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CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini vs Nostalgia MWF5AQ Side-by-Side Comparison

Matthew Lee
Reviewer
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated May 27, 2023
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated May 27, 2023
The black CROWNFUl waffle maker with wood-tone handle on a table next to its instructional manual and the shipping box.
The Nostalgia MWF5AQ mini waffle maker next to its instruction manual and shipping box.

Our Verdict

6.8
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.2/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.8/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.6/10
6.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.3/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.4/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.3/10

It can be difficult to choose between the CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini and the Nostalgia MWF5AQ. Not only are they in the same size class, but they also have comparable design quality and performance.

The CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini and the Nostalgia MWF5AQ scored mediocrely in our cooking tests. The waffles they created only have average coloring, texture, and taste. But if you don’t require restaurant-quality waffles for your morning breakfasts, either will do just fine.

The build quality of the two models is adequate. Though they have good build quality, their appearances look quite cheap due to their plastic construction. But it’s to be expected, considering how both models are budget products.

Great Scoring Throughout

Crownful Mini Waffle Maker Machine’s Performance

Nostalgia Mini Waffle Maker’s Performance: Great, As Far As Mini Waffle Makers Go
6.2
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)7.1/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)5.3/10
6.3
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.8/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)5.9/10
7.1

Self-Mixed Recipe

6.8
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip
The light brown top crust of a waffle baked in 5 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
The light brown bottom crust of a waffle baked in 5 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
The cross-section of a waffle baked in 5 minutes, revealing the interior filled with air bubbles and air cavities.
A waffle is torn down the middle by hands in order to test it for its consistency and texture. This particular waffle was baked for 5 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
Color: 7.25
35% * 7.25 = 2.5
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Our chef gave the CF-WM01's waffle a good score, citing the beautiful, lightly browned crust. The waffle's texture was soft, thanks to a decent aeration rate. But the waffle was still developing, and the air pockets hadn't expanded to their maximum size. Our chef also gave the waffle a good score in the taste section but didn't rate it highly as the waffle has a slightly cloying taste of the raw batter.

Color (35%) — 7.25/10

  • Color tone: Dark brown (Top) — Light brown (Bottom)
  • Color distribution: Uneven

The crust has an appealing shade of light golden brown. Within the deep wells on the waffle, the colors are darker, turning to a light golden brown.

We noticed the wells at the top of the waffle tend to be darker than the bottom. On some tests, the wells on the top side looked like they were charred, while the bottom remained lightly colored. This inconsistent heating pattern alludes to an unbalanced heating grid.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

  • Texture: Soft in most parts, but mushy in certain spots
  • Aeration level: Medium

The waffle’s interior has a medium aeration rate, and several air bubbles can be observed in its core. But since the bubbles were still developing, much of the waffle’s core was still solid and mushy. The mushy spots of under-developed batter stood out as an annoying contrast to the otherwise soft and spongy waffle.

Taste (40%) - 7/10

  • Flavor: Sweet and savory
  • Mouthfeel: Soft, but slightly mushy

Taste wise, our chef judged the waffle to have a good blend of flavors: sweet and savory. But the mushy mouthfeel was a turn-off that ultimately resulted in the Crownful getting only a Good score in this section.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Self-Mixed Recipe Video
The light brown top crust of a waffle baked for 6 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
The light 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. The interior is filled with air bubbles and cavities.
The waffle is torn down the middle by hand to test it for its consistency, revealing the spongy inner core.
Color: 6.5
35% * 6.5 = 2.3
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 7.5
40% * 7.5 = 3.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 6 minutes

The crust’s coloration was decent, with an appealing light brown color throughout. Within the wells were some dark brown burnt spots. They weren’t charred, but they still introduced a slight bitterness to the waffle. The texture was soft and fluffy, thanks to a high aeration rate. And taste-wise, our chef rated it as flavorful but held back from giving it a higher score due to the bitterness from the burnt spots.

Color (35%) — 6.5/10

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

On the whole, the waffle had good coloration. The outer crust was light brown, with most of the darker spots concentrated inside the wells. Though it had a slightly mottled appearance, we still considered the waffle’s coloration to be uniform.

Texture (25%) - 6/10

  • Texture: Good
  • Aeration level: High - air bubbles were plentiful and well-sized within the waffle

The interior of the waffle was fully developed and aerated, resulting in a soft, fluffy core. Large air bubbles and pockets could be seen throughout the waffle’s interior.

Taste (40%) - 7.5/10

  • Flavor: Rich and sweet, slightly bitter
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and fluffy

Our chef described it as having a rich, sweet taste. Although the burnt spots on the crust introduced a slight bitterness to the waffle’s flavor profile, it was still delicious. Hence, the waffle received a good score in this section.

5.3

Birch Benders Mix

5.9
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix
The pale gold top crust of a waffle baked for 8 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix
The pale gold 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 using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix, revealing the small air bubbles and cavities within the waffle.
A waffle is torn by hand down the middle to test it for its consistency and texture. This waffle was baked for 8 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
Color: 4.5
35% * 4.5 = 1.6
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 5
40% * 5 = 2.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The waffle was light colored and mushy when we picked it up from the plates. It was clear this test was a bust from the start. But surprisingly, while coloration and texture were discouraging, the waffle's flavor was decent. It saved the otherwise mediocre waffle from failing the test.

Color (35%) — 4.5/10

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

The waffle has the appearance of being undercooked with its pale gold crust. Some of the wells on the waffle were dark brown, slightly improving its look. But, as a whole, we still found the coloration not up to the mark.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

  • Texture: Soft, but overly moist and mushy
  • Aeration level: Medium

The waffle’s interior developed well. Slicing it in half, we saw prominent air bubbles and pockets inside. It should have resulted in a soft, fluffy waffle. Unfortunately, the waffle has a lot of moisture, making it limp and mushy. We let it rest for 5 minutes to see if it would get better, but the texture did not improve.

Taste (40%) - 5/10

  • Flavor: Distinctly savory and sweet
  • Mouthfeel: Very mushy

The waffle maker did a great job developing the waffle’s flavor profile. That was despite the lackluster color and texture. Our chef judged it tasty, with a distinct savory note, from the pre-made batter mix.

But while the taste was great, the mouthfeel was subpar due to the mushy texture of the waffle.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Birch Benders Mix
The pale gold top crust of a waffle baked for 8 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
The pale gold bottom crust of a waffle baked for 8 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
A cross-section of a waffle baked for 8 minutes, revealing the interior filled with air bubbles and air cavities.
A waffle, baked for 8 minutes, being torn down the middle by hand to test its consistency, revealing the fluffy interior.
Color: 5
35% * 5 = 1.8
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 6
40% * 6 = 2.4
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Though the pale coloration of the waffle didn't look great, the texture and taste were decent. It was soft and pliant with a taste that—while not gourmet—was good enough for breakfasts and light snacks.

Color (35%) — 5/10

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

The crust had a very light gold tone, with the pockets being slightly darker. Because the color was too light with the same tone as undercooked batter, we didn’t rate the waffle highly in this section.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

  • Texture: Soft, but overly moist and mushy
  • Aeration level: Medium

The overall texture was acceptable but certainly could have been better. We found several air bubbles throughout the cake's core when cutting the waffle open. They were small and had inconsistent distribution, resulting in a soft but spongy waffle.

Taste (40%) - 6/10

  • Flavor: Sweet and slightly savory
  • Mouthfeel: Soft, but mushy in certain spots

Our chef rated the Nostalgia’s performance in this test as “Good.” The full flavor of the Birch Benders mix was extracted: we got a sweet, slightly salty taste profile in this waffle. But where it fell short was in the mouthfeel. Though it was indeed soft, its mushiness affected the overall experience greatly.

Crownful Mini Waffle Maker’s Design

Nostalgia MyMini Waffle Maker’s Design: Doesn’t Feel Cheap!
8.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)10/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)9.5/10
  • Control Panel (10%)0/10
8.4
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)9.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)0/10

What’s in the Box of the Crownful 4 inch Waffle Maker

In The Box
The Crownful 4 inch waffle maker in the middle, with its warranty card, instruction manuals, and shipping box around it.
  • Crownful CF-WM01 waffle maker
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card
The blue-colored Nostalgia Mini waffle maker MWF5AQ next to its instruction manuals and shipping box.
  • Nostalgia MWF5AQ MyMini waffle maker
  • Instruction manuals

Dimensions

Nostalgia My Mini Waffle Maker’s Dimensions & Weight
A side profile of the black Crownful compact waffle maker, with the patterned top lid and the wood-tone handle in the front visible.
  • Length:
    5.7" (14.5 cm)
  • Width:
    5.1" (13.0 cm)
  • Height:
    3.1" (8.0 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.0 lbs (0.5 kg)

The Crownful lives up to expectations when it comes to compactness. You can easily fit the waffle maker inside a cupboard or a traveler’s backpack or duffel bag.

The side profile of the Nostalgia My Mini waffle maker’s plastic exterior. The top lid is cyan blue and the bottom is black.
  • Length:
    6.8" (17.1 cm)
  • Width:
    6.5" (16.5 cm)
  • Height:
    3.5" (8.9 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.3 lbs (0.6 kg)

True to its name, the Nostalgia MWF5AQ has a lightweight and compact design. The waffle maker weighs 1.25 pounds and is small enough to fit in one’s palm. Consequently, Nostalgia has focused a lot on travelers and hikers in their marketing for the MWF5AQ as they may enjoy having a waffle maker that is small enough to fit in their backpacks or luggage.

10

Build Quality

9.0
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality
Crowful waffle maker’s lid, with the center indicator light and the patterning made up of concentric circles visible. The wood-like handle in front is inscribed with the word “Crownful”.
A zoomed-in shot of the Crownful 4 inch waffle maker’s lid hinge.
The back of the Crownful waffle maker’s lid hinge. It is currently in the closed position.
The rubber, anti-slip feet at the bottom of the Crownful mini waffle maker.

Since it is such a cheap waffle maker, we didn’t have high expectations of its build quality when we first received it in the lab. It was a pleasant surprise when we unboxed the waffle maker and found its build quality to be so good.

The top lid is made from textured plastic and has a pattern of raised, concentric circles. Contrasting the black paint of our unit is the light-colored wooden handle at the front, inscribed with the company’s name.

The build quality of the unit’s interior is also good. The lid hinges are solid, and the waffle plates are immaculate.

 Nostalgia MWF5AQ Mini Build Quality
A close-up shot of the hinges of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s lid.
The back end of the Nostalgia Mini waffle maker (MWF5AQ). A section of the lid hinges can be seen, along with the power cord.
The bottom side of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ, with the two anti-slip feet in the foreground and wide back foot in the background.

The Nostalgia waffle maker has a solid build quality for the price. Although its plastic construction makes it look and feel quite cheap, every part is built and finished well. The coloring on the lid is vibrant, the lid hinges are solid and don’t wobble, and we didn’t find any significant design or build-related issues.

9.5

Waffle Plates

10
A top-down view of one of the waffle plates of the Crownful waffle maker.
A top-down view of one of the waffle plates of the Crownful waffle maker.
A top-down view of both the Crownful’s black waffle plates.
  • 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 cooking area of the plates is nestled inside a raised moat, which acts as an anti-spill channel. It is slightly offset from the moat, creating a fascinating “Hawaiian earring” pattern.

Although the anti-spill channel is meant to catch excess batter and prevent it from spilling out of the machine while cooking, it doesn't work well in practice. The channel is very shallow, so it has very little value unless the spill is minor.

The plates are coated with a layer of non-stick, which works well enough. We have never had trouble scooping out a finished waffle during our tests.

An overview of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s black, non-stick waffle plates.
An overview of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s black, non-stick waffle plates.
A close-up shot of one of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s black, non-stick waffle plates.
  • Number of Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    15.9 inches2
  • Plate Length:
    4.5" (11.4 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    4.5" (11.4 cm)
  • Material:
    Die-cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle plates are Belgian-style and are coated with a layer of non-stick. Nostalgia didn’t disclose the chemical composition of the non-stick layer. Nevertheless, throughout our performance tests, the coating held up well. We have never had to deal with a sticky waffle.

0.0

Control Panel

0.0
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

The waffle maker doesn’t come with any control feature. There is an indicator light at the top, which lights up when it’s plugged in, then turns off once the plates have been heated and are ready for use.

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

The Nostalgia MWF5AQ has a single indicator light at the top. It does not have any additional control features.

Crownful 4-inch Mini Waffle Maker’s Power Cord

Nostalgia MyMini Waffle Maker’s Power Cord
A zoomed-up view of the Crownful mini waffle maker’s power plug and its Type-A prongs.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.6 ft (0.8 m)
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cable is very long at 31.5 inches, making it an even more attractive option for travelers who may not always have convenient access to power outlets. For those at home, the longer cord means you’ll most likely be able to skip using an extension cord (unless your kitchen has very odd outlet placement.)

But the longer cord can be a problem when it comes to storing the waffle maker, especially when it doesn’t have any cable management feature.

The power cord of the Nostalgia mini waffle maker, which has the Type A plug.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    8.2" (20.8 cm)
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

The power cord only measures around 8 inches long. As such, you will most likely need an extension cord.

N/A

Accessories

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

The Crownful waffle maker doesn't come with any accessory.

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

The Nostalgia waffle maker does not come with any accessories.

Ease of Use

Crownful Mini Waffle Maker Machine Review

Nostalgia Mini Waffle Maker Review: Ease of Use
6.6
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)8.5/10
  • Safety (40%)2.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)10/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)10/10
6.3
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)7.5/10
  • Safety (40%)2.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)9.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)10/10
8.5

Handling

7.5

As it doesn’t have any control features, all you have to do is plug it in. The waffle maker will handle the rest. Once the waffle plates are heated up, the indicator light at the top will turn off. That’s the signal to pour in the batter. Wait out the cooking time for however long you want, then lift the lid and extract the finished waffle.

The opening and closing motion of the lid is smooth, thanks to the solid lid hinges.

Working with the Nostalgia waffle maker is easy. Since the waffle maker has no control feature, most people won’t need to read the instruction manuals before getting started.

The lid can be opened and closed smoothly, and the hinges are solid enough that the top doesn’t jiggle or sway too much from side to side.

Like most mini waffle makers, its small size means the surfaces on the unit heat up to dangerous temperatures after a while. So, oven mitts are a must for handling the waffle maker.

2.5

Safety

2.5
The surface temperature of the Crownful waffle maker’s top lid is being measured using a thermometer during a thermal safety test. The screen reads 187.9°F.
The surface temperature of the Crownful waffle maker’s top lid is being measured using a thermometer during a thermal safety test. The screen reads 187.9°F.
The temperature of the Crownful’s bottom is being measured using a thermometer during a thermal safety test. The screen reads 129.6°F.
The temperature of the Crownful’s front handle is being measured using a thermometer during a thermal safety test. The screen reads 188.4°F.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    187.9°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    129.6°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    188.4°F

The Crownful has an abysmal safety score. But it’s worth noting that the faults don’t lie with the manufacturer. Like most mini-sized waffle makers, the whole unit has bad insulation because of its small size. After one or two cooking sessions, every surface on the machine will become piping hot: It is unavoidable. Unfortunately, since this is what we measure to determine a waffle maker’s safety score, the Crownful failed miserably in this test portion.

Using a thermometer, we measured the temperature of the waffle maker’s top side, which was 187.9°F.

The bottom side was warm, measuring 129.6°F. It’s still safe to the touch. However, it’s better to wear oven mitts while handling the waffle maker.

The handle was scorching hot at 188.4°F. The hot handle, combined with the hot steam surging from the plates, makes wearing oven mitts a must. The heat is intense enough to instantly cause a burn injury.

The temperature of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s top lid is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 169.9°F.
The temperature of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s top lid is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 169.9°F.
The temperature of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s base is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 127.9°F.
The temperature of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s handle is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 149.2°F.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    169.9°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    127.9°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    149.2°F

Due to its small size, the waffle maker’s surfaces heat up quickly. So, every surface—from top to bottom—got dangerously hot.

We also noticed the Nostalgia having the same problem as other mini-size waffle makers: hot steam. After a cooking session, a hot plume of steam wafts upward from the plates when you open the lid. The flash of pain can be startling if you’re unprepared and may cause you to drop the lid, potentially damaging the waffle plates.

As such, you should always wear oven mitts while operating this waffle maker (Nostalgia included this point in the safety section in the user’s manual).

At the top of the lid, the temperature measured around 170°F.

10

Cleanability

9.5

The Crownful is easy to clean, both from within  and outside. The non-stick coated plates only need a few scrubs with a clean, dry cloth to remove batter residues or waffle debris.

The exterior of the waffle maker, made from a type of smooth plastic, doesn’t grip onto the dried batter. We left spilled batter to dry on the exterior of the waffle maker for a day. We were able to scour it off with a few spritzes of detergent and a cloth without any difficulty when we cleaned it the next day.

Excess batter pouring out from within the baking chamber of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ.

The non-stick plates help a lot with the clean-up afterward. Since the batter and the waffle didn’t stick to the plates, we only had to wipe lightly with a cloth to remove the debris and residues.

But because it’s so small, there were waffle spills from time to time. But thanks to the outer shell of the waffle maker being made from smooth plastic, which doesn’t grip onto batter tightly, they can be cleaned with just a cloth and mild detergent.

10

Indicator Light Visibility

10
The red indicator light at the center of the lid of the Crownful waffle maker, shining dimly.

The indicator light at the top was decently bright. We could see it even under studio lighting.

The red indicator light at the top of the Nostalgia’s lid. It is shining dimly in the harsh studio light.

The waffle maker’s sole indicator light is bright. We could observe it easily from afar as well as under harsh studio lighting.