10 Best Portable Ice Maker 2017- Buying Guide
An ice-cold drink makes sense on a hot summer day, especially when you have perfectly chilled ice cubes, enough for several servings.
But, remember, not every ice maker will give you the “Aha” moment.
“Our team spent 67 hours digging into thousands of customer reviews, interviewing customers and talking to experts. Our top 10 list comprises only the Best Portable Ice Maker that produces perfectly shaped ice cubes.”
Portable ice makers are a perfect fit for home bars, RVs, boat trips, camping trips, birthday parties and other events when you need to entertain your family or a couple of friends.
The ideal ice maker should not only be portable but also fast and effective in producing fresh chilled ice cubes to chill your favorite beverages. A portable ice machine takes an average 6-10 minutes to create the first batch of ice, making sure that you will not run out of ice.
Unlike the traditional ice makers, portable ice makers are smaller in size, lightweight and economical. Unused ice cubes melt and used in producing the next batch of ice cubes.
Check out our Top rated Portable Ice Maker Reviews 2017 list, and bid goodbye to frequent trips to the gas station!
Best Portable Ice Maker Comparison Chart
(Best for BBQs and Picnics)
|Magic Chef MCIM22ST||27||7||17.8|
|Igloo ICE103(Best Seller)||26||6||26.6|
|Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S||26||6||20|
|Ivation Countertop Ice Maker||26.5||6||22.1|
|EdgeStar Red Ice Maker||28||10||30|
|Della Ice Maker 048-GM-48187||26||6||21|
|Ivation Ice Maker||48||8-15||37.9|
Best Portable Ice Maker 2017 Reviews
1. NewAir AI-100R Portable Ice Maker- Best for Outdoor Use (BBQs, Picnics, and Backyard Parties)
AI-100R has a red finish that gives it a sleek appearance and works perfectly well with any décor. If red is not for you, choose either a black, silver, cyan blue or vermillion orange model.
The portable ice maker produces 28 pounds of ice in a day, making sure that you do not run out of ice. The unit offers consistent and dependable ice production that has been perfected over the years.
NewAir Portable Ice Maker is one of the best portable ice maker machines for use during birthdays, BBQ’s, pool parties and outdoor picnics.
Key Features of NewAir AI-100R Portable Ice Maker
- Easy-to-use LED control panel where you can choose from three ice size settings.
- No installation required-simply plug in, add water and give it 15 minutes and enjoy the fresh ice.
- Convenient and compact design.
- Supported with side mounted drain for easy cleaning.
- Has a water indicator that notifies you when to add water.
- Automatic shut-off when the basket fills.
- NewAir AI-1003 weighs 24.3 pounds only.
- The product dimensions are 14.5 x 11.8 x 15 inches.
- Well insulated to keep ice frozen for long.
- Energy efficient.
- Makes ice soft and crunchy (perfect if you love chewing ice).
- Compact design.
- No installation required.
- Plastic water cup may need replacement after a few uses.
2.Magic Chef MCIM22ST 27 lb. Ice Maker Stainless Steel- Makes 27 lbs. of ice per day.
The ice maker machine makes up to 27 lbs. of ice per day, which is enough to entertain a couple of friends. With this ice maker, you forget the old ways of making ice cubes that take forever.
The Magic Chef Portable Ice Maker comes in an elegant and compact design that comfortably fits in any place that you desperately need ice, whether it is at the office, garage, poolside or at the park. The machine allows you to make ice cubes instantly in two sizes.
The countertop portable ice maker is magical in all ways. Just add water to the required water level, press the power button and allow the machine to do its work. Depending on the choice of ice cube size, this unit takes approximately 7 minutes to produce 9 ice cubes.
Features of Magic Chef Portable Ice Maker
- Has a digital control panel that warns you when it is time to empty the bin.
- The Ice Maker has a side drain for easy cleaning.
- Water/Ice level indicator.
- It makes 27 lbs. of ice in 24 hours.
- 9 pieces of ice per cycle.
- The choice of 2 ice cube sizes.
- It holds 1.5 lbs. of ice at a time.
- Approximately 7 minutes operating cycle depending on the size of ice cubes selected.
- The machine weighs 17.8 pounds.
- Product dimensions are 14.1 x 9.5 x 12.9.
- Digital control panel.
- Compact and small enough to fit on the kitchen counter top.
- Not very silent.
3. Igloo Portable Ice Maker ICE103 – Best Selling Portable Ice Maker
The stainless steel ice maker machine has an over-sized ice basket that holds 2.2 lbs. of ice that is enough for several servings. The unit features three ice cube sizes i.e. small, medium and large.
The unit runs on 120w of power and can be cooled using an air compressor. This ice machine is simple to operate and use. Its compact design allows you to store it in a small space when not in use.
Features of the Igloo ICE103 Portable Ice Maker
- The ice maker produces 26 lbs. of ice in 24 hours.
- Has three ice cube options: small, medium and large.
- Delivers the first batch of ice in 6 minutes.
- All controls are made via an electric control panel and LED indicators.
- Stainless steel material.
- Weighs 26.6 pounds.
- Product dimensions are 14 x 12 x 15 inches.
- Over-sized ice bucket holds 2.2 lbs. of ice.
- Automatic shut-off.
- Produces ice in as little as 6 minutes.
- Three ice cube options.
- Easy to use control panel.
- Produces 26 lbs. per day.
- Spacious ice basket that holds 2.2 lbs. of ice at a time.
4. Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker- More Convenient than a Freezer Ice Maker
The unit produces 26 lbs. per day and the first batch of ice is produced in as little as 6 minutes. Choose from two ice cube sizes depending on your preference.
Avalon Bay portable ice maker is lightweight and weighs slightly less than other comparable models, making it perfect for indoor or outdoor events. Carry it during parties, camping trips, overseas vacations and boat trips.
The unit has a simple, sleek silver design that matches any setting or decor.
The unit is equipped with easy to use push button controls to manage how the machine works. The lighted indicators remind you when the reservoir is full or when to add water.
Features of Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Ice Maker Machine
- Has an automatic overflow protection.
- Produces 9 ice cubes every 6-13 minutes depending on the size of ice cubes selected.
- The Large production capacity of 26 lbs. per day.
- Weighs only 20 pounds.
- Product dimensions are 11 x 14.8 x 14.7 inches.
- Has a drain at the bottom for easy cleaning and emptying.
- No installation required; operates using the standard electrical outlet.
- Push buttons are clearly labeled and easy to use.
- The machine has an ice scoop and a removable basket.
- Uses the environmentally friendly R-134A refrigerant.
- Easy to set-up and use; clearly labeled push buttons.
- No installation required.
- Large production capacity for such a small size ice maker machine.
- Quick ice maker – produces the first batch of ice in just 6 minutes.
- A little noisy.
Extra tip: Once you purchase the Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S, don’t use it immediately. For the best performance, let it sit upright for 24 hours before using it to allow the coolant to settle.
5. Hamilton Beach Portable Ice Maker-Features Self Cleaning Function and Touch Buttons.
The stainless steel ice maker comes in either black or candy apple red colors that easily fit it in any setting.
The ice maker machine produces 9 ice cubes in every 6 -8 minutes, enough to keep your drinks cold during a hot summer camping trip or outdoor party. The unit makes up to 25 pounds of ice per day.
The design of this unit is unique. It has touch button for quick and easy operation. The machine has three LED indicators that update you on what’s going on with the machine. These indicators alert you when the basket is full, when to add water and when the machine is making ice for your drinks.
Features of Hamilton Beach Portable Ice Maker Machine
- Has a water reservoir with a capacity of 2.5 liters.
- Has a total ice storage capacity of 2-pounds.
- Self-cleaning function.
- Touch buttons for easy operation.
- 9 ice cubes produced in 6-8 minutes.
- 25 pounds of ice produced per day.
- Touch buttons and 3 LED indicators for easy operation.
- Quiet operation.
- Weighs 21 pounds and product dimensions are 10.5 x 14.4 x 13.5 inches.
- Easy to use and operate.
- Quiet operation.
- Self-cleaning function ensures there is no manual cleaning afterward.
- Makes ice very fast; 9 ice cubes/6-8 minutes.
- Low volume use.
- May not meet the demand for a large family that uses a lot of ice.
6. Ivation Portable Countertop Ice Maker-Incredibly Fast, High Capacity& 3 Selectable Ice Cube Sizes.
The high capacity Ivation Portable Countertop Ice Maker is a compact and incredibly fast machine that produces fresh ice cubes in just a few minutes. This unit allows you to select 3 ice cubes sizes so that everyone gets enough ice for their beverage.
The Ivation portable ice maker machine produces 26.5 pounds of fresh ice cubes in 24 hours. The ice maker delivers the first batch of solid ice in as little as 6 minutes.
Once ready, the ice cubes remain separated and does not agglomerate. Unused ice cubes melt back into the reservoir and turn into ice in the next session.
The unit has easy-push buttons for smooth operation.
Also, the machine sounds several alerts to let you know what is happening. When the water reservoir runs low, this ice maker will alert you to add water. Once the ice basket is full, the machine will alert you to remove them awaiting the next ice-making session. Also, the ice maker will warn you when it is on standby or when the ice is not moving into the ice bucket correctly.
Once Ivation countertop ice maker machine has completed making ice, it shuts off automatically to allow emptying of the ice cubes into a cooler or freezer. The ice tray is removable for easy transfer.
This unit is one of the best portable ice maker machine in the Ivation list of ice makers.
Features of Ivation Portable Countertop Ice Maker
- Compact design- ideal option for small kitchens, dorms, and RVs.
- 3 selectable ice cube sizes.
- The first batch of ice in 6 minutes.
- Produces 26.5 pounds of ice per 24-hour cycle.
- See-through window for easy monitoring of ice levels.
- Ice storage capacity of 2.2 pounds.
- Water reservoir capacity of 2.8 liters.
- The machine weighs 22.1 pounds.
- Product dimensions are 11.7 x 14.2 x 13.3 inches.
- Easy to use and operate.
- Fast ice making of 6 minutes.
- 3 selectable ice sizes.
- Touch-enabled settings.
- The first batch of ice may be transparent but works fine in subsequent sessions.
7. EdgeStar Red Portable Ice Maker (IP210 RED)- Best Portable Ice Maker for RV and Boats.
This unit makes at least 28 pounds of ice per 24-hour cycle, and it produces the first batch of ready-to-serve ice in 10 minutes. The integrated storage bin is well-insulated to hold 2.5 lbs. of ice at a time.
The machine features three ice cube size options i.e. small, medium and large.
The innovative water-use feature makes it possible to reuse the melted ice to make more ice, thereby saving on water and time. To make the ice, use either clean tap water or bottled water.
EdgeStar ice maker machine is easy to operate, with the easy-to-use soft touch controls. The controls make it possible to turn the unit on or off, and also choose the preferred ice cube sizes.
If you are looking to add a sleek yet unique ice maker machine to your countertop, EdgeStar IP210RED is the ideal choice for the best portable ice maker. Choose from three colors: black, titanium and stainless steel.
Features of EdgeStar Portable Ice Maker
- It produces 48 pounds of ice in a day.
- Produces first ice cubes in 10 minutes.
- 3 selectable ice cube sizes.
- Soft touch controls.
- No drain required.
- Well insulated to hold 2.5 lbs. of ice.
- Melted ice is reused to make ice in the next session.
- Weighs 30 pounds.
- Product dimensions are 14.75 x 11.75 x 14.5 inches.
- Three ice cube sizes.
- The machine makes soft crunchable ice.
- The large production capacity of 28 pounds of ice per day.
- The machine saves water and time with the melted ice reuse feature.
- It comes with an ice scoop.
- The machine gets a little noisy sometimes.
8. Della Portable Ice Maker (Red) 048-GM-48187-Uses Modern Compressor Refrigeration Technology to Make Bullet-Shaped Ice Cubes.
The unit produces 9 ice cubes in just 6 minutes and 26 lbs. of ice per 24-hour cycle. With such efficiency, this machine rules out the possibility of ice running out in the house.
The integrated storage bin is well-insulated to hold 1.5 lbs. of ice at a time. Della ice maker machine uses modern compressor refrigeration technology to give you bullet-shaped chillers enough for the summer. The machine has two choices of ice cube sizes.
The machine is quite easy to use. The easy-to-use control panel makes it possible to turn the unit on/off and select the preferred ice cube sizes. The light indicators alert you when the water reservoir runs low or when the bucket is full. The see-through window allows for easy monitoring of ice levels.
Features of Della Portable Ice Maker Machine
- It produces 9 bullet-shaped ice cubes in 6 minutes.
- Produces 26 lbs. of ice per day.
- Tested and certified machine-ETL, CSA, UL listed standard.
- Light indicators.
- Easy-to-use control panel.
- Has an automatic overflow protection.
- 3-quart water reservoir.
- It comes with an Ice Scoop.
- The unit weighs 21 pounds.
- Product dimensions: 14-1/2″(L) x 9-3/4″(W) x 12-3/4″(H)
- Fast ice making – 9 ice cubes in as little as 6 minutes.
- Two selectable ice cube sizes.
- Automatic shut-off.
- Easy to operate with a simplified control panel.
- A little noisy towards the end of an ice-making session due to the falling ice cubes.
9. NutriChef PICEM75 Countertop Ice Maker & Dispenser-Best Countertop Ice Maker (With direct Water Tapping)
In our view, NutriChef is the best countertop ice maker machine that will give you value for your money. The unique feature about this unit is that you can connect it to a direct water supply for direct water tapping.
The machine produces up to 33 lbs. of ice per day, and it delivers the first batch of ice in just 9 minutes. Choose from two selectable ice cube sizes depending on your preference.
The pallet-shaped ice cubes are compact, ensuring that all the guests enjoy chilled drinks to their satisfaction.
NutriChef portable ice maker has a hassle-free operation, with no installations required. You just plug it in the outlet, add water to the reservoir and press the power button.
The front LCD panel allows you to take control of the machine and select the preferred ice cube sizes. In as little as 9 minutes, the ice cubes will be ready to be dispensed directly to your glass.
Features of NutriChef PICEM75 Countertop Ice Maker &Dispenser
- It produces 33 lbs. of ice per day.
- The first batch of ice produced 9 minutes.
- Simplified LED digital display indicators.
- 600g ice storage capacity.
- It has an automated dispenser.
- Can connect to a water supply pipeline for direct water tapping.
- Weighs 25.4 pounds.
- Product dimensions are 14.6 x 12.2 x 13.8 inches.
- A convenient countertop ice maker machine.
- It makes more than enough ice; up to 33 lbs. /day.
- Easy to use and operate.
- Friendly price for such a great machine.
- Slightly louder just before it shuts off.
- Does not keep ice frozen for long, especially in a hot room. You can place it in the freezer instead if you are not using the ice cubes immediately.
10. Ivation Counter Top Ice Maker- Yields 48 Pounds of Ice Daily-Best Portable Ice Maker for Camping.
The ice maker machine produces 48-pounds of fresh ice per 24-hour cycle. The unit produces 12 ice cubes in the first batch within 8-15 minutes. The machine has three selectable ice cube sizes depending on your preference.
Although most high capacity ice maker machines are large-sized, Ivation Countertop is surprisingly compact and portable. Carry it anywhere you need ice.
It is a perfect option for RVs, small kitchens, and camping trips. The unit produces enough ice cubes to satisfy all your guests.
The ice maker machine has a recycling system that ensures there is no wastage of ice cubes. Unused ice cubes that melt are deposited into the water reservoir and used in producing the next batch of ice.
The smart alerts keep you updated on what is going on. When the water level in the reservoir runs low, the machine alerts you to add more water. When the ice bucket is full, the unit warns you to remove the ready ice to allow it make more ice. This Ivation model shuts off automatically when the bucket is full.
Features of Ivation Countertop Ice Maker Machine
- Easy to use with the easy-push touch buttons.
- Compact and portable; perfect for RVs, small kitchens, and home bar.
- It produces 48 pounds of ice in 24 hours.
- Produces 12 ice cubes I 8-15 minutes depending on the size of ice cubes.
- 3 different ice cube sizes.
- 7 quarts water storage capacity.
- 6 pounds ice storage capacity.
- Measures 17 x 17.1 x 14.9.
- Weigh 37.9 pounds.
- The Super high production capacity of 48 pounds of ice in 24 hours.
- Makes 12 ice cubes in 8-15 minutes.
- It makes soft crunchable ice cubes.
- Easy to use.
- Smart alerts give you a piece of mind.
- Ice does not melt fast.
- Slightly heavier and bigger than other ice maker machines.
The History of Ice Makers
The history of ice makers dates back to the 20th century when people were in search of food preservation methods. The efforts paid off in the 1950-60’s when icemakers were manufactured and made available to the public.
Although the initial designs were not very convenient, they paved the way for the current innovative designs that are in the market today. In the old freezer models, water was poured into a mold and left for several hours to freeze.
Modern Ice Makers: Are they better than the old models?
Modern portable ice maker models have undergone vast improvements regarding performance, speed, portability and design. The current models only take an average of 6-10 minutes to produce the first batch of ice, which is a significant improvement from the traditional ice makers.
The advantage of the current portable ice maker machines is that you can carry them along anywhere you need ice, either at the park, boat trips, birthday party, camping and other fun activities. Also, they produce large quantities of ice cubes, enough for all guests to enjoy an ice-cold drink.
However, it is appropriate to distinguish that ice makers are different from freezers. Although they are insulated, they are not designed to store ice cubes for long periods. If left unused, the ice cubes will melt and trickle back to the reservoir, and the machine starts making the second batch of ice. The process continues until you empty the water reservoir.
Why are Ice Maker Machines Important?
- They are lightweight and portable.
- They are quick.
- Produce enough ice for the occasion.
- Gives you control over the ice cube sizes that you prefer.
- No installation required. Just plug in, add water, power on and wait for your ice in 6-10 minutes.
- They are the best for parties, RVs, camping and overseas trips.
Factors to Consider While Buying a Portable Ice Maker.
There are various factors that you should take into account when shopping for the best portable ice maker. Here are few factors that we recommend to help you find the right machine.
Size, Dimensions, and Capacity
Although portable ice makers are smaller than freezers, some models take a lot of space than others. Also, the production capacity varies from one model to another. Manufacturers provide the product specifications i.e. weight, dimensions, and production capacity, making it easy to compare several ice makers.
If you are looking to purchase an ice maker for camping and boat trips, consider the weight of the product. A lightweight ice maker machine is easy to carry from one place to another without asking for extra help.
However, if product dimensions and weight are not an issue, consider how much ice the unit can hold at a time. Make sure you have an estimate of how much ice you will need and compare that to the capacity of the ice maker.
Ice Maker Production Capacity
The production capacity per day and per batch varies from one model to another. The production capacity per day is measured in pounds, and most portable ice makers have a production capacity of 25-40 pounds.
High capacity ice makers are an ideal option if you need a lot of ice on a regular basis either at your home bar or office. The high capacity units produce an average of 6-12 lbs. of ice cubes in the first batch of 6-12 minutes. Confirm the product specifications before making an order.
Ease of Use
Portable ice makers are the easiest to operate since they do not require any installations. Just plug in, add water and press the power button. Most models have easy-to-use touch buttons that make it easy to turn the unit on or off as well as select the preferred ice cube sizes.
The smart alerts give you a peace of mind by letting you know what is going on in the machine. For example, when the water reservoir runs low, the machine sounds an alert asking for more water. When the ice basket fills, the unit sounds an alert to inform you that the ice cubes are ready to be removed.
The signals give users a peace of mind especially when they are unable to figure out how the machine operates.
The water recycle feature, is an improvement from the earlier models resulting from customer complaints on water wastage. The feature works by reusing water resulting from melted ice that remains unused. The ice melts, and water collects in the water reservoir ready for the next session.
The water re-use feature saves you the trouble of refilling the water reservoir every time you need to make ice, by first using the melted ice.
Ice maker machines are relatively affordable compared to freezers. The machines cost $100-$300 per unit depending on the brand, production capacity, and durability. High-end ice makers cost around $200-$400 because they last longer and have higher production capacities per day.
If you plan to use the machine on a regular basis, go for the durable models with a long warranty. Also, remember to check the product reviews to know what other customers are saying about the machine.
Frequently Asked Questions when Shopping for the Best Portable Ice Maker Machine.
Before narrowing down to a particular ice maker machine, you need to ask yourself these questions to fully understand the kind of equipment you want to buy.
How much ice do I need?
The amount of ice that you need determines the size of the equipment that you should purchase. If you regularly host several friends for parties, you should go for a high capacity ice maker. A large countertop portable ice maker produces 35-48 pounds of ice per day that is enough to serve a couple of friends.
If you are just two or three members at home who use ice cubes, a small portable ice maker machine will be an excellent choice. A compact ice maker produces up to 26 pounds of ice per day. In case you are not using the extra ice cubes immediately, store them in the freezer.
How much Ice can I store?
Although portable ice makers produce ice, they do not store it for long before it melts. The ice cubes that remain unused should be kept in a freezer for later use.
If you have a freezer at home, go for a high capacity ice maker for better performance and convenience.
What Ice cube sizes do I need?
Most portable ice maker machines have two or three selectable ice cube sizes. The touch/push buttons allow you to select the preferred ice cube sizes. There are a few models that have only one selectable size in case you don’t want a variety of ice cube sizes.
Will I be able to maintain the machine?
Proper maintenance of the ice maker will mean optimal performance at all times. A portable ice maker requires cleaning just a few times in a week, in between the ice-making sessions. Clean the water reservoir and the outer side using clean water. You may use lemon juice or vinegar during the cleaning.
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