When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Above all, a good toaster should be able to handle one task and handle it well: brown bread evenly and consistently across every slot. Beyond that, the best toasters can also accommodate sliced bagels, quickly defrost frozen waffles, and pop up English muffins forcefully enough so that you don’t have to fish them out with a knife (or your fingers). That’s why we tested every toaster in this guide to see how they handled all of the aforementioned foods (you can find a more detailed look at our methodology here).
Performance aside, there are two main factors to consider when picking the toaster that best suits your needs: the number of people in your household and the size of your kitchen. If you live alone in a one-bedroom apartment and countertop space is at a premium, a two-slice toaster will probably do the trick, while a four-slice toaster will make mornings easier for a family of six in a suburban home.
If you’re looking for a more versatile countertop appliance, you may want to consider getting a toaster oven instead; in addition to toasting bread, they can perform tasks like bake cookies, roast chicken, and cook frozen pizzas. You can check out our guide to the best toaster ovens for recommendations.
Here are the best toasters of 2022
Best toaster overall: Breville Bit More Toaster, $79.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond
The Breville Bit More delivers beautifully browned toast every time, and its special features make it easy to optimize the toasting cycle for bagels, frozen waffles, and more.
Best budget toaster: Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Toaster, $29.95 at Amazon
The Cuisinart CPT-122 is compact, speedy, ultra-affordable, and turns out toast just as evenly golden-brown as many of its much pricier competitors.
Best toaster upgrade: Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Toaster, $209.95 at Breville
This 4-slice toaster produces near-perfect toast, is solidly made, and offers dual controls so you can toast on two different settings at once.