Two-slice toasters are great for smaller households but once there’s more than a couple of you champing at the bit for breakfast in the mornings, it can soon lead to arguments about who gets the first slice.

If it’s time for you to switch to a larger, four-slice model, try to pick one with at least two independent controls so that you don’t have to heat up all four slots at once if you don’t need to.

If you bake your own bread or are partial to larger loaves, check the toaster can cope with it – many can’t. Ditto for bagels and teacakes.

Buttons for cancel, reheat and defrost should come as standard and we’d advise getting a toaster with a removable crumb tray too, which makes them easier to clean.

Above all, you should make sure your toaster doesn’t produce patchy toast or one side being browner than the other. Lucky for you, all the models in our roundup give a consistent golden brown finish

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Beko TAM4341W 4-slot toaster: £45, Beko

Size: 17.2cm x 28.7cm x 20.6cm
Power: 870W
Number of browning options: 6

Get your marmalade at the ready – this makes outstanding toast with just the right crunch level and Instagrammable golden brown aesthetics. Each pair of slots has its own controls and there are knobs for cancelling, defrosting or reheating. You might struggle with tall slices, which protrude out of the top, but otherwise this can handle thin or thick pieces, including crusts. Cleaning is a doddle but be warned it’s one of the slowest we tried, taking over four minutes. For faultless toast, though, we think it is worth the wait.

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Russell Hobbs inspire toaster: £34.99, John Lewis & Partners

Size: 19.5cm x W29.8cm x D29.5cm
Power: 1800W
Number of browning options: 3

Available in black, white or red, this smart looking toaster has an appealing rippled finish, with buttons that glow bright blue when in use. And it’s not a case of style over substance as it’s an easy machine to use, with evenly browned toast popping up time and time again, provided you use average sized slices – the kind you get out of a standard sliced supermarket loaf. Avoid tall slices and thick wedges as they just get stuck. Also be warned that you won’t get your toast in a hurry – in just under four minutes, but we’ve seen slower.

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Breville flow 4-slice toaster: £49.99, Argos

Size: 19cm x 32cm x 29cm
Power: 1800W
Number of browning options: 9

Another chic-looking toaster with a textured exterior and illuminated cancel, reheat and defrost buttons, this has more browning levels than most – nine in total – with level five giving us the perfect toast. Our meticulous toast inspectors couldn’t find a spot that was overdone or underdone on any of the four slices, and that went for the second round too. But this is another toaster where you might struggle with oversized slices and we also found it a bit trickier (but by no means impossible) than others to clean.

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De’Longhi distita 4-slice toaster: £94.99, Lakeland

Size: 33cm x 21cm x 30cm
Power: 1800W
Number of browning options: 6

As you’d hope at this price, this produces slice after slice of picture-perfect toast – golden brown right to every edge, and that goes for thicker slices too, although sadly not tall ones (but that’s not unusual). It comes in some gorgeous colours including blue, metallic sliver, red and green, and there’s a matching kettle available for each. It has all the bells and whistles you’d want, with buttons for defrosting, cancelling, reheating and toasting a bagel on one side, none of which we could fault. You may struggle keeping the toaster free from fingerprints, though, and it’s heavy.

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Moulinex LT305E41 4-slice toaster: £39.99, Argos

Size: 19cm x 31cm x 29cm
Power: 1700W
Number of browning options: 7

For the price, this is great. It’s simple to use and the toast it produces would not look out of place served up in a five-star hotel. The toaster looks good too, especially in the pepper (grey), shade. White and black are also available – and you can buy a matching kettle. Features include two sets of controls, one for each pair or slots, and cancel, defrost and reheat buttons, plus a high-lift lever – great for crumpets and smaller loaves. We wonder why they didn’t make the slots a bit deeper, though, as even ordinary slices are just a tad too tall.

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Dualit domus 46600 4-slice toaster: £119, Amazon

Size: 29cm x 29cm x 21cm
Power: 2100-2250w
Number of browning options: 9

This gets the thumbs up from us for bread that doesn’t come straight out of a Hovis-sliced loaf. Joy of joys, it happily fits bigger, thicker and longer slices – including those from homemade bread and it has some handy features too – including bagel toasting, a pop and peek option and patented technology that ensures even browning. Plus, the usual defrost and cancel buttons. And it’s fast. In fact, it would be perfect were it not for its heavy weight and the fact that some other toasters are easier to clean.

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Next 4-slice toaster: £38, Next

Size: 20cm x 32cm x 32cm
Power: 1700-2100W
Number of browning options: 6

You won’t have any annoying pale or burnt areas of your toast with this retro-styled toaster that produces golden-brown results. It’s good for those who wake up hungry too, as it only takes a couple of minutes. Each pair of slots has its own control dial, along with the usual stop, reheat and defrost buttons and it’s available in two colours. You can complete the look with a matching kettle and microwave. But it’s another one that’s prone to greasy marks and it doesn’t like tall slices.

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Smeg 4-slice 2-slot toaster: £119, Currys

Size: 21.5cm x 39.4cm x 20.8cm
Power: 1500W
Number of browning options: 6

Mention Smeg and fridges probably spring to mind. But this brand makes a mean toaster too, with the same stylish, retro look, wide range of funky colours and attention to engineering detail which, in this case, results in a robust machine that produces evenly browned toast. With two long slots fitting two slices in each, you can also buy a sandwich cage for toasties and a bun warmer for pastries and croissants. It’s not the fastest though, taking more than three-and-a-half minutes, and tall slices can poke out of the top.

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Kenwood kMix 4-slice toaster: £59, Amazon

Size: 27.2cm x 27.7cm x 20.9cm
Power: 1960W
Number of browning options: 6

This ticks all the important boxes – quick (just under three minutes), simple to work and good coverage of browning. And unlike most toasters we tested, it’s great at taller slices and thick crumpets, as well as bagels, toasting the cut side beautifully while leaving the crust side as it is. Available in cream, red and white, it looks good, with the cancel and defrost buttons illuminated for extra pizzazz, but beware of fingerprints spoiling the look.

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Sage smart 4-slice toaster: £169.99, Lakeland

Size: 28cm x 26cm x 19cm
Power: 1900W
Number of browning options: 5

There are a range of impressive features here, including one-touch automatic lowering, “quick look” and “a bit more” functions – the latter two particularly handy if you’re prone to setting off the smoke alarm by getting the timings all wrong on your toast. The bright LED sliders let you select your level of “goldenness” and then count down so you can have your fried egg or tea ready all at the same moment. And say goodbye to disappointing crumpets as there’s a special setting that toasts the top but just warms the bottom. But it doesn’t come cheap, it’s heavy and tall slices are a no-no.

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The verdict: Four-slice toasters

Our favourite is the Beko TAM4341W, although it's on the slower side, for £45 it's an excellent bit of kit. If you want to go for something more hi-tech with oodles of unique features, we’d recommend the Sage smart toaster.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.