Buying Guide: Best Portable Ice Makers for Home (2017 – 2018)

ice maker countertop

As the weather starts to become warmer, people consume more cold beverages with ice. Kids love frozen smoothies and slurpees will forever remain summer stable for all ages. Breakfast smoothies remain on of the most appealing and time-saving breakfast option for busy people. During warmer weather kids and adults need more ice than constantly freezing water in an ice cube tray can provide, not to mention the time and effort this can take if the family likes to entertain. This is a major consideration for restaurants that must provide ice to hundreds of customers at any time of the year. To accomplish this, restaurants have ice makers. The best option is to buy an ice maker.

#1 Top Rated Countertop Ice Maker (Editor Selection) — Click Here!

Read on to learn about the types, features, and considerations you should look out for when shopping for an ice maker.

Our Portable Ice Maker Ratings At-A-Glance

ice maker ratings

Top 10 Best Portable Compact Ice Makers Reviewed 2017 - 2018

Below is our list of the best compact ice makers for the money based on our team's ratings of the portable countertop ice makers. If you want to read reviews or get more product information, just scroll down the page or click on the links.
PRODUCTOUR RATING
Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket
Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket
(8.6 / 10)
Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker
Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker
(8 / 10)
Ivation Portable Ice Maker w/Easy-Touch Buttons
Ivation Portable Ice Maker w/Easy-Touch Buttons
(8.4 / 10)
DELLA© Portable Ice Maker Easy-Touch Buttons
DELLA© Portable Ice Maker Easy-Touch Buttons
(9.4 / 10)
Ivation Portable Ice Maker for Countertop
Ivation Portable Ice Maker for Countertop
(8.8 / 10)
Edgestar IP210SS1 Portable Ice Maker
Edgestar IP210SS1 Portable Ice Maker
(8.8 / 10)
EdgeStar IB120SS Ice Maker
EdgeStar IB120SS Ice Maker
(8.6 / 10)
NewAir AI-100BK 28-Pound Portable Ice Maker
NewAir AI-100BK 28-Pound Portable Ice Maker
(8.4 / 10)
Ivation Portable High Capacity Countertop Ice Maker
Ivation Portable High Capacity Countertop Ice Maker
(8.1 / 10)
EdgeStar Red Portable Ice Maker
EdgeStar Red Portable Ice Maker
(9 / 10)

Small Ice Maker Reviews

Interested in learning more about any of the models listed up above? Keep reading to learn what our editors think about each one. They share what they like and dislike about them to help you determine which is the best for your kitchen.

Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker Review

Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker
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Do you need a lot of ice at your home or office? The Avalon stands alone ice maker doesn’t require a plumbing connection and can be making ice soon after its taken from the box. It can produce 26 pounds of ice every 24 hours and will give you nine ice cubes every six to 13 minutes. Just fill it with a half a gallon of water, choose your cube size and wait. The small footprint will fit in your kitchen, at your wet bar, or in your outdoor kitchen and is the perfect party companion and great for everyday use.

Pros: Makes ice fast, easy set-up, quiet

Cons: Not a freezer, ice must be used immediately or stored elsewhere

Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket Review

Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket, Stainless Steel
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Need ice quick for party, fishing, camping or just to cool off on a hot summer day? This small compact ice maker is a great addition to any home, making it possible to have extra ice in less than 6 minutes.  Featuring an oversized basket that holds more than 2 lbs. of cubes, this machine can crank out 26 lbs. of ice in a single day. Requiring only a 120W plug, this stylish stainless steel ice maker can be used almost anywhere; your patio, kitchen, RV or even boat!

Pros: simple to use; quick ice making ability; large oversized storage basket; sleek design.

Cons: although cubes come in three sizes (small, medium and large), even the largest cubes are small; unit can be a bit noisy; a single batch only fills about half of a shoebox.

Ivation IVA-ICEM15SIL Portable Ice Maker w/Easy-Touch Buttons Review

Ivation IVA-ICEM15SIL Portable Ice Maker with Easy-Touch Buttons for Digital Operation, Silver
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The Ivation IVA-ICEM15SIL Portable Ice Maker is a perfect solution to your ice-making needs. Hot summer day? You’ll always have ice. Hosting a party? The guest’s drinks will stay cold. This Ivation ice maker can freeze ice for you in just 6 minutes, and produce up to 26.5 pounds of ice in 24 hours.
With two cube sizes to choose from, you can easily serve the best ice in town. It looks great on any countertop, and can easily be transported to a friend’s party.

Pros: Fast to produce ice. Variable sizing. Aesthetically pleasing – looks good on the counter.

Cons: Large parties may require some ice production/saving in advance.

DELLA Portable Ice Maker Easy-Touch Buttons Review

Della© Portable Electric Ice Maker Machine Producing 26 Lbs. Of Ice Per Day
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Looking for a compact ice maker for your boat, RV, or small kitchen?  This portable ice maker operates wherever there is a power source.  Makes ice cubes in as little as six minutes.  This convenient model is capable of producing up to 26 pounds of ice in one day.  Features two ice cube sizes selected through the user-friendly control panel.  The insulated storage container holds up to 1.5 pounds of ice.  Light-up indicator tells you when the water reservoir runs low.  Use the model’s window to monitor ice levels.

Pros:  Eliminates the need for ice trays, produces ice quickly, can be used anywhere there is an outlet.

Cons:  May take several cycles to produce ice correctly according to size settings.

Edgestar IP210SS1 Portable Ice Maker Review

Edgestar IP210SS1 Portable Ice Maker, Stainless Steel/Silver
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Never run out of ice again.  This countertop ice maker is great for parties, RV’s, boats and even small apartments!  At only 15 inches high, it fits in any nook or cranny you can find. All you need is a 115 volt plug and some water it will produce the first batch of ice in less than 10 minutes!  Able to make up to 28 pounds of ice a day in three different sizes, this portable ice making machine is simple to use, providing unlimited ice cubes when needed.

Pros:  no drain required; portable; compact design; easy touch controls; ability to produce 28 pounds of ice per day; ice cubes available in three different sizes.

Cons:  basket must be emptied for continual ice making; cubes are small; the machine is a bit noisy (the compressor tends to rattle when in use); this unit is not a freeze, so ice will eventually melt.

EdgeStar IB120SS Ice Maker Review

EdgeStar IB120SS Ice Maker, 12 lbs, Stainless Steel and Black
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Be prepared for every special occasion with this convenient ice maker!  Comes with a 25 ft quarter-inch water line connection and ice scoop! Never run out of ice again because this handy unit produces up to 12 pounds of ice per day and can store an extra 6 pounds of ice as a reserve. When the bin is full, this unit’s auto shut-off will automatically cut off further ice production. Also, the door on this ice maker is reversible, so if you are a lefty you can easily adjust it to suit your preferences. 

Pros: No draining required, compact size lets it fit almost anywhere, easy to install. ADA height compliant.

Cons: Installation requires a licensed plumber.

Ivation Portable Ice Maker for Countertop Review

Portable Ice Maker for Counterop - Sleek Tinted Clear Top Window Design - 2 Selectable Cube Sizes - Yield Up To 26.5 Pounds of Ice Daily
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The countertop Ivation 26-lb Portable Ice Maker is a cool addition to any kitchen or break room that will keep the cubes piling up. Watch it work its icy magic through the transparent window on top and select from 2 cube sizes so your ice comes out perfect for any drink or cooler. Its digital display and clear icons make controlling the Ivation easy while perfection is guaranteed by low water level (2.5 quart max) and maximum ice capacity alerts.

Pros: produces 26.5 lbs of ice in 24 hours, produces ice in just 6 minutes, removable tray

Cons: ice doesn’t stay frozen for long periods of time, loud, will melt and refreeze ice overnight

NewAir AI-100BK 28-Pound Portable Ice Maker Review

NewAir AI-100BK 28-Pound Portable Ice Maker, Black
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With this NewAir Portable Ice Maker, you’ll never have to run to the store for a bag of ice again! This convenient portable ice maker produces 28 pounds of ice every day. It requires no installation… just plug it in, add water and then wait up to 15 minutes to enjoy that refreshing ice you need. This makes it especially perfect for parties. Plus, the easy-to-use LED control panel allows you to choose from three ice size settings. Best of all, this portable ice maker is so compact that it’s perfect to use in small kitchens and other small spaces like RVs, motorhomes and boats.

Pros:  Flawless design, dependable ice production, continually perfected

Cons: Ice may melt if left in the ice maker for too long

Ivation Portable High Capacity Countertop Ice Maker Review

Ivation Portable High Capacity Countertop Ice Maker - 2.8-Liter Water Reservoir, 3 Selectable Cube Sizes - Yield of up to 26.5 Pounds of Ice Daily
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Say goodbye to buying ice at the store! This portable, high-capacity countertop ice maker from Ivation is convenient, compact and incredibly fast. It’s perfect for small spaces, like dorms, RVs, smaller kitchens and anywhere else you want to entertain! The large see-through window allows you to monitor the process and check the ice level at any time. Plus, it’ll alert you when the water level is low or the maximum ice capacity has been reached. Choose from three selectable cube sizes and enjoy the removable tray for easy ice transfer. You’ll never run out of ice at a party or anywhere else again!

Pros: Doesn’t take up much room, always serves on-demand ice, good value/price

Cons: Can be noisy

Types of Ice Makers

One of the most popular ice makers is the through-the-door ice maker where pipes run through the top of the refrigerator or freezer to the refrigerator door to the ice dispenser in the door. Choosing this option adds onto the price of the refrigerator then is voted least reliable. This type of ice maker requires regular filter changes that can cost up to $100 a year. Another downside to choosing this type is that most of the hardware is mounted to the top shelf of your refrigerator which space. Some manufacturers, like LG and Kenmore, have started making newer models whose hardware mounts to the freezer door instead. A freestanding ice maker produces up to 45 lbs of ice and gives you the freedom to put it anywhere for easy access to the ice. This type is a great investment if you entertain a lot or own a small restaurant. A third type is an ice maker you can install in your freezer that is made up of two parts. One part produces the ice and then send it to a bucket just below it to catch the ice. This is one of the least expensive ice makers on the market that sells for less than a $100, makes the most ice, and requires the least amount of maintenance. There are, of course, mid-sized commercial ice makers that you ca purchase anywhere from The Home Depot to Amazon if this is what you need.

Common Features

Most ice makers give you a choice between ice cubes and crushed ice. Many models also produce different-sized ice cubes as well as crushed ice. Different ice makers may weight differently and take up varying spaces. The ice makers that are mounted to the inside of your freezer or installed on the refrigerator door are, of course, smaller than the freestanding models. The freestanding models are available in several sizes and colors. Some models, like the one that mounts inside the freezer, automatically shuts off when the ice bucket under it is full.  Many manufacturers use parts that comply with Energy Star.

Other Considerations

Before shopping for a new ice maker, determine your family’s daily ice usage. There are models that produce up to 130 ice cubes and others that produce up to 45 lbs of ice every day. Making sure that you are benefiting from the ice maker’s ice capacity will ensure that  you are getting your money’s worth. Keep in mind that freestanding ice makers come in a variety of sizes, so make sure that you pre-measure the available space in your kitchen or area where you intend to put the ice maker. Make sure the parts of your new ice maker are quality and read some customer reviews to get an idea of how much you might spend on maintaining your purchase.

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