cotton candy machine

Looking to make cotton candy yourself without going through the time and hassle of making it by hand? Then you’ll need a quality cotton candy machine (a.k.a. cotton candy maker, candy floss machine, fairy floss machine). There are many different machines out on the market, so it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is the best for you. Depending on your needs and budget, we’ve sorted out which cotton candy machines are worth getting.

making cotton candy on a glow stick at a private party

History

To provide a bit of background, cotton candy was made as early as the 1500s and was limited to royalty and the wealthy because it was expensive and a tedious process to do correctly by hand. It wasn’t until 1897 that confectioners John C. Wharton and William Morrison invented the first machine to make cotton candy. It efficiently made the fluffy treat for the masses and was first used at the Paris Exposition in 1900 and the World’s Fair in 1904.

Best commercial cotton candy machines

These are the top-rated cotton candy makers to reliably make tons of quality cotton candy for your business or events.

Paragon 7105200QR Spin Magic 5 – This is your top-of-the-line commercial machine, efficiently producing two hundred cotton candy cones in an hour. A compatible cotton candy cart and dome can be purchased as well.
Paragon 7105200QR Spin Magic 5 cotton candy machineCotton Candy Cart

  • Quick-release head requires no tools and eliminates downtime
  • Yields 200 cones per hour
  • Professional controls and voltage meter ensure perfect products in any condition
  • 1/12 hp motor delivers 3400 RPM for fast cotton candy making
  • 120V, 1370W
  • Paragon cart with all-steel construction & chip-resistant coating and dome sold separately
  • see more details on WebstaurantStore

Paragon 7105100 Classic Floss 5 Cotton Candy Machine – This provides the primary functionality as the Paragon Spin Magic 5, but at a lower cost. A compatible cotton candy cart and dome can be purchased as well.
Paragon 7105100 Classic Floss 5 Cotton Candy Machine

  • Ideal for concession stands, flea markets, and fundraising events
  • High performance heating head spins up to 200 cones per hour
  • Easy to clean heavy duty all-metal construction
  • Professional controls for a variety of settings
  • Paragon cart with all-steel construction & chip-resistant coating and dome sold separately
  • see more details on WebstaurantStore

Carnival King CCM21CT Cotton Candy Machine – This is a wonderfully economical machine for special events, which includes an eye-catching stand to provide a more complete carnival experience.
Carnival King CCM21CT Cotton Candy Machine

  • Makes 2 cones per minute (120 per hour) with 21” stainless steel bowl and simple controls
  • Spinning head with metal construction releases cotton candy vertically to prevent clogging
  • Equipped with plastic net and stabilizing clips to easily create fluffy cones
  • Conveniently mobile and complete with side shelves for prepping and merchandising
  • see more details on WebstaurantStore

Benchmark USA 81011 Zephyr Cotton Candy Machine – This is a great cost-effective commercial option that comes with a protective dome to keep your working area sanitary.
Benchmark USA 81011 Zephyr Cotton Candy Machine

  • Ideal for concession stands, flea markets, and fundraising events
  • Produces up to 60 cones per hour
  • Clear dome maintains product visibility while protecting floss from bugs and other contaminants
  • Two side handles allow for easy transportation
  • 120V, 900W
  • see more details on WebstaurantStore

Best at-home cotton candy machines

These top-rated cotton candy makers are ideal for use at home for birthday parties, holidays or other fun special occasions.

Nostalgia PCM405RETRORED Hard and Sugar Free Countertop Cotton Candy Maker
Nostalgia Countertop cotton candy maker

  • Flossing or hard candies: Unique extractor head allows you to use traditional flossing sugar or your favorite hard candies to make delicious cotton candy
  • Nostalgia cotton candy kits: Make cotton candy with these great Nostalgia cotton candy kits (Cotton candy flossing sugar – Ccfs300, hard candy party kit – Hck800)
  • Simple operation: Warm up the unit, add your flossing sugar, and enjoy your cotton candy in just a few short minutes
  • Retro design: This unit has retro design and details that will bring you back to the time of record-spinning jukeboxes and American muscle cars
  • see more details on Amazon

Nostalgia PCM805 Hard & Sugar-Free Candy Cotton Candy Maker
Nostalgia PCM805 Hard & Sugar-Free Candy Cotton Candy Maker

  • Flossing sugar or hard candies – unique Extractor head allows you to use traditional flossing sugar or your favorite hard candies to make delicious cotton candy
  • Cotton Candy kits – this unit works perfectly with any Nostalgia cotton candy kit – try the cotton candy flossing sugar (Ccfs300), or the hard candy party kit (Hck800)
  • Simple operation – warm up the unit, add your flossing sugar, and enjoy your cotton candy in just a few short minutes!
  • see more details on Amazon

Nostalgia PCM306PK Vintage Hard Free Countertop Cotton Candy Maker, Includes 2 Reusable Cones And Sugar Scoop

Nostalgia PCM306PK Vintage Hard Free Countertop Cotton Candy Maker, Includes 2 Reusable Cones And Sugar Scoop

  • Flossing sugar or hard candies: Unique extractor head allows you to use traditional flossing sugar or your favorite hard candies to make delicious cotton candy
  • Nostalgia kits: Unit works perfectly with all Nostalgia cotton candy kits (Cotton Candy Flossing Sugar – CCFS300, Hard Candy Party Kit – HCK800)
  • Simple operation: Warm up the unit, add your flossing sugar, and enjoy your cotton candy in just a few short minutes
  • Vintage design: This unit has vintage design and details reminiscent of the carnival vendor carts from the early 1900s
  • see more details on Amazon

What can you put in a cotton candy machine?

Generally, these machines are specifically made to handle granulated sugar. However, some machines explicitly mention that they can make cotton candy out of hard candies as well. This is a great way to add some additional flavor to your cotton candy.

Candies that are usually safe to use in cotton candy machines include:

Candies that should not be used in cotton candy machines include:

  • chewy candies (e.g. Starburst, Mamba, etc.)
  • gummy candies (e.g. gummy bears, peach rings, etc.)
  • gum
  • ball-shaped candies
  • candies with hard sugar shells
  • sugar pressed candies
  • powdered drink packets

Make sure to read the instruction manual for your specific cotton candy machine to know exactly how to use it properly. Once you understand what your machine is capable of, feel free to experiment to create different flavors and variations of cotton candy. Have fun!

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