The 5 Best Bread Machines

By Jeffrey Pu on 14 February 2013 (Updated 8 July 2014) 5 comments

Pre-sliced bread sold in supermarkets is often considered to be a marvel in American consumer innovation — hence the phrase “the greatest thing since sliced bread.” However, sliced bread isn’t really all that it’s chalked up to be. Buying sliced bread can often cost more than buying a fresh loaf, and sliced bread comes with a number of added preservatives and chemicals to extend its shelf life. On the other hand, making bread at home allows you to make bread of a higher quality than what you can find at a supermarket, and it can save you money in the long run. (See also: Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything)

What Is a Bread Machine?

As you might have guessed, a bread machine is used to bake fresh bread at home. A bread machine automates the process of mixing, kneading, and baking — allowing you to make bread with minimal active supervision. With variations in size and settings for different types of bread, a bread machine allows for the creation of all kinds of loaves right from home.

Best 5 Bread Machines

Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker With Yeast Dispenser

Among the most highly reviewed bread machines, the Panasonic SD-YD250 combines consistent performance and a healthy list of settings with a reasonable price. This bread machine creates loaves of bread in three sizes up to 2-1/2 pounds and offers a host of digital settings for different types of breads such as white, wheat, and multigrain. It is also capable of baking non-yeast breads as well as preparing different types of dough without baking them. Finally, a timer allows the bread machine to be programmed up to 13 hours in advance. The current price for the Panasonic SD-YD250 is $114.99.

 

Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Loaf Programmable Mini Breadmaker

The Zojirushi BB-HAC10 has been well-reviewed for its small size and ease-of-use. Its 1 pound loaf size makes it perfect for smaller households. While it may not have as many features as other bread machines on the market, it still has settings for Regular, Firm, or Soft bread textures as well as the ability to prepare a variety of breads. The current price for the Zojirushi BB-HAC10 is $185.99.

 

Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme Breadmaker

The Zojirushi BB-CEC20 is the sports car of breadmakers, offering the best performance and greatest functionality but with a premium price. Dual paddles on this Zojirushi create rectangular 2 pound loaves. This bread machine comes with 10 pre-programmed bread settings, 3 crust shade settings, and a timer that can delay the baking cycle by up to 13 hours. The current price for the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 is $229.95.

 

Sunbeam 5891 Programmable Breadmaker

The Sunbeam 5891 is another breadmaker that is well-liked for its ease-of-use and its affordable price. This bread machine makes 1-1/2 or 2 pound loaves, and while it may not be able to make as wide a variety of breads as other machines, it still has dedicated dough-only, bake-only, and jam settings. Finally, it also has the 13-hour delay start function and three crust settings. The current price for the Sunbeam 5891 is $64.32.

 

West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker

The West Bend 41300 is the last bread machine on this list that combines a reasonable price tag with a decent suite of settings. Offering the largest selection of loaf sizes, the West Bend creates 1, 1-1/2, 2, and 2-1/2 pound loaves. Like many of the other bread machines, it comes with a number of pre-programmed settings, 3 crust settings, and a 12-hour delay timer. The current price for the West Bend 41300 is $75.00.

 

These are our recommendations for the best 5 bread machines. With the right machine, you’ll be making healthy and delicious bread from home that actually is greater than sliced bread. Be sure to check out the Wise Bread Shopping Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

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I haven't purchased bread in one year. I have the Zo home Bakery. I grind my own wheat too. Our house always smells like Panera and it takes 10 to 15 minutes tops.

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The best bread machine is the $10 one your husband brings home from a tag sale.

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I agree. My first bread machine came from my neighbor's yard sale ($5). When that one died, I bought one from Goodwill for $8 and it has already made hundreds of dollars worth of bread for me in a year.

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Now I understand why this blog is called Wise Bread...

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Great list! I especially like bread makers that offer a convection baking option like the Breadman TR2700 or Cuisinart CBK-200. It helps make very even crusts with that beautiful brown glow we've all seen in commercials.