Shopping

Best iced coffee makers 2024 – tested by a barista

I've found the best iced coffee makers on the market

One of the best iced coffee makers, the Nespresso Vertuo, with a Leggero iced coffee
(Image credit: Nespresso)
Best iced coffee makers 2024: Jump Menu

De'Longhi Eletta Explore on the countertop making an iced coffee with cups of coffee around it

(Image credit: De'Longhi)

1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best drip: Breville Precision Brewer
3. Best automatic: De'Longhi Eletta Explore
4. Best espresso: De'Longhi La Specialista
5. Best single-serve: Nespresso Vertuo Next
6. Best for range: Ninja Dual Brew
7. Best budget: Keurig K-Slim and Iced
8. How to choose
9. How we test

If you're anything like me, the occasional iced latte (with almond milk and a pump of vanilla, if you're asking) may have moved from a Friday treat to an everyday essential. When the weather heats up and you can't face a heavy, hot coffee, iced coffee is the perfect way to keep cool and caffeinated. 

However, the costs of a daily iced coffee can quickly add up. Switching to making your own can save you time and money, whilst impressing any guests at the weekends.

Before we deep dive into the details of my favorite iced coffee makers, I want to clear one thing up. These machines are completely different to the best cold brew coffee makers. I've written an article on the differences between cold brew and iced coffee, but if you want the headlines: iced coffee is quick to make, but more acidic. Cold brew takes at least 18 hours, but will taste smoother and sweeter.

I and a team of coffee experts have tested a range of the best coffee makers on the market. Some specialise in making iced coffee, others simply happen to include it in their repertoire. Whatever you're looking for, you'll find the very best here.

The quick list

The best iced coffee makers 2024

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best drip coffee maker for iced coffee

It's smart, it's smooth: it's the best

Specifications

Cups: 12
Dimensions: 12.4 x 6.7 x 15.7”
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Generous capacity
+
Two filter baskets for range of tastes
+
Pre-set modes for brewing beginners

Reasons to avoid

-
Tricky to clean
-
On the more expensive side
Buy it if

✅ You need capacity: this brews up to twelve cups of coffee
✅ You like lighter coffee: drip coffee is more delicate
✅ You're new to brewing: this is easy to use

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're on a budget: this is more expensive
❌ You like cold foam: there's no milk frothing function
You're a reluctant cleaner: this is tricky to deep clean

The bottom line

🔎 Breville Thermal Brewer: this brews a concentrate designed to be drunk over ice. It has all the delicate notes of iced coffee, just made in a filter coffee maker.

Hear us out on this one. It looks a little strange to have a drip coffee maker in at number one, but this made some of the most delicious iced coffee our experts made in their tests.

That's because Breville's drip coffee maker is one of the greatest of all time. It comes with a versatile range of brewing settings, from single-serve to cold brew, but the one we're really here for is the 'over ice' setting. This brews your coffee like a concentrate, so that when it is poured over ice, the ice melts, cooling it and diluting it to the perfect ratio.  However, the maximum amount you can make is four cups. It sounds a little limiting, but it means you'll savor every sip even more.

The Thermal Brewer is signature Breville. It's sleek and would look good in a modern kitchen, alongside other stainless steel appliances. Lets face it though, this isn't winning any beauty pageants. The team have ever so slightly prioritized function over form. Luckily, it's slender, so even though this has a 12 cup capacity, it doesn't demand much space. You can put it in a corner or cupboard and it won't become the focal point of your coffee station.

Anyway, what The Thermal Brewer lacks in looks it more than makes up for in functionality and durability. This feels like it would last you for a lifetime; the pre-sets are easy to navigate; and this boasts two different filter baskets, which can deliver on a range of flavors. If you're new to making iced coffee, all you have to do is select the setting and the Thermal Brewer can do the rest. If you're a borderline-barista, you can control the temperature, bloom speed, and flow rate. Once you've tinkered and tailored this to suit your tastes, you can save your settings, so that you get your favorite flavors every single time.

Our experts' biggest gripes were that this is tricky to clean and pricy. A combination of the showerhead and fixed reservoir mean that you have to get in some awkward positions with your brush if you want your coffee maker to sparkle. This is also expensive, so it's not one for those who are on a budget.

You can find more detail in our Breville Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker review.

The best single-serve coffee maker for iced coffee

A classic, unbeatable single-serve machine

Specifications

Tank size: 38.7oz./ 1.1ltr
Pressure: 19bar
Dimensions: H31.7 x W14.28 x D42.9 cm / 12.4 x 5.5 x 16.88in

Reasons to buy

+
Compact design
+
Made with recycled plastic
+
Over 30 different pod flavors

Reasons to avoid

-
Need to buy Aeroccino separately
-
Only compatible with Vertuo pods
Buy it if

✅ You're short on space: the Next is svelte and slim
✅ You want speedy coffee:
this is quick to brew
✅ You want a Nespresso:
the Next is the best of the best

Don't buy it if:

❌ You worry about your waste: pods are tricky to dispose of
❌ You like milky coffee:
you have to buy the Aeroccino separately
You already have a favorite flavor pod: you have to buy special Vertuo, over-ice pods

The bottom line

🔎 Nespresso Vertuo Next: you won't get quicker iced coffee than this, but you need to keep buying Vertuo pods.

Since Nespresso makes the best single-serve coffee makers on the market, they make the best single-serve iced coffee makers too. All you need to do is change the standard pods for iced coffee pods, like the Ice Forte, available at Nespresso. Thankfully, Nespresso's iced pods make really nice, iced coffee. I've tested both their cold brew, iced, and hot pods and can vouch for them all: they hit on every flavor note which they promise: a rarity for single-serve machines.

The Vertuo Next is a single-serve classic. It has a sleek and slender design, is easy to use, and brewed my iced coffee in under a minute. There's very little to complain about. The only hitch you might find is that Nespresso's Vertuo machines are exclusively compatible with Nespresso's Vertuo pods. To be fair, they make over thirty varieties (not all of them are designed to be iced), but you have to use Nespresso's Vertuo pods. That means you can't grind your own coffee into a reusable pod, or opt for a special cold brew K-cup, for example. 

You also won't be able make cold foam for your iced coffees unless you buy a this in a bundle or you invest in Nespresso's Aeroccino, available at Walmart, separately. The Aeroccino froths cold milk really well, even on plant-based options, but it won't be included by default. 

If you're not interested in Nespresso, it was a tough decision to choose the Vertuo Next over the Morning Coffee Machine. This offers more flexibility and versatility than the Nespresso, but you have to be very tech savvy to make the most of your money.

You can find out more in our Nespresso Vertuo Next review.

The most versatile iced-coffee maker

3. Ninja DualBrew Pro Speciality Coffee Maker

Iced coffee across capsule and ground coffee

Specifications

Dimensions: 9.13" x 11.39" x 15.54"
Weight: 9.69 pounds
Capacity: 96 fluid ounces
Settings: Grounds, pods, classic, rich, over ice, specialty, hot water, milk frother

Reasons to buy

+
Compatible with capsules and grounds
+
4 brew styles
+
Frothing tool
+
Removable reservoir

Reasons to avoid

-
Large footprint
-
No integrated grinder
-
Not perfect on vegan milks
Buy it if

✅ You want options: this has four brew settings
✅ You switch between pod and fresh coffee:
this is compatible with both
✅ You're on a budget:
this is reasonably priced

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're short on space: this has a large footprint
❌ You want speciality flavors:
the coffee can be a little flat
You drink plant-based milks: this can't froth them well

The bottom line

🔎 Ninja DualBrew Pro: this covers a range of brewing options, but the best function is over ice. It's great for shopping on a budget, but not the most premium model available.

The Ninja DualBrew Pro boasts an extensive range of coffee options. It can brew coffee in classic styles, as well as a rich, speciality, and over ice function. If you like an iced latte, you're in for a treat. The over ice function brews concentrated coffee, designed to be watered down over ice, culminating in an iced coffee which consistently delicious. Our expert testers enjoyed working through these flavors and suggested that this 'might be the only speciality coffee maker you need'. 

It's relatively compact, especially considering the range of coffee types that this can brew. It doesn't have an integrated grinder, so we'd recommend checking out our guide to the best grinders on the market if you want to make really good iced coffee. Alternatively, you can make use of the capsule compatibility and invest in some iced coffee K-Cups, available at Walmart, but make sure not to confuse the machine by brewing you're already concentrated over ice K-cups on the concentrated setting. It will all be overwhelming. 

My biggest criticism is that the DualBrew, is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Whilst we liked all the coffee options, and the iced coffee was good, it wasn't as flavorful as the Breville's, for example. If you like milky coffees, we found that the milk texturing tool is a little less than perfect, especially on plant-based milks.

There's more information in our full Ninja DualBrew Pro review.

The best automatic drip coffee maker for iced coffee