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
For larger households, a four-slice toaster is a necessity. Not only will it save you time, but it will save you and your family members from ending up hangry. This Hamilton Beach model is our top pick for several reasons. Like our two-slice pick, this toaster comes with wide toast slots, a bagel setting, and “Toast Boost,” which helps you lift your bread out of the toaster, but it also has settings specifically for frozen bread and bagels as well.
We also love that the design of this toaster... allows you to operate only two slots at a time, if you prefer. That means you can make enough frozen waffles for the whole family, or just two slices of toast for yourself. It also allows you to adjust the settings, so one side can be for those who like their toast extra crispy while the other can be for those who prefer things a little lighter.
And while the simple black exterior of this toaster might not win any design awards, it does blend in with many types of kitchen décor.
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
If you still want a toaster, but also like the flexibility of a countertop oven, this combo model might just be your best bet. Many toaster ovens get a bad rap because while they can bake small treats and reheat leftovers well, they aren’t that great at making toast. This Hamilton Beach model solves that problem by keeping the two functions separate, but in the same appliance.
The toaster portion on top can handle regular toast, bagels, and frozen waffles with ease, while the oven below can bake... small items and reheat leftovers quickly—up to 24 percent faster than other toaster ovens on the market.
The combo unit, which comes in both black and cherry red, can only perform one of the two functions at a time, so you’ll have to choose between toasting and baking, but that won’t be a problem for most tasks. Reviewers raved about the durability of this unit, noting that it has lasted several years without problem.
For anyone who is short on counter space but wants a multipurpose appliance, this is just the ticket.
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