Summer is on the way, and that means it’s time to start thinking about all the great ways you’ll be able to enjoy the warm weather. Whether you’re camping, RVing, enjoying company on the outdoor patio, summer is the time to enjoy the outdoors. It’s also the best time to enjoy a nice cold drink, full of ice.
The problem with keeping your drinks ice cold is the ice itself. You can spend money on bags of ice, only to have them melt into a giant iceberg in your cooler. You have to chisel away at these ice blocks, meaning your ice chunks are irregular, making it hard to fill any plastic cup or glass of whiskey. Even if all your ice come from the refrigerator, the maker can often bust. Repairing it often means replacing it, costing you upwards of $300!
The easiest and most cost-effective way of solving these problems is to buy your own ice maker. There are a ton of models and brands to choose from, so to save you time we’ve done the research on the best portable ice maker for you.
- Best Portable Ice Maker 2020
- Comparison Table
- 1. The Editor's Pick - hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker
- 2. The Alternative Product - Costway Portable Compact Electric Ice Maker
- 3. The Highest Quality Ice Maker - Opal Nugget Ice Maker
- 4. Heavy Duty Ice Maker- Aicok Ice Maker
- 5. Best for Keeping Ice Frozen- EdgeStar IB120SS Built in Ice Maker
- Shopping Guide for The Best Home Ice Maker
- The Final Say
Best Portable Ice Maker 2020
Capacity per day
This countertop model is stainless steel and makes upwards of 26 pounds of ice per day. The bin holds 1.5 lbs of “wet” ice, meaning that if left outside the ice can melt back to water. But the hOmeLab model has a way for melted ice to recycle back into the reservoir, so there’s no wasted water even if it does melt.
The hOmeLab ice maker is also really fast. It makes bullet ice cubs in as few as 6-8 minutes. This ice maker is also a very quiet model, and the only sound we’ve heard was the sound of the ice cubes dumping into the bin.
This ice maker also has an auto-shutoff feature. When the ice in the bin reaches the sensors at the top, it shuts off the maker automatically. This saves you from overfilling the bin and the annoying beep that many ice makers feature.
We love that the hOmeLab is easy to set up, quiet, and makes a lot of ice in a short amount of time. It’s also cost-efficient and saved us a lot of hassle during parties and camping trips.
The biggest issues with this model have been sensor issues. Some people have reported issues with the sensors not working very well, so the machine thinks the bin is full before it actually is. If you have a problem with this, make sure the ice bin is properly aligned.
There have also been problems with getting a hold of customer support, so take this into consideration if you want to get the warranty.
This model is cheaper and lighter than the hOmeLabs ice maker. It’s the same size, so it’s still great for countertops and camping areas. This ice maker also makes “wet ice,” which means you’ll have to watch it and make sure it doesn’t melt too much. It makes the same amount of ice as the hOmeLab model, although it’s reportedly slower. The Costway boasts the same 6-8 minute making time, but most customers say it’s closer to 15 minutes.
Instead of having the auto-off function of the hOmeLabs model, the Costway has lights that will turn on when the bin is full or the water needs to be refilled. That works for many people, but it might need more observation than our editor’s pick.
While we appreciate the size, price, and convenience of the Costway, it has issues with keeping the ice cold while outside or on trips. Other people were upset by how much noise the machine makes, saying that it gets louder the lower the water level in the reservoir drops.
The Opal ice maker runs at $400-$500, but it also makes the popular “nugget ice.” Nugget ice is small and chewy and is found in either hospitals or restaurants like Sonic. Considering that most nugget ice makers cost upwards of $2000, this ice maker is a steal.
The stainless steel machine is also one of the heaviest on our list, at about 44 lbs. That means that it’s not very portable, although the size is still great for most standard countertops. It’s quick, making nugget ice in about 15 minutes, and can keep the ice cold, even overnight. If that’s not fancy enough for you, it’s also Bluetooth compatible.
The Opal Ice Maker is stellar. People love that they can make nugget ice at home, and they also love how quickly the machine works. A lot of people have stopped getting ice at restaurants, instead preferring to bring their own ice from home. As a former Southerner who moved away from Sonic, I’m tempted to take this one home for myself.
There have been a few issues with the pumps, where water isn’t transported where it should be. There have also been issues with the noise, so you might not want to run your Opal ice maker overnight.
Unlike the hOmeLab maker, Aicok has three different size options for its ice. It has the same water-recycling feature as the editor’s choice, so you’re not wasting any water that melts while you’re using the Aicok maker. It also features the auto-off option, and also comes with an alarm, timer, and LED clock on the menu panel. This maker holds little bit more amount of ice than the editor’s choice, with a 1.8 lbs ice bin. The Aicok is a bit bigger and heavier than the hOmeLab model, which means it’s a better model to keep around the house. It has a 100% 2-year warranty, which is better than most other ice makers.
In fact, reviewers have had very few warranty issues overall. They say the Aicok is great for outdoor parties or mini-bars. There have been some issues with leaking nozzles. But most people say they can fix that problem by checking to make sure all the nozzles are screwed in tightly.
The biggest complaint about the Aicok model has been its instruction booklet. The instructions are written so poorly that it’s almost impossible to decipher how we should use our Aicok Model. But if this ice maker isn’t your first one, then you should be able to figure out how to make it work.
This ice maker is roughly the size of a mini-fridge, which rules it out for camping trips. But it’s a fabulous option for homes, personal pools, and offices.
There’s no drain needed for this model because the ice never melts. The EdgeStar has a refrigerated compartment that keeps the ice from melting into the same big hunk of iceberg you’d get from a cooler. The bin stores up to 12 lbs of crescent-shaped ice, which is great for supplying ice to big groups of people at an office or party.
The EdgeStar is a solid ice maker. But we still recommended getting the full 3-year warranty The warranty and customer service is so good that it makes up for a lot of the issues you may have with your ice maker
The appliance comes with plastic tubing line, but we recommended replacing these with copper tubing lines instead. This appliance requires some major set up at the beginning, but after that, it’s a breeze to use and clean.
There has been one consistent complaint about metal bits finding their way into the ice. But if you buy the three-year warranty, you can solve this issue quickly.
Shopping Guide for The Best Home Ice Maker
Ice in the average household was formerly a luxury item. Before advances in technology made it easy to make in the home using various ice maker devices.
And many individuals have really invested in them due to the increased ease it has brought to making certain processes easy around the home. The need for ice in the household cannot be underestimated. People tend to consume cold beverages. You would really not like to entertain your visitor with lukewarm drinks. When the fresh and chilled ones can easily be obtained just by owning a simple home ice maker.
Kids love ice creams, and everyone sure enjoys cold breakfast smoothies. Even in warmer weather members of the family, kids and adults constantly need more ice at a rate that is sure faster than production by an ice cube tray in the refrigerator. And not to even mention the time and effort needed to full freeze water using these small ice trays. And this can even be more constraining, in terms of a large family who still likes to have visitors around. In all, am sure by now my esteemed reader is now appreciating the essence of having a small ice maker around in the home. And it is worthy to note that these important devices are economically feasible. You would not need to splash a fortune to purchase one, Which is an added advantage.
Why You Needs an Ice Maker?
Some inquisitive minds by now would be wondering why one needs an ice maker when there is already a freezer with which you can also make ice cubes which is also the major function of the home ice maker. This is a question that is worthy of note and deserves answers. Aside the reasons mentioned lightly above, I would be itemizing further reasons why you need a portable home ice maker in the household.
In the case of special celebrations, landmarks, important events such as birthdays, jubilees, anniversaries, among others; On these kind of occasions, people like to enjoy chilled cocktails, the young ones happily clutching their juice cans, and even the old ones might desire one or two bottles of cold beer. Hence its essential to have a handful of ice around to make everyone enjoy the time.
In the case of the presence of an home bar; in cases whereby a small section of the home is designated with cherished bottles of drinks, the need for a home ice making machine cannot be under emphasized. Presence of this makes sure that ice can easily be made available for family and friends for that enjoyable family time we all cherish.
For general entertaining; neighborhood get together, barbecue parties, dinner parties, among others; though there is the presence of ice trays in refrigerators, the ice produced are not always in the appropriate quantity. Hence the important need for the home ice maker. As ice can easily be produced quickly both in instant time and even in advance for your special days.
In the case of home accidents; home accidents are common occurrences that we cant predict or forestall. And when these little unpleasant events happen, the use of ice can be very important. As you would certainly need some ice cubes to keep that little swelling down. Hence the need for a device that can make them fast and easily.
Best Ways of Using The Home Ice Makers
The home ice making machine is very small and portable. They are stylish and come with a very compact design. And so they really do not look awkward when displayed in the kitchen or any suitable location. It is important to note that the ice making machine is not a freezer. And so, ice produced should be used within a short period of time. Ice making machines do not take up much counter space, easy to store, and even easy to operate. You just pour in water, and you are good to go. In all its entirety, home ice making machines should be properly handled and maintained to give them a long shelf life and allow you to enjoy the device you have bought.
Factors to Consider Before Buying
1. Size and Capacity
Ice makers tend to come in different sizes and capacity. No need to worry manufacturers tend to provide the needed specifications in their products manual. So you can always be sure of the right size and capacity you are purchasing.
2. Speed and Production Capacity
In addition to finding about the size and capacity, there is need to also find out if the home ice making machine you are purchasing will make ice quickly for you in the right amount. The production capacity is usually provided in pounds per day.
This is of course a very important factor. Cost should be a very important point to be considered when getting an ice making machine. The best and pocket friendly price type should always be chosen.
4. Look and Ease of Use
Looks and the ease of operation should always be considered at every point in time. Any ice maker that is to be purchased should be aesthetically appealing and should also be easy to operate. Ice makers are usually available in a wide range of colors. With the common ones being black, white and stainless steel. And they are also pretty easy to use. Most of them come with basic instructions, controls and require no need for any special installation.
5. Durability and Intelligent Water Use
Ice making machines are not the type of devices to replace after few years. With proper handling, they are a durable bunch and majority comes with warranties to inform of an extent of their usage. Reading reviews will sure give you an idea of how long a particular brand of ice making machine might last. Ice making machines do not allow for water wastage. They generally save on water, and most times saves you the stress of having to repeatedly refill the machine.
The Final Say
When comparing price, usability, and quality of ice, the hOmeLab ice maker is the best choice. It’s size and weight make it a great option for traveling or staying at home. The speed of the ice maker, plus its quiet motor, makes getting ice easy and pain-free. The hOmeLab ice maker the most portable, cost-efficient, and has the best review rates. If you’re looking for a great ice maker, then the hOmeLab model is going to be your best bet.