A blender is more than it used to be. Shop around, and you'll find that the once-simple appliance has transformed into kitchen workhorse that moonlights as a food processor, ice cream maker, grain miller, ice cube crusher, and more. Some models even come in weird shapes and boast confusing features, although many people still use them to make a smoothie. So, what's really worth your money?
Whether you're looking for high performance blenders or just want a quick way to make your smoothie in the morning, our roundups can help you find the right blender for you and your budget. Some models, like our favorite pro-style blender, the Vitamix Ascent Series A3500(available at Amazon for $524.95), are versatile hybrid machines that cross between categories.
If you’re ready to start mixing, blending, crushing, milling, and whipping your way toward better food and drinks, the award winners we’ve included in this roundup will help.
If you’re looking to invest in a versatile blender that will last you years, the 2.2-horsepower Vitamix A3500 is the best pro-style blender we’ve tested. In addition to making the smoothest smoothies during testing, the A3500 churned out the silkiest almond butters, blended the creamiest squash soup, and milled grains to the finest texture.
Unlike its predecessors, the A3500 features a touchscreen instead of switches. We like how responsive the touchscreen is—even a drop of water can turn it on. We also appreciate how intuitive the controls are. In the center of the touchscreen is a knob that lets you choose the intensity of the blend, or choose from the five presets shown above the knob: Smoothie, Sorbet, Soup, Spreads, and Self-Clean.
It’s packed with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-end blender, plus bluetooth-connectivity that links this gadget to your phone. You can browse recipes, take advantage of additional presets (Baby Food, Ice Cream, Nut Milk) in the app, and make shopping lists for future blends. The inclusion of a notch on the front of the pitcher makes it pour more easily as the liquid content will first take a quick stop when flowing into the notch, and then pour freely.
Additionally, the timer feature allows users to walk away when blending a soup or queso, which may take a bit longer than other tasks. The timer is programmable, too, so you can customize the time needed and let it do its job. This model offers a 10-year warranty, which is the longest warranty Vitamix offers.
The only thing we didn’t like was how loud it can be. However, it’s the fastest blender we’ve tested, taking less than half the time of other blenders to make butternut squash soup during testing, so we think the noise is worth the superior results.
The Instant Ace Nova Blender is hands-down the best affordable blender we've tested. This blender can chop, blend, and cook, plus it boasts a whopping 10-speed settings that can be easily adjusted using “+/-” buttons. Presets include Smoothie, Puree, Crushed Ice, Frozen Desserts, Pulse, Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Nut/Oat Milk, Soup, and Keep Warm, and we found them to be super helpful during testing.
It aced our chopping and mixing tests, then made delicious smoothies and almond milk using the one-touch program for each. Our testers were impressed to find that the soup setting produced a hot, fully cooked butternut squash soup after adding the ingredients and pressing a button. However, the soup setting doesn’t blend the soup for you once it’s done cooking, so we used the pulse setting to finish the job.
This 1,000-watt blender is easy to use and easy to clean because, well, there’s a button for that. The controls were the most intuitive out of all the affordable blenders we’ve tested, and while the glass pitcher does make it heavier than other products on this list, it also makes this blender look and feel high-quality.
Some of the components are dishwasher-safe, while the base and pitcher are hand-wash only with a damp cloth. You must register your Instant Ace Nova Blender within 30 days of purchase to take advantage of the one-year limited warranty.
If you’re looking for the perfect personal blender for everyday use, look no further than the NutriBullet Select. In our testing, this one aced all the blending tasks we threw at it. In addition to advanced features like soup-making and crushing ice that are reserved for full-sized blenders, meaning this personal blender can tackle basic kitchen tasks beyond making a smoothie.
This 1,000-watt blender has four settings—Extract, High, Low, and Pulse—located on a responsive control pad located on the front of the motor base. When users press Extract, the blender will start a pre-programmed blending cycle that shuts off after one minute. The Pulse feature lets you dice and chop vegetables with ease.
The NutriBullet Select excelled in the smoothie test when we used the Extract setting—the resulting smoothie was perfectly smooth. Plus, the measurement markings on the pitcher come in handy when following a recipe or otherwise measuring ingredients.
Its accessories include a 32-ounce pitcher with lid, a 24-ounce handled cup, a tamper, and to-go lids. The tamper is useful when making thin batter, gravies, and marinades. It can also be used to scramble eggs and process both cooked foods and uncooked fruits. The to-go lids, blending jar, and pitcher are top-rack dishwasher-safe.
The only thing we don’t like about the Select is that it’s slightly bigger than our previous winner, which makes it a bit less storage-friendly. However, its slim body still makes it relatively easy to move around and be put away.
Our highest-performing immersion blender in both the first and second round of testing, this Breville can do everything but cook your meal for you. Its shallow, bell-shaped blending head has a unique design that prevents it from suctioning to the bottom of blending cups, as well as a non-scratch base that won’t damage metal pots. Its wand is also long and sturdy, but not so heavy you’ll want to give up halfway through your task due to a sore arm. Backed by a 15-speed, 280-watt motor, these parts are a match made in blender heaven.
While the Breville model wows on its own, its attachments are impressive bonus items that helped it breeze through our testing. The whisk attachment was perfect for whipping cream, and the food processor attachment quickly chopped pine nuts, garlic, and more for minimal-effort pesto. When it came time to make smoothies in its 42-ounce blending jug, I was pleasantly surprised to escape splatter-free. The jug also houses the blender’s 25-ounce chopping bowl for easy storage.
If you’re looking for a high-quality immersion blender with all the bells and whistles, this Breville was made for you. It can chop, whip, and emulsify without causing you to break a sweat, so it might just become your go-to kitchen gadget.
Hi, I’m Madison Trapkin, the Kitchen & Cooking Editor here at Reviewed. I used to bartend at a restaurant known for its frozen margaritas, so I know my way around a blender.
And I’m Cassidy Olsen, former star employee of the first organic juice bar and cafe in Toms River, New Jersey. Well, “star” is probably a stretch—but I did work summers from ages 17 to 19 at this shop around the corner from my house, where I used professional-grade juicers and blenders to make smoothies and other drinks on a daily basis.
In addition to assembling this best-of-the-best list, we’ve tested for Reviewed’s roundups of the best immersion blenders and best professional blenders. As a result, we know a lot about the ins and outs of these appliances, from which containers will leak in your bag to how much liquid you need in each to make them operate smoothly.
For this ranking, we meshed our testing-driven numbers in each category with our understanding of what people look for when using blenders to find out products are actually worth your time and investment.
To figure out which blenders are best, we did the unthinkable—made a lot of smoothies. We compared the results of the standard smoothie test across all blender categories to see which stood out as the best of the best, taking into account speed, noise level, and ease of use while the blender was on, and then smoothie quality, lid tightness, and ease of cleaning when all was said and done.
But we didn’t stop there. Because some people might want their blender for more than whipping up smoothies, we also compared how the full-sized products compared on tests chopping almonds, crushing ice, and mixing liquids. Of course, we used additional tests on the hand blenders, seeing how well they could whip up mayo and blend pesto.
When evaluating the blenders and blending containers themselves, we prioritized speed, design, portability, accessories, and wattage, among other factors.
Personal Blender, Immersion Blender, or Full-Sized Blender?
If you're not already a kitchenware connoisseur, you're probably wondering, "Why are there so many types of blenders? Are they actually that different? Do I need to own every single one?!"
The answer to that last question is no, you don't necessarily need all three. When it comes down to it, they all use the same mechanics to blend, mix, and pulverize food and drinks into whatever form you choose—but choosing which blender for your kitchen will make life a lot easier.
Full-sized blenders are great for making icy cocktails, health smoothies, milkshakes, and other drinks for more than one person at a time. High-end models, like our favorites from Breville and Vitamix, can also be used to make soups, dips, nut butters, and other tricky foods. These blenders are the ideal choice for larger households, people who like to entertain, and people who are very serious about cooking. They provide unparalleled power and speed that you won’t find in other blenders, which is the reason most models cost anywhere from $200 to $700.
Personal blenders, however, are ideal for individuals or couples who rarely need to blend a lot at once—they've exploded in popularity since everyone started juicing and making healthy smoothies for those post-gym vitamins. They're easier to store, clean, and transport than full-sized blenders and their containers are ideal for on-the-go sipping. They’re also cheaper and less powerful, so they likely won’t stand the test of time the way full-sized blenders will. If you're looking for a quick blending solution and don't need to make a lot of anything at once, you can probably forgo a full-sized blender in favor of a personal one.
More and more companies are now launching “hybrid” blenders, which are compatible with both full-sized and personal blending containers. These are great for multi-person households that want things both ways.
Immersion blenders are the odd-one-out, but they're incredibly useful and very versatile. Also called hand blenders, their wand construction and lack of fixed blending containers make them portable, simple, and perfect for hot foods. They often come with food processor and whipping attachments that make them true multi-use tools. I’ve used mine to make pesto, whip up homemade mayo and whipped cream, and blend butternut squash soup.
If you're like me and enjoy cooking but aren't trying to feed a family or outfit a full kitchen, an immersion blender, and a hand blender can help you cover all your blending bases without taking up too much room. But if you’re serious about cooking and regularly serve more than two people, a pro-style blender is the right choice.
Other Blenders We Tested
Magic Bullet Blender
If you’re on the hunt for a personal blender that will provide your morning smoothie/health shake, the classic, oft-imitated Magic Bullet is your best bet. Fast, simple, and very transportable, the Magic Bullet is designed with busy people in mind. While it only has a 250-watt motor, it’s strong enough to handle frozen fruit and most other ingredients with the appropriate amount of liquid added to the blending container. It also comes with two extra blending containers, you’ll never need to buy a replacement.
Throughout testing, the Magic Bullet produced some of the silkiest smoothies with the least fuss. Thanks to their cylindrical shape (no crevices!), its blending containers were also a breeze to clean. Unlike many other portable models we tested, the Magic Bullet can also be turned on and remain on without being held down, which is a huge convenience. We can even attest to its longevity—one of our testers used it to make smoothies in their kitchen most days for a full year. For the affordable price tag and functionality, you won’t find anything better.
While the base model doesn’t come with all the bonus attachments of the Breville, the Braun Multiquick Hand Blender is a strong contender for the crown at a much lower price, making it our pick for best value immersion blender. This two-speed, 300-watt blender was the fastest we tested at whipping cream and emulsifying oil into mayo, as well as one of the best at evenly blending a green smoothie.
Throughout testing, the Braun’s rippled blending head impressed us with its speed and ability to pull in ingredients without suctioning to the bottom of the blending container. Unfortunately, the head’s depth also caused it to trap sticky foods like garlic and chopped nuts, which meant it took more effort than usual to make pesto—but the final result was as smooth as can be. This Braun also has a shorter wand than many of its competitors, making it more difficult to use in deep pots, but easier to wield and store.
Ultimately, Braun’s hand blender is a reliable, high-performing gadget that’s more than capable of helping you around the kitchen. It comes with a blending container and whipping attachment that will get you far, but if you’re really interested in a food processor attachment at a comparable price, consider buying the Braun MQ725, the next model up from this one—or check out the 4-in-1 blender from xProject.
Vitamix is a well-known name in blenders for a reason—customers rave about the build quality and robustness of these American-made blenders. The 5200 series is one of Vitamix's most popular and affordable blenders, but the 5300 series offers a more powerful 2.2-hp motor and a lower height that fits underneath cabinets. We loved how it performed, quickly churning out great smoothies and more.
We think the 5300 series' $529 MSRP is a little too high. But if you buy one through the Vitamix Certified Reconditioned blender program, you can get the superior 5300 for just $300—even less than a new 5200 series.
Vitamix says its reconditioned blenders are returned to the original factory condition by the manufacturer and come with a five-year warranty. Pair that level of manufacturer support with the powerful motor and incredibly low price, and you’ve got a fantastic deal on your hands for a great blender.
This stainless steel immersion blender from All-Clad is the real deal—beautifully designed, incredibly sturdy, and eerily quiet when in use, despite it’s honking 600-watt motor. With its long wand and blending head that promotes liquid flow, it excelled at blending soup, smoothies, and mayo quickly and evenly. Unfortunately, its lack of accessories for the base model (a whisk head is sold separately) made the pesto and whipped cream tests more challenging, although it completed both in the end. When assembled, the blender is also massively heavy—over 3 pounds—which tired out my arm pretty quickly. It’s an impressive, built-to-last device, but it’s not made for people with as little upper-body strength as me.
The Vitamix 780 is the company's flagship, with looks that will impress your guests as much as its performance impressed our testers.
The 2.2-hp 780 is part of the updated G-Series, and—unlike the more affordable but otherwise identical 750—is controlled with a touchscreen. Aside from the increased price, the main downside of this interface was less sensitive control. It was sometimes difficult to select the right setting, and—for a blender as expensive as this one—we demand perfection.
Performance-wise, its sharpened blades also had trouble pulverizing ice, but it blew us away when we used for chopping. It quickly ground nuts and other hard ingredients into fine powder, and liquified kale with ease. And of course, its perfectly-tuned smoothie preset left us only the silkiest sips.
The NutriBullet belongs to the same family as the Magic Bullet, and their relationship is obvious from appearances—the NutriBullet is essentially a larger, prettier Magic Bullet, branded for its special “nutrient extraction” capabilities (let's be real, it's just a blender). It’s a great multi-purpose personal blender that’s hugely popular online, and it ran through our tests without an issue. Unfortunately, its wide containers, heavy base, and flimsy travel attachments kept us from awarding it a higher spot.
If you’re looking to make a lot of smoothie at once and drink it around the house, the NutriBullet is a good option—but if you plan to take the cups with you on the go day after day, you’d be better off with a more travel-friendly blender. And don't be fooled by claims of its superiority in extracting nutrients—put the same ingredients in any of these top-performing blenders, and you'll get the same results.
The Vitamix 750 is essentially the same machine as the 780, but with manual controls and a lower price. We think it ultimately offers a greater level of control and feedback. If you care more about function than fashion and are looking to save an easy $220, then the Vitamix 750 is definitely the better buy. If you don't need the presets found on the 750, you should check out the Vitamix 7500—an otherwise-identical blender that's $70 cheaper than the 750.
The Nutri Ninja Bowl Duo is probably the most unusual entry on this list. It has two options for blending: a 24-ounce cup for personal smoothies, and a dome-shaped "Nutri Bowl" that lets you use the Ninja-like food processor. It's versatile, takes up minimal counter space compared to conventional blenders, and there’s even a special blade for mixing dough.
You can absolutely use it as a blender—we did, and it was great—but the smaller jar means large quantity blending is out. Plus, for its sale price of about $100, you can buy both a good food processor and our budget blender pick.
Cassidy covered all things cooking as the kitchen editor for Reviewed from 2018 to 2020. An experimental home chef with a healthy distrust of recipes, Cassidy lives by the "Ratatouille" philosophy that, with a few techniques and key tools, anyone can cook. She's produced in-depth reviews and guides on everything from meal kits to stand mixers and the right way to cook an egg.
Madison Trapkin is the kitchen & cooking editor at Reviewed. Formerly the editor-in-chief of Culture Magazine, Madison is the founder of GRLSQUASH, a women's food, art, and culture journal. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, Cherrybombe, Gather Journal, and more. She is passionate about pizza, aesthetic countertop appliances, and regularly watering her houseplants.
She holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and a Master's of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy from Boston University.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.