As far as single-use kitchen appliances go, a toaster is one of the most essential. While toaster ovens are multifunctional and can accommodate four or more slices of bread, they aren’t necessarily the most practical tools for making toast. Not only do they tend to dry out bread, but they also take up a lot of counter space.
A 4 slice toaster is an efficient, space-saving solution. If making breakfast feels like a race against the clock, a 4 slice toaster can speed up the process. Read on to learn more about how to choose the best 4 slice toaster for your kitchen.
- BEST OVERALL: Cuisinart CPT-180P1 Metal Classic 4-Slice toaster
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Cuisinart CPT-142P1 Compact Plastic Toaster, 4
- UPGRADE PICK: Breville BTA730XL Bit More 4-Slice Toaster
- BEST FAST: Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless toaster, 4-Slice
- BEST LONG-SLOT: KitchenAid Toaster with High-Lift Lever
- BEST RETRO DESIGN: BUYDEEM DT-6B83 4-Slice Toaster, Extra Wide Slots
- BEST WITH WARMING RACK: Yabano 4 Slice Toaster, Retro Bagel Toaster
What to Consider When Choosing the Best 4 Slice Toaster
Though it’s easy to assume that all toasters work the same way, there are several characteristics that can affect their functionality. Additional features and settings can be useful for those who want to toast products other than sliced bread, like bagels, English muffins, or even croissants. Since the toaster will also likely accumulate crumbs and other food debris, the best toasters are easy to clean.
You’ll want to keep your kitchen size and layout in mind when choosing the right toaster, too. A kitchen with minimal counter space or storage options likely can’t accommodate a behemoth toaster. Also, consider the kitchen’s aesthetic. A sleek metal model would fit well in a contemporary space, especially if the other appliances are also stainless steel, while a brightly colored retro design would fit better in a kitchen with a more eclectic or vintage feel.
Since they’re designed to accommodate more slices of bread at one time, 4 slice toasters are inevitably larger than their 2 slice counterparts. That being said, most are designed to be as compact as possible. Consider whether the toaster will be stored on the countertop or tucked away in a cabinet, and ensure the chosen model will fit the allotted space.
While 4 slice toasters generally have four separate slots, long-slot toasters have two slots that can fit four standard slices of bread or two slices of artisanal bread. Slot width is another consideration. While the standard slot size works just fine for presliced bread and frozen waffles, bagels, and heartier breads may benefit from wider slots. For the most versatility, look for a model that has 1.5-inch slots or wider.
Toasters are typically made from either plastic or metal.
- Plastic toasters tend to be affordable and come in a wide variety of colors. They’re lightweight, but their exteriors are less durable than their metal counterparts.
- Metal toasters are typically made from stainless steel, though they can have a number of different finishes for a varied aesthetic. They’re typically pricier than plastic toasters but will match well with other stainless steel appliances if they’re stored on the countertop.
Well-made toasters are designed to remain cool to the touch while in use to prevent burns no matter what material they’re constructed from. In terms of performance, neither material is inherently superior, though metal finishes are typically associated with higher-end products.
The best toasters produce evenly browned toast that doesn’t have any pale or burnt spots. Almost all toasters offer adjustable shade settings so the user can toast their bread to the preferred shade, whether that’s a light golden brown or deep amber. Each toaster, however, differs in the number of shade settings offered, with most including between five and nine options. It’s important that the settings are accurate and produce the level of browning that they claim to.
When making multiple batches of toast, the elements become warmer and may darken subsequent batches more than the first, even if the settings remain the same. Some toasters offer an internal thermal sensor—rather than a timer—which controls the level of browning based on the toaster’s internal temperature.
Smart technology is now available for just about every household appliance. Smart toasters can be controlled using a mobile app on a smartphone or tablet to give users precise control and the ability to change the settings from another part of the house. This kind of technology hasn’t yet taken the market by storm, since using a toaster is pretty simple and isn’t a process that necessarily requires automation.
Some toasters may be marketed as smart toasters even if they don’t offer mobile compatibility. These models often have advanced features like touch screens and leverless designs.
While all toasters are made to brown bread, some come equipped with additional features.
- A bagel function only toasts the top of the bagel while warming the bottom, keeping the underside soft and chewy.
- A keep-warm function maintains the bread’s temperature without toasting it further. This can be helpful for users who might get preoccupied with other breakfast tasks, such as making coffee, scrambling eggs, or slicing fruit.
- A warming rack is useful for heating up irregularly shaped baked goods like croissants, which won’t fit inside even the widest slots.
- A defrost function allows the user to toast frozen bread or bagels without having to defrost in the microwave first.
- A lift lever allows for easy removal of smaller items, like English muffins. This is a helpful safety feature that prevents the user from having to stick their fingers or utensils into the slots.
- Translucent glass sides let the user watch the bread as it toasts, which eliminates the guesswork of trying to calculate when the toast will reach the perfect level of doneness.
- A countdown timer shows how much time remains before the toast is ready.
Ease of Cleaning
While toasters are designed for convenience, they can also be messy if they leave crumbs all over the counter. Cleaning a toaster is relatively simple, though models that come equipped with a removable crumb tray make the task much easier. For models without a crumb tray, simply upend the toaster over a sink or trash can to knock out all of the crumbs. Toasters with nonstick and porcelain interiors are easier to clean out, while steel toasters with a chrome finish are often prone to visible fingerprints and smudges.
Toasters are made from a number of different materials and can be finished with a brushed metallic or colorful plastic coating. Stainless steel toasters are a good choice for those with other stainless steel appliances.
Some are made to have a vintage aesthetic, with a retro design intended to replicate toasters from the 1950s and ’60s. While many modern toasters have sharp angles, these retro designs often have softer, rounded edges and feature manual knobs and dials.
Our Top Picks
The products below are among the best 4 slice toasters in their respective categories, chosen for their settings, additional features, aesthetic, and price.
With six browning settings and a number of useful features, this stylish 4 slice toaster from Cuisinart does an excellent job of producing consistent, evenly colored toast. The wide 1.5-inch slots and extra-lift carriage lever make for great ease of use, ensuring both thick bagels and small English muffins are simple to insert and remove. Dual control panels allow users to employ different settings for each side of the toaster, and each side features a defrost, reheat, and bagel setting.
Its timeless design features a mix of vintage and contemporary elements, with curved lines and a brushed stainless steel finish. It measures 11.15 inches by 10.65 inches by 7.5 inches.
Although this Cuisinart model comes in at a lower price point because of its plastic housing, it operates just as well as higher-priced stainless steel toasters. Available in black or white, this toaster’s simple, compact design (measuring 10.8 inches by 10.7 inches by 7.2 inches) makes it a great choice for kitchens with limited counter space. With seven browning settings, as well as bagel, defrost, and reheat settings, it consistently toasts bread without any pale or burnt spots.
The high-lift lever and 1.5-inch-wide slots mean that it’s compatible with both larger and smaller styles of bread, and a slide-out crumb tray makes cleanup a snap.
A single-use kitchen appliance doesn’t have to mean sacrificing versatility. The Bit More model from Breville offers plenty of useful extra features. By swapping out the standard 4 slice design for two longer slots, users can opt to toast up to two slices of larger artisanal bread or up to four slices of standard-size bread. Along with frozen and bagel buttons, this model also offers the ability to brown “a bit more” without starting a new toasting cycle. The lift-and-look button allows you to check if your toast is done without stopping the cycle.
A stainless steel body and sleek, modern design provide a stylish, high-end look. Keep in mind that it’s on the larger side, measuring 16.1 inches by 8.1 inches by 7.6 inches.
Families who are short on time in the morning will appreciate the fact that this model produces perfectly golden brown toast in just two minutes. Unlike most other toasters on the market, this model from Cuisinart is leverless, using a motorized internal lift system instead. Along with the standard browning settings, this toaster also includes a bagel feature which toasts just the tops of the bagels, leaving the bottoms soft and chewy. It also has defrost and reheat functions as well as a digital timer which lets users know when their toast will be ready. When the toasting cycle is complete, the machine beeps to alert the user that their toast is ready.
Featuring a stainless steel exterior that coordinates well with other appliances, it measures 11.42 inches by 10.08 inches by 7.75 inches.
A long-slot toaster has two functionalities: toasting four standard slices of bread at once or toasting two longer, artisanal slices. In addition to two longer slots, this KitchenAid model also has 1.5-inch-wide slots to accommodate a wide variety of bread types. It’s equipped with seven shade settings as well as bagel, defrost, keep warm, and reheat functions. The high-lift lever makes it easy to remove smaller items, and the peek-and-see feature lets users pop the toast to check for doneness without interrupting the toasting cycle.
It comes in red, black, and chrome finishes and measures 7.7 inches by 16.5 inches by 8 inches.
Despite its retro design, the BUYDEEM 4 slice toaster is equipped with plenty of modern features. It has seven browning levels as well as a reheat setting and bagel feature that only toasts the top half of whatever’s placed inside. The two sides operate independently, so different settings can be chosen for each side—a helpful tool for those cooking for people with different toast preferences. It’s also designed with a high-lift lever to make removing toast easier, and a removable crumb tray makes for easy cleanup.
It’s made from stainless steel with a mint green color coating and measures 12.2 inches by 6.97 inches by 11.02 inches. The slots are 1.4 inches wide, so they’ll easily fit thicker slices of bread.
For those who prefer warm, toasty pastries like croissants, muffins, or scones, consider the Yabano 4 Slice Toaster. It comes with a removable stainless steel warming rack which can be used to gently heat muffins, croissants, and other baked goods. There are seven shade settings, providing options ranging from very light to dark brown. The slots are extra wide, measuring 1.6 inches, so that even thick bagels and artisanal sliced breads can fit inside easily. Bagels can be toasted on just one side using the bagel setting. The high-lift lever makes smaller items easier to remove without having to stick fingers or utensils into the slots and risking burns or other injuries.
The toaster itself measures 13.9 inches by 7.85 inches by 13.9 inches. Each side has a removable crumb tray for easy cleanup.
FAQs About 4 Slice Toasters
Still have questions about how to choose the best 4 slice toaster? Check out the following answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Q. What does a smart toaster do?
A smart toaster can be connected to a mobile app, allowing you to control the device from a smartphone or tablet.
Q. What is the fastest 4 slice toaster?
The Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless toaster, 4-Slice is one of the fastest on the market, toasting in only 2 minutes.
Q. How often do you need to replace a toaster?
Toasters have a life expectancy of between six and eight years.