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Air Fryer Fried Chicken Thighs
Courtesy of iStock

Are you in the market for an air fryer but overwhelmed by all the options and different sizes? You’re not alone! As air fryers have become increasingly popular, the range of models and capacities has grown exponentially. That’s why we put together this complete guide to cover all the different air fryer sizes and help you decide which is appropriate for your needs.

In this post, we’ll discuss the different features and pros and cons of each size, as well as the types of foods that are suitable for them. We’ll also advise on choosing the appropriate size based on factors like your family and the space you have available. With this guide’s help, you’ll be prepared to make an informed decision and choose the right air fryer for your needs.

The different types of air fryers

Traditional air fryers

Traditional air fryers come in various sizes, from small to large. These models usually feature a basket-style cooking chamber, adjustable temperature settings and a manual timer. Most traditional air fryers range from 1.5 to 4.2 quarts in capacity.

Ultralight air fryers

Ultralight air fryers are designed to be lighter in weight than traditional air fryers, making them ideal for those with limited mobility or space constraints. They typically have a square or rectangular-shaped cooking chamber and feature an adjustable temperature dial, digital timer and pre-programmed setting options. Ultralight air fryers range in capacity from 3.3 to 5.8 quarts.

Traditional air fryer sizes

Standard traditional air fryers are great for single servings or small meals serving up to two people. They typically require less oil than their larger counterparts and have fewer features, such as temperature control and pre-programmed settings. Their basket-style design and manual timer system still provide plenty of cooking functionality and convenience though.

Medium traditional air fryers

Medium traditional air fryers are suitable for those looking to cook meals that serve up to four people. They offer more features than their smaller counterparts and additional cooking power. Temperature control dials and roomier baskets also give users more control over their fried foods than smaller models can offer.

Large traditional air fryers

Large traditional air fryers are best suited for those who want to prepare large meals for up to eight people. These models offer a variety of features, such as adjustable temperature settings and pre-programmed functions. Still, they also require more physical space due to their bulky design and overall size, so if counter space is a concern, then this may not be the most suitable option for you.

Ultralight air fryer sizes

The primary benefit of ultralight air fryers is their lighter weight compared to traditional models. This makes them easier to transport and store when not in use. They also offer improved performance due to their unique design, which reduces oil usage while providing quicker cooking times than traditional models.

Small ultralight air fryers

Small ultralight air fryers provide all the same benefits as traditional models but with improved portability due to their lighter weight. As a result, they are suitable for those who plan on preparing small meals for one to three people. Also, with adjustable temperature settings and digital timers, these models offer improved accuracy when setting cooking times.

Medium ultralight air fryers

Medium ultralight air fryers are great for preparing meals for up to six people. They are slightly bigger than small models but still retain high mobility due to their lightweight construction. These models also offer all of the same features as traditional models, including adjustable temperature setting options, digital timers and pre-programmed settings options, making them ideal for those looking for higher performance when cooking larger dishes.

Large ultralight air fryers

Large ultralight air fryers provide all of the same features as medium models but with improved capacity suitable for those planning to prepare larger meals for up to eight people. They also retain their lightweight construction, making them easy to move around the kitchen when needed, while still providing all the essential and convenient cooking features.

Benefits of each size

Air fryers come in different sizes, each offering unique benefits to cater to users' varying needs. Small-sized air fryers are ideal for individuals who prioritize convenience and portability. These models require less oil than larger models and have fewer features, but they still offer sufficient power to prepare quick and easy meals for single servings or up to two people.

Medium-sized air fryers are perfect for those who desire more precise cooking control for average-sized meals. With adjustable temperature settings and digital timers, users can accurately control their cooking times, making these models ideal for preparing dishes for single portions up to family dinners.

Large-sized air fryers are perfect for those who frequently prepare larger meals for gatherings and parties of up to eight people. These models offer greater performance and have more features, such as adjustable temperature settings and pre-programmed functions, giving users greater control over their dishes.

Factors to consider when selecting an air fryer size

If you frequently cook large meals or entertain often, you may want to opt for a large air fryer (3.3-4.2 quarts) or an ultralight large model (5.5-5.8 quarts). On the other hand, if you often cook meals just for yourself or two people, you may find that a smaller air fryer (1.5-2.2 quarts) or an ultralight small (3.3-3.7 quarts) is more suitable for your needs.

When selecting an air fryer size, it’s also important to think about how much counter space you have available in your kitchen, as well as how you plan on storing the appliance when not in use. Large air fryers can be bulky and take up considerable room on kitchen counters, shelves or cupboards. If you have limited space in your kitchen or pantry, selecting an ultralight small (3.3-3.7 quarts) or medium (3.8-5.3 quarts) air fryer is probably the best option. Choosing an ultralight model is generally recommended if you plan to store your air fryer in between uses.

Other factors to consider to choose the right air fryer

When considering purchasing a new air fryer, it's important to consider several factors to ensure that you make the right decision. One of the first things to consider is your cooking needs. Evaluate the types and sizes of meals you prepare most often and the volume of food you need to cook to determine the capabilities your model will need to meet your needs.

You should also consider your budget when shopping for an air fryer. The cost of these appliances can vary widely depending on the specs and features you require. This means it’s important to shop around to find the best deal possible on a good quality, reliable model that fits your budget.


Air fryers are a great addition to any kitchen, offering delicious results with less oil and fat than traditional fryers. The key to choosing the right air fryer is knowing what size suits your needs and which features are most important. To ensure you make an informed decision, this article has outlined the different types of air fryers and the factors to consider when selecting the right size. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be ready to purchase the ideal air fryer for your kitchen and whip up delicious, healthy meals with it in no time.