The 8 Best Ice Buckets to Keep Beverages Cold

Chill your refreshments in style with these ice buckets, like our favorite, the Graham Hammered Metal Ice Bucket from Crate & Barrel.

In This Article

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Ice Buckets

Whether it's Champagne, rosé, a canned cocktail, seltzer, or iced tea, a drink nearing room temperature doesn't compare to one that's nestled between ice cubes. Ice buckets take care of this, while beautiful stainless steel, copper, and marbled vessels add a decorative touch to dinner parties and barbeques alike.

Researching the market and drawing on our industry knowledge, we curated ice buckets with factors like size, style, material, insulation, and usage in mind. We dubbed the Crate & Barrel Graham Hammered Metal Ice Bucket the Best Overall for its classic shape, which lends itself well to wine bottles, and double-walled stainless steel construction, among other features. From traditional ice buckets to ice chest-like tubs to portable cooler bags, find the best ice buckets below.

Best Overall: Crate&Barrel Graham Hammered Metal Ice Bucket

Graham Hammered Metal Ice Bucket

Crate&Barrel

Pros: The well-made swivel handle makes this ice bucket easily portable for refilling.

Cons: This ice bucket does not come with tongs, though you can buy a matching pair.

We love the dappled design and clean lines of this ice bucket, which juxtaposes hammered metal with a polished lid and handle. Indeed, its handle and lid, in addition to being easy to transport, help this ice bucket hit all the marks for a Best Overall pick. It's large enough for a single bottle of wine, and double walling provides maximum insulation. Like our Best Value and Best Modern choices, it can double as a wine chiller.

Price at time of publish: $70

  • Top Use: Ice, single bottle of wine
  • Dimensions: 7 x 8 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel

Best Value: S'well Stainless Steel Ice Bucket with Tongs

Stainless Steel Ice Bucket with Tongs

S'well

Pros: It comes with a lid and tongs, and is made from stainless steel to keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours.

Cons: This ice bucket does not have a handle, and it's relatively small.

With a triple-layered, vacuum-insulated construction, S'well products can chill ice and beverages for up to 24 hours. This design also keeps them free of condensation, even when ice begins to melt inside. This ice bucket comes with a lid and tongs, and while it doesn't have a handle, it's small enough to tote from the countertop to the outdoor table. It's just the right size to chill a single bottle of wine as well as for serving ice cubes. This S'well ice bucket is also quite stylish with a marble-like exterior, and can easily be paired with other S'well products, such as the cocktail shaker, to form a matching set.

Price at time of publish: $50

  • Top Use: Ice, single bottle of wine
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 6.5 x 6.85 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel

Best Splurge: Williams Sonoma Hammered-Copper Ice Bucket With Lid

Hammered-Copper Ice Bucket With Lid

Williams Sonoma

Pros: The watertight, stainless steel lining will keep ice cubes frozen for a long time.

Cons: Because this ice bucket is made of copper, you will have to polish it with lemon and salt on occasion to keep it shiny.

This ice bucket, though small, boasts a practical design and an elegant hammered copper finish that make it worth the splurge. Stainless steel lining keeps this ice bucket well insulated, and its size and swing handle make it easily carryable from indoor to outdoor spaces when entertaining. It holds a decent amount of ice if all you need are a few cubes per drink at small gatherings and celebrations; it's also sized to hold a single bottle of wine. If you're looking for a nice set, you can purchase matching pieces, including this gorgeous Hammered Copper Pitcher, for an entertaining upgrade.

Price at time of publish: $130

  • Top Use: Ice, single bottle of wine
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Material: Copper

Best Modern: Williams Sonoma Double-Wall Stainless-Steel Insulated Ice Bucket

Double-Wall Stainless-Steel Insulated Ice Bucket

Williams Sonoma

Pros: This is a well-priced, well-made ice bucket that will get the job done.

Cons: This ice bucket doesn't have a handle and doesn't come with tongs.

This stainless steel ice bucket from Williams Sonoma has a sleek rounded shape, smooth exterior, and simple lidded design that earn it our vote for Best Modern. It's double walled and insulated, so you don't have to worry about ice melting too quickly. Plus, its lid keeps ice frozen longer. Look no further for a sophisticated ice bucket at a good value. Its size is ideal for serving ice cubes or chilling a single bottle of wine.

Price at time of publish: $100

  • Top Use: Ice, single bottle of wine
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 7 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel

Best with Flip-Top Lid: OXO Insulated Plastic Ice Bucket Set

OXO Insulated Plastic Ice Bucket Set

Amazon

Pros: The flip-top lid and garnish tray are the way to go for enjoying craft cocktails at home. It's less expensive than ice buckets made of stainless steel.

Cons: It's small, so you may need to refill it depending on the size of your gathering.

Known for its accessible cookware, OXO sells an affordable ice bucket that houses enough ice cubes for a few cocktails as well as garnishes. This small bucket only holds ice (as opposed to larger ice buckets that can hold bottles), but it also comes with a garnish tray for maraschino cherries, lime wedges, and more, making it a great pick for parties. Double-wall construction keeps ice frozen, and the practical flip-top lid maximizes its insulation, which also helps to keep the garnishes fresh. Tongs are a bonus.

Price at time of publish: $31

  • Top Use: Ice, when serving craft cocktails with garnishes
  • Dimensions: 7.7 x 7.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Material: Plastic, nylon

Best for Large Parties: Crate&Barrel Bash Silver Beverage Tub

Bash Silver Beverage Tub

Crate&Barrel

Pros: The extra-large capacity of this ice tub makes it perfect for large parties.

Cons: Though made of aluminum, it isn't insulated, so ice will melt more rapidly.

This is more of a tub than a bucket, but it's the kind of vessel you need for chilling enough refreshments for a large gathering. This beverage tub beckons for barbeques and pool parties, as it can hold whites, rosés, beers, seltzers, and water bottles all at once. The wide and deep dimensions of this tub make it great for chilling even large bottles, and it has plenty of space for a thick layer of ice to go on the bottom before you add your beverages. With open-hole handles on the sides, it's easily moveable when you want to take it elsewhere or top off the ice.

Price at time of publish: $100

  • Top Use: To hold a large number of drinks as well as large bottles
  • Dimensions: 19.5 x 14 x 9 inches
  • Material: Aluminum

Best for Outdoors: YETI Tank Bucket Cooler

Tank Bucket Cooler

YETI

Pros: This large ice bucket holds 50 of your favorite canned drinks.

Cons: It does not come with a lid, and the interior is prone to scratches.

Serve a wide selection of canned libations with the trusted Yeti Tank 45 Ice Bucket, which holds up to 50 drinks and all the ice you need to keep them cold. The body of this heavy-duty ice bucket is made from thick polyethylene plastic cast in a single mold, also referred to as rotomolded, so it's not only strong but also insulated. Its military-grade polyester rope handles are ideal for rugged outdoor adventures. Yeti's original tie-down slots (located on the sides next to the polyester rope handles) are designed to attach to boats, trailers, and truck beds for days on the river or at a campsite. It would also be at home at a tailgate. Just add koozies.

Price at time of publish: $200

  • Top Use: To hold a large number of drinks, especially outdoors
  • Dimensions: 21.1 x 16.6 x 21.1 inches
  • Material: Polyethylene plastic

Best for on the Go: Corkcicle EOLA Cooler Backpack

Corkcicle Eola Bucket Cooler Bag

Corkcicle

Pros: This backpack-style cooler is easy to transport and fashionable, available in six colors.

Cons: It's a bit pricey for a small, insulated bag, but the stylishness and well-crafted design more than make up for it.

We love that you can toss this cooler on your back and hike up a hill or traipse down a steep trail to the coast, toting cold beverages with ease. Depending on the size, this sturdy little backpack can hold eight to 12 cans or two standard-size bottles of wine — or better yet, a few cans or a bottle of wine paired with your favorite chilled snacks. The food-safe interior lining will keep your drinks insulated beneath the full-zip closure, and it's easily packable with loose ice chips or an ice pack. Drinks stay cold overnight in this insulated bag, which also means they will fare well on a day trip in warm weather. Insider tip: moms say it's the perfect size for keeping bottles of breastmilk cold on the go.

Price at time of publish: $160

  • Top Use: To keep drinks cold on trails and for small picnics
  • Dimensions: 8 x 11 x 14 inches
  • Material: Vegan leather and nylon

Conclusion

We named the Crate & Barrel Graham Hammered Metal Ice Bucket the Best Overall ice bucket because it includes a lid and a handle, has double-walled insulation, and comes at a reasonable price — especially given its stainless steel material and classic design. Those looking for a larger ice bucket, whether for poolside parties or tailgates, will find a winner in the Crate & Barrel Bash Silver Beverage Tub or the Yeti Tank 45 Ice Bucket, respectively.

Factors to Consider

Purpose

There are many factors to consider when purchasing an ice bucket, with the most important being usage. Will you use it only for ice or does it need to double as a wine chiller? And if you regularly host large gatherings, just how many beverages do you want your ice tub to hold? Will it be used on the go or at home, indoors or outdoors?

Dimensions

The dimensions of an ice bucket determine how many libations the vessel can hold. This ties into knowing your primary purpose for purchasing an ice bucket. If it's just ice you need, go for one of the smaller offerings around six to seven inches wide. For tub-style ice buckets, you'll want dimensions that are in the 19- to 20-inch width range.

Material

The majority of well-made ice buckets consist of stainless steel. We've included a few materials on this list, such as Yeti's heavy-duty polyethylene plastic, but unless you have a specific niche purpose that would require an ice bucket that isn't made of stainless steel, we suggest going with this classic material for durability and its ability to keep iced-down drinks cold.

Insulation

Except for Crate & Barrel's Bash Silver Beverage Tub, all recommendations on this list are insulated, as are nearly all ice buckets on the market. The large-scale beverage tub isn't insulated because it holds such a massive amount of ice that you don't really need it to be. In any case, double-walled insulation is the standard for keeping ice frozen and drinks cold.

Q+A

Q: How long does ice last in an ice bucket?

A: Many of the ice buckets on our list will keep ice frozen for up to 24 hours, with insulation and lids factored into this timespan. As our best practices for ice buckets state, you can also add in some water to eliminate the air pockets when drinks accompany ice in the bucket — this also speeds up the chilling process if you are trying to cool your beverages quickly.

Q: How long should you chill wine in an ice bucket?

A: For white, rosé, and sparkling wines, the temperature should be about 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit once chilled. Of course, you'll want to let the wine sit tight in the glass for a minute or two to take the edge off the chill and allow the aromas to blossom, but generally, you want to be drinking white, rosé, and sparkling wines after they have been chilled for at least 10 minutes. Also, note that wines should chill in an ice bath (ice and water) and not just ice.

Q: Should red wine be chilled in an ice bucket?

A: Yes, you can use an ice bucket to chill red wine. The main reason for doing so would be if the wine is too far above cellar temperature when you want to serve it. Cellar temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and red wine is most enjoyable at roughly 65 degrees. If your wines are not cellared or may have warmed up a bit too much while sitting out, you'll want to chill them back down to roughly 65 degrees Fahrenheit before serving (or just under room temperature). An ice bucket can help bring down the temperature. Not to mention, certain types of wines taste best when slightly chilled, such as Beaujolais Nouveau or a domestic version of a carbonic maceration red wine.

Our Expertise

Years of tasting and writing about food, wine, and spirits guide Melissa Vogt's research. As a tourist, Vogt seeks out the very best in local food and drink, and she's well acquainted with where to find good libations and eats in her hometown of Santa Rosa, Calif. Read more of her writing on her website and in Napa Valley Life, Very Napa Valley, and Wine Country This Month. As part of her research, Melissa tapped into her network of northern California sommeliers to discuss ice buckets, which are the go-to for the drinks industry.

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