Bullet Ice Vs. Nugget Ice

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I’m a big fan of nugget and bullet ice. I own portable ice makers that produce bullet ice and nugget ice and make both ice types daily. I know what I’m talking about.

I own the Frigidaire EFIC103 portable ice maker that produces 26 pounds of bullet ice each day (view on Amazon), and the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker, which produces 40 pounds of nugget ice each day (view on Amazon).

Nugget Ice Vs. Bullet IceWhich type of ice is best?
ChewableEasy on the teeth
BlendsWill it blend?
DispenserCan they be dispensed?
Commercial UnitsLarger ice makers available?
Works in a CoolerShould I use it camping?
HealthcareHospitals and nursing homes
Food ServiceRestaurant use
Melting TimeTime for one glass of ice to melt
1.5 hours
2 hours
Average PriceHow much to make nugget ice?

Both these types of ice are useful, and both are used a lot these days. I know they are at my house. If you wonder which kind of ice maker you should purchase for your home (nugget ice or bullet ice), this post will give you some clarity.

This post will break down the differences, similarities, and what makes each of these ice types unique in their own way. 

So which one should you purchase? Well, let’s find out. 

The Popular Bullet Ice

Bullet ice is probably the most popular when it comes to portable ice makers. This type of ice is a lot harder than nugget ice, so it’s not chewy, and it’s much larger than the small nugget pieces that a nugget ice maker produces. 

  • Cheaper to produce
  • Versatile
  • Three sizes of ice
  • You can have bullet ice quickly
  • Larger quantities (100 pounds plus a day)
  • Larger pieces ice
  • Not chewable
  • Ice makers that produce nugget ice are often loud
  • Hard to blend

Let’s be direct. Bullet ice is not nugget ice! When you’re looking through the different ice makers on Amazon, some will claim to be a nugget ice maker, when in reality, it’s actually producing bullet ice. They will also claim that bullet ice is soft and easy to chew, but this isn’t true either.

Bullet ice is perfect for all kinds of beverages. No matter what your beverage of choice may be, you can always take some bullet ice to create the perfect refreshing drink.

  • Versatile
  • Great for different beverages
  • Useful for camping and putting in your cooler
  • Add to a water bottle
  • Melts slower than other ice
  • Cheaper to produce

I like using small pieces of bullet ice to fill my water bottle when I go for a run or use the bullet ice to make a refreshing smoothie. Because the bullet ice is harder than nugget ice, a blender may have more difficulty breaking the ice into pieces. Just make sure that you have a blender that’s built to break up ice. You can learn more about the best blender for ice here.

There are a few CONS when it comes to bullet ice. First, the ice is large, and you can’t get a lot of ice in your glass. This means that your beverage takes longer to chill.

The second CON with bullet ice is it’s hard to chew. I don’t even bother trying to chew bullet ice. I usually enjoy the beverage and throw the ice out when I am done. 

The best feature of bullet ice is that it’s useful so many purposes. We love using bullet ice in our cooler when we go camping

We produce several bags of ice and then throw it all in our cooler before a camping trip. The large bullet-sized ice lasts longer than other ice types, which means our food is always cold. We also bring the bullet ice maker with us in our tent trailer, so we are making ice all day and throwing it in our cooler. If you want to add some ice your glass, you can just grab some from the ice maker.

Probably the best feature of all, is that bullet ice is cheap to produce. 

There are so many different types of portable ice makers that produce bullet ice that it’s hard to count them all. Whatever style, size, weight, or quantity of ice, there is a portable ice maker for you. 

You can read more about the best countertop ice makers here.

The Chewable Nugget Ice 

Nugget ice is often called the “good ice.” It’s also called sonic ice, pebble ice, chewable ice, or pellet ice.

It’s soft, chewable ice that fills every inch of your glass.

Because nugget consists of such small pieces, you get more ice in your glass, which means your beverage cools much faster than bullet ice.

  • Chewable
  • Absorbs your beverage flavor
  • Easy to blend
  • Great for creating all kinds of beverages
  • Chills your beverage fast
  • Fills your glass with ice
  • Expensive to produce
  • Melts faster

The most significant difference between nugget ice and bullet ice is that nugget ice is soft and easy to chew.

Discover the top nugget ice makers here.

Nugget ice also soaks up your beverage, so you’re getting the flavor right to the very last ice piece. 

  • It’s chewable
  • Retains the flavor of your beverage
  • Great for smoothies
  • Great for salad bars
  • Higher ice to beverage ratio
  • Cools your beverage fast
  • Use nugget ice for a crunchy snack
  • Useful for sports injuries
  • Excellent for shipping

The biggest CON with nugget ice is that it’s so light and flakey that it melts so much faster than other ice types. This means that it can water down your beverage if you add the ice when your drink is warm.

Is nugget ice any good for coolers? Learn here.

Because you can put so much nugget ice into your glass, the pure volume of ice means your beverage will cool faster than bullet ice. In fact, pouring your drink over a glass full of nugget ice means that your beverage cools almost instantly


Both nugget and bullet ice are useful. I wouldn’t say that one is bette than the other, because they are both so different.

I guess it’s safe to say that both ice types are very different and are used for different purposes, and both types of ice are good.

Below is a test to determine which type of ice melted the fastest. They where very close throughout the entire test.

nugget ice vs bullet ice - melting test
nugget ice vs bullet ice - melting test
nugget ice vs bullet ice - melting test
nugget ice vs bullet ice - melting test

If you are looking for bullet-ice you’re going to pay an average price of $250 for a reliable portable ice maker

If nugget ice is what you’re looking for, then the average price is about $525.

Click here and learn why nugget ice machines are so expensive.

Depending on the type of beverage you’re looking to create, and your individual taste, both bullet and nugget ice will work well.

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