The Best Popcorn Makers for a Truly Amazing Popping Experience

What is a good movie without a tasty bowl of salty, crunchy popcorn? Getting every kernel popped to perfection can be quite a tricky process. Popcorn tends to burn easily and sometimes you are left with a lot of un-popped kernels. Whether you like your popcorn buttered, salted or both, a popcorn machine will do all the work.

If you are watching your weight, a popcorn maker will cut through the calories thanks to the hot air technology used to pop instead of oil. Browse through our list of the best popcorn makers on the market and make perfect popcorn for your next movie night.

PicturePopcorn MakersType Dimensions Cup Capacity
Salbree Microwave Popcorn PopperSalbree Microwave Popcorn PopperMicrowave8 x 8 x 2.2 inches4
Great Northern Popcorn Red Matinee Movie Theater StyleGreat Northern Popcorn Movie Theater Style PopperElectric 22.8 x 14.5 x 13.6 inches1
Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn PopperNordic Ware Microwave Popcorn PopperMicrowave9.9 x 9.9 x 5 inches12
Original Wabash Valley Farms Whirley Pop Silver Stovetop Popcorn PopperWabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn PopperStovetop 17.3 x 10.4 x 8.7 inches24
Presto 04864 Poplite Hot Air PopperPresto 04864 Poplite Hot Air PopperHot Air 13.8 X 9.2 x 5.8 inches18
West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Popcorn PopperWest Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Popcorn PopperElectric13 x 10 x 10 inches24
Presto 04830 PowerPop Microwave Multi-PopperPresto 04830 PowerPp Microwave Multi-PopperMicrowave10.3 x 10.2 x 5.2 inches12
Hamilton Beach 73400 Hot Air Popcorn PopperHamilton Beach 73400 Hot Air Popcorn PopperHot Air 13.5 x 10.9 x 7.9 inches18
Great Northern Popcorn Company 6073 Retro StyleGreat Northern Popcorn Company 6073 Retro Style PopperElectric18.8 x 11 x 9.8 inches0.32

What to Look for When Buying a Popcorn Popper

Type

The best popcorn makers are the ones that pop each and every kernel evenly and quickly. We all know that a little bit of oil helps the salt to adhere a bit better to the popped corn. However, if you are watching your waistline, you can shop for a popcorn maker which utilizes hot air to pop the kernels instead of oil. Electric poppers can be plugged into any household outlet and will give you fluffy popped corn in minutes.

The only downside to this type of popper is that it might be difficult to clean because of its power cord. Microwave poppers are another type of popper you could consider. This type of popper will largely depend on the size of your microwave. Popping prepackaged popcorn in a microwave is always tricky so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Always remember that microwave ovens differ greatly from each other, so it might take one or two tries to get the hang of it. These poppers are easy to clean and can be tossed into the dishwasher. Stove-top poppers have been used by generations of families for as long as popcorn has been around.

This method of popping is more time consuming since stove plate needs a few minutes to heat up. When purchasing a stove-top popper, look for one with a stirring rod mechanism. This will help to keep the heat evenly distributed, which means less un-popped kernels and minimal chance of burning.

These poppers are usually made of stainless steel which is easy to clean. Hot air poppers are super fast and leave no un-popped kernels behind. You can measure the exact amount of popcorn into the machine for perfectly popped kernels every time. Most hot air poppers do not require oil, which means a healthier, fat-free version of your favorite healthy snack.

Cup Capacity

The size of the popper machine will determine how many cups of popcorn you can make. Always read the instruction manual to know the exact amount of popcorn needed. It is never a good idea to overfill a popcorn machine because it can cause jamming or heat and steam to build up.

If you are going to be popping large amounts of popcorn, it might be a good idea to purchase a larger cup capacity. Popping large amounts with a smaller machine can cause it to overheat and overall shorten its lifespan. Also, it will take a lot longer to pop big amounts of popcorn with a smaller machine, when you could have popped the same amount all at once.

Dimensions

Popcorn makers come in all different shapes and sizes. If you are considering a microwave popper, then you need to buy one that fits into your microwave oven. Stovetop poppers will generally fit onto any stove plate or hob and can easily store away with the rest of your pots and pans.

Hot air or electrical poppers vary in size and design, which means you, can shop for one that fits in with your kitchen décor. They do not tend to be very high and can sit on your kitchen counter without taking up too much space.

View the Best Popcorn Popper for Making Popcorn at Home, Below.

1. Salbree Microwave Popcorn Popper

best overall ratingSalbree Microwave Popcorn Popper

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Bring the theater into your home with this classic popcorn maker. Made of high-quality silicone material, it uses hot air to pop kernels and needs no oil. With dimensions 8 x 8 x 22 inches it might seem small, but it has a 4-cup capacity with incredibly quick popping time.

Why We Like It

  • Hot air popper made from silicone materials
  • 4 cup capacity
  • 8 x 8 x 2.2 inches

Editor Rating:

 

2. Great Northern Popcorn Movie Theater Style Popper

premium choice ratingGreat Northern Popcorn Red Matinee Movie Theater Style

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This is, as the name suggests, perfect for larger quantities and home theatres. It has an authentic design and is made of stainless steel with tempered glass on the sides, through which you can watch the popcorn popping. 14.5 x 13.6 x 22.75 inches, it yields a cup capacity of 8 ounces.

Why We Like It

  • Electric popper with a heat lamp
  • 14.5 x 13.6 x 22.75
  • 8 oz cup capacity

Editor Rating:

 

3. Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper

great value ratingNordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper

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Entertain your guests with a healthier version of oil-free popcorn, using microwave energy. Made of gemstone unbreakable cookware material, with a plastic lid, this popper's dimensions are 9.9 x 9.9 x 5 inches and it has a 12 cup capacity. This is a very versatile and extremely popular popper.

Why We Like It

  • Oil-free, microwave popper
  • 12-cup capacity
  • 9.9 x 9.9 x 5 inches

Editor Rating:

 

4. Wabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper

Original Wabash Valley Farms Whirley Pop Silver Stovetop Popcorn Popper

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Contrary to what some people believe, this old stovetop popper remains a firm favorite for popcorn lovers. Made of sturdy heavy-duty stainless steel with wooden handles it uses oil for the same taste and crunchiness we know and love. It has a 6-quart capacity and is 9.8 x 16.5 x 7.9 inches. It is very easy to clean.

Why We Like It

  • Stainless steel stovetop popper
  • 6-quart capacity
  • 17.3 x 10.4 x 8.7 inches

Editor Rating:

 

5. Presto 04864 Poplite Hot Air Popper

Presto 04864 Poplite Hot Air Popper

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It is a popular choice of machine for generations of popcorn lovers. This is a hot air, no oil popper option for a low-calorie snack. Easy to clean, it has an 18-cup capacity. The popper is made of high-quality plastic and is 5.81 x 9.25 x 13.75 inches. This machine pops faster than a microwave.

Why We Like It

  • Hot air plastic popper
  • 18-cup capacity
  • 5.81 x 9.25 x 13.75 inches

Editor Rating:

 

6. West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper

West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper

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This popcorn maker is versatile, as the lid doubles for a bowl. It is an electric popper and measures 13" W x 10" L x 10" H. It has the capacity to make up to 24-28 cups of popcorn and fits on your countertop. It is made of durable BPA free plastic.

Why We Like It

  • Electric popper
  • 24-28 cup capacity
  • 13 x 10 x 10 inches

Editor Rating:

 

7. Presto 04830 PowerPp Microwave Multi-Popper

Presto 04830 PowerPop Microwave Multi-Popper

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This is the perfect snack maker for your parties. Made of durable plastic, both bowl and lid are microwave and dishwasher safe. This popper can be used with or without oil. It has a 12-cup capacity and is 10L x 10W x 6.5H inches. Sized to fit most microwave ovens it is perfect for home use.

Why We Like It

  • Plastic microwave popper with or without oil
  • 12-cup capacity
  • 10.3 x 10.2 x 5.2 inches

Editor Rating:

 

8. Hamilton Beach 73400 Hot Air Popcorn Popper

Hamilton Beach 73400 Hot Air Popcorn Popper

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This is an ideal popcorn maker for large, hot, and delicious capacities. It is an 18-cup capacity hot air Popper which includes a butter melting cup for those who prefer gourmet popcorn. The popper is 12.5H x 5.25W x 9.53D inches and is made of plastic with a beautiful shiny finish.

Why We Like It

  • Hot air popper
  • 18-cup capacity
  • 13.5 x 10.9 x 7.9 inches

Editor Rating:

 

9. Great Northern Popcorn Company 6073 Retro Style Popper

Great Northern Popcorn Company 6073 Retro Style

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With an adorable retro-style design, this northern popcorn original stainless steel commercial popper machine is made of plastic with a stainless-steel kettle and a bonus removable tray. It has a 2.5-ounce capacity and is 9.8 x 11 x 18.8 inches. It easily plugs into a household wall outlet. You can achieve the delicious theatre taste by adding a bit of coconut oil.

Why We Like It

  • Electric popper
  • 2.5-ounce capacity
  • 9.8 x 11 x 18.8 inches

Editor Rating:

 

Additional Information When Buying

Key Factors to Consider Before Making the Purchase

As you set out to make the purchase, it is vital to keep certain points in mind. Such as:

The Size

These machines are available in various sizes, styles, and designs. You need to consider. To decide on the size. All of these popcorn makers discussed above work well, but the size only determines the quantity of popcorn a machine can hold at a time.

The Volume/Capacity

Generally speaking, the popcorn makers can produce about four or six quarts of popcorn in a single turn. These are the best for the home. However, for a more professional setting, or when you need a lot more quantity, you can look for the theater-style poppers, which yield a lot more. If you are a nuclear setup and just need the popcorn for 2-3 people, then the smaller versions of these machines are great for your home.

However, if you have a larger family or like to have company over, then you may opt for the ones which yield around 12 cups of popcorn at a single time.

The Budget

The typical countertop poppers (both oil and air types) are available at quite low prices and can easily fit your budgetary requirements. However, if you are looking for the larger, theater types, you will need to have a certain budget in hand.

The Cleaning

Another factor to consider is the ease of cleaning the popcorn maker. Generally, the oil and the air poppers are quite easy to clean, however, the professional poppers can be a tad bit tricky. Also, try to find those with removable and washable parts for further ease and maintenance.

Quality

The quality of the popcorn maker is a prime requisite when you set out to buy one for your home. The best ones use high-grade steel and scratch-proof glass. It is advisable to avoid the low-grade plastic materials, as they can actually result in accidents and other dangers including overheating. Moreover, the high-quality popcorn maker will last you much longer than the cheaper quality ones.

The Popping Time

When you need popcorn, you need it right at that instant! What could be more annoying than having a machine that takes so long to pop the corn, that you no longer feel snack-hungry anymore? Usually, these machines can make 10-14 cups of popcorn for you and your friends, in just two or four minutes. So, watch out for the popping time of the machine you pick.

Warranty

As these makers cost quite less, some of the generic or cheaper quality ones could get a minor glitch. Hence, it is safe to look for one which comes with at least a year long warranty. Go for the authentic brands with the known sellers, just as the ones we have covered in our review for your safety and durability.

A Butter-well

The popcorn makers with a butter-well may sound heavenly for the popcorn lovers and yes, they do exist! These help in making the produced popcorn well- buttered up and without any mess.

Provision for Adding Seasoning

If you like the popcorn with salt, caramel, and other toppings then you even find such poppers which allow you to add whatever type of seasoning you prefer to add to your big bowl of popcorn.

The Outer Temperature

The very best of these popcorn makers, make the hot sizzling popcorns inside, while the handles stay cool to the touch. This feature is very important to keep safe from any accidents and burns, especially if you have kids running around the house.

Additional Features

Many of these machines include features such as the cover or lid, the measuring cup, and heat lamps, etc. All these features help enhance the utility of the machine and make the overall experience more pleasant. Many of the manufacturers also provide various toppings or recipes through which you can make the kernels pop and others also suggest the right serving sizes for each.

Serving bowls, flavor dispensers, and measuring cups are ideal features, the popcorn maker could have. Some of these popcorn makers are made from plastic, but the plastic is entirely safe for use. The best one is entirely BPA free (Bisphenol); BPA is said to be harmful to cooking, as some of the chemicals could become part of the food when it is being cooked.

However, BPA is termed safe for ingestion in smaller amounts by the Food and Drug Administration, U.S.

Advantages of the Popcorn Makers

These popcorn makers have huge health benefits and help you save up considerably on electricity, which the microwaveable popcorns consume a lot.

A few of the major benefits include:

The Health Benefit

Popcorns are quite low on the calories, and hence are very attractive and easy to make for the diet conscious lot. You can even add other flavors to the popcorn, with absolutely no detrimental effects or changes to your otherwise healthy lifestyle. These popcorn makers are much more healthy and safe for consumption as compared to the microwaves.

Popcorn itself, includes fiber and is actually beneficial against heart diseases, diabetes, and even cancer, and also helps you stay within the healthy weight limits.

A Quick Fix

Popcorn is the easiest healthy snack to fix in a very short time. Within four minutes time, the popcorn maker can give you fresh and healthy, ready to eat popcorn.

Save Up!

These are the simplest type of healthy snacks which are the lowest in cost, as compared to the other snacks. The popcorn you make in these popcorn makers, also costs you quite less. The energy consumption is low and the kernels cost much less than the microwaveable popcorn kernels.

Flavors

There’s an entire world of flavors you can add to these popcorns. From butter, cheese, garlic, salt to caramel, you will never get bored with these puffs! There are endless opportunities to try out with these kernels, especially when you have a popcorn maker right at home. It doesn’t matter if you are planning out a movie night, a slumber party or a bonfire in your backyard, these little puffy whites are suited for every occasion.

Click here to check out a few tips and tricks for making the most amazing and crispy bowl of popcorn, you’ll never have enough of!

What Wattage Should I Look For with These Popcorn Makers?

The wattage and the cooking time with these popcorn makers are directly proportional to each other, i.e. the more the wattage of your model, the faster it pops your corn. If time does not matter much and you do not need larger quantities, then you may go for the lower wattage machines too. However, if you need a larger home theater type popcorn making machine, then you should buy one with over 640 watts.

However, keep in mind that the higher the wattage of the machine, the more power it will consume. So, it is not always recommended that you buy the higher powered machines; they may help you produce more and in relatively shorter time, but will be heavy on your monthly electrical bills. Hence, it is all dependent on your requirements, go for the size and wattage rating, as per your required level.

How essential is The Heat Lamp or a Warming Deck?

Many of the high-end models include the heating lamp which helps keeps the popcorns from getting cold. This feature is particularly important if you have many guests to take care of or need a professional popcorn maker. This keeps them fresh and crispy for as long as you require. Considering that the larger popcorn makers are not that low cost, it is only sensible that they must include a heat lamp or a warming deck.

When you are spending so much, for larger quantities of popcorn, you should enjoy them while they are hot and before they get any soggy, right?

What is the Right Size for Me?

The size of the popcorn maker determines the total yield in one go. So, if you need it for two to three people, a smaller sized maker would do just right. However, if you need it for say 10-12 people or for a movie night or all-nighter, you may consider the medium sized models, with a higher capacity. The largest machines or the theater types, are great for making popcorn if you have a much larger audience, but it will consume a lot more electricity.

So, such a machine may be useless and in fact, cost you a lot more if you just need the popcorn for a few people. The audience hence determines the right size for your popcorn. Another factor could be the counter space you have at home for the machine.

That will also help you decide on the right size of the popcorn maker for your home. For a basic guideline about the machine size and the servings, it can yield, click here.

Conclusion

When it comes to popcorns, there no right or wrong. However, health is a major concern, especially for the ever enthusiastic little kids. Hence, all the options we have discussed impose no health risks and yield the perfect popcorns to turn any movie night or fun filled evening into an unforgettable affair.

We hope the above guide will be helpful for you to choose the best popcorn maker for your family and friends. Buy one of these handy popcorn makers for the home and turn every night, into a spectacular movie night!