As tempting as it may be to simply opt for the cheapest toaster on the shelf, as one of your most used kitchen appliances it's important to invest in a toaster that will produce great results every morning.
While a toaster might seem like a fairly basic piece of equipment, features can vary across the board so it's important to know just what you're purchasing.
Some features you might want to be on the look out for include:
- Wide slots
- Removable tray
- Defrost function
- Reheat function
- Bagel setting
With that in mind, here are eight toasters packed with a range of features, all tried and tested by the Good Housekeeping team.
Morphy Richards Redefine 2 slice toaster
If you're looking for a toaster that can double up a centrepiece in your kitchen, this attractive Morphy Richards glass toaster is definitely one that will draw the eye.
This two slice toaster has one slot, meaning the slices are inserted in a long line rather than in front of one another. The front and back panels are made of glass allowing you to see the bread browning as it toasts and it comes with seven browning levels to give you a good variety of options. It automatically lowers and raises the bread when activated and comes with a reheat and defrost setting.
This toaster comes with a crumb cleaner attached to the removable crumb tray which helps to clean it out on occasion. However, we found the crumb tray quite stiff to remove. The glass panels can also reach uncomfortably hot temperatures when in use (over 100 degrees). We also found the toaster cooked more in its centre than at the edges.
De'Longhi Distinta 2 slice toaster
This De'Longhi two slice toaster has an attractive design with a vintage look and matte finish. It is easy to clean, the exterior doesn't get hot, and it toasts bread very quickly.
It has a mid-cycle cancel function as well as an extra lift and frozen bread setting. It also has a special bagel setting so they backs of the bagels don't get crispy.
We did find that batching toasting showed some inconsistencies in the colouring on both sides of the bread during testing. There is also no indicator light to show when the toaster is in use.
Kenwood kMix 2 slice metal toaster
This Kenwood kMix toaster is a great option for smaller kitchens. Small, efficient and available in a variety of colourways, it is a very basic two slot toaster.
It has a removable tray and a keep warm setting but, other than this, does not have any special features.
Magimix 2 slice vision toaster
While pricey, this transparent Magimix toaster is worth it if you're prepared to splash out. The two slice toaster has eight browning levels and the glass sides are convenient for viewing the browning process.
It has reheat and defrost buttons, an extra-lift lever, automatic self centering and visible, removable crumb tray. We found it produced evenly browned slices and it toasted bagels evenly, leaving the back still soft.
KitchenAid 2 slice toaster
KitchenAid are best known for their stand mixers but this toaster is just as impressive. It has a shade control dial, lift, frozen and bagel functions.
We found it produced consistent browning and cooking throughout and that the bagel setting worked well. The toaster beeps when finished and pushes the toast slowly to the top.
Dualit Architect 4 slice toaster
This Dualit four slice toaster has 1200W power and removable colour plates. It has a bagel setting and slide out crumb tray.
We found that it achieves an even colour and is cool to the touch. This toaster is well designed with a dedicated bagel setting, yet despite the wider slots it can still be a struggle to fit thicker farmhouse loaf slices into the toaster.
Bodum Bistro 2 slice toaster
This Bodum Bistro toaster has five browning and temperature settings producing a consistent golden colour throughout batch toasting.
It has an easy to use warming rack feature though we found that toasting slots aren't deep enough to toast the whole slice. There is also no bagel setting.
Philips 4 slice toaster
This Philips four slice 1800 watt toaster has defrost, reheat and cancel buttons. Some features include two or four slice independent operation, extra wide slots, high lift lever, removable crumb tray and stay cool sides.
It has a simple and easy to use design. We found it to be quick when batch cooking with consistent colour results and good coverage. It performs well when toasting bread from frozen but it is a little slow. There is also no bagel setting.