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26 July 2021

Best toastie makers

See the toastie makers and sandwich toasters that make mouthwatering cheese toasties
Joel Bates

The best toastie makers and sandwich toasters will cook your toasties evenly and right to the edges, leaving you with crispy browned bread on the outside and delicious melted cheese on the inside.

The worst ones will leave undercooked patches, or spill cheese out of the sides during cooking, so you'll have a frustrating and messy cleaning job after you've finished eating.

In April 2021 we tested 10 popular toastie makers and sandwich toasters from Argos, Asda, Breville, George Foreman, Russell Hobbs, Sage and more, to see which ones make the perfect cheese toastie.

As well as recommending the best toastie makers, we'll also tell you how big their cooking plates are so you can avoid the ones that will leave you with disappointing untoasted bits around the edges.

See our full test results below to discover which toastie makers and sandwich toasters we recommend.

Pricing and availability last checked: 26 July 2021.

The best toastie makers and sandwich toasters

Only logged-in Which? members can view the toastie maker test results below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the toastie makers we tested. Join Which? now to get instant access to our recommendations below.

Argos Cookworks 2 Portion Sandwich Toaster

Argos Cookworks 2 Portion Sandwich Toaster

Cheapest price: £12.99, available at Argos

Size: H8.3 x W22.2 x D22.7cm

Cooking plate size (per toastie): 10.5 x 12cm

Average heat-up time: 1 min 30 sec

Recommended cooking time: 3-4 min

Other key features: Handle lock, vertical storage

Argos' simple and cheap toastie maker is one of the more compact sandwich toasters we tested, making it convenient for storage. Our full test results show if it's as easy to cook with as it is to pack away.

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Asda George Home Sandwich Toaster GST301B-19

Asda George Home Sandwich Toaster GST301B-19

Cheapest price: £8, available at Asda

Size: H8 x W22.5 x D22.5cm

Cooking plate size (per toastie): 10.5 x 12cm

Average heat-up time: 1 min 22 sec

Recommended cooking time: 2-4 min

Other key features: Handle lock, vertical storage

This cheap Asda toastie maker reached cooking temperature faster than any of the others we tested, but it's not all about speed. Our full results show if this rapid little toaster leaves anything to be desired in the quality of its cooking.

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Breville VST025

Breville VST025

Cheapest price: £27.99, available at Amazon and Currys PC World, also available at Argos

Size: H9.5 x W32 x D27.5

Cooking plate size (per toastie): 27 x 17.8cm

Average heat-up time: 2 min 30 sec

Recommended cooking time: 5-8 min

Other key features: Handle lock, vertical storage, cable tidy, recipes included

The Breville VST025 is a sandwich press-style toastie maker with one wide cooking plate, which means you'll have no trouble fitting larger bread slices in it. Our tests judged how much of an impact this design has on how evenly it cooks toasties.

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Breville VST041

Breville VST041

Cheapest price: £27.99, available at Amazon and Argos, also available at AO.com

Size: H9.4 x W27.6 x D23.5cm

Cooking plate size (per toastie): 12 x 11.2cm

Average heat-up time: 4 min 17 sec

Recommended cooking time: 4-5 min

Other key features: Deep fill plates, removable plates, handle lock, vertical storage, cable tidy, recipes included

The Breville VST041 might look like a briefcase, but you won't find important documents in there - just a pair of toasted sandwiches. Our test results reveal if it's worth parting with your cash for it.

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Cuisinart GRSM1U toastie maker

Cuisinart GRSM1U

Cheapest price: £55, available at Amazon, also available at AO.com and Lakeland

Size: H11 x W29.4 x D24cm

Cooking plate size (per toastie): 14 x 14.5cm

Average heat-up time: 5 min 18 sec

Recommended cooking time: 5 min

Other key features: Temperature control, deep fill plates, removable plates, handle lock, vertical storage, cable tidy, recipes included

The Cuisinart GRSM1U toastie maker has a dial on the bottom that lets you set the cooking temperature to low, medium or high, allowing you to experiment with your toastie cooking. We tested how evenly cooked you can expect those toasties to be.

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George Foreman 25810 Grill

George Foreman 25810 Grill

Cheapest price: £37.02, available at Amazon also available at AO.com, Asda, Argos

Size: H7.7 x W33.3 x D27.5cm

Cooking plate size (per toastie): 31 x 17cm

Average heat-up time: 1 min 42 sec

Recommended cooking time: Not stated

Other key features: Adjustable plate width, vertical storage, cable tidy, recipes included

A George Foreman can grill just about anything, so if you aren't convinced you'll have toasties often enough to buy a dedicated toastie maker this might tempt you as an alternative. We put the George Foreman through exactly the same tests as the other toastie makes to see if you're better off going for a grill instead.

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Russell Hobbs Deep Fill 3in1 24540 toastie maker

Russell Hobbs Deep Fill 3in1 24540

Cheapest price: £28.95, available at Amazon, AO.com (out of stock), also available at Argos, Very

Size: H10.5 x W25 x D23.2cm

Cooking plate size (per toastie): 11.2 x 12.7cm

Average heat-up time: 4 min 11 sec

Recommended cooking time: 4-5 min

Other key features: Deep fill plates, removable plates, waffle and grill plates included, handle lock, vertical storage, cable tidy

Russell Hobbs' toastie maker has deep fill cooking plates, which means you'll be able to stuff more fillings into your toasties before you cook them. But will it cook your deep-filled toasties evenly? Our full test results reveal all.

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Sage the Perfect Press SSG600BSS Sandwich Toaster

Sage the Perfect Press SSG600BSS Sandwich Toaster

Cheapest price: £99, available at Amazon and AO.com, also available at Lakeland

Size: H12.5 x W29.4 x D30.5

Cooking plate size (per toastie): 28.5 x 18.5cm

Average heat-up time: 3 min

Recommended cooking time: 3-5 min

Other key features: Adjustable plate width, handle lock, vertical storage, cable tidy

You might expect Sage's the Perfect Press Sandwich Toaster to be near-perfect given how much pricier it is than the other toastie makers we tested. We lined up its toasties next to all the others to see if paying more makes a difference to the quality of your home-cooked toasties.

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Salter EK2143 toastie maker

Salter EK2143

Cheapest price: £29.99, available at Robert Dyas, also available at Amazon, Asda

Size: H11 x W29 x D25.5cm

Cooking plate size (per toastie): 13.8 x 14.1cm

Average heat-up time: 3 min 55 sec

Recommended cooking time: Not stated

Other key features: Removable plates, waffle and grill plates included, handle lock, vertical storage, cable tidy

The Salter EK2143 toastie maker comes with a set of waffle and grill plates included, so you can mix up your hot snacks without buying lots of extra appliances. We pitted its toastie making skills against the competition to see if it beats the others without needing those extra tricks up its sleeve.

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Wilko Black 4 Slice Sandwich Toaster 0316233

Wilko Black 4 Slice Sandwich Toaster 0316233

Cheapest price: £8, available at Wilko

Size: H9.6 x W25.5 x D24.3cm

Cooking plate size (per toastie): 11.2 x 12cm

Average heat-up time: 1 min 59 sec

Recommended cooking time: 3-5 min

Other key features: Handle lock, vertical storage, cable tidy

Wilko's toastie maker is the joint cheapest on test, but it's larger than the other cheap toastie makers and has a cable tidy on the back to help you store it away neatly. Could this give it an edge over the other cheap toastie makers from Argos and Asda?

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A cheese toastie and ham and cheese toastie being prepared
Toasties prepared for our tests

How we tested these toastie makers and sandwich toasters

To find the Best Buy toastie makers and sandwich toasters we devised a string of robust tests to sort the best from the rest.

We selected and bought 10 toastie makers that were widely available from leading UK brands and retailers at the time of testing, capturing the bestsellers, the pricey premium options and the cheap own-brands.

We then prepared more than 60 identical cheese toasties and cheese and ham toasties, using the same amounts of cheese, bread and ham each time, and cooked them using the toastie makers we bought. We assessed each toastie maker based on several important criteria:

Build quality and storage

A good toastie maker should be durable and made of high quality materials that won't warp during cooking. We checked for signs of wear and tear during testing and checked if the toastie makers slid around on the kitchen counter easily.

We also measured and rated their size in relation to their cooking area, as some are needlessly bulky and not everyone has enough kitchen space to store away a large appliance.

A toastie maker being used in the kitchen

Ease of use and heat-up speed

We judged each toastie maker on how easy they were to press and lock during cooking, and how straightforward it was to remove any detachable cooking plates for cleaning.

A toastie maker is also handy appliance for when you need a hot snack quickly, so we timed how long it took each one to switch on the 'ready to cook' light multiple times to work out how long on average you'll be waiting for it to heat up.

Evenness of cooking

We cooked each toastie following the instructions. Rather than judging just how brown the toasties were, we chose to judge them on how evenly brown they were instead. This is because people have different preferences for how brown they like their toasties but will always want them to be cooked evenly.

We inspected each toastie and looked for any spots where they were more or less cooked. Toasties cooked right to the edge and evenly browned throughout were praised, whereas toasties with a mixture of browned and undercooked spots received lower scores.

Cheese leaking out of a toastie maker

Cleanliness of cooking and ease of cleaning

No one likes cleaning up, especially when there's more to do than you expected. That's why we took note of the toastie makers that were prone to leaking butter and cheese out the sides during cooking and penalised them for this.

We also looked for any little nooks and crannies where cheese and butter accumulates, as it can be a real pain to pick out melted or burned bits of cheese.

After cooking we let each toastie maker cool fully and cleaned them, again following the instructions. We took note of the toastie makers that were especially arduous to clean.

Bread being buttered

Do you put butter on the outside of a toastie?

Among the 10 toastie makers we tested, five advised buttering both sides of the bread while the other five did not. To make our tests fair we chose not to butter both sides of the toasties we judged, but we did make a few extras with both sides buttered to see how different they were.

As you might expect, the extra butter gave the toasties a darker colour and added a richer flavour to them thanks to the added fat.

We found them a mixed bag in terms of taste. The extra butter made some of the toasties all the more delicious, whereas others became sickly and overpowering.

Ultimately this comes down to personal preference, but we don't think buttering both sides of the toastie is certain to make it cook better or be more enjoyable to eat.

It's worth checking the instructions to see what the manufacturer advises on this, but we don't think it's an essential step for making a delicious toastie.

How do you make a toastie without a toastie maker?

Of course a toastie maker isn't essential for making a toastie, it just makes it much more convenient.

You might struggle to make a toastie in an oven, as its important for the sandwich to be pressed during cooking to ensure the ingredients inside the toastie are cooked too.

It is, however, possible to cook a toastie using a frying pan. You'll need to ensure the pan is hot before putting the toastie on it, and during cooking you should gently press the toastie to help it brown and cook the filling. Roughly 2-3 minutes of cooking on each side should be enough for you to make a tasty pan-fried toastie.

See the results of our recently tested non-stick frying pans.

Alternative toastie makers

There are also other types of alternative toastie makers available besides those we tested. See how to use these toastie makers and what we thought of them when we tried them out.

ProCook Stovetop Sandwich Toaster

ProCook Stovetop Sandwich Toaster

Price: £22, available at ProCook (out of stock)

How it works: Place your toasties in the press and then close the lid using the handle lock to keep it shut. Place the toastie maker over a stove (gas and electric both work) and cook the toasties for roughly four minutes, remembering to flip it over halfway through cooking.

Pros: Cooks the outside of the toasties evenly, easy to clean

Cons: Struggles to cook the toastie fillings, small cooking plates, adjacent cooking plates makes it difficult to cook a pair of toasties simultaneously as they can't share the hob

Morphy Richards 511644 MICO Microwave Toastie Maker

Morphy Richards 511644 MICO Microwave Toastie Maker

Price: £24.99, available at Amazon

How it works: Place your toastie on the cooking plates inside the box and microwave it for 3-6 minutes depending on how crispy you'd like your toastie.

Pros: Makes crisp, evenly cooked toasties, easy to clean

Cons: Only makes one toastie at a time

Lakeland Toastabags

Lakeland Toastabags

Price: £6.99, available at Lakeland

How it works: Assemble your sandwich and slide it into the Toastabag. Put the Toastabag in your toaster and cook it just like you would toast your bread.

Pros: Easy to use, easy to clean

Cons: Struggles to cook fillings without burning the toast, bags might not fit properly in your toaster

Cheese toasties on a plate

Eight things we learned testing toastie makers

1) Detachable plates aren't always as convenient as they seem - although they're often dishwasher safe and can be cleaned separately from the toastie maker, detachable plates often leave small gaps on the toastie maker where they've been attached. If your fillings leak into those gaps you've got an annoying cleaning task on your hands.

2) Touch the handles but nowhere else - you should always take care when handling a hot appliance and wear heatproof gloves if you can. We measured the surface temperature of the sides, tops and handles of each toastie maker we tested and found almost all of them were too hot to touch everywhere except the handles.

3) Adding ham to the cheese toasties doesn't affect how they cook - our tests couldn't spot any patterns in how well the toasties cooked if they had a slice of meat inside them as well as cheese. Be wary of adding ingredients unevenly, though, as this is likely to affect how evenly the toastie cooks. Try to keep the toastie as level as possible.

4) Watch out for little nooks and crannies near the cooking plates - there's likely to be some leakage at some point, and if there are thin gaps or tiny corners in your toastie maker you'll have a tough time scraping out the drips.

5) Don't use a knife to remove your toasties - all of the toastie makers we tested were easily damaged when we used a butter knife to scrape over the non-stick cooking plates. A wooden or plastic spatula is best for keeping your toastie maker scratch-free.

6) Smaller toastie makers are often harder to close - this is because the toastie will likely be close to the hinges and have its edges poking out, so you'll need extra effort to squash the toastie before you close the handle lock.

7) Heat-up times vary widely - this is something to take into account if you don't want to wait around for your toastie maker. Some of those we tested heated up in less than one and a half minutes, whereas other took more than five.

8) Don't take the 'ready to cook' light as gospel - we often found the toastie makers that heated up quickest were also prone to undercooking the toasties, so it might be worth leaving it a little longer before cooking to make sure it really is ready to cook.

Head to our expert, independent kitchen advice and reviews.