Having access to a chilled drink on the hot days is probably one of the nicest things in life. If you’re at home, you can make ice in your refrigerator. But what if you’re on a trip and you want to be able to access a fresh supply of cold ice in order to cool your drinks down as well as keep your food fresh? There won’t be any refrigerator for making ice for you. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s definitely not a good thing.
A portable ice maker can help you a lot with its ability to make ice cubes easier and faster. In the hot sun, you can go through ice quickly, especially if you have a party. Since it’s very compact, it makes a great travel companion to make ice with while camping in your RV. Instead of lugging large bags of ice wherever you go, a portable ice maker can provide you with a steady stream of ice anywhere you go, as long as you’re somewhere with power.
However, there’re many options on the market that offers very similar features but can vary greatly in price. It’s always wise to know the best models available before buying. Well, in this article, you’ll be provided with all the information, reviews and everything that you need to know in order to choose the best portable ice maker for your needs. Read on!
Table of Contents
Best Portable Ice Maker Reviews
ThinkGizmos Counter Top Ice Maker
ThinkGizmos Counter Top Ice Maker is a well-made machine for residential use. This is not an ice maker for people who are in a hurry. However, if you value your peace and quiet, then this may be a great choice.
- A durable and attractive design.
- Simple to use.
- Quiet except for the sound of ice falling into the basket.
- Stores plenty of ice.
- Useful LED lights to let you know when the work is done.
- Built-in sensor to avoid overloading.
- Comes with a 12-month warranty covering against factory defects.
- This isn’t a particular compact ice maker and it can take up quite a lot of counter-top space.
- Takes time to fill up the large basket.
- Ice can start to melt quite quickly.
MachineTG22 is one of the top ice makers by Think Gizmos that is perfect for parties with attendees having nonstop drinks. With this machine, the sizes of the ice cubes are adjustable depending on what kind of drink you need. This is one of the top-rated domestic portable ice makers, which is built to make ice cubes every six minutes. One year warranty ensures that you are set up for the first 12 months, and you can get a free ice scoop that comes with it.
ThinkGizmos Counter Top Ice Maker is just perfect for your homes and offices because of it modern design. The MachineTG22 is made out of stainless steel that makes it durable but lightweight enough that you can easily to carry anywhere.
The machine is built to produce up to 26 pounds of ice within 24 hours. This is enough for the larger parties or family gatherings. This is entirely portable and does not need to be plumbed in, which means that once you install the machine, you can start using it right sway. The large ice bucket can hold 2.2 pounds of ice.
ThinkGizmos Counter Top Ice Maker also comes with a compressor cooling system that makes this automatic ice maker so quiet and efficient. So you can turn this ice maker on and forget about it as it runs in the background.
You can easily use this machine to produce ice cubes using the LED indicators and the control panel. Control panel not only allows you to check the level of the water reservoir, select the ice size but let you know exactly when the ice bucket is full and ready for collection. Just plug it into an outlet and add water. Turn the machine on and select the preferred size of ice. Then wait 6-12 minutes for the first batch of ice to be ready. The LED indicators will let you know once the ice is ready.
Koldfront KIM202W Ultra Compact Portable Ice Maker
The Koldfront Ultra Compact KIM202W doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the more expensive ice makers, but it does its job. It makes ice quickly, fits almost anywhere and is one of the most affordable portable ice maker available on the market.
- It is portable and compact.
- It doesn’t require any kind of installation.
- It can reuse the water from the melted ice to make more ice.
- Very affordable.
- The Ice Maker doesn’t contain the Locking Facility.
- The Machine is not Noise Free.
The Koldfront Ultra Compact KIM202W is small enough to fit on any countertop. The compact design makes it perfect for camping, RVs, boats, cabins. Like other portable ice makers, make sure you have an outlet close to keep your ice from turning back into the water. This unit also has some great features for the price, let’s take a more detailed look at what they are.
The key feature of this machine is its portability and compactness. So it is easy to take your ice maker anywhere you go and it won’t take up too much space. The Koldfront Ultra Compact KIM202W is great for any kitchen where you want a steady stream of ice. It is capable and fit for the production of approximately 26 pounds of ice each day. You are enabled to select from two different selectable ice cube sizes (small and large bullet-shaped ice cubes) and you can definitely forget about ice trays.
The integrated storage bin is decently insulated and is capable of storing 1.5 pounds of ice. It’s recommended not to leave the ice there for too long as this machine is built to deliver the goods quickly and you have to use the ice as fast as possible. If you cannot use it all, then the ice maker will re-use the water from the melted ice to make more ice, a process helps to save you some time.
The machine doesn’t require any kind of installation, but it must be located in the area that is protected from the elements such as rain, wind, water spray. It also should not be placed next to the grills, ovens or the other high heat resources. This unit is not very difficult to use. You simply fill the reservoir and turn it on using simple touch-sensitive controls on front panel. You don’t need a water line a drain. You’ll have fresh ice just a few minutes after taking it out of the box.
Della Portable Ice Maker
The Della Portable Ice Maker is a great option for anyone who wants a portable ice maker that produce small and soft nuggets. With this portable machine, you’re able to make ice at any place you wish as long as an electric outlet is available.
- Large ice cubes are the perfect size
- Quick to produce the ice cubes
- Removable tray translates to easy ice transfer
- Quiet operation
- Easy-push touch buttons
- Takes up little counter-top space (similar to a standard toaster)
- Eliminates the need for ice trays, produces ice quickly, can be used anywhere there is an outlet.
- Very easy to use
- May take several cycles to produce ice correctly according to size settings.
- Does produce soft, wet ice cubes which can clump together when placed in the freezer
Sonic Nugget is known for its soft cloudy texture, which makes it a great choice for cocktails, smoothies or even crunching on its own. If you love the soft Sonic nugget ice pieces, you need to own an ice maker that can create the same soft chewy ice. Then this Della Portable Ice Maker has deserved a consideration. This machine is not a freezer, but only a “soft ice” maker. It provides you small and soft nuggets, very much like many restaurants use today that you can easily chew on or add to your beverages.
The Della Portable Ice Maker comes in a flashy red color, glossy exterior and the beautiful finish that will be right at home in a modern kitchen or bar area. The Della Portable Ice Maker is quite lightweight and compact, weighing 21 pounds, so if you plan an outing or a small vacation trip with your family, this is a great option to consider.
This Della model can make 26 pounds of bullet-shaped cubes per day and the user can select from two sizes. It will keep you well supplied through the day. There is also a fast 6 minutes operating cycle which ensures that you will have more ice in no time.
The main issue many users have with this machine is the insulated storage bin can hold just 1.5 pounds of ice at a go – which translates to about 9 small ice cubes – more than enough as you are alone but quickly run out as you have some guests over.
As it’s the case with the other portable ice makers we’ve suggested to you in this guide, this model is as easy to use as pie. The control panel is easy to understand that gives you an easy time running your machine. This portable ice maker also comes with a see-through window so that you can check ice level and the ice production process. The light indicators let you know when to add water to your ice maker and when the ice bucket is full.
Newair AI-215SS Stainless Steel Portable Ice Maker
If you’re looking a portable ice maker that has a larger capacity and a self-cleaning function, then look no further. This is a sleek countertop ice maker that churns out enough ice for even the biggest parties and ice-loving families.
- It is aesthetic and made of durable stainless steel.
- It has a large 50-pound capacity.
- It has a compact freestanding design.
- It includes a self-cleaning for minimal maintenance.
- No installation is required.
- Doesn’t store more ice
- A little heavier than other normal capacity ice makers
Cleaning can be the most annoying part when it comes to maintaining an ice maker. This model from Newair helps save you from the strenuous task of cleaning the unit frequently as it has a self-cleaning function keeping its working in top condition. Just a push of the self-cleaning button and you have got a fairly clean machine ready to use again.
The Newair AI-215SS portable ice maker makes an impressive 50 pounds of bullet-shaped ice in a one day cycle, makes three different ice cube sizes and can even make 12 pieces of ice in just 13 minutes which means that it is more than capable to be used for large parties and large events such as graduations, proms, corporate conferences and quinceaneras and many other activities.
If you are planning to have a party of more than 25 people, we suggest you start producing ice way ahead of the guest’s arrival instead of producing ice just before that time. The ideal time for making ice is the night before the party. Fill in the reservoir with 5-liter water and turn the machine on. After every 2 hours, you will get 2 pounds of ice ready. Take the cubes out, put them in big zip bags and keep them in the cooler or freezer. By doing this, you can save the last rush of getting the ice ready.
Weighing 37.6 pounds, Newair AI-215SS Stainless Steel Portable Ice Maker is one of the heaviest portable ice maker options that made this list, but it has the dimensions 14.2 x 16.9 x 16.8 inches which is portable enough to take anywhere. It comes in a beautiful stainless steel color (it also comes in red) that makes it the perfect match for any corner of your home as well as it can blend in and look great on countertops and at home bars. It also comes with a removable ice basket and an ice scoop, which complements its attractive outer surface.
On this portable ice maker, indicator lights are included to tip off users when the machine needs more water or the ice bin should be emptied. A most futuristic feature of this unit is that it automatically shuts off if the water level is too low or the ice basket is full to the brim.
Another advantage of this portable ice maker is that no installation is required. Just plug it is, pour in the required amount of water and enjoy the result. It can make the vast amount of ice within just 8 to 15 minutes making camping, traveling, boating or showing it off at a friend’s party more fun!
TOP PICK: Costway Portable Compact Electric Ice Maker
Suitable for many activities where there’s a need for the readily available supply of ice, The Costway Portable Compact Ice Maker can be the ideal companion that will save you time and space. It is light, reliable and performs exactly as expected.
- Relatively light in weight
- Choice of ice cube size (small or large)
- Operates at low noise
- Simple touch button controls with a clear window to see the progress
- Easy to use and operate
- Simple to clean and maintain
- A little hard to clean
- Ice tends to melt quickly
One of the key features of this portable ice maker is the modern and elegant design. It comes in multiple color variants (black, red, white, silver) that makes it easy to fit well in many kitchen environments. It also has a see-through window to make it possible to keep an eye on progress and check the ice level.
The Costway Portable Compact Ice Maker is a perfect choice for those in need of portable and compact units such as the party, camping, RV, boat or other gatherings. Even though it has a small footprint, it is still able to create the readily available supply of ice cubes (up to 26lbs per 24 hour period). It also comes with an ice scoop and the latest compressor cooling system built-in that operates at low noise.
This lightweight ice maker doesn’t have the biggest ice bucket -The ice bucket capacity is 1.5 pounds – which is more than enough space to hold an amount of ice before using or moving to the cooler or freezer.
In terms of speed, the Costway Portable Compact Ice Maker will prepare the ready-to-serve ice in 8 minutes on average. This unit also includes a light indicator which alerts you to the situation when the water runs low and you need to add some more water. You will also be alerted when the ice bucket is full and it has to be emptied.
Other great options
Portable Ice Maker Comparison Table
|Products||Daily Ice Production (lbs)||Storage Capacity (lbs)||Dimensions (Inches)||Weight (Pounds)||Warranty|
|ThinkGizmos Counter Top Ice Maker||26||2.2||16.8 x 16 x 13.8||25.1||1 Year|
|Koldfront Ultra Compact KIM202W||26||1.5||16.5 x 16 x 13.5||28.2||1 Year|
|Della Portable Ice Maker||26||1.5||14.5 x 9.8 x 12.8||21||1 Year|
|Newair AI-215SS Stainless Steel Portable Ice Maker||50||3.6||14.2 x 16.9 x 16.8||37.6||1 Year|
|Costway Portable Compact Ice Maker Machine||26||1.5||9.5 x 14 x 12.9||17.5||1 Year|
|Opal Nugget Ice Maker||24||3||15.5 x 10.5 x 17.2||44||1 Year|
|hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Machine||26||1.5||12.9 x 9.5 x 14||19.1||2 years|
Portable Ice Maker Buying Guide
What is a Portable Ice Maker?
Portable ice makers do exactly what their name suggests they do: they make ice for you when you pour in water. While large ice makers often require a connection to a water line, these little machines require no fixed water line to produce ice, so you can take them anywhere you want. Portable ice machine is designed to take up little counter space so they’re also easy to store when not in use.
One of the biggest selling points of portable ice makers is how long they take to produce ice. Designed with speed in mind, these machines have creation cycles are fast at popping out ice, so you won’t have to wait too long for your next cold drink.
The portable ice maker is considered a variation of the normal ice maker that can be found inside some home freezers. When someone refers to an “ice machine”, they generally mean a stand-alone machine intended specifically for producing ice.
These machines only need to be plugged in to start creating cubes. As long as you can find an outlet and of course, some water (You will need to fill that up yourself), you’ll have ice cubes within minutes. That said, if you want fresh ice on a camping trip, since they are powered by electricity, you will need a portable generator.
Before choosing the right portable ice maker, you need to know that this type of ice maker doesn’t keep your ice frozen indefinitely. The ice cubes will melt and then recycle back into the reservoir to produce more ice. This process will continue until you empty all the water out of the unit. So you will need to have a separate area to store the ice once the bin is full like a cooler or freezer.
Why Buy a Portable Ice Maker?
Portable ice makers are a great way to either supplement your built-in refrigerated version when you have guests over or take with you on a go like camping, tailgating, boating or RV trips. Portable units make enough ice for any occasion when you find yourself going to the gas station just to buy several pounds of ice.
These ice makers are also helpful in a number of other spots where people need more ice than a freezer’s ice maker produces, like birthday parties, retirement communities or office break rooms.
Portable ice makers also let you control the size of the ice cubes. Whether you’re enjoying a glass of water or you’re blending ice to make smoothies, they will meet your needs. These handy machines are a welcome addition to gatherings and parties!
Moreover, if you select a good quality portable ice machine, you will save money in the long term since your unit will pay for itself. So, If you regularly find yourself in situations where you need more ice, then this type of ice maker may be an affordable and convenient solution for you.
Portable Ice Maker Benefits
There’re many benefits of owning a portable ice maker, here’re some of them:
- It requires no draining – Instead of wasting the excess water from melted cubes, a portable ice maker recycle it all to make more ice and eliminate the need for a drain.
- It requires no water line – It doesn’t require a water line to produce ice.
- It makes ice fast – The average portable ice maker makes ice in as little as 10 minutes. So you don’t have to wait for your trays to freeze.
- It’s truly portable – It’s small that can be placed on a countertop and it’s even compact enough to conveniently fit on the limited counter space in RVs.
- It’s easy to use – It’s kid and elderly friendly. Just pour water in the tank, turn it on and come back in a matter of minutes to find frozen ice ready to use.
What to Consider Before Choosing the best Portable Ice Maker?
How much ice do I need?
Before buying a portable ice maker, you need to figure out how much ice will you need in a day or when you have a party at your house – how many people will attend the party. By asking yourself these questions, you will be able to choose a unit that makes enough ice to meet the needs of your guests.
This is one of the key factors in choosing the right portable ice maker because the amount of ice you need determines the size of the unit you need to buy. It’s often good to opt for a little higher capacity than what you actually need to make sure you will never run out of ice when there is a party.
What capacity and size do I need?
Generally, portable ice machines will be on the small side, which makes them portable. However, you can also find some variety in the amount of ice they can make and how much space they take up. If your portable ice maker will consistently stay on a countertop, RV or boat, then you should double-check how much space is available in that spot to make sure you don’t buy a machine that won’t fit. But if you want to carry your machine from place to place, then we would recommend checking the unit’s weight to ensure it’s something you’ll be comfortable carrying.
Another thing you need to consider is the unit’s capacity. On the average ice, portable ice makers can produce between 20-25 pounds of ice during a 24 hour period, while some models can produce up to 35 pounds of ice per day. Make sure you do not choose a portable ice maker that’s too small or you may run out of ice in the middle of your cocktail party. Too large of a capacity will likely just waste energy and space. Knowing your needs and the capacities of the machine are crucial since it helps you narrow down which portable ice maker will be best for your unique situation.
There are two things you may want to know about capacity.
- A portable ice maker produces 25 pounds of ice every hour, it doesn’t mean that you will get that type of production out of your unit. If you’re making larger amounts of ice, you’ll need to be present to add more water now and again.
- You most likely will not be awake or in need of ice for a straight 24 hours. Just use these capacity numbers of a guideline for production capacities.
What size ice cubes do I want?
Most portable ice makers produce bullet shaped ice cubes in three different sizes -small, medium and large. Larger sizes often take longer to produce and the large size ice cubes are roughly the same size as those you’d make in a typical ice tray.
If you have smaller glasses such as scotch glasses, you may want to choose bullet-shaped ice which is more compact to fit those glasses. If you’re drinking from a larger glass, larger ice may be your choice to cool the drink quicker.
Most models only produce ice cubes in one size, so depending on how you like your drinks, you may want to consider a model that makes multiple ice cube sizes for more versatility.
How much do you want to pay for the portable ice maker?
The price varies based on the type of ice maker, the brand it is sold by and its feature. Portable ice makers typically start at around $100, and can up to about 250$ for higher-capacity models. Since the cheaper models start seem to have problems within the first year (according to users’ reviews), it’s highly recommended to consider units that cost a bit more. Which means you will spend a bit more to make sure you get a portable ice maker that is designed to last longer, especially, if you’re using it frequently or keeping it plugged in at all times.
The capacity is another factor that affects the price of the portable ice maker. The models that have higher capacity will likely cost a bit more. There are several features that can push the cost of a portable ice maker up as well, such as easy-to-use controls, intelligent water use.
After all, the choice depends on your needs and your budget.
Other features to consider
Intelligent Water Use
One of the main advantages of a portable ice maker is that it has an intelligent water use feature. If you don’t use all the ice your maker produces before it melts, the portable ice maker will re-use it and turn it into ice all over again. This feature can save you the trouble of having to refill the ice maker or draining all the ice you don’t use in time, and ensure you can use the product without having to add new water as often.
One thing that really lends itself to ease of use is an intelligent water use feature that filters and re-freezes water as the ice in the machine melts. You won’t have to re-fill the machine as often, or drain all the ice you don’t use in time. You will, of course, still need to clean the machine in between uses, but the feature saves on a few of the steps you’d have to deal with otherwise.
While the cycle time for a single batch of ice is usually 6-12 minutes, some portable ice makers need up to 20 minutes. Considering that one batch normally consists of 9 ice cubes, you need to figure out what cycle length will satisfy your demands better. Some models can make more than they can hold, which makes it important to know how long you’ll wait for each batch of ice. The nice thing here is you will know the cycle time from the time you press the button to start the cycle.
If your portable ice maker will spend most of its time sitting on a countertop, you will likely want to choose the model that will look good there. Portable ice makers are available in a range of colors (Black, stainless steel, and white), which allows you to add a splash of color. Since the aesthetic appeal is purely subjective, you just have to browse your options to find one that you like the most or you believe will match the current decor of your house.
- Automatic timer – An automatic timer allows you to determine the start and end for the ice production. Once time is set, you can forget about it for awhile and it will be ready for you at the particular time you need it.
- Self-cleaning – This function makes cleaning a portable ice maker much easier.
- Insulated framework – Some models come with an insulated framework to prevent unused ice from melting.
Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Portable Ice Maker
Follow the below guidelines to get the most out of your portable ice machine:
- Only use the portable ice maker for its intended purpose, the production of ice. It doesn’t double as a freezer.
- Using parts not recommended by the manufacturer can be dangerous.
- Do not immerse the unit in water or other liquids.
- If you use your ice maker outdoors, make sure your machine is protected from the elements and is plugged into a GFCL or ELCB for safety. Do not expose your unit to rain and do not store it where it could get damp.
- Do not put the unit near heat sources.
- If not in use for periods exceeding 48 hours, unplug your ice maker and remove any remaining ice and water.
- Do use water that is below 8°C (46°F), otherwise, the ice cubes to fuse into one large block of ice.
- The machine gets very cold! Touching it could result in freezer burns.
- Do not use abrasives, detergents, and solvents when cleaning, these chemicals can affect the taste of your ice.
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