It’s easy to make ice at home, but what do you do if you’re not at home and you want a frosty, cold beverage? Do you have to settle for drinking something at room temperature – or worse yet, warm? Or is there a better option?
The answer is that you buy a portable ice maker. Portable ice makers allow you to make ice cubes when and where you need them. They’re easy to use, convenient, and perfect for camping or hosting a get together at a local beach or park.
We’ve taken the time to check out some of the best portable ice makers on the market so we can present you with the 10 best options available. But before we reveal our choices, let’s talk about what you should look for in a portable ice make.
What to Look for in a Portable Ice Maker
Before you purchase a portable ice maker, you need to know which features and options are available so you can make the perfect choice for your particular ice-making needs. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind as you review your choices.
- The first thing to consider is the speed with which a particular machine makes ice. You’ve probably noticed that it can take up to two hours to make ice at home, and that’s hardly convenient when you’re camping and need ice in a hurry.
- The second consideration is the volume of ice that a machine can make. If you’re on your own, a small machine with small output may be sufficient. But if you have a big family or you intend to entertain a crowd, you’ll need a machine that has the ability to keep up.
- Third, you should think about how much power the machine you choose uses. If you bring a portable ice maker with you an in an RV, you need to keep an eye on how much power it uses to make sure you don’t overdo it.
- Fourth, you need to consider the weight and portability of the machine you choose. Some machines are heavier than others, and you’ll have to decide how much weight you’re willing to tote around with you.
- Finally, price has to come into the equation unless money isn’t an issue for you. Portable ice makers are available at a variety of price points, and you’ll have to balance the functionality that you want against your available budget.
Best Portable Ice Makers in 2019
Now that you have a clear idea of what to look for in a portable ice maker, it’s time to reveal our 10 best. These machines have something for everyone!
10. Luma Comfort IM200SS Portable Clear Ice Maker
Our first choice is the Luma Comfort IM200SS Portable Clear Ice Maker. We like this product for several reasons. First, it makes ice quickly and efficiently. All you need to do is add water, and 15 minutes later you’ll have clear, restaurant-quality ice. It can make up to 28 pounds of ice a day so you’ll never run out. It’s compact, measuring only 14.8” at its widest point, so it can easily fit on your RV or boat, and it comes with a full, one-year warranty.
On the downside, this unit is a bit heavy, weighing in at 28 pounds. It doesn’t have an attached refrigeration unit, so you’ll have to make sure to empty the container – although it does filter melted water back into the system for re-use. Finally, the price is on the high side compared to some other portable units on the market.
9. Ivation IVA-ICEM25WH Portable Ice Maker with LCD Display
Coming in at #9 on our list is the Ivation IVA-ICEM25WH Portable Ice Maker. We chose it for our list because it makes ice very quickly – just 13-15 minutes even if the machine is warm from sitting in a vehicle. You can choose from three different ice cube sizes, and it makes 26.5 pounds of ice in a 24-hour period. The machine itself holds 2.2 pounds of water and will notify you when the water is low or the ice container is full.
There are a few potential downsides to consider. While this machine works very quickly, it does not actually refrigerate the ice. Ice that’s left sitting in the compartment will be sent back through to make more ice, though, so at least there’s no waste. It’s a fairly compact unit, but it still weighs in at 23 pounds so if that matters to you, you may want to look for a lighter unit.
8. Hamilton Beach Portable Ice Maker
Our #8 pick is the Hamilton Beach Portable Ice Maker. Hamilton Beach is a respected name in household appliances, and we like this machine for several reasons. First, it holds 2.5 liters of water and can make a batch of 9 ice cubes in just about 6-8 minutes. That translates to 25 pounds of ice over a 24 hour period. The storage reservoir holds 2 full pounds of ice. This machine is much quieter than some of the other machines on the market, and it comes in both black and candy apple red.
There are a couple of potential downsides to be aware of. First, this machine has only a reservoir not a refrigerated storage unit, so you will need to store ice elsewhere to keep it from melting. Second, it only makes one size of ice cube. If variety is important to you, you may want to consider a different model.
7. Ice Machine – Portable, Counter Top Ice Maker MachineTG22
Coming in at #7 on our list is the Portable Counter Top Ice Maker Machine from ThinkGizmos. We chose it because its brushed stainless steel exterior gives it an elegant look, and it works very quickly, creating a small batch of ice every six minutes. You can choose from three different cube sizes, small, medium, and large. It comes with a 12-month service warranty and a free ice scoop.
In terms of potential negatives, there are some to consider. It doesn’t have a refrigerated storage space for the ice, and the ice melts fairly quickly. That may be a function of the quick freezing time, which doesn’t make cubes as solid as some of the other models available. The motor is also not the quietest one available, so ifit bothers you to have background noise you may want to look elsewhere.
6. Ivation Portable High Capacity Countertop Ice Maker
Our #6 pick is the Ivation Portable High Capacity Countertop Ice Maker. We like this model because it holds more water than most other machines – the reservoir has a 2.8 liter capacity and the ice bin holds 2.2 pounds of ice. It makes ice in three sizes and has a removable ice try for easy transfer. It’s also a fairly light machine, weighing in at 22 pounds.
There are a few potential downsides. The machine beeps to alert you when the reservoir is empty or the bin is full – some people may see that as a plus but others may find the beep to be annoying. You’ll also need to provide your own ice scoop if you prefer not to use the included trays.
5. Gourmia GI500 Electric Ice Maker
The #5 pick on our list is the Gourmia GI500 Electric Ice Maker. We like this machine because it makes ice fairly quickly (about 10 minutes per batch), and the insulated interior keeps the ice fresh and cold. You can choose from three cube sizes. This machine also comes with a timer and automatic shut-off, something that most other machines don’t have.
There are a few potential negatives to keep in mind. The first is that this is a noisy machine and certainly there are quieter options available. The second issue is that the manual is oddly arranged and for some reason the information about what to do before you start making ice is at the end of the manual. Make sure to read it first!
4. Magic Chef MCIM22ST 27 lb Ice Maker Stainless Steel
Coming in at #4 on our list is the Magic Chef Ice Maker. Magic Chef is another respected brand of small appliances, and we like this one for several reasons. First, it makes ice quickly, in just about 7 minutes per batch. It can make up to 27 pounds of ice in a day and yet it weighs less than many of the other portable machines – only 18 pounds. It also features an external drain for easy clean up.
On the negative side, you should be aware that this machine is not as quiet as it could be. It also makes cubes that are a bit on the soft side – perfect if you like chewing your cubes but not if you want ice that will be slow to melt. Some people may prefer a removal bin for draining, too.
3. Igloo Compact Portable Ice Maker
The next ice maker on our list is the appropriately-named Igloo Compact Portable Ice Maker. Its deep blue color makes it stand out from other appliances, but we like it for other reasons, too. It makes ice in just about six minutes and can crank out 26 pounds of ice in a day. The bin can store 1.5 pounds of ice at a time, and the cubes can be made in small and large sizes.
There are a few potential downsides. The first is that the cubes produced by this machine are hollow and they melt fairly quickly. For the best results, you should plan on using them right away or transferring them to the freezer. Second, while this machine is lightweight it also has a smaller storage capacity than some of the other machines on the market.
2. Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker
The #2 pick on our list is the Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker. We like this machine because it comes in your choice of three colors: silver, red, and black. It makes bullet-shaped ice cubes (hollow on the inside) in just about six minutes, and it can make ice in two sizes, small and large. The drain is on the bottom of the machine, which makes it very easy to clean out when you need to do so. The manufacturer recommends using it with bottled water, but filtered water works just fine.
There are a few potential caveats. The first is that you really do need to use the ice right away or transfer it to a freezer. The hollow center means that it melts pretty quickly. Also, it will keep making ice when the bin is full so you have to pay attention and empty it when the notification sounds. And finally, it uses more power than some of the other models available.
1. Della Premium Ice Maker Portable Counter-Top
Coming in at #1 on our list is the Della Premium Ice Maker. We love this machine for its sleek silver look and its quick ice-making ability. It churns out a small batch of bullet-shaped ice every six minutes. You can choose between two sizes. One thing that really sets this machine apart is that the storage basket for the ice is insulated. That means that it keeps the ice reasonably cold as long as the machine is on, and most other units won’t do that.
We like almost everything about this machine, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it does use up a bit more power than some other models. The ice is on the soft side so you’ll have to use it quickly, but if you use a lot of ice that won’t be a problem.
Portable ice makes offer a way to supplement your freezer’s ice production at home so you don’t have to buy ice for parties, or to make ice on the go when you’re camping or out on your boat. The ten units on this list all do a good job of cranking ice out quickly so you’ll be able to enjoy cold drinks when you want them.