The best toaster will deliver evenly-toasted bread, bagels, and pastries each and every morning. Whether it's the muffins for your eggs benedict, or just a mid-afternoon snack of some buttered toast, you will likely use your toaster on a near-daily basis.
When paired with the best kettles, you can use your toaster for more than just bread. Many of our top picks come with stylish designs that will look the part on your counters – and because they are designed to last years and years, you'll want to pick the best toaster for your interior design style.
In our roundup, you'll find toasters we've tried ourselves with ratings out of five from the Real Homes team. We've included toasters from brands like Dualit, Kenwood, Morphy Richards, Russell Hobbs, and Smeg, to help you make the right choice for your home.
Our best toaster reviews
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This toaster is pretty expensive, but we were so wowed by it in our tests that it had to go in first place. The KitchenAid Artisan Electric Toaster we tested was in a new colour, Pistachio, and we loved its matte finish that won't smudge easily.
The settings are extensive. This toaster automatically detects when you've added something to the slices and lowers them independently. It also makes a beeping noise that's really quite pleasant, and will show you how long your toast will take with a lit-up progress bar.
There is a bagel setting, which we always look out for when we're testing, and you can choose your toast level with a tactile slider at the front of the machine. It goes from 1 to 7, so we tested at 3.5. It took 1 minute 34 seconds which is one of the quicker toasters we tested, and our bread came out perfectly even. The only thing we'd fault is the price, which puts it out of reach for some buyers.
The Russell Hobbs Attentiv Toaster is one of the smartest toasters we've ever seen, and we really enjoyed the intelligent but discreet control panel at the front of the machine. It's a two-slice, but needs to sit against your wall in a specific way so you can access the controls, meaning it still takes up quite a bit of space.
In our tests, we loved the LED lights which make a beeping noise when you interact with them. You can turn a dial to increase or decrease the toasting level, and you can also choose between defrost, reheat and a 'traditional' mode which turns it into a regular toaster without all the smart features - ideal for the undecided smart tech buyers.
This speedy toaster finished toasting at level three in 1 minute and 23 seconds. It made one of the most evenly-toasted slices we made, and the stainless steel exterior is wipe-clean.
Available in grey, blue, and a white with rose gold accents, the Beko Cosmopolis Toaster has a colour and size that's suitable for any family kitchen. We enjoyed the matching kettle too, and the cool-touch exterior means this one's safe on busy kitchen counters.
The toaster is reasonably priced but the textured handles and exterior make it feel a bit more elevated. The slots are wide enough for burger buns, etc, and we also liked the handles which offer extra lift for smaller slices. Another big plus is the independent controls for each two-slice side of this toaster.
When we tested on level three, our bread took 2 minutes 34 seconds to toast to quite a modest level of brownness, which is one of the longer times we recorded. However, it was even and toasted all over, and energy consumption wasn't above average.
This Classic Dualit toaster comes from an iconic British brand and comes in a variety of colours. This two-slice model is packed with innovative features and functions to make life simpler every day.
The elements 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. There is also an extra-lift lever which is handy for removing smaller slices and things like little muffins or crumpets that don’t always pop up properly.
In our tests, we enjoyed the fact that this toaster will fit the largest of bread slices, and didn't skip out on testing the top portion of our classic slice. However, you may find that your toast burns if you run a second use immediately after the first. This is because the elements retain heat very well. Our test took just 1 minute and 30 seconds to reach the perfect level, making this one of the fastest toasters we tried.
The Breville Aura 4 Slice Toaster is a great model for families, as the four-slot design makes plenty of toast for all the family, while the nine browning levels will keep everyone happy.
When we tested it, the nine levels of toasting were the most versatile we'd seen, the lift-and-look feature meant we could check on our slices while they were toasting, which is something we love in a toaster.
The design is a black with metallic gold reflects, but there is also a grey version. We don't know if the look will be for everyone, but this modern toaster is well-suited to kitchens with black and gold accents.
Our test slice (where we turned the toaster up to its middle setting and timed how long it took to toast) was 2 minutes and 31 seconds. The toast was slightly more brown towards the top and the deep design meant none of the bread was sticking out of the top.
This stunning two-slice toaster is one of Smeg's most stylish offerings. As well as six browning levels, it allows you to select your perfect slice, there are also functions for defrosting and reheating.
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. A touch-release removable stainless steel crumb tray is easy to take out and empty into the bin.
In terms of design, this is not one of the more versatile toasters on the market. It's limited in settings and quite expensive for the range of features it offers. However, it did well in our test with both sides of our bread evenly toasted, and let's be real, if you buy this one you won't be lacking in kitchen style.
The Russell Hobbs Inspire is a stylish looking toaster that comes in a choice of colours – we love this baby blue 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. We also really enjoyed the kettle. For the price, you can't go wrong.
There's a defrost setting, meaning 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.
Our toast took 1 minute 52 to finish on setting three of sex. The buttons are backlit when used, meaning you know exactly what you're up to. The plastic exterior was a little warm to touch, and our slice didn't quite toast all the way to the top, meaning we had an un-toasted section.
This Kenwood Elegancy 4-Slice Toaster comes in an eye-catching finish and a brilliant range of colours, from Black or Cream to Sage Green to Twilight Purple. The exterior is smooth to the touch so it’s easy to clean, while still looking elevated thanks to the textured bottom panel. 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.
We toasted on level three, the middle setting, which finished after two minutes exactly. The bread was a little anaemic and not the most even, so we'd probably ramp it up to four if you want a true medium.
We'd have liked the ability to control the two sets of toasting slots independently, but you're limited to toasting all four slices at the same setting. The basic functions are not the most extensive, but we like the look and the value-for-money.
There's not much that the Gastroback Design Digital Toaster won't do. It's got preset toasting times for wholemeal bread, white bread, bagels, sweet bread, toast waffles, English muffins or even gluten-free bread. So basically, carb-lovers will have all bases covered.
You can even save and store four custom settings for making your perfect slice of any of your favourite breads, which is ideal for families with different toasting preferences.
In our tests this one was remarkably low in energy consumption, and on level three toasting our bread came out well-browned after just 2 minutes. Our major gripe is that the top section of our bread wasn't toasted, which made the whole thing a bit less satisfying.
The Morphy Richards Signature Matt Toaster is an unusual option. It has extra-long slots that fit two pieces of bread in each one, and also works well for slices from round loaves such as sourdough.
The bottom section is matt and stay-cool, and there is a dial at the control end of the toaster that switches from 1 to 7 toasting modes. It has a reheat, defrost and cancel button, too.
In our tests, there was a little burning on the crusts, but the centre of the bread was perfectly toasted. The extra-lift lever could've gone a little higher but will work for most types of bread.
How we tested the best toasters
Millie Fender is Head of Reviews at Real Homes. She loves to test all the latest product launches on the market and bring you her expert recommendations. Millie used to be our Small Appliances Editor, and tested everything from kettles and toasters to BBQs and ice cream makers.
While Millie loved the KitchenAid toaster the best of all the ones she tried, it's the Dualit NewGen she has in her own kitchen. She loves how sustainable it is, and the timeless stainless steel design is one that will last her for decades to come.
We tried every one of these toasters hands-on in our testing kitchen, and we also compared their matching kettles to check that we'd feel happy to have both the matching kettle and toaster in our own kitchens.
When testing, we toasted multiple bread types including white bread, brown bread and crumpets. Each toaster came with different brownness levels, so for each test we started with the middle setting and adjusted where necessary to meet a middle-ground level of toastiness. We also timed how long it took, which will be a big factor for busy shoppers or simply those who are always stretched for time in the morning and need a speedy slice of toast to get going.
We then took a look at how evenly our bread was toasted, and checked to see if the exterior of the toaster felt safe to touch and not too hot.
How to buy the best toaster
When you're looking to buy the 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 too. 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, so you can pretty much get any style you might want – dependant on budget.
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 if you love the inner softness of a bagel, with a crunchier exterior.
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.