The Best Panini Presses: Our Top 7 Reviewed

Who doesn’t like a nice, crispy sandwich? Something about the toasted bread, loaded with flavorful fillings, just screams quick and delicious lunch!

Don’t you agree?

If so, then you’re going to need one of the models below to help you achieve just that.

Popularized in Italian sandwich shops, or paninoteche, panini are toasted or grilled sandwiches. Loosely translated to “small bread,” panini is the plural term, while panino is the singular term.

Horizontal close-up image of a sliced grilled basil, mozzarella, and tomato sandwich on a wooden cutting board on a towel next to fresh herbs.

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This crunchy sandwich can use different styles of bread, anywhere from a crusty baguette to a fluffy ciabatta. The bread is cut horizontally, and can be filled and layered with assorted ingredients among the savory categories of spreads, meats, cheeses, and veggies.

Before serving, the whole sandwich is grilled or toasted, often with additional weight to press down the sandwich.

While this could be done in a skillet or in an oven, the popular appliance of a panini press makes the cooking job quick and easy on your countertop with no additional tools necessary.

If you’re serious about your sandwiches, but are tired of only buying them when you’re out and about, or if perhaps you’d like to save some money, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality panini press.

And if you are striving for the best sandwich that will rival any bought in Italian paninoteche, you need equipment designed specifically for making this type of sandwich.

We’re here to help you choose the best option, among our top-rated selections of the seven best models currently available on the market.

Our Top Picks

Continue reading now to discover our recommended models of panini presses we have carefully reviewed for you.

1. Breville Duo BSG520XL

We’re calling the Breville Panini Duo BSG520XL our “no-fuss” pick!

If you want a machine that is made well, that will toast anything you put in it – bread, wraps, burritos, etc. – and works as a griddle and a grill, then this is a great option.

Review its basic specifications:

  • 120 volts
  • 1500 watts
  • 12.6 inches by 14.1 inches by 3.7 inches (WxDxH)
  • 2-slice capacity
  • Limited 3-year warranty

Breville is one of the top brands on the market when it comes to cooking appliances, and they know how to make high-quality products that are reasonably priced.

The company’s press has a floating hinge, allowing the top plate to sit completely horizontal when cooking larger sandwiches, resulting in even grilling across the entire surface area.

Breville Duo BSG520XL

This gadget comes with some really great features, such as a locking mechanism that allows you to store it upright without it falling open. A big plus for those with limited space!

It also comes with four adjustable different height settings, so you can position it to the size and thickness of your bread.

The 2-slice capacity is able to fit two sandwiches.

The exterior housing is constructed of brushed stainless steel.

The top plate of this model has ridges, so you get those clear linear marks, and the bottom plate is a flat griddle.

Although the plates are not removable, they are aluminum with a nonstick coating, so they can easily be cleaned with a wet paper towel.

The only concern users have reported is that there is no on/off switch. This means you have to unplug the unit every time you finish using it.

However, Breville is not alone in terms of the missing on/off button, as many other models don’t include this feature.

Make your purchase directly on Breville’s company website, or consider buying from Amazon, Sur La Table, or Wayfair.

2. Chefman Multifunctional RJ02-180

The Chefman Multifunctional 180° Grill and Panini Press RJ02-180 gives you a 3-in-1 functionality in a compact size without overwhelming the user with excessive accessories or options.

Read about its specs now:

  • 120 volts
  • 1000 watts
  • 9 inches by 6 inches by 5 inches (WxDxH)
  • 2-slice capacity
  • Limited 1-year warranty

The two plates are not removable, but they have a nonstick coating that you can clean and wipe with ease.

Be aware that both plates are ridged.

Chefman Multifunctional RJ02-180

So, what are the three different cooking functions? This model serves as a panini press, a contact grill, and…

A 180° grill with a simple push of a button!

When you press the red button located on the side, you can fully extend the top portion of the appliance, forming a flat, 180° work surface. This is a practical option for safe, indoor grilling to cook up all your favorite barbecue classics, like hot dogs and burgers.

The floating hinge accommodates thicker sandwiches, and a removable drip tray catches any excess grease.

Indicator lights located on the base of the press clearly notifies you when the appliance has heated to the proper temperature.

If you like the Chefman brand, but require a larger capacity, there is also a bigger size with the 3-in-1 multifunctional design.

Available on Amazon, the larger model has a 4-slice capacity, and measures 13.5 inches in width, 12 inches in diameter, and 5.25 inches in height.

Interested in purchasing? Read more about the Chefman Multifunctional 180° Grill and Panini Press now on Amazon.

3. Cuisinart Griddler GR-4N

The Cuisinart Griddler GR-4N is one of our top choices in terms of desired features such like functionality, temperature control, and cleanup.

Here are its specifications to review:

  • 120 volts
  • 1500 watts
  • 11.5 inches by 13.5 inches by 7.12 inches (WxDxH)
  • 4-slice capacity
  • Limited 3-year warranty

We love that it’s a 5-in-1 tool, and includes all the little things that make cooking more enjoyable, such as a drip pan and removable cooking plates.

Cuisinart Griddler GR-4N

This beautiful countertop equipment comes loaded with features, and offers all the functions you dream of having in a single cooking appliance.

When you buy this model, you have the potential to enjoy 5 separate cooking methods: a contact grill, a panini press, a full grill, a full griddle, and half grill/half griddle.

You have ample culinary opportunities, from toasting perfect panini to sizzling burgers or vegetables to making weekend pancakes, bacon, and eggs.

We appreciate the removable nonstick cooking plates, which make this small appliance a breeze to clean. They are safe to clean in the dishwasher! The appliance also comes included with a dishwasher-safe scraping tool to help you clean.

The two 11-by-9-inch plates are reversible, too – one side is a cooking surface with ridges, and the other is a flat griddle.

It’s actually very rare to find a model that comes with temperature controls! If you value being able to control the power of heat, the Cuisinart comes with dual temperature controls.

You can adjust the temperature and function of your appliance by utilizing the three dials located in the front. One is a selector dial, to choose between the grill/panini or griddle function. Another is the grill/panini dial, allowing you to adjust the temperature between either a warm setting or a sear setting. And the third is the griddle dial, used to adjust the temperature from 200°F to 425°F.

With these settings, you can fine-tune the heat depending on what you are preparing.

This is perfect if you have a personal preference specifically regarding the doneness of your toast. For example, I like my sandwich lightly toasted, but I know others like theirs to be really crispy.

The red and green indicator lights allow you to clearly see when the appliance has reached your chosen temperature.

The Griddler also features a floating hinge that adjusts to the thickness of your food items, and you’ll love the sturdy handle when opening and closing.

The housing is made of brushed stainless steel.

Read our full review of the Cuisinart Griddler before you make your purchase from Amazon, Sur La Table, or Wayfair.

4. George Foreman GRP1060B

Are you a George Foreman brand purist? If you love the company that specializes in indoor grilling appliances, you’ll be excited to make your next purchase with this option!

The George Foreman Electric Grill and Panini Press GRP1060B is a tried-and-true favorite.

Review its basic specs:

  • 110 volts
  • 1800 watts
  • 12 inches by 12 inches by 6.5 inches (WxDxH)
  • 2-slice capacity
  • Limited 3-year warranty

It features two dishwasher-safe removable ridged grill plates.

George Foreman GRP1060B

If you’re cutting down on fats, the tough non-stick coating provides a smooth and clean surface, removing the need to add excess oil or butter on the surface of your sandwich before toasting.

The drip tray is also safe to clean in the dishwasher.

While this model does not feature a floating hinge, the 1-inch hinge can be adjusted prior to use to accommodate what you are cooking.

Don’t ever second-guess when your gadget has properly heated – the indicator lights make it clear for you to know when it has reached the right temperature.

This model is advertised to have a 4-serving capacity, but most verified online customers were only able to fit two composed sandwiches on the 60-square-inch work surface. The 4-serving capacity refers to other food products, such as 4 servings of hamburger patties or 4 small chicken breasts.

Check customer reviews and prices on Amazon and Wayfair.

5. GreenPan Elite Multi

If you’re committed to a big splurge, the GreenPan Elite Multi Grill, Griddle, and Waffle Maker is well worth the punch to your finances for a phenomenal appliance!

Review some of the basic specs now:

  • 220 volts
  • 1800 watts
  • 13.9 inches by 13.62 inches by 7.32 inches (WxDxH)
  • 4-slice capacity
  • Limited 2-year warranty for the nonstick coating
  • Lifetime warranty for the appliance

The 7-in-1 functionality offers the most versatility among our selections, offering flexible performance value in the kitchen.

GreenPan Elite Multi, Black

The appliance can open flat to maximize your cooking space, and the interchangeable plates allow you to assemble a variety of cooking modes. With a few adjustments, you can turn your appliance into a contact grill, panini press, grill, griddle, and Belgian waffle maker.

The two grill/griddle plates are reversible, while the two Belgian Waffle Plates are not.

Independent temperature controls allow for dual-zone heating, letting you adjust the setting for each plate using dials – you can sear a piece of meat the same time you are delicately cooking eggs.

GreenPan utilizes Thermalon™ Volt on the cast iron plates, which is their tough, ceramic nonstick coating for easy cleaning and long-lasting durability. The plates are safe and easy to clean in the dishwasher.

There are 10 easy one-touch presets on the touchscreen, including a shade control dial for cooking the perfect waffle according to your personal preferences.

A removable drip tray collects grease.

While there is no floating hinge feature, the top cover does lock in four different height positions.

And when not in use, the top cover can lock the appliance closed. Combined with the cord wrap, the convenience of its compact storage will not go unnoticed or unappreciated!

Multiple finishes of the base are available, including black, stainless steel, cream, graphite, and blue.

Check customer reviews and prices, and see what colors are available, on Amazon, Sur La Table, and Wayfair now.

6. Hamilton Beach 25462Z

A mindful option for those looking for a lower price point, the Hamilton Beach Panini Press 25462Z heats up hot, delicious sandwiches of any size quickly, and wipes down cleanly.

Let’s review the specs here:

  • 120 volts
  • 1400 watts
  • 12.6 inches by 12.3 inches by 4.53 inches (WxDxH)
  • 2-slice capacity
  • Limited 1-year warranty

This is a great option if size is a concern for you, if you have a big family or you want to make multiple sandwiches at once.

Hamilton Beach 25462Z, Red

The 10-by-8-inch cooking plates are coated in a nonstick material, so they easily wipe clean. They are not removable.

The appliance has a floating hinge for making sandwiches of different sizes, pressing down with even pressure.

There is also a pre-heat light to let you know when to start cooking those delectable panini your family and friends have known to love from you!

The lid is able to lock in place when open – this is an important feature when you want to make bruschetta or any other open-faced sandwiches.

And when the appliance is not in use, it can lock the appliance completely closed. You’re able to store the press upright, saving precious space in the storage areas of your kitchen.

The red finish is bright and daring, but you can also purchase it in a chrome finish on Amazon.

Read customer reviews and check prices now on Amazon.

7. Imusa Stainless Steel GAU-80350

Not really feeling the ridged grill plates? Don’t really need interchangeable options?

The Imusa Stainless Steel Panini Press GAU-80350 model is a lot different than the others on the list – both cooking plates are flat!

In other words, it has the griddle variety of cooking plates rather than the grill variety.

Read the specs:

  • 120 volts
  • 1200 watts
  • 13 inches by 10.2 inches by 3.9 inches (WxDxH)
  • 2-slice capacity
  • Limited 1-year warranty

That being said, the cooking plates are not removable. And here is a clear warning that you will not get those classic marks on your sandwich, if that is the aesthetic you prefer.

Imusa Stainless Steel GAU-80350

Although the plates are not removable, there are no grooves for anything – such as melted cheese – to get stuck in.

And another unique feature of the plates? They are designed with raised side walls, keeping each cooking task clean and organized with a zero chance of spills.

There is a dial to control the temperature, as well as indicator lights designating when it has fully heated.

This model does have a top with hinges, making it a good option for a variety of different heights.

You can buy the Imusa Panini Press from Amazon now.

Features to Consider

When looking for the perfect model, there are four main questions I suggest you ask yourself before making a purchase:

  1. Does it have a floating hinge? This determines whether it will be able to accommodate different sized breads.
  2. Can the cooking plates be removed? This makes for easy cleanup.
  3. Does it come with a grill plate and a griddle plate? This option is great for preparing other things besides sandwiches.
  4. Does it have a temperature control? This is really handy if you plan to cook other things with your appliance, such as meat and poultry.

Let’s go through each question and why it’s important:

Floating Hinge

A floating hinge is able to automatically accommodate and weigh down on sandwiches of different heights.

Say you want to make a tall and proud panini on a ciabatta loaf, and you also want to make a short and squat grilled cheese. Then you will want to make sure the model you pick has this feature, so the appliance will be able to provide enough pressure for both styles.

All of these models listed in this review have some form of an adjustable hinge feature, whether it is a floating hinge or one that can be manually adjusted to different height settings.

Removable Plates

The real benefit of removable cooking plates is the easier cleanup. Removable plates can be hand washed or placed in the dishwasher.

Although most of the models say “nonstick,” and can be quickly wiped with a towel, sometimes it’s just easier to clean up gooey, melted cheese when you can hold the plate in your hand and give it a good scrub.

Now, this may not be a deal-breaker, but removable plates are nice to have when you desire a more effective cleaning feature.

Grill Plate Vs. Griddle Plate

A typical model is going to have a grill on top – so you can get those marks – and a griddle on the bottom for flat, even cooking.

Vertical top-down image of a grilled basil, mozzarella, and tomato sandwich on a wooden cutting board on a towel next to fresh herbs.

However, the options and varieties are all over the board, some even including interchangeable plates for making waffles.

You can get one with both the grill and the griddle, or ones with just the grill or the griddle. I like having both, since it gives me the option to cook a variety of different foods in addition to melted sandwiches.

Some users say that the cooking isn’t as great when you have two grill plates. They complain that it’s not an even cook, and that they’re only good for the marks, not the flavor.

Basically, what this comes down to is user preference.

I like having the ability to make pancakes on the griddle surface, but if you already have one, this might not be as important to you.

Temperature Control

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it is important if you plan to use your appliance to cook other food items, such as meat and vegetables, as you’ll want to be able to cook it at a higher temperature.

Like I said before, this is really important only if you hope to purchase a multi-functional piece of equipment in order to make other meals besides sandwiches and wraps.

Time is Pressing!

I hope you feel inspired to finally get a press of your own, and let your creativity go wild when it comes to sandwich making.

The varieties and combinations you can create are endless, whether savory or sweet, fancy or basic.

If you have one of the models mentioned on this list, you seriously can’t go wrong. And if you’re anything like me, it’s nice to be able to have exactly what you want on your sandwiches, no extra charge!

Horizontal image of a grilled basil, mozzarella, and tomato sandwich on a wooden cutting board on a towel next to fresh herbs.

You’ll probably end up saving some money in the long run by making these at home.

Is there a model here you have already bought, and can provide some honest feedback on your experience using it so far? The comment section is wide, wide open!

Now that we’re full of handcrafted sandwiches, we can upgrade some of our other kitchen equipment to make other gourmet creations! Take a closer look at three more reviews from our kitchen appliance collection:

© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos via Shutterstock. Product photos via Amazon. Originally published November 1, 2015. Last updated January 21, 2024. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.

About Sarah Hagstrom

Sarah is a health food advocate and loves to spend her time whipping up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen and then sharing either on Foodal or on her own blog "The Seasonal Diet" ( She lives in Sunny San Diego with her husband, where they enjoy running on the beach and weekend adventures.

11 thoughts on “The Best Panini Presses: Our Top 7 Reviewed”

  1. These have got to be the best type of sandwich ever made. They are so cute and trendy right now. I tried making them in the stove and my sandwich maker, but the they didn’t come quite as I expected. I’ve been wanting to buy a panini maker for a while already and didn’t know where to start. You’ve helped me narrow my choices down alot. Thanks so much. I think I’m going with the Breville model. Wish me luck!

  2. Sandwich toasters have come a long way in recent years and the advice to get one with a floating hinge is really important. You can make bigger sandwiches and not risk the toaster breaking. Also removable plates can be handy, but the hinge is more important and is worth spending more on a model that can adapt.

    You can use them for so many other things too and can be a quick way to make snacks too on the go.

  3. This article is really food for thought. I had a press that my mom gave to me before moving out that, about a year ago or so, just died on me. It really wasn’t a surprise since we bought it 1991 I believe, so it definitely did not disappoint us, but now I’m really missing it. I’m a sandwich-for-breakfast kind of girl, and hot sandwiches just don’t taste as good making them on the skillet.

    I wish I could afford the cuisinart 5-in-1 right now, because on top of all the great features mentioned, you can buy waffle plates for it, which is something that my old sandwich maker had–and yet another thing I really miss. But after reading this, I’m thinking the Imusa might be the best choice for me. I prefer smooth plates for their versatility. However, I will hold off on making a purchase for now and see if I can reach the cuisinart’s price point.

    Having said that, once I’m ready to make a purchase, I’ll certainly give this article another read. Thanks for the information!

  4. I love the ease and versatility of sandwich makers. I had one years ago when my kids were small, and it may be time to invest in one for my family again. I would love to have that beautiful red Hamilton Beach model. I work a full time job, and like the author said, it would be so nice to have sandwiches fixed exactly the way I want them. Also it would definitely save me money on lunches! This is such a well written article. It really makes me want a sandwich maker!

  5. I remember having one of these in my school canteen in high school. Each and everyday I go to the same stall that sells panini and order ham and cheese. I don’t know why I can’t get enough of them. Maybe it’s their crispness in the outside but softness in the inside. Reading this blog makes me remember that. Now I want to go and buy one of these. Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to get one soon. I’m so excited!

  6. Hey everyone! Quick update. I obtained the Breville Duo model and I’ve had nothing but success. I’ve made paninis for the family and they loved them. I also took a smaller panini version to one of my friend’s cocktail parties and they were a hit. Everyone loved them and even asked if they were restaurant bought. Thank you for helping me acquire this awesome panini maker. It rocks!

  7. I have the cuisnart and I have to say I love it! It is one of the best purchases I made for my kitchen in a long time. I not only use it to make paninis but I use it most often to grill chicken on. I don’t have a grill where I live so I use this every Sunday to grill chicken for the week. I also make pork chops and hamburgers on it too. I use the waffle maker to make waffles Sunday mornings. I bought this at bed bath and beyond so I got to use by 20% off coupon.

  8. I’ve been considering getting a panini press for a while now so this post was perfect. I love hot sandwiches and they’re just so much better than your every day pb&j.. I’ve never made any these on my own, do you have any beginner recipe suggestions for me to make?

  9. A panini press is such a large improvement from your typical toaster. I really like how you can attain an even, crisp texture throughout the surface of the bread. I’m definitely picking up one of these for Christmas!

  10. My family and I love Paninis. I have never considered buying a Panini press before. I would love to try it, I’m not exactly sure where I would store it, as my kitchen is already overcrowded. But, I am defineitely interested!

  11. Well this is one appliance that I do not currently own, but have been going back and forth on whether or not to buy on for some time now. I love my sandwiches, and this does seem like something that would spice that up a little bit, and I have to say that I am in need of it. I have eaten the same turkey sandwich for lunch probably for the last year and a half, and I need a little change. Thanks for sharing this, and I will more than likely be in the market for one of these in the near future.


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