Which two-slice toaster is best?

A toaster with two slots is the perfect size for small households or limited countertop space. You’ll want to pick one that evenly browns your bread and includes the features you need. For instance, if you’re using a toaster for English muffins, you’ll want one with a high enough lift so you don’t have to fish out your muffins. For toasting bagels, look for a toaster with wider slots, such as the KitchenAid Two-Slice Toaster with Manual Lift Lever.  

What to know before you buy a two-slice toaster

Function

Toasters with two slots serve one function: to toast. A good toaster can warm and brown sliced bread, frozen waffles, sliced English muffins and sliced bagels. They are not intended for warming frozen pizza, toast with butter or cheese, or American-style muffins. You’ll need a toaster oven for these functions. 

Size and capacity

Two-slice toasters are small kitchen appliances but they do require some countertop space. Consider a toaster’s footprint and how much room you have in your kitchen. Typically, footprint measurements are around 7 by 10 inches or 8 by 11 inches. For a larger capacity — but a bigger footprint — opt for a four-slice toaster

Slot width

Any two-slice toaster will accommodate pre-sliced bread you buy in the grocery store. However, if you’re looking to toast thicker slices such as homemade bread or a halved bagel, you’ll need wider slots. Look for a model that’s advertised as a wide-slot toaster or having extra-wide slots. 

Slot length and depth

For eaters of round- or wide-loaf breads, such as sourdough, consider a toaster with extra-long slots or extra-deep ones so that the entire surface area of your bread is toasted and not just a portion of it. Often these slots are extra wide, too. 

Manual vs. automatic lift

Most two-slice toasters have a manual lift, which means you need to push a lever or button to lower toast into them. You also have to manually operate the lever or button to lift the toast out when it’s done. An automatic lift senses when your bread is in the slots and automatically lowers it. When the bread is toasted, it also automatically lifts it from the slots. 

Shade control 

Most toasters have shade settings so you can control how dark or light you want your bread toasted. These typically come in numbered settings on a dial from five to seven shades. 

What to look for in a quality two-slice toaster

Toasting functions

Even basic toasters can feature a bagel and/or frozen setting. The bagel setting toasts the sliced inside of your bagel without burning the outside. Other toasters may include a keep-warm setting and reheat setting, which lets you warm cooked toast that has cooled down — without burning it. 

Cancel button 

A cancel button lets you prematurely terminate the toasting cycle. For example, if you smell burning, hit the cancel button to eject your toast. Some toasters feature a pause button that lets you check on your toast mid-cycle. 

High lift 

If you toast smaller items, such as English muffins or a sliced baguette, look for a toaster with a high lift, which forcefully pops up the smaller slices above the top of the appliance so you don’t have to reach inside the narrow slots to retrieve them. Never stick a fork down the slot of a toaster. 

Adjustable slots 

Toasters with adjustable slots let you manually narrow the slot for smaller or thinner slices to ensure even toasting. 

How much you can expect to spend on a two-slice toaster

They range in price from $30-$100. High-end toasters can cost up to $200.  

Two-slice toaster FAQ

Can I toast frozen waffles in my toaster? 

A. While most two-slice toasters have wide enough slots to heat waffles, to cook frozen ones it’s better to have a frozen function that will defrost your waffles before toasting them.

What is a crumb tray?

A. All toasters come with a removable tray at the base to collect the crumbs that inevitably gather. These crumbs can accumulate and cause a burnt smell to your toast or kitchen. It’s important to empty it regularly to prevent fires. 

What’s the best two-slice toaster to buy?

Top two-slice toaster

KitchenAid Two-Slice Toaster with Manual Lift Lever

KitchenAid Two-Slice Toaster with Manual Lift Lever

What you need to know: This sharp-looking toaster is well-built and comes with a bagel and frozen setting. 

What you’ll love: It evenly toasts store-bought or homemade bread and comes in four attractive finishes. There’s a bell that rings to alert you when your toast is about to pop up. The design is compact and minimalist, and the slots are wide.

What you should consider: Even though it’s advertised as having a high lift, some reviewers had a hard time removing muffins from the slots. 

Where to buy: Sold by KitchenAid, Amazon, Home Depot and Macy’s

Top two-slice toaster for the money

Oster Two-Slice Toaster

Oster Two-Slice Toaster

What you need to know: This low-cost toaster features the bells and whistles you’d expect on a more expensive model. 

What you’ll love: It has seven shade settings and four toasting functions, including ones for frozen items and bagels. The smooth profile combines a retro style with a sleek modern look.  

What you should consider: Some people said the bagel function isn’t different from the toast setting. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Worth checking out

Redmond Two-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster

Redmond Two-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster

What you need to know: Add a pop of fun and color to your countertop with this retro-style toaster that comes in multiple colors. 

What you’ll love: The stainless steel construction is durable and the toaster is nontoxic and free of the potentially harmful chemical bisphenol A. It includes six shade settings and a frozen, cancel and bagel button. The design is attractive and so are the color choices. 

What you should consider: Over time the springs may wear out some and have trouble lifting the bread up all the way. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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