A toaster is one of the universal kitchen staples that almost everyone has. Whether you've been using the same $20 slot toaster since college or you cook almost everything in a toaster oven, there's a lot to consider when you're ready for an upgrade. You may think that every toaster is the same, but we're here to tell you that little details can make a difference between a lifetime buy and a toaster you'll need to replace in two years. Our editors tried and tested the following seven toasters finding them easy to use, built to last and the perfect addition to their morning toast.
Best Overall ToasterBreville Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toaster Read More
Best Splurge ToasterBalmuda The Toaster Read More
Best Affordable ToasterDash Clear View Toaster Read More
Best Air Fryer Toaster ComboCuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven Read More
Best Toaster OvenHamilton Beach 2-in-1 Countertop Oven and Long Slot Toaster Read More
What to Look For
You'll of course want a toaster that toasts thoroughly and evenly, but, beyond that, today's toasters can take on a lot of functions and features that will make your morning just a little more convenient. In the age of smart homes, there are also smart toasters, toasters that can also air fry and more. Think about how often you make toast or if there are other things you'd like to warm up. (We'll talk about that later.)
Considering a toaster is probably going to be sitting on your countertop regularly (if not permanently), you don't want to overlook design. It's not the most important trait, but it could be the deciding factor between two great toasters with the same function and price range. Consider whether you want a sleek stainless steel toaster to match your other kitchen appliances or if you want one that will add a pop of color to your countertop.
Toasters vs Toaster Ovens
There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a toaster, but the first question you should ask yourself is: what do you want to toast? This will help you to decide between a traditional slot toaster, which usually just toasts bread, and a toaster oven which can warm, toast, bake, broil and more. (Spoiler alert: some appliances have both.) Besides function, size is also a big distinction between these two types. A toaster can be limited in what it does, but it usually takes up less counter space. On the other hand, a toaster oven will have a larger footprint, but it will also probably be serving the purpose of multiple appliances, like an oven or air fryer.
How We Tested
Our editors got to work testing each toaster on this list for about a month to observe how the toaster performs day to day. They looked at the special features of the toasters, ranging from "smart" toasting to air frying, but also considered how each toaster performed its primary job: toasting. Did it toast evenly and thoroughly? Was the toaster easy to use safely? A toaster is always going to reserve a little bit of your counter space — some more than others — so we ultimately wanted to determine whether the toaster earned its keep in that permanent spot. And in the end these seven toasters won out as the best you can buy.
The Best Toasters
Breville Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toaster
- Size: 6.75 inches long, 10.25 inches wide, 7.5 inches high
- Functions: LED toast setting indicator, toast, bagel, frozen, "A Bit More" button and "Lift and Look" button
Don't be fooled by its simple (yet elegant) design. This smart toaster from Breville has everything you need to achieve the perfect, even toast every time. Unlike a traditional toaster with a noisy spring, our tester loved that this toaster quietly lifts and lowers your toast with the touch of a button, adjusting the inside of the slots to fit the width of the bread.
Instead of the typical electromagnet, you slide the lever at the bottom of the toaster to your desired level; LED lights will appear above highlighting your progress as your bread toasts. And if you need to add a little more time, there's a button labeled "A Bit More" that will quickly add a bit more time and color to your toast without you having to reset anything. Also available in a long-slot and four-slice version, the toaster's aluminum exterior is fingerprint-resistant as well.
Balmuda The Toaster
Size: 12.6 inches long, 14.1 inches wide, 8.2 inches high
- Functions: 5 modes (sandwich bread, artisan bread, pizza, pastry, oven) and timer
To all you TikTok fans out there, this stunning toaster oven may look familiar — just ask Emily Mariko. Made by the Japanese brand Balmuda, this minimalist toaster comes in three colorways — black, gray, taupe and white — all of which are, well, stunning. Although I previously thought no toaster could be worth $300, I was a quick convert after testing Balmuda's because, like its design, the toaster tech is quite unique and, dare I say, cool.
Before use, you need to drop about a teaspoon of water into a small compartment on the top. The appliance will then use this water to create steam as it cooks or toasts whatever's inside, ensuring that as your food gets warm and crispy it will also stay moist. It's different than any other toaster I've ever owned or used, but immediately had me asking the question: why doesn't every toaster look and work like this one?
Dash Clear View Toaster
- Size: 6.6 inches long, 15.7 inches wide, 7.8 inches high
- Settings: 7 browning levels, defrost, reheat and bagel
Ever toasted something and the end result was not at all what you expected? Well, you don't have to worry about that with this single-slot toaster from Dash that provides a glass window for you to see the item being toasted. Our tester used this toaster every day for a month and found that the lower and higher of the seven browning levels provide a relatively even toast on each side.
The extra-wide slot conveniently accommodates most bread types, including larger slices like sourdough. However, although wide, this toaster is not the best for bread slices that are on the taller side. For slices above 4.5 inches, our tester found that the top half inch or so of the bread would not achieve the same level of toastiness as the rest of the bread, which could be remedied by flipping the slice over halfway through. All in all, the cute retro style — which comes in a variety of colors by the way — provides an intuitive and unique way of prepping your morning toast.
Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven
Size: 15.5 inches long, 16 inches wide, 14 inches high
- Functions: Oven timer (up to 60 minutes), toaster timer, temperature (up to 450+ degrees), 7 modes (warm, toast, bake, broil, convection bake, convection broil and air fry)
You may recognize this toaster and air fryer combo from our list of the best air fryers you can buy. But this one (the TOA-60) is actually a slightly scaled-down version of that one (the TOA-70) with one less setting and a lighter weight. And our tester found it to be a great compromise for someone who wants a toaster oven and air fryer but doesn't have room for both.
The oven has seven preset functions, from warming and toasting to air frying and baking, as well as the ultra-convenient ability to set consecutive settings. "I was able to reheat fried chicken at a low baking temperature to keep the meat moist then air fry to crisp the skin — a true set and forget it," our tester said. The oven also comes with several accessories: a rack, pan and basket. And although large, the oven is taking the place of two (or more) appliances, so the compromise is well worth it.
Hamilton Beach 2-in-1 Countertop Oven and Long Slot Toaster
Size: 12 inches long, 17.8 inches wide, 10.2 inches high
- Functions: Timer (up to 60 minutes or more with "stay-on" setting) and temperature (up to 450+ degrees) for the oven; 5 browning levels for the toaster
If you find yourself unable to decide between a toaster and toaster oven, then you don't have to necessarily. This genius two-in-one toaster from Hamilton Beach combines both to make this traditional toaster oven with a built-in long slot toaster on top. Our tester considers the toaster oven to be the primary function, but both options work very well, toasting quickly and evenly whether you're heating bread or leftover pizza. Our tester liked that the slot toaster is big enough for two standard-sized pieces of bread and the oven is big enough for a single meal. He could even envision someone using this appliance as an oven replacement, provided they're cooking for one.
It does take up a large chunk of counter space at 12 by 18 inches, but if you're comparing it to the footage you'd be giving up to store a toaster and toaster oven then it's not a bad size at all.
Tineco Toasty One Smart Toaster
- Size: 9 inches long, 7.5 inches wide, 8.5 inches high
- Functions: 4 modes (smart, fresh, reheat and frozen), can customize and save settings
That's right, the maker of some of our favorite vacuums now makes ... a toaster? And it's a pretty smart one at that. My first impression of Tineco's aptly named Toasty One was that it's quite large and pretty pricey, especially for only having two slots. But it has a few unique features that I think could earn it a spot on the counter of a regular toast eater. For example, it has an LCD touch screen that allows you to select your toasting level, either using the smart mode, which adjusts the toasting level automatically to your bread, or manually. You can essentially favorite up to eight settings and assign them to an emoticon. And with just one button, the toaster is easy to use and toasts nice and evenly.
Possibly one of the worst parts of owning a toaster — but one of my favorite parts of using this one — is cleaning it, but the Toasty One has a removable tray at the bottom of the toaster that catches stray crumbs and pops out at the push of a button for easy cleanup.
Wolf Gourmet 4-Slice Toaster
Size: 12.25 inches long, 12 inches wide, 8 inches high
- Functions: 3 modes (bagel, frozen and keep warm), a timer for each pair of slots
Wolf's appliances are a luxury in themselves, and if you're looking for a toaster to match the other red knobs in your kitchen or you want to begin your collection, then this toaster is a good start. Our tester loved the industrial look and stainless steel finish of the appliance. He found it intuitive to use, with just a lever and knob for each pair of slots and easy to clean, with a slide-out crumb tray. The toaster gives off a loud beep when it's done, which our tester said was an adjustment but ended up coming in handy to get his attention. However, he did find that bread often required a second toast to achieve his desired level of crispiness.
All in all, if you're looking for design above all else, then this might be the toaster for you. It's also available as a two-slice toaster for $100 less.