One of the best ways to start the day is with a serving of glorious golden belgian waffles. The crispness of the crust, combined with melted butter, sweet honey, and tart berries, make waffles a breakfast of champions.
But before you can get there, you’ll need a good waffle maker on hand.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the best belgian waffle makers that our team has ever tested and reviewed.
What Is a Belgian-style Waffle?
Waffles have been around for hundreds of years. It stands to reason that there are multiple styles of this spongy batter cake. But out of dozens of different options, the Belgian style is definitely the most popular.
Originating from (you guessed it) Belgium, this waffle type is characterized by larger squares and deeper pockets than American-style, also known as “classic-style” waffles. These deeper pockets are the reason why they are so popular in the first place. You can fill them with more butter, jam, or syrup than the thinner American waffles.
How We Test Belgian Waffle Makers
All models on this list have been thoroughly tested by our Research, Testing, and Review (RTR) team using our tailored testing methodology. The waffle makers featured below are the best in class and got great scores in our assessment.
We tested and rated waffle makers based on three factors: performance, design, and ease of use.
This section demonstrates how well the waffle maker in question cooks. It is the most important test, so performance makes up 50% of the overall score.
We test each device using two different recipes. Then, we evaluate the quality of both types of waffles before deciding on a performance score.
The first recipe is the self-made mix, representing homemade waffle batter made from scratch. Our in-house chef compiled this test recipe by sampling cookbooks and popular culinary sites.
After the self-made mix, we test each waffle maker with a premade waffle mix. We chose an off-the-shelf Birch Benders waffle mix. Due to the extra convenience, many people prefer to use boxed mix rather than making their own batter. We wanted to make sure both preparation styles were represented in our testing process.
Note that our process and recipes may change in the future. If so, we will update our articles and notify you accordingly.
Performance makes up 50% of the overall score.
The quality of a waffle maker’s construction can tell you a lot about its overall value. It may also give you an idea of how durable the machine will be.
A unit made from stainless steel with impeccable build quality will last far longer than a poorly crafted one made from plastic. This section was intended to assess that craftsmanship and offer you more piece of mind before you buy.
Our reviewers look through the overall build quality of the product. Then, we closely examine essential components of the waffle makers like the waffle plates and the control panel to check for flaws or design failures.
Design accounts for 20% of a waffle maker’s overall score.
Ease of Use
For us, a waffle maker should be simple and straightforward; anyone should be able to operate it without studying the user’s manual. The user experience should also be frustration-free. Our assessment reflects that belief.
We look at and rate the overall user experience in the ease of use portion of the review. We ask ourselves questions such as: “Is it easy to use?” “How safe is it to operate?” “Is it easy to clean?” — everything that you would ask yourself after bringing your new waffle maker home.
Ease of use makes up 30% of the overall score.
How Our Recommendations Are Made
Recommendations are based upon the resulting scores of our testing procedures. We take into account the specialized strengths of a product, the situation it’s best suited for, or the personal circumstances it is likely to best match.
Best Belgian Waffle Makers in 2023
Now that you have all the necessary information about Belgian waffles and our methodology, let’s dive into the list of our top choices!
Things We Like
- Beautiful, durable stainless steel design
- Both sets of waffle plates heat evenly
- Has audible alarm
- Long power cord
- Intuitive lid locking mechanism
- Comes with a measuring cup
Things We Don’t Like
- Mediocre performance with self-mixed recipe
- Heavy and bulky
- Certain parts are made of plastic
- Lacks a POWER indicator light
- Difficult to clean due to the lack of a drip tray
The WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker is Cuisinart’s premium offering. So naturally, we expected a lot out of this model.
While the WAF-F20P1 fell short in a few ways during testing, this waffle maker met most of our expectations. And more importantly, of all the devices we’ve tested thus far, the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 gave us the best cooking performance.
Because of that, the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is currently featured in our 2023 line-up of the best waffle makers!
This Cuisinart’s most notable feature is definitely the double-sided design, which allows you to prepare two waffles simultaneously. This waffle maker is also flippable.
The cooking performance of the WAF-F20P1 is splendid. It is the first waffle maker to receive not just one, but two consecutive “Perfect” scores from our chef. The batch of waffles that the WAF-F20P1 made using the premixed Birch Benders batter was very close to perfection.
Unfortunately, the waffle maker didn’t do so well in the self-mixed recipe, only receiving a middling score. This held true even after we revised the recipe for our test methodology v1.1.
Design is one of the strong points of the WAF-F20P1. The baking chamber is made from stainless steel, giving it a luxurious appearance. It has a silver-painted base that, at a glance, looks very much like brushed aluminum. Upon closer inspection, though, we found that the base is made of plastic. It was merely painted over and finished to resemble metal. While this lightens the design and reduces cost, plastic wears quicker than metal, so it does affect the waffle maker’s durability.
The control panel is easy to use, consisting of a browning dial and a power switch. When the non-stick plates are properly heated and ready for use, the indicator light will turn green, accompanied by a series of audible chimes. The audible indicator will keep you alert on busy mornings.
Price at time of publish: $101.95
Things We Like
- Flippable design
- Decent performance
- High-quality construction with a luxurious aesthetic
- Removable and washable waffle plates
- Very easy to clean
Things We Don’t Like
- Barebones control panel
- The spin-lock mechanism at the handle is finicky
Coming in at second place is the Hamilton Beach 26031. It’s second only to the WAF-F20P1 in terms of overall cooking performance in our tests. However, at half the price of the WAF-F20P1, this waffle maker is an appealing alternative if you’re on a budget.
Unlike the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1, the Hamilton Beach 26031 has a single-waffle layout. However, it retains the flippable design, which, according to Hamilton Beach, helps it cook more evenly than traditional non-flip models.
Sure enough, our test results corroborated the company’s claim. We set up the browning control, poured the batter in, and then waited 5 minutes. The coloration of the resulting waffle wasn’t as great as we had hoped, as it looked dark and slightly burnt. Still, the waffle was mellow and fluffy on the inside.
Our chef also loved the taste, describing it as sweet and flavorful. Unfortunately, because the outer crust of the waffle was slightly charred, it gained a slight bitter undertone that affected its taste score.
This waffle maker scored high on design and ease of use. It has a stainless steel baking chamber, giving it a classy appearance. The waffle plates are made from ceramic and, in the 26031 model, have a distinctive brick-like color. The waffle plates are fully removable and are dishwasher-safe. You can find the control panel at the top of the lid. It includes a browning control dial and a pair of indicator lights. It’s as straightforward to use as can be.
The lid opens and closes smoothly. Our reviewers found no trouble flipping the waffle maker back and forth. We found a minor issue with the lid lock mechanism. It prevented us from opening the lid even after the baking chamber flipped upright. Fortunately, it’s not a serious issue and can be easily fixed by jiggling the handle.
Price at time of publish: $57.79
Things We Like
- Did a good job in both of our performance tests
- Overall design looks very premium
- The non-stick coating functions well
Things We Don’t Like
- Poor build quality
- The lid is dangerously loose
The Bella Classic Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker (13991) is an excellent value. Though it is significantly more affordable than either of the top two models, it offers nearly identical levels of cooking performance. You also get a few premium features like a flippable design and attractive stainless steel construction.
The Bella Classic passed two performance tests with flying colors. Across both recipes, it produced some good-looking (and good-tasting) waffles. We wouldn’t quite rate them as highly as those from the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1, but they’ll certainly sate your appetite.
The cast-aluminum waffle plates are coated with a layer of PFOA-free non-stick material, which is healthier to use. Even after dozens of tests, we've never had to peel a sticky waffle off the plates. There is a small moat running around the perimeter of the plates to catch spills, but it's too small to be helpful.
For a budget-friendly waffle maker, it looks surprisingly pleasant. The baking chamber is made from stainless steel and has a beautiful mirror-like finish.
But underneath the glittery exterior, our reviewers found the design of the Bella to be severely lacking. The lid is attached to very loose hinges, to the point that it’s unable to stand on its own. The moment we let the top lid go, it slammed shut. Because of this, while pouring in the batter, our testers always had to keep a hand on the lid. This isn't just an inconvenience but also a glaring safety issue.
The mirror-like outer shell is very prone to smudging and fingerprinting. Scratches also showed up quickly on the metal's surface. So, unless you're extremely careful with it, the waffle maker will start to look very used in a hurry.
Price at time of publish: $39.99
Things We Like
- Double-sided design is useful for making multiple servings
- Performs decently on all performance tests
- Solid build quality for the price
- Great cleanability thanks to the included drip tray
Things We Don’t Like
- Bulky and heavy
- Tends to undercook the bottom of the waffle
Suppose you need to cook large batches of waffles regularly but do so on a limited budget. In that case, the BLACK+DECKER WMD200B Double Waffle Maker would be our top recommendation. It is fairly inexpensive compared to most double waffle makers, and its two-sided design can satisfy heavy users by cooking two waffles simultaneously.
Its cooking performance isn't quite as good as others on this list. Still, it can make several tasty servings of waffles when needed.
Our chef rated the waffle maker's performance as "passable". Generally speaking, the WMD200B doesn’t perform well in our tests.
Texturally, the waffle's core was almost always slightly undercooked. Additionally, the waffle maker has a notable tendency to undercook the bottom of its waffle. The effect showed in the waffle's coloration and texture; the bottom was almost always a shade lighter and mushier than the top.
Fortunately, the quality of the waffles wasn't so bad that they were inedible.
The waffle maker is built almost entirely from plastic, so it may not look as luxurious as models made from stainless steel. Nonetheless, we like the solid appearance of the WMD200B. Every component has impeccable build quality and functions well, from the lid-lock to the flipping mechanism to the non-stick waffle plates.
Regrettably, the WMD200B doesn't come with any heat control feature. There is no browning control dial. Since the cooking temperature is fixed, you must precisely time the cooking process to get the waffle you want.
Price at time of publish: $39.11
Besides the models above, there are a few others that are worth checking out. Though their scores weren’t as high as the above models, you may find that you still like them!
- Presto waffle maker: The Presto waffle maker is flippable. However, unlike others on this list, it doesn’t rotate on a central axis. Rather, the user will flip the waffle maker 180° from one side to another. Besides the unusual design, the Presto also has a decent cooking performance. It’s not a bad alternative to the five models above!
- Chefman waffle maker: The Chefman waffle maker is a noteworthy model in the entry-level segment. Other than having a pretty luxurious appearance and acceptable cleaning performance, the Chefman also comes with a nifty “anti-spill” system. It’ll make for a great purchase if you hate the clean-up that often accompanies waffles.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Belgian Waffle Maker
There are a number of things that you have to take into consideration before you pull the trigger on a brand new Belgian-style waffle maker.
Single-sided or Double-sided
You will find two kinds of waffle makers on the market: single-sided or double-sided.
Most people are familiar with the former style; it’s simple and has a single set of waffle plates. It cooks waffles one at a time — feed batter in, close it and cook, then pull the waffle out. This type of waffle maker is suitable for bachelors, small families, and generally anyone who doesn’t cook waffles regularly.
On the other hand, double-sided waffle makers have two sets of waffle plates, so they can cook two waffles simultaneously. This type is excellent for large families and people who need to cook many servings daily.
Flippable vs. Non-Flippable
The baking chambers on some waffle makers can be flipped. Upending the cooking space can help the batter cook more evenly and expedites the cooking process. Essentially, the batter gets even contact with both sides of the waffle iron. They are a bit pricier than regular, non-flippable waffle makers, but this feature is often worth the extra investment.
Speed and Size
Besides cooking waffles evenly, a good waffle maker must also do the job quickly. In our tests, most waffle makers needed an average of 5 to 6 minutes to cook their contents properly.
The size of the waffle maker can influence cooking speed. These appliances come in all sizes, from palm-size mini waffle makers to large irons the size of a Roomba. Generally, larger waffle makers cook slower than smaller ones.
A good waffle maker should be easy to use. Ideally, you should be able to pop the waffle maker out of the box and recognize how to operate it right away without looking at the manual.
It should also be easy to maintain. Nobody wants to spend 15 minutes cleaning the waffle plates after cooking. Non-stick waffle plates can help with this problem. The non-stick layer ensures that sticky residue won't remain on the plates, sparing you the painstaking scrubbing.
Waffle makers can cost anywhere between $20 and $200. Besides the build quality and construction materials, manufacturers also base the price on their device’s features and the cooking performance of each model. Pricier models will come with more features and perform better.
But you don’t necessarily have to drop $200 just to get a good batch of waffles. The sweet spot is around $30. Most waffle makers in that range work well enough to turn out perfectly-cooked waffles.
Belgian Waffle Makers FAQs
Not exactly. The biggest difference is that Belgian-style waffles are thicker and have deeper wells. It does mean you will have to pour more batter into a Belgian waffle maker compared to an American-style model.
The extra thickness of Belgian waffles can extend their cooking time and change the temperature and timing calculus. But overall, they shouldn’t be any harder to cook.
No. Despite having larger waffle plates, Belgian and American-style waffle makers cost about the same.
Cooking time varies from model to model. According to all of our performance tests, Belgian waffle makers take a little longer, but it’s a difference of only a minute or so.
Why Trust Us
We purchase all the products of our own accord and for testing purposes only. We do not procure sponsorship or donations and have no stake in the reputation of the brands.
Our testing procedures are data-driven, transparent, and collaboratively developed. We establish most testing procedures in house, but we consult with outside experts when necessary. Each test is rigorous and transparent; we detail the process, provide the data, and present evidence.
Since we are testing kitchen equipment, we have a team of professional cooks that help us evaluate the results of tests, including taste-testing where necessary.
Matthew Lee has been a product reviewer for HealthyKitchen101 for over two years. As a member of the Research, Testing, and Review (RTR) Team, he has handled many reviewing projects, including those on faucets, showerheads, and water softeners.
As part of the waffle maker reviewing project, Matthew personally tested and assessed the most recent batch of 18 waffle makers in collaboration with the RTR Team, which includes Lap Vo and Luna Regina.
There are 8 Belgian waffle makers in total within the latest batch, making up the vast majority of the 18 models currently in our database.
After 200+ working hours to brainstorm and finalize the details of the waffle maker testing methodology and a week coming up with two custom waffle recipes for performance testing with HealthyKitchen101’s in-house chefs, the first review session started.
It took the team around 1.5 months to thoroughly test and assess the cooking performance and build quality of all 8 waffle makers. By the time we collected all the data we needed and the reviewing portion wrapped up, we’ve already baked more than 80 waffles between all the Belgian-style models.
Finalizing and writing drafts for the review articles took us another two weeks. In the process, we also picked out the best-performing Belgian waffle makers, which you can find here!
The five models we detailed in this article are the best Belgian waffle makers our team has tested thus far. We will update this list as our database grows and new models hit our lab.
Currently, we consider the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 the best to buy, thanks to its high performance and premium design. It costs a pretty penny, but our reviewers deemed the value it offers worth the investment if you’re looking for the best market offers.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to get the WAF-F20P1 to get a tasty breakfast waffle. The other four models on the list do a great job, too.
In the end, it comes down to your preferences and your budget. Consider all the options and take your pick!
About your guide
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.
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.
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.