Why Are Nugget Ice Makers So Expensive?

With the rise in popularity of chewable ice makers in households all across the world, the same question seems to be popping up on social media and forums all over the web.

That is “Why are nugget ice makers so expensive?”.

And to be honest, it’s a fair question. Buying even the cheapest nugget ice maker available will set you back a few hundred dollars.

Why is that? And is it worth it? That’s what we’re going to find out today!

So let’s jump in!

Table of Contents

How Much Do Nugget Ice Makers Cost?

Why are nugget ice makers so expensive?

You can spend anywhere from $350 up to $5000+ depending on which type of sonic ice maker you choose.

There are 3 types of nugget ice makers available right now, which are: Countertop Nugget Ice Makers, Undercounter Nugget Ice Makers and Freestanding Nugget Ice Makers.

The smaller countertop models are the cheapest variants. These models are made for residential use and are therefore less powerful than their under-counter and freestanding counterparts. In general, buying a countertop nugget ice maker will cost you between $350 and $700.

The Undercounter and Freestanding models are quite a bit more expensive. These models are mainly designed for commercial use, which means they are capable of producing and storing ice for a very large number of people (think of restaurants). As a result, these models need to be more powerful and are therefore more expensive. Buying an Undercounter or Freestanding Nugget Ice Maker will cost you between $900 and $5000+.

Why Are Nugget Ice Makers So Expensive?

These machines are expensive simply due to how nugget ice makers work. You have to realise that these are very sophisticated machines using complex technology

In order to create soft and chewy ice, the nugget ice maker goes through a complex process of freezing, shaving, and compressing ice, which inevitably increases the price. The technology that is used for nugget ice makers is quite a bite more sophisticated than traditional ice makers.

Besides the technology that is used, other factors such as the high amount of (quality) materials and extra features (such as UV light, self-dispensing features, cleaning cycles, design etc.) drive up the price even more.

Is it worth it?

Is buying a nugget ice maker actually worth it? Well, this really depends on your personal preference. There are a lot of benefits of having a nugget ice maker at home, such as being able to enjoy nugget ice at the press of a button and not having to leave the house whenever you’re longing for it.

Nugget ice is softer and easier to chew than other types of ice, making it ideal for people who have trouble chewing or swallowing. It’s also great for cocktails and other cold drinks because it doesn’t water them down as quickly.

There are also some downsides, such as the noises that are generated by the ice maker and the price tag.

In my own opinion, having a nugget ice maker at home is definitely worth it. It has become one of those kitchen appliances, me and my family simply can’t do without anymore.

But it ultimately comes down to your budget and personal preference!


To conclude, yes, nugget ice makers are definitely expensive!

The technology that is being used, along with the materials, and all the fancy bells and whistles that come with it, do make these handy nugget ice makers quite a hefty investment.

But for me and my family, it was well worth the price!

Do you think it is worth it? Let me know in the comments below!

For more info on nugget ice makers (including in-depth reviews and buying guides) check out my homepage!

Nugget ice makers use advanced technology to press dozens of thin layers of ice together into a single cylinder. This process will result in ice cubes that are made of compacted layers of ice, with tiny air pockets between each layer. These air pockets are the ones that give nugget ice the light, fluffy texture that we have come to love.

Nugget ice makers work by freezing water in a metal cylinder. Ice that is formed within the walls of the cylinder is then scrapped with a spinning auger. These tiny ice flakes are then compressed through small nugget-sized holes and broken apart by a metal cone before falling down a chute into the collection bin.

A regular ice maker is essentially just a machine that freezes water in its ice mould which is then emptied 2-4 hours later while a nugget ice maker utilizes a spinning auger to scrape flakes of ice off its "ice mould" walls which are then compressed to form ice cubes. 

Absolutely yes! The sudden surge in the popularity of nugget ice is partly due to Sonic serving them in their drinks which made people fall in love with their ice. Even the original term for this kind of ice was called "Sonic Ice" but due to its name being a trademark by Sonic, other manufacturers use the term "nugget ice" instead.

No, nugget ice does not melt slower when compared to regular ice. Due to the nature of nugget ice being comprised of compressed flaked ice layers, the surface area of nugget ice cubes is much larger when compared to regular ice. Nugget ice does cool your drink faster though when compared to regular ice due to this exact same reason!

Share With Us

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts