Heat: The 12 Best Toasters

You may think that you have a variety of options for warming bread, frozen waffles, and bagels. Indeed, the oven you use to prepare the Thanksgiving turkey can handle a few slices of bread while you can also toast bagels using a pan on the stove. So, why would you even consider buying a toaster?

You may encounter several problems making toast in the oven, but the biggest problem is that you will end up with bad toast, which is often flakey and dry. Because the heat source of an oven is far from the bread, it ends up dry. Even good convection microwave just won’t do. But the heat source of a toaster is close, while the space is tight, and the quick duration does not allow moisture from the bagels or bread to escape. These conditions create an outside that is crispy, while the inside is warm and delicious.

You will probably want to use your toaster every morning and install it as a permanent appliance on your countertop. While a fairly simple appliance, choosing the best toaster involves thinking about speed, the evenness of browning your bread, and the range of shapes the toaster can fit. Other factors to consider include surface temperature, the ease of using the controls, and the ease of cleaning.

With all of these factors in mind, here are the 12 best toasters.

Cuisinart CPT-440 4-SliceCuisinart CPT-440 4-Slice

Achieve consistent toasting with this Cuisinart CPT-440 4-Slice Toaster. Perfect for consistent and fast toasting, the toaster comes with four slots, which are wide enough to accommodate all sizes of toast thanks to its one-and-a-half inch-wide slots. With the crumb trays, it catches most of the debris, so you can toast without making a mess on your countertop. The stainless-steel finishing gives it a sharp look. With a setting that consistently reduces the time bread spends lowered into the slots, the toaster ensures that the toast looks the same after five rounds of toasting.

The toaster gives the fastest time for any four-slot toaster at just 2 minutes and 2 seconds on the first round of toasting, which reduces with every round. The short toasting time means that the toaster does not accumulate surface heat to give a cool and comfortable feeling throughout its operation, which can stay below 90 degrees after multiple runs. Its futuristic push-button automatic chamber allows for easy operation of the toaster, and it comes with an LED screen for easy viewing. The Cuisinart CPT-440 4-Slice toaster guarantees you an even and complete toasting.

Pros

Easy to see LED screen

Fastest 4-slice toaster

3-year warranty

Cons

Needs a second round of toasting to defrost bagels

Purchase

Cuisinart CPT-122 2-SliceCuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice

For the best toaster that works for most people, go for the Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Toaster. The toaster comes with slots deeps enough to toast the tallest slices and wide enough to take the puffiest bagels, so you will have evenly browned than toasters that are much pricy. Affordability is a key factor with this toaster despite it giving the best performance. With a compact plastic making the exterior of the toaster, not only does it give the best toast, but it also provides an attractive look on your countertop. With its compact design and stainless-steel accents, the toaster is durable, so you will enjoy the best toast for a long time.

The toaster has a 7-setting shade dial to give you a wide variety of settings you will find quite easy to use thanks to the straightforward controls. The plastic exterior remains cool to the touch after intensive use of the toaster to guarantee you a greater level of comfort when you need to toast for a full party. A 3-year warranty that comes with this Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice toaster beats the 1-year warranty for most toasters, so you are sure to be sorted in case of any faulty experience within this time.

Pros

Affordable

Compact and attractive

3-year warranty

Cool exterior

Cons

Only 2 slots

Purchase

Breville 2-Slice SmartBreville 2-Slice Smart

For a top model toaster worth every cent you spend, go for this Breville 2-Slice Smart Toaster. With an ability to turn out gold brown slices batch after batch, the toaster comes with grated that lower the toast automatically, so you will not go through the trouble of lever pressing with this model. The Lift and Look setting allow for checking on the progress of the toast to allow, so you have control over the level of browning perfection you want. With the Bit More feature, extra time can be added to achieve perfect browning of your slice. The toaster looks attractive on your countertop thanks to its sleek die-cast metal housing. Breville is a well known brand with other appliance products such as blenders for personal use and high quality small food processors.

The toaster comes with 5-settings with push-button controls that allow functions, such as bagel defrost. With the 2 Slice Extra Wide capacity, the toaster accommodates all types of bread regardless of their thickness and height, and the end-of-cycle beep alerts you when the toast is ready, so you can serve them hot. The Breville 2-Slice Smart toaster comes with a 1-year limited warranty, which is not the best out there but still gives you the assurance of long service.

Pros

End-of-cycle beep

Lift and Look function

Cons

1-year limited warranty

Capacity for only 2 slices

Purchase

KRUPS 4-SlotKRUPS 4-Slot

Speed up your breakfast preparation with this KRUPS 4-Slot toaster. With extra-large self-centering slots, the toast can hold thick or thin slices and bagels for even toasting, and the separate toasting controls for each pair of slots gives you an allowance for variations of browning effect to accommodate different preferences, and you can also make a toast at the same time you are toasting bagels. It comes with a 5-button function that allows for 6 levels of browning, so you can choose among functions like toasting, reheating, defrosting, properly toasting bagels and canceling the whole process.

The toaster has a high-lift lever that brings pastries such as the short English muffins high enough for you to grab without burning your fingers. With a chrome stainless steel finishing that is elegantly brushed, the toaster works and looks great and the blue LED lights to indicate the process of cooking, so you don’t have to wait in the dark. Additional properties like the cord storage provide for safe and presentable storage and the 2-year warranty ensure that you will have long service with this KRUPS 4-Slot toaster.

Pros

4 slots

2-year warranty

6-level browning control

High Lift Lever

Cons

Complex operation

Purchase

Bella Pro Series 90062Bella Pro Series 90062

Enhance the taste of your toast with this Bella Pro Series 90062 toaster. The toaster gives gluten-free bread a taste like no other thanks to the added gluten-free setting. With its alert system, the toaster turns outs bread to a nice and consistent browned toast on both side while alerting you when it is done, so you don’t have to guess when the toast is ready. It also has an excellent rating on the time test for toasting regular bread being one of the fastest two-slice toasters in the market. With its reasonable price, the toaster combines top performance with affordability, so you will not have to break the bank to get the best toast.

This toaster comes with slide and push-button controls that give you easy time toasting while the bagel setting allows for toasting of thicker bagels. With the high lift toasting lever, you can raise the short bagels before grabbing to protect your fingers from burning. A two-year warranty guarantees you extended service time with the Bella Pro Series 90062 toaster, and its 4.4 pounds of weight make it light enough to move around easily on your countertop.

Pros

Cool look

Fast toasting time

2-year warranty

Gluten-free setting

Cons

Flat top can collect crumbs

Purchase

Cuisinart CPT-3000 ViewPro GlassCuisinart CPT-3000 ViewPro Glass

Enjoy the luxury of watching as your bread brown with the new Cuisinart CPT-3000 ViewPro Glass toaster. The glass wall of the toaster gives it a futuristic look on your countertop. and the touch-screen buttons on the toaster bring digital appliance technology to your kitchen that will not rub off with time like the label on most toasters. The toaster comes with a long warranty of 3 years, so you are sure of the longevity of use when you purchase this toaster. Despite taking a large space on your countertop, the futuristic glass look gives it a cool look thanks to the modern tech design.

With its removable glass panels, the toaster is easy to clean, and the Quartz toasting technology allows for rapid and even results without having to pause and check the toasting progress. With its touchpad controls, it allows for easy cleaning, and the cord wrap located underneath the Cuisinart CPT-3000 ViewPro Glass toaster prevent messy management of power cords when the toaster is not in use.

Pros

Glass View

Touchscreen controls

Elegant design

Quartz elements

3-year warranty

Cons

Takes up more space

Expensive

Fewer toast shade settings

Purchase

Black + Decker 2-SliceBlack + Decker 2-Slice

Spend less and great-quality toasting with this Black + Decker 2-Slice Toaster. Perfect for anyone who has breakfast on the regular the model can handle both big and small homemade slices, English muffins, and bagels thanks to its extra wide slice slots. The taste is great for kitchens with small countertops and dorm rooms thanks to its small countertop footprint, and its low prices are perfect when you are on a budget. It comes with self-centering guides that can adjust to any width allows for the perfect toasting position and even browning on both sides.

With its one-touch buttons, the toaster is easy to operate for all browning settings while its cancel functions allow for cancellation of mistakes with the settings. You can choose from 7 toast shades using only a simple knob giving you variety of toasting options depending on your preference at the time. Cleanup is easy with this toaster thanks to the pull-out crumb tray that keeps your countertop crumb-free. The brushed stainless-steel design gives the toaster a great look on your countertop. Coming in at just 2.2 pounds of weight, the toaster is light enough for transportation or storage when not using it.

Pros

Wide and deep slots

Affordable

Lightweight

Compact

Cons

Uneven heating of the sides

Purchase

Hamilton Beach 22811 Keep WarmHamilton Beach 22811 Keep Warm

Nothing beats this Hamilton Beach 22811 Keep Warm toaster for a combination of quality, speed, ease of use, and consistency. A perfect choice for smaller households, the toaster only makes 2 slices at a time. With illuminated buttons that are easy to use and see, the toaster allows for a wide array of toasting options from toasting, defrosting, and bagel settings, and you can choose the level of crispiness you want from your toast using the numbered dial.

One of the best features of this toaster is the Keep Warm button, which allows you extra time to fry some eggs and prepare coffee as a single press of this button allows up to 3 minutes of maintaining the toast at the perfect temperature after which it shuts off automatically. With the Taste Boost feature, which is a lift feature, the toaster allows for raising of the slices out of the toaster easily without burning your fingers.

The exterior of the toaster is carefully constructed to maintain a cool temperature to the touch, even after intensively using the toaster, so you can safely store the toaster after use without having to wait for some cooldown time. The stainless-steel sides give it a cool look to add an aesthetic value to your countertop. The extra-wide slots for all sizes of bagel, and artisan bread, so you won’t have to cram or smash them to fit in this Hamilton Beach 22811 Keep Warm toaster.

Pros

Keep Warm feature

Cool exterior

Illuminated buttons

Extra-wide slots

Cons

Short Cord

Purchase

Breville 4-SliceBreville 4-Slice

Improve toasting versatility with this Breville – 4-Slice Toaster. The toaster is like no other, with the capacity to fit 4 regular-sized bread, 2 larger pieces of bread, or 2 bagels in its wide slots measuring 10 x 1.5 inches, so you can toast irregularly shaped bread slices, reheat a slice of pizza, or make paninis. It comes in a modern stainless steel design that looks and feels great, and it’s motor feature allows for slow lowering, and automatic raising of the toast, so you don’t have to use the manual lever to push the task up and down. The feature also eliminates the need or sudden popping up of the toast.

Despite the cast being slightly darker than the middle slices, the toaster gives almost the same shade of brownness across the slices. However, the toaster can heart up on the outside after several rounds of toasting while an extended use can burn the edges of the slice. The toaster performs well in the bagel setting and only needs one round of defrosting.

It comes with a Lift and Look button, which allows for moving of the slices up and down during the toasting process to monitor the progress of the toast and the LED display will also you to see the countdown, so you will know when the toast is done. The Breville – 4-Slice toaster raises the slices automatically while emitting a soft beep to alert you, and the adjustable volume of the beep allows you to hear it from a distance.

Pros

Adjustable volume of the beep

Accommodates large bread

Cons

Burns edges after many rounds

Uneven toasting

Exterior heats up

Purchase

Hamilton Beach 22790Hamilton Beach 22790

Save big on counter space with the compact Hamilton Beach – 22790 Toaster. The low price of the toaster offers the best values for your money with a great performance as the toaster gives even shading on the whole surface of bread and on both sides. Consecutive uses may result in darker toast, but the toaster allows for adjustment of the settings as you proceed with making lots of bagels or toast as it comes with both the bagel setting and defrost setting. Despite only allowing for smaller slots, the compact design of the toaster means that it occupies a small space on the countertop and is easy to store.

The main advantage you get with this toaster oven other is the ease of removing your food. Coming with a lever that can be raised above the neutral resting position, the toaster allows for bringing food away from the hot slots allowing you to get the toast without using other utensils or burning your fingers. The toasting setting provides for crispy and evenly shaded toast and perfectly cooked frozen food. The affordability of this Hamilton Beach – 22790 toaster means that you will get a high-performing toaster at a bargain price, as the toaster comes with an automatic shut-off feature that turns it off when the cycle is complete.

Pros

Compact design

Toast boost for lifting food higher

Affordable

Cons

Small-sized slots

Darker shades with consecutive use

Purchase

Frigidaire Professional 4-SliceFrigidaire Professional 4-Slice

Accommodate thicker cuts of food with this Frigidaire Professional 4-Slice Toaster. Designed with the pro-styling stainless steel, the toaster gives a solid look that accentuates the look of your countertop. It has wide slots that allow for toasting of slices of various sizes, so you can toast homemade or irregularly cut slices without a worry. Multiple settings that include defrost, bagel, and reheat give the toaster versatility, so you get an all-functional appliance with one purchase of this model. The exterior stainless-steel metal gives it longevity, and the touch button controls allow for easy use without the risk of rubbing off with time or when cleaning.

With an easy-to-view LED indicator for the various shades, the toaster allows you to control the browning level of your toast, and the cord storage is perfect for storage to prevent awkward cables running on your countertop. The countdown indicator also allows you to see when the toast is almost ready.

There are better warranties out there than its 1-year warranty, but it still guarantees that it will serve you for a long time. It comes with an effortless Lift-Out lever for easy handling of the toast while avoiding accidental burns. The straightforward features of this Frigidaire Professional 4-Slice toaster are a perfect fit for the at-home professional.

Pros

4 wide and long slots

Countdown indicator

Pre-select LED display

Effortless Lift-out lever

Cons

Toast quality is not perfect

Slow

Purchase

Smeg 4-SliceSmeg 4-Slice

Style your countertop with this Smeg 4-Slice Toaster. This toaster wins for the most stylish toaster while still giving you the features you are looking for in a toaster. The curved and compact product gives toasting a powerful personality combined with excellent performance in all stages of preparing food. It’s bright and glossy finish comes in 7 different colors, so you can choose the color that appeals most to you. Its automatic lock when you select a setting lets you know that what you have set is precise. It is made with powder-coated steel body and a stainless-steel ball lever knob, as well as a backlit chrome knob, which makes it durable and easy to use.

The toaster comes with a self-centering rack to place to toast in perfect position for even browning on all sides, and its extra wide slots allow for toasting of both small and large slices. With a removable stainless-steel crumb tray, the toaster not only looks good but maintains a clean countertop as it holds most of the crumbs, and the built-in cord wrap provides perfect storage of the cord when the appliance is not in use. Fully accessorized, this Smeg 4-Slice Toaster comes with a bun warmer and sandwich rack component and is quite portable with a weight of 4.48 pounds.

Pros

Stylish

Large slots

Bun warmer

Sandwich rack

Cons

Inconsistent toasting of sides

Expensive

Purchase

KitchenAid 4-SliceBonus: KitchenAid 4-Slice

For the best design, go for this KitchenAid 4-Slice Toaster. Perfect for anyone making their own bread or buying a variety of artisan bread, the toaster offers versatility thanks to its 2 extra-long slots that can hold long slices of bread or standard sandwich bread, and the 1.5-inch-wide slots can also contain croissant, bagels, and thick bread. With 7 different settings, the toaster allows you to choose the toast color of your preference, and the design of the lever makes it easy to lift bread and grab it form a high position away from the hot slots.

The toaster comes with a crumb tray that makes cleaning the toaster easy, while the cord located underneath allows for neat storage to maintain a classy look on your countertop. The KitchenAid 4-Slice Toaster has a completion alert that notifies you once the toast is done, so you don’t have to keep guessing when it will be ready.

Pros

Cool design

High lift lever

Long slot design

Extra-wide slots

Cons

Uneven toasting of the edges

Uneven shades of toasting on one side

Purchase