Best Portable Ice Maker

Are you looking for the best portable ice maker?

Whether you need it to travel, a backup, or to make extra ice, a quality portable ice maker is a great tool to add to your home.

I have reviewed the most popular models on the market and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.

Check out the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my best portable ice maker picks, or read on for the full review:

  1.  Opal Nugget Ice Maker
  2.  Northair HZB-12/SA Portable Ice Maker Counter Top Machine
  3.  Frigidaire EFIC103 Ice Maker Machine
  4.  RCA Compact Ice Maker
  5.  Hamilton Beach PIM-1-3A Portable Ice Maker

There are some questions that you need to ask yourself when shopping for a portable ice maker so that you can be sure you get the right one for your needs. 

First you need to consider how much ice you need the machine to be able to make. Portable ice makers come in a variety of sizes, and choosing one that will produce enough ice for you is important.

You also need to consider what size ice cubes you want. 

Many portable ice makers only produce one smaller type of cube, but there are some that allow you to select from multiple sizes. 

This is important, as you may want one size ice cube for certain types of drinks and another because you need to use them in an evaporative cooler or ice cream maker. 

It’s important to think about the size of the ice maker, how much counter space it will take up, and how much storage space it has for ice. 

You don’t want to sacrifice too much of your counter, but remember that larger machines will be able to store more ice for you.

Finally, consider what type of maintenance the machine requires. Some portable ice makers need to be cleaned more often than others.

Benefits of Having a Portable Ice Maker

I wondered at first how much I would really use my new portable ice maker, but it turns out that there are a number of great benefits that you’ll enjoy when you invest in one of these handy machines. 

While I have an ice maker in my freezer, I find that having a portable ice maker is great, as I can use it at home or take it with me when traveling. Most portable ice makers are able to make ice very quickly, which means that if you run out during a party or aren’t prepared for having guests over, you can rely on your ice maker to provide you with the ice that you need.

Additionally, these appliances don’t have a water line or require any draining to work. 

Many ice makers require some sort of drain to get rid of excess water, but portable ice makers don’t. 

Any unused ice cubes in the ice maker are then recycled to make more ice, which eliminates the need for a drain or a water line.

What to Look For

I love when ice makers have an indicator light to alert you to when you need to add more water, as well as another light to tell you when the ice bucket is full.

You can’t beat an ice maker with a removable ice bin if you are looking for a convenient,easy to use machine. 

A removable ice bin means that you don’t have to try to scoop out all of the ice with your hands or tongs. Thus preventing you from having to try to lift and tip the maker to dump out the ice. 

One other great feature is an automatic overflow protection. 

This will prevent the ice maker from continuing to run once it has reached capacity and will prevent the machine from wearing out or overflowing.

How to Best Use Your New Portable Ice Maker

Since you don’t have to connect a water line to your new portable ice maker, all you have to do to get started is set it on your counter, plug it in, and pour in water to the reservoir. 

Once you have made any selections necessary, such as ice cube size, your ice maker will start making ice for you. 

Since these ice makers generally start dropping ice within a few minutes of being plugged in, you don’t have to worry about not having the ice that you need when you’re in a hurry. 

I like to use mine when I know that I will need extra ice for a party, as it prevents me from having to buy big bags of ice, but I have also taken it with me on the road for use in a hotel.

Most portable ice makers can plug into a standard outlet. If you want to use yours in a vehicle, then make sure that you have a DC adapter before going on the road.

Portable Ice Maker

Opal Nugget Ice Maker

This ice maker easily holds up to three pounds of ice, which makes it perfect for preparing a lot of ice for a party or an event. With an automatic sensor to stop producing ice when the machine is full, this unit won’t overproduce and cause leaks. Additionally, by syncing the appliances’ app to the machine, users will have complete control over their ice production.


        Produces first nuggets of ice in under 20 minutes

        Makes one pound of ice in an hour

        Connects to Bluetooth so that you can control the maker from an app


        Somewhat loud

Northair Portable Ice Maker Machine

This compact ice maker features indicator lights to tell you when the bucket is full or when you need to add more water. Since any unused ice melts and then is refrozen, users don’t have to worry about a large mess in their kitchen. The ice won’t melt and spill all over the counter. The insulated ice bucket does a great job keeping your ice frozen.


        Easily makes up to 26.5 pounds of ice in a day

        Exterior is commercial-grade stainless steel and easy to clean

        Unused ice will melt and then be refrozen


        Fan kicks on regularly, which is noisy

        Slower ice production compared to other options on this list

Frigidaire EFIC103 Ice Maker Machine

Because this portable ice maker runs at under 38dB, you won’t have to worry about the sound bothering your family or your friends at a party. The drain plug makes it really easy to drain out any melted ice cubes, and thanks to the included ice shovel, you can easily get the ice that you need easily and in a sanitary manner.


        Choose from three sizes of ice

        First batch of ice is produced in six minutes

        See-through window makes it easy to check on ice production


        Low water light doesn’t always work

RCA Compact Ice Maker

This compact ice maker works quickly and is able to produce up to 26 pounds of ice a day. Because you can choose between two sizes of ice, it’s easy to get the perfect ice for your needs. Thanks to the compressor cooling system, this machine is reliable and easy to set up. Additionally, it is very quiet, which means that it won’t interrupt your event or party.


        Has two sizes of ice to choose from

        Electronic LED controls make using the maker easy

        Reservoir holds 2.3 quarts of water


        “Add water” light is not always reliable

        “Ice full” light tends to come on when bucket isn’t full

Hamilton Beach Portable Ice Maker

Unlike other portable ice makers, this one from Hamilton Beach is very quiet. Because you can easily lift and empty the ice storage bucket, you don’t have to worry about ice building up and causing the machine to stop working. Additionally, this ice maker is only 12.5 inches tall, so it can easily slide under a cabinet on the counter.


        Includes ice scoop

        LED indicators for full bucket, add water, and when the machine is operating

        Quickly refreezes melted ice so there isn’t any waste


        Ice doesn’t always fall all of the way off the tray and it won’t make another batch until the ice is moved

While some people may think that syncing their ice maker to their smartphone is silly, I love that the Opal Nugget Ice Maker has Bluetooth and connects easily to a smartphone. This makes it incredibly easy to control the ice maker and to ensure that you always have enough ice on hand for an event. Additionally, this ice maker works quickly, holds a lot of ice, and has a clear front so that you can see how much ice you have. While you can’t choose between sizes, which is a feature that a lot of people love, I think that the speed at which you can make ice is a definite bonus for this ice maker.

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