Grocery Store White Bread Ranked

As basic as grocery store white bread is, there are some of us who simply cannot rest until we know what's in our food. While often used for the daily sandwich or the usual buttered toast for early morning wake-ups, the truth is that there's a difference between a good white bread and one that may not even be worth the money it costs.

Of course, we aren't saying that buying a loaf of the cheap stuff is inherently bad, and in fact, we've done the same thing on plenty of occasions. But when you compare grocery store white bread side-by-side, you may just come to realize that not all bread is created equal, and thus, you may find that some brands might suit your fancy better than others commonly sold in the market.

In today's post, we'll unveil what we believe are the worst and best picks for white bread available on shelves today. Whether it's an old-school classic or a pretentious, fancily packaged loaf, we'll give you the rundown on which of these buys are really worth your dime.

12. Wonder Bread

Wonder Bread is a former pantry staple that you might be hard-pressed to find in many local markets today. And while we're sure you might find a package of it somewhere, you should be aware that it isn't exactly the best type of white bread you'll come across.

Now, we're sure plenty of you will disagree with us here, and that's fine. Arguments like, "But it's soft!" and "It tastes great!" are likely reasons many would contend that this certainly is the best bread money can buy. Reviews of the bread include many statements like these, not to mention that many have grown up with the stuff. So, we understand that it can be harder for Wonder Bread fans to let go despite how low-quality the bread is.

If you look at Wonder Bread ingredients, you'll see why we tend to stray away from this favorite. It's ridden with additives and has one of the longest ingredient lists you'll likely see on packaged bread. Yes, it's soft, and yes, it's yummy. But it's also chock-full of controversial dough conditioners, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, bleached flour, and more that make it this way. Sorry, but this isn't exactly our idea of a great loaf of white bread. We do want to note that those of you living in Canada may get lucky. Wonder Bread has reformulated its bread sold in this part of the globe so that it contains less harmful ingredients than it originally did. Lucky you!

11. Sara Lee Classic White

Most people really dig this bread, and for that, we can't push back too much. Sara Lee has been a household staple for years in the world of bread, and its Classic White variety is still cherished to this day. Despite these facts, we are, as usual, a bit concerned about using additives here. We've got monoglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, preservatives, and DATEM all baked into each soft loaf. And though we know that many of these ingredients play a very important role in the bread's overall taste, texture, and performance, it isn't necessarily something we want to fill our bodies with every time we enjoy a slice of hot toast.

You may be wondering exactly what threat is posed when consuming some of these ingredients. Dough conditioners like DATEM and monoglycerides are known for potentially having an adverse effect on health. Monocalcium phosphate may induce an allergic reaction in some, and preservatives can aggravate asthma, increase headaches, and may even increase the risk of cancer for some individuals. So, while we love soft white bread just as much as the next person, it isn't as lovely considering its compositional makeup.

10. Great Value White Round Top Bread Loaf

While Walmart's Great Value bread might be a ... well ... great value, it doesn't quite hit the mark for what we'd consider the best out there. For the price point, we're certainly not surprised that this bread finds its way into many grocery carts. At a little over $1 at the time of publication, Great Value White Round Top Bread Loaf might be worth popping in the freezer for days when you run out of the "good" stuff.

Now, whether we consider it a "high quality" bread, the answer is, eh ... not quite. We do love that a loaf still manages to contain no high fructose corn syrup and, even better, has only one gram of sugar per slice. Still, the ingredients reveal that, as is typical for white bread, this loaf contains calcium propionate (used as a preservative), soybean oil, monocalcium phosphate, and dough conditioners. Not all of these will produce harmful effects for everyone (though some will), but it surely isn't the short and wholesome list of ingredients we'd expect to see on a better version of sliced white bread.

9. Target Market Pantry White

Target might not be where you'd expect to grab a fluffy slice of white bread, but Target's Market Pantry bread seems to be a pretty popular buy. With over 2,000 reviews at the time of publication and priced at only a little over $1 per loaf, this bread is giving us Great Value bread vibes. It's a cheaper price point but still a decent brand of bread that most white bread devotees seem to be pretty happy with. It, too, features only 1 gram of sugar per slice, and there's no high fructose corn syrup to be found in this cheaper "generic" version of store-bought bread brands.

Nevertheless, like most other white bread varieties in stores, you'll find Target Market Pantry White Sandwich Bread packed with preservatives, soybean oil, monoglycerides, and DATEM. In fact, the ingredients here are oddly similar to those of Great Value. So, if you think you might be doing yourself a favor by purchasing the Target Market Pantry brand over Walmart's Great Value, don't kid yourself. Although both loaves aren't bad picks if it's just everyday sandwich bread you seek, they contain similar ingredients, so we wouldn't say one is particularly better.

8. Nature's Own Butterbread Sliced White Bread

How could anything called "butter bread" not taste absolutely delish? Indeed, Nature's Own Butterbread Sliced White Bread is said to be infused with a bit of butter flavor in each bite, which we think sounds utterly delicious. Despite its promising description, however, reviews about the bread seem split.

In some cases, many people think this bread is an amazing option for white bread lovers everywhere. On the other hand, multiple reviews claim that the bread isn't exactly fresh, with some declaring it "dry" or "overcooked." Another common qualm is that the slices seem on the small side, causing customers agitation when it comes time to whip up lunchtime deliciousness ... we certainly feel their pain.

Having said all this, we can at least take comfort in the fact that this bread contains no preservatives, unlike the others thus far. It also doesn't have artificial colors or flavors despite being a flavored loaf of bread. Oh, and that butter taste the brand boasts of? Yep, it's derived from real butter. Does this make it the healthiest white bread of the bunch? Not quite. Each slice will still contain calcium sulfate, a common dough conditioner, and monoglycerides, known to soften dough. Nevertheless, there aren't quite as many additives on this bread ingredients list, and for that, we're very grateful.

7. The Black Bread Premium White Bread

Sold in fanciful packaging at participating Target retailers, The Black Bread Premium White Bread was new to us, and we were intrigued, to say the least. It comes marketed as "premium," which we assumed meant free from many of the ingredients we often see plaguing bread today. The reviews also seem pretty high on this one, though it didn't have nearly as many reviews as its humble yet more readily known Market Pantry white bread predecessor.

So, what's all the hype about? Honestly? We're not sure. According to the manufacturer's website, the bread comes fresh from an authentic bakery, but after a look at those ingredients, we remain unimpressed. "Bakery fresh" or not, this loaf has the same ingredients we see many other loaves containing, though this one's managed to see a price markup that's almost as high as $5 per loaf as of the time of publication. Dough conditioners, preservatives, and additives abound, making this one a hard pass for us despite its couple of glowing reviews.

6. Kroger Enriched White Bread

We must admit we love Kroger for various reasons, but their bread really tends to outdo other generic brands out there. Don't get us wrong, Kroger Enriched White Bread isn't perfect. After all, we can't expect perfection from a loaf of white bread priced at a little over a dollar, can we? Still, for the price point, we think Kroger's is really onto something, especially given that it's a generic brand white loaf. While there are preservatives in it, we aren't seeing DATEM and monoglycerides in the mix. We don't see a boatload of sugar, and we aren't seeing high fructose corn syrup, either.

Besides the presence of preservatives, we do see the presence of soy, which may trigger reactions in some people (via American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology). As mentioned before, you really can't expect this bread to be flawless given its price point, but, by golly, this is definitely one of the better generic bread picks out there if you ask us.

Oh, and in case you're wondering about a few of those additives you'll see in this rather short list of ingredients, you should know that sodium stearoyl lactylate is an emulsifier that can improve the shelf life of bread, while other additives, such as aluminum sulfate, are responsible for assisting with the leavening process. Now you know!

5. Lewis Bake Shop Healthy Life White Bread

Lewis Bakeshop Healthy Life White Bread makes several special claims that undoubtedly will garner the attention of those looking to follow specific dietary guidelines. This bread boasts reduced sodium content (65 grams) compared to its competitors and fewer calories per slice. As if that wasn't enough, this unique bread brand also offers slices that yield only 6 grams of carbs each.

Taking a closer look at other bread types, we must admit that these stats are pretty impressive. Comparing it to Target Market Pantry White Bread, which features 70 calories, 13 carbs, and 120 mg of sodium, it isn't hard to see that these claims might prove pretty significant to the buyer. So, what exactly does Lewis Bakeshop Healthy Life White Bread contain that makes it so different from the others? We aren't entirely sure. It contains dough conditioners along with a plethora of other additives, some of which were assumed to help reduce fat and calories without sacrificing taste and flavor. Whatever the case may be, fans sure seem to like it despite its lower sodium, calorie, and carb content. So, if you're on a specific diet and need a bread that fits the bill, Lewis Bakeshop Healthy Life White Bread might prove a good pick for you.

4. Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Hearty White Bread

Seeking a hearty white bread to make a good French toast with? This just might be it. Reviewers rave about this particular Pepperidge Farm offering, claiming it to live up to its name as a thick and hearty slice perfect for sandwiches, garlic toast, and more.

So, how does it fare in the ingredient department? Meh, it's okay. We still see preservatives (calcium propionate and sorbic acid) and dough conditioners (DATEM) on the list, so we aren't too pleased with that. Still, this particular bread is a little higher on our list of best grocery store white breads, mainly due to its stellar reviews, hefty slices, and overall versatility. Nevertheless, for a loaf of bread of this price point (close to $5 in our area at the time of publication), we still think you might be able to score a loaf with better ingredients. But if it's a plain ole loaf that you're after and sturdiness is important to you, then Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Hearty White Bread might work as an awesome choice for you.

3. Brownberry Country Style White Bread Loaf

‌Well, isn't this a sight for sore eyes? A bread that features no preservatives and actually tastes good? Sign us up! All jokes aside, we were quite relieved to see Brownberry Country Style White Bread Loaf lining store shelves. Sold at a reasonable price of only a few dollars per loaf at the time of publication, we must say we're impressed with all it offers.

Admirers of Brownberry Country Style White Bread Loaf love its fresh and fluffy texture, and one reviewer is particularly impressed with its strength. The bread can stand up to heavier ingredients like thick stacks of smoked bacon, juicy red tomatoes, and a heaping helping of mayo without breaking a sweat.

In addition to the fact that the bread contains no preservatives, we also aren't seeing the usual hodgepodge of additives and dough conditioners we usually do. Sure, there's the use of soy, but if that doesn't bother you, you can feel good about eating these additive-free slices made of real ingredients like flour, yeast, vinegar, whey, sea salt, and butter. Yum!

2. Sara Lee Artesano Original Artisan Bread

Yeah, we know. Sara Lee "Artesano" bread is likely a far cry from "real" bread made in boulangeries in France. And yes, we know that the company's faux "steamed" package doesn't actually contain "fresh" baked bread. Having said that, if it's grocery store white bread we're reviewing, then darn it, we will include this one on the list. The reason? The ingredients are impeccable comparatively, and this particular loaf has stellar reviews to match.

So, what's so great about this bread? For one, there are no preservatives anywhere in sight. Secondly, it has a tiny ingredient list, especially compared to other white bread often sold alongside it, with the only potentially offensive ingredients on the list being those derived from soy. It has a touch more sugar than some loaves mentioned here, but it's barely worth the mention at only two grams per slice. You won't find any high fructose corn syrup in your slice, making it a perfectly agreeable selection for morning toast or your routine bologna sandwich. Mmmm ...

1. Dave's Killer White Bread

If you're already familiar with Dave's Killer Bread, you may have guessed this one might have landed a spot as our top pick. Indeed, Dave's Killer Bread Organic White Bread Done Right is, in our eyes, one of the best you can buy out there due to its high-quality organic ingredients, even if a single loaf does come with a painfully high price point.

First, we must mention how refreshing it is to see a type of bread marketed without soy. We know that not all research shows that soy is harmful; however, there are some out there who may be sensitive to it or simply choose to avoid it for their own reasons. In addition to soy-less ingredients, we want you to know that Dave's White Bread contains other delicious add-ins not often found in other white bread types. Organic millet, organic barley, and organic spelt are just a few ingredients in this bread, offering a plethora of goodness to encapsulate your sandwiches. You'll find zero preservatives or additives here; it's only packing the good stuff. The only thing you may need to be aware of with this loaf is that it contains sesame, as this may cause an allergic reaction in certain individuals. Enjoy!