Welcome to our ultimate guide to buying a toaster in 2016!

In this article we’ll run through everything you should be aware of when considering which toaster to purchase, and show you our favourites.

Toasters range in price from about £15 all the way up to £200 for a premium brand model. Fully featured models can be found in the £30 to £50 range – so there’s really no need to spend a fortune.

In this guide we show you which features are essential and you should look out for, which features are optional but useful, and features which are now so commonplace that every toaster should have them.

If you have any questions let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the page!

The best toasters side by side

We’ve found the best toasters available, gathered all of their stats and specifications and assembled them into the comparison table below. Use the buttons on the left hand side to sort and filter.

 NameManufacturerColourDimensionsWeight (kg)Cable length (cm)Number of slicesPower (watts)Slot widthsHigh lift ejectDefrost functionBrowning controlMid-cycle cancelRemovable crumb trayNon-slip feetReheating functionCool wallsWarming rackOne-side settingAutomatic carriagePauseCountdownWarranty (years) 
Breville VTT570Breville VTT570BrevilleStainless Steel32 x 24.8 x 24.5 cm2.1802850WideYesYesYesYesYes YesNoNoNoNoNoNoDefault
Russell Hobbs 22400Russell Hobbs 22400Russell HobbsStainless Steel35.6 x 32.8 x 23 cm2.57041500WideYesYesYesYesYes YesNo NoNoNoNo3
Dualit 2 slice toaster 20245Dualit 20245DualitStainless Steel21 x 26 x 22 cm3.521200Wide (28mm)YesYesYesYesYes YesNoOptionalNoNoNoMechanical1
Dualit 4 slice toaster 40352Dualit 40352DualitStainless Steel36 x 21 x 22 cm4.542200WideYesYesYesYesYes YesNo No   1
Smeg TSF02SSUKSmeg TSF02SSUKSmegChrome21.5 x 20.8 x 39.4 cm3.3610041500Variable (100 x 36mm) YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNo1
Bosch TAT8613 Styline 2 Slice ToasterBosch TAT8613 StylineBoschBlack18.4 x 31.3 x 17 cm2.061102860WideYesYesYesYesYes YesYesYesNoNoNoNo2
Breville VTT233Breville VTT233BrevilleBlack16.2 x 38.2 x 18.2 cm1.67941400 YesYesYesYesYes YesNoNoNoNoNoNo1
Russell Hobbs 22390 CanterburyRussell Hobbs 22390Russell HobbsStainless Steel27.8 x 16.4 x 19.2 cm1.21002850WideYesYesYesYesYes YesNoNoNoNoNoNo1
Brabantia BBEK1021Brabantia BBEK1021BrabantiaStainless Steel35.2 x 25.2 x 22.2 cm2.121050Wide YesYesYesYes YesYesNoYesNoNoNo1
De'Longhi Vintage Icona DolcevitaDe'Longhi VintageDe'LonghiCream34 x 30 x 20.5 cm3.18041800VariableYesYesYesYesYes YesYesNoYesNoNoNo1

Our top three toaster reviews

Below we’ve picked out our the three best toasters and given a full review. We’ve looked at each key feature and scored it to come up with a final overall score. All of these toasters are great choices and won’t let you down.


Breville VTT570

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Breville VTT570

The Breville VTT570 is one of the most popular toasters in the UK. It doesn’t benefit from many special features, but looks attractive and is reasonably priced. Two wide and deep slots allow you to toast most kinds of bread, and it’s possible to fit a sandwich in a toaster bag in there too. There’s no option for one-side toasting, and no included or optional extra warming rack, so it’s not a good choice if you like a bagel. The toaster comes with Warburtons branding in the form of stickers that, thankfully, can be easily removed without leaving any blemishes.

  Wide and deep slots
  Attractive design
  No special features

  • Standard features
  • Main features
  • Other features
  • Style
  • Warranty

“Good design with basic features”

6.5/10


Bosch TAT8613

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Bosch TAT8613

The Bosch TAT8613 has an excellent contemporary design and a comprehensive collection of features for the price. It’s a two slice toaster but with wide slots, and accommodated all shop-bought slices of bread that we tried. A warming rack (or bun toaster as Bosch calls it) can be raised out of the toaster and is particularly useful for toasting a bagel with. It also benefits from a high lift eject function, and cool walls ensure the toaster does not get hot on the sides when in use.

  Stylish design
  Part of Bosch’s Styline Collection
  2 year warranty

  Shiny plastic casing attracts fingerprints

  • Standard features
  • Main features
  • Other features
  • Style
  • Warranty

“Sleek design with useful features”

7.7/10


Dualit NewGen 20245

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Dualit NewGen 20245

Dualit designed the first version of this toaster 70 years ago in 1946, and it’s hard to think of a more recognisable toaster. This two slot model benefits from the usual features, and has wide (28mm) slots to accomodate most types of bread. A mechanical timer shows you how long is left in the toasting cycle, and the slot-selector control allows you to only toast one slot instead of both together. The NewGen is available in a huge range of colours and finishes – we’ve shown the polished stainless steel version here.

  Unique slot selector control
  Mechanical countdown
  Over twenty colour/material variations
  Expensive
  Optional accessories not worthwhile

  • Standard features
  • Main features
  • Other features
  • Style
  • Warranty

“Timeless and durable design”

7.7/10

Best toaster buying guide 2016

In our buying guide we will show you the features you need to consider when comparing the top toasters available in 2016. We also explain what each feature means and why you might want them.

Capacity – two slices or four?

Two-slice

Most two-slice toasters are compact and easier to fit into a smaller kitchen than a four-slice toaster. Depending on how often you make toast, and how many people you make toast for, a two-slice toaster could be a good option. It’s also worth looking into longer two-slice toasters, that let you toast unusually shaped bread or four normal slices at a time.

Four-slice

Four-slice toasters are much larger than two-slice ones, but can toast more bread simultaneously. A four-slice toaster will also use more power than a smaller two-slice toaster, so there’s really no point purchasing one if you don’t need the extra capacity. Most four-slice toasters have four individual slots, but some have two extra-long slots – useful for handmade bread.

Important points to consider

Power

The more power a toaster uses the faster it will heat your toast. 4-slice toasters need double the power of a 2-slice toaster – they’re toasting double the amount of bread! Power is measured in watts, and typically ranges from around 900 watts to 2000 watts.

Wide slots or variable slot widths

If you want to toast more than regular pre-sliced bread in your toaster, for example bagels, home cut bread, etc, you need to make sure the slots are wide enough. Some toasters have extra wide slots, and some have variable width slots that you can make larger or smaller with a lever. Variable width slots are considered better as you can reduce their size after you’ve put your bread in them, gripping it in place so it’s less likely to drop down to the bottom of the toaster.

High lift eject

To easily remove your toast from the toaster a high lift eject system will raise the carriage (the metal grid the toast sits in) past the top of the toaster, making it easy to grab without risk of burning yourself.

Defrost setting

A dedicated defrost setting allows you to toast frozen bread taken directly from the freezer. After the defrost cycle is completed the toaster will then toast the bread with your chosen settings.

Other features

Reheating function

A reheat button will toast your bread for an extra 30 seconds (or so – models vary), which is useful if your toast comes out a bit on the under-done side.

Cool walls

Toasters with so-called cool walls don’t get as hot on the outside as ones without. This is especially important if you’re worried about children touching a hot toaster, and can also be worth considering when buying a toaster for an elderly relative. Note that cool does not mean cold – toasters with cool walls can still be hot, especially at the top where heat radiates out.

Warming rack

A warming rack, also known as a bun rack, sits above the toaster and warms bread rather than toasting it. Some models have an integrated warming rack that comes out of the toaster by moving a lever, but it’s more common for this to be a separate item that is clipped on/off as needed.

Bagel or one-side setting

If you’re a fan of bagels then a bagel or ‘one-side’ feature is something to look out for. This setting will only toast side of your bread, leaving the other side alone. Take care to face your bread in the right direction before toasting!

Automatic carriage

Toasters with an automatic carriage gently rise and lower the carriage (the metal grid the bread sits in) with the press of a button, rather the requiring the use of a manual lever.

Pause

A pause features allows you to temporarily stop the toasting process, letting you take a look at the state of your toast as it’s toasting.

Countdown

Toasters with a countdown feature show you how much time is left before your toast is ready. Some models have an LCD display showing the minutes and seconds remaining, others show a percentage, and some use coloured lights (changing from blue to red over time, for example).

Standard features

These features are now considered standard and should be present on almost any toaster sold in the United Kingdom today. If we review or recommend a toaster that doesn’t have one of these features, we’ll let you know!

Browning control

Almost all toasters come with a browning control, a way of controlling how toasted your toast will be. This is usually a knob on the side of the toaster that you can turn, but some high-end models have buttons and an LCD display to show the current setting.

Mid-cycle cancel

A cancel or stop function allows you to stop the toaster from toasting. You might want to do this if you deem your toast is ready and no more toasting is needed. Whilst a mid-cycle cancel function is found on almost all toaster nowadays, it’s not the end of the world if your toaster doesn’t have it – you can leave the toaster to finish it’s cycle with no toast in the machine at the cost of wasted energy.

Crumb tray

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a toaster that does not come with a crumb tray. A crumb tray is positioned at the bottom of the toaster and catches all of the crumbs that fall down from your toast. Slide it out, and you can easily tip the contents into your bin. Some crumb trays are harder to remove than others, something you don’t want when it’s piled high with toast debris.

Non-slip feet

Rubberised feet on the bottom of a toaster prevent it from moving around when you interact with it. As with the other features in this section, these are almost universally included on all toasters on the market today.