The 5 Best Ice Makers of 2022, According to Our Tests

We recommend the Luma Comfort Stainless Steel Portable Clear Ice Maker for its ability to produce a lot of ice quietly.

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Best Ice Makers of 2022, According to Our Tests

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

An ice maker is a smart investment for people who want ice for their drinks—and want it fast. With an ice maker in your home, you no longer have to wait for water to freeze in your ice trays or give up precious freezer space to heavy bags of ice. Patrick Pistolesi, mixologist for NIO Cocktails, told us there are three things to consider before buying an ice maker. “Always begin by thinking about what you will be using the ice for, how much ice you will really need, and never underestimate the importance of the quality [of ice] you will be eating or drinking,” he says. 

To find out which ice makers are the best on the market, we tested 15 popular models in our Lab and evaluated them on performance, capacity, and portability. In addition to Pistolesi, we also sought the advice of Natasha Pietramala, Senior Licensing & Product Manager for Curtis International LTD, manufacturer for Electrolux, for expert advice on how to shop for an ice maker. Our top pick is the Luma Comfort Countertop Clear Ice Maker for its ability to produce 24 cubes of ice that were equal in size in 23 minutes, all while remaining practically silent.

Read on to learn more about our top picks and how to choose the right ice maker for your home.

Best Overall Ice Maker: Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker

4.8
Luma Comfort Ice Maker

NewAir

The ​​Luma Comfort Countertop Clear Ice Maker made the most amount of ice in one hour than all the other ice makers we tested, which, for a countertop ice maker, is pretty impressive. It took a little more than 23 minutes to produce one batch of 24 ice cubes during our testing. And according to the brand, if you run it all day, it can make up to 28 pounds of ice. This can be attributed to its generous ten-cup water capacity. Our tester was also impressed with the lack of sound, saying the machine was “practically silent” while in production. This is super convenient if you are having company in your kitchen, as it will allow your guests to talk to each other without being interrupted by the ice maker doing its thing.  

Another great feature of this ice maker is that it is far from an eye sore, thanks to the stainless steel exterior and LED display that will look sleek on your kitchen countertop. On this display you’ll find push button controls and alerts that will tell you when the machine is low on water, full of ice, or if it needs maintenance. Although this ice maker boasts that it makes “clear, restaurant” quality ice, we didn’t find that to be the case. We were pleased with the quality of the ice, but our tester didn’t say it was clear in the end. And unlike some other machines we tested, this model only makes cube ice in one size.

Price at time of publish: $240

Product Details:

  • Water Tank Capacity: 2.2 liters
  • Dimensions: 14.8 x 11.3 x 14.1 inches
  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Ice Production Time: 23:22 minutes
  • Amount of Ice Produced in 24 Hours: 28 pounds
Luma Comfort Countertop Clear Ice Maker

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Best Budget Ice Maker: Silonn Countertop Ice Maker

4.3
 Silonn Ice Makers Countertop

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a self-cleaning ice maker.

Who it isn’t for: People who want ice that is uniform in size.

Finding an affordable ice maker that can make a good amount of ice in a short amount of time is no easy feat, which is why we were so excited about the Silonn Countertop Ice Maker. This model, which weighs only 15 pounds and is about 12 inches tall, was one of the fastest ice machines we tested. Using nine cups of water (the tank’s capacity), this ice maker was able to produce eight cubes of ice in less than eight minutes. For its small size, our tester said it was able to produce “a decent amount of ice after an hour.” They also were pleased with the capacity and found the output to be moderate compared to other ice makers we tested.

You can either make small or large bullet ice cubes with this Silonn model. Our tester found the ice to be cloudy, which was not uncommon when we tested other ice makers, and the sizing of the ice was inconsistent. You can program this ice maker to clean itself and it has a light that turns on when the basket is full and when the water tank is low. Although the brand boasts that the ice maker is quiet, we did not find that to be the case, with our tester rating the noise level a two out of five (one being the lowest rating). However, our tester really liked the look of the machine, so much so that they would be “100 percent OK” with storing it on their kitchen countertop for other people to see.

Price at time of publish: $106

Product Details:

  • Water Tank Capacity: 2 liters
  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.7 x 12.5 inches
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Ice Production Time: 7:42 minutes
  • Amount of Ice Produced in 24 Hours: 26 pounds
Silonn Countertop Ice Maker

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Best Portable Ice Maker: Igloo Self Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker

4.2
Igloo Self Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an ice maker that has a handle.

Who it isn’t for: People who want an ice maker that is quieter.

Considering their large size and oftentimes heavy weight, one thing that many ice makers are not is portable. And those that are marketed as “portable” are usually still pretty difficult to carry. This Igloo model is one of the few we found that is truly portable thanks to its included handle. Our tester loved the handle, which can be used to transport the machine to other gatherings, or to take to your garage so that the production noise doesn’t disrupt people engaging in conversation. During testing, our tester found this mice maker to be “quite loud, but not annoying” so keep that in mind when using this machine.  

The Igloo Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker has a two-quart capacity water tank that can produce nine cubes of ice in less than ten minutes. You can make small or large ice cubes with this machine and, if you’d like, you can watch the production in progress thanks to the little window located on the lid. Another really cool feature of this ice maker is the five-cycle self-cleaning option, which is great for people who hate to clean. In addition to coming in standard colors such as black, white, and stainless steel, you can also get this model in baby blue and baby pink. Our tester pointed out that this tank is lower in volume compared to others, so they predict having to refill often to compete with output.

Price at time of publish: $153

Product Details:

  • Water Tank Capacity: 2 quarts
  • Dimensions: 13.9 x 10.51 x 15.28 inches
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Ice Production Time: 9:23 minutes
  • Amount of Ice Produced in 24 Hours: 26 pounds
Igloo Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Best Ice Maker for Home Bars: AGLUCKY Countertop Ice Maker Machine

4.2
AGLUCKY Countertop Ice Maker Machine

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a small ice maker.

Who it isn’t for: People who want an ice maker with a large water tank capacity.  

A home bar wouldn’t be complete without its own ice-making machine. The Aglucky Countertop Ice Maker would work well in home bars due to its “tiny size”, which measures less than eight inches in width and a little more than 12 inches high. Its relatively small width and its “cute” look mean that it could fit and blend in well on most bar carts

One batch from this Aglucky model produces nine cubes of ice in about 7.5 minutes. If used all day, it can make up to 26.5 pounds of ice. The tank capacity is about seven cups, which is one of the smallest tanks that we worked with while testing ice makers. As such, our tester predicted that someone would have to refill this often “to compete with output.” This ice maker produces small and large bullet ice and allows you to watch the process of the ice being made with the window attached to the lid. When your ice is finished, an indicator light comes on when the basket is full and ready. This light also turns on when the water tank needs more water. In terms of noise, this was rated a 3.5 by our tester, which was on par with many of the other ice machines we tested.

Price at time of publish: $120

Product Details:

  • Water Tank Capacity: 2 liters
  • Dimensions: 12.32 x 8.74 x 12.59 inches
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Ice Production Time: 7:32 minutes
  • Amount of Ice Produced in 24 Hours: 26.5 pounds
Aglucky Countertop Ice Maker

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Most Versatile Ice Maker: Costway 2-in-1 Ice Maker Water Dispenser

4.2
COSTWAY 2 in 1 Countertop Ice Maker with Built-in Water Dispenser

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an ice maker with a timer.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t need a water dispenser built into their ice machine.

Out of all the ice makers we tested, there were just a few that our testers said they would recommend to their friends and family. The Costway Two-In-One Ice Maker Water Dispenser was one of them. “You’ll WANT this to live on your counter,” one tester told us. Their enthusiasm comes from this machine’s versatility—not only can you make ice, but you can also use it as a water dispenser to make your water ice cold. In fact, the brand touts that you can use other liquids in this machine and turn them into ice as well, like juice and coffee. During our tests, we found that this Costway ice maker can make nine cubes of bullet ice in a little more than 8.5 minutes. After 24 hours, it can produce up to 36 pounds of ice.

In addition to a water dispenser, you also get a self-cleaning mechanism and a timer with this ice maker. You can program the machine to produce ice between 30 minutes to 19.5 hours after you set the timer. You also have the choice between making large and small ice. Our tester did tell us the ice maker was loud during testing, saying: “The plastic in the machine sounded like it was cracking.” They also noted that because it can be used as an ice maker and water dispenser, you’ll probably find yourself refilling the water tank often. Plus, the water tank, which is located on the side of the machine instead of the top, can be difficult to refill. Still, its versatility makes up for these minor issues.

Price at time of publish: $210

Product Details:

  • Water Tank Capacity: 2 liters
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 10 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 21 pounds
  • Ice Production Time: 8:35 minutes
  • Amount of Ice Produced in 24 Hours: 36 pounds
Costway Two-In-One Ice Maker Water Dispenser

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Luma Comfort Countertop Clear Ice Maker for its ability to produce 24 cubes of ice in one batch. Our tester told us it produced the most amount of ice in an hour and it was one of the quietest ice makers we tested.

Our Testing Process

We tested 15 ice makers in our Lab and assessed them on performance, capacity, and portability. Our testing involved filling our ice makers’ reservoirs with water and timing how long it took to make one batch of ice. After that batch of ice was done, we kept the machine running up to an hour to see how much ice was created. 

We also remained mindful of the noise level, noting if we could hear the machine whirring and how loud the ice cubes were when they dropped into the included ice box. We also took into account if there were any additional features such as multiple ice options, a self-cleaning mechanism, and more. We used all of this to come up with the best ice makers.

Best Ice Makers

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

How to Shop for Ice Makers Like a Pro

Capacity

You might think that the larger the water tank, the more ice produced. We didn’t find that to be the case during testing, though. In fact, some ice makers with lower-capacity water tanks produced the same or more in one batch than their higher-capacity counterparts. So, when making a decision about capacity, you should more so be asking yourself this: How often do I want to be refilling my ice maker’s water tank? For example, if you are throwing a party and want to keep your ice maker constantly running, having to keep refilling the tank again and again may get annoying.  

You can also look at capacity as how many ice cubes are produced in one batch, which the brand should be listing. This is especially important if you are planning on using this ice maker for entertaining. In that case, Pistolesi recommends doing a simple math equation to figure out your exact icing needs for a party. “If you are looking to do cocktails, you should know the size of the cube, multiply that by the number of cubes you would like to use per glass and then prepare for the number of glasses you expect to fill,” he says. “For example, with ten guests drinking three cocktails throughout the event, we would have about 30 cocktails.” If you don’t know your ice maker’s ice cube size, or don’t want to go through the trouble of figuring it out, think about how many ice cubes you want to put in each glass and go from there. 

Space

Pietramala says the biggest mistake she sees people make with ice machines is not checking ahead of time to make sure the unit will fit in their intended space. Ice makers are bulky machines that will take up a lot of space in your kitchen, especially for people who live in small spaces. Most of the ice makes we tested had a length, width, and height that was more than 10 inches. Measure out the space on your kitchen countertop as well as in your cabinets, if you plan on storing it in there. For countertops, make sure there is enough vertical clearance so that when you open the machine to pour water in or ice, it won’t hit the top of your cabinets. Another thing to note about ice makers is that they are heavy, with even portable ones weighing up to 30 pounds. Keep this in mind if you want to store it elsewhere and plan on bringing it into your kitchen every time you use it.

Ice Type

You may think that ice is ice and that’s all that there is to it. According to Pietramala, that’s not exactly the case. “The shape and size of your ice impacts how quickly it melts and how much water gets into your cocktail/drink,” she says. “In order to not water down alcoholic cocktails, you want to go with a larger cube size to prevent it from melting too quickly. Crushed ice works best for drinks that need dilution.” Drinks that usually include crushed ice are Moscow mules, mint juleps, and sherry cobblers. 

If your ice maker doesn’t allow you to choose your ice type or size, standard ice cubes that you see everywhere, including the grocery store and restaurants, will work just fine. And this doesn’t just go for cocktails, but all drinks.

Costway Two-In-One Ice Maker Water Dispenser

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

More Ice Makers to Consider

 Arctic-Pro Portable Ice Maker: This is one of the very few machines that our tester gave a 5 for noise level (five being quiet, one being very loud). This ice maker was also able to produce nine cubes of evenly sized bullet ice in less than 8.5 minutes. However, it lost points for its small capacity and not exactly aesthetically-pleasing look.

 Professional Series Clear Bullet Ice Maker: Loosely resembling an air fryer, this splurge-worthy ice maker was one of the few we tested that produced some clear ice. That crystal clear ice comes with a cost though: You have to wait more than 11 minutes until your nine cubes of ice are ready.

Questions You Might Ask

How long does it take for an ice maker to make ice?

This can vary a lot by the machine. In our testing, we found that it took between seven to close to 35 minutes to produce ice with our ice machines. Generally though, most of our machines produced eight to nine cubes of ice between seven and eight minutes. While that may seem a bit long if you need lots of ice right away, it still beats having to wait three to four hours for the water in your ice trays to freeze, or having big bags of ice take up precious space in your freezer. 

Plus, based on our conversation with Pietramala, those production times are still pretty good. “You should be able to start seeing ice produced anywhere up to 15 to 20 minutes depending on the ice cube size selected. That’s how long it takes to freeze the ice, typically,” she says. “Any longer and there might be an issue with the room being too hot, which will make the cycle take longer. You might also have a clogged air vent on the unit. It’s important to keep some distance between the vents and any walls to allow the air to circulate and not overheat.”

Best Ice Makers

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

How do you clean an ice machine?

If your machine doesn’t come with a self-cleaning mechanism, Pietramala says you should clean the interior parts of the ice machine with a mixture of water and vinegar. To do this, first empty out the ice tray and reservoir of any water that may be sitting in there. Dampen a sponge with that mixture and scrub those interior parts of the machine. Once done, wipe down those parts with a dry cloth and let the machine sit out until it's completely dry. Then run your ice machine twice, discarding the ice cubes it produces. Pistolesi recommends cleaning your ice maker once a week. 

He also recommends using filtered water only, as it helps prevent the buildup of mineral and calcium, which can in turn damage the machine overtime. “By using high quality water, you already increase the shelf life of the icemaker and the quality of the ice you will use or eat,” he says. 

Can my ice machine keep my ice cool?

Unfortunately, no. When we asked Pistolesi the biggest mistake he sees people make with ice makers, he told us that it’s people thinking the mechanism can also act as a freezer. If you leave your ice in for too long, the ice will melt and that water will make its way back to the reservoir, waiting to be turned into ice again.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. We researched the best ice makers and tested 15 of the most popular options in our Lab, evaluating them on performance, capacity, and portability. We also sought the advice of Patrick Pistolesi, Mixologist for NIO Cocktails and Natasha Pietramala, Senior Licensing & Product Manager for Curtis International LTD, a manufacturer for Electrolux

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Anyproduct appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. If that's the case, we test the product just like we test anything we buy, but we also disclose that we received it for free to be as transparent with you as possible. 

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

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