How much does it cost to run an air fryer and is it cheaper than a microwave?

Wondering how much does it cost to run an air fryer? You're not alone, especially as energy bills are still sky high

Woman cooking fries in an air fryer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

So, how much does it cost to run an air fryer and does it work out cheaper than using an oven or microwave? It's an important question to ask with energy bills still much higher than this time last year. 

If you're worried about how much your energy bills will cost, even though the Energy Price Guarantee is in effect, you're not alone. 

But while we're still paying more than ever for our gas and electricity, knowing how to save energy will be high on family agendas to keep costs as low as possible. It's also worthwhile making sure you understand your energy bills so you can check they are correct and have a clear idea of how much energy you use. 

Understanding how much your most-used appliances cost to run can be quite eye-opening, especially when compared to energy-saving alternatives.

Personal finance expert John Fitzsimons, who has written for the Mirror, the Sun, loveMONEY, Moneywise, and our sister brand The Money Edit, said: "Air fryers are faster and generally thought to be more efficient than regular ovens, which not only means that the food is cooked more quickly, but you also use less energy in the process. 

“Nonetheless, it's a good idea to understand how much energy you are using when cooking with your air fryer, and how much it is therefore costing you." 

How much does it cost to run an air fryer? 

Air fryers cost between 13p and 34p to run per day, which works out as between £49.56 and £124.08 per year. But exact running costs will depend on the type and model you have, how often you use it and how much you pay for your electricity. 

We have taken the example of a 1,400W basket air fryer, that is large enough to cook three to four portions at a time, and assumed it's used for 30 minutes every day. Here's how that will affect this example air fryer's running costs. 

  • This will cost around 23.8p per use, £7.24 per month or £86.88 per year, now that the Energy Price Guarantee is in force. 

For comparison if you have an 800W air fryer, your running costs will be roughly 13.6p per use, £4.13 per month, and £49.56 per year.

If you have a 2,000W air fryer, you'd be looking at running costs of around 34p per use, £10.34 per month and £124.08 per year. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Cost per useCost per month Cost per year
800W air fryer13.6p£4.13£49.56
1400W air fryer23.8p£7.24£86.88
2000W air fryer 34p£10.34£124.08

Two things to consider when using an air fryer are the newer models tend to be more energy efficient to run so they may cost less, and the more powerful the air fryer, the quicker the cooking time. 

 Are air fryers cheaper to run than an oven?

An air fryer is cheaper to run than a conventional oven. Not only do they use less energy, but they can also cook food quicker. For example, you can cook a potato waffle in an air fryer in about eight minutes, where it would take more than double that in a conventional oven. 

But if you need to cook large amounts of food that wouldn't fit into an air fryer, it could work out cheaper to use your oven, rather than using your air fryer multiple times. 

It reportedly costs around 87p per day to run an oven, which is more expensive than an air fryer, A conventional oven uses an average of 2,000 to 5,000 Watts depending on whether it’s on a high, medium or low heat. This is easily more than double the energy used by an air fryer.'s Money Editor Sarah Handley says: "If you use your oven daily, it might be worth considering an air fryer. Not only it is a healthy way of cooking, but an air fryer uses significantly less energy, and can cook food faster too. But do your research first. See what kinds of foods you can and can't cook in an air fryer, and what capacity air fryer would best suit the needs of you and your family." 

Compare the running cost of your most-used appliances with this handy tool:

 Are air fryers cheaper to run than a microwave?

Air fryers are not cheaper to run than a microwave - they are slightly more expensive. Microwaves are quite energy efficient to use and depending on the specification of the microwave you have, can cost between 8p and 13p per use compared to 13p to 34p for an air fryer. 

But it is likely that you will use your microwave for different types of food than you would an air fryer. You are much more likely to cook chips in an air fryer than in a microwave, but if you wanted to quickly heat up soup, you'd be more likely to turn to your microwave. 

Household appliance running costs Oct 2022

(Image credit: Future)

How much does it cost to buy an air fryer and is it worth it?

With air fryers growing in popularity there are a lot of options available to buy at a variety of price points. You can pay anything from £30 up to around £200+ for an all-singing, all-dancing model. Both Asda and Aldi have sold air fryers recently for around £30, although both are currently out of stock. 

If you are looking to buy an air fryer, make sure you choose one with the right capacity for you and your family. Buying a small one, where you can only cook one portion at a time, but need to feed a family of four will leave you disappointed. 

Air fryers are worth it if you are looking for a healthier, more energy efficient way to cook, but you'll need to regularly use it instead of your oven to see any real cost savings. 

Elsewhere, air fryer users have been wondering what to cook in an air fryer, and whether there's any truth behind the TikTok rumours that air fryers are toxic.

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John Fitzsimons, personal finance expert and journalist
John Fitzsimons

John Fitzsimons has been writing about finance since 2007, and is a former editor of Mortgage Solutions and loveMONEY. Since going freelance in 2016 he has written for publications including The Sunday Times, The Mirror, The Sun, The Daily Mail and Forbes, and is committed to helping readers make more informed decisions about their money.

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Staff writer at our sister brand The Money Edit

Vaishali is a journalism graduate who has experience working with the likes of Leicester Mercury, Inews and The Week. She also comes from a marketing background, where she has done copywriting and content creation for businesses. Currently, writing about all things personal finance, Vaishali is passionate about finding the best deals around, whether it's the best credit cards or the cheapest personal loans, as well as sharing top money hacks to help people save and better manage their money. 

With contributions from