The best air fryer, sometimes also known as a health fryer, although that seems a little pretentious to us, is a revolutionary bit of cooking tech. It's a (very) small oven that allows you to cook great meals quickly, and create crispy, delicious results without the need for lots of fat. They are very easy to use, very versatile, and great fun to cook with.
Do air fryers really fry? Not really, and air-fried food doesn’t usually taste the same as food cooked in a deep fat fryer, despite some of the advertising claims. That’s because they aren’t fryers at all. They’re scaled-down versions of the fan ovens you'll find in our guide to the best ovens. However, one of the best air fryers listed here is still worth a purchase, especially if space is at a premium or you are not a confident cook. It's also worth taking a look at our guide to the best Instant Pots as some of them pull double duty as air fryers.
Once you’re onboard the air fryer express, we’ll tell you how to cook perfect air fryer chips, as well as how to cook perfect air fryer chicken and all the other best things to cook in an air fryer. For now though, on with the best air fryers top 10.
Best air fryer availability
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When shopping for an air fryer, a problem you’ll run into pretty rapidly is that the best air fryers keep selling out. Indeed, even many of the more obscure ones from no-name brands keep selling out too. Our current top UK recommendation is to try Tower Homewares (opens in new tab). Tower is the UK’s biggest selling air fryer brand, and has a machine to suit every need, from very affordable entry-level machines to big and beautiful dual-zone air fryers. There’s even one with a rotisserie in.
More importantly though, Tower actually has air fryers in stock including three new dual zone ones. So if you find the air fryers below have all sold out – our price widgets should detect new stocks as they come in – pop back here and give Tower a try.
- Shop Tower air fryers now (opens in new tab)
The best air fryers we've tested to date
Granted, the Tower 10-in-1 Air Fryer Xpress Pro Combo might not be the absolute cheapest of the cheap. But, this great value appliance is brilliant because it can do so many other things, hence the 10-in-1 status. So, it'll air fry your chips well enough - though we found this took practice to get just right, but the Tower of power does all sorts and offers 11 litres of cooking space into the bargain.
Naturally, the unit has to potential to cook food more healthily, up to 99% less fat in fact. However, the varied cooking options make it a standout, including the ability to rotisserie meat including a whole chicken if you need to. Kebabs, chargrilling and even lighter heat baking can be dine onside this touch-enabled appliance.
The Tower 10-in-1 Air Fryer Xpress Pro Combo comes with 7 cooking accessories, including a rotisserie rack, rotating kebab skewers and a multi-function wire rack. There's a 3-tier cooking system too, which effectively allows you to cook three different meals all at the same time. You also enjoy the benefit of some dishwasher safe parts that mean less time scrubbing up afterwards.
Although it shares a very similar skill set as the Instant Pot Duo Crisp & Air Fryer above, the 11-in-1 Ninja Foodi goes a step further by being able to air fry without needing a change of lids. It's also got a steam fry function, which is inarguably the very best way to cook a small 2kg chicken or up to five drumsticks to succulent perfection and with the crispiest skin you’ve ever tasted. Simply pour 125ml of water into the main pot, fill the crisper basket with chicken, select Steam Air Fry and retreat for 25 minutes. Job done.
The Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 has a 6-litre capacity (6.34 quartz in American measures), which is an ideal size for soloists, couples and one-child families. Its three main cooking modes – pressure cooking, combo-steam and air fry – are selected by moving the ‘SmartLid Slider’ from left to right, and each main mode is subdivided into various cooking methods like steam air fry, standard air fry, steam bake, grill, sear, steam, slow cook and standard pressure cooking.
The Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid is not only one of the best looking multicookers on the market, it’s also one of the most multi-talented models you can buy, period. Highly recommended.
- Read our full Ninja Foodi Smartlid OL550UK review
- We also love its big brother, the Ninja Foodi Smartlid OL750UK
Instant Vortex is the air fryer spin-off of Instant Pot. The chunky lines of its flagship Air Fryer let you know that it means business, backed up by a very generous 5.7 litre capacity. The design is wonderfully simple and needs very little in the way of manual input, especially if you're going for the one-touch settings. The 1700 watts of power means the appliance can take on fries with ease, but the size and adaptable heat settings makes the Instant Vortex Air Fryer great for other mealtime offerings too.
Indeed, choose from the likes of Air Fry, Roast, Bake and Reheat and you can cover most bases with this versatile gadget. If you spend some time familiarising yourself with the manual controls the Instant Vortex Air Fryer is actually very adept at baking. So then, this is a brilliant machine that can not only turn out the main course but it'll tackle dessert too. A quick and easy to clean design adds extra appeal.
- Read our Instant Vortex Air Fryer review
While there are certainly air fryers that do more, and more affordable ones, if you have the money this is still the best 'air fryer that only air fries' you can buy. Given that it does essentially the same thing as Tower's air fryers but costs 4-5 times as much, you need to feel assured you're getting your money's worth this upmarket Philips model. Well, thanks to its excellent build quality, good looks, fast and even cooking and deliciously crisp results, we'd say you can feel thoroughly reassured on that score.
Philips Airfryer XXL packs a lot into an admittedly sizeable package in order to accommodate anyone who needs to cook on a big scale thanks to a wide basket that can handle, for example, a whole chicken. There are a handful of preset modes so you can air fry, grill, roast, bake and dehydrate foodstuffs or take the manual route and choose from heat settings anywhere between 40°C and 200°C. A lack of accessories is a disappointment but the ability of the Philips Airfryer XXL to cook food quickly and efficiently cannot be faulted.
Top marks also go to the digital display too, which works exquisitely and, thanks to simple-but-effective icons such as meat and fish, means it’s pretty hard to mess things up. Aside from the main electrical unit the Philips Airfryer XXL is dishwasher-friendly too. We loved this so much, we gave it a T3 Award two years running.
Please note: in the UK, this is technically called model HD9650/99. The version in the USA seems to be slightly different and is called HD9630/96 Airfryer XXL as far as we can tell.
- Read our Philips Airfryer XXL review
First up, it's great to know the Tower T17021 Family Size Air Fryer comes with a brilliant pedigree. Tower sells the most air fryers in the UK and the brand has been around for a long time, so this appliance is off to a solid start. However, it's the value for money delivered by this air fryer that really sets it apart.
For very little outlay you get an air fryer that is wonderfully easy to use, thanks to a simple dial-based interface but one that can cook food brilliantly. The 1500 watts of power gets the heat right up to 200 degrees if needed, while the circulation inside the food container seems perfect for producing mega crispy fries. In fact, you can chuck just about anything in it to air fry, using manual intervention if you like to tweak as you go.
Being a family-friendly machine means 4.3 litres of cooking container to fill, which is more than enough for most. Granted, it's not dishwasher-friendly but the design is actually a doddle to clean. Add it all together and you've got a surprise hit, for a bargain price. What more does anyone want from a basic air fryer?
- Read our Tower Family Size Air Fryer review
As well as turning out your classic air-fried staples – ie: chips, chicken and salmon – this actually doubles as a slightly Instant Pot-like cooker for 'wet' meals such as curries, stews and casseroles. It may look a little complicated at first glance but it's actually very intuitive.
With a glass dome so you can see what's cookin' and a handy little spatula/paddle thing that turns around inside to stir food, so you don't have to, it's something of a joy to use. If your kitchen is cramped you might struggle to find storage space for this hefty beast but when something is this useful and effective, why store it away anyhow?
- Read our full Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 review
If you're looking for the best cheap model then, for us, the Wilko 4L Air Fryer is currently pick of the crop. It might have an entry-level price tag but this appliance can air fry a treat. There's a generous 4 litre capacity, which is ideal for family meals if we're talking fries and a brilliant no-nonsense design. A pair of simple dials allow you to set heat and time settings, a power light and a blue indicator to show optimum operating heat and that's it.
The Wilko 4L Air Fryer packs in 1400 watts of power, so it's more than capable of cooking up chips, chicken wings and spring rolls like any other rival. And, because it's got that sizeable capacity you can probably squeeze a few other things in there too. As befits the best air fryer design, there's a grill in the bottom of the pan that you site food on top of. Oil and grease then drips into the pan for disposal. It's wonderfully simply and brilliant for the money.
- Read our Wilko 4L Air Fryer review
The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer is a neat variation on the theme because it comes with twin cooking compartments. This allows you to an entire meal in one go by taking care of, say, fries in one side and a juicy salmon fillet in the other. You can mix and match the arrangement to suit your tastes and hunger pangs. There are presets if you want to take the easy route, or the machine can be manually configured to cook things just as you like them.
There's plenty of heat, more than enough power and the usual performance that we've come to expect from the Ninja brand. The appliance is quite bulky to allow for the 7.6 litre capacity of the two compartments. However, the way that you can bung everything into the one appliance more than makes up for that, especially if you're always pushed for time in the kitchen. As usual with Ninja, the finish of the Foodi Dual Zone is very plush, and this air fryer is heavily promoted on Food TV channels with 'proper' chefs using it to make great meals. However, the fact you can cook twice the normal amount of fries is probably an equally big selling point for many.
If you’re worried about your energy costs as much as your waistline the Tefal EasyFry Grill & Steam healthy fryer is a sound investment. This kitchen appliance allows you to bypass your regular oven, ditch the need to fry anything and lets you do everything inside one mini oven.
Power-wise, the Tefal EasyFry Grill & Steam healthy fryer is 1700Watts while the one-touch presets let you tackle fries, nuggets, roast chicken, fish and more. Cooking functions include Air Fry, Grill, Steam, Rotisserie, Dehydrate and there’s a Manual setting too.
These preset programs make it a doddle to use while it gets the job done super efficiently. Cleaning the Tefal EasyFry Grill & Steam healthy fryer is similarly easy and there’s a supporting app that guides you every step of the way if you’re stuck for inspiration. If you can find one discounted it’s even better value.
- Read our Tefal EasyFry Grill & Steam review
The Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 is a very decent little all-rounder, with enough basic features and functions to keep most small kitchens ticking over. The real benefit though, is its small size, which makes it perfect for anyone who is struggling for countertop space. The compact nature of the appliance does make it less appealing to anyone with more mouths to feed, but if you’re eating solo or as a couple it’ll do just fine.
Air frying and roasting are its two core skills and, interestingly, the settings stay the same each time you use it, which is great if you make chips on auto pilot. It’s also nice to have the bake feature, which has seen a little action making bread rolls for me and that reheat option is useful for warming up dinner leftovers for lunch. All in all, the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 is a cracking little thing, which is good value too.
The Sage the Combi Wave 3 in 1 is a beefy appliance but for good reason. Alongside its solid credentials for producing air fried food this model can turn its hand to a raft of varied cooking tasks. Choose from mealtime cooking options that include Fast Combi, From Frozen, Air Fry, Oven and Microwave from the sizeable onboard settings menu. Or set up everything using manual control. What's more, you can pick additional settings such as Grill, Keep Warm, Melt Chocolate and Soften Butter.
Sage has done a fab job with the design, with a delicious stainless steel exterior along with innards to match. It's cavernous too, with 25 litres of space to cook anything and everything in. You'll need to find space to accommodate it, but the trade off is you get a multi-purpose device that cooks great air fried meals and can also tackle plenty of other options too.
- Read our Sage the Combi Wave 3 in 1 review
Ninja’s AF100UK Air Fryer immediately impresses as you take it out of the box due to its more compact size and lighter weight. It’s not the smallest air fryer on the market, but if you’re stuck for space this model is perfect. Better still, the container you cook your food in is nicely made, with an extremely durable ceramic-coated crisper plate insert that you rest food on for more consistent results. Apart from the main unit, everything is dishwasher-friendly.
Results-wise, the Ninja AF100UK Air Fryer is capable on all fronts, so it naturally does perfect air fry chips but can roast, reheat and dehydrate too. You can cook using presets or manually across the whole heat spectrum, as well as benefitting from two fan speeds when needed.
- Read our Ninja AF100UK Air Fryer review
While the Russell Hobbs Express Air Fry Mini Oven is more than capable of serving up a solid portion of fries, this is also a multi-function device that lets you cook in several different ways. That means air frying, grilling, baking and toasting can be carried out. Meanwhile it's also nifty for warming food and keep it that way using the convection heat. The appliance is particularly adept at cooking pizza, so for anyone who lives by a diet of pizza and chips then the appeal is obvious. The grill trays allow you to easily dispense with oil though, making things that little bit more healthy.
Granted, the look and operation are a little bit old school in feel, but the upside is the Russell Hobbs Express Air Fry Mini Oven is a doddle to use and you know exactly where you are with it. Even down to the satisfying 'ting' when your food is done. That window on the front and drop down door offers the benefit of being able to carry out quick visual checks on progress, plus you can give things a prod too. Watch those fingers though.
Morphy Richards Health Fryer (model 480003) is proof positive that you don’t need to spend a fortune in order to enjoy high-end, primo chips. There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about this air fryer, but it is very good at what it does, which includes providing us with yet more chicken wings.
We love the simple to use manual controls so you can fine-tune cook times. As per most air fryers it’ll fry, obviously, as well as roast and grill to great effect. We’ve found its baking prowess pretty good too with pizza dough and the odd muffin or two coming out tops.
Available temperatures range between 80°C and 200°C while the air fryer uses rapid air technology to ensure consistent results. Other positives include a timer, up to 30 minutes, plus automatic switch off. There’s a removable basket, although a downside with this machine is its lack of dishwater-friendly parts. No matter, it’s reasonably easy to clean and that square design means it’ll slot away in a cupboard when you’re done scoffing those fab fries.
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Air Fryer is a no-frills machine that, considering how cheap it is, delivers respectable performance via a practical and clean-looking design. More importantly, it comes finished in white, which is refreshing and makes a change from the usual black.
This is a smart machine too, so there's Wi-Fi connectivity and a supporting app. Adding value is the wear resistant and non-stick coating while those innards let you fry, dry, ferment, defrost and bake. You can even schedule the unit to start cooking plus there's Alexa support too. Aside from that, the machine is easy to use, has a small but practical 3.5 litre capacity and can fry between 40 and 200 degrees.
If you’re addicted to apps and love to operate anything and everything in your home using software and your phone it makes perfect sense. However, we think given the fact that you’re invariably going to be standing right next to it in order to fill the compartment with chips or whatever, the manual control is usually the best way to kickstart cooking.
- Read our Xiaomi Mi Smart Air Fryer review
How to choose the best air fryer for you
What is an air fryer? Well, it is essentially a very small fan oven. When seeking out the best air fryer for you, you’re going to be looking for the same things you look for in any kitchen appliance. First off: capacity. The size of the machine you buy will depend on the size of your family and the size of your kitchen, and the last thing you want to do is end up with a huge appliance that’s cumbersome and far too big to use for just you and your partner.
Of course, the bigger you go, the more options you get, with some allowing you to fry multiple food items at a time, or even doubling up as other appliances such as steamers and grills. One of the other major advantages of air fryers compared to deep fat fryers is that they are much less hassle to clean and low maintenance in general. Look out for models with dishwasher safe parts and intuitive controls which allow you to vary the temperature for cooking to perfection. Take a look at our invaluable advice on cleaning your air fryer too.
3 toppings you really need to try on your French fries
If you've ever been to a Dutch snack bar, you'll know that they know how to top off a portion of fries to turn them into little cartons of joy. Here are three Nederlandse snackbar toppings you must try on chips made in your air fryer. Eet smakelijk!
1. Patatje flip: fries with satay sauce and mayonnaise on top.
2. Patat speciaal: fries with ketchup and mayonnaise and a sprinkling of finely chopped raw onions on top.
3. Patatje oorlog: Oorlog translates as 'war' and that's basically what happens here as your fries are drenched in satay sauce, mayonnaise and topped off with chopped raw onion. Some regions add curry sauce, too. A decadent delight.