The humble toaster is easily one of the most used items in everyone’s kitchen. It helps us start the day off on the right foot, whips us up a buttery crumpet snack whilst we wait for the kettle to boil, and has even been known to dispel monster hangovers if you have enough bread for a toast-a-thon. But with such a mammoth selection out there, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly what kind of toaster is best suited to us.
In our buying guide, we’re going to cover which features you need to look out for when buying a new toaster such as if they have a crumb tray. We’ll be looking at 2- and 4- slice options from some of our favourite brands such as Dualit, Breville & Russell Hobbs. Most importantly, we'll cover everyone’s budget, from cheap buys under £50 to those looking to spend a bit more and get a toaster for life.
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Getting the right size toaster for you and your belly (or bellies) is essential. If you’re living alone then chances are that you only need a toaster that can produce 2 slices at a time. Plus, you’ll appreciate the smaller size they come in if you don’t happen to have much space in your kitchen.
But if you have an army of hungry little horrors (partners included) or just really love a good piece of toast, you will benefit from purchasing a larger toaster that can easily produce 4 or more slices at a time. These toasters can also sometimes have separate heating controls for each slot, which is a bonus if the people in your household had varying toast preferences.
Also, another thing to consider is an extra-wide toast slot. If you think you are something of a toast connoisseur, then you are going to want to experiment with different types of artisanal bread and other delights. Make sure that this is a viable option by getting a toaster that can facilitate this.
Ever fancied making your own bread to toast? Take a look through our bread makers article.
Of course, we understand that the first and most important function of your toaster is that it provides a consistent and even toasting. So, buying a toaster with an adjustable heat setting will help you achieve your perfect slice.
But nowadays toasters come with an array of other useful services. For example, a crumb tray that will help keep the toaster clean, reheat option to quickly zaps the toast again if you missed it the first time, and a defrost option for those that keep their bread in the freezer, as well as other options such as an eject button and high lift, so no more singed fingers.
Don't forget, you'll need to store your bread somewhere. Have a look at our favourite bread bins.
The more power, the quicker the toast. However, if your model is going to be pumping out massive amounts of heat this often means it’s aimed at speed and not consistency, which will leave the bread with uneven toasting. The ideal power for a 2-slice is around 1200kW whereas for a 4-slice something closer to 1800kW is better.
Also, check to see if it comes with energy efficiency. This gives you the option of only using the number of slots you need. If you only want one slice of toast but two slots are heating up, one side is going to come out much browner than the other. Having this will make the toaster much more efficient and will save on energy.
If you or anyone in your household has a gluten allergy, browse our selection of gluten-free breads.
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2-Slot Lite Toaster｜26205 - High Gloss Black Trim
A Toaster With New Tech That Will Deliver Time After Time
Impressions 4-Slice Toaster｜VTT470 - Cream
A High Performer That Will Keep Your Tabletop Mess-Free
Style Collection 4 Slot Toaster｜CPT180GU - Light Pistachio
Simple and Chic With Independent, Extra-Wide Slots
Brillante 4-Slice Toaster｜CTJ4003 - Black
Ideal for Those With a Big Family and a Big Kitchen
A Bit More 2-Slice Toaster｜BTA720UK - Brushed Steel
A Hi-Tech 'Smart' Toaster for the Gadget Lovers
2-Slice Toaster｜VTR002 - Cream
A Stylishly Textured Toaster From a Global Leading Brand
Textures 2-Slice Toaster｜21641 - Black
A Bargain Buy With Added Functions
SDA1060 Glass Toaster
Transparent Glass Toaster to Keep An Eye On Your Toasts
Village Collection 2 Slice Toaster ｜TAT3A0133G - Black
Straightforward, Steady and Great Value for Money
Classic 2 Slice Vario Toaster｜20245 - Stainless Steel
A Tank of a Toaster That Will Last for Life
Not only does this toaster have wide slots and an optional lite sandwich cage which will accommodate when you require a deeper slot, but it also comes with patented toast technology, meaning it calculates the temperature of your toaster so that it will deliver a consistently perfect golden-brown toast, every single time.
Along with this new feature, it also comes with the standard Dualit functions, defrost, cancel, and bagel, as well as a choice of 8 different heat settings. Whilst it's not the cheapest toaster, we think getting something of this quality for this price would be a welcome addition to any toast-loving home, and for that reason, it takes our top spot!
This no-frills toaster from Breville is very stylish, with textured lines and shiny mirror chrome details - we think it would look good in any home. For the price, we don't think there is anything better on the market. With deep slots of different variables, you can toast anything you like, from different size breads to crumpets and bagels.
It has the necessary features for safe toasting, such as a high-lift feature that can help you to remove smaller slices without burning your fingers, and a 'Life & Look' function where you can view the toast's progress mid-toast. The removable crumb tray and cord storage will also help to keep your worktop mess free.
This toaster has wide and deep slots, meaning it will take all different types of bread and leave no burnt bottoms or soft tops behind. As well as simple controls that are clear and painless to use and a large crumb tray that is easy to clean.
As well as having all the classic options that you will need from a toaster, such as reheat and defrost, it also cleverly comes with 2 pairs of independently controlled toasting slots, meaning that you can use one at a time, or you can each have your preferred setting so that everyone is happy.
This is a perfect toaster for families. It comes with slots for 4-slices so that no-one is going to go without and works at the absolute peak of the power specification guidelines. We also love that it comes with a convenient 'extra lift' option that will save those little items that may sometimes get lost in the deep slots.
With a modern yet retro vibe it's quite difficult to say where this toaster belongs in terms of style, but we think that means it can comfortably exist in any kitchen. This toaster is on the larger side, but if you have the room, we think this is great value for the money.
If you're the sort of person that can't get enough of the latest gadgets and gizmo's this is going to be right up your street. It comes with a futuristic-looking LED on the front that displays how long is left as well as a button which gently lowers and lifts your toast out of the slots so no more catching your toast when it's finished!
As well as all the futuristic features it also brings with it some classic toaster functions, such as defrost and a crumpet/fruit loaf option. One other thing this contemporary toaster brings is a handy 'A Bit More' function where it will cook the toast a bit longer when pressed.
This stylish toaster from Breville comes in four different colourways meaning there is a shade for every kitchen. The deep slots accommodate different bread sizes as well as crumpets and bagels.
It offers a defrost, reheat, high lift as well as a nifty "lift and look" function so you can check how your bread is doing without cancelling the toasting course. The only trouble there seems to be, is that many reviewers say that it toasts quite slowly.
This bargain from Russell Hobbs comes with many of the functions that the more expensive toasters on this list have. Wide slots for those thick artisanal pieces of bread, a frozen function so you can cook straight from the freezer and adjustable heat so you can cook the toast just how you like it.
However, this is certainly a toaster for those who will only be using it occasionally and not one for those who crave the crunch. Although the slots are wide, they have been known to be too shallow which means getting an even crisp all over the bread can be quite difficult without multiple attempts.
You can adjust between 7 different levels of heating to make the toast to your liking. You'll also have toast in a jiffy with its 900W output so it's ideal if you're always in a rush. Although, with only a 2 slice slot, and only 900W output this toaster is not suitable for families.
This is a simple yet strong performance toaster from Bosch, and for what it produces, we think it comes in at a very reasonable price. It has a nice clean design that will look good in any kitchen and comes with a defrost and reheat function as well as 6 different browning levels for making your toast.
In addition, this nifty toaster comes with a built in pop-up wire rack for warming a variety of breads such as croissants and buns. However, we'd like to point out that there have been some customer complaints about slow and uneven toasting which isn't ideal if you're in a hurry to get to work.
Dualit is an aficionado of the toasting world. This stylish, yet industrial-looking powerhouse will probably still be going long after you're gone, but if not, one of the things that stands out about Dualit is that they designed this toaster for an easy DIY repair, which is handy!
However, coming in well over £100 this is by far the most expensive toaster on this list and is only really suitable for people who use theirs several times a day. Even then, we think it could still be a little much.
No. 1: Dualit｜2-Slot Lite Toaster｜26205 - High Gloss Black Trim
No. 2: Breville｜Impressions 4-Slice Toaster｜VTT470 - Cream
No. 3: Cuisinart｜Style Collection 4 Slot Toaster｜CPT180GU - Light Pistachio
No. 4: De'Longhi｜Brillante 4-Slice Toaster｜CTJ4003 - Black
No. 5: Sage｜A Bit More 2-Slice Toaster｜BTA720UK - Brushed Steel
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