No kitchen is complete without a toaster. These handy appliances are the simplest way to toast everything from bagels to baguettes, delivering that tasty golden crunch every time. When it comes to choosing a toaster for your home, finding the perfect appliance can be surprisingly tricky. With so many options on the market, sorting the good from the bad can seem impossible, and it might be tempting to choose one at random.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled this handy buying guide. Below, we run through the top 15 options on the market right now, before answering some common questions about this handy piece of equipment, and how you can get the most out of your new toaster.
The Best Toaster
Kicking off our list of the best toasters is this two slice option by KRUPS. With its brushed stainless steel design, the attractive appliance will look at home in any kitchen. Featuring five different browning settings, the toaster has been carefully constructed to evenly toast any type of bread. The toaster also includes a high-lift lever, making it easy to remove the contents without nasty burns to the fingers.
It’s diverse, too, with four different settings to choose from – regular, bagel, defrost, and reheat. This impressive versatility makes it the perfect option for the average kitchen. With its extra-large slots, the toaster can easily accommodate even the thickest slices of bread. When it’s time to clean the toaster, a removable crumb tray speeds along the process, saving you plenty of time and hassle. Users across the board report that this stylish appliance is well-made, stylish, and consistent.
Two slot toaster
Sleek, brushed steel design
Features 5 different browning settings
High-lift lever for safe and easy toast extraction
4 toasting settings (regular, bagel, defrost, reheat)
Extra-large slot can accommodate any type of bread
- Weight3.27 pounds
The first 4 slice toaster to earn a spot on our list is this sturdy Cuisinart design. Their toaster promises perfect browning every time, thanks to powerful and expertly placed elements. Thanks to extra wide slots, the toaster is suitable for any kind of bread, as well as other foods such as hashbrowns or waffles. With its high-lift lever, it’s easy to retrieve smaller items from the device, without the risk of burning your fingers, or fishing out food with a utensil.
The toaster also features two independent controls, allowing you to make two different kinds of toast at the same time. With six shade settings to choose from, it’s never been easier to get your toast exactly how you want it. Along with these shade settings, the toaster has four different toasting functions – bagel, defrost, toast, and reheat. Thanks to this great versatility, the toaster can be put to a surprising number of uses. On top of all this, the toaster looks great – its classic design, which blends stainless steel and painted steel, adds a vintage flair to any kitchen.
4 slot toaster
High-lift lever makes it easy to retrieve smaller slices
Independent dual controls
6 shade settings to choose from
4 functions; toast, defrost, reheat, and bagel
3 year warranty included
- Weight6.1 pounds
Breville have also earned their place on our list, with one of the best 2 slice toasters on the market right now. It’s a ‘smart’ toaster, equipped with a range of innovative features never before seen on a toaster. Its one-touch technology lowers bread inside and begins the toasting process with the press of a button. During cooking, you can check on the progress of your toast at any time by pressing the ‘lift and look’ button. As the name suggests, this button briefly raises the bread out of the toaster, so you can take a look at its color. If it needs a little longer, you can give it a 30 second boost.
In action, the outside of the toaster remains totally cool, making it much safer than conventional options. Thanks to its LED panel, it’s easy to see which setting you’ve selected, so you’ll never have to worry about overdone toast again. Like many of the toasters on our list, it also features extra-wide slots, and a variety of toasting settings. Toast shade can be controlled on a sliding scale from one to five, while defrost and bagel settings provide extra versatility. If you’re a gadget lover with a flair for all things culinary, this could be the perfect toaster for you.
2 slice ‘smart’ toaster
One touch, motorised activation
‘Lift and look’ button helps you keep an eye on your toast
Retains a cool exterior during use
LED panel displays shade selection
5 shades and 3 settings to choose from (toast, bagel, defrost)
- Weight2.65 pounds
The next bread toaster to make it onto our list is by Oster. Available in both gray and purple colors, it’s an easy fit in almost any kitchen. Featuring two extra-wide slots, it’s compatible with whatever bread comes its way, as well as larger items such as hashbrowns and pancakes. Inside, auto-adjusting bread guides ensure even, consistent toasting every time, so you can rest assured you’ll get the perfect slice.
It’s versatile too, equipped with seven different toast shades and three different settings; bagel, frozen, and pastry. When it’s time to clean the toaster, a removable crumb tray makes the process quick and easy. Customers were impressed with the toaster’s excellent quality – especially considering its price point. For under $30, it’s a great addition to your culinary arsenal – and one that won’t break the bank.
2 slot toaster
Excellent value for money
Features 7 browning settings
Features 3 cooking settings; bagel, defrost, and pastry
Auto-adjusting bread guides ensure even toasting, every time
Available in gray and purple
- Weight4 pounds
Holife have also impressed us, with this surprisingly high-tech option. Their unique toaster boasts an LCD digital display, which lets you know exactly how long your toast has left on its cooking cycle. Illuminated by a subtle blue backlight, the display adds a stylish and futuristic touch to any kitchen. Each slot is 1.5 inches wide, enough to accommodate a range of breads, bagels, pastries, and more. Its sleek design, complimented by a cord wrap device to hide away unsightly power cables, looks great in the modern kitchen.
With six different browning settings to choose from, Holife’s toaster makes it easy to cook perfect toast time after time. Thanks to its special ‘bagel’ and ‘defrost’ buttons, the device is versatile enough to handle a wide array of kitchen tasks. In use, the toaster’s exterior remains cool to the touch, thanks to its anti-overheating protection. It’s also protected against leaks, for an overall cleaner and safer experience. Thanks to a removable crumb tray, the toaster is safe and easy to clean, too. This handy features removes the need for you to tip the toaster upside down during cleaning, saving you valuable time and effort. Made from durable stainless steel, you can rest assured this toaster will last for many years to come.
2 slot toaster
Backlit, an LCD countdown display
1.5-inch slots accommodate a wide array of bread, pastries, and more
6 different browning settings
Bagel and defrost settings
Exterior remains cool during use
Features anti-leak protection
- Model2 Slice Toaster
- Weight3.2 ounces
If you’re searching for a simple but functional bread and bagel toaster, look no further than this two-slot option by Amazon Basics. With six shade settings to choose from, the device makes it easy to cook the perfect toast, time after time. Each slot is 1.25 inches wide, and 5.24 inches long – more than large enough to accommodate a wide array of breads and other foods.
The toaster also features a handy bagel setting, which only cooks one side, and a defrost setting for frozen bread. For ease of use, you can halt the toasting process at any time by pressing the ‘cancel’ button. When your toast is done, it’s easy to remove, thanks to a high-lift lever. This handy feature will save you from fishing out bread with utensils, or accidentally burning yourself. Featuring a removable crumb tray, the device is simple to clean, too. With its simple, elegant design, this budget-friendly toaster is at home in any setting. It’s also equipped with a cord-wrap, so you can tuck extra power cable neatly out of the way.
2 slot toaster
6 shade settings to choose from
Features ‘bagel’ and ‘defrost’ settings
1.25-inch slots accommodate a wide array of foods
‘Cancel’ button halts the toasting process
The high-lift lever allows easy removal
The sleek design includes a power cord wrap
- Weight2.52 pounds
They might be better known for their power tools, but Black & Decker have turned their attention to the culinary world with great success, to bring us this two slot toaster. With seven different browning settings to choose from, this budget-friendly toaster can deliver the perfect shade for any occasion. Along with these adjustable color settings, the toaster also features ‘bagel’ and ‘defrost’ buttons, for extra versatility.
Meanwhile, extra-wide toasting slots ensure the device can handle whatever bread, bagel, or pastry is thrown its way. When your toast is done, it’s easy to remove from the toaster, thanks to a high-lift lever – gone are the days of fishing for your toast with a wooden spoon, only to have it crumble in your hands. Cleaning the toaster is easy, thanks to a drop-down crumb tray. Simply remove and empty the tray to keep the toaster in great condition for years to come.
Simple 2-slot toaster
7 different browning settings
Bagel and defrost options
The high-lift lever allows easy toast removal
Budget-friendly price point
- Weight2.55 pounds
Smeg have also found a spot on our list, thanks to their retro style two-slot toaster. Smeg are known for their attractive vintage designs, and this toaster is no exception. Available in seven different colors, you’re sure to find the perfect option whatever the style of your kitchen. Each toaster features wide slots and self-centering racks, making for a consistent and even toast whatever you’re cooking.
With six browning settings to choose from, the whole household can have their toast exactly how they want it. Meanwhile, rehear, bagel, and defrost settings offer improved versatility, making the toaster even more functional. Once in place, you can rest assured it won’t slip around, thanks to four grippy feet. Its removable crumb tray makes for an easy clean-up, too. With its powder coated steel body, and polished chrome base, this toaster is a great long-term investment for your kitchen that never goes out of style.
Vintage style 2 slot toaster
Available in 7 colors to match any kitchen
Self-centering racks for even cooking every time
6 different shade settings
Features bagel and defrost programs
Grippy feet keep the toaster in place
Powder-coated steel body and chrome base
- Weight5.4 pounds
For bagel-friendly versatility, Breville’s unique long-slot design could be the perfect option. Featuring two extra-long openings, the toaster can accommodate up to four standard toast slices, as well as unusually shaped breads, pastries, and more. The slots are wide too, for even better versatility. Its unique bagel setting provides the inner elements with extra heat, so the inside is toasted without the outside being burned.
The toaster’s housing is made from sturdy die-cast steel, so you can rest assured it’s built to last. Like many of the ‘smart’ toasters on our list, it’s motorized, automatically raising and lowering bread as required. Thanks to its ‘lift and look’ button, you can take a peek at your toast in the middle of the cooking process, to check how it’s coming along. The also features five browning settings, making it simple to get your toast just the way you want it. Even frozen bread is simple to toast, thanks to the ‘frozen’ button. Once you’ve found your perfect setting, it’s easy to activate the toaster with just one touch. For easy cleaning, a removable crumb tray can be slid out the bottom.
Made from die-cast steel
Motorized toaster lifts and lowers bread automatically
5 browning settings
‘Lift and look’ button allows you to check up on your toast
- Weight8.25 pounds
Earning a yet another spot on our list is Cuisinart, with their four slice stainless steel toaster. With dual LCD displays, and an array of settings to choose from, this toaster has all the bells and whistles you could want, without compromising usability. It features a nift bagel setting, which only heats the upper elements. This makes for the perfect bagel – crispy on one side, chewy on the other.
Whatever you’re toasting, you’ll have the freedom to choose from seven different shade settings. Each side of the device can be independently set, so no one has to compromise on toast color. For added versatility, the toaster also features ‘defrost’ and ‘reheat’ settings, which helps to bring food up to temperature without the risk of burning it. Throughout toasting, a countdown times on the LCD display makes it easy to see when your toast will be ready. When it’s done, the toast is easy to remove thanks to a high-lift lever. This handy lever is perfect for removing smaller slices, without risking burned fingers. For smaller homes, the toaster can also be had in a two slot version.
4 slot toaster
LCD ‘countdown’ and setting display
Dual settings for each side
Includes bagel, defrost, and reheat settings
Features 7 different browning settings
High-lift lever makes it easy to remove cooked toast
Also available in a 2 slot version
- Weight7.1 pounds
The next option to earn a spot on our list is this KitchenAid toaster. Their stylish design is available in three different colors, sure to compliment any kitchen. Whichever color you select, you can rest assured it’s a high quality appliance. With its all-metal construction, the toaster is built to resist the wear and tear of daily use.
The toaster features extra-wide slots, allowing you to easily toast a wide range of breads, bagels, pastries, and more, without having to squash your food. A manual high-lift lever makes it easy to retrieve your toast when it’s finished cooking, without the hassle of manoeuvring utensils into the slot. Each toaster is equipped with five different shade settings, making it simple to achieve your perfect color. Bagel lovers can rest assured that KitchenAid have them covered, too – a special ‘bagel’ button reduces heating power on one side, giving you that iconic crispy interior and chewy outside. The toaster also features dual controls, making it a great culinary multi-tasker.
4 slot toaster
Available in 3 stylish colors
All-metal construction resists wear and tear
High-lift lever for easy bread retrieval
Features 5 different shade settings
Dual controls allow for multi-tasking
- Weight8 pounds
Hamilton have also earned a spot on our list, with this long-slot toaster. Just like option number 10 on our list, it’s built with two extra-long slots, allowing it to toast up to four standard sized slices at a time, while also accommodating unusually shaped foods. The slots are fairly wide too, so even chunky bagels will fit soundly inside.
The toaster features seven different shade settings, as well as special programs for bagels and frozen food. Once your toast is cooked, you can keep things cozy until you’re ready to eat, thanks to a unique ‘keep warm’ button. This handy function keeps the toast warm for an extra three minutes, without over toasting. The toaster’s exterior is safe to touch throughout the cooking process, thanks to its ‘cool-wall’ technology. This useful feature significantly improves safety in the kitchen. With its gently illuminated buttons and built-in cord wrap, the design is both tidy and attractive.
Features 7 shade settings
Includes settings for bagels and frozen bread
‘Keep warm’ button keeps toast cozy for an extra 3 minutes without over-browning
‘Cool wall’ technology keeps the exterior cold enough to touch during use
Buttons illuminate when activated
High-lift lever for easy toast removal
- BrandHamilton Beach
- Weight5.82 pounds
Making their final appearance on our list is Cuisinart, with this conveniently compact toaster. Despite its space-saving design, the toaster can accommodate four slices at a time, making it perfect for larger households. Its contemporary styling looks great from all angles, and is sure to find an ideal home in virtually any kitchen.
The versatile appliance features seven different shade settings, and four toasting functions, for excellent versatility. With toast, bagel, defrost, and reheat functions, the powerful toaster is truly primed for all your toasting needs. Thanks to its extra-wide slots, the appliance can tackle a wide array of foods from bread and baguettes, to pancakes and pastries. Whatever you’re cooking, the finished product will be easy to remove from the toaster, thanks to its high-lift lever. Like many four-slot toasters, it features dual controls, allowing you to toast different foods in different sides.
Compact 4-slot toaster
Features 7 different shade settings
Includes toast, bagel, reheat, and defrost functions
High-lift lever makes for easy removal
Dual-controls on either side
- Weight4.5 pounds
Last, but not least, is this retro style toaster by Russell Hobbs. Available in five different colors, the compact two-slice toaster is the perfect way to give your kitchen a vintage flair. On its front, an analogue timer counts down how long your toast has left, making it easy to time your breakfast. The appliance features six different shade settings, offering superb control of how light or dark the finished toast is. You can even take a look at the bread during toasting, without interrupting the program, thanks to a handy lever.
The toaster also features three different functions – toast, bagel, and defrost – for added versatility. Each appliance includes a removable bun warning rack, perfect for warming up buns, rolls, pastries and more. The handy rack is easy to attach and remove at will. When it’s time to clean out the toaster, a removable crumb tray makes the process significantly quicker and easier.
Retro-style 2 slice toaster
Available in 5 different colors
Analog timer counts down remaining toasting time
Features 6 different shade settings
Includes 3 different toasting functions; bagel, defrost, and regular
Wire bun warming rack included
- BrandRussell Hobbs
- Weight3.7 pounds
Best Toaster Buying Guide & FAQ
Whether you’re looking for a simple but functional two-slot design, or the toaster equivalent of the Starship Enterprise, we’re confident you’ll find the perfect option somewhere on our list. To help you find the perfect fit - and get the most out of it - we’ve put together this guide. Below, we run through what to look out for in a toaster, different types you might encounter, what they can be used for, and more.
What to Look for in a Toaster
When it’s time to choose a toaster for your kitchen, there are a few key features to watch out for:
- Versatile Settings
A versatile toaster is a useful toaster, so look out for an appliance with a wide array of settings and functions to choose from. Keep your eyes open for a good range of shade options, as well as bagel and defrost settings. For even more options (and to prevent jams) look out for wide slots, that can accommodate all sorts of food.
- Removable Crumb Tray
It might not be essential, but a removable crumb tray can save you a lot of time when it comes to cleaning up. If you use the toaster very frequently, you’ll get even more out of this simple little lifesaver.
- Easy Retrieval Mechanism
Whether it’s a high-lift lever of motorized lift, be sure to choose a toaster that makes your food easy to retrieve. As far as toasting experiences go, there are few things more irritating than having to unplug your toaster and fish around inside with a fork for your bread.
- Good Durability
As with all appliances, it’s important to look out for a toaster that’s well-made and durable. This can be hard to gauge until you bring the device home, but good customer reviews and high quality materials (especially stainless steel) can give you a strong idea of the toaster’s credentials.
Benefits of Using a Toaster in Your Kitchen
Toasters are a useful piece of kit to keep around - and a surprisingly versatile one. With a good toaster in your kitchen you can:
- Toast bread and bagels to perfection
- Defrost frozen bread quickly
- Whip up a quick grilled cheese sandwich
- Cook veggie burgers
- Make fast garlic bread
- Reheat pizza
- Crisp up leftover fries and onion rings
- Make your own tortilla chips
With some baking parchment or a toaster bag in your arsenal, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Types of Toasters
Although all toasters perform roughly the same function, you will have a few types to choose from:
- Two Slot Toasters
Compact and affordable, two-slot toasters are perfect for the average kitchen. They usually provide the same features as their four-slotted brethren, in a package that’s convenient for lighter usage.
- Four Slot Toasters
For larger households - or toast enthusiasts - four slot toasters are probably a better option. Not only do they let you toast four slices at once, they also feature dual controls so you can run two different cooking programs simultaneously.
- ‘Smart’ Toasters
In recent years, some toaster manufacturers have jumped on the ‘smart’ appliance end, equipping their toasters with a surprising amount of tech. Smart toasters are operated via a digital display, lower and raise toast with a motorized mechanism, and often include extra features such as a ‘lift and look’ button. If you’re a culinary gadget lover, or struggle with conventional toasters, this could be your perfect match.
Best Toaster FAQ:
Q: How do I clean my toaster?
A: What with all those electronics in the way, cleaning your toaster might seem like a tricky task.
Luckily, there’s an easy method you can use:
- Pastry brush
- Warm soapy water
- Two dish towels
- Begin by emptying the crumb tray, if your toaster has one. This should be done in isolation at least once a week.
- Next, unplug the toaster from the wall, and ensure it’s totally cooled
- If your toaster doesn’t have a crumb tray, turn it upside down over the trash can to empty out debris
- Wash the crumb tray using warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly
- Remove any remaining crumbs from inside the toaster using your pastry brush
- Wipe down the toaster’s exterior with a damp cloth, and gentle soap if need be, paying close attention to any dials and knobs
- If your toaster is made from stainless steel, use a little vinegar on a dry cloth to give it some extra shine
- Replace the crumb tray, return the toaster to its usual spot, and plug back in
Q: What does the frozen setting on a toaster do?
A: ‘Frozen’ and ‘defrost’ settings are designed to take bread from frozen to toasted with the press of a button.
To use this function on most toasters:
- Place slices of frozen bread in the slots
- Choose your browning setting
- Depress the toast
- Press the ‘defrost’ or ‘frozen’ button to add extra thawing time
This is a useful feature if you often freeze bread for ease of storage.
Q: What bread can I put in my toaster?
A: This depends on the width and length of its slots, but in theory every type of bread is suitable. You can also toast bagels, English muffins, pastries, and certain kinds of pancakes and waffles in the toaster.
Whatever you do, avoid placing any metal items inside the toaster while it is plugged in, as this could lead to electrocution.
Q: Does my toaster have Anti-Jam protection?
A: All toasters depend on some sort of mechanism to raise and lower food into their interior - sometimes, pieces of food can jam these mechanisms.
Although there’s no ‘anti-jam’ solution, there are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening:
- Don’t overload your toaster - be sure to only toast items that can comfortably fit inside the slots.
- Empty the crumb tray regularly - crumbs are a major culprit when it comes to toaster jams, so removing them frequently is a good method of protection.
- Make time to clean your toaster - as well as emptying the crumb tray, take the time to brush out the inside of your toaster on a regular basis.
If a jam does occur, your first course of action should be to unplug and thoroughly clean the toaster.
Our Top Pick
Based on our toaster reviews, this sleek design by KRUPS is the best of the bunch. The handy pop up toaster features five different browning settings, along with defrost, reheat, and bagel settings. This impressive array of settings, along with its extra-wide slots, lend the toaster impressive versatility.
When it’s time to clean your toaster, the removable crumb tray makes for an easy task - simply tip the crumbs away every few days, and your toaster will be spick and span, ready for the next slice or bagel. For safe and easy usage, the device also features a high-lift lever, making it easy to remove bread without running the risk of burns. When in use a bright LED illuminates, so you can rest assured it’s working as it should. Overall, this attractive and versatile toaster is the perfect solution for any kitchen. Its multiple settings, great customer reviews, and affordable price point have earned it the top spot on today’s list.
- How to Clean a Toaster - WikiHow