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Sage The Smart Toast review: "one of the best toasters I've ever used"

Purveyor of high-tech kitchen gadgets Sage wowed us with this luxury toaster. Here's MNHQ editor Natasha's full verdict on this five-star gadget.

By Natasha Gregson | Last updated Mar 15, 2024

Sage The Smart Toast
Our rating:

Price on writing: £129 | Buy now from Amazon

What we like
  • Sleek, stylish design

  • High-tech features

  • Variable temperature settings

  • Even browning

  • 'A quick look' button to check on progress without stopping the timer

  • The toast automatically lifts itself up and down

  • Removable crumb tray

  • Wide slots

What we don't like
  • Expensive

  • Crumpet setting took a bit of trial and error to get the right timings

Key specs

Capacity: Two slices (four slice available too) | Number of settings: Variable | Defrost function: Yes | Bagel function: Yes | Removable crumb tray: Yes | Cancel button: Yes | Power: 840 to 1000 Watts | Dimensions: 29.5 x 21.8 x 19.1 cm

Our verdict

Sage The Smart Toast in use
  • Ease of use: 5/5

  • Toasting performance: 5/5

  • Ease of cleaning: 4/5

  • Design: 5/5

  • Value for money: 3.5/5

Thanks to its innovative features, sleek design and excellent toasting performance, Sage won a well-deserved spot on our best toaster round-up with this impressive gadget. In fact, there were features I didn't even know I needed from a toaster packed into this stylish model. My favourite was the automated lift function which lowered and raised slices of bread up and down at the touch of a button, evoking many an excited 'ooooh' exclamation in my household.

The main drawback is the £130 price tag (or £179 for the four-slice option), but this is no basic toaster; there's five settings to choose from and a slider to select the timing for perfect toasting every time. Overall, if you can afford it, I think it's a great gadget to invest in and it sits very nicely alongside the brand's matching kettle (which also happens to feature on our best kettle guide too).

How easy was Sage The Smart Toast 2-Slice Toaster to set up?

Sage The Smart Toast 2-Slice Toaster in its packaging

Very easy. The instructions were clear and simple to understand, and before the first use it was just a case of plugging the toaster in and running it empty on the maximum setting. There was an odd smell emitted, but the instructions assured me that this was totally normal.

Related: The best dishwasher for sparkling pots every time

How easy was Sage The Smart Toast to use?

Despite the high-tech features, it was surprisingly easy to use. I did spend more time reading the instructions to understand the different settings than I would have done with a basic toaster, but once I'd got my head round the functions it was simple to understand.

The slider on the front allowed me to select the toasting time (from one to five minutes), and there was a handy LED light indicator so I could see where I was on my toasting journey. Then, there were five buttons on the top to select the mode:

  • Toast/cancel - to start or stop the toasting

  • 'A bit more' - to add extra time to your toasting

  • Crumpet - specially for crumpets, this only heats up the internal side of each slot. The top of the crumpet must be facing inward on this setting

  • Frozen - for bread still iced from your fridge freezer

  • 'A quick look' - to check on progress without cancelling the toasting

Sage The Smart Toast in use

One of my favourite (albeit gimmicky) things about this toaster was that once you pressed 'Toast' it automatically lowered the bread down into the slots. Then, with one touch of the 'A quick look' button, the slices rose up for a few seconds and then down again like something out of a sci-fi world. This was genuinely useful for checking on toasting progress, plus the automated movement, while unnecessary, gave this toaster a futuristic feel that kids (and adults!) will love.

Related: The best integrated dishwasher for a streamlined kitchen

How does Sage The Smart Toast 2-Slice Toaster perform?

Sage The Smart Toast 2-Slice Toaster

Very well – in fact, it's one of the best toasters I've ever used. I tried a variety of different bread types in here, including white, brown, sourdough and bagels, and slices slotted in easily and consistently came out evenly browned. The quick look feature was helpful in reducing any burnt slices ending up in the kitchen bin too.

I loved the crumpet setting eventually, though it did take some trial and error as my first attempts were too overdone for my liking. That said, I soon learnt to use the quick look button when experimenting with this setting to get the ideal goldilocks not-too-much, not-too-little timing. The persistence was worth it though and it wasn't long before I mastered the art of perfect crumpets every time.

The 'A bit more' button was nice to have, but I don't think it's a standout feature as you can adjust the timer dial and press 'Toast' if you feel your slice needs a little longer.

Related: The best American fridge freezer, tried and tested

Sage The Smart Toast: design and style

Sage The Smart Toast and Sage The Smart Kettle

This Sage toaster got top marks for design; it's hard to find fault with its sleek looks. The brushed stainless steel finish is very stylish and I loved the illuminated buttons and LED progress indicator.

It's fairly compact too; it slotted neatly into my kitchen without taking up a huge amount of counter space. I tested the two-slice model, however, so if you have a larger family and want the four-slicer, it'll take up twice as much space. And while I haven't tested the four-slice model, I do like the look of its design and how you can have two different settings on the go on each side of the toaster.

I tried out the toaster alongside its counterpart, The Sage Smart Kettle – both look great together, so if you're after the best matching toaster and kettle set and can splash out on premium products, they make a great pair.

How easy is Sage The Smart Toast 2-Slice Toaster to clean?

Sage The Smart Toast 2-Slice Toaster

Thanks to the removable crumb tray, it was pretty easy to clean. However, I've docked a mark here as the tray is quite narrow and doesn't cover the whole section where crumbs fall, so there were still crumbs in the machine after I'd emptied it, meaning I had to tip the toaster over the bin to fully get rid of them.

Maintaining the outside of the machine was easy enough though, it just needed a quick wipe.

Related: The best oven cleaner and glass cleaner for your kitchen

Price: does Sage The Smart Toast offer value for money?

Sage is a luxury brand, so it's no surprise that The Smart Toast comes with a premium price tag. If you're looking for a basic, gets-the-job-done toaster, you're better off going for a cheaper model. However, if you love a bit of kitchen tech and want something with impressive, nice-to-have features alongside the essentials, I think it's a fantastic buy.

Also, it retails £50 cheaper than another Mumsnet favourite, the Dualit NewGen Toaster, though the two-year guarantee on the Sage is a little shorter than the Dualit's five years.

Sage the Smart Toast 2 Slice Toaster

"I have this and love all the functions on the toaster."

Mumsnetter Carbis

Now £129

the Smart Toast

Buy now

How we tested

MNHQ editor Natasha tested Sage's The Smart Toast in her north London kitchen. During testing, she carefully rated it on its features, ease of use, ease of cleaning, design, value for money, and the results it produced, evaluating how it performed in a real-life kitchen setting in comparison to other toasters she's used.

  • Tested in a four-person household over a three-week period

  • Used daily for a variety of bread types

  • Used every mode on the toaster during testing

  • Cleaned regularly during testing

Related: The best kids' lunch boxes for school

About the author

Natasha Gregson is an Affiliate Content Editor at Mumsnet and oversees all home and kitchen content on the website. With numerous years of editorial experience under her belt, her work has also been featured in prestigious national publications like The i Paper and Stylist Magazine, and she's written on a wide range of topics.

An avid foodie, Natasha has been on a mission for Mumsnet to find the best toasters, nobly munching her way through all manner of bread slices (plus crumpets!) to find quality options for Mumsnetters. It's a hard task, but someone's got to do it. She's also worked extensively on other kitchen content for Mumsnet, including researching and writing about the best tea towels, vacuum sealers, air fryers, and much more.

When she’s not busy seeking out the best buys and advice for Mumsnetters, you can find her searching for the next best restaurant, watching live music, curling up with a good book, cross-stitching, or enjoying a good hike or swim.

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.

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