The 9 Best Portable Ice Makers for Camping Trips, Kitchen Countertops, and More

The Igloo Automatic Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker is our top pick.

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ice makers

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Portable ice makers are generally freestanding machines that can make pounds of ice quickly. They're small enough to keep on countertops or take on the go since they often have their own tanks and don't need to be hooked up to a water supply. Whether you're mixing cocktails during happy hour or filling your cooler for camping trips, portable ice makers come in handy. Plus, they can start churning out ice cubes in minutes.

Since there are so many different types of ice makers on the market, you'll want to look for a few important features. Make sure the ice maker you choose fits easily in the space you have available. You'll also want to consider the quantity of ice the maker can generate to determine if it is suitable for your needs. If you'll be placing your ice maker near your primary living area, you may also want to look into the noise level of the machine.

To find the best portable ice makers, we looked for top-rated machines that provide high-quality ice cubes efficiently. We also considered the portability, noise level, ease of use, and overall value of each machine. Our top pick, Igloo's Automatic Portable Electric Ice Maker, is quiet, efficient, and portable. It can produce a batch of ice cubes in minutes and has its own reservoir, so it doesn't require any plumbing connections.

To help you narrow down your choices, here are the best portable ice makers currently on the market.

Best Overall: Igloo Self Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker

4.2
Igloo Self Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker

Amazon

Why We Love It: It can make up to 26 pounds of ice in a day with a basket that can hold 2 pounds of ice at a time.

What to Consider: The ice maker is on the heavier side at 20.5 pounds.

This compact, portable ice maker from Igloo has it all. The small unit can provide up to 26 pounds of ice in one day, and can quickly generate nine fresh cubes in seven minutes. The included basket holds about 2 pounds of ice, and the scoop makes it easy to transfer batches of ice to your freezer or cooler. The Igloo ice maker is super quiet and has an easy-to-use control panel. Simply plug it in, add up to 3 quarts of water to the reservoir, and choose from two cube sizes. The unit does not need to be connected to a water supply. The clear lid at the top allows you to see how much ice is ready. A drain plug at the bottom of the unit makes it easy to remove excess water when not in use. Igloo's Automatic Portable Ice Maker comes in aqua, white, black, stainless steel, and retro-inspired red and looks great on any countertop.

Price at time of publish: $140

Capacity: 26 pounds

Best Budget: Crownful Countertop Ice Maker Machine

Crownful Countertop Ice Maker

Amazon

Why We Love It: It has similar capacities and ice creation times as other more expensive models and it costs less.

What to Consider: The ice may come out a little smaller than a standard ice cube from a tray.

At $100, this ice machine from Crownful is one of the most affordable ice makers on the market. It takes just seven minutes to make a batch of nine ice cubes, and the bucket itself can hold up to 80 pieces of ice at a time. The machine itself is easy to use and understand with the same button for turning the machine on, turning it off, or placing it in self-cleaning mode. There are also convenient lights that tell you when the bucket is full or if more water is needed.

Price at time of publish: $108

Capacity: 26 pounds

Best Large Capacity: Euhomy 40-Pound Countertop Ice Maker Machine

Euhomy 40-Pound Countertop Ice Maker Machine

Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It has a massive 40-pound capacity in a 24-hour timeframe.

What to Consider: The machine might be too large for small spaces.

Most of the portable ice machines on this list produce about 28 pounds of ice or less in 24 hours. If you're looking for an option that's bigger and even more efficient, go for this large (but still portable) ice maker by Euhomy that can produce 40 pounds per day. It whips out 24 ice cubes in every batch, and each cycle takes anywhere from 12 to 18 minutes. The water tank holds enough liquid for up to 120 ice cubes, and just like some other models on this list, it'll recycle the water from any melted cubes so nothing goes to waste. Plus, there's a convenient eight-hour timer function: Set it in the morning and you'll have ice ready right as you get back home.

Price at time of publish: $280

Capacity: 40 pounds

Best for Travel: COSTWAY Countertop Ice Maker 26LBS/24H Portable

COSTWAY Countertop Ice Maker

Amazon

Why We Love It: It has useful LED lights to notify you when the machine is full or needs more water.

What to Consider: The ice cubes come out to about the size of a quarter.

Costway's countertop machine produces nine bullet-shaped ice cubes per batch, and the LED screen clearly indicates when it needs more water or when the ice bucket is full. It has a solid 26.5-pound capacity for creating ice all day long with the touch of a button. Plus, it comes with a handy scoop and is available in six different colors. Its small footprint grants it a permanent spot on your kitchen counter or bar area, but the ice maker is also portable enough to bring on the go.

Price at time of publish: $120

Capacity: 26.5 pounds

Best for Quick Ice: Newair Counter Top Ice Maker Machine

Newair Counter Top Ice Maker Machine

Amazon

Why We Love It: The machine makes ice in as little as six minutes.

What to Consider: There isn't a self-cleaning feature.

If you're looking for a machine that produces ice very quickly, then NewAir's portable ice maker is a great choice. It only takes six minutes for the machine to start churning out ice, which comes in handy when you don't want to wait long to pour a drink. In just 10 minutes, the machine produces an entire batch of ice, and the 24-hour yield is a whopping 28 pounds. Users can customize the ice size with options for small, medium, and large cubes to keep drinks chill or fill up a cooler.

Price at time of publish: $250

Capacity: 28 pounds

Best for Nuggets: GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker

3.8
GE Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

Amazon

Why We Love It: It has Bluetooth capability to control the production of ice from an app on your phone.

What to Consider: It has a smaller 24-hour production capacity than other machines on the market.

his high-tech GE ice maker is definitely more of a splurge, but it has thoughtful features that make it worth the cost if you have the budget. Every hour, the portable ice machine produces 1 pound of the highly sought-after nugget ice, which is known for being soft and chewable. It's even equipped with Bluetooth capabilities that allow you to use a free app to control it and create custom schedules right from your smartphone. Plus, it has a sleek design with stainless steel accents so you won't mind leaving it out on display.

Price at time of publish: $570

Capacity: 24 pounds

Best for Cubes: Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker

4.8
Luma Comfort Ice Maker

NewAir

Why We Love It: This machine makes cubes every 10 to 15 minutes so you'll get ice quickly.

What to Consider: It might take up more counter space due to its wide design.

This portable ice maker from Luma Comfort is your best bet for crystal-clear square cubes whether you're sipping on iced coffee or cocktails. This stainless steel ice maker can churn out up to 28 pounds over a 24-hour period so you won't need to worry about having enough ice for the day. The machine creates a batch of ice every 10 to 15 minutes and all users have to do is add water and press the start button to have clear cubes in no time.

Price at time of publish: $204

Capacity: 28 pounds

Best Self-cleaning: Igloo 26-Pound Portable Countertop Ice Maker

Igloo Automatic Electric Countertop Ice Maker

Why We Love It: It has a self-cleaning system built into the machine.

What to Consider: There are six color options that range in price.

This portable ice maker from Igloo is similar to our top pick in many ways (they're even the same brand), but this model has two distinct features. In addition to having a built-in carrying handle for easy transportation, the ice maker also has a dedicated self-cleaning mode with five automatic cycles. Plus, it has a convenient drain plug that's helpful for emptying out excess water while rinsing out the machine. In as little as seven minutes, this ice maker can create a batch of nine ice cubes in either a small or large size. The 26-pound daily capacity means you can have a nonstop flow of cylinder-shaped cubes and at the end of the day, it's easy and simple to clean the machine.

Price at time of publish: $170 (silver)

Capacity: 26 pounds

Best Cube Size Variety: Frigidaire Self Cleaning Ice Maker Machine

Frigidaire EFIC103AMZ-SSBLACK-SELF CLEANING Ice Maker

Amazon

Why We Love It: It produces ice in small, medium, and large sizes.

What to Consider: It could be too big for small counter spaces.

This Frigidaire portable ice maker produces three different sizes of cubes, making it a great option for anyone who wants to switch it up depending on the use. If you're trying to fill a cooler, then the large ice would probably work best. If you need ice to make smoothies or other frozen drinks, you might prefer small cubes that can be easily broken up by a blender. You don't have to worry about it being too noisy, either. Plus, it has an automated cleaning system built into the machine making cleaning it a breeze.

Price at time of publish: $150

Capacity: 26 pounds

Tips for Buying a Portable Ice Maker

Check the dimensions

Whether you're looking to purchase a portable ice maker for your counter or for an RV, you'll want to check the dimensions of the ice maker compared to the desired spot for the machine. Some portable ice makers aren't as small or lightweight as you would think, so you should also consider the weight, as well as portability features like a handle.

Capacity is crucial

Depending on how many cubes you need from a portable ice maker, it's important to check the daily capacity of the machine. Most ice makers have a 24-hour capacity of 20 to 40 pounds, but the capacity of the ice basket is usually much smaller because one batch of ice produced can be anywhere from 2 to 10 cups at once. If you like plenty of ice, it would be a good idea to get an ice maker that has a large daily capacity or one that produces ice quickly.

Consider the shape and size options for ice

Ice makers can produce specific types of ice like cubes, cylinders, or nuggets with the ability to also produce crystal-clear ice. Some machines have options for small, medium, and large cubes as well. If you have a preference for the shape, size, or color of ice, most portable ice makers will list the specific type of ice it can generate in the product description.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can I leave a portable ice maker on at all times?

    Yes, if you want a constant supply of ice, you will want the machine running. You might have to keep pressing the on button to produce ice if the machine doesn't automatically keep churning out ice as this depends on the machine.

  • Do portable ice makers keep ice frozen?

    No, portable ice makers are not designed to keep ice frozen once it's produced from the machine. You'll want to keep a close eye on when the machine finishes producing a batch so you can transfer it to a freezer or cooler.

  • Can I put other liquids in a portable ice maker?

    Most ice makers are designed to handle water so it's likely that you would damage the machine if you put juice, coffee, or other liquids into the water tank.

  • How do I properly care for a portable ice maker?

    Like most refrigeration products, portable ice makers need to sit upright for a few hours before first plugging them in to make sure that the coolant is settled after shipping. This will help make sure the machine works properly. Also, you'll want to make sure that you regularly clean your ice maker to keep it in tip-top shape. Some models have self-cleaning cycles, but others will need to be rinsed and wiped down according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Amina Lake Abdelrahman is an editor at Dotdash Meredith where she primarily works on commerce content for home. Previously, she was a commerce writer for Travel + Leisure and has over four years of experience as a writer and editor. Amina used a combination of industry knowledge and thorough research to vet the best portable ice makers on our list.

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Additional reporting by
Anna Popp
Anna Popp

Anna Popp is a Commerce Writer at Travel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Since living overseas in 2018, Anna has been a travel writer and began reviewing products in 2021.

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