Who doesn’t love fried food? Crispy, crunchy, golden-brown... But we all know that you probably shouldn’t make it a staple of your diet. Or should you?
The air fryer is one of the newest and coolest appliances on the market. It offers the ability to fry foods without using as much oil as conventional frying, which makes it much healthier. You can get foods just as crispy and crunchy as conventional frying but without loading your food up with oil; a massive benefit if you’re eating clean or don’t like refined foods.
Despite being a new entrance to the kitchen appliances space, there are still plenty of air fryers on the market. We’ve compiled the top eight here to compare, so you can look through and find the one that’s best for you.
And to be honest - all of them are great choices so we had a very hard time deciding the order of this list.
**Click any of the links above to read customer reviews on Amazon or continue reading for our full comprehensive guide.
Frying without oil never quite lives up to frying with oil, however much we’d like it to. Homemade fries cooked in the oven without oil are often soggy and pale, while fried foods cooked on the stove regularly stick to the pan or get dry and hard instead of crunchy and golden on the outside.
Luckily, air fryers make it easy; they’re designed to circulate incredibly hot air to fry your food from all sides without needing oil. They’re capable of making your food crispy and give it that classic ‘fried’ feel without the negative health benefits associated with conventional frying. So if you’re looking to clean up your diet and strip out the unnecessary refined foods, an air fryer is able to massively help you out.
There aren’t that many differences between the models, presumably because it’s a new market and so there hasn’t been as much time for brands to diversify their offerings. All offer the same basic system by which they are used, and all have the same basic design.
Because these are all the top air fryers on the market, they all benefit from an important benefit of air fryers: a variable temperature control setting. This setting allows you to change the temperature of your fryer directly, so you can control exactly how hot the air inside is. The wider the range of temperatures, the better; different foods fry better at different temperatures, so having a wide range means that you can fry more types of food in the same machine.
The models differ in their capacities. Some models, like the Big Boss, are enormous – it has a 16-quart capacity, big enough to cook for an entire dinner party. Others, like the BLACK+DECKER, are better served for a small family or a few people with containers that can only hold around 2 cups of food.
An important difference between some of these models is the addition of pre-programmed settings, which allow you to load your air fryer, select an option, and leave the machine to do the work, coming back when it’s done to find your food perfectly fried. It should be noted that many of the models in this list come with pre-programmed settings for meat, like ‘chicken’ or ‘steak’, which means they’re probably not as useful a feature for vegans as people who eat meat. However, they’ll probably lend themselves well to protein sources like tempeh or tofu, as well as processed meat alternatives that you may want to fry – it’s just a matter of playing around with them.
Appearance is also a difference between the models. Some have multiple color options – like the Big Boss, which has six – while others have none. Some have attractive designs, like the two Philips models, while others are more basic. Some have handy LED displays for changing temperature and watching the timers, while others have only analog functions.
There are also differences in clean-up. While all of these models come apart in much the same way, some of them have dishwasher-safe parts while others do not. Dishwasher-safe parts make it much easier to clean-up, especially if you’re in a rush; you can simply throw the parts in the dishwasher and go, without having to bother much with more intensive cleaning.
Warranties are the last and one of the most important differences between the models. Some models have very short warranties, like the Power AirFryer XL at only 60 days; others, like the Philips models and the BLACK+DECKER, have two-year warranties.
It’s difficult to pick a top air fryer without considering your priorities. The differences in models have been listed above, but what do they mean to you?
If you’re regularly cooking for a bunch of other people, or you meal prep often, you should consider a model with a large capacity. If you only cook for yourself or a small family, go for one that’s smaller instead and will take up less space in your kitchen.
If you have a highly cultivated kitchen, with a strong design aesthetic, go for a more attractive model that has a bunch of color options so you can be specific with the appliance that you introduce into your space.
If you’d like a model that you know will have great build quality, it’s a good idea to go for a model with a longer warranty, because this usually implies that the manufacturer has confidence in their building practices and the reliability of their products. So, if you don’t want to find yourself buying another air fryer in a year, go for something with a longer warranty.
If you’re often on the go, get a model that’s dishwasher-safe so you can chuck it in the dishwasher and go.
If you don’t like cooking, or you’re regularly juggling a bunch of things at the same time, you should opt for a model with pre-programmed settings – they make it incredibly easy, since you can just push a button and come back when it’s done.
Whatever your priorities are, there’s sure to be a model that’s great for you – and your health.
The GoWISE 4th Generation Electric Air Fryer is one of the latest offerings from GoWISE, and it represents a step in the right direction for the brand’s air fryer range. It’s the best model in this list, and therefore one of the best air fryers on the market, with an impressive range of specs and almost everything you could want in an air fryer. All of their products come with a 1 year warranty according to the manufacturer.
It has a 3.7-quart capacity (although a bigger version is available), which is roughly standard for most air fryers on the market. It has variable temperature control, with the choice between 175 and 400°F, a wide range for any air fryer that will give you impressive control and the ability to cook all sorts of different things. Its parts are dishwasher-safe, which is an important consideration if you’re short on time.
Where this model really shines is with its pre-programmed settings, its color options, and its functionality. It has seven pre-programmed settings, one of the highest on this list, that allow you to fry all sorts of things with a push of the button such as chips (and this list of recipes including the best-ever air fryer fries seems like the way to go). It has four color options: black, red, plum, and white (**color availability may vary). And it has both a 30-minute timer and an LCD touch screen, so it’s very easy to use, and it comes with a recipe book to help you make the most of your machine.
This is a great air fryer if you’d like an excellent product that’s very easy to use and comes in a couple of assorted colors for you to match to your kitchen. It’s sleek, effective, and a favorite of consumers.
Links to all the colors can be found below:
The GoWISE 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer is another excellent offering from GoWISE, with very similar specs to the previous model.
The 8-in-1 also has a 3.7-quart capacity, variable temperature – 175-392°F, ever-so-slightly narrower than the 4th Generation – and dishwasher-safe parts. It has eight pre-programmed settings which is the most on this list. It can easily fry just about anything that you’d want an air fryer to, and the added ‘warm up’ setting makes it super easy to get the machine ready to go.
It only has two colors (**availability may vary), however – black and red. This is two fewer than the previous GoWISE, but more than most air fryers on the market. Since many kitchen appliances can be found in red, it’s a great opportunity to synchronize your air fryer to your kitchen décor. It has a 30-minute timer to help you time your cooking perfectly.
The Nu Wave Deluxe Air Fryer is an excellent air fryer with simple settings and an easy-to-use functionality. It’s a 3.5-quart model, which is about average for air fryers, and is therefore useful for people who are cooking for a few people. Its digital LED display is incredibly easy to use, and the parts are dishwasher-safe for super easy clean-up.
Its variable temperature control allows you to specify a temperature between 100 and 390°F, and it has one pre-programmed setting – pre-heat – which allows you to easily get the machine hot before you use it. This is advantageous if you often forget to pre-heat, or you’d just like your machine to do the work for you.
This model only comes in black as far as we could find.
NuWave's also come with a 1 year warranty which we located on the manufacturer's website.
The Philips Airfryer is the original air fryer, and one of the best on the market. It performs admirably, and its patented starfish design – and the design of the following XL version of this same model – is designed to circulate air evenly to create fast and even cooking results. So, even though it doesn’t have pre-programmed settings – it’s too early a model for that – it does have an impressive cooking ability that makes it one of the top on the market.
This model has a 1.75lb capacity, which Philips has described as roughly one bag of fries. It comes in two colors – white and black – and has a really interesting, unique design that looks different to any other kitchen appliance on the market. If you’re interested in attractive kitchen appliances, this is one of the models for you.
The Airfryer is dishwasher-safe, for easy clean-up, and has a 1-Year Guarantee (found at the manufacturer’s website here) – a standard for Philips kitchen appliances, and one of the best in the air fryer market. This shows how dedicated Philips is to build quality in their products; they can guarantee that their machines will perform for years to come.
If you’d like a model that’s super easy to use, the lack of pre-programmed settings means that this model is slightly harder than it could be and must be babysat, so it’s ideal if you’re an active cooker and like to be involved in the process.
The Philips XL Airfryer is essentially the same as the previous model, but slightly larger, at 2.65lb capacity rather than 1.75lbs – or, in Philips’ lingo, two bags of frozen fries rather than one. If you have a bigger family, you’re used to cooking for guests, or you meal prep, this is a better option for you than the previous model.
Otherwise, these models are essentially the same. Both have variable temperature control, no pre-programmed settings, the option to come in both black and white, along with dishwasher-safe components.
It also has a 1-Year Guarantee (found at the manufacturer’s website here).
This model comes with a 60-minute timer, an attractive design and a digital interface, and it comes with a recipe book to help you make the most of your machine.
This is an excellent model if you’d like to benefit from Philips’ long warranty, great build quality, their patented starfish design, and a larger container than the other Philips model. If you’d like a model that’s super easy to use, the lack of pre-programmed settings means that this model is slightly harder than it could be and must be babysat, so it’s ideal if you’re an active cooker and like to be involved in the process.
The BLACK+DECKER Air Fryer is an excellent model that comes with some great specs. It has an 8-cup capacity, which is the lowest on this list and so may make this model unsuitable for people cooking for large groups of people or a big family. Instead, it’s ideal for anyone cooking smaller portions for just one or two people.
This model has variable temperature control that spans from 175-400°F, a large enough range to fry almost anything you might want to. Its parts are dishwasher safe and it comes with a two-year warranty, which alongside the Philips models is the highest on this list.
The BLACK+DECKER Air Fryer does not come with any pre-programmed settings, so it must be used manually. Luckily, it has a 60-minute timer, so you can use that to keep track of how long your food has been cooking. It only comes in one color – black and stainless steel.
The HF100WD which is a similar model, does come in white.
This model is great if you want a fairly standard air fryer, with good temperature control, dishwasher-safe parts and a great warranty. If you’re after a machine that’s super-easy to use, this probably isn’t the best pick for you, since it must be used manually; but if that isn’t an issue for you, definitely consider it.
The Big Boss Fryer lives up to its name: with a whopping 16-quart capacity, it’s easily the biggest model on this list. If you’re someone who regularly cooks a bunch of food in one go -whether you have a big family, a big appetite, or you do meal prep all in one day – this is an excellent model for you (especially if, like me, you can't get enough buffalo cauliflower - use this recipe for air fryer buffalo cauliflower for inspiration). It’s big enough to accommodate plenty of food, and two separate trays mean you can cook multiple foods at the same time without them coming into contact, and you can stagger their introduction into the air fryer to cook them for different lengths of time. This model comes with a 60-minute timer, very helpful for tracking this.
As well as the ability to control the length of time your fryer operates for, you can also control the temperature with the variable temperature control, which ranges from 250 to over 450°F. It comes in six color options, the most on this list: black, blue, grey, purple, red, and white. As a result, it’s one of the best models for integrating into a highly designed kitchen – if you have a specific color scheme in mind, this is the best model for you.
The Big Boss Fryer advertises ‘triple cooking power’; it’s said to incorporate halogen, convection and infrared heat to cook your food perfectly both inside and out. It’s the only model to boast such a system.
This model is let down by its lack of pre-programmed settings, which mean you’ll have to monitor your food while it’s cooking rather than be able to press a button and let it work without your input. There are also mixed reports on how well this unit cleans in the dishwasher so this may be something to consider.
Sadly, the warranty information couldn’t be found for this model – it’s not advertised on the manufacturer’s website (or at least we couldn't find it). It’s likely to be under a year, like most air fryers on the market, but this cannot be confirmed.
This model is ideal for people who cook large quantities of food all at once and have a stylized kitchen because of its large size and range of color options. It’s not best for people who are busy and on-the-go, because it doesn’t have any pre-programmed settings and must be washed manually.
The Power AirFryer XL is a best-selling air fryer with a top-tier set of specs and an incredibly easy-to-use interface. It’s one of the best in the market because of its variable temperature, its pre-programmed settings, and its appearance.
Like most top air fryers, this model comes with variable temperature: it can range from 180-400°F, which is wide enough to encompass everything from baking to fries. Although this model comes with heaps of pre-programmed settings, if you want to be able to control your machine closely, this variable temperature control is essential.
Having pre-programmed settings just makes it much easier to use an air fryer, as you don’t have to babysit your food while it’s cooking.
This model comes in both black and red, like the previous model, and has an easy-grip handle that’s always cool to the touch, so it’s easy to remove the contents of the fryer even when the machine is hot. It’s an attractive machine, with a smooth LED interface that will stand out in your kitchen.
The warranty for this model is also only 60 days, which is significantly shorter than every other model on this list and shorter than most home appliances altogether. It’s worth considering whether you’re willing to take the risk on a machine like this, because such a short warranty could be very inconvenient. You can read the details here from the manufacturer.
Here’s a link to the red unit in case that color suits your fancy.
The GoWise 4th Generation Air Fryer is our top choice, but it’s a very close call. There are a lot of excellent air fryers on the market, and the choice about which is best definitely comes down to your priorities and what you’re after in a model. However, the GoWISE 4th Generation’s pre-programmed settings, its color options, its variable temperature control and its LCD touch screen help it stand out just a little above the crowd.
Have fun on your air frying journey!
If you're still having trouble making a decision - our other air fryer buying guides may help:
Hey! I'm Michelle and I write product reviews for ThriveCuisine.com. I'm always preparing healthy / plant based foods and I've developed a knack for helping people get the best bang for their buck.