It doesn’t matter whether you’re an expert cook or a total newbie in the kitchen. Chefs of all levels can benefit from owning a high-quality cookware set. Sure, you could build your own. But that would mean spending hours researching an infinite array of pot/pan combinations. Considering that there are more than 20 pages of search results on Amazon for frying pans alone, that’s probably not a good use of your time. It’s also likely that you’ll end up spending more money on individual cooking vessels than you would on an entire set.
With that in mind, we looked at dozens of cookware sets for sale online to find out which ones are really up to the job. During our research, we looked at key cookware factors such as the number and type of pieces in a set (note that a lid is considered as a separate piece), pot and pan sizes, durability, heat distribution, and stovetop compatibility. In the end, we narrowed down our research to five top-rated cookware sets. Some of the sets are quite large (think ten pieces or more), whereas others consist of just several pots and pans. All the sets featured below are available for purchase on Amazon.
We’ve identified the T-Fal Ultimate Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set as our top pick. We love how durable and affordable this set is and that it features a heat indicator that shows you when the ideal temperature for cooking is reached. We also appreciate that this set comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Cookware Sets
|Best Cookware Set Overall
|T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Cookware Set
|Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set
|Cuisinart TPS-10 10-piece Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set
|Best Budget Cookware Set
|AmazonBasics 15-Piece Non-Stick Kitchen Cookware Set
|Best Cast Iron Cookware Set
|Le Creuset 5-Piece Signature Enamel Cast Iron Cookware Set
|Best Space-Saving Cookware Set
|Gotham Steel Stackmaster Space Saving Nonstick Cookware Set
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Cookware Set Overall: T-Fal Ultimate Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set
For a reliable, everyday cookware set that won’t break the bank, you can’t go wrong with the T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Cookware Set. This 12-piece set, which is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, consists of 2 frying pans (8-inch and 10-inch), 3 lidded saucepans (1-quart, 2-quart, and 3-quart), and a lidded 5-quart Dutch oven. You also get a slotted spoon and spatula. The vented tempered glass lids are handy for when you want to maintain visibility or retain moisture during cooking. All pots and pans feature riveted silicone grip handles, which are comfortable to use.
These pots and pans are made from hard-anodized aluminum, a material that’s not only more durable but also lighter than standard stainless steel. As such, this cookware set is corrosion and scratch-resistant. You can even use metal utensils to stir your food without fear of damaging the metal interior. This T-Fal set is also effortless to clean. It’s dishwasher and oven-safe (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the lids), too.
What really makes this set stand out to us is a feature known as the Thermo Spot Heat Indicator — a red dot in the center of the frying pans that gets brighter as the pan heats up. Forget trying to fry food with an underheated pan! All the pots and pans in the set are non-stick, as well as PFOA, lead, and cadmium-free. The cookware set is suitable for almost all stovetops, including halogen, gas, ceramic, and electric (but not induction).
T-Fal Ultimate Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set Features:
- Hard-anodized aluminum pots and pans
- Oven-safe (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Heat indicator
- Riveted silicone grip handles
- Non-stick surface
- Works with halogen, gas, ceramic, and electric stovetops
- Limited lifetime warranty
Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set: Cuisinart TPS-10 10-Piece Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Cuisinart is so sure you’ll love its 10-piece Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set that it offers customers a lifetime warranty. This stainless steel cookware set will get you 2 lidded saucepans (1.5-quart and 2.5-quart) with lids, a lidded 3-quart saute pan, a lidded 6-quart stockpot, and 2 skillets (8-inch and 10-inch). All pots and pans in this set have stainless steel riveted handles that offer a good grip and stay cool to the touch when you’re cooking. Although quite solid, the pots and pans aren’t too heavy to lift.
For maximum convenience, all the cookware in this set has measurement markings in both cups and liters while the tapered pan rims ensure drip-free pouring. The triple-ply construction (aluminum core sandwiched between a stainless interior and exterior) eliminates hotspots and guarantees even heating.
The stainless steel interior won’t react with food or change the way that it tastes. Although the Cuisinart TPS-10 10-Piece Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set is super easy to clean, it’s also dishwasher-safe. What’s more, the set is compatible with all stovetops, including induction. You can even put the pots and pans inside the oven (up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit).
Cuisinart TPS-10 10-piece Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set Features:
- Stainless steel pots and pans
- Riveted stick handles
- Triple-ply construction for even heating
- Measurement markings
- Oven-safe (500 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Works with all stovetops
- Tapered rims for drip-free pouring
- Lifetime warranty
Best Budget Cookware Set: AmazonBasics 15-Piece Non-Stick Kitchen Cookware Set
Those on the hunt for an affordable cookware set won’t find a better deal than AmazonBasics 15-Piece Non-Stick Kitchen Cookware Set. Although not the fanciest set on the market, this no-frills set has everything most people need in the kitchen.
The set includes 2 frying pans (8-inch and 10-inch), 2 lidded saucepans (1.5-quart and 3-quart), and 2 lidded casserole pans (3-quart and 5-quart). You also get a 5-piece utensil set, which consists of a serving spoon, a slotted serving spoon, a slotted turner, a soup ladle, and a pasta server. Now that’s what we call good value for money!
Because the pots and pans are aluminum, they’re lightweight and easy to store. And since they feature BPA-free non-stick coating, you can go easy on the oils. The soft-touch handles stay cool during use, and the spiral bottom distributes the heat evenly when you’re cooking. However, these pots and pans aren’t dishwasher-safe, nor are they compatible with an induction hob.
AmazonBasics 15-Piece Non-Stick Kitchen Cookware Set Features:
- Aluminum pots and pans
- Includes kitchen utensils
- Soft-touch handles
- Spiral bottom for even heating
- BPA-free non-stick coating
- Compatible with gas and electric stovetops (not induction)
Best Cast Iron Cookware Set: Le Creuset 5-Piece Signature Enamel Cast Iron Cookware Set
If you don’t mind spending a bit more money, consider splurging on the Le Creuset 5-Piece Signature Enamel Cast Iron Cookware Set. The set is pricey, but you have to remember that all Creuset dishes are cast individually in sand molds and then hand-inspected by French craftsmen. Plus, cast iron cookware can last decades — some people still use cast iron pans and pots they’ve inherited from their parents or even grandparents!
A lifetime investment for any kitchen, this premium set consists of 5 pieces: a lidded 5.5-quart round Dutch oven, a lidded 1.75-quart saucepan, and a 9-inch skillet. The set’s exterior enamel is resistant to chipping and cracking, and the large handles guarantee a comfortable grip, even if you’re wearing oven mitts. Because Le Creuset dishes distribute heat slowly and retain heat efficiently, they’re ideal for medium and low-heat cooking and for keeping food hot on the table while serving.
This set is compatible with all heat sources, including induction, and the Phenolic knobs can withstand very high temperatures (up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit). This weighty and substantial set comes in a variety of different colors, including Caribbean blue, cherry, and flame — no need to hide the pots and pans, this Le Creuset collection makes an excellent centerpiece for the kitchen shelf.
Le Creuset 5-Piece Signature Enamel Cast Iron Cookware Set Features:
- Cast iron pots and pans
- Inspected by French craftsmen
- Oven-safe (500 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Large, comfortable handles
- Works with all stovetops
- Available in many different colors
Best Space-Saving Cookware Set: Gotham Steel Stackmaster Space Saving Nonstick Cookware Set
The Gotham Steel Stackmaster Space Saving Nonstick Cookware Set is ideal for those who live in a smaller apartment or home. This set consists of an 8-inch frying pan, a 10-inch skillet, 2 saucepans (2.75 and 3.5-quart), and a 5-quart stockpot. You also get 3 interchangeable tempered glass lids, a solid spoon, and a slotted spatula. That’s a lot of cookware. But due to the unique design that lets you stack and nest the pots and pans, the set won’t take up much space in your kitchen. If anything, it’ll save you 30% of space in your kitchen cupboards compared to a set with a similar amount of pieces.
The pots and pans feature non-stick coating, so if you’re into clean eating, you can cook your food without oils or butter. This coating is also durable enough to withstand metal utensils, including spoons, spatulas, and whisks. With a long-lasting, non-stick coating, pots and pans are very easy to clean by hand, although you can throw them in the dishwasher too.
The solid stainless steel handles not only provide a good grip but also stay relatively cool when the pots and pans are in use. The set, which is free of PFOA, PTFE, and PFOS, is wear-resistant, and oven-safe (up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s compatible with all cooktops, including electric, gas, and induction. However, due to the size of the pots and pans, this set probably wouldn’t work for someone who cooks vast quantities of food.
Gotham Steel Stackmaster Space Saving Nonstick Cookware Set Features:
- Stackable pots and pans
- Non-stick coating
- Holds up against metal utensils nicely
- Oven-safe (up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Solid stainless steel handles
- Compatible with all heat sources
A good cookware set is an essential component of any kitchen. Regardless of how often you cook, having a quality set of pots and pans can make your time in the kitchen much more satisfying and rewarding. The cookware sets above vary in size and features, so you’re bound to find a set that suits your specific needs. If you’re wondering what else your kitchen might be missing, check out our guides on the best rice cookers, bread machines, and steak knives.