Many of the top cookware styles are nonstick, stainless steel, and hard-anodized aluminum, though you’ll also find ceramic and cast iron options, which are ideal for cooking low and slow. On the other hand, if you consider yourself a pro home chef, you may be ready to invest in something of higher quality that will not only take your cooking game even further, but also be with you for the long haul.
Most cookware collections are available to shop online from familiar retailers like Amazon, SUR La Table, and Williams Sonoma. We browsed thousands of online reviews from real shoppers and found the 10 best cookware sets to add to your kitchen this year.
The all-in-one cookware set is also designed with hard-anodized aluminum which creates a hard, smooth surface and essentially makes each piece nonstick. “This is a very sturdy and well-made set of pots and pans given the low price,” said one reviewer, adding that they’ve “been using them for a while and no scratches or wear is showing up.” It’s important to note, however, that these budget-friendly pieces are not dishwasher safe, so hand washing is a must.
With 18 pieces included, this large cookware set has everything the average home cook could possibly need to whip up a good meal, from saucepans to a stockpot to slotted spoons. With a price tag over $1,000, this set is certainly an investment, but the impeccable quality will make it worth every penny in the long run.
Shoppers love these pots and pans for their durability, even heat distribution, and super easy cleanup (they’re all dishwasher-safe!). More than 4,200 Amazon shoppers left a positive rating for this set, with one calling it “the best cookware purchase” they’ve ever made.
While a set from Le Crest may be on the pricier side, it’s built to stand up to years of use and will prove to be well worth the initial investment. This cookware set from Rachael Ray’s collection not only comes in fun pops of color, but it’s also designed with a Scot-free nonstick surface that’s safe to cook on and virtually eliminates the chance of any pesky food scraps sticking, tearing, or leaving behind a mess.
This 14-piece set from Total is designed to make cooking easier for beginners: the brand’s signature Thermostat feature indicates when the surface is at the right temperature, which helps create consistent dishes each and every time. Anyone with limited storage space understands the struggle of attempting to strategically place bulky pots and pans into a kitchen cabinet and hoping they don’t come tumbling down next time you open the door.
“In boxed sets, manufacturers count a lid as a piece,” explains Marion Wilson-Spencer, CR's market analyst for cookware. We buy and test cookware sets ranging from less than $100 to $600 or more, from well-known brands such as All-Clad, Anglo, Clifton, Cuisinart, and Willing J.A.
Heckles, as well as sets sold under the names of celebrity cooks like Ayesha Curry, Rachel Ray, and the Pioneer Woman. We cook pancakes, fry eggs, boil water, and simmer tomato sauce.
We were able to easily maintain sauce at a low simmer, and the 6-quart Dutch oven quickly brings water to a near-boil. With Excellent ratings on both our cooking evenness and speed of heating tests, the Greenspan stands up to the competition.
The coating appears pebbly, but that doesn’t affect its nonstick properties, and we effortlessly cooked pancakes and eggs. Cooking evenness is superb, and this 8-piece set aces our speed of heating test by quickly bringing 4 quarts of water to a near-boil in the 5-quart stockpot.
The surface stands up to our durability test, in which we rub steel wool over the coating 2,000 times, earning a Very Good rating. Simmering a sauce produces impressive results, and this set earns a Very Good rating for cooking evenness.
Heckles Motion Grey is made of anodized aluminum and works with any type of range. Simmering in the saucepan, however, is only so-so, and the eggs needed nudging out of the pan in our food release test.
Clifton designed this set so that it stacks and nests, which frees up precious cabinet space. The Clifton Premier Space Saving 8-piece stainless set earns a Very Good rating in our evenness tests, like our other top performers in this category.
The stainless handles are long and sturdy, and you can use these dishwasher-safe pots and pans on any type of range, including induction. It earns an Excellent rating on our cooking evenness test, and when we brought 4 quarts of water to a near-boil in the 6-quart stockpot, speed of heating was also impressive.
If you’re starting from scratch, you don’t need to think about what you need to round out your collection as most sets come with a variety of sized pots and pans to cook a wide range of meals. Also, unlike your drawer of multi-brand kitchen gadgets, when you get a cookware set, all of your pots and pans are made with the same technology and materials so you’ll know how long it takes to heat up and how sensitive your cookware is to temperature changes.
Not only is this set great to cook with, but this awesome cookware set nests together in any order, which will help you to save space in your cabinets. Plus, they’re dishwasher safe which will save you tons of time and counter space on handwashing and drying.
Made from hard-anodized aluminum, these pans retain perfect heat and have a strong protective layer. If you’ve ever tried for a perfect sear, you know this is key in maintaining flavor and cooking food evenly.
It’s deep enough to boil pasta, comes with a steamer basket that nestles nicely in the pan and a spatula with a built-in handle rest. The Always Pan uses a PTFE and Pas free coating that is tested to be safe and creates a non-stick barrier that makes cooking and cleaning a breeze.
Not to mention it’s extremely attractive, lightweight, and comes in a range of beautiful muted colors. If you’re looking for a clean cookware set that heats up and cools down quickly, we’ve found your dream set.
The 10-piece set of pots and pans also comes with glass lids which helps you keep an eye on your food. This Cuisinart 12-piece cookware set is made with Heat Surround technology that helps the temperature spread evenly through each piece of cookware to eliminate uneven cooking.
Each piece comes equipped with cool grip handles to help reduce overheating and burning your hands. The pans retain heat well, provides nonstick without any chemicals, and look good on your stove top.
With typical cast iron, you need to put a little work in to season them before using, but this set comes pre-season so you can use them right out of the box. Cast iron is extremely durable, so you can use this cookware set on the stove, in the oven, under the broiler, on the grill, and even over a campfire.
Most things that are enameled can easily chip if they fall, but with this awesome cookware set, you don’t have to worry. This set includes all the essential pots and pans that get used regularly and is perfect for a variety of cooking techniques.
If you bring a date home to cook for them, they’ll instantly know they’re getting a * chef’s kiss* fabulous meal. Even if pans claim to be non-stick, chip-resistant, or durable, if you’re someone who uses their cookware every day, you’re bound to eventually run into some kind of issue.