If you find yourself fighting for limited toaster space in the morning, it may be time to upgrade to a 4-slice toaster. Naturally, these toasters offer double the capacity of the regular 2-slice toaster. Since you can make two separate batches at once, they can be a great help if everyone in your house eats toast in the morning or if you like to host brunch and stacks of fresh toast are on the menu.
However, there's not much point in investing in a bulky 4-slice toaster if some of the slots work better than others. The best toasters produce consistently toasted bread, regardless of which spot you're using and how many batches you make in a row. They should also have a good variety of settings that produce different results so that everyone can make their toast the way they want. It's nice if the slots are big enough to accommodate thickly sliced bread and bulkier bagels, but they should also pop up far enough that you can remove your more compact frozen waffles and English muffins without burning yourself.
We've tested 20 toasters; these are our recommendations for the best 4-slice toasters. If you're looking for another type of toaster, check out our recommendations for the best 2-slice toasters or the overall best toasters.
The best 4-slice toaster we've tested is the Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster. This model doesn't have a better toasting performance than our budget pick, but you might be interested in it if you want a more premium look or extra features. This high-end toaster has an aluminum body and a sturdy feel overall. Its four slots are wide enough for chunkier items like bagels or thickly sliced bread and deep enough that taller slices won't stick out the top of the toaster. It has an incredible toasting range, making anything from barely toasted to charred sandwich bread in a single cycle. Denser bread that takes longer to cook, like multi-grain or rye, shouldn't need more than one cycle to get properly browned. It toasts bread decently evenly, but unfortunately, some slots produce somewhat darker toast than others. It produces darker toast on the second batch than the first, so you must adjust the setting for consistent results.
The extra features set it apart from some cheaper options: unlike many toasters, it has cycle countdown indicators so you can tell when your toast will be ready. You can use 'Lift and Look' to lift the slots and check on your toast without interrupting the toasting cycle and the 'A Bit More' button to add some time to the end of a cycle. It has buttons to lift and raise the slots instead of levers.
If you want a cheaper option that still has some premium touches, you might prefer the Beautiful 4-Slice Toaster with Touch-Activated Display. This toaster from Drew Barrymore's kitchenware brand 'Beautiful by Drew' has a modern look, with touch-activated buttons that light up when the toaster is on. While it's inconsistently available from online retailers, you can find out where to buy it via the manufacturer's website. Unlike the Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster, it comes in various pastel colors to suit your style. Its slots are similarly wide and deep, so it works for thicker and taller slices. It's better at evenly browning the bread in every slot and on both sides of the bread than the previous pick. It's also more consistent batch after batch. Aside from the more typical bagel and frozen settings, it has a 'Gluten Free' setting, which adds a bit of time to the end of a toasting cycle to help brown denser bread.
However, unlike the Breville, it only has seven distinct shade settings. You can't set the dial between two settings to fine-tune the cycle length. Unfortunately, none of the shade settings produces golden brown sandwich bread, so if that's what you want, you'll have to add time to the end of a lower setting or cancel a higher setting early. On the plus side, it includes cycle countdown indicators to tell how much time is left before your toast pops up.
The Black+Decker 4-Slice Toaster TR4900SSD is the best budget 4-slice toaster we've tested. Unlike the previous picks, this toaster has no modes other than the standard ones for bagels and frozen items like waffles. It lacks cycle countdown indicators, so there's no way of knowing how much time remains in a toasting cycle. However, it's still made of metal rather than plastic and has a better toasting range than the Beautiful 4-Slice Toaster with Touch-Activated Display. The presets can produce anything from lightly toasted to charred sandwich bread in a single cycle. You won't have to run an extra cycle to toast denser breads properly.
Unlike the previous pick, it has dials that let you make small adjustments to the shade setting, so you're not limited to seven settings. It tends to toast the inner face more than the outer face, but otherwise, it toasts bread very evenly, with each slot performing similarly. You might need to adjust the dial after the first batch to get consistent results since it tends to compensate for the machine heating up and make lighter toast after the first batch.
Consider a long-slot toaster like the Smeg 4-Slice Toaster if you want maximum versatility. This high-end toaster has two slots that can each fit a couple of slices of sandwich bread side by side, so it has the same capacity as 4-slot toasters but can also accommodate longer slices of homemade or bakery bread. The slots are particularly deep, so taller slices won't stick out the top. It performs similarly regardless of where you place the bread and doesn't start burning your toast after a few batches. It has settings for bagels and frozen items and a 'reheat' function for warming up cold toast or adding some time to the end of a cycle.
It has a good toasting range, so it can make anything from lightly toasted to dark brown toast from white sandwich bread in one cycle. However, anything that takes longer to toast, like denser pieces of bread or bagels, may need more than one cycle to get properly browned. It doesn't have cycle countdown indicators, which is disappointing for such an expensive toaster. While it has a glossy, retro style to match the price tag, if you don't want to spend the money for a high-end toaster, the Cuisinart Long Slot Toaster is a good option. It's much cheaper and performs similarly, but you must manually raise the lever to grab even normal-sized toast without burning your fingers, which is annoying. Its slots are quite shallow when pushed down, so taller slices can stick out the top.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 4-slice toasters for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all 4-slot and long-slot toaster reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no toaster is perfect, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you look for them.