The best bread machines you can buy

  • Making bread isn't just for master bakers when you have a bread machine.
  • The Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker is the best bread machine you can buy to make delicious bread at home.
  • It has 13 pre-programmed settings, handles gluten-free recipes, and features a heated lid to help with even baking.

As a work-from-home dad, I try not to buy items from the store that I can make at home. And, since the overpriced bread at the supermarket is packed full of ingredients nobody can pronounce, I was naturally attracted to the fun challenge of baking healthy homemade bread.

With my trusty KitchenAid serving as a competent sous chef, I cut my teeth in the baking world with from-scratch bread. Eventually, the weekly bread dough kneading took its toll on the mixer. And, the demands of parenting and work made my old-fashioned methods inconvenient. In order to meet the high bread standards my family had come to expect (along with the delicious odors making bread produces), I turned to a bread machine.

With the most basic bread makers, you spend five to ten minutes loading the machine with ingredients (most machines come with plenty of recipes), you press a few buttons, and away it goes. You simply wait anywhere from one to four hours for the beeping to let you know it's done. Advertisement

Appliance makers keep adding features that make these machines the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread -although I'm still waiting for an automatic slicing feature. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, here are some features to consider:
  • Automatic dispensers - Some models have automatic dispensers for yeast or fruits and nuts. The fruit and nut option is helpful because you generally want to add these ingredients later in the process, which then adds another time-sensitive step. With the dispenser, you set everything up and go about your day.
  • Pre-programmed settings - All of the bread machines in our guide have at least ten pre-programmed settings along with three crust shade alternatives (light, medium, and dark). Some common settings include whole wheat bread, sourdough bread, gluten-free, pizza dough, and jam.
  • Quick baking - Many machines offer a quick baking alternative. With this feature, you can have a baked loaf in as little as an hour from start to finish. However, the quality of the bread suffers.
  • Collapsible paddle/blade - Machine-made bread loaves usually have a hole in the base where the kneading blade sat during the baking process. Some manufacturers have remedied this problem by introducing collapsible paddles. Of course, if you don't mind babysitting your machine, you can remove the blade by hand right before the baking phase.

We combed through hundreds of reviews and ratings from home bakers and experts alike as we searched for the best bread machines. The five units we chose to include in this guide can make a variety of different bread types, require minimal user oversight, and have a track record of dependability and performance.

Here are the best bread machines for 2019:

Updated on 07/17/2019 by Les Shu: Updated prices, links, and formatting.

Read on to check out our top picks.

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The best bread machine overall

The best bread machine overall
If you don't mind spending a little extra for a versatile top-of-the-line bread machine, the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker is your best option.

What sets the Zojirushi Virtuoso apart from other bread makers is that it has two blades for kneading bread and features a heated lid for the even baking of loaves. This unit makes 2-pound traditional rectangular loaves in the inner cooking pan. The bread is positioned horizontally in the machine, whereas most have a vertical alignment. Zojirushi backs this product with a one-year warranty.

There are 10 pre-programmed settings with the bread machine: homemade, sourdough starter, cake, jam, quick dough, quick wheat, quick (prepares bread in about two hours), basic dough, basic wheat, and basic. There are also three crust shades: dark, medium, and light. Lastly, you can choose to delay the baking cycle for up to 13 hours.

The Zojirushi bread maker was runner-up in Bread Machine Pros' in-depth look at the best makers. The reviewers were impressed with how it handled gluten-free recipes and how the heater on the lid browns bread evenly on top. However, it lost points because it doesn't have a yeast or fruit and nut dispenser.

Village Bakery recommends this bread machine because it meets the dietary restrictions of just about anyone, including those who can't tolerate gluten. The reviewers also liked the dual kneading blades, but they would have preferred it if the machine was also able to make smaller loaves.

This Zojirushi bread maker has more than 1,500 5-star ratings on Amazon. One owner, who had previously owned another Zojirushi bread maker for 18 years, was impressed with the performance of the this model's dual kneading paddles, the top heater, and the versatility of this unit.

Other buyers left similar reviews and also noted that the long loaf tub made bread similar to ones you might find at the supermarket. There was one complaint about the blade notches wearing out after 100 cycles.

Pros: Excellent for gluten-free recipes, heater in lid, dual kneading paddles

Cons: Expensive, limited loaf-size options

The best budget bread machine #1

The best budget bread machine #1
If you are looking for a cost-effective, no-nonsense bread machine for making fast, healthy loaves, the Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Maker is a smart solution.

Though the name suggests otherwise, the Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Maker can make loaves in a variety of sizes, including 1-pound and 1.5-pound sizes. There are 12 bread settings, including the Expressbake cycle, which makes a 2-pound loaf of bread in less than an hour.

You can choose from three crust settings, and the 13-hour programmable delay baking timer allows you to wake to the smell of fresh bread. This machine comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Heavy liked the many settings, the large LCD screen, and that it's great for families. However, the reviewers were not impressed with the mixing paddle or with how loud it gets. Baking Smart recommends this Oster model because it's user-friendly, compact, and inexpensive.

The Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine has nearly 2,500 5-star reviews on Amazon. One owner even put it against our top pick, the Zojirushi, and found the benefits of the Zojirushi were hardly worth the added cost. The reviewer was impressed with the Oster bread machine's "throw in all the ingredients and leave it" performance. Zojirushi products, in our experience, are incredibly well-made, and the price reflect that.

Other buyers were surprised by how versatile and intuitive this maker is for its low price. For instance, one shopper used plain, all-purpose white flour (instead of bread flour) and didn't follow the manual's instructions and still had excellent results.

Pros: User-friendly, inexpensive, versatile

Cons: Reports of machine "walking" along counter when making larger batches


The best budget bread machine #2

The best budget bread machine #2
If you are a loaf-a-week household, the Sunbeam 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker will pay for itself within a year, and you can customize the bread to your liking.

The Sunbeam 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker is a 600-watt unit designed to produce 1.5-pound and 2-pound loaves. There are 12 pre-programmed settings for sandwich bread, cake, jam, dough ExpressBake (which Sunbeam claims bakes bread in under an hour), sweets, whole wheat, French, basic, and more.

There are also three crust darkness settings and a delayed 13-hour timer. The unit should only be washed by hand, and you should not use metal utensils on the non-stick surface. Sunbeam offers a one-year limited warranty with this product.

Bread Maker Machines recommends the Sunbeam Breadmaker if you are looking for a model that has several pre-programmed settings and a non-stick bread pan. However, the reviewers found that it's quite loud and that the included recipe and instruction book is not very helpful.

Consumer Search liked how durable and easy to use it is, and the reviewers were also surprised by the variety of features, given the low price. Bread Machine Pros noted that the Sunbeam does a great job of making tasty bread loaves, including specialty breads.

More than 1,600 shoppers on Amazon gave the 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker a positive review. One owner appreciated that the timer allowed them to wake up to fresh bread.

Others commented on how effortless it is to use this bread machine. The main complaints from buyers are that the instruction booklet produces inedible bread and that it's hard to read the LCD screen.

Pros: A dozen preprogrammed settings, affordable, intuitive user interface

Cons: Loud, unhelpful recipe book

The best convection bread machine

The best convection bread machine
The Convection Bread Maker by Cuisinart was designed for fast, even baking of a variety of different bread types.

Much like a convection oven or air fryer (which uses the same technology), the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker uses a fan to circulate heat allowing it to cook faster and more evenly than its non-convection counterparts.

This 680-watt bread machine can make more than 100 bread, jam, sweet cake, and dough styles. You can also choose three loaf sizes, three crust colors, and 16 pre-programmed menu options. There is also a 12-hour delayed start. The bread machine produces tones that let you know when to add mix-ins and when to remove the paddle. Cuisinart offers a three-year limited warranty on this product.

Steamy Kitchen liked the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker because it bakes sandwich breads quickly and evenly. However, the reviewer found that the control panel is a bit confusing and inconsistent. Village Bakery was impressed by the detailed product manual and the 16 pre-programmed menu options.

Pros: 16 preset options, convection fan for even and quick baking, comes with excellent manual/cookbook

Cons: Doesn't always sufficiently mix ingredients


The best for making unique breads

The best for making unique breads
With its automatic fruit and nut dispenser and four loaf sizes, the Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker is ideal for home bakers who like to make a variety of breads.

In addition to its stylish design, the Breville Bread Maker is packed with features. It makes 1-pound, 1.5-pound, 2-pound, and 2.5-pound loaves. Plus, there are three colors to pick from and 13 automatic settings. The kneading paddle mixes ingredients thoroughly then collapses before the baking cycle to minimize the hole in the base of the loaf.

Perhaps best of all, this bread maker has a compartment that automatically dispenses fruits and nuts during the kneading phase. Plus, the 133-page user manual has 46 step-by-step recipes, including olive and roasted garlic bread and maple pecan bread.

Bread Machine Pros liked that the Custom Loaf Bread Maker has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, viewing window with light, a nice screen, modern design, and four loaf size alternatives. As for downsides, Make Bread At Home found it to be exceedingly large and noisy. However, the reviewer did like the bread it produced.

Around 78% of Amazon customers gave the Breville a 4- or 5-star rating. Users liked the Custom Loaf Bread Maker because of the variety of loaf sizes it produces, the fruit and nut dispenser, and collapsible paddle. These are features that are not commonly found in today's bread machines.

Pros: Four loaf size options, 13 pre-programmed settings, automatic fruit and nut dispenser

Cons: May be too noisy for some