ice machine

Commercial Ice Maker Comparison: Ice-O-Matic vs Manitowoc Ice Machines

Looking to buy a commercial ice machine? You can make an informed purchase decision with our comparison of two popular ice machines: Ice-O-Matic and Manitowoc.


If you’re researching commercial ice machines, you know it can be challenging to compare popular ice machine brands. We’re here to help you make an informed decision by offering up the similarities and differences of two popular ice machine companies: Ice-O-Matic and Manitowoc. 

Whether you’re looking to outfit your business with a new ice machine, or researching brands before you buy a used commercial ice machine, here’s what you need to know.

Who Is Manitowoc?

Manitowoc Ice is a top manufacturer of ice machines, with over 200 unique ice machine models sold globally. Based in Wisconsin with manufacturing facilities in Mexico and China, Manitowoc was purchased by Pentair in July of 2022. If you’re scratching your head over who Pentair is, you’re not alone. Pentair isn’t a refrigeration or appliance company. Instead, they provide water treatment and sustainable total water management solutions.

Note: If this acquisition seems a bit strange, we can explain. One of Manitowoc’s leading missions is to design ice machines that are energy-efficient, so a sustainable water solutions company is just a little upstream of Manitowoc’s overriding mission. 

A defining feature of Manitowoc’s ice machines is the ease with which they can be serviced. This is no accident, by the way. Manitowoc purposefully locates all repairable parts in the front of the machine for easy access. Service technicians everywhere thank you, Manitowoc.  

In recent years, Manitowoc has pushed for more innovation in their ice machine designs. They’ve added touch-screen technology for a fast, convenient user experience as well as deep sanitation systems to ensure the machine stays clean.

Who Is Ice-O-Matic?

Ah, Ice-O-Matic. If you’re a regular around here, you’ve heard us sing their praises quite a bit. That’s because Ice-O-Matic and Memphis Ice go way back (like the 1980s way back). We’re a proud Ice-O-Matic partner as well as a top national distributor.

Founded in 1952, Ice-O-Matic is based in Colorado and is an established supplier of ice machines and the world’s largest supplier of evaporators. They’ve been innovating the ice machine industry with user-friendly, sustainable products since the very beginning—well before sustainability was cool. 

Ice-O-Matic’s tagline says it all: “Ice. Pure and Simple.” 

  • Pure: Sustainability is at the core of Ice-O-Matic. For over 70 years they’ve been leading the charge for ice machines that are better for the planet and the people using them. From recycling, greener manufacturing, zero runoff policies, and low-water usage, they’re taking a firm stand for the environment. Ice-O-Matic is doing all this while designing cutting-edge commercial ice machines and commercial appliances. 
  • Simple: Ice-O-Matic’s ice machines are simple and easy to use, and they’re all made in the USA in Denver, Colorado. But innovation is never sacrificed to simplicity. Ice-O-Matic has patented Pearl Ice® machines and led the development of new commercial technologies, including launching under-counter ice machines and introducing the AgION™ Antimicrobial Compound in their Ice Series cube ice makers. As if that isn’t enough, Ice-O-Matic developed their Elevation Series, an innovative line of energy efficient ice makers.

Ice Maker Machine Products

Both Manitowoc and Ice-O-Matic manufacture top-quality ice machine products. If you’re in need of a commercial ice machine for your business or restaurant, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll find what you’re looking for with one of these standout suppliers.

  • Manitowoc Products
    • Modular
    • Remote condensing units
    • Traditional remote units
    • Undercounter
    • Countertop
    • Hotel dispensers
    • Ice/beverage dispensers
    • Specialty machines
    • Ice storage and accessories 
  •  Ice-O-Matic Products
    • Modular 
    • Undercounter 
    • Countertop
    • Remote condensing unit
    • Water-cooled condensing
    • Air-cooled condensing
    • Hotel ice dispensers
    • Ice & Water dispensers
    • Back bars
    • Ice storage and accessories 
    • Water filtration

Ice Quality and Type

When you’re ready to buy a commercial ice machine, you’ll want to ensure that the ice shape suits your specific needs and that the ice quality is good. 

Both Ice-O-Matic and Manitowoc ice machines produce your standard ice types, including: 

  • Cubed ice
  • Flake ice
  • Crushed ice
  • Bullet (gourmet) ice
  • Nugget (pearl) ice 

Ice-O-Matic has patented Pearl Ice®, also known as “sonic ice,” or “chewable ice.” It’s a universal favorite for consumers and restaurants alike.

Related: Which Type Of Ice Is Right For Your Restaurant? Nugget, Cube, Bullet, or Pearl?

Ice Quality and Type

Let’s go ahead and say it: commercial ice machines can be expensive. They’re a sizable front-end investment for businesses starting out, but the right ice machine is well worth the time and money you put in. With proper cleaning, service, and maintenance, you’ll have a commercial ice machine that serves you well into the future. 

So, let’s get down to dollars and cents. 

A Manitowoc ice machine will cost anywhere between $1,500-$10,000 per machine, depending on the unit. This is a wide price range, but like we said, Manitowoc has over 200 models of ice machine so there are a lot of options that affect the price. 

An Ice-O-Matic ice machine will cost anywhere from $2,000-$12,000 per machine. Price will depend on the size of the machine, the condensing unit, and other factors. 

It’s important to point out that initial cost isn’t the only consideration business owners should have when deciding on a commercial ice maker. Energy efficiency, repair costs, and water usage should all be taken into consideration. An ice maker that is less expensive on the front end may require specialized parts for repair, waste a lot of water, or run inefficiently— costing you more money in the long run. 

Related: Heads Up! Read This Before Buying An Ice Machine On Amazon

Memphis Ice Machine Company: Your Full-Service Ice Machine Distributor

If you’re in the Memphis area and you’re looking for a commercial ice machine for sale near you, you’ve come to the right place. We offer a wide range of commercial ice machines for sale in the Memphis area and Mid-South, and our ice experts and repair technicians are here to help you buy the right ice machine and keep it running for years. Click here to schedule a call and break the ice! We’ll talk about your business, what you’re looking for, and offer our suggestions for the best solution for you. Schedule a call today!

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