Is the Opal Nugget Ice Maker Worth the Money?

Having quick and easy access to a constant supply of nugget ice can be great, especially if you're like me and your kids love ice almost more than the drink they have it in.

When it comes to making nugget ice the GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker is the most popular and highly rated unit on the market. However, it comes with a very steep price tag. Is the Opal Nugget ice maker actually worth the money?

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is worth the money if you and your family require a lot of ice. It's a high quality machine that makes better ice than cheaper models, can make ice in a quickly as 15 minutes and makes 1 pound of ice per hour. Get the extended warranty if possible as they can break.

It's a big decision whether or not to get an Opal Nugget Ice Maker. It's a big financial investment and you need to decide whether or not its worth it for you.

For some people this product is going to be great value for money and for other people there are likely going to be some better options out there.

Why the Opal Nugget Ice Maker May Be Right for You

The Opal Nugget ice maker isn't ideal for everyone. However it may be right for you if:

  • You are your household consume a lot of ice everyday – The Opal can make up to 1 pound of ice per hour of 24 pounds per day. Compare that about 3 pounds per day for a regular freezer ice maker.
  • You LOVE nugget/chewable ice – The Opal makes nugget ice similar to that purchased at Sonic. The small cubes are light and easy to chew and if this is the type of ice you love this machine is worth it.
  • You've got the bench space for it – The Opal takes up a fair amount of bench space so you need to make sure you have room for it.
  • You've got the budget for it – $500-$600 is a lot to spend on an ice maker, especially when cheaper machines come in at around $100. However, if you have the budget this is a higher quality product.
  • You want ice quickly – The Opal Nugget Ice Maker can make ice in as quickly as 15 minutes from when you turn it on. If you want ice quickly then this is a great machine.
  • If you want great tasting ice – One of the benefits of the Opal Nugget ice maker is it'll make great tasting ice. The ice won't absorb odors and bad flavors from the food in your fridge and freezer which can lead to ice tasting bad even if the water is good. The Opal Ice will always taste good because there is no bad odors getting into the ice.
  • If you want fresh ice – A huge benefit of the Opal Nugget Ice Maker is that it can start making ice in as little as 15 minutes and it takes just over 3 hours to fill the entire ice bin. So if you want you can have your machine off to save power then just turn it on right before you need it.
  • If you want premium drinks – Having a nugget ice maker at home can encourage you to make premium drinks at home rather than going out to buy them. This can save you $5 or more per beverage so the machine can provide a cost saving over the years.
  • If it makes you happy – Ultimately this is the big question you have to ask. Who cares what anyone else thinks. If this product makes you happy and you feel it's worth the money then YES it is worth the money!

Ultimately this machine is worth the money if you LOVE nugget ice and you want it in large quantities in your home and you want it to be available on demand as you need it.

It's a premium machine that is extremely high quality and the warranty covers manufacturing defects (which do come up from time to time).

But most importantly the ice is makes is REALLY GOOD. You can't get soft, chewable nugget ice of this quality from an ice cube mold and this is due to the way the Opal nugget ice maker works.

It compressed flaked ice into the little nuggets and this gives it its light and chewable texture that makes it so good in drinks.

See the latest price of the GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker at Amazon
(or compare to the price of the GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker at Walmart)

Why the Opal Nugget Ice Maker May Not Be Right for You

The Opal Nugget ice maker (amazon) is on the higher scale when it comes to price. Due to its technological capabilities, it can get quite expensive.

Really you need to weigh up whether or not the Opal Nugget Ice Maker is worth the cost investment for you.

You probably SHOULDN'T get the Opal Nugget Ice Maker if:

  • Your budget doesn't allow it – If you can't afford it then that's totally understandable. You might want to save up or maybe it's best to explore other options.
  • You don't consume that much ice – The Opal makes 1 pound of ice per hour. If you don't consume much ice at all then ice cube trays will probably be a better option for you.
  • You don't care what type of ice you have – If you're not an ice connoisseur and you don't mind what kind of ice you have in your drink then there are cheaper options than the Opal for making ice cubes.
  • You want larger ice cubes – The Opal Nugget Ice Maker ONLY makes nugget ice. It can't make bigger ice cubes so if you want larger cubes do not buy this machine.
  • You lack decent bench space – The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is pretty big and takes up a fair amount of bench space. If you have a small kitchen or apartment then you may not be able to fit this product.
  • You don't want to clean/maintain it – The Opal Nugget Ice Maker does need regular cleaning. If you can't be bothered doing this it'll get gross quickly and maybe you should just avoid buying it altogether.
  • You don't like noisy machines – The Opal can be a bit noisy when it runs, giving out a humming noise as it operates. If noisy machines annoy you you may want to avoid this one.
  • You can make do with a cheaper alternative – While the cheaper alternatives don't make ice that is quite as nice as the Opal they can still make fair small chewable ice cubes. You could save money and get a cheaper machine or just use some easy release ice cube trays and make nugget ice that way.

If you are not prepared to spend more than $500 on an ice maker, then the Opal Nugget ice maker is not for you. 

Additionally, if you just need to chill your beverage or a simple no-frills ice maker for a fraction of the price, the Opal Nugget ice maker may not be for you.

Accordingly, below are a few cheaper options worth considering if you are not prepared to part with too much money.

Silicone Mini Ice Cube Trays

This three-pack of mini ice cube trays is an easy and inexpensive way to make plenty of ice cubes to add to chocolate, coffee, and smoothies or to add a touch of flavor to your evening party. 

They come in blue, gray, and red colors, and each produces as many as 160 ice cubes. What's more, this three-pack is relatively inexpensive.

See the latest price of the Silicone Mini Ice Cube Trays at Amazon

Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine 

This easy-to-use ice maker is a lot cheaper than the Opal Nugget Ice maker, making it a great option if you are looking for a simple and straightforward solution to make shaved ice.

It's not quite the same as nugget ice but it is an excellent option for slushies, snow cones, margaritas, and other beverages. 

It is also easy to assemble and set up.

See the latest price of the Electric Ice Shaver at Amazon


The Opal Nugget Opal ice maker from General Electric is definitely worth its price point. It packs a variety of innovative features, powerful performance, a robust build, a unique ice-making process, contemporary design, easy-to-use interface and functions, and sophisticated technologies. 

It also features a large capacity and fast output for those who place a premium on these aspects. Admittedly, it is higher-priced than other options in the market to reflect all these features. 

If you are looking for a mix of performance and functionality, then this ice maker is for you. 

Is The Opal Ice Maker Worth The Money Video Review:

Why Is The Opal Nugget Ice Maker So Expensive?

The Opal Nugget ice maker is an excellent product but why is it so expensive?

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is expensive because of how nugget ice makers work. They contain sophisticated technology usually only found in commercial ice machines and they have a high quality and high volume output compared to regular ice makers. Its size, unique design, capacity, and smart functionality also support its high price. 

Let's discuss these aspects in detail to find out how this ice maker compares to regular ice makers. 

Sophisticated Technology 

The Opal Nugget ice maker goes big on adopting different smart technologies to boost functionality while improving usability. For instance, it features built-in Wi-Fi technology, making it easy for you to monitor progress via the SmartHQ app on your phone. 

Wi-Fi functionality also simplifies the scheduling of fresh pellets and ensures you are notified of any new features. In addition, the Opal Nugget ice maker also supports popular voice controls such as Google and Alexa. 

The Opal Nugget ice maker also features an LED screen to allow intuitive operation and is fitted with precision controls on the touchscreen interface. 

This speaks volumes about the manufacturer's dedication to packing in new and innovative technologies onto this unit.

Built for Durability

The Opal Nugget Ice maker features a stainless steel build and finish. Accordingly, this sturdy machine delivers years of use while also resisting corrosion. Therefore, you can rest assured that this ice maker will provide long-term value.


The Opal Nugget ice maker sets itself apart from the competition with its productivity. This ice maker produces its first nuggets within the first fifteen minutes, ensuring that you have a handy supply of ice pellets in no time. 

This ice maker can produce high-quality pellets quickly because it adopts an entirely distinct way of creating ice. These units are fitted with a cold metal cylinder in which you pour your water. This water is quickly frozen on this cylinder's walls. 

Once the ice is formed and scraped off the walls, the Opal Nugget ice maker pushes this ice upwards. This ice is then compacted and forced through small openings where the pellets are shaped. 

Due to this revolutionary new design and unique ice creation procedure, this ice maker can create a large volume of ice pellets within one hour to 1.5 hours

To put this in perspective, you will have to wait for two to four hours for the same volume when using regular ice makers. This 120V Opal Nugget ice maker also produces up to one pound (0.45kg) of ice every hour. 

High-Quality Output

Due to its unique design, the Opal Nugget ice maker produces nugget-shaped ice cubes. This is because the ice cubes made are pushed into small nugget-shaped openings. 

This differs significantly from most traditional ice makers, which typically produce large-sized ice cubes. 

Because of this nugget shape, the ice cubes produced are an excellent option for slushies or food flavoring for added versatility. 

Size and Capacity

The Opal Nugget ice maker produces up to 24 pounds (10.88kg) of ice per day. This unit features a large capacity 3-pound (1.3-kilo) bin that can accommodate up to 48 ounces (1.36kg) of ice at a time. 

Additionally, it also arrives with a side tank to increase capacity, so you never run out of ice nuggets during demanding occasions. 

Accordingly, it is an excellent choice for those with high ice nuggets demands.