Are you looking for the safest air fryer or air fryer ovens? Truth be told many of the highly-rated “favorite” air fryers on the market contain potentially toxic proprietary nonstick coatings, and/or Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly referred to as “forever chemicals.” But never fret, we looked into all the most popular brands. You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like best & worst air purifiers, best & worst organic mattresses, & the best water filters, now join us as we share our findings of safest non-toxic Air Fryers and Air Fryer Ovens.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
Pretty Much All “Non-Stick” Inside Small Kitchen Appliances are Toxic
When you hear “non-stick” it’s typically referring to food contact surfaces that have been coated with perfluorinated chemicals or PFAS like PFOA. These synthetic chemicals appear to give products an edge with the promise of easier cleaning, stain and grease resistance, and a no-mess, no-fuss type of surface.
Sounds great until you find out how incredibly toxic to humans and the environment they also are. Some of the more problematic health impacts are below:
- affect the growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children
- increase cholesterol levels
- increase the risk of cancer like testicular, prostate and breast cancers
- interfere with the body’s natural hormones
- low sperm count
- smaller penis size
- reduction in immunity
- metabolic diseases like obesity & diabetes
- thyroid disfunction
- reduced vaccination response
- ulcerative colitis
- increase the risk of cancer like testicular, prostate and breast cancers
The danger in PFAS chemicals is an accumulation of exposures over time because it does not leave your body for quite some time. So your daily exposure to PFAS chemicals matters and should be reduced overall.
PFAS Chemicals Are Ubiquitous & Hard to Completely Avoid
You can find PFAS chemicals in a variety of consumer retail products, and other industries where daily exposure is unavoidable. Here are some examples:
- bike lubricants
- carpets & floor polish
- clothing, including water-resistant jackets or stain-resistant pants,
- cosmetics, including body lotion, foundation, concealer, eye shadow, powder
- crops farmed with “sewage sludge” (No worries if you eat organic because organic farmers are prohibited from using biosolids aka “sewage sludge”)
- drinking water close to airports & military bases or utilizing water sources that have been polluted by industry
- fire fighting protective gear
- food packaging
- laboratory equipment
- leather treatment
- protective gear for medical staff, such as surgical gowns
- retardants in fire fighting foam
- surfing wax
Teflon & The Shady Past of Cookware Set Us Up For a Shady Small Kitchen Appliance Aisle
It seems that most people are aware of the toxicity associated with Teflon. Teflon is the brand name for a chemical also known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which was originated by using the surfactant perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, aka “C8”).
PFOA falls into the class of chemicals known as PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). These chemicals are raising concern from not only the public but also scientists, medical researchers, and regulatory groups.
Just like with many other legacy chemicals, regrettable substitutions afloat. In terms of PFAS, long-chain PFOA and PFOS were phased out under pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency. Companies went scrambling for alternatives and found other chemicals within the same PFAS chemical category that were slightly different. However, studies are finding these new short-chain fluorotelomers could actually be MORE problematic.
- Short-chain chemicals build up in lab animals just as much as the long chains do
- Lower doses stayed in the body for longer periods of time than the large doses typically used in short-term toxicity studies
Most Air Fryer Brands Evaded Transparency on Non-Stick Coatings
What we learned during this investigation is that companies who are still using nonstick coatings are not always willing to provide the exact materials used in their products, which is a concern for us.
- Some of them did respond with a generic response that the nonstick coating used is proprietary and cannot be disclosed.
- Others responded with a misleading reply that boasted being PFOA-free or even just letting us know that all of their products are FDA approved and “very safe.”
We want to provide you with a thorough assessment of the options out there but please know we could only do so much with the information we have been provided. Transparency is huge for Mamavation, and Air Fryers somehow bring out the least transparent of information to the table.
Tips For Avoiding PFAS “Forever Chemicals” Inside Your Home
Mamavation has been keeping you in the know about PFAS continually so we can guide you to safer products. We tried our best to get the scoop from Air Fryer brands on if their products contained PFAS chemicals. It was not an easy task, and we are still waiting and wondering about many of the companies we contacted based on either a lack of response or intentional avoidance of the direct question.
Here are some tips for keeping PFAS out of your home:
- Swap your Non-stick cookware to these healthier brands
- Find better small kitchen appliances without PFAS coated surfaces
- Try to find alternatives to non-stick products whenever possible (especially if you have any small pets or immune-compromised family members. Birds are especially vulnerable).
- Avoid foods with packaging. Grease-proof food packaging (pizza boxes, cake cardboard bottoms, & french fry wrappers. Click here for a list of which grocery store chains are serving PFAS-free packing)
- Avoid fast food as much as possible. (Did you know we tested In-N-Out Burger wrappers the other day?)
- Look into investing in a reverse osmosis water system for your home, especially if you live by a military base or airport.
- When purchasing furniture or carpet, of stain and dirt resistance treatments. (Like StainMaster)
- Even your mattress contains PFAS chemicals but these organic mattresses do not.
- Avoid buying clothing with labels indicating water, stain or dirt repellant. (Like Patagonia jackets)
- Avoid choosing personal care products with “fluoro” or “perfluoro” on the ingredient list. However, did you know that some toothfloss contains PFAS? These brands do not.
- Dust more often! FAS chemicals stick to dust particles so the more dust you have in your home, the more likely there is PFAS in the air you breathe. Click here for our FREE eBook on how to clean your indoor air.
Mamavation’s Investigation of Air Fryer & Air Fry Oven Brands
Mamavation evaluated about 40 different air fryer products available in the United States. We started out pretty excited about a handful of models that had been previously reviewed as non-toxic, along with products that had prior claims of using only stainless steel with no coatings.
Specifically, we looked at the following categories:
- Air Fryers
- Air Fryer Ovens
- Convection Ovens with glass bowls
- Countertop Toaster Ovens
Mamavation ran into several issues after studying reviews, contacting the companies directly, and studying their marketing online:
- PROPRIETARY (Likely PFAS) NON-STICK COATINGS: Most brands contained coatings that were “proprietary”, which may likely mean some sort of PFAS chemical coating. While other brands responded to our inquiries immediately to tell us they used PFAS coatings. PFAS chemicals are referred to as “forever chemicals” because they are incredibly persistent in the environment.
- CERAMIC NON-STICK COATINGS: Ceramic non-stick coatings are typically made of nanoparticles, which are common but not well studied. However, some titanium dioxide nanoparticles have been linked to precancerous gut lesions as well as immune disruption. This type of ceramic coating is very common in cookware, so we can only assume it also may be inside the air fryer if they don’t answer our inquiries.
- ALUMINUM FOOD CONTACT SURFACES: Aluminum (especially when uncoated), has the potential to leach aluminum into your food. Aluminum is bioaccumulative and a known neurotoxin that can cause neurological disorders like dementia. Aluminum cookware is an obvious culprit, but it’s also been found present at lower levels in ceramic and stainless steel cooking products. Aluminum can also cause slow growth in children, speech problems, seizures, and eventual system toxicity that causes serious problems including anemia, nervous system trouble, and bone and brain diseases.
- FUMES: Some of the Air Fryers included warnings from the manufacturers along with reviews from customers regarding an initial “smell” that is common with the first use (sometimes the first few) of the appliance. We are assuming you don’t want products that produce smells.
- PACKAGING CHEMICALS: We found something that could be common in brands that did not respond to our other inquires. At least one of the companies confirmed to use a coating on the product during shipping to protect the parts from being scratched. But they did seem to all provide this information within the manuals to let the consumer know how to handle this with the first use to either prevent the smell or to be prepared for a one-time smell after following their explicit instructions prior to using the Air Fryer.
Air Fryer & Air Fry Oven Brands That Are Not Our Favorites
These brands were found to contain one of the following contaminants within the surfaces touching food: Teflon, “nonstick coating”, PTFE fluoropolymer, or plastics. This section may also comprise companies that did not return email communication and we were unsure of their materials on food contact and non-food contact surfaces.
- Breville BOV900BSSUSC The Smart Oven Air
- Chefman Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- Cosori Smart Air Fryer Toaster Oven, who confirmed they use a “non-toxic” Teflon
- Cuisinart (some of their products contained Xylan but a few of their others made our Better list)
- Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer
- Cuisinart TOB-135N
- Cuisinart TOA-65
- Dash Air Crisp Pro Digital
- Farberware Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- Galanz Digital Toaster Oven with TotalFry 360
- Iconites 8-in-1 Air Fryer, 6.5 Quart Air Fryer Oven
- Innsky Air Fryer 5.8QT, 1700W Stainless Steel Air Fryer Oven
- Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer 6-in-1
- Instant Vortex Plus Air Fyer Oven
- Kitchenaid Digital Countertop Oven With Air Fry
- Pampered Chef Deluxe Air Fryer
Better Air Fryer and Air Fryer Oven Brands
These brands were better than the last category, but there were still things we didn’t find optimal. Some of the coatings in the “better” list of Air Fryers have opted to use ceramic coatings in lieu of Teflon. And much like the ceramic cookware investigation, we still had a challenging time confirming the specific materials used in the various air fryers as well. Because most ceramic cookware brands use nanotechnology to coat the surfaces, we could only assume this was happening here too. There are also brands in here that avoid PFAS coatings on food contact surfaces but still left “non-stick coatings” in other areas that may still impact the food inside. We also put products here that had Prop. 65 warnings or used aluminum as food contact surfaces.
- Aria Teflon-Free 3Qt Premium Ceramic Air Fryer
- Aria 10 Qt Air Fryer Oven
- Black+Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry Digital Convection Countertop Oven
- Black+Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry Digital 4-Slice Toaster Oven
- Black+Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry Countertop Oven with No Preheat
- Cuisinart AFR-25, Airfryer Oven
- Cuisinart TOB-60N
- Dash Chef Series 23 L Air Fryer Oven
- Elite Digital Clamshell Air Fryer
- Elite Gourmet EAF4700 Digital 5Qt Air Fryer
- Elite Gourmet 10L Programmable Air Fryer Convection Countertop Oven
- Emeril Everyday 8 QT Pressure Air Fryer
- Geek Chef Air Fryer Oven 12 Qt with Rotisserie
- Geek Chef 16-In-1 Air Fryer Toaster Oven Combo
- Gourmia GTF7350 6-in-1 Air Fryer Oven
- Gourmia GTF7600 16-in-1 Multi-function, Digital Stainless Steel Air Fryer Oven
- GoWISE USA GW44800-O Deluxe 12.7-Quarts 15-in-1 Electric Air Fryer Oven
- Hamilton Beach 35070 11.6 QT Digital Air Fryer Oven
- Hamilton Beach Air Fryer 31225 Convection Countertop Toaster Oven
- Hamilton Beach 31323 Sure-Crisp Air Fry Toaster Oven
- Hamilton Beach 31220 Digital Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- Iconites 10-in-1 Air Fryer, 20 Quart Air Fryer
- Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid (add-on)
- Instant™ Omni™ Plus 26 Litre Toaster Oven and Air Fryer
- Ninja Max XL Air Fryer 5.5 qt
- Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 6.5 Quart
- Ninja SP101 Foodi 8-in-1 Digital Air Fry Toaster Oven
- NuWave Pro Plus Oven
- Oster Copper-Infused DuraCeramic 3.3-Quart Air Fryer
- Yedi Evolution Air Fryer
- Yedi “Tango” Air Fryer & Pressure Cooker
Best Air Fryers & Air Fry Ovens
As of the time we did this investigation, these were the best brands we could find that were available for purchase in the United States. These brands did not seem to contain any PFAS coatings on food contact surfaces or inside the machine at all. Ceramic was not used as a food-contact surface. Safe food contact surfaces were uncoated stainless steel or glass.
- Big Boss Oil-less Air Fryer (with the Glass Bowl)
- CalmDo 12.7 QT Air Fryer Toaster Convection Oven Combo
- hOmeLabs 11.6 Qt XXL 8-in-1 Air Fryer Oven
- Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer Oven 360
- Oster Digital Air Fryer Oven with RapidCrisp Countertop Oven
- Oyama TRO-110C Turbo Convection Oven
- Power XL Turbo Air Fryer
- Rosewill RHCO-16001 Infrared Halogen Convection Air Fryer
- Sahmwell Air Fryer Convection Oven for Countertop 18 Quarts (with glass bowl)