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Ice cream makers

Ice cream maker reviews

By Jane Darling

Article 1 of 3

Want dreamy ice cream with minimum fuss? Then discover which ice cream makers we think are worth splashing out on.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Ice cream makers are simple machines that use a paddle to churn ice cream mixture in a very cold bowl. 

However, they vary wildly in price, with those that we've looked at ranging from £25 all the way up to nearly £300 for the Sage by Heston Smart Scoop.

We've tested a range of models from brands such as Cuisinart and Magimix and the results of our rigorous lab tests are in the table below. Which? members can log in to see if you need to pay big bucks for an ice cream maker that works well, or if a budget alternative will do. Not yet a member? You can try a £1 Which? trial.

Ice cream maker reviews
  Model Pros and cons, features and price Test score
Andrew James Ice Cream maker 1.45l Pros: Makes excellent ice cream without too much noise and it's fast and easy to use.
Cons: The bowl doesn't have clear markings so you have to guess when it's full.
Type: Freezable bowl
Typical price: £25
72%
Cuisinart Ice cream Deluxe ICE30 Pros: The ice cream it makes is excellent and it's easy to use.
Cons: Noise described as a constant, irritating grind. It's fiddly to remove ice cream from the paddle.
Type: Freezable bowl
Typical price: £67
66%
Magimix Le Glacier 1.1 11047 Pros: Produces good quality ice cream, come with lots of recipes and is a compact size.
Cons: It's harder to assemble and clean than our Best Buy.
Type: Freezable bowl
Typical price: £50
66%
Magimix Le Glacier 1.5 11048 Pros: Makes good ice cream and comes with lots of recipes.
Cons: It's harder to use and assemble than some other ice cream makers and not that easy to clean.
Type: Freezable bowl
Typical price: £54
65%
Magimix
Gelato Chef 2200
Pros: The built-in freezer means you can make batch after batch of good-quality ice cream.
Cons: Some ice cream sticks to the bowl, so it's wasteful unless you leave it to soften first.
Type: Built-in freezer
Typical price: £280
64%
Kenwood
IM200
Pros: The controls are well marked and its simple to operate.
Cons: While the ice cream is satisfactory there are better options and it freezes inconsistently. It's also tricky to clean.
Type: Freezable bowl
Typical price: £30
62%
Ice cream maker first look review
  Model Pros and cons, features and price Test score
Sage by Heston Blumenthal
Smart Scoop BCI600UK

First look verdict: If you want a premium model with all the extras, this Sage ice cream maker could be for you. I thought the desserts it produced had a great consistency, and the hardness sensor means you don't have to hover over your ice cream to get the perfect result. On the flip side, it's large, pricey and not many recipes are included.

Type: Built-in freezer
Typical price: £278

None - first look only

Does Which? currently test ice cream makers?

We haven't tested ice cream makers recently, as there is less demand for them than for other kitchen appliances. The results above are from our last test and all of the models are still available to buy.

When we tested ice cream makers we looked at the quality of the ice cream they made, using two recipes - one for a summer fruit coulis ice cream and the other a rum and raisin ice cream. These tested each machine’s ability to mix both wet and dry ingredients evenly, and how well they coped with tricky-to-freeze ingredients, such as alcohol. 

We looked at how fast the machines make ice cream, including pre-chilling the freezing bowl or mixture. Finally, we looked at ease of use, including how easy the machines were to assemble and operate.

These assessments went towards a total test score, which is weighted as follows:

  • 45% Ease of use
  • 25% Quality of ice cream
  • 15% Noise
  • 15% Time to make ice cream

If the ice cream maker you're interested in isn't one we've tested then check out our advice about how to buy the best ice cream maker.

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