Best Stainless Steel Toaster

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

49 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
396 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best stainless steel toasters

Last Updated August 2019

Whether you like toast piled high with avocado or toasted bread for sandwiches, a toaster is one of those essentials no good kitchen should be without. Stainless steel toasters are both a stylish and sensible choice. Not only do they look great and add shine to your countertop, but they also tend to be more durable than models with a plastic outer.

One of the first factors to decide on when shopping for a stainless steel toaster is whether you require a two- or four-slice model. If you pick out a four-slice option, you may want to consider one with independent controls, which means you don’t have to use all four slots at once and you can select different browning shades for each slice. Other factors to consider include the size of the slot and what settings you require (for instance, some toast lovers may also appreciate a setting that’s just for bagels).

To learn more, keep reading our guide to stainless steel toasters, which includes all you need to know to make an informed purchase. For an even easier shopping experience, consider one of our top picks.

The defrost setting on a stainless steel toaster is great for toasting bread products straight from the freezer.

Key considerations

Two-slice vs. four-slice

Stainless steel toasters can either be two-slice or four-slice models. Unless you live alone or only one or two people ever eat toast at the same time, it’s best to choose a four-slice option. The vast majority of four-slice toasters feature four single slots side by side, but you can find some slimmer yet deeper models with two extra-long slots next to each other, each of which can hold two standard slices (more on that in the "slot size" segment below).

Slot size

A standard stainless steel toaster slot is designed to hold a regular piece of store-bought sliced bread. However, if you want to slice and toast nonstandard bread products, such as bagels, burger buns, artisan loaves, or baguettes, you might find that they either don't fit in your toaster at all or you need to turn them around partway through so that you don't have one untoasted part. The answer is to choose a toaster with extra-wide or extra-long slots. Extra-wide slots are great for thicker items, such as bagels or buns, which are often too thick for standard toasters. Extra-long slots can fit the equivalent of two slices of bread side by side, so they can fit demi-baguettes or slices of homemade boules.

EXPERT TIP

If you often toast bread from nonstandard loaves, choose a toaster with slots that will fit bread that's slightly taller or wider than average.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Independent controls

Four-slice toasters with independent controls allow you to control pairs of slots independently of one another. With independent controls you aren't forced to use all four slots at once if you're only making one or two slices of toast. They also let you choose different browning settings for each pair of slots, which is great if you're making toast for two people with different toasting preferences.

Bagel setting

The bagel setting is becoming popular to the point where you can find it on the majority of stainless steel toasters. This setting toasts only one side of your bagel (or of any other bread product of your choice) to prevent your sesame seeds and other bagel toppings from burning. 

A toast lover's dream

If you're a true toast lover, the high-end Breville Die-Cast Four-Slice Smart Toaster might be the machine for you. Sure, it has a hefty price tag, but its durability and wide range of features make it worth the extra cash. The motorized lift quietly lowers bread at the press of a button and raises your toast up when done with a beep to let you know it's ready. The handy "lift and look" function lets you check the progress of your toast without interrupting the cycle.

 

Browning setting

All stainless steel toasters, without fail, have browning settings to control how light or dark you want your toast. So, whether you enjoy toast that’s so pale it's basically just warm bread or a piece that’s been blackened to a crisp, simply choose the correct setting and your toast will come out to your liking.

High-lift function

The high-lift function allows you to manually lift the level higher than its neutral point, which is handy for getting small bread products out of the toaster. Choose a stainless steel toaster with a high-lift function if you regularly toast bagels, crumpets, burger buns, or anything similar.

Although stainless steel looks great, it can be trickier to keep clean. However, you can find some fingerprint-resistant stainless steel toasters.

Stainless steel toaster prices

Inexpensive: Stainless steel toasters generally cost a little more than those with plastic outers. Expect to pay between $30 and $50 for basic models with just the standard features. However, toasters in this price range may not toast evenly, and you may have issues fitting tall or thick slices in the slots.

Mid-range: Mid-range stainless steel toasters are usually priced between $50 and $100. Unless you want all the latest features, you should find a solid model in this price range.

Expensive: High-end stainless steel toasters cost from $100 all the way up to $300. These are the best toasters on the market, they're highly durable, toast evenly every time, and may offer a range of high-tech features.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some stainless steel toasters feature a countdown timer that tells you exactly how long you have until your toast is done.

Tips

  • Decide whether you'd like a stainless steel toaster with a motorized lift. Motorized lifts gently raise and lower your toast and are usually only found on high-end toasters. Although it can be a nice feature to have, it's not necessarily worth the extra cash if you've never had any issues with levers.
  • Think about what kind of finish you'd like your toaster to have. Do you want high-shine polished stainless steel or a matte brushed finish? Both look lovely, but high-shine finishes show marks more easily.
  • Consider how much counter space you have. If you make toast regularly, you'll probably want to keep your toaster out on the counter at all times. Find out the dimensions of your chosen stainless steel toaster to ensure you have room for it.
  • Be careful of the toaster's exterior. Although you can find cool-touch models, stainless steel toasters do heat up on the outside as they work and some models can be hot enough to burn you.

Simple solution

Some people don't want all the bells and whistles, they just want an affordable toaster that will toast bread evenly and effectively. The sturdy BLACK+DECKER Two-Slice Extra-Wide Slot Toaster has a lever to lower toast, a dial to set the shade, a defrost button, a cancel button, and that's it — pure toasting simplicity. The brushed finish resists fingerprints and is easy to keep clean.

Other products we considered

The Cuisinart Metal Classic Two-Slice Toaster has a nice brushed stainless steel finish and all the basic settings you could want. We appreciate the extra-wide slots and high-lift function, too. The Willsence Two-Slice Toaster has some high-end features — such as a countdown timer — at an affordable price. Choose from six preset programs and nine manual shade settings. If you're looking for a larger capacity, consider the KitchenAid Four-Slice Toaster. This sturdy toaster comes from a trusted manufacturer and a top name in kitchen appliances. Although it's fairly basic, it has some great features, such as extra-wide slots, a bagel function, and a high-lift lever. The Dualit NewGen Toaster might be pricey, but it’s the kind of rugged and well-made toaster that could last you two or three decades if you take care of it. Replacement parts are easy to source, and each unit is made and assembled in the United Kingdom.

You can find toasters with a "keep warm" or "reheat" function for those days when you don't quite manage to get to your toast right away.

FAQ

Q. What is a crumb tray?
A.
A crumb tray is a tray that fits in the bottom of the toaster to catch any crumbs that fall from your bread as its toasting. Whichever stainless steel toaster you choose, it will have a removable crumb tray, either pull-out or spring-loaded. It's important to remove and empty the crumb tray regularly. This will help keep your toaster doing its job effectively and will increase its longevity.

Q. How can I tell which shade setting to set my toaster to?
A.
The majority of stainless steel toasters have between five and seven shade settings, which you can choose from depending on how light or dark you like your toast. But which is the right one to get your desired level of toasting? You can get a rough idea of which setting to use according to your preferences — the lowest setting for extremely light toast, the highest setting for extremely dark toast, or somewhere in between — but it can take some trial and error to find the exact setting that will get your toast precisely how you like it.

Q. Can a stainless steel toaster rust?
A.
Although it is technically possible for stainless steel to rust under certain conditions, your stainless steel toaster won't rust in a normal kitchen environment. It's fine to wipe it down with a damp cloth, but make sure it's unplugged from its power outlet first.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Karen
    Karen
    Writer
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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