Forget heading to the market and picking out the best-looking loaf of bread. Bread makers allow you to make warm, soft bread right from the comfort of home. Whether baking white, wheat, French, sourdough, multigrain, or gluten-free bread, bread makers offer a process that’s fun and easy.
In this review, you’ll find our top picks for the best bread machines, what we like about each, and what customers have to say about their experience with each appliance.
Top 5 Bread Makers
- Best Overall: Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker
- Easiest to Use: Cuisinart Bread Maker Machine
- Best for Gluten-Free Bread: Pohl Schmitt Stainless Steel Bread Machine
- Most Compact: Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Programmable Mini Breadmaker
- Best for Beginners: Hamilton Beach Bread Maker Machine
Best Overall Bread Maker
This heavy-duty bread maker features dual heaters that help ensure even baking and browning with double kneading nonstick blades that deliver fast results and even cleaning. We also like that this bread maker includes a large viewing window and liquid crystal display (LCD).$462.50 on Amazon
- Maximum Loaf Size: 2 pounds
- Power: 700 watts
- Dimensions: 10.5 x 18 x 12.9 inches
What we like: This bread maker can deliver a 2-pound loaf of your favorite bread in less than two and a half hours. It has three different levels of crust control to select from and includes a 12-hour clock and a 13-hour delay timer that allows you to time the bread to finish at the same time as your main meal. Additionally, this product comes with recessed handles for easy carrying, a liquid measuring cup, nested measuring cups, and a measuring spoon.
What Customers Are Saying
Our team found that customers who gave this product positive reviews like that it’s durable and made from high-quality materials. Others favor its convenient timing function and how easy it was to clean. However, we found some customers were disappointed that this bread maker didn’t allow adjustments to the baking settings while in use. The limited options for gluten-free baking let others down.
“You can tell by picking it up the quality of the product. I have not made bread in over 25 years and decided to make honey bread this morning. It was so easy and delicious. I cannot wait to try other recipes.” —Lashelle Leftheris via Amazon
“I love this machine. It’s so easy to use, and cleanup is easy too. I’ve only made the bread from the included recipe book so far, but I don’t expect any issues once I start trying out other recipes. I bought a scale, and I think that helped make it even easier. Just measure the ingredients, and dump them in the machine. The machine does all the work. The kneading paddles don’t leave a huge dent in the bread.” —I Hate Shopping in Stores via Amazon
“This is a nice machine—easy to clean and durable. The problem is once a preset is selected, and you see that the bread is not done to your liking, there is no way to extend the stop time. The presets are fixed and cannot be changed once started. There is no mode to just bake bread for, say, 1 hour; and if it looks good, stop the cooking process, or if not, then extend it for another 10-20 minutes. Very frustrating for such an expensive machine.” —Daniel Tartaglia via Amazon
Easiest Bread Maker to Use
This automatic bread maker offers a wide variety of loaf sizes and crust colors with preprogrammed menu options that will make delicious bread with minimal effort. Our team loves that this product automatically mixes, rises, bakes, and keeps bread warm, saving you time and energy.$129.95 on Amazon
- Maximum Loaf Size: 2 pounds
- Power: 550 watts
- Dimensions: 10.3 x 11.3 x 13.3 inches
What we like: This bread maker has a large viewing window with an interior light that makes checking in on your bread’s progress easy. It includes a 13-hour delay start timer and 12 preprogrammed menu options. It can make 1- to 2-pound loaves and has a nonstick pan for easy cleaning and removal. We also like that this bread maker comes with removable, nonstick paddles that mix and knead dough.
What Customers Are Saying
Our team found that customers who like this product are impressed with its ease of use, durable design, and small footprint. On the other hand, some customers feel this bread maker vibrates too much during operation, and a few said that the kneading tool doesn’t always work properly.
“This is not my first bread maker, but it is quickly becoming my favorite. I just made my first batch of dinner rolls using the dough feature. I followed the instructions carefully and loaded in the correct order as the manual instructs, and the dough was perfect in every way. My dinner rolls came out perfect, and the flavor was amazing—much better than the frozen rolls I had been purchasing at the grocery store. I could not be more pleased with this machine. The exterior color goes well with the other appliances in my kitchen. I will use this on a regular basis for sure! Hello, homemade; and goodbye, store brands!” —Amazon Customer via Amazon
“My first loaf of maple oatmeal bread had a medium crust and soft texture. Very happy with the results and how easy the process is. I also like that the machine tells you when you can remove the kneeling paddle during the process so that you don’t end up with it resulting in a hole in the finished loaf. The machine is stable and relatively quiet during kneading. Looking forward to making different breads and pizza dough in the machine.” —Smartinup via Amazon
“The size of the unit is great! Having owned and used a larger model for years, I was excited to use this for the first time and awake to fresh baked bread. The unit rattled itself off the counter and fell on the floor and broke the lid connection. I HIGHLY recommend putting a rug gripper underneath the unit and on top of the counter. With the rug gripper, the unit does not bounce around the counter.” —Amazon Customer via Amazon
Best Bread Maker for Gluten-Free Bread
We’re impressed that this bread maker has 14 different baking presets, including one for making gluten-free bread, as well as one for whole wheat bread, French bread, cake, and even non-bread items such as jam and yogurt.$117.99 on Amazon
- Maximum Loaf Size: 2 pounds
- Power: 650 watts
- Dimensions: 10 x 14 x 12.5 inches
What we like: We like that this bread maker can make three different bread sizes. Additionally, it has an easy-to-use digital control panel and an LCD screen that displays the timer and settings. This bread maker includes a nut and fruit dispenser, making adding other ingredients to your bread easy. Its removable, nonstick pan is also easy to clean.
What Customers Are Saying
Customers who gave this bread maker a positive review said it’s highly versatile and works for various recipes. Others like that it has a low noise level and is easy to clean. However, we found others who say it mixes poorly and some say the bread is too dense.
“I’ve had this machine for a few months and have successfully baked regular bread, gluten-free bread, and made yogurt multiple times as well as jam. The automatic fruit/nut dispenser is awesome. This machine works perfectly every time. I definitely get a workout in my kitchen. We use it for something about three or four days a week” —Dana S. via Amazon
“It changed my life. I thought it would be a novelty, but a year later I’m still baking bread so easily and making the best pizzas in the world. I bought another one for a friend, and it changed their lives too. Great product actually. I’m also two sizes heavier now.” —Mim via Amazon
“I’ve had a few machines. I bought this, but the results are not impressive. It doesn’t knead well. I mostly had to take dough out to mix by hand when using whole wheat and nuts. It has difficulties mixing in nuts. No signal after the second kneading, so you don’t know when to take out the paddle, unless you constantly monitor the LCD screen. When using a timer, it can only handle light dough—whole wheat or nuts, forget about it. Other than that, it’s a nice machine.” —Christian v. via Amazon
Most Compact Bread Maker
For those looking for a small bread maker, this model from Zojirushi is less than 9 inches wide and weighs only 14 pounds, minimizing the counter space it will take up. However, it can still make up to 1 pound of bread and finish a loaf in just two hours.$297 on Amazon
- Maximum Loaf Size: 1 pound
- Power: 450 watts
- Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.5 x 12.3 inches
What we like: Despite its small size, this bread maker still has an LCD screen and a control panel with several preset cooking options. It also has a 13-hour delay timer and a recipe booklet for more fun bread ideas. Furthermore, this mini bread maker has a handle that makes it easy to store inside your kitchen cabinets when it’s not in use and has cord storage in the back of the machine.
What Customers Are Saying
We found that customers who gave this product a positive review like that it’s compact and simple to understand. Others appreciate its versatility and how useful it is for small families. However, some reviewers feel the pan isn’t durable, and others think the bread often comes out overcooked.
“This bread maker is easy to use and bakes delicious artisan-like bread. It comes with a recipe booklet with many variations of the use of flours, seeds, nuts, etc. We love that the loaf is perfect for two people without wasting bread and how much money we are saving versus buying artisan bread at the store. The recipes are simple, without the many fillers store-bought bread have. I recommend reading the hints in the recipe booklet as they will help to make the best bread. We keep the bread maker on our counter, as it doesn’t take that much space. There are more recipes online, but we haven’t tried them, as the ones on the booklet are just fine.” —BP via Amazon
“Perfect for a small family. This is our first and last bread maker because we love it. We make a fresh loaf every other day and plan on not purchasing bread anymore. Easy to use, love the recipe book that comes with it, makes the house smell amazing, and the bread comes out perfectly. Add all of the ingredients, do some chores or go run errands, and in three hours you have a fresh loaf of bread. We have dairy goats, so we use goat milk instead of water and it comes out perfect. We do not add the dry milk flakes and add slightly less sugar than the recipes call for too … and with these small changes the bread is still amazing. We are going to try every recipe in the book and then begin to experiment with our own.” —Wendy Broadway via Amazon
“I expected more considering the brand and the price. It will make a decent loaf of white bread, but it has no settings for whole wheat or gluten free, sourdough, etc. It’s a shame, really, that you can’t just hit the pause button or change the cycle times. Mine squeaked.” —Dr Dave via Amazon
Best Beginner Bread Maker
If you’re new to bread making, this product makes baking tasty, flavorful bread a breeze with its intuitive features and simple design. We like that this machine has a sleek design with a digital, easily programmable display. It includes 12 different bread settings with express options for making a 1.5-pound or 2-pound loaf, sweet bread, and more.$139.95 on Amazon
- Maximum Loaf Size: 2 pounds
- Power: 600 watts
- Dimensions: 10.4 x 14.1 x 12.2 inches
What we like: This product requires only adding ingredients, selecting your cycle, and hitting the start button; it’s that easy to make your own homemade bread. We like that this bread maker also includes three different crust settings and that it comes with nonslip feet that will keep it in place on your countertop. This bread machine can also easily make items such as pizza, jam, cake, cinnamon buns, and more.
What Customers Are Saying
Our team found that those who are satisfied with this bread maker say that it takes minimal effort, works on multiple types of bread, and the bread routinely comes out exactly how they were expecting. However, some feel this bread maker’s pan is overly thin, and others say it often makes loud noises while running.
“We have made about five loaves so far, and I love this bread machine! The bread comes out fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. The first two loaves were trial ones—the first one was too dense and the second one deflated. I realized we were using the wrong yeast (we were using YAS instead of bread machine yeast). Once we made the correct adjustments, everything has been perfect!” —C. Pearce via Amazon
“I’ve had this bread maker for about three weeks and have made a few different breads: Italian parmesan bread, corn bread, banana bread. With this Hamilton Beach machine, all were easy and tasted great. You just have to measure the ingredients carefully, throw them in the bucket in the order specified, press a couple of buttons, and wait. It’s fun and feels like you’ve accomplished something you can be proud of. Recipes are included in the manual as well as on the Hamilton Beach website, but also on YouTube and all around the internet. Highly recommend!” —Greg via Amazon
“We have attempted to make bread in this machine twice. First was an apple cinnamon bread, which did not fully mix and had clumps of flour left on the sides. Second was the easy bread recipe in the book. The bread collapsed on the second rise and baked with a sunken top. While it was good, it wasn’t like in all of the photos or reviews for it. Maybe we’ll try again later, but for now it’s been put away.” —Jeanette Smith via Amazon
What to Look For in a Bread Maker
When searching for the best bread maker, you should consider several factors such as capacity, ease of use, preset and timer options. Read on for more details about each of these factors and more.
The capacity of a bread maker refers to the size of the baked loaf it can make. Most bread makers have multiple size options when making bread, typically between 1 and 2 pounds. Heavy-duty bread makers may be able to make loaves larger than 2 pounds, which may be important if you’re making it for a large group or want to freeze some of it for future use.
Ease of Use and Display
Most bread makers are easy to use and require a few steps to get your bread baking. If you’re only looking to make traditional sandwich bread, you can look for a more basic model that requires clicking a few buttons after adding the ingredients. If you want to be more experimental with your breadmaking, you may need a complex model that requires additional steps. Most modern bread makers have an LCD screen that makes it easy to select your preset baking option and check the timer. Bread makers with a large viewing window will allow you to easily check how your bread is coming along while it bakes.
A bread maker’s kneading paddles knead the dough while the bread machine is on. Smaller models typically have one kneading paddle, while larger machines have two kneading paddles. Kneading paddles typically make a hole in the bottom of the loaf that’s created when the paddle gets pulled out. Some models require removing the kneading paddles before baking, which can eliminate the unsightly holes but requires more work on the user’s end.
Bread makers usually come with various preset baking settings that allow you to customize the type of bread you want to make. Smaller models may only come with a few basic settings such as white, wheat, and sweet, while most high-end models could have settings for anything from European bread to gluten-free bread to non-bread items such as jam and cake. Additionally, bread makers usually have multiple crust options that allow you to select if your crust is light, dark, or in between.
Make a note of your kitchen counter space when buying a bread maker. Models designed to make larger loaves typically take up more space and are heavier. If space is limited, look for a compact model such as the Zojirushi BB-HAC10.
Bread makers that include a delayed start option let you load up ingredients and set them to start baking 12 hours or more in advance. This enables you to make bread overnight and have it ready for the morning or set it to turn on several hours in advance and be ready in time for dinner.
What Else Can You Make in a Bread Maker?
Breadmaking machines are, of course, great for making fresh bread. However, a high-quality bread maker can do a lot more than just that. With the right preset options and a little creativity, you can make all sorts of items in your bread maker, including the following:
- Cake and cheesecake: Cake is a common preset option. You can make a regular cake or cake variation such as shortcake or cheesecake without using the oven.
- Cinnamon rolls: Cinnamon rolls are a versatile treat you can have as breakfast, dessert, or a snack. The dough setting works great for baking fresh cinnamon rolls.
- Jam: Most bread makers have a setting to make homemade jam to spread on toast or English muffins.
- Mochi: You can make mochi in a bread maker using the dough setting. Some Japanese-made bread makers will have a mochi preset option, making it even easier to create the treat.
- Pizza dough or pasta dough: Create fresh dough for homemade pizza or pasta using the dough function on a bread maker.
- Sauces: Making sauce for an Italian meal or pizza is simple using the jam function.
- Soft pretzels: While you’ll need to shape the pretzel dough by hand, you can easily bake soft pretzels in a bread maker using the dough preset.
- Stew: The jam setting is also good for making stews such as beef or Brunswick. Bread makers can stir and heat ingredients, requiring minimal effort on your end.
We recommend the Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker for its heavy-duty design, numerous preset options, and large viewing window. For a more straightforward breadmaking process, we recommend the Cuisinart Bread Maker Machine for its simple setup and cleanup.
Bread Maker FAQ
What ingredients do you need for a bread machine?
Making bread typically requires flour, eggs, water, yeast, salt, and sugar. You may also need flavor additives depending on the type of bread you’re making.
Do you need to grease a bread maker pan?
Greasing the bread pan before adding ingredients to a bread maker is a good idea, as it makes it easier to remove the loaf once it’s done baking. However, some bread makers come with nonstick pans that ensure the bread comes out easily, even if you forget to grease it.
How long does homemade bread last?
Homemade bread typically lasts a few days when left out at room temperature before it begins to go bad. To help preserve your bread, consider freezing the parts you don’t eat and thawing it later.
Do you need to be a skilled baker to use a bread maker?
Bread maker machines are designed for any skill level, even if you’ve never baked anything. Bread makers are a fun way for home bakers to try new things in the kitchen with minimal effort, and modern products make it easy to make a variety of bread types in just a few easy steps.
How long does baking bread take?
The time it takes to bake bread depends on several factors, including the type of bread you’re making, the size of the loaf, and the specific bread maker you’re using. Baking bread usually requires two to four hours, but some models can make bread more quickly.
How We Chose the Top Bread Makers
Over the years, our team has vetted thousands of products to help you select the top bread makers for your home. We update our data points and review content regularly to account for shifts in customer consensus, product availability, new releases, and overall quality.
To steer the product selection process, our reviewers conduct detailed research that focuses on several key factors:
- Brand research: We cast a wide net by first looking at the latest, most reputable models available through trusted retailers.
- Ratings: We then scope our list down to products with a high number of verified-buyer reviews and average customer rating between four and five stars.
- Expert and consumer insights: Next, we look at what independent product testers, subject matter experts, and other publications have to say about each model we review.
- User needs: Finally, we compare each item’s features, specs, and warranty information to find a best-in-class option for every type of consumer and price point.