The Best Undercounter Ice Makers of 2022

Forgot to fill the ice cube tray again? Have fresh ice always on hand with one of the best undercounter ice makers.

By Jasmine Harding | Published Apr 26, 2022 12:09 PM

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The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option

Photo: amazon.com

If you host lots of parties, enjoy homemade cocktails, or just like having ice-cold drinks on demand, an undercounter ice maker makes a useful appliance for your kitchen. Also known as a built-in ice maker, these appliances are plumbed and sit under your counter to produce and store ice.

The best built-in ice maker for your kitchen efficiently produces enough clear and tasty ice cubes to serve your needs. Keep reading to learn more about the features to look for in the best undercounter ice makers and explore our top picks for keeping your drinks refreshingly ice cold.

  1. BEST OVERALL: EdgeStar IB250SS Built-In Ice Maker
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Costway Commercial Ice Machine
  3. BEST SMALL: EdgeStar IB120SS Built-In Ice Maker
  4. BEST LARGE CAPACITY: Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker Machine
  5. BEST WIDE: KitchenAid 18 in. 50 lb. Built-In Ice Maker
  6. BEST ENERGY STAR CERTIFIED: Scotsman CU50PA Undercounter Ice Maker
  7. BEST OUTDOOR: Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 Self-Contained Ice Machine
  8. BEST FOR HOME BARS: KitchenAid 15 in. 50 lb. Built-In Ice Maker
  9. BEST COMMERCIAL: Northair Commercial Ice Maker
  10. BEST FOR HARD WATER: Scotsman CU50GA Undercounter Ice Maker
The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Undercounter Ice Maker

If running out of ice is a recurring problem, an undercounter ice machine makes a useful kitchen appliance. These gadgets create and store ice to use on demand (and without taking up extra space in the fridge freezer or standalone freezer). Since they nestle right into the cabinetry, an undercounter ice maker won’t consume additional countertop or floor space.

While the benefits of having an undercounter ice maker are clear, not all ice makers are the same. Choose the best undercounter ice maker for your kitchen by considering the following criteria: the ice maker type, ice quality, machine capacity, cooling system type, installation requirements, and any additional features.

Type

Undercounter ice makers come in a few different types, each with aesthetic and functional benefits. For home use, look for a machine that’s both practical and stylish.

The most popular style of built-in ice maker for home use has a stainless steel swinging door and looks like a small refrigerator. Other options have a plastic front lid that swings up for users to scoop out the ice.

The ice inside is often stored in a plastic or stainless steel storage bin or bucket, which is sometimes removable for easier cleaning. Pan-style ice makers store the ice in a removable stainless steel pan instead of a deep bin.

Ice Type and Quality 

Ice makers can generate a few different kinds of ice, including the most popular: cube, nugget, crescent, and gourmet ice.

The best undercounter ice machines produce uniform, clear, and tasteless ice cubes that can cool a drink without leaving a bad odor or aftertaste. Of course, the ice quality is only as good as the water feeding into the machine. Filters help improve ice clarity and quality by removing contaminants and unpleasant odors and taste from the water. Especially in areas with hard or unpleasant-tasting water, filters are a good option.

For the highest ice quality possible (often considered a must for cocktails), look for an ice machine that advertises the ability to make clear ice. These machines employ a special ice-making process to improve ice clarity.

Production and Storage Capacity

Since ice makers not only produce, but also store ice cubes, these two factors are among the most important features. Also consider the machine’s production rate, which is the maximum quantity of ice the unit can produce in a 24-hour period.

Along with production rate, storage capacity is another important factor. The size of the storage bin determines how much ice is accessible after the machine has had a few hours to fill it.

Many residential undercounter ice machines can produce around 20 to 100 pounds of ice per day and store between 12 to 50 pounds of ice in their bin.

Cooling System

Ice makers have an internal cooling system to control the heat they generate during ice production. Most larger ice makers can be categorized into two types: air cooled or water cooled.

Air-cooled ice machines cycle air through internal fans and vents to cool down the machine. Water-cooled ice machines, on the other hand, use water to cool down the inside of the machine.

Most home built-in ice makers are air-cooled machines, but since the cooling system isn’t important to most residential customers, it’s typically not displayed. Instead, shoppers should ensure the ice maker can be installed as a built-in unit, which has the appropriate cooling and venting system to work within cabinetry.

Installation 

Before shopping for a built-in ice maker, consider its probable location in the kitchen. An undercounter ice maker must be plumbed into the home’s water supply, so it must be close to a water supply line. Most undercounter ice makers measure 15 inches wide and are 25 to 35 inches tall and 20 to 25 inches deep. Besides size, other factors to consider include the machine’s electrical demands, as well as water supply, drainage, and ventilation requirements.

Some ice machines also require a drainage line to siphon off any water in the machine. These appliances rely on either gravity or a drain pump to move the water, which is typically more convenient. Non-draining ice machines handle water internally.

Other Features

Several other features may make an undercounter ice maker more affordable and pleasant to use, including its maintenance requirements, energy efficiency, level of operation noise, and interior lighting.

Ice makers should be kept clean to prevent bacteria growth and reduce mineral scale buildup. A self-cleaning cycle, which cleans the inside of the machine (often with a chemical cleaner), makes maintaining and cleaning the machine easier.

Because they’re quite large, running an undercounter ice maker requires more electricity. To reduce the impact, consider an Energy Star-rated model, which is more efficient.

Also consider the machine’s noise level, especially in areas that receive heavy use. While most manufacturers don’t state the noise level, get an idea of the ice maker’s decibel level by researching third-party and shopper reviews.

Interior LED lighting makes it easier to see the ice levels and scoop ice, especially in darker environments like a home bar or basement.

Our Top Picks

A separate ice maker means always having high-quality ice on hand. The best undercounter ice makers in this list are both practical and attractive, fitting seamlessly into the kitchen while producing clear, pleasant-tasting ice cubes.

Best Overall

The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option: EdgeStar IB250SS Built-In Ice Maker
Photo: amazon.com

With a sleek design and flexible installation options, this ice maker from EdgeStar is a stellar pick for most homes. The standard 15-inch-wide self-contained design works in kitchens, motor homes, and home bars. This ice maker doesn’t require a drain, and it features a reversible door that opens from either direction. Its modern stainless steel finish suits many contemporary kitchens.

A mid-range production rate makes this ice machine suitable for most daily ice needs as well as for hosting small events. It produces up to 25 pounds of ice a day and has a 20-pound ice storage capacity. The crescent-shaped ice, one of the longer-lasting types, is attractive. An ice scoop, water line, and removable ice bin are included, making it easy to install and maintain.

Product Specs 

  • Production rate: 25 pounds
  • Storage capacity: 20 pounds
  • Ice type: Crescent

Pros

  • Attractive stainless steel finish
  • No drain required
  • Reversible door

Cons

  • Lacks self-cleaning feature

Get the EdgeStar IB250SS undercounter ice maker on Amazon, at The Home Depot, on Compact Appliance, or on EdgeStar.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option: Costway Commercial Ice Machine
Photo: overstock.com

Producing up to 88 pounds of ice per day, the Costway Commercial Ice Machine offers commercial ice-making capabilities at a budget-friendly price.

This ice maker has a high production rate, but it can store only 8.8 pounds of ice; however, its speedy production capacity may compensate for its low storage capacity. It’s an ideal choice for high-traffic applications, such as a busy household or office.

This machine produces standard ice cubes. Its internal steel construction helps maintain hygienic conditions and avoid odor absorption. A front LCD panel controls the machine, allowing users to adjust the ice-making time, the ice cube thickness, and start the self-cleaning function. Other ease-of-use features include a viewing window and interior lighting.

Product Specs 

  • Production rate: 88 pounds
  • Storage capacity: 8.8 pounds
  • Ice type: Cubes

Pros

  • High production rate
  • Self-cleaning feature
  • Interior LED lighting
  • Durable design

Cons

  • Small storage capacity
  • Industrial appearance

Get the Costway undercounter ice maker on Overstock or at Walmart.

Best Small

The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option: EdgeStar IB120SS Built-In Ice Maker
Photo: amazon.com

This compact ice maker from EdgeStar measures only 20 by 15 by 25 inches, so it’s ideal for small kitchens, motor homes, and offices.

The ice maker vents from the front, which means it can be installed as either a built-in or freestanding unit. No drain line is required, and the door is reversible. A 25-foot water line and ice scoop are included.

This machine’s smaller size means a lower production rate and smaller capacity, although it should work for many families. This ice machine produces up to 12 pounds of crescent-shaped ice per day and stores up to 6 pounds.

Product Specs 

  • Production rate: 12 pounds
  • Storage capacity: 6 pounds
  • Ice type: Crescent

Pros

  • Compact size
  • No drain line required
  • ADA complaint

Cons

  • Relatively low production rate and storage capacity

Get the EdgeStar IB120SS undercounter ice maker on Amazon, at The Home Depot, or on Wayfair.

Best Large Capacity

The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option: Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker Machine
Photo: amazon.com

Applications that use a lot of ice, such as restaurants or large events, need a large-capacity ice machine. The Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker Machine is a commercial-grade machine with a 33-pound storage capacity.

At up to 100 pounds of ice per day, this machine has an excellent production rate. Its durable stainless steel is made to withstand heavy everyday use. Use the front panel to set a timer, run the self-cleaning cycle, adjust the ice cube size, and monitor the ice-making cycle.

Product Specs

  • Production rate: 100 pounds
  • Storage capacity: 33 pounds
  • Ice type: Cubes

Pros

  • Large storage capacity
  • High production rate
  • Adjustable ice cube size

Cons

  • Gravity drainage requires suitable drain for installation

Get the Euhomy undercounter ice maker on Amazon or Euhomy.

Best Wide

The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option: KitchenAid 18 in. 50 lb. Built-In Ice Maker
Photo: homedepot.com

For high ice needs and roomy kitchens, this ice maker from KitchenAid measures 18 inches across to fit into wider cabinet spaces and has excellent storage capacity to match its size.

This undercounter ice maker with drain pump helps empty water efficiently and boasts a fully flush installation. The self-cleaning cycle simplifies maintenance and keeps the insides of the ice maker hygienic and odor free.

Producing up to 50 pounds of ice per day, this ice maker has an extra-deep storage bin that holds up to 35 pounds of ice. Its Clear Ice technology produces uniform, clean ice cubes that look attractive while keeping a drink refreshingly cool.

Product Specs 

  • Production rate: 50 pounds
  • Storage capacity: 35 pounds
  • Ice type: Cubes

Pros

  • 18-inch width
  • Extra-large ice storage bin
  • Clear Ice technology

Cons

  • Pricey

Get the KitchenAid 18 in. undercounter ice maker at The Home Depot or on Build with Ferguson.

Best Energy Star Certified

The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option: Scotsman CU50PA Undercounter Ice Maker
Photo: amazon.com

For those who want to help the planet (and their electric bill), an Energy Star-certified ice maker such as the Scotsman CU50PA Undercounter Ice Maker is more energy efficient than non-certified models.

Designed for commercial settings and approved for outdoor use, this ice maker is durable. It produces up to 65 pounds of clear gourmet ice a day and has a 26-pound capacity.

Product Specs 

  • Production rate: 65 pounds
  • Storage capacity: 26pounds
  • Ice type: Gourmet

Pros

  • Efficient but practical
  • Great production rate and storage capacity
  • Suitable for commercial or outdoor use
  • Makes gourmet ice

Cons

  • Noisy operation

Get the Scotsman CU50PA undercounter ice maker on Amazon or at Walmart.

Best Outdoor

The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option: Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 Self-Contained Ice Machine
Photo: amazon.com

The Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 is an outdoor-approved ice maker that’s suitable for both built-in or freestanding installation. It doesn’t require a drain, so it can be used in backyard kitchens, outdoor bars, and patios.

This undercounter nugget ice maker uses Pure Ice technology to make clear, odor-free pearl (nugget) ice, which is an attractive and “chewable” ice that fits in any glass or cup. The machine produces up to 85 pounds of ice per day and has the capacity to store 22 pounds.

Product Specs 

  • Production rate: 85 pounds
  • Storage capacity: 22 pounds
  • Ice type: Nugget

Pros

  • Outdoor approved
  • Built-in or freestanding installation
  • No drain required

Cons

  • Expensive

Get the Ice-O-Matic undercounter ice machine on Build with Ferguson or Amazon.

Best For Home Bars

The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option: KitchenAid 15 in. 50 lb. Built-In Ice Maker
Photo: homedepot.com

Bartenders and drink connoisseurs prefer clear, consistent ice. With its Clear Ice technology, the KitchenAid Built-In Ice Maker produces ice with excellent clarity in a uniform shape, making this our pick for the best ice maker for home bar use. For even better ice cubes, this machine has the option to add a filter (not included).

With a reversible door and an articulating hinge, this ice maker installs fully flush with surrounding cabinetry. This appliance holds 25 pounds of ice and can produce up to 50 pounds a day. Other attractive features include a drain pump, self-cleaning feature, and a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish.

Product Specs 

  • Production rate: 50 pounds
  • Storage capacity: 25 pounds
  • Ice type: Cubes

Pros

  • Clear Ice technology
  • Stylish fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish
  • Reversible door
  • Can accommodate a filter

Cons

  • Filter not included

Get the KitchenAid 15 in. undercounter ice maker at The Home Depot.

Best Commercial

The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option: Northair Commercial Ice Maker
Photo: amazon.com

The Northair Commercial Ice Maker boasts an excellent production rate and a roomy storage bin to meet the needs of heavy users.

With a production rate of up to 100 pounds (45 ice cubes in each 12- to 18-minute cycle), this machine creates enough standard ice cubes to cool around 800 drinks a day. Scoop large amounts of ice from the top-opening bin, which has a capacity of 33 pounds.

This ice maker comes with a water line and drain hose and has adjustable feet. An LCD panel includes controls for a timer and self-cleaning function.

Product Specs 

  • Production rate: 100 pounds
  • Storage capacity: 33 pounds
  • Ice type: Cubes

Pros

  • Great production rate
  • High storage capacity
  • Has a timer and self-cleaning feature

Cons

  • Less attractive appearance

Get the Northair undercounter ice maker on Amazon, Wayfair, or Northair.

Best For Hard Water

The Best Undercounter Ice Makers Option: Scotsman CU50GA Undercounter Ice Maker
Photo: amazon.com

To combat the effects of hard water, the Scotsman CU50GA Undercounter Ice Maker features a water-quality sensor that detects and purges hard water to help reduce buildup and extend the time between cleanings.

At 65 pounds a day, this ice maker has a decent production rate, and it can store 26 pounds of ice. It produces clear, taste-free gourmet-style ice cubes that melt slowly and are attractive. This undercounter ice maker is also approved for outdoor use.

Product Specs 

  • Production rate: 65 pounds
  • Storage capacity: 26 pounds
  • Ice type: Gourmet

Pros

  • Water detection sensor
  • Produces attractive gourmet ice
  • Outdoor approved

Cons

  • Lacks self-cleaning feature

Get the Scotsman CU50GA undercounter ice maker on Amazon, at Sam’s Club, or at Walmart.

Our Verdict

With a sleek design, decent production rate and capacity, and flexible installation options, the EdgeStar IB250SS undercounter ice machine is the best pick for many homes. The Costway undercounter ice machine is an excellent runner-up that provides excellent value for cost, offering commercial-grade performance at an affordable price.

How We Chose the Best Undercounter Ice Makers

Since undercounter ice makers are built into your cabinets, put as much thought into choosing one as any other major appliance. When choosing the best undercounter ice makers, we researched products based on a few important criteria. We considered more than 25 built-in ice makers and narrowed down the top picks according to their performance, durability, ease of use, and price.

We looked at production rates, storage capacities, and factors that contribute to ice quality, such as filters or proprietary technology. We prioritized ice makers constructed with durable materials, favoring stainless steel over plastic. Ice makers with additional ease-of-use features (self-cleaning settings, timers, and LCD controls) earned extra points.

To accommodate the needs of a wide range of shoppers, we also chose several budget-friendly units. Lastly, since reputable kitchen appliance brands usually manufacture more reliable products, we stuck to recognizable brands.

FAQs

Like any large appliance, an undercounter ice maker is a considerable investment. With the right machine and some know-how on maintenance and use, an undercounter ice machine should last several years. To choose the best home ice machine for your kitchen and keep your appliance performing its best, consider these frequently asked questions.

Q. What is the most reliable undercounter ice maker?

Built for commercial and home use, the Euhomy ice maker is a durable, reliable choice that’s built to withstand heavy use.

Q. How long do undercounter ice makers last?

Longevity depends on a few factors, including the ice maker’s materials, frequency of use, and environment (for example, a restaurant or bar ice machine won’t last as long as a residential unit). On average, an undercounter ice maker lasts around 5 years, and, with excellent care and maintenance, up to 10 years.

Q. Are undercounter ice makers portable?

No, since undercounter ice makers require a water supply line, they are not typically portable.

Q. Why did my undercounter ice maker’s production suddenly stop?

A few factors can cause ice production to stop, including a full ice bin, a faulty thermostat, or issues with the water supply line. Check for clogs or leaks and follow troubleshooting advice in the user manual. If the ice maker still doesn’t work, call an appliance repairman.

Q. Should you use the first batch of ice from an undercounter ice maker?

No, experts recommend discarding the first batch of ice from an undercounter ice maker in case it has any dust or chemical residue.