Sauce pots, stock pots, frying pans, grill pans, and other shapes and sizes are responsible for all dishes made on the stove.
No matter if you cook on induction, glass, gas or ceramic, the cookware you choose can make or break your everyday success in the kitchen.
But choosing the proper cookware comes with many questions and concerns:
What material is best?
Which brand is the most durable?
Which ones are the easiest to clean?
Hopefully, these questions and more will be answered in this article and will help you decide which brand is right for you.
Specifically, I will compare three well-known and well-respected brands: Circulon, Anolon, and Calphalon. For these brands, I will use their 11-piece set for our comparison.
There are many terms used to describe aspects and qualities in cookware. Here are a few to know:
Cookware that is labeled “hard-anodized” is made from aluminum that has been treated to halt oxidation. Anodizing aluminum makes it more resistant to abrasion and corrosion thanks to using higher voltage and lower temperatures during the treatment process.
Non-stick cookware is cookware whose surface is engineered to reduce sticking. Extra oils or fat are not needed to keep food from sticking to the surface of the pan, thanks to the chemical compound, Teflon, that coats the surface.
Teflon is the brand name of the synthetic resin used to coat the surface of non-stick pans. The chemical compound is referred to as PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) was accidentally discovered in New Jersey in 1938, and has been used in non-stick cookware since the 1960s.
To learn more about hard-andozied cookware, check out our article comparing it to ceramic cookware: Hard anodized vs Ceramic cookware
Cookware Brand Comparisons
Now that you are an expert on cookware terms, let’s dig into the different brands, focusing specifically on their materials, nonstick attributes, design elements, warranty, and their 11-piece cookware set.
As the name suggests, Circulon’s patented system of circles on the surface of the cookware makes it one of the most unique brands on the market. Thanks to the series of raised circles and a triple-layer of premium nonstick coating, Circulon’s pans are three times more resistant to abrasion, scratches, and corrosion than other pans. Circulon has been in the business of creating innovative kitchen technologies for over 30 years, and continue to work to make cooking easier and more enjoyable.
The four hallmarks of Circulon’s cookware are Nonstick Performance, Long-Lasting Durability, Even Heat Distribution, and Easy Cleanup.
Materials / Nonstick attributes
Circulon pots and pans are made with hard-anodized aluminum and an impact-bonded stainless steel base. This makes the pans suitable for all cooktops - gas, ceramic, glass, and induction.
The system of circles of the cooking surface of the pans cooks delicate foods like eggs, but also can create a good sear on a steak.
Unlike some nonstick pans, you can use metal utensils with this cookware. And while most companies will suggest hand washing pans to extend their life, Circulon pans are dishwasher safe.
The silicone-coated handles on the Symmetry pans make for comfortable holding when cooking. The tempered glass lids make it easy to see what’s going on in the pan while you are cooking. The Circulon Symmetry pan set is available in three colors, to fit into any kitchen’s decor - Merlot, Chocolate, and Black
Circulon pans come with a lifetime warranty but does not cover damage caused by accident, misuse, abuse, commercial use, damage from overheating, or damage from the use of an automatic dishwasher.
Like most nonstick pans, cooking should be done over medium heat, as to not compromise the nonstick surface with high temperatures.
Circulon Symmetry 11-piece set includes:
View Circulon Symmetry 11-piece set on Amazon
Sister brands of Circulon, Anolon has been committed to making quality kitchenware since 1984. They introduced the first hard-anodized, smooth-interior non-stick cookware in 1989. The name “Anolon” comes from the words hard-anodized and the suffix meaning “one.”
These pans can accomplish all the tasks of nonstick pans - cooking delicate egg dishes, searing steaks - but come at a lesser cost than other pan sets.
Materials / Nonstick attributes
Anolon pans are constructed with hard-anodized aluminum and stainless steel. They are sturdy pans with a smooth, nonstick surface. These pans are also safe for metal utensils.
Anolon uses a rubberized material called Santoprene™ to coat their SureGrip® handles. They make for a comfortable handle to hold when cooking. The pots have tulip-shaped profiles, adding an elegant and gourmet feel to the set. The glass lids provide a view into what’s cooking underneath and are made with shatter-resistant glass.
The 11-piece set comes in five subtle colors, to match any kitchen - Bronze, Graphite, Indigo, Onyx, and Pewter.
Anolon also offers a lifetime, hassle-free warranty. If at any time you are dissatisfied with the performance of your Analon pans, you can reach out to them.
Anolon Advanced 11-piece set includes:
View the Anolon Advanced 11-piece set on Amazon
The original Calphalon company was found in 1963 and was primarily a commercial aluminum cookware company, supplying cookware to the foodservice industry. Since then, Calphalon has been an industry pioneer, creating everything from nonstick bakeware, to cutlery, and utensils.
Materials / Nonstick attributes
The Calphalon Contemporary collection has a triple-layer nonstick interior, constructed with hard-anodized aluminum. The two interior nonstick layers provide durability, while the exterior layer creates an easy-release when cooking.
The design of this set is very practical and ergonomic. The stay-cool handles are easy to grip and maneuver while cooking. The Calphalon Contemporary also comes with glass lids, perfect for peering inside the pots. The set is sleek and smooth and is available in one color.
Calpahon products carry a lifetime warranty.
Calphalon Contemporary 11-piece set includes:
- The highest-rated set in this comparison.
- Positive reviews state that this cookware set can last for years, is it versatile and easy to clean.
- Less positive reviews point to a design flaw that causes the handles to collect water in the dishwasher.
- Reviews for the Analon Advanced set says that it is a good value for the money spent and that they distribute heat evenly.
- Less positive reviews claim the set is not dishwasher safe and the surface is easily scratchable.
- Positive reviews say that the pans and easy to clean and durable.
Issues brought up on reviews are mostly related to minor design elements and receiving faulty products. Many cases were brought to Calphalon’s attention and resolved.
All three of these brands have overall positive reviews on Amazon.
Circulon vs. Anolon vs. Calphalon (Comparison Charts)
After comparing the three different brands, here are two comparison charts to help visualize the differences between the brands.
Brand Comparison Chart
Oven Safe Temp
Anolon Advanced Bronze
11-piece Comparison Chart
Fry Pan/French Skillet
Number of Pans/Lids
It seems like you can’t go wrong with purchasing any of these brands. They all have great nonstick qualities, have beautiful design elements and are listed for a similar price-point.
If you have an induction cooktop, there is only one brand that you should choose - Circulon Symmetry. If you don’t have an induction, then this feature shouldn’t affect your decision.
The major factor that could make the final purchasing decision for you is the pieces that are included in the set.
All three sets come with the same size stockpot and saute pan, but the Circulon and Analon set both come with 7 pans, while the Calphalon set only comes with 6 pans.
The 12-inch grill pan in the Analon can be a game-changer if you do not have access to an outdoor grill. You would now be able to get beautiful grill marks on meats and veggies on top of your stove.
The diverse set of pieces in the Anolon Advanced set makes it the most desirable set. But you can’t go wrong with purchasing the Calphalon or Circulon sets either.