Cuisinart has been our top-rated two-slice toaster for some time, but the brand has had to settle for second place among four-slice models, behind Breville. That changed with our latest toaster tests, in which a new four-slice model from Cuisinart knocked Breville off its perch. Meanwhile, KitchenAid's new pro-style toasters narrowly missed our recommended list, while several fashion-forward models proved to have more style than substance.
The Cuisinart CPT-440 four-slice toaster, $100, earned the top spot in our Ratings by being very good or better at every toasting task. It was particularly adept in our successive batches test, which measures how well a toaster pops out consistent results time after time, say if you're toasting a whole loaf of bread for a breakfast crowd. In terms of features, the Cuisinart has bagel, defrost, and reheat settings, extra-wide slots, and a countdown timer that tells you how long until your toast is done. It also trades the conventional push lever for a motorized lift that raises and lowers items with the push of a button. That convenience gives the already sleek stainless-steel housing even cleaner lines.
KitchenAid has also rolled out sleek new toasters with its pro-style series: the KitchenAid Pro Line KMT2203CA two-slice toaster, $300, and the KitchenAid Pro Line KMT4203 four-slice toaster, $400. With their die-cast aluminum construction, the toasters are some of the heftiest we've tested, and they're loaded with features, including extra-wide slots, bagel and defrost settings, and the "A Little Longer" button that provides a touch more browning at the end of the toasting. Performance-wise, the toasters performed very well in our various tests, though not well enough to make our recommended list, a point highlighted by their steep price.
A few other eye-catching toasters fared a lot worse in our Ratings. The Bella Dots KT-3330 two-slice toaster, sold exclusively at Target for $25, comes with a recessed dot pattern and sleek metallic finish in a variety of hues, including blue, purple, and orange. But when it came to toasting, the color range was deemed decidedly so-so by our testers, as was its ease of use.
The Nostalgia Electrics RWT500CHR Retro Series window toaster, $50, has clear side walls that let you watch your bread turn into toast. But based on our tests, you might not always like what you see, especially when it comes to successive batches, where the Nostalgia was subpar. For a window toaster that really impressed us, you might consider the Magimix Vision Toaster, if you can live with the $250 price tag.