Whether you’re planning to make creamy ice cream for the whole family, fruity sorbet for your dairy-free friends, or a tasty frozen treat that’s just for you, the best cheap ice cream makers can help you satisfy a wide range of tastes and dietary restrictions without blowing your budget. All of the machines below are affordably priced at less than $75.
But aside from cost considerations, how do you know which ice cream maker to choose? Well, electric ice cream makers are pretty straightforward these days, but some models — like the Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker and the Yonanas Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker featured below — pride themselves on being easy enough to use even young kids can do it. Some single-serve ice cream makers, like the Zoku Instant Ice Cream Maker, don’t even require electricity. And if manual ice cream makers are your preference, there’s obviously going to be more labor involved, but even those are pretty simple nowadays. Regardless of which model you choose, the key to painlessly making ice cream from home is giving your freezer bowl plenty of time (typically eight hours or more) to freeze overnight.
Two other factors to consider are how quickly you'll want your ice cream and how much you'll want to make at once. Most ice cream makers take anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes to churn out the perfect frozen dessert, but for obvious reasons, single-serve ice cream makers tend to work the fastest. And while the highest-yielding ice cream maker featured below can make up to one and a half quarts of homemade frozen dessert, if you live alone, single-serve ice cream makers can help you avoid food waste.