Air fryers are kind of the next big thing in the kitchen. You’ll see plenty of publications calling them the “next Instant Pot,” and hundreds of air fryer devotees gushing about the appliance. Like the Instant Pot, the air fryer has spawned a community, with Facebook pages and blogs devoted to recipe sharing and air fryer tips.
The air fryer is often marketed as a healthier option to frying – you can get the “fried” foods you crave with significantly less (or no) oil. However, air fryers use convection heating and can be used for much more than simply “frying” foods. And, air fryers will not give you the exact same results as actual frying. Ultimately, happy air fryer owners are finding that they use it all the time for different kinds of foods with great success.
For those of you looking for the perfect air fryer for your kitchen, we reviewed the best air fryers you can buy.
Top Air Fryers
The Original: Phillips TurboStar Airfryer
Phillips has the distinction of being able to call themselves “The Original,” so it makes sense that they would be on the top of many “best” lists. This version is actually a bit smaller than previous versions, so it’s a little less bulky than others. The Phillips Airfryer fits up to 1.8 pounds of food, but the biggest complaint from customers is that it isn’t large enough. It has dishwasher-safe parts so cleanup is easy, and the included cookbook features plenty of recipes to inspire you. It can be a bit pricey, but it often goes on sale and is reasonably priced then.
Pros: Crispy, tasty, evenly-cooked results
Cons: Small; can be expensive
Large Capacity: Phillips XL Airfryer
If the TurboStar isn’t quite large enough and if you’re okay with splurging, the Phillips XL Airfryer is a great option. It boasts the same great cooking technology of the original with a larger capacity to cook for more — up to 2.65 lbs. Keep in mind that it is a large (and heavy) appliance that will likely need to stay on the countertop.
Pros: Quick and even cooking; plenty of room for meals
Cons: Expensive; some reports of nonstick coating coming off after using the dishwasher
Budget Large Capacity: Homia Varma Air Fryer
Homia’s Varma is a recently released addition to the air fryer world. It offers a large capacity size (5.5 quarts) at a lower price than the Phillips. It features an easy to use interface, 1800 watt heating element, and it comes with 15 accessories for a variety of recipes. It goes up to 400 degrees (which is standard for air fryers) and cooks quickly and evenly.
Pros: Less expensive; easy to use and control temperature
Cons: Brand new, so no long-time user reviews
The Bestseller: FrenchMay Air Fryer
This 3.7 quart air fryer from new kid on the block FrenchMay is Amazon’s top-selling air fryer right now. This is likely due to its price (under $100), 4.5 star rating, and 100% satisfaction guarantee. Essentially this does everything you’d expect an air fryer to do at a fraction of the cost. While it’s a new brand without a lot of long-time customers reviewing, overall the reviews seem positive and the return policy is generous.
Pros: Budget-friendly; versatile and user friendly
Cons: Some reports of nonstick coating coming off in the dishwasher
Budget: GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart Air Fryer
The GoWISE air fryer is under $80, making it the most affordable air fryer with the best reviews. It’s similar in functionality and usage to the others, so there’s very little to expand on or complain about. It has the basics: 1500 watts, temperature range of 170-400 degrees Fahrenheit, and 8 presets to choose from.
Pros: Budget-friendly; different color options
Cons: Small capacity
Shopping for an Air Fryer
For the most part, the reviews of the top air fryers are remarkably similar. Most brands get predominately high marks from customers, and most have a handful of the same kind of complaints: The nonstick coating comes off the trays; the air fryer gets hot to the touch; the functionality isn’t perfect. These are minor complaints typically, and most brands have a return policy that makes it easy for customers to get replacements quickly and without hassle.
This makes shopping for an air fryer a bit difficult, because they are so similar. Some shoppers stick with the bigger brand names because they have been around longer and there is more info about the brand overall. Going this route usually means that you’ll pay more, however. Our best advice for making a decision is to read customer and expert reviews and then pay close attention to capacity, size of the fryer, the warranty, and the available accessories.
If you’re looking at air fryers, you might find that plenty of reviews and articles also recommend looking at convection toaster ovens for similar cooking results. For some, this might be a better option. For others, the air fryer is the way to go.