The 7 Best 2-Slice Toasters of 2023

Breakfast for a pair, popping up now in a kitchen near you

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Best 2-Slice Toasters

The Spruce Eats / Danie Drankwalter

For well over 100 years, the electric toaster has been an indispensable kitchen appliance. It's easy to use, a simple way to make a quick, hot breakfast. Today's toasters continue to innovate, with a range of features from one-sided toasting for bagels, special lift levers, and removable crumb trays for cleaning, to smart self-sensing cooking and digital screens for choosing from dozens of options. You can find a toaster with a sleek, modern look that might have come straight from a design studio, or a basic one that's hardly changed in decades. We researched the many options out there to pick our recommendations: the best 2-slice toasters to give you perfectly browned bread, every time.

Best Overall

Hamilton Beach Keep Warm 2-Slice Toaster (22811)



What We Like
  • Seven toasting settings

  • High-lift lever

  • Easy to clean

  • Bagel and defrost settings work well

What We Don't Like
  • Can't fit larger slices and bagels

  • Exterior smudges easily

  • Bad smell on first use

This Hamilton Beach model is kind of the archetypal two-slice toaster—basic, affordable, and easy to use—but it also has some extra features, with seven different toast settings on the dial as well as defrost and single-sided bagel modes, plus a "toast boost" lever to lift up smaller pieces, and a keep-warm mode that holds toast hot for an extra three minutes without any extra browning. We got excellent results with all seven toast levels, with just-barely-browned bread on level 1 and dark-but-not-burnt toast on level 7. The settings for bagels (which only toasts from one side) and frozen foods (which starts cooler to defrost the inside and ends hotter for full toasting) both worked very well. Cleanup is also simple, thanks to a slide-out crumb tray.

This toaster claims to have extra-wide slots, but they don't seem much bigger than a standard toaster—when we toasted an extra-puffy bagel it needed a little pushing and wriggling to get in and out. We also noticed a burning-plastic smell upon first use. This went away and didn't return, but we'd advise running the toaster empty once or twice before you put any food in it.

Price at time of publish: $60

hamilton beach 2-slice toaster next to different shades of toasted bread

The Spruce Eats / Camryn Rabideau

Dimensions: 7.5 x 7.5 X 11.3 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds | Power: 800 watts | Toasting Levels: 7

Runner-Up, Best Overall

Krups 2-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster (KH732D50)

Krups 2-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster (KH732D50)


What We Like
  • LED light-up buttons

  • Extra-large slots

  • High-lift lever for smaller slices

What We Don't Like
  • Slow toasting

  • Exterior gets hot when in use

This toaster combines aesthetics with quality performance. With its stainless-steel exterior, it's sleek, eye-catching, and will fit right in beside other countertop appliances. It has extra-wide slots that can fit bagels, English muffins, waffles, and even thick hamburger buns. The lever also has a high-lift feature to help you retrieve smaller items without burning your fingers.

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

Price at time of publish: $60

Dimensions: 9.8 x 9.3 x 14 inches | Slot Width: 1 inch | Weight: 3.3 pounds | Power: 800 watts | Toasting Levels: 6

Best Budget

BLACK+DECKER TR1278B 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster



What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Full-featured

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Top gets very hot

  • No setting indicator light

It might be the least-expensive toaster on our list, but this Black+Decker does pretty much everything a pricier machine can. It offers seven levels of toasting, plus bagel and frozen-food settings, and it's extra-wide, self-adjusting slots can handle larger breads with ease. There's a high-lift level to remove the toast, plus a crumb tray for cleaning. (The tray drops down from the bottom rather than pulling out from the side, however, which is a bit less convenient as you have to hold the whole toaster over the sink or trash can.)

It's annoying, however, that the frozen and bagel buttons don't have any lights or other indicator that they're in use. The exterior also gets quite hot during toasting, especially at the top. Be careful when using this machine, and don't try to clean it until it's cooled completely.

Price at time of publish: $30

Dimensions: 8.6 x 9 x 12.3 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds | Power: 850 watts | Toasting Levels: 7

Best Design

Smeg Retro Style Aesthetic 2-Slice Toaster

Smeg Retro Style Aesthetic 2-Slice Toaster


What We Like
  • Precise toasting settings

  • Stylish design

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Toast can pop all the way out of the machine

There's no doubt about it: This attractive toaster, available in an array of striking colors, will stand out on your counter. But it's not just the look: Like Smeg's other retro-styled appliances, this one is fully up-to-date on the inside. Users praise the solid build, ease of use, and even toasting.

The toaster's features include wide, self-centering racks that can toast a bagel as evenly as a thin slice of multigrain, as well as six different toasting levels (technically more, as you can dial up settings in between the six numbers). It also has reheat and defrost settings, plus one-sided toasting for bagels and English muffins. The sturdy stainless-steel crumb tray pulls out for easy cleaning and the toaster's non-slip feet keep it steady on the counter. In testing, we got extremely consistent results from batch to batch, though the color was a bit lighter on bagel mode: If you like a darkly toasted bagel, you should crank up the temperature or maybe run a second cycle.

At the end of cooking, the toast pops up automatically—with maybe even too much force. The slices fly all the way out of the machine and could potentially end up on the floor. (There's also no lift feature to raise the toast higher, so you may need wooden tongs to retrieve slices that don't pop all the way out. Plus, that attractive '50s style carries a high price tag.

Price at time of publish: $200

Dimensions: 7.8 x 7.8 x 12.3 inches | Slot Width: 1.4 inches | Weight: 5.4 pounds | Power: 950 watts | Toasting Levels: 6

What Our Experts Say

The most important feature to have in a two-slice toaster? "Even, high heat," says Jesse Ziff Cool, author of "Toast: 60 Ways to Butter Your Bread and Then Some." "I also like the option of a bigger opening for thicker slices.”

Best Toaster Oven

Breville The Compact Smart Oven

Breville Compact Smart Oven


What We Like
  • Multifunctional

  • Powerful

  • Large capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Top gets hot during use

  • Expensive

Breville's Mini Smart Oven can toast two slices of bread easily. It can also toast four slices of bread, make cookies, or bake an 11-inch pizza. If you want a multifunctional device that doesn't take up as much space as a full-size toaster oven, it could be the perfect choice. Unlike the pop-up toaster, this device can also bake, broil, and roast on its horizontal rack.

In our Lab testing of toasters, the full-size Breville Smart Oven was our favorite toaster oven, and this model boasts the same amount of power with a smaller footprint. Its 1,800 watts make it heat up super-fast, and its automatic smart controls adjust the settings of its four quartz heating elements independently to maintain consistent temperature. On toast mode, you can choose from seven different darkness levels and tell it how many slices you're making for absolute perfect results. For easy cleaning, the interior of the oven has a nonstick surface, and it comes with an enamel baking pan for things like cookies or chicken. The top of this toaster oven gets hot during use, so you should avoid placing it directly under cabinets.

Price at time of publish: $160

Dimensions: 8.8 x 13.6 x 16 inches | Weight: 15.2 pounds | Power: 1,800 watts | Toasting Levels: 7

Best Smart

Cuisinart 2-Slice Motorized Toaster

Cuisinart 2-Slice Motorized Toaster


What We Like
  • Lever-less auto-lift design

  • Lots of toasting options

  • Memory setting

What We Don't Like
  • Narrow slots

  • Expensive

A pop-up toaster with no lever? This machine comes from the future. Cuisinart's motorized toaster lowers and raises the bread automatically, with a countdown timer so you can see at a glance how soon you’ll have toast to butter. The lack of a lever gives the toaster a clean and attractive look, while its LCD screen makes it easy to navigate through its many settings.

You can choose from seven different browning levels, and you can also specify the type of bread you're toasting, for ideal results with bagels, waffles, English muffins, and standard slices. There's a defrost setting that first thaws your baked goods before toasting, and a reheat option that warms the bread without further browning. There's also a "memory" button you can set to run your favorite cooking program with one touch.

Online reviewers report good results, which they ought to for this relatively expensive appliance. The slots are also somewhat narrow—they can fit a standard bagel without difficulty, but if you often toast oversized items you might want a larger machine.

Price at time of publish: $80

Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 7.8 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Power: 300 watts | Toasting Levels: 7

What Our Experts Say

On the ideal slice of toast, Jesse Ziff Cool, author of "Toast: 60 Ways to Butter Your Bread and Then Some," says it should be "crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. Maybe even a few charred edges—I got that from my mom."

Best Splurge

KitchenAid Pro Line Series 2-Slice Automatic Toaster

KitchenAid Pro Line Series 2-Slice Automatic Toaster


What We Like
  • Chic design

  • Even toasting

  • Lowers bread automatically

What We Don't Like
  • Large and heavy

  • Very expensive

Talk about a luxury toaster! This KitchenAid has an unmistakable design, looking much like the brand's classic stand mixer and available in pearl white, candy apple red, and onyx black finishes. Its features set it apart, too: The toaster slots lower automatically when bread is sensed and lift automatically when the toast is done. There are seven toasting shades and options for one-sided toasting for bagels, as well as settings for frozen bread and an "a little longer" button that gives toast a browning boost. It also automatically switches to a keep-warm mode after toasting, which will keep your toast warm for three extra minutes without further browning. 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.

Price at time of publish: $300

Dimensions: 7.1 x 8.9 x 13.7 inches | Slot Width: 1.1 inches | Weight: 12 pounds | Power: 900 watts | Toasting Levels: 7

Final Verdict

Our top choice is the Hamilton Beach Keep Warm 2-Slice Toaster, an effective full-featured, and easy-to-use machine. For a budget pick, we recommend the Black+Decker 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster.

What to Look for in a Two-Slice Toaster

Features and Functions

Any toaster should be able to toast bread. A good toaster will let you adjust the level of toasting and offer other options beyond that. Most machines have several options for toast darkness, along with settings for other types of breads. If there's a bagel or English muffin setting, it typically toasts from only one side to get a browned top ready for butter or a schmear. A frozen food setting starts at a lower temperature and then gets hotter, so foods like frozen waffles thaw all the way through before getting browned. Other machines have a reheat or keep-warm mode, which warms food up without creating additional browning.

Some features help with loading the toaster, too. The slot might have a self-centering mechanism to ensure any width slice gets cooked evenly, or automatic lowering and raising features that eliminate the need for a lever. (Some units with a lever let you lift it up extra-high to retrieve smaller items, too.) A more full-featured toaster will probably cost more, so consider whether or not you'll actually use all those bells and whistles.

Slot Size

Are you more of a thin white toast eater, or do you heat up bagels, pastries, or hearty slices of whole-grain often? If a toaster's slots are too narrow, you might not be able to fit the breads you want, or they might sit too close to the heating elements and get burned. If a toaster gives width measurements for its slots or brags about its capacity, it's a good bet it's on the wider side. But a really wide slot can also make bread sit off-center and cook unevenly; look for a self-centering mechanism if you plan to toast lots of differently sized foods.

If you'll 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 everyone can find their perfect match.


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. Others have a crumb door in the bottom that opens to let out any burnt bits. It’s important to clean your toaster regularly to avoid crumbs building up inside, where they could give toast a burnt flavor or even catch fire. However, you should never get water or any other liquid inside the toaster; this can make the electrical components short out and break the machine. If the exterior gets dirty, you can usually just wipe it off with a damp cloth.

How hot do toasters get? 

The heating element wires in a toaster get surprisingly hot. When they’re glowing red, they’re over 1,100 degrees! That high heat is needed to rapidly bring the surface of the bread over 310 degrees, where the Maillard reaction that creates browning and toasty flavors occurs. Unlike a more slow-heating oven or stove, a toaster is meant to get really hot really fast, which is why it’s never wise to stick your fingers in the toaster to retrieve bread. (This is where a high-lift lever might come in handy.)

Do toasters toast on both sides? 

Generally, yes. Pop-up-style toasters almost always have heating elements on both sides of the bread to brown top and bottom at the same time. However, many models have a bagel or English muffin mode that activates only one of the heating elements to brown just the sliced side.

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, and Jason Horn, a The Spruce Eats commerce writer who bakes a loaf of bread nearly every week and eats most of it in toast form.


Jesse Ziff Cool is the author of "Toast: 60 Ways to Butter Your Bread and Then Some."

Additional reporting by
Sharon Lehman, RDN,
Sharon Lehman
Sharon Lehman is a freelance writer and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in food, health, and wellness topics. She is the Small Appliance Expert for The Spruce Eats.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Katya Weiss-Andersson,
Katya Weiss-Andersson
Katya Weiss-Andersson is a commerce editor for The Spruce Eats. With eight years of experience as a professional chef cooking in cramped kitchens and developing recipes with limited space and equipment, Katya has become an expert on how to make life easier in the kitchen.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Taylor Rock,
taylor rock the spruce eats
Taylor is an editor on the commerce team, where she creates and edits copy for The Spruce Eats. She joined Dotdash Meredith in November 2020, but her admiration for food and drink is lifelong.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Jason Horn
Jason Horn
Jason Horn has been writing about food and drinks for more than 15 years and is a Commerce Writer for The Spruce Eats. He once convinced Matthew McConaughey that a hot dog is indeed a sandwich.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
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