Best Toasters 2018: Top two-slice and four-slice toasters

Toast is a breakfast staple up and down the country: a tasty, filling way to start the day. However, getting the right combination of crispy outside and soft inside to each slice of bread requires buying one of our best toasters.

We’ve tested 25 toasters from all of the top brands, and have found eight that we’d recommend. We’ve selected a variety of models for different budgets and toasting needs, and of these top picks, two deserve a special mention. The Dualit 4 Slot Lite Toaster is the best toaster we’ve tested. It combines modern controls with classic Dualit styling, to offer incredibly precise control, with eight different browning levels. If you’re on a tighter budget, the Kenwood TTP210 is excellent value, good-looking and performs well too.

How we pick the best toaster

We tested the performance of our toasters by considering speed, evenness of browning, and the level of control on offer. We used a variety of different baked goods, from bagels to crumpets, thick-sliced loaves to English muffins, and looked for even-browning, no matter the product.

We also tried defrosting frozen bread, reheating cold toast, and light warming softer breads. We were satisfied if they toasted a variety of breads quickly and evenly, and were impressed by controls that allowed you to choose your level of browning with precision and ease.

Dualit 4 Slot Lite Toaster

 

Dualit 4 Slot Lite Toaster

Pros:

  • Even browning
  • Consistent results
  • Extra-wide slots
  • Eight different browning levels
  • Peek and Pop feature

Cons:

  • Higher-end price point

Classic Dualit styling combined with modern controls make the Dualit 4 Slot Lite an attractive addition to both retro and contemporary kitchens. But beyond looks, it’s a toaster that performs brilliantly, offering incredibly precise control over the toasting process.

With four extra-wide 36mm slots, the Dualit 4 Slot Lite can handle everything from thick-sliced bread to bagels, muffins and crumpets with ease. Its intelligent controls offer eight browning levels, with five clicks in between each number to make it easy to get the level of browning just right.

We found it consistently produced even results, which is partly down to what Dualit calls its ‘Perfect Toast Technology’, which bases the toasting time on the ambient temperature and the temperature of the toaster. There’s also a great feature called Peek and Pop, which lets you check on progress without cancelling the toasting cycle.

Buy Now: Dualit 4 Slot Lite Toaster at Amazon from £74.99

Kenwood TTP210

Kenwood TTP210

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Can inspect progress
  • Good-looking

Cons:

  • Browning is a little uneven
  • Four slices a bit of a squeeze
  • No warming rack

There’s nothing fancy about the Kenwood TTP210, but it’s good-looking, effective and cheap – a good upgrade on the basic no-brand toasters you can buy for £10 or £15. We love its curvy retro design, which proves cheap kitchen appliances don’t have to be ugly.

Rather than having individual slots for four slices of bread, the Kenwood TTP210 has two large slots, each designed to accommodate two slices of bread side-by-side. That’s the plan, but the reality isn’t always so easy; it can sometimes be a bit of a squeeze to fit four slices into the toaster. It’s easier if you place bread standing up, although this left 1cm of bread sticking out of the toaster.

At the end of toasting, we found that bread was slightly toastier on one end of the slot, leaving browning a little uneven. Toast was still well done, but the results aren’t as good as they are with higher-end models. However, that can all be forgiven at this price; it’s a great choice.

Buy Now: Kenwood TTP210 at Amazon from £34.99

 

Hotpoint TT44EAX0

Hotpoint Ultimate Collection 4 Slot Digital Toaster TT 44E UP0

Pros:

  • Digital controls
  • Consistent results
  • Sandwich and bagel modes

Cons:

  • Wonky warming racks
  • Bagel mode counter-intuitive

The Hotpoint Ultimate Collection 4 Slot Digital Toaster is a chunky toasting monster that dominates the kitchen worktop with its polished chrome body and clean art deco lines. Its warming racks are a bit flimsy, but in every other regard it’s a solid performer with some clever features to give even toasting results.

Its controls are digital, offering options such as defrost, reheat, and sandwich/bagel function – the latter of which toasts only one side of your breaded treats. It offers eight levels of browning, and there’s a digital display on each side that counts down the remaining toasting time for each pair of slices.

One clever trick is that if you go to put on more toast straight away, the timer automatically reduces the time set, to account for the fact that the elements are already warm. There are two trays beneath to keep the machine crumb-free.

If you liked the sound of the Dualit 4 Slot Lite, also in this roundup, but were put off by the price, the Ultimate Collection 4 Slot Digital is a more affordable alternative.

KitchenAid Artisan Toaster 5KMT2204

KitchenAid Artisan Toaster 5KMT2204

Pros:

  • Stunning design
  • Even browning
  • Motorised
  • Fast

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Have to wait for motorised lift

If money is no object, the luxurious KitchenAid Artisan Toaster is the toasting maestro for you. As well as a bold, curvaceous design for added worktop appeal, the Artisan packs in some incredibly smart features to make toasting a joy.

Its most clever trick is bread-sensing. It knows as soon as there’s bread – or any other toastable snack – in its slots and automatically lowers it down to begin toasting. When your toast is ready, the motor will bring it back up – or lower it back down to keep it warm, if you don’t get there within 45 seconds.

Controls-wise, there’s a slider to select from seven browning levels, and four buttons to choose between bagels, defrosting, sandwiches and straight-up toasting. We were a little disappointed that there’s no high lift lever to let you get at your crumpets, but the Artisan’s impressively even browning skills, solid build and stunning looks make it a winner for big (we mean really big) budgets.

Buy Now: KitchenAid Artisan Toaster 5KMT2204 at Amazon from £260

Morphy Richards Rose Gold Four Slice Toaster 1

Morphy Richards Rose Gold and Brushed 4 Slice Toaster

Pros:

  • Even toasting
  • Attractive design

Cons:

  • Can tip up
  • Charges a premium for rose gold

If you’re a fashion-forward kitchenista, who likes their appliances to reflect their style, then the Morphy Richards Rose Gold Four Slice Toaster is likely to go straight to the top of your wish list. If you hadn’t already guessed by looking at the pic, the toaster’s main design quirk is its rose gold trimmings, which add a chic accent whether you choose the toaster in brushed stainless steel, matte black or matte white.

The toaster’s only foible is being lightweight enough to tip over, if you push the levers down too hard. However, if you’re gentle with it then it will serve you well. There are seven browning levels with a dozen clicks between each number for finer toasting control, and three buttons that light up when in action for defrosting, reheating and cancelling.

Toasting is very even, and the 3cm-wide slots can narrow to less than 1.5cm to grip even the thinnest bread. Another design triumph is the already raised slots, meaning you don’t have to lift up toastables after they’ve popped up because they sit high enough to reach.

Buy Now: Morphy Richards Rose Gold and Brushed 4 Slice Toaster at Amazon from £69.99

 

Sage A Bit More 2 Slice

Sage A Bit More 2 Slice

Pros:

  • Nice features
  • Extra-wide slots

Cons:

  • Pricey for two slots
  • Inconsistent results

The Sage A Bit More 2 Slice makes incredibly tasty toast with a helping hand from some clever features. We liked its boxy, industrial design in brushed stainless steel – it would look at home on any kitchen worktop, despite being something of a fingerprint magnet.

The Sage gives an even finish, making toast perfectly crisp on the outside but light and soft on the inside. The two slots can grip toastables down to 2cm wide or up to an incredibly thick 4cm wide; the Sage is ideal if you like your bread thick-cut and fluffy. The temperature slider goes from one to five, but there are 12 levels of browning within that range for finer control.

While there’s no button for reheating toast, as there is on other toasters in this price range, you do get a decent range of options: a bit more, crumpet/fruit loaf, frozen and cancel. That crumpet/fruit loaf is pretty much a bagel button in disguise, only toasting one side of your snack.

You can push the lever up at any time to inspect progress without halting toasting, and there’s a high lift for reaching awkward items such as crumpets and small slices of bread.

Buy Now: Sage A Bit More 2 Slice at Amazon from £72

Sage SmartToast 2 Slice 2

Sage Smart Toast 2 Slice

Pros:

  • Motorised lift
  • Even browning
  • Can inspect progress

Cons:

  • Pricey for two slots
  • Slots slightly cramped

If you’ve got high standards when it comes to the browning of your breakfast, then the Sage Smart Toast 2 Slice is one to consider – even if its price tag is on the more painful side of £100. It’s slick and attractive in brushed metal, makes impressively even toast, and has some flashy features that will appeal to high-end appliance appreciators.

Its crowning glory is a motorised lift, which allows your bread to descend smoothly at the touch of a button, then ascend again in its toasted form. It has Sage’s famous A Bit More feature, as well as a Quick Look feature to give you a sneak peak at progress part way through toasting.

We were initially a little worried when we realised the Sage Smart Slice 2 isn’t quite big enough to accommodate some slices of bread horizontally. However, it still managed to toast an entire slice of bread in a vertical position, which is no mean feat in the toaster world. Buttons for defrosting/toasting from frozen and toasting crumpets are all present and correct.

Buy Now: Sage Smart Toast 2 Slice at Amazon from £72

Magimix VisionMagimix Vision

Pros:

  • Stylish glass sides
  • Bagel setting
  • Even toasting
  • Incredibly fast

Cons:

  • Very large
  • Quite pricey

The first thing you notice about the Magimix Vision is that you can see right through it – the sides are made of glass panels that give you a sneak preview into the progress of your toast. How cool is that?

It has a single long slot for a maximum of two slices of bread, which allows it to toast more fiddly bread products – pitta breads, for example –without having to cut them in half.

There are eight settings for toasting, with the middle one providing just the right level of browning. It will also toast bagels on just one side. We found the Vision gave a lovely even toast.

Instead of many thin elements that run throughout most toasters, it has thick heating element bars – two at the top and two at the bottom. This makes the Vision one of the fastest toasters we’ve ever tested, clocking an average 2mins 38secs. If you’ve got the space, this stylish speedster is an excellent choice.

Buy Now: Magimix Vision at Amazon from £160/ $199

That was our pick of the best toasters, for more information on picking the right model, keep reading

Best toasters buying guide

Best toasters – How many slots do I need?

The main choice you have to make with a toaster is the number of slots you want: two or four. Two-slot toasters are smaller and a little cheaper than the four-slot varieties. Two-slot models are good for more compact kitchens, households with fewer people, or occasional use. If you have more space, a larger household or just eat a lot of toast, then a four-slot model would be the better choice.

There are some large two-slot toasters, designed to fit up to four slices of bread. However, these don’t always manage the job, and squeezing the bread in can be tricky.

Best toasters – What other features should I look for?

All toasters will have some kind of dial that sets the toasting time, letting you go between warm bread and very toasty. Beyond that, there are several controls and features that you might find useful.

A defrost setting will first defrost frozen bread, then switch to the toasting cycle. A reheat button uses a short cycle to warm up toast that has gone cold. A keep warm option will toast, then switch the heat down to keep your bread ready until you can eat it. Look out for gluten-free setting, which adjusts heating times to get the most out of gluten-free breads.

A warming rack lifts up above the slots, and gives you a way of warming up the likes of teacakes and croissants, without over-cooking them. Although, it’s just as easy to use an oven for this job.