If you think all a pop-up toaster does is toast bread, think again. “They don’t just do one thing anymore,” says Amy Suddleson, professional organizer and owner of the Nimble Nest. “Yes, you can use a toaster for all different types of toasts and waffles, and many defrost frozen bread or reheat items.”
Like coffee makers and air fryers, many different types of toasters are on the market. Choosing the right one mostly comes down to your specific needs. A small, simple model will likely do if you simply want a perfect piece of toast. But if you are looking for more of a kitchen workhorse, it’s worth considering a toaster that can toast multiple pieces of bread, defrost frozen items and reheat toast that’s gone cold before you had a chance to butter it. To help you shop, we spoke with experts on what to look for. Then, using their guidance, we rounded up highly rated toasters alongside NBC Select editor favorites for your consideration.
How we picked the best toasters
When shopping for a toaster, experts recommend keeping the following in mind:
- Size: Most pop-up toasters have two or four slots and are used for bread slices, bagels and English muffins. Toaster slots are typically made of plastic or metal, which vary in depth based on the model, says Yenhsi Lin, the director of product management for small appliances at GE Appliances. To cover households of all sizes, we included two and four-slot toasters in our guide.
- Settings: Most toasters come with basic temperature and time settings, depending on how dark you want your toast to be. Some toasters also have specific buttons like a bagel button that toasts one side more than the other or a defrost button for frozen foods like waffles, explains Lin. Think about what you’ll use your toaster for when shopping for a new model.
- Price: Most pop-up toasters run between $25 and $100 — though there are more expensive high-tech options. According to Lin, you don’t have to spend a lot for a great pop-up toaster, so most of the toasters on our list are in the lower price range.
The best toasters of 2024
We’ve rounded up a variety of pop-up toasters recommended by NBC Select staffers, as well as bestsellers with especially high customer ratings.
This toaster from GE allows you to choose from seven shades of doneness for your toast — from lightest to darkest — and has two extra wide slots to accommodate all types of bread, bagels, waffles and more. This toaster has a removable crumb tray to clean it easily, and LED lights illuminate the buttons that show you what setting you are on. This stainless steel toaster has a 4.5-star average rating from 5,855 reviews on Amazon.
This toaster from Cuisinart has four slots for bread, and the knobs allow you to control just how light or dark you want the toast. It also has special settings to defrost bread, for bagels and to reheat. When your toast is done, you can push down on the levers to pop the bread out so you don’t have to stick your fingers in the part of the toaster that gets hot. There is also a removable crumb tray for easy cleaning. This toaster has a 4.3-star average from over 32,700 reviews on Amazon.
Zoe Malin, NBC Select associate updates editor, likes this pop-up toaster for its affordability and ease of use. It has two long slots, each fitting up to two slices of bread. The slots are also extra-wide to accommodate thicker breads and bagels, she says. There are six browning settings and memory recall keeps your settings saved. This toaster also has a removable crumb tray and a defrost setting if you use frozen bread.
With two extra-wide slots, this toaster can accommodate thick slices of bread. It has special settings to toast bagels and defrost frozen bread, and the knob allows you to control the level of brownness you want your bread to be. The lever lifts your toast out and away from the hot metal to prevent burning your fingertips and there is a removable crumb tray for easy cleaning, according to the brand. This two-slice toaster has a 4.4-star average rating from over 7,400 reviews on Amazon.
The two-slice toaster features a touchscreen interface that allows you to select different types of items to toast (bread, bagel, frozen waffle and more) and then pick how toasted you want your item. It also comes with a panini basket, which allows you to heat a sandwich. This toaster has a 4.2-star average rating from over 2,300 reviews on Amazon.
This toaster has two extra wide slots to accommodate all breads and bagels. Along with six browning levels, it has a bagel function that toasts the cut side of the bagel and warms the uncut side, according to the brand. It also has a lift lever, allowing you to pop the toast up to easily grab it without burning your fingers. This toaster has a 4.4-star average from over 10,900 reviews on Amazon.
Meet our experts
At NBC Select, we work with experts with specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Amy Suddleson is a professional organizer and owner of the Nimble Nest.
- Yenhsi Lin is the director of product management for small appliances at GE Appliances.
Why trust NBC Select?
Hanna Horvath is a personal finance reporter based in New York City. She currently writes for Policygenius and her work has appeared in Business Insider, MSN, Inc Magazine and more.
Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers topics like beauty, home and lifestyle.