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7 Best Iced Coffee Makers Compared in 2024

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This is a review of the best iced coffee makers. Check out our comparison of all the best cold coffee makers available.

I often find myself wanting iced coffee, but lack a machine that’ll help me make it. That inspired me to create this guide on the best iced coffee makers on the market.

I chose the Keurig K-Duo Plus as the best overall because it’s compact, has minimal cleanup, and takes less than a minute to brew each cup.

keurig k duo plus

Keurig K-Duo Plus:
Best Overall

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 15.88 × 7.68 × 14.19 in (D, W, H)
  • Water Capacity: 60 fl oz = 12 5-fl oz cups
  • Machine Type: Capsule
  • Materials: Stainless steel & plastic
  • Warranty: 1 year

However, it doesn’t have a specific button to brew iced coffee. Many alternatives on this list do, though.

Let’s dive into this guide.

Best Iced Coffee Makers for Home Use

  1. Keurig K-Duo Plus: Top pick
  2. Nespresso Vertuo Creatista: Best splurge
  3. Keurig K-Elite: Best maker with pods
  4. PHILIPS 1200: Best iced latte machine
  5. Nespresso Vertuo Plus: Best single-serve maker
  6. Ninja Pods & Grounds Specialty Single-Serve: Includes milk frother
  7. Gator Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Best cold brew maker, UK

Top Hot & Iced Coffee Makers

The following sections will provide bite-sized reviews on miniature iced coffee makers for home use. I’ll explain who each machine is best for, its noteworthy features, and cover their pros and cons.

Read the second half of this section if you’re curious about what defines an iced coffee maker.

An iced coffee maker would technically brew coffee and cool it quickly. However, there’s technically no such thing as an “iced coffee machine.” You’d need to brew the coffee in any regular coffee maker, then rapidly cool it through other means.

Whether through whiskey stones—don’t dilute your drink—ice cubes, or As Seen on TV-like gadgets that claim to cool coffee in minutes.

What do “Iced Coffee” buttons on coffee machines do, then?

They don’t cool your coffee. This button brews a stronger, smaller cup of coffee that won’t let ice dilute its taste. Always get a machine with this button if you hate having weaker coffee caused by melted ice cubes.

I digress. Let’s move on to our first pick.

1. Keurig K-Duo Plus: Best Overall

keurig k duo plus
Price *$$
Dimensions15.88 × 7.68 × 14.19 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity60 fl oz = 12 5-fl oz cups
Machine TypeCapsule
Material/sStainless steel & plastic
Warranty1 year

Pros

  • Offers K-cup & ground coffee functionality.
  • Programmable.
  • Uses a thermal carafe.

Cons

  • Constructed with seemingly cheap plastic.
  • Lacks standard features like temperature control.
  • Keeps coffee hot for hours because of steel carafe.

The Keurig K-Duo is an ideal iced coffee maker because it allows you to make strong coffee quickly, which is ideal for iced coffee drinks.

A capsule (or pod) coffee maker usually uses a barcode scanning system to scan whatever pod you plop into the machine. It’ll then automatically adjust brewing parameters like temperature to brew per the pod’s specifications.

This coffee maker works best for lazy coffee lovers or anyone who wants coffee quickly made and doesn’t mind sacrificing precise control over their drink’s flavors.

This coffee maker’s worth every penny. Just buy it and don’t hesitate.

You probably need convincing… This machine’s a stellar choice for folks with arthritis or wrist pain because it incorporates a handle into its removable water reservoir, which makes it much easier to grip.

And the water reservoir is adjustable. If you need your machine to take up less width, adjust the reservoir in the back. To tuck the machine into a shallow countertop, move the tank to the side. 

Having a frontal-access water reservoir also makes this coffee maker perfect for homes with low-hanging wall cabinets.

You’ll still need several inches of vertical clearance. Most kitchens should have at least 18 inches of space between a countertop and the bottom of a cabinet [1].

Despite all the cool design choices, it’s made of cheap plastic. Probably for the best, considering this machine would cost a fortune if it had an all stainless steel body.

It does have a stainless steel carafe. Something most Keurig machines don’t include. It’ll keep your drinks warmer for a couple of hours more than glass carafes would. Great for folks who are entertaining guests or drinking the same carafe throughout the day.

However:

It’s not ideal if you want to cool drinks for iced coffee quicker. Since your coffee stays warmer for longer.

This machine has a lot of flexibility as well. Use ground coffee with a reusable mesh filter for drip coffee or a K-Cup for single-serve cups. This machine doesn’t offer precise temperature controls like many drip coffee machines, though.

It does offer programmability. Set a specific time you want it to brew (e.g., when waking up), and it’ll automatically brew. Then it’ll automatically power off after 5 minutes. True automation.

The K-Duo Plus doesn’t offer drink choices like lattes. The next machine will.


2. Nespresso Vertuo Creatista: Best High-End Iced Coffee Maker

nespresso vertuo creatista
Price *$$$
Dimensions16.4 × 9.6 × 12.7 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity67.6 fl oz = 11 cups
Machine TypeCapsule
Material/sBrushed stainless steel
Warranty2 years

Pros

  • Large 60-fl oz water tank reduces refill frequency.
  • Easy to clean with a self-cleaning mode.
  • Integrated steam wand for personalized milk recipes.

Cons

  • Requires a significant amount of counter space due to its size.
  • Wireless connectivity isn’t that practical.

The Nespresso Vertuo Creatista is the best machine for anyone who wants various espresso-based drinks (which is perfect for iced cold) quickly with minimal cleanup.

The quickness and minimal cleanup are thanks to this pod coffee maker machine. You insert a pod, select your pre-programmed drink or cup size, and the maker will automatically brew per the inserted capsule’s specifications.

It’ll find these specifications by reading the pod’s barcode.

This type of machine works best for anyone who doesn’t want to clean coffee grounds or scrub the remnants of dried coffee from carafes.

The Vertuo Creatista differs from other Nespresso machines because it includes an integrated steam wand. This allows you to froth or steam milk to brew drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. With other machines, you’d need to buy a separate frother.

Since it’s a Vertuo line machine, it uses Vertuo pods, not Original ones. Meaning, it’ll brew black coffee and espresso shots. Great for giving you more variety in iced drinks. However, Nespresso’s Original line Creatista includes pre-programmed drink options.

That means you press a button (e.g., cappuccino), and the machine will automatically froth milk and brew coffee per its specifications. Though, this machine still gives you 3 milk temperature and texture levels. Allowing you to have optimized milk-based drinks.

This machine’s a big boy and demands a lot of counter space. And the water reservoir sits on the Vertuo Creatista’s rear. If you were to need to refill or clean your water tank, you’d likely need to move the machine.

The self-cleaning mode will automatically wash out the steam wand, which reduces cleanup time and stress on your end. And it will connect to the Nespresso app VIA Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. What can you do with this connectivity?

Learn when it’s time to clean or descale your machine. That’s it. You can’t use the app to program your machine to brew at a specific time, which isn’t ideal.

The next machine will, though.


3. Keurig K-Elite: Best Iced Coffee Machine With Pods

keurig k elite
Price *$$
Dimensions12.7 × 9.9 × 13.1 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity75 fl oz = 9 cups
Machine TypeCapsule
Material/sPlastic
Warranty1 year

Pros

  • Great water reservoir design.
  • Analog buttons.
  • More pre-programmed strength options than competitors.

Cons

  • No fill lines.
  • Not ideal for small kitchens.
  • No milk frother.

The Keurig K-Elite is a fantastic addition to homes that have ample counter space (width-wise) and lower-hanging countertops. The bolder K-Cup options this machine has makes it perfect for iced drinks.

It’s a capsule coffee machine. You enter a pod into the slot, press a button or 2, and the machine does the rest of the preparation and brewing for you.

It’s the best way to automate coffee making and an excellent choice for students, those in a rush, or anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much time making coffee.

I used to have this coffee maker—got rid of it because I moved overseas. It’s definitely worth the cost and served its purpose well.

The analog buttons don’t require you to deal with a touchscreen that could potentially not work because of smudges. And unlike many other Keurig models, this one includes an ICED button. A feature I have been asking for a long time for the company to add.

The ICED button produces a small amount of concentrated coffee, which causes it to lose less flavor when adding ice to your drink.

This machine also allows you to program your machine to brew at a later time or set your preferred brewing temperature. This gives you more granular control over making coffee than most capsule and drip coffee makers I’ve seen.

And this machine takes 45 seconds to brew a small cup of coffee.

After a couple of hours before brewing, the machine will automatically power off.

The K-Elite has an excellent water reservoir design that’s removable and accessible from the front. I wish it had a better gripping mechanism—like a handle—but Keurig is already doing better than what 90% of coffee manufacturers do design-wise.

However:

There aren’t any indicator fill lines. You fill the reservoir while thinking about something else. It requires you to measure out cups and fill them one at a time. This is only a concern if you like to keep a certain amount of water in your tank to keep it fresher.

The removable reservoir makes the machine much easier to clean and refill. The removable drip tray also makes it easier to clean and empty whatever gross stuff accumulated.

I honestly had a hard time dissecting this machine for cons. One that came up was a lack of a milk frother, which would have been nice for iced lattes. Almost all Keurig machines don’t include one.

But considering all the features this one included, one would have made this machine the best overall.

Do you prefer real espresso over coffee from capsules? Check out our next pick.


4. PHILIPS Carina: Best Iced Latte Machine

philips 1200
Price *$$$
DimensionsAutomatic espresso maker
Water Capacity17 × 9.5 × 14.5 in (D, W, H)
Machine Type60 fl oz = 60 solo shots
Material/sPlastic
Warranty6 months

Pros

  • Includes ceramic bean grinder
  • Programmable touch display options
  • Affordable super-automatic machine

Cons

  • It includes a ceramic bean grinder (double-edged sword)
  • Cheap feel.
  • No pre-programmed buttons.

The Philips Carina (1200 Series) is best for anyone who wants to make espresso without putting forth any manual effort.

That’s because this machine’s a super-automatic espresso machine. You press a pre-programmed drink option like a latte, then the machine will grind, time shots, boil water, and spray pressurized water through coffee grounds for you.

This works best for anyone who’s entertaining guests and doesn’t want to spend all their time manually brewing espresso shots.

The Carina is worth the money because most super-automated machines with all these features would cost more than $500.

However, unlike many fully-automatic espresso makers, this one doesn’t include as many pre-programmed buttons. You can’t tell it to automatically make iced lattes. However, it’ll still grind beans and do the rest of the work for you.

You can also choose between black coffee or espresso shots. From there, you’ll have strength and volume control. This makes up for the lack of an ICED button, since you could make a low-volume, high-strength coffee that won’t lose flavor when adding ice to it.

And if you don’t want coffee, use the hot water dispenser and make tea or other instant drinks.

Or you could use this as an opportunity to make iced tea or overnight oatmeal.

The automated milk frother will take manually frothing milk out of your chore list when brewing coffee. You might not have as much control over your milk’s texture, but you’ll still get a great-tasting milk froth.

Let’s talk about the grinder.

It uses ceramic conical burrs. Conical burr grinders have more consistent grinds than blade ones, but not as much so versus flat burrs. Ceramic tends to break easier than stainless steel burrs [2].

But it won’t heat up to the point where it burns your beans’ flavors—resulting in a more bitter drink.

Otherwise, the plastic body feels cheap. Don’t hit your machine, and this thing should last you for several years.

You’ll still need to deal with the pucks of coffee grounds in the portafilter after brewing coffee. Taking a lot of time out of your day.

This next machine simplifies cleanup.


5. Nespresso Vertuo Plus: Best Single Serve Hot & Iced Coffee Maker

nespresso vertuoplus
Price *$$
Dimensions16.8 × 5.5 × 12.4 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity37 fl oz = 7 cups
Machine TypeCapsule
Material/sPlastic
Warranty2 years

Pros

  • Adjustable water reservoir.
  • Dummy-proof.
  • Takes 20 seconds to heat up.

Cons

  • Lid isn’t manual.
  • No built-in frother.
  • No handle on water tank.

The Nespresso Vertuo Plus is a boon for households that want to brew iced coffee quickly with minimal cleanup and don’t have much counter space.

This machine’s a pod machine. It’ll scan pods you insert into its pod slot and brew per its specifications. Making it an ideal machine for anyone who doesn’t have much time to brew coffee.

Think students, office workers, and anyone else on a tight schedule.

It’s 100% worth the money.

But it’s not the best on this list, in my opinion. The Keurig K-Duo Plus takes the cake because its water reservoir has a handle, which makes it better for folks whose wrists don’t work well. And you could manually open and close the lid.

You tap your finger on a lip, and the machine will open for you like an SUVs trunk. There’s a plus side to this feature. Imagine having to wake up at 4 AM for some reason. You’re barely functional, yet you need to make coffee.

You tap your finger against the lip, and the lid automatically opens; then you insert the pod, and the lid closes. Afterward, you press 1 button for the machine to brew. How do you make a mistake when brewing?

You don’t.

You could probably train your dog or cat to brew for you using this machine if you trust them enough—over-exaggeration.

And having an automatic lid reduces the chances of you wearing down the hinges from aggressively opening/closing it.

It doesn’t include a milk frother, though. That would have made it a perfect machine to make iced cappuccinos or macchiatos with.

The Vertuo Plus will take about a minute to heat up, 20 seconds to brew, then automatically powers off after 9 minutes. Making it ideal for anyone who wants an almost fully automated machine. Except for programmability.

Fix that with a smart plug.

This machine doesn’t double as a drip coffee maker. The next machine will.


6. Ninja Pods & Grounds Specialty Single-Serve: Best Iced Coffee Maker With Milk Frother

ninja pb051 pods grounds specialty single serve coffee maker
Price *$
Dimensions13.07 × 5.51 × 13.1 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity1–4 cups
Machine TypeCapsule
Material/sPlastic & stainless steel
Warranty1 year

Pros

  • Features diverse brewing options.
  • Has a built-in frother.

Cons

  • Requires a lot of vertical clearance.
  • Not programmable.

The Ninja Pods & Grounds Specialty Single-serve (PB051) works best for anyone who wants a narrow machine for small kitchens that offers various brewing parameters and options for iced coffee.

It’s a capsule and drip coffee maker. The capsule part requires you to insert a pod, then the machine brews per the pod’s specifications. You’ll fill a coffee filter with coffee grounds, then the maker saturates the grounds and the resulting drink ends up in your cup or carafe.

This coffee maker’s worth the money if you want to switch between black coffee and espresso. Both serve as good options for iced coffee. 

You can’t set this machine to brew at a specific time, which isn’t great for someone who wants coffee immediately when waking up. You could remedy this weakness by investing in a smart plug and scheduling it.

The PB051 brews between 195 °F and 205 °F, which the National Coffee Association considers an ideal brewing temperature [3]. This temperature will help extract more flavors from your iced drink without under- or over-extracting it.

The former means your drink would taste too sour. The latter, too bitter.

I don’t recommend this machine for kitchens with clearance between their countertop and wall cabinet being less than 18 inches. This machine demands at least a few inches of vertical clearance and requires you to reach around to its rear to access the water tank.

It’s also difficult to grab the water reservoir. There’s no handle, which makes it a pain to grab if you have butter fingers or if there’s water covering the surface.

It doesn’t for the built-in automatic milk frother, though. This is a great device for anyone who wants to automatically froth milk for a specialty drink like a cappuccino.

Are you in the UK? You may prefer this next coffee maker.


7. Gator Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Best Iced Coffee Maker, UK

gator cold brew coffee maker
Price *£
Dimensions14 × 14 × 16.5 cm (D, W, H)
Water Capacity1.4 l = 5 cups
Machine TypeCold brew
Material/sGlass & plastic
Warranty3 years

Pros

  • Glass body.
  • Great spout design.
  • More affordable than competitors.

Cons

  • Can take up to 48 hours to fully extract flavor.
  • Wish it used stainless steel mesh.
  • Can’t shake container.

Due to no voltage restrictions, this coffee maker works best for anyone in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and other places outside the United States. Since it’s an iced cold brew maker, it doesn’t require electricity.

How does cold brew work?

You add coffee beans to a filter, which drips into a carafe or absorbs into the water surrounding it—depends on the filter used. You’ll wait for at least 12 hours for your coffee’s oils to absorb into the water and form cold brew.

This brewing type works best for anyone who wants coffee that’s less acidic and a bit less caffeine than other coffee drinks.

As for whether it’s worth the price; yeah.

I wish it used a stainless steel filter like my Hario Shizuku, but mine cost much more than this one. Stainless steel filters could work better than super fine mesh filters because it allows more of the coffee’s flavor to seep through.

That’s partially why it could take up to 48 hours to see your coffee turn darker. Cold brew makers with stainless steel filters typically take 12–24 hours to extract flavors fully.

However, that often leads to more sediment accumulating in your iced drink. The Gator’s much less likely to result in that. Meanwhile, it uses a glass pitcher like my Shizuku, which means you won’t need to worry about chemicals from various plastics seeping into your drink.

The Gator’s lid and how it connects to the filter don’t showcase the best design. Many folks love to shake their cold brew container to stimulate flavor extraction. You can’t do that with this maker.

Once you’re ready to pour your brew, the spout won’t disappoint. How it’s designed won’t cause coffee to spill all over you and your countertop when pouring.

There’s not much else to cover with this maker. It’s an affordable iced cold brew maker for folks who love cold brew.

If you’re worried you’re making the wrong decision when buying an iced coffee maker, see our buying checklist in the next section.


How to Choose the Best Iced Coffee Maker: Buying Guide

Consider these factors when shopping for an iced coffee machine:

FactorWhy it’s Important
Machine TypeDetermines coffee maker’s size, speed, convenience, & control.
Ease of Use & CleaningTime spent on cleaning & maintaining device.
Materials UsedHow long your machine will last.
Additional FeaturesThese could improve brew quality or save time.
Drinks it can BrewWhat drinks you could make.

The following sections will expand upon all these buying criteria. While reading, consider what factors you’d find important and build your own checklist on what would make a coffee maker “ideal.”

1. Types of Machines That Produce Iced Coffee

Let’s compare the different types of iced coffee makers:

Coffee MakerBest ForAvg. Price *
Drip Coffee MakerLarge volumes of iced coffee.$20–$100
Manual Pour-overHigher-strength iced drinks.$20–$60
Thermal Coffee MakerKeeping coffee hot for long periods, offices. Not ideal for iced coffee. $40–$150
Cold BrewFolks who want less acidic iced coffee.$20–$100
Espresso MakerProducing strong-tasting iced beverages.$50–$5,000
CapsuleAnyone in a rush or who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time brewing iced coffee.$120–$200

Let’s explore who should consider the other types of coffee makers:

  • Drip or thermal coffee maker: Creating large amounts of iced black coffee for themselves or entertaining guests.
    • Thermal coffee makers keep drinks warmer for longer; not ideal for iced coffee.
  • Manual pour-over: Coffee enthusiasts who want to control every part of making iced black coffee.
  • Cold brew: Folks who prefer lighter-tasting iced coffee that’s not acidic & has less caffeine.
  • Espresso machine: Anyone who wants more control over their iced espresso.
  • Capsule: Someone who wants minimal cleanup, a quick cup of iced coffee, & a simple UI.

Capsule coffee makers are the best iced coffee makers because they’ll brew strong coffee in under a minute. If you added ice cubes, you’d still have a strong-tasting drink.

2. Ease of Use & Cleaning

Spend less time cleaning your machine by opting for design choices such as removable water reservoirs and drip trays. Or by finding a machine that’ll let you know when it’s time to descale. Removing the need to set a calendar reminder in a couple of months to do so.

Let’s talk ease of use.

The fewer buttons a machine has, the easier it is to use. However, it’ll present you with less control over your machine’s brewing parameters. For instance, the Nespresso Vertuo Plus has a single button, which makes it super simple to use.

But it doesn’t offer any control over temperature, coffee bloom, drink strength, and other factors.

Most iced coffee makers will have removable water reservoirs and drip trays. The latter because it’ll allow you to use travel mugs and carafes. And many of them include clearly-labeled buttons. The biggest difficulty you’ll have here is navigating the user interface and the sea of buttons.

3. Material Used

Machines made of plastic don’t last as long as those made with stainless steel because they don’t withstand wear and tear well. Manufacturers make most iced coffee machines out of plastic.

These machines can outlive their warranties if you regularly clean and descale them, don’t hit them, replace parts when needed—if applicable for your machine model.

Iced coffee makers with grinders have ceramic or stainless steel burrs. Opting with stainless steel burrs will ensure they last longer without requiring a replacement. But they often heat up too much and can cause your drinks to taste a bit more bitter.

Ceramic burrs don’t have this downside, but they tend to chip easier if debris like a pebble were to get into your grinder.

4. Additional Features

Check out features iced coffee machines typically have:

FeatureDescriptionWhy it’s Useful
Over Ice ButtonBrews coffee that won’t become diluted when adding ice.No diluted coffee when using ice.
Auto Shut-offAutomatically powers off after a specific amount of time.Saves money on electricity.
ProgrammabilitySchedule coffee to brew at set time.Saves you time on coffee brewing when in a rush.
Capsule CompatibilityUses capsules to brew.Quick cleanup & saves time on brewing.
Milk FrotherFroths or steams milkCreates drinks like lattes.
Removable ComponentsCan remove water reservoir &/or drip tray.Easier to clean machine.
Reusable Mesh FilterIncludes mesh filter to place coffee grounds in.Eliminates cost for paper filters.
Front-loadingAccess water reservoir or grounds bin from front.Eliminates need to move coffee machine when refilling.

Most iced coffee makers aren’t front-loading, which makes life difficult for anyone who has low-hanging wall cabinets. But they will include most of the other above features.

Milk frothers are specific to espresso machines or some Ninja coffee maker models. A couple Nespresso and Keurig models will also include these. Speaking of, these brands are the legitimate companies that offer capsule support.

You may find other coffee makers that support ground coffee and K-Cup or Nespresso Original pods. Only Nespresso Vertuo line machines will support Nespresso Vertuo pods.

5. Drinks It Can Brew

Iced coffee machines can brew most of these drinks:

AmericanoBlack coffeeEspresso shots
Black EyeMochaIrish Coffee
CappuccinoMacchiatoLazy Eye
LatteFlat WhiteRed Eye

You’ll need an espresso machine, Nespresso, Keurig, or some Ninja models to brew specialty espresso drinks like Americanos and espresso shots. For these machines to brew lattes, macchiatos, and cappuccinos, you’d need a milk frother or steam wand.

All other iced coffee makers will brew black coffee.

FAQs for Iced Coffee Makers

Read on to find frequently asked questions about hot and iced coffee makers.

What Are the Best Coffee Grounds for Iced Coffee Maker?

Use dark- or medium roast beans when brewing iced coffee. They’ll result in stronger-tasting coffee when chilled.

Our Verdict

Let’s review our top picks:

  1. Keurig K-Duo Plus: Brews quickly & has minimal cleanup.
  2. Nespresso Vertuo Creatista: Includes an automatic milk frother & brews quickly.
  3. Keurig K-Elite: Precise temperature controls over your drink.

I went with the Keurig K-Duo Plus as the top dog because it has some of the best ergonomics of all the machines covered.

Footnotes:

  • * Price will vary by model, manufacturer, and vendor.
Photo of author

Author

Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of TimsCoffee.com. He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create TimsCoffee.com.
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