With sunny, warm summer weather around the corner, we will soon all be needing refreshing food and drinks. Ice is the number one consumed ingredient during this time and running out can only be inconvenient and frustrating!
A portable ice maker is practical for indoor and outdoor use and the investment is worth it as you will never run out of ice with this appliance and buying bags of ice will be a distant memory. Ice makers can replace your original ice making tools or be used to supplement your new appliance.
They are lightweight, and produce ice quickly in large quantities, which make them perfect for garden parties, a picnic or use during a camping trip.
Also read how to make some refreshing drinks.
Our selection of best portable ice makers
- Best overall – NewAir Portable Ice Maker 50 lb. Daily – 3 Size Bullet Shaped Ice
- Best for nugget ice – GE Profile Opal | Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
- Best for ice cubes – Euhomy Ice Maker Machine Countertop, Ice Cube Maker
- Best budget – IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop
Things to consider before buying
Design, capacity, price, and ice shape are important to ensure the ice maker fits your needs.
When living in compact living spaces, portable ice makers are easier to use and they are smaller than their built-in counterparts. This of course means that they hold a smaller amount of ice at once. This said, most machines still produce enough for 4 drinks in about 10 minutes.
Be aware that portable ice maker machines are not connected to a water line and must be filled manually. They also don’t have cold storage so the prepared ice should be used immediately, unless you don’t mind the unused ice melting which the machine will automatically recycle to make a new batch of ice.
There are different shapes of ice available. Diced, crescent ice, nugget ice, bullet or pearl shaped ice, all depend on your personal preferences.
Dice will last the longest while pearl and bullet ice melt quicker as they are hollow in the middle.
They come at a variety of prices depending on the brand, design, size and the ice making capacity.
Although all models are portable and good for indoor and outdoor use, it is never recommended to use them in direct sunlight or in temperatures above 35°C (90°F). Also remember that ice makers are not freezers and produced ice which is not consumed or used immediately will melt.
Review of Best portable ice makers
This ice maker has it all. Although it is on the bigger side of compact and pretty heavy, the functionality wins.
It makes up to 22kg (50 Lbs) per day and 12 pieces of ice every 7 minutes. There are 3 sizes of ice but the many users agree that the biggest size is most convenient as it doesn’t melt as fast.
There is an automatic shut off and overflow protection and a convenient side drain but the self-cleaning feature makes it stand out from other ice makers that don’t have this feature.
Best for nugget ice – GE Profile Opal | Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
The nuggets are made from compacted ice flakes, which make them softer and chewable.
This ice maker is not the smallest of the portable models because of the attached side tank that is included. Unused ice will melt, and the water returns to the reservoir, where it will simply be made back into more ice.
The set-up is easy and the machine produces ice after only 20 minutes and there is an additional smart built-in Bluetooth system to let you schedule fresh ice, monitor your ice maker’s status and order accessories through an app on your smartphone. We personally find it a fun gadget, but still prefer to be around when the machine is functioning.
Best for ice cubes – Euhomy Ice Maker Machine Countertop, Ice Cube Maker
This ice maker produces 24 ice cubes per cycle every 12 to 18 minutes. The thickness of the ice cubes can be adjusted according to your needs. The only minor inconvenience is that you might have to separate the cubes as they sometimes stick together after being formed.
Once the water tank is filled, it can make up to 5 cycles of ice. The recycling system will however collect melted water, filter it and reuse it.
The machine might have one of the quickest and quietest cooling systems in its category which makes it more environmentally friendly.
The panel shows all the necessary functions and displays reminders to add more water and when to empty the ice bucket.
An automatic cleaning function makes regular cleaning of the ice maker very easy.
Best budget – IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop
This ice maker is quiet, has a straightforward control panel with easy functions. Add water, plug it in, press the power button, and select the ice size.
This smaller size machine produces 2 sizes of ice quickly and up to 12 kg (26 Lbs) in 24 hours, but it is not recommended to keep it running day after day as the fan on the outside produces some heat. The smaller basket is not enough to store a lot of the unconsumed ice cubes if continually running and it is best to store the ice in your freezer for later use.