One of the best parts of going to a carnival has to be getting a huge cone of sticky, fluffy cotton candy. It is tasty and fun for all of the family.
Did you know that there are machines available to recreate this delicious treat at home as well as for business use? Machines that can make a multitude of different flavors and colors to make every day feel like a party.
Take a look through our reviews of the best commercial cotton candy machine and the best home cotton candy makers, read the guides, and get some handy tips.
Hopefully, then, you will be able to make the most informed buying decision.
Table of Content
Comparison Table of Top 6 Best Commercial Cotton Candy Machine
|Nostalgia PCM805 Candy Cotton Candy Maker||PCM805||Check Price on Amazon|
|Nostalgia PCM805A Cotton Candy Maker||PCM805A||Check Price on Amazon|
|Nostalgia PCM305 Countertop Cotton Candy Maker||PCM305||Check Price on Amazon|
|VIVO Blue Electric Commercial Cotton Candy Machine||CANDY-V001B||Check Price on Amazon|
|Candery Cotton Candy Machine||cc-ma||Check Price on Amazon|
|Nostalgia PCM805RETRORED Countertop Cotton Candy Maker||PCM805RETRORED||Check Price on Amazon|
Top 10 Cotton Candy Machine
1. Nostalgia PCM805 Candy Cotton Candy Maker
Everyone knows that cotton candy is made from sugar. That isn't always true, this affordable machine for home use can make sugar-free-candy-cotton in many different flavors.
Everything is supplied in the box, including 2-reusable cones and a leveling scoop to ensure you don't overfill the machine. Setting the machine up is easy, the instructions are clear.
Making the candy is simple, heat the machine for 10 minutes, even though the instructions suggest 3-5 minutes is sufficient, we recommend longer for better results. Turn it off as you fill the extractor head. Switch the power back on and within seconds the sugar will begin to 'web'. This is the fun part that takes some getting used to; twizzle the cones to gather all of the cotton candy and eat!
This is where the sugar-free statement comes into play. Instead of using flossing sugar, try placing 2-boiled candies in the sugar spinner, even sugar-free ones. The machine magically breaks them down and turns them into cotton-candy in as many different flavors that you can think of. Butterscotch, lifesavers, kola cubes, and pear drops hard candies all make wonderful flavor combinations.
The machine easily disassembles to make cleaning a breeze. All the plastic parts can be run under warm water and any remaining sugar will run away.
This is a quirky machine with a small footprint that won't take up much counter or cabinet space.
2. Nostalgia PCM805AQ Cotton Candy Maker
This cotton-candy machine has a great retro look to it that will look good on a countertop and be a real conversation starter.
It is sturdily made, easy to assemble, and easier still to disassemble and wash.
We love the large, clear rim. Not only does it protect small hands from the heat, but it also allows everyone to see the sugar flossing, it is fun to watch.
The Nostalgia machine works with hard candies as well as sugar; even sugar-free candy. Whoever heard of healthy cotton candy?
By mixing different boiled candies you can achieve endless flavor combinations and also some weird and wonderful colors.
The base of the unit has 2-powerful suction feet. This ensures it stays put and doesn't 'walk' across your counters.
Buy this best home cotton candy machine for your next party, it takes minutes to make, is easy to use, and is great fun.
3. Nostalgia PCM305 Countertop Cotton Candy Maker
Sugar-free cotton candy that is fluffy, sweet, and tasty just doesn't sound possible, does it?
With this machine it is. Instead of using flossing sugars, you can use your favorite hard candies instead. Even the sugar-free ones!
This has to be the design of the cart. Built to resemble a vintage vendor's cart, it wouldn't look out of place at a 1900's carnival. It is available in pink or white and both colors have wonderful attention to detail.
You may think that it doesn't look substantial as it has wheels and narrow legs, but it is. It feels sturdy and well-made and has suction pads to keep it from slipping on the counter.
Setting it up is easy, just remember to press down on the dish until you hear it click into place. Disassembling it takes moments and allows for very easy cleanup.
It is supplied with the rim shield that allows you to keep an eye on what's going on at the same time as keeping you protected and safe.
This cotton candy maker could take pride of place at a Prince and Princess birthday party and keep all of the guests happy.
4. VIVO Blue Electric Commercial Cotton Candy Machine
When planning a big party, what could be better than as much cotton candy as everyone can eat?
Although this is the best cotton candy machine for commercial use, if you cant fast and professional results, just like at the fairground, you should seriously consider this machine.
It features a large 20” stainless bowl that can make 2-3 generous servings of cotton candy every minute. Once you have mastered the technique you can be keeping all of your customers happy and reducing queues quickly.
Not only does this machine work with proper flossing sugars, but it also provides equally impressive results from melting down hard candies.
All you have to do is choose your favorite flavors, pop them in and watch as they magically melt and spin into the fluffiest treat.
You can experiment with different candies and produce some sensational and colorful cotton candy.
The 1080-watt motor doesn't make excessive amounts of noise and has 4-rubberized feet to stabilize it on the counter.
We love how easy it is to clean the machine. Once it has cooled down, release the latches and everything strips down to wash in warm water.
This is a great machine to help bring the carnival atmosphere home.
5. The Candery Cotton Candy Machine
This is the best cotton candy machine for family gatherings and small parties. There are enough cones for 10-people, so everyone can stand in line and take a turn at making their own fluffy candy!
It is brightly colored to look like something you'd see at the funfair, and instantly puts a smile on kids, and some adults, faces.
Once it has heated up and you have used the supplied scoop to measure out the perfect amount of flossing sugar, just twirl the cone across the top and watch the webbing floss attach to the stick. It couldn't be easier.
The transparent rim works not only to let little people see what's going on inside, but it also keeps hands safe and away from the heat in the center of the unit.
Some of the best cheap cotton-candy machines tend to vibrate and make a lot of noise. This one has a quiet motor that runs smoothly, which in turn helps it to stay still on the counter.
It is well-constructed and doesn't feel cheap, even though it is compact and lightweight.
The base is made of stainless steel which makes it durable and easy to clean. That can be said of the whole machine. When you have finished making sweet treats, put a spoon full of warm water in it and let it spin. Turn off the motor and the bowl will easily wipe clean.
6. Nostalgia PCM405RETRORED Countertop Cotton Candy Maker
This modern best cotton-candy maker has a retro feel that would look right at home in a 60s diner.
As with all of the Nostalgia candy machines, it comes with all of the accessories required to make fluffy cotton candy, but only 2-reusable cones. If your machine is going to be the fun, centerpiece at a party, then you will need to order additional cones.
Setting up the machine takes a minute, and once it is fully-heated you can be eating your treat within a few more minutes. We love that there are no complicated settings, it really is simple to operate.
The base has a couple of strong suction cups. Whilst this may not seem like a brilliant feature, if you'd seen other machines bouncing towards the edge of the counter, you would really appreciate these feet.
They ensure the cotton-candy machine stays put while in flossing mode.
Holding the cones horizontally across the top of the rim, gently moving and turning it gives the best results. If you prefer a bigger cone then just add more flossing sugar.
If you are being adventurous, hard candies can also be spun into cotton candy. Choose different flavors and colors for added fun. You can even make sugar-free cotton candy.
Features and Factors to Consider when Buying a Cotton Candy Machine
- HOME OR COMMERCIAL USE
Some of our featured machines are designed solely to be used at home and, as such, will only make a small quantity of floss at any one time.
Consider the Vivo machine if you're hosting a large party or intend using it commercially.
Whether you're looking for a fun and colorful centerpiece for your party or a more sedate retro-style machine, you will find something to suit you in our reviews.
- SIMPLE OPERATION
The best cotton candy makers are extremely easy to use and don't require the user to follow a long list of instructions.
Most have 1-button operation which covers power and heating.
Learning how to make the cotton candy stick to the cone is a little more difficult; there are many YouTube videos to help.
- EASY CLEANUP
You might think that molten sugar that has hardened would be difficult to clean. Not so with these cotton candy machines. Each of them disassembles easily and will need nothing more than warm water to restore them.
- SAFETY FEATURES
These machines contain boiling sugar as should be handled with care. Only buy a cotton candy maker that has a rim shield to prevent any molten sugar from spitting out.
Rubber feet and anti-slip bases are ideal to prevent the machine from dangerously moving as it spins.
Most machines come with a sugar scoop and cones as standard. Be prepared to buy additional cones as there are often only 2-supplied and you may need to make lots of floss simultaneously.
Look out for machines that offer a start kit, these are often the best value for money as they will be delivered with some flossing sugar to get you started.
Some machines are quite bulky even though they have a small footprint. This should be a consideration if you are limited to storage or display space.
How does a cotton candy machine work?
Once it has been heated up, the perfect mix of floss sugar and coloring are put into the extractor head of a cotton candy machine.
The sugar will melt until it forms a liquid with a similar consistency to honey.
From there it will pour into a circular container with tiny holes in the sidewall.
The container spins on its axis and, using centrifugal force, (think of clothes sticking to the outer edge of the drum in a washing machine) forcing the molten sugar solution out through the holes.
As the sugar hits the air it cools down immediately and forms long colored strands of sugar crystals.
This is the webbing and is spun around a stick or cone until it resembles the delicious cotton candy that almost everyone loves.
The safest way to make larger cotton candy cones
Lots of people think that by adding extra sugar to the extractor head you will achieve more cotton candy. You just might, but if the machine can't cope with the amount all in one go it will malfunction and cause the holes to clog.
If you are finding that your cones are on the small side, add the designated amount of sugar and spin the floss onto the stick until there is no more coming out. TURN OFF THE MACHINE.
Add a second scoop of sugar, switch the power back on, and continue to twirl it around the same cone.
Once you have got a good technique going you will make huge cones of sticky treats.
Mix It Up!
The best thing about making your own candy floss is the adventures you can have with flavor and color.
Use your favorite hard candies and mix them to get different results.
Here are some of our favorites;
Blueberry and strawberry for a berry surprise
Coconut and pineapple make a tropical delight
Cola cubes and vanilla is like eating a coke float
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you use regular sugar in a cotton candy maker?
Although some people have had some success using more readily available and cheaper sugar in their machines, it is often too granulated for some machines. This means that it won't melt as easily and end up getting clogged around the rim.
Also, once you have added coloring and flavors, it won't end up being the much cheaper option anyhow.
- Why is my cotton candy so sticky?
Cotton candy reacts with the heat and moisture in the air. It turns sticky because it is beginning to melt.
To combat this you should eat it quickly, we know that won't be a problem, and try to keep out of the heat and direct sunlight as you do,
- How do you increase the shelf-life of cotton candy?
This is useful to know if you intend to make batches up for a party or selling. As we just found out, floss reacts with moisture in the air. Just by sealing it in an air-tight bag or container and storing it somewhere cool is enough to keep the humidity away. Your treats will easily last 4-5 days like this and still be just as tasty.
- How do you get cotton candy fluffy?
Ensure your machine is preheated as hot as possible, never overfill the extractor head, and use the
Best quality ingredients.
After that, it is all down to your technique, which will get better with practice.
Twisting, turning, and pulling the cone will result in delicious, fluffy cotton candy.
- Why am I only making small amounts of cotton candy at a time?
This is often down to your technique. Keep practicing, you will get better over time.
Sometimes, if your cotton candy machine is spitting out little hardened chunks it is because you haven't left it to heat up long enough.
Consider leaving it an extra minute or 2 next time.
If they're still not big enough, you need to build up the layers.
- Do you put 2-whole candies in your cotton candy machine?
We recommend that you crunch them up beforehand.
The easiest way to do this is to put them in a Ziploc bag and bash them about with a rolling pin or something similar. This makes them easier and faster for your machine to melt.
Whether you're buying the best commercial cotton candy machine or one just for home use, be sure to use precautions around it. Firstly, it heats to very high temperatures, and secondly, the spinner rotates very fast with hot sugar on it.
Don't get disheartened the first few times you use it, it might take a few attempts to get the technique just right.
Be sure that once you have mastered it, you won't need a party to get the cotton candy maker out, you'll be eating it regularly. Who needs popcorn to munch while there is a movie on the tv when you can be enjoying tasty cotton candy?