While a certain Southern chain of 24-hour breakfast restaurants will always have a special place in our hearts, the best waffle house is the one you already live in, provided you eschew the cardboard-tasting frozen variety for freshly made towers of syrupy goodness. For that, of course, you’ll need your own waffle maker, a seemingly simple appliance that can be surprisingly tricky to shop for.
Before you buy a waffle maker for your breakfast, you’ll want to decide if you’re into classic waffles or thicker Belgian-style waffles. And then, look at the features you need. Most waffle makers are non-stick, which makes cleanup a non-issue. Some models only make waffles, while others have interchangeable plates that also create paninis.
We’ve rounded up some of the best waffle makers available, from high-end deluxe models to space-saver geniuses. The only thing left for you to decide is which toppings to serve.
Make perfect Belgian waffles at home with the Bella waffle maker, featuring nine browning settings and a rotating function with a cool-touch handle for evenly-browned waffles.
Pros: The Bella waffle maker rotates to make gorgeous waffles every time. And you flip it upside down for easy storage.
Cons: It makes Belgian waffles only, so you better like them.
The Dash is a compact, brightly colored wafflemaker is fairly basic, but it has a price that can't be beat.
Pros: It only weighs a pound, so it’s easy to put this waffle maker away when breakfast is over. And if you’re not sure how often you’ll use a waffle maker, the sub-$10 price of this bad boy is a powerful argument for it.
Cons: This thing makes one four-inch waffle at a time, so it’s not exactly a workhouse fit for a large family.
If you're short on counter space, this is the waffle maker for you. It's vertical, and totally drip-free.
Pros: This waffle maker is basically idiot-proof, and ideal for those who don’t have massive kitchens or lots of storage. You flip it open, pour in the batter, snap it shut, and set it go cook on whatever setting you prefer. Flawless waffles, every time. And because it’s nonstick, there’s no mess.
Cons: While its vertical form factor saves counter space, you’re still dedicating it to an appliance that does only one thing, which may not be worth it in the end.
The unique volcano shape of this waffle maker prevents spills and ensures consistent waffles.
Pros: This waffle maker has four different “crunch factor” settings so you can choose your preferred consistency. Its designers eschewed traditional flat waffle makers for a “volcano” shape that allows you to pour batter into a hole in the top, allowing it to flow evenly down the sloped cooking surface evenly.
Cons: The top of the unit gets very hot, so it’s not great for kids or klutzy adults.
This All-Clad model features advanced technology that browns and releases steam while cooking to ensure waffles that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It's a durable product that is long-lasting and high-quality.
Pros: This unit is made of stainless steel, making it an attractive appliance. And, the waffle iron has a locking latch that allows it to be stored vertically, making it perfect for smaller kitchens.
Cons: If you’re not a frequent waffle-eater, the high price tag on this unit may make it difficult to get your money’s worth.
This Breville waffle maker has 12 settings for various stages of doneness and an LCD screen that allows you to choose between four types of batter: Belgian, classic, chocolate or buttermilk.
Pros: Of course, one of our favorite kitchen brands wins at the waffle game. The extensive settings options on this waffle iron make it possible to cook the perfect waffle for everyone in your family. And, this unit also makes four waffles at a time, making it quick and easy to cook breakfast for a big crowd. Breville’s smart sensor technology automatically adjusts the temperature and baking to make sure nothing is either underdone or burned. There’s a nonstick moat to stop excess batter from overflowing onto your counter.
Cons: This may be too big a splurge for an occasional Saturday morning breakfast treat.
Waffles are great, but variety is the spice of life, and this Cuisinart pulls double duty as a pancake maker.
Pros: You get a set of four Belgian waffle plates, and a four-slot pancake plate. Both are nonstick and dishwasher-safe, and it’s nice to have twice the bang for the buck.
Cons: The pancakes come out on the smaller side.
You get two sets of interchangeable sandwich and waffle plates, allowing you to whip up two square Belgian waffles, or pocket sandwiches.
Pros: This waffle maker is seamless and easy to use. You simply swap out the plates to make either Belgian-style waffles, or deep-pocket sandwiches you can stuff with cheese, veggies, turkey, what have you. And the plates are dishwasher-safe.
Cons: Some complain that the waffles come out uneven and too thin.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.