Why Are Nugget Ice Makers So Expensive? (What You Need To Know)

Nugget ice makers are usually fast when it comes to producing ice nuggets. You are guaranteed to get “the good ice” in a few moments when using this gadget. But perhaps you’ve been wondering, why are nugget ice makers sold at incredibly high prices?

Nugget ice makers are so expensive because of their sophisticated designs, convenient size, advanced technology, and overall complexity. In addition, the quality of the end product and the production capacity of the ice maker also increases its cost.

In this article, I’ll delve deeper into why nugget ice makers are so expensive. In addition, I’ll also discuss some of the factors to consider when choosing a nugget ice maker. 

Reasons Why Nugget Ice Makers Are Expensive

Nugget ice makers aren’t like traditional ice makers, because they create a unique type of ice. Nugget ice is not just regular ice, but compressed frozen snowflakes made to resemble a solid-like nugget. 

Nugget ice looks like regular ice and is dispensed under the same temperature conditions as regular ice. That said, the main difference between nugget ice and other types of ice lies in the physical properties, especially the texture.

Generally, nugget ice is easy to chew compared to regular ice. It also tends to melt slower than traditional ice cubes. Unlike traditional ice, nugget ice is ideal for people with sensitive teeth, or for cooling beverages because it doesn’t dilute drinks.

With these characteristics in mind, here are some other reasons why nugget ice makers are so expensive:

They’re a Convenient Size

Most nugget ice makers are usually lightweight, thus easily portable. For this reason, you can move these gadgets around to various places in your home or your business premises. You can store them in cabinets or place them on countertops. However, some of these gadgets are huge and not easy to carry around.

The price of the various nugget ice makers will vary with size and weight. Generally, the bigger the size, the higher the production capacity and hence the higher the cost of the gadget.

Larger gadgets also tend to have more integrated innovative technologies and include a variety of features, and that also increases their cost.

They Use Cutting-Edge Technology 

A nugget ice maker uses a fast and more efficient procedure of making ice nuggets. Many have auger-style systems with huge metallic cylinders, which processes the ice into the desired shape.

First, the ice is in the form of snowflakes. The drill then forces them to the device’s built-in compression chamber, where the process of producing the ice nuggets is launched. The process is fast; therefore, ice makers produce lots of ice nuggets in a few minutes.

The technology used to produce these ice nuggets is very smart. It includes in-built water filters, automatic overflow controls, and self-cleaning cycles. For this reason, the overall cost of the nugget ice maker is quite high.

They’re Constructed With Quality Materials

The other reason that makes nugget ice makers so expensive is the materials used to construct these gadgets. They are made of stainless steel to make them good insulators and keep them rust-resistant.

Generally, stainless steel is durable, and it lasts for a long period. This material is used to construct the entire gadget, including its internal components such as the freezing cylinders. 

Some Have Various Control Options

The various nugget ice makers have operation timer functions to control the ice production. When using this gadget, you can set it to work for a certain number of hours.

Furthermore, some of the advanced nugget ice makers have a Bluetooth feature that supports remote control. This feature makes operating the gadget easy and convenient. 

These automated regulatory features can add to the overall cost of a nugget ice maker.

They Produce a High Quality and Quantity of Ice

Ice nuggets are not just ordinary fridge ice. They are the best for beverages and soft drinks as they dilute the drink relatively slower. In addition, the ice they produce is relatively soft to chew, unlike other types of ice.

Your regular freezer can neither produce this kind of ice pellets nor at the rate at which nugget ice makers do. Thus, nugget ice makers are usually sold at very high prices because of their high efficiency.

Many Have Additional Uses

Generally, nugget ice makers are designed to prepare one type of nugget ice. However, a few are designed to serve various purposes. They have special features for the large-scale production of different kinds of ice.

The advancement of the particular nugget ice makers usually comes with an extra cost. The more purposes the gadget serves, the more costly it becomes.

Most Have a Sophisticated Design

Nugget ice makers come in different designs and styles. The various designs and styles have advanced features and multiple functionalities. These designs contribute to the overall price of the gadget.

A nugget ice maker with a more complex design will cost more than a simply designed one. In addition, it is important to understand that the maintenance cost for a more developed gadget will also be high.

Factors To Consider When Purchasing a Nugget Ice Maker

Before purchasing a nugget ice maker, it’s important to assess your options and think about how your ice maker will be used. For example, there are two different types of nugget ice makers, both with varying price ranges and production capabilities. You’ll need to choose which one fits your lifestyle, your budget, and can produce your desired quantities of ice. 

The two types of nugget ice makers are a countertop nugget ice maker and an undercounter nugget ice maker.  

A countertop nugget ice maker is the most popular model of nugget ice maker. It has a lightweight, compact design that requires no water hookup. The countertop nugget ice maker is relatively easy to use; all you have to do is fill water into the reservoir, plug in the gadget, and press the start button. You will have your nugget ice in just a few moments. 

The FRIGIDAIRE EFIC235-AMZ on Amazon.com is one great countertop nugget ice maker. It has an attractive design making it ideal for displaying on any countertop. It’s also quick and powerful – it takes about 15 minutes to have your nugget ice ready to use.

On the other hand, an undercounter nugget ice maker is difficult to carry around as it is pretty heavy. In addition, it takes longer to produce ice compared to the countertop model. Its oversized design comes alongside a large ice storage bin. 

Nevertheless, keeping this nugget ice maker under the counter won’t occupy your counter space, hence preserving your kitchen space.

Now that you know the two types of nugget ice makers, I’ll explore the other factors you should consider so you can narrow down your options better.

Production Capacity

Your lifestyle or your type of business significantly determines the type of nugget ice maker to purchase. If you have many family members and friends and are constantly making ice nuggets for your drinks, then you might want to buy a model that has spacious storage and will produce a lot of ice nuggets.

On the other hand, if you only serve a small crowd of people once in a while, you should consider going for a smaller and more portable gadget.

Size and Storage

When purchasing a nugget ice maker, consider the amount of space it will occupy in your premises. However, the size of this gadget will be substantially impacted by your lifestyle and needs.

A smaller gadget is sufficient if you usually make ice nuggets in small quantities and just for a few people. On the other hand, if you’ll be serving many people, then a large-sized nugget ice maker will be excellent.

Warranties and Part Replacements

Nugget ice makers are generally expensive, and the first thing to check on is the warranties. Some ice maker brands offer good warranty policies, while others offer these policies on a specific part of the nugget ice maker like the compressor.

For this reason, it is always advisable to closely examine the warranty policy of a particular nugget ice maker before purchasing it. This ensures that your money is fully accounted for.

Power Consumption

The various nugget ice makers consume different amounts of power, depending on their sizes and functionalities.

If your nugget ice maker consumes too much power, then it will certainly cost you more when using it. Therefore, you ought to choose the one whose power consumption is affordable to you.

Additional Features

Everyone likes products that have a few extra features. However, getting a nugget ice maker with additional enhancements mostly depends on your needs and budget.

Some nugget ice makers include self-timers, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi technologies, additional hardware, among others. If you need a nugget ice maker that’s highly convenient to use, then consider some of these advanced features.

Ease of Use

Nugget ice makers are built differently. While some are easy to use, others have several advancements making the gadgets quite complex to use.

For instance, some have advanced features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, self-dispensing, and self-cleaning technologies. Others are operated at the press of a button, making them more convenient to use.

Ice Production Speed

You don’t have to wait around the whole day for your ice maker to produce ice pellets when you want to take a quick glass of chilled drink. 

A typical nugget ice maker takes at least six minutes to make a batch of pellet ice. Others can take up to thirty minutes. A faster nugget ice maker is more preferred than a slow one.


Generally, as we’ve already seen, nugget ice makers are very costly. The cheapest one can go for about $200 while the most expensive ones sell for more than $5,000.

The nugget ice maker you go for will depend on your needs and requirements but, most importantly, your budget.

Nugget Ice Makers FAQs

Why Is Nugget Ice Better?

Nugget ice is better, especially for cooling soft drinks. It has a light and airy texture that makes the pellets satisfying to chew on, and it doesn’t dilute the drink like regular ice does.

Furthermore, nugget ice doesn’t melt as fast as crushed ice and, therefore, will not dilute your drink as much. Lastly, this chewy ice can chill your drink quickly.

Which Is the Best Home-Use Nugget Ice Maker?

The best nugget ice maker for home use is the GE Profile Opal, a countertop nugget ice maker on Amazon.com. The gadget has a long life span, and it can produce up to 24 lbs (10.88 kg) of ice in a day. 

Besides, it features smart technology innovation, which consists of an in-built Bluetooth connection. In addition, you can control and monitor how the gadget works comfortably from a smartphone app.

Can the Nugget Ice Makers Produce Sonic Ice?

Nugget ice makers can produce ice that’s similar to Sonic’s ice. The size and texture of the ice will be comparable, and the nuggets are just as easy to consume as the crunchy ones you get in Sonic’s beverages. 

FRIGIDAIRE EFIC235-AMZ and GE Profile Opal are the best for making sonic-style ice. Both are countertop nugget ice makers and quick and powerful gadgets.

Which Nugget Ice Maker Produces Chick-Fil-A Ice?

Ice makers, such as NewAir AI-215SS and GE Profile Opal on Amazon.com, are the best for making Chick-Fil-A-style ice. However, the latter is quite expensive than the former. You can differentiate Chick-Fil-A ice and Sonic ice through their sizes as the Chick-Fil-A ice is a bit larger than Sonic ice.

How Long Should an Ice Maker Last?

A standard nugget ice machine has an average lifespan of about 4-5 years. However, you can easily increase your ice maker’s lifespan by regularly maintaining and regularly cleaning it. Proper care of an ice maker can easily add its life span to 10+ years.