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6 best toasters: Two-slice models for perfectly golden rounds every time

Whether for bagels, tea cakes or your morning toast, these are our top picks

Zoe Phillimore
Thursday 22 December 2022 10:25 GMT
<p>Choose from defrost, keep-warm and browning settings, so you can enjoy your breakfast just so </p>

Choose from defrost, keep-warm and browning settings, so you can enjoy your breakfast just so

Our Top Picks

There’s nothing quite so comforting as a golden piece of toast, smothered in melting butter, but getting the perfectly browned slice of toast is a fine art.

Two-slice toasters are perfect for most households. These kitchen appliances take up far less counter space than a four-slice toaster and mean you have time to butter two slices while you toast another two, if you have a large family.

As well as the main toasting function, a lot of models come with defrost, reheat and bagel options. It’s fairly obvious what the first two do, while the latter toasts just one side of whatever’s in your toaster.

This isn’t just great for bagels, but also useful for hot cross buns and tea cakes. We thoroughly recommend going for a toaster with this function.

How we tested

We put all the toasters through their paces. We wanted evenly browned toast that didn’t take an age to produce. Things we like to see on a toaster include extra wide, extra deep slots, so you can get whatever you want in your toaster (within reason). Also, a function for bagels and an easy-to-use browning dial.

The look of the toaster also mattered – it’s out on your counter, more likely than not, so it should look nice on display, without hogging too much of the worktop.

A busy family of five toast fans took on the job of testing toasters. We tried bread, of course, but also other goodies such as bagels, crumpets and potato cakes. We lived the carb dream for four beautiful weeks. Here are the toasters we think are best things since sliced bread.

The best two-slice toasters for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – KitchenAid Artisan two-slice cast iron toaster: £189,
  • Best eco-friendly toaster – Philips conscious collection two-slice toaster: £44.99,
  • Best compact toaster – Tefal includeo two-slice toaster: £44.99,
  • Best for large slices of bread – Russell Hobbs attentiv two-slice toaster: £79,
  • Best for colourful options – Smeg two-slice toaster: £128,
  • Best simple toaster – Cuisinart two-slice toaster: £80,

KitchenAid artisan two-slice cast iron toaster

best two slice toaster
  • Best: Overall
  • Features: Keep warm, bagel, frozen and sandwich functions
  • Colourways: Cast iron black

We were absolutely delighted with this toaster. We actually took a video of it toasting to send to our long-suffering friends (they love it really). The best part – in our humble opinion – is that the toaster senses when it has bread (or other toastable goods) in the slot and lets out a little ping, then slowly drops the bread down and starts toasting it. No levers here. Once toasted, the KitchenAid then politely pings again and gently raises the toast out of the slot. It’s like a posh lift for toast. But that’s not all – if the toaster senses your toast is not removed within 45 seconds, the toaster automatically lowers it again and activates a keep-warm cycle. Toast has never had it so good.

Aside from treating our slices of bread like royalty, there’s a lot to like about the KitchenAid. It has very deep, wide slots that can take anything you throw at them (within reason). It’s textured, and doesn’t seem to pick up any dirt at all. It’s also very fast at the fundamental toasting of bread. It has a bagel function, as well as a frozen function and – drum roll – a sandwich function. Indeed, it comes with a sandwich press that slots into the toaster, so you can make all the cheese toasties your heart desires. There’s also a light-up shade indicator on the side that counts down to when your toast is ready, and a shade control.

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Philips conscious collection two-slice toaster

best two slice toasters
  • Best: Eco-friendly toaster
  • Features: Integrated bun rack and eight browning settings
  • Colourways: Cream

We liked this compact toaster a lot. First, it comes with a lid, so you can put stuff on top of it when you’re not using it (why don’t all toasters have this? Make it so, toaster gods).

If you haven’t guessed from the name, this toaster is an eco-friendly option. It’s made with 100 per cent bio plastics. That’s plastic produced from renewable sources, to the uninitiated. It feels incredibly lightweight, and not totally robust. But unless you’re slinging it about then it should be fine.

Things to like are the fact it’s inconspicuous on the work surface and doesn’t pick up finger marks. It also has an integrated bun rack, to warm pastries and other items you don’t want toasted but do want warm. The toasting action is simple to use – there are eight browning settings, to get it just as you like. We got a nice crispy crumpet and evenly browned toast from the Philips, and you can’t ask for more than that.

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Tefal includeo two-slice toaster

best two slice toaster
  • Best: Compact toaster
  • Features: Tongs and seven browning levels
  • Colourways: Black/chrome

We were really enamoured with this toaster (if you can be enamoured with a toaster). It comes with toaster-safe tongs that – get this – magnetically attach to the side of the toaster. We were huge fans. Well done Tefal product developers, this feels like a real stride forward in toaster design. Tongs aside, we were very happy to note the toaster didn’t take up too much space on our kitchen surfaces, and tucked neatly into a corner. The matt black design also was very forgiving when it came to greasy fingerprint marks, and the chrome trim looked smart.

We liked the sliding gauge with a large tactile cancel button at the end. This made it easy to adjust and work out how ramped up the cooking time was without really having to look. The toaster crisped up our potato cakes really speedily – big tick there. However, we found the depth of the slots for larger slices of bread didn’t quite do the job. Having said that, it did get our toast beautifully golden and even.

  1. £44 from
Prices may vary
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Russell Hobbs attentiv two-slice toaster

best two slice toaster
  • Best: For large slices of bread
  • Features: Toast-colour sensor, touchpad controls and reheat and defrost functions
  • Colourways: Silver

A jazzy little number, this toaster has a touchpad control panel at the bottom. Add to that deep, wide slots that can take all manner of toasted items, and we’re on to a winner. The attentiv has a sensor that monitors the colour of your toast, so it comes out golden (rather than black) every time. It also remembers your last setting and reverts to that, even if it’s been unplugged. What a clever little toaster, eh? Plus, it has reheat and defrost options, if you’re caught out and need your toast pronto.

We found it toasted our large slice of bread brilliantly – it got it perfectly golden, without going over into crispy. It also didn’t take very long at all. Vital on busy mornings when you’re yelling: “Please, for the 100th time, come and sit down for breakfast!” We were really impressed with this toaster overall. It’s on the upper end of the price scale, but it definitely packs a punch.

  1. £79 from
Prices may vary
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Smeg two-slice toaster

best two slice toaster
  • Best: For colourful options
  • Features: Defrost, reheat and bagel functions, and six toasting levels
  • Colorways: Black, gold, slate grey, white, cream, pastel blue, red, pink, pastel green, steel, rose gold, Union Jack and ‘Sicily is my love’ design

If you want to bring a bit of sunshine to your kitchen appliances, Smeg is a good bet. Its two-slice toaster comes in a range of ice-cream hues, as well as black, red and a few other muted tones. Smeg has produced a surprisingly large toaster here but it is sleek, with bold branding. This toaster is definitely a status symbol, with a price tag to match.

As well as toasting, there are defrost and reheat functions on this toaster. You can select your toasting duration from a dial on the side, which lights up, too. However, the Smeg keeps you on your toes – once your bread has turned to toast, the toaster pings the toast up with such force it actually launches it into the air like something from Wallace and Gromit. It’s quite fun, but best not left unattended. We found the results beautifully brown, but it took the toaster a while to get there. We also thought the slots could do with being a bit wider, considering the appliance is on the large side.

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Cuisinart two-slice toaster

best two slice toaster
  • Best: Simple toaster
  • Features: Defrost, bagel and reheat function
  • Colourways: Chrome, rose gold and pistachio

A premium toaster that doesn’t jam up the work surface. All the other high-end toasters in this round-up took up a lot of space on our work surface, but this chap sits discreetly in the corner, waiting to meet your toasting needs. However, we found all that chrome means a lot of buttery finger marks are left on display, to our shame. But it does look smart when it’s spick and span.

Toasting wise, it has wide slots for your tea cakes, along with defrost, bagel and reheat functions. We found this toaster was in the middle range when it came to the speed of getting our toast perfectly brown. The six-point dial is easy to use, and we liked the high-lift lever for giving smaller items a boost out of the slot.

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The verdict: Two-slice toasters

We pondered long and hard over which toaster we should award the IndyBest top spot, but we just had to go for the KitchenAid. It is very expensive, but it has so much going for it, it would be unfair if we didn’t put it at the top of the class. It toasted our bread well, and quickly. It has handy functions and it looks great on our work surface. If you’re after something more reasonably priced, Tefal’s offering is a great option – it looks smart, gets the job done in good time and feels premium.

Looking to update your larger appliances too? Check out our guide to the best fridge freezers

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