Our beloved daily bread deserves some looking after. If, like us, you’ve been collecting crumbs on the kitchen worktop, or you’re used to stashing your loaves in the nooks and crooks of a heaving pantry, it may well be time to consider a bread bin.
It’s a place for your favourite baked goods – be they fresh bagels, artisan rye loaves, supermarket baguettes or cobs straight out of the bread maker – to stay fresh and crisp, away from nasty germs and bacteria.
Thanks to the range on the market today, there’s something out there for every taste and budget. When you’re whittling down the options, it’s helpful to take a look at your kitchen or workspace and figure out how much room you can – or would like to – dedicate to your bread-keeping vessel.
Then, roughly clock up your weekly bread intake. If you’re a one-loaf-a-week solo household, or you simply want a practical container for your new foray into sourdough, there are some neat and stylish smaller bread bins that cater just to that.
For larger families, a range of roomier, retro-style bread bins have been brought bang up to date with statement designs, nifty functions such as chopping-board lids, and a wide range of colourways to suit any type of kitchen.
How we tested
We put 10 of the best bread bins to the test, to seek out the very best ones since, erm, sliced bread. Over a week we stored some of our favourite loaves and baked goods in the bread bins below, checking for storage capacity, the freshness of our daily bread, accessibility and functionality, with notes on how much space each container took up on our kitchen worktop.
Steel-coated, wooden and rattan bread bins were easily wiped clean or simply emptied of crumbs for a quick freshen up, while plastic vessels washed up like new with just a splash of warm, soapy water.
A spectrum of price points – from the sustainable beeswax produce bag for a little more than a tenner (Alittlefind.com), to the statement Wesco grandy priced at more than £80 (Amazon.co.uk) – means there’s something for every taste and budget.
The best bread bins for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Brabantia roll-top bread bin: £34.50, Brabantia.com
- Best value for money – Dunelm bamboo wooden bread bin: £18, Dunelm.com
- Best sustainable bread carrier – Beebagz large produce bag: £13.49, Alittlefind.com
- Best for substance and style – Wesco grandy bread bin: £88.44, Lakeland.co.uk
- Best for a slice of the artisan – Funky Chunky Furniture Co walnut bread bin: £49, Funky-chunky-furniture.co.uk
- Best for a taste of the 1950s – Swan retro bread bin: £29.99, Onbuy.com
- Best for small kitchens – Bodum bistro bread box: £26.95, Bodum.com
- Best for a farmhouse kitchen – Garden Trading rectangular bread bin: £30, Cotswoldtrading.com
- Best for freshly baked loaves – Lakeland locknlock bread box: £19.99, Lakeland.co.uk
- Best for a Provençal-style kitchen – Maine Furniture Co key largo kubu rattan lidded bread bin: £74.96, Mainefurniture.co.uk
Brabantia roll-top bread bin
Many of us have grown up with the Brabantia roll-top bread bin – usually the first port of call for a snack of hot buttered toast after school or work. In recent years, the century-old, family-run Dutch brand has added a “fall front” design and the popular, bamboo-lidded “nic” to its family of bread bins, but the classic roll-top is still going strong – and for good reason.
We comfortably stashed two medium-sized loaves, which stayed super fresh via the tactile roll-down door, while the bin’s flat top means it can double up as a surface for small canisters and favourite spreads. Crumbs were wiped away with ease using just a clean, damp cloth and the 10-year guarantee is testament to the brand’s production. Extra brownie points, too, for Brabantia’s planet-kind steps to move to circular designs by 2035.
Dunelm bamboo wooden bread bin
Best: Value for money
If you’re big on baking but don’t want to spend a small fortune on storage, this sturdy bamboo bread bin could prove (pun intended) to be the one for you. Complete with a smooth wood finish, snug lid fit and a tactile curved handle for easy access when the munchies strike, it can hold a large loaf plus a couple of smaller items such as muffins or buns. While we found our handmade loaf benefitted from a layer of baking paper to maintain a fresh, crispy crust, we were still impressed with the simple functionality, easy wipe-clean surfaces and the fact you get change from £20.
Beebagz large produce bag
Best: Sustainable bread carrier
Though technically not a bread bin, we had to include Canadian brand Beebagz for creating one of the most sustainable ways to get our sourdough to the office in tip top condition. The plastic-free bags are made from 100 per cent cotton, beeswax, tree resin and jojoba. The large produce bag, patterned in a cheerful, sunshine-y print, held our 400g sourdough boule with ease and closed with a simple fold using the warmth of our fingers to create a natural seal. Thanks to naturally self-preserving beeswax, which keeps away pesky germs, cleaning is just a matter of rinsing with cool water and leaving to dry, and the bag can simply be snipped up and put on the compost heap at the end of its life (after roughly 250 washes). For every sale, 1 per cent of profits go straight to conservation projects across the globe.
Wesco grandy bread bin
Best: For substance and style
In 2004, German manufacturing brand Wesco elevated the humble bread bin to cult status when they launched the “grandy” – a name coined in homage to the classic, 1940s-style bread bins beloved by grandmas around the world.
The sleek aesthetic – a mix of old-fashioned functionality and hip Americana – makes it a kitchen showstopper, but it’s more than just a cool hang-out for artisanal loaves. Made from powder-coated steel, we love its vast interior that housed a large loaf, a bag of bagels and a handful of pastries with room to spare. The weighted lid opens and closes with ease and discreet ventilated holes at the rear kept all our produce fresh and in perfect condition. Every Grandy comes with a five-year guarantee, which sweetens the price point a little – the hard part is choosing from a range of nostalgic, stylish shades including red, silver and creamy almond. Yes, that’s right, we’re swooning over a bread bin.
Funky Chunky Furniture Co walnut bread bin
Best: For a slice of the artisan
What could be a more fitting vessel for your handmade walnut bread than a handmade walnut-wood bread bin? Made by north-east furniture makers Funky Chunky, the lid doubles as a bread board and fits to its inky blue steel base like the perfect jigsaw piece, keeping our goodies fresh for several days, even in the late summer heat. The bin definitely suits smaller breads rather than large, sliced supermarket loaves due to its compact height once the lid’s on, but the quality of the finish is excellent. An ideal bread bin for boutique kitchens, entertaining or quick-fix toasted snacks.
Swan retro bread bin
Best: For a taste of the 1950s
Swan appliances, founded in 1931, is going back to its roots with its pastel-hued range of retro bread bins that not only bring a pop of fun and nostalgia to the domestic sphere, but also pack a punch when it comes to storage. With one of the most generous capacities across the bins we tested, we nestled in two medium sliced loaves, rolls and a packet of crumpets inside, and all items remained at optimum freshness for several days. The colour-coated stainless-steel body and chrome-plated handle both feel sturdy, and each bin comes with a two-year guarantee. If you’re into matchy-matchy appliances, the retro range also features a kettle and toaster available in cute shades of pink, green, red and cream.
Bodum bistro bread box
Best: For small kitchens
Bodum’s bistro bread box offers a winning combination of sleek design and functionality. While the larger version would be more suited to a family’s daily bread requirements, its little sister is perfect for couples or solo bread lovers alike. It kept an un-wrapped loaf in peak condition, but is also ideal for rolls, bagels, teacakes or loose items of produce. The lid, which doubles as a cutting board complete with crumb-catching grooves, is made from sustainable bamboo and the box is crafted from BPA-free plastic available in a range of covetable shades.
Garden Trading rectangular bread bin
Best: For a farmhouse kitchen
Another timeless design proving that you don’t always need to teach a bread bin new tricks, we love the depth and simplicity of this model and its subtle nod to the 1980s. After housing two medium loaves and a stash of rolls, it cleaned up a treat with warm, soapy water and its powder-coated steel and chrome design feels reassuringly long-lasting. Perfect for keeping hungry families fully stocked up – just don’t forget about that crust at the bottom!
Lakeland locknlock bread box
Best: For freshly baked loaves
Ideal if you want to keep your handmade loaf in plain sight, this 9l bread box feels like great value for money. Made from BPA-free plastic, it can house two medium loaves straight from the bread maker. Thanks to a raised grid at the bottom that lets air circulate, our bread stayed extra fresh – and as it’s topped with the four-lock, leak-proof, air-tight lid, you could practically throw the box in a lake and it’d come out untouched. Unlike most other bread bins in the line-up, the locknlock can travel from freezer to microwave to dishwasher with no complaints, and each box comes with a trusty three-year guarantee from Lakeland. If you’re after a no-frills kind of bread bin or you’re a travelling baker, this is a solid investment.
Maine Furniture Co key largo kubu rattan lidded bread bin
Best: For a Provençal-style kitchen
With a love of Provençal- and New England-style home furnishings, family-based Maine Furniture Co works with artisan makers around the world, ensuring ethical and sustainable practices sit at the heart of its business. This bread bin, handmade in Indonesia by rattan weavers, boasts a generous capacity, holding a mix of loaves, buns and crumpets with no “squashing in”, thanks to the lift-off lid with a neutral leather strap. The natural ventilation gaps mean wrapping loaves in baking paper or bags is best for maximum freshness, but for something a little different, this feels like a fresh, understated take on a classic.
The verdict: Bread bins
We love the fact you can almost style your kitchen around the Bauhaus-cool grandy, but top marks goes to Brabantia for its timeless aesthetics, practical design and sustainability. For a bread bin that’s cheerful and affordable for a growing brood of bread lovers, you can’t go far wrong with the Swan retro.
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Source: The Independent