The Best Small Air Fryers in 2021: 5 Options


Air fryers come in all shapes and sizes.

We recently took a look at larger models for families of 4 which you can see right here.

Today, though, we’ll be looking purely at smaller capacity models perfect for students, singles or even smaller families.

If you’re looking for a dinkier unit, you might be asking yourself, “What size should I get?”

All you need to do is shoot for an air fryer of 2.7 quarts or below and you’ll get that perfect sweet spot: a fryer small enough to fit in a cramped kitchen while still giving you enough food for your needs.

So, why should you buy an air fryer in the first place?

Put simply, conventional deep-frying is an extremely unhealthy method of cooking. The food might taste great, but with so much oil, it’s best reserved as an occasional treat.

If, however, you can’t resist that taste sensation, by investing in one of these mini convection ovens, you can enjoy that lip-smacking crispiness without the ruinous effect on your waistline and your overall health.

Before we explore 5 of the best small air fryers in full, here’s a quick glimpse at our favorites, first the overall winner and then the most suitable air fryer for any students on a tight budget that will still give you the best features

I. Our Picks for Small Air Fryers

Products & FeaturesImage & Price

BLACK+DECKER Purify HF110SBD 2-Liter Air Fryer Our #1 Pick

  • Enough space to cook for 2 to 4 people
  • Variable temperature from 175F to 400F
  • Replicate deep-fried food with 75% less oil
  • Smooth and sweeping design
  • Precision engineering you’d expect from BLACK+DECKER

Dash Compact Air Fryer

  • 2-quart capacity enough for a small family
  • Compact and lightweight despite capacity
  • Multiple colorways at your disposal
  • Easily navigable pre-sets
  • Auto shut-off for safety’s sake

BLACK+DECKER Purify HF100WD 2-Liter Air Fryer

  • Precise results with 60-minute timer
  • Pair of convection fans optimize air circulation
  • Cool-touch handle
  • Tweak temperature from 175F to 400F
  • Robust build quality

GoWISE USA 2.75-Quart Digital Air Fryer

  • Get your favorite fried food in 30 minutes flat
  • Uses far less oil than conventional frying methods
  • All plastic certified free of contaminants
  • Superb choice of color schemes
  • 50 recipes thrown in to get you going

BELLA 14538 2.6-Quart Air Convection Fryer

  • See your food as it cooks without opening the unit
  • Unbeatable price/performance
  • 1500 watts for ample firepower
  • Indicator lights show you at a glance when your food is done
  • Wide temperature band for all your favorite recipes

See Also:

II. Top 5 Best Small Air Fryers

1. Our #1 Pick:BLACK+DECKER Purify HF110SBD 2-Liter Small Air Fryer


Our overall winner for the best air fryer for students, singles or small families is the BLACK+DECKER Purify HF110BSD.

Weighing just 12 pounds and occupying little space on the countertop due to its small size you’ll be able to fit a surprising amount of food in this dinky unit. The basket gives you enough room to feed 2 to 4 people comfortably.

Whether you want to rustle up some snacks or a full meal, you can do so without the oil you’d need for conventional deep-frying. The thing is, you won’t need to sacrifice that trademark fried taste to eat more healthily either.

The features include a 60-minute countdown timer comes with automatic shut-off for your peace of mind. You can change the settings to get your required extent of frying, just like with a deep fryer. Temperature is easy to fine-tune and you can ratchet the heat right up to a maximum of 400 degree Fahrenheit giving you outstanding versatility.

These settings make this air fryer great for not only fried food but also for foods like chicken or pizza.

For a durable and highly capable small air fryer in a compact design from a brand you can rely on, this BLACK+DECKER will not disappoint.

Things We Like

  • Compact footprint but enough capacity for 1 pound of fries
  • Broad range of temperatures from 175 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Non-stick surface and dishwasher-friendly components renders cleaning up a cakewalk

Things We Dislike

  • Plastic handle on inner handle is rather brittle so exercise caution

2. Best Budget:Dash Compact Air Fryer


Although the Dash looks flimsy, this lightweight air fryer is deceptively rugged.

The 1.2-liter capacity is ideal if you’re cooking for yourself or you want light snacks for 2. Whether you’re a student living in a small apartment or a single looking to eat healthier food with less oil, this air fryer hits home.

The fryer basket capacity is 1.6 quarts and its non-stick surface means you won’t be fighting against stuck-on mess when you’re done. You can fit in 12 chicken wings or 1 pound of fries so, while it’s a small capacity model, you won’t be sold short when it comes time to eat.

If black or white doesn’t fit with your kitchen décor, opt for the brighter red or blue models for a burst of color in the kitchen. Cooking does not have to come without style and new technology.

If you’re looking for an air fryer on a budget, Dash proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to eat better food.

Things We Like

  • Extremely lightweight at less than 6 pounds and very slimline dimensions
  • Manipulate temperature with ease using simple dial
  • Recipe book with 15 great ideas for your new air fryer if you’re stuck for inspiration

Things We Dislike

  • Not the most attractive design but aesthetics are always subjective

3. BLACK+DECKER Purify HF100WD 2-Liter Small Air Fryer HF100WD


Another BLACK+DECKER up next with this diminutive 2-liter packing some serious tech onboard.

The proprietary cooking element is combined with a pair of brisk fans so you’ll get the functionality of a mini convection oven without all the room needed to accommodate it.

Looking lean and mean in monochrome, this appliance is small enough to slot onto a cramped and crowded counter without stiffing you in terms of capacity. Whether you fancy burger or fries, chicken wings or onion rings, get traditional fried food without the impact on your waistline or cholesterol levels.

In terms of capacity, you can expect up to 8 cups of food so you won’t be feeding a large family but it’s more than enough for anywhere up to 3 people. If you’re looking to whip up a quick helping of tater tots or chicken nuggets as a snack, this air fryer will do the job well.

Easy to clean, simple to use and built to stay the distance, enjoy the treat of fried food without the accompanying guilt.

Things We Like

  • Precision timing with countdown through 60 minutes and auto shut-off for your safety
  • Cool-touch handle and completely dishwasher-safe
  • Dual-fun convection system gives you the taste sensation of fried food without the need for all that oil

Things We Dislike

  • Reasonably costly but still represents solid value

4. GoWISE USA 2.75-Quart Digital Air Fryer


Remarkably cheap but looking like an upscale model, the GoWISE USA steps things up in terms of capacity without being too bulky and dominating your kitchen.

The intuitive digital interface is straightforward to use even if you’re not the biggest tech fan. The digital display will take care of your temperature, timer, and other parameters, while the nonstick basket will help you clean it more easily. 

Expect quick results with a nice cooking temperature band within a reasonable cooking time giving you complete flexibility with your recipe choice and food served in as little as a half-hour. And the best thing? You won’t need to ladle oil everywhere to enjoy that crisp and brown finish.

Maybe you’re wondering where to get started with air frying. If so, you’ll appreciate the useful guide with fully 50 mouth-watering recipes so there’s no excuse not to press it straight into action.

For a hard-hitting small air fryer good for 1 to 3 people at a highly competitive price-point and a space-saving design, this neat model is well worth popping on your shortlist.

Things We Like

  • Commanding appearance available in a broad array of colorways
  • Rack up your favorite fried food with almost no oil in less than 30 minutes
  • Generous recipe guide with 50 great ideas for your new air fryer

Things We Dislike

  • Some niggles about problems developing over time but you need to be realistic with your expectations at this price-point

5. BELLA 14538 2.6-Quart Air Convection Fryer


Last but certainly not least, the BELLA delivers oil-free frying at its finest.

The 1500-watt heating system operates like a convection oven with hot air efficiently circulated to fry your food without needing ladles of oil. You can cut right back on the amount of calories you’re consuming without sacrificing your favorite dishes or the taste you’re accustomed to with fried food.

Temperature range is the standard 175 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit so you’ll be able to knock up all your preferred dishes with ease. A simple dial is all that’s required on the temperature controls to adjust this with another dial above to tweak the timing.

You can fit 2.2 pounds of food inside the basket so, while still considered a small air fryer, you’ll easily feed 3 in a single sitting. This also means that this kitchen appliance will be able to cook food items like chicken tenders and chicken breasts easily.

When you’re done cooking, removable parts are all safe to slip in the dishwasher so you can relax and enjoy your dessert without being niggle by a tasky clean-up job at the sink. This ensures that both the cooking process and the cleaning process on this cooker are easy.

For a solid and long-lasting air fryer that’s also extremely versatile, we can’t recommend the BELLA strongly enough so what are you waiting for?

Things We Like

  • Basket roomy enough for over 2 pounds of food while the appliance is small enough it won’t end up taking over your work surface
  • Powerful 1500-watt Circular Heat Technology promotes cooking that’s super-swift without compromising consistency
  • Automatically shuts down when the timer is done and all parts cool to the touch keeping your safety uppermost

Things We Dislike

  • It’s a larger air fryer that could be termed small capacity

See Also: Top 12 Best Convection Toaster Ovens

Pros and Cons of Air Fryers

Besides cutting down on the oil that is used for conventional frying, air fryers come with several other benefits. While the most important aspect is, of course, the calories that you save, air fryers also make your food healthier in other ways. 

About 70 to 80% of calories that are present in deep fried foods can instantly be removed by using an air fryer. Besides this, when you fry food in oil, the starch in your food (for example, in potatoes) reacts with the oil to make a chemical called acrylamide. This chemical has been linked to higher chances of getting cancer. 

There are, however, some disadvantages that come with air fryers too. Longer cooking times should be expected, not just when it comes to the actual cooking process, but also for prepping the food. You can only cook one batch of food at a time in an air fryer to ensure that no crowding happens during the cooking process. 

The disadvantage that most people are worried about when it comes to air fryers is the taste of the food. While air fryers try to mimic the taste and feel of conventionally-fried food, it might not be quite the same. You can still make your food crispy and delicious by using an air fryer, but the texture of the food will definitely be different. 

If you’re thinking of making the switch to air fryers, these are some of the facts that you should keep in mind. Air fryers are definitely the healthier option to go for if you’re trying to take better care of your body. 

III. Conclusion

By now you should have a sound idea about which of these air fryers would be the best addition to your cooking arsenal.

All of them come in under the 2.7-quart sizing recommended for smaller air fryers which is the perfect size for some people. you might be surprised at how much food you can shoehorn into these compact appliances.

Don’t forget to come back soon since we’re constantly testing a huge range of products so you can simplify your buying decision whatever you’re buying for your home. We’re here to save you time and money while bringing you the very best in household products. If you’re interested in similar topics like the best small air fryers, please feel free to check out our other articles, buying guides, and reviews as well!

Come back soon for our look at handheld vacuums. We’re almost done with testing and we’ll have our report with you over the weekend.

Now enjoy that fried food guilt-free!

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