Each of the toasters recommended below has aced our rigorous lab tests, which include in-depth toasting evenness and speed assessments. We also check to see if different sized slices of bread will fit each toaster and how easy it is to use.
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This toaster is our best on test, and it’s from a brand with a top-notch reliability record too. It’s great across the board, being straightforward to use, fitting taller and thicker slices of bread comfortably and, most importantly, making great toast.
This high-scoring Best Buy can feed all the family and do it quickly too, taking just over two minutes to brown four slices of toast. It also scores well for fitting standard and thick breads, as well as being easy to clean –necessary for a family toaster.
This bargain toaster comes in a range of colours to suit any fashion-forward kitchen. It makes tasty, evenly browned toast and can accommodate thicker slices as well as standard supermarket loaves. It's a dream to use too.
This toaster might be a little on the slow side but it does the job at hand very well. Your toast will come out a lovely golden brown colour on both sides, plus it's easy to operate and you won't struggle to fit in taller or thicker slices because of the long slots. A great option.
There’s no need to splash out on a toaster: this budget model makes fantastic toast on the cheap. It’s a little on the slow side, but the results are worth waiting for, plus it's easy to use and clean. It’s a brilliant value Best Buy.
It's a pretty simple gadget, but there's still plenty of things to think about when buying a toaster. Here's a quick rundown of what to consider when narrowing down your search:
How much are you willing to spend? Pricier toasters will usually have more capacity and extra features, such as illuminated countdown controls and specialist toast settings for items like bagels and crumpets. They may also have stylish designs and premium metallic finishes. Paying more is no guarantee of good results, though. We've found some brilliant cheap toasters and, disappointingly, bad expensive ones.
How much toast do you need to make at a time? If you've got lots of mouths to feed at breakfast, you might want to opt for a four-slice toaster.
What do you want to toast? Most toasters struggle with larger bread types, leaving a strip untoasted or - annoyingly - not fitting them at all. If you like teatime treats such as crumpets and bagels, look for extra-wide slots, and check our reviews for the more versatile models.
Is design important to you? With open-plan living commonplace in many homes, most toasters on the market have aesthetics in mind. You can buy anything from a retro-look toaster to a stylish steel model. Patterned or textured models are popular, but bear in mind that these and polished metal finishes can be harder to keep clean.
Do you need easy-to-use controls? If controls are too small, hard to read or twist, you could find it an everyday frustration. Read more about Best easy-to-use toasters for 2022.
When buying a new toaster, you'll have three types to choose from:
These are the most popular and widely available option.
Most are fairly compact and are a good choice for small kitchens with limited counter space.
Controls are usually on the short end of the toaster.
If you live in a larger household you might want a toaster that can brown four slices at once, though it can be tricky to find one that browns all four slices evenly.
Look out for independent controls that let you brown each pair to different levels.
Make sure you've got enough worktop space to accommodate the larger size.
Controls are usually on the front of the toaster.
Long-slot toasters have one or two longer slots, which can accommodate two slices each.
They are less common, but are a good compromise for those who want to toast four slices at once but don’t have room for a bulky appliance, as they have a slimmer profile.
They’re also great at fitting in taller slices or oddly-shaped bread, as you can fit them in on their sides.
The quality of long-slot toasters varies hugely.
Best toaster features to consider
Here's what to look out for when choosing a new toaster.
These tend to come as standard on even the very cheapest toasters:
Cancel – stops the toasting cycle
Defrost – for toasting frozen bread
Reheat – quickly warms up your toast
Crumb tray – captures any stray crumbs. Empty at least weekly if you use your toaster every day
Extra toaster features to look out for
Spending a little more can get you some handy features, such as:
Extra lift – great if you love to toast crumpets or muffins. It raises small items out of the toaster so you won’t burn your fingers when fishing them out
Bagel setting – this turns the heating down on one side so your bagel ends up with a traditional doughy edge and a toasted centre
Lift and look – also called ‘peek and pop,’ this feature lets you check on your toast without cancelling the cycle, some Sage toasters also have a 'bit more' button for a burst of extra toasting time
Countdown timer – as the name suggests, this counts down the time until your toast is ready, so you know exactly how long you have to make a cup of tea or get your butter out of the fridge
Bun warmer – either a clip-on rack or a pop-up version that’s integrated into your toaster. You might be better warming buns and croissants in the oven, though
Sandwich toasting cage – hinged metal cages that let you make quick and easy toasties and do away with your toastie maker. Sometimes sold as an additional accessory (eg for some Dualit toasters)
Get a toaster that has all the features you want by checking our toaster reviews.
How much do I need to spend on a toaster?
Toasters range from around £5 for a no-frills, own-brand model to more than £200 for a feature-laden, premium brand toaster.
These pricier toasters tend to offer features such as illuminated controls and countdown timers, and have special settings for things like bagels and crumpets. They also can come with accessories such as sandwich toasting cages.
Paying more doesn't guarantee you'll get glorious golden toast, though. Some expensive models have flunked our tests, producing bread that's barely warm, or horribly uneven. We've also found some brilliant cheap toasters for less than £20.
Use the price and Best Buy filters on our toaster reviews to find the cheap toasters we recommend.
Is it worth buying a Dualit toaster?
Designer brand Dualit is a popular choice for a statement toaster, but its classic retro-look toasters can cost more than £100 each. So are they worth the investment?
You can expect premium materials and finishes on a Dualit appliance, but it’s not just looks you’re paying for. Dualit toasters often have extras, such as a bagel setting and a lift-and-look function.
Some are also equipped with ‘perfect toast technology,’ designed to adjust the heat each time for the perfect slice. However, we’ve found that some Dualit toasters are considerably better than others, so it’s worth comparing all our Dualit toaster reviews to pick the very best model.
Depending on how serious the problem is, you may well be able to repair your toaster at home. Some of the most common issues are inconsistent performance and faulty pop-up functions, both of which are very easy fixes that don't require any fiddling with electrics.
Another common toaster fault, however, is a faulty heating element or complete failure of the product. These aren't problems that you should attempt to rectify at home, as you could put yourself in danger. Instead, find a Which? Trusted Trader near you and leave the repairs to qualified professional. See our story on Common kettle and toaster faults and how to fix them for more advice.
How should I dispose of or recycle my old toaster?
According to Recycle Now, around one million tonnes of electrical and electronic waste are generated every year. Every item that has either a plug, a charger, batteries or carries a crossed-out wheelie bin logo can be recycled, and that includes toasters.
If you're giving your kitchen a makeover and your old toaster is still working, you can donate it to a charity shop. Many of them will even come and collect from your home, especially if you have other items you wish to donate.
For toasters that are no longer in working condition, your best bet is to take them to your local recycling centre. Some councils will collect bulky waste items from you, but for smaller items like toasters it's easier (and cheaper) to take them yourself.