Best Ice Ball Maker for Crystal Clear Cocktails

If you’re looking to elevate your cocktail-making game, you need all the best tools for presentation, and one of those is an ice ball maker. When looking for the best ice ball maker, you must consider its material, size, and design.

ice ball in a rocks glass

To help you shop, I’ve rounded up some of the best ice ball makers on the market right now. I’ve also included a handy buying guide with tips to make sure you’ll be making perfectly round spheres for your favorite beverages!

While regular ice cubes have their uses, ice balls can make a real difference in certain cocktails. 

There are practical reasons why bartenders in fancy hotel bars plunge perfectly spherical ice in the spirits and cocktails they serve. Large ice balls keep your beverages cool without diluting the flavor since they melt more slowly than traditional and smaller ice cubes. Plus, they look really attractive in a drink. 

And the coolest thing about ice balls is that you can make them at home without special equipment – just your sphere ice maker and your freezer!

The best ice ball makers come in various shapes and sizes. Some sphere ice makers are available in individual molds. Other molds you can get in trays if you want to make multiple ice balls at once. But whichever ice ball maker you choose, you can enjoy a cold and flavorful drink to the very last sip.

How Does a Sphere Ice Maker Work?

The way ice ball makers work isn’t complex sorcery. You fill the ice mold with water and set it in the freezer until it freezes. And you’ll get spherical ice to spruce up your drink!

The main drawback of these molds is that a larger amount of water takes longer to freeze. So, make sure to allow twice as much time as you would for regular ice cube trays to sit in your freezer. In extremely cold freezers, this could take as little as 5 hours, but you can let it freeze overnight for best results.

My Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT
  • Dimensions: 2.5in diameter
  • Ball Count: 2 balls
  • Brand: Tovolo
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  • Dimensions: 2.5in diameter
  • Ball Count: 4 balls
  • Brand: Bizz
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  • Dimensions: 2 x 2.36 inches
  • Ball Count: 4 balls
  • Brand: Shaped
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  • Dimensions: 1.77in diameter
  • Ball Count: 4 balls
  • Brand: Housewares
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  • Dimensions: 2.5in diameter
  • Ball Count: 2 balls
  • Brand: Zoku
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  • Dimensions: 2.5in diameter
  • Ball Count: 4 balls
  • Brand: Glacio
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  • Dimensions: 2.5in diameter
  • Ball Count: 4 balls
  • Brand: Samuelworld
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The Best Ice Ball Makers, Reviewed

When you shop for a sphere ice maker, you will come across different designs, sizes, shapes, and numbers of balls each makes. I spent hours going through thousands of reviews from firsthand users and tested some ice molds, which lead me to discover the best ice ball makers on the market. Keep reading to find out which one might be best for you.

Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds – Best Overall

tovolo ice ball maker plastic silicone and stackable

One of the most rated ice ball molds on the market, the Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds features a simple design that makes perfect and transparent ice balls that look almost like crystal balls. All you have to do is fill the plastic molds, put on the lid, and you’ll have perfectly shaped 2.5” balls in hours.

It comes with two ice ball molds made of durable and dishwasher-safe BPA-free plastic. The lid forms a seal by locking into the silicone lip. These lids also allow you to stack them in the freezer or wherever you need to store them. Just be sure to fill the water all the way up to the line, or the ice ball will not form correctly. 

Although this set comes with two molds, you’ll probably need to buy a few more to ensure sufficient ice ball supply. These molds are great for enjoying party cocktails, ice-cold coffee (a favorite use), and classic drinks.

Pros:

  • Durable and food-grade construction
  • Stackable
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Ice balls can be hard to remove

Bizz Ice Sphere Molds – Most Colorful

best ice ball maker multicolored individuals in a set

Most ice ball molds are black or grey, which helps the vibrant colors of the Bizz Ice Sphere Molds stand out in a sea of options. These colorful molds are made of BPA-free silicone and are safe to put in the dishwasher. This set comes in four 2.5” ice ball molds ideal for whiskey, tequila, and your favorite aperitif-style mocktails. 

These spherical ice molds include a top that allows you to easily fill the holes without making a mess. The molds have a leak-proof construction that expands as water freezes. This will allow you to combine different liquids or even make tasty kid-friendly treats. 

Pros:

  • Durable and dishwasher-safe
  • Colorful design
  • Leakproof

Cons:

  • Ice balls can be difficult to remove for the molds

Shaped 3D Skull Ice Mold Tray – Best Unconventional Design

skull shaped ice ball mold

The thing that drew me to this ice mold tray is the unique ice balls (skulls) it makes, but that’s obvious. If you want to add a spooky twist to your mocktails, you check out the Shaped 3D Skull Ice Mold Tray. I imagine freezing a bunch of these 3D ice skulls when I host a Halloween party or even a Tiki-themed event. 

Aside from its unique design, another feature of this ice mold tray that I appreciate is the silicone foot. This allows you to stack them on top of another set of ice molds in the freezer without fear of water spilling.

It’s not spherical, yet it works just like regular ice balls to keep your drinks cold. The dimensions of the ice: 2 x 2.36 inches. This tray of four ice molds is made of high-quality, durable material. It is BPA-free, leakproof, and dishwasher safe. This ice cube tray would be a great gift too!

Pros:

  • Durable construction
  • Makes unique ice shape
  • Stackable
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • It’s hard to get the 3D skull perfectly

Housewares Solutions Ice Ball Maker – Budget Pick

budget ice ball maker tray

Most ice ball molds are inexpensive. But the Housewares Solutions Ice Ball Maker surely comes at an unbeatable price. This ice ball tray includes four durable molds, allowing you to make multiple sphere ice balls at a time, at 1.77 inches in diameter. 

It’s constructed of 100 percent food-grade BPA-free silicone and has a sturdy cover with holes for easy release of air-filled water as it freezes and expands. What I like about this ice tray is that the molds are spaced far enough apart that the ice balls do not clump together.

Since this ice ball tray is dishwasher safe, cleaning should be a breeze. The ice balls this tray makes are smaller than the other molds on this list – perfect if your glass is petite. 

Pros:

  • Durable and dishwasher-safe
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • Creates a Saturn-like ring
  • Hard to fill the molds without making a mess

Zoku Silicone Ice Sphere Molds

best ice ball maker plastic set of 2

If you don’t have a lot of space in your freezer, the Zoku Silicone Ice Sphere Molds ice ball maker is another great option. It comes in a set of two, which are stackable with slightly flared silicone covers. And since silicone inherently has a bit of cling to it, you can stack the molds easily.

This set is made of BPA-free and high-quality plastic that goes well in the dishwasher. What I like about this is that the silicone mold inverts, allowing easy removal of the ice ball without the need for rinsing in water. It creates a 2.5” sphere that fits nicely in standard rocks glasses.

Since you’re only getting two molds with this set, you may need to buy a few more to make enough ice balls for your family and friends.

Pros:

  • Durable and dishwasher-safe
  • Stackable and space-saving
  • Easy removal of ice balls

Cons:

  • Silicone is too soft, allowing ice balls to deform
  • Creates a ring around the ice ball

Glacio Whiskey Ice Sphere Maker

best ice ball maker in a black tray set of four 2.5" balls

Sphere ice makes flavorful yet chilled drinks. And the Glacio Whiskey Ice Sphere Maker is yet another excellent choice that could change how you serve your cocktails.

This ice ball tray includes four food-grade silicone molds that are made of BPA-free material. And it is completely safe for freezing not just water, but liquids such as juice, creating classic 2.5” large ice balls. 

Just like any good ice ball maker, this tray features a tight-fitting cover with holes. What’s even better is that it is dishwasher safe, making cleaning a breeze.

Pros:

  • Durable and safe design
  • Creates large ice balls
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Leaves a flat spot

Samuelworld Whiskey Sphere Ice Tray Mold

best ice ball maker with easy pour in funnels on molds

The Samuelworld Whiskey Sphere Ice Tray Mold includes four ice ball molds with each having a built-in funnel that helps control water as you pour it. The tray of this ice ball maker is made of plastic, while the molds are made of flexible silicone to create 2.5” large ice balls.

Once you fill it with water, the plastic tray makes it very easy to put it in and out of the freezer. The flexible silicone allows the beautifully shaped ice ball to effortlessly pop out. This ice ball maker is BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. Which makes cleaning the mold tray a breeze.

Pros:

  • Durable construction
  • Has built-in funnel for easy water filling
  • Flexible silicone makes ice removal easier
  • BPA-free and dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Some users find the plastic bottom a bit fragile

What To Consider in Finding the Best Ice Ball Mold

If you want to find the best ice ball maker, you first need to consider a few factors. You might want to look into the material, as well as its size and the number of ice balls it makes. You can read my handy buying guide below to learn more.

Material

Ice trays can be constructed of stainless steel, plastic, or silicone. Certain ice trays might be a mix of these materials.

Steel is strong but it won’t offer a perfectly round shape. And since it’s a hard material, you may struggle to remove the ice balls.

The easiest material for removing ice is silicone since it is flexible. The downside is that it can retain odor, especially if you plan on using it to freeze juice or flavored ice balls. I suggest that you wash them right away after use.

Plastic ice molds, on the other hand, can shatter over time. They also retain odor, but not as bad as silicone molds. You might also struggle to remove the ice balls with plastic molds.

Most of the sphere ice makers on my list are either made of plastic, silicone, or a mix of the two. They are all BPA-free and dishwasher-safe, making them safe to use.

Size and Capacity

Many households either do not have designated space for ice ball molds and trays or simply do not have enough freezer space. Certain ice ball makers come in trays, while others come individually. If you don’t have enough space in your freezer, I suggest that you get stackable molds to save space.

Capacity is also another key factor to consider. Keep in mind that a bigger piece of ice may take longer to fully freeze. If you opt for smaller trays, you can quickly freeze the water but you’ll have smaller ice balls. You can think about the freezing duration for your molds. But unless you have more trays, it might not be as efficient.

There’s an obvious trade-off here. If you choose to go for smaller trays with smaller-sized ice balls, they could melt faster. What you need to consider in picking the capacity is your drinking lifestyle and how frequently you’re going to use sphere ice.

Design

Standard sphere ice makers are available in various designs and styles. They still adhere to the tray-style, but with a number of molds. But those qualities are primarily decorative ice ball molds, owing to their various colors and designs.

The Shaped 3D Skull Ice Mold Tray, for example, creates four ice balls with a unique and spooky shape. The Bizz Ice Sphere Molds might remind you of a billiard ball with its vibrant silicone molds. Whichever design you choose, make sure it’s durable.

Added Features

Ice ball makers may seem to be straightforward tools that simply require you to fill them, but there are several factors to consider if you want to make perfectly shaped spheres. Each ice mold and tray is obviously unique. But, here are some more features that these ice ball makers may have:

Stability

You don’t want the inconvenience of having to reposition your trays once they’ve been filled with water and put in the freezer.

Silicone molds with flat bottoms offer more stability than those with round mold bottoms. You may also look for mold with extra “feet” to avoid collapse or tilting. Flat tops and lids also give extra stability since you can stack other items on them.

Is It Leakproof?

It’s important that the ice ball mold or tray you choose has a leak-proof design. You can look for one with snaps or locks to hold the mold parts together. Snap-on and twist-on lids are among the best designs as they seal liquids in even when you flip the mold.

Shape

Molds are commonly circular and you’ll also find ice cube trays. Certain molds, though, produce ice balls with a bit more quirkiness. The Shaped 3D Skull Ice Mold Tray, for example, is an interesting option you may consider. Ice molds with unique shapes are great for themed occasions. 

Trays

Ice ball trays can create four to six ice balls at once. They are a convenient choice if you want to make lots of ice balls. Some are also intended to produce ice cubes as well as ice balls.

Funnels

Ice ball trays such as the Samuelworld Whiskey Sphere Ice Tray Mold have funnels built into the molds. Funnels help control the flow of water as you pour it, resulting in less mess.

Storage

In terms of storage, the individual, stackable ice ball molds make use of vertical spaces. But individual molds need more effort to fill and stack than trays.

Tray-style ice molds that produce many ice balls yield additional ice in the time required to fill the molds. They are a more sensible option than separate molds if you wish to fill your cooler with ice.

But considering the fact that you won’t keep ice ball molds in the freezer all of the time, ensure you have adequate storage space for them when they’re not in use.

Hard ice ball molds are the best for out-of-freezer storage since you can stack them without tipping them over. With silicones, you may end up compressing them and making a mess if you put other items on top of them. Keep this in mind when you store silicone molds.

Best Ice Ball Maker FAQs

Are ice balls better than cubes?

Spherical ice reveals less surface area for the same volume as an ice cube. This means that if you have a cube with the same volume as a sphere, the ball will have a much smaller surface area. So, a slow melting sphere shape is better than ice cubes.

Does boiled water make clear ice?

No, it’s not that simple. It could make the ice somewhat clearer than without, but it makes no substantial difference when compared to directed freezing. 

Are ice spheres worth it?

Ice spheres are well worth it. You get to enjoy having the ice balls ready for your gatherings. They’re also excellent for sipping whiskey.

What is the best way to fill an ice ball mold?

How you’re going to fill the mold will depend on the design of the tray. Most molds include a detachable top and a bottom. You pour the water into the top of the mold once the two sections are connected. Other designs of mold include a cup that you fill with water and then seal with a cover.

Is it preferable to use a silicone ice mold or a plastic mold?

Silicone ice ball molds expand with the water when they freeze. This can lower the likelihood of splitting in the mold. Silicone sphere ice makers are also BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.

Plastic molds, on the other hand, might break. The downside of silicones is that they tend to absorb odor better than plastic ice ball molds.

What is the secret to making perfect spherical ice?

The best way to make perfect ice spheres is to fill each mold correctly. When you place them in the freezer, make sure to keep them upright and give them enough time to freeze. Doing so can result in perfectly round ice balls.

What is the best ice ball size for drinks?

Spheres with a diameter of around 2.5 inches are ideal for use in classic rocks glasses. This size provides adequate surface area for your drink to melt gradually without diluting it too much.

Final Verdict

My favorite is the Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds due to its simple, compact design and durability. Plus it’s stackable, which means it won’t take up a lot of room if you have limited storage space.

I hope you find this guide useful in your quest for the best ice ball maker for your craft cocktails. Enjoy your drinks and good luck!