Whether you like it sweet or salty, there’s no denying that the quintessential cinema snack is slightly warm, fluffy popcorn smothered in your topping of choice. And, with more and more movies and TV being consumed at home rather than at the cinema, why shouldn’t you get the same snack experience in your living room (but presumably without the inexplicably sticky floor)?
A popcorn machine might feel like a random and luxurious purchase but, while true popcorn lovers might want to go for something high-end, there’s a range of cheap options that will do a similar job. So, ahead of your next movie night, take a look at our picks of the best popcorn makers.
1. Excelvan Air Popcorn Maker
Price: £19 | Buy now from Amazon
This popcorn maker, which claims to be one of the healthier options out there, is capable of making up to 16 cups worth of the snack for you to enjoy. One of the biggest benefits of Excelvan’s maker over some others is its compact size, which is particularly handy should you have limited space in your kitchen. Just set it up, load your kernels, push a button, and then put it away again. Easy peasy.
2. Smart Kettle Popcorn Machine
Price: £95 | Buy now from Amazon
The best thing about the Smart Kettle Popcorn Machine is that it looks the part, with a lovely design that wouldn’t seem out of place at the multiplex. Setting you back just under £100, it’s a touch pricey but won’t break the bank, and can produce up to 16 cups of popcorn in one go – meaning you can cater to a whole party (or particularly hungry family) without going back and forth to the kitchen multiple times. You even get a bag of the company’s own gourmet popping corn thrown in for good measure.
3. VonShef Vintage Popcorn Maker
Price: £18 | Buy now from eBay
A budget option that offers some of the style of more expensive brands, this hot air popcorn maker is also a healthy option due to the lack of oil needed. The machine pops the corn using air alone, so all you need to do is add a little salt or sugar to the kernels and plug it in – simple as that. The kit also includes six serving boxes so you can share the results around (or keep it to yourself – no judgment here!).
4. Klarstein Volcano
Price: £70 | Buy now from Amazon
A slightly cheaper cinema-esque popcorn maker for all those purists out there, the Klarstein Volcano evokes that cosy 60s diner feel and applies it to your home. Smaller than some of the other options on this list, it only serves 1-2 people at once so, if it’s just you and your beau/sibling/whoever on the sofa of an evening, then it’s the ideal size. All you need to do to get started is plug it in, add the oil and pop away!
5. Firlar Microwave Popcorn Popper
Price: £11 | Buy now from Amazon
By far the cheapest item on this list, the Firlar Microwave Popcorn Popper is a no-fuss option for those who want delicious popcorn without permanently sacrificing counter space. It works like you’d expect, by filling the collapsible container with popcorn kernels and shoving it in the microwave for three minutes. Easy to clean and store and, as the company points out, it’s a cheap solution that means you don’t have to buy fiddly and fattening bagged popcorn.
6. Wabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Stainless Steel Popcorn Popper
Price: £83 | Buy now from Amazon
A treat for movie fans, the Wabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Stainless Steel Popcorn Popper is a retro choice that not only includes fresh yellow popping kernels, buttery salt seasoning and gourmet popping oil, but also a booklet full of fun facts. The capacity is huge, too, with one batch providing 24 cups of popcorn. It also has a 25-year warranty, so nothing can stop you enjoying your favourite snack for decades to come.