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Updated: 17 May 2022

Best bread makers 2022: Which? Best Buys and expert buying advice

Find out what makes a great bread maker and what features to look for. Plus, discover which bread makers are the best we've tested.
Jonny Martin
Bread next to bread maker in kitchen

Our Best Buy recommendations and expert buying advice will help you to buy a bread maker that churns out beautiful, crusty loaves, time after time.

A bread maker takes the hard work and hassle out of making homemade bread, and in some cases it can be cheaper than buying a supermarket loaf. You'll also know exactly what's in each loaf and, if you plan ahead, you'll get to wake up to gorgeous freshly baked bread. 

But not every bread maker is capable of making a great-tasting loaf. Our independent tests have uncovered disappointing bread makers that produce sunken, misshapen loaves with a dense, heavy texture.

To help you pick a bread maker that doesn't disappoint, make sure you read our bread maker reviews.

Best bread makers for 2022

The following bread makers are some of the best we've tested.

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  • 91%
    • best buy

    This is our favourite Panasonic bread maker. It scored better than the other Panasonic models we've tested, so if you want the best Panasonic bread machine around, this is the one to go for. It's quite pricey, but it has plenty of extra features to help you experiment with different breads and doughs. 

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  • 87%
    • best buy

    Proving that you don't always have to opt for all the top-dollar options, this entry-level bread maker's clean sweep of five-star results makes it the best of the impressive line-up of Panasonic bread makers released in 2021.

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  • 83%
    • best buy

    Panasonic bread makers tend to do well in our tests, and this model didn't disappoint. We loved the white bread it baked in our test kitchen - both on the standard and delay timer setting. Wholemeal loaves come out well too. And it's very easy to use and clean. 

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  • 82%
    • best buy

    This versatile Best Buy bread maker is a dream to use and produces great loaves, so if you want a large choice of programmes for bread, cakes, and gluten free options, it offers plenty of potential.

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  • 76%

    It's not quite a Best Buy, but this cheaper model makes delicious white and wholemeal bread - and results are even better if you use the delay timer. The paddle doesn't tend to get stuck, so you won’t tear huge chunks out of your loaf when unloading it from the pan. It works quietly, so it won't disturb you if you set it going overnight. And it's easy to clean up when you've finished too.

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Video: how to buy the best bread maker

Watch our quick video guide to help you choose the perfect bread maker for your needs.

Before buying a bread maker, there are a few important questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What type of bread do you want to make? Bread makers can make basic white, brown and wholemeal loaves. You need to consider whether traditional loaves be enough for you, or you want the option of making extras such as pasta dough, pizza dough or even gluten-free options. In our tests, we get each bread maker to bake several white and wholemeal loaves each to see how well they manage different loaves and how consistent the results are. Some struggle with one type and shine when it comes to baking the other. If you want to predominantly make one type of bread, then check our reviews before buying.
  • Where will you store your bread maker? Some bread makers are large and heavy. If you opt for one of those, you'll probably want to leave it out on your counter top.
  • What bread maker features and settings will you use? Some bread makers have a lot of fancy features, but it's only worth paying extra for features you're actually going to use. We cover useful bread maker features further down the page.

It's also worth noting that the kneading and mixing process can be noisy, so if you have an open plan kitchen, check our reviews to find out whether a bread maker will be irritatingly loud.

Best bread maker features to consider

Bread maker control panel and settings

Features can add to the price of a bread maker, so here we look at which features are worth paying more for.

Customisation settings

Most bread makers will include options for changing the size of the loaf, the type of flour you use and the thickness and darkness of the crust. Although sometimes these features only apply to baking white bread, so check this if you want to make other types of bread. 

Kneading paddle

All bread makers have a non-stick pan with a kneading paddle to bake your loaf in. With a lot of bread makers, the kneading paddle can stay in the bread when it cooks. This means your bread will be left with a small hole in the bottom of the loaf when you remove it.   

In our tests, we've found that with some bread makers the paddle sticks to the bread far more often than with others, leaving a larger and more unsightly hole than is necessary. We rate each bread maker we test for this - so look for a bread maker with four stars or more for the 'kneading paddle' rating.

If you hate the thought of holes in your bread, you can look for a bread maker with a collapsible paddle. But even this won't totally solve the issue, and isn't always necessary. 

Viewing window and control panel

If you're an inquisitive baker, go for a bread maker with a viewing window so you can keep an eye on the progress of your loaf. Also, some bread makers make a sound when the bread is baked, or even when it's time to add more ingredients. This is worth looking for this feature if you want to be notified when the bread is ready or when you need to do add to the recipe.

Control panels vary from model to model, but it's worth looking for a clear one that's easy to read so programming it doesn't become a chore. When we test bread makers, we factor ease of use and cleaning into our scores - there's no point in a bread maker baking great bread if using it is such a pain you end up relegating it to the back of the cupboard. 

Measuring accessories

Most bread makers should come with accessories, such as a measuring cup and spoon. Baking bread is an exact science when it comes to measuring ingredients, so if the bread maker you buy doesn't come with this, it's worth buying some as bread makers require exact measurements to avoid disaster loaves. 

Rapid bake setting

Bread makers often state the time it will take to bake different types of loaves, so think about this when buying by considering how much time you'll actually have to use your bread maker. We also test the time taken to bake a loaf in our lab, so our bread maker reviews can tell you whether a model's baking time is about average or slower than expected. 

If you're always short on time, it's worth looking for a rapid-bake setting as this can create a white loaf in less than an hour. But across the board, these loaves are never as good as one baked on the standard setting.

Delay time setting

Many bread makers also have a delay time setting, which means you can set the bread maker up to bake for you ahead of time. So you can have fresh bread ready for you in the morning or when you get home after a day out.

Not all bread makers make a successful load on delay though, compared to the standard setting. That's why we test bread makers on how well they make a white loaf on the delay setting, so you know if it's a good bet for a fresh morning loaf. 

Gluten-free and wheat-free bread settings

A lot of bread makers come with a gluten-free setting, allowing you to make gluten-free bread using special bread mixes or the recipes provided. Many also include other recipes, such as for wheat-free breads. Look out for this if you have particular dietary requirements.

Fruit and nut dispenser

Some bread makers also come with settings for making rye or other types of bread. If you’re a fan of adventurous bread baking, then a model with an automatic dispenser will be a good choice. This is because saves you from having to wait around to manually add any extra ingredients, such as dried fruit or nuts, as it does it for you.

To learn more about bread maker features, see Bread maker features explained

How much do I need to spend to get a good bread maker?

Bread in bread maker

We've found good bread makers for £60 or less, but spending nearer to £100 will get you a more stylish bread maker packed full of programs and features. The bread makers that really outshine the rest in our tests generally cost more than £100.

The most reliable bread maker brands, and those that bake the best bread, will also usually cost more than £100. So, if you’re serious about baking bread, then a decent, reliable bread maker is a good investment, as the best models will reliably turn out a daily loaf for years to come.

Keep an eye out for promotions and online deals for bread makers, because it’s possible to find the best bread makers on sale.

If you’re new to bread making and want to try it out before shelling out a lot of dough for a top-of-the-range bread maker, it’s possible to buy a decent bread maker for around £40. But it'll be a lot more basic and the results won’t be as good as a Best Buy bread maker.

To get the best model for your budget, use our bread maker reviews to see which cheap bread makers impressed us.

Which bread maker brand is the best?

Panasonic croustina sd zp2000kxc bread maker 483489

There are a range of bread maker brands to choose from, including Andrew James, Kenwood, Morphy Richards, Panasonic and Sage. Argos and Lakeland also sell own-brand versions, as do Aldi and Lidl (usually on a time-limited offer).

We've got survey data on the biggest bread maker brands including Kenwood, Morphy Richards and Panasonic. According to our survey of 1,650 bread maker owners, paddle problems, inconsistent performance and broken fruit-and-nut dispensers are the most common bread maker problems.

To find out which brands you can rely on to bake a brilliant loaf, and which ones you should steer clear of, see Top bread maker brands for 2022

How big are bread makers and how much do they weigh?

Bread maker control panel and settings

It's likely that you'll want your bread maker to be out on your work surface all of the time, as it'll be easy to access whenever you want to bake a loaf. So make sure you check the size, which can vary a lot, and whether you will have space for it where you want it keep it. If you have eye-level cupboards, check the lid will open if you plan to sit your bread maker below them. 

Think about the weight as well. Will you need to pull it out from where it normally sits or move it around a lot? If so, look for a lighter model - some weigh less than 5kg, while others weigh more than 6kg.

See Bread makers: your questions answered for more common bread maker questions.

What else can I make in my bread maker?

It’s not just bread you can make in a bread maker. Most come with extra settings to knead pasta and regular dough ready to roll out, shape and cook, turn fruit and the other raw ingredients into jam, and bake pre-mixed ingredients into a (rectangular) cake using a 'bake-only' setting. 

Most bread makers are versatile enough to produce a variety of products, but do your research before you buy - our bread maker reviews detail what abilities each bread maker has.

Keep in mind that the bread maker won't do everything for you - for example, you'll need to mix the cake ingredients first.

For inspiration, read Making the most of your bread maker or try our recipe for Easy bread maker hot cross buns.