Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Countertop Ice Maker

The right countertop ice maker ensures you can always get a cold drink, even when you have lots of company.

If you don’t already have a countertop ice maker, you might want to put one on your must-have list. The convenience of having all the ice you want, any time you want it, even with company or large groups visiting, can be a true joy. Most machines make a lot of ice very quickly, take up little space on the counter, and are simple to use. However, all countertop ice makers are not created equal. When shopping for an ice maker, think about these important factors.

Speed and Storage

This model is quiet and energy efficient. IKICH

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Depending on your circumstances, the speed of an ice maker might or might not be a large consideration. Many ice makers are advertised to make a lot of ice in a very short time. Most times speed is listed as the number of pounds of ice the machine can produce per day (in a 24-hour period). Some manufacturers also list the amount of ice that the maker can produce in only a couple of hours, which is more useful data for many shoppers. Hand in hand with speed is storage capacity, which differs from production capacity to be discussed later. If your ice maker can make all the ice you need at the speed you desire but doesn’t have enough storage capacity, it still won’t serve your needs completely. Unless you don’t mind bagging ice and putting it in the freezer, you want to choose an ice maker that will store as much ice as you might need at any given time—even for special occasions.


This product is completely portable. GE

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Size matters because many homes have limited counter space and already have lots of other items stored there. Many ice makers are fairly small for this very reason, although some are very large and fine for those who have plenty of space. The best way to decide if an ice maker meets your space needs is to determine where you plan to put it before you make a purchase. Measure that area carefully, then look at the size of each ice maker you consider seeing if it will fit well in that area. If you live alone or just with a significant other, production capacity probably isn’t going to be a big deal-breaker in choosing an ice breaker. But if you have a large family or do a lot of entertaining in your home, you’ll want one that has the capacity to produce plenty of ice and not leave you making a quick run to the store at an inopportune time.

Alerts You When Water Levels are Low

This product automatically shuts off when the ice basket is full. Prime Home Direct

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If you want an ice maker that you can take with you to your lake cabin, in your RV, or other places you visit, you’re in luck. Many manufacturers make small units that are very portable and perfect for taking along. Be sure and measure your counter space in your RV or cabin so you get an ice maker small enough to fit there without causing difficulties. Also, consider durability when choosing an ice maker. While high-quality, high-cost models typically are more durable, that’s not always the case. That’s why it is important to check an ice maker’s warranty before purchasing. Another factor to consider is cost. Most are relatively affordable, but you get what you pay for. If you’re on a budget, first determine how much you are willing to spend, then shop for units in that price range. That will help you avoid overspending.