The best toasters you can buy

The best toasters you can buy

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  • Although the humble toaster may be a small appliance compared to the stove or refrigerator, it still remains a vital part of your kitchen lineup.
  • The Cuisinart Countdown 4-Slice Toaster is the best one you can buy with its many settings and features.

Toast has long been a beloved comfort food. It's cheap, easy to make, versatile, and downright delicious. For many of us, the heavenly aroma of bread transforming into the best beautifully browned version of itself elicits treasured childhood memories.

Toast has transformed with the times. While we have been devouring heavily buttered toast with eggs at the diner for decades, toast became fancy in 2014 when San Francisco started serving up artisanal toast. Slathered with locally-sourced butter, jam, or other spreads, a single slice of the good stuff was pulling in a whopping $4. Avocado toast is an even hotter trend that shows no sign of slowing down.

If you don't want to spend that much on toast, you can always make it at home, but you need a reliable toaster. We've done the research to find the best toasters you can buy for browning your bread to perfection.


For making toast at home, there are two major types of toasters: toaster ovens and traditional pop-up toasters. In this guide, we are focusing on the more common pop-up toasters, which come in either two-slice or four-slice options.

Which one is right for you depends on both the size of your family and the size of your kitchen. If you are single and living in a cozy studio apartment where countertop space is at a premium, a two-slice toaster will probably do the trick. A family of six in an oversized suburban home? A four-slice toaster can clearly make your mornings easier.

Toaster features to look out for while shopping:

  • Defrost setting: This defrosts frozen bread before switching to a different setting to toast it.
  • Bagel setting: This will toast the dense bread, or anything else, on just one side.
  • Different width slots: Extra-wide or adjustable slots allow you to toast thicker bread slices. Some toasters come with extra-long slots, too.
  • Warming tray: This allows you to heat items - like dinner rolls - over the toaster.
  • Sandwich rack: Easily warm thin sandwiches. If you butter the outside of the bread, it slows the browning process and helps warm the filling.
  • A removable tray: This remains the best way to remove crumbs from your toaster.
  • Reheat Function: If you tend to plop bread in the toaster and then forget about it, this allows your toast to be warmed up - without further browning.

Still, all the bells and whistles in the world don't really matter if you don't end up with great toast. Ideally, a toaster should brown bread evenly and consistently and fairly quickly. It should also be able to handle a variety of different bread or food products, be safe, look good, and fall within your budget.

Here are our top picks for the best toasters you can buy:

Updated on 12/14/2018 by Malarie Gokey: Added our toaster oven uying guide. Updated prices and formatting..

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

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The best toaster overall

The best toaster overall
Why you'll love it: The Cuisinart Countdown Four-Slice Toaster's sleek, stainless-steel design stands out, and it delivers beautifully-brown toast time and again.

The Cuisinart Countdown Four-Slice Toaster’s seven browning settings ensure that you can take your toast however you like it — from a barely-there brown sheen right up to super crispy. But the versatile settings on this toaster are just the beginning of what makes it so much better than the competition.

The 1.5-inch wide slots allow you to toast a variety of items including artisanal bread that you slice yourself, English muffins, pastries, and bagel halves. Two sets of controls toast bread on different settings. A bagel button reduces the heat on the uncut side of the bagel. It’s also no problem if you want to plop a frozen waffle or other bread product right into the toaster. The defrost button will thaw out your bread before toasting it. Additionally, the reheat button expertly warms up forgotten toast, without further browning.

The beautiful blue LED screens on this toaster are more than a stylish accouterment. They inform you what setting you’ve selected and exactly how long you have to wait until your toast is ready.

The Cuisinart CountdownToaster comes with a three-year warranty, so you're covered if you run into any problems. User reviews on Amazon are mostly positive, with verified buyers continually pointing out that you get a lot of bang for your buck. One reviewer wrote: “Looks great. Toasts great. Great price.” Across the web, expert reviewers, including those from Good Housekeeping, Best Reviews, and Chef Horizons give high marks to the Cuisinart Countdown and similar models.

It may be pricier than that cheap toaster you bought at Wal-Mart all those years ago, but it is the most easy-to-use and fully featured toaster you can buy.

Pros: Great value, stylish, modern LED features, high-quality bagel function

Cons: Noisy, occasional uneven browning

Buy Cuisinart CPT-435 Countdown Four-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster on Amazon for $59.07 (price varies — originally $79.99)

The best budget toaster

The best budget toaster
Why you'll love it: The Oster Jelly Bean Two-Slice Toaster is an adorable, budget-priced toaster that easily competes with the big boys in performance.

Some say the Oster Jelly Bean Toaster resembles a Volkswagen Beetle. Like the car, this chic little toaster comes in a variety of colors; purple is the most popular, but red and gray are also options. The glossy finish ensures that it a shiny addition to your kitchen. The tiny toasting machine weighs in at just 3.44 pounds and is only 7 inches wide, but don’t let its cute appearance fool you.

It has many of the same features as our top pick, including seven browning settings, and bagel, defrost, warm and cancel functions. It also offers wide slots and auto-adjusting bread guides that automatically center the food for an even browning. In test after test, the Oster Jelly Bean Toaster consistently produces evenly browned bread.

Why does it work so well? Oster uses something called Toast Logic in all of its toasters. This means that it adjusts the toasting time to compensate for the toaster's temperature and voltage input during the toasting cycle.

The Oster Jelly Bean is easy to use and easy to clean. The low-tech knobs are self-explanatory. The cord is almost two feet long, and since the toaster is so compact, many consumers choose to move it around their kitchen and sometimes store it in a cabinet. You just take out the removable crumb tray and wipe it with a damp cloth to clean it.

The Oster Jelly Bean Toaster comes with a one-year warranty in case you run into any issues. User reviews on Amazon are mostly positive, and around the web, professional reviewers, including those from Best Products, Wirecutter, and Best Reviews give the toaster extremely high marks.

Pros: Affordable, stylish, consistent, versatile, easy to use, easy to clean

Cons: Although slots are wide, they are not very deep; no method to wrap or retract the long cord

Buy the Oster TSSTTRJBG1 Jelly Bean 2-Slice Toaster at Amazon for $27.99 (originally $34.99)

The best expensive toaster

The best expensive toaster
Why you'll love it: The gorgeous, high-quality Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Toaster is simply one of the best toasters money can buy.

Australian company Breville is renowned for producing top-notch small home appliances, and its Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Toaster has all the bells and whistles of our top pick — and then some! A whopping twelve browning settings are accompanied by five other setting buttons including frozen, bagel, and cancel. Breville also offers two trademarked buttons. The “A Bit More” button allows users to instantly add a little extra toasting time.

The Motorized “Lift & Look” button automatically raises and lowers the carriage so you can check the toasting progress without interrupting the toasting cycle.

We love the LED panel that illuminates according to the selected setting, and it also counts down how long is left in the toasting cycle. The beep that indicates the cycle is complete can be made louder or softer and is a more pleasing sound than the one our top pick makes. It is also virtually the only sound you will hear from this blissfully quiet appliance.

The Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Toaster is a solid machine that is built to last. Although should something go awry, Breville is renowned for its customer service and has been known to quickly send replacement units after the one-year warranty has expired. The 36-inch cord is removable, but also has a neat storage space on the bottom of the unit. Unlike many other toasters, the Breville remains cool to the touch. To top it all off, the all-metal exterior looks sharp and cleans up easily with a damp cloth.

User reviews on Amazon are mostly positive, with users often exclaiming that it is worth the hefty price tag. Around the web, professional reviewers, including those from Best Reviews, Best Products, and Wirecutter, give the toaster extremely high marks.

Pros: Stylish, solidly-made, consistent toasting, fun extra features.

Cons: Expensive

Buy the Breville BTA840XL Die-Cast 4-Slice Toaster from Bed Bath & Beyond for $179.99

The best toaster for the design obsessed

The best toaster for the design obsessed
Why you'll love it: The SMEG Two-Slice Toaster has award-winning retro chic and browns bread beautifully.

Founded in 1948, SMEG is a family-run Italian business that churns out eye-catching, high-end appliances. When it launched in 2014, the SMEG Two-Slice 50’s style toaster nabbed a Good Design award given by a Chicago museum and the following year, it picked up two more prestigious design awards.

The toaster comes in six colors, including red, black, pastel blue, pink, pastel green, and chrome. Its sturdy powder-coated steel body looks great and cleans easily. The backlit chrome knob and chrome base add to the sophisticated design, while the stainless steel ball lever knob is a perfectly-placed accent.

While the SMEG Two-Slice Toaster may look old-fashioned, it is a thoroughly modern machine. It comes with many of the features found on today’s other highly-regarded toasters, including six browning levels and bagel, defrost, reheat and cancel settings. The removable crumb tray is extra wide and pops out easily with the push of a button.

User reviews on Amazon are highly positive, with users gushing about the SMEG’s aesthetics. “I didn't know that I could be so attracted to a kitchen appliance,” said a reviewer. “All our guests always comment on our toaster,” commented another buyer. They also rave about the unit’s consistent ability to churn out evenly toasted bread.

Around the web, professional reviewers give the toaster high marks, including those at Expert Reviews, Top 10 Reviews, Best Products, Time4Toast, and Tech Gear Lab.

Pros: Super stylish, sturdy, fast and consistent toasting, excellent bagel function.

Cons: Expensive, the unit warms up quickly; unattractive and unmanageable cord

Buy the SMEG 2-Slice Toaster on Amazon for $149.95

The best two-slice toaster

The best two-slice toaster
Why you'll love it: The Cuisinart Two-Slice Classic Metal Toaster is sleek, toasts perfectly evenly, and despite its small size, still includes a tidy crumb tray in the bottom.

Cuisinart has been working hard at kitchen appliances for nearly five decades, so it should be no surprise that its toasters are nearing perfection at this point. My family has had this toaster for well over a decade, and after having survived the careless, clumsy mitts of my younger brother (who I'm sure has knocked it off the counter more than once) it's still going strong as can be without even the slightest hint of trouble. Granted, it's a simple appliance.

Still, I have owned other toasters within a similar price range and had terrible experiences with inedibly burnt bagel halves on one side and under-toasted ones on the other. But I suppose what I like most about this toaster is its sleek design, which keeps the kitchen looking clean and sleek as well.

Other toasters with busy interfaces tend to make kitchen counters look somewhat cluttered, but I barely even notice this toaster is there, which, apart from perfectly golden toast, of course, is exactly what I want from a toaster — or any appliance for that matter.

Kohl's shoppers gave the Cuisinart Two-Slice 4.2 stars (out of 232 reviews), and over 2,200 Amazon reviewers gave it a 4.1-star rating. And while I agree that maybe the "Bagel" setting isn't perfect, as expressed by disgruntled customer reviews on Consumer Reports, I'm more inclined to trust my own experience, and for that matter, that of over 2,300 verified Amazon shoppers. — Owen Burke

Pros: Sleek design, fast and consistent toasting, simple features

Cons: Some Kohl's reviewers complain about uneven toasting, though I haven't experienced it with mine

Buy the Cuisinart Two-Slice Classic Metal Toaster from Kohl's for $59.99 ($49.99 with $10-off code at checkout)

Check out the best toaster ovens you can buy

Check out the best toaster ovens you can buy
The best toaster ovens you can buy

Toaster ovens serve as a miniature version of the traditional oven and they offer an array of functions, including broiling, roasting, toasting, and convection cooking.

We examined the ratings and reviews of hundreds of top users and experts to see which toaster ovens offer the best value for your money, do what they say they can do, and perform consistently. Read on to learn all about our top picks.

Here are the best toaster ovens you can buy: