THE mere smell of freshly baked bread will leave the majority of us drooling and the best breadmakers on the market will have you whipping up your own soft, bouncy, delicious loaf in no time at all.
Forget leaving the house to get your bakery kicks, a crusty cob made in a breadmaker by your own fair hands can be equally, if not more, satisfying.
While the thought of fresh bread may sound appealing, there are so many breadmakers out there and it's difficult to know where to begin.
One equipped with 20 pre-set functions may seem like your best bet but, seriously, how many times will you use the doughnut and pizza dough settings?
If you’d prefer a one-button-wonder that gets the job done without too many options to confuse you, there are plenty of those around too.
We've found out which makers do what best – combining our own knowledge and user reviews – and offered some useful info too.
Do bread makers make good bread?
The quality and flavour of bread comes down to a mix of factors, but it's mainly the recipe used and the baking process that impact the outcome.
With a breadmaker at home you control both factors, so while 'good bread' may be personal, you can certainly test and tweak to your preference.
If you make a 'bad' bread, experiment with different settings, like the bake time, or ingredients, until you create your own perfect loaf.
It's this ability to vary and optimise your own recipes where bread bakers really find joy.
Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
Even affordable breadmakers are an investment, but with committed use they're worth it. But does the cost of baking your own leave you better off? It can do, depending what you bake and which ingredients you use.
For example, A basic white loaf (using white flour and easy-bake yeast) can cost you 50-60p to bake – taking into account staples like butter, oil, sugar and salt.
This is cheaper than most loaves bought in store, and the savings can increase for organic speciality breads if you want to avoid shop prices.
Of course you should also factor in energy use – which tends to be low – and the cost of the breadmaker itself.
However, in the long-run you can save money by home-baking… and get more satisfaction from your bread too.
Here's our edit of some of the best breadmakers to buy right now.
Best for custom loaves
- Sage BBM800BSS the Custom Loaf Pro Breadmaker, £399 from Amazon – buy here
We’re starting with the fancy one first, and it comes with a recipe book.
For those among us who see themselves as a bit of chef, this might be the breadmaker for you.
This machine, designed in conjunction with Heston Blumenthal, makes loaves without leaving a hole in the bottom (the kneading paddle collapses before baking to avoid this pesky problem).
There are a variety of bake settings, and a viewing window for you to keep an eye on progress.
If fruity and nutty loaves are your thing, the Sage breadmaker will not only show you how to achieve them, but automatically dispense the extra ingredients at the correct time.
Best fast bake
- Morphy Richards Fastbake Breadmaker 48281, £66.99 from Amazon – buy here
In a bit of a hurry for drool-worthy white bread or otherwise? Perhaps a potential house buyer is on their way and you need homely smells ASAP? This is the machine for you.
It will bake you a loaf in under 50 minutes – just make sure you’ve got the ingredients in and you’re good to go.
It offers 12 programmes, three loaf sizes, and a fruit and nut dispenser. Plus with over 3,900 glowing five star Amazon reviews, it's a coveted 'Amazon Choice' product.
Best pre-set functions
- Panasonic SD-B2510WXC Automatic Breadmaker, £149 from John Lewis & Partners – buy here
Being the first company to make breadmakers, Panasonic knows a thing or two about what goes into producing a good loaf.
And it certainly isn’t elbow grease on your behalf, as this machine does it all for you. It has 21 automatic programmes – nine for bread, four gluten free options, three for dough and four for sweet items.
There are two sensors to gauge the room temperature and temperature inside the machine to ensure the perfect climate for your bread dough to rise.
As well as numerous gluten free bread options, you can also make pasta, jams and compotes in the breadmaker. Now that's what we call multi-talented.
Best for small kitchens
- Lakeland White Compact 1lb Daily Loaf Breadmaker,£74.99 from Lakeland – buy here
Of course we haven’t all got unlimited work surface space for fun kitchen gadgets, and that's where this breadmaker comes in handy.
It’s been designed with a compact finish which is ideal for a smaller kitchen.
Because it’s small you only have one option in terms of loaf size – 1lb – but if that's all you need then this is a good option.
Best for ease of use
- Morphy Richards 502001 Homebake Breadmaker, £75 from Amazon – buy here
An inexpensive option that claims to be really easy to use with 14 programmes and three crust settings to help you whip up your preferred type of bread.
Users rate it very highly – one reviewer who knocked their own baking skills, claiming they would even "burn water", said they managed to make the perfect loaf with the Homebake.
It might be a bargain, but it still has a delay function to set bread to be whipped up later in the day.
Best for an even bake
Panasonic SD-YR2550SXC Bread Maker, £199 from AO.com – buy here
The true trailblazers in breadmaking technology, it's only right that Panasonic appears twice in our line-up.
This sleek-looking stainless steel breadmaker isn’t cheap, but comes with an automatic raisin/nut and yeast dispenser, and a rather impressive 31 programmes.
It doesn't matter how you like your bread – crusty, fruity, gluten-free or French – this smart appliance has it covered. Come to mention it, it's also pretty good at creating pasta, pizza and cake too.
Its temperature sensors promise your most even bake yet, and, like most Panasonic breadmakers before it, has already garnered a sizeable herd of loyal fans.
Best for price
- Russel Hobbs Compact Breadmaker, £60 from Dunelm – buy now
If you’re new to the bread machine game, this machine for under £65 is a good starter option.
It’s a bargain price but that doesn’t mean it’s low on functionality. The reviews on this one speak for itself, and it still boasts multiple loaf size options, 12 settings, a 13 hour delay timer and a 55 minute fast bake.
It’s finished in a sleek black too should that be important to your kitchen scheme.
Best for small loaves
- Tower T11005 Digital Bread Maker, £74 from Amazon – buy here
With optional loaf sizes of 500g, 750g and 1000g, this Tower breadmaker will help you reduce wastage if you're only after a mini loaf.
It has 19 automatic dispenser, including glute-free options, and an automatic dispenser.
We love the 60 minute keep warm function, which keeps your bread fresher for longer, plus it comes with useful accessories including a hook, measuring cup and spoon.
Best basic option
- Amazon Basics Breadmaker, £49.13 from Amazon – buy here
When it comes to great value kitchen products that just do the job, Amazon knows how to deliver.
Of course this Amazon Basics Breadmaker isn't the fanciest product in our edit, but at that price, we're not sure it matters.
If you want to try bread making, but you're wary of splashing out, this breadmaker is just the ticket. It boasts 15 functions including French, wheat, gluten-free and sweet amongst others, and makes either 700g or 900g of bread.
Plus with over 300 five star reviews on Amazon, you're in good company if you go for this breadmaker. 'I truly cannot find a single thing to complain about – 10/10', writes one happy shopper.
Do breadmakers save money?
According to The Thrifty Parent, it will take a long time before you see any major savings from your breadmaker. These days, bread is sold very cheaply at supermarkets, and the cost of electricity and the ingredients that go into making your own loaves means it would take at least a year to see a significant difference in your pocket.
That said, if you eat a substantial amount of bread or you are partial to a £3 loaf from an artisan bakery every few days, then baking your own bread will make a much bigger difference to you and in a shorter amount of time.
What are the best deals on breadmakers?
If you want the best deal for a bread maker, shop around – price check with other companies and use websites like PriceRunner to scan the market to find the cheapest possible deals.
Towards the end of the year, around September and October, many manufacturers roll out their newest models of electrical items, making it a good time to snap up a bargain on an older bread maker.
Right now, there's a great Tefal Breadmaker on sale from £109 to £89.99 at Currys PC World and a Tower Digital Breadmaker that is currently £79.99 down from £99.99 at Robert Dyas.
How much are breadmakers?
A basic breadmaker starts at around £40 and the price increases based on the number of functions the model has. The majority of good breadmakers sit within the £50 to £150 price bracket.
However, the luxury end of the bread making market commands much higher price tags, with some models like this elaborate Sage bread maker fetching upwards of £399.
Where to buy a breadmaker?
If you like to shop in bricks and mortar shops, your local cook shop, electrical shop or bigger supermarket stores often hold a handful of breadmakers.
Online, there's a vast range to choose from. Shops with a good range include: Amazon, Lakeland, Argos, AO.com and Currys PC World.
What to look for in a breadmaker
Firstly, decide how much you'd like to spend on your new breadmaker. Consider its appearance – does it matter to you whether it's white, chrome or black?
Look for a bread maker with a good selection of programmes – if there's a type of bread you particularly like, wholemeal or seeded for example, make sure this is a preset on your bread maker, so you can quickly whip one up in no time. If you have friends or family with food intolerances consider if there are gluten-free options.
Another function to consider is the sizes of loaf your bread maker can reproduce – some only offer one or two small sizes, while others can make supersized bread that will feed a household for a week.
Some breadmakers offer the choice of different crusts and others allow you to set a delayed timer, so you can set it in the evening and wake up to fresh bread.
Do you want a machine with an automatic dispenser? This simplifies the process of making bread as the machine itself throws in any ingredients automatically.
For more of our recommendations on home products, check out our dedicated Sun Selects home section.
Loved our roundup of the best breadmakers? If your freshly baked bread rarely finds it to your plate without a little toasting, you can find our round-up of the best toasters too.
We've also selected our edit of the best kettles to really make your kitchen complete.
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