The only thing harder than coming up with the cash for a Vitamix is figuring out which one to buy. Seriously. There are so many options! And their model names are so darn confusing. What do people have against names like Vitamix Regular Fancy and Vitamix Extra Fancy? Names like that would make things so much easier!
We decided to take matters into our own hands and come up with a definitive guide to all the options to help you see clearly which one's perfect for you.
Note: These first two are the biggest players in the Classic Series. They are the tried-and-true line that made the company's reputation. If you see others on the market with similar model numbers, don't be confused — those are made exclusively for Amazon, Costco, QVC, and other retailers.
1. Professional Series 750: For the serious blender user
Best for: Serious home cooks who love a classic and are willing to shell out the big bucks.
For when only the best will do, there's the top-of-the-line Professional Series 750. While it will cost you at least $600 bucks (the copper is actually $650), it's among the most powerful of the Vitamix blenders, which means it whips up the smoothest of the smooth soups, frozen piña coladas, and, yes, smoothies. Margaritas come out just like the machine-churned ones at your favorite Mexican cantina. Although the copper and stainless steel versions are definitely spiffy, the machine's cachet lies in its performance, not its looks.
You'll find preprogrammed settings for smoothies, hot soups, frozen desserts, purées, and self-cleaning that set the time and power automatically. Even though the large 64-ounce jar is relatively short, this blender may be just a little too tall to fit under your upper cabinet. With it, you get a whopping seven-year warranty.
Buy: Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender, $599
2. The Explorian 310: For the curious and less serious
Best for: Cooks who want to see what all this Vitamix hype is all about but don't care about fancy buttons or settings.
The Explorian 310 is considerably cheaper (yet still pretty expensive, at around $350) but only slightly less powerful than the 750. It comes in black, has a 48-ounce jar, and is definitely too tall to fit under your cabinets. When it comes to blending, you're on your own, as there's no automatic programming here. The Explorian is pretty industrial-looking, so it will definitely earn you some cred in your kitchen.
Buy: Vitamix Explorian Blender, $350
3. The S30 and S55: For the smoothie-lover
Best for: Anyone trying to minimize countertop clutter, or daily smoothie drinkers who need a full-size and a personal-size blender.
Because Vitamix recognized that some of you can't give up too much space on your countertops, even for an appliance you use every day, the brand introduced the S30 (in black and red) and S55 (in brushed stainless), which easily slide back along counters.
On the more expensive S55, you get preprogrammed settings for smoothies, dips and spreads, frozen desserts, and so-called power blends, which contain hearty greens and not a lot of liquids. With these appliances, in addition to a 40-ounce jar, you get a 20-ounce travel mug for blending smoothies to take on the go. You might not see quite the same level of performance as from the other versions, but these are still powerful machines. Just keep the tamper handy to help get things moving around in the jar. These space-savers come with a five-year warranty.
4. The Ascent Series Smart System: For the gadget-minded
Best for: Cooks who care about having the latest and greatest. Anyone who prefers to be in total control of the process would probably prefer the A2300 or A3300. Those looking for all the bells and whistles should opt for the A3500.
Vitamix started from scratch when designing the four models in this collection, which are clearly the brand's most stylish and come in very basic colors (like red and white!). While they're as powerful as the Professional Series, what really distinguishes them is their wireless and Bluetooth connectivity.
Various jars are available to extend your Ascent's versatility, and the machine automatically detects which size you're using and adjusts the setting. Let's say you buy a travel mug or a baby-food sized Vitamix container — this means it won't fly off the base if you press high power. All of these blenders have 48-ounce jars, built-in timers, will fit underneath a cabinet, and come with a 10-year warranty.
- A2300: With the A2300, at the lowest price point of all the Ascents, you get a dial control and no automatic settings.
- A2500: The next step up, the A2500 includes three preprogrammed settings for smoothies, hot soups, and frozen desserts.
- A3300: On the A3300, there are touchscreen controls for the timer and pulse function.
- A3500: Lastly, there's the A3500 which has five settings (smoothies, hot soups, dips and spreads, frozen desserts, and self-cleaning) and touch controls for them as well as the timer and pulse.
5. Certified Refurbished Vitamix Blenders: For the bargain hunter
Best for: Anyone who loves a bargain. For tag sale or thrift store shoppers, this is a big step up in quality assurance.
You'll notice a lot of reconditioned Vitamix blenders on sale. These are current or older models that are either slightly or never used and returned by consumers. Before reselling them, the company rebuilds them and puts them through a 17-step process to make sure the machines will give you the same performance as brand-new products.
With reconditioned blenders, you still get a five-year warranty. While they make having a Vitamix up to 25 percent more affordable, you have to decide your comfort level with knowing your blender may have been used before.
About me: 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. My street cred? I worked as a chef in New York City restaurants for seven years. In my free time, you'll find me banging pots in my own kitchen.
Do you have a Vitamix? Which one do you have? Or, if you're thinking about getting one, which one is in the lead? Tell us in the comments below.