Fresh bread tastes wonderful – Choose the best bread machine & it’s also hassle-free. It only takes a moment to pop the ingredients into the pan & set the timer. Waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread is always a treat.
Homemade bread tastes so much better than a shop-bought loaf. Perfect for breakfast, a quick snack or a sandwich.
Best Bread Machine 2023
Choosing the best bread machine can be tricky. A bewildering number of models, manufacturer claims & umpteen reviews only make choosing the right machine harder. What’s clear, is not all breadmakers are equal.
To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, we’ve checked manufacturer claims, scrutinised specifications, listened to bakers, read the reviews & tested the top machines.
‘How good is the bread?’ is clearly, the most important question.
This is followed by consistency, ease of use, programmes, physical size, loaf size, recipes, ease of cleaning and price.
Backed up by long-term tests & extensive research, here’s the Verum 2023 shortlist of the UK’s best bread machines available to buy, right now…
Russell Hobbs: Best Compact Bread Machine
£78 – £99 | See Best Price on Amazon
Perfect for a small kitchen – this model from Russell Hobbs is affordable, compact and best of all, it bakes a decent loaf
- 55-Minute Fast Bake
- Some owners find it noisy
The footprint is considerably smaller than the Panasonic models below, taking less space on your worktop. Plus, at only 30cm high, this bread maker is far more likely to fit inside a cupboard when not in use. It’s also much lighter than the Panasonic models, again, making it easier to store.
First-time breadmakers and long-term owners rate this machine. In terms of ease of use, reliability and most importantly, the bread it makes, this model from Russell Hobbs ticks all the boxes.
Definitely worth having, is the fast bake setting. Being able to bake a fresh loaf in under an hour is very useful & essential for most families!
Some owners find it a little noisy. We like the idea of setting the timer and shutting the kitchen door – it will bake you a loaf while you sleep. And the best bit is that you’ll wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread.
Aside from the advantage of being small, this model has a window on the lid allowing you to see your bread baking. Plus, the pan and paddle are dishwasher safe, meaning there’s no extra washing up.
SPECIFICATION: Russell Hobbs 23620 | SIZE: 32D x 29W x 30H | LOAF SIZE: 500g to 1kg | GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Yes | FAST BAKE 55mins | MAX DELAY: 13 hours | PROGRAMMES 12 | WARRANTY 2 Years
If you like the idea of a quick & compact bread machine, buy this affordable Russell Hobbs model today!
Best Budget Panasonic Bread Machine
£129 – £150 | See Best Price on Amazon
This is the best value, no-frills, Panasonic bread machine
- Affordable Panasonic
- Non-stick bread pan
- No nut & raisin dispenser
This Panasonic bread machine does the basics well and without fuss. If you don’t have the time or inclination for artisan baking, then spending more to get a long list of programmes is of little benefit.
For a great-tasting loaf, the standard recipes on this model do everything you will need. It has all the normal modes for most types of bread, including programmes for pizza bases, a gluten-free loaf & jam. What’s missing from this model is the fruit & nut dispenser. So if you like adding these ingredients to your loaf, it’s worth spending a little more on one of the machines detailed below.
If you’ve previously owned a Panasonic bread maker, the significant upgrade is the new shape & the improved non-stick bread pan. The old bread pan surface wasn’t great & tended to wear out ahead of other components, making it difficult to extract the loaf. However, the new coating means that the perfect loaf simply drops out of the pan, onto a cooling rack.
SPECIFICATION: SIZE: 252D x 408W x 362H | WEIGHT: 6.5kg | LOAF SIZE: M L & XL | GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Yes | FAST BAKE 2hrs | MAX DELAY: 13 hours | MODES: 21 | BREADPAN: Diamond Fluro-coated | WARRANTY 1 Year
If you’re looking for an affordable Panasonic bread machine that does the basics well, this is it
Best Buy Bread Machine
£139 – £180 | See Best Price on Amazon
The Panasonic SD-R2530 is the Verum Best Buy. Affordable and with a wide range of programmes it stands out for all the right reasons
- 30 Programmes
- Nut & Raisin Dispenser
- Non-stick bread pan
- No dedicated yeast dispenser
With 30 modes plus manual settings, this bread machine does everything you’d expect and more.
The wide range of programmes means you can bake anything & everything. White bread, whole wheat, sourdough, brioche, cake, jam, pizza dough…
Plus, there are four gluten-free options for bread, cake, pizza dough & pasta.
The nut & raisin dispenser adds flexibility, consistency and creative options. The additional programmes and functionality offer endless wonderful recipes to try (our favourite is the spicy fruit loaf). Plus, by using the nut & raisin dispenser, all ingredients are added at precisely the right moment – guaranteeing consistency.
This Panasonic bread machine bakes a wonderful loaf with zero fuss. Pop the ingredients in the pan, set the timer and wake up to the smell of fresh bread – yum!
SPECIFICATION: SIZE: 252D x 408W x 362H | WEIGHT: 7kg | LOAF SIZE: M L & XL | GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Yes | FAST BAKE 2hrs | MAX DELAY: 13 hours | MODES: 30 | BREADPAN: Diamond Fluro-coated | WARRANTY 1 Year
Enjoy wonderful home-baked bread, made easy with 30 programmes and a nut/raisin dispenser.
*See best price on both white & black models
Sage Custom Loaf Bread Machine
£209 – £250 | See Best Price on Amazon
This Sage bread maker is an excellent alternative to the models from Panasonic. It makes great bread and has a clever & unique feature that makes it stand out.
- Hole free loaf
- Nut & raisin Dispenser
- Stainless steel design
All breadmakers use a paddle to mix the dough. On most machines, this leaves a hole in the base of the loaf. Not the Sage. The clever design on this model has a collapsible paddle meaning no hole and indeed, the perfect loaf.
Above all else, the Sage bakes wonderful bread. And it’s well-built. The 14 functions cover most bread types including gluten-free. Plus, with a clever LCD display & control panel, it’s easy to bake the loaf you desire and save your own custom settings.
There’s a viewing window and a nut dispenser on the top lid. Being able to peek inside & see your loaf baking, is always good!
If you’re planning on anything more than the standard loaf, a nut & raisin dispenser is a must. Fruit loaf, olive focaccia or something with seeds, nuts or herbs? There are so many good recipes to try.
SPECIFICATION: SIZE: 24D x 41W x 34H | WEIGHT: 7.8kg | LOAF SIZE: S M L & XL | GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Yes | FAST BAKE Yes | MAX DELAY: 13 hours | MODES 14 | WARRANTY 2 Years
If you like the stainless steel design, custom settings and nut dispenser plus want the perfect loaf (without a hole) – the Sage is for you
Ultimate Bread Machine – Panasonic SD-YR2550
£189 – £210 | See Best Price on Amazon
The Panasonic YR2550 has every recipe setting you may desire, a dedicated dispenser for yeast, fruit & nut dispenser and a premium stainless steel design.
- Yeast Dispenser for Improved Reliability
- Raisin & Nut Dispenser
- Stainless Steel Design
At first glance, it’s the new shape and stainless steel design that stand out. However, don’t overlook the benefit of the dedicated yeast dispenser. This clever detail improves consistency & (we think) helps bake a better loaf.
Top Notch (& Consistent) Bread Making
Yeast & water mixing early (in a standard machine) is a disaster! Adding the yeast at precisely the right moment guarantees reliability & the perfect loaf, every time.
Plus, with 31 programmes, you can bake anything & everything – from your basic loaf to whole wheat, rye & sourdough, plus, brioche, cake, jam and pizza dough. There are four gluten-free programmes too.
Panasonic has perfected the art of bread making in a machine. The fully automated process means reliable excellent results. Plus, if you fancy a little creativity in the kitchen the manual settings mean there’s no limit to what you can do.
From the outside, it’s the stainless steel design that makes this model stand out. However, don’t forget about the yeast dispenser. Consistency is king & this clever addition means a wonderful loaf, every time.
SPECIFICATION: 252D x 408W x 362H | WEIGHT: 7.5kg | LOAF SIZE: M L & XL | GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Yes | FAST BAKE Yes | MAX DELAY: 13 hours | MODES 31 | BREADPAN: Diamond Fluro-coated | WARRANTY 1 Year
Wonderful bread making that’s quick, easy & consistent.
£190 – £245 | See Best Price on Amazon
The SD-YR2540 is Panasonic’s most expensive bread machine. Yes, it’s good – but is it worth the money?
- Dedicated Yeast Dispenser
- Raisin & Nut Dispenser
- Stainless Steel Design
There are a couple of reasons to opt for this model over & above our recommended Ultimate Best Buy – the SD-YR2550 (see above).
The first is the extra programme, or to be specific the ability to bake a Spelt loaf.
The second is the colour & finish. There’s no denying the dark gunmetal grey looks great and if you can see this aesthetic working in your kitchen, then this is the bread machine for you!
SPECIFICATION: 252D x 408W x 362H | WEIGHT: 7.5kg | LOAF SIZE: M L & XL | GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Yes | FAST BAKE Yes | MAX DELAY: 13 hours | MODES 32 | BREADPAN: Diamond Fluro-coated | WARRANTY 1 Year
Like the gunmetal grey? Then the YR2540 is for you…
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Use Your Loaf
The best bread machine is great for everyone & anyone who wants fresh bread at home but doesn’t have the time or the inclination to make it by hand. Measure out the ingredients, press a couple of buttons and leave the machine to do the work. It really is that simple. A good bread maker is perfect for a busy household. Waking up to the smell of fresh bread is a great way to start the day.
All our recommendations do the basics well but they are also flexible enough to tweak and adjust (should you desire).
The best bread machine (if looked after) will last for years. The first thing to fail is usually the bread pan. Once the pan loses its non-stick surface, removing the loaf can become tricky. Good to know, is that the new Panasonic bread machines come with what’s described as a ‘diamond fluro-coated bread pan’.
This non-stick surface allows the loaf to simply drop out. Plus it’s easy to clean. If you’re replacing an old Panasonic bread machine, this is a significant upgrade.
Gluten-Free or Special Diet?
For anyone with a food allergy or on a special diet, the best bread machine offers complete control over what goes into each loaf, with minimum hassle. If you desire a loaf with reduced salt or less sugar, this couldn’t be easier. If you want a gluten-free loaf, that’s easy too.
Each bread maker comes with its own suggested recipes. This is definitely the best place to start, as generic recipes don’t deliver the same result from different machines. Beyond this, it’s worth experimenting with different flour and yeast options to perfect the ultimate loaf for you!
Which is the best bread machine brand?
Panasonic made the first commercially available bread maker in 1986. Over the last thirty-odd years they have continually updated and improved the basic machine to ensure their customers keep coming back for more. The majority of Panasonic bread machine owners simply replace their old machine, once worn out, with the latest Panasonic model.
Is it cheaper to make your own bread with a bread maker?
The average shop loaf has increased by a staggering 20% over the last year – choosing the best bread machine today, means you’ll eat better in 2023 and save money on the weekly shop. There’s never been a better time to buy a bread machine.
ONS Government data shows the average 800g loaf has increased by over 20% year on year (Oct 22). Today, a delicious homemade loaf out of a bread machine costs less than half the supermarket equivalent.
If your family eats two to three loaves a week, our best buy will pay for itself in less than two years. Look after your new bread machine and it should keep going for 10 years or more – paying for itself five times over.
However, the real reason for buying the best bread machine is the taste.
Order of Ingredients – Does it Matter?
Yes. It’s important to keep the yeast away from the water & oil until the right moment. With the Panasonic & Russell Hobbs machines, add the yeast first & use the flour as a barrier (liquids going in last).
The Sage is different. Here you add the liquids (water & oil) first and then the flour etc., with the yeast going in last.
However, the best results are achieved with the Panasonic SD-YR2550. The dedicated yeast dispenser improves reliability and pretty much guarantees the perfect loaf, every time.
5 Reasons Why You’ll Love Your New Bread Machine
The standout reason for buying a bread maker is to enjoy wonderful fresh bread. But it’s not the only advantage.
- Tastier than a shop-bought bread
- Healthy – You know what’s in it
- Save money – Each loaf costs around half that of shop-bought bread
- Convenience – It’s easier to store flour than the equivalent number of loaves
- Wake up to the smell of fresh bread
+ 55 Minute fast bake
+ Best Seller under £100
+ Nut & raisin dispenser
+ Latest non-stick bread pan
+ Verum™ Best Buy
+ Nut & raisin dispenser
+ Yeast dispenser for superior & consistent results
+ Premium stainless steel design
+ Verum™ Ultimate Bread Machine
UK VERDICT 2023
The Russell Hobbs bread maker is compact, lightweight and affordable. It’s the best budget bread machine & a great choice for smaller kitchens.
The Panasonic R2530 wins our overall best buy. Flexible, with a wide range of programmes, it’s tried & tested, has a nut & raisin dispenser and above all else, bakes a wonderful loaf.
The Panasonic YR2550 is the best bread machine you can buy in the UK. The stainless steel design looks good, but it’s the dedicated yeast dispenser that brings greater reliability & a technical edge, for the perfect loaf – every time. Plus, with 31 programmes you can bake every bread imaginable.
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