Nothing is as frustrating as enjoying a summer party with your friends or family and finding out that you have no more ice. You have to stop everything—interrupt the fun—and go to the local store. Even worse, when you finally get there, they may not even have the right amount of ice for your party. You spent all that time and effort, left your loved ones, and still have to return with nothing to show.
Thankfully, you can save yourself from all this exasperation and exhaustion. A portable, compact ice machine is the perfect solution to exactly this kind of problem. They represent the epitome of fast-freeze technological advancements that churn out new ice in mere minutes. They eliminate the possibility of you ever having to go through such an ordeal again!
But then they can also be too much of a good thing. Now that there are so many brands and models available, it’s difficult to determine which is the correct ice machine for you. Numerous portable ice machine reviews can be off-putting and make you want to just get the first one you see. They keep throwing words like voltage, compressor cooling system, customizable ice sizes, and more.
Yet choosing the right ice making machine for you is no small decision, either. Bad ice with weird odors and textures can put anyone off. To keep you shielded from headache, we curated a list of ten models that can each be considered the best portable ice maker to match your needs.
You’ll be safe so long as you choose from any of them. But if you want to trawl through the market by yourself, then after the reviews, we’ll arm you with all the know-how necessary for picking a well-functioning machine. But first, a glimpse of our research:
Why You Should Invest in the Best Portable Ice Machine
Maybe you’re still on the fence regarding whether or not you should buy one. We understand. Despite its relatively low cost, ice machines are nevertheless an investment. In that case, we invite you to read on to find out the wonderful benefits to owning a portable ice making machine.
Large hunks of ice cubes take longer to melt, but smaller ice cubes cool your drinks faster. Which should you pick? Actually, you can have both with these machines. They often have controls that let you select your ice cube size.
The ice cubes in your nearby store will cost you a lot in the long run. If you own an ice machine, you can churn as much ice as you could possibly need at a quick pace. You’ll never run out of supply. In addition, having a portable ice machine means that you can have ice cubes freshly made anytime, anywhere.
Portable ice machines are of course, well, portable. That’s part and parcel of their charm. Whether you need ice for outdoor or home use, for your kitchen counter, TV, or boat, you’ll be fine. Their compactness means that they’ll fit into any place you bring them, even if you go camping.
Ice machines save you from the headache of putting pieces of machinery together—because you won’t have to. Installation is unnecessary with these products. Simply pour water in, connect it to a power outlet, and you’re golden. They also only have a few buttons.
Quick Freeze Technology
A personal ice machine won’t keep you waiting. Whichever model you buy, it will have quick freeze technology that cuts the ice-making process down to only 6–15 minutes. It’s an absolute steal considering how long freezing ice normally takes.
Refrigerator ice can be a fickle thing. They reside in the same place as your meat, fruit, and other foods, so their odors may stick to the ice. Then you’re left with ice whose smell pollutes the flavor of your refreshing drink.
With an ice machine, you won’t have to go through such a disappointment. It will ensure that your ice is clean, fresh, and crunchy.
Best of all, an ice machine gives while hardly asking for anything in return. They’re designed to be used by anyone, so their maintenance is easy. Some even have added features, such as a side drain for excess water or an innovative water recycling design.
Things to Look for When Shopping for the Best Portable Clear Ice Maker
What Elevates an Ice Maker Above the Rest? Yet all the benefits mentioned above will go down the drain if you choose the wrong appliance. In order for you to get the most out of a portable ice making machine, consider these elements.
As the years advance, so does technology. A few manufacturers have incorporated the latest innovations in their machines. One example is how several machines have a water recycling feature. This innovation is absolutely essential for those who want to lower their water bills or take their ice machine to the great outdoors.
Once you get a grasp of what’s available in the market, you should also get a grasp of what’s in your wallet. Ice makers aren’t expensive, but still, they cover a wide range of prices. It’s always smart to match your device to your budget.
Each product varies in its output per day. But you can expect most devices to churn out anywhere from 20 to 28 lbs in a day. A smart move would be for you to check how much ice you consume per day. Then, check that amount against the machine’s production capacity. Leave some headspace in that amount for those occasions where you might need more than usual.
Perhaps in addition to an appliance that furnishes all the ice you could ever want, you also want one that adds a splash of pizzazz to your restaurant, bar, home, or what have you. In that case, on top of functionality consider the form. Some contemporary designs boast stainless steel makes that would blend in with any aesthetic. Others come in a variety of colors. If you pick a machine with color, do a little research beforehand so that what you get will match the interior of your home.
Ease of cleanup
As with any loyal appliance, ice machines need cleaning every so often. Many of them have self-cleaning features which speeds up the process. Another less intuitive thing to check would be the drain position. Some are better placed than others, so helping with cleanup. Look for devices whose drains are at the base of the machine.
The signature quick freeze technology of any modern ice machine works only with power. These machines come with different power ratings. We advise those who need huge amounts of ice with every use to check the energy efficiency of the device. You wouldn’t want something that saps your electricity and raises your utility bills.
Another feature to check to save on energy is whether or not the machine has an automated on/off feature. This is great to have because with it, you won’t have to stand around and turn the machine off manually. It will just shut itself down when the ice is done.
This aspect is a double-edged sword. On one hand, machines that alert you regarding water levels and ice readiness could save you time. On the other hand, all these alerts can be bothersome if the machine doesn’t allow you to customize the settings.
Another factor that affects noise levels is if the machine generates noise during the process itself. Some ice machines can be really noisy while churning ice. If this will bother you, then look for models with cooling systems with compressors.
These are like icing on the cake; they make your purchase sweeter. Ice scoops and buckets will make transferring your newly-made ice so much easier. If you intend to produce bucket-loads of ice, then a removable chamber will help manage the process.
This refers to voltage. You should check the voltage of any maker you’re considering and the voltage of your home, too. These can’t mismatch. If the power you supply is too low, the machine won’t work well or might not work at all. If the power you supply is too high, it will break the machine. That’s good money down the drain.
Ice machines made in this day and age are designed with quick freeze technology for instant gratification. The processing time of most devices should only take 6–15 minutes, a pretty short wait time if you ask us. But if you’re in the market because you want to supply the needs of parties, restaurants, or bars, then you would do well to purchase a model with an even faster processing time.
Not all appliances are created equal, and this stays true even for ice makers. Luckily, you can easily tell a device’s quality by its make. Ice machine makes are divided into two camps: stainless steel or plastic. Stainless still is naturally stronger and more durable than plastic.
But if you find that the cost of stainless steel is too steep, don’t fret. The plastic ones are usually made form high-quality, hard plastic anyway. With attentive care, your ice machine will last you for many years to come. Just check if your choice has an ETL mark.
Whatever your purpose for getting an ice machine, check its dimensions. It will keep you from regretting wasting money on something too big or too small. Manufacturers typically publish size specifications, anyway.
Size of ice cubes
Modern-day portable ice machines give you the option of changes the sizes of your cubes. Some models have three options—large, medium, and small—while others only have two. If you don’t need medium cubes, then those with only two options are perfectly suited to your needs and desires.
This differs per manufacturer. Be responsible about your shopping and check warranty coverage and return policy. It will help a lot with any mishaps you might encounter.
This is often overlooked by buyers when choosing an ice machine. They think that if it has “portable” in the name, then it must be light. Unfortunately, that nickname can be confusing if the seller’s interest is only in emptying shelves. So be a smart shopper and check the weight as well. You’re allowed to skip this step if you’re only looking to keep it at home, though.
Portable Ice Maker Reviews
1 – Gourmia GI110 – (Fastest Portable Electric Ice Maker)
The Gourmia GI110 uses its quick freeze technology to make sure that your fresh, crunchy ice is out in as short as fifteen minutes. Its thick insulation keeps your ice chilly and safe from melting, and its digital control lets you customize the size of your ice. You can choose from large, medium, or small.
This model is also a great time saver. For one, you can pre-set a time for it to prepare ice. You no longer have to keep checking your watch! It also starts and stops on its own. With this automated feature, you’re saved the waste of time that is waiting for the ice to come out. It will simply alert you when ice is out or water is low.
Still curious about its specifications? This model can hold ice up to 2 lbs and produce a total of 26 lbs in a day. Its compact make means that it will fit snugly on a countertop, in a boat, or in a car. You can sip on refreshing, icy drinks anywhere, anytime.
Gourmia also solved the hassle of cleaning. This series boasts a feature for self-cleaning. The package is inclusive of a separable bucket and a scoop for ease of transferring ice.
Automated start and stop
Crisp LED display
Customizable ice cube sizes
Produces a total of 26 lbs per day
Quick freeze technology
Thick insulation for fresh, crunchy ice
2 – Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket
The brand Igloo has long been a leader in the field of cooling machines. They’ve consistently met the needs of consumers for high-quality products, and this one is no exception. In only 6 minutes, your cubes will be ready for enjoyment.
It can contain 2.2 lbs at once and produce 26 lbs of ice daily. With this quantity, you can rest assured that your ice supply will never thin out. It also presents you with the choice of generating large, medium, or small ice cubes through electronic controls.
Another benefit to the ICE103 series is that they don’t need any installation. Simply pour water into the chamber, plug the machine in, and wait.
Its make of stainless steel guarantees longevity. Because it’s portable, moving it from place to place is a simple matter. You can take your ice cubes anywhere—to a party, on a boat, or camping—and anytime.
6-minute preparation time
Automatic electronic control
Cube sizes and water levels on LED display
Produces 26 lbs of ice per day
Stainless steel make
Weighs 15 lbs
First ice production will take over an hour, not the 15-minutes claimed by the manufacturer.
Skip the trip to the local store by purchasing a NewAir ice maker. It boasts a convenient and sleek design that would fit snugly on top of any counter. The AI-100R series in particular can churn out 28 lbs of ice within 24 hours to make sure that you’ll never run out of ice. You also need not worry about wait time. This machine ca n turn water to ice in a mere 15 minutes.
Installation is as simple as plugging it in. Afterwards, just fill it with water and let the machine do its thing. Another bonus is that the control panel offers a range of customizability. You can choose if you want your cubes to be large, medium, or small.
Despite all this, machine operation is still easy and intuitive. It also alerts you if the water levels are too low or when the ice is prepared. After operation, just unplug the device and drain the water through the side drain.
If you’re an RV user, this unit may still be the one for you. Its design is compact, portable, and durable, meaning that you have years of prolonged, guaranteed use.
A cinch to clean
Electronic control panel
Generates 28 lbs of ice within a day
Takes 15 minutes to freeze
Best to let it sit upright for at least 24hrs before first using the ice maker.
4 – Think Gizmos TG22 Ice Maker Machine – (Portable And Also Good for Home Countertop)
This compact ice machine by Think Gizmos can give you what you want and more. It churns out you’re the ice cubes you desire in only six minutes. Its 2.2-lb capacity ensures that you’ll never lack ice.
It’s also chock full of automated and electronic functions. You can effortlessly set what ice cube size you like—large, medium, and small. You’re also saved the trouble of constantly watching the water level. It has an automated detector for water level, and the device alerts you if either more water is necessary or you’ve hit your maximum amount.
Besides detecting water level, it also detects ice level. When it senses that there isn’t room for more ice, the machine stops on its own. Its make is also topnotch, what with its make of stainless steel and ABS housing. The stainless still spells out longevity and perfectly blends in with any kind of home décor. The ABS housing adds to its elegance.
In short, this is the best home ice maker. It has an eye-catching exterior and a smoothly operating interior. It even comes with a scoop for ease of transference. Want to show someone you appreciate them? Gift them this unit and watch them light up with a smile, regardless of age.
ABS housing with stainless steel make
Cools through a compressor system
Electronic LCD and control buttons
Produces ice in 6 minutes
Produces up to 26 lbs of ice a day
Quick freeze technology
Summer adventures will change for the better with the Avalon ice machine. It can churn out fresh cubes of ice within only 6 minutes. Given a whole day, it will pour out 26 lbs of ice—not a bad quantity for the next big event.
Its LED display and electronic control allows you to customize the size of your ice as either large or small. Meanwhile, its automated feature for overflow protection alerts you if the ice is done or if the machine needs a refill.
As a bonus, you don’t need to worry again if you made more than you needed. This machine recycles your ice as it melts in the chamber. In addition, the bottom-positioned drain facilitates emptying and cleanup. The package comes with a scoop so you can fill faster and a separable ice basket.
Automated feature for overflow protection
Can produce 26 lbs in a day
Churns out cubes in only six minutes
Inclusive of a scoop and a separable ice basket
Intuitive use and maintenance
Two ice cube size options
Carefully, read the owner;s manual before operating the unit, or it might not last.
Powering up your ice machine only to find out that it’s glitching is exasperating. More so in those sweltering summer months where you’re just dying for a cool, refreshing drink for you and yours. So if ever you’re caught in exactly this kind of situation, we’ve got you covered. You don’t have to cry out and stamp your feet.
Below are common mishaps and their corresponding troubleshooting tips. Keep them in mind, or better yet, bookmark this page so you have something to fall back onto in those trying times.
✔ – Ice machine doesn’t work even when connected to a power source
There are a few reasons why this might happen. To narrow the possibilities down to the root cause, first check if you properly inserted the plug. If you did, then check of the outlet itself is connected to a power outlet. You can do this by plugging in other appliances with the same voltage.
Say that the other appliances did work. The next step is to see if the cord suffered any damage and needs replacement. If none of these works, call your manufacturer.
✔ – The machine works, but ice isn’t coming out
High temperatures interfere with how well an ice machine can operate. They should be operated under 90 °F; go any higher and the machine won’t work.
If the ambient temperature is too high, try pouring cold water inside the chamber to help cool the machine. If the machine still won’t work, then perhaps a pipe is blocked or the refrigerant is leaking. In these cases, head to a professional.
✔ – The indicator for ice is on even without ice
If there really isn’t any ice in the chamber, then the sensor might have collected dirt. Simply clean it with a Q-tip or a piece of cloth.
✔ – Indicators for water and ice are flashing; the ice scoop is immobile
Check if the shovel is blocked by encrusted ice. If it isn’t, then consult a professional.
✔ – The cycle takes too long and ice clumps together
Unplug your device and wait for all ice to be melted. Afterwards, power it on and select the option for small ice. Keep the temperature from 45 °F to 90 °F. If this doesn’t work, call a technician. Or you can also call the manufacturer if this occurs before warranty expires.
✔ – Ice cubes are too small
This may be due to an obstructed supply valve or a filthy filter.
✔ – Ice smells or tastes bad even after cleanup
This may be due to a faulty supply line or water filter. Contact a qualified technician to resolve the problem.
Additional Best Residential Ice Makers
6 – Della Easy-Touch Portable Ice Maker
This Della product lets you enjoy refreshing, cool drinks in elegance and style. Indulge whether during an event outdoors, a party, or even camping. Forego installation entirely, fill water to the required amount, and plug in. Ice will come out in as short as 6 minutes.
It has everything you could want in the best portable ice machine. Its crisp LED display shows you ice readiness and water levels. Its interior is thickly insulated to keep your cubes cold and cruncy. It lets you customize the size of your ice cube—choose from large, medium, or small with a single push.
It can hold 2 lbs of ice at once and make 26 lbs of ice within a day. Transferring ice is made easy thanks to its scoop and separable ice tray. Its compactness will fit in any bar, restaurant, boat, or RV. Its sleekness will catch the attention of guests and boast of your taste. You have the choice of owning a silver ice machine or a white one.
Comes in silver or white
Crisp LED display
Ergonomically designed interface
Produces up to 26 lbs of ice a day
Thickly insulated interior
Short warranty, consider buying an extended warranty if your choose this product
Another contender from Frigidaire is this ice maker weighing in at 19.6 lbs. It can churn out as much as 26 lbs in a day. It boasts a compact and modern design that fits in at any RV, outdoor event, party, or home.
It showcases an embedded control panel. Through it, you can track everything from ice readiness to time to water amounts. The wait for making ice is cut down to as short as fifteen minutes. The result? Crunchy and fresh ice.
It also features an innovative water recycling design. The machine is able to reuse melted ice, which saves you utility and time costs. As a bonus, making ice no longer has to be loud. Its compressor cooling system makes sure that any noise is minimized for your maximum comfort.
3.1-L reservoir that can produce as much as 26 lbs in a day
Embedded electronic control
Perfect for outdoor and indoor use
Customer service not the best based on many current user reviews
This Koldfront model is the best portable clear ice maker in the market. It churns out ice in under 10 minutes, carries 1.5 lbs, and produces 26 lbs per day. Its thickly insulated interior ensures that your ice remains crunchy for a long time. Its touch display also means that ice cube customization and powering on/off is a breeze.
A major feature of this model is that it’s water saving. This would be a great pick for the environmentally conscious or those who want to reduce water bills. It recycles water within the system through reusing melted ice. This way, you save time and resources.
Its portability and compact size mean that this ice machine is ideal for boats, cabins, or RVs. But even though it’s insulated, we would not recommend this as an alternative to a freezer.
Quick freeze technology
Innovative water recycling feature
Produces up to 26 lbs of ice daily
115 volts, 60 Hz
9 – RCA-Igloo Stainless Steel Counter Top Ice Maker
This is no doubt the best portable ice making machine for camping. Its stainless steel exterior lends it not only a long life but style. It’s compact, sleek, and portable, fitting right in among the fine things at home. At the same time, it fits right in when the going gets rough, so you can still take it with you camping or boating.
But more than its looks is its performance. It boasts quick freeze technology that never keeps you waiting for ice. Simply push a button, and in six minutes you have your refreshing ice cube fix. Everything is kept smoothly operating with electronic, inbuilt controls.
These same controls also allow you to track the level of water and select ice cube size. It alerts you if the ice is prepared. The chamber can accommodate 1.5 lbs of ice at once, and the machine can churn out 26 lbs in a day. It’s the device that keeps giving.
Quick freeze technology
Inbuilt electronic controls
Stainless steel make
Customizable ice cube size (small or large)
2.185-L chamber that can hold up to 1.5 lbs
Sleek and elegant design
10 – Della 048-GM-48183 Portable Ice Maker Machine
Maybe you aren’t in the market looking for all the bells and whistles. You want a solid, economical choice that gets the job done and gets it done right. Then this model is the choice for you. Its charm stems from its simplicity.
This Della features two buttons that let you choose your size. It passes up on having an ice tray, but it still possesses quick freeze technology to give you your ice in six minutes. In addition, its well-insulated interior promises constant delivery of fresh and crunchy ice.
The chamber can comfortably accommodate 1.5 lbs of ice at once. In a single day, this unit can produce a total of 26 lbs of ice. Track its water level and know when it’s completed its job through a crisp LED indicator.
Its refined design introduces elegance to your kitchen. Its compactness and portability make it ideal for both home and outdoor use.
Produces up to 26 lbs of ice within a day
Quick freeze technology
Two different ice cube sizes
There are more benefits to keeping your machine clean than just removing dirt. Below are some of the benefits derived from having a sparkling clean ice maker machine:
Promotes health and well-Being
Leaving your ice machine damp and wet for extended periods will encourage mold growth. This can lead to health complications and problems, especially if you’re allergic to them. A regularly maintained ice machine makes sure that your ice remains fresh and mold-free.
Whether or not you can see it with your naked eye, debris does accumulate. If you don’t regularly clean your device, it will churn out cloudy ice. And it goes the other way around: if you keep it clean, then it will be more efficient and produce clearer ice.
Improves Ice taste
Using tap water in your ice machine will leave impurities, such as minerals, inside. Prolonged tap water use will build up mildew, again leading to a moldy machine and moldy ice. Regular maintenance and cleanup keeps your machine clean and your ice clear, fresh-tasting, and crunchy.
Tips For Cleaning Up Your Ice Machine
The maintenance of any tool or appliance is of utmost importance. It prolongs the life of your machine and makes sure it works in tiptop shape.
You should clean your machine regularly. Some makers possess self-cleaning properties while others have a cleanup manual. The latter kind can be further divided into those that are incredibly detailed and those that only mention the basics. If your machine doesn’t come with a guide, or even if it’s self-cleaning, follow these steps to ensure its longevity.
Step 1 – Unplug your machine from the outlet.
Step 2 – Remove all ice or water remaining inside the machine, if any. This means pouring ice out and draining the water.
Step 3 – Remove the inner parts, such as the chamber (if it’s removable), water filter, scoop, or ice tray.
Step 4 – Transfer warm water into the machine.
Step 5 – Clean the inside of the machine with a mild detergent and soft cloth. Continue doing so until you’ve touched every nook and cranny of your machine.
Step 6 – Rinse the interior. Ensure that no detergent is left behind.
Step 7 – If you used tap water for your machine, you may find stubborn lines or stains inside. In that case, mix a vinegar solution and use it to clean the interior.
Step 8 – If the stains are still there, try using a thick mixture of baking powder and water.
Step 9 – Clean any filters using a toothbrush or a Q-tip to really get into the tiny spaces.
Step 10 – Thoroughly rinse your machine.
Step 11 – Wipe down the interior using a cloth that is soft. Rinse the machine well. Then wipe down again and leave the machine out to dry.
Step 12 – After the interior pieces are dry, you can put them back in the machine.
Many ice machine brands and units have flooded the market since ice makers were first released. Their features can seem overwhelming at first, but we promise that getting a good understanding of their features and abilities won’t take you that long or be too hard. Afterwards, looking for the best match for your needs will be a cinch.
A good first step would be to make an outline of your needs. You can begin by asking questions. Is this ice machine for outdoor or home use? How much ice do you see yourself needing on average? What design will last long but will fit with your home decor? Answer these questions first so that you get a solid pick instead of a random one.
What Should Your Ice Look Like?
There are only two categories here: cloudy or clear. The machine you pick can help with this quality of the ice, but in all honesty, it’s all in the water. The use of tap water leads to cloudy ice because of their impurities. When they freeze, the impurities are pushed to the middle of the ice and make it cloudy. But if the look of your ice is of no importance to you, skip this consideration.
Choosing an Ice Machine for the Outdoors
Outdoor ice machines are a bit different from indoor ice machines, but all in all they aren’t that complex. All you need do is pinpoint where exactly you’ll place the appliance. Is it for parties, on your RV, or on you boat?
If it’s for RV and boat use, measure the space where you intend to place the machine so that it will fit snugly. As usual, also consider other factors such as material quality, capacity, processing cycle, and accessories (e.g., scoop and bucket).
If it’s for ceremonies and parties, think about its weight on top of the other qualities mentioned. This is key because we expect that for ceremonies and parties, you will be carrying the device from one event to another.
Portable ice machines are easily maintainable, compact, and handy. They don’t require installation, either. But for anyone to be able to partake in all the joys of owning one, find a machine that accommodates your needs. You also need to take proper care of it.
Every product we listed above received great reviews and are good choices for your numerous ice-making needs. But if we have to go out on a limb and choose the best portable ice maker for residential or camping use, the Della Portable Ice Maker comes with all the right features. It is versatile, and can produce enough ice for your outdoor barbecue.
Do take note to use it only for its recommended purpose. If you’re still experiencing doubt about how to choose or how to take care of your machine, make sure to bookmark this page so you have something to fall back on.
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