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The Best Toaster - 2020

Last updated on December 3, 2020

We looked at the top 17 Toasters and dug through the reviews from 65 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Toasters.

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Our Picks For The Top Toasters

Show Contents
Our Take
  1

AmazonBasics 2-Slice Extra-Wide Slot Toaster

AmazonBasics

2-Slice Extra-Wide Slot Toaster

Overall Take

Extra-Lift LeverWith this toaster oven's inclusion of the extra-lift lever, you'll be able to remove smaller breads with ease.

  2

Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Extra-Wide Toaster

Hamilton Beach

2-Slice Extra-Wide Toaster

Overall Take

  3

Elite Gourmet Long 4-Slice Toaster

Elite Gourmet

Long 4-Slice Toaster

Overall Take

Variable Levels of ToastingThis toaster has extra-wide slots with room for up to four slices of toast.

  4

Cuisinart CPT-435 Countdown 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster

Cuisinart

CPT-435 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster

Overall Take

Large CapacityYou'll be able to prepare four slices of toast at once with this family-friendly toaster oven.

  5

CUSINAID 2 Slice Wide Slot Toaster

CUSINAID

2 Slice Wide Slot Toaster

Overall Take

Versatile ToasterSince this toaster oven has extra-wide slots, it's best used with thick breads and bagels.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
24

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the toasters available to purchase.
17

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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65

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

78,444

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

The Best Overall

AmazonBasics 2-Slice Extra-Wide Slot Toaster

Our Expert Score

9.5

Our Take

If you're searching for a basic toaster oven for quickly cooking a set of toast or two bagel halves in the morning, this model is your best bet. It comes with extra-wide slits and an extra-lift lever to accommodate breads of various sizes. You'll also get six browning settings, a defrost button and a cancel button.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Extra-Wide Toaster

Our Total Score

9.5

Our Take

Our Toaster Buying Guide

Toasters are a kitchen counter standby that make every meal a little tastier. Browned English muffins add crunch to your breakfast, a toasted bagel warms your lunchtime tuna melt and browned buns add a “wow” factor to your burgers.

The small-but-mighty toaster is responsible for all of these creations. You might not give much thought to this little appliance, but there’s a lot going on after you hit the “toast” button.

Toasters brown your bread by turning electricity into heat. Electricity flows from your wall’s outlet through your toaster’s power cord to the inside of the unit.

The electric current moves through a series of slender conducting filaments. If you’ve ever looked inside your toaster while it’s working and noticed glowing, red hot wires around your slice of bread, those are the filaments doing their job. The filaments beam heat toward your bread using infrared radiation. The steady supply of heat from the filaments rapidly cooks your bread.

When your bread has reached the desired toast level you selected, the toaster either turns off automatically with a timer or pops your bread up with a spring-loaded tray. Many models have removable crumb trays built into the toaster, so you can grab your piping hot bagel without getting crumbs all over your kitchen.

Toasters all use similar internal heating mechanisms, but different models have different features and options. A standard model has two slots to toast two slices of bread at once. Higher-end models have four slots, including an “Extra Long” slot for larger slices of bread.

You’ve got choices when it comes to controlling your toaster’s time and intensity levels, too. Some models have a timer that goes up to seven minutes, plus a lever so you can manually lift your toast out. Others also have bagel, defrost and reheat buttons. You’ll even come across toasters that have seven toast shade settings, and use advanced toasting technology for a consistent result every time.

Different kinds of bread may require different toasters. A toaster that has extra-wide slots is best for accommodating heartier bread, while the Cuisinart CPT-435 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster has a special setting for bagels and frozen bread.

Toasters aren’t purely utilitarian — they can also add a fun edge to your kitchen’s decor. AmazonBasics 2-Slot Toaster has a modern, rounded design with an elegant black finish. Cuisinart CPT-435 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster goes the classic route with a stainless steel body, while other toasters come in a fresh pop of color.

Whether you go high-tech with a modern toaster or low-key with a classic design, you’ll want to think about a few things before you choose your new appliance.

Simplemost Fun Fact

Toasters might seem like a simple appliance, but nailing down the technology that makes it safe to heat up bread was trickier than you’d think.

Up until the early 1900s, people were still toasting bread by placing it in a metal frame and holding it over an open flame. Inventors struggled to find a safe heating element for countertop toasters. It needed to be sturdy enough to withstand repeated heated and cooling, but most materials got brittle and broke apart after a few tries. A few inventors tried making a toaster with iron wires, but they melted at high temperatures, creating a serious fire hazard.

An engineer named Albert Marsh finally solved the toaster’s troubles in 1905. He patented an alloy of nickel and chromium called Nichrome, which could heat up toaster filaments without breaking or catching on fire. The days of warming morning toast over an open fire were finally over — and today, we have more toaster options than ever before.

The Toaster Tips and Advice

  • How often will you use your toaster? If you’re a big fan of toasted sandwiches and bagels, you might want to drop some extra cash for a feature-rich mode, like the Cuisinart CPT-435 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster. On a budget? The AmazonBasics 2-Slot Toaster works just as well without the bells and whistles.
  • How much free countertop room do you have? Look for a model that takes up only as much space as a standard piece of computer paper, and one that has under base cord storage to keep things tidy when it’s not in use. Other models are several inches larger and weigh twice as much, but they are loaded with extra features.
  • What kinds of bread will you be toasting? Some models have an extra-long slot for artisanal bread, while others have a one-touch option for warming up bagels.
  • How particular are you about your toast’s done-ness? Some toasters have six shade settings from a little crunchy to extra crispy. The Cuisinart CPT-435 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster has seven browning settings, as well as bagel, defrost and reheat buttons. It also has a “Lift and Look” button to make sure your toast looks perfect.

About The Author

Abby Stassen
Abby Stassen 

Abby Stassen has a bachelor's degree in English language & literature from the University of Michigan. She's been writing professionally for over a decade. Food is medicine, and if you've got the right tools you can have fun creating delicious medicine every day. Abby loves cooking, and she only uses kitchen products that meet her exacting standards. Whether it's air fryers, electric steamers or the perfect set of cutlery, Abby knows which kitchen products deserve an online mention.