Hot air popcorn popper

Hot air popcorn popper DEFAULT

PopLite® hot air corn popper

America’s best selling electric popper brand!*

Faster, healthier, and more economical than most microwave bag popcorn.

Use regular or gourmet popcorn with terrific results — virtually no unpopped kernels.

Pops up to 18 cups of gourmet popcorn in less than 2 1/2 minutes.

Hot air popped corn is all natural with no artificial flavors or added salt. Zero grams of saturated fat per serving.

Butter melter doubles as a handy measuring cup.

Chute directs popcorn right into your bowl.

Base and cover simply wipe clean.

One year limited warranty.

volts AC, watts.

*Based on NPD data for number of units sold for the 12 months ending July

Butter melter doubles as a handy measuring cup.

Chute directs popped corn right into your bowl.

Built-in cord wrap for convenient storage.


The Best Popcorn Makers Out of All the Models We've Tested

Final Verdict

Our favorite electric model is the Presto Poplite (view at Amazon), which can make up to 18 cups of air-popped corn in under 3 minutes. It earned five stars for its consistent and delicious results. If you prefer cooking popcorn in the microwave, try the HotPop (view at Amazon) which consists of a collapsible silicone bowl that's easy to store.

How We Tested

Our editors spent weeks researching popcorn makers, developing a standardized methodology against which to test them, and putting them through their paces at The Lab. We then collected the data—as well as insights from our home testers—and used it to determine ratings and placement on this list.

We made several rounds of popcorn in each machine, judging each batch of popped kernels on crispiness and flavor (taking note of soggy, chewy popcorn and plastic or burnt tasting popcorn). As we popped each batch, we counted the number of unpopped kernels that were left over, and how long each batch took to pop. For machines that had butter melters, we tested those as well (if the butter dripped through and burned, or if the butter could actually melt completely). Across the board, we greatly accounted for ease of use and ease of cleaning (taking note of interface and setup, and if the appliance is dishwasher safe, or has hard-to-reach corners).

Learn More About How We Test Products

Other Options We Tested

  • The Ecolution Micro Pop Popcorn Popper (view at Amazon): This popcorn maker had a lot of potential to make the list as it is a good average pick for a microwaveable option. Based on our testing, however, we found its directions to be very unreliable with the suggested popping time. After several attempts, we still had half of our kernels left unpopped. We weren't wowed about the flavor either, but it ranked above average in crispiness. 
  • West Bend Stir Crazy Deluxe Popcorn Popper (view at Amazon): An earlier version of this list included an oil popper that features a stirring rod meant to make all the kernels pop. While the machine does its job once you get the hang of it, our product tester found the bulky design and the steep learning curve just weren't worth the price, especially considering the number of burnt pieces we experienced. Ultimately, we decided there are better options on the market.
  • Hamilton Beach Electric Popcorn Maker (view at Amazon): This popcorn maker had several things going for it, including its easy setup and good popcorn taste— though its texture could have been crispier. But the dealbreaker was that the butter melter drips butter right into the piping hot machine, thus quickly burning butter during the popping time. On the flip side, it ranked pretty well in its flavor, ease of use, and ease of cleaning, so this could still be a good option to go with, even though it wasn't one of our top winners this round.
  • Cuisinart Pop and Serve (view at Amazon): Our former best microwave pick earned top ratings for its ease of use and compact size. During testing, however, more than half of the kernels were left unpopped at the bottom of the silicone bowl. While finding the right cook time for the power of your microwave can be important to success, after several attempts it didn't make the cut against its microwave competitors including the Salbree and HotPop.
  • Great Northern Little Bambino Table Top Retro Popcorn Popper (view at Amazon):  A previous version of this list included the Great Northern Little Bambino Popper which initially got a positive review from our home tester. However, after testing it in our Lab, we decided to remove it from the list. While the machine is impressive with its all-out fun design, we found its setup process far too long during testing. It was no easy task to latch the popcorn basket properly into position. Plus, it was one of the most difficult to clean machines we tested due to its hard-to-reach corners and general size.
  • Nordic Ware Pro Pop Popper (view at Amazon): Nordic Ware’s Pro Pop had a few notable marks against it, the first was that well over half the kernels did not pop. Of the portion of popcorn that did pop, during taste testing we found it to be a bit soggy from the steam, and full of oil.

What to Look for in a Popcorn Maker


When it’s movie night, think about who you'll be serving—if you'll need just enough popcorn for a few friends or for a whole horde of hungry kids. Also, consider if you want a smaller cooker that's easy to reload or a larger cooker that can make bigger batches.

Cooking Method

There are pros and cons to every cooking method, whether it be stovetop, microwave, or countertop appliance. If oil-free cooking is your goal, you’ll find poppers that accommodate that. Do you want the butter melted and added automatically? There are ways to do that, too. Do you like the idea of hands-off cooking, or do you take pride in your popping skills? No matter what, there’s a perfect popper for how you prefer to cook.


Making should be a simple task—you want to get back to your movie, after all. When the final credits run, you’ll have a bowl or two to wash, but you’ll also have to clean your popcorn maker, so consider if you'd like yours to be dishwasher-safe.


How do popcorn makers work?

The exact method of popping depends on the type of popcorn maker you buy. There are electric, stovetop, microwave, and hot air poppers. Electric, stovetop, and movie theatre popcorn makers use hot oil to pop kernels and have a stirring arm that keeps kernels in motion for even heating and to prevent burning. The oil is heated either by turning an electric unit on or heating a stovetop model over a burner.

Microwave and hot-air popcorn makers don't require the use of any oil. Popcorn kernels are placed in the bottom of a microwave bowl with a vented lid. The heat of the microwave pops the corn and the bowl will fill up as it pops. Air poppers contain a heating element and fan that circulates hot air around the popcorn kernels. As the popcorn pops, it moves up and out through a chute and into your serving bowl.

How tall are popcorn makers?

The size of a popcorn maker depends on the type you buy. Some microwave popcorn makers, like the silicone models on our list, measure only an inch or two high when collapsed for storage.

The height of microwave models made from plastic or glass and electric popcorn makers will depend on the size of the bowl. On average, these models measure around 8 to 12 inches tall.

The tallest popcorn makers are movie theatre-style poppers. Countertop models measure about /2 to 2 feet tall, while cart-style poppers typically measure double that height.

How do you clean popcorn makers?

Check the instruction manual for cleaning recommendations for your specific model. Make sure your popcorn maker is turned off, unplugged if applicable, and cool after using before cleaning. Most microwave popcorn makers are dishwasher safe. The popcorn bowl of electric models may also be dishwasher safe, but the electrical components can not be submerged in water.

Stovetop models need to be wiped clean after each use to remove any oil residue. They often can be washed by hand, but may not be dishwasher safe. Hot-air poppers don't get too dirty since no oil is used. They simply need to be wiped with a damp cloth and removable parts, like the feed chute and butter warming dish, can be washed with warm soapy water.

Movie theatre popcorn makers take the most effort to clean. The kettle can be wiped with paper towels between uses to remove oil residue and the interior can be periodically washed with warm, soapy water to remove oil buildup.

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Nostalgia Air-Pop Hot Air Popcorn Popper - Red APHRED

  • QUICK & EASY: With just a push of a button, this unit pops up to cups of healthy, air-popped popcorn per batch - perfect for parties, large group gatherings or a family night in
  • WORKS WITH NOSTALGIA KITS: Perfect for use with all Nostalgia popcorn kits (Theater Hot Air Kit- KPK, Reusable Popcorn Bowls- PPB)
  • HEALTHIER POPCORN: Machine uses hot air instead of oil to quickly pop 16 cups of hot and fresh popcorn for a delicious low-fat treat
  • NO KERNEL LEFT BEHIND: The unique popping chamber design creates swirling airflow that results in fewer unpopped kernels
  • CONVENIENT COUNTERTOP SIZE: Compact unit makes it perfect for apartments, dorms, and campers - and features cord wrap on the bottom for tidy storage
  • INCLUDES: Measuring cap is included to ensure the proper amount of kernels are used to avoid overfill and doubles up as a butter melting tray
  • Sours:
    Best Popcorn Machines 👌 Top 5 Popcorn Machine Picks - 2021 Review

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    Popcorn hot popper air

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    Testing Five Popcorn Poppers!

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