Love the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning?
The good news is that you don’t have to be an experienced baker to enjoy delicious fresh homemade bread every morning.
Several excellent bread making machines are, quite literally, set and forget. By following the instructions and sourcing the right ingredients, you can produce a loaf to rival even the finest local artisan bakeries.
Below we have produced a buyer’s guide to help you find the best bread maker machine for baking bread and have also included our top recommendations to help you narrow down your options.
- 1 A Guide to the Best Bread Maker Machine
- 2 Why Get a Bread Maker?
- 3 Our Criteria for Finding the Best Bread Makers
- 4 Best Bread Maker Machine: Our Top Picks
- 5 Best Bread Maker Machine FAQ
A Guide to the Best Bread Maker Machine
Whether you are launching your own home bakery, looking for a budget bread maker, or want to find the perfect holiday gift, there are some great bread machines that are worth considering.
Why Get a Bread Maker?
For most people, there is no shortage of bread available at the local bakery or in nearby grocery stores. It’s not like bread is difficult to source, right? So, why get a bread machine if so much high-quality bread is readily available?
There are a few good reasons:
It lets you choose the exact ingredients that go into a loaf
This applies to any form of home baking. One of the things you will notice about the bread that comes out of a home bread maker is that it doesn’t last as long as the bread purchased at a grocery store. Why is that?
Homemade bread has a shorter life cycle because it isn’t packed with preservatives and additives designed to keep the loaf on the shelf a few days longer. One of the best reasons to get a bread maker is to have access to healthy bread made out of quality ingredients that aren’t tampered with in the name of profit.
In addition, you maintain control over the ingredients you use and the nutritional content of the bread you bake.
The homemade alternative, making bread by hand, is time-consuming and difficult
You don’t need a bread machine to make bread at home. Of course, many baking purists will argue that you can’t possibly match the quality of a hand-crafted loaf. And they’re right. But it’s not easy for a baking novice to turn out delicious bread.
If you want the alluring smell of a freshly baked loaf to fill your house without the chore of learning to bake from scratch, bread machines are the perfect middle ground. They take care of a lot of the hard work for you, making bread making at home so much easier and convenient.
The best bread makers will save you money
All of the bread machines featured can save you money so long as you buy quality ingredients (the more in bulk, the better).
The average loaf of bread will probably cost around $1.80 to $2.80, depending on where you live. By sourcing the best value flour, milk, yeast, etc., it’s possible to knock anywhere from 30-60% off the price of each loaf.
If your family eats a lot of bread, the economics of owning a bread machine makes perfect sense. The machine will pay for itself in around 2-6 months.
Unless that is, you go for one of the luxury models, like a Zo or Breville, which require larger upfront investments ($200+) for a machine that delivers super high-quality bread.
So, why purchase a bread maker machine? If you really love homemade bread but don’t have the time to bake it from scratch, these machines are cheap enough to merit buying several times over. This is a machine you can use every day and is easy to operate, easy to clean, and is just so convenient.
Our Criteria for Finding the Best Bread Makers
Before we go into detail, let’s first go over the criteria for what you should be looking for in a good machine. In other words… what separates a good bread maker from a waste of money?
Quality of Loaf
The primary concern for anybody investing in a bread machine is the quality of the loaf. Therefore, we are not interested in machines that produce lower quality bread than we could buy in a store.
Another factor affecting the quality (or appearance) of a loaf is the machine’s kneading paddle. Do some research when looking for a bread maker machine. Is the kneading paddle removable? Does it stick to the bread? Skip down to user comments when shopping to find answers to questions just like these.
Some machines come with kneading paddles that are notorious for ripping large holes in the base of the loaf, and others have paddles that can be removed before baking.
Variety of Settings
Having a variety of settings is good when you want to make different types of bread. French, gluten-free, quick bread… what sort of bread do you like?
If you want the flexibility of testing many different loaves, it’s best to choose a bread machine that has these options built-in. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of baking your favorite breads.
Thankfully, these days, bread machines are piling on the settings to the point where we are spoiled for choice. As a result, all of the featured machines we have included in our reviews below are well equipped.
So, what settings should you look for in the best bread maker machine? Here are a few:
- Loaf Size Settings: These settings are important because you might not always need to make a loaf big enough for a family. Customizable loaf size settings allow you to make the perfect-sized bread for your needs.
- Crust Settings: How do you like your bread crust? If you want the option of extra brown or a lighter crust, then this is a setting to look for. It allows for more flexibility in how you bake your loaves.
- Viewing Window: Do you like taking a peek to see how things are progressing as your bread bakes? Then you may want a viewing window. This is usually found on the lid of the bread maker and allows you to glance in.
- Keep Warm Settings and Timer: A keep-warm function is good, so your bread stays nice and toasty and warm, so it is ready to go when you are. A timer is also good to have so you can schedule when your loaf will start baking and be done.
- Fast Mode: Are you short on time? A fast mode setting is great when you need to optimize your baking time and get the bread done faster.
What good is a bread machine that occasionally produces high-quality loaves – but also spits out baked monstrosities. Making bread is a sloooooow process. It can take several hours. So, unpredictability is not a quality that we tend to look for when it comes to our bread maker.
Closely tied to reliability, the best-rated bread makers are popular for the high level of convenience they provide. Enjoy waking up to the aroma of a freshly baked loaf?
Well, you have two options:
- Get up in the middle of the night to prep your breakfast…
- Or choose an automatic bread machine that comes with a delay timer
We know which option we prefer!
Manufacturers are getting better and better at bundling convenience into their bread machines. Indeed, the rise of ‘smart’ kitchen devices has us very excited to meet the bread machines of the future.
Value Adding Extras
The fanciest bread makers come with some lovely value-adding extras.
In short: they can bake more than just bread.
The best machines are capable of producing dough, cakes, pasta, or even jams.
If your only interest is in making the best quality loaves, then you probably aren’t sold on the idea of paying more for a machine that can mix homemade jam. But many of us will appreciate those versatile machines with additional utility beyond making bread.
Likewise, if you are concerned about kitchen appliances piling up and gathering dust, you might want to consider a multi-purpose bread maker. You will be enticed to use it more often.
Weight and Size
The last factors we’ve considered are weight and size. Make no mistake, some of these bread machines are counter hogs.
If you are working in a small space, you probably don’t want to commit your last remaining slice of worktop to a gigantic home bakery.
Or maybe you do?
As you’d expect, the size of the machine is correlated to the size of loaves it can produce. If you have a family of toast fiends to feed, you might want to consider one of the heavy-duty machines capable of producing 2.5 lb loaves (or even 3 lb loaves).
Keep in mind that some bread makers are better than others at making larger loaves.
We’ll discuss this in detail with our buyer’s guide below.
Best Bread Maker Machine: Our Top Picks
The Oster 2-Pound Expressbake is one of the bestselling bread makers in the world today.
The CKSTBRTW20 model comes with several popular cycles catering to a number of different breads, including Basic, Quick, Whole Wheat, Dough, Sweet, and more.
It has a 2 lb maximum loaf size and, at just 8 lbs in total weight, is one of the most compact and portable bread makers in its category.
This machine will appeal to both the impatient and the very patient.
The Expressbake feature allows for a loaf to be baked in around an hour. However, if you are looking for a machine that can deliver the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread in the morning, the Oster Bread maker also has a 13-hour delay timer that will put the machine to work while you’re still in bed.
And it does all of this at a remarkably low price.
- The flagship Expressbake option gives you the chance to make a loaf of bread in just 60 minutes. If you thought bread making had to take hours… well, not anymore!
- Twelve bread settings and three crust settings make for a variety of breads, dough, and jams
- The product is designed for ease of use. A large see-through window lets you spy on how your bread is cooking. The machine is non-stick with a removable lid to ensure easy cleaning
- Low, low price.
- While the machine provides phenomenal value, there are numerous reports that its non-stick surface may deteriorate after extensive use
- The recipe book that comes with the machine is nowhere near as useful as the many recipes available online
- A 2 lb loaf will push the machine to its outer limits, and the quality is generally not as good as the smaller 1.5 lb loaves
Want to see the Oster Expressbake at work?
Here’s a video from Rich Davis making a French Countryside Loaf with the Oster 2 lb ExpressBake Bread maker:
Our Verdict on the Oster 2-Pound Expressbake:
When you see the price of this machine, your first impression will be: “I guess they must be skimping on quality.”
To say that the Oster Expressbake is a budget bread maker would do a disservice to the high-quality loaves it can produce.
Yes, the machine does have slight reliability issues baking 2 lb loaves. But for smaller sizes, this is a remarkably capable bread maker that crams a ton of useful features into a machine that is both lightweight and easy to use.
If you aren’t sure if breadmaking is your hobby, this is a great machine to try first.
Likewise, if you want a bread maker that saves you money on the cost of buying bread in-store without requiring a large upfront investment, the Oster Expressbake is a winner.
Second only to Oster’s Expressbake machine in the sales charts over recent years, the Cuisinart CBK-100 Bread Maker bakes loaves in 1 lb, 1.5 lb, or 2 lb sizes.
It is the slightly cheaper sister model, the CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker, which comes with some additional settings and can produce some truly ‘artisan’ bread.
So, why are we recommending the CBK-100 ahead of the CBK-200? They are both fantastic bread makers worthy of a place on this list.
We are recommending the CBK-100 first and foremost because it is around 50% cheaper than the CBK-200 without sacrificing any of its core features.
The CBK-200 has additional bread settings (16 vs 11) and an alternating heating and cooling process that can produce some mouthwatering textures. This is the main difference, so you can decide for yourself if it’s a clincher and pay extra for the CBK-200 if necessary.
For most customers, the Cuisinart CBK-100 will check off all the requirements of a modern bread maker.
- It has all the versatility that you’d expect from a modern bread maker, including programs for basic/white, French/Italian, wholewheat, sweet bread, gluten free, packaged mix, cake/quick bread, dough, pasta dough, jams, bake-only mode, and rapid bake
- Comes with a removable paddle to save that familiar crater in the bottom of the loaf. The machine will beep when it is ready for removal
- The machine will also alert you through beeping if you require mix-ins added, such as nuts and seeds, raisins, dried fruits, shredded cheeses, chocolate morsels, etc.
- Strong performer compared to other budget machines for gluten free bread making
- It’s another large machine at 18 x 12.2 x 15 inches, and weighing over 18 lbs. If you are short on space, you may wish you’d checked the size specifications when it arrives on your doorstep!
- The pan scratches easily, and the non-stick coating is not particularly durable
- Many users report a learning curve attached to this machine, even when following the recipes that came with the introductory booklet. You must ensure you are purchasing the best quality ingredients, or the resulting loaf will be affected. It is probably not the best machine if you are planning to skimp on the quality of what gets put inside it
Here’s a demo video of the Cuisinart CBK-100 2 lb Bread Maker in action:
Our Verdict on the Cuisinart CBK-100 2 lb Bread Maker:
We were torn between recommending the CBK-100 or the CBK-200. Ultimately we sided with the cheaper model that offers most of the same features at a much lower price.
If you are interested in the best that Cuisinart has to offer with additional settings for low-carb and artisan dough, the CBK-200 is definitely worth a shot. All things considered, it produces a more evenly baked final loaf.
For everybody else, the CBK-100 offers one of the best entry-level bread makers on the market. But, take note: this is a big machine.
We’d have to recommend the similar but much smaller Oster Expressbake if kitchen space is an issue. However, those users specifically looking for a gluten free bread maker may prefer the CBK-100, which has a solid reputation for its gluten free cycle.
Additional features like the 13-hour delay timer and the rapid bake cycle (which requires rapid rise yeast) are worthy of mention. This is a great all-around bread maker.
If you are looking for a top-of-the-range home bakery option, the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is a machine that bakes bread that is to die for.
Zojirushi bread makers are known for their high-quality, high-performance, long-lasting shelf life.
The Japanese manufacturer has carved out a reputation for excellence over the course of 100 years. These products are not the cheapest. Indeed, the BB-PAC20 is one of the most expensive bread makers on the market. That is because it’s about as good as it gets for a home breadmaking machine.
Baking traditional loaves up to 2 lbs in size, the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is packed with all the essential options you will need – including organic and gluten free settings – but it’s the quality of each loaf that will impress you most.
The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is marketed as a ‘home bakery’ for good reason.
It delivers some of the best homemade bread of any automatic machine we’ve seen in the last 15 years.
- Ten standard settings known for excellent quality, including Basic, Basic Wheat, Basic Dough, Quick, Quick Wheat, Quick Dough, Jam, Cake, Sour Dough Starter, and Home Made. Throw in the crust settings, light, medium, or dark, and you have many options available
- Every inch of the BB-PAC20 is designed for the perfect bake – that includes the removable lid, which comes with an additional heater to produce a consistent loaf
- Comes with dual kneading blades to knead the dough thoroughly
- It’s Zojirushi. Enough said. The Japanese-made BB-PAC20 is a strong, durable, top-of-the-line bread maker that will attract jealous stares in your kitchen
- Some users report that the standard settings on each bread cycle are too short to produce ‘light’ loaves. This is personal preference, but using the BB-PAC20’s custom settings is a good alternative (although it will naturally introduce greater scope for baking miscalculations)
- It’s not cheap. You’re paying for one of the best bread makers in the world
Below is a demonstration of the Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread maker BB-PAC20, which the company describes as their most technologically advanced bread maker to date:
Our Verdict on the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread maker:
As you can probably tell, we are big fans of the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 bread maker.
We believe this is one of the best bread machines money can buy.
We’ve had nothing but positive experiences using the machine – give or take a couple of baking accidents that were (most likely…) due to our own miscalculations with sub-standard ingredients.
A few extra features to note:
The BB-PAC20 comes with the standard 13-hour delay timer for anybody who wants to wake up to fresh bread in the morning. It’s reasonably quiet, but at 10.5 x 18 x 13 inches and a whopping 22 lbs of rugged steel, it’s unlikely to go unnoticed on your kitchen counter.
This Zojirushi machine also comes with a see-through panel – so feel free to sit back, watch your loaf bake, and salivate like a famished lunatic.
A highly recommended machine!
Breville claims that the BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker is the smartest bread maker ever.
If a custom loaf is what you are looking for, few machines compare to the genius of the BBM800XL. This is about as good as it’s going to get without pursuing an impromptu crash course in actual baking.
What is it about the BBM800XL that merits such a hefty price tag and so many praises? Let’s take a look:
- Comes with a unique collapsible kneading paddle. If you’ve owned a cheap bread maker with a fixed kneading paddle, or even one of the shoddier removable versions, you’ll appreciate that nothing ruins a beautiful loaf quite like a gigantic crater in its base. With the Breville BBM800XL’s collapsible paddle, there are no such issues
- Industry-leading automation and convenience. Yes, the BBM800XL has an automatic timer with a 13-hour delay, and yes, it will wait until ingredients are at the correct temperature before mixing. But another great addition is the automatic fruit and nut dispenser, which is also compatible with the timer. Most timers only allow for basic bread cycles, but not this one. The Breville will automatically add fruit and nuts into your mix at the exact moment that is conducive to a delicious, tasty, well-baked loaf
- Flawless performance across all loaf sizes: 1 pound, 1.5 pound, 2 pound, and 2.5 pounds. Many bread makers say they can handle any loaf up to 2 lbs, but the quality will vary considerably. This machine produces divine bread for just about any requirement, thanks to the next key feature
- It’s stunningly customizable. The clue is in the name; Custom Loaf Bread Maker. While there are plenty of preset recipes that deliver mouthwatering loaves, you can just as easily head off-piste and come up with your own formulas that produce bread just the way you like it
- The 800 has an interior light which is very useful for keeping an eye on the bread as it bakes
- It’s loud. We’ve seen a few people claim that this is a quiet machine… well, not in our kitchen
- The dough tends to bounce around the machine, which in turn can bounce the machine around your worktop. At 17 lbs, it’s lighter than the Zojirushi BB-PAC20, but that’s still a lot of stainless steel to have dancing around the counter. Keep away from the edges
- It is expensive. Like the BB-PAC20, you are paying for a quality bread maker
Our Verdict on the Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker:
There is fierce debate between Breville and Zojirushi customers over which company produces the better luxury bread maker.
In terms of features and settings, a Custom Loaf Bread Maker might just be marginally ahead. But for pure loaf quality, the BB-PAC20 Home Bakery just edges it.
The Breville BBM800XL is a genuinely excellent bread maker.
Hamilton Beach is another household name when it comes to smaller kitchen appliances in the home. This Hamilton Beach Bread Maker Machine is digital and programmable. It has over 12 settings to choose from, including a gluten-free option, and also comes with a dishwasher-safe pan and kneading paddle.
It has a 1.5 pound or 2-pound capacity and features three crust settings to choose from: light, medium, or dark crust. If you need to prepare yeast dough, you can do so easily with this bread maker. You can make dough, bake cakes, or make other delicious treats, including jams.
- With this bread maker, you can make delicious bread in just three easy steps. You maintain control over the ingredients and nutritional content of each loaf.
- It has 12 preprogrammed cycles to choose from, so you can make a healthy whole wheat loaf, gluten-free loaf, or gooey cinnamon buns.
- Choose from two different size options and three crust options to make sure each loaf is exactly how you want it each time you bake bread in this bread maker.
- The nonslip feet on the bottom of this kitchen appliance ensure that it stays put and does not slide around
- It is also easy to clean since the kneading paddle and bread pan are both dishwasher safe
- Easily program and monitor the progress of the bread you bake with its large digital display and delay start feature. This means you can set your baking time in advance. Once it is done baking, the machine will automatically keep your bread warm for up to an hour
- Some users have reported that this bread maker machine can be pretty noisy when it is in the process of mixing the dough. Other than that, the machine remains relatively quiet in its operation
- With regular use, some of the parts may become broken and damaged, requiring expensive replacement parts
Our Verdict on the Hamilton Beach Bread Maker Machine
This is a great machine if you want access to a variety of settings and want something that is easy to use and clean. It proves to be a versatile kitchen appliance that allows you to prep dough, bake your favorite breads, and even play around with different jam recipes.
It has a few customizable features you will love as well. However, keep in mind that if you need replacement parts, they can turn out to be pretty pricey.
The Crownful Automatic Bread Machine is another great budget option if you want a bread maker for your home but don’t have a ton of money to spend. This 2-pound programmable bread maker comes equipped with a non-stick pan, and 12 presets to choose from. You can also get this bread maker in either black or white to match any kitchen décor.
It is a versatile bread maker machine with a large capacity and three color crust settings for light, medium, and dark crust. It has a two loaf capacity of 1.5 and 2 pounds, and since the pan is non-stick, you will find it is incredibly easy to clean.
- Has an intuitive LCD digital panel making it easy to read and easy to operate. It also features a large transparent viewing window for those times you want to take a peek during the baking process
- The 13-hour delay timer and 1-hour keep-warm function are two more important features because they allow you to load your ingredients and set it to start baking before you wake up in the morning. You can set this bread maker up to 13 hours in advance and then use the 60 minute stay warm function. Additionally, it has a built-in 10 minute power interruption recovery feature
- You can make a variety of different breads with this machine, including basic bread loaves, gluten-free, French whole wheat, quick bread, sweet bread, dough, cakes, sandwich bread, and pizza dough. There is also an option that allows you to add in fruits and nuts. It is an audible reminder, ensuring you never forget this delicious step
- It also comes with all the accessories you need to get started, including a bread hook, measuring cup, measuring spoon, and recipe book
- Many users reported that the recipe book is not written in US measurements, so you may have to convert the measurements
- Some have complained about the crust settings of this bread machine and have said that their bread loaves are sometimes damp on the bottom
Our Verdict on the Crownful Automatic Bread Machine
Overall, this is a great machine that is easy to use, convenient, and will prove to be a time saver due to its advanced settings, allowing you to schedule when the bread will begin baking. The biggest complaint we have found has to do with the included recipe book and the fact that it is not written with US measurements.
This West Bend Hi-Rise Bread Maker is equipped with dual kneading blades that provide a much more thorough dough kneading, resulting in a lighter taste and a higher rise. It has 12 digital settings to choose from, including a gluten free setting and a custom setting for bakers who are already familiar with the bread making process and how to use a bread maker machine.
- With the dual kneading blades, the process is much more thorough than bread maker machines that only have a single kneading blade or paddle
- With its large capacity, you can fit up to 3-pound bread loaves in this machine. If the loaves are traditionally shaped, this machine can accommodate 2 pound, 2.5 pound, and 3-pound loaf sizes
- Among its 12 digital settings, you will find basic, wheat, French, sweet, dough, gluten free, custom, and more. It also has a three level crust customization option so you can personalize each loaf you bake
- The recipe manual that comes with the machine has a plethora of delicious recipes for you to try as you test the waters and learn how to use your machine
- It also comes with all the accessories you need to get started, including the two knead blades, non-stick bread pan, measuring cup and spoon, and knead blade removal tool
- There is a viewing window on this bread maker machine, but it does not have any kind of interior light
- Some users reported that this bread maker is louder than expected, especially when kneading the dough. Some have even said that during the kneading process, the machine may move slightly on the countertop. It does not stay securely in place
Our Verdict on the West Bend Hi-Rise Bread Maker
Overall, this is a great bread maker that offers a multitude of settings and customizable functions we love. You can also sometimes find it online at a discounted price, making it one of the more affordable options on our list today.
What is your favorite bread machine?
Do you own more than one? Have you had good or bad experiences with any of the models mentioned in this post?
Let us know your best bread maker reviews, experiences, and recommendations in the comments below.
Best Bread Maker Machine FAQ
That wraps up our list of recommendations when it comes to finding the best bread maker machine for your needs.
If you feel like we’ve missed a good one, or your bread maker definitely beats the rest we definitely want to hear about it! So, leave us a comment below.
In this final section, we’re going to address some of your frequently asked questions (FAQs), along with some miscellaneous questions related to the models featured in our list.
What Bread Maker is Best for Gluten Free?
All of the machines listed above do a good job producing gluten free loaves. Still, if we had to choose, our favorite would be either the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Virtuoso Bread maker or the Breville BBM800XL.
For a cheaper machine known for good quality baking on the gluten-free cycle, you might also consider the Cuisinart CBK-100. Remember, though, there’s no such thing as good gluten free bread that didn’t start with high-quality gluten free flour. Your chosen ingredients make all the difference.
Do Bread Makers Produce Healthy Bread?
It depends on what ingredients you load into your bread maker! We get this question all the time, and the truth is that a bread machine is merely a tool. You decide what type of bread you want it to bake.
That said, we think it’s unlikely many readers will be rushing to add preservatives and additives into their mixes. So, most bread makers will tend to produce healthier bread than you buy in-store.
Which Bread Maker Makes the Largest Loaf?
Our recommended bread machines featured above max out at 2.5 lb loaves. The Breville BBM800XL is one of the best and highest capacity bread makers you can buy that is ideal for a larger family.
How Much Electricity Does a Bread Maker Use?
Some readers are concerned that taking advantage of the 13-hour delay timer might bump the electricity bill. Or they are intrigued by how much money they’d save cutting out the oven in favor of a smaller kitchen appliance.
Well, the latest bread machines are getting better and better at conserving power. Twenty hours of baking per month is roughly comparable to the electricity used by a coffee machine (with daily use). In both cases, this is considerably lower than the electricity used baking loaves individually in an oven.
Bread machines will always be cheaper than oven baking as they use far less electricity. The only way to make the costs comparable would be to bake multiple loaves in the oven and then freeze them for future use.
Do Bread Machines Save Money?
In keeping with the stats on electricity usage and ingredients cost, yes: a bread maker absolutely will save you money. The average-priced machine will pay for itself in 2-6 months, depending on usage.
How Does a Bread Machine Work?
A bread maker machine is essentially a small oven that can fit a large loaf of bread. It typically contains a kneading paddle, a rotating shaft that powers the paddle, and a handle that allows you to lift the pan out of the bread maker.
Once the kneading process is complete, the heating element in the bread maker provides just enough warmth for your dough to rise without actually baking it. The dough can take anywhere between 5 minutes and 40 minutes to rise, depending on the type of bread you are making. Then, a second kneading process may take place before the bread is actually baked.
Which Bread Maker Is Best?
For incredible value, we say the Oster 2-Pound Expressbake. We’ll let you be the ultimate judge.