5 Best Compact Toasters in 2021

Grace
Latest posts by Grace (see all)

We all know what a toaster is and what it does. It toasts bread, plain and simple, and does so arguably better than a toaster oven. If you want to buy a compact toaster that won’t take too much counter space in your small kitchen or office, I am going to help you choose the best small toaster on the market today.

  1. 👛 The Budget Pick: Oster 2-Slice Compact Toaster
  2. ⭐ The Performance Pick: Breville Smart Toaster
  3. The Even Cheaper Pick: Cuisinart CPT-122
  4. The Stainless Steel Pick: Cuisinart CPT-160P1
  5. The Digital Pick: Cuisinart CPT-240

Compact Toaster Features

These are the basic features I expect the contender for the best toaster to have. I only consider models that check the following boxes:

  • Footprint that is compact and does not take up limited space
  • Toasting that is quick and reliable
  • Ability to toast bread, thick bagel halves and pastries like pancakes or English muffins, including special options and slots wide enough
  • Defrost and Reheat settings
  • Shade settings to make your bread light or dark enough by applying different levels of heat
  • Naturally, common features like a high-lift carriage, a slide-out crumb tray and a Cancel button

As an Amazon associate I may earn a commission from a purchase you make. This does not increase cost for you or influence my decision.

Toast on a plate

My Recommendation, Based on Your Budget

Having decided on the features, there are two main choices that people make based on their budget preferences: there is the “lean and mean” crowd and the “buy-it-for-life” crowd. Based on your preference, I recommend either:

The Budget Pick: Oster 2-Slice Toaster

Oster 2 Slice, Bread, Bagel Toaster, Metallic Grey
  • ADVANCED TOAST TECHNOLOGY: Designed with Advanced Toast Technology and auto-adjusting bread guides for consistent, even toasting, every time
  • EXTRA-WIDE SLOTS: Made with 2 extra-wide slots to easily accommodate a variety of bread types, from bagels to artisanal breads
  • 7 SHADE SETTINGS: Features 7 toast shade presets from light to dark, to make it easy to customize your toasted bread just the way you like it
  • CUSTOMIZABLE TOASTING TIMES: Bagel, Frozen and Pastry settings automatically adjust toasting times, for perfectly toasted results
  • LIFT LEVER: Integrated high-rise lever lifts toast out for easy retrieval

This is the compact toaster if you’re looking for the best combination of price, reliability and consistency. Your bread will come out quickly, it will be evenly brown, and it looks great on the kitchen counter. Plus, Oster is a reputable brand and this model has been praised by reviewers.

Pros

  • Quick and even toasting
  • Handsome exterior

Cons

  • Outside may get hot
  • When using the Bagel setting, one side of the bagel does not get toasted at all. Use the Toast setting instead

The Performance Pick: Breville BTA820XL Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toaster

Sale
Breville BTA820XL Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toaster, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville 2-Slice Smart Toaster is a compact toaster that lets you feel in control; One touch automation lets you monitor your toast's progress using "Lift & Look" and add extra time using " A Bit More" to toast your favorite bread types to perfection
  • INNOVATIVE FEATURES: 'Lift & Look' and 'A Bit More' allow you to check on your toast or add a little extra time without interrupting the toasting cycle; The bagel function ensures even heat for even toasting and unfreeze your favorites using defrost
  • 2 SLICE CAPACITY: The toaster features a 2 slice capacity and has wider slots to meet the demands of larger artisanal bread, thick bagels and dense pastries
  • VARIABLE BROWNING CONTROL: The Breville Smart Toaster 2-slice lets you toast to your ideal brownness level and monitor your progress with the LED indicator so you know how much longer the toasting cycle has left to run
  • AUTOMATIC CONTROL WITH AUTO LIFT & LOOK: At the touch of a button, your bread can be automatically lowered into the toaster, lifted during the toasting cycle to monitor progress and lifted at the end to deliver toasting perfection

This is the Lamborghini of compact toasters. You will love the advanced features like the ‘lift and look’, the slide bar to set the brown level, the flashing LED bar count down, and the ‘a bit more’ button. You can adjust the beep volume, brown it a bit more with just one touch — the works. And it will toast your bread, and it will be even, quick, brown and delicious — the perfect toast.

Pros

  • Excellent toasting
  • Brilliant smart features

Cons

  • Comparatively pricy

Three Extra Choices

Now, having made my main two recommendations, I will include three that are also interesting for those that do not like the first two for some reason. Main thing that sets apart the next three is their controls and design.

The Even Cheaper Pick: Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster

Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster (White)
  • Compact design with stainless steel accents
  • 7-setting shade dial
  • Reheat, defrost and bagel controls
  • 1-1/2-inch wide toasting slots
  • Slide-out crumb tray

This small toaster is pretty good, and has the lowest price among those that I recommend. I do not recommend going lower – you will regret it. If you decide on this one, it will be quick and good enough, but be prepared for the brown to be uneven sometimes and the “dark” setting to be too light, perhaps that’s the fault of the heating elements. But it’s pretty good and easy on the wallet — something that you would buy for the office perhaps.

Pros

  • Quick toasting

Cons

  • Toasting uneven and too light
  • Simple design and plastic exterior
  • When using the Bagel setting, one side of the bagel does not get toasted at all. Use the Toast setting instead

The Stainless Steel Pick: Cuisinart CPT-160P1

Sale
Cuisinart CPT-160P1 Metal Classic 2-Slice Toaster, Brushed Stainless
  • Smooth brushed stainless housing with polished chrome and black accents
  • Custom control: 6-setting browning dials, reheat, defrost and bagel buttons with LED indicators
  • 1. 5" - wide toasting slots. BPA Free
  • Extra-lift carriage lever
  • Slide-out crumb tray

This is the Cuisinart CPT-122’s older brother. It is more durable-looking than the previous (plastic) one with a great stainless steel design and some retro vibes. Otherwise, it’s largely the same as CPT-122, except for the body.

Pros

  • Quick toasting
  • Steel frame with retro vibes

Cons

  • Toasting uneven and too light
  • When using the Bagel setting, one side of the bagel does not get toasted at all. Use the Toast setting instead

The All-Digital Pick: Cuisinart CPT-420

Sale
Cuisinart CPT-420 Touch to Toast Leverless 2-Slice Toaster, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Stainless-steel housing with a motorized lift. BPA free
  • Lcd countdown feature with a blue backlit led function display, Voltage: 120V
  • Enhanced bagel toasting with cancel, defrost and reheat options
  • Easy cord wrap for minimal use of your counter space
  • Toaster comes with a 3 year limited warranty

This is the last of the Cuisinart trio. Featuring the same trusty innards (and the same faults) as the previous two, this small toaster looks more modern with an LCD display and all-digital controls.

Pros

  • Quick toasting
  • Steel frame with a more modern look

Cons

  • Toasting uneven and too light
  • When using the Bagel setting, one side of the bagel does not get toasted at all. Use the Toast setting instead

This is it! You won’t need to look for any other compact toasters anymore. I hope I was able to help.

Cheers,

G.

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