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The Best Tofu Presses of 2023, Tested by Serious Eats

Straight to the Point

Our favorite tofu press was the Tofudee Tofu Press, which featured a spring-driven platform that could be screwed down tighter to put extra pressure on a tofu brick. We also liked the NOYA Adjustable Tofu Press that had a similar design, and the Yarkor Tofu Press for a more compact model.

If you’ve got a firm or extra firm block of tofu and you want it to get crispy, you need to remove as much water as possible. And while there are a few options (like using two sheet pans and a cast iron skillet) for removing excess water, one of the easiest (and most effective) ways is to use a dedicated tofu press. 

There are a few styles of presses available—dual platforms with screws, spring-driven block-shaped presses with draining platforms, and weighted presses—so we put 10 popular tofu presses to the test to find out which drained the most water, were the easiest to operate, and cleaned up without a fuss. 

The Winners, at a Glance

Tofudee Tofu Press


The Tofudee tofu press was the most effective at removing water while ensuring the tofu didn’t fall apart. Its strainer tray was well-elevated above the bottom of the bin, allowing the tofu to stay dry while draining, and the spring-driven press also had a built-in screw to add extra pressure when needed.

Tofu Press


With a spring-driven/screw-down press, the NOYA tofu press was also effective at draining tofu bricks without squishing them. We also liked how the strainer platform had handles that folded out to make removing the tofu easy.

Yarkor Tofu Press

Courtesy of Amazon

Slightly smaller than our other top picks and featuring a flat lid, the Yarkor model was just as effective at pressing tofu as other top picks. And since it’s more compact, it was easier to stack to save space in the fridge. 

The Tests

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

  • Quick Press Test: We loaded each tofu press with its max capacity (a 1-pound brick of firm tofu for most), set it to extract the most liquid we could, and let it drain for 15 minutes. We weighed the tofu before pressing and afterward to see how much water was removed.
  • Long Press Test: We placed each tofu brick back into the press after quick pressing and adjusted the setting to see how much more water each press could extract after two hours. After weighing each brick, we compared the weight to the weight after the 15-minute press and the starting weight. 
  • Usability and Cleanup Tests: We checked how easy each tofu press was to load a brick of tofu, how simple it was to set the pressure to the highest setting, and how easy it was to clean afterward.

What We Learned

Dual Screws Were Hard to Balance Evenly

Centering a block of tofu was difficult in presses with dual screws.

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

A few of the presses we tested, like the EZ Tofu Press and the Grow Your Pantry Tofu Press, consisted of two platforms that applied pressure to the tofu bricks by adjusting the screws that held them together. While it was an effective way to drain water from the tofu, it was hard to center the tofu and match the pressure on both screws. The result was inconsistently drained tofu bricks that lost their shape, leaving them poorly prepped for cooking. 

Spring-Based Presses Were Easier to Load 

Spring-based presses were easy to load and helped hold the shape of the tofu blocks.

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

All of the spring-based models we tested were easy to load and set. Screw-based platforms took too long to even out the pressure, and the one elastic band-based press we tried from Tofuture kept snapping back at our hands, making it difficult to adjust to higher pressure settings.

Multi-Stage Presses Preserved the Tofu’s Shape the Best

The NOYA press maintained the shape of the tofu block, even under high tension.

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

While spring-based presses were effective at expelling excess water, it was the multi-stage presses from Tofudee and NOYA, which featured added screw mechanisms, that really stood out. By adding a screw to gently increase the pressure, you could adjust these models according to the resistance from the tofu. This helped the bricks keep their shape for neat slicing. 

Even though the spring-based Yarkor Tofu Press and the TofuXpress Tofu Press were the most effective at water removal, they also put a lot of immediate pressure on the tofu. The Yarkor model caused some mild splitting, but the TofuXpress really decimated the block, causing it to crumble in parts.

Tofu Presses That Came With Trays Were Super Handy

Relying on a sheet pan to catch excess water took up extra counter space.

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Four of the presses we tested didn’t come with a tray, meaning you had to set them on a sheet pan or in a dish to collect the water. Tofu presses that came with a tray were a great space saver, as they could be placed anywhere on the counter (or even in the fridge) while draining, and pouring off excess water was much easier, too. 

Elevated Drainage Platforms Were A Plus

Without an elevated platform, tofu blocks sat in the water that was just expressed.

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

An elevated drainage platform helped keep tofu dry during pressing, and the Tofudee had the tallest platform we tested with a full inch of clearance from the bottom of the tray. The NOYA and Yarkor models also had elevated platforms that produced drier tofu blocks after pressing.

Because the tofu sat at the bottom of the TofuXpress press, all the excess water was forced upwards, resting on top of the tofu brick until it was poured off. Even though this press removed the most water, the brick was still fairly damp on the outside edges and needed to be thoroughly patted dry. 

Most Presses Benefitted from a Longer Press Time

The Tofudee press was able to apply more pressure over time with the screw mechanism.

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

While the Yarkor press extracted 19% of the tofu’s starting weight in 15 minutes, it was able to press out an extra 7% over the next 75 minutes. With multi-stage presses, the difference was even more drastic. Both the Tofudee and NOYA nearly doubled their extraction at the end of a long press compared to the 15-minute test. If you’re in a rush to get dinner started, most models will do okay, but it’s better to plan ahead if possible.

Tofu Water Loss
Tofu Press Starting Tofu Block Weight Weight After 2 Hours Percent Difference at 2 Hours From Starting
EZ Tofu Press 463g 389g 16%
Yarkor Tofu Press 448g 328g 27%
Grow Your Pantry Tofu Press 331g 287g 13%
TofuXpress Tofu Press 466g 319g 32%
Tofuture Tofu Press 489g 406g 17%
NOYA Adjustable Tofu Press 441g 337g 24%
TofuBud Tofu Press 439g 358g 17%
Tofudee Tofu Press 449g 337g 25%
Raw Rutes Stainless Tofu Press 475g 395g 17%
Bamboo Tofu Press 468g 362g 23%

The Criteria: What to Look for in a Tofu Press

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

The best tofu presses were spring-based and had an elevated drainage platform, as well as a tray to collect excess water. The most effective models also had a screw-based mechanism to compact the tofu even further, helping the bricks hold their shape while draining. 

Tofudee Tofu Press


What we liked: The Tofudee press was the most effective at removing excess water while still retaining the original shape of the tofu. It had the highest elevated platform out of any of the models we tested, which kept draining bricks dry and allowed the water to collect in the bottom tray for easy cleanup. Its multi-stage press was key to its success: the initial spring-driven pressure helped remove excess water, and the extra screw-down lid helped put a further squeeze on the tofu without causing splitting. 

What we didn’t like: While effective, the biggest drawback of this press is the screw-down handle on the lid. Because it sticks up, you can’t stack anything on top of it, which means it takes up greater shelf/storage space.

Price at time of publish: $26.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Plastic, stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Capacity: 1 pound
  • Style of press: Spring-based with additional screwtop for added pressure
  • Settings: 1, with continuous adjustment
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
  • Added features: Draining platform, catch tub

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Tofu Press


What we liked: Featuring a multi-stage press just like the Tofudee, this model from NOYA was also effective at removing water while retaining the tofu shape. We particularly liked how the drainage tray had handles that fold out into wings when pulled upwards, making it easy to extract the drained tofu. 

What we didn’t like: The drainage platform could be a little taller to help keep the tofu separated from the extracted water below, though we didn’t find this to be too big of an issue during our tests. 

Price at time of publish: $23.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Plastic, stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Capacity: 1 pound
  • Style of press: Spring-based with additional screwtop for added pressure
  • Settings: 1, with continous adjustment
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
  • Added features: Removable draining platform

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Yarkor Tofu Press

Courtesy of Amazon

What we liked: The Yarkor press extracted the most water in 15 minutes by far, and we really liked its simple, spring-driven design. Because the spring does all the work, it’s the best-performing set-it-and-forget-it model we tested. We also appreciated how flat the lid was; we could easily stack stuff on top of it in the fridge. 

What we didn’t like: Since you can’t fine-tune the pressure, the press did cause some deformation and mild splitting of the tofu block, but that could be likely fixed by using smaller bricks of tofu. 

Price at time of publish: $18.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Plastic, stainless steel
  • Product dimensions: 5.5 x 4.5 x 4 inches
  • Capacity: 1 pound
  • Style of press: Spring-based with strainer basket
  • Settings: 1
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
  • Added features: Draining platform, catch bin

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

The Competition

  • EZ Tofu Press: Dual adjustment knobs meant the pressure plates were hard to center with equal force, causing the tofu to become lopsided. It also didn’t come with a drainage tray. 
  • Grow Your Pantry Tofu Press: This press had a very limited height range and couldn’t fit the full 1-pound tofu brick. It also was the hardest to clean.
  • TofuXpress Tofu Press: The plate didn’t provide even pressure, causing the tofu to become lopsided, and since it didn’t have a drainage platform, the tofu sat underneath the expressed water. 
  • Tofuture Tofu Press: The elastic bands on this model were hard to stretch, making it difficult to reach the highest pressure setting. 
  • TofuBud Tofu Press: This press also produced a lopsided tofu brick, and the lid was hard to slide onto the tray. 
  • Raw Rutes Stainless Tofu Press: Extremely heavy, this press relied on weight to expel excess water. It ranked among the lowest-performing models and was really cumbersome to move. 
  • Bamboo Tofu Press: The issues with this model were similar to the other models with dual screws: they were difficult to adjust evenly, and the press lacked a drainage tray.


What is a tofu press good for?

Tofu presses are designed to remove excess water from firm tofu that is used for grilling, searing, or frying. By pressing out extra liquid, the tofu has a more solid texture that is less prone to sticking and is easier to brown. 

Is it worth getting a tofu press?

There are a few options for draining tofu in order to sear or fry it well, but a tofu press is a relatively inexpensive, effective, and hands-off way to drain water from tofu. If you’re someone who cooks with tofu a lot, it could be a great timesaver.

What happens when you press tofu for too long?

Some tofu presses might damage the shape of the tofu if left in a press for too long, but the tofu itself will still be fine for cooking. If your goal is to slice your tofu into neat rectangles for searing, baking, or grilling, it’s best to use a tofu press with an adjustable pressure plate, like two of our top picks. 

Do you refrigerate tofu while pressing? 

If you plan to cook your tofu right away, you can leave your tofu press out on the counter to complete its draining process. If you’re looking to get a head start on tomorrow’s cooking, however, you should leave the press in the fridge. Tofu can be kept in the fridge for up to five days after the package has been opened, but we recommend cooking it as soon as possible.

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