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5 Best Countertop Ice Makers
If you ask me, the most practical types of ice makers for the regular household are countertop designs.
If such a machine is required at home, it just makes so much sense to station it on the countertop.
Under-counter ice makers might blend smoothly into a kitchen’s interior design theme, but the ice-making capacity that these mega-machines are capable of are just too excessive for the typical household.
Countertop models also come in the slickest of designs these days. They are also light weight and easy to shift for one end of the counter to the other when tweaking interior decor.
So unless you have a lot of cash to burn or getting an under-counter ice machine has always been a dream since childhood, a countertop model should be more than sufficient to serve the whole house of family members with refreshing cool drinks.
If you are buying or just thinking of getting one of these workhorses, here are some of the best countertop ice makers.
1) NutriChef PICEM75
While the NutriChef PICEM75 is not the only model available in the market that comes with an ice dispenser, this feature together with it’s form-factor just edges the competition with comparable specifications.
An ice dispenser puncher trigger ice dispensing from the shoot. And to prevent the table from getting wet due to all the dispensing, a water drip tray ensures rouge water is contained.
Observing the ice cubes dropping into a glass of soda reminds you of the feeling of being in one of those restaurants with free flow beverages.
It is capable of pumping out 33 pounds of ice a day which is deceptively high for such a compact size.
While it’s not made with portability as a focal point, you won’t find it a hassle to bring it on your outdoor trips as well.
Making ice cubes in 2 sizes of small and large, it’s surprisingly quiet while going about it’s job.
The water reservoir has a access door at the side and holds up to 1.8 liters of water and starts churning out ice in as little as 9 minutes.
The option of installing a water supply pipe line is available should you intend to use it as a dedicated countertop appliances. This fixture will mean that you never have to go through the hassle of filling up the tank with water again.
- Attractive design
- 33 lbs of ice a day
- Ice dispenser
- Direct water tapping option
- Led digital display indication
- Small ice basket
NutriChef PICEM75 is an aesthetic looking ice maker with high-end capabilities that will be perfect addition to the kitchen or office pantry.
The display panel will show cute icons indicating what it is in the process of doing so that you will never be left wondering what’s going on.
I can visualize this sitting side by side with a posh blender where you can scoop up ice and instantly drop them into the blender to make your ice-blended drinks and beverages.
No wonder it makes our list as one of the best around.
2) NewAir AI-215SS
When I first saw the brand NewAir on an ice maker, something told me that something’s not right because the words in the brand would suggest that it more related to tower fans and air coolers.
This is one big reason why the quality of NewAir AI-215SS really took our team of reviewers by surprise.
This squarish looking hard-hitter is capable of churning out 50 pounds of ice cubes every 24 hours. That’s enough even for a cafe on a hot summer day!
This machine spits out bullet-shaped ice by a dozen per cycle, as quickly as 7 minutes per cycle.
But while NewAir AI-215SS trumps NutriChef PICEM75 convincingly on capacity, it still loses out on a couple of key features that allow the latter to pip it to top spot. The average household will not need excessive ice-making capabilities anyway.
- Ice cubes in 3 sizes
- Very high capacity
- LED display panel
- Bigger in size compared to others
The product comes with an ice scoop and shovel with dedicated slots to place them inside the ice compartment.
You can also set it to run on a timer using the digital display. The maximum time setting is 18 hours.
If a high capacity is what you are after, this monster will be the ultimate solution for the home.
3) Igloo ICE103
For the brand of an ice maker, you probably cannot deny that Igloo is the most suitably named.
And the company don’t disappoint with a crowd favorite in Igloo ICE103.
This product is a balanced fusion of style, capacity, and practicality… with an intuitive brand name to go with it.
Not surprising when you consider that it is a bestseller that has survived the test of time.
This countertop model produces as much as 26 pounds of ice cubes a day. Making it about a third lesser than NutriChef PICEM75 but costing almost half as much.
In fact, at such a nice-looking retail price, this model can very well be both the best budget and best value countertop ice maker available today.
However, calling it the cheap man’s ice maker will not do justice to what it has under the hood.
Able to freeze ice cubes in 3 sizes as fast as 6 minutes per batch, it also has the largest ice bucket of 2.2 liters on this list. Effectively making it the best portable ice maker (even though it’s a countertop) from our reviews.
- Very good price
- Large ice basket
- “Just” 26 lbs of ice a day
- No dispenser
- Basic stainless steel housing design
It’s vent opening for the cooling fan is circular shaped and situated at the side. This moves away from the typical slim rectangular holes we see on many ice makers.
The drain spout is exposed with a rubber plug for security and drain can for added measure.
The unique selling point of Igloo ICE103is it’s oversized ice bucket and amazing good value when compared to the rest.
And of course… the lovable brand name.
4) Magic Chef MCIM22TS
Unrelated to NutriChef, this sleek looking ice making machine is a counter top more in the vein of Igloo ICE103 than NutriChef PICEM75 and NewAir AI-215SS.
It can deliver 27 pounds of ice in 24 hours, and 9 cubes a minute, which is quite comparable to Igloo’s model.
It also spots a transparent see through window that enables you to watch the ice making process with glee.
But because of it being pricier and it’s smaller ice bucket, it takes the number 4 spot on this list.
- Compact size makes it a good portable option
- Good looks
- Many selection of colors
- No dispenser
While Magic Chef MCIM22TS is a high quality ice maker that has been a bestseller in various marketplaces, we find that it just don’t offer more value than the other models we have looked at.
5) Opal Nugget Ice Maker
With nugget ice maker prices going into the thousands of dollars, it is only right that we include one with top end capabilities at a fraction of the price of it’s competition.
Firstbuild’s Opal Nugget Ice Maker has an unmistakable yet unique looking machine that will impress any guests. There’s no second-guessing what it does.
As per our review, it produces chewable and crunchable nugget ice as intensively as 1 pound per hour.
With see-through housing sandwiched between stainless steel frames on top and bottom, you get to see the ice bin being filled up as the machine goes about your orders.
Not just that.
This is an appliance with smart features like a sensor that automatically turns it on when the water level reaches a certain point in the reservoir.
Meant as a countertop ice maker, it’s dimensions and weight are compact enough to bring on your trips. Saying that, the clear plastic might be fragile and has to be treated with care during transport.
- Chewable ice nuggets
- Mobile app controls via Bluetooth
- Feature rich
- Self-cleaning function
- Innovative light ring that displays status
- Breathtaking see-through exterior design
- Expensive compared to the rest on this list
- No dispenser
If you don’t know the difference between nugget ice and regular ice, you should give nugget ice a try.
There are people who goes out of their way only to purchase this type of ice cubes. Meaning that there is a whole market for such ice packs.
But taking into account the retail price of Opal Nugget Ice Maker, please don’t jump right into buying one if you do not know what ice nugget taste and feel like… no matter how delightful it may look like.
Because even though these types of unique ice cube are loved by a lot of people, there will also be a chance that they are just not to your liking.
Which model to buy?
With the details listed above, you should already have a good general idea which model suits your needs best.
If you are still indecisive, go with NutriChef or NewAir as you will hard go wrong with these crowd pleasers.
When drawing up this list of ice makers for comparison, we have also looked at some pretty reputable models that did not make the list.
Some of which are conceptualized and manufactured as portable ice makers that pass off as countertops. They include Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S, Ivation IVAICM48LBSS, Avanti WIMD332PC-IS, other Igloo models, etc.
Finally, deciding on the location of ice maker could play a crucial role in deciding which to purchase too.
So do make it a point to measure the designated area and determine the design criteria beforehand.