What Features are Important for Ice Makers?

Every time you host a party, someone will inevitably need to make a trip to the store to buy ice.

Carrying those large bags of ice from the store to the car, from the car to the freezer, and then from the freezer to an ice bucket, is never fun. Not to mention, the ice can become hard and a pick may be required to break up large pieces into smaller ones. Save yourself a lot of time and effort and invest in an ice maker. Ice makers are not just practical for entertaining – they are perfect for busy families who regularly uses ice for their coffee, juice, smoothies, and more. Here’s what to look for when shopping for an ice maker.


Ice makers range in price from around $300 up to $2,300 plus shipping. If you are not skilled at installing appliances, you may want to also budget for any installation assistance you may need to hire. For example, if you plan to recess the ice maker into cabinetry where there is not already space, you will need to employ a contractor to create that space for you.

Storage and Production Capacity: Ice makers may produce between 26 to 50 pounds of ice per day. An ice maker can store between 1 lb and 25 lbs of ice per day. It is important to note that for hygienic reasons, you do not want large quantities of ice sitting unused for long periods of time.

Installation Requirements:

Compact and portable ice makers are designed for freestanding use and are small enough to be used on a countertop or table. When in operation, they require clearance on all sides to work efficiently. If you do not want to take up valuable counter space, consider a model designed for built-in installation. With front exhaust, these ice makers can be recessed into cabinetry, which creates a more seamless and luxurious appearance. Larger models must be connected to a water supply. Whether freestanding or built-in, ice makers should always be installed on a level surface, away from direct sunlight.

Drainage Requirements:

Every ice maker must drain in some way. Larger ice makers are equipped with either a gravity drain or a drain pump. Compact or portable ice makers may require you to drain the unit periodically into a nearby sink.

Ice Type:

What kind of ice would you like? Some ice makers make cubes while others make ice in a crescent shape, or nugget shape. Most ice makers make ice that is white in color while others make ice that is crystal clear.


If you are adding your ice maker to a kitchen or bar you may be looking for a model that matches the color of your other appliances. Other style elements to consider is the type of handle (curved or pole) as well as the position of the door swing. Ice makers with reversible door swings are versatile because you can change the direction in which the door opens and install unit next to another appliance such as a beverage cooler.


Lastly, consider the warranty of the ice maker you’d like to purchase. This will give you a good indication of the life span of the unit you are buying and ease your worry about any repair costs that may arise in the future.

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