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The 7 best air fryers in 2024: Tested and reviewed for speedy meals now cheaper for Prime Day

Image of an air fryer on a table with cooked vegetables and cheese

We’ve reviewed the very best air fryers from Ninja, Instant, Tower and more – here are our testing results

Busy families, couples short on time, students – there aren’t many people who wouldn’t benefit from an air fryer. The best air fryer models can cut back on cooking time and oil, but they can save you money, too. All of the air fryers we’ve tested use far less electricity than your average oven, particularly if you opt for one of our favourite dual-drawer models, which allow you to switch between using one or two cooking zones at a time.

From simple budget fryers to XL capacity models ideal for two people or more, there’s something for everyone. That’s why we’ve put more than 30 air fryers through their paces, with rigorous testing and everyday use, separating the excellent from the mediocre and highlighting the best models for specific needs. We’ve tested every air fryer we recommend here and know that each one is worth the investment. Be sure to read our “how we test” section below to see exactly how we put each model through its paces.

If you want to know more about what to look out for when choosing an air fryer for your kitchen, you can skip to our buying guide at the bottom of this page. Here, we talk about all the specifics to consider including features, energy saving, cleaning and more. Alternatively, our at-a-glance list below highlights our top picks, or you can head straight to the mini reviews of our top-tested fryers.

Amazon Prime Day deal

This oven-style air fryer from Tower has 10 different functions, including a rotisserie, and is now down to just £71 in the Amazon Prime Day sale. That’s a tasty £21 off the average Amazon price of £92. Be quick though, this ends at midnight 17 July.

View deal at Amazon

Amazon Prime Day deal

Save £16 on the five-star, award winning Instant Vortex Dual Drawer air fryer in the Prime Day Sale. It’s now £115, down from its average Amazon price of £136. This deal ends at midnight 17 July.

View deal at Amazon

Amazon Prime Day deal

The Ninja Foodi Max Dual Drawer in limited edition copper colour is down to its lowest-ever price of £160 in the Amazon Prime Day sale. With an average Amazon price of £243, you’re saving a generous £83. Be quick though, this deal ends midnight 17 July and is an Amazon best seller, meaning it’s likely to sell out sooner.

View deal at Amazon

Best air fryer: At a glance

Best budget air fryerTower T17023 (~£40)Check price at Argos
Best air fryer for two peopleNinja AF100UK (~£120)Check price at Ninja
Best self-stirringTefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 (~£270)Check price at Amazon
Best dual-drawer air fryer Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer air fryer (~£200)Check price at Amazon

How we test air fryers

Every air fryer we review goes through a rigorous set of tests to ensure they’re up to the most basic cooking jobs, whether that’s chips, vegetables or even whole chickens.

Our tests include cooking both a small, single 100g portion of vegetables and a larger 500g portion of raw potatoes, cut into chips. We note how long they take to cook and at what temperature, observe how evenly they are browned and check for any burnt bits. It’s important your air fryer can cook a single portion as well as it can a family dinner. We also fill the air fryer to capacity with the recommended amount of protein or chips, to ensure that a four-portion air fryer really is big enough for four people.

Testing a Salter air fryer

We run our tests on both the manual cooking settings, as well as any automatic presets they might have for common ingredients or dishes, to see if they’re up to the job. Some air fryers also come with additional functions, such as baking and roasting. In these cases, we use a similar testing method, looking for speedy, even results.

Finally, we run an energy test on our air fryers, noting the kWh usage at 200ºC for an hour while empty. For dual basket models, we also test the energy usage when using one drawer vs both using the same time and temperature. The air fryers we’ve tried and reviewed have all passed our in-depth testing. We’ve also taken into consideration everything from budget and capacity to style, so we’re confident there’s something for everyone here.

READ NEXT: Best Ninja air fryers

The best air fryers you can buy in 2024

1. Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer air fryer: Best dual air fryer

Price when reviewed: £200 | Check price at Amazon

Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer on a kitchen island with a plant

The Instant Vortex Dual Drawer won Air Fryer of the Year at the 2023 Expert Reviews Product of the Year awards and for good reason. In my testing, I found the Vortex to be extremely capable of cooking everything from vegetables and tofu to legs of chicken. It cooked 500g of homemade potato from raw in just 25 minutes, one of the fastest times I‘ve seen, but its 7.6l capacity is large enough to cook much more. In fact, it can cook a full breakfast, which I tested in my review, with bacon and sausages in one drawer and hash browns and mushrooms in the other. It also performed well in my power tests, using just 0.99kWh at 200ºC, with both baskets running.

The Vortex also has an excellent variable temperature range of up to 205ºC and can air-fry for up to an hour, meaning you can go beyond just oven food. Other features I think set this apart from similar models include its clear viewing windows and internal bulb, allowing you to check on your food without removing the basket. Like many dual-drawer air fryers, the Vortex also has a sync cook and finish feature, which allows you to sync up the two drawers, even if they use different times, temperatures or cooking modes. It can also dehydrate for up to 72 hours at a time, roast, bake and more.

In my opinion, this is one of the best air fryers you can buy in this price range and I’d highly recommend splashing out on a model such as this if you’re able to.

  • Pros: Great value, easy to use and clean, delicious results
  • Cons: Touchscreen prone to scratching, no recipe booklet included

Read our full Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer air fryer review for more details

Key specs – Power: 1,700W; Capacity: 7.6l; Controls: Digital; Accessories: Two non-stick grill plates

2. Tower T17023: Best budget air fryer

Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at Argos
Tower T17023 2.2l on a table with condiments

For an air fryer that is quite literally as cheap as chips, this dinky Tower model is worth considering if cost is your main priority. Despite its bargain price, the T17023 was no slouch in my tests. It cooked favourites such as spring rolls, chips and hash browns to a delicious crispiness and I was even impressed with how it handled more tricky items including meat and vegetables.

As well as being affordable, this Tower model is also compact and fits neatly into the smallest kitchens. Unfortunately, its size also means that the capacity isn’t amazing. At 2.2l it’s best suited for one person, or two if you’re just cooking sides. Its maximum capacity for oven chips, for example, is 500g and I’d always recommend underfilling your fryer to get the best results.

Being a manual fryer, the Tower also has fairly basic controls. Two physical dials allow you to set the cooking temperature between 80ºC and 200ºC and you can set a timer up to 30 minutes. I found this short timer to be fine for most oven cooking but it might not be suitable for everyone. There’s no getting away from the fact this air fryer is really basic but unless you’re willing to up your budget to £100+, you’ll be hard-pushed to find anything better in my opinion.

  • Pros: Cheap, easy to use, does the job
  • Cons: Small capacity, limited functionality, 30 minute timer

Read our full Tower T17023 2.2l review for more details

Key specs – Power: 1,000W; Capacity: 2.2l; Controls: Manual timer; Accessories: Removable crisper plate

3. Ninja AF100UK: Best air fryer for two people

Price when reviewed: £120 | Check price at Ninja Ninja AF100UK air fryer on a white background with accessories

A compact model that goes above some of the more budget fryers on the market, the Ninja AF100UK is a capable air fryer that performed well in tests. I was impressed with how crispy chips came out using just a tablespoon of oil, with a crisp bubbly exterior and soft insides. When shaken properly throughout cooking, I didn’t notice any undercooked pieces, either. I also managed to make a tasty bread pudding in the air fryer, which came out crisp on top and moist inside after 25 minutes of cooking.

The main downside to this air fryer is that there is a suggested preheat time of three minutes, which most air fryers nowadays don’t have. However, it’s not that much longer on top of your normal cook time. At 3.8l, the capacity of the air fryer isn’t huge, but I think it’s the perfect size for two people. It holds up to 900g of oven chips, a small 1.2kg chicken in the basket or a couple of chicken breasts. While you won’t be able to cook a full meal in this as you would with a dual-drawer model, it’s sizable enough and doesn’t take up a lot of countertop space. If space is a concern, though, Ninja also has a 5.2l MAX version more suited to larger groups.

  • Pros: Good results, attractive design, easy to use
  • Cons: Small capacity, preheating required

Read our full Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK review for more details

Key specs – Power: 1,550W; Capacity: 3.8l; Controls: Digital/buttons, Accessories: Removable crisper plate

4. Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1: Best oven-style air fryer

Price when review: £99 | Check price at Argos
Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 air fryer on a kitchen island with its accessories

If you want an air fryer that goes a bit further than your usual basket-style models, this mid-range air fryer from Tower is fantastic. In my tests, I was able to cook a whole small 1kg chicken using the rotisserie spit in just 45 minutes. The result was a chicken that was crisp all over, something you won’t get with a basket model, while maintaining a juicy interior. I like this clear, three-tier design for more traditional oven foods too, as it’s easier to give every item more attention than a basket model, where foods can sometimes get stuck underneath each other. This model also comes with a small pizza tray, wire cooking racks and kebab skewers.

There are a couple of issues with this air fryer that are worth noting. The first is that the preset cooking functions don’t work as well as they should. The suggested times and temperatures meant that the food I cooked would often come out underdone, so I’d always stick to manually choosing your times and temperatures. Another is that it looks and feels quite cheap and plasticky, this is likely due to its more reasonable price. However, if looks are less important to you, this isn’t really a big deal.

While I originally reviewed this model at £140, you can often pick it up for less than £100. If you’re looking to save even more, Tower also has an older 5-in-1 model (£60) that’s even cheaper with the same great 11l capacity, though it comes with fewer accessories.

  • Pros: Rotisserie chicken, multi-tier design, huge capacity
  • Cons: Looks cheap, preset functions underperform, tricky to clean

Read our full Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10-in1 air fryer review for more details
Read our full Tower 5-in-1 T17039 air fryer review for more details

Key specs – Power: 2,000W; Capacity: 11l; Controls: Digital; Accessories: Rotisserie spit, kebab skewers, 3 crisping trays, 1 pizza crisping tray, 1 multipurpose rack, silicone heatproof mitts

5. Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer Air Fryer: Best air fryer for flexible cooking

Price when reviewed: £270 | Check price at Ninja

Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer air fryer sitting on top of a kitchen island

Having the flexibility to switch between dual- and single-drawer cooking, without having to buy a separate air fryer is about as good as it gets. That’s why I rate the Ninja FlexDrawer. Its removable divider allows you to quickly switch between a full 10.4l capacity drawer or two 5.2l drawers. Whether it’s cooking chips from scratch, roasting an entire chicken or baking cupcakes, this fryer did not let me down throughout my extensive testing. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the results were the best on this list.

Like its predecessor, the Foodi Dual Zone, the FlexDrawer is jam-packed with an array of functions that allows you to use your air fryer in a variety of ways. This includes thoughtful settings such as match and sync and the Megazone button, for when you’re using the model in single-drawer mode. You also get all the classic Ninja Foodi air fryer settings including Max Crisp, air fry, roast, dehydrate and more. I was also impressed with the FlexDrawer’s energy consumption, which used 1.206kWh at 200ºC, with both sides running. It’s a bit heavier on the power usage than other models we’ve tested but given its size, it’s still impressive and far better than turning on your oven.

My main concerns are its size and the price. Despite the drawer being dishwasher-safe, it’s just too big to justify popping in your dishwasher. I have a full-sized dishwasher at home and this took up about two-thirds of the bottom drawer – not particularly eco-friendly. The price tag is also pretty eye-watering and likely a bit too much for the average person. Despite this, if you can afford to splash out or nab it on a deal, this is one of the best air fryers you can buy right now.

  • Pros: Fantastic results, flexible, spacious cooking, useful functionality
  • Cons: Very expensive, too big for dishwasher

Key specs – Power: 2,470W; Capacity: 10.4l; Controls: Buttons/dial; Accessories: Drip trays, removable divider

6. Ninja Foodi Dual Zone: Best Ninja air fryer

Price when reviewed: £220 | Check price at Ninja Ninja Foodi Dual Zone on a cabinet

Ninja is well known for its high-quality air fryers, but when it comes to a perfect balance of price, features and capacity, I think the Foodi Dual Zone comes out on top. I was really impressed with the cooking results of everything I tested. This dual basket model keeps different elements of your meal separate, while the handy sync feature ensures foods finish at the same time, even if they’re cooking at different start times and temperatures. I was able to cook classics such as chicken and chips in the same appliance, in as little as 30 minutes but you can also double up and air fry the same thing in both baskets, using the match function to cook everything at the same time.

As well as air frying, the Dual Zone can also reheat, roast, bake and dehydrate. However, its standout function is the Max Crisp setting. This allows you to cook thinner frozen foods such as chips and onion rings in a fraction of the time of a standard air fryer or convection oven. In my tests, a single portion of frozen potato lattices came out perfectly cooked in just six minutes. That’s less than half the recommended 15-minute time stated on the bag.

One area I felt the Dual Zone could be better was capacity. This particular model has a 7.6l capacity but given how much space it takes up on the countertop, that doesn’t feel like all that much. Since reviewing this model, Ninja has also released the Dual Zone Max, which has a larger 9.5l capacity, but comes with all the same features. This does come at an extra cost though, which might not appeal to everyone considering its price tag is already on the high side.

  • Pros: Dual functionality, great results, easy to use
  • Cons: Capacity could be better, large footprint

Read our full Ninja Foodi Dual Zone review for more details

Key specs – Power: 2,400W; Capacity: 7.6l; Controls: Digital/buttons; Accessories: None

Check price at Ninja

7. Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: Best self-stirring air fryer

Price when reviewed: £270 | Check price at Amazon

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 air fryer open with chips inside, on a white backgroundIf you’re fed up of shaking your food during cooking, this self-stirring air fryer from Tefal could be just what you’re looking for. In my full review, I really rated the Genius XL’s two-tier design, which has a self-stirring paddle at the bottom and a more classic basket on top. Although Tefal states this has an eight-portion capacity, in testing I found it to be closer to four. That’s still a great size though, especially with the stirring paddle taking up some of the space.

Because this air fryer has a solid bottom, you can cook thicker liquid items, such as curry, in the lower section, as well as dishes like stir fries. It’s great for traditional oven food, too: in testing, my breaded chicken and homemade chips came out beautifully crisp with one tablespoon of oil and were ready in 30 minutes. Unfortunately, unlike traditional dual baskets, this one doesn’t allow you to cook each section at a separate time or temperature. That’s a shame considering other air fryers at this price point can do that.

This is a unique air fryer but it comes at a high cost. If you can pick one up on a deal then it’s more than worth it, but if you’re on a tight budget, you might want to forgo the paddle and stick to a traditional dual drawer fryer such as the Instant Vortex.

  • Pros: Self-stirring paddle, decent capacity, cooks curry and stir fries
  • Cons: No sync/match features like other dual basket models, expensive

Read our full Tefal Genius XL 2in1 review for more details

Key specs – Power: 1,500W; Capacity: 1.7kg; Controls: Digital; Accessories: Measuring spoon, removable 2-in-1 tray

How to choose the best air fryer for you

How do air fryers work?

Air fryers work similarly to electric convection (fan) ovens, rather than deep fat fryers, which submerge food in oil. This is because they have a heating element inside the appliance at the top and a large fan that usually sits above the element.

The main difference between an air fryer and an oven is its size. They have a much smaller capacity than your average oven and because of this, the intensity of the fan is greater. They allow hot air to circulate at a rapid speed, heating up and crisping food quickly. This is why you’ll often see suggestions to cook food in your air fryer at a lower temperature and for less time than an oven.

Read more about how air fryers work and what makes them such a useful kitchen appliance in our full “What is an air fryer?” guide.

What can I cook in an air fryer?

Air fryers can cook pretty much anything an oven can cook, albeit in a smaller capacity. My favourite things to cook in an air fryer are homemade chips, breaded fish and tofu. However, there’s so much you can do with your air fryer, especially if it comes with additional functions such as dehydrating, proofing or sauteing.

For more information and inspiration about what you can and can’t cook in your air fryer. Read our article on the best things to cook in an air fryer.

How do you clean an air fryer?

Every part of your air fryer needs a good clean every now and then.

Exterior: The best way to clean the exterior of your air fryer is with a gentle soap and warm water. We recommend giving your air fryer a wipe down after each use.

Interior: Most air fryers nowadays have dishwasher-safe parts and baskets. If you don’t have a dishwasher, you should clean the baskets and trays with dish soap and hot water. Be sure to use a non-scratch sponge to protect the coating.

Heating element: Food debris, oil and other grime can get stuck on the element. This can cause your air fryer to function incorrectly and can even be a fire hazard. Clean the element when the air fryer is unplugged and completely cooled with dish soap and warm water. Be sure to read our full guide on how to clean your air fryer heating element correctly.

Are air fryers energy efficient?

Air fryers are far more energy efficient than your average convection oven over short periods. The majority of air fryers we’ve tested use between 0.52kWh to 1.206kWh at 200ºC when run for an hour. They also heat up more quickly than ovens due to their small size and large fans, which move hot air around the cavity much faster than an oven.

The average oven takes longer to heat up but if you plan on running your air fryer for a long time (several hours) to batch cook, it might be more economical to use your oven instead. This is because ovens use less energy to maintain their level of heat once at the correct temperature. For short cooking times, up to an hour, an air fryer is still going to be the most energy-efficient choice, though. See how an air fryer compares to your more traditional oven in our comparison article.

What types of air fryers are there?

Basket style: This type of air fryer typically has a removable basket that pulls out from the front of the appliance and a perforated tray insert to syphon off excess oil. Dual basket air fryers will have two of these, usually side by side. These are the easiest air fryers to use and often the entire basket can be put in the dishwasher.

Oven style: These air fryers look more like mini tabletop ovens and don’t have a removable basket. Instead, they open up like an oven or microwave and have removable tray inserts that sit inside. These air fryers usually have a see-through door, which is ideal for checking on your food as it cooks. Some, such as the Tower 10-in-1, also come with additional accessories for cooking rotisserie chicken and more.

Self-stirring: Many of Tefal’s Genius models feature a self-stirring paddle, which turns food automatically as it cooks. This is ideal if you don’t want to revisit your food throughout cooking to shake or turn it. This paddle does take up cooking space, though. They’re also typically more expensive than other types.

Features to look out for

Synch and match: On dual-drawer air fryers, this is really important. The sync function allows both baskets to finish at the same time, even if they are set to different times and temperatures. The match function simply matches the time and temperature in both baskets, helpful; if you’re cooking the same thing on both sides and don’t want to input the information twice.

Bake/roast: If you also plan on using your air fryer as your oven, these features are really handy. The bake and roast settings run the fan at a lower speed than the air fry function. This means the heat will build more slowly and helps to avoid food browning too quickly on top, ideal for cakes and delicate proteins.

Proof: If you’re a keen baker, you might want to consider an air fryer with a low heat proofing setting. This is useful if you want dough to rise quickly and don’t have any warm spots in your house.

How much do air fryers cost?

Our tried and tested air fryers start at £50 but the most expensive models can cost up to £270. If you’re looking for a budget model, we wouldn’t recommend spending any less than £50 and anything up to £100 will see you through.

If you can splash out a bit though, the sweet spot is around £150 to £200, if you want the best performance and features.

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