The 6 Best Bread Makers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker made the most delicious loaves

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Bread Maker Machine
People / Will Dickey

Nothing compares to a fresh, homemade loaf of bread. No grocery store or bakery product can match up to the incredible smell and warm, soft taste of fresh bread right from your own kitchen. That said, it can be hard to find the time required to make bread from scratch. The amount of mixing, kneading, and babysitting required can turn off even the most experienced bakers.

Thankfully, bread makers exist to cut that time and effort down so that anyone can turn a kitchen into their very own bakery. Speaking of bakeries, bread-making expert and owner of L'Appartement 4F (famous for creating the TikTok-viral croissant cereal) Gautier Coiffard says to keep it simple. "I think if you're new to bread, you should start with commercial yeast instead of a living starter," the French baker says. Know what else you can simplify? Your bread maker research — because we've done it for you.

We tested 21 bread-making machines in the PEOPLE test kitchen to evaluate their effectiveness and ease of use. Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker came out on top thanks to its extensive customization settings, beginner-friendly features, and nonstick ability that cuts down on cleaning time.

Read on to discover the 6 best bread makers that PEOPLE tested, and find the one that's right for you.

Best Overall: Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker

bread maker


  • Intuitive display
  • Very quiet
  • Easy cleanup


  • One of the more expensive options on our list
  • Machine is large and takes up counter space

After extensive testing, this bread maker that came out on top. The intuitive machine is packed with features that can churn out the perfect rectangular loaf, as well as an extensive series of settings to customize your bread in a number of ways. While the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus is one of the heavier and more expensive options on the market, you'd be hard-pressed to find another bread maker that can so easily provide options including whole wheat, gluten-free, salt-free or sugar-free bread. It's also one of the only bread makers with a sourdough starter setting built into the machine.

The machine has two paddles working simultaneously, compared to most that only have one, which ensures the dough is completely kneaded and all of the ingredients are pulled from every side. It has a 13-hour delay timer, and once the device gets down to the last 30 minutes or so, it starts to count down, meaning you don't have to worry about keeping constant tabs on your bread. But if you do want to check in, a large window allows you to monitor the progress.

We loved the machine's results. Not only could we leave it baking without having to stress about the finished product, but the loaf had a perfect upright shape and came out looking long, rectangular and gorgeous. While it didn't come with a banana bread recipe inside (just pound cake and cinnamon bread), our amazing loaf had beautiful browning with a top that wasn't overly crusted. To top it off, the bread tasted just as good a few days later, retaining its moisture and light airiness without becoming dried out or gummy. The whole wheat bread is tasty, with amazing flavor and an incredible crust. The gluten-free option has a nice texture and tasty flavor, while the classic white bread has the light, airy crust you dream of.

It has two handles on the side of the bread holder, plus a smooth, nonstick coating, making it a breeze for the bread to come out. Out of all the machines that were tested, Zojirushi's Virtuoso was also the easiest to clean.

With the high price and larger size, this is not the optimal choice for a bread-making novice. But for those who have a bit of experience and are determined to make their home their permanent source for high-quality bread, this is your best choice.

Price at time of publish: $356

Dimensions: 18 x 10.5 x 12.9 inches | Loaf Size: 2 pounds | Settings: 9 pre-programmed course settings | Timer delay: 13 hours

Tested Bread Maker Machine
People / Will Dickey

Best Value: Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 2-Pound Breadmaker

Bread Maker Machine


  • Very well priced
  • Made super soft white bread
  • Customizable crust-color options


  • Viewing window can fog up during kneading process

Golden, soft bread was a breeze to whip up in the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 2-Pound Breadmaker. If you prefer your bread crust a little paler or more well-done, the customizable crust color option delivers you a loaf baked to your preference.

One of the more unique features of this bread maker is the dishwasher-safe bread pan and paddle, which was harder to come across than we thought it would be in a bread maker on the market today. Clean-up was easier with the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker than it was for many of the other options we tried. The machine comes with 12 settings, and besides bread, it can make different types of dough, jams, and cakes.

We were shocked and impressed by the quality of bread that the Hamilton Beach breadmaker produced, and for around $100, this feels like a steal. This breadmaker made a soft, pillowy white bread that would do justice to any sandwich ingredient or make a great snack with some melted butter spread over top. While this machine was very user-friendly, we found that the viewing window became fogged up once the kneading process began, making it difficult to see the dough. Still, we think the Hamilton Beach breadmaker is a winner for the price.

Price at time of publish: $130.99

Dimensions: 10.5 x 14 x 12 inches| Loaf Size: 1.5 pounds, 2 pounds| Settings: 12 preprogrammed menu options and three crust shades (light, medium, dark) | Timer Delay: 13 hours

Best Compact: Zojirushi Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker

Bread Maker Machine


  • Small and easy to store
  • Makes bread, cake, pasta, cookies, and jam
  • Intuitive buttons and design


  • Only makes up to one pound of bread, which might not be enough for larger households

Those with limited counter space need not fret — there's a breadmaker out there for you and your small surfaces, too! The Zojirushi Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker is small but mighty, with the capacity to produce one-pound loaves and cakes. It can also whip up cookie dough, pasta dough, and fresh fruit jams at the press of a button.

The non-stick kneading dough hook saves precious time (and arm-ache), and the convenient viewing window allows users to watch their yeasty confection rise. We found this bread maker to be very easy to use, with clear instructions and intuitive buttons. And though it's small, the Zojirushi Mini comes with an extensive list of programs and products it can make. It performed well in all of our tests and was easily picked up and stored away with a convenient handle.

One thing to keep in mind — none of the parts that come with the Zojirushi mini are dishwasher safe, so there will be a bit of handwashing required. But, with all the kneading time that it saves you, we think it's well worth it.

Price at time of publish: $199.99

Dimensions: 8.5 x 11.25 x 12.25 inches| Loaf Size: 1 pound| Timer Delay: 13 hours

Best for Frequent Bakers: Breadman 2-Pound Professional Bread Maker

Bread Maker Machine


  • Three different loaf size options: 1 pound, 1.5 pounds, and 2 pounds
  • 14 baking functions
  • Sleek design
  • Moderately priced compared to other options


  • CollapsibleCollapasble kneading paddle can get lodged in bottom of bread
  • Large machine takes up a lot of counter space

With a finish that looks and feels like professional quality, the Breadman 2-Pound Professional Bread Maker lives up to its name. This behemoth of a machine can produce loaves up to 2 pounds in weight, larger than a lot of other bread makers we tried. Though the machine itself is quite bulky, its chrome metallic finish and crisp right-angled design look beautiful sitting out on a countertop.

The loaf of white bread we made in the Breadman machine was, in a word, delicious. The top of the loaf was slightly sunken in, but the bread felt lightweight in the hand with a golden but tender crust. We let out a collective gasp when the golden-domed, picture-perfect banana bread was removed from the loaf tray.

While the idea of a collapsible kneading paddle that wouldn't mark the top of your loaf is a nice idea, we found that this one sometimes gets lodged in the bottom of the dough and baked into the bread so that once you pull the loaf out of the machine, you're left with a hole underneath.

Price at time of publish: $143.99

Dimensions: 16.5 x 12 x 15.5 inches| Loaf Size: 1 pound, 1.5 pounds, 2 pounds| Settings: 14 pre-programmed settings | Timer Delay: 15 hours

Best Features: Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker

bread maker
Crate & Barrel


  • Lots of menu options, including kneading time, rise time, and altitude
  • Includes four loaf sizes from 1 to 2.5 pounds
  • Fruit and nut mixer evenly dispurses add-ins


  • More prep work is needed to get an airy loaf
  • The loudest machine we tried

Breville has created the ideal device for people hoping to drastically improve their baking abilities with the Custom Loaf Bread Maker. It includes four loaf sizes from 1 to 2.5 pounds, automatic and custom programs, a pause function to reshape the dough or add a glaze, and the ability to store up to nine personal recipes. Users can adjust kneading time, rise time, and baking temperature to suit a specific recipe, humidity, or altitude, making it one of the most feature-heavy options on the market.

This is a machine that has something for everyone, whether it be gluten-free, yeast-free, crusty loaf or three crust color options. It automatically adjusts cooking times for each type of bread and has a dispenser that adds fruits, nuts, and other mix-ins at precisely the right time. If you plan on making an assortment of loaves or want to challenge yourself to try something new, this bread maker provides an endless assortment of options. You can even prepare pasta, pizza dough, and jams.

We loved the handle on the outside as well as the great interface and intuitive knob scroll button. That said, having that many perks doesn't come without its hurdles. This is one of the loudest bread makers tested, and if the kneading paddle(s) remain in place during baking, bread loaves will have one or two holes where the paddle was located. Multiple paddles are preferable for the best kneading results, but if you'd prefer loaves without these holes, look for a bread machine that has collapsible or removable paddles.

This is also one bread maker that requires more prep work than others. While it came out on top for banana bread, with the perfect moisture and texture, it did need more mixing time built into its settings. It ended up evenly browned and with a really nice crust, but our testers had to slightly mix the ingredients by hand first. That was the only way to achieve the nice and airy wheat loaf, as well as a soft and fluffy gluten-free loaf.

Price at time of publish: $299.95

Dimensions: 9.8 x 15.7 x 13.9 inches | Loaf Size: 2.5 pounds | Settings: 13 manual and automatic settings | Timer delay: 13 hours

best bread makers
People/Tara Donne

Easiest to Clean: KBS Large 17-in-1 Bread Machine


  • Easy to clean
  • 17 pre-programmed settings
  • Very user-friendly and easy to start


  • Undermixed the banana bread

After we've devoured our delicious fresh baked bread, the last thing we want to do is scrub pots, pans, and dough hooks. Luckily for all those cleaning-averse, the KBS Large 17-in-1 Bread Machine is a breeze to clean. We simply wiped the machine parts gently with a soft damp cloth dipped in a neutral detergent and then dried them with a dry cloth. During our tests, we found no leftover flour inside the machine after baking the bread, which made cleanup even simpler.

The loaf of white bread that this machine produced was soft, with a medium brown crust and a good bounce back when pressed with the fingers. The attached add-in box came in handy to disperse nuts evenly in our banana bread loaf, and the loaf was cooked evenly to a golden color, though was slightly undermixed. With 3 loaf-size options, users can choose between 1, 1.5, and 2-pound loaves of bread, plus 17 pre-programmed settings to make doughs, cakes, and jams.

Overall, the machine was clearly marked and simple to use, but it could have mixed the ingredients a little more thoroughly.

Price at time of publish: $149.96

Dimensions: 15.7 x 11 x 16.1 inches| Loaf Size: 1 pound, 1.5 pounds, 2 pounds| Settings: 17 menu options and three crust shades (light, medium, dark) | Timer Delay: 15 hours

Things to Consider Before Buying a Bread Maker

Ease of Use

Although some machines come with plenty of options and settings, factor in how often you plan on using a bread maker (and for what purposes). If a more complicated device will only confuse you, perhaps a simpler model like the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 2-Pound Breadmaker will be a better fit. If you aren't concerned about creating a full menu of baked goods, don't make things more difficult for yourself by buying a bread maker with a ton of features and complicated instructions. The goal of a bread maker is to save time and effort, so you want to find one that fits your needs. Check to see if built-in settings are included to make different types of loaves or if precision is required in how/when you add ingredients.


Bread makers can fulfill all of your carb dreams, so consider finding one that provides options to ensure you get maximum use. You'll want to know if the machine makes different types of loaves, different sizes , and different crust shades (light, medium, dark), like the Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker. Each machine has its own menu of settings, so you can find the right one for you and your baking needs. Check to see if the bread maker kneads for you, has a delayed start, a warming function, automatic nut/fruit addition, a gluten-free setting, or any other extra features that will improve your bread-making experience.

Ease of Cleaning

The least fun part of baking is cleaning up the aftermath, and unfortunately, that remains with bread makers. That said, there are options that require minimal cleaning, so you want to consider that when choosing the one for you. Find out if the bread maker is easy to disassemble and clean, as well as if it's easy to reassemble when you're finished. Some machines, like the KBS Large 17-in-1 Bread Machine, leaves behind very little mess to clean after use. Also, check to see if any of the parts are dishwasher safe; really anything to minimize that post-baking hassle so you can spend more time enjoying your fresh loaves.

How We Tested Bread Makers

PEOPLE tested 21 bread makers in our industrial kitchen setting. Here, we baked loaves of white, wheat, gluten-free, and banana bread, following the recipes and recommendations provided in each machine's included instructions. Once the bread was finished, we removed the loaves from the machines and carefully cut them to see how well they baked on the inside. We then tasted the bread, making note of its density, bounce, and softness.

We also made general observations about each machine, including its display options, functions, and noise level. From these tests, we rated the models on ease of use, performance, versatility, and ease of cleaning so that we could give you the best recommendation for your household. The results were delicious.


What is the difference between a bread maker and a bread machine?

There is no difference between a bread maker and a bread machine, the terms are used interchangeably. They both describe a small kitchen appliance that you can use to make fresh bread. You simply add the necessary ingredients to the machine, and the bread maker will mix, knead, rest, rise, and bake the bread.

How long does a bread maker take to make bread?

Depending on the size of the loaf, most bread makers can complete a loaf in 2 and a half to 3 and a half hours.

Can you use regular yeast in a bread machine?

Bread machine yeast and instant yeast (also called fast-acting yeast) both work well in bread makers. You can also use active yeast in a bread maker, but you'll need to first dissolve active yeast in water before adding it to your other ingredients in the bread maker. The head baker at L'Appartment 4F, Mike Carmody, says, "The kind [of yeast] I recommend most home bakers is anything that says 'rapid rise."

What else can you use a bread machine for?

Bread machines can make cakes, sweet bread, jams, and sauces, as well as doughs for pizza, pasta, bagels, and donuts, in addition to a wide variety of different types of bread. If you want to make bread with nuts or other additions, Carmody says, "You can add whatever you want to the recipe, as long as it's under 25 percent of the dough weight."

What Is PEOPLE Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we've awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

Want more product recommendations? Check out all of our People Tested content.

UP NEXT: The 7 Best Toaster Ovens of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Related Articles