Tramontina vs Calphalon: Which Is Best For YOU in 2023?
One is considered the best brand for hard anodized cookware in the world.
The other has earned a reputation as the best value for money you can spend your hard-earned cash on.
The question is, should you choose Tramontina vs Calphalon for your hard anodized cookware?
Cooking from home has never been more popular. In fact, two-thirds of Americans cook at home at least three times a week, despite the rising popularity of takeaway and delivery services.
Equally, money has never been tighter. You can’t afford to buy cheap cookware for it to last a few weeks.
So you’re gonna need high-quality, consistent cookware that is easy to maintain and built to last for years to come.
That’s where Calphalon and Tramontina come in.
TLDR: Tramontina vs Calphalon
The main difference between Tramontina and Calphalon is the price tag. Tramontina is, by a mile, the most affordable option out of the two. You’ll have plenty of variety to choose from, from tri-ply stainless steel to enameled cast iron or nonstick.
On the other hand, Calphalon is one of the best for hard anodized nonstick cookware. Everything is optimized for durability above all else. Plus, you get superior performance and heat retention as an added bonus.
|Construction||Aluminum, Hard Anodized Aluminum, Cast Iron, Nonstick, Stainless Steel||Cast Iron, Hard Anodized Aluminum, Nonstick, Stainless Steel|
|Design||Contemporary design in various colors with an ergonomic silicone-coated/ stainless steel handle.||Sleek, professional design combined with brushed or polished stainless steel handles.|
|Lid Material||Tempered glass & stainless steel||Tempered glass & stainless steel|
|Oven-Safe Temperature||350°F – 450°F depending on collection.||450°F – 500°F depending on collection.|
|Induction-Compatible||Aluminum, hard anodized, and nonstick products are not.||Hard anodized aluminum and nonstick products are not.|
|Metal Utensil Safe||Cast iron and stainless steel only.||Elite, Signature, and Premier only.|
|Made In||Brazil, China, and Italy||China and USA|
Tramontina vs Calphalon: Pricing
The price might not be the only thing to consider when choosing cookware, but it’s certainly one of the first things I look at.
There’s every chance that (unlike me) you have a massive budget with unlimited cash to splash on the right equipment for your kitchen.
But, even with a limitless budget, you’ll need to ensure you’re getting the best possible value in return for your hard-earned cash.
So, how much does Tramontina cost?
Note: Costs and prices are calculated using Tramontina.com and Calphalon.com. Prices may vary, depending on retailer.
Like most cookware brands, Tramontina has individual pieces and complete sets to buy.
For just $24.95, you can get started with Tramontina’s PRO Series 8-inch Frying Pan. Or, you can fully kit yourself out with their PRO Series 13-piece Hard Anodized Set, which costs $224.95.
Overall, Tramontina is one of the most affordable brands out there today. In fact, you’ll only pay $74.74 on average for Tramontina cookware.
Their cheapest range (Tramontina Style) costs just $58.01 on average. On the other hand, you’ll spend $94.45 on average for their most expensive collection, Tramontina Everyday.
Below are all the available options Tramontina offers, with the average price.
- Tramontina Style: $58.01
- Tramontina Professional (PRO Series): $66.83
- Tramontina Select: $74.96
- Tramontina Gourmet: $78.96
- Tramontina Everyday: $94.45
Those prices are pretty low, to say the least.
But of course, there is a downside.
Tramontina cookware isn’t predominantly made in the USA. Most of its products are manufactured in Brazil. However, its nonstick and hard anodized collections are made in countries such as China, Brazil, and Italy.
Unfortunately, if you want cookware made in the USA, you’re fresh out of luck.
So, how does Calphalon compare?
For starters, it’ll cost you more. For Calphalon cookware, you’ll pay $157.35 on average.
The cheapest choice is the Select by Calphalon® Hard-Anodized 8-Inch Fry Pan, which costs $36.99 at the time of writing. 8-inches isn’t a lot of room to work with. But for an extra $20 roughly, you can upgrade to the 12-inch version if needed.
Calphalon’s most expensive range is the Signature collection, which costs $273.10 on average. The collection is limited, but it offers much more in construction, design, and durability.
Luckily, if you have the budget, they offer a 10-piece set for $729.99 – which may seem a lot at first. However, if you were to purchase each piece individually, you’d pay $997.93.
By buying the set, you save $267.94 and fully kit yourself (assuming you want every piece in the collection).
Again, here are all the Calphalon collections with their average prices.
- Select by Calphalon™: $102.07
- Calphalon Classic™: $138.28
- Calphalon Premier™: $173.56
- Calphalon Signature™: $273.10
Again, most of Calphalon’s cookware isn’t made in the USA.
Calphalon’s Classic, Premier, Select by Calphalon, and Signature collections are made in China. That being said, the new Williams-Sonoma Elite range is made in the US.
Regardless of which brand you pick, you’ll get a lifetime warranty covering faults in workmanship or construction. It doesn’t cover damage from misuse, normal wear and tear, discoloration, or damage from thermal shock.
But that’s pretty common.
For the most cost-effective option, Tramontina wins by a mile. Others will agree, Calphalon cookware is expensive.
Each company’s features are similar, as you’ll see throughout this comparison, giving Tramontina a competitive advantage when it comes to cost.
Tramontina vs Calphalon: Features
Let’s get to the heart of this showdown.
If you’re going to spend your hard-earned cash on either Tramontina or Calphalon, you’ll want great features.
While there is a lot we could cover, for the purpose of this comparison, we’ll be discussing:
Irrespective of whether you choose Tramontina or Calphalon, you’ll have plenty of products and collections with unique designs and materials to pick from.
Below are all the collections Tramontina and Calphalon has to offer, alongside any key information.
- Everyday Collection: Has a wide range of cookware options, including hard anodized aluminum, nonstick, and cast iron.
- Gourmet Collection: Considered Tramontina’s high-end offering and the best for overall durability. The collection features an elegant design and ultra-durable tri-ply construction made with 18/10 stainless steel.
- Professional (Pro Series): As its name suggests, this collection is made for heavy use and withstands the stresses of professional kitchens. It’ll give you a clean, professional look, a large cooking area, and durable construction that’ll stand the test of time.
- Select Collection: This collection is for home cooks who want plenty of variety. The select range is available in aluminum, ceramic, hard anodized aluminum, and nonstick.
- Style Collection: For cooks and chefs that want beautiful aesthetics and are willing to compromise on durability or performance. The style collection has an impressive selection of colors, including blue, charcoal, copper, and silver.
- Classic Collection: The most affordable Calphalon collection range is available in hard anodized aluminum or stainless steel. For durability and performance, you’ll get a sleek brushed metal exterior and water-based nonstick surface.
- Contemporary Collection: This range is limited, but you can choose from high-quality nonstick or stainless steel. Most products feature thick heavy-gauge aluminum bases for even heating and retention.
- Elite Collection: The premium Elite range is an exclusive collection designed by Calphalon and Williams-Sonoma. The Elite range is stylish, versatile, and built to last. You’ll get consistent cooking performance and excellent durability.
- Premier Collection: Designed with functionality in mind, this triple-layered, hard-anodized collection is made for tight-spaced kitchens. The unique design and flat glass covers mean you can stack or nest them, so you save space.
- Select by Calphalon: This affordable hard anodized collection has the right balance between durability and performance. You get a sleek design and Calphalon’s new AquaShield nonstick technology, which helps cookware perform like new for 40% longer.
- Signature Collection: The Signature collection is available in stainless steel and hard-anodized aluminum. You get thick 3.5mm walls for excellent heat retention, triple-layered PFOA-free nonstick for improved performance, and a heavy-gauge base for extra durability.
Construction and Materials
Who wants cookware that only lasts a few months?
This is why I look for high-quality construction and materials, so I know my cookware lasts.
Starting with Tramontina, they offer an impressive variety of materials.
|Tramontina Style||Aluminum, Hard Anodized Aluminum|
|Tramontina Professional (PRO)||Aluminum, Hard Anodized Aluminum, Stainless Steel|
|Tramontina Select||Aluminum, Hard Anodized Aluminum, Cast Iron|
|Tramontina Gourmet||Aluminum, Carbon steel, Cast iron, Stainless Steel|
|Tramontina Everyday||Aluminum, Cast Iron, Hard Anodized Aluminum|
Cheaper cookware isn’t always the best for its construction. But, Tramontina does an outstanding job.
They offer great construction and high-quality materials at an affordable price.
Tramontina’s stainless steel cookware is tri-ply constructed, made with three layers of 18/10 stainless steel and an aluminum core for quick and even heating. It also has a magnetic steel base for induction compatibility.
Not bad, considering the price.
Surprisingly, Tramontina’s stainless steel cookware is fully bonded instead of impact-bonded. Usually, impact-bonded cookware is cheaper because it needs less material or labor to make.
Instead, you get the most premium construction which gives you better durability and heat retention.
On top, you get even heat distribution because the aluminum core transfers heat throughout the entire vessel instead of just the bottom of the pan.
If stainless steel isn’t for you, Tramontina has a great range of hard anodized cookware within their Everyday, Style, and Professional collections.
This is where Tramontina shines, in my opinion.
Their nonstick and hard anodized cookware is usually made with heavy-gauge aluminum walls and a layer of PTFE (Teflon) nonstick.
The heavy-gauge base prevents warps and dents while improving heat distribution. On the other hand, the Teflon nonstick gives you effortless cooking and cleanup – plus, food is less likely to stick.
One issue? It’s solid construction but isn’t as good as brands like Anolon or All-Clad.
All-Clad offers triple-layered PTFE nonstick on its hard anodized cookware – much more durable and scratch resistant. You also get a heavy-gauge aluminum base for enhanced performance and heat distribution.
Anolon also offers the same construction.
Call me an idiot – but I’d much rather have three coats of nonstick rather than one. You could argue All-Clad is double (if not triple) the price of Tramontina. But Anolon isn’t as much.
For the few extra dollars, I prefer better durability and scratch resistance.
One particularly nifty thing about Tramontina is its innovation, research, and development.
For example, Tramontina introduced its Starflon nonstick formula. Starflon nonstick has three thickness options that increase the cookware’s resistance to abrasion and improve its nonstick power.
In addition, Tramontina uses:
- Teflon™ Profile Nonstick: A reinforced nonstick formula mainly used in Tramontina’s limited culinary range. It is free of toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead, and PFOA (PerFluoroOctanoic Acid).
- PPG Eclipse Nonstick: This PFOA-free nonstick is used on the Professional (PRO series) and is the most durable. It has a premium-release topcoat, partial reinforced mid-coat, and heavily reinforced primer for improved scratch resistance and food release.
Check out this video to learn more about Teflon™ Profile coatings.
Calphalon, on the other hand, takes a more “durability first” approach to its construction. Similar to Tramontina, Calphalon has plenty of cookware made with various materials for you to choose from.
|Select by Calphalon||Hard Anodized Aluminum, Stainless Steel|
|Calphalon Classic™||Hard Anodized Aluminum, Stainless Steel|
|Calphalon Premier™||Hard Anodized Aluminum, Stainless Steel|
|Calphalon Signature™||Hard Anodized Aluminum, Stainless Steel|
|Calphalon Elite||Hard Anodized Aluminum|
Hard anodized cookware is where Calphalon shines best.
Each of their hard-anodized collections comes with a heavy-gauge aluminum base which gives you incredible durability. As you go up in price, you’ll get varying layers of nonstick coating.
For example, Calphalon’s premium collections (Signature and Elite) have three PFOA-free nonstick layers. However, the Classic collection only has a single layer of PTFE nonstick.
Like Tramontina, I appreciate the constant tweaking and improving of their products for better durability and cooking performance.
Recently, they introduced their new MineralShield™ and AquaShield™ nonstick technologies.
MineralShield is made with some of Earth’s hardest minerals. The company claims this triple-layered technology makes cookware 5x more durable compared to previous generations of Classic™ nonstick.
Calphalon mainly uses MineralShield in its Calphalon Premier™ collection.
AquaShield, though, is used on the latest generations of Select by Calphalon and Classic™ collections. Essentially, it’s a water-based nonstick technology that helps cookware perform like new for 40% longer.
Even though Calphalon is famous for its hard anodized nonstick cookware, they offer a good selection of stainless steel.
I love the Calphalon Signature collection in stainless steel because of its 5-ply construction. It’s made with a triple-layer aluminum core and two layers of stainless steel for even heat distribution and improved durability.
It’s also incredibly versatile.
They are oven-safe up to 500°F, ideal if you need to brown, sear, or saute food for your recipe. Plus, they’re dishwasher safe and compatible with all stovetops – including induction.
In my opinion, this collection is built to last. Its 5-layered metal construction is more than enough to handle the typical stresses of your household. Not to mention, the fact it’s fully bonded means it’ll heat quickly and evenly – so no worrying about hotspots.
Affordable collections, such as Select by Calphalon and Classic, are solid options if you’re on a tight budget.
However, the downside is they’re made with an impact-bonded aluminum base sandwiched in layers of stainless steel.
Again, don’t get me wrong, they’re still great options.
Impact-bonded bases aren’t the worst in the world.
But they’re not as good at distributing heat or as responsive. Plus, they’re more likely to produce hotspots on the surface – causing warps or dents.
It’s difficult to call a winner here because both brands are solid options. They both use similar high-quality materials and construction for their cookware.
If I had to choose based on my preferences, I’d pick Calpalon. I really like the sheer variety of stainless steel cookware to choose from. Plus, their hard anodized cookware has stronger construction compared to Tramontina.
That being said, for beginners or cooks on a tight budget, Tramontina is the better choice. So, you could probably argue this section is a tie.
Design and Usability
Before you go ahead and jump into investing in either company, it’s worth having an idea about the design features they offer and how easy their cookware is to use.
I don’t know about you, but I hate cookware that makes me want to pull my hair out.
So who does the better job, Tramontina or Calphalon?
Tramontina has better variety when it comes to aesthetics – which can be overwhelming at first.
You can choose from blue, copper, or red colored exteriors on their hard anodized and nonstick cookware. There are also brushed aluminum or stainless steel options if you want a more professional, minimalistic look.
One great feature of Tramontina is its handle design – particularly on the PRO series.
More often than not, the handle is attached with three heavy-duty stainless steel rivets for improved stability and durability. Most cookware is dual-riveted instead.
But what’s neat is the removable heat-resistant silicone grip.
Silicone has low thermal conductivity and heats slower than other materials, such as stainless steel. This makes the cookware easier and safer to move in the kitchen.
The handle is slightly longer, measuring 9.5 inches long, compared to roughly 8 or 9 inches on most cookware.
However, there are both pros and cons to this.
On a positive note – the extra length keeps you further away from the heat source, meaning you’re less likely to burn yourself. This is particularly useful when searing steaks and preventing oil or fats from hitting your hand.
The drawback, though, is the long handle may give you less leverage.
Generally, this will make the cookware feel heavier than it actually is. Although, some may argue that a longer handle gives you better control – depending on the weight, angle, and design.
The ergonomic-friendly handle design certainly looks incredibly comfortable to use. That being said, its thin design doesn’t look as durable compared to competitors like Anolon (or, dare I say All-Clad).
Like most brands, Tramontina attaches the handle through two or three exposed stainless steel rivets.
The problem is that, often, exposed rivets catch oil and food debris over time. Which, let’s face it, can be tough to clean. Not only does it ruin your cookware’s new and clean aesthetics, but it can also be really unhygienic.
Luckily, Tramontina has thought of a new way to combat this.
Tramontina’s PRO Fusion collection has a rivetless cooking surface for quick cleanup and improved food release.
Even better – it comes with the removable silicone sleeve we previously covered alongside a solid cast stainless steel handle for improved stability and durability.
My only gripe here is the handle’s slightly upward angle is a little like marmite ; you either love it or hate it. Some customers prefer the increased length and say it doesn’t make it feel heavy or awkward to use.
In contrast, other reviewers disapprove of Tramontina’s handle design – especially when it comes to the length.
Based on my experience with the pan, I had some near misses when I accidentally tapped the handle and spun it.
No, food didn’t go flying everywhere before you ask.
Generally, it’s a minor drawback you easily overcome as you get used to the increased length. Plenty of customers initially dislike it, but gradually over time can appreciate what Tramontina is trying to do.
But I thought I’d mention it, either way. This wouldn’t be a fair comparison if I didn’t mention the flaws.
That being said, if you’re all about ease of use, effortless cleaning, or convenience, and you’re on a tight budget, I’d still recommend the Tramontina PRO Fusion collection.
Now let’s talk about lids.
This is where Tramontina does an okay job, but it’s not mindblowing.
Tramontina primarily offers clear tempered glass lids with stainless steel handles. These are oven-safe up to 450°F, which is pretty standard.
Disappointingly, though, Tramontina does not offer any lids on the Professional (Pro) series. Other collections, however, do come with Tramontina’s tempered glass lids.
The Tramontina Everyday and Gourmet collections are also available in cast iron. So as you’d expect, they offer high-quality enameled cast iron lids with stainless steel knobs.
That being said, if your kitchen is tight for space Tramontina has the perfect solution.
The Tramontina Style range has nestable cookware sets with lids that stack flat. They also come with a thick stainless steel knob-styled handle and a spoon rest for extra convenience.
Plus, some handles are designed with a hangable loop for extra functionality. Although there is limited stock, you’ll probably have to purchase one second-hand.
So how does Calphalon fare in comparison?
Calphalon is one of my go-to brands because everything seems optimized for durability.
Most Calphalon cookware comes with dual-riveted stainless steel handles designed to stay cool during use. Again, they create their handles slightly longer, which is handy when searing steaks or frying eggs and prevents you from getting burnt.
Calphalon doesn’t offer anything ground-breaking like Anolon’s SureGrip® handle.
But, their Williams Sonoma Elite collections have a triple-riveted ergonomic-friendly stainless steel handle that improves comfort and durability.
The major downside, for me, is that some collections feature U-shaped handles. I appreciate that they intentionally designed them to disperse heat and stop your hand from burning.
But, based on experience, the handle often cuts into your palm if your cookware is loaded with ingredients. I first encountered this issue when reviewing the All-Clad
In all honesty, it makes maneuvering the pan a lot harder than it needs to be.
Check out the All-Clad
However, there’s also plenty Calphalon gets right.
For example, all their handles come with hanging loops, ideal for tight kitchens. Plus, some of its larger pots and pans have helper handles for extra control when you need them.
Like Tramontina, Calphalon offers a high-quality silicone sleeve on its Premier, Classic, and Signature stainless steel collections. Again, this gives you a more secure, comfortable grip and better heat protection during use.
Looking at the lids, Calphalon pretty much matches Tramontina.
Across all its collections, Calphalon offers clear tempered glass lids with stainless steel rims. These are designed to fit snugly on the pot, so all the moisture stays locked in – pretty handy when simmering or boiling food.
One thing worth noting about Calphalon’s lids is their wider rims, which are thicker than you’d typically expect from other brands.
It’s something I personally prefer about Caphalon. The broader rims keep the lid firmly secured, which prevents residue spillages and the risk of burns. Plus, it’s ideal for simmering or boiling food because it locks in more moisture.
Most of Calphalon’s lids can withstand maximum temperatures of 450°F. Although some budget options, like the Select by Calphalon range, only have oven-safe lids up to 400°F.
Like Tramontina’s Style range, the Premier collection comes with stackable lids designed to be nested. They also come with stainless steel side handles to help you save space in tight-spaced kitchens.
At first, you’d assume that Tramontina offers better design and usability thanks to the Pro Fusion series’s heat-resistant silicone grip and rivetless surface.
But, I’ve grown quite fond of Calphalon. Everything seems pretty intuitive and made with durability in mind. So consider that if you want the best possible value for your money.
So far, we’ve looked at plenty of the design features, functionality, and performance offered by Tramontina and Calphalon. But how do they compare for compatibility?
After all, even the best cookware in the world won’t be any good if it doesn’t work on your stovetop.
Unfortunately, this section is relatively short and sweet – and not in a good way.
Neither Tramontina nor Calphalon does a good enough job for induction compatibility. In fact, I’d go as far as saying they don’t bother.
None of Calphalon’s nonstick or hard anodized cookware works on induction cooktops because they aren’t made with a ferromagnetic base.
Yep, you read it right. None of them.
Some competitors, like Anolon or All-Clad, work around this by bonding a magnetic stainless steel plate to the cookware’s base, so it works on induction stovetops.
Both All Clad and Anolon are excellent choices if you want to stick with nonstick or hard anodized cookware. They offer high-quality construction combined with excellent durability and performance.
If you’d like to learn more about these brands and how they compare, check out our Anolon vs All Clad review.
Alternatively, here is the best hard anodized cookware they have to offer.
To be fair to Calphalon, though, they have plenty of induction-compatible stainless steel and cast iron cookware.
For example, I love their Premier™ collection in stainless steel. The heavy-gauge aluminum core distributes heat quickly and evenly – great for sauteing and searing. Plus, you have the convenience of nonstick because it’s dishwasher and oven-safe up to 450°F. Not to mention it comes with a lifetime warranty.
It’s the same situation for Tramontina too.
They have a great range of stainless steel, cast iron, and enameled cast iron cookware if you have an induction stove. But unfortunately, their hard anodized and nonstick cookware is not induction-compatible.
As I said, short and sweet.
I can’t declare either Tramontina or Calphalon a winner here. Neither offer induction-compatible nonstick or hard anodized cookware. However, there are alternative materials, provided you’re interested in cast iron or stainless steel.
For budget-friendly hard anodized cookware that works on induction, pick Anolon. But for the best of the best, consider All-Clad.
Tramontina vs Calphalon: Customer Support
Both Tramontina and Calphalon claim to be committed to delivering excellent customer service. But, one company seems more dedicated to it than the other.
With Calphalon, you’ve got plenty of options to find answers to your questions if you need them. For more complicated queries, you can use the Contact Us page and submit a ticket via the contact form, along with supporting images.
A user-friendly knowledge base also answers basic questions about products, warranties, returns, or shipping. Plus, you can access their detailed Use & Care page, which provides clear instructions and details about their products.
If you don’t find an answer to your question, and you’re a little more old school (like me), you can contact Calphalon directly via email or telephone.
All in all, regardless of your chosen method, you will get the help you need. It’s not the best customer support I’ve seen (try All-Clad for more comprehensive support), but it’s better than nothing.
Tramontina, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as good. If I had to name one thing that really disappointed me about Tramontina, it would be their limited support system.
There is live chat functionality that gives you quick answers to basic questions. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t connect with any form of support agent. The ChatBot only gave me the option of a few responses.
All of which felt basic and served no purpose.
Like Calphalon, there’s the option to “submit a request,” send an email, or phone support if you need it.
Disappointingly, the Use & Care knowledge base leaves much to be desired. I think it lacks depth, isn’t user-friendly, and the information isn’t that clear.
In all honesty, it’s more hassle than it’s worth.
Hands down, Calphalon wins for customer support. Tramontina has a more “do-it-yourself” approach – which feels a little cold and doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Although there’s support available, I think it feels more “half-arsed” than anything else.
Tramontina vs Calphalon: Which Should You Pick?
Calphalon, in my opinion, offers the best value because its high-quality construction and materials give you better durability in the long haul. On the other hand, Tramontina has plenty of variety and is by far the most affordable option.
However, I can’t help but think, “you get what you pay for” with Tramontina. For a little extra cash, you get so much more from Calphalon – better durability, performance, construction, and design features. But of course, there are some things Calphalon needs to improve on, too, such as induction compatibility and customer support.
Whether you pick Tramontina or Calphalon depends on several factors.
Choose Tramontina If:
- You have a small-ish budget and want something affordable
- You love metal-utensil safe nonstick cookware
- You want more variety to choose from
- You prefer ease of use over durability or performance
- You aren’t worried about where your cookware is made
Choose Calphalon If:
- You need something with a lifetime warranty
- You want good customer support and a detailed knowledge base
- You prefer durability and performance over functionality
- You love premium-quality cookware made in the USA
- You want the best value for money
If you’re not convinced either Tramontina or Calphalon are the right brands for you, there are hundreds of alternatives to pick from!
Why not check out our best hard anodized cookware guide to learn about some of the top cookware brands today.
Sorry this post wasn't great for you!
Let us know how to make it better!
Tell us how we can improve this post?
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.