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Toasters to avoid buying

These models definitely won't give you the toast with the most.

toaster and sad toast
Last updated: 24 October 2023

They're only toasters, you may think – how bad could they be? Well, it turns out that even toasters can give you buyer's remorse. For many of us, a nicely warmed, crunchy piece of toast is one of the first things we wake up to, so it's not really something you want to mess with.

Unfortunately, some of the models we tested won't be the toast of the town anytime soon. In our most recent toaster tests, we uncovered some serious bread winners and some crummy contenders.

We don't want you to end up with a dud buy, so here are the products that scored lowest in our lab tests. Consider becoming a CHOICE member to see the best performers.


This four-slice Sunbeam toaster performed poorly in our tests.

Sunbeam Simply Shine 4 Slice Toaster TAP4004BK

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 52%
  • Toasting evenness score: 30%
  • Single-slice toasting score: 55%
  • Price: $90

It may look fancy and shiny, but you won't be toasting the success of this Sunbeam number when it comes to your morning slice. If you like your toast evenly browned, it will disappoint (scoring only 30%). Plus, our testers said it was 'only OK' at toasting a single slice of bread. With a CHOICE Expert Rating of just 52%, it falls far behind all the other toasters we've tested. 

That's a lot of bench space to waste on something that doesn't really do what it's supposed to (not to mention there are better things you could spend $90 on). Next! 

Read the full Sunbeam Simply Shine 4 Slice Toaster review.


Pricey and underperforming, this Alessi model is all style but little substance.

Alessi Plisse Electric Toaster MDL08 B/AU

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 52%
  • Toasting evenness score: 30%
  • Single-slice toasting score: 45%
  • Price: $260

This stylish number may look swish sitting on your kitchen bench (with its strong Dalek vibes), however, this model's performance is shockingly bad for such a high price tag. In fact, our testers were so bemused by how poorly this model performed in our tests, they thought they had a faulty product and so bought a replacement to test instead. Unfortunately, the replacement didn't perform much better! CHOICE test expert Adrian Lini says: "This toaster may look stylish but it struggles to toast bread at even the highest setting, and bread that is any denser than white bread will require two runs." 

The only good points worth noting were that it has very good controls and the crumb tray is excellent to clean, however the unique design of the exterior also makes it tricky to clean. Although, as it's so poor at toasting bread, perhaps you'll never use it and it can remain pristine and looking good in your kitchen.

Read the full Alessi Plisse Electric Toaster review.

kmart toaster

Cheap, yes, but unreliable at toasting.

Kmart Anko 4 Slice Long Slot Toaster

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 53%
  • Toasting evenness score: 40%
  • Single-slice toasting score: 45%
  • Price: $29

This toaster may give you a good chunk of change from a $50 note, but its price tag was one of the only positive things our testers had to say about it (that, and the fact that it has very good controls so was deemed easy to use). If you like to wake up to perfect toast, though, this budget buy is going to leave you feeling cold.

Its worse scores were on how evenly it toasts the bread and how well it toasts multigrain bread, so if these are important to you than we suggest giving this one a miss.

Read the full review for Kmart Anko 4 Slice Long Slot Toaster.


Ready for a lifetime affair with this pricey toaster?

Milantoast 2 Slice Toaster

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 54%
  • Toasting evenness score: 20%
  • Single-slice toasting score: 100%
  • Price: $490

Yep, you read that price tag correctly. This toaster will set you back $490, and one of the reasons it's so expensive is because the manufacturer promises that it 'will last forever' as all of its parts can be serviced or replaced (In fact, a CHOICE staff member dubbed this appliance the Tesla of toasters: it's environmentally friendly but a big upfront investment!).

It has a five-year warranty for parts and a 10-year warranty for labour. Considering that most of the toasters we've tested only have a one- or two-year warranty, Milantoast's offering shows that the company stands behind its product and service.

Unfortunately, this toaster did not perform consistently well in our testing. Although our testers had quite a few positive things to say about this appliance, and in fact found that it's excellent at toasting a single slice of bread (which is great news if you only need one piece of toast in the morning), they found it to be poor at producing the same toast colour cycle after cycle and poor at toasting multi-grain bread. You may, however, be able to get better results with a bit of perseverance, if longevity is important to you. Read more about our testing and this toaster.

View the full review for the Milantoast 2 Slice Toaster.


This toaster won't bring a ray of sunshine to your mornings.

Sunbeam Arise 4 Slice Long Slot Toaster

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 55%
  • Toasting evenness score: 40%
  • Single-slice toasting score: 35%
  • Price: $129

Sunbeam unfortunately has two entrants into our bottom five, with this cheapie another underwhelming performer. When you consider that four of the five toasters recommended by our experts cost less than $100, it's clear that there are other budget buys you'd be better off spending your money on.

Our testers gave a thumbs up to the fact this is easy to use with very good controls and a crumb tray that's very easy to clean, but it received poor scores for toasting single slices of bread, browning evenly and toasting multigrain bread.

Read the full Sunbeam Arise 4 Slice Long Slot Toaster review.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.