Ice makers have become increasingly popular in recent years as machines that can generate large quantities of ice for either home or commercial use. Regular fridge-freezers simply cannot cope with the volume and speed that ice makers can produce. If you own a supermarket, café, restaurant, or any establishment where ice is required to keep products cool or added to food/drink, an ice maker is essential to give you all the ice you require on a typical day.
What are the best ice makers currently available to purchase? This article attempts to give you some answers to guide you in the process of purchasing the best ice maker to suit your needs. In our buying guide, we outline certain features to consider when buying an ice maker, these include size, capacity, installation, ice shape, and user-friendliness. Many modern-day ice makers use energy-saving technology, so you will hardly notice the difference in your monthly bills if you purchase an ice maker. Based on these, the HomeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine gets our Editor’s Choice nomination among 6 of the best ice makers.
More features: 29 lbs storage capacity, 6’5’’ drain hose, 9’ water supply hose, ice scoop included, LCD indicator, 1.2-liter water tank
The HomeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine is renowned for its intensive ice-making capability and serves as one of the best commercial ice machines currently available to purchase. Featuring a freestanding design with dimensions of 17.6 x 15.7 x 31.4 inches, the HomeLabs Ice Maker can slot in anywhere in your kitchen or pantry.
One of the best benefits of the HomeLabs Ice Maker is its storage capacity. At 99lbs, the machine can produce a huge amount of ice per day which is made in the form of ice cubes. This is ideal for bars or restaurants who frequently require large amounts of ice. The speed at which the ice can be produced is also very competitive, with cycles typically lasting between 11 to 20 minutes.
Another great benefit of the HomeLabs Ice Maker is that the 1.2L water tank can fit straight onto your water supply. This makes the refill process considerably easier, with users prevented from having to physically remove the tank to refill. The controls of the ice maker are very easy to use. Controls can be adjusted for the thickness of the ice as well as the time it takes to produce the ice. The automatic cleaning function also makes machine maintenance much easier.
Purchasing the HomeLabs Ice Maker includes a variety of essential accessories to make the cycle of ice production easy to manage. Such accessories include an ice scoop, water supply hose and connector as well as a draining hose, making it one of the best under counter ice makers currently available.
More features: adjustable height, LED control panel, 16.7 gal per 100 lbs water usage, 3/8’’ water connection
The Manitowoc UDF0140A is a premium range ice machine that performs fantastically well in producing a high capacity of ice and ice storage facilities. This an upgrade pick for those wishing to invest in a machine with high-performance capability. With new levels of performance, this machine is certainly worth considering.
Constructed from stainless steel, the Manitowoc UDF0140A is part of the new breed of ice machines that are highly efficient in terms of ice production but also for energy conservation. The delay feature is a real energy-saver. With the Manitowoc UDF0140A, you can program the machine to make ice only when you need it. If there are times when your establishment is closed, or you only need ice for a specific period, this ice maker can cater to those needs.
The Manitowoc UDF0140A has an energy star rating which gives purchasers peace of mind that their need for ice is not a huge drain on energy resources. The model comes with an easy to operate glide door which can be lifted and slid out with a couple of fingers. The performance matched with the convenience makes the Manitowoc UDF0140A one of the most sought after ice makers.
The convenience of the machine is helped by the easy to understand LED indicator icons which allow you to understand the power level, delay service buttons and cleaning…to name a few. You will certainly understand how the Manitowoc UDF0140A operates from the moment you purchase it.
More features: 70-inch long cord, 8.8 lbs storage capacity, ice scoop included, automatic shut off, low water indicator, LCD screen
If you are looking for an affordable commercial ice maker, the COSTWAY Commercial Ice Maker is certainly one of the best bets for a budget pick. Producing 88lbs of ice per day, this ice maker is likely to satisfy the majority of commercial ice needs but at an affordable initial purchasing price.
The COSTWAY Commercial Ice Maker ice production cycle is competitive with more expensive options, ranging from 12 to 18 minutes. The shape of the ice is in the familiar cube form. When the affordability makes the specification suffer is in terms of storage capacity and ice cube type. At 8.8lbs, the COSTWAY Commercial Ice Maker has minimal storage, forcing users to find alternative storage means for the ice that has been produced. The ice maker also only forms one size of ice cube which can be a downside for those wanting different size options.
Despite this, the COSTWAY Commercial Ice Maker is very user-friendly, with easy installation to the existing water pipe. The smart panel display ensures the product is easy to operate, with water-level, energy-saving, cleaning and low noise options easy to view. A great benefit of this unit is that the ice production stops when the ice bin is full, ensuring that energy is not wasted.
The compact design of this freestanding ice maker is also of great benefit for those commercial spaces that have small amounts of space. While production and storage capacity of ice is limited in the COSTWAY Commercial Ice Maker, it certainly offers a cheap ice-making option for businesses.
More features: stainless steel exterior, water filter included, NSF approved, modular machine
The FOSTER Commercial Ice Maker is known for being one of the best commercial ice makers in the marketplace. With vast production capability and storage facility, the ice maker blows rivals out of the water when it comes to commercial suitability. The FOSTER Commercial Ice Maker can produce a whopping 500lbs of ice per day and has storage capacity for 350lbs, making it one of the best residential ice makers. The large storage bin can keep the cold for up to 24 hours which is ideal for minimizing wastage.
The FOSTER Commercial Ice Maker doesn’t just focus on quantity, but also on the quality of ice produced. The machine can produce perfectly shaped ice cubes that are neat and suitable to use in drinks, buckets for wine and fine dining. The full dicing process is a real bonus to ensure that the ice you serve to customers is not sharp or untidy.
Silence is golden. The FOSTER Commercial Ice Maker ensures that the high volume of ice that is produced is made with minimum noise and disruption. It certainly will not disrupt your conversations or give you a driving headache if you are in the kitchen all day. The air cooling system can ensure the hugely powerful compressor used to form the ice does not overheat and lost a long time.
The FOSTER Commercial Ice Maker also comes with a generous three-year warranty agreement. This gives business owners great peace of mind by having good purchasing protection.
More features: 33 lbs storage space, ETL approved, rust-resistant stainless steel, ice scoop included, LED panel
The ROVSUN Built-in Stainless Steel Commercial Ice Maker is well-built and safe to use ice making appliance that provides long-lasting reliable performance, making it one of the best under counter ice makers currently available to purchase. With dimensions of 18″x16″x31″, the machine is guaranteed to easily fit into your workspace.
Containing a freestanding design ensures the ROVSUN Commercial Ice Maker is perfect for homes as well as cafes, restaurants and supermarkets. The machine is very user-friendly, with installation very straightforward. One of the requirements when installing is that you have access to a water pipe outlet and a floor drainage outlet near to your ice maker unit. Aside from those necessities, setup is easy and helped by the smart control system.
A common issue with ice makers is the loud noise they make when operating. The ROVSUN Commercial Ice Maker overcomes this with low-noise technology which also reduces the energy consumed by the unit. Having an ice-maker that is both productive and energy-efficient is crucial nowadays. The ROVSUN Commercial Ice Maker can produce up to 100lbs of ice per day and can produce the ice in cycles lasting 12 to 18 minutes. The machine produces nicely sized ice cubes that look smart.
The ROVSUN Commercial Ice Maker also comes with an ice scoop to help you collect the ice when it has been made. The machine is ideal for any business or a homeowner efficiently wanting large quantities of ice.
More features: 2-liter water reservoir, viewing window, ice basket and ice scoop included, exhaust fan, portable
The IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine is a compact ice maker that is renowned for being one of the best countertop ice makers and best portable ice makers. With this machine, you do not need to assign a large space for it, it can easily slot into your working or home kitchen surface. When installed, the machine can produce within 6 minutes, to give you a fast and compact ice-making solution.
The IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine produces bullet-shaped ice cubes 9 pieces at a time. There are two sizes of ice cube to choose from. From the 2 liter tank, the ice maker produces 12 kg of ice within 24 hours. These low capacity levels make the IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine best suited to home environments where large volumes of ice are not essential. One of the best aspects of the ice-maker is its ability to generate ice using minimal amounts of energy and with minimal noise. Especially in a home environment, noise reduction is very important.
The setup and use of the IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine are very straightforward and as it is countertop, does not require attachment to the water supply. To operate, simply plug the machine in, fill the water tank and press the power button. This ensures ice making is very practical. Although limited in ice capacity, for those wanting occasional quick ice production, the IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine offers an affordable option.
The IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine comes with a two-year warranty to give you decent purchasing protection for this home-based product. It certainly is the best ice maker for home use.
If you are thinking of buying an ice maker, the following guideline will help you in choosing the best one.
The following are some of the benefits of having an ice maker in your home or business:
The following steps show how the ice maker works:
Before you take one home and get to using it, here are a few tips that can help you:
Ice makers have a high range of price points. Large industrial size ice-making machines such as the FOSTER Commercial Ice Maker will cost close to $2000. More affordable options such as the COSTWAY Commercial Ice Maker are available below $500.
The home-based ice machines are the cheapest but generate the least ice, they can be bought for a figure below $200.
Before buying an ice maker, consider the following features:
There are two ways to install an ice maker, one is under the counter and the other is on the floor. Keeping it under the counter will give more space to a busy kitchen. However, this installation requires more costs and work. Installing the ice maker on the floor will take much space in the kitchen but there is no extra cost or work involved apart from connecting it to the drainage and water line.
The volume of ice an ice maker will produce depends on the model of the ice maker and where it will be used. Most portable ice makers produce a minimum of 25 lbs of ice. Under-counter and larger ice makers produce 50 lbs at a minimum. The volume storage is important as the production volume. Portable ice makers have a minimum of 2.5 lbs of ice cubes in storage and the large under-counter ones have a minimum of 20 lbs of ice cubes in storage. Units such as the FOSTER Commercial Ice Maker can store as much as 375 lbs of ice.
The ice maker does a lot of work when producing ice cubes which means that it produces a lot of heat. The air-cooling mechanic in the ice maker ensures that it is in the right temperatures. When setting up the ice maker, the vents should have at least 6 inches of clearance space to prevent damage and overheating.
You should consider the quality of ice when purchasing an ice maker. A good quality ice cube should be crystal clear without any cloudiness. The ice cubes should also be dense and hard. They should not start melting as soon as you put it in a glass. Most of the ice makers reviewed above make gourmet ice. The ice should not be hollow as well.
Most small-sized ice makers produce the first batch of ice cubes faster compared to bigger models. The best ice makers in the market can produce ice for more drinks in just 6 minutes while others may take up to 20 minutes to finish their first batch. Speed is a good sign that the ice maker is of good quality.
Most ice makers do not need regular maintenance and cleaning. Purchasing an ice maker that has a self-cleaning cycle and their mesh filter is better. The ice maker has automatic functions makes it cost-effective. The ice maker that you buy should also be easy to install and produce less noise when producing the ice.
The majority of ice makers are constructed from stainless steel which makes them resistant to rust and very robust. If you have a particular color theme to your kitchen or pantry space, you may wish to select an ice maker that matches your overall theme.
Common accessories that accompany the purchase of an ice maker include an ice scoop as seen in the ROVSUN Built-in Stainless Steel Commercial Ice Maker review or a water filter.
Warranties provide consumers with purchasing protection. Typical warranties for ice makers last between a year to three years.
The ice maker is just like any other household appliance. It should be well maintained because keeping it dirty will lead to the growth of germs causing health problems.
The following are some of the tips to help you maintain your ice maker:
Whether you’re a first time owner or if the ice maker is simply to new of a machine for you to figure out, here are a few of your most frequently-asked questions, answered:
Hopefully, this article has given you all the essential information that you need to know about ice makers to guide you in the process of purchasing the best ice maker to suit your needs.
Our verdict on the top three best ice makers are:
The HomeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine comes first in our ranking because of its easy-to-use controls, fair price, and compact size.
The Manitowoc UDF0140A finishes second in our ranking due to the modern energy-saving technology and its easy-to-use control panel.
The COSTWAY Commercial Ice Maker comes third in our ranking because it is a budget-friendly compact ice maker with an automatic shut-off option.
Before purchasing the best ice maker to suit your needs, consider how much volume of ice and the price you’re willing to pay to ensure you get the best value ice maker.