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If you’ve been in the market for a blender, you've probably heard of Vitamix. The company's blenders have whipped up a near-cult following in the U.S., and smoothie fans sing their praises online and in person.
While it's tempting to dismiss the enthusiastic following as a bit overbearing, we think it's easy to see why Vitamix blenders are well regarded. After testing several of the company's flagship models, we can confirm that they are powerful, have a reputation for being well-built, and often come with useful tools like tampers and dry grain containers.
However, they are also considerably more expensive than your standard blender. For this reason it’s so important to pick the right one outright—a task that's complicated by the sheer number of Vitamix versions available online and at big box stores.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. If you can’t tell the difference between an S-Series and G-Series, or a trying to decide between a 5200 and a TurboBlend VS, this helpful guide should answer all your questions.
Our three favorites
Before we get into the nitty gritty details of the Vitamix lineup, let's get some recommendations out of the way.
We think the newest G-Series blenders are a good choice. They boast a powerful motor that's also appealingly quiet, which is good news for morning smoothies. A lower and wider profile also makes the G-Series ideal for storage in smaller kitchens, and negates the need for a tamper in some cases.
If you want the latest and greatest and are willing to pay for it, we recommend the 7500. It may lack preprogrammed modes or a touchscreen, but we think the variable-speed dial should offer enough control for the majority of users.
If counter space isn't an issue and you're willing to put up with some louder blending in exchange for a lower price, the C-Series is still Vitamix's best seller. We think the 5200 Standard is the ideal option for anyone who wants a Vitamix and doesn't need anything fancy.
Once again, unless you are absolutely certain that you will find presets useful, we recommend going with a variable-speed model. Otherwise you're just spending additional money on features that you are unlikely to need.
The S-Series models are fairly niche. While we feel that the smaller size and convertible to-go cup are convenient, they aren't really enough of an added to value to justify the compromises inherent in the design and the high price tag. However, if you're a total smoothie fanatic who takes your blender with you wherever you go, we suggest picking the cheapest one, in this case the S30.
What’s the deal with all the other blenders?
In addition to those three models, the Vitamix website features 24 other blenders—excluding reconditioned models. These blenders are divided into three distinct series: The C-Series, the G-Series, and the S-Series.
With so many options to choose from, how is one meant to make an informed decision? And, is that Vitamix you spotted on sale at your local hardware store or on QVC any good? Well, after a little bit of sleuthing we have determined that there are technically only nine core Vitamix models. All other Vitamix models are variations on those themes, based mostly on which accessories are included. In addition, some Vitamix models sold at specific retailers will have their own unique model numbers.
The nine core models are:
• C-Series two-speed (high and low settings)
• C-Series Standard (variable-speed settings)
• C-Series Standard Program (variable-speed settings and presets)
• C-series 5300 (A C-series model with a more powerful motor)
• G-Series Standard (variable-speed settings)
• G-Series Programs (variable-speed settings and presets)
• S-Series S-30
• S-Series S-50
• S-Series S-55.
While this may seem confusing at first, you can easily figure out exactly which core model it is by checking the control layout as well as the motor horsepower rating.
What's The Same?
All Vitamix blenders feature an all-metal drive system that connects the motor to the blades. Vitamix says this increases overall durability of the blender, and reduces the number of failure points. Every Vitamix blender has stainless steel blades and most are covered by a five-year warranty, although some models have a seven-year warranty.
The S-Series blenders' motors are rated at 1 hp, C-Series motors are all 2 hp (with one exception), and the G-Series all feature a 2.2-hp motor.
All the Vitamix C-Series Blenders
The C-Series is Vitamix’s classic line of blenders, which have been in production for many years. These blenders have 3-inch stainless steel blades and are taller than the S and G-Series blenders. With the exception of the 2.2-hp 5300, all other C-Series blenders have a 2-hp motor.
While the C-Series has the widest range of available models to choose from, there are only four basic models: A two-speed model, a variable-speed model, a variable-speed model with preprogramed settings, and a variable speed model with a 2.2-hp motor. The different model numbers within these three categories are largely used to differentiate between accessories, appearance, containers, retailer, and warranty length.
Two-Speed C-Series Vitamix Blenders
First up are the basic models without variable speed control. These have a simple High/Low speed switch and are best for those who want a simple, no-frills blending experience.
The TurboBlend Two Speed (MSRP $399) comes with a 64-oz. container, a cookbook, a classic tamper, and a five-year warranty.
Variable-Speed C-Series Vitamix Blenders
Next up are the variable speed models. These are the jack-of-all-trades blenders, and are the obvious choice for most users. There are a number of variable-speed models but they are all essentially the same, with the only real differences being a matter of appearance and included accessories.
There are four 5200 models, all of which are covered by a seven-year warranty. The 5200 Standard - Getting Started (MSRP $449) comes with a 64-oz. container, a cookbook, a Getting Started guide, a DVD, and a classic tamper. The 5200 With Compact Container (MSRP $449) comes—as the name might suggest—with a smaller, 48-oz. container. The 5200 Super - Healthy Lifestyle (MSRP $549) comes with everything included with the 5200 Standard, and adds a mini tamper, 32.-oz. dry grains container, and a whole grains cookbook.
Variable-Speed C-Series Vitamix Blenders With Preprogrammed Modes
The third tier in the C-series are those with variable speed and preprogrammed settings. There are three models in this tier and in terms of functions the three models are almost identical. Each model has a Pulse function, 10-speed variable blending, and the same three preprogrammed modes: Smoothies, Frozen Deserts, and Soups. Additionally, each model is covered by a seven-year warranty.
Retailer-Specific, Special Edition, and Discontinued C-Series Blenders
The Creations Turbo (MSRP $559) comes with the same warranty, container, and tamper as the TurboBlend Two Speed. In addition, it comes with a second 32-oz. grains container, a drinks recipe book, a whole grains cookbook, and a mini tamper.
The CIA Creations blender (MSRP $549) is the result of a partnership between Vitamin and the Culinary Institute of America—the other CIA. It comes with a 48-oz. container, a 32-oz. dry grains container, three CIA cookbooks, a mini-tamper, and a five-year warranty.
The Creations II (MSRP $449) comes with a 48-oz. container, a cookbook, A DVD, a mini tamper, and a five-year warranty. The Creations GC (MSRP $499) comes with a larger, 64-oz. container and a regular tamper. There is also the Creations GC with Compact Container (MSRP $499), which comes with a smaller, 48-oz. container.
The 5200 Deluxe - Complete Kitchen (MSRP $649) is the most comprehensive package available within the 5200 series. It comes with a 64-oz. container, a 32-oz. container, a 32-oz. dry grains container, a cookbook, a whole grains cookbook, a Getting Started guide, a DVD, a mini tamper, a classic tamper, four flexible cutting boards, and a three-piece spatula set.
The TurboBlend VS (MSRP $449) is designed for raw and vegan recipes as well as whole-food juices. It comes with a 64-oz. container, a Live Fresh recipe book, a DVD, a classic tamper, a filtration bag for whole juicing, and a five year warranty.
The Professional Series 200 (MSRP $479) is pretty much identical to the 5200. With the same seven-year warranty, the only real difference between it and the 5200 version is that it does not come with a Getting Started guide. There is also the Professional Series 200 with Compact Container (MSRP $479) which, predictably, comes with a smaller 48-oz. container and a mini tamper instead of a classic tamper.
The CIA Professional Series (MSRP $529) and CIA Professional Series - With Compact Container (MSRP $529) are almost identical to the 200 models; however, they come with with two Culinary Institute of America cookbooks and feature CIA branding.
Unlike all the other variable-speed models, the 5300 (MSRP $529) has a more powerful 2.2 hp motor. It also has a Pulse switch instead of a High/Low switch. It comes with a low-profile, 64-oz. container, a Getting Started Plus guide, a low-profile tamper, and a seven-year warranty.
The 6500 (MSRP $599) has a 2.2-hp motor and comes with a low-profile, 64-oz. container, a quick start guide, and a low-profile tamper.
All the Vitamix G-Series Blenders
The G-Series is an updated line of Vitamix blenders. They all have 4-inch stainless steel blades and 2.2-hp motors. They also have a redesigned base with improved airflow that Vitamix says allows them to run cooler and quieter than the S-Series models. The redesigned container is wider and requires less tamping. Older S-Series containers are also compatible with the G-Series blenders.
The G-Series base is shorter and wider than the C-Series. Combined with the shorter container, that makes it easier to store and fit under a counter. There are two main tiers of G-Series blenders: Variable-speed and variable-speed with preprogrammed modes.
The 7500 (MSRP $529) and Professional Series 300 (MSRP $559) both have a low-profile, 64-oz. container, a DVD, a Getting Started guide, a cookbook, and a low-profile tamper. Both are covered by a seven-year warranty.
Variable-Speed and Preprogrammed Modes
Finally, the 780 (MSRP $719) differs from every other Vitamix blender in that it has a LED hardened-glass touchscreen control panel instead of traditional controls. The blender also comes with a low-profile, 64-oz. container, a cookbook, and a low-profile tamper.
Retailer-Specific, Special Edition, and Discontinued G-Series Blenders
The Creations Elite (MSRP $557.50) comes with a 48-oz. container, a stainless-steel smoothie cup, a cookbook, a DVD, and a mini tamper. It is only covered by a five-year warranty.
Along with a variable-speed dial and a Pulse function the Professional Series 750(MSRP $659) features five preprogrammed modes designed to tackle specific blending tasks. The modes are: Smoothies, Hot Soups, Frozen Desserts, Purees, and Self-Cleaning. The blender comes with a low-profile, 64-oz. container, a cookbook, a Getting Started Guide, a DVD, and a low-profile tamper.
All the Vitamix S-Series Blenders
The S-Series is Vitamix's line of personal blenders. These are smaller than the standard Vitamix blenders and have a smaller overall footprint. They are designed to fit under 18-inch cabinets and take up less counter-space than the C- and G-Series blenders. Their containers are also dishwasher safe, making them easier to clean than the larger blenders.
Each S-Series blender comes with with two containers: A standard 40-oz. container, and a smaller 20-oz. container than can be used as a travel cup with the included flip-top lid. The blades can be swapped between the two containers. All of the S-Series models are covered by a five-year warranty.
While more convenient, the smaller size does have a trade-off: the S-Series blenders have less powerful motors than the C- and G-Series models. They are also not large enough for families—anyone looking for a workhorse blender is probably better off investing in the C or G-Series. In fact, the S-Series is largely designed as a travel blender for people who already own and love their full-size Vitamix models.
There are three models available in the S-Series:
The S30 (MSRP $399) comes with a 40-oz. container, a 20-oz. travel container, a cookbook, a low-profile tamper, and a S-Series blade base which can be swapped between the two containers. The S30 has variable speeds and a pulse setting.
The S50 (MSRP $419) has all of the same accessories as the S30 with one exception: Instead of a cookbook, it comes with a Personal Blending guide. The S50 has a variable-speed dial as well as two presets: Smoothie and Power Blend. As of November 2016, however, Vitamix tells us the S50 is currently out of stock. It may still be available at some retailers.
Finally the S55 (MSRP $455) has all the same accessories as the S30 and all the functions of the S50. It features two additional presets: Dips and Spreads and Frozen Desserts.
What About Certified Reconditioned Models?
Those on a budget should seriously consider a Certified Reconditioned model. Vitamix handles all refurbishments in-house and the machines are all still covered by the same five-year warranty that new blenders get. All reconditioned models come with a cookbook and a tamper as standard, and generally cost between 20-40% less than new blenders. The following models are available:
• Certified Reconditioned Two Speed (MSRP $249)
• Certified Reconditioned Standard (MSRP $329)
• Certified Reconditioned Standard Programs (MSRP $379)
• Certified Reconditioned 5300 (MSRP $299)
• Certified Reconditioned Next Generation (MSRP $399)
• Certified Reconditioned Next Generation Programs (MSRP $499)
• Certified Reconditioned S30 (MSRP $249)
• Certified Reconditioned S55 (MSRP $379)
With the exception of the S50, Certified Reconditioned versions of all of the nine core models can be purchased from the Vitamix online store.