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  • Writer's pictureCasey Wilson

The Best Ice Maker Machine For Your Countertop Is Actually Cheap

I've been testing countertop icemakers for years, so I speak from hands-on experience when I say that the most durable option is in fact the affordable one. Here's my ultimate ranking.

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

1. Silonn Countertop Ice Maker - 9 Cubes in 6 Minutes

Top-rated: 14,879 ratings | 199 answered questions

Silonn Countertop Ice Maker - 9 Cubes in 6 Minutes

Highlight: You can make two different sizes of ice cubes. Small ice cubes can chill seafood and beer, keeping it fresh and cold. Large ice cubes are more suitable for beverages to achieve a rapid cooling effect.

Helpful review: "The first step was to give the machine a good initial cleaning, as instructed in the manual. The cleaning cycle completed after just a few minutes. Then, I added (bottled) water, replaced the basket, and pressed the “select” button for S(mall) or L(arge) “cubes”. (It would be more accurate to make the choices Small and Smaller, but L and S sounds better.) Once I selected L, the ice-making cycle began.
After a few minutes the first batch of ice got dumped into the tray, and another cycle began. That continues until the tray is full of ice or the machine runs out of water. In either case, the machine pauses until the problem is corrected. The best approach is to make sure neither of those things interrupts the process.
The machine itself is quiet enough, but I can easily hear the newborn ice “cubes” falling into the basket, even when I’m in another room watching tv. So, I just notice when I hear that sound, which tells me everything is working well. But every 45 minutes or so, I check on the machine, empty the tray, and check the water level. I don’t use the scoop at all. It’s easier to just lift out the tray and empty the ice into a 1-gallon plastic food storage bag. Each time I do that, I also drop the bag on the counter to break up the ice “cubes”, which tend to stick together into one giant ball of ice. Breaking up the “cubes” often prevents them from getting too welded together. (They aren’t really cubes at all; more like miniature test tubes.)
You can see through the translucent lid well enough. But, even better, you can lift the lid any time without interrupting the ice-making. You can also lift the basket out at any time, but you wouldn’t want to do that just as ice tubes are being emptied into it. (They would simply fall into the water and get recycled into new ice tubes. No damage, just wasted time.) So, it’s a good idea to wait until just after newborn ice tubes have tumbled into the basket, then empty the tray and add water if needed.
You would be very disappointed if you got the machine started, then left for work, then returned 8 hours later expecting a nice supply of ice tubes. It doesn’t take that long for the basket to get full, stop the ice-making, and start melting the ice tubes in the tray. You certainly don’t have to stay with the machine all the time, but you do need to give it your attention every 45 minutes or so. (Maybe an hour.)." — Delta

Get it from Amazon now: $105.99 & FREE Returns


2. AGLUCKY Portable Ice Maker - 26 lbs in 24 Hours

Top-rated: 18,070 ratings | 234 answered questions

AGLUCKY Portable Ice Maker - 26 lbs in 24 Hours

Highlight: Easy to carry and operate.

Helpful review: "We LOVE this machine but it is a process if you are using it to fully stock your freezer. It is definitely quieter and more compact than I expected. Easily fits in a cabinet or on the counter. The machine doesn't keep the ice cold so you do have to transfer it to your freezer ice bucket. We have it timed out that on the large setting the basket is half full after 25 minutes and full (but a little melty) after 50 minutes. So we essentially just set a timer and empty it periodically. It takes about 4-5 hours to fill up our ice bucket from empty, which sounds like a long time but that's about how long it takes a normal ice tray to freeze solid. If you don't want to do a whole mass production this is still great to run for an hour just to scoop into drinks. If you forget about it (which is honestly really easy to do because it's so quiet) all that happens is that it won't make more ice if the basket is full and then the ice will just melt right back into the water and turn back into ice, so there really isn't a penalty for leaving it on barring the electricity usage. I'm obsessed with crunchy pellet ice so overall this is a great bargain option!" — Alexander

Get it from Amazon now: $119.99 & FREE Returns


3. GE Profile Opal 2.0 Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank

Top-rated: 1,097 ratings | 83 answered questions

GE Profile Opal 2.0 Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank

Highlight: Easily-paired; built-in WiFi; SmartHQ app to monitor device status and schedule fresh ice.

Helpful review: "I have been using the Opal 2 for about a week now, and really like the machine. I decided to get this product mainly because it makes chewable ice. It can run on a schedule that you set with your phone, and I got tired of fixing the ice maker in my fridge. At first I was concerned that I might need to run it 24/7 due to ice melting, but in that quantity I have come to see ice in the machine over 8 hours after it was turned off (most was melted). But since this product reuses the melted water for next time I can get away with scheduling the machine to turn off at 8PM and still have ice waiting if I get up in the middle of the night.
Some things I spotted that hopefully will help others:
1) Sometimes the machine says add water even though the tank is full. This is due to tube heights at the back where there isn't enough differential to allow the tank to drain. Simply pick up the tank as high as you can, if you hear the glub glub and see large bubbles go by then you are all set, otherwise tip the tank a bit to help get the flow going. Apparently you can prime the pump inside the unit too but what's simpler than picking something up?
2) For some reason the Smart HQ app has a password character limit of 20. But if you log into their website to create your username and password, it allows you to enter much more than 20 characters. If you attempt to use a password longer than 20 characters, the so called smart app will truncate your password and as a result will fail to log in.
3) Syncing the Opal 2 to the SmartHQ app did not go smoothly at first (probably due to #2 above) and I ended up with the Opal on the network but the rest of the setup was missed (and the app told me that). So the fix was to remove the device from the app. The current state of the Smart HQ app makes this a little strange, like you are staring right at the delete option and yet it's not labeled so. I'm sorry but I forget where it was, enough button mashing on your phone and you'll figure it out. Once I got the device deleted and knew about #2 above, the setup was smooth. One thing that GE really needs to do is also print the connection information on the sticker in the back of the device as supplement material in their BOM. Unless you read what was on the sticker you won't know there is something you need to read from the back of the unit, and if you have this thing under the cabinets it's not really convenient to get your head back there so that you can type random character into your phone. So GE get with the times, you wasted all that paper on that thing you call an owners manual, at least put that paper to good use and print something your customers will need." — TheCrazyCanuck

Get it from Amazon now: $629.00 & FREE Returns


4. FRIGIDAIRE Compact Ice Maker - 26 lbs per Day

Top-rated: 12,449 ratings | 204 answered questions

FRIGIDAIRE Compact Ice Maker - 26 lbs per Day

Highlight: Each 5-6 minute cycle produces 9 ice cubes, with a total capacity of 26lbs in 24 hours.

Helpful review: "We are always running out of ice and this has solved the problem. I wish I would have bought this a long time ago.
This ice maker is excellent and will delivery the 26 lbs. of ice per day. What a lot of people don't understand about countertop ice makers is that when the ice is made it is about 27 degrees and the ice maker is not a storage freezer. Think of it like the ice that was just made will sit in the ice maker which is like keeping ice in a cooler. It won't get colder it will just slowly melt and then gets turned back into ice again.
Keep in mind when you pull ice out of your kitchen freezer that has been in there for several hours it is around 0 degrees vs. the 27 degrees right out of the countertop ice maker. So, ice from your freezer is going to last a lot longer in a drink than ice out of this countertop ice maker. So, that may not be ideal for some if you are having a drink outside on a hot day and not using an insulated cup. For best results take the ice out of the countertop ice maker and put it in a gallon ziplock bag and place it in the freezer for a little while so it will get down to the 0 degrees. That is not necessary though. The ice that comes right out of the machine is plenty cold enough for drinking beverages indoors. If you want to use the ice outdoors just place the ice in an insulated cup.
Very quality built machine.
Very easy to use.
It uses lights to notify you of the status rather than annoying beeps.
It really does make 26 lbs. of ice in an hour.
First ice in about 8 minutes.
Full basket of ice in about an hour.
Pauses itself when ice basket is full and will resume ice production automatically as soon as some ice is removed.
Light comes on when water needs to be added (keep in mind you still have a full basket of ice when this triggers).
Melts very slowly and if you leave it on over night it only comes on once or twice to replace the ice that melted.
Quite operation.
It doesn't take up a lot of countertop space so we are able to leave it out and it matches our stainless steel fridge.
It comes with a nice ice scoop which is great for parties.
This ice maker keeps dropping ice every 8 minutes.
The cord is very long so it doesn't have to be right up against the outlet.
The only con I have about the machine is trying to drain the water remaining when you are done using it. There is a drain plug underneath it that is a little tricky to use because you can't see underneath the machine and you can't just turn the machine upside down to drain it per their instructions. That will harm the machine.
What I found to be a great solution is instead of using the drain plug I use a microfiber towel to soak up all the water left in the machine. That only takes a quick second and you don't have to move the ice maker over the sink to drain it. I then leave the lid open to make sure it dries out. So it really isn't a con if you use the microfiber towel. It is so easy this way which means I never mind using the machine even to make a small amount of ice." — Rick

Get it from Amazon now: $129.99 & FREE Returns


5. Igloo Self-Cleaning Electric Ice Machine with Ice Scoop and Basket

Top-rated: 1,435 ratings | 21 answered questions

Igloo Self-Cleaning Electric Ice Machine with Ice Scoop and Basket