The 5 Best nugget Ice Makers of 2024


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The 5 Best Nugget Ice Makers – 🧊 If you’ve been considering a nugget ice or pebble ice maker, I’m sharing my reviews of 5 popular models, including which one I own, love, and can’t live without! 👏🏻

best nugget ice machines

Credit: Mixop

Because I make A LOT of ice in my house, I love to share my picks for the best nugget ice makers you can buy. Nugget ice is a nicer form for ice connoisseurs like me, especially compared to the average ice cube your fridge’s ice maker spits out.

I create a lot of ice-cold drink recipes on my site, such as my DELICIOUS Pomegranate Mojito Punch, but so does my husband, the founder of Mixop Cocktails, who takes all of our gorgeous drink photos, including the Ice Tea (above) that’s a copycat from Martha Stewart’s Las Vegas restaurant where we originally sampled it.

If you’re interested in mixology, you NEED to have a nugget ice maker, but I would also recommend one even if you’re not making alcoholic drinks. They’re great for flavored water or iced coffee, too.

To come up with the five best nugget ice makers, I researched leading sellers on the market from big-name brands you can trust. I focused on a few features, like how much ice can be made daily, how much ice they hold, and how they dispense — is it right into your cup or scooped from an ice bin?

Below, you can shop my top picks for the best nugget ice makers available, including the one I use and LOVE in my own kitchen.

My Top Picks: 

  1. What’s in My Kitchen: GE Profile Opal 2.0 – $549 at Amazon
  2. Best Countertop Nugget Ice Maker (Runner Up): Frigidaire Gallery Nugget Ice Maker – $379.99 at Amazon 
  3. Best Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker: Whirlpool 15-Inch, Built-In Ice Maker – $2,248 at The Home Depot
  4. Most Affordable: Igloo Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker – $102.39 at Amazon

Reviews of The Best Nugget Ice Makers

1. What’s in My Kitchen: GE Profile Opal 2.0

GE Profile Opal 2.0
Credit: Best Buy

I bought this ice maker three years ago and have not regretted it once. While I know the price tag is higher, this thing has paid for itself! It is the BEST home nugget ice maker. With my five-year-old GE fridge and ice maker, I had to repair the ice maker THREE TIMES, to the tune of $250 to $450 each time, and the repairs would not last. The repairmen told me it’s extremely common and I was not along. Womp!

So a nugget ice maker is cheaper than paying for various ice maker repairs! Yay!

With this model, I especially like the side water tank. A tank of water doesn’t last all that long if you’re making ice for a family who likes ice in EVERYTHING — water bottles, iced tea, iced coffee, soft drinks, mixed drinks, you name it. We refill the tank every 48 hours. 

Some reviews mention it’s noisy, but I don’t think so. It has a slight hum similar to a dishwasher, but it’s definitely not loud like a blender! I love that you can start with ZERO ice, push the button, and within 45 to 60 minutes, you have enough ice to replenish large water bottles, like a Yeti or Stanley. Once you power it on, it can churn out ice in 10-15 minutes.

The only thing I don’t like about this nugget ice maker is that the compartment where the ice goes is NOT refrigerated or insulated. You have to use the ice within a 4-6 hours, or it will melt. But the melted ice/ice water goes back into the unit and that water is used to make more ice.

However, in the winter, the ice stays intact all night in my cold kitchen. But if the ice does melt, again, don’t worry. It turns to water and gets redistributed in the machine. You don’t ever have to drain anything!

Ice Making Pro Tip

If I know I am going to have an event or party, I make a ton of ice and just stash the ice in my freezer in zip-top bags! People are always very impressed when you hand them a drink with pebble or nugget ice in it or can self-serve their own nugget ice!

The Specs:

  • Capacity: 3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.5” x 13.43” x 16.5”
  • Weight: 38 pounds

The Pros:

  • Has a side tank
  • Makes ice quickly 
  • Easy to clean
  • Built-in WiFi pairs with SmartHQ app
  • Voice control through Alexa and Google
  • Automatically refills when ice is low

The Cons:

  • No refrigerated tank
  • Expensive

What Others Are Saying

Besides being my FAVORITE nugget ice maker, Food & Wine and US News & World Report also named it as the best overall nugget ice maker. Popular Mechanics dubbed the best model for nugget ice. Plus, it has a 4.1-star rating on Amazon from more than 4,200 reviews.

Buy the GE Profile Opal 2.0:

Frigidaire Gallery Nugget Ice Maker
Credit: Target

Coming in at a close second to my GE Profile is this countertop ice maker. I love that it comes in a pretty neutral color, but its other features are really nice, too: It can make ice within 15 minutes and can produce up to 44 pounds of ice every day. It has an automatic self-cleaning option AND the touch controls are really easy to use, so literally anyone can do it. 

If I owned this product, I would use it to make ice for my Tropical Strawberry Lemonade Party Punch — you can leave the alcohol out if you want. Having a nugget ice maker like this makes the party more efficient as a host! Guests can easily help themselves to ice using the handy scooper included with purchase.

This product also includes a one-year manufacturer warranty, which is another reason I can stand behind it.

The Specs:

  • Capacity: 44 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.75” x 11.75” x 20.25”
  • Weight: 35 pounds 

The Pros:

  • Touchscreen
  • Self-cleaning function
  • Fits on countertop
  • Makes ice in 10-15 Minutes
  • Affordable

The Cons:

  • Some customers report breakage in less than a year
  • Noisy

What Others are Saying

Good Housekeeping named this product as the best overall nugget ice maker out of all the ones they tested. On Amazon, it has a 4.3-star rating from more than 3,600 buyers.

Buy the Frigidaire Gallery EFIC255 Countertop Nugget Ice Maker:

3. Best Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker: Whirlpool 15-Inch, Built-In Ice Maker

Whirlpool 15-Inch, Built-In Ice Maker
Credit: Best Buy

Not every kitchen boasts an abundance of countertops. If you are looking for a nugget ice maker to stow away UNDER your counters because you have very limited countertop space, this is the best option.

Although it’s REALLY pricey, it can store up to 25 pounds of ice at a time and can be installed anywhere that’s within 100 feet of a drain. I also like that it has clear ice technology, so your ice comes out perfect every single time.

You could even put this in a back hall or mudroom if you’re super tight in the kitchen.


I would use this nugget ice maker for a batch of my Malibu Sunset drinks, which are fun, fruity, and easy and just like going on a tropical vacation. If you’re looking for a mocktail option, my husband makes a DELICIOUS Thai Iced Tea that’s perfect for the warmer months.

The Specs:

  • Capacity: 25 pounds
  • Dimensions: 33.63” x 15” x 25.38”
  • Weight: 50 pounds

The Pros:

  • “Fast Ice” option
  • Fingerprint resistant stainless-steel exterior
  • Indicator tells you when it’s time to clean

The Cons:

  • Some customers report breakage in less than a year
  • Takes up a lot of floor space
  • Expensive

What Others Are Saying

Food & Wine named this product best overall for undercounter nugget ice makers. Reviews on The Home Depot also give it 4.1 out of 5 stars.

Buy the Whirlpool 15-Inch, Built-In Ice Maker:

4. Most Affordable: Igloo Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker

Igloo Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker
Credit: Target

Whenever I work on a kitchen product guide like this, I try to include various price ranges. I get that not everyone wants to spend a thousand dollars on a nugget ice maker. While this Igloo model is the cheapest nugget ice maker, it ranks very high in quality. I was blown away by the more than 10,000 positive reviews on Amazon!

It has great features and can make ice in 6 to 8 minutes, but the capacity is way smaller. It can store up to 1.25 pounds of ice at a time but will only produce around nine ice cubes per run. That being said, it’s also the most lightweight option on my list, which makes it way more portable for beachside drinks like my husband’s Rose Sangria recipe.

It comes in a few fun colors like aqua, red, or pink for a fun decorative accent in the kitchen or at a party. This would also look really nice in a home bar so you can have fresh ice within reach and not have to run back and forth to the kitchen.

The Specs:

  • Capacity: 9 ice cubes
  • Dimensions: 11.69” x 12.6” x 8.98”
  • Weight: 26 pounds

The Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Makes ice in 6-8 Minutes
  • Very portable
  • Automatically refills when ice runs low
  • Can make two sizes of ice cubes 
  • Self-cleaning

The Cons:

  • Only makes nine ice cubes at once
  • Not as high-tech as other options on my list

What Others Are Saying

It has a 4.2-star rating from more than 10,000 Amazon shoppers. Food & Wine also named it best overall runner-up among the countertop ice makers tested.

Buy the Igloo Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker:

Honorable Mention

GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank

Although my top pick is the newer, 2.0 Opal model from GE, this is the original one, and is a solid alternative that costs a little less. It’s a bit smaller than mine but can crank out the same amount of ice at a time. Mine can do it in 10-ish minutes, while this one takes just a little longer at 15 minutes. 

If you’re into gadgets, the newer 2.0 model can also connect to a smartphone app, so you can schedule the ice to be made, whereas this option doesn’t have all of those extra features. At 47 pounds, it’s also pretty heavy compared to mine.

For these reasons, I think my Opal 2.0 is a cut above, so I kept this one off my top picks, but if you don’t need bells and whistles, this could be a good option, too. 

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Why You Can Trust Me

best nugget ice makers
Credit: Mixop

Want the recipe? It’s my husband’s Guava Martini.

Hi, I’m Averie Sunshine! I’m the founder of Averie Cooks and have been blogging and sharing my recipes since 2009. I was named one of the Ten Best Food Bloggers by the Huffington Post, and my work has appeared in Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart’s Martha’s Circle, Gourmet Live, and countless others over my 15-year blogging career.

But on top of these credentials, I have a lot of knowledge about many areas when it comes to home cooking. This includes cocktails and mocktails, where access to good quality ice is very, very important. 

I’ve also published two books: Peanut Butter Comfort: Recipes for Breakfasts, Brownies, Cakes, Cookies, and Frozen Treats Featuring America’s Favorite Spread and Cooking with Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie.

If you look through my website, you’ll see I feature a lot of cocktails and mocktails. I aim for these to be easy and refreshing, the kind of drinks you can make for parties and get everyone talking about because they are SO GOOD and COLORFUL.

Having one of the best nugget ice makers is imperative to what I do, and I recommend every household that uses A LOT of ice invest in one, too.

What to Know About Nugget Ice Makers

best nugget ice makers
Credit: Mixop

Want the recipe? It’s my husband’s Pineapple Cucumber Gin.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Nugget Ice Maker

To get the best nugget ice maker, keep a few features in mind. The worst thing is to invest in a new product, only to find out it’s difficult to clean, makes a ton of noise, and doesn’t suit your household’s needs.

  • Size: The size of your nugget ice maker will vary depending on where you want to set it up. Will it be on the kitchen countertop? Tucked into a home bar? Under the counters? Check out the dimensions of the nugget ice makers I’ve reviewed as a starting point to determine what you need. And, always, ALWAYS use a measuring tape to size up the space before you buy a product.
  • Price: I get that most people have a budget but there’s a tendency to go cheap, but, well, you get what you pay for with these machines. I would aim to spend at least $400 on a nugget ice maker, with the exception of the Igloo product I mentioned above. 
  • Accessories: As you can probably tell, I LOVE my nugget ice maker’s handy features. I’m a HUGE fan of the side tank. This increases the storage capacity and really makes a difference. Some nugget ice makers have accessories like this, while others don’t. Make sure you get one with a side tank.

Is There a Difference Between Pebble Ice and Nugget Ice?

best nugget ice makers
Credit: Mixop

Want the recipe? It’s my husband’s Rose Lemon Spritz.

The short answer is no: “pebble” and “nugget” are used interchangeably. However, don’t buy a product that makes crushed ice. That’s only good if you want a shaved-ice effect with your drinks or plan on making snow cones.

What is the Difference Between Nugget and Cube Ice Maker?

Because everyone is familiar with ice cube trays that you pop in the freezer to make ice, these are the types of cubes you get with a cube ice maker. They are square. Nugget ice is crunchy and chewable and known to melt much more quickly than a cube. It’s the good ice!

Some of My Favorite Drink Recipes 

Rose Sangria
Credit: Mixop

While the best nugget ice makers are functional kitchen gadget for filling everyone’s water bottles, I LOVE to use nugget ice in drink recipes. Here are my favorites. Some can be made non-alcoholic.

My husband also posts a ton of DELICIOUS drink recipes on his site, too:

Prices were accurate at the time of publication. 

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.