The simmering heat of summer is upon us, paddling pools are flying off the shelves and we’re scrambling to bring our fans out of storage. What else can we do to cool ourselves and our families down?
Nostalgia, of course! There was nothing so exciting as a small child, than locking eyes on the famed slush puppy machine, dreaming hopelessly for the day we could own one. Little did we know.
As an adult we can enjoy a variety of technological delicacies at affordable prices, convenient delivery times and best perhaps of all, in the peace and quiet of our own homes.
We love slushies here at PatioMate! We’ve compiled a handy comparison of the best shaved ice and slush machines available on the market. So you can spend less time shopping and more time slushing.
Did you know? The popular shaved ice dessert we know and love today has origins as far back as the 7th Century AD in Japan. Kakigori, (slush, snow cones, shaved ice as we know it), was made from spinning blocks of ice over a shaving blade and then served with sweet syrup.
Popular flavours include cherry, green tea, melon, sweet plum, and even condensed milk. It became so popular in Japan that it has its own day, July 25th.
Our Favourite Slush Machines
JMPosner Snow Cone Maker and Slush Machine – The Best Overall
Now, I know what you’re thinking, how could we possibly rate this slush machine higher than our beloved slush puppy. Well, in short, this machine is as close as you’ll get to the real deal, without the hefty price tag that a commercial machine demands.
It is the number one best-selling shaved ice and slush machine on Amazon, and with good reason.
This mains operated snow cone & slushie maker can produce 4 snow cones in 1 minute. Making it ideal for large families or parties with young children, less wait time is everything when it comes to icy treats.
The last thing you want in the scorching humidity is cranky children (and or spouses).
It comes with four re-usable snow cones and a scoop, for getting the portion size right every time.
At 3.25kg the machine is lightweight enough to be easily moved from kitchen to garden and back but heavy enough not to fly off the table in a strong balmy breeze.
Compact in stature the JMPosner Snow Cone Maker and Slush Machine stands at only 24x23x31.5cms, and it’s cube shape makes it convenient to store during the colder months.
It doesn’t take up very much precious counter space and can be used all year round as a quick serve and low-calorie tasty dessert, making it even more value for money.
Easy to use, fast and efficient. Producing multiple snow cones at once.
Side-mounted snow cone holders that can be folded up when not in use, making it easy to fit between the bread bin and the treat jar.
Fun style, that serves well as a centre piece for parties particularly summer, funfair or carnival themed ones
Free re-usable plastic cones, scoop and instruction manual with recipe ideas included.
It only comes in red, which is great if you love a splash of colour. Less so if you’re trying to camouflage another sneaky late-night amazon purchase onto an already packed countertop.
Some customers have found the plastic components to be a bit temperamental at times.
Slush Puppie Slushie Machine – The Best Nostalgia Machine
The Official Slush Puppie is the ultimate summer treat retro throwback. 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s children will remember this iconic design as the epitome of a successful summer holiday.
Producing up to 1.1litres of either course or fine slushie at a time, this mains operated slush Puppie machine is a great choice for entertaining. If you’re feeling gluttonous for the retro vibes, this is the perfect choice.
Weighing in at 3.36kg, the Official Slush Puppie Machine is a great option for moving from place to place, and in and out of storage. Just like the JMPosner, it’s unlikely to be knocked off balance compared to some of our more compact machines.
It comes with two 500ml bottles of syrup, in the iconic Slush Puppie flavours, Blue Raspberry and Red Cherry. Four Official Slush Puppie paper cups and straws are also inside the box, just add ice and away you go.
This ready-to-use set would make the perfect gift for anyone wanting to remember the good old days and enjoy a refreshing treat.
Retro indulgence and the perfect opportunity to share some nostalgia with the kids or grandkids.
Comes as a ready-to-go convenient set, including syrups, cups and straws. Making it a great gift for a loved one, or yourself.
Great design that would fit into any kitchen with ease.
Significantly cheaper than buying a ready-made Slush Puppie from the shop every hot day.
Some people have reported issues with the cogs turning the wrong way, though Slush Puppie have been very quick to remedy the situation with new parts, replacement or refund.
As iconic as the design is, not everyone enjoys childhood relics.
Neo® Ice Snow Cone Slushy Electric Machine – Best Compact Machine
The Neo® Ice Electric snow cone and slushie Machine is a real jewel and a modern day celebrity, having featured on ITV’s This Morning recently. This clever little snow cone maker is fabulous for producing a quick adult beverage or two to be enjoyed in the hot tub.
Slush production is fast, given that you can only produce slush for two snow cones at a time, but if that’s all you need then this machine might be the right one for you.
This would make a thoughtful gift for a spouse and is most commonly purchased as an anniversary present.
It comes with four re-usable straw-spoons, four re-usable snow cone cups and two syrup dispensers (syrups sold separately).
The smallest of our machines at 18x15x24 cm and weighing only 998g, this sweet device is ideal for couples, flats, dormitories and starter homes.
This micro slush machine is mains operated and conveniently sized for tucking away when not in use. Though at its size I’d be tempted to leave it on the counter all year round to garnish my cocktails and liven up my morning coffee.
Compact design with less wastage.
Perfect for a pick-me-up iced coffee after a rough night with the kids.
Comes with re-usable straw-spoons, cones and syrup dispensers saving you time having to hunt those out.
Light and transportable to wherever there is an electrical outlet making this more elderly and disability friendly to those who struggle with heavy items but still want to enjoy a refreshing iced beverage.
Some customers have found this machine noisy compared to others available on the market.
Small production means longer waits between turns, though for a couple, small family, singles or small gatherings, the wait is negligible compared to the overall value for money.
Disney DFR-613 Cone Maker Olaf – The Best For The Disney Fan
This Disney DFR-613 cone maker Olaf is adorable, efficient and perfect if you’re a Disney fan. The fun design would work exceptionally well for an Olaf Frozen summer party for the kids.
Don’t be put off by the novelty design, this machine really packs a punch and is about as far removed from the traditional Mr Frosty maker as it gets.
Producing snow cones in seconds from either pre-moulded blocks or regular ice cubes this machine is surprisingly versatile and you can be sure you wont run out as there are two ice moulds included in the box, along with 6 paper snow cone cups to get you started.
One-touch operation makes this Disney Olaf Snow Cone Maker one of the easiest machines to use, requiring little effort compared to others on the market. Even supervised children can safely help themselves to a nice cup of slush on a hot day.
The front panel and cup holder are both removable for easy storage. Weighing in at 1.77kg, and measuring 27.9x33x47cm this Snow Cone Maker could be used as centrepiece for parties all year round.
We’re big Disney fans here at PatioMate and this little Olaf snow cone maker definitely puts a smile on the kids faces.
Fun design for children’s parties.
One-touch operation is easy to use for Disney fans of all ages.
Produces slush just as well as the more established Slushie brands, and in some cases, does a better job of it.
Fantastic gift potential to friends and family alike.
USA import, so you’ll need a UK mains and voltage adapter to use it.
Olafs head needs to be removed to place ice inside and sensitive children may be upset by this.
COSTWAY Ice shaver electric slush machine BG47783CK – The Best Professional Machine
The Costway Ice Shaver Electric Slush Machine is the real power house of shaved ice machines. It can produce a whopping 65kg of shaved ice per hour and can continue working for 20hours at a time.
The massive output of this ice crusher means it can and will hold up to the demands of being used professionally as well as at home.
The Costway Ice Shaver Electric Slush Machine is our safest commercial grade machine. The machine is secured by a heavy cast base and non-slip pads, reducing noise and preventing slide. The controls are water-resistant, and the machine will automatically cut power off when the hopper handle is open.
Weighing a whopping 4.5kg, and measuring 36.5x16x34cm, you can be sure this machine remains stationary in use. Made from premium food grade stainless steel and aluminium, suitable to use in cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants, canteens, parties and home based gatherings such as BBQs.
Included in the box is a stainless steel bowl for convenient serving, or scoop directly into re-useable cups, bowls or cones.
Premium ice shaving machine for use in almost all settings at an affordable price.
Fast shaved ice production at 65kg per hour. Ensuring everyone is served, whether as a customer or family member, in lightning speed.
Good durable construction that will last for years to come, absolutely no flimsy bits.
Costways products are always held to exceptionally high safety standards, with non-slip pads, the heavy base, heat dissipation and water-resistant buttons, this is reliably one of the safest commercial and home use ice crushing machines available.
Not the lightest, so slightly more difficult to move around as required.
Some customers have reported the serving bowl, included, to not be large enough for their needs.
Sweet Treats STSC001 Snow Cone Maker – The Best Budget Machine
The Sweet Treats STSC001 is a fantastic affordable option if you’re just looking for a quick slushie or snow cone without the fuss.
At first glance you might think this machine only produces one cone of ice at a time, but cleverly you can remove the cone holder and place a bowl underneath for larger quantities of slush.
Doubling up as a fun cocktail ice maker for the adults, this simple design is the ideal gift for anyone who loves a cold treat.
Easy to use, just fill the top with ice, close the lid and it’ll take care of all the hard work for you. Included in the box are twenty paper cones, straws and a recipe book, a fantastic deal for the price.
As an added safety measure, once the ice tray is empty the machine will switch off.
This is a great little snow cone machine for the occasional party host, though it is suitable for everyday use it might struggle serving for large numbers regularly. Ideal for small families, singles or couples.
At 1.56 Kg and measuring 16×17.5x35cm this slush machine can be easily tucked away when not in use, although I think it looks smart enough to earn itself a permanent place on the counter.
Sweet Treats are happy to stand behind every machine they produce and this little slushy maker includes a 60 day money back guarantee if for any reason it doesn’t perform as expected, they claim they will do everything they can to make it right.
Nice neat little machine, fast and convenient to use.
Ability to increase slush output to suit a variety of occasions.
Plenty of freebies, making this machine an absolute bargain.
Money back guarantee inclusive of price
Smaller than most other options on the market, you’ll need to swap bowls/jugs at least once if you’re trying to produce enough shaved ice for a party or gathering.
Some users have reported this machine ceasing to work after several months of heavier than average use. We’d recommend buying a more hardy model if you plan to use your machine multiple times daily.
LIVIVO Electric Ice Crushing Machine – The Best Countertop Machine
The LIVIVO Electric Ice Crushing Machine is the safe bet for year round use and still inconspicuous enough to blend in with other appliances on the countertop, making this the best grown-up choice if you’re more interested in iced coffees and cocktails than snow cones and slush treats although it can produce the latter.
This smart little device is always ready to go, the black retro design will suit any kitchen from minimalist to modern and every style in between.
The built-in stirrer agitates the ice, preventing it from clumping together. You can then add your fruit juice, syrup, alcohol or coffee directly into the 1litre jug (included) where the stirrer will combine it for you. Making serving a virtually effortless task.
All parts of this slush machine are BPA free for peace of mind. The LIVIVO Electric Ice Crushing Machine has two speed settings, and using sharp stainless steel blades it can handle multiple ice cubes at a time.
This slush maker is 21x19x31cm and weighs only 1.96kg, with the combined small size and weight this would be a great machine to take on your self-catering staycations for a quick and delicious treat for all of the family.
No fuss, just a quick little machine for coffee, cocktails or slushies on the go.
Nice compact design suits any home and isn’t visually as loud as some of the other machines on the market.
1litre serving jug included.
Some customers have reported that due to it’s small size and lack of non-slip feet, it can move around on the counter quite readily while in use.
Has trouble with jamming when too many ice cubes are added at a time.
VonShef Ice Crusher Machine – The Best Manual Machine
If you’re looking for a portable ice crushing machine that can whip up a snow cone, slush or ice up a cocktail for you then the VonShef Ice Crusher Machine may be just what you’re looking for.
Perfect for taking out the beach or camping (just don’t forget that you need to bring ice with you), this lovely little machine is ideal for popping in your backpack and carting on UK based holidays.
The grown up equivalent of Mr Frosty, except this one actually works! No power socket necessary, ice is crushed by turning the handle and the strong metal blades will crush your ice to the consistency you require every time.
The tray collects up to 900ml (approx.) for easy retrieval and there is a scoop included in the box to make serving a doddle.
The base of the VonShef Ice Crushing Machine has non-slip feet for added stability, which is a sensible addition to great piece of ice crushing tech.
Weighing just under 1.5kg and at a teenie 16x16x27cm this manual slush maker is the perfect size for a home bar, den or cave.
Great, functional design crushes ice easily.
Looks equally as good on the countertops as it does in the home bar.
Transportable for use anywhere.
Compact, easily stored away when not in use.
Could stand to be a bit bigger.
Sometimes difficult and fiddly to attach the handle.
Mr Frosty Crunchy Ice Maker – The Best Of The Worst
I bet you thought you could get through one summer without this monstrosity of a snowman coming up? How wrong you were.
Now, I might be unfairly biased about Mr Frosty. I remember watching the advert countless times and absolutely begging my parents for one, only to be met with sheer disappointment when I set it up and realised it wasn’t half as fun as the TV had convinced me it would be.
I feel like every child needs to learn this lesson early. If for nothing else, it creates a clear picture of how misleading adverts can be and to not buy anything without first doing proper research and making sure that product will do exactly what you need it to do.
A great educational tool in a fast moving world where screens are shouting about pay to play games, and toys composed of a thousand micro plastics (that Sally down the road already has ten of), are available at pocket money prices and advertised everywhere.
All children can benefit greatly throughout their lives, from developing a keen ability to think critically early on. Honestly, Mr Frosty is a great way to bring up the dialogue with children and teens of all ages. Load up the original advert and talk to your kids about the realities you experienced when you opened the box.
Literally everything else.
10 Best Selling Snow Cone Machines
Last update on 2020-07-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Don’t forget your syrups and accessories!
Slush puppy Snow Cone syrups, 12 x 250ml bottles
Includes 12 of the most popular flavours of slush/snow cone flavours. Tropical, Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Pink Bubblegum, Strawberry, Iron Brew, Lemon and Lime, Classic Cola, Orange, Blue Bubblegum, Pina Colada, Green Tangy Apple.
These delicious flavoured syrups are strong, long lasting and mouth-watering. From Europes original and number one Shave Ice Company, these flavours are sure to be a winner. There’s a flavour to suit everyone, young and old alike.
Caffeine free and suitable for vegetarians.
Included free with the 12 syrups are 10x fully branded wax paper snow cones, 10x bright neon straw-spoons and a professionally printed sticker pack.
Slush Puppie Original Syrup Gift Set
If you’re craving the flavours of a traditional Slush Puppie but have decided on a different machine, have no fear, Slush Puppie sells it’s syrups independently so you can always get your fix.
This two pack of 500ml Syrups in nostalgic Red Cherry and Blue Raspberry, can flavour up to 6 litres of slush. Just don’t drink it all at once, you’ll spoil your dinner.
Re-useable metal straw-spoons
With plastic straws being phased out to protect the environment and paper straws rather abysmal at their job, metal straws are the natural next choice. This 8 pack of reusable metal cocktail straw-spoons are the ideal solution to your slush sipping and scooping needs.
They’re easy to clean and come with two straw cleaners. Unlike silicone alternatives, metal will always retain its shape, especially good to use with thicker liquids and iced drinks.
Buyers Guide – Choosing your Slush Machine
Before you choose which slush maker or snow cone machine is right for you, there are some things to consider.
Electric Vs. Manual
While a manual ice crushing machine is convenient for moving around the house, garden and beyond, it is no substitute for the power of an electric slush making machine. Manuals require a good level of arm strength to turn the crank and keep the device stable at the same time meaning it could be too difficult for children and young teens to use on their own.
Electrics do all the hard work for you, which on a hot day, is a welcome relief. If you’re serving up a party, you’ll definitely want the former.
Snow Cone or General Slushie Maker?
Before deciding which machine is the best fit, consider your primary reason for purchasing it. Do you just want jugs of shaved ice for slush drinks, coffees or cocktails? If so one of the makers that either come with a jug/bowl or has removable snow cone holders is probably a better choice for you.
If you want one primarily for snow cones, then any machine with a built-in cone holders will ensure you’re not having to physically hold the cones in place. Particularly if you’re serving up for a large gathering, as this can be tiring (and freezing) for the host.
Slush Machine FAQ
How to use a slush machine?
Each machine will vary in correct usage. Always read the instructions in the box first. As a general rule, most operate in a similar way.
Plug in the machine, load ice into the top, ensure you’ve placed a receptacle at the ice exit to catch the slush, press the button/switch, and turn it off again once you’ve achieved the desirable amount of crushed or shaved ice. Add syrup, coffee or the alcohol of your choice and enjoy.
How does a slush machine work?
A slush machine works by grinding, slicing or shaving ice from cubes into thin shavings resembling snow.
Why is my slush machine freezing up?
Your slush machine might freeze up for a few reasons. Ice may have become caught in the crushing mechanism or blades, preventing movement. This can usually be resolved by allowing the ice time to melt before adding anymore. Machines that use stirrers will freeze up if the ice in the jug is allowed to reform into one large block. It’s always best to add cubes to the top only when you are ready to use the slush that is caught below.
What is a Snow Cone?
A snow cone is a shaved ice treat, usually flavoured with syrup and served in a small white paper cone with a straw-spoon.
What Is a Slush/Slushie/Slushy/Slurpee?
A Slush/Slushie/Slushy are all the same item, depending on where you are in the country, you might use a different variation of the term. In the USA a very similar treat exists called a Slurpee, named after the sound the straw makes as you drink .
They are all similar to a snow cone.
The difference being that they are usually larger. More syrup is added and they are served in a cup to enjoy as a drink rather than an ice dessert.
In Hawaii it’s known as a Hawaiian Shaved Ice, while in the British & French Carribean islands it’s known as a snowball.
Do I Need To Buy Syrups?
Good news everyone, you don’t need to purchase any syrups if you don’t want to. You can use various types of fruit juices and cordials. Both fresh and from concentrate will work, just be sure to follow dilution guidelines on the bottle.
Alternatively, for adult slush you can mix your own cocktails using only alcohol and mixers, or use juices and mixers to make clever mocktails. Handy for hiding a pregnancy before you’re ready to share the news, particularly at big family BBQs and re-unions once we’re all free to see each other again.
If you need a swift pick-me-up in the morning, then adding shaved ice to freshly brewed coffee makes for a delicious and affordable alternative to an expensive coffee shop treat.
Final Thoughts – All About Slush And Snow Cone Machines
With a hosepipe ban looming in the not so distant future, it’s the right time to invest in ways to cool our families down. A slushy treat is ideal for people of all ages, to be enjoyed at any time of day or night, inside or outdoors. The perfect low cost – low calorie summer dessert and drink.
It’s both financially sensible and considerate of the environment to go with re-usable cups, straw-spoons and cones rather than single use ones, if you are able. At PatioMate we know not everyone can use metal, paper or silicone straws but if you are able bodied please do consider the re-usable options.
All said and done we’d love to know how you enjoy your slushed beverages and desserts? What’s your favourite flavour? Do you have a Mr Frosty disappointment to share? Let us know in the comments below!