Written By
Updated May 25, 2022 9:48 AM

Baking bread shouldn’t be a fad. Even if your arms are still tired from all of the kneading you did during the sourdough craze, you can make fresh, fluffy, crusty loaves in your home kitchen without the elbow grease. An electric bread machine takes all of the manual labor out of baking your favorite loaves, without sacrificing flavor or texture. These machines come with helpful presets that make it as straightforward as possible to perfect your best bakes yet. Here’s what you need to know about buying a bread machine and the best options on the market for every kitchen. 

How We Selected the Best Bread Machines

To help you select the best bread machine for your kneads (sorry, couldn’t resist), we started by surveying the most popular appliance brands and their best-selling and most well-reviewed products. We then used product descriptions and customer ratings and reviews to narrow down a list of appliances that includes something for every budget, household size, and dietary need. These are the best bread makers on the market.

Best Bread Machines: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Pohl Schmitt Stainless Steel Bread Machine

Best Overall

Enjoy just about any bread you can imagine with this versatile bread machine.
POHL SCHMITT

Why It Made The Cut: In addition to being reasonably priced and full of great features, this mid-size bread machine can also make yogurt and jam. 

Specs:

  • Weight: 11.97 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 13.3 x 11.1 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel

Pros: 

  • Viewing window
  • 14 cooking settings
  • Recipes included

Cons 

  • Not dishwasher-safe

With 14 cooking functions, this machine can prepare everyone’s favorite loaf, including gluten-free, French bread, whole wheat, and even cake. There are even settings that go beyond baking, such as yogurt-making and jam, so you can make an entire breakfast spread from scratch. If you’d rather freestyle it, simply use the DIY function.

The machine has a two-pound capacity, which is standard for home bread machines. Your bread bakes in a removable nonstick baking insert that’s easy to clean. And to customize your treat with your favorite mix-ins and flavors, there’s a convenient dispenser for nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. You can also customize each loaf with your favorite size and color. 

Best Budget: Amazon Basics 2-Pound Bread Making Machine

Best Budget

This inexpensive bread machine has all the features you need and none you don’t.
Amazon Basics

Why It Made The Cut: This no-frills bread maker from Amazon Basics is simple, easy to use, and won’t break the bank. 

Specs:

  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 5.6 x 11.5 inches
  • Materials: Plastic

Pros: 

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • 14 preset functions

Cons: 

  • Not as durable materials
  • Loud during kneading

This reasonably-priced bread machine from Amazon Basics is a great choice for recent graduates who want to try their hand at baking, or small kitchens. It has a small footprint that makes the machine easy to store and find room for on the counter. The machine is also lighter than others. But it still has a two-pound loaf capacity and 14 preset cooking functions. These include french bread, quick breads, gluten-free, and a yogurt-making mode. There’s also an express option for a speedy rise when you need bread in a hurry (under 90 minutes). The bread bakes in a nonstick container with a handle for easy removal. There’s no nut and seed dispenser, however, so if you like your bread with extra texture, this might not be the best machine for you. 

Best Large: SAKI 3-Pound Bread Maker

A spacious bread machine perfect for large households. SAKI

Why It Made The Cut: For those who need to feed a crowd, this bread machine has up to a three-pound loaf capacity. 

Specs:

  • Weight: 16.5 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 11 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel/plastic

Pros: 

  • Three bread sizes
  • Automatic keep warm setting
  • 15-hour delay timer

Cons: 

  • Heavy
  • No small loaf option

In addition to the three crust colors (light, medium, and dark), this machine also has three size options: 2.2, 2.7, and 3.3 pounds, which is larger than most machines designed for home cooks. The bread maker also has 12 pre-programmed settings, including basic bread, quick bread, sweet bread, whole wheat, gluten-free, and cake. You can also make yogurt, jam, and design your own recipe. The machine is powered by an 850-watt motor, which is strong enough to handily knead even the stickiest of doughs. All of these settings are easily managed using the digital touchscreen. You can even set up your recipe at night and use the delay timer (up to 15 hours) to have a freshly baked loaf ready when you wake up. A keep warm setting ensures that the bread stays hot and ready for you. 

Best Mini: Zojirushi BB-SSC10WZ Home Bakery Maestro Breadmaker

Best Mini

This small bread maker is all you need for one- to two-person households.
Zojirushi

Why It Made The Cut: It may be small, but this bread maker does not lack for functionality and durability. 

Specs:

  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Product Dimensions: 13.63 x 8.88 x 12.5 inches
  • Materials: Plastic

Pros: 

  • Very light
  • 14 cooking settings
  • Mix-in dispenser

Cons:  

  • Expensive
  • Smaller loaf capacity

If you’re only baking for one or two people, there’s no need for a bulky appliance that will dominate your kitchen counter space. This miniature bread maker has a one-pound loaf capacity and 14 cooking functions, including French bread, cake, sugar-free, gluten-free, and whole wheat. You can also make jam and yogurt, and take advantage of the built-in nut and fruit dispenser for adding crunchy mix-ins to your bakes. In the box, you’ll also get a 50-recipe cookbook to inspire your culinary creations. If you regularly return to your favorite stand-by recipes, use the machine’s three memory slots to save your settings for an easy one-touch process. Unlike other machines, which offer three options, this bread maker has two crust color settings (medium and dark). The quick bread-making course gets your loaf done in 2 hours and 20 minutes, which isn’t quite as quick as other machines.

Most Versatile: KBS 17-in-1 Bread Maker

Most Versatile

The perfect bread, cake, pizza, yogurt, jam, and more is right at your fingertips.
KBS

Why It Made The Cut: Boasting 17 settings, a fruit and nut dispenser, a delay timer function, and three crust settings, this bread maker from KBS is the most versatile model we found.

Specs:

  • Weight: 14.7 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 8.6 x 11.8 inches
  • Materials: Stainless Steel

Pros: 

  • Ceramic baking pan
  • 15-hour delay start
  • Quick bake ready in 90 minutes

Cons: 

  • Large
  • Expensive

With an impressive 17 settings, KBS’s bread maker is capable of taking on a multitude of baking tasks. It has helpful settings that include bread proofing (fermentation), whole wheat, gluten-free, sourdough, soft bread, and sweet breads. A detachable fruit and nut dispenser ensures that your mix-ins hit the dough at exactly the right time during kneading for uniform distribution. And for those who plan ahead, this machine will keep your loaf warm for up to an hour after baking finishes and it has a convenient 15-hour delay start. 

By using all-around airflow and a nonstick ceramic baking pan, this gleaming stainless steel bread maker produces loaves with the crispiest, most golden crusts, no matter what you’re baking. And for those who prefer a lighter crust, fear not: this machine has three different crust settings for added versatility. 

The 710-watt motor makes for efficient kneading without a ton of noise. In fact, the motor does not exceed 40 decibels, which is about the noise level of a library. For safety, the machine has a built-in overheat protection feature that also prolongs the lifespan of the engine. It has helpful settings that include bread proofing (fermentation), whole wheat, gluten-free, sourdough, soft bread, and sweet breads. A detachable fruit and nut dispenser ensures that your mix-ins hit the dough at exactly the right time during kneading for uniform distribution. 

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Bread Machine

Functions

Bread machines have a variety of cooking functions, so if you’re particular about the kind of loaf you love, look for a machine that includes a preset for it. For example, common breadmaker presets include whole wheat and french bread. If you’re gluten-free, opt for a machine with a gluten-free program. In addition, a quick setting can come in handy when you don’t have time for a long proofing period.

Delay Start

The delay start function isn’t on every bread machine, but it can be quite useful if you like to set and forget your meal. With a delayed start timer, you can dump everything into the machine, select your settings, and know that you’ll have a delicious and fresh loaf ready exactly when you want it.

Size

Before buying a countertop appliance, make sure you have the space to accommodate it. These machines can be quite large, so measure your countertop and compare your space to the product dimensions before buying.

FAQs

Q: What is the difference between a bread maker and a bread machine?

Bread machine and bread maker are two interchangeable terms for the same appliance. These countertop machines mix ingredients, knead dough, and bake loaves of bread. All you have to do is add the ingredients, select your settings, and walk away.

Q: Is a bread maker better than an oven?

A bread maker does more than an oven, saving you time and effort. The machine does all the heavy lifting of mixing, kneading, and proofing, plus baking. When you use an oven to make bread, you’ll have to mix, knead, and pay close attention to timing to ensure the dough doesn’t over- or under-rise. Bread machines also have settings that take the guesswork out of making various kinds of bread and other baked goods, such as gluten-free loaves, sweet breads, and even cakes.

Q: Is it cheaper to make your own bread or to buy bread?

While it really comes down to the kinds and costs of the ingredients you use, in most cases, it’s much less expensive to make your own bread than to buy it at a bakery. The main components of bread (flour, water, salt, and yeast), are all inexpensive. Plus, when you make your own, you can customize everything from the flavor to the size and color of the loaf.

Final Thoughts

The Pohl Schmitt Stainless Steel Bread Machine can’t be beat when it comes to versatility, ease of use, and size. It won’t dominate your kitchen space, and it easily bakes up beautiful two-pound loaves in any flavor you like. 

MORE TO READ