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One of the best toasters from Consumer Reports' tests.

Best Toasters From Consumer Reports' Tests

Consistent toasting and innovative design distinguish our latest batch of winning models

Today's toasters boast some pretty smart features. But ultimately, top performance comes down to consistency. Some toasters in Consumer Reports' tests serve up beautifully browned batches of bread one after another, while others have a hard time evenly browning just one slice.

Lab-Tested for Your Kitchen
Our testers toast hundreds of slices of bread to find the best and worst toasters, and they score every slice against an industry-standard toast-color chart. The chart captures nine colors, from very light to burnt.

"While set to medium, each toaster is judged on how well it makes a single slice of toast, and a full batch—two or four slices, depending on the model," says Cindy Fisher, who oversees CR's toaster tests. "With the best models, results match the evenly browned medium-toast that appears in the toast-color chart."

Not everybody likes toast the same way, so testers also use this chart to measure a toaster's color range. We want to find out how well each model makes toast that's light or dark, or somewhere in between.

Brands by the Dozens
You'll see more than 60 models in our toaster ratings from more than two dozen brands, including well-known companies such as Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, KitchenAid, Oster, Sunbeam, and West Bend. You'll also see brands that may be new to you, such as DeLonghi, Dualit, and Smeg. Want something bolder? Check out the Star Wars Darth Vader two-slicer

Here's a roundup of some of the best toasters from CR's latest tests, listed in alphabetical order. In addition to serving up almost flawless batches of toast, many of the models come in appealing designs that look smart on a countertop.

1
Bargain Buy
Cuisinart CPT-122

Cuisinart CPT-122

Budget toasters can mean trade-offs in performance and features, but not this time. The two-slicer Cuisinart CPT-122 toasts as well as models costing twice as much, making it a CR Best Buy. Features include settings for bagels and defrost, and cord storage. The Hamilton Beach Modern Chrome 22791, $30, is another CR Best Buy worth a look.

    2
    Have It Your Way
    Cuisinart CPT-620 2-slice

    Cuisinart CPT-620 2-slice

    For the family with a wide range of toast preferences, the two-slice Cuisinart CPT-620 has the most settings among CR's recommended models, including ones for bread, bagels, English muffins, frozen waffles, and pastries. In our bread-toasting tests, the Cuisinart earned solid marks across the board.

      3
      Watch While You Toast
      Cuisinart View Pro Glass 2-Slice CPT-3000

      Cuisinart View Pro Glass 2-Slice...

      The two-slicer Cuisinart View Pro Glass CPT-3000 serves up evenly browned toast. But in this case, you don’t have to take our word for it. See for yourself by watching bread turn golden brown through the toaster’s glass sides. The toaster also has several helpful convenience features, including touchpad controls with LED shade indicators and special bagel, defrost, and reheat settings. Other toasters with transparent sides include the Dash Clear View DVTS501GY, $50, and the Magimix Vision Toaster, $250. 

        4
        Form and Function
        KitchenAid KMT223

        KitchenAid KMT223

        In addition to nice styling, the two-slicer KitchenAid KMT223 pops out evenly browned toast. It features extra-wide slots and a setting for bagels and defrost. And this toaster beeps, alerting you when your toast is ready. If a retro look is more your thing, take a look at the Russell Hobbs Retro Style TR9150RDR, $80.

          5
          Toast of the Town
          Krups 2-Slice KH732D50

          Krups 2-Slice KH732D50

          Sitting at the top of the 60-plus toasters in our ratings, the 2-slicer Krups KH732D50 turns out evenly browned toast with every batch. It has dedicated settings for bagels, defrost, and reheat, and if the caffeine hasn't kicked in and you change your mind, just press the cancel button.

            6
            Professional Styling
            Wolf Gourmet 4-Slice WGTR104S

            Wolf Gourmet 4-Slice WGTR104S

            With its iconic red knobs—and steep price—the four-slicer Wolf Gourmet WGTR104S brings pro styling to your countertop. This toaster is adept at turning out evenly browned toast with every batch. Features include a combination of dial and push-button controls, as well as extra-wide slots and settings for bagels, defrost, and quick cancel. Want a pro look without breaking the bank? The Frigidaire Professional 4-Slice Wide Slots FPTT04D7MS costs $75.

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              Kimberly Janeway

              For years I've covered the increasing water and energy efficiency of washers and what it means to consumers, along with innovations in a variety of products, and whether manufacturers deliver on their promises. What I'm really trying to do is to help consumers, and consumers help me by posting comments and posing questions. So thanks!