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10 best sandwich toasters for posh paninis and cheese toasties

Looking to whip up posh paninis and traditional cheese toasties at home? A sandwich toaster can help you create quick and comforting snacks in an instant. Here’s our pick of the best.

By Annabel Ross | Last updated Feb 2, 2022

Toasted sandwich

Who doesn’t love a toasted sandwich? Whether it’s piping hot oozy cheese, meatballs and tomato sauce or chocolate and banana – whatever your favourite filling, a well made toastie can be the ultimate comfort food.

But finding the right sandwich toaster to meet your needs can be tricky. There are loads of options and each offers a range of key features so you’ll want to focus on finding a device that suits your sandwich style and budget. We’ve rustled up some recommendations from the Mumsnet forums to help you find the perfect machine.

Here are the best sandwich toasters to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall sandwich toaster: Russell Hobbs Deep Fill 3-in-1 Sandwich, Panini & Waffle Maker

Russell Hobbs sandwich toaster

“Been going strong for nearly three years. Heats up quickly, easy to clean and really good for all three functions.”

This toaster definitely has convenience covered! With three non-stick plates to choose from, you can interchange between a waffle maker, a deep-fill sandwich toaster and a grill to cook almost anything your heart desires. And the removable plates can go into the dishwasher so it’s very easy to maintain and keep clean.

The sandwich plates hold up to two portions, and the deep-fill grooves are very generously sized so you can be really indulgent with your choice of fillings. The design ensures that the bread is sealed tightly to prevent messy leaks while cooking.

If you’re a family with mixed opinions over whether a cafe-style sandwich or a panini is preferable, then everyone will love with this machine as the grill plates can be used to create toasted sandwiches made from pretty much any type of bread you can think of, from thick loaves to ciabattas to hot pita pockets.

The price is very reasonable considering that it offers so much versatility. It’s also a practical size for cupboards and worktops. It’s not as attractive as some other options on our list but it’s a well-designed appliance that will be a great addition to any household.

Key specs

  • Size: 23 × 25 × 10.5cm
  • Power: 760w
  • Features: Removable plates (dishwasher safe). Package includes: deep-fill sandwich plates, waffle plates and grill plates

2. Best budget sandwich toaster: Cookworks 2-Portion Sandwich Toaster

Cookworks sandwich toaster

This toaster is a great buy if you’re looking for an efficient product for a very decent price. It also has an interesting feature that you wouldn’t expect for such a basic level model: a reheat function. Useful if you want to warm up a half-eaten sandwich without overcooking and spoiling the filling. It’s a nice function and something you’d probably use more than you’d think, especially for children who are often happy to eat half a sandwich, then come back to the other half later. This way you can simply reheat and give it back to them as if it was just made!

The toaster is on the small side but for the price, this little toaster definitely does the job of toasting a decent sandwich to a good standard.

Key specs

  • Size: 22.2 × 22.7 × 8.1 cm
  • Power: 820w
  • Features: Handle locking clip; reheat function

3. Best compact sandwich toaster: Morphy Richards 511644 MICO Toastie Toasted Sandwich Maker

Morphy Richards sandwich toaster

This nifty product is great if you don’t have much time or space on your hands. You simply pop your prepared sandwich between two plates, lock them together and place the device in the microwave. In a matter of seconds you’ll have a piping hot toasted sandwich complete with grill marks thanks to heatwave technology.

It only has the capacity for one sandwich at a time however, which could be problematic if you’re planning to make multiple sandwiches at once.

The price is great and it’s a good option if you only plan to make toasted sandwiches from time to time.

Key specs

  • Size: 17 × 14 × 5cm
  • Power: N/A
  • Features: Heatwave technology; easy to clean

4. Best deep fill sandwich toaster: Cuisinart Overstuffed Toasted Sandwich Maker

Cusinart sandwich maker

This is definitely the sandwich toaster to buy if you like big portions! It boasts extra large plates with deep grooves to allow for plenty of filling. It also has the added bonus of an adjustable temperature control, which is important for a deep fill machine, as the more filling you add to your sandwich, the lower heat setting you’ll require in order to ensure even cooking throughout.

Its stylish design will look lovely on your kitchen countertop, and since it has a high price tag, you’ll probably want to have it on display to show it off and get your money’s worth!

It’s an efficient and reliable toaster, so if you have the money to spend then it’s definitely worth going for.

Key specs

  • Size: 24 × 28 × 11cm
  • Power: 1000w
  • Key features: Extra large plates and deep pockets; removable plates (dishwasher safe); variable temperature control

5. Best sandwich toaster for families: George Foreman Large Grey Steel Grill

George Foreman grill

"I use our George Foreman for toasties, it's great and very easy to clean. Only thing is it won't do the 'seal' that an actual toastie maker will."

First and foremost, this George Foreman appliance is a grill that you can cook your family dinner on, but the plates are extremely versatile and double up perfectly well as a very efficient sandwich toaster. In fact, when we headed over to the Mumsnet forums, it was the product that received the highest number of recommendations.

It won’t seal your sandwich together like a traditional toastie but it will happily cope with thickly sliced bread and deep fillings, and you’ll be able to experiment with a wide variety of bread styles like paninis, ciabattas, focaccias… the list goes on!

It’s perfect for larger families, where the convenience lies in being able to grill multiple sandwiches at a time. It’s also a stylishly designed piece of kit and it can be placed in an upright position for easy storage.

It’s not the cheapest product on the market, but considering the many features it offers, we think it’s great value for money as you'll certainly find plenty of uses for it.

Key specs

  • Size: 40 × 37 × 11cm
  • Power: 1850w
  • Features: Extra large plates; stands upright for compact storage; drip tray to remove excess fat during cooking

6. Best panini maker: NETTA Panini Maker & Health Grill

Netta sandwich toaster

If you’re partial to a panini or like a cafe-style finish to your toasted sandwich, then this is a very nice option. The clean design features two large rectangular plates with ridges that’ll give your sandwiches a lovely chargrilled effect. The toaster will also handle a range of alternative breads like naan breads, pita, tortillas, ciabattas and even your traditional English teacake!

The plates put pressure on your sandwich but it won’t seal the bread together so you’ll need to be a little careful with what you choose to put inside to avoid everything oozing out! The advantage of this design is that you can pretty much fill the sandwich as deep as you like.

The plates are not removable, but it’s easy to wipe them down while still attached to the device. This is a smart-looking machine that will look pretty on your kitchen worktop, but it’ll also make you some eye-catching sandwiches to boot.

Key specs

  • Size: 30.5 × 25.5 × 11cm
  • Power: 1500w
  • Features: Ridged plate surface; built-in fat drip tray; hinged lid; adjustable temperature gauge

7. Best alternative sandwich toaster: Lakeland Toastabags

Lakeland toaster bags

The Toastabag is a genius invention. Very cheap and extremely effective, this is a great option if you don’t have the cash to splash on a more expensive sandwich toaster, or if you just don't have the space to store one.

All you need to do is prep your sandwich, pop it into the bag and then slot it straight into your toaster to heat through. You’ll need to be careful to use appropriately-sized bread slices as you’ll need to be sure they fit inside your toaster comfortably in order to get the best results.

It’s a cheap enough product to take a chance on and see if it works for you! It’s a great option to pack for a self-catering holiday too (as long as you’ll have a toaster at your destination).

The bags are designed using a clever non-stick material, making them pretty easy to clean, and they can each be used up to 500 times, making them excellent value for money.

Key specs

  • Size: 15 × 20cm
  • Features: Pack of two bags; freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe

8. Best easy clean sandwich toaster: Breville Deep Fill Sandwich Toaster

Breville sandwich toaster

This sandwich toaster makes life really simple when it comes to cleaning up. The plates are very straightforward to remove and they’re dishwasher-safe. It also has cord storage, a handle lock and a flat rear panel to allow it to be as compact as possible and stored upright.

As a functioning toaster, it does a great job and the deep plates allow you to add quite a generous filling to your sandwich while still managing to seal things together and avoid messy leaks. The toaster will also handle a range of bread slice sizes.

Key specs

  • Size: 30 × 27 × 13cm
  • Power: 850w
  • Features: Cool-touch handle; built-in cord storage

9. Best large sandwich toaster: Breville VST026 4 Portion Sandwich & Panini Press

Breville sandwich toaster

The nice thing about this sandwich toaster is that the floating top plate will adjust to any sandwich thickness you like so you can go crazy with your filling and you won’t need to worry about the sandwich not fitting inside the machine.

The flat plates will, however, only apply pressure to the sandwich and won't actually seal the bread together. If this is important to you and you prefer a traditional toastie, it’s something to be aware of before buying.

It’s an incredibly powerful machine (2000 watts), and you’ll find it’ll toast four deep-filled sandwiches at the same time very efficiently. Great if you have a hungry family to feed at the same time.

Key specs

  • Size: 35 × 36 × 11cm
  • Power: 2000w
  • Key features: Space for four sandwiches; adjustable top plate for different thicknesses; stands upright for compact storage

10. Best sandwich toaster with removable plates: TEFAL Snack Time SW341D40 Sandwich and Waffle Maker

Tefal sandwich toaster

“Tefal Snack Time is a brilliant waffle maker, It also has sandwich plates and you can buy others e.g. panini, bagels. I don't think its performance is compromised at all by being multi-purpose.”

This toaster is designed to be a double-functioning machine that makes delicious toasted sandwiches and indulgent waffles simply by interchanging the plates. Since the plates are not only easy to remove, but also non-stick and dishwasher safe, the toaster is extremely easy to maintain and keep clean.

Tefal is a trusted brand when it comes to kitchen appliances and the price tag reflects this but the product is built to last and if you want to satisfy your sweet and savoury cravings without having to fork out for two separate devices, this is the machine for you.

Key specs

  • Size: 36 × 20 × 28cm
  • Power: 700w
  • Key features: Locking latch; interchangeable (dishwasher safe) plates; LED temperature indicator

Price: £60

How to choose the best sandwich toaster

It’s important to figure out which style of sandwich you and your family prefer. Once you have your answer, you ultimately have two choices:

  • Traditional toastie maker: If you like a traditional, sealed toastie-style sandwich (basically a hot pocket of oozing cheese, or something similar!) then all you need is a toaster with plates that feature triangular grooves to hold a couple of square-shaped slices of bread loaded with your chosen filling. These are great at keeping hot melted cheese sealed inside the sandwich without it leaking all over the place. Depending on the model, the plates offer shallow or deep grooves to accommodate a range of different fillings so it’s worth having a think about the kind of sandwiches you’d like to create. You’ll also want to think about how many sandwiches you plan to make at a time. Sandwich toasters tend to make either two or four portions at a time. The main issue with a toastie maker is that it can only really handle classic sliced bread and isn’t designed for chunkier breads like ciabattas and paninis.
  • Flat plate grill-style sandwich maker: If you’re partial to a cafe-style sandwich or a panini, then a machine that acts like a sandwich ‘press’ is best for you. These machines offer two large, flat (or ridged) heated plates that simply press down on the sandwich. They can accommodate almost any bread style and you can be generous with fillings as there’s usually plenty of space between the two plates. The downside is that it won’t seal your sandwich together like a more traditional toastie maker, so you’ll need to be careful when handling the sandwich before and after cooking to ensure the filling doesn't leak! Also grill toasters don’t tend to have removable plates. They are easy to wipe down, but if you prefer a dishwasher-safe option, then this might not be the best design for you. Flat plate toasters can often be larger appliances, so consider your storage space before purchasing.

How do you make the best toasted sandwich?

This topic is hotly disputed and it’s safe to say that the answer is very much down to personal opinion.

With that said, here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Know the type of sandwich toaster you have and which bread style works best in it. A machine with triangular grooves will work best with traditional sliced bread, while a machine with large flat grill plates can cope with almost any type of bread including paninis, ciabattas, tortillas and thick farmhouse loaves.
  • Next, you’ll need to know how much filling your toaster can accommodate and choose your ingredients accordingly.
  • Some people like to drizzle a little oil or spread some butter on the outer sides of the bread so they crisp up nicely during the cooking process. This is optional but worth experimenting with.

Then you should be good to go!

Need some recipe inspiration? We looked into some online recommendations from Mumsnetters ranging from classic combos to unusual pairings:

“I make a sandwich filling using equal parts of tinned tuna and grated extra mature cheddar. Add a bit of mayo to moisten, season and place between two slices of buttered bread. Yum.”

“Blue cheese, pear, rocket and walnut. Had this in first class on a train heading home for Christmas once. Bonza.”

“My favourites are probably pasta bake sandwiches or potato waffle sandwiches with salt and BBQ sauce.”

How do I clean my sandwich toaster?

The cleaning process depends on the type of appliance you have. You’ll find that almost all sandwich toasters are kitted out with non-stick plates and these surfaces are incredibly easy to wipe clean. Even bits of leftover cheese that inevitably ooze out, harden and stick to the metal plates will come off effortlessly.

However, if you want to make life really easy for yourself, make sure you buy a model with detachable plates. Usually these are dishwasher safe so your cleaning time can be reduced to almost nothing at all.

Some grill-style toasters come with drip trays attached, usually to catch excess fat that drips off the plates. Remember to pull these out and give them a good clean after each use.

Otherwise, a wipe down with a damp sponge should do the trick to ensure the main body of the toaster is kept hygienically clean.

What’s the best sandwich toaster to buy?

Our pick is the Russell Hobbs Deep Fill 3-in-1 Sandwich, Panini & Waffle Maker. Ticking a lot of boxes, this versatile toaster from a reputable brand would be a great addition to your kitchen. And it’s reasonably priced too. The removable plates are dishwasher safe, and it’s a practical size that makes storing easy.

How we chose our recommendations

We did some research across the wider web, looking at which sandwich toasters had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customer reviews said about them.

We also consulted independent review sites, as well as scouring the internet for honest reviews from the public, to ensure we were bringing you an honest summary of sandwich toasters for 2021.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.