• Instant Ace Nova

  • How We Tested

  • Personal Blender, Immersion Blender, or Full-Sized Blender?

  • Other Affordable Blenders We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

instant ace nova
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Instant Ace Nova is the best affordable blender we tested.

Best Overall
Instant Ace Nova

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.


  • Intuitive

  • Helpful presets

  • High-quality build

  • Blends exceptionally well


  • Heavy

How We Tested

yogurt test
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

We put the affordable blenders through multiple tests, including a multi-color yogurt blending test.

The Testers

Hi, I’m Madison Trapkin, the kitchen and 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, Reviewed's former kitchen and cooking editor and a former star employee of the first organic juice bar and cafe in Toms River, N.J. 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.

The Tests

We put our budget-friendly contenders through a range of tests to prove their worth. First, chopping—how well can the blender chop up chocolate candy, frozen strawberries, and hard almonds? Next, a mixing test determines how quickly and evenly the blender can blend two different colors of yogurt. The final two tests pose greater challenges, requiring the blenders to crush ice, mix fruit smoothies, and for our top performers, mill almonds into water to make smooth almond milk.

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Affordable blenders should be able to handle these blending basics with ease, and sometimes they’ll even stand up when compared to their high-tech counterparts, so therefore we put them through the same tests as the pro-style blenders we’ve tested.

In addition to all the data gathered from these tests, we also considered more subjective features, including the look and feel of the blenders, the intuitiveness of their controls, and how easy they are to clean. We also considered price, features, size, durability, warranty, and more when making our final ranking.

blender types
Credit: Getty / cream_ph

There are three main types of blenders: full-sized blenders, personal blenders, and immersion or hand blenders.

Personal Blender, Immersion Blender, or Full-Sized Blender?

While this ranking focuses on full-sized, affordable blenders, there are also your personal blenders and immersion blenders to consider. 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 is best for your kitchen will make life a lot easier.

Full-sized blenders are the ideal choice for larger households, people who like to entertain, and people who are very serious about cooking.

They’re great for making icy cocktails, health smoothies, milkshakes, and other drinks for more than one person at a time. Our favorite affordable blenders (like the KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender) can easily accomplish all of these tasks. High-end models, like the Breville Super Q Blender, can also be used to make soups, dips, nut butters, and other tough-to-blend foods.

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.

Immersion blenders are 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. We’ve used ours to make pesto, whip up homemade mayo and whipped cream, and blend butternut squash soup.

If you 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 full-sized blender is the right choice.

Other Affordable Blenders We Tested

KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender

This five-speed model did exceptionally well in our chopping and mixing tests. It obliterated ice cubes into a fine slush, made creamy nut butter, and liquefied fruit and yogurt into a delicious smoothie. It makes for a great, affordable blender.

Our testers liked the easy-to-read and intuitive controls, and each button has enough resistance that you shouldn’t worry about accidentally engaging the wrong setting. The components are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and KitchenAid's five-year warranty is almost as good as the seven years offered by Vitamix.

The KitchenAid Diamond comes with a 60-ounce BPA-free jar, and is available in over 15 colors, including Boysenberry, Tangerine, Espresso, and the classic Empire Red.


  • Blends exceptionally well

  • Great at chopping and crushing

  • Intuitive controls


  • Old-fashioned appearance

Cleanblend Classic

The Cleanblend was designed by chefs for chefs, and while we liked the easy-to-use controls and no-frills design of this 1,800-watt blender, we weren’t totally sold on its blending abilities. It’s incredibly easy to remove the pitcher from the base and place it on the base when it’s time to blend, which is great if you like to work quickly in the kitchen. However, there’s no click or lock-in-place sound, which might be disconcerting to some.

This blender chopped nuts, chocolate candy, and frozen strawberries with ease, but it wasn’t able to fully crush ice. The smoothie test proved to be a bit difficult for the Cleanblend as we had to use the pulse setting multiple times to tackle the last large frozen strawberry chunks. During testing, the base of the blender stayed mostly still and we didn’t notice too much movement from the pitcher either.

It comes with a nut milk bag, a tamper, a small rubber spatula, a 64-ounce BPA-free container, and a five-year warranty. Overall, we enjoyed using this blender and think many chefs and home cooks would find it useful.


  • Easy to use

  • Simple controls

  • Excellent at making nut milk


  • No "lock" sound

  • No child safety

  • Pitcher moves a bit during use

NutriBullet Smart Touch

With its ultra-sleek touchscreen, this blender is definitely easy on the eyes. However, the touchscreen’s limited feedback can make it difficult to know if you’ve actually pushed a button. Like other NutriBullet products we’ve tested, this 1,500-watt blender impressed us with its intuitive controls and consistent results.

It won’t operate unless the lid is fully secured, which seems like a helpful safety feature in theory, but also makes it somewhat frustrating to operate. The lid is relatively difficult to remove and reattach because there are three separate places for it to snap on, and there’s a sensor peg it must align with to function properly.

This wouldn’t be a bad blender to own, as it performed well during our mixing and chopping tests, and it’ll look nice on your countertop if storage is limited.


  • Sleek

  • Helpful presets

  • Has child safety features


  • Lid is difficult to take off

  • Touchscreen makes it hard to know if a button has been pushed

GE Blender

This sleek 1,000-watt blender is part of GE’s countertop appliance line, and what it lacks in performance it almost makes up for in style and accessories. It aced our smoothie test, producing a well-blended, tasty result, and its performance was passable when it came to mixing two different colors of yogurt.

During the ice and frozen strawberry chopping tests, the blender automatically shut off and needed to be unplugged then plugged back in. Even after doing so, the blender couldn’t process either the ice or the strawberries unless the items were fed into the blender through the lid hole one at a time while the blender was already on, or while using the pulse function.

Despite the fact that this blender is so nice looking we’d likely never tire of seeing it on our countertops, we were disappointed with the GE blender overall. If you’re looking for a high-performing affordable blender that can do more than just make smoothies, this probably isn’t the best option for you. That said, if you’re a loyal fan of GE, this blender isn’t the worst we’ve tested and it costs just under $100.


  • Not overly bulky

  • Sleek design

  • Great at making smoothies


  • Bad at crushing ice

  • Bad at mixing

  • No presets

Oster Pro 1200 7-Speed Blender

With its silvery buttons and stylized logo, the Oster Pro 1200 has cool retro looks. Unfortunately, the results of our chopping tests were comically bad. The blades simply didn’t reach low enough to have any effect on heavier items, while lighter items just bounced around the jar, avoiding the blades.

It did well blending smoothies and liquids, and it's a popular choice at online retailers, but we think you can do better for $70 .


  • Blends well

  • Interesting design


  • Bad at chopping

Oster Versa 1400

At about $200, the Oster Versa 1400 is not a perfect fit for this list. But it is a best seller and we were curious about what you can get if you're willing to extend your budget by another $100.

For the extra cash, you get a sturdy base, a pro-style minimalist design, and a powerful motor. While it generally had no issues chopping and mixing, it did have some trouble crushing ice. It's not a bad blender, but we'd still stick with the $99 KitchenAid.


  • Blends well

  • Powerful motor


  • Bad at crushing ice

  • Expensive

Hamilton Beach Power Elite 58148

For about $30, the Hamilton Beach Power Elite was the cheapest blender we tested. It also failed all our tests.

The blades were too short for chopping, so almonds and ice cubes got stuck on the edges of the jar. Even after a full minute of attempting to make a smoothie, yogurt failed to mix.


  • Nothing we could find


  • Bad at blending, chopping, and crushing

  • Cheaply made

Meet the testers

Cassidy Olsen

Cassidy Olsen

Editor, Kitchen & Cooking


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.

See all of Cassidy Olsen's reviews
Madison Trapkin

Madison Trapkin

Kitchen & Cooking Editor

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.

See all of Madison Trapkin's reviews

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We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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