Let's be real: The best part about going to the movies is the popcorn, hands down. Warm, buttery, and always fresh, it literally melts in your mouth. The good news? With the
best popcorn machines for home theaters, you don't have to drop a ton of cash on movie tickets to indulge in this deliciousness.
But before you run out and grab a popcorn maker, you'll want to consider just how you plan to use it. For example, if you know you'll want to serve guests, you'll need a machine that makes
a gallon of popcorn or more in one sitting. You'll also want to make sure it has a warmer and storage to keep your popcorn fresh in between servings. But if you aren't planning on sharing, it makes more sense to invest in a machine that makes single-servings at a time for the freshest popcorn possible.
You'll also want to keep in mind the size of your home. While an antique
free-standing popcorn machine would look amazing, do you have room for a hefty machine in your apartment? If you decide to go with a countertop machine, you'll want to make sure you have enough space in your kitchen to host it. Otherwise, it may be best to go with a portable option.
Here's a round-up of some of the
best popcorn machines for home theaters to help you narrow down your options.
The Best Overall, All Things Considered
If you're looking for a countertop option, you can't go wrong with this
classic popcorn machine by Cuisinart. While this machine can make up to 10 cups of popcorn at time, you can adjust how much popcorn you make so it's perfect for single servings as well. The 500-watt heater pops kernels within minutes, and the mechanized spinner continually shifts kernels for perfect popping every time. Plus, you can even remove the kettle and door for super simple clean-up. And at only $80, this popcorn maker is affordable without skimping on any features. What fans say: "It works great, makes just enough popcorn and has a "Un-Popped Kernel" Catcher on the bottom of the unit which is usually only found in the more expensive professional poppers. If you're looking for a popcorn popper I highly recommend [it]."
The Best For Big Parties
If you're planning to host a big bash, this
commercial-grade popcorn machine hits all the right marks. First, it makes up to 3 gallons of popcorn at a time so you can easily serve everyone at your home without waiting between batches. And with an 860-watt heater, this machine doesn't take a long time to pre-heat before you start popping. Plus, there's even several heated warming decks that keep popcorn warm and fresh, and the stainless steel drawers along the bottom can easily store uncooked kernels and other supplies. Best yet, it also comes with 3 serving cups and 50 classic popcorn bags. What fans say: "I bought this popcorn maker in 2007 and paid more back then. It [is] now 10 years old and still running great. We have used it at least once a week for 10 years, plus we make 3-5 batches at a time."
The Best Free-Standing Machine
Not only is this
free-standing popcorn machine a fun addition to movie night, it's also extremely versatile. Standing at 5 feet tall, this machine can pop up to 10 cups of popcorn at a time and the 850-watt heater works to heat kernels within a few minutes. It also features a built-in spotlight warmer to keep your popcorn fresh and toasty until you're ready for another helping. The best part? You can actually detach this machine from its cart to use it as a tabletop model for total flexibility. What fans say: "The Popcorn popper is so quiet that you would never know that it is popping popcorn until you smell that great aroma that fills your home of freshly popped popcorn. The beauty of the machine itself is something to be proud of with the old time look. We cannot wait to have movie night with our friends to share our Popcorn Maker and our Popcorn."
If you're looking for a more affordable option, this
portable popcorn machine does the trick without compromising on quality. Similar to pricier models, this hot air popper can pop up to 18 cups of popcorn in less than three minutes. Plus, it does it without any oil. This machine even comes with a handy butter melter that doubles as a kernel measuring cup, so you can make sure you make the perfect popcorn every time. And at $24 , it's a total steal. What fans say: "This popper makes popcorn cheaper and healthier than microwave popcorn. And brings back childhood memories. Lots of fun and if you eat popcorn regularly, the popper pays for itself. I didn't before, but it's really quick, fun, cheap, easy, and healthy." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.