The Best Small Air Fryers of 2024


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My air fryer is one of my favorite appliances in the kitchen because it can cook all my family’s favorite recipes, including tender meats, roasted sides, crispy appetizers, and everything in between. The best small air fryers do everything that a full-size model can do without taking up as much counter space! 

Wings in an air fryer basket. Wings in an air fryer basket.
Credit: Walmart

Cooking with an air fryer makes all your dishes healthier, achieving foods that taste AMAZING with less oil! After researching multiple popular models, I narrowed down the list to the seven best small air fryers, including my personal favorite, the Beautiful by Drew, and the best compact air fryer, the Instant Vortex Mini.

My Top Picks:

  1. My Top Pick: Beautiful by Drew 3-Quart Air Fryer – $29.96 at Walmart
  2. Best 2-Quart: Instant Vortex 4-in-1 2-quart Mini Air Fryer – $59.95 on Amazon
  3. Best Small Digital: Cosori Lite 2.1-Quart Mini Air Fryer – $49.99 at Walmart
  4. Best Small Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Ninja Digital Air Fry Countertop Oven – $219.99 on Amazon
  5. Best Air Fryer for One Person: Dash Tasti-Crisp™ Express Air Fryer – $49.99 on Amazon
  6. Best Air Fryer for a Small Family: Ninja 4-Quart Air Fryer – $119.99 at Target
  7. Best Compact Microwave Air Fryer Combo: GE 3-in-1 Microwave Oven – $219 on Amazon

Reviews of The Best Small Air Fryers 

1. My Top Pick: Beautiful by Drew 3-Quart Air Fryer

The best small air fryers: Beautiful by Drew Barrymore The best small air fryers: Beautiful by Drew Barrymore
Credit: Walmart

I love my 6-quart Beautiful by Drew air fryer, and the smaller 3-quart version happens to be one of the best-rated small air fryers from my research! It’s so versatile with four presets: air fry, bake, roast and reheat. I regularly use my larger one to cook and reheat food (like my Mushrooms); it’s FAST, and nothing sticks! 

I love that the basket and inner tray are dishwasher safe, and I just wipe down the outside with a damp cloth to keep the finish looking nice. It’s not your standard, black appliance sitting on the counter. It comes in three colors with an attractive, matte finish (less visible fingerprints!) and touches of brushed gold.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20.47 x 9.84 x 10.55 inches
  • Max Temp: 400°F
  • Capacity: 3 quarts
  • Control Type: Digital

The Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Heats up quickly

The Cons:

  • Fan runs loud
  • Digital screen difficult to see on the white model

Buy the Beautiful by Drew 3-Quart Air Fryer:

2. Best 2-Quart: Instant Vortex 4-in-1 2-Quart Mini Air Fryer

A picture of the Instant vortex A picture of the Instant vortex
Credit: Amazon

The Instant Vortex mini is the best compact air fryer, ideal for small spaces. Plus, it’s backed by tens of thousands of positive reviews–people love it! It has standard presets: air fry, bake, roast, and reheat with a digital display, buttons with a knob to adjust time and temperature. 

What I love about it is that it will tell you when to flip food, so you don’t have to keep popping the drawer open to check on how cooking is coming along. This one handles frozen food with ease–you’ll have golden, crispy fries and nuggets in no time! It comes in four colors so you can match it to your kitchen.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 7.28 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.9 x 11 x 12.9  inches
  • Max Temp: 400°F
  • Capacity: 2 quarts
  • Control Type: Combination

The Pros:

  • Digital message bar
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean

The Cons:

  • Fan runs loud
  • Drawer can stick

Buy the Instant Vortex 4-in-1 2-quart Mini Air Fryer:

3. Best Small Digital: Cosori Lite 2.1-Quart Mini Air Fryer

A picture of someone pushing the button on the air fryer. A picture of someone pushing the button on the air fryer.
Credit: Walmart

The Cosori is a space-saving option that has all the standard functions: air fry, roast, bake and reheat. The digital touch screen on the top is simple to use–just tap the bottom left icon to pick the cooking function, then set the time and temperature and hit start. 

What I love about it is no preheating is needed, even for frozen foods or small cuts of meat. This is the most compact option from my research, and the best portable one, too. It is easy to move around on the counter or tuck in the pantry and it comes in four colors. It’s even small and light enough to pack for a trip if you can’t live without it!

The Specs:

  • Weight: 4.87 pounds
  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 6.2 x 3.5  inches
  • Max Temp: 400°F
  • Capacity: 2.1 quarts
  • Control Type: Digital

The Pros:

  • Small and lightweight
  • BPA-free
  • Easy to clean

The Cons:

  • Must turn food midway for even cooking
  • Not big enough for more than 1-2 people

What Others Are Saying:

Epicurious named the Cosori Lite as the best compact air fryer, and it has a 4.8-star rating out of over 2600 reviews on Amazon

Buy the Cosori Lite 2.1-Quart Mini Air Fryer:

4. Best Small Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Ninja Digital Air Fry Countertop Oven

A picture with a toaster oven with some air fryer baskets that can be used in it. A picture with a toaster oven with some air fryer baskets that can be used in it.
Credit: Amazon

It’s great when one appliance can replace two, and an air fryer/toaster oven is a natural combination. The trick for getting consistent, crispy food when cooking is having space to spread things out. This Ninja air fryer toaster oven has the width to allow for that–and also has enough room to cook a 13″ pizza–but then it flips up to take up 50% less counter space. 

Once you flip it up, the bottom opens for easy cleaning. It comes with a basket, sheet pan, wire rack, and removable crumb tray–all the things you need to easily air fry, bake, dehydrate, air roast, toast (up to nine slices of bread!), keep warm, and air broil.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 18.56 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19.72 x 7.56 x 14.96 inches
  • Max Temp: 450°F
  • Capacity: 169 cubic inches
  • Control Type: Digital

The Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Enhanced airflow
  • Large capacity

The Cons:

What Others are Saying:

Forbes deemed the Ninja Digital Air Fry Countertop Oven the best for small kitchens, and Business Insider declared it the best air fryer toaster oven. It also has a 4.6-star rating out of over 27,000 reviews on Amazon

Buy the Ninja Digital Air Fry Countertop Oven:

6. Best Air Fryer for One Person: Dash Tasti-Crisp Express Air Fryer

Best small air fryers: Dash Tasti-Crisp Best small air fryers: Dash Tasti-Crisp
Credit: Amazon

This little guy has a single temperature–400°F–so all you have to do is set the timer dial and occasionally check on your food while it cooks. It’s the best mini air fryer because it has a nice, wide crisper drawer to get more of that surface area for uniform cooking. 

You could even fit two chicken breasts or a decent-sized steak or pork chop in there and it’s perfect for making appetizers like my cream cheese wontons! Just don’t forget to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature before serving. It’s great for one person, but the Dash Tasti-Crisp is a great choice for two people, too!

The Specs:

  • Weight: 6.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.3 x 11.3 inches
  • Max Temp: 400°F
  • Capacity: 2.6 quarts
  • Control Type: Manual (digital version is $59.99)

The Pros:

  • Non-slip feet
  • Auto-shut-off feature
  • Easy to store

The Cons:

  • Glossy finish shows fingerprints
  • Trial and error to figure out the best cooking time

What Others are Saying:

The Strategist named the Dash Tasti-Crisp the best for beginners, and it has a 4.5-star rating out of over 31,000 reviews on Amazon

Buy the Dash Tasti-Crisp Express:

7. Best Air Fryer for a Small Family: Ninja 4-Quart Air Fryer

Best small air fryers: Ninja 4-quart Best small air fryers: Ninja 4-quart
Credit: Target

This 4-quart model is perfect for a family of three or four because it’s just enough space for tasty side dishes without taking up a huge corner of your countertop. This Ninja does the standard air fry, roast, and reheat with the unique addition of dehydrating, so you can make healthy, chip-like snacks (like my apple chips) right at home. 

The drawer and crisper plate are non-stick with a ceramic coating and dishwasher safe. This is also one of the best-rated small air fryers, which is no surprise given that Ninja is a well-liked brand–and for good reason! Ninja combines high-quality materials and powerful performance with affordable pricing.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 10.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 12.1 x 11 inches
  • Max Temp: 400°F
  • Capacity: 4 quarts
  • Control Type: Digital

The Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to clean
  • Roomy capacity

The Cons:

  • Pricier than other models
  • Bulkier than others

What Others Are Saying:

Good Housekeeping named the Ninja 4-Quart the best overall small air fryer, and it has a 4.8-star rating on Amazon out of over 50,000 reviews. 

Buy the Ninja 4-Quart:

7. Best Compact Microwave Air Fryer Combo: GE 3-in-1 Microwave Oven

A picture of a microwave on a countertop. A picture of a microwave on a countertop.
Credit: Amazon

Although microwaves aren’t exactly small, the GE 3-in-1 lets you balance size and convenience by combining arguably the two most popular countertop appliances. The combination will save you space in the end, and this one was one of the most compact – and high-quality –  air fryer microwaves that I found. 

This versatile appliance also has a broil mode, so you can take a piece of meat off the stovetop and finish it under the broiler without turning on your oven and heating up the whole kitchen. 

To air fry, it uses the broil mode and convection fan together to get even cooking, and since it’s wider than your average air fryer, foods can spread out to get that all-over crispiness without having to flip them midway through.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.6 x 20.6 x 11.88 inches
  • Max Temp: Not specified 
  • Capacity: 1 cubic foot
  • Control Type: Digital

The Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Easy to clean
  • Includes accessories

The Cons:

What Others are Saying:

Good Housekeeping calls the GE 3-in-1 the best value microwave air fryer and it has a 4.4-star rating out of over 2,600 reviews on Amazon

Buy the GE 3-in-1 Microwave Oven:

Others I’ve Researched

Ultrean 4.2-quart Electric Air Fryer

This option from Ultrean is on the larger side in terms of capacity so it’s a good choice for a small family. It’s comparable to the Ninja 4-quart in size and standard presets, but the Ninja pulls ahead with the unique ability to dehydrate foods. The Ultrean 4.2-quart Electric Air Fryer is available at Amazon for $95.99.

Gourmia 2-quart Digital Air Fryer

With a 60-minute timer that shuts off automatically and a variety of cooking presets this digital model is comparable to others reviewed. Gourmia has an impressive number of compact air fryers in the 2- to 4-quart range that are manual or digital. Because they’re all so similar, it was difficult to determine the value of any of them. The Gourmia 2-quart Digital is available at Target for $49.99.

Cuisinart Compact Air Fryer Toaster Oven

This very small, very lightweight (one pound!) air fryer/toaster oven gets up to a whopping 450°F and is easy to move around when you need to clean, but the capacity just doesn’t measure up to the Ninja model that flips up. I’d rather have more room to cook and not need it than be limited by capacity and have to make multiple batches! The Cuisinart Compact Air Fryer Toaster Oven is available at Amazon for $129.95.

De’longhi Rapid Crisp Air Fryer 4 Quart

The Rapid Crisp is unique because it has a small viewing window, much like an oven, so you can check progress without opening the drawer. Also, it has a hinged lid instead of a sliding drawer, so it’s just built differently from your average air fryer. This model is unique, but you can spend less for the same capacity and get the same results. The De’longhi Rapid Crisp 4 Quart is available at Amazon for $149.95.

GoWISE USA Electric Mini Air Fryer with Digital Touchscreen

Two quarts is just enough room for one or two people to enjoy crispy tater tots right out of the freezer. This is a pretty basic option that does the job and has an easy-to-use digital display, but there are others in this same capacity that are just as good and more affordable! The GoWISE USA Electric Mini Air Fryer with Digital Touchscreen is available at Amazon for $83.99.

Why You Can Trust Me

A picture of hash browns being served out of a pan. A picture of hash browns being served out of a pan.
Credit: The Recipe Critic

I am Alyssa Rivers, the foodie behind The Recipe Critic. I launched my blog in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. They can be my toughest critics, but they enjoy cooking with me and helping create delicious recipes to share!

My air fryer opened up a whole new way for me to create meals, sides, and snacks that are tasty, healthy, and quick to make. I considered how simple (or hard) it is to cook with one based on capacity, preset functions, special features, and how easy it is to clean to make these recommendations for the best small air fryers.

What to Know About Small Air Fryers

Onion rings in an air fryer basket. Onion rings in an air fryer basket.

What to Consider Before Buying a Small Air Fryer

  • Weight: If you’re planning to move your air fryer between the counter and pantry, pick one that is lighter so it’s easier to transport.
  • Dimensions: Counter space is often at a premium, so keep an eye out for an air fryer that strikes a balance between physical size and cooking capacity (how much food fits in the drawer). Be sure and carefully check the measurements to ensure that the model you choose will fit in the allotted space! 
  • Max Temp: Most air fryers cook as low as 150°F (reheating and keeping warm) and 400°F (air fry, roast, broil, etc), with some reaching up to 450°F. These temperatures will do pretty much everything, including roast veggies and cook proteins. Temps up to 450°F are ideal for cooking homemade pizzas.
  • Control Type: Manual or digital comes down to personal preference, and manual air fryers with dials tend to be more affordable than digital displays. Many people feel they have better control with digital because they have absolute clarity on the temperature and cook times they’ve selected.
  • Capacity: This is how much room the drawer has for food. Remember, good air circulation is the key to getting consistent cooking, so filling the drawer to the top likely won’t produce the results you’re looking for. Smaller air fryers tend to have less room for food to spread out, so if you plan to cook larger batches, you’ll have to toss or flip during cooking for the best results.

Some General Capacity Guidelines:

  • 2 quarts: good for one person, good for two people
  • 3 quarts: good for two people, good for small families of 3+
  • 4 quarts: good for small families of 3+

Are Air Fryers Worth It?

Even if all you do is air fry french fries or reheat chicken tenders, you’re likely to use it pretty regularly. I especially love using it in the summer when I want to avoid using the oven and cooking in a hot kitchen. I love mine and think it’s totally worth the investment!

What Are Air Fryers Good For? 

With the right air fryer, you can do pretty much anything! Most have the standard presets to air fry, roast, bake, and reheat, but you can also dehydrate, broil, toast, keep warm, and more, depending on the model. It’s easy to cook proteins (like Chicken), tasty sides (Potatoes), and even desserts (Oreos). The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can make, and a lot of them even come with recipe books.

Can You Put Foil In An Air Fryer? 

An easy rule of thumb is if you can put it in a conventional oven, you can put it in an air fryer. So, yes, you can put foil in an air fryer. Although it will block the airflow from the bottom where the crisper tray sits, so you might have to give your food a flip or a little shake occasionally to make sure all sides get evenly cooked. Make sure the foil is weighed down so it can’t blow around inside and accidentally touch the heating element.

How To Clean An Air Fryer 

Most air fryers have a drawer and crisper tray that can go in the dishwasher on the top rack and the main unit can be wiped down with a damp cloth after each use. The combination air fryer/microwave and air fryer/toaster oven can be gently wiped down inside and out. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning your device.

Some of My Favorite Recipes 

Click Here for More Air Fryer Recipes

Click Here for More Air Fryer Recipes

Prices were accurate at the time of publication. 





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