Do you love making drinks? Maybe you love hosting large parties. Or perhaps you just go through a whole lot of ice on a day to day basis. There are a lot of reasons why you may need an ice maker for your home.
There are a lot of ice makers to choose from. It can be quite overwhelming to try to find the best one for you. We decided to create this ultimate ice maker guide to help you choose the best home ice maker. Take a look and, by the end, you will definitely know exactly which ice maker machine to get!
What is an Ice Maker?
An ice maker is a machine that is designed very much like a freezer. However, rather than working to stay cold and freeze food, the machine only needs to freeze water and make ice! Ice makers fill trays with water, rapidly freeze and then dump the ice into an insulated compartment. They fill and freeze, fill and freeze over and over again until the ice machine is completely full, giving you a whole lot of ice for all your cold drink needs.
Most refrigerators have an ice maker but it may be too small for the amount of ice you consume. You definitely don’t want to deal with filling trays of water and waiting for them to freeze! Buying ice also seems pretty silly. Skip all of that by investing in a craft ice maker instead!
Do I Need an Ice Maker?
We think yes. It really is a convenient appliance to have. Many ice makers are very affordable too!
Here are the people who we think really need an ice maker:
- People with a home bar- you need a high performing ice maker to keep up with the mocktails and drinks you make!
- Iced coffee lovers- you want to make sure you have plenty of ice to fill up your cup each morning.
- Party lovers- If you throw frequent parties and get togethers, an ice machine is something that will come in very handy.
- Small business owners- whether you have a small office or a mini cafe, an ice machine is a great investment. You want to be sure to give your customers and clients cold drinks!
- You!- If you are considering buying an ice machine, you probably already know that you need one.
Ice makers are great, year round appliances. Now comes the hard part. Picking the best one!
What to Look for When Choosing an Ice Maker for Home
Ice makers have all different kinds of features. We think it is important to know all of the available ice maker features so you can choose which ones are important to you.
- Ice Production- Think about how much ice you really need and this will help you decide which ice maker to buy. A small ice maker may only make a few pounds of ice a day while a larger machine can make hundreds of pounds per day. An average home ice maker will make about 30 pounds of ice per day. You should estimate to use about 2 pounds of ice per day per person in your house. Be sure to get a bigger machine though if you will be hosting larger get togethers.
- Water Hookups- Some ice maker machines require a water line hook up. These are great for people who want a constant, easy supply of ice and don’t mind a little installation. However, there are plenty of ice makers that do not need a water line. You can pour water into the machine every so often and it will turn it into ice. Decide if you want a hard water line to your machine or just a simple one that you fill with water daily.
- Ice Shape- Every ice maker will create different types of ice. Deciding what shape ice you want is essential! This one choice will really steer you in the right direction. If you like the crunch of fast food ice, look for a sonic ice maker, also known as a nugget ice maker. Look for a crushed ice maker if you are more into slushies. Cubed ice makers will give you perfect, square shaped ice while a round ice cube maker will give you nice balls of ice. Some machines can also be set to give various ice shapes, both large cubes and small. These might be more expensive but versatility could be what you are looking for!
- Color of the Ice- Now, this feature is one that may help you narrow down your ice maker choice when you are choosing between two options. Do you want an ice machine that makes perfectly clear ice or is ice that is a little bubbly okay? Clear ice machine do cost more but they make completely transparent cubes. These look cool and are harder so they melt slower. Clear ice takes longer to make since the machine has to remove the oxygen particles from the water. Does this sound cool to you? Or is regular, whitish ice okay? Its a decision you will have to make!
- Price- Ice machines come in all different prices. Think about how much you want to spend on an ice maker. More expensive models do have their benefits but you can also find a great budget ice maker quite easily. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have an endless supply of ice! Check out a Walmart ice maker or a Costco ice maker which may be discounted but still fantastic machines.
There is so much to think about when picking the best ice maker! Just take it one question at a time and you will easily figure out what you want.
Types of Ice Makers
There are actually quite a few different types of ice makers. Understanding the differences between each type is essential so you can really decide which one is best for you. Take a look at these different types of home ice makers to figure out what features you need. We also included our favorite ice maker from each section so you can easily jump to a machine that will work in your home.
Countertop Ice Maker
Lots of home ice maker machines are countertop ice makers. These are small, portable appliances that can sit right on your counter or bar. They are easy to move and also great for camping and boating.
Most countertop ice makers only need an outlet to work perfectly. There is no hard water line that needs to be installed and no complicated maintenance schedule to follow. Simply plug in the countertop ice maker and it is ready to go!
Most small ice maker machines only hold a few pounds of ice at a time. However, they can be quite impressive. This Frigidaire ice maker can create up to 26 pounds of ice a day and is a very affordable price. The Ikich ice maker is just as powerful and compact, making it another solid choice. The Igloo ice maker has a sleek design, perfect for your countertop. It also makes 33 pounds of ice a day and starts making ice in just 7 minutes. The brush stainless steel of the Igloo ice maker will match newer appliances perfectly. However, the bright red of the Magic Chef ice maker may be something that you love as well.
Undercounter Ice Maker
An undercounter ice maker will be much bigger than a countertop ice maker. You can find under counter ice makers that are the exact same size as a cabinet so it can be built right into your kitchen design. Pop an undercounter ice maker into your kitchen right next to your mini fridge or dishwasher. Most under the counter ice makers need a water line hook up so installing them next to an existing appliance is easy.
Under counter ice makers can make a lot of ice. For example, The Scotsman ice maker can make up to 64 pounds of ice a day. The best part is that it stores 26 pounds of ice at a time so no matter when you open it up, it will likely be full of ready to use ice! It is convenient and perfect for those with a higher demand for ice.
The Uline ice maker is another great undercounter ice maker option. It is a little more affordable and works wonderfully. This model has also been around for years and will last you quite a few years.
You also can’t go wrong with an Edgestar ice maker. This is a beautiful undercounter ice maker that is a little less heavy duty. It will make about 25 pounds of ice a day and requires no drainage line. Any water that melts is recycled and turned back into ice! Or, you can splurge on the Hoshizaki ice maker which has commercial-like qualities but is also good as a home ice maker.
Nugget Ice Maker
Nugget ice cubes are a very popular shape of ice. They are often called sonic ice, cloud ice, pearl ice or pellet ice. The ice cube is small with a hole in the center. They have a cloudy coloring and crunch much easier than clear ice cubes.
Many people love nugget ice because of its satisfying crunch. Nugget ice keeps drinks tasting strong since it doesn’t melt very quickly.
A nugget ice maker will pop out ice very quickly. Since the ice is pretty skinny and small, it doesn’t take long to freeze. Freezing the ice rapidly is also what gives the ice that white color and crunch.
Our favorite sonic ice maker is the GE Opal ice maker. It makes tons of small, sonic ice cubes and has a nice sleek look. The countertop ice maker can be connected to a hard water line or you can simply add water when needed.
Another good ice maker for home is the Costway ice maker. The countertop nugget ice maker has cubes ready in just 6 minutes and has a super compact design. The home ice maker is quite, efficient and makes up to 26 pounds of ice a day. The price on the Costway ice maker isn’t too bad either!
Clear Ice Maker
Clear ice can really transform a drink. A drink made with clear ice instantly looks fancier and more exciting. If you want to make high end, picture perfect mocktails and drinks, then you definitely need a clear ice maker.
Clear ice takes longer to freeze than regular nugget ice. There is less oxygen in clear ice which is why it is so crystal clear! It also is harder than a regular ice cube and melts a little slower. Isn’t it amazing how many different kinds of ice there are!
Our favorite clear ice maker is the Euhomy countertop ice maker. It can make up to 40 pounds of perfectly clear ice in a day. It has a timer, a temperature control and a way to increase or decrease the thickness of the ice. This fancy countertop ice maker even comes in three different colors to match your kitchen decor!
The NewAir countertop ice maker also creates fantastic clear ice cubes. It makes enough ice for a big family or even for a small business. This little machine is quite the work horse!
A countertop ice dispenser can be very convenient to have. This is especially true if you do not have a refrigerator with ice maker. There are actually quite a few ice dispensers that require no scooping and simply put the ice right into your glass at the push of a button.
Ice dispensers typically make ice nuggets or crushed ice. Many of them also dispense water becoming a complete ice maker kit. Everything you need is in one machine!
We like the Frigidaire ice maker dispenser which also pours water. The compact design is perfect for the countertop. It is very easy to use and has a bright LED screen with simple instructional buttons. The automatic shut off timer saves energy by turning off when the ice is full. This is a great appliance for your countertop home ice maker needs.
The Soopyk water cooler and ice dispenser makes a great statement piece for your home or office. It makes about 9 ice cubes every 5 minutes and can hold up to 27 pounds of ice. Not only does it make ice incredibly quickly, but it also dispenses hot, warm and cold water. Definitely consider this high tech ice maker if you are looking for a machine that dispenses ice.
Crushed Ice Maker
Crushed ice or shaved ice is perfect for making slushies and smoothies. No need to use a blender when you have a crushed ice machine!
If you are looking for a great crushed ice maker or shaved ice maker, we definitely recommend this crushed ice and cubed ice machine combo. The machine has two sides, giving you perfect ice cube nuggets and also fluffy shaved ice. It is also a great countertop ice maker option.
The Sycees two in one shaved ice machine is another very good option. It can be completely automatic when hooked up to a water line. You can also choose to manually add water for easy, quick set up.
Commercial Ice Maker
Do you own a business or just fly through ice at the rate of a commercial restaurant? Then you need an ice maker that can keep up with high demand. Commercial ice makers are big and powerful. There are some that are even quite nice to look at, taking away from their bulky size.
Most commercial ice makers will not only make ice quickly, but store lots of ice for easy access.
We really like the ADT ice maker which can make up to 150 pounds of clear ice in a day. It also stores 33 pounds of ice in the large storage bin. Anytime you open this machine, it is guaranteed to be filled with ice. It is completely freestanding and comes with a waterline and drain pipe. You will get everything you need to connect this commercial ice maker quickly.
Refrigerator with Ice Maker
If you are in the market for a new refrigerator, make sure it has an ice maker. Most refrigerators do come with an ice maker but the types may vary. Some will have ice makers that require you to reach in and scoop out the ice while others will have ice dispensers on the front door. Choosing the type of ice maker you like is important! You will likely be living with the refrigerator for quite a long time.
Whether you are looking for a black refrigerator with ice maker, a white refrigerator with ice maker or a classic stainless steel refrigerator with ice maker, we recommend this Kenmore side by side fridge and freezer. The ice maker dispenser gives you instant crushed ice or ice cubes. The ice bin can also be removed, giving you an easy way to serve ice at a party or get together.
It may be hard to find a mini fridge with ice maker. Most mini fridges are too small to have an ice maker compartment. However, this Black and Decker mini fridge has a very large freezer, plenty big for several ice cube trays.
If the ice maker in your fridge stopped working, don’t fret! It may be a very easy fix. Take a look at a replacement samsung ice maker, KitchenAid ice maker or LG ice maker, many of which are compatible with all different refrigerator brands. A new ice maker can make your fridge seem like a whole new, efficient appliance!
All About Ice Makers
Anyone who enjoys nice, cold drinks should invest in an ice maker. Ice makers are so extremely convenient and many of them are very affordable. It can be a real treat to open up an ice maker and know that it will be full of fresh, perfectly shaped ice every single time.
Whether you are in the market for an outdoor ice maker, a countertop ice maker or just looking for a new refrigerator with ice maker, there is the perfect machine out there for you! Hopefully this guide helped you find exactly what you need. Cheers!
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