The 6 Best Ice Makers for Chilling All Your Drinks

Our top choice is the Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker, which can make 28 pounds of ice per day and offers near-silent operation.

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Best Ice Makers

BETTER HOMES & GARDENS / RUSSELL KILGORE

Whatever is on the drinks menu for the day or night—water, soda, or cocktails—a good ice maker can make all the difference when sipping a cool, refreshing drink. If filling and emptying ice molds isn’t your thing, a quality countertop ice maker could be your new favorite kitchen appliance.

“The whole point of ice is to make (and keep) your drink cold, while also adding some dilution from the ice melt,” says Jason Percival, beverage manager at Himmel Hospitality Group. “Although it might seem counterintuitive, the best bet to keep the beverage cold without watering it down is to use plenty of ice so that it fills the whole glass rather than a few cubes floating on top.”

Our team of experts tested 15 ice makers in our testing lab in Birmingham, Alabama, evaluating each machine based on water capacity, dimensions of the appliance, ice production time, ice cube shape, and the noise level of the machine. 

Testers chose the Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker as the overall best ice maker because of its quiet operation and high production capacity—it can make up to 28 pounds of ice per day. We also liked its sleek design and that it produced clear, consistently shaped ice cubes.

Here are the best ice makers, according to testing.

Best Overall: Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker

4.8
Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This ice maker produced more ice cubes per batch than all of the other machines on our list.
Keep in Mind: It takes the machine about 23 minutes to produce a batch of ice.

With the largest capacity and highest ratings out of all of our tested ice makers, the Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker was the clear favorite of our testers and our overall choice for the best ice maker. 

To test the production capacity, we filled the Luma with water, and noted how long it took to make each batch of ice and how many batches it produced in one hour. The Luma consistently cranked out 24 clear cubes (1 pound 4.5 ounces) per batch every 23 minutes, which was more than twice or three times the output of most of the machines we tested. 

Because of the high water capacity and output over just the course of one hour, our testers estimated it will produce an even greater volume over longer periods of time. Plus, a larger water capacity means you will have to refill the machine less frequently. The brand promises the ice maker can create 28 pounds of ice per day, which is a significant amount. 

While this ice maker took longer than other machines to produce one batch of ice, the machine dropped many more cubes per batch and did so nearly noiselessly. The lack of noise from this machine, which our testers described as “silent” gave it a clear lead above many of the other ice makers that had loud fans that whirled and spun. 

The Luma is fairly big and a bit bulky compared to the other ice makers we tested, meaning it would be more difficult to move around your kitchen or take outside for a party. However, the design overall is fairly sleek and simple, with no obtrusive branding to spoil the look of your home.

For anyone who entertains big, thirsty groups regularly and needs additional ice that’s produced noiselessly, the Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker is well worth a look.

Price at time of publish: $240

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 14.25 x 11.13 x 13.88 inches
  • Ice Shape: Cube
  • Water Capacity: 10 cups
  • Daily Ice Production: 28 pounds
  • Time to Make One Batch: 23 minutes, 22 seconds
Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker

Better Homes & Gardens / Russell Kilgore

Best Budget: Silonn Countertop Ice Maker

4.3
Silonn Ice Makers Countertop Machine

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This machine costs less than the other ice makers we tested without sacrificing looks or performance.
Keep in Mind: This machine is pretty noisy when running.

When compared to our overall winner, our pick for best ice maker on a budget, the Silonn Ice Makers Countertop Machine, produced a more moderate amount of ice, but it did so in less time—and at half the price. In just under eight minutes, it made eight cubes (12.25 oz).

 "For the size of the machine, it made an adequate amount of ice after one hour," noted the testing lab. 

This ice maker is fairly attractive and doesn’t look inexpensive, with testers noting that it’s “very sleek and nice looking” and that they’d be “100% OK with keeping it on the countertop.”

The Silonn was ahead of the pack in the portability rating department, scoring a 5/5. Weighing only 15 pounds, this ice maker would be easy to take outside or throw in the car for a trip to a beach house for the weekend. 

In the cons column, the ice maker was a lot noisier than our top pick, both in terms of the motor running and the noise of ice dropping. Testers also said the ice it produced was inconsistently sized. We did like that the machine lets you choose from two different sizes of ice to suit a variety of needs.

The Silonn had the lowest price point of all 15 ice makers we tested, so if you're curious about a portable ice maker but don't want to make a more sizable investment, this ice maker is a great place to start.

Price at time of publish: $100

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.7 x 12.5 inches
  • Ice Shape: Bullet
  • Water Capacity: 9 cups
  • Daily Ice Production: 26 pounds
  • Time to Make One Batch: 7 minutes, 42 seconds
Silonn Ice Makers Countertop Machine

Better Homes & Gardens / Russell Kilgore

Best Portable: Igloo Self Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker

4.2
Igloo Premium Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The handle makes it easier to move this ice maker from place to place.
Keep in Mind: This machine has a lower water capacity than others on this list, so you’ll need to refill it more frequently.

Looking for the best ice maker for on-the-go convenience? Our testers loved the Igloo Premium Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker’s small size and sturdy handle.

For optimum scooping, the ice cubes, which are more bullet-shaped than cube-shaped, fall into a basket, making them easy to transfer out of the ice maker and into a cooler. Plus, you have the option to select between "little" and "big" ice cubes to customize the size of your ice for different uses.

The ice creation itself is very quiet, but the machine's fan is moderately noisy, although testers said it wasn’t loud enough to be obtrusive.

Our tester gave this machine a thumbs up for its performance, portability, and handle, noting that it produced a respectable amount of ice in an hour—nine cubes (13 ounces) every 9.5 minutes. However, due to the smaller water capacity (8 cups), this ice maker is probably not the best option for hosting large gatherings since you’ll need to refill it more frequently.

The ease of cleanup is another nice feature to this appliance; it has a drain plug on the bottom that makes emptying the machine easier and a five-cycle automatic cleaning function that, according to the brand, keeps the interior of your ice maker fresh.

Price at time of publish: $160

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: ‎12.2 x 9.06 x 12.8 inches
  • Ice Shape: Bullet
  • Water Capacity: 8 cups
  • Daily Ice Production: 26 pounds
  • Time to Make One Batch: 9 minutes, 23 seconds
Igloo Premium Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker

Better Homes & Gardens / Russell Kilgore

Best Countertop: AGLUCKY Countertop Ice Maker Machine

4.2
Aglucky Countertop Ice Maker Machine

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: You want more ice, but you don’t want to lose space.
Keep in Mind: This ice maker may require frequent refills.

When looking for the best ice maker for countertops, we wanted a machine that offered performance and a sleek look, all in a compact footprint. The Aglucky Countertop Ice Maker caught our testers’ eyes for how small it is. One even wrote, “Super tiny! So cute!”

For the size, this countertop favorite can create a pretty sizable amount of ice, maybe a bit more than you’d expect from 8 cups of water. The Aglucky had nine chilled cubes of ice (12.25 ounces) ready about every 7.5 minutes, which is perfect for light everyday use and supplementing ice cubes while entertaining. 

However, since the water volume is low compared to some of the larger models we looked at, our testers predict users will need to refill the machine often to keep the ice coming. And while this ice maker wasn’t the noisiest of the bunch, it did have a fan that noticeably whirled. However, testers said the sound wasn’t intrusive or distracting. 

Although it’s not the best performer overall, this tiny-yet-mighty ice maker is a perfect choice for those with limited countertop space who have moderate ice needs. Plus, it’s available in gray, red, and black to match your kitchen’s decor.

Price at time of publish: $120

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: ‎12.32 x 8.74 x 12.59 inches
  • Ice Shape: Bullet
  • Water Capacity: 8 cups
  • Daily Ice Production: 26.5 pounds
  • Time to Make One Batch: 7 minutes, 32 seconds
Aglucky Countertop Ice Maker Machine

Better Homes & Gardens / Russell Kilgore

Best Quiet: Insignia 26 Lb. Portable Icemaker with Auto Shut-Off

Insignia 26-Pound Portable Ice Maker

Best Buy

Why You Should Get It: This ice maker earned a 5/5 score for its quiet operation.
Keep in Mind: It doesn’t have a handle for easy portability.

The kitchen isn’t exactly the quietest space in anyone’s house, but why add to the racket? If you’re just looking for a little quiet with your cold drink, the Insignia 26-Pound Portable Ice Maker got our testers’ highest rating for working quietly. 

The Insignia has a front opening for easy scooping and well-placed digital controls on the front. Our testers noted the bullet-shaped ice consistently came out of the machine at the same size, and the machine allows you to select between small and large cubes so you can get the right size for your drinks. 

Output this model was as expected by our testers, producing nine cubes or 11.75 ounces of ice in seven minutes. As the ice maker is on the small side, it has less water capacity (8 cups) than some of the larger models and would need to be refilled more frequently than a larger model.

While this ice maker doesn’t have a handle and isn’t the most portable, it is lightweight enough at 17 pounds to take outside or into another room, and it creates ice fairly quickly, clocking in at seven minutes for every nine cubes. And it does so silently, bringing blissful quiet to your kitchen.

Price at time of publish: $126

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 12.6 x 8.75 x 12.3 inches
  • Ice Shape: Bullet
  • Water Capacity: 8 cups
  • Daily Ice Production: 26 pounds
  • Time to Make One Batch: 7 minutes
Insignia 26-Pound Portable Ice Maker

Better Homes & Gardens / Russell Kilgore

Best for Fast Ice: Arctic-Pro Portable Bullet Ice Maker

Arctic-Pro Bullet Ice Portable Ice Maker

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Lots of ice. Fast. 
Keep in Mind: It’s very visibly branded

To put it bluntly, this isn’t the most attractive ice maker of the ones we tested, but what it lacks in the looks department, it makes up for by cranking out a lot of ice without a lot of noise, making it our choice for the best ice maker for fast ice.

You can select your ice size, which varies between large (1 by 0.75 inches) and small (0.75 by 0.75 inches), from the digital controls on the top of the machine. Then you just pour the water in, and turn it on. There’s also a timer available if you’d like to preset the machine so you’ve got fresh ice ready when you get home from work.

Our testers really liked the performance of this maker, noting it made nine large cubes (14.25 ounces of ice) in just 8.5 minutes.

Available in silver and red, this machine has the brand name printed on the front. If you don’t mind that, or will have this set up in an outdoor kitchen or bar where it’s a bit out of sight, the Arctic-Pro will get the job done quickly and quietly.

Price at time of publish: $135

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 8.75 x 11.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Ice Shape: Bullet
  • Water Capacity: 7.5 cups
  • Daily Ice Production: 26
  • Time to Make One Batch: 8 minutes, 28 seconds
Arctic-Pro Bullet Ice Portable Ice Maker

Better Homes & Gardens / Russell Kilgore

The Bottom Line

From our extensive testing of ice makers, six of them were standouts, with the Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker coming out on top as our best ice maker overall due to its 10-cup water capacity, the best production of the bunch, and a nearly silent ice-making process. We also love the price point and performance of the Silonn Ice Makers Countertop Machine for anyone wanting to try an ice maker without a big investment.

Our Testing Process 

Our team of experts put 15 of the best ice makers to the test in our lab in Birmingham, Alabama, to measure the speed, quantity, and ice quality of each machine.

We filled the machines with water, recorded how long it took to make a batch of ice and how much ice was in the batch—and then continued to run the machine for an hour to see how much total ice it produced. Each machine was tested in a 71 degree room.

Next up, our testers dove into another important factor—noise level. They looked at both the noise of the machine's motor and the sound of the dropping ice cubes, keeping in mind that these ice makers are for home use and that no one wants a noisy motor or overly loud ice sounds during dinner.

The testers also looked at the features and attributes of all the machines. They lifted and weighed the appliances to decide how easily they could be transported from room to room or to a car. They also looked at the dimensions of the ice makers to see how bulky they would be when left on a countertop. Finally, testers evaluated each machine's water capacity to determine how often someone will have to refill the machine to keep the ice flowing. 

What to Know About Ice Makers Before Shopping

Machine Size

For anyone shopping for a new countertop ice maker, space is obviously a key concern. Measure your space for the maximum appliance width and height it can accommodate, whether you’ll be keeping the machine on the counter or in your pantry. 

“Finding a machine that can produce a new batch of solid cubes every 15 to 20 minutes is the standard that I would be looking for,” says Seth Corliss, lead bartender at Atlántico restaurant. “These styles of machines will roughly be around 1 cubic foot and have a weight that makes them portable enough to take to any location, given a supply of water and electricity is at hand.”

Capacity and Ice Production

To find the best ice maker for your home, first think about how you’ll use the appliance. Choose a model with a large water capacity and high output if you enjoy entertaining and will need to continually refresh drinks. That way, you won’t have to constantly be adding water to your ice maker. You can get away with a lower capacity if the ice maker will usually only be used by one or two individuals.

Ice Shape

Ice shape is a huge factor when making drinks, especially cocktails, Corliss says.

“Ice does a plethora of things to a cocktail; most importantly, however, is the chilling and dilution of the cocktail,” Corliss says. “Those attributes are directly tied to the shape of the ice. Ideally, I would be looking for a machine that produces a solid, squarish cube.”


Other Ice Makers We Tested

Costway Portable Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker

Although we liked the fun color of the Costway Portable Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker, the ice maker was slower and noisier than any of our top picks, taking over 10 minutes to create eight cubes of ice that weren’t a consistent size. It also ranked as one of the noisiest models we tested.


NewAir Compact Bullet Ice Maker

The NewAir Compact Bullet Ice Maker has a large water capacity of 13 cups, and it produces clear ice. However, the machine received low marks from our testers for slow output, taking over 10 minutes to create nine cubes, and for having an excessively loud fan. Testers said it’s “not particularly efficient” and a “bit large,” particularly in comparison to the other ice makers we tested.


Sentern Portable Clear Ice Maker

The biggest strike against the Sentern Portable Clear Ice Maker is simple: The ice came out in clumps and didn’t break into individual pieces, which clearly makes it difficult to get into a glass. The machine was also very slow and “only made one batch of ice in an hour,” our tester wrote.


Your Questions, Answered

Can you keep a portable ice maker outside?

Yes, and that’s half (maybe more!) the fun of picking up one of these appliances. Portable ice makers can be used both indoors and outdoors as long as you have access to an outlet, making them a great choice for backyard barbecues. Keep in mind that they should be placed in a covered area for protection from the elements though.

Do ice machines need a drain?

Nope, and there’s no difficult installation either, explains Daniel P. Craig, chef and founder of Kitchen Deets. “Portable ice makers don't require any installation or plumbing work beyond plugging them in and adding water,” Craig says.

Do ice machines use a lot of electricity?

Not really. Craig broke it down for us. “A portable ice maker uses a maximum of 200 watts of energy,” Craig says. “Suppose, the electricity charge in the U.S is $0.12 per kilowatt-hour. Now converting the 200 watts to kilowatt hours, we get 0.2 KwH (Kilowatt Hour). If the ice maker is run for 24 hours at an electricity rate of $0.12, the ice maker would cost $0.58 per day.”

Who We Are

Tanya Edwards is an award-winning writer and editor with bylines at Better Homes & Gardens and other publications. She was formerly the head of digital culinary programming at Food Network. For this story, Tanya worked with the testing lab, who did extensive testing of the best ice makers on the market. She also spoke with Daniel P. Craig, chef and founder of Kitchen Deets; Jason Percival, beverage manager at Himmel Hospitality Group; and Seth Corliss, lead bartender at Atlántico restaurant.

What Is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products and we let you know that we got it for free to remain as transparent as possible about our picks.

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers.

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