9 Best Ice Makers for Home and Commercial Use: Top Picks and Maintenance Tips

9 Best Ice Makers for Home and Commercial Use: Top Picks and Maintenance Tips

Imagine hosting a summer party and running out of ice just as the drinks start flowing. It’s a nightmare scenario, but one you can easily avoid with a reliable ice maker. Whether you’re a cocktail enthusiast or just love a chilled drink, having an ice maker at home can be a game-changer.

In this article, we’ll explore the 9 best ice makers that cater to various needs and preferences. From compact countertop models to high-capacity machines, these top picks ensure you’ll never face an ice shortage again. Get ready to discover the perfect ice maker that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle.

Criteria for Choosing the Best Ice Makers

When shopping for an ice maker, consider specific criteria to ensure you get the best model for your needs.

Ice Production Capacity

Check the ice production capacity. This refers to how much ice the machine can produce in a 24-hour period. For instance, smaller countertop models typically produce up to 26 pounds per day. Larger, high-capacity machines can churn out 50 pounds or more, ideal for parties or large households. Make sure the machine’s capacity aligns with your usage.

Speed of Ice Production

Evaluate the speed of ice production. This determines how quickly your ice maker can churn out a batch of ice cubes. Some models produce their first batch in as little as 6 minutes, while others might take 15 minutes or more. A faster production speed is crucial for gatherings where you can’t afford to wait.

Quality and Shape of Ice

Consider the quality and shape of the ice. Ice quality affects how well it cools your drinks and how it melds with different types of beverages. Various machines produce different shapes, such as bullet, nugget, or crescent cubes. Each shape has distinct advantages. For example, nugget ice is chewable and great for cocktails, while bullet ice fits perfectly in water bottles. Choose an ice shape that complements your preferences and drink choices.

Reviewing Countertop Ice Makers

Selecting the right countertop ice maker can revolutionize your hosting experience. Let’s dive into the best options based on speed and capacity.

Best for Speed: Model and Features

The GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker excels in speed. It can produce ice in under 20 minutes, ensuring guests aren’t kept waiting. Featuring Bluetooth connectivity, you can schedule ice-making and monitor the status via an app. The nugget ice is perfect for cocktails, sodas, and even water, providing a satisfying crunch.

Best for Capacity: Model and Features

For those requiring large quantities of ice, the NewAir Portable Ice Maker is exceptional. It makes up to 50 pounds of ice per day, perfect for big gatherings. Equipped with a self-cleaning function, it helps maintain hygiene easily. Multiple ice size options cater to different preferences, making it versatile for any event.

Exploring Under-Counter Ice Makers

Under-counter ice makers offer a seamless and convenient solution for those who need a constant supply of ice. Let’s delve into the best models in this category.

Best for Home Bars: Model and Features

The EdgeStar IB120SS is perfect for home bars. It produces up to 12 pounds of ice per day and stores 6 pounds, making it ideal for gatherings, parties, or even daily use. This model is compact at 25 inches in height, fitting snugly under most countertops. The stainless steel door and sleek design add a touch of elegance to your home bar area. It has an easy-to-use control panel and a reversible door for flexible installation. Users rave about its quiet operation and efficient ice production, ensuring your drinks are always chilled.

Best for Commercial Use: Model and Features

The Scotsman CU50GA-1A stands out in commercial settings. This powerful machine produces up to 65 pounds of gourmet ice daily, making it ideal for restaurants, cafes, or offices. Its 26 pounds storage capacity ensures that you won’t run out of ice during peak hours. The unit comes with a built-in pump for easy installation and maintenance. It features a user-friendly control panel with a self-monitoring system that alerts you to any issues, significantly reducing downtime. Its durable stainless steel construction ensures longevity, and customers praise its ability to produce crystal-clear ice cubes.

Assessing Commercial Ice Makers

Choosing the right commercial ice maker depends on your specific business needs. Whether you’re running a busy restaurant or managing a hotel, finding a reliable and efficient machine is crucial.

Best for Restaurants: Model and Features

Selecting an ice maker for a restaurant requires focusing on high output and quick recovery times. The Hoshizaki KM-901MRJ leads the pack with its efficient production.

  • Production Capacity: Produces up to 905 pounds of ice per day, ensuring that you never run out during peak hours.
  • Durability: Stainless steel exterior and CycleSaver design reduce energy consumption and extend the machine’s life.
  • Ice Type: Produces crescent-shaped ice, perfect for versatile cooling in drinks and food displays.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Includes diagnostic features and removable air filters, making upkeep straightforward.

Best for Hospitality Services: Model and Features

Hotels and larger hospitality services require ice makers that can handle consistent use and bulk production. The Scotsman C1848SA-6 stands out in this category.

  • High Production: Generates up to 1,844 pounds of ice in 24 hours, catering to the high demands of guests.
  • Advanced Technology: Features AutoAlert indicator lights for better visibility of operating status and more convenient servicing.
  • Ice Type: Provides small, chewable nugget ice that guests love for their drinks.
  • Efficiency: Uses less water and energy, certified by ENERGY STAR for environmental friendliness.

Highlighting Portable Ice Makers

Portable ice makers are perfect for flexible ice-making needs, whether you’re hosting an outdoor event or traveling. Let’s dive into some top choices.

Best for Outdoor Events: GE Profile Opal

The GE Profile Opal is an excellent choice for outdoor events. It produces chewable nugget ice, ideal for cocktails and soft drinks. It delivers up to 24 lbs of ice per day and has a compact design that fits easily on any surface. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can schedule ice production from your phone, ensuring you never run out of ice during your party.

Best for RVs or Camping: Igloo ICEB26HNAQ

The Igloo ICEB26HNAQ stands out for RVs and camping adventures. It produces 26 lbs of ice per day and gets your ice ready in just 7 minutes. The device is lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport and store in small spaces. Featuring a self-cleaning function, it ensures you have fresh ice every time without much hassle.

Considering Specialty Ice Makers

When choosing an ice maker, consider ones tailored for specific types of ice. Specialty ice makers can elevate your ice-drinking experience.

Best for Nugget Ice: Model and Features

The GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker stands out. It produces chewable nugget ice perfect for drinks. Its Bluetooth connectivity lets you schedule ice production via an app. The compact design makes it ideal for kitchen counters, while the clear bin shows ice levels.

Best for Clear Ice: Model and Features

The Luma Comfort Clear Ice Maker is highly recommended. It creates restaurant-quality clear ice, which melts slower and dilutes drinks less. It produces up to 28 pounds of clear ice daily and features a sleek stainless steel finish. The self-cleaning function ensures maintenance is hassle-free.

Tips on Maintaining Your Ice Maker

Maintaining your ice maker ensures it runs efficiently and produces clean, quality ice. Follow these tips to keep your machine in top shape.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Clean the ice maker every 3-6 months. Unplug it, remove ice, and wash the ice bin with warm, soapy water. Use a vinegar solution to descale internal components; mix equal parts water and vinegar, and run a cleaning cycle. Inspect filters, replacing them as needed to ensure optimal performance. Dry all parts thoroughly before reassembling.

When to Consider a Professional Service

Call a professional if you notice unusual noises, reduced ice production, or dirty ice. Regular professional servicing, conducted annually, can extend the life of your ice maker by ensuring all internal parts are working correctly.


Choosing the right ice maker can significantly enhance your gatherings or business operations. Whether you need a countertop model for home use or a commercial unit for your restaurant, there’s an option tailored to your needs. Specialty ice makers like the GE Profile Opal and Luma Comfort offer unique features that elevate your ice experience.

Maintaining your ice maker is crucial for longevity and performance. Regular cleaning and descaling, along with timely filter inspections, can prevent common issues. If you encounter problems like reduced ice production or strange noises, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

By investing in a quality ice maker and maintaining it properly, you’ll ensure a steady supply of ice for any occasion.

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