The Best List

I’ve Tested Nearly Every Blender on the Market. Here Are My Favorites.

published Feb 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Every kitchen — no matter its size — needs a blender. A blender can purée a soup, grind nuts, or whip up a salsa. Or, more likely these days, churn out a smoothie for breakfast or an after-school snack. The only problem with shopping for a blender? It’s so darn complicated. Boxes tout 900-watt motors and a certain amount of horsepower, or the number of revolutions per minute. What’s good? What’s not good? And what doesn’t matter at all?

I’ll tell you!

After more than 30 years of playing with all the new blenders to hit the market (and even more recently, lots and lots of testing), I’ve narrowed down all the options to these top picks. Regardless of price, each one can meet the challenge of crushing the kale, frozen fruit, and ice cubes that you’re probably going to be tossing in them.

The Best Blender

If you want the top of the line and are willing to spend the cash to get it, you shouldn’t settle for anything but the Vitamix 750. In spite of the fact that it’s not particularly sleek or good-looking, it’s become a status symbol for serious home cooks and professional chefs alike. Using preprogrammed settings, it whips up the smoothest soups, frozen piña coladas, and, yes, smoothies. Margaritas come out just like the machine-churned ones at your favorite Mexican cantina. Another great feature: It comes with a whopping seven-year warranty. Just be forewarned that with the jar in place, it may be just a little too tall to fit on your counter under a cabinet.

Second opinion: “I got a refurbished Vitamix a few years ago, and I use it almost every single day,” says News & Culture Editor, Ariel Knutson. “I use it mostly for morning drinks and smoothies, but I’ve also had a lot of success with making perfectly smooth soups. It’s one of those kitchen devices you don’t have to think about; it just works every single time. And it’s easy-ish to clean! Just add soap and water, and whiz on high to get rid of anything that lingers at the bottom of the container.”

The Best Blender for Smoothies

Although this blender isn’t cheap, it’s still a third the price of the Vitamix. And while the Vitamix does make a killer smoothie, this is the one I suggest if you’re looking for a blender specifically for your morning smoothie habit. Not only is it gorgeous, but it also has preprogrammed 60-second settings that automatically pulse and pull down the ingredients — so you don’t have to stop and stir or tamper globs. When you’re using one of the settings, it counts down so you know how much time is left; when you’re not, it counts up so you know just how long you’ve been blending. Plus, smoothies always come out with a velvety texture and the jar is incredibly easy to fill (it has measurement markings!) and pour from (the spout is extremely focused!).

Buy: Breville Hemisphere Control, $200 at Williams Sonoma

Second opinion: “I’ve finally found the perfect blender,” says one reviewer who bought it after seeing it on America’s Test Kitchen. “It’s powerful, and easy to use with a few nice features like timed blending and automatic pulses. And the cord keeper on the bottom is essential to me. Perfect blender!”

The Best Budget-Friendly Blender

Kale is just about the toughest ingredient you can throw in any blender. That’s why I was super impressed that this affordable model can pulverize kale to smithereens. And that’s not all! It can crush frozen berries and even ice cubes. Use it to make a smoothie and you won’t have to worry about getting embarrassing flecks of green or bits of seeds caught in your teeth. And this model isn’t flimsy. The base is solid aluminum and it won’t walk all around your countertop as it’s whirring. After blending, the glass jar can be popped in the dishwasher.

Buy: FusionBlade Die Cast Digital Blender, $50 at Black + Decker

Second opinion: “I have seen this blender demonstrated several times now, and I’m always amazed at how well it works — especially when I’m reminded of its price tag,” says Lisa Freedman, Lifestyle Director. “For a $50 blender, it’s pretty powerful and way sturdier than others in its price range.”

Best Personal Size Blender

Although it’s designed to blend a morning breakfast drink to take on the road, this small but mighty blender has enough power to blend a frozen cocktail. Choose from a bevy of pretty colors including teal, orange, and pink.

Buy: Oster Blend-N-Go MyBlend Blender, $20 at Target

Second opinion: “I don’t have a lot of space in the kitchen I share with two roommates, so this is the blender I have while I silently covet a Vitamix,” says Lauren Masur, Staff Writer. “Ultimately, though, I shouldn’t covet it too hard because this little (and inexpensive!) version does everything I need it to. And I love that I can blend my drink and take it with me to the office.”

Why You Should Trust Our Gear Pro

For more than 30 years, I was in charge of testing and reporting on everything from wooden spoons to connected refrigerators at the Good Housekeeping Institute. I’ve walked the floors of every trade show and read every new product release for longer than most digital publications have existed!

My street cred? I also worked as a chef in New York City restaurants for seven years.

I’ve tested, used, and played with nearly every piece of kitchen gear (including blenders) to come on the market for years. When it comes to gear, it takes a lot to impress me, and I know what actually works.

Picked by a Pro. Tested by Real Home Cooks.

I’ve tested what feels like every blender on the market (at all the price points, low to high!) and these are my all-time favorites. But you don’t have to take my word and my word alone, either. Kitchn editors — a unique hybrid of professionals and home cooks, who develop and test great recipes in real home kitchens — and real shoppers weighed in on some of these picks too, testing my favorites in the context of their actual home cooking.

After all, when it comes to kitchen gear, what matters is that it works for a home cook — not just that a chef endorses it, or that it passed some high-flying bar in a sterile test kitchen. You want gear that is above all, practical, long-lasting, and mindful of real cooks, real kitchens, and real budgets.