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One of the best toasters from Consumer Reports' tests.

Best Toasters From Consumer Reports' Tests

Consistent toasting and innovative features and design distinguish our latest batch of winners

For all the talk of multitasking countertop appliances, there's something reassuring about a great toaster. It does one thing and does it really well, consistently serving up a beautifully browned slice of bread. 

Testers at Consumer Reports toast hundreds of slices of bread to find the best and worst two-slice and four-slice models, scoring every slice against an industry-standard toast-color chart. It includes nine colors, ranging 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." 

Of the 70-plus toasters in our ratings, around 20 rated an Excellent for one slice. Even fewer got top marks for a single slice, full batch, and color range. Here are reviews on our picks from that rarefied group, listed in alphabetical order.

1
Great for Gluten-Free
Bella Pro Series 90062
Bella Pro Series 90062

    Bella Pro Series 90062

    Gluten-free bread is denser than regular bread, so it doesn't toast quite the same. Bella picked up on this and added a gluten-free setting to the two-slice Bella Pro Series 90062. "It works as promised, turning out nicely browned toast on both sides, and you no longer have to guess when it's done," says CR test engineer Aminata Ndiaye. When we toasted gluten-free bread without the gluten-free setting, the toast wasn't evenly browned on both sides. As for toasting regular bread on the regular setting, the Bella rated an Excellent in our time tests, making it one of the fastest 2-slice models in our ratings. Overall, it combines top performance and a reasonable price, making it a CR Best Buy. It comes in black stainless.

    2
    Toast of the Town
    Breville Bit More BTA720XL
    Breville Bit More BTA720XL

    Breville Bit More BTA720XL

    Stylish and stainless, the 2-slice Breville Bit More BTA720XL garnered an Excellent rating in our ease-of-use tests, meaning the controls are clearly presented and easy to set. This top-scoring toaster has wide slots and settings for cut bagels and frozen bread, which defrosts the bread then toasts. And if your toast turns out too light? Press the button labeled "A Bit More," and it will toast a little longer.

    3
    Best of Show
    Cuisinart View Pro Glass 2-Slice CPT-3000
    Cuisinart View Pro Glass 2-Slice...

      Cuisinart View Pro Glass 2-Slice...

      The two-slicer Cuisinart View Pro Glass CPT-3000 serves up evenly browned toast, scoring an Excellent in our full-batch tests. 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. This 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, but neither is as fast or as easy to use as the Cuisinart.

      4
      Bargain Buy
      Hamilton Beach 2-slice Modern Chrome 22791
      Hamilton Beach 2-slice Modern...

        Hamilton Beach 2-slice Modern...

        Its performance and price make it a CR Best buy, and the Hamilton Beach 2-slice Modern Chrome 22791 is sleek and attractive, unlike some toasters in this price range. It rated an Excellent in our toasting-time tests. Features include wide slots, and settings for bagels and defrost. 

        5
        Professional Styling
        Frigidaire Professional 4-Slice Wide Slots FPTT04D7MS
        Frigidaire Professional 4-Slice...

          Frigidaire Professional 4-Slice...

          The Frigidaire Professional 4-Slice Wide Slots FPTT04D7MS gives you so-called pro styling, which basically means chunky and stainless steel. This toaster earned an Excellent rating in our color-range tests, popping up toast as you like it. Features include wide slots, and settings for bagels, defrost, and even reheat—in case your toast cooled while you were checking email and you want to warm it up.

           

          More Choices
          There are more than two dozen brands in our toaster ratings, so check the ratings for more options, and use the filters to quickly narrow your list. 

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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!