The 5 Best Countertop Ice Makers of 2024

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Lemon lime soda being poured over grenadine in a clear glass.
Credit: Culinary Hill


Tired of refilling your empty ice cube tray every time you want a chilled drink? For those without built-in ice makers in our freezers, investing in one of the best countertop ice makers means clearing our freezer of clunky trays and ice bins. While an ice maker isn’t an absolute necessity, it is a luxury worth splurging on, especially if you like hosting events or enjoying a daily cold beverage.

For this guide, I teamed up with Meggan of Culinary Hill to research the best countertop ice makers, including the one in her own kitchen. Scouring major retailers, trusted publications, and blogger recommendations, we came up with this list of many types of ice makers, featuring models from GE, Igloo, and more. So whether you’re searching for a machine to make nugget ice, bullet ice, or traditional cubes, you’ve come to the right place to see our recommended products.

Our Top Picks

  1. What’s in Meggan’s Kitchen: GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank – $529 at Amazon
  2. Best Budget: Aglucky Countertop Ice Maker – $39.99 at Amazon
  3. Best Portable: Igloo Self Cleaning Portable Ice Maker – $99.99 at Walmart
  4. Best Large: Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker – $249.89 at Amazon
  5. Best for Bullet Ice: Silonn Countertop Ice Maker – $88.28 at Amazon

Reviews of The Best Countertop Ice Makers

1. What’s in Meggan’s Kitchen: GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank

Credit: Target

Meggan is the proud owner of the viral GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker, and she can vouch that the appliance lives up to the hype. “This unit makes nugget ice, which is great for cocktails and safe to chew straight-up without damaging your teeth,” Meggan says. She likes that the ice maker came backed by GE’s reputation and customer service. Plus, it’s a great size for hosting with its large capacity and additional side tank. You can even control the ice-making from your phone!

It can make a whopping 32 pounds of fresh ice per day in adorably shaped nugget ice that spruces up a Mint Julep or Margarita. Meggan says to keep it by the sink for easy draining since it’s heavy and large. At over $500, the ice maker is undoubtedly expensive, but if you’re looking to save some cash, you can opt for the older model or the newer version without the water reservoir.

The Specs:

  • Dimensions: 13.43 x 17.5 x 16.5 inches
  • Ice Bin Capacity: 3 pounds
  • Ice Shape: Nugget ice
  • Speed: 1.6 pounds in an hour (first batch of ice in 10 minutes)
  • Yield Per Day: 38 pounds

The Pros:

  • Good quality nugget ice
  • Can be controlled via mobile app
  • Long-lasting
  • Large capacity
  • Comes with ice scoop
  • Good customer service

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Takes up a lot of counter space
  • Heavy
  • Loud
  • Hard to clean (no self-cleaning feature)

What Others are Saying:

This countertop ice maker was named the best overall by Forbes Vetted, and best for nugget ice by Food & Wine and The Spruce Eats

Buy the GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank: 

2. Best Budget: Aglucky Countertop Ice Maker

Credit: Amazon

The Aglucky Countertop Ice Maker is a great budget countertop ice maker because it’s affordable but still has a high output — it can make over 26 pounds of ice per day! The ice maker’s bin is on the smaller side, making it better suited for personal use over parties, but you can easily remedy that by storing the finished ice in your freezer.

The ice maker machine offers two ice sizes — both bullet-shaped ice cubes — which offers a nice level of customization for a relatively low price tag. And it can churn out a new batch in as little as 6 minutes (meaning no more waiting for ice trays to freeze!).

The Specs:

  • Dimensions: ​​12.3 x 8.7 x 12.6 inches
  • Ice Bin Capacity: 1.5 pounds
  • Ice Shape: Bullet ice (small and large)
  • Speed: 9 ice cubes in 6-8 minutes
  • Yield Per Day: 26.5 lbs

The Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Compact and portable
  • Offers two ice sizes
  • Self cleans

The Cons:

  • Small bin capacity
  • Sometimes jams
  • A little noisy

What Others are Saying:

The Aglucky Countertop Ice Maker has almost 24,000 Amazon ratings and an overall 4.3 stars. It was also named the best compact by The Spruce Eats and Food & Wine.

Buy the Aglucky Countertop Ice Maker: 

3. Best Portable: Igloo Self Cleaning Portable Ice Maker

Igloo’s vibrant, retro Portable Ice Maker certainly won’t be an eyesore on your counter — or wherever you take it. The machine has a convenient handle, making it easier to bring with you to a party or on a day trip. It weighs only 1.25 pounds but can still yield up to 26 pounds of ice a day. Plus, it’s pretty easy to use and can produce a new batch of small or large bullet ice in just seven minutes. It’s also easier to clean regularly compared to some of the larger models, as it does it itself.

The Specs:

  • Dimensions: ​​13.9 x 10.51 x 15.28 inches
  • Ice Bin Capacity: 1.25 pounds
  • Ice Shape: Bullet ice (small and large)
  • Speed: 9 ice cubes in 7 minutes
  • Yield Per Day: 26 pounds

The Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Cute retro design
  • Portable

The Cons:

  • Small ice bin capacity
  • Not super durable
  • Hard to clean

What Others are Saying:

This countertop ice maker from Igloo has almost 10,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.2-star rating. It’s also recommended as the best compact by US News & World Report, best for multiple cube sizes by Good Housekeeping, and best self cleaning by The Spruce Eats

Buy the Igloo Self Cleaning Portable Ice Maker: 

4. Best Large: Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker

Credit: Amazon

If you want the high output of the GE ice maker without spending the cash, then this one from Luma Comfort is for you. It makes 28 pounds of ice per day, which is 10 less than the GE, but that’s more than enough for the average person — and it costs about half the price. Plus, the machine is very easy to operate with a one-button operation, allowing you to quickly select the ice size and go.

Besides its large size and capacity, the Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker specializes in making crystal clear bar-quality ice that won’t fizz in carbonated drinks or melt as quickly thanks to their larger size. 

The Specs:

  • Dimensions: 14.8 x 11.3 x 14.1 inches
  • Ice Shape: Cubes (thick or thin)
  • Speed: 15 minutes per batch
  • Yield Per Day: 28 pounds

The Pros:

  • Clear, restaurant-quality ice
  • Good for large households
  • Easy to use
  • Sleek stainless steel design

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Takes up a lot of counter space
  • Creates blocks of ice, sometimes

What Others are Saying:

The Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker was named the best overall countertop ice maker by Food & Wine, The Spruce Eats, and People.

Buy the Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker: 

5. Best for Bullet Ice: Silonn Countertop Ice Maker

Credit: Amazon

If you’re not a fan of cubed or nugget ice, then the Silonn Countertop Ice Maker is for you. The hollow, cylindrical ice melts quickly, chilling your drink faster thanks to its increased surface area. Just note that it might water it down a bit faster, too! 

Silonn’s ice maker is affordable and surprisingly sleek. It even has a nifty feature where it recycles any water leftover from melted ice into a new batch. It also comes in a variety of colors and has a pretty slim profile that allows you to maximize your leftover counter space.

The Specs:

  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.7 x 12.5 inches
  • Ice Shape: Bullet ice (small and large)
  • Speed: 9 cubes in 6 minutes
  • Yield Per Day: 26 pounds

The Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Recycles melted ice water
  • Comes in a range of colors
  • Compact

The Cons:

  • Doesn’t keep ice cold
  • Loud
  • Hard to clean

What Others are Saying:

With over 25,500 Amazon ratings and a 4.4-star rating, the Silonn Countertop Ice Maker is named the best value option by Food & Wine, The Spruce Eats, and People.

Buy the Silonn Countertop Ice Maker: 

Other Countertop Ice Makers to Consider

Magic Chef Portable Countertop Ice Maker

Magic Chef’s ice maker is relatively affordable and speedy, producing 9 ice cubes in 7 minutes. Wirecutter, Good Housekeeping, and Serious Eats all recommend it. It is a great choice if you’re looking for a compact ice maker. However, the ice basket does not keep ice frozen, it’s loud, and it may need to be replaced in a year or two. The Magic Chef Portable Countertop Ice Maker is available at Amazon for $124.99.

Frigidaire Countertop Ice Maker

Frigidaire’s ice maker is not only beautiful, but it also is quiet and boasts three ice-size options. It has almost 5,000 Amazon ratings and 4.2 stars, plus it’s recommended by The Spruce Eats. Unfortunately, setup can be confusing, and the machine likely won’t last forever. The Frigidaire Countertop Ice Maker is available at Amazon for $119.99.

Newair Portable Ice Maker

If you live in a large household, you’ll be impressed by the Newair Portable Ice Maker’s 50-pound output per day. The machine is included in ice machine guides by The Spruce Eats and Forbes Vetted. Given its size, this model will take up a lot of counter space and will show wear. The Newair Portable Ice Maker is available at Amazon for $249.99.

Why You Can Trust Us

I’m Grace, and I write about kitchen and home products. I’ve covered everything from espresso machines to rice makers, and I definitely appreciate good pebble ice when I can find it. For this list, I teamed up with Meggan, the creative force behind Culinary Hill. Besides being a professional writer and classically-trained chef, Meggan has also developed and published many drink recipes, including cocktails, mocktails, infused waters, and more.

Glasses of Agua de Jamaica on a tray with hibiscus flowers and straws.
Credit: Culinary Hill

For this guide, we wanted to research a wide variety of countertop ice machines to meet a range of budgets and preferences. We started with the model Meggan owns and loves, and then began researching other popular models, pulling from prominent review sites and reviews published on major retailers.

Everything to Know Before Buying a Countertop Ice Maker

Two highball glasses of long island iced tea.
Credit: Culinary Hill

What to Consider Before Buying a Countertop Ice Maker

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right countertop ice maker for you, from capacity to output to cleaning. Here are a few considerations to help you with your search.

Capacity: A lot of brands will list an ice maker’s capacity as the amount of ice it’s capable of making in a day. However, you want to ensure that you’re also taking into account the water tank and ice bin capacity because that will tell you how often you need to empty and fill the appliance.

Output: How much ice you’ll need daily will depend on a variety of factors, like the size of your household or how often you host. If you opt for a model with a high ice yield, just make sure you’re willing to sacrifice the corresponding counter space for a larger machine.

Cleaning: Ice machines will require additional time and added costs you’ll need to invest in cleaning. “Consider how the unit is cleaned — most of the ones I researched have a special cleaning solution, and it’s always sold separately,” Meggan says. Some have a self-cleaning cycle, but many do not.

Ice Shape and Size: Whether your ice is small, large, cubes, or nuggets will determine how fast it melts, whether it’s hard or soft, and its chewability. This is all up to preference, so pick one that makes the ice you like!

Design and Controls: Make sure the machine’s buttons are easy to understand and that it has all the features you want. For example, Meggan prioritized buying a unit with a window in it so she could see the amount of ice at all times.

Water Source: In many units, you open them and pour in water manually, which can be tedious, and you’ll want to keep your ice maker close to the sink. It’s also why  Meggan prefers her GE! “The GE Opal 2.0 is nice in that it actually has a water hookup hose that you can connect and remove rather than pouring water in manually,” she says.

How Do You Clean a Countertop Ice Maker?

While every machine will be different (which is why you should consult your model’s manual), most ice makers require being emptied and cleaned at least every three months. You can wash any removable parts with dish soap and clean the interior and exterior of the machine with a water and vinegar solution.

Some ice makers have a self-cleaning function, which may require a specific cleaning solution. Even if your machine does self clean, be sure to check that the inside is getting thoroughly cleaned after it’s done and still wipe down the exterior regularly.

How Does a Countertop Ice Maker Work?

Most countertop ice machines work by pumping water into a chamber with pre-cooled trays or molds and then emptying the frozen ice into a bin and continuing the cycle more quickly and efficiently than an ice cube would.

Does the Shape of Ice Affect Melting Time?

Different ice shapes (and sizes) will melt at different rates, with nugget and bullet ice typically melting faster than traditional cubes because they’re smaller and have a greater surface area. 

“If you have to choose just one type of ice for cocktails for the rest of your life, a 1-inch cubed ice cube is a good, all-purpose size and shape,” Meggan says. “It has a nice dilution rate for most cocktails when shaken or stirred and then strained.” Just keep in mind that drinking your beverage within 10 minutes is best for minimizing dilution, according to Meggan. 

How Long Does It Take to Make Ice?

While water in an ice cube tray typically takes up to 4 hours to freeze, countertop ice machines can produce ice much faster, ranging from 6 to 15 minutes. An ice machine is more expensive and requires more in-depth cleaning than a tray, but it makes up for it by being able to freeze ice in larger amounts continuously.

The Best Cocktail Recipes

A strawberry margarita on the rocks.
Credit: Culinary Hill

Good ice cubes can really elevate a cocktail (or mocktail). If you’re the proud owner of a new countertop ice maker, here are some drink recipes to get you started:

Prices were accurate at time of publication.

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Grace Cooper is a freelance commerce and lifestyle writer, specializing in home, food, and beauty products. Her work has appeared in Apartment Therapy, Gear Patrol, The Penny Hoarder, Pittsburgh Magazine, and more.

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