Best Gumball Machine (Reviews)
We spent the last couple of weeks testing and trying out some of the most popular gumball machines on the market. Honestly, it was a fun exercise which involved eating a lot of candies! Finally, after a lot of deliberation, we've rounded up 5 of our top picks across different categories.
Last Updated: 8th Mar, 2023
"Serendipity is putting a quarter in the gumball machine and having three pieces come rattling out instead of one-all red." - Peter H. Reynolds
There's something about the classic gumball machine. Every child has spent most of their pocket money turning the crank and getting some of that delicious candy from one of these machines. Half the fun is in putting in your money, and getting to turn the handle until the gumball comes out ready for you.
As an adult, you want to bring that sense of nostalgia and fun to your life. You just want something fun for your home, where you can have the machine set up to dispense the candy whenever you want it. Maybe you're actually looking for a machine for your business. What adult is going to say no to a classic gumball machine in a bar or restaurant?
Whatever you want the machine for, you'll need to find the right one for your needs. All gumball machines aren't created equal, so you need to find one that suits your needs best. We've collected together five of the best gumball machines on the market right now. Which one strikes you as the best one for your home or business?
Our Top Picks for the Best Gumball Machines
1. Classic Gumball Machine Bank And Stand – Pro Pick
If you were the kid who spent all their money on the gumball machine, then this is the machine for you. It looks just like the ones from your youth, thanks to the classic styling. The bank is a red carousel design with a glass bank, something that you saw time and time again in stores. It stands on a black metal stand with wrought iron styling, making it a true classic. Wherever you place this gumball machine, it's going to look amazing.
You'll also see that the machine takes any kind of US coin currency to dispense candy. That means you can keep tight control on the candy being dispensed, something that's vital if you're letting your kids use it. To get the coins out, you'll need to disassemble the unit, but this isn't going to take long and can be done when you're cleaning it.
You don't have to put just gumballs in this machine. You can put in anything that you like. Customers who have bought this machine say they've put in other types of candy, like M&M's, and they get the same results. That means you can fill it up with your favorite candy and have a piece whenever you want. What could be better?
- Holds 62oz of candy or ½" gumballs
- Classic styling for a retro look
- Takes all kinds of coins for easy access to candy
- On the stand, the machine measures 16.5" high
- Glass construction makes it easy to clean
This is such a gorgeous and well-crafted gumball machine, and you can see why it's our pro pick. Use it as a talking point in your home, and enjoy its retro charm.
2. Carousel Classic Jr Gumball Machine Bank – Best Overall
This gumball machine is perfect for home users, as it's a compact countertop model that gives you everything you need from a machine. You'll still get the classic design, with the glass dome and the cast metal coin slot and dispenser. No matter where you place this machine, it's going to look great.
In fact, some users have found some really fun uses for this machine. For example, some have placed it on their desk at work, while others have used it in classrooms to dispense erasers. What could you do with a machine like this?
The machine itself is easy to set up and will take any coin in order to dispense candy. It's a great way to teach kids to save money, as they have to put the money in to get a treat. You'll be able to show them how much they've saved when you open it up to remove the coins. You can also set it to free spin mode, so you can get the candy out without having to put coins in. That makes it really useful when it comes to home gumball machines.
It'll also take almost any candy you can think of, including small gumballs or even nuts. You can adjust the opening aperture, so it will dispense as much or as little as you like.
- Can hold anything from candy to .62" gumballs
- Sits snugly on any counter without taking up space
- Classic design
- Comes fully assembled in a gift box
- Holds up to 2 lbs of candy at once
This is the best overall gumball machine, as it offers so many good features. Place whatever you like in it, and set it to either take coins or free spin, depending on your needs.
3. Classic Dubble Bubble Gumball Coin Bank – Budget Pick
You want all the fun of a gumball machine in your home, but you don't want to spend all your money before you can even trade it for that candy that's inside. If you're looking for a budget option, this one is the best for you.
This machine is also perfect if you're looking for one for your kids. It's designed with safety in mind, made with sturdy plastic to ensure they're safe as they use the machine. The plastic design still features the iconic red and metal look, so your kid will have a gumball machine that looks just like the ones they see at the store.
To get the gumballs out, your kids will need to insert a coin. Teach them how to pay for items and save money, as they use the coin slot to get the gumballs inside. They'll be amazed at how much money they'll save as they use this. The best part is, this machine comes to you supplied with 50 Dubble Bubble gumballs, so you can set it up and let your kids use it right away. No need to wait and buy your own candy first.
- Sturdy plastic design, perfect for kids
- Classic styling, just like real gumball machines
- Stands 8.8" high
- For ages 3 and up
- Coin slot offers teaching and saving opportunities for kids
Final Note:This is a great budget gumball machine option. It's sturdy, looks great, and gives you all the features of a more expensive model.
4. Sweet N Fun Light And Sound Spiral Gumball Bank – Best Design
Who says you have to go with the classic gumball machine design? There's lots more modern options out there that offer more fun, especially to kids. This is one machine that has some of the best modern design out there.
This machine, as the name implies, features a spiral dispenser design with lights and sounds when you use it. Twist the dial at the front, and the machine will send a gumball all the way around the base, playing music and flashing lights as it does so. It's fun for kids, and as an adult, you'll know exactly when your kids are eating the candy, too.
The machine comes with a pack of Dubble Bubble gumballs, so you can fill it up, ready to go as soon as the machine gets to you. To load it up, all you have to do is take the top off and fill it up with gumballs, or whatever other kind of candy you have. Even better, you don't need coins in order to get the gumballs out. Simply twist the dial, and one of those gumballs is ready for the taking.
- Lights and sounds every time a gumball is dispensed
- No need for coins to get candy out of this machine
- Perfect for kids as a Christmas or birthday gift
- Stands 23" inches tall
- Takes 1/2" gumballs
The design of this machine makes it one of the most gumball dispensers on our list. Both children and adults will love it, especially as it doesn't require coins.
5. Gumball Machine Candy Dispenser – Classic Design
What about the adults out there that are looking for a gumball machine? Maybe you want to place it on your desk, so you can snack as you work. Perhaps you want it to sit in the kitchen, so you can have a 'candy dish' without anyone putting their hands into it. If that sounds like you, this is the machine you need to buy.
The machine itself is a countertop model, and instead of the regular red design, it features chrome-colored metal and glass. It looks gorgeous, and the chrome color lets it fit in almost anywhere. Whether you want it in your office or your kitchen, it's going to fit right in.
It works better as a candy dish too, as there's no need for coins. Instead of putting a coin in, you simply press down on the lever to get your gumballs or candy. The longer you push it down, the more you'll get out of the machine. It's the perfect solution for adults who don't want to put in coins or twist the dial multiple times to get the amount of candy they desire.
- Glass and metal design looks great anywhere you use it, at home or at work
- Push down lever allows you to get as much candy as you want
- Easy to fit together and take apart for cleaning
- An excellent gift for the candy lover in your life
- Stands 6.5" tall, making it cute and compact
This is the perfect adult gumball machine. It looks great, and there's no fuss at all with it. Simply hold the lever down, and you're good to go.
Gumball Machine Buyer's Guide
As you've seen in our top 5 gumball machines list, there's more types of machines out there than you thought. The version you buy will depend on what you need the machine for. How do you find the one that's right for you? Use this buyer's guide to narrow down your search and get the right machine, the first time.
Who's Using The Machine?
This is the first and most important question. Who's going to be using the gumball machine once you get it? There are several different types of machine, and they suit different people better. Here are the most common types of people using gumball machines:
- Kids: Kids commonly want gumball machines as a gift. Why wouldn't they, when they could have something they see in the store in their very own home? There are lots of models that are designed especially for kids. They are usually plastic, but you can buy metal and glass ones too if they're older. You can pick options that require a coin, which is a great idea if you're encouraging them to save money. There are others with special features, such as the light-up model in our list.
- Adults: If you're buying the gumball machine for yourself, then you'll want something different. You'll look for a more classic design, like the machines you remember from when you were a kid. You can also get a model that doesn't require a coin, perfect if you want to simply have the machine on your desk or counter for anyone who wants candy. Pick a lever instead of a dial dispenser if you want more control over how much comes out at once.
- Customers: Finally, you'll want a coin-operated machine if you're hoping to make gumballs available to your customers. Classic designs with stands are often best here, as they look great wherever you put them.
Where Will You Place It?
The next thing to think about is where you're going to put that gumball machine. As mentioned above, many like to put them on countertops, so they can get a gumball or handful of candy as they walk by. They also work great on desks, as you can get a snack as you work without having to get up. If that sounds good to you, then get yourself a countertop model.
Instead, you can get a machine that comes on a stand. These look fantastic and really complete the retro feel if that's what you're going for. They also free up counter space, if it's at a premium in your home.
If you're looking for a gumball machine for your kids, then you'll need to look for features that make them ideal for kids. For example, the materials used will have to be different. If you're buying a machine for a younger kid, they'll need a plastic machine rather than a metal and glass one, for safety.
You can also pick up machines that have that bank feature, so you can encourage them to 'pay' for their gumballs. This teaches them how to pay for items and helps them save money too. Maybe you could put the money towards a toy they really want?
You can get machines with all kinds of different designs, too. Do you want it to light up and sound when a ball is dispensed? Do you want a cool and unusual dispenser? Take a look at what's available in kid's gumball machines to see what you may want.
Design is a huge part of any gumball machine. You want it to look a certain way, and that means going for the classic styles. Who doesn't love the glass and red metal look of an old school gumball machine? Add the stand to it, and you'll have a machine that looks incredible wherever you place it.
Maybe you don't want that exact style, but you want something that still looks classy. There's lots of gumball machines that are being created with more modern looks to them, like the chrome design on our list. They still retain the charm, but they fit right in with a modern home.
Finally, consider how you want the machine to dispense your gumballs. Most options will require you to put a coin in to get a gumball out. These are good for kids as they love putting the coin in. They're also good for you if you want to have to put money in to get candy out. If you're trying to save a bit of cash, it's actually quite ideal.
If you don't want that option, then you can buy gumball machines that use levers or just require you to turn a dial to get the candy out. If you really love the look of the coin-operated machine but don't want to use coins, look to see if they have a free spin mode. This allows you to adjust the machine, so you can get the candy out without having to pay.
Most gumball machines can dispense candies or gumballs less than ⅝" in diameter. So, you can use pretty much any candy be it Skittles, Peanut M&M's, or even Mike & Ikes as long as it's smaller than the prescribed limit.
Let's Wrap Things Up
There are more options than you realized when it comes to gumball machines. Whether you want one for your kids, or just want a desktop model for work, you're going to find the one you want here.
Buy one and enjoy the nostalgic feeling of a gumball machine wherever you want.