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Let’s face it: Most of us, regardless of kitchen size, stack cookware. Usually, it’s a teetering tower or precarious pile that is awkward at best and regularly toppled at worst. Cookware specifically designed to stack can change that, making your storage space tidy and functional.
Space-saving options vary widely. Smaller sets of pans, or sets with smaller pans, are often designed to sit in a single, stable stack. Larger, heavier pans may work best in two or three groupings. Some pots layer from largest up to the smallest, but others are interchangeable, letting you store your favorites on top.
As with all cookware, you have plenty of choices when it comes to materials, inside and out. Non-stick, stainless steel, copper, ceramic—there’s a stackable version for every preference. Many sets work on most, if not all, cooktops, including induction, and the pans can be safely slid into the oven to a certain temperature.
To help you choose the right cookware for your needs, here are the best stackable sets.
Best Overall: Tramontina Nesting 11-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set
Nests and stacks to maximize space
Lids are stored within the pots
Lightweight, yet durable
Only oven safe to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
When it comes to space-saving cookware sets, Tramontina tops the list with its innovative design: All pieces nest in a single stack that’s less than 12 inches tall and they're super stylish. The company says the set takes up 50 percent less space than other cookware, and our tester really noticed the difference in comparison to her old pile of pots and pans.
When stacked, each tempered-glass lid nestles below its pot, maximizing space. The lids are rimmed with silicone rather than metal, so they’re less likely to scratch the pots’ nonstick interior during storage. The lid knobs double as spoon rests, and the pots’ long handles lock together, stabilizing the stack and spacing the pots to reduce scratches.
This set comes in several stylish colors. It’s built from heavy-gauge aluminum, making it suitable for gas, electric, and glass-top stoves. The triple-coated nonstick interior makes the pans easy to use and clean. After our tester achieved a white wine reduction for a mushroom pan sauce and curried sweet potatoes with perfect, crisped edges, food slid right off the nonstick interior, and drips along the porcelain enamel exterior wiped off easily with a damp cloth.
The only downside? You can't use this cookware for final browning in the oven. It's oven safe to a maximum of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
What's Included: 1.25-, 2-, and 3-quart saucepans with lids; 3-quart casserole and 4.75-quart saucepot with lids; 12-inch sauté pan | Material: Aluminum, stainless steel, silicone, nonstick interior | Oven Safe: Up to 350 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"With this set, the heavy-gauge aluminum heated rapidly and evenly, even over medium heat, and the pan responded promptly when I turned down the gas burner beneath it." — Julie Laing, Product Tester
Best Budget: T-Fal All-In-One Hard Anodized Stackable 12-Piece Cookware Set
Large, yet affordable
All-inclusive starter set
Only two pots have fitted lids
Lids only oven safe to 350 degrees
For stackable cookware at an affordable price, T-Fal offers one of the largest sets. The pots, sauté pan, and fry pans form a tall, yet stable tower when stacked with their lids. When the lids are stored separately, the cookware nests neatly, which T-Fal says gives you 45 percent more storage space in your cabinet.
Vented glass lids with easily graspable handles fit the two larger pots. A flat, plastic lid lets you refrigerate leftovers directly in the midsize pot. T-Fal is known for its built-in temperature sensor: When the pans are evenly preheated, the center turns a solid red, taking some guesswork out of cooking.
What's Included: 1-, 2-, and 4.2-quart saucepots; 10-inch sauté pan; 11- and 12-inch fry pans; 3 lids; 3 utensils | Material: Aluminum, silicone, nonstick interior | Oven Safe: Up to 400 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Stainless Steel: Calphalon Select Space-Saving 10-Piece Cookware Set
Stack in any order
Works on all stovetops
Fry pans are not broiler-proof
Minimal flare to fry-pan sides
Calphalon wears its reputation for high-end cookware well, but it also offers midpriced lines for homecooked meals. The stainless steel, space-saving set from its Select collection features everyday pans with flat tempered-glass lids. Calphalon says the set saves you 30 percent more space compared to its non-stacking cookware. The pots and pans can be used on induction, gas, electric, and glass stovetops.
This set improves on many stackable cookware collections by letting you layer the pans and their lids in any order in two 8- and 10-inch-diameter stacks. They also hook into each other at the handle and opposing edge to keep the stacks from shifting.
What's Included: 2.5- and 3.5-quart saucepans, 3-quart sauté pan, and 5-quart Dutch oven with lids; 8- and 10-inch fry pans | Material: Stainless steel, silicone | Oven Safe: Up to 400 degrees | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Nonstick: Anolon SmartStack 11-Piece Cookware Set
Large stockpot and sauté pan
Interlocking handles reduce scratching
Works on all cooktops
Anolon SmartStack cookware doesn’t sacrifice pan size to save space. The cookware includes a full-size sauté pan and stockpot, and it sits in two short stacks. The shatter-resistant glass lids can be included in each group or stacked separately. Anolon says this set frees up 62 percent of your storage space.
The company didn’t skimp on quality or price. The cookware’s hard-anodized aluminum exterior and reinforced nonstick interior are durable enough to withstand daily use. The interlocking handles let each pan float above the nonstick surface of the one below it. The exterior base is coated in stainless steel, making this set suitable for all types of cooktops.
Although it's pricey, our tester found it's totally worth it. This cookware heats quickly and evenly, food slides right off the nonstick surface, and you save a ton of space without compromising full-size pots and pans. Its high quality comes with a high price tag, "but it’s one of the best space-saving sets available for small kitchens," our tester says.
What's Included: 2- and 4-quart saucepans, 5-quart sauté pan, and 8-quart stockpot with lids; 8.5- and 10-inch fry pans; steamer basket | Material: Aluminum, stainless steel, silicone, nonstick interior | Oven Safe: Up to 400 degrees | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"It was exciting to see food slide right off its surface and hear my husband announce, 'I can flip eggs again!'" — Julie Laing, Product Tester
Best Copper-Colored: Gotham Steel Stackmaster 10-Piece Cookware Set
Withstands high oven temperatures
Works on all cooktops
Straight-sided fry pans
Handles can grow hot
E. Mishan & Sons, the company behind Gotham Steel and Granitestone, sells its Stackmaster series under both brand names in a range of materials and combinations. This copper-colored 10-piece set offers the best value, yet still saves space. Its sole accessory, a stainless steel fry basket, can join the stacked collection or be stored separately.
The pans’ nonstick surface is friendly to metal utensils, and three of the tempered-glass lids are interchangeable. The lids and pans can be stacked together in one tower or split into two shorter stacks, which Gotham Steel says saves 30 percent in space. The pans’ stainless steel base makes them compatible with all stovetops.
What's Included: 2.75- and 3.5-quart saucepans, 5.35-quart stockpot, 8- and 10-inch fry pans, 4 lids, fry basket | Material: Aluminum, stainless steel, ceramic interior | Oven Safe: Up to 500 degrees | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best for Microwave: Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine Microwave 4-Piece Stackable Cooking Set
Interchangeable, multiuse pieces
Prone to staining
Too small for family meals
Joseph Joseph’s product lines focus on functional, space-saving designs, and its M-Cuisine cooking set is no exception. Most microwave “cookware” is really aimed at reheating, which makes this set stand out even before you consider its stackability.
This cookware features four interchangeable components: pot, steamer, griddle, and lid. When inverted, the lid solos as a plate or sits as a base for the griddle. The cookpot has a decent 2-quart capacity when used alone. Or, you could go big, stacking all the pieces to cook a full, one-person meal. Built-in pot and lid handles make the cookware easy to move. The entire set sits just over 6 inches high.
What's Included: 2.1-quart cooking pot with steamer, griddle, and lid | Material: BPA-free plastic | Microwave Safe: Up to 900 watts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
What to Look for in Stackable Cookware
Truly Space Saving
Plenty of cookware sets are touted as stackable, but that could only mean the pot sizes vary enough that a smaller pot can wobble around inside a larger one or that every lid can be inverted to hold the next-smallest pot, letting you build a refrigerator-high tower. True space-saving sets should be short and stable when stacked or nested.
Stacks and Stacks
When choosing a space-saving cookware set, check how many stacks are recommended by the manufacturer. Some collections may work as a single stack, but if the manufacturer says two stacks are better, believe it. Forcing them into one stack may sound appealing until you have to lift the entire heavy load to get to the pan on the bottom. Even if you need two stacks, they’ll likely take up less space than your current setup.
Just the Right Size
Stackable cookware tends to be on the smaller side, so consider the individual pot and pan sizes to be sure they’ll fit your needs. If you’re replacing your kitchen’s existing set, be sure that the new one includes your favorite, most frequently used pieces. You can always buy a stackable set with the basics and use the storage savings for the one-off pans you reach for the most. If you have a glass or induction cooktop, check that the cookware sizes align with your burner diameters to maximize efficiency.
For cookware you can store as a single, easy-to-lift stack, check out the compact Tramontina Nesting 11-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set or the Abizoe 12-Piece Non-Stick Cookware Set with its removable handle.
For the largest-volume pots and pans, the affordable T-Fal All-In-One 12-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set (view at Amazon) and the higher-end Anolon SmartStack 11-Piece Cookware Set (view at Amazon) are worth a look.
How do you know a pan’s size?
Fry pans, or skillets, are typically measured across the top rather than the base. If a 10-inch fry pan has sloping sides, the diameter of the top rim will be 10 inches and the base will be smaller.
Pots are usually sized based on the volume they hold. If you measure out and pour 3 quarts of water into a 3-quart saucepan, it should be full to the brim.
Can you buy extra pans to add to a stackable set?
Add-on options vary for stackable sets. Even though many cookware companies sell individual pots and pans as open-stock pieces, space-saving sets are so streamlined that you may not be able to add your favorite size pot to a stack. Your best bet is to search the manufacturer’s website for extra pots and pans that are compatible with its stackable collection.
Do you need to protect pans when stacking them?
Stacking can mean you risk scratching an interior surface with a nested lid or pot bottom. Some stackable pans come with built-in protection, like locking handles or support plates. Other companies include pan protectors in their sets. When in doubt, check the manufacturer’s recommendations. If a pan’s bottom rests directly on a lower pan’s cooking surface, you can always play it safe and lay a cloth napkin or other protective layer between them.
Other Options We Tested
Abizoe 12-Piece Non-Stick Cookware Set
A previous version of this roundup included the Abizoe 12-Piece Non-Stick Cookware Set. We liked the idea that a removable handle would save even more space, but unfortunately our tester found that it didn’t hold very well. A piece broke off a couple of weeks into testing. The handle still worked and the pans’ performance was unaffected, but the early damage was disappointing. Customer service requests to Abizoe went unanswered, so if you run into the same problem, you may need to live with the damage or buy a replacement handle from a third-party retailer.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Julie Laing has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years and most of that time has lived in small spaces, from studios to sailboats. Her current home is a 500-square-foot cabin with just one 24-inch cabinet to hold daily-use cookware. Julie cooks up everything from chowder to risotto to home-canned chutney in her tiny kitchen and shares her recipes on her food blog, Twice As Tasty. She published her first cookbook, "The Complete Guide to Pickling," in 2020.