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Your Essential Guide To Selecting Ice Machines


Commercial ice makers are necessary for almost any hospitality or food service business. Ice machine equipment ensures fresh, frozen, and clean ice is consistently produced throughout the day. However, choosing a suitable ice machine can be difficult due to the numerous designs in the market.

This guide will look at the various types of ice machines that businesses may be interested in, and will highlight the  key factors to consider to ensure they choose the right one. 

Table of Contents
The ice machine market
How to select an ice machine
Types of ice machines

The ice machine market

The global ice market was estimated to be worth USD 4.8 billion in 2022. It is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.57% by 2028, reaching USD 6.4 billion.

The market is segmented by type and end-use sector. In segmentation by type, the market is divided into ice cube makers, ice nugget makers, and ice flake makers. By end-user, the market is classified into food service, retail, residential, and healthcare. 

North America is the largest consumer of the ice machine market. The demand is propelled by the expanding food service market, healthcare industry, and retail market growth.

How to select an ice machine

Production capacity

How much ice does your business need on a daily basis? Make sure to choose a machine that can keep up with demand. The production capacity should be an essential factor as the ice machine purchased should be able to meet the current and future needs of the business.

Type of ice

When choosing an ice machine, it’s important to consider the type of ice it produces, as it serves different purposes. For example, cube ice is the most versatile type of ice and is widely used for beverage service, food display, and general cooling.

Flake ice, nugget ice, crushed ice, and gourmet ice are other types used in different industries. When choosing an ice machine, consider the kind of ice you will use the most and select a machine that produces that type of ice. 

Size and design

Make sure to choose a machine that will fit in the space you have designated for it and that has a design that fits with the aesthetic of your business. It is important to ensure the machine fits in the designated area and there’s enough space for installation and maintenance. Consider the size of the machine, especially if you have limited space in your kitchen or business. 

Energy efficiency

Consider the energy efficiency of the machine you are considering, as this can affect your operating costs over time. Energy costs are rising, and it is important to have an ice machine that is power efficient to avoid increasing production costs.

Maintenance and cleaning requirements

Some ice machines require more frequent cleaning and maintenance than others. Machines with simple designs and easy-to-clean parts are typically more productive as they require less downtime for maintenance. Consider the maintenance and cleaning requirements of the machine you are considering.


Compare the price of different ice machines and choose the best value for your business. However, your budget can be adjusted to procure an ice machine that meets the business needs in the short and long term.


Consider the productivity rate in your business and determine which vacuum sealing machine can address that. The productivity of an ice machine can be determined by its ice production rate, ice storage capacity, and energy efficiency. 

Consider how much ice the machine can produce per day or hour. It is also important to consider the amount of ice the machine can hold at one time. Remember, a more productive ice machine can help you meet customer demand and avoid shortages.

Types of ice machines

Modular ice machines

Modular ice machines are a type of ice machine that offers versatility and flexibility in ice production. There are modular ice machines that can be added to or reduced in size, depending on ice production needs. Such machines are designed to fit into tight spaces, making them suitable for small kitchens or bar areas.

An industrial modular ice machine

Pros of modular ice machines

  • Space-saving design.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Easy maintenance.
  • Customization: Modular ice machines allow for the customization of ice type, size, and production capacity.

Cons of modular ice machines

  • Higher upfront cost.
  • More complex setup.
  • Limited production capacity: Modular ice machines may not have the same production capacity as larger, traditional ice machines.

Built-in ice machines

Built-in ice machines are ice machine that is designed to be integrated into cabinetry or built into a countertop. When considering a built-in ice machine, it is essential to determine the daily ice production needs, budget, available space, water source, and quality.

Pros of built-in ice machines

  • Many built-in ice machines are designed to be energy efficient to reduce operating costs.
  • Have easy-to-access components for routine cleaning and maintenance.
  • Built-in ice machines may be designed to connect directly to a water line or storage tank.
A built-in ice restaurant machine

Cons of built-in ice machines

  • Built-in ice machines can be more expensive than traditional ice machines.
  • Built-in ice machines may have specific water quality requirements for efficient operation.
  • Built-in ice machines may require additional cabinetry or countertop space for integration, which may not be possible in all locations.

Undercounter ice machines

Undercounter ice machines are compact, freestanding ice makers designed to fit under a countertop or bar. The latest under-counter ice machine designs feature energy-saving technologies to reduce operating costs.

Pros of undercounter ice machines

  • Many under-counter ice machines feature energy-saving technologies to reduce operating costs.
  • Undercounter ice machines often have easy-to-access components for routine cleaning and maintenance.
  • Undercounter ice machines allow for ice type, size, and production capacity customization.
A large under-counter Ice Machine

Cons of undercounter ice machines

  • Undercounter ice machines can be more expensive than traditional ice machines.
  • Undercounter ice machines may require a more complex setup and installation than traditional ice machines.


As global warming and climate change escalate, the demand for ice machines will increase. However, no ice machine fits all needs. Different businesses require different types of ice machines based on the type of ice needed, space available, and type of water. 

However, this guide will enable you to select a suitable ice machine to meet your customer needs. Visit Alibaba.com to view listings of quality ice machines.

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