When people think of safety for the elderly, the kitchen probably isn’t the first to come to mind. But, handling hot sheet pans or bending over to get your food from the oven can be dangerous.
Acts as simple as making toast can present hazards for seniors.
Fortunately, there are many kitchen gadgets available that have been designed with special safety features in mind. Toasters and toaster ovens are especially safer than they used to be.
Being able to cook your own food provides you with a greater sense of independence and also the health benefits of a home-cooked meal. Investing in a great toaster or toaster oven should be part of the plan.
So, here are the best toasters and toaster ovens for elderly people to reduce the chance of kitchen accidents.
Safe and Simple Toasters for Seniors
Based on my experience working with seniors and hours of research, the best toasters for seniors are:
Buydeem DT620 Toaster
- Outside stays cool to the touch
- Easy to use controls
- Flat button is easier on arthritic joints and fingers
- “Extra Lift” function exposes more of the food for safer removal
- Familiar, vintage design in 3 colors plus 2 and 4 slice options
The folks over at Buydeem sent me one of their nostalgic and simple toasters to try out and I was pretty impressed. There are a lot of great features here to help out older adults and the elderly.
First, you’ll probably notice this toaster has a very familiar design that brings to mind toaster of the 50’s and 60’s. It is available in this green color plus a mellow yellow and basic stainless too. There is also a 2-slice and 4-slice option also.
But it’s more than just an “old-looking” toaster. You will quickly appreciate the clear and easy to use controls and simple functions. There are 7 settings so you can toast as much (or little as you like). Plus, there is a bagel/muffin setting that toasts one side only for people who hate to burn the bottom of their bagels and english muffins. A defrost (for frozen pastries) and reheat function are also part of the package.
The wording on the toaster is easy to see and understand. The ring around the button also lights up when the toaster in use. The shade setting dial on the bottom is easy to grasp and turn which people with arthritis will appreciate.
People with arthritis will also love the large flat activation lever that is used to start the toaster. You can even use this same lever as an “extra lift” function to get food out of the toaster more safely. Simply push the lever up and it helps raise the food out of the toaster.
The outside of the unit stays cool to the touch when the toaster is being used except for the metal parts at the top. Watch out for those – this is where the “extra lift” function comes in handy. I did notice that this toaster works fast and heats up quickly. I recommend you start at a lower setting than usual until you figure out where your optimal setting is.
Touch to Toast 2-Slice Silver Wide Slot Toaster with Crumb Tray
- 7 shade control settings to make perfect toast every time
- Bagel, defrost, and reheat cooking functions mean that you can use this toaster to make much more than just toast!
- Digital display, countdown timer, and beeping alarm ensure your safety.
This toaster has a wide range (7!) different cooking settings which will allow you to customize the level of browning on your toast.
Its bagel function will also provide bagels with crispy tops and soft bottoms. It also features defrost and reheat functions, which will let you cook more than just toast! The defrost setting makes this a great option to cook frozen pancakes, waffles, and other refrigerated breads and pastries.
This toaster features extra-wide slots, which can fit items such as sliced bread, French toast, pancakes, and other pastries. Clean up is made simple thanks to a removable crumb tray. There is also a cord wrap hidden under the toaster so that power cords aren’t left hanging around your counter when you’re not using the toaster.
A motorized, leverless lifting mechanism will ensure that your toast always pops up right in time and doesn’t get stuck. No need to fool with a lever to lower or raise the food. The toaster also features a digital interface with easy-to-use buttons and a countdown time for extra safety.
This gadget will also emit a beeping sound to let you know when you toast is ready! These additional features make this one of the best and safest toasters for elderly people you will find online.
Here’s a quick demo of this easy to use toaster from Cuisinart:
Hamilton Beach Cool Wall 2-Slice Toaster (22623)
This toaster is simple but will cover all your toasting needs.
Choose from seven different toast shades by simply turning a knob to make sure your toast comes out exactly as you like it. Its self-centering guides will make sure that, no matter the width of your bread, it will stay in the perfect toasting position.
Cleaning this toaster is simple thanks to its swing-down crumb tray which will keep your countertops neat and tidy. One-touch buttons will let you select your desired cooking function in just a second.
The lever on this toaster can be lifted an additional inch to provide easy and safe access to your toast once it’s done.
This Dash Cool Touch toaster stays cool on the outside to reduce the chances of burn. There are two colors to choose from too.
It is also easy to operate with the large black knob and easy to read white print. There is even a cancel button front and center in case anything goes wrong.
The lever could be more apparent though. For design purposes, it meets the upper edge of the toaster and blends in even though it is a different color. This could confuse some elderly people.
It is very lightweight – only 2 lbs. So, if the user has to move it frequently or lifts it often, this one won’t be a problem.
Safe and Simple Toaster Ovens for Seniors
Based on my research and experience working with seniors, the best toaster ovens for seniors are:
6 Slice Easy Reach® Digital Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door
This sleek, modern toaster oven / broiler from Hamilton Beach is a great option for your elderly loved one.
The unique Roll-Top door is the reason this is one of my favorites. It provides a large opening and makes it safe to reach in for food. This door moves up and out of the way to allow easy access to food even while it’s still cooking. It also makes it easier to take your food out of the toaster oven and into your plate once it’s done. All of this reduces the chance of a burn while using it.
This particular toaster oven model features five different cooking settings: convection, toast, bake, broil, and pizza. Activating the convection cooking setting will make a fan circulate heated air continuously around the food. This feature reduces average cooking time by up to 25%.
Check out the next model down for the simplified version of this model with less features.
This smart oven has a digital display that makes it easy to choose your desired setting. Its 60-minute timer with a ready bell and auto shutoff will keep its users safe while they cook.
The digital display is very easy to read and handle.
This toaster oven is also easy to clean, which is a big plus for many buyers. The Roll-Top door is removable, and makes it easier to clean the toaster oven. There is also a removable crumb tray that will make clean-up a breeze.
This is the simplified version of the Hamilton Beach toaster oven above. It is really just about the safest toaster oven you’ll find.
It still has that great roll top door that I love and built-in timer with automatic shutoff for safety.
But it has simple to use knobs instead of digital button controls. The knobs are large and easy to turn too so elderly hands won’t have any problems using them. The print is a bit small though.
Also, it has less functions which makes it easy to use. There is no convection oven feature. It just does basic broiling, baking, and toasting.
Here’s a quick video from Hamilton Beach showing these features and options:
Zojirushi 2-Slice Toaster Oven (ET-WMC22)
- Big knobs that are easy to turn.
- Bold and contrasted printing on the front is larger than most ad easy to read.
- Dings when the time is done and shuts itself off.
- The door, cooking rack, and crumb tray come off easily for cleaning.
- Uses a mesh rack to promote even toasting and keep food from falling through.
I like this option for a basic, simple toaster oven too.
First, I love the knobs on the front, they are large and easy to turn – even for seniors with arthritic hands. The white print around the buttons also contrasts nicely against the black. This printing is also a larger size than some of the others so it will be easier to read.
This model cooks for up to 30 minutes and it sounds a DING and turns itself off when the time is up. It has a handy built-in cheat sheet just inside the door that reminds you at what temperature you should cook certain foods and for how long.
Finally, clean up is easy on the one. The door, mesh rack, and crumb tray are all removable for quick and easy cleaning.
BLACK+DECKER 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven
- Knobs are large and easy to turn.
- Warm setting is good for heating up buns and more delicate items.
- 30 minute timer with auto-shot off at the end
- “Stay On” feature could be dangerous for forgetful seniors or those with dementia or Alzheimers
- Print around knobs is readable but could be larger.
This is your basic toaster oven for warming, making toast, or frozen pizzas and the senior’s favorite snacks. Not many bells and whistles. But, for most senior and elderly people, that’s just what you want.
The knobs are good-sized and easy for seniors to use. The print around them could be bigger and bolder. It’s a bit difficult to read I think.
It has a warm setting for quickly warming hamburger buns and more delicate items. There is a 30 minute timer that dings and shuts off when the time is up.
One caution for you: this toaster oven does have a “Stay On” setting. If you turn the bottom knob to the right, it works as a timer. But, if you turn it all the way to the left, it will stay on until you turn it off. This could be hazardous for some seniors – especially if they are at risk for walking off and forgetting about it. At best, the food will burn. At worst, there could be a fire.
Cleaning is a bit more difficult for this one too. The door is not removable but there is a removable crumb catcher.
Combination Models: Toasters with Multiple Functions
Hamilton Beach Combo Toaster / Toaster Oven
- 60 minute timer with automatic shut off
- Thick chunky knobs that are easy for weak or arthritic hands to turn.
- Print contrasts well and is readable for most seniors
- Space saver design to take up less room on the counter top
- It does have a stay on setting that could be a problem for seniors with dementia or who are forgetful.
- Some seniors might get confused switching between toaster and oven modes.
This two in one combination combines a toaster oven with a standard “pop-up” toaster in the top.
This model has a toaster built right into the top of it that toasts the way most seniors are familiar with. There is a simple, well labeled switch at the top right of the oven that changes mode. The toaster has several settings from lightly toasted to darker toasts.
The oven has the basic toaster oven features that I’ve talked about with the other models. Careful though, this one does have a “stay on” setting if the bottom knob is turned all the way.
Check out this video to see it in action:
Here’s a fun item that some seniors will love. This all in one breakfast station is a staple in dorm rooms but has some uses as a gift in the kitchens of seniors too.
With this one device, you can make coffee, cook meats and eggs on the griddle, and make toast or biscuits in the oven.
While this is a very convenient option, there are a few caveats.
Look closely at the controls. They are easy for most seniors to understand but multiple knobs and switches have to be used for proper use. Otherwise the product may not work correctly or at all.
I’d encourage you to watch this video and make sure you or the senior in your life can use it safely.
Recommended Toaster Safety Features
- Auto shutoff feature, timer, and beeping alarms to ensure safety.
- Removable crumb trays make it simple to clean your toaster or toaster oven after you’re done cooking. This reduces the chance of a fire.
- Large displays, buttons, or dials to make sure your elderly loved one can customize the toaster’s settings exactly to their preferences.
- An auto-eject wire rack will allow users to remove their food without fear of getting burned while the toaster is still hot.
- A variety of settings –from browning levels, to bagel, and defrost features- turn a simple toaster into a versatile gadget that can be used to cook many different kinds of food.
Toaster Safety Tips
- Unplug your toaster when not in use and regularly check the wall socket for burn marks.
- To clean your toaster, wipe it regularly. You should never submerge your toaster – or any other electrical gadget – in water or any other liquid.
- Make sure to clean your crumb tray regularly to avoid fires.
- Don’t leave your toaster or toaster oven unattended for long periods of time, and always make sure it’s turned off before leaving the house.
- Don’t place anything but food inside the toaster’s bread slots.
How Can Toasters Help Elderly People?
Toast is a common part of breakfast for many elderly people and, of course, it is important that the elderly eat breakfast every day. So, being able to quickly – and safely – make a slice or two of toast is also important.
Being able to cook their own meals will afford your elderly loved one a greater sense of independence and accomplishment. Cooking can even become their new hobby! Toasters and toaster ovens provide a safe alternative to hot pots and pans, which can cause accidents and injuries.
Today, most toasters come with an array of features that allow them to cook more than just simple toasted bread. From heating crispy bagels, to defrosting waffles and pancakes, this gadgets will let your loved one choose from a variety of baked goods. Combined with different fillings and toppings, these foods can make for a balanced, hearty meal.
Toaster ovens are even more versatile. A toaster oven can do the same things as a traditional oven – with less risk. These electrical ovens will let your loved one make cakes, muffins, pizzas, cookies, and even broil chicken and other types of meat! Their small size make them easier to clean, and seniors with back pain won’t have to bend over to take their food out of the oven. Features such as timers, alarms, and automatic shut off will help keep your elderly loved one safe while they cook delicious meals.
These gadgets are also useful if you eat frozen foods. Simply touch a few buttons and wait while your frozen meal heats up. After that, it’s ready for you to enjoy! These are all wonderful reasons to go on the hunt for the best toaster for elderly people.
Special Note: Toasters for Dementia and Alzheimer’s
If your elderly loved one suffers from a neurodegenerative disease such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, make sure to keep an eye on them while they are in the kitchen.
Depending on the severity of their condition, they might still be able to prepare some recipes on their own. However, you should never leave them to handle any kitchen gadgets unattended.
Something as simple as placing a finger or fork inside the toaster could lead to a preventable accident.
If they are still in the early stages of their disease, you can cook meals together. This allows them a certain degree of autonomy over their dietary choices but you can help keep an eye on things.
For seniors with dementia or Alzheimers, look for gadgets that have simple settings and buttons. Also, features like auto shutoff systems are best for these folks too.
Frequently Asked Questions / FAQ
What are the Differences Between Toasters and Toaster Ovens?
A toaster will do exactly what its name suggests: toast bread. These simple gadgets have evolved, however, and you can use them to toast or thaw different frozen baked goods. There are also models that offer large capacities which will let you toast 4 to 8 slices of bread at the same time. However, they are still much simpler than toaster ovens, since their main function is simply making perfect toast every time.
Toaster ovens, on the other hand, are bigger gadgets that have the functionalities of both toasters and traditional ovens. You can still make toast in these ovens, but you can also bake, broil, and cook a huge variety of meals. Thus, they tend to have a larger number of features than simple toasters.
What are the Dangers of Using a Toaster?
Even though toasters are electrical devices, there are still some dangers inherent to their use.
- Placing anything inside the toaster’s slots can lead to a severe electric shock which could even endanger your life.
- Letting bread crumbs accumulate inside the crumb tray can lead to a fire.
- Submerging a toaster in water can generate electric shocks.
Do Toaster Ovens Save Electricity?
According to First Choice Power, they do use less electricity than a standard electric oven. They also say that microwave ovens use less electricity than both toaster ovens and standard oven ranges.
Summary and Final Recommendations
So, there you have it! Some of the best toasters for elderly people. Owning a toaster or toaster oven will allow seniors to add variety to their diet and make their own meals. These are all great options, but I just love the Cuisinart CPT-420. It is a bit pricier than some of its competitors, but the quality and amount of features mean that this will be a great investment. Of course, there are many other great options in the market.
Now that you know which features to look for, it will be much easier to choose a toaster that will keep your loved ones safe while letting them enjoy cooking! Do you have a toaster that you recommend for seniors? Let us know in the comments below.