If you want a gooey, crispy sandwich, a sandwich press is a must. While not everyone considers a sandwich press to be an essential kitchen appliance, for those that love a good sandwich, it is absolutely a must. A sandwich press makes it possible to create deluxe, crusty sandwiches at home.
We reviewed dozens of sandwich presses to help you choose the best of the best. We considered ease of use, ease of cleaning, storability, versatility, and customer reviews when rating each product.
After reviewing lots of products, the Hamilton Beach 25462Z Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker is the best option on the market. This sandwich press grills sandwiches of any thickness and the café-style floating lid presses down evenly every time. You can even lock the lid above a sandwich to warm open-face sandwiches.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Sandwiches Presses
|Best Overall||Hamilton Beach 25462Z Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker||4.3|
|Runner Up||Proctor Silex Panini Sandwich Press||4.3|
|Best Budget Buy||Proctor Silex 25408Y Sandwich Toaster||3.8|
|Best Large Sandwich Press||Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker||4.1|
|Best Sandwich Grill Press||Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press Sandwich Maker Medium Stainless Steel||4.1|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Hamilton Beach 25462Z Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker
The Hamilton Beach 25462Z Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker is by far the best sandwich press you can purchase. It gives you perfect grill marks every time thanks to the café-style floating lid. This lid presses down evenly, pressing the sandwiches down consistently and creating even grill marks. The floating lid also allows the press to grill sandwiches of any thickness, unlike some other options. You can also easily lock the lid into the up position to warm open-face sandwiches, including pizza and bruschetta. The cooking itself is nonstick and measures approximately 10” by 8”. This allows you to press two to three sandwiches at a time. The nonstick surface is easy to clean and requires only a quick wipe with a damp cloth.
This gourmet sandwich press can be stored easily in an upright position. This feature allows you to easily slide it into a cabinet or store it on your counter. Like many sandwich presses, this one comes with a power and preheat light, preventing you from accidentally leaving the press on or pressing your sandwiches too soon. The handle is designed to be cool to the touch. Customers loved the versatility of this press. It can be used for sandwiches, burgers, veggies, quesadillas, pizzas, and much more. The only thing many people found lacking was temperature control.
Hamilton Beach 25462Z Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker Key Features:
- Café-style floating lid
- Nonstick surface
- Upright storage
- Cool touch handle
Our Runner Up Pick: Proctor Silex Panini Sandwich Press
When it comes to saving space in the kitchen and money in your wallet, purchasing multi-use kitchen appliances is a must. The Proctor Silex Panini Sandwich Press functions as both a sandwich press and a grill. It gets hot enough to grill a variety of foods, including chicken and burgers. At the same time, it is also able to gently toast and warm sandwiches of varying sizes. It features a nonstick surface of 70 inches, which is plenty big for a couple of over-sized sandwiches. The floating lid design allows you to evenly press foods of any thickness and helps achieve even grill marks every time. It is completely dishwasher-safe, so you don’t even have to worry about handwashing it. Plus, it comes equipped with a drip tray to catch grease in one neat space. This is particularly useful for burgers and other fatty foods. This sandwich press can also be stored upright or flat. The lid latches to the press and locks into place while in storage.
Customers did have a few complaints about this sandwich press, however. The cord is extremely short which limits where you can use it in your kitchen. There is no on-off switch. If it’s plugged in, it is on. There is no temperature control setting, which is quite common on sandwich presses. There is also a timer or auto shut off. Overall, this is a great basic sandwich press, though it is missing a few features.
Proctor Silex Panini Sandwich Press Key Features:
- Functions as a sandwich press and a grill
- Nonstick surface
- Floating Lid
- Dishwasher safe
Best Budget Pick: Proctor Silex 25408Y Sandwich Toaster
The Proctor Silex 25408Y Sandwich Toaster features a simple design that allows you to make everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to omelets. Unlike some other sandwich presses that aim to warm and press the sandwich together, this one is designed to seal the sandwich around the edges. This allows you to make your stuffed French toast and pizza pockets in minutes. However, the design also prevents you from making extra-large sandwiches or paninis. Whether or not the sandwich press is for you depends on what exactly you plan on making with it.
This sandwich press was designed to be stored in small spaces. It is compact in size and can be stored upright or flat. The inside is non-stick and easy to clean. All you need to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth after it has cooled down. Two lights on top let you know when the system is on and preheated. It can hold up to 2 sandwiches cut in half. Because of how this press is designed, the sandwiches must be placed in a very particular way for it to work properly. This is not difficult to do since there are clear outlines, but it might prevent you from making certain treats.
Customers found that this sandwich press worked decently well. Many were excited by the sheer amount of stuffed entrees they could create, from after-Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches to individual pies. However, others complained that the press did not hold up very well or fit very large sandwiches.
Proctor Silex 25408Y Sandwich Toaster Key Features:
- Seals sandwiches around edges
- Non-stick surface
- Compact design
- Indicator lights
Best Large Sandwich Press: Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker
If you’re planning on making lots of sandwiches at once, you’re going to need an extra-large sandwich press. Most sandwich presses can only hold two sandwiches at a time, which is plenty for most people. However, if you have a large family or regularly entertain, you need the Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker. This sandwich press measures 11.6” by 10.4” – plenty of room for 4 large sandwiches or 6 regularly paninis. Because of the grill design, you can also cook plenty of other foods as well, including burgers and veggies. The floating lid design allows you to press the sandwiches or whatever you’re making evenly no matter the size. From small pieces of broccoli to absolutely stuffed sandwiches, you can count on even grill marks. With 1200 watts of power, this grill and sandwich press combination and cook nearly anything.
The grill-surface is non-stick and easy to clean. All you need to do it wipe the system down with a cloth whenever you’re done. A drip tray catches grease as you cook. This press can also be stored upright or flat on its back. Furthermore, this press is made of stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about it deteriorating over time.
Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker Key Features:
- Drip tray and non-stick surface
- Floating lid
- Stores upright
Best Sandwich Grill Press: Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press Sandwich Maker Medium Stainless Steel
For a great overall sandwich press that is designed specifically to make paninis, the Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press Sandwich Maker Medium Stainless Steel checks all the boxes. This sandwich grill press comes in two different sizes: medium and large. The medium is 10” by 8,” and the large has 95” of total cooking space. There is very little price difference between them, so we recommend just choosing whichever size fits your situation best. If you don’t have much storage in your kitchen, the medium is probably your best option. If your family is large though, the large option is probably a better choice.
The floating lid design allows this press to grill sandwiches of any thickness. The lid locks into place to allow you to warn pizza and bruschetta. There is a power and preheat light on the press, so you’ll always know exactly when its time to put the sandwiches on. Like most high-quality sandwich presses, this one can be stored upright or flat.
Customers did have a couple of complaints about this press. There is no way to adjust the temperature. The press heats up to a specific, unchangeable temperature every time. It also does not heat as evenly as some other models. However, for the price, this sandwich press is still a great option.
Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press Sandwich Maker Medium Stainless Steel Key Features:
- Non-stick surface
- Floating Lid
- Upright storage
- Chrome finish
Who Should Buy a Sandwich Press
A sandwich press is an understandably specialized piece of kitchen equipment. The main job of a sandwich press is to, well, squish sandwiches. Because they’re so specialized though, they do their job very well. If you want a juicy, hot sandwich, a sandwich press is a wonderful option. While you can make toasted sandwiches without using a sandwich press, it is much more difficult and often doesn’t result in even toasting or pressing. For this reason, anyone who loves tasty, toasted sandwiches should purchase a sandwich press.
Of course, most sandwich presses can do a lot more than just make warm sandwiches. Many can also cook pizza, quesadillas, bruschetta, and even burgers. A sandwich press that also a grill is a good option for those that don’t want to invest in a full-sized grill or have the room for one. Sandwich presses are also wonderful for apartments and those with small homes. They’re often very easy to store in tight spaces but perform a lot of functions that are useful for any kitchen.
Important Features to Consider
A sandwich press should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a sandwich press for your kitchen:
- Size. Sandwich presses come in a wide range of sizes. From presses designed for only one sandwich to those designed for over four, there are quite a few options available. You should carefully consider your size needs when selecting a sandwich press. On the one hand, the larger the press, the more sandwiches you can do at a time. However, you will also have to find room in your cabinet for a bigger press. Consider how many sandwiches you really need to do at a time and how much storage space you have.
- Ease of cleaning. Most sandwich presses have a nonstick surface that can easily be wiped off with a damp cloth. Others are dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning effortless for the most part. However, some do not have a nonstick surface and require to be washed by hand. Unless you enjoy washing more dishes, you make sure the sandwich press you choose is easy to clean.
- Storability. Unless you just REALLY love sandwiches, your sandwich press is not going to sit on your counter constantly. When not in use, it is going to need to be stored away in a cabinet or against a wall. The majority of sandwich presses fold up for easy storage, but you should double-check before making your purchase.
- Even pressing. A sandwich press should be designed to press a sandwich evenly. This is most commonly done with a floating lid design, which can also press sandwiches of a variety of sizes. However, there are other designs that produce even pressing as well. The customer reviews are a good place to find out how even a press heats and squishes. If in doubt, any of the sandwich presses in our 5 best sandwich presses list are a good option.
- Versatility. While sandwich presses are mostly used for pressing sandwiches, many can also perform other functions. Some sandwich presses come with built-in grease drips for meats and some double as a grill. Even if you are only planning on using your sandwich press for sandwiches, we recommend purchasing one that is versatile. After all, you never know when you’re going to need it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a sandwich press and how does it work?
A sandwich press is a grill-like appliance that is designed to press and toast sandwiches. Many sandwich presses also perform other functions and can cook a variety of foods. Most sandwich presses come with a floating lid that also functions as a grill, which allows the press to grill the top of the sandwich or whatever you’re cooking.
What is the difference between a toaster and a sandwich press?
A toaster can typically only hold one piece of bread at a time, while a sandwich press works as a grill with a lid that allows you to grill already made sandwiches. A sandwich press is much better at melting the cheese on a sandwich than a toaster. Many sandwich presses can also double as a general grill that can be used for meats and veggies. Basically, a toaster only toasts bread, while a sandwich press grills, presses, and melts foods of varying sizes.
How hot does a sandwich press get?
How hot a sandwich press gets depends on the particular press. Most do not have heat controls, so the press only heats up to a specific, unchangeable temperature. Many are designed to work as a grill as well as a press, so they can get hot enough to cook meat.
Can you cook eggs in a sandwich press?
Once again, this depends on the press! Most will be suitable for cooking eggs. Our budget pick, for example, is wonderful at making stuffed omelets. Most sandwich presses that are designed like grills are also somewhat suitable for cooking eggs. If you plan on cooking eggs on your sandwich press, be sure whichever one you choose is capable of doing it.
Other Sandwich Presses We Reviewed
We also reviewed 20 other sandwich presses. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best sandwich presses list, they’re the best of the rest, and each is still a great option for your kitchen. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Heat this press in a pan on a stove or put it directly on a grill and when it is sufficiently heated, the weight of the press applies the ideal amount of pressure to not only cook sandwiches evenly but leave wide diagonal char lines.
- Comfortable wood handle
- Measures 8.8 x 4.4 x 3.5 inches
- Weighs 2.8 lbs
This sandwich press is comprised of a skillet and a press for safe and easy panini making. While some customers didn’t realize this press was small in size, others loved its durability.
- Cast iron
This press is durable, dishwasher-safe, and can withstand oven temperatures of up to 500 degrees. Customers loved the overall quality of this grill and press.
- Available in three colors
This press features an attractive enameled surface and can be used for paninis and sandwiches or as a general food press. Customers loved the stylish design and found its uses were highly adaptable.
- Made in the USA
- Attractive design
- Available in two colors
This press is pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, so it is ready for immediate use and gives a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use. The bottom is flat making it easy to use and clean.
- Cool-grip spiral handle
- Measures 7.5 inches in diameter
- Weighs 5 lbs
Even though you will have to use either a potholder or oven mitt with this product, it is made to last. It can be used with at least a 10.5-inch square skillet/grill pan and round skillets 12 inches or larger and is pre-seasoned with 100% soybean oil.
- 8.25 inches in diameter
- Weighs 4 lbs
- Handle, and press are cast as one piece for longer life
This press requires some easy assembly but is unparalleled in heat retention and even heating. It is made in the USA and is safe to use on multiple cooking surfaces.
- Cool-grip spiral handle
- Measures 6.75 x 4.5 inches
- Weighs 2.2 lbs
This cast iron press is made in Colombia and seasoned with 100% Non-GMO Flaxseed Oil. The bottom is texturized to avoid sliding and movement.
- Measures 8.25 x 4.25 inches
- Screw-removable cool-touch wood handle
- Weighs 2.6 lbs
The Panini Duo has a sturdy, stainless steel construction and includes 4 height settings, on/ready lights, non-slip feet, and a locking storage clip. Its floating hinge allows even pressure to be maintained on both thick and thin items, making it suitable for grilling artisan bread or toasting open-style melts.
- Nonstick, scratch-resistant Quantanium cooking surface
- Flat bottom plate for fast, thorough cooking
- The 1500-watt heating element that heats up quickly
This griddler offers a drip spout that makes it easy to drain grease away from food for healthier cooking. It also includes helpful indicator lights, instructions, recipes, and a cleaning tool.
- 3-year limited warranty
- Upper and lower nonstick, non-removable grill plates
- Floating hinge adjusts to accommodate any thickness
The 3-in-1 griddler takes up minimal space while closed, but opens up flat to allow twice the space for cooking open-faced sandwiches. The removable plates are dishwasher safe which makes for easy cleanup.
- Opens flat to double the cooking surface
- Upper and lower nonstick, removable grill plates
- Adjustable front feet for better grease drainage
Even though this press is more expensive than most, it has six cooking options in one, dishwasher safe accessories and 1800 watts of power. It also includes a lock for storage, a cleaning/scraping tool, and an instruction/recipe book.
- Removable, reversible and nonstick grill/griddle plates
- Dual-zone temperature control
- Integrated drip tray
This product comes with a 3-month money-back guarantee and a 12-month replacement warranty, creating a completely worry-free purchase. While customers did find this grill more difficult to clean, they found it produced impressive sandwich results.
- Thermostat control
- Dual-plate grilling
This high-capacity grill can fit four sandwiches or six medium-size paninis, making it great for families. While customers did find this quite heavy, the versatility of this product was highly praised.
- Comes with drip tray
- Four-sandwich capacity
If you’re looking for a basic sandwich press, this option with flat, easily washable non-stick surfaces is a good, inexpensive choice.
- Cool touch handles
- Power and heat indicator lights
- Floating hinge for adjustable cooking heights
This unit works as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle and has a floating cover to adjust to the thickness of food. It also has an integrated drip tray and comes with gourmet recipes and a scraping tool.
- Removable and reversible dishwasher-safe cooking plates
- Adjustable temperature controls with indicator lights
- BPA free
This compact grill has dual indicator lights that let you know when the grill is ready to cook, and your meal is ready to eat. The nonstick plates wipe clean after use, and the lid lock and cord wrap makes storage easy.
- Diagonal indentation for slicing in half
- Deep pockets cook up to 2 sandwiches at a time
- The lock-down lid that allows both sides to cook evenly
If you’re just looking to try one out, this press can make up to two servings while still being at a cheaper price point. The nonstick coating is durable, easy to clean, and reduces the need for butter and oil.
- Dishwasher-safe drip tray
If you have a family or like having people over but don’t have a lot of kitchen space, this compact grill may be a good fit for you. It is durable, works fast, and is easy to clean.
- Dishwasher-safe removable plates
- Adjustable floating hinge
- Dishwasher-safe drip tray
The unique and innovative Dura Ceramic non-stick coating on this grill lasts 4 times longer than standard non-stick coatings and won’t flake or peel. It is also PFOA and PTFE free and cooks up to 20% faster.
- Opens 180 degrees to double-function as a countertop grill
- Titanium-Infused DuraCeramic nonstick coating
- Adjustable feet