The 6 Best 2-Slice Toasters in 2022

Smeg's Retro-Style Aesthetic Toaster wins for its style and performance

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Toasters are probably the best thing since sliced bread, right? While toasters have been available for home use for generations, today’s models offer features that were innovative at one time, like timed toasting, crumb trays, and the ability to choose different toasting levels.

The Spruce Eats Top Picks

The stylish yet durable Smeg Retro Style Aesthetic 2-Slice Toaster is our top choice, because it offers both a unique design, durable build, and even heating. If you're looking for a stainless steel look, the Krups 2 Slice Stainless Steel Toaster, with its extra-wide slots and consistent performance, won't disappoint.

And even now, toasters continue to innovate, with some of them making crumb trays more efficient, offering one-sided toasting for bagels, and including special features for defrosting or for keeping bread warm.

Basic toasters are still available for those whose toast needs are simple, and for those looking for more features, there are high-end toasters that offer attractive designs, multiple cooking options, lift and warm settings, smart screens, and more.

Here, the best toasters to give you perfectly browned toast, every time.

Best Overall: Smeg Retro Style Aesthetic 2-Slice Toaster

Smeg 50's Retro Style 2 Slice Toaster

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Precise toasting settings

  • Stylish design

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Relatively expensive

  • No lift feature to raise the toast higher

Smeg, an Italian company founded in the 1940s, has brought its unique designs and quality workmanship to the U.S. market, including this attractive toaster that will stand out on your counter. Its retro look and unique color aren’t all you’ll love, though. Users praise the solid build, ease of use, and even toasting, as well as its retro look.

This two-slice toaster has six toasting levels, and you can choose a setting halfway between each to tweak the toasting to match your bread type. It also has reheat, defrost, and one-sided toasting settings for bagels and English muffins. The wide slots fit bagels easily, and thin bread self-centers for easy toasting. The crumb tray is sturdy stainless steel, and the toaster's non-slip feet keep it steady on the counter. While this does pop the toast up automatically, there’s no lift feature to raise the toast higher, so you may need wooden tongs to retrieve particularly hard-to-reach bread slices.

Dimensions: 12.25 x 7.75 x 7.75 inches | Number of toasting levels: 6 | One-sided toasting option: Yes

What Our Experts Say

"Even high heat. I like the option of a bigger opening for thicker slices.”Jesse Ziff Cool, author of Toast: 60 Ways to Butter Your Bread and Then Some, on the most important feature of a toaster

Runner Up, Best Overall: Krups 2-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster (KH732D50)

krups-2-slice-brushed-chrome-toaster

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • LED light-up buttons

  • Extra-large slots can fit bagels

  • High-lift lever for smaller pieces of bread

What We Don't Like
  • Some say toasting takes longer than expected

  • Exterior gets hot when in use

This toaster combines aesthetics with quality performance. With an exterior of both brushed and chrome stainless steel, this toaster is sleek and eye-catching and will fit right in beside other stainless steel appliances. It has extra-wide slots that can fit bagels, English muffins, waffles, and even thick buns. The lever has a high-lift to help you lift smaller pieces of bread out of the toaster without burning your fingers.

Operation is simple, with a dial to choose from six levels of browning, plus push buttons for defrost, reheat, bagel, and cancel functions. The push buttons light up with blue LED lights so you won't accidentally select the wrong function. Owners of this toaster praise its modern design and consistent, even browning.

Dimensions: 13.2 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches | Number of toasting levels: 6 | One-sided toasting option: Yes

Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Extra-Wide Slot 2-Slice Toaster with Shade Selector

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster with Shade Selector

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Chimes when bread is done toasting

  • Automatically shuts off after use

  • Useful "toast boost" feature to remove toast easily

  • Wide slots can fit bagels and thick artisan bread slices

What We Don't Like
  • Stainless steel may smudge

This toaster can make the toast wait for you with its unique keep-warm setting. It holds the toast in the slots when toasting is done for an extra 3 minutes, so you’ll have extra time to finish cooking the bacon and eggs and still have warm toast waiting for you.

This has seven levels of doneness for perfect toast no matter how you prefer it. The slots are extra-wide to accommodate bagels and thick artisan bread slices, and it's still great for typical sandwich bread. The defrost setting is handy for frozen toaster pastries, and we like the toast boost feature in particular: It lifts toast higher out of the slots, making it easy to grab the toast safely so you can ditch the toast tongs.

Dimensions: 7.48 x 7.48 X 11.3 inches | Number of toasting levels: 7 | One-sided toasting option: Yes

Best Toaster Oven: Breville the Mini Smart Oven with Element IQ

Breville Mini Smart Oven

Courtesy of Breville

What We Like
  • Preheats quickly with 1800 watts

  • Easy-to-read LCD display

  • Cool-touch handle

  • A Bit More button easily adds additional cooking time

What We Don't Like
  • The top gets hot during use

  • Takes up more counter space than a traditional toaster

This toaster oven does more than toast, so it’s worth the extra cost. Four quartz heating elements make sure the oven is heating evenly, no matter which setting you choose. When you’re in a hurry, it heats quickly, thanks to the 1800-watt preheat mode.

A clearly labeled dial lets you choose bagels, toast, bake, broil, pizza, roast, cookies, and reheat, and you can adjust those settings for the perfect result. The “a bit more” button lets you continue cooking for just a little longer when the food isn’t quite as done as you like.

This is a compact toaster, but it can fit a pizza up to 11 inches in diameter, so you won’t need to heat up your large oven when your needs are small. The backlit LCD makes it easy to monitor the cooking process since it’s orange when the oven is preheating or cooking, and it turns blue when cooking is done.

For easy cleaning, the interior of the oven has a nonstick surface. The top of this toaster oven gets hot during use, so you should avoid using it directly under cabinets.

Dimensions: 17.7 x 12.9 x 10.5 inches | Number of toasting levels: Calculated | One-sided toasting option: Yes

Best Design: Cuisinart 2-Slice Motorized Toaster

What We Like
  • Sleek and modern design

  • Lifts toast automatically

  • Designed with countdown timer

  • One-sided toasting function

What We Don't Like
  • No half settings

  • Small bread slots

This is the future of toasters, with a lever-free design that lowers and lifts the toast automatically, and an audible alert lets you know when the toast is done. The LCD screen includes a countdown, so you can see at a glance how soon you’ll have toast to butter.

With no lever, this has a clean, attractive front. Buttons let you choose one-sided toasting for bagels, waffles, and English muffins, a defrost setting that first thaws your baked goods before toasting, and a reheat option that warms the bread without further toasting. There are seven different shade settings, so your toast will always be perfect, whether you like a light golden brown or a darker brown. If your new style of bread browns too quickly, the cancel feature saves your toast.

Dimensions: 9.25 x 12.25 x 8.88 inches | Number of toasting levels: 7 | One-sided toasting option: Yes

What Our Experts Say

"Crispy on the outside…moist on the inside. Maybe even a few charred edges (got that from my mom)!"Jesse Ziff Cool, author of Toast: 60 Ways to Butter Your Bread and Then Some, on her ideal slice of toast

Best Splurge: KitchenAid Pro Line Series 2-Slice Automatic Toaster

KitchenAid Pro Line Series 2-Slice Automatic Toaster

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Chic design

  • Function that keeps toast warm without further browning

  • Lowers bread automatically

What We Don't Like
  • Takes up a lot of counter space

  • Heavy at 12 pounds

The design is unmistakable, looking much like the nose section of a classic KitchenAid stand mixer, and the frosted pearl color is elegant and attractive. But it’s not all about looks. This toaster includes features that set it apart from the usual fare, including the ability to automatically keep your toast warm without further browning if you can't retrieve it immediately. It can hold the toast for up to three minutes, so you’ve got plenty of time to finish the eggs.

The toaster lowers the bread automatically when bread is sensed, and it lifts automatically when the toast is done. Without a lever, the front controls look cleaner and more attractive. There are seven toasting shades and options for one-sided toasting for bagels, as well as settings for frozen bread and the ability to toast for a little longer when the toast isn’t quite done.

Users have noted that this toaster is a little slower at making toast than others they've used, but it toasts much more evenly, so they don’t mind the slight wait.

Dimensions: 13.7 x 7.1 x 8.9 inches | Number of toasting levels: 7 | One-sided toasting option: Yes

Final Verdict

The Smeg Retro Style Aesthetic 2-Slice Toaster is well-built and produces evenly browned baked goods. The retro design is available in nine color choices so you can match your kitchen decor. If you prefer stainless steel appliances, try the Krups 2 Slice Stainless Steel Toaster. It has extra-wide slots to fit bagels, buns, and thick slices, and users praise its consistent performance.

What to Look for When Buying a Two-Slot Toaster

Bells and whistles

What are some features you wish your past toasters had? You can find high-tech options at affordable price points these days, many with useful functions like countdown timers, bread warmers, and automatic raising and lowering. Make a list of features you are willing to pay more for—because they are definitely worth it if you'll put it to regular use.

Slot size

Are you more of a Wonder bread eater, or do you prefer bread that produces wider and thicker slices, such as certain artisan types and bagels? Take into consideration the types of bread you will be toasting, as some toaster slots may be too small for the latter.

Heating functions

If you will be sharing this toaster with others in the household, consider a toaster with more heating functions, so those who like their breads lightly toasted will be just as happy as those who love it almost burnt. Check for options that include half settings or precise dials so each can find their perfect match.

FAQs

How do you clean a toaster? 

Most toasters are designed to be easy to clean, with a crumb tray on the bottom that can be pulled out and emptied. It’s important to clean it regularly to avoid having too many crumbs collect to the point where they could spill over into less accessible places, or where they could make contact with heating elements. The exterior can usually be cleaned with a damp cloth. 

How hot do toasters get? 

Toasters get surprisingly hot if we’re talking about the wires that provide the heat. When they’re glowing red, they’re over 1100 degrees. Of course, the heat dissipates a bit before it reached the bread, but it’s still pretty hot in that small enclosed space. That’s why it’s not wise to stick fingers into a toaster to retrieve toast when it’s done.

Do toasters toast on both sides? 

Toasters are designed to toast on both sides, but many have an option to toast on one side for bagels or other types of bread that call for single-sided toasting.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Donna Currie is a cookbook author, as well as a writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats, specializing in all the latest kitchen gadgets. She's tested over 90 products for the brand.

This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who happily makes space for any gadget that makes cooking faster and easier. She specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.