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.