You need one of the best toasters; they're an essential household appliance that makes mornings just that little bit easier and quicker, especially if there's a bunch of hungry mouths to feed. From breakfast treats to toasted snacks, they're a nifty piece of kit to have in your kitchen.
Basic toasters will just toast the bread so that you can have a warm and crispy breakfast, but more complex models can also heat up croissants and brown bagels at the click of a button. We've rounded up the best models in this guide from the likes of great brands, including Smeg, Breville, DeLonghi, and more, with two-slice toasters, four-slice toasters, and even some toaster ovens to choose from.
For those with bigger families, a four-slice toaster might be the best option, as you can cook multiple slices of bread at any given time. Two-slice toasters, on the other hand, are ideal for compact living or couples. Some toasters also come with a variety of upmarket features, which, of course, means that the cost goes up. We've included toasters with a multitude of different styles, features, functions, and prices, too, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.
Toasters with wide slots are a must if you enjoy thicker slices of bread. Also, consider what types of food you want toasted. Some toasters will not only give you the option to toast bread, but they come with an additional rack to toast bagels and croissants. We also like helpful features such as a removable crumb tray for easy cleaning.
Many of the best toasters also come with a range of heating speeds and toasting functions, with most giving you the option to defrost bread, too. If you're in the market for other kitchen appliances, check out our buying guides for the best rice cookers and best toaster ovens, perfect for those who want to expand their cooking options beyond just toasting bread.
The best toasters we recommend in 2024
Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews
Discover our round-up of the best toasters that you can currently buy, from budget-friendly buys to high-end choices that will make busy mornings a breeze.
We endeavor to review every single product that we feature in our buying guides, but we may still be getting around to some of them. In this case, we've included detailed summaries of the customer reviews so that you can form an unbiased opinion, to help you make the choice that's right for you.
The best toaster overall
The Breville Smart Toaster is a top-rated toaster with exceptional toasting ability, a seamless user experience, and a sleek design that fits into any kitchen. Our review found that this toaster is one of the best performers among the toasters we tested.
We love the toaster's brushed die-cast aluminum design, which gives it a modern look, and the automatic and motorized lift is another great feature that makes it easy to start toasting without pulling down a lever. The extra-wide slots are perfect for toasting bagels, artisanal breads, or pastries, and the removable crumb tray makes it easy to clean.
The Breville Smart Toaster has modern features like Lift and Look and A Bit More, which help you get the perfect toast every time. The Lift and Look feature lets you check on the browning mid-cycle, while the A Bit More function allows you to add 30 seconds to the toasting time without changing the main shading dial. Using these functions takes the guesswork out of your toasting, so you can get the perfect toast on any bread without guessing at the shading.
Regarding performance, the Breville Smart Toaster excelled in all areas we tested, including evenness, consistency, frozen bread, and bagels. Every slice of bread we toasted was nicely done, with even browning on both sides and minimal visible bar marks. We also had the same results using the four slots available on the toaster.
While it may be expensive, the Breville Smart Toaster is an excellent choice for those looking for a high-end toaster that can deliver exceptional toasting ability and a seamless user experience.
The most unique-looking toaster
With its large glass panel on the front, the Dash Clear View toaster lets you watch your bread as it toasts, making it an interesting conversation piece in any kitchen. The toaster uses a different heating element than other toasters, which allows bread to toast evenly and with minimal bar marks.
In our performance tests, the Clear View performed well on evenness and consistency and on toasting frozen bread and bagels. The toaster has one long slot that can fit two slices of standard white bread. However, a 2-slice or 4-slice toaster might be a better option if you plan on toasting longer slices.
Although the design is intriguing, the toaster does have a few drawbacks. It takes up substantial counter space due to its long width, and its awkward crumb tray is accessed from the left side. Also, the tray does not pull out as smoothly as the trays on other toasters we tested. And while the glass panel is a unique design feature, it may lose its novelty once you become familiar with the toaster.
The most stylish toaster
The SMEG 2 Slice toaster is a retro-looking machine in eight colors, making it a great addition to any kitchen decor. Despite its classic design, this toaster has several modern features, such as a removable crumb tray and a reheat setting. However, during our tests, we found that the SMEG 2 Slice runs hot, which can lead to burned toast if not used on lower settings. This issue is compounded by the toaster's exterior temperature getting significantly hot, making it a safety hazard.
Another drawback of this toaster is its inconveniently placed crumb tray, accessed from the back. This can be especially frustrating if the machine is tucked into a corner, as it requires moving the unit to clean it. On the upside, the SMEG 2 Slice performed well in our bagel test, earning the top score.
If you use it on low settings, the SMEG produces good-quality toast.
The best toaster for warranty
The Cuisinart Classic CPT-180 toaster is a solid choice for anyone looking for a fast and effective toaster. It has all the standard toasting features, such as defrost and reheat, and the slots' dimensions are all within standard size. With this machine, you can fit four slices of bread up to 1.4 inches thick. The glossy exterior and timeless design work well with practically all kitchen decor. It is a clean-looking unit that does everything you need for your morning toaster and does it fast.
We love the Cuisinart Classic CPT-180 toaster's superb ability to toast bagels. In fact, it toasted bagels better than the Smeg 2, another toaster known for its bagel-toasting capabilities. The Cuisinart Classic CPT-180 toaster also impressed us by creating evenly toasted bagels and bread.
While the design of the Cuisinart Classic CPT-180 toaster is generally solid, it does have a few drawbacks. For example, the removable crumb tray is accessed from the back, which can be inconvenient compared to a front-facing tray. Also, the low lifting height of the toaster can make it challenging to grab smaller slices of bread without potentially burning your fingers.
The best toaster with LED display
The Cuisinart CPT-435 4-Slice Countdown Toaster is a digital 4-slice toaster with the longest warranty of all the toasters we tested – three years. It also has push-button digital controls, including an automatic lift so you can check on the progress of your toast. For a full-featured digital toaster, the Cuisinart CPT-435 4-Slice Countdown Toaster is somewhat affordable, although it is much more than a $20 budget model.
There’s a lot of thoughtful touches in this digital toaster. The extra-lift carriage lever helps you retrieve smaller slices of toast, and the separate controls for each two-slice section of the toaster will allow you to defrost, reheat, and toast bagels or bread individually.
A blue backlit LCD countdown feature and LED buttons give you a smart digital display designed to last. There’s also a three-year warranty, which is great for a premium toaster like this.
Note: we have not had hands-on testing with the Cuisinart CPT-435 4-Slice Countdown Toaster, but we are still confident in recommending the toaster based on a mixture of our own expertise and third-party user reviews.
The best 4-slice toaster
The Dualit NewGen Toaster is expensive, but its ProHeat elements will ensure that it’s an unbreakable investment that will remain a kitchen staple for years. The toaster comes in two-slice, three-slice, four-slice, and six-slice options, but the technology and design remain the same.
You also get some conveniences like an adjustable rear foot to balance the Dualit NewGen on uneven surfaces and a removable crumb tray for easier cleaning. These toasters allow you to choose how many slots you turn on, saving you energy when making only one or two slices in a four-slice toaster. A two-year warranty also covers them.
Note: we have not had hands-on testing with the Dualit NewGen Toaster, but we are still confident in recommending the toaster based on a mixture of our own expertise and third-party user reviews.
How we tested the best toasters
To evaluate each toaster’s performance, we conducted four tests:
The evenness test was the most critical and heavily weighted test we performed. We set the toaster on medium heat level and toasted a slice of white bread. We checked for evenness on both sides of the bread, as well as for burn marks.
Some toasters get hotter after repeated use. The toaster will toast the first batch of bread evenly, but the second and third batches progressively become more burnt. We toasted several slices back-to-back on a medium setting and in the same slot to determine heat consistency. Toasters that maintained evenly toasted bread after several uses received high scores.
If you freeze bread for longer storage, you’ll want a toaster that can cook frozen bread. We tested how well the appliance toasted frozen bread by setting the toaster on the medium level. If the toaster offered a defrost setting, we used it for the tests. We looked for evenness and consistency in the toast. We noticed that toasters with a defrost setting did much better than ones without it.
Finally, we checked to see how well each model toasted bagels on a medium setting. If the toaster had a bagel setting – to toast just one side of the bagel – we used that.
How to choose the best toaster for you
Cleaning and reliability
If you are looking for a toaster that won’t leave a mess, find one that has an easy-to-remove crumb tray. A crumb tray that can be removed from the front is the most convenient and easiest to clean and replace.
When we spoke with Alexus, an appliance associate at Best Buy, she told us that the number one reason toasters were returned – surprisingly enough – was because the crumb trays were difficult to remove. “You get what you pay for.
The cheaper ones won’t cost as much, but they might be plastic or require a manual to know how to remove [the crumb tray].” She went on to say that the more expensive devices, while they do cost more, are typically better designed and easier to use.
We contacted multiple restaurant locations of a well-known breakfast franchise to get a better idea of the reliability of these appliances. The general managers from each location told us that they have never had an issue with their toasters, even though they typically use their devices at least 20 times a day.
This isn’t very surprising since toasters are relatively simple machines. They did note, however, that cleaning the crumb trays regularly helps the toaster work better and prevents them from giving off any smells.
Checking on Your Toast
Another design feature to look for is an automatic lift. Rather than pulling down a lever to lower your bread, all you need to do is press a button. The toaster then smoothly lowers the bread for you and lifts it when it’s finished.
Two-slice versus four-slice toasters
If you’re in college or live on your own, you will likely only need a two-slot toaster. These are typically cheaper and take up less counter space. However, if you have kids or usually have breakfast at the same time as someone else in your household, having a four-slice toaster can help make your mornings run more smoothly.
The best four-slice toasters have dual control, meaning that the two sets of toaster slots operate independently of each other, so you can perfectly toast your bread while your significant other toasts their bread at a different setting.
This way if you and someone else want to use the toaster at the same time, you can. These machines are often twice the size of the two-slice toasters so you will want to make sure you have counter space available.
Best toaster FAQs
How much should you spend on a good toaster?
Toasters come in a wide variety of styles, but spending more is not always a guarantee of better toast. In our tests, we found that some of our cheapest toasters made better toast than some high-end models. Toasters can range in price from less than $20 to over $150 and can feature digital or manual controls.
Generally speaking, toasters with more cooking slots cost more – depending on the quality of the toaster. Our advice is to purchase a toaster that has enough slots to fit your favorite bread or bagels and fits your budget.
Why do you need a toaster?
In short, a toaster is a brilliant kitchen staple that saves you time and effort. It can be used to toast bread, and some fancier models can even toast crumpets, croissants, and bagels. Instead of having to place your food under the grill to brown and check it constantly, a toaster does all the hard work for you.
You simply insert your chosen food into the toaster, set your chosen browning time, and let the gadget get to work. Plus, along with being super easy to use, toasters take up little to no space in the kitchen. Many models allow you to toast up to 6 pieces of bread at once. Plus, toasters on the market today are even super easy to clean.
How to use your toaster safely
While toasters are simple in function, they can still be dangerous appliances. We've all laughed as a cartoon character or actor was zapped by putting a fork in the toaster or from dropping their toaster in the bath - but these aren't the only safety considerations for your toaster.
Firstly, you should always make sure the crumb tray is regularly cleaned out. This can prevent smoke and burning food. Toasters generate heat, but do you ever think about where that heat goes? It goes up. Use your toaster in an area that doesn't have overhanging cabinets or appliances to avoid possible flames or heat damage.
Other simple toaster safety tips include:
- Keep the toaster and cord away from countertop edges where it could be pulled or bumped off.
- Unplug the toaster and let it cool completely before storing.
- Keep it out of reach of children and teach older children how to properly use the toaster.
- If a piece of bread gets stuck - unplug the unit before attempting to remove it.
Can you toast a croissant in a toaster?
Because of the flaky, delicate nature of croissants, toasting them in a traditional toaster isn’t the best way to heat them. This is because, first, it is easy for the croissant to catch on the heating elements and tear, both ruining your croissant and creating a possible fire hazard. Second, it’s hard to tell how high to set your heat level to avoid burning. A lot of standard toasters don’t have slots big enough to fit a croissant either.
We suggest using either a traditional oven or a toaster oven for croissants. Both of these have windows that let you watch your croissant to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Both also cook croissants without squishing or tearing them. Using a toaster oven also lets you bypass a tray or baking sheet so you can get a good, golden color on both sides of the croissant without having to flip it over.