The Best Nugget Ice Makers,According to tests

While countertop ice makers typically churn out standard ice cubes, true ice aficionados know that for the ultimate experience, a nugget ice maker is the way to go. Known as pellet ice, or even Sonic ice, this delightful ice type is prized for its small size and irresistibly crunchy texture. 

Why Nugget Ice?

Perfectly sized to fit into a travel coffee mug, Moscow Mule mug, or highball glass.Each nugget is composed of compressed layers of frozen water, allowing liquid to flow around it smoothly. This clever shape ensures slow melting, keeps your drinks icy cold, and offers a fun, chewable crunch. Now, you can enjoy this premium ice right at home!

Ready to elevate your ice game? Explore our top nugget ice maker choices and make every sip a refreshing, crunchy delight!

Top Picks


Kismile Nugget Ice Maker Z5820BN($219.99)


Kismile Nugget Countertop Ice Maker Z5815NB($219.99)


Kismile Nugget Sonic Ice Maker Stainless Steel Z5815SN$189.99)

Best Overall

Kismile Nugget Ice Maker Z5820BN 


1.Quick Continuous Ice Making - With a powerful, low-noise compressor, it can produce 44lbs ice efficiently in 24hrs.

2.Chewable Nugget Ice - This ice maker makes crushed, chewable ice, which can cool down drinks faster and also provide joy.

3.Easy to Use - With a smart LCD panel, it can be easily controlled to monitor the ice making process at any time.

4.Self-cleaning Function - With the self-cleaning function, one simple press starts auto-clean, which makes cleaning so easy.

5.Compact & Portable - Its size makes it so easy to carry. The provided ice basket and ice scoop are for easy ice storage.

Looks aren’t everything,especially when you’re purchasing an arguably non-essential appliance ,but we can’t deny the aesthetic appeal of Kismile nugget ice maker Z5820BN.The stainless steel body looks sleek and will match almost any kitchen setup, while its ability to produce 41 pounds of ice will ensure you’re kept flush with fresh, glorious nugget ice. In our tests, we found the curved top-opening lid very user-friendly.

The Z5820BN produces an impressive amount of crunchy, satisfying ice for its compact size, which makes it great for anyone who entertains or regularly hosts dinner parties.The Z5820BN comes with simple and clear instructions to help you figure out how to set the timer for easier use. Adding water is as easy as removing the ice tray and pouring water directly into the machine. Keep this on hand for ice as often as you want since the ice melts into the water reservoir to be recycled for the next cycle.

Dimensions:  13.2 x 9.4 x 15.3 inches | Weight: 31.6 Pounds | Capacity: 26.0 Pounds

Best Splurge

Kismile Nugget Countertop Ice Maker Z5815NB


1.Fast Ice Making:Fill 1.1l of water into the water tank, maximum ice capacity can reach 34lbs in 24 hours. It won't make you feel anxious because of waiting, let you and your family have ice cubes all day long.

2.Chewable Nugget Ice: Chewing-block ice is made from crushed ice cut with blades, as opposed to traditional hard block ice which are chewable, brittle, ready fast and retains its flavor. 3.The optimal melting speed preserves the original flavor of whisky and cold drinks.

4.Quite And User Friendly:It makes ice with low noise. The transparent lid allows you to monitor the ice making process. A considerate ice scoop holder, easy to find your ice scoop before making ice. Only need to press one button, helps you to quickly understand how to use it. When the water is insufficient or the ice basket is full, the indicator light will turn on.

5.Self--cleaning Function: Press “ICE/CLEAN” button for 5 seconds, the ring indicator light flashes white. It will run the cleaning procedure for 15 minutes and automatically exit. Press this button again during the cleaning procedure and it will exit immediately.

6.Small Footprint: This mini ice maker measures just 8.50 x 11.22 x 12.60 inches. Large Capacity Based on Small Footprint, Small Enough to fit on most countertop and easy to store when not in use. It takes up less space at home or in the office, barbeques, outdoor parties, or basement bars.

The Z5815NB is widely regarded as the gold standard among home ice makers, producing an impressive 34 pounds of ice per day.

Thanks to its LED display and self-cleaning system, it's very easy to configure and maintain; the only debatable downside to this ice maker (aside from the fact that its price tag also makes it our "best splurge" pick) is the amount of counter space it requires. It's a small machine that would definitely make a wonderful addition to the corners of your home.

We tested this machine and used it in our home for a couple months. Through these tests, we found the ice-making to be excellent and of excellent quality. Apart from the occasional normal sound it makes, it works with less noise than a kettle or coffee maker. The top opening lid design makes it very easy to fill the machine (otherwise the tank would require a kitchen faucet hose or a large cup to pour water), and as long as the machine isn't too far from the sink, the cleaning process is easy. While it's an investment in terms of price and counter space, its sleek looks, quality, and reliability make it a worthwhile option for those who buy it.

Dimensions:  12.68"D x 11.3"W x 8.66"H inches | Capacity: 1.1 Liters | Wattage: 136 watts


Best Value

Kismile Nugget Sonic Ice Maker Stainless Steel Z5815SN


1.The Kismile's nugget ice maker produces Sonic's soft, crunchy, and chewable ice for your drinks at home.

2.The powerful ice machine can produce 33lbs of ice per day, with the first round ready in 12 minutes and subsequent rounds in 2 minutes.

3.The ice maker has a self-cleaning function that takes just 15 minutes and is effortless to use.

With a one-button design and intelligent infrared technology, the countertop ice maker is 4.user-friendly and reminds you when the ice is full or low.

The compact and quiet ice maker is 11.81"D x 9.06"W x 13"H, making it perfect for any occasion, including travel.

Best value is a tough category here since nugget ice makers are not, as a general rule, a budget appliance. That said, this one from Kismile — which is both self-cleaning and capable of producing a whopping 33 pounds of ice every 24 hours — is priced at less than $200. The viewing window is also helpful for keeping track of ice production and refilling the machine as needed. During our tests, we also loved how portable and lightweight this nugget ice machine is. We won’t call it a steal, but this is still a hard-to-beat price on a high-capacity ice machine that can have you enjoying a few nuggets of ice in as little as 10 minutes.

Dimensions:  1 11.81"D x 9.06"W x 13"H inches | Capacity: 35 Pounds | Wattage: 160 watts

Our Favorite Nugget Ice Maker

We named the Nugget Sonic Ice Maker Stainless Steel Z5815SN the best nugget ice maker overall due to its sleek design, compact footprint, and ice yield for its size. If you're willing to splurge, we highly recommend Nugget Countertop Ice Maker Z5815NB as an undeniable all-rounder with its good looks, generous capacity,and ease of use.

How We Tested Nugget Ice Makers


We tested five of the most popular nugget ice makers on the market. Our tests included the popular Kismile Nugget Sonic Ice Maker Stainless Steel Z5815SN the slightly more affordable Kismile Nugget Countertop Ice Maker Z5815NB,and the Kismile Nugget Ice Maker Z5820BN .We evaluated each nugget ice maker based on these metrics: Design: We observed each ice maker's design, paying close attention to each model's overall aesthetic, water reservoir capacity, noise, hopper insulation, and portability. Ease of use: We evaluated the setup process and how easy or difficult it was. We also noted any additional features, settings, or lights that made the ice maker quicker or easier to use. During our tests, we also noted how easy is the ice maker to operate, add water to the reservoir, remove ice, remove the ice container (if applicable), and use the controls. Performance: During our tests, we noted how long the hopper took to fill with ice. After the ice hopper was full, we observed how much water was left in the reservoir. We noted how long each batch of ice took to make, the yield of each batch of ice, and how long it took to melt. We also noted the shape, size, clarity, texture, and flavor of the ice and compared it to Sonic ice. Margarita test: To further test melting times in an everyday format, we filled a margarita glass with ice and observed how much ice was left in the margarita after 20 minutes.

Factors to Consider

Installation Type

All five of these nugget ice makers just require an electrical outlet. They’re meant to sit on the countertop and get to work straight away. Some other nugget or countertop ice makers may require an additional water line, but none of the models we tested required this.

Ice Yield

All of the ice machines we’ve recommended here can produce between 33 and 40 pounds of ice in 24 hours. Unless you’re regularly throwing parties, you likely won’t have to worry about capacity. That said, they’re all fairly bulky machines, so choose based on the yield that makes the most sense for you.

Ease of Ceaning

These nugget ice machines are all self-cleaning and operate either with the touch of a button or an LCD screen. With that said, we did find some models to have an easier-to-remove water reservoir that made cleaning and sanitizing much quicker. Flip quickly through the user manual after setup, and you should be on your way to nugget ice in no time. 



If you're investing in a nugget ice maker, you'll want to be sure you have enough space on your countertop if you plan to keep it out on display. For safety purposes, you'll also want to ensure there's plenty of clearance around the appliance. We recommend following your manufacturer's instructions to determine how much space is required before setup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between pebble ice and nugget ice?

They’re the same thing! Both are characterized by their small size, compressed layers, and ability to be chewed without making every dentist in a 10-mile radius cringe at the very sound.

How do you clean an ice machine?

Most ice machines are — fortunately — self-cleaning, but you’ll definitely want to double-check the manufacturer instructions and discern whether your machine cleans itself regularly, or if there’s a cleaning cycle you’ll need to activate.The following cleaning tips:

“I clean my ice maker by unplugging it and then removing any ice cubes that may be in the reservoir. Then I fill the machine with clean water and run the self-cleaning cycle. When that is finished, I drain all the water, wipe down the inside of the ice maker with a clean, damp cloth, then dry it thoroughly before plugging it back in.” 

Martin says she repeats this process every month to ensure her ice machine stays in prime condition.

How much nugget ice do I need?

Generally, a countertop nugget ice maker will yield enough ice for one to three people per day. While some models produce up to 40 pounds daily, keep in mind your ice maker’s storage bin capacity. If you think you’ll need more ice, consider an undercounter ice maker or freestanding model with larger bin capacities.