best air fryers: the Xiaomi air fryer is a cute, compact model for minimalists

6 of the best air fryers for faster, healthier meals

November 8, 2022

Air fryers are flying off the shelves at the moment.

Price comparison website PriceRunner has analysed its search data and found the best-selling air fryers have risen in popularity by more than 3,000% since November 2021. In most popular item on its website, the Ninja AF400UK, has risen in popularity by more than 22,000% since October 2021.

Aviva’s How We Live study of 2,000 UK adults examined how home contents may change in light of the rising cost of living and higher energy bills. The study found that 25% of participants already had an air fryer by 2022, while 47% expected to have one by the end of 2022 – that’s a percentage increase of 88%. Plus, the #AirFryerRecipes hashtag has had over 1.7 billion views on TikTok.

What is it about this gadget that people can’t get enough off? Good Homes takes a look…

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What is an air fryer?

Air fryers cook food by rapidly circulating hot air and a small amount of oil, or sometimes none at all, making them a low-fat alternative to deep-fat fryers. This also means there’s no faffing around with disposing excess oil, so they’re easy to clean, and you don’t need to meticulously watch over the cooking to avoid burning. They are essentially fast mini ovens.

How much do air fryers cost?

Depending on which model you opt for, air fryers can range between £50-£200. You can also get all-singing, all-dancing smart cookers from the likes of Ninja that cost around £300.

Can an air fryer save money on your energy bill?

Yes! The main advantage of an air fryer though is that it’s fast, efficient, and costs less to run than a conventional oven – making them very popular right now while energy prices are high. Ninja, one of the market leaders, claims to save up to 45% on your energy bill with its multicookers, which can also pressure-cook tender meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods.

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What can you cook with an air fryer?

Although they are most often used for cooking cripsy homemade chips, air fryers can be used to cook meat, fish, vegetables and frozen food, including favourites like fish fingers, scampi and oven chips. You can also find air fryer cake recipes!

5 of the best air fryers

1. Best all-rounder: Ninja Foodi

Ninja is a market leader in air fryers. The Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker is an excellent multi tasker, making it easy to cook your favourite fresh or frozen foods with a 6L cooking pot and nine cooking functions – pressure cook, air fry, slow cook, steam, bake/roast, sear/sauté, grill and dehydrate functions. It’s ideal for up to four people, and you can even cook and crisp a 2kg chicken. If you want even more flexibility, go for a Ninja Foodi Max, which offers two drawers so that you can cook more foods using different functions simultaneously. Ninja’s entry-level air fryers have four cooking functions and start from £129.99.

Ninja air fryer - the entry level AF100UK costs £129.99

The Ninja AF100UK

2. Best hands-off model: Tefal Actifry Original

The main benefit of the Tefal Actifry Original, £99.99, is that it has a unique stirring paddle for even cooking, so there’s no need to shake or stir halfway through cooking, like with many other models. It also has a detachable timer, so you can relax in another room and leave the fryer to do its thing. With a capacity of 1kg there’s enough room to make four portions – whether that’s chips, curry, sausages or even dessert. But if that’s not enough for your family, it could be worth investing in the Tefal Actifry Original Plus, £134.99, which has 20% more capacity.

tefal original actifry on a white background

Tefal Actifry Original

3. Best for crispy chips: Lakeland Digital Crisp

Featuring a digital, LED touchscreen control panel, the Lakeland Digital Crisp Air Fryer (£119.99) is super easy to use, with eight cooking pre-sets and heat settings that can be changed from 80°C-200°C to suit a variety of foods, from fresh and frozen fires to pizza, chicken, steak, seafood and even baked goods. It has adjustable time and temperature settings, as well as an auto-off function. Plus, its compact footprint won’t swallow up all of your valuable worktop space.

Lakeland digital crisp cooking chicken on a kitchen countertop

Lakeland Digital Crisp Air Fryer

4. Best compact model: VonHaus VonShef

The VonShef 5.5L air fryer is a great option for the style conscious, with it’s sleek black exterior and compact sizing. From chips to roasted vegetables, this air fryer is essentially a fast mini oven with an adjustable temperature range between 80-200ºC. The 5.5L basket capacity gives you plenty of space while the Teflon non-stick coating and timer help you nail every meal. It also has an automatic shut-off and ready alert, and comes with stainless-steel tongs, a grilling/cooling rack, silicon heat-proof mat and a cake tin. VonHaus also offers a 2L model, which is ideal if cooking for one.

Vonhaus Vonshef air fryer

VonHaus VonShef 5.5L air fryer

5. Best bargain: Ambiano dual basket

It’s always worth checking out Aldi for a bargain kitchen gadget. This Ambiano dual basket (£89.99) is pretty cheap as air fryers go. It has two heating elements and motors designed to cook two different foods simultaneously, as well as seven pre-set programmes, a reheat, defrost and a keep-warm function. With two 4L baskets, you can whip up a feast for the family in no time. Other features include a digital touch screen, 60-minute timer, non-stick coating, adjustable temperature controls and cool-touch handles.

Aldi air fryer

Ambiano dual basket air fryer from Aldi

6. Best smart gadget: Mi Smart air fryer

Cook up chicken and chips the healthy way with the Mi Smart Air Fryer from Xiaomi (£74.99). The 3.5L model is cute, compact and perfect for the more minimalist kitchen. Using less oil with a wide temperature range for multifunctional cooking, it features over 100 easy-to-cook recipes on the Mi Home App and can be operated by voice control using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. You can also schedule meals up to 24 hours in advance.

Smart air fryer kitchen gadgets on wooden kitchen worksurface

Mi Smart Air Fryer from Xiaomi


A message from the editor:

Let us help you create the home of your dreams! Get ideas & inspiration from Good Homes every month, delivered direct to your door. Visit to sign up for the weekly Good Homes newsletter. Meet the Good Homes team at Ideal Home Show and be inspired by our on-trend roomsets.

~ Karen Walker, Editor, Good Homes