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BELLA 13991 Classic vs Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double Side-by-Side Comparison

Matthew Lee
Matthew Lee
Reviewer
Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Reviewed
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Jan 13, 2023
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Jan 12, 2023
The BELLA rotating waffle maker with its glossy, metallic baking chamber positioned next to its instruction manual and shipping box.
The Cuisinart Double waffle maker WAF-F20P1 with its box and user manual

Our Verdict

7.1
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    7.0/10
  • Design (20%)
    7.8/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.8/10
8.4
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    8.0/10
  • Design (20%)
    9.2/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    8.7/10

The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is the top performer in our database. So, if the price isn’t an object between the two, it’s an easy recommendation for the WAF-F20P1 over the Bella 13991 Classic.

Specifically, the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 received a near-excellent overall performance score. All of its waffles were judged as beautiful and flavorful by our chef. The Bella 13991 has acceptable performance but nowhere near as good as the Cuisinart’s.

As for build quality, the WAF-F20P1 won by a wide margin.

Although both waffle makers are built from luxurious-looking stainless steel, the WAF-F20P1 is built more solidly than the Bella 13991. We found the Bella’s craftsmanship to be extremely shoddy. Its lid hinges are so poorly constructed that it poses a safety issue; the lid can easily snap onto the user’s hand while pouring the batter. We also found a lot of scratches and dents on the unit we received.

This result isn’t surprising when we look at the pricing, though. The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1—being a high-end model—is simply built better than the mid-range Bella 13991 Classic.

Not Great, Not Terrible

Bella Rotating Waffle Maker’s Performance

Cuisinart Double Waffle Maker’s Performance: Not Restaurant-Grade … But Close
7.0
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.9/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)7.2/10
8.0
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.5/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)9.6/10
6.9

Self-Mixed Recipe

6.5
BELLA 13991 Classic Self-Mixed Recipe Video
The top crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our self-mixed recipe, coloration ranges from very dark brown in certain spots to light brown.
The bottom crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our self-mixed recipe, coloration ranges from very dark brown to light brown.
The cross section of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our self-mixed recipe, revealing the core with air bubbles and cavities inside.
A waffle baked for 7 minutes being torn down the middle by hands in order to test it for consistency and texture.
Color: 6.25
35% * 6.25 = 2.2
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 8
40% * 8 = 3.2
  • Heat Level: Maximum
  • Cooking Time: 7 minutes

The coloration was decent despite the waffle’s wells looking slightly burnt, and some spots on the crust looked undercooked. It received only a passable grade due to having a low aeration rate. Fortunately, it picked up the slack with its tastiness.

Color (6.25) — 35%

  • Color tone: Very dark brown - Light brown (both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The crust was a bit dark, but there were no signs of charring. Dark spots mostly focused within the wells of the waffle. Outside the wells, the waffle mostly had a pretty light brown color.

But since it was darker than ideal, we couldn’t give it a higher score than a “good” 6.25.

Texture (6) — 25%

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium; air bubbles have begun filling the interior of the waffle. However, their sizes were small, and their numbers were few.

Air bubbles have begun to fill the interior of the waffle. Unfortunately, they haven’t developed to their full sizes just yet. All the bubbles we saw were small, concentrating mostly near the crust, while the core of the waffle was dense.

Taste (8) — 40%

  • Flavor: Sweet with a buttery aftertaste
  • Mouthfeel: Slightly mushy

Our chef rated the waffle highly, citing its sweet flavor and buttery aftertaste. And though the mouthfeel was a bit underwhelming, it didn’t seriously affect the waffle’s quality.

Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Self-Mixed Recipe
The top side of a waffle made by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 in 5 minutes
The top crust of a waffle made by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 waffle maker in 5 minutes
The golden core of the waffle produced by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker.
The waffle produced by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 being torn by hand to test its consistency and texture.
Color: 6.5
35% * 6.5 = 2.3
Texture: 5.5
25% * 5.5 = 1.4
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: 3
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The Cuisinart waffle maker did a great job in the second version of the self-mixed recipe test. Compared to the result from the first attempt, the scores saw significant improvements. The coloring was darker than we’d prefer, but the crust wasn’t charred. And despite the texture being fairly mediocre, the waffle was flavorful, nevertheless.

Color (6.5/10) — 35%

  • Color tone: Very dark brown — Light gold (Both sides)
  • Color distribution: Even

The coloring was not optimal. Both sides of the waffle have a dark, toasted-looking appearance. The dark brown shading notably concentrated inside the waffle's wells and on the waffle's outer sections. Outside the wells and toward the center, the waffle has a very beautiful golden brown color.

Texture (5.5/10) — 25%

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Low; bubbles were few and under-developed

Unfortunately, the texture was mediocre. Aeration was minimal, resulting in a fairly dense waffle that wasn’t as soft or spongy as we would have liked.

Taste (7/10) — 10%

  • Flavor: Tasty; creamy from the butter and sweet, slightly salty
  • Mouthfeel: Mushy due to the dense, un-aerated core

Despite the less-than-ideal coloring and texture, our chef gave the waffle a decent score. The addition of new ingredients to the recipe has fortified the waffle’s flavor profile. Alongside the usual sweetness of sugar, there was a rich, creamy taste of butter. And with one teaspoon of salt mixed in, the waffle also gained a slightly salty taste.

Overall, the WAF-F20P1 did a great job unlocking the batter's flavor profile.

7.2

Birch Benders Mix

9.6
BELLA 13991 Classic Birch Benders Mix Video
The golden top crust of a waffle baked for 8 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
The golden bottom crust of a waffle baked for 8 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
The cross-section of a waffle baked for 8 minutes, revealing its internal core filled with air bubbles and air cavities.
A waffle baked for 8 minutes being torn down the middle by hand to test it for its consistency and texture.
Color: 8
35% * 8 = 2.8
Texture: 7.8
25% * 7.8 = 1.9
Taste: 6
40% * 6 = 2.4
  • Heat Level: Maximum
  • Cooking Time: 8 minutes

In this test, the Bella waffle maker did a slightly better job, but not by a lot. 

Coloration is visibly improved with a more even, prettier coloration. Unfortunately, because the waffle is peppered with air pockets, it has several discolored spots. The texture is decent, but its aeration level is still low, resulting in a mushy texture. The mushy texture is one of the reasons why our chef didn't give the waffle a high score on the taste test.

Color (8/10) — 35%

  • Color tone: Light gold (Both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The crust on both sides of the waffle maker had a beautiful golden-brown color. On the crust were large formations of air bubbles, which had a pale yellow color of undercooked batter. Besides ruining the overall look of the waffle, they also messed with the color palette.

Texture (7.8/10) — 25%

  • Texture: Good
  • Aeration level: Medium; air bubbles have begun to develop, but they haven’t reached their maximum sizes

The waffle has filled out well with a thick, soft interior. It has a medium aeration rate, evidenced by the many tiny air bubbles within its core. The bubbles were in the process of forming and expanding, but the aeration process was cut short before it could reach completion. Thus, while the waffle was soft and spongy, it was still too moist on the inside to receive a higher score.

Taste (6/10) — 40%

  • Flavor: Sweet and slightly savory, cloying in undercooked parts
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and spongy for the most parts, mushy in certain spots

As a whole, the waffle’s flavor profile was decent. It had the signature sweet and slightly savory taste of the Birch Benders mix. However, certain parts of the waffle were undercooked and gave it an off-putting cloying taste, which negatively impacted its scoring on this test.

Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Birch Benders Mix
The golden brown top side of the waffle made by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double flip waffle maker in 5 minutes.
The golden brown bottom side of the waffle made by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker in 5 minutes.
The fluffy interior of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 that’s visibly filled with air bubbles.
The waffle produced by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is being torn by hand to test for its consistency and texture.
Color: 10
35% * 10 = 3.5
Texture: 8.5
25% * 8.5 = 2.1
Taste: 10
40% * 10 = 4.0
  • Heat Level: 3
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The waffle maker performed wonderfully in our test with the Birch Benders mix. It is the first waffle maker so far to get two consecutive perfect scores from our chef. The coloration is excellent, with an evenly cooked golden-brown crust. The waffle's texture can still be improved, but ultimately very good. Taste-wise, though there were minor issues here and there (like an interior that's a bit too moist), our chef gave it a perfect score due to its great flavor and mouthfeel.

Color (10/10)

  • Color tone: Golden brown
  • Color distribution: Even

The coloration is one of the best we’ve seen. Thus, it got a perfect score in this section. The crust on both sides has a beautiful golden brown tone, distributed evenly across the entire waffle.

Texture (8.5/10)

  • Texture: Excellent
  • Aeration level: High; air bubbles were fully developed

The waffle has nicely developed. Air bubbles can be seen throughout the waffle’s core, which explains the soft and fluffy texture. Unfortunately, it is not perfect: the waffle still contains too much moisture.

Taste (10/10)

  • Flavor: Sweet and slightly savory
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and pliant

It is a delicious waffle with a sweet and savory flavor. The mouthfeel is excellent, with it being soft and pliant in the mouth.

Although, as previously mentioned, the texture is too moist, it didn’t affect the overall tasting experience much. Our chef was willing to overlook this detail to give the waffle a full score.

Bella Stainless Steel Waffle Maker’s Design

Cuisinart Double Belgian Waffle Maker’s Design
7.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)7.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)9.0/10
  • Control Panel (10%)8.5/10
9.2
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)9.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)9.5/10
  • Control Panel (10%)9.5/10

What’s in the Box of the Bella 13991 Rotating Waffle Maker?

What’s in the Box of the Cuisinart Double Waffle Maker
The Bella stainless steel waffle maker (13991) sitting next to its instructional manual and the black removable drip tray.
  • Bella Classic Rotating Waffle Maker (13991) 
  • User manual
  • Drip tray

The box includes the waffle maker, a user manual, and a drip tray.

The silver Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker sitting on a table next to its user manuals and a measuring cup.
  • Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 waffle maker
  • User manuals
  • Measuring cup

The shipping box includes the waffle maker, the user manual and quick-start guides, and a measuring cup.

Dimensions

The Bella rotating Belgian waffle maker (13991) with measurements marked next to it. The height is 7.3 inches, length is 16.7 inches, and width is 7.7 inches.
  • Length:
    16.7" (42.4 cm)
  • Width:
    7.7" (19.6 cm)
  • Height:
    7.3" (18.5 cm)
  • Weight:
    5.2 lbs (2.4 kg)

The Bella 13991 is more difficult to store due to its rotating design, which brings its height to 7.3 inches. Fortunately, Bella makes storage less annoying by making the handle foldable. The waffle maker's footprint can be reduced with the handle folded and the body rotated vertically.

The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker dimension measurement chart. Its length is noted as 15 inches, width is 9.5 inches, and its height is 9 inches.
  • Length:
    15.0" (38.1 cm)
  • Width:
    9.5" (24.1 cm)
  • Height:
    9.0" (22.9 cm)
  • Weight:
    12.0 lbs (5.4 kg)

Due to the double-sided design, the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is larger and bulkier than your average waffle maker. Additionally, because it is primarily made of metal, it’s also heavier than most, coming in at 12 pounds. Moving the waffle maker in and out of storage is difficult.

7.0

Build Quality

9.0
The Bella 13991 rotating waffle maker mid-turn. In the frame is the rotating shaft that allows the baking chamber to rotate.
The Bella 13991 rotating waffle maker mid-turn. In the frame is the rotating shaft that allows the baking chamber to rotate.
The Bella 13991 waffle maker in its standard rest position with the control panel facing upward.
BELLA 13991 Classic Build Quality video

The Bella 13991's body is made from stainless steel with a mirror finish, which gives it a somewhat premium look. However, we noticed that the mirror finish could be smudged easily and is highly susceptible to scratches. However, a much more serious issue was the extremely loose lid hinge. Whenever it's opened or adjusted, the lid wobbles dangerously.

Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Build Quality Video
A close-up view of the spring and internal mechanisms of the rotating hinges of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 waffle maker.
A close-up view of the rotating hinges of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker.

Build quality is good. Many of the machine’s parts are made of stainless steel, such as the lid shells. They give the machine an aesthetically-pleasing look and a luxurious shine.

However, only some parts are made from metal. The outer rim of the base, as well as the supporting legs, are made from plastic. They’re merely painted silver to mimic the look of brushed metal. Cuisinart didn’t disclose this information in the marketing spread, which has angered many customers.

9.0

Waffle Plates

9.5
A close-up of one of the Bella 13991’s waffle plates. The plate has a Belgian-style patterning and a black non-stick coating.
A close-up of one of the Bella 13991’s waffle plates. The plate has a Belgian-style patterning and a black non-stick coating.
An overview of the Bella 13991’s double waffle plates.
  • Number of Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    44.18 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    7.5" (19.1 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    7.5" (19.1 cm)
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle plates are cast aluminum coated with a layer of PFOA-free Teflon. In all of our tests, the non-stick coating worked perfectly. The waffles slid cleanly off the plates without leaving messy residue behind.

A small anti-spill moat runs around the perimeter of each plate. The moat is too small to catch big spills, which isn’t particularly helpful.

An overview of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1’s black, Belgian-style waffle plates.
An overview of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1’s black, Belgian-style waffle plates.
A top-down view of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 waffle maker’s black, Belgian-style cooking plates.
  • Number of Plates:
    4
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    36.32 inches2
  • Plate Length:
    6.8" (17.3 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    6.8" (17.3 cm)
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

Cuisinart designed and constructed the waffle plates well. They’re made from cast aluminum and coated with a non-stick Teflon layer.

Our temperature tests found that both sets of waffle plates heated evenly. Most of the time, they were at the same temperature. 

Unfortunately, the waffle plates aren’t removable, so they’re tricky to clean.

8.5

Control Panel

9.5
A close-up on the Bella 13991 waffle maker’s control panel, with the two indicator lights and the browning control dial in frame.
A close-up on the Bella 13991 waffle maker’s control panel, with the two indicator lights and the browning control dial in frame.
BELLA 13991 Classic Control Panel video
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

The temperature dial turns smoothly but doesn’t have any specific temperature notches or settings. Instead, there are only “Min” and a “Max” labels on either side. The user can tune the dial to any arbitrary point in between.

You will find a red POWER button under the dial, which shines when you plug in the waffle maker. The blue READY button beside it will light up when the plates are thoroughly heated and ready for use.

Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Control Panel Video
A close-up of the control panel of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double Belgian waffle maker, with the silvery browning control knob to the left and the black power switch to the right.
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    Yes
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

The control panel consists of a temperature knob and a power switch. Both are easy to use.

There are two indicator lights on either side of the waffle maker. These green lights (READY lights) turn on when the waffle plates have been heated to the correct temperature. This model also comes with an audible alarm, which beeps when the waffle maker is ready.

The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 does not have a POWER indicator to show if it’s receiving power. We had to hold a hand over the warming waffle plates to confirm the machine was getting power. Not only is that a hassle, but it’s also a possible safety issue. If you’re not in a hurry, you can always wait to see if the READY lights illuminate.

Bella Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker’s Power Cord

Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double Belgian Waffle Maker’s Power Cord
The power plug of the Bella 13991, highlighting the Type-A prongs.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.2 ft (0.7 m)
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cord is relatively short, so you may have to use an extension cord. There is no cable management feature on the Bella 13991.

A close-up of the power plug of the Cuisinart Double waffle maker WAF-F20P1’s power plug.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.6 ft (0.8 m)
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

The power cord of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 measures 31 inches long, which is reasonable. Underneath the base, you’ll find a pair of hooks inside a large enclosure. You can wrap the power cord around the hooks, then nestle the cord bundle into the compartment. It makes storage neater.

Drip Tray

Accessories

Measuring Cup
The removable black plastic drip tray of the Hamilton Beach 26031.
  • Material:
    Plastic
  • Removable:
    Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

A drip tray accompanies the waffle maker in the shipping box. It slides in underneath the waffle maker’s body. The tray does a great job of catching spilled batter. It is removable and dishwasher-safe.

The included batter measuring cup of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1. It is made from
  • Material:
    Plastic
  • Removable:
    Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 comes with a dishwasher-safe measuring cup.

Ease of Use

Bella Rotating Waffle Maker Review

Cuisinart Double Waffle Maker WAF-F20P1 Review: Ease of Use
6.8
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)3.0/10
  • Safety (40%)8.0/10
  • Cleanability (25%)9.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (5%)10/10
8.7
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)9.0/10
  • Safety (40%)9.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)6.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)10/10
3.0

Handling

9.0

It failed the handling test due to the dangerously loose lid. Whenever we started a new waffle, we had to hold the lid with one hand while pouring with the other. If we dared remove that stabilizing hand, the lid had a good chance of snapping shut unexpectedly.

Except for this critical issue, the Bella 13991 is easy to use. The control panel is simple, and the waffle maker turns smoothly. A lock is built into the handle and keeps the lid securely shut when the waffle maker is flipped.

The lid opens and closes smoothly. An intuitive lid lock mechanism secures the lid. The lock disengages on its own when you pull the handle upward. The safety will click into place again when you close the lid.

The waffle iron section rotates smoothly and easily. However, it is heavy, so it takes a little force.

8.0

Safety

9.5
The temperature of the plastic base of the Bella 13991 waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 85.8°F.
The temperature of the plastic base of the Bella 13991 waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 85.8°F.
The surface temperature of the Bella 13991’s control panel is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 153.5°F.
The temperature of the black plastic handle of the Bella 13991 is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 90.5°F.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    153°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    85°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    90°F

The unsteady lid is a serious safety issue. Fortunately, aside from the lid, we didn’t find any other significant safety problems.

The top of the lid got warm — but not dangerously so — at 147°F.

Both the handle and the base remained cool to the touch. The measured temperatures in these areas were respectively 90° and 85° after several rounds of testings.

The temperature of the back hinges of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 being measured by a thermometer, which reads 234.6°F.
The temperature of the back hinges of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 being measured by a thermometer, which reads 234.6°F.
Temperature of the front control panel of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is being taken using a thermometer during a thermal safety test. The screen reads 85.6°F.
Temperature of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1’s top lid being measured using a thermometer, which reads 105.8°F during a thermal safety test.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    234°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    85°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    105°F

The most noteworthy issue is the lack of a POWER light, which, as we mentioned earlier, is a safety risk.

Other than that, the waffle maker is safe to use. The lid is rock-solid and won’t snap down suddenly. After several cooking sessions, the handle was only warm to the touch (105°F).

The top side measures around 234°F.

Because the base is removed from the waffle maker’s body, it remains at room temperature (89°F).

9.5

Cleanability

6.5
BELLA 13991 Classic Cleanability

The Bella 13991 is very easy to clean. Though it’s prone to fingerprint smudges and scratches, the metal surfaces can be cleaned and polished with mild detergent. The waffle plates only need to be wiped down with paper towels every once in a while to get rid of waffle debris. We also don't find it difficult to scrub dried batter off the plastic parts of the waffle maker.

When a spill happens, the large drip tray can catch every droplet. The tray can be washed by hand or loaded into a dishwasher.

The silver Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 with excess batter overflowing and dripping down from both sets of cooking plates on the waffle maker.

The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 doesn’t come with a drip tray, so spills weren’t easy to clean up. We also found it very difficult to clean the side of the waffle maker once the batter had solidified. The batter’s grip on the metal was so firm that we had to use detergent to get it off. Even after getting the clumps off, we could still see residue.

The waffle plates were easy to clean, thanks to their non-stick layer. Cooked waffles usually slid cleanly off the plates. Leftover crumbs and debris could be quickly swept up with paper towels.

10

Indicator Light Visibility

10
The set of indicator lights at the top of the Bella 13991’s waffle maker. The blue READY light and the red POWER light are on.
The set of indicator lights at the top of the Bella 13991’s waffle maker. The blue READY light and the red POWER light are on.
The shining READY light at the bottom of the Bella 13991’s waffle maker.

The lights are very dim. It’s almost impossible to see them from afar under harsh lighting. Even with some ambient lights turned off, the indicator lights are still faint.

The green READY button of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is on, indicating that the plates are heated and ready to use.

The READY lights can be seen clearly, even under harsh studio lighting.