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The Best Mini Waffle Makers in 2023

Looking for a lightweight and compact waffle maker for your kitchen? Take a look at some of the best mini waffle makers we’ve tested!

By Matthew Lee, Lap Vo, Tuyet Pham and Nguyen Ntk
Updated

Waffles are one of the most popular breakfast foods out there. It’s cheap, easy to make, and nutritious with the right topping. If you want to introduce waffles to your daily meals, having the best waffle maker in your kitchen is a must.

Full-size waffle makers like Belgian or American (also known as classic) are the most popular. But there are many more types of waffle makers than just these two. In this Healthy Kitchen 101’s buyer’s guide and review round-up, we will introduce you to the next great type of waffle maker: mini-sized!

What Is a Mini-Size Waffle?

The name tells you everything you need to know about this type of waffle: they’re small. Usually, a mini-size waffle is only about 3 to 4 inches across compared to full-size waffles, which can measure well beyond 7 inches.

Unlike larger waffles, designed to satiate your hunger in the morning, these smaller waffles are meant to be eaten as snacks. You can quickly cook one whenever you’re hungry during the day (these waffles only take 3-4 minutes to cook) and take a quick bite.

But they’ll work as breakfasts, too. Their small size makes it much easier to control your portion. And if you want your meal to be more filling, you can bake several mini waffles and turn them into a tall stack like you would with pancakes!

How We Test Mini-Size Waffle Makers?

Every waffle maker we have in the lab—including mini-sized ones—are thoroughly tested by our Research, Testing, and Review (RTR) Team, using a testing methodology

For this review round-up, we picked the models that performed best in our database. And to pick “the best” ones, our team painstakingly scored each model in three sections: performance, design, and ease of use.

Performance

Whether a waffle maker is “good” is defined by how well it can cook waffles. As a result, the performance test where we put each waffle maker through its paces in our lab can be considered the most important test in our methodology.

So far, we have two waffle recipes to test all the waffle makers in the lab.

The first is the self-mixed recipe. It represents homemade waffle batter that people can mix from scratch. This recipe was created by our chefs, who sampled different cookbooks and culinary sites to come up with as easy and tasty a recipe as possible.

The golden-very dark brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 6 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
Bottom

After the self-mixed recipe is the premixed batter, rather than mixing batter from different ingredients, some people prefer to buy off-the-shelf batter instead. You can whisk up a fresh waffle batter in less than five minutes.

Premixed waffle batter cooks very differently from the self-mixed recipe. We include this recipe in our test to ensure that the waffle makers can handle different styles of waffle batters other than the raw kind.

The very dark brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using a batter made from our Birch Benders mix.
A waffle made from the premixed waffle batter, product of the DASH Mini waffle maker [7 minutes]

Our in-house chef, Chef Tuyet, scores the finished waffles.

Note that the methodology may be subjected to further changes in the future. The process with which we score each waffle maker can change, and the recipes can be revised (or new recipes added!)

If there are to be any changes, we’ll update this article and notify you accordingly.

Performance makes up 50% of the overall score.

Design

The outer shell of the Nostalgia Mini waffle maker
The outer shell of the Nostalgia Mini waffle maker.

In the design assessment, we look at the overall presentation of the waffle maker (the materials it's made from, how well-constructed the individual components are, and so on.) Models with higher build quality don't just look better, they last longer, too!

A zoomed-in shot of the Crownful 4 inch waffle maker’s lid hinge.
The solidness of the hinges is one of the scored portions in our test, pictured here are the hinges of the Crownful waffle maker

Design accounts for 20% of a waffle maker's overall score.

Ease of Use

A waffle maker should be easy to use. Ideally, the user shouldn’t have to read through the user’s manual to know how to start and bake a waffle with it.

In this assessment, we look at each waffle maker and ask ourselves questions like “How easy is it to use?”, “How safe is it to operate?” and “How easy is it to clean after a messy cooking session?” — everything you’d ask yourselves before deciding on a waffle maker to buy.

Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B SafetyThe temperature of the top lid of the Holstein waffle maker is being measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 219.0°F.
Safety is one of the scoring criteria in our test. After it’s heated up, the top lid of the Holstein displays 219°F — a dangerous temperature.

Ease of use makes up 30% of the overall score.

How Our Recommendations Are Made

Other than basing off on their test scores, we also consider each model's strengths and the situation they’re best used for when we make our recommendations.

Best Mini Belgian Waffle Makers in 2023

Now that you know how the process goes, let’s jump right into the review round-up!

  1. DASH DMW001AQ Mini Waffle Maker — Best to Buy in 2023
  2. CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini (CF-WM01) — Best Runner-up Mini Waffle Maker
  3. Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B— Best Value Mini Waffle Maker
  4. Nostalgia MWF5AQ MyMini Personal — Best Waffle Maker for Travelers

1. DASH DMW001AQ Mini Waffle Maker — Best to Buy in 2023

The aqua-colored Dash Mini waffle maker next to its shipping box (left) and instruction manuals (right).

Things We Like

  • Does a decent job at making pre-mixed waffles
  • The waffle plates’ non-stick layer works well
  • Easy to use ‘plug-and-play’ design
  • Great cleanability

Things We Don’t Like

  • Unremarkable performance in the self-mixed recipe test
  • Relatively slow cooking speed
  • Thin layer of paint that can be easily scratched
  • Many safety issues

DASH Mini Waffle Maker Test Results

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

The DASH DMW001AQ Mini has many of the characteristics that we look for in a great mini waffle maker. It’s affordable, has a great design, is easy to use, and most importantly, the waffles it cooks are decently tasty.

The performance of the DASH DMW001AQ Mini is only mediocre on a scale, but compared to other mini-size waffle makers in our database, it is the highest-performing model so far.

Across two test recipes, the DASH Mini was able to consistently cook good-looking and fairly tasty waffles. They weren’t restaurant-grade by any means, but they should be more than sufficient as breakfast waffles or light snacks.

Like most models in this class, the DASH Mini has a very simple design. There’s no control panel, only an indicator light at the top. It’s as basic a waffle maker as it could possibly get. Though it’s technically a con since it greatly limits the flexibility of the waffle maker, considering the affordable price, we can’t really ask for extra features.

Build quality is questionable. We were able to scratch off the outer paint coating of the top lid with just our fingernails alone. It’s merely cosmetic damage, but it does bring into question the durability of the waffle maker. Fortunately, we haven’t run into any design or durability-related problem with the DASH Mini yet.

The waffle plates are well-built and are coated with a layer of PFOA-free non-stick. We have thoroughly tested the non-stick, and not once did we have to deal with a sticky waffle.

2. CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Waffle Maker (CF-WM01) — Best Runner-up Mini Waffle Maker

The black CROWNFUl waffle maker with wood-tone handle on a table next to its instructional manual and the shipping box.
The black CROWNFUl waffle maker with wood-tone handle on a table next to its instructional manual and the shipping box.
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.
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix

Things We Like

  • Affordable
  • Unique design with beautiful patterning at the top
  • Excellent build quality
  • Easy to clean, thanks to the non-stick waffle plates and the smooth plastic outer shell

Things We Don’t Like

  • Fairly mediocre performance in our performance tests
  • Does not have a control panel
  • Low safety rating

CROWNFUL Mini Waffle Maker Test Results

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

The CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Waffle Maker (CF-WM01) visually stands out from the rest thanks to its stunning appearance. The top cover, made from textured plastic, has a series of patterns consisting of many concentric circles. At the front, a handle made from light wood contrasts beautifully with the rest of the design.

Besides the good-looking design, the CROWNFUL 4-inch — so far — is also one of the best-performing waffle makers in our database, second only to the DASH DMW001AQ Mini.

The performance of the CROWNFUL 4-inch wasn’t outstanding. But compared to other mini models in our database, it’s among the best.

This model performed well in the test with the self-mixed recipe. Our chef assessed the waffle it made as having decent coloration and taste. While the texture could use some improvement (it was quite mushy), it wasn’t bad enough to ruin the waffle’s quality completely.

The CROWNFUL didn’t do as well in the test with the Birch Benders mix. The coloration was struck off as a fail since it looked undercooked. But in other respects, like texture and taste, the CROWNFUL’s waffle got passing scores.

Overall, in terms of performance, the CROWNFUL will suffice for quick breakfasts and light meals but don’t expect its waffle plates to produce gourmet-quality waffles.

In terms of design, as we said earlier, it’s the most distinguishing characteristic of the CROWNFUL 4-inch.

Though it’s made from relatively cheap material (plastic), the manufacturer did a decent job making the waffle maker look and feel a lot more expensive than it is. The top lid is made from textured plastic, which, alongside the beautiful patterning, makes the waffle maker look very premium. The handle is a piece of light wood, completing the organic, aesthetically-pleasing look of the waffle maker.

The waffle maker is easy to use, considering how it lacks a control panel. You only need to wait for the indicator light at the top to switch off (indicating the cooking plates are heated and ready for use), then pour in the batter.

Though it makes the CROWNFUL 4-inch significantly easier to use, the lack of a control panel hampers its versatility. You can’t precisely control the cooking process. Another complaint about the CROWNFUL 4-inch is that the entire waffle maker becomes piping hot after a cooking session, which is a safety concern.

3. Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Personal Waffle Maker — Best Value Mini Waffle Maker

The Holstein personal waffle maker next to its shipping box (left) and instruction manual (right).

Things We Like

  • Highly affordable
  • Compact size and lightweight
  • Handling is simple and smooth
  • Acceptable build quality
  • Excellent cleanability rating

Things We Don’t Like

  • Mediocre cooking performance
  • Cheap-looking design
  • Does not have a control panel
  • Low safety rating

Holstein Housewares Mini Waffle Maker Test Results

6.5
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.3/10
  • Design (20%)
    7.0/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.5/10

Compared to other waffle makers in our database, the Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B doesn’t have any outstanding features or characteristics. But it’s on this list for a reason: for such a plain waffle maker, the Holstein HH-09125016B cooks some pretty decent waffles for the price!

Relative to other mini waffle makers in our database, the Holstein Housewares is one of the best in terms of cooking performance. The quality of its waffles is comparable to that of the CROWNFUL 4-inch waffle maker.

But on our scoring scale, the Holstein Housewares waffle maker is only mediocre. It’ll still be sufficient for breakfasts and snacks, but don’t get your hopes up if you’re looking for a mini waffle maker to serve you restaurant-grade waffles.

Design-wise, the Holstein Housewares has a plain plastic outer shell. It looks cheap, expected from a waffle in this price range. Fortunately, the build quality of the waffle maker is very good. The unit we received has solid lid hinges, and the waffle plates are very well-built.

The waffle maker lacks a control panel and only has an indicator light at the top. It limits the versatility of the unit significantly, but it also makes the waffle maker very easy to use. Wait for the indicator light to turn off, pour in the raw batter, and close the lid. After a couple of minutes, lift the lid and extract the finished waffle.

Cleaning up the waffle maker after a cooking session is easy, thanks to the non-stick coating. But unfortunately, the Holstein doesn’t do very well in terms of safety. After two cooking sessions, surfaces on the waffle maker become hot enough to injure.

4. Nostalgia MWF5AQ MyMini Personal Electric Waffle Maker — Best Waffle Maker for Travelers

The Nostalgia MWF5AQ mini waffle maker next to its instruction manual and shipping box.

Things We Like

  • Affordable
  • Surprisingly decent cooking performance for the price
  • High build quality; solid lid hinges
  • Waffle plates’ non-stick coating performs excellently

Things We Don’t Like

  • No control feature
  • Oven mitts are required for handling

Nostalgia Mini Waffle Maker Test Results

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

The Nostalgia MWF5AQ Mini waffle maker doesn’t have many things that set it apart from other mini waffle makers in our database. Its cooking performance was comparable to others in this list, as does its exterior design.

But upon closer inspection, the Nostalgia MWF5AQ does have better build quality than the rest. Each component, from the lid hinges and the waffle plates to the outer paint coating, is well-built, making it a good fit for travelers and hikers looking for something that won’t fall apart on the road.

The Nostalgia MWF5AQ will be able to serve up edible waffles, but it won’t guarantee the waffle to look, feel, or taste good. And indeed, during our performance tests, we found the waffles baked by the Nostalgia across two test recipes to be mediocre. They should be as good as simple breakfasts, snacks, or camping food, but don’t expect the waffles to burst with flavors or have a cloud-like fluffy texture. 

But where the Nostalgia MWF5AQ excels is in its build quality.

The outer coat of paint is durable, unlike the paint on the DASH DMW001AQ, which flaked off just from being scratched by fingernails. We also found the lid hinges on the waffle maker to be solidly built. They don’t wobble or feel loose when we jiggle the lid.

Its durability and compact and lightweight form factor make it a very good fit for travelers and hikers who need a compact and tough waffle maker to bring along on trips. The Nostalgia MWF5AQ will be able to supply hot and fresh waffles on the go so long that there’s a power source. Meanwhile, the durable design will ensure that it won’t fall apart on the road.

Like other mini waffle makers, the Nostalgia does not have a control panel. Instead, it has a plug-and-play design. Plug it in, pour in the batter once the plates are heated, and you will have a hot waffle in 4-5 minutes.

You must wear oven mitts while working with the Nostalgia MWF5AQ, or you will risk a burn injury. Even after a single cooking session, the waffle maker becomes dangerously hot.

Why Trust Us

The products we purchased and tested are funded from our pocket. To preserve the neutrality of our reviews, we do not accept corporate sponsorships or free review units in exchange for favorable reviews.

Our testing procedures are data-driven, transparent, and collaboratively developed. We establish most testing procedures in-house, consulting external experts when necessary. Each test is rigorous and transparent; we detail the process, provide the data, and present clear 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.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Mini Waffle Maker

Can’t decide on what model to pick? Here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re browsing for a new mini waffle maker to buy.

Portability

The greatest selling point of mini waffle makers is their portability (that’s how they got these waffle makers got their “Mini” monikers). A mini waffle maker with a good size should be no larger than a softball and should fit snugly in the palm of your hand. If it does, it’ll work anywhere from a small kitchen drawer to a backpack or travel luggage.

Non-Stick Coating

These days, even the cheapest waffle makers on the market come with a non-stick coating. The most popular type is PFOA-free non-stick, and it’s the type that we highly recommend you to pick. PFOA, or Perfluorooctanoic acid, is a chemical that’s very harmful to the environment. It may also be a carcinogen.

Many manufacturers don’t disclose the formulation of their non-stick coating, though, which can make picking a good model to buy difficult if you’re environmentally-conscious.

Safety

Safety is always a concern when it comes to mini waffle makers. Their small size causes them to get very hot even after just a single cooking session. This is the reason why the manuals of most mini waffle makers will advise you to wear oven mitts while handling the unit.

For travelers, carrying a pair of oven mitts around can be a waste of space and troublesome. So, ideally, a mini waffle maker should have a cool-touch handle that allows the user to comfortably and safely cook waffles without needing to wear mitts.

Heating & Cooking Time

Many users, especially travelers and hikers who use mini waffle makers as part of their on-the-go cooking kit, want convenience and speediness. That means anything that it does have to be quick, from heating the plates to cooking a finished waffle, is important.

From the moment you plug it in, it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes for the waffle maker to heat up and be ready.

Once you’ve poured in the batter, you should have a finished waffle also before the 5-minute mark.

Price

Mini waffle makers are very cheap. Even the most “premium” models won’t exceed $50. But typically, you don’t need to exceed $30 to find a model that works decently well (check the DASH DMW001AQ Mini).

Mini Waffle Maker FAQs

Can You Bring a Mini Waffle Maker Through Airport Security?

Mini waffle makers are super popular among travelers, so a common question is whether they can pass through airport security. The answer is yes (at least in the US).

According to the TSA’s guidelines, so long as it fits in your bag, a mini waffle maker can be brought aboard in a carry-on or checked bag.

Are There Protective Cases for Mini Waffle Makers?

There is! This carrying case from Beautyflier is made to fit the DASH Mini waffle maker.

But you should only buy it if you’re concerned about keeping the waffle maker safe. For most people — even travelers — so long that you pack the waffle maker well, it should be fine, even if you do some heavy-intensity adventuring. These waffle makers are built pretty toughly, anyhow.

What Type of Power Source Can You Plug a Mini Waffle Maker Into?

Powering the mini waffle maker can be a concern if you don’t have access to a standard electric outlet. Mobile power banks don’t have the power to drive a waffle maker, even a mini-sized one. Your best bet is with a gasoline or propane-powered generator.

Add them to your list of gear to buy if you’re planning an expedition into the wild and want fresh waffles while at it.

Conclusion

A mini waffle maker can be the perfect travel companion, but its small size can also be a great snack-making machine while at home.

The best-to-buy mini waffle maker in our database is the DASH DMW001AQ Mini. Affordable, capable, and with good design and build quality, we project that it will fit most consumers' requirements.

But the other waffle makers on this list are worth considering, too. Each of them has its strengths and drawbacks. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before taking your pick!