For frying eggs or flipping pancakes, a nonstick pan can be hard to beat. The best nonstick cookware set outfits your kitchen with essential pieces made of a coated, hard anodized aluminum, for pots and pans you’ll use for a long time.
PTFE, which frequently goes by the brand name Teflon, is probably the first thing that comes to mind for nonstick cookware, and this synthetic coating is really effective at repelling water. Be sure to choose nonstick products that are free of PFOA, a potentially toxic chemical compound that raised concerns about Teflon and since 2013 has been kept out of Teflon products. Be aware though that pans with PTFE coatings that are not Teflon could contain PFOA — so it's important to check labels and make sure yours specifies that it is "PFOA-free."
Still, home cooks looking for a Teflon alternative often turn to nonstick ceramic-coated pans. Nonstick ceramic cookware is actually coated with silicon, which has a smooth surface that works like Teflon. Ceramic coatings can withstand higher temperatures; however, they may not be as durable as PTFE pans. A lot of nonstick cookware is billed as being dishwasher safe, but washing them by hand protects the nonstick coating from flaking off.
Base Layer & Set Size
Underneath either coating, nonstick cookware is made of aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum heats up faster and conducts heat well; look for hard-anodized aluminum for an even more durable option. Stainless steel pans, especially tri-ply pans with an aluminum core for even heating, are heavier and tend to be more expensive so they're not featured here.
Nonstick cookware sets can include a couple pans or more than a half-dozen pots and pans. Keep in mind lids are counted toward overall piece count in sets.
The best nonstick cookware makes cooking and cleanup a breeze, and below are a few highly rated picks on Amazon, including a top pick with more than 7,000 reviews.
1. The Fan Favorite: A 17-Piece Cookware Set For Less Than $200
This high-quality and super popular nonstick cookware set is made of hard anodized aluminum with a PTFE coating enhanced with titanium, which makes it extra durable and resistant to scratches. The coating is PFOA-free and oven-safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (and the lids are safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit).
This highly rated pick with over 7,500 reviews comes with 17 pieces for a full nonstick set: an 8-inch fry pan, a 10.25-inch fry pan, a 11.5-inch fry pan with a lid, a 10.25-square griddle, a 1-quart saucepan with a lid, a 2-quart saucepan with a lid, a 3-quart saucepan with a lid, a 3.5-quart deep sauté pan, a 5-quart Dutch oven with a lid, a 3-quart steamer insert, and an adorable small fry pan for one egg. The pans and pots feature stay-cool handles and can be used on all stovetops except for induction. Home cooks will also appreciate the indicator in the center of each pan that turns solidly red when the pan is fully preheated for cooking.
A helpful review: “Coming from an avid Calphalon user, this T-fal set is amazing. I'm probably a convert now. We don't rely heavily on the stove top too much anymore what with instant pots and the air fryer, but we do rely on pots and pans for smaller things like eggs, meat browning, sauce cooking, crepes, sandwiches, pasta, etc. This set is amazing and good value at the price point. They heat up FAST and distribute heat much better than any cookware I've used before. I love the longer handles, they're very sturdy and solid. Each pot and pan has a great weight/feel to it. And boy are they easy to clean! The food just slides right out [...]"
2. The Best Teflon Alternative: A Ceramic Set With Three Essential Pans
This nonstick cookware set without Teflon is made of ceramic-coated hard anodized aluminum. The pots and pans are free of PFOA, lead, cadmium, and PFAS, a chemical that doesn't break down easily in the body, and it is safe to use on all stovetops except for induction.
This handy set includes a 10-inch frypan, an 11-inch round grill pan, a 3-quart saucepan with a lid, and a 6-quart stockpot with a lid; each one has silicone-wrapped stainless steel handles that remain cool to the touch. This set can be safely used in the oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and the lids are safe up to 350 degrees.
A helpful review: “Some of my old Teflon pans had lost much of their "non-stickiness" several years ago, and recent research on the dangers of some of the chemicals in the version of Teflon that was around when I bought those pans had me concerned, so I've been looking at ceramic non-stick pans for a while, including this pair [...] I've now had the set for almost 3 weeks and I love them! So far, NOTHING even comes remotely close to sticking, including eggs. It takes literally seconds to wash them with a soft sponge and a bit of dishwashing detergent."
3. The Most Stylish: An 11-Piece Set That Looks Like Premium Copper
This unique nonstick copper set offers a totally different look with its rosy hues. These PFOA-free pots and pans are made of heavy-gauge aluminum with stainless steel bases for even heat distribution on any cooktop, including induction. They have the aesthetic look of high-end copper, but with a much more affordable price tag — plus they're easier to keep clean.
The 11-piece set features stay-cool silicone handles and stainless steel and tempered glass lids on some. You get an 8-inch fry pan, a 10-inch fry pan, a 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, a 2.5-quart saucepan with lid, a 4-quart sauté pan with lid, an 8-quart stock pot with lid, and a stainless steel steamer insert. The nonstick interiors of these pots and pans are a durable resin-based coating that's PTFE-free and resists scratches and stains.
A helpful review: "I love the look of copper but wanted something sturdier and non-stick. This set is perfect. The shapes of the pots are so pretty and they cook perfectly. They are heavy and sturdy and I think we will use these for a very long time."
Nice To Have: A Nonstick Pan Without Teflon That You'll Use Endlessly
If you're in the market for just one pan, this nonstick pan without Teflon is coated with PFOA-free ceramic. One reviewer commented this pan was a "life changer." This 10-inch skillet is made of hard anodized aluminum and can be used on all stovetops except for induction. Its long handle stays cool to the touch on the stovetop, and it's oven- and broiler-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. This pick doesn't come with a lid.
A helpful review: “These are the best, non-chemical pans I’ve owned. I feel comfortable using these ceramic pans and I hardly need to use any oil as they’re such a great non-stick surface. I’m getting rid of all of my All-Clad non-stick.”