If you’re a big fan of waffles, buying a waffle maker rather than eating out could be a worthwhile investment. While it’s possible to make something resembling a waffle on a griddle pan, nothing matches the airy texture and golden crunch of one made in a good waffle machine.
When buying a waffle maker, the first thing you should do is decide what style of waffle you want to make. There are two styles of waffle machine – those that make deep Belgian or American waffles and the other that produce flatter Scandi-style waffles. The latter are still crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle but they’re not as big and fluffy.
If you like waffles but don’t eat them frequently, a multipurpose snack machine might be a better option than a single purpose waffle maker. These tend to double up as toasted sandwich or panini makers.
We used our triple-tested waffle recipe to put electronic waffle makers through their paces. We made several batches of waffles and compared consistency of results. When waffle machines had multiple functions, including toastie and panini functions, we tested these too.
Read on to discover our top buys. For over 200 buyer’s guides, visit our product reviews section and find guides to everything from the best regular toasters and best sandwich toasters to the best bread machines.
Best waffle makers to buy
Lakeland No Mess waffle maker – best waffle maker for big families
If you’re feeding a large family – or just have a large appetite – this waffle maker from Lakeland will enable you to make a batch of four at a time. This has a clever design to avoid spillage.
Mess is a bit of an occupational hazard when making waffles as it’s all too easy to ladle just a little too much mixture into the machine, which duly squelches out when cooking. The Lakeland machine has deep ridges at the sides so if you do put too much in, it will leak there rather than out on to your worktop.
This waffle maker is easy to use, with a red light to show it is heating up which switches to green when it is ready. Results were good with thick, evenly cooked waffles produced at a reasonable speed. Read our full review of the Lakeland No Mess waffle maker
American Originals Flip Over waffle maker – most innovative waffle maker
This is a cheerful, fun and fairly inexpensive machine that produced decent waffles reasonably quickly. It’s long and slim so ideal for small kitchens short on worktop space.
What makes this American Originals waffle maker stand out is that you flip it over – the whole machine that is, not the waffle – halfway through cooking to get evenly cooked waffles.
Given the high standards of our samples, we didn’t find the waffles were noticeably more evenly cooked than others but the end result was good quality waffles.
One downside was that we found it quite hard to clean the machine if you overfill it. Read our full review of the American Originals Flip Over waffle maker. Read our full review of the American Originals flip over waffle maker.
Breville DuraCeramic waffle maker – best mid-priced
Solid, heavy and no-nonsense, this is a waffle maker for the true waffle enthusiast.
The name Breville is synonymous with sandwich makers and its waffle maker is built along the same lines. Every detail has been thought of from the easy to remove, washable plates to clear indicators and a heavy-duty non-stick coating on the plates.
The waffles themselves are among the best we tried – and we dutifully chomped through dozens for this test. Sizeable and thick, they are crunchy on the outside while soft on the inside.This is not the quickest machine, taking just over four minutes to heat and seven minutes to produce waffles. Read our full review of the Breville DuraCeramic waffle maker.
VonShef Dual Belgian waffle maker – best compact waffle maker
The VonShef is a good, straightforward, no-fuss waffle maker that makes a pair of waffles at a time. It looks like a sandwich maker so if you have one of those too, you might accidentally grab the wrong one. Its small footprint makes it easy to store while it doesn’t take up too much space on the worktop. Most importantly, it made evenly cooked waffles – fast.
This heats up quickly, in just two and a half minutes, and our waffles were done after just four. The waffles were a little thinner than average, though. This is a good size for a small family and its speed means that you can make extra batches rapidly.
Plates are non-stick and aren’t removable, so you’ll have to wipe them down with a cloth after use. Read our full review of the VonShef Dual waffle maker.
Salter Deep Fill waffle maker – best waffle maker for big appetites
This one’s for you if you like your waffles big. It’s a simple-to-operate machine that produces waffles that are large in size as well as deep. We found this could take a lot of mixture.
Instructions for the Salter machine are clear although it’s a shame there are no recipes. This heats up reasonably quickly – in about three minutes – but waffles take longer than average, probably because of their size. The instructions suggested 5-10 minutes and we found ours turned out best at the upper limit of these.
The waffle maker has non-slip feet and effective non-stick plates, but the power cord could have been longer.
The waffles themselves were softer on the outside than others we tested, and light and fluffy inside. Read our full review of the Salter Deep Fill waffle maker.
Double Waffle Bowl Maker by StarBlue – best waffle maker for desserts
If you fancy a change from rectangular waffles, these could be exactly what you’re after. The machine produces bowl/cone-shaped waffles, so you can fill them with ice-cream, fruit and cream or anything else you fancy to make a tempting dessert.
The shape means you can sit and eat them with your hands more easily than a regular waffle too. The StarBlue machine is white and looks a bit space-age, with a heavier-than-average lid. Heat-up is notably quick – two and a quarter minutes – and the waffles themselves take three or four minutes. They were evenly cooked and crispy.
This one does take a bit of practice to get the quantities right. The five recipes specify the amount of batter to use but the general instructions don’t. We over-filled it, resulting in a lot of mess – but the machine was very easy to wipe clean. Read our full review of the StarBlue Double Waffle Bowl Maker.
Sage the Smart Waffle Pro – joint best overall waffle maker
This is one of the most expensive waffle makers we tested and is aimed at those who are really serious about their snacks. There’s no guesswork needed with this Sage machine. You choose your type of waffle from a choice of five and can also select how brown you want it to be, with a range of one to 12. There’s even a “bit more” button you can press if you want it just a little browner.
The machine will tell you when your waffles are ready, with a digital counter counting down the seconds. And unlike most machines, there are no lights. Instead, there’s a beep when it’s heated up and another announcing that your waffles are ready.
The waffles themselves were huge – about 12 x 12cm and noticeably thick. Browning was also very deep and even, and the waffles were crispy on the outside and soft inside.
This is a heavy, stylish machine that looks more like something you’d expect to find in a café then for the average household kitchen. Read our full review of Sage’s the Smart Waffle Pro.
Tefal Snack Time – best multifunctional waffle maker
A cute little machine from Tefal, this turns out great waffles very quickly. It’s a multi-functional machine that also makes toasties if you swap the plates over. You can buy other plates too.
We rated this machine highly because of its speed – waffles were ready in three minutes – and quality. Waffles were very evenly cooked and were the perfect texture of crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
It is well designed and doesn’t take up too much space either on the worktop or in the cupboard as it stores upright.
The instructions could have been better and we’d have liked some recipes in the book, but these are minor concerns. Read our full review of the Tefal Snack Time.
Quest rotating waffle maker – most fun waffle maker
This one really looks the business – the pan parts sits suspended above a stand. You use the handle to turn it over halfway through the cooking to get an even waffle.
The Quest rotating waffle maker is a well thought out piece of kit. There are lights on both sides to show you when it’s ready, and a removable drip tray slots underneath to pick up any spills.
This is one of the few we tested to have any sort of temperature/browning control, so it’s good for those who are fussy about how well their waffle is cooked.
You get four pizza-slice shaped waffles a time, making this good for families or if you’re hosting a small gathering.
It took a bit of trial and error to get our perfect waffle, but we did succeed. Read our full review of the Quest rotating waffle maker.
Global Gizmos Bubble waffle maker – best waffle maker for kids
Do you find waffles are a bit too, well… rectangular? Bubble waffles look entirely different. They consist of a number of little round waffles joined together – think bubble wrap and you won’t be too far off (except this is edible, obviously).
The funky Global Gizmos Bubble waffle maker will jolly up your kitchen. It’s red and looks a bit space age. This is another one that turns upside down for even cooking.
Heat-up is fairly quick at under three and a half minutes and our bubble waffle was ready in four.
Quality was good, though you do need to make sure you put enough batter in as a few of our bubbles were sitting, lonely and disconsolate, without joining the main section. Read our full review of the Global Gizmos bubble waffle maker.
Salter 3-in-1 snack maker – best multi-purpose waffle maker
This hardworking Salter machine comes with three sets of interchangeable plates for waffles, paninis and sandwiches and outdid other multifunction machines in the texture and taste stakes. It makes impressively large and deep waffles that were soft and light in the middle with a crunchy exterior.
The high hinge of the machine helps to create a uniform thickness, although the colour was a little uneven. The deep, wide plates can take lots of batter so we had to experiment with quantities to get it just right. The sandwich and panini plates are just as generously sized but were slightly trickier to remove than other brands we tested.
Given its versatility and generous portions, it is surprisingly compact, although it doesn’t come with a storage solution so has to be packed away carefully to avoid scratches. However, there is a useful cable tidy and clips for keeping the plates secure when stacked. Read our full review of the Salter 3-in-1 snack maker.
Cuisinart waffle maker WAF1U – joint best overall waffle maker
This reliable machine from Cuisinart creates American-diner style waffles that are crisp and golden with a soft airy middle. The crust had a good crunch and the colour on the waffles was generally even, but we had to keep a close eye after 4-5 minutes of cooking to avoid overcooked patches.
The waffle maker had some smart design touches, such as the clip on the handle which helps clamp the two sides together and preserve temperature while heating up. Using this clip during cooking creates optimum contact, ideal for getting that optimum crunchy crust.
We were particularly impressed by the uniform thickness of the finished waffles. This is thanks to the high hinge which allows the batter to rise. The functionality is straightforward, although there is no integrated timer so you have to check the old-fashioned way. The body of the machine is easy to clean down, and there’s a ridge on the short edge of the waffle maker so you can store it upright. Read our full review of the Cuisinart waffle maker.
Dualit waffle iron- best blowout waffle maker
Dualit waffle iron – best blowout waffle maker
This heavy-duty Dualit machine sits at the catering end of the waffle maker spectrum. It has two individual plates that can be switched on separately, making it perfect for catering for a crowd. The style of waffle is flat and round, so they cook quickly and we were impressed with the results. The waffles were even, crisp and fluffy.
While there is no clip on the handle, the weight of the top lid is enough to achieve a good press. We had a few trials before getting batter quantities right – too much batter and it erupts (although there is an overflow channel). Too little and you end up with a crispy cracker.
The plates are non-stick and only require a little oil. They aren’t removable so special care needs to be taken to clean them and rid the many small indentations of residual oil. The machine does get very hot and the lid should be handled with care – we recommend using a dry cloth.
At 1600W, this is a powerful machine, but if you love waffles and have the space, then this is an efficient and reliable option. Read our full review of the Dualit waffle iron.
How we tested waffle makers
Each maker was used to make several rounds of waffles using our triple-tested BBC Good Food batter recipe. This meant we could check for consistency in waffle results to fairly compare the machines. We could also make sure the machines were able to maintain temperature and cope with making a number of waffles in a row if cooking for a group of people.
Some machines doubled up as toastie and panini makers. Their ability to make waffles was the primary concern but we tested all functions to make sure they were good all-rounders.
What to look for when buying a waffle maker
Quality of non-stick: Nearly all waffle makers come with non-stick plates. The non-stick coating needs to be durable. We looked for plates that released the waffles easily after cooking with no sticking or tearing.
Indicator lights: Having one light to show that the machine is turned on and a second light to indicate the waffle maker has come up to cooking temperature is a very useful feature.
Removable plates: Though not essential, having removable plates can make cleaning easier.
Overrun channel: Some machines have a useful ‘overrun’ channel that collects excess batter and prevents it from running down the side of the machine.
Speed of cooking: We looked for machines that cooked quickly and efficiently.
Texture of waffle: We looked for waffles that were fully cooked and fluffy on the inside with a crunchy but not overcooked exterior.
Colour of waffle: We looked for even golden colour across the waffle, rejecting machines with obvious hot spots or that burnt on the outside before cooking the middle.
Thickness of waffle: Some machines with narrow hinges tend to squash waffles along their edge. We looked for waffles of uniform depth.
How to make waffles in a waffle maker
Our easy homemade waffles recipe is designed to be used in a standard electric waffle maker like the ones listed above (in fact, we put the machines through their paces using this recipe).
Use the manufacturers instructions to heat the waffle maker up to temperature, then spoon the batter into the mould, close the lid and cook for 5 minutes or following the instruction manual.
Once you’ve completed your batch, crisp up the waffles in the oven for 5 minutes and serve warm with toppings of your choice.
Our best waffle recipes
This review was last updated in October 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at email@example.com.
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