The 5 Best Retro Toasters – Guide & Review in 2023

Tim Parry


Smeg is arguably one of the most popular retro-looking toasters today. The pastel colors are definitely nice to look at and they make for perfect decorations in the kitchen even when not in use. 

But aside from its timeless look, the Smeg toaster also has a few more features it can be proud of.

The product is meticulously designed with a steel body, polished chrome base, and a stainless-steel ball lever. The Smeg toaster can stand the test of time, construction and style-wise.

Scroll down for more information or check out Product Reviews now on Amazon.

Review and List of Popular Retro Toasters

Anyone who takes their kitchen seriously always has a toaster ready for use in some corner of the counter. It may not be a thought that comes to mind often, but you’ll find this to be true. And amid the rise of so many new kitchen appliances, toasters manage to keep their spot among the most essential kitchen items to this day – retro-looking toasters to be exact.

Sure, toast may not be everyone’s favorite breakfast food. But there is not a single person in this world who has not eaten toast even once in their lives. Agree? So, in the hopes of helping you find the best kitchen toasters in the market today, we’ve listed down some of the most popular choices in this article.

With a wide array of toasters available both online and in physical stores, it can get pretty difficult for shoppers to narrow down their choices. But among available options, these are five favorite brands of retro toasters.

Don’t Forget – Best Alternatives to the Smeg Toaster

1. Breville BTA840XL Die-cast 4-slice Smart Toaster

Breville BTA840XL Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster, Stainless Steel
  • The Breville 4-Slice Smart Toaster has 4 extra wide slots allowing you...
  • INNOVATIVE FEATURES: 'Lift and Look' and 'A Bit More' allow you to...
  • EXTRA WIDE 4 SLICE CAPACITY: The toaster features a 4 slice capacity...
  • VARIABLE BROWNING CONTROL: The Breville Smart Toaster 4-slice lets you...
  • AUTOMATIC CONTROL WITH AUTO LIFT AND LOOK: At the touch of a button,...

Value for Money: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Overview: This smart toaster comes with push-button controls for each function, making it very easy to use.

In keeping on par with the latest advancements in technology, the Breville BTA840XL Die-cast 4-slice toaster comes with an internal chip that lowers the bread into the toasting slots. And with just one push of the button, you can regulate the toasting time according to your preference.

Pros: It can accommodate 4 slices of bread with widths that can also fit bagels. The push-button controls make it easy to use, while the lift-and-look function allows you to raise the bread carriage during toasting without affecting the cycle.

Cons: This toaster only has 2 different browning levels. It’s die-cast metal housing also makes it heavier than other toasters.

2. Smeg TFS01 2-slice Toaster

Smeg TSF01PGUS 50's Retro Style Aesthetic 2 Slice Toaster, Pastel...
  • 2 extra wide slots with self-centering racks
  • Automatic slice pop up
  • Anti-slip feet
  • Removable stainless steel crumb tray
  • 6 browning levels and 3 pre-set programs: reheat, defrost, bagel

Value for Money: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Overview: Wide slots with self-centering racks are what set the Smeg toaster apart from other products in the market. The beautiful retro aesthetic also makes it a popular choice among consumers.

Smeg is arguably one of the most popular retro-looking toasters today. The pastel colors are definitely nice to look at and they make for perfect decorations in the kitchen even when not in use. But aside from its timeless look, the Smeg toaster also has a few more features it can be proud of. The product is meticulously designed with a steel body, polished chrome base, and a stainless-steel ball lever. The Smeg toaster can stand the test of time, construction and style-wise.

Pros: It has wide slots that have self-centering racks to ensure even browning in ever slice. There are 6 different browning levels and 3 pre-set programs: defrost, reheat, and bagel. The anti-sleep feet are helpful in keeping the toaster in place and preventing it from falling off the counter.

Cons: Quite expensive compared to other brands with the same features.

Product Variants: It comes in seven different colors: black, red, pink, chrome, cream, pastel blue, and pastel green.

3. Nostalgia RTOS200 Retro 2-slice Toaster

Nostalgia New and Improved Wide 2-Slice Toaster Perfect For Bread,...
  • EXTRA-WIDE TOASTER: The 2 large slots are perfect for toasting bagel...
  • LIGHTED CONTROLS: Lighted control buttons feature bagel, defrost, and...
  • PERFECTLY TOASTED: The 5 browning levels allow you to choose your...
  • CORD STORAGE: Cord storage in bottom of unit allows for tidy storage
  • EASY CLEAN UP: Crumb tray easily slides out so you can keep your...

Value for Money: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Overview: Very affordable. And for its price, this product comes with very practical features such as the cord storage at the bottom and a slide-out crumb tray for easier cleaning.

As the name suggests, the Nostalgia RTOS200 Retro 2-slice Toaster takes you back to the 50’s with its vintage styling and chrome accents. But its performance is definitely not outdated. For its price, this toaster comes with a variety of functions that makes a tough competitor for high-end brands.

Pros: Affordable and lightweight. It also comes with lighted control buttons for each of the pre-set function – bagel, defrost, and cancel. Plus, it has a cord storage at the bottom and a slide-out crumb tray.

Cons: Bread doesn’t pop out automatically.

4. KitchenAid Kmt4115cu 4-slice Toaster with Manual High-Lift Lever

KitchenAid 4-Slice Toaster with Manual High-Lift Lever
  • 4 Extra-Wide Slots. 1 1/2 inches wide to accommodate whatever you're...
  • Bagel and Cancel Buttons
  • All-Metal Construction
  • Under Base Cord Storage
  • Removable Crumb Tray

Value for Money: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Overview: Four extra wide slots can accommodate various types of breads while the all-metal construction ensures durability.

When it comes to kitchen appliances, KitchenAid proves to be among the most trusted brands as shown by its 100-year history. And that reliability is also evident in their toasters.

Aside from the design, functionality is also something the creators of this toaster thought about as the product comes with a cord storage underneath as well as a removable crumb tray for an easier cleanup process.

Pros: It comes with 4 slots that are each 1 ½ inches wide to fit all kinds of bread like English muffins, bagel, sourdough, and more. A special bagel function also reduces the power on one side to make sure the bread comes out perfect, while the adjustable shade control allows you to regulate the browning levels with 1 being the lightest and 5 being the darkest.

Cons: With its all-metal construction, the toaster can get too hot in some instances.

Product Variants: This toaster is available in 4 styles: Brushed Stainless Steel, Contour Silver, Empire Red, and Onyx Black.

5. Russell Hobbs 2-slice Retro Style Toaster

Russell Hobbs TR9150BKR Toaster, 2-Slice, Black
  • Removable Warming Rack - This wire rack attaches to the top of the...
  • Lift & Look - Monitor the progress of toasting without canceling the...
  • Three Functions - The Bagel function toasts the cut side and warms the...
  • Variable Browning Control - Select the level of doneness you prefer,...

Value for Money: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Overview: Equipped with a countdown timer that displays the ideal toasting duration for your preferred browning setting.

The overall look of this Russell Hobbs 2-slice Retro Style Toaster suggests simplicity and durability. With its polished black finish, it’s surely a timeless classic and would look good in any kitchen. But more than the appearance, this product also delivery premium toasting performance thanks to its three pre-set functions – bagel, frozen, cancel – and variable browning control.

Pros: Equipped with a countdown timer that displays the ideal time for every kind of bread, while the Lift and Look function allows you to check on your toast without resetting or cancelling the heating cycle. It also comes with a removable warming rack and crumb tray.

Cons: Can only accommodate 2 slices of bread at a time.

Retro and Vintage Kitchen Appliances Review

Of course, design and styling do not really affect your bread-toasting skills. Your reliable toaster at home will not magically prepare breakfast for you and your housemates. What aesthetics can do, however, is to provide inspiration in helping you cook up a hearty meal, retro and modern designs notwithstanding.

But more importantly, a toaster should be able to help you achieve the perfect level of browning and crustiness you want for your bread. So, here’s a more detailed review of the five retro toasters mentioned above.

What are some high-end toasters?

Among the brands mentioned in this article, the high-end options include Smeg and KitchenAid. Both these brands have toasters that are averaging more than a hundred dollars in stores. But while they certainly aren’t cheap, they do make up for it with the quality of their products.

Smeg is all the rage these days because of its beautifully crafted toasters that usually come in pastel colors. On the other hand, KitchenAid is a favorite among consumers because of its consistent retro styling not only in its toasters but also its other kitchen appliances such as mixers, pasta rollers, and blenders. The only downside, though, is that the colors are usually limited to red and white because of their branding.

Also considered high-end are the toasters from Cuisinart, Bella Linea, and DeLonghi. These brands also offer pretty much the same features as the other brands we have outlined. Their only difference may just be in the overall appearance and available variants.

Just as in our reviw on “the 5 best juicer machines” a lot comes down to preferences as there are so many great options.

How the Smeg toaster put retro toasters on the map?

Retro style is something a lot of people from every generation love. Be it in fashion, art, and interior design, the look never goes away. Over the years, brands have learned to incorporate it with the latest technology and quite surprisingly, they work well together. NY Times wrote a very interesting piece on the art of retro kitchen appliances!

No stranger to the combination of the two is the kitchen appliance segment and Smeg is a prime example. “Technology with style” as its slogan couldn’t have explained its branding better. Smeg really does make use of the latest technology to come up with products that do what they claim to do like the TSFO1 retro style 2-slice toaster.

The Smeg toaster is popular among homeowners with a certain proclivity towards retro aesthetics. A huge part of its success in the market can be credited to the products’ vintage styling and many would surely agree that it is how Smeg started making a name for itself. Although, of course, the efficiency of its products is also a big factor. Smeg is definitely would not fall in the cheap brand category, but the company makes their toasters worth every penny.

Should I go for a budget or expensive toaster?

More than the price of the toaster, or any kitchen appliance for that matter, your first priority should always be to determine if a particular product will be able to address your needs. For toasters, for example, the main questions you should be asking yourself are, “How many slices can this toaster fit?” “Is it user-friendly for children?” “Can it last me several years?”. Then, you check if the product fits your budget. Because like any other item you buy for your house, you should always look at it as an investment.

But, of course, pricey doesn’t always mean better. There are numerous toasters you can buy for a fraction of the cost and they are also more than capable of attending to your needs. So… should you go for a cheap or expensive toaster?

If you have the budget, by all means, do so. Keep in mind that when you shell out more money for a particular brand, you’re not only paying for the name but for its reputation as well. These high-end toasters won’t survive the very competitive retail industry if they do not have efficient products. Moreover, there’s a better chance you can get after sales service for repairs, parts replacement, or warranty compared to their cheaper alternatives.

However, if it’s really that important that you stick to a fixed budget, it’s okay to go for the more affordable brand. As long as you get perfectly toasted bread anytime of the day, nothing else really matters.

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Tim Parry