The Best Non-Toxic Cookware to Buy in 2021

Written by Moss Lane Staff

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Whether you’re cooking for fun or for your family, you probably care a great deal about the ingredients you use in your meals. But no matter how healthy, safe, and non-toxic your meals might be, it’s your cookware that might be harming you. 

Recent findings from the FDA show that toxic chemicals like PFAS and PTFE (read: Teflon) found in cookware are leaching into our food and causing long-term health damage. 

The good news is that there is plenty of highly functional non-toxic cookware on the market today. We’ve reviewed the best by every non-toxic material below. 

Our Recommendation: The Our Place Always Pan 

TOP PICK

Our Place Always Pan

The Always Pan from Our Place is a non-toxic ceramic-coated aluminum pan that replaces 8 pieces in a modern cookware set. That’s right—the Always Pan can stand in for your fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest. If you want a versatile, healthy non-toxic pan that saves you the cost of investing in a full non-toxic cookware set, the Always Pan is it. 

The Always Pan is made with a non-stick ceramic coating free of potentially harmful chemicals like Teflon, PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticles. The Always Pan has been tested to meet the standards of both ceramic and polymeric coatings, meaning absolutely nothing can pass through the coating in leach into your food. 

We also love that the Always Pan encourages us to buy fewer products but still gives us the functionality we need out of a full non-toxic cookware set. Our Place is a made in the USA, women-owned business that invests in using ethical labor practices to produce their products. They’ve also partnered with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council to do their part in helping communities in L.A. access healthy food. 

What Customers love

  • Easy clean up. Just use a little soap and water. 
  • Great design. “It’s well balanced and easy to hold/move with the two handles.”
  • Great non-stick. No oil needs to be added. 

What Customers Don’t Love

  • Not oven-safe
  • One size only

Other Non-Toxic Cookware We Love

Best Non-Toxic Ceramic Cookware

xtrema-Pure-Ceramic-Cookware

Best Ceramic

XTrema

Pure Ceramic Cookware

DETAILS

  • 100% all-natural, non-toxic, inorganic and nonreactive ceramic
  • No PFOA, PTFE, glues, polymers, coatings or dyes

If you’re looking for the hands-down safest non-toxic cookware, a totally ceramic option is your best bet. Our pick for non-toxic ceramic cookware is the XTrema Pure Ceramic Cookware set. 

Xtrema products are made from 100% pure ceramic, and are all-natural, non-toxic, inorganic and nonreactive. It’s products contain no PFOA, PTFE, glues, polymers, coatings or dyes. Xtrema is also FDA-approved and meets California Prop 65 standards, which certifies that it doesn’t have any of the 800 potential chemicals and compounds that could cause cancer or reproductive harm. 

Another great advantage of opting for a 100% ceramic option like Xtrema is the fact that ceramic is typically considered a more sustainable material than metal, and many non-toxic cookware options have metal as their base. 

Best Non-Toxic Cookware Set

Best Cookware Set

Caraway

Four Piece Set

DETAILS

  • Non-stick ceramic-coated aluminum core
  • Free of PFOA, PTFE, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, or toxic metals
  • No hard anodization

If you’re looking for full non-toxic cookware sets, Caraway offers a four-piece bundle of non-stick ceramic-coated aluminum core pans and pots. This non-toxic cookware set is free of PFOA, PTFE, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, or toxic metals, and they also avoid using any form of hard anodization (a chemical bath that prevents your cookware from oxidation, which can be potentially harmful if the pan gets damaged). 

The four-piece set includes a fry pan, saucepan, saute pan, and dutch oven, with free lid and magnet pan storage that are key space savers in small kitchens.

 We also love that Caraway sought out factories in China and India that adhere to strict ethical manufacturing practices and maintain the required standards for BSCI or SMETA. Plus, the products come shipped recycled cardboard with zero plastic bags, low impact print dyes, and 100% biodegradable cork trivets. 

Users love that the Caraway set has great heat distribution, easy clean up, and a great design that factors in space-saving organization. On the other hand, users mention that the handles are not heat proof so you’ll need to take an extra step and use oven mitts to handle.

Best Non-Toxic Non-Stick Cookware

greenpan

Best Non-Stick

GreenPan

DETAILS

  • Thermolon non-toxic, non-stick coating derived from sand

If you don’t want to compromise non-stick functionality with your non-toxic cookware, any of GreenPan’s cookware made with their Thermolon coating will do the trick. Thermolon is a non-toxic, non-stick cookware coating derived from sand instead of Teflon. 

Their best-rated products are in their Hudson ceramic line, though the brand has many different products to choose from—making GreenPan a good option for cooks who need a lot of different tools. 

We also love that GreenPan’s factory has earned multiple ISO certificates for their efforts in caring for their staff and surroundings, and they use upcycled stainless steel and aluminum wherever they can in their products. 

Best Non-Toxic Cast Iron Cookware 

lodge

Best Cast Iron

Lodge

DETAILS

  • Made in the USA

When treated properly, cast iron is a great non-toxic cookware material. And, well-seasoned cast iron cookware can also be just as non-stick as the non-toxic cookware options above. 

If cast iron is your non-toxic cookware of choice, Lodge offers an affordable array of cookware products. We love their 12-inch skillet for a versatile piece of cookware, but their dutch ovens and bakeware get great reviews too. 

We also love Lodge’s commitment to “eco-responsibility.” According to their website, they’ve invested in comprehensive recycling programs and in equipment that reduces their factory’s pollution and energy consumption. You can learn more about the green certifications and commitments they’ve made to being eco-friendly here. Plus, they’re made in the USA. 

Best Non-Toxic Stainless Steel Cookware

all-clad

Best Stainless Steel

All Clad

DETAILS

  • Aluminum core bonded with 2 layers of stainless steel
  • Made in the USA

Not all non-toxic stainless steel cookware is created equal. You want to avoid cheap stainless steel that doesn’t have a high quality coating around the aluminum core and will degrade over time. 

If you’re ready to invest in a great, non-toxic stainless steel cookware set, All Clad’s line of stainless steel cookware is a good bet. The All Clad stainless steel cookware has an aluminum core bonded together with 2 layers of high quality stainless steel all the way around. 

We also love All Clad as a non-toxic cookware option that’s made in the USA. 

Best Non-Toxic Porcelain Enamel Cookware

le-crueset

Best Porcelain Enamel

Le Creuset

DETAILS

  • Customer favorite
  • Even cooking

When treated appropriately, porcelain enamel is a healthy non-toxic cookware option. But unfortunately, it’s an option you’ll have to splurge on. Cheaper porcelain enamel products can be coated in Teflon. 

If you’re ready for the investment, Le Creuset is a tried-and-true non-toxic porcelain enamel cookware option. From dutch ovens to roasting pans, they offer a wide array of high quality and long lasting products. 

If you’re going with Le Creuset, stick to the pieces coated in blue shades. The red-painted cookware have been found to have slightly more cadmium and lead levels, making Le Creuset a “better,” not “best” non-toxic cookware option. Other websites report that Le Creuset has been tested to meet the California Proposition 65 (certifying that at least 800 well-known toxics are not found in their products), but that testing certification isn’t present on their website. 

Best Non-Toxic Glass Cookware

pyrex

Best Glass

Pyrex

Visions® 4-piece Cookware Set

DETAILS

  • Free of cadmium, lead and other metals

Glass is an old-school non-toxic cookware option that you can turn to, but opt for newer options to avoid using pieces that might have been crafted with cadmium or lead. 

If you’re restocking your non-toxic glass cookware, Pyrex is a trusted brand offering lots of non-toxic cookware and bakeware. Their top-rated cookware product is their Visions® 4-piece Cookware Set, though they’re particularly known for their glass baking dishes and casseroles. Importantly, the Visions cookware is free of cadmium, lead and any other metals. 

Research on Pyrex lead levels has found that their painted dishes might have small levels of lead. And while we love finding reused items for our home, vintage Pyrex might have higher levels of lead than modern cookware options. 

Best Non-Toxic Bakeware 

Bakeware can get tired quickly, so you want to make sure you’re investing in high-quality, non-toxic items that won’t degrade over time. Here are our recommendations for non-toxic baking sheets and dishes. 

USA Pan Nonstick 6-Piece Baking Set

usapan

USA Pan

Nonstick 6-Piece Baking Set

DETAILS

  • PTFE, PFOA and BPA free
  • Made in the USA

USA Pan offers a tough, high quality baking sheet and bakeware that lasts forever—our editors can attest to it from personal experience. They’re made of aluminized steel and coated with a non-stick silicone, made without PTFE, PFOA and BPA. We also love that USA Pan is made in the USA. 

Great Jones Easy Bake Set

great-jones

Great Jones

Easy Bake Set

DETAILS

  • Affordable
  • Women-owned business

The Great Jones Easy Bake set includes two baking sheets, a cake pan, and a bread loaf made of ceramic nonstick aluminized steel at an affordable price for a high-quality bundle. We also love their casserole dishes that come with fun, colorful designs. 

You can also feel good about supporting Great Jones as a business: they’re women-owned and investing in building recycling facilities that help consumers responsibly dispose of old cookware. 

Non-Toxic Cookware: Materials to Avoid

When you’re shopping for cookware and want to be sure you’re purchasing a non-toxic set, there are a handful of chemicals you want to be sure to avoid.

You’ve probably heard of Teflon before—it’s the brand name for a group of man-made chemicals that provide non-stick coating to cookware. The most common chemicals in the group are:

  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) 
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, also known as C8)
  • Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), and “GenX” chemicals.

Teflon and PFOA stay in the body for a long time, and PFOA has been linked specifically to thyroid disorders, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, testicular cancer, and infertility.

If those are the chemicals you specifically want to avoid, what materials should you be looking for so you know you won’t encounter them?

When it comes to the best non-toxic cookware, here are the materials you can feel good about:

  • Ceramic-Coated
  • Solid Ceramic
  • Cast Iron
  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium
  • Glass
  • Porcelain Enamel

All of the products reviewed in this non-toxic cookware guide are made with one or more of these non-toxic materials. 

Our Research Process

Our research process started at the material level, given that in the world of non-toxic cookware there are a handful of well-known toxic materials that need to be avoided. We made sure we had a comprehensive list of what to look out for, then we did research on what materials you can feel good about buying. 

Next we compiled a list of brands that are best-in-class in those safe material categories. The list consisted of:

  1. Our Place
  2. XTrema
  3. Caraway
  4. Great Jones
  5. GreenPan
  6. Lodge
  7. Le Creuset
  8. All Clad
  9. Kitchenaid
  10. Pyrex
  11. Staub
  12. Cuisinart
  13. Made In
  14. USA Pan
  15. Gotham Steel

We focused on how non-toxic the cookware products were, prioritizing the brands that were third-party tested and used none of the toxic chemicals listed above whatsoever. We also looked into online reviews, user ratings, as well as our own team’s personal experience. 

We highlighted any brands that were using particularly environmentally-friendly materials, going above and beyond in disclosing their ethical labor practices, were made in the USA, were women-owned, used recyclable and biodegradable materials in their packaging, and more. 

If you’d like to learn more about eco-friendly, natural, and non-toxic home and kitchen items, you find more of our favorite products here

Article Sources

  1. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid-pfoa.html
  2. https://fromourplace.com/pages/faqs
  3. https://xtrema.com/pages/pure-ceramic
  4. https://sliceofkitchen.com/hard-anodized-cookware-safety/ 
  5. https://www.carawayhome.com/pages/faq#reamaze#0#/kb/about-us/where-are-caraway-products-made
  6. https://www.greenpan.us/why-greenpan
  7. https://www.usapan.com/our-story#main
  8. https://greatjonesgoods.com/pages/help

Moss Lane Staff

The Moss Lane Staff is comprised of seasoned content professionals who specialize in synthesizing large amounts of information and making it accessible to every day readers. This article was written and edited by multiple members of our staff to ensure comprehensive coverage of the topic.