If you want to have Belgian waffles at home, you simply can't work your way around not getting a Belgian waffle maker. The good news is that there are tons of affordable options — and with one of the best Belgian waffle makers, you don't have to limit yourself to breakfast. Waffles are also great for dessert, topped with strawberries, Nutella, or ice cream (or all three!), and savory dinners like classic fried chicken and waffles or even mixing in spinach, cheese, or ham.
Today, even the most budget-friendly Belgian waffle makers have a lot of features like nonstick waffle irons to make cooking (and cleanup) a breeze and indicator lights that will let you know when it's preheated and when the batter is cooked. Most will also give you some control over the temperature or cook time, allowing you to decide if you want more or less browning on your waffle. Pro tip: Since different batters cook differently, you may have to fiddle a bit to figure out the right setting and timing for your preference and recipe.
While many Belgian waffle makers have all that in common, there is still a lot to differentiate models. For example, being able to make several waffles at a time can be a huge time saver as are models with dishwasher-safe removable plates. (Non-removable plates are best wiped down with a paper towel when cooled, which can get tricky with burnt-on bits.) Storage is also a consideration. Flip waffle makers, which allow for more even distribution of batter, can be wonderful but take up more square footage in cabinets between uses.
With all that in mind, here are the best Belgian waffle makers that will have you finding excuses to host brunch, no matter what your needs or budget are.
1. The Overall Best Belgian Waffle Maker
Krups Belgian Waffle Maker
This Belgian waffle maker from Krups has nearly every feature you'd want in a Belgian waffle maker while still being about $100 less than comparable models. Not only are the waffle irons nonstick, but they’re also removable and dishwasher safe, making the whole unit easy to clean. In addition to an indicator light, a friendly beep lets you know when the waffles are done. Another great feature: You can cook up to four waffles at once, which can significantly cut down on time in the kitchen. Despite all these features and generous size, the compact design, cord wrap, and lid lock allows for vertical storage. Add to that a reasonable price, and you have the best all-around choice.
2. The Best Belgian Waffle Maker Under $40
Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker
For about half what the Krups model costs, this is an amazing budget buy. This unit allows you to make two waffles at a time, unlike many other lower-priced models, and has plenty of features like indicator lights, nonstick waffle irons, and lid-locking for vertical storage, too. You also have control over the final shade and crispiness of your waffle thanks to a sliding "shade selector" knob, another feature not usually found in similarly priced models. The plates are not removable, however, so you'll just need to let it cool and wipe it down before storing.
3. The Best Flip Belgian Waffle Maker
Cuisinart Double Belgian Waffle Maker
Flip waffle makers allow more even distribution of the batter and cooking on both sides thanks to gravity. They are, however, bulkier and often pricier than non-flip models, and most can only make one at a time. If you have the space to spare, however, this one offers huge improvements over other models since it allows you to cook two waffles at a time if you want. (You can make a single waffle as well.) An adjustable knob allows you to control the heat, and each side has its own indicator light and beep tones to let you know when it's done cooking. While the nonstick plates make releasing the waffles and cleanup easy, they cannot be removed.
4. The Best Waffle Maker For Small Kitchens (& The Cheapest Waffle Maker)
Oster Belgian Waffle Maker
This basic, no-frills waffle maker makes one 8-inch waffle at a time and is ideal for anywhere space is at a premium, including small kitchens, RVs, and even dorm rooms. For less than $20, you still get plenty of features like nonstick plates, indicator lights, and the ability to control your waffle's crispiness. The smaller size could also come in handy for people who prefer making one waffle at a time.
5. A Splurge For True Waffle Fanatics
Breville Smart Pro 2 Slice Waffle Maker
While Krups offers fantastic performance for a great price, this waffle maker from Breville offers more bells and whistles for those really serious about their waffles. This nonstick waffle iron makes two waffles at a time, and also includes a mess-free reservoir for inevitable batter run-off. In addition to a knob to control temperature, you can use presets for types of waffles, like chocolate or buttermilk, dramatically cutting down on the amount of time you'll have to spend fiddling around with recipes. It also has a countdown clock so you know just how much time you have to wait. There's even a "little bit more" button for when you want just a smidge more time for that perfectly golden waffle.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.