Shopping & Reviews

The Best Waffle Makers to Boost Your Breakfast Game

We cooked dozens of waffles to find the very best.

By Leah Scalzadonna


Published on August 17, 2022

Waffles are the heroes of the breakfast world, with the ability to please everybody at the table. After all, they have crispy craters for pooling butter, can pair with any topping under the sun, and don’t fall apart under a drizzle of maple syrup—plus, their batter easily incorporates treats like chocolate chips or blueberries. Of course, to cook a great waffle, you also need a great waffle maker. Nobody wants a waffle that’s burnt, floppy, or oozing out of the waffle maker onto your countertop. That’s why we tested through a variety of waffle makers to find the best options for golden-brown waffles. Read on to view our favorites.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Weight: 13 pounds Price: $119.95 Nonstick surface: Yes

Pros


  • Cooks two waffles at once
  • Durable
  • Mess-free

Cons


  • Expensive

Why we chose it: This sturdy, dependable waffle maker cooks two fluffy waffles at once.

With two nonstick plates that rotate for even cooking, Cuisinart’s waffle maker provides double the waffles in the same amount of time. Made of stainless steel, the machine feels solid and sturdy, even while rotating the irons. It also included a measuring cup for pouring batter, which provided the perfect amount for fluffy waffles without any overflow. A dial on the bottom allows users to set the time for how crispy they want their waffles, with an indicator light on both sides. We found that waffles cooked on the highest time setting came out perfectly golden-brown and crisp on the outside but soft on the inside. The waffle maker is pricey, but you’re cooking two waffles at once in a machine that feels durable and built to last. If you’re making breakfast for a family, this is your best bet.

Best Budget

Weight: Five pounds | Price: $33.03 | Nonstick surface: Yes

Pros


  • Affordable
  • Mess-free
  • Easy to use

Cons


  • Feels flimsy
  • Timer doesn’t seem accurate

Why we chose it: A user-friendly waffle maker that guarantees fast and even cooking. 

The Bella waffle maker offers a lot of bang for its buck—it's affordable, easy to use, and produces golden, evenly cooked waffles. On the flip side, the waffle maker is primarily made of plastic and does feel a bit flimsy, and we noticed that the waffles required a bit more time than what was indicated by the timer. Overall, though, the waffle maker was easy to use and didn’t overflow at all (but it does include a drip tray to catch leaks if needed). If you don’t mind waiting a bit longer for your waffle, you won’t regret purchasing this model.

Best Square:

Weight: About eight pounds | Price: $99.99 | Nonstick surface: Yes

Pros


  • Cooks evenly
  • Makes two waffles at once
  • Included countdown timer

Cons


  • Pricey
  • Iron needs to preheat in between waffles
  • Can overflow

Why we chose it: Those who prefer square waffles to round ones will adore this double waffle maker.

Are square waffles better than round? Some may say so, but it really comes down to personal preference. If you’re on team square, the Calphalon IntelliCrisp is a must-have product. It makes thick, Belgian waffles that are evenly cooked all the way around. Plus, the appliance includes a dial to set your preferred browning level, as well as a digital countdown timer that will alert you when your waffles are finished. Its ceramic waffle plates ensure that this machine stays nonstick, even if you pour in the waffle batter without greasing the plates first. Be wary of how much batter you’re adding—anything larger than half a cup will most likely overflow. While the ability to cook two waffles at once helps speed things up, you will need to wait for the iron to heat up again in between batches. Ultimately, it’s worth it for the quality of the waffles it produces, as well as its nonstick, easy to clean plates.

Best Mini

Weight: One pound Price: $12.99 Nonstick surface: Yes

Pros


  • Affordable
  • Available in a multitude of colors and shapes
  • Cooks evenly

Cons


  • Overflows easily
  • Can be difficult to clean
  • Waffles are thin

Why we chose it: A cute, compact waffle maker that allows for creativity.

Dash has a reputation for their small, colorful machines, especially their mini waffle maker. Available in the classic round or in shapes like hearts, pumpkins, and stars, these small appliances are surprisingly adept at evenly cooking waffles (though there is no timer, so you’ll have to lift the top to see when your breakfast is cooked to your liking.) The miniature size has its perks when it comes to storage, but the waffles are small and you can only cook one at a time with about ¼ cup of batter, so it will take a while to make a stack for the whole family. Adding additional batter will cause the machine to overflow, and there is no catch guard for holding any leaked batter. But, if you’re looking for a small appliance that will make cute waffles for special occasions—or just for one person—, you can’t beat Dash.

Best Specialty

Weight: About four pounds Price: $66 Nonstick surface: Yes

Pros


  • Waffles have unique texture

Cons


  • Heavy
  • Both sides must be preheated
  • Can be difficult to connect the pans

Why we chose it: This Hong Kong-style waffle pan makes puffy, airy waffles that can be rolled, folded, or pulled apart.

A popular street food in Hong Kong, egg waffles are sweet, puffy, and can be transformed into cones, pull-apart bites, and more. This Nordic Ware pan, made of cast aluminum with nonstick coating, is exactly what you need to make them at home. It can be a bit tricky to use because, unlike most waffle makers, this isn’t an electric machine. Both sides of the pan must be preheated on the stovetop before using and reconnected to cook over one burner, which can be tricky. Plus, the pan itself can be heavy and difficult for some users to flip. Nordic Ware includes a recipe for egg waffles on the wrapping for the pan, so be careful when opening it for the first time.

Best to Clean

Weight: About five pounds | Price: $64.99 | Nonstick surface: Yes

Pros


  • Makes thick
  • Crispy waffles
  • No overflow
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons


  • Plates can fall off the waffle maker
  • Cooks unevenly

Why we chose it: A waffle maker with removable plates that can go right into the dishwasher.

If you prefer waffles on the crisper side, Hamilton Beach has you covered. We found that the highest heat setting made crispy waffles that weren’t too well-done, and none of the batter leaked out of the machine. However, multiple trials revealed that the heat isn’t even, with one half of the waffle consistently darker than the other half. The removable plates are dishwasher-safe, making this the easiest waffle maker to clean on the list. Be careful, though, because the plates did dislodge from the waffle maker on our first use, and were difficult to reconnect while hot. However, this could be user error, as we didn’t have trouble with the plates during subsequent uses.

Best Splurge

Weight: About seven pounds | Price: $149.95 | Nonstick surface: Yes

Pros


  • No overflow
  • Settings for thin waffles
  • Indicator lights

Cons


  • The bottom half browns more than the top
  • Pricey
  • Waffles can be difficult to remove

Why we chose it: With a no-mess “moat,” Breville ensures that your waffle batter will never leak.

If you absolutely hate cleaning up waffle batter that’s leaked onto the countertop (and really, who doesn’t?), you’ll adore the Breville No-Mess Waffle Maker. With the waffle plate sitting inside of a “moat,” it’s virtually impossible to make a mess with this appliance. Including seven settings for the heat level, the waffle maker can cook everything from thick Belgian waffles to thin, crispy options—and it includes an indicator light to alert you when the appliance is preheated and when the waffles are done. Make sure the entire waffle plate is covered with batter before cooking; otherwise, the waffles can be a bit tricky to remove. We also found that the waffles were darker on the bottom than they were on the top, but it wasn’t a significant difference. Overall, it’s worth it to avoid making a huge mess during weekend brunch.

Runner Up

Weight: Five and a half pounds Price: $149.99 Nonstick surface: Yes

Pros


  • Sturdy
  • No overflow
  • Indicator light

Cons


  • Waffles were pale on the edges
  • Locking feature can be cumbersome
  • Pricey

Why we chose it: A waffle maker that’s built with the user in mind, featuring indicator lights, a browning dial, and a handle that stays cool.

Made of glossy stainless steel, All-Clad’s waffle maker is as durable as the rest of their renowned cookware. With a browning control dial, a light to indicate when the waffle maker is heated and when your waffle is done, and a handle that stays cool, it includes every feature that a user needs. The waffle maker is compact, and includes a lock to hold the lid in place so that the appliance can be stored vertically. Unfortunately, we found that the waffle maker would lock while it was cooking the waffles, and undoing the lock on the hot appliance was intimidating. Additionally, the waffle maker didn’t provide even heat, with the outer edges pale while the center was browned, and the bottom more well-done than the top.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Waffle Maker

Size

Waffle makers run the gamut from mini, compact models to large, double-capacity options. When purchasing a waffle maker, consider both the size of the machine and the size of the waffles themselves. Some waffle makers can be quite large, so a mini, compact model may be better if you’re short on storage, but if you’re making waffles for a crowd, you’ll want one that makes multiple at once. Personal preference also plays a key role here—if you’re going to be preparing brunch every weekend, invest in a waffle maker that will produce thick, fluffy waffles in just a few minutes. If they’re more for special occasions or fun desserts, you don’t need to waste kitchen real estate on a large machine. 

Cleanup

Waffle makers can be difficult to clean, especially if the batter overflows. A drip tray is nice to catch leaking batter, but batter that dries on the outside of the machine can be near impossible to get off. Waffle makers with nonstick surfaces are easier to clean, and can normally be wiped down with a wet dishcloth and dried. It’s a bonus if the waffle maker includes removable plates, which can be popped in the dishwasher. 

Volume

If you’re cooking for a crowd (or larger family), you’re going to want a waffle maker that can cook enough waffles in a short amount of time. The Cuisinart Double Belgian Waffle Maker, for example, can cook four waffles in about eight minutes. A waffle maker that only makes one small waffle, like the Dash mini, can take too long for more than one or two people.

Ask the Experts

Why do some waffle makers flip?

Marilyn Haugen, author of 150 Best Waffle Maker Recipes and owner of MavenCookery.com, says that waffle makers that flip produce much better results. “The batter distributes more evenly which makes the cooking more even,” she says. “While both plates are hot initially, once you pour in the cool batter the bottom plate needs to come back up to temperature. Flipping the plates over puts the batter on the hotter plate. For smaller classic waffles, any variance in cooking isn’t as obvious.” However, others feel that it’s not necessary to make an amazing waffle. “If you pour in enough batter and use a leavening agent, you don't need an iron that flips to make great waffles,” says Benedicte Engen, CEO and founder of Viking Waffles. During our testing, we found better results with the waffle makers that rotated. 

How do I clean a waffle maker?

“Use a dry paper towel or damp cloth to wipe away crumbs and soak up excess oil or butter,” says Engen. “On stubborn leftovers you can use a bit of lemon or vinegar with a cloth or gently use a wooden or plastic knife to get out the difficult residue. Avoid using soap.”

Are vertical waffle makers better?

The best waffle maker for you comes down to personal preference. Engen prefers vertical waffle makers, which she used when growing up in Norway. “I'm unable to be objective due to too many fond childhood memories baking in these waffle irons,” she says. On the flip side, Haugen finds vertical waffle makers to be messy, and likes horizontal waffle makers better. Ultimately, it comes down to what suits you best.

Final Thoughts

The best waffles are golden-brown, soft at the core, and made for slathering with butter and syrup. We recommend the Cuisinart Double Belgian Waffle Maker because it produced uniform waffles that weren’t too soft or too crisp. We also appreciated its rotating feature and its ability to cook two waffles at once. 

Methodology

When selecting waffle makers to test, we looked at popular options from both big names and smaller brands, reading reviews and searching several websites to find the waffle makers that home cooks are most interested in. From there, we tested each waffle maker by preheating the appliances, greasing each one with butter, and pouring in a batter made from Golden Malted Pancake and Waffle Flour. We used the amount of batter recommended by each brand’s guidebook, which typically ranged between ½ and ¾ cups. While the waffles were cooking, we took note of whether or not the batter leaked, if the appliances had features like temperature controls and indicator lights, and how well each waffle maker performed. We looked for cooked waffles that were golden-brown all over, with no pale edges or burned spots, and tested different temperature settings to see how well they worked. Finally, we spoke with Marilyn Haugen, author of 150 Best Waffle Maker Recipes and owner of MavenCookery.com, and Benedicte Engen, CEO and founder of Viking Waffles, to get their recommendations and waffle expertise.

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