What every best Bread Machines has:
- Consistent performance.
- A straightforward instruction manual.
- Relatively quiet operation.
Amazon.com is the best destination for bread maker user reviews with hundreds of reviews across dozens of bread makers. This is not only a good source to see how bread machines perform in real world use, it's also a great resource for those who are new to bread baking as baking enthusiasts tend to post very helpful advice, including photos, recipes, tips and links to helpful cookbooks.
Walmart.com offers a good assortment of bread machines, mostly mid- to low-priced models that are solid but basic performers. Some get hundreds of reviews, many of which are very detailed and thorough.
BedBathandBeyond.com is a good source to find ratings on quite a few bread makers, from higher end models to less expensive machines. A few machines get several dozen reviews, and some get more than a hundred. In addition, owners can say if they would recommend the product to a friend. We saw quite a few comments that were left after the owner had the bread machine for quite some time, so these offer a particularly good overview of multiple uses and the results of trying different types of bread.
KingArthurFlour.com carries only three bread makers, all Zojirushi machines. However, those three get quite a bit of feedback and most of the people who post here are very knowledgeable, experienced bakers. The best feature of this site is that the moderators weigh in frequently to help out those who are having issues getting their bread to come out properly, or just to say thanks for a great review.
Although BestBuy.com is better known as a destination for buying electronics, a few dozen bread machines are available for sale. They get fewer reviews than elsewhere, though.
We would generally rank this source quite a bit higher, but, in this case, the editors of Cook's Illustrated make it clear they have little love for bread machines, which makes it less helpful since users often love them. Of the five they test, three are recommended with reservations, two are not recommended.
This is the first pass at testing bread machines at TheSweethome.com, and they spent a considerable amount of time on research and testing of six bread machines. Ultimately, three rise to the top, although their top pick was not available at retail or through the manufacturer at the time we compiled this report.