The best bread makers have been selling fast for most of 2020, and it’s no surprise that they’re only just coming back in stock. With more time at home on many people’s hands, baking fresh bread is one of the best steps you can make toward self-sufficiency. Plus, there’s nothing quite like that freshly baked bread smell. Recipes for bread machines can be adapted for gluten free, vegan, and seeded loaves, but the best bread machines will have gluten free settings, as well as settings for a range of loaf sizes and types. Our roundup of the best bread makers includes models from Cuisinart, Breville, Hamilton Beach, and Oster.
When shopping for a bread maker, there’s a few things you should consider. The first is your budget - we’ve included bread makers for well under $100, but some can even go up to the $400 mark for premium options. What sets these models apart is their smart displays, number of settings, and the amount of kneading hooks they offer. Generally speaking, you should try and buy a bread maker with two kneading hoods. These models have twice the kneading power and will incorporate ingredients such as nuts, fruit, and seeds with ease.
Another distinction when it comes to kneading blades is, are they collapsible? The telltale sign of most bread machine loaves is the hole left in the bottom of the batch by the kneading blades - it can make for some impractical sandwiches. More expensive models offer collapsible paddles - these lie flat, so you’ll only be left with a shallow mark instead of a hole in your bread. Some of the best bread makers also come with yeast dispensers, and compartments to automatically add nuts and seeds to your creations. You can find several of these in our roundup. Alternatively, to take some of the kneading work out of home baking, check out the best stand mixers.
1. Breville BBM800XL: Best bread maker overall
The Breville BBM800KL is a high-quality, user-friendly bread maker that’s fully programmable, and has 13 automatic settings. It also provides four loaf sizes and three options for crust color.
The Breville is more expensive than most bread makers we reviewed, but it also has much more capability. This machine is only 9.6 inches long, but it can make a loaf of bread weighing up to 2.5 pounds. You can choose from multiple pre programmed settings or manually input preferences for the machine’s preheat, knead, rise, punch-down, bake and warming phases. There’s even a delay timer of up to 13 hours.
This bread maker has a blue LCD display, rubber feet and a collapsible paddle. The collapsible paddle is especially nice because it prevents the hole that can be left over by the kneading paddle. The Breville has a nut and fruit compartment that holds extra ingredients until it’s time to add them. It also has an oven light button and viewing window.
- Read our Breville BBM800XL bread maker review
2. Cuisinart CBK-100: Best bread maker for gluten-free
A gluten-free diet that includes homemade bread may seem like a strange idea, but there are a few bread makers on the market that have work-arounds for making gluten-free bread.
Not all of them have a specific setting for gluten-free, but the Cuisinart CBK-100 does. It also has settings for French, whole wheat, sweet, packaged mix and pizza dough, so you can make a lot more than just basic bread. You can also choose from three crust colors and three loaf sizes.
A delay-start timer means you can add ingredients and set them to automatically start baking hours later. The machine makes the bread for you whenever you choose – up to 13 hours later. You can also opt to do more of the prep work if you like, with the bake-only option. The kneading paddle and other parts are removable for easy cleaning, and a power failure backup means your bread-making cycle can continue even after a power outage.
- Read our Cuisinart CBK-100 bread maker review
3. Rosewill RHBM-15001: Best budget bread maker
For a budget bread maker, the Rosewill RHBM-15001 has a lot to offer. It makes bread in two sizes, 1.5 and 2 pounds, and has 12 programs to select from. These include French, Whole Wheat, Sweet, and Gluten-free bread, and a Rapid Bake setting. There’s also three different browning options to choose from when creating your loaf - the 11 included bread machine recipes will guide you when doing this.
The major downside of opting for a bread maker with one kneading blade is that it may struggle to incorporate all your ingredients. It’s nothing a spatula can’t fix, but you should still be aware of this when buying. On the plus side, the Rosewill RHBM-15001 is a quiet machine when compared to other low-cost options, so you could even make the most of the 13-hour timer and bake some bread overnight. It even adds nuts, seeds, and fruit to your loaves automatically, which is one less thing to worry about.
4. Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882: Best bread maker for beginners
The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker is a high-quality bread maker at a midrange price. Its programming menu is easy to use, and it has specialty settings for whole grain, gluten-free, French and sweet breads. You can also make pizza and roll dough, as well as jam and cake.
When you need to add ingredients mid-cycle, the HomeBaker beeps to tell you it’s time. It comes with two paddles, which is nice if you want to make a second loaf while the first paddle is being washed. The machine has 12 program cycles and three crust settings. It can bake loaves from 1.5 to 2.5 pounds, and it has a delay timer. It also has an express option for faster baking, but loaves made with this feature are smaller and have thicker crusts than regular loaves. This bread machine’s interior baking pan has a handle that makes it easier to remove bread from the unit. The Homebaker’s outer housing is plastic, with a silver base and rubber feet.
5. Oster CKSTBR9050-NP: Best quick bread maker
This Oster bread maker can make a 2-pound loaf and has a delay timer, so you can put the ingredients in and wake up to freshly baked bread in the morning. The window on the top is a nice touch that allows you to watch as the machine bakes your bread. The bread maker’s controls are straightforward, and a digital display lets you know each stage of the bread-making process. There is even an express bake option if you want bread in less than an hour.
The machine's nine settings help you prepare the type of bread you want. This machine can make many types of bread, including French breads, pizza dough and breads with fruit, even though it is also one of the more affordable models we evaluated.