Best Portable Ice Makers to Have Ice On Demand in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 9, 2021
Would you like to have a hand-on ice maker to chill your drinks all summer long? A portable ice maker is what you need! Despite being smaller than a conventional ice maker, it delivers great performance and produces ice in a matter of minutes. Proceed to read our review on the best-selling countertop ice makers and choose the model that fits you best. ...Read more ...Read less
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PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type of Ice
Ice Cube Size
Daily Ice Production
Ice Storage Capacity
Operation Cycle
Water Source
Convenience
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

The non-skid feet will keep the machine steady. With the 2.2-litre water reservoir, you'll be wasting less time refilling the tank. The model lets you choose between small and large ice cubes. It can make ice in less than 6 minutes.

CONS

The machine is pretty loud. 

OUR VERDICT

The Cooks Professional G2796, despite its pretty profile, produces ice like the meanest-looking portable ice makers. The model will fit commercial establishments, office parties, and people who throw sizable shindigs on a frequent basis. Despite its considerable daily ice production, the machine weighs just 7.8 kilogrammes.

detailed parameters
Type of Ice

Bullet-round ice

Ice Cube Size

Adjustable (2 sizes)

Daily Ice Production

Up to 13 kg

Ice Storage Capacity

~1 kg

Operation Cycle

6 - 13 minutes

Water Source

2.2-litre water reservoir 

Convenience

Control panel with LED indicators, water refill alarm, translucent window, ice scoop included

Dimensions

25 x 34 x 33 cm

7.8 kg

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Despite the high power of 150 W and great performance, the device doesn't produce much noise (up to 45 dB), so it won't disturb you or people nearby.

CONS

The chamber is a bit tricky to empty.

OUR VERDICT

This ice maker produces 9 ice cubes in just 6 minutes. The appliance boasts high capacity and is made with robust ABS materials. It is easy to clean and it's easy to watch the process by looking through a large viewing window. The indicator light tells you when the unit's full or needs more water. 

detailed parameters
Type of Ice

Bullet-shaped cloudy ice cubes

Ice Cube Size

2 ice cube sizes (small, large)

Daily Ice Production

Up to 12 kg

Ice Storage Capacity

~ 0.7 kg

Operation Cycle

6 minutes

Water Source

2-litre water tank

Convenience

Control panel with buttons and light indicators, Warning lights for lack of water or full ice cube trays, Large translucent window, Low noise (less than 45dB), Ice basket and ice scoop included

Dimensions

32 х 22 х 31.2 cm

8 kg

Warranty

45-day return policy and 2 years warranty

PROS

The brushed stainless steel housing is resistant to rust and corrosion and not as susceptible to scratches as ice makers made from ABS plastic. The automatic sensors notify you when the bucket's full and when the tank starts running low. 

CONS

The ice scoop is not ergonomic. 

OUR VERDICT

The NETTA Ice Maker Machine produces very little noise when preparing ice cubes. Besides the model's low-noise operation, there's also the compact, unobtrusive design, the 0.8-kilogramme ice storage capacity, and a removable ice basket making the machine handy in any setting.

detailed parameters
Type of Ice

Bullet-round ice

Ice Cube Size

Not adjustable

Daily Ice Production

Up to 12 kg

Ice Storage Capacity

0.8 kg

Operation Cycle

10 - 12 minutes

Water Source

1.8-litre water reservoir

Convenience

Control panel with LED indicators, water refill alarm, translucent window, ice scoop included

Dimensions

23.2 x 31 x 31.6 cm

7.5 kg

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The machine consumes less energy than most ice makers with comparable specs. The ice scoop will enable comfortable serving. The model's single-button operation will let you start and stop the ice production even with occupied hands. 

CONS

The water reservoir is limited. 

OUR VERDICT

The ElectrIQ ZB-18 is everything that you need to accommodate home use without going overboard. The machine weighs only 5.5 kilogrammes, enabling easy relocation. The stainless steel construction will not start forming rust patches with time. No plumbing is required to connect this device.

detailed parameters
Type of Ice

Bullet-round ice

Ice Cube Size

Not adjustable

Daily Ice Production

Up to 10 kg

Ice Storage Capacity

0.6 kg

Operation Cycle

10 - 12 minutes

Water Source

1.7-litre water reservoir

Convenience

Control panel with LED indicators, water refill alarm, translucent window, ice scoop included

Dimensions

24.2 x 35.8 x 32.8 cm

~5.5 kg

Warranty

1 year

PROS

You'll be able to make ice cubes of 3 different sizes. A strategically placed translucent viewing window will let you peep inside and check on the progress. The matte black finish is fingerprint- and smudge-proof, so it will always look presentable. The inside of the model is made of quality BPA-free ABS plastic.

CONS

Not much of a difference between small and medium sizes. 

OUR VERDICT

If you run the type of establishment that serves a variety of different refreshing beverages, you cannot go wrong with the Polar T135 portable ice maker. It is as reliable of an appliance as they come. Furthermore, it comes with an ice scoop, so you won't have to waste your time trying to fish out the ice cubes.

detailed parameters
Type of Ice

Bullet-round ice

Ice Cube Size

Adjustable (3 sizes)

Daily Ice Production

Up to 11 kg

Ice Storage Capacity

1 kg

Operation Cycle

10 - 15 minutes

Water Source

2-litre water reservoir

Convenience

Control panel with LED indicators, water refill alarm, translucent window, ice scoop included

Dimensions

30.5 x 38 x 38 cm

12.8 kg

Warranty

1 year

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Cooks Professional G2796

The Most Stylish Machine

The Cooks Professional G2796 is a little more commercial than residential. Having said that, the model weighs and measures around as much as its less capable competition, so as long as you're fine ponying up ~150 quid, there's very little chance you'll regret buying this stylish ice-making machine. With its 2.2-litre tank, the model can prepare 13 kilograms of ice in 24 hours.

But what's a little more interesting is that you can also choose between 2 ice cube sizes, making sizable blocks for a classic Old Fashioned or smaller cubes for swizzles and tiki drinks. What's more, the model can prepare ice in as little as 6 minutes, so you can have a few cocktails ready pretty much in a wink.

During that proverbial wink, however, the machine will produce quite a bit of noise. But, admittedly, that is almost always the case with commercial-grade portable ice makers. The same can be said about the control panel with multiple LED indicators, the water refill alarm, the see-through window, and the included ice scoop.

Again, if you like organising different social gatherings, you will also like the Cooks Professional G2796. The machine will also work like a charm for office parties. With its elegant profile, the model will blend into the most modern and/or upscale settings.

Review of Cooks Professional G2796 Ice Maker Machine Counter Top

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £159.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07CL2TM4R

 

IKICH 2-liter

FAST AND QUIET

The IKICH 2-liter Ice Maker Machine will help you prepare ice very quickly. Whether you need to make it for yourself while you enjoy a drink at home or you need it for a big party, this device will provide enough ice pieces in just a few minutes.

The device works very fast: pour water in the 2-litre water tank, press one button and in just 6 minutes you will get 9 bullet-shaped pieces of ice. The size of the cubes can vary. Generally, the device is able to make up to 12 kilos of ice per day.

The overall ice-making process is pretty effortless, all you need to do is check whether there is enough water in the reservoir and empty the chamber when it is full of ice. The upper side of the device features all the necessary indicators that will alert you when the cycle comes to an end. There is also a convenient viewing window, so checking out the progress will be easy.

And last but not least, we really like that this model has a very quiet operation. Even when working on full power (150 watts) it doesn’t produce more than 45 dB, so it won’t disturb you or your housemates.

In a word, we consider the IKICH 2-liter Ice Maker Machine the best ice-maker for home use. With it, getting ice cubes doesn’t take much time, so you will be able to stay cool even on the hottest days.

Review of IKICH 2-liter Ice Maker Machine

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £139.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07SGC1F3D

 

NETTA Home

Brushed Stainless Steel for the Win

The NETTA Ice Maker Machine is sleek, with its stainless steel housing making the appliance look more expensive than it actually is. The brushed steel construction not only protects the appliance against rust and corrosion but also makes sure that the finish is not easily scratched. The machine is pretty compact too, measuring modest 23.2 x 31 x 31.6 centimetres and not going above 7.5 kilogrammes from the weight perspective, putting the "portable" in the "portable ice maker".

Despite its unobtrusive design, the machine's maximum daily ice production reaches 12 kilogrammes, enabling office use too. More often than not, ice cubes do not take more than 10 minutes to finish forming, so you won't be waiting for them for too long. The transparent window will let you find out how much ice is left without removing the lid, whereas the automatic sensors will tell you when the ice bucket is full and when the water tank is running low. Now, serving the ice cubes will not always be fun because the ice scoop that's shipped with the machine is not especially comfortable.

Aside from that though, the NETTA Ice Maker Machine makes a compelling case, with its low-noise operation, compact design, and durable construction that can handle any trip.

Review of NETTA Home Ice Maker Machine

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £144.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B0886LPY9X

 

ElectrIQ ZB-18

Wasting Less Energy

The ElectrIQ ZB-18 is a little basic and somewhat less capable compared to the portable ice makers we have reviewed above yet more than good enough to facilitate comfortable home use. The machine's ice storage capacity caps at 0.6 kilogrammes, the water reservoir measures 1.7 litres, and the maximum daily ice production is limited to ~10 kilogrammes, not the most impressive numbers but, again, who needs more than that at home?

What you will appreciate at home though is the model's low energy consumption so that even prolonged daily use will not skyrocket the energy bills. What you'll also appreciate is the handy ice scoop added to the package, enabling easy serving.

Mirroring most ice makers, the machine will alert you when the ice levels reach its maximum capacity and when the tank requires refilling. The difference here is the single-button operation that wastes less time and allows you to start producing ice even with full hands. There's no difference when you look at the machine's and its peers' see-through windows though, allowing you to peep inside and check on the ice production progress.

Bottom line, the ElectrIQ ZB-18 is more suitable for home use than most machines, offering generous ice production capabilities packed into a much more modest unit.

Review of ElectrIQ ZB-18 Ice Maker Machine

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £167.98
Stock In stock
ASIN B07S75KMVY

 

Polar T315

Perfect Addition to any Bar

As the people behind the Polar T315 have so eloquently put it, this ice making machine will prove to be a perfect addition to just about any establishment where refreshments are best served ice cold.

Equipped with a 2-litre water reservoir, this appliance is capable of producing up to 11 kilograms of ice in a day. Just like most premium ice makers, it will allow you to make ice cubes of 3 different sizes. This little function is always a welcome addition to these appliances as it adds a decent amount of versatility. That said, there really isn't that much of a difference between small and medium-sized ice cubes, not a significant issue but a drawback nonetheless.

There's a convenient translucent viewing window that will let you peep inside and check on the ice production progress. The matte black finish may not make this portable ice maker look as sleek and dignified as a few other models in this review but it is fingerprint- and smudge-proof, so it will always look presentable. Plus, the inside of the appliance is made of quality BPA-free ABS plastic. The best part about this material is that it is particularly great at preventing any outside odours from infiltrating the ice maker.

Once more, if you run the type of establishment that serves a variety of different refreshing beverages, you cannot go wrong with the Polar T135 portable ice maker. It is as reliable of an appliance as they come. Furthermore, it comes with an ice scoop, so you won't have to waste your time trying to fish out the ice cubes.

Review of Polar T315 Counter Top Ice Maker

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £179.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B00237VXUY

 

What Is a Portable Ice Maker?

A portable ice maker is a compact device for producing ice. It requires neither a water line nor a drain line, making it an ideal solution for mini kitchens with limited countertop space, RVs, boats as well as for travelling, camping, and tailgating. What's more, portable ice makers despite their compact size contain a built-in ice regenerator. It produces ice cubes on demand, saving you the need to bother with pre-freezing. Actually, all you will need to do is switch the device on, pour some filtered water, and press the button "ON".

Portable ice makers will be a great investment for anyone who loves chilly beverages and often throw parties for their friends. They are small in size, do not require a lot of storage space in a bag or your vehicle, and offer a cracking performance, producing a good amount of ice in less than 6-10 minutes, making them a perfect companion for all party makers. If you're in search of a portable ice maker too, you've come to the right place. In this article, we've gathered some of the best models available.

On the note of chilly drinks, we suggest you might also be interested in reading our comparison of the best soda makers.

What Features to Compare

Storage Capacity and Ice Production Speed

The first thing to consider is how much ice the selected machine can produce per day. Generally, ice machines can make about 26-28 pounds of ice during 24 hours. A storage capacity determines the max amount of ice the unit can hold at any given time. So, if you often host parties, look for a machine that can offer you 2.5-3 lbs of storage space at least. Another important feature to take into account is the speed of an ice maker. The faster it produces ice, the better. The quickest models can generate a batch of ice in just 5-7 minutes, while the slowest machines may take approximately 13-15 minutes. Smaller ice makers tend to produce ice faster. Also, smaller units usually maintain lower temperatures for a longer time compared to larger ones, meaning the ice inside mini machines stays cool for a longer time either.

Dimensions

The dimensions of a unit really matter if you're going to take it with you on trips. The small footprint means that you can easily put it on any counter, including tabletops in RVs. And if the device is also lightweight, you will be able to move it around with less effort. Sizes and designs vary significantly. Some ice makers can be as small as coffee makers, while others can come in bulky dimensions requiring plenty of countertop space. That said, if the weight and the size of the appliance aren't your concerns, remember what we've said earlier - smaller models are usually faster than their larger rivals and they can keep produced ice colder for a longer time.

Design

It's very convenient if a drain plug is placed at the bottom of the unit rather than on its side. A mash filter is used to protect the ice from dirt, residue, or hair. Despite the fact that many portable ice machines come fitted with special purification filters, it's better to filter tap water prior to adding it to an ice maker. As for aesthetic, ice making machines are produced in a vast range of styles and colors so it should be easy to find a model that will blend beautifully both with your kitchen interior and with your other kitchen appliances.

Extras

A bright LED control panel with a touchscreen, handy controls, and sound signals will make the operation of the unit much more convenient. A timer is another useful feature that will allow you to program the machine depending on your needs.

Did you know?

When was the first ice machines invented?

Two centuries ago, ice was a luxury. In hot countries, people had to buy extremely expensive blocks of ice from delivery services. The imported hefty ice blocks were delivered from colder countries or from refrigeration plants. Only in the 19th century, the first ice machine was invented by John Gorrie. It was created in 1842 and patented in 1851 after some upgrading. The machine was able to chill water and produce some ice. However, it was never brought into commercial production.

Alexander Twining, a scientist, has also received a patent for an ice machine and managed to implement it to the first commercial refrigeration system. It happened in 1856, in the US. At the same time, a Scotsman, James Harrison began to study vapor compression. He created his own ice making machine in 1851 and launched it in 1854. The commercial version of his device could produce up to 6,600 lbs of ice per day. It was James Harrison who also invented cooling systems allowing people to transport frozen meat across the world.

What is ice?

Even small children know that ice is just frozen water. The water transforms from a liquid state into a hard solid state when it gets below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The ice also has some special properties: it expands when water freezes and floats in water. When the pressure increases, the melting point decreases. However, did you know that there are as many as sixteen types of ice? The ice that we have in our freezers is called "Ice 4" type. Actually, different types are distinguished by their density.

Liquid water is denser than ice!

Although ice and water have the same composition, they have different levels of density. The molecules inside water (liquid or solid state) arrange themselves in a completely different way. When in liquid water, they can fill in gaps and stay closer to each other than in the ice. So, the ice is less dense than liquid water and, consequently, it can float on water.

Ice as an evidence that there is life on other planets

Scientists and astronauts have recently found ice in outer space. The ice can serve as evidence that we are not the only population in the universe. The life requires water to live, and ice is just the frozen water!

Dry ice?

Dry ice is very effective at keeping different stuff frozen for a long time. Dry ice is produced from a carbon dioxide. It changes its state from gas to solid at the chilling 109.3 degrees F.

Forms of ice

You can find ice not only in your ice making machine or freezer. Ice is also present in nature in various forms: snow, ice sheets, icebergs, glaciers, freezing rain, icicles, hail, sleet, ice crystals, rime, graupel, and even ice fog.

FAQ:

Q: How to clean a portable ice maker?

A: Mold and slime can easily grow inside your ice making machine if you leave it even slightly wet. So, you should always clean your mini ice maker after each use. Cleaning an ice maker is a simple job. Every device usually comes with its specific cleaning instructions in the manual or you can download them on the official website. However, in general, cleaning recommendations are very similar for all models.

At first, you need to unplug the appliance and remove an ice tray. Wipe interior parts with a towel, making sure you reach all corners and recesses. Repeat these actions with an ice tray. Then, make a cleaning solution (10:1 ratio of water to lemon juice or white vinegar) and run this solution through a few cycles. Toss out the ice with cleaning solution and let the machine dry.

Q: Do portable ice makers require a dedicated water line and a dedicated drain line?

A: No and no. This type of appliance needs neither dedicated water line nor dedicated drain line to work. These are the main differences that set a portable ice maker apart from stationary machines. When you need some ice, you should just plug it in an outlet and fill the container with water. The water from melted ice goes back down into the special basin where it's turned back into ice again. To make sure that your ice is fresh, we advise you to drain water at least once a day.

Q: What type of water should I use?

A: The quality of the ice depends on the type of the water you pour into an ice maker. Needless to say, the water must be potable. It's sensible to avoid hard water, as it might lead to mineral build-up and worsen the quality of ice. Distilled water includes fewer minerals, however, it can also cause some issues, since most portable ice machines use sensors that produce ice according to mineral content. It's better to use filtered and purified water to get fresh and tasty ice. It has an optimal mineral content and can't make sensors inside operate improperly.

Q: Can I use a portable ice machine outdoors?

A: Yes, it's a small and lightweight appliance that can be easily moved from one place to another. It can work wherever you have a power outlet. It's good not only for countertops and tabletops but for RV and boats as well. But keep in mind that a very hot temperature can influence the ice production time.

Q: How long does it take a machine to make ice?

A: It depends on a specific model. On average, a portable ice machine produces ice within 7-15 minutes. Some factors might slow down the production of ice - the type of added water, the age of an ice machine, and the frequency of use.

Q: Can I use a portable ice maker as a freezer?

A: No, it's not an alternative to a freezer. Although it has an insulated exterior, the ice will slowly melt in the tray.

Q: How much electricity does an ice maker consume?

A: The amount of used electricity varies from model to model. Usually, they aren't very energy efficient. You can hardly find an EnergyStar certified appliance. Yet, this doesn’t mean that they are very expensive to run either. They use much less electricity than stationary ice machines.

Sources:

1. Kristen Hicks The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Portable Ice Maker, Compact Appliance. October 5, 2016.

2. Autumn Spanne 15 Blissfully Cool Facts About Ice, Mental Floss. August 15, 2016.

3. Icemaker, Wikipedia.

4. Mike Floorwalker Top 10 Strange and Fascinating Facts About Ice, Toptenz.net.

5. Sarah 11 Common Questions About Portable Ice Makers, Compact Appliance. March 12, 2014.

6. Carol Gold Is it Healthy to Drink Cold Water, LIVESTRONG.COM.

7. 40 Cool Drinks for a Hot Day, Real Simple.

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Publish Date: 2018-09-21 12:40:46