We Tested the Best Waffle Makers — Here Are Our Top Picks
The best brunch spreads have a variety of savory and sweet foods. While pancakes and French toast are tasty sweet options, nothing beats the texture and flavor of fluffy, caramelized waffles. Their square pockets guarantee that each bite will be equally delicious, providing the perfect waffle to syrup ratio. If your mouth is watering, consider adding a waffle maker to your kitchen today.
To help you purchase the right waffle maker for your needs, we tested 19 different models in our test kitchen, using both yeast and no-yeast batters, and rated each one for their design, performance, size, ease of cleaning, and overall value. There was a lot to love about the Cuisinart 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker, including its spill-free performance and easy cleanup, which is why it earned our best overall award. Read on to learn more about how we tested the products and gain further insight into all of the best waffle makers on our list.
- Best Overall: Cuisinart 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker
- Best Budget: Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker
- Best for Groups: Crux Double Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker
- Best for Kids: Disney Mickey Mouse Double Flip Waffle Maker
- Best Design: Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker
- Best Mini: Dash Mini Waffle Maker Machine
- Best Splurge: Breville the Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice
We chose the Cuisinart 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker because it consistently produced perfectly cooked waffles throughout our tests, and it has special features like browning settings and indicator lights that make it super easy to operate. And even with outstanding performance and design, it has a reasonable price tag.
How to Pick the Right Waffle Maker
Naturally, price is a major factor in any purchasing decision. Waffle makers can cost between $10 and $400, with a lot of quality options under $100. However, price is not always a reflection of quality. For example, we were surprised to see the All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic Round Waffle Maker score so low given its price.
Size is a big factor when it comes to choosing the right waffle maker for you, as you want a model that is suitable for your serving needs and kitchen space. For large families, you'll want to consider a 2- or 4-slice waffle maker that can make multiple servings at a time. Mini and single-slice waffle makers are great options for individuals and couples and don't take up too much countertop or cabinet space.
In our tests, we found that waffle makers with more surface area, deep grooves, and four quadrants heated more evenly. If you have the space for bigger models, they are your best bet for high-quality results.
With parameters set for price and size, you can start to explore some of the fun options: Do you want one with removable plates? One that rotates? Perhaps a small portable waffle maker? The top performers in our tests had the rotating feature, which seemed to help with the distribution of batter and heat, as well as indicator lights, which alerted us when the waffles were properly cooked. We highly recommend looking for a waffle maker with those two features.
While some might care more about the speed of a waffle maker, others might be more patient in the pursuit of the perfect waffle for their needs. That's when options for desired doneness or browning level come in, as well as other adjustable settings and ready indicator lights.
Ease of Cleaning
Another important consideration is how easy it is to clean. Does the waffle maker have removable plates? Are there drip trays? These matter a lot if you are using the waffle maker often and don't want to spend more time cleaning it than making waffles in it. Not surprisingly, our testers tended to rate models that limited drippage and were easy to clean higher than others.
About Our Tests
We ordered 19 different waffle makers to perform side-by-side testing in our kitchen. Our product testers spent hours examining each model's design and then tested their performance and cleanup using different batter recipes and heat settings.
We rated each waffle maker based on these qualities:
- Design: Does it have special features? Are the settings and controls easy to use? Does it provide a signal when the waffles are done cooking? Is it easy to store?
- Performance: Does it preheat quickly? Are the waffles evenly cooked? Do the extra features work as promised?
- Size: Are the waffle a satisfactory size? Does one waffle provide an appropriate serving for adults?
- Ease of Cleaning: Is it easy to clean? Are the plates removable? Are any parts dishwasher safe?
- Overall Value: Is this waffle maker well-priced for its durability and performance?
The Leftovers: Other Waffle Makers We Tested
Are flip waffle makers better than regular waffle makers?
In our tests, we did find that the ability to flip the waffles while in the machine resulted in a more even distribution of batter and browning. However, if flipping intimidates you, regular waffle makers will get the job done just fine without the extra work.
What is the difference between a Belgian waffle and a regular waffle?
The main difference between a Belgian waffle and an American-style waffle is the depth and number of their pockets. If you like your waffles extra thick and fluffy with loads of toppings, Belgian waffles are your best choice (and our testers tended to prefer that style of maker). For those who like a little more crunch and a speedier cook time, you probably prefer American-style waffles.
What else can I use a waffle maker for?
Waffle makers can be used for so much more than just traditional waffles: You can make hashbrowns, grilled cheese sandwiches, brownies, pizzas, and more. They can be used at any time of the day and will add a delicious crunch to your meal.
Why Take Our Word For It?
Our product testers performed side-by-side testing with 19 different waffle makers, experimenting with different recipes and providing ratings for their design, performance, and ease of cleaning. Associate Editor Bridget Degnan analyzed their insights and did further research to determine our list of the best waffle makers on the market. Emily Belfiore contributed additional reporting on important factors for choosing the best waffle maker.