Best Northair Portable/Countertop Ice Cube Makers (Review)

Northair makes different models of portable countertop ice cube makers but which one of them is best suited for you? Let’s find out!

#1 Northair HZB-12/SA Portable Countertop Ice Maker

Just like most portable countertop ice makers Northair HZB-12/SA also is capable of producing up to 26 lbs of ice cubes in 24 hours.

It makes a batch of 9 ice cubes every 6-10 minutes (depending on air and water temperatures as well selected ice cube size setting). They are bullet shaped with hollow middle – these types of ice cubes have larger contact area with a drink compared to classic square shaped ones which improve cooling ability but also causes them to melt faster.

It can make ice cubes in two different sizes but the difference between them is relatively small. Even the “Large” ice cubes are still rather small.

Ice basket isn’t refrigerated which is ok at this price point – a good ice maker with refrigerated baskets will cost over $300. Ice cubes left in basket will slowly melt but the melted water goes back into water reservoir to be reused.

Control panel

Control panel of Northair HZB-12/SA ice maker features 2 buttons (one is for turning ice maker on/off and the other one for selecting ice cube size) and 5 indicator lights. Two of the indicator lights are warning indicators – one illuminates when water reservoir is empty and the other when ice basket is empty. Then there are two more indicators for indicating which ice cube size setting you have selected. Fifth indicator simply illuminates to inform you that ice maker is turned on.


Most of the ice cube makers have sensors that detect when water reservoir is empty or ice basket is empty and will pause ice cube production if it detects either and Northair HZB-12/SA is no exception – it also has these sensors as you might have guessed from the warning indicator lights.

Water reservoir capacity is 2.2 liters which equals to 74 oz.


Northair HZB-12/SA is inexpensive ice maker than does a good job of making ice cubes. It’s not necessarily better than #2 Northair ice maker in this list but it will likely be the better choice for most consumers. Why? To find out keep on reading!

Northair HZB-12/SA Portable Countertop Ice Maker Specifications:

  • Type: Freestanding / Portable / Countertop
  • Voltage: 115V
  • Wattage 100W
  • Ice output: up to 26 lbs per 24 hours
  • Ice cubes per batch: 9
  • Ice cube size options: 2
  • Water reservoir capacity: 74 oz / 2.2 liters
  • Dimensions: 9.5″ x 13.9″ x 13″ (W x D x H)

#2 Northair HZB-22/S Countertop Ice Maker

Northair HZB-22/S is larger and heavier than HZB-12/SA but it can also make significantly more ice – up to 48 lbs a day which is almost twice as much. It’s a bit too big and heavy to be considered truly portable but it still can work well as a countertop ice maker.

It uses R600a refrigerant to make a batch of 12 ice cubes every 8-12 minutes. Ice cube quality is good and they are very chewable. Ice cubes are bullet shaped with hollow inside.

Northair HZB-22/S offers 3 different ice cube size setting – small, medium and large.

Control panel

Northair HZB-22/S has 2 buttons (“On/Off” and “Select” ice cube size) and 6 indicator lights. Three of indicator lights are for displaying which ice cube size setting you have selected – there’s total 3 of them. Two more of them are for warning when water reservoir is empty or ice basket full. The sixth indicator lights simply illuminates when ice maker is turned on.


Ice basket and water reservoir capacities are significantly larger than Northair HZB-12/SA. Ice basket of Northair HZB-22/S can hold up to 2.65 lbs (1.2 kg) of ice cubes and water reservoir holds 169 oz (5 liters) of water.


Northair HZB-22/S makes more ice than Northair HZB-12/SA but it’s also more expensive, larger and heavier. Due to this it’s not necessarily the better choice, but if increased price, size and weight isn’t an issue for you then this is the best Northair ice maker.

Northair HZB-22/S Countertop Ice Maker Specifications:

  • Type: Freestanding/Built-in
  • Voltage: 115V~ 60 Hz
  • Power: 150W
  • Ice output: up to 48 lbs per 24 hours
  • Ice cubes per batch: 12
  • Ice cube size options: 3
  • Refrigerant: R600a
  • Ice Basket Capacity: 2.65 lbs (1.2 kg)
  • Water Tank Capacity: 169 oz (5 liters)
  • Dimensions: 15” x 17.1” x 17” (W x D x H)
  • Weight: 38 lbs
  • Package contents:
    • 1 x Ice maker
    • 1 x Ice scoop
    • 1 x Ice basket
    • 1 x User manual

#3 Northair HZB-22BF 2 in 1 Ice Maker

Unlike other Northair ice makers HZB-22BF doesn’t just make ice cubes, it also dispenses water. Just install water jug on top and enjoy the ice cubes or water. Also unlike the other two it uses R134a refrigerant instead of R600a. R134a is less efficient and environmentally friendly than R600a therefore also worse.

Northair HZB-22BF is capable of making 40 lbs of ice cubes in 24 hours. It makes a batch of 12 bullet-shaped ice cubes in ~9 minutes if the water and air temperatures are optimal.

Just like the other two HZB-22BF also doesn’t have refrigerated ice tray so made ice cube will melt. Ice tray is badly designed though in a sense it’s a bit difficult to get outside. It often gets stuck and then requires force to get it out or back in which might cause aggressive motion which will cause ice cubes to fly away :(.

Water dispensing

Unfortunately doesn’t cool down the water so when you dispense it will be of room temperature. But that’s not the worst thing.

The worst thing is that water has this disgusting chemical plastic taste to it. To get rid of it you have to clean and flush Northair HZB-22BF thoroughly and usually many times over. Even with all the cleaning some consumers have complained that they failed to get rid of this. Others complained that ice cubes also had plastic taste so it seems that severity of this problem tend to vary from unit to unit.

Control panel

Northair HZB-22BF has a toggle switch (for popping water faucet up), 3 buttons (“On/Off”, “Select ice cube size” and “Dispense water”) and 6 indicator lights (“Small ice cube size is selected”, “medium ice cube size is selected”, “large ice cube size is selected”, “Ice tray is full”, “Water jug is empty” and “Appliance is turned on”).


Other than previously mentioned issues some have complained about their Northair HZB-22BF leaking water.


Northair HZB-22BF housing is made of stainless steel and ABS plastic, it also has C5H10 foaming for insulation. It also has a drain hole.

Ice tray can hold up to 4.85 lbs of ice cubes. Northair HZB-22BF measures 14” long, 16.6” wide and 17.8” high.


Northair HZB-22BF 2 in 1 ice maker/water dispenser seems to be riddled with all kinds of problems and design flaws that vary from unit to unit. Purely for making ice cubes this is the worst appliance from Northair.

Northair HZB-22BF 2 in 1 Ice Maker/Water Dispenser Specifications:

  • Type: Freestanding/Countertop
  • Voltage: 115v/60Hz
  • Power: 150W
  • Ice output: up to 26 lbs per 24 hours
  • Ice cubes per batch: 12
  • Ice cube shape: bullet with hollow inside
  • Ice cube size options: 3
  • Ice storage capacity: 4.85 lbs / 2.2 kg
  • Materials: Stainless Steel + ABS
  • Dimensions (L x D x H): 14″ x 16.6″ x 17.8″
  • Refrigerant: R134a
  • Foaming: C5H10
  • Package contents:
    • 1 x Northair 2 in 1 water dispenser/ice maker
    • 1 x Ice scoop
    • 1 x Manual

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