One might think it doesn’t take much science to toast bread. But wait until you get a low-quality toaster that either burns your slices or never gets them to your ideal crispiness.
Or try one of the best toasters we’ve reviewed below, and you’ll see the world of difference that a top-quality product can make.
Without further ado, take a look at some of the best toasters you can currently purchase. And read through it all, for the detailed buying guide and Q&A from the end of this article. Pick the right toaster and your mornings will never be the same again!
Best For Higher Budgets1Sage 4 Slice Smart Toaster
Best For Higher BudgetsSage 4 Slice Smart Toaster
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Best For Low Budgets2AEG 7 Series 2 Slice Toaster
Best For Low BudgetsAEG 7 Series 2 Slice Toaster
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|Cuisinart 4 Slot Toaster
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|Russell Hobbs Retro Toaster
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|Smeg Retro 2 Slice Toaster
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Best Overall6De'Longhi Icona Vintage Toaster
Best OverallDe'Longhi Icona Vintage Toaster
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1. Sage 4 Slice Smart Toaster
- 4-slice toasting capacity with wide slots.
- 1-touch function for automatic slice lowering.
- Browning controller with variable operation and LED indicator.
- 2 extra features with 1-touch controllers.
This motorized smart toaster from Sage comes with a catchy design, innovative auto features, and easy operation. It can take in up to 4 slices at once, with generously-sized slots to accommodate even bagel, artisanal bread, or pastry. And thanks to the 1-touch operation and variable browning control, it’s a joy to work with.
“A Bit More” is the feature you’ll want to use to extend the toasting time with 30 seconds, for extra crispiness. While “A Quick Look” shows you the slices without interrupting the toasting process.
Whatever mode you choose, the self-centring system will make sure the slices toast evenly on both sides. And that’s just about all you’d want from a toaster, right?
- Smart design that ensures optimal toasting.
- Simple operation with 1-touch buttons.
- Plenty of control options.
- Facilitates easy cleaning.
- A bit more expensive than other similar models.
- Slots could be a little bit longer.
2. AEG 7 Series 2 Slice Toaster
- 2-slice toasting capacity with 7 browning levels.
- DigitalVision timer displays the remaining time.
- Digital pause function lets you lift and check slices.
- Includes bun-warmer and defrost functions.
This class A digital toaster from AEG can only toast 2 slices at a time, but it does it perfectly. You’re getting 7 different browning levels to select from, just so you can get the type of crispiness you want, depending on what you’re toasting.
And you have the valuable options to defrost pastry and to warm buns.
The large digital display clearly shows how long until you’ll enjoy your slices. And if you’re not sure you’ve got the right browning level, you can always use the digital pause function to lift the slices and take a peek at.
When you’re done, simply remove the crumb tray for easy clean-up and enjoy your meal.
- Simple operation with intuitive control buttons.
- Clearly shows how long until the slices toast.
- Features a wide range of toasting levels.
- Cleans easily, thanks to the removable crumb tray.
- No auto shutoff function.
- A bit noisy when plugged in and not in use.
3. Cuisinart 4 Slot Toaster
- Signature Collection toaster with 4-slot design.
- Variable toasting dial with 6 positions.
- Features independent control for each pair of slots.
- Lets you select Reheat, Defrost, and Bagel modes.
Here’s a stainless steel 4-slice toaster from Cuisinart, a product built with great attention to details and featuring a classic but elegant look.
The four slots are controlled separately, in pairs, with toasting dials that offer 6 different browning levels. And the high-lift lever and the manual cancel setting are practical, handy features.
You’ll be able to use it not only for toasting slices in a jiffy, but also to reheat buns or to defrost pastry. If you’re a fan of bagels, the extra-wide and extra-tall slots will perfectly fit in even chunkier slices.
Suffices to say it works great for crusty loaves and it doesn’t take much hassle to clean, either. As a Signature Collection model, you’ll definitely want to take a look at it.
- Large size and sturdy construction of full stainless steel.
- Lots of control options with variations between slots.
- Designed with a high-lift lever to accommodate even smaller breads.
- Comes with a generous 3-year warranty.
- Can get a little hot on the outside.
- Toasting just one slice can be tricky.
4. Russell Hobbs Retro Toaster
- 4-slice toaster with fast-toasting technology.
- Independent control for each pair of slots.
- Features frozen and reheat functions.
- Lets you lift and check the slices while toasting.
Retro designs seem pretty popular with toasters, and Russell Hobbs follows the trend with its 21694 Retro 4 Slice Toaster.
Made of stainless steel and available in only one colour, it can certainly make an appealing and unique appearance in your kitchen. And thanks to the 2400 wattage, it is one of the fastest toasters you’ll find on the market, for good!
Just like you probably want your toaster to be, this one lets you toast, reheat, and defrost in a snap. It lets you check the bread halfway through the browning process, with the Lift & Look option.
And it gives you independent controls between the four slots. Add the variable browning and it might be everything you need.
- Can toast bread really fast.
- Lets you use only two slots or all four slots at once.
- Lets you check the slices with the Lift & Look feature.
- Designed with adjustable browning levels.
- Could use a longer cord.
- No adjustable slot width.
5. Smeg Retro 2 Slice Toaster
- 2-slice toaster with extra-wide slots.
- 6 different browning levels with illuminated, flashy dials.
- Comes with Defrost and Reheat functions.
- Cord-storage and anti-slip feet.
Want a nice, retro-looking toaster available in flashy colours, and that can toast fresh bread and frozen pastry with ease?
Consider Smeg’s Retro 2-Slice toaster with flashy dials and 6 browning levels. Functional and ready to cover all bases, it toasts, reheats, and defrosts. Not to mention it can handle even bagels!
With its extra-wide bread slots and self-centring racks, not only you can shove thick slices inside.
But you’re also getting them perfectly toasted on both sides, each time. Thanks to the built-in cord storage it will spare you from dealing with a dangling cord. Whereas the anti-slip feet will make it sit firmly on the countertop and just do its job.
- Nice-looking toaster available in multiple colours.
- Includes practical functions and flashy dials.
- Designed for easy clean-up, with removable crumb tray.
- Features a 2-year warranty after registering with Smeg for free.
- Sandwich & warming rack must be purchased separately.
- A bit on the expensive side.
6. De'Longhi Icona Vintage Toaster
- 4-slice toaster with chrome detail available in mahogany or pastel cream.
- Powerful heating element with 1.8kW for rapid toasting.
- Designed with variable browning control and electronic controls for the other functions – defrost, reheat, cancel, bagel.
- Variable slot width and lift positions.
Here’s a 1.8KW toaster from De’Longhi’s Vintage Icona Range that looks like nothing you’ve seen before! With a beautiful and vintage design, it comes in two unique shades, and will look outstanding on your kitchen counter.
Even though it will take up quite a lot of space, you’ll be happy to keep it there!
The 4-slice with two separate controls for each pair is a practical toaster design common with top-rated models. But the product walks the extra mile and even comes with two separate crumb trays!
What’s more, the browning control isn’t the only variable function, but so is the width of the slots! To top it off, it has electronic controls and an extra-lift position. And it doesn’t even cost that much!
- Toasts 4 slices but lets you control 2 slices at once.
- Comes with lots of adjustment options.
- Toasts bread really quickly.
- Works with electronic controls.
- Relatively large design.
- Can get a bit hot on the outside.
Toaster Buying Guide
The top details that differentiate toasters are the number of slots and the control options. You’ll see most residential use models have either 2 or 4 slots, though there are also 1-slot toasters. And to better accommodate different types of bread, some have wider and/or deeper slots for anything from regular to artisanal bread or bagels. For cutting bread, there is always an electric knife.
2 Slice Toaster
A 2 slice toaster is designed with two slots. These slots usually share the same controllers, meaning if you choose to toast only one slice, both slots will heat up. This will increase the odds for the slice to burn faster, which is why you will probably want to toast two slices usually.
4 Slice Toaster
A 4 slice toaster is designed with four slots and makes a better choice for larger families. The best toasters in this category will come with two sets of controllers, so you can use only 2 slots at once, if you want, without having to heat up all 4.
Wide Slot Toaster
The best toaster reviews from above indicate that these appliances usually come with wide slots. In some instances, however, you’ll find models advertised as extra-wide slot toasters. Those are great for thickly sliced bread.
Large Slice Toaster
A large slice toaster comes with long slots, commonly at least 14-inches in length. They used to be difficult to find, but these days it is more and more common. It also requires more power and takes a bit longer to toast the bread, given its larger slots.
Deep Slot Toaster
A deep slot toaster is meant for those who hate how bread slices remain with a tip outside while the rest of it gets browned. Many models are advertised as deep slot, but you should know that the average slot depth is 5.5-inches.
Toasters are highly popular in UK, and there are many manufacturers you can choose from. However, some of the most popular brands include Russell Hobbs, Smeg, Dualit, Daewo, Sage, and Beko.
Expect the products carrying one of these labels to come with a higher price tag even due to the manufacturer’s popularity.
A toaster can be smaller and compact, with a single slot, or larger and versatile, with 4 slots or more. From this perspective, some toasters are ideal for ample kitchens that serve a large family. Others are best for couples or singles living in a tiny college room or in a van.
You’ll see that depending on a toaster’s main use, the design can vary a lot. A camping toaster, for instance, may be nothing like the regular toaster sitting on a kitchen counter.
Camping toasters aren’t just small, but also easy and packable. If you have a power source, you can choose a low wattage electric toaster. If not, a foldable grill that you can place on your portable cooker will make the best camping toaster.
A standard toaster will give you the option to pick a browning level and to lift and check your slice during the toasting process.
Commonly, it should also have a warming and a defrost function. The fanciest models can automatically lower the slices into the slots and come with high lift levers. If it has 4 slots, it is very important that it offers the option to control them in pairs, independently.
There are also toaster and kettle sets too.
The crumb tray is a staple of all bread toasters out there. It fits snuggly underneath the toaster and you simply remove it to clean up the breadcrumbs that fall in there. It makes cleaning a breeze and any serious toaster includes this feature.
Bagels are thicker than regular slices and take longer to toast. A toaster that separately gives you the bagel setting will automatically adjust the time when you select it. It does so by increasing the time value.
And while it will take longer to toast the bagel, you can be sure you will get the perfect browning.
Defrost and Reheat
The defrost and the reheat functions, just like the bagel setting, allow the toaster to adjust the
time. With the defrost, it will allocate extra time because it first needs to defrost the slices or the pastry, and only then it starts toasting it.
With the reheat function, it will allocate less time, just enough to warm it, but you must check your food constantly to make sure it won’t burn.
Cleaning and Durability
The best toasters on the market are easy to clean, especially with the above-mentioned crumb tray that comes built-in. However, the clean-up might take a bit more than taking out the tray, but we’ll detail this aspect in the FAQ section from below.
As far as durability is concerned, toasters are usually made of stainless steel. This is a sturdy material that makes the products quite durable. A good quality toaster can last for up to 5 years, if not even more.
While there are 1-slot, 2-slot, and 4-slot toasters, you might think the price is exponential. Surprisingly enough, though, you can find a 2-slot toaster from a reputable manufacturer at over £140 and a 4-slot toaster, from a more or less popular manufacturer, at around £65.
And then you have best budget toaster options at around £30, so, there are plenty of models to choose from.
Frequently Asked Questions
The toaster was invented in 1893, in Scotland. The first electric toaster was called Eclipse Toaster, and it could only toast one side of the slice at once, requiring to manually flip the slice.
Nevertheless, the toaster as we know today, the pop-up appliance that toasted a slice on both sides at once, was invented a bit later, in 1919.
The person who invented Eclipse Toaster, that first electric model, was Alan MacMasters. He run the entire process in Britain, under the Crompton Company.
The pop-up toaster from 1919 was patented under the name of Charles Strife. His invention was even more attractive to the general public because it actually made the bread move. The pop-up had something truly irresistible in it…
Since your toaster will come with a crumb tray, removing it and cleaning it up will solve more than half of the task.
However, you will notice that other crumbs could keep falling off while the tray is removed. Best to take your toaster and give it a gentle shake above the sink, to let as many of those crumbs fall off.
The numbers on the toaster indicate the browning level. If it’s a more expensive toaster with a mechanical timer, those numbers will most likely indicate the number of minutes required for toasting the bread when selecting that level.
If it’s a budget toaster relying on a bimetallic strip to bend while heating up, the numbers simply indicate an amount of heat released when selecting one of them.
A toaster is normally used to toast bread. But pair it with a toaster bag and you’ll be surprised to discover you can even prep cheese sandwiches and fried eggs in it! The larger the slots and the more versatile the settings, the more you can get from your toaster.
Now that you know the main features of this handy kitchen appliance, nothing will stop you from picking a model that will truly brighten your mornings. Consider it whenever your cooking abilities are limited, or when your kitchen setting isn’t giving you much wiggle room. The best toaster will toast, but also defrost, reheat, or even cook your favourite veggie burgers in an instant!