The 5 Best Waffle Makers to Buy in 2020
Do you have one of the best waffle makers in your kitchen?
Unless you love waffles, you’re likely wondering if a waffle iron is worth the cost. This appliance might not get as much love as blenders or microwave ovens, but waffle irons are more versatile than many people realize.
Owning a waffle maker means that breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a lot easier. You can make a lot of delicious foods in a waffle iron, including french toast, quesadillas, pizzas, falafels, and cookies. You may be surprised at how much a waffle iron can transform your kitchen.
Here are the best waffle makers on the market.
#2 Oster Dura Ceramic Infusion Belgian Waffle Maker
This innovative, four-slice Belgian waffle maker is perfect for families. It’s capable of making four Belgian-style waffles at one time and cooks 29% faster than other non-stick waffle makers. Features include:
- 4-Slice waffle maker
- Dura ceramic cook plates
- Lasts ten times longer
Editors' Choice: Breville Smart 4 Slice Waffle Maker
This high tech waffle maker may come with a hefty price tag, but it’s worth the cost.
If you’re a waffle lover who wants one of the best waffle irons money can buy, go with this one. It’s equipped with smart waffle IQ technology that automatically sets the perfect cook time for the waffle batter you’re using.
It comes with five cook options: classic, Belgian, chocolate, buttermilk, or custom. You can adjust the cooking time and control the level of browning as your waffle cooks with a knob on the side of the machine.
A nonstick moat around the edges catches excess batter to give you perfect waffle squares every time and make cleaning up easy.
Breville Smart 4 Slice Waffle Maker Pros
- 5 cooking options: Choose from classic, Belgian, chocolate, buttermilk, or custom.
- Audible chime: This waffle iron alerts you when your waffles are ready.
- Easy clean-up: A stainless steel exterior and nonstick interior cook plates make cleaning up fast and easy.
- Waffle IQ technology: This appliance automatically adjusts cook time to match the batter consistency you’re using.
Breville Smart 4 Slice Waffle Maker Cons
- High price: This smart waffle maker costs more than $200 at most retailers.
- Limited shapes: This machine is only capable of making square waffles. There’s no option to change the interior plates.
- Storage difficulty: At 12 1/4 x 15 1/4 x 5 3/4 and over 14 lbs, this waffle iron isn’t as compact as other models.
Best Value: Hamilton Beach Flip Waffle Maker
This flip style waffle maker has a stainless steel design and removable, nonstick cook plates. For under $50, it’s the waffle maker with the best value.
It’s easy to use, has high-quality materials, and will last for years with the right cleaning and maintenance.
The flipping action helps the batter distribute more evenly, giving you better-tasting waffles. The waffles come out soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
You can adjust the level of browning you want using a knob on the outside of the machine.
When you’re done, you can clean the removable plates in the dishwasher.
Hamilton Flip Waffle Maker Pros
- Affordable appliance: This device is available for under $50 at most retailers.
- Easy cleaning: The nonstick, removable plates are dishwasher safe.
- Easy-to-use design: This is a no fuss, straightforward flip waffle maker that gives you more even waffles.
- High quality: This waffle maker is high-quality stainless steel and is designed to last for years.
Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker Cons
- Additional parts: This device comes with both a base and a waffle iron you’ll have to store.
- Limited indicator lights: The waffle iron alerts you when it’s ready for the batter, but it doesn’t alert you when waffles are done.
- Limited waffle options: This is only capable of making one round Belgian-style waffle at a time.
Best for Belgian Waffles: Oster Dura Ceramic Infusion Belgian Waffle Maker
This innovative, four-slice Belgian maker is perfect for families. It’s capable of making four Belgian-style waffles at one time and cooks 29% faster than other nonstick waffle makers.
The unique dura-ceramic design is nonstick ceramic that saves energy and heats up faster. It’s also made to last ten times longer than traditional nonstick models.
The ceramic iron is infused with extra virgin olive oil so that you don’t have to add any butter or oil before cooking. No added oil means healthier waffles for you.
Oster Dura Ceramic Infusion Belgian Waffle Maker Pros
- Easy storage: You can store this device vertically or horizontally.
- Fast and efficient plates: The ceramic plates heat up faster than other nonstick models and are easier to clean.
- Healthier waffles: The olive oil infused ceramic plates allow you to cook without adding butter or oil.
Oster Dura Ceramic Infusion Belgian Waffle Maker Cons
- Limited features: This appliance only makes one style of waffles.
- Limited indicator lights: The indicator lights let you know when the machine is ready for the batter. They don’t tell you when the waffles are ready.
Best for Classic Waffles: Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker
Looking for the best waffle maker to make thin, crispy waffles? Cuisinart’s round classic waffle maker is the best choice for you.
It makes a single round waffle that’s 6 1/2 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. With this compact kitchen appliance, you get perfect, crispy waffles from the center to the edges every time.
While Belgian waffles take about five minutes to cook, this classic waffle iron only takes about two and a half minutes.
The nonstick cook plate is BPA-free, and indicator lights let you know when the iron is warm enough to use and when your waffle is ready to eat.
Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker Pros
- Classic round waffles: This waffle iron makes perfect thin, crunchy traditional waffles.
- Compact design: This small waffle maker is 11 x 8.5 x 4 inches, making it easy to store.
- Fast cook time: It only takes one and a half minutes to warm up and two and a half minutes to cook one waffle.
Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker Cons
- Single use: This appliance can only make one waffle at a time, so this waffle iron is not ideal for families.
- Limited waffle options: This waffle maker can only make a classic round, thin waffle. There’s no option to switch the interior cook plates for other shapes.
Best Mini Waffle Maker: Dash Mini Maker
The Dash Mini Waffle Maker makes the cutest little waffles you’ve ever seen. But that’s not all it can do.
This mini appliance can also make waffled hash browns, mini pizzas, paninis, and even biscuits.
Dual nonstick cook plates help it heat up quickly and cook evenly.
Dash Mini Maker Pros
- Compact design: This machine weighs one pound and has a four-inch surface.
- Easy cleaning: The dual, nonstick cook plates and a silicon exterior make cleaning up easy. Wipe down the parts with a wet cloth after you’re done.
- Easy storage: The small design is great for dorms, tiny kitchens, and even travel.
Dash Mini Maker Cons
- Limited features: This appliance doesn’t include indicator lights to let you know when the machine is ready to use or when waffles finish cooking.
- Not suitable for families: This appliance only makes one, small waffle at a time.
Flip vs. Standard Waffle Maker
Waffles come in many varieties. Belgian, classic, thin, crispy, thick, and fluffy are a few of the options. There are even more waffle maker styles to consider.
Most waffle irons come in one of two styles: flip or standard. You can find appliances focused on either Belgian or classic waffles in either style. Some waffle irons are even capable of cooking both.
Wondering which waffle maker style is best for you? Here’s a quick look at the differences.
Flip Waffle Maker
A flip waffle iron sits in a clamp that allows you to flip the machine from one side to the other or rotate it 180 degrees to the other side. Flipping the waffle iron helps the batter spread more evenly.
To use this model, you pour the batter into the cook plates, close the lid, and rotate the machine.
Many people prefer flip waffle makers because they cook and brown waffles more evenly. You can also use less batter with a flip-style waffle maker because the rotation helps batter thicken evenly across the plates.
If you’re worried about the aesthetic of your waffles, a flip model is best for you. You’ll have more uniform looking waffles.
- Browns waffles from the center to the edges
- Easy to clean
- Easy to use
- Even cooking
- Uses less batter
- Can be messy when flipping (batter may leak out)
- Takes up more storage space
Standard Waffle Maker
A standard waffle maker is a more traditional model. It doesn’t flip or rotate at all. It sits on a flat surface and cooks waffles in the same way a hot griddle would.
To use a standard model, you pour the batter as evenly as possible across the cook plates, close the lid, and let the waffle cook.
- Easy to clean
- Less mess
- More interior plate options
- Smart waffle makers are usually in standard style
- Browning isn’t as even
- Uses more batter
- Waffles aren’t as consistent
While it might sound like a flip model is better, that isn’t always true.
Standard waffle makers make less of a mess because there’s no rotation involved. The batter is less likely to spill out the sides.
The style you choose comes down to preference and the kind of things you want to cook in your waffle iron.
Waffle Maker Buyer’s Guide
Shopping for the best waffle maker can be both confusing and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.
A waffle maker that fits your lifestyle and waffle making needs will be a worthwhile purchase, but the last thing you want to do is waste time and money on a waffle maker that ends up sitting in storage.
To help you decide which model and style are best for you, consider the following criteria first.
Cleaning and Maintenance
You should clean your waffle iron as soon as it cools.
Use a paper towel or damp cloth to wipe the interior and exterior of your machine clean.
If you want a waffle iron that is easy to clean, consider the following:
- Some waffle makers come with dishwasher safe removable cook plates.
- Waffle irons made of nonstick materials are the easiest to wipe down.
Ease of Storage
The last thing you want to consider when buying a new waffle maker is how much space you have to store this kitchen appliance.
Waffle makers come in a variety of sizes. A few examples include:
- Mini waffle makers are the easiest to store because they’re the smallest.
- Flip waffle makers often require more storage space because they come with two separate parts: the base and the iron.
- Family-sized waffle irons make multiple waffles at once so that you can serve a crowd, but they need more storage space.
Whichever size you get, consider a waffle maker with an exterior clamp. They can be stored vertically or horizontally.
Grid Surface Material
The construction and material of the interior cook plates is another important factor.
Most modern waffle makers have non-stick material to make cleaning easier. Some waffle irons even come with removable plates.
When it comes to grid surface materials, there are four options to consider. Here’s a closer look at the differences:
- Cast aluminum: This material warms up and cooks waffles quickly. It’s also energy efficient. However, it scratches easily, and you need to clean it by hand.
- Cast iron: This material takes longer to preheat and cook, but the plates are pre-seasoned, making the surface non-stick. It’s also a durable material.
- Cast steel: Cast steel is more durable than aluminum. It’s resistant to scratches, and the removable plates are dishwasher safe. However, it takes longer to preheat and cook waffles.
- Non-stick: Non-stick materials are by far the easiest to clean. They also help release waffles without residue sticking to the plates. However, you’ll need to wipe down this material by hand.
Which material you choose is up to your preference.
Consistent heat is essential to creating the perfect crispy waffle.
Most waffle makers have adjustable temperatures that you can control with a knob on the front of the machine. This allows you to decide how much browning you want your waffle to have.
Look for a waffle maker with the widest range of adjustable temperatures. This way, you’ll be able to figure out the perfect temperature for the style of waffles you prefer.
Indicator Lights and Sounds
Indicator lights or chimes are extra features that can alert you when the waffle maker is ready to use.
Models that use indicator lights have a small light on the front of the machine that switches from red to green when it’s warm and ready for the batter.
Models that use indicator sounds will beep or chime when ready.
All waffle makers come with indicator lights or sounds that alert you when the machine is warm. However, only a few include indicator lights or sounds that alert you when the waffle is ready.
Most affordable waffle makers can heat up in about 5-10 minutes. An indicator light will let you know when the temperature is hot enough to cook your waffle.
Most waffle makers cook waffles in about five minutes. Higher end models can cook waffles in about two and a half minutes and warm up in about one or two minutes. These models are usually more expensive.
Waffle Shape and Size
Waffles come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The most common waffle shapes are classic round and square or rectangular waffles.
You can find both Belgian and classic-style waffles in both round or square shapes. Both styles are 7-8 inches in diameter.
The difference between these two kinds of waffles is in the thickness and consistency of batter used:
- Belgian waffles are usually light and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. They’re about one and a half inches thick.
- Classic waffles, otherwise known as American waffles, are thinner. They’re about half an inch thick and crunchier in texture.
Mini waffles are an option if you have something like the Dash Mini Maker. These waffles are around four inches in diameter and about a half an inch thick.
Waffle makers are more versatile than the name suggests. You can waffle almost anything! Here are versatile waffle maker recipe hacks to try out with your new kitchen appliance.
Use our buying guide and our top picks to help you decide which the best waffle maker will be for you.Read More