We Found the 5 Best 4-Slice Toasters After Putting 20 Top-Rated Models to the Test

Zwilling’s Enfinigy Cool Touch Toaster earned the top spot on our list.

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Best 4-Slice Toasters

Food & Wine / Fred Hardy II

A perfectly toasted piece of bread is a tasty meal in and of itself, and whether you want a savory snack, a sweet treat, or a sandwich, a toaster is a crucial part of the equation. Yes, toaster ovens are undeniably versatile, but traditional slotted toasters are the best way to quickly and evenly toast bread, bagels, waffles, and Pop-Tarts. And when it comes to serving up breakfast for a crowd, nothing is more functional than a 4-slot toaster. 

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After toasting mountains of bread, bagels, and waffles in 20 different 4-slice toasters, we determined which models yielded the most perfectly golden brown and crisp results. The appliances ranged from the basic-but-serviceable Proctor Silex 4-Slice Toaster ($40) to what our testers deemed the “Tesla of Toasters” KitchenAid Pro Line model ($500).

Each toaster had a removable crumb tray and a high-lift lever (to give a little extra oomph to shorter pieces of bread that might be otherwise hard to reach), but the one that stood out to us the most was the Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch Toaster because of its sleekness, easy-to-clean body, and consistent even shading and doneness of various foods. Keep scrolling to learn more about the best and not-so-great 4-slice toasters on the market.

Best Overall

Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch 4-Slice Toaster

4.8
Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch 4-Slice Toaster

Amazon

Pros: This toaster delivered the most consistent browning in our tests, both from piece to piece as well as even coverage from edge to edge.

Cons: Crumbs and fingerprints showed easily on the top of the toaster.

The Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch Toaster evenly toasted bread, waffles, and bagels to a beautiful golden brown with a pillowy interior. Other models we tested toasted bread unevenly, with extreme light and dark patches, but on the Zwilling's medium setting, we found that the bread came out to an even brown without any scorching or charring.

Each of the numbers corresponds to an appropriate level of brownness that you would expect, and the removable crumb tray is easy to find. The slots are also wide enough to easily accommodate bagels or thick slices of bread. The matte black stainless steel casing and simple interface add a nice design, making this toaster worthy of being displayed on your countertop. While we like the uncluttered look of the clean lines, the Zwilling lacks the bells and whistles of other models that have preset functions for bagels, waffles, English muffins, and so on.

Price at time of publish: $215

  • Dimensions: 12.2 x 11.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Weight: 8.38 pounds
  • Settings: 7
  • Programs: 3
zwilling 4-slice toaster
Fred Hardy II / Food & Wine

Best Value

Cuisinart CPT-640 4-Slice Custom Select Toaster

4.8
Cuisinart CPT-640 4-Slice Custom Select Toaster

Amazon

Pros: This is an affordable toaster that outperformed many of the more expensive models we tested.

Cons: This was not the most attractive toaster we tested. Also, the knob doesn't click at different settings, making it a bit tricky to know what level you're selecting.

The reasonably priced Cuisinart CPT-640 4-Slice Metal Toaster toasted bread better than any other oven under $60 (except for the BUYDEEM, which was a tie). It's worth noting that of the five Cuisinart toasters we tested, two were among our favorites, while the other three were near the bottom of our list.

In our tests, the Cuisinart CPT-640 toasted bread evenly and didn't have any hot spots that would cause inconsistent browning. There are a surprising number of extra features for a relatively inexpensive toaster: Beyond the basic bread, bagel, and defrost setting, this toaster also has presets for waffles, pastries, English muffins, and single-slices. We also liked the satisfying click when you push the lever down to lower the bread. However, on the lightest setting the toast was a little too tight, on medium, it was slightly too dark, and on high it was a little too brown–but not burned. There is also no click when you turn the knob, so it's a bit harder to know which level you've set. If you make your toast the same every day, however, this wouldn't be much of an issue. And while this wasn't our favorite design-wise, overall it is a solid, consistent toaster at an affordable price point.

Price at time of publish: $60

  • Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 9.25 inches
  • Weight: 7.3 pounds
  • Settings: 7
  • Programs: 7
cuisinart 4-slice toaster
Fred Hardy II / Food & Wine

Best Splurge

KitchenAid Pro Line Series KMT4203SR

Kitchen Aid Pro Line Series KMT4203SR

Amazon

Pros: This is a beautiful countertop toaster that performs well for toasting bread, bagels, and more. 

Cons: It’s large and heavy, meaning it might require a permanent spot on your countertop. 

We know what you’re thinking: This is an extremely expensive toaster, but hear us out. We don’t know the price of each product we test until we’ve completed all the tests. Of course, we were a little taken aback by the high number, but after seeing its outstanding performance, it’s worth the price. “Given the brand name and the features, you would be happy if you spent the money on this,” one tester said. 

During the bread test, the results were “almost perfect,” with even shading and the intended doneness. We also had success with the bagels; however, we recommend using the highest setting to get the golden exterior you would expect on a medium setting. What really makes this toaster stand out from the others is its innovative features. For example, when you place a piece of bread in the slot, it automatically lowers it to toast on your selected setting, and if you don’t remove it after 45 seconds after it’s done, the device will lower the toast back down to stay warm for up to three minutes. “This is the Tesla of toasters,” one tester said, emphasizing its advanced technology.  

If you plan on leaving your toaster on the countertop, this one is an excellent choice to keep your space looking sleek and updated. Overall, it works beautifully and produces consistent results. 

Price at time of publish: $500

  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 15.5 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 19 pounds 
  • Settings: 7
  • Programs: 4
KitchenAid KMT4203SR Pro Line Series

Fred Hardy II / Food & Wine

Best with Large Slots

BUYDEEM DT640 4-Slice Toaster

Toaster

BUYDEEM

Pros: This toaster performed well across the board, and the 1.4-inch slots were wider than any of the other models we tested.

Cons: Its lightweight casing made this toaster feel less sturdy than the other models we tested

The Buydeem was a close runner-up for both the Best Overall and Best Value categories, performing well in the bread and waffle toasting tests with good overall progressions from light to medium to dark at each setting. However, it occasionally unevenly toasted the bagels, and we felt the lightweight casing and plastic buttons looked and felt rather cheap.

The design is straightforward with three buttons corresponding to preset functions, though it's unclear what kind of muffin would fit into a toaster slot. If color is your thing, in addition to standard stainless steel, this toaster also comes in minty green and buttery yellow. The crumb tray is not intuitively placed and our testers had to puzzle out how to remove it.

Price at time of publish: $80

  • Dimensions: 6.9 x 12.2 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 7.63 pounds
  • Settings: 7
  • Programs: 4
buydeem 4-slice toaster
Fred Hardy II / Food & Wine

Best Touchscreen

Cuisinart CPT-T40 4-Slice Touchscreen Toaster

4.9
Cuisinart CPT-T40 4-Slice Touchscreen Toaster

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: This toaster has a sleek, modern design that is a head-turner atop any counter.

Cons: Temperatures skewed high, making it easy to burn the bread.

While the design of the Cuisinart CPT-T40 isn't the flashiest we tested, it is perhaps the sleekest and certainly the most clever. When powered off, this toaster looks like a sleek black box, but when you turn it on, the unit lights up to reveal backlit touchscreen buttons. There's also a handy progress bar, and the toaster dings pleasantly when done.

Despite advertising 1.5-inch slots, due to the internal construction, we found that bagels were a snugger fit in this model than they were in any of the others (including our Wide Slot pick, which has 1.4-inch slots). And while we were able to achieve desirable levels of even browning, this toaster tended to run hot: "Medium" yielded dark brown toast, and "high" resulted in inedible burnt bread.

Price at time of publish: $70

  • Dimensions: 11 x 10.4 x 7.2 inches
  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Settings: 6
  • Programs: 4
cuisinart touchscreen 4-slice toaster
Fred Hardy II / Food & Wine

Our Favorite

In all of the toasters we tested, it took some fine-tuning to find the perfect setting for perfectly golden-brown toast. Across the board, the lowest setting barely warmed the bread and imparted no color, while the highest setting toasted bread to unappetizing shades of dark brown or, worse, set off the smoke alarm. Overall, the best option is the Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch Toaster.

Factors to Consider

Features

Beyond toasting performance, a good toaster should be intuitive to use, with easily identifiable controls (some models have unintelligible icons for specific settings – for instance, on the Smeg ​​the bagel button more closely resembles a baguette), and easy to use temperature adjuster. The most basic features should include temperature controls (usually between 150 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and adjustable toast-shade settings. If you keep your bread in the freezer, it’s important to choose a toaster that has a defrost function so your food is reheated to perfection. For bagel lovers, toasters with a bagel setting are a must to give the sliced side the ideal texture and color.

Appearance

Toasters typically live on the countertop full-time, so it’s important that you like the way they look. If the majority of your kitchen appliances are stainless steel, you might consider a 4-slice toaster with the same finish. There are plenty of neutral color options, but you can also find vibrant shades if that’s more your style.

Ease of cleaning

With regular use, your toaster will attract fingerprints and build up crumbs that fall to the bottom of the slots. In our tests, the Smeg showed no fingerprints at all, and the Zwilling showed very few. Otherwise, most models were restored to their luster with a damp cloth wipe down. One underwhelming exception was the All-Clad, where wiped fingerprints simply turned into stubborn streaks. To tackle crumbs, make sure you get a model with a removable crumb tray (nearly all do). Not only will this make cleaning easier, but turning your toaster upside down to dump out crumbs can damage the delicate heating elements.

bagels 4-slice toaster
Fred Hardy II / Food & Wine

The Tests

In our test kitchen, we compared 20 different 4-slice toasters, putting each model through a series of tests. The first test for each toaster was, unsurprisingly, bread. We toasted four slices of bread in each toaster three times (on low, medium, and high settings) and took notes on the results, evaluating how evenly toasted the bread was, the doneness, and how long each of the settings took. Then, if the model had a bagel setting, we placed four bagels and evaluated the results. For our final test, we used frozen waffles to see how well toasters with a defrost setting performed. In addition to these three tests, we scored each toaster on ease of cleaning, the look and feel of its components (buttons, knobs, and casing), and the overall intuitiveness of its features.

zwilling 4 slice toaster
Fred Hardy / Food & Wine
Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do toasters work?

    When you push the lever down on a toaster, a spring-loaded tray lowers the bread into the toaster into the slot between two sets of heating elements. The elements rapidly heat up and toast your bread for a set amount of time. The numbers on your toaster's dial roughly correlate to the number of minutes the bread will toast. When the timer goes off, the spring releases, popping the bread up and out of the toaster.

  • How long do toasters last?

    You can expect your toaster to last for about five years of daily use, though if you use it less often, it will last longer. Modern toasters infamously don't last as long as their vintage predecessors, some of which are still operational after 60-plus years. This is because early toasters used a nickel alloy in their heating coils, which was strong and ductile. Modern heating elements are made with an iron-heavy aluminum alloy which, while corrosive-resistant, is more brittle and less ductile.

  • How do you clean a toaster?

    A removable crumb tray is a crucial part of regular toaster maintenance, both to prevent pests as well as the risks of dried crumbs building up and catching fire. You also shouldn't flip your toaster and shake it to get rid of crumbs, as this can damage the delicate interior heating elements. All of the toasters we recommend include removable crumb trays, and we don't recommend you buy a toaster without one.

What Didn't Make The List

Strong Contenders

All-Clad TJ824D51 Stainless Steel Digital Toaster ($180 at Amazon)

This model had some useful features, such as the countdown timer, but we didn’t like that you couldn’t select settings until the food was dropped down. For a higher price, it didn’t wow us during any of the tests. 

KitchenAid KMT4115 4-Slice Toaster ($80 at Amazon)

If you’re looking for a toaster primarily for bagels, this one is a good choice, as it gave the exterior a nice crunch and left the inside fairly soft. As for bread, the toaster skewed dark to burnt. 

Smeg Retro-Style 4-Slice Toaster ($250 at Amazon)

There’s no denying that this is a stylish toaster for those who love a retro-inspired design. However, its performance wasn’t as impressive as its appearance. 

Proctor Silex 4-Slice Toaster ($40 at Home Depot)

While this toaster is a great value, it was very clear which side the heating element was on — there was a clear ombre of browning from right to left in the toast.

Elite Platinum Cool Touch Long Slot Toaster ($35 at Amazon)

The long slots were nice for rustic bread, but this toaster didn’t include a bagel function. We also found that the knobs and weight of the toaster felt cheap.

Results Still Simmering

Breville BTA830XL Die-Cast Smart Toaster 4-Slice Long Slot Toaster ($200 at Amazon)

The automated function of lowering and raising the bread was a plus, but ultimately it's a "fashion" function that doesn't serve a real purpose. Plus, our testers said that “the progression is too extreme” for the doneness settings because the high setting was way too dark. 

Cuisinart CPT-435 Countdown 4-Slice Toaster ($79 at Amazon

This wasn’t the worst toaster we tested, but it wasn’t the best. At the same price point, there are superior options available. It also skewed hotter than any of the other toasters — on the highest setting the toast was black and smoking. 

Breville BTA720XL Bit More Toaster ($150 at Amazon)

We like the “bit more” feature, but took points away when the unit started to smoke. Any setting above three produced burnt-like results. 

Oster Black Stainless Toaster ($60 at Amazon)

“It looks great but doesn’t perform great,” our testers said. The toasted bread had inconsistent browning, and the bagel function was a flop — both sides were heating the bagel, leaving the exterior charred. 

Hamilton Beach Extra Wide Slot Toaster ($55 at Amazon)

For the price, we were fairly pleased with the results from the bread test, producing a beautiful golden brown finish. However, the features didn’t work as promised, especially the bagel function. 

Low Performers

Sunbeam Wide Slot 4-Slice Toaster ($45 at Amazon)

This toaster missed the mark on all our tests and felt cheap. The bagel feature didn’t work, as both sides were very dark, and there was inconsistency during the bread test. 

Cuisinart CPT-142 4-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster ($50 at Amazon)

“This is not the reliable toaster you want in your kitchen,” one tester said. It skews high on browning, and the slots are tight for bagels. 

Cuisinart Classic 4 Slice Toaster CPT-180WP1 ($60 at Amazon)

This toaster runs very light even on the highest setting, meaning you would have to toast your bread a few times to get a true dark color. The bagel function didn’t work and overall felt cheaply made. “By far one of my least favorite toasters,” one tester claimed. 

Dualit 4-Slice, 4-Slot Toaster ($380 at Amazon)

This toaster emits a loud whirring noise while it toasts. That, plus limited features and inconsistent toasting didn’t impress our testers. 

KRUPS 4-Slot Toaster ($80 at Amazon)

“Lots left to be desired here,” one tester said. The bulky size takes up a lot of room on the countertop and in testing, the browning was inconsistent. It’s also a fingerprint magnet.

Our Expertise

Liz Mundle is a writer, editor, and chef in New York City with over a decade of experience in kitchens and magazines. Her writing has appeared in Food & Wine, Saveur, and Domino, among others. She is opening Circus Provisions, a specialty grocery store in Brooklyn, early next year. For this article, she analyzed the insights from our testers to determine the best 4-slice toasters on the market. 

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