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Best Sandwich Makers

Updated August 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 107 Models Considered
  • 14 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 155 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best sandwich makers

    Last Updated August 2018

    Few can resist a sandwich toasted to golden perfection. Whether you crave a variety of gourmet fillings, or can't resist the simple satisfaction of melted cheese, with a good sandwich maker you can create your favorites anytime. What's more, warm sandwiches can be served as quick and easy breakfasts, lunches, dinners, or snacks on days when time is short and tummies are rumbling.

    Whether you're replacing a well-loved traditional sandwich maker, or buying your first, you'll certainly have no shortage of options to choose from. So, where do you start, and what should you look for?

    We're here to help! At BestReviews, our mission is to provide consumers with the information they need to make the best buying decisions. We research, test, and analyze products so that you don't have to. In order to consistently create reviews that are accurate, honest, and objective, we forgo  free manufacturer samples, and buy products off store shelves instead — just like you do!

    To get a better idea of what goes into a great sandwich maker — other than sandwiches, of course — take a look at our detailed guide below. Once you've identified the qualities that matter most to you, check out our top five sandwich makers above to choose your favorite.

    If you can't get enough of grilled cheese sandwiches, you're in good company. In 2013 alone, as many as 86% of the American population had enjoyed a grilled cheese sandwich within the past year.

    Sandwich maker styles

    Although most sandwich makers work in more or less the same manner, by toasting bread between two heated plates, you'll have a few different styles to choose from. The most common types of sandwich makers are:

    • Deep fill sandwich makers: These are easily recognizable by their distinctive plates. Featuring triangular depressions, deep fill plates are designed to seal off the sides of your sandwiches, allowing you to cram in extra fillings with little to no leaking. If you like deep pockets of filling with extended crispy edges, these are a great choice.

    • Panini press sandwich makers: Can't get enough of paninis with perfectly irresistible char lines? Then a panini press sandwich maker is a must. Not only do panini presses allow you to use thicker slices of bread, they also tend to be the most versatile. Many come with interchangeable plates, or an upper griddle plate for those beautiful lines and a flat lower grill plate for even heat distribution from below. Depending on the model and size, some panini presses can even be used to grill a variety of meats.

    • Traditional flat plate sandwich makers: The original sandwich maker style, these produce even toasting between two flat plates, and are available in a variety of sizes.

    • Breakfast sandwich makers: If you love breakfast sandwiches or can happily wrap your mouth around an egg any time of the day, you may enjoy a breakfast sandwich maker. Featuring two round ring molds for the bread, and a cooking plate for raw eggs, these take care of every step of creating a breakfast sandwich. However, round ring molds aren't the most versatile, and may take a little practice to get the hang of. But if you truly love breakfast sandwiches, they're worth considering.

    Purchasing a multi-purpose sandwich maker with a variety of plates may cost a bit more initially, but can save you having to buy entirely separate appliances, such as waffle makers, or even indoor grills.

    Useful sandwich maker features

    Not all sandwich makers are created equal, and some models have features that take convenience to the next level:

    • Removable heating plates will be easier to clean.

    • Double sided or interchangeable plates will infinitely expand your sandwich maker’s versatility; allowing you to toast, grill, make waffles, and more.

    • Floating hinges won't place a limit on your sandwich height and provide even pressure and toasting from front to back.

    • Adjustable heat settings can be handy and will let you customize your level of crunch.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    You can even make pancakes in your sandwich maker. Just remember not to overfill it, and rather than closing it, flip your pancakes just as you would on a stove.

    Factors to consider when choosing a sandwich maker

    Once you've identified the basic style that best suits your needs, don't forget to keep the following points in mind:

    Size

    No matter what your sandwich maker is capable of, if the size doesn't meet your household’s needs, convenience pretty much flies right out the window. If you have a large family, opt for a sizable sandwich maker, as one that's too small will have you spending considerably more time in the kitchen, and churning out sandwich after sandwich for a crowd can be a hassle. Short on counter space? Consider purchasing a standard double sandwich maker that can be stored in an upright position, avoiding the inconvenience of having to pack it away after every use.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    To avoid accidentally burning yourself when opening your sandwich maker, choose one with a cool-touch handle.

    Nonstick heating plates

    Every good sandwich maker should have nonstick plates. Although many take it for granted that their sandwich maker will have a nonstick coating, this isn't always the case. To avoid having to pry your sandwiches away from the plates, potentially ruining them in the process (not to mention making cleanup a nightmare) make sure yours features quality, nonstick plates.

    Ease of cleaning

    The difficulty of cleaning your sandwich maker is likely to have a direct impact on how often you use it. No one looks forward to cleaning up crusty, greasy cheese buildup, and if it happens to make its way into hard to reach crevices, cleanup takes on a whole new level of difficulty. A good, nonstick surface is non-negotiable for most, and removable plates will allow you to thoroughly clean your sandwich maker. In the absence of removable plates, height-adjustable floating hinges will not only cause less mess through even weight distribution, but will allow for better reach when cleaning as well.

    EXPERT TIP

    Applying a little butter or vegetable oil to your heating plates will not only ensure that your sandwiches don't stick, but can help extend the life of the nonstick coating.


    Features and capabilities

    If all you really need is a sandwich maker that can deliver warm, well-toasted golden sandwiches, a standard variety will get the job done. However, if you prefer a versatile option that can serve as more than just a sandwich maker, delve a little deeper to find out its full range of features. Does it only offer sandwich and waffle-making capabilities, or can it grill a variety of meats and veggies as well?

    Aesthetics

    If you plan to store your sandwich maker on your countertop, consider how it will fit in with your kitchen decor and existing appliances. Stainless steel varieties generally offer a sleek and modern look that easily blends with a number of styles.

    EXPERT TIP

    Don't be afraid to get creative with sandwich fillings — you might just be surprised by how well unlikely ingredients can work together.


    Durability

    Stainless steel sandwich makers not only look great, but tend to be the most durable as well. A scratch resistant, nonstick coating will also help to extend the life of your heating plates. That said, plastic, or a combination of plastic and stainless steel, certainly does have the potential of offering reliable durability, provided the sandwich maker is produced by a reputable manufacturer, known to use quality materials.

    Price

    Your desired sandwich maker’s size and feature set will directly impact its price. A basic double sandwich maker can cost as little as $15, whereas a high-end commercial grade model that does it all can easily set you back upwards of $350. For the average user in search of a blend of convenience and versatility, sandwich makers that fall anywhere within the $20 to $70 price bracket will more than suffice.

    EXPERT TIP

    For a healthier sandwich, try swapping out white bread for whole grain bread and using low-fat cheese and spreads to cut out unnecessary calories.


    Sandwich maker tips and tricks

    Don't get stuck in a sandwich-making rut. Try these tips if your sandwich combinations are feeling a little stale:

    • Butter isn't your only option for coating the outside of your bread before grilling. Try a little mayo. Not only will it produce a deliciously crisp golden crust, but it will add a whole new level of tangy flavor to your bread as well.

    • Sweeten things up. Why not try a peanut butter, banana, and syrup combo for an indulgent treat, sure to satisfy any sweet tooth?

    • Swapping out bread slices for English muffins, bagels, or quesadillas will put a fresh twist on old favorites.

    • Add a touch of sweet to your salt. Caramelized onions, chutneys, and jams all work well with the natural saltiness of cheese.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    The popularity of grilled cheese sandwiches soared to new heights during WWII, when they were enjoyed as open-faced sandwiches.

    FAQ

    Q. I just switched my sandwich maker on for the first time and it's smoking. Is something wrong?
    A.
    While this can be alarming, it's perfectly normal and is nothing to worry about. All sandwich makers produce small amounts of smoke and may emit a strange smell when used for the first time. This will stop by itself after a few uses.

    Avoid using cooking sprays on any nonstick surface as these products can cause a sticky buildup.

    Q. How do I clean fixed sandwich maker plates?
    A.
    Unplug your sandwich maker and allow it to cool completely before attempting to clean it. Using a damp cloth, thoroughly wipe both the upper and lower plates. If necessary, use a clean kitchen towel to dry. To prevent hard to clean buildup, wipe your sandwich maker after every use.

    Q. Do I have to grease my nonstick sandwich maker?
    A.
    Although not a strict requirement, we highly recommend applying a light coating of butter or vegetable oil to your nonstick plates to extend their life and yield optimal results. Cooking sprays should be avoided, as these can often cause a sticky buildup that's a hassle to clean.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Erica
      Erica
      Writer
    • Jeff
      Jeff
      Editor
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor