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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.
Here is our list of the best four-slice toasters.
Best Overall: Cuisinart CPT-180P1 4-Slice Classic Metal Toaster
Not too large or small
Dual control panel
Clear, easy-to-read dials
Power cord could be longer
Cuisinart makes some of the most popular two- and four-slice toasters on the market today. This four-slice toaster is advertised as two toasters in one, since it has dual control panels. If you like your bread more well-done than your significant other does, this allows you to customize different toast settings at the same time.
The toaster slots measure extra-wide at 1 1/2 inches apiece, which can fit thicker bagels and pastries. There are six browning settings on an easy to operate dial, plus buttons for reheating, defrosting (think frozen waffles and toaster pastries), and bagels. An extra-lift lever is standard on most toasters today, including this model, and helps you remove your toasted items without having to touch the hot toaster.
It's housed in brushed stainless steel, so it looks modern with some hints of retro design for fun. It's available in other several color options, including black stainless steel, metallic red, and stainless with white accents. A cord wrap helps keep counters looking tidy and a slide-out crumb tray helps keep the toaster clean.
Many reviewers say this toaster is easy to use and consistently produces evenly browned slices of both thin and thick-cut bread without drying them out too much.
Number of Slots: 4 | High-lift Lever: Yes | Removable Crumb Tray: Yes | Dimensions: 10.65 x 11.15 x 7.50 inches | Warranty: 3 years
Runner-Up, Best Overall: KRUPS KH734D Breakfast Set 4-Slot Toaster
Extra-long power cord with built-in storage
Small buttons may be hard to see
Dials are smaller than our top pick
Priced and sized similarly to our top pick, this brushed and polished stainless steel model from KRUPS looks good, is easy to use, and reviewers who've owned it for several years say it toasts evenly day in and day out.
The toaster slots are generously sized to accommodate thicker sliced bread, bagels, and buns. The slots are also self-centering to ensure whatever you're toasting is lined up against the heating elements to ensure even heating and browning. There are six browning settings to choose from on a dial. It's also easy to choose a shade and a half according to the hash marks between each browning setting.
There are buttons to select defrost, reheat, or bagel settings and a high-lift lever to help you pull out your toast without burning your fingers. There's also a removable crumb tray and built-in cord storage. Everything is covered by a two-year warranty.
Number of Slots: 4 | High-lift Lever: Yes | Removable Crumb Tray: Yes | Dimensions: 13.5 x 13.34 x 8.58 inches | Warranty: 2 years
Different types of bread brown at different speeds. Depending on what type of bread you're toasting, you'll need to adjust the browning setting to get your favorite amount of doneness.
Lighter bread, like white or potato, tend to brown faster and might require a lower browning setting than a sprouted bread that has a lot of seeds and whole grains in it. The best way to find your perfect slice is to experiment with your favorite bread and then remember that setting.
Best Space-Saving: Cuisinart CPT-142 4-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster
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 a slot width of 1 1/2 inches–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.
Number of Slots: 4 | High-lift Lever: Yes | Removable Crumb Tray: Yes | Dimensions: 10.8 x 10.7 x 7.2 inches | Warranty: 3 years
"Small pieces of bread, like rounds of French baguettes, can get stuck in large toaster slots and be hard to remove even with a lift feature. I like to keep a small pair of wooden tongs to protect my fingers when pulling small and extra-hot items out of my toaster." — Sharon Lehman, Small Appliance Expert, The Spruce Eats
Best for Bagels: Cuisinart CPT-T40 4-Slice Touchscreen Toaster
High-lift lever and +30 second feature
Thin bread slices 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.
Number of Slots: 4 | High-lift Lever: Yes | Removable Crumb Tray: Yes | Dimensions: 11 x 10.35 x 7.2 inches | Warranty: 3 years
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach 24810 Keep Warm 4-Slice Long Slot Toaster
Handy keep-warm feature
Can't turn off end-of-cycle beeping
If you want the ability to toast up to four slices of bread at a time, but have limited counter space, you'll want to check out this budget-friendly two-slot model from Hamilton Beach. The slots are designed with extra length and width to fit four slices of bread, bagel halves, or English muffins side by side.
You won't get the dual control panels pricier toasters offer, but the seven-setting dial gives you plenty of browning control. What really makes this model shine is the "keep warm" setting. If you get distracted cooking something or forget to grab your bread right when it's hot and ready, choosing that feature allows you to reheat your toast for an extra three minutes without it burning or drying out.
It also has a lever lift to help you pop toast from the slots, an under-base cord wrap, and a three-beep notification to signal the end of each toasting cycle. Some reviewers don't like that the beeping can't be turned off, but if you often forget about your toast, you might appreciate the extra reminder.
Number of Slots: 2 | High-Lift Lever: Yes | Removable Crumb Tray: Yes | Dimensions: 7.78 x 7.5 x 15.77 inches | Warranty: 1 year
Best Long Slot: Lofter 4-Slice Long Slot Toaster MD180013
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 neatly in storage.
Number of Slots: 2 | High-Lift Lever: Yes | Removable Crumb Tray: Yes | Dimensions: 17.72 x 7.68 x 8.27 inches | Warranty: 1 year
Best Design: Smeg 50's Retro Style Aesthetic 4-Slice Toaster
Long, wide slots
Includes bagel and defrost features
Toast sometimes pops out of toaster
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.
Number of Slots: 2 | High-Lift Lever: Yes | Removable Crumb Tray: Yes | Dimensions: 15.99 x 8.11 x 8.38 inches | Warranty: 2 years
Best High-End: KitchenAid 4-Slice Pro Line Toaster
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 three 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.
Number of Slots: 4 | High-Lift Lever: No | Removable Crumb Tray: Yes | Dimensions: 13.7 x 12.7 x 9 inches | Warranty: Limited 5 years
We chose the Cuisinart CPT-180P1 4-Slice Classic Metal Toaster (view at Amazon) for the top spot because of its attractive, retro-modern design and its easy to read browning dials and button settings. If you're looking for something less expensive, but still want extra features, such as a "keep warm" option and high-lift lever, the Hamilton Beach Keep Warm 4-Slice Long Slot Toaster (view at Amazon) is for you.
What to Look for When Buying a Four-Slice Toaster
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.
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.
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.
How do you clean a toaster?
Before cleaning your toaster, unplug it and make sure it's completely cooled down. Then, remove the crumb tray and shake loose crumbs from the tray into a trashcan or the sink. The tray can be washed by hand, if needed, and should be completely dry before returning it to the toaster.
It's also a good idea to turn the actual toaster upside down and give it a shake over the trash can or sink to dislodge any additional crumbs. If any crumbs remain, you can use a small brush to clean them from the toaster slots.
The outside of the toaster and controls can be wiped down with a damp cloth.
What do the numbers on a toaster mean?
The numbers on a toaster are meant to be a guide to level of toast doneness, but they vary from toaster to toaster. Turning the dial to "2" on different toasters will likely result in very different levels of browned toast.
On high-end toaster models, the numbers sometimes correlate to actual time, but again, that's not the case on all toasters.
It's best to experiment with a few slices of bread to figure out what each setting on your toaster produces and find the settings that meet your preferences.
What does the bagel setting on a toaster do?
The bagel setting lets the toaster know you're toasting something thicker, like a bagel or English muffin, which requires more time heat through and toast evenly. The toaster automatically increases the toasting time when this function is used.
Can you put foil in a toaster?
Even though aluminum foil is designed to withstand heat, it's not a good idea to use it in a toaster. There just isn't enough clearance in toaster slots to make sure the foil isn't touching the heating elements. Save the foil for a toaster oven or standard oven.
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 makes cooking faster and easier, and specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats.