A creamy pot of yoghurt not only makes a delicious breakfast, dessert or snack but has so many health benefits too. If you are looking for a more cost-effective way to buy yoghurt, a cheaper dairy-free option, or a healthier, sustainable alternative to store-bought yoghurt, then a yoghurt maker will be an investment that will be paid off very quickly.
What's not to love about yoghurt? It can be high in protein, calcium, vitamins and live culture, which helps promote good gut health. However, the downside is many yoghurt brands are packed full of sugar and additives so that you won't reap the benefits of the live bacteria or the probiotics. When making your own at home, you control all the ingredients you put into your body.
Whether you are looking to make bulk batches or individual pots, yoghurt makers are a great sustainable option, and the best part is that these machines are inexpensive and are simple to use.
What to consider when buying a yoghurt maker?
Temperature settings: If you are looking to make different kinds of soft cheese or yoghurts with kefir, you will need a lower temperature. Therefore, you will need a machine that has temperature controls. However, if it's just straightforward, plain yoghurt, you are looking to make then perhaps a manual yoghurt or no-frills yoghurt maker would suit you best such as the Lakeland Multi Yoghurt Maker, the VonShef Yoghurt Maker Machine or the Country Trading Co. Store Stainless Steel Yoghurt Maker.
Capacity: Yoghurt makers are designed in two ways, one is a machine with smaller individual pots for smaller servings, and the other is a big pot to make a large quantity at a time. Consider what you will need the yoghurt for - bulk batches or individual pots to narrow down your search.
Preparation times: Yoghurt usually takes around 10 hours for the fermentation process to finish. Automatic pre-sets are a helpful addition if you have never used a yoghurt maker before. Additionally, a machine that has an automatic shutdown function will allow your yoghurt maker to do the work without you needing to be around to switch it off.
Maintenance: The best machines are the ones that need minimal maintenance and cleaning. To ensure the longevity of your device, clean the blade components thoroughly after every use. It is best to hand wash the parts, but you can also consider purchasing a yoghurt maker with dishwasher-safe components and jars.
Design: If you haven't got a lot of space in your kitchen, it is best to pick a more compact yoghurt maker that will take up less counter and cupboard space.
The best yoghurt makers for sweet treats
With that in mind, here are our top picks of the best yoghurt makers so you can make sustainable, cost-effective and healthy yoghurt at home.
Lakeland Multi Yoghurt and Soft Cheese Maker
Best value (Editoru2019s Pick)
The Lakeland yoghurt maker is excellent value if you are looking to buy an appliance for bulk-making yoghurt. It can make soft cheese and yoghurt and is suitable for those that follow a dairy-free diet. The yoghurt machine comes with a set of instructions for making soft cheese and Greek yoghurt and comes with two 1.8 and 1.6-litre containers and a strainer. One thing to consider is that the temperature control can be temperamental, so you will need to monitor the machine. This machine also has a three-year warranty.
Promising review: "I could not recommend this more. I was looking for a Kefir maker that could also make yoghurt and cheese. The problem was that most makers don't have a variable temperature, and are subsequently too hot to make Kefir with. Easy to wash and has a capacity of up to 1.8 litres. Perfect, and it also has a three-year warranty."
VonShef Yoghurt Maker Machine with Strainer
Best yoghurt maker for big batches
This yoghurt maker from VonShef is an excellent choice for those who have experience making yoghurt or using devices. If you are looking to produce large quantities of yoghurt for a fraction of a supermarket price, this machine is of great value. This compact machine has a large 1.8L container, so you can choose the quantities when making homemade yoghurt. VonShef is compact and easy to store, is very energy efficient and can make up to 14,000ml of yoghurt in one cycle. Each batch takes about 10 hours to complete, and as there is no LCD display to view the temperature or automatic off switch, you will need to monitor the machine when it has finished its cycle. The device also comes with a two-year warranty.
Review: "I have had yoghurt makers of various sorts for 40 years, but this is the best so far! Gone are the fiddly little jars and the faff of washing and filling them. Gone is the unreliability of the Thermos method (although useful in a pinch). I love the strainer, which means I can remove most of the whey to produce a thick, creamy Greek-style yoghurt."
VonShef Digital Yoghurt Maker with 7 Jars
Best for individual yoghurt servings
Quick, convenient and easy to use - the VonShef digital yoghurt maker comes with seven single-serve jars - perfect for breakfast and on the go. It is easy to use and control with the LCD display, timer and temperature monitor; plus, the PTC heating component makes this more energy-efficient than other yoghurt makers. All the jars come with screw caps, so you can easily store them in the fridge.
Review: "Brilliant yoghurt maker. Not complicated to use, basically plug it in and set the timer, add the seven filled pots and wait. I put two teaspoons of shop-bought plain unsweetened Greek yoghurt in each pot, top up with room temperature UHT milk, lids on and then in the maker for 10 hrs. The next batch is made with some yoghurt from the final pot. Perfect plain unsweetened yoghurt every time."
Stainless Steel Yoghurt Maker with 1 Quart Glass Jar
Best non-electric yogurt maker
This no-fuss yoghurt making device requires no power, no timers - just an old fashioned jar. It is also dishwasher safe making clean-up a breeze. It can produce up to 1L of yoghurt, so if you have a small fridge, it may not fit. Naturally, as this is not an electric device, you will not have all the advanced features; therefore, what you see is what you get with this appliance.
Review: "I like the stainless steel canister and the glass jar and metal lid and that there is no plastic in this product. I have made some excellent yoghurt with this kit; it works very well and would recommend."
Seb Yoghurt Maker Multidelices Express
Best compact yoghurt maker
This machine from the French brand SEB comes with six 140ml dishwasher safe yoghurt jars and five pre-set programs so you can customise your yoghurt to your liking. Not only is it small and compact, but it also has a four-hour express mode meaning you can whip up a sweet treat in no time.
Review: "It's perfect. Since we received it, we haven't bought yoghurt! In four hours, they are ready and there is something for everyone because you can flavour them or put jam on the bottom. I make them with the Alsa ferments, it's perfect. It takes five minutes of preparation. I do them when I get home from work at night, they're ready to put in the fridge when I go to bed. I bought the six yoghurt version for saving space and that's enough. We consume four yoghurts a day and this version is perfect. I just bought some extra jars. In conclusion, do not buy your yoghurts anymore, make them!"
Klarstein Gaia 12 Jar Yoghurt Maker
Best for portion sizing
If you have a large household or just love yoghurt, this Klarstein Gaia maker is a great option. It comes with 12 separate 210ml jars, which come to a total volume of 2.5 litres. Also, this device is ideal for portioning as you can make six yoghurts for breakfast or use all twelve for a big batch. Additionally, despite its large volume, this appliance is smaller than many yoghurt makers on the market. One thing to note is that some reviewers say that the lids of the jars don't always close properly, and a batch can take around nine hours to make.
Promising review: "I bought the Klarstein Gaia 12 Jar Yoghurt Maker Digital after watching a video on how to make vegan yoghurts on YouTube. It's very simple to use. From the first batch, my yoghurts were delicious and firm. I strongly recommend it."
Sensio Home Ice Cream Maker Machine
Best frozen yoghurt machine
So this device isn't exactly for yoghurt making, but if you love ice cream and are looking for a healthier alternative, you can make frozen yoghurt effortlessly and quickly at home. This appliance can prepare ice cream recipes, sorbet and frozen yoghurt in just 20 minutes. The device can hold 1.4L and has four components, allowing you to control the quantities. The bowl itself will need to be frozen 12 hours before preparing any recipes, but provided this is done, perfecting frozen yoghurt will take no time at all.
Review: "I was excited to try this ice cream maker, having ordered it to replace my old plastic one, and I am not disappointed! The product is well made and was really simple to use when I made the starter recipe they included. The digital timer is a good feature and makes it easy to keep an eye on the progress of the ice cream. I would definitely recommend it!"
Yoghurt starter cultures and mason jars
Yogurt Starter Cultures Pack of 10
This Yoghurt Starter Culture pack comes with 10 freeze-dried sachets.
Glass Mason Jars
This four-pack of 14 oz glass mason jars (1 pint) are perfect for preserving, canning or storing yoghurt.
How to use a yoghurt maker
After you have chosen a yoghurt maker, you will need a few other essentials to get started such as starter yoghurt packets, fresh milk or non-dairy milk and mason jars. You will also require a saucepan to boil the milk, a ladle, a mixing bowl and a thermometer.
This simple video tutorial from Lakeland shows you how to make yoghurt at home using their Lakeland Multi Yoghurt and Soft Cheese Maker.
A few tips for making homemade yoghurt
Sterilize your jars: You don’t want the yoghurt cultures contending with any bacteria in your pots and jars as you will not get the probiotic benefits.
Non-dairy starter: If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, you can use specialised non-dairy yoghurt starter powder.
No metal spoons: Don't use any metal spoons to mix the milk or yoghurt starter, as it will deactivate the probiotics.
In a pinch, you can actually use two tablespoons of store-bought unflavoured yoghurt as a yoghurt starter or even a probiotic capsule that provides up to 30 billion CFU’s.