Style: To some, a waffle is a waffle, but serious breakfast buffs know there are two types of waffles and there are a few key differences between them. The traditional American waffle has a cakier consistency and richer flavor, largely due to including buttermilk as an ingredient. Belgian waffles, meanwhile, are crispier, less dense, and have deeper pockets—making them ideal for loading them up with your favorite toppings.
Size: Whether you prefer round, square, or even cute little hearts, there are plenty of shapes to choose from. However, your primary concern should lie in the ideal size of your waffle maker. We’re not just talking about mini vs. Big Kahuna waffles here: If you’re in a smaller household, you should have no issues with a single waffle maker, but for families (or people who can eat waffle after waffle without entering a food coma), you might want to consider a model that can make multiple batches at once.
Features: For as much (or as little) control as you’d like over your waffles, there’s a maker out there for you. Some heavily customizable options even include browning controls to control the crispiness and color of your waffle. Other features include indicator lights and sounds to signal when your appliance is preheated, still hot, or finished baking your waffle. Nearly every modern waffle iron features a non-stick coating, so you don’t need to worry about that as much as other features. That being said, don’t sleep on cleanability—if you hate scrubbing down your appliances after each use, consider a model with fewer nooks and crannies, drip moats to catch excess batter, or even removable plates. Bonus points if they’re dishwasher-safe.