- 1 Top 7 Best Ice Cube Trays
- 2 Best Ice Cube Tray Buyer’s Guide
To help you find the best ice cube trays, we purchased the top 25 models and spent over 12 hours freezing water over the course of the day and testing the ice in our own drinks. In the end, we selected the Kitch ice cube tray as our top pick. It’s a simple ice cube tray with advanced functionality like easy release twist handles, stacking without the need for a lid and long-lasting durability.
As we filled each tray with water, we looked specifically for self leveling capabilities as well as added convenience features like lids and “stackability”. After the water froze, we tested each tray on how easy it was to release the ice and how well the ice stood up to the release process. We also only included ice cube trays on our list that were safe for food consumption making it easy to prepare and defrost small amounts of food such as baby food. The trays on our list are all BPA free, as well as free from other harmful chemicals. Keep reading below to learn more about the Kitch ice cube tray and the other best ice cube trays on our list.
Top 7 Best Ice Cube Trays
#1 Kitch Ice Cube Tray
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Simple in design and extremely easy to use, this ice cube tray was an easy pick for our top spot. The tray’s design makes for one of the easiest ice releases we tested.
There’s not much to say about the visual design of the Kitch ice cube trays, but we also weren’t too concerned with aesthetics, especially since these sit in your freezer all day. What’s more important is the excellent functional design of the Kitch trays. The best part about these trays is the easy release functionality. Once you have frozen cubes, simply twist the tray and the ice pops out without cracking or breaking. The Kitch was among the best at producing whole cubes after releasing them from the tray.
The Kitch trays can also be stacked on top of one another without any kind of lid, which was a huge selling point for us. However, you’ll need to be careful not to overfill the cubes or you will get them sticking together. Overall durability is excellent as well. These plastic ice cube trays will last you a long time without infusing plastic tastes into your ice. If you’re looking to round out your kitchen, have a look at the best french door refrigerator.
#2 OMorc Ice Cube Tray
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This silicone ice cube trays are flexible, durable and versatile. You can choose to release all the ice at once or individually, allowing you to use the trays exactly as you need.
The OMorc ice cube trays are made out of food-grade silicone certified by the LFGB,which is the European version of the FDA. LFGB standards are often much stricter than FDA standards, making this tray incredibly safe. The OMorc trays also come in two different colors, green and blue, so you can add a bit of personality to your purchase.
When it comes to usability, the OMorc trays include silicone lids so you can stack them on top of one another. This frees up more room in your freezer and also keeps odors and other debris from making its way into your ice cubes. We do wish the lids snapped securely into place, but this wasn’t a dealbreaker. When it comes time to retrieve your ice cubes, the flexible silicone tray allows you to release either a single cube at a time by pressing on the bottom of the cube or all of them at once by twisting the tray. If you’re looking for the best silicone ice cube tray, the OMorc is an excellent choice. Grab the electric wine opener, and you’ll have a perfectly iced glass of wine.
#3 OXO Good Grips Covered Ice Cube Tray
Award: BEST BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: This option is the best stackable ice cube tray on our list, with an innovative sliding lid design and easy release rounded cube design. It’s also extra durable, to boot, making this a solid choice.
The OXO Good Grips covered ice cube tray’s biggest selling point is its innovative and unique lid design. Rather than press into place, you slide the lid over the tray. Unlike other tray lids, the OXO lid does have a soft snap which keeps it secure. The lid also allows the trays to be more easily stacked to free up room in your freezer and prevent odors from being infused into your ice cubes. Be aware that it may take some time for you to get used to the way the tray operates. Fortunately, once you get the hang of it, the sliding process doesn’t become much of an issue.
The OXO ice cube trays also feature a unique rounded cube design to remove the cubes, which makes for an easier release. You can also use the sliding lid to only release a single row at a time or remove the lid completely to release all of the cubes simultaneously. The rounded design also encourages faster freezing, and unfortunately faster melting. The OXO trays also come with the company’s Better Guarantee, which is a 10 year warranty in case you ever run into cracking in the plastic or other defects, which was a nice addition for a relatively inexpensive product. With ice trays so cheap, you may want to splurge on the best wine fridge.
#4 Rubbermaid Easy Release Ice Cube Tray
Award: Most User Friendly
WHY WE LIKE IT: This ice tray is incredibly simple and easy to use. You don’t need to tilt and tip just to get it to fill evenly, making it the most user friendly option on our list.
The Rubbermaid Easy Release ice cube tray isn’t going to win any awards for its simplistic design aesthetic, but it will for its user friendliness. For starters, the trays are designed in a way to allow for quick and easy filling. The sides of each cube are slightly raised above the corners so water can move between all cells as needed. This way, you don’t need to tilt and tip your tray just to get an even fill. This design also lends itself to easy stacking without requiring a lid or trays sticking together.
As its name suggests, the ice cubes in the Rubbermaid tray are incredibly easy to release. A simple twist of the handles and each cube pops out. While there were the occasional cracked cube, we were impressed with the overall result the majority of the time. The BPA-free plastic is also durable enough to withstand this twisting process for years to come. Grab your best wine decanter, and fill these trays with ice to be ready for your next big party.
#5 Samuelworld Ice Cube Tray
Award: BEST FOR WHISKEY
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking to make large ice cubes for cocktails and other drinks, like whiskey, then the this ice cube trays are the best choice for you. Made from durable and safe silicone, these ice cube trays will keep your cocktails cold for a long time.
The first thing that stands out about the Samuelworld ice cube trays is how large the individual cubes are. Instead of the standard ice cube size, these trays make large, 2-inch cubes, which are perfect for cocktails. Larger ice cubes take longer to freeze, but they also last much longer in your glass and don’t water down your cocktails.
You may also think that a larger ice cube creates more opportunity for cracking, but the Samuelworld’s silicone design does well to prevent this from happening. You can release each cube individually by simply pressing on the bottom of the cube. The flexible nature of the silicone allows for more wiggle room to prevent cracking. It’s also incredibly durable, but Samuelworld includes a lifetime guarantee with these trays, so you’ll never have to worry about durability issues anyway. We do wish the trays were stackable, especially considering their size, but the large ice cubes are well worth the sacrifice on space. Throw a bottle of wine into your best refrigerators, and these large ice cubes will make a perfect glass of ice.
#6 WETONG Ice Cube Tray
Award: LARGEST CAPACITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This ice cube tray offers 32 individual cubes in a unique hex shape, along with a durable silicone design. They’re also easy to use and dishwasher safe, making for a convenient cooling solution.
As you may have already noticed, the WETONG ice cube trays are not standard ice cube trays by any means. Instead of the classic square cube shape, the WETONG features a unique hex shape. The shape doesn’t enhance your ice by any means, but it doesn’t shake things up to create a more unique experience. The cubes are also smaller than the standard size, which also makes this option the best ice cube tray for iced coffee. The smaller size cools the coffee well without watering it down too much.
The silicone construction is durable yet flexible, as are most silicone trays, and you won’t need to worry about BPA or any other harmful chemicals. The flexibility of the silicone tray makes release easier as you can simply bend the tray to get your ice. You can also pop ice out individually by pressing on the bottom of the cube. If we could change one thing about the WETONG’s design, it would be to add some kind of self leveling functionality when filling the tray up with water. It can take some finagling to get each cube evenly filled. You also get lids with the WETONG ice cube trays for stacking and odor protection. Just be aware that the lid doesn’t snap into place, so exercise caution when transporting the tray to your freezer.
#7 Ticent Ice Cube Tray
Award: BEST FOR ICE BALLS
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking to create fun and unique ice balls for your whiskey, bourbon and other drinks, look no further than this model. It also includes a large cube option for added versatility.
Have you ever seen those large ice spheres people have in their drinks at bars or in the movies and wondered how you could make them at home? The Ticent ice cube tray is here to answer your call. You get both a large ice cube tray and an ice ball tray with your purchase so you can choose to make either option. The cube tray operates like any other cube tray, but the ice ball tray requires a bit more practice to get right. You place the lid on top of the base, and then fill the ice mold from the holes in the lid above each sphere. The filling process is easy, just make sure you have the lid on secure and with some added weight in order to make the best ice balls.
The Ticent trays are made from 100% food-safe and FDA approved silicone, so you won’t have to worry about any leaching into your ice balls. They’re also dishwasher safe for greater cleaning convenience. While these trays are a little more expensive than other options, we think the addition of the ice ball mold is well worth the added cost.
How We Decided
When it came to finding the best ice cube trays, we started our testing by first measuring the overall value of each option. The purchase of an ice cube tray should never hurt your wallet, but you also don’t want to buy a product that wears out after a use or two.
As such, we weighted the number of trays included in your purchase against the actual price. We also considered whether the price of your purchase was indicative of the materials the trays were made of.
On that note, we next texted the overall durability of the ice cube trays on our list. We didn’t include stainless steel ice cube trays on our list because we considered them too expensive for the small amount of added value. Plastic and silicone ice cube trays are both durable and long-lasting. The most important part of our materials testing was ensuring they didn’t infuse your ice cubes with a plastic taste or smell.
Finally, we favored ice cube trays that offered additional design features like lids and stackability. However, we didn’t consider these extra features make or break factors. More importantly, we rated ice cube trays higher if they were “set and forget,” meaning you could simply add water and freeze without worrying about the tray being perfectly level or filled to just the right level.
Best Ice Cube Tray Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Tray Material
Ice cube trays are most commonly made from one of three materials: plastic, silicone or stainless steel. There are pros and cons to each of these materials. Let’s take a look at each material and how it stands up to the test:
- Plastic: The most common material you’ll see in ice cube trays. Plastic is durable and affordable, but may be more prone to infuse a plastic taste into your ice cubes.
- Silicone: Silicone is simply an alternative to plastic. It’s a durable and affordable material, but is much more flexible than plastic containers.
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is the most durable material for ice cube trays, but it’s also the most expensive option. Many people prefer stainless steel trays because there is little chance of any foul taste leaching into the ice cubes.
- Tray Capacity
The number of ice cubes you can make in a single go is another feature to consider. Most ice cube trays feature 14-18 individual cubes to fill with water. However, this number can fluctuate based on your needs. If you want to freeze large ice cubes or make large ice balls, you’ll likely only be able to do 6-8 at a time. On the other hand, if you want to make more ice for a party, you can purchase trays with more capacity. If you do, just be aware that these trays take up much more room in your freezer.
- Ice Cube Size and Shape
Shape doesn’t necessarily have a huge effect on the way the ice freezes or tastes, but there are different applications for cubes vs. balls. Determine which shape you want before making a purchase. On the flip side, there are differences to consider when it comes to size. Large ice cubes take longer to freeze, but they also take longer to melt in your drink. Standard-sized cubes freeze much faster and can fit into a wider variety of drink ware.
The value of your ice cube tray is largely dependent on the number of ice cubes you can make with a single tray, the tray’s durability and the number of individual trays you get with your purchase. In general, we recommend you not spend more than $10 for an individual tray. There are options on our list that cost more than $10, but they include multiple trays.
Ice Cube Tray FAQs
Are silicone ice cube trays safe?
Yes, silicone ice cube trays are completely safe, as long as they’re made with food-grade materials that have been approved by the FDA. Always make sure the manufacturer of the trays you’re looking to purchase lists their silicone as food-grade and BPA free.
What are the safest ice cube trays?
Many people worry about BPA in plastic trays or silicone leaching into their ice cubes from silicone trays, but in reality these concerns are often unfounded. All of the ice cube trays on our list are completely safe and free from harmful chemicals like BPA. However, it’s always a good idea to do your due diligence before making a purchase. Look to see if the trays you’re considering are made from food-grade or FDA-approved materials.
What can I use instead of ice cube trays?
If all your ice cube trays are dirty or you’re waiting on new ones to arrive in the mail, there are a number of alternatives you can use instead. Try gelatin or candy molds first. Many of these molds are silicone and safe for ice cubes. They also come in tons of different shapes and sizes. The same goes for novelty baking pans. If you don’t have any of these items, you can turn to existing items in your home, like styrofoam egg cartons. Finally, if you’re out of options altogether, simply fill up a zipper bag with water and freeze that. Once the water is frozen, you can break the ice up into chunks for all your liquid cooling needs.
Why do ice cube trays smell?
Ice cube trays hang out in your freezer for months at a time, constantly exposed to food and its odors. Did you put your ice cube tray right next to the lasagna you just cooked to freeze? You can bet that your tray is going to absorb some of that smell. To avoid smelly ice cube trays, it’s a good idea to clean them regularly with soap and water. If the smell is particularly bad, you can even wash with some vinegar. It’s also recommended you clean out your freezer on a regular basis. You can even place some baking soda in a container and keep that in your freezer to absorb smells to prevent them from sticking to your ice cube trays.
Can I use warm water in my ice cube trays?
Yes! Though it would be better to use HOT water. This is a simple home trick that will freeze the ice cubes quickly. This phenomenon is called the Mpemba effect. It might seem odd, but you will get ice cubes faster by starting with hot water than cold.
How many ice cubes trays should I buy?
That depends on how you plan to use your ice cube trays. Are you planning to get creative and freeze baby food? Or make funky ice cubes for kid's parties? If all you need ice cubes for is the odd cold drink on a hot day, one tray will be enough. But, anything more than that, you may want two trays or more. Some trays come in a set of two, which can be useful.
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