Best Toaster Reviews

The top performers in our review are the Breville Smart Toaster; the Dualit NewGen 47153; and the Cuisinart Touch to Toast. Here’s more on choosing a system to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 toasters.

Nothing starts the morning better than a golden slice of toast smothered in butter or marmalade. Add in a cup of coffee and you’re ready to tackle the day. A toaster is essential for quick and delicious toast. Just drop in a slice of your favorite bread, then wait for it pops up. The machine does everything for you. Toasters range in price and quality. You can buy a cheap one for ten dollars at a big-box store, or you can spend over $300 for a specialty model. It’s easy to assume that cheap and expensive toasters are the same – after all, they both toast bread.  However, the superior performance, design, and features of a premium toaster make all the difference.

PROS: The Smart Toaster includes a sleek modern design, motorized functions, digital displays, and LED shading selectors.

CONS: The weight of this toaster makes it difficult to move on and off the shelf.

The modern sleek design, motorized functions, and wide toasting slots help you toast bread perfectly every time.

Doing something consistently, even something simple is not as easy as it appears to be. Toasting bread should be easy. Yet, the more features that manufacturers place inside their toasters the more it seems they forget the basic overall purpose of a toaster, toasting bread. That is why we are so impressed with the Breville Smart Toaster. The Breville engineers have seamlessly blended modern functions and designs without lowering cooking performance.

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PROS: The Smart Toaster includes a sleek modern design, motorized functions, digital displays, and LED shading selectors.

CONS: The weight of this toaster makes it difficult to move on and off the shelf.

The modern sleek design, motorized functions, and wide toasting slots help you toast bread perfectly every time.

Doing something consistently, even something simple is not as easy as it appears to be. Toasting bread should be easy. Yet, the more features that manufacturers place inside their toasters the more it seems they forget the basic overall purpose of a toaster, toasting bread. That is why we are so impressed with the Breville Smart Toaster. The Breville engineers have seamlessly blended modern functions and designs without lowering cooking performance.

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PROS:  The automatic toasting function starts the toasting cycle at a press of a button.

CONS: There is no way to add more time to the toasting cycle once it has started.

The Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless is a solid automatic toaster, but it lacks some of the toasting functions included on more premium toasters.

The Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless is an automatic toaster that comes in two- and four-slice models. You start the toasting cycle by pressing the toasting control button on the side of the toaster, and the motorized lift lowers the bread inside to begin. The lift also raises the bread automatically when the toasting cycle is complete.

The Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless has a digital display with seven shade settings to provide consistent and precise browning. The LCD display doubles as a countdown timer, giving you a precise sense of how long is left on the toasting cycle. However, this type of control doesn’t provide you with much variety between the preset shade levels. If you want a shade different from a preset shade setting, you will have to press the cancel button mid-cycle.

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This toaster could get an award for the best-looking, but we also enjoyed the way the Smeg warms bagels. It looks great on the countertop and comes in a handful of colors, and it makes great toasted bagels. However, it didn’t test well when it came to toasting bread.
This device simply runs hot. After repeated use, it gets hotter and hotter. When you make multiple slices of toast back to back, the later ones become burned even though the settings haven’t changed. But on a low setting, this toaster makes great toasted bagels. In fact, it was better than all others in this category. Not only does the inside of the toaster get increasingly hot after multiple uses – so does the exterior. The external temperature reached 127.9 degrees Fahrenheit and was the second hottest toaster we tested. This is a bit of a safety concern when you’re reaching in to grab your toast. That said, if you eat more bagels than toast, you’ll want to consider this great-looking toaster.

PROS

  • Good-looking retro design
  • Great for making bagels
  • Available in several colors

CONS

  • Gets hot after repeated use
  • Medium settings burn the bread
  • Expensive

PROS: This toaster has an extra-long power cord.

CONS: There’s no setting for toasting just one side of a bagel.

The Waring WCT 708 is a four-slot toaster with a 5.5-foot cord, making it the easiest toaster to place on your counter.
This toaster is also one of the most expensive models we tested, and it has the least amount of features – a disappointing fact when cheaper models like the Dash Clear View outperformed it for less money. We really did like the fact that we could plug this toaster in and put it nearly anywhere on our testing counter. This is a great feature for cluttered counters with power outlets in odd places or kitchen islands. Fortunately, the cord is retractable, so it stays out of the way for storage.

A premium toaster is for anyone who loves toast. Although they are more expensive than basic toasters, the quality of a premium toaster is worth the price. High-end machines are better at toasting bread. Although low-end toasters are cheap in price, they tend to unevenly toast or burn the bread. Premium toasters also have nifty features. These can include a bagel setting designed to only toast one side of the bread and a frozen setting that defrosts the bread before toasting it. Some deluxe toasters even have an automatic lift that lowers and raises your bread as if it were in a smooth elevator. Beyond functionality, premium toasters simply look better than cheap toasters. They exude quality and impress anyone in view. A few premium toasters are even available in attractive colors to match perfectly with your kitchen decor. Keeping these factors in mind, we sought to find the best among all premium toasters. We chose the ten of the best toasters available on the market and tested them extensively. The results were surprising.

Although the toasters mostly all have very similar features, they performed differently. We uncovered these differences in a battery of tests. We designed four separate tests that measured various aspects of performance. These tests evaluated the quality of evenness, consistency, frozen, and bagel. We ran these tests several times on each toaster to ensure accurate results. The results were then tabulated and expressed as a percentage score, with 100 percent being the highest.

This was our most important test. If a toaster can’t do its primary job, then what’s the point of the other features? We performed this test several times on each toaster to determine how evenly each machine toasts bread. We set the toaster on its medium setting and toasted a slice of plain white bread. The completed toast was then evaluated on the evenness of the burning shade, the visibility of burn marks, and the similarity of both sides. Our tests showed that 4-slice toasters generally did better on this test using the outer slots as opposed to the inner ones.

Some toasters overheat after repeated use. The toaster may do fine on the first round, but end up burning the second or third round because it has difficulty regulating heat. To test consistency, we put each bread toaster on its medium setting and toasted several slices of bread back-to-back in the same slot. We then evaluated those slices of toast on the evenness of burn, the visibility of bar marks, and how similar the toast slices were to each other. Even though the Dash Clear View did not score in our top three, it was one of the best performers in this test.

It’s common for people to freeze their bread for long-term storage, so the ability of a toaster to effectively toast frozen bread is essential. We tested this by toasting frozen white bread with each toaster on its medium toast level. If the toaster had a defrost setting, we used it for the tests. We then evaluated the test toast on the evenness of the burning shade, the visibility of burn marks, and the similarity of both sides. We found that toasters with the special defrost function did much better than ones without it.

Everyone loves a good, warm bagel with cream cheese. A burnt bagel, not so much. We tested how well each unit could toast bagels. In our test toasted bagels slices on each machine’s medium setting. We then evaluated the toasted bagels on the evenness of burn and visibility of bar marks. We also considered whether the toaster had a bagel setting that only toasts one side of the bread. When toasting bagels, remember to place the cut half of the bagel facing inwards to get the best results.

Our hands-on testing is designed to simulate typical, real-world experiences. For our tests on premium toasters, we purchased most of the models we reviewed, while some were provided to us by the manufacturers. The manufacturers have no input on our testing methodology, and our rankings are not shared with them prior to publication.

While toasting performance is significant, there are a few other features to consider before purchasing a premium toaster. If you want a toaster that is easy to clean, look for a front-facing crumb tray. This placement makes the tray easy to reach and you won’t need to move the toaster to pull out the tray. A back-facing crumb tray is much more inconvenient. Another design feature to look for is an automatic lift. Rather than pulling down a lever to lower your bread, all you need to do is press a button. The toaster then smoothly lowers the bread for you. Although this feature doesn’t affect the functionality of the toaster, it gives it a luxurious and impressive feel.

Our best-rated toasters are the Breville Smart Toaster, the Frigidaire Professional, and the Cuisinart Classic. Each of these toasters either has high-end features or excellent toasting performance, or both. Their quality design and attractive aesthetics impressed us as we tested them in person.

For a top-performing toaster that costs less than 100 dollars, the Breville Lift and Look is a great option. Although the surface of this toaster can get hot, it did well in all of our performance tests. Moreover, this toaster has extra-long slots, an automatic lift, and the same interface as the best toaster on our list.

Toasters are an essential appliance in a kitchen. With the touch of a button or lever, you can have delicious toasted bread in minutes. If you’re in the market for a premium toaster, check out our toaster reviews to help you choose the best one for you.

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