The 5 best air fryers we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • While an air fryer can’t exactly mimic deep-fried food, it can quickly roast, crisp, and bake.
  • The Philips Turbostar is the best air fryer we tested because it works fast and doesn’t dry out food.
  • We also love multitasking appliances from Instant Pot and Breville that let you air fry and much more.

Air fryers are wildly popular small appliances, but their name betrays them a bit since they do not truly fry food. An air fryer uses an electric heating element paired with convection, the process of cooking something by blowing very hot air across its surface. That hot air heats the fat on the surface of the food – you still have to lightly coat your food in oil for best results – cooking it to a nice light crisp.

The results are more like oven roasting at a high heat – still a delicious end result, but you won’t fool anyone into thinking you just pulled those chicken wings out of a deep fryer.

The advantages of an air fryer are still huge. It’s one of the quickest-cooking appliances out there aside from a microwave, making it a real time-saver, especially for weeknight meals – and you’ll get a much higher quality cook than a microwave. It’s also incredibly versatile in its ability to cook pretty much anything you’d normally roast in an oven: vegetables, fish, whole chickens, and more. Think beyond chicken nuggets and the possibilities are endless.

I’ve tested seven air fryers for this guide so far, using each to roast broccoli and cook frozen and fresh-cut French fries. While results varied by air fryer, I was consistently able to get a respectable finished product way more quickly than with an oven.

Because air fryers and healthy eating concepts are so often intertwined, I spoke to nutrition expert, Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, who shared that she is a fan of air fryers for their convenience. Meredith Laurence, owner of Blue Jean Chef and prolific air fryer recipe developer, also weighed in on how to get the most out of your air fryer. You’ll find their full advice below.

Here are the best air fryers in 2021

The best air fryer overall

Best air fryer overall Philips Premium TurboStar

The Philips Premium TurboStar Air Fryer heats up within seconds, turning out evenly cooked, crispy food with greater efficiency than an oven and other air fryers.

Pros: Heats quickly, “fat removal technology” removes excess oil, cooks evenly, most food stays moist

Cons: Many parts to clean, only adjustable at 15-degree increments, may dry out more delicate foods

Efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to air fryers, so those with long preheat times were docked points during my testing. The Philips Premium TurboStar exceeded expectations in efficiency with virtually no preheat time whatsoever. It came up to temp within seconds, faster than any other air fryer I tested. It also won the frozen fry test outright and was only just edged out in the fresh-cut fry cook test by the Breville Smart Oven Air.

It had a bit of trouble with broccoli, drying the florets out a bit, but it was by no means the worst batch and a couple of recipe tweaks could fix that. The user interface is intuitive with a knob you twist to cycle through presets and adjust your time and temperature.

The TurboStar also features Philips’ “fat removal technology” which employs a cyclone of hot air to blow excess oil off your food and trap it in a specially designed base under the fryer basket. And I did notice some excess oil collected in the base of the air fryer after cooking. I noticed it the most after my batch of broccoli, and I wondered if it would’ve dried out less had that oil stayed put. But if staying low-oil is your main motivation for buying an air fryer, this feature could be a bonus for you.

The one downside to the TurboStar is how many parts there are to clean. The base and basket disassemble into four parts instead of the usual two — five if you use the splatter shield — though all these components are dishwasher safe.

The best air fryer on a budget

Best air fryer overall Dash Compact

The Dash Compact Air Fryer could not be more straightforward to use, and it takes up very little precious counter space.

Pros: Simple interface, compact design, even cooking

Cons: No additional modes or cooking presets, can only control time and temperature, only fits single serving of food

The Dash Compact Air Fryer boasts the simplest design of all the air fryers I tested, making it very user-friendly and virtually plug-and-play. While you won’t have the advantages of presets for commonly cooked foods, there are also no menus to cycle through and not a single button to press. The interface consists simply of a temperature dial and a time dial, and as soon as you twist your dial to the desired time, the air fryer kicks on.

And just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s a slouch. It exceeded expectations in my cook tests and even produced the most successful batch of broccoli. It’s a bit less powerful than the other air fryers we recommend, but I think that works to its advantage. It’s not hammering food with hot air and high heat in the same way that some other air fryers are, which can lead to overdrying. It’s just a bit gentler on food. That doesn’t make it slower though — it met expected cook times in every test.

Its compact size can be a plus or a minus depending on your needs. It’s great for those with limited counter space or those who are cooking for a couple or just themself, and it’s even small enough to tuck into a cabinet when not in use. But if you need to cook for a large family, you’ll likely find yourself making batch after batch with this petit appliance.

The best multitasking air fryer

Best multitasking air fryer Instant Pot Duo Crisp

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and air fryer all in one, making it one of the most useful and economical small appliances I tested.

Pros: Multiple functions; doesn’t dry out delicate foods; can perform multiple steps in a recipe in the same appliance

Cons: Food on lower level of fryer basket cooks more slowly, many pieces to store, difficult to agitate food mid-cook, removing lid exposes heating coil

Air fryers often get a bad rap for being unitaskers, but Instant Pot has bucked the trend by adding air fryer functionality to its already quite versatile multicookers. The Duo Crisp comes with two separate lids — a traditional Instant Pot lid you’ll use for all your pressure and slow cooking and another equipped with an electric heating coil and fan that you’ll use for air frying, broiling, dehydrating, and more.

If you’ve used an Instant Pot, you’re already familiar with about half of the Duo Crisp‘s features. It works just like any other Instant Pot and is great for a batch of pressure-cooked beans, slow-cooked stew, or simple steamed veg. The only major setting you’ll sacrifice in favor of air frying functionality is the yogurt setting, which isn’t present on the Duo Crisp.

The air fryer function excelled in all of my tests, producing tender broccoli and crisp frozen fries, though the tall cylindrical basket presented some small downsides. The basket allows you to stack two layers of food to make up for the lack of horizontal space, but because the heat comes from above, the food on the bottom layer is often less crisp than the top. The air fryer basket also lacks a handle, so it’s tough to agitate food mid-cook, and there’s no way to get to the bottom layer to flip food without unloading everything on top of it.

The heating coil’s presence in the lid also means you’ll expose it when you lift it off to check or retrieve your food. If you’re not careful, it could be a burn hazard. The unit comes with a special plate that serves as a trivet when you need to place the hot lid somewhere, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind in terms of safety.

All told, this is the air fryer I reach for most for personal use, because it has earned the space it takes up in my kitchen by being so versatile.

If you already own an Instant Pot, you can purchase an air fryer lid separately for your 6-quart model. The only difference is that instead of the cook settings being built into the pot itself, they’re built right into the lid.

The best large capacity air fryer

Best dual basket air fryer Ninja Foodi

The Ninja Foodi Two-Basket Air Fryer lets you cook two separate dishes at once, and you can time them to finish simultaneously to take the guesswork out of planning dinner.

Pros: Two independent cooking zones, can time food to finish at the same time, largest capacity air fryer we tested, can copy settings across zones

Cons: Cooks more slowly than other air fryers, different cook times depending on whether you’re using one zone or both

Most air fryers can only cook one thing at a time, meaning you’ll likely have to batch cook or lean on other appliances for a full meal. But the Ninja Foodi Two-Basket lets you double your output. It features two independent zones that can be programmed to different cook times and temperatures, increasing this air fryer’s versatility in a big way.

The Smart Finish setting is one of my favorites which lets you program the Foodi to stagger each basket’s start time so they finish cooking simultaneously. And if you’re cooking two baskets of the same food, just hit the Match Cook button, and it will apply your settings to both baskets so you don’t have to program it twice.

The Ninja Foodi wasn’t as efficient as some of the other air fryers I tested, and I often had to add a few more minutes to my cook times, but it’s worth the couple extra minutes for the convenience of being able to cook multiple batches at once. If you’re really in a hurry or only need to cook one thing, the air fryer is a bit more efficient if you just use one basket at a time, though still slower than many of its counterparts. You’ll have to remember to adjust your recipes accordingly.

The best upgrade air fryer

Best upgrade air fryer Breville Smart Oven Air

The Breville Smart Oven Air handles a variety of kitchen tasks with aplomb, from your morning toast to a roast chicken to air fried everything.

Pros: True multitasker; takes the place of several small appliances including an air fryer, toaster, roaster, dehydrator, and more; produces oven-quality food quickly; two convection settings for greater customizability; comes with air fryer basket, two racks, pizza pan, roasting pan, and broiling rack

Cons: Takes up a lot of counter space

Any air fryer is simply a miniature convection oven with more focused heat, but the Breville Smart Oven Air takes full advantage of its convection capabilities and toaster oven shape to expand the tasks it can handle. I’ve been impressed by everything I’ve gotten out of this countertop oven.

It excelled in our broccoli test, producing a result that was still moist and tender with gently crisped florets, and it was the only air fryer that made fresh-cut fries that were even remotely crisp without being totally overdone. And outside of that, I’ve used it for morning toast, dough proofing, roasting sweet potatoes, and more. There are still plenty of settings for me to explore, and I’m particularly intrigued by the “cookies” and “pizza” modes.

The interface is intuitive with two knobs that let you cycle through cooking modes, time, and temperature. You can even tell the Smart Oven Air you’re cooking something from frozen, and it will automatically adjust to the optimal time and temperature. It’s also large enough to fit a small Dutch oven, so you can slow cook, bake, and even braise in it.

The two caveats are the price and size of the Breville Smart Oven Air. There’s no getting around the fact that it’s an expensive appliance, but it will entirely replace your toaster oven, pop-up toaster, air fryer, and dehydrator, making it one of the most useful small appliances I’ve ever tested. If it were any larger, it could probably replace your entire oven. That said, it is very large for a countertop appliance, so it’s likely not for apartment-dwellers or those with limited counter space.

Our testing methodology

air fryer testing methodology

One thing I discovered early in my testing process was that air fryers tend to vary wildly in their cook times. Set at the same temperature, one unit charred broccoli to an undesirable crisp in six minutes, while another took 13 minutes to just reach al dente. So I cooked three different recipes with each machine, evaluated how quickly each one cooked, whether or not it dried out the food, and how evenly each batch came out.

I also assessed each machine for ease of use, noting how intuitive the user interface was. I tracked how many component parts there were to disassemble and clean. A unit with dishwasher safe accessories got big bonus points. These were the three cooks I performed with each machine:

Food Testing Process Result
Broccoli I cooked a basket-full of broccoli in each unit, assessing for doneness and even cooking. Each batch was air fried for 8 minutes at 375 degrees after being sprayed with olive oil spray and seasoned with salt and pepper. Additional cooking time was added if necessary. Overall, the air fryers struggled with fresh vegetables, but a few units managed to produce tender broccoli with crisp florets. More often, the result was incredibly dry.
Frozen French fries I cooked a basket-full of Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Fast Food French Fries in each unit, assessing for doneness and even cooking. I cooked them for 8 minutes at 400 degrees, jostling them halfway through, per the air fryer-specific instructions on the French fry bag. Additional cooking time was added if necessary. This was, by far, the most successful test. In fact, I didn’t get a single bad batch of frozen fries. If you eat a lot of frozen finger foods, you should absolutely buy an air fryer.
Fresh-cut French fries I cooked a basket-full of hand-cut French fries in each unit, assessing for doneness and even cooking. I soaked the cut fries in cold water for 30 minutes prior to cooking, patted them dry, sprayed them with olive oil spray and seasoned them with salt before cooking. I cooked them for 15 minutes at 375 degrees, adding additional time if necessary (which often was). Overall, the air fryers had trouble getting fresh potatoes crispy, and a few units created a leathery exterior on the fry by the time it was cooked in the middle. But most units produced a satisfying baked-style fry.

What else we tested

air fryers tested by insider reviews

What else we recommend and why:

Cosori Max XL Air Fryer: The Cosori was able to produce some of the best broccoli during our testing but it struggled with fresh-cut fries, drying them out. The five minutes it takes to preheat also adds some time to your cooking process. That said, it’s packed with presets for everything from root vegetables to steak to bacon, so if you’re looking for a user-friendly air fryer, this is still a good buy. 

What we don’t recommend and why:

Instant Vortex: If you undercook something, you can always throw it back in for a few more minutes, but there’s no coming back from overcooked food. The Instant Vortex consistently overcooked food no matter which recipe I followed. I’m sure you could take the time to learn this air fryer and tweak your recipes, but it’s much easier to just buy a more reliable one.

Air fryer FAQs

Is air fried food healthy?

The short answer is that it depends what you’re cooking and how you define “healthy.” You can make fried Oreos in an air fryer and they certainly won’t be low in calories, but they will be lower in calories and fat than their deep-fried alternative.

Cassetty explained that deep-fried food is typically considered “unhealthy” because you’re often coupling a breading of refined grains with a dunk in a low-quality oil. The breading then absorbs oil as it’s fried, adding calories to your food. With an air fryer, you’ll use a fraction of the oil, cutting down on calories. But you still need a thin coating of oil to maximize the efficacy of the hot air as it blows across your food. That oil conducts heat and helps create that crispy exterior.

The reason air fryers and healthy eating are so often coupled is because air fryers have been marketed as a deep fryer alternative. While I can’t stress enough that you won’t be fooling anyone into thinking the food you made in an air fryer was deep-fried, you are going to get something that tastes oven-fried in a fraction of the time. And that efficiency is, I think, even more of a selling point.


Is an air fryer worth it?

If you’re interested in an air fryer as an alternative to deep frying, you’ll probably be disappointed. But an air fryer is an incredibly versatile appliance if you know how to take advantage of it. Both Cassetty and Laurence praise air fryers for their ability to cook pretty much any food quite quickly.

But Laurence, who has written two cookbooks dedicated to air fryer recipes, acknowledges that they have a bit of a learning curve. “You can’t just stick this egg-shaped thing on the counter and expect people to know how to use it,” she said. But she encouraged home cooks to keep experimenting and think beyond frozen French fries and chicken wings. She said her favorite thing to cook in an air fryer is a steak, and when she first did it she was shocked at how well it turned out.

Laurence and Cassetty both also emphasized the speed and energy efficiency of air fryers. Air fryers take very little, if any, time to preheat, so you’re saving both time and electricity. The location of the heating element — placed directly over the food — creates more efficiency, explained Laurence. “You can create similar results in an oven, but it’s going to take longer because your oven is way bigger and the [air flow] is not as direct,” she said. They also expel much less heat, which is especially handy during hot weather when you’d rather avoid turning on your oven.

An air fryer is also very simple to use and is great for amateur cooks and even teens just developing their skills in the kitchen. It’s not much of a step up from a microwave as far as safety is concerned. The exception here may be a model like the Instant Pot we recommend above where the heating element is much more exposed.

In a nutshell, an air fryer is worth it for its versatility and efficiency in roasting and baking if you have the counter space to spare, but it’s not going to fool anyone into thinking your food is deep-fried.

Check out our other great kitchen guides

Instant Pot

The best microwaves


The best toaster ovens


The best toasters


The best Instant Pots and electric pressure cookers

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All the best early Memorial Day sales we found, including deals from Leesa, Pier 1, and Butcherbox

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

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  • Memorial Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to save on home goods, appliances, and tech.
  • We’ve rounded up the best sales to shop ahead of the three-day weekend.

Memorial Day is getting closer and so are the ensuing sales and discounts. Whether you’re planning to take a much-needed day off or grill it up with friends in the yard, a great deal on supplies never hurts.

Below, we’ve rounded up all of the best sales going on now, including mattresses, home goods, apparel, and tech. Check back often – we’ll update this list and more discounts surface.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Best Memorial Day deals available now

Harvest (medium, Preferred: AeroGarden)Prowl Animal Women’s Slip-On Shoes (medium)Game Pass Ultimate 3-Month Membership (Digital) (medium, Preferred: Microsoft)No.5 Juniper and Grapefruit (medium)AirPods Pro (Refurbished) (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)
Best Memorial Day grilling deals

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Butcherbox: Get a free BBQ Bundle for new and canceled customers through May 31.

Chicago Steak Company: Get free shipping plus 12 free 4-ounce burgers with orders over $99 with promo code FREEGIFTS.

Cooks Venture: Get $20 off your first order with promo code TRYCV.

Omaha Steaks: Get 50% off summer grilling favorites.

Sizzlefish: Get 15% off Chilean Sea Bass.

Thrive Market: Get a free gift worth up to $31 with your order.

Thermoworks: Save with new deals added regularly.

Best Memorial Day mattress and bedding deals

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Avocado Green Mattress: Get $100 off the Latex, Green, and Vegan mattresses with promo code HONOR through June 7; get $250 off the Luxury Plush Mattress with promo code MEMORIALDAY.

Bear: Get 25% off sitewide and a free gift set with your mattress purchase with promo code MD25 through June 7.

Helix: Get $100 off your purchase of $600+ with promo code MEMORIALDAY100, $150 off your purchase of $1,250 with promo code MEMORIALDAY150, or $200 of fyour purchase of $1,750 with promo code MEMORIALDAY200

Leesa: Get up to $500 off mattresses and get two free pillows with your mattress purchase.

Mattress Firm: Get up to $500 off top brands including Serta, Sealy, and Beautyrest.

Purple: Get up to $400 off a mattress through June 7.

Sit ‘n Sleep: Get over 50% off select mattresses.

Tempur-Pedic: Get up to $500 off adjustable mattress sets and a free $300 mattress set with your purchase. 

Tuft & Needle: Get 20% off sitewide through May 31.

Best Memorial Day home and kitchen deals

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1-800-Flowers: New shoppers can get 25% off flowers and gifts with promo code NEWSHOPPER25 through May 20. 

Aerogarden: Get 20% off sitewide with promo code SUMMER20 through May 31.

Artifact Uprising: Get design services for $49 with promo code DESIGNERMADE through May 24.

The Container Store: Get up to 25% off closet organization.

Modsy: Get 20% off interior design packages with promo code MEMORIAL20 through May 19 or 30% off home and decor from Modsy through June 1. 

Outdoor Fellow: Get 20% off all candles with promo code INSIDER20

Overstock: Get up to 70% off thousands of items for Memorial Day.

Pier 1 Imports: Get up to 50% off select items for Memorial Day.

Society6: Get 30% off outdoor, lifestyle, and home decor or 40% off beach towels and water bottles.

Target: Get up to 25% off furniture, lighting, bedding, and home decor.

UrbanStems: Get a free pack of Sugarfina Gummies ($14 value) with promo code BISENDLOVE

Best Memorial Day clothing and accessory deals

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Anthropologie: Get an extra 25% off sale items.

Andrew Marc: Get an 30% off sitewide with promo code AMCYBER.

Aurate: Get 15% off all orders, or 20% off orders $250+ and 25% off orders $500+ with promo code UPGRADEME.

Banana Republic: Get 40% off your purchase with promo code BRMYSTERY and an extra 10% off.

Baublebar: Get 20% off two or more Pisa bracelets with promo code PISA20

Blue Nile: Get 20% off select jewelry with promo code SHINE2021.

Children’s Place: Get 50% to 75% off during the Spring sale.

Coach: Get 30% off select styles with promo code SAVE30.

eBags: Get up to 50% off with promo code SPRING; buy two or more styles and get an extra 20% off. 

EyeBuyDirect: Buy one, get one with an extra 15% off with promo code TWO4FUN.

Gap: Get 40% off everything with promo code FRIEND.

Keen: Get 20% off select styles through May 31.

Lands’ End: Get 40% off your order with promo code PEONY.

Minnetonka: Get free shipping in the US on orders over $35 with promo code MayFlowers through May 31.

Original Penguin: Get an extra 30% off select sale styles.

Totes: Get 30% off sitewide with promo code RAIN30.

Best Memorial Day beauty and skincare deals

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BeautyCounter: Free summer skin essential when you spend $125 or more through May 26

Colourpop: Save with new deals added daily.

Hello Bello: Get 20% off your order with promo code INSIDER20 through June 30. 

Kate Somerville: Get Kate’s Age Repair Minis with any $150 purchase when you use promo code MAYGWP at checkout.

Nars: Get 20% off sitewide with promo code FRIENDS through May 18.

Sephora: Save on sale items and get free shipping with promo code FREESHIP.

SkinStore: Get 20% off most brands with promo code NEWBIE for first-time customers. 

Tarte: Get up to 75% off during the Secret Sample Sale through May 21.

Ulta: Save with new offers and promotions added regularly.

Best Memorial Day tech deals

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Best Buy: Save big on TVs, computers, headphones, accessories, and more.

Sling: Get $25 off your first month of Sling TV. 

Tile: Save on final sale Tile trackers from previous years.

Udacity: Get 60% off your monthly subscription with promo code INSIDER60 through May 21.

Frequently asked questions

When is Memorial Day 2021?

Memorial Day is on Monday, May 31; for many people, it marks a three-day weekend.

What sales can I expect during Memorial Day weekend?

Though retailers from every category turn up for Memorial Day, the sales you’re most likely to find are from companies that sell home goods and furniture. 

Last year we saw sales from retailers large and small alike, including Walmart, Casper, and Adidas. 

Are Memorial Day deals worth buying?

For the most part, Memorial Day sales won’t be better than those you’d see over Black Friday or Cyber Monday. However, furniture, appliances, and outdoor gear will see price drops that are comparable to those found during the holiday season.

The next major sales event on the horizon is Amazon Prime Day 2021, which we expect to come sometime in June or July. It’ll be chock-full of great deals and all-time low prices.

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The best online sales and deals happening now including Puma, Sonos, and Ulta

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Best Online Sales Deals

We rounded up the best sales and deals happening online today, including Puma, Ssense, and Aurate.

Deals in this story are subject to change throughout the day. The prices listed reflect the deal at the time of publication. For even more deals and savings across the web, check out our roundup of the best deals from Amazon and the best spring sales going on now – or, prep for the incoming holiday by checking out the best Memorial Day sales going on now.

The best deals available right now

Ultra 2020 (medium, Preferred: Target)Power Up Bundle (Cynosa Lite, Viper, and Kraken X Lite) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)AirPods Pro (Refurbished) (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)Litewave 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Game Pass Ultimate 3-Month Membership (Digital) (medium, Preferred: Microsoft)

The best sales and discounts happening right now

Get up to 50% off at Puma

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Shop the Puma flash sale now.

For two days only, Puma’s holding a huge flash sale with up to 50% off shoes, athletic wear, and more. It’s a great chance to stock your wardrobe with bold, branded tees or comfy sneakers for training. The deals end May 18. 

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Get up to 50% off at Ssense

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Shop the Ssense sale for men and women now.

Ssense is having a rare sale right now featuring up to 50% off a huge selection of apparel, shoes, and accessories for men and women. Brands like Nike, Adidas, Converse, and more are included in the discounts.

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Get up to 25% off at Aurate

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Shop the Aurate Upgrade sale now.

Aurate’s, one of our favorites for shopping affordable gold jewelry, holding a huge sale to help you upgrade your collection. Now through May 17, you can get 25% off $500+, 20% off $250+, and 15% off all orders — just use promo code UPGRADEME.

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Get 30% off sitewide from Carbon38

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Shop the Carbon38 sitewide sale now.

A brand we like for its versatile and stylish athletic wear, Carbon38, is having a huge sale. Right now, you can snag 30% off sitewide, just use the promo code SUMMER30. The discount includes the retailer’s huge array of leggings, bras, and joggers; it’s also the first worthwhile deal we’ve reported from them. 

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Get 20% off candles at Outdoor Fellow

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Shop the Outdoor Fellow Insider-exclusive sale now.

A good candle can brighten up your home, if it’s the right scent. Right now, Outdoor Fellow is offering Insider readers 20% off its selection of candles with promo code INSIDER20, with a range of scents from cozy to energetic. The subscriptions aren’t included in the discount, but that still leaves the brand’s lineup of nine candles to choose from. 

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Get 50% off haircare essentials from Ulta

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Shop the Ulta Gorgeous Hair Event now.

Now through May 29, Ulta is offering shoppers 50% off a rotating selection of haircare essentials. You’ll need to check back daily to access new deals, but the sale includes brands like Revlon, Chi, Ouidad, and many more. This week, Ulta is also offering a special with select shampoos and conditioners as low as two for $26

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Get 20% off at AeroGarden

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Shop the AeroGarden sale now.

Right now, AeroGarden is holding a huge sale with 20% off (or more) sitewide. Just use the promo code SUMMER20 to get the deal. The company makes indoor gardens of all shapes and sizes; we tested and loved the Harvest. The sale ends May 31. 

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Save on certified refurbished speakers from Sonos

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Shop the Sonos refurbished sale now.

Sonos is a multi-room speaker system that lets you control what audio plays in each room of the house. Typically, its speaker lineup is a bit pricey, but right now you can save big by buying refurbished. Though it may sound a bit scary at first, buying items that are certified refurbished can spare you a great deal of money — and the tradeoffs may be less than you think.

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Get 20% off at Hello Bello

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Shop the exclusive Insider sale at Hello Bello now.

A brand known for its premium, plant-based baby products, Hello Bello makes some great products for adults, too. We like the brand’s Everywhere Balm and Sleep Well gummies. Now through June 30, you can snag 20% off everything with the promo code INSIDER20. Though the deal lasts a while, don’t miss out on it — we don’t often see sales from Hello Bello. 

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The best deals and sales happening on Amazon right now – save on Apple AirPods Pro and Luna weighted blanket

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Amazon Best Deals and Sales 2x1

Amazon’s dynamic pricing strategy can make shopping tricky for the average consumer, but if you know where to look⁠ – and when to act fast⁠ – Prime members can save a ton of money.

We’ve gathered all the best discounts currently available on the retail giant. Below you’ll find one-day sales via Amazon’s Gold Box promotion, exclusive coupon codes, and, of course, deals ranging from tech, fashion, and gaming all the way to home goods.

Due to the unpredictable nature of online shopping, prices may change without warning.

For more ways to save, check out our round-up of the best spring-related sales, Grill Week discounts, and the best sales going on right now.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Best deals on Amazon brand products

Amazon smart plug

Smart Plug (medium)

Best Amazon tech deals

Apple AirPods Pro charging case
Detail of the Lightning port on a 2019 Apple AirPod Pro wireless charging case.

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Best Buy is giving new Apple Music subscribers 6 free months, and you don’t even have to buy anything. Here’s how to get the deal.

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

HomePod Mini U1

Music (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)

If you want ad-free access to over 75 million songs on Apple Music, now is the perfect time to sign up. Best Buy is offering new subscribers a free six-month subscription.

Apple Music is one of the best streaming services available and it offers hundreds of curated playlists, radio shows, and more. You can use it to download songs for offline listening, stream music across all of your devices, and even find occasional album exclusives. Though we found Spotify to be a better music streaming service for most, Apple Music beats it in terms of user interface and radio.

If you want to take advantage of this offer, one of the longest we’ve seen from the streaming service, here’s how you can start a plan today.

Here’s how to get 6 free months of Apple Music

  1. Go to Best Buy’s website and sign up for an account with the store.
  2. Add the “Free Apple Music for six months” digital download to your cart.
  3. Go to your cart and check out.
  4. Wait for a digital code to be sent to the email address linked to your Best Buy account.

Once your trial ends, your Apple Music subscription will auto-renew for $10 a month. It’s not clear how long Best Buy’s promotion will be available.

It’s an easy and rare chance to snag an extended Apple Music trial, so don’t miss out.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to watch UFC 262: Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler fight for UFC’s lightweight title tonight on ESPN+

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Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler is UFC vs. Bellator MMA
Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will meet in the main event of UFC 262.

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Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will fight for the vacant UFC lightweight championship in the main event of UFC 262 tonight at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+. UFC expects a capacity crowd of 19,000 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Oliveira enters the match with an eight-fight win streak, including seven successful finishes by submission and knockout. Oliveira holds UFC’s all-time record for most submission wins with 14. Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler made his UFC debut in January with a first-round knockout win over Dan Hooker.

The winner of Oliveira vs. Chandler will likely face the victor of the UFC 264 main event between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. UFC’s lightweight championship has been vacant since March; former champ Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement following an October 2020 title defense.

The UFC 262 main card costs $70 and requires an ESPN+ subscription for $6 a month or $60 per year. ESPN is also offering a discounted price of $89.98 for a bundle with UFC 262 and one year of ESPN+; a 30% discount.

Here’s the fight card for UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler

espn+

Early Prelims – 6:30 p.m. ET, 3:30 p.m. PT on UFC Fight Pass

  • Christos Giagos versus Sean Soriano [Lightweight]
  • Kevin Aguilar versus Tucker Lutz [Featherweight]
  • Gina Mazany versus Priscila Cachoeira [Women’s flyweight]

Prelims – 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT on ESPN+ and ESPN

  • Jordan Wright versus Jamie Pickett [Middleweight]
  • Andrea Lee versus Antonina Shevchenko [Women’s Flyweight]
  • Lando Vannata versus Mike Grundy [Featherweight]
  • Ronaldo Souza versus Andre Muniz [Middleweight]

Main Card – 10 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. PT on ESPN+ for $70

  • Matt Schnell versus Rogerio Bontorin [Bantamweight]
  • Shane Burgos versus Edson Barboza [Featherweight]
  • Katlyn Chookagian versus Viviane Araujo [Women’s flyweight]
  • Tony Ferguson versus Beneil Dariush [Lightweight]
  • Charles Oliveira versus Michael Chandler [Lightweight title]

How to watch UFC 262

The main event of UFC 262 will be streamed live on ESPN+ tonight at 10 p.m. ET. The event is separated into three portions: the early prelims, the prelims, and the main card.

The early prelims start at 6:30 p.m. ET and are only available to UFC Fight Pass subscribers. The prelims will begin at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and the ESPN cable channel. The main card is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET and is an ESPN+ exclusive pay-per-view event.

This means that you have to subscribe to the ESPN+ streaming service before you’re able to purchase the main card PPV. An ESPN+ membership costs $6 a month or $60 a year. The UFC 262 PPV event requires a one-time fee of $70 on top of your ESPN+ subscription.

You can access the ESPN+ app on all major mobile and streaming devices, including Amazon Fire, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Xbox One, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, and more.

Ways to save on the UFC 262 pay-per-view price

If you plan on signing up for ESPN+ to watch UFC 262, you can take advantage of a special discounted package.

New subscribers can purchase a year-long ESPN+ membership with access to UFC 262 included for a total of $89.98. That’s over 30% off the regular combined price of an annual plan and a PPV match. Following your first year of service, ESPN+ will then renew for the regular annual price of $60.

Bundle the next UFC PPV with an ESPN+ Annual Plan to save over 30%

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The online best sales and deals happening now, from exclusive Grill Week deals to discounts at Aurate and ThermoWorks

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Best Online Sales Deals

We rounded up the best sales and deals happening online today, including Ulta, AeroGarden, and Sonos.

Deals in this story are subject to change throughout the day. The prices listed reflect the deal at the time of publication. For even more deals and savings across the web, check out our roundup of the best deals from Amazon and the best spring sales going on now – or, celebrate Grill Week with us by checking out both Memorial Day and exclusive deals.

The best deals available right now

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The best sales and discounts happening right now

The best Grill Week deals

It’s Grill Week here at Insider and that means tons of exclusive deals. Not only are these some exceptional discounts, but several of these offers are also super rare. They’re short-lived too: all of the sales end May 16. 

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Grill deals

Deals on grilling meat and grilling accessories

  • Casa M Spice: Use code INSIDERGRILL25 for 25% off all orders.
  • Chicago Steak CompanySave 17% with code INSIDER17.
  • Cooks VentureUse code INSIDER for 20% off your order.
  • Crowd CowSave $15 on your first order from Crowd Cow with code GRILLWEEK15.
  • Omaha SteaksGet four free top sirloins on orders $159+ when you shop through our link.
  • Pursuit FarmsUse code BUSINESS10 for 10% off your order.
  • Porter Road: Save $20 off your first order of $100 or more with code INSIDER20.
  • Rastelli’sSave $20 off your first purchase with code INSIDER.
  • Sizzlefish: Save 10% off your first purchase with code INSIDER.
  • SloFoodGroupSave 15% off sitewide with coupon code INSIDER.
  • Thermoworks: Get 20% off one item with promo code INSIDER20.
  • Thrive MarketGet 25% OFF your first order and a free gift when you join Thrive Market (1 year and 1 month memberships available).

Get up to 25% off at Aurate

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Shop the Aurate Upgrade sale now.

Aurate’s, one of our favorites for shopping affordable gold jewelry, holding a huge sale to help you upgrade your collection. Now through May 17, you can get 25% off $500+, 20% off $250+, and 15% off all orders — just use promo code UPGRADEME.

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Get 20% off one item at Thermoworks

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Shop the Insider-exclusive Thermoworks sale now.

Thermoworks makes great thermometers for every situation in your kitchen. All of our meat thermometer recommendations are made by Thermoworks, in fact. Sales from the brand, however, aren’t easy to come by; they’re often limited to holidays and exclusives. Now through May 16, Thermoworks is offering Insider readers 20% off any one item, including any of our picks — just use promo code INSIDER20 at checkout.

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Get 30% off sitewide from Carbon38

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Shop the Carbon38 sitewide sale now.

A brand we like for its versatile and stylish athletic wear, Carbon38, is having a huge sale. Right now, you can snag 30% off sitewide, just use the promo code SUMMER30. The discount includes the retailer’s huge array of leggings, bras, and joggers; it’s also the first worthwhile deal we’ve reported from them. 

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Get 20% off candles at Outdoor Fellow

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Shop the Outdoor Fellow Insider-exclusive sale now.

A good candle can brighten up your home, if it’s the right scent. Right now, Outdoor Fellow is offering Insider readers 20% off its selection of candles with promo code INSIDER20, with a range of scents from cozy to energetic. The subscriptions aren’t included in the discount, but that still leaves the brand’s lineup of nine candles to choose from. 

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Shop the Ulta Gorgeous Hair Event now.

Now through May 29, Ulta is offering shoppers 50% off a rotating selection of haircare essentials. You’ll need to check back daily to access new deals, but the sale includes brands like Revlon, Chi, Ouidad, and many more. This week, Ulta is also offering a special with select shampoos and conditioners as low as two for $26

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Get 20% off at AeroGarden

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Shop the AeroGarden sale now.

Right now, AeroGarden is holding a huge sale with 20% off (or more) sitewide. Just use the promo code SUMMER20 to get the deal. The company makes indoor gardens of all shapes and sizes; we tested and loved the Harvest. The sale ends May 31. 

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Get $15 off your first order from Crowd Cow

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Shop the Crowd Cow Grill Week sale now.

To commemorate Grill Week going on now, Crowd Cow is offering an exclusive deal for Insider readers. Now through May 16, you can get $15 off your first order with promo code GRILLWEEK15. Crowd Cow is a convenient and reliable way to get meat from ethical and environmentally-friendly sources. After testing, we found it a good way to approach trying new cuts of meat with a clear conscience. 

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Save on certified refurbished speakers from Sonos

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Shop the Sonos refurbished sale now.

Sonos is a multi-room speaker system that lets you control what audio plays in each room of the house. Typically, its speaker lineup is a bit pricey, but right now you can save big by buying refurbished. Though it may sound a bit scary at first, buying items that are certified refurbished can spare you a great deal of money — and the tradeoffs may be less than you think.

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Get 20% off at Hello Bello

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Shop the exclusive Insider sale at Hello Bello now.

A brand known for its premium, plant-based baby products, Hello Bello makes some great products for adults, too. We like the brand’s Everywhere Balm and Sleep Well gummies. Now through June 30, you can snag 20% off everything with the promo code INSIDER20. Though the deal lasts a while, don’t miss out on it — we don’t often see sales from Hello Bello. 

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The best deals and sales happening on Amazon right now – save on Apple Airpods Pro and Razer Gaming Mouse

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Amazon Best Deals and Sales 2x1

Amazon’s dynamic pricing strategy can make shopping tricky for the average consumer, but if you know where to look⁠ – and when to act fast⁠ – Prime members can save a ton of money.

We’ve gathered all the best discounts currently available on the retail giant. Below you’ll find one-day sales via Amazon’s Gold Box promotion, exclusive coupon codes, and, of course, deals ranging from tech, fashion, and gaming all the way to home goods.

Due to the unpredictable nature of online shopping, prices may change without warning.

For more ways to save, check out our round-up of the best spring-related sales, Grill Week discounts, and the best sales going on right now.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Best deals on Amazon brand products

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Best Amazon tech deals

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ESPN+: All your questions answered about ESPN’s streaming service

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What is ESPN+ 4x3

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Streaming has largely overtaken cable and satellite as the preferred method to watch movies and TV shows at your leisure. Low price points and the ability to watch on the go are primary reasons for the migration, but one sector has largely resisted any such paradigm shift – professional sports.

If you’re a sports fan, you might be shelling out for traditional cable just to watch your favorite team. Hefty deals between sports leagues and TV networks have prevented services like Netflix from streaming games, but ESPN now has a low-cost service that should satiate many sports fans’ appetites.

What is ESPN+?

ESPN+ is a streaming subscription service that’s considered a complement to existing ESPN content, not technically a separate platform. Think of it as an add-on to the standard ESPN app with live games, exclusive on-demand videos, and access to what was formerly known as ESPN Insider.

Previously, ESPN Insider offered subscribers exclusive written articles for a monthly $5 fee. ESPN decided to add video to the mix and created ESPN+ for a similar price, giving subscribers access to stories, live streaming, and on-demand videos.

What’s included with ESPN+?

What is ESPN+? We break down this network’s streaming subscription
ESPN+ is available to stream on mobile devices, media players, and select smart TVs.

ESPN+ includes a bevy of exclusive video content from live games to on-demand shows and exclusive stories. Unfortunately, the live games come with commercials – just like regular TV.

Subscribers can watch live games from the MLB, NHL, and MLS when their seasons are active; there are no live NBA or NFL games. There’s also PGA golf, UFC, college football, international soccer, and tennis. You can read more details on how to watch Major League Baseball on ESPN+ and other services here.

In addition to games, ESPN+ also features original shows, including in-depth game recaps and analyses hosted by Peyton Manning and Daniel Cormier, and a shorter version of “NFL Primetime.” Documentary programs, like “30 for 30,” as well as full replays of historic NFL games are also available to stream on-demand.

Does ESPN+ offer UFC PPV and UFC Fight Night events?

If you’re a fan of UFC or boxing, ESPN+ often offers exclusive pay-per-view (PPV) matches so you’ll get even more content from the service. The PPV events cost $70 for existing subscribers. ESPN+ also offers a special discounted bundle for new subscribers that includes a one-year membership and one PPV event for $89.98.

The next UFC PPV fight is UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler on May 15. The match will take place in Texas with a sold-out crowd.

In addition to PPV matches, ESPN+ also features access to UFC Fight Night events. Fight Nights are typically included as part of a regular ESPN+ subscription for $6 a month.

What’s not included with ESPN+?

ESPN+ is technically separate from ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNews, so a subscription will not grant you access to live games being broadcast on those networks, including any live games during Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Baseball. That said, some MLB games are still available to be streamed.

Your ESPN+ account is not the same as a cable login with access to the ESPN networks, so there’s no way of getting around it either.

How much does ESPN+ cost?

An ESPN+ subscription will run you $6 a month, or $60 annually. If you do the math, this means that an annual plan will save you about $12 a year compared to paying for 12 months with the month-to-month plan.

If you’re looking for even more streaming content, there’s also a combo package that bundles ESPN+ with Hulu and the Disney Plus streaming service for just $14 a month – a $6 savings each month compared to getting all three services separately. Existing ESPN+ members can even upgrade to the bundle without having to cancel their current subscription. You can upgrade here.

Where can I watch ESPN+?

One of the cool things about ESPN+ is that you can access it through the current ESPN app.

Instead of launching a separate app, all the ESPN+ content is unlocked in the ESPN app once you subscribe. The app is available on virtually every platform you can imagine – phones, tablets, laptops, Roku players, Fire TV products, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, PS4, Xbox One, and Samsung smart TVs.

You can also stream on up to three devices simultaneously with one account.

How do I sign up for ESPN+?

Head over to the ESPN+ website and create an account, or open your existing ESPN account and you’ll be prompted to sign up.

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The 7 best whey protein powders, backed by strength coaches and dietitians

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Quality whey protein powder should have a tolerable taste, mix well, and offer maximum protein with minimal extras.
  • Our top pick, Naked’s Whey Protein, is a clean, additive-free powder that contains only whey protein.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice in NYC.

Protein, a macronutrient every cell in your body contains, is essential for your health. If you’re an athlete, casual gym-goer, or just want to lose a few pounds, protein also helps you build and retain muscle. Taking whey protein is an effective and inexpensive way to add more of the macronutrient to your diet.

In short, whey is the liquid leftovers that come from the cheese-making process. This liquid is dried into a powder, which is then sometimes (but not always) mixed with sweeteners while keeping calories, carbohydrates, and fats to a minimum.

But there’s more to picking out the right whey protein than just grabbing whatever you find at the store. While some are formulated with different additives, others pack more protein per serving or are designed to keep more of the protein’s natural nutrients.

At the bottom of this guide, we’ve included insight into what whey protein is and why it’s beneficial, as well as the safety precautions associated with taking whey protein and the best places to purchase it. We’ve also provided some background on the sources used, as well as our own expertise.

Here are the best whey protein powders:

The best overall whey protein powder

Naked Whey Protein

When Naked Nutrition calls its Naked Whey Protein additive-free, it means it as this protein powder has literally just one ingredient: Whey protein derived from grass-fed cows.

Pros: Contains just whey protein from grass-fed cows, low carbohydrate and fat count per serving, has 5.9 grams of BCAAs per serving

Cons: Not completely devoid of sugar (though there aren’t any artificial sweeteners or flavors), hard to mix, and can sometimes be chunkya

Many of Naked Nutrition’s products live up to the brand’s namesake of being literally naked, though perhaps none do it quite as well as its flagship protein powder, Naked Whey. Comprised of a single ingredient (whey protein from grass-fed cows), Naked Whey is a clean, additive-free product that has no artificial sweeteners, no artificial colors, and no artificial flavors. 

From a protein standpoint, one serving of Naked Whey (2 scoops of powder which is roughly 30 grams) delivers 25 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat, 120 calories, and just 2 grams of sugar. Each serving also has 5.9 grams of a combination of the BCAAs isoleucine, leucine, and valine. BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) may help build protein in muscles and aid in recovery.

A few drawbacks (or, rather, nitpicks) would be the Naked Whey isn’t the easiest to mix, and requires quite the shake in a shaker bottle to create a smooth, drinkable combination, though you’re likely to still encounter a few clumps. The taste of this is also very plain and almost dairy-like (which makes sense, of course), but Naked does offer the protein in Chocolate, as well as Vanilla and Strawberry in its Less Naked Whey, which has a few more additives. 

Naked Whey comes in either a 5 lb. tub for $90 or a smaller 1 lb. option for $22 — and Naked Nutrition even allows customers to set up recurring monthly deliveries at a discounted rate. 

If an additive-free protein powder is what you seek, Naked Nutrition’s Naked Whey, with just the single ingredient of whey protein, is about as simple and straightforward as it gets. — Rick Stella, health and fitness editor

The best mixing whey protein powder

Cellucor Whey Protein

If you’re looking for a powder that mixes easily and tastes great, Cellucor Whey Protein Isolate & Concentrate Blend Powder is one of the best and most affordable options.

Pros: Great taste, affordable, mixes smoothly, 24 grams of protein per serving, excellent for baking, third-party tested

Cons: 130 mg of sodium per serving, contains artificial sweeteners

The Cellucor Whey Protein Isolate & Concentrate Blend Powder not only tastes good and has 24 grams of protein per serving, but it’s also the most affordable option in our guide at 71.4 cents per serving and 3 cents per gram of protein. Each serving also only has 1.5 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs, and 120 calories.

There are seven flavors to choose from, including whipped vanilla, molten chocolate, and cinnamon swirl. Cellucor recommends mixing two scoops with five to six ounces of your preferred beverage, but you can adjust the amount of liquid to fit your tastes. The company also suggests mixing the powder with yogurt, oatmeal, and pancakes. — James Brains, reviewed by Andrew Gutman

The best sugar-free whey protein powder

 Optimum Nutrition’s Platinum Hydrowhey

The Platinum Hydrowhey by Optimum Nutrition may be expensive, but it mixes well and boasts 30 grams of protein per serving with zero grams of sugar.

Pros: 30 grams of protein per serving, third-party tested, superb mixability, no sugar

Cons: Contains high-fructose corn syrup

A single serving of Optimum Nutrition’s Platinum Hydrowhey yields 140 calories, 30 grams of protein, one gram of fat, 3 grams of carbs, and no sugar. It’s made of hydrolyzed whey protein, which breaks down the protein into smaller pieces for better absorption and easier digestion. 

You can choose from seven flavors: cookies and cream overdrive, chocolate mint, velocity vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, supercharged strawberry, turbo chocolate, and red velvet cake, which was the highest-rated flavor on Bodybuilding.com. I think that turbo chocolate tastes great, too.

Optimum Nutrition uses artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and high-fructose corn syrup (which gets counted as a sugar on food labels).

Optimum Nutrition claims you can easily mix this protein with just a spoon and I can confirm this is true. While this may not seem like a strong selling point, I’ve forgotten my shaker bottle at home many times and have had to mix my protein with a spoon or knife at work. When I tried this with other brands, I always got clumpy, gross-tasting shakes. — Andrew Gutman

The best customized whey protein powder

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Gainful offers a unique approach to protein powder by offering personalized blends that are formulated specifically to the person ordering it, based on their fitness goals, diet restrictions, and other vital factors.

Pros: The custom is able to serve a wider range of users, doesn’t just rely on whey protein but pea, brown rice, and organic oat, as well, has a team of registered dietitians formulating the blends

Cons: Not the most economical in terms of amount and cost

One of the more unique protein powder options is Gainful, a brand that formulates personalized blends based on your specific needs. This could include weight and fitness goals, the amount you’re active each week, or if you have any dietary restrictions. It even lets you choose options dedicated to getting better sleep or improving gut health. 

It’s an interesting approach that succeeds in making the protein you order seem one-of-one. That is, not only does Gainful say it’s formulating a specific blend of protein for you, but when you get it and see what exactly is in it (especially compared to other protein powders), it feels exclusive.

Gainful takes its customization even further by offering flavor packets that mix with the powder to create different taste profiles. My sample came with both rich cocoa and cafe mocha, but the brand offers a variety of others like chocolate peanut butter, strawberry cream, and matcha green tea. You could consume the standard protein on its own, but it’s a very bland flavor when you do (it doesn’t necessarily taste bad, it’s just not very exciting). 

The nitpick I’d have with Gainful is that it doesn’t feel like you’re getting much protein for how much you spend. I tend to consume protein most days of the week, and I was able to work through the $39 bag in a little under three weeks. You can opt to get more per shipment (and Gainful can set up a recurring monthly delivery), though the price could feasibly double.

Despite its expensive price compared to others in this guide, what you get with Gainful isn’t offered anywhere else. You’re essentially paying for a premium dietitian service to tailor a protein powder specifically to your needs — for people who keep close tabs on their nutrition and diet, that’s invaluable. — Rick Stella, health and fitness editor

The best GNC whey protein powder

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GNC’s AMP Wheybolic protein powder offers 40 grams of protein per two-scoop serving, as well as 6.2 grams of leucine, and works great as either a pre- or post-workout supplement.

Pros: Now comes in popular Girl Scout flavors, packs 40 grams of protein and 6.2 grams of leucine per two-scoop serving

Cons: Might be too sweet for some, contains sucralose and other artificial sweeteners

The GNC name is synonymous with workout supplements, and its own branded protein are among its most popular items, specifically its GNC AMP Wheybolic powder. The brand supplied a tub of the powder in the Thin Mints flavor, which is sure to catch the attention of anyone who’s a fan of Girl Scout Cookies (it also offers Girl Scout Coconut Carmel aka Samoas and Girl Scout S’mores). 

Each two-scoop serving of the powder offers 40 grams of protein, 6.2 grams of leucine, 210 calories, 7 grams of net carbohydrates, and 2 grams of total sugar. The powder mixes well in water (after about 20 seconds or so of shaking) and never felt chunky or like there were leftover bits that hadn’t fully mixed. 

I used this protein primarily as a post-workout drink, though did also test it post-workout and on non-workout days. The Thin Mints flavor is heavy on the chocolate and mint, so if you like sweeter protein powders, this is exactly what that is. I’m not a huge sweet protein powder drinker myself, so would often choose to use this in moderation. 

A single $65 tub of the powder comes with 25 two-scoop servings, which is just shy of enough for a month’s worth of use — especially if you prefer to drink it on both workout and non-workout days. 

Our nutrition reviewer, Samantha Cassetty, did point out a few things to be cautious of after we spoke to her during testing. First, is the inclusion of sucralose. As we’ve mentioned in other protein powders, sucralose is a sweetener that may upset some people’s stomachs during ingestion. Cassetty pointed out that the powder also includes the artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium, has artificial flavoring, and contains carrageenan, a somewhat controversial additive that’s been studied limitedly. — Rick Stella, health and fitness editor

The best-tasting whey protein powder

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Powder

The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder packs 24 grams of protein into each serving and is one of the better-tasting powders according to experts and buyers.

Pros: Tastes good, relatively affordable, third-party tested

Cons: Complaints about the formula changing, contains an artificial sweetener

The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder gets its sweetness from a little bit of sugar (1 gram per serving) and acesulfame potassium, which is an artificial sweetener also known as Ace-K.

Each serving has 120 calories, a gram of fat, three grams of carbs, and most importantly 24 grams of protein. Optimum Nutrition has also curated a number of recipes in which you can use the powder. — James Brains, reviewed by Andrew Gutman

The best fat-free whey protein powder

MyProtein whey powder

The Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate Protein is a great option if you want as much protein packed into each scoop as possible without extra fat, carbs, or calories.

Pros: Excellent product purity, a high concentration of bound protein, fat-free, low in sodium

Cons: Concerns about quality control, contains artificial sweetener, not third-party tested

Depending on the flavor you choose, the Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate Protein fits up to 22 grams of protein into each 25-gram serving.

It does this with little or no fat or sugar and only 90 calories per serving. The sodium content is also low at 25 mg per serving. 

Labdoor independently tests dozens of whey protein powders, and the site recommended the Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate because it scored high in Labdoor’s ingredient safety, nutritional value, and product purity tests. The testers found there were 21.9 grams of protein in every 25-gram serving.

There are a few complaints worth mentioning, too. Make sure you buy the whey isolate and not just the whey concentrate (If you follow our links, you should be fine). — James Brains, reviewed by Andrew Gutman

The best lactose-free whey protein powder

Dymatize

If you’ve found protein powders leave your stomach feeling queasy, consider the lactose-free Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder.

Pros: Lactose-free, 91% of calories are from protein, less than a gram of sugar and fat, third-party tested

Cons: Complaints of foreign objects found in the powder, contains an artificial sweetener, 160 mg sodium per serving

The Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder is the only lactose-free option on our list but it’s not the only one that uses hydrolyzed isolate protein—the Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydrowhey does, too—which is supposed to help with digestion and absorption.

Each serving has 25 grams of protein, less than a gram of fat, 120 calories, and 2 grams of carbs, including less than 1 gram of sugar. There are 13 flavors to choose from, including cinnamon bun, fudge brownie, gourmet chocolate, and chocolate coconut

Labdoor recommends the Dymatize ISO 100 as one of the best whey protein powders. In its tests, the powder had high scores for nutritional value and product purity, including less than one part per million of six harmful substances. Around 91% of the calories in this powder come from its protein content. — James Brains, reviewed by Andrew Gutman

What else we tested

performix iowhey

Animal Whey

I like Animal because the company doesn’t make gimmicky claims or rely on pseudoscience to sell its products. What you see is what you get and what you get is 120 calories, one gram of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 25 grams of protein per serving. Animal uses whey protein isolate as its primary protein source, it’s moderately priced, and it’s third-party tested.

This wasn’t included, however, because it’s no better than any other pick. Compared to Optimum Nutrition or Dymatize or Cellucor, it’s slightly more expensive and isn’t as lauded by fans. It barely missed the cut. 

Pro Jym Protein Powder

A fan favorite, Pro Jym is comprised of four different proteins: whey protein isolate, micellar casein, egg albumin, and milk protein isolate. According to creator, Dr. Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., this extends the rate of digestion for better protein synthesis. It comes in three flavors: chocolate cookie crunch, cookies and cream, and s’mores, and contains 150 calories, 3 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbs, and 24 grams of protein per serving. 

Pro Jym missed the mark for two reasons:

  1. You pay more for three times the amount of fat and carbs as Optimum Nutrition’s Platinum Hydrowhey, so it doesn’t fit into our minimum fillers criteria.
  2. It’s not a pure whey protein powder. 

Performix ioWhey

I personally like this protein powder because it tastes great, it’s easy on the stomach, and there are minimal extras. One serving of Performix ioWhey is 100 calories, zero grams of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 22 grams of protein. 

My major issue is that Performix claims ioWhey is absorbed 36% more efficiently than other brands, which is why their protein per serving is low. That sounds great but since the product isn’t third-party tested, there’s no way to know if this is true or if the company’s selling you less protein per serving.

For the price per serving, you’re better off buying Optimum Nutrition or Dymatize ISO 100 if you’re willing to shell out for a premium protein. — Andrew Gutman

What is whey protein?

man making protein shake shutterstock

There are three main types of whey protein:

  • Whey protein concentrate (WPC): This is a concentrated protein that keeps more of the nutrients. Most non-isolate proteins are comprised of WPC.
  • Whey protein isolate (WPI): This is similar to WPC but most of the carbohydrates, fat, and fat-soluble vitamins have been removed, so the powder has a higher percentage of protein. Typically, isolate is digested more quickly and, therefore, more agreeable for some. For that reason, most trainers and registered dieticians recommend opting for WPI, though it’s often more expensive.
  • Whey protein hydrolysate (WPH): WPH is considered pre-digested since it breaks down the amino acids — the building blocks of proteins — to help with quicker absorption.

Is it safe to consume? 

Before you increase your protein intake significantly, check with your healthcare professional since people with certain maladies, such as calcium deficiencies or low blood pressure, could experience adverse effects from whey protein. 

It’s also important to note that protein powders aren’t regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and some companies dilute their protein with useless fillers, which is why certain brands subject themselves to third-party testing as a way to verify the quality of their product.

To know if a protein is tested, look for a seal from either NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Choice. This doesn’t mean that untested proteins are a subpar product but it’s good to be aware. You are, after all, putting this stuff into your body. Other than looking for brands that are third-party tested, here are different ways to spot a quality protein:

  • Ensure that protein is the first ingredient on the label. “When you look at a label, it’s in descending order so the ingredient in the highest amount will be found at the top of the list,” Maryann Walsh, a registered dietician and the owner of Walsh Nutrition, told Insider. “Look for labels that have protein at the beginning with fewer ingredients accompanying them.”
  • Typically, you want a whey powder that contains at least 20 grams of protein per serving. All of our picks do.
  • Try to steer clear of excess sugar. As for artificial sweeteners, research on how they affect our weight and health is mixed.

How much should you consume? 

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein consumption is about a gram for every 3 pounds of body weight. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, that equates to 60 grams of protein per day. Experts suggest that taking up to twice that still produces benefits.

When it comes to fitness-specific goals, like gaining muscle or losing fat, Jeb Stuart Johnston from Stronger U recommends ingesting up to one gram per pound of bodyweight. His claim is backed by a study via the University of Stirling

“For someone who’s trying to gain muscle mass and work out, taking in more protein helps speed up protein synthesis [the process in which your muscle fibers utilize protein to repair and grow],” Johnston said. “For a person who’s strictly trying to lose weight, taking in more protein helps retain the muscle you already have.” 

Based on Johnston’s recommendations, a 200-pound man would have to consume 200 grams of protein per day. That’s equivalent to 2 pounds of chicken breast. Supplementing with whey protein, he explains, is a convenient way to get more protein without grilling up another piece of bland chicken.

Where to buy whey protein

man protein powder shutterstock

When it comes to buying protein, one convenient ordering option is Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” program, since it can save you up to 15%. You’re able to cancel your subscription at any time, too. What’s great about this program is that it automates ordering products that you replenish regularly.

For instance, if you take a serving of protein powder every day and there are 30 servings in a container, you can have a new tub delivered every month without lifting a finger.

Personally, I like to buy my protein from Bodybuilding.com. I usually try a different brand of protein each time I order more, so Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” program doesn’t make sense for me, although it’s a smart option for many people. Bodybuilding.com has reliable customer reviews and it routinely offers deals on popular brands. As a bonus, it offers free shipping on orders over $75.

To figure out the cost per serving on your own, take the product’s price and divide it by the number of servings in the container. Since the amount of protein per serving varies by brand, it’s also useful to look at the cost per gram of protein. This is easy to calculate by dividing the cost per serving (as calculated above) by the number of grams of protein per serving. — Andrew Gutman

Expert sources

  • Jeb Stuart Johnston, nutrition and strength coach at Stronger U
  • Maryann Walsh, a registered dietician and the owner of Walsh Nutrition

This piece was also medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, and a nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.

About our writers’ expertise

In developing this guide, we tested close to a dozen of the top protein powders available from brands like Cellucor, Optimum Nutrition, and Naked to find the best across a variety of categories. 

The co-author, Andrew Gutman, is a former associate editor at Muscle & Fitness magazine, has competed in a bodybuilding show and two Strongman competitions, and has been lifting weights regularly for more than 10 years. He’s tried dozens of different whey protein powders.

Our guide features powders that have a taste you can stomach, a high protein content, and minimal fat, carbs, and calories. Guides Editor, Les Shu, is a former research chief at Men’s Fitness who oversaw the fact-checking of the magazine’s nutrition and exercise articles.

Read the original article on Business Insider