The 5 Best Toasters to Warm and Crisp Any Type of Bread to Perfection

Our recommendations include a smart toaster, steam toaster, and toaster with extra-large slots to accommodate homemade bread.

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revolution cooking smart toaster
Photo: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

We're all about finding joy in the little things these days, and a perfectly golden-brown slice of toast certainly qualifies. "I find a toaster particularly useful for toasting frozen bread. Because I live alone, whole loaves of bread tend to get moldy before I can finish them, so I store my bread in the freezer and pop a slice or two into the toaster whenever I need it," says Emily Fedner, a self-proclaimed "carb-lover," cook, and food writer. "In this way, the toaster helps me prevent food waste!"

But let's face it: Not all toasters are created equal. Some of them run hot. Some of them run cool. Some of them are just plain hard to clean, with crumbs pooling at the bottom and the residual char (and smell) intensifying with every use. But we believe in a Goldilocks toaster—a Golden-Brownilocks, if you will—that gets the job done just right, every time. And we're here to help you find it—whatever that looks like for you. Here, our five favorite toasters to fulfill every need.

Shop Our Favorite Toasters on the Market:

Best Vintage Design: Smeg Cream 2-Slice Retro Toaster

smeg toaster with breakfast foods
Courtesy of Smeg

If aesthetics are a major factor when it comes to choosing your appliances—there's no shame in that!—the retro-inspired SMEG toaster, pictured here, makes a fun statement piece. In colors including mint green, bubblegum pink, and cream, its curved mid-century lines evoke a spirit of the good old days, when family dinners and carefree indulgence reigned supreme. With six browning levels and three pre-set programs, it's no slouch in the function department, either. Extra-wide slots make this toaster bagel-friendly, and a removable crumb tray ensures that cleaning is a snap.

Best for Small Spaces: Oster 2-Slice Metropolitan Collection Rose Gold Toaster

oster compact toaster
Courtesy of Oster

If you're dealing with limited counter space, this small appliance measures just 7- x 9-inches at its base and ensures that you won't have to stop living large when it comes to breakfast. Nine unique shade settings help you prepare your toast just the way you like it, including a defrost mode to toast items straight from the freezer (one of the top reasons Fedner like this toaster), and a bagel option that automatically adjusts for the extra thickness. Elegant rose gold accents will blend perfectly with any copper in your kitchen or make a lovely statement all by themselves.

Best Multitasker: Balmuda The Toaster

steam toaster from balmuda
Courtesy of Balmuda

When it comes to technology, most toasters don't stray far from the traditional heated coil interior (though some execute it better than others). This toaster raises the standard, using steam technology and precise temperature control to create distinct settings for perfectly browning sandwich bread, artisan bread, pizza, pastries, or even serving as an oven. The quick-heating steam technique toasts the item's surface while keeping its inner moisture and flavor from escaping. It's perfect for the foodie who takes their baked goods very seriously, and its sleek matte black finish looks nice on the counter, too.

Best for Homemade Bread: Breville A Bit More 4-Slice Long Slot Toaster

wide slot toaster from Breville
Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

With any toaster you opt for, Fedner says it should have one basic function: toast. Anyone who has delighted in baking a crusty country loaf has likely felt frustrated while attempting to squeeze it into a toaster slot made for tiny commercial-grade slices. The folks behind Breville's A Bit More toaster know the struggle, which is why they've created a toaster with extra-wide, extra-long slots to accommodate large slices of homemade bread, thick bagels, or dense pastries that require a bit more wiggle room. Settings like "A Bit More" (which adds an extra touch of brownness) and "Lift and Look" ensure that your goodies are toasted exactly to your liking.

Best Smart Toaster: Revolution InstaGLO R180 2-Slice High Speed Smart Toaster

revolution cooking smart toaster
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Now that we've got smartphones and smart houses, it was only a matter of time until smart toasters made an appearance. This toaster ushers in a new age of breakfast with a high-speed touchscreen and smart sensors that customize the heating process based on bread type, voltage level, and toaster temperature. Choose from bread, bagel, waffle, English muffin, or toaster pastry settings, then select your ideal shade and level of crispness. Bonus: The screen doubles as a digital clock on your counter.

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