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The best toaster 2024 – tried and tested by appliance experts

The best toasters guarantee the perfect breakfast

One of the best toasters, a Smeg 4 Slice Toaster TSF02 in black next to toast and orange juice
(Image credit: Smeg)
Best toaster 2024: Jump Menu

A light blue Smeg 50s Retro 2 Slice Toaster with toast, a sandwich, and orange juice

(Image credit: Smeg)

1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best overall: Cuisinart CPT-180 Classic
3. Best luxury: Breville Die-Cast
3.  Best for home bakers: Zwilling Enfinigy
4. Best four-slice: KitchenAid 4 Slice
5. Best for style: Smeg Classic
6. Best value: Dash Clear View
7. The ones that just missed the list
8. How to choose
9. How we test
10. Toaster FAQs

Some people can't start their day without a bowl of cereal or overnight oats. For me, it's a golden brown slice of toast. The best toasters can tackle bread, bagels, English muffins, and even paninis. They're a surefire way to elevate your breakfast and brunchtime.

There are two-slice toasters for smaller households and multi-slot machines to feed the whole family. Smart machines feature touch-screen displays and 24-hour timers, while simpler toasters can still brown bread to perfection. In fact, there are so many types of toaster that it can be difficult to know where to start.

That's where I come in. As a product reviewer, I'm part of the kitchen testing team at H&G. I've spent hours toasting thick and thin slices of sourdough and wholemeal bread to find the best toasters on the market. 

I've narrowed it down to my top twelve to suit every style of kitchen and size of budget. I've even thrown in the best toaster oven for good measure. I've ranked each toaster on the basis of quality of construction, consistency of toasting, functionality, and the all-important price. 

The quick list

If you want to find a toaster ASAP, here's a quick guide to the best on the market. When one piques your interest, there's more in-depth information further down.

The best toasters in 2024

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best toaster overall

1. Cuisinart CPT-180 Classic Toaster

This makes top-drawer toast, for a reasonable price

Specifications

Dimensions: 11.15 x 10.65 x 7.5 inches
Slots: 4
Settings: Bagel, Defrost, Reheat, Cancel
RRP: $69.95

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonably priced
+
Great bagel setting
+
Easy to clean
+
Comes in a selection of colors

Reasons to avoid

-
Extra lift is limited

There are so many reasons that we love this toaster. Most of all, we love how much this has perfected the basics: it's easy to select your chosen setting, be it Bagel, Reheat, or Defrost. It's also possible to choose from 12 brownness settings for the pickier members of your family. 

The design feels high-quality, with a stainless steel exterior and sleek matching levers. When clearing the crumbs, you can pull out two trays independently to keep it clean in between uses. We enjoyed the bagel setting, but keep in mind that you need to place the two slices facing away from each other to use this mode, which feels counter-intuitive. 

The levers have some added lift, which is great for pop tarts and other smaller toasted goods, but it doesn't have the added lift of some other toasters, so it's not the best for seriously small slices.

Best of all, it usually costs under $100. That's excellent value for such a good toaster, and while there are others out there for less, they lack the dedicated settings and precision of this model. 

The best luxury toaster

2. Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster

Take toasting to the next level with all the premium features you could ever need

Specifications

Dimensions: 10.9" x 11.9" x 7.7"
Slots: 4
Settings: Bagel, frozen, A Bit More
RRP: $209.95

Reasons to buy

+
Smart auto lift
+
Take a peek at your toast as it cooks
+
Countdown indicator
+
Excellent results
+
Designed to last

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

A scroll through the Amazon reviews for this toaster shows how extremely passionate people are about about this toaster. One reviewer noted how five years later, their Breville toaster is still working just as well as it did on the first day, a testament to its longevity.

Aside from performing faultlessly on the basics, this is fitted with lots of useful features. There are dual slider controls (each control has two slots) for the toast level. Once you’ve loaded the toast into a slot and have hit the Toast button, the toast is automatically lowered and LEDs on the front show the toasting progress. It's a totally seamless process. 

Want to see how well your toast is doing? Press 'Lift and look', and your toast is raised automatically to give you a sneak peek, before dropping down. If your chosen setting wasn’t quite good enough the ‘A Bit More’ button toasts for a little longer.

Though, we should mention that the toaster uses a "Restaurant Style" approach for a crispier side, and a softer side, so if you're expecting equally browned sides, this may not be the toaster for you. The real reason this misses out on the top spot is because of the price.

The best toaster for home bakers

3. Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch 2 Long Slot Toaster

Perfect for toasting homemade loaves and artisanal slices

Specifications

Dimensions: 16.75 x 6.6 x 8.2 inches
Slots: 2
Settings: Reheat, Bagel, Defrost
RRP: $169.95

Reasons to buy

+
Very wide and longs slots
+
Intuitive toasting controls
+
Excellent results on different breads

Reasons to avoid

-
Only two colors

Zwilling is known for quality construction and sleek, simple designs, and the Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch 2 Long Slot Toaster is no exception. It comes in two colors and has a compact frame that makes it suitable for understated designs. 

It has extra-long and wide slots that make it perfect for those who like their artisanal bread fresh from the bakery, long slices from the midsection of a sourdough loaf, or a generous wide wedge of some brioche. 

Simplicity is key here, so while you will not have large dials and Smeg-style funky button controls, there is everything you need to defrost, reheat, or cancel your setting. You can turn the dial at the front of the toaster to increase the toasting time. There is also an insert at the top of the toaster which can be used to heat up pastries without forcing them into the toaster slot. 

However, the small dials on this toaster mean it's not as simple to use as other toasters. But whilst it lacks clear dials and settings, there's everything you need to defrost, reheat, or cancel your setting. 

The best four slice toaster

4. KitchenAid Artisan Toaster

Distinctively designed with effective, premium features

Specifications

Dimensions: 13.7 x 11.96 x 8.1 inches
Slots: 4
Settings: Reheat, Bagel, Defrost
RRP: $299.95

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish design
+
Versatile, thorough functions
+
Available in a range of colors

Reasons to avoid

-
Large footprint
-
Expensive

Curvy toasters are en vogue in modern kitchens and this model is the perfect example of why. The smooth edges are fun, tactile, and beautiful to look at. Sit this on your countertops and you won't want to look away. 

When it comes to toasting, the two pairs of slots are independently controlled and extra-wide, perfect for a range of home-baked breads. The controls are incredibly intuitive, so that, even though this feels like a highly technical machine, it's easy to make the most of every function. 

Reviews all praise how thorough this is when toasting. They are evenly browned, erring on the side of caution, so that you never have toast you wish you'd lifted up ten seconds earlier. It can toast everything from brioche and bagels to fruit bread. Even better, the LED countdown timer makes it easy to know when your toast will be ready to butter.

If you've got money to spend and space to donate to this surface hog, I'd spend it here; this is serious about style and toasting. It's excellent quality and the features are all really useful.

The most stylish toaster

Retro, roomy, and incredibly capable

Specifications

Dimensions: 13 x 11.77 x 7.72 inches
Slots: 4
Settings: Defrost, Reheat, Bagel
RRP: $279.95

Reasons to buy

+
Classic retro style
+
So many color options
+
Tactile levers with added lift
+
Press-touch crumb trays
+
Wide slots
+
Also available in a 2-slot

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy
-
Quite expensive

We loved the Smeg 4 Slice Toaster TSF03 from the second we took it out of the box. We tested it in a fetching pastel blue but it comes in all sorts of colorways, including black, pink, silver, cream, and much more. The controls are very tactile, with metallic levers that have added lift to elevate even the smallest slices clear of the toaster.

We also enjoy the controls, with a light-up button for defrosting and reheating as well as a simple dial to increase or decrease the brownness settings. Our toast came out beautifully toasted with consistency across both sides of the slice, and the crumb trays pop out for easy cleaning. 

While we liked the toast, we did miss a bagel setting. It's expensive, but the Smeg 4 Slice Toaster TSF03 is an investment that will last for years. We've also tried and enjoyed its two-slice counterpart, the TSF01.

Read more in our Smeg 4 Slice Toaster TSF03 review 

The best value toaster

6. Dash Clear View

Excellent value with a viewing window too

Specifications

Dimensions: 15.7 x 6.6 x 7.8 inches
Slots: 2
Settings: Defrost, reheat, bagel, and shade selector
RRP: $50

Reasons to buy

+
Clear viewing window
+
Roomy toast slots
+
Excellent value
+
Available in a range of colors

Reasons to avoid

-
Toast pop us quite aggressive

We've included lots of toasters which are great value in this guide and the Dash is one of my favorites. At around $50, you can enjoy premium features for an incredible price.

The slots are long and wide, with enough capacity for a length of brioche or the middle section of some sourdough. If you're worried about how well it toasts, you can keep an eye on the colors through the useful viewing window. Although, reviews all say that this model is perfect for consistent toasting.

On the countertop, this is very slim, so doesn't need much room. It's available in seven different colorways, perfect for coordinating with your kitchen décor or for adding a pop of color.

Viewing windows are notoriously difficult to clean, so you'll need to be devoted to ensuring your toaster is always sparkling. Thankfully, the crumb tray is easy to remove and empty, saving you time when you need to do a quick clean. People often comment on how forcefully this ejects toast; it's surprising.

The ones that just missed the list

How to choose the best toaster for you:

Cuisinart

(Image credit: Cuisinart)

All toasters do the same thing, but there are some key differences to bear in mind.

Make sure of the number and types of slots. Couples in apartments only need a two-slice toaster. Larger families will need a four-slice capacity. Try to get wide slots on your toaster so you can accommodate different foods. This is particularly true if you use bagels, homemade, or fresh-baked bread.

Some models have a defrost option. This usually doesn’t mean that your bread will be defrosted (although some have this feature) but that your frozen slices will be defrosted and then toasted. This latter mode can be called ‘frozen’ on some toasters.

A bagel setting can be good, too. It varies between toasters, but generally, a bagel mode only cooks the underside of your bagel, leaving the top alone. With some other models, the second element may be heated to a lower temperature. Make sure you read the manual so that you know which way to insert your bagel.

A reheat mode is useful if you like your toast warm, as you can stick it back in without overheating it.

Look out for any optional accessories: a sandwich cage lets you make toasted sandwiches, and a warming rack sits on top and is good for pastries and croissants. 

How we tested these toasters

Smeg TSF03 4 Slot Toaster

(Image credit: Future)

In our guide to the best toasters, we tried as many toasters as we could hands-on. We considered the design, functions, and cost of toasters to decide if they were worth the investment. You'll know if we tested something hands-on because we give all the toasters we try a rating out of five. If there's no rating, we decided to include the toaster in our guide based on online reviews and the design but did not get the chance to try it ourselves.

We're always testing new toasters to make sure our best toaster guide features the very top options you can buy, so we update this guide on a regular basis to make sure it includes all our picks. 

For more insight into our hands-on review process, refer to our dedicated page about how we test.

Toaster FAQs

Features to look for in the best toasters

All toasters do the same thing, but there are some key differences to bear in mind.

Make sure of the number and types of slots. Couples in apartments only need a two-slice toaster. Larger families will need a four-slice capacity. Try to get wide slots on your toaster so you can accommodate different foods. This is particularly true if you use bagels, homemade, or fresh-baked bread.

Some models have a defrost option. This usually doesn’t mean that your bread will be defrosted (although some have this feature) but that your frozen slices will be defrosted and then toasted. This latter mode can be called ‘frozen’ on some toasters.

A bagel setting can be good, too. It varies between toasters, but generally, a bagel mode only cooks the underside of your bagel, leaving the top alone. With some other models, the second element may be heated to a lower temperature. Make sure you read the manual so that you know which way to insert your bagel.

A reheat mode is useful if you like your toast warm, as you can stick it back in without overheating it.

Look out for any optional accessories: a sandwich cage lets you make toasted sandwiches, and a warming rack sits on top and is good for pastries and croissants. 

Should I buy a two or four-slice toaster?

If you go through a lot of bread or have a larger family, then a four-slice toaster is generally the best bet. If you don’t eat a lot of toast or don’t have much room, then go for a smaller two-slice model.

Take note of the configuration of the toaster. Some four-slice toasters use two long slots instead of four slots. The downside is that you may not fit in two slices side-by-side; the upside is that the longer slots can be better for artisanal bread.

How much energy does a toaster use?

Most toasters will use around 800 to 1200W on average, with four-slice toasters using towards the top of the scale, and two-slice models using less. That’s a rough guide, but as they’re small and dedicated, toasters are more energy-efficient than using your oven’s grill to do the job.

Many models have energy-saving features. Toasters with four slots, for example, will generally have two sets of controls, each controlling two slots. When you only use two slots, you’re using half of the total power; you only run the toaster at full capacity when all four slots are in operation.