The 12 Best Cookware Sets of 2024

From nonstick to stainless, we’ve found the best cookware sets out there right now.

Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H, RD, is a Chinese and Jewish chef and dietitian who has worked in all facets of the food world. She is a recipe developer, culinary nutritionist and marketing specialist with more than 15 years of experience creating editorial and digital content for top food and kitchen brands. Water Heater Jug

The 12 Best Cookware Sets of 2024

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If you’re like most of us, you likely have a hodgepodge of pots and pans in your kitchen—some old, some new, some you have no idea how they got into your cabinet, yet they’ve been lingering around for years. If you’re looking to elevate your cooking game, or if you’re simply ready to have a full matching set, investing in new cookware is the first step to making your kitchen feel complete. 

Purchasing a full set of cookware, rather than individual pieces, can save both time and money. Cookware sets often contain the most-used pan sizes and lids, plus they’re often less expensive than purchasing each piece on its own. 

In our test kitchen of professional chefs and home cooks, we’ve done the hard work for you and tested 47 cookware sets (yes, you read that correctly) across nonstick, ceramic and stainless steel varieties. We seared meats and whipped up fried eggs, rice pilaf, vegetables and sauces, plus spent time cleaning the pans afterwards. After days of testing, these are our top recommendations.

What we like: Stylish colors, moderate price, stores neatly.

What to know: Pans can be a bit heavy and bulky.

If you are looking for a moderately priced ceramic cookware set that looks as good as it performs, this is the one. Constructed of aluminum with a nontoxic, nonstick ceramic coating, these Caraway pans come in a range of gorgeous colors, from golden-yellow to navy blue to blush pink. And, to keep them neatly stashed in your cabinets, this set includes a magnetic pan organizing rack and a canvas lid holder that you can affix to the inside of your cabinet door.

During our testing, we found that these pans cooked our food evenly, without a single spot of food sticking anywhere, making them perfect for scrambling eggs or searing fish. Cleanup is an absolute breeze, as you can essentially just wipe out the pan with a paper towel—the nonstick coating is just that good. 

Differing from several of the other sets, the Caraway pans have more surface area on the bottom, with straighter, tall sides, meaning these pans can hold a lot of food. Another very cool feature is the “bump stop” on the handles to let the user know where the handle will start to get hot. One thing to note, though, is the bulkiness and weight of these pans, as they aren’t incredibly well-balanced. For those with strength limitations, you might need to use two hands to move these pans, especially if they’re filled with food. 

Pieces included: 12 | Material: Aluminum Ceramic Nonstick | Induction Compatible: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit | Dishwasher safe: No

What we like: Sleek design and superior heat conductivity.

What to know: Handwashing recommended.

If you’re looking for stainless steel cooking quality with all the benefits of nonstick, there’s no better set than this 10-piece from GreenPan. While the price tag makes it a bit of a splurge, this set gives you all the benefits of nonstick cooking in a stainless cloak. Additionally, these pans are all induction-friendly, meaning you can use them on any type of cooktop.

Right off the bat, our testers were impressed with the sleek, attractive design of these pans. All of the lids have vent holes and the largest pot has two pour spouts, making pouring liquids extremely easy and satisfying. When frying an egg in the skillet, our testers found that the underside was evenly browned, the exterior rim crisp and the yolk intact, and the egg slid right out of the pan without needing a spatula. In other words, this is the perfect egg pan. The rest of the cookware set performed just as well; the rice pilaf, even with a heavily crisped layer on the bottom, slid out of the pan with ease, as did our scrambled eggs. 

The GreenPan set is technically dishwasher safe, although the manufacturer recommends handwashing the pans for best results. We followed this advice and used a sponge and some soapy water to clean our pans, which was a quick and easy process. Overall, we think this GreenPan set is worth the splurge—particularly if you’re looking for long-term cookware that doesn’t require you to stand over the sink scrubbing all night. 

Pieces included: 10 | Material: Stainless Steel Ceramic Nonstick | Induction Compatible: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit | Dishwasher safe: Yes

What we like: A lightweight, attractive set at an incredible value.

What to know: Neither oven- nor dishwasher-safe.

For less than the price of one singular pan in some other sets, you get a full 10 pieces of cookware in this set from CAROTE. The styling is similar to that of much more expensive ceramic cookware, but these pans are made from aluminum rather than stainless steel, keeping this set at a more cost-effective price. 

When cooking the fried egg, testers found it stuck a little bit, though it was easily released with the coaxing of a spatula. Testers also found that the pans curved inside the skillets, making it so there’s no real full flat surface. This makes stirring the food easy, but it’s a little difficult to get a good sear on foods like chicken or shrimp. 

One thing to note is these pans are not oven- or dishwasher-safe. The handles are made from Bakelite—a hard plastic that is heat-resistant but not heat-proof—and therefore, they’re unable to be exposed to the high heat of the oven or dishwasher. But overall, for the money, you can’t find a better complete set that looks as good in the cupboard as it does sitting out on the stove. 

Pieces included: 10 | Material: Aluminum Ceramic Nonstick | Induction Compatible: Yes | Oven-safe: No | Dishwasher safe: No

What we like: Simple and practical design with even and consistent cooking capabilities.

What to know: While the pots and pans are oven-safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the lids can only withstand up to 425 degrees.

Le Creuset has long been known for its durable Dutch ovens, so it’s no surprise that this set of nonstick skillets, saucepans and pots also took top marks during testing. Rice pilaf and scrambled eggs cooked like a dream in these pans, and when it came to cleanup, it only took a swipe from a sponge to remove any debris. 

We love that the shape of these pans are simple, practical and traditional. The high, straight sides of the pots and saucepans, as well as the perfect slant on the skillets, made testers happy in a sea of new-wave pans that often don’t cook as well as the tried-and-true models. With the variety of pots, pans, skillets and sizes, this set is great for pretty much anything, including browning, searing and even roasting, since it can even be transferred to the oven with a heat threshold of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. (However, the lids of the pans are only oven-safe to 425 degrees, so you’ll need to remove them before you crank up the heat.) 

This all seems fitting for a brand that makes a Dutch oven you not only keep forever, but also pass on to the next generation. This set is durable, well-balanced, and exactly what most want for a fantastic nonstick cookware set.   

Pieces included: 10 | Material: Aluminum Nonstick | Induction Compatible: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit | Dishwasher safe: Yes

What we like: Comes with the largest stock pot of any set on our list and offers superior browning on a nonstick surface.

What to know: The price tag is the steepest of all the sets we tested.

Nonstick pans generally cannot achieve the same level of browning as stainless steel pans, but the All-Clad set does, thanks to its stainless steel finish below the nonstick coating. The bottom of the fried egg was an even, crispy brown and the onions got a nice caramelization that made us excited for making pan sauces. 

Similar to professional cookware, the handles are rounded with a divot for your thumb to fit in, making them easy to move around and shake. Because these pans are made of a thicker construction to promote more even cooking, they are heavier than other sets, which may be an issue for those with limited strength. However, testers agreed that because of its heavy construction, these pans are ideal for searing and braising without the issues of burning or sticking. 

You might be paying a bit more for the All-Clad name, but for those who want all the culinary benefits of stainless steel and the ease of nonstick clean up, this is the set for you. 

Pieces included: 10 | Material: Stainless Steel Nonstick | Induction Compatible: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit | Dishwasher safe: Yes

What we like: Affordable and comprehensive set of both cookware and utensils.

What to know: Not the most durable.

For anyone looking to go from zero pans to a full set on a budget, this 15-piece set from Amazon will check that box. Along with two skillets and four pots with lids, this cookware assortment includes five utensils, including slotted spoons and turners, to help you cook and serve your food. 

When testing these pans, we didn’t find any issues with food sticking on any of the surfaces. However, these pans are meant to be used over low and medium heat only, as the handles are made of plastic and the nonstick coating can be damaged at high heat. We’ll also note that the largest pot in this set has a 4-quart capacity, which is considerably smaller than a traditional large pot for cooking pasta.

While this Amazon Basics set is not necessarily designed for durability, we think these pans are perfect for someone looking for a starter set of cookware for an apartment or dorm, a supplementary set for a camper or RV, or for someone who’s looking to tide themselves over until they find their “forever” cookware. 

Pieces included: 15 | Material: Aluminum Nonstick | Induction Compatible: No | Oven-safe: No | Dishwasher safe: No

What we like: Designed for the serious cook, this cookware set looks as good as it performs.

What to know: Controlling the heat can be a bit tricky.

When you make the transition from novice cook to intermediate, it’s a great time to step up your gear and reach for stainless steel cookware. Stainless steel pans allow for the deep browning of meat and vegetables to create what's called fond, also known as the bits that stick to the bottom of the pan. While some see food sticking to the pan as a bad thing, chefs know that the fond is the foundation of good sauces and the base for a boost in flavor. That’s where this Hestan stainless steel cookware set comes into play. 

With ergonomic, sleek and comfortable handles and heavy, thick construction, these pans were made to work in a kitchen that gets a lot of use. This set comes with the same 8.5- and 11-inch skillets, and 1.5- and 3-quart saucepans that most other cookware sets have, but it also includes a 3.5-quart high-sided saute pan, as well as an 8-quart stockpot that’s ideal for making soups and stews. 

When testing, we found that these pans were quite reactive to heat, but they gave our meat an even sear with nice browning. Additionally, these pans were easy to clean with a sponge and dish soap, no steel wool needed even with a bit of sticking from the rice. We think this set of pans is a solid choice that any avid cook would enjoy. 

Pieces included: 10 | Material: Stainless Steel | Induction Compatible: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit | Dishwasher safe: Yes

What we like: The easiest stainless steel pans to clean, perfect weight.

What to know: Steep price point.

Just as we loved the nonstick pans from Le Creuset, we also loved the renowned brand’s stainless steel set. This sturdy, splurge-worthy set consists of a skillet, a sauté pan, two saucepans and a stockpot with a colander insert. Made of titanium-infused stainless steel with an aluminum core, these pans have an attractive design that’s true to the Le Creuset name, including the familiar three-ring lid pattern that the brand is known for. 

Each pan has an incredibly even cooking surface without any hot spots, meaning that vegetables and sauces bubbled throughout the pans and not just on the edges or in the middle. We also loved the weight of these pans—not too heavy but not too light—and they performed just as well as the heavier bunch. In fact, when cooking rice in one of the pans, we found it to be one of the most even rice batches from what we tested.

Even with the slightest bit of sticking (again, not a bad thing!), this cookware set was the easiest to clean of all the stainless steel pans we tested. After a gentle soak, everything came off with soap and hot water. The price is steep, yes, but this is a set that you’ll have forever. 

Pieces included: 10 | Material: Stainless Steel | Induction Compatible: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit | Dishwasher safe: Yes/No

What we like: Lightweight and versatile set at an approachable price point.

What to know: Cooking was a bit uneven during testing.

If you’re searching for a solid set of entry-level stainless steel cookware, or if you’d like to have both a stainless steel set and a nonstick set without breaking the bank, this 10-piece assortment from Calphalon fits the bill. Our testers loved that these pans are lightweight and easy to maneuver, and sticking was minimal when we cooked vegetables and sauces in them. 

At seven quarts, the stock pot is a bit smaller than other sets. Still, these pans could accomplish everything their more expensive counterparts could, and they were easy to clean, as well. While the lighter weight of the pans makes them easier to move, you are giving up a bit of even cooking; when we seared pork in these pans, we noticed a bit of uneven coloring. (However, only the most advanced cooks noticed the difference.) For a set that’s budget-friendly and performs well, this straightforward set is a steal.  

Pieces included: 10 | Material: Stainless Steel | Induction Compatible: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit | Dishwasher safe: Yes

What we like: This versatile, functional set is both induction-compatible and incredibly even-heating.

What to know: The handles feel a bit awkward in the hand.

Known for its excellent heat conductivity and distribution—as well as being beautiful to look at—copper cookware can be an excellent investment for your kitchen. And if you’re looking for a copper set that delivers on all of these factors (and more), this Viking set is an excellent pick.

This 9-piece cookware set has two skillets, a saucepan, a sauté pan, a Dutch oven and three lids, and a stainless steel steamer insert that fits inside the saucepan. Each pan boasts a four-ply construction of two layers of stainless steel, an aluminum core and a copper exterior. And contrary to many other copper sets, this one is induction-friendly, adding an extra element of versatility.

When we tested this Viking set, we loved how sturdy and spacious the pans were. We also loved the consistently even heating, which allowed us to achieve a deep, golden-brown sear on our chicken breast. We experienced no issues with food sticking to the inside of the pans, and we could wipe out most of the leftover bits when we were finished cooking. A quick follow-up with a soft, soapy sponge was all it took to get these pans clean. 

Our only note? We didn’t love the handles on this set. While comfortable enough to hold, they’re attached to the pans at an awkward angle, meaning this cookware can take some finesse to maneuver. All things considered, though, this Viking set scores top marks when it comes to copper cookware.

Pieces included: 9 | Material: Stainless steel, copper and aluminum | Induction Compatible: Yes | Oven safe: Yes, to 600°F | Dishwasher safe: No

What we like: Quick, even heating and superb searing capabilities, and it’s super easy to clean.

What to know: The price tag is quite steep.

Let’s get this out of the way: This is a $2,000 cookware set. But if you’re up for the splurge, we think this 10-piece Thermo-Clad copper set is worth it. Made exclusively for Williams Sonoma, these pans are constructed of 1.2mm-gauge copper with a nonreactive stainless steel lining, ensuring quick, even heating while still being easy to use and maintain.

This set includes two skillets, two saucepans, a sauté pan and a stockpot, and everything comes with a stainless steel lid except for the skillets. Additionally, the entire set is oven-safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When we gave this set a test run, the pans came to temp very quickly and retained the heat impressively well. When we cooked our chicken breast, we achieved a perfect sear with a nice fond, and we had no issues with food sticking to the pans. They were also incredibly easy to clean, requiring minimal scrubbing to get them spotless. 

This is a sturdy and capacious set, and it definitely has some weight to it, so it may not be the best option for those with limited strength. Still, we think this Williams Sonoma set makes a great investment for the avid home cooks out there.

Pieces included: 10 | Material: Stainless steel, copper | Induction Compatible: No | Oven safe: Yes, up to 450°F | Dishwasher safe: No

What we like: This small but sturdy set heats quickly and evenly, and it’s a fraction of the price of other copper cookware sets.

What to know: Not induction compatible.

If you want to reap the benefits of copper cookware without spending a fortune, this 8-piece Cuisinart set is one of our favorites. It comes with two skillets in 8- and 10-inch sizes, plus a small saucepan, a sauté pan, a 6-quart stockpot and three accompanying lids. The pans are constructed of a triple-ply combination of aluminum, stainless steel and copper, allowing for excellent heat conductivity and distribution.

While these pans were a little smaller and thinner than similar sets we tested, they still felt sturdy and well-balanced when we put them to the test. The pans are very reactive, and they heat evenly and consistently; our chicken breast came out perfectly seared, and we were able to bring a pot of water to a boil in 5 minutes. Overall, we think this Cuisinart set is a great way to ease your way into copper cookware on a budget.

Pieces included: 8 | Material: Stainless steel, copper and aluminum | Induction Compatible: No | Oven safe: Yes, to 500°F | Dishwasher safe: Lids: yes, pans: no

With all the options available, picking a cookware set may seem overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve narrowed it down to the best on the market for your cooking needs. If you’re looking for a stellar stainless steel set, it’s hard to beat the Hestan ProBond 10-Piece Set (view at Amazon). If ceramic is more your speed, we love Caraway’s 12-Piece Nonstick Ceramic Set (view at Amazon). If you’re on the hunt for some high-performing nonstick cookware, the Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick PRO set is at the top of our list (view at Amazon). And if you're looking for a stellar set of copper cookware, this Viking 4-Ply Contemporary Copper Set (view at Amazon) is worth the investment.

Deciding on an ideal cookware set comes down to a few key points, including cooking skill level, cleaning preference and budget. Depending on your level of comfort in the kitchen, choosing pans that align with your cooking preferences may benefit you more than picking pans based on how they look—though it’s completely fine if design is your motivator, too. Those who consider themselves intermediate or advanced cooks may veer towards heavier, more expensive pans, simply because they can hold up to the higher level of cooking. For novice cooks, picking pans that make cooking easy and cleaning simple are often top priorities.

Cookware can be generally classified into two categories: nonstick and stainless steel. Within the nonstick category, you’ve got traditional nonstick and ceramic nonstick varieties. Most professional and avid cooks prefer stainless steel because of its ability to cook at higher temperatures and its durability, since there is no coating. On the flipside, nonstick pans are easier to clean since the food doesn’t stick to the pan. However, they often don’t produce beautifully browned food, and some cooks have concerns about the coating and chemicals on nonstick pans. 

While stainless steel pans do not have any sort of coating on them, nonstick pans do. This nonstick coating makes sliding food out of the pan a breeze, and cleanup often involves a simple swipe with a sponge or cloth, as opposed to the elbow grease that stainless steel often requires. That said, not all nonstick coatings are the same. Traditional nonstick pans are made from PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which have been used since the 1940s to repel water and create slick surfaces. While PFAS have raised concerns relating to health implications and environmental impact, there have been technological advances in recent years that have allowed companies to develop safer versions of nonstick pans. 

Contrary to their name, ceramic nonstick pans are not actually made of ceramic. Rather, they’re coated with a silicone finish to mimic the surface of ceramic. This coating is known as sol-gel and allows the pans to work just like traditional nonstick pans. 

While skillets are usually circular and flat, and saucepans round and tall, there are some nuances that vary from brand to brand. First, there’s the weight of the pans. Pick up a pan made primarily of layered stainless steel and you’ll likely find that it’s a bit heavier than one that’s made of a lighter metal like aluminum. You’ll also notice that the handles are made of different materials, from plastic to silicone to metal, and this will determine whether they are dishwasher and oven safe. 

Lastly, you’ll want to look at cooktop compatibility. All of the pans on our list work on both gas and electric ranges, but only some of them are designed for induction cooktops. This is because aluminum doesn’t have the magnetic quality needed to work on induction, though some manufacturers have started adding a magnetic layer to aluminum pans to make them induction-friendly. 

The most common cookware is made from stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron and copper. Each has its own pros and cons when it comes to heat conductivity, weight and cost. Copper heats more evenly than any other metal, but copper cookware also comes with a hefty price tag. Stainless steel is the next priciest option because of its durability, but it’s not the best conductor of heat. Because of this, there is usually at least one layer of aluminum sandwiched between a few layers of stainless to increase the heat conductivity. In turn, this need for more metal often increases the costs of the pans. Aluminum is one of the more inexpensive materials, and it’s a great conductor of heat, but it’s not as durable as stainless. 

All of the cookware sets on our list come with at least one skillet, one sauté pan, two saucepans and a larger stock pot, and you’ll usually find lids for everything except the skillets included in the set. The sizes of the skillets range from smaller 8-inch pans to larger 11- or 12-inch versions, and the saucepans often range from 1.5- to 3-quart capacities. The stock pots have the largest size, ranging from four to eight quarts. To decide what set best fits your needs, think about what you cook the most. Is it soups and stews or seared fish and chicken? Additionally, how many people are you typically feeding? Knowing your cooking needs will help you pick which set is ideal for you.  

By purchasing a cookware set instead of individual pans, you can often save anywhere from 15% to 40% off the total cost of the pans—and that’s not even taking into account when the sets go on sale. It’s clear that cookware sets are a great way to go if you are looking to invest in new cookware or expand your current set. 

In our search for the best cookware sets, our team of testers put 47 nonstick, ceramic nonstick and stainless steel cookware sets through the wringer. Eggs were fried and scrambled, rice pilafs were made and meats were seared. Our testers filled stockpots with water and assessed how long they took to come to a boil. We also sautéed mirepoix and whisked up bechamel sauces to test the capabilities of the cookware. All of these tests helped assess how the cookware held up to sticky food, and the subsequent ease of cleaning that followed. Finally, we gauged the look and feel of the pans to determine ease of use for anyone with strength limitations.

T-Fal Platinum 12-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set ($176 at Amazon): We found that the nonstick quality was inconsistent from pan to pan, and in one case, an egg stuck so badly that the pan could be held upside down without it budging. Testers also found the design of these pans to be a bit clunky with uncomfortable handles.

Cuisinart 11-Piece Nonstick Ceramica XT Cookware Set ($120 at Amazon): While we thought the overall design of these pans was appealing, our testers found that they weren’t very well-balanced. And while cleaning was easy, our food tended to stick in the pans while cooking, thus defeating the purpose of a nonstick set.

Circulon SteelShield Hybrid 10-Piece Cookware Set ($280 at Amazon): With the majority of the pans coated with a nonstick surface and the addition of stainless steel rings on the bottom, these pans are meant to give you the best of both stainless and nonstick worlds. While this is good in theory, we found that the food stuck to the “hybrid” surfaces in every case, and water took forever to boil in the pot. 

Rachel Ray Cook + Create 11-Piece Cookware Set  ($150 at Rachel Ray): We like that this set comes with a baking sheet and utensils in addition to the pans, plus testers found that it performed really well with the egg and rice tests. However, the small size of the skillets and pans limited our cooking capabilities, and we think this set is more ideal for one- to two-person households. 

Mauviel Copper M’200 CI 10-Piece Cookware Set ($3,335 at Williams Sonoma): With its ultra-sleek design and contrasting cast iron handles, this set is truly stunning to look at. However, the stock pot only has a 5-quart capacity, compared to the 6-quart versions we’re used to—and with a price tag of over $3,000, we'd love to have that extra quart.

Ultimately, the healthiest cookware set is the one that you feel most comfortable using. However, the type of cookware you pick does make a difference. The healthiest cookware will generally be the simplest—only metal and no coating—but, with that said, nonstick pans can also be a part of a healthy kitchen. If you’re worried about nonstick or ceramic coatings, cook over lower temperatures and avoid using metal utensils that could scratch the surface. It’s also best to hand-wash your nonstick pans to preserve the coating. And if your nonstick pans are scratched, it’s time to replace them. 

Cookware sets come with the most commonly used pan sizes—usually a small and large skillet, a large high-sided saute pan, small and medium saucepans and a large stockpot. These pieces are the workhorses of the kitchen and will satisfy 90% of all the cooking most folks usually do. Additionally, cookware sets are generally less expensive than buying the pieces individually. So, if you’re looking to stock a new kitchen or upgrade to a better set, buying a full cookware set is a great investment. 

The old adage “you get what you pay for” very much applies to cookware. The better the quality cookware you invest in, the longer it’ll remain in your kitchen. Thick, heavy stainless steel pans can last practically forever, especially if you take good care of them. Nonstick pans, however, often need more care to last a long time, despite the fact that they’re easier to clean. To keep your nonstick cookware in good shape, it’s important to avoid using metal utensils, steel wool or anything abrasive on them. But even if you treat your pans with the utmost care, the nonstick coating won’t last forever. As soon as nonstick pans are scratched, or you start to notice that food is sticking to the pans, it’s time to replace them.  

Breana Killeen is a recipe developer, culinary nutritionist and marketing specialist with over 15 years of experience creating content for food and kitchen brands. For 10 years, Breana was a food editor turned test kitchen and editorial operations manager for EatingWell magazine. In writing this article, she drew on the insights of our food lab, which is comprised of professional cooks and home cooks who sauteed, roasted, baked, whisked and scrubbed 47 cookware sets to pick the best ones for your kitchen.

This article was edited by Kayleigh Drake, a former full-time baker and current EatingWell commerce editor and contributor to publications such as Food & Wine, The Spruce Eats and Simply Recipes—and was reviewed by Brierley Horton, M.S., RD, Senior Commerce Editor, who has 15 years of experience reporting, writing, and editing nutrition and health content. 

The 12 Best Cookware Sets of 2024

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