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Article updated on February 28, 2024 at 4:00 PM PST

CNET's Best Tested Bread Machines of 2024

Cut down on those bakery visits and upgrade from the bread aisle of your grocery store with homemade bread. Here are our picks of the best bread machines in 2024.

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Pamela Vachon
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
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Pamela Vachon Contributor
Pamela is a freelance food and travel writer based in Astoria, Queens. While she writes about most things edible and potable (and accessories dedicated to those topics,) her real areas of expertise are cheese, chocolate, cooking and wine. She's a culinary school grad, certified sommelier, former bartender and fine dining captain with 10 years in the industry. When not sitting at the keys, she leads in-home cheese classes, wine tastings and cocktail demonstrations.
Expertise Wine, cheese, chocolate, cooking.
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Our Picks

$180 at Wayfair
cuisinart bread machine
Best bread machine for most people
Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker CBK-200
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$400 at Amazon
Zojirushi bread maker
Best high-end bread machine
Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus BB-PDC20BA
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$150 at Amazon
oster bread maker
Most versatile bread machine
Oster ExpressBake CKSTBRTW20
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$86 at Amazon
amazon bread machine
Most small bread machine
Amazon Basics Bread Machine BM1349-UL-B
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$300 at Williams Sonoma
Breville bread maker
Best bread machine custom sizes
Breville Custom Bread Maker BBM800XL
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$78 at Walmart
hamilton beach bread maker
Best cheap bread machine (Update: Out of Stock)
Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882
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There's nothing quite like the taste (and smell) of warm, freshly baked bread. It can be tricky to get one at the right time from a bakery, and even harder to match the quality with store-bought bread. An automatic bread machine will let you make your own sourdough, rye or multigrain bread at home with easily found ingredients and just the push of a button or two. You don't have to worry about putting in too much effort, either, because the best breadmakers do all the heavy lifting. Mixing, kneading, proofing and baking all take place within a non-stick loaf pan, locked into a small countertop oven. 

A bread maker can save you money, too. A decent loaf of bread now costs anywhere from $4 to $8 at the grocery store, but a quality bread machine will help you combat rising bread costs. In fact, the ingredients to make a single loaf of bread -- flour, yeast, salt, oil -- typically averages under 25 cents. 

Since there are a ton of options on the market, we've put together this list of the best bread machines in 2024. We've tested several of the top-selling models, from high-tech options with bells and whistles in spades to cheaper, automatic bread makers that nail the basics. Get one of these fine machines to get you going with homemade bread.

Best bread machines for 2024

$180 at Wayfair

Best bread machine for most people

Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker CBK-200

Convection ovens are often prized by bakers. Where conventional ovens just create ambient heat, convection ovens also have a fan that circulates hot air, leading to quicker, more even baking and exceptional crustiness in bread. Even in this form, the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker is no exception. Like the Zojirushi (my favorite bread maker if money's no object) but priced at a third of the cost, the Cuisinart Convection's loaf pan is also horizontal, resulting in a more traditional loaf shape, but also requiring more counter space than the vertical models.

My favorite feature of this Cuisinart model is that audible alerts let you know not only when to add mix-ins, if applicable, but also when to remove the mixing paddle between the final rise and the baking stage. It's a small detail, but one limitation of most bread machines is the paddle-shaped hole in the bottom of every loaf, which Cuisinart has found a viable way around.

$400 at Amazon

Best high-end bread machine

Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus BB-PDC20BA

If you're serious about taking on home-baked bread in perpetuity, the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso is the best model among bread machines. Its price tag and space requirement reflect your investment in it. This was my favorite bread machine to use, overall, but the hefty price tag keeps it out of the top spot. 

There are two reasons why the Zojirushi is such an exceptional bread maker: First, double paddles within the loaf pan provide more mechanical muscle in the kneading stage, resulting in bread with a more integrated crust and a chewier nature than most bread machines can achieve. Second, its elongated, horizontal pan creates loaves that are more of a traditional bread loaf shape, with the familiar dome on top of each slice.

The Zojirushi Virtuoso also includes the greatest variety of settings. In addition to the typical bread settings, as well as the dough and jam cycles that all of these bread machines provide, the Virtuoso's various cycles adjust the timings and temperatures of the kneading and rising stages for the best outcome given whatever kind of bread you are making, including gluten-free, sugar-free, salt-free and vegan settings, as well as open settings which you can customize to your liking. 

Despite its comparatively high-tech appearance, the digital display is completely intuitive and easy to program and also shows the stage in progress during the bread-making cycle. This bread maker begins with a "rest" cycle, as it brings all of the ingredients up to an ideal temperature for the yeast first. Arguably this may factor into its superior loaf, but it is a little anticlimactic compared to the other bread makers that begin mixing as soon as you hit start. (Admittedly, I had to go to the manual to make sure I hadn't done something incorrectly.)

$150 at Amazon

Most versatile bread machine

Oster ExpressBake CKSTBRTW20

The Oster ExpressBake has a lot to offer for a median price tag. Several of the models here include an express cycle, and Oster's cycle is one of the quickest, whipping up a basic loaf of bread in just an hour. (Loaves baked in the express mode tend to be denser, as the rising and proofing time is typically diminished.) The loaf I made on the basic cycle achieved a nice rise and a flaky crust. The Oster model is the only option on this list under $150 that includes the fruit and nut dispenser, which means you really can set it and forget it -- even for more complicated recipes.

In addition to the bread, dough and jam settings, the Oster ExpressBake even includes settings for oatmeal and yogurt, in which the machine masquerades as an Instant Pot for low-and-slow cooking. Anyone can do overnight oats in the fridge, but warm overnight oats are decidedly delicious. In terms of size, it is the second-smallest model available. The only limitation of the Oster compared to most other machines on this list is that its display doesn't show you what stage the bread in progress is in, although that's a feature that satisfies curiosity more than it affects performance, and the countdown timer lets you know when your bread will be ready.

$86 at Amazon

Most small bread machine

Amazon Basics Bread Machine BM1349-UL-B

Another great budget option, the Amazon Basics Bread Machine is the most compact model available, scarcely taking up more space than your average toaster, which makes it more likely to stay on your counter and, most importantly, stay in use. In spite of its petite stature, the loaf I made achieved a great rise and a robust crust. This model has the quickest basic cycle (without choosing express mode), completing in just under 3 hours. Yogurt and gluten-free settings are included, and unlike the other less expensive models, the Amazon Basics Bread Machine does indicate the current stage during the baking cycle, allowing for the possibility of manual paddle removal.

$300 at Williams Sonoma

Best bread machine custom sizes

Breville Custom Bread Maker BBM800XL

Despite the hefty price, the Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker has a lot going for it, including style. In addition to its horizontal loaf pan and built-in fruit and nut dispenser, this model is the most versatile where loaf size is concerned, offering four different size settings: a quick and compact 1-pound loaf, the standard 1.5- and 2-pound loaves, and a whopping 2.5-pound setting for the largest loaf available in a standard bread maker.

Like the Zojirushi, Breville also includes a pre-heat cycle at the beginning of the process, bringing the ingredients to a yeast-friendly temperature before beginning, resulting in an especially good rise.

Much like Cuisinart, Breville has found a way around the paddle-shaped hole problem, as it comes equipped with a unique collapsible paddle that automatically flattens itself along the bottom of the pan after the kneading and rising cycles have completed. (Because this is automatic, it has a leg up in this camp because it's still possible to have an unadulterated loaf while using the delay start setting when you're not available to monitor it.) In addition to the typical bread and dough settings, the Breville model also offers an express option for numerous cycles rather than a basic express cycle, and it has pasta dough and gluten-free settings. 

Among these bread machines, the Breville is the only one whose display relies on a dial, rather than simply push buttons, but I found it just as intuitive as every other one I tried.

$78 at Walmart

Best cheap bread machine (Update: Out of Stock)

Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882

For less than $100, I was stunned at how nice a loaf of bread the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker made. It nearly took the No. 1 spot on my list but the model's limited features just barely kept it out of the top. The crumb was airy and flavorful, and the crust was bordering on crunchy. (I was eating a lot of warm slices of bread over two days of testing, and the Hamilton Beach loaf was one I went back for a second slice of without hesitation.) 

As one of the least expensive models, it has a bit of a larger footprint, especially in terms of depth, although the extra space in the baking cavity might account for the particular success of its crust. In addition to the standard settings, the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker also includes cake and gluten-free programs. This is the only other model, like the Oster, where the particular stage during bread making isn't shown on the display, but again this has little utility other than satisfying curiosity or if you're going to try for a Cuisinart move and pull out the mixing paddle between the final rise and the baking stage.

Other bread machines I tested

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Breadmaker: This $130 model was on our previous list, but the basic cycle was long and the crust was the lightest.

How we tested bread machines

The list of best bread machines I tested was assembled based on a combination of previous CNET bread machine picks and those that have also been well-vetted and appear on multiple review sites' best lists. I also considered best-selling and consistently highly rated models at major retailer sites such as Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Wayfair and Williams-Sonoma.

three bread loaves

All of the bread makers turned out loaves of bread that were far more than just edible. 

Pamela Vachon/CNET

I tested each model over a two-day period using each model's basic setting: a 2-pound loaf of white bread with a medium crust, using weighed ingredients that were all purchased at the same time. Every bread machine I tested included recipe suggestions, but to level the playing field, I used the same recipe for each: King Arthur Flour's Bread Machine Bread recipe, which uses easy-to-come-by ingredients, including milk, butter, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast. I evaluated the resulting loaf for its crust and crumb texture, as well as the machine itself for factors like noise volume and ease of use. (More good news: All these machines were intuitive and easy to set without even a cursory glance at the instruction manual.)

Buying a bread machine? Here's what to look for

While all the bread machines I tested can produce a decent loaf of basic bread, they come in various shapes and sizes with a range of additional features and price points. If size or price are limiting factors for you, the decision is going to become very easy, with just a couple of compact models that are less than $100 to consider. If not, it will probably be a matter of which additional features are most important, depending on the kinds of bread you anticipate making the most. As you start the process of choosing a bread machine, you'll find they vary significantly in shape, size and price. There are a few factors that contribute to these differences in bread machine options and you'll want to consider which features are most important for your baking needs.

sliced bread on board

You too can have daily fresh bread for about 25 cents a loaf. 

Pamela Vachon/CNET

Bread machine size

First, automatic bread makers come in different sizes. This not only refers to the physical space of the appliance for baking bread (which can be substantial), but also the loaf size it can bake. Common bread maker sizes include 1- and 2-pound loaf models -- if you're only baking a loaf of bread for yourself, a smaller bread maker might work just fine, while larger families might need larger loaves to keep everyone satisfied with comforting carbs.

hamilton-beach

The Hamilton Beach is compact, budget-friendly and turned out some of the best bread of the bunch.

Pamela Vachon/CNET

Bread machine shape

You'll also want to think about the shape of the appliance's inner bread pan, as this will determine the shape of the loaf of bread. Many bread-making machines have square pans, which yield square loaves, but you can also find bread machine models that make horizontal loaves that are closer to what you'd buy in the store.

Types of bread it makes

Some are better equipped to produce a thicker, more consistent crust, some have built-in settings for gluten-free loaves, while others allow you to pre-set mix-ins such as fruit or nuts, which will add them at the appropriate moment along the way. Want to make different kinds of bread? Bread makers can only churn out specific types of bread depending on the bread flour and settings, so if you want to make wheat, whole grain, French bread, white bread, sourdough bread or other varieties, you'll need a machine that has the appropriate settings for your bread machine recipe. If you want gluten-free bread then you should go for a gluten-free bread machine. Some fancier bread machines even have nonbread settings, such as ones for cake.

Zojirushi bread maker

The Zojirushi was my favorite bread maker to use but its hefty price keeps it out of the #1 spot. 

Pamela Vachon/CNET

Bread machine features and settings

Most bread machines produce a standard, 1.5- or 2-pound loaf, and they come preprogrammed with various settings, including those for white, wheat and quick bread, among other common bread types, as well as dough and jam settings. All have the option of choosing a light, medium or dark crust, and also include a delayed start feature, meaning you can assemble ingredients in the morning, and come home after work to the warm and cozy aroma of freshly baked bread. (Throw a soup or chili mixture into a slow cooker while you're at it, and your evening self will be very pleased with your morning self.) Alternatively, you can set it at night and wake up to freshly baked bread.

Best bread machine FAQs

Is a bread machine worth it? How much can you save?

If you are a regular consumer of bread and believe yourself to be someone who doesn't acquire an appliance only to let it collect dust, then as a cost-saving matter, a bread machine can be well worth your money. The cost of a loaf of bread is typically between $3 and $6, while the cost of ingredients to make bread amounts to pennies by comparison, about 25 cents on average for a loaf's worth of flour, yeast, etc. 

Even as a conservative calculation, if you go through a loaf of bread every two weeks, you can save as much as $150 a year by using a bread maker, and much more if you go through bread more quickly than that. $150 covers most of the models on this list, so your bread maker will pay for itself after just a year of use. The longer you keep it, the more cost-effective it becomes. Those are just the financial considerations. Only you can quantify the value of the smell of freshly baked bread.

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How do you clean a bread machine?

The nonstick loaf pan and mixing paddle of a given bread machine are easy to clean either in the sink or in the dishwasher. The metal pin that holds the paddle inside the bread maker can become encrusted if not cleaned properly, but is also easy to clean with just a cloth and water, as is the inside of the heating unit. If you are following an appropriate recipe to make the correct size loaf in a standard bread maker, you shouldn't experience any spillage into the body of the bread machine.

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How do bread makers compare to bakery bread?

The primary limitation of a bread maker is that it can only make bread in one shape, but all the bread makers here also include a dough setting, which will do the mixing, kneading and proofing for you, after which you can shape the dough to your liking and bake in an oven. Certain bakery breads also rely on high baking temperatures to achieve distinct crusts, which a bread machine cannot achieve. For basic bread such as white and wheat, and quick bread like banana and pumpkin bread, bread machine loaves are certainly better than conventional grocery store bread, and are on par with many bakery offerings.

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How much do bread makers cost?

Bread makers may sound like fancy, complex cooking machines or luxury items but you can find them for as little as $80, sometimes cheaper. Higher-end bread maker models such as those from Breville and Zojirushi can cost as much as $350 but they typically offer more nuanced and tailored settings and fancy features. 

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