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The Best Ice Cream Maker - 2021

Last updated on January 29, 2021

We looked at the top 12 Ice Cream Makers and dug through the reviews from 85 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Ice Cream Makers.

Best Ice Cream Maker

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Our Picks For The Top Ice Cream Makers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Maker, 1.5-Quart

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Cuisinart

Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Maker, 1.5-Quart

Overall Take

Multiple Color OptionsThis ice cream maker is available in fire engine red, a delightful pink and bright white.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Williams Sonoma, New Kitchen Life, Food & Wine and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Best Buy.
Pros
" The price is good but the ice cream is great! Enough said."
  Comes With Recipes

Hamilton Beach Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

Hamilton Beach

Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

Overall Take

Fully AutomaticIncluded with this ice cream maker are 20 fun recipes to try.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus BestReviews, Your Best Digs, Top Ten Reviews, Family Living Today, Top Best 10 Reviews, The Spruce Eats and 5 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Can make up to 4 quarts of ice cream and other frozen desserts in about 40 minutes. Low price. Owner's manual has 20 recipes."
Cons
"We tested the Hamilton Beach – 68330N, a popular, inexpensive ice-and-salt model, that we found to be charming but messy and inconvenient. The unit’s motor simply didn’t have the power to whip enough air into the ice creams and sorbet...."
  Serves A Crowd

Nostalgia Electric Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

Nostalgia

Electric Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

Overall Take

Large CapacityA high-capacity ice cream maker that's easy to clean after you serve a crowd.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Consumer Search, Family Living Today, Top Best 10 Reviews, Engadget, The Spruce Eats and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" The Nostalgia ICMP400 generates good results for a very low price. It requires ice and salt to freeze the mixture."
Cons
"However, this machine does work best with Nostalgia Ice Cream Mixes, so there is somewhat less room to experiment than with other devices. Some customers also complained that the machine had difficulty with large amounts of added ingredients. If you’re..."
  Self-Refrigerating Pick

Lello Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker

Lello

Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker

Overall Take

High-Quality TreatsThe convenience of self-refrigeration and a 1.5-quart capacity make this ice cream maker a winner.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Top Best 10 Reviews, ratingle, Sur La Table, Your Best Digs, Engadget and 7 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" In our tests the large, sleek machine churned out smooth and creamy batches of ice cream in less than 30 minutes, the fastest of any model we tried. And our tasters unanimously voted its ice cream the smoothest and best-flavored."
Cons
"This is slightly heavy."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
19

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the ice cream makers available to purchase.
12

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

85

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Williams Sonoma, New Kitchen Life, Food & Wine, Best Consumer Reviews, BestReviews.

53,573

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 12 Ice Cream Makers and also dug through the reviews from 85 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Ice Cream Makers.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Maker, 1.5-Quart


Our Expert Score

9.8
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
9,452 user reviews

Our Take

With this ice cream maker, you'll be able to serve your guests frozen desserts in less than 20 minutes. The machine has a double-insulated freezer bowl, which means you won't need to add any ice. Since the ice cream maker is fully automatic, all you need to do is add the ingredients.

What other experts liked

The price is good but the ice cream is great! Enough said.
- Williams Sonoma
Pretty simple to use and comes with a 3 year warranty. It is also the lowest priced Cuisnart ice cream maker.
- New Kitchen Life
Simple and easy to use design, has an open top to facilitate pouring and makes ice cream in about 20 minutes.
- Reviewed
It has a powerful motor, unique mixing paddle and a double insulated freezer bowl. It makes ice cream or yogurt in about 20 minutes.
- Food & Wine

What other experts didn't like

To date, I have been unable to make anything in this product without ice crystals forming. Everything I've made tastes as miserable as ice milk that has thawed and been refrozen.
- Williams Sonoma
Some don't like the long pre-freezing time as it could last up to 24 hours unless you have a spare bowl.
- New Kitchen Life
Small capacity at 1.5 quarts.
- Reviewed

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Nostalgia Electric Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

Our Expert Score

9.3
8 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.5
1,338 user reviews

Our Take

If you're looking for a high-capacity ice cream maker, this model is the one to choose. It can make up to 4 quarts of tasty ice cream and is easy to clean once finished. You won't have the convenience of a compressor with this model, though. So, you'll have to freeze the mixing bowl and add salt and ice to get your mixture to the right temperature.

What other experts liked

The Nostalgia ICMP400 generates good results for a very low price. It requires ice and salt to freeze the mixture.
- New York Times Wirecutter
It has an electric motor, so there's no hand-cranking required, and it uses ice and rock salt rather than a gel-filled, pre-frozen canister.
- Consumer Search
This machine features a powerful electric motor and does all the churning, so you don’t have to. It also has an easy-to-clean plastic bucket to make clean up extremely easy as well. Plus, with a see-thru lid, you can sit back and watch as it makes your ice cream for...
- Family Living Today
January 9, 2019 | Full review
Easy to clean and works quickly. An extra container is included and soft-serve ice cream can be prepared at 30 min.
- Top Best 10 Reviews
This simple machine can make up to 4 quarts of ice cream, easily twice the capacity of the others. Though the final product was a bit icy, it wasn't the biggest offender in our testing lineup, and the flavor of the cream really came out in the finish.
- Engadget
August 20, 2017 | Full review
For easy transportation, the machine has a handle and the motor locks when power is off, so all parts stay secure. The interior wipes clean easily when you’re done.
- The Spruce Eats
February 28, 2019 | Full review
This particular model is extremely affordable, which means that you can easily purchase one even if you’re on a limited budget.
- Sweet Ice Cream Love
The added benefit to the Nostalgia ice cream machine is that it’s huge. You can make a full gallon of ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt in half-an-hour, once you’ve layered your ingredients, the salt and ice into the chilled aluminum canister. That makes it great for family gatherings or...
- Groom and Style

What other experts didn't like

The resulting ice cream is a little icy.
- New York Times Wirecutter
However, this machine does work best with Nostalgia Ice Cream Mixes, so there is somewhat less room to experiment than with other devices. Some customers also complained that the machine had difficulty with large amounts of added ingredients. If you’re interested in sophisticated, flavorful ice cream, you might want to...
- Family Living Today
January 9, 2019 | Full review
Auto shut off not available
- Top Best 10 Reviews
This machine isn't designed for you to add mix-ins while it's running.
- Engadget
August 20, 2017 | Full review
Some users have claimed that they got below-standard results whenever they tried to churn the ice cream at room temperature and consequently found that they needed to constantly freeze the mixing bowl. Also, unlike professional grade appliances, this ice cream maker does require a salt water mixture for best results.
- Sweet Ice Cream Love
Cleaning the Nostalgia ICMP400 can be a pain since it’s not dishwasher-safe and the rock salt can harden to the container pretty quickly. It’s also very sensitive to “not being cold enough” and you might end up with ice cream soup if you’re not careful.
- Groom and Style

Overall Product Rankings

Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Maker, 1.5-Quart

1. Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Maker, 1.5-Quart

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 7

Hamilton Beach Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

2. Hamilton Beach Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 13

Nostalgia Electric Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

3. Nostalgia Electric Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 10

Lello Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker

4. Lello Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 14

Whynter ICM-15LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 1.6-Quart

5. Whynter ICM-15LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 1.6-Quart

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 8

Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

7. Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 19

Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker

8. Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 10

Maxi-Matic Manual Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

9. Maxi-Matic Manual Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 3

Nostalgia CICM2WB Ice Cream Maker

10. Nostalgia CICM2WB Ice Cream Maker

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 5

White Mountain Appalachian Series Ice Cream Maker

11. White Mountain Appalachian Series Ice Cream Maker

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 6

Whynter ICM-200LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 2-Quart

12. Whynter ICM-200LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 2-Quart

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 6

Our Ice Cream Maker Findings


Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Maker, 1.5-Quart

What We Liked: With this ice cream maker, you’ll be able to serve your guests frozen desserts in less than 20 minutes. The machine has a double-insulated freezer bowl, which means you won’t need to add any ice. Since the ice cream maker is fully automatic, all you need to do is add the ingredients.


Hamilton Beach Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

What We Liked: With this ice cream maker, you’ll be able to create everything from ice cream to gelato to sherbert. The unit is designed to work automatically, so all you need to do is add the ingredients. It even stops by itself once the ice cream is ready to eat.


Nostalgia Electric Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart

What We Liked: If you’re looking for a high-capacity ice cream maker, this model is the one to choose. It can make up to 4 quarts of tasty ice cream and is easy to clean once finished. You won’t have the convenience of a compressor with this model, though. So, you’ll have to freeze the mixing bowl and add salt and ice to get your mixture to the right temperature.


Lello Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker

What We Liked: For delicious-tasting treats, you can’t go wrong with this ice cream maker. It produces high-quality ice cream every time. Although this unit can only make 1.5 quarts, that should be plenty for an after-dinner family treat. You’ll get the convenience of self-refrigeration, which means you can fire it up at a moment’s notice.


Whynter ICM-15LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 1.6-Quart

What We Liked: The self-refrigerating ice cream maker is easy to use, allowing you to just fire it up whenever you want a tasty treat. This machine is among the quietest to operate, so you won’t have to worry about its churning interrupting your get-together. Its 1.6-quart capacity makes it easy to whip up dessert for your family or a small group of friends.

Our Ice Cream Maker Buying Guide

Homemade ice cream is a treasured part of summertime fun. All you need is a good ice cream machine and some ingredients, and you’ll have a deliciously creamy treat. Today’s ice cream makers are built to make the perfect frozen treat with minimal effort. Just fire it up, choose your settings and wait for results.

But not all ice cream makers are built the same. The design plays heavily into how the final product tastes, so it’s important to know what type of ice cream you prefer before you buy. You’ll also find some machines can tackle a wide range of ice cream types, including gelato and sorbet, while others are limited to ice cream with a soft-serve consistency.

One issue commonly seen with homemade ice cream from these machines is a grainy consistency. This is a result of ice crystals that get in the ice cream. If you’re looking for that desired creamy taste, you’ll need to look for a machine that minimizes ice crystal buildup.

There are three major types of ice cream makers. One requires you to add ice and salt, while another has you freezing the bowl ahead of time. The third comes with a compressor, which means you can fire it up and start making ice cream. While the compressor model sounds great, it can also be more expensive, which is a consideration if you’re on a budget.

If you only plan to make ice cream for your own immediate family, you may not have to worry much about capacity. But for those backyard summer barbecues or family reunions, a high-capacity ice cream maker will come in handy. Instead of having to sit by the ice cream maker cranking out batch after batch, you can make plenty of servings for everyone at once and go back to having fun.

DWYM Fun Fact

Before refrigeration, ice cream was a challenging food, only available to the elite. The dessert is thought to have first been consumed back in the fourth century B.C., with Alexander the Great reportedly enjoying snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar. But not until 1660 was ice cream consumed by those other than the very wealthy, rising in popularity in the 1800s with the invention of insulated ice houses.

In 1851, a Baltimore milkman named Jacob Fussell opened the first ice cream manufacturing factory, which led to more locations soon after. When soda fountains began emerging in the late 1800s, ice cream soda popularized ice cream, and a nationwide trend was born.

The Ice Cream Maker Tips and Advice

  • The top reason to invest in an ice cream maker is to make ice cream that tastes far and above what you could buy in the freezer section of your grocery store. For that reason, taste will be an important part of your decision-making process. Look for a model that creates smooth ice cream in delicious flavors. You’ll need to watch out for ice crystal buildup, though, which can keep the ice cream from being as creamy. You’ll also need to experiment a little if you want to make special recipes like gelato.
  • If you don’t mind sticking strictly to the manufacturer’s ice cream mixes, the Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker can cook up some yummy batches.
  • If you’ve ever used an ice cream maker, you know they can be noisy. This isn’t a big deal for those times when you’re making ice cream for the family. However, when you’ve gathered all your friends in the backyard for a fun cookout, the whir of the machine can serve as a distraction. Look for a model that runs quietly, as there are a few that meet this criteria on the market.
  • At the end of each use, you’ll have to put your machine in storage until the next time you need it. Unfortunately, cleanup with some ice cream makers can be complicated and frustrating. The Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker has an interior you can just wipe down when you’re finished, but it’s important to act quickly since the rock salt can be difficult to remove once it hardens. Some units are not only easy to clean, but if the unit experiences clogs, they also have an auto-stop function to give you time to get things cleaned out and working again.
  • Although they can be pricier, a compressor-based ice cream maker can come in handy. Look for a model that is self-refrigerating, so you can just start making ice cream when you’re ready. The Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker requires you to freeze the mixing bowl and add ice and salt in order to freeze the mixture. Fail to keep it cold enough, and you’ll likely end up with a milkshake rather than scoop-worthy ice cream.
  • Some ice cream makers have a keep-cool function. That means you can get it started and walk away, knowing that your ice cream will still be delicious even if you don’t return immediately.
  • If you plan to make ice cream for large groups, you’ll want to make sure you choose one with enough capacity to handle it. The Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker leads the pack with its ability to make up to 4 quarts of ice cream. The Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Maker, 1.5-Quart can only make 1.5 quarts.
  • With peak capacity, though, comes another issue. The Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker is large and heavy, at 15 by 17 by 16 inches. However, it weighs only 6.4 pounds, compared to other models that are a whopping 27 pounds. This is something to consider if you’re thinking about storage and portability.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She's also a foodie who loves trying out new cooking techniques and tools. She is addicted to meal preparation kits and regularly shares photos on social media of her creations. Her favorite thing about traveling is trying out new restaurants and tasting different cuisines.