There is nothing quite like nugget ice (also referred to as sonic, pellet, and chewable ice). Whether it’s in your soda, Slurpee, or cocktail beverage, nugget cubes have a way of making drinks taste spectacular. Not only that, but the ice itself is spectacular. You can’t tell me you don’t munch on nugget ice when you’re finished with your favorite drinks!
Nugget ice doesn’t have to be limited to fast-food restaurants, gas stations, and restaurants. These days, you can get your hands on nugget ice in your own home. That’s right! Imagine creating delightful drinks with your favorite ice cubes, right from your kitchen. That’s a huge game-changer!
But with so many different models to choose from, it can be tricky to find the “right” nugget ice makers. Well, we’re making life easier for you. We have taken the time to search and collect the top 5 in the industry. Whether you’re on a budget or want to spend more for a seemingly endless supply of ice, we’ve got you covered.
Carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Nugget Ice Maker?
Don’t buy blindly. Here are the top criteria to consider when on the search for the right nugget ice maker for your needs and situation.
Criteria #1: How much ice is made?
The first thing to consider is how much ice is made. A big family might want a product that can make a lot of ice, while someone who lives alone will want a small, portable model that doesn’t make more than he or she can handle. Pay attention to ice production. Some make 1 lbs., some make 155 lbs.
Criteria #2: What are the dimensions?
Another thing to consider is size. Again, this comes down to your needs and situation. Someone in a larger home might want to consider an under-counter, large model to provide for their family. Others might need a portable product that can easily be taken on their camping trips.
Criteria #3: Is it simple to use?
Convenience is also something to keep in mind. Some models are more simple than others. For example, new and top-of-the-line machines will have Bluetooth. This new, state-of-the-art feature makes it simple to stay on top of new ice production. Models that aren’t so new may still have features that are convenient, such as self-dispensing.
Criteria #4: How long does it take for the machine to make ice?
Some machines will produce cubes in around 10 minutes, while others need as much as 30 minutes. If speed is important to you, try to find a model that has rapid production.
Criteria #5: What is the price?
Some of the available merchandise on this list will be incredibly high in price. But keep in mind, you get what you pay for. However, if the price is a big concern and you’re on a budget, a few available models have a low price. It is important to note that these makers tend to be on the high-price side of things, though.
Criteria #6: How does it work?
How the maker actually functions is another thing to consider. For example, larger machines will require you to connect it directly to a water source. Mostly, though, there is no water connection necessary. All you have to do is place the water into the machine for it to function – easy!
How the machine drains is also important. Most will come with a drain that works well at removing excess moisture. However, you should know that they are not all created equal. Pay attention to how the drain works when on your search for the right cube maker.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Top Nugget Ice Maker
When looking for the best nugget ice makers, we paid attention to customer reviews and the ice machines’ specifics. We looked at the features to decide which ones ranked on top. Please continue reading to find out the most reliable ice machines, whether they’re small and budget-friendly or under-the-counter wonders.
#1: NewAir Nugget Ice Maker (Best Value)
When it comes to finding the best value ice maker, look no further than the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker. This ice maker isn’t costly, although it isn’t cheap, either. However, we gave the title as the best value for the features this ice maker provides. Here are the top reasons why.
- Rapid nugget ice production. One of the NewAir sonic ice maker’s most useful features is notably one of the fastest producers on the market. In fact, you can get your first scoop of sonic ice in as little as 12 minutes. Most other machines take 20 or more minutes, almost double the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker’s time. Wow, talk about an ice cube party!
- Melt-resistant interior. The interior is designed for your convenience. That’s because it comes with an ultra-insulated storage area that ensures your ice stays nice and cold, ready to be consumed. If you do end up forgetting about your sonic ice, don’t worry. Water is recycled and used for the next round of production. Now that’s handy.
- Compact size. Another great feature is the size of this nugget ice maker. Its dimensions are 16.5 x 10.5 x 16.3 inches, and the ice machine only weighs 40 pounds. Being so lightweight and compact, it is designed for on-the-go use or for storing on your kitchen countertops.
- Self-cleaning capabilities. You don’t have to worry about washing your ice maker – it does it for you. Thanks to the self-washing system, you don’t have to worry about any mold or mildew building up in your machine, which would ultimately lead to a sick household.
- BPA-free. Keeping you safe and healthy while consuming your favorite sonic ice is the goal of this ice bin. Not only is it self-washing, but it is made of entirely BPA-free plastic. That means no chemicals in your beverages.
- 40 lbs. of ice per day. This product’s last standout feature is that it can make up to a whopping 40 lbs. of ice per day. That is an immense amount of ice that won’t leave you craving more.
Final Thoughts: From the portability and compact design to the self-cleaning and quick ice production, it’s easy to see why the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker ranked as our most excellent value.
What Reviewers Had to Say: The biggest drawback of this ice maker is that it tends to be a bit louder than the competition. So, if noise is a major factor, then this might not end up being the greatest value for your situation.
#2: GE Profile Opal | Countertop Nugget Ice Maker (Number 1 Nugget Ice Maker)
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If there is a single brand name that ranks at the top when it comes to ice makers, it’s Opal Ice. Opal Ice is known for its incredible ice-making products, including the GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker. This Opal Nugget Ice Machine ranks as our top pick for obvious reasons. Let’s take a closer look.
Sleek and Compact Design
I know what you’re thinking – Didn’t the NewAir have a compact design? Sure, it did. And it’s a great portable model you will enjoy. However, it’s not as compact or as sleek as the Opal Nugget Ice Machine. This product’s dimensions are only 15.25 x 14.25 x 17.25 inches, although it is slightly heavier at 47 pounds.
What really sets this company apart from NewAir is that it has an incredibly posh design that looks streamlined on any kitchen countertop. It has an elegant and new-age feel that anyone will enjoy.
Now, we have to mention that the Opal Nugget Ice Maker isn’t as fast and doesn’t produce as much ice as the NewAir. However, it stills creates 24 lbs. of ice per day with an impressive 3 lbs. in the holding bin at all times. What really makes this maker the number 1 choice is its smart capabilities. You can set up your sonic ice making schedule directly from your phone. Plus, the smart sensor ensures that the ice production stops when ice is made to the top, ensuring no overfilling nonsense.
Easy to Use
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is also a cinch to use. You will enjoy the fact that there is no water hookup required, and you can plug it into any 12V grounded electrical outlet. All you need to do is fill the reservoir and let the Opal Nugget Ice Maker do its magic. Plus, the melted water recycles itself, which means you don’t have to worry about any water waste or mess.
1 Year Warranty
This stainless steel Opal Nugget Ice maker comes with an impressive 1-year limited warranty on parts and labor. That simply gives the buyer more confidence when purchasing their goods.
Final Thoughts: If you are looking for a new, state-of-the-art ice maker that gets the job done for a high price, consider the Opal Nugget Ice Maker. The stainless steel Opal ice maker makes a grand statement in any kitchen and has a fair amount of production per day. It’s quiet, easy to handle, and comes with a 1-year warranty for buyer confidence.
What Reviewers Had to Say: Many customers are in love with their purchase, with one customer saying, “Worth the Price for the ‘Good Ice.’” However, some people have had the unfortunate event of being sold an extremely loud product. Luckily, the company handles these issues, thanks to the 1-year warranty, and will replace them without a problem with a new machine.
#3: KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker (Self-Dispensing)
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Another favorite in the nugget ice maker industry is none other than the KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker. These ice makers stand up to the competition in many ways, including…
- Entirely self-dispensing. This is the first self-dispensing ice maker on the market. That means that you can get your hands on your beloved ice cubs easier than ever before. So, if you want a self-dispensing product, then let this be your choice. You won’t find another like it.
- BPA-free. Health and quality are also the pride of this machine. That’s why it comes with BPA-free parts and utilizes R600, which is an environmentally-friendly refrigerant.
- Self-cleaning. Of course, this is always going to be a top-notch feature. Self-washing means that you don’t have to worry about messes or any mildew buildup, ensuring clean and crunchy ice cubes always. Yum!
- Small countertop size. This is the smallest ice machine on the market. In fact, it measures only 12” W x 16” D x 17″ H. Being so small and portable, you can easily use this in your kitchen or even at the office.
- Slower than others. The biggest drawback to this ice machine is that it is much slower than the competition. In fact, this machine takes up to 30 minutes to create ice cubes. Plus, it only produces 24 pounds of ice per 24 hours. That isn’t very much, but enough for personal use.
Final Thoughts: This is a great ice machine for personal use. It makes 24 pounds of ice per 24 hours, which is enough for a single person or a few people. Customers enjoy the fact that it’s easy to work with a self-dispensing bin, and it cleans itself. However, it’s a bit on the slow side.
What Reviewers Had to Say: It was hard to find any negative comments on this ice machine. Customers seem to give it high reviews. One customer even said, “KB ice. Best ice machine ever! Worth every penny. You will not regret.”
#4: Frigidaire EFIC108-SILVER Countertop Portable (Top Low Cost)
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If you are looking for a budget-friendly machine, then this is certainly the most suitable option. It’s a lot smaller than the rest of the machines on this list, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Being only 14.9 x 14.8 x 11 inches and weighing 18.19 pounds, this ice maker is small enough to fit on the countertop with ease but can also be taken on-the-go for camping and trips.
Although small, this countertop ice machine is high-speed. In fact, it can create 9 cubes every 7 to 15 minutes. Now, that isn’t a whole lot of ice cubes, but it’s enough to keep one or two people satisfied with their favorite types of ice cubes.
As far as convenience is concerned, this certainly isn’t the most high-end and simple model. However, it’s still a cinch to get your ice cubes. There is a handy see-through window that allows you to see what’s going on inside. When there are enough ice cubes, operate the included ice shovel to get your ice cubes in a clean and easy way. When you’re done, apply the drain plug to make sure there’s no mess left inside.
Final Thoughts: Small and budget-friendly, this is a good option for those who don’t need a whole lot of ice at once or simply don’t have the funds to purchase an over-the-top machine. This is a reliable machine that is great for the home or on-the-go.
What Reviewers Had to Say: Many people enjoy this machine, although they don’t necessarily love it. That’s because this it simply doesn’t make enough ice to keep more than one person happy most of the time. Plus, it’s a bit on the flimsy side, so it might need to be replaced more than usual.
#5: Snooker Ice – Nugget Ice Maker (Under-Counter)
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Not everyone wants to settle for ice machines that are designed for the countertop. Some want an under-counter model for home or commercial use. They are easier to manage and create far more ice than portable countertop models. Sound like something you would be interested in for your home or commercial business? Then take a look at this wonderful nugget ice maker from Snooker Ice.
Produces an Incredible 155 Lbs. of Ice Per 24-Hour Period
One of the main benefits of opting for an under-counter ice maker for the home is creating tons of ice for the whole family. In fact, these under-counter ice makers make an astonishing 155 lbs. per 24-hour period. Plus, it comes with a 44 lbs. ice storage bin to make sure that everyone can get the chewable, crunchy ice they love without having to wait for hours on end.
These ice makers are made using stainless steel to make sure that the parts last long and don’t succumb to rust and corrosion. Not only does that ensure the quality of the parts, but it also results in a sleek and elegant design that is perfect for home and commercial use.
Incredibly Quiet Operation
To make sure that you don’t have to suffer from your ice machine’s undesirable noise, this machine is engineered for ultra-quiet operation. This means that your family or customers can get their favorite chewable ice without suffering through the relentless noise that comes with other models.
Included Control Panel
The included control panel allows you to be in complete control of your ice maker at all times. No more tricky situations! Plus, you will love that there is a door-activated LED lamp.
Final Thoughts: This is a wonderful option that is available for home or commercial operation. It’s quiet and provides an incredible amount of chewable, crunchy ice per day. Made of stainless steel, you can rest assured this machine will work well into the future without problems.
What Reviewers Had to Say: Customers love this product, and it was difficult to find any negative reviews.
Verdict: Your Top Nugget Ice Maker
If you want the top-of-the-line ice maker, buy the Opal Nugget Ice Maker.
If you need a self-dispensing ice maker, buy the KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker.
If you want to keep the price under $200, buy the Frigidaire EFIC108-SILVER Countertop Portable.
Whether this is your first time buying and you want a small, portable option or you’re on the search for the absolute top-notch product, you can find it on this list. Pay attention to the dimensions to ensure it works for your space, and check out the features to help you make the right choice.