Calphalon vs. Anolon Cookware: What’s the Difference?

Calphalon Versus Anolon Cookware

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It’s easy to confuse Calphalon and Anolon.

Their cookware looks similar, performs similarly, and their names even sound alike.

But, despite their similarities, Calphalon and Anolon are not the same—not even close.

So, what’s the difference between Calphalon and Anolon cookware? Which brand is right for you?

In this in-depth cookware comparison, you’ll get answers to these questions, and much more.

Let’s get right into it!


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Calphalon vs. Anolon: Quick Summary

If you only have a minute and you want a quick comparison of Calphalon vs. Anolon cookware, here’s what you need to know.

Reputation: Calphalon launched in 1963 and is best known for inventing the first-ever hard-anodized aluminum cookware. Anolon launched in 1986 and was the first brand to add a non-stick coating to hard-anodized aluminum cookware. 

Over the past several decades, both brands have established themselves as leaders in the cookware industry; however, they serve slightly different markets. Anolon is considered a mid-range brand, while Calphalon is high to mid-range. 

Product Offerings: Calphalon and Anolon offer several non-stick cookware collections, each with unique design, materials, and price points (don’t worry, I break down the differences between each collection in this section). Besides non-stick cookware, both brands also make stainless steel cookware, bakeware, cutlery, and other kitchen tools.

Construction and Materials: Calphalon and Anolon both make their non-stick cookware with a hard-anodized aluminum base. Some Anolon collections feature a multi-layer base with copper for heat conduction, and steel induction compatibility. 

Several Calphalon collections feature triple-layer non-stick coating, while Anolon uses a special sapphire-infused material that they claim lasts 16 times longer than standard non-stick coating. 

Calphalon only uses non-stick coating on the cooking surface, while Anolon coats the exterior too, which makes cleaning easier.

Design: Calphalon cookware is simple and elegant, while Anolon offers more variety. If you like color, Anolon offers black, copper, gray, and blue exteriors. Calphalon only comes in black/dark gray.

Where Its Made: Calphalon cookware is made in the United States, while Anolon cookware is made in the United States, Thailand, Italy and China.

Oven-Safe Temperatures: Both brands make oven-safe non-stick cookware, but the maximum allowable temperatures vary by collection. Both brands have collections that are safe in the oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Induction Compatibility: Calphalon hard-anodized non-stick cookware is NOT compatible with induction cooktops. Three Anolon collections (Nouvelle Copper, Nouvelle Copper Luxe, and SmartStack) feature a magnetic steel plate at the bottom making them compatible with induction cooktops.

Dishwasher-Safe: Both brands make dishwasher-safe non-stick cookware. But, my recommendation is to always wash cookware by hand. Using the dishwasher exposes your cookware to extremely high temperatures, harsh detergents, and sharp utensils, all of which can cause irreversible damage (especially to the non-stick coating).

Price: One of the most significant differences between Calphalon and Anolon is the price. In general, Calphalon cookware is more expensive than Anolon, but the exact difference in price varies by collection. Skip ahead to this comparison chart to see the current prices of Calphalon and Anolon cookware side-by-side.

Bottom Line: There’s a lot to love about both brands, but I recommend Calphalon. Although it can be a bit more expensive, it’s built to last, so you don’t have to worry about replacing it every year. I love Calphalon’s simple design, thick, heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum construction, and ultra-durable non-stick coating. Plus, it’s made in the United States.

Both brands are available on Amazon where you can learn more and read dozens of reviews:

Introducing Calphalon

Calphalon has been at the cutting edge of cookware since the company’s inception in 1963.

By 1968, they adopted technology from the aerospace industry called hard anodizing. Hard anodizing is an electrolytic process in which raw aluminum is treated to thicken and harden its natural exterior layer.

This process makes the cookware incredibly durable, easy to cook with, and easy to clean.

In 1976, Calphalon went to retail and their hard-anodized aluminum was a first-to-market product, changing the cookware game forever. 

Calphalon Contemporary Hard Anodized Aluminum Pans
Calphalon Contemporary Hard Anodized Aluminum Pans (view on Amazon)

In 1998, Calphalon was purchased by Newell Brands, a portfolio company that, in addition to Calphalon, owns other consumer products brands, including Contigo, Coleman, and Rubbermaid.

Calphalon cookware has enticed professional and home chef’s alike, and its product lines have grown from simple pots and pans to utensils, bakeware, even self-sharpening knives.

They continue to listen to and be in touch with those who find passion in cooking and require premium, durable products to get the job done.

Whether you’re a professional chef at work or an occasional home cook, you can’t beat the durability of Calphalon.

Their cookware has super thick walls (which they call heavy-gauge) that distribute heat quickly and evenly, and are resistant to warping.

Calphalon makes most of their products in the United States, so you can trust it to be high-quality and well-made.

One of the few downsides of Calphalon cookware is that it’s somewhat expensive (see the current prices on Amazon). Since it’s made in American, using the best materials, it demands a higher price. In the world of cookware, it’s considered a mid to high-end brand.

However, since it will last much longer than most brands, buying Calphalon ends up saving you long-term.

Besides the price, some customers complain that the nonstick coating flakes or chips off, while others report that it didn’t maintain its’ “non-stick” status for long (note: this is a very common complaint among all non-stick cookware brands).

Of course, you need to follow proper maintenance in order to maximize the life of your cookware, but these things should be considered when making your decision.

Calphalon also makes multi-clad stainless-steel cookware, but they’re best-known for hard anodized non-stick cookware, so that will be the focus for this comparison.

Introducing Anolon

Anolon was founded in 1986, and is a brand in the Meyer Corporation portfolio.

Besides Anolon, Meyer, which is the largest cookware distributor in the USA, owns several other cookware brands, including Circulon and Farberware.

Anolon’s claim to fame is that they are the first cookware brand to put non-stick coating on the surface of hard-anodized aluminum pans.

So, if you’re following, Calphalon was the first brand to make hard-anodized aluminum cookware, and Anolon was the first brand to make hard-anodized cookware with a non-stick coating on the cooking surface.

Anolon Cookware
Anolon Cookware (view on Amazon or Anolon.com)

Nowadays, both brands’ top-selling product line is hard-anodized non-stick cookware.

Anolon positions itself as the brand for those who are passionate about cooking gourmet style food, are confident in the kitchen, and are actively looking for quality, durable, and affordable kitchen cookware products.

Unlike most cookware, Anolon coats the interior and the exterior of its pots and pans with non-stick material. They do this to make cleaning the entire pot or pan much easier.

Anolon non-stick surface is triple coated, and sapphire-reinforced, making it a powerhouse against its competitors. Their website claims it lasts “16x longer than traditional nonstick, and 80x longer than ceramic.”

Anolon provides features any kitchen-décor-loving-chef would love, like different exterior colors.

Their SureGrip handles made from a soft, non-slip material, are comfortable and safe. And their array of different pieces and affordable prices make this a favorite option among many.

Though their website indicates most pieces are dishwasher safe, they are not, so buyer beware.

You can clean them in the dishwasher, but it will ruin the outside look and cause the inside coating to peel away.

It also claims to be metal utensil safe, but again, it’s not. Be smart, and use your cookware the proper way: medium temperature, silicon or wood utensils, and stored separately. 

Now that you have an idea of what Calphalon and Anolon are all about, let’s dive deeper and see how they stack up.

Product Offerings

One thing that Calphalon and Anolon have in common is that both brands offer several cookware collections, each with unique design, materials, and price points.

Within each collection, you have the choice of buying individual stock or full sets ranging from two to over a dozen pieces.

In this section, I’ve outlined the key features of each brand’s most popular cookware lines to help you make sense of it all.

Let’s start with Calphalon.

Calphalon Williams-Sonoma Elite Nonstick

  • 3 layers of PFOA-free nonstick sear (texturized) coating
  • Heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum
  • Oven safe up to 500 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Calphalon states that any type of utensil material is okay to use with this set
  • Offered by Williams-Sonoma

Calphalon Signature Nonstick

  • 3 layers of PFOA-free nonstick sear (texturized) coating
  • Heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum
  • Oven safe up to 500 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Calphalon states that any type of utensil material is okay to use with this set
  • Available on Amazon

Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick

  • 3 layers of PFOA-free nonstick sear (texturized) coating
  • Heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum
  • Oven safe to 450 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Calphalon advises to only use nylon, coated, or wooden utensils
  • Available on Amazon
  • Check out my in-depth review of Calphalon Contemporary cookware

Calphalon Classic Nonstick

  • 2 layers of PFOA-free nonstick coating
  • Medium-gauge hard-anodized aluminum
  • Oven safe to 450 degrees
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Calphalon advises to only use nylon, coated, or wooden utensils.
  • Pour spouts and measuring lines
  • Available on Amazon

Calphalon Classic Ceramic Nonstick

  • Eco-friendly PFOA-free ceramic nonstick coating
  • Hard-anodized aluminum
  • Oven safe to 450 degrees
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Medium-gauge hard-anodized aluminum
  • Calphalon advises to only use nylon, coated, or wooden utensils.
  • Pour spouts and measuring lines
  • Available on Amazon

Calphalon Premier Space Saving

  • 3 layer PFOA-free nonstick coating
  • Hard-anodized aluminum
  • Oven safe to 450 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Calphalon states that any type of utensil is safe to use
  • Flat glass lids and special groves that allow you to stack and nest the cookware in any order, saving 30% more space
  • Available on Amazon

Anolon offers many different cookware collections, here are the key facts about its most popular offerings.

Anolon Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized Nonstick

  • Triple-layer, sapphire reinforced, PFOA-free nonstick coating (Infinity Slide Nonstick)
  • Hard-anodized aluminum induction plate with copper midlayer for even heating, and a stainless steel cap for induction-compatibility
  • Oven safe to 500 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Unity Surface, with flat, easy-clean rivets
  • Available on Amazon
  • Available on Anolon.com

Anolon Nouvelle Copper Luxe Hard Anodized Nonstick

  • Triple-layer, sapphire reinforced, PFOA-free nonstick coating (Infinity Slide Nonstick)
  • Hard-anodized aluminum induction plate with copper midlayer for even heating, and a stainless steel cap for induction-compatibility
  • Oven safe to 500 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Unity Surface, with flat, easy-clean rivets
  • Comes in Sable (a copper color), or Onyx (black)
  • Available on Amazon
  • Available on Anolon.com

Anolon Allure Hard Anodized Nonstick

  • Triple-layer, sapphire reinforced, PFOA-free nonstick coating (Infinity Slide Nonstick)
  • Heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum
  • Oven safe to 500 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Unity Surface, with flat, easy-clean rivets
  • Available on Amazon
  • Available on Anolon.com

Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick

Anolon SmartStack Cookware Set

  • Triple-layer, sapphire reinforced, PFOA-free nonstick coating (Infinity Slide Nonstick)
  • Hard-anodized aluminum
  • Oven safe to 400 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Interlocking handles
  • All fits together into two short stacks under 13 inches
  • Available on Amazon
  • Available on Anolon.com

Anolon Professional Cookware Set

  • 3 layer Premium nonstick coating
  • Hard-anodized aluminum exterior
  • Oven safe to 500 degrees
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Available on Anolon.com

Construction and Materials

Calphalon and Anolon both utilize hard-anodized aluminum, a great material for cookware. First developed for the aerospace industry, aluminum that’s hard anodized is much stronger than normal.

But, what is hard-anodized aluminum?

Simply put, hard-anodized aluminum is aluminum that’s treated through an electrochemical process which creates a layer of oxidation on the surface.

This layer makes the aluminum stronger, harder, and more resistant to corrosion, all while maintaining the heat-conductive nature of untreated aluminum.

Calphalon was the first to recognize that, due to its durability and heat conduction properties, hard-anodized aluminum would make the ideal cookware.

It heats up quickly and evenly, it can tolerate the heat inside an oven (some collections are not oven-safe due to silicone handles or unique non-stick surfaces), it is scratch-resistant and won’t corrode over time. It requires little to no oil, and won’t emit chemicals while you cook.

All Calphalon non-stick cookware is made with a hard-anodized aluminum base with multiple layers of non-stick coating.

Calphalon Materials and Construction
Calphalon Materials and Construction

As you go up in price, the thickness of the hard-anodized aluminum base and number of non-stick layers increase.

For example, the Williams-Sonoma Elite Collection, Signature Collection, and Contemporary collections all have a heavy-gauge (ultra-thick) base and 3 layers of PFOA-free nonstick.

The Classic collection has a heavy-gauge (medium thickness) base with 2 layers of non-stick coating. The Classic Ceramic collection has the same base but an eco-friendly (PTFE-free), PFOA-free ceramic non-stick coating.

While Calphalon doesn’t vary its materials much, Anolon mixes it up a bit more.

The Anolon Nouvelle Copper and Nouvelle Copper Luxe collections feature a multi-layer base with a copper core layer in the middle for superior heat conduction, and a stainless steel cap to make it safe on induction cooktops.

Copper has a higher conductivity than aluminum, which means these Anolon collections heat quicker and more evenly.

The other part of the cookware that is important to consider is the nonstick coating. Both brands use only PFOA-free PTFE (short for polytetrafluoroethylene, a.k.a. Teflon) nonstick coating.

While Calphalon uses multiple layers of standard PTFE coating, Anolon has a special formula that they branded Infinity Slide. Infinity Slide coating is sapphire-reinforced, triple-coated and never leaches chemicals. Anolon claims it lasts 16X longer than traditional nonstick.

Anolon Non-stick Coating
Anolon Non-stick Coating

The other significant difference between Calphalon and Anolon in terms of materials is that Anolon coats the exterior of its pans with non-stick coating. This is a smart, but unusual practice.

The benefit of extending the non-stick coating is that you can easily clean around the rim and exterior walls. So, while it may seem odd, the extra non-stick coating makes Anolon cookware easier to clean and maintain.

Design

While both Anolon and Calphalon offer hard-anodized aluminum cookware, the design varies between the brands, as well as by collection.

In this section, I’ll lay out the design and call attention to any major differences between the two.

Anolon’s exclusive Unity Surface has flat, easy-clean rivets, meaning nothing will get stuck in between (a common problem for most cookware).

Anolon Unity Surface
Anolon Unity Surface

They use cast, stainless-steel handles for all their cookware lines, though the Advanced Cookware set has SureGrip handles that feature a soft silicone wrap for easy handling.

Anolon SureGrip Handle
Anolon SureGrip Handle
Anolon SureGrip Handle
Anolon SureGrip Handle

The SmartStack collection has patented interlocking handles to keep the stack super short and secure.

Anolon uses tempered glass lids for all their cookware, with the exception of the Nouvelle collections, which feature stainless-steel lids.

Many of their collections have measuring markings on the saucepans.

While most Anolon collections have a similar dark exterior, the Nouvelle Copper and Nouvelle Copper Luxe collections come in both black or copper exteriors, as you can see below.

Calphalon cookware has a simple yet elegant design. The differences between collections are subtle, but they matter.

Calphalon Frying Pan
Calphalon Frying Pan

All of its collections feature a dark gray exterior with cast, stainless-steel stay-cool handles.

The handles in the Williams Sonoma Elite and Signature collections are attached to the base by three rivets, the rest have two.

Calphalon Steel Handles
Calphalon Steel Handles

All of their cookware sets have tempered glass lids with steel lid handles (some collections have silicone-wrapped lid handles).

Calphalon Glass Lid
Calphalon Glass Lid

The Classic Collection also boasts pour-spouts and fill-lines.

If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between Calphalon’s collections, check out these two in-depth comparisons:

Where Its Made

Anolon produces its cookware through Meyer Corporation US affiliated companies in the USA, Thailand, Italy, and China. Their website also states that they are made in accordance with all FDA guidelines.

Calphalon manufactures its cookware in Toledo, Ohio.

Cookware made in the USA ensures consistency and quality, but it also drives up the price. This fact does not escape these two brands, with Calphalon, in some cases, being almost twice the cost of Anolon (more on pricing in a minute).

Oven-Safe Temperatures

Calphalon and Anolon cookware is oven-safe, but the maximum oven-safe temperatures vary by collection.

Here’s a quick rundown of how each collection stacks up:

Calphalon Oven-Safe Temperature by Collection:

  • Williams-Sonoma Elite – 500 degrees
  • Signature – 500 degrees
  • Contemporary – 450 degrees
  • Classic – 450 degrees
  • Classic Ceramic – 450 degrees
  • Premier Space Saving – 450 degrees

Anolon Oven-Safe Temperature by Collection:

  • Nouvelle Copper – 500 degrees
  • Nouvelle Copper Luxe – 500 degrees
  • Allure – 500 degrees
  • Professional – 500 degrees
  • Advanced – 400 degrees
  • SmartStack – 400 degrees

Induction Compatibility

What type of cooktop do you use? If you have an induction cooktop, this section is critical.

Calphalon hard-anodized non-stick cookware is NOT compatible with induction cooktops. So, if you have an induction cooktop, you can cross Calphalon off your list.

Some Anolon hard-anodized collections are compatible with induction cooktops, but some are not.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Compatible with induction cooktops?

  • Anolon Nouvelle Copper – yes
  • Anolon Nouvelle Copper Luxe – yes
  • Anolon SmartStack – yes
  • Anolon Advanced – no
  • Anolon Professional – no
  • Anolon Allure – no

What makes the Nouvelle Copper, Nouvelle Copper Luxe, and SmartStack collections induction-compatible is the steel cap on the base.

The other Anolon collections (Advanced, Professional, and Allure), and all of the Calphalon collections, have an aluminum base with no steel cap.

Induction cooking requires a magnetic field to deliver heat to the pan. Steel is magnetic, but aluminum is not.

Dishwasher-Safe

Some people don’t mind washing their cookware by hand, and others refuse to buy cookware that’s not safe for the dishwasher.

With Calphalon and Anolon, some collections are dishwasher-safe, while others require handwashing.

Here’s the breakdown by brand and collection:

Dishwasher-safe?

  •     Anolon Nouvelle Copper – yes
  •     Anolon Nouvelle Copper Luxe – yes
  •     Anolon Allure – yes
  •     Anolon SmartStack – yes
  •     Anolon Advanced – no
  •     Anolon Professional – no
  •     Calphalon Williams-Sonoma Elite – yes
  •     Calphalon Signature – yes
  •     Calphalon Contemporary – yes
  •     Calphalon Premier Space Saving – yes
  •     Calphalon Classic – no
  •     Calphalon Classic Ceramic – no

Although the manufacturers permit using the dishwasher, many of the reviews for both brands state that even ones marked dishwasher-safe were, at least aesthetically, ruined from the dishwasher.

My recommendation: wash all non-stick cookware by hand in warm soapy water. Never submerge pots and pans in hot water, as it can cause irreparable warping.

Also, never use abrasive cleaning pads or cleansers. Use liquid soap and a sponge or soft-bristled brush. On the OUTSIDE ONLY, you can use Bar Keepers Friend cleanser for stains.

Price

Anolon is pretty consistent in their pricing. Most of the collections cost nearly the same. The Allure, SmartStack, and Nouvelle Copper collections are slightly more expensive than the Advanced and Professional collections.

But, even the more costly Anolon collections are affordable, especially considering the quality materials (hard-anodized aluminum and copper) and special features (Infinity Slide coating and Unity Surface).

Calphalon is, in some cases, twice as expensive as Anolon, with the Williams-Sonoma Elite being the most costly.

The Signature, Contemporary, and Premier collections are all quite pricey as well.

To their credit, the Classic collection is very affordable, with some pieces and sets listed even lower than Anolon. Overall, Calphalon is more expensive, but they offer a range of pricing options that will fit most budgets.

The chart below shows the current prices on Amazon of the most popular Calphalon and Anolon sets. These prices are pulled in real-time, so what you see is what you get.

You can click on the chart to learn more about each set on Amazon.

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

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Calphalon or Anolon?

Now that you know the important details about each brand, it’s time to make a decision.

Should you buy Calphalon or Anolon?

The fact is, really can’t go wrong with either of these two brands.

  • Both have strong reputations and decades of experience.
  • Both offer a wide variety of collections so you can pick and choose the best one for your needs.
  • Both use high-quality materials like hard-anodized aluminum and PFOA-free non-stick coating.
  • Both design their cookware to not only be functional but also to look fantastic in your kitchen.
  • Both heat up fast, distribute heat evenly, and food rarely sticks to the surface.
  • Both brands have and stand by, a lifetime warranty on their products.
  • Both are available at any kitchen supply or department store, and online on Amazon (Calphalon on Amazon, Anolon on Amazon).

But, despite these similarities, these brands have several differences that you need to consider.

  • Anolon is the only brand that offers collections with a copper disc for quick and even heating.
  • Calphalon offers options with three layers of non-stick coating for added durability, while Anolon claims its Sapphire-infused coating lasts 16 times longer than traditional non-stick coating.
  • Anolon cookware is easier to clean than Calphalon due to its Unity Surface (flat rivets) and non-stick coating on the exterior
  • Anolon offers black, copper, gray, and blue exteriors, while Calphalon only comes in black/dark gray.
  • Calphalon cookware is made in the United States, while Anolon manufactures in the U.S., Thailand, Italy, and China.
  • Some Anolon collections are compatible with induction cooktops, but all Calphalon hard-anodized collections are not.
  • Calphalon is generally more expensive than Anolon.

In the end, Calphalon and Anolon both make solid cookware at reasonable prices. But, if you’re looking for a nudge, I recommend Calphalon.

Why?

Calphalon cookware is made with high-quality materials, it’s ultra-durable, it’s made in the U.S., and has a simple, yet elegant design. Also, I’ve found most Calphalon pans to be a bit heavier and more substantial-feeling, compared to Anolon.

Don’t get me wrong, Anolon makes reliable cookware. But if I had to choose one, I pick Calphalon.

My favorite collection is the Calphalon Contemporary. It’s made with heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum and three layers of non-stick coating.

The Contemporary collection is on the high-end of Calphalon’s offerings, but it’s not as expensive as the Signature or Elite collections. You can check it out on Amazon, where you’ll find more information and can read dozens of reviews.

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