A Complete & Honest NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker Review

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The “good ice” is small pieces of nugget-shaped goodness that are soft and easy to chew. This type of ice is often called sonic ice, nugget or chewable ice. It’s a porous ice, and absorbs the flavor of your beverage, so that you can enjoy it right to the last drop.

Check out our comparison between the NewAir Countertop Ice Maker and the GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker in the article here.

Learn why nugget Ice is great ice in our article here.

The top portable ice makers with reviews and a buyers guide.

Until recently, nugget ice wasn’t available in small portable units like we have today. It began several years ago, when the Opal Nugget Ice Maker came to market. This portable unit allowed ice chewers to have soft, chewable ice from a compact unit (sitting on your countertop), without spending thousands of dollars for a commercial ice maker.

The Opal Nugget ice maker was well accepted, and for years was the standard of connecting the mobility of a portable ice maker, and the love of sonic ice. 

Fast forward to today, we are excited to review another portable nugget ice maker – the Newair Countertop Nugget Ice Maker.

Click here to get the best price for the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker from NewAir.com

We were pumped to use this ice maker, and see how it compares to the other portable nugget ice makers on the market. We recently received a sample from newair.com, well packaged and ready for testing.

Let’s look deeper at the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker.

The Design of the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

The design of the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is simple, yet elegant.

It comes with a beautiful stainless steel design, a single button on the front, a light ring around the button, and two indicator lights, one on each side of the button.

NewAir Nugget Ice Maker producing ice

We’re going to break down each of these design features more in this review.

The venting for this ice maker is on the right side (looking at the front of the unit), and rear of the unit (you’ll want to leave about six inches between the air vent, and the wall). Also, on the back, you’ll find a water drain, which will be useful for cleaning and maintaining the unit.

If you are looking to place this ice maker under a cabinet, then you’re going to need about 2 feet clearance so you’re able to lift the lid.

On top of this ice maker, you’ll find a viewing window for seeing your stock at any given time. The viewing window is important because this keeps warm air from getting into the insulated storage container, and keeps your ice around longer.

NewAir Nugget Ice Maker View Window

This ice maker has a melt-resistant, insulated interior and comes with certified BPA-free parts.

Inside the water tank, just below the ice bin, you’ll find a fill line. Add water into the reservoir by using a large pitcher, filled with water, and pour it into the reservoir, until it reaches the fill line.

I use RO water with all my potable ice makers. I believe that RO water produces the best quality ice. You can learn more about the one that I purchased on Amazon here.

The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker doesn’t need to be connected to a sink or a water source. All you have to do, is add water into the water reservoir for it to make ice.

I love the way the ice scoop fits perfectly into the ice storage bin. This keeps it nearby, and ensures that it doesn’t get lost.

The ice scoop holder in the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker

The design of this ice maker is impressive. It’s sharp looking, and blends nicely into my kitchen.

Ice Storage Guide

I think the ice guide is an excellent idea.

The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker’s Ice Storage Guide

This small piece of plastic may seem insignificant, but it directs the ice to the centre of the storage container. This means you’re going to get more ice in the bin before the sensor shuts down the ice cycle.

It works and it makes sense.

Indicator lights 

There are several indicator lights that help you with the daily operation of your NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker. 

NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

Learn More on NewAir.com
Check out the price on this incredible portable ice maker. Now you can get the “good ice” for a fraction of the cost of a commercial unit. Use our coupon code above to get $50 off you order.

We are going to list each of them below.

Standby Mode

Once you plug in your ice maker, a red LED ring will light, to tell you that the unit is waiting to make ice.

The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker will not begin the ice cycle until activated using the power button.

The Power Button 

Press the power button once to turn on the ice maker. Once your unit is on, the ring will turn blue and start the ice cycle. 

The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker Has Simple One Button Operation

If you would like to turn the unit off, just hold in the power button for 3 seconds. The red LED ring will light up, and the unit will return to the standby mode (A red ring). 

Storage Bin Full Indicator

There is an infrared sensor in this unit that will turn off the ice maker once the storage bin is full. When the bin is full of nugget ice, the “full ice” indicator light will turn on.  

To begin making ice again, all you have to do is empty the ice basket, and press the power button twice. 

Ice Bin Full Indicator Light on the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker

The first press will put your ice maker in standby mode, and the second press will turn your unit back on, and it will start the ice process again.

I wish that the ice maker would automatically start the cycle when the ice is emptied or when it melts and clears the sensor. This isn’t the case.

Add Water Indicator

When the ice maker runs out of water, the “add water” indicator will light up, and the unit will turn off. 

Once the water reservoir is refilled, all you have to do is press the power button twice. 

This ice maker will continually make ice when the water reservoir is full, and the ice basket isn’t to capacity.

The Features of the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker

Before you jump into any purchase, it’s essential to take a look at what this ice maker can do, and what features sets it apart from its competitors.

Ice Production

This countertop ice maker produces 40 pounds of nugget ice every day. 

When choosing how much ice you need for any event, you should always estimate between 2-3 pounds of ice per person. This means that this ice maker can produce enough ice to serve about 15-20 people at any BBQ, party, or social event.

For a family five, it’s going to make plenty of ice for all our needs. 

My Son Loves the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker

Another feature that impressed me with this ice maker was the speed of ice production. It produces the first batch of nugget ice in only 5 minutes, which means the ice bin was filled in less than an hour.

Once the machine starts to make nugget ice, it continually drops the nugget-shaped ice into the ice bin. As I’m typing this review, I can hear the pieces of nugget ice fall into the bin one by one.

The nugget ice keeps coming

The rapid ice production means that you will always have nugget ice available to you and your family when you need it. Pour yourself a beverage, and in only 5 minutes, your glass will be full of nugget ice.

In only 5 minutes you’ll have ice for your beverage

I tested this over and over again, and it’s true. This ice maker is quick and worthy of a little praise. Compared to the Opal Nugget Ice Maker, this unit is super fast.

Self-Cleaning Function

This ice maker also comes with a self-cleaning feature. 

The self-cleaning feature should be used before you begin using the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker. 

Once the machine starts to make nugget ice, it continually drops the nugget-shaped ice into the ice bin. As I’m typing this review, I can hear the pieces of nugget ice fall into the bin one by one.

Using the self-cleaning option is simple. When the unit is in standby mode (this means that the red led light is lit up), hold the power button down for 3 seconds until you see a blue and purple light flashing.

The Newair Nugget Ice Maker self-cleaning feature

Let the cleaning cycle run for at least 30 seconds. When you are done with the cleaning mode, hold down the power button for another 3 seconds. It’s that simple. 

For maintenance purposes, and keeping your ice clean and tasting great, it’s crucial to run the cleaning cycle before each new use.

Cleaning the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

As mentioned above, this ice maker does have a self-cleaning function that is easy to use. This should be used regularly to maintain the integrity of the unit. 

The water reservoir and exterior of the ice maker can be cleaned using these six simple steps.

  • Remove the ice basket. 
  • Using the drain at the back of the ice maker, drain any water left in the tank. 
  • Clean the interior with diluted cleaner, warm water, and a soft cloth. 
  • The outside of the ice maker should be cleaned regularly with a diluted cleaner and warm water.
  • Dry the interior and exterior with a soft cloth. 
  • Close the drain cap.

I found that it was extremely easy to enable the self-cleaning mode. This is a great feature, and cleaning the unit overall was simple to do.

The Specifications

Below are the detailed specifications that I found from the NewAir website. This gives you everything that you’ll need to know about this portable nugget ice maker. 

  • Model: NIM040SS00
  • Product Type: 40 Pound Portable Nugget Ice Maker
  • Product Dimensions: 16.50″D x 10.60″W x 16.30″H (w/feet)
  • Product Weight: 34 lbs.
  • Product Color: Stainless Steel
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Amps: 2.3 amps
  • Frequency: 60 Hz
  • Certifications: ETL
  • Type: Portable Ice Maker
  • Daily Ice Making Capacity: 40 pounds
  • Ice Shape: Nugget 
  • Installation: Freestanding
  • Energy Star Rated: No
  • Display Type: On/Off Switch
  • Full Ice Basket Indicator: Yes
  • Water Tank Capacity: 2 L
  • Cycle Time for First Ice Made: 5 mins
  • Ice Bucket Capacity: 4.8 pounds
  • Timer: No
  • Self-Cleaning Function: Yes
  • Includes Ice Scoop: Yes
  • Automatic Overflow Protection: No
  • Ice Storage: Yes
  • Removable Ice Bin: Yes
  • Reversible Door: No


Would I use this ice maker on an RV or camping trip? That’s a hard one. It’s not a light unit. This ice maker weighs 34 pounds, though it is lighter than the Opal Nugget Ice Maker, which weighs about 44 pounds.

Check out the best portable ice makers for camping, boats and your RV here.

Both the Opal and NewAir can be used anywhere there is water and power, and they are made to be portable. 

The problem is they are a little heavy, and I wouldn’t want to be carrying them around. For the most part, I think you should find a place in your kitchen for this unit and let it do its thing.

This is exactly what I did. I found it a home, and this is where it stays.

NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker Problems and Solutions

Below you’ll notice this ice maker’s diagnosis chart. If you have an issue with this ice maker it may be a possible cause below.

ProblemPossible CausesSolution
“Add Water” indicator light is onWater level is too low.Turn off the unit, and fill the tank with water, and then turn it on again.
“Ice Full” indicator is on.The Ice basket is full.Remove the storage basket and use your ice.
“Ice Full” indicator is on.The ice sensor is broken.Turn the ice maker off and then off again. If this doesn’t solve the problem then contact NewAir.
“Ice Full” indicator is on.The ice scoop is stuck.Make sure the ice scoop isn’t blocking the sensor.
Nugget ice is sticking togetherThe ice cycle is too longTurn off the unit and wait until the ice melts and fall apart, then turn the unit on again.
Nugget ice is sticking togetherPart of the evaporator rods in the ice box ae too large. Change the water in reservoir.
Nugget ice is sticking togetherThe water temperature is too warmUse colder water for the water reservoir.
The storage bin is full but the indicator light is offThe ice maker is too close to a light sourceMove the ice maker away from that light source, it affects the infrared.
The ice maker runs through the ice cycle, but there is no ice. The room temperature or water temperature is too high.Don’t use the ice maker in too much heat or away from the sun. Make sure the ice maker has cold water in the water reservoir.
The ice maker runs through the ice cycle, but there is no ice.Refrigerant leakage. Shut down the unit, and call NewAir.
The ice maker runs through the ice cycle, but there is no ice.The pipe in the cooling system is blockedCall NewAir.


The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is great, and it produces extraordinary nugget ice.

The ice is soft, chewable, and you’re going to get the same type of ice like all the popular restaurants that serve nugget ice.

I recommend this product!

Giving a thumbs up for the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker

It has a simple design, elegant look, and is easy to operate. The one button operation means even my children can use it.

This unit produces a whopping 40 pounds of nugget ice each day, and will produce its first batch in JUST 5 minutes – that’s phenomenal. 

The cleaning feature is easy to use and works well. This ice maker is easy to get set up, clean, and maintain.

What I didn’t like? I didn’t like the fact that when the sensor shut the ice maker down (like when the ice bucket was full), I had to manually begin the ice cycle again. There where times that I came to the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker and wanted some ice, only to find an empty storage bin where the ice had melted. This could be a good thing if you went on vacation and forgot the ice maker running – it depends on the situation.

When I first unboxed the ice maker, I thought that the type of stainless steel would not show fingerprints. I was wrong. It does show fingerprints, and you’ll want a good stainless steel clearer to keep it clean. You can see what I bought on Amazon here.

Amazing nugget ice in a glass

Now, you can have the “good ice.”

I recommend this unit to anyone looking for a portable ice maker that produces sonic ice, but doesn’t want to break the bank.

This ice maker costs from $500-$550, which is cheap for a nugget ice maker. You can learn why nugget ice makers are so expensive here, and why the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is such a good deal.

Buy with Confidence! NewAir offers a 30 day, hassle-free return policy and a one year warranty.

Click on the link below to head over to the NewAir website and check out this incredible, introductory price.

NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

Learn More on NewAir.com
Check out the price on this incredible portable ice maker. Now you can get the “good ice” for a fraction of the cost of a commercial unit. Use our coupon code above to get $50 off you order.

I know you’re going to love the NewAir nugget ice maker, and love the awesome nugget ice that it produces.

We give it a thumbs up.

8.8 Total Score
A Portable Ice Maker That Produces Nugget Ice in Only 5 Minutes

The NewAir Countertop Ice Maker produces enough nugget ice for your family or small business. It’s easy to operate and maintain. It’s the fastest, and has the largest production of nugget ice in any portable unit.

Design and Functionality
  • Nugget ice in 5 Minutes
  • Produces 40 pounds each day
  • Makes ice quickly
  • Simple operation
  • Classy design
  • Stainless steel
  • Self-cleaning feature
  • 1 year warranty
  • 30-day return policy
  • Heavy
  • Noisy
User Rating: 4.67 (6 votes)

NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker in Stainless Steel, 40 lbs. of Ice a Day with Melt-Resistant Interior and BPA-Free Parts,...

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Last update was on: December 1, 2021 11:35 am
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  1. Just started exploring portable countertop ice makers.
    Your review doesn’t cover a couple of things.
    1. Can it fit on a countertop under overhead cabinetry and still be able to fill it with water? Nothing shows or discusses the water refill process.
    2. Do I have to carry it to the sink to drain it? Looks like that’s the case.
    Thank you for your service!!

    • You do not need to carry it to a sink. This ice maker has a water reservoir, and all you have to do is use a pitcher of water, and pour water into the reservoir until you reach the fill line. This ice maker will create nugget ice which will fall into the ice bin. As the nugget ice melts, the water drips back into the water reservoir to make more ice. There is no need of any hook up or water lines.

      For fitting under your cabinetry, you’ll need about 2 feet clearance.

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