10 Best Nugget Ice Makers

Searching For The Best Nugget Ice Makers

Best Nugget Ice Makers

Although you might not recognize the term “nugget ice,” you’d likely know if you came across it. It’s also called pellet ice or sonic ice, I invite you to look at the ice at the bottom of your iced coffee next time you go to Starbucks or study the ice in your next cocktail. 

Nugget ice is smaller, more chewable, and softer than standard ice cubes and it’s commonly found in coffee shops, restaurants, and fast food establishments. The one place you won’t find it these days is at home because nugget ice machines aren’t as ubiquitous as ice cube trays. 

Luckily, more and more people are coming around to how these ice shards can quickly cool down your drink, how they don’t melt nearly as quickly, and how they’re fun to snack on afterward. Their advantages no longer need to be kept from the common folk as many of the best nugget ice makers are worth the investment. 

Today, I’ll run you through my picks for4 the best nugget ice makers on the market. I’ll be covering machines at different price points from different manufacturers to give you an idea of where you should be looking if you want to upgrade your at-home iced coffee game. 

The 10 Best Nugget Ice Makers

#1 Frigidaire 44-lb Chewable Nugget Ice Maker – K86274

The Frigidaire 44-lb Chewable Nugget Ice Maker focuses on efficiency and convenience. This ice maker delivers a reliable ice production capacity of up to 44 lbs daily. Its compact dimensions measuring 12″ x 18″ x 20.5″ make it an excellent addition to any kitchen or countertop, and with a weight of just 40 lbs, it is easy to move and relocate as needed. 

As such, this machine is handy at home, in the office, or at a party. You can take it with you out of the house and become the substitute barista at social gatherings. The Frigidaire nugget ice maker is ETL listed, ensuring its compliance with industry safety standards, and it is imported to ensure quality craftsmanship.

Its compact size, high ice production capacity, and ease of use make it an ideal choice for homes, offices, and small commercial spaces. Whether you’re hosting a party, providing ice for your employees, or looking to enhance your beverage offerings, the Frigidaire nugget ice maker will impress with its soft, chewable ice and overall performance.

Normally, the Frigidaire 44-lb Chewable Nugget Ice Maker costs $418 but QVC is offering it for sale at only $355.

#2 Avanti Digital Nugget Ice Maker with Dispenser

Though the Avanti Digital Nugget Ice Maker doesn’t have the largest capacity of the best nugget ice makers – it only holds up to 3 pounds at a time – it has simplicity on its side. Its two-button interface means that anyone can make great pellet ice since all you need to do is put the ice in the machine and turn it on. 

Beyond that, this nugget ice maker also has a dispenser feature that goes a long way for presentation. Most similar machines require that you scoop out the ice like some sort of caveman, but not the Avanti Digital Nugget Ice Maker, which treats you with enough dignity to pour your ice like it’s your personal server. 

So whether it’s simplicity or respect you’re after, Avant’s 35-pound ice maker is for you. It’s available for $449

#3 Oraimo Nugget Ice Maker 812A

Discover the ultimate ice-making convenience with the Oraimo Ice Nugget Maker 812A. This high-performance ice maker can produce your first batch of fresh nugget ice in just 15 minutes or less. With a large capacity that can make over one pound of nugget ice per hour and hold up to 3.3 lbs, you’ll never run out of your favorite ice for beverages and cooling needs.

Its fast speed and large capacity impress, but the Oraimo Ice Nugget Maker 812A also offers customizable ice-making times to suit your specific requirements. The feature-rich touch screen allows you to set 1-2 ice-making times with precision control at the touch of your fingertips. 

Plus, you can hook this ice maker up to a water filter so that you always have fresh nugget ice. You can pick up Oraimo’s inclusion on this list, which stands at 19” by 9.7″ by 16.7″, for $500.

#4 Northair Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

While the Northair Countertop Nugget Ice Maker’s capacity and working speed are both commendable, it’s the machine’s other features that make it one of the best nugget ice makers. It has a self-cleaning function and a digital timer that tells you when your ice will be done and how much it made. 

Don’t sweat it if you put in too much water or don’t empty your ice in time. This Northair machine can hold up to 5L of water in total between two tanks, which it automatically turns into more ice when space is available. It’s as hands-off as an ice maker can be.

Now, about that capacity and speed. It can deliver ice in as little as 15 minutes and can hold up to 3.3 pounds at once. It’s also perfectly sized for the countertop as it weighs less than 40 pounds and stands at 9.8” by 16.1” by 19”. 

The Northair Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is also quite affordable, costing only $270.

#5 GE Profile Opal 1.0 Nugget Ice Maker

Enjoy a peaceful ice-making experience without disruptive noise with the GE Profile Opal 1.0 Nugget Ice Maker. It operates at a low hum rather than a roaring thunder so it shouldn’t distract you as it does its job. 

This high-performance nugget ice maker boasts an impressive ice production capacity, capable of delivering 34 pounds of fresh ice per day. Begin enjoying your first batch of ice in as little as 10 minutes, ensuring you never run out of your favorite ice pellets. With a large capacity that makes one pound of ice per hour and holds up to 3 lbs at a time, this ice maker is designed to cater to your ice needs.

With a built-in water tank that holds over a half gallon of fresh water, you can always have nugget ice on hand. Additionally, the advanced cleaning system takes the hassle out of maintenance. Regular use of the cleaning solution helps sanitize the machine, preventing mold and mildew growth, while descaling cuts down on scale and mineral build-up, keeping the ice tasting fresh and the machine operating at its best. 

On its own, the GE Profile Opal 1.0 Nugget Ice Maker costs $450, but you can add on that side tank for a bit extra. Sadly, at the time of writing this article, the side tank is sold out on Amazon.

#6 SMETA Commercial Ice Maker

Although the SMETA Commercial Ice Maker can make large chunks of ice, it’s on this list for its nugget ice functions. You can choose between three different thickness levels with the thinnest ones obviously matching nugget ice stands. 

With an impressive ice production capacity of 69 lbs per day and a storage capacity of up to 10 lbs, this ice maker is built to supply your ice needs throughout the day. Nugget ice takes less time for the SMETA Commercial Ice Maker to form than larger cubes so you can get your ice in no time. 

The front control panel with an LCD indicator provides clear and accessible controls. Moreover, an automatic cleaning function ensures effective reduction of bacterial growth, maintaining a healthier environment for food and beverage preparation. With noise levels as low as 43 dB, this ice maker operates quietly in addition to quickly.

Grab it for $299.

#7 Frigidaire EFIC189-Silver Compact Ice Maker

The next of the best nugget ice makers again comes from Frigidaire, although the EFIC189-Silver Compact Ice Maker is a more budget-friendly and discrete option than the one I wrote about earlier. It only costs $100 yet holds as much as 26 pounds of ice. It may be small (14.1″ by 9.5″ by 12.9”), but it can form ice in as little as 8 minutes. 

The Frigidaire EFIC189-Silver Compact Ice Maker also has an alert system that reminds you to take out the ice when it’s ready or to refill the water, which you shouldn’t have to do often since it can hold up to 2.3qt of water at once.

#8 ecozy Countertop Ice Maker

This ice-making machine also boasts adjustable ice thickness, but the fact that it only takes 13 minutes for it to make two dozen thick cubes means you can have nugget ice in no time. In total, it can hold 45 pounds of ice. 

Once you’re done making ice, you only need to wait 20 minutes for the ecozy Countertop Ice Maker to clean itself and provide you with clear-tasting water. 

Plus, you can simplify your daily routine with the Countertop Ice Maker’s convenient 24-hour timer function. Set up the ice maker at night, and wake up to a fridge filled with fresh ice cubes, ready to cool down your morning beverages. This user-friendly feature adds a touch of convenience to your busy lifestyle.

Organizing your ice-making setup is a breeze too, as this ice maker comes with a detachable basket, three bags, and a standing scoop, making it easy to transfer excess ice to the fridge and keep it fresh for later use. 

The ecozy Countertop Ice Maker is available for $230.

#9 YSSOA Portable Ice Maker

If you’re looking for the best nugget ice makers under $100, then you’re looking for the YSSOA Portable Ice Maker. It measures 8.8” by 11.6” by 11.4” and weighs less than 14 pounds, ensuring effortless portability, and only costs $80. It can make 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours, which isn’t too shabby. 

The YSSOA Portable Ice Maker takes convenience to the next level with its automatic cleaning feature. A simple press and hold of the ON button for 5 seconds activate the cleaning mode, freeing your hands from the hassle of manual cleaning. Adding a little lemon and soda can aid in the cleaning process. The visible top allows you to monitor not only the ice production schedule but also the progress of the cleaning process.

Say goodbye to noisy ice makers with the YSSOA’s silent design. Operating at a sound level within 35 decibels, you can enjoy a glass of ice-cold whiskey late at night without worrying about disturbing your partner’s sleep.

#10 Undercounter Ice Maker Machine

Lastly, let’s talk about the tallest ice maker. The Undercounter Ice Maker Machine stands 31” tall and can produce up to 100 pounds of ice in a day, though it can only hold 33 pounds at once. Still, it can keep your ice chilled and frosty for up to five hours, so there’s no rush to drain the machine. 

Weighing in at 59 pounds, this ice maker has a huge window for you to scoop out ice. Due to its size it’s probably the best nugget ice maker for parties, so long as you can connect to a water supply. It’s quiet and cleans itself so it won’t kill the vibe. 

The Undercounter Ice Maker Machine is $449

How To Shop For The Best Nugget Ice Makers

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I wouldn’t blame you for feeling overwhelmed after reaching this point – the race among the best nugget ice makers is tight and not easily won. Rather than force you into choosing one machine, I’ll instead give you some tips to help you make an informed decision:

  • Ice Production Capacity: Consider how much ice you’ll need on a daily basis. Some nugget ice machines can produce more ice in a shorter time, while others have a slower production rate. Choose a machine with an ice production capacity that aligns with your usage requirements.
  • Ice Storage Capacity: Check the ice storage capacity of the machine. If you need a constant supply of ice without frequent emptying, opt for a model with a larger storage bin.
  • Size and Space: Measure the available space in your kitchen or desired location for the ice machine. Choose a model that fits comfortably and complements your kitchen’s aesthetics.
  • Water Source: Some nugget ice machines require a direct water connection, while others come with a built-in water reservoir. If a direct water connection isn’t feasible, opt for a model with a large enough reservoir to minimize the need for frequent refilling.
  • Noise Level: Consider the noise level of the machine, especially if it will be placed in a quiet environment like a bedroom or office. Look for models that are designed to operate quietly.
  • Energy Efficiency: Check the energy efficiency rating of the nugget ice machine. An energy-efficient model can help reduce operating costs over time.
  • Ease of Use: Look for a machine with user-friendly controls and an intuitive interface. Features like automatic shut-off when the ice bin is full or an adjustable ice size option can enhance convenience.
  • Durability and Build Quality: Read customer reviews and consider the brand reputation to ensure that the machine is built to last and can withstand daily use.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Opt for a nugget ice machine that is easy to clean and maintain. Removable parts and clear instructions for cleaning will make the process hassle-free.

This should go without saying, but it’s always smarter to shop with a budget in mind. Keep a maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend in your head as you shop and don’t go beyond these means. Remember, you’re just buying a tool that makes you chewy ice – you’re not applying for a master’s program. 


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What are the different types of nugget ice makers?

The different types of nugget ice makers include the following:

  1. Countertop nugget ice makers – best suited for families or individuals due to their small size
  2. Undercounter nugget ice makers – like their name suggests, these ice makers are stored underneath counters and are both larger and more powerful than their countertop variants
  3. Commercial nugget ice makers – these ice makers are designed for restaurants and cafes as they can produce a huge amount of ice

What are the benefits of nugget ice makers?

The soft and chewable nature of nugget ice makes it perfect for beverages. It quickly absorbs the flavors of the drinks, enhancing the taste and overall beverage experience. Plus, nugget ice makers often use less water compared to other types of ice makers. Forming nugget ice involves compacting ice flakes, which helps conserve water, making them more eco-friendly.

Why do people love nugget ice?

One of the main reasons people love nugget ice is the soft and chewable texture of the ice. The ice pellets are easy to bite into, making them gentler on teeth compared to traditional ice cubes, which is especially beneficial for individuals with sensitive teeth or dental issues.

They can also do a better job of keeping drinks cold without watering them down, unlike larger cubes of ice which melt quickly and reduce a drink’s potency.

Why is Starbucks switching to nugget ice?

Starbucks’ swap to nugget ice was done as part of their initiative to reduce their water footprint by 2030. Nugget ice machines use less water than traditional ice makers, and given how many people drink iced coffee, it only makes sense that Starbucks would swap to the less energy-consuming options. 

Final Thoughts

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Regardless of which of the best nugget ice makers you pick up, you will impress whoever walks through your doors. Sure, everybody likes ice in their drink, but how many people can serve their guests chewy, soft ice? That’s the sort of stuff that makes you a stud. 

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