The 10 Best Inexpensive Air Fryers You Can Buy (According to Our Testers)

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best inexpensive air fryers: air fryer atop kitchen island
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It’s official: The air fryer is not a passing phase. This countertop convection oven that’s beloved for making everything from chicken wings to roasted Brussels sprouts crispy AF is now a must for plenty of home cooks. But before you shell out hundreds on an appliance, check out this list of the best inexpensive air fryers (as in models that go for $175 or less) money can buy, as tested by our editors. Our faves include a range of sizes, colors and price points, so there’s one for every French fry enthusiast out there.

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The Best Inexpensive Air Fryers at a Glance

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What Is the Best Inexpensive Air Fryer?

There are plenty of models out there, from mini fryers designed for a party of one to heavy-duty options capable of cooking crowd-pleasing meals. The best one for you all depends on your needs, preferences and budget. Here are a few things to consider before you buy:

  1. Price: Air fryers can cost anywhere from $30 to $500. Luckily, a higher price tag doesn't necessarily mean better quality. There are dozens of budget-friendly options that don't sacrifice functionality for affordability.
  2. Style and Size: Decide if you'd prefer a convection oven-style or a basket-style fryer. Oven-style fryers tend to be bulkier, but they can cook larger portions and usually come with more features or bonus accessories. Basket-style fryers are smaller, but may require more babysitting and batch cooking to ensure even heat distribution. Consider how much kitchen real estate you're willing to devote to an air fryer, as well as how many people you typically cook for.
  3. Cleaning: Unless you're Monica Gellar, we doubt you're someone who actually enjoys washing dishes. If minimizing mess is a priority, a smaller basket-style model with removable (or better yet, dishwasher-friendly) parts is likely your best bet. This type of fryer usually comes apart with ease, giving you access to every nook and cranny for a breezy cleanup.

Is It Worth Getting a Small Air Fryer?

One of the easiest ways to keep the cost low when shopping for an air fryer is to buy smaller basket-style models, as they tend to be the cheapest. But is it worth skimping? If you typically cook for one or two people and have limited counter space, we think yes. If you're cooking family-style meals on the reg and have room to spare, you may as well spend a few more bucks on a larger model that can accommodate larger portions in one fell swoop.

How We Tested Inexpensive Air Fryers

We first scoured the internet to find popular, positively reviewed models from a wide range of brands. Then, we got as many models as possible for our editors to test at home. Once they became familiarized with their air fryers and cooked with them multiple times, they filled out a detailed questionnaire about the air fryer's pros and cons and assigned ratings for value, functionality, ease of use, aesthetics and consistency.

Best Inexpensive Air Fryer Overall

1. Black + Decker Purify 2-Liter Air Fryer

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 17/20
  • Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Consistency: 20/20

TOTAL: 95/100

  • Why We Love It: easy to use, convenient size, sleek, easy to assemble
  • Cons: small basket size can't accommodate larger portions, takes up significant counter space for a basket model

This air fryer is about as straightforward as they come. Even if you've never used one before, it's hard to mess up with this appliance, given how simple its design is and how consistently it crisps foods. One dial controls temperature and the other controls time—that's it. While it looks nice on the kitchen counter, know that it does still take up a decent amount of counter space despite its smaller basket size. (Air fryers require space on all sides to operate safely and promote air flow.)

Best Small Inexpensive Air Fryer

2. DASH Deluxe Air Fryer

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 17/20
  • Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 19/20
  • Consistency: 20/20

TOTAL: 95/100

  • Why We Love It: vintage-inspired design, simple settings
  • Cons: requires more babysitting than non-manual models, no digital interfact

The Dash Deluxe air fryer, which comes in four vivid colorways, offers a retro take on this modern appliance. Rather than relying on digital displays and preset buttons, this model boasts easy-to-use settings. "It's super sleek and cute," says associate editor Chelsea Candelario. "It doesn't take up too much room on the counter. I even converted my grandmother to try it out and cook a few of her meals." The single-knob design—coupled with a rounded shape—makes for an aesthetically pleasing appliance, but because it's fully manual ("I prefer a digital interface rather than the manual knob," shared Candelario), you'll have to pay close attention to your food while it cooks.

Best Large Inexpensive Air Fryer

3. Ninja Max XL Air Fryer

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 15/20
  • Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetics: 16/20
  • Consistency: 17/20

TOTAL: 86/100

  • Why We Love It: large basket, easy to wash
  • Cons: bulky

If you're looking to dish up some Buffalo wings, cauliflower bites or fries for a crowd, the Ninja Max XL is certainly the way to go. “It's such a quick and convenient way to make dinner, breakfast or a snack,” says former editor Stephanie Sengwe. “This one makes crispy fries in 25 minutes and I don't have to stand there the whole time.” It has a large basket that can handle big batches of game day grub for your hungry crowd, and the ceramic interior and removable parts (which are dishwasher safe) make cleanup a breeze. But it's not ideal for small apartment kitchens. “I have to store it away after every use because it doesn't fit on my counter,” Sengwe adds. “I think if you have a lot of kitchen space, then it's no problem.”

Prettiest Inexpensive Air Fryer

4. Beautiful 6-Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer

  • Value: 15/20
  • Functionality: 17/20
  • Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 17/20
  • Consistency: 18/20

TOTAL: 87/100

  • Why We Love It: gorgeous design, reportedly cooks food 50 percent faster than an oven
  • Cons: smaller basket, light-colored models will turn dingy over time

Editor in chief Jillian Quint thought she wouldn't use an air fryer often. Spoiler: She was wrong. "We use it mostly for frozen fries, chicken nuggets, potatoes and broccoli/veggies," she says. "I love how fast it is. I think the best use is chicken nuggets for the kids, which take 25 minutes in the toaster oven, but only 10 minutes in the air fryer." With an easy-to-use touch display and high-performance heat technology, you can use this cutie to air fry, reheat, dehydrate or roast to your heart's content. Plus, it successfully provides even heat distribution, so each bite will be light and crispy. Her one bone to pick? The basket is a bit small for her family of four, so this one is best for one- and two-person households.

Cheapest Inexpensive Air Fryer

5. Bella 2-Quart Electric Air Fryer

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 12/20
  • Consistency: 17/20

TOTAL: 89/100

  • Why We Love It: quiet, easy to clean, good for small kitchens, efficient
  • Cons: not the most gorgeous model, can't accommodate large portions

Finding an inexpensive air fryer is not a particularly difficult task, but the Bella 2-quart electric option really doesn't skimp on quality. It's easy to use, quiet during operation and pays for itself with just a few uses. "It has a knob to set the temperature and an old-fashioned timer—no fancy buttons or presets like other high-tech air fryers," explains executive editor Dara Katz. "I describe it now as a microwave (for its speed) meets convection oven. My oven might take 25 minutes to fully preheat. This air fryer takes a couple of minutes, and in 10 minutes I have gorgeously roasted potatoes." (She's also partial to cooking salmon in it.) The fryer is also relatively compact, making storage a cinch.

Best Inexpensive Air Fryer for Newbies

6. PowerXL Air Fryer Pro

  • Value: 15/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 16/20
  • Consistency: 20/20

TOTAL: 89/100

  • Why We Love It: easy to operate, hinged door, viewing window allows you to watch your food
  • Cons: not much space between racks, not the most gorgeous design

It may not be the sleekest model out there, but it'll surely get the job done. Claiming to deliver crispy foods with 80 percent less calories compared to traditional toaster ovens, this mighty air fryer can do just about anything without requiring much from its owner. "There are definitely nicer air fryers on the market, but if you don't need all the bells and whistles and like a non-finicky machine to cook your meals, this one is a great option," says commerce editor Olivia Dubyak. "I've had it for about three years and haven't had any issues with its functionality." We love that it's equipped with an oven light and hinged door so you can take a peek at your food without letting out the heat. "I can see inside the fryer without opening it to check on the state of my food. The racks are also really easy to slide out and clean when I'm done."

Most Uniquely Designed Inexpensive Air Fryer

7. Galanz Retro Electric Air Fryer

  • Value: 17/20
  • Functionality: 17/20
  • Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 17/20
  • Consistency: 20/20

TOTAL: 90/100

  • Why We Love It: sleek design, very easy to use, consistent performance
  • Cons: no presets for different foods, overpriced according to our tester

As far as design goes, this retro-inspired air fryer is among the coolest on the market. Not only is it easy on the eyes, it's also a cinch to use. "It was super easy to clean and set up," says former VP of brand partnerships Dabee Kaye. "I thought I actually needed to read the directions, but after unboxing, it was easy to figure out." She says its crisping abilities are super dependable and that it looks sleek on her kitchen counter. Kaye isn't sure she'd pay full price for this pick, but says it works wonderfully besides a few quirks. "I don't like that you have to turn the timer on to get it to heat, and once something is done cooking, you can't turn the timer off; you need to just let it run out," she explains. "I also don't like that you really don't know what the internal temperature of the fryer actually is." Use an oven thermometer to ensure the temperature settings are accurate.

Here are 3 more popular models to consider, based on customer reviews:

Most Popular Inexpensive Air Fryer

8. Instant Vortex Plus 10-Quart Air Fryer

  • Why We Love It: can accommodate large portions, reasonably priced, thousands of 5-star Amazon ratings
  • Cons: bulky, some reviewers claim there's a plasticky chemical smell after use, some reviewers say it beeps too much or too little

The cult-favorite (seriously, it has a 4.5-star average rating out of 60,575 reviews) Instant Pot expanded its lineup with the Instant Vortex Plus, an air fryer that's totally foolproof and large enough to whip up a family-sized portion of fries. It boasts seven useful functions: air fry, broil, bake, roast, dehydrate, reheat and rotisserie. The appliance comes with six cooking settings and an easy to operate temperature dial. Its 10-quart basket is actually a square, so it's able to hold more than some competitors.

Best Inexpensive Air Fryer for Families

9. GoWISE USA 7-Quart Electric Air Fryer

  • Why We Love It: stackable racks, innovative basket, great for families
  • Cons: bulky, some reviewers claim it doesn't distribute heat evenly, some reviewers find the crisper tray difficult to clean

The GoWISE fryer is a Texas-sized appliance for Texas-sized appetites. With its 7-quart capacity and eight cooking functions (air fry, roast, broil, dehydrate, grill, bake, reheat and keep warm), it can accommodate a whole chicken if needed, or about five burgers at once. Whereas most air fryer baskets are either squared or fully circular, this fryer has an elongated basket that makes it easier to spread ingredients into a single layer. And thanks to the stackable racks, you can air fry multiple foods (or two batches of fries) at once.

Best Inexpensive Air Fryer for Grilling

10. Secura 3.4-Quart Air Fryer

  • Why We Love It: great for cooking meat, includes a top grill accessory, large basket, simple controls
  • Cons: some reviewers find it difficult to clean, some reviewers claim it isn't long-lasting, some reviewers claim the cook temps are inaccurate

For folks who are interested in using their air fryers for grilling meat in the off season, this Secura option has the multitasking abilities you need. The top grill allows you to sear a juicy steak to serve alongside those onion rings you crisped to perfection. It's designed with a roomy fryer basket and a cooking timer with auto shut off. Temperature control knobs give you all the power, while indicator lights for heating let you know when the fryer is hot enough to add food.

What the Heck Is a Air Fryer and How Does It Work?

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Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...