Are you shopping for new pots and pans but can’t decide between Calphalon and Circulon?
Both brands have been producing high-performing, durable cookware for decades.
But which brand is better? What’s the difference between the two?
In this comparison of Calphalon vs. Circulon, you’ll learn how each brand’s cookware stacks up in terms of construction, performance, design, price, and more.
Keep reading to learn the seven key differences between Calphalon and Circulon.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Calphalon vs. Circulon: Quick Comparison Chart
- Similarities Between Calphalon and Circulon
- Difference 1: Materials and Construction
- Difference 2: Cooking Surface
- Difference 3: Features
- Difference 4: Design
- Difference 5: Oven-Safe Temperature
- Difference 6: Induction-Compatible Options
- Difference 7: Where It’s Made
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy Calphalon or Circulon?
Calphalon vs. Circulon: Quick Comparison Chart
Before I dive into the details, here’s a quick comparison of Calphalon vs. Circulon.
|Construction||Aluminum, hard-anodized aluminum, stainless steel||Hard-anodized aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron|
|Design||Coated or steel exterior, unique circular texture on cooking surface||Black or stainless exteriors with steel handles and glass lids|
|Induction Compatible||All stainless steel and come non-stick collections (must have a steel base)||Only stainless steel cookware is induction-compatible|
|Metal Utensil Safe||Yes||Elite, Signature, and Premier non-stick collections are metal utensil safe|
|Company History||1984||Founded in 1963|
|Where It’s Made||USA, Thailand, Italy, or China||US and China|
|Price||$-$$ (Amazon)||$$-$$$ (Amazon)|
|Top Reasons to Buy||Raised circular pattern limits abrasion and helps coating last longer||Thick construction, durable multi-layer non-stick coating, high oven-safe temperature|
|Top Reasons to NOT Buy||Low oven-safe temperatures||Exterior Stains, expensive (for non-stick cookware)|
Similarities Between Calphalon and Circulon
Before I get into the differences, let’s look at the similarities between Calphalon and Circulon.
Both Calphalon and Circulon offer a variety of cookware, bakeware, kitchen tools, and accessories.
As you gleaned from the comparison chart, both offer several collections, each with unique materials and features.
Although both brands are best-known for their hard-anodized aluminum non-stick collections, they offer stainless steel cookware, too.
Note: Circulon stainless steel collections have a non-stick cooking surface. More on this is the Differences section).
One of the biggest downsides of non-stick cookware is that the coating wears down after a couple of years.
But with Calphalon and Circulon, you won’t need to replace your pans as often.
Circulon’s non-stick coating is ultra-durable and metal utensil-safe, giving you the convenience of using any spatula or spoon. The company claims their non-stick coating is 15x more durable than traditional non-stick.
Calphalon Premier, Signature, Contemporary, and Elite collections feature a triple-layer, metal utensil-safe non-stick coating.
The Classic, Select by Calphalon, and Simply Calphalon collections feature a 2-layer non-stick coating. Although the 2-layer coating is not metal utensil-safe, it’s still durable and won’t wear down quickly.
The exteriors of Calphalon pots and pans are either stainless steel or hard-anodized aluminum, both of which are praised for their strength and durability.
The Circulon Ultimum collection has a standard aluminum exterior, which is slightly less durable, but the other collections utilize either hard-anodized aluminum or stainless steel.
The bottom line is both are long-lasting, but the degree of durability varies by collection.
Both brands offer exceptional warranties across their cookware collections.
Circulon offers a lifetime warranty for all its products.
Calphalon offers a lifetime warranty on most collections. However, the Simply Calphalon and Select by Calphalon collections only have a 10-year warranty.
Keep in mind, with both brands, the warranty only covers defects in materials and workmanship. If your pan warps due to overheating or the non-stick surface gets scratched, the warranty won’t help.
Both brands have a wide range of dishwasher-safe options. But before you put your non-stick cookware into the dishwasher, know that doing so can diminish its longevity. I always recommend hand washing non-stick pots and pans.
With slick non-stick surfaces, everyday cleaning is a breeze. But over time, both brands will need a deep cleaning to remove discoloration and baked in stains. Fortunately, the steps are simple, and I put together this guide to help.
Circulon coats the interior and exterior with non-stick material, which makes cleaning the entire pan easier.
Both Calpahlon and Circulon offer affordable, comparable, hard-anodized non-stick cookware options.
Calphalon offers some high-end options, like its Signature and Elite collections, that are very expensive. But for the most part, you can find a range of options within your budget with both brands.
The chart below shows the current prices of both brands’ most popular products.
Note: These prices are pulled in real-time from Amazon. Click each product to learn more.
|Simply Calphalon 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Calphalon Classic 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Calphalon Premier 15-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Calphalon Classic Frying Pan 2-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Calphalon Signature 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Calphalon Signature 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Calphalon Stainless Steel 10-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Calphalon Signature 8 and 10-Inch Fry Pan Set||Amazon|
|Calphalon Contemporary 10-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Circulon Elementum 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Circulon Premier 13-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Circulon Symmetry 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Circulon Radiance 8.5 and 10 Inch Frying Pan Set||Amazon|
|Circulon Acclaim 12-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Circulon Momentum 11-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Circulon Espree 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Circulon Symmetry 8.5-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
Differences Between Calphalon and Circulon
Now that you understand the similarities, let’s look at the seven key differences between Calphalon and Circulon.
Difference 1: Materials and Construction
All Calphalon non-stick cookware is made with a hard-anodized aluminum base.
Most Circulon non-stick cookware is made with a hard-anodized aluminum base, but the Ultimum, Innovatum, and Acclaim collections feature sets and individual pieces made from standard aluminum.
Difference 2: Cooking Surface
Calphalon offers three cooking surfaces: non-stick, stainless steel (pictured below), and cast iron.
All Circulon cookware is non-stick, which is suitable for many recipes, but it isn’t great for the high heats needed for searing or using it in the broiler.
Circulon offers cookware with a stainless steel exterior (pictured below), but even those options feature a non-stick cooking surface.
Difference 3: Features
One of Circulon’s biggest selling points — and the inspiration behind the brand’s name — is its TOTAL® Nonstick System. This system refers to the series of raised circles on the cooking surface.
Besides the interesting look, the TOTAL® Nonstick System serves two purposes.
First, it reduces abrasion from cooking utensils, which helps the surface longer, even if you use metal utensils.
Second, it creates a tiny bit of space between the food and the cooking surface, which helps with release and easy cleanup.
Circulon claims this cooking surface is so durable that it lasts 15 times longer than the competition, based on the sandpaper test you can see in this video.
Calphalon’s hard-anodized cookware comes with either a two or three-layer non-stick coating, depending on the collection.
Premier, Elite, Signature, and Contemporary offer three layers, making these collections more durable and metal-utensils-safe. Other collections, including Classic, Select, and Simply, feature two layers and are not metal-utensil-safe.
Unlike Circulon, Calphalon’s non-stick surfaces are flat and smooth, with no raised patterns.
The Signature collection features a unique non-stick surface for searing and is slightly textured. It sears and browns similar to a stainless steel pan, so you get the best of both worlds: less sticking and perfectly cooked meat.
Difference 4: Design
Both companies maintain a classic aesthetic, but there are two major differences in their design.
First, Circulon’s cookware is available in various colors, including black, chocolate, chocolate/black, merlot, nutmeg, and red.
Calphalon’s cookware is either black or stainless steel (brushed or polished). There’s less variety, but the stainless steel is a stunning statement piece.
The second difference involves the handles. All Circulon handles are wrapped in silicone, which adds an excellent grip but can make the cookware appear cheap.
Most Calphalon handles are brushed stainless steel. Although steel doesn’t provide as much grip as silicone, it can withstand higher oven temperatures and provides a classier look. For those who want statement pieces for their kitchens, this is important.
The two exceptions are the Simply Calphalon and Select by Calphalon collections, which both have silicone-wrapped handles.
Difference 5: Oven-Safe Temperature
Most Calphalon cookware is oven-safe up to at least 450°F, but many collections — such as the Elite and Signature — can handle up to 500°F.
The Simply Calphalon and Select by Calphalon collections are oven-safe up to 400°F due to their silicone-wrapped handles.
Circulon Ultimum and Genesis collections are oven-safe up to 500°F, but the others can only handle 400°F, and the Classic is only safe up to 350°F.
Calphalon stainless steel pans are broiler-safe, but the non-stick items are not.
Since all Circulon pans have a non-stick coating, none are broiler-safe.
Difference 6: Induction-Compatible Options
If you have an induction cooktop, you’re in luck because both brands offer induction-compatible cookware.
All Calphalon stainless steel cookware is induction-compatible, but its non-stick cookware is not. The aluminum base is not magnetic, which is a requirement for induction cooking.
Circulon stainless steel cookware is induction-compatible, and some of its aluminum cookware is, too. For example, the Symmetry collection is aluminum, but it also has a steel induction plate bonded to the base, making it compatible with induction stovetops.
Difference 7: Where It’s Made
Calphalon manufactures its cookware in the USA and China, but there’s confusion around where each collection is made.
To get to the bottom of it, I recently caught up with a representative at Calphalon, and they confirmed that only the Elite collection is 100% made in the USA.
If you’re passionate about American-made products, I recommend shopping within those collections (or check out my guide to the Best Cookware Made in the USA).
Meyer Corporation owns Circulon, and its products are made in the USA, Thailand, Italy, or China.
Bottom Line: Should You Buy Calphalon or Circulon?
Now that you know the key differences between Calphalon and Circulon, it’s time to decide which brand is best for you.
The truth is, both brands offer high-performing, durable cookware at a fair price. So you can’t go wrong with either.
Calphalon and Circulon’s key difference is that Circulon only offers non-stick cookware, and the non-stick surface features a unique circular pattern to increase durability and improve food release.
Calphalon has a more well-rounded product offering, with non-stick and stainless steel cooking surfaces (and even cast iron). Their cooking surfaces are smooth, ultra-durable, and easy to clean.
The bottom line — I recommend Calphalon over Circulon. Here’s why:
- All of its non-stick cookware is made with durable hard-anodized aluminum. Unlike Circulon, Calphalon doesn’t make any cookware using standard aluminum.
- Calphalon cookware can handle higher temperatures in the oven.
- Calphalon’s product range is more extensive and includes stainless steel cooking surfaces. I recommend having a few stainless steel items in the kitchen, especially for high-heat recipes like searing steak.
- Circulon’s Total Release System helps release food but doesn’t allow food to make complete contact with the heat, inhibiting the ability to sear and brown.
- Circulon’s silicone-wrapped handles provide extra grip but are a common feature of discount cookware, making the pans look cheap.
That said, Circulon is a reliable brand, and many customers love the signature circular-patterned cooking surface.
But if you buy Circulon, make sure to buy from a collection that features a hard-anodized aluminum base (not standard aluminum). And keep in mind that a non-stick surface isn’t versatile enough for every recipe.
You can read more reviews and compare the current prices of both brands on Amazon at the links below:
- Anolon vs. Circulon Cookware: What’s the Difference?
- Is Circulon a Good Cookware Brand? An In-Depth Review
- Calphalon vs. Anolon Cookware: What’s the Difference?
- Is Calphalon Cookware Any Good? An In-Depth Review
- Is Anolon Cookware Any Good? An In-Depth Review
- All-Clad vs. Calphalon: Non-Stick and Stainless Cookware Compared
- T-fal vs. Calphalon: In-Depth Cookware Comparison
- Calphalon vs. Cuisinart: How Does Their Cookware Compare?
- Select by Calphalon vs. Calphalon Premier: Which Cookware Is Better?
- What Is the Best Calphalon Cookware Set? (Top 5 Reviewed)
- HexClad vs. Anolon X: Which Hybrid Pans Are Better?