Are you looking for an alternative to the Opal Nugget Ice Maker? The Opal is a great machine but with it's hefty price tag it is too pricey for some consumers!
Thankfully there are plenty of high quality alternatives at a much more affordable price point. I have gathered the best nugget ice makers available on the market right now, so you can enjoy some cool crisp ice at a fraction of the price.
Perhaps it isn't the price that bothers you but the output of the Opal? Or maybe the storage capacity?
If you need more than the 24 lbs per day that the Opal offers then we have some powerful alternatives that will be sure to keep up with your demands.
The best alternative to the Opal Nugget Ice Machine is the Newair Nugget Icemaker. The Newair produces ice 10 minutes faster than the Opal can and churns out an impressive 16 lbs more ice per day. The Newair can be attached to a water line for convenience and holds a whopping 4.5lbs of ice in its storage bucket reducing the need for regular refills. Unlike the Opal which requires manual refilling and only has a 3 lb ice storage capacity. The Newair has a similar attractive finish and is around $130 cheaper!
So the Newair is a clear contender and definitely an option for those on a budget or seeking a higher output.
Opal Nugget Ice Maker
Ice Production (24hrs): 24 lbs
Starts Making Ice: 20-30 Minutes
Storage Capacity: 3 lbs
Mobile App: Yes
Warranty: 1 year limited
Price: $579.99 RRP
Storage Bin: Glass, Not Insulated
Finish: Stainless Steel / Black
Newair Nugget Ice Maker
Ice Production (24hrs): 40 lbs
Starts Making Ice: 5-10 Minutes
Storage Capacity: 4.5 lbs
Mobile App: No
Warranty: 1 year limited
Price: $449.99 RRP
Storage Bin: Insulated
Finish: Stainless Steel / Black
If you are looking for something even more cost effective or perhaps something lighter and more compact…don't worry we have you covered!
Read on for our ten top picks.
What Makes the Opal Nugget Ice Maker So Special?
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker was first released in 2015 and has since established itself as a premium brand and household name. The Opal has undergone multiple improvements since its first release and is undeniably a high quality machine.
Nugget ice machines are expensive because the technology is fairly new and has only recently been shrunk down from commercial machines to countertop nugget ice makers and the Opal was the first brand to do it. GE is a known and reputable brand that makes good products and isn't some “me too” overseas company only selling on Amazon. This is a legit product from a very large brand.
No other brand offers customers a mobile app which allows you to create an ice making schedule, giving you full control of ice production – even when you are not at home! If you're worried about how much a nugget ice maker costs to run you can customize when the Opal runs and save yourself money.
The Opal’s sleek design and visible ice compartment makes it a visually appealing accessory to perch on your countertop.
Not only is the Opal attractive, it's powerful too! The efficient ice making process means you can enjoy 24lbs of crisp cool nugget ice per day, with the first ice being made after only 20 minutes.
Features like its integrated water filter and UV light help produce better-tasting ice that won’t clump like cheaper models do.
However, the Opal lacks the ability to connect to a water line. Meaning you have to refill the reservoir continuously. This is a feature most premium ice makers offer and just one of the problems with the Opal Nugget Ice Maker.
There is no denying that the Opal is a great appliance to own. However we have found a stiff competition for the Opal, especially the Newair Nugget Ice Maker…
1. The Best Alternative: The New Air Nugget Ice Maker
One of the fastest nugget ice makers on the market the Newair Nugget Ice Maker can start producing ice in as little as 5-10 minutes. Half the time the Opal takes to start producing ice.
The Newair has a 3.3 lb storage bucket which is slightly more than the Opal which holds just 3 lbs.
The Newair has a handy 5-minute self-cleaning function making it easy to maintain and is available with up to 3 years warranty for customer peace of mind.
The system is totally BPA-free giving you ice that is clean, safe, and never adds an off-flavor to your drink.
At just 9.8 inches wide and 16.5 inches high it can easily fit on most countertops. Its smaller footprint makes it easy for those who are tight on countertop space.
The Opal is extremely heavy at 50 lbs (with the side tank attached) whereas the Newair is a far more manageable 34 lbs making it easier to transport.
The Newair’s slick black stainless steel finish rivals the Opals, it also has an attractive blue LED lit ice bucket. Unfortunately it is not available in silver which may clash with other household appliances.
The melt resistance interior keeps the ice in your bin nice and cool, though it is not fully refrigerated.
The Newair has great reviews on Amazon with a small number of people reporting issues with it being a little loud when running.
But at over $100 cheaper than the Opal, the Newair is the best alternative.
- One of the fastest ice makers on the market
- Reasonable price compared to Opal
- Produces 40 lbs of ice per day
- Option to link to water line reducing the need to refill
- Small footprint will fit comfortably on most countertops
- Can be noisy
- Only available in black stainless steel finish
- No bluetooth or app functionality
2. Gevi Household Nugget Ice Maker
The Gevi Household Nugget Ice Maker is a relatively new addition to the market, introduced in 2019 this ultra quiet compact ice maker could be the perfect accessory for your home.
If you love crispy cool ice but hate loud noisy appliances then the Gevi might be the best option. Fitted with a muted exhaust fan Gevi Nugget Ice Maker makes a slight steady humming sound opposed to the loud whirr made by some of its competitors.
The Gevi can make ice in as little as 15 minutes and can produce up to 29 lbs of ice per day!
Making it faster and more powerful than the Opal… and the best bit? It's over $100 cheaper too!
Not only that, the Gevi comes with an automatic self cleaning function and it can be hooked up to the water line or operated manually. Making it a fast and functional alternative to the Opal Nugget Ice Maker.
Available in navy blue, stainless steel and white the Gevi is super versatile and will match any other kitchen appliances.
The Gevi has an ice retention rate for 12h of 70% at 80℉/27ºC ambient temperature but is unfortunately not refrigerated.
However, it makes up for this with its ample storage, with an ice box that can hold up to 4.8 lbs of ice. That's more than the Newair and the Opal!
So if you need an ice maker with lots of storage space and a quiet operating function then the Gevi is the ice machine for you.
With great reviews and at over $100 cheaper price point than the Opal, the Gevi is definitely worth a place on our list.
- Produces 29 lbs of ice per day
- Can store a whopping 4.8 lbs of ice
- Can be attached to water supply for automatic refilling
- Ultra quiet operation
- Automatic cleaning function
- The ice box is NOT refrigerated, but is insulated
- Not the most glamorous product or brand
3. Euhomy Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
Okay, so none of these options have been within your price range? That’s okay!
Here is our most budget friendly option, the Euhomy Countertop Nugget Ice Maker.
The Euhomy is a total bargain and one of the cheapest products on this list.
It takes approximately 20 minutes to make its first nuggets of ice which is on par with the Opal. It also produces 26 lbs of ice a day which is 2 lbs more than the Opal… impressed?
Its storage box can hold a mighty 3.3 lbs of ice and it can be attached to a water line making it super user friendly. No annoying refills!
Okay it isn't as flashy as some of the other models, but it has fantastic reviews on Amazon.
Available in black or a stainless steel finish the Euhomy can blend in seamlessly with your other kitchen appliances.
It also comes with a self cleaning function to make maintaining the machine super easy to do.
The Euhomy also offers customer peace of mind with a 1 year warranty and a lifetime of 24 hour customer support. It is good to know that help is at hand if you ever experience any issues.
They also offer a range of even cheaper models if you want something really low budget then definitely check them out at just $119 they really are a total bargain. These cheap models won't do nugget ice but they can still make small satisfying ice cubes.
There have been some reports of the Euhomy’s ice being slightly chunkier than the smooth premium quality nuggets that the Opal offers but at that price… We aren't complaining.
- The most affordable ice maker
- Fast – Produce Ice in as little as 20minutes
- Powerful – Makes up to 26 lbs per day
- Fairly large storage of up to 3.3 lbs of ice
- Great reviews
- Only available in stainless steel
- Ice can be chunkier than the Opal’s smooth nuggets
4. KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
The KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker earns its place on this list due to its great self dispensing design.
There is no need for a scoop as you just press a button and the chewy ice chunks drop straight into your glass!
The KBice also has a self cleaning function removing the need for irritating maintenance work.
It can also produce a staggering 30 lbs of ice per day too.
But it has the major issue is its small capacity, which only holds 1 lb of ice at a time. This means you need to empty the ice into a bucket or storage container and store the ice in your freezer properly if you want large quantities of ice at a time.
It's small and sleek at just 17.5 inches tall sitting neatly on most countertops.
If you are just searching for a small easy to use system, then the KBice could be the one for you.
The brand also recommends using distilled, bottled or filtered water to improve performance and discourage users from purchasing if they intend to use water with a hardness above 100 PPM. So check the water quality in your area before purchasing.
- Produces up to 30lbs of ice per day
- Self dispensing design
- Automatic self clean function
- Fits easily on countertop (17.5inches tall)
- Small storage container – only holds 1 lb
- Uses only distilled water
- No water line – manual only
- Slow to start – up to 30 minutes
5. Frigidaire Crunchy Chewable Nugget Ice Maker
The Frigidaire Crunchy Chewable Nugget Ice Maker is the smallest and most portable option available because let's be honest who can really carry a 34 lbs ice maker around right?
At under 18lbs the Fridgidaire is the lightest option available making it great for camping trips or those looking to travel and take it along for the ride!
The Fridgidaire can be plugged into any 115v grounded standard electrical outlet and top up the reservoir and it's good to go.
It takes just 10-15 minutes to make the first nuggets of ice and they come in chewable square nuggets opposed to the rounder option that the Opal produces.
It can produce a jaw dropping 44 lbs of ice per day and store 3 lbs of ice in its bucket. Making it a powerful portable option for consumers wanting ice on the go.
Its slim and tall frame may not fit on all kitchen countertops so make sure to measure up before you buy! The system has the following dimensions 9.84 x 16.93 x 20.87 Inches.
It's also one of the cheapest nugget ice makers on this list, so well worth a look for budget shoppers.
- Production rate of 44lbs of ice per day
- Slim design – small footprint
- Lightweight and portable
- Quick – produces ice in 15minutes
- Can hold 3lbs of ice in storage box
- Can be noisy
- Fairly tall – may not fit on some countertops
- Not self cleaning
6. North Air Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
The North Air Countertop Nugget Ice Maker has the largest water reservoir and can store an impressive 3.3 lbs of ice in its bucket.
This robust and powerful system makes a shocking 44 lbs of ice per day and can start producing its first batch in as little as 10 minutes.
The North Air comes with electronic controls for ease of use and features a user-friendly digital design. The system also flashes a helpful reminder when it requires more water so you can refill as required.
The North Air has a relatively low price point and is below the $400 mark. Making it a great option for those on a tighter budget.
Unfortunately there have been reports online about the machine having problems after the 1 year mark, so we would definitely recommend investing in the brand's extended warranty.
- Large reservoir – 1 gallon tank
- Ice bin can store up to 3.3 lbs
- Powerful – produces 44lbs of ice per day
- Self cleaning function
- Fast ice production – begins within 10 minutes
- Customers report it is noisy
- Has some poor reviews
- Not able to be linked to water line – manual only
Under the Counter Options
Okay, all the previous options have been high quality machines but the output STILL isn't enough for you? Or maybe you want something that hides away better or has an active cooling system to keep the ice frozen after its made.
No problem, it looks like you may need an under counter option instead!
Under counter options are capable of creating a far greater quantity of ice but are usually more expensive. Here we are looking at thousands of dollars instead of hundreds of dollars.
Here are our two favorite options for those who need a greater output that the other alternatives can deliver.
7. Ice-O-Matic GEM090 Under Counter Pearl Ice Machine
The Ice-O-Matic GEM090 Under Counter Pearl Ice Machine has a colossal output of 85lbs of ice per day and its storage bin can hold up to 22lbs.
That is some serious power for consumers who need more than what the Opal can offer.
Certified as suitable for outdoor as well as indoor use, most ice makers cant be used in hot conditions but the Ice-O-Matic can handle the heat and still keep your ice crunchy and crisp regardless.
The Ice-O-Matic is easy to install but the latest version is only available from local distributors, meaning you can't just purchase it online unfortunately.
The machine is not portable and once it is installed it will stay under the counter. Its dimensions are 14.875″ (378 mm) wide x 22.625″ (578 mm) deep x 33.375″ (847 mm) height. This may be too large for some homes, so be mindful before purchasing.
If you need a machine with a sleek stainless steel finish and a large output to keep the ice coming all night long, then the Ice-O-Matic is definitely the system for you.
|Massive production rate of 85lbs per day||Not portable – fitted under counter|
|Easy to install||Have to purchase via a distributor|
|Storage bin holds 22lbs of ice||Too large for some homes|
- Massive production rate of 85lbs per day
- Quiet Operation
- Easy to install
- Storage bin holds 22lbs of ice
- Not portable – fitted under counter
- Have to purchase via a distributor
- Too large for some homes
8. GE Profile Undercounter Pellet Ice Maker
The GE Profile UnderCounter Pellet Ice Maker, the under-counter cousin to the popular Opal, GE has another fantastic option suitable for those who need large volumes of ice.
Not only will it pump out an insane 56 lbs of ice per day, but it includes the built in WIFI and SmartHQ app like the Opal so you can schedule your ice production to suit your needs.
The GE profile is able to be fully integrated into your cabinetry so it will essentially become part of the kitchen decor! Great for those who like a seamless aesthetic. Simply purchase the custom panel for the front of your ice maker.
However, if you don't have a drain in the floor below where you plan to install the ice maker then you may need to purchase a drain kit, installation can be a bit tricky we recommend using a professional.
The robust GE Profile has a large ice bin that can store up to 26 lbs and you can easily open it up and check how much is inside… or just use the app of course!
This ice maker is perfect for those who like entertaining and need to be in full control of ice production, also suitable for smaller businesses who want to provide icy beverages for customers all day long.
|Production rate of 56lbs per day||Expensive|
|Customizable front panel for smooth integration with kitchen||Not able to see ice production|
|Large ice storage capacity – 26lbs||Not portable|
|Inline filters can be fitted||Need a drain kit if installing away from a drain|
- Production rate of 56lbs per day
- Customizable front panel for smooth integration with kitchen
- Large ice storage capacity – 26lbs
- Inline filters can be fitted
- Not able to see ice production
- Not portable
- Need a drain kit if installing away from a drain
So, is the Opal Nugget Ice Maker worth the money?
It's tricky to answer that when you consider how many more powerful, and more reasonably priced, alternatives are currently on the market.
The Opal is undeniably a great brand and a sound product but there are alternatives that match and even surpass it!
Our top pick is unquestionably the Newair Nugget Icemaker, its powerful production rate and speedy start time make it a noticeable contender to the Opal. At $130 cheaper it surpasses the Opal in most areas, it just lacks WIFI and mobile app functionality.
The Gevi is another top pick for those looking for a powerful system at a lower price point, the Gevi’s muted exhaust fan makes it a fantastic option for those who hate noisy appliances or are sensitive to sounds.
The Euhomy is our most budget friendly option at $279.99, with great reviews and impressive ice production we think this the perfect option for price conscious consumers.
The Fridgidaire is a favorite for those wanting to take an ice machine on camping trips or away on adventures. Weighing only 18 lbs it is easily portable.
The KBice is perfect for those wanting to skip the scoop and plop the crispy ice straight into the cup.
If you want a super powerful system with a large output then we suggest an under the counter option instead as they can produce much more ice to suit your needs.