Air fryer sizes explained: what air fryer size is best for your kitchen

Air fryer size guide: how to pick the right air fryer for you

Air frying size guide
(Image credit: Philips)

The best air fryers have become a staple in most kitchens, offering a quick, easy, healthier and more cost-effective way to make your meals. But if you’re new to air frying or you’re not completely satisfied with the model you have, it might be time to invest in a new air fryer for all your cooking and meal prepping needs.

One thing to consider when buying an air fryer is its size. From the super-sized to the pretty petite, it’s important to narrow down the size of air fryer you need, to suit your cooking preferences, the amount of people you’re cooking for and where you’ll be putting it in your kitchen.

In this air fryer size guide, I breakdown the different options you can find and the questions you need to ask yourself before you buy an air fryer.

Different sizes of air fryers explained

The two main air fryer types on the market are basket air fryers and mini oven-style air fryers. The former has a compartment or a basket where you put your food before attaching it to the main body of the air fryer. The latter is typically bigger and features tray inserts similar to the best ovens, only in miniature form.

The two different types of air fryers come in a variety of different sizes, but it’s important to look at the internal capacity to determine how much food you can fit inside the compartment. Air fryer sizes vary between two to 10 litres/quarts, although you can find models with up to 25-litre capacities, but these look and act similar to a toaster oven or microwave. Air fryer experts recommend between 1-2 litres is best for two people, 3-4 litres is best for four people and 5-6 litres is best for six people, and so on.

The smallest air fryers range from two - four litres, offering a compact size which is easy to store and takes up minimal room in even the smallest kitchens. Smaller air fryers have a limited capacity, so they’re best suited for solo eaters or side dishes. A good example of a small air fryer is the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer which is lightweight, portable and creates quick and tasty meals for one to two people at a time.

A dual basket air fryer sat on a countertop surrounded by food

(Image credit: Amazon)

Medium air fryers offer between three to five litres, and are typically suited to small families. Medium-sized models are popular with meal preppers and as they tend to have more cooking functions to play with, like roasting, baking, dehydrating and more, like the Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid.

Larger air fryers are anything over six litres, with most popular models on the market ranging from eight to 12 litres. The Tower 10-in-1 Air Fryer Xpress Pro Combo is a good example of a large air fryer, as it has an 11-litre capacity which can fit an entire rotisserie chicken inside!

As the size gets larger, the air fryer tends to get more gadgets and gizmos, like extra cooking programmes, more customisation settings and additional accessories. The initial price as well as running costs will increase with the size too (see how much does an air fryer cost to run? for more details).

What air fryer size should I choose?

Close up of a Tower air fryer with baskets filled of chips

(Image credit: Tower)

Like most appliances, air fryers have gotten bigger and bigger as their popularity has soared. Popular brands, like Tower, Ninja, Tefal and Philips, have an array of air fryer sizes to choose from, including small compact models to extra large marvels. So, which should you choose?

If you’re stuck on which size to buy, it’s important to ask yourself what you intend to use your air fryer for and how many people do you expect to cook for. If you’re looking for a way to quickly reheat food and make snacks or lighter meals, a smaller air fryer might be the best fit for you. However, if you want to cook full meals, batch cook and use it on a daily basis, a medium or large air fryer will suit your needs better.

If you’re only using your air fryer to cook for yourself and your partner, a small air fryer would work best. If you have a small family or cook for up to four people at a time, a medium-sized air fryer is a good choice, and for cooking for over five people, a large air fryer will tackle all your cooking tasks easily.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!