The 8 Best Home Ice Makers of 2022

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If your household goes through a lot of ice, chances are your refrigerator’s ice maker can’t keep up with the demand. A built-in home ice maker produces a significant amount of ice on a daily basis, ensuring there are always cubes ready when you need a drink. A large ice capacity isn’t the only benefit of a home ice maker, says Ben Neely, owner of Riverbend Homes in Texas. “The speed at which they make ice is a lot faster [than countertop models], and you have more options on the type of ice you can get—whether you want Sonic ice or other types.” We researched the best at-home ice makers, taking note of installation requirements, ice production and style, storage capacity, and more.

Our top pick is the Whirlpool 15 in. 50 lb. Built-In Ice Maker, which can be built into cabinetry or left freestanding. It produces a whopping 50 pounds of ice per day.

Here are the best home ice makers to add to your kitchen, pantry, or man cave.


Final Verdict

The Whirlpool 15 in. 50 lb. Built-In Ice Maker is an unbeatable choice for your ice-making needs. It can produce up to 50 pounds of ice per day, store 25 pounds at a time, and it even has a Fast Ice option for when you’re running low during a party. For something more compact and budget-friendly, the EdgeStar IB120SS Built-in Ice Maker can make 12 pounds of ice per day, and it doesn’t require a drain line, so it can be installed virtually anywhere. 

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Ice Storage Capacity and Production

As you look at different ice makers, you’ll see two different numbers listed: ice production and ice capacity. Ice production indicates how much ice the machine could create if it ran continuously all day, and for built-in ice makers, this number is usually between 20 and 80 pounds. However, ice capacity measures how many pounds of ice can be stored inside the unit. Most ice makers automatically stop production when their storage bins are full, and they only resume production when ice is removed from the bin.

Ice Type

There are a surprisingly large number of ice cube styles available today, and some of the most common options made by ice makers include standard square cubes, smaller half-cubes, crescent ice, nugget or pebble ice, and top hat or gourmet ice. Nugget ice is also called “Sonic ice” and is popular thanks to its soft, chewable texture. You may also see ice makers that make “clear ice.” This means the machine removes air bubbles from the ice to help keep drinks fresh and reduce foaming in carbonated drinks. 

Installation and Door Type

Many home ice makers can either be freestanding or built into your cabinetry. Freestanding units can be moved around your home as needed, while built-in units are permanently installed and sit flush under your counter. For a built-in unit, you’ll likely need a drain pump for installation, which may or may not be included with the appliance. A drain pump removes excess liquid from the storage bin as the ice melts and must be connected to your kitchen’s plumbing. 

When thinking about installation, you’ll also want to consider the style of door that works best for your space. Reversible doors, which swing open to the left or right, are the most popular for built-in ice makers, but you can also find units with drop-down doors, which can be a space-saving option in small kitchens.

Maintenance

Like any kitchen appliance, home ice makers have certain maintenance requirements that need to be done on a regular basis to keep the unit in good working condition. Some units have filters that need to be changed periodically, and others have self-cleaning cycles that help remove impurities from their inner workings. Many models with these features also have indicator lights that tell you when maintenance needs to be done. 

You’ll also want to look at how the appliance is defrosted in case you ever need to shut it down. Models with a drain pump often feature automatic defrosting, but some may require manual defrosting, which can be a bit messy. 

Extra Features

Depending on how fancy you want your ice maker to be, you may want to look for a model with advanced features. Some high-end models have self-closing doors or fast ice modes that produce cubes more quickly. There are even some Wi-Fi connected appliances that can be controlled right from your phone.

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Ice Scoop

While it may seem like a small thing, don’t underestimate the convenience of having an ice scoop for your ice maker. It will make serving ice quicker, easier, and more sanitary (especially if the alternative is using your hands). Some appliances even have a space to store the scoop within the interior. 

Factory-Installed Drain Pump

A drain pump allows your ice maker to remove excess water from the storage bin, but not all appliances come with one. Some drain pumps must be purchased and installed separately, which can make the installation process more complex. Models with a factory-installed drain pump are often easier to install in your home, and you don’t have to worry about purchasing a compatible part. 

Energy Star Certification

There aren’t many home ice makers that are Energy Star certified—unfortunately, these appliances do use quite a bit of electricity to produce and store ice. However, models that do achieve this certification use less water and energy so you can save money on your utility bills.

FAQ

  • If cared for properly, a home ice maker can last anywhere from three to ten years. The appliance’s lifespan will depend on factors such as how often it’s used, whether you keep up with recommended maintenance, and the overall quality of the appliance. 

  • Built-in ice makers almost always require a water line—after all, they need access to water in order to make ice. However, not all units require a drain line. Units that don’t require a drain line can usually be manually drained, allowing you to pour out any water from melted ice. 

  • To keep your ice maker in peak working condition, it’s important to clean it at least once every six months. You’ll want to empty and clean out the ice bin, as well as run the unit’s self-cleaning cycle (if it has one). For units without a self-cleaning option, consult the user’s manual for instructions on how to flush out the unit’s inner components. 

This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. While researching ice makers for this article, she spoke with Ladi Goldwire, CEO of BrinMar Construction & Development Group, for insights on what to look for when purchasing one of these appliances. Using these expert tips, she evaluated products based on their ice production, storage capacity, maintenance requirements, and features. She prioritized ice makers with a good production-to-storage ratio and useful features.

Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.

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