The most important factors to consider when looking for the best ice tray are the tray’s material and design. You should also explore the various shapes and sizes offered. To help you shop, I’ve dug into the chilly world of ice trays and discovered some of the best products available on the market.
In this article, I’ll give you an in-depth look at the top ice trays that drinkers and bar owners love. I’ll also tackle some queries you might have regarding this sometimes overlooked yet essential bar tool.
Keeping drinks cold is as simple as putting solidifying ice in the freezer. But there’s more to the simple concept of ice — think of sizes and shapes and how slow or fast they melt in your drinks.
While most people are content with regular ice cubes and trays, a true savvy drinker understands which types of ice go with certain kinds of beverages.
And we’ve all had those bulky plastic ice trays that are very hard to remove the ice from. The first step to making better ice is to get rid of them. This means freeing your well-crafted drinks from the cloudy, crescent-shaped ice, which is not only unappealing but also melts quickly, leaving your drinks diluted.
To find your ideal ice tray, you must first decide what you need for your drinks. For whiskey lovers, there are ice molds that produce huge, clear spheres and cubes. Small ice trays are also available for everyday usage. You can also find ice mold trays that create 3D shapes if you want to add a unique touch to your drinks.
I’ve spent days reading online reviews and gaining insights from expert reports to help you navigate the world of ice cubes. Many first-hand users gave each ice tray a rating based on its ease of use, size, shape, flexibility, and stackability. Below are the top trays that made it to my top picks.
My Top Picks
|Best Overall||DOQAUS |
Ice Cube Trays
– Makes 14 niced-size ice cubes per tray
– Food grade, BPA free, and dishwasher safe
– Comes in a range of colors
|Best Design||W&P Peak |
Everyday Ice Tray
– Silicone-wrapped steel interior rim
– Makes 1.25-inch ice cubes
– BPA free, lead-free, and dishwasher safe
– Comes in a range of colors
|Best for Whiskey||Adoric Large Cube|
and Sphere Ice Trays
|– Silicone- Makes 1.8-inch ice balls|
– Makes 2-inch ice cubes
– Food grade, BPA free, and dishwasher safe
– Comes in a range of colors
|Best Stackable||Vremi Stackable |
Ice Cube Trays
|– Silicone- Slip resistant, BPA free, and dishwasher-safe|
– Comes in a range of colors
|Best 3D Ice Mold||Shaped 3D Skull |
Ice Mold Tray
|– Silicone- Makes 3D skull ice balls|
– BPA free, food grade, leak-free, and dishwasher safe
|Best Mini||Arrow Ice Cube Trays||– Plastic|
– Makes 60 small cubes per tray
– Food-safe, BPA free, and dishwasher safe
|Budget Pick||Kitch Ice Cube Trays||– Plastic|
– Makes 16 nice-sized ice cubes per tray
– BPA free and dishwasher safe
The Best Ice Cube Trays for Cold, Fresh Drinks
There are tons of ice trays on the market. But not all of them are durable and reliable enough to produce perfectly shaped ice cubes and spheres. That being said, here are some of the best ice cube trays for making high-quality ice cubes and ice balls without excessive twisting and breaking.
DOQAUS Ice Cube Trays – Best Overall
The DOQAUS Ice Cube Trays come in a set of four durable silicone trays with each making 14 nice-sized ice cubes. It’s designed with ease of use in mind, allowing you to easily remove the ice cubes.
Each tray comes with a lid that is equipped with two lifters, making it easier for you to detach them from the trays. Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) material is used in the silicone ice cube trays and lids, which makes them safe to use.
What I like about this set is that the trays have a wide bottom, and this further helps remove the ice at ease. There’s also enough space between each cube compartment, allowing you to pop the cubes nicely. This eliminates the need to bend or twist the trays.
This ice tray set also comes in a range of vibrant colors. It would be a great way to make ideal size ice cubes while avoiding mishaps and the freezing of excess water. Also, since each tray comes with a lid, you can easily stack them in your freezer.
• Includes 4 trays; great value for money
• Makes a lot of ice cubes at once
• Equipped with lids that help prevent odor absorption
• Users find the ice cubes too small
W&P Peak Everyday Ice Tray – Best Design
When it comes to visual appeal, the W&P Peak Everyday Ice Tray gets the sash for best design because of its simplicity and functionality — two qualities that aren’t often seen in a standard ice tray!
What I like about this silicone tray is the streamlined design and the brand name’s engraving on its lid. And this ice tray isn’t just all looks; it also boasts durability. It’s equipped with a silicon-wrapped interior rim that frames the tray to provide strength and rigidity for easy filling and mess-free transport to the freezer.
If you’ve ever cracked a plastic tray while collecting the ice, a flexible silicone tray like this one could be a wonderful option. Its flexible, low-effort ice molds produce 12 ice cubes which measure 1.25 inches and are small enough to toss into your drink on the rocks. But also large enough to avoid watered-down drinks.
Based on the reviews from users, the ice tray creates some of the finest and most uniform ice you can make in a household freezer. And although not completely closing onto the tray, prevents any freezer odor from infiltrating your ice cubes.
Since the molds are flexible, you can effortlessly release the cubes, but they tend to cling to the bottom of the molds, occasionally. So you can expect imperfect ice cubes at times. Just a thing to keep in mind.
This beautiful silicone ice cube tray is stackable, allowing you to save space in the freezer. It also comes in a variety of neutral and colorful hues such as blue, charcoal, marble, and speckles.
• Beautiful and chic design
• Durable construction
• Offers easy ice removal
• Stackable and space-saving
• Ice cube tends to cling to the bottom of the molds
Adoric Large Cube and Sphere Ice Trays – Best for Whiskey
Great for both low and high ball drinkers, the Adoric Large Cube and Sphere Ice Trays may be a great option. This set of spherical ice and ice cube trays is made of sturdy silicone. Plus they come in a variety of lovely colors.
These easy-release trays allow you to easily twist and pop the ice cubes and balls from the bottom. Each ice cube tray has six enhanced 1.8-inch spherical ice balls. Which makes it ideal for cooling artisan cocktails, iced coffee, Mojitos, and more.
The ice cube tray creates six 2-inch larger cubes that melt slowly, making them great for cooling whiskeys, Bourbon, Old Fashioned, or Blended Whiskey.
I like how the flexible, nonstick silicone material shapes the bottom. The compartments are also perfectly spaced apart, allowing you to easily collect the ice cubes and spheres and requiring you to only pop them out from the bottom.
Also, the large ice cubes perfectly fit in a range of glassware and add an aesthetic element to your drinks. And since they make slowly melting ices, you’ll enjoy flavorful and refreshing drinks to the very last drop.
• Makes large ice cubes and ice balls which melt slowly
• Offers easy ice removal with a push on the bottom of the molds
• Fits in a range of glassware
• Makes any drink look attractive
• Some users find the sphere mods hard to use
Vremi Stackable Ice Cube Trays – Best Stackable
Stackable ice trays are ideal for freezers with limited space. And I’m sure no one wants to deal with the hassle of placing bulky trays (this is why you ditch the plastic ice trays that came with your fridge). But thank goodness for the Vremi Stackable Ice Cube Trays, you won’t have to worry about limited freezer space.
These ice trays are some of the most colorful sets I’ve looked at. They are among the most stackable as well. This set includes two multicolored trays made of high-quality silicone. Each tray can store eight large ice cubes, which take longer to melt.
What amazes me is that each tray is compact yet delivers decent-sized ice cubes that go well with various types of drinks. The size of the ice these trays make is perfect for keeping your drinks cool without diluting them too much.
These trays feature sturdy lids, and that’s why they nicely stack on top of one another. The lids also keep water and other liquids from spilling, which is something that many plastic covers struggle with. However, several consumers found the tray to be overly fragile, making it difficult to remove the ice cubes.
• Stackable and space-saving
• Compact enough to sit nicely in a freezer
• Makes large ices cubes
• Handy, sturdy lids
• Some users find the trays too flimsy
• Removing ice cubes might get tricky
Shaped 3D Skull Ice Mold Tray – Best 3D Ice Mold
Ice trays that make unique-looking ice balls are an excellent way to jazz up your drinks. The Shaped 3D Skull Ice Mold Tray makes spooky ice balls that bring fun to special occasions. This silicone mold is great for Tiki-style drinks and Halloween-inspired cocktails.
The intricacies in the skull are what I appreciate about this ice mold tray. And the ice balls keep their shapes even as they melt in your drinks. They also melt slowly, which makes them perfect for whiskeys or any drinks that you wish to enjoy over a long conversation.
The two halves are both flexible silicones and break apart quite simply, and are made of durable silicone. A user review even praised the 3D skulls for how they catch the lights when placed in a Bourbon glass, making them look so fascinating.
• Makes fun 3D skull ice balls
• Super flexible
• Ice balls melt slowly
• The top doesn’t lock snugly with the bottom tray
Arrow Ice Cube Trays – Best Mini
If you’re looking to make smaller ice cubes for smoothies, the Arrow Ice Cube Trays might be a nice option. It comes on a set of three ice cube trays. And each nugget ice tray makes 60 small rounded bottom cubes.
This set of small ice cube trays makes mini ice bullets that are so tiny you might just end up sucking on a cube or two on a hot day. These trays also offer you an easy alternative to making crushed ice for smoothies and iced coffee.
The trays, however, are not made of silicone. They’re crafted from hard plastic, so you can’t expect them to bend or twist. Also, they do not come with lids, although the maker claims they are stackable. Which I doubt unless you lay them on top of already frozen ice cubes.
• Makes lots of nugget ice cubes in one go
• Great alternative for crushed ice
• Hard plastic material makes the tray hard to twist
Kitch Ice Cube Trays – Budget Pick
This set of two ice trays may be a perfect replacement if you no longer have the ice tray that came with your fridge when you bought it — which, I imagine, cracked right away. Plus, it’s very budget-friendly which is perfect for household use.
The Kitch Ice Cube Trays are made of plastic, but unlike your typical hard plastic ice tray, they are completely twistable, making it easy for you to extract the ice cubes. Each tray makes 16 nice-sized ice cubes which are ideal for daily use.
In terms of design or aesthetics, there isn’t much to expect from these trays. They are simple ice trays that serve their purpose.
• Twistable trays allow for easy ice removal
• Makes lots of ice cubes
What To Look For in an Ice Tray
Before buying an ice tray, there are a few key factors you should consider. You must look into the ice tray’s material, design, cube size and shape, and more. Keep reading below to learn more.
Ice trays come in a range of materials like plastic, silicone, and metal. Traditionally, ice cube trays were crafted from hard plastic. Think of that free ice cube tray that comes with your fridge when you bought it. Those trays are too hard and you have to carry out a lot of tapping or running the tray under water.
These days, ice trays don’t necessitate such hassles as even some of the best ice trays are made of plastics. They are often mixed with other flexible ingredients in their construction. But since they are plastic trays, they are still more prone to shattering and breaking.
Steel trays, though, make it the hardest to remove the ice cubes. But they are sturdy enough to withstand splitting or shattering over time. There are ice trays that are made of a combination of silicone and steel. The W&P Peak Everyday Ice Tray, for example, has a silicone-wrapped steel frame for easy transport and added durability.
My personal favorite is a silicone ice cube tray because it is more flexible, allowing you to bend it to easily remove the ice cubes from each compartment. The downside is that silicone trays will absorb the odors from your freezer over time.
Keep in mind that your ice cube tray will spend most of its time in your freezer. So, it is important to search for a tray that you can conveniently stack among pizzas as well as other freezer supplies.
Also, a lid can definitely help you stack them better. And it will keep odors and other foul freezer smells out of your ice cubes. Just make sure that the lids are tightly secured to minimize spillage.
Cube Size and Shape
Ice cube trays offer a variety of shapes and sizes.
You’ll find ice cube trays with tiny compartments. These trays are ideal for crushed ice that compliments Mojitos and Juleps, as well as iced coffees and smoothies.
There are also average-sized ice trays that are great for all kinds of drinks, as well as large ice molds that make bigger cubes and spheres that melt far slower than an ordinary ice cube. You’ll also find artistically designed cubes, such as the Shaped 3D Skull Ice Mold Tray which adds a bit of spooky twist to drinks.
Ice Tray FAQs
What is an ice cube tray?
An ice cube tray is used for freezing water with the shallow molded compartments. You fill the molds with water and put them in a freezer until it freezes into ice, producing ice cubes or ice spheres. Ice trays are typically made of plastic or silicone and are generally flexible enough for easy ice removal.
What is the use of ice tray?
Ice cube trays are used to freeze water into ice for cooling drinks like cocktails, juices, and more. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit a range of applications. Traditional ice trays freeze water in square, rectangular and circular shapes. Some ice trays even come in unique molds to offer a creative touch to drinks.
Are silicone ice trays better?
Silicone trays are much more flexible than both metal and plastic ones. And they’re sturdy but tend to absorb foul freezer odors. When you use silicone ice trays, make sure to wash them after use.
What kind of water makes clear ice?
You can make clear ice using distilled water, boiled water, or water from a reverse-osmosis (RO) system. The results may not be as clear as you might expect, but the ice won’t look cloudy. If you want to make clear ice, the process of freezing is more important than the water used.
How do you clean and maintain an ice cube tray?
It’s usually a good idea to clean your ice trays after each usage. Steel and plastic trays are easy to clean, however, silicone trays are more difficult. This is due to the fact that they absorb odors better than any material, and they can pass that smell into your ice cubes.
If your silicone tray has absorbed bad odors from your freezer, you can mix a pinch of baking soda with warm water and scrub the tray.
Do some materials freeze ice faster than others?
The pace with which your ice freezes is determined by the size of your cube and the material of your tray. The faster the tray freezes, the thinner it is. Similarly, the smaller the ice cube, the quicker it will solidify.
My favorite is the DOQAUS Ice Cube Trays because it’s a great value for money and makes a lot of ice cubes at once. I also love that they are equipped with transparent lids that allow you to stack them and help prevent odor absorption. The trays are also spill-proof, which is something that a lot of ice trays lack.
If you’re looking for something that is both visually appealing and functional, then you may want to consider the W&P Peak Everyday Ice Tray. It’s my personal favorite tray in terms of design and I think it’s beautiful and chic. Its silicone-wrapped construction also adds to the durability, which I appreciate. Plus, it’s stackable!
For whiskey fans, maybe it’s about time you switch to large, slow-melting ices. The Adoric Large Cube and Sphere Ice Trays make large ice cubes and ice balls that are perfect for low and highball glasses. The trays also offer easy ice removal with a push on the bottom of the molds.
Also, freezer space can be an issue at times, so you might need easily stackable ice trays like the Vremi Stackable Ice Cube Trays. These two colorful ice trays come with sturdy lids that not only keep odors out, but are also designed to sit nicely in your freezer.
And you can’t have fun without the Shaped 3D Skull Ice Mold Tray. This tray makes fun 3D skull ice balls that melt slowly and is super flexible.
For small cubes, the Arrow Ice Cube Trays might not be worth considering. These trays make lots of nugget ice cubes and are a great alternative for crushed ice. But if you want something easier to bend and cheaper, then the Kitch Ice Cube Tray could be a wonderful pick.