Editor’s Note: October 2022
This month we’ve added in a portable blender from ShakeSphere. It’s a great option if you’re always on the go and need a quick smoothie whilst you’re out the house.
With the talk of Black Friday deals starting to become a reality we’re going to start to see some deals spring up. Although blenders might not be the most discounted small appliances during big sale events, it’s still worth checking out KitchenAid mixer Black Friday deals (opens in new tab), and the like, to save some money where you can.
Jennifer Oksien, Editor – Homes
By having the best blender (somewhere) in the kitchen, you are just one step away from making a super delicious soup or nutrition-packed smoothie. They are a quick and relatively easy way to eat healthily on a budget – you’ll just need to wash and chop the ingredients before enjoying.
These versatile counter-top appliances can also be transformed into the best juicers or best food processors, and so much more, so you won’t be limited to just blending and there won’t be the need to go out and buy yet more products to get your fill either. Whilst you may not have much space in the kitchen to home a blender, it would be worth looking out for more portable options which are battery-powered. Although these are single-serve, it solves a problem and means that you don’t go without.
The choice of best blenders available is vast so to help you choose the perfect option we have put together this guide using our expertise and hands-on testing of everything listed. From blitzing nuts, making smoothies, and crushing ice, to whipping up some homemade mayo, we’ve put the best blenders through their paces. You can click on the links to our in-depth reviews for more on each entry.
Though some of you may already know your way around a kitchen and are just looking for an upgrade, we’ve put together a few guides to help those new to the world of blenders. So, if you’re wondering what you can do, take a look at our guides on how to use a blender and the five best dishes to make in a blender.
The best blender 2022: our top 10
The Vitamix A3500 blender means serious business and made light work of combining ingredients in our tests without leaving any chunks behind. We used it to create deliciously smooth smoothies, as it can quickly blitz ice cubes.
This Vitamix blender has an impressive ten variable speed settings, a pulse function, and five programs with predefined speeds and durations for everything from smoothies to dips and spreads. There’s even a programmable timer to set the blender to work and automatically switch it off once the timer is up.
However, the A3500 is quite bulky, so consider this if you’re short on space. It’s heavy and the most expensive blender we’ve tested – with a price tag that’s double and, in some cases, triple that of other blenders on this list.
Read our full Vitamix A3500 review
If you want a blender solely to make refreshing smoothies, then the Ninja Personal Blender and Smoothie Maker QB3001 are worth considering. On test, we found the blender blitzed tough, fibrous fruit and vegetables, including pineapple and spinach, into a smooth, silky drink without any grittiness.
Simple to use, the Ninja Personal Blender and Smoothie Maker QB3001 come with two 0.5-quart / 0.47-liter single-serve cups and to-go lids. So, you can pulverize ingredients into a smoothie or protein shake and take it with you, without having to decant it first.
We also found the blender effectively crushed ice and ground hazelnuts. It’s not as versatile as a jug blender, though, and you can’t use it to make condiments such as mayonnaise that require emulsifying ingredients. It was also one of the nosiest blenders we tested too.
Read our full Ninja Personal Blender and Smoothie Maker QB3001 review
Breville offers a range of stylish, durable, and powerful blenders. Still, eye-wateringly expensive price tags may be out of reach for many consumers, except for the Breville The Fresh and Furious (known as Sage the Fresh and Furious in the UK). This entry-level blender combines the brand’s sleek styling with power to create a compact blender that’s more affordable than other models the brand offers – although the base is made from plastic rather than metal.
Simple to use, we were impressed with the Breville The Fresh and Furious. It was able to liquidize pineapple and leafy spinach into a completely smooth and lightly aerated drink, with no bits, as well as crush ice, chop nuts, and emulsify eggs and oil into mayonnaise.
The blender comes with a 1.6-quart /1.5-liter jug, smaller than most other Breville blenders. We also found a slight amount of leakage when the blender was filled to maximum capacity, but this was only in the well of the lid and not enough to be a serious concern.
Read our full Breville the Fresh and Furious review
The KitchenAid Artisan K400 blender has the brand’s signature style but isn’t lacking in substance either. There are seven color options to choose from, and each model has four preset blending programs, a pulse function, and a choice of five-speed settings. You can select all programs using the dial on the front of the K400, keeping things simple.
In our tests, it impressed us by producing smooth, grit-free smoothies and thick glossy mayo. The ice crush program does short work of blitzing through ice cubes too. Unfortunately, this KitchenAid blender has no additional blending cups or accessories, and struggled to chop nuts evenly. If you buy this blender in the US or Australia, it’ll arrive with a plastic pitcher, whereas it’s sold with a glass pitcher in the UK.
Read our full KitchenAid Artisan K400 blender review
If you’re tight on space on your kitchen countertop, this smoothie maker and food processor in one is a great buy. Compact, and simple to use, the Nutribullet Magic Bullet Kitchen Express comes with two 0.5-quart / 0.47-liter single-serve cups for blending smoothies and a 0.9-quart / 830ml food processor bowl so that you can grate, chop, and slice food too, as long as it’s in small quantities.
While testing, while the blender did an excellent job pulverizing fibrous pineapple, it struggled with leafy spinach, leaving our smoothie with a gritty texture. It was also unable to achieve a uniform consistency when chopping nuts and crushing ice. However, we were impressed with its ability to grate carrots, slice cucumber, chop onions and make breadcrumbs.
As with similar smoothie-maker style blenders, it’s not suited to making condiments like mayonnaise, as there’s no way to add ingredients while the blades are spinning to ensure they emulsify together. It was also one of the noisiest blenders we’ve tested too.
Read our full Nutribullet Magic Bullet Kitchen Express review
If you want professional-style smoothies, Breville the Super Q is the option for you (also known as Sage the Super Q in the UK). This powerhouse blender wouldn’t look out of place in a professional kitchen. It’s also got a personal blending cup with a travel lid to make smoothies for when you’re on the go.
It impressed us during tests with the 12-speed settings and the preset programs for creating crushed ices, smoothies, and more. The smoothie settings did an excellent job creating a silky mixture, and the green smoothie setting effectively mixed up veggies. It was simple to use, too.
The Breville Super Q machine was designed to make larger quantities, and it struggled to mix the small mayonnaise recipes we tried. However, when it’s filled, the blender copes well, and there are no leaks.
This blender is excellent if you have a large household or want to make large quantities of mixtures in one go. The machine is also pretty tall, measuring 18.1 inches/ 46cm high.
Read our full Breville the Super Q review
The KitchenAid K150 is a worthy contender for a place on your kitchen countertop. While this may be KitchenAid’s entry-level blender, it certainly doesn’t compromise on power. On test, we found that it quickly pulverized fruit and vegetables and made a great mayo. If you’re a cocktail fan, a durable blender that can easily crush ice is a must-have, and this model won’t disappoint you. It’s a great all-rounder.
The blender comes with a 1.5-quart / 1.4-liter plastic pitcher and has three-speed settings. While you won’t find any presets for making different dishes such as smoothies and sauces, we think this will appeal to those that want a simplistic blender that looks stylish too.
It doesn’t come with many accessories, such as individual blending cups. However, we think that’s acceptable considering this is the most-affordable blender KitchenAid offers.
Read our full KitchenAid K150 Blender review
With its die-cast aluminum frame that comes in eight glossy colors, including cream (pictured), red, pastel blue, and pink, the Smeg BLF01 blender has a head-turning design, while a range of matching appliances ensure you can achieve a stylish look in your kitchen. The compact blender has a control dial, two pre-set programs for ice crushing and smoothies, and four-speed settings. During testing, the Smeg BLF01PBUK blender reached 103 decibels, making it one of the noisiest blenders we’ve tested. And while it doesn’t produce the smoothest smoothies, it does the job.
It’s worth noting that the Smeg BLF01PBUK blender doesn’t have a pre-set cleaning button – you can add warm soapy water to the jug and turn it on to dislodge any stubborn ingredients, then finish by washing it by hand. We like that the measuring cup on the top of the jar doubles as a key to remove the blade when a more thorough clean is needed.
Read our full Smeg BLF001PBUK blender review
During testing, we were impressed at how easy the Zwilling Enfinigy was to use and how well it blended. It has 12 speed settings and five auto programs plus ‘pulse’ to choose from.
It looks smart on the counter top, too. Beyond the aesthetics this is one of the safest blenders we have reviewed; it simply will not operate unless the lid is fully pushed into position, and it’ll stop blending if you remove the lid mid-way through. Another feature we like about the Zwilling Enfinigy is that the pitcher is a lot easier to lift when it’s full with blended fruit and vegetables, but we appreciate that this may not be for everyone because the reason why the pitcher is light is because it is not made from glass – meaning that it can not go into the dishwasher.
The things which are slightly disappointed over is that it didn’t crush ice as well as we had hoped, and the price is steep.
Read our full Zwilling Enfinigy Power Blender review (opens in new tab)
The ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid is a completely cordless and portable blender, allowing you to take it with you anywhere for smoothies or protein shakes on the go. This is perfect for gym-goers or just busy commuters, and we found that it was great for blending ice and frozen fruits.
The big downside of the blender is its size, as it can only produce single servings and doesn’t quite have the power of its full-size counterparts. It’s also quite expensive for a smoothie maker.
Still, the portability is a huge plus, and we found that the blender actually surpassed its promised 14 cycles per charge, giving us almost double at 26.
Read our full ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid review
How we test blenders
To compare each blender, we’ve spent hours in the kitchen preparing bowlfuls of mayonnaise while blending pineapple, spinach, and Greek yogurt into a smoothie. As well as assessing how smooth the sauce and smoothie are, we’re also looking for ingredients that are well-combined without any curdling and whether there is residue trapped under the blade or if the elements have leaked from the base lid during blending.
We also evaluate how finely and evenly the blenders chop ice and nuts and compare how easy they are to use. Finally, for each model, we rate how loud they are, how durable and easy to clean the body and parts are, and the valuable accessories they come with, such as a tamper for moving ingredients closer to the blade, extra jugs, or containers, and recipe booklets for inspiration.
How to choose the best blender for you
When selecting the best blender for you, start by identifying the type of blender you need. Jug blenders feature a blade inside the plastic or glass receptacle, which spins when connected to the motor in the base units. As a result, they can blend in large quantities but are usually bulky.
Meanwhile, smoothie blenders, also known as personal blenders, come with a small plastic cup rather than a jug. Fill the cup with your ingredients, then attach the blade, flip the cup upside down and connect to the base. When the ingredients are blended to your liking, remove from the base, unscrew the blade, and screw on a to-go lid, then take your drink with you.
Finally, there are also immersion blenders to consider. Often referred to as hand blenders or stick blenders, they are designed to be inserted into a saucepan or container of ingredients you want to puree. These compact appliances should be swirled around in the liquid while the blade spins to ensure it’s blended uniformly. You can detach the blade from the main unit containing the motor for easy cleaning. For more advice on this, it would be worth taking a look at our jug blenders vs immersion blenders (opens in new tab) guide.
Also, consider the number of speed and power settings the blender offers. For example, if you’re looking to crush ice and grind coffee beans, it’s worth considering a blender that has more control over how quickly it spins to ensure you can chop the food to the consistency you want.
Finally, consider any accessories the blender comes with, such as additional containers, a tamper to push food down during blending, and a brush to clean under the blades, as well as whether the parts are dishwasher-safe and straightforward to clean.
Which blender is best for smoothies?
If you’re looking for the best blender to make smoothies in, we’d recommend opting for a dedicated smoothie maker rather than a jug or immersion blender. As mentioned above, these feature a cup that the blade assembly screws onto before being attached to the base. Once blending is complete, the blade assembly can be switched for a to-go lid that includes a spout, letting you sip the drink without having to decant it first. Our pick is the Ninja Personal Blender and Smoothie Maker QB3001, as it strikes the right balance between price and the ability to blitz fresh produce into a smooth, grit-free drink.
However, there’s no way to add liquid during blending, so you can’t use it to emulsify ingredients, such as when making mayonnaise. In this case, we recommend the Breville the Super Q, as it comes with a pitcher so you can add liquid during blending. It’s also powerful enough to crush ice and pulverize nuts and come with a travel cup for smoothies – although you will need to decant the drink from the jug into the cup.
Blenders vs juicers
While juicers and blenders look similar, they perform slightly different tasks. Blenders use sharp blades to break down the contents of the blending jug. This means everything in the jug is turned into a smooth mixture. Juicers, however, extract liquid and leave behind the rest of the fruits or vegetables. As you might expect from the name, juicers are primarily used to make fresh juice, so they can be pretty limiting, whereas blenders give you the means to make everything from smoothies to dips.
For all the pros and cons of these appliances, head to our full feature on Blenders vs. juicers: what’s the difference?
How do I clean a blender?
Staying on top of cleaning your blender is vital if you want it to last as long as possible and if you want to avoid any nasty odors building up. You can place many blending jugs inside the dishwasher, but you can also clean them by adding warm water and dish soap to the blending jug, putting the lid on, and blending up the soapy solution.
If you’re struggling to get rid of any stubborn stains, create your cleaning paste using one tablespoon of baking soda and mix it with one teaspoon of white vinegar. You can add this solution to the stains using a clean scrubbing brush or a clean toothbrush.
For more handy hacks, read our how to clean a blender feature.