There’s nothing like the aroma of freshly baked bread–especially when it's homemade bread too. But the majority of us tend to purchase loaves at our local supermarkets due to its convenience: white bread, wheat bread, sourdough, multigrain bread, rolls, French bread, rye, pumpernickel, focaccia—you name it.
There are so many bread options at hand, but what many don’t get is that you can make each of these plus more right at home for cheaper if you have the best bread maker for you. Plus, baking bread isn't hard when you use of these kitchen appliances.
In fact, did you know that the average American purchases approximately 43 loaves of bread a year? Depending on bread types and brand you opt for, the annual cost of bread for an average household can range anywhere from $86 to $172. Especially for larger families, the cost of quality bread can add up quickly. This is tough for those who are on tighter grocery budgets but who want quality, healthy options.
That said, if you want to save money or simply make a custom loaf of bread, you might just want to consider purchasing a bread machine to skip the hassle of baking bread. To help you out with your decision, I’ve created a list of some of the best bread makers of the year.
1. Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread Maker, BB-PAC20BA BB-PAC20 Model
The Zojirushi Home Bakery kitchen appliance is an incredibly popular bread maker with gluten-free setting, perfect for bread lovers with celiac disease and other food allergies. It's a high-end model that whips up evenly-cooked, rectangular-shaped, 2-pound loaves as soon as two hours thanks to its quick bread baking process. Its high-quality dual blades are sufficient for preparing bread dough for general bread loaves, pizza, cinnamon rolls, bagels, pretzels, and other goodies.
As an added bonus, if you want to wake up or come home to freshly-made bread ready to eat, simply use the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker’s delay timer, which can be set up to 13 hours. At any time you want to check on your bread, just look through the viewing window located on the bread maker’s lid.
While this bread machine is a little more moderately priced, it is well-noted for its consistency and useful features. Relying on user reviews, most users find this bread maker worth it for their wants and needs.
- 10 pre-programmed settings. Includes Basic Bread, Wheat Bread, Sourdough Starter, Quick Bread, Gluten Free Bread, Cake, Jam, plus 3 homemade bread settings
- Gluten-free and custom setting
- Dual kneading blades
- Easy-to-read LCD screen
- Integrated viewing window on the lid
- 3 memory settings
- Dual kneading blades
- Even baking help in part by extra heating element on lid
- Liquid measuring cup, nested measuring cup, measuring spoon, bread recipe book, and instructional DVD included
2. Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 2-Pound Automatic Bread Maker
The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 2-Pound Automatic Breadmaker is perhaps the best bread machine under $100.
It boasts a simple design, a dishwasher-safe, and non-stick baking loaf pan. This simple user interface makes this appliance easy to use and easy to clean. In fact, there are only three steps involved in operating this bread machine. Just add your ingredients, select the appropriate cycle, and hit the ‘Start’ button. (The hardest part is waiting for your food to be finished!)
This bread machine can make even a large 2-pound loaf. It can also bake whole wheat and gluten-free breads—and many more. All you have to do is take advantage of its 12 different bread baking cycles. It even has cycles for dough-making, express cooking, baking, making cake and jam, and more along with a delayed start timer in case you aren’t ready to start cooking or baking just yet.
- 3 simple steps to operate
- 12 cycles to choose from. Includes French, Sweet, Whole Wheat, Gluten-Free, and Sandwich Bread, 1.5-lb Express, 2-lb Express, Dough, Bake, Cake, & Jam
- Light, medium, and dark crust settings
- Dishwasher-safe, non-stick pan
- Cool to the touch on the exterior
- Recipe book included (featuring whole wheat and gluten-free recipes)
- Extra paddle for kneading included
3. Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Programmable Mini Breadmaker
Here’s another Zojirushi bread maker that is hard to resist: the Home Bakery 1-Pound-Loaf Programmable Mini Breadmaker. Now, this is a bread machine for those who need something compact, whether because they have limited space in their kitchen, because they want to travel with it, or simply because they want smaller breads (1-pound to be exact). This is also a great machine for households with only one or two people.
With this machine, Zojirushi keeps things pretty simple. The design is basic, and there isn’t a clock apart of the LCD panel, but the quality is all within the breads and other products it produces. This device is also very quiet when in operation and operates perfectly even in higher altitudes.
One downside, however, is that this bread machine is heftier in price despite being smaller and only capable of 1-pound loaves, and not to mention, a little basic when it comes to aesthetics. Yet, this device can still be considered the best break maker under $200 as it has everything one could need in a bread baking machine: plenty of cooking settings, an LCD control panel, and a convenient storage due to its small size and nifty cord storage.
- Compact, skinny design
- LCD control panel
- Large handle
- Cord storage
- Convenient viewing panel
- 3 bread texture menu options (regular, soft, or firm)
- Non-stick bread pan and kneading blade
- Cooking settings include French, Basic Bread, Quick Bread, Soft, Cooke/Pasta Dough, Jam, Dough, and Cake
- Instruction video and bread maker recipe booklet included
4. Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker - White
Next, we have a bread maker Panasonic has created to bring us the ease of making freshly baked bread at home. Apart from its easy to read and operate LCD display and simple use overall, this bread maker is phenomenal in ergonomics and general convenience in terms of providing a durable, non-stick pan and a handle on the baking pan. These may seem like basic features, but everyone knows that releasing our freshly-baked bread from the pan and then cleaning the bread machine after use are some of the most frustrating bread-making experiences.
The Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker may have a very bland appearance in the opinion of some, but it makes some of the best bread in three loaf sizes, three crust size options, several pre-programmed settings from multigrain bread to cake, and an automatic yeast dispenser to ensure your loaf receives the ideal amount. Like many other best bread machines, you even receive the option to delayed-start your bread-making by up to 13 hours.
- Settings for White, Multigrain, Whole Wheat, French, Dough, Quick Bread, Cake, and Pizza
- Easy-to-read, soft-touch LCD display
- Options for three crust settings (light, medium, dark)
- Convenient handle on bread pan
- 3 baked loaf size options
- Automatically adds the right amount of yeast
- Removable, non-stick pan
- Measuring cup, measuring spoon, kneading blade, and bread maker recipes included
5. Cuisinart® Automatic Custom Load Bread Maker - Stainless Steel CBK-200
The CuisinArt CBK-200 delivers both with efficiency and with design. The stainless steel case not only gives it a sleek look, but it also makes it easy for you to clean on the outside. But that's not all. The best thing about this appliance are the 16 pre-programmed settings, which make this one of the best-performing models out there.
If you're a bread lover, you'll love having this bread machine around. You can easily whip up virtually any loaf you can think of—including gluten-free, low carb, and artisan dough. You can even choose the color of the crust from three options: light, medium, and dark. Additionally, there is an "automatic fruit and nut dispenser" to mix these ingredients (and more!) into your dough.
Because this is a convection-oven bread maker, your bread loaf will have the best crust you've ever tasted. It will feel like it came straight from the bakery, but at a fraction of the price.
Plus, the bread maker automatically adjusts its settings so your bread is never undercooked or overcooked. It senses rising, kneading process, mixing, and baking times without missing a beat.
After baking your delicious bread or other item, just rinse and pop your baking pan and kneading paddle into the dishwasher. The ease of using and cleaning this bread machine is obviously a bonus not every model offers.
- 16 pre-programmed settings. Includes Gluten-Free, French, Sweet Bread, and Artisanal Dough
- 3 size options for your loaf of bread
- Convection fan allows you to choose from 3 crust colors
- Automatic fruit and nut dispenser
- Ability to add ingredients (such as cheese, raisins, etc)
- LCD display
- Window on lid
- Convection bread maker technology
- Dishwasher-safe pan and kneading paddle
- Includes measuring cup, measuring spoon, and bread recipes
6. Oster 2-Pound ExpressBake Bread Maker, White (CKSTBR9050-NP)
If you want one of the best bread machines for an affordable price tag, consider the Oster 2-Pound ExpressBake. Its design isn’t all that modern, but it does feature a large LCD screen that is easy to read and navigate.
This bread machine also offers 12 cooking options for breads and other foods, three crust-control settings, and a 13-hour delay-start timer. Using its express bake feature, you can have freshly baked bread weighing up to two pounds to enjoy in just an hour.
The Oster 2-Pound ExpressBake is very easy to use and has the basic settings anyone who loves to make bread will appreciate. It’s affordable, long-lasting, and not to mention, is built by a reputable company that has excellent customer service. But if you’re new to bread-making, keep in mind that it may be best to refer to the Oster manual or carefully follow the tasty recipes that come with your Oster bread machine.
- Easy navigation with its large LCD screen display
- 13 cooking options from Gluten-Free Bread to Jams
- Makes up to 2-pound loaves
- 3 crust color options
- 13-hour delay timer
- Express bake feature to cook in just an hour
- Receives highly rated buyer reviews
- Measuring tools, kneading blades, and recipes included
7. Hamilton Beach (29882) Custom Loaf Bread Maker, 2 Pound Capacity Machine
The 29882 2 Pound Capacity Machine is by far one of the best bread makers Hamilton Beach offers. It's also one of the most popular choices for beginner home bakers!
It is set with 12 settings including a gluten-free option and has the capability of making pizza dough, croissants, jams, flatbreads, and cakes along with the ability to pick between light, medium or dark crust. Its large digital display and delay timer allow you to whip up a custom loaf of bread. With the addition of its alert to remind you that it's the right time to add nuts or fruit to your bread, the convenience is all there.
This machine is cute on the outside, easy to clean up as it features a dishwasher-safe pan and kneading paddles, and comes with not just one kneading paddle but two just in case your other one is dirty. Depending on how much you use your model, these bread machines can begin paying for itself within months. Best of all, this Hamilton Beach best bread machine practically does the work for you. Overall, it’s a great, affordable, and easy investment that is hard to pass up.
- 12 cooking settings. Includes Quick Bread, Sweet, French, 1.5-lb Express, 2-lb Express, Whole Wheat, Gluten-Free, Cake, Bake, Bread Dough, and Jam
- 3 crust color options
- Large digital display
- Non-stick, dishwasher-friendly pan and kneading paddles
- Alert reminding you to add fruit or nuts
- Large digital display
- Delay timer
How to Choose the Best Bread Maker: Buyer's Guide
To make sure your investment is safe, keep this buyer's guide in mind before you commit to a product.
How big are the loaves you want to make? The best bread machines accommodate up to two pounds of bread. This might be a good investment if you have a large family. Some of these kitchen appliances, however, can only make smaller loaves—which isn't bad if you only want to bake smaller batches. Thus, it's important to pick a handy machine size.
Quality and Reliability
It's a good idea to only get bread makers from trustworthy manufacturers. Since they're not the cheapest kitchen appliance out there, you want to make sure they'll keep running for years to come. Once you find the perfect bread maker for you, making bread will never be as easy.
Ease of Use
We love the most complex, best bread machines as much as you probably do. But sometimes, having a bunch of bells and whistles takes away from practicality. You won't want to spend a long time setting up your machine right? It's good to have extra features and extra buttons, but don't compromise convenience for them.
Ease of Cleanup
Will you have a hard time cleaning the bread machine? If you want to cut down on cleanup time, pick a model with a removable basket. Bonus points if it's dishwasher-safer.