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Ultimate Portable Ice Maker Buying Guide

Buying a portable ice maker is a good investment when you have a lot of parties at home. Though refrigerators produce ice, that may not be sufficient till the end of the party. You can get a small dedicated portable ice maker to produce ice in less than 8 minutes. But there are so many portable ice makers in the market and how to choose one? Here, we will help you better understand with our portable ice maker buying guide and also suggest you the best ones available in the market.

Features to Consider while buying an Ice Machine

Below is the compact ice maker guide that helps you learn and understand the important factors to consider to buy the best countertop ice maker 2020.

  • Capacity: The ice bucket and water tank capacity is very important for choosing the right icemaker. Make sure that it can produce a minimum of 24 lbs of ice per day or simple speaking ice cubes for 15 small drinks in an hour.
  • Production Speed: The rate at which it produces ice will help us determine the type of ice maker required. Generally, most ice makers produce ice every 6 – 10 minutes. However, a typical ice maker must produce ice cubes continuously every 6 minutes for your uninterrupted party. 
  • Price: Ice makers range from $120 – $1500. It is advised to choose some basic models for home and mid-ranged models for office. If you want it as a showpiece, the GE profile nugget ice maker is a perfect choice.
  • Ease of use: Get ice makers that have simple operation mode. Make sure to look for options like an indicator for water and bucket fill. Automatic shut off feature will help you reduce energy loss.
  • Water consumption: If the water tank is big, there is no need to fill it again. So choose one with a maximum tank capacity. If not, then look for water reuse options in the ice makers.
  • Ice size selection: Portable ice makers produce bullet-shaped ice cubes. Only a few produce different sizes of ice cubes, and high–end models produce nuggets and a few more types. It is advised to choose an ice maker that can produce three sizes of bullet-shaped ice cubes as it is easy to produce and falls well under the budget.
  • Self Cleaning option: Ice makers have a self-cleaning option. It is advisable to choose one because they will reduce the stress laid on us after parties. The cleaning ice maker is equally simple as you need to remove the drain plug at the bottom to remove the excess water and allow it to dry. 
  • Bucket size: Ice cubes are stored in the bucket immediately after production. If the ice bucket is larger, then it will hold a few batches of ice in the icemaker and help us to enjoy the party continuously. Choose bucket capacity between 2 lbs – 4 lbs. Remember, ice buckets store the ice temporarily only.

Best Compact Ice Maker Suggestions

As we said in the above icemaker buying guide, a good portable ice maker should have the capacity to produce more ice in less time and different sizes. They must have less maintenance and simple operations. It is what everyone expects from a portable ice maker. From the portable ice makers in the US market, we have picked the top 5 ice makers based on performance, budget, maintenance, and capacity.

What is the best portable ice maker to buy? Below are some best compact ice makers suggested for you.

Top 5 Portable Ice Makers

  1. NewAir AI- 100R 28- pound, countertop ice maker: The best part of this portable ice maker is that it is super compact and produces three sizes of ice cubes in 6 minutes continuously.
  2. Igloo ICEB26BK portable ice maker: It is a standalone portable ice maker, which can produce 26 pounds of ice.
  3. Frigidaire EFIC108 portable ice maker: Priced under $150, this is one of the quickest ice makers in our list.
  4. Della premium 26 LBS portable ice maker: This is one of the ETL, CSA and UL listed portable ice makers.
  5. GE Profile Opal nugget ice maker: This is a high-end model ice maker.


Portable ice makers are one of the best house appliances to buy. They are great for office cafeteria, home, RVs, and weekend parties. You can also use them for outdoor events like camping, RVs, tailgating, and excursions. They are compact, simple to use, and maintain. Most portable ice makers do not require any installation, and there are many under your budget. With the help of this portable ice maker buying guide, I hope you can find the best small ice maker that matches your needs.

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