Best pasta makers: 5 buys for making noodles at home

Looking for the best pasta maker? You don't need an Italian Nonna to get the most out of these top picks...

The best pasta makers
(Image credit: Marcato)

Looking for the best pasta maker for your kitchen? If you've ever tried making fresh pasta without one, hopefully rolling the dough as thinly as possible, looping it round your hands in the desperate expectation that spaghetti will magically appear, you'll know it's a non-starter. So, just accept defeat and invest in a pasta machine; it still counts as homemade, of course, but there is just so much less faff, less mess, and more eating!

Here, we've listed the best pasta makers you can buy. Find out how to buy the best pasta maker with our tips below – otherwise dive straight into our best buys. For more kitchen buys, see our dedicated appliances page.

What is the best pasta maker?

The most important question in your life right now. Well, we went with the Imperia pasta maker as our top pasta maker. Chosen mainly for how easy to is to use, the Imperia produces perfect pasta on the first use, no matter how much of a novice you are.

If you are after something that's a bit more snazzy and easy to use, go for an electric option. We've chosen the Philips 'Viva' pasta and noodle maker as the best electric pasta maker. You literally stick in the ingredients and the machine does the work for you. Fresh pasta in just 15 minutes, what's not to love?

Find out more about both below.

Imperia Pasta Maker

(Image credit: John Lewis)

1. Imperia Pasta Machine

Best pasta maker: affordable (ish) and so easy to use, this takes our top spot

Specifications
Size: H12cm x W20.5cm x D12cm
Thicknesses: 6
Shapes: spaghetti, lasagne sheets, tagliatelle and fettuccini
Dishwasher safe?: no
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Simple to assemble
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

If you are after a pasta maker that's easy to use, set up and doesn't cost a fortune, the CucinaPro Imperia pasta machine is the one to go for – and it's our pick of the bunch. 

What do we like about it?

It's from an Italian brand for starters, always a good sign (generally, take an Italian make as an indicator of quality, a Chinese make as an indicator of poorer quality). It offers six pasta thicknesses and includes tagliatelle and fettuccini cutters. Plus this model is particularly easy to clean which is always a bonus; less time cleaning, more time eating.

What does it do well?

Like most pasta makers, its roller width is 15cm wide, which means it can cope at making most pasta types, including lasagne and ravioli sheets.

Weight is important with pasta makers: it needs to stay put on the worktop while you use it without being too hefty to get out of the cupboard. At 3.6kg (think decent-sized baby weight), the CucinaPro Imperia 150 is heavy enough to be used without moving about – plus it comes with a table clamp for added solidity. That said, if half a stone of pasta maker is too much for you to lift in and out of a drawer, this is something to be considered. 

Let's talk attachments. Some pasta makers come with a roller only, leaving you to fashion your shapes with a knife; the Imperia's attachments allow you to create just about every pasta type you can imagine. Usefully, the CucinaPro also comes with a starter guide for making dough and pasta recipes. 

What we're not keen on

As with the majority of proper pasta makers, this one can't be washed in your sink or dishwasher – or with water. The theory is that you get your dough just right and it slides off the roller, leaving nothing behind, and allowing you to simply dust off the any floury residue with a brush before returning it to the cupboard. That might not happen without practice, so we'd recommend a wipe over with a just-damp cloth and allowing a proper air-dry until you've perfected your technique.

Philips HR2332 Viva Pasta and Noodle Maker

(Image credit: Amazon )

2. Philips 'Viva' pasta and noodle maker

The best electronic pasta maker: easy to use and compact

Specifications
Size: H28.7cm x W13.5cm x D35cm
Shapes: spaghetti, lasagne sheets, tagliatelle and fettuccini
Dishwasher safe?: no
Reasons to buy
+Works quickly +Very easy+Surprisingly compact 
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

Want pasta making without the elbow grease? Go electric. If you are buying an manual pasta machine, think Italian; but if you are buying an electric one, go Dutch, with the Philips Viva Pasta Maker our best buy. 

What do we like about it?

It's so easy to use: just add the ingredients (don't worry, you get a recipe book with measurements included), and let the machine take the strain. 

We also love how compact this electric pasta maker is. You would think it would be a pretty bulky piece of kit, but it's actually really easy to store so won't clog up space on your worktop or in kitchen cupboards. 

How about cleaning? Our top pick was non-washable; by contrast, all the washable parts of this one are dishwasher friendly. The only downside is that the pasta shaping disks are a little tricksy to clean, but Philips has added small metal nubs on the side of the cutting tools to make it easier. 

What does it do well?

Obviously, with an electric pasta maker you get to skip the the tedious mixing, kneading, waiting, and rolling out. It can also create all the pasta types and shapes you can with a manual pasta maker, but also penne pasta, which is much harder with a traditional pasta maker (for that, you'll also need a Garganelli board and some know how). 

What we're not keen on

You might find that there's some leftover dough in the machine after each use; swapping to the the extrusion-only programme can sort this, though. Also, it's not entirely hands-off, as it won't automatically cut pasta to length; you'll need to use the pasta cutter tool to do that yourself.

John Lewis pasta maker

(Image credit: John Lewis)

3. John Lewis Pasta Machine

Best budget pasta maker: an affordable option that does the job

Specifications
Size: H20cm x W34cm x D25cm
Shapes: spaghetti, lasagne sheets and fettucini
Dishwasher safe?: no
Reasons to buy
+Empty List
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

Looking for a really affordable pasta maker? This John Lewis pasta maker is only £35 and it has everything you could want from a pasta maker. 

What do we like about it?

Price is a big one. And, despite its simple design it can still make a good range of pasta types, including spaghetti, fettuccine and, ravioli and lasagne sheets. There are eight thickness settings for kneading and rolling. 

What does it do well?

Remember what we said about weight above? This model's not the heaviest of pasta makers, but that could be seen as a good thing if you aren't up for struggling to lift it out of the drawer every time you want to use it. It does, however, come with a hefty clamp to secure it to your worktop, so it's lightweight but stable to use – win win, in our eyes. 

What we're not keen on

This is an affordable model, so it's never going to be hitch free, but be aware that after a time, the cutting attachment might begin to dull, so you may have to gently pull apart your pasta strips (think fettuccine or tagliatelle) once they have passed through the machine. 

Smart pasta maker

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Smart Pasta Maker

Best electric pasta maker: the quickest electric pasta maker out there

Specifications
Size: H35cm x W33cm x D19cm
Capacity: 3.5ltrs
Shapes: penne, spaghetti, tagliatelle and fettucini
Dishwasher safe?: no
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly quick +Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

Back to electronic pasta makers. The Smart pasta maker makes fresh pasta in just six minutes. Six minutes! Need we say more? Not really, but we will anyway. 

What do we like about it?

There are six shaping discs, which means you can make a range of pastas, from tagliatelle to penne. There's also a built-in fan to dry your pasta so you can cook it instantly. Not one for traditionalists, maybe, but we reckon it's one of the best pasta makers available. 

What does it do well?

The LED control panel is user-friendly, and all the buttons clearly labelled. They even have diagrams, working in a kind of traffic light system, with red being on/off and green, fan. Fail-safe pasta making sorted. 

What we're not keen on

In common with many electric pasta makers, this one can't make sheet pasta, so no lasagne or ravioli from this guy. Plus, the chamber size is suited to smaller portions, so if you are pasta-making for more than four people at a time, you will have to make in batches.

Marcato Atlas pasta maker

(Image credit: Amazon )

5. Marcato Atlas 150 pasta machine

Best combination pasta maker: add an electric extra to speed things up

Specifications
Size: H20.3cm x W20.3cm x D17.8 cm
Capacity: 10ltrs
Shapes: spaghetti, lasagne sheets, tagliatelle and fettucini
Dishwasher safe?: no
Reasons to buy
+Empty List
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

Back to one for you traditionalists. The Marcato Atlas 150 pasta machine is made by an Italian company (good sign) that has been producing pasta makers for almost a century (another good sign).

What do we like about it?

The handle is super comfortable to use, something you don't often get with cheaper pasta makers. There are 10 thickness settings (0.6mm to 4.8mm) and the standard two cutters, which makes it a really good buy for the price. Plus, you can also buy vermicelli and ravioli cutters if you find you are becoming a bit of a pasta pro. 

We also love that this pasta maker produces pasta with a slightly roughened surface, which makes it perfect for mopping up those sauces you're no doubt cooking up, too. It also comes in a variety of colours, which we always appreciate. 

What does it do well?

Apart from making fresh pasta easily, it also comes with an amazing 10 year warranty (most pasta makers only come with two); proof, if you need it that this one is really going to last. 

What we're not keen on

Shoulder ache. Which is why this pasta maker's attachable motor is a bit of a bonus, feeding the pasta through the machine for you. 

How to buy the best pasta maker

Manual or electric?

The first thing you want to think about is whether you want a manual or electric pasta maker. Both obviously have their plus points. If you are a traditionalist and have visions of spending the weekend making pasta, flour on your nose, surrounding by hundreds of metres of drying spaghetti, then you will want to go for a manual pasta maker. These are also the best option if you are looking for a cheap pasta maker.

Electric pasta makers on the other hand can produce fresh pasta in as little as six minutes. All you do is throw in the ingredients and the machine does the work for you. The result are just as good, so no one needs to know you didn't spend all that time slaving in the kitchen to make the perfect ravioli. Just pop a smudge of flour on your cheek before the guests arrive to allude to the above scenario. 

We haven't included any in our round up of the best pasta makers, but you can get pasta-making attachments for a food mixer you already have (or are thinking of buying). KitchenAid, for example, has a three piece attachment set, as does Kenwood. Check out our guide to the best food mixers for more on this.

Extra attachments?

Most of the best pasta makers tackle spaghetti, tagliatelle and sheets for either lasagne or ravioli. Some of the electric options we have picked out will do shorter pasta, too, such as fusilli or penne – and you can buy extra attachments for manual pasta makers to expand your recipes. 

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