Top bread maker brands for 2017
By Yvette Fletcher
Find out which are the best and most reliable bread maker brands, based on our rigorous lab tests and survey of thousands of owners.
In 2017, we asked Which? members about the small appliances they own to get a picture of which brands will last when you get them home. We've used this feedback, along with our years of testing experience, to bring you the definitive guide to which bread maker brands are worth buying.
We found a big difference between the most and least-loved brands, and heard from members who have been disappointed by uneven or unrisen loaves and problematic paddles. Read on to find out which brands to go for - and the ones to avoid.
Just want to know which machines make the best loaves? See our bread maker reviews.
Bread maker brands rated
We've brought together our expert insight into big brands such as Panasonic, Morphy Richards and Kenwood, so you can see which bread makers you can rely on to bake a brilliant loaf. In the comparison table below you can see:
- Average test score – how each brand's bread makers score on average in our independent lab tests.
- How reliable each brand is – we ask owners if and when their products broke down, to calculate how likely early failure is for each brand.
- How owners rate it – owners tell us how happy they are with their bread maker, and whether they'd recommend it to a friend. We turn this into a customer score.
It's worth checking out how the brands stack up before narrowing down the model you want, as we've found some big differences between them. Here's a preview of the best and worst scores:
Only logged-in Which? members can see which brand came out on top in the table below. If you’re not a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.
|Preview: bread maker brands rated|
|Brand||Average score achieved in our bread maker tests||How reliable this brand's bread makers are||How owners rate this brand||Overview of our verdict|
|75%||87%||Our top pick: This brand's bread makers consistently bake excellent bread, and are easy to use. They sit at the higher end of the price bracket, and nearly all of them are Best Buys. The brand is also significantly more reliable and loved by owners than others. Areas where you may have problems include paddle issues and gradual loss of non-stick properties.|
|76%||75%||This brand is relatively new to the bread-maker market, and how well your bread turns out each time can be hit and miss. Some models have great extra features and are simple to use. Two are Best Buys, while another is decidedly average. This brand isn't quite as reliable or well loved as others.|
|68%||63%||It's been around for years, but if you buy one of this brand's bread makers, it won't necessarily last as long. It was the worst brand for reliability, according to our survey, scoring a paltry two stars. Its bread makers are the most likely to experience faults linked to the paddle, including it coming loose, getting stuck in the bread or not working at all. Which? members are less satisfied with the brand and less likely to recommend it to others.|
|65%||48%||This bread maker brand is considered good value for money, gets some decent and some good test scores, and has an acceptable three-star rating for reliability. However, in our survey, bread makers from this brand were more likely to stop working completely, as well as experiencing minor issues around how well the bread baked. It also gets a poor score from owners, nearly 40% less than our top brand.|
|Table notes: Table correct as of June 2017. Average test scores are based on all bread makers tested to the current test programme. Reliability ratings and owner ratings are from a survey of 827 Which? members who own bread makers in May 2017. Sample sizes: Kenwood 56, Lakeland 57, Morphy Richards 91, Panasonic 524.|
Can't see the brand you're interested in? We couldn't report on some brands, as we didn't get enough responses from owners, but head to our bread maker reviews to see all the popular models.
Choosing the best brand of bread maker
The top brand dominates our Best Buy spots because the bread these models bake is consistently good. We know this because we scrutinise the baked bread from each machine we test, looking at the crumb structure, how evenly it's baked and how thick the crust is. We also check how easy the bread makers are to use and clean. So when one does brilliantly in all our tests, you'll know it will be great when you get it home.
This brand also got a Which? customer score of 87%, meaning owners love it. The difference between the highest and lowest-rated brands in terms of customer score is nearly 40%, which shows what a difference buying from a reliable and high-performing brand makes to your experience at home.
Bread makers can cost anything from £40 to more than £200 but, unless you want lots of extra features, you shouldn't need to spend that much. Paying more usually gets you extra features, so it's worth thinking about what you want from a bread maker - a basic starter model or one that can do more, such as dispense fruit and nuts into a recipe part-way through. Our top brand has a range of models at different prices to choose from.
See our pick of the best bread makers for 2017 to narrow down the model that fits your budget and needs.
Are bread makers generally reliable?
Bread makers tend to be used less frequently than other kitchen appliances such as toasters or kettles, so people expect them to last longer. In our survey, 36% of people expected a bread maker to last at least five years, and 29% expect it to last 10 years.
Our reliability scores are based on the proportion of appliances with problems per brand, and faults are weighted so that more serious problems account for more of the score. Star ratings show a brand’s reliability when compared with others in that category. Below you can see how bread makers compare with other small appliances overall.
While bread makers are reliable, they don't last as well as our most long-lived product - stand mixers.
Most common bread maker problems
As part of our survey, we asked Which? members what problems they had experienced with their bread makers.
- 46% - problems with the bread-mixing paddle
- 31% - bread didn't rise or rising was uneven
- 31% - inconsistent performance
Choosing a high-scoring model from a reliable brand should help you to avoid some of these problems. When we test bread makers, we check if the paddle tends to stick, leaving a larger hole in the bread. We also check consistency of baking. We’re looking for bread that's risen and baked evenly, and has a light and springy texture inside. See our Best Buy bread makers.