The summer months bring many seasonal essentials, and this is the perfect time to mix up your caffeine routine with a refreshing iced coffee at home. The versatility of iced coffees make them great served in the morning to jump start your day, or as an afternoon pick-me-up.
Now, you don't need the best iced coffee maker to make a great iced coffee, but if you will be drinking chilled coffees on the reg, a dedicated maker can make it much easier (and more fun) to make.
The market for machines and products that are specific for making iced coffee is limited and has a vast range in prices. To offer optionality, for this feature we have included cold brew maker options too, as the results work well served over ice. As the name suggests, these extract coffee using cold water, rather than heat and pressure, resulting in a different taste. If this isn't for you, our list includes other options that use hot brewing methods instead. Though the coffee needs to cool, it can be faster than cold brew that needs leaving overnight.
All of the iced coffee makers in this guide have been reviewed by the Real Homes team and include models from Ovalware, Mr. Coffee, Keurig and KitchenAid.
For comparison consistency, we used medium roast, coarsely ground coffee and served without sugar or syrups. We wanted to test the process, as well as the taste.
We are confident these machines will make you want to make the switch from hot to cold coffee but should you find yourself still wanting a traditional ‘cup of Joe’, we have you covered with recommendations for the best coffee makers.
You can (and we do) drink iced coffee all year round, no matter the weather. However, if counter space and budget are at a premium, you might want a bit more bang for your buck than a dedicated iced coffee maker, which is where this new model from Keurig comes in. Not only does it make deliciously simple iced drinks, it does what other members of the K-Slim family do and makes tasty coffee in 8, 10 and 12oz cups. As a single-serve maker it is incredibly simple to use and arguably more convenient than some of the other picks on our list.
And it doesn't skimp on taste for the sake of ease either. By brewing over ice it retains flavor meaning this is going to be some of the best iced coffee you get, without the hassle. Our reviewer (and coffee obsessive) Jaclyn says of the brew over ice function: "The feature brews the coffee at a hotter temperature to extract the full flavor before gradually cooling down meaning less ice melt, and a vibrant flavor that's not watered down."
She also liked how you could make some of Keurig's most popular flavored coffees using the brew over ice function for an easy iced drink that rivals your fave coffee house.
The only downside is that though the machine can make coffees up to 12oz in size, the iced function only does a 6oz measure. That said, it is so quick and easy to use, thirsty users could always double up for their desired size. Oh, but we do wish it came in more colors than the one it does.
Real Homes rating: 4.5/5 stars – read the full Keurig K-Slim + ICED Single Serve Coffee Maker review
If you are keen on ready to go, cold coffee and love the idea of being able to pour yourself a cup straight from the fridge, you'll really love KitchenAid's Cold Brew Coffee Maker. It sits directly on your fridge shelf, and has a convenient pour dispenser built into the design.
The KitchenAid Cold Brew maker has a fairly simple brew process but does require using your own measuring cups to fill. The brewing requires adding 9 oz or 250g of coarse ground coffee with 1L plus 8oz of water to the container and stepping in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Once it is complete, you remove the brew basket with interior handle and the result is approximately 28 oz of cold brew, or 14 x 2oz coffee concentrate servings which can be mixed one part coffee with two parts milk or water to serve.
Although the large metal brew basket holds a lot of coffee, a significant amount of liquid is absorbed into the coffee grounds, leaving the final vessel half-full after pulling out the brew basket.
The dispenser design is very easy to handle and its short height makes it easy to fit onto any shelf in the fridge. Our tester placed it on the lower shelf which worked well to be able to use the higher shelves for other groceries but did make using the handle a little awkward to remove it from the refrigerator as doing so requires two hands. The handle does feel secure when carrying the brewer from the counter to the refrigerator, and all aspects of the brewer design feel really sturdy.
This machine also dispenses the coffee easily. The spout is secure, and doesn’t cause any drips. The entire experience with this product really offers the luxury feeling of having cold brew “on tap.” The resulting coffee concentrate has a powerful kick but if you want even more coffee, an XL 38-ounce version of this product is available too.
Real Homes rating: 4.5/5 stars – see more in our guide to the best cold brew makers where we gave it 5/5 for its cold brewing skills
The Ovalware RJ3 Cold Brew Maker makes strong coffee with bold flavours although this could be due to its cold brewing process which is slower and takes place over several hours in the fridge. I was able to use the Ovalware Cold Brew Maker while hosting a Sunday brunch with friends. I served six guests with plenty left over for the rest of the week which was perfect whilst hosting as it kept me out of the kitchen making individual servings.
The pitcher-like shape of the design and removable filter are ideal for serving. I did find the brew process could have been replicated by anyone who already owns a French press however, if you are able to plan ahead and let the vessel steep overnight the result is delightful. Also, because of its 1L capacity, and stronger brew result, you are able to serve more than you would from an average French press. Serving this straight from the fridge also meant that it was perfectly chilled and mimicked an iced coffee while it was not necessary to pour over ice and dilute the flavour. This was ultimately impressive and crowd pleasing to my guests.
Real Homes rating: 4/5 stars for iced coffee and 5/5 for cold brew
I admittedly have a soft spot for filter brewed coffee. I love the nostalgia associated with the sounds of water boiling in a machine and the consistent drip once it is ready. The Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker offers the simple luxury of fresh brewed, filter drip coffee in just a few minutes with a portable tumbler to take the single serving pour away with you. The instruction manual outlines that you can use your own drinking mug or cup, but one is included in the box and fits perfectly into the depression in the design of this iced coffee maker under the spout. The tumbler included is an ideal 22oz size however, the container, lid and straw are not dishwasher safe which was disappointing.
Although this product lacks design features for specifically making iced coffee as it does not brew chilled nor does it store cold for immediate dispensing, this could be an attractive feature for anyone who likes both hot and iced coffee. Using a Mr. Iced Coffee Maker, you can brew straight into an empty mug or cup, rather than over ice and add your favourite milk or sweetener for a great cup of hot coffee. Or, you can instead put a tumbler filled with ice underneath for your iced drink.
Compared to the other iced coffee makers we tested, this product produced a less bold coffee flavour and was more of a true medium roast rather than a bold dark roast. The reusable nylon coffee filter was a delightful surprise as I don’t usually keep paper filters in the house and didn’t have one on hand. This is also more environmentally friendly. If you already have a coffee maker, you are better off saving money by using what you already own and serving over ice. Another product from the brand is the Mr. Coffee® Single-Serve Frappe™, Iced, and Hot Coffee Maker and Blender - that has a blender attached to the machine and is likely just the unique design element the Iced Coffee maker on its own is missing. The blender design does come with a hit on the price tag however, $119.99 versus less than $50 for the iced coffee maker.
Real Homes rating: 3/5 stars
How to choose the best iced coffee maker
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When searching for the right iced coffee maker for you, it is important to consider the machine’s volume and your lifestyle. If you enjoy entertaining and like the idea of having the ability to offer your guests an iced coffee, a larger vessel that can easily serve many people may be ideal for you. You should also consider any other coffee products you already own such as a standard filter brew coffee maker or French press that could do the job just as well.
The limited variety of products on the market specifically for making iced coffee means that one of the products you already own could produce a similar experience to iced coffee making dedicated products. However, if you prefer your coffee iced and regularly order them from cafes, you can enjoy significant savings and time if you have one of these iced coffee makers ready to pour and enjoy straight from the fridge.
How we tested these iced coffee makers
Several weeks of market research were conducted to find iced coffee makers available on the market. All of the coffee makers ultimately chosen for testing and included in this review were experienced first hand by the Real Homes team with me using most of them in my own home for several weeks. Each tester used their own blend of medium roast ground coffee to create concoctions to their satisfaction, so the makers were tested on ease of use, cleaning and versatility.