You can’t beat that tasty, chewy ice that you get in the Sonic fast food restaurant. There’s just something about that ice that makes it irresistible!
However, we don’t all have endless supplies of money to fill our Sonic ice cravings every single day. The good news is that there are plenty of ice machines that you can purchase for home use.
The bad news is that the majority of these ice makers that are on the market are actually bullet ice machines, which produce a much harder ice cube than Sonic ice.
There’s no need to despair though. Sonic ice is also known as nugget ice, which is basically a smaller, softer version of ice that you can easily create at home with the right ice machine in your possession.
There are plenty of nugget ice makers on the market to help you fill your Sonic ice cravings. But with so many different types of ice machine to choose from, how can you be sure that you’ve found the best nugget/Sonic ice makers?
We’ve done all of that hard work for you so that you don’t have to stress. We scoured the market to find the best nugget ice machines on offer so that you can enjoy all of the tasty nugget ice that your heart desires.
As long as you opt for one of the fantastic products that we’ve reviewed in more detail below, you can rest assured that you’ve found the best nugget/Sonic ice machine for your needs.
Our Best Nugget/Sonic Ice Makers Reviews
The GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker easily earns our spot of top pick. This particular nugget ice maker comes with a range of great features for you to use.
It delivers the tasty nugget ice that you crave so that you can craft a variety of yummy beverages. This particular model also comes with a side tank addition.
This can help you to create up to 3 times more ice than with competitive models.
What’s really great about this nugget ice maker is the fact that it is super powerful.
This nugget ice machine will be able to chill your ice fast, delivering chewy ice within 20 minutes. Perfect if you want fast results from your nugget ice machine.
This particular nugget ice machine is super easy to use. There’s no need to hook it up to a water outlet. Simply fill the reservoir with water to create all the tasty ice that you’re after.
This also makes the unit more portable as you can place it anywhere in your kitchen. It comes with an impressive capacity of 3 pounds, and can produce up to 24 pounds worth of ice in a 24 hour period.
A unique feature of this particular nugget machine is that it comes with Bluetooth technology.
So you can easily schedule the machine to make more ice without having to physically touch any buttons. You can control it all through an application on your smartphone.
- Compact – features a more compact design to use on your countertop
- Fast ice – capable of producing nugget ice within 20 minutes
- Side tank – available with a side tank to increase productivity
- Pricey – one of the more expensive models on the market
The FRIGIDAIRE Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is a great option if you don’t want to spend too much money on an expensive Sonic ice machine.
This particular model comes in at a competitive price and gives you great functionality to boot.
The FRIGIDAIRE nugget ice machine is capable of producing up to 44 pounds of ice each day. It also has a capacity of 3 pounds of ice that it can hold up to any one time.
What’s really great about this nugget ice machine is that it won’t take up lots of room in your home. It is the perfect size to fit on your countertop, so won’t take up lots of space thanks to its compact design.
This compact design also makes the nugget ice machine more portable and you can easily store it away once you’ve finished using it.
It couldn’t be easier to use your new FRIGIDAIRE Countertop Nugget Ice Maker. There’s no need to hook it up to a water source.
Simply fill up the water reservoir, and you can set the nugget ice machine to create your tasty ice. This also means you can place it wherever you would like in your kitchen.
Another great feature of this nugget ice machine is that it can create ice super quickly.
You will be able to enjoy Sonic style ice within 15 minutes! Great if you want an ice machine that will create ice quickly and won’t leave you waiting.
- Quick acting – capable of producing ice in 15 minutes
- Compact design – can easily fit onto your countertop for easier functionality
- Large capacity – can create up to 44 pounds of nugget ice in a day with a 3 pound capacity
- Loud – some customers found the appliance to be on the louder side
Looking for a nugget ice machine that can create restaurant quality Sonic ice? Then the KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is the appliance you should opt for.
This particular nugget ice machine will deliver high quality ice for you to use right in the comfort of your own home.
You’ll be able to enjoy tasty chewy nugget ice within 25 minutes when you use the KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker. So you won’t have to wait for ages to enjoy that chewy ice that you love from Sonic restaurants.
You can also use bottled, distilled, or water from your faucet to create the ice. The nugget ice maker features an internal capacity of around 2 pounds, and can be used to create 30 pounds in a period of 24 hours.
One of the best things about this ice machine is that it features a more compact size. This makes it easy to fit on your countertop without taking up too much room.
You also don’t have to hook it up to a water source, so you can place it anywhere in your home or kitchen for ease.
What’s really great about this nugget ice machine is that it comes with a self cleaning function. So you won’t have to worry about dismantling the ice machine to clean it.
The ice machine will use its self cleaning function at your command to keep itself running smoothly and efficiently.
- Countertop appliance – won’t use up too much room in your kitchen
- Easy to use – simply fill up the water reservoir and enjoy
- Quick freezing – enjoy nugget ice within 25 minutes
- Smaller capacity – can only hold around 2 pounds of ice and make 44 pounds of ice within 24 hours
The Northair Countertop Nugget Ice Maker comes with a range of great features to make it an ideal pick for your home use. This particular model is available at a competitive price, and features a more compact design.
So it will easily fit on your kitchen countertop. This model also comes with an impressive capacity of 5.7 liters using both a top and bottom water tank.
You won’t have to worry about hooking this nugget ice machine up to a water supply.
All you need to do is fill up the water reservoirs with your water of choice and the ice machine will be ready to go.
This particular nugget ice maker is capable of making up to 44 pounds of ice in a single 24 hour period. It can hold up to 3.31 pounds of ice.
A handy feature is that when the ice melts, it filters back into the water reservoir, ready to be made into more ice.
A handy feature of this nugget ice maker is its self cleaning function. This will make it much easier to maintain as you won’t have to wash its components by hand. Simply press the “clean” function, and it will do all the hard work for you.
What’s really great about this nugget ice maker is that it’s super easy to use. You can control everything using the easy to use LCD display.
There are also a variety of indicator lights to tell you when the water tank needs filling, when the ice bucket is full, and many more.
- Fast freezing – enjoy your favorite nugget ice within 15 minutes
- Self cleaning – automatically cleans itself using the “clean” function
- Easy to use – features a water reservoir that you will need to top up yourself rather than hooking it up to an external water supply
- Loud – some customers found this nugget ice machine could be rather loud
The Qualeben Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is the ideal choice for home use.
This particular model features a more compact design than commercial models. It can easily fit on your countertop in your kitchen without taking up too much room.
It couldn’t be easier to make ice than with this nugget ice maker. All you need to do is hook it up to your faucet, and it can craft endless supplies of ice.
The ice machine will then automatically create ice by drawing on your water supply.
When the machine senses that the water reservoir is empty, it will automatically refill so you can create more ice.
The smart ice maker will automatically stop making ice when it senses that the ice bucket is full.
You’ll be able to get ice super fast with this ice maker. It can craft your favorite Sonic ice within 16 minutes. This super fast ice maker will craft you up to 26 pounds worth of ice in a single day.
The nugget ice machine has a capacity of holding up to 4.8 pounds of ice at any one time. This will be ideal for a variety of situations, from parties to home use.
Another great feature of this nugget ice machine is that it comes with a self cleaning function. This will make the cleaning maintenance even easier, as you won’t have to dismantle parts of it so that you can wash its components.
Simply press the “clean” function, and the machine will clean itself in an 8 minute cycle. Perfect if you want to avoid a buildup of unwanted bacteria.
- Fast production – can produce Sonic ice within 16 minutes
- Self-cleaning function – no need to scrub away at the components to get rid of bacteria
- Endless ice – easily connect your ice maker to your faucet for automatic nugget ice production
- Automatically stops – when the basin is full you will need to open and close the lid to empty it a little before the appliance will make more ice
The Cool Life Countertop Nugget Ice Maker will give you all the chewy, tasty Sonic ice that you need.
This particular model features a more compact design so that it won’t take up a lot of room in your kitchen. The compact design makes it easy to pack away once you’ve finished using it, too.
What’s really great about this ice machine is that it will craft your favorite nugget ice in a relatively short space of time. You can enjoy nugget ice within 15 minutes.
This time shortens with multiple new cycles of ice, giving you nugget ice within 8 to 10 minutes. Perfect if you need ice in a hurry and don’t want to wait for hours for a fresh batch.
This particular ice machine will be able to craft up to 44 pounds worth of ice within a 24 hour period. It can also hold up to 3 pounds of ice in the bucket at any one time. This makes it the perfect choice if you need lots of nugget ice for parties.
- Fast freezing – gives you Sonic restaurant quality nugget ice within 15 minutes
- Compact size – appliance easily fits on your counter
- Automatic ice – water from melting ice gets recycled as more ice
- Pricey – more costly than a standard ice machine
Searching for the best nugget/Sonic ice maker can be a real challenge. There are so many different types of ice machines on the market, and so many different types of ice to think about!
You will need to ensure that you’re actually buying a nugget ice machine, and not a bullet ice machine, or other type of ice machine.
There are also so many different factors that you will need to think about to ensure that you’ve found the right ice maker for your needs.
That’s why we’ve collated all of our essential review criteria into this handy buyer’s guide to help you. As long as your chosen nugget ice maker follows the below criteria, you can rest assured that it will be perfect for your needs.
You can also use the below criteria to ensure that your chosen ice maker is actually the right kind of ice machine.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about nugget/Sonic ice makers, or skip ahead to the frequently asked questions.
Type Of Ice
This may seem like an obvious point, but the amount of manufacturers that will misleadingly list their ice machine as a nugget ice maker is ridiculous.
You will need to double check the type of ice that your chosen ice maker is able to create.
There are a whole bunch of bullet ice machines on the market being marketed as a nugget ice machine, when the ice these products produce is way too big and hard to be considered nugget or Sonic ice.
This ice will be too hard to chew, and won’t melt as easily as nugget ice.
So you should take a look at the size of ice that your chosen product is able to produce before you commit to your purchase. A handy way to know for sure is to look at how the ice is created.
Bullet ice is created by ice filling bullet shaped molds, leaving a hole in the center where the ice machine moves the now frozen ice into the main body of the machine ready to be scooped out.
Nugget ice will be much smaller, and appear to be whole, complete rectangles or squares.
You will need to think about what kind of capacity you will need from your nugget ice machine. There will be a variety of models to choose from to meet this capacity requirement.
It will be better to wait and find out what the capacity of your chosen ice maker is before you commit to your purchase. Even though the ice maker may appear to be a budget price, it will likely have a much smaller capacity.
Obviously, the more capacity you get with your chosen nugget ice maker, the better. This will give you lots of room to create plenty of tasty Sonic ice that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
However, you should be mindful of the fact that this could impact on the price of the machine itself.
Have a think about what you will be using your new nugget ice machine for. Is it just for personal use for you and the family? Or will you be using it for parties to create lots of yummy nugget ice?
If it’s just for personal use, then a smaller, more compact model will be ideal. For parties, you may wish to opt for a larger model with a larger capacity so that there will be plenty of ice to go around.
Easy To Use
It will of course be crucial to opt for a nugget ice machine that will be super easy to use. No one wants a complicated machine that will end up just sitting in the cupboard!
Does your chosen Sonic ice maker come with a comprehensive manual for you to follow? Does it offer you plug and play usability, or do you need to set it up first by hooking it up to an external water source?
The easier your nugget ice machine is to use, the better. This will make you more likely to use it, and therefore more likely to get your money’s worth out of the machine itself.
Another great tip for checking out how easy your ice machine is to use before you commit to your purchase is to take a look at the reviews from other customers.
This can help you to learn more about how other people got on with the machine so that you can buy with confidence when you have found the nugget ice maker that best fits your needs.
Another factor that you will need to bear in mind before you make your purchase is just how much money you have to play with.
There are so many different ice machines on the market, with such varying specifications and prices, that it can be all too easy to become overwhelmed.
While it may seem like a smart plan to buy the cheapest model that you can find, this may not work out in your favor in the long run. This is because cheaper models often use cheaper components, so will break more easily.
This will mean you’re having to spend more money to replace the appliance when it breaks. Cheaper models also likely don’t have the same functionality as a more upmarket model.
Your best bet will be to make a list of the essential features you will need from your nugget ice maker. You can use the other features we’ve mentioned on this list to help you.
This will give you a better idea of what you need to look for in a nugget ice machine, and therefore have a better idea of how much you will need to spend to get what you’re after.
It will be worth saving for a few extra weeks or months to ensure that you can get the better model for your needs.
Now that you’ve found the best model for your needs based on the type of ice it produces, how large the capacity is, and many other factors, it will be crucial to note how fast your nugget ice machine is able to make ice.
A fast production rate of ice will be essential if you’re in a party atmosphere as you will want to get your tasty Sonic ice as quickly as possible.
Take a look at the Sonic ice maker’s details. Does it tell you how quickly it is able to make the ice that you are after? Is this around 20 minutes, or does it take even longer?
The quicker you can get your tasty ice, the better. While it won’t be the end of the world if you opt for a slower appliance, it will mean that you’re waiting longer in between getting your chewy Sonic ice.
Easy to clean
An important thing that you will need to bear in mind is how easy your nugget ice maker will be to clean. This will be an essential feature to look for, as you will need to clean it out properly after each use so as to prevent a buildup of unwanted bacteria.
The harder your Sonic ice maker is to clean after every use, the more of a pain it will become.
You will be better off opting for a model that will be easy to clean. Does it feature removable parts that are dishwasher safe? Or do you have to physically clean it using a clean cloth and hot, soapy water?
Can you easily access all of the components that need to be cleaned? These factors will all contribute to how easy your chosen nugget ice machine will be to clean once you’ve finished using it.
It will also be worth looking for a model that offers a self cleaning function. This will give you one less thing to worry about when it comes to maintaining your appliance.
Size Of The Machine
Another factor to consider is the size of your nugget ice machine. There are a variety of models to choose from, ranging in price and, of course, size.
Do you need a more compact countertop model? Or are you after a professional grade unit that will be able to produce a greater variety of nugget ice?
The larger the machine, the more ice it will be able to produce. However, it will also need to take up more space in your kitchen. There are commercial grade nugget ice machines available to purchase. For more specifics there, check out our resource on the best commercial ice makers.
These will be more expensive than your average home countertop ice maker. However, if you know you will get the use out of them, this style of ice maker will be a worthy investment.
If you only plan on using your nugget ice maker occasionally, then you may be better off opting for a countertop model. This will be large enough to fit onto your counter but won’t take up loads of room in your kitchen.
These types of ice makers will be much cheaper than a commercial grade ice machine.
However, they won’t be able to produce large volumes of nugget ice all in one go. On the other hand, they will be much easier to store away once you’ve finished using them.
It will be best to weigh up your options and think about which size nugget ice maker will be best for your needs.
It will also be worth considering where your ice maker is getting the water to be turned into ice. You will have two main options.
There will be some machines that will come with a water reservoir. This is a tank that you will need to fill up with clean water (clean water leads to clear ice!) so that your ice maker can transform it into nugget ice.
There are also ice machine models which can be hooked up to an external water source. These ice machines may be slightly more complicated to set up in your home, however, they will be much easier to use.
You won’t have to constantly be filling up the water so that you can enjoy all of that tasty nugget ice. The ice maker will do all of the hard work for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Nugget/Sonic Ice Maker?
The best nugget or sonic ice makers are:
- GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
- FRIGIDAIRE Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
- KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
- Northair Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
- Qualeben Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
- Cool Life Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
Is Nugget Ice The Same As Sonic Ice?
Yes, nugget ice and Sonic ice are indeed the same thing. The only difference between them is that Sonic is a trademark, and simply refers to the ice that they produce for the fast food chain’s drinks.
You can still create tasty Sonic ice from the comfort of your home by purchasing one of the great nugget ice machines that we have reviewed in more detail above.
These will give you the crunchy chewy ice that you’re familiar with, and it won’t be too hard like bullet ice.
What is the difference between nugget and flake ice?
There is a distinct difference between nugget and flake ice. Nugget ice typically has a higher liquid content than that of flake ice, bullet ice, crushed ice, and cube ice. This makes the ice softer, and easier to chew than the other types of ice.
Does nugget ice melt faster?
Yes, nugget ice does melt faster than traditional ice such as bullet ice. This is because it isn’t as dense as bullet ice or cube ice, so its smaller form will melt a lot quicker. Because of this, you might not want to use it with your alcoholic drinks because it will melt faster and dilute your drink quicker.