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Is Heston Blumenthal’s toaster the best on test?

Which? reveals best new toasters
Toasters | Best toasters | Toaster reviews Which toaster is best for bread, bagels and crumpets? Our tests reveal all

Will legendary chef Heston Blumenthal’s latest offering – a £169 top-of-the-range toaster – be the toast of Christmas breakfast, or is it a Christmas turkey? Our lab tests reveal all.

It’s Christmas in less than two weeks time and if you’ve asked Santa for a new toaster then there’s a good chance we’ve tested the one you want. To read full testing reviews of more than 100 models head to our toaster reviews.

If you’re not yet a member, you can take out a £1 trial to Which? to get access to all our reviews – from toasters, coffee machines and food processors to washing machines, vacuum cleaners and TVs.

Best toasters for Christmas

Whether you’ve got a budget of £20 or £200 we can help you find your perfect toaster. We’ve just put 11 of the most popular toasters through our tough lab testing to find the best – including the debut toaster from top chef Heston Blumenthal. 

Heston’s £169 4-slice toaster features quirky settings such as ‘a bit more’ and ‘a quick look’ and certainly looks impressive, but we reveal whether the toast made is Michelin-starred quality, or will have you turning to the snail porridge instead.

Hotpoint, which is well known for its range of large appliances, has also brought out two toasters, and we’ve tested them so we can we reveal the pros and cons of each. 

How Which? tests toasters 

In a recent Which? survey 49% of toaster owners said evenness of toasting was by far the most important factor when buying a toaster (Which? Connect survey of 1,090 members in August 2013). But, this isn’t something you can assess just buy looking at a toaster in a shop or online.

We bake several rounds of toast in every toaster and scrutinise each piece of toast made from each model, assessing the toaster on how much of a slice of bread it can toast to a perfect golden-brown hue. We also note how even this browning is, checking for underdone or overdone areas, and we check to see if each piece of toast is evenly toasted on the front and back. 

Which? kitchen appliance expert Lisa Galliers says: ‘We go to great lengths testing toasters to find the best, and it’s actually quite hard to find ones that toast evenly and toast the whole slice, so you’re not left with patchy toast. 

‘Our testing has also revealed that an awful lot of toasters don’t fit different-sized slices of bread. Most toasters struggle to fit in anything larger than standard-sized supermarket breads or small items like crumpets and tea cakes.’

Before you buy any toaster, make sure you’ve checked whether it is featured in our toaster reviews, to find out whether it will be able to fit your favourite types of bread, and whether it will toast to golden perfection.

Toaster reviews

The full list of new toasters we’ve just reviewed and rated is:

  • Breville Aurora VTT475 4-slice toaster 
  • Debenhams TT4CRM2 2-slice toaster
  • Delonghi Vintage CTO4003 4-slice toaster
  • Delonghi Scultura CTZ4003 4-slice toaster
  • Hotpoint TT22EAXOUK 2-slice toaster
  • Hotpoint TT12EAXOUK 2-slice toaster
  • KitchenAid Artisan 5KMT4205 4-slice toaster
  • KitchenAid Artisan 5KMT2204 2-slice toaster
  • Philips Daily Collection HD2595 2-slice toaster
  • Russell Hobbs Easy Toaster 19990 2-slice toaster
  • Sage Heston Blumenthal Smart Toast BTA840UK 4-slice toaster.

More on this…

  • Coffee machine reviews – Find the perfect espresso machine to complete your breakfast set
  • How to buy the best kettle – We help you choose a decent kettle to go with your toaster
  • Christmas 2013 – Get sorted for Christmas with our gift guides
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