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Updated Jun 2, 2022 2:55 PM

Unless your fridge or freezer has a built-in ice maker, ice cube trays are an essential addition to any household. The best ice cube trays are simple to use, release ice easily, and won’t leak or crack. Shopping for ice cube trays online, however, can quickly become overwhelming since there are so many options available. 

We’ll break down what to look for when shopping for the best ice cube trays for your kitchen, and discuss the key considerations to keep in mind as you shop. Keep reading for tips on choosing the best option, and explore our picks for the best ice cube trays on the market.

How We Picked the Best Ice Cube Trays

While it’s easy to assume that all ice cube trays offer similar performance, a number of factors affect their functionality. Several years of experience covering home goods and kitchen essentials as well as extensive product research went into choosing our final curated selection. We reviewed over 25 ice cube tray options and weighed a number of practical considerations before making our recommendations. 

Material: For this guide, we opted to include ice cube trays made from plastic and silicone but omitted stainless steel trays because they don’t offer optimal ease of use. 

Cube Size and Shape: Ice cubes can be made in a nearly endless variety of shapes and sizes. We included recommendations for trays designed to make the most popular shapes and sizes, offering options for cocktails, water bottles, and standard everyday use. 

Additional Features: All ice cube trays serve the same basic purpose, but some models have handy additional features. We prioritized trays with lids, easy-release designs, and other features that provided increased performance or ease of use. 

Best Ice Cube Trays: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: W&P Peak Silicone Everyday Ice Tray

Best Overall

The W&P Peak Silicone Everyday Ice Tray is made with silicone and makes cube-shaped ice. W&P

Why It Made The Cut: Silicone trays can be hard to fill, but this one from W&P features steel framing that provides extra stability. 

Specs:

  • Material: Silicone
  • Cube Shape: Cubic
  • Number of Cubes: 12

Pros:

  • Steel interior framing adds stability
  • Comes with a lid
  • Each cube features individual casing

Cons:

  • May develop odor over time

One of the downsides of silicone ice cube trays is that they don’t hold their shape, making them tricky to fill without water spilling. This one from W&P, however, features steel framing inside the silicone exterior, which provides stability and helps the tray to hold its shape. The silicone is BPA-free and dishwasher safe. Each cube has an individual casing, making it easy to pop out one at a time. 

Each cube measures 1.25 inches, perfect for everyday use, though larger cubes are also available. The trays come with a lid that prevents odors but doesn’t allow the trays to be stored sideways since it simply rests on top of the base. It does, however, make the trays stackable. Shoppers can choose from five colors: white, blue, black, speckled pink, and speckled white.

Best Value: OXO Good Grips Ice Cube Tray

This ice cube tray from OXO Good Grips has a sliding lid and an easy-release design. OXO

Why It Made The Cut: The OXO Good Grips Ice Cube Tray has a classic design but is equipped with some upgraded features that set it apart from the competition. 

Specs:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Cube Shape: Crescent moon
  • Number of Cubes: 14

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Includes lid
  • Easy-release design
  • Stackable

Cons:

  • Sliding tray may stick

Luckily, shoppers don’t need to make a major financial investment when buying high-quality ice cube trays. This model from OXO Good Grips has a classic design, producing crescent-shaped ice cubes. A sliding lid not only prevents the ice from taking on odors from the freezer but also keeps the cubes in place, allowing for the tray to be stored sideways as needed. 

This tray features an easy-release design, allowing users to extract the ice cubes without much effort. The trays are designed to stack on top of one another for compact freezer storage. One potential downside is that the lid sits close to the tray and may be hard to remove if the trays are overfilled, causing the ice to stick to the lid.

Best Silicone: Vremi Stackable Large Ice Cube Trays

Best Silicone

The Vremi Stackable Large Ice Cube Trays come with lids and are made from nonporous silicone. Vremi

Why They Made The Cut: The major downside of silicone trays is that they may develop odors over time, but this model from Vremi is designed to be nonporous. 

Specs:

  • Material: Silicone
  • Cube Shape: Cubic
  • Number of Cubes: 16 (8 x 2)

Pros:

  • Includes leakproof lids
  • Made from nonporous silicone
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Silicone trays are harder to fill

Silicone ice cube trays offer a number of advantages, namely allowing for cubes to be released cleanly and easily without users having to bend or crack the tray. These trays from Vremi come in a pack of two, each of which produces eight cube-shaped ice cubes that measure 1.75 by 2 inches. Since the cubes are on the larger side, they’re perfect for use in whisky or cocktails because they melt slowly and won’t dilute the drink. 

The trays feature plastic lids that are designed to be spill-proof and help to prevent odors. The trays’ silicone material is BPA-free and dishwasher safe, making cleaning the trays a breeze. It’s also designed to be nonporous, so it shouldn’t take on unpleasant smells over time. Shoppers can choose from black, blue, and red. 

Best for Cocktails: Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds

Best for Cocktails

These unique molds make large spherical ice cubes that melt slowly, making them perfect for cocktails. Tovolo

Why They Made The Cut: The Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds feature an easy-to-use design that creates large ice cubes that won’t dilute whisky or other beverages. 

Specs:

  • Material: Plastic and silicone
  • Cube Shape: Spherical
  • Number of Cubes: 2 (1 x 2)

Pros:

  • Stackable design
  • Makes large, slow-melting spherical ice
  • Made from BPA-free materials

Cons:

  • Must be run under warm water to release 

When it comes to making concentrated cocktails or whisky on the rocks, it’s important to use large ice cubes that melt slowly in order to prevent the drink from becoming diluted. These molds from Tovolo make large spherical ice cubes measuring 2.5 inches in diameter, making them the perfect size for many types of beverages. They come in a set of two and are stackable for compact freezer storage. They’re made from a combination of plastic and silicone and are extremely easy to use, simply requiring users to fill the base to a fill line and put on the silicone lid. 

Since the ice cubes are so large, they take longer to freeze, with the manufacturer estimating the freezing time at about 6 hours. One downside is that in order to release the ice, the mold has to be run under warm water. 

Best for Water Bottles: OXO Good Grips Ice Tray for Water Bottles

Best for Water Bottles

The OXO Good Grips Ice Tray for Water Bottles makes narrow, rectangular ice cubes that easily fit in the mouth of a water bottle. OXO

Why It Made The Cut: This ice cube tray from OXO Good Grips makes narrow cubes designed to fit in a water bottle and features comfortable handles that make it easy to fill. 

Specs:

  • Material: Plastic and silicone
  • Cube Shape: Rectangular
  • Number of Cubes: 12

Pros:

  • Stackable design
  • Ice sticks fit in standard-sized bottle mouths
  • Features comfortable handle

Cons:

  • Must be run under warm water to release 

Most standard-sized ice cubes won’t fit in the mouth of a water bottle, so those wanting to cool their beverages on the go need specially designed cubes. This tray from OXO Good Grips produces long, rectangular cubes or ice sticks that are narrow enough to fit into the mouth of a standard plastic water bottle. 

The tray features a tight-fitting silicone lid that allows users to transport it from the sink to the freezer without spilling. It also allows for the tray to be stored sideways and prevents the ice from absorbing freezer odors. The tray also has handles on both sides, making filling and transporting it easy and comfortable. The trays can be stacked on top of one another in the freezer, making for more efficient storage.

Things to Consider When Choosing Ice Cube Trays

With so many types of ice cube trays on the market, choosing the right one for your kitchen requires careful consideration. Keep the following factors in mind while making your purchase.

Size and Shape

Ice cubes can be made in nearly any size or shape imaginable. These are some of the most popular options:

  • Standard ice cubes have a crescent moon shape and are great for everyday use.
  • Water bottle ice cubes are long and thin in order to fit into the mouth of a water bottle. 
  • Cocktail ice cubes are typically large and round and are purported to melt more slowly. 
  • Novelty ice cubes can be shaped like animals, food, or even characters from popular film and television franchises. They’re a fun choice for themed parties and other special occasions. 

Design

An ice cube tray’s design is important when it comes to functionality. Many models are stackable, allowing several trays to be easily placed on top of one another for compact freezer storage. 

Some ice cube trays come with lids, which serve to keep odors at bay. They prevent spills when transporting the tray from the sink to the freezer. Lids also allow for the tray to be stored sideways as needed without the cubes falling out. 

Material

Ice cube trays can be made from a variety of materials, but the most popular are plastic, silicone, and stainless steel. 

  • Plastic ice cube trays are simple and affordable, but they can crack if handled too roughly. Most trays currently on the market are made from BPA-free plastic.
  • Silicone ice cube trays are flexible and make it incredibly easy to remove the ice. They’re also pretty durable but may take on a freezer-burn flavor over time.
  • Stainless steel ice cube trays are purported to offer the cleanest taste, but removing cubes from the tray can be difficult. 

FAQs

Q: What is the best material for an ice cube tray?

Plastic and silicone are the two most popular materials for ice cube trays. Silicone is best for ease of use and durability, while plastic offers a clean flavor. 

Q: How long do ice cubes take to freeze?

While freezing times depend on the size of the ice cubes, standard cubes typically take between 3 and 4 hours to freeze. 

Q: How do you make clear ice cubes?

In order to make clear ice cubes, start by purchasing distilled water, which is free of the minerals that can cause ice to look cloudy. Boil the water before freezing it for crystal clear results. 

Final Thoughts

Our recommendations cover a variety of types and styles of ice cube trays to best suit different needs. The W&P Peak Silicone Everyday Ice Tray is our top pick because of its unique construction and easy-to-use design. Our recommended choice for those on a budget is the OXO Good Grips Ice Cube Tray, which offers great performance at an affordable price.

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