Breville Vtt431 four-slice (€10.99)
This budget buy from Tesco is on sale for a third of the price listed by most online and British retailers. A good all-rounder, the stainless-steel four-slice device from Breville includes what its makers call a "variable browning control" – meaning its power is adjustable – as well as a width control function so users can toast different-sized slices, including bagels and crumpets. It also offers reheat and defrost options, while its lifting contraption, unlike many other toasters, rises high enough to make retrieving even the smallest bits of bread a doddle. It also has a fully removable crumb tray.
Downsides include blue illuminated buttons that may not fit with some kitchen styles and flimsy build quality. But at this price, it's hard to complain.
RUSSELL HOBBS HERITAGE FOUR-SLICE (€49.99)
This four-slice toaster certainly doesn't lack style. Available in a variety of colours including deep purple and a beautifully rich red, it will add a burst of colour to even the greyest of kitchens. Russell Hobbs also makes a kettle in this style, for shoppers who want to buy a matching set.
The sturdy and neat device toasts bread wonderfully evenly and it's easy to clean, with a removable crumb tray. Two of the slots can be turned off for those times when only two slices are needed. However, the toasting process takes a little longer than it could, which may be an important consideration for those of us who find ourselves always in a rush in the mornings.
KITCHENAID 5KMT2204BER TWO-SLICE (€199)
The Maserati of toasters, this two-slice thing of beauty from Kitchen Aid doesn't come cheap. In return for just under €200, buyers will get what its makers refer to as "the ultimate toasting experience". An automatic sensor automatically lowers and lifts your bread for you, browning it according to seven grades of golden. If you are called away, this device will even keep your toast warm for you. Available in several colours including red, cream and stainless steel, it also features a sandwich rack for making toasted sandwiches.
There's nothing to complain about here but the price. Curvy and sleek, reminiscent of early Apple laptops, it's a great option for design enthusiasts (and toast purists) with cash to spare.