We Tested the Best Bread Machines—These Are Our Favorites

Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker is the winner

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

best bread machine spruce eats

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

There’s no doubt that homemade bread is delicious, but not everyone has the time or desire to mix, knead, and babysit a ball of dough while it rises. The entire process can take multiple hours, which isn't convenient or practical for many people. Enter: the modern bread machine.

Tested & Approved

After extensive testing, the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker is our overall winner for its consistent results and the extra features that are jam-packed in this model. If you're looking for a budget pick, you can't go wrong with the Oster ExpressBake 2-Pound Bread Maker, which is simple to use and produces above-average results. 

By simply adding all of the ingredients and pushing a few buttons, a bread machine does the rest of the work for you—actually making the bread—rendering the process quicker and easier. Plus, you can control what's going into your bread and try your hand at several varieties, from white bread to artisan loaves.

Bread machines today are loaded with features and come in all shapes and sizes, so we took the most popular models to our Lab. There we ran them through their cycles, making banana bread, whole wheat bread, and gluten-free bread. Then we evaluated each one on ease of use, performance, versatility, cleaning, and overall value. Additionally, our experienced reviewers tested a few top options out in their home kitchens for more extensive testing insights.

Here are the best bread machines according to hours of bread-making tests.

Best Overall: Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker

4.9
Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker
Courtesy of Amazon.com.
Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    5/5
  • Usability
    5/5
  • Performance
    4/5
  • Cleaning
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    5/5
What We Like
  • Nearly flawless results

  • Heated top for even browning

  • Both fixed and customizable settings

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Takes up a lot of counter space

Who else recommends it? Good Housekeeping, NBC News, and Forbes all picked the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker.

What do buyers say? 86% of 4,600+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

Anyone who bakes a lot of bread and takes home baking seriously will appreciate all the features packed into this Zojirushi bread maker, and its performance in Lab and home tests made it our best overall pick. This model makes rectangular 2-pound loaves and is loaded with custom settings so you can bake a variety of breads exactly the way you want.

You can choose a light, medium, or dark crust, and there are pre-programmed settings for basic and rapid white or whole wheat bread, gluten-free bread, sourdough starter, jam, cake, and homemade recipes. This machine has two kneading paddles to make sure the dough is completely kneaded with no bits of flour left unmixed and a 13-hour delay timer. A large window lets you check the progress of your bread as it bakes.

Our home tester tried three basic bread recipes with this model, and they all turned out perfectly. Even when she strayed from recipes, the end result was consistent. "I started adding different flours, changing the amount of butter, and even mixing the ingredients in the 'wrong' order to see what might happen. Each time, the finished loaf emerged looking good, and with a nice texture as well," she reported.

Our Lab tests had the same findings, cementing our decision to recommend this as the best overall machine. On all of the test loaves, the Virtuoso produced great aeration on the interior and tasty bread with a real crust, a feature that's hard to achieve since machines bake at a cooler temperature than ovens. When we made banana bread, this was one of the few where the bread still tasted good two days later. Its features also stood out—from the unobtrusive alerts to the countdown timer to the easy-to-clean nonstick bread loaf pan.

This is a high-end machine with a price to match, so it might not be the best option for casual bakers or novices who aren’t sure how much use they’ll get out of a bread maker.

Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 18 x 10.5 x 12.875 inches | Weight: 24 pounds | Loaf Size: 2 pounds | Timer: 13-hour delay | Fastest Bake: 2 hours, 25 minutes | Electrical Rating: 700 watts

What Our Testers Say

"After testing it, I feel that it’s worth the price, as it produced consistently tasty bread—even when I got creative with recipes."Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best Budget: Oster ExpressBake 2-Pound Bread Maker

4.3
Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine with 13-Hour Delay Timer, CKSTBRTW20
Courtesy of Amazon.com.
Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    3.5/5
  • Usability
    4/5
  • Performance
    5/5
  • Cleaning
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    4/5
What We Like
  • Even distribution of mix-ins

  • Small footprint saves counter space

  • Reliable recipes

What We Don't Like
  • No gluten-free setting

  • Display isn’t backlit

If you like the idea of fresh, easy homemade bread but don’t want to break the bank, this bread machine has a value price tag plus plenty of features. The Oster Bread Maker can make loaves up to 2 pounds, has eight bread settings, and three crust settings. It can also be used to make homemade jam.

A large LCD screen shows how the bread making is progressing, and like most bread makers, this model has a delay timer that allows you to add ingredients and bake later; it also has a keep warm setting. If you’re in a hurry, the Expressbake feature can produce a finished loaf in under an hour. Our home tester praised the machine's solid overall performance when she followed the included recipes; she does note, however, that the results were less predictable when she used her own.

Our Lab testers had the same conclusions. For some tests, the Oster performed well, but that wasn't universal. Where it performed well, it beat out other budget picks with even distribution of mix-ins, bouncy bread texture, and a nice flavor to the bread. The top of the machine is removable, which helps with cleaning. While cleaning the basket wasn't a problem, the paddle proved a bit trickier.

oster express bake spruce eats

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 12 x 11 x 11 inches | Weight: 8 pounds | Loaf Size: 2 pounds | Timer: 13-hour delay | Fastest Bake: 1 hour | Electrical Rating: 1,450 watts

What Our Testers Say

"I started my testing by whipping up a basic white bread recipe from the included booklet, and the result was spot-on." Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best Features: Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker

4.7
Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker

 William Sonoma

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    4.5/5
  • Usability
    5/5
  • Performance
    5/5
  • Cleaning
    4.8/5
  • Overall Value
    4.3/5
What We Like
  • Intuitive controls

  • Collapsible kneading paddle

  • Gluten-free and yeast-free options

What We Don't Like
  • Kneading paddle can be tricky to clean

  • Can be loud

With automatic and custom programs, a pause function so you can reshape the dough or add a glaze, and the ability to store up to nine personal recipes, the Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker will take your home chef skills to the next level. It can make loaves up to 2.5 pounds with gluten-free, yeast-free, crusty loaf, dough/pasta, and jam options.

This bread machine is packed with features to make everything customizable and easy. There's a viewing window to check on the progress of your bread, a 13-hour preset timer, an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, a smart LCD screen, and 60 minutes of backup power (should your power go out). It also features a collapsible kneading blade that allows you to mix your ingredients and then folds down prior to baking.

Our Lab testers liked a lot of things about the Breville. The interface and controls were intuitive, and it lets you know what's happening inside the machine. The final loaves all came out airy and evenly cooked with great crusts, and they tasted amazing, especially the banana bread and gluten-free bread. The nonstick bread basket comes in and out easily, so cleanup was simple, although cleaning the kneading paddling was a little trickier. We did mark it down since it sometimes needed extra mixing time to create a good dough. Another downside was the noise. This was one of the louder kneaders in our Lab.

breville custom loaf spruce eats

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 16.5 x 9.5 x 13.25 inches | Weight: 16.8 pounds | Loaf Size: 1, 1.5, 2, or 2.5 pounds | Timer: 13-hour delay | Electrical Rating: 830 watts

Lab Test Takeaway

"The Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker made our favorite banana bread. It was so evenly browned and it had a really nice crust." — Collier Sutter,  Food and Drink Review Editor

Best Mini Baker: Zojirushi Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker

4.6
Zojirushi Bread Maker

Courtesy of Wayfair

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    4/5
  • Usability
    5/5
  • Performance
    5/5
  • Cleaning
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    4/5
What We Like
  • Makes delicious bread

  • Easy to use—no mixing required

  • Compact design takes up little space

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t have a gluten-free setting

  • Kneading blade gets stuck in the bread

Great for singles, couples, or families who don’t want large loaves of bread, this slim bread maker fits in smaller spaces and makes a 1-pound loaf, yet it still has features you look for in a quality machine. It has a viewing window, so you can check the loaf, an easy-to-read LCD control panel, and a programmable timer that can delay baking for up to 13 hours.

Menu settings include basic bread (regular or firm), soft bread, French bread, bread dough, cookie/pasta dough, cake, jam, and quick baking. The crust can be set for regular or light, and the quick baking setting produces a loaf of bread in less than two hours. Our tester loved how easy this machine was to use and the fact that it produces delicious results,

Our tester noted that the kneading blade tends to get stuck in the bottom of the bread, making removing it from the machine a little tricky—but she thinks it's a minor inconvenience, considering the consistently tasty bread that comes out and how compact the bread maker is.

Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker

 The Spruce Eats / Lindsay Boyers

Dimensions: 8.5 x 11.25 x 12.25 inches | Weight: 12 pounds | Loaf Size: 1 pound | Timer: 13-hour delay | Fastest Bake: 2 hours | Electrical Rating: 450 watts

What Our Testers Say

"The bread rose beautifully and was perfectly soft and fluffy, although the crust was a little crispier than I would have liked." Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester

Best Compact: Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Maker

4.3
Cuisinart Compact Bread Maker

 Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    4.5/5
  • Usability
    4.5/5
  • Performance
    4.2/5
  • Cleaning
    4/5
  • Overall Value
    4.7/5
What We Like
  • Even browning and good aeration

  • Easy to use and clean

  • Keep warm setting

What We Don't Like
  • Can't always handle a 2-pound loaf

Not quite as small as a mini bread machine but still perfect for kitchens with limited counter space, the Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Maker offers everything you need to make homemade bread in a smaller, space-saving design. The stainless steel design measures 10.25 x 13.25 x 11.25 inches and weighs just over 10 pounds, so it's not too much of a chore to take on and off the counter if you want to store it elsewhere.

The Cuisinart Compact features 12 preprogrammed options and three crust shades (light, medium, dark), and it can bake up to 2-pound loaves. Menu options include gluten-free, artisan creations, jams, sauces, cake, and more. 

In the Lab, there was a lot to love for this bread maker. First, it was very easy to use with an intuitive and clear control panel. The bread came out evenly browned, with a decent amount of aeration. You will need to be mindful with recipes, though. During a few tests, this machine couldn't handle a full 2-pound loaf, so we needed to decrease the amount of dough.

We did find the removable nonstick kneading pan that made cleaning super easy. Like many machines, it has a 13-hour delay start function. There's also a keep warm setting for when your loaf is done, a rare feature in bread machines.

cuisinart compact bread machine spruce eats

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 10.25 x 13.25 x 11.25 inches | Weight: 10.75 pounds | Loaf Size: 1, 1.5, or 2 pounds | Timer: 13-hour delay | Fastest Bake: 1 hour, 53 minutes | Electrical Rating: 550 watts

Lab Test Takeaway

"For a machine that small to be able to bake a 2-pound loaf so evenly is pretty impressive."Collier Sutter, Food and Drink Review Editor

Best Programmable: Breadman 2-Pound Professional Bread Maker

4.7
Breadman BK1050S 2 lb Professional Bread Maker, Stainless Steel
Courtesy of Amazon.com.
Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    5/5
  • Usability
    5/5
  • Performance
    3/5
  • Cleaning
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    5/5
What We Like
  • Bakes bread evenly

  • Adjustable loaf size

  • Kneading paddle doesn't get baked into loaf

  • Gluten-free and low-carb settings

What We Don't Like
  • Takes up a lot of counter space

  • Gluten-free loaves can come out flat

  • Hard to see into viewing window

This Breadman bread maker has 14 baking functions: French bread, sweet bread, low-carb, gluten-free, dough, artisan dough, jam, and bake only. You can set the crust for light, medium, or dark, and it makes loaves in 1-, 1.5-, and 2-pound sizes. There is a 15-hour delayed start option, a 1-hour keep warm option, and a window that lets you check the process without lifting the lid. If those options aren’t enough, you can also adjust the settings to your liking.

Our home tester found the machine to look unassuming, but it's definitely worth the counter space. Baking up a picturesque loaf of white bread took 3 hours on the regular setting or 1:45 on the rapid one. Both loaves came out with an airy interior, with the longer time allowing for more of a rise and a more even bake. Afterward, the nonstick loaf pan was easy to remove from the machine and easy to release the bread. Our Lab testers had the same findings, noting that this was one of the easier machines to clean.

The machine has collapsible kneading paddles, so you won’t have big holes in the finished loaf—and it makes it easier to remove the loaf from the pan. A fruit and nut dispenser lets you add ingredients toward the end of the kneading process. A collapsible measuring cup, an adjustable measuring spoon, and a recipe book are also included.

breadman bread machine spruce eats

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 16 x 18 x 12 inches | Weight: 17.2 pounds | Loaf Size: 1, 1.5, or 2 pounds | Timer: 15-hour delay | Fastest Bake: 1 hour | Electrical Rating: 850 watts

What Our Testers Say

"I was really impressed with was how easily the loaves came out of the bread pan, [because] the kneading blade is collapsible."Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester

Best for Gluten-Free Bread: Pohl Schmitt 14-in-1 Stainless Steel Bread Maker Machine

4.5
Pohl Schmitt 14-in-1 Stainless Steel Bread Maker Machine

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    4/5
  • Usability
    4/5
  • Performance
    5/5
  • Cleaning
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Great bread texture

  • Quiet machine

  • Keep warm function

What We Don't Like
  • Has a learning curve

If you've ever made it, you know that gluten-free bread can be very tricky. This protein not only helps proofing dough create air bubbles with the gas given off by yeast, but it also hardens upon baking so the bread can take its final shape. Gluten isn't essential to baking good bread, but it definitely helps. Various bread machines have programs specifically for making gluten-free loaves, including the 14-in-1 machine from Pohl Schmitt.

This stainless steel model comes with 14 programs for easy breadmaking, a fruit-and-nut dispenser for mix-ins, and a viewing window so you can watch the process. It gives you the choice of three levels of crust browning and three loaf sizes. In our Lab, we tested these settings and found that this machine was one of the best. Its gluten-free loaf was evenly browned without an overly thick crust and thoroughly baked on the inside. Our testers, one of whom lives in a gluten-free home, immensely enjoyed the taste and loved the texture. It's possible this is due to the machine taking a bit longer than others during the rising (don't expect a quick loaf here).

In addition to liking the gluten-free loaf, the testers also noted that this machine was one of the quietest machines they used. The downside to this machine is that gluten-full loaves have a big learning curve for achieving a good loaf, as the whole wheat loaf came out gummy.

pohl schmitt bread machine spruce eats

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 15 x 13 x 11 inches | Weight: 10.4 pounds | Loaf Size: 1, 1.4, or 2.2 pounds | Timer: 15-hour delay | Electrical Rating: 550 watts

Lab Test Takeaway

"The bread came out with a really nice shape, aesthetically pleasing in color, too. It had a very even taste, no extra yeast, wasn't burnt, and didn't have an overly thick crust." Collier Sutter, Food and Drink Review Editor

Final Verdict

After extensive Lab and at-home testing, the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus is our top recommendation for consistent and nearly flawless results. For a more affordable and compact option, look to the Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine, which is easy to use with simple and reliable recipes.

Best Bread Machines

 Julie Bang / The Spruce Eats

How We Tested

We tested 10 of the top bread machines in our Lab by seeing how banana bread, whole wheat bread, and gluten-free bread fared in each machine. The best machines were also tested by making white bread. The testers cleaned each machine repeatedly and placed any dishwasher-safe parts through a few washing cycles. All of our reviewers evaluated the bread machines on ease of use, performance, versatility, cleaning, and overall value.

We also sent a handful of bread machines to the homes of our experienced food writers so they could spend weeks testing their capabilities. They used the machines to bake a variety of loaves, tried out all the functions and features, cleaned them, stored them, and ultimately decided what their strengths and weaknesses were.

best bread makers lab testing white bread

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

Other Options We Tested

  • Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 2-Pound Breadmaker: This affordable bread machine was previously on our list as a best budget pick. Besides the price, it has a lot going for it, including an easy-to-use interface, multiple settings, and a modern design. But both our Lab testers and our home tester found that it often produces unevenly baked loaves with bad texture. They were also lacking in flavor. All of the testers also noted that sometimes the mixing mechanism doesn't incorporate a significant amount of flour. That leftover flour either bakes onto the loaf or is left behind in the pan, making this difficult to clean.
  • Cuisinart 2-Pound Convection Bread Maker: A 16-item menu and convection cooking originally made this Cuisinart bread machine a great pick for multi-size loaves. Our Lab testers found it to be a rather finicky machine. The loaves of bread rose nicely, except that they consistently stuck to the paddle, warranting a need to cut the paddle out of the bread loaf and making it hard to clean. Inside, the gluten either didn't form properly, creating a gummy texture or in the gluten-free loaf, the texture came out gritty and chewy.
  • Zojirushi Home Bakery Maestro Breadmaker: Zojirushi makes great countertop appliances, including multiple bread machines. This tiny machine is sturdy and quiet, with features like a countdown timer and crust settings. When we tested it in the Lab, we found that it was uneven when it came to baking. It produced great whole wheat and white bread loaves. But sometimes, not all of the flour mixed into the dough, and the texture would end up gummy. Our home tester had a better experience with the Zojirushi Mini, or you can go with the Zojirushi Virtuoso (our best overall pick).
  • Secura Bread Maker Machine: We tested this popular machine in our Lab to see if it belonged on our list of recommendations, but our testers weren't impressed. The machine's interface was hard to read, and the alerts were exceptionally annoying. The machine ran hot during all the tests, so the top needed to the handled carefully. The loaves themselves were unevenly baked with chunks of flour visible in the loaf, while the textures and flavors were terrible.
best bread makers lab testing pouring flour

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

What to Look for When Buying a Bread Machine

Loaf Capacity

Think about how many people you want to feed with your newly made loaf, and consider the amount of bread that you can finish before it goes stale. Many bread machines have settings for multiple loaf sizes, but the maximum size varies from machine to machine.

Most bread makers produce loaves that weigh 1 to 2 pounds, but some models are capable of baking 2 1/2-pound family-sized loaves. In theory, you can add more or less flour and water to any bread machine to make a larger or smaller loaf, but if you try to bake a 2-pound loaf in a machine designed for 1-pound loaves, it might be pale, underdone, or rise too far out of the pan. And baking a small batch loaf in a machine designed for larger loaves might result in a very short loaf with a dry texture and crust that is too dark and thick.

Breadman 2-Pound Professional Bread Maker
 The Spruce Eats / Lindsay Boyers

Keep in mind that larger, heavier loaves of bread will require more power to bake. Most bread machines have somewhere between 500 to 1000 watts of power. If you plan to bake denser breads or loaves with lots of add-ins, like nuts, seeds, or dried fruit, you'll want to look for a bread machine on the higher end of that wattage range to ensure it can efficiently bake heavier loaves.

Machine Size and Weight

Larger machines are less convenient to move around and store, but they tend to come loaded with more options for bread making. Smaller machines are easier to store out of sight when not in use, but they may have fewer settings and not be able to make large loaves of bread.

Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker
 The Spruce Eats

Loaf Pan Shape

When you’re baking bread in the oven, you can choose the shape and size of your loaf pan, or you can make free-form loaves by hand. When you bake in a bread machine, all of your bread will be the same basic shape since there is only one loaf pan that can be used. Most bread machines turn out either tall/vertical or rectangular-shaped loaves.

Kneading Paddles

Budget bread makers will include at least one kneading paddle, but higher-end machines usually come with two paddles. Multiple paddles are preferable for the best kneading results.

If the kneading paddle(s) remain in place during baking, bread loaves will have one or two holes where the paddle was located. Most users accept this aesthetic flaw in the final product as a trade-off for the ease and convenience of enjoying freshly baked bread.

Oster ExpressBake Bread Maker
The Spruce Eats 

However, if you'd prefer loaves without these holes, look for a bread machine that has collapsible or removable paddles. Machines with removable paddles will beep after kneading so you can take the dough out, remove the paddles, and then place the dough back into the pan for the final rise and bake.

Pre-Programmed Settings

Today’s bread machines come loaded with features, which can be fun to test, but a machine with too many features could be too complicated for your needs. Are you interested in trying different styles of bread, or will you just be making sandwich loaves every week?

The simplest machines offer few variations, but some machines include settings for sweet loaves, whole-grain bread, sourdough, French bread, pizza dough, and more. Each of these settings adjusts the kneading, rising, and baking times to produce the best loaf possible for those types of bread.

Extra settings are handy for people who want to experiment with different types of grains and bread styles, but a simple bread maker will suffice if your goal is to make basic sandwich bread to replace store-bought bread.

Breadman 2-Pound Professional Bread Maker
 The Spruce Eats / Lindsay Boyers

You'll also find express bread settings for mixing, kneading, and baking a loaf of dough in under an hour, which may be a convenient feature if you'd like to turn out a quick loaf to serve with dinner.

Most bread machines include the option to knead dough without baking it, so you can bake your bread machine dough in a standard oven if you prefer. There's also the option to bake without mixing or kneading if you want to bake cake or muffins in a bread machine. You might come across bread machines with options for making jam or yogurt, but these settings are only useful if you'll actually use them.

Some bread machines have automatic fruit and nut dispensers built into the lid, so you don't have to be nearby or remember to add them to the dough before baking. You can fill these dispensers with nuts, seeds, or dried fruit like raisins or chopped apricots at the same time you add the bread ingredients to the loaf pan. Most machines with these automatic dispensers are programmed to release the add-ins into the dough toward the end of the kneading period, so the ingredients aren't crushed or chopped by the kneading paddles.

Crust Control

Most bread machines have settings to choose the desired darkness of your crust, from light to medium to dark. While this feature isn't essential for baking a good loaf, it’s nice to be able to control the darkness of the crust when you’re making specialty loaves.

Sweet loaves can brown very quickly, while other doughs might need a little extra bake time to move beyond a pale crust color. How dark you like your crust is also a personal preference, so it can be nice to choose exactly the result you want each time.

If you want to keep an eye on your crust as it browns, consider a bread machine with a viewing window built into the lid that lets you observe the bread-making process from kneading to baking.

Gluten-Free Options

If you’ve ever made gluten-free bread, you know that the process is different from making standard bread, and the dough behaves much differently. While many bread machines now offer gluten-free settings, look for one that puts a priority on that function if you’re going to be focusing on gluten-free breads. Some machines have just a single setting for gluten-free bread, and others have multiple options for different styles of gluten-free loaves.

Of course, results will vary depending on the type of flour you're using, so it's best to consult gluten-free recipes adapted for a bread machine. If you’re planning on making gluten-free bread in a machine that has previously been used for regular bread, you’ll need to clean every nook and cranny to remove any leftover gluten residue that could cross-contaminate your gluten-free loaves.

best bread makers lab testing breville controls

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

Delayed Start

No matter which machine you choose, the best quality breads take about four hours or more to mix, knead, rise, and bake. Some machines have quick-bake cycles that produce finished bread in less time, but even that might not be fast enough if you want your fresh bread for breakfast and you don’t want to wake up extra early to measure flour, water, and yeast.

A delayed start option lets you have your fresh-baked bread ready whenever you want it, whether you want to wake up to the smell of baking bread or want to have the bread ready when you come home from work to serve with dinner.

Price

On average, you can expect to spend somewhere in the range of $100 to $150 for a decent bread machine from a mid-range brand. Some bread makers from budget brands may be priced less than $100, while other high-end brands such as Breville and Zojirushi can cost $300 or more.

Warranty

The typical warranty for bread machines is one year, usually covering manufacturing defects rather than wear-and-tear or misuse. Specific coverage can vary depending on the manufacturer and model, so it’s always a good idea to check the details before your purchase. Additional warranties are available upon purchase from vendors like Amazon.

Good to Know

Even if you want to play with different shaped loaves or dinner rolls, you can use a bread machine to knead and rise the dough, then remove to shape by hand and bake in the oven.

Types of Bread Makers

Vertical Bread Machines

When bread machines were first sold, they produced bread loaves that were tall and rectangular in shape. The bread pans were square or slightly rectangular, but the finished loaves tended to be overly tall and vertical-shaped compared to standard bread, resulting in a loaf that was an unusual shape. These vertical bread machines are still popular today. They tend to have a smaller footprint, so they take less space on the counter and are easier to store. They are also less expensive and make smaller loaves of bread, so they're a good option for small households or anyone who doesn't eat that much bread.

The downside to the vertical loaves is that the shape can be odd for making sandwiches, and you might need to cut the slices to make them fit neatly into your toaster. Also, because the heating element is located on the bottom of these machines, very tall loaves can bake unevenly with darker browning on the bottom and a very pale top crust.

Oster ExpressBake Bread Maker
The Spruce Eats

Horizontal Bread Machines

If tall loaves are too awkwardly shaped for you, look for a bread machine that produces horizontal, rectangular-shaped loaves that look more like bread that was baked in a standard loaf pan. These machines have a longer bread pan and larger baking chamber and tend to be able to bake larger loaves of bread than vertical bread machines. However, the increased baking capacity means this style of break maker tends to be larger overall and will take up more space in your kitchen.

Because there's more room for the dough to move around in a horizontal, rectangular bread pan, machines equipped with just a single paddle may be less efficient at kneading the dough. Sometimes the dough can get stuck on one end of the pan while the paddle spins on its own, which can result in the loaves turning out unevenly shaped with more dough on one end or a tall middle with shorter ends. Higher-end machines might have two paddles for kneading so the dough is kneaded more efficiently and the shape of the finished loaf is more even.

Machines that bake horizontal loaves tend to be more expensive than those that bake vertical loaves, but you can find affordable horizontal bread machines.

Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker
The Spruce Eats 

Brands/Manufacturers

Zojirushi

One of the most well-known brands of bread makers, Zojirushi (fondly referred to as “Zo” by many fans of the brand), makes quality bread machines in a wide range of styles like tall-loaf and rectangular-loaf styles that include plenty of options and extras that make bread-making more fun. Some of its models feature innovative designs with heat sources built into both the top and bottom of the bread machine for more even baking. Zojirushi bread machines tend to be on the high end of the price range.

Breville

Breville has just one offering in the bread machine category, but it's worth a mention. It's a high-quality and high-end machine that is consistently rated well by users.

Breadman

One of the early names in bread makers and still going strong, Breadman makes bread machines in several styles, including tall-loaf and rectangular-loaf. While these models don’t include extra features like higher-end options, the company is experienced and manufactures simple, solid-quality machines at mid-range prices.

Cuisinart

Cuisinart has two bread makers in its product catalog, including a compact model that helps save on storage space and a convection heating model that can make loaves up to 2 pounds in weight. Both come with plenty of pre-programmed settings to play with and a longer warranty than other brands, and they are priced in the mid-range.

Oster

Oster sells several models in the bread machine category, and most are on the affordable end of the price range. The Oster bread machines lack the extra features and settings found on high-end machines, but they’re worth considering if budget is a deciding factor since they're very affordable. They're also user-friendly, making them good beginner machines for people who will only bake bread occasionally.

Hamilton Beach

Like Oster, this brand offers a selection of affordable bread machines that won’t break your budget. Most are compact, so they're easy to store and won't take up a ton of counter space. Unlike other budget-priced bread machines, you can find Hamilton Beach models that have dual paddles for more efficient kneading.

best bread makers lab testing opening zojirushi

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

FAQs

Do you need to grease the bread maker pan?

Yes, you should grease the pan of your bread maker before putting in your ingredients. Greasing will help you easily remove the baked loaf of bread from the pan. You can use your favorite cooking oil or butter to grease the pan.

How long does homemade bread last?

Homemade bread will last on average 2-4 days at room temperature. Storing bread in the refrigerator isn't recommended since the cold dries the bread and turns it stale faster.

How do you freeze homemade bread?

If you bake a bunch of bread at once, it's easy to freeze some loaves to have later. Homemade bread loaves can be frozen for up to three months.

Let your bread cool completely before wrapping it for freezer storage. Wrap the loaves in plastic wrap and then place them into an airtight freezer bag. Be sure to mark the bag with the contents and the date you freeze it.

You can also freeze the bread in plastic wrap or a freezer bag, then transfer it to a vacuum sealer bag for even more protection from the air. Freezing before sealing will help prevent the vacuum sealer from crushing the bread.

How do you clean a bread machine?

Bread machines should be cleaned after each use to keep them sanitary and looking new. After use, unplug the bread machine and let it cool completely before cleaning.

The bread pan and mixing paddles can be removed and washed by hand or in the dishwasher. Check your manual for what's recommended.

The actual bread machine can not be submerged in water since it contains electrical components. If you notice any flour, dough, or crumbs in the bread machine chamber, you'll need to unplug the unit and wipe the residue away with a cloth, similarly to how you'd clean a toaster. Any bits of leftover dough should be left to dry out so they can be easily brushed away.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Donna Currie, a writer for The Spruce Eats, is a bread-making expert. Not only did she review a couple of our top picks, but she also wrote Make Ahead Bread, which breaks down the bread-baking process for readers. Donna occasionally likes to ditch the recipe book and experiment and loves that the Zojirushi bread maker was up to the task.

The Spruce Eats Editor Siobhan Wallace compiled testing data from our official Lab as well as insights from our home testers' full product reviews to update this roundup.

Tested by
Donna Currie
Donna Currie
Donna Currie is a food writer and blogger specializing in recipes and kitchen gadgets. She covers kitchen tools and gadgets for The Spruce Eats and is the author of Make Ahead Bread.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
and
Lindsay Boyers
Lindsay Boyers
Lindsay Boyers is a freelance commerce writer for The Spruce Eats specializing in food, cooking, and nutrition. 
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Additional reporting by
Katrina Munichiello
Katrina Munichiello The Spruce Eats
Katrina Munichiello is a freelance writer and editor whose career began in the tea industry. Her work has appeared in Yankee Magazine, Connecticut Magazine, and the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. A highlight of her career was covering a Mother’s Day tea event at the White House.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 7 bread machines to try in 2022 — and how to pick the right one. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/select/shopping/best-bread-makers-ncna1234243

  2. The 6 Best Bread Makers For Every Type Of Baker. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-personal-shopper/2021/10/25/best-bread-machines/?sh=46dab0232987

  3. 5 Best Bread Machines of 2022, According to Kitchen Pros. Good Housekeeping. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/cooking-tools/g25938263/best-bread-makers-machines-reviews/

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