Next to a microwave, a toaster is one of the common kitchen appliances there is. Buying a new toaster may sound like a simple enough feat, but with a growing number of options available, choosing the right one for your family may actually require some heavy duty research. With everything from how many slots you’ll need for bread to the mechanical functions you like best to consider, selecting the best toaster for your household can quickly become a tedious chore — unless you know what to look for, that is! Fortunately for you, we’ve done the hard part of sussing out the best toasters on the market to make your decision that much easier.
What is the best toaster?
There are a few key factors you’ll want to look for while on the hunt for the perfect toaster, including the width of the bread slots (will it be able to toast that extra-thick sourdough slice?), special pre-sets (can it warm or defrost bread?), browning settings (all the better to crisp your toast to your liking), and crumb trays for easy cleanup.
You’ll want to take your family size and space into account: Two-slice toasters make for perfect additions to compact kitchens with limited counter space while four-slice toasters are a wiser choice for bigger families.
You also need to consider how you’ll be using your toaster. If you’re an avid bagel lover, you’ll want one with a good bagel setting. If you eat a lot of frozen bread or waffles on the other hand, a defrost setting is imperative. There are even smart toasters available these days that can automatically lower your bread down into the machine!
Whether you’re shopping for a simple, affordable toaster that will simply add some crunch to your bread or a fancy, splurge-worthy option, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to shop FIRST for Women’s picks for the 10 best toasters you can pick up today.
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Betty Crocker 2 Slice Toaster
Best Budget Toaster — Betty Crocker
Where to buy: $15.90 (originally $21.99), Amazon
A cheap price doesn’t have to mean cheap quality, and this Betty Crocker two-slice toaster proves just that. Although it doesn’t come with a whole lot of bells and whistles, it's a super affordable option from a trusted brand that will get the job done. It's got 30mm toasting slots (the perfect size for bread and bagels), an extra-lift feature to easily remove small slices, and a cool-touch surface, so you don’t have to worry about scalding your hands. There’s also a removable crumb tray, variable toast shade control, and a cancel feature should you get ahead of yourself. All in all, it's a great little pick for anyone that's on a budget or needs a secondary or dorm room toaster.
Smeg 50's Retro Style 2 Slice Toaster
Best Retro Toaster — Smeg
Where to buy: $159.95, Amazon
How adorable is this 50's-inspired appliance? Italian brand Smeg debuted this device in 2014 to much fanfare, receiving prestigious awards from iF Design, Red Dot Design, and Good Design. It’s not just a piece of eye candy, though! This machine is a fully functional toaster with two extra-wide slots and self-centered racks, a removable stainless steel crumb tray, and anti-slip feet to ensure no damage befalls your kitchen counter. What’s more, it comes with six browning levels, three pre-set programs (reheat, defrost, bagel), and a handful of color options (our favorites include statement red, classic cream, and fun pastel green).
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven
Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven — Cuisinart
Where to buy: $209 (originally $249.95), Amazon
Yes, an air-frying toaster oven really does exist — and it offers the best of both worlds! In addition to boasting all of the traditional features of a full-size toaster oven, this Cuisinart version enables you to harness the power of heated air (a healthier alternative to oil) in order to cook up tasty, guilt-free meals and snacks. It uses a fan and heater combo in order to “deliver high-velocity, high-heat airflow" for frying up to 3 pounds of wings, fries, and more.
This machine also features a wide range of features, including a dehydrating function and a low temperature setting that's perfect for slow-cooking and braising. Other, more traditional functions include settings to bake, broil, crisp pizza, roast, toast, crisp bagels, reheat, and warm up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
4 Slice Cusibox Stainless Steel Toaster
Best 4 Slice Toaster — CUSIBOX
Where to buy: $59.99, Amazon
A sleek, simple design and reliable functionality have earned this CUSIBOX stainless steel toaster a solid 4.5 star Amazon rating. Six browning settings, plus special bagel and defrost options ensure that your bread, bagels, or English muffins will come out at the perfect crispness. Each of its four slots is 1.5 inches wide and have a self-centering guide for even toasting, every time. A handy high lift lever helps you remove smaller slices safely, while two crumb trays, which easily slide out from the bottom, make cleanup completely hassle-free.
Bonsenkitchen Extra Wide Slot Toaster
Best Selling Toaster — Bonsenkitchen Extra-Wide Slot Toaster
Where to buy: $28.99 (originally $30.99), Amazon
The Bonsenkitchen toaster is one of Amazon’s best-sellers. With a four-star rating and a price that everyone is sure to love, it’s no wonder this two-slice machine is outshining even higher-end models. Dubbed a “brilliant kitchen assistant,” by reviewers, this stainless steel model boasts extra-wide, deep slots to accommodate any type of bread and offers up three preset modes, including defrost, bagel, and cancel. There are seven shade options which serve up “perfect toast every time," according to reviewers.
There’s also a removable crumb tray, smart hidden base cord storage, and a helpful high-lift lever for you to easily removing smaller slices.
Breville Compact Smart Oven
Best Toaster Oven — Breville Compact Smart Oven
Where to buy: From $183.96, Amazon
If you’re shopping for a toaster oven that can deliver a wide array of functions without the bulkiness of a large machine, then Breville's compact smart oven just might be your perfect match. Don’t let its space-saving design fool you: Though it may not take up much counter space, it's spacious enough to fit four slices of toast, a 12-inch pizza, or even a whole chicken! It also does it all, from toasting to roasting, with eight cooking functions (toast, bagel, bake, roast, broil, pizza, cookies, and reheat) that can be used throughout the day — not just at breakfast time.
Element iQ technology also promises to “intelligently” distribute heat for even, accurate cooking. Other handy features include non-stick walls for easy cleanup and an LCD display that lights up orange during pre-heating and cooking, then turns blue when finished.
Breville Die Cast 2 Slice Smart Toaster
Best Smart Toaster — Breville Die-Cast 2-Slice
Where to buy: $125.60, Amazon
Like many of its top-rated competitors, the Breville die-cast 2-slice smart toaster offers a slew of must-have features (think extra-wide slots and bagel and defrost options), but that's where the similarities end. The company worked hard and listened to feedback from customers to develop a “smart” toaster that goes above and beyond. Its unique "a bit more" feature allows you to add toasting time onto a less-than-perfectly done slice, while its "lift and look" feature moves bread up and down as it's cooking to show you where you are in the process.
As if that wasn't cool enough, there’s an LED panel that monitors toasting, plus a one-touch auto-lower option: Once you place bread inside, an internal smart chip will call on the motor to automatically lower bread down. According to Breville, this “mechanized lowering [offers] gentler handling” compared to a manual lever. Fancy shmancy!
Lofter Stainless Steel Bread Toaster
Best Toaster With Warming Rack - LOFTER
Where to buy: $33.99, Amazon
Calling all croissant lovers! If you don’t have the luxury of picking up fresh pastries each morning, LOFTER's stainless steel machine offers a great alternative — there's a special warming rack that comes included with this model. Simply push down a back lift lever and the rack will pop up on top of the toaster, allowing you to easily reheat pastries without the risk of burning. This model also performs your typical toaster duties, only with a few extras six browning levels, defrost, reheat, and cancel functions, and a removable crumb tray come to mind.
Oster 2 Slice
Top Rated Toaster - Oster
Where to buy: $28.99 (originally $34.99), Amazon
With more than 2,000 reviews and a four-star rating, this stainless steel toaster is one of the most lauded products on Amazon. Oster, which was founded in 1924, promises “legendary performance” from its products, which are “designed to last,” and this two-slice machine is no exception. The slots adjust to fit different bread thickness, and you can regulate your toast’s shade with the turn of a dial or cancel your order with the push of a button. Seven pre-selection settings will make your mornings a breeze, as will the anti-jamming mechanism, which ensures your carbs will never gets stuck. Oh. Did we mention it's less than $30?
Wolf Gourmet 4 Slice Toaster
Best Luxury Toaster — Wolf Gourmet 4-Slice Toaster
Where to buy: $399.95 (originally $499.95), Amazon
While Wolf's gourmet four-slice toaster isn't exactly budget-friendly, it just may be worth its high price tag. This professional-grade toaster, which has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, promises the “results artisan bread lovers have been craving for years.”
Each pair of extra-wide slots has its own set of controls, which let you choose from your toast-browning preference, as well as a slide-out crumb tray for easy cleanup. There are also a number of extras, including a "keep warm" function.
As one reviewer gushed, “One of the best features is that it will keep your bread or bagel or muffin warm while you wait for your eggs to finish cooking!”