Anolon vs. All-Clad Cookware: What’s the Difference?

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In this in-depth comparison, I reveal the differences and similarities between two of the biggest names in cookware: Anolon and All-Clad. 

You’ll learn how Anolon and All-Clad cookware compares in terms of materials, construction, design, cooking performance, ease of use, price, and much more. 

I’ll also answer frequently asked questions, so you have all the facts before deciding which cookware brand is right for you.

Let’s get started!


Use the links below to navigate the comparison.


Anolon vs. All-Clad: Quick Summary

If you’re in a hurry and just want a quick comparison of Anolon vs. All-Clad, here’s the 30-second version.

Company History: Anolon launched in the 1980s and is owned by Meyer Corporation, the largest cookware distributor in the United States. They are best known for being the first brand to make hard-anodized aluminum non-stick cookware. All-Clad launched in the 1970s and is credited with inventing the process of making fully-clad stainless steel cookware.

Product Offerings: Both brands offer stainless steel and non-stick options, but Anolon focuses on non-stick cookware, while All-Clad focuses on fully-clad stainless steel. Both brands provide several cookware collections, and the differences between each collection can be confusing to shoppers (my comparison chart helps with that).

Materials and Construction: Both brands make their non-stick cookware using a hard-anodized aluminum and premium, PFOA-free non-stick coating. Each All-Clad stainless steel collection is fully-clad, which means the heat conductive core layer (aluminum or copper) extends throughout. Anolon also offers fully-clad stainless steel, but some collections feature an impact-bonded base.

Design: All-Clad cookware has a simple yet elegant design. The brand’s non-stick cookware has a dark gray exterior, and its stainless steel collections have polished or brushed steel exteriors. Anolon offers several different exterior colors. The handles of some collections have a silicone wrapper for added comfort and grip. (Jump ahead to the Design section to see pictures of each brand).

Price: All-Clad is significantly more expensive than Anolon, but prices vary by collection, set/piece, and where you buy. You can check the current prices at the links below or skip ahead to the price comparison chart.

Bottom Line: If you can afford it, I recommend All-Clad, especially if you’re buying stainless steel cookware. It’ll cost more upfront, but it’s a wise investment since it lasts forever. If you’re shopping for a non-stick pan, you can’t go wrong with either brand, but I still recommend All-Clad due to its superior durability, long steel handles, and high heat tolerance.

Introducing Anolon

While Anolon’s hard-anodized cookware was first introduced in the 1980s, the company that owns Anolon, Meyer Corporation, has been in the manufacturing business since the 1950s.

Anolon Cookware
Anolon Cookware

Meyer started out making flashlights and helmets but transitioned to cookware in the 1970s.

Nowadays, Meyer is the largest cookware distributor in the United States. The company owns several cookware brands, including Circulon and Farberware, but its flagship brand is Anolon.

Anolon comes in both stainless steel and non-stick, but they’re best known for their innovative hard-anodized aluminum non-stick cookware.

Anolon was the first brand to add a non-stick coating to hard-anodized aluminum cookware, which revolutionized the cookware industry.

Although almost every brand offers non-stick hard-anodized aluminum cookware these days, Anolon cookware still stands out.

Unlike most brands, Anolon pans feature non-stick coating on the interior and the exterior, which makes cleaning the entire pan a breeze.

The non-stick material is sapphire-reinforced and triple-coated, which gives it the strength to last 16 times longer than traditional non-stick and 80 times longer than ceramic non-stick.

Here’s a quick rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of Anolon cookware.

Pros of Anolon Cookware:

  • It’s made with unique materials, such as its Infinity Slide non-stick coating.
  • It’s available in many colors, including black, red graphite, and bronze.
  • It’s SureGrip® silicone handle covering adds extra grip, comfort, and keeps the handles cool.
  • For home cooking on a budget, Anolon is a quality, yet affordable choice.
  • With over ten cookware collections across stainless steel and non-stick, Anolon provides plenty of options.

Cons of Anolon Cookware:

  • Anolon has a limited selection of fully-clad stainless steel cookware (only two collections).
  • Anolon has one stainless steel collection that features a copper core, but the copper layer is only bonded to the base; it does not extend up the sides.
  • Many Anolon pieces are only oven-safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  The baking range, however, can handle up to 500.
  • The most common complaints about Anolon cookware are that it can quickly become tarnished, gets scratched, and loses its non-stick ability. Many customers claim their pots and pans didn’t even last a year.
  • Anolon manufactures its cookware in the U.S., Thailand, Italy, and China.

Introducing All-Clad

When most people think All-Clad, they think cookware that’s high-quality, American-made, and expensive.

While all of those attributes are true, there’s a lot more to know about this iconic brand.

It all started in the 1960s when John Ulam, a metallurgist, discovered that combining the sturdiness of steel with the thermal conductivity of aluminum would result in exceptionally durable cookware that heats up fast and evenly.

After his “aha moment,” Ulam spent years perfecting the bonding process until he officially founded All-Clad in 1971 and hit the market with what we all now know as multi-clad stainless steel cookware.

Over the decades, All-Clad has built a reputation as one of the best cookware brands in the world.

Millions of home cooks and professional chefs across the world use All-Clad. And, you’ll be hard-pressed to come across a wedding registry that doesn’t include at least a few All-Clad pots and pans.

Although All-Clad is best-known for its multi-clad stainless steel collections, they also offer several hard-anodized aluminum non-stick options, including the HA1 and B1 collections.

The main drawback of All-Clad is its price tag. Because it’s made in the United States out of premium materials, All-Clad cookware is significantly more expensive than Anolon (and most cookware brands for that matter).

However, I genuinely believe that, in most cases, All-Clad is worth it since it delivers superior performance and is known to last a lifetime.

Here are the most notable benefits and drawbacks of All-Clad.

Pros of All-Clad Cookware:

  • Every All-Clad stainless steel pan is fully-clad, which means the bonded layers extend throughout the piece. The benefit of fully-clad construction is that the entire pan heats quickly and evenly, not just the base.
  • All-Clad is designed with top quality metals, including 18/10 stainless steel (cooking surface), 18/0 magnetic stainless steel (exterior), and aluminum or copper (core).
  • All-Clad is known for its durability, and each piece comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • It’s a brand name. If you’re looking to make a statement in your kitchen, and treat yourself to a luxury product, All-Clad is the way to go.
  • With over ten collections, they offer an extensive range of cookware. Each collection offers something different in terms of materials, design, and performance. Some collections feature a copper core layer for even faster heat response, while others have five-ply (five-layer) construction, which is more forgiving.

Cons of All-Clad Cookware:

  • The biggest downside to All-Clad cookware is the price. It’s one of the most expensive brands on the market. But, if you consider that you’ll likely never need a replacement, it’s a solid investment.
  • Some customers complain about the design of the handles, specifically on steamers and pots. The U-shape design and flat edges can make it awkward to hold and pour. Some of the newer collections have upgraded handles, but it’s something to keep in mind.
  • All-Clad is primarily focused on fully-clad stainless steel cookware and has a limited selection of hard-anodized aluminum non-stick pots and pans.
  • All-Clad pans, especially the stainless steel ones, can be challenging to clean. If you don’t heat and oil the pan the right way, food will stick.

Product Offerings

Anolon and All-Clad offer several cookware collections, and each collection has unique features, construction, design details, and prices.

To make sense of it all, I’ve included the important details about each collection in the chart below. This chart includes both stainless steel and hard-anodized aluminum non-stick collections.

(Scroll or swipe left and right to view the entire chart)

Cookware LinePriceCooking SurfaceCoreExteriorLidsOven-Safe (degrees)Induction SafeDishwasher-SafeWhere It's Made
All-Clad D5 Polished$$$$Stainless steelStainless steelStainless steel (polished)Stainless steel600YesYesU.S.
All-Clad D5 Brushed$$$$Stainless steelStainless steelStainless steel (brushed)Stainless steel600YesYesU.S.
All-Clad LTD$$$Stainless steelN/AHard anodized aluminumStainless steel600YesYesU.S.
All-Clad C4 Copper$$$$Stainless steelCopperCopperStainless steel600NoNoU.S.
All-Clad Copper Core$$$$Stainless steelCopperStainless steel w/ copper ringStainless steel600YesYesU.S.
All-Clad D3 Stainless$$$Stainless steelAluminumStainless steelStainless steel600YesYesU.S.
All-Clad D3 Compact$$$Stainless steelAluminumStainless steelStainless steel600YesYesU.S.
All-Clad D3 Armor$$$Stainless steelAluminumStainless steelStainless steel600YesYesU.S.
All-Clad MC²$$$Stainless steelAluminumStainless steelStainless steel600NoNoU.S.
All-Clad TK$$$$Stainless steelAluminumStainless steelStainless steel600YesYesU.S.
All-Clad HA1$$$Triple-layer PFOA-free non-stick coatingHard-anodized AluminumHard-anodized Aluminum (steel-plated base)Tempered glass500YesYesChina
All-Clad Essentials$$PFOA-free non-stick coatingHard-anodized AluminumHard-anodized AluminumTempered glass500NoYesChina
Anolon Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized$$$Triple-layer Infinity Slide non-stick coatingCopperHard-anodized Aluminum (steel-plated base)Stainless steel500YesYesUSA, Thailand, Italy, China
Anolon Allure Hard Anodized$$$Triple-layer Infinity Slide non-stick coatingHard-anodized AluminumHard-anodized AluminumTempered glass500NoYesUSA, Thailand, Italy, China
Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized$$$Triple-layer Infinity Slide non-stick coatingHard-anodized AluminumHard-anodized AluminumTempered glass400NoNoUSA, Thailand, Italy, China
Anolon SmartStack Cookware Set$$$Triple-layer Infinity Slide non-stick coatingHard-anodized AluminumHard-anodized AluminumTempered glass400YesYesUSA, Thailand, Italy, China
Anolon Tri-Ply Clad$$$Stainless steelAluminumStainless steelStainless steel500YesYesUSA, Thailand, Italy, China
Anolon Advanced Tri-Ply$$$Stainless steelAluminumStainless steelTempered glass400YesYesUSA, Thailand, Italy, China
Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless$$$Stainless steelCopper-bonded baseStainless steel w/ copper ringStainless steel500YesYesUSA, Thailand, Italy, China

Materials and Construction

In this section, let’s take a look at how both brands make their cookware.

First, let’s define a few important terms: multi-clad, fully-clad, cladded.

These terms describe the construction of cookware, and all three have similar meanings. 

Multi-clad cookware is made by bonding different layers, usually aluminum and stainless steel together.

Bonding these metals together results in a sturdy, non-reactive steel exterior and cooking surface, and a thermally conductive aluminum core to distribute heat fast and evenly.

All-Clad is the leader of multi-clad cookware, not just because they invented the manufacturing process, but because each pot and pan is fully-clad, or all-clad (hence the brand name).

Fully-clad means the core material extends throughout the bottom, sides, and rims of the cookware.

Other brands, including Anolon, keep prices low by only layering the base of the cookware. But that means the sides don’t heat evenly, and you’re left inconsistent results in the kitchen (depending on what you’re cooking).

All-Clad has several collections, each with slightly different materials and construction.

Their D3 range has 3-ply bonding, made of stainless steel, an aluminum core, and then stainless steel again. 

All-Clad D3 Cookware Bonded Layers
All-Clad D3 Cookware Bonded Layers

Their Copper Core Collection has 5-ply bonding. It has a stainless steel interior, then a triply-layer core of aluminum, copper, and aluminum, before a stainless steel exterior. 

Copper is even more thermally conductive than aluminum, which means the pans in this collection heat up even faster.

The All-Clad C4 Copper collection consists of 4-ply bonding. It alternates between copper and stainless steel, which makes for fast heating and responsive cookware.

While these collections aren’t non-stick, All-Clad does offer non-stick cookware. The HA1 collection is made with a triple-layer PFOA-free non-stick surface, which makes for easy clean-up, a heavy-gauge (thick) hard-anodized aluminum core, and a steel plate at the bottom for added durability and induction compatibility.

While All-Clad may be the king of multi-clad stainless steel cookware, Anolon was the first-ever brand to make hard-anodized non-stick cookware, and they are a leader in that category today.

But, what exactly is hard-anodized aluminum?

Without getting into the boring details, hard-anodized aluminum is aluminum that’s undergone an electro-chemical process that oxidizes the surface. This process makes the aluminum hard, durable, and corrosion-resistant, all while maintaining the heat conductive nature of regular aluminum.  

One of the unique features of Anolon cookware is that they put their sapphire-reinforced non-stick coating (which they claim lasts 16 times longer than standard non-stick coating) on the cooking surface and exterior of each pot and pan.

Coating the interior and exterior with non-stick material makes cleaning the entire piece much easier since the food that spills over the sides won’t stick.

Most non-stick cookware, including All-Clad, only has non-stick coating on the cooking surface. 

Anolon also makes multi-clad stainless steel cookware, but their offerings in this category are much more limited than All-Clad. Anolon has two full-clad cookware collections (Tri-Ply Clad and Advanced Tri-Ply), while All-Clad has nine.

Anolon also offers one collection, the Nouvelle Copper Stainless, that has an impact-bonded base, which means the heat conductive material (in this case, copper) is only layered at the bottom of the pan.

The benefit of an impact-bonded base is that it’s less costly to manufacture; therefore, it’s cheaper to buy.

The downside is that, since the conductive material does not extend up the sides, the heat concentrates at the bottom of the pan. 

This isn’t a big deal in most situations, but it can become a problem if you’re cooking a meal that requires a consistent temperature across the entire pan.

Design

In this section, I highlight some of the most notable design features of each brand’s most popular collections.

Exterior

Anolon hard-anodized aluminum cookware comes in a variety of colors so that you can match it with your decor. Across their collections, you can find pans with umber, bronze, red, indigo, moonstone, and onyx exteriors.

All-Clad’s hard-anodized aluminum cookware comes only in dark gray.

Most All-Clad stainless steel collections have a shiny steel exterior (like a mirror), but the D5 collection has a brushed exterior, and the C4 Copper collection has a rustic copper exterior.

One of my favorite All-Clad collections is the Copper Core. It has a steel exterior with an elegant ring of copper wrapped just above the base.

The Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless collection has a very similar copper ring.

The Anolon collection that looks like All-Clad the most is Anolon Tri-Ply Clad, which has a polished stainless steel exterior.

Handles

Most All-Clad collections have long straight stainless steel handles attached to the base with steel rivets.

The handles have a curved bottom and a U-shaped indentation on top to rest your thumb.

All-Clad handles
All-Clad handles

This design is not only simple and classy, but it’s also functional. The U-shape disperses heat, which keeps the end of the handle cool.

All-Clad D5 and Copper Core collections have a small bump on the bottom of the handle to prevent your hand from sliding too close to the heat.

All-Clad D3 vs. D5 handles
All-Clad D3 vs. D5 handles

Anolon handles vary by collection. Some are straight, some are curved, and some are wrapped in a grippy silicone sleeve that Anolon calls their “SureGrip” handle.

Anolon SureGrip Handle
Anolon SureGrip Handle

Anolon handles tend to be a rounder and bulkier than All-Clad, giving you more to hold.

Like All-Clad, Anolon handles are connected to the base with steel rivets, but the rivets on the pan’s interior are flat and coated with non-stick material, making it easier to clean. Anolon branded this feature, calling it their “Unity Surface.”

Lids

All-Clad stainless steel collections come with stainless steel lids, and their hard-anodized non-stick collections come with tempered glass lids.

All Clad Stainless Steel Lid
All Clad Stainless Steel Lid

All-Clad lids have a trapezoid-shaped steel handle. Note: All-Clad lids are not oven-safe.

Anolon stainless steel collections come with stainless steel lids, except for the Advanced Tri-Ply collection, which comes with a tempered glass lid. Their hard-anodized non-stick collections come with tempered glass lids.

The lid handles vary by collection. In some cases, they are pure stainless steel, while others, like the Advanced collection, have the SureGrip silicone wrapper.

Price

One of the most significant differences between Anolon and All-Clad is the price.

If you spend a few minutes shopping for these brands, you’ll quickly realize that Anolon cookware is much more affordable than All-Clad.

Why is All-Clad more expensive? Simply put, it’s made in America, each stainless steel piece is fully-clad, they use the highest-grade materials, and it’s known to last forever.

By contrast, Anolon manufactures in America, Asia, and Europe, some collections are not fully-clad, they’ve positioned themselves in the market as a quality, yet affordable option.

That’s not to say that Anolon cookware is cheap; it’s just much less expensive than All-Clad.

To give you a better idea of how All-Clad and Anolon compare, check out the table below, which shows the current prices on Amazon of each brand’s most popular products.

Note: These prices are pulled in real-time. Click on the chart to view each product on Amazon.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about these cookware brands.

Where do All-Clad and Anolon make their cookware?

Meyer Corporation U.S. manufactures Anolon cookware. As of right now, Meyer Corporation has factories in many countries, including the USA, the U.K., Italy, India, China, and Japan.

All-Clad stainless steel cookware is crafted in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (just outside of Steel City: Pittsburg), and All-Clad sources all of its metals for U.S. suppliers.

All-Clad non-stick collections and its stainless steel lids are manufactured in China.

Is it oven-safe?

Yes — both brands offer oven-safe cookware, but the maximum allowable temperature varies by collection.

Some Anolon collections are oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while others are only safe up to 400. Make sure to check the specs on individual products.

All-Clad’s stainless steel cookware is oven-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, but their non-stick collections are only oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit

Is it dishwasher-safe?

The All-Clad C4 Copper and Master Chef need to be hand-washed, but all other collections are dishwasher-safe.

With Anolon, only the Advanced Hard-Anodized collection needs to be hand-washed; the others are dishwasher-safe.

Is it compatible with induction cooktops?

All-Clad cookware is compatible with all cooktops, including induction, except the C4 Copper, Master Chef, and Essentials collections.

Anolon cookware is also compatible with induction cooktops, besides the Allure Hard Anodized and Advanced Hard-Anodized collections.

Do the handles get hot?

All-Clad and Anolon make their handles out of steel, which is a poor conductor of heat.

Both brands design their handles so that the heat disperses before it can travel up the handle.

Therefore, when cooking on the stove, the ends of the handles won’t get hot right away.

Of course, if you cook on high heat for an extended period, the handles will gradually heat up. So, it’s wise to wear potholders when handling.

If you use your cookware in the oven, the handles will get very hot.

Where is the best place to buy All-Clad and Anolon cookware?

Both brands are available at stores like Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Walmart, and Amazon.

All-Clad is also available at high-end specialty stores like Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, and Sur La Table.

To get the best deal, compare prices across retailers. You’ll be surprised how the cost can vary from store to store.

To make life easy, below are links to the best places to browse these brands online.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Anolon or All-Clad?

Now that you’re all clued up on the main differences between Anolon and All-Clad, it’s time to decide.

I recommend All-Clad, especially if you’re looking for stainless steel cookware. Although it’s pricey, it’s guaranteed to last a lifetime. Plus, the fully-clad construction provides optimal heat distribution, so you get consistent results, every time.

But if you’re looking for an affordable range of cookware that comes in lots of options and unique materials, Anolon is a quality option.

To recap, just in case you’re still unsure, here are the main similarities between brands.

  • Both brands have been around for decades and have established themselves as leaders in the cookware market.
  • Both have a wide range of options, so you’re sure to find something you need.
  • Both offer non-stick options that are PFOA-free.
  • Both brands are oven-safe up to at least 400°F.
  • Both offer dishwasher-safe options.
  • Both offer cladded cookware, though All-Clad has more options in this category.
  • Both have classy designs that will look great in your kitchen.
  • Both offer induction-compatible options.

The main differences between All-Clad and Anolon are:

  • All-Clad is much more pricey than Anolon.
  • All-Clad specializes in stainless steel, while Anolon specializes in hard anodized aluminum.
  • Anolon has a lot more color options, so you can find something that suits your decor.
  • Anolon has SureGrip handles for comfort while cooking.
  • All-Clad stainless steel cookware is fully-clad, which provides superior heat retention and distribution.
  • Anolon only offers two fully-clad collections (Tri-Ply Clad, and Advanced Tri-Ply).
  • Anolon’s products are known for becoming tarnished quickly.
  • Some customers complain that All-Clad’s handles are uncomfortable.

If you’re ready to buy or want to read more reviews, check out All-Clad and Anolon cookware at the links below:

If you’re still in research mode, I’ve published several other cookware reviews and comparisons, which you can check out at the links below.

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