Are you craving the sweet, malty flavor of a crispy waffle covered in berries and whipped cream or drowned in syrup? Any of these waffle makers will send you straight to golden brown heaven!
What to Look for in a Waffle Maker
Surprisingly, you can spend anywhere from $18 to $200 on a waffle maker! How much you spend doesn’t mean it will meet your needs, though.
Let’s take a look at the features of a great waffle maker:
- Even cooking: The heating element and plate design are crucial to produce an evenly cooked, golden brown waffle. A cheap design results in uneven browning.
- Light to dark control: On most simple waffle makers, time is the only way you can control the darkness of your waffles, but others have browning controls. Some even offer smart controls, so you can dial-in the precise waffle browning based on the type of batter.
- Cooking indicator: Most waffle makers include a preheat indicator that also signals when the waffle is done. Others include a countdown timer and an audible indicator, so you’ll know when your grub is ready without having to stare at it.
- Batter management: It’s quite a balancing act to pour just the right amount of batter into a waffle maker. If you pour too little, your waffle will look anemic and malformed; pour too much, and it runs out the sides of the appliance and makes a big mess. Some machines have an overflow moat that gives you more room for error, while still producing a perfect waffle.
- Versatility: Most waffle makers are exclusively meant to cook waffles, and maybe some squashed hash browns or sausage. However, if you want more than waffles from your device, there are plenty of multipurpose cookers out there you can use to whip up an entire breakfast!
- Easy cleanup: At the minimum, look for a waffle maker that is nonstick, so it’s easier to remove your waffles and to clean. Even better, choose one with a removable plate for easier handwashing. Some brands claim the plates are dishwasher safe, but it’s usually best to hand wash them anyway for longer life.
Waffle makers come in a wide variety of forms and with different functions. However, most folks probably just want a good waffle maker for a good price—which is how we chose our Best Overall Waffle Maker.
Best Overall: Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic
The Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker is exactly what its name suggests—a classic, round waffle maker that makes crispy, chewy waffles. A red indicator light signals when it’s fully preheated, and a green light tells you when your waffle is ready. It also has five settings for light-to-dark browning control, as well as a nonstick surface for easy waffle removal and cleanup. The Round Classic also stands on its end for easy storage.
The Cuisinart WMR-CA doesn’t try or claim to be anything more than a waffle maker, and we think that’s a good thing. If you just want to make great waffles at an inexpensive price, you can’t beat this option.
Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker, Silver, 1
Looking for a simple, effective, and inexpensive waffle maker? The Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic is for you!
Best Premium: Breville BWM640XL Smart Four-Slice Waffle Maker
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Breville BWM640XL Smart Four-Slice Waffle Maker. The Breville is the Mercedes-Benz of waffle makers. Its LCD screen guides you through a five-mode Waffle IQ for the precise cooking of various batter types. Options include Belgian, classic, chocolate, buttermilk, and custom.
Breville employs Thermal Pro even heat distribution, with infinitely variable light-to-dark browning controls. A typical, nonstick surface ensures your waffles come out easy, and cleanup is simple.
The LCD also features a countdown indicator, so you know exactly when your waffle will be done. Even better, if you pop it open and your waffle isn’t “done” enough for you, just push the “A Bit More” button to add a little more cooking time.
The BWM640XL also includes a wide batter moat for plenty of extra batter space without overflow.
Any car will get you where you need to go, but a Mercedes will get you there in style. The same is true of the Breville BWM640XL. When only the best will do, the Breville is for you.
Breville BWM640XL Smart 4-Slice Waffle Maker, Silver
If you're passionate about your waffles and only the best will do, you'll want the Breville BWM640XL Smart Four-Slice Waffle Maker.
Best for Belgian Waffles: Cuisinart WAF-300 Belgian Waffle Maker with Pancake Plates
Cuisinart likes to call the WAF-300 Belgian Waffle Maker “breakfast central” since it has a lot of really great features. It comes with dishwasher-safe, removable plates that make cleanup a snap. Of course, the Belgian waffle plates also produce the thick, crispy waffles you crave. The WAF-300 also comes with multipurpose pancake plates that are also great for cooking sausage patties, Canadian bacon, or hash browns. You can also cook eggs in a round form that would be perfect on an English muffin or breakfast sandwich.
There are six levels of browning control, as well as both an indicator light and audible beep that lets you know when your waffles are done.
If you’re looking for a versatile Belgian waffle maker that can also handle the rest of breakfast, look no further!
Cuisinart Belgian Maker with Pancake Plates Waffle Iron, Single, Silver,WAF-300P1
The Cuisinart WAF-300 Belgian Waffle Maker with Pancake Plates is our pick for the best Belgian waffle maker. As a bonus, you can also cook sausage patties, Canadian bacon, and perfectly round eggs for your breakfast sandwich with this versatile waffle maker.
Best Single-Serve: Dash Mini-Maker
The Dash Mini-Maker is a simple, single-serve waffle maker. It produces small, Eggo-sized, evenly cooked waffles. If you’re in a hurry, this might be a bad thing. However, if you’re frugal and have a little time, you can always premake a bunch of waffles and throw them in the freezer. You can then reheat them in a toaster, just like those you buy in the frozen section at the grocery store.
The Mini-Maker doesn’t have a browning control—you manage that with cook time. It does have a preheat indicator light that doubles as a “done” alert. It has a nonstick surface, so it’s easy to remove your little waffle and clean up afterward.
If you want to control your waffle portion size, or if you live in a small apartment, dorm, RV, or anywhere space is limited, the Dash Mini-Maker is a great option.
Dash DMW001RD Machine for Individual, Paninis, Hash Browns, & other Mini waffle maker, 4 inch, Red
The Dash Mini-Maker Waffle machine preheats and cooks quickly, making it the perfect single-serve waffle maker. It requires minimal storage space and makes great waffles!
Most Versatile: Cuisinart GR-5B Griddler and GR-WAFP Waffle Plates
The Cuisinart GR-5B Griddler is not just a waffle maker. It’s a five-in-one electric griddle with removable plates that function as a contact grill, panini press, full grill or griddle, or a half grill/half griddle. If you also purchase the GR-WAFP waffle plates, you can make a full-featured waffle maker the sixth function.
You can push the plates together on the Griddler to make burgers, paninis, or waffles. However, you can also flop open this little transformer and get two full cooking surfaces! The grill surface is perfect for your favorite meats, and you can use the flat griddle surface for cooking eggs, pancakes, bacon, or anything else you make on a griddle.
The Griddler provides precise temperature control from 175 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The LCD screen shows you the current temperature and also provides a countdown timer with an audible beep at the end to help you manage cooking time. If you exceed the countdown, the timer reverses and tells you how much time has passed since the timer expired.
The removable cooking plates are dishwasher safe, but it’s recommended you handwash them to extend the life of the nonstick finish.
If you are into space- and cost-saving multifunction cookers, the Cuisinart GR-5B Griddler with GR-WAFP Waffle Plates are just the ticket.
Cuisinart Electric Griddler, Stainless Steel
The Cuisinart GR-5B Griddler is a five-in-one electric griddle that takes breakfast (or any other meal) to a whole new level. If you're into saving counter space and money, this is the device for you.
Cuisinart GR-WAFP Griddler Waffle Plates, Black
If you want to make waffles on the Cuisinart GR-5B Griddler, you'll need these GR-WAFP Waffle Plates, which turn your Griddler into a first-class waffle making machine. They're nonstick and dishwasher-safe to make cleanup a snap.