Best Portable Ice Maker of 2020

  Comparison

Product Operating cycle (minutes) Capacity (pounds) Price range
NewAir Portable Ice Maker AI-215SS 50 lb NewAir Portable Ice Maker AI-215SS 50 lb 7 37.6 $$$
Luma Comfort Portable Clear Ice Maker Luma Comfort Portable Clear Ice Maker 15 25.5 $$$
EDTID Mini Automatic Electric Ice Maker EDTID Mini Automatic Electric Ice Maker 6 17 $
EdgeStar IP250SS Ice Maker EdgeStar IP250SS Ice Maker 10 37 $$$
hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker 8 19.3 $$
Euhomy Ice Maker Machine Euhomy Ice Maker Machine 12 26.6 $$$
Aicok 26lb Portable Ice Maker Aicok 26lb Portable Ice Maker 6 23 $$
Tavata Countertop Portable Ice Maker Tavata Countertop Portable Ice Maker 6 17.2 $
Frigidaire EFIC206-SILVER Frigidaire EFIC206-SILVER 6 19 $

Why you might be interested in purchasing an ice maker?

Maybe you enjoy camping with family and friends, or maybe you prefer a relaxing day fishing, or perhaps you like throwing grill parties in your backyard. Either way, you probably don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a family gathering with no ice for your beverages, especially on a hot summer day. If this is you, then you would find lots of benefits in purchasing a portable ice maker. Why would you need something like that?

Sure, if you are throwing a party at home, there is always the option to use the refrigerator, but the problem is that even the most modern ones don’t provide enough ice cubes for a large number of people. Not to mention you would have to prepare it ahead of time and it could take more than several hours to restock.

Option number two is just buying ice bags from the gas station and then store them, so they don’t melt immediately. This could work to a certain extent, but it would probably imply multiple trips to the gas station and a large cold place for storage (like a fridge). And what if there are no gas stations near you in case you run out of ice?

The point is, whether you are on the road, at home or camping somewhere while on vacation, there is a simpler, smarter and faster solution so that you would always be ready for your guests: a portable ice maker.

A portable ice maker is an ingenious thing and a great tool to have in your home, or to take with you. Today’s technology allows a quick ice-making process, storage, and recycling. What does that mean? With current portable ice makers, you can have a good amount of ice cubes in minutes and when it melts and turns back into water, watch it turn back into ice all over again. Just keep in mind these are not freezers. The storage aspect refers to the number of ice cubes that can be held in the tray before emptying it, so the cycle can start again. This is just a more convenient and hassle-free way of obtaining ice fast and in large quantities, so you can entertain your guests and make sure everything stays nice and cold during those hot summer days.

With this in mind, today we would like to show you some of the best portable ice makers on the market, what to look for before making a purchase and some key features that we think are essential to have in 2020.

What to look for when you're buying a portable ice maker:

Price

Portable ice makers are not the cheapest items, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some that are reasonably priced. Take your budget into consideration when searching for such a tool, but also think of it as a tool that has a good return on investment. In this research, we managed to gather and compare multiple and different types of portable ice makers, while also considering the budget, so you could find something that fits your needs and is also budget-friendly.

Key Features

Size is an important feature, especially when you read “portable” on the label. How portable? Depending on where you want to install it, or if you want to travel with it, portability is something that you should be aware of. If you also use it at home, the space on your countertop also needs to be assessed, although the technology today is allowing machines to get smaller and smaller. But some can be larger and heavier, so this could be an important aspect to think about.

Speed

How fast do you need your ice cubes? Among the various products on the market, the ones that are smaller in size and capacity can make about 9 cubes per batch, so enough to cool a few drinks, while the bigger ones out there can take up to 20 minutes for a first batch, but they are larger in size and can store more ice cubes overall.

Performance

Speaking of size: how many pounds of ice is the machine capable of making in 24 hours? This is the performance aspect and it is measured by the amount that an ice maker can produce in a day, so look for the one that would suit your needs.

Quality

When you make a purchase, you want to make sure that you won’t have to replace it after two months, especially when you pay a good amount of money, but even if you don’t plan to spend a fortune. Sturdiness can be key if you plan to take it with you and enjoy some fresh ice while you’re camping or just traveling in general. In our opinion, a good option to look for is stainless steel, because it’s easy to clean, doesn’t gather dust and scratches and most importantly, does not host nasty bacteria.

Finally, let’s look at some of the best options out there and compare them based on these criteria. Here are some of the best portable ice makers on the market that we think you would like to use:

This is one of the larger capacity products on the market. If you are traveling, camping for a longer period of time or just having a large number of guests, the NewAir Portable Ice Maker can deliver 50 pounds of ice cubes in 24 hours.

Yes, it is costly, but it is a premium quality product with a larger production capacity, and it comes with some nice and useful features that can justify the higher price point.

First, the shell is made of stainless steel, and it is not there just for the sake of the design, but it makes cleaning it easier. Speaking of cleaning, this ice maker has a self-cleaning function that ensures the future ice cubes are free of mineral sediments such as limescale. This is such a useful feature to have, as it spares you the trouble of cleaning it regularly. Just add vinegar and water, hit a button and your next batch ice cubes will be fresh again.

The first batch of bullet-shaped ice cubes is ready in up to 15 minutes and it’s enough to keep a few drinks cool. The ice that melts into water is then recycled and made into ice once again, so nothing is lost.

There are three ice cube sizes to choose from (small, medium and large), so whether you want to put it into a small glass or throw it in the basket to keep the champagne cold, you have options.

We also liked that it has an LED display on the front that shows you the timer so you would know when the ice cubes are ready and when you need to clean the machine.

It comes with a scoop and a large bin for large quantities of ice cubes.

Being a large device, something worth mentioning is its weight: 37.6 pounds, so, although it is portable, know that it is not a lightweight product.

What’s to like?

  • Large capacity 50 pounds/day
  • It has a self-cleaning function
  • You can choose between three ice cube sizes (S/M/L)
  • LED display

What’s not to like?

  • High price point
  • It is heavy

Overall, this is a high end, large capacity ice maker, so if you never want to run out of ice again, this product is checking that box. However, this is not a one size fits all product, so focus on how you would use it first. Remember to assess all the elements previously mentioned so you can make the best buying decision for your needs.

If you already know something about ice makers, then you probably know that there are two types of ice: the clear ice and the cloudy ice. There is no major concern about the cloudy type, but it’s known to melt faster and sometimes has a slight taste of…well…the freezer or the machine that it came out of. The Luma Comfort Portable Clear Ice Maker has similar results to those restaurant machines. In short, it makes clear ice due to the different process of ice making. How does it work?

It freezes the water in layers instead of all at once, so the ice could take a bit longer to be ready, but it also takes longer to melt back into water (five times longer, to be precise).

The system works like this: a waterfall continuously flows over is a super cold honeycomb, so this causes it to freeze in layers and gives the oxygen bubbles enough time to escape. That being said, for connoisseurs or people who care about the quality of their ice cubes, this could be a good investment.

It can make 28 pounds of ice cubes per day and the first batch is ready in about 15 minutes, so even with the slower freezing process you won’t wait too long, in fact, every batch cycle takes around 15 minutes.

It is a bit heavy, at 25.5 pounds, but another important factor is the build quality and the stainless steel material which is easy to clean and maintain. Other than that, it has a compact form factor that can easily fit on the countertop of every kitchen.

Speaking of cleaning, the downside is that it doesn’t come with a self-clean feature, which means you have to clean it manually on a regular basis. It is not a huge problem, but some users say that it is a bit hard to clean due to the not so easy access to those parts of the machine.

Also, let us give you a little tip, so you won’t have to search through countless forums and reviews: the ice cubes by default are a little thin, so if you want thicker ice just press down the start button and hold it for about five seconds.

What’s to like?

  • It makes clear ice cubes that melt five times slower than regular cloudy ice
  • It has a good capacity
  • It’s made of stainless steel
  • It’s compact and it doesn’t take too much space

What’s not to like?

  • It can be hard to clean – it doesn’t have a self-clean function
  • It is a bit noisy
  • It is a bit heavy for its capacity
  • A bit on the expensive side

If you’re on the hunt for a low budget portable ice maker, search no more, because the EDTID Mini Ice Maker checks a few boxes and we think it is a good alternative to those large and expensive machines. However, there’s nothing “mini” about this one, as the production capacity is up to 33 pounds per day, so you would get quite a high amount of ice in 24 hours.

As we already know, AliExpress is a world of endless possibilities and the search is not always easy, as the reviews are often unclear, but at the same time, if you invest some time into the research, you can find great alternatives to more expensive items that you can find in the US.

This product seems to get some attention, and here’s why:

Aside from its 33-pound capacity, it is capable of making the first few cubes of ice in six to eight minutes. This is comparable to higher-end models that you can find on Amazon.

It also has two options for the ice cubes’ size: small and large. It also has a completely see-through lid, so you would always know how much ice you have in the tray.

It is also lightweight, at just 17. 2 pounds and small in size.

The water tank has a capacity of 0.58 gallons (2.2 liters) and it can store up to 1.54 pounds of ice at a time.

Of course, it has its downsides, but this is expected given the lower price point and the language differences:

First, the buttons are in Chinese. This isn’t a very big problem if you can overcome this little inconvenience, as you can familiarize with their placement and what they represent fairly quickly. A diagram with the English translation is presented on the website.

Second, it’s not made of stainless steel, which means it is prone to staining and plastic materials are not good for you and the environment in general.

What’s to like?

  • High production capacity (33 pounds per day)
  • Small and lightweight product
  • Low price (budget-friendly) and good quality
  • Two ice cube sizes (S/L)

What’s not to like?

  • The buttons are in Chinese
  • No stainless-steel materials
  • No self-cleaning function
  • No timer

So, if you can overlook the downsides, you can end up with a product that does the same thing that other smaller and lower-end products do, which is making ice. Other than that, if you care for extra features, you should look at higher-end models that come with plenty of options but mind you – the price goes up accordingly.

At the end of the day, if you are not so fancy and just want to spare the gas station trips or you need something more than just your freezer’s capacity, then you should take a look at the EDTID Mini Ice Maker. 

High-quality product, premium price point, but worth your attention. The EdgeStar IP250SS Ice Maker has many advantages for its price and that’s why it made it into our list.

First, it has a large production capacity of 48 pounds of ice cubes per day, so it is a bigger and more robust product, weighing about 37 pounds. Yes, it is heavy, but it’s great for camping, installing it in an RV or on the countertop and its capacity ensures that large gatherings are not a problem. Moreover, the first tray of ice is ready in just 10 minutes. This is a plus considering that most larger models can take up to 20 minutes to make the first batch of ice cubes. It can store up to 2.6 pounds of ice at a time (in the tray).

It is made out of stainless steel, so it’s easy to care for and has a nice premium design. This means that you won’t have staining problems and it would be easy to keep it clean.

You have the option to choose between three ice cube sizes (S/M/L), an LCD screen and some cool features like self-cleaning mode, which is very useful ensuring that bacteria, dust and debris won’t be part of your ice cubes. It also has a timer, so you can program it whenever you want fresh ice.

The smart sensors will alert you once the tray is full of ice bullets so you can take it out, or when the water tank is empty, so you know it’s time to refill.

What’s to like?

  • Premium stainless-steel product
  • Large production capacity (48 pounds)
  • Self-cleaning function
  • It has a timer feature
  • Three sizes for ice cubes (S/M/L)
  • The first batch of ice is ready in 10 minutes

What’s not to like?

  • It is heavy and takes up space (bulky, big)
  • It is a little loud
  • High price

What should you look for when considering such a large capacity ice maker:

If you are in constant need of ice, thus in need of such a large capacity production of ice, then look for other features that can make your life easier, like the self-cleaning function. This is important because products that are missing this feature can be very uncomfortable to clean, not to mention that you would have to do it daily to make sure the water stays clean and free of nasty bacteria. So, yes, this one is not a cheap product, but we suggest looking into it and thinking of a long-term investment, as you could get a lot of use out of these kinds of ice makers.

Now let’s take a look at one of the most discussed and debated products on the market: the hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker.

This is a smaller device, but faster and reasonably priced. It makes 26 pounds of ice in a day and if you are in a hurry and need some ice bullets fast, it can deliver the first batch of nine cubes in just six minutes. It also comes with an option to choose between ice cubes’ sizes – small and medium.

The ice maker is significantly smaller than those large-capacity ice makers (almost half their size), so it doesn’t take much space on your countertop and it is also easy to move around, having just 19.3 pounds in weight.

It works in the same way as every other ice maker does: it reuses the water to make ice in a loop. Although it’s smaller and doesn’t really compare with the premium large capacity ice makers, this one still has sensors that can determine whether the ice basket is full and it needs to be taken out, or if the water tank needs a refill.

You also get the standard ice scoop and basket and it also has a nice touch design-wise: the lid has a see-through window, so you can see the ice-making process and how much ice has been already made. Well thought and handy, especially as you don’t want to constantly open the lid because you want to contain the cold temperature inside as much as possible.

It doesn’t feature a self-cleaning mode, water filtration or an automatic timer like the more expensive ice makers, but for its price and its small size and capacity, it does a pretty good job.

What’s to like?

  • Small and compact form factor
  • The first batch of ice cubes is ready in six minutes
  • Reasonably lightweight – 19.3 pounds
  • Good price point
  • Has a see-through window on the lid
  • Two ice cube sizes

What’s not to like?

  • Smaller capacity
  • No self-cleaning feature
  • No automatic timer
  • No stainless steel shell

As we said at the beginning of our review, this is one of the most purchased and discussed products on the market due to its smaller size and portability. Some users found that it worked very well, while others mentioned missing premium features or even having different results like occasional ice clumping instead of bullet-shaped ice.

At the end of the day, everything could be a hit or miss, depending on how much you are willing to spend and what features matter for you the most. From our perspective, this is a great product if you don’t want to break the bank but still want to benefit from a good amount of capacity and features. This ice maker can be used at home, on a patio, in an RV, while camping and honestly anywhere due to its portability, so if you don’t need a very large amount of ice daily, we suggest you look into this offer. However, we recommend cleaning it daily if you want to have fresh and healthy ice, as it doesn’t have a self-cleaning feature, so bacteria could easily build up inside if you don’t keep it clean or if you let the water sit for too long.

Placed in the same category of high-end products, the Euhomy Ice Maker Machine is another large capacity ice maker. It can make 40 pounds of ice cubes per day and if you need to cool your drinks faster, the first batch of 24 ice cubes is ready in 12-18 minutes at most.

This one makes square-shaped ice cubes and most often, in less time than predicted by the manufacturer (some users said they got their first batch of ice cubes in 10-15 minutes). You can also adjust the ice cubes’ size (small and large).

The ice basket is fairly large, at 2.2 pounds, and when the machine detects that it is full it automatically stops producing more ice. It also filters back the melted water into fresh ice cubes.

The feature that we like is that it has a see-through window, so you can clearly see how much ice has been already made. This way you don’t need to set the clock and constantly check on it, but if you are in a hurry, you can see how much ice is inside and take it out as you need it.

Although this is a large product, hence its 26.6 pounds, it is not noisy at all. Users say that it is very quiet especially considering its size.

It features an LCD display where you can see the water level and set a timer. However, it doesn’t come with the self-cleaning feature, but it is easy to clean manually.

The innovative aspect and the feature that we love the most is that it offers on-time ice production. That means you can set the timer for exactly when you want to start or stop the ice-making process, which means that, for example, you could set it to be ready and filled with ice cubes by a specific time in the morning.

What’s to like?

  • It makes 40 pounds of ice cubes in a day
  • Has a large basket
  • Offers on-time ice production
  • It filters the melted water
  • It makes the first batch of ice cubes relatively fast
  • It has a see-through window, so you see how much ice you’ve got
  • It is quiet

What’s not to like?

  • It doesn’t have a self-cleaning function
  • It is heavy (26.6 pounds)
  • The price is a bit high

At the end of the day, you get some nice features for this price. Whether you are using it at home or on the road, you can benefit from this portable ice maker. The large capacity and the fact that you can select the ice cube size can really make a difference between a successful party and one that is in constant need for more.

This smaller ice maker is capable of delivering 26 pounds of ice cubes per day. The Aicok Portable Ice Maker is relatively inexpensive and worth a try if you are looking for premium features in a smaller capacity product.

First of all, it is fast. It can have nine cubes of ice ready in just six minutes, so you can chill your drinks right away. Also, similarly to larger and higher-priced ice makers, you have a choice: small, medium or large ice cubes for any type of situation. While larger ones are more efficient if you need to fit them through a small water bottle opening it’s nice to have the option to do so with smaller bullets.

The feature that you often find in higher-end models is the self-cleaning function. We talked about the importance of this feature as well as the ease of use, so the fact that you still get this feature in a smaller product is definitely a plus.

Another feature that we think not many people use (they should), but it is nice to have is the timer function. Just set it to be ready at any given time and don’t worry about it. When the ice is ready, it beeps, and you can use it right away or put it in the freezer to use later.

Being smaller in size, this ice maker is also lighter in weight, at just 23.1 pounds, so it is easier to take it with you and install it anywhere. It can contain 1.76 pounds of ice at a time and it’s made of stainless steel.

Users say that it has a low noise level, thus it can be used at any given time, although some say that even though the level of noise is low, it beeps too many times (when the tray is full, when the water level is low, when it starts or when you turn it off).

What’s to like?

  • Lower price (affordable)
  • Small size, lighter in weight
  • First nine cubes are ready in six minutes
  • Three ice cube sizes (S/M/L)
  • it features a self-cleaning mode
  • it has the option to set a timer
  • low noise level

What’s not to like?

  • The beeping sound cannot be turned off

Honestly, we really like this portable ice maker. It is one of our favorite products due to the extra features in a small form factor.

Overall, it is an affordable product, comes with many advantages and delivers good results. So, if you don’t mind the occasional beeping sounds, and you are looking for a high-quality product, take a look at what other people said about the product and then test it yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

As we entered the more affordable and lower budget section of this review, we found some really good quality and fast machines that we are sure they can deliver and really glad they exist. One of them is the Tavata Countertop Portable Ice Maker that stands just at the $100 mark and for this price, it sure comes with some benefits.

Same as the rest of the lower-priced models, it is capable of delivering 26 pounds of ice per day and it can make nine ice bullets in six to eight minutes. Nothing very fancy for now but get this: you have two design options, and both are made of stainless steel! The first one is fully stainless steel and the second one has a body of stainless steel and the top made of plastic materials. Why care so much about this? As said before, we are big fans of stainless steel, as plastic gets scratched very easily, retains dust and even bacteria and it degrades over time.

The other impressive aspect is that it is the lightest and slimmest product versus its capacity so far: it weighs just seven pounds; it is very narrow and fits anywhere seamlessly. This is truly a portable machine that won’t break your back and won’t need additional help to move it around.

The water tank’s capacity is standard, at 2.2 L and it can store up to 1.54 pounds of ice at once.

Users are very pleased with this purchase and now we can see why. The only thing that some people point out is the level of noise that’s not too low, but not insanely high either.

What’s to like?

  • Very lightweight and slim product
  • Highly portable
  • Good production capacity for its size (26 pounds of ice)
  • Fast first batch of ice bullets
  • Quality materials (stainless steel)
  • Very affordable (low price point)

What’s not to like?

  • No self-clean function
  • No timer
  • A little noisy

On the one side, you know you can’t have it all and you mustn’t expect fancy features from a product that is so low priced for its capability. On the other hand, you can expect to find good quality materials and great features by looking at this product, some that you just can’t find in similar low-budget products. We think this would make a great purchase and a great addition to your kitchen, patio, or backyard during those hot summer days at home.

This is one of Amazon’s Choice products and it is again one of those low-priced ones. Very budget-friendly, the Frigidaire EFIC206-SILVER is a good addition and a useful accessory to have in your home.

It makes 26 pounds of ice in a day and can make a small batch in six minutes, although some users have reported that they noticed the first batch taking a bit longer. Anyway, you won’t wait long to chill the first one or two drinks, that’s for sure.

The basket has a capacity of 2.64 pounds and, same as other similar ice makers, you have the option to choose your ice cube size between small and large. Again, larger is better and more efficient and this is the setting that may take a bit longer to be ready. Other than that, everything works fine. The design is slim and elegant, and it doesn’t take too much space. However, it is not the most lightweight product at 17.86 pounds, but most of them aren’t, so this shouldn’t be a big inconvenience. It is small enough that it looks like a larger toaster, so it would fit any counter-top.

The top part is made of clear plastic, so you can see how much ice is being dropped in the basket and how much more it needs before it reaches the limit.

To give you an idea, some users said that a full cycle produces about four cups of ice cubes and takes about 90 minutes to complete (with the large ice cube setting).

It doesn’t have a self-cleaning function, so try to keep it as clean as possible so you can enjoy fresh ice every day.

It also doesn’t make any sound to alert you that the tray is full, or the water tank needs a refill. For some users, it doesn’t matter much, but some pointed that out saying they would have liked to have that option so they wouldn’t have to constantly check on it to see if it needs some attention.

One other aspect is the noise level: at 38 decibels, it’s nothing too loud (more like a library ambient).

What’s to like?

  • Small size, good production capacity
  • Fast first batch
  • Low-priced, budget-friendly
  • See-through window
  • The relatively low noise level

What’s not to like?

  • No self-clean function
  • No sound to alert you if the basket is full or the water tank is empty

After reading these reviews, you may still have some questions, so let us answer some of them and help you understand this ice maker situation better.

What makes ice makers portable?

An ice maker is portable if it doesn’t require the connection to a water or drain line and in general, any installing process. Portable ice makers only need a power supply to work, so you can take them with you anywhere as long as you plug them in a socket or connect them to any power supply.

Why is the bullet-shaped ice cloudy?

Ice can get cloudy due to different impurities found in water, like minerals, lime, calcium or fluoride. This happens even when you filter the water, due to the process of freezing that is trapping the gases and minerals in the center of the ice cube (as it freezes fast). The clear ice can be obtained through a layer-freezing process at a slower pace, so any bubbles or impurities have time to escape.

How can I clean my portable ice maker?

A: You can use a water-vinegar mixture. This is an eco-friendly way to dissolve impurities, mineral deposits and dirt. To do that, first, unplug the ice maker, then empty all the water inside. Take apart the components and pour a mixture of water and vinegar inside. Let it run a full cycle and discard all the ice with vinegar. Let it fully dry before adding fresh water.

Can a portable ice maker store the ice?

Yes, it can store a certain capacity that is usually mentioned by the brand, but this does not mean it can keep it from melting. Ice makers are not freezers, so you will have to take out the ice once the tray is full and store it in a freezer.

 

We hope you know more about ice makers now and we managed to at least spark your interest. If that is true, we can only give you an advice: always read the reviews and specifications, choose wisely, according to your needs and enjoy your purchase!

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1NewAir Portable Ice Maker AI-215SS 50 lb
NewAir Portable Ice Maker AI-215SS 50 lb
2Luma Comfort Portable Clear Ice Maker
Luma Comfort Portable Clear Ice Maker
3EDTID Mini Automatic Electric Ice Maker
EDTID Mini Automatic Electric Ice Maker