Toasters are staple units in nearly every home, but they’re particularly mandatory in the kitchens of the young and newly moved out. In these homes, cooking skills may not be at the level of a culinary genius and counter space is more likely to be limited. Not to mention, budget-friendly appliances are always appreciated.
Whether you’re newly moved out or have been enjoying the same kitchen space for 20+ years, having a compact toaster that works like a dream is a wonderful addition to your home.
So what makes the best compact toaster? The best small and compact toasters are inexpensive, efficient, easy to use and clean, and, of course, small so that they don’t take up much space in your kitchen.
We’ve done a lot of research into what makes a great small and compact toaster and found the best 5 on the market.
Save yourself the headache and frustration of trial and error and choose the one from our list that suits your kitchen and lifestyle needs best.
What is a Compact Toaster?
A compact toaster is simply a toaster that has a small footprint. It may have all the bells and whistles found in other, larger, and fancier units, but it fits all the required toasting elements into as small of a space as possible.
In our list, we’ve focused on 2-slice toasters as they are the smallest available options.
Many manufacturers also offer compact 4-slice toasters which, as you might guess, take up more space than a 2-slice model, but less space than a standard 4-slice model.
How To Choose The Best Toaster
Having a small kitchen with limited counter space should not mean you have to compromise on quality when it comes to choosing a great toaster.
Regardless of the size of the unit, here are a few features that help make a truly great toaster:
- Multiple toast level settings that are easy to change and understand
- Defrost and reheat settings
- A “cancel” button
- Extra-wide slots, specifically if you like to toast bagels or thick-sliced bread
- High lift carriage, which means the level can be pressed up to help make your toasted bread easy and safe to remove from the toaster
- A slide-out crumb tray for easy, basic cleaning
- Plenty of reviews that attest to the quality of the toasting
You’ll notice throughout the article that the #1 complaint about any toaster ever made is uneven toasting. With the toasters on our list, this is still the most common issue but it happens only to an extremely low percentage of purchasers.
Every mechanical item is sometimes going to be faulty, but with an 80% or higher positive review rate, you’re reducing your risk because, clearly, those manufacturers have better quality control test procedures.
The 5 Best Small and Compact Toasters
Toast is almost a necessity of modern life, but in tiny kitchens, there isn’t a lot of room for a monstrous contraption designed just for making bread even more delightful.
Small, compact toasters hold a lot of appeal for their size, but they also have to deliver on usability, durability, practicality, and, of course, price.
We’ve done extensive research on compact toasters and found the best units available to purchase.
We narrowed our choices to the smallest, the best over-all 2 slice toaster, the least expensive and yet still reliable, the easiest to clean, and, for those who need multi-functionality in their kitchens, the best compact toaster oven.
|Rank||Recommended Product||Best Feature|
|1.||LOFTER Stainless Steel 2-Piece Toaster||Smallest toaster|
|2.||Cuisinart 2-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster||Best 2-slice toaster|
|3.||AmazonBasics 2-Slice Extra-Wide Slot Toaster||Extra-wide slots|
|4.||iSiLER 2-Slice Toaster||Easiest to clean|
|5.||Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven||Precise temperature control|
1. LOFTER Stainless Steel 2-Piece Toaster
This toaster is not only the smallest toaster on our list, but it’s also incredibly functional and fun. You can toast your bread any way you like it.
There’s even a special setting for those of us who insert frozen bread directly into the toaster, or for those who toast, forget, and need to reheat just a little bit.
One of the more unique features is the built-in warming rack. It’s brilliant.
When you’re making toast for dinner but dinner takes longer to plate than you expected, your toast will stay warm and not get rock-hard until you’re ready for it. You can even warm up rolls, croissants, or other pastry items that don’t fit into the toaster itself. Brilliant!
- Smallest toaster
- Built-in warming tray, suitable for rolls, croissants, and more
- Fast cooling and anti-overheating protection makes this toaster as safe as it is effective
Biggest Drawback: There is nothing we don’t like about this toaster but some of the reviews suggest that a very low percentage of models have a problem with uneven toasting. Nearly 95% of purchases who leave reviews are utterly enamored with this product, but if you’re one of the unlucky 5% who’s unit doesn’t toast evenly, the manufacturer is known for quick and easy customer service.
2. Cuisinart 2-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster
Cuisinart is one of the best-known brands in the world of kitchen appliances. They wouldn’t be as popular as they are today if they didn’t create quality, reliable products.
This compact toaster has wide-slots, no unnecessary frills or gimmicks, and toasts 2 slices of bread neatly.
It’s not the most flashy or exciting, but it gets the job done and doesn’t break the bank in the process.
It’ll match any kitchen décor because it’s simple and unassuming.
- Best 2 slice toaster
- Wide toasting slots make it useful for bagels as well as thick-sliced artisanal bread
- Basic, easy to use and understand settings
Biggest Drawback: As with all toasters on this list and, we think, in general production, the biggest complaint stems from uneven toasting. Some people find their bread won’t even brown on level 6 whereas others get charcoal briquettes on setting 2.
These are outliers and seem to be obviously faulty models. Most people are extremely happy with the results. Unfortunately, those that are unsatisfied don’t get the greatest level of service from the manufacturer.
3. AmazonBasics 2-Slice Extra-Wide Slot Toaster
One of the biggest benefits of buying any Amazon brand is price.
They have the ability to undercut all of their competitors because they own the platform on which they sell.
That said, while the price is definitely right on this inexpensive compact toaster, it’s also a great unit.
- Least expensive toaster
- Extra-wide slots fit nearly any toastable item, including bagels
- Extra-lift handle to save fingers from trying to fish out short slices of toasts
Biggest Drawback: This toaster has an understandable amount of reviews frustrated with uneven toasting, as we’ve talked about being normal for all toasters.
What is more concerning about this toaster is the chemical smell that emanates from the unit itself, even after months of being unpackaged and in regular use.
We assume it from the plastic and, though it is a reliable unit for the price, it does create a health concern with a smell that is so pervasive and offensive.
4. iSiLER 2-Slice Toaster
This compact toaster is fun and it is really, really easy to clean. The unique features on this particular unit make it a great purchase, even if all the toaster requirements seem fairly basic at first glance.
Most toasters have multiple toasting levels to choose from as well as defrost, reheat, and cancel settings.
But this toaster is energy-saving, which is not only good for your monthly bills, but it also helps to toast your bread quickly without drying it out into a rockhard chunk of sandpapery cardboard.
The extra-long cord also makes it much easier to clean without causing a disaster of crumbs across your entire kitchen.
- Easiest toaster to clean
- It’s yellow. Very bright yellow.
- Pull-out tray and extra long cord
Biggest Drawback: This toaster is undeniably one of our favorites but the lever on this unit fails to lock into place much more quickly than it’s competitors. When you buy this toaster, you should be gentle and yet firm in pressing down the lever, never hasty or aggressive. If you don’t treat this toaster with care, it will wear out quickly.
5. Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven
If you’re searching for a compact toaster, it’s safe to assume space is limited.
Finding a compact unit that not only toasts bread but can also reheat your leftovers, bake your frozen pizzas and grill your favorite hashbrowns might be a cause for celebrations.
This Panasonic compact toaster oven using highly efficient double infrared heating to cook nearly any small meal in record time, no stove or oven required.
- Best compact toaster oven
- Very precise temperature control with efficient 1300 watts power usage
- 2 quartz and ceramic heating elements carefully positioned toast, bake, defrost and reheat evenly and to perfection
Biggest Drawback: The metal frame is made from thin metal, making it easy to dent and very hot to touch when in use. Be careful not to touch or store anything directly touching the unit, because it can burn or catch accidentally placed flammable items on fire.
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