There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread, but making your own loaves from home is hard work. There’s the kneading, proving, and not to mention the all-important bake. The best bread makers for home use in 2021 will deliver fuss-free homemade bread with the push of a button, and many come with bread maker recipes included for the perfect loaf, every time.
Many of the best bread makers will come from brands you already know, such as Panasonic, Russell Hobbs, Morphy Richards, and Lakeland. In our bread maker reviews we tested machines for a range of budgets, including bread makers for under £50, and high-end options with compartments for adding seeds and dried fruit at just the right moment.
Top 10 the Best Bread Makers For Home Use
Of course, features and price will also factor into your choice, so we’ve compiled a full list of best bread makers for home use reviews as well as a detailed guide to help you buy and make the right purchase!
1. Panasonic SD-ZX2522KXC Bread Maker
This is one of the latest additions to Panasonic’s bread maker range. Its 37 settings help you make everything from baked goods to jam and its handy ingredient dispenser can add yeast or other ingredients automatically during the mixing process.
It performed highly across the board, scoring nearly full marks in our wholemeal, white and fast-bake tests. Each loaf emerged smooth with a rustic, homemade flavour. One side was consistently a little softer and lighter in colour than the other, but this had no effect on the taste.
The only disappointment was the lack of a viewing window, meaning we couldn’t hungrily check on the progress of our loaves.
2. Lakeland White Compact 1lb Daily Loaf Bread Maker
A tiny kitchen is no barrier to having convenient freshly baked bread thanks to this small but perfectly formed machine. Its footprint isn’t much bigger than a four-slice toaster. This means that it can live at the back of a worktop or squeeze into a cupboard.
Yet, it manages to produce a 1lb loaf (around 450g, using 320g flour). It’s also fantastically easy to use. Pop the ingredients in and set one of 11 programmes (including gluten-free and knead-only). Decide how brown you’d like the crust, and set it mixing.
There’s a 13-hour delay start so you can be there when the bread finishes baking to remove it. There’s a one-hour keep warm if you’re not around. Plus there’s a viewing window to check on progress, and a measuring spoon, cup and hook for removing the paddle from the loaf.
On the downside, it’s noisier than some when mixing. Also the white bread programme beeps loudly midway through (so you can add extras) and again at the end. In tests, it produced a tasty 1lb white loaf with a thick golden brown crust and well-risen top in three hours on the basic programme.
Despite the pan and paddle being non-stick, the loaf was reluctant to be removed. The pan and paddle are, however, dishwasher-safe.
3. Russell Hobbs 23620
The Russell Hobbs breadmaker may have been the smallest machine we tested, but its size did not impede any of its many features – it can even make an impressive large 1kg family-sized loaf.
With its soft curved lines and shiny black casing, it’s a machine you’d happily leave out on the worktop when not in use.
There are 12 pre-programmed recipes, and most come in three sizes with three crust colours, plus two fast bakes which will have a loaf of bread out of the pan and cooling in under an hour.
4. Tower T11002 digital bread maker
Said to specialise in gluten free, and with sourdough and ferment settings, this bread maker gets top marks for variety. I like its utilitarian looks; it’s operated by a highly responsive touchscreen; and you can make different-sized loaves.
The loaves I made varied in quality, but overall I was impressed. A small, quick white loaf, just an hour and 38 minutes from start to finish, was misshapen and asymmetrical. It smelt a little sour (it wasn’t a sourdough). But it tasted really rather good; and was nicely soft with a crispy crust. A very acceptable white toasting bread, if a tad salty.
A brown loaf (two parts brown to one part white flour), looked wonderful: uniformly dark golden, a medium height with a nice domed top. It smelt really good, like I’d entered an old-school bakery. Flavour-wise, it was great, though a smidgen on the sweet side. The texture wasn’t at all stodgy, a common flaw in other bread makers. The crust, not too crunchy, was ideal for sandwiches.
5. Morphy Richards Fastbake Cooltouch Breadmaker
Who says that you have to spend a lot of money to get a decent bread maker? Okay, it’s not the prettiest bread maker we’ve ever seen, but for the price, we can forgive it its looks.
Fortunately, the Fastbake more than makes up for its lack of looks by turning out an excellent white loaf quickly. I struggled a little to make it work as well with wholemeal loaves, but if you primarily want high-quality white bread, it does the job brilliantly.
The controls are a little fiddly and wobbly, illustrating the cheaper build quality of this machine. There’s a viewing window, so you can see how your loaf is getting on, but you’ll need a torch as the baking chamber is not illuminated.
Even so, provided you mostly want to make white loaves, the low cost of the Fastbake makes this exceptional value and well worth buying. If you want to experiment with other loaves, check out one of the other bread makers on this page.
6. Gastroback 62823 Design
Boasting 18 preset programmes, the Gastroback Design bread maker enables you to create a dough, jam, yoghurt, and a variety of bread types. It also features a defrost mode, three crust browning levels, and an automatic nut dispenser.
This Gastroback 62823 bread maker is capable of making three loaf sizes ranging from 500 grams up to 1000 grams in weight. To ensure your bread is ready when you want, it has a delayed start timer, a keep-warm function, and the option to use an impressively fast 15-minute bake cycle.
Gastroback made sure their bread maker includes a removable non-stick bowl with a handle so you can easily extract your bread and clean the pan afterwards. A bread hook, measuring cup, and measuring spoon are provided and an ice cream attachment is available for an additional cost.
7. Sage BTA845UK
The biggest complaint about loaves made in breadmakers is rarely about size or shape, but instead, the hole left behind by the mixing paddle. It’s something that Sage has solved in its The Custom Loaf breadmaker (£250). Equipped with a collapsible blade that folds down after kneading but before baking, all you’ll see is an indentation, plus it makes extracting the loaf from the pan and paddle far easier.
For this price, you may be expecting a long list of programmes, and be surprised that there’s only 12. However, The Custom Loaf is, as its name suggests, all about creating your own.
To which end, there’s 9 customisable settings where you can store your preferences, altering the temperature and time for all the phases of the bread, so you can make a favourite recipe easily or reduce the rising time on a humid day for example – best for experienced bakers who may find the standard programmes on a breadmaker limiting.
8. Cookworks Breadmaker
The Cookworks Breadmaker might be one of the cheapest machines, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in functionality. In fact, it has most of the features and programmes found in the priciest models.
You can bake a variety of loaves with the 12 pre-set programmes and can even change the crust colour to your preference. You can bake overnight with the 13-hour delay timer, and check on your bread’s progress through the handy viewing window and LCD display.
It’s not the fastest machine, but you can still get your hands on fresh bread in just 120 minutes.
9. Russell Hobbs Compact Bread Maker
Another great option for bread making novices, the Russell Hobbs compact bread maker, is just like it’s name suggests: compact, meaning it’s perfectly suitable for low space kitchens.
With 12 automatic settings you can enjoy gluten free baking options, as well as make jams or compotes.
The bread baking features are quite basic, don’t expect to be able to make extravagant loaves with multi grains, this machine is really suited for people who just want to perfect the humble white or brown loaf.
10. Breville Lustra 4
If you’re looking for a beautifully designed machine with a lot of fancy features, you’ll love the Breville the Custom Loaf. It can make a loaf that’s up to 2 1/2 pounds, among the largest of any electric bread baker. It has 13 settings, including one for an extra-crusty loaf and another for gluten-free bread, making this one of the best bread machines around.
The Breville is pricey but has a lot of nice extras including some you won’t find on any other machine. There’s a dispenser that automatically adds the fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips so you can truly set and forget it, regardless of your recipe. After it finishes kneading, the paddle folds down.
That means you don’t have to extract it from your baked bread and there’s no crater in the bottom of your loaf. An interior light makes it convenient to see what’s going on inside the machine without opening the lid. Like all Breville appliances, it has a plug that’s particularly easy to pull out of the socket.
How to choose The Best Bread Machine
What should you look for when purchasing a bread machine? While some of us may look for design, colour, or other individual preferences, we think there are some key features unique to this kitchen appliance that are important to consider. To get you to start thinking about these, we list some common features below that you’ll definitely be considering before making your purchase.
Please also take some time to read our comprehensive Bread Machine Buying Guide to get familiarized with all the important features.
- Bread size. Bread machines commonly make 1-pound, 1.5-pound, 2-pound, 2.5-pound, and 3-pound loaves. Keep in mind that you should eat machine-baked bread within 2 days of baking, unlike store-bought bread which can be kept for a week. So you’ll only need to buy a bread maker that makes just enough bread to last you for 2 days. A 2-pound loaf should be enough for a family of 4.
- Bread shape. Do you want a traditional rectangular loaf of bread, or something round or square? Or perhaps you want your bread to stand vertically long instead of horizontally long? Bread machines make all sorts of bread shapes, so you can pick and choose the right shape for you.
- Bread pan. Most bread machines have a removable bread pan with either single or dual kneading blades. Removable bread pans are common in today’s machines, but you might find ones that aren’t removable. Make sure you choose one that’s removable because if it doesn’t come out, it will be hard to clean.
- When choosing a type of bread pan with your bread machine, remember that aluminum bread pans make a lighter and thinner crust than machines with thick cast aluminum pans, which make darker and thicker crusts. You should also look for a pan that has a nonstick coating because without it, your dough will stick to the pan and not knead properly.
- Best reviews. Needless to say, people have different opinions on each bread machine model. But it’s important to also consider consumer reviews because these people have used the machine before and they may point out important information about the machines. Read reviews and see what people say about the machines you’re considering.
We also encourage you to use our comparison chart and read reviews on Bread Machine Pros – we’ve put a lot of time and effort into writing all this!
- Replacement parts. Unfortunately, you will likely need to replace the kneading blades, bread pan, or both of these things down the road. Both these parts will suffer wear and tear and it’s just one of those things where nothing can be done. So this is something to keep in mind when you purchase a bread machine.
- Kneading blades come cheap, but replacement bread pans can be expensive. They normally cost around 30% of what you would pay for your bread machine. So if you are looking to purchase a machine that costs around $100, then you can expect to purchase a replacement bread pan that would cost around $30.
All this talk about freshly-baked bread has us ready to head into the kitchen, and we’re guessing you’re getting pretty hungry as well. We’ve hopefully done our part, listing down our bread maker reviews and giving you all the tips you need to buy the right model – the rest is up to you.
Still can’t decide which bread maker to go for? If you’re struggling to choose the best bread maker for your needs, you can try our Editor’s Choice – the Morphy Richards Fastbake. It comes equipped with 12 programmes, three crust settings, a fast 50-minute setting, a 13-hour delay on the timer, and is capable of making three different loaf sizes.
Let us know how it goes!