The 6 Best Small Air Fryers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

These petite yet powerful appliances make weeknight dinner a cinch.

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Small Air Fryers

Food & Wine / Jaclyn Mastropasqua

Quick and easy weeknight meals are the bread and butter of any busy household, allowing you to get delicious dinners on the table without too much time spent. And, to achieve such culinary magic, you need a kitchen stocked with the right tools — chief among them is a versatile air fryer that doesn't occupy your whole countertop. 

The appliance first gained popularity as a healthier alternative to soaking our favorite fried foods in oil, but it’s so much more than that. Air fryers are equipped to handle many different cooking styles, including air frying, roasting, warming, grilling, and convection. The result? A memorable meal that takes minimal effort — and makes for even fewer dirty dishes. 

If you have yet to add one of these kitchen workhorses to your appliance lineup, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve researched and tested the best small air fryers on the market, from retro-inspired compact models to hybrid air fryer toaster ovens that are worth the splurge (and won't take up too much countertop space). Learn more about the best small air fryers below, and get ready to earn back some of your precious post-work hours.

Best Overall

Ninja 4-Quart Air Fryer

Ninja 4-Quart Air Fryer


Pros: This air fryer has an illuminated digital display that makes it very easy to set the time, temperature, and more.  

Cons: This model does not have a built-in preheat cycle, so you’ll have to warm it up at your discretion. 

The Ninja AF101 4-quart Air Fryer took top honors in our rigorous testing, with intuitive controls and a consistent cook that makes it a reliable weeknight favorite. Our tester noted the crispy results (yummy popcorn shrimp were among the bites they cooked up) and noted that the basket’s handle was comfortable to hold and shake, staying cool to the touch. The interior of the basket — which boasts a 4-quart capacity that’s perfect for a pair — is entirely nonstick and can easily be cleaned with mild soap and water. 

Price at time of publish: $130

  • Type of Air Fryer: Basket
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 12.1 x 11 inches
  • Capacity: 4 quarts
  • Functions: Air fry, roast, reheat, dehydrate

Best Value

Dash 2-Quart Compact Air Fryer

Dash 2-Quart Compact Air Fryer


Pros: The basket and basket insert are dishwasher-safe and can also be easily cleaned by hand.  

Cons: The temperature dial does not provide exact markers for more common temperatures, like 350 degrees. You may have to use your best judgment depending on the temperature you need. 

On the hunt for a countertop appliance that looks as good as it functions? Your search ends with DASH’s Compact Air Fryer. Available in a slew of retro-inspired shades, this bite-sized fryer (it clocks in at just 2 quarts) is ideal for solo cooks or anyone who envisions using their air fryer to whip up smaller side dishes. Our testers loved how crispy and evenly it “fried” items, and the small footprint makes it ideal for apartments or tiny kitchens. 

Price at time of publish: $40

  • Type of Air Fryer: Basket
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 10.2 x 11.4 inches
  • Capacity: 2 quarts
  • Functions: Air fry

Best Toaster Oven

Ninja Digital Air Fry Countertop Oven

Ninja Digital Air Fry Countertop Oven


Pros: A glass front on the door allows you to keep tabs on what’s cooking inside.   

Cons: Ninja recommends cleaning the oven after each use — including emptying the crumb tray, and wiping the inside and outside — which can be time-consuming.

There’s almost no limit to what this Ninja Digital Air Fry Countertop Oven can tackle — which may explain why it was such a hit with our testers. They used it to cook up a myriad of foods to perfection, from French fries and toast to chocolate chip cookies. This oven can help you through any recipe, with eight different functionalities ranging from air frying to dehydrating. Homemade beef jerky, here you come. 

Despite its slim, compact footprint, this air fryer-toaster oven can fit a 13-inch pizza, up to 9 slices of toast, or 6 chicken breasts at once.

Price at time of publish: $240

  • Type of Air Fryer: Air fryer oven
  • Dimensions: 14.96 x 20.72 x 7.56 inches
  • Capacity: 169 cubic inches
  • Functions: Air fry, roast, air broil, bake, toast, bagel, dehydrate, warm

Best Splurge

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer


Pros: A selection of beautiful matte exterior colors means this appliance is truly eye-catching on your countertop. 

Cons: This is by far the priciest pick on our list, and the cost may be more than some home cooks want to spend on a small appliance. 

This stunning 4.4-quart smart oven from Breville all but replaces your conventional oven, with a whopping 11 cooking functions to help you step into your chef era with ease. Choose from a variety of gorgeous exterior hues (including Black Truffle and an inky navy blue), then follow the intuitive digital control panel to navigate between smart algorithms that allow you to toast, broil, roast, and air fry (and more!) to perfection. Bonus: This bundle comes equipped with a slew of accessories — including an air fry basket, roasting pan, 13-inch pizza pan, wire rack, and broiling rack — so you can hit the ground running the second you unbox. 

Price at time of publish: $350

  • Type of Air Fryer: Air fryer toaster oven
  • Dimensions: 10.94 x 18.9 x 15.87 inches
  • Capacity: 4.4 quarts
  • Functions: Toast, bagel, broil, bake, roast, warm, pizza, air fry, reheat, cookies, slow cook

Best for One

Dash Tasti-Crisp 2.6-Quart Air Fryer

Dash Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: A handy auto-off feature keeps cooking safe and prevents overcooking. 

Cons: This pick lacks many of the bells and whistles that experienced cooks may have on their air fryer wish list.  

As most solo chefs know, cooking dinner for one can be a pain. Take at least part of the guesswork out of downsizing traditional recipes with this small-but-mighty air fryer from DASH. Ideally sized at 2.6 quarts, it boasts just enough room for a single filet of fish or a handful of fries, so you won’t end up with too much excess (or too many dishes). Like the other DASH model on our list, it touts an intuitive interface, with a clear digital temperature display and three preset buttons where you can store your favorite settings. 

Price at time of publish: $60

  • Type of Air Fryer: Basket
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 10.8 x 11.3 inches
  • Capacity: 2.6 quarts
  • Functions: Air fry

Best Dishwasher-Safe

Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer Oven Combo

black and silver instant pot air dryer with onion rings


Pros: This model has a precise temperature range, allowing cooks to choose between 95 degrees and 400 degrees, adjustable down to the degree. 

Cons: This 4-quart air fryer is one of the larger ones on this list, so its bulk may make it difficult to store in some cabinets.  

If you dread after-dinner dishes almost as much as a trip to the dentist, this air fryer from the makers of the mega-popular Instapot is about to be your new BFF. Sure, it’s got lots of incredible features — six preset modes, fast preheating, and clear touchscreen controls chief among them — but the real MVP is its dishwasher-safe air fry basket and tray that make for effortless cleanup. 

Price at time of publish: $130

  • Type of Air Fryer: Basket
  • Dimensions: 10.2 x 13.03 x 11.02 inches
  • Capacity: 4 quarts
  • Functions: Air fry, broil, roast, dehydrate, bake, and reheat

Factors to Consider


Though all the air fryers on our list are considered “small” at around 4 quarts or less, they still clock in at a range of quart capacities. When shopping for your perfect pick, it’s important to consider what you’ll most frequently be using it for. Are you banking on feeding a family of four with meals cooked by your air fryer? Then you may want to spring for a larger model. Serving up dinner for one? A smaller device may be all you need to make your weeknight dinners a breeze. 

Ease of Use

Many of the options on our list of favorites take the guesswork out of cooking, with preprogrammed settings that allow you to get dinner on the table with just the push of a button. Since air fryers are all about streamlining your cooking routine, you’ll want to pay special attention to selecting a model that makes your life easier, not more complicated. Look for intuitive digital displays, time settings, and just enough bells and whistles for your needs. 


If you’re just looking to cut some excess fat with your weekly french fry habit, a straightforward air fryer may be suitable for your cooking routine. But if you want the ability to make fruit jerky or roast an extra bird on Thanksgiving, well, that’s something to shoot for. With so many air fryer iterations on the market, it’s easy to find a device that does as much—or as little—as you need. 


Because they’re naturally nonstick, most air fryer models will be pretty easy to clean. That being said, they’re not all dishwasher safe, so if that’s an essential feature to you, be sure to shop with that in mind. Additionally, some of the more elite models have bonus gear (think: a pizza pan or roasting tray) that should be factored into your cleaning time.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What size air fryer is best for one person?

    To figure out what size air fryer is best for you, start by considering what you plan on cooking. “In truth, the only really useful space is the number of square inches on the bottom cooking surface,” says Bruce Weinstein, author of several air fryer-centric cookbooks, including The Instant Air Fryer Bible. 

    “A 2-quart air fryer might have a very tall drawer with a little cooking surface at the base. For this reason, I always suggest a 4-quart minimum if you plan on cooking anything more than one chicken thigh at a time. What about some Brussels sprouts with that chicken? Or a few tater tots? In a 4-quart, you are guaranteed that you can cook them together.”

  • Are air fryers healthy?

    Air fryers are commonly considered a healthier alternative to traditional frying and, in general, you can typically get away with using less oil or butter when cooking in an air fryer — while still achieving a moist and crispy result.

    “Air frying is not a fat-free cooking process, but it is very low fat,” says Weinstein. “To cook veggies or lean meats you must give a light spray or coating of oil so that the superheated air circulating the food actually fries the surface of the food and doesn’t just dry it out. However, fattier things like chicken wings or burgers don’t need any added fat at all—the fat in the meat will and the skin will sizzle and fry the food and the fat will drip to the bottom under the cooking tray.”

  • How does an air fryer work?

    “I am always asked if an air fryer is just like a convection oven and the answer is no,” says Weinstein. “A convection oven has a fan to circulate air to keep an even temperature throughout the oven. In the small environment of an air fryer, the fan creates a scirocco — a blast of hot air that is designed to blow directly on and around the food to cook it. This also can dry it out, which is why we need a thin layer of oil or fat on the food so that instead of drying it out the surface fries into a crispy, crunchy shell.”

  • How do you preheat an air fryer?

    Many air fryers come with a preheat program function that makes priming the appliance a cinch. If yours doesn’t have it, treat the machine as you would a traditional oven, setting it to your desired temperature and giving it about 10 minutes to come to temperature (though it can be even faster) before adding your food and cooking.

  • How do you clean an air fryer?

    The exact method of cleaning your air fryer depends on your chosen model, so it’s always a good idea to abide by the manufacturer’s directions. That being said, most air fryer baskets and trays can be cleaned with mild dish soap and water — some are even dishwasher-safe. As a general rule of thumb, you should never attempt to clean any of the heating elements unless instructed to do so by the appliance brand.

Our Expertise

Alyssa Longobucco is a freelance writer, editor, and stylist living in New York. When she's not diving into the latest in food and home decor, she's restoring an 1820s farmhouse in the Hudson Valley alongside her husband and son. For this article, she interviewed Bruce Weinstein, author of several air fryer-centric cookbooks, including The Instant Air Fryer Bible.

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