waffle maker
Credit: AllRecipes/Dera Burreson

We Tested the Best Waffle Makers — Here Are Our Top Picks

Out of all the models we tested, the Cuisinart 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker was our favorite.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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.

Our Favorites

Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Amazon

Best Overall: Cuisinart 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker

View at Amazon ($60)

Also available at Williams Sonoma, Wayfair, and Walmart

Why It's Great

  • Heats quickly and evenly
  • No spillage
  • Easy to clean

Grain of Salt

  • Bulky to store

The Cuisinart 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker won our best overall award after earning a 4.9/5 rating from our product testers. During our kitchen tests, it heated up in a snap and consistently produced a golden-brown crust with a fluffy center. Plus, this model had zero spillage and "cleans like a dream." 

The waffle maker has nonstick coated plates for smooth release, a brushed stainless steel cover that looks nice and cleans easily, and an arched handle for effortless lifting. If making waffles sounds intimidating, don't worry, this model makes the process a breeze. There are red and green lights that let you know when the plates are hot and when the waffle is fully cooked, plus it will make a beeping noise in case you've stepped away. To achieve your ideal doneness, it features a turn dial with six browning settings — we found that the medium to high settings were the most successful for toasty brown results. 

The only con our testers noted was that it's a bit bulky to store; however, you can turn it on its side for easy storage. Overall, this waffle maker is great for beginners, is consistent, and is priced right.  

The Details: Measures 10 x 8.5 x 4.5 inches; 800 watts; 3-year warranty

Cuisinart 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker
Credit: Dera Burreson
Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Amazon

Best Budget: Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker

View at Amazon ($30)

Also available at Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Wayfair.

Why It's Great

  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Batter spreads evenly

Grain of Salt

  • Edges don't cook as well as center

Cuisinart wins once again with its affordable classic waffle maker as our best budget pick. For a fraction of the cost of other models, this waffle maker is easy to use and store and gets the job done right. 

Like the Cuisinart model above, this affordable option heats and cooks quickly and has indicator lights so you know when to add batter and remove cooked waffles. The difference between the two devices is that this waffle maker doesn't beep when the waffle is done cooking, and the results aren't as praise-worthy. While the batter distributed nicely, our testers noted uneven browning with a darker center and pale edges. It's not necessarily a deal-breaker, especially for the low price, but it was one of the main reasons it didn't beat the more expensive model. 

The waffle maker has five browning settings for customizable cooking, and the plates feature one-inch deep pockets — perfect for holding syrup. For fuss-free storage, it can stand up on countertops or in cabinets, and its cord wraps around the base for extra organization. 

The Details: Measures 9.69 x 7.88 x 3.31 inches; 850 watts; 3-year warranty

Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Dera Burreson
Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Amazon

Best for Groups: Crux Double Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker

View at Amazon ($80)

Why It's Great

  • Makes two waffles at once
  • Sleek design
  • Easy to clean

Grain of Salt

  • Spillage with larger amounts of batter

This 1400-watt rotating waffle maker whips up waffles at a rapid pace thanks to its double capacity design. In fact, the manufacturer claims it can produce eight in just 10 minutes, making it an excellent choice for those preparing brunch for large crowds

Not only did our testers love its fast cooking capabilities, but they also complimented its sleek design, special features, and easy cleanup. This model's special features include a drip tray, preheating and doneness indicators, and six heat settings. It even comes with a premeasured cup, so your batter will distribute evenly and won't spill over the edge. But if you do happen to pour too much, the waffle maker's drip tray is there to catch any spillage. 

Our testers noted the different number of beeps it made for when it turns on, when it's time to add batter, and when the waffle is done cooking, which is especially helpful for multitasking hosts. They described the doneness of the waffles as "super even and gorgeous on both sides of the waffle maker" and the texture as "crisp on the exterior and light and fluffy on the inside." All in all, our testers said they loved this product. 

The Details: Measures 15.15 x 9.44 x 8.14 inches; 1400 watts; 3-year warranty

Related: The 8 Best French Press Coffee Makers, According to Our Tests

Crux Double Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker
Credit: Dera Burreson
Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Amazon

Best for Kids: Disney Mickey Mouse Double Flip Waffle Maker

View at Amazon ($85)

Also available at Walmart and Home Depot

Why It's Great

  • Fun for Disney fans
  • Makes six waffles at a time
  • Releases smoothly from the plates

Grain of Salt

  • Inconsistent browning

Surprise your little ones with Mickey Mouse waffles with this affordable waffle machine. Your kids will think you are some sort of a magician when they see Mickey's face on their plates, but the truth is this device is extremely quick and easy to see — your secret is safe with us. 

This waffle maker has two sides featuring three Mickey face molds, so you can make six waffles at once. We love the double-sided design on this model because it allows you to churn out large quantities in so little time, meaning you can use it on busy weekday mornings and at sleepovers for hungry guests. The Mickey faces are about 3 inches wide, so each person will most likely eat more than one or two waffles. 

Our testers said the machine rotates easily, the waffles release well from the iron, and the handle stays cool. It has an on/off switch and a turn dial that can be adjusted from light to dark, depending on how brown you want the waffles to be. We found that heat settings can be inconsistent, so it might take a few tries to see which one works best. 

The Details: Measures 4 x 8 x 8 inches; 1400 watts; 1-year warranty

Disney Mickey Mouse Double Flip Waffle Maker
Credit: Dera Burreson
Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Amazon

Best Design: Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker 

View at Amazon ($60)

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma.

Why It's Great

  • Unique vertical design
  • Even browning
  • Easy to clean

Grain of Salt

  • Need to season the plates 

As the third Cuisinart model on our list, it's safe to say that this brand knows how to build quality waffle makers, and this one stands out from the rest because of its unique vertical design. It sits upright on your countertop and features a spout at the top where you'll add the batter, ensuring you won't have any spillage. 

This waffle maker has a control knob with five heat settings and red and green indicator lights to let you know when it's done preheating. After you add your batter, the green light turns off and then back on when the waffle is ready to serve. One thing to note about the vertical design is that your cooked waffle will have an extra section from the batter being cooked in the spout area. We found that section was slightly less cooked than the rest of the waffle but still done enough to eat. Before your first use, make sure to season the nonstick plates. 

The Details: Measures 8 x 13 x 15 inches; 800 watts; 3-year warranty

Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker
Credit: Dera Burreson
Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Amazon

Best Mini: Dash Mini Waffle Maker Machine

View at Amazon ($15)

Also available at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Williams Sonoma

Why It's Great

  • Versatile
  • Simple operation
  • Comes in different colors

Grain of Salt

  • No special features

There are many reasons to love this mini waffle maker: The price is chief among them, but its tiny size is ideal for small-space living. Whether you are using it in a dorm, the office, or a small kitchen, the Dash Mini Waffle Maker is easy to use and store. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors and shapes, so you can choose one that suits your style. We especially love the heart shape for making waffles with a lot of love on Valentine's Day and any day.

Our product testers recommend this waffle maker for preparing waffle sandwiches, single servings, and dessert waffles. The machine has a blue light to signal when it's done preheating, but it doesn't have browning settings or a doneness indicator. However, we found that it produced evenly cooked waffles in just three minutes after preheating for a little over two minutes. If you're looking for a no-frills, no-fuss waffle maker, this affordable model is a winner. 

The Details: Measures 6.4 x 5 x 2.8 inches; 350 watts; 1-year warranty 

Dash Mini Waffle Maker Machine
Credit: Dera Burreson
Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Williams Sonoma

Best Splurge: Breville the Smart Waffle Pro 4-Slice

View at Williams Sonoma ($280)

Also available at Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond.  

Why It's Great

  • Has four slices
  • Consistent browning
  • Amazing features

Grain of Salt

  • Expensive
  • Bulky

If you're willing to invest, look no further than the Smart Waffle Pro from Breville. Our product testers gave this model 5 stars for its design, performance, and ease of cleaning, emphasizing how amazing its features are. It's outfitted with a menu dial that lets you select from four different types of waffles (this is merely an indicator of how long something will cook by default), but the control dial can let you zero in on more precise cooking with 12 temperature settings.

While your waffle cooks, the waffle maker's smart technology can adjust cooking time if it senses your waffle is baking faster or slower. You can lock the lid in place so that the batter doesn't push the lid up while it bakes; a moat around the waffle wells will catch any runover. And if you open the lid to see your waffle isn't quite as brown as you'd hoped, close it and press Breville's patented "A Bit More" button for a little extra cooking. 

You can buy the Smart Waffle Pro in four- and two-slice sizes. They both make robust 1-inch thick waffles. And the PFOA-free nonstick lining makes cleanup as easy as a wipe with a warm towel.

The Details: Measures 14.9 x 12.3 x 5.1 inches; 1800 watts; 1-year warranty

Related: We Tested the Best Air Fryers — Here Are the Ones Worth Buying

Breville the Smart Waffle Pro 4-Slice
Credit: Dera Burreson

Our Takeaway

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. 

Best waffle makers
Credit: Dera Burreson

How to Pick the Right Waffle Maker 

Price

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

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. 

Special Features

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.

Heating Capability

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? 
Best waffle makers

The Leftovers: Other Waffle Makers We Tested

Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Amazon

All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic Round Waffle Maker

View at Amazon ($150)

This waffle maker is a good example of why we can't always judge a product's quality on its price. Even though it has a higher price tag than most models on our list, the All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic Round Waffle Maker didn't meet our expectations when testing its performance. On the medium setting, the waffles turned out fairly pale, and even on the highest settings, they had pale edges. 

Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Walmart

Black + Decker 3-In-1 Indoor Grill/Griddler & Waffle Maker

View at Walmart ($91)

When it comes to kitchen gadgets, we tend to favor versatile models because they give you the most for your money. Unfortunately, this 3-in-1 indoor grill, griddle, and waffle maker missed the mark. Our product testers found that the lower plates were hotter than the top ones, which resulted in uneven cooking. "The reversible plates are a hazard rather than a convenience," they added.

Classic Waffle Maker
Credit: Amazon

Presto Stuffler Stuffed Waffle Maker

View at Amazon ($50)

As amazing as stuffed waffles sound, this waffle maker didn't impress our testers. They said it had leakage as soon as they added the batter, leading to a big mess that required a lot of cleanup. On top of that, the machine was difficult to operate, and its instructions didn't help make things easier. All in all, we love this waffle maker's concept, but it just didn't deliver, which was the case for several of the "specialized" waffle makers — think stuffed, mini, personal — we tested.

Best waffle makers
Credit: Dera Burreson

Common Questions

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.