From shakes to smoothies and beyond, a blender can become one of your most prized appliances. If you’re determined to get healthier, a blender can become an essential tool, helping you make nutrient-rich smoothies or protein drinks for after a workout. But they’re also great for blending margaritas for your summer pool parties or making shakes for the kids. These days, blenders can handle an impressive array of tasks, even mixing cake batter or blending soup.
There’s no shortage of criteria to consider when you’re shopping for your next blender. Durability is important, but a blender with a strong motor comes with a few downsides as well — a powerful blender is louder than others, which you’ll want to consider if you’ll be making early morning smoothies while everyone else is sleeping.
While it may seem overwhelming at first, we’ve tested some of the top blenders on the market today and chosen our favorites for every budget.
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The Best Overall Blender
Why We Like It: Our testing found that the Vitamix 750 lives up to the hype — it’s the top-of-the-line as far as home blenders go. Though it has an incredibly powerful motor, it was also super quiet, which was a pleasant surprise.
This blender handles morning smoothies with ease, but is also able to tackle some other recipes, including mixing batter for muffins — the diversity, power and ability to handle large batches of foods or liquids make it worth every penny. Keep in mind that it’s super sturdy, so you may want to consider designating a spot on your kitchen countertop for this blender so that you aren’t constantly having to move it around.
The Best Value Blender
Why We Like It: For the money, the KitchenAid 5-speed blender is a great little kitchen appliance. Compared to other models we tested, it’s smaller, which makes it perfect if you’re short on kitchen counter or storage space. Though you can choose from the KitchenAid’s five speeds, crush ice or pulse modes, you can also let the blender do a lot of the thinking for you — the motor can sense the contents and will change the speed accordingly.
The motor also starts slowly to make sure the food gets pulled into the blade before speeding up, which means you won’t have to waste time to stop the machine and scrape foods off the side. Plus, it comes in a bright cherry red color if you’re looking to jazz up your kitchen a bit.
Why We Like It: The Vitamix 5200 might just change your life. When you upgrade from your old blender to this model, you’ll be amazed because you don’t have to chop anything ahead of time — just throw it in and let the Vitamix 5200 take care of the rest.
Because the blades move at such high speeds, it can even make hot soup in just a few minutes. Plus, since the blender has a self-cleaning function, cleaning up after making a smoothie was a total breeze. We noticed that this blender is taller than some of the others on the market, so that’s something to keep in mind when you consider where you’ll be able to store it in your kitchen.
Tips and Advice
- When you’re looking for a new countertop blender, you’ll want to be sure it has the settings you need. The Vitamix 750, for example, comes with five pre-programmed settings. It also has pulse mode, which is super useful for getting just the right consistency, while the Vitamix 5200 does not.
- When you aren’t making tasty concoctions, you’ll need to store your blender. If you have a big kitchen, you may have counter space to store it in a corner somewhere. But most homeowners want to tuck it away. It’s important to pay close attention to size and weight to make sure it will be easy to slip under the counter when it’s not in use. If you want to store your blender under the counter when not in use, the Vitamix 750 is likely the best option.
- The secret to powerful blending is in the motor. The Vitamix 750 comes with a 2.2 horsepower motor, while the Vitamix 5200 has a 2 horsepower motor. The KitchenAid’s 5-speed blender has a sufficient motor to handle smoothies and basic chopping, but it can burn out if you work it too hard.
- Another consideration when choosing a blender is recipe availability. The Vitamix and KitchenAid blenders come with a few recipes, but we also found blender recipes specific to those brands online. Although you can always pull up general recipes that work with any blender, it’s nice to have some that are customized to the appliance you own.
- Clean-up time is an important consideration as well. The Vitamix blenders aren’t dishwasher safe, but the 5200 comes with a cool self-cleaning function. However, the KitchenAid blender is dishwasher safe. The control panel on the KitchenAid is also designed to be easy to clean.