How To Choose An Ice Bucket & Wine Chiller

Ice buckets and wine chillers are a convenient addition to any social gathering or meal. You can take them along to different gatherings. Or you can keep them at home and use them to keep wine out in the open when guests are over. They can even help you out if you're staying in and your refrigerator is full.

However, even an ice bucket can come in a wide variety of styles and materials. Below we'll take a look at the main types of ice buckets & wine chillers. We'll also help you decide which one is right for your home and situation.

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What Are Ice Buckets & Wine Chillers Made Of?

Ice buckets and wine chillers can be made of the following materials:


Most ice buckets are some kind of metal. They might be copper, galvanized steel or stainless steel, as a few examples. Many have some kind of coating, such as lacquer, to prevent tarnishing. Metal often gives an upscale look, so choose this material if you want a classy addition to your décor style.

Metal Ice Bucket Drink Cooler
Black with Polka Dots Metal Wine Chiller
Black Gold Metal Ice Bucket
Big Metal Ice Bucket
Gold Thick Copper Ice Bucket
Oval Solid Metal Ice Tub


If you want more of a classic country look, you can also find woven textures, such as a rattan design. These may also be lacquered to prevent water damage from the ice.

Plastic and vinyl

You may also find buckets made of plastic and vinyl. The best products of this variety will be designed so that condensation does not form on the outside. These often come in contemporary styles and work well in sleek, modern or casual spaces.

White Marble Plastic Wine Chiller
Green Ice Bucket with Vinyl Lid
White Plastic Ice Bucket
Cherry-oak Wood Plastic Wine Chiller
Brown Rattan Ice Bucket
Light Brown Rattan Ice Bucket


More rarely, you might also see ie buckets and wine chillers made out of stone, like a marble design. Stone pieces are great for regal and high-class styles. Lighter shades of stone also do well in bright, contemporary spaces.  

Glass & Crystal

Ice buckets made of glass are perhaps the most versatile options as they can also be used as flower vases, candle holders or even candy jars. Their transparent nature helps them blend with the environment, making them an ideal choice for all decorating schemes.

If clear glass is too ordinary for you, the timeless beauty of crystal is another great option to consider. With its characteristic cross-hatch patterns and vintage look at its best, a crystal ice bucket is a classic that will instantly raise your bar and add a touch of elegance every cocktail party.

3 Piece Personalized Glass Ice Bucket Set
Black Marble Personalized Wine Chiller
Glass Ice Bucket with Golden Stripes
Slim White Marble Wine Chiller
Clear Glass Wine Chiller
Vintage White Marble Wine Cooler

How to Choose the Style of an Ice Bucket & Wine Chiller?

You have many different styles to choose from when you're looking for an ice bucket.  However, they can be categorized by a few main styles. Below we'll help you decide which works for your situation.

Sleek and rounded

This is the most common style in ice buckets and wine chillers. It's a tabletop piece that often comes just big enough to hold either one or a few wine bottles. It's common to see them in 3-quart sizes with dimensions somewhere around 9 inches by 9 inches by 9 inches. Larger containers might be 5 quarts and around 12 inches high by 10 inches wide by 10 inches deep.

They are usually one neutral shade with some type of complementary trim, often in a sleek metal. Choose this style if you're looking for an upscale piece that can look nice in just about any party, especially ritzy ones. Often, this style is also good if you just need to hold ice alone.


Another common style is some type of hammered metal, meaning there are divots in the metal on the outside of the bucket, giving a more rustic appearance. Hammered metals look better for more casual parties. You tend to see this design in larger, open buckets where you can casually put multiple bottles in a pile of ice so people can serve themselves. You might see dimensions around 7 inches high by 15 inches wide by 15 inches deep.


Some ice buckets go for a certain theme, like they might be shaped like a large martini glass or feature a nautical theme and a rope handle. Choose themed designs if you want a playful or casual look to your party or home. 


Some buckets also have a rustic finish to them, so that they look like an antique type of metal. You can tell them by their faux dark spots or distressed look. Choose antique styles for rustic or country themes.

What is the Best Organizational Design for Ice Buckets & Wine Chillers?

Some ice buckets and wine chillers actually have a molded section inside. You put the wine in the holders and add ice around the holder sections. That prevents ice from sticking to the bottle and keeps the wine upright.

Segmented buckets and chillers make especially good items if you have the bucket out at a party and want to provide convenience while guests pour their own drinks. As an added feature, some of these inserts are even removable.

As a general rule, the more bottles you want to hold, the more open and larger your cooler should be. That way, you can fill plenty of ice directly around all the bottles you need to chill.