Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most worthwhile. While we’ve covered other home appliances, like mini-fridges, wine coolers and refrigerators, and even snow-cone machines, here we’ve rounded up the best-reviewed countertop ice machines on Amazon. (Reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Note: We expanded this list to include machines with 3.8 and 3.9 star ratings because there was a limited selection of ice makers on Amazon with four- and five-star reviews. Most of the one-star reviews we read noted that machines would not necessarily last after a few months — a common problem with portable ice makers no matter what brand. These will work if you need a machine in the immediate term, but we might also suggest ice trays as a security measure.
Best overall ice machine
“I’ve got nothing but love for this ice machine! It works beautifully. First off, I’m extremely impressed with the small footprint of the machine. It fits nicely on my countertop. It’s somewhere in between the size of my coffee maker and bread maker. It takes about six minutes per batch of ice. You just fill up the tank and let ‘er rip. Once the ice drawer is full, it automatically stops producing ice which is a nice feature. It’s a low-energy machine meaning it won’t hit your utility bill hard at all. I love the convenience and the portability of this ice maker. It’s high-quality and looks great! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one — it’s a keeper!”
Best nugget-style ice machine
“I have now had this ice maker for four months. I frankly cannot believe what a life-changer it has been. I know you are saying — it’s just ice. But, no, it’s so much more. Because of it I drink at least five cups of water every day. I never run out of ice, and I doubt you will either. The person who designed this did just what I wanted. I fill up the water once a day, clean it every month or so, and enjoy the hell out of it all day every day. If you love ice, this is what you have dreamed of, and it works just as good today as it did four months ago.”
Best ice machines with three size settings
“Such a lifesaver in the heat! Our ice maker can’t keep up on a normal basis, let alone with us going through this much ice. I would have been buying bags of ice every day before this, and we live miles from the nearest grocery store. It makes ice very quickly and keeps making it without needing to be refilled that often. We also took it camping in our trailer; worked great! We plugged it in at the RV park or on the generator and we never had to buy extra ice.”
“This might just be the best thing I ever purchased. Honestly, having ice all the time at my fingertips with ease — yeah it’s that good. It takes about six minutes or so to crank out ice. Because of how it’s designed, it just constantly tries to make ice if water is available. If you are not using the ice, it melts back into the reservoir and this allows more ice to be made. It’s genius. I wish I could give it a higher score it’s that good.”
Best ice machine with two size settings
“Bought this as a gift for my wife. We love making margaritas at night and this machine has saved us its own weight in gold compared to what we would normally spend on ice. We don’t have an ice maker in our refrigerator so we always had to buy bags of ice. This machine quickly makes enough ice for us to use with plenty to spare. We love this thing and it’s been working great for several months now. If you need a handy ice maker for your counter that’s sturdy and reliable, make sure you grab one of these.”
Best ice machine with low-water-level alerts
“This thing makes ice fast!! I plugged it in from brand new and had enough ice for a drink in six minutes … crazy! It looks like it would hold about a gallon or two of water in the reserve and you can pour the water right in the bottom of the machine so a water line is not needed. We purchased this as a way do reduce ice cost in the summer at our pool and we will probably get our money back in savings in the first month!”
Best high-capacity ice machine
“I was really surprised by how much I like this. I’d been toying with the idea of purchasing a portable ice maker for several months and finally bit the bullet. I had looked at more expensive units but decided on this model because it was cheaper and I wasn’t sure if we would even like using one. I was pleasantly surprised! The ice tastes good and is a reasonable size. It’s really easy to clean and use. The indicator lights tell you everything you need to know as you’re making ice. The capacity of this machine is pretty good — we set it up in the morning and have plenty of ice throughout the day.”
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