Toasters have been around since the late 1800s, but they haven’t changed much in the past century or so. They can pop up your bread and offer bagel or frozen-bread settings now, but their core function is basically still the same. And when it comes down to it, the ideal toaster should simply toast bread evenly and consistently without a lot of fuss.
Every toaster should be able to provide similar performance. Your toaster should be able to toast breads of different types and shapes, meaning you need a toaster with a big enough slot for thick bagels and a way to retrieve small English muffins without having to jam a utensil into the slots.
In order to determine which models will be our top picks, we spoke with various experts in the field and researched the history of toasters. After compiling dozens of best-selling models on Amazon and kitchenware sites, we went through each one individually to decide which ones would be tested. Though the technology is simple, many small factors go into making a toaster that’s pleasant to use and churns out evenly browned bread every single time.
In our research and testing, here’s what we looked for:
In addition, there are some attributes that we found helpful but not always necessary:
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