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BELLA 13991 Classic vs DASH DMW001AQ Mini 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 13, 2023
The BELLA rotating waffle maker with its glossy, metallic baking chamber positioned next to its instruction manual and shipping box.
The aqua-colored Dash Mini waffle maker next to its shipping box (left) and instruction manuals (right).

Our Verdict

7.1
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    7.0/10
  • Design (20%)
    7.8/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.8/10
6.9
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.5/10
  • Design (20%)
    6.0/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    8.3/10

Both of these waffle makers are in totally separate classes. The Dash DMW001AQ Mini, like its name suggests, is a mini waffle maker that can fit snugly in the palm of your hand. It serves bite-sized 4-inch waffles. Meanwhile, the Bella 13991 Classic waffle maker is a full-size waffle maker that bakes 7-inch Belgian waffles.

The Dash Mini is a good fit for making breakfasts for small children or creating mid-day snacks. You can also use it to make regular breakfasts but an adult serving of 4-inch waffles may add up to 3 or 4 waffles. In that case, the Bella 13991 will be a better fit.

Performance-wise, the Bella does a better job at making tasty, evenly-cooked waffles compared to the Dash Mini. The former has a notable tendency to overcook and scorch the crust of its waffles, significantly impacting its overall performance score.

However, the Dash Mini is unmatched in terms of lightweight or compactness. This brings up another interesting use for this tiny waffle maker: it would be a good fit for travelers, campers, and RV-ers.

Not Great, Not Terrible

Bella Rotating Waffle Maker’s Performance

DASH Mini Waffle Maker DMW001AQ’s Performance: A Mixed Bag
7.0
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.9/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)7.2/10
6.5
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.0/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)7.0/10
6.9

Self-Mixed Recipe

6.0
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.

DASH DMW001AQ Mini Self-Mixed Recipe Video
The golden-very dark brown top crust of a waffle baked for 6 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
The golden-very dark brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 6 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
A cross-section of a waffle baked for 6 minutes using our self-mixed recipe, revealing a dense core with few air bubbles.
A waffle baked for 6 minutes using our self-mixed recipe being torn down the middle by hand to test its consistency.
Color: 6
35% * 6 = 2.1
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 6
40% * 6 = 2.4
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

In all three aspects (coloration, texture, and taste,) the DASH Mini still received mediocre scores. Nonetheless, compared to the test results in the first testing methodology (v1.0,) the DASH Mini still saw marked improvements.

Color (35%) — 6

  • Color tone: Very dark brown (Both)
  • Color distribution: Uneven

The waffle’s coloration was mediocre, and we assessed the waffle maker to have done a lousy job at cooking the waffle evenly. Inside some of the wells, the crust was cooked to a dark brown color, almost like they were charred. Upon closer inspection, it seems like they were only overcooked rather than burnt.

The crust was mixed between dark gold and light brown outside the wells.

Texture (25%) — 6

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Low, air bubbles were small and weren’t well-distributed

The interior was decently aerated. Air bubbles have begun to form on the inside of the waffle. However, they were pretty small and weren’t distributed evenly. As a result, the waffle was still relatively chewy and didn’t have the spongy softness we were looking for.

Taste (40%) — 6

  • Flavor: Sweet and savory with a hint of bitterness
  • Mouthfeel: Dense and dry

The taste was also mediocre. Our chef did recognize the sweet and slightly savory taste of the batter in the waffle. Unfortunately, the haphazardly burnt crust introduced a somewhat bitter taste to the waffle’s flavor profile. Plus, the underwhelming mouthfeel of the waffle also contributed to the waffle’s relatively low taste score.

7.2

Birch Benders Mix

7.0
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.

DASH DMW001AQ Mini Birch Benders Mix Video
The very dark brown top crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using a batter made from our Birch Benders mix.
The very dark brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using a batter made from our Birch Benders mix.
A cross-section of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our Birch Benders waffle mix. The interior of the waffle is revealed.
A waffle baked for 7 minutes using our Birch Benders waffle mix is torn down the middle by hands to test its consistency.
Color: 6.3
35% * 6.3 = 2.2
Texture: 6.5
25% * 6.5 = 1.6
Taste: 8
40% * 8 = 3.2
  • Heat Level:  N/A
  • Cooking Time: 7 minutes

Compared to the results using the self-mixed recipe, the test results using the Birch Benders mix were significantly better. Coloration was still slightly messy, but it was smoother and more attractive. The texture was soft and spongy, but the interior was still too moist to garner a higher score though the waffle certainly was flavorful.

Color (35%) — 6.3

  • Color tone: Very dark brown (Both)
  • Color distribution: Uneven at the top, uniform at the bottom

The coloring on the top was still not great. The upper crust was still marked with seemingly random dark and light spots—the darker burnt areas being mainly concentrated within the waffle’s wells.

The underside was significantly better. It enjoyed a prettier color gradient that ranged from light gold to golden brown. The distribution of color was excellent.

Texture (25%) — 6.5

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: High, the interior was filled with sizable air bubbles

The aeration level was high, and large air bubbles could be seen within the interior of the waffle. This resulted in a decently soft and fluffy texture. However, our chef judged the inside to be still too moist to get a better score.

Taste (40%) — 8

  • Flavor: Tasty, but a hint of raw batter is present
  • Mouthfeel: Crunchy outer crust with slightly mushy interior

The Dash Mini was able to bring out the complete flavor profile of the batter. Sweet and savory, it was a great-tasting waffle. The well-developed crust gave the waffle a nice crunch. Sadly, the slight mushiness of the interior prevented us from giving it a perfect score.

Bella Stainless Steel Waffle Maker’s Design

Mini Dash Waffle Maker’s Design: Expectedly Mediocre
7.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)7.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)9.0/10
  • Control Panel (10%)8.5/10
6.0
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)5.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)0/10

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

In The Box
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 aqua-blue waffle maker is in the middle. To its left and right are its instruction manuals and pamphlets.
  • Dash Mini waffle maker
  • Instruction manuals and leaflets

The shipping box contained the waffle maker along with the instruction manuals and advertising leaflets. This waffle maker does not come with any accessories.

Dimensions

Baby DASH Waffle Maker’s Dimensions & Weight
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 DASH DMW001AQ Mini waffle maker’s dimensions. The length is 6.3 inches, height 2.5 inches, and width 5 inches.
  • Length:
    1.3" (3.3 cm)
  • Width:
    6.3" (16.0 cm)
  • Height:
    5.0" (12.7 cm)
  • Weight:
    2.5 lbs (1.1 kg)

The Dash Mini has a very compact form factor. All three of its dimensions measure less than 10 inches taking up very little space on the kitchen countertop. You can also easily fit the waffle maker into a cupboard when it’s not in use.

7.0

Build Quality

5.0
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.

The back side of the DASH Mini waffle maker. White cabling sleeve can be seen through a gap at the back of the unit.
The back side of the DASH Mini waffle maker. White cabling sleeve can be seen through a gap at the back of the unit.
DASH DMW001AQ Mini Build Quality video

Build quality is not good. The waffle maker’s outer body is made entirely from plastic with a very thin layer of paint sprayed on the top. During our tests, we noticed that the paint flaked off very easily. In fact, the layer of paint was so flimsy that fingernails could scrape it off.

9.0

Waffle Plates

10
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 DASH Mini’s waffle plates. The plates are black and have a classic-style waffle print.
An overview of the DASH Mini’s waffle plates. The plates are black and have a classic-style waffle print.
A close-up shot of the DASH Mini waffle maker’s waffle plate. It is black and treated with a layer of textured non-stick.
  • Number of Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    12.57 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    4.0" (10.2 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    4.0" (10.2 cm)
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle plates, however, are excellent and are coated with a layer of PFOA-free non-stick. As a result, cleaning the plates is effortless. We only needed to give them a cursory wipe with paper towels to clean off crumbs and other small pieces of food debris. We never had to deal with a sticky waffle throughout our week-long test.

8.5

Control Panel

0.0
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.

  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    No

The Dash Mini doesn’t have a control panel. The only feature is the indicator light at the top, which turns on when the waffle maker is plugged in. Once the plates are heated and ready for use, the light will turn off.

With no controls, it gets a zero in this section.

Bella Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker’s Power Cord

DASH Mini Waffle Machine’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.

The power cord of the DASH Mini waffle maker. It has a Type A plug.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.5 ft (0.8 m)
  • Cable Management:
    No

The Dash Mini has a very long power cord measuring 30 inches. Though it gives the waffle maker greater usability, the long cord can be an issue when it comes to storage. We had to loop the cord around the waffle maker’s body to store it.

Drip Tray

Accessories

N/A
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.

  • Material:
    N/A
  • Removable:
    N/A
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    N/A

The Dash Mini waffle maker does not come with any kind of accessory.

Ease of Use

Bella Rotating Waffle Maker Review

Dash Mini Waffle Maker 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
8.3
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)8.0/10
  • Safety (40%)8.0/10
  • Cleanability (25%)10/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)6.0/10
3.0

Handling

8.0

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.

Handling is adequate. As previously mentioned, there aren’t any manual controls on this waffle maker, so it functions as a ‘plug-and-play’ device. You only need to plug in the power cord, wait until the top light turns off, then pour in the batter.

The lid opens and closes smoothly. When pushed back, the lid leans backward at an angle. This effectively prevents the top from snapping closed unexpectedly.

8.0

Safety

8.0
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 top lid of the DASH Mini waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 191.3°F.
The temperature of the top lid of the DASH Mini waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 191.3°F.
The temperature of the base of the DASH Mini waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 120.2°F.
The temperature of the handle of the DASH Mini waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 98.2°F.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    191°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    120°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    98°F

Due to its small size, the entire waffle maker heats up after just one cooking session. We had to pick up the waffle maker by the power cord and let the machine dangle by the end to move it off the countertop after testing. 

Additionally, upon opening the lid after a waffle has finished cooking, you could be subjected to a startling plume of hot air from the waffle plates. The hot air isn’t dangerous, but the flash of considerable heat can still feel extremely uncomfortable.

The top surface reached a temperature of 191°F.

It is only slightly warm at the handle, measuring 98°F. However, like we mentioned earlier, beware of the plume of hot air when you open up the lid.

The base of the waffle maker is uncomfortably warm at 120°F.

9.5

Cleanability

10
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 waffle maker is easy to clean. We only needed to wipe down the non-stick waffle plates once in a while to scoop up leftover debris.

Dried-out waffle batter doesn’t stick hard to the smooth plastic body when a spill happens. Cooking residues can be dealt with using mild detergent and a few scrubs with a cloth.

10

Indicator Light Visibility

6.0
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 blue center indicator light of the DASH Mini waffle maker is dimly shining.

The waffle maker has a large indicator light at the top. It’s difficult to see under harsh studio lighting and daylight. Under normal lighting conditions, however, the light should be clear.