The best ice cream makers to whip up frozen treats this summer

We all scream for ice cream!

best ice cream maker

by Rosie Floyd |
Updated on

In the height of summer when the sun is shining with not a cloud in the sky, nothing beats the refreshing taste of ice cream and thanks to the best ice cream makers, you can enjoy homemade versions of your most-liked icy treats from the comfort of your own home. These neat kitchen gadgets allow you to tailor the recipe to your taste so you’re guaranteed to like what’s in every scoop. Whether you’re looking for the perfect foodie gift to surprise a loved one or like to get creative in the kitchen yourself, having an ice cream maker at home will make sure you’ve always got a cooling, creamy treat at the ready whenever you need it.

With the best ice cream maker at your disposal, you can blend together your much-loved flavours and toppings, or you can get creative with your ice cream mixes and experiment with different ingredient combinations until you’ve come up with a new favourite. From rich chocolate and sweet caramels to fresh fruit blends and nutty mixes, making your own ice cream offers endless flavour potential.

Best ice cream makers at a glance:

Best overall: Ninja CREAMi Deluxe 10-in-1 – Buy now on Ninja UK
Best soft serve ice cream maker: Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker – Buy now on Amazon UK
Best budget ice cream maker: Lakeland Digital Ice Cream Maker – Buy now on Lakeland

The control over ingredients also means you can cater each creamy mix to your own dietary requirements. For those who are dairy-free or vegan, ice cream makers are revolutionary as you can make blends with oat, coconut or almond milk or other alternatives and you’ll know exactly what has gone into making your frozen creation.

If you're concerned about eating ultra-processed foods then an ice cream maker is an ideal purchase as many shop bought ice creams contain huge amounts of chemically processed ingredients that aren't good for you. You can totally avoid this by only adding natural ingredients, completely chosen by you.

If you’re watching what you eat, you can make your own low-calorie ice cream by including ingredients that have natural sugars, substituting cream for Greek yogurt and you incorporating protein powders for a nutritious boost to create an ice cream that you can indulge in completely guilt-free.

Ice cream is a quintessential summer treat and offers a delightfully tasty way to cool down on a warm day. Having an ice cream maker will elevate the experience of eating this frozen dessert as you can make it just the way you like it. Of course, if you’re a big ice cream fan, you’ll want to tuck in throughout the year and that’s why an ice cream maker would be the perfect addition to your kitchen.


Best overall

Ninja CREAMi Deluxe 10-in-1 Ice Cream and Frozen Drink Maker NC501UKNinja
Price: £199.99 (was £249.99)

For an all-singing, all-dancing machine that does so much more than just make ice cream, you can't go wrong with the Ninja CREAMi Deluxe. With just a touch of a button you can make ice cream, sorbet, light ice cream, gelato, milkshakes, frappes, frozen drinks, slushies and frozen yoghurt.

Compared to the previous model (more about the original Ninja CREAMi later), you can make 50 per cent more ice cream as it comes with three large 709ml tubs. With this larger capacity, you've now got room to create two flavours with one base so say you've made a chocolate ice cream, gelato or frozen yoghurt, you can press the 'bottom' button to add crushed-up biscuits followed by the 'top' button to added chopped up nuts to create two different styles of frozen dessert.
** Editor Claire Tapley tested this model and here’s her verdict:**
“Although this gadget is quite heavy it’s actually pretty compact so won’t take up huge amounts of room on your kitchen countertop. It was really easy to set up and get going and the instructions were clear.

Unlike some other ice cream makers, you need to add your ingredients to the tubs and then freeze for 24 hours in your freezer. Only then do you get to use the machine to transform your frozen ingredients into ice cream, gelatos, sorbet, or slushies.

The mix-in element is fun and great for kids but I did find that certain ingredients weren’t mixed in very thoroughly the first time. When making cookies and cream ice cream I needed to give it a few spins to get the biscuit chunks evenly distributed. It's also worth noting that the tubs are fairly large so you’ll need plenty of space in your freezer if you want to make several flavours at once.

It's super easy to clean, the blade is simple to remove and all the tubs are dishwasher safe. It comes with a small booklet containing a few recipes and gives you ideas for creating your own. It does take a bit of practice to get your ice cream just right, especially if you’re experimenting with flavours but once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll never want to buy shop bought ice-cream again.”


  • Makes more than just ice cream as you can whip up sorbet, light ice cream, gelato, milkshakes, frappes, frozen drinks, slushies and frozen yoghurt too
  • You can create two different flavours from the same base with just two pushes of a button


  • As each tub is 709ml, they will take up room in your freezer so make sure you've got plenty of room to store them
Dimensions: 42.4 x 30.5 x 21.4cm
Capacity:3 x 709ml
  • Ice Cream, Lite Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet, Milkshake, Mix In, Frappe, Frozen Drink, Slushie, Frozen Yoghurt

Best soft serve ice cream maker

Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream MakerCuisinart/Amazon

Bring the nostalgia of eating a ’99 from an ice cream van to your home with the Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker. With this machine, you can make your very own Mr. Whippy style ice creams, topped with however many sprinkles, sauces or flakes you’d like as you’re in complete control of what you add to your ice cream cone. In fact, there are compartments on the side to store and serve your favourite toppers by simply turning a dial so it’ll feel like a professional experience.

It's ever so quick and easy to make soft serve ice cream with this machine, all you need to do is pre-freeze the bowl, add the mixture and switch it on and you’ll have homemade ice cream in around 20 minutes. The freezer bowl is double insulated so it holds the temperature even after you’ve got it out of the freezer.

With nearly 7,000 reviews on Amazon alone, the Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker is a popular choice with customers rating it for how simple it is to use and the fact it doesn’t take up a lot of space. Some customers warned that if you leave your ice cream churning for too long, you’ll end up with a firmer ice cream rather than a soft serve, so remember to turn it off once it’s reached the desired consistency.


  • Creates soft serve ice cream with compartments at the side for storing/serving toppings
  • Freezer bowl is double insulated to keep it at a cool temperature outside of the freezer


  • Some customers warned that the consistency will get too firm if you leave it churning for too long
Dimensions:45.1 x 24 x 27.9 cm
Capacity:‎1.42 litres
  • Ice cream, Sorbet, Frozen yoghurt,, Slushies, Granita

Best budget ice cream maker

Lakeland Digital Ice Cream MakerLakeland
Price: £34.99 (was £49.99)

If you love the idea of an ice cream maker but your budget won’t quite stretch to the likes of Ninja or Cuisinart, the Lakeland Digital Ice Cream Maker is a great value option at under £50. It makes tasty ice cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt in 40 minutes, but you’ll need to remember to freeze the bowl it comes with for at least 12 hours before use.

To help you navigate through the settings and to see how long you’ve got left until your ice cream is ready, it has a digital display on the lid that is easy to read. The lid is also see-through so you can see the ice cream maker in action as it churns to create 1.8 litres of ice cream.

There is a gap in the lid that you can add your favourite fillings as your ice cream maker churns, like nuts and chocolate chips, but customers have said this gap is a little on the small side so you may have to feed them through in batches. That being said, it’s rated highly for how simple and easy to use the machine is and how smooth the finished ice cream is.


  • See-through lid so you can see it churning as it happens
  • Easy to read and use digital display


  • Reviewers mention the gap in the lid for putting ingredients in is on the small side
Dimensions:23.5 x 21cm
Capacity:1.8litre (720ml working capacity)
  • Ice Cream, Sorbet, Frozen Yoghurt


Best viral ice cream maker

Credit: Kinsey
Price: £156 (was £199.99)

An earlier model of the Ninja CREAMi Deluxe that we've mentioned earlier, the Ninja CREAMi Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert Maker went viral all over social media when it was first released and it's easy to see why. You can make ice cream, gelato, milkshakes, sorbets and smoothie bowls just how you like them with all your favourite toppings and flavours and if you've got any dietary requirements, you can make your delicious dessert to be low sugar, dairy free, vegan and so much more.

You simply fill one of the 473ml tubs with all your ingredients, pop it in the freezer for 24 hours and then let the Ninja CREAMi work its magic in a matter of minutes to transform it from frozen components to a deliciously creamy treat. We love that the removable parts can be popped into the dishwasher for easy clean-ups after use, but just remember they need to go on the top rack to ensure they're completely safe.

Ellen Kinsey, a previous senior health and wellness product writer for Yours, tested the Ninja CREAMi for us and she liked how convenient and versatile the machine is. She did find that when making dairy-free/vegan ice cream, the mixture turned out slightly powdery but with a splash of oat milk and a re-spin, it went as creamy as the dairy ice cream. She also found that making sorbet required an additional spin as well to get it to the right consistency. Overall, she found that despite its premium price tag and the requirement for pre-freezing ingredients, this ice cream maker is a great investment that is perfect for households that want to prioritise health and have fun in the kitchen.

Want to know more about what we thought? Check out our full Ninja CREAMi review.


  • Creates seven frozen desert types
  • Adjustable for dietary requirements and personal preferences


  • Ingredients need to be frozen for 24 hours before being spun into ice cream
Dimensions:40.5 x 16.5 x 27cm
Capacity:3 x 473ml
  • Ice Cream, Light Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet, Smoothie Bowl, Milkshake, Mix In

Best for capacity

Magimix Gelato ExpertMagimix/Amazon

There's no need to wait hours for your icy treat with the Magimix Gelato Expert. It makes 100 per cent natural ice cream, sorbet, frozen yoghurt and granitas from just 30 minutes and as it has a built-in freezer unit, it doesn’t require pre-freezing the bowl or ingredients like other ice cream makers. If you’re unable to eat it or put it away in the freeze straight after the paddle has finished turning, the storage mode keeps the consistency and temperature right for up to two hours.

To allow you to make as much ice cream as possible, the Magimix comes with two, two litre stainless steel bowls, one which is fixed and one that is removable, allowing you to make two batches of your favourite frozen treats in a row. Thanks to the automatic programs, there’s no need to go through the trial and error process of getting it just right as the machine does all the hard work for you.

Customers thought the machine was a bit noisy but the smooth consistency of the frozen treats and how easy it is to use make it worth it.


  • No need for pre-freezing as it has a built-in freezer unit
  • Automatic programs so you know you're making it on the right setting/time every time


  • Reviewers felt it was noisy
Dimensions:29 x 37 x 26cm
Capacity:2 x 2L
  •  Ice cream, Sorbet, Frozen Yoghurt, Granitas


Best stainless steel ice cream maker

Credit: Harvey Issit/

Another option from Lakeland that’s made our list is the Lakeland Stainless Steel Digital Ice Cream Maker. It churns ice cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt to be ready to eat in as little as 25 minutes – just remember to freeze the inner bowl for around 12 hours before you make a batch.

With a few presses of the arrow buttons on the touchscreen panel, this Lakeland Ice Cream Maker will automatically get going to create your favourite treats and you’ll know exactly how long it’s got left, thanks to the timer on the LCD display. You just add your mixture through the opening in the lid and put in additional ingredients, like nuts, berries or chocolate and away you go. Along with the ice cream machine, you’ll find an instruction booklet that’s not just filled with top tips for making delicious icy treats but also six recipes to get you going if you’re not sure what flavour to start with first.

Customers online were impressed with the results of this machine and thought that it made ice cream pretty quickly. Reviews mention that once the ice cream is made, it’s hard to remove the paddle as the ice cream is pretty solid.

Digital writer, Harvy Issit, tested the Lakeland Stainless Steel Digital Ice Cream Maker for and here's what he thought: "I recently tested the Lakeland ice cream maker and found it to be a mixed bag. The machine's design features an LED timer display and an easy-fitting bowl, paddle, and lid, making it sleek and simple to use. Although, I did think the plastic construction of the bowl felt a bit cheap compared to the rest of the product. Its compact size and light weight make it an excellent option for families and a great space-saving choice for small kitchens.

During our test, the machine struggled and buckled when the ice cream began to harden. I had to hold it down at times, even though there was still quite a bit of time left on the timer. Despite this issue, the end product - we went for mint chocolate chip ice cream - was delicious! The Lakeland ice cream maker is a great, small and affordable option with some understandable limitations at its price point."


  • Simple to use touchscreen control panel
  • Comes with six recipes to get you started


  • Our tester found the ice cream maker struggled a bit with churning once the ice cream began to harden
Dimensions:20.5 x 24cm
Capacity:1.5 litre (800ml working capacity)
  • Ice cream, Sorbet, Frozen Yoghurt

Best Smart ice cream maker

Smart by name, smart by nature, Sage's "The Smart Scoop" is built to automatically sense the hardness of your mixture based on your setting selection but if you want your treat to be harder or softer, you can just turn the firmness dial to suit your tastes.

If you've not had time to chill your mixture before throwing it in the machine, this machine is built with pre-cool capabilities so you can get it to the optimal temperature before mixing. It is also equipped with keep cool functionality so after you've made your icy treat, you can keep it at the perfect temperature until it's time to serve without worrying it's going to melt.

Customers appreciate the versatility of the functionality of this ice cream maker by Sage and love the ability to customise the texture to their liking. At 13.97kg, this is a heavy piece of kit and customers online agree so this one won’t be so easy to whip out on your kitchen sides as and when you want to use it.


  • Adjustable firmness dial to make it to your preferred taste
  • Smart sensor that automatically detects what firmness to make your mixture


  • It's quite weighty so not so easy to whip out when needed
Dimensions:18.2 x 41.2 x 27.3cm
Capacity:1 litre
  • Sorbet, Frozen Yogurt, Gelato & Ice Cream

Best small ice cream maker

VonShef Ice Cream Maker MachineVonShef/Amazon

Whenever you get a craving for a sweet and creamy dessert, you can easily whip out the VonShef Ice Cream Maker Machine. Measuring 31 x 24 x 23.6cm and weighing 3.65kg, you can store it in a kitchen cupboard and take it out when you want to use it, but equally, it doesn't take up a lot of room so you could leave it out on your countertops if you have the space.

With its one-touch operation and speedy mixing, with just a push of a button and 20-40 minutes, you can have your favourite flavour of sorbet ready to devour - just remember to pre-freeze your bowl for at least eight hours before. As it has a capacity of 1.8 litres, you can create enough ice cream, gelato, frozen yoghurt or sorbet for everyone at home.

Customers agree that this ice cream maker is a good size in that it's quite small with a decent capacity so you can make a good amount of ice cream without the machine taking up too much room. Some customers had issues with the paddle coming loose during making so make sure it's properly attached before starting on your ice cream making journey.


  • Small and fairly lightweight so it's easy to store and doesn't take up a lot of room
  • Decent 1.8-litre capacity for a smaller machine


  • Some customers had issues with the paddle coming loose while making
Dimensions:31 x 24 x 23.6cm
Capacity:1.8 litres
  • Ice cream, Gelato, Frozen yoghurt, Sorbet

Best for KitchenAid owners

KitchenAid Ice Cream MakerKitchenAid

If you've already got a KitchenAid Stand Mixer at home that you use to whip up baked goods, you can now use it to make icy treats, thanks to the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment. You can make deliciously creamy homemade ice cream as well as gelato, sorbet and frozen yoghurt in batches up to 1.9 litres. You simply add the new attachments and use your KitchenAid as normal and you'll have frozen treats whipped up from 30 minutes time.

Often when you think about investing in another kitchen gadget, you need to think about whether you have the additional space on your countertops to accommodate it, or enough room in a cupboard to put it away when not in use. Well, this KitchenAid attachment eliminates the need if you've already got a KitchenAid as it comes with a paddle and a bowl that turns your KitchenAid into a fully functioning ice cream maker.

Like many of the other ice cream makers on our list, you will need to pre-freeze the bowl but this one will require a long freeze time of at least 16 hours. It's also worth noting that this is just the attachment so if you don't have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, you'll also need to purchase one of those to be able to work. Customer reviews have praised how easy it is to make ice cream and other frozen treats with this attachment as they simply fix it to their machine and away they go.


  • Eliminates the need for another kitchen gadget as you fix the attachment to one that you already have
  • Makes batches of up to 1.9 litres


  • Works as an attachment for KitchenAid Stand Mixers but the Stand Mixer is not included in the price of this
Dimensions:17.8 x 27.9 x 21.6cm
Capacity:1.9 litres
  • Ice cream, Gelato, Sorbet, Frozen Yoghurt, Slushies

Best for Smeg stand mixer owners

Another option that works similarly by attaching to your stand mixer, the Smeg Additional Ice Cream Maker for Stand Mixer is a great little gadget that will allow you to turn your Smeg stand mixer into a multifunctional kitchen appliance. From sorbets and granita to ice cream, whatever your preferred icy treat, you can be enjoying it in as little as 20 minutes thanks to this device.

Designed to sit inside the regular 4.8 litre bowl, this addition to the Smeg stand mixer has the ability to make and store 1.1 litres of mixture and as it has a double gel cooling wall built-in, it'll stay the right temperature and consistency in your fridge for up to two hours before it needs to be frozen again. The parts are also dishwasher safe, making for speedier and easier clean-ups after use.

Unlike the Smeg mixers, this ice cream maker attachment isn't available in a wide range of colours so it won't be the exact match for your mixer (unless you have the white one). There aren't many customer reviews for this product online but for those that have left one, they've said this is a great addition to their Smeg stand mixer and that it makes the perfect ice cream.


  • Attaches to your existing smeg stand mixer bowl and uses the same paddle to churn
  • Bowl attachment has a gel cooling wall to keep icy treats at the right temperature and consistency in your fridge for up to two hours after they've been made


  • Only available in white colour, unlike the Smeg mixers that come in a wide range
Dimensions:15 x 15 x 15cm
Capacity:1.1 litres
  • Ice cream, Sorbet, Granita, Frozen yoghurt


What to look for when buying an ice cream maker?

As you can see from our list, there are many different types of ice cream makers available but you’re probably wondering how do you go about deciding which one is the right one for you. To help you with the decision-making process, here are some of the things we’d recommend considering when searching for the best ice cream maker for your needs.


This might seem like an obvious one but think about how much ice cream you’ll want to make at a time. If you want to make the odd batch for you and your partner or friend to enjoy every once in a while, a small one will probably suffice. However, if you’re making ice cream treats for the whole family to indulge in or you enjoy eating it daily, consider one with a large capacity so you can make large batches at a time.

Freezing method:

Some ice cream makers require you to pre-freeze the bowl and the ingredients up to a day before you start making your frozen treat while others have freezing capabilities built-in so you can get stuck in straight away. When choosing your ice cream machine, consider whether you’ll have the patience to wait before making your ice cream maker and whether you’ll remember to pre-freeze the bowl if required.


Many of the best ice cream makers can be used for more than just ice cream and come equipped with additional settings for making frozen yoghurt, sorbets, gelato, milkshakes, slushies and so much more. If you’re someone who just can’t get enough of frozen desserts, look for a model that can make as many different types as possible so you’re getting more for your money.

Ease of use:

Kitchen gadgets that are loaded with complicated-to-use settings and hard-to-use controls are ones that you’re not going to reach for often as they won’t be enjoyable to use. The best ice cream maker for you will be one that is straightforward to use with user-friendly buttons and settings and easy-to-understand and use displays.

Consider ones that have features like timer settings, automatic shut-off, pre-programmed making settings and transparent lids so you can keep an eye on your ice cream in the making, which will make the process all the more straightforward.


Let’s be honest, cleaning up after being creative in the kitchen is never anyone’s favourite task but choosing an ice cream machine with easy-to-clean components and removable parts that are dishwasher safe will make the job easier.

Is it worth buying an ice cream maker?

If you’re someone who really enjoys eating ice cream, it will definitely be worth it for you as you can constantly experiment with ingredient combinations or whip together your favourite flavours when you fancy.

For those with specific dietary requirements, an ice cream maker will allow you to enjoy a treat that you wouldn’t so easily be able to pick up from the supermarket shelves. As you’re in complete control of what goes into the mix, you can guarantee the ingredients are ones that you can definitely eat. You can change cow's milk for dairy-free alternatives, which is beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant, lead a vegan lifestyle or follow a dairy-free diet. You can avoid allergens, such as nuts, and swap out ingredients for healthier alternatives, depending on your dietary needs.

Is making homemade ice cream healthier?

The beauty of an ice cream maker is that you’re in complete control of what ingredients goes into your icy treat. That way, you can make it as healthy or unhealthy as you like. You can choose ingredients without artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners that you may find in shop-bought ice creams and opt for fresh fruit or natural sweeteners like honey to give your creation that sweetness as an alternative to refined sugar options.

Many of the ice creams that you find in the supermarkets have a high fat content to give it that rich and creamy texture that we all love. However, when using an ice cream maker, you can lower the fat content by using plant-based milks like almond, coconut or oat milk, or even switching to skimmed cow’s milk or yoghurt and still have that dreamy ice cream texture and create a lighter version that’s healthier without compromising on flavour.

You may also choose to add other ingredients to your homemade ice cream to give it a nutritional boost, such as fruit, nuts, seeds or even protein powders to enhance its health credentials.

Is it more expensive to make your own ice cream?

Creating homemade ice cream may seem like an expensive option when you factor in the cost of the machine to make it but the more you use it, the more cost-effective it becomes when you’re comparing it to the cost of buying shop-bought ice cream in your supermarket order every week.

You may think you might need to shell out for expensive ingredients to make your own ice cream but this simply isn’t the case most of the time. Typically, you’ll already have the basic ingredients, such as milk, at home so it may only be the flavourings and toppings that you may need to buy in addition to your regular food shopping but you may already have things like fruit, nuts and sweets that make great additions to ice cream.

Rosie Floyd is a Senior Home & Pets Product Writer for Yours, specialising in home appliances, décor and furnishings, as well as all things dogs. After completing her Journalism & Media degree from Coventry University back in 2015, she started her career writing about must-visit holiday destinations, moving on to creating content around outdoor living and garden buildings, before joining the team at Bauer.

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