The 9 Best Toasters for Bread, Bagels, English Muffins, and More

Our favorite toaster is the Cuisinart 4-Slice Compact Toaster, which has a range of settings to avoid burning and achieve the perfect crunchy toast.

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Best Toasters Tout

Amazon

Whether you spend a lot of time in the kitchen or not, toasters are one of the easiest to use yet most essential kitchen appliances you’ll probably purchase. Small but mighty, toasters are great for making a variety of quick and easy meals—just drop in a slice or two of bread for a quick warm breakfast or a delicious sandwich upgrade.

"There's a good reason why the toaster still lives on so many countertops: It's a simple appliance that does a great job at making comfort food even better,” says Christine Pittman, cookbook author and blogger at Cook the Story.

When shopping for the best toasters, you’ll want to consider not just the size and number of slots on the appliance, but also the number of shade settings it offers. This allows you to choose how dark you’d like your toast to be and change the settings if you’re using a bagel, an English muffin, or a different type of bread. You’ll also want to keep the material type in mind since it may make sense to match your toaster’s exterior to other appliances in your kitchen.

Based on these considerations, we chose the Cuisinart Four-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster as the best overall toaster. We like that it offers seven toasting levels, extra-wide slots for oversized slices of bread, and three separate settings to accommodate different needs.

Here’s our full list of the best toasters for a variety of kitchen and family needs.

Best Overall

Cuisinart CPT-142BK 4-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster, Black

Cuisinart CPT-142BK 4-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster, Black

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It has three toasting settings and seven toasting levels.
Keep in Mind: It doesn’t come in a stainless steel option, so it won’t match in a kitchen with other stainless steel appliances.

When picking our best overall toaster, we looked for a balanced combination of size, features, and durability. The Cuisinart Four-Slice toaster has four 1.5-inch slots for toasting bread, bagels, and frozen items with ease while taking up less than 121 square inches of space on your countertop.

With dual independent controls that sit on both sides, the toaster allows you to select how dark or light you’d like individual slices to be. There are seven different toasting settings ranging from lightly toasted to dark brown as well as buttons for defrosting, reheating, and toasting a bagel.

Like many more expensive toasters, the Cuisinart has a high-lift lever that brings your finished toast well above the toaster, allowing it to cool and keeping hands away from a hot appliance. The wide slots, with an internal cage that holds the bread in place, allow for bigger slices of bread and bagels to fit in the toaster easily.

The body is also easy to wipe clean, as is the slide-out crumb tray, which can be easily shaken off over a trash can. This toaster even has a cord wrap underneath, which makes storage easy and clears more counter space.

Available in black or white, the plastic body doesn’t look or feel budget, but it has a nice look that would work well on most countertops. However, there’s no stainless steel option, so if you have other stainless steel appliances and you’d like your toaster to match, you’ll need to consider one of the other options on our list.

Price at time of publish: $50

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 10.8 x 10.7 x 7.2 inches
  • Features: Reheat, defrost, bagel
  • Number of Slots: Four
  • Material: Stainless steel, plastic

Best Budget

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Brushed Toaster

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Brushed Toaster

Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: It has extra-wide slots for fitting thicker pieces of bread or bagels.
Keep in Mind: The slots aren’t as long as others on our list, so you won’t be able to fit longer slices of bread.

The Hamilton Beach Two-Slice Brushed Toaster is somewhat simple compared to most of the other choices on our list of the best toasters, but for the price, this one is reliable and easy to operate.

This stainless steel model toasts consistently and evenly across settings, and it can easily handle bagels and waffles, as the slots are extra wide. This allows it to accommodate wider bread like Texas toast and challah. Keep in mind, though, that the slots are a little short compared to others on this list, so you may have a hard time fitting longer bread slices without cutting them in half.

When your toast is ready, the Hamilton Beach toaster boosts it up nice and high so you’re not fishing around a hot appliance for your breakfast. We also like the crumb tray, which slides out easily. Just shake off the crumbs and wipe it down with a wet towel for a super simple cleanup.

At 11 inches long and 6.5 inches wide, it won’t take up much space on your countertop, which is great if you have limited room in your kitchen. The Hamilton Beach also has simple good looks that allow it to fit in on almost any style of kitchen, especially if the rest of your appliances are stainless steel.

Price at time of publish: $27

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 11.14 x 6.46 x 7.48 inches
  • Features: None
  • Number of Slots: Two
  • Material: Stainless steel

Best Splurge

Revolution InstaGLO R270 Touchscreen Toaster

Revolution InstaGLO R270 Toaster

Williams Sonoma

Why You Should Get It: This toaster has specific toasting settings for 34 different bread types.
Keep in Mind: Could be overly complicated and for some

Purchasing smart appliances for your kitchen can help simplify your cooking experience to make it quicker and more user-friendly. If you love high-tech in the kitchen, the Revolution InstaGlo Touchscreen toaster might be the best toaster for you since it has smart settings for 34 bread types and a customizable home menu.

To use this toaster, select your type of bread—think cinnamon bread, bagel, English muffin, toaster pastries, and more. Then, select how dark or light you’d like it to be. During this step, the touchscreen will actually show you pictures of your bread with different shades of toastedness, taking out any iota of guesswork in the process.

According to the manufacturer, the Revolution InstaGlo Toaster heats up super quickly, allowing it to sear the outside of your toast while leaving the inside soft and flavorful.

This high-tech toaster even has a gluten free setting, which allows it to properly toast bread containing gluten alternatives for better toasting results. This means your gluten-free bread won’t come out under- or over-cooked.

The toaster also comes with settings for a panini press and a warming rack, making it one of the most versatile toasters on our list. You’ll need to purchase the accessories separately, but adding these to your toaster can make it a space-saving multitasker that will toast warm sandwiches whenever you want them.

Price at time of publish: $399

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 13.89 x 10.08 x 7.91 inches
  • Features: 34 bread settings, seven toasting levels, gluten-free setting
  • Number of Slots: Two
  • Material: Stainless steel

Best Single-Slot

Russell Hobbs 2-Slice Glass Accent Long Toaster

Russell Hobbs 2-Slice Glass Accent Long Toaster

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This toaster has a slim footprint that won’t take up much space on your counter, but it still fits two slices at a time.
Keep in Mind: You’ll need to dedicate extra storage space to the warming rack when it’s not in use.

If you’re low on counter space and don’t want to take up too much room in your kitchen with a big toaster, consider a single slot toaster.

We chose the Russell Hobbs Toaster as the best single-slot toaster because it’s large enough to fit two slices of regular bread or one slice of artisan bread inside at the same time. This means you won’t have to wait twice as long to make two slices of toast, which is the case with most other single-slot models.

It comes with a small removable warming rack that attaches to the top of the toaster, allowing you to use it to warm up rolls, buns, and pastries. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to store this attachment in a cupboard or drawer when not in use since it partially blocks the toast slots when installed.

This toaster also comes with a “lift and look” feature, which allows you to raise the toast and check on its color without canceling the heating cycle so you can achieve the perfect golden-brown slice of toast.

The toaster also has a bagel function, a defrost setting to warm bread from the freezer, and of course, a cancel button. An easy-to-remove crumb tray makes cleanup a snap.

Price at time of publish: $44

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 14.8 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Features: Bagel, defrost
  • Number of Slots: One
  • Material: Stainless steel

Best Two-Slice

Breville BTA720XL A Bit More 2 Slice Toaster

3.3
breville-the-bit-more-toaster-2-slice

Courtesy of Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: This toaster offers innovative features and a small footprint, saving counter space.
Keep in Mind: It’s a bit pricey compared to other two-slice models.

There’s a lot we love about the Breville A Bit More two-slice toaster, including its sleek appearance, extra-long slots, and helpful features.

The first feature we love is called “lift and look,” and it allows you to check on the toastedness of your bread or bagels without interrupting the cooking time. You simply manually raise the toast with the side lever, take a peek, and then drop the toast back in. The toaster stays on the same heat setting you chose, unless you hit cancel.

Another button labeled “a bit more” lets you add extra time to your toasting without leaving the item in for too long. You can monitor the toasting process via an LED indicator.

The A Bit More toaster also has a bagel setting, a frozen setting, and a fruit bread setting.

Karen Diep, who works in product development at Breville, notes that this toaster was built to handle larger slices of bread.“It is ideal if you are frequently toasting long slices of bread such as sourdough loaves,” Diep says. “Long slot toasters can also toast four slices of sandwich bread.”

At $80, this two-slice toaster is certainly worth purchasing if you like the convenience of being able to achieve the perfect slice of toast every time and the high-tech features it offers. However, if you want a basic toaster without all the bells and whistles, there are plenty of other models on the market for less money.

Price at time of publish: $109

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Features: Bagel setting, crumpet setting, “a bit more” button, frozen setting
  • Number of Slots: Two
  • Material: Stainless steel

Best Four-Slice

Cuisinart CPT-435P1 4-Slice Countdown Motorized Toaster

Cuisinart CPT-435P1 4-Slice Countdown Motorized Toaster, Stainless Steel

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It has a digital countdown display so you know exactly when your toast will be ready.
Keep in Mind: It can take a little time to get the hang of some of the functions.

If you’re making breakfast for a crowd, a four-slot toaster is a great option to heat twice as many bagels, strudels, or slices of bread at a time. The Cuisinart Four-Slice Countdown motorized toaster earned a spot on our list of the best toasters because of its useful settings, easy-to-read display, and relatively low price point.

While it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of a smart toaster, the LCD countdown display makes it easy to tell exactly how long you have until your toast is ready. It also has a motorized lift button to help get things out of the toaster once they’re done without burning yourself.

Another cool feature is the “reheat” option, which allows you to warm up the toast you made and then forgot about without burning it and ruining breakfast.

The bagel option toasts just one side of the bagel, which is perfect for people who like just the inside toasted. However, it’s worth noting that the browning options run a little hot, and most people will have to play around with the settings to find the perfect level of toasting.

Its exterior is made from stainless steel, giving it a sleek modern look that’ll work well in kitchens with other stainless steel appliances.

Price at time of publish: $80

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 12.6 x 12.3 x 9 inches
  • Features: Bagel setting, defrost, reheat
  • Number of Slots: Four
  • Material: Stainless steel

Best Long-Slot

Dash Clear View Toaster

Dash Clear View Toaster

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This toaster has a glass window that allows you to see when your bread has reached the desired color.
Keep in Mind: It’s made from plastic, which is less durable than other materials.

People who love artisan bread from the farmers market or a local bakery will find it difficult to toast these bread types in a traditional two-slot toaster. Long-slot toasters are amazing for creating giant slabs of artisan toast, but you also can use them for regular-size sandwich bread by placing two slices side by side in the same slot.

There are a lot of options out there, but the Dash Clear View earned a spot on our list of the best toasters for even toasting, functionality and easy cleanup. One side of this retro-looking toaster has a little window you can peer into and check the color of your toast without having to take it out of the toaster. This helps you avoid burnt toast and accurately estimate when it’s time to take it out.

The controls offer options for defrosting frozen bread, reheating toast that’s gone cold, and toasting bagels, along with a dial that offers seven levels of toasting. These vary between warm to buttery brown to almost burnt, depending on your preferences. The crumb tray and window slide out for easy cleaning as well.

The Dash long-slot toaster has a retro appearance and is available in five colors to match your current kitchen design style. However, it’s made from plastic, not metal, so it may be less durable than other toasters on our list.

Price at time of publish: $50

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 6.6 x 15.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Features: Buttons and dial
  • Number of Slots: Two
  • Material: Plastic

Best Modern Design

Breville BTA820XL Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toaster

Breville BTA820XL Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toaster

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The bread automatically raises and lowers with the press of a button instead of a lever.
Keep in Mind: You’ll pay a bit more for added features that aren’t essential.

The sleek die-cast metal housing of this Breville toaster makes it major eye candy for your countertop, and it’s worth every cent if you’re looking for a user-friendly toaster that will turn out evenly toasted, golden brown slices batch after batch.

Good design meets function with this two-slice toaster. With just the push of a button, the grates lower your toast automatically without the need to press a lever, and it also features extra-wide slots for bagels. You can use Breville’s “lift and look” setting to check your toast to see if it’s ready without popping it out of the chamber.

Like most of the best toasters on this list, the Breville model has settings for toast, bagels, and defrost, but this model also includes Breville’s “a bit more” setting, which allows you to add a bit more cook time to the end of a cycle without accidentally burning the item.

Cleaning is simple, too. While the crumb tray isn’t washable in a dishwasher, it’s simple to pull out and rinse in the sink. You can wipe the rest of the machine off with a damp cloth.

Breville products also come with a one-year limited warranty, so if your toaster stops functioning due to a defect, you’ll be able to get it repaired and replaced without a huge hassle. Keep in mind that, while this toaster has a sleek design and helpful features, it may not be worth the high price tag for people who want a basic toaster without the bells and whistles.

Price at time of publish: $150

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 6.75 x 10.25 x 7.5 inches
  • Features: Bagel setting, crumpet setting, “a little more” setting, lift and look
  • Number of Slots: Two
  • Material: Die-cast metal

Best Retro

Redmond 2 Slice Toaster Retro Stainless Steel Toaster, Pink, ST028

Redmond Two-Slice Retro Stainless Steel Toaster

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This toaster comes in nine different vibrant colors to match your kitchen design.
Keep in Mind: The toaster slots may not be wide or long enough for thick or artisanal bread.

We love the fun retro design of the Redmond Two-Slice Toaster, which comes in a rainbow of colors to match a neutral-toned or bright and colorful kitchen decor scheme.

However, this toaster gets the nod from us for more than just its good looks. The two-slice toaster features six browning settings with cooking times ranging from 70 to 220 seconds, two additional functions (bagel and defrost), and a dial to adjust how crispy you want your bread. It also has an anti-rust and anti-overheat shell, which protects it from deteriorating or getting damaged quickly.

If you don’t want to keep this toaster out on the counter, or need to take it with you somewhere, the cord wraps easily around hooks underneath the appliance for easy storage.

There are a lot of retro-style appliances on the market right now. However, this toaster came out ahead thanks to its simple settings, even toasting, and reasonable price for stainless steel—on top of its cute look.

Price at time of publish: $44

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 10.8 x 6.9 x 7.4 inches
  • Features: Bagel defrost settings
  • Number of Slots: Two
  • Material: Stainless steel

The Bottom Line

We picked the Cuisinart Four-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster as our overall best toaster because it had the best blend of functionality while remaining very well-priced. If you’re willing to splurge for a toaster with more advanced features, we loved the high-tech touch screen and myriad of options of the Revolution InstaGlo Touchscreen Toaster.

What to Know About Toasters Before Shopping

Size

When shopping for the best toaster for your kitchen, you’ll want to consider how much space it’ll take up on your countertop. We recommend grabbing a tape measure and scoping out the space on your counter where you want to place your toaster, especially if you’re ordering it online. Compare the measurements to the dimensions of the toaster, and don’t forget to measure the height and keep overhead cabinets in mind.

If you’re planning on storing the toaster in your pantry or a cabinet when not in use, we recommend looking for a toaster with a cord that can be stored on the underside of the appliance. This will help keep your cupboards decluttered and make it easier to take out or put away your toaster.

Features

The best toasters on the market provide plenty of different settings, allowing you to do more than just toast bread but also bagels, pastries, and more. We found that most toasters have up to seven different toast levels to choose from, allowing you to turn a dial to change how dark or light your bread becomes. Additionally, the best toasters have a frozen setting that defrosts frozen bread, a bagel setting for toasting thicker bread types, and even a reheat setting to warm up cold toast without burning it.

The more features a toaster has, the more expensive it will be, so keep this in mind and consider what functions will be most important to you when shopping for the best toaster.

Toaster Slots

If you have a lot of people vying for the toaster on busy mornings, you’re going to want at least a two-slot toaster but possibly even a four-slot toaster. A larger toaster will allow you to make twice as many slices at the same time and select different settings and toast levels for individual slices.

You’ll also want to consider the length and width of the toaster slots. If you frequently eat bread that’s larger than a traditional bread slice (think artisan bread or bagels), you’ll probably want to buy a toaster that advertises extra-long or wide slots.

Material

When purchasing a new toaster, you can choose between plastic, aluminum, chrome, and stainless steel finishes. The best toasters will be made with a high-quality and durable material, such as stainless steel. Plastic toasters tend to be cheaper, and they are less likely to burn your fingers since their outer surface stays cool more easily than a metal toaster. However, the best stainless steel toasters are often more durable and sleeker looking.

Your Questions, Answered

What is the best way to clean a toaster?

When cleaning your toaster, remember that it is an electrical appliance that heats up, so use extra caution to ensure you don’t hurt yourself.

“Always make sure the toaster is unplugged and cooled off before doing any kind of cleaning,” Pittman says. “You can then clean the outside of a toaster with a warm soapy cloth. If the toaster has a metallic outside, a wipe with vinegar and paper towels will gently remove water marks and streaks.”

To keep the interior of your toaster clean, the best toasters have a removable crumb tray that allows you to dump out the stray crumbs that fall off your bread as it cooks. After emptying this tray, you can wipe it down using soap and water, then dry it thoroughly before re-inserting it into the toaster.

Pittman also suggests being mindful of what you put in your toaster in the first place.

“Don't put things like cheese or buttered bread, anything that isn't permanently solid, or anything greasy into the toaster unless you use a toaster bag,” Pittman says. “Toaster bags are great for reheating french fries or making grilled cheese sandwiches right in your toaster. But without those bags, it's best to stick with toast.”

Is a two-slice or four-slice toaster better?

When choosing between a two-slice or a four-slice toaster, it really comes down to your household needs and preferences, both of our experts said. You’ll want to consider the number of people in your home who may want to use the toaster at the same time and how much counter space you’re willing to sacrifice, since four-slot toasters are larger. Four-slot toasters also tend to cost more money, so some shoppers may prefer to find a high-quality two-slot toaster for a similar price.

Who We Are

Tanya Edwards is an award-winning writer and editor with bylines at Better Homes & Gardens and other publications. She was previously the programming director of culinary at Food Network and has been writing and creating instructional content for home cooks for over a decade.

For this story, Tanya researched the most important features to look for in the best toasters, and spoke with Karen Diep, product development at Breville, and cookbook author Christine Pittman.

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