We all know just how satisfying it is to start the day with the perfect slice of toast. Unfortunately, that perfect slice isn’t always easy to come by. If you’re not loving what your current toaster has to offer, our guide can help you choose the right one for your needs. Check out our picks for the best toasters in each category, from basic and reliable to fancy and feature-packed.
Best Four Slice Toaster
Breville the Smart Toast 4 Slice Toaster
- Solid build quality matched with sleek good looks in brushed stainless steel
- Four extra wide and deep toasting slots, perfect for thick bagels, pastries and hand-sliced artisan bread
- Intuitive controls create perfect toast, every time
- Innovative features include ‘A Bit More’, ‘Lift & Look’ and one-touch lowering
- As a four slice toaster, it has a larger footprint
Effortless in its controls, the Breville The Smart Toast 4-Slice Toaster makes awesome toast, each and every time. Whether you’re chucking in a few slices before the school run, toasting bagels for brunch, or getting fancy with some hand-sliced artisanal, this toaster gets it done with one-touch lowering on a motorised lifting mechanism, backed by a variable browning control and LED progress indicator.
As a ‘smart’ toaster, it’s packed with innovative features, many of which you’ll wonder how you managed without before. Using ‘Lift & Look’, you can check how your toast is progressing, while ‘A Bit More’ lowers your toast back down to brown a little longer. Another nice function on this toaster allows you to control each pair of toasting slots independently.
Keeping it neat on the kitchen bench, the Breville The Smart Toast 4-Slice Toaster offers on-board cord storage, while its front crumb tray makes for super easy cleaning. As for looks, its brushed stainless steel outer is certainly easy on the eye – and, as you’d hope from its higher price tag, it is well designed, sturdy and built to last.
Best Two Slice Toaster
Breville the Smart Toast 2-Slice Toaster
- Compact footprint, with two extra wide toasting slots to suit all bread types
- Excellent build quality and looks great on the kitchen bench
- Superb functionality, offering handy features such as ‘A Bit More’ and ‘Lift & Look’
- Variable browning control and LED progress indicator for perfect toast
- High price tag
Just like its larger, four-slice counterpart, the Breville The Smart Toast 2-Slice Toaster would be a welcome addition to any kitchen. Despite its smaller footprint, it still has those extra wide, deep toasting slots, allowing you to toast anything from an everyday loaf to thicker, hand-sliced bread, bagels and fruit toast. In fact, it has specific functions to ensure those last two options toast to perfection, each and every time.
When it comes to everyday toasting, you’ll love its LED progress indicator and motorised lifting mechanism, which gently lowers and lifts your toast with one touch. Want to check how your toast is progressing? Simply use the ‘Lift & Look’ button, without interrupting the cycle. Another favourite is the ‘A Bit More’ function, which gives your toast just a bit more browning.
As you’d expect, the build quality on this model is excellent, offering not just sleek good looks, but a sturdy design that’s built to last. And, like Breville’s four-slice option, it keeps it clean with on-board cord storage and an easy-to-access crumb tray that you can pull out and empty for no fuss cleaning.
Best Cheap Toaster
Kambrook Perfect Fit Wide Slot 2 Slice Toaster
- Neat, stylish design offering compact footprint
- Two extra wide and deep toasting slots with self-centring function
- Easy-to-use functionality, featuring six-stage browning control and reheat and defrost settings
- Extra lift on control lever makes it easy to remove toast
- Plastic construction not as sleek as stainless steel models
- Fewer function settings
When budget is a factor, the Kambrook Perfect Fit Wide Slot 2 Slice Toaster gives you everything you need in a toaster, combining stylish design with ease of use. Keeping it simple, it allows you to choose exactly how brown you want your toast using the six browning levels on offer. Its toasting slots are extra wide and deep, with a self-centring function to ensure your bread is evenly toasted on both sides, no matter how thin or thick you like your bread.
Another nice feature on this toaster is the extra lift it provides on the control lever, making it easier to remove your toast when it’s done, without burning your fingers. Clean up is a breeze thanks to its removable crumb tray.
Best High-End Toaster
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 2 Slice Toaster
- Uses auto-sensing technology to toast bread to your desired setting
- Keep warm function automatically keeps toast warm for up to three minutes
- Extra wide and deep toasting slots with self-centring, suitable for bread up to 3.8cm
- Handy features include motorised lifting mechanism, bagel, defrost and sandwich function, with included sandwich rack
Billed as KitchenAid’s “most advanced toaster ever”, the KitchenAid Pro Line Series 2 Slice Toaster is engineered for performance, effortlessly making toast to your liking, with each and every slice. Simply choose one of the seven shade settings, and the toaster will gently lower the bread, toasting it until it matches your chosen shade. If your toast rises and isn’t removed within 45 seconds, the toaster will lower it automatically to keep warm for up to three minutes.
In terms of what you can toast, this toaster does it all. Its self-centring racks ensure even toasting of thin or thick breads up to 3.8cm, while the LED indicator displays the progress of cycle. It also allows for effortless toasting of bagels, crumpets and fruit bread, with a special sandwich function that can be used with the sandwich rack for delicious toasted sandwiches.
Best Retro-Style Toaster
Smeg 50s Style 4 Slice Toaster
- Exceptional build quality within gorgeous retro design and diverse colour range
- Four extra wide toasting slots, with independent controls for each pair
- Toasts to perfection using six browning levels, with additional reheat, defrost and bagel functions
- Invest in extra accessories for added functionality
- Price tag
With its aesthetics on point, the Smeg 50s Style 4 Slice Toaster is truly a sight to behold. But, as you might expect from a Smeg appliance, this toaster offers much more than good looks. Beautifully engineered, it goes big on functionality, offering four 3.6cm wide toasting slots, and independent controls on each pair.
With six browning levels, you can opt for just the right level of toastedness, while its self-centring racks ensure even browning on both sides. Additional functionality allows you to reheat and defrost, while its bagel setting browns just one side of the bagel for the perfect snack. Check out Smeg’s accessories to get even more use out of this gorgeous toaster, including a sandwich rack for toasted sandwiches, and the bun warmer and toast rack to warm items on top of the slots.
Best Long Slot Toaster
KitchenAid 2 Slice Long Slot Design Toaster
- Longer, rather than wider footprint, well suited to compact kitchens
- Single extra wide toasting slot, perfect for toasting artisan breads
- Six browning levels with high lift lever for easy removal when toast is finished
- Handy settings include defrost, reheat, bagel, and ‘toast longer’
- Plastic construction rather than metal
With its long, slim design, the KitchenAid 2 Slice Long Slot Design Toaster is the ideal option when kitchen bench space is lacking. Within this design, the toaster offers one long toasting slot, instead of the standard two or four, in which it can toast two slices of bread, or longer sliced baguettes and artisan loaves. Measuring in at 3.1cm, the slot can also easily accommodate bagels and crumpets, as well as hand-sliced homemade bread.
Giving you the choice of six browning levels, getting the perfect slice is easy, no matter how you like your toast. You’re also sure to appreciate the ‘toast longer’ function, the high lift lever, and the slide-out crumb trays for no fuss cleaning. As for looks, the toaster is easy on the eye, with three shades to choose from, each in a glossy finish.
Best Toaster Brands
Trying to narrow the field by brand? We’ve got you. While each brand has something to offer, Breville and KitchenAid are two brands that consistently rate highly, no matter the category. Whether you’re interested in design or functionality, looks or cost, these brands provide a wide range of toasters to suit all tastes, needs and budgets.
From budget to high end, Breville’s toasters not only look good, they also offer all the functionality you need to make the perfect slice of toast. Check out Breville’s toasters to find extra wide and deep toasting slots that toast everything from your everyday loaf to dense, artisan breads. Super handy features include ‘Lift & Look’ for checking toast mid-cycle, ‘Fruit Bread’ for toasting without burning the fruit, and ‘A Bit More’ for browning that little bit more.
Edging towards the higher end of the toaster market, KitchenAid focuses on build quality and superior engineering, blended with eye-catching good looks. Check out KitchenAid’s toasters to find two and four slice models, many with extra wide toasting slots, perfect for toasting hand-sliced homemade and artisan loaves. Appealing functions include auto-sensing technology, personalised settings, and functions such as ‘Keep Warm’.
How to Choose the Right Toaster
Searching for the best toaster on the market? We’ll let you in on a secret. There is no ‘best toaster’ built to suit each and every user. There is only the right toaster for you. Here’s how you find it.
What do you want to toast?
Think about what you’ll be toasting. Will it just be a plain, supermarket loaf? Or will you be looking to toast hand-sliced artisan bread, homemade loaves, bagels and buns? The depth, width and length of the toasting slots will be an important factor if you fall into the latter category. Keep an eye out for self-centring functionality to ensure even browning.
How particular are you?
If you like your toast to have a certain shade of brownness, look for toasters that offer a variety of browning levels. Going above and beyond, check out added features that allow you to check the progress of your toast without interrupting the cycle, or if you want to go all out, opt for a toaster with auto-sensing shade technology.
What do you need from its functions?
If simple is all you need, save money and go basic. If you want more from your toaster, look for added functions that allow you to toast other items apart from bread, and to do stuff like reheat and defrost. A high lift function is often an added bonus.
What do you want it to look like?
If you want your toaster to take pride of place on your kitchen bench, it will need to look the part. Higher end toasters typically excel in appealing design, but there are plenty of cheaper models offering eye-catching good looks. You will often find matching kettles and other appliances offered within the brand if you want a co-ordinated look.
Does speed matter?
When you want to get everyone out the door on time each morning, speed matters. Consider how long each toaster takes to do its job – and whether you can leave it to do that job without constantly checking on its progress.
How much do you want to spend?
Toaster prices range dramatically – and, as with most things, you get what you pay for. Weigh cost against durability and how well each toaster does its job. Buying cheap may mean paying for a replacement sooner rather than later. But, at the same time, some more expensive models may be all style and no substance. Be sure to check the warranty before you buy.
How easy is it to clean?
Like any kitchen appliance, your new toaster should be easy to clean. Look for removable crumb trays, and if you want to store the toaster neatly on the bench, on-board cord storage could be a bonus.