We've put budget and premium toasters through a series of toasting tests, ease-of-use and versatility assessments, and electrical safety checks.
Overall score breakdown
Overall score is made up of:
Toasting performance (70%)
As a toaster heats up it produces darker toast, so we check the consistency of colour from run to run by toasting slices of fresh white bread over 4 runs in quick succession. We also assess the evenness of browning across each slice. Next, we check how well the toasters deal with a single slice, as well as bread straight from the freezer. These four tests (equally weighted) comprise the “white bread performance score”. It accounts for 40% of the Overall score.
We also assess how well multigrain toast turns out. Multigrain bread contains a fair amount of moisture, making it much harder to toast well. As such, the “multigrain” score accounts for 30% of the Overall score. We don’t recommend toasters that aren’t good at toasting multigrain bread.
We’ve recently introduced a versatility score. It takes into account interesting features that we think will improve your “toasting experience”. Long and/or wide slots, for example, can accommodate bread that’s not a “standard” shape or size. A “crumpet” or “bagel” setting will brown the inside surface, while gently warming the outside. Or it could be that there’s a matching kettle, allowing you to co-ordinate appliances for a more stylish kitchen. These are just some of the features we consider when scoring a toaster’s versatility.
Ease of use (10%)
We assess how easy the controls are to use, whether the toasters are easy to clean or if they have dirt traps, and whether the crumb tray is easy to remove and empty.
We also measure the temperature of the sides of the toasters — if these get higher than 68°C they could burn you. (None of the models in this test were higher than 68°C but the metal around the slots can still get very hot.)
Toasters are generally pretty simple to use, so we’ve downgraded “ease of use”; it now accounts for 10% of our overall score.
We've tested 44 toasters.
Find the right one for you.