Last Updated: May 1, 2023 @ 4:24 pm.

What is the best professional cotton candy maker? To find out, we interviewed three folks who make their living selling cotton candy at state fairs. We also asked our parent readers for their first-hand experiences. Which maker is best for portability? For birthdays or cookouts? Here are the winners.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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Best Portable

Life of the party
Loved this high-performance machine that is easy to set up and move around. Also nice: includes marshmallow scoop.

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Best Cotton Candy Machine Commercial Quality For Portability: Olde Midway Commercial Quality Cotton Candy Machine Cart

Let’s talk cotton candy!

Who doesn’t like cotton candy? There are few treats that bring a smile quicker than cotton candy.

This article focuses on commercial-type cotton candy machines. Yes, there are less expensive models designed for occasional or home use, but if you want to do this as a side hustle or want to have cotton candy at a fundraiser where you serving dozens of folks at once, these machines are more appropriate.

We interviewed folks who sell cotton candy at fairs for this article and got an earful of advice for those wanting to get into the cotton candy game. Here are some quick tips:

• Stick with corn syrup-based sugars. They work best. Avoid artificial sugars or other ingredients like butter or starches, as they will burn.

• These machines don’t come with accessories like paper cones.

• Consider getting a clear plastic bubble (sold separately) for the top of the machine to keep the floss from flying around.

For the best portable machine, this cart-based machine by Olde Midway got positive marks from the professionals we interviewed. Very good for small venues.

What We Liked

• Easy to set up and use. Takes about 3-4 minutes to warm up.

• Great for parties.

• Works well and includes marshmallow scoop.

• Storage drawer is handy.

What Needs Work

• Directions could be more detailed.

• Difficult to clean. best cotton candy machine commercial quality

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Best For Professionals

Easy to clean
Super easy to use (thanks to detailed instructions and online videos), this cotton maker is impressive—fast and fun.

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Best For Professionals: VIVO Blue Electric Commercial Cotton Candy Machine

If you want to up your cotton candy game from the occasional community event to a bigger side hustle, we’d go for this machine by VIVO. Basically, this machine is fast and fun, with the flexibility to melt candies like Life Savers and make them into cotton candy.

What We Liked

 Easy to use.

• Affordable.

• Detailed instructions and video tutorials.

• Easy to clean, although the pros we interviewed suggest cleaning after 20 minutes of use to prevent burnt sugar buildup.

• Does 2-3 cones per minute.

What Needs Work

• Doesn’t work with brown sugars. best cotton candy machine commercial quality

Best for Birthdays, Cookouts

Easy to assemble
This countertop model's star feature is the adjustable temperature dial, which is helpful when you are trying alternative sugars.

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Best for Birthdays, Cookouts: Commercial Cotton Candy Machine Electric Floss Maker 1030W for Family and Various Party, 20.5 Inch

The large stainless bowl with this maker is perfect for birthday parties and family reunions. This model was recommended by several of the experts we interviewed for this article because it is easy to use and set up (warm up time is just 30 seconds).

What We Liked

• Easy to assemble.

• Adjustable temperature.

• Cleaning is simple.

• Affordable.

• Supply storage drawer.

What Needs Work

• Requires 20 minutes of cooling every hour. That’s why we think this model is great for birthday parties or occasional use. The required cooling would make it less useful in a professional setting like a community fair. best cotton candy machine commercial quality

About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

best cotton candy machine commercial quality

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

best cotton candy machine commercial quality

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