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Top Lab Pick
The Breville Long Slot Die-Cast Smart Toaster was the top model in our test. It's worth every cent if you're looking for a champion toaster that will turn out evenly golden brown slices of bread batch after batch. With the push of a button, the grates lower your toast automatically — no lever-pressing. Use the Lift and Look setting to check on its progress; if it isn't browned to perfection, use the A Bit More feature to add extra time. Also worth noting that the sleek die-cast metal housing makes it major eye candy for your counter top.
The brushed stainless steel Black + Decker 2-Slice proves you don't need to spend a bundle to get a good toaster. If you have bread for breakfast on the reg, you'll love that this model can handle big homemade slices, bagels, and English muffins alike. Because of its low price and small countertop footprint, it's great for dorm rooms, kitchens with minimal counter space, or anyone on a budget.
Small Space Saver
If you'd rather not give up too much counter space or live in a house or dorm with a small-sized kitchen, the Cuisinart Compact 2-Slice Toaster (6.5 x 11 x 7 inches) is your best bet. The settings are easy to read and select, and it unfailingly browned slices of bread to golden doneness in our testing. Another perk: The Cuisinart's slots are wide enough to accommodate thick bagels. Thanks to a slide out crumb tray, clean-up is a breeze.
If good looks take all in your kitchen, the SMEG 4-Slice Steel Toaster is worth the price. With its bright, glossy finish (that comes in seven colors!) and its 50's aesthetic, this sturdy toaster is a beauty. When you select a setting, it locks into place so you know you've set it precisely. Also available in 2-Slice size.
This model can be depended on for toasting everything from a barely brown white slice to dark rye toast. The extra-deep slots are perfect for holding everything from bagels to thick breads, and it even has a re-heat mode—you can warm your slices of bread without toasting them! A cancel function will end the toasting as soon as you press it.
Betty Gold is the former Senior Editor & Product Analyst of the Kitchen Appliances Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute where she evaluated and wrote about every type of cooking tool and food-related item on the market.
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