Buying ice bags can be tedious for you and overwhelming for your freezer. Ice trays are far from the cut compared to ice makers.
It’s easy to use, automatic, convenient, and saves you and your freezer any hassle, especially if you’re hosting a cocktail party. The only problem? Noise. Buying an ice maker that’s as noisy as your freezer isn’t pleasant to have at all.
That’s why I’ve rounded the 7 best quiet ice makers to keep your home at peace and your parties, pleasant enough to have a conversation comfortably.
After 5 hours of ice-wrenching research, the Vremi Countertop stands as the best over counter ice maker. If you’re looking for the best under-counter ice maker, the Manitowoc NEO Air-Cooled under counter ice machine is the perfect option.
If these two don’t convince you, maybe the 5 other ice machines will! After all, these are all top picks you’ll want for your next party.
Our Top Quiet Ice Makers
Best Over Counter/Countertop Ice Maker
Dimensions: 13.5” x 12” x 9.5”
Weight: 20.9 lbs
This gadget can make up to 26 pounds of ice per day in a 24-hour period. You’d expect nothing less from the best over counter ice maker.
It can also make nine cubes per cycle, which is about nine minutes long.
A great thing about this stainless steel machine is that it recycles water. Once it melts, the water goes down a drain into a reservoir that the machine collects and produces more ice. It is not a new and engaging feature, but it’s definitely a cost-effective addition worth having.
It has energy efficiency, too, running on only 120 watts with a quiet cooling feature and places a sleek display on the counter.
Set up is simple, but it needs a 24-hour warm-up period. This means the first batch you make will be your test batch. On that note, the second batch appeared different compared to the first or test batch of ice cubes.
Despite the fact it can create 26 pounds a day, it only carries a 2.2-liter capacity. So, halfway through you’ll need to add water again. The refilling process might require a little more effort; however, it beats having to fill ice trays and wait for hours per batch.
It is relatively quiet, but at the end of each cycle, it sends a signal, which, depending on the situation, can be either helpful or distracting. If you are hosting a party, then this feature is helpful in reminding the host of the ice.
If you’re off-grid in a small cabin or sailing the seas, this machine is a lifesaver.
- Easy to control
- No installation required
- Prevents overflow
- Refilling required on a regular basis
Best Undercounter Ice Maker
Dimensions: 28” x 26” x 38.5”
Weight: 153 lbs
This machine makes a serious amount of ice. It can garner up to 10lbs of ice at a time and a whopping 304lbs per day. That is a lot of ice! That also means it’s perfect to use if you’re hosting a party or social gathering of considerable size.
Proper installation and maintenance are key, since a few users have had trouble with theirs. The overall feedback; however, is excellent.
I love how this fills up the bin pretty quickly and is also rather silent. This is a great investment for establishments that will need large amounts of ice, from bar parties to miscellaneous activities.
Reportedly, it makes 64 ice cubes in six to eight minutes. That’s one hell of a maker. Having this in your home or establishment might even solve your freezer space problem. It even has antimicrobial protection to reduce any bacteria growth.
A push control panel displays universally recognizable symbols that indicate whether the machine is on, the bin is full, a clean cycle is in progress, or if service is needed.
It also comes with a delay button that’s ideal for establishments that are only open for certain periods of the day. Lastly, it can also be left freestanding or installed as a wall frame.
- Delay button
- Produces ice quickly
- Antimicrobial protection
- Large storage capacity
- Silent operation
Dimensions: 14” x 9.8” x 13”
Weight: 20 lbs
Planning on a long summer road trip with friends and family? This portable ice maker is the key to a cool, summer vacation. It size is petite enough to fit in an RV, boat, or small kitchen counter.
It may be compact, but it can produce 26 pounds of ice per day and rather quickly, too. A bullet sized ice-cube, along with eight others, will be produced in six minutes, so there’s no need to wait overnight to get cool.
A tray can store up to 1.5 pounds of ice at one time.
It is an easy-to-use ice maker. No need for installation – just find a socket and plug it in! The control panel allows you to turn the machine on and off and it lets you choose your ice size.
Monitoring levels are simple enough thanks to the see-through window on the lid. It also features LED lights that indicate when the basket is full or when you need to add more water.
As for noise, the fan and condenser are reportedly quiet and the real noise only comes from the falling ice at the end of each cycle. Apart from that, it’s relatively silent.
- Fast cycles
- Reasonably priced
- Efficient and reliable
- Only one ice cube size
- Uses a lot of energy
Dimensions: 9.5” x 14” x 12.9”
Weight: 17.5 lbs
Another rather portable, stainless steel ice maker that comes with a high-power compressor, nine corrosion resistant condensers, and a R134a refrigerator. The tank also holds up to 2.2L of water.
This ice maker can produce nine ice cubes per batch, which lasts about eight minutes (but according to the product listing, 6-13 minutes). It produces 26.5 pounds of ice per day or 24 hours.
It also indicates when the ice needs to be taken out, which is when the basket is full and when one needs to add more water. However, monitoring the ice can be done through the transparent window.
Ever watch in horror as someone uses their hands to get some ice for their drink? Yikes! Luckily, this ice maker also with a scoop to remove it from the tray. Not only will you avoid faffing about, looking for a spoon to retrieve the ice, but it provides assurance that the rest will remain clean.
It is also low noise, easy to clean, and ELT certified.
The Edison Laboratory Testing, or ELT for short, certification indicates that the device is proof of product compliance to North American safety standards.
- Simple to operate
- ELT certification
Customer service reportedly not good
Dimensions: 12.9” x 9.5” x 14
Weight: 19.3 lbs
Anyone like to chew on ice? This powerful ice maker creates beautiful, medium-to-small, bullet shaped, chewable ice in six to eight minutes. That was a mouthful, wasn’t it?
The small cylindrical shape is a perfect fit for water bottle openings and the medium sizes for mixed drinks and the like.
It can make a whopping 1.5lbs of ice at a time and 26lbs a day. Its water reserve is 2.2 liters. The design comes with a water reservoir that sits at the bottom of the ice basket that reuses melted ice to make more.
Warning LED lights also indicate when the water needs to be refilled or when the basket is full. Additionally, it automatically shuts off.
It also comes with a scoop and is ELT certified.
- ELT Certified
- Can create small or medium sized ice cubes
- Quiet operation
- Ice produced is visually appealing
- Warning lights
- Requires slightly heavier maintenance
Dimensions: 15.5” x 10.5 “ 17.2 “
Weight: 44 lbs
This is another small ice maker with an elegant design. It creates little pellets of ice within 20 minutes. It makes ice at a rate of one pound per hour, making that about 24 pounds of ice in 24 hours.
The storage bin holds about 3 pounds at a time, but luckily it senses when the bin is full and stops producing any more than needed.
What makes the Opal Countertop Nugget different is how the ice produced is softer, making it slightly more susceptible to melt. Not to worry though since it recycles the water, which is caught in the reservoir, and continues to make ice.
A unique feature of this ice machine is it’s equipped with Bluetooth. A schedule can be created for ice making convenience from your phone with the free FirstBuild app.
No need for professional installing too, since it can be plugged into any 120V electrical outlet and fill the reservoir of water.
A key to remember is to use potable water, with 12 gpg or less of mineral hardness. This is not just a health precaution, but also a maintenance issue since a higher gpg results in higher mineral build-up in the ice machine and damages it.
- Easy installing
- Restaurant quality ice
- Bluetooth activated
- Gourmet ice
- Ice is softer and more susceptible to melting
Dimensions:23.6” x 14.6” x 32.8”
Weight: 84 lbs
For more heavy duty jobs, a bigger ice maker is required. This one in particular makes 50lbs of ice every day; however, it can only hold half – 25lbs – at a time.
Water needs to be filtered ahead of time for this ice maker to increase this unit’s longevity. The water supply connection should be properly installed, so it’s best to have a professional plumber perform the installation.
It can either be built-in to the wall or be left freestanding.
A common user complaint is that the ice sticks together. While this unit comes with its own ice scooper, you’ll still need to purchase another one and preferably a stainless steel one, at that.
Now, on the topic of quiet, there’s a slight issue. While for a business it can be considered quiet, for residential use it can be fairly loud.
One review reports that they have taken to switching the machine off during mealtimes or when they have guests over. Perhaps it would be best then to have in an office pantry rather than at home.
- Holds a good amount of ice
- Easy professional installation
- Well built
- Manually break apart the ice
- Not as quiet as advertised
1. Water Filter
Filtered water is important since not all units have a built-in filter. What is so important about this process, anyway?
Water filtration is a process to ensure that water is potable. This is usually done through a biological process, a chemical process, or a physical barrier. It removes impurities such as bacteria, viruses, minerals, and the like.
Have you ever noticed a hard white film encompassing your shower head, faucet, or even some kitchen appliances? We call this limescale buildup. It’s mostly calcium carbonate and it is not advisable to have both in function and health wise for your appliances.
It can also cause degradation and corrosion, which is why it is important that a water filter is used. Ice machines are not cheap, so it’s best to take care of them. Keeping limescale from building up is part of preventive maintenance.
2. Ice Quality
There are two main standards: clear and cloudy. The majority standard made at home is usually cloudy. This is again due to the minerals either present or absent in the water.
Aside from appearance, another key difference is the speed in which they melt. Clear ice melts at a slower rate and keeps your drink flavorful.
3. Type of Ice
Aesthetic is definitely not the most important thing to consider, but the shape is helpful for visuals and great for parties, events, and for personal preferences.
Traditional looking types look great in any old glass or mug. However, they can be too bulky for some openings.
Bullet-shaped types are small and ideal for those who carry around H20 bottles. The shape allows it to easily slip through the narrow opening.
Ice pellets or nuggets are another fun and attractive shape some machines produce, ideally for smoothies or shakes and for those with an ice chewing habit. Additionally, they look really great in a glass.
It is always wise to consider the space where this additional kitchen appliance will go. There are units ideal for freestanding or built into the way. There are under counter and countertop options.
Capacity usually indicates how large the ice maker will be. Smaller, portable ice makers are usually countertops.
5. Ice Production
Not every household needs to make 26 pounds of ice per day. That can be excessive for a family of five. Some establishments though will most likely need a lot more than that.
As a general rule, the size of the ice maker is directly proportional to the amount of ice it makes per day.
For parties or road trips, a countertop ice maker should be suitable. If you need more amounts of ice, like for big events like parties or bars, a freestanding ice-maker type is usually more ideal.
6. Freestanding vs. Built-in
A few built-in ice makers are designed to fit into different grooves and walls of the kitchen, instead of simply being kept under a counter.
Built-in models have ventilation in the front, so you can easily fit them into tight spaces. Even with a few obstructions in the side, built-in models should be fine so as long as the front ventilation is unobstructed.
Freestanding models have ventilation built in the sides. This means you can’t place freestanding models under the counter or fit them easily in tight spaces. Since the ventilation comes from both sides, it’s recommended to place freestanding models in a place with ample space in the sides.
Both are fine and no installment surpasses the other, but it goes down to preference and living space.
Key to Remember
Maintenance is very important. This is what separates the machines that have lasted for years upon years and those that were quick to give up and bite the dust.
Make sure your water quality is up to standard when making ice cubes. Don’t skimp out, because if the instructions stated it should be filtered prior to placing it in the machine, then there is an essential purpose for doing so.
Minerals left unfiltered can also ruin these expensive pieces of equipment, so make sure you keep a water filter nearby or install a built-in filter unit.
The Ice Maker for You
How will the ice maker be used and how frequently? Who will be using the ice maker? These are just one of the many questions you might find yourself asking before buying an ice maker.
Ratings are essential references, but your needs come first. If the model you buy doesn’t even come close to satisifying your needs, even the most premium pick won’t do you any good.
To help you choose the best one, Here are a few more considerations to help you choose which benefits you the most.
Counter-top ice makers are ideal options for home use. They might have even been created with that particular need in mind. These ice makers pack a punch without taking up too much space or burning holes in your pocket too.
The Vremi Countertop Ice Maker is a particularly good choice for this because it only has a 2.2 liter reservoir capacity.
This is a probable con for parties or outdoor large family barbecues. As for everyday use, it’s not too bad. It will also easily fit in your kitchen counter, too.
It is energy efficient, which is ideal to have nowadays. Households usually don’t want to purchase an item only for conveniences while it wracks up on the bills.
There is also the water recycling aspect. It sadly does not keep the it cold, so it returns to its natural state of liquid . A drain pools it into the reservoir and gets cooled back into ice.
For a more fancy home use, the Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker markets itself to producing the ‘best ice.’ To give it proper claim credit, it does produce an extremely attractive version of the ice cube.
This essentially makes crushed ice (otherwise known as ice pellets or nugget ice), making it better for smoothing, drinks, and for chewing.
Chewing? Well, if there is an anemic person in the household, they might crave chewing ice. The phenomenon is called pica, although not limited to ice. Pellet ice is also helpful for women in labor, since some of them look for ice to chew.
Whether it’s a trip to the beach, camping in the forests, or a cross country road trip, everyone will need ice at some point, especially if this is done in extremely hot weather. Compactness is a typical feature people look for in an ice maker.
For this particular situation, the Della Electronic Ice Maker is the one for you. All that is needed for this maker to work is to plug it in to a power socket. Now, this seems a little odd when camping. Who has a socket in the middle of the forest or even on a beach?
You can use extension wires that draw power from your car – like a car charger port. With this method, ice can be made en route to the destination and then simply transferred into an ice bucket.
Although, this concept is probably best for RVs and boats. A dandy thing about this is that its tray can store to a pound and a half of ice at a time.
For wedding receptions,children’s birthday parties, or even just a small family reunion, an ice maker can conveniently help you manage your cocktails and drinks in general to make you a better party host.
As a busy host, there isn’t time to always check if the storage bin is full. A unit that signals for attention is essential and can be a lifesaver at times.
hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker has exactly that. It uses the power of LED lights to signal when water needs to be refilled or when the basket is too full. It also automatically switches itself off, so there is no fear of overflow.
Costway Countertop Ice Maker also has an indicate mechanism when the same instances are encountered, It additionally has a transparent window on the cover so someone can check the ice.
It comes with its own scoop so it keeps people from using their hands. The Vremi Countertop Ice Maker also sends a signal at the end of each cycle and is a runner-up option for a house party.
While a counter-top ice maker can be useful for bars or restaurants, they may not be able to keep up with the high demand of much bigger establishments. This is where undercounter ice makers take center stage.
These machines can be left either freestanding or built into the wall to save space. Either way, their occupancy is big.
SPT IM-600 US Stainless Steel Ice Maker and Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO Air Cooled Undercounter Ice Machine are both good quality units that can make more than its fair share.
The former can make up to 50 pounds of ice within a 24 hour period, but can only hold half of it at a time. Ice formed tends to stick to each other, so they will need to be broken apart before use.
The latter is excellent for big clubs or a Christmas Soup Kitchen, since it can reportedly make 304 lbs of ice per day. If that’s not as impressive as it sounds, then I don’t know what is, especially since it already saves a lot of time on your behalf.
Our Top Pick
The best ice maker depends on how well it meets your preferences and needs. A large storage capacity bin might sound like it’s the best in the market, but it’s not always the best choice.
Consider budget, placement, and the occasion you’ll need it for as a purchase guide.
Make sure to ask yourself the right questions before grabbing the 5-star rating impulsively. You don’t need the best in the market to provide you with the best functionality.
The best over counter quiet ice maker is the Vremi Countertop Ice Maker . Its stainless steel design makes it elegant and easy to clean. It is cost effective, efficient, quick, and fairly price. It is quiet, asides from the ice falling. Truly an excellent ice maker.
The best undercounter quiet ice maker is Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO Air Cooled Undercounter Ice Machine. It has such a high output it’s hard to consider any other ice maker. The control panel is easy to understand, and it is not sore on the eyes.