The 7 Best Bread Machines of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

The Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker is our 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

Deal Alert! The Zojirushi BB-HAC10, one of our favorite bread makers, is on sale right now for Black Friday.

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 Hamilton Beach HomeBaker, which is simple to use and produces above-average results. 

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.

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

4.8
Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Performance
    5/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5
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? NBC News, Forbes, and Good Housekeeping all picked the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker.

What do buyers say? 95% of 3,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 or 5 stars.

Anyone who takes home baking seriously will appreciate all the features and options packed into this Zojirushi bread maker, and its performance in Lab and home tests made it our best overall pick. It has 15 different pre-programmed "courses" for jam and cake as well as a wide variety of types of bread, each with the choice of light, medium, or dark crust, but you can also create your own custom programs. This machine has two kneading paddles to make sure no bits of flour are left unmixed, and a 13-hour delay timer so you can wake up to hot, fresh bread for breakfast. A large window even 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 crisp crust, a feature that's hard to achieve since machines bake at a cooler temperature than ovens. The Lab also appreciated that the Virtuoso Plus bakes loaves with a domed top, shaped more like a "real" loaf than the flat ones other models put out. When we made banana bread, we got great color, even doneness, and perfect texture. Other features also stood out, from the unobtrusive alerts to the countdown timer to the easy-to-clean nonstick loaf pan.

This is a high-end machine with a price to match, though, 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.

Price at time of publish: $378

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 | Power: 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: Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 2-Pound Breadmaker

4.2
Hamilton Beach Programmable Bread Machine

Walmart 

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Performance
    4/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    4/5
  • Value
    3.5/5
What We Like
  • Produces fluffy, evenly baked bread

  • Multifunctional

  • Two different loaf sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Pan requires soaking to clean

  • Screen fogged up during use

  • No custom settings

The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker might be somewhat less heavy-duty than more expensive machines, but our Lab found that it delivered delicious bread with that crisp crust and chewy texture that scream home-baked. It has built-in settings for lots of different types of breads, as well as cakes and jams, and it can make either a 2-pound or 1.5-pound loaf using the same pan and paddle. Advanced bakers might be disappointed, however, as its 12 settings don't include any custom-programmable options.

The HomeBaker performed quite well in our Lab tests, producing a loaf of fluffy sandwich-style white bread and an evenly baked banana bread using the recipes in the manual. All of the included recipes have variations for both loaf sizes, which is really helpful, though the banana bread, cornbread, and cake recipes all call for boxed mixes, an odd choice that kind of defeats the purpose of the bread machine. The Lab didn't have much trouble cleaning the pan and paddle, though the machine did leave some flour behind and there was some stickiness with the banana bread, both of which required an hour-long soak to loosen up.

Price at time of publish: $90

Hamilton Beach 2-pound homebaker

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 10.4 x 14.1 x 12.2 inches | Weight: 11.9 pounds | Loaf Size: 1.5 or 2 pounds | Power: 600 watts

Lab Test Takeaway

"This machine made very beautiful pieces of bread. The white loaf was a nice even texture, and the banana bread had a solid color."

Best Features: Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker

4.5
Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker

Williams Sonoma

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Performance
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5
What We Like
  • Intuitive controls

  • Collapsible kneading paddle

  • Mix-ins dispenser

What We Don't Like
  • Complicated to clean

  • Loud

  • Expensive

With automatic and custom programs, a pause function so you can reshape the dough or add a glaze before baking, 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 variable sized loaves of up to 2.5 pounds with gluten-free, yeast-free, crusty loaf, dough/pasta, and jam options.

This bread machine is packed with cool features that impressed the Lab, like a dispenser for nuts, fruits, or other mix-ins that releases the ingredients at just the right point in the process to be thoroughly incorporated. It also has a 60-minute backup battery and can keep working in the event of a power outage, and a collapsing kneading blade that folds down prior to baking. The instructions include 60 pages of recipes for things like jams, chutneys, jellies, pasta doughs, and yogurt in addition to breads of many kinds.

Our Lab testers liked a lot of things about the Breville. The interface and controls were intuitive, and a window lets you know what's happening inside the machine. Standard white and gluten-free breads came out soft, tender and evenly textured, though the manual's (somewhat unusual yeast-risen) recipe for banana bread didn't get fully mixed. The nonstick pan comes in and out easily, but nothing is dishwasher-safe and the outside of the pan can't be submerged in water, which makes cleaning complex. Testers also marked the machine down slightly because it sometimes needed extra mixing time to create a good dough, and because it was one of the louder machines tested.

Price at time of publish: $300

breville custom loaf spruce eats

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 16.4 x 9.6 x 13.3 inches | Weight: 16.9 pounds | Loaf Size: 1-2.5 pounds | Power: 830 watts

Lab Test Takeaway

"The bread is soft and tender and smells amazing. The cross-section/crumb is very consistent and airy without being too aerated. The crust is evenly golden brown and tender, not crunchy or crusty. This bread also tastes amazing."

Best for Mini Loaves: Zojirushi Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker

4.6
Zojirushi Bread Maker

Courtesy of Wayfair

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Performance
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5
What We Like
  • Quiet

  • Easy to use

  • Has 8 different settings

What We Don't Like
  • Small loaves

  • Expensive

Great for students, singles, couples, or anybody who only needs a sandwich or two worth of bread at a time, this slim machine produces 1-pound loaves and can fit in smaller spaces, yet it still has many of the features you'd find in top-quality full-size machines. 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 Lab loved how easy this machine was to use and found its results up to par with most of the full-size units they tested.

Our home 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 the Lab did not have the same problem. The Home Bakery Mini really is quite compact (and there's even a carrying handle for taking bread on the go), and testers also called out just how silent its operation is: If you want to make bread in the middle of the night without waking your roommates or family, this is the machine for you.

Price at time of publish: $243

Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker

 The Spruce Eats / Lindsay Boyers

Dimensions: 8.5 x 11.3 x 12.3 inches | Weight: 12 pounds | Loaf Size: 1 pound | Power: 450 watts

Lab Test Takeaway

"The loaf came out of the pan very easily and smoothly. The color is a robust golden brown throughout and nicely domed on the top. There is a small crack on the bottom from the paddle, but it feels very properly weighed; not too light but not too dense."

Best Compact: Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Maker

4.4
Cuisinart Compact Bread Maker

Williams Sonoma

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Performance
    4/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5
What We Like
  • Even browning and good aeration

  • Easy to use and clean

  • 12 programs and 3 crust settings

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

  • Outside of machine gets hot

This machine produces "full-size" loaves but takes up less counter real estate than "full-size" bread machines. Perfect for small kitchens—or counters crowded with gadgets—it has a space-saving design and modern stainless-steel look that weighs in at just over 10 pounds, so it's even easy to take on and off the counter if you want to store it elsewhere. The Cuisinart Compact features 12 cooking programs and three crust shades (light, medium, dark), with options including gluten-free bread, jams, sauces, cake, and more. It claims to accommodate up to a 2-pound loaf, though the Lab found that largest dough batches rose into the lid of the machine and then deflated; we'd recommend sticking to 1.5-pound recipes.

Lab testers found a lot to love with this bread maker. First, it was very easy to use with an intuitive and clear control panel. White bread came out evenly browned and bubbly inside, and the banana bread was soft and golden-brown, with no sticking at all to the pan. One downside of the Cuisinart's small size is that there's not room for insulation: The outside of the unit got very hot during baking.

Price at time of publish: $130

cuisinart compact bread machine spruce eats

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 10.3 x 13.3 x 11.3 inches | Weight: 10.8 pounds | Loaf Size: 1, 1.5, or 2 pounds | Power: 550 watts

Lab Test Takeaway

"The machine worked very well and made both of the loaves very easily. The shape or each loaf was beautiful."

Best Customizable: Breadman 2-Pound Professional Bread Maker

4.3
Breadman BK1050S 2 lb Professional Bread Maker, Stainless Steel

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Performance
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    4/5
  • Value
    3.5/5
What We Like
  • Adjustable loaf size

  • Collapsible kneading paddle

  • Raisin/nut dispenser

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

  • Gluten-free loaves can come out flat

  • Small viewing window

This Breadman bread maker has 14 baking functions, with three different crust settings and three loaf sizes, for a whole lot of different options. There's also a 15-hour delayed start timer and a 1-hour keep warm option after baking, and the machine comes with a spiral-bound manual/cookbook with more than 80 recipes.

Our home tester found the machine's looks unassuming and footprint sizable, but said 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. Using the largest, 2-pound setting, our Lab testers got a super-soft, super-delicious loaf that tasted great but couldn't maintain structural integrity in a sandwich. Banana bread came out absolutely beautifully, though the included recipe has you mix the batter in a separate bowl before pouring into the machine, which kind of defeats the purpose of the bread machine.

The Breadman's clever collapsible kneading paddle retracts into a divot in the pan to avoid leaving a big hole in the finished loaf and making it easier to remove the loaf from the pan. It's a nice feature, but flour and dough got caught up in the paddle itself in the Lab, and testers found it a bit of a pain to clean with a pipe cleaner. There's also an attached fruit and nut hopper that adds mix-ins automatically for specialty recipes.

Price at time of publish: $130

breadman bread machine spruce eats

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 12 x 16.6 x 15.6 inches | Weight: 17.2 pounds | Loaf Size: 1, 1.5, or 2 pounds | Power: 850 watts

Lab Test Takeaway

"This one feels like a really well-engineered machine, from the industrial/professional stainless design and construction to the solid metal buttons for controls (as opposed to plastic) and the secure sealing lid with a handle."

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

4.2
Pohl Schmitt 14-in-1 Stainless Steel Bread Maker Machine

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Versatility
    2.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    3.5/5
  • Performance
    2.5/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    3/5
  • Value
    3/5
What We Like
  • Great gluten-free bread

  • Quiet

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to use

  • Didn't make great white or banana bread

Gluten is a protein that not only helps proofing dough hold onto bubbles of gas given off by the yeast but also hardens upon baking so the bread can take its final shape. That's why making gluten-free bread can be very tricky; it's tough to achieve a light, fluffy texture. Various bread machines have programs specifically for making gluten-free loaves, but the one that did the best job in our Lab testing was the Pohl Schmitt. Its gluten-free bread really impressed our testers, with a nice texture and lovely browned color, baked evenly throughout.

Unfortunately, the machine didn't do such a great job with breads that do contain gluten. When using it for whole wheat, white, and banana breads, it produced flat, dense loaves that were either underbaked or baked unevely. Some of those kinks might be solved by adjusting settings—it offers 14 cooking programs, three levels of crust browning, three loaf sizes, and a mix-in dispenser—but testers also found the controls rather unintuitive and needed to consult the manual a lot. All that side, it was one of the quietest machines we tested, and if you're in a gluten-free household it might be an excellent choice.

Price at time of publish: $100

pohl schmitt bread machine spruce eats

The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

Dimensions: 10 x 14 x 12.5 inches | Weight: 11.9 pounds | Loaf Size: 1, 1.4, or 2.2 pounds | Power: 650 watts

Lab Test Takeaway

"The gluten-free 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."

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 option, look to the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker, which is easy to use with simple and reliable recipes.

Best Bread Machines

 Julie Bang / The Spruce Eats

How We Tested

Our Lab purchased and tested 20 of the top bread machines by using them to make standard white bread and banana bread (following the recipes included with the machines, or a standard The Spruce Eats recipe if one was not included). They also tested ease of cleaning by washing the machines following manufacturer recommendations after baking both bread. Each machine was further evaluated overall on ease of use, performance, versatility, and value for the price.

In an earlier round of Lab testing, we evaluated 10 bread machine models by making banana, whole wheat, and gluten-free breads. We also sent a handful of bread machines to the homes of our experienced food writers so they could spend weeks testing their capabilities on all sorts of recipes, and checking out all their auxiliary functions. This roundup includes insights from all three sets of testing.

best bread makers lab testing white bread

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

Other Options We Tested

  • Oster ExpressBake 2-Pound Bread Maker: 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 in our latest round of Lab testing, it produced sunken, dense bread that was browned on the outside but gummy and undercooked within. It didn't fully mix the banana bread batter, leaving floury clumps in the unevely baked loaf.
  • 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 might be most famous for rice cookers, but all three of its bread machines we tested made fantastic loaves. The Maestro is just more limited in functionality and smaller in capacity than our top pick, the Zojirushi Virtuoso, and more expensive than our favorite for mini-loaves, the Zojirushi Mini.
  • Amazon Basics 2-Pound Non-Stick Bread Making Machine: They did at least get the "non-stick" part right, as it was indeed easy to remove the loaves from the pan with this machine. It emitted burning plastic-smelling smoke as it baked, though, and the white bread came out with a completely sunken, concave top. It's certainly cheap, and you get what you pay for.
best bread makers lab testing pouring flour

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

What to Look for When Buying a Bread Machine

Size, Power, and Capacity

Most bread makers produce loaves that weigh 1 to 2 pounds, but some models are capable of baking 2.5-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, denser loaves of bread require more power to bake. Most bread machines have somewhere between 500 to 1000 watts of power. If you plan to bake heavy breads and cakes, 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 bake fully and evenly.

The overall size and weight of the machine matter, too. Larger-capacity, higher-power ones generally take up more counter space and are heavier, though clever design configurations can save space. Smaller machines are easier to store out of sight when not in use—some even have a portable carrying handle—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

Kneading Paddles

Bread machines typically work by kneading the dough using a paddle (or pair of paddles) that either stays in place or folds down during baking. This can leave a hole in the loaf when you pull out the paddle after baking, an aesthetic flaw that many users accept as a trade-off for the ease and convenience of a bread machine. A bigger potential issue with paddles is that they can get bits of dough stuck to them that gets baked on and can be tough to clean off, especially if the paddles can't be submerged to soak or go in the dishwasher.

Budget bread makers will include at least one kneading paddle, but higher-end machines usually come with two. Multiple paddles are preferable for the best kneading results. Some machines have you remove the paddles before baking, which prevents those bread-machine holes but is an extra manual step in what's supposed to be a fully automated process.

Oster ExpressBake Bread Maker
The Spruce Eats 

Settings and Programs

Today’s bread machines come with at least several different programs for different 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.

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.

Other potential features include rapid modes that speed up the process if you're in a hurry; a keep-warm mode that holds freshly baked bread; a mix-in hopper that automatically adds nuts or fruit in the middle of the process; and a knead-only mode for pasta or pizza dough. Many machines have crust color options that further adjust baking for light, medium, or dark bread, while others let you create your own custom programs.

More full-featured bread machines are generally more expensive, but that might not be necessary if you won't be making any of the more esoteric recipes they're designed for.

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

Delayed Start

An often overlooked feature of most bread machines is that you can load them up with ingredients and then set them to start the bread-making process 12 or more hours in advance. All the cycles of kneading and rising can take several hours, and a timer lets your plan ahead to be sure your bread is hot and fresh exactly when you need it. You can fill the machine in the morning and set it to have bread ready for dinner, or at night so there's the smell of fresh bread to wake you up in the morning.

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.

Taking paddle out of freshly baked bread

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

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.

Since 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.

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.

What is bread machine yeast?

Similar to rapid-rise or instant yeast, bread machine yeast is formulated to work best in bread machines. Compared with standard active dry yeast, bread machine yeast has finer granules and doesn't need to be activated in warm water before being added to the machine. (You can still use active dry yeast in bread machines, but you'll need to dissolve it in water and let it get frothy first.) Using bread machine yeast requires about half the time for the bread to rise as opposed to active yeast—though the texture or flavor between the final products may be slightly different.

"The advantage of the rapid-rise yeast is that the rising time is half that of the active dry [yeast], and it only needs one rising," says Lacey Baier, a Dallas-based food and lifestyle blogger at A Sweet Pea Chef. 'Though this is an advantage, you do sacrifice some flavor and texture by speeding up the rising process as the yeast does not have time to develop its own flavor."

best bread makers lab testing breville controls

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

Can a bread machine make gluten-free bread?

Absolutely, though if you’ve ever made gluten-free bread, you know that the process is different from making standard bread. Many bread machines offer at least one setting for gluten-free loaves, which adjusts the process to account for the different properties of gluten-free flours. When making gluten-free loaves, it can be helpful to scrape around the sides of the pan. Jessica Galsworthy, a U.K.-based recipe developer, says, "Gluten-free bread dough is not like “normal” bread dough … it's really wet and almost like cake batter. During the kneading stage, any bits you add into the loaf (chocolate chips, fudge pieces, fruit, etc.) can get pushed to the outside of the bread pan. Once the bread machine has moved onto the rise stage, open the lid and scrape right around the outside of the pan, bringing all the bits into the middle."

Of course, results will vary depending on your recipe, so it's best to consult gluten-free recipes adapted for a bread machine. If you plan to make gluten-free bread in a machine that has previously been used for gluten-containing bread, you’ll need to clean every nook and cranny thoroughly to remove any leftover flour residue that could cross-contaminate your gluten-free loaves.

How long does homemade bread last?

Homemade bread will last on average two to four days at room temperature (store-bought bread, by contrast, lasts up to seven days). Storing bread in the refrigerator isn't recommended since the cold dries the bread and turns it stale faster—though it could increase the shelf-life of your bread by up to five days.

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 the fresh-baked 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, and The Spruce Eats commerce writer Jason Horn updated this story further with a new set of Lab testing insights.

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. 
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
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
Katya Weiss-Andersson,
Katya Weiss-Andersson
Katya Weiss-Andersson is a commerce editor for The Spruce Eats. With eight years of experience as a professional chef cooking in cramped kitchens and developing recipes with limited space and equipment, Katya has become an expert on how to make life easier in the kitchen.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
and
Jason Horn
Jason Horn
Jason Horn has been writing about food and drinks for more than 15 years and is a Commerce Writer for The Spruce Eats. He once convinced Matthew McConaughey that a hot dog is indeed a sandwich.
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/

Continue to 5 of 7 below.