The 6 Best Ice Buckets
Whether they're keeping your ice cold on a home bar or holding your drinks for a backyard bash, the best ice buckets can add a touch of elegance while still being practical. They can also be used to store ice cubes you’ve made in the freezer. But with such a variety to choose from, the best option for you comes down to how you'll use it.
While shopping, first decide whether you want a bucket for mostly ice, or ice and drinks. If you just want to use it for ice (and maybe a few garnishes), a smaller size is perfect for the job. Many even offer insulation so your ice stays cold for much longer. Insulated options also help prevent those messy condensation drips on the table. However, if you don't need insulation and want to save a little money, the best budget options will hold plenty of ice for less than $10, so keep that trade-off in mind. For easy entertaining, you may also want an ice bucket with extras like a pair of tongs, an ice scoop, or a garnish tray for cherries, lemon wedges, and more. With these thoughtful accessories, your new favorite bar might be the one in your very own home.
If you want to be able to keep drinks inside the bucket itself, though, you'll likely be going for a larger option. These ice buckets range from ones that are good for a party of two to a whole crowd. While most aren't insulated, they offer a stylish alternative to a cooler.
To help you plan your next get-together or just organize your freezer, I've gathered the best ice buckets in modern, rustic, and retro-inspired styles below.
1. The Overall Best Ice Bucket
This plastic OXO ice bucket features double-wall insulation and an internal reservoir to keep melted water away from the ice cubes. It comes with a few nice extras, too. There's a removable tray that rests inside the ice bucket to keep garnishes like lemons and limes chilled. Plus, it includes nonslip nylon tongs that can hang from either side of the bucket when not in use.
With a 3.1-liter (or about 105-ounce) capacity, this ice bucket is good for smaller gatherings and keeps ice frozen for a long time. "We don't go through a lot of ice, but having some available for company without the need to be in and out of the freezer was nice. We still had cubes the following morning, so about 18 hours after the bucket was filled,” wrote one Amazon reviewer.
2. The Runner-Up: An Insulated Bucket In Stainless Steel
Made from double-walled stainless steel for quality insulation, this chic MALMO ice bucket is available in silver or copper styles. The 2.7-quart bucket holds up to 95 ounces of ice and preserves it for more than six hours. It also includes an attached metal handle and stainless steel tongs that tuck into the lid for easy storage. While the ice doesn't last quite as long as with the first choice, and the capacity is a little smaller, this is a sleek pick to display on your table.
It's also one of the best-selling options on Amazon and boasts a 4.6-star rating. Reviewers especially love that it can keep ice frozen for a long time without messy condensation. "Because the ice bucket has a double wall, it prevents any sort of condensation and keeps drinks cold for hours! Now I don't have to worry about condensation causing damage to my tables or just making a mess," wrote one fan.
3. The Best Budget Ice Bucket
This no-frills ice bucket is a top-seller on Amazon and has a 4.7-star rating from happy reviewers, who love how durable the tough plastic is. Many customers also noted that it helps them make the most of their freezer space. "The rectangular shape is nice and leaves plenty of room in my apartment-sized freezer,” one reviewer wrote. Another noted that the bin can hold six standard ice cube trays of ice with no problem.
The plastic bin is BPA-free and phthalate-free, but it's not insulated, so it may not keep ice frozen for long outside of the freezer.
4. The Best Small Ice Bucket For Drinks
At 3.5 liters, this Agog ice bucket is an affordable pick that can hold up to two bottles of wine or multiple beers. It still offers style with its modern, clear acrylic design. With a 4.3-star rating, this is a popular ice bucket on Amazon. Reviewers love the look of this product. However, some note that it can be a tight squeeze for two Champagne bottles with larger bottoms. "These were great for our mimosa bar! Wish they could be a little bigger since fitting two bottles would cause the ice to fall out, but they did the job!” one reviewer noted.
5. The Best Large Ice Bucket For Drinks
The galvanized metal texture on this Tablecraft ice tub gives it a look that's perfect for casual events. With lots of room in this 5.5-gallon tub, you can offer a well-stocked beverage selection for your guests. Handles makes it easy to carry, as well. Happy customers on Amazon have given this ice bucket a 4.7-star rating and say it's a must-have for those who love entertaining at home, thanks to its versatility and size. “If you like having backyard BBQ and parties, this ... needs to be in your house … I was able to fit 2 huge bottles of Moscato, 10 kiddie size bottled water and 12 cans of pop plus ice," wrote one fan.
6. A Retro-Inspired Insulated Ice Bucket
This Home by Jackie Inc. ice bucket features a cute vintage-inspired design, and with a 4-liter (135-ounce) capacity, it's great for entertaining. The removable plastic interior creates a second wall to help keep ice preserved. While it won't offer you six or more hours like the other insulated picks on this list, one reviewer noted: "Holds plenty of ice and keeps [it] for 4 hours." The vintage look is completed with the included alloy ice scoop.
With its adorable design and thoughtful features, it's easy to see why Amazon reviewers love this retro-inspired ice bucket. It has a 4.6-star rating, and one fan commented, "It's perfect for all my events I host. It doesn't sweat like some of the other buckets, so I enjoy that about this product.” Other fans even used it to hold snacks.
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