Are Ice Makers Worth It? (Full Breakdown)

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Are you looking for a solution to having to fill up your ice trays every day? Well, an ice maker might be what you’re looking for! Still, there are some pros and cons to weigh out before you make a choice, and I’m here to walk you through them. 

Ice makers are worth it as long as you use a lot of ice daily and have space for a new kitchen appliance. These appliances allow you to have ice on hand all the time, and they are the perfect option for people who don’t have fridges with ice makers or who use ice frequently. 

So, let’s weigh out all the pros and cons of getting an ice maker. I’ll go into the details and help you understand why or why not an ice maker might be right for you. 

Pros of Ice Makers

  • They come in under-counter or portable varieties. This allows you to find a model that fits in your kitchen or other rooms of your home. 
  • They are excellent for people who use a lot of ice every day. They continuously produce many pounds of ice. 
  • Portable ice makers are easy to set up. You only have to clean them, fill up the water reservoir, and plug them in. 
  • They make several pounds of ice every day. This ensures that you never run out. 
  • They make ice quickly. Most ice makers drop more ice every 7 to 15 minutes. 
  • You can choose your desired ice shape. Whether you like crushed ice, round balls, cubes, or prisms, there is an ice maker that makes it!
  • Some ice makers have built-in timers. This ensures that you have ice right when you want it. 

Cons of Ice Makers

  • They take up counter or floor space. This means they might not be feasible for people with small kitchens or bar areas. 
  • You have to pour water into portable ice makers regularly. They are not connected to your water line. 
  • Most smaller portable ice makers do not keep the ice frozen. Depending on the model, you may have to use the ice immediately or store it in your freezer. 
  • Ice makers produce a humming noise. This happens when the fan is on and can be annoying.
  • They require regular cleaning. Cleaning helps keep scale and grime from building up. 

Why Should You Get an Ice Maker?

You should get an ice maker as long as you have enough room for them and go through a lot of ice each day. Additionally, they’re a good option for people whose refrigerators do not produce ice.

In this section, I’ll tell you about the best reasons to get an ice maker.

Your Refrigerator Does Not Make Ice

If your fridge’s ice maker repeatedly freezes over, breaks, or malfunctions, or if it doesn’t have an ice maker, you might consider a portable or under-counter ice maker. 

If you already have a well-working fridge with a built-in ice maker, you probably won’t use yours enough to make it worth the investment. 

However, if you’re tired of messing with ice cube trays and have trouble making room for them in your freezer, ice makers could save the day. 

You Use More Than One Tray of Ice Daily

If your fridge doesn’t make ice, you are likely no stranger to the frustration of ice trays.

Refilling the trays and waiting hours for the ice to freeze can be annoying, especially if you need it for your water, coffee, or cocktails.  

Ice trays may work fine for people who use very little ice. However, if you’re the kind of person who goes through trays upon trays of ice every day, there’s probably a better option out there for you. 

An ice maker is a game-changer for ice-lovers who go through multiple trays of ice daily. Instead of fretting over ice trays, you’ll always have plenty of ice available when you need it most. 

You Have the Counter or Under-Counter Space

Kitchen space can be challenging to manage, and adding another appliance to the mix might not be feasible for everyone. However, if you have plenty of room in your kitchen, getting an ice maker might be the right choice for you. 

Ice makers generally come in either portable or under-counter sizes. Depending on your kitchen’s available space and how much ice you use, you might want to choose one over the other. 

Portable ice makers are small and usually take up about the same space as a blender or coffee machine. The main benefit of these is that they are so small you can take them anywhere, from boats to campgrounds. So, with these small countertop machines, you can have ice anywhere you go. 

Portable ice makers are easy to come by, and there are tons of models available online. That said, not all ice makers are made equally, so be sure to check the reviews on any ice maker before you purchase it. 

I always recommend using the Igloo ICEB26BK 26-Pound Portable Ice Maker (available on Amazon.com), which fits well on small sections of countertops and is very reliable. I’ve had mine for over eight years and counting, and it still works fantastically. This ice maker holds 26 lbs (11.8 kg) of ice every, and it drops more ice every 7 minutes, ensuring that you always have enough to go around. 

Under-counter ice makers, as the name suggests, go underneath your counter like a dishwasher. These ice makers are usually much more extensive than their portable counterparts, and they hook up to your water line directly, allowing the machine to fill the water reservoir automatically. 

When shopping for an under-counter ice maker, you may need to go to a hardware or home improvement store to find the best ones. Always check for a warranty before you buy one just in case any problems arise. 

Why You Might Not Want an Ice Maker

Although getting an ice maker may seem like a fantastic idea, there are some situations when you might regret the decision. So, let’s talk about some drawbacks to having an ice maker so you can make the best decision. 

There’s Not Enough Space in Your Kitchen

It’s easy to run out of kitchen space, and if you already feel crowded out of your counters, you might not want to add an ice maker to your repertoire. 

Portable ice makers must sit flat on a counter to keep the interior ice tray from spilling over, so once you put your ice maker on the counter, you should leave it there until after it produces ice. 

Even if you choose to store the ice maker somewhere else, you’ll still have to drag it out every time you use it, making it just as challenging to use as filling up ice cube trays. 

Since it’s not realistic to store your ice maker until after you have ice, it can be challenging to work around it in the kitchen. 

If you don’t have much under-counter space either, getting an ice maker might not be the best idea. 

You Don’t Use Much Ice Daily

If you don’t use much ice, an ice maker will be another appliance that adds clutter to your home. 

Leaving ice in your ice maker without taking any out is generally bad practice since the ice may melt or completely solidify over time, leaving you with large blocks of conglomerated ice or a puddle of water in the bottom of the machine. 

If you don’t use enough ice to empty the ice maker every day or two, stick with ice trays like these DOQAUS Ice Cube trays (available on Amazon.com). These easy-release silicone trays come in a four-pack, so you’ll always have plenty of trays to use. You’ll be saving yourself the time and money that you would have spent on buying and fixing a rarely used ice machine. 

You Don’t Want Another Appliance To Maintain

Kitchen appliances make life easier, but they all require some maintenance, including ice makers. 

Ice makers need to be cleaned at least once a month, and if you have a portable ice maker, you may have to fill the water reservoir every day or every couple of days, depending on how much ice you use. 

In addition, if you don’t regularly break up the ice in your under-counter ice maker and use a generous amount every day, the ice will get stuck together, making it challenging to get it out. If you leave the machine long enough without breaking up the ice, the whole thing could break or overflow and freeze itself shut. 

So, before you go out and buy an ice maker, consider whether the maintenance will be worth it or not.