Shopping for a blender can be complicated. There are a lot of options out there! And not only are these gadgets pretty bulky, but they can also cost a pretty penny. The last thing you want to do is waste storage space on a blender that doesn't actually fit your lifestyle or needs.
Here's what to ask yourself before you hit the store.
1. What will I use my blender for?
Are you just going to be making the occasional milkshake? Or are you a soup and almond butter fiend who makes a weekly (daily?) batch of both? If you're not going to be using it all that much, you probably don't need to invest more than $30 or $40. If you're going to use it as much as your cell phone, then it might make sense to spend some more dough.
2. What do all those numbers really mean? And should I care?
Ooh, this blender has a 900-watt motor! And 3 horsepower! But this one has 28,500 revolutions per minute (RPM)! Umm, what? Generally speaking, the more watts and horsepower, the more turns the blades will spin in a minute. But c'mon, it's not like you're buying a car here.
To keep things simple, we'll say this: If you're going to be doing some serious blending, look for a blender that has around a 2 horsepower motor output. If you're more of a dabbler in the blender world, it can be less.
3. How much space is there between my kitchen counter and my upper cabinets?
Although there's a typical standard (18 inches), not all upper cabinets sit the same distance above the counter. If you've got 17 inches and you're looking at a blender that's 17 inches tall, that's probably not ideal if you were hoping to store the appliance on the counter. Measure your space and think about back-up storage options if need be.
4. Do I want a glass or plastic container?
Most of the big blender brands — Vitamix, Blendtec, and Ninja — come with plastic containers. There are still plenty of glass options, but because the plastic ones are BPA-free, it's really a matter of preference. Glass can obviously get heavy and can break if dropped, although some people just don't like how flimsy cheaper plastic options can feel.
5. Do I really need a blender at all?
Some people can get by with a food processor and an immersion blender. Or maybe you just need a small personal blender with a container that turns into a cup for your morning protein shake. Look inside your soul and really ask yourself if you're going to use this blender, or if the money would be better spent on something else.