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Top toaster brands for 2017

By Alison Potter

Want to buy a toaster from a trusted brand? We reveal the toaster brands that last, make great toast, and are loved by owners.

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In 2017 we asked more than 2,000 Which? members to tell us about their toasters. From how long it lasted to how happy they were with it, we gathered the feedback and crunched the numbers to find out which brands make you happy once you get them home.

After all, no one wants to waste money on a faulty toaster that browns bread inconsistently, has malfunctioning buttons, or in the very worst case, blows up. Here we report on 15 toaster brands – including big-name rivals like Breville, Dualit, Morphy Richards and Russell Hobbs, as well as own-brand models from Asda and Argos – so you can see how they compare.

If you're just after the best toaster for a particular price, head to our in-depth toaster reviews.

Toaster brands rated

In the table below we give you the lowdown on top toaster brands. We name the brands that make consistently good toasters, and those which are more likely to malfunction. 

For each brand, you can see:

  • Average test score – based on toasters tested between December 2013 and May 2017.
  • How reliable it is – we ask owners if, when, and how their toaster malfunctioned, and calculate how reliable each brand is overall.
  • How owners rate it – how likely owners are to recommend the brand and their overall satisfaction.
  • Our overall verdict – we tell you which brands are worth buying and which should be avoided.

You can see a preview of the best and worst scores below:

Only logged-in Which? members can see which brands came out on top in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.

Preview: toaster brands rated
Brand Average test score Reliability rating How owners rate this brand Overview of our verdict
74% 71% Top pick: This brand has the highest customer approval score – nearly three out of four owners would recommend this toaster brand to a friend and believe they are great value for money. This brand's toasters have impressed in our tests, racking up some decent scores and a couple of Best Buys. They're great value, and fare pretty well in terms of reliability too; just 4% experience a major fault – the second lowest of any brand.
63% 69% Most reliable: If you want a reliable toaster, this brand is the most reliable around. Not one owner reported a catastrophic fault and just 2% of owners experienced a major fault. Seven out of ten owners are pleased with their toaster, but the brand only has one Best Buy toaster to its name – the rest are fairly middle-of-the-road both in terms of performance and price.
55% 68% This premium brand is well-liked by owners, boasting the highest percentage of brand loyal customers and it ranks joint second in terms of reliability. Although it's toasters are largely fault-free, we've only found one Best Buy from all the toasters tested, and it has a low average score overall, so it's important to read our reviews before you splash out on one of these pricey toasters.
66% 65% On the whole this brand's toasters are good, but out of the ten we've tested there's just one Best Buy. However two out of three owners would recommend one to a friend and they score highly in terms of reliability too - just 6% experience a minor fault, and another 10% suffer a major or catastrophic problem. They can range in price, but generally cost around the £50 mark.
58% 64% These expensive toasters haven't impressed in our tests and this brand currently has no Best Buys to its name. Although its toasters are mediocre compared with other brands, Which? members rate this brand pretty highly and it comes joint second in terms of reliability; you shouldn't be troubled with breakdowns as just 5% of its toasters experience a major fault.
62% 64% These toasters are at the pricier end of the spectrum and while they're mostly good, none are currently Best Buys. It does have a good customer score though, and nearly two out of three owners would recommend them. In terms of reliability, it comes in third place as very few toasters made by the brand breakdown or malfunction.
60% 63% We've tested just three toasters from this brand, including one which comes with a cooking attachment that can poach or boil eggs to go with your morning slice. As of yet we haven't discovered a Best Buy toaster, but they’re pretty affordable and five out of eight would encourage a friend to buy one. They muster a respectable reliability score, but tend to have more major faults than minor ones.
66% 59% More recently, we've tested three toasters from this brand which have been high-scoring Best Buys, which is impressive considering their low price. They are considered good value for money, and sit near the top of the list for reliability. Sadly they don't have a high customer approval rating, and just under three out of five would recommend them for their toasters.
69% 58% This major toaster brand generally makes great toasters, including eight high-scoring Best Buys. They're very good value for money, especially considering it has the second highest average test score. Roughly 12% suffer a minor fault and 8% a major one, which gives them a decent reliability score, but it's a shame owners don't rate the brand more highly.
61% 57% This brand rarely makes toasters nowadays, and the last one tested launched over five years ago. It's toasters are very affordable, but performance wise they're pretty average. They're considered good value for money and most are fault-free after six years, but owners don't love them, possibly due to a daily helping of disappointing toast.
64% 57% We haven't tested many of this brand's toasters, and those we have tested have been fairly average. They’re generally reliable and only 4% experience a major fault, but it’s a shame the customer approval score isn’t higher as only four out of seven would recommend them to family or friends. This brand is quite affordable but there are better options out there.
58% 56% We've tested more toasters from this brand than any other, but they're a bit of a mixed bag in terms of performance. It has seven Best Buys, but also two Don’t Buys to steer clear of. As toaster brands go, it is reliable, and more prone to minor faults than major ones. But despite being pretty cheap, less than four out of seven owners would tell friends to buy one, too.
58% 50% Only half of this brand's toaster owners would recommend them to friends. As well as a disappointing customer approval score, it has a lower reliability score compared to competitors, with 26% of its toasters experiencing a minor fault over the span of six years. We've tested the most widely available toasters from this brand, including one costing more than £50, and none are particularly impressive.
57% 45% Least reliable: These toasters tend to be cheap, with one costing just £5. But the quality is pretty hit or miss and while there are two Best Buys, there’s also a Don’t Buy. As well as a low average test score, this brand's isn't loved by owners and it's not the most reliable brand either with a whopping 22% experiencing a major fault - more than any other brand
52% 45% One to avoid: One toaster from this brand is particularly impressive and is currently our highest-scoring Best Buy, but it also has two Don't Buy toasters to its name, and some other mediocre models, which contributes to it having the lowest average test score. It's joint worst for reliability too, although the majority of faults are minor. Unsurprisingly, it has the joint-lowest customer score.
Table notes
Reliability scores and owner ratings are based on a May 2017 survey of 2,605 Which? members who own toasters. The average test score is based on results of all models tested between December 2013 and May 2017, and this table is correct as of June 2017.

Key

Member Content

Can't see the brands you're interested in? We couldn't report on some brands, as we didn't get enough responses from owners, but for reviews of toasters from Bodum, KitchenAid and Swan, head to our independent toaster reviews.

Choosing the best brand of toaster

Toasters tend to be long lasting, and this category has an impressive overall reliability score of five stars. In general if a toaster is going to fail, it will do so within the first or second year, with a mammoth 80% of problems occurring during this time. In comparison just 3% of problems happen in the fifth or sixth year of ownership.

No brand received a flawless score of 100%, but 90% of toasters from one brand in particular remained fault-free after six years. On the opposite end of the scale, the most fault-prone brand only had 68% of it's toasters remain intact six years after they purchased it. The poor performers for reliability unsurprisingly also lag behind in terms of their customer approval score, with the worst getting just 45% in our survey.

It's worth noting that you shouldn't discount the cheaper toaster brands. Not only do some make great value toasters, but one budget brand in particular has an impressive list of Best Buys to choose from. It also has the highest customer approval score and it doesn’t fare badly in terms of reliability either. You'll need to pick wisely though, as supermarket-own brands feature both at the top and bottom of our table.

Now you know which brands to look out for, head to our pick of the best toasters for 2017 to find your perfect fit.

Toaster reliability: expectations vs reality

Over a third of survey respondents expect a toaster to last for five years without breaking down or developing a fault, while an optimistic one out of five expect it to keep in good working order for up to 10 years. 

Our survey doesn't go as far as 10 years, but according to our members a considerable 82% of toasters remain fault-free after six years. By comparison kettles have a much higher failure rate, with only 72% still in good working order after six years.

Most common toaster problems

As part of our survey, we ask Which? members to share any toaster issues they've had over the past six years. And for most owners we spoke to, inconsistent toasting performance is the top gripe. One brand in particular had eight out of 10 owners experience burnt or uneven toasting.

Of those that reported a fault, the issues that topped the list were:

58% - inconsistent toasting
19% - elements stopped heating up
16% - pop-up function stopped working

Fixing a broken toaster may not be worth the hassle or the expense, especially as we’ve found some excellent Best Buy toasters for £25 or less. And if it's poor toasting performance you're experiencing, chances are you need a new toaster anyway.

If you are keen for a repairable toaster, some Dualit toasters are designed to have replaceable parts, including the toasting elements and dials. See our review of the Dualit NewGen Vario toaster to find out if it also makes tasty toast.

Tips for preventing or fixing toaster problems

Empty and clean out the crumb tray frequently to help keep your toaster working properly. A build-up of crumbs can be a potential fire risk. It’s good to get into the habit of turning off the toaster at the socket when not in use, and try to store it away from the sink or any liquids that could spill on it.

We’d recommend registering a new toaster with the manufacturer, so that you can be contacted easily if a safety notice or recall is required. The chances of a faulty product causing serious damage are small, but this way you're much more likely to find out about a problem quickly.

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