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Whether you use one to crisp a burger bun, build the perfect breakfast sandwich, heat frozen waffles for breakfast, or warm a few slices of an artisanal bread to pair with dinner, a toaster is an essential kitchen appliance to heat, crisp, and caramelize your favorite breads, bagels, and English muffins.
When it comes to the best toasters, there are models ranging from basic to fancy and everything in between. Four-slice toasters take up just a little more space than their two-slice cousins, so they’re worth considering even if you don’t always need four slices. You’ll find them in a variety of shapes, so make sure you find one that will be a perfect fit on your counter.
You'll also want to consider the settings and the size of the slots to make sure they can accommodate what you toast the most. Trying to cram a thick bagel or waffle into a too-small toaster slot can result in a crumby mess. We've researched the latest models and put together this list of the best four-slice toasters.
"A bit more" and "lift and look" features
Each side operates on its own
Breville has a reputation for quality products, like this smart toaster that uses a smart chip to control the lowering of the bread as well as the toasting time. Have you ever checked your finished toast and thought that it’s almost perfect, but it’s not quite there? This toaster takes care of that situation with the “a bit more” setting that lowers the bread again to brown it slightly more, so you don’t have to hover over the toaster or risk burning instead of browning.
Another innovative feature is the “lift and look” that raises the bread so you can check it without canceling the current toasting session, which is great when you’re toasting a new type of bread and you’re not sure how long the toasting will take. The LED display lets you monitor the toasting progress, and the toaster beeps to let you know when the bread is done. Each side of the toaster operates on its own, so you can put your thin toast on one side and a bagel on the other using the bagel feature. A defrost feature lets you thaw and toast bread perfectly.
All of these features are wrapped up in a brushed die-cast metal exterior that easily wipes clean and looks modern and attractive. People gave this toaster positive reviewers for how easy and convenient it is to use, highlighting the "a bit more" and "lift and look" features.
Seven browning settings
Numbers on knobs are a bit difficult to read
While the Cusinaid brand might not be familiar, it has high ratings from users. There are separate controls for each pair of slots, so you can toast waffles lightly while you give your raisin toast a little extra browning, choosing from among seven different settings from light to dark. You can also reheat your toast without excess browning, or toast frozen products. These features, in addition to its spacious slots, garnered the toaster rave reviews. A couple of users note, however, that it's a bit hard to read the numbers on the knobs.
A high-lift lever lifts the toast high, making it easier to retrieve small items. When it’s time to clean, this has two removable crumb trays that contain the mess.
Nine cooking settings
Easy to use and clean
No oven light
This toaster oven has nine different functions, so it can take over some extra cooking tasks along with making excellent toast. Features include toast, bagel, convection, bake, broil, reheat, and defrost. The oven has space to cook a 12-inch pizza or roast a chicken, so there’s no need to heat up the kitchen with the large oven every time. When it comes to toast, it can handle six slices at a time and has shade control that boasts even toasting no matter how light or dark you choose.
When cooking is done, the interior is nonstick, so there’s no need for hard scrubbing, and the brushed stainless steel exterior will thwart fingerprints and is easy to wipe clean. This has simple buttons to select cooking options and a dial to make selections. A blue backlit digital display makes it easy to see the setting and check the cooking time at a glance, while the large front window makes it simple to check the food as it cooks.
Many reviewers love this toaster oven's versatility: they say they're successfully able to cook a variety of foods, from toast and small pizzas to fish sticks and steak.
Unique, polished design
Long and wide slots
Includes bagel and defrost features
Toast sometimes pops outside of toaster when done
Smeg, an Italian company, has been making inroads in the American market and gaining a following thanks to the retro look of its appliances and unique color options that will make a statement in any kitchen. The exterior of this toaster is powder-coated steel with polished chrome accents.
In addition to the toaster's retro design, reviewers gave this toaster high marks for its slots: it has two that are both long and wide, so you can toast four slices of regular toast, two extra long slices, or two split bagels. When you’re toasting bagels or English muffins, the bagel setting will let you toast on one side only. This also has reheat and defrost settings. Anti-slip feet keep this steady on the counter, and the removable crumb tray makes it easy to clean. One caveat from a few reviewers: they've experienced the toast pop all the way out of the toaster when it's done toasting.
Eye-catching color and design
Motorized lift and keep-warm feature
You might know KitchenAid because of its iconic stand mixers—and this toaster includes some of the design features from the brand's 1937 mixer—giving it a modern but retro look. The candy apple red color will make a statement in your kitchen, and the toaster’s features will impress you. Watching the toast lower and raise automatically can be fun, while the ability to raise the bread to check the process without canceling the process will help avoid over-browned waffles.
The keep-warm setting will automatically activate after 45 seconds to make sure your toast will be butter-ready if you step out of the kitchen. It continues to activate for 3 minutes, giving you plenty of time to get back to the kitchen.
The four slots are wide enough for bagels and other thick pieces of bread, while the self-centering feature ensures that thin bread will toast evenly. When you’re toasting a new type of bread, you might not know exactly how long it needs, so the “a little longer” setting lets you keep toasting without changing your favorite setting for your usual bread.
Though the toaster is expensive, many reviewers said it's worth the cost due to its useful features (particularly the self-centering option and keep-warm setting) and how evenly it browns their toast.
High-lift lever and +30 second feature
Thin slices of toast may not brown evenly
Touchscreen controls on the front of the toaster and six shade settings give precise control of toasting, no matter if you’re using sandwich bread or English muffins. Features include bagel, defrost, single-slice toasting, a +30 second option when the toast needs just a little more time, and a cancel button that stops the toasting right away.
Two levers each control a pair of toast slots, and each pair can operate separately, so it’s easy to toast bagels lightly while toasting bread to a dark shade at the same time. This toaster’s display rests in standby mode when it’s not being used and wakes up at the touch of an icon, ready to help with breakfast tasks. The crumb tray is removable for easy cleaning.
The usefulness of this toaster's different features, as well as how well it toasts bagels, earned it praise from reviewers. One customer does warn, however, that whenever she toasts thin bread slices, they tend not to brown as evenly.
This Cuisinart toaster is well-reviewed by owners for its compact size and ability to evenly brown slices of toast and bagels without overcooking or leaving too much surface area un-browned. It's got a smaller footprint and price tag compared to our top pick, but it's constructed of plastic which may not be everyone's top choice.
There are controls for seven heat settings, plus reheat, defrost, and bagel settings with 1 1/2 inch wide slots–plenty of room to fit larger bagels without cramping them. It's got a removable crumb tray for easy cleaning and the lever has a lift feature to help you remove smaller items, like small rounds of French bread and English muffins, from the slots while protecting your fingers. This toaster is backed by a 3 year warranty which is one of the most generous on this list.
Fits extra-long slices of bread
Digital display and timer
Cord wrap for neat storage
With this toaster, you can toast four regular slices of bread, or take advantage of the long slots to toast two extra-long slices of artisan bread without needing to cut them. This has seven different toast darkness settings for perfect toast every time, and a digital display shows the remaining toasting time so you’ll know how soon you’ll need the butter.
Buttons for bagels, defrost, and cancel, along with a reheat setting on the toasting dial, offer plenty of options for the perfect result every time. This has a removable crumb tray for easy cleaning, and a cord wrap under the toaster keeps it neat in storage.
We chose the Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster for the top spot because of its attractive, modern design and its plethora of useful features, particularly the "a bit more" and "lift and look" options. If you're looking for something cheaper but still want extra features such as a reheat option and a high-lift lever, the Cusinaid 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster is for you.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie knows a thing or two about bread, toasted or not. The Spruce Eats writer and reviewer not only wrote a book about the bread-making process (Make Ahead Bread), but she's also written roundups on various kinds of toasters and toaster ovens for our site. Check out her picks of the best two-slice toasters.
This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a home cook who happens to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She happily makes space for any gadget that make cooking faster and easier and specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats.
What to Look for When Buying a Four-Slice Toaster
Shade settings: These adjustable settings indicate the shade level, or how toasted your bread will be. These are either shown in numbers going up to 6 or 7, indicating the brownness of the toast (from light brown to dark brown) or in minutes counting down before the toast pops up.
Standard features: Features found in most four-slice toasters include a crumb tray, lift lever (allowing you to lift the finished toast even higher to avoid getting burned), and width slots, which, depending on how wide they are, will allow you to fit and evenly toast more than just a regular slice of toast, such as bagels, artisan bread slices, pastries, and more.
Extra features: Many four-slice toasters also include extra settings and features that may prove useful depending on your needs. Examples include defrost, reheat, and keep-warm settings; a "lift and look" feature that lets you pause toasting to check doneness; "a bit more" option that lets you toast a little longer if the bread wasn't toasted to your liking; and a digital display.