If you haven't got your hands on the best air fryer already, then we're here to be your culinary fairy godmothers. With the ability to cook almost anything in minutes, these almost too-good-to-be-true gadgets can save time, money, and effort. Because seriously: who has the energy (excuse the pun) to switch on their oven these days?
Cakes, roasted veggies, whole chickens, and even the sausages for your Sunday morning sarnie — air fryers can tackle pretty much any tasty treat. How? Put simply, they circulate hot air to cook and crisp your food, similar to a convection oven. This means you can finally get rid of that deep fat fryer that stinks out your house, hair, and clothes... and slowly stretches that waistline with the added oil you need to keep adding (and changing).
Where to start? It's true that the most difficult decision is choosing which appliance to spend your hard-earned cash on. With so many models on the market, we're here to cut through the noise, no jargon, fat or fluff included. We've even got our own Real Homes test kitchen in Reading where we go to compare these countertop convection ovens side-by-side. And, ehem, reap the reward of all our hard work.
Christina and Millie, together with other trusted reviewers have reviewed just shy of 20 air fryers to ensure you get the most bang for your buck. Below you'll find our favourite of the bunch so that you can select a gadget based on your budget, how many people you need to feed, and what's usually on the menu.
The best air fryers as rated by the experts
Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6-Quart 6-in-1 Air Fryer wowed us in testing with its generous capacity and multiple cooking modes. We're a big fan of air fryers that have a slatted insert. This one allows you to air fry and also remove the insert to use the flat base of the drawer to reheat leftovers and bake anything from roasties to an apple crumble.
We found that it cooked frozen chicken breast fillets in just 12 minutes, which is just over half the time it takes in an oven to ensure there's no pink meat and that the juices run clear. It also made delicious and evenly-cooked homemade chips in just 25 minutes. This is due to the alert that reminds you to shake up your food as it's part-way through cooking, ensuring that your spuds get an even browning. Also, it remembers your most recent settings and timings so if you cook a lot of the same air fryer recipes, it will save you from adjusting the timings and temperatures each time.
At 1,700 watts, this air fryer should cost approximately 58 pence to run for one hour. This is plenty of time to cook pretty much anything other than a large joint. Considering its capacity, this is pretty impressive. According to the brand, this model saves up to 80 percent energy when compared to using a 2400-watt electric oven.
Good to know
The drawer is not dishwasher safe, but the insert is. Because it's non-stick, you can clean it easily and by hand each time. This air fryer is one of the larger options in our guide (if you want something smaller, we also think the Instant Vortex Mini air fryer is a top choice) but for families and those who can spare the counter space, we think this is the best air fryer you can buy.
We adore this multi-cooker (that's also an air fryer) for its versatility. It can also bake, slow cook, pressure cook, and even dehydrate. It's one of the most affordable models in this guide to run, especially when you consider its hefty six-litre capacity, that is. However, if you are just looking for an air fryer, then this might be too pricey for you.
It comes with a basket and crisper lid to create delicious and healthy(ish) chips, fish, and veggies. It has a large footprint (the one we reviewed was the Max, which is seriously major in size) but if you can find the room for it, this air fryer is ready to usurp your slow cooker and pressure cooker. It has a lid for air frying and a separate lid for other options like pressure cooking, so space will be a concern if you're short on it.
Bearing in mind that this is an eight-in-one appliance, it costs a mere 50 pence to run for one hour, on all modes.
Good to know
The air fry basket is large and circular. It could fit a whole chicken in theory, but the shape isn't quite right for larger, more awkwardly-shaped cuts of meat. So if you did want to cook joints, your best bet is to get your butcher to secure it tightly with some twine. The controls are incredibly intuitive, and the actual air frying quality is top-notch, so you won't miss out if you opt for this multi-functional machine.
We love, love, LOVE this air fryer from Ninja. There are none of those ambiguous cooking modes, the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer allows you to take control of the temperature and timings with simple controls. You can sync the drawers so they finish at the same time, meaning if you take out one drawer to have a look, the other will pause too.
This air fryer can also be used for cooking two foods simultaneously, making it an idyllic machine for catering to different dietary requirements. While the capacity is large (because it's spread across a wider space), it still cooks evenly and very fast. We've tested every air fryer in this guide hands-on, but this is the one to beat.
There are six ways to cook — Max Crisp, Roast, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate, and Air Fry — which gives you the ultimate cooking experience. It's super quick, so you may have to adjust the cooking instructions that come with your food.
Bearing in mind how large (and family-friendly) this air fryer is, it's still affordable to run. It works out at approximately 82 pence per hour to run, and with tonnes of capabilities, it can pretty much replace your oven, as well as your dehydrator (should you have one).
Good to know
Most air fryers have a basket that lifts out of the drawer, but you simply pull out the slatted inserts in this air fryer. This means you can use the drawers without the basket, so even "wet" dishes like pasta bakes and apple crumbles are perfectly possible (and yes, we tried both in this air fryer when testing). So while you're enjoying your main course, you can have your dessert cooking.
Can't find slash afford the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer? Check out these Ninja dupes on sale for Black Friday.
Mini by name and miniature by nature, this small air fryer left a big impact when we tested it. Not only was it small enough to sit neatly on our cluttered countertops, but it also produced some of the most crispy and evenly-cooked chips, chicken, and other snacks that we've tried. We think this is down to the EvenCrisp technology that creates that moreish texture, using 95 percent less oil than a deep fat fryer.
We found this air fryer to be the best bet for smaller households, and it particularly came in handy when cooking frozen foods for kids. The design is smart, with a tactile touchscreen display that's easy to use, especially if you're in a rush. This allows you to adjust timings and temperatures using a dial, as well as choose between reheat, roast, bake, and air fry modes. Despite being only two litres, the capacity was capable of cooking chips and a quarter chicken (enough for two). It also managed to do this very evenly, despite looking a little cramped. There's even a reminder to shake your food halfway through cooking. Our food cooked fast and came out very crispy.
With a small capacity, this is naturally one of the cheapest air fryers on our list to run. It'll cost you around 44 pence an hour, whilst you'll rarely use it for more than that time anyway. It doesn't have space for joints and it only has one basket.
Good to know
It's advisable to clean the air fryer after each use, or it will start to smoke. Cleaning this air fryer is easy though because you can pull out the insert and place it in the dishwasher. Because it's so small, the tray also fits easily into a slimline or normal-sized dishwasher. It also comes in a range of colours to suit your home decor, including teal and red, which are great for adding an accent to a white kitchen. Aside from cooking meals from scratch, this machine does a great job of warming leftovers for lunch while maintaining taste and texture... because soggy and watery reheats just aren't it!
Boasting an extra-large capacity, we think that this air fryer is perfect for those who want the most value for their money. The smart modes offer custom cooking times and temperatures depending on what you're cooking, which can be a big help for amateur chefs or those who want a reminder to shake halfway through.
After testing what feels like a mountain of air fryers, the Cosori was one of the best when it came to actual quality results. Chips? Done in 15 minutes. Frozen food? Always crispy. The 5.5-litre capacity makes this air fryer suitable for families of up to six people, and it can fit a whole chicken in for that delicious crispy skin you want from a Sunday roast.
Similar in size and price per usage to our first pick from Instant, if you want a no-frills air fryer that's affordable to run then this should be it. At only 57 pence an hour to run, there's no point in even turning your oven on to preheat.
Good to know
The fryer comes with a recipe book that's crammed with 100 ideas and plenty more inspiration. These really utilise the 14 cooking modes, which could feel overwhelming if they came without instruction.
For more Amazon air fryers, see our dedicated guide.
If you're looking for a more versatile appliance — perhaps if you have a small kitchen or simply like to maximize efficiency — the Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven is our top choice.
Our reviewer found that the Cuisinart TOA-60 had a generous capacity, perfect for cooking for her family of five. Her kids were able to eat chicken nuggets that had been air fried for just seven minutes, and they found that pizza cooked in half the time, with crispy crusts after 10 minutes. While it was on the large side, we found that it's easy on the eyes and something worth displaying in your kitchen. The instructions were easy to use, and the air fryer even came with some recipes to get you started.
Costing 61 pence to run an hour, this is one of the most expensive air fryers to run that we've reviewed.
Good to know
Cleaning is surprisingly easy, but be aware that the bottom tray needs to be in place at all times to catch fat and crumbs. There was a slight plastic smell upon first use, but it disappeared after a couple of cooking sessions. We also found that the speedy cooking was facilitated by an elevated temperature, so this will take some adjusting. Consider turning the temperature down by about 10 degrees if you plan on cooking a familiar recipe.
The Dreo air fryer is the newest recruit to our catalogue of reviews, but if you're co-habiting, consider this glossy countertop cutie! With a 3.8-litre capacity, it can't compete with the big boys, but it's great for grabbing a bite with bae or your BFF while cutting down on the cost of a takeaway. The sleek, stylish design won't cramp your interior style. In fact, the LED screen actually makes it look quite fancy.
Our reviewer put the Dreo air fryer through its paces cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner in this device so that she could be super thorough. Given how deep the gadget is, she noted that it could have done with having a cooking tray which would open up opportunities for cooking multiple items at a time. Otherwise, think outside of the box when using this machine, as it's great for hosting a boujee brunch, complete with hot pain au chocolat pastries and maybe boozy coffee. Because it's 5 pm somewhere in the world, right?
Given how the cost of living has burned a small hole in our pockets, you'll be pleased to know this bill-busting buy costs just 51p per hour. This works out to less than a penny per minute.
Good to know
The presets are hit-and-miss, but given all of its plus points, it pays to be patient. It runs on less than half the wattage of an average oven, so it's worth getting used to if you want some decent savings.
Xiaomi makes some brilliant headphones and the occasional smartphone, but its venture into the world of air fryers felt a bit rogue. Still, we enjoyed this smart air fryer for its tactile and user-friendly design, which would fit perfectly into the homes of design-conscious buyers who don't care much for endless buttons and hefty appliances.
The controls all happen via a dial at the front of the machine, which flits through pre-set cooking modes and also allows you to adjust cooking times and temperatures. You can even tell the air fryer how full the basket is, which will adjust its preset cooking times. As far as results go, we weren't blown away by the fries we made in this air fryer, which took longer than average (18 minutes) and lacked that crispy exterior we look for. When roasting veggies we also noted that there was an uneven level of cooking across the basket.
Another air fryer that costs just 58 pence to run for one hour, this Xiaomi model is brilliant for feeding two people on a budget.
Good to know
This air fryer can be controlled one of two ways: by its smart dial or by your smartphone. Its design definitely won't look out of place on your kitchen worktop. When it comes to cleaning, it's dishwasher safe.
The Lakeland Digital Crisp Air Fryer is a fairly compact machine with an easy-to-remove basket that makes cleaning a breeze. It's part of their Spend Smart, Live Well initiative which aims to help you save energy, reduce food waste and use the things you buy for longer, helping those hard-earned pennies go so much further.
This slick-looking appliance has an easy-to-operate blue LED touchscreen which makes light work of putting together a tasty meal for two in minutes. It can cook up to 500g of chips, eight cooking presets and has an auto-off function which came in handy while we were testing lots of air fryers in our Reading test kitchen. The five bleeps are a little irritating, so it gets a star deducted for that.
Costing 46 pence per hour to run, this machine is the second cheapest to run out of all those reviewed in our test kitchen.
Good to know
If you do happen to pull the basket out mid-way through cooking, it will make a whirring sound — to our knowledge, however, this won't affect the overall performance of the machine. However, should anything malfunction, you're covered by the three-year guarantee.
Small and relatively cheap, the Magic Bullet Air Fryer is a good choice for those on a smaller budget. It would also work well for people who prefer simple manual controls to a digital display.
This air fryer is controlled with two dials: one for time and another for temperature. The temperature dial turns green when it's up to the desired heat, and the timer simply counts down much like a regular cooking timer, ringing when your food is done. When testing, we found that the drawer tends to stick at first, but this does loosen up over time. The whole unit is very lightweight, which makes it feel a little less sturdy but will ultimately result in a more portable machine — good for those without much counter space.
For a smaller machine, this does cost more to run. It cost the same price as the five-litre air fryers on this list to run, just something to think about. This is still a cheap price, mind.
Good to know
Speaking of space, the Magic Bullet Air Fryer is well-sized for one user or two max. We had to fold our bacon slices back on themselves because the drawer is on the small side, so if you've hopes of cooking larger cuts of meat, look elsewhere.
The Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer has a different take on an air fryer from the others in our guide. Rather than a basket, it has numerous shelves instead. In fact, it really is similar to a tiny oven. The 11-litre capacity sounds like a lot, but in reality, it's whatever you can fit onto its three shelves.
Just put your whole chicken onto the rotisserie attachment and leave it for an hour for the most delicious, juicy, crispy chicken you've ever tested. It's worth buying for Sunday roast dinners alone. You can use the included fork to lift the chicken out, and there are also mini gloves to help remove the hot shelves when your chips or veggies are finished cooking.
It can also dehydrate, bake, roast, and (of course) air fry. Tower claims it's 30 percent faster than conventional cooking, which may be true if you include the preheat time (which is next-to-nothing) but it is more akin to a regular oven than the other air fryers in our guide in terms of timing.
Bearing in mind this air fryer's huge capacity, it's very affordable to run. It costs just 68 pence per hour to use, which when you work it out when cooking larger cuts of meats (or even an entire chicken), that's a true bargain.
Good to know
We did find that the items closer to the top of the oven cooked faster, so either be strategic with how you lay out your meals or switch them around for even cooking. We also found the kebab rotisserie attachment particularly frustrating. It was tricky to assemble and very fiddly. Still, if you've got a bit of patience and a mechanical mindset, you might want to experiment with making some succulent skewers.
If you live in a pair or a couple and are concerned about your energy bills (who isn't right now!) then this might be the best air fryer for you to buy. Its spacious capacity offers plenty of room to cook almost anything, not just your homemade chips, and it doesn't even need to preheat. It's ready to cook instantly. This is also a slightly more affordable option than the Ninja, in our eyes.
We're still testing this beauty, but it's safe to say that it has earned a space on our kitchen countertop. We found that we used it so much that it wasn't worth constantly taking it in and out of the cupboard. It's super easy to use on air fryer mode. Whilst we are yet to test the other modes, it can essentially do everything. It can air fry, roast, bake, sear, grill, and even slow cook. We've loved using its keep warm function when our timings are slightly off too. Its capacity is plenty sizeable to cook two meals for two people, and we've used it to cook homemade chips and fish cakes for two at one time, and it's a breeze. Better yet, its basket and grill plate fits in a dishwasher (even a slimline one!) for a simple clean-up.
This generous capacity air fryer works out at 59 pence per use and considering that it can also keep food warm, that's pretty good.
Good to know
This air fryer doesn't have a shakable basket, so when cooking you'll need to have some sort of utensil at hand as you can't pour your food from a basket onto your plate. Likewise, a pair of tongs should be on hand if you need to turn food for even cooking. Otherwise, its exterior gets really hot, so keep it away from little hands. It also looks quite smart on our countertop, just bear in mind that its alert noise is pretty quiet.
The Breville Halo Air Fryer has a fresh approach to air frying thanks to the included divider insert that can separate food when cooking meals or for picky eaters. It has a selection of pre-set modes for cooking anything from steak to frozen chips, but we like that you can also adapt the cooking time and temperature using the touch controls on either side of the digital panel.
When we tested the Breville Halo Air (opens in new tab), it made delicious homemade chips in only 12 minutes, even when we used the included pre-set mode which allotted 16 minutes of cooking time. We also made cakes and the whole process from making the batter to taking them out of the air fryer took only 30 minutes. They were very browned on top, but totally delicious.
There seems to be a theme with this guide, as this is the third air fryer we can recommend that costs 58 pence to run for one hour. Choose this one if you can imagine yourself using your air fryer to cook different foods at the same time. This way you can grill your chicken and air fry your chips using one machine, and wave goodbye to having to clean a frying pan.
Good to know
You can press a button to lift the cooking insert, handle and food away from the basket. This is not our favourite way of cleaning an air fryer but it does mean that your food lifts away from any drips of fat or juices at the bottom of the basket. Alternatively, you could use an air fryer liner if food residue in the device gives you the ick.
Real Homes review process
All of the 12 air fryers in this guide have been tested hands-on for over a month by a member of the Real Homes team. When testing, there are a few recipes we always follow so that we're able to compare cooking results directly. You can read about our air fryer testing process, otherwise, one food that we always cook is homemade chips, obviously. Some of the speediest air fryers have been able to crisp these up in just 12 minutes, while others have taken as long as 20. Even then, this is much quicker than cooking chips in an oven. Other recipes will depend on the type of product and what it claims to do well. Some air fryers come with their own recipes, so we like to try these out alongside our own recipes to see if they are a good introduction to the product.
With all of the above air fryers, you can click through to read full reviews with images of our hands-on experience. Meet our air fryer testers below:
Millie is Real Homes' head of reviews and was previously our small appliances and cookware editor. She's had hands-on experience with dozens of air fryers and reviewed all but a couple of the air fryers in our guide, so her verdict is the best you can find.
Her favourite air fryer has to be the Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6-Quart 6-in-1 Air Fryer (opens in new tab), which is our number one pick! It's got a generous capacity and sturdy build, and it made some delicious chips while in review.
In her own small kitchen though, Millie prefers to use the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer (opens in new tab). It's an excellent option for her two-person household, and she loves the colour options.
Christina is Real Homes' Ecommerce Editor and has recently taken on the (big) responsibility of testing out the best air fryers on the market. Prior to this, she's had her finger in a lot of pies, writing articles on cleaning and pest control.
Her favourite air fryer has yet to be decided, but she has recently reviewed the Lakeland Digital Crisp Air Fryer (opens in new tab). She looks forward to visiting our office in Reading, which is home to our testing kitchen. Here she'll be able to test around 10 air fryers side by side to truly examine the performance of each kitchen appliance and compare apples to apples... or in her case, chips to chips.
Though Millie Fender has passed the foodie baton, she'll be on-site to show Christina the ropes, keep her cool as a cucumber, and make sure she has fun in the process.
As a single person who often finds themselves cooking meals for one, the Dreo air fryer (opens in new tab) has become somewhat of an appliance Louise can no longer do without. Perfect for cooking just about anything in the oven (and more), she uses it for just about every meal. Think: air frying a pain au chocolat, crisping toasties, and cooking chips, veggies, and meat. She rarely has the need to turn the oven on, which has also helped with her energy bills.
Annie is our Head Ecommerce Editor and she spends her time testing everything from air fryers to BBQs and candles for us at Real Homes. Annie has reviewed both the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer (opens in new tab) and the (currently out of stock) Russell Hobbs SatisFry Air & Grill Multi-Cooker.
She loves the Instant Vortex one for cooking chips and frozen foods, and she enjoys its compact size as it fits in her cupboard. She's currently reviewing the Russell Hobbs one and since she's unboxed it, she hasn't turned her oven on, not even once. It has definitely broadened her air fryer cooking capabilities, but she's yet to take full advantage of its various modes.
How much does an air fryer cost?
Expect to pay anywhere from £70 to £200 for a top-quality air fryer, depending on its size. While they aren't the most expensive investment, if you go for a cheaper one you'll likely have less room to cook in it. The majority of smaller air fryers won't be able to offer a large enough capacity to cook a whole chicken, for example. Either way, though, you should get frequent use from your new appliance once it's on your kitchen counters. If you want to know if it will be worth it, take a look at our top reasons to buy an air fryer.
7 things to consider when buying an air fryer
To start with, how many mouths do you have to feed? Compare the litres with how many people are in your household. This will also depend on what you are planning on using it for. If you only want an air fryer for chips, then you can go small(er), but if it's a whole chicken that you want to squeeze in there, the bigger the better. Ideally, you don't want to cram food items in, as air needs to circulate properly for the real crisp factor.
With a bigger capacity unfortunately comes a larger size air fryer. Depending on where you'll want to place your air fryer, you might want to get out your tape measure, as some models can be quite large. If you're planning on keeping your air fryer on your kitchen worktop, think of where it will go (preferably in a corner!) as you need to allow some room behind your air fryer for air to escape. Otherwise, a lot of the models above can easily be squeezed inside a cupboard after use.
What else can your air fryer do? Some models are great little multi-taskers and have the ability to reheat, roast, or grill as well as fry, so if you’re in the market for a versatile small appliance, these are a good bet.
4. How easy is it to clean?
If you have a dishwasher, then be sure to check that your new air fryer is safe to be cleaned in there. This makes washing your air fryer a whole lot easier, though they are pretty simple to clean regardless. See our guide on how to clean an air fryer the proper way for more tips and tricks. In most cases, there is a button to retract the basket or drawer, making it easier to get rid of dirt, grease, or grime.
5. How much does it cost to run an air fryer?
We've researched the price per usage (based on one hour) and popped those stats alongside each air fryer we've reviewed, so if your energy bills are at the forefront of this purchase, you can choose wisely. We've tallied it up using the current energy price cap and rounded it to the nearest penny so you can get an accurate idea of how much energy it will consume.
6. Does it have a cooking rack?
Finally, if you’re short on time, but your ingredients list is long, look for an air fryer with a cooking rack included, which offers an extra compartment for cooking two different foods at the same time, or one with a mixing paddle, so you don’t have to hover over it.
7. Can it separate foods?
Vegan, veggie, or coeliac? Whether you've chosen to adopt a certain way of eating, or you've had strict dietary requirements since birth, sometimes it's important to separate mains and sides from what others are eating. Aside from the aforementioned cooking racks, we've checked whether any of these air fryers have drawers so there's no risk of cross-contamination.
What is the #1 air fryer?
Our favourite option, the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer, has a total of six cooking modes and a drawer insert that can be removed to cook things with sauces and even make brownies. It's a do-it-all machine with a rather reasonable price tag, and it costs just 58 pence to run for one hour. In fact, we've listed the run price (per hour) of every air fryer on this list and the cheapest comes out at just 44 pence per hour of use. If you need any more convincing, take a look at all of the air fryers our experts have tried below and read our rave reviews. Over time, we'll add to this list and spill the beans on superior models with souped-up features.
Is eating air fried food healthy?
"By circulating really hot air around your food at high speed using Rapid Air Technology (sounds impressive, right?), an air fryer will ‘fry’ your food using a fraction of the oil you’d normally use for deep frying," says Philippa Simmons, head of buying, Lakeland (opens in new tab). "So not only is it quicker than cooking food in your oven, cutting down on your energy use, it’s healthier too."
Sarah Farquharson, senior marketing manager at Instant Brands (opens in new tab), also agrees. "Air frying allows for healthier cooking methods that don’t require extra fat or oil to cook food properly — keeping them both dry on the outside while maintaining moisture within each bite thanks to its circulating hot air system," says Farquharson. "Healthy meals have never been so easy."