Top 3 Cheapest Countertop Nugget Ice Makers

If you’re looking to buy a nugget ice maker but don’t feel like breaking the bank, then you’re in luck! Over the past few years there has been a dramatic increase in terms of choice when it comes to budget range nugget ice makers.

However, there are a couple of important things to remember if you are looking at spending less than $500 on a nugget ice maker.

  • Due to the complexity of nugget ice makers vs. standard ice makers, entry level nugget ice makers start at about $300, significantly more than standard ice makers (But, do I really want normal ice? Can I chew it? No, I want nugget ice).
  • If you decide to get a device other than the New Air make sure you purchase an extended warranty. I have not encountered any issues with the KBice self-dispensing nugget ice maker or the Frigidaire but issues are not uncommon and it gets pretty expensive if you have to start paying for replacement devices within the year.

It is however important to remember, due to the complex mechanisms required to make nugget ice, entry level nugget ice makers start at about $300, significantly more than conventional ice makers. But, do I really want normal ice? Can I chew it? No, I want nugget ice. So, let's check out the 3 cheapest nugget ice makers.

Newair Nugget Countertop Ice Maker

The NewAir nugget ice is smaller than a sugar cube, and very nice and soft when chewed fresh. The front light looks great and given its competitive price point, it has a relatively premium finish. The ice will melt if left in the bin so be prepared you will need freezer space.


  • Fast ice production (within 10 - 15 minutes for initial ice production and 30 minutes for a cup of ice)
  • Value - it is competitively priced
  • Well designed water recycling system


  • Square ice that sticks and changes texture when moved to storage in the freezer

KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

There are very few nugget ice makers within this price bracket that also produce restaurant-level Sonic-style nugget ice but the KBice does a great job. With a production capacity of 30lbs a day, it is more than enough for most homes.


  • Self dispense feature is super practical
  • Simple installation
  • High-end design
  • Super easy to use
  • Has it's own cleaning function


  • Relatively loud
  • Awkward to refill
  • Air vents on the left side require a lot of space. You need 12 inches of clearance!

Frigidaire EFIC235-AMZ Countertop Crunchy Chewable Nugget Ice Maker

At only 17 inches wide, this little nugget ice maker produces over 40lbs of ice a day and comes in at a lower price point that most competitors, there is a lot to like about the Frigidaire EFIC235-AMZ. Having said that, it is relatively loud and the finish doesn't feel quite as premium as some stainless steel competitors, we have seen this ice machine produce enough nugget ice to support a medium sized restaurant (we literally got served up nugget ice made by this machine in Mexico at this great little restaurant)!


  • Creates ice very fast (15 minutes)
  • Large water reservoir
  • Relatively low price point
  • Easy to clean and set up


  • Relatively loud
  • Some users have commented on a life span of <2 years (Source: Amazon reviews)

FAQs on Countertop Nugget Ice Makers

How Long Does It Take For The Nugget Ice Maker To Make Ice?

A typical nugget ice maker usually takes about 18 minutes to produce their first batch of delicious pellet ice or pebble ice.

What Kind Of Water Should I Use With My Nugget Ice Maker?

Distilled water or filtered water is the type of water that is usually recommended to be used for your nugget ice maker to produce, hands down, the best ice nuggets.

It is also recommended for you to connect the nugget ice maker’s water line to a water filter for the highest quality and crystal clear ice production by your nugget ice maker.

Do All Nugget Ice Maker Need a Water Line?

Some nugget ice makers come with a built-in (or attachable) water tanks, while other machines come with a water line. It is a pretty important thing to decide early on and will help you quickly narrow down the range of nugget ice makers to choose from, once you make this decision. You can read my full article "Nugget Ice Makers - Water Lines vs. Water Tanks" here.

Is A Nugget Ice Maker Cheap?

Not really if you compare them to traditional ice makers BUT if you have been heading to Sonic drive-in just to get their Sonic ice then yes, well kinda, at the long run.

With a countertop nugget ice maker, you save gas, effort, and time as well! You will always have delicious nugget ice on the ready when you want them!

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