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

We calculate how much it costs to run an air fryer, how the cost compares to an oven or microwave, as well as explaining whether an air fryer is worth it

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 before the energy crisis began. 

Many families are still worried about how much their energy bills will cost, even though the energy price cap has dropped, and 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. 

Having a sense of how much your most-used appliances cost to run can be quite eye-opening, and you might choose to use low energy alternatives instead. Personal finance expert John Fitzsimons, who has written for the Mirror, the Sun, loveMONEY, Moneywise, 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 11p and 27p to run per day, which works out as between £39.40 and £98.52 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. This will cost around 19p per use, £5.78 per month or £69.36 per year, based on 27p electricity unit prices under the energy price cap, effective from 1 October. 

For comparison if you have an 800W air fryer, your running costs will be roughly 11p per use, or £39.40 per year.

If you have a 2,000W air fryer, you'd be looking at running costs of around 27p per use, or £98.52 per year. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Cost per useCost per month Cost per year
800W air fryer11p£3.34£40.08
1400W air fryer19p£5.78£69.36
2000W air fryer 27p£8.21£98.52

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. 

A conventional oven uses an average of 2,000 to 5,000W 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. 

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.'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 6p (700W microwave used for 20 mins) and 10p (1,200W microwave used for 20 minutes) per use compared to 11p to 27p 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. 

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. Asdais currently selling an air fryer for less than £30.  

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. We've tried and tested loads of air fryers and this is our list of the best air fryers for families

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.

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