Best Ice Maker of 2020: Complete Reviews with Comparisons

Best Ice Maker
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There is nothing quite like a nice ice-cold beverage on a hot summer day, right? Tired of running out of ice at those summer parties? The key word in both those questions is 'ice' and sometimes you just end up needing more than your refrigerator can deliver. So that is where a nice countertop ice maker can come into play.

In this guide, we are going to breakdown a few of the best ice makers of 2019 and give you some great tips on what to consider when looking into purchasing an ice maker.

Comparison Chart

Kealive Ice Maker Machine, Ice Cube Maker, Countertop Ice Maker

Igloo ICEB26RR 26-Pound Portable Automatic Ice Cube Maker

PORTABLE DIGITAL ICE MAKER MACHINE by Arctic-Pro

DELLA 048-IM-D26-SS Electric Portable Ice Maker Machine

VIVOHOME Portable Electric Automatic Countertop Ice Cube Maker

Best Ice Maker Reviews

Kealive Ice Maker

Durable and ease of use is what makes the Kealive ice maker the perfect choice for anyone looking to up their entertaining game.

Product Highlights

This ice maker is great for parties and would make anyone a great gift. With its ease of use and quick ice creation the Kealive ice maker also comes with all the following features:

  • Ability to create over one pound per cycle and up to 26 pounds a day with only 1.8 liters
  • Can add water through water pipe either manually or by hooking up to the faucet
  • Two sizes of cubes available
  • 2-year warranty
  • Insulated interior to keep ice fresh
  • Clear lid to check ice levels
  • Alarm to alert you when ice is full or water is low
  • Ability to switch off when not in use

What's to like about the Kealive Ice Maker

This ice maker can be used for so much more than making your parties a success. It has a low noise profile and makes ice quickly which means that even if it's just you staying in for the night, you can ensure that you will be good on your ice needs.

What's not to like about the Kealive Ice Maker

With all the good comes a few drawbacks but if you ask us these issues are easily overlooked when you think about what you get for the price, but still, we would be remiss if we did not mention them. There are many people that might find the manual hard to understand. There are also many that complain that even the small ice cubes are not truly small ice cubes. Both issues as we have stated are no reason to strike this ice maker from your potential purchase list.

PROS

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    Build quality
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    Reduced noise
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    Makes ice fast
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    Easy to use

CONS

  • Hard to use manual

Igloo ICEB26RR

The compact size is one of those with a minimal footprint; in whatever space you have available you will not have to worry about rearranging everything to have your ice fix covered.

Product Highlights

Speed is very important when it is hotter than heck outside and this Igloo ice maker is one of the fastest ice creators on this list. Perfect for whatever event or living circumstance, this ice maker's compact durable build is an amazing feature. Along with that feature this ice maker also brings with it these features:

  • A clear window to view the ice levels
  • Ice bucket that can hold 2 pounds
  • Control panel that is LED lit
  • Two sizes of cubes available
  • Alarms to alert you of low water or full basket
  • Easy to transport
  • 3 quarter water tanks
  • Ice bucket that is removable
  • Plug to easily drain water

What's to like about the Igloo

With all those amazing features there are a few things that make this ice maker stand out. Now with the minimal size, you might worry about the small ice capacity and this is simply not an issue: This is the little ice maker that could. It may be small, but it makes up for in quickness and that will leave you with plenty of ice.

What's not to like about the Igloo

The ice maker has several different alarms and has been touted as being quite noisy during the ice-making process. The small basket could be bothersome but if you are on the ball even this is something that could be set to the side and if it can’t we have many other choices on our list that could be the right ice maker for you.

PROS

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    Size is decent 
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    Quickly makes ice

CONS

  • Noisy at times 

Arctic-Pro Portable 21377

Large water reservoir and a quick cycle for ice making make the Arctic-Pro portable ice maker one of the top ice makers on the market, especially if you are trying to entertain on a budget.

Product Highlights

This ice maker is more compact than many of its competitors and is constructed to be lightweight and durable too. This and the rest of the features this ice maker is designed with makes this a great choice for the party thrower, tailgater or office beverage monitor. Some of the features that build these ice maker's reputation are:

  • One-button easy start
  • Ability to set process on a timer
  • Transparent window to monitor ice levels
  • Sensors that will keep the machine from overfilling the bucket
  • Enhanced volume water reservoir
  • Ice scoop and basket included

What's to like about the Arctic-Pro Portable

The price tag only adds to the benefits that this ice maker brings its owner. One of the worst things about any type of electrical appliance is the upkeep; after all, after a long party, who wants to clean all the nooks and crannies of every appliance you have used? The team at Arctic-Pro though about this and voila! One of the best features of this ice maker is the built-in cleaning feature. Enough said, right?

What's not to like about the Arctic-Pro Portable

It seems that many ice makers suffer from excessive noise levels and this may just be something you have to expect going forward. If this is something that is a deal breaker then you may want to consider our first entry the Kealive ice maker which has a reduced noise profile.

The biggest drawback is not the noise level, but rather the absence of temperature control. Unable to control the temp means that you will not be able to make this ice maker make more ice by dropping the temp. This is still a minor drawback, but it could be the difference between the perfect and just kind of perfect ice maker for you and your ice needs.

PROS

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    Cleaning feature
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    Budget-friendly 
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    Good size

CONS

  • Noise levels is a bit high
  • No temperature adjustment 

Della 048-IM-D26-SS

With a quality design like this, it is no wonder that many of its users rave about the durability of this ice maker.

Product Highlights

This countertop electric ice maker from Della is easily one of the best ice makers. Easy to transport, it is designed to be compact and stylish with features like:

  • Ice basket with a capacity of 1.5 pounds
  • Water reservoir (2.1 quarts)
  • Up to 26 lbs. of ice made per day
  • Transparent viewing window
  • NO installation required
  • Storage bin that is insulated
  • Built-in water and ice bin level alarm
  • Tray and ice scoop included

What's to like about the Della

When paired with the rapidity of the ice generation, this ice maker hits all the points needed to call this a great ice maker and an even better choice for those looking for a compact yet high-performing ice maker.

What's not to like about the Della

Once again, the noise levels of the ice making process seem to be one of the biggest complaints consumers have about this ice maker, along with the ice cube size problem. Though the machine claims to support two separate ice cube sizes, many users state there is not much difference and therefore wish there was a smaller ice choice. These two issues are minor as the ice maker functions well and is compact and durable which are some of the benchmarks of a good ice maker.

PROS

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    Quality build is good
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    Quite durable 
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    Produces ice quite quickly

CONS

  • A bit noisy 

VIVOHOME Portable Electric Ice Maker

We all know the last thing you want is a home appliance that takes a Ph.D. to work. This ice maker does not require that and in fact, is one of the easiest to use on this list.

Product Highlights

This ice maker is a great addition to anyone's kitchen with its compact design and ease of use. Here are some of this ice maker's features:

  • Up to 26 lb. ice capacity per day
  • Transparent window to make ice levels visible
  • Compressor cooling system
  • No installation required
  • Large water reservoir (1.3 qt.)
  • Alarms for ice bucket water levels

What's to like about the VIVOHOME Ice Maker

With its fast-paced ice creation cycle and the high level of efficiency in its functionality, this ice maker would be a great choice for anyone whether they are buying it for their own use or as a housewarming gift for a friend.

What's not to like about the VIVOHOME Ice Maker

Noise levels and soft ice — these are both the only drawbacks. Each of these issues is something that many home ice makers suffer from and in one case, the soft ice is clearly about a preference level. These are both credible issues but are issues that can be pushed to the side when you look at the overall functionality and efficiency of the VIVOHOME ice maker.

PROS

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    Good functionality
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    Makes ice quick
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    Easy to use

CONS

  • Tends to be noisy 
  • Ice is soft at times 

BUYER'S GUIDE

With all the information we just laid out for you, your choice may seem even more daunting than before. That is why in this next section we are going to dissect the attributes you should be considered while deciding which of the thousands of options is the right one for you.

Types

There are many different types, and, in this case, we are specifically talking about the style. Here are a few of the options you must choose from you:

Portable/Countertop

Compact and designed to be freestanding, this model is great for anyone looking for the ability to bring the party with them. Within this type, there are subdivisions like electric or sonic, or models that come with digital displays or no display at all. When you decide this is the style you want, the rest of these decisions are up to your preference. No matter what features you choose these ice makers are great for camping trips, pool parties or even tailgating.

Built-in

This ice maker is made to build into or between cabinets. So, this model is created with a vent in the front of the unit. These models are designed for the consumer that is looking to up the value of their home while being able to support their ice needs. Great for someone who is always entertaining large crowds or is in a business related to any type of party planning.

Modular

This type of ice maker is more suited for commercial concerns seeing as how they are intended to make massive amounts of ice and take up quite a bit of room.

Self-Contained

Similar to modular, these ice makers are for those that need a vast amount of ice and practicality would see this as a commercial answer just like the modular.

Installation

Some of the above types will need costly installation and that is one of the concerns to you deciding on the model you are looking for. Now aside from the physical installation, you can also consider the ease of use; in other words, the setup, which is another form of installation.

The good news that no matter what type you decide on, ice makers tend to be quite easy to use and install all your settings within the programs. So, when you are making your choice make sure to investigate what exactly the installation process is like — either physical or with the individual ice maker itself.

Brands

When you are trying to decide what ice maker to purchase, you should also think about the brand — not for status purposes, but rather the reliability and overall user happiness. This means check out reviews and do a little research on the brand and its reputation.

Size

Size is very important. After all, if you are dealing with a small apartment countertop, you do not want a huge ice maker, right? In the end, the space you have available will dictate which ice makers you can use. Also, with the size, your end intent of use is vital too. If you are planning to take the ice maker with you camping or with you to your next bartending gig, you will want a small compact easy-to-carry model.

Price

The final thing to think about and possibly the most important of this buyer’s guide — your budget. The good news is that there are plenty of portable compact choices that come in under $200 and so are relatively wallet friendly.

Though this may still seem a little pricey for some, you also need to think of this as an investment and if this is something you truly need then paying a little extra for a quality piece that will last you a lifetime could be well worth the money spent.

F.A.Q.

When you are looking into purchasing anything for the first time, inevitably there are some questions that pop up. We are going to answer some of the most commonly asked questions below.

1. How does an ice maker work?

No matter what type of ice maker you go with the process is pretty much the same — just scaled up and down to fit the build of the model. The water travels into the machine either manually or through a supply line where it comes to rest in an ice tray that has been refrigerated with the internal coolant. Then the water is frozen and formed into your desired ice cube size.

Once this process is completed the ice is slightly heated to be loosened and is then dumped into the collection bucket.

2. How to clean a portable ice maker

The first thing to make sure you have is an ice machine cleaner that is nickel-safe so that it can clean multiple types of ice makers. Then there is the schedule; your ice maker should be cleaned on a set schedule of 3-6-month intervals to ensure peak performance. Below are the basic steps but remember to read your owner’s manual for the specific unit that you have purchased.

  1. Turn off and unplug the unit from its power source.
  2. Empty any water out of the reservoir or cut off the water line.
  3. Clear out any ice that remains in the bin or trays.
  4. Take everything out that comes into contact with the ice during the ice making process.
  5. Wash these parts in a combination of water and your chosen cleaner.
  6. Makes sure you get the parts completely rinsed off.
  7.  Put parts back in the machine and wipe down the rest of the unit letting it air dry for a while.
  8. Restart the machine and make sure to throw out your first batch of ice.

3. How to repair an ice maker

Because these ice makers are relatively simple machines, they are quite easy to DIY your own repairs. First thing is to read the owner’s manual and then decided if you want to do it yourself or pay someone else to do it. If you want to attempt it yourself here are a few common issues, their causes and a few suggestions on how to fix them.

Ice not coming out

This could be caused by someone unknowingly hitting the off switch when moving things around. So, this is the first thing we would suggest you check, and if this is what happened, the answer to fixing it is as simple as turning the switch back to its proper position. Now there are many other causes of this issue this is the most common.

No ice being made

The most common reason this occurs is a blockage in the frozen water line or even the water filter. For the frozen supply line, the best way to repair this is to complete the defrosting process from below;  after that, if the water comes out foggy  you need to consult a professional. As for the water filter issue, all you would need to do is consult your owner’s manual, find the filter and replace it.

Wrong sized cubes

This is usually a simple adjustment issue. The best way to repair this is to look at that owner's manual or through the company’s website and follow the steps that are listed in the troubleshooting section.

There are many other issues that may arise and a good number of these can be fixed by you, but if a major issue arises or you simply are not mechanically inclined, sometimes the best option is to just let the professionals handle it.

4. How to defrost an ice maker

Just like with the freezer attached to your refrigerator you may have to at some point defrost your ice maker. Though the process may vary per model slightly the overall basic steps remain the same. Here are the basic steps to defrost your ice maker:

  1. The first thing you need to do is unplug your machine and remove all water and ice that are still in it.
  2. Locate where the water is brought into the ice maker and if there is a metal clip that keeps it in place, remove it. Then bust out that hairdryer and set it on low, placing it close enough to heat the unit but not close enough to melt any plastic bits.
  3.  Dry the water from the frozen water melting.
  4.  Once this is all done, make sure it is completely dry and then replace the metal clip if need be and turn the ice maker back on.

[Note: You can also just unplug the ice maker and let nature do its course. This might save on time and money in the long run. As well as using warm water to run through the system to make this process go quicker]

Any of these options are viable ways to defrost your ice maker

5. How to adjust ice maker to make more ice

Usually, the main culprit of your ice maker not making enough ice is that it just is not cold enough. So, if you need more ice and quickly, simply drop the freezer down by 5 degrees. Once the freezer is colder, this triggers the whole ice-making to speed up.

These have been a few of the common questions that crop up when looking into getting an ice maker. Hopefully, some of these answers have cleared up some of your questions as well.

FINAL VERDICT

Hopefully, now you can chill out and decide on which of the top ice makers of 2019 will work for your needs. We have laid out several choices and given you some guidelines on what to look for when scouring through your choices to make the perfect decision. Fingers crossed that all of this helped you out and now all that’s left is to crank that ice maker up and make yourself a nice cold adult beverage.

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