Brinsea incubators: a comparison.

Struggling to work out the differences between Brinsea incubators?

There are so many chicken egg incubators to choose from, each with slightly different features, that it can be confusing to work out which is best for your situation.

This article compares nine of the best Brinsea incubators to highlight the differences. To find the size and features you're looking for, use the links below – or read through all three categories.

If you purchase a product through links on the rest of this page, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I have purchased or would purchase myself and which I believe would benefit you. To learn more please see my disclosure policy.

Baby chicks coloured yellow in a fun line drawing used as a divider.

Common features of all Brinsea incubators.

Let's start by looking at why I assess Brinsea as the best incubators on the market, and what all three categories of incubator have in common.

Why are Brinsea incubators the best for hatching eggs?

    * Brinsea is a longstanding company based on the UK. Established in 1976, it has become a globally accepted expert in incubating and hatching products.

    * Feedback from customers is taken seriously and changes to products take both customers and evolving technology into account. As a result, the products are always user-friendly and incorporate the most advanced technical knowledge.

    * Products are long lasting and reliable. I have owned my two Mini Advance incubators for over ten years, and have had in excess of 97% successful hatch rates each year.

    * Customer service is quick and efficient, as might be expected from an essentially family-owned business.

    * Each incubator is covered by a comprehensive three year guaranteeproviding the product has been registered online.

Features common to all these incubators.

  • Built in the UK to exacting standards. Exported globally.
  • Bacteria resistant: a substance called Polygiene Biomaster Antimicrobial is added to the plastic during production and has been demonstrated to reduce bacterial growth by up to 99.99%. This provides a more hygienic environment for fertile eggs, which become more porous and vulnerable to bacterial contamination as incubation progresses.
  • Fan assisted: the fan blows air around the incubator, which eliminates cold spots often found in still air incubators. This helps ensure a consistent temperature right through the process of incubation.  
Baby chicks coloured yellow in a fun line drawing used as a divider.

Brinsea's smallest incubators: the "Mini II" Eco, Advance and EX.

Want to hatch up to ten chicks? These are the absolute best egg incubators for anyone wanting to raise a few chickens at home or at school.

Summary.

  • These little entry level incubators are my outright favourites, even though I have much larger and more complex machines. If you only want to hatch a few eggs, one of these will be ideal.
  • The high dome of the Mini incubator range makes it stand out from the rest. It's the closest you'll ever get to your baby chicks as they hatch from the egg.
Brinsea incubators: my mini advance, set up on my incubating table with cream and dark brown hatching eggs set inside.My Brinsea Mini Advance incubator.
  • The Eco can hatch more eggs because it does not turn them, so doesn't have an egg tray. For that reason, up to ten eggs will fit on the incubator floor.
  • If you're not able to turn the eggs, or might forget, my advice would be to use either the Advance or the EX, both of which will automatically turn the eggs for you.
  • I have the Advance, and use an external hygrometer to check its humidity levels – although in my early days of hatching I used it without and it was perfectly fine.

Brinsea's "Mini" chicken egg incubator comparison chart.

Brinsea's smallest incubators: comparison chart of Mini Eco, Mini Advance and Mini EX.

Mini II Eco

Amazon click to check price button.

Mini II Advance

Amazon click to check price button.

Mini II EX

Amazon click to check price button

Key:

* Humidity: the difference between the Eco and Advance and EX is basically humidity. The Eco and Advance have a pot inside the incubator which you top up from an external chamber. The EX has an external pump and keeps humidity consistent automatically, monitoring it via the digital readout.

** Temperature: all three of these Brinsea incubators keep a consistent temperature. The Advance and EX displays show temperature levels in either C or F. The Eco does not have a display, so relies on a thermometer which is supplied.

*** Turning: the Advance and EX turn the eggs automatically at an angle and time lapse which can be altered. The Advance stops turning the eggs automatically at lockdown; the EX has to be manually changed.

**** Alarm: the Advance and EX have alarms which can be set to sound should the temperature in the incubator fall below safe levels.

See my detailed review of the Brinsea Mini Advance.

Baby chicks coloured yellow in a fun line drawing used as a divider.

Brinsea's medium sized incubators for up to 30 eggs.

So you've used a "Mini" range incubator and decided that this time, you want to hatch more eggs than it can hold?

These medium sized incubators will take anything up to 30 eggs – up to 24 if you want them to be automatically turned.

For such a large number, I would strongly advise an automatic turner. Trying to remember which you have and haven't turned is difficult and could seriously affect hatching rates.

Summary.

  • With a larger base and a more squat dome than the Minis, the Maxi range is Brinsea's latest incubator line for home and school hatch devotees.
  • I have owned and used the Maxi EX for the last two hatching seasons. Whilst it's certainly an excellent, efficient choice for successfully incubating and hatching a larger number of eggs, I found the lower sized dome didn't allow for the same intimate views of my hatching chicks.
Brinsea's Maxi 24 EX, set up with incubated eggs on my incubating table.My Brinsea Maxi 24 EX incubator.
  • The Eco, like its "Mini" range cousin, does not turn the eggs and so allows for up to six more to be placed on the incubator floor.
  • It also scores less well than the other two models for temperature control, according to user feedback reviews. Again like the "Mini" version, it does not have a digital read-out, so relies on a glass thermometer to measure the ambient temperature.

Brinsea's "Maxi" chicken egg incubator comparison chart.

Brinsea's medium sized incubators: comparison chart between the Maxi Eco, Maxi 24 Advance and Maxi 24 EX.

Maxi Eco

Amazon click to check price button

Maxi Advance

Amazon click to check price button.

Maxi EX

Amazon click to check price button

Key:

* Capacity: the Eco does not have an egg turning tray since it doesn't turn the eggs automatically. The eggs lie on the floor of the incubator and therefore more can fit than in the other two models.

** Humidity: as with the "Mini" range, the difference between the Eco and Advance and the EX is basically humidity. The Eco and Advance have a pot inside the incubator which tops up from an external chamber. The EX has an external pump and keeps humidity consistent, monitoring it via the digital readout.

*** Temperature: all three incubators maintain temperature; the Advance and EX digital displays show temperature levels in either C or F. The Eco relies on a thermometer which is supplied.

**** Turning: the Advance and EX turn the eggs automatically at an angle and time lapse which can be altered. The Advance (only) stops turning the eggs two days before hatch is due.

***** Alarm: the Advance and EX have alarms which can be set to sound should the temperature in the incubator or the room in which the incubator is placed fall below safe levels, or if there is a power failure.

Baby chicks coloured yellow in a fun line drawing used as a divider.

Brinsea's large incubators, 28 - 56 hatching eggs.

Full disclosure: I have not used the Ovation range, but know breeders who have. I have used the Octagon 20 which this range replaced. See my full review of the Octagon 20 here.

Each type in the Ovation range (Eco, Advance and EX) has both a 28- and a larger 56-egg version.

Summary.

  • Like the Octagon range it replaced, the Ovation has a less than ideal viewing area to watch the eggs hatch. It's really not meant for small home- or school-based incubation if one of your aims is to concentrate on the process of hatching.
  • These are the best egg incubators for the serious backyard chicken breeder who wants to be able to hatch a larger number of eggs under the closest to ideal conditions it's possible to get. 
Brinsea Ovation 28 egg incubator.
  • Like the other ranges, these incubators are fan assisted. However, the Ovation range has an improved "Induced Dual Airflow" system which Brinsea claims "achieves new levels of temperature consistency".
  • Unlike the "Mini" and "Maxi" versions, the eggs in all the Ovation models are held in "carriers" on their end, rather than lying flat as in the smaller models. Remember to place them pointed end facing down!

Brinsea's "Ovation" chicken egg incubator comparison chart.

Brinsea's large incubators comparison chart: the Ovation 28 (and 56) Eco, Ovation 28 (and 56) Advance, and Ovation 28 (and 56) EX.

 Eco

Amazon click to check price button

Advance

Amazon click to check price button

EX

Amazon click to check price button

Key:

* Capacity: all three models have both a 28 and a 56 egg model.

** Humidity: in the Eco and Advance models, humidity is provided by water trays, with an easy top-up function including a level indicator. The EX has a fully automatic humidity control which is said to be extremely accurate.

*** Temperature: all three incubators have a digital display showing temperature.

**** Turning: this is different to the "Mini" and "Maxi" ranges, in that the Ovation incubators all have a fully controllable turning capacity. 

***** Alarm: all three models have an alarm system should the temperature in the incubator or the room be above or below desired levels. 

Divider: baby chickens colour line drawing, full width.

Other related pages you may find useful.

Thumbnail incubators T2
How to set up the Brinsea mini advance incubator. Link to article.
A review of Brinsea's egg candlers - link.
Brooder heat lamps - which is best? Product review link.
Thumbnail link to the start of the incubation process, with links to all 21 days.
Chick brooders: what they are and how to make them. Link to article.
When to move chicks from incubator to brooder - link.
Bedding in the brooder - 5 options on test. Link.
Incubating and hatching your own chicks - book review - link.
Link to Raising Happy Chickens home page.