Best Sonic Ice Machines 2021: Top 10 Nugget Ice Makers

Flavored ice is a perfect treat for a perfect party. You can take your icy drinks, slushies, and other treats to an all-new level with the help of sonic ice. They are ideal for all your backyard and pool parties and offer you versatile options to decorate your cocktails and mocktails.

To get the best out of your ice machine, follow our guide here and help yourself with soft, chewable, clear, and high-quality sonic nugget ice. We have recommended the best ice makers here for your perusal along with the best guide to help you hook up with the best nugget ice maker machine.

Quick Summary: Best Sonic Nugget Ice Machines 2021

Also check out: Best Countertop Ice Makers

Top 10 Best Sonic Nugget Ice Makers

#1. GE Profile Opal – Best Nugget Ice Maker

GE Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
Editor Rating: 9.1/10
Easy to use9.4
Easy to clean9.2
Build quality8.8
Noise level8.1
Energy efficiency9.1
Value for money9.5

The GE Profile Opal ice maker is sure to stun your guests with its beautiful nugget-shaped ice. This semi-automatic ice maker machine just requires a 120 V standard electric outlet and you will have to fill the reservoir with water to start making ice.

Being a portable ice maker, it does not require any water hook up. One best feature of this ice maker is that it is compatible with Bluetooth. 

Thus you can set the ice-making schedule of the ice maker from the convenience of your mobile phone as you continue with your party with friends.

The GE Opal is capable of producing up to 24 lbs. of ice a day and its removable ice basket is capable of holding up to 3 lbs. of ice at a given time. More than efficient ice making, the GE profile opal ice maker stunts its viewers with its stunning design. This ice maker is available in stainless steel and plastic material. It is also a very compact ice maker and occupies less space on your countertop. It is also capable of making some quick ice which is soft and crunchy that mimics the quality of ice cubes you will find in shops.

What do we like about the GE Profile Opal ice maker?

  • Makes soft and chewable ice in less than 20 minutes.
  • If at all you don’t remove the ice, it will melt and gets back to the reservoir to make fresh ice.
  • Makes good-looking nugget-shaped ice.

What do we don’t like about the GE Profile Opal ice maker?

  • Very noisy operation and the ice makers constantly squeak when in use.

#2. KBice FDFM1JA01 – Best Nugget Ice Dispenser

KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
Editor Rating: 9/10
Easy to use9.4
Easy to clean8.9
Build quality8.8
Noise level8.5
Energy efficiency9.1
Value for money9.2

A cold beverage with ice cubes floating over it during the summer months means the world to many people, especially in the summer months. Generally, the ice makers are built into the refrigerators, but they take a lot of time to make ice and are not capable of keeping up the ice demands of the family. The best way to cure this hurdle is to buy the KBice self-dispensing countertop nugget ice maker. Though it is a small countertop ice maker it is capable of forming large amounts of ice pretty quickly. 

This is perhaps the first-ever self-dispensing countertop ice maker that has been designed for personal use and it is made of 100% BPA-free parts. It works with an R600 environment-friendly coolant and has a built-in self-cleaning function to keep the unit clean and run efficiently.

Being a small appliance, it fits even in a miniature kitchen and as it dispenses ice, there is no trouble in maintaining the ice basket and the scoop. As it is portable and small, it can be accompanied to the camping site as well. It is important to feed this appliance only with purified or dilled water though.

And water that has a hardness of less than 100 PPM is also acceptable in this appliance. Yet another amazing feature of this appliance is that it takes just 30 minutes to dispense soft and crunchy nugget ice, which is of restaurant quality. The ice can be collected directly in the glass, and we don’t have to worry about scooping them out every time.

What do we like about the KBice FDFM1JA01 ice maker?

  • Doesn’t require a water hook up
  • Plugs in any standard electrical outlet
  • Don’t have to look for an ice scoop every time
  • Convenient and hygienic ice right from the machine to the glass

What do we don’t like about the KBice FDFM1JA01 ice maker?

  • Works best with purified water
  • Melts ice quickly.

Check out: Best Ice Dispensers

#3. Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 – Best Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker

Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 Ice Machine
Editor Rating: 8.9/10
Easy to use9.2
Easy to clean8.9
Build quality8.8
Noise level8.9
Energy efficiency8.6
Value for money9.2

This self-contained ice maker machine makes about 85 pounds of pearl shape ice. It creates chewable ice crystals and is made for under counter kitchen.

This self-contained ice machine with an air condensing unit comprises integrated storage, a cuber evaporator, superior construction, and stainless steel top panel.

This Machine operates very quietly and resembles a traditional refrigerator. Its pearl-shaped ice adds new texture and flavor to the drinks and cools them considerably without altering their taste.

The stainless steel metallic finish of this machine adds more elegance and beauty to the kitchen.

Read the complete review here: Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 Review 2021

What do we like about the Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 ice maker?

  • Chunks out chewable ice in pearl shape
  • Ideal for under counter installation

What do we don’t like about the Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 ice maker?

  • Great machine, but it is expensive to repair and high on maintenance.
  • No glass lid to view the interiors of the ice basket

Check out: Best Ice-O-Matic Ice Makers 2021

#4. Frigidaire EFIC235–AMZ – Editor’s Choice

Frigidaire EFIC235–AMZ Nugget Ice Maker
Editor Rating: 8.9/10
Easy to use9.6
Easy to clean9.2
Build quality8.7
Noise level7.6
Energy efficiency9.1
Value for money8.7

This is a great ice maker that refrains people from hitting the stores often to find the best quality sonic ice. This is perhaps the best purchase that one could make in the pandemic season, to start making restaurant-quality nugget ice from the comforts of one’s home. I expected the ice to be airy and fluffy to float on the drink, though it does float a bit, it is a little condensed, but is great to chew through. As this ice maker is a bit big, it does require its desired space in the home.

This countertop ice maker is tall, so it does require clearance accordingly. The appliance has a large and elegant see-through window and its black metallic frame adds to the home aesthetics. The appliance is very quick and powerful, takes just 15 minutes to chunk out soft and crunchy ice, that is of restaurant quality.

Except for the huge size, you can consider taking this appliance for camping trips and tailgating as it plugs in almost any wall socket. We have to manually fill this appliance with water, as it doesn’t connect with any water hookup.

The best part of this ice maker is its large ice basket. It could hold about 3 lbs. of ice at a time which is great to fill several glasses with chilled drinks or water. And if at all we forget to take the ice, or we don’t require ice for the moment, we don’t bother shifting them to the freezer, as it anyways melts and recycles to form more batches of fresh ice.

What do we like about Frigidaire EFIC235–AMZ ice maker?

  • Capable of producing about 44 lbs. of ice in a day
  • Takes just 15 minutes max to chunk out high-quality nugget ice.
  • Quick and power ice maker requiring no water hook up.

What do we don’t like about Frigidaire EFIC235–AMZ ice maker?

  • Didn’t like the long shipping time.
  • Loud appliances.

Check out: Best Frigidaire Ice Makers 2021

#5. GE UNC15NJII – Best Built-in Nugget Ice Maker

GE UNC15NJII Nugget Ice Maker
Editor Rating: 9/10
Easy to use9.4
Easy to clean9.1
Build quality8.7
Noise level8.7
Energy efficiency8.8
Value for money9.1

GE is perhaps one of the most trusted brands when it comes to home appliances and the GE nugget ice maker forms sonic ice that goes great with any type of drink. The appliance has a large capacity ice storage bin that is capable of storing about 26 lbs. of ice at a time. And this appliance itself is capable of producing about 65 lbs. of ice in a day. It also has a convenient auto shut-off feature that stops the ice production cycle, when the bin is full, to prevent it from overflowing.

We love the interior LED lighting of this ice maker, which keeps everything in clear view, and its illuminated control panel tells us exactly when to check the water line and remove the ice.

It sort of helps us to deal with the ice maker, when we are busy with our household chores. The indicator also tells us when to clean the appliance, so that we don’t have to risk our health while using the ice from this ice maker daily.

As this appliance requires permanent installation, we can either have it as a freestanding appliance or prefer to get it built-in under the counter to have a clutter-free kitchen counter. It is better to take the help of the plumber to complete the installation so that he can fit the water inlet valve and the drain pump for the hassle-free working of the appliances.

What do we like about the GE UNC15NJII ice maker?

  • Its stainless steel exteriors blend with the kitchen space
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty on the entire appliance
  • Auto shut off feature when the bin is full with 26 lbs. of sonic ice

What do we don’t like about the GE UNC15NJII ice maker?

  • Doesn’t come with a handle, though we can separately buy and fix it.

Also Check: Best Built-in Ice Makers 2021

#6. Manitowoc CNF-0201A-L – Best Commercial Nugget Ice Maker

Manitowoc CNF-0201A-L Ice Maker
Editor Rating: 9.1/10
Easy to use9.5
Easy to clean9.1
Build quality8.9
Noise level8.8
Energy efficiency9.1
Value for money9.3

This is indeed a two-in-one combo appliance that can dispense both nugget ice and water at room temperature by toggling the control panel. This appliance can meet the daily demands of households, and small eateries, and restaurant businesses, as it is capable of making about 315 lbs. of chewable nugget ice in a day.

This appliance is ideal for homes with small children as its chewable nuggets are soft and of pristine quality.  Its automatic cleaning function makes it easy to maintain the appliance and to have high-quality and hygienic ice and water. The ice bin stores about 10 lb. of ice at a time, which is good enough to meet the daily ice needs of a family or an eatery business.

There are small adjustable legs at the bottom of the appliance that helps to maintain it above the ground and makes it easy for the wastewater to drain as well. The water that comes out of this dispenser will be at room temperature but it seems to dispense both ice and water pretty quickly.

What do we like about the Manitowoc CNF-0201A-L ice maker?

  • Comes with a water connection and drain for perfect installation
  • Lever activated dispensing system
  • Extensive warranty on parts, labor, and compressor

What do we don’t like about the Manitowoc CNF-0201A-L ice maker?

  • The stainless exteriors are not smudge-proof.

Check out: Best Manitowoc Ice Makers 2021

#7. IKICH CP217A – Best Budget Nugget Ice Maker

IKICH CP217A Countertop Ice Maker
Editor Rating: 9.1/10
Easy to use9.5
Easy to clean9.1
Build quality8.6
Noise level8.3
Energy efficiency9.5
Value for money9.3

With each of the ice-making cycles, you get about 9 nugget-shaped soft and chewable ice and on the whole, it can manufacture about 12 kg of ice per day.

This is an excellent ice-making kit for you for your home parties and helps you to make quick ice in less than six minutes. Thus you will never go out of ice and don’t have to run to the shops for ice in the middle of the party.

Apart from helping to serve chilled drinks and food all through the day, this ice maker machine also helps with quick first aid, in the event of small kids getting hurt by falling. This ice-making machine is extremely lightweight and is easily portable to be carried to your lawn or poolside during the party.

It can hold up to 2 liters of water in its reservoir and keeps chunking out ice nuggets for your cold drinks and juices. Also, it is a very quiet and energy-efficient machine, that works efficiently without disturbing your party. Its smart indicator and elegant control panel will keep you posted when the ice gets ready and when the machine runs out of water.

What do we like about the IKICH CP217A ice maker?

  • Easy to install and easy to use with no additional plumbing needs
  • Easy outlet and drain plug to drain unused water.
  • Produces nugget-shaped ice in two sizes to cool foods differently.

What do we don’t like about the IKICH CP217A ice maker?

  • The quality of ice produced for the first 2-3 times is not satisfactory.

#8. Igloo ICEB26WH – Best Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

Igloo ICEB26WH Ice Maker
Editor Rating: 9/10
Easy to use9.5
Easy to clean9.1
Build quality8.9
Noise level8.8
Energy efficiency9.2
Value for money8.7

It is extremely efficient in producing ice whenever and wherever one needs it. The Igloo ice maker is capable of producing ice cubes in large quantities, up to 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours.

The first thing you would love about this ice maker machine is its look and its ambience. It is portable, convenient, and compact and serves as a valuable addition to any kitchen countertop. This is just enough to keep the guests entertained with cold drinks for long hours. 

The entire ice-making process is made easy with the help of its intuitive control panel, which is simple to understand.

It illuminates its lights to warn of some dangerous signs such as adding water, removing the ice cubes, etc. The formed ice gets stored in its ice basket, which is capable of producing about two pounds of ice at a time. Every batch of ice comprises of 9 small or large ice cubes. The transparent and large lid of this machine indicates scooping out ice once it has been formed.

What do we like about the Igloo ICEB26WH ice maker?

  • Removable ice basket and scoop to remove and transfer the ice cubes.
  • S and L selection to produce ice in two different sizes.

What do we don’t like about the Igloo ICEB26WH ice maker?

  • The machine is a little noisy
  • Forms soft ice nuggets that dissolve pretty fast.

#9. Della 048-GM-48184 – Best Portable Nugget Ice Maker

Della 048-GM-48184 Ice Maker
Editor Rating: 8.9/10
Easy to use9.5
Easy to clean8.5
Build quality8.1
Noise level8.3
Energy efficiency9.3
Value for money9.1

This portable ice maker for kitchen countertops comprises a touch button display function to make the entire ice-making process simple and easy and is capable of producing up to 26 pounds of ice in two sizes.

It is extremely compact and portable and is thus perfect for boats, RVs, small kitchens, restaurants, bars, etc. This compact machine comprises easy-to-use controls and you can choose the size of the ice with its intuitive controls.

This countertop ice maker machine doesn’t require complex installation; you only have to plug in the appliance, add water, and enjoy huge volumes of ice in less than 6 minutes.

This machine makes up to 26 lbs. of nugget-shaped ice in 24 hours, eliminating the need to deal with pesky ice trays again. This appliance is tested and certified with ETL for safety and energy efficiency.

What do we like about the Della 048-GM-48184 ice maker?

  • Light indicator to denote the level of water and when it is time to remove the ice.
  • Comprises of R134a refrigerant to cool down the unit completely.

What do we don’t like about the Della 048-GM-48184 ice maker?

  • Warranty and returns policy are not standard for this ice maker machine.

#10. Scotsman UN1520A-1 – Alternative Undercounter Nugget Ice Machine

Scotsman UN1520A-1 Nugget Undercounter Ice Maker
Editor Rating: 8.7/10
Easy to use8.9
Easy to clean8.7
Build quality8.4
Noise level8.4
Energy efficiency8.7
Value for money8.9

The Scotsman air-cooled nugget under counter ice maker is a space-saving appliance that can fit in pretty well even in compact spaces. Its space-saving design ensures that it can be tucked in under the counter and its front-breathing design makes sure that this appliance ventilates appropriately.

There is no side clearance required for this appliance and thus helps in flexible placement. However, we recommend that you leave an appropriate space of 2 inches at the sides and back so that it helps in the long life of the appliance. 

The slide back door of this appliance helps to access the ice in the bin easily and the appliance also has an ice scoop and adjustable legs for tremendous ease of use. As this appliance has a stainless steel evaporator and an auger, it is expected to have a long life. The appliance features a heavy-duty rust-free front panel and corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy panels.

This appliance is capable of forming tremendous volumes of ice in a day, and it can form about 167 lbs. in 24 hours and store about 57 lbs. of ice at a time. It does have a small footprint and its adjusting legs make it easy to clean the floor and maintain the space clean. The appliance is energy star certified and it does reflect on the utility bills and it also works with R-134A, an environment-friendly coolant.

What do we like about Scotsman UN1520A-1 ice maker?

  • Huge ice production capacity, up to 76 kg. in a day
  • Quiet appliance with energy star certification
  • Environment-friendly refrigerant

What do we don’t like about Scotsman UN1520A-1 ice maker?

  • Takes up some place, owing to its bulky design

Check out: Best Undercounter Ice Machines

How to Find the Best Sonic Nugget Ice Machine?

There are several ice-making machines available in the market and if you have a specific affinity for pearl-shaped, chewable nugget ice in your drinks, then you are at the right place. When you supply the sonic ice-making machines with fresh and clean water, you can get back a bin full of soft and crunch nugget ice for your entire family and friends gathering. Let us discuss some important points to consider while choosing the sonic ice maker. 

1. Size of the bin

You have to choose the ice-making machine and its bin size depending on your requirement. If you want large quantities of ice at any given point in time, then you have to choose the machine with the largest bin capacity.

But remember that if the bin is pretty big, the unused ice can melt pretty much faster, there will be a lot of ice wasted, resulting in high electric bills. But on the other hand, if the bin is small, then you will have to wait for it to produce ice in batches. So, the bin size does matter and you should choose the bin size that best suits your requirement.

2. Water filtration system

Choose a sonic ice maker with a water filtration system so that you prolong the life of your ice maker. Using a filtration system eliminates mineral deposits on the machine and avoids flaking on the surface of the nuggets. Also, you can have better-tasting ice, and reduce the overall energy consumption of the machine. Remember not to use poor quality water as it can deter the life of the machine and enhance its wear and tear.

3. Size of the nuggets

Choose a sonic ice-making machine that is capable of producing ice in two different shapes, namely large and small, so that you can chill your drinks differently. 

4. Speed of ice making

The very first thing you should learn about your ice maker is how fast it is capable of chucking out the desired quantity of ice. Different models take different time duration and the time required to make the first batch of ice is generally longer. From the second time, the machine should not take greater than 15 minutes to deliver batches of nuggets.

5. Storage capacity

There is no use if the storage capacity of the ice maker machine is not on par with its production capacity. Choose a model that can hold a larger capacity of ice and ensure that the unit prevents ice from melting way too faster. Won’t it be great if the machine can hold the ice in the solid form until you could remove it and use it? 

4. Maintenance

Choose sonic nugget ice makers that are easy to use and clean. Most of the ice maker machines are easy to use and are straightforward. They have drain tubes to drain off excess water as well. Choose those with a built-in recycling system, so that they are easier to drain and self-clean pertinently.

Also Read: Best Clear Ice Makers

Making the Best Use of Sonic Nugget Ice Machines

If you use clear and filtered water, you can yield high-quality ice that is less cloudy and are pretty much soft. If you use pre-boiled water, you can again help yourself with clear nuggets, as less air gets trapped in that water. Most of the countertop ice machines make use of potable water. But if you use a water line to feed it, make sure that there is a filter in the line. 

When you feed the sonic ice maker with water, it makes ice cubes by making use of a cylindrical tube with a rotating auger. It also makes use of a refrigerate to freeze the water. The refrigerate passes through the tubes to cool down the water and chill them down in the shape of nuggets. The sonic ice makers do not use the heaters as used in machines that make cube ice in trays. Thus they use less power and are much more energy-efficient. 

Also Check: Best Crushed Ice Makers for Those Who Like Chewable Ice

Nugget Ice Makers FAQs

In what way is nugget ice better than clear ice?

Both the clear ice and nugget ice are gourmet and work pretty well for different types of cold drinks. Nugget ice is soft and small than clear ice. They are chewable and have tremendous flavor retention capabilities. Nugget ice is best to cool down soda and cocktails.

How to clean the nugget ice-making machine?

All of these ice-making machines that you use in your countertop require regular maintenance, which includes descaling. You can make use of the self-cleaning process in the machine to clean it or follow the user manual for the particular model to do so.

Which is the best nugget ice maker?

GE Profile Opal is one of the best nugget ice makers available in the worldwide market. Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 and GE UNC15NJII are also good options.

Final Words

Nugget ice is one of the most preferred ice types that are preferred by several ice enthusiasts. Order your sonic ice maker today and change the way you have your drinks and throw a party for your friends. In case you are facing difficulty choosing the right sonic ice machine, then we will recommend GE Profile Opal, which is one of the best nugget ice makers in the market.

I'm Sara Wilson, the founder, and author of IceMakerCage. I'm also the head of the expert team that tests various ice makers and brings the best advice.

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