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The Ultimate Test: Finding the Best Nugget Ice Maker

by Contributing Author

During my three pregnancies, I used to drive to Sonic to buy perfectly sized crunchy ice cubes. Whether you call it Pebble Ice, Nugget Ice, or the infamous “Sonic Ice,” there’s something very satisfying about these crunchy little ice cubes. In our quest to satisfy our insatiable craving for nugget ice, we embarked on a journey of rigorous testing to discover the best nugget ice makers. We grabbed four of the top rated manufacturers from Amazon and set up shop in our team office kitchen. Over several weeks, we carefully evaluated its performance, ice quality, ease of use, and overall satisfaction. Keep scrolling for the results.

buy countertop nugget ice maker

With our viral beverage station, Built-in nugget ice maker, has become a complete luxury. I personally scoop ice about 5 times a day, and my family of 5 makes full use of it. It’s perfect. It is connected to the water pipe, so there is no need to refill the water. We love self-sufficient kitchen appliances. We wanted to focus only on the tabletop ice maker in this test, as it’s also built-in and requires a significant investment. We don’t want to spoil the results, but there is an ice maker for every individual taste and budget, and in fact we recommend all four of these for a variety of reasons. Let’s go!

Introduce contestants

KBice 2.0 Self-dispense Nugget Ice Machine | Joy Pebble Portable Ice Maker | KNDKO nugget ice maker | Opal nugget ice machine with side tank

In fact, we’ve had this GE Opal countertop appliance for about a year and a half. I bought it for my team office at the time so my team could have a cold cold drink on the go. This is the “ice maker” that everyone has these days. It’s probably the best one.

I found this Pebble ice maker very appealing and knew I should test the dispense function to see if it was as useful as it looked.

Unlike Opal’s ice machine, this one has a self-cleaning function and is less than half the price, so I wanted to compare.

All of our testing required low-budget participants, and this ice maker costs less than $100, but of course we wanted to see if the value was worth the price.

Nugget ice machine test

They are arranged in ascending order of price.

First impression? This ice machine is the smallest ice machine! It takes up less countertop space, but also holds less ice. Although it looks like stainless steel in the product image, it is actually a gray plastic material. So aesthetically it’s not ideal. But what about ice?

This ice shape was unexpected! It looks like a hollow styrofoam filled with peanuts. The product listing says “bullet-shaped”, which is probably correct. Also, there wasn’t much difference in size, but you can choose between 1 inch ice or 0.8 inch ice.

To my surprise, they didn’t mind the different shape. Still, it satisfied my craving for crunchy ice, and the texture was wonderful. If you are a small household and don’t have an ice dispenser in your fridge, I think this will make you very happy.

I think this ice machine is a cheaper version of the Opal ice machine. It is small in size and has a very beautiful stainless steel finish. I also like that it has a flip top lid for scooping ice. According to the product description, this is the one that makes the most ice at 3.3 pounds!

The actual ice was just the right size to chew, but the edges were a little rougher than other ice. And for some reason, the ice is harder to chew, whereas the others made ice with a softer crunch. Recognize?

It also has a self-cleaning function, which is very convenient.

In my opinion, this appliance is the most beautiful of the many. The combination of black and stainless steel is beautiful and has a really modern and simple shape. It’s also the largest, so it’s not ideal if you’re short on counter space. That being said, this machine’s dispensing is incredibly satisfying and easy to use.

No need to dig out the scoop. It is so simple that I would like to entrust my children with this machine. Oh, it fits perfectly in a Stanley cup without a drip tray in the bottom!

This can’t be considered a drawback, but unlike other ice makers, you can’t visually see how much ice has been made. And you can’t even see the water level. In fact, adding water is weird at first, but it’s also fun. Insert the funnel into the front hole and pour water. The fill line is invisible and will beep when full.

Ice pebbles are exactly what you want: the best texture and perfect crunch. It also has a self-cleaning function.

As for the budget, this ice maker is the most expensive and also the one we’ve tested the longest. I don’t really like the side tank being necessary and optional, but I think it’s pretty necessary unless you don’t mind refilling it frequently.

Over time it will require some troubleshooting and random odd sounds here and there, but it does an incredible job of satisfying your pebble ice cravings. It seems to be the fastest to make ice, and since there is a side tank, there is no need to replenish ice frequently.

Best pebble ice maker overall

1. KBice – This machine is my favourite, for its design, features and price! The satisfaction of this dispenser will never be forgotten.

2. opal – The performance of this ice maker is perfect, but the price is almost double of the KBice ice maker and I’m not sure it’s worth double. That said, it can hold significantly more ice and water, which means less frequent refills.

best budget pebble ice machine

1. joy – We all had great things to say about this quirky little “bullet-shaped” ice maker. At less than $100, it’s not ideal for large families, but it’s great for college students and newlyweds.

2. Kundoko – If you want a good nugget ice maker at a fair price, we recommend this equipment. It didn’t win as the most satisfying ice cream, but it’s still pretty good. It’s a bit shocking that the size is small but the ice is the most.

If you have a Pebble ice maker, be sure to weigh it.


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