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The 5 best toasters: Even toasters have touchscreens now

What is the best toaster? The Breville BTA840XL Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster takes ZDNet's top spot. We analyzed design, settings, features, and price of top toaster brands like Breville, Cuisinart, KitchenAid, and more. We even compared a smart toaster with a touchscreen. Yes, that's a thing now.
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

The truth is that some foods just taste better when they're cooked in a toaster. A toaster preheats significantly faster and can control temperatures far more evenly than the average conventional oven, making it a must-have appliance for your kitchen. Whether you're defrosting Eggo waffles or toasting brioche from the farmer's market, you'll want one of the models below.

Here are our picks for the best toasters of the year:

Breville BTA840XL Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster

Best toaster overall

Breville BTA840XL Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster

Features: 2 different browning levels | Removable crumb tray | 5 settings

The Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster features four extra-wide slots to accommodate a variety of bread types. It's capable of both defrosting and toasting with a one-touch lifting mechanism, along with traditional settings like defrost and bagel. There's also a unique fruit bread setting that is not commonly seen in other models. 

With this toaster, you can choose two different browning levels to work simultaneously, saving you precious time. There's also simple one-touch automation; if you need to toast more without an entire cycle, simply choose "A Bit More" to activate a shortened toasting period. Breville's unique "Lift and Look" feature allows you to monitor progress, so you can stop the toasting process as needed. Plus, the LED indicator helps you monitor your food while it toasts to prevent overcooking and burning. When you're finished, there is a removable crumb tray for easy cleaning. 

A one-year limited warranty is included.


  • "Lift and Look" feature
  • Browning level indicator
  • Motorized design


  • Hard to fit four slices
  • Mediocre smart features
  • Lifting mechanism can stick

Also: Best toaster ovens

Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Toaster

Best compact toaster

Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Toaster

Features: 3 settings | 2 color options | 2.6lbs

The Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Toaster is a lightweight toaster fashioned from plastic with stainless steel accents. The straightforward design includes toasting slots that are 1.5 inches wide with a shade dial that allows for seven different settings. Three toasting options include reheat, defrost, and bagel controls. There's also a cancel button to stop cooking as needed with a "Hi Lift" lever that makes it easy to grab your items without burning your fingers.

Cuisinart recommends this compact toaster for more than sliced bread and bagels; it's also perfect for frozen pancakes, toaster pastries, and french toast. A removable crumb tray makes for simple cleaning, and there is a convenient cord wrap included when it comes time for storage. You can choose from red, white, or black to add a little personality to your kitchen.

A three-year limited warranty is included.


  • Affordable
  • Fits large slices
  • Extra-long warranty


  • Limited capabilities
  • Toaster gets very hot to touch
  • Limited wattage

Hamilton Beach Keep Warm 2-Slice Toaster

Best cheap toaster

Hamilton Beach Keep Warm 2-Slice Toaster
Hamilton Beach

Features: Warming feature with an auto-shutoff  | 3 settings | Toast shade selector

The Keep Warm 2-Slice Toaster by Hamilton Beach is a stainless steel model that still manages to remain lightweight. Its signature Keep Warm feature prevents overcooking while still keeping your toast, well, warm. The three-minute shutoff gives you plenty of time to prepare your dish and accouterments before removing your bagel or bread. 

Designed to remain cool to the touch, the Keep Warm 2-Slice Toaster still incorporates a convenient Toast Boost that allows for easy removal by lifting up the items inside. One of the best parts is the inclusion of extra-long slots that handle thicker bagels and bread slices. Multiple settings allow you to control how long your food toasts with a convenient "beep" that sounds when cooking is complete. At that point, the three-minute toasting period begins. If you happen to find yourself in the dark, there are illuminated buttons to help. An added convenience is the built-in cord wrap feature under the base that simplifies storage and prevents clutter on your countertop.

A one-year warranty is included.


  • Excellent warming feature
  • Smart button feature
  • Retractable code


  • Short depth
  • Minimal features
  • Limited settings

SMEG 4-Slot TSF03 Toaster

Best design for a toaster

SMEG 4-Slot TSF03 Toaster

Features: 7 color options | 3 settings | 6 different browning levels 

The SMEG 4-Slot TSF03 Toaster does not skimp on style. Its fun 1950's design offers many color options, including pastel blue, pastel green, cream, and pink, and is adorned with stainless steel accents. This is definitely one of the more attractive toasters that still incorporates functionality, such as backlit buttons with illuminated control knobs for easy accessibility.

This toaster has four single compartments that include self-centering racks. It uses independent controls, accompanied by a helpful interface, to allow you to choose between the reheat, defrost, and bagel functions with six different browning levels. To catch any excess food, a stainless steel crumb tray is included. 

A one-year repair or replace warranty is included. 


  • Fun retro design
  • Multiple color options
  • Convenient wide slots


  • Very pricey
  • Only three presets
  • Not ideal for households in a rush

Revolution InstaGLO R180 Toaster

Best smart toaster

Revolution InstaGLO R180 Toaster

Features: 63 settings | Toasts 35% faster | Touchscreen display

Made of stainless steel, the Revolution InstaGLO® R180 Toaster cooks up to 35% faster while still retaining 30% more moisture than the average toaster. There are more than 60 different smart settings, which automatically adapt to toasting everything from English muffins to Pop-Tarts. 

It only toasts two slices at a time, but the advanced cooking process is well-worth the lost slots when perfectly-toasted items are your goal. Also notable is its signature touchscreen with a built-in countdown clock and a chime notification that sounds when your food is ready. 

A one-year warranty is included. 


  • 63 smart settings
  • Convenient touchscreen controls
  • Excellent for even toasting


  • Just 4 settings
  • Struggles to thaw frozen foods
  • Limited slot width

What is the best toaster?

The best toaster is the Breville BTA840XL Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster due to its smart features, 4-slice capability, and design.



Number of settings

Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster



Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Toaster



Hamilton Beach Keep Warm 2-Slice Toaster 



SMEG 4-Slot TSF03 Toaster



Revolution InstaGLO R180 Toaster



Which toaster is right for you?

Toasters may all seem the same at first, but there are many features that vary from one model to another. Before you choose the best toaster for you, consider what factors are the most important to you based on your cooking style, needs, and budget.

Choose this toaster...

If you want...

Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster

The best overall option

Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Toaster

A compact toaster 

Hamilton Beach Keep Warm 2-Slice Toaster

An affordable toaster that also keeps your toast warm

SMEG 4-Slot TSF03 Toaster

A stylish toaster

Revolution InstaGLO R180 Toaster

An advanced toaster with smart settings

How did we choose these toasters?

While choosing the best toasters of the year, we considered several different factors:

  • Number of slices: While some toasters limit you to just two slots, others may offer four.
  • Slot dimensions: The slot dimensions of your toaster may limit what you cook, especially when there is a more narrow design. Long-slot toasters are recommended for rustic bread styles, while wide-slot toasters work well for bagels, sourdough, and artisan breads. 
  • Material: Different materials impact the price you pay. While plastic toasters are generally affordable, however, they may not offer the same durability as a stainless steel toaster.
  • Settings: Most toasters have multiple setting options that allow you to control the shade and crispiness of your food. While some toasters are restricted to toasting, others may have defrost, reheat, and warming features that provide greater versatility for your cooking needs.
  • Wattage: The number of watts a toaster has speaks to its overall power. A higher-wattage toaster will deliver much more power (and faster toasting times) but will also require more energy.
  • Price: The cost is a major determining factor. While some toasters cost less than $35, other models that are loaded with extra features can cost $300 and more. This list includes a range of price points.

What is the best 2-slice toaster?

The best 2-slice toaster is the Revolution InstaGLO R180 Toaster since it has 63 different settings you can customize to your liking to toast everything from Pop-Tarts to bagels to English muffins. Its touchscreen display also makes it easy to use.

How much energy does a toaster need?

Toasters are usually more efficient than larger kitchen appliances. An average toaster uses anywhere from 800W to 1,200W, depending on its size and features. 

What is the best inexpensive toaster?

The best inexpensive toaster is the Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster since it only costs $29.95, making it the most budget-friendly option on our list. However, the Hamilton Beach Keep Warm 2-Slice toaster is also an inexpensive option at just over $50.

Are there alternative toasters to consider?

Here are a few other options to look into:


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