Best Popcorn Maker
Credit: ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

We Tested the Best Popcorn Makers to Satisfy Salty Snack Cravings

Prepare theater-style puffs at home with our favorite popcorn maker: Cuisinart’s EasyPop.
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Whether you're watching a movie or simply craving something salty, there's no better snack to reach for than popcorn. And thanks to popcorn makers, you can easily make theater-worthy batches of buttery kernels at home. There are models of various materials, sizes, and price points, so you can surely find one that fits your needs. 

To help you choose a popcorn maker worth adding to your kitchen, we highlighted our favorite options after evaluating their durability, capacity, ease of use, and of course, flavor and crispness of the resulting snacks. Read on to see why we nominated Cuisinart's EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker as our top pick and the rest of the best popcorn makers on our list.

Our Favorites

Best Overall: Cuisinart EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker

View at Walmart ($40)

Why It's Great

  • Easy to operate
  • Features a butter warming tray
  • Sleek design

Grain of Salt

  • Doesn't have a timer

Cuisinart's EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker is our top pick because it's simple to use, consistent, and quick. Featuring 1500 watts of power, this electric model makes up to 15 cups of crispy popcorn in less than three minutes—no oil required. 

The popcorn maker has a multi-purpose warming tray on top that can be used to melt butter or measure toppings to sprinkle over prepared puffs. To make a batch, simply flip the power switch on, watch the popped kernels fly out of the chute and into your bowl, and then turn it off once it's done popping. The chute and butter tray are both removable and dishwasher safe for a fairly easy cleanup. 

When we tried out this popcorn maker in our test kitchen, it earned a perfect score for both flavor and crispiness—even without butter or oil. The only drawback was that it didn't have a timer, which made it difficult to know when it was finished popping. 

The Details: Plastic construction; makes up to 15 cups; dishwasher-safe removable parts

Best Popcorn Maker
Credit: ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Best Microwave: Salbree Original Microwave Popcorn Popper

View at Amazon ($15)

Why It's Great

  • Great for small kitchens and families
  • Doesn't need butter or oil
  • Easy to clean

Grain of Salt

  • Thin, flexible material

Salbree's Microwave Popcorn Popper is large enough to make 12 cups of popcorn, yet small enough to store in kitchens with limited storage space. It's made from BPA-free silicone, available in a wide variety of colors, and doesn't require any oil or butter. 

We tested several microwave models, but Salbree got our vote thanks to its for its compact size, ease of use and cleaning, and high customer approval. It takes three or four minutes to prepare one batch of popcorn. After letting it cool for a minute, you can grab its convenient handles to take it out of the microwave. When you're done using it, you can clean the bowl in the dishwasher and then fold it flat for easy storage. 

The Details: Silicone construction; makes up to 12 cups of popcorn; dishwasher safe

Best Popcorn Maker
Credit: ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Best Stovetop: Wabash Valley Farms The Original Whirley Pop

View at Bed Bath and Beyond ($27)

Why It's Great

  • Makes large batches
  • Durable construction
  • Compatible with all stovetops

Grain of Salt

  • Harder to store than others

Microwave and electric models are convenient and all, but stovetop popcorn makers, like the Wabash Valley Farms' Original Whirley Pop, produce the most theater-like results in terms of taste. 

The retro-inspired stovetop popcorn maker features steam vents that release moisture to create fluffier kernels, while the manual hand crank mechanism evenly distributes oil and is meant to prevent burning. While testing it, we found that some pieces got close to burning, but overall the popcorn met our flavor expectations. 

This model makes 6 quarts at a time, which equals 24 cups—twice as much as your standard microwaved bag. It's made from durable aluminum and comes with a 25-year warranty so you can feel confident it will last many uses.  Ultimately, we think it's a great machine to have on hand for birthday parties, sleepovers, and holiday gatherings. 

The Details: Aluminum construction; makes up to 24 cups; hand wash only

Related: The Best Stockpots on the Market

Best Popcorn Maker
Credit: ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Best for Families: West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Machine

View at Amazon ($51)

Why It's Great

  • Quick and easy to use
  • Makes large quantities
  • Lid doubles as a serving bowl

Grain of Salt

  • Bulky design

If you want a fuss-free design fit for large groups, it doesn't get much easier than West Bend's Stir Crazy Popcorn Machine. This electric popcorn maker has an easy on-and-off button, a melting tray for butter, and a lid that catches all the kernels while popping and also works as serving bowl.  

Equipped with a stirring rod to avoid sticking and burning, this maker produces 6 quarts (24 cups) of perfectly crisp popcorn in less than four minutes. When evaluating this machine, we especially appreciated how easy it was to use and clean thanks to its nonstick coating on the popping surface (just wipe down) and dishwasher-safe cover. Storage is a cinch, too, since the popcorn maker's cord wraps around the base, and the base fits nicely into the cover lid. 

The Details: Plastic construction; makes up to 24 cups; dishwasher safe serving bowl

Best Popcorn Maker
Credit: ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Best Novelty: Great Northern Little Bambino Popcorn Popper

View at Amazon ($76)

Why It's Great

  • Easy to operate
  • Durable stainless steel
  • Vintage-inspired look

Grain of Salt

  • Difficult to set up
  • Heavy

Whether you're hosting a neighborhood movie night or a holiday party, this vintage-inspired popcorn machine will be a hit. Not only does its appearance make it a winner, but it's also outstanding in terms of durability and ease of operation.  

The Little Bambino popcorn maker includes a 2.5-ounce stainless steel kettle, a pull-out popcorn tray, and a warming light, plus measuring cups and popcorn bags for serving. The kettle features a stirring system for consistent popping and can produce up to 16 cups of crunchy puffs.

Its removable dishwasher-safe serving tray sets it apart from the pack of similar popcorn makers, allowing you to snack and clean with ease. To make a batch, all you have to do is turn the "pop" switch on and let it preheat for a few minutes. Then, add your oil and kernels and watch it work its magic. Note, however, that setup is more complicated with this machine.

The Details: Stainless steel construction; makes up to 16 cups; dishwasher safe popcorn tray

Related: The Best Mixing Bowls You Can Buy

Best Popcorn Maker
Credit: ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Best for Solo Snacking: Ecolution Microwave Popcorn Popper

View at Amazon ($13)

Why It's Great

  • Great for individual servings
  • Cool-to-the-touch handle
  • Inexpensive

Grain of Salt

  • Glass gets hot after heating

Ecolution's 1.5-quart popcorn maker is the perfect size for solitary snacking—or those times when you don't feel like sharing. Unlike silicone models, this popcorn maker's bowl is constructed of BPA-free glass, which means it doesn't absorb flavors or smells. The lid, handle, and an outside layer around the glass are made with silicone, so those areas stay cool after heating. 

This microwave popper is super easy to use thanks to its multi-purpose lid that doubles as a measuring cup and melting try for butter. It makes up to 6 cups of popcorn and works with or without butter or oil. Our testers were impressed with how crispy the popcorn made inside the Ecolution turned out.

When removing the popcorn maker from the microwave, make sure to avoid touching the glass, as it gets hot. For an easy cleanup, separate the lid from the bowl and then place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. 

The Details: Glass and silicone construction; makes up to 6 cups; dishwasher safe

Best Popcorn Maker
Credit: ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Our Takeaway

Our best overall pick, Cuisinart's EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker, stood out from the other models because of its generous 15-cup capacity, easy-to-operate electric design, and quick cooking time. Plus, this model looks sleek left out on countertops.

How to Pick the Right Popcorn Maker

Type

Stovetop: Stovetop makers, the most traditional option, produce old-timey kettle corn flavor that many people adore. On the downside, they can be difficult to store and clean.

Electric: Electric versions have become very popular, quickly producing popcorn with the push of a button. Many are even air poppers, meaning they use hot air instead of oil to make the kernels—a much healthier option. Electric popcorn makers can be difficult to store and more expensive compared to other models.

Microwave: Microwave popcorn makers are convenient, simple, and easy to store. After it's done popping in the microwave, you can eat it straight from the container. If collapsible, they take up minimum storage space. As a drawback, some models, like silicone ones, can retain smells and flavors.

Material

Stovetop popcorn poppers are made from stainless steel, while microwave poppers are generally glass or silicone. The materials make a difference when it comes to the final popcorn product. Steel has improved heat distribution, while silicone is lightweight, inexpensive, and practically impenetrable. Glass can be tricky to store and is prone to breakage but doesn't retain off flavors or odors.

Capacity

It's important to consider how many people you want it to serve. There are popcorn makers that can produce 24 cups in one batch as well as models designed for solo snacking. Larger capacity poppers generally take up more space, which is something to consider if you don't have extra room in your kitchen.

Features

Depending on how you like your popcorn, look out for additional features, like butter melting trays. For those who like their popcorn plain, consider a popcorn maker that uses hot air instead of butter or oil.

About Our Tests

Our editors selected the best popcorn makers on the market after hours of careful research and consideration of each model's material, capacity, and features. We then tested them side by side in our kitchen, rating them on a number of factors including ease of use and cleaning, as well as the texture and flavor of the final product. Since we know every home cook is different, we worked hard to recommend a range of options, from microwave to stovetop, that would work for different households.

Common Questions

Are popcorn makers worth it?

Yes. Compared to store-bought microwave popcorn, popcorn makers work just as quickly but forgo artificial ingredients to give you that drool-worthy movie theater taste. Popcorn makers are great for producing large batches of popcorn and are overall healthier than eating packaged microwave popcorn.

How much do popcorn makers cost?

Popcorn makers for residential use start at $12 and can go up to $100+, depending on their size and style. Small countertop popcorn makers usually cost around $20.

Why Take Our Word for It?

Allrecipes is a community-driven brand that shares insights on kitchen products, recipes, and all things food. Sarah Zorn, the author of this piece, is a food editor, cookbook author, and recipe tester who used her own expertise and performed preliminary research to write this roundup. Following our tests, Bridget Degnan, our Associate Editor specializing in kitchen products, updated this list with our findings.