Best saucepan set 2021 – top stainless steel and non-stick saucepans

If there’s one essential you need in any kitchen, it’s the best saucepan set. Saucepan sets can be easily stacked away in kitchen cupboards when not in use, but when it comes to cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll want that perfect saucepan capacity and style for your budget and the type of food you tend to cook. That’s where our saucepan set reviews come in. We’ve reviewed each and every saucepan set in this guide to bring you our specific thoughts on each, complete with details on the size and type of saucepans in each set.

In this guide you’ll find brands like Ninja, Le Creuset, Samuel Groves, Prestige, Salter, Stellar, Zwilling, and more. While saucepan sets can be expensive, there are some excellent budget options on the market that deliver on quality non-stick or evenly crafted stainless steel, designed to last. If you are able to invest though, it’s something we definitely recommend. Much like the best chef’s knives, they’re something that you’ll use numerous times a day, so you’ll really enjoy your investment each and every time you use it.

Many saucepan sets come with three saucepans in three different sizes. Typically you’ll find a 16cm, 18cm, and 20cm pan in each, which is great for students or those in smaller households, but if you want to batch-cook there are also sets that include 26cm casseroles or generous pots to make meal planning easy and free of space restrictions.

How did we review the best saucepan sets?

How did we review the best saucepan sets? Every set in this guide has been used hands-on by a member of the Ideal Home team for at least a few weeks. We looked out for how evenly the pan heated, the quality of the design, how enjoyable the handles and lids are to use and store, and the versatility of each set. Where a saucepan set was non-stick, we made sure that this would last and tested how well it cooked our fried eggs and bacon. Other features to look out for is oven-safe designs and heat-resistant handles. We tested for both, where appropriate, as well as evenly heated bases and the convenience of cleanup and day-to-day use.

How much does a saucepan set cost?

Budget at least £100 for most good-quality saucepans, but if you’re on a tight budget, we’ve got you covered too. Beyond that, it’s a question of how many pans and what size. More money buys quality and quantity, but if you get the sizes right then you only really need three or four saucepans and a frying pan – you’ll save money and storage space.

Best saucepans set 2021

1. Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK 3-Piece Pan Set

Best saucepan set overall

Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK 3-Piece Pan Set - C33000UK

Type: Non-stick
Sizes: 16cm, 18cm, 20cm
Reasons to buy: Super durable, reasonably priced, lightweight
Reasons to avoid:

We’re big fans of Ninja. Not only does the brand come out with some of the best air fryers, food processors and other kitchen innovations, but they’ve also dipped into cookware with their ZEROSTICK range. The verdict? A smashing success. This three-piece pan set has a 16, 18 and 20cm pan, each with a tightly fitted glass lid.

One standout feature is that you are free to use metal utensils when cooking with this range. It felt weird to use a metal whisk and slatted spoon when cooking in the set, but it was one less thing to worry about in the kitchen, and also cuts back on the less-durable and often-plastic alternatives you’re forced to buy with non-stick saucepan sets.

The handle is angled upwards, which makes for an ergonomic experience and also lightens the load when it comes to pouring. All of the pans and lids can go in the dishwasher, and even in the oven, up to 260°C (the highest of any set in this guide). We like this three-piece set for the price, which is very reasonable for such a durable range.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

2. BergHOFF Leo 3 Piece Non Stick Saucepan Set

Best saucepan set for modern design

Type: Non-stick
Sizes: 16cm, 18cm, 20cm
Reasons to buy: Tactile and easy to use, we love the non-stick and tightly fitted lids
Reasons to avoid:
The look isn’t for everyone

Visually, the BergHOFF Leo 3 Piece Non Stick Saucepan Set isn’t for everyone, but you’ll know instantly if it’s up your street. Taking the pans out of the box instantly divided the kitchen. The pans are lightweight and the phenolic handles clearly designed for balance and safe grip. 

These pans feel high quality, too. They’re induction-friendly and the lids are tempered glass, with silicone rims that rattle the least of any of the pans we tested. The lids are also fitted with modern-feeling handles and a vent for steam. This vent also comes in handy when draining liquid from veggies and pasta. That’s one less sieve for hand-washing. 

The set is non-stick and includes PFOA free non stick coating which cuts down on the amount of oil you’ll need. The three saucepans are 6cm, 18cm, and 20cm in width, so not the most versatile set out there when it comes to hearty portions, but it would be a good set for students or small households who want their pans to slot together neatly. Everything is dishwasher-safe too. A great value set.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

3. Stellar Induction Draining Saucepan Set

Best induction saucepan set

Type: Induction
Sizes: 16cm, 18cm, 20cm
Reasons to buy: Very high quality, oven-safe silicone handles, draining design is easy to use
Reasons to avoid:
Expensive and not non-stick

We’ve tried to be fair to the non-stick sets out there, but in our view the best saucepans are typically those high-quality fuss-free aluminium types. The Stellar Induction saucepan set is no exception. 

It’s (as the name suggests) safe for use with induction hobs, and the pans are oven-safe up to 180 degrees. That’s despite the stay-cool handles, which really do just that when cooking on the hob. 

A standout feature with this set is the draining vents on either side of the pan. This makes draining anything from pasta to peas a relatively pain-free process, and the lids are fitted with holes to make sure you won’t lose anything. One caveat is that you may lose the odd grain of rice, because it’s fitted with small holes. The draining sides are also great for pouring drinks into cups and bowls (think hot chocolate or soup) without spilling. A great touch.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

4. Tefal Ingenio Pan Set, Stainless Steel, 13 Piece

Best space-saving saucepan set

Best saucepan

Type: Stainless steel, removable handles
Sizes: 16cm, 18cm, 20cm
Reasons to buy: Easy to store and stack 
Reasons to avoid: 
Prone to scuffing

We tested the Ingenio ’13-piece’ Tefal saucepan set but don’t expect 13 pans. It is in fact just five pans, plus glass lids, airtight plastic covers for storing leftovers in the fridge and two removable handles. With the handles off, the pans stack ingeniously (hence the name) inside each other, so you can store five in the space usually taken up by just a couple of pans We’ve tested both the stainless steel and non-stick induction versions of the Ingenio. Both are induction-friendly.

The three saucepans (16, 18, 20cm) in the stainless steel set are built with titanium to make them even tougher and have graduations inside to indicate capacity. The two frying pans (22,26cm) in the set are non-stick inside and have a Tefal Thermo-Spot that changes colour at the optimum frying temperature. The non-stick induction set has a titanium pro-non-stick coating on all pans, inside and out. We found it to be hardwearing but over the long term it does get scuffed around the rim, where the handle clips on and off.

Both saucepan sets come with superbly built handles that clip on and off very securely. Remove them and the pans are oven-safe to 260°C. Ingenio is also available in smaller saucepan sets and in other finishes, including enamel and “essential” (a more affordable non-stick set that isn’t induction-compatible). Ingenio saucepans are pricey but beautifully made and a great space-saver.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

5. Salter Megastone Collection 3 Piece Saucepan Set

Best non-stick saucepan set

Best saucepan

Type: Non-stick
Sizes: 16cm, 18cm, 20cm
Reasons to buy: High quality and durable non-stick
Reasons to avoid: 
Handles aren’t the most tactile

This set of three is a great price when you consider how sturdy they feel. This non-stick isn’t peeling off any time soon. The set is made of forged aluminium and coated in a PFOA free non-stick. The coating is rough to touch which was a surprise at first, but it actually helps with the cooking process because you’re able to use metal utensils when cooking. 

We enjoyed how the three pans, 16, 18, and 20 cm, taper out towards the top slightly. It makes stacking easy and increases capacity. Other winning features include the handles, which were easy enough to hold and not too light as to upset the balance of the pan, and the lids, which fit easily and securely.

While we don’t love the speckled look of these pans, that’s a pretty subjective complaint, and the quality is top notch.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

6. Samuel Groves 3-Piece Classic Set

Best saucepan and frying pan set

Three Samuel Groves saucepans

Type: Saucepan, frying pan, stock pot
Size: 20cm saucepan, 26cm casserole, 28cm frying pan
Reasons to buy: Pure quality and designed to last
Reasons to avoid:
An expensive option with no stay-cool handles

Buying the best saucepan set will often mean spending a lot of money, but if it’s within your budget, the Samuel Groves 3-Piece Classic Set is a worthy investment. While it’s not a traditional saucepan set, its three components are all necessary for any kitchen and will allow you to cook just about anything you may wish. The 20cm saucepan is ideal for boiling veggies and heating up smaller portions, whereas the 26cm casserole has a quality design and sturdy handles to cook up large servings of bolognese or rice.

We also love the frying pan, which has the same sleek and quality handle as the saucepan which, while not heatproof, does stay cool throughout use thanks to the elevated design. Do note that it can’t go in the dishwasher, but because the non-stick is so quality it’s very easy to wipe down by hand.

Enjoyable features include the fact that it comes in a burlap bag that can be used for groceries and other storage needs, and that it’s handcrafted in the UK. The brushed exterior meant that heat spread evenly in testing, and the tri-ply stainless steel feels high quality and long-lasting. The company also offers a ‘Pan for Life’ refurbishment service, so they will re-polish and restore any damage it may incur over the years.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 

7. Prestige Eco 3 Piece Non-Stick Saucepan Set

Best eco saucepan set

Prestige Eco 3 Piece Non-Stick Saucepan Set

Type: Eco
Sizes: 16cm, 18cm, 20cm
Reasons to buy: Genuinely eco-conscious 
Reasons to avoid: 
A more basic handle construction

If you like to keep things green (both literally and figuratively) then the Prestige Eco 3 Piece Non-Stick Saucepan Set will be a welcome addition to your kitchen. The pans taper out towards the top and have steel induction bases.

Made of recycled aluminium and coated in scratch-proof PFOA-free non-stick, this set is designed to last. Prestige has partnered with TreeAid to donate one tree for each pan sold and there was absolutely no plastic in the packaging when it arrived. A win for the environment, and a good option for those who want a long-lasting pan set. 

Our one complaint is the handle, which was one of the least ergonomic in testing. We did like the one on top of the lid, though, and after months and months of testing, this one was still going strong on the non-stick front. 

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

8. Zwilling 5 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Best saucepan and pot set

Best saucepan

Type: Pots and saucepans
Sizes: 16cm stock pot and saucepan, 18cm stock pot, 20cm stew and stock pot, 24cm pot
Reasons to buy: Great for the whole kitchen 
Reasons to avoid: 
Not all of the pans stack together

The quality is immediately apparent with the Zwilling 5 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set. For those who want a mixture of pots and pans (ok, more pots than pans) it’s our top pick. 

Everything feels well-made and the handle of the saucepan as well as the handles of the pots are all very ergonomic and clearly designed to be conscious of the modern kitchen. Saucepans can be irritating when it comes to storage, but we enjoy how well this set stacks together. Do keep in mind that, as there’s some duplicates in terms of size, you won’t be able to stack in one pile.

Included in this set is the largest pot we tested, the 24cm stock pot, as well as a 20cm stew pot, 20cm stock pot, and a 16cm stock pot and saucepan, which doesn’t include a lid. The entire set is made of 18/10 stainless steel and has a circular pouring rim, as well as markings in quarts and litres which come in very helpful when cooking and portioning.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

9. Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Best premium saucepan set

Best saucepan

Type: Premium stainless steel
Sizes: 16cm, 18cm, 20cm, 24cm
Reasons to buy: Designed to last, with a complete kitchen kit
Reasons to avoid: 
Very expensive

This one’s designed to last. The Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set comprises a deep non-stick saute pan, a deep casserole pot measuring 20cm, as well as two saucepans measuring 16cm and 18cm. The set slots together very well and has everything you need for a starter kitchen. 

The handles are riveted and incredibly sturdy. Construction is 3-ply stainless steel with an aluminium core, meaning the set heated very evenly. We enjoyed how easy the stainless steel was to clean, too, and everything can go in the dishwasher after use. 

Some would prefer a lidded saucepan with tempered glass over stainless steel, but the Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set will last for decades if you invest now.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

10. Judge Vista Draining Saucepan Set

Best value saucepan set

best saucepan


Type: Stainless steel
Sizes: 16cm, 18cm, 20cm
Reasons to buy: 25 year guarantee and draining spout
Reasons to avoid: 
The lid can rattle and the plastic doesn’t feel the best to touch

If you’re on a budget it’s best to spend your cash on a saucepan set that’s made of stainless steel. This lasts much longer than some of the cheaper non-stick on the market. This set from Judge ticks the box for a reliable budget option, with plastic lid and handle fixtures that are oven safe to up to 150°C and covered by an impressive Judge 25 year guarantee. 

The range has your classic 16, 18 and 20cm saucepans and is suitable for induction ovens as well as most other hob types. You can also place this option in the dishwasher. We didn’t find the handles or lid fixture particularly tactile in testing, and the lid can rattle a bit, but these are non-essential features that are offset by the low cost. 

What we did like was the pouring lip at either side of the pan, which makes pouring sauce away very easy and also allow you to drain out peas and pasta with ease.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

11. Progress BW09025EU Scandi Smartstone Non Stick Saucepan Set

Best looking saucepan set

Best saucepan

Type: Scandi non-stick
Sizes: 16cm, 18cm, 20cm, 24cm
Reasons to buy: Lovely to look at and hold
Reasons to avoid: 
Less durable than other options in our guide

The Scandi look isn’t going anywhere, and we thought this non-stick set with its nod to scandi wood kitchenware would fit in well to a selection of kitchen designs. While lovely to look at we were also impressed with the lightweight feel and induction-friendly construction.

This set was less sturdy-feeling than other non-stick options but did hold up well under testing. If you like the idea of non-stick but could skip the wooden accents, scroll back up to the Prestige set. The lids have an in-built vent to allow steam to escape and the handles are coated in a soft-touch wooden effect. This is lovely to hold, and the lid accent also resisted heat well when cooking. 

The lids on the Progress BW09025EU Scandi Smartstone Non Stick Saucepan Set were some of the best fitting, with minimal rattling. The three pans come in 16cm, 18cm and 20cm. Progress also has a new Plant A Tree Mission, so every Amazon sale of these pans will mean good things for the planet, and your kitchen!

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

What size saucepans do I need?


Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Saucepans measuring 16, 18 and 20cm are good standard sizes to aim for. Then optionally a larger stockpot for big dishes. The other size worth considering is a 14cm milk pan; these tend to have pouring spouts but no lids, perfect for sauces, gravy, custard, hot chocolate and more.

What are the other main features of a good saucepan?

  • What are the pans made from? Materials-wise, most modern pans use a combination of aluminium and stainless steel. The stainless steel is durable and low maintenance while the aluminium (usually a disc of it, encapsulated in the pan base) is light and spreads heat quickly and evenly. Meanwhile, cast iron is tough and induction friendly but takes a long time to heat up (and cool down).
  • Should I go for non-stick coatings?Non-stick coatings are easy to clean and tougher than they used to be, but they do wear over time. Ceramic pans are an alternative that avoids the chemicals in traditional non-stick coatings made using Teflon and PFOA.
  • What style of pan handle is best? Phenolic (black, plasticky) handles are cooler to the touch, so you can handle pans and lids without resorting to oven gloves. Metal handles and knobs get hotter but they’re oven-safe to higher temperatures. Basically, if you like to finish dishes in the oven or grill, go for metal. If not, weigh up the practicality and looks of both options. The trend is currently more for metal handles.
  • What other extra features are handy? Nice extra features include graduations for measuring quantities and lid materials – metal is tough and easy to clean; glass lets you keep an eye on cooking without lifting the lid. And if you’re short of storage space, look out for pans that stack well or fit inside each other neatly.

Will my saucepans work with induction hobs?


Image credit: Fiona Walker-Arnott

All the pans featured here are induction-friendly. Cast iron pans and some stainless steel pans work with induction. But if you have an induction hob, do check first because some types of stainless steel don’t. If you’re buying a pan made of a different material – such as aluminium or copper – definitely check. The base needs to contain a magnetic material so the pan works with induction. If you have a saucepan in front of you and want to check, simply hold a fridge magnet to the base of the pan: if it sticks then the pan will work with induction.

Are they dishwasher safe?

Most pans (and all the ones featured here) call themselves ‘dishwasher safe’ but the care instructions usually suggest hand-washing is better for them in the long term. It’s your call, but you won’t do them major harm by using the dishwasher.

The post Best saucepan set 2021 – top stainless steel and non-stick saucepans appeared first on Ideal Home.