If you've got a grill, a toaster is essentially a superfluous piece of kit – but they make our lives a lot easier (and tastier), and 79% of British homes have one.

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As well as lowering the risk of burning your toast, many models include features such as bagel-toasting, defrosting and warming, taking the guesswork out of browning bread of every shape and size, including homemade. We have recipes for many toastable loaves, such as easy white bread, tiger bread, and soda bread.

Although they're relatively simple appliances, it's surprising how many struggle to brown bread evenly across the slice, and with the same (or at least similar) colouring on each side. We've taken this into consideration when testing out a range of models and rounded up the top performers accordingly.

We tested a wide range from cheap toasters to luxury models using slices of shop-bought loaf, XL tall slices, thickly sliced artisan bread, tea cakes, and sliced bagels. We also tested any extra functions on offer such as pastry warmers.

All were rated against practical considerations such as size and weight, safety, ease of use, good looks and speed of toasting (we can confirm that the rumours are false: the settings on your toaster don’t correspond with the number of minutes it takes to toast bread). For those who want a matching kettle and toaster set, see our reviews of the best kettles.

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Taking into account variations in the types of bread we were using (old bread tends to toast faster) and after exhaustive toasting, warming and munching, we selected the best models for two-slice toasters, four-slice toasters and even smart toasters. Find out more about the specific criteria we used to test the toasters beneath the main review.

All the costs-to-run calculations in this guide were measured against the variable tariff at the time of testing (16.6p/kWh), which has since changed – read more on the current energy price guarantee rates.

Visit our reviews section and discover more than 600 practical buyers' guides offering unbiased advice on which appliances are worth investing in. Find everything from counter-top appliances, such as the best kettles and best sandwich toasters, through to larger white goods like the best dishwashers and best microwaves.

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Best toasters at a glance

  • Best 4-slice toaster overall: Bosch DesignLine toaster, £60
  • Best stylish toaster: Kitchen Aid 2-slice toaster, £179
  • Best toaster for large slices: Funky toaster, £89.95
  • Best toaster for crumpets and teacakes: Haden Highclere toaster, £54.99
  • Best 2-slice toaster overall: Zwilling Enfinigy toaster 53008, £89.99
  • Best blowout toaster: KitchenAid Artisan 5KMT4205 4-slice toaster, £399
  • Best toaster for even browning: Breville VTT981 Edge 2-slice toaster, £45
  • Best wide-slot toaster: Gastroback Design Toaster Pro 2S, £64.90
  • Best premium toaster: Dualit NewGen 4-slice toaster, £220
  • Best-looking toaster: Swan Gatsby ST14082 4-slice toaster, £47.99
  • Best toaster with eco credentials: Phillips Eco Conscious Edition 5000 Series toaster HD2640, £40

Best toasters to buy in 2024

Bosch DesignLine toaster

Bosch DesignLine toaster

Best overall 4-slice toaster

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Stylish
  • Robust
  • Speedy
  • More cost-efficient versus other models

Cons:

  • Susceptible to fingerprint marks

Star rating: 5/5

Wattage: 1940W

Made from stainless steel, we found a lot to admire about this Bosch toaster. It's sleek-looking, sturdy, and remarkably lightweight, offering six levels on the thermostat, a defrost button, and reheat button. You can also operate each of the toasting chambers independently from each other.

In testing, the DesignLine worked quickly and our toast was ready in just 90 seconds (on level three) – ideal if you need your breakfast in a hurry. It accommodated both standard and XL slices without difficulty, too, producing mostly even toasting lines on each side.

Should you need it, and as we've come to expect with Bosch appliances, there's also plenty of information on the toaster's product page about the brand's repair service, and how and where to recycle it at the end of its life – all wins in terms of sustainability.

Cost to run all slots for 90 secs for one day per week: 3.4p

KitchenAid 2-slice toaster

KitchenAid 2 slice toaster with Good Food accreditation badge

Best stylish toaster

Pros:

  • Stylish design
  • Robust
  • Intuitive

Cons:

  • Slots too shallow to accommodate tall slices
  • Slow to toast

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 980

With a stylish, glossy finish and simple controls, this toaster combines an attractive look with impressive functionality. There are seven temperature options to choose from, as well as four settings for bagels, defrosting, keep-warm and reheating.

On test, we were really impressed by the even browning on our toast for the regular slices, but slightly disappointed that the slots were too shallow to fully accommodate taller slices. This meant we had to flip these to avoid a white stripe of untoasted bread.

This toaster comes with a matching kettle with a similar look, which would work well if you want a matching set. Find the review in our guide to the best kettles.

Available from:

Harts of Stur, £169

KitchenAid, £179

Funky toaster

Funky toaster

Best toaster for large slices

Pros:

  • Crumb trays pull out from front
  • Even browning
  • Accommodates larger slices

Cons:

  • Difficult to read numbers around dial
  • Large footprint
  • Emits plastic smell during first few uses

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 1850W

As the name suggests (and much like the matching kettle), the Funky Toaster is a unique-looking gadget with a smooth, lightweight body and stainless steel controls. Toasting options include cook, reheat and defrost, and there are two dials with six heat levels on either side. The slots are wide and deep, too, so there's plenty of room for extra-large slices.

While the rounded design is fun and interesting, for us it meant the controls were difficult to read – we had to keep bending down to look at them as the base bends inwards. And as the overall shape is bulbous and chunky, it needs quite a bit of space on the countertop.

On the plus side, this model produced some of the most even results from our recent tests, producing golden slices of toast in two minutes (on level three). The spring is quite lively, particularly when cooking smaller items like teacakes – ours shot straight out of the toaster when we hit the eject button. This does mean, though, that you're unlikely to get any items stuck.

Cost to run all slots for 90 secs for one day per week: 5.5p

Haden Highclere toaster

Haden Highclere toaster

Best toaster for crumpets and teacakes

Pros:

  • Sleek and attractive
  • Lightweight
  • Clear, intuitive controls

Cons:

  • Slots too shallow for standard-sized slices
  • Some uneven results

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 1750W

A great fit for kitchens with a retro aesthetic, this stainless-steel toaster is one of the best-looking we've come across. We loved the silver accents across the top and front, and alongside the reheat and defrost buttons, there's a clearly marked dial in the centre with six heat levels.

Toasting took two minutes, though we found the slots were quite shallow – even when using a standard supermarket loaf. This meant the top of extra-large slices poked out of the top, and we had to rotate them 180 degrees before popping them back in for an extra minute.

With this in mind, we found this toaster is much better suited to smaller items like crumpets, teacakes, English muffins or hot cross buns. In testing, we found it browned our tea cakes perfectly, producing even results without catching any of the dried fruit.

Cost to run all slots for 90 secs for one day per week: 5.1p

Zwilling Enfinigy 53008 toaster

Zwilling Enfinigy 53008 toaster

Best overall 2-slice toaster

Pros:

  • Evenly toasted bread
  • Special bagel function
  • Great look

Cons:

  • Cancel button not immediately obvious

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 1800W

Sleek, attractive and very effective, this toaster offers everything you need. Of all the toasters we tested, this gave us the most evenly browned results with both sides of the toast being near identical.

It coped well with pretty much anything we threw at it – frozen bread, thick bread, bagels, fruit loaf and standard sliced supermarket bread. If we are being extremely fussy, the very top of a tall sandwich loaf wasn’t completely browned when placed in the normal vertical position.

The toaster has the usual reheat and defrost functions, along with a bagel setting, all marked with icons. The “cancel” button is also the browning dial and that isn’t obvious as it’s marked by the Zwilling logo.

It’s a two-slot toaster, so not the best for larger families, but double-length and four-slot models in the same range are available.

Read our full review of the Zwilling Efinigy 53008 toaster.

Breville VTT981 Edge 2-slice toaster

Breville VTT981 Edge 2-slice toaster

Best browning from a 2-slice toaster

Pros:

  • Copes with all sizes of bread.
  • Wide range of toasting settings
  • helpful “lift-and-look” feature.

Cons:

  • Didn’t toast evenly on both sides

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 1050W

This is a good-looking, well priced model from a trusted brand. The stand-out feature is ‘lift-and-look’, where you can slide the toast up and have a peek at how it’s getting on without cancelling it, then having to work out which setting to restart on. If you’re happy to stand over your toast, this means you can get it absolutely spot on.

This toaster has all the traditional features you need and expect (including defrost and reheat) and is very straightforward to use.

Slots coped with all thicknesses of loaves and there was an unusually wide range of toasting settings – nine in total. The only downside was that we consistently found toast browner on one side than the other.

Read our full Breville VTT981 Edge 2-slice toaster review.

KitchenAid Artisan 5KMT4205 4-slice toaster

KitchenAid Artisan Candy Apple 4 Slot Toaster

Best premium toaster

Pros:

  • Sophisticated toaster technology
  • Sleekly designed

Cons:

  • Large footprint
  • Expensive

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 2500W

KitchenAid has created a serious bit of kit with this Artisan 4-slice. It's size, design and die-cast metal construction scream statement, demanding a deep work surface and boasting a sophisticated number of settings.

The pairs of extra-wide toasting slots are sensor-controlled, lowered with a gentle elevator ping that's particularly satisfying, and it's accompanied by useful extras like a toastie rack. If you have the space and budget to invest, this model makes toasting fun.

Read our full KitchenAid Artisan 5KMT4205 4-slice toaster review.

Gastroback Design Pro 2S toaster

Gastroback Design Pro 2S toaster

Best wide-slot toaster

Pros:

  • Fun to watch
  • Wide slots make it suitable for bagels and thick slices

Cons:

  • Didn’t always toast evenly on either side.

Star rating: 4/5

Wattage: 950W

If you have impatient kids demanding to know “is it nearly ready yet?”, this could be the toaster for you. It has an LED display that counts down (in little blue bars, rather than seconds) so you can see how far along it is. It’s a small, perky little toaster suitable for smaller kitchens.

This has all the standard reheat, defrost and cancel functions, as well as an integrated warming rack, which is a nice feature if you like warmed croissants and pastries.

Most of the controls are on the front, with the bun rack control and toasting lever on either side. The cord is rather short, so you can’t place this far from a power source.

Toasting results were good overall, though we did find it toasted unevenly at some levels, with toast much more browned on one side than the other. It dealt effectively with fruit loaf and bagels, though it missed the top of taller loaves.

Read our full Gastroback Design Pro 2S toaster review.

Dualit NewGen 4-slice toaster

Dualit NewGen 4-slice toaster

Best premium toaster

Pros:

  • Very hands on, which is great if you know exactly how you like your toast
  • Good “peek and pop” option
  • Striking machine.

Cons:

  • You must remember to change the “slice” setting
  • No accessories included
  • Very expensive

Star rating: 4/5

Wattage: 2200W

This is unlike any other toaster we tested. There are no browning settings; instead you choose how long to toast for with helpful guidelines in the instruction book. Once set, the timer gradually and audibly whirrs down to nought. Once done, the toaster simply switches off rather than the toast popping up, so the toast stays warm inside the toaster until you need it. You then raise it up with the lever.

There’s also a knob to select the number (one to four) of slices you’re toasting, which you need to remember to adjust if you’re changing this the next time.

Although most toasters in our sample have reheat, defrost and cancel buttons, this has none. Instead, the defrost function is integrated into the timer. To reheat, just select a short time and put the toaster on.

The toaster is hand-made to order and comes in a choice of 20 colours, to match every kitchen. Results were good and even. A warming rack and sandwich cage for toasties are sold separately, which we thought was disappointing for a toaster at this price point.

Read our full Dualit NewGen 4-slice toaster review.

Swan Gatsby ST14082 4-slice toaster

Swan Gatsby white four-slice toaster

Best-looking 4-slice toaster

Star rating: 4/5

Wattage: 1550-1850W

A lot of thought has gone into the styling of the Swan Gatsby 4-slice toaster, but thankfully it's not style over substance. Defrost, reheat and bagel functions are on offer, plus its lever arms have a bread-lift feature so you don't need to poke around for your slices.

Its seven heat levels are over-enthusiastic for normal toasting; five settings would be enough here but on the whole, this is a good-looking toaster worthy of its price tag.

Read our full Swan Gatsby ST14082 4-slice toaster review.

Philips Eco Conscious Edition 5000 Series HD2640 toaster

Philips Eco Conscious Edition 5000 Series HD2640 toaster

Best toaster with eco credentials

Pros:

  • Ideal for the eco-conscious
  • Compact
  • Quick
  • Warming rack

Cons:

  • Not great for long slices
  • Sometimes burnt with defrost button

Star rating: 4/5

Wattage: 830W

A toaster with impeccable eco-credentials, this compact toaster is ideal for smaller households, or kitchens with a limited working area. The toaster is made from bio-based plastics, which come from biological and renewable resources.

It’s smaller than average and very lightweight but surprisingly speedy. It’s also very effective and coped well with all but the tallest loaves. We liked the extra feature of the bun warmer in particular. Unusually, this toaster also comes with a lid which keeps the toaster clean, neat and dust-free when it’s not being used.

The defrost function is combined with the browning button, so you can’t choose how brown you want your defrosted slice to be (although of course you can always use the cancel button).

This compact toaster would make a perfect gift for an eco-conscious student.

Other toasters tried and tested

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What to look for when buying a toaster

When you’re buying a new toaster, there are plenty of other factors to consider, too. Are you a fan of chunky artisan bread, or loaves with large slices that your toaster might struggle to hold? Read our tips on the features to look for when buying a toaster:

What does it toast?

When you're looking for a four-slot toaster, think about what you use your current model for the most, and make sure it has everything you need. If you're a fan of bagels, you'll want that extra functionality.

If your family all makes their toast pretty much the same way, a single-lever model will suit you fine (and likely be cheaper), while the bagel function found on some toasters is useful for lovers of bagels and crumpets, as it toasts one side, while only warming the other.

Cost

As with so many kitchen appliances, you often get what you pay for: some cheaper models do a perfectly good job, but if you’re using your toaster every day, it's worth investing in a sturdy model that can withstand being used regularly and taken in and out of the cupboard without getting damaged.

Size

Is it a titan of a toaster with a cumbersome cord that will take up too much space in your kitchen cupboards? If you’re a fan of bagels, or store your bread in the freezer, does it include all the functions you need to create toast perfection?

Weight

Checking the weight and measurements of your toaster is also important, as four-slice models are significantly larger than two-slice versions, and can weigh a lot. If you store yours in a high cupboard, a lighter model is best, unless you're happy to rearrange your kitchen.

Defrost setting

Most modern toasters have a defrost setting that allows you to toast bread from frozen, with the exception of the cheapest models.

Warming function

For anyone who does not want to eat their toast straightaway, this is an important consideration. The toaster will keep your slice heated without toasting it further, until you return to it later.

Slot width

If you enjoy a thickly sliced bread or chunky artisan types, be sure to look for a toaster with an extra-wide slot. Some models even have adjustable slow width. On pressing down a lever, the metal frame fits to the slice size to ensure an even toasting, regardless of thickness.

How we tested toasters

We tested and reviewed a representative sample of toasters in controlled conditions. We used five different bread types to test all the functions and capabilities of the toaster; standard loaf slices, fruit bread, chunky-cut artisan loaf, extra-tall slices and sliced bagels. Each toaster was scored out of five against the following criteria on our testing matrix, before getting an average score.

Size and shape
Does the cord tuck away for easy storage? Does it take up a lot of kitchen work-surface, and is it heavy to lift?

Toasting options
Does it offer any extra settings such as defrost, warming and bagel function? Are there controls for each side of the toaster, and are there any extra features such as the option to check your bread mid-toast?

Design and aesthetic
Does the toaster look good and come in different colours to suit your kitchen?

Finished results
How well does the toaster handle different types of bread? Do standard slices brown evenly, with the same result on each side?

Value for money
Toasters perform the basic task of browning bread, so the price should fit the sophistication of its technology and the variety of functions on offer.

Overall quality of materials
Every part of the toaster was given a tug and a shake.

More advice on buying appliances

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Best blenders
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Toast recipes

Smoky chickpeas on toast
Avocado on toast
Crab & tangled asparagus salad on toast
Baked beans on toast with pancetta & poached eggs
Mozzarella & pesto chickpeas on toast
Vegan 'smoked salmon' toasts
Chilli & garlic leeks with eggs on toast
Poached eggs on avocado & feta toasts

If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews, or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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