Whether you’re going camping, want a designated ice maker for your home bar, or your fridge doesn’t have an ice maker, the best portable ice makers can help. Below, I’ve selected portable ice makers to suit a variety of budgets and styles. Whatever your needs, there’s an option for you.
Perhaps the most important factor to consider is how much ice your new portable ice maker is capable of creating, and how quickly it can get the job done. While all the picks featured below can make between 24 and 26.5 pounds of ice in one 24-hour period, they vary slightly in how much ice they’re able to produce in one sitting.
For obvious reasons, portability is another important factor to keep in mind. While some units on this list are light enough to move from room to room with ease, others might require some more heavy lifting. Also, while all of the picks below are countertop-friendly, some are slightly more compact than others.
Additionally, finding a pick that's easy to clean and operate is key. Models with drain plugs will allow you to remove melted water quickly and easily and some even collect that water to make ice from (giving you a little more bang for your buck). Some ice makers even come with their own cleaning kit, while others boast “smart” features — like Bluetooth, but all picks below come with a sensor or auto shut-off to tell you when the machine is at capacity with ice.
You'll also want to think about your preferred ice cube size and shape. Most ice makers produce bullet-shaped ice cubes in a few different sizes according to your preference, but one premium model below — the FirstBuild Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker — creates smaller pellet ice cubes.
Take a look at the best portable ice makers below. All of them are user-friendly and highly rated on Amazon.
1. The Best Overall: A Portable Ice Maker With More Than 2,000 Reviews
The hOmeLabs portable ice maker boasts a 4.9-star rating and more than 100 customer reviews. This model starts churning out ice in just six to eight minutes, and some customers noted that their ice bins were full in less than an hour and a half. Also, in a 24-hour period, the 2.2-liter reservoir makes this unit capable of creating up to 26 pounds of ice, and you can choose between small or medium-sized cubes.
This ice maker measures 9.5 by 12.9 by 14 inches, and it weighs just over 19 pounds. It's easy to use, too. Simply fill the water reservoir, plug the ice maker in, and wait. Also, this option includes a drain plug on the bottom, so it should be a cinch to drain over the sink and wipe clean. Plus, it comes with a handy ice basket and scoop.
What fans are saying: “This ice machine is fantastic. Having well water, we don't use ice from our refrigerator ice maker. The machine holds plenty of water to not have to refill for a few hours. You can choose from small or large cubes, but the instructions suggest the small size. [...] In just a few hours, we had enough ice for a birthday party and enough to last a few days for our family of three. Clean up was easy — just unplug the drain plug from the bottom and wipe dry with a paper towel.”
2. A Lightweight Ice Maker That Comes In Five Colors
This COSTWAY ice maker has the capacity to hold 1.5 pounds of ice at a time before emptying, and for quick ice making, it takes between six and 13 minutes to produce nine ice cubes. It can make up to 26.5 pounds of ice cubes in 24 hours, and you can choose between small and large cubes. It’s also earned a 4.2-star rating on Amazon.
This pick measures 9.5 by 14 by 13 inches, and it weighs 17.5 pounds, making it the lightest ice maker featured in this roundup. It features some smart features like reminding you to take out the ice cubes when the basket is full and alerting you to add water when low. The drainage plug on the bottom of this model makes it a cinch to drain, and its smooth inner and outer surfaces are easy to wipe clean. It’s also available in five colors: black, red, silver, white, and a lovely mint green. Plus, it comes with a removable ice basket and ice scoop.
What fans are saying: “I really love the color, ease of use, and the size of cubes it makes. Have it set on large as it seems to work best on that. Love my ice maker!”
3. A Unit That's Worth The Splurge If You Love Smaller Ice Cubes
The FirstBuild Opal countertop nugget ice maker produces 24 pounds of ice per 24 hours and can hold up to 3 pounds of pellet ice at one time. It’s unclear exactly how long this model takes to create 3 full pounds of ice, but some customers noted that it takes about an hour to produce 1 pound of ice, but can start creating ice with in just 20 minutes. This ice maker is on the larger side, since it measures 15.5 by 10.5 by 17.2 inches and weighs 44 pounds. While it might be more of a countertop staple in your home or RV, it can be moved wherever you see fit.
This ice maker is super user-friendly as well. Simply plug in the ice maker, fill the side tank with water, and push the center button to create ice. Plus, it comes with a water filter and cleaning kit.
Since this ice maker is Bluetooth-equipped, you can set up your ice-making schedule from your phone using the free FirstBuild app. Just download the free app, add your Opal appliance, pair it to your phone, and then set up the times and days you want to make ice. You can also check out this video for more instruction.
While this pick doesn't have a drainage plug on the bottom of the machine, you don’t really need one — when the ice melts, the water simply returns back to the reservoir to be made into more ice.
What fans are saying: “We’ve had our Opal for one year and it’s still awesome! Total game changer. Best kitchen appliance purchase we’ve made! Ice water tastes better and best ice for cocktails. It’s basically been on and making ice for the past year and we haven’t had a single issue. Highly recommend!”
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