If you love freshly baked bread, but hate the time-consuming prep work then let a bread machine do the work for you. These appliances mix, knead, and bake all with minimal supervision. Some of the advantages of making your own bread include:
- Cheaper – Over the life of a bread machine you will save money over buying store-bought bread.
- Better Tasting – You can prepare any type of bread including artisan loafs which will be much more fresh than anything you can buy.
- Healthier – You control the ingredients you add, so you won’t have any additives or preservatives.
When shopping for a bread maker you obviously want one that consistently bakes great tasting bread. Some other features to look for include pre-programmed bread cycles (at a minimum a normal cycle and dough cycle), quiet operation, simple intuitive controls, size of the machine (a 1-pound loaf yields about 8 slices while a 2.5 lb loaf yields about 20), add-ingredient signal for nuts or raisins, delay timer so you can wake up to freshly made bread, easy to clean, and specialty options or settings like for gluten-free.
Pricing ranges from about $50 to $300 for the best models. Below we review our top picks for the best bread machines.
We highly recommend this Zojirushi model – there really are no negatives except the price, so just be aware that there are cheaper options available if price is a concern for you.
We highly recommend the BB-CEC20, although for a few more dollars you could get the BB-PAC20. There are also options available that are much cheaper as well.
It has several different settings and controls including 3 bread textures, cookie/pasta dough setting, french bread, cake, jam, and quick bread. It also has a non-stick kneading blade and pan, 13 hour delay timer, and a window to keep an eye on the baking process.
If you want a small bread maker then we highly recommend this Zojirushi BB-HAC10.
The Breville BBM800XL has a smart LCD screen displaying the 13 automatic settings, 3 crust colors, and 4 loaf sizes between 1 and 2.5 lbs. It also has a beautiful stainless steel design for those of you into the appearance of appliances on your counter.
The quality of bread it bakes is quite good, maybe just a touch below Zojirushi and one common complaint is that the top does not get as brown as the sides and bottom of the loaf.
Other features on this West Bend model include 12 digital settings, 3 levels of crust control (light, medium, dark), and 13 hour delay timer.
This T-fal bread maker has 15 settings including 3 different gluten free settings. It also has 3 loaf sizes (1, 1.5, or 2 lbs), 3 crust settings, and 15 hour delay timer.
Some other features include 12 settings, 1.5 or 2 pound loaf settings, 3 crust settings, and large digital display with delay timer.
We recommend the Hamilton Beach 29882 Bread Maker for anyone who wants a cheap bread machine that still gets the job done.
Best Bread Machine Comparison Chart
|Crust Settings||Automatic Add-in
|Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker||9.4||$299.00||2 lb||2 lb||10 + 3||Light, Medium, Dark||No||Up to 13 hours||Yes||18 x 10.5 x 13 in|
|Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme Breadmaker||9.3||$265.22||2 lb||2 lb||10 + 3||Light, Medium, Dark||No||Up to 13 hours||No||12.8 x 13.6 x 18.9 in|
|Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Programmable Mini Breadmaker||9.1||$199.99||1 lb||1 lb||9||Light and Regular||No||Up to 13 hours||No||8.5 x 11.25 x 12.25 in|
|Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker||9.0||$249.99||2.5 lbs||1 lb, 1.5 lb, 2 lb, 2.5 lb||13 + 9||Light, Medium, Dark||Yes||Up to 13 hours||Yes||9.6 x 16.4 x 13.3 in|
|West Bend 47413 Horizontal Hi-Rise Bread Maker||8.8||$136.97||3 lb||2 lb, 2.5 lb, 3 lb||12||Light, Medium, Dark||No||Up to 13 hours||Yes||11 x 15.5 x 13.5 in|
|Cuisinart CBK-200 Convection Automatic Breadmaker||8.8||$144.41||2 lb||1 lb, 1.5 lb, 2 lb||16||3||No (Audible tone to manually add)||Up to 12 hours||Yes||18 x 12.2 x 14.875 in|
|T-fal PF311E ActiBread Programmable Bread Machine||8.7||$100.48||2 lb||1 lb, 1.5 lb, 2 lb||15||Light, Medium, Dark||No||Up to 15 hours||Yes – 3||16 x 12.5 x 14 in|
|Hamilton Beach 29882 Bread Maker||8.5||$47.69||2 lb||1.5, 2 lb||12||Light, Medium, Dark||No (Audible tone to manually add)||Yes||Yes||12.38 x 16.38 x 12.75 in|