Are you shopping for ceramic non-stick cookware and considering GreenLife?
It’s one of many brands that promises a healthy non-stick cooking experience. But, do they make good on that promise? Is it right for your kitchen?
In this GreenLife cookware review, you’ll learn:
- How the cookware looks, feels, and performs
- How it compares to the competition
- Its pros and cons
Plus, I’ll answer some of the most popular questions about the brand and investigate its healthy non-stick claims.
After reading this in-depth review, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if GreenLife cookware is worth buying.
Use the links below to navigate the review:
- Materials and Construction
- GreenLife vs. the Competition
- GreenLife Cookware FAQs
- Bottom Line: Is GreenLife Cookware Any Good?
GreenLife’s design is what initially attracts shoppers — especially people who like colorful cookware.
In this section, you’ll get an up-close look at GreenLife’s most popular collection, Soft Grip. Plus, I’ll point out some can’t-miss design features of other GreenLife cookware collections.
The cookware in the Soft Grip collection is available in turquoise, pink, yellow, lavender, blue, black, hibiscus, and elderberry. The exterior colors are vibrant with a subtle shine.
The exteriors are made from aluminum. The outside of the cookware is smooth, making it perfect for electric glass stoves. But, you can use this cookware on any range except induction.
The Classic Pro collection features gray hard-anodized aluminum exteriors.
The cookware bottoms are flat, which keeps them steady and prevents wobbling on glass cooktops.
Soft Grip and Induction pan rims are trimmed in stainless steel; no other collections have that detail. All others have a ceramic non-stick rim.
All GreenLife interiors feature Thermolon ceramic non-stick coating. You’ll learn more about Thermolon in the Materials and Construction section.
The interiors are smooth and have a slight sheen. The handles are rivet-free, giving you a smooth, uninterrupted surface that is easy to clean.
Most interiors are off-white, but some collections are dark or light gray. Soft Grip Pro interiors are the darkest; they’re almost black.
The Soft Grip collection is named after its plastic handles. But despite the name, they aren’t actually soft to the touch.
The handles are hard with a subtle textured grip. The texture prevents your hand from slipping, even when it’s wet.
The handles feature the GreenLife logo and are made from Bakelite, a phenolic plastic that is resistant to heat and designed to stay cool while cooking.
Each handle is attached to the base by a screw rather than rivets. There are pros and cons to this approach. You can unscrew the handle if you need extra space for storage or if you’re moving, but the screw can also loosen.
After examining the handle closely on the Soft Grip fry pan, I noticed that they could damage easily. My pan handle had a few marks on it — brand-new straight out of the box. After a few weeks of testing, I noticed even more imperfections.
But what really stood out was the handle’s length on the Soft Grip fry pan. It’s short, at just under 7-inches long.
For contrast, I grabbed Made In and Calphalon non-stick fry pans of similar size. Made In’s handle is about 7.75 inches, and Calphalon’s around 9.5 inches.
If you have large hands, you might find these short handles uncomfortable.
On the Soft Grip Pro collection, GreenLife features an upgraded handle design that’s more ergonomic, bending slightly downward.
If you prefer a stainless steel handle, go for the Artisan and Classic Pro collections. Both offer riveted stainless steel handles and are oven-safe up to 600°F. Artisan handles are Y-shaped, while Classic Pro handles are flush to the pan.
The Soft Grip collection features glass lids with silicone knobs. Across the collections, the silicone knobs have subtle differences. Some are round; others have a rectangular shape.
The Artisan and Classic Pro collections boast stainless steel handles on the lids.
The GreenLife logo is etched into the top of the glass lids. The lids are trimmed in stainless steel and provide a good contrast against the colors of the cookware.
GreenLife’s main selling point is its ceramic non-stick interior called Thermolon. The coating is made with silicon, a derivative of sand that’s PTFE-, PFOA-, and PFAS-free.
If you’re not familiar with these acronyms, here’s a quick overview:
- PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene): A synthetic, durable material that provides superior food release, is heat-resistant, and repels water. The most well-known brand of PTFE is Teflon.
- PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid): A man-made chemical that was once used during the manufacturing of PTFE. Due to health concerns, it’s been eliminated from the process of making PTFE since 2013.
- PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances): A group of man-made chemicals, including PFOA and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), that do not break down over time. They were once used in the manufacture of PTFE-based non-stick coatings.
So, if you are looking for non-stick cookware that is more natural, Thermolon is a solid choice.
In fact, Thermolon was the first ceramic non-stick coating. It was introduced in 2007 by GreenPan (GreenLife’s sister brand).
The sand-based coating is sprayed onto the cookware and oven-cured. The Thermolon curing process releases 60% less carbon dioxide than the curing process for PTFE-based non-stick.
Depending on which GreenLife collection you choose, you’ll get different formulations of Thermolon. For example, the Soft Grip collection features Thermolon, but the Soft Grip Pro and Sandstone collections use diamond-reinforced Thermolon for greater durability.
However, in terms of longevity and food release, Thermolon (and other ceramic non-stick coatings) can’t compete with PTFE-based non-stick. Ceramic non-stick degrades roughly 30-70 times faster than other non-stick coatings.
Still, GreenLife guarantees that its non-stick is free of plastic, glue, lead, and cadmium. So, it just matters what’s more important to you — longevity and easy food release or a cooking surface made of more natural materials.
The brand focuses on being eco-friendly, touting the fact that the cookware is made from recycled aluminum.
GreenLife uses two constructions: lightweight aluminum and hard-anodized aluminum. Most of GreenLife’s cookware offerings are lightweight aluminum. Classic Pro is the only collection that uses hard-anodized aluminum.
No matter the exterior construction, all cookware features a ceramic non-stick coating.
The walls of GreenLife cookware pots and pans are very thin. I compared a fry pan from the Soft Grip collection to a Calphalon fry pan of similar size.
The pan walls on the Calphalon are 3.6mm thick. The Soft Grip fry pan has a rolled edge, making it harder to measure, but it looks to be about 2.7mm.
It’s not ideal for heavy-duty cooking, such as searing a steak. It’s more suited for quick meals like a vegetable stir fry or pan-fried fish.
The thin walls also make it easier for heat to escape (poor heat retention). These are not the pans for slow, low braising, or complex dishes. These are everyday pans for simple meals.
I’ve been testing GreenLife cookware for several months, and I like some aspects of its performance and dislike others.
On the positive side, GreenLife cookware is lightweight. It’s easy to maneuver and won’t strain your wrist when flipping eggs or transferring the pan from the stove to the oven.
Due to its relatively thin, lightweight construction, it heats up fast and evenly. Unlike thick cast iron skillets or fully-clad stainless steel pans, GreenLife cookware reaches its peak temperature quickly (I will provide more data on this in the next section).
Fast heating is ideal for quick meals and boiling. If you lose patience waiting for water to boil for pasta, you’ll appreciate how fast these pans heat.
Another aspect I enjoy about GreenLife cookware is the slickness of the cooking surface. I cooked eggs, flakey fish, pancakes, and other delicate foods.
Eggs slide around with ease, and pancakes flip with no sticking. No matter what I cooked, food released quickly, and cleaning the pan was a breeze…at first.
That leads me to the downsides. After about two months, I noticed food beginning to stick. The ultra-slick cooking surface I was used to began to degrade. I had to use more and more butter and oils to prevent eggs and other delicate foods from slicking.
I wasn’t overly surprised by the degradation of the cooking surface because ceramic coatings are notorious for working perfectly at first but losing their non-stick properties within months (or a year if you’re lucky).
In addition to the surface sticking, I noticed the pan loses heat as fast as it heats up. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to sear a steak in a GreenLife pan.
Since the walls are so thin, the cookware loses heat when you add cold ingredients like a steak. When that happens, you won’t be able to get a good sear, and the meat won’t cook evenly.
Also, the meat won’t adhere to the ceramic non-stick coating, so it won’t maintain close enough contact to form a crust. Unlike most foods, you actually want meat to stick to the cooking surface when searing (it will release once on its own after a few minutes).
Lastly, I’m not a fan of GreenLife handles. Although they stay cool while cooking on the stove, they’re the shortest handles I’ve ever tested. If you’re cooking on high heat, you need to be careful. You don’t want your hand getting too close to the hot pan and flame.
Overall, GreenLife performs as you would expect low-cost cookware to perform. It heats up fast, is easy to handle, and the cooking surface is slick initially. It’s decent cookware for eggs, stir-frying, and sauteing, but I wouldn’t recommend it for meals that require browning or searing.
I put every cookware brand I review through a series of simple tests to measure its heat conduction and retention.
The first test involves pouring two cups of water into the pan and heating it on the stove at the highest heat setting.
There are two goals of this test.
First, I look for how even the bubbles are dispersed across the cooking surface. Cookware that heats evenly will have uniform bubbles.
Cookware that heats unevenly will have bubbles concentrated in certain areas, usually around the edges where the cookware is thinnest.
Second, I measure how fast the cookware boils the water. In general, cookware that boils water quickest is more responsive and provides more control over the heat.
Fortunately, GreenLife passed this first test. The bubbles were uniform across the cooking surface, indicating that it distributes heat evenly and doesn’t have any hot or cold spots.
Although the GreenLife pan isn’t the fastest to heat, it heats faster than several major brands.
Here’s how GreenLife performed and how it stacked up against the competition.
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Made In fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|Misen fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Anolon fry pan||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 27 seconds|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||1 minute and 58 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||1 minute and 47 seconds||2 minutes and 36 seconds|
|Calphalon fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 40 seconds|
|Hestan fry pan||1 minute and 52 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|GreenLife pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|Circulon fry pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|All-Clad skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|Ballarini fry pan||2 minutes and 15 seconds||3 minutes and 12 seconds|
The second test is designed to measure heat retention. As I mentioned in the previous section, I noticed that GreenLife pans don’t retain heat well during my cooking tests.
For this test, I removed the pan from the stove after the water began boiling and set it aside on the counter.
I measured the water temperature after five minutes and again after ten minutes. Cookware that retains heat well will keep the water warmer over time.
After five minutes, the water measured 119°F.
After ten minutes, the water measured 95°F.
As you’ll see in the results below, GreenLife tied with Gotham Steel for second-worst heat retention.
I’m not surprised by these results because GreenLife and Gotham Steel have similar aluminum construction and ceramic non-stick coating (check out my Gotham Steel review for more details).
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Made In fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|Misen fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||126.3°F||102.7°F|
|Circulon fry pan||133.3°F||102.0°F|
|Calphalon fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|Ballarini fry pan||120°F||99.9°F|
|Hestan fry pan||114°F||98°F|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||113°F||95°F|
|Anolon fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
While there are positive aspects of GreenLife cookware, there are a few downsides to consider before purchasing. I’ve summarized them below.
- Aluminum cookware isn’t as durable: GreenLife uses a lightweight aluminum body for most of its cookware. Aluminum isn’t as durable as stainless steel, cast iron, or carbon steel. It is more likely to warp and create an uneven bottom, making it unstable on your cooktop.
- Ceramic non-stick coating doesn’t last: PTFE-based non-stick cookware requires replacement every few years. Ceramic non-stick cookware wears out faster than PTFE, releasing particles to create the non-stick effect every time you use it. Over time, it has nothing left to give, and food starts to stick. In most cases, GreenLife’s coating won’t maintain its non-stick properties for more than a year or two, especially if you use it every day. It will lose its non-stick properties.
- Soft Grip handles limit the oven-safe temperature: Collections with soft-grip handles are oven-safe to 350°F. That includes Soft Grip, Soft Grip Pro, Induction, and Mini collections. The Sandstone collection also has soft-grip handles, but it is not oven-safe.
- Bakelite handle longevity: Bakelite is a phenolic plastic resistant to high temperatures. But, repeated exposure to a dishwasher or direct contact with a flame on a gas stove can cause the plastic to break down. If it melts, it will emit a foul odor due in part to the release of formaldehyde. If using it in an oven, I suggest staying well under 350°F as some ovens can have hot spots.
- Lid handle design flaw: Water tends to get trapped under the handles. It can be unhygienic, especially if bits of food are stuck.
- Colorful exterior doesn’t hold up: The colorful exterior of the pan can chip and stain easily, especially on the bottom of the pan.
- Food burns quickly because the pan is so thin: Because the pans are so thin, they heat up very quickly. If you’re not paying attention, you can burn your food. If you enjoy high-heat cooking, you’ll want clad stainless steel, carbon steel, or cast iron instead.
- Poor heat retention: Based on my test, GreenLife cookware has the second-worst heat retention compared to 10 other top brands.
GreenLife pans are affordable — which is ideal since they will need to be replaced often. They are simply not designed to be lifetime or even long-term cookware.
Prices will vary by collection. Artisan, Induction, and Soft Grip Pro are the top-tier collections, and the Soft Grip collection is the least expensive GreenLife offering.
The current prices of popular GreenLife cookware sets are displayed in the following chart. Click or tap the price to learn more about each set on Amazon.
|GreenLife Soft Grip 12-Inch Frying Pan||Amazon|
|GreenLife Soft Grip 7-Inch and 10-Inch Frying Pan Set||Amazon|
|GreenLife Soft Grip 16-Piece Set||Amazon|
|GreenLife Soft Grip 12-Piece Set||Amazon|
|GreenLife Soft Grip Pro 13-Piece Set (turquoise)||Amazon|
|GreenLife Soft Grip Pro 13-Piece Set (black)||Amazon|
|GreenLife Soft Grip 15-Piece Set||Amazon|
|GreenLife Artisan 12-Piece Set||Amazon|
|GreenLife Pro Hard Anodized 12-Piece Set||Amazon|
Here are answers the the most asked questions about GreenLife cookware.
No. GreenLife cookware is not 100% ceramic. The cookware’s base is made of either aluminum or hard-anodized aluminum. The non-stick coating is made with silicon, a derivative of sand. The coating is called ceramic because it has a slick, glossy look that mimics ceramic.
Yes, it’s safe to use when you follow the instructions. Do not overheat cookware with Bakelite handles (the soft grip handles) because the material can break down and emit a foul odor that could cause respiratory distress or make you feel ill.
With safe handling, the cookware is not toxic. According to GreenLife, the pans are made with a non-toxic non-stick coating.
Additionally, there is a “thick undercoating” beneath the non-stick layer to prevent contact with the aluminum. GreenLife doesn’t specify what the undercoating is but claims that the pan can be used safely even if the top non-stick coating wears off.
Lastly, the Bakelite handles are safe as long as you don’t overheat them or allow an open flame to touch them.
Yes, there is no Teflon in GreenLife cookware. Teflon is a brand name of PTFE. The cookware is PTFE-free as well.
GreenLife pans are dishwasher safe, but I recommend hand washing them with mild soap and warm water for increased cookware’s longevity.
Soft Grip is the brand’s most popular collection, but the Induction, Artisan, and Classic Pro collections have some added features that make them stand out.
Induction cookware gives you the flexibility to use it on any cooktop and in the oven. Artisan cookware features diamond-reinforced Thermolon for better durability and is oven safe up to 600°F (glass lids, 425°F). Classic Pro pots and pans are made with hard-anodized aluminum, a more durable, longer-lasting material.
GreenLife and GreenPan are owned by The Cookware Company, but they are distinct brands. I break down the seven key differences in my comparison of Greenpan vs. GreenLife.
To summarize, GreenPan is the high-end and more expensive brand, while GreenLife is the entry-level, less costly offering. GreenPan features fully-clad stainless steel and hard-anodized aluminum collections, while most GreenLife collections are standard aluminum.
All GreenLife cookware is made in a factory outside Hong Kong, China.
Bottom Line: Is GreenLife Cookware Any Good?
Now that you’ve learned the pros and cons of GreenLife cookware, it’s time to decide if it’s right for your kitchen.
Let’s review why you should or shouldn’t buy this brand.
You should buy GreenLife cookware if:
- You are looking for super-affordable, PTFE-free non-stick cookware.
- You want lightweight pans that you can easily maneuver.
- You want cookware that heats up fast and evenly.
- You want cookware with bright-colored exteriors.
- You want cookware that releases less CO2 into the environment during manufacturing.
- You prefer supporting sustainable brands; GreenLife uses recycled aluminum in all of its cookware.
You should NOT buy GreenLife cookware if:
- You want multiple choices for induction cookware; GreenLife only has one option.
- You have the budget to buy a longer-lasting option like GreenPan.
- You don’t want to replace your cookware often.
- You enjoy high-heat cooking.
- You prefer more durable options for cookware construction; most of GreenLife’s offerings are made from lightweight aluminum.
- You prefer long, stainless steel handles; GreenLife has limited options.
- You plan on using the cookware for searing and browning.
- You don’t want cookware with short handles.
Bottom line — GreenLife offers a modern and fun design with bright colors, and it’s affordable.
But, it lacks durability.
GreenLife’s claims of offering healthy non-stick cookware are valid. As long as you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for use and maintenance, you will enjoy a healthy cooking experience.
Unfortunately, no matter how carefully you treat GreenLife cookware, the non-stick coating will eventually wear down and lose its effectiveness.
The ceramic non-stick coating won’t last as long as traditional PTFE-based non-stick, so you will have to replace it more often.
And when you need to buy new pans, it’ll leave you wondering if you really saved money (or made a positive impact on the environment).
If you must have ceramic non-stick cookware, go with GreenPan. It’s similar to GreenLife but is made with more durable materials and is designed for more advanced cooking. Check it out on Amazon, or read my in-depth review to learn more.
- GreenPan vs. GreenLife Cookware: What’s the Difference?
- GreenPan Cookware Review: Performance, Design, Key Features
- HexClad vs. GreenPan Cookware: An In-Depth Comparison
- GreenPan vs. Caraway: Which Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Is Better?
- GreenPan vs. All-Clad: Which Non-Stick Cookware Is Better?
- Scanpan vs. GreenPan: Which Non-Stick Cookware Is Better?
- The Definitive Guide to the Best Cookware Brands