It goes without saying that toasters should enable you to wake up to delicious, evenly browned toast every morning. But that’s not always the reality. Substandard models, many of which are surprisingly expensive, leave you with bread that’s toasted one side and not the other or with spots that never seem to brown. Others just go from bread to burn. Then there are those in which thicker slices or crumpets get completely stuck. Not the best way to start your day.
Don’t assume you have to fork out for a good model– one of the toasters in our shortlist only costs a tenner, although the models in our roundup that come in at over £100 excel in terms of extra features and/or accessories and some, such as the Sage, create the perfect texture, as well as browning well.
Whatever your budget, try to get a toaster that automatically centres your bread and if you’re keen on teacakes, bagels, croissants, homemade bread or crumpets, make sure your toaster can handle these different shapes and sizes. Other extras you might want to consider are a “defrost” feature that means you can cook frozen bread without guessing when it’s toasted, and re-heat buttons that mean you can warm up toast you’ve forgotten has already popped up and gone cold. Countdown timers can be handy if you’re multi-tasking and want to know how long you have to make your tea or fry your bacon. Finally, make sure your toaster is easy to clean, ideally with an efficient, simple-to-remove crumb tray.
1. Morphy Richards Chroma: £23, amazon
Somehow, this machine manages to produce toast that is never stripy, patchy or uneven, while the variable browning knob ensures toast is never burnt. And while some toasters start to be less effective after a couple of rounds, this one keeps up the good work even when you’re feeding lots of guests. The crumb tray works particularly well and the reheat setting means you can warm up toast you’ve left too long.
2. Asda George Two-Slice Toaster with Long Slots: £10, Asda George
It would be easy to assume this bargain toaster isn’t a patch on big-name brands, but it certainly holds its own. It fits different-sized breads far more easily than some much pricier models, is speedy at toasting, and has clearly marked, intuitive controls. It’s also simple to clean, although be prepared to do so regularly as crumbs fall through the bottom. Also available in black and white.
3. Bugatti Volo: £170, Amara
Available in a range of funky colours, it’ll put an end to patchy toast, instead giving evenly browned slice after evenly browned slice, all in super-quick time. The bun-warming rack, sandwich cages and bagel settings are all helpful accessories, although the regular slots could be bigger.
4. Magimix Vision: £145, John Lewis
Another pricey but terrific machine that makes a mean piece of toast, this one has see-through glass, letting you watch your bread cook, using one of the eight browning levels. The single slot enables you to fit in different sized slices, including doorstep bread slices and hot cross buns, and the lift button is extra high, so no risk of burnt fingers. Other colours available.
5. Bosch TAT6805: £59, amazon
This sleek machine is really versatile, fitting the largest of bread and crumpet slices in the single slot, as well as the likes of croissants, bread rolls and buns on the bun rack. The controls are easy to use and the browning is even, albeit darker than other machines. It can be tricky to clean due to crumbs stacking up in the many hiding places.
6. Breville Perfect Fit for Warburtons: £23, amazon
If you’re a fan of Warburton’s Toastie bread, look no further. This has been designed specifically with this size of bread in mind, ensuring it doesn’t leave that annoying white gap at the top. What’s more, it browns this – and other bread – evenly, in quick time. It couldn’t be simpler to use, making it a good one for those who take time to wake up in the mornings.
7. Sage The Smart Toast: £130, John Lewis
This upscale machine excels at keeping toast perfectly crunchy, even when you’ve applied the butter. The “quick look” function helps – it allows you to take a sneaky peak without disturbing the toasting cycle and the machine has been carefully engineered to deal well with all kinds of bread, including frozen, winning hands-down when it comes to toasting crumpets. It looks good too.
8. Hotpoint TT22MDXB0L: £25, John Lewis
This comes in at under £20, yet it won’t let you down when it comes to an evenly toasted slice. It’s easy to use, with toast that pops up nice and high, making it easy to grab out of the machine. It’s also got good durability, particularly for the price. Large slices don’t fit, however, but otherwise we’d highly recommend it.
9. Russell Hobbs Canterbury: £22, amazon
Russell Hobbs makes classier looking machines, but when it comes to actually toasting, this is the best. It’s extremely quick and standard-size bread fits in either way round without leaving that frustrating strip lying naked at the top. And if you wind up loving your toast so much that it soon needs cleaning, rest assured that’s a doddle too. It’s not great at larger slices, though. Available in other colours.
10. Kitchenaid Artisan: £133, John Lewis
With its jazzy colour options, retro looks, compact size and LED display, this machine is way more handsome than most toasters on the high-street shelves. And looks aren’t all it has going for it, with its automatic toast control working particularly well. We also liked the bagel/toastie options, progress bar (so you can see how long your toast has to go) and the keep warm feature. It’s speedy, too.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing
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