Jul 08, 2023

The 7 Best Nugget Ice Makers 2023, Tested by Experts

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Here's how to get the famous Sonic ice from the comfort of your home.

YOU CAN tell a lot about someone based on what type of ice shape they prefer. There's the classic ice cube, the fancy crescent shape, and the jumbled flake ice (pure chaos if you ask us). Then there's nugget ice, the hands-down best IYKYK ice out there. If you're unfamiliar with nugget ice, they're the small crunchy pebbles that are soft and chewy—the same ice you get in your drink at Chick-Fil-A.

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These days there are several amazing nugget ice makers you can buy to chill your favorite beverage (if you haven't had nugget ice in a cup of OJ you're missing out). These makers don't cap out for single person use either, but rather they're capable of serving multiple guests at a dinner party or cookout.

Most nugget ice machines work via an auger system that pushes and compacts ice flakes into little bite-sized cubes, which results in perfectly chilled ice chunk that's malleable and easy to crunch down on. Below, we've rounded up the top nugget ice makers on the market right now. Some of the makers are smaller and more wallet-friendly, while others are more spacious and sleek in design. Regardless of what you think you might need there's a maker in here for every kind of use.

Now go and find the nugget ice maker that's fit for you! You're drink is getting warm!

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Meet the Mercedes of nugget ice makers. A beautiful design plus several premium smart features put the Opal 2.0 in a league of its own. We're talking an LED display for easy use and a Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to control the internal light and set a schedule on when you want your ice to be made. Oh, and the speed and quality of the nugget ice is spot on.

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Capable of making up to 30 lbs of ice daily, this machine from EUHOMY has a wide top lid that makes it easy to go in and scoop your ice. Euhomy has over 340 five-star Amazon ratings and, best of all, goes on sale often!

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This machine from NewAir delivers up to 44 lbs of nugget ice daily and features a simple self-cleaning button and an easy-open door. The stainless design is sleek, slim, and easy to place on a countertop. It is true nugget ice tech can be expensive, which is why we're impressed with the NewAir's $450 price point.

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There are only a couple nugget ice makers out there with a dispenser—with many of them carrying few or no reviews. That's why we're back to the GE Opal series. A higher price point, yes, but the payoff is a luxury dispenser that makes you feel like you're at a five-star hotel.

Capable of producing 282 pounds (!!!) of nugget ice daily, this machine from Summit Appliance is best suited for commercial use (or for someone who really loves nugget ice). This machine churns out high quality pebbles at a fast speed via a dispenser. It also works as a water cooler too, which is another reason to justify a splurge. Of course, you'll need to hook this up to your water system to churn out this much ice.

Another value option in the space, Thereye's maker is simple and efficient, hitting top marks in ice quality and time. And when it goes on sale (which is frequently) the savings are top tier!

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Enjoy soft crunchy ice in as little as 15 minutes with this Frigidaire Portable Countertop Ice Maker. What's cool about the V2 is if the ice melts it will return to the side reservoir where it will be recirculated.

When choosing a nugget ice maker you should consider your the space you have and how you are going to be using it. For example, if you want a freestanding model, it would be tough to transport to parties or camping. However, if you choose a more compact ice maker, then you can take it with you to outdoor events.

The capacity levels on ice makers range from 20 lbs to 200. Additional functionalities to consider are countertop models vs. freestanding, inline water hookups vs. reservoir tanks, and the maximum number of guests you could potentially be serving.

For the past 6 months, we carefully tested the best nugget ice makers on the market. Experts, including our Gear and Commerce Editor John Thompson, tried several nugget ice makers and evaluated the machine's design, ease-of-use, ice quality, and price point. We also considered top-reviewed nugget ice makers that have high customer ratings on e-commerce websites that we trust.

John Thompson is the Gear and Commerce Editor at Men’s Health, where he covers fashion, grooming, gear, and technology. He was previously the Style & Gear Editor at, and a commerce writer for His interests include attending concerts, spending time outside, and following his favorite baseball team, the Kansas City Royals.

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YOU CANRead more: Best CoolersRead more: Best Kitchen Gadgets for MenRead more: Best Travel MugsRead more: Best Grills and SmokersRead more: Best Grilling AccessoriesRead more: Best Camping Grills