We recently updated this guide with a review of the GE Blender.
Whether you're making smoothies, whipping egg whites, or pureeing veggies for soup, a good blender is an essential kitchen tool.
High-performance blenders are the best choice for pure power and warranty coverage. However, many blending tasks don't require something as powerful as a Vitamix or Blendtec.
That's why we tested a bevy of cheap blenders. After chopping almonds, blending smoothies, crushing ice, and pureeing vegetables, we learned that the best affordable blenders are more than sufficient for most tasks—especially our favorite affordable blender, the KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender(available at Amazon for $159.99).
Here are the best affordable blenders we tested, ranked in order:
KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender
Oster Pro 1200 7-Speed Blender
Oster Versa 1400
Hamilton Beach Power Elite 58148
Oster Precise Blend 200
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender
How We Tested
Personal Blender, Immersion Blender, or Full-Sized Blender?
The KitchenAid KSB1575 Diamond blender is absolutely the best affordable blender we've tested. Frequently on sale for around $100 (depending on color), 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.
Our budget pick, the Kenmore 40708, can be found for around $30 on sale. This simple, 6-speed blender may not feel as substantial as some others we tested, but it gets the job done.
For instance, this little blender made a yogurt smoothie faster than any of its competitors. Crushing ice was no problem, although it did struggle in our chopping tests compared to more expensive models.
However, our biggest complaint was this Kenmore's lid, which was surprisingly difficult to remove. Still, given how well it actually blended, that's a minor inconvenience we’re willing to tolerate. You get three colors to choose from, plus a two-year replacement warranty.
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. When I wasn’t carefully crafting the store playlist or sneaking free baked goods from the counter, I was actually learning quite a lot about how these machines work.
And I’m Madison Trapkin, the Kitchen & Cooking Editor here at Reviewed. While I never had a stint at a juice bar, I did bartend at a restaurant known for its frozen margaritas, so I know my way around a blender.
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.
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.
Personal Blender, Immersion Blender, or Full-Sized Blender?
While this ranking focuses on full-sized, affordable blenders, there's 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 this one, 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
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.
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.
At about $200, the Oster Versa 1400 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.
For under $30 (on sale), 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. If you need a budget blender, we recommend the $29 Kenmore 40708 instead.
The Oster 16-speed blender had a lot going for it: 16 speed settings, a sleek design, a $40 price tag, and a 10-year limited warranty. It did well in our crushed ice and nut butter tests, but a loose-fitting jar led to leaks whenever we blended liquids at high speeds.
Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.
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.
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.