These Ice Molds Make Frozen Works of Art
Ice might not be something you’d think could ever be fancy. It’s just frozen water, after all. But, a number of social media influencers have been going all out to zhuzh up their ice and make their cocktails extra bougie.
TikTok users are making everything from crystal-clear orbs and colorful flowers suspended in perfect cubes, to stunning ice made in heart-shaped molds. In fact, the hashtag #fancyice has been viewed almost 20 million times. Instagrammers are also getting in on the trend and snapping photos of drinks featuring large clear ice spheres and posting freezers full of colorful, fruit-filled cubes.
All this ice inspiration may have you thinking that the regular ice cubes from your freezer tray for decades won’t cut it anymore. If you want to make fancy ice, we’ve rounded up some of the best ice molds around, according to enthusiastic customer reviews.
The Best Classic Ice Cube Molds
Classic cube-shaped ice is always a winner. Here are some of the best options.
Peak Ice Everyday Ice Tray
Use these molds to make 12 professional bartender-quality ice cubes. Fill them with fruit, flowers or anything else for a TikTok-worthy cube. As one reviewer suggested, “I made cubes with whole star anise pods and cranberries to add to a pitcher of cranberry punch.”
Crate & Barrel
Small Ice Cube Trays with Lid
Not only are these trays perfect for those who love smaller ice cubes, but the 4.5-star rating with nearly 2,000 reviews shows these trays are a crowd-pleaser. “I wanted something different than standard ice cubes for my margaritas. These are perfect,” one reviewer wrote.
The Best Custom Ice Molds
If you’re looking for extra-special ice for a party or event, check out these custom molds.
Siligrams Customizable Ice Tray
Put your own stamp on your ice—literally—with these customizable silicone trays. You can add your initials, your favorite team’s logo or a short catchphrase. Choose from three different sizes of ice. “It’s the coolest product we never knew we needed,” one reviewer wrote.
Add monogramed ice to your drinks with these letter-shaped frozen chunks. They come as single ice cube trays, and each is made to fit a 3-inch cocktail glass. “The ‘M’ looks absolutely amazing floating in your cocktail,” one customer raved.
The Best Specialty Shape Ice Molds
Ice trays come in many fun shapes and sizes beyond the cube or rectangle. Here are a few favorites.
Heart-Shaped Ice Cube Trays
“So cute and fun to use,” one reviewer said, and many others echoed the sentiment. These heart-shaped trays garnered a 4.4-star rating, and they are made of silicone so the icy hearts pop out easily.
Jack Ice Molds
These striking Xs and Os will make your cocktails Instagrammable, and as one reviewer noted, it’s “more fun than the huge cube.”
Crate & Barrel
The Best Sphere Ice Molds
Large sphere-shaped ice is meant to keep drinks from diluting, since it melts slower than the standard cubes. Try these molds for fun.
Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds Set of 2
Customers call these spheres “an old-fashioned requirement,” “perfect” and “bar quality.” They make 2.5-inch spheres, which are the best way to chill a glass of whiskey, bourbon or Scotch.
Round Ice Cube Mold
This ice mold helps you make six 2.5-inch spheres at once so you’ll always have one in your freezer. Customers who’ve purchased this say the tray is easy to fill, the ice spheres are easy to remove from the molds and they “fit perfectly into an Old-Fashioned glass.”
The Best Value Ice Molds
Fancy options come in at many different price points. Here are some budget-friendly options.
Ice Cube Trays 4-Pack
This option create classic cubes, but customers say they’re a step above the old-school hard-plastic trays. “They’re easy to fill, easy to carry to the freezer, easy to loosen and [easy to] use the ice,” one reviewer noted.
Mod And Main Ice Ball Maker Mold
“A fun alternative to regular ice cubes,” one customer wrote. This mold makes four spheres at once, which offers a more cost-effective way to keep fancier ice on hand.
The Best Small Ice Cube Trays
Many molds create large fancy ice, but there are plenty that make smaller pieces, too.
Mini Ice Cube Trays
Make more than 100 tiny ice balls at once with this set of trays. Customers say the ice is easy to remove from the molds and takes drinks up a notch. As one reviewer notes, “This is so great for those who love ice, especially tiny ones. I don’t know what about it makes drinks taste better for me.”
Houdini Crushed Ice Cubes Tray
Crushed ice is a go-to for mint juleps, mojitos or other fruity drinks. If you’re whipping those cocktails up at home, this tray is a must. Customers note that the tiny ice can take a minute to get out of the tray, but “they are perfect for mai tais and other tiki drinks that call for tiny cubes.”
The Best Silicone Ice Cube Trays
Silicone ice cube trays are often easier to use than plastic ones. The material is flexible, so it’s easier to remove the cubes.
Souper Cubes 2-Tablespoon Double Pack
Each compartment holds two tablespoons of liquid for larger ice cubes. They feature a reinforced steel rim and come with lids for easy stacking. You can use them to freeze all kinds of things, too. “I love them for freezing chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice and zest and powerful sauces you only need a couple of dollops of,” one reviewer wrote.
Crate & Barrel
The Best Large Ice Cube Trays
Large chunks of ice melt slower, keeping your drinks from getting too watered-down.
WIBIMEN Large Ice Cube Tray
Each of these large trays makes eight tennis-ball-sized ice spheres. Customers rave about them, too. “I’ve tried lots of different sphere ice cube makers, and this is the best by far,” one wrote.
Souper Cubes 2-Cup Double Pack
With a 5-star rating, these big ice cube trays are multi-purpose. Not only can you make ice, but they can be used to freeze stock, soup or other leftovers. Each compartment has 1-cup, 2-cup, 250-milliliter and 500-milliliter fill lines.
Crate & Barrel
The Best for Clear Ice
Crystal-clear ice cubes are trendy on TikTok and Instagram. These molds can help you make it yourself.
ClearlyFrozen High Capacity Home Clear Ice Cube Tray
These molds use “directional freezing” to make 2-inch glass-like cubes that will allow your cocktails to look as if they are from a high-end bar. As one reviewer said, “Takes a bit of work but totally worth it when friends visit and get clear ice cubes in their drinks that take a pretty long time to melt.”
True Cubes Clear Ice Cube Maker
This ice cube maker “produces beautiful square cubes that last,” one reviewer said. The brand says it uses the same freezing process found in nature to create a crystal-clear cube.
Do Silicone Molds Work for Ice?
Silicone molds usually work better for ice than hard-plastic trays. Silicone is a flexible material, so it’s easier to get the ice cubes out and they keep their shape better.
What Material Is Best for an Ice Mold?
Silicone molds are flexible so it’s usually easier to extract the ice cubes. The material is also dishwasher-safe so they’re easy to clean. However, silicone can absorb odors from the freezer, which might transfer to your ice. Plastic trays are easy to use, but they’re not as durable, and it’s harder to get perfect ice shapes. At the end of the day, it’s all about preference.
How Long Do Ice Molds Take to Freeze?
The length of time that it takes for ice to freeze depends on the size of the mold. Smaller ice trays may only take a few hours to freeze, but larger options may need up to 18 hours. Always place them in the coldest part of your freezer for optimal freezing.
How Do You Get Clear Ice with Molds?
Using distilled water—which is easy to find at your local grocery store—in your ice molds will help you get clearer ice. Another option is to purchase molds that use “directional freezing,” which is where ice freezes slowly from one direction. Many molds feature insulated sides that make directional freezing possible. You can check out some more information on clear ice and how to make it here.
How Do You Get Perfectly Round Ice?
Using sphere-shaped molds will help you get perfectly round ice. Once you fill the molds, make sure they’re placed on a level surface to freeze to avoid leaks and ensure that you end up with a round shape. Allow the mold to stay in the freezer until it’s completely set, which might take up to 18 hours. Then, remove the ice from the mold (run it under cold water if it sticks to the mold).
Published on April 5, 2023