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Best Toasters From Consumer Reports' Tests

Impressive performance and innovative features and design distinguish our latest batch of winners

Two slices of toast popped out of the toaster.
Photo: Brian Finke
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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 on the toast-color chart." 

Of the 80 toasters in our ratings, 21 earn an Excellent rating for toasting one slice. Even fewer got top marks for a single slice, a full batch, and color range. Here are reviews of five toasters that belong in that rarefied group, listed in alphabetical order.

1

Bella Pro Series 90062
Bella Pro Series 90062

    Bella Pro Series 90062

    CR's take: Gluten-free bread, which is denser than regular bread,  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 a CR test engineer, Aminata Ndiaye. As for regular bread, the Bella earns an Excellent rating in our time tests, putting it among the fastest two-slice models in our ratings. Overall, it combines top performance and a reasonable price, making it a CR Best Buy.

    2

    Breville Bit More BTA720XL
    Breville Bit More BTA720XL

      Breville Bit More BTA720XL

      CR's take: Stylish and stainless, the two-slice Breville Bit More BTA720XL garners an Excellent rating in our ease-of-use tests, meaning the controls are clearly presented and easy to set. This toaster has wide slots and settings for cut bagels and frozen bread; it 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

      Cuisinart Countdown Metal CPT-415
      Cuisinart Countdown Metal CPT-415

        Cuisinart Countdown Metal CPT-415

        CR's take:  The Cuisinart Countdown Metal CPT-415  snags an Excellent rating in our color-range tests (as do the other toasters featured here), popping up toast just as you like it. There are settings for bagels, defrost, and reheat, and Cuisinart's three-year warranty is longer than most brands in our ratings. 

        4

        Hamilton Beach 2-slice Modern Chrome 22791
        Hamilton Beach 2-slice Modern...

          Hamilton Beach 2-slice Modern...

          CR's take: Its performance and price make the Hamilton Beach 2-slice Modern Chrome 22791 a CR Best buy. And this toaster is sleek and attractive, unlike some models in this price range. It earns an Excellent rating in our toasting-time tests. Features include wide slots along with settings for bagels and defrosting.

          5

          Krups Savoy KH311050
          Krups Savoy KH311050

            Krups Savoy KH311050

            CR's take: Not only does the Krups Savoy KH311050 turn out terrific toast, it also has a design that makes cleaning up easier than many other toasters we've tested. That's because the Krup's exterior is smooth, with few nooks and crannies where crumbs can collect, and the crumb tray is easy to pull out. As for features, this toaster has wide slots, and settings for bagels, defrosting, and 30-second reheating. 

             

            Even more options
            You'll see 30 brands represented in our toaster ratings, from well-known brands like All-Clad, Breville, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, KitchenAid, and Oster and newer ones such as AmazonBasics, Pioneer Woman, and Smeg. Prices range from $16 to a whopping $400. 

            80
            Toasters Rated
            Access Ratings
            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!