What every best Toasters has:
- Wide slots.
- Bagel setting.
- Defrost setting.
Experts and owners agree: the Oster Jelly Bean 2-Slice Toaster is a great everyday choice that offers consistent performance in a, cute, affordable package. There are seven different darkness settings as well as options for heating bagels and frozen bread. In testing, the Jelly Bean quickly produces the most evenly-browned slices of toast, with good consistency even across several batches. It comes in gray, red and purple, but not all colors are available at all retailers.
Never heard of a Smeg toaster? Neither had we until we spotted it at the top of nearly every expert test we evaluated for this update -- it's also the highest-rated by owners. Yes, it's almost ridiculously pricey (for a toaster), but if you love bagels and have a little extra scratch, the pure joy of its perfect bagel toasting, along with its attractive appearance, will make your mornings. It also does really well on toast, browning evenly and consistently.
With its sleek, modern design and impressive features, the Breville BTA840XL is a technological marvel. Its intelligent auto-lowering function lowers your bread with a single touch. Other controls include "a bit more" button for additional toasting; a "lift-and-look" feature for monitoring doneness; and bagel and defrost settings. Owners say the toaster is fun and entertaining to use. A two-slice model, the Breville BTA820XL (Est. $120) is also available. Most important, it makes great toast, bagels and frozen pastries.
It costs less than the Breville BTA840XL, but the Cuisinart CPT-440 performs nearly as well in expert roundups and reviewers find it just as sturdy and attractive. In testing, it toasts bread evenly and consistently, batch after batch, with distinct doneness results on each setting. The stainless steel housing stays cool to the touch and its leverless design has a "cool" factor that users love. It struggles a bit with frozen items, like waffles and pastries, but excels in bagel toasting.
If a multi-tasking toaster sounds appealing, then the West Bend TEM4500W 4-Slice Egg and Muffin Toaster is the machine for you. It can toast up to four slices of bread or muffins, all while cooking two eggs and warming cooked meat -- all the ingredients for a quick breakfast sandwich. Owners say it's easy to use, very consistent and saves them time and money by avoiding the drive-through.