My feed

Russell Hobbs Inspire Toaster review: does this stylish gadget suit family life?

While there's no denying the Russell Hobbs Inspire boasts sleek looks, the question remains: can it effectively cater to a family of four? MNHQ editor Rebecca conducted a thorough test to find out.

By Rebecca Roberts | Last updated Mar 22, 2024

Russell Hobbs Inspire Toaster in use
Our rating:

Price on writing: £33 | Buy now from Amazon

What we like
  • Stylish, modern design

  • Plug-and-go toaster 

  • Easy to use, even for preschoolers

  • Toasts evenly

  • Affordable

What we don't like
  • Too small for a large family (though a four-slice option is available)

  • Doesn’t fit larger bread slices

Key specs

Capacity: Two slice toaster (four slice version available too) | Number of settings: Five browning levels, plus a lift-and-look function | Defrost function? Yes | Bagel function? No | Removable crumb tray? Yes | Cancel button? Yes | Power: 1050 watts | Dimensions: 6.5D x 11.6W x 7.7H cm | Weight: ‎1.9 kg

Our verdict

Russell Hobbs Inspire Toaster in use
  • Ease of use: 4/5

  • Toasting performance: 5/5

  • Ease of cleaning: 5/5

  • Design: 3/5

  • Value for money: 5/5

The toaster is somewhat of a lifeline in our household. I mean - and don’t judge me here - weaning both my children involved a lot of “stick it on some toast” to introduce different flavours. Cottage cheese? On toast. Peanut butter? Slather it on some toast. Beans? There’s no other option. Both of our kids were addicted to the quintessential British dish by the time they were both 10 months old. So, you could say that in our home, we appreciate an efficient toaster that performs well every single time.

We previously had a four-slice toaster we’d picked up in Tesco; I can’t remember the brand, but it certainly had a mind of its own. So, testing the Russell Hobbs Inspire Toaster has been quite a thrill recently, because it actually does what it says on the box! Even toasting, quick, efficient, lift and look… highlights that make it a strong contender for the title of Mumsnet's best toaster under £40.

Russell Hobbs Inspire Toaster alongside the Inspire Kettle

Plus, next to its matching kettle, it looks lovely in our kitchen. It’s bright, compact, and makes the entire counter feel lighter compared to the eyesore of our previous, silvery monster. What’s more, the pull-out crumb tray is very much appreciated for easy cleaning.

Our only problem is that some larger sizes of sliced bread don’t fit horizontally (like Warburtons or Tesco own brand), so they have to go in vertically, which then leaves a one centimeter stripe of undercooked bread with each slice. We’ve found the trick to combat this is to lift and quickly flip the slice, which isn’t a massive inconvenience, but it would be nice to have a toaster that fits all bread slices. Sourdough goes in perfectly though, I’m happy to report! 

Final verdict: Despite the minor thing with the bread sizes, overall, the Russell Hobbs Inspire toaster is an affordable, aesthetically pleasing, modern toaster that would look good on just about anyone’s kitchen worktop. It works quickly, like its sister kettle, meaning it’s efficient and aims to use less energy during use. Always a bonus!

How easy was the Russell Hobbs Inspire 24370 Toaster to set up?

The toaster was an out-of-the-box appliance, but Russell Hobbs recommends that you run it once while empty so it burns out any manufacturing remnants or smells. I did find that it did the job as noticeable smells came from it during this first run, but all subsequent uses were delightfully toast smelling as they should be. 

Related: The best dishwasher for sparkling clean pots

How easy was the Russell Hobbs Inspire Toaster to use?

Russell Hobbs Inspire Toaster in use

It’s very easy to use, so much so our preschooler has taken to helping with toast for breakfast each morning (with supervision, of course).

There are four different settings: firstly, the toasting function, which can be adjusted to low or high browning via the knob on the side. Then, there’s a lift-and-look feature that you can use to check on your toasting progress, which our previous toaster didn’t have so I do thoroughly enjoy this new quirk! It also has a defrost setting for bread straight out of your fridge freezer.

Lastly, there's the warming setting, which keeps your toast hot while you’re distracted with the kids’ breakfasts, packing lunch boxes and trying to get everyone dressed. This is a feature I’ve used multiple times because I do have a bad habit of sticking a slice of bread in the toaster, with every intention of eating it, only to become distracted by brotherly catfights and potty emergencies. After the chaos subsides, I often return to find cold toast, which I hate. Therefore, the keep warm setting is definitely one of my favourite functions on this toaster.

Related: The best integrated dishwasher for families

How does the Russell Hobbs Inspire Toaster perform?

Russell Hobbs Inspire Toaster front and top views

We’ve tested wholemeal, white, and sourdough breads in the toaster so far. As mentioned earlier, the sourdough fits perfectly fine, and the wholemeal just about fits depending on what brand you buy. However, your mainstream white breads like Warburtons are a little too large to fit horizontally. 

With that said, all toast we cook now is evenly browned. Crumpets and bagels fit perfectly, too, and don’t require a second toasting round like our previous appliance. 

Related: The best oven cleaner for a spring clean

Russell Hobbs 24370 Inspire Toaster: design and style

Russell Hobbs 24370 Inspire Toaster removable crumb tray

Overall, the Inspire Toaster design is lovely and perfectly suited to our kitchen. It has a rippled, high gloss finish, and I like that the chrome accents match our kitchen cabinets. Both the toaster and kettle together are an aesthetically pleasing addition to the room, so they were a clear choice for our best kettle and toaster set round-up.

In terms of cleaning, the pull-out crumb tray isn’t fiddly at all and is easy to use. I’ve found little to no crumbs can escape, and cleaning the tray itself is a breeze. Wiping down the toaster’s external parts is very easy, too.

Related: The best kettle for hard water, according to Mumsnetters

Price: does the Russell Hobbs Inspire Toaster offer value for money?

In my opinion, the price for this toaster is very affordable for the features you get. While it’s not a budget toaster, it’s also not a luxury purchase - instead, it’s a great, mid-range toaster that will do the job and a little bit more for a couple or small family. 

How we tested

  • Used at least twice daily in a family home of four people over a month

  • Tested with different kinds of bread, including sourdough, white bread and wholemeal

  • Also tested with crumpets and bagels

During testing, I made sure to examine the toaster's performance, features and ease of use in a busy family home. While it’s great for a couple or a small family, we’ve not yet had any battles over who gets the toast first and downgrading from an old four-slice to this new, modern and efficient two-slice toaster has made sense.

Out of the box, I examined its design as well as the quality of materials used, along with the aesthetics of the toaster and how it looks in our kitchen. 

In terms of function, I made sure to test all settings out at least once a day - lift and look, warming and browning - whereas the frozen setting has been tested only twice so far. It is very easy to use overall; the lever is sturdy and easy to push down to toast, as well as being simple to lift to see how your bread is browning. The crumb tray is also sturdy and catches what it should. 

About the author

Rebecca Roberts is a writer, editor, and content marketing expert hailing from Leeds. Here at Mumsnet, she commissions, writes, and edits to bring parents content designed to make life easier. Having birthed two children just 15 months apart, she knows all too well how stressful it can be to keep your home clean, tidy and organised when you’re managing a busy household. So, she’s fully invested in finding the best products for families that save both time and money. 

Beyond her role as an editor here at Mumsnet, Rebecca can be found balancing life as a working mum of two toddlers and when she’s not at her desk, you’ll likely find her at a local playgroup, in a nearby coffee shop, or walking the dog.

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real people after extensive research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.

Read next: The best American fridge freezer, tried and tested