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There's something immensely satisfying about eating a fresh, home-cooked waffle. Maybe it's the nooks and crannies just oozing with butter and syrup or that ideal balance between a crisp exterior and a cake-like interior. Perhaps you have a healthy appreciation for Dutch culture or comfort foods that come in distinctive shapes. Or maybe you love the versatility of waffle makers, which are wonderful at crisping up just about anything you want.

Or you could be like me, and a delicious waffle from the trusty family waffle iron made Sunday-morning breakfasts feel extra special when you were a kid. 

Now playing:Watch this: The best waffle makers for a delicious breakfast

Whatever you like about waffles, you'll need a waffle maker of your own to make them at home (frozen waffles just don't cut it). I'll confess that I'd never gotten around to getting one for myself, and -- as my mom recently informed me over a somber text exchange -- the trusty Toastmaster I grew up with gave out a few years ago after decades of use.

All of that put me in pursuit of the best waffle makers -- for me, for my mom and for you, reader of waffle maker lists. Here's what I found after testing several of the top-rated commercial waffle maker options available at major retailers. I'll update this post as I test more of them out, but you've got lots of decent options available right now to make the perfect waffle, starting with

Best waffle maker overall

Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker

Ry Crist/CNET

Most flippable waffle makers suspend the iron in midair. That approach lets you twist the thing to turn it upside down for a more even cook -- but it also makes for a bulky build. Enter the Presto FlipSide, which uses a clever hinged design to let you flip the entire iron like you're turning the page of a book. Doing so requires a little bit of extra counter width when you use it, but it's much more compact when it's time to store it away. Better yet, you can lock the iron in an upright, vertical position.

It doesn't feature removable plates, but the Presto was still one of the easiest waffle makers to clean out of all the models I tested, thanks to the attractive ceramic finish inside the iron. Perhaps most importantly, the waffles produced by this waffle machine were the fluffiest and most satisfying bites I taste-tested. You'll have an easy time repeating those results for a great waffle thanks to the built-in minute timer. Just be sure to look elsewhere if you like a thin waffle, as the Presto produces fluffy waffles that are roughly an inch thick.

Presto's waffle maker retails for about $50, but you can currently score it on sale for $ That's a Belgian-style bargain, right there.

Amazon review average: out of 5 (15, ratings)
Walmart review average: out of 5 ( ratings)

Easiest to clean

Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker

Ry Crist/CNET

Some waffle makers might cook a little more evenly than others and your waffle's thickness will vary from model to model, but for the most part, these things will all produce a pretty similar product. The real difference comes in design -- primarily, how easy they are to use, and how easy they are to clean.

If the latter is what matters for you and your waffle batter, then the Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker belongs right at the top of your list. Available for about $50, it features dishwasher-safe waffle plates that pop in and out of place at the touch of a button, but its real secret weapon is the extra-large drip tray that sits below the flippable iron. At one point, I accidentally poured way, way too much batter into it, causing a massive overflow (let's call it a stress test). Fortunately, the drip tray caught everything, making cleanup a total breeze. 

That king-size drip tray makes for a bulkier build, but when I tested a nearly identical waffle maker from Black & Decker with a slightly smaller drip tray, I made sure to give it a stress test of its own for comparison's sake -- and it failed to contain the overflow like the Hamilton Beach did. That, coupled with thick, fluffy, evenly-cooked waffles, makes the Hamilton Beach a smart, idiot-proof pick for mess-minded home cooks.

Amazon review average: out of 5 (3, ratings)
Best Buy review average: out of 5 (68 ratings)

Best for small waffles

Dash Mini Waffle Maker

Ry Crist/CNET

Roughly the size of a Big Mac, the Dash Mini Waffle Maker lives up to the name by making quick work of small waffles. Available in multiple colors and shapes for as little as $10, it's the smallest and cheapest waffle maker I tested. It gets the basics right with a solid nonstick surface, nooks that are deep enough to help prevent overflows and even heat distribution throughout the irons.

You don't get a doneness dial or a timer, so you'll need to decide for yourself when your waffle is done, but that's a small quibble at this price. More concerning is the handle -- it's just an extension of the lid, which gets hot enough to burn fingers, so you'll need to open and close it with some care. 

Still, it's easy to use, it's easy to clean and it cooks waffles evenly. Best of all, those small-shaped waffles are the perfect size for things like desserts and breakfast sandwiches, which makes the Dash an especially good pick for creative home cooks. Oh, and not for nothing, but Valentine's Day is coming up, and you can get a Dash that makes heart-shaped waffles for $ Just saying

Amazon review average: out of 5 (, ratings)
Target review average: out of 5 (1, ratings)


Others we tested

Black and Decker Belgian Flip Waffle Maker ($35)

Available for $35 or less, this flippable waffle maker is nearly identical to the Hamilton Beach model listed above, but it doesn't include a doneness dial, it doesn't include removable, dishwasher-safe plates and the drip tray isn't as large (or as effective). I'd rather spend a little extra for the superior Hamilton Beach model, but this one is passable if you just want a decent flippable waffle maker for less than $ I'll note that the nonstick surface didn't hold up very well as my tests progressed, even as I reapplied vegetable oil to keep it seasoned.

Amazon review average: out of 5 (3, ratings)
Target review averageWalmart review average: out of 5 ( ratings)

Breville BWMXL Round Waffle Maker ($)

At $, Breville's waffle maker was the most expensive I tested by far and it feels the part with a sturdy, high-end build. But the design is far from perfect, which stops me short of recommending it as an upgrade pick. For instance, while the overflow moat did a nice job of catching excess batter, it gets just as hot as the cooking plate inside and there's nothing to stop you from burning your fingers on it. In spite of a nonstick interior, the interior's concave design, which cooks a thin, crispy waffle a little like a pan pizza, makes it too tough to get your waffle out once it's ready.

Amazon review average: out of 5 ( ratings)

Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker ($27)

The low-cost Cuisinart waffle maker is a popular pick, with strong review averages at multiple major retailers. It did a good job in my tests of cooking satisfying waffles about half an inch thick, but with shallow nooks and crannies and no drip tray or overflow moat, your batter-pouring skills will need to be very precise. Too much, and you'll get overflow and make a mess. Too little, and you'll get an oddly shaped waffle with thin burnt patches that stick to the iron. There isn't very much wiggle room between those two outcomes and that's too finicky for my tastes.

Amazon review average: out of 5 (12, ratings)


The Best Waffle Makers in

Breville Smart 4-Slice Waffle Maker

The Breville Smart 4-Slice Waffle Maker has all the bells and whistles. Yes, the price is steep, but the consistency, capacity, and speed make it worth it, especially if you're feeding a hungry family in the morning. With five different cooking presets (Belgian, classic, chocolate, buttermilk, or custom), 12 browning settings, and “Waffle IQ” technology that calculates cooking time based on your desired waffle style and level of crispiness, it would be hard to not make perfect waffles. And, if they are not quite right, the ingenious “A Bit More” button allows you to keep cooking your waffles without restarting the process.

This model is a sturdy beast, as our Editor-in-Chief Emma Christensen can attest, at almost 17 pounds and takes up x x inches of the kitchen counter. But, if you are looking for a machine where you can make multiple waffles at once with ease, this is it. There are built-in readiness indicators to walk you through the process. The display flashes “heating” as it warms up, a gentle alarm signals when it is ready, and the display lights up orange. Pour your batter in, and watch as a timer counts down to let you know when your four square waffles are done. And, don’t worry if you walk away; a loud beep will go off every 30 seconds until you remove your waffles.

Of course, we had to see for ourselves if this lived up to Emma's hype. Even though this is larger than most machines, it took less than 5 minutes to heat up. Waffles turned out perfectly golden when set to medium, and the design was easy to understand. During testing, there was a bit of a learning curve to the right amount of batter to put in, but that's an issue with all waffle makers (the first one's always the test). Even if you end up with some spillage, all our tester had to do was wipe it down once fully cooled.

The Breville Smart 4-Slice makes perfect golden waffles, but it is also intuitively designed with a built-in overflow moat to keep counters clear of excess batter, a locking lid to aid in storage, and a gorgeous low profile stainless steel exterior.

"To me, the perfect waffle is golden in color, slightly crispy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. This waffle maker exceeded my expectations, allowing me to quickly turn out a big batch of beautiful waffles that are extra thick thanks to the deep cooking plates." — Taysha Murtaugh, Editorial Director

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  • Our top pick, the ChefsChoice B, is discontinued. Although the heart-shaped is not discontinued, it’s currently out of stock.

  • Our top pick, the ChefsChoice B, is discontinued. Although the heart-shaped is not discontinued, it’s currently out of stock.

    We’re starting research to update the guide, but in the meantime, our other picks that are in stock are good options.

July 21,

Fresh, fluffy waffles may seem like a delicacy reserved for restaurant brunches and hotel breakfasts, but a good waffle maker can give you the gift of superb, easy-to-make waffles at home. After 70 hours of research, talking with four experts, and testing 30 models since , we recommend the Chef’sChoice WafflePro Classic Belgian B for most people. It consistently delivers perfect-looking, evenly colored waffles no matter what kind of batter you use. It’s also highly customizable, allowing you to choose between six different brownness settings and adjust for either a uniform texture or a crisp exterior and moist interior.

Though the Chef’sChoice WafflePro Classic Belgian B produces only one waffle at a time, it’s still good for feeding a crowd, as everyone can get a waffle perfectly suited to their tastes. Settings allow you to select a texture, as well as regulate brownness levels, which should please enthusiasts of thin-and-crispy and moist-and-fluffy waffles alike. Small and compact, with a locking lid, this model stores vertically or horizontally and you can clean it easily with a damp cloth. If you like waffles shaped like hearts, you can also get the Chef’sChoice WafflePro Five-of-Hearts, which looks almost identical to the B and made waffles that were just as delicious and golden in our tests.

The Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic makes consistently excellent waffles quickly and its compact design is perfect for small spaces. It produces just one round, thin waffle at a time, so this model is a good choice only if you like your waffles thin and crispy and don’t need to make multiple waffles at once. Its hardware also feels cheaper than that of our other picks.

For families or Belgian-waffle lovers the Krups GQ 4 Slice Belgian is a better budget choice than the Cuisinart or even the Chef’sChoice B because it makes four deep-pocketed waffles at a time. It cooks waffles evenly but was one of the slowest machines we tested, taking five to eight minutes to finish. We think that’s a reasonable trade-off, though, if you want to cook a lot of waffles at once and aren’t ready to upgrade to the Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice. The Krups is also one of very few models we found with removable plates, which make cleanup much easier.

If you don’t mind paying a lot more for a one-use machine, Breville’s Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice is well worth the asking price—scoring high marks on consistency, versatility, capacity, and speed. While our other top-ranking models turn out one thin waffle at a time, the Breville makes four deep-pocketed square specimens in minutes and cooks them unfailingly uniformly. It has a wide range of settings to play with to adjust texture and brownness levels, and an automatic countdown timer lets you know exactly when the waffles will be ready. If you need something a bit smaller, or you want to pay a little less, Breville also makes the Smart Waffle Pro 2 Slice. We haven’t tested it, but we expect it to perform just as well based on the reviews we’ve seen on Amazon and elsewhere.

Everything we recommend

Why you should trust us

Sarah Zorn, who wrote the update, is a cookbook author and recipe developer and tester. She’s also the former food editor of Northside Media, where she oversaw culinary content for Brooklyn magazine, the Taste Talks festivals, and She also conducts product tests for USA Today’s

Marguerite Preston, who wrote the update, is a former professional baker and now Wirecutter’s senior kitchen editor. She also once had a job that often required making dozens and dozens of waffles in one go. Winnie Yang, who wrote the original guide, is now a Wirecutter editor. Before that, she worked in the food industry—with stints in a restaurant kitchen, cookware retail, and chocolate making—for over a decade, and was the managing editor of the print quarterly The Art of Eating.

Who should get this

Although the benefits of a waffle maker are self-evident, you should consider a couple of things before buying one. First, think about what kind of waffles you like: thin, American-style ones (think Eggo) or thicker, Belgian-style ones? Most waffle makers can make only one or the other. We have picks in both styles and think that they all make great waffles, but if you’re picky about thickness, that might be a deciding factor.

Also, though you can make things like grilled cheese in a waffle maker, for the most part it’s a single-use appliance. If you have a small kitchen or plan to make waffles only occasionally, you may be happiest with something compact and inexpensive that does the job.

How we picked

Our three picks for best waffle maker placed in a row on a wooden floor. The Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice, on the far left, is square and larger than the other two waffle makers, which are both small and circular.

Waffle makers range widely in quality and features, not to mention in the waffles they produce. And opinions on what exactly constitutes a great waffle vary enormously: Some people want them brown and crispy, others like them softer and fluffier. So we set out to find the model that could make the most broadly appealing waffles with the least hassle.

To decide which machines to test, we looked at top-rated waffle makers on Cook’s Country (subscription required), Good Housekeeping, and food blogs and websites like The Kitchn, in addition to the best sellers on Amazon. We eliminated stovetop models (which require a certain amount of skill to use successfully), as well as machines with interchangeable plates for other uses like pressing sandwiches. Our experts agreed that a device dedicated solely to waffle making works better than one that multitasks. We debated the pros and cons of flip models (which use gravity to evenly disperse and cook batter) but after testing a few for the original version of this guide, decided to omit them too. Flip models take up a lot more space and didn’t yield better results in our tests.

Opinions on what exactly constitutes a great waffle vary enormously.

In previous testing we also eliminated models over $, believing there was no point in spending so much money on such a simple, single-use machine. But in we added a few higher-end waffle irons to the mix to see if paying top dollar is a real investment in function or just a lot of flash.

Of the models we ended up testing, here are the qualities that separated the great from the merely average.


First and foremost, you want a waffle maker that effectively and evenly cooks the batter. The plates need to make full contact with the batter, or else it won’t brown. And they should brown the waffle thoroughly on both sides, without hot and cold spots. The device should also effectively release steam, so you don’t end up with a soggy waffle. And it should perform equally well whether you use a thick buttermilk or Bisquick batter, or a thinner, yeasted batter.

A stack of waffles in various shapes and degrees of crispiness.


Special functions make a surprisingly big difference when it comes to waffle irons. Basic models have lights that let you know when the iron is preheated and when the waffles are done. But who wants to stand and stare at a light, waiting for it to turn from red to green? Audible indicators like beeps or chimes are highly preferable so you can tend to other tasks while making breakfast. A machine should also be able to switch between different browning levels easily. That way, you can make dark waffles for Aunt Mary and superlight, barely browned waffles for your cousin. Our favorite models even take things a step further, with some allowing you to customize texture with the tap of a button or adjust heat based on waffle type.


Waiting five minutes for a machine that makes four waffles is reasonable. But who wants to devote the same amount of time to cooking just one? In general, smaller-capacity machines should trade off with faster cooking times.

Easy to use and clean

A waffle maker’s instructions should be clear and its controls intuitive to use. Nonstick plates are a common feature these days and they make the baking process and cleanup much less painful—especially if they’re removable. Built-in or removable drip trays are also helpful in case of overflow. And as far as safety is concerned, the handle and controls should stay cool while the machine is on and should keep your hands well away from any hot surfaces.

Easy to store

Seamless storage is important because few of us have enough counter space to permanently devote to a waffle iron. Models should be lightweight (without being flimsy) and reasonably compact so they can fit inside of a cabinet or drawer. Included cord storage and locking handles are also useful, especially for models that you can store upright as well as flat.

How we tested

For our update we tested six models against our four previous picks. We made at least two rounds of Bisquick waffles and one round of yeast-raised waffles in each model. At first we followed the machines’ indicators to determine when the waffles were done, and if a machine had no indicator, we waited for it to stop steaming, as chef Matt Maichel suggested. We allowed for flexibility in cooking time, so if one needed more time, we would shut the lid and let it cook a little longer. We tasted each waffle (and got some informal input from a couple of volunteers), taking into consideration people’s varying waffle preferences. We also tested the range of each model’s brownness settings and factored in speed, timing how long it took for each model first to preheat and then for it to cook both Bisquick and yeast-raised waffles on multiple brownness and texture settings.

Our pick: Chef’sChoice WafflePro Classic Belgian (B)

Our pick for best waffle maker, the Chef’sChoice WafflePro Classic Belgian, sitting on a counter top next to a plate with a stack of waffles.

The Chef’sChoice WafflePro Classic Belgian B produces beautifully golden, crisp-on-the-outside, evenly browned waffles. It also has a number of features that make it easier to use than most other machines. A numbered dial gives you careful control over waffle doneness, while a toggle switch lets you control texture. Lights and a loud beep clearly signal when your iron is heated or waffles are done. The nonstick plates release waffles cleanly, and an overflow channel catches excess batter, so cleanup is a breeze. Plus, the compact Chef’sChoice B stores either flat or upright, so it fits conveniently in most kitchens.

In our tests, waffles from this model consistently came out beautiful and brown, with nice, tender interiors and a light, crisp crust. And the Chef’sChoice B performed equally well with both Bisquick and a thinner, yeast batter.

A circular, perfectly-shaped waffle cooked with our top pick for best waffle maker.

A waffle from the Chef’sChoice WafflePro Classic Belgian B. Photo: Michael Hession

Two waffles on a white plate. One of the waffles is pale and floppy, the other is dark and crispy.

The stark difference between the pale, floppy waffles made on the “1” setting and the dark, crisp waffles made on the “6” setting. Photo: Sarah Kobos

A numbered color-control wheel ranges from 1 to 6, and incremental changes really affect brownness. (With other machines, like the Hamilton Beach , adjusting brownness settings made no discernible difference.) But the Chef’sChoice brand’s so-called “Taste/Texture Select” feature really makes its waffle makers stand out from the rest. In fact, no other brands tested—save for the costly Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice—allow for such customization. You can toggle the texture switch between “Uniform Texture” and “Crisp Exterior/Moist Interior” settings. Selecting the former results in slower, deeper cooking and a crisper, drier waffle. The latter pops out waffles in a fraction of the time, creating a quick brown crust while leaving the interiors fluffy and custardy; quite an achievement for a rather thin waffle.

Although the Chef’sChoice WafflePro B emerged as our top pick for classic waffles, that texture-select feature is available on most of the company’s models. Of those we tested, we highly recommend the WafflePro as a fun pick for families and kids. It performed just as well as the B, but it makes heart-shaped waffles rather than round. Though not without problems (detailed later in the guide), the WafflePro definitely delivers on capacity, producing four thick waffles at a time.

The Chef’sChoice cooks quite fast on certain settings. Opting for the “Crisp Exterior/Moist Interior” setting and hiking it up to browning level 5 (our preferred combo) will garner a pretty perfect waffle in about 40 seconds flat. Which means you can knock out four waffles in a row in under three minutes. That speed partially makes up for the fact that the Chef’sChoice makes only one small waffle at a time—compared with the Krups GQ 4 Slice Belgian, which averaged five minutes to cook four waffles at once. Though when feeding a crowd, you may still find it more convenient to make several waffles simultaneously than to repeatedly ladle in batter.

A red light on the Chef’sChoice, helpfully marked “Baking,” lets you know when the machine is preheating or the waffle is cooking. A separate green light, marked “Ready,” indicates the machine is ready for use or the waffle is done. These indicators are bright and easy to read, unlike on some machines, where it’s hard to tell if the weak light is on or off. The Chef’sChoice B also beeps loudly when baking is finished, which means you can focus on frying bacon without worrying about overcooking your waffles. It’s loud enough that we could easily hear it from the next room but the sound is neither persistent nor unpleasant.

Overall, the Chef’sChoice B was as easy to use as any machine we tested, with a set-it-and-forget-it system that made the process particularly simple. Waffles popped out cleanly from the nonstick plates and no repeated oiling was necessary. Like all waffle makers, the Chef’sChoice does get hot on top of the lid. But the lid is otherwise surrounded by cool-touch surfaces, making burning yourself a very distant possibility; the same couldn’t be said of competitors like the Hamilton Beach or All-Clad, where it’s hard to avoid contact with hot spots.

The underside of our pick for best waffle maker with the cord coiled around the base.

Because the Chef’sChoice B is quite small and compact—measuring about 12 by 13 by 5 inches—it’s easy to stash in a cabinet. A spool on the underside allows you to wrap and secure the power cord easily, and because the lid locks in place, you can store this machine either upright or flat. The construction is nice and sturdy, as the hinge doesn’t wobble, and the dial turns smoothly and feels reliable. Chef’sChoice also covers the B with a one-year warranty.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Chef’sChoice B makes just one round, thin-walled waffle at a time, compared with the the Krups GQ 4 Slice Belgian, which turned out four 1-inch tall waffles per batch. And it’s slow on certain settings: the longest the machine took during testing was just under five minutes when set to “Uniform Texture.” That said, speed is a real moving target when it comes to the B, and as noted earlier, it can make a waffle in about 40 seconds when switched to the “Crisp Exterior/Moist Interior” setting on level 5.

Another point of mild frustration is that you can’t pop out the plates, as with the Krups GQ 4 Slice Belgian, which is a helpful feature when it comes to cleaning. However, the Chef’sChoice B isn’t prone to batter overflow, as many of the other machines we tested were. And the grids aren’t especially deep, making it easy enough to wipe down with a damp, soapy towel. And because the machine is small and light, it’s easy to lift or move so you can access and scrub its surfaces.

Budget pick: Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic

Our budget pick for best waffle maker, the Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic. It makes circular-shaped waffles and has a dial on the front with five settings.

If you prefer a thin American-style waffle or want something cheaper and smaller than the Chef’sChoice B or the Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice, get the Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic. The waffles we made with it were consistently tasty and crunchy, though not quite as perfect looking as those made by the Chef’sChoice B and Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice, because the Cuisinart’s plate made a browner circle in the center of the waffle. But that’s just an aesthetic issue: The waffles were just as crisp and delicious at the paler outer edge as in the center.

This machine is also a speed demon, churning out waffles in about 50 seconds using Bisquick batter, and two minutes with yeast. Seriously, by the time we lowered the lid and turned around, the waffles were pretty much ready to pull—making us feel like efficient short-order home cooks. So although the Cuisinart produces just one 6½-inch-diameter, ½-inch-thick waffle at a time, we’d say it’s still a viable option for feeding a crowd, though not as conveniently as a model that can make multiple waffles at once.

A waffle made with our budget waffle maker pick.

The Cuisinart has five discrete settings for browning control, though the slider had a lot of play, making it difficult to tell what setting it was on. And while the manual recommends the middle (3) setting, we found only the highest (5) produced the color and texture we were seeking. Everything else emerged a tad limp and pale.

This model also feels flimsy, especially compared with the sturdy Chef’sChoice B and Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice. In addition to the imprecise browning dial, the lid wiggles from side to side. That said, it comes with a three-year warranty, which is much more generous than the one-year guarantees from our other picks.

Budget pick for a crowd: Krups GQ 4 Slice Belgian

Our budget waffle maker pick for a crowd, the Krups GQ 4 Slice Belgian. It is large and rectangular and has a settings dial on the front beneath the handle.

The Krups GQ 4 Slice Belgian produces four golden brown Belgian waffles at a time, so it’s a good choice for people who want to cook in batches but aren’t ready or willing to spring for the pricey Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice. And at 1 inch thick, the waffles are also heftier than those from the Chef’sChoice B or the Cuisinart. The Krups has a dial to adjust browning and beeps loudly when waffles are done. It’s also one of the few models we found with removable nonstick plates, which makes cleanup easier. We think it’s a good deal, though some may find it frustratingly slow.

A person detaching the Krups GQ's plates from the base of the machine.

One of the things we like best about the Krups, besides its capacity and price, is that the waffle plates detach from the machine. Once they’re cool you can pop them out, put them in the sink, and wash them thoroughly, which is so much easier than wiping them down while still in the machine. According to Krups, the plates are even dishwasher safe, though we always recommend hand-washing nonstick cookware to preserve its coating longer. So far, in our two years of long-term testing, that coating has held up well with hand-washing. The manual recommends oiling the plates just once each time you use the machine, and we’ve found that this is more than enough to keep waffles from sticking.

The Krups used to be our top pick, but a couple of issues—combined with a drop in price—have bumped it down to a budget pick. For one thing, it’s slow, taking between five and eight minutes to produce a batch of waffles. And though the browning dial adjusts on a scale of 1 (lightest) to 5 (darkest), we’ve found that you need to crank it up to 4 or 5 to get nicely golden waffles with a light, crisp crust. Waffles won’t get super dark on any of the settings, so you may need to leave them in even longer if that’s what you like.

Four square waffles made with the Krups GQ belgian waffle maker.

One tester also had trouble getting fully browned waffles from one of two Krups models she tried—some came out pale on top. A handful of Amazon reviewers seem to have encountered a similar issue. But subsequent tests on both of the machines produced even, golden waffles, and a Krups representative told us the company has received very few complaints about the issue. Other Wirecutter staff members who own the Krups say it has served them well over many mornings of use. We can’t figure out if the inconsistency some owners have seen is a flaw in the machine or user error and we haven’t been able to replicate the problem. But if you do encounter an ongoing issue, the Krups is covered by a two-year warranty, so we still feel comfortable recommending it, especially given the price.

A person pouring batter into the Krups GQ belgian waffle maker.

When pouring batter into each of the four waffle squares, be careful to spread it around a little before closing the lid of the Krups. Although the manual says you can use ½ cup of batter per square, we found that this led to messy overflow unless we spread the batter around a little (as the manual also advises).

A close up of the on and ready lights on the side of the Krups GQ belgian waffle maker.

Two lights on the Krups machine, one red and one green, indicate when it is preheating or cooking (red) and when the machine or the waffle is ready (green). These indicators are bright and easy enough to read, while the beep that sounds when the Krups is done preheating or baking is loud and clear.

The Krups takes up just about a foot of counter space, making it more compact than the bulky, four-waffle Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice. Thanks to a locking lid, it can be stored upright or flat, and a spool on the underside allows you to wrap the power cord neatly.

Upgrade pick: Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice

Our upgrade pick for best waffle maker, the Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice. It has a chrome finish, an LED screen with multiple settings including Belgian, Classic, Chocolate, Buttermilk, and Custom, and a dial to fine-tune crispiness. There are also button to restart the waffle making process or add a bit more time.

Thanks to a quadrant of deep-pocketed plates, the Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice excels at producing mass quantities of fluffy, 1-inch-tall waffles. It unfailingly delivered four identical, evenly golden waffles—something no other high-capacity model we tested could do. As long as you have a couple hundred dollars to burn, an unprecedented host of customization options means you’ll be duly rewarded with some seriously dialed-in waffles. Because not only can you fiddle with taste and texture, the machine also offers ideal cooking settings according to waffle type. Breville also makes a more compact, two-slice Smart Waffle Pro, for fewer waffles at a slightly gentler cost.

A knob on the Breville allows you to scroll through an impressive choice of 12 different brownness levels (the All-Clad Waffle Maker, which has the second-largest range of models we tested, has only seven). And they really do make subtle but discernible differences in shade and texture without the waffles emerging raw or burnt at either extreme. Also fun to play with—though less obviously effective—is a dial that automates cooking time based on the type of waffle you choose. We tested only the Belgian and classic settings (chocolate, buttermilk, and custom are also options), but the idea is that minutes are either added or subtracted to achieve a Belgian waffle’s tender center, for instance, or create a crisper, drier classic waffle. And you still have opportunities to make adjustments once your waffles are cooked. Pressing the “A Bit More” button adds a little more cooking time, allowing you to deepen browning without restarting the machine.

A close up of the settings on the Breville upgrade pick waffle maker. There are dials for light to dark and heating, waffle options including Belgian, Classic, Chocolate, Buttermilk, Custom, and buttons to restart or continue cooking.

The Breville has several clear readiness indicators. It flashes the word “heating” as it preheats, then beeps loudly when it’s ready, while the LCD screen lights up orange. While cooking, a timer and progress indicator begin countdown, letting you know exactly when your waffles will be ready—a rare feature among waffle makers. Making yeasted Belgian waffles on the 6 brownness setting? You have precisely five minutes and 15 seconds to go do something else! Did you get caught up folding laundry? That’s okay—the machine will beep loudly when it’s done, and then every 30 seconds until you remove the waffles.

Housed in stainless steel that remains largely cool to the touch, and boasting a locking lid, the Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice is both sturdy and safe. But it’s also a bit of a beast, at 16¾ pounds, and takes up by by inches of counter space (the Chef’sChoice weighs only 5 pounds, and measures around 12 by 12 by 5 inches). Yet, as long as you have room in your cabinets, you can still store it flat or upright.

The Breville’s grids aren’t removable, which makes cleaning them a little trickier. But a built-in overflow moat helps guard against excess batter leakage (which is what made larger models with non-removable grids, like the Chef’sChoice , such a pain to clean). The Breville comes with a one-year limited warranty; not especially generous for such a costly machine.

The underside of the Breville upgrade pick waffle maker with the cord wrapped around the base for storage.

Care and maintenance

Most waffle makers’ manuals recommend oiling the grids with a paper towel or spray (such as Pam) before the first use. Be sure to discard the first waffle batch, which can absorb some unpleasant oiliness. After that, however, you shouldn’t need to oil the plates again (although our experts generally do).

A person removing a waffle from a waffle maker using silicone tongs.

“For getting the waffles out,” chef Matt Maichel said, “a wooden chopstick is good because you can get it under there. Don’t use any metal … if [the plate] gets scratched, it’ll turn into a sticky spot.” In testing, we found that chopsticks were also useful for scraping out burned bits, and tongs with silicone or nylon heads worked well for removing waffles, too.

The competition

Among the additional waffle irons we tested, several have since been discontinued, so we no longer include them below. The waffle irons listed here are still available to purchase or should be back in stock again.

We previously ranked the Hamilton Beach Belgian Style () alongside the Cuisinart as one of two budget picks. Though it’s still a decent, low-cost choice if you’re into thick Belgian waffles, it lacks the consistency and speed of the Cuisinart. It’s also the only machine we actually burned ourselves on, because the only cool-touch surface is on the small, locking lid, which often catches when you’re trying to open it.

The four-waffle Chef’sChoice Classic WafflePro has the browning and texture controls we like in the Chef’sChoice B, with the added benefit of higher capacity. However, excess batter consistently leaked from the sides and back, even when we scaled back to using less than ⅓ cup. Because you can’t remove the plates or submerge the unit, the machine was a nightmare to clean.

The Chef’sChoice WafflePro Classic Belgian B looks a lot like the Chef’sChoice B, and it’s a bit less expensive, but it did not perform nearly as well. Waffles came out unevenly cooked, and even with the dial on a medium setting, they were unpleasantly dark.

The All-Clad Waffle Maker isn’t worth its high price. It offered little in the way of special features, save for a beeping preheat/ready indicator and a flimsy browning dial that was difficult to regulate. Bisquick waffles were too dark on even the lowest settings, and yeasted waffles were too light on the highest settings.

The Chef’sChoice Classic WafflePro was a runner-up in previous guides. Tasters praised its waffles’ consistency and crunch, but we found that they had a tendency to burn when the dial was on the highest setting.

The Cuisinart 4 Slice Belgian – Round (WAF) looks and feels high quality, but in our tests it cooked waffles unevenly, burning some parts and leaving others unappealingly pale. The same Bisquick batter that produced golden waffles in other models turned mealy inside this Cuisinart.

A severely unevenly cooked waffle sitting in a waffle maker.

The Proctor Silex Mess Free Belgian Style (A) has features in common with the Chef’sChoice, such as browning controls and indicator lights, but we had a much tougher time getting it to produce a decent waffle. We deemed the first batch soggy, and in a subsequent batch, half the waffle cooked much faster than the other.

The Presto FlipSide Belgian is very well-reviewed on Amazon, but it cooked waffles unevenly and so quickly that they started to burn after just a few minutes. The other problem with this model is that it occupies a lot of counter space when in use. We did like the timer, though, and we wish other inexpensive models had one.

The non-flip Hamilton Beach Belgian Style () has okay reviews, but reviewers indicate that it has the same steam problems as the cheap Cuisinart and Proctor Silex models, not to mention the lack of an indicator light, which means you need to carefully monitor this waffle maker at all times.

We eliminated the Oster Belgian (CKSTWF), one of that company’s few non-flip models, because of complaints from Amazon reviewers concerning poor construction and an inaccurate indicator light.

The Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker seems clever at first: It stands upright, and you pour batter into a spout at the top. But Amazon customers complain that the spout clogs easily and that it’s too small to allow add-ins such as blueberries or chocolate chips. Plus, this model won’t work at all if you want to waffle anything else, like grilled cheese or hash browns.


  1. Electric Waffle Makers (Waffle Irons), Cook’s Country (subscription required), February 1,

  2. Waffle Makers, Good Housekeeping, January 14,

  3. Emma Christensen, Waffling Over Waffle Makers: Should You Buy One?, The Kitchn, April 7,

  4. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Chef's Choice WafflePro Express B, Good Housekeeping, April 16,

  5. Daniel Shumski, author of the blog and cookbook Will It Waffle?: 53 Irresistible and Unexpected Recipes to Make in a Waffle Iron, interview, January 1,

  6. J. Kenji López-Alt, chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, interview, January 1,

  7. Tim Kemp, senior manager of culinary innovation at Blue Apron, interview, January 1,

  8. Matt Maichel, former chef/owner of Waffle Which Way catering company, January 1,

About your guides

Marguerite Preston

Marguerite Preston is a senior editor covering kitchen gear and appliances at Wirecutter, and has written guides to baking equipment, meal kit delivery services, and more. She previously worked as an editor for Eater New York and as a freelance food writer. Before that, she learned her way around professional kitchens as a pastry cook in New York.

Sarah Zorn
Winnie Yang

Winnie Yang is the supervising editor of Wirecutter’s appliance coverage and formerly the editor of guides to baby and parenting gear. In a previous life, she served as the managing editor of Culinary Backstreets and The Art of Eating, and she has written for Condé Nast Traveler, Feast, Jamie, Saveur, and Tasting Table, among other publications.

Further reading

  • Cooking a Low-Key Brunch at Home

    Cooking a Low-Key Brunch at Home

    by Marguerite Preston

    A little practice and good equipment can help you whip up eggs, coffee, and pancakes that surpass what you’d get at your local brunch spot.

  • The Best Ice Cream Maker

    The Best Ice Cream Maker

    by Anna Perling, Marguerite Preston, and Lesley Stockton

    Most ice cream makers make decent ice cream. Our picks make consistently creamy frozen desserts and are easier to use, clean, and store than the competition.

  • The Best Bread Machine
  • You Noticed, We Listened!

    You Noticed, We Listened!

    by Ganda Suthivarakom

    In this week’s newsletter: We wanted to share a few of the ways our readers have improved our work recently.

Review \u0026 Tips For Farberware FW45394 Single Flip Waffle Iron Maker Banana Chocolate Protein Waffles.

The Best Waffle Makers of

Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Hamilton Beach Waffle Maker

Credit: Reviewed / Betsy Goldwasser

Breville Smart Waffle Pro

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

How We Tested Waffle Makers


Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Tester

Hi, I'm Sharon Franke, and I’ve been reviewing kitchen equipment for more than 30 years. Before that, I cooked and baked professionally in New York City restaurants for seven years. I’ve been eating waffles a whole lot longer. Some of us are pancake people and others waffle people. All my life, I’ve been in the latter category because I’m a pushover for anything crispy. Much as I love a perfect waffle, I’ve eaten my share that are just as soft as a flapjack. However, now that I know the best waffle makers exist, it can always make my day!

Testing waffle irons meant making a lot of waffles

Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke

The Tests

We tested 10 models including ones that make thin classic waffles and others that bake up deep-pocketed Belgian ones, some of which flip over halfway through waffling. In each appliance, we baked up four waffles from each of two different mixes (Bisquick and Pearl Milling Company), and four from a made-from-scratch recipe, checking for even browning, crispness, and tenderness. We also looked for consistency after baking three in a row.

In our search for the perfect waffle iron to make a delicious golden waffle, we took into consideration whether each machine had settings and if they really produced varying degrees of doneness. We also looked at how simple it was to control the device, open and close the grids, and if it was easy to clean and store the machines. As we waffled, we noted if the machines beeped and/or lit up to signal that they were preheated, and again when waffles were ready, and if we could easily see and/or hear these alerts.

What to Know About Buying Waffle Makers

If you want to make waffles from scratch, you absolutely need a waffle maker (which are the modern versions of the old-timey waffle irons, often made from cast iron). There’s simply no other method of baking them. However, there are lots of different kinds of makers on the market and things to consider before you make a purchase.

For starters, do you prefer thin and crispy or thick and fluffy Belgian-style waffles? How many do you want to make at once? If you’re feeding more than a single person or one very hungry person, you’ll want a machine that cooks at least two at a time.

How much kitchen space you have will also affect your decision. There are slim space-saving models on the market and behemoths that will eat up a lot of the precious workspace in your kitchen.

Waffle makers that beep as well as glow when they’re preheated and again when the waffles are fully cooked are more convenient. If you’re busy frying up bacon and heating up maple syrup, it’s easy to miss the ready light. Some inexpensive machines require that you watch escaping steam to figure out when your waffles are ready to eat. That’s not super helpful and can easily lead to overcooked waffles.

We love waffles for all the crispy nooks and crannies. However, within a few minutes, they can lose their crunch, lose their heat and then stay cool. Plan on serving waffles hot from the iron or keeping them warm on a sheet pan in the oven.

Other Waffle Makers We Tested


  • Settings for two different textures

  • Easy to use

  • Easy to store


  • Controls can be confusing

  • Waffles don't evenly brown

More Articles You Might Enjoy

Meet the tester

Sharon Franke

Sharon Franke


Sharon has been testing kitchen equipment for the past 30 years. Before becoming a cooking tools maven, she worked as a professional chef in New York City restaurants for seven years.

See all of Sharon Franke's reviews

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✅ TOP 5 Best Waffle Maker 2021 [ Buyer's Guide ]


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