Calphalon vs Anolon: Which Is Best For YOU in 2023?
There sure are a lot of cookware brands to choose from nowadays.
You’ve got budget-friendly brands like Caraway or OXO to super premium ultra-durable ones like All-Clad.
It’s enough to flummox the best of us.
But why are there so many brands to pick from?
Simple, because more of us are cooking from home than ever before. In fact, roughly 25% of Americans cook at least 5 times a week. And that’s why the global household appliance market is forecast to be worth over $165 billion.
While finding the right cookware can seem near-impossible in itself, it helps to know who the brands you can trust are.
For example, Calphalon and Anolon are two of the biggest, most trusted hard-anodized cookware companies in the market today.
Introducing Calphalon And Anolon
Calphalon, starting in 1963, pretty much became an unofficial mascot of hard anodized cookware.
For years, if home chefs spoke about premium-quality cutlery, bakeware, or cookware, you’d bet your house Calphalon was in the conversation. The company invented hard-anodized cookware, adopting a process used by the aerospace industry to make cookware much more corrosion-resistant and durable.
Nowadays, Calphalon is considered a mid to high-end cookware brand.
On the other hand, Anolon entered the scene in 1986, when the company brought a new hard-anodized collection to the market with nonstick coating on the surface.
Gradually, over the years, the brand introduced more products with a selection of extra features, making Anolon a serious contender in the market.
Anolon is now owned by the Meyer Corporation, one of the largest US cookware conglomerates. The Meyer Corporation owns several reputable cookware brands, including Hestan, Farberware, and Circulon.
But which company is best, Calphalon or Anolon?
Continue reading this Calphalon vs Anolon comparison to find out.
Calphalon vs Anolon: Pricing
Remember the last time you went shopping without worrying about a budget?
To be honest, I don’t.
Finding the best possible cookware with the right features and functionality is important, sure. But equally, I’m constantly checking and comparing prices before I make a firm decision.
After all, money is tight nowadays.
So let’s start by checking how much Calphalon cookware costs, shall we?
The cheapest option Calphalon offers is their Select by Calphalon® Hard-Anodized 8-Inch Fry Pan, which costs $36.99 at the time of writing.
$36.99 isn’t a fortune, but I was a little disappointed.
You need to spend $52.99 to upgrade to the Select by Calphalon® Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Fry Pan if you want more room to work with.
Alternatively, their most expensive hard anodized collection (Calphalon Signature at $273.10 on average) has much more to offer in terms of construction, design, and durability.
The major downside is Calphalon is pretty limited in this range. They only offer the Calphalon Signature range in a 10-piece set.
And it isn’t cheap either.
If you have the budget, I’d advise getting it. While at first, it may seem pricey, purchasing each piece individually costs $997.93 – so you save up to $250 on average.
Calphalon might not be the most expensive cookware brand today, but it’s not far off.
Below are all the available options Calphalon offer, with the average price.
- Select by Calphalon™: $102.07
- Calphalon Classic™: $138.28
- Calphalon Premier™: $173.56
- Calphalon Premier Space-Saving: $220.84
- Calphalon Signature™: $273.10
So, is Anolon any better for my battered budget?
Well, yes. It’s more affordable than Calphalon, for starters.
The Anolon Advanced and Advanced Home ranges are by far their most affordable hard anodized nonstick collections. For the Anolon Advanced Home 8.5-Inch pan, you’re spending about $30 (depending on the retailer).
For an extra $20, you can upgrade to the 10.25-Inch pan or 12-Inch stir fry pan.
Anolon’s most expensive hard anodized range (Anolon Ascend at $131.66 on average) is 50% cheaper than the Calphalon Signature range. They also offer a 10-piece set for only $399.99 – $330 cheaper than Calphalon.
Anolon is already making Calphalon look bad.
Here is every Anolon collection currently available, with the average price.
- Anolon Advanced: $77.36
- Anolon Advanced Home: $92.02
- Anolon Allure Nonstick: $114.99
- Anolon SmartStack: $127.49
- Anolon Ascend Hard Anodized: $131.66
- Anolon Accolade Nonstick: $149.08
- Anolon Nouvelle Luxe: $160.76
- Anolon Nouvelle Stainless: $176.66
- Anolon Tri-Ply Clad Stainless: $181.66
- AnolonX Nonstick: $207.84
Regardless of the brand you choose, both Calphalon and Anolon include limited lifetime warranties on their products that cover faults with workmanship or construction.
However, it’s worth noting that the limited lifetime warranties do not cover damage from misuse, normal wear and tear, discoloration, or damage from thermal shock.
Pretty standard nowadays.
All in all, Anolon is the winner for pricing. It’s a great choice for beginners or budget-conscious home cooks and costs half the price of Calphalon. Plus, every product has a limited lifetime warranty for extra peace of mind.
Calphalon vs Anolon: Features
Anolon and Calphalon are similar companies on the surface.
- Offer a wide range of cookware options in a variety of materials
- Have great reputations with decades of experience
- Use high-quality materials and construction for excellent durability and even heat distribution
- Design their cookware with functionality and ease of use in mind.
Additionally, Anolon and Calphalon claim to be the “birthplace” of hard anodized cookware in one way or another. Those are pretty big claims!
So how do they compare with one another?
So you’ve chewed through each brand’s pricing options. Now, you’re ready to look at what products Calphalon and Anolon have to offer.
Irrespective of which you choose, both offer tons of products with unique designs and materials at varying prices.
Luckily, both companies have individual pieces and complete sets for you to choose from. You can dip your toes by buying a single frying pan or dive straight in and go for a 12-piece set.
Below are all the collections Calphalon and Anolon has to offer, alongside key information on the design, features, and construction.
(Swipe left and right for the entire chart)
|Collection||Select by Calphalon||Calphalon Classic||Calphalon Premier||Calphalon Signature||Calphalon Elite|
|Interior Surface||AquaShield Nonstick||AquaShield Nonstick||3-layered MineralShield Nonstick||3-layered PTFE Nonstick||Advanced Nonstick|
|Exterior Material||Hard Anodized Aluminum||Hard Anodized Aluminum||Hard Anodized Aluminum||Hard Anodized Aluminum||Hard Anodized Aluminum|
|Handle||Silicone||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Lid Material||Tempered Glass||Tempered Glass||Tempered Glass||Tempered Glass||Tempered Glass|
|Country Made||China||China||China||China/ USA||USA|
(Swipe left and right for the entire chart)
|Collection||Anolon Ascend||Anolon Advanced Home||Anolon Advanced||Anolon Nouvelle Luxe||Anolon Allure|
|Interior Surface||3-layered PTFE Nonstick||Infinite Slide Nonstick||3-layered PTFE Nonstick||Sapphire-reinforced Nonstick||Infinity Slide Nonstick|
|Exterior Material||Hard Anodized Aluminum||Hard Anodized Aluminum||Hard Anodized Aluminum||Hard Anodized Aluminum||Hard Anodized Aluminum|
|Handle||Stainless Steel||Silicone with Stainless Steel||Silicone with Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Lid Material||Tempered Glass||Tempered Glass||Tempered Glass||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
Construction and Materials
Believe it or not, high-quality construction and materials make all the difference in cookware. It affects its durability, overall cooking performance, and even heat distribution.
But which brand is better?
When it comes to Calphalon, they’re pretty consistent. Each collection comes with a hard anodized aluminum base with varying amounts of layers of nonstick.
Calphalon’s premium collections, Williams-Sonoma Elite and Signature, are made with heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum bases. They come with 3 layers of PFOA-free nonstick that is tough enough to handle most tasks in the kitchen.
Whereas their Classic collection only comes with a single layer of nonstick – pretty poor in comparison.
As a general rule, heavy-gauge bases are considered the most high-quality option.
Heavy-gauge bases make cookware more resistant to warps or dents and improve heat distribution. On the other hand, the more nonstick layers it has, the better the performance.
I personally love how Calphalon is constantly tweaking and improving cooking performance and durability.
One such example – they recently introduced their new MineralShield™ and AquaShield™ nonstick technologies.
MineralShield™ is made with some of Earth’s hardest minerals and improves the lifespan of cookware. Calphalon claims this triple-layered nonstick technology is 5x more durable than the previous generation of Calphalon Classic™ nonstick.
The MineralShield technology was only used on the Calphalon Premier™ collection.
AquaShield™, on the other hand, was introduced on the latest generation of Calphalon Classic™ and Select by Calphalon collections.
The water-based nonstick technology keeps the surface performing like new for 40% longer for effortless cooking (vs. last generation of Calphalon Classic and Select by Calphalon).
All in all, the MineralShield technology aims to improve durability and hold up against metal utensil use. AquaShield is focused on performance, improving food release, and overall ease of use.
Either way, I have to give Calphalon some credit.
It shows me they have a lot of pride in their products. It’s also a solid sign I can trust them, and they won’t hide or shy away from any product imperfections.
So, well done, Calphalon.
The same could be said of Anolon, which features an impressive variety of construction and materials. The great thing about Anolon is that they coat the entire exterior of cookware, including any rims and walls, in PTFE nonstick, so it’s easier to clean.
Every Anolon hard anodized collection has heavy-gauge bases and PFOA-free, PTFE nonstick coatings. PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene), also known as Teflon, is a synthetic fluoropolymer that is slippery, durable, and highly heat-resistant.
Like Calphalon, Anolon recently introduced new nonstick formulas in their Advanced Home, Allure, and Nouvelle Luxe collections.
The Infinity Slide nonstick technology is sapphire-reinforced and triple-coated, so the cookware doesn’t leach metals or chemicals into food. Anolon claims Infinity Slide lasts 16 times longer than traditional nonstick and 80 times longer than ceramic.
Anolon gets ahead of Calphalon by often including magnetic stainless steel bases in their collections.
We’ll discuss compatibility later in this Calphalon vs Anolon comparison.
But for a brief overview, none of Calphalon’s hard-anodized products are induction-compatible. They only offer a limited range of stainless steel cookware that works on induction.
Anolon, on the other hand, has 9 collections suitable for induction stovetops – 2 of which are hard-anodized ranges. While it’s undoubtedly a poorer offering than similar mid-range competitors, it’s better than nothing.
I’m looking at you, Calphalon.
One thing I wasn’t super keen on with Anolon is their openness and transparency. I found it nearly impossible to find any details on their new Infinity Slide technology, which was pretty off-putting.
I also didn’t appreciate when Anolon stated the Infinity Slide “lasts 80 times longer than ceramic”. It’s a pretty bold claim that my suspicious mind is skeptical about.
That being said, Anolon has enough credibility in the bank for me to move past it.
I’d love to give Calphalon the medal for this section for its new MineralShield™ and AquaShield™ nonstick technology. However, I’m going to make Anolon the winner because they more than match Calphalon for construction and materials.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel their bold claims relating to their Infinity Slide nonstick is a potential red flag. But there’s no getting away from the fact they offer incredibly durable products at almost half the price. Plus, their products include heavy-gauge stainless steel bases for induction compatibility.
Design and Usability
Here’s an important question for you.
Calphalon and Anolon are great brands, but which of them do you feel the most comfortable using?
Ultimately, even the most premium cookware in the world won’t do much if you don’t want to use it.
Still, Anolon really does deliver on the design and usability front.
For starters, most Anolon cookware comes with their exclusive Unity Surface™. They design them so the rivets sit flush against the pan’s interior surface and coat them in PTFE nonstick to ensure food doesn’t get stuck.
The Unity Surface™ is a complete game-changer, in my opinion – especially if you live in a busy household like mine.
There’s no need to spend endless time on cleanup, and it makes stirring food a breeze. Plus, it’s pretty handy for things like omelets when you have to scrape the spatula around the pan’s edge.
Now here’s the thing I really love about Anolon – its handle design.
If like me, you hate weird U-shaped handles that cut your palm as you flip or toss ingredients, then Anolon is sure to appeal to you.
Anolon’s best-selling Advanced collection comes with a SureGrip® handle made from soft silicone that gives improved comfort and control. Plus, the ergonomic-friendly handle has a slight upward angle, giving you better leverage and not making it feel heavy.
There’s also a hanging loop on the handle – which I loved. A pretty useful feature if you’re tight for space in your kitchen.
Most Anolon cookware comes with tempered glass lids so you can check on food as it cooks. However, the Anolon Nouvelle Luxe and Nouvelle Copper Luxe collections only have solid stainless steel lids.
Generally, their lids are dual-rivetted for extra durability and oven-safe up to 400°F – slightly lower than other competitors.
That being said, some Anolon glass lids can withstand temperatures up to 500°F. Just double-check the manufacturer’s instructions if you’re in any doubt.
My only complaint is Anolon is limited if you want to buy a replacement lid. Only four tempered glass lids were available for purchase at the time of writing.
I was also disappointed that Anolon doesn’t offer replacement stainless steel lids. So you’re fresh out of luck if you buy their Nouvelle Luxe or Copper Luxe collections and the lid becomes damaged.
Calphalon is also great for design and usability.
I consider Calphalon one of my go-to brands because everything seems to be built with durability in mind.
Most cookware comes with dual-riveted stainless steel handles designed to stay cool. I love that the handle is slightly longer – which can be great for searing steaks and stops fat burning your hand.
Calphalon doesn’t offer anything ground-breaking like Anolon’s SureGrip® handle.
But, their Williams Sonoma Elite collection comes with a triple-riveted ergonomic stainless steel handle that is claimed to improve durability and comfort.
On a personal note: I don’t like the U-shaped design of the handle. But I can appreciate what Calphalon is trying to achieve.
In terms of lids, Calphalon is similar to Anolon. They offer tempered glass lids that seal shut to lock in crucial flavors and let you view your food while it cooks.
Some collections, like the Select by Calphalon®, come with silicone-wrapped handles that stay cool on the stovetop. Plus, these lids can withstand temperatures in the oven up to 450°F.
If you’ve ever burnt your hand on the lid, you’ll know how handy this is.
Weirdly though, Calphalon offers a pretty limited range of replacement lids, like Anolon. At the time of writing, only a 2-piece glass set was available. There weren’t any lids available with silicone-wrapped handles either.
Which was pretty disappointing, to say the least.
That being said, plenty of replacement lids are available secondhand on platforms like eBay if you ever become desperate. The same goes for Amazon too.
The global induction market was worth $18 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow 8.5% yearly.
So it’s safe to say induction stovetops are becoming more popular. As a result, compatibility is another vital aspect to consider before buying cookware.
But who’s better – Anolon or Calphalon?
Unfortunately, if you have an induction cooktop and you’re considering Calphalon, think again. Calphalon’s hard anodized cookware is not induction-compatible.
Seriously, none of them.
To be induction-compatible, cookware must have a ferromagnetic base made from materials like cast iron or stainless steel. These materials can be magnetized, so a magnetic field transfers heat from stove to pan.
Cookware made from non-ferromagnetic materials like aluminum or copper is not compatible with induction stovetops.
Calphalon’s hard anodized nonstick cookware has aluminum bases, which are not induction-compatible. To be fair, they offer stainless steel and cast iron products that work on induction, though. But it’s pretty limited.
So, how does Anolon measure up?
Most Anolon cookware is induction-compatible. At the time of writing, 9 out of 12 available Anolon collections are suitable for induction cooktops.
- Anolon Ascend™
- Anolon Accolade
- Anolon Nouvelle Copper
- Anolon Nouvelle Luxe
- Anolon SmartStack
- Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel
- Anolon Tri-Ply Clad
- Anolon Advanced Tri-Ply
The Anolon Advanced Home, Advanced, and Allure collections are the only ranges that are not induction-compatible. All of these collections have aluminum bases.
The other Anolon collections are made with stainless steel bases, ensuring they are suitable for all cooktops, including induction.
Plus, a nice bonus is it improves the product’s durability and prevents warping.
Anolon is the undisputed winner for induction compatibility. Most of its cookware has a stainless steel base, making it suitable for gas, electric, and induction cooktops.
Disappointingly, Calphalon’s hard-anodized nonstick collections are not induction-compatible.
Calphalon vs Anolon: Customer Support
Let’s look at one more thing before we end this review.
I’m a stickler for good customer service.
Calphalon’s options for support are pretty… meh.
You can “submit a ticket,” email directly, or check their well-organized knowledge database.
It’s not comprehensive by any means.
But it does a great job of answering common questions that customers might have about their products. The FAQ platform also answers queries about refunds, shipping, and warranties.
Additionally, Calphalon offers the option to contact via telephone if you have an urgent query.
Anolon also doesn’t offer “wow” levels of support and isn’t the best I’ve seen.
You can email or phone customer support directly and check out their help center for articles and guides for potential queries.
There’s also the option to live chat with a customer support representative. The live chat functionality isn’t the most user-friendly I’ve used, but it’s certainly a start.
In all honesty, both brands seem to be more do-it-yourself when it comes to support.
They both have pretty good guides and tutorials available for you – but that’s not always what you want when you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on their products.
In all honesty, it’s a tie. Anolon wins for its live chat functionality. But Calphalon wins because its knowledge database is more user-friendly and comprehensive. Neither brand offers mind-blowing customer support, but it’s better than nothing.
For a better approach to customer support, try All Clad. They don’t offer live chat support, but their knowledge base is among the best I’ve seen. You even have short video tutorials to look at if you get stuck, which is great if you’re in a rush for an answer.
Calphalon vs Anolon: Which Should You Pick?
Calphalon is one of the best for building ultra-durable, consistent performing cookware made with high-quality materials in the USA. Their new MineralShield™ and AquaShield™ nonstick technologies offer even better performance and durability. You also get better support than Anolon from the get-go.
Anolon, on the other hand, is a more budget-friendly option that more than matches Calphalon for construction, materials, and overall performance. They offer a more comprehensive range of materials and even have induction-compatible ranges. Plus, their new Infinity Slide technology lasts 16 times longer than traditional nonstick.
Choose Calphalon If…
- You love premium-quality cookware made in the USA
- You’re looking for a really sleek, professional design
- You want a comprehensive, user-friendly knowledge base
- You prefer durability over functionality or ease of use
- You need something with a lifetime warranty for extra peace of mind
Choose Anolon If…
- You need something highly-durable without paying a fortune
- You require induction-compatible cookware
- You aren’t fussed about where your cookware is made
- You’re looking for something easy to maintain and clean
- You want more variety to choose from
Overall, there is little that separates Calphalon and Anolon. Neither have mind-blowing customer support or great compatibility. However, they offer excellent durability, consistent performance, and lifetime warranties for extra peace of mind.
Personally, Anolon comes out on top because of its incredibly budget-friendly prices. In today’s age, where inflation and energy prices are skyrocketing, it pays to have an affordable option that offers excellent durability, performance, and versatility.
Want to find more hard anodized cookware choices? Check out our guide to the best hard anodized cookware for 2023. On the other hand, if you’re eager to try Anolon, you can take a look here. Or, you can check out Calphalon here.
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Hey I'm James, the one who started Purely Cookware. All my life, I've been lucky enough to bond with family around the dinner table. And I will be using this website to teach you how you can do the same.