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Published Oct. 3, 2021

A kitchen isn’t quite complete without a blender. But a weak blender can be worse than no blender at all. These powerful choppers, pulverizers, and (yes) blenders blast through food in seconds. A blender’s power, design, and extra features will determine how well it breaks up ice or handles frozen fruit. The best blender will have features that make efficient work of the foods you blend most, whether that’s smoothies and protein drinks or soups and ice cream.  

Presets, smart features, and extra cups are only a few of the extras that come with today’s blenders. Not everyone needs a premium blender with 17 speeds and the ability to make nut butters. Blenders are made in different types to fit everything from professional to single-serving needs. 

How we selected these products

Methodology

I’ve researched and tested kitchen products for years. My search for the best blender began with evaluating performance consistency and reliability. Next, I considered the quality of the construction and materials. For example, glass and stainless steel last longer than plastic. 

With blenders, there’s also a balance between premium features and performance. I looked for those that leaned toward performance over fancy touchscreens and long lists of preprogrammed buttons. Premium features add to the price, but the performance often is the same as less expensive models with manual controls. 

The best blenders: reviews and recommendations

Best overall: Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender

Vitamix

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Why it made the cut: The E310 has the power and durability of more expensive Vitamix blenders, but simple controls keep the price more reasonable, making it our choice for the best blender. 

Specs: 

  • Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 18 inches
  • Container size: 48 ounces 
  • Speeds: 10, plus pulse feature

Pros:

  • 10 manual speed controls, pluspulse feature
  • Tamper included to loosen thick mixes
  • Heat blending in six minutes

Cons:

  • Noisy
  • Mixes can get stuck in the container

The Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender brings quality to the kitchen. Vitamix is well-known for their industrial strength blenders, and the E310 meets their high standards. This pick has impressive power and high-quality materials and construction, but it doesn’t have some of the premium features available on other models, such as a touchscreen and vacuum sealing. That keeps the price slightly lower on this model with all of the power you’d expect from a Vitamix blender. 

A manual dial controls the 10 speeds, and a switch operates the pulse feature when it’s time to loosen thick mixes. The stainless-steel blades actually create heat, which allows users to create warm soups in about six minutes. The 48-ounce pitcher holds enough for two or three people, so it might not work for large families or groups. 

Best blender/food processor combo: Oster Blender Pro 1200

Why it made the cut: The Oster acts as a kitchen multitasker with a food processor attachment that works just as well as the blender. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 7.25 by 8 by 14.25 inches
  • Container size: 50 ounces (blender)/40 ounces (food processor)
  • Speeds: 7

Pros:

  • Includes food processor attachment and blade
  • Blends in two directions
  • Three preprogrammed settings and pulse control

Cons: 

  • Some units have been known to leak

The Oster Blender Pro 1200’s 50-ounce glass pitcher, 24-ounce cup, and 40-ounce food processor container and blade provide versatile options for smoothies, food processing, and blending. Both the blender and food processor blades work in both directions to reduce suction. The blender blade is designed to push food downward to keep food moving into the blades for smoother results. 

The Pro 1200 offers seven speeds, including pulse and three presets for the most popular foods—smoothies, salsa, and milkshakes. And all of the parts, except for the base, are dishwasher safe. 

Best personal: Ninja Personal Blender

Why it made the cut: This model’s manual pulse that powers through shakes and smoothies combined with its personal-size cups with to-go lids makes it our pick for the best personal blender. 

Specs: 

  • Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 13 inches
  • Container size: 16 ounces
  • Speeds: 1

Pros:

  • Blend-and-go design of cups and lids
  • Simple to use and clean
  • Powerful motor and blades break through frozen ingredients

Cons: 

  • Does not provide continuous power

This Ninja blender can easily blend protein shakes and smoothies every day without slowing down. It comes with two 16-ounce cups and two to-go lids. You can blend directly into the cups, attach a lid, and you’re good to roll with a blend-and-go meal or snack. 

This model has the power to break up frozen ingredients even though it’s equipped with only a single speed. However, that single speed only activates when you press on the cup; there is no continuous power. This design works well for smoothies and protein shakes, especially when using frozen fruit, the pulsing action prevents food from over-thickening and creating suction. However, without a continuous speed option, it doesn’t work for much else.

Best immersion: KitchenAid KHBV53IC Variable Speed Corded Hand Blender

KitchenAid

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Why it made the cut: The KitchenAid’s performance and quality stand out as it blends through all kinds of mixes, rising as our choice for the best immersion blender.

Specs: 

  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 3.56 x 16.3 inches
  • Container material: NA
  • Speeds: Variable speed trigger

Pros:

  • Can be used in bowls of various sizes
  • Removable blending arm
  • Includes a pan guard to protect nonstick surfaces

Cons: 

  • Variable speed is hard to control

Available in 11 colors, the KitchenAid KHBV53IC Variable Speed Corded Hand Blender features an eight-inch removable blending arm with a stainless-steel blade. The motor provides enough power to make protein drinks, smoothies, milkshakes, soups, hummus, and more.

This KitchenAid blender comes with a three-cup container that doubles as a measuring cup. There’s also a pan guard included for use when mixing in nonstick cookware or other delicate containers. At cleaning time, the arm detaches from the base and goes in the dishwasher, along with the measuring cup and pan guard. The only part of this immersion blender that is not dishwasher safe is the motor unit. A variable speed button provides some speed adjustability. However, it’s fairly difficult to control. Most people find that the blender is either on or off with very little variability in between. 

Best value: NutriBullet NBF50520 Touch Combo Blender

Why It Made The Cut: The NutriBullet has serious power and functions as a personal and conventional blender, providing excellent bang for your buck. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 17.5 x 11 inches
  • Container size: 64 ounces
  • Speeds: 7

Pros:

  • Four preprogrammed speeds
  • 64-ounce pitcher, 32-ounce cup, 20-ounce cup
  • Easy-to-clean smooth buttons

Cons:

  •  Lid can be difficult to remove

The NutriBullet Touch Combo Blender is a versatile appliance that comes with three container options—a 64-ounce pitcher, a 32-ounce cup, and a 20-ounce cup. They’re part of what makes this NutriBullet blender such a great buy. It can function as a conventional blender with the pitcher and as a personal blender with the cups. 

Four preprogrammed buttons help you through the most common blender mixes. Plus, you get three speeds and a pulse button too. Overall, this model provides the power of a premium blender with the versatility and price of a conventional model. It may cost more than a Walmart blender, but you get far more functionality and power with the NutriBullet.

Things to consider before buying a blender

Blender type

One of the four blender types may be more efficient, cost-effective, or productive for you based on how you want to use it. The four types include:

  • High performance/premium: These blenders come with a premium price that matches their high-performance status. They have powerful motors and do far more than blend protein shakes and crush ice. High-performance blenders can create fine blends like nut butters and soups and make ice cream. They may also include vacuum attachments and sound guards for greater versatility and comfort of use.  
  • Conventional: Conventional blenders crush ice and frozen fruits, though the results may be chunkier than those of a high-performance blender. Its motor might not be as powerful as a premium model’s, but for most household needs, a conventional blender can do the job at a more affordable price. 
  • Personal: Personal blenders make single- or double-serving smoothies and shakes. Their containers look more like mugs or cups than a conventional blender’s pitcher. These personal-size blender cups also include to-go lids with drinkable openings. A personal blender can handle a little ice but not hard-core ice-crushing every day. 
  • Immersion: Immersion blenders are different from the other types in that they don’t have their own pitcher. Instead of the food going into a container, the blender goes into a pot or bowl that contains the food that needs blending. Immersion blenders are the best portable blender option because they’re lightweight and compact. 

Speeds and controls

Blenders have anywhere from 1 to 17 speeds, though most people really need only three. A pulse setting is also helpful, as it allows you to manually turn the motor on and off to break up the suction in thick mixes. 

Touchscreen controls are easy to keep clean because of their flat, even surfaces. However, they’re not the easiest to use, as you may have to scroll through several screens to access certain functions. Buttons and manual dials are easier to use, but they often don’t provide the same range of functions as a touchscreen. 

Container material and design

The blender’s pitcher shape affects how well the food rotates in the blender. Grooves and indentations direct the food. Wide pitcher openings make it easier to add ingredients.

As far as materials, plastic and glass are the two pitcher options. Plastic is lighter and less likely than glass to break if dropped. However, it can also absorb odors and discolor. Glass may break more easily and be heavy, but it tends to last longer and resist odors and discoloration.

FAQs

Q: Are glass or plastic blenders better?

Glass or plastic comes down to the blender’s container. Glass containers last longer, resist odors, and stain less often. However, they’re heavier and can potentially break if dropped. Plastic containers are typically less expensive, lighter weight, and resist drops better. Their downfall is that they can absorb odors and stain more easily.

Q: Is 400 watts enough for a blender?

Watts can be deceiving when it comes to blenders because power isn’t the only factor that determines efficiency. Blade and container design also affect how well foods move throughout the blender. However, most blenders average 300 to 600 watts, even though some on our list run at 1,200 watts. For general-purpose use, 400 watts works for smoothies, shakes, and frozen foods. If you’re blending ice every day, a blender with more than 600 watts will work faster and last longer.

Q: What is the most durable blender on the market?

Durability comes down to the quality of the construction and materials. Vitamix and Ninja both have a reputation for their blender quality. Their models are known for lasting for years and providing top-of-the-line performance.

Final thoughts

We chose the Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender as the best overall for the power and durability it provides. The simplicity of the controls and speeds makes it easy to run too. However, if versatility and budget are more important, the NutriBullet Touch Combo Blender functions as a personal and conventional blender for far less dough than the Vitamix.

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