Best healthy air fryer 2023

Cut back on oil and cook lower fat, fast meals with the best healthy air fryers

Magic Bullet Air Fryer
(Image credit: Helen McCue)

While the best healthy air fryers have fast become one of the most sought-after kitchen appliances, they are still a relatively new invention. Originally pushed as a healthier alternative to a deep fat fryer, they can be used to produce crisp French fries – but with less fat and calories. But that’s not all – you can also air-dry doughnuts, roast chicken and make healthy roasted vegetables.

But with so many kitchen gadgets already filling up our countertops, you might be wondering: do I need an air fryer? If you’re undecided, read on to find out more about the different models of the best healthy air fryers available and in stock now. Our team has had hands-on experience reviewing some of the bestsellers, looking at size, price, design, usability and probably most importantly, how easy they are to clean.

So whether you want a compact space-saving option like the Magic Bullet, a quiet air fryer like the TaoTronics TT-AF001, or the BBQ-style Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill, we’re here to help you choose the best healthy air fryer for you. 

Best healthy air fryers

Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill

(Image credit: Helen McCue)

1. Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill

Best healthy air fryer and grill for most people

Specifications

Capacity: 6 quarts / 5.7 liters
Size: 11 x 14 x 17 inches / 26 x 35.6 x 45cm

Reasons to buy

+
Doesn't take long to make food crispy
+
Smells stay inside the unit
+
Large cooking basket

Reasons to avoid

-
Large countertop footprint
-
Grill takes a while to pre-heat

Ninja is one of those brands that you can always count on for innovation, and this product is no different. Combining an air fryer with an indoor grill that can also be used to dehydrate, bake and roast, this is an impressive piece of equipment.

We must admit it’s bulky, and the top opening lid requires clearance at the back to be able to open fully, so if you’re short on space it’s not ideal. But if you can get over this minor issue, you’ll get a great air fryer. It’s got an intuitive control panel and automatically preheats, plus everything can go in the dishwasher when you’re done.

During testing, the air fryer produced crisp golden fries, no matter whether they were from the freezer or hand cut. The 6-quart capacity allowed enough space to fit seven chicken wings side by side and they came out moist and succulent with crisp skin. We grilled burgers in just six minutes, but it’s worth noting it takes a lengthy eight minutes to preheat. 

Nevertheless the results were great, with a slightly charred taste and minimal smoke in the kitchen. The configuration means it’s not easy to shake fries mid cook, but you’ll get used to stirring them instead. The addition of the bake, roast, and dehydrate options means this will quickly become your go-to countertop cooking appliance.

What the users say

This Ninja machine scores 4.8 on Amazon based on over 27,000 reviews, so it’s pretty clear this air fryer is a hit. Users love the combination of air fryer with indoor grill and it’s particularly popular for making tasty, chargrilled meats.

While most people acknowledge the bulky size, this is far outweighed by the functionality. For air frying as well as virtually smoke free indoor grilling, reviewers are very impressed with the results.


TaoTronics TT-AF001 air fryer

(Image credit: TaoTronics)

2. TaoTronics TT-AF001

Best quiet healthy air fryer

Specifications

Capacity: 6 quarts / 5.7 liters
Size: 11.7 x 11.7 x 13.4 inches / 29.8 x 29.8 x 34cm

Reasons to buy

+
Quiet when in use
+
Large capacity
+
Even cooking 

Reasons to avoid

-
No shake alarm
-
Bulky design

TaoTronics might be best known for gadgets like audio products and fans, but it’s now making waves in the kitchen appliances market with a range of products. This family sized 6-quart capacity air fryer doesn’t come cheap (though it is often on offer), but we were impressed with the results when we put it to the test.

It’s got a whopping 11 presets to choose from, taking the guesswork out of selecting time and temperature settings for a variety of popular foods such as fries, bacon, and vegetables. This makes it a great option for those new to air frying and may feel uncertain about using one of these appliances.

During testing, we found the presets to be quite accurate and made use of the chicken preset to produce crispy, golden chicken wings. The fries preset was ideal for hand cut fries and it cooked crisp, golden fries with fluffy centers in the 25-minute preset time. You have to remember to shake the basket during cooking, though, as it doesn’t have an alert to remind you.

Frozen fries worked well too and its non-stick basket means cleaning by hand is easy, or you can pop it in the dishwasher and go put your feet up. There are no other functions to make use of—it can only air fry—but it does it well and the whisper-quiet operation means you can use it anytime without disturbing the rest of the household.

What the users say

This air fryer has achieved an impressive 5 out of 5 stars on Walmart reviews. Users praise the spacious capacity that’s big enough for a whole chicken. Although some note that the basket is tricky to reposition.

Reviewers are very happy with the fast and crispy results they can achieve in this appliance, demonstrated in comments like “everything tastes better than before.” One reviewer said “it has become a kitchen essential” summing up just how easy it is to produce great results in this air fryer.


Cosori CP137-AF air fryer

(Image credit: Cosori)

3. Cosori CP137-AF

Best budget healthy air fryer

Specifications

Capacity: 3.7 quarts / 3.5 liters
Size: 10.7 x 13.3 x 12.2 inches / 27.2 x 33.8 x 31cm

Reasons to buy

+
Quiet during cooking
+
Budget-friendly price
+
11 presets

Reasons to avoid

-
Presets can slightly overcook your food
-
Small capacity
-
Doesn't crisp homemade fries very well

This small-to-medium size 3.7-quart capacity unit is perfect if you want a good value healthy air fryer and you don’t need a large capacity. It might be a budget-friendly choice, but the sleek black exterior and touch control panel certainly don’t feel cheap.

Helpfully, there are 11 presets, offering you the ideal time and temperature settings for a selection of common foods. We made use of the frozen fries preset, which gave us crisp and fluffy fries in 15 minutes, though we reckon they were probably done after 12 minutes. And we love that it beeps to remind you to shake the fries mid-way through cooking.

For hand cut fries we followed the recipe in the included recipe book, which suggests just 0.5fl oz of olive oil, they cooked in just 18 minutes but weren’t as crisp as we’d like, so you’ll need to experiment with the cook time. Chicken wings on the other hand came out beautifully crisped and tender, and cleaning the machine is easy with dishwasher-friendly parts.

The size is ideal for two person households and it’s not too noisy. Overall, given the price, this air fryer has a lot to offer. 

What the users say

The score of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon is a good indication of how much users love this air fryer. One user states that it’s “super easy to use and easier to clean.”

While another says “I’d buy this exact air fryer again.” Most reviews comment on how fast it cooks and praise the preset cooking options, plus the handy cookbook that offers plenty of inspiration.


Magic Bullet Air Fryer

(Image credit: Helen McCue)

4. Magic Bullet Air Fryer

Best compact healthy air fryer

Specifications

Capacity: 2.5 quarts / 2.4 liters
Size: 10.75 x 8.5 x 9 inches / 27 x 22 x 25cm

Reasons to buy

+
Space-saving design
+
Easy to use
+
Automatic power off after timer ends

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to set dials accurately
-
Small capacity
-
Basket isn't dishwasher-friendly

The brand is best known for its blenders and smoothie makers, but Magic Bullet now makes an air fryer too. It’s a small appliance with a modest 2.5-quart capacity that makes it ideal for one or two-person households. It’s one of the most compact air fryers we’ve reviewed, so if you’re short on counter space, it’s definitely worth considering.

Not only is it small and budget-friendly, it’s also very simple to use. With one dial for time and one for temperature, there’s barely a need to glance at the instruction manual. However, we suspect the ticking timer will be annoying to some. Plus, the temperature dial doesn’t have markings at regular intervals, so it’s tricky to be precise.

When it came to cooking, we were pleasantly surprised that there’s space in the small basket for five chicken wings without piling them on top of each other, and they crisped up nicely. Frozen fries were hot and crisped in around 20 minutes. Hand-cut fries were slow to cook, though, taking 30 minutes to cook through and crisp up. And despite shaking during cooking, they were a little uneven in color.

Unlike some other models, it’s not multifunctional and we were disappointed that the basket can’t go in the dishwasher. But all told, if you want a small and easy to use air fryer it’s up to the job, and the simple settings make a great choice for air fryer newbies.

What the users say

With an average 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, users rate this air fryer for producing healthy and tasty foods fast. Like us, they recommend it for one/two-person households or kitchens where space is at a premium.

One reviewer admits “I was sceptical about air fryers but this changed my mind completely.” Whereas others dislike the timer dial which makes it hard to switch off, with one person noting they “wish there was a cancel button.”


Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK

(Image credit: Ninja Foodi)

5. Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK

Best large capacity healthy air fryer

Specifications

Capacity: 10 quarts / 9.5 liters
Size: 3.9 x 12.8 x 17.1 inches / 32.5 x 41.5 x 27cm

Reasons to buy

+
Can cook two foods at the same time
+
Food cooks evenly with crisp finish
+
Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky design
-
Expensive
-
No shake alarm

Whether you have a large family or you love to entertain, this 10-quart capacity air fryer should be spacious enough to meet your needs. And like the other Ninja in this list, it’s a multifunctional appliance with options to roast, bake, dehydrate, and reheat.

The two separate air frying baskets can be set independently, as each has its own time and temperature controls, allowing you to cook your fries in one basket while your meat cooks in the other. What’s more, the two baskets can be synced which we found particularly useful. It means you can add all the food at once, but the air fryer will delay the side with the shorter cook time so that everything is ready at the same time.

We found it easy to use and it made crisp and succulent chicken wings. And although our fries didn’t have a consistent color, they were crisp and fluffy and tasted great. On the downside, this bulky appliance demands a good chunk of counter space, and it’s expensive. But both of these are to be expected if you want a large capacity air fryer that’s packed with functions.

What the users say

With over 17,000 reviews and a rating of 4.8 out of 5 on Amazon, there’s plenty of love for this healthy air fryer. One reviewer even commented that they had ‘switched almost 100% to cooking in this air fryer’.

Users love that the dishwasher-friendly baskets are easy to clean and they praise the accurate temperature settings. But some dislike having two smaller cooking baskets rather than one larger one.


Instant Vortex Plus on a countertop

(Image credit: Millie Fender)

6. Instant Vortex Plus

Best healthy air fryer for smart features

Specifications

Capacity: 6 quarts / 5.7 liters
Size: 2.8 x 11.8 x 14.9 inches / 30 x 37.9 x 33cm

Reasons to buy

+
Transparent viewing window 
+
Sleek control panel 
+
Non-stick cooking basket

Reasons to avoid

-
Not all parts are dishwasher safe
-
An expensive option

The Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 ClearCook has a modern set of features that really set it apart from the competition. These include a transparent viewing window that works with an interior light to illuminate your food for you to look in while it cooks. This is easily toggled using one of the touch controls on the control panel. 

There is a setting for air frying, roasting, baking, reheating, dehydrating, and grilling, which all function similarly but include pre-set temperatures and timings adjusted for different types of food. You can also control the temperature and timing buttons independently, and they can be set up to one hour and 400°F / 200°c. 

In our test, we really enjoyed how easily this air fryer browned our homemade chunky fries, and although there was not much shaking required to get an even finish, we appreciated that the Instant Vortex Plus gives you a reminder to turn or shake your food halfway through the cooking time to make sure your food will come out evenly cooked every time. 

The capacity of this air fryer is perfect for larger families but may be overkill for one or two servings. We have used it to air fry a whole chicken and meal prep with enough roasted vegetables to last the week.

Although it's easy to wipe clean, thanks to the lack of grooves and buttons, the touch control panel easily marks with greasy fingerprints. What's more, we were disappointed that the main drawer can't go through the dishwasher due to its viewing panel. 

What the users say

With a total of 17,326 ratings, this air fryer averages 4.5 stars on Amazon. Users tend to comment on the viewing panel, with one reviewer saying that this was the third air fryer they'd tried and the only one that hasn't given off a plastic smell while it cooks.

"Besides being able to see how the food looks without opening it, it is just super easy to use, no fuss at all and really cooks the food well." Can't say fairer than that. 


Philips Essential Air Fryer XL on a kitchen surface

(Image credit: Millie Fender)

7. Philips Essential Air Fryer XL

Best healthy air fryer for pre-set functions

Specifications

Capacity: 6.5 quarts / 6.2 liters
Size: 15.1 x 15.1 x 14.2 inches / ‎30 x 31.5 x 30cm

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent cooking
+
Top level air circulation
+
Great for beginners

Reasons to avoid

-
No pre-heat
-
Pre-set cooking modes won't be for everyone

The Philips Essential Air Fryer XL has a unique vortex structure at the drawer's base, which is meant to improve air circulation to crisp your food up from all angles. We found that this did a great job of cooking our homemade fries, but smaller foods, such as bacon, will potentially be blown around the cooking chamber if you turn the heat up high.

This air fryer has a panel of pre-set controls, with options for fish, chicken, frozen food, and even a vegetable setting. This will automatically set the temperature and time of your air fryer, but you can still adjust even when using these settings depending on what you're cooking. After all, not all types of vegetables or fish will require the same temperature or time. 

Unlike a lot of air fryers where there is a removable base that sits inside the central drawer, this one has a basket that lifts out of the air fryer using a handle, leaving any fat or juices in the base of the air fryer with no risk of them spilling out onto your plate. This does take up more dishwasher space when it comes to cleaning, though. 

When we tested this air fryer, it was noticeably quieter than the other models we tried, making it an excellent choice for those who live in a smaller space and who don't want to listen to a whirring noise while their lunch cooks. 

What the users say

On Amazon, the Philips Essential Air Fryer XL has 957 ratings with an average score of 4.5 stars out of five. Users comment on its companion app, which they enjoy using to monitor their food from their phones. They also appreciated its large cooking capacity, commenting on how they used the air fryer for the whole family. 

One user commented on the basket, which they found "harder to clean than other air fryers that I've used before." Another said, "Everything cooks about 40% faster compared to my conventional fan oven and requires no pre heat cutting, the cooking time in half."


Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 on a kitchen surface

(Image credit: Millie Fender)

8. Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1

Best healthy air fryer for single-servings

Specifications

Capacity: 2 quarts / 1.8 liters
Size: 9 x 11 x 12 inches / ‎28.6 x 22.91 x 29.79cm

Reasons to buy

+
It comes in fun colors
+
Super fast cooking
+
An affordable choice

Reasons to avoid

-
Tiny capacity
-
Lacking smart features

If you're looking for an air fryer to cook for one person at a time, look no further than the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1. It's got a 2-quart capacity that will serve two chicken breasts or a single serving of roast vegetables at a time. This means it heats up incredibly quickly and takes up minimal space on your kitchen counter.

In our tests, we found that this low-cost air fryer packed a punch in power. It cooked homemade fries in just 18 minutes, and slices of bacon took less than five minutes to crisp up. We tried it in the white color, which is a lot more aesthetically pleasing than many of the air fryers on the market. It also comes in black, blue, and red. 

The Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 has settings to reheat, grill, roast, and air fry, and it goes up to 400°F / 200°c. There is a single dial to allow you to increase and decrease the settings, and the rest of the panel is touch-operated. 

Another thing we enjoyed in testing was how easy the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 is to clean — remove the insert and place this and the drawer in your dishwasher, or scrub the non-stick lining by hand using a little soapy water. 

What the users say

Out of over 16,000 reviews, the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 scores 84% 5-star ratings on Amazon. Many reviewers mention that it's the perfect size for single people and doesn't take up much space.

A few said that the alerts could be a bit louder, which is not a complaint we had when testing, but it is worth noting for those who will be in and out of the kitchen during cooking. 

One user said, "It's so cute. I keep it on my counter and it takes up no space, and I use it almost daily. It cooks fast and evenly and does such a good job."


How to choose the best healthy air fryer

If you're looking for the best healthy air fryer for your home, there's a lot to consider before making a choice. Although you can find an air fryer to suit most budgets, you'll also need to decide on a model that's the right size for your kitchen, has the features you need, and any helpful extras like shake alarms, timers, and automatic shut-off.

Capacity

Generally, the price of a healthy air fryer increases along with the frying capacity. Smaller models are typically lower cost than larger fryers, which can be useful if you need to cook for yourself or two people.

On the other hand, you'll need a larger capacity machine if you want to prepare food for a large family or if you're hosting. However, as the capacity increase, so does the physical size of the unit.

Functions and features

You can find healthy air fryers with pull-out trays and some with large bowls accessible from above. Which you choose will come down to the types of food you want to make and the layout of your kitchen.

Several models come with mid-point shake alarms to remind you to shake your food for an even, crisp fry, while others offer presets for a variety of foods to simplify cooking your favorites.

Cleaning

Washing oily dishes can be a challenge, which is why many of the best healthy air fryers come with dishwasher-friendly parts to make clearing up a bit easier.

However, if you don't plan on using a dishwasher, you may find that you can save a bit of money on a model without machine-washable parts. It's also worth considering how to disassemble the machine when it comes time for a deep clean.


How we tested the best healthy air fryers

Before we recommend any healthy air fryer, we thoroughly test each kitchen appliance, considering the cooking performance, how simple it is to use, and whether the unit is easy to clean. 

Cooking

We can’t bring you a list of the best healthy air fryers without testing how well they cook up fries. Not only do we cook up a batch of frozen fries to see how they crisp up, but we also grab some potatoes and make hand-cut fries.

For the frozen fries, we want to know how fast and evenly they cook, so we look at the color as well as the texture. To make fresh hand-cut fries we follow any guidance in the manual for the amount of oil as well as the cooking time.

We also check to see if the machine delivers soft, fluffy centers and golden brown, crisp outsides. What’s more, we cook chicken wings to see how well the fat drains away and whether the skin crisps up without the meat drying out.

Ease of use

In our experience, the best healthy air fryers are relatively uncomplicated, so there should be no need to reach for the instruction manual every time you want to use it. During testing, we check for an intuitive control panel with a good range of time and temperature settings that are easily adjustable.

If there are presets for popular foods like chicken and fries, we look to see if there are simple one-touch operations without having to scroll through fiddly or complicated menus.

Functions

While some air fryers can only air fry, many of the best healthy air fryers offer multiple cooking functions. We look at what options are on offer and whether they’re a worthwhile addition or a bit of a gimmick.

A multi-purpose air fryer with a useful selection of functions means you get more bang for your buck. On the other hand, if it’s packed full of functions you’ll never use, it might not be worth the money.

Ease of cleaning

Washing a greasy pan is a necessary evil when you’re cooking with oil. But thankfully, unlike frying on the stove, air fryers contain all the oil and splashes inside the appliance. But, we still want to know that the parts are easy to disassemble and clean.

We like dishwasher friendly parts, but not everyone has a dishwasher, so we also check if there are any tricky-to-clean areas or dirt traps that’ll become caked in grease or muck over time.


FAQs

Are air fryers healthy?

If you're wondering are air fryers healthy (opens in new tab), here’s the thing: while air fryers are a great way to reduce how much oil and fat you cook with, they are not guaranteed to produce healthy food.

In fact, covering potatoes in oil before cooking is way less healthy than oil-free alternatives such as boiling or steaming them. Plus if you are using your air fryer to cook processed foods such as chicken nuggets or high fat burgers, they are not going to make these meals any less healthy for you.

As is often the case with cooking, there are a lot of variables, so choosing air fried fries over deep fried ones is going to be healthier. The same goes with cooking a burger in the air fryer (which allows a lot of the fat to drain away) – it will be better for you than frying it in oil in a pan. 

Air fryers often use as little as 0.6fl oz oil, so it can be a healthier way to cook. Plus, if you use a deep fat fryer the reheated oil changes in its chemical nature, which can pose a health risk, according to research in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (opens in new tab)

By contrast you don’t need to reuse oil in an air fryer, so you won’t need to worry about these particular harmful side effects. Plus, using an air fryer to cook vegetables like broccoli, asparagus or peppers, gives them a nice smokey roasted flavor. So, if this means you eat more veg, this can have a positive impact on your overall health, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (opens in new tab)

Is Ninja or Instant air fryer better?

We've tried both Ninja and Instant air fryers, and the right brand for you will depend on the kind of healthy air fryer you're looking for. Ninja air fryers are some of the most popular air fryers on the market, with consistently high ratings from users.

However, Instant air fryers offer more variety in price, looks, and size and have always performed well across all of our tests. Instant air fryers continue to innovate with intelligent tech such as its ClearCook transparent viewing windows.

We enjoyed this when we used the machines to save time and also cut down on lost heat by re-opening the drawer repeatedly. If you want a reliable air fryer that goes to extra-high temperatures, Ninja is the right choice.

With a Max Crisp setting that goes up to 450°F / 220°c, the temperature goes higher than an Instant air fryer will. All Ninja air fryer drawers can also go through the dishwasher, which is not the case with the Instant air fryers that come with ClearCook. 

One significant difference between the two brands is that Instant air fryers pre-heat before counting down the cooking timer. They will also tell you when they've pre-heated and remind you to turn your food halfway through cooking. 

Some will find the pre-heat annoying and prefer to add their food and start cooking, whereas others may be comforted to know that their food has cooked at the right temperature for the specific time you intended. 

Helen McCue
Freelance Contributor

Helen is a freelance writer and kitchen appliance reviewer. She has written for TechRadar, Tom's Guide, and some of the largest home-related titles. Helen has over eight years experience reviewing small electrical appliances like blenders, juicers, air fryers, and multi-cookers. After training as a Home Economist, Helen started her career in the food industry but moved into product testing and reviews when she took a job at Good Housekeeping. Here, she developed her skills in testing and reviewing hundreds of kitchen and home appliances.


She is now a freelance writer specializing in home appliance reviews and draws on her home economics background as well as a love of cooking to write about and review products for several online publications, including Real Homes, Tech Radar, Homes & Gardens, and Fit&Well. Helen lives in a small village in the UK and, after moving house, spends her spare time planning new interiors and visiting antique stores to find one-off items to fill her home. She also loves to work out and attends a local bootcamp class, practices yoga at home, and enjoys regular rides on her Peloton. She's a novice gardener and hopes to start a veggie patch soon so she can enjoy delicious healthy home-grown veggies. When she's not testing the latest food gadgets, she's busy upholstering furniture. 

With contributions from