Calphalon vs Circulon Cookware: Which is Better?

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Calphalon and Circulon offer diverse types of kitchenware with great quality suited for beginners and professional cooks. These two brands are literally direct competitors. They are producing similar individual pieces and sets of cookware that target all types of cooks. Though they may seem quite alike, their differences are vast. Thus, deciding on which brand to settle on can be a tough choice.

In order to understand these differences better, I have made this in-depth Calphalon vs Circulon comparison for you.

Introducing Calphalon

Calphalon is considered one of the most popularly bought cookware brands. It is known for its signature nonstick and stainless steel collections. Calphalon uses different types of materials to craft a variety of sturdy, versatile, and high-quality pots and pans that can live up to our expectations as home cooks.

To enter the stainless steel market and compete with renowned brands, Calphalon started to use hard-anodized aluminum as the core covered with several layers of metals to enhance the conductivity to an extent that it can secure even heat distribution throughout the cookware.

Pros of Calphalon Cookware

  • Robust core. All of this brand cookware feature a hard-anodized aluminum core to improve the durability of the cookware to withstand the heavy-duty use
  • Excellent cooking performance. Calphalon uses high-grade metals in a unique formula to craft the nonstick surfaces for its nonstick collection which can deliver superior cooking performance than most average brands.
  • Lightweight. The pots and pans Calphalon creates are known for their lightweight to be handled by anyone. This is ideal for those who wish to cook a lot of food at once.

Cons of Calphalon Cookware

  • Replaceable over the years. Calphalon doesn’t offer a lifetime guarantee for their budget cookware. They are prone to gradually lose their qualities over years, and that is expected from the affordable price. That being said, you can at least expect great performance for the first 5 years.
  • Low heat tolerance. This brand is highly known for its nonstick models however as great as they may sound, they cannot tolerate high degrees. Most of its cookware would range around 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit at max.
  • Expensive sets. Calphalon does indeed offer several cookware sets under $200. However, most of its high-end stainless steel collections exceed $600 and are not within the reach of average cooks.

Introducing Circulon

Meyer is pretty much known as the second largest supplier in the world. This company owns several famous brands such as Farberware, Circulon, and Anolon cookware. While most of its affiliated factories are located throughout Southeast Asia, it still follows strict U.S manufacturing control measures.

Circulon is known for its non-toxic coating with superb performance. This brand combines the superior heat distribution of hard-anodized with its unique nonstick system “Total®” to create outstanding cookware that can rival brands that are dominating the high-end range.

Pros of Circulon Cookware

  • Diversity. Circulon crafts several models such as Momentum, Acclaim, and different types of kitchenware and accessories to cover all consumers’ needs. Personally, I find diversity is one of this brand’s strongest advantages since it presenting you with various cookware you can choose from and does not limit your options to simply one or two collections.
  • Unique coating. Circulon uses its unique nonstick signature “TOTAL® Nonstick System” and “SteelSHIELD” to create cookware that can deliver optimal nonstick performance. Thanks to these technologies cleaning has become a piece of cake since you can literally clean the pots and pans effortlessly with your hands or just throw them inside the dishwasher.
  • High durability. Most pots and pans are constructed with hard-anodized aluminum to improve durability to an extent that it can guarantee long-lasting performance while withstanding daily use.
  • Inexpensive. Circulon is aiming to produce cookware that anyone can afford. You can enjoy good quality cookware set to hone your cooking skills without breaking the budget.

Cons of Circulon Cookware

  • Not metal utensil-safe. While the nonstick surface does offer many advantages, it is still not durable enough to handle the use of metal utensils. It is recommended to always use wooden types of utensils to preserve the nonstick quality.
  • Low heat tolerance. Most Circulon cookware can tolerate temperatures between 300-400 degrees Fahrenheit, while very few can reach 500 degrees.
  • Induction compatibility. The majority of the cookware pieces this brand produces are not designed to be used on induction cooktops. Having said that, there are few models that would work fine with induction stovetops such as Contempo, Steel Elite, Symmetry, Genesis, and Infinite.

Calphalon vs Circulon: Differences and Similarities

Circulon vs Calphalon

Calphalon and Circulon are direct competitors when it comes to nonstick cookware. Both brands offer a variety of cookware collections that target beginner and professional home cooks. While they may look similar to the eye, they have many differences than you can imagine. Here are the five most important distinctions between Calphalon and Circulon

Material

Calphalon is recognized for its nonstick collections that offer amazing performance. However, this brand doesn’t rely simply on hard-anodized aluminum. It has a series of cookware sets made from various materials such as stainless steel, cast iron, and oil-infused ceramic which is known for its easy release and healthy cooking. Each model is constructed to excel in a specific aspect, whether it’s durability, heat control, nonstick quality, or versatility.

Circulon on the other hand focuses more on producing non-toxic cookware that can deliver the best nonstick performance while maintaining safe, healthy cooking. This brand uses either high-grade stainless steel or hard-anodized aluminum to craft high-quality cookware. it started manufacturing its nonstick series with hard-anodized aluminum as the body combined with the ultra Total nonstick system to boost the durability and versatility to the highest level. As for the stainless steel model, Circulon constructs its pots and pans with either polished or brushed stainless steel exterior combined with new technology “SteelSHIELD” to enhance and maintain the nonstick quality.

Cooking Surface

Calphalon nonstick cookware features either dual or triple-layered nonstick coating that’s PTFE and PFOA-free. The slick coating allows you to slide even the most delicate food with ease. However, the quality of nonstick coating has been improved more than three times for the ceramic model thanks to the oil-infused ceramic interior that eliminate any need for using oil or butter.

Circulon uses two different nonstick systems for its collections “TOTAL®” and “SteelSHIELD”. Both technologies allow cookware to offer you the best nonstick performance, whether it’s easy food release or effortless cleanup. The TOTAL nonstick system is used to craft the interior of all hard-anodized cookware while the SteelSHIELD is the new technology that is used on all stainless steel collections to give them a nonstick quality so you can enjoy the superb performance of multi-clad stainless steel with a great nonstick surface.

Design

With regard to design, Both brands offer various cookware sets with different colors and sizes to keep up with your kitchen design.

Calphalon is more straightforward with its cookware design. Most of the pots and pans are deeper and have straight edges to accommodate more food while giving you the versatility you need to cook various dishes. However, this design makes it a bit difficult for you to pour food onto a plate or bowl.

Circulon has an integral hi-low groove design allowing you to cook and slide the food easily from edge to edge while reducing the abrasion. The “hi” area allows you to use metal utensils to your heart’s content while the “low” area protects the whole cooking surface to maintain a long-lasting performance.

Handles

Handling is vital for everyone, especially home cooks. With great balance comes great control. Calphalon craft thick handles that features thin double-riveted bolsters curving high over the cookware to improve the overall control and offer better support while decreasing the chance of heating up.

Circulon on the other hand, craft the handles using stainless steel with a rubberized super grip for easy handling and comfort. They are long enough to give you more room to hold. However, they can get hot under high temperatures. That being said, what I like about the Circulon design is that it included fold-in rings at the tip which facilitate hanging and storing the pots and pans.

Price

Both Circulon and Calphalon offer affordable collections for everyone. Most of their inexpensive cookware sets are under $300 while Calphalon’s high-end cookware can get over $600 as we have seen in the premium and signature sets. Here are some examples of Calphalon and Circulon cookware prices:

  1. Circulon Radiance 10-piece Cookware Set: $200
  2. Circulon Elementum 10-piece Cookware Set: $200
  3. Circulon Momentum 11-piece Cookware Set: $200
  4. Circulon Acclaim 13-piece Cookware Set: $240
  5. Calphalon Classic 10-piece Cookware Set: $240
  6. Calphalon Simply 10-piece Cookware Set: $250
  7. Circulon Ultimum 11-piece Cookware Set: $300
  8. Circulon Symmetry 11-piece Cookware Set: $320
  9. Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel 11-piece Cookware Set: $480
  10. Calphalon Premier Space-saving 10-piece Cookware Set: $570
  11. Calphalon Signature Stainless Steel 10-piece Cookware Set: $730

Circulon vs Calphalon: Cookware Sets Comparison

Cookware Brand

Cookware Set

Cooking Surface

Core Type

Induction Compatibility

Current Price

Circulon Radiance Cookware Set

Circulon Radiance Cookware Set review

TOTAL® nonstick

Aluminum

No

Circulon Elementum Cookware Set

Circulon Elementum Cookware Set review

TOTAL® nonstick

Aluminum

No

Circulon Momentum Cookware Set

Circulon Momentum Cookware Set review

TOTAL® nonstick

Aluminum

Yes

Circulon Acclaim Cookware Set

Circulon Acclaim Cookware Set review

TOTAL® nonstick

Solid Aluminum

No

Calphalon Classic Cookware Set

Calphalon Classic Cookware Set review

2-layer nonstick

Medium-gauge Aluminum

Yes

Calphalon Simply Cookware Set

Calphalon Simply Cookware Set review

2-layer nonstick

Medium-gauge Aluminum

No

Calphalon Premier Space-saving Cookware Set

Calphalon Premier Space Saving cookware Set review

3-layer nonstick

Heavy-gauge Aluminum

No

Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel Cookware Set review

Stainless Steel

Heavy-gauge Aluminum

Yes

Circulon SteelShield S-series Cookware Set

Circulon SteelShield S-Series Stainless Steel Cookware Set review

SteelShield

Stainless Steel

Yes

The Final Verdict

Personally, I think that both Circulon and Calphalon offer good quality nonstick cookware sets that are easy to handle. Both brands use their unique formula to craft superb nonstick surfaces.

If you are looking for a nonstick collection that can offer you the performance you need for daily cooking without breaking the budget then I highly recommend you to go for one of Circulon’s collections. However, if you are searching for a stronger set with high durability that can deliver better performance then I would suggest choosing one of the premier models of Calphalon.