Burnt, unevenly cooked pieces of toast have no place on the breakfast plate. A toaster is one of the most frequently used kitchen appliances, so make sure to get the best one possible—one that toasts bread reliably, evenly, and deliciously every time.
The original “toast” was bread heated over an open fire, but technology’s come a long way. Using vertical slots with heat elements on either side, the best 2-slice toasters brown bread to the user’s preferred color, toast it evenly, and work quickly so you can get on with your day.
There are a variety of models on the market, and it can be difficult to choose. Keep reading to find out which features to look for in the best 2-slice toaster.
- BEST OVERALL: IKICH 2 Slice, LCD Screen Stainless Steel Toaster
- RUNNER-UP: Cuisinart CPT-160P1 Metal Classic 2-Slice Toaster
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: BLACK+DECKER 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster
- UPGRADE PICK: Revolution Cooking R180 High-Speed 2-Slice Toaster
- BEST STAINLESS STEEL: KRUPS KH732D50 2-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster
- BEST STYLE: Keenstone 2 Slice, Compact Bread Toaster
- BEST LEVERLESS: Cuisinart CPT-420 Touch to Toast Leverless Toaster
What to Consider When Choosing the Best 2-Slice Toaster
In the search for the best 2-slice toaster, there are several features to consider. For example, some users may prefer a high-tech model over a simple, classic style. When looking at 2-slice toasters, consider their size, materials, ease of use, toasting ability, and appearance.
As with any appliance, adequate counter space is necessary. Fortunately, it’s much easier to find room for a 2-slice toaster than a 4-slice toaster or toaster oven, especially in apartments or dorm rooms.
In general, 2-slice toaster models are similar in overall size. Sizes may vary a bit due to included features; for example, a modern, leverless toaster is slightly more compact, whereas classic styles may be a bit larger. Toasters meant to hold larger slices of bread may take up a couple of extra inches.
With toasters, slot size is just as important as the overall size of the toaster itself. Toaster slot width varies among manufacturers. Toasters designed to heat bagels have slots that are at least 1.5 inches wide. Users who stick to grocery-store bread instead of bagels, croissants, homemade bread, and other pastries can get by just fine without wider slots.
Toasters come in a few types of housing materials, including plastic, stainless steel, and glass.
- Plastic toasters tend to be made using polypropylene. It’s a heat-resistant plastic that uses flame retardants and smoke suppressants, which explains why they don’t melt. Plastic toasters are more affordable, have a stay-cool outer surface that doesn’t burn fingers (more so than stainless steel), and they’re easy to keep clean. Lower-quality plastic toasters may have a flimsier build and tend to lose color over time.
- Stainless steel is made primarily of carbon and iron. This is a common material for toasters as it resists rust, fire, and heat. Steel is incredibly durable and lasts a long time with proper care, which is one reason it’s more expensive than plastic. Stainless steel ages well and looks modern and sleek, but it does show smudges.
- Glass is a newer material for toasters designed with style and function. Insulated glass siding lets users watch their toast change color and cancel toasting when it’s the exact right shade. These toasters are higher-end, making them more expensive. They’re easy to care for, but they’re more fragile than other materials.
Two-slice toasters usually come with a rotating dial or buttons to select toast shade. Usually there are six preset modes, but you might find models with up to 11. These numbers do not have universal meanings. On some toasters, these numbers are the minutes it takes to toast. Other toasters use a circuit setting, which stops toasting when it reaches a specific voltage.
Many toasters come with additional settings, including bagel, defrost, reheat, or cancel.
- Bagel settings toast the cut side of the bagel, not both sides. This unilateral toasting is not available on all models.
- Defrost frozen items before you toast them with the defrost setting. Typically, toaster browning settings use room-temperature bread for their calculations. If you keep your bread in the fridge instead of a bread box, use the defrost setting before toasting it.
- Reheat settings warm but don’t brown the toast.
- Cancel interrupts toasting and pops out the bread.
Newer toasters use technology to optimize toasting capacity and take the guesswork out of whether or not the toast is ready. Some toasters include a user touch screen, built-in alerts, LCD screens, and motorized lifts.
- Touch screens replace dials and buttons on toasters for a sleek, user-friendly experience. In sleep mode, these screens can go into clock mode for added use.
- Built-in alerts let the user know when it’s time to remove the toast or clean the crumb tray.
- LCD screens show the selected toaster shade setting and double as a countdown clock, letting the user know exactly how long until the toast pops out.
- Motorized lifts do away with the traditional mechanical toaster lever. Instead, pressing a button automatically lowers and raises bread from the toaster.
Even classic-style toasters can have additional features to make toasting better. These little extras include a lifting function, automatic centering, thermostat, cord wraps, and toasting patterns.
- A lifting function comes on many toasters to save fingers from getting near the still-hot filaments. Push the lever upward to lift the toast higher out of the toaster for safer retrieval.
- Automatic centering positions the bread in the best place, ensuring uniform toasting on both sides regardless of its thickness and initial placement.
- Thermostats are features of some modern 2-slice toasters, enabling users to adjust the toasting temperature.
- Cord wraps on the bottom of toasters make it easy to store the power cord neatly.
- Patterns are available on specialized toasters. These work by increasing the toasting degree in certain points, creating an image or picture toasted into the bread, which is popular with children.
Ease of Cleaning
Clean toasters perform better and generally last longer. A 2-slice toaster does not come with a lid to keep dust, debris, and bugs out. Toasters should be cleaned regularly, which is quite simple to do.
The vast majority of toasters come with a crumb collection tray, which catches crumbs that fall off during toasting. Trays that slide out may make cleaning easier, as drop-down trays may accidentally spill if they come open unexpectedly. Look for a crumb tray with a nonstick interior for easier cleaning.
To clean a toaster, unplug it and use a small, dry brush to loosen any crumbs inside the toaster. Remove and empty the crumb tray, and wipe it with a cloth. Shake the toaster upside down over the sink to remove any lingering crumbs, and replace the crumb tray. Use a damp cloth with white vinegar to clean the top of the slots and a water-dampened cloth to remove any vinegar residue. The outside of the toaster can be wiped with a damp cloth and then dried.
Toasters are small kitchen appliances that are used often enough to warrant a permanent spot on the counter. Since they tend to be out on display, aesthetics may contribute to the decision about which toaster to purchase.
- Modern designs are minimalist with a streamlined aesthetic. They may forgo dials, levers, and buttons in favor of a simple touch screen.
- Classic style toasters are widely available. Stainless steel housing provides a timeless aesthetic for a toaster, and it’s likely to match any kitchen decor.
- Retro designs give a nod to old-fashioned shapes and decorative features from previous decades, but use modern manufacturing for safe, efficient toasting.
New toasters also come in a spectrum of color choices. Choices include white, robin’s egg blue, deep red, and more. With such a variety to choose from, shoppers can find the toaster that fits in just right with their kitchen decor.
Our Top Picks
Finding the best 2-slice toaster is easy for those who know what to look for. Below are some of the best 2-slice toasters on the market that align with the considerations discussed above. Everyone has different needs and preferences, so the categories listed here should help connect toast connoisseurs with the best toaster for their home.
IKICH’s classic-style toaster adds a modern twist, making it a user-friendly countertop appliance. A small LCD screen digitally displays the remaining toast time, so users can multitask and be ready when breakfast pops up. Nine shade settings, ranging from super light to dark brown, allow users to select their preferred shade. The toaster has four functions so users can reheat, defrost, cook a bagel, or cancel toasting.
The interior uses an extended heating surface to handle larger slices, toasting them evenly. A 1.5-inch slot is wide enough for waffles, bagels, pastries, and more. Made from durable stainless steel walls with a nonslip silicone pad, this toaster stays in place even with accidental force applied to the high-lift lever. Keep things neat and tidy by emptying the removable crumb tray and using the cord wrap.
Cuisinart’s 2-slice toaster keeps aesthetics and functions simple, offering a timeless design that virtually anyone can use. Six browning settings enable users to choose the shade of toast they want, with reliable results every time. LED indicator lights show the current function in use. It defrosts, reheats without retoasting, uses unilateral toasting for bagels, and ceases all operations with the touch of the cancel button. The toast slots are 1.5 inches wide, suiting most breakfast-style bread and pastries. Made of brushed stainless steel with black accents, this toaster’s appearance fits in nicely with most kitchens. An extra-lift lever saves fingers from accidental toaster burns, and the removable crumb tray and cord wrap keep countertops clear.
Quality comes at a budget-friendly price with Black & Decker’s 2-slice toaster. This space-saving toaster uses wide slots that fit toaster waffles, bagels, English muffins, and more. Self-adjusting guides that center the bread inside the toaster ensure the toast comes out evenly browned at any of the seven shade settings. This toaster also has buttons for toasting bagels, toasting from frozen, and canceling a function.
The black plastic housing looks sharp and doesn’t show fingerprints as easily as metal toasters. The stainless steel accents give it a modern flair and elevate the toaster’s appearance. Hide excess cord length easily with the cord wrap under the toaster. A drop-down tray keeps crumbs off the counter but should be opened over a sink when it’s time to empty it.
Breakfast can be customized with technology. Revolution Cooking made this stainless touch-screen toaster for the tech-savvy crowd. A large, user-friendly interface uses data to calculate toasting time and temperature. Users start by choosing the item they’re toasting, select whether it’s fresh, frozen, or being reheated, and select the browning level they want. The toaster calculates the optimum way to toast from more than 60 algorithms and uses smart sensors that adjust for consistent browning. During toasting, the display shows a countdown timer, which changes to an analog or digital clock when the toaster is in sleep mode.
The modern, leverless design automatically lowers and lifts, chirping an alert when it’s done. Unlike other toasters, this one requires zero preheating and toasts about 35 percent faster than leading premium toasters. When it’s time to clean the toaster, it provides an alert when the catch tray needs to be emptied.
Clean design and simplicity highlight the KRUPS stainless steel toaster. Built to last with materials that don’t show their wear over the years, this toaster retains its brand-new look. With four traditional functions lit by LED lights, this device toasts bagels, defrosts, reheats toast in 30 seconds, and includes a cancel button. The rotating knob indicates which of the six shade settings are selected.
An extra-high lift lever keeps fingers safe, especially when children make breakfast for themselves. The wide slots accommodate a variety of bread, including Texas cut and homemade slices. No matter which bread goes into the toaster, large self-centering slots position them for the most even browning. A removable tray collects the crumbs and needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure the toaster always performs its best.
Here’s a toaster with a personality that also evenly and quickly toasts bread. Bring fun to the kitchen with Keenstone’s retro-inspired toaster. Made from stainless steel in three color options, this durable toaster makes a statement. Like many toasters, this one has six toasting settings and includes functions for bagels, defrosting, and canceling. The toast slots are 1.5 inches wide to accommodate thick and thin bread ranging from English muffins to artisanal slices.
Safety comes built-in with a high-lift lever, overheat protection, and anti-leakage protection. This toaster is slightly bulkier than other models but keeps the countertop tidy with a cord wrap and removable crumb tray.
Cuisinart’s leverless toaster is a collaboration of classic and modern styles. The brushed stainless steel and clean, classic toaster shape give it a familiar feel, but the technological touches make it current. Leverless toasters are a terrific choice for those looking for a simple design, or for those with less hand strength who are unable to press down on a traditional lever. When users hit the toast button, the machine automatically lowers the bread for toasting.
This toaster uses a large blue LCD that shows the browning settings from one to seven, a countdown timer, and LED indicator lights to display the function in use. This design has functions for reheating, defrosting, one-sided bagel toasting, and canceling. Use the cord wrap to minimize visual clutter, and clean out the removable crumb tray often. With a streamlined design and 1.5-inch slots, this toaster fits in many spaces and handles most bread sizes, waffles, and croissants.
FAQs About 2-Slice Toasters
A 2-slice toaster is a frequently used kitchen appliance, and users should try to get the most out of it. Below are some common questions and answers about the use and maintenance of 2-slice toasters.
Q. What is the average time a 2-slice toaster needs to heat up?
It usually takes a few seconds for toasters to reach full heat, then just over 3 minutes to create the ideal slice of toast.
Q. How do I clean my 2-slice toaster?
Unplug the toaster and use a small, dry brush to remove crumbs from the toaster’s interior. Remove and empty the crumb tray, then shake the toaster upside down over the sink. Wipe down the crumb tray inside the toaster. Clean the top of the toaster slots with a white vinegar-dampened cloth, then wipe clean with a water-dampened cloth.
Q. How long do 2-slice toasters usually last?
Most toasters last 6 to 8 years, but some defy expectations and last well over a decade.