Whether you want a blender for making smoothies, whipping up margaritas, smoothing out soups, or to help with meal prep, there’s a perfect match for you out there.
Our blender guide will cover the best machines on the market so you can find the one that fits your needs…and your budget.
Best Smoothie Blenders
The Nutri Ninja Pro is the total package for smoothie blending: It’s designed for smoothies (with Extractor Blades that break down whole fruits, vegetables, ice and seeds for nutrient & vitamin extraction), the machine is compact and easy to store, and it comes with cups and lids that enable you to blend and go.
This one is a basic model of the popular Ninja line, but it isn’t lacking in features. Anyone who wants to make smoothies on the regular will love the Nutri Ninja because of it is small in stature yet high in power – 900 watts, to be precise. Plus, it’s super affordable: you can pick one up for well under $100 (and under $70 in some cases).
The Magic Bullet is quick, easy to use, and highly portable, making it an excellent everyday smoothie blender. It comes with 11 pieces – everything from a recipe book to various sized cups and fitting lids. Those who swear by the Magic Bullet love how compact it is and how easy it makes whipping up a healthy smoothie for breakfast.
It’s also incredibly budget friendly. At under $40, it’s practically a steal, especially considering that it’s a high quality blender. The Magic Bullet is very versatile, enabling you to make a quick side of guac for your tacos or hummus for lunch. It’s an especially good choice for those with limited storage space as the Magic Bullet takes up very little room.
Best Hand Blenders
Not only is this OXA immersion blender excellent for all the immersion blending you need, it also comes with attachments that make it even more versatile. It includes: mini processor bowl, beaker for stick blending, and a whisk attachment for hand whisking.
The OXA hand blender has super sharp blades for powerful blending power. It’s both dishwasher safe and safe for heat – easily blend soups to a smooth consistency or whip up some bulletproof coffee without any problems.
KitchenAid is well known for their quality products and beautiful design. This immersion blender is classic KitchenAid in that way – it works beautifully and looks great. It has a soft grip handle that makes it easy to keep ahold of and the blending arm is removable for easy washing.
Like the OXA, the 3-Speed KitchenAid includes a chopper attachment and the whisk attachment. This means you can use it for more than just blending – an excellent option for those with limited storage space. It includes the blending and jar plus a lid for those times you need to blend and store. It’s priced at under $60 – more than the OXA but overall a great value.
Best Blenders under $100
This Hamilton Beach blender seems too good to be true – it’s super affordable (under $50), has 700 watt power, and comes with several components that make it highly versatile. Yet it is a great blender that reviewers have consistently ranked highly. It’s a traditional blender and a personal blender; it’s a food processor; it chops, shreds, and purees. The multifunction blender comes with a travel jar, so you can use it every day for breakfast or lunch on the go.
It’s also well-designed, with an easy and mess free pour spout. Hamilton Beach’s patented Wave-Action System works beautifully to give you consistent results and no stirring needed. The parts are dishwasher safe, so clean up is a breeze as well. Overall, the Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 is a fantastic buy for way under $100.
Versatility is the name of the game in this review, if you haven’t caught on to that by now. The Oster Pro 1200 is no exception. Much like the Hamilton Beach we reviewed above, this one includes a food processor and a personal smoothie attachment. It’s also preprogrammed with settings for the blending you do most, including milkshakes and smoothies.
The Oster Pro is still under $100, but it is a bit more than the Hamilton Beach blender. However, it has an extra boost with 1200 watts. It also has a larger base and larger blade, so it gets your drink or puree to just the right consistency. It’s powerful for chopping ice or pulverizing veggies. It has great reviews from users (even former Vitamix users) and is still well priced at under $100.
Best Budget Blenders
Hamilton Beach makes the list again for this budget-friendly (under $30) and bestselling blender. The Power Elite boasts 700 watts and 12 blending functions, so it’s a versatile pick for anyone who wants a cheap blender that will actually work. Like the 3-in-1 we reviewed above, this one has the smart pouring spout that works wonders for keeping messes at bay.
When looking for a budget blender, it’s important to keep in mind that they simply can’t do all the functions as more expensive models. So, while the Power Elite will definitely blend smoothies and margaritas at will, it likely won’t be a good machine for blending hot soup regularly. Hamilton Beach blenders do come with a three year warranty, though, so it’s definitely worth the (very small) investment.
Black+Decker offers another highly inexpensive option for the budget conscious with this 6 cup blender. It is slightly less powerful than the Hamilton Beach at 550 watts, but it does have a 4-tip stainless steel blade. The glass jar and all removable parts are dishwasher safe, so you can go from daiquiris to dishwasher without worry.
While we like the Hamilton Beach Power Elite a bit better, this blender is still a good pick for someone who blends irregularly but wants to keep one on hand. It is slightly less expensive than the Power Elite, too (depending on where you purchase it), so it’s a great value.
Best Vitamix Blender
Vitamix is the crème de la crème of blenders. However, they can be pretty expensive up front, though many owners find the cost to be offset by the long life of the machine and by how much it can do (like chop, shred, and so forth). Vitamix is a way of life for many, and owners will tell you it’s absolutely worth the investment. Here are a few of the most affordable models to pick up.
Best Value: If you can find the older 5200 model on sale (which is frequently is), you can get it for a bargain (usually under $400). The 5200 has a large (64 ounces) container and incredible power. It’s also fairly heavy, so keep in mind that it will take up space and be tricky to move around.
Another great option is a certified refurbished 5300 which is a bargain and comes with a 5 year warranty plus 30 day guarantee. Reviews are excellent on it, so it’s worth considering the refurbished version. It comes in at well under $400 and is worth every penny – permitting you use it often and try the full range of its features.
Best Ninja Blender
The other blender name that boasts many fans is Ninja – less expensive than Vitamix, but highly reviewed and well designed. The Ninja line includes professional grade blenders as well as personal ones (like the Nutri Ninja Pro, reviewed above), so there’s a Ninja for any budget or blending need.
Best Value: The Ninja Professional Blender 1000 is regularly priced at just over $120, but can often be found on sale for less than $100, making it a well-priced, professional quality blender for almost anything. It crushes ice, blends, purees and processes, all in one.
Most Versatile: The Ninja 4-in-1 Kitchen System is an incredible deal at under $300. It includes a crushing pitcher, blending cup for personal smoothies, processor, and spiralizer. It’s a complete package for meal prep and beyond.
How to Select a Blender
Buying a blender seems like it’s simple enough: You just need something that blends, right? Well, if you just need a blender for the occasional midnight margarita, any blender will probably do (and see above for our best budget picks). However, if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, or if you have specific actions you want it to do, you’ll want to spend a bit more time on your decision. Here are some of the features to look for in your blender shopping.
Types of Blenders
There are a few main types of blenders you’ll come across:
- Personal Blenders are typically single serving, small blenders that you can use to make one smoothie or other drink. Often they will come with a lid that converts the container into a portable cup.
- Smoothie Blenders are designed specifically for smoothie making. They are usually the same as personal blenders, though some might be better designed for extraction or ice crushing.
- Countertop Blenders is a catch-all term for blenders that are not professional grade and easily sit on the countertop. Most are larger than personal or smoothie blenders.
- Professional Blenders, like the Vitamix, are heavy-duty blenders than act as more than just drink blenders – they can chop, knead, shred and more. They are the most expensive models.
- Immersion or Hand Blenders are hand-held blending sticks that blend inside cups or pots for smooth soups or single serving frozen drinks. Many newer models include additional attachments like a whisk making them versatile gadgets for your kitchen.
Checking out the components and reviews on blenders is a good idea before you buy. Some of the features include:
- Blades – sharpness, size, number
- Lid – make sure it’s tight-fitting
- Jar – usually glass, many personal are plastic; make sure it’s good quality either way
- Base – should be sturdy; also consider size your storage space
- Spout – some have easy pour, less mess spouts
Additionally, you might be looking for a blender that will do more than whip up delicious smoothies. In that case, make a list of the functions you want and find a blender that will do them.
The Vitamix is a great example of extreme versatility in a blender. It makes hot soup and chilled desserts, creates healthy nut butters, kneads dough, and much, much more. In that way, it’s well worth the money because it simply does the work of so many other devices, all in one.
Similarly, many of the best blenders include attachments that convert the machine into a food processor and more. Buying a blender that does more than just blend definitely means you are getting the most out of your investment (as long as you’re using the extra features, that is).
Double check the cleaning guidelines, too. Many blenders are dishwasher safe, while others have to be hand washed. If it isn’t dishwasher safe, you should be able to put soap and hot water in the jar and blend for 30-60 seconds to clean it.
For some, the style and color of the blender is important, especially if it’s going to stay on the counter all the time. Luckily, there are color options in many blenders on the market. KitchenAid fans can grab an excellent and colorful 5 Speed Blender to match their other KitchenAid gadgets and appliances.
How to Care for your Blender
It’s important to protect your investment by taking good care of your blender, especially if you selected a more expensive model. Your blender can last for years to come as long as you always make sure to treat it right.
Always Follow Directions
It’s critical that you always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding use and cleaning of your blender. First and foremost, this helps ensure you’re using it the way it was designed to be used. Secondly, using it improperly can void your warranty – if something happens, you’ll get a “sorry can’t help you” from the manufacturer. Check your warranty information for further details.
Always Follow Blending Guidelines
Similar to the previous tip, this one is very important as well. There are certain ways that you should layer your food and liquid in the blender for best results. This helps the blender blend better, and it helps prevent overheating or ruining the blades.
Don’t blend items that aren’t meant for your blender either. For example, if your blender isn’t designed to handle hot liquids, don’t use it to puree soup. Or, if it isn’t meant to chop nuts, don’t try to make nut butter. Buy the right blender for the features you want to ensure you don’t do these things.
Treat it Kindly
Simple actions like cutting up larger pieces of fruit, adding liquid, and not running the blender for too long at a low speed will help your blender love you back for even longer. Store it properly, clean it properly, and you’ll have a long lasting relationship with your blender.