The 10 Best Panini Presses to Upgrade All Your Sandwiches

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someone is holding the pressed panini in their hands with other slices on the cutting board beneath
Credit: Meghan Splawn

Sandwiches that don’t call for toasted bread are a real missed opportunity. Toasting adds such a complex flavor to any bread, as well as a pleasant crispiness. Plus, toasted bread has a stronger defense against the sogginess that condiments can cause. Overall, toasting strengthens a sandwich’s integrity and improves your sandwich eating experience. That’s why a great panini press is a must-have for any sandwich-lover.

You can use panini presses for grilling and toasting all kinds of sandwiches — whether you want to call your sandwiches paninis or not. There are models that give your toasty sandwiches those traditional grill lines, and others that create a more even golden-brown layer or crimp the edges to make a sealed sandwich with a filling. Whatever your preferences are, we found excellent options across a wide range of budgets, from $25 gadgets to professional-grade machines. Check out the best panini presses below and get ready to upgrade all your homemade sandwiches.

1 / 10

For the panini minimalists, this cast-iron press is all you need to make perfectly grilled sandwiches at home. It works with any of your existing fry pans — just set it on top of your sandwich and flip your sandwich to get those iconic lines on both sides. As long as you're careful to not set it directly on top of nonstick cookware, this tool won't damage your pans. We also don't mind that it takes up no room and is super budget-friendly.

2 / 10
Williams Sonoma
was $377.00

If you want to make panini sandwiches but don't want to deal with having another appliance in your kitchen, opt for this cast iron grill pan and press set. It gives your sandwiches the traditional grill marks and has deep sides that also make it great for grilling steak and chicken right on your stovetop. When you're cooking big cuts of meat, the press helps reduce splatter, which is a nice bonus.

3 / 10
Williams Sonoma

Sure, this mini sandwich press might not be able to make picture-perfect panini. But it does make grilled sandwiches that taste just as delicious — and it costs a fraction of the price of regular panini presses. This machine creates sealed sandwiches that are more portable and less messy than traditional panini, which makes it great to use when you're cooking for kids.

4 / 10

Similar to his Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine, this panini press has removable plates (for easy washing) and a drip tray at the front to catch any excess oil. You can store this device upright to save counter space, and when you're not in the mood for a sandwich, you can use this for burgers, hot dogs, chicken breast, and anything else you want grilled to perfection.

5 / 10
was $44.99

Avoid overpaying for kitchen appliances with this Hamilton Beach panini press. It uses two grill plates to quickly cook sandwiches on both sides, and its floating-style lid helps you evenly grill your sandwiches every time. When you're done using it, this machine can be stored on its side (with the help of a latch that keeps it closed) so you can reclaim your counter space.

6 / 10
Sur La Table
was $134.95

If you want a simple panini press that will just work well for a long time, choose this machine from Breville. Its top plate produces those classic grill marks, while its bottom plate has a lip that prevents any ingredients or oil from dripping off. And, because it has a floating hinge, you can easily fit extra-tall sandwiches with all your favorite ingredients.

7 / 10

Whether you're making panini or pancakes, this electric press has you covered. It includes one set of grill plates and one set of griddle plates, both of which are dishwasher-safe. Use its floating lid design to evenly cook your sandwiches to golden-brown perfection, or fold the lid back to create an open-face grill or griddle.

8 / 10

Our most budget-friendly panini press is also one of the most small-space-friendly presses. This model can make one sandwich at a time, or you can lay it flat and turn it into a mini grill for a few hot dogs and burger patties. The manufacturer also makes a larger model that can toast up two sandwiches at once.

9 / 10

Consider this toasted sandwich maker to be the Australian take on panini. It creates a fully sealed sandwich by pinching and toasting the edges of the bread shut, which is great for any sandwiches that you want to eat on the go. Grilled cheese sandwiches made in these are especially delightful, as their gooey, cheesy center can't get squeezed out the sides.

10 / 10

If you want the most professional results or just more grill surface to toast more sandwiches at once, invest in this commercial panini press. Its floating design fits the tallest, most overly stuffed sandwiches, and its temperature-control knob lets you dial in your preferred level of crispiness. It’s also great for getting perfect char marks on burgers, steaks, chicken breasts, and all your other favorite grilled foods.