list of all of the top rated portable ice maker machines that we could find for sale in high street stores and online. We then scoured literally, thousands of reviews to be able to bring you the most helpful information on the best ice makers for home use.

We listed 21 in the selection for this category:

There are so many variables to get right: the materials used, the size and capacity, the speed, the type of ice produced, the usability and how effective they were are. There are countless styles of ice machines out there, and choosing the right one for your needs is essential to making a successful purchase.

Speed of production, most portable ice makers can produce around 25-30lbs of ice in a 24 hour period, however the speed at which the ice makers can produce their first batch of ice can vary from 5 to 15 minutes. Either way, it’s still a much faster process than waiting for the water in ice cube trays to freeze.

Once made, the ice is dispensed into Storage Bins, some of which are detachable. The good thing about having a removable storage bin, apart from making carriage easier, it is that you can simply put it into the dishwasher for cleaning, saving you time and energy.

The storage bin’s capacity can vary from 1lbs up to around 3lbs.

Many residential ice makers provide a choice in the type of ice produced. Options available often include a choice of size (small, medium or large) or shape (cube, bullet, pellet). Some ice making machines even produce clear ice, which looks fantastic and melts at a much slower rate than cloudy ice due to density.

Usability. Portable ice makers couldn’t be more simple to use. Simply fill the reservoir with either tap or bottled water, press the button and the machine will do the rest. Most residential ice makers also recycle any melted ice cubes back into fresh ice automatically.

Indicators, the first type is a water gauge which will alert you when the reservoir level is running low, the second will alert you when the ice tray becomes full and needs emptying. LCD displays and control panels often also include size settings, programmable timers and other useful features.

Materials, automatic ice makers tend to be made from either plastic or stainless steel, ensuring that not only do they look great in your kitchen but are easy to clean as well.

Warranty, most of these products come with a standard one year warranty. However, there are some that  come with extended warranty that will give you some longer extra protection. You can also consider buying extra warranty time for some of the more expensive residential ice making machines.

After wading through days of reading everything from scientific papers, and manufacturers product specifications to consumer reviews (plus one or two heated debates between us all), we were able to get the list down to the top 10  ice makers we finally selected to be tested.

How we tested them

The primary task of any ice maker is to produce great looking ice in a very short space of time. This year we tested the ice makers using a a variety of non-alcoholic cocktail recipes from Mocktails: The Complete Bartender’s Guide , we spent a long time tasting different types for coolness and longevity before we decided on the ones for the tests (another of the fun parts of this review).

We selected our participants from our product testing programs and then sent out the makers with the recipes for them to test at home, and also got the makers ready for our in-house panelists (including ourselves).  Once everyone had their ice makers to test, each panelist started by noting down the build quality, size, settings, features and other basic statistics for them.

Then everyone got to work and made some ice cubes and noting down the time it took, how many were produced, the ease of use, the size, the shape, the uniformity, how clear they were, and the density of them and applying a score for each. This process was repeated several times for each machine across all of the panelists. We also used an app to measure the decibel level of the machines.

After a couple of weeks the testing phase was up, we had finished testing all the products and the panelists scorecards were stacked up ready to be analyzed.  We eagerly awaited the results, so we would know what the ranking order of the top rated portable ice makers was, and after a couple of days they were ready.  Then we looked at the prices and found our favorite picks were not always the more expensive ones.

Though, mostly with these products, you truly get what you pay for.

Other Picks to Consider:

2. Luma Comfort IM200SS Portable Clear Ice Maker

Price: $199
Buy Now

The Luma Comfort IM200SS is a contender to be the best portable ice maker in any stylish kitchen or bar at home, with its shiny stainless steel finish and glowing blue control panel. It’s a space-saving counter top design, a little more squared-off than most, with a control panel set in the center of the black lid that slopes towards you. Its major selling point is that it uses a different process to create crystal clear ice, setting it apart from other ice makers’ cloudy products.

Pros

Attractive design

Beautifully clear ice

Quiet operation

Melts and re-uses unused ice

Cons

Small controls

No window in lid

Not the fastest to produce first batch

Performance

The ice is, as promised, clear and uniform. It’s attractive to look at and does seem to melt slower in drinks. Maybe no surprise that it’s not the fastest ice make we’ve tested. It will only take a minute or so longer, and is still capable of producing 28 pounds in 24 hours.

Settings/Features

In keeping with its sleek appearance, the Luma Comfort promises to deliver clear, restaurant-quality ice ready for summer beverages and cocktails. There’s a simple to use LED control panel, and warnings of low water level or the bucket filling with ice. It is able to re-use melted ice for another batch.

Ease of Cleaning

The whole unit is flat surfaces so easy to wipe clean. The stainless steel front and sides are clear of where most contact is made, so fingermarks are not much of an issue.

Ease of Use

It’s straightforward to fill and go, as there aren’t many controls at all. It holds over 2 pounds of ice before it needs clearing to make way for new batches

Durability

The materials have a reassuringly solid feel as well as pleasing shape.

Dimensions

14.1″ H x 11.3″ W x 14.8″ L

Shipping Weight

25.5 lbs

Warranty and Support

There is a 12 month warranty and service from Luma, and customer feedback on their help and support is very positive.

Conclusion

A compact, clear ice maker with style, both in its own form and the ice it produces. The beautifully clear ice will attract some positive comments, and the Luma Comfort IM200SS is one of the top portable ice makers to buy for a contemporary kitchen or bar with its smart stainless steel design. It’s also a well-designed, space saving unit without the curves of some machines. It lacks a couple of alert features and a viewing window that other machines have. But if ice quality is your priority, this is possibly the best ice maker we’ve tested.

3. DELLA 048-GM-48183 Portable Ice Maker

 

Price: $113
Buy Now

With its super size capacity, the Della 048-GM-48183 is a fast and sleek portable ice maker for occasions demanding a speedy supply of ice. It’s a compact black and white unit promising to make bullet-shaped ice in as little as 6 minutes, and is then capable of delivering up to 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours.

Pros

Well designed basket drains and lifts out easily

Attractive touch control panel

Compact footprint: ideal if countertop space is limited

First batch of ice ready very quickly

Cons

Ice bullets not as clear (or attractive) as cubes from some ice makers

Performance

The first batch of 9 pieces of ice was ready impressively fast, in under six minutes. Smaller ice bullets were somewhat quicker to produce than large ones. The bullets are consistent in shape, but don’t have the crystal clear appearance of some cubes.

Settings/Features

The touch control panel has two buttons, On/Off and Select to choose cube size. Above this are five lights indicating the selected size, power and an Add Water light that comes on when it’s ready for a top-up with another 2.3 quarts of water. There’s an Ice Full light that’s hardly needed as the see-through window in the lid is so big. If this comes in, the unit automatically shuts off to prevent overflow.

Ease of Cleaning

Sometimes it’s good to have an attractive and curved design that’s not finished in stainless steel, as this is easier to keep clean and free of finger marks. Any greasy marks wipe away easily and the plastic outer surfaces clean up well. The ice bucket is removable and washable, and the inside stays pretty fresh anyway but is easy to reach when needed.

Ease of Use

There are just two buttons and a choice of large or standard cubes, so anyone can add water and make some ice. It resumes quickly if it’s just been turned back on or relocated, so the unit handy for moving around between locations close to each other.

The bucket insulates well, preventing melting if power is disconnected. It is well drained and minimizes dripping when retrieving ice from the ice maker.

Durability

The working parts, notably the basket, are tough and should stand up to heavy use for a long time.

Dimensions

14.5″ x 9.75″ x 12.75″

Shipping Weight

21 lbs

Warranty and Support

The portable ice maker has a 12 month warranty from Della.

Conclusion

It’s a neat space-saving design from Della, and you’d happily keep it out on your countertop as it’s sleek and attractive. If you need a good volume of ice in a hurry, and a portable ice maker to move it around and plug in somewhere else, it’s a good choice.

If you want your ice to be on display, perfectly formed squared-off cubes that add to the appearance of cocktails or spirits, then maybe this is not the best ice maker, as the bullets have a frosted look, and melt sooner than cubes from other machines.

4. Ivation 48-Pound Daily Capacity Counter Top Ice Maker

 

Price: $199
Buy Now

Ivation aims to bring you the best portable ice maker for parties, capable of producing up to 48 pounds of ice cubes in 24 hours, almost double the output of a standard ice maker. It’s a cube shaped unit in attractive silver plastic with a black lid, and not much larger than standard size ice makers, which is good work considering it holds twice as much water.

Pros

Excellent shape and separation of ice

Neat recycling feature means unused ice doesn’t get wasted

Large 4.7 qt tank means less refilling

Cons

Trays make more effort to extract ice

Control panel could be easier to read

Relatively bulky and heavy

Performance

The Ivation ice maker has its first batch of ice ready in 8 to 10 minutes, and at its highest setting can then produce 48lbs of cubes through the following day. All three sizes of cubes (achieved using the different trays) were well defined and clear, so it’s one of the best ice makers if you need your ice to look its best.

Settings/Features

There are alerts for anything that can go wrong making ice. Full bucket (with automatic shut-off), low water level, session on standby or issues getting the water into the trays: the Ivation unit warns you about all these things. If you leave unused ice in there, it can melt and reuse it in the next batch: this ice recycling is a very smart feature that means even less frequent topping up of the large reservoir. There’s a large viewing window and a flat, wipe-clean touch control panel.

Ease of Cleaning

It’s simple to wipe down the outside, and remove the bucket and insides for cleaning, although having trays makes a bit of extra cleaning.

Ease of Use

It’s easy to fill up and put it to work, but consider whether you want to use trays to distribute your ice, or would prefer to have a bucket of loose cubes.

Durability

Solid and well built with sturdy trays and bucket, it should be built to last.

Dimensions

17 x 17.7 x 17 inches

Shipping Weight

38 lbs

Warranty and Support

The high capacity ice maker comes with a 12 month warranty from Ivation.

Conclusion

One of the largest portable machines in our ice maker reviews, Ivation’s clear ice maker also boasts some smart features like water recycling. There are plenty of warnings if something is stopping the ice coming out less than perfect. The quality and shape of the cubes is a feature that makes this one of the best ice makers. They’re crystal clear and ready to star in eye-catching cocktails and party drinks.

Delivering the ice in trays means excess cubes can be removed from the Ivation machine and stored in a freezer or fridge. The trays make more work for extracting ice (and cleaning) but allow a choice of sizes for your cubes. Still rapid and easily portable despite the extra capacity, the Ivation makes sense if you’re planning big gatherings or events with loads of demand for ice.

5.RCA RIC102 Ice Maker

 

Price: $98

Buy Now

In terms of speed it’s one of the best portable ice makers on the market. We find out how the RCI RIC-102 Silver compact ice maker measures up. It’s a modern curved countertop design with a glossy silver finish that will complement many contemporary kitchen or bar areas.

Pros

Fast ice production

Good value

Attractive and easy to keep clean

Cons

Basic range of options and alerts

A batch of ice won’t go very far

Performance

For the time it takes to get the initial batch of ice ready, the RCI machine is about the best ice maker we’ve tested. Six minutes was all it took, and from there it can go on to make 26 lbs in 24 hours. There are average sized water reservoir (2.3 quarts) and ice bucket (1.5 lb), and it runs comparatively quietly.

Settings/Features

It’s a standard design for these compact countertop ice makers, with a flip-up lid with window forming the front half of the top of the ice maker. At the front of the lid is the flush fitting control panel with power and select buttons for choosing ice cube size. Five LEDs above these indicate the chosen size, power on and if the water needs topping up or the ice bin is full. The RIC-102 shuts off if that happens.

Ease of Cleaning

Silver plastic is much lower maintenance than stainless steel, as dirt shows up less. Basket and ice shovel are easily washed in soapy water, and the inside of the ice maker can be easily drained and rinsed out with water and a little vinegar if needed.

Ease of Use

There’s just small or large cubes to choose from – the rest is automatic so it’s a simple case of fill up and go. You can store a basket of ice inside where it’s good for several hours, or remove it to the freezer ready to make another batch.

Durability

The machine, bucket and ice scoop are chunky and tough, and stood up well to repeated use.

Dimensions

14.8″ x 11″ x 14.3″

Shipping Weight

21.3 lbs

Warranty and Support

RCI provide a 12 month warranty and support for the RIC-102 ice maker.

Conclusion

This is a fast and good value countertop ice maker. It requires topping up with water relatively frequently, but its biggest strength is the short time it takes to produce a batch of ice. So for busy entertaining and parties with easy access to a freezer it’s ideal.  Like many other countertop ice makers the RIC-102 is readily portable and can be transported loaded with water, or some ready made ice stored and insulated inside. The silver plastic finish has a touch more style than a white unit and is better at hiding dirt and marks.

6. Knox Stainless Steel Ice Maker

Price: $139

Buy Now

The Knox Ice Maker has been created for utmost convenience to its consumers. Whether you want to chill a beverage for yourself or make large parties a breeze, the Knox ice maker is definitely the one for you. Even if you’re craving a cold slushie on a hot summer’s day, this fine piece of machinery will produce enough ice for you to throw it in the blender with all of your favorite refreshing flavors.

Having to run to the store to grab a bag of ice can definitely be a hassle, but with the Knox ice maker, never spend your money on ice again! Because it makes a large amount of ice in a snap, you also don’t have to wait for your freezer to freeze a single tray or two.

Pros

Portable

Easy to use

Cons

Can’t store ice for an extended period

Ice sticks together

Performance

This powerful little ice maker can produce 27 pounds of ice a day! Featuring removable trays to make transferring your ice a snap, you can transfer approximately 2.5 pounds of ice at a time. The Knox ice maker also has three different size variations, so you can choose whether you’d prefer small, medium, or large bullet-shaped ice cubes.

Settings/Features

Featuring an easy-to-use control panel and backlit display, you can make your ice cube size selection, check the water level, or even set a timer for when you’d like your machine to produce ice or shut off. Another awesome feature is that your ice maker will refreeze melted water automatically, saving time and conserving water!

Ease of Cleaning

Although it does require taking apart the machine, it is incredibly easy to clean. Just wipe down all of the parts, reassemble, and you’re ready to produce your next round of fresh ice!

Ease of Use

Incredibly easy to use. Just keep an eye on the water level, refill with more water if needed, press the snowflake button and that’s it! You’ll have approximately two pounds of ice in just a few hours.

Durability

This ice maker is incredibly durable. Although quite small, its stainless steel exterior fights against general wear and tear.

Dimensions:

14 x 13.1 x 11.6 inches

Item weight:

25 lbs

Warranty and Support

The Knox ice maker comes with a 12 month warranty and support from Knox Gear.

Conclusion

The Knox ice maker is definitely set apart by other machines like it, being both small and portable. Although it can be a bit spendy initially, just think about all of the time and money you’re saving in the long run!

7. New Air AI-100S Ice Maker

Price: $170

Buy Now

If you are looking for a strong, dependable ice maker that can make a large amount of ice in as little time as possible, then NewAir AI-100S Portable Icemaker is for you. NewAir is a well-respected and trustworthy family owned company that has been producing some of the best portable ice makers since 2002.

Its sleek, silver finish and compact, portable size means it will fit on your counter top very easily. According to portable ice maker reviews, the New Air Portable Ice Maker creates bullet shaped ice cubes in three sizes: small, medium or large, within a fast 6 minutes to 15 minutes. The AI-100S is easy to maintain, simply use the drainage plug located on the side, and drain any excess water. This model comes with an instruction booklet, ice scoop and ice basket.

Pros

Edison Test Labs certified (ETL)

Daily ice making capacity of 28 pounds

Easy to install and use

Does not jam

Cons

No timer

Performance

The New Air ice maker produces a nice amount of ice quickly. Ice can be made every 6 to 15 minutes in one of three sizes: small, medium or large bullet shaped cubes.

Settings/Features

Full ice basket indicator light, add water indicator light, side mounted drain, Ice scoop, automatic overflow protection.

Ease of Cleaning

The New Air is very easy to maintain. Simply drain the excess water at the end of use. The interior can be wiped down with warm water and the ice basket can be washed with warm water as well.

Ease of Use

The New Air Ice Maker is easy to use with its simple push button control via its control panel. Indicator lights alert you when the basket is ready to be emptied or water needs to be refilled. Simply turn the power on, select your ice size and you are done! The ease of use and cleaning help to make this model one of the best ice makers available.

Durability

This is a tough machine, powerful and capable of producing ice all day, whether indoors or outdoors.

Dimensions:

14.5 x 11.8 x 15 Inches (L x W x H)

Shipping Weight:

27.1 pounds

Warranty and Support

1 year limited manufacturer’s warranty. NewAir’s online website also offers customer support via phone and email, there are also video tutorials and instruction manuals.

Conclusion

This is a basic, sturdy and well made ice maker. Its a good compact ice maker and it is its size that makes it portable and easy to transport to sporting events, picnics, back yard get togethers, as well as indoor entertaining. According to our portable ice maker panelists, this is one of the top rated portable ice makers you can buy.

For those of you who enjoy camping, as long as you have access to an electrical supply, you will find this ice maker an asset during your vacation. All in all, this is the perfect appliance for people who are sick and tired of going to the corner store to purchase a bag of ice whenever they need a large supply, as this ice maker can create around 6 to 10 cups of ice, depending on the cube size, every hour.

8. Magic Chef Portable Ice Maker

Price:$169

Buy Now

The Magic Chef Portable Ice Maker, model MCIM22TS, is the perfect purchase for those of you in the market for an ice maker, and one of the best portable ice makers on the market. This model can make up to 27 pounds of ice each day. Those of you who entertain, or just enjoy cold drinks during the hot summer months will supply you with 9 cubes every 7 minutes, which makes it one of the best ice makers on the market.

The digital touch control panel with indicator lights to alert you when your ice is finished, viewing window lets you check on progress. Indicator lights for ice and water levels as well. Ice is produced within 7 minutes, between your choice of small, medium or large cubes, removable ice basket and ice scooper. Small enough to fit on your counter top, and light enough to transport, it comes with an exterior drain, removable ice basket, ice scooper. All in all in our portable ice maker review, we were not surprised that the Magic Chef Portable Ice Maker received very high marks for ease of use and overall performance.

Pros

Continuously operates as long as water is available

Produces ice very quickly

Easy to operate and maintain

Portable and compact

Cons

This model can get loud

Not much difference between the cube sizes

Performance

In our portable ice maker review, our panelists found this an exceptional ice machine. The Magic Chef Ice cube maker can create up to 27 pounds of ice in one day, with the touch of your fingertips. As long as the water reservoir is kept filled, this ice maker has no problem making ice continually and fast.

Settings/Features

This model has a transparent window so you can check on progress without stopping the machine, a digital control panel to select cube size and start and stop functions, an ice basket, ice scoop, ice shovel and water drain cap.

Ease of Cleaning

Maintenance of this ice maker is easy. Simply wipe down the interior and exterior with a soft cloth and diluted warm soap, and wash the ice basket in warm water. The exterior drain also makes maintenance easy.

Ease of Use

Easy to use with the one touch display setting. Simply choose your ice cube size, and start the ice making cycle. Overall, ease of use and maintenance make this model one of the best ice makers in its price range.

Durability

Made from durable stainless steel, this ice machine can work all day, 7 days a week. It’s tough, solidly made ice machine.

Dimensions:

14.5 x 11.7 x 14.9 inches (L x W x H)

Shipping Weight:

26.1 pounds

Warranty and Support

1 year warranty for the unit, 5 year warranty on the compressor. The Magic Chef website also offers product registration, information on service centers, instruction manuals, parts information as well as contacting customer support via email and phone.

Conclusion

One of the top rated portable ice makers available, the Magic Chef 27 pound Ice Maker is your go to solution when you need ice, and need it fast. Whether you are a weekend athlete and need access to ice for sore muscles, entertaining friends, or simply enjoying a large pitcher of ice cold, frosty soda on a hot day, this ice machine is a good fit for your lifestyle.

Some bags of ice can run as high as $4 at the market, so this ice machine will save you in the long run. Long lasting, and scores high on our portable ice maker review, this ice maker is just built for your busy lifestyle.

9. Gourmia GI500 Compact Ice Maker

Price: $149

Buy Now

The stainless steel GI500 Digital Electric compact ice maker by Gourmia, is one powerhouse of an appliance, and one of the best portable ice makers on the market today. Indeed, in portable ice maker reviews, the GI500 scores high with those of us who found it indispensable for entertaining, relaxing and all around partying.

The GI500 uses the exact same technology found in commercial ice makers. This tough, industrial strength and compact ice maker has no problem fitting on your kitchen counter top, while producing up to 1.5 pounds of ice in 10 to 15 minutes. This ice machine can produce over 26 pounds of ice per day. This ice maker is very easy to operate via an automated control panel, timer, auto shut off, standby, EasyVue transparent lid, EasyTurn water drain, programmable settings and a refill alarm. The interior of the ice maker is insulated with a 2 quart water capacity. This model comes with a detailed instruction manual.

Pros

Compact, portable and easy to transport

Large, 2 quart water reservoir capacity

Industrial strength technology

Edison Test Laboratories Certified (ETL)

Cons

The alarms can be annoying for some users

Performance

Excellent ice maker that will be your best friend at the bar when party time comes around, as it makes ice fast and continually, over 26 pounds in one day. The cubes come in 3 different sizes to facilitate different glasses. All in all, this ice maker does very well in all best portable ice maker reviews.

Settings/Features

The control panel is automated. There is a timer, standby and auto shut off, and an alarm which tells you it is time to refill the ice maker. All these features make this one of the best ice makers you can purchase.

Ease of Cleaning

Very easy to maintain and clean, simply follow the instructions in the manual which state to take a water and vinegar mixture and run it through the clean cycle 2 times, and you are finished.

Ease of Use

With a digital, automated control panel and ability to program your favorite settings, this ice maker is exceptionally easy to use. Even with a 2 quart water capacity, no need to worry if you run low during a cycle, as the alarm will alert you to refill.

Durability

This is a stainless steel, industrial strength product which uses the same technology found in commercial ice makers used in restaurants and bars. Solid and tough, and able to withstand regular usage with ease.

Dimensions:

14.5 x 10 x 12.5 inches (L x W x H)

Shipping Weight:

25.5 pounds

Warranty and Support

Limited one year manufacturers warranty. Gourmia makes some of the best ice makers on the market, and stand behind their products, offering additional customer support via the phone and email.

Conclusion

The GI500 Digital Electric Compact ‘Ice Now!’ Ice Machine Plus is one of the best portable ice makers to buy, and perfect for those who love to entertain and throw parties, as it can create as much ice as you need for drinks, plus the ability to choose 3 different sizes of cubes to fit different glasses. It is portable, which means if you have an outdoor workshop in the garage or love to garden, you can have some nice, cold ice drinks whenever you feel the need.

10. Koldfront Ultra Compact Portable Ice Maker

Price:$125

Buy Now

The Koldfront Ultra Compact Portable Ice Maker is another contender for best portable ice maker. It’s a slim design, just 9 inches across, so it’s ideal for traveling or maximizing countertop space.

Despite its size it packs a punch and can produce large volumes of ice – up to 28 lbs in a day. The reservoir would need refilling slightly more often than larger machines. However, this makes it lighter and easier to transport.

Pros

good value

very compact design

clarity of control panel

no ice trays

melts and recycles unused ice

Cons

bullet shaped ice may not suit everyone

slightly lower batch capacity than other machines

Performance

The first batch is ready in around 10 minutes, whether you select the large or small size ice bullets. Other ice makers are faster but it’s impressive for such a small unit. It’s functional ice for getting drinks cold rather than looking pretty. Bottled and filtered water produce somewhat clearer results.

Settings/Features

There are only a couple of options (for ice size) and so it’s simple to use. Unused ice is melted, recycled and used again.

Ease of Cleaning

Having just a bucket, rather than trays to clean is an advantage. The white outer case marks quite easily but can be wiped down with soapy water.

Ease of Use

Just fill it up, choose your bullets (regular or large) and go. Having a bucket of ice ready to go without unloading any trays is a bonus.

Durability

A few parts like the plastic flap over the reservoir don’t seem too robust, but the important working parts like the basket and lid are strong and tough.

Dimensions

12.6″ x 9.3″ x 14″

Shipping Weight

20.3 lbs

Warranty and Support

A 12 month warranty is provided with the Koldfront Ultra Compact Portable Ice Maker.

Conclusion

It’s a mini unit that still has an impressive output of up to 28 lbs per day. Its compact size and lighter carrying weight make the Koldfront Ultra Compact model one of the best ice makers for moving around a site or traveling. It insulates the ice for a good while and recycles it if you have to wait too long.

This makes a good choice for occasional use among our portable ice maker reviews. If you want a unit you can stow away or leave free counter space, its small size is a bonus. It’s cheap to buy and quick to dispense ice, doing away with fiddly trays. If you’re not an ice snob and are happy with bullet-shaped cubes from a plain white ice maker, the Koldfront may be the best portable ice maker for you.

Portable Ice Makers – A Buyer’s Guide

Nothing tastes better than an ice-cold drink on a hot summer day, at a spring picnic, or being lazy at home. Coca Cola has marketed this fact as well – ‘What tastes better than an ice cold Coke?’. While an in the door ice maker is nice to have, who can afford a new refrigerator with that luxury? Something to consider would be a portable ice maker. They are convenient and great to have around. While there are the large ones, as found in restaurants and hotels, there is a more readily available option – a counter top, or portable, ice maker. They can be large or small, come in different colors, brands, and will produce different types of ice. To further untangle the information, let’s get a little background on them.

What is a portable ice maker?

These machines are wonderfully useful. Portable ice makers do not require a fixed water line to produce their cubes, unlike a fridge. Additionally they are designed to take up as little, or as much, space as you require. Portable ice makes are considered a small appliance, like a 2 slice toaster that you will need to be able to plug in. When you’ve purchased the best portable ice maker for you, instructions on how to care, and even more important, set up are found within the packaging. You’ll of course need to add water and be patient with your counter top ice maker until the time specified in the user manual has passed and you’ve got your first batch of ice! More than likely you’ll want to run a full ‘cycle’ of the portable ice maker to ensure that all is operating as it should be.

Why buy a portable ice maker?

A portable ice make is perfect for any time that you may want to grab some ice from the freezer or the door – depending if you’ve grown up around this luxurious addition to the fridge. This could be handy during a cocktail party or a gathering of friends. The portable ice maker can meet your demands during those times when someone might have to run out to your nearest convenience or grocery store for a bag or two of ice.

These amazing ice makers, that can be found for sale, will help out a lot if there is no dedicated waterline when ice is mandatory. As mentioned before they are handy to have around your own dedicated entertaining area. Other places that you might consider purchasing one can be for dorms, kitchens, garages, and locations where it can get hot. If you have the option, bring a portable ice maker on your next outdoor event. You’ll find that it’s wonderfully convenient to have around if you have the power available. Be it a tailgating party, an extended camp out with an RV and a camping stove, or a party that’s being held outdoors. Don’t forget you might need a flashlight just in case

A guide to purchasing the best portable ice maker

You’ll want to consider several things when looking at buying a portable ice maker, so let us give you an initial list. In addition to the multiple brands that you may consider you’ll also want to know about the following. Value, or the best bang for your buck. Capacity, or how much your chosen portable ice maker can hold. Cycle time, how long will it take to produce ice, or more ice once you’ve plugged it in. Knowing the types and size of the cubes themselves is always useful. Finally, maintenance, or how best to take care of your chosen portable, even personal, ice maker.

Value:

How much is too much? What is the correct price for me? These are important questions to have answered prior to going out to look at portable ice makers. Like any appliance or piece of technology, the price is key. When you pay for less, you may have paid for a lesser machine. Please make sure that you research your choice, look at feedback from other customers, and look into the company itself. For example – a $100.00 portable ice maker, while more affordable, may only last a few months instead of the years that you would hope for. Go with what you feel is the best bang for your buck and you’ll be ultimately happy with the choice.

Capacity:

Portable ice makers can make as little as two pounds of ice in a day, or in a few hours. There are counter top ice makers that will make up to twenty-four pounds every twenty-four hours. Looking into the amount that you’ll realistically need and use will be helpful for all. The capacity will help determine if this is for your personal, private use, or better suited to entertaining. When you next entertain see how much ice you go through. At the same time see how much ice you go through when just doing normal every day things. There are even models of portable ice makers that will allow you to adjust the rate of ice for your needs.

Cycle Time:

The cycle time can vary from each portable ice machine to another. The overall average is about eight to twelve minutes for a new batch of ice to be produced. The bigger the machine, the longer it will take to make the ice. Please remember that the information given in the owner’s manual does not generally factor in the first time use. The set up and the first cycle could take longer than the estimates given, as you’re just starting the machine.

Types and sizes of ice:

In the world of ice you can find multiple types. There is crushed, cubed, pebbled for the ice itself. Please remember to check the portable ice maker for the type listed. You might find that it lists itself as a portable pebble ice maker or a crushed ice maker. Think about the types of ice that you’ll find in your freezer right now, in an ice tray. That could be classified as a clear cubed ice. Therefore your normal way of freezing will be a clear cubed ice maker. Ice makers found in the doors of fridges give you generally two options – cubed and crushed. Portable ice makers can give you the same, albeit one type at a time. Portable ice makers will give you type and sizes that can be found when you use their product. You’ll generally find that the sizes are listed on the box too, but there are really only two types. Large and small cubes. All this information should be apparent on the box when you go to purchase your portable ice maker.

Maintenance:

This will be key in keeping your portable ice maker for the longest amount of time possible. Looking into proper care and cleaning of your portable ice machine will be paramount. Please remember to follow the care instruction that come with your appliance. You’ll want to make sure that you keep up with the maintenance, as stated previously, this will ensure the longevity of your portable ice maker.

Going back to the question – do I really need a portable ice maker? The answer should be yes, especially when you’re looking over the wealth of information at your finger tips. Some things to remember are that you can choose the color, style, and brand of your portable ice maker. You can decide how much or how little ice you want. You can even choose the type of ice that you’d like to have. Overall, being in possession of a portable ice maker will make life easier. You’ll have it on hand when it’s hot our, for personal use, or for entertaining. Overall, you can be happy with your investment, as long as you’ve researched and found the right portable ice maker for you.

Additional Sources

  1. The History of the Refrigerator and Freezers  About.com – March 22nd 2017
  2. After Bottled Water? Purified Ice Cubes – March 22nd 2017
  3. The Frigidaire Story Mike Brazeau – March 23rd 2017
  4. Artificial Production of Ice U.S. Patent Office – March 23rd 2017
  5. Understanding Energy Efficiency Standards fridgedimensions.com – March 24th 2017
  6. Refrigerators & Freezers Energy Star – March 25th 2017
  7. Refrigeration Texas State Association – March 26th 2017
  8. Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook Perry, R.H. – March 27th 2017