Best Portable Ice Maker Reviews: A Comprehensive Guide for Buyers

Sometimes, we need more ice than our standard freezer can produce. How many times have you had to go to the nearest gas station just to buy several pounds of ice? If you purchase a great quality portable ice maker, you will no longer have to make such hasty trips, and you'll save money in the long term because your ice maker will pay for itself.

Let's look over the details and information that you'll need to choose the best portable ice maker for your situation. We will review and compare four different portable ice makers so that you can be schooled in the best selection that’s out there.

It’s always wise to know about the product before you buy it. Well, here’s the information, details, and everything that you need to know.

Reasons to Buy a Portable Ice Maker

Having a portable ice maker can be a perfect solution for many instances where you need ice. Here are some uses and situations where it might be handy to have an ice maker:

  • Camping
  • Indoor/outdoor bars
  • Poolside
  • Work or home office
  • Family reunions
  • Cafes
  • Restaurant or commercial kitchen
  • College dorm room

There are other situations where an ice maker comes in handy. One such situation is if you need to replace a broken ice maker in your refrigerator. It is more economical to replace it with a portable option than to repair or replace the one inside your fridge. 

In fact, buying a portable unit is an excellent idea to save money. You can make ice for much cheaper than you can buy it. Plus, it is very convenient. You have the machine and can make ice whenever you need it. 

Top 4 Portable Ice Maker Options 

1. Frigidaire EFIC103 Ice Maker Machine

This Frigidaire ice maker features a stainless steel look. It is a nice size measuring in at 14 inches by 12 inches by 15 inches. It has a clear window on the top to monitor the ice making process. 

The machine makes up to 26 pounds of ice per day with the ability to make nine cubes every seven to 15 minutes. You can make the quickest batch in just six minutes. 

You get three cube size options. Do note that larger sized cubes will take longer to make and increase the total time for the batch. 

With this unit, you get a shovel and basket. Plus, it has a drain plug to make cleaning easier.

2. NewAir AI-100R 28-Pound Portable Icemaker, Red

The NewAir ice maker comes in a charming, deep red color. It's very easy to move and carry and is perfectly compact. Due to its lightweight and compact design, it would be excellent for any boat, camper, or kitchen setting.

It can make 28 pounds of ice per day. It also gives you the choice of three different ice cube sizes and shapes. A cycle takes only 15 minutes to produce a batch of ice.  

The NewAir ice maker has automatic overflow protection. This ideal for moments when you may fill the bowl too high with water.

3. Sentern Portable Electric Clear Ice Maker Machine

This ice maker from Sentern has a clear window so you can watch as it makes up to 48 pounds of ice per day. It can produce its quickest batch in 15 minutes. 

You get three cube size options. It has a 2.2-liter water tank, a large ice bucket, and a digital control panel for easy use. It is also programmable, so you can always stay on top of your ice needs.

The cubes produced are slow melting, which many find means you need less ice. The hard and dense cubes do not compare to the quick melting bullet cubes many similar machines produce. 

This machines also looks nice with its stainless steel exterior. It measures in at 11.2 inches by 14.4 inches by 13.8 inches. 

4. Avanti Portable Countertop Ice Maker Model IM12CIS 

The Avanti Countertop Portable Ice Maker can produce up to 25 pounds of ice per day. Its design is sleek stainless steel that looks great with other stainless appliances. 

This machine produces a fun shaped ice cube that looks like a bullet and has a round hole in the middle. These ice cube styles are great for those who like to suck on and chew ice.

The Avanti ice maker also comes with a tray and scoop. Also, if the ice cubes in the maker go without being using the machine recycles the ice cubes by melting the ones its storing and uses the water to make new ones, which is a great feature that makes it stands out from the other portable ice maker options on our list. 

Comparing the Options

Although it may take longer to make a batch of ice, the Sentern ice maker is capable of producing the most ice per day than any other on our list. However, when looking at overall function, the Avanti ice maker stands out from the pack because it is the only one that reuses melted cubes. All the other ones require emptying the storage bucket as soon as the ice is made or else you'll end up with a wet mess. However, when it comes to comparing your options, it really depends on what you want. So, here are some considerations to keep in mind as you think about which portable ice maker to buy.

Quality: Check for solid construction and the use of good materials.

Size: Make sure the machine isn't too big for the space in which you intend to use it. Remember most have lids that open up, so you'll need clearance above the unit.

Weight: If you do plan to use the machine as a portable unit, then make sure it isn't too heavy. You don't want to have to strain to lug it along when you pack it up to go somewhere.

Capacity: Make sure the machine will make enough ice to suit your needs. 

Product Image

How much can it handle?

The Frigidaire model produces up to 26 pounds of ice per day. With this daily production, this little machine can handle a lot.

The NewAir model provides you with up to 28 pounds of ice perday. This high tech appliance has a quick 15-minute cycle. 

Sentern protable ice maker
avanti countertop portable ice maker stainless steel

The Sentern ice maker produces an impressive 48 pounds of ice per day. Its quickest cycle provides you with ice in just 15 minutes. 

The Avanti ice maker can produce 10 cubes in ten minutes. It makes a total of 35 pounds of ice per day.  

Cycle length: How long do you want to wait for ice? Always think about the cycle length and how that will match your needs. Do you need a portable ice machine for that big family reunion this summer? Are you expecting at least 50 family members? Is the family reunion going to be at the park? Well, since most family reunions involve a barbecue of some sort, they will definitely be hot and thirsty. You will want to choose the ice machine that will produce the most ice cubes in the least amount of time.

Cube size: In general, you have two options: bullet or cube. Bullet style ice is made more quickly, but it melts faster. Cubes take longer to make, but they last significantly longer.

Controls: Make sure the controls are easy to understand and use.

Cleaning and maintenance: Check to see if the unit is easy to clean and maintain. Be especially aware of any issues with mold.

Budget: Finally, you need to consider the price and your budget. If you know what you need, then it's best to have an idea of how much you're willing to spend and what you're not willing to spend. If these options are too expensive for you, you can try to purchase refurbished ice makers from Walmart, Target, or Amazon but they may not have these machines cheaper, so you may have to go with a different brand like Emerson, Hamilton Beach, or Della.

Keep all these considerations in mind as you shop. Also, remember that ice makers cannot be used as a freezer would be. These type of ice makers stand alone and can only be used for one thing: making ice.

Which Portable Ice Maker Has the Best Customer Reviews?

Generally, when you are shopping for something online, it's great to check out the customer reviews and see what people are saying about the product they bought. If they had great experiences with it, then that means that you are likely to have great experiences with it as well. In other words, you want to buy something that is reliable, dependable, and worth every hard earned penny.

The Sentern model was, by far, the most popular ice maker according to the customer reviews. It was the only one to get over four stars out of five stars. People liked how quickly it makes ice and how quiet it is when in operation. 

The only complaint was about how the machine creates blocks of cubes instead of making them one by one. If you do not get to the ice quickly enough, it creates a mess. You also have to break the blocks apart before storage or you end up with a huge chunk of ice. 

The NewAir ice maker was next in line. The biggest compliment in reviews was about its longevity. One customer proudly boasted that her NewAir portable ice maker was STILL a five-star machine after three and a half years of continuous use.

Keep in mind that there are always reviews that do not reflect the quality of the machine but rather have to do with operator error or shipping issues. This can bring down the overall star rating. Every ice maker on the list has some reviews like this. To avoid bias, we made sure to look at reviews overall instead of taking each one at face value. 

Wrapping of the Best Portable Ice Maker Reviews

Overall, we hope that this article has helped you in your shopping quest for the best portable ice maker. We feel confident that we have presented you with four of the strongest options. These ice makers all produce well and provide a good value. However, do take your time to consider your personal needs. Thinking about what you need and looking over our reviews can help you to make the most informed buying decision.