The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

9 best 4 slice toasters for a quick and easy breakfast

From wonderfully retro to digital models, we’ve found the best offerings since sliced bread

Tamara Hinson
Monday 23 May 2022 15:07 BST
<p>We were on the lookout for easy to use crumb trays that took the faff out of cleaning </p>

We were on the lookout for easy to use crumb trays that took the faff out of cleaning

Here at IndyBest, we love a good toaster, but we’ve also never understood why more toasters don’t have four slots at a time when the nation’s love affair with bread is at an all-time high (more people currently own bread makers than ever before, in case you needed convincing). This is precisely why we decided to take a look at the best four-slice toasters.

Our testing revealed that there are several key points to consider. First of all, we’d suggest taking a moment to decide whether you prefer one central set of controls or slots which can be controlled independently.

Ease of use is also an important factor, but one which is often overlooked. How high does the toast sit, and how easy is it to insert and remove? Do the settings cover enough options for your toast preferences and are they easy to tweak? It’s also worth taking a look at components such as the crumb tray. If these are tricky to remove, it’s highly likely you simply won’t bother, which can result in a build-up of debris. This is one of the quickest ways to shorten the lifespan of your toaster, and severe build-ups of debris can pose a fire risk too.

Finally, at a time when electronics account for 70 per cent of the world’s toxic waste, getting rid of built-up debris such as crumbs is essential when it comes to keeping your toaster in tip-top condition and prolonging its life.

Dean Davies, in-house cleaning expert at Fantastic Services, urges you to “clean the inside of the toaster with a pastry brush.” He explains: “Work from both the top and bottom, then take your dishcloth or sponge and put some soapy water on it. Wipe down the exterior of the toaster and pay extra attention to dials, levers, and handles, then dry the appliance with a soft microfiber cloth.” Finally, always remember to unplug your toaster before cleaning it, and make sure it’s had plenty of time to cool before you start your spruce-up.

Read more:

How we tested

First of all, we love our toast (it’s one of the reasons we purchased our beloved bread maker). We eat it every day without fail, and we’ve certainly experienced our fair share of bad toasters. So our toaster testing was extensive, to say the least. We took a huge range of factors into account, whether it was the build quality, the clarity of the controls or the ease with which the toast could be removed. In summary? You can rest assured these are the best toasters out there.

The best toasters for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Swan stealth 4 slice toaster: £69.99,
  • Best retro styling – Tower renaissance 4 slice toaster: £69.99,
  • Best for rural chic – Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater pink hearts 4 slice toaster: £79.99,
  • Best for simplicity – Russell Hobbs honeycomb 4 slice toaster: £34.99,
  • Best for low maintenance – Russell Hobbs structure 4 slice toaster: £64.99,
  • Best for style – Cuisinart four slice toaster: £100,
  • Best value – Kenwood elegancy four slot toaster: £59.99,
  • Best for ease of use – Delonghi ballerina toaster: £54.99,
  • Best for customisation options – Gastroback design toaster digital: £99.90,

Swan stealth 4 slice toaster

Swan stealth 4 slice toaster indybest.jpg

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

We love the even browning produced by this toaster, which has independent controls for each set of two slots and a reassuringly sturdy feel. It also looks spectacular – the matte black stubbornly resisted fingerprint marks and was fabulously easy to clean. It’s not got the widest range of settings, but that’s partly why we loved it – there are buttons for cancel (to eject the toast), defrost and reheat, and burn settings of one to six, and this lack of clutter makes using this toaster a breeze to use.

Back to top

Tower renaissance 4 slice toaster

Tower toaster

Best: Retro styling

Rating: 10/10

We’re not sure when it became acceptable to spend more than £100 on a toaster simply because it’s been given a retro makeover, but this one is proof you don’t have to. We absolutely loved the radio-style burn setting dial (one for all four slots) and the tactile buttons (for defrost, reheat and cancel), which were easy to grip – even when our fingers were covered with Marmite and butter. This is a great option for anyone who likes their toast just so, thanks to the dial-style controls which allow the burn setting to be tweaked by tiny increments.

Back to top

Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater pink hearts 4 slice toaster

Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater toaster

Best: For rural chic

Rating: 9/10

Our favourite thing about this toaster? The ease with which we could pluck the toast from the slots – all too often we have to resort to toast tongs (yes, there really is such a thing), but the toast sits higher than usual in this toaster, which made our life much easier. The slots were also wider than average, which meant they could easily accommodate chunkier slices of bread – we’ve lost count of the number of times slightly thicker slices have become stuck in our toaster, and we’ve only noticed when the kitchen has started to fill with smoke. The controls are dual ones, and each set of two slots (one of which can be used independently) has three buttons (for eject, defrost and reheat) and six burn settings.

Back to top

Russell Hobbs honeycomb 4 slice toaster

Russell Hobbs Honeycomb 4 Slice Toaster (2).jpg

Best: For simplicity

Rating: 9/10

This one’s all about simplicity, although there’s still one set of controls for each pair of slots. The burn settings ranged from one to six, and there are defrost, cancel and reheat buttons. The dimpled look is bang on-trend, and four colour options makes it easy to indulge in some kitchen-themed colour coordination. You can even match it with other appliances, too – the honeycomb range includes a kettle with the same design. It was incredibly easy to clean and maintain, and the oversized controls meant minimal fumbling, although it’s worth bearing in mind the slots are somewhat on the narrow side.

  1. £34 from
Prices may vary
Back to top

Russell Hobbs structure 4 slice toaster

Russell Hobbs structure toaster  (3).jpg

Best: For low maintenance

Rating: 9/10

This is a brilliantly low maintenance toaster – it was easy to clean (its dark exterior does a great job of hiding fingerprints) and the two crumb trays are ridiculously simple to slide out and empty. It’s also a great option for anyone short on space, thanks to its unobtrusive, cubic shape which helps it slot effortlessly into the tightest of corners, despite the extra-wide slots (we were seriously impressed that a toaster of this size had slots with such a generous width). This is a fantastic option for anyone prone to clumsiness – the controls were easy to grab, and the four feet kept the toaster firmly in place.

Back to top

Cuisinart four slice toaster

Cuisinart toaster

Best: For style

Rating: 8/10

We loved the rose gold hue and high-gloss finish of this toaster – it’s subtle, but still adds a dash of class to the dreariest of kitchens. There are six burn settings and dual controls (one dial for each pair of slots), and three push button controls (for defrost, reheat and cancel). However, the pièce de resistance on this toaster is the bagel mode, which we were especially excited about. In reality, it just means an extra-wide slot and a setting designed for thicker slabs of dough, but as fans of doorstep-style slices of toast, we were pleased to see an appliance which can cope with the extra thickness.

Back to top

Kenwood elegancy four slot toaster

Kenwood toaster  (2).jpg

Best: Value

Rating: 8/10

Strangely there were only five burn settings on this toaster (the norm appears to be six), although in reality, five is more than enough. There are also just two buttons (defrost and cancel) instead of three, but again, we’re not complaining. We were impressed with the ease with which the two separate crumb trays slid out, and the extra lift – grabbing our toast from the slots was a breeze. This was certainly one of the more elegant toasters, and we were particularly smitten with the ridged lower section, which brought to mind a ballerina’s skirt. Maybe that’s just us, admittedly, but either way, this is definitely one of the more elegant household appliances we’ve come across.

Back to top

Delonghi ballerina toaster

Delonghi Ballerina Toaster  (2).jpg

Best: For ease of use

Rating: 8/10

From toasters which resemble ballerina’s skirts to ones named after ballerinas. Who knew toasters could be things of beauty? This one rivals Kenwood’s toaster in the style stakes – it’s got ridged sides and a marbleised paint job which ramps up the style without cranking up the price tag. It’s the ideal machine for toast connoisseurs – the browning level can be tweaked by tiny increments using the knob (although it’s worth noting there’s just a single dial, rather than two for the separate pairs of slots) and the single crumb tray is exceptionally easy to remove. Which, it should be noticed, is a joy to do – unlike other crumb trays, which have to be manually extracted, we simply had to give the exterior a light touch and it popped out.

  1. £54 from
Prices may vary
Back to top

Four slice toasters FAQs

What features should you look out for when buying a toaster?

Number of settings: The greater the number of settings (the standard is six), the more control you’ll have over perfecting the browning on your favourite breads.

Accessories: Some higher-end toasters come with a metal rack that sits on top to warm the likes of rolls, pancakes and croissants, while a few have a sandwich rack that compresses your sandwich, with a solid bottom to stop contents spilling out inside your toaster.

Digital display: By no means essential, but a nice-to-have feature is a digital display that gives you an easy-to-see countdown timer so you can get the rest of your brekkie ready at exactly the same time that your toast pops up.

Ease of cleaning: Many toasters show up every fingerprint, while others make a messy job of removing the crumb tray, which you should regularly clean out. Make sure your toaster can be wiped clean and has an easy-access tray.

Style: Four-slice toasters are available in just about every style (and colour) you can think of from uber-modern glass to rustic, country kitchen style. Many are available with matching kettles, and sometimes other small kitchen appliances too.

Size: Some four-slice toasters are much bigger and bulkier than others, so always check this against the amount of free space you have on your worktop. One space saving idea is to go for a toaster with two long slots, fitting two pieces of bread each, as opposed to four separate ones.

The verdict: 4-slice toasters

Swan’s stealth 4 slice toaster was simply a brilliant all-rounder which did everything a toaster should do, while also scoring well in the style stakes. Tower’s renaissance 4 slice toaster is a fantastic option for a splash of retro style, and we loved the simple, clear controls. Finally, we fell in love with Russell Hobbs’ heart-adorned Emma Bridgewater pink hearts 4 slice toaster the second we saw it, but it’s also incredibly well designed, and we were especially impressed with the ease with which toast can be removed.

Voucher codes

For the latest offers on kitchen appliances, try the links below:

Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked loafs – here are the best bread makers

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in