Every coating will eventually fail, but there is a huge chasm of difference between a $4 nonstick you buy at low end store and a brand name pan coated with Teflon Platinum finish. You can use metal tools on high end Teflon finishes. There are other high end bespoke Teflon finishes though. Get a name brand pan with a known good high end Teflon Platinum finish or high end propriety finish. Ikea has some. Look to higher end T-Fal nonstick finishes. Many great nonstick pans and they do eventually fail, but if you pick a good one it will last a long time.
As others have pointed out a Teflon non stick pan won’t last a lifetime, but you shouldn't expect it to either. I used to buy the cheap store brand stuff and the surface would be shot after about a year. But then I just decided to buy a Tefal one instead for about 3x the price of the ones I used to buy. I’ve now had it for four years and there are no signs of wear on the non stick coating at all, and I use it at least once per day. 5/5 would recommend tefal pans.
Nonstick coatings vary. Best in class is considered polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating, which later on was trademarked as Teflon.
Ceramic is a newer material in the world of nonstick cookware. It's widely considered to be the safest and most environmentally friendly option. Ceramic is free of PTFE and PFOA (more on PTFE and PFOA below). Ceramic coatings come in a wide variety of styles and colors. Tefals are good, the T-Fal E76597 is the ultimate choice in the category of best non-stick frying pans.
What is the best non stick frying pan to buy? Our Top Picks
Best Value and Runner Up: Tramontina Professional Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan. Best Overall: All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Nonstick Fry Pan Best Third Place: Anolon Advanced Nonstick 10-Inch Skillet. Best Budget: T-fal Specialty Nonstick