Toast is an important component for most people’s breakfasts. They’re also great for making quick snacks in a safe and efficient manner. We’ve seen the regular electric toaster changing quite a bit over the years, but it has remained a staple in pretty much every household that can afford one.
Today, toaster manufacturers have come up with some really innovative models that do much more than just toast bread or pop-tarts. While the usual electric toasters have many more features than the predecessors, we now have smart toasters that take things up a notch.
Some people might say that a smart toaster is where the Internet of Things has gone too far. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a term used to describe objects that have been embedded with sensors. Smart toasters, smart fridges, and other smart devices are now a major part of many modern homes. With more digital toasters, we can get the perfect toast according to our taste buds, eliminate any risk of burnt toast, and generally make our lives easier. There are now several smart toaster models available on the market, so it’s evident that they’re providing some benefit to customers.
However, all that choice can get to be a bit overwhelming. Do you choose a smart toaster or a high-tech toaster oven? Would a regular toaster oven do, or would a convection oven be better? The following buying guide and discussion about smart toasters will hopefully answer some of these questions:
Buying Guide for Smart Toasters
When you’re looking for the perfect smart toaster, there are several factors to keep in mind. Not everyone can be happy with the same model, so you need to check out different features for each model before deciding upon any likely options. To make things easier, let’s discuss what one should consider foremost when selecting a smart toaster for their kitchen:
The Toaster’s Size
Most people have limited space on their counters and cabinets, and not everyone is willing to give up a large part of it for a toaster. Whether you plan to stash your toaster away in a cabinet or have it out at all times, make sure you know the dimensions for any model on your list.
Several of the best smart toasters are very large in size due to the modern motors and tech inside. If they have a touchscreen or LED display, you would need some more space to avoid scratches or breakage.
The number of slots in a toaster will also determine how large it is. A 4 slice toaster will be almost twice as big as the regular 2 slice model. Keep these space issues in mind before clicking the order button.
Innovative Functions and Accessories
Smart toasters are not just for toasting bread and bagels. They come with a lot of useful feature accessories, with each model having a unique set of options. However, options like reheating, defrosting, and cancelling the processes are usually standard.
Certain toasters might have innovative options like ‘a little longer’ or ‘a bit more’. These allow the user to get their toast a little on the more crispy side without burning it. Such technology essentially takes the guesswork out of toasting. While they’re not necessary, some folks might like to pay extra for such conveniences.
Toasters are notorious for being among the most challenging appliances to keep clean. Make sure the model you choose has a removable crumb tray that you can use for regular upkeep and cleaning. This will not just be more hygienic, but also help the toaster to last longer. If crumbs are not cleaned out properly, the appliance could malfunction beyond repair.
If you’re upgrading to a smart toaster, be prepared to pay a significantly higher price. There’s high-end innovative technology in these models, so the price is likely to go up with the functions you get. Fortunately, many of the best toaster manufacturers often have discounts and sales on their appliances. If you keep your eyes peeled, you just might get the perfect smart toaster with a reasonable price tag.
Regular Toaster or Smart Toaster?
The following information will help us decide if a smart toaster is the right option for our kitchen:
Type of Toaster/Features
Might get uneven with time
Should be even unless device is faulty
Type of Lever
Manual or motorized
Limited; will usually only hold regular slices of bread
Wide slots suitable for toasting bagels or artisanal breads in addition to regular options
A few levels of browning on the dial
Defrost, reheating, bagel toasting, cancel,
Occasionally a ‘cancel’ button
Touchscreen, customized settings, ‘a little longer; ‘a bit more’
Could be retro or with a design; many color options
Usually a stainless steel body
Toaster Oven or Toaster?
Some people might consider getting a toaster oven instead of a smart toaster. The following comparison should help in making a final decision:
Type of Appliance/Features to Consider
Limited to bread, bagels, pastries, and similar options
High, can reheat pizzas and be useful in baking or cooking
Relatively low (excepting some smart toasters)
Won’t take up much space; can be stashed in a cabinet
Needs significant counter space or can be mounted on wall
Available in several designs and colors
Usually standard designs without many color option
Our Top Picks
If you’re in the market for a smart toaster, the variety available might be a bit confusing. Have a look at some of our hand-picked top models for smart toasters; these are your best bet for a smooth and efficient toasting experience every single time:
This award-winning smart toaster is a two-slice high-speed toaster with a stainless steel body and a touchscreen. It boasts exclusive InstaGLO™ technology with no less than 63 settings to ensure perfect results each time.
Overall, this is a smart toast with some very impressive technology. It might be the most advanced model in the market for now. With this on your kitchen island, you have a conversation starter and a revolutionary kitchen appliance in one go.
The heating system here is designed to lock in around 30 percent more moisture than other toasters in the premium range. The settings and smart algorithm offer various levels of front and back heat, catering to five types of bread or pastry. The options include bagels, toaster pastries, waffles, muffins, and so on. Moreover, the touch screen will display a digital or analog clock when not in use, thus serving a double function in your kitchen. With an alert signal and a countdown timer as well, this toast might be the answer to all your breakfast and snack problems. Take a look at the pros and cons in order to get a more realistic idea of this smart toaster:
- Reminder for cleaning crumb tray
- Adjustable brightness
- Several heating options available
- Easy to use
- On the expensive side, can cost upwards of $1,000 without discounts
This is one of the best smart toasters on the market, with the unique feature of giving live feedback during the toasting process. With its bruised stainless steel body, this model will make a statement in any kind of kitchen decor. It has a motorised look and lift system along with other innovative features such as ‘A Bit More’.
While the model only allows for two slices of bread, the slots here are quite wide. This allows us to take full advantage of the bagel function. We can even toast or unfreeze thicker slices of artisanal bread and pastries.
If you’re one of those people who want to know exactly how much time a process will take, this might be the perfect toaster for your needs. Check out the pros and cons below:
- Removable crumb tray for easy cleaning
- Bagel function provides even heat
- Defrost function for freezer favorites
- Thick slots allows for various breads and pastries
- Browning control
- LED indicator for monitoring progress
- Manual lift and look system to check progress without stopping the process
- Live feedback system
- Even toasting results
- No touchscreen display
- Breadcrumbs might build up in the bread cartridge and cause jamming
If you’re still comfortable with the traditional toaster design but intrigued by smart toaster technology, this KRUPS offering might be the perfect compromise. It has personalized toasting, with two dedicated memory settings and seven browning levels. The system is hence both versatile and customizable according to your needs. For instance, you can save one setting for toasting bread and another for a bagel or muffin.
The LED digital display here is thoughtfully large, which both looks nice and easy to read. The features include high lift and automatic bread centering, making the appliance very simple to use. Plus, there’s a cancel button to stall the process at any time.
Even with all these innovative features, the conventional toaster experience is still there. Their toaster lever is in the usual place, with wide slits for most pastries and breads. Looking at the pros and cons will further help us make a final decision:
- Bagel and defrost functions included
- Large LED display
- Saves settings for customized toasting
- Retains feel of traditional toasters
- Might not be able to evenly toast all kinds of bread
- Settings have to be changed according to each person or type of bread
This classic-looking toaster has a brushed stainless steel body and dual control panels that essentially make it function like two toasters. If you have a large family that needs a lot of toast at once, this toaster has the technology for even browning and delicious results every time.
The functions here include defrost, bagel, and dual repeat, while the browning dials have six settings each. There are also LED indicators to make the toasting experience fool proof. The toasting slots are about 1.5 inches wide, which should be large enough for most bagels, breads, and pastries. Even if you get confused about the settings or operation, the included instruction manual should clear things up.
The following pros and cons should tell you more about this model:
- Extra-lift carriage lever
- Removable crumb tray that slides out for easy cleaning
- Convenient storage slot for the cord
- BPA free
- Reheat, defrost, and bagel functions with LED indication
- Stainless steel finish is easy to clean
- LCD countdown feature
- Cancel button for halting processes immediately
- Might not be consistent with toasting bread
- May not perfectly fit non-square bread
This leverless toaster is a 2-slice option for Cuisinart, a brand that’s well-known for its quality kitchen appliances and accessories. It has the usual stainless steel housing that’s BPA-free. The bread or bagel slices go in through a motorized lift, not a manual lever. The blue backlit LED display will let you know how much time is left until the bread pops up ready for eating.
You have the standard cancel, reheat, and defrost options here, with an enhanced bagel function. You can also utilize the easy cord wrap function to minimize the counter space this model takes up. The toaster does come with a limited warranty of three years, but it’s still a good idea to check out its pros and cons beforehand:
- A relatively lower price than other smart toasters
- Countdown function to eliminate guesswork
- Easy to use and keep clean
- Good value for money
- Motorized lift for a fun and convenient experience
- Consistent and even toasting
- Audible beeps when toast is done
- Cord might be too short for some users
- Stainless steel body shows fingerprints
While smart toasters might not be the most necessary appliance in your kitchen, it makes sense to upgrade to one if perfect toast is important for you. Even toasting and no burning can do a lot to make your morning right, and that could set one up in a good mood for the rest of the day. In fact, it might be better for your mental health to get perfectly toasted pastry, bagels, and bread without having to hover over the toaster every single time. The digitized options and easy to use buttons can go a long way in making your life easier, so why not splurge a bit for all those benefits? For another convenient smart appliance, check out the best electric potato peeler machines.