Toasters are handy and straightforward appliances that allow you to make yourself breakfast in a flash. On top of toasting bread, newer models give you more cooking functions and special features for your convenience. While pop-up toasters may not be able to cook as many items as toaster ovens, they tend to be cheaper and smaller for more accessibility. To help you find a new toaster that is perfect for you, we’ve picked out the top four best toasters available today. This guide will also give you helpful tips and things to keep in mind while shopping.

Our Top Picks: Summary

The Best Toasters: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Cuisinart CPT-415
Cuisinart CPT-415 2-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster

This Cuisinart toaster gives you a variety of features without too high of a price tag.

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Why We Picked It

The Cuisinart CPT-415 2-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster is a sleek and stylish appliance that gives you a great mixture of premium features. The outside of this model is entirely stainless steel, and the front features a prominent LCD display. The backlit screen shows you the toast shade setting and a countdown timer. Beneath the screen, there are four LED buttons for the different cooking functions. There’s also a 4-Slice model that has controls for either side.

This toaster allows you to choose between toast, defrost, reheat, or bagel functions (the last of which won’t cook the outside of the bagel as crispy). The lever pops up when your food is finished; however, the “HI Lift” lever gives you extra lifting space to easily reach shorter items like English muffins. The wide 1.5-inch slots can fit sliced bread, bagels, and frozen pastries. There is a slide-out crumb tray for easy cleanup and a cord wrap underneath to help with storage.

Keep in Mind

Some customers feel that this toaster is louder when cooking than other models.

In a Nutshell

  • HI Lift levers
  • LCD display and LED buttons
  • Four cooking functions
Best Budget: CUSIBOX Toaster
CUSIBOX Extra Wide Slots Stainless Steel Toaster

Make evenly cooked toast every time with this affordable option.

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Why We Picked It

If you’re looking for a toaster to get the job done without breaking the bank, the CUSIBOX Stainless Steel Toaster is your best option. For a fraction of some other appliances, this little machine can evenly cook all your favorites. This toaster is also the most compact choice, perfect for a kitchen with limited counter space. The 1.4-inch wide slots feature self-centering guides for perfectly even cooking on thick and thin slices.

There are seven different browning settings with reheat and defrost functions. A dial is used to set the darkness level, and there are three LED indicators to show you the selected setting. The high lift levers make it safe to reach shorter food items after toasting. The 32-inch long cord has convenient storage in the base. There is also a removable crumb tray for easy cleaning.

Keep in Mind

Because of its low price, the CUSIBOX toaster lacks some more advanced cooking features.

In a Nutshell

  • Most cost-effective
  • Removable crumb tray
  • Compact design
Best Features: Breville BTA820XL
Breville BTA820XL 2-Slice Smart Toaster

Impressive cooking features wrapped up in a conveniently-sized package.

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Why We Picked It

The Breville BTA820XL Stainless Steel 2 Slice Toaster is a smart appliance that gives you consistent results. The exterior is entirely stainless steel and features a minimalist button setup. The toaster also has a slider across the bottom that allows you to pick between 12 toast levels. Both the browning control and push-button controls feature LED backlight to display your selections.

There are five cooking functions, including toast, defrost, and bagel. Two standout options are the “A Bit More” feature that adds 30 seconds to your cook time and the “Lift & Look” feature. Since this toaster does not have a lever, the toast sinks down automatically, and you can check on your food with Lift and Look.

Keep in Mind

All of Breville’s great features come with one of the biggest price tags.

In a Nutshell

  • 12 browning levels
  • Lift & Look function
  • A Bit More function
Best Four-Slice Toaster: Breville BTA840XL
Breville BTA840XL 4-Slice Smart Toaster

This 4-slice toaster gives you the most features and options.

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Why We Picked It

This large toaster has a minimalist design with a nearly empty front face. Toast is automatically lowered into the 1.5-inch wide slots when you select a cooking option. All of the controls are displayed in a row of buttons on top, except for two sliders at the bottom that allow you to set different brownness levels for each side. Both the buttons and slider have LED illumination for your selected settings.

The sliders have an impressive 12 browning settings that can be used with the multiple cooking functions. Aside from the standard toast, frozen, and stop buttons, this toaster features a “Lift & Look” button to check on your toast and an “A Bit More” button for adding additional cooking time. While this model is larger than most other toasters for the extra slots, it also has thicker insulation to keep the sides cooler.

Keep in Mind

This toaster is the largest model and isn’t ideal for anybody with limited counter space.

In a Nutshell

  • Four large slots
  • Lift and Look function
  • One-touch automatic lowering

How We Chose the Best Toasters

In order to find the best toaster for you, we pay close attention to every aspect of every product. We strive to find the best toaster that has multiple cooking settings, looks stylish, and isn’t going to break the bank. To give you some insight into how you got our top picks, we’ve expanded on some of the key elements below.

Consistency

One of the first things we look at is how evenly a toaster will cook. The extra bells and whistles don’t matter if you end up with burnt edges or uncooked pieces. We also pay attention to the browning levels and make sure they work as expected. Four-slice toasters should give you consistent results across all four slots.

Versatility

We looked at what types of food each toaster was capable of cooking. When it comes to a toaster’s versatility, there are two things we focused on: functions and slot design. Multiple features allow you to choose different cooking methods for the best result. This can mean defrosting, bagel settings, and various darkness levels. We also wanted to make sure that the toaster can fit all types of different foods. That means slots that are wide enough for thick toast and artisanal bread, but don’t let small items like English muffins get lost inside.

Ease of Use

There are all types of different controls that a new toaster can have, but it was most essential for us to find models that are easy to use. Traditional designs use a lever for toasting your food, while some new models exclusively feature push-buttons. We discovered that one-touch controls are great for cooking features, but old fashions dials or levers are best for browning levels. Removable trays and fingerprint-proof finishes are also some of our favorite features because they make cleaning your toaster much easier.

Price

It was vital for us to find toasters that fit everyone’s budgets. The cheaper models that we found usually came with less advanced features. So it was most important for these products to give you reliable performance and easy-to-use controls. More expensive models had to prove to us that they were worth the extra money. That means the special features need to add value, and these toasters need to give you excellent results.

Customer Reviews

We pay close attention to the experiences of past customers to make sure our top picks are durable products. Customer reviews allow us to assess scenarios that we may not have come across while we were testing. We can count out any products with frequent manufacturing issues or companies that don’t respond to customer concerns.

What to Consider When Choosing a Toaster

You have to find a toaster that fits your personal lifestyle. That means it can handle your favorite foods and match the looks of your kitchen. In order to meet your individual needs, keep the points below in mind while you’re shopping.

Family Size

The best toaster size is going to depend on how much food your appliance will tend to be making. Traditional toasters have always had two slots, but there are many four-slot options available today. The extra capacity can make breakfast time for large families much easier, especially models that allow you to pick different settings for each side. Two-slot toasters are still the favorite choice for most people since they tend to be less expensive and also save counter space.

Slot Design

Depending on what types of food you plan on cooking with your toaster, the slot shape will be significant. Wider slots are ideal for thicker slices of bread and some bagels. It’s crucial that wide slot toasters also have some sort of guide so that slimmer cut bread won’t cook unevenly. Longer slots might be necessary for toasting artisan bread. If you cook smaller food items like English muffins, high-lift levers can allow you to grab the cooked slices without burning your hand.

Size

There’s a good chance that your toaster will be residing on the counter in your kitchen. That means you probably don’t want a model that’s too bulky and wastes space. A compact design can make all the difference, and look for extra features like built-in cord storage. If you’re set on buying a four-slice toaster, you’ll be sacrificing a little more counter space. However, a well-designed model should still make it easy to store your appliance.

Special Features

Toasters have come a long way since they were first available to customers. New toasters often come with extra features for both convenience and added cooking capabilities. Defrost and bagel functions are the most common, which adjusts the regular toasting function to perfectly cook food. “Lift & Look” buttons are essential for toasters that do not have levers on the front. Some models feature glass walls that allow you to watch your toast as it is cooking.

Price

Above all else, it is essential for you to identify your individual budget. Finding a product to fit that budget is going to require you to determine what you want from a toaster. Basic toasting functions and two-slice capacities are the standards, so these models are often inexpensive. Just because another toaster is priced higher doesn’t necessarily mean that it cooks more evenly than a cheap toaster. However, more advanced features tend to cost more money. Four-slice toasters, special cooking functions, and added technology will all make for a more expensive option.

How to Care for Your Toaster

The best way to ensure your toaster lasts as long as possible is to keep it clean. Here are some tips on how to keep your appliance running smoothly.

  • Always make sure that your toaster is unplugged before you clean it. The last thing you want is to burn yourself or, worse, start a fire.
  • There will be a lot of crumbs, so work over the trash or sink. Pull out the crumb tray to shake off loose bits. Toasters without crumb trays can be gently shaken over the garbage.
  • You can scrub food bits off the inside pieces with a small brush or spatula.
  • Scrub the crumb tray with warm water and soap. Once dried, it can be placed back inside.
  • Clean the outside with a soft cloth or soap and water. Be sure to get the knobs or buttons and any crevasses along the outside.
  • Stainless steel models can even be polished to give your toaster an extra shine. You can use stainless steel cleaners or even vinegar with a clean cloth.

Related Resources

If you’re looking for more kitchen appliance recommendations, check out the links below.

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Bryan Long