The most expensive nonstick cookware set in Consumer Reports’ ratings costs $600 and its performance (particularly the set’s nonstick durability) earns it a place on our list of top picks.
But you can also buy a set that stands out in our tests for a fraction of that—and get similar cooking performance. In fact, in our latest batch of newly tested cookware sets, a number of them that sell for $100 or less get top marks in our cooking tests. The trade-off? Most of the sets in this lower price range share one drawback: The handles aren’t as sturdy as those on high-end cookware. That means they may become loose over time.
And Marion Wilson-Spencer, the analyst who covers the cookware market for Consumer Reports, notes something else to consider when shopping. “Keep in mind that no matter how much you spend on a cookware set, not every piece is a pot or pan,” she says, “because manufacturers count lids and even utensils as pieces.” For example, the AmazonBasics set (shown below) has 15 pieces, but five of them are plastic utensils, including serving spoons and a soup ladle.
Consumer Reports tests both nonstick and stainless steel cookware sets. Stainless steel tends to be a bit more expensive, and there are no high-performing stainless steel cookware sets in our ratings that cost $100 or less. Below, in alphabetical order, are eight nonstick standouts from our tests of cookware sets.
For more information and more choices, see our cookware buying guide and full cookware ratings and recommendations.
Note that the prices listed below may change, so you may occasionally see a cookware set that crosses the $100 threshold—or one that’s going for a lot less.