If you’re in the market for a new toaster, it’s easy to be completely bewildered by the vast array of different models available. What features are the essentials for the best toasted slices of bread or bagels?

We’re here to help: in this article we review five of the best toasters available today. Read on to find our detailed reviews and in-depth toaster buying guide.

  • Stainless-steel with ombré styling
  • Seven toast shade settings
  • Four extra-wide slots
  • Removable crumb tray
  • Self-centering guides
  • 2-year warranty

  • Bagel, Defrost, and Warm settings
  • Choice of seven toast shades
  • Removable crumb tray
  • Extra-wide & long slots
  • High-rise lever
  • 1-year warranty

  • Cancel, Bagel, and Defrost functions
  • Six toast shade settings
  • High-lift lever
  • Removable crumb tray
  • 1.5” wide slots
  • No warranty

  • Durable stainless steel housing
  • Backlit LCD countdown display
  • Bagel, Defrost, Reheat, and Cancel functions
  • Seven digital-control shade settings
  • Self adjusting 1.5” wide slots
  • Removable crumb tray
  • 3-year warranty

  • Dual control panels
  • Bagel, Defrost, Reheat, and Cancel functions
  • Power cord storage
  • Six shade settings
  • Removable crumb tray
  • Brushed stainless steel design
  • 3-year warranty


This Black & Decker toaster has a durable stainless-steel outer with a stylish ombré effect that is sure to look good in any kitchen. Aside from its great looks, this toaster is also highly functional. With four extra-wide slots, it offers Bagel, Defrost, and Cancel functions along with a seven-shade toast color selector. Whether you want to use up your frozen bread reserves or toast a delicious fresh bagel, this Black & Decker toaster can do it all.

Furthermore, these options are available for each side of the toaster, so you can use each side independently for different types of toasting. This Black & Decker model also features self-centering guides, which ensure each slice of bread is optimally positioned for best results no matter the type or thickness.

While this model benefits from a removable crumb tray for easy cleaning, note that the tray pulls out from the rear. This means you’ll have to turn the toaster around to clean it. This isn’t a deal breaker in our opinion, but if you like to clean out your toaster after each use, this could become a little frustrating. Bear in mind that this toaster has a rather large footprint, so if you have limited counter space you may be better off looking at a more compact model like the Oster Two-Slice Toaster.

Pros

  • Attractive, ombre design
  • Four extra-wide slots are perfect for thick breads
  • Choice of 7 toasting shades
  • Independent controls for each side
  • Optimally positions bread for perfect results
  • Removable crumb tray for simple cleaning

Cons

  • Large footprint
  • Rear crumb tray access


Looking for a basic, no-frills, budget toaster? Then check out this two-slice model by Oster. It has all the features you need to make great toast at a fraction of the price of some other models. It offers two extra-wide, long slots with dual bread guides for uniform browning even for home-made bread. This toaster also features Reheat, Defrost, and Bagel settings, so you can use it for a variety of different breads at the touch of a button. Should you have specific tastes when it comes to the crispiness of your toast, a user-friendly control panel and toast shade dial with seven shade options ensures your morning toast is just how you like it.

With its high-rise lever for easy retrieval and a removable crumb tray for easy cleanup, this budget-priced toaster is highly functional and offers great value for money. If we were to be picky, one negative point is that it’s not a very deep model, so you may have to turn larger slices of bread throughout toasting. It also tends to emit a high-pitched hum as it toasts, which you may find a bit irritating. Even so, if you’re after a cheap toaster that will simply get the job done, then this model is made for you.

Pros

  • Great budget choice
  • Simple to use
  • Great variety of toasting options
  • Capable of toasting thick slices and bagels
  • High-rise lever allows easy toast retrieval
  • Crumb tray makes clean up simple

Cons

  • Not very deep
  • Can be noisy

This retro two-slice toaster by Keemo is our most stylish toaster pick. It comes in a variety of fun colors sure to complement any decor, while its compact design will save you precious counter space. Use the three basic push-button functions and rotating dial to set your preferences for a perfect toast. Select ‘Cancel’ to stop the toasting process; ‘Bagel’ to make sure your bagel is lightly toasted both inside and out; and ‘Defrost’ when using frozen bread. Once you’re done, the handy removable crumb tray makes for quick and easy clean up.

Another bonus of this compact model is its wide 1.5” slots, which allow you to toast even the thickest of sliced bread and bagels. Be aware, though, that the slots are unfortunately a little on the short side, so you wouldn’t be able to toast a standard pita bread in one go, for example. That said, the high-lift lever works well and it’s very easy to retrieve your toast when it’s ready.

If you are thinking of purchasing this model, pay close attention to your toast during the first few uses as it tends to run a little hot. Therefore, although there is a choice of six different shades, selecting any shade darker than three may leave you with burnt results. Lastly, we couldn’t find any warranty information regarding this model, so you may be left without assistance if it breaks down.

Pros

  • Stylish and compact design
  • Wide slots can accommodate thick breads
  • Three, simple-to-use functions and simple temperature dial
  • High-lift lever allows easy-access
  • Choice of 6 toast shades

Cons

  • Runs hot
  • Slots a little short
  • No warranty

If you have a modern kitchen, or just prefer contemporary appliances, then you should check out the Cuisinart Countdown Toaster, our best digital toaster pick. Offering a blend of modernity, functionality, and stylish good looks, this toaster makes an excellent choice. Its handy countdown display appears on a backlit LCD screen which also provides indicators for the seven toast shade settings, so you’ll know exactly how long you have to wait for your breakfast.

This Cuisinart Countdown Toaster is encased in stainless steel housing for both durability and looks. There are four basic touch-button functions: Bagel, Defrost, Reheat and Cancel. This makes this digital model extremely easy to use and provides greater flexibility. With its large 1.5” wide slots that self-adjust to ensure an even toasting, this compact two-slice toaster makes a solid, reliable purchase from a leading kitchen appliance brand.

Before you buy, though, bear in mind that this model has a rather loud alarm to let you know when your toast is ready. While this may be perfect for busy mornings, it could be less suitable for some users who are sensitive to shrill noises. In addition, while it does have a removable crumb tray, if you ever find yourself tipping it up to remove crumbs, they may become stuck in the display itself and are very difficult to remove.

Pros

  • Contemporary design looks great in modern kitchens
  • Durable, stainless steel housing
  • Backlit LCD screen and countdown function
  • Seven toast shade settings

Cons

  • Loud alarm
  • Crumbs can get stuck in display

The best four-slice model we’ve reviewed is this Classic Four-Slice Toaster by Cuisinart. Good looking and highly functional, this beautifully designed toaster features dual-control panels so you can toast different breads to different shades simultaneously. The wide slots ensure that you can toast a variety of different breads without worrying about them sticking, while the six shade settings allow you to achieve your ideal shade. Use the Bagel function to toast perfect bagels, Cancel to stop the toaster, Reheat for when you forget about your toast, and Defrost to toast frozen bread with minimal hassle.

Not only is this four-slice toaster easy to use, but it is also extremely stylish thanks to its durable brushed steel exterior. Whatever your kitchen decor, this model is sure to look great on your countertop. It also features handy cord storage, so you can unplug and wind up the cable when you’re not using it.

The only downside to this four-slice toaster is that the handles are not of the same quality as the rest of the unit, with some users commenting that they feel flimsy. Bear in mind that the shade setting dials are rather sensitive, so you may find they turn too easily and result in over-browned results.

Pros

  • Dual-control panels for independent, yet simultaneous toasting
  • Brushed steel exterior is highly durable
  • Convenient cord storage
  • Choice of 6 shade settings
  • Wide-capacity slots

Cons

  • Over-sensitive dials
  • Handles could be better quality

Comparison Chart

Black & Decker Stainless SteelOster Two-SliceKeemo Retro Two-SliceCuisinart CountdownCuisinart Classic Four-Slice
Dimensions (in)11.5 x 10 x 78.2 x 12.7 x 8.812.2 x 8.3 x 7.512.3 x 8.3 x 911.2 x 10.7 x 7.5
Number of Slices42224
Choice of Toast Shade Options77676
Adjustable Bread ThicknessXXX
Reheat SettingX
Cancel Setting
Defrost Setting
Bagel Setting
Extra Lift Lever
Removable Crumb Tray
Digital DisplayXXXX
Countdown TimerXXXX
Power Cord StorageXXX
Weight (lbs)743.84.66.1
Warranty2-year1-yearNone3-year3-year

Buyer’s Guide:

Toasters

Believed to have been invented in the late 1800s, these convenient appliances offer a fast and efficient way of toasting sliced bread and other bread products that can be enjoyed as a simple breakfast, a quick snack, or as a filling accompaniment to a larger meal. Toasters are renowned for being very easy to use, so it is rare to find a household without one. Furthermore, in recent years, dual-purpose countertop toaster ovens have become a popular space-saving alternative to separate kitchen appliances.

Confused about which model is right for you? Here’s our quick rundown of some of the main styles of toaster:

Digital

Bringing digital displays and controls to the humble toaster may sound a little like overkill. Digital models, however, can be extremely useful and look great in any modern kitchen setting. Rather than turning dials, you may find it easier to press buttons or a touch screen which displays your settings before you start toasting. Some digital options also feature a handy countdown timer so you’ll know exactly how long until your toast is ready, helping you to make the most of those precious minutes you have before rushing out the door in the morning.

Retro

Retro models are all about the looks. Whether you have a retro-styled kitchen or an ultra-modern one, a quirky retro toaster will look good wherever you place it. They are usually available in a variety of sizes and are often brightly colored. If this fits your decor, the chances are you will be sold on looks alone, however many retro models will offer just as much functionality as modern looking ones, so be sure to check the features you need are also available in the toaster that has taken your fancy.

Classic

Classic models cover a wide range of functionality and prices. Generally fairly compact, with basic settings, visible levers, buttons, and a darkness dial, these offer the traditional style of pop-up design that first comes to mind when you think of a toaster.

Extra-wide

If you enjoy toasting more than just your average sliced bread, for example, home-made waffles, bagels, and French sticks, you may want to consider purchasing an extra-wide toaster. Extra-wide models benefit from larger than average slots that allow you to toast a wider variety of breads and pastries.

Compact

If you have a small kitchen, you will be very familiar with the need for space-saving appliances. A compact toaster is the perfect choice in these circumstances. These models may have fewer features than their larger brethren, but they still provide great results without taking over the limited room on your counter.

Here are some of the essential features that you should keep an eye out for when choosing your new toaster:

Dimensions

It’s something we’ve all been guilty of at some point when appliance shopping, but it is always recommended to check the exact footprint dimensions of your toaster before placing your order. As they are often in regular use, it makes sense to ensure that your toaster will comfortably fit on your countertop in an easily accessible location. This is particularly important if you have a small kitchen or are shopping for a toaster for your RV. To help you along, each of the models discussed have their exact dimensions listed in our comparison chart.

Slot Sizes

Depending upon what you prefer to toast, you may like to opt for a model with wider than average slots. This will allow you to toast thicker bread as well as various other items such as bagels and waffles.

Basic Functions

Most toasters offer a selection of basic functions. Here are some of the most common ones that you are likely to encounter:

  • Cancel – While pretty self-explanatory, don’t underestimate the convenience of having a cancel button. Cancel your toast with one quick press and that’s all there is to it.
  • Bagel – When you use the bagel mode, your toaster will only heat up one side. This protects the side of your bagel with heat sensitive toppings, such as seeds, from getting too dried out and crisped up.
  • Defrost – When you place a slice of frozen bread in your toaster and hit defrost (or frozen), it will extend the time so that your bread defrosts before being toasted. This is much more convenient than having to run the heating cycle several times.
  • Reheat – Not all models have a reheat function, but if you frequently forget about your toast, you might find having one comes in handy. Simply hit reheat for a quick blast of heat to warm up your toast without burning it or drying it out.

Dual Controls

Having a dual control model allows your appliance to be used as a pair individual two-slice toasters, meaning you can set your slices to dark brown, while the kids’ slices are set to light, without having to supervise or repeat the process.

Shade Settings

Almost every toaster comes with shade settings. They usually come in the form of a numbered dial, but more modern models may use buttons and a screen. Simply select a number between one and the maximum setting to have your toast pop up at a certain lightness or darkness. Note that when you use your new toaster it will take a few attempts to get the results just how you like them. You’ll also need to bear in mind that when you toast for the second time onwards in quick succession that the appliance will already have heated up. It will, therefore, brown your bread more quickly, resulting in darker results than on the first run, unless you dial it down a setting.

External Construction

Looks aside, the external housing of your toaster will determine how robust it will be. Stainless steel is a popular and highly-durable choice, while cheaper models may be made from hard, heat-resistant plastic.

Cable Tidy

If you are not intending on using your toaster all that regularly, you may want to look for a model with an included cable tidy so that you can neatly store it away when it is not in use.

Removable Crumb Tray

A removable crumb tray makes cleaning out your toaster quick and easy. It is important to do so on a regular basis, so having a crumb tray that is easy to remove will save you from having to upend your toaster to shake them out and get crumbs everywhere in the process.

Alarm

Some models make a beeping noise when your toast is ready. Some people find this useful as it lets them get on with other things, knowing they’ll be alerted when the cooking cycle is finished. On the other hand, some people may find this irritating. Like many things, whether an alarm will be beneficial comes down to personal preference.

  • Can I use a toaster to reheat frozen foods?
  • You can use your toaster to reheat frozen bread or any frozen bread-type food items. If your model has a defrost or frozen function, then use this to increase the cooking time. If it doesn’t have this function, you may need to restart it several times in order to defrost your frozen bread first.

  • How do I clean my toaster?
  • To clean your toaster, you should start by ensuring that all crumbs are removed from the inside. If your model has a removable crumb tray, be sure to empty it regularly to prevent a build-up of crumbs from occurring. Next, inspect the interior. If there are any dried on burnt crumbs, you can remove them with a pastry brush, or other soft-bristled brush to avoid damaging the surface. Finally, give the outside of your toaster a clean with a slightly damp cloth or a solution recommended by the manufacturer. Always unplug the unit before doing this.

  • Is it safe to leave my toaster plugged in?
  • As with any electrical appliance, it is recommended that you unplug your toaster when it is not in use. While it is extremely unlikely that it will cause a fire, it is also impossible to rule this out with 100% certainty.

Final Thoughts

Toasters are extremely useful and are almost guaranteed to make your mornings go more smoothly. Toast provides a delicious and simple breakfast or snack, as well as an excellent accompaniment to many meals. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and often bring an element of color or design to our kitchen counters.

If you are looking for the best all-round toaster, check out our top pick, the Black & Decker Stainless Steel Toaster. Our overall favorite has stylish good looks, four extra-wide slots and all the basic functions that you’ll need for delicious results. On the other hand, if you like to bring a bit of design quirk to your kitchen we’d recommend the Keemo Retro Toaster. This model boasts a wide variety of functions and is available in a range of bright, fun colors which will bring a splash of personality to your decor.

The Oster Two-Slice Toaster is a great choice if you want a reliable model that works well without spending too much. This toaster takes a ‘no-frills’ approach that gets the job done, making it perfect for people who prefer low-cost simplicity in their kitchen appliances.

For those of you who embrace modernity and are short of time, the Cuisinart Countdown Toaster makes an excellent choice. Complete with a backlit LCD screen and countdown timer, this toaster brings a futuristic feel to your mornings. Simply tap in your preferred settings and get on with other tasks, safe in the knowledge you’ll be alerted when your toast is ready to grab and go. Lastly, if you’re after the best four-slice toaster, we’d recommend the Cuisinart Classic for its durability, self-centering slots, dual-control panels and stylish good looks.

We hope this article has helped to guide you on the path to the perfect toaster. Whichever model you decide to buy – we’re sure you’ll agree that no kitchen is complete without one!

Further Reading

object(WP_Term)#2176 (10) { ["term_id"]=> int(5) ["name"]=> string(7) "Kitchen" ["slug"]=> string(7) "kitchen" ["term_group"]=> int(0) ["term_taxonomy_id"]=> int(5) ["taxonomy"]=> string(8) "category" ["description"]=> string(346) "The kitchen is the heart of any home, which is why having the right appliances is key for a happy household. From coffee machines and ice cream makers and from juicers to slow cookers, our team has examined and reviewed hundreds of products and appliances to help you find the best options for your kitchen." ["parent"]=> int(0) ["count"]=> int(95) ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw"} 5
Kitchen