No kitchen would be complete without a toaster, but how does one choose when there are so many on the market? From affordable plastic options to all-singing, all-dancing stainless steel models, there are countless toasters to pick from depending on your needs.

We’ve tracked down the best toasters available, testing them each out and rating them on their features, toasting speed and evenness of browning. We also considered how the toasters looked and whether they would suit a small or big kitchen. For each of them, we toasted a range of bread, from frozen bagels to fresh sourdough, to assess how each one coped with different slices.

Some of them have simple settings, such as defrosting and reheating, while some of them are packed with innovative features specifically for crumpets or fruit loaves.

We’ve included toasters in a range of prices, so whether you want a reliable budget option starting from less than £25, or are prepared to splash out for something really amazing, we’ve got the toaster for you.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Morphy Richards grey dimensions two-slice toaster: £24.99, Box

For a bargain, uncomplicated option, we liked Morphy Richards’ dimensions two-slice toaster. The great value product packs in plenty of features for its affordable price, including a removable crumb tray, reheat, cancel and defrost functions, seven browning settings and handy cord storage underneath. We defrosted bagels and were impressed with its speed and even toasting. It’s also a stylish option you’ll be proud to have out on the kitchen counter, with the stainless steel trim and patterned plastic glossy grey exterior looking more expensive than it really is. You can also buy a matching kettle for coordinated kitchen vibes.

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Dualit two-slot long lite toaster: £119.99, Lakeland

If you constantly find yourself breaking bread into two to fit into your toaster, you need the excellent two-slot long lite from the toasting pros at Dualit. The product is perfect for those who love to eat homemade loaves and oversized artisan bread such as sourdough, with the extra long 260mm slots providing enough space for whatever you throw at it.

Our tester put in her favourite sliced sourdough, which she normally has to break into halves, and there was still plenty of room left over for more toast, with her slices toasting quickly and evenly for the perfect crunchy finish. If you prefer regular sizes of toast, you can easily fit four slices in the slots. It has eight browning settings, a crumb tray, defrost, cancel and bagel buttons, and a “Peek and Pop” setting so you can check on your toast without stopping the toasting cycle. To top it all off, it comes with a warming rack too.

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Sage the Smart Toast two-slice toaster: £129.95, John Lewis & Partners

If you’re going to splash out on a toaster, you definitely won’t be disappointed by Heston Blumenthal’s brand Sage and its awesome Smart Toast appliance, which is packed with unexpected features to make your breakfast a gourmet experience. The wide slots can accommodate all kinds of bread, from thick pastries to bagels and crumpets, and there are all kinds of unusual buttons, including specific crumpet, bagel and fruit loaf settings, a “quick look” button when you want to check how your toast is getting on without interrupting the toasting cycle, and an option to press “a bit more” when you need your slice to be just a little more toasted without putting it in for another round (perfect for those of us who have a tendency to burn bread on the second go).

There’s also a defrost button, five browning settings, a progress display so you know how long is left, and a crumb tray for easy cleaning. It even comes with a handy guide on how to toast, with tips and tricks from Blumenthal himself. Plus, the metal toaster is simple, compact and would look sleek in any kitchen.

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Tower bottega T20016 two-slice toaster: £26.37, Amazon

One of the best looking toasters of all those we tried, Tower’s sleek bottega T20016 two-slice toaster looks seriously sleek with its black, rose gold and stainless steel exterior. It toasted brown bread quickly and evenly, and has all the handy buttons you’d expect – reheat, defrost and cancel – and a lever to help you get your toast out.

We particularly liked the retro browning settings that are adjusted with a little knob and shown on a cute vintage-style display. It’s a small size and there is an integrated cord storage space underneath, so it’s an ideal, stylish choice if you’ve got a compact kitchen and don’t want your toaster taking up too much space.

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Linsar KY865RED two-slice toaster: £29.99, Amazon

Another top affordable toaster is the Linsar KY865RED two-slice toaster, which comes in a whole array of colours, including green, blue, red and cream, to pep up your worktop. It’s got lots of useful features considering the price, including a removable crumb tray, defrost, cancel and reheat buttons and six browning settings. We particularly liked the compact size, perfect for small kitchens, and with its integrated cord storage, it’s easy to tuck away when you’re not using it. Most importantly, it toasted a range of different breads quickly and evenly, making it a fantastic budget option.

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CRUX two-slice stainless steel toaster CRUX008: £69.99, Lakeland

Those on gluten-free diets will know the challenges of achieving a perfectly toasted piece of gluten-free bread. But CRUX’s stainless steel two-slice toaster is a game changer, with its gluten-free setting ensuring perfectly browned toast the first time you try it, without constantly toasting and retoasting. The stainless steel exterior is given a pop of colour with the rose gold detailing, so it’ll look great in your kitchen too.

It’s not just one for the gluten-free toast addict, though: the extra-wide slots are perfect for bagels and crumpets. There’s a setting for bagels, a reheat option for defrosting, six browning settings and a slide-out crumb tray. We tried it out with a variety of breads and no matter what we threw at it, it toasted everything evenly and quickly.

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Moulinex LT300B41 two-slice toaster: £29.99, Argos

Another affordable, compact option is Moulinex’s LT300B41 two-slice toaster, which we found to be excellent at toasting both thin and thick slices of bread. Coming in three colours, it’s small enough to be inconspicuous in even the smallest of kitchens, but is still packed with plenty of important features, including seven browning levels, a removable crumb tray, integrated cord storage and buttons to stop, reheat and defrost. There’s also a handy “lift and look” function, so that you can see your slices mid-toasting without actually cancelling the procedure.

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Russell Hobbs inspire two-slice white toaster: £29.99, Currys

For a stylish, modern product that won’t break the bank, Russell Hobbs’ inspire two-slice toaster is a great choice. We particularly liked the cool design, available in white, black or red, with glossy textured ripples adding subtle interest to the everyday staple, but this wasn’t just a pretty face: it toasted a range of breads quickly and evenly and didn’t take up too much space in the kitchen. It’s got all the features you need, including frozen, cancel and reheat settings, a removable crumb tray and six browning settings.

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The verdict: Two-slice toasters

For something affordable and reliable, we liked Morphy Richards’ dimensions two-slice toaster, which packed in plenty of features and toasted quickly and reliably, while still managing to be the cheapest toaster of all those we tested. If you have a bit more to spend, we loved Sage’s product, full of nifty features, while if you love artisan bread but struggle toasting it it, Dualit’s long lite toaster is for you.

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.

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