Along with your coffeemaker, your toaster might be one of the most important small appliances in your kitchen. After all, a disappointing breakfast can your day off on the wrong foot.
So when you’re shopping for a new toaster, in addition to paying attention to variables like price, size, special features (we’re looking at you, bagel setting), and design, it’s also important to make sure you find an appliance that’s reliable and produces consistently good toast over the course of the machine’s... life. With those factors in mind, here are the best toasters you can shop for right now.
01 of 07
For two-slice toasters nothing beats the speed, quality, consistency, and ease of use of this Hamilton Beach model. A top seller on Amazon, this appliance is the standard for smaller households that only need to make two pieces of toast at a time. The easy-to-operate, illuminated buttons let you choose between regular toasting, a bagel setting, and defrosting, and a numbered dial allows you to choose just how crispy you want your toast to turn out.
You’ll also see a “Keep Warm” button that's... one of the best features of this model. If you need a little extra time to finish making your coffee or frying some eggs, simply press the button, and the toaster will maintain the perfect temperature for your toast for up to three minutes. (It shuts off automatically after that.) The toaster also has a lift feature (called “Toast Boost”) that allows you to raise your slices out of the toaster, making them easier to remove without burning your fingertips.
Finally, the exterior of the toaster remains cool to the touch even after making breakfast for the whole family, so you can scoot it across the counter or store it away in the cabinet without having to wait for it to cool down.
The only complaint about this model is that the cord isn’t quite long enough for those dealing with inconveniently placed outlets.
02 of 07
This four-slice toaster will have breakfast ready much faster. The extra large, self-centering slots hold thin breads or thick bagels snugly for even toasting. Each pair of slots has its own toasting control, so mom can have her favorite nearly burned toast while dad opts for golden brown. Or you can toast bagels at the same time you’re making toast.
There are six levels of browning and five buttons for functions including toasting, defrosting, reheating, properly toasting bagels, and cancelling... the process. A high-lift lever brings short English muffins or other pastries high enough to grab them without burning your fingers.
This has an elegant brushed and chromed stainless steel finish and blue LED lights that indicate the cooking process.
03 of 07
You don’t have to spend a lot to get a quality toaster. This Black+Decker model costs less than $20 and delivers reliable results every day. No wonder it has top-seller status on Amazon. The simple black and brushed silver design is also universal enough to fit in most modern kitchens.
While the controls on this appliance aren’t as high tech as some of the others on this list, you do still have the option to select whether you’re toasting plain bread, a bagel, or a frozen item to ensure you... get the best results possible. Simply press either the bagel or defrost button before pushing down on the toasting lever to choose between the settings. The shade selecting dial offers seven different toasting levels, ensuring that there’s a right setting for everyone.
The toaster has an integrated, easy-to-empty crumb tray to keep things tidy. And the cord can be wrapped around the base for easy storage when you’re done making breakfast.
04 of 07
Ready to go high tech? This is the toaster for you. The shimmering stainless steel exterior and dual LCD screens on this Cuisinart toaster makes it fit right in with your favorite smart home tech, while still being user-friendly enough for everyone in your household.
This toaster has the basic features you expect—bagel and defrost settings and the ability to select different levels of doneness for the two sides—but it has a few bells and whistles that make it worth the jump in price. First, the... LCD screens let you select the toasting level and serve as a countdown timer so you know just how long that perfect slice will take.
The other semi-futuristic aspect of this toaster is that it lowers and raises your toast for you. As soon as you make your toasting selections, the motorized lift will lower the bread into the machine, and it will lift it when it’s done. Yes, this does make this model slightly noisier than others on the market, but it isn’t too distracting. To top it all off, Cuisinart provides a 3-year limited warranty with this model.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
If you’ve been thinking about upgrading to a toaster oven, now is a great time to do so thanks to the improved technology in the last few years, and the Breville Smart Oven is a perfect pick. The large capacity countertop oven not only toasts six pieces of bread at one time, but it can also bake cakes and cookies as well as your regular oven.
It has two types of heating elements and 10 different preset cooking functions to make it easy to select the right cooking mode. It also uses convection... cooking to make sure everything heats evenly. The appliance comes with three baking pans specifically designed to fit inside, but it can also hold up to a 3 ½-quart Dutch oven.
If you tend to bake in small batches, or don’t want to heat up your kitchen in the summer with your regular oven (and you have the counter space), this is the ideal model for you.
06 of 07
If you bake your own bread or buy a variety of artisan breads, you’ll love the versatility of this toaster. It has two extra-long slots that will each hold two slices of standard sandwich bread, or you can toast long slices of bread. The slots are 1 1/2 inches wide, so you can also toast thick breads, croissants, or bagels.
The toaster has seven different settings for toast color as well as settings for bagels, defrosting frozen bread products, reheating toast, or keeping the toast warm. The... lever is designed to make it easy to lift small breads high enough to easily remove them from the toaster.
A crumb tray makes it easy to clean the toaster, and if you need to store it, the cord stores neatly under the base.
07 of 07
This toaster is a two-fer with toast slots along with a toaster oven, so you can make traditional toast or you can reheat your pizza for lunch. The top slot is extra wide to handle your thickest breads and is long enough to handle two slices of bread, a long slice of artisan bread, or a pair of English muffin halves. There is a toast shade selector so your toast is always perfectly browned and a bread lifter lever makes sure you can retrieve small slices easily.
It’s simple to switch from... toaster to oven, with a simple lever. A signal lets you know when time is up, and an automatic shutoff turns the toaster off if you step away – no more burned pizza!
A dial makes it easy to set the oven temperature for gently reheating pizza or melting cheese on your nachos. A drop-down crumb tray catches crumbs and drips and pulls out for cleaning, and it’s dishwasher safe. The oven rack slides in and out easily for retrieving food and for cleaning. A baking pan is included.
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