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Best ice cube trays for perfectly cool drinks 2023

Say cheers to our pick of the best ice cube trays for chilled cocktails, fruit-infused cubes and fun kids' drinks. 

By Carol Linfield | Last updated Apr 17, 2023

Ice cube tray

If you’re still using the ice cube tray that came with your freezer, stop! These tough plastic trays can break easily and the ice is often stubborn to remove without whacking it on your worktop. Make things easier by treating yourself to one of the best ice cube trays from our recommendations below, including easy-release designs, trays with lids and stackable options. 

Whether you’re looking to up your cocktail game, store baby purées or liven up kids' drinks with novelty shapes, an ice cube tray is a handy addition to your freezer. They can be particularly useful during a heatwave too – along with using gadgets like the best tower fan or a handheld fan to keep cool, you can rub ice on your wrists and neck to lower body heat.

To help you choose the right ice cube tray for your home, we've researched the products kitchen experts recommend, spent hours analysing the trays Mumsnet users have tried, tested and loved, and also combed through authentic consumer reviews to ensure we're only recommending you the very best buys.

1. Best overall ice cube tray: Lakeland Giant Ice Cube Tray

Lakeland giant ice cube tray

Price on writing: £15 | Buy now from Lakeland

Key specs

Material: Flexible silicone | Number of ice cubes: 8 cubes per tray | Size: 27 x 14 x 6cm | Cube size: Not specified, but described as 'giant'

What Mumsnet users say

"[Lakeland's] silicone trays for giant ice cubes are perfect for slow-melting ice in G&T." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user thegasp)

"Lakeland do great 'flexible' ones that are really easy to get the food out of." (Vetted by Mumsnet user Millie1)

Our verdict

Mumsnetters love Lakeland for all things kitchen gadget and this flexible ice cube tray comes highly recommended on the forums. Its oversized design is handy for keeping drinks chilled for longer and for storing soups, purées, fruit juice and more.

It boasts a steel frame so the whole tray will remain rigid (so you don’t have to) as you remove it from the freezer. The flexible silicone makes releasing the cubes a stroll in the park too.

We love the 'giant' ice cubes it makes – as they melt at a slower pace than standard-sized cubes, this makes them ideal for heatwaves if you don't have an air conditioner to rely on; simply run the ice over the sides of your neck and wrists for a cooling quick fix.

2. Best budget ice cube tray: IKEA SURSÖT Ice Cube Tray

IKEA Ice Cube Tray

Price on writing: £1 | Buy now from IKEA

Key specs

Material: Synthetic rubber | Number of ice cubes: 16 cubes per tray | Size: 14.5 x 20 x 2cm | Cube size: Varies depending on the shape

What we like

  • Fun whale and boat designs
  • Cheap
  • Compact size

What we don't like

  • Not the most robust tray
  • No lid

Our verdict

This IKEA ice cube tray may be basic, but it certainly doesn't compromise on fun; we love the cute nautical shaped-cubes it produces which are sure to delight little ones. It's fairly compact too, so you shouldn't have too much trouble slotting it into your freezer.

It's a little on the thin side so it's not the most robust option out there, but for just a pound you really can't go wrong with this if you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful tray this summer. 

Related: The best desk fan for working from home, according to Mumsnet users

3. Best ice cube tray for an easy release: Hobby Life Ice Cube Tray with Lid

Hobby Life Ice Cube Tray

Price on writing: £6 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Not specified | Number of ice cubes: 12 cubes per tray | Size: 27 x 11 x 3.6 cm | Cube size: Not specified

What we like

  • Easy release cubes
  • Comes with a lid
  • Two-pack
  • Good value

What we don't like

  • Need to remove the lid to see how full the sections are
  • You can't select the lid colour you want

What Mumsnet users say

"These ones are great. You slightly twist the tray and all the ice pops out. The lids are so handy to prevent the 'putting it back in the freezer without spilling' issues." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Talipesmum)

Our verdict

If the idea of water spilling out of your ice cube tray as you slot it in the freezer gives you the chills, a tray with a lid could be the solution. Not only does this style of tray reduce the chance of mess, but some consumers prefer a lid for hygiene reasons and to make it easier to stack.

This two-pack from Hobby Life is easy to use; you can fill them up through a hole, rather than having to remove and replace the lid. However, some users did find it tricky get the right volume for ice cubes as the base is opaque, so they had to take off the lid to check anyway.

It's also easy to remove the cubes from this tray too. The downside is you can't select the colours you receive and they're not the most stylish, but they do get points for practicality.

4. Best novelty ice cube tray: Room Copenhagen Lego Ice Cube Tray

Uberstar Ice Spheres

Price on writing: £16 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Silicone | Number of ice cubes: Pack contains four moulds | Size: ‎13.5 x 13.4 x 6.5 cm (in packaging) | Cube size: 4.5cm diameter spheres

What we like

  • Great for entertaining
  • Easy to fit in your freezer
  • Dishwasher safe

What we don't like

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for everyday use

Our verdict

Want to really wow your dinner party guests? We think these quirky ice spheres would look fantastic in cocktails and G&Ts. Admittedly, they're a little gimmicky and you may also want a more standard tray for everyday drinks and for adding to your reusable water bottle, but they're ideal for something a little different when you're entertaining. 

The moulds are dishwasher safe so clean up is nice and simple. They'd also be easy to slot in your freezer as you can scatter them about separately where there's space unlike a conventional ice tray - just make sure they're upright so the water doesn't leak out of the top.

5. Best stackable ice cube tray: Oliver's Kitchen Ice Cube Trays - Set of 4 

Oliver's ice cube trays

Price on writing: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: BPA-free silicone, plastic | Number of ice cubes: 14 per tray | Size: 25 x 10cm | Cube size: Not specified

What we like

  • Great value
  • Set makes 56 ice cubes in total
  • Easy to release the cubes
  • Has a lid

What we don't like

  • You may need to leave the tray for a few minutes to loosen the ice
  • Makes a basic ice cube shape 

Our verdict

Splash out on this set of four stackable trays for neat and tidy ice cube storage. It’s fantastic value for money and thanks to its simple silicone design, you’ll have 56 cubes ready to easily pop out at your convenience.

The manufacturer recommends leaving the trays for a few minutes after removing from the freezer in order to loosen the ice. Each tray comes with a lid to keep liquids in their rightful spot too. 

Related: Best pedestal fans for a cooling breeze

6. Best ice cube tray for baby food: NUK Food Cube Tray

NUK ice cube tray

Price on writing: £11 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Silicone tray with lid | Number of ice cubes: Nine | Size: 14 x 14 x 5cm | Cube size: Can hold up to 60ml

What we like

  • Ideal for the early days of weaning
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Clickable lid helps avoid mess
  • Easy to remove the cubes

What we don't like

  • Pricey
  • Not ideal for standard ice cubes

What Mumsnet users say

"I have the NUK storage pots and ice cube trays and [my baby] has been happily eating a whole pot each meal time." (Vetted by Mumsnet user Pea2019)

Our verdict

For many parents, ice cube trays come into their own at the weaning stage of parenting, making it an essential bit of kitchen kit. The NUK Food Cube Tray allows you to freeze and store freshly cooked baby food and purées safely. A winner among Mumsnetters, it’s great if you’re into a routine of batch cooking as it means you can store perfect portion sizes after whipping up some baby-friendly dishes.

It’s made from BPA-free plastic and is dishwasher safe. It also sports a highly flexible silicone tray design so dispensing individual portions is made easy. Its clickable lid will help you to avoid spillages and the 60ml cubes make it most suitable for the early days of weaning when portions are at their smallest, and for storing breast milk. 

7. Best ice cube tray for lots of ice: OXO Good Grips Small Silicone Ice Cube Tray

OXO Good Grips ice cube tray

Price on writing: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Flexible silicone, plastic | Number of ice cubes: 24 per tray (small) | Size: 8 x 15 x 17cm | Cube size: 2.2cm

What we like

  • High-quality brand
  • Easy to release 
  • Makes 48 cubes

What we don't like

  • Cubes are quite small (larger sizes are available though)
  • Pricey

What Mumsnet users say

"I prefer silicone ones because it's easier to tip the cubes out." (Type of tray recommended by Mumsnet user lilham

Our verdict

We’re huge fans of the OXO Good Grips tray – it can create 48 ice cubes in one neat unit. It features a plastic outer shell with two bendy silicone trays inside - the plastic container helps reduce annoying leaks when shifting items around the freezer and the stackable lid keeps freezer smells at bay.

We also love that the tray is available in small and large designs, depending on the size of the cube you’re looking to create. It’s both BPA- and PVC-free so it’s a safe option for leftover food as well as for a reliable drinks livener.

Related: Discover the best kids' water bottle to keep your little one hydrated

8. Best for large ice cubes: Mason & King Pack of 2 Large Ice Cube Mould

Mason & King ice cube tray

Price on writing: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Silicone | Number of ice cubes: 8 per tray | Size: 21 x 11 x 5 cm | Cube size: Can hold up to 100ml

What we like

  • Makes giant ice cubes
  • Keeps drinks cooler for longer
  • Easy to remove the cubes

What we don't like

  • Quite pricey

Our verdict

When size matters, consider this jumbo two-piece ice cube tray. The bigger the cube, the longer your drinks will stay cool! And these oversized cubes will remain intact as you sip a large G&T on your sofa - extending happy hour at home.

You’ll receive a free cocktail eBook with these BPA-free silicone trays with tips on how to create fruit-, flower- and herb-infused ice cubes for fancy drinks gatherings. It's a little on the pricey side, but we think it's worth it for these impressive giant cubes.

9. Best stainless-steel ice cube tray: RSVP International ICE-18 Inspired, 18/8 Stainless Steel, Vintage Ice Cube Tray

RSVP stainless steel ice cube tray

Price on writing: £24 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Stainless steel | Number of ice cubes: 18 per tray | Size: 28 x 12 x 5cm | Cube size: Not specified

What we like

  • Robust and hardwearing
  • Lever allows for an easy release of the cubes
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Retro style

What we don't like

  • Very expensive

Our verdict

Shake up classic cocktails with ice cubes from a traditional stainless steel tray. This retro design is inspired by 1950s entertaining and can create 18 ice cubes in one go. It can be used to freeze sauces, purées and leftovers and you can throw it into the dishwasher for an easy clean.

It features a lever that can be flipped to release the cubes to add a bit of drama to your daiquiris. Made from robust stainless steel, it’s our most durable and stain-resistant option but it doesn't come cheap. 

What’s the best material for an ice cube tray?

Silicone: Silicone is a top choice for ice cube trays as it's both flexible and durable. Many silicone moulds come with locking lids to protect freezer odours from spreading. Mumsnetters seem to favour silicone moulds above all others when it comes to removing cubes from trays: 

"Rubbery trays are easier, I think. Some of the plastic ones can snap more easily (my cheap ones did!)" - onepieceoflollipop

"Silicone ones are easier to get the frozen stuff out of" - Bikerunski

Stainless steel: Stainless steel trays have been relied upon to liven up drinks for decades. The material is extremely durable and will never smash, bend or fracture. And if you go for food grade stainless steel, you’ll have a tray that’s safe to use for freezing baby food and leftovers. However, it can be trickier to extract ice cubes from a stainless steel tray. On the plus side, drinks tend to stay cooler for longer if you’re using ice cubes from a stainless steel tray. It can carry a higher price tag than its plastic counterparts though. 

Plastic: The classic plastic ice cube tray is one of the longest serving trays in the cooling business but its new rivals have highlighted many flaws we were once happy to accept. Plastic moulds can have a tendency to crack and it can be tricky to release cubes from plastic trays. However, for uniform ice cubes without fuss, frills or a fancy price tag, the plastic tray still has its place.

Can you put ice cube trays in the dishwasher?

Silicone ice cube trays can generally withstand a high heat (up to 260 celsius) and are safe for use in the dishwasher, as are stainless steel trays. Plastic ice cube trays can be prone to warp in higher temperatures and can lose shape overtime. You should treat your ice cube tray like any kitchen product and clean it regularly because of its multiple purposes and exposure to fellow freezer items. 

How long does it take to make ice cubes?

It will typically take around six hours to freeze water in an ice cube tray in a home freezer.

What is the best ice cube tray to buy? 

The Glacio small ice cube tray is our overall winner. This tray ticks all the boxes and is affordable. This set of two is practically indestructible and you can pop out a single cube with minimal effort. Plus, both trays have stackable lids – a total winner.

How we chose our recommendations 

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which ice cube trays parents were recommending and had bought. We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which ice cube trays had been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the top 10 ice cube trays on the market.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

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