From the sound of kernels bursting to the crunch and flavor of each bite, there’s no doubt that popcorn deserves its reputation as a favorite among snack enthusiasts worldwide.
It also helps that popcorn is a blank canvas you can customize however you like. Plus, it’s great for any social gathering (or, you know, a solo date at home).
But let’s admit it. Microwave popcorn just doesn’t hit the spot the way movie theater popcorn does, while store-bought popcorn can be hit or miss.
This is where popcorn poppers come in. With so many types available, you’re bound to ditch the pre-made stuff for something so much tastier.
If you’re yet to make the switch to making your own popcorn at home, this list of the best popcorn poppers will change your mind:
8 Best Popcorn Poppers
Popcorn is incredibly versatile, and we don’t just mean in terms of flavor. There are several ways you can make it, whether via a microwave, air popper, or stovetop popcorn popper.
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 also 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.
Cooking popcorn on stovetop, on the other hand, is the oldest method of making popcorn. It’s usually seen as the most gourmet thanks to its need for TLC. You’ll need to stir the kernels carefully when you make stovetop popcorn to make sure they all get evenly cooked. Luckily, there are stovetop popcorn poppers that make the job easier.
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
Image from Presto
Do you ever have that moment of dread where you leave the house and then spend the next 5-10 minutes panicking over whether you remembered to switch the oven off?
Well, that’s something you never have to worry about with the Presto Poplite Popper. What makes this popcorn popper is that it doesn’t have a power button. You just have to add the kernels to the top and plug the Presto Poplite Popper in. In a few short minutes, you’ll see the kernels pop and jump out of the chute and straight into your bowl — a snack and show!
This popcorn popper does a terrific job at popping nearly every kernel you add. It heats up to the ideal temperature, saving you the disappointment of half-popped kernels.
2. Best Air Popcorn Popper: Dash Fresh Pop Popcorn Maker
Image from DASH
An air popper doesn’t need oil or butter to pop popcorn — it only needs hot air. One air popper we love is the Dash Fresh Pop Popcorn Maker.
While this popcorn popper is small, it’s totally packed with power! It can churn out up to 16 cups of popcorn in minutes, leaving few (if any) kernels unpopped. Just add kernels to the heating chamber, hit the power button, and let the popcorn popper work its magic.
Plus, if you’re a fan of buttery popcorn, you’ll love the butter warming tray sitting on top of the device. It gently melts butter during the popping process so you can enjoy ready-to-eat popcorn once the last kernel has popped.
After you’re done using the popcorn maker, you can stash it in your cupboard or leave it on the counter. No matter where you choose to keep it, its sleek and slimline design makes storage a breeze.
3. Best Original Popcorn Popper: Wabash Valley Farms Whirley Pop
Image from Wabash Valley Farms
This is the very first Whirley Pop, which was a big answer to the invention of prepackaged microwave popcorn.
It takes only 3 minutes to make a full pot of popcorn using this popcorn popper. The stirring mechanism helps distribute the hot oil and ensures an even pop, while the vent allows steam to escape and keeps the popcorn crunchy.
Clean-up is relatively simple, too, so you can have all the fun of using a Whirley Pop without the hassle of scrubbing.
4. Best Electric Popcorn Maker: West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Machine
The West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Machine is the best electric popcorn machine for anyone who wants to serve a hearty helping of fresh popcorn. An electronic popcorn maker is a smart choice for whipping up popcorn at home. This model, in particular, can pop 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 mixes the kernels for you. Pair this automatic mixer with the nonstick coated plate, and burnt, stuck kernels will be a thing of the past.
The plastic top also converts into a bowl so you can sink your teeth into the popcorn as soon as it’s finished popping.
Everything about this electric popcorn machine has been designed with ease and convenience in mind — plus electric popcorn makers are super fun to watch as the kernels pop before your eyes!
5. Best Microwave Popcorn Popper: Korcci Silicone Popcorn Popper
Image from KORCCI
The convenience of microwave popcorn meets the quality of homemade popcorn with the Korcci Silicone Popcorn Popper. This microwave popcorn popper is a good option for anyone wanting homemade popcorn that’s not only fast to make but is also delicious.
Using the Korcci Silicone Popper is foolproof. Simply measure out the amount of kernels you need, close the lid, and cook in the microwave following the instructions. Since this popcorn popper doubles as a bowl, you can enjoy your popcorn fresh out of the microwave. Just remove the lid and voila!
The bowl is also collapsible so you can store it anywhere or even bring it on the go if you want. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe so you don’t have to a lot of time cleaning.
6. Best Old-Fashioned Popcorn Machine: Great Northern Popcorn Company Little Bambino
Image from Great Northern Popcorn Company
Go back in time with the Little Bambino, a popcorn popper straight out of an old-school movie theater.
From its classic red and silver design to its large capacity (it can pop up to 1 gallon of popcorn per batch), there’s plenty to love about this popcorn maker from Great Northern Popcorn Company.
It’s the perfect choice for anyone looking to add a touch of nostalgia to their home, whether you have a home theater or not.
Function-wise, this popcorn popper is fully electric, meaning it automatically stirs and pops your popcorn. After popping, all you need to do is take out the popcorn from the pull-out tray, serve it in vintage-style popcorn tubs, and enjoy a special movie night with the family.
7. Best Personal Popcorn Maker: Ecolution Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper
Our favorite personal popcorn maker has to be the Ecolution Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper, which makes the right 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 that takes you straight from popping to munching. Being glass, you can easily see when the popcorn is all popped and won’t have to stress about burning kernels. Its silicone lid also works as a measuring cup so you can count the amount of kernels you need before sticking it inside the microwave.
IMPORTANT: The glass can get very hot, so be careful when you take this popcorn popper out of the microwave. Use the rubber handle to avoid getting burnt.
8. Best Stovetop Popcorn Popper: Popsmith Popper
Some may say we saved the best for last with the Popsmith Popper.
If you love having guests over, binge-watching shows with your partner, or are just straight-up obsessed with popcorn, this really is the popcorn popper for you.
The Popper delivers everything that’s great about stovetop popcorn, only without all the hassle. It pops up to 6 quarts of perfect popcorn every time, which sounds like an exaggeration but is actually the result of years spent perfecting its design.
Built with a multi-clad bottom and patented spinner, the Popsmith Popper cooks each kernel evenly, leaving nothing unpopped or burnt. It’s a load of fun to use, and way easier than you think! Here’s how to make the best popcorn ever with it.
This stainless steel stovetop popcorn popper also comes in 5 different colors to complement your kitchen.
Popper Type Comparison
Air poppers are one of the fastest and easiest methods to pop popcorn at home.
The great thing about having one is that it doesn't need oil or butter. An air popcorn popper uses hot air to heat and pop the kernels. If you’re looking for healthier popcorn, this is your best bet.
Plus, air poppers are available in an array of styles and sizes, so you’ll be able to find one that suits your kitchen. They’re also easy to clean, making light work of the post-popcorn clean-up operation.
Stovetop popcorn poppers may demand your full attention, but they yield the best results. Stovetop popcorn has a light, crispy texture and tastes gourmet.
Stovetop poppers use the heat from the stove to cook popcorn in oil or butter. They require consistent stirring to stop kernels from burning, so they need more effort than other popcorn poppers. With the Popsmith Popper, though, it’s incredibly easy (and fun) to make delicious stovetop popcorn.
Another popular kind of popcorn popper is the electric kind.
As you can guess, these need to be plugged into an outlet to work. They’re pretty unique compared to other popcorn poppers because of all the designs out there. Some may require oil, while others don’t need it.
Generally, though, they come with automatic stirring mechanisms — allowing you to just sit back and watch as the kernels pop.
The most straightforward popcorn popper is the microwave popper.
Simply add kernels and oil or butter, place it in the microwave, and wait till popping stops. That’s it! You don’t even have to include oil if you prefer your popcorn oil-free.
After popping, you can add flavor 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. You can also use the microwave popper itself as the serving bowl. Pretty neat, huh?
It also gets extra brownie points for being the easiest popcorn popper to store as most microwave poppers are collapsible.
Take the Next Step in Your Popcorn Adventure
Who knew 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.