10 Best Portable Ice Makers Reviews and Buying Guide
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How to Choose a Portable Ice Maker?
In summer and winter, we need ready-to-use ice cubes. They are useful for treating acute injuries, beauty routines, cocktails, or to fill the champagne bucket. You can’t leave the portable ice machines behind while planning for your poolside party, tailgating, boating, RV, and camping activities. Unlike the bulky industrial-size and refrigerator versions, this compact modern machine can produce a large amount of ice in just 6 minutes and continuously.
Here are high-quality portable ice makers that you can purchase now:
- Editor’s Choice – Frigidaire EFIC189 Compact Ice Maker
- Best Automatic Ice Maker – Igloo ICEB26RR Automatic Portable Countertop Ice Maker
- Best Countertop Ice Maker – Igloo ICEB26AQ Portable Countertop Ice Maker
- Most Durable Ice Maker – NewAir AI-100S
- Most Easy to Use – Luma Comfort IM200SS
- Best Bullet Shaped Ice Maker – NewAir AI-100SS Portable Ice Maker
- Best for a Small Family – Costway 22769SL Ice Maker
- Best Ice Maker and Water Dispenser – COSTWAY 2 in 1 Countertop Ice Maker
- Best Self-Cleaning Ice Maker – Nutrichef Ice Maker
- Best High-End Ice Maker – Danby Portable Ice Maker
Top Rated Portable Ice Maker Reviews
1. Editor’s Choice – Frigidaire EFIC189 Compact Ice Maker
Owning an ice maker can help you relax during the hotter summer months without having to wait for hours. The Frigidaire countertop ice maker is a compact, self-contained model that requires little storage space. First, it produces nine ice cubes, about one kilogram, in a single cycle. And, the time required to make the ice cubes in a single cycle is six minutes. This ice maker has the capacity of producing 26 pounds of ice cubes in one day. In addition, this ice maker gives us the choice of two sizes of ice cubes.
In addition, the Frigidaire has a stainless steel finish as well as a plastic cover on the top. What’s more, the cover is provided with a transparent window allowing the observer to see the evolution of the ice. In addition, this ice maker is equipped with a drain system to quickly empty the water; and it works silently.
2. Best Automatic Ice Maker – Igloo ICEB26RR Automatic Portable Countertop Ice Maker
Igloo is an American manufacturer that offers a wide variety of portable ice makers and coolers. Lightweight and compact, it has a polished ABS plastic finish in red color. Due to its small size, the ice maker is portable and can be taken anywhere; or simply place it on your kitchen counter where it will look great.
It has a capacity of 15.6 cubic feet of ice at one time. Besides, this ice maker from Igloo is capable of making ice cubes quickly, as it only takes seven minutes to make a batch of ice cubes. In addition, it can make up to 26lbs of ice in a 24 hour period.
An interesting feature of this Igloo ice machine is that it can produce two types of ice, small or large. Then this ice machine can also serve as a backup refrigerator for food. In addition, the electronic controls with LED lights are simple and intuitive.
3. Best Countertop Ice Maker – Igloo ICEB26AQ Portable Countertop Ice Maker
The first impression when you see this Igloo ice maker is that it offers a modern exterior design that is pleasing to the eye. Its compact structure is made of plastic with an elegant white cover. Despite being a little larger than the average size of models from Igloo, this ice maker is portable. So, it will be easy for you to transport it to the edge of the swimming pool or while camping.
First of all, this ice machine can make a batch of ice cubes within seven minutes. Just plug in the device and put water in the machine. Then the Igloo ice maker has a large ice bucket with a capacity of 1 pound at one time. What’s more, it has a daily production not exceeding 26 pounds of ice. The electronic controls are ergonomic and easy to access. In addition, this ice machine gives us the choice of three different sizes of ice cubes: from small to medium or large.
4. Most Durable Ice Maker – NewAir AI-100S
If the price on which the NewAir AI-100 is available on online stores varies according to its color, it is generally between $200 to $300. You then have a solid and efficient device in the face but on which you will have to accept some concessions of portability and design.
With a weight of 24.3 pounds and dimensions of 11.3″ X 13.9″ X 14.6″, it is undeniable: the product is heavy. If you need a super compact ice maker that you will always take with you wherever you go, this is arguably not the best model available.
It has two indicator lights, one indicating if the ice cubes are ready, the other if it is necessary to add water. A glass hole on the top allows you to take a look. In addition to the ignition button, it has a selection button to choose the size of the ice cubes: large, medium, or small.
5. Most Easy to Use – Luma Comfort IM200SS
The main feature of this machine is its ability to produce transparent ice that is less carbonated. This has two advantages: it is better than an ordinary white ice cube, and above all, it melts much more slowly, which allows it to better cool your glass or that of your guests.
The Luma Comfort IM200SS can be easily installed wherever you want because its operation is very simple: you plug it in, pour water in, and press the button. That’s all. Two indicator lights are provided: you will know when to empty the ice cubes or add water.
The production capacity of this ice maker is quite large: up to 28 lbs per day. The production cycles last fifteen minutes. With a little organization, you can use it for receptions. The Luma Comfort IM200SS can be moved and used in an RV or boat if desired, although it is a bit heavier than other machines due to its very sturdy stainless steel design.
6. Best Bullet Shaped Ice Maker – NewAir AI-100SS Portable Ice Maker
The first thing that one can notice about this ice maker is its interesting power: it is capable of producing, every day, up to 28 lbs of ice cubes. The ice maker can make up to three different sizes of ice bullets.
In addition, it can be used when you have a high number of guests since the production is quite fast: a cycle runs for six minutes. Except for the first run, which will take a little longer (about fifteen minutes).
The device, made of stainless steel, is solid and relatively compact. It’s not the lightest ice maker, but its dimensions make it easy to set up even on a small counter in an RV. It is also quite elegant in a kitchen, thanks to its sober black and metallic color.
7. Best for a Small Family – Costway 22769SL Ice Maker
For occasional use or for a small family, you don’t need to buy the best-overpriced ice maker. The particularity of this model is based directly on its small size which makes it portable, as well as on average production of 9 pieces of ice cubes in 13 minutes of switching on. In terms of finish, the design and color make the machine completely versatile in any location.
To observe the transformation process, you have a small transparent window to watch through. Then to remove the contents of the device, a small removable basket is included.
Thanks to a 2.2L tank, the 80 g of ice cubes increase to 12 kg in 24 hours, which is significant in terms of quantity. To dissipate the heat produced during use, a fan contributes and prolongs the durability of the device.
8. Best Ice Maker and Water Dispenser – COSTWAY 2 in 1 Countertop Ice Maker
The Costway Countertop Ice Maker is a portable, modern and stylish device that is easy to use. With its ABS plastic finish, polished, silver color; it harmonizes perfectly with your other kitchen appliances and your decor.
The characteristic of this machine is that it is provided with an ice cube dispenser; which is practical. Just add water and press the button. First of all, the Costway Countertop ice maker is designed to quickly produce good quality ice cubes. This machine takes six minutes to prepare a ready-to-use ice cube. In addition, this machine is capable of producing 36 pounds of ice cubes in one day.
9. Best Self-Cleaning Ice Maker – Nutrichef Ice Maker
The Nutrichef ice maker is made of stain-resistant stainless steel for easy cleaning. This compact ice maker has a chic and distinguished style. On its front facade, it is fitted with a control panel equipped with an LCD screen. This allows you to quickly see the ice levels; and alerts you when you need to refill the ice bin.
In addition, this Nutrichef ice maker makes ice cubes in just 10 minutes. In addition, This ice machine has a built-in large capacity water tank that can hold up to 2.2 liters of water. This Nutrichef ice maker has a large lid with a transparent window allowing you to check the ice level. Finally, this ice machine is equipped with an anti-cleaning system to simplify its maintenance.
10. Best High-End Ice Maker – Danby Portable Ice Maker
This Danby Countertop Ice Maker is the perfect companion for your summer parties. This ice machine has a stainless steel exterior finish and a black plastic cover on the top. Its design is very elegant and modern; which can suit any kitchen style. In addition, this Danby Ice Cube Maker has a clear window on its lid allowing you to check the progress of the ice cube.
Moreover, this ice machine is a compact device having a container with a capacity of 2 pounds or 1 kg of ice at one time. Then this machine is equipped with R134a refrigerant. This allows this machine to quickly produce a total of 25 pounds of ice cubes in one day.
10 Factors to Consider When Buying a Portable Ice Maker
Before purchasing yours, it is essential to pay attention to certain criteria. They must be objective and reflect your needs. Here are the most important factors to consider before choosing a portable ice maker.
1. Compact Dimensions
The dimensions of an ice cube machine should not be left to pure chance if you want to enjoy the full functionality of this product. Its size plays an important role both in the level of congestion you’ll have to endure throughout its use and in terms of its ability to produce the quantity of ice you’ll need.
If you plan to place it in your kitchen where it would logically be with many other machines and travel utensils, then it would be better to opt for a smaller model that is less bulky. For use in the kitchen, opt for a countertop ice maker.
For ease of use, transportation for use away from home, consider a machine within the ranges of 7-9 inches in length, 10-13 inches in width, and height of 10-13 inches.
2. Reasonable Weight
Machines are said to be portable when you can easily carry, move them around or transport them. Hence, weight isn’t a factor you should overlook when shopping for an affordable portable ice maker. A machine could be compact and have small dimensions but still, be weighty.
However, it all depends on how you’re going to utilize the appliance. The weight may not be a significant factor if the machine will only maintain a static position. For example, when you only need it for home use.
Meanwhile, if you’re buying ones you wish to go around with, then the weight matters. If you want one you can easily put in your car trunk, caravan, or RV, then you can consider a machine that measures between 7 to 12 kg in weight. This range, along with the recommended dimensions, will offer enough portability.
3. Opt for Countertops
The countertop ice makers are made for the family and people who need to entertain their circle of friends. They are also ideal if you would be transporting them from one place to another. Of course, the place must have an electrical connection such as a cabin on the beach, in the countryside or on your yacht. They are the types you could place on kitchen countertops, hence, saving space.
In fact, if portability is what you look for in an ice maker, the ultra-portable ones are the countertops. Besides, they are easy to install. So watch that keyword when doing your search.
4. Tank Capacity
The portable ice makers can have a tank that can take in between 1.8 and 3 liters of water. For small receptions, generally, this is more than enough. Such a device can produce between 12 and 15 kg of ice cubes per day, which is quite substantial.
Also, the storage space for the ice produced should be able to store from 400 to 800 grams.
However, note that the produced ice that the average portable ice maker stores melt faster than the standard industrial types. So, for portable types, it is advisable to use the ice immediately or store it elsewhere.
5. The Refrigeration System
The ice equipment often consists of the condenser, throttle valve, evaporator and, most importantly, the compressor. Obviously, you will need a powerful compressor. It compresses the low-pressure refrigerant vapor into high-pressure vapor before it gets to the system’s condenser.
A minimum of 120 watts is required to get a quick result. This can be about 10 to 15 minutes for the first ice cubes. Also, turn to a system that passes no odd smells and tastes into the ice.
In addition, if you want specific ice cube sizes for each type of drink, make sure your device is capable of producing between two and three different sizes.
Portable ice makers are also designed to blend in with the kitchen aesthetically. In the market, you can find products with different shapes and designs that can go along with the different styles of each kitchen.
Some products are more rounded and stylized. Meanwhile, others, commonly the industrial ones, tend to be more square, coarse, and not really aesthetically pleasing.
The design of a portable ice machine also has to do with the construction, coating, and color. Concerning the type of material, it is recommended to choose stainless steel ice makers. These are more durable, require much less energy to cool or heat, and are easy to clean.
As for the color, some brands have devices in different colors. Meanwhile, the most common are white, black and gray. We know portable ice machines aren’t designed solely for the kitchen. However, models with beautiful finishes and a pleasant color that harmonizes with your interior are all details that you can consider.
7. Cycle Time/Production Speed
For portable ice machines, production speed is usually measured by indicating the number of kilos of ice the unit can make per day.
The most popular models should be able to produce between 10 and 21 kilograms of ice in 24 hours. Obviously, models with faster production capacities will have numbers that are closer to the upper end of this range.
Another speed factor to consider is the speed with which the device will start producing ice. On average, you can expect the first batch of ice cubes to drop within 8 to 15 minutes.
However, faster machines can drop the first cycle in just 6 minutes. Also, they produce at least 12 kilograms in a day.
In comparison, bigger commercial ones usually take a little longer for the first cycle. This can be about 15 minutes. One factor to consider is that the larger the shape of the ice, the longer it will take to be ready. This specification does not matter if you will not be in a hurry. But this is something to keep in mind if you want to cool your drinks quickly.
8. Self-cleaning System
Generally, ease of maintenance is a factor we all must consider in home and kitchen appliances. This function contributes to the machines’ hygienic use and how durable they can be.
Portable ice machines with an automatic cleaning system are much more practical, simpler to use, and easy to maintain.
Some ice machine models are made of easy-to-clean materials such as stainless steel. They allow you to eliminate bacteria or germs that develop inside the ice tray. Other models have a self-cleaning system that automatically cleans the microorganisms.
With this, they eliminate the need to manually clean the machine frequently, regardless of the material it is made of. Therefore, it is also important to check this feature before making a price comparison.
9. Heat Insulation
Generally, there is a major disadvantage in portable ice makers when compared with commercial types. While these machines are fast ice-making equipment, the ice they produce doesn’t tend to maintain that icy state for long.
A little while after the production (which usually doesn’t exceed 10 to 12 minutes), they begin to thaw. Meanwhile, the ice thaws out into the water, then recycled to make new ice. This may result in a considerable waste of energy at the end of the month and even having to wait for the thawed water to ice again.
However, to avoid this, you can find models with a more secure and heat insulation system.
To start with, these types have stainless steel constructions and thick internal insulation materials. Although they don’t work like freezers, they can prevent produced ice from melting for about 3 to 7 hours.
10. Other Essential Features
Convenient features make it easier to use your machine. The portable machine has to have a simple start and stop button.
Adjust the Ice Cube Size
A basic function is the ability to choose the size of your ice cubes. This is available in models with the Ice Size Selection feature.
You should also look for models with indicator lights. This indicates the water level in the tank or the level of ice cubes in the bin. For easier adjustments, better visibility, and aesthetics, prioritize models with LCD screen. Some models have visibility windows.
Models with automatic dispensing features are also on the rise. They let everyone serve themselves simply and hygienically. You just need to place the glass under the dispenser to collect the ice cubes.
Also, remember to see how the emptying of your ice maker works. Generally, a drain valve is built into the device to allow the water remaining in the tank to flow.
Safe and Convenience
Furthermore, good stability is necessary to guarantee safe use. Opt for a device with non-slip feet. Besides, always look for models with features such as Intelligent Water Usage and Ice Scoop.
Wrapping It Up
Ice makers are traditionally large and meant for a permanent installation. But with the coming of portable ice makers, you can now bring this along on a boat party, in the RV, and while camping. They’re also perfect for use at home. Our Editor’s Choice is the Frigidaire EFIC189 Compact Ice Maker. But the Igloo ICEB26RR Ice Maker is as good as the Frigidaire.
Portable ice makers aren’t just for use in the kitchen. These practical devices are perfect for any situation where people need to have access to a constant supply of ice for therapies, camping, and recreational vehicle trips, follow-up parties, boat trips, and even office break rooms. Consider the suggested criteria before making an order, and you’re almost certainly guaranteed a long-lasting, purpose-built, and efficient machine.
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I was very confused when buying a countertop ice maker machine, how to buy? I have come here I read this article. your amazing article helped me a lot. Thank you for this article.