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Best Toasters

Updated November 2023
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Cuisinart CPT-435/Brushed Stainless Steel Toaster
CPT-435 Countdown 4-Slice Brushed Stainless Steel Toaster
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Bottom Line

Great for keeping your kitchen in high-tech function, and matches all stainless steel kitchen appliances.


Features an LCD countdown display and blue LED buttons for better visibility. Also sports a self-adjusting toaster slot to evenly toast a wide variety of bread thicknesses. We really love the number of settings this provided.


Gives off a buzzing sound when on.

Best Bang for the Buck
Oster Jelly Bean 2-Slice
Jelly Bean 2-Slice
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Most Stylish
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A functional toaster with a sleek, retro look that earns it our cooking expert's approval.


Smooth retro look. Seven browning settings as well as settings for bagel, frozen, and warming. Slide-out crumb tray makes it easy to keep the toaster clean. Slots are extra wide to accommodate artisan breads.


Some types of bread are too tall for the slots in this machine.

Elite Gourmet Maxi-Matic Long Slot Toaster
Elite Gourmet
Maxi-Matic Long Slot Toaster
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Built to Last
Bottom Line

Our cooking expert prefers the large-capacity style of this model.


Extra-long slots to accommodate artisan breads. The design "fully immerses” bread to deliver evenly browned/crispy toast. Operation is easy with 3 buttons and a 6-shade knob. Crisps up waffles better than other toasters.


Occasional reports that the pop lever isn't very reliable.

KitchenAid 4-Slice Toaster with Manual High-Lift Lever
4-Slice Toaster with Manual High-Lift Lever
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Intuitive to Use
Bottom Line

This toaster was among the easiest to use, easiest to clean and most consistent, in our user testing.


Offers 4 extra-wide slots to fit thick-sliced bread and bagels. Has a bagel heating option to toast inside more than outside. The manual lift lever prevents having to reach inside for your toast. Evenly toasts every single piece.


The stainless steel finish attracted fingerprints.

BLACK+DECKER Extra Wide 4-Slice Toaster
Extra Wide 4-Slice Toaster
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Great for Bagels
Bottom Line

Low-profile design popular for those who love bagels, Texas toast, and thick-sliced bread.


Offers 7 shade settings as well as dedicated buttons for frozen foods and bagels. Crumb tray slides out for easy cleaning. Toasts specialty items well, including English muffins and homemade bread. Fairly easy to operate.


Plug is inconveniently placed at the front of the toaster. Toasts somewhat slowly.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About 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.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best toasters

A little heat and a few minutes transform a basic slice of bread into something with a crisp, perfectly browned exterior, ready to slather with butter or top with smashed avocado. The right toaster makes this metamorphosis quick and easy, producing even and consistent results. 

Pop-up toasters differ from toaster ovens in that they’re simple, compact appliances with just one function. Pop-up toaster boxes contain a metal heating element that radiates intense heat on one or both sides of the bread slice. When the temperature of the bread reaches approximately 310 degrees, a chemical reaction (called the Maillard reaction) takes place, caramelizing the sugars and starches in the bread to create a golden color and that characteristic taste.

We researched and evaluated a range of toasters and found the Cuisinart Countdown Toaster to be the very best. It has four toast slots and a digital countdown timer that lets you know how long you must wait until your toast is ready. 

Expert Tip
Consider the size and location of where you plan to store and use the toaster when purchasing. Will it fit comfortably on your countertop? Is it away from a splashy water source like the kitchen sink?
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Our list: The best toasters

Cuisinart Countdown Toaster

Our top pick, this Cuininart toaster features four standard-length slots that easily accommodate a range of bread products, including bagels and English muffins. It has a modern stainless steel finish. 

The toaster offers bagel, defrost and reheat settings. You can select from seven shade settings using plus and minus buttons. Once it has started toasting your bread, a countdown timer lets you know how long is left until it's ready. With a cool-touch exterior, you don't need to worry about burning yourself on the housing. The bread lifter makes it easier to grab smaller slices. 

Oster Two-Slice Toaster

Those looking for an affordable option without many special features should consider this Oster toaster. It has two standard-length extra-wide slots that accommodate bulkier types of bread, such as sliced rolls and English muffins. The plastic housing has a black finish and remains cool to the touch during toasting. 

With seven levels of browning to choose from, it's easy to toast your bread to your desired shade using the dial on the front of the machine. Four functions are offered: toast, bagel, frozen and warm. This toaster also features a bread lifter that makes it easier to remove your toast when it's done. 

Redmond Two-Slice Toaster

With its retro design, this toaster brings '50s flair to your kitchen. It's available in black, white, red, mint green and baby pink with a curved mid-century style. Despite its good looks, the toaster’s features are fairly simple. It offers bagel and defrost settings and six levels of browning. 

The toaster’s two standard-length extra-wide slots make it easy to fit chunky slices of bread and other thick baked goods. The plastic housing stays cool during the toasting process. The manual bread lifter makes it easy to remove items such as bagels and English muffins. 

Elite Gourmet Long-Slot Four-Slice Toaster

This toaster's two extra-long slots can fit four standard slices of bread or two large or non-standard slices, such as those you might get from sourdough loaves or challah. The extra-wide slots accommodate thick slices and other chunky bread products. 

It has a sleek brushed stainless steel finish that looks contemporary and matches other stainless steel appliances. The bread lifter helps you remove small slices and products, like bagels, with ease. The toaster offers reheat and defrost settings and a retractable warming rack for items such as pastries and pita. Six shade settings are controlled by a simple dial. 

KitchenAid Four-Slice Toaster

You can toast up to four slices at once in this four-slot KitchenAid toaster. The slots are of standard length but extra-wide to fit bagels and other thick products. It has an attractive brushed stainless steel finish with red, black or silver accents. 

The controls are fairly simple, with five browning levels to choose from and a bagel setting. Each pair of slots is controlled separately to accommodate different preferences. So, it's not a problem if you like your toast well-done but another household member likes theirs lightly toasted. The high-lift lever makes it easier to remove smaller pieces of bread. 

Dash Clear View Toaster

If you're sick of your toast popping up either too pale or burnt, you might like this clear-view toaster with a window that lets you check the progress of your toast. It has one extra-long, extra-wide slot where you can toast two standard slices of bread or one extra-large slice. 

Red, aqua and cream are three of the seven finish choices available with this model. You can also choose from seven browning levels to get your desired shade. The toaster has defrost, reheat and bagel settings along with a lift mechanism. The window is removable for easy cleaning. 

Breville Bit More Toaster

This attractive Breville toaster with a brushed stainless steel finish comes in two-slice and four-slice versions. The two-slice offering has two standard-sized slots, while the four-slice version has two extra-long slots that can each fit two regular slices of bread. In both cases, the slots are extra-wide to fit thick slices. 

The toaster has five shade settings as well as a "bit more" button you can press if your toast pops up slightly underdone. You'll also find bagel and frozen settings. You can manually lift and lower your toast without interrupting the cycle to check its doneness. A high-lift function lets you easily remove bagels and other small bread products. 

Black and Decker Extra-Wide Slot Toaster

With extra-wide slots, this toaster accommodates thick slices and chunky breads, such as bagels and English muffins. The guides center each piece of bread so it’s positioned an even distance from the heating element on each side. You can choose either a two-slot or a four-slot version, both of which feature standard-length slots. 

Sporting a dial with six shade settings, this toaster is fairly simple. There are also buttons for bagel and frozen settings. With the four-slot version, you control each pair of slots separately. The black plastic housing stays cool while the interior gets hot. 

Smeg Two-Slice Toaster 

A minimalist retro design sets this Smeg toaster apart from others. It isn't cheap, but it looks great and is worth considering if you care about design. The Smeg toaster comes in red, pink, silver and champagne finishes, so there's something to suit most kitchens. The cool-touch housing helps prevent accidental burns.

There are settings for bagels and frozen bread, and the two extra-wide slots accommodate thick slices, English muffins and other items that narrow slots can't fit. The dial lets you choose between six browning levels. This toaster also comes with sandwich racks and a bun warmer. 

What to consider when buying a toaster


Toasters aren’t just plain, unadorned boxes anymore — at least some of them aren’t. Today, you can find toasters that add style and verve to your countertop.

For example, stainless steel toasters bring a sleek, contemporary look to your countertop. Vintage designs (often with a 1950s-inspired appearance) can lend a bit of character to any kitchen. And you’re not limited to metallic-looking toasters anymore, either. In our research, we found toasters in several fun colors, including red and purple.

Toaster style is a matter of preference but be prepared to spend more for a high-fashion toaster. Whatever finish you choose, keep in mind that the best toasters are easy to wipe clean.


Toasters come with a variety of settings. Here are the main ones to look for: 

  • A bagel setting applies heat to only one side of the bread. This is appreciated if you want a bagel or English muffin to be toasted on the cut side and just warmed on top.
  • A frozen setting adds a bit of heating time to your toasting session, which may be appropriate if you’re starting with frozen bread. While convenient, you can accomplish the same thing by simply leaving your toast in longer.
  • A reheat setting is for warming toast that might have cooled off. It’s best to eat toast right away, but even if your toaster doesn’t have a reheat button, you can set the toaster to the lightest setting for several seconds to achieve the same reheated result.


  • Number of slots: The most common toaster configuration includes two slots for bread. If you have a large household, however, you might appreciate a four-slot toaster. A four-slot toaster cuts down the morning competition and wait time for breakfast.
  • Long or deep slots: If you eat a lot of bread that comes in a round or wide loaf (like sourdough), a toaster with extra-long or deep slots will eliminate the common yet belabored practice of toasting the bread halfway, then flipping it over to toast the other half.
  • Wide slots: If you like toasting bagels or make your own bread, a wide-slot toaster will easily accommodate the thicker slices you may wish to prepare.

Browning control

Browning control usually comes in the form of a dial or knob on the toaster. This control allows you to select your desired level of toasting, from very light to very dark. 

Some toasters use a range of colors to indicate browning level; others use LED lights to indicate the toasting level. Some consumers prefer a numbered control system, which is more precise.

You can also find some high-tech toasters with integrated LED screens on which you can set your desired level of browning. 

Additional features

  • Automatic shutoff: Standard in most toasters today, automatic shutoff is a safety feature that turns off the heating element if toast gets stuck inside or the appliance overheats.
  • Bread lifter: This common feature lets you lift the finished toast a little higher than regular pop-up toasters do, making it easy to grab the toast without burning your fingers.
  • Cool-touch housing: The exterior of some toasters does not grow hot to the touch, even when in use. The outer wall is insulated to prevent heat-related accidents and injuries. A toaster with a cool-touch housing is especially valuable if you have children in your home.
  • Countdown timer: Is the toast ready yet? This handy feature lets you know exactly how much longer you must wait for your toast to finish.
  • Crumb tray: Toasters tend to fill with breadcrumbs. To avoid fire danger, these crumbs should be frequently cleaned away. A slide-out crumb tray makes it easy to clean your toaster. Hinged trays require you to hold the entire toaster over the sink during cleaning, which is much less convenient.
  • Retractable or wrap-around cords: Like all appliances with heating elements, it’s best to unplug your toaster when not in use. A retractable or wrap-around cord makes it easy to keep your toaster out of the way and unobtrusive on the counter.
Expert Tip
Never use a metal utensil to retrieve a stuck piece of bread from inside the toaster slots. You can damage the toaster or worse, get an electrical shock.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Tips for perfect toast

There are many delicious types of bread just waiting to be toasted: rye, sourdough, white, whole grain and even gluten-free bread. And don’t forget the English muffins, bagels, Pop-Tarts and artisan breads.

No matter what you’re toasting, you undoubtedly want to achieve just the right level of golden goodness with your toaster.

These tips will help you reach that goal.

  • Start with room-temperature bread for the best results.
  • If you want quality toast, use quality bread.
  • If you’re making multiple batches of toast, remember to turn the browning setting down after the first batch, as an already-hot toaster cooks faster.
  • The denser the bread, the higher heat it can withstand before burning.
  • After you toast your bread, slather on butter before any other desired toppings.
  • Quality counts when it comes to your spread. Nothing beats real butter for the best-tasting toast.
  • Eat your toast right away. It quickly becomes damp and soggy if allowed to sit uneaten.
  • Contrary to common misconception, it’s better to toast fresh bread, not stale bread.
  • If you like to store your bread in the freezer, make sure to freeze it while it’s as fresh as possible.
  • Clean your toaster’s crumb tray and wipe down the outside surfaces weekly if you use it frequently. Do so at least once per month if you only use the toaster occasionally.
Expert Tip
Some toasters come with a sandwich basket or rack – a wire clamp that goes around a sandwich and can be slipped into a toaster slot. Consider this if you prefer your sandwiches toasted.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert


Q. How much does a new toaster cost? 

A. A reliable no-frills toaster will cost you $30 or so, whereas a toaster with all the bells and whistles — including a stylish appearance — may cost upward of $100.

A toaster from a reputable manufacturer might cost more, but the money you spend upfront may grant you some peace of mind down the road. After all, most people don’t feel like shopping for a new toaster every year.

Q. Do any toasters toast evenly? 

A. One of the most common complaints about toasters is that they don't toast evenly. There are several possible reasons for this, but one of the main problems is the uneven spacing of the conductive wires that heat up and brown the bread inside. 

Not all toasters toast unevenly. The more you spend on a toaster, the more likely it is to toast evenly. 

Uneven toasting might also happen to large slices of bread that don't entirely fit the toaster slot. If this is the problem, look for a toaster with extra-long slots. 

Q. How long should a toaster last? 

A. A quality toaster should last six to eight years before it needs replacing. You can extend its lifespan by emptying the crumb tray regularly so it doesn't clog with food particles. 

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