We may earn a fee if you buy via links in this post (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.

All-Clad vs. Calphalon: How Does Their Cookware Compare?

If you’re in the market for new cookware but aren’t sure whether to buy All-Clad or Calphalon, you’ve come to the right place.

The most significant difference between All-Clad and Calphalon is that All-Clad specializes in premium fully-clad stainless steel cookware, and it’s generally more expensive. Calphalon also offers stainless steel, but it’s best known for hard-anodized aluminum non-stick cookware. Calphalon is not cheap, but it’s less costly than All-Clad.

Those are the basic differences, but there’s a lot more to know before deciding which brand to buy.

In this article, I compare All-Clad vs. Calphalon in terms of their performance, durability, design, price, and so much more.

Whether you are in the market for stainless steel or non-stick cookware, by the end, you’ll know all the important facts to determine which brand is right for you.

Use the links below to go directly to a specific section:

All-Clad vs. Calphalon: Quick Summary

All-Clad and Calphalon are two of the most popular cookware brands in the world. They have both been in business for decades, and their cookware millions of home cooks and professional chefs across the globe use it in their kitchens.

The truth is, you can’t go wrong with either brand. However, before you decide which to buy, it’s important to understand exactly how they are similar and how they are different.

If you only have a couple of minutes, here’s what you need to know about All-Clad and Calphalon.

What Are Their Similarities?

Durability: Both brands use ultra-durable materials and build their cookware to last. Both brands’ stainless steel cookware is known to last a lifetime and often gets passed from generation to generation. 

Warranty: Both brands offer a Limited Lifetime Warranty (All-Clad warranty, Calphalon warranty) on all of their cookware that protects you from manufacturer’s defects or issues related to craftsmanship.

Cooking Performance (Non-Stick): All-Clad and Calphalon both construct their non-stick cookware with the same hard-anodized aluminum; therefore, the cooking performance is virtually the same.

Caring and Cleaning: Both brands claim their cookware is dishwasher safe. Still, most experts recommend hand-washing to avoid scratching, warping, and unnecessary damage from excessive heat and contact with sharp utensils that can occur in the dishwasher.

What Are Their Differences?

Price: The most significant difference between All-Clad and Calphalon cookware is the price. Since All-Clad manufacturers all of their stainless steel cookware in the U.S., it’s significantly more expensive than Calphalon who manufactures in the U.S. and China. However, the price of their non-stick cookware is much more comparable. To get a quick comparison, check out their current prices on Amazon. Here are the links: (All-Clad, Calphalon).

Reputation: All-Clad is known for its unique process of bonding, or cladding, layers of steel and aluminum together, which produces cookware that heats evenly and gives you precise temperature control. Calphalon is best known for bringing the first hard-anodized aluminum cookware to the market. Although Calphalon’s reputation is solid, most experts consider All-Clad the most premium cookware brand, and with that prestige comes a higher price.

Where They Are Made: All-Clad makes all of its stainless steel cookware in the U.S. and its non-stick cookware in China. Calphalon makes some of its stainless steel cookware in the U.S. but some of it in China, same with their non-stick cookware.

Oven-safe Temperature: All-Clad stainless steel cookware is safe in the oven up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit while Calphalon’s limit is 500. Both have a 500 degree limit for non-stick cookware.

Cooking Performance (Stainless Steel): Most of their stainless steel cookware performs similarly; however, All-Clad offers two collections that feature a copper core that provides more precise temperature control. Calphalon does not offer any collections that have a copper core.

Construction: Every All-Clad stainless steel collection has fully bonded layers of heat-conductive material (either aluminum or copper) that extend up the sides of the cookware. Some of Calphalon’s collections only have an aluminum disc bonded at the base of the cooking surface, which results in uneven temperature distribution.

Design: Both brands are designed to be sturdy, functional, and stylish but have differences in their shape, lids, handles, rims, and finishes.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the similarities and differences between All-Clad and Calphalon let’s get into more detail.

Overview of All-Clad

All-Clad is one of the most premium brands of cookware you can buy. They’ve been perfecting their craft since 1971 and, to this day, still manufacture all of their stainless cookware in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

When most people think of All-Clad, they think expensive.

Bottom of All-Clad D3 and D5 pans
Bottom of All-Clad D3 and D5 pans

It’s true, All-Clad cookware is an investment, but it’s priced high because they manufacture it in the USA with the best materials and the highest standard of craftsmanship. The result—superior cooking performance and durability.

All-Clad guarantees their cookware will last forever with their limited lifetime warranty.

All-Clad is best known for inventing the process of bonding, or cladding, exterior layers of nearly indestructible stainless steel with a core layer of highly conductive aluminum or copper.

Stainless steel is the ideal cooking surface because it is smooth, durable, non-reactive, and non-porous, which eliminates the risk of the metal leaching into your food.

Although stainless steel is an effective cooking surface, it is not the best material to conduct heat. Because of this, All-Clad uses aluminum or copper as the core layer of its cookware. Unlike steel, aluminum and copper are excellent at transferring and retaining heat.

Today, many other cookware brands, including Calphalon, have adopted the process of bonding. Despite this, All-Clad cookware remains superior because they carry their bonded layers throughout the entire piece, including the sides, so heat is evenly distributed throughout.

Most cheaper competitors (including Calphalon’s Classic, Select, and Simply collections) only have bonded layers at the bottom of the cooking surface.  

All-Clad is best known for its bonded stainless steel, but also offers non-stick collections made from hard-anodized aluminum.

Overview of Calphalon

Calphalon, like All-Clad, is one of the most popular cookware brands in the world.

Calphalon cookware review

It all began in 1963 in Perrysburg, Ohio when Ronald Kasperzak, Calphalon’s founder, set out to make the best aluminum cookware on the market. In 1968, Calphalon became the first company to make cookware out of hard-anodized aluminum, a sturdy material originally developed for the aerospace industry. 

In 1998, Calphalon was purchased by Newell Brands, which owns an extensive portfolio of commercial and consumer products brands, including Rubbermaid, Coleman, Yankee Candle, and many more. Since the purchase by Newell, Calphalon has launched several new products, including stainless steel tri-ply cookware, non-stick bakeware, and self-sharpening cutlery.

Calphalon is best known for bringing hard-anodized aluminum to the cookware market. Aluminum becomes hard-anodized through an electrolytic process in which raw aluminum is treated to thicken its natural exterior layer. Hard anodizing creates a naturally non-stick surface that is super durable, resistant to corrosion, easy to cook with, and easy to clean.

Calphalon has ten cookware collections with a mix of stainless steel, traditional non-stick, and hard anodized aluminum. Calphalon Contemporary is one of their most popular collections made of hard-anodized aluminum that conducts heat perfectly even, is naturally non-stick, and is oven safe up to 450 degrees.

Comparing All-Clad and Calphalon

When comparing All-Clad vs. Calphalon, there are two main categories to consider, stainless steel and non-stick.

All-Clad is most famous for its bonded stainless steel cookware, while Calphalon is best known for creating the first naturally non-stick hard-anodized aluminum cookware. These days, All-Clad and Calphalon both make each type of cookware. So which brand is better?

To make a fair comparison, I’ve split up the two categories so we can take a closer look at each. Let’s first start with stainless steel.

All-Clad vs. Calphalon: Stainless Steel

In this section, you’ll learn everything you need to know about All-Clad and Calphalon stainless steel cookware, starting with a quick comparison chart. Let’s jump right in!

Stainless Steel Cookware Quick Comparison

All-Clad Stainless SteelCalphalon Stainless Steel
Where They Are MadeCanonsburg, PennsylvaniaToledo, OH and China
Exterior MaterialStainless SteelStainless Steel
Core MaterialAluminum or CopperAluminum
Bonded Layers up to 5up to 5
LidsStainless SteelGlass
Oven Safe TemperatureUp to 600 degreesUp to 500 degrees (400 for Classic and Select set)
CleaningDishwasher safe (except C4 set), hand wash recommendedDishwasher safe, hand wash recommended
WarrantyLimited LifetimeLimited Lifetime
PriceSee Current Pricing on AmazonSee Current Pricing on Amazon

All-Clad Stainless Steel Collections

All-Clad has several different stainless steel cookware collections. Here is a quick breakdown of each:

All-Clad D3 Stainless Collection (view on Amazon or All-Clad.com)
The D3 is All-Clad’s most popular and classic tri-ply collection.

It is made of 3 layers; 2 layers of stainless steel on the exterior bonded with one layer of aluminum at the core.

It’s dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 600 degrees.

All-Clad D3 versus All-Clad D5
All-Clad D3 (top) vs. D5 (bottom)

All-Clad D3 Everyday (view on All-Clad.com):

One of the most common complaints about D3 cookware is that the handles are uncomfortable.

All-Clad addressed that feedback with the D3 Everyday collection by replacing the straight handles with more comfortable, contoured handles.

They also added flared pouring rims, interchangeable lids, and extended the skillet’s cooking surface by 30%.

Like the D3 collection, D3 Everyday is made in the USA, oven-safe up to 600°F, and features 3-ply construction.

The one downside is that this collection is only available on All-Clad.com, so you can’t hold it before buying.

All-Clad Copper Core Collection (view on Amazon or All-Clad.com):
The Copper Core is All-Clad’s most premium collection and is also its most expensive.

It is designed for professional use and features five layers. From the outside-in, there are two layers of steel, then two layers of aluminum, and then one layer of copper.

It’s dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 600 degrees.

All-Clad Copper Core 12 Inch Fry Pan
All-Clad Copper Core

All-Clad D5 Polished Collection (view on Amazon or All-Clad.com):
The D5 Polished collection features five alternating layers of stainless steel and aluminum bonded together throughout the entire cookware.

Its polished finish gives it that classic stainless steel shine.

The additional layers increase durability, improve cooking performance, and drive up the cost.

It’s dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 600 degrees.

 All-Clad D5 Brushed Collection (view on Amazon or All-Clad.com):
The brushed version of the D5 collection is the same as the polished version, except its exterior has a dull, matte finish.

It’s dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 600 degrees.

Bottom of All-Clad D5 pan
All-Clad D5 pan (brushed)

All-Clad G5 Graphite Core (view on Williams-Sonoma.com):

G5 Graphite Core is All-Clad’s newest collection. It launched in 2021 and is the product of six years of research by the company’s innovation lab.

So what makes this collection so special? This cookware is made of five layers. The top and bottom layers are steel, then two layers of aluminum, and finally, a thin graphite disc at the core.

Typically, materials that heat fast heat unevenly, and materials that heat evenly don’t heat fast. But graphite is different. It heats up incredibly fast and evenly. It’s also extremely light — 80% lighter than copper.

So, if you’re looking for lightweight cookware that heats incredibly well, this is the collection for you. The only downside is that there are only a handful of pieces available. Over time, I expect All-Clad to add more pots, pans, and sets to this collection.

All-Clad G5 Graphite Core bottom
All-Clad G5 Graphite Core bottom

Calphalon Stainless Steel Collections

Calphalon has been making cookware out of hard-anodized aluminum since the 1960s but didn’t launch its first stainless steel product line until 2001.

Today Calphalon offers several different stainless steel collections. Here is a quick overview of each.

Calphalon Signature Stainless Steel (view on Amazon):
Designed with a brushed stainless steel exterior, this collection features 5-ply construction with a three-layer aluminum core encased with two layers of stainless steel.

The lids are made with clear glass so you can monitor your food.

This is Calphalon’s best performing and most expensive collection due to its additional bonded layers.

It’s dishwasher and oven safe up to 500 degrees.

Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel (view on Amazon):
The Tri-Ply is Calphalon’s classic stainless steel product line and is most similar to All-Clad’s D3 collection.

It features a heavy-gauge aluminum core encased with two layers of stainless steel that comes in a classic shiny or brushed exterior.

It’s dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 500 degrees.

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel (view on Amazon):
The Classic collection has an impact-bonded aluminum base rather than fully bonded layers that run up the sides.

This type of construction is acceptable for most cooking situations but is not ideal for soups, sauces, and braises that benefit from even heat distribution throughout the entire piece.

This collection also features straining lids, pour spouts, and measuring marks on select pieces.

Calphalon Classic Straining Lid
Calphalon Classic Straining Lid
Calphalon Classic Measuring Marks
Calphalon Classic Measuring Marks

It’s dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 400 degrees.

Select by Calphalon Stainless Steel (View on Calphalon.com):
The Select collection, similar to the Classic, features an impact bottom aluminum base.

It’s designed with black rubber grips on the handles, which, in my opinion, make it look cheaper and less classy.

It’s dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 400 degrees.

Stainless Steel Cooking Performance

The performance between All-Clad and Calphalon stainless steel cookware is virtually the same.

They both sear, brown, braise, and sauté exceptionally well. Although the average home cook will not be able to tell the difference, the construction and materials do, in fact, impact performance, and more experienced chefs will notice.

Sauted Kale with All Clad Stainless Steel Cookware

For example, copper is a better heat conductor than aluminum, which means it reacts to heat more quickly, distributes it more evenly, and gives the chef more control. Therefore, the collections that feature a copper, like All-Clad’s C4 and Copper Core, perform differently (some argue significantly better) than the collections with an aluminum core.

I’ve already talked about the benefits of bonded layers, but you might be wondering why some collections have only three layers, and others have 4 or 5.

With bonded cookware, three layers (tri-ply) are the standard.

Collections like All-Clad’s D3 and Calphalon’s Signature, Contemporary, and Tri-Ply all feature two exterior layers of stainless steel with an aluminum core layer. From a performance perspective, these collections are the same.

Chicken browned in an All-Clad pan
Chicken browned in an All-Clad pan

All-Clad has several collections that go beyond just three layers, including their C4 collection, which has four and their Copper Core and D5 collections, which have 5. These additional layers not only make the cookware more durable, but the extra aluminum and copper layers help distribute heat even more evenly.

While fully bonded cookware evenly distributes heat throughout the entire piece of cookware, resulting in the best performance, Calphalon’s Classic, Select, and Simply Collections are not fully bonded.

Instead of fully bonded layers, those collections have an aluminum disc bonded at the base of the cooking surface. Since aluminum doesn’t continue up the sides of the cookware with these two collections, the heat concentrates at the bottom of the cooking surface resulting in uneven temperature.

Creating fully-bonded cookware is an expensive manufacturing process that drives prices up. Modifying it, as Calphalon has done with their Classic, Select, and Simply collections, allows them to offer low-cost options.

Stainless Steel Durability

Quality stainless steel cookware is expensive but is worth the investment because it is incredibly durable and will last a lifetime.

Don’t take my word for it, both All-Clad and Calphalon guarantee their cookware with a limited lifetime warranty.

Their warranties protect you from manufacturer’s defects or issues related to craftsmanship. Both All-Clad and Calphalon stand by their quality and will repair or replace any defects without hassle.

To read the full details, click here for All-Clad’s warranty and click here for Calphalon’s warranty.

Stainless Steel Design

The design of All-Clad and Calphalon stainless steel cookware is both beautiful and functional. The better design is up to you to decide, but here are some key facts that might help.

All-Clad’s collections feature stainless steel lids that lock in moisture and are oven safe. Calphalon’s lids are glass, which gives them a unique look and allows you to monitor food without breaking the seal.

All Clad Stainless Steel Lid
All-Clad Stainless Steel Lid

All-Clad handles are long, straight, easy to grip, include a hole for hanging, and are secured with stainless steel rivets.  

All-Clad D5 handles side angle
All-Clad handles

Calphalon’s handles are a bit shorter, more curved, and fork into two parts right before connecting to the main piece like this:

All-Clad’s cookware features a flared rim for spill-free pouring. Calphalon’s rims are not curved, which makes it more difficult to pour sauce and other liquids from one vessel to another.

All-Clad D5 versus Core Core bonded layers
All-Clad Core Core (left), D5 (right)

Both brands have collections that feature polished and brushed exteriors. Some say that brushed exteriors don’t show signs of wear as much, but I’ve found that the polished exteriors hold up quite well too. 

Stainless Steel Caring and Cleaning

One of the most significant downsides of stainless steel cookware, besides its high price, is that it’s difficult to clean. Stainless steel does not release food as well as non-stick, which means bits and pieces will stick and require a little elbow grease to remove.

Although All-Clad and Calphalon claim that most of their stainless steel collections are dishwasher safe, you’re better off hand washing them to avoid tarnish and dulling. Here are some best practices for caring for and cleaning stainless steel cookware; these apply to both brands:

  • Let the cookware cool down before rinsing with water. Running water while the cookware is hot can cause warping.
  • Soap, warm water, and a soft sponge. That’s all you need. Never use steel wool.
  • For stubborn bits or stains, give it a short soak, and if stains remain, use Bar Keepers Friend or Bon Ami.
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly before putting away.

Watch me demonstrate how to clean stainless steel cookware in the quick video below (you can also watch this video on YouTube).

Stainless Steel Price

The most significant difference between All-Clad and Calphalon stainless steel cookware is the price. All-Clad cookware is significantly more expensive than Calphalon’s, and they offer higher-end collections, like their Copper Core and D5, that are even more pricey.

All-Clad is more expensive because they source all of their materials from US suppliers, and they bond all of their stainless cookware in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

Staying so close to the entire supply chain allows them to maintain the highest quality standards and ensure each piece is perfect before it leaves the facility.

Learn more about their commitment to quality standards, high-quality materials, and craftsmanship on All-Clad.com.

Calphalon also uses high-quality materials and is committed to maintaining high-quality standards; however, they manufacture some of their cookware in China. Manufacturing overseas allows them to offer lower, more affordable prices.

Use the chart below to compare the current prices of All-Clad and Calphalon’s most popular stainless steel collections on Amazon.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

All-Clad vs. Calphalon: Non-Stick Cookware

All-Clad has a leg up on Calphalon when it comes to stainless steel cookware since they invented the process of bonding and have been specializing in it since 1971. But how do they compare when it comes to non-stick cookware?

Calphalon was the first company to make cookware from naturally non-stick hard-anodized aluminum and has been perfecting the process since the 1960s. All-Clad hasn’t been making non-stick cookware as long as Calphalon, but they’ve branched out from stainless steel and currently offer two non-stick collections.

In the following section, I break down the differences between All-Clad and Calphalon’s non-stick cookware. Let’s dive right into it!

Non-Stick Cookware Quick Comparison

All-Clad Non-StickCalphalon Non-Stick
Where They Are MadeChinaToledo, OH and China
Cooking Surface MaterialPTFEPTFE and Ceramic
Core MaterialHard Anodized AluminumHard Anodized Aluminum
Oven Safe TemperatureUp to 500 degreesUp to 500 degrees (400 and 450 limits for some collections)
CleaningDishwasher safeDishwasher safe
WarrantyLimited LifetimeLimited Lifetime
PriceCheck Current Prices on AmazonCheck Current Prices on Amazon

All-Clad Non-Stick Collections

All-Clad has three non-stick collections, and here is an overview of each.

All-Clad HA1 Hard-Anodized Collection (view on Amazon or All-Clad.com):
With the HA1 Hard Anodized collection, you get the quality and performance of All-Clad with the convenience of non-stick.

It’s made with hard-anodized aluminum, which is naturally non-stick and an excellent heat conductor. It’s made with a stainless steel bonded base for durability and induction compatibility and three layers of PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid)-free nonstick coating.

Although you won’t be able to achieve the sear that you could with stainless steel cookware, this non-stick collection is much more suitable for cooking delicate foods and much easier to clean.

If you don’t feel like washing it by hand, it’s dishwasher safe.

It features a stainless steel handle but, unlike All-Clad’s stainless steel collections, it has a glass lid.

This collection is oven safe up to 500 degrees (without lid) and works on all types of cooktops, including induction.

Learn more in my depth All-Clad HA1 review.

Bottom of All-Clad HA1 fry pan
Bottom of All-Clad HA1 fry pan

All-Clad Essentials Collection (view on Amazon or All-Clad.com):
All-Clad Essentials is their newest non-stick collection. It is almost the same as HA1, but it has three critical differences.

First, it does not feature a steel bonded base, which means it’s not compatible with induction cooktops. Second, its cooking surface only has one layer of non-stick coating, which makes it less durable. Third, it’s significantly less expensive than the HA1 and B1 collections.

All-Clad Essentials bottom
All-Clad Essentials

Calphalon Non-Stick Collections

Calphalon Williams-Sonoma Elite Nonstick (view on Williams-Sonoma.com)
Developed in partnership with Williams Sonoma, this collection is constructed with heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum and three layers of PFOA-free non-stick coating.

It has polished stainless steel handles and a glass lid with squared handles on top.

It’s dishwasher safe, oven safe up to 500 degrees, and won’t scratch if you use metal utensils or spatulas.

Calphalon Signature Nonstick (view on Amazon)
The Calphalon Signature non-stick is the non-stick version of the Signature Stainless Steel.

It’s constructed precisely the same as the Elite collection, except its handles are brushed stainless steel instead of polished.

Like the Elite collections, it has a glass lid with squared handles on top, it’s dishwasher safe, oven safe up to 500 degrees, and won’t scratch if you use metal utensils or spatulas.

Calphalon Unison Nonstick (view on Amazon)
The Unison collection is made with heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum, stay-cool stainless steel handles, and glass lids.

It’s dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 500 degrees.

The unique thing about this collection is that it comes with two types of non-stick coating. Some pieces have what Calphalon calls “slide nonstick” coating while others have “sear nonstick” coating.

The slide nonstick coating releases food effortlessly, which is ideal for cooking eggs and other delicate foods.

The sear nonstick has a specially textured cooking surface that allows you to get a nice sear on meats—a benefit that most non-stick cookware lacks.

If you want the best of both worlds (easy release and optimal sear), check out the Unison collection on Amazon.

Calphalon Unison Cookware
Calphalon Unison Cookware

Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick (view on Amazon)
This collection is made with heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum and three layers of PFOA-free non-stick coating.

It has glass lids with rounded handles on top. Its handles are brushed stainless steel, it’s dishwasher safe, and oven safe up to 450 degrees.

Unlike the Elite and Signature collections, the Contemporary collection will scratch if you use metal utensils or spatulas, so stick with rubber.

Calphalon Classic Nonstick (view on Amazon)
This collection is made with medium-gauge hard-anodized aluminum and two layers of PFOA-free non-stick coating, making it slightly less durable than the Elite, Signature, and Contemporary collections.

However, unlike those collections, the Classic features convenient pour spouts and fill lines.

Its handles are brushed stainless steel, its lids are glass with square handles on top, it is NOT dishwasher safe but is oven safe up to 450 degrees.

You should NOT use metal utensils or spatulas with this collection.

Calphalon Classic Pots And Pans Set, 10-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set, Grey

Calphalon Classic Ceramic Nonstick (view on Amazon)
The Classic Ceramic Nonstick collection is the same as the Classic Nonstick collection, except its cooking surface is made with Eco-Friendly PFOA-Free Ceramic.

Some say that ceramic is a safer material than the standard non-stick material they use in the other collections, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). This claim may have been valid years ago, but today, the PFOA-free version of PTFE that they use to coat today’s nonstick cookware is safe as long as you cook, clean, and maintain your pans according to the instructions.

I prefer the standard nonstick coating because food sticks more often to ceramic, and ceramic is more challenging to clean.

Helpful Resource: Confused about the difference between ceramic and PTFE? Check out our recent article “Ceramic vs. Teflon (PTFE) Cookware: What’s the Difference?” to learn how cookware coated with ceramic and Teflon (PTFE) compares in terms of performance, safety, price, and durability.

Select by Calphalon Nonstick (view on Calphalon.com)
The Select Nonstick is Calphalon’s most affordable collection and is made with medium-gauge hard-anodized aluminum.

Calphalon does not specify the number of layers of coating like it does with most collections, so I’d assume its less than three and possibly only 1.

Its handles have a rubber coating that stays cool and provides extra grip but, in my opinion, cheapens the aesthetic.

Its lids are glass with square handles and a rubber grip.

It is NOT dishwasher safe but is oven safe up to 400 degrees.

Metal utensils or spatulas will damage the coating, so stick to rubber only.

Simply Calphalon Non-Stick (view on Amazon)
The Simply Calphalon non-stick is made with hard-anodized aluminum with two layers of non-stick coating.

Like its stainless steel version, it has a rubber grip along the sides of the handle.

It’s recommended to hand wash only but is safe in the oven up to 450 degrees.

Like the Classic and Select collections, Simply Calphalon is one of their more affordable options.

Non-Stick Cooking Performance

Every kitchen needs a mix of non-stick and stainless steel cookware.

Stainless steel cookware is ideal for searing meats since it can withstand extremely high heat, and it’s safe to put in a hot oven for extended periods.

Non-stick cookware is better for everyday use because it’s simpler to cook with and easier to clean.

Calphalon cooking an omlette

There’s not a significant difference between All-Clad and Calphalon non-stick collections in terms of cooking performance.

Since All-Clad primarily focuses on Stainless Steel, they only have a few nonstick collections (HA1, Essentials, NS Pro) that, as I explained, are almost identical to each other.

All-Clad’s three non-stick collections are made with the same construction and materials as Calphalon’s higher-end non-stick collections (Elite, Signature, and Contemporary).

Both brands’ non-stick collections are oven safe up to at least 400 degrees and, in some cases, up to 500 degrees.

The most significant difference in cooking performance is not between All-Clad and Calphalon but is actually between All-Clad and Calphalon’s higher-end collections (All-Clad HA1, NS Pro, and Calphalon Elite, Signature, and Contemporary) and Calphalon’s lower end collections (Classic, Select, and Simply).

The high-end group is made with heavy-gauge aluminum, which is thicker with more layers of non-stick coating. The thickness and additional layers add strength and durability. It also makes them more scratch resistant and tolerant to higher temperatures.

Non-Stick Durability

In general, non-stick cookware is significantly less durable than stainless steel, which is built to last a lifetime.

Fortunately, the price of non-stick cookware reflects this reality. Over time, the non-stick coating will wear down, lose its effectiveness, and you’ll need to replace your set. Regardless of brand, non-stick cookware will last between one and five years.

All-Clad and Calphalon make their cookware with hard-anodized aluminum, which is the highest quality and longest lasting non-stick material.

Neither will last as long as their stainless steel counterparts, but, as far as non-stick goes, they are more durable than most brands.

All-Clad non-stick cookware is slightly more durable than Calphalon because it has a stainless steel bonded base which adds strength, weight, and decreases the chances of warping.

Calphalon non-stick cookware does not have any additional bonded layers but, as long as you use it correctly, the chance of warping is minimal.

All-Clad and Calphalon guarantee their non-stick cookware with generous warranties, but those warranties do not cover damage or deterioration of the non-stick coating.

All-Clad’s warranty states explicitly: “This warranty does not cover nonstick deterioration, discoloration, warping, or metal separation due to high heat, prolonged heat exposure when empty, etc. This warranty does not cover nonstick damage from metal or sharp utensils.

Non-Stick Design

All-Clad’s non-stick collections are designed to be sturdy, functional, and stylish.

They feature their signature polished stainless steel handles that are contoured for comfort with holes to hang them on hooks. The handles are attached to the base of the cookware by two stainless steel rivets and a plate with the All-Clad logo.

All-Clad HA1 steel induction plate
All-Clad HA1 steel induction plate
All-Clad HA1 handle
All-Clad HA1 handle

Unlike their stainless steel collections, which have stainless steel lids, both of their non-stick collections come with glass lids that allow you to monitor food without releasing any heat or moisture.

Calphalon also designs its non-stick collections for both function and a classy aesthetic. 

Calphalon Contemporary Non Stick
Calphalon Contemporary Non-Stick 12-Inch Fry Pan

In general, Calphalon’s non-stick cookware looks very similar to All-Clad’s, except Calphalon has versions with ceramic coating (Classic Ceramic and Select by Calphalon Ceramic) and one (the Select) with rubber grips on its handles.

Other than that, the difference between the two brands’ design is subtle.

Non-Stick Caring and Cleaning

The beauty of non-stick cookware is that it’s easy to clean. Most of the time, food doesn’t stick at all but, if it does, you can wipe it off with minimal effort.

While stainless steel cookware is ultra-durable and can withstand almost anything, non-stick cookware requires a little more care.

If misused, the coating of non-stick cookware can get damaged and ruined. The most common types of misuse are overheating, scratching with sharp metal utensils, running cold water on it while the cookware is still hot, and cleaning in the dishwasher. 

Even though All-Clad and Calphalon say that several of their collections are dishwasher safe, most experts do not recommend putting non-stick cookware in the dishwasher (and why would you when they are so easy to clean?). If you decide to use the dishwasher, you run the risk of the detergent and hot water damaging the coating.

Calphalon permits the use of metal utensils with their Elite and Signature collections because those are durable and scratch-resistant, but why run the risk? It’s much safer to stick with rubber utensils which work just the same.

Non-Stick Price

In general, the price of non-stick cookware is significantly less than stainless steel cookware. It’s made from less expensive materials and doesn’t require bonding. Non-stick cookware wears down over time and needs to be replaced every five years, unlike stainless steel, which will last forever.

While All-Clad stainless steel cookware is usually significantly more expensive than Calphalon’s, their prices for non-stick cookware are much more comparable. Depending on where and when you shop, you can find All-Clad non-stick cookware for less than Calphalon.

Unlike All-Clad, who only makes high-end cookware, Calphalon offers three low-cost non-stick collections, their Classic, Select, and Simply. They keep the price of these collections low by constructing them with medium-gauge hard-anodized aluminum, rather than heavy-gauge, and only one layer of non-stick coating rather than three.

Use the chart below to compare the current prices of All-Clad and Calphalon’s most popular non-stick collections on Amazon.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Bottom Line: Which Cookware Brand Should You Buy?

All-Clad and Calphalon are two well-respected cookware brands that pride themselves on high-quality craftsmanship.

They’ve both been in business for decades, and millions of people across the globe use their cookware every day.

If you’re still not sure which brand to buy, consider this.

All-Clad stainless steel cookware is known to be the gold standard and the very best you can buy. Although Calphalon stainless steel cookware is similar, All-Clad’s materials, craftsmanship, and reputation are superior.

Since stainless steel cookware is a lifetime investment, I would highly recommend spending the extra money and get the best, All-Clad. You can browse all of their collections and check their current prices on Amazon or All-Clad.com.

If you’re not ready to buy a full set, consider purchasing a few of pots and pans that you’ll use most frequently like the 12-inch fry pan (link to view on Amazon) or the 3-quart sauté pan (link to view on Amazon) and add more pieces over time.

If you’re still not convinced, check out this recent article where we explored the question Is All-Clad Worth It? in great detail.

Non-stick cookware is a different story.

You’ll use non-stick cookware much more often, and you don’t necessarily need precise temperature control and even heat conduction in everyday cooking. Therefore, I recommend going with the cheapest collection between All-Clad’s three collections (link to view on Amazon) and Calphalon’s three high-end options (Elite, Signature, Contemporary).

With all of these options, you get the highest quality hard-anodized aluminum and PFOA-free coating that won’t scratch and is oven and dishwasher safe.

The differences between these collections in terms of performance are so minimal that I would base your decision purely on the price and which design you like the most.

Have You Cooked With All-Clad or Calphalon?

Do you own either of these brands? Do you have a strong preference for one or the other? Do you think All-Clad is worth the higher price? Let us know in the comments below!

In cooking mode? Check out these articles about popular cooking products:

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

Our Favorite Products in One Convenient Place

Want to see all the products we recommend in one convenient place? Visit the Prudent Reviews Amazon shop to browse a handpicked selection of our favorite cookware, kitchen knives, appliances, and more.

As an Amazon Associate Prudent Reviews earns from qualifying purchases.

2 thoughts on “All-Clad vs. Calphalon: How Does Their Cookware Compare?”

  1. Hello,
    This article is extremely helpful. I’m trying to decide between the All-Clad ® HA1 Hard-Anodized Non-Stick 13-Piece Cookware Set, and the Calphalon Signature Non-Stick 10-piece Cookware Set. I’m leaning towards the All-Clad 13-piece set. One question I have is in regards to searing. Calphalon Signature claims to sear foods the best which is important to me and I’m wondering if the All-Clad HA1 will sear as well. I understand that neither will sear as well as other materials because of their non-stick surface but if you can provide any direction in their searing capabilities, I’d greatly appreciate it.
    Thank you

    • Hi Christie,

      Thanks for reaching out. I’m so glad that you found the article helpful!

      First, I’ll say that both All-Clad HA1 and Calphalon Signature Nonstick are excellent options; you’d be happy with either.

      The Calphalon collection has a “sear” surface, but all that means is that the cooking surface is slightly textured. It’s not rough, but it’s not quite as slick as a typical non-stick surface.

      The texture holds food in place and adds a bit of grip between meats and the cooking surface, similar to a stainless steel pan, which is great for searing.

      However, both collections are made with hard-anodized aluminum, which heats up fast and evenly. And, when it comes to searing, a hot and evenly heated pan is more important than the texture of the cooking surface.

      My advice—if you prefer the All-Clad collection, don’t change your mind due to Calphalon’s sear surface. The difference is not going to be noticeable.

      I hope this helps!



Leave a Comment

Prudent Reviews Footer Logo

Send Us Mail:
60 North Street, Unit 882
Medfield, MA 02052

Send Us an Email:

As an Amazon Associate, Prudent Reviews earns fees when you click on links within our articles and make qualifying purchases.