Best Non Toxic Cookware (Favorite Types & Brands Reviewed)

In this roundup of the best non toxic cookware brands, we’ve tested and reviewed safe non-stick pans, as well as cast iron, stainless steel, carbon steel and more, so you can find the healthiest cookware that works best for your family.

Best Non-Toxic Cookware Brands

From our mom’s advice to the doctor’s office, we’ve always been told that healthy eating is the backbone of a healthy lifestyle. And cooking healthy food at home is pretty much the backbone of healthy eating, right? 

But cue the record scratch when I say that some of the cookware you are using in your kitchen is not helping your healthy eating efforts at all – in fact, it might be hurting it. 

In this post we will take a look at the health concerns with many types of cookware and then I’ll share the best non toxic cookware brands that I’ve found in my many years of cooking! I’ve been lucky enough to test out many types and brands of cookware and I’m spilling the beans on them all in this cookware review post.

Non-stick cookware at Target

At Mindful Momma we only endorse products we’ve personally researched, tested, and honestly love. We may receive commissions from affiliate links in this article including Amazon Affiliates. Full Disclosure

Why Non Toxic Cookware is Important

How could something as healthy as cooking be harming our health? Sadly, it’s because cooking pans (and most products available on the market today) are not well regulated for safety. Because of this, companies are able to use chemicals and manufacturing processes that either have not been tested for safety or in some cases, have been shown to be harmful but have not been outright banned.

4 Things to AVOID in Cookware

Let’s take a look at the biggest health concerns with cookware:

1.) AVOID: Non Stick Coatings

The coatings used to create traditional Teflon-style non-stick cookware contain perfluorinated compounds (known as PFAS), such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which have been linked to cancer, elevated cholesterol, hormone disruption and other health issues. Heat causes the chemicals to break down and release toxic fumes into the air. 

Over time the nonstick coatings can get scratched and start to peel, so that you may be ingesting some of that nasty stuff. On top of that, PFOAs don’t biodegrade, meaning they will always be  in the environment and have been shown to accumulate in our bodies (more about health risks from PFAS contamination). Traditional non-stick pans or Teflon cookware are the #1 type of cookware you should swap out right away.*

*Note: Beware non-stick cookware that claims to be PFOA-free. It probably contains PTFE, which is likely just as bad!

2.) AVOID: Aluminum

Aluminum is a fantastic heat conductor but there are concerns that cooking directly on aluminum could cause neurological issues in some people. This argument is hotly debated but to be safe, keep cooking in exposed aluminum to a minimum, especially when cooking acidic foods such as tomatoes, vinegar, and citrus. Aluminum that is “sandwiched” in between layers of stainless steel is fine because the aluminum does not touch the food.

3.) AVOID: Heavy Metals

Heavy metals like lead & cadmium are sometimes detected in colored enamel pans – especially the reds and oranges. A brand new pan is probably not a problem, but once the surface has been scratched or chipped, heavy metal leaching may occur. 

4.) AVOID: Nanoparticles

Ceramic non-stick cookware is increasingly popular but there is some concern about nanoparticles of titanium dioxide used in cheap “quasi-ceramic” coatings that may be released due to scratches and wear and tear of the coating over time (source). That said, there are no conclusive studies on this. Choose ceramic non-stick cookware brands that are transparent about manufacturing and perform third-party safety testing. 

Non-toxic Cookware on stove

Healthiest Cookware Types

To say we love to cook at our house is an understatement. For my husband and myself and even for our two boys, cooking is not only nourishment, it is entertainment, a fun hobby, an obsession, a great way to procrastinate….and most importantly, cooking is LOVE!! 

We own MANY cooking pots and pans. Too many probably, but we have a hard time being minimalist in the kitchen. The good news is, I’ve tested out many pots and pans in order to help you find the best quality, safe cookware around! Be assured that the non toxic pans I mention below are those that I highly recommend.

Below are my favorite brands for healthy, non-toxic cookware (including the best non-toxic cookware sets) for each of these types of cookware:

  • Cast iron cookware
  • Stainless steel cookware
  • 100% ceramic cookware
  • Ceramic non-stick cookware
  • Porcelain enamel cast iron cookware
  • Carbon steel cookware
  • Copper cookware

Let’s get started!

cast iron non-stick pan with fried egg

1.) Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware is like your reliable friend – it’s always there for you when you need it. Cast iron is known for great heat retention – just be sure to heat it up slowly to avoid burning.

The best cast iron cookware in my opinion, is just plain cast iron, without other coatings. Avoid thin or cheap cast iron as it might burn foods quickly. Many cast iron pans come pre-seasoned, making it easy to get started without a hassle. I’ve busted some common myths about cast iron on the blog as well. 

lodge cast iron pan

Favorite Cast Iron Cookware Brand: Lodge

Why I love Lodge Cast Iron Cookware:

  • High quality, pre-seasoned cast iron without any coatings that is made to last forever.
  • All of their seasoned cast iron is made in the USA. 
  • Whether you are looking for one cast iron pan or many, Lodge is a great brand!  

Suggested products from Lodge Cookware:

Other Popular Cast Iron Cookware Brands

  • Stargazer – I haven’t personally tried Stargazer, but I have heard great things! Stargazer claims to be smoother, lighter and safer than other cast iron brands. 
  • Field Company – Another brand that I have yet to try but has a great reputation for lightweight and smoothly finished cast iron pans.
  • See section on enameled cast iron below for more suggestions.

stainless steel cookware on stove

2.) Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless steel is the darling of the cooking world. It’s super durable, safe to use, easy to clean and beautiful to look at! You can also cook with stainless steel pans at high heat. The best stainless steel cookware is made from high quality 18/10 stainless and has an aluminum core (aluminum is a great heat conductor), but is completely encased in stainless steel.

Avoid cheap stainless steel cookware that might not hold up over time. There is some concern about the nickel and chromium in stainless steel as a very small number of people are sensitive to it – but most of us can use stainless cookware without concern. 

360 Cookware Waterless Cooking

Favorite Stainless Steel Cookware: 360 Cookware

Why I love 360 Stainless Steel Cookware:

  • It’s made from stainless steel with an aluminum core
  • 360 Cookware is designed for waterless cooking, a technique designed to cook using the natural moisture from the food, instead of added water. The process locks in the natural flavors and nutrients in foods and uses less energy than traditional cooking as well.
  • If you are looking for cookware that will last a long time (aka forever!), then this is it!
  • Bonus – this non-toxic cookware is made in the USA!

Read my full 360 cookware review (they have great bakeware too!)

Suggested products from 360 Cookware:

Mindful Momma readers get 25% off 360 Cookware with code MindfulMomma25.

Another Great Stainless Steel Cookware Brand: All Clad Stainless Steel

Why I love All Clad Cookware:

  • Stainless steel with an aluminum core
  • All Clad pans heat quickly and evenly
  • I love how easy they are to clean.
  • They last! I bought my first All Clad pan when I worked for a cooking store in college and we got more for our wedding!
  • All Clad is an excellent brand that is headquartered in Pennsylvania and the stainless steel line is made in the USA.
  • Some people ask – Is All Clad non toxic? – and the answer is YES!

Suggested products from All Clad:

Buy All Clad stainless steel cookware direct

More High Quality Stainless Steel Cookware Brands

  • Quince – Professional-grade Italian cookware constructed with five layers of stainless steel and aluminum for even heat distribution and maximum durability.
  • Calphalon – A 3-layer construction of stainless steel with an aluminum core. Easy to find at Target and other local stores.

Xtrema cookware meal

3.) 100% Ceramic Cookware

Take a trip to any store that sells cookware and you’ll probably see the term ceramic on some of the pots and pans. Stop right there, because most of that cookware is not 100% ceramic but rather has a ceramic coating applied to the cooking surface of the pan – whether the pan is aluminum, cast iron or stainless steel (see below for more info on ceramic coated pans). But what I’m talking about here is 100% pure ceramic cookware. This type of ceramic is not a coating, it is ceramic pottery through and through. 

Xtrema 100% ceramic cookware

Favorite 100% Ceramic Cookware Brand: Xtrema  

Why I love Xtrema Ceramic Cookware:

  • Xtrema by Ceramcor is a 100% ceramic line of cookware. There is no coating or glaze so nothing will ever flake, peel or scratch off this cookware.
  • In addition, there are no bonding materials, glues, polymers, or dyes used in Xtrema.
  • Each batch of Xtrema is third-party tested for heavy metals like lead and cadmium, making it a truly safe and healthy choice if you are shopping for non-toxic cookware.

Xtrema is extremely durable and is scratch-proof and chip resistant. It is much lighter than cast iron. The only downside is that if you drop it on the floor, it will probably break. 

The company sent me a sample of the Xtrema 10″ Versa Skillet and after giving it a test drive, I highly recommend it. I’ve cooked eggs – both fried and scrambled with great success, and even if something sticks it is super easy to clean off with a handy plastic pan scraper. The Versa skillet can transfer easily between the stovetop and the oven and comes with handy silicone handle protectors so you won’t get burned. Plus it’s a beautiful serving dish as well. 

Mindful Momma readers get 10% off anytime using code MindfulM10 at checkout!!

Suggested products from Xtrema:


4.) Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware

Ceramic coated cookware has emerged as a popular replacement to traditional Teflon nonstick pans. Ceramic coatings are made from silicon (not to be confused with silicone), which is basically sand, and do not use any Teflon coatings – PFOA,  PTFE or anything in the PFAS category. Ceramic coated pans are considered to be much safer than old school non-stick pans and use 60% less CO2 in manufacturing.

However, from what I’ve read and learned through experience, it is important to choose high quality ceramic coated cookware over cheaper versions. Not all ceramic coatings are created equal.

Because of these concerns, if you feel the need to have a non-stick pan in your kitchen, I recommend sticking with brands that have been certified by third party testing to meet food contact standards set by the U.S. and Europe and to be free from heavy metals and other contaminants.  

A downside of ceramic non-stick pans is that they are not built to last a lifetime, like stainless steel or cast iron. Over time, the coating can get scratched and you will need to replace the pans. Personally, I use my ceramic-coated pans when I really need the non-stick feature (eggs for example), and I stick with stainless steel or cast iron for the majority of my cooking.

See below for more recommendations of the best non-stick cookware that is free from PFAS-type chemicals. 

Our Place Always Pan - ceramic cookware

Favorite Ceramic Coated Cookware Pan: Always Pan

Why I love the Always Pan:

  • The Always Pan from Our Place is a multi-use pan that is designed to replace a 16-piece cookware set.
  • The pan has a safe ceramic coating that turns out a mean fried egg without sticking.
  • It comes with a very useful steamer basket and a cute bamboo spatula that fits onto the skillet’s handle – I just love design details like that!

The Always Pan has become a favorite in our kitchen – we use it a lot! It would also be a perfect gift for a young adult with a new apartment, or someone with very little storage space. If you are looking for an affordable non-toxic non-stick pan, I recommend this one!

  • The Always Pan uses a sol-gel non-stick coating that is made primarily from silicon dioxide
  • The ceramic coating is third party tested to ensure compliance with FDA and EU food contact regulations
  • Tested to show that absolutely nothing can pass through the coating
  • Free from  PTFE, PFOA, PFOS, lead, cadmium and other toxic metals
  • Made in a female-owned factory in China
  • The Always Pan comes in your choice of fun colors
  • A titanium always pan and a cast iron always pan are available too and they are both amazing pans.
  • Our Place has beautiful dinnerware and kitchen tools as well.

Caraway ceramic non-stick non-toxic cookware

Favorite Ceramic Cookware Set: Caraway

Why I love Caraway Cookware:

First of all, Caraway Cookware is gorgeous! But it performs really well too – and in our kitchen, our pans work HARD! The aluminum core allows the pans to heat evenly and the non-toxic ceramic coating means it’s great for all the non-stick cooking we need to do. If you really want a nonstick cookware set, then this is it! (individual cookware items are also available)

Other Popular Ceramic Non Stick Cookware Brands

  • Greenpan – Another popular brand of non stick ceramic cookware that is Greenpan. It is easily found on Amazon and is sold in many stores.
  • Cuisinart – Cuisinart Culinary Collection uses a PURELYCERAMIC nonstick coating

5.) Porcelain Enamel Cast Iron Cookware

Enameled cookware pans marry the heat retention and durability of cast iron with a hard porcelain enamel glaze that is baked onto the surface (both interior and exterior) of the pan.

Because of some concern that heavy metals like lead and cadmium could leach from enamel coated pans (especially from brightly colored pans), you should be careful to purchase only from reputable sources and discontinue use if the interior surface gets chipped.

enameled-cookware-le-crueset

Favorite Enamel Cast Iron Brand: Le Creuset

Why I love Le Crueset Cookware:

  • I inherited two Le Creuset pans from my mother – a large skillet and an oval baking dish. Both are amazing for cooking and the baking dish is lovely for serving as well.
  • LeCreuset cast iron is still made in France.
  • We love our LeCreuset dutch ovens!
  • LeCreuset is not cheap, but well worth the investment in my opinion! 

Suggested products from Le Creuset:

Shop Le Crueset direct

More Recommended Enameled Cast Iron Brands:

  • Cast Iron Always Pan – If you are only going to buy one cast iron pan, you should seriously consider this one – it’s the perfect size for so many cooking jobs and comes in some pretty colors. We LOVE this pan for giving a nice sear to cooked meat.
  • Made In Cookware
  • Staub Cast Iron
Alva Carbon Steel Cookware

6.) Carbon Steel Cookware

Carbon Steel cookware is very popular in commercial kitchens and is gaining popularity in home kitchens – for good reason! Here’s why you might want to give carbon steel cookware a try:

  • Quick temperature response, great for searing steaks or quick cooking stir frys
  • Very lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Extremely durable – can withstand high temperatures and can even be used on a campfire
Alva-carbon-steel-pan

Favorite Carbon Steel Cookware Brand: Alva Cookware

Why I love Alva Carbon Steel Cookware:

  • The Forest Wok from Alva Cookware comes pre-seasoned with mineral oil so it’s ready to use and has an Acacia wood handle that stays cool.
  • It is completely PFAS-free!
  • It works on all types of stoves
  • The Forest Wok is perfect for stir fry night – a favorite with my family!

You can take 10% off your first order from Alva Cookware with code MINDFULMOMMA

Suggested products from Alva:

Sertoto Copper Pan

7.) Copper Cookware

Copper is an excellent conductor of heat. It heats quickly and the heat spreads throughout the pan evenly, allowing food to cook uniformly without hot spots. Copper is an essential mineral for the human body, but because too much of it could cause health problems, copper pans are almost always lined with another material. 

High quality copper cookware is typically lined with a thin layer of tin. The tin is non-reactive and does not interfere with the heat conduction of the copper. Tin is also naturally non-stick, an added bonus for this popular type of cookware.

Favorite Copper Cookware brand: Sertodo

Why I love Sertodo Copper Cookware:

  • This heavy-guage, tin-lined copper cookware is not only gorgeous but it is a joy to cook with!
  • The lightweight handles are heat resistant and easy to hold on to.
  • Copper cookware is an investment, but it is meant to last a lifetime!

Suggested products from Sertodo:

Best Non Toxic Cookware FAQs

Is ceramic cookware safe?

The short answer is YES, as long as you are buying from a reputable producer. When shopping for ceramic cookware, it’s important to look for brands that have been certified by third party testing to be free from heavy metals and other contaminants and to meet food contact standards set by the United States and Europe.

Is stainless steel cookware safe?

Yes, stainless steel is considered a very safe material for cookware. While stainless steel is generally considered hypoallergenic and safe for most people, it is possible for some individuals to have an allergic reaction to the nickel that makes up a small component of stainless steel alloys. If you have a known nickel allergy, you should discuss your cookware choice with your doctor.

What cookware is PFOA and PTFE free?

All of the cookware types listed in this post are free from PFOA, PTFE and other PFAS chemicals. When shopping for non-stick cookware, always read labels carefully for these types of non-stick chemicals, and avoid them at all costs.

More Favorites from Mindful Momma

Do you have a favorite non-toxic cookware brand? I’d love to hear what it is!

green & healthy wishes Micaela signature

Best Types of Non-Toxic Cookware Infographic

45 Comments

  1. Pam Mercer says:

    This is great info! Thanks for posting! I’ve just purchased a set from Green Pan and am hoping I made a good choice!! 😳. Does this brand fall into your “use with caution” category?

    1. UPDATE: At this point I feel more comfortable recommending high quality ceramic cookware like the Always Pan because it has been third-party tested for heavy metals and other toxic chemicals. I would use caution with brands of ceramic cookware that are not transparent about testing.

      1. Trying to purchase the always pan and the perfect pot. Already in love with the fact that’s it’s made PFOA PTFE & PFAS free!!
        Anyhow tried using your discount code MINDMOM and it didn’t work.
        Do you an updated code?
        Please advise. Thank you
        Margie

        1. Sorry about the code – the company told me they stopped using ongoing discount codes – but be sure to check their website for current specials!

  2. Thank you for all the information! Have you happened to come across bakeware or cookware that is non toxic AND made in the US or Europe?

    Thanks
    Maja and Robert

  3. would you say all clad stainless steel is safe for an everyday use? I am completely new to non toxic cookware… if I dare share my current cooking pans … lol

    1. Oh yes – stainless steel pans are very safe to use and All Clad is a very reputable brand. I own quite a few stainless pans from All Clad and they have stood the test of time!!

  4. Do you recommend Caraway brand asa safe option? Any cons?

    1. Caraway seems to be pretty similar to the Always Pan. I’m hoping to do a review of it soon!

    2. Is Sertodo copper third-party tested? Their stuff is gorgeous, but it says they use recycled metals (according to their website). How can we make sure there are no alloys in this recycled metal? :/ I have very sensitive kids and can’t find any info on their copper..

      1. Hi Nancy ! Did you get an answer from them ?

  5. As far as ceramic coated pans go, is Always Pan less toxic than Green Pan? I see in another comment you said to use with caution on Green Pan. I’m curious if Always Pan could also be potentially harmful. Thx!!

    1. Hi Tessa – Good question! Since I first wrote this post I’ve learned a bit more about ceramic cookware. At this point I feel more comfortable recommending high quality ceramic cookware like the Always Pan because it has been third-party tested for heavy metals and other toxic chemicals. I would use caution with brands of ceramic cookware that are not transparent about testing. Hope that helps!

  6. Have you done any research on Scanpans? I was planning to purchase those until more recently I’ve been finding info on the Caraway and Always pans.

    1. I haven’t used Scanpan but it is ceramic non stick and I believe they have a good reputation for quality.

  7. hi MICAELA hope you are doing well
    there is know doubt that did a detail research on the topic. But, i have a doubt on copper cookware; yes they are very well conductor of heat, at the same time they are highly reactive with citrus foods.
    So, will you really consider them as a non toxic cookware?

    1. Good question Lila – the tin lining on copper pans eliminates the concern about reactivity with acidic foods.

      1. Thanks for the reply… Late merry christmas & happy new year in advance…..

  8. What would you recommend as the best pan/material when cooking with acidic foods like tomato sauce?
    Thanks!

  9. Aman Sharma says:

    I love your blog! I’m a big fan of non-toxic cookware and I’m always on the lookout for new brands and types to try. Thank you for all the great information!

  10. How safe is the aluminum core in The Always Pan or any other pan? Aluminum leakage is a big concern. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

  11. Out of these brands which pot would be good for cooking rice?

    1. I’ve never used Staub but my understanding is that is high quality enameled cast iron cookware.

  12. HELP! I am searching for non toxic (non aluminum) disposable cookware that I can make ahead and freeze items in bulk. I can only seem to find aluminum. Any ideas?

    1. I’m afraid that I don’t know of anything other than aluminum for disposable bakeware.

  13. Julie Siegel says:

    Hi, Any good rest for a non toxic air fryer?

    1. Julie Siegel says:

      Any good recs for a non toxic air fryer? ***Not rest

  14. Im surprised I dont see green pan on here. It is one of the best non toxic nonstick pans I have heard.

  15. Hey there! Costco just had a beautiful enameled cast iron dutch oven set and I’m trying to figure out if it’s good quality. The brand is Tramontina. Would love any perspective you have please!!

  16. Maymayskitchenproducts says:

    Out of all the pots and pans ive tried over the years my copper pans are my favorite. My copper pans always cook evenly and food never sticks!

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