Now the nights are drawing in, and we want to be as cozy as possible at home, it is a great time to invest in the gadgets that help you do just that. In today’s post, we’ll be discovering the best at-home popcorn makers you can buy to give you that movie theater experience in the comfort of your own home so you can live your best-popped popcorn life! 

You may think that all popcorn makers do the same thing, but you’d be wrong… stay tuned as we explore some of the best popcorn makers on the market to amp up your at-home movie night and get some delicious flavors in there that the microwavable stuff just can’t do. Having your own popcorn maker isn’t just a flavor adventure for your taste buds. They are convenient and useful too. The ease of use of at-home popcorn makers is perfect for whenever you want a sweet or savory snack. 

Sit back, relax, and let us take you on a journey to popcorn heaven as we uncover the best popcorn makers for making freshly popped popcorn.

4 Different Types of Popcorn Poppers

If you want to make the best-popped popcorn at home, you’re going to need the right popcorn maker for the job. But did you know there is more than one way to make popcorn at home?

We’re all aware of the more “traditional” microwavable or bagged approach to making at-home popcorn. These microwaveable options not only lack originality and flavor, but they also lose a lot of nutritional value too. 

You might not know where to start when it comes to the different types of popcorn poppers. So, to keep things simple, we’ll be discussing the four different types of popcorn machines on the market — stovetop popcorn makers, air poppers, microwave popcorn makers, and electric popcorn poppers. 

Best-popped popcorn starts by choosing the right popcorn maker.

In our opinion, the best way to make delicious, flavorful popcorn at home is by using a popcorn machine, so read on to discover our recommendations for the best home popcorn maker. 

1. Stovetop Popcorn Makers

Our recommended model: Franklin’s Popcorn Whirley Pop Popper – $79.99 

A great way to make fresh popcorn, and one of the best popcorn poppers out there, is the Whirley Pop Stovetop Popper. At less than $80, this stovetop popcorn maker comes in at a reasonable price point for any popcorn lover. 

The Whirley Pop Stovetop Popper is a stainless steel popcorn popper that is easy to use, convenient, and won’t break the bank. 

If you’re looking for something to relive the nostalgia of eating movie theater popcorn from the comfort of your own home, then this is the one for you! These models use a hand crank to move the popcorn around during the cooking process and a stirring rod to make sure you are left with theater-style popcorn. There is also a nonstick pot to hold the popping kernels, making it easier to clean up afterward too – perfect when all you want to do is chill out with the latest blockbuster. 

Franklin’s Popcorn Whirley Pop Popper.

If you really want to dive headfirst into that nostalgic movie theater popcorn experience, stovetop popcorn poppers are the way to go. Stovetop models are some of the best popcorn poppers out there and look the part with their retro designs, so you can happily relive your childhood nostalgia of trips to the movie theater. 

2. Air Popped Poppers

Our recommended model: DASH Hot Air Popcorn Popper – $19.99

If you’re looking for a slightly healthier option for popped popcorn, the DASH hot-air popcorn maker is the popcorn machine for you. Air poppers give you fresh batches of popcorn and are one of the most common types of at-home popcorn machines. Because they are oil-free, the fresh popcorn you get from these fancy gadgets is healthier than other types of popcorn machines on the market. 

Not only do these sit comfortably on your countertop, but the DASH hot air popcorn poppers also use hot air to pressurize the popcorn kernels. This pressurized method allows the kernels to pop, making crispy, fresh popcorn that you can season your own way once popped — our favorite is with a little bit of cinnamon for a wintery treat.  

DASH Hot Air Popcorn Popper Maker with Measuring Cup to Portion Popping Corn Kernels + Melt Butter.

Cuisinart is a great place to start looking for the DASH Hot Air Popcorn Popper, and one that is high up our list. You only have to look at the product reviews to know this is a fan favorite among popcorn lovers. Get delicious fresh popcorn in minutes and sit back and relax for the rest of the evening! 

3. Microwave Popcorn Makers

Our recommended model: Cuisinart® Collapsible Silicone Microwave Popcorn Maker – $14.99 

You may remember your college days of using microwavable popcorn bags for movie night. Well, these microwave popcorn makers are definitely a step up from the traditional methods of making microwaveable popcorn. These not only make a hefty amount of popped popcorn but are incredibly convenient and easy to clean up too – winner-winner! 

Instead of using the pre-seasoned kernels, you can purchase a silicone or BPA-free plastic bowl that will pop the popcorn in your microwave, giving you the freedom to choose your toppings. The best part is that this acts as a serving bowl too. Better yet, the bowl is collapsible and dishwasher-safe, making for an easy clean-up on popcorn nights. 

Cuisinart Microwave Popcorn Maker.

These microwave popcorn makers deliver the best microwave popcorn experience. Cuisinart collapsible silicone microwave popcorn maker is one of the cheaper models on the market when it comes to finding the best popcorn maker. While it may be low in price, this microwave popcorn popper is high in flavor. You can enjoy tasty, popped popcorn in minutes. 

Take this opportunity to try some new flavors — sweet or savory — and get your guests’ tastebuds tingling… or do what we do, and keep it all to yourself! 

4. Electric Popcorn Makers

Our recommended model: West Blend Stir Crazy Hot Oil Electric Popper $39.99

Our favorite type of popcorn machine has to be electric popcorn makers, as they give you that movie theater-style popcorn, which is the closest we’ve ever experienced to the real thing.  An electric popcorn maker is a great option for a countertop popcorn maker as they are easy to use and will fit right at home on your tabletop. 

Although they do use hot oil to pop the kernels, these electric popcorn poppers give you yummy, fresh popcorn that is reminiscent of movie theater popcorn. There really is nothing better than adding your own seasonings and flavorings and going to town on creating a new and inventive flavor. 

West Bend Stir Crazy Hot Oil Electric Popcorn Popper

Our favorite thing about electric popcorn makers is that they will not burn your popcorn. Thanks to their technology, you can wave goodbye to burnt popcorn and say hello to popcorn with great texture and flavor – all while enjoying the flexibility to be as adventurous as you’d like with the toppings. An electric popcorn maker is our top pick for making fuss-free popcorn at home.

Our favorite electric popcorn maker is the West Blend Stir Crazy Hot Oil Electric Popper — invest, and thank us later! 

How To Make Homemade Freshly Popped Popcorn

Popcorn is one of those snacks that you can never get bored of – the possibility of flavors and seasonings is endless. Offering the freedom to get creative, at-home popcorn is a delicious snack.

Popped popcorn is an incredibly easy snack to make at home and take out on the go with you. You can be as indulgent as you like with the flavors, no matter what type of popcorn popper you choose to use. 

Don’t worry if it doesn’t go to plan on your first few goes — it can be tricky to get the number of kernels just right. But, the more you practice, the better you’ll become at being a popcorn pro! 

Unpopped kernels will roughly triple in size from what you put in the popcorn machine. Generally speaking, we suggest using 1-3 measuring cups of popcorn kernels, which will produce around 3-9 cups of popped kernels. 

Unpopped kernel

However, the number of kernels you need to use will depend on your machine, so stick to the guide that comes with your chosen popcorn machine — this should be perfect to keep you going through the day or for when you want to settle down watching a movie with some delicious popcorn. 

Once you’ve nailed the ratio correctly, we’d suggest making your popcorn according to your popcorn machine’s instructions, adding flavor and seasonings along the way. Melt butter in the microwave or the stovetop and embark on your flavor journey. Once the popcorn has popped, you can add toppings, flavorings, and seasonings which will stick to the popcorn. Our top tip is to try adding a little bit of sea salt for a treat… delicious! 

Start Making Your Favorite Savory Snack At Home

Now that we have shared our opinion about the best popcorn makers out there, the rest is up to you.

This is the time to treat yourself to something special, get creative in the kitchen and have that movie theater experience at home. Remember, these popcorn machines are perfect for making at-home popcorn that you can share with loved ones or enjoy all by yourself. 

Freshly homemade popcorn.

We hope you’ve found this post informative and are now one step closer to finding the best popcorn maker for you. There really is nothing better than watching those kernels pop and adding your own flavor to create a truly delicious snack. The best part is that you can make it as healthy or decadent as you like, so there really is something for everyone. 

Whatever you like, there’s bound to be a popcorn maker that perfectly fits your needs – be it stovetop, electric, air-popped, or microwave-friendly. So, what are you waiting for? Get inventing your best popcorn flavors and invite your friends and family over for a movie night. You can find more popcorn-loving blog posts and snack inspiration on Sweet N Savory Life — our hub for all things popcorn is bound to get your tastebuds tingling!