The Best Cookware Sets for Every Type of Home Chef, According to Reviews
There's something undeniably satisfying about purchasing a complete cookware set rather than individual pieces. While there's nothing wrong with collecting pots and pans one at a time, a cookware set offers something that singular pieces don't: cohesion. Not only does a matching set look great — effectively upping your kitchen's aesthetic — but each piece is also meant to work together. And because of their identical construction, design, and material, each piece will allow you to produce consistent, evenly cooked meals every time. Ultimately, a good cookware set will elevate your kitchen skills.
Best Cookware Sets at a Glance
- Best-Rated: T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 17-Piece Cookware Set
- Best Affordable: AmazonBasics Non-Stick 15-Piece Cookware Set
- Best Large Set: T-Fal 18-Piece Cookware Set
- Best Splurge: All-Clad Copper Core 10-Piece Set
- Best Stainless Steel: Cuisinart 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- Best Quality: Calphalon Classic Pots and Pans Set
- Best Cast-Iron Option: Le Creuset Signature 10-Piece Set
- Best Nonstick: Rachael Ray Cucina 12-Piece Cookware Pots and Pans Set
- Best for Beginners: T-Fal Excite ProGlide 14-Piece Cookware Set
- Best Compact Option: Calphalon Premier Space-Saving 10-Piece Cookware Set
What to Look for in a Cookware Set
Before you can equip your kitchen with this essential, there are a few key things to consider, including your usual cooking routine and level of expertise.
There are several types of materials and designs available, each cooking food in a slightly different way. 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.
You should also consider your kitchen space and cleaning preferences. For example, if you like to eat eggs for breakfast every morning but don't have time to spend on cleanup, then it's best to invest in a nonstick cookware set so you can seamlessly slide an egg onto your plate without the hassle of scrubbing the skillet afterward. Or if you have limited storage space, you'll want to avoid the bulkiest pots and pans and instead go with a more compact set.
How Much Do the Best Cookware Sets Cost?
The best cookware sets vary wildly in price, with some priced under $100 and others costing upwards of $1,000. But such a wide price range simply means there's something out there for every budget and style.
If you're a beginner in the kitchen, it's probably a good idea to start small and opt for a basic, easy-to-use set that's equipped with only the essentials. 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.
Where to Buy the Best Cookware Sets
Most cookware collections are available to shop online from familiar retailers like Amazon, Sur La Table, and Williams Sonoma. And whether you're looking for a stainless steel, nonstick, or affordable set, you'll have no trouble finding the right one for your needs.
We browsed thousands of online reviews from real shoppers and found the 10 best cookware sets to add to your kitchen this year.
Keep reading to learn more about these top-rated cookware sets and determine which one is the best fit for you and your cooking style.
Best-Rated: T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 17-Piece Cookware Set
Whether you're in the market for a new cookware set or are equipping your kitchen for the first time, you can't go wrong with T-Fal's 17-piece cookware set. With nearly 9,000 positive ratings from Amazon shoppers, this top-rated set includes everyday essentials like frying pans and saucepans in various sizes, as well as a Dutch oven — a must-have for any kitchen — plus useful bonus pieces like a steamer insert and a one-egg pan. 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. What's more, the material is durable and easy to take care of, which means you'll be able to rely on this set for years to come.
Buy it: $180; amazon.com
Best Affordable: AmazonBasics Non-Stick 15-Piece Cookware Set
With nearly 3,000 five-star reviews, this super affordable cookware set from AmazonBasics has clearly impressed home cooks everywhere. Ideal as a starter set for a new home, a college student, or a beginner cook, this 15-piece nonstick aluminum set is easy to use, clean, and maintain for everyday use.
"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.
Buy it: $52; amazon.com
Best Large Set: T-Fal 18-Piece Cookware Set
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. Shoppers praise this multi-use set for its durable and comfortable designs, nonstick surfaces, and approachable price tag. "I've had this T-fal 18-piece cookware set for several months now and I can easily say that it continues to impress," said one reviewer. "The quality, durability, and ease of use have made this set an amazing buy for a rather small price."
Buy it: $89 (was $123); amazon.com
Best Splurge: All-Clad Copper Core 10-Piece Set
Some kitchen tools are well worth the splurge, and the All-Clad cookware set has proven to be one of those purchases. 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.
The stainless steel exterior is reinforced with a sturdy copper core, which provides the best of both worlds: a sleek aesthetic and a quick and even heat distribution that results in perfectly cooked dishes every time. Along with heat-resistant handles, these high-end pieces are all nonstick for easy cleanup. One reviewer said they're a "great investment" while another said: "I am in love with my collection," and continued, "everyday cooking is a pleasure, from stove top to oven."
Buy it: $1400 (was $1875); surlatable.com
Best Stainless Steel: Cuisinart 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Cooking with stainless steel can take some getting used to, but with a little practice, the results are worth the learning curve. This 10-piece stainless steel set from Cuisinart is similar in design and function to the All-Clad collection above, but at a fraction of the price. 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.
Buy it: from $230; amazon.com
Best Quality: Calphalon Classic Pots and Pans Set
The best cookware sets are the ones that make cooking feel seamless thanks to their convenient design and ease-of-use — and this from Calphalon does exactly that. The classic stainless steel pots and pans each have an aluminum base that quickly and evenly distributes heat, and they're dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
Plus, with the addition of interior fill lines (no measuring cup required), strain holes, and pour spouts, they make cooking a breeze — and with less equipment comes less time and energy spent cleaning.
"Best set of pots and pans I've ever owned!" said one reviewer, adding that they "make cooking easy." Another summed it up with: "superior quality, affordable set."
Buy it: from $200 (was $240); amazon.com
Best Cast-Iron Option: Le Creuset Signature 10-Piece Set
Cast iron is often the best choice for cooking dishes low and slow thanks to its ability to maintain a steady temperature, and Le Creuset's signature enameled cast-iron set delivers by all accounts — not to mention, the cult-favorite pieces are timeless additions to any kitchen.
"Everything cooks more evenly and consistently and you can tell these are made to last forever," said one reviewer. While a set from Le Creuset 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.
Buy it: $1000; surlatable.com
Best Nonstick: Rachael Ray Cucina 12-Piece Cookware Pots and Pans Set
To avoid the arduous task of scrubbing your dishes to rid them of stuck-on food, a nonstick pan is a must-have. This cookware set from Rachael Ray's collection not only comes in fun pops of color, but it's also designed with a PFOA-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. One shopper claimed these are "the best non-stick pans" they've ever used, and a whopping 300 reviewers specifically touted this set as being "easy to clean."
Buy it: $143 (was $150); amazon.com
Best for Beginners: T-Fal Excite ProGlide 14-Piece Cookware Set
For cooking newbies, a reliable cookware set should be your first essential before navigating the foreign territory that is the kitchen. This 14-piece set from T-Fal is designed to make cooking easier for beginners: the brand's signature Thermo-Spot feature indicates when the surface is at the right temperature, which helps create consistent dishes each and every time. Constructed with durable aluminum and nonstick interiors, the pans have comfortable plastic handles and are all dishwasher- and oven-safe. "This is the first 'real' pot and pan set we've invested in. These are amazing. We've used them every day for a few months. After all of that use, they're still no stick and SUPER easy to clean — everything just comes off," said one Amazon reviewer. "The color (red) is so beautiful. We actually bought a pot/pan hanging set so we could display these in our kitchen. They cook perfectly. Seriously, buy them."
Buy it: $75; amazon.com
Best Compact Option: Calphalon Premier Space-Saving 10-Piece Cookware Set
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. But with this set of stackable cookware, a cluttered cabinet is no longer the reality. This compact, space-saving set is specially designed so that each pot and pan fits neatly into one another, along with flat glass lids that can be stored with or without the set. One reviewer said: "With these stacking pans, I no longer have to get on my hands and knees to get to my pans."
Buy it: $470; williams-sonoma.com