Our Rating: 8.9/10

Our Rating: 8.9/10 Est. $161 Compare Prices
With two crust options, three bread textures, and eight simple menu settings, the Zojirushi Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker is a versatile appliance for making various types of breads, jams, cakes, cookie or pasta dough, bagels, and more. While it only makes one-pound loaves, Amazon reviewers say the machine is the perfect size for RVs, apartments, or small families.

Our Rating: 8.8/10

Our Rating: 8.8/10 Est. $250 Compare Prices
The Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso has 10 different menu settings, including gluten-free, sourdough, and three custom memory settings. This all-in-one machine makes meatloaf, jams, and dough, in addition to a variety of breads in perfectly textured, two-pound loaves every time. Even gluten-free recipes taste better and cost less than store-bought options, producing a consistency that's difficult to achieve with gluten-free bread.

Our Rating: 7.6/10

Our Rating: 7.6/10 Est. $225 Compare Prices
The Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme makes excellent bread in traditional, horizontal, two-pound loaves. The tradeoff is a larger machine, so it hogs significant countertop real estate. Amazon reviewers say it makes excellent sandwich bread, hot dog buns, and hamburger rolls all with great taste, texture, and consistency.

Our Rating: 7.6/10

Our Rating: 7.6/10 Est. $70 Compare Prices
The West Bend 2 Lb. Breadmaker 41400 has 12 different menu settings and three crust options for making different types of bread, dough, jams, and cake. Gluten-free recipes also come out satisfactory, Amazon reviewers say, although it doesn't have a gluten-free menu setting. The West Bend makes 1, 1.5, and 2-pound loaves of bread with a light, airy texture that slide right out of the non-stick loaf pan.

Our Rating: 7.5/10

Our Rating: 7.5/10 *Est. $145 Compare Prices
The Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker can make loaves of bread up to 2.5 pounds, but that necessitates a larger machine. If you plan to keep it on your countertop, make sure you have a 14-inch clearance under your cabinets. With eight menu settings and three crust options, a yeast dispenser, and delayed-start option, it's a functional and easy-to-use bread machine.

WHAT MATTERS

Performance

Some bread machines are versatile enough to make jams, cakes, bagels, pretzels and even meatloaf. Most standard models have between eight and 13 pre-programmed settings for specific loaves including gluten-free and whole grain varieties. Loaf-size capacity ranges between 1 pound and 2.5 pounds; some models can accommodate up to 4 different loaf sizes.

Scale: Inconsistent --> Meets Expectations --> Stellar

Ease of Use

It often requires trial-and-error to learn how to adapt recipes to a bread machine. Look for features like yeast dispensers, delayed start, quick-bread cycles, and non-stick loaf pans for additional convenience. It's also important to add ingredients in the order specified by your model, not in the order listed in a recipe.

Scale: Complicated --> Straightforward --> Simple

Appearance

Make sure you measure your space if you plan to keep your bread machine on the countertop. Models that make vertical loaves tend to be taller and may not fit under cabinets, while horizontal-oriented machines have a larger footprint. These simplistic, square or round appliances come in white, black, and stainless-steel options.

Scale: Disenchanting --> Not Too Shabby --> A Looker

Noise

Bread machines aren't obnoxiously loud, but typically make a whirring or knocking sound during the kneading process. Some models do a better job of staying stationary while the paddles are churning, but others wiggle or vibrate their way across the counter. These are usually the noisier models.

Scale: Too Loud --> As Expected --> Ultra-Quiet

Our Insight

HERE'S A BRIGHT IDEA

Add ingredients the night before, set the timer, and wake up to the smell of freshly-baked sweet bread in the morning. No preservatives or additives – you're in control of the ingredients.

INTERESTING FACT

Bread rises faster at altitudes of 3,000 feet or higher, requiring adjustments to temperature, baking time, or ingredients.

WE LOVE THIS…

Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker

Thanks to the automatically-collapsing paddle, you'll never need to excavate abandoned paddles from your freshly-baked bread again. This Breville also includes an automatic dispenser for fruits and nuts, so there's no babysitting required either. If you're willing to pay the $250 price for the convenience, that is.

 

Expert & User Review Sources

Our Go-To Sources

Amazon.com

At Amazon.com, you'll find hundreds of bread machines, many of which have amassed hundreds of owner-written reviews. This is an excellent source for insights on real-world usability and long-term durability.

Best Bread Machine Reviews: Runners Up

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