Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big retro toaster test 2021. Here we present all the retro toasters we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best retro toaster for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a retro toaster.




Summary

  • A retro toaster offers you all the functions of an ordinary toaster. The special thing is the design and the bright colours in which the retro models are offered.
  • Depending on your preferences, you can choose between a toaster in the style of the 1960s in pastel colours and a toaster in VW bus or radio design.
  • Before buying, you should check important criteria and factors such as the dimensions, the design, the number of browning levels and the crumb tray, and ideally try them out.

The Best Retro Toaster: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before you buy a retro toaster

What should I look for when buying a retro toaster?

Retro toasters are reminiscent of old times, usually have round shapes and appealing colours like pastel or red. Don't just be dazzled by the charming design: A retro toaster is an electrical appliance that should meet the same criteria as a normal toaster. Before buying, consider which functions are important to you. A retro toaster is a toaster like any other. Retro refers to the design of the appliance and means that the style and colour elements are reminiscent of times gone by. Retro toasters also come in different types of toasters. Most retro toasters are double slot toasters, as these models were the most common back then. There are also long-slot toasters or other slotted toaster variants with a retro look. Subtle shades such as pastel colours or earthy tones in beige, mud or cream are typical of retro toasters.

The colour red is classic. The sight of a red retro toaster brings back old times associated with flowing petticoats, burgers and rockabilly. A red toaster conveys the cheerfully rebellious attitude to life of a generation that wanted to break out of old traditions. In addition to the upbeat colours, rounded shapes, strikingly large setting wheels and chrome lugs on the legs add to the swing flair.

Retro toasters differ from other toasters only in their design.

Despite the designs of old times, modern technology should not be neglected. The same buying criteria apply here as for normal toasters. The basic equipment of a high-quality appliance includes the following points:

  • Slot size
  • Bread roll attachment
  • Additional functions such as keep warm or defrost
  • Toasting degree control and bread slice centring
  • Lifting function
  • Crumb tray
  • Stop button and automatic switch-off
  • Heat protection insulation
  • Wattage consumption

Before buying, consider which appliance will not only spice up your kitchen visually, but will also delight you with crispy, warm toasts or rolls thanks to the bun attachment.

Which brands have particularly beautiful retro models?

The Smeg brand stands for modern retro toasters in cheerful colours. Appliances from Russell Hobbs express nostalgic longing for childhood days. De'Longhi toasters are reminiscent of chic, rounded car models of the time. If you want an original toaster, we recommend a model by Rowenta. It was particularly popular back then.

Typical for the Smeg brand are toasters in a charmingly cheerful retro style with round shapes. The wide range of pastel colours such as cream, pastel blue or Cadillac pink create a youthful design. If you prefer it gaudy, Smeg also offers models in bold red, rich black and shiny chrome. Smeg and Swing rightly sound similar: the bright colours conjure up 60s charm and good humour on your breakfast table.

The Russell Hobbs brand specialises in vintage and has launched its own breakfast series in the style of the 60s. Russell Hobbs appliances stand for nostalgia paired with a little nostalgia and longing for childhood days. The shapes are a little more massive and less playful. Classic colours like chrome, black, red and cream bring back the old days when the whole family sat together at the breakfast table. Russell Hobbs also offers long slot toasters in a retro look.

De'Longhi toastersare retro models that are stylistically reminiscent of 1950s car design. Flat plates, gently rounded curves and a shape that widens towards the bottom, ending with chrome trim. The colour scheme is kept subtle: classic cream, mud brown, olive green or beige. Rowenta has been a brand name for kitchen and household appliances since 1909.

The design of today's appliances is very modern and no longer has much in common with retro. Nevertheless, the chrome-plated toaster with black Bakelite handles and punched-out metal strips stands for Germany in the 1970s.

Brand features
Smeg round shape, pastel colours, 60ies style
Russell Hobbs 60s, classic colours, solid shape
De'Longhi inspired by cars, chrome strip, subtle colours
Rowenta in a used version, a real piece from the 70s

It was one of the most widely used models at the time. If you want to buy an original Rowenta retro toaster, you have to choose a used model.

How much does a retro toaster cost?

On average, a retro toaster costs 60 euros. Retro models are slightly more expensive than regular toasters. Prices start at 30 euros and can be over 100 euros, depending on the brand.

Retro toaster in radio form or retro toaster van: what special models are there?

Retro toasters in VW bus style or retro toasters with integrated radio are particularly popular. We would like to introduce you to two very special toaster designs: The retro toaster in VW bus style or "love, peace and toast": The song "If you are going to San Francisco" is already ringing in your ears when you see this model.

A VW bus stands for hippie culture and colourful, carefree times. There are toasters that look like a miniature of the VW camper van and appliances that have the VW logo on the front and are reminiscent of the shape of the legendary VW bus. The second model we would like to introduce to you is: Radio Retro Toaster or when "good mood meets crispiness": What does a successful start to the day look like: quite clearly, turn up the radio and switch on the toaster.

At least that's what the manufacturers of these appliances thought. They added music to the conventional functions of this practical kitchen helper, such as the bun warmer and the defrosting function. Visually, the toasters resemble a radio. Speakers and USB ports are often integrated. There are models from well-known manufacturers such as Russell Hobbs or Ariete.

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Decision: What types of retro toasters are there and which one is right for you?

Breakfast is known to be the most important meal of the day. So there is nothing better than starting the morning with a freshly toasted bread or roll and your favourite topping. The toaster you need for this comes in many different shapes and colours.

A very special model, however, is the retro toaster. This is not only an eye-catcher and can be gallantly staged, but also makes the anticipation of breakfast blossom every morning. Basically, one can distinguish between two types of retro toasters:

  • Retro toaster for two slices
  • Retro toaster for four slices

No matter whether you have breakfast alone or with your partner, your flatmates, your small or large family: There is a suitable retro toaster in many different shapes and colours for every occasion.

Decide for yourself which colour suits the décor of your kitchen. Whether plain or in a bright colour, your breakfast companion will always be the centre of attention in the trendy vintage look. In the following, we would like to show you the essential advantages and disadvantages of the various retro toasters to make your purchase decision a little easier. Of course, it's up to you to decide which toaster to use for toasting bread.

How does a retro toaster for two slices work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

This retro-style toaster is sometimes even smaller than a standard toaster and can be placed wonderfully on small surfaces and thus set the scene. The functions are also identical to conventional toasters, so there is a temperature control, a stop button and sometimes even a defrost function.

Since these toasters are available in a wide range of colours, you can choose the one that suits you and your taste, as well as the interior design of your kitchen.

Advantages
  • Compact and space-saving
  • Classic functionality
Disadvantages
  • Long waiting times

How does a retro toaster for four slices work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The retro toaster, which is suitable for grilling four sandwiches at the same time, offers the possibility of grilling two sandwiches or four slices of bread quickly and simultaneously. Especially when you have to be quick in the morning, this type of bread grill is an efficient solution.

Thanks to its conventional functions, such as temperature regulation and a stop and even de-freeze button, you don't have to make any compromises with this multi-talent compared to conventional toasters. The retro design makes the toaster an object that fits into any kitchen, which can be selected and adapted to your kitchen and your preferences through a variety of different colours.

Advantages
  • Several loaves of bread can be toasted at the same time
  • Classic mode of operation
Disadvantages
  • Requires a lot of storage space
  • Usually without grill attachment

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate retro toasters

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate retro toasters. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular appliance is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Design: Colour and material
  • Dimensions / Weight
  • Slices per cycle / Bread roll attachment
  • Number of browning levels / Bread slice centring / Stop button
  • Crumb tray

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Design: colour and material

The material is usually stainless steel or metal, the colours used are pastel, earthy tones such as beige or classic red. It is the design that distinguishes a retro toaster and makes it an eye-catcher in the kitchen. Ordinary toasters are usually black, white or chrome-coloured. The eye-catching colours are typical of retro toasters. There are discreet models in pastel colours or earthy tones in beige, mud or cream. The classic colour is red. Retro toasters are usually made of stainless steel or metal. The material contributes a lot to the retro flair, because in earlier days plastic was hardly ever used for electrical appliances.

Dimensions / Weight

You can use the dimensions to decide whether the model has room in your kitchen. Retro toasters are usually heavier than conventional appliances. Most retro toasters are available in the manufacturer's online shop or on Amazon. We assume that you will order your retro model online. The dimensions will tell you whether the appliance will fit in your kitchen. A retro toaster is much too beautiful to be stored in the kitchen drawer. So take a look at the dimensions and decide whether you have enough space at the kitchen table or in the kitchen to display your "gem". Retro toasters are heavier than conventional toasters because they are made of stainless steel or metal instead of plastic. But that's not a problem unless you want to move your toaster around a lot.

Slices per cycle / bun attachment

The number of slots determines how many slices of toast can be prepared at the same time. For smaller households, double-slot toasters are suitable, in which two slices of toast can be prepared at the same time. For family and multi-person households, we recommend a four-slice toaster. Alternatively, you can also prepare sweet potato toast in a retro toaster.

This is a healthy and gluten-free alternative to regular toast. To make it, you should cut a sweet potato into 1 cm thick slices. The slices should be toasted several times until they reach the desired brownness. They can then be topped as desired. Unfortunately, you have less choice if you want a four-slice model with a retro design. A bread roll attachment ensures crispy bread rolls, croissants, rolls and other baked goods. It is either integrated in the appliance or removable.

Number of browning levels / Bread slice centring / Stop button

You need the following features for optimally browned toast: Toasting level control with setting in steps or steplessly, stop button to end the process and bread slice centring for even distribution of the heat. Whether "fluffy" soft or golden brown crispy: toasters with toasting degree control allow different degrees of browning. Depending on the appliance, the setting can be made in steps or continuously. Many appliances have a stop button to end the toasting process. A bread slice centring system ensures that the distance between the bread slices and the heating wires always remains the same. The heat is optimally distributed and all slices are browned evenly.

Crumb tray

A removable crumb tray helps you with cleaning. Pull out the drawer, remove the crumbs, clean the crumb tray with a damp cloth and you're done. Leftovers in the crumb tray cause burnt smells, in the worst case even a kitchen fire.

Interesting facts about retro toasters

What does retro mean anyway?

Retro means backward-looking and describes products that imitate features of times gone by. Who doesn't look back on them with one laughing eye and one crying eye? We are talking about the good old days.

Did you know that many people use retro and vintage as synonyms even though they are not the same thing? Retro style does not belong to a specific period. Vintage, on the other hand, belongs to the 1920s and earlier.

We love to think of childhood memories and look at black and white photos with pleasure. No wonder retro is on everyone's lips. Retro literally means backward-looking or looking back and describes products, objects, fashion or furniture that imitate features of past times without trying to copy them outright.

Vintage, on the other hand, refers to designer fashions from earlier decades from 1920 onwards. Vintage-style products look as if they came from a flea market and are usually kept in subtle colours. They look as if they have an interesting story to tell.

What did advertising for toasters look like back then?

For all you retro fans out there, we've dug up one of the most charming toaster ads of the time: If you like to watch commercials from the past, you can find the eleven most beautiful ones at this link.

In which old songs does the cult object toaster appear?

There are many songs that sing the praises of the kitchen gadget, or at least feature it in a line. For your good mood and so that you can also hear the retro feeling, here are the top 5 old songs in which the toaster appears:

1) Streetband Toast

2) Tobin Sprout - Toaster

3) Squeeze - Woman's World The song is about a housewife who is fed up with housework. Towards the end of the song Squeeze sing the following lines: Press the button on the toaster, it's a woman's world, Tuck the sheets in on the bed, it's a woman's world

4) Grandaddy - Broken Household Appliance National Forest This song is a protest song lamenting the fact that people throw away their old electrical appliances in nature instead of recycling them. The toaster is mentioned in the very first line: Sit on the toaster like a rock No need to worry about a shock

5) Simon & Garfunkel - Punky's Dilemma Paul Simon wrote this song as a soundtrack for the film "The Graduate". But it was rejected by the producers. After the first verse Simon & Garfunkel sing: Wish I was an English muffin Bout to make the most out of a toaster

Image source: 123rf.com / Thanavut Chao-ragam

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