The best bread makers to buy in 2022


Fill your kitchen with that delicious just-baked smell with our pick of the best bread makers

Close your eyes and imagine a freshly baked loaf of bread. The golden crust, the warm dough, the mouth-watering smell wafting through the house. Waking up to a freshly baked loaf of bread is one of life’s greatest and simplest pleasures, and yet very few of us get to do it on a regular basis. Starting a new life as a local baker may be one drastic remedy to that problem, but there is a much easier way: buy a bread maker.

While some bread makers are solely designed to do the bare minimum, fancier models allow you to explore your wildest Bake Off fantasies – gluten-free, sourdough, wholemeal and rye loaves, bread filled with nuts and fruit, even cakes in some cases. Prices for basic models start at around £50 and reach up to several hundred pounds for the top-of-the-range models.

Compared to regular shop-bought bread, you can save money (around 60p a loaf for ingredients if you make your own, versus £1 for a mass-produced loaf), avoid preservatives and additives, and control the ingredients you use. Here we’ve collected a handful of our top choices, all chosen after Expert Reviews' in-depth tests. If you want to narrow down the choice a little more, the buying guide below explains the key features in more detail to help you make your final choice.

Best bread maker: At a glance

  • Best bread maker under £100: Morphy Richards Fastbake Cooltouch | Buy now
  • Best compact bread maker: Russell Hobbs 23620 | Buy now
  • Best bread maker for seasoned users: Salter EK4189 Digital Bread Maker | Buy now
  • Easiest to use bread maker: Lakeland Touchscreen | Buy now

How to choose the best bread maker for you

How do I use a bread maker?

No matter which bread maker you choose, the baking process will be similar. Add the ingredients to the bread pan, put the bread pan in the bread maker and choose the appropriate programme, such as white or wholemeal. The baking process will then take between three and five hours, depending on the model; once it's done, you will need to put the loaf on a wire rack to cool before you cut into it (or it’s likely to collapse).

All bread makers also let you specify a time delay, so you can measure out your ingredients the night before, then specify in what amount of time you need your loaf to be ready (usually to the nearest ten minutes). For example, you can put your ingredients in the pan at 11pm, set the timer for eight hours, and your loaf will be ready at 7am.

The ingredients needed for a loaf of bread vary between bread makers, but usually consist of flour, salt, sugar, oil or butter, water, bread-machine yeast and sometimes skimmed milk powder. All of these ingredients can be found in most supermarkets. A minority of bread makers require vitamin C tablets, which you’ll probably need to order online.

Bear in mind that you’ll need to buy special “strong” flour to make bread. Supermarket own-brand strong flour is fine for white loaves, but you may have to use expensive branded “very strong” flour to get a decent wholemeal loaf from some bread makers. Our reviews mention if very strong flour is needed.

Which extra ingredients should I consider?

Before buying, you should consider whether you would like to bake speciality loaves, such as raisin or sultana breads, as some bread makers make this easier than others. The extra ingredients required in such loaves need to be added after the baking cycle has started. Some bread makers will stop and beep when they need you to pour in your raisins, but this means you have to be there at the right time.

Fancier models have an automatic dispenser, which you can fill up before you start the bake. This will then dump the ingredients in at the right point in the cycle, to help you get the perfect fruit loaf. If you’re going to be baking such loaves more than occasionally, you’ll certainly appreciate having an automatic dispenser.

Can I customise my bake?

You can change the way your loaf turns out by altering the balance of ingredients, but the very fanciest bread makers take this a step further, by letting you set custom baking programmes. If your bread maker has this feature, you can choose how long you want each stage of the baking cycle to be, from resting to kneading to rising and baking. You can then store these programmes as a preset.

Some machines have five presets, and some can store up to nine. If you’re serious about baking and want to tweak each recipe to perfection, look for a bread maker that lets you fiddle around with the built-in recipes.

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The best bread makers to buy

1. Russell Hobbs 23620 Compact Breadmaker: The best budget bread maker that's also compact

Price: £74 | Buy now from Amazon

This dinky little breadmaker is perfect for small households and kitchens. Whether you want a classic white loaf, gluten-free bread or a nutritious wholemeal baguette, this breadmaker can handle it. Overall, there are 12 settings, three loaf sizes and three crust settings packed into this budget baker. With so many functions, it's never been easier to create a truly custom loaf, sweet bread or pizza dough.

If you're in a hurry, the quick bake option whips up a classic loaf in just 55 minutes. Taking it slow? There's also a 13-hour delay timer, so you can enjoy fresh bread first thing or even as you're finishing up your workday. This affordable bread maker is a great buy if you're voyaging into the world of bread making for the first time but don't want to spend a fortune on something overly technical.

Key specs – Fruit and nut dispenser: No; Number of programmes: 12

Buy now from Amazon

2. Lakeland Touchscreen Bread Maker: Easiest to use bread maker

Price: £140 | Buy now from Lakeland

If counter space is a precious commodity in your kitchen, investing in a multi-function appliance can free up some room without impeding your culinary pursuits. Lakeland's Touchscreen Bread Maker and More is one such multi-purpose machine, with several preset functions for baking different loaves, as well as options for baking cakes and making jam or yoghurt. You can follow the progress of whatever function you choose with just a glance, thanks to the large and easy-to-use LED touchscreen.

The bread pan has a capacity of 1.5kg and comes with two kneading blades, allowing you to choose your preferred loaf size - either 1kg, 1.25kg or 1.5kg. Once baked, the machine will automatically keep your loaf warm for 60 minutes after the programme finishes, so if you forget to check right away you won't miss out on your loaf. Another great feature is the Delay Start, which allows you to set a time to start baking, meaning you can prep the loaf the night before, and wake up to the alluring smell of freshly baked bread.

Read our full Lakeland Touchscreen Bread Maker review

Key specs Fruit and nut dispenser: No; Number of programmes: 12

Buy now from Lakeland

3. Morphy Richards Fastbake Cooltouch Breadmaker: The best bread maker under £100

Price: £52 | Buy now from Amazon

Who says that you have to spend a lot of money to get a decent bread maker? Okay, it's not the prettiest bread maker we've ever seen, but for the price, we can forgive it its looks.

Fortunately, the Fastbake more than makes up for its lack of looks by turning out an excellent white loaf quickly. I struggled a little to make it work as well with wholemeal loaves, but if you primarily want high-quality white bread, it does the job brilliantly.

The controls are a little fiddly and wobbly, illustrating the cheaper build quality of this machine. There's a viewing window, so you can see how your loaf is getting on, but you'll need a torch as the baking chamber is not illuminated. Even so, provided you mostly want to make white loaves, the low cost of the Fastbake makes this exceptional value and well worth buying. If you want to experiment with other loaves, check out one of the other bread makers on this page.

Read our full review of the Morphy Richards Fastbake Cooltouch

Key specs – Fruit and nut dispenser: No; Number of programmes: 29; Time to make standard medium white loaf: 2hrs 53mins

4. Sage by Heston Blumenthal – The Custom Loaf: The best premium bread maker

Price: £249 | Buy now from John Lewis

If money isn't a big worry and you want a bread maker that lets you take as much control as possible – short of actually making the dough yourself and popping it in the oven – then this celebrity-chef-endorsed machine from Sage could be just the thing. Heston is famed for his more complex recipes and the Sage certainly has a little of that, letting you tweak its recipes or create whole new ones using the large screen and twisting knob.

It has a collapsing paddle, so you're not left with a big hole in the bottom of your loaf, which is clever, although the results aren't radically different to other models. The loaves I made from the recipes came out well, although they were lower, like bakery loaves, rather than tall sandwich loaves as you might be used to. Still, with the ability to almost endlessly tinker to match its programmes to your ingredients and preferences, the Custom Loaf will certainly appeal to some.

Read our full Sage by Heston Blumenthal: The Custom Loaf review

Key specs Fruit and nut dispenser: Yes; Number of programmes: 68; Time to make standard medium white loaf: 3hrs 5mins

Buy now from John Lewis

5. Salter EK4189 Digital Bread Maker: The best bread maker for seasoned users

Price: £48 | Buy now from Curry's

If you’re well-acquainted with bread makers and are looking for something with plenty of customisation, Salter’s EK4189 bread maker is ideal. There are 15 different settings for bread making, including options for wholewheat, gluten-free, sweet bread and French loaves. There’s also a setting that kneads and proves dough for you – perfect if you’re making lots of loaves and want to give your arms a rest.

In testing, the machines fastbake, basic and wholewheat settings all produced a soft loaf with a crusty exterior, while the dough setting kneaded and proved our dough to soft, pillowy perfection. Unusually, this machine doesn’t come with any recipes and there aren’t instructions in the box. You’ll need to download them from the Salter website but we’ve also included them here if you want to skip the middle-man.

As the instructions aren’t the clearest, it’s probably best to steer clear if this is your first ever breadmaker. If you’re familiar with how they work though, some simple googling will unearth a number of recipes that work perfectly with the machine.

Key specs Fruit and nut dispenser: No; Number of programmes: 15; Time to make standard medium white loaf: 3hrs

Buy now from Curry's

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