From the sweet, buttery taste to that warming nostalgic scent, popcorn is a favorite snack for snackers all around the world. You can easily make popcorn at home, opting to make it as healthy (or unhealthy) as your heart desires. Plus, it’s warm, fresh and perfect for sharing.
There are several options when it comes to making popcorn at home. With so many popping methods at your fingertips, you can ditch the premade microwave popcorn for your own healthier, tastier popcorn.
Not all popcorn poppers are made equal. Thankfully, if you’re on the hunt for the best popcorn makers money can buy, you’re in the right place.
If you’re yet to make the switch to making your own popcorn at home, this list of the best popcorn poppers is bound to change your mind.
8 Best Popcorn Poppers
The ease and versatility of popcorn means you have a few popping methods to choose from. You can cook microwave popcorn, cook it on the stovetop, or air pop it in an air popped popcorn machine.
Microwave popcorn is both convenient and familiar. It’s the easiest way to make popcorn at home which makes it a great starting point for your homemade popcorn journey — perfect for anyone who may be worried about their cooking skills!
But microwave popcorn leaves a lot to be desired. If you want greater control over your homemade popcorn flavors, toppings, and tastes, you may want to opt for air popped or stovetop popcorn.
Air popped popcorn is easy to make and still doesn’t require any cooking skills. All you need is an air popped popcorn maker, some kernels, and your choice of seasoning. Add the kernels, turn on the machine, and watch as popcorn automatically pops out the top into your bowl.
The oldest method for making popcorn is on the stove top. This method is always seen as the most gourmet thanks to its need for tender loving care and attention. When making stovetop popcorn, you will need to carefully stir the kernels to make sure they all get evenly cooked.
Whichever method you choose, making popcorn at home is both quick and easy. To get the best results from your homemade popcorn experience, we recommend picking up one of these highly-rated popcorn poppers…
1. Best For Easy Use: Presto Poplite Popper
Do you ever have that moment of dread where you leave the house then spend the next 5-10 minutes panicking over whether you remembered to switch the oven off? We can’t be the only ones!
Well, with the Presto Poplite Popper, you never need to worry about turning it off. This popcorn popper is so easy to use there isn’t even an on/off button!
If you are looking for an easy to use popcorn machine, look no further than the Presto Poplite Popper. All you have to do is add the kernels to the top and plug the Presto Poplite popper in. In a few short minutes, you will see the kernels pop and jump out the chute and straight into your bowl — a snack and show!
This popcorn also does a terrific job at popping nearly every kernel you add. Heating up to the perfect temperature, the Presto Poplite will save you from the troubles of half-popped popcorn kernels.
Besides the ease of use, another feature we love about the Presto Poplite is that it’s almost impossible to overcook the popped popcorn as it shoots out as soon as it has popped.
2. Best Air Popped: Dash Fresh Pop Popcorn Maker
Air poppers are easy to use because they require no oil or butter to pop — it’s all done with hot air. One air popper we love is the Dash Fresh Pop Popcorn Maker.
The Dash Fresh Pop Popcorn Maker has a sleek and slimline design making it easy to store, even in the smallest of kitchens. While being small in size, the Dash Fresh Pop Popcorn Maker is big in style and will look great on any worktop thanks to its modern shape.
Plus, it packs a punch in power! This popcorn popper will leave very few (if any) unpopped kernels left over when finished. In just a few minutes, you can make up to 16 cups of popcorn in this popcorn maker.
If you’re a fan of hot buttered popcorn, you will love the butter melting tray that sits on top of this machine. This butter tray gently melts butter while the popcorn pops, ready to be poured over and seasoned once every last kernel has popped.
3. Best Stovetop: Franklin’s Stovetop Popcorn Maker
Looking for gourmet stovetop popcorn? Let us introduce you to Franklin’s Stovetop Popcorn Maker. If you are looking to make high quality, fresh popcorn at home, this is the most obvious choice… and one that is guaranteed to offer up crispy, buttery popcorn.
Franklin’s Stovetop Popcorn Maker has an all-metal design, including the stirring mechanisms, for increased durability. This all-metal design is complemented with a wooden handle — just like a traditional whirley pop. This stovetop popcorn maker is bound to bring all the nostalgia as you make homemade popcorn.
Not only does it look good, the stirring mechanism also prevents kernels from sticking to the bottom of the kettle. Add your choice of butter or oil and kernels to the kettle then use the attached stirring mechanism to mix the kernels until they have all popped.
Once the kernels have popped, you can easily pour your fresh popcorn out of the top into a bowl.
4. Best Electric: West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Machine
The West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Machine is the best electric popcorn machine for anyone looking to serve up a hearty helping of fresh popcorn. Electric popcorn makers are great for easily making great-tasting popcorn at home and this machine can make up to 24 cups of popcorn in less than 4 minutes.
You don’t need to worry about stirring the kernels either. The West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Machine has an electric stirring rod that automatically mixes the kernels for you. Team that automatic mixer with the nonstick coated plate and burnt, stuck kernels will be a thing of the past.
The plastic top converts into a popcorn bowl so you can easily tuck into the popcorn after it has finished popping. Everything about this electric popcorn machine has been designed with ease and convenience in mind… plus electric popcorn makers are great fun to watch as the kernels pop before your eyes!
5. Best Microwave: Korcci Silicone Popcorn Popper
With the Korcci Silicone Popcorn Popper, the convenience of microwave popcorn meets the quality of home popped popcorn. This microwave popcorn popper is the perfect option for anyone wanting homemade popcorn that is fast to make and tasty to eat.
The Korcci Silicone Popcorn Popper is easy to use. Simply measure out the amount of popcorn kernels you need, close the lid, and cook in the microwave as per the cooking guidelines.
The silicone popcorn popper doubles up as a popcorn bowl so there’s no need to dirty another dish. Just take the silicone bowl out of the microwave, remove the lid, and tuck into tasty, homemade popcorn. The bowl is even dishwasher safe making for an easy clean up.
The collapsible design of the bowl also means the bowl easily collapses into a compact size for easy storage anywhere — even on the go, if you fancy it.
You can find this microwave popcorn popper on Amazon. If you’re looking for the best microwave popcorn, it’s time to add the Korcci Silicone Popcorn Popper to your collection.
6. Best Old Fashioned: Great Northern Popcorn Company Little Bambino
The retro style of the Great Northern Popcorn Company Little Bambino popcorn maker will take you back in time to the old movie theaters.
This vintage popcorn maker is the perfect choice for anyone who is looking to add a touch of nostalgia to their movie night, whether you have a home theater or not.
We love its retro red and silver design, reminiscent of old movie theater popcorn poppers. This old fashioned popcorn popper fits on your countertop and can pop up to 1 gallon popcorn at any given time.
The Little Bambino popcorn maker is fully electric meaning it automatically stirs and pops the popcorn for you. Once popped, tip the popcorn out of the steel container in the tray below, ready for serving in the included retro styled popcorn bags.
7. Best Personal: Ecolution Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper
Our favorite personal popcorn popper has to be the Ecolution Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper, which makes the perfect amount of popcorn for one person… no more having to share your popcorn with anyone else!
This popper is made from a BPA-free glass container to take you straight from popping kernels to eating popcorn.
The heat resistant glass is perfect for popping popcorn, without the worry of burning kernels and you can easily see when the popcorn is all popped. The silicone lid also doubles up as a measuring cup so you can measure the perfect amount of kernels before microwaving.
While the glass is heat resistant, it can get hot so be careful when taking this popcorn popper out of the microwave. Use the rubber handle when picking up this popcorn popper. The entire popcorn popcorn is dishwasher friendly making cleaning a breeze.
8. Best Original: Wabash Valley Farms Whirly Pop
Some may say we have saved the best until last with the Wabash Valley Farms Whirly Pop. This is the first original whirley pop popcorn maker, which was a big answer to the invention of prepackaged microwave popcorn.
This whirly pop takes only 3 minutes to make a full pot of popcorn. Keep a close eye on the whirly pop to make sure you don’t overcook your popcorn. Stir the kernels with the integrated stirring mechanism so you don’t get burned by hot, sizzling oil. Meanwhile, the vented design lets steam escape so the popcorn stays crisp.
Clean up is a relatively easy job too so you can have all the fun of using an original whirly pop with none of the messy cleaning.
Popper Type Comparison
Air poppers are one of the fastest and easiest methods to pop popcorn at home.
The great thing about having an air popper is that it doesn’t need oil or butter. Air poppers use hot air to heat (and pop) the kernels. If you’re looking for a healthier popcorn snack that forgoes the oil or butter, an air popper should be your machine of choice.
Air poppers are mains-operated so it will need to be plugged into an outlet. Available in an array of styles and sizes, you will be able to find an air popper that suits your kitchen, fits on the worktop, and is easy to store. Air poppers are also easy to clean making light work of the post-popcorn clean-up operation.
Stovetop poppers are the most hard work but they yield the best results. Stovetop popcorn has a light and crispy texture and is often considered to be the most gourmet popcorn type.
Stovetop poppers use the heat from the stove to cook popcorn in oil or butter. Stovetop poppers are a labor of love compared to other popcorn poppers as they require consistent stirring to stop the kernels from burning. These are also the bulkiest poppers and will need the most storage space. But, it is worth it for those delicious, gourmet popcorn flavors.
Electric poppers are a popular choice and are fairly easy to use. Live stovetop poppers, an electric popper uses hot oil to cook the popcorn.
This type of popcorn popper needs an electric outlet for power, much like the air popper. The main difference between electric and air poppers is that electric poppers use oil.
Electric poppers are often made with ease of use in mind. You can usually invert the top to become the popcorn bowl. These popcorn poppers can be easy to store, depending on your chosen model, and are typically easy to clean.
The most simple popcorn popper is the microwave popper.
This popcorn popping method requires the least thought. Simply add kernels and oil or butter and pop it in the microwave. You can even use a microwave popper without oil if you prefer oil-free popcorn. Whether you’re team oil or not, you can easily add your chosen seasonings by shaking the seasoning and popcorn inside the bowl with the lid on. This season and shake method will give your popcorn a nice, even coating.
Microwave poppers don’t need an extra serving bowl — you can just use the microwave popper itself. We did mention this was the most simple popcorn popper, right?
The microwave popper gets extra convenience points for being the easier popper to store as most microwave poppers are collapsible.
Take The Next Step In Your Popcorn Adventure
Who knew the world of popcorn poppers could be so versatile?
We’ve done our research, tested lots of popcorn, and found the best popcorn poppers. Whatever type of popcorn popper you’re looking for, we’ve rounded up the best of the best to help you make perfect popcorn at home.
If you’re ready to continue your popcorn journey, check out our hub of snack inspiration where we have plenty more popcorn tales, ideas, and learnings to share.