If you’re looking for a fast, easy and portable way to make ice on the fly, let me introduce you to the NewAir Portable Countertop Ice Maker. It’s a whole lot of convenience in a tiny package! Read on for my complete review to find out whether it’s right for your home. Plus, grab a coupon for 20% off!
*Head’s up: NewAir sent me their portable ice maker for free in exchange for sharing my thoughts. All opinions are my own.
Before we get into my NewAir Portable Countertop Ice Maker, let me just give you a tiny bit of background on the water/ice situation in my home. It’s mildly important to the story (although you can skip ahead if you want, I won’t be offended).
Basically, I have crap water, and that’s putting it nicely. While it’s theoretically safe to drink, it tastes (and smells) like rotten eggs. So, while I have a fridge with a water dispenser/ice-maker, it’s not hooked up and never will be as long as we live here. When I want ice, I have to go the old-fashioned route- pour bottled water into the trays and wait hours for it to freeze.
While that wouldn’t be such a big deal if I was just using it to cool down a drink here and there, I actually use ice for a lot more than that. I use it to fill up those little “ouchie” bags (you know, like the kind cartoon animals put on their heads when they got hit with an anvil) for my chronic headaches, backaches, and wrist pain. During the summer, I also go through bags and bags of it to stay cool without air conditioning.
Basically, I need ice almost 24/7, and my freezer just isn’t big enough to hold all that I go through, and it really stinks having to wait hours for a new batch to be ready. So, the idea of a portable ice maker that whips up frozen water cubes on demand definitely appealed to me. NewAir didn’t have to ask twice if I wanted to try one out!
NewAir Portable Ice Maker Review: Is it Worth the Money?
I’ll save you some time and give you a quick answer: yes, it is. I’ll explain why in my review below. Let’s start with the basics, though: what is the NewAir Portable Ice Maker?
What is the NewAir Portable Ice Maker?
It’s exactly what it sounds like (but also not, which I’ll get to in a minute): a freestanding and portable way to freeze water. They have a couple of different models. I have the NewAir NIM033NK00, in black. It’s really hard to photograph without reflections, so the image right below is from the NewAir site (that way you have one clear image of what it looks like without my kitchen reflected in it).
It takes up about a foot’s worth of counter space width-wise and 20″ depth-wise when in use (the unit is 14″ deep, but you need to leave about 6″ clearance behind it for the vent), yet is capable of making a whopping 33 lbs of bullet-shaped ice in a day. As far as portability goes, as long as you have the required flat space and a nearby outlet, you can use it pretty much anywhere.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons, then I’ll give you my final recommendation. Spoiler alert, I love it! However, there are a few cons, so make sure you read through to the end. 🙂
Already know you want to buy it? Click here to purchase the NewAir Ice Maker in three different colors.
Pros of the New Air Portable Countertop Ice Maker
The obvious pro is the fact that it’s pretty much an on-demand ice-maker, ready to deliver within about 10 minutes from the moment you think, “Gee, I wish I had some ice!” Other features that I love include:
- A removable ice bin, just take it out when it’s full and dump the ice into a bag (or in my case, your freezer’s ice bin).
- It’s pretty fast! Each batch takes about 6-8 minutes, although the very first time I plugged it in, it did take significantly longer (about half an hour). However, ever since that very first batch, it’s been pretty consistent with the 6-8 min range.
- Tank holds 2 liters (just over half a gallon) of water. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it actually lasted throughout more than half of the day.
- Indicator lights tell you when the basket is full or when you need to add more water.
- It’s fairly quiet. Really, unless you’re standing right next to it, the only time you hear it is when the ice drops into the bucket. Even that’s not terribly loud. I can turn it on early in the morning without disturbing anyone else in the house.
- Made entirely of BPA-free parts.
- Makes two sizes of ice (both are bullet-shaped, one is slightly larger than the other).
The NewAir Ice Maker is also very straight-forward and easy to operate. Put the water in the tank, plug it in, choose your ice size, hit start. That’s it really. When the tank is empty or the bucket is full, a red light will indicate what needs your attention. After you’ve finished making your ice for the day, drain any remaining water out of the bottom and store it away until you need it again.
As much as I love my NewAir Portable Countertop Ice Maker, it does have a few drawbacks. Hey, nothing is perfect, and I promised you a completely honest review! The biggest issue is the fact that the unit cannot double as an ice storage container. If you leave the ice in there too long, it will melt.
On the plus side, it melts back into the tank, so you’re not wasting water. On the down side of that, though, some of the water will come out the bottom when you’re transferring the ice to, say, your freezer bin. My workaround for that: dump the ice into a large cup, then carry it over to the freezer OR put a towel under the bucket when transferring it.
Other minor drawbacks include:
- It’s not Energy Star Rated.
- No timer, so you have to manually start the machine. In other words, you can’t set it to go off an hour before you wake up.
- No self-cleaning function, although I don’t really think this is a big deal. I mean, you’re basically just filling it with clean water every time anyway, right?
- No automatic overflow protection. Again, since it does shut off when the ice bucket is full, this shouldn’t be a major problem.
You’ll also want to make sure that the drainage plug on the bottom is very securely in place. Mine loosened and I ended up with a counter full of water. I am 99% sure that it was user error on my part, but it’s worth mentioning so you don’t make the same mistake.
Final Recommendation (& Coupon for 20% off)
If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to make ice on the fly, I absolutely recommend the NewAir Portable Countertop Ice Maker. Just make sure you manage your expectations. Too often, I see negative reviews for products because people are mad that it doesn’t do something it never promised to do in the first place. This is not a hotel ice machine. Expecting it to function as such would be unreasonable.
Yes, you’ll need to keep up with moving the ice over to the actual freezer. The NewAir promises to MAKE ice, not keep it frozen until the end of time. However, it does its job very well without taking up a ton of counter space that I don’t have.
So, is it worth the money? Yes, absolutely, especially if you go through a lot of ice in your house and can’t make it in your own freezer. Want to see it in action? Check out the video below, then head over to NewAir to buy it! Use code PRETTYOPINIONATED for 20% off!
NewAir Portable Countertop Ice Maker, 33 lbs. with 2 Ice Sizes | NIM033BK00
Use code PRETTYOPINIONATED for 20% off!