This stand mixer is very easy to use and very quiet to operate. It performs well at whipping and beating cake mix, but struggles a bit with sturdy cookie dough and can only knead one loaf of bread at a time.
The venerable KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer is a favorite among home bakers for a reason: Since 1919, it's gained a reputation for robust reliability and has tons of attachments that can turn it into anything from a meat grinder to a pasta maker to an ice cream maker.
But that doesn’t mean it’s right for your kitchen. So while the KitchenAid is still the best stand mixer we've tested, there are a lot of other great options to consider!
Our absolute favorite alternative to the KitchenAid Artisan is the Hamilton Beach Seven-Speed Stand Mixer(available at Amazon for $114.99). It's easy to use, performs well, and sells for a price that's very kind to your budget.
But if you're looking for a higher-end more commercial solution with lots of special features, or want to give your kitchen a more retro look, this guide also includes reviews of stand mixers from Breville, Wolf, and Smeg.
Here are the best stand mixers we tested ranked, in order:
Hamilton Beach Seven-Speed Stand Mixer
Breville the Bakery Chef
Wolf Gourmet Stand Mixer
Smeg Stand Mixer
Cuisinart Precision Master SM-50
Kenmore Elite Ovation 41760
Kenmore Elite 6 Quart
Kenmore Elite 5 Quart
Hamilton Beach Electrics 63232
Delish by Dash
Hamilton Beach Seven-Speed Mixer
There’s a lot to love about the Hamilton Beach Seven Speed Mixer. While it’s not a statement piece for your kitchen, it gets the job done every bit as well as much pricier models and sometimes even better.
In fact, of all the stand mixers we tested, it created the loftiest egg whites in the fastest time. The Hamilton Beach is not exceptionally sturdy and its head bobbed a bit when we kneaded dough for two loaves of dough (the max recommended by the company) but this lightweight machine is easy to lift if you want to keep it stashed away when you’re not using it.
Also, you simply can’t beat the ease of use of this machine. The tilt mechanism is well marked and easy to press. There’s a guide on the top of the mixer that prompts you to choose different speeds depending on which mixing task you’re planning to use.
The speed dial turns smoothly and is well marked with large numbers. And every single piece can go in the dishwasher. A handle on top gives you a good grip when you move it around. This mixer is available in silver, black, or blue.
Hi, I'm Sharon Franke, and I’ve been reviewing kitchen equipment for more than three decades. Before that, I cooked and baked professionally in New York City restaurants for seven years.
My passion for home baking jump-started my career. As a teenager, I stirred up boxed cake mixes with a wooden spoon. When I rented my first apartment, I graduated to a stand mixer and became an expert at baking everything from chocolate chip cookies to flourless cakes to sourdough bread.
This guide was first put together by former Reviewed editor [Keith Barry], and some of the older mixer models included in this guide were reviewed by former Reviewed Cooking Editor Cassidy Olsen and Erin Fife, a Reviewed contributor.
To find the best stand mixers, we put top stand mixers through their paces. With the whisk attachment, we whipped egg whites, timing how long each mixer took to create stiff peaks and measuring the volume created.
Then with the flat beater, we used each model to mix a French vanilla cake mix to see if it could beat the ingredients thoroughly in the time suggested on the instructions on the box. Next, with the beater, we tested each model’s ability to cream butter and sugar, then incorporate eggs, flour and other ingredients to mix a thick batter loaded with chocolate chips, granola and raisins.
With the dough hook, we kneaded dough for one or two loaves (according to the manufacturer’s recommendation) of white bread, noting how well each one handled the heavy load.
As we worked, we gauged how easy it was to use each mixer, including access the bowl, install and remove the attachments and operate the controls and how much noise it made. We assessed the helpfulness of the manuals, how easy the mixers were to clean, and whether or not they had helpful special features. Because this is an appliance that will live on your countertop, we took its appearance into consideration.
How to Choose a Great Stand Mixer
Do you need a stand or hand mixer? The first thing to decide is whether to spring for a stand mixer or if you can get away with a hand mixer. If you bake often, it’s worth making the investment and dedicating countertop space to a stand mixer.
While all of our best hand mixers can get just about any mixing job done, they begin to feel heavy in your hand after a minute or two, even when you’re whipping up an angel food cake but especially when you’re beating a sturdy cookie batter or yeast dough.
Don’t be wowed by watts or bowl size. Neither wattage or bowl capacity is a good indicator of how a mixer will perform unless all other factors are identical. It’s the overall design of the mixer that determines a mixer’s efficiency and what kind of results you’ll get.
Instead of looking at the watts or the bowl size, check to see how much flour or how many cookies and/or loaves of bread the mixer can handle at once. You may have to dig a little, but most manufacturers’ websites contain this information. If your favorite bread recipe yields two loaves, make sure any mixer you consider will be able to do the job.
Should you get a bowl-lift or tilt-head stand mixer? On tilt-head stand mixers, you push a button or a lever to tilt the head up to insert or remove the mixing bowl and attachment and easily add ingredients and scrape the bowl during mixing. These mixers can be pushed back under a cabinet when not being used.
With bowl-lift mixers, you turn a crank to raise the bowl for mixing and lower it to remove the bowl and beaters, add ingredients or scrape the bowl. It’s not quite as convenient to perform these tasks on a bowl-lift model. But in general, these mixers are more powerful and come with bigger bowls.
If cakes, muffins, and mousses, take top place in your repertoire, opt for an easy to use tilt-head model. On the other hand, if you’re a semi-pro who is always giving baked goods away and wouldn’t think of serving anything but your own made-from-scratch bread, you’ll want the power and size that a bowl-lift model offers.
Other Stand Mixers We Tested
Breville the Bakery Chef
From the minute you unpack the Breville the Bakery Chef you know it’s a well-designed, high quality product. Its streamlined shape, smooth surfaces, well-fitted parts and LED readouts indicate that it’s a precision machine.
The speed dial works in conjunction with a lighted bar that’s marked to show you which mixing task to use at each speed level. On the base, there’s a timer that you can set to an exact time; forget to set it and it will count up so you can track how long you’ve been mixing.
In addition to the beater, whisk, dough hook and splatter shield provided with most mixers, you get an extra beater with scraper edges and a lid to cover the bowl when you’re rising yeast dough or refrigerating sugar cookie dough.
Plus, the Breville comes with two bowls: a 4-quart stainless steel bowl and a 5-quart glass bowl with measurement markings on the side. A lamp shines down into the bowl so you can tell when your eggs and sugar have turned pale yellow or your cream is thickened.
But of course, we wouldn’t recommend it unless it also was a great mixer. When we used the scraper beater to whip up a cake mix, we didn’t have to stop and scrape the side of the bowl even once. It had no problem beating a sturdy cookie batter full of chips, oats, and raisins. The Breville easily kneaded our recipe for 2 loaves of bread but the manufacturer gives no indication if it can handle a heavier load.
You won’t find a hub on this mixer for attaching accessories like a grinder or pasta maker so you can’t justify the high price by thinking you’re getting more than one appliance for your money. However, its beautiful design, excellent mixing ability, and helpful extras do make it worth the splurge. The Breville is available in black, white, silver, champagne, and dark blue.
With its solid construction, brushed stainless steel finish and large red knob, the Wolf Gourmet Stand Mixer, like its namesake range, has the appeal of a commercial appliance designed for a serious cook. And Wolf claims that —thanks to its 7-quart bowl and powerful motor—it can make 14 dozen cookies or eight one-pound loaves. But just like other products from the brand, this mixer comes at a steep price.
In addition, this is one large and heavy appliance that won’t fit under your cabinets; once you set it up on your countertop, you’re not going to want to move it. All of this means that if you’re considering investing in the Wolf Gourmet you should be a dedicated baker who bakes often and in large quantities.
Our tests show that this mixer rivals the KitchenAid Artisan for speedy and effective mixing. It whipped up a high volume of egg whites, easily handled cookie dough laden with add-ins and had no problem kneading yeast dough for a pair of loaves.
There’s neither a tilt head or a crank for raising and lowering the bowl. Instead, you turn the bowl in its base to change its height. A particularly effective soft start function helps prevent splatters on start-up and a pulse button helps prevent overmixing.
Although there’s a hub for accessories on the front of the mixer head, none are available yet. If you’re not a fan of Wolf's signature red knob, you can instead get it with a black or stainless steel knob.
The retro 50’s styling of the Smeg Stand Mixer with a bullet-shaped head and a stainless-steel body is its distinguishing feature. But in addition to being eye candy for your countertop, this sturdy mixer offers impressive mixing prowess.
In all our tests it yielded top notch results. While it is only recommended that you use enough flour for a single loaf of bread, we found it to be the most effective at moving the dough around as it kneaded, producing a ball that needed no hand shaping and a loaf of bread with an exceptionally high rise.
As it works, this mixer is noticeably quieter than others. Our only complaint is about the speed lever. While it moves smoothly, selecting your speed level is difficult. The lever is located on top of the head and has small and indistinct numbers.
As you would expect from this Italian brand, a pasta roller and cutters to attach to the hub are available as well as a grinder, slicer/shredder, and ice cream maker accessories. You can choose from several glossy finishes as well as models with bases that are colored to match the head.
When it comes to ease of use, the Cuisinart Precision Master SM-50 trumps the KitchenAid. To tilt the head, there’s a simple switch and to select a speed setting, a smooth-turning dial, marked with large numbers. It tied with the Smeg for the quietest operation.
In our tests, this mixer excelled at whipping egg whites and mixing cake mix. But as soon as we added flour to creamed eggs and sugar for cookie dough, it slowed down. The manufacturer specifies that it should only be used to knead enough dough for two loaves of bread and it was able to produce a nice smooth, satiny ball. But overall, we would say this mixer is best for cake bakers.
The stand mixer is available in white, red, black, silver, and two different shades of blue. A variety of accessories are available to expand its usefulness, including a pasta roller and cutter, pasta extruder, meat grinder, frozen dessert maker, and spiralizer.
We've reviewed three Kenmore Mixers, and we like the Kenmore Ovation the best. As the name suggests, the Ovation is bound to elicit a round of applause—or at least a few oohs and aahs—whenever someone new walks into your kitchen. The innovative pour-in top design allows users to add ingredients directly into the bowl without turning off the mixer or awkwardly tilting them in on the side. It’s beautiful, convenient, and unlike anything else on the market—yet it doesn’t outpace all the competition when it comes to actual performance.
Don’t get me wrong, the Ovation is a strong mixer. In our tests, it evenly mixed chunky cookie dough and kneaded bread without resisting or walking across the counter. When it came to final cleanup, there was little more to do than place the bowl and accessories in the dishwasher—the pour-in top and 360 degree splash guard prevented even a trace of flour from escaping during the mixing process.
Yet unlike that of every other mixer we’ve tested, the Ovation’s 5-quart bowl is made of solid glass, making it particularly beautiful but very, very heavy—over 6 pounds. While the casual user might not be bothered by the weight, my arms were sore from carrying it by its handle between multiple batches and hand-washing sessions.
The bowl isn’t the only thing goliath about the Ovation—the entire machine comes in at 30 pounds and is wider than most other mixers, meaning it takes up valuable counter space. Its size seems to work against it in other ways—it’s slow and less nimble than other stand mixers we tested. It took nearly four minutes to whip up three egg whites—almost twice the time of the KitchenAid Artisan—and its paddle attachment couldn’t quite get to the mixture at the very center of its wide, flat bowl. Ultimately, Kenmore is onto something with this unique pour-top design, but the rest of the appliance still needs some work.
The Kenmore Elite 6 Quart has a more powerful motor than the Kenmore 5 Quart (600 versus 400 watts) and a larger capacity, but testing showed that the ability of the machine to mix and whip was not materially different than the Kenmore 5 Quart.
It whipped more slowly, but incorporated chunks into cookie dough faster and more efficiently. The motor was the loudest we tested, and whined ear-piercingly as it kneaded bread dough. If you have your heart set on an affordable bowl-lift design, though, this Kenmore (model number 89308) costs a bit more than the tilt-head Kenmore.
The Kenmore Elite 5 Quart Mixer looks, at first glance, very similar to the Artisan and in our last round of testing, this mixer was our Best Value pick. From the lock switch on the back to the shape of the bowls, it is easy to get the two mixers mixed up with each other, until you turn them on.
The Kenmore 5 Quart's motor is significantly louder than the Artisan and the motor’s tone has a high-pitched whine. There are also minor problems with the design of the attachments.
For instance, the wider flat top of the bread hook caught a lot of flour as we added ingredients to the bowl. The neck of the paddle attachment makes it difficult to remove without getting dough on our hands. In addition, after 10 minutes of kneading bread, the bowl had tightened onto the base of the mixer almost to the point where we couldn’t get it off.
That all being said, these issues only make the mixer less user friendly, and we were still impressed with its overall performance in our tests. (We tested the 89208 in red.) At a price of nearly half the cost of the list price on the Artisan, these tradeoffs will make sense for many buyers.
The Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Mixer is one of the least expensive stand mixers we tested. It is styled like the Kenmore 5 Quart, with a simple button for head lock release and a speed dial. The biggest concern with this mixer is the motor. Despite being rated at 400 watts, in testing the mixer struggled to mix thick cookie dough and knead bread.
We also found that the bowl handle’s sharp edges uncomfortably cut into our hands, and although the speed dial is labeled up to 12, the motor only has 6 speeds. At roughly the same price, the Kenmore 5 Quart is a much better choice.
The Dash Delish is small, adorable, and comes in cute colors including aqua and orange. However, it’s lightweight and seems more like a toy than a serious kitchen appliance. The other mixers we tested use a single attachment that spins in a planetary motion in a stationary bowl; this one uses two beaters or dough hooks that twirl and a bowl that rotates. There’s a switch to move the bowl from side to side that’s supposed to help the beaters cover more territory. However, we found the bowl did not turn consistently.
Although it takes longer than other mixers, ultimately, the Dash gets the job done, even kneading dough for a pizza or loaf of bread. But you need to help it along by stopping and scraping the bowl or moving the dough around often. In the case of chunky cookies, you have to stir in the final ingredients yourself as the Dash doesn’t have the oomph to disperse chips and oats into the batter.
In spite of its small size, it was the noisiest mixer we tested. The bottom line is that this mixer is easier on the hand than a hand mixer but not highly recommended to anyone who bakes even on an occasional basis.
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