Best toaster 2021: our top 8 toasters for crumpets, bagels, bread and more

These are the best toasters you can buy in 2021, with two-slice and four-slice models from Smeg, Dualit, Russell Hobbs and more

best toaster: Dualit toaster and kettle in a kitchen with flowers
(Image credit: Dualit)

They may be straightforward to use, but the best toaster is one of the most heavily used appliances in any kitchen. From bagels and crumpets to your favourite slice of bread, these kitchen essentials will make or break your weekend brunches. 

We've been busy testing a range of toasters from Dualit, Morphy Richards, Progress, Smeg, Russell Hobbs and other top brands to bring you our complete guide, so whether you want the best two-slice or four-slice toaster for your home, we've got you covered. 

Many toasters these days come with settings for defrosting bread, reheating your toast, and even toasting bagels on one side only. If you like toasting burger buns or even just enjoy some chunky slices of homemade bread, keep an eye out for toasters with wide slots. 

Don't forget to check out the best kettles to complete your breakfast set, and for two-slice and four-slice toasters, complete with our Real Homes reviews, keep on reading. 

Our best toaster reviews

Morphy Richards Verve toasterReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Morphy Richards)

1. Morphy Richards Verve toaster

Best toaster overall: packed with great features for a reasonable price

Specifications
Finish: Black, white, cream
No. of slots: 4
Dimensions: 34 x 33 x 23 cm
Reasons to buy
+Variable controls+Thick slot capacity+Illuminated buttons+Lift to look lever
Reasons to avoid
-Not a huge range of colours-May be large for some kitchens 

The Morphy Richards Verve toaster has a dimpled plastic exterior and comes in a cream, black or white finish that lends itself to classic kitchens. This toaster is smooth to use and smart, too. Its levers allow you to lift up your toast mid-cycle to check on its progress, without having to end the cycle and start again. The controls are variable, which means you can control your level of browning to the nth degree, great for discerning brunchers who have very specific preferences. 

Settings

This toaster has a reheat, frozen, and regular toast setting. If you push down the lever it will automatically default to toasting mode, but you can switch as and when you need. These buttons light up to indicate which is in use, and you can simply press them again to cancel. 

Ease of use

When I tested the Morphy Richards Verve toaster it delivered evenly toasted bread with the perfect amount of crunch. I did notice that it takes longer to toast than some other toasters I’ve reviewed, but I didn’t mind this because I was able to lift up the lever and check on the progress of my toast, so even if I had set the level too high I was able to intervene. 

Love the look

While it would be nice if this toaster was available in a wider range of colours, if you’re looking for a neutral and reliable toaster that delivers on look and on great functions, this is a great choice. 

Progress Scandi 2-Slice Toaster

(Image credit: Progress)

2. Progress Scandi 2-Slice Toaster

Best budget-friendly toaster: with a simple Scandi style

Specifications
Finish: Black, grey
No. of slots: 2
Dimensions: 21 x 25 x 17cm
Reasons to buy
+Reasonably priced+Wood effect accents+We like the matching kettle, too+Compact
Reasons to avoid
-Not tall enough for very long slices

If you want a budget-friendly two-slice toaster, look no further than the Progress Scandi 2-Slice Toaster. It has a wooden Scandi-style accents and comes in either grey or black. 

What you get

Choose from frozen, reheat and cancel buttons, as well as six levels of intensity. It also comes with a rack insert that sits on top of the toaster and can warm croissants and other pastries. 

Love the price

At around £30, this is a budget-friendly toaster that didn't let us down on design. It did toast the bottom half of our toast slightly more than the top, but while it wasn't 100% even, it still performed well and toasted a lot faster than some of the options in this guide. 

Match it up

Pick up the matching kettle for a large-capacity, upright set. 

Dualit Classic Four-SlotReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Dualit)

3. Dualit Classic Four-Slot Toaster

Best premium toaster: industrial styling with a hint of retro cool

Specifications
Finish: Evergreen
No. of slots: 4
Dimensions: H21cm x W36cm x D22cm
Reasons to buy
+Fully repairable or replaceable parts for lifetime use+Hand built in the UK+It’s easy to keep clean
Reasons to avoid
-There’s no cancel button-Expensive (worth it though)

This classic Dualit four-slice Classic toaster comes from an iconic British brand and is now available in the new Naturals collection, which also includes matching kettles. The new colours are curated in collaboration with colour and trend forecaster Anna Starmer and comprises four hues inspired by nature. This four-slice model is packed with innovative features and functions to make life simpler every day.

ProHeat® elements
These benefit from a protective natural mineral layer (Mica) that covers the filaments, making them virtually unbreakable and easy to keep clean.  The extra ‘winds per square cm’ on the ProHeat® Elements ensure that bread is toasted more evenly. 

High-lift lever
This is handy for removing smaller slices and things like little muffins or crumpets that don’t always pop up properly to reach.

Flexible functions
These include a defrost setting, so you can add frozen slices – ideal for when you run out of a fresh loaf.

Tefal Loft Four-Slice Toaster

(Image credit: Tefal)

4. Tefal Loft Four-Slice Toaster

Best toaster for large slices: versatile design with extra wide slots for bread, bagels and crumpets

Specifications
Finish: Blue, black, white, red or cream
No. of slots: 4
Dimensions: H18.8cm x W28.1cm x D29.9cm
Reasons to buy
+Has wider slots so it can toast thickly sliced bread+Includes defrost, reheat and stop settings+Looks stunning on the worktop
Reasons to avoid
-Some say it takes a while to heat up

Tefal’s Loft breakfast set includes this toaster and matching kettle, which look fantastic on the worktop and can be used to give the kitchen an instant refresh. Inspired by traditional British ceramics, the toaster comes with all sorts of handy features designed to make breakfast and suppers quick and easy. This is a great model for families, as the four-slot design makes plenty of toast for all the family while the seven browning levels will keep everyone happy.

Extra wide slots
Ideal for thin and thicker loaves, as well as bulkier items such as bagels, crumpets and muffins. 

Additional settings
Thanks to the defrost, reheat and stop settings, you can control your toast easily and decide how brown to make it, as well as putting it on pause while you get on with other things, then reheating it when you’re ready.

High-lift lever
How many times have you got your fingers burnt by trying to fish out smaller slices or little muffins? With the high-lift lever, you get quick and easy access without the worry of scalding.

Smeg TSF01 Toaster

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

5. Smeg TSF01 Toaster

Best 2 slice toaster: bring a touch of bling to your worktop with this metallic stunner

Specifications
Finish: Gold or Rose Gold
No. of slots: 2
Dimensions: H19.8cm x W31cm x D19.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Six browning levels+Toasts thickly cut and artisan breads+Adds a luxury touch to the kitchen
Reasons to avoid
-The high price tag-It’s quite chunky so takes up more room on the worktop

With a Rose Gold finish exclusive to Currys and Smeg’s London store, and a Gold finish that’s available nationwide, Smeg’s latest small appliance offering is this stunning TSF01 two-slice toaster. It’s ideal for thin and thick cuts of toast as well as chunkier bagels and English muffins. As well as six browning levels, allowing you to select your perfect slice, there are also four functions for defrost, reheat, cancel and bagels.

Bagel setting
Not all toasters come with this extra feature, which is ideal for lunchtimes – think smoked salmon and cream cheese spread thickly on a toasted slice – or breakfasts with bananas or chocolate spread.

Illuminated dial
While you’re using the toaster, the dial lights up, which is great for those who find traditional controls difficult to see or if your toaster is relegated to a dark corner of the worktop.

Crumb tray
A touch-release removable stainless steel crumb tray is easy to take out and empty into the bin.

Russell Hobbs Inspire Four-Slice Toaster

(Image credit: Russell Hobbs)

6. Russell Hobbs Inspire Four-Slice Toaster

Best cheap toaster: a great all-rounder with a rippled, textured finish

Specifications
Finish: White, black, red, cream or grey
No. of slots: 4
Dimensions: H19.5cm x W29.8cm x D29.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Variable browning+Helps you reach smaller items with the extra lift+Cleans easily thanks to removable crumb trays
Reasons to avoid
-Some complain that it takes a while to heat up-You have to use the same browning setting for all slots

The Russell Hobbs Inspire is a stylish looking toaster that comes in a choice of colours, we love this crisp white and stainless steel version with a textured rippled finish. It’s large enough for the whole family and comes with a host of features including variable browning, frozen, cancel and reheat settings.

Defrost option
No need to worry if you’ve run out of a fresh loaf, as you can keep one tucked away in the freezer and simply pop a frozen slice in this toaster.

Cancel button
Stop toast from burning if you have the variable setting on too high thanks to the handy cancel button.

Reheat setting
Pop your toast in, then if you’re not quite ready to eat it when ready, you can use the reheat setting to warm it up at a time that suits you. Great for those in a hurry or who get waylaid doing other things during breakfast.

kenwood Mesmerine Four-Slot Toaster

(Image credit: Kenwood)

7. Kenwood Mesmerine Four-Slot Toaster

Best family toaster: awarded the Red Dot Design Award 2019

Specifications
Finish: Stardust Black, Pearl White, Marine Blue, Burned Orange, Deep Red or Rich Plum
No. of slots: 4
Dimensions: H22cm x W27cm x D27cm
Reasons to buy
+Easy to keep clean thanks to its smooth finish+Toasts just the way you like it with six browning levels+Matching kettle also available
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing fancy in terms of features

This new Mesmerine toaster from Kenwood comes in an eye-catching textured finish, which is still smooth to the touch so it’s easy to clean. There are six browning levels for extra choice as well as a high-rise lever to remove smaller pieces of bread. Added functions include a defrost and cancel button and a bagel feature.

3D texture
As well as a choice of different colours, Kenwood’s new toaster also has a textured pattern finish for an eye-catching addition to the worktop.

Bagel function
This handy option means bagels are toasted on the outside but still soft in the middle.

Push crumb tray
A removable crumb tray is simple to remove and empty into the bin as well as being easy to clean.

Morphy Richards Accents Four-Slice Toaster

(Image credit: Morphy Richards)

8. Morphy Richards Accents Four-Slice Toaster

Best toaster for reheating: stunning looking design that will add wow to worktops

Specifications
Finish: Blue and Rose Gold
No. of slots: 4
Dimensions: H20.6cm x W28cm x D28cm
Reasons to buy
+It has a bagel button+Allows you to reheat when you’re ready+Keeps things tidy with cord storage
Reasons to avoid
-May be quite bulky on a smaller worktop area

This on-trend Accents toaster is new from Morphy Richards and features a matt painted stainless steel body with rose gold details. It comes with reheat and defrost functions as well as variable browning control, a removable crumb tray, bagel button, reheat and cancel as well as a high-lift lever for smaller items.

High-lift lever
Ideal for retrieving smaller slices of bread as well as things like muffins and crumpets.

Reheat button
Sometimes you toast a couple of slices but you only have time to grab one, or maybe you pop the toast on, but no one’s downstairs yet ready to eat, so this option is great for reheating at a time to suit you.

Frozen bread setting
Keep a loaf in the freezer and you’ll never run out of toast in the morning again.


How to buy the best toaster

When you're looking to buy a your new best toaster there are a few things you'll need to consider before parting with your money.

Design and finish
Consider whether you want your toaster to make a statement on the work surface or whether you want it to blend in. Most of us keep it out on the worktop at all times, so you need to make sure it will comfortably fit. Take a note of the dimensions of the one you fancy and check that there’s enough space. The latest designs come in everything from on-trend metallic finishes to crisp clean whites and pops of bright colour.

Slot size
Do you need a four-slot toaster to feed the whole family or would two slots do? Bear in mind that four-slice models will take up more room on the worktop but they are handy for when you need to toast four items at the same time. Look for extra wide slots to cope with thicker breads or artisan loaves. A bagel setting is also a handy feature to look out for.

Added benefits
When you want to make breakfast time run smoothly, choose a toaster with a reheat function so you can warm up the toast when it’s ready to be eaten, as well as a defrost option for toasting straight from frozen.

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Hayley Gilbert
Hayley Gilbert

Hayley is an interiors journalist with 24 years experience who has contributed to a huge range of consumer magazines, trade titles, newspapers and blogs. She has seen so many trends come and go - and come back round again - and has spent the last few years doing up her house in Hampshire. She loves the industrial look and is still a fan of grey in all its many forms. Hayley specialises in writing about kitchens and appliances – although can cover all interiors subjects with ease. For Realhomes.com, Hayley writes about small appliances and health and beauty gadgets

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