With its glossy stainless steel exterior similar to pricier models like the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 or the Hamilton Beach 26031, the Bella 13991 has all the hallmarks of a premium machine. But upon closer inspection, we found that the build quality isn’t very high, mainly due to the dangerously wobbly lid.
Apart from this glitch, other components of the Bella 13991, like the waffle plates, control panel, and power cord, are all up-to-par.
The Cuisinart WMR-CA offers a great design and build quality, boasting a glossy metal top lid. The waffle plates are coated with a layer of Teflon non-stick, which has proven itself to work quite effectively during our cooking tests. We’ve never had to deal with sticky waffles or batter residues throughout the review phase.
Although simplistic, its control panel is very simple to use.
The Bella 13991’s flimsy construction didn’t do very well in both our handling and safety tests, but it scored points for being very easy to clean. Overall, the waffle maker only squeaked past the test by a hair.
Unlike its easy-to-use control panel, the control panel of the WMR-CA can be difficult to deal with for some people due to the dim indicator lights. They can be very hard to see under bright lighting.
The Cuisinart WMR-CA did decently well during safety tests. Most of the surfaces on the waffle maker are cool to the touch, even after several cooking sessions.
Although our first impression of the waffle maker wasn’t great due to some glaring design issues, the Bella waffle maker did fairly well across both waffle test recipes. The texture and flavor of its waffles were great — they’re not restaurant-level, but they aren’t bad for family breakfasts and light meals.
The WMR-CA mostly fell short of expectations, struggling to produce anything but unsatisfyingly burnt and flavorless waffles in our tests with the self-mixed waffle recipe. Its performance ratings were thankfully redeemed in later tests with pre-mixed Birch Benders mix, where it pulled out all the stops and amazed us with surprisingly tasty results.
Pros & Cons
- Did a good job in both of our performance tests
- Overall design looks very premium
- The non-stick coating functions well
- Did a great job in our test with Birch Benders mix
- Fast cooking time
- Compact and lightweight design makes it easy to store
- Poor build quality
- The lid is dangerously loose
- Poor performance on self-mixed recipe
- Heating element is too strong and can easily burn waffles
- Dim indicator lights
The Cuisinart WMR-CA Classic is designed for baking classic-style (also known as American-style) waffles. It’s also built to be Cuisinart’s entry-level product. The Bella 13991 Classic is at the low-mid tier. Its plates are larger and deeper for baking Belgian-style waffles.
Most people will already know which is better for them based on the difference in styling.
Both waffle makers did relatively well in our tests, but for different reasons. The Bella 13991 was able to cook more evenly and produce waffles with brighter coloration and softer texture. Whereas the Cuisinart WMR-CA did better in terms of speed. It served up a decent-quality waffle in as little as 2 minutes.
Between the two, it’s simply a matter of whether you’d like a tasty or a fast-cooking waffle.
The designs of the two are also distinctive. You get a more simplistic single-sided design with the Cuisinart WMR-CA, but it has solid build quality. With the Bella 13991, the external presentation is more luxurious. However, its build quality isn’t great due to its loose hinges and poorly-constructed parts.
Behind the Comparison
Matthew Lee is a writer and editor for HealthyKitchen101. With over 8 years working for various outlets and agencies, specializing in tech review and other subjects of note, such as current affairs.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef passionate about delicious and healthful foods. At HealthyKitchen101, she develops recipes and collaborates with our Research, Testing, and Review lab to evaluate the performance of cooking appliances. Her assessments add a strong authoritative voice to our product scoring process.
Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.