Toast is a staple of the great British breakfast, so why are so many toasters the wrong size and shape to squeeze our favourite slices of bread into?
According to the UK Flour Millers, 11 million loaves fly off supermarket shelves every day, with some kind of bread being bought by 99.8% of British households. Not everyone has the same preferences though, and while some are fans of a standard slice, others might prefer a chunky focaccia or airy sourdough.
The problem is that the majority of toasters are only made with smaller slices of bread in mind, so anything longer or wider might struggle to fit in. If you're a bit of a toast perfectionist, we've rounded up a handful of toasters that will meet your non-standard baked goods head-on.
In our recent testing, using a sample of 78 toasters, we've worked out that the average toaster slot is 14.47cm wide and 12.76cm high. Slot depths tend to vary wildly from one model to the next, with some as narrow as just 1.24cm.
This is unlikely to cause any issues if you only buy pre-sliced standard loaves, but with some sourdough slices measuring as wide as 22cm, the only way you'll fit them in is by cutting them in half.
This isn't the end of the world, but it means you can sometimes end up with a pale white border around the edge of your toast where it hasn't had any heat.
There's nothing better than a doorstop slice to go with a bowl of soup, so it's sad when you have to flatten your lovely thick bread to squeeze it into the slightly-too-narrow slots in your toaster.
The two models below, however, have nice thick slots that mean you can enjoy a delicious, hearty slice in perfect form.
This Linsar toaster has generous slots so you won't struggle to squeeze in thick toastie bread. It comes in a wide range of matt colours, too.
It's a good option if you're sticking to a budget, and it comes with a matching kettle if you're a fan of a colour-coordinated kitchen.
A slightly pricier option, this Dualit two-slice model fits thick crumpets and toastie-style breads into the slots nicely.
You can choose from eight settings to get your toast the exact colour you like it, too.
Whether you're a home baker or prefer to frequent a local artisanal bakery instead, you'll know that homemade and sourdough loaves are usually wider or taller than standard loaves, so you can end up with large patches that don't fit into your toaster at all.
You won't have this problem if you opt for one of these two models though, as they're designed to accommodate out-of-the-ordinary slices.
This sleek Rangemaster model does an excellent job of fitting in thicker and taller breads, meaning there's no need to flip your slice around halfway or throw away the chunkier end piece.
We tested both the two-slice and four-slice versions of this toaster, and they scored exactly the same, so you can choose the best option for your household.
This brightly coloured KitchenAid toaster is bound to make a statement in any kitchen, although it also comes in cream, charcoal or matt black if you prefer neutral colours.
Instead of two smaller slots, this toaster has one long slot, so it's perfect for toasting artisan breads like sourdough or tall homemade slices (turned sideways). You can fit in two standard slices at the same time, and there's even an option for toasting pastries.
If you're a lover of crumpets or bagel, you may sometimes find yourself struggling to extricate your breakfast treat from the toaster without burning your fingers.
Pastries present their own problems: it can be a tricky job to warm them up safely without filling your toaster with flaky pieces or nuking them to a pulp in your microwave. We've unearthed a couple of toasters that will help you avoid singed fingertips.
One of the more expensive toasters we've tested, the Dualit Domus has enough room for four slices of bread and a perfectionist-pleasing nine browning settings to choose from.
It's a good choice for smaller baked items as there's an extra-high lift setting so you can make sure your crumpets are well clear of the toasting element before you reach in to grab them. Plus, there's also a dedicated bagel setting.
This white two-slice toaster has a sleek, minimal design and there's a matching kettle available too. You can choose from seven browning levels and there are also reheat and defrost settings.
It has a pop-up bun warmer that sits above the grill, and this can be used to warm chunky items like buns or flaky pastries so you don't have to chance pushing them down into the toasting slots.
We run our toasters through a range of rigorous tests to make sure you don't end up with a dud. The main things we look for are the ability to toast quickly and evenly, how easy the toaster is to use and clean, and whether or not you'll be able to squeeze in lots of different-sized breads.
We use cardboard templates that mimic the width, depth and thickness of common types of bread, including normal-sized and tall bread, homemade bread and crumpets. We rate how well each slice fits in the toasting slot and how easy it is to remove once toasted.