Toasters That are Worthy of Your Precious Counter Space

It’s not the most glamorous appliance, but perfectly toasted bread and bagels are a revelation

Bread popped up in toaster.
Golden brown, evenly toasted bread is a perfect way to start the day, no matter how you top it.Image by Pexels from Pixabay

While you might not have considered the toaster as a kitchen staple worth investing in, consider all the innocent slices of bread that could have been saved if you had just sprung for that slightly more upscale model. Although some might think playing the guessing game with a '90s-era toaster that has a semi-working timer can be fun, ending up with unevenly or burnt bread — despite constant toaster vigilance — does not make for a happy home cook. Whether you're topping it with butter and jam or mashed avocado, evenly toasted bread is essential—and even easier with a great toaster. Here are our favorites.

Cuisinart Countdown 2-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster

Cuisinart Countdown 2-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster
This compact, stainless steel toaster is great for small spaces.Amazon

This two-slice, stainless steel toaster features a blue-backlit LCD countdown display, seven shade settings, three preset heat options, and a removable crumb tray. Its compact frame and high-lift handle makes it great for small spaces. A four-slice version is also available.

Breville The Bit More 4-Slice Toaster

Breville The Bit More 4-Slice Toaster
This luxury, four-slice toaster packs a punch.Amazon

For the more ambitious at-home chefs, this luxury toaster packs a punch. The four-slice capacity comes from its longer slots, which are perfect for bread of any size or shape. What's more, its "Lift & Look" lever allows you to check your toast without stopping and resetting the toaster. With precise temperature control and preset defrost and bagel options, this upscale bread-browner is worth the extra cash.

BLACK+DECKER 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster

BLACK+DECKER 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster
This cost-effective model includes a no-frills face and extra-wide slots for larger pieces of bread.Amazon

This cost-effective, two-slice toaster features extra-wide slots for all sizes of breads and bagels, as well as a pull-out crumb tray and a sleek stainless steel frame. It also boasts a simple and easy-to-use shade dial with a preset defrosting option.

KitchenAid 4-Slice Toaster with Manual High-Lift Lever

KitchenAid 4-Slice Toaster with Manual High-Lift Lever
This four-slice toaster includes a preset bagel selection for toasting just one side of your morning bagel.Amazon

This larger, four-slice toaster has dual levers and shade-control knobs for twice the toasting action. It also includes a preset bagel selection for toasting just one side of the bagel, a removable crumb tray, and extra-wide slots that are perfect for large pieces of homemade sourdough or fluffy English muffins. It’s also available in red or black.