Bright breakfast smoothies and lemonade slushies are the perfect complements to an early morning run. The right blender will transform your daily routine with filling protein shakes and clean fresh juices. Upgrade your kitchen appliance arsenal with one of these 10 capable blenders.
10 Best Blenders
- Best Mid-Range Ice Crusher: KitchenAid K150 3-Speed Ice-Crushing Blender
- Best Smoothie Maker: Nutribullet Blender Combo
- Best Pro-Style Blender: Vitamix Professional Series 750
- Best Value: Ninja Professional Blender
- Best Design: Beast Blender
- Best Emulsifying Blender: Blendtec Classic 575
- Best Soup Blender: Instant Pot Ace Nova
- Best Multi-Use Blender: KitchenAid K400
- Best Individual Smoothie Blender: Nutribullet Personal Blender
- Best Compact Blender: Nutribullet Magic Bullet Blender, 11-Piece Set
The Expert: I’m a cookbook author and food writer with more than a decade of experience developing recipes and testing appliances. I’ve used blenders to smooth soup and sauce and to find the right consistency for apple cider slushies. I’ve owned blenders with lots of different price tags and discovered that it’s best to try and match your appliance to what you make most often. Case in point: the three months I spent perfecting a beer milkshake in a vintage Oster blender for my book Cookies & Beer.
What to Look for in Your Perfect Blender
Capacity: Blenders can hold vastly different amounts of liquid. Will you be relying on your blender for a big batch of tomato soup—then you’ll want a blender jar that holds at least 64 ounces (8 cups)—or as your personal smoothie machine in the morning where you might want a detachable blending mug that is 16 or 24 ounces (2 or 3 cups)?
Size: More-powerful blenders (over 1,000 watts) often come with larger bases—to house a bigger motor—and a taller jar to hold more greens for pesto. Even so, nearly every blender on the market should still fit under a standard cabinet. Measure the space on your counter or in a cabinet before you buy.
Power: The easiest way to compare the motor in blenders is wattage, which is the rate of power flow. A higher wattage means more power, which is critical when the blades are trying to grind hard cheese or ice cubes (start your search in the 650- to 700-watt range).
Settings: Blenders have evolved to include preset settings for different tasks in addition to, or instead of, different speeds. Some blenders, like personal blenders designed for individual smoothies, have only a single speed setting. Keep that in mind if you don’t want the same level of blend for everything you make.
How We Evaluated These Blenders
As an appliance tester and recipe developer, I’ve owned and used several brands of blenders. I combined my first-hand experience with a thorough examination of online customer reviews and review websites to understand how effective blenders were at chopping ice and mixing smoothies. I also watched user review videos—particularly listening to the volume of blenders in action, as well as the ease of use—and considered recommendations from chefs and fellow food writers.
RW: What’s the best way to wash a blender?
J.B.: Blenders can be blessedly easy to clean. Fill the jar about halfway with warm water. Add a few drops of dish soap. Run the clean setting or pick a speed where the water is agitated enough to reach the bottom of the lid for 30 to 60 seconds. Then, rinse the jar, lid, and blade with hot water. Dry on a towel or dish rack. I’d also give the exterior of the blender a quick wipe with a wet dishcloth, making sure that all the pieces are completely dry before storing it away.
RW: What’s your favorite thing to make with your blender?
J.B.: I love making slushies in a blender. They’re a cool, refreshing drink perfect for sipping on a porch. I’ll freeze apple cider in a loaf pan for a few hours until it hardens but doesn’t fully freeze, then add it, lemon juice, a pinch of cinnamon and occasionally whiskey into a blender to make an apple cider slushie.
RW: We all like a deal, but when is it worth it to invest in a blender that’s over $250?
J.B.: Although you can get serviceable blenders for significantly less than $250, if you’re using your blender every day to crush ice, you should try and make room in your budget for a more expensive model. Likewise, when multiple people in your house drink smoothies, a stronger motor can handle larger amounts of ingredients and is less likely to wear down quickly.