The toaster is a staple appliance in most households and is called into action on a daily basis. But if your toaster isn't cooking both sides of the bread evenly or has simply given up the ghost, it might be time to upgrade to a newer model.
There are plenty of options available, with prices ranging from $20 to $400. Some top-line models offer features that turn the humble toaster into an advanced kitchen appliance.
So what features should you look for in a toaster and how much should you pay? Keep reading to find out.
Compare some of the best toasters
Why should I consider a new toaster?
A toaster is something you rarely even notice is there – until something goes wrong.
Maybe your current toaster is reluctant to relinquish your freshly cooked bread, forcing you to mangle your breakfast beyond recognition just to get it to your plate. Maybe its cooking performance leaves a little to be desired, resulting in toast that's soft on one side but burnt on the other. Or maybe your ageing toaster has simply come to the end of its life and will never experience the sweet sensation of heating bread again.
If any of the above scenarios are true, or if you simply need something that can better cater to the breakfast needs of your growing family, it's time to buy a new toaster.
Why shouldn't I consider a new toaster?
If it ain't broke – you know the rest. If your toaster is in perfect working order, why bother investing in a new one? No-one actually needs the latest and greatest toasting tech, no matter how many clever and convenient features it may have.
If your cheap and cheerful two-slice toaster meets all your needs, wait until it starts acting up before you think about upgrading.
What types are available?
There are generally two types of toasters to choose from:
- Most toasters cook two slices of bread in a side-by-side arrangement. They're a popular choice and are generally compact enough to fit on most benchtops.
- For big and busy families, a four-slice toaster has more space to ensure that everyone gets breakfast on time. As you'd expect, they're bulkier and more expensive than two-slice toasters. However, many models also offer increased flexibility – for example, you may be able to cook toast in two slots and crumpets in the other two, with different settings for each breakfast food.
How to compare toasters
Though they're essentially very basic appliances, modern toasters come with a wide range of useful features. Just about every major appliance manufacturer offers at least one model of toaster including Sunbeam, Smeg, KitchenAid, Kambrook and Breville.
If all you want is a basic appliance to make your morning toast, you probably don't need to spend more than $30 or $40. Of course, spending more will help you find a model built from better-quality materials and offering advanced features and settings. Prices go up to $400 or more in some cases.
Here's what you need to take into account when weighing up your options:
Which toaster is best for me?
The best toaster for you depends on how much toast you need to make, the essential features you need in a toaster and how much you're willing to spend. Once you know what you're looking for, you can compare toasters to find one that's right for your needs.
To help make this process easier, we've compared the pros and cons of five popular toasters in the table below:
|The good||The bad|
Toaster and kettle packs
If you're also shopping for a new kettle, or if you simply want your toaster and kettle to match, some appliance manufacturers sell toaster and kettle packages. These can help you save money compared to shopping for each appliance separately. However, make sure you compare prices closely to determine whether a toaster and kettle package offers good value for money.
Alternatively, you might want to consider buying a kettle separately, in which case you should check out our guide to the best designer kettles.
But if you want to buy a new toaster for your kitchen, start comparing your options today.
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