The stand mixer is the staple in many kitchens. It’s a necessity for baking, but it can also be used for plenty of other foods as well. From whipping cream to mashed potatoes, you’ll find these to be super versatile. Stand mixers aren’t cheap, but if you invest wisely, you’ll have a machine that can last you for years to come.
While KitchenAid is often considered the standard for the stand mixer, there are actually other brands worth paying attention to as well. We reviewed the top stand mixers on the market to offer up this list. However, you’ll want to make sure that any models you’re considering will fit your particular needs. A few considerations to keep in mind:
- Size: Most stand mixers set up permanent residence on the countertop, so be sure there’s enough space for the mixer you’re buying.
- Capacity: Bowl sizes are usually 4.5-5 quarts, but there are smaller and larger sizes out there.
- Attachments: If you want to be able to use specific attachments like a dough hook or even pasta or ice cream makers, make sure you get a mixer that can handle them.
- Power: The wattage and performance of a mixer should be considered, but these specs are secondary to some of the other features (especially capacity and attachments).
- Warranty: Since you’re making an investment, it’s important to make sure the warranty is good. Read through what it covers and not just the length of time it’s for.
As with many other appliances, you really do get what you pay for when it comes to mixers. There are definitely mixers that are more budget-friendly than others, but these may not last as long or perform as well as some of the other models. Consider a cheaper model only if it has excellent reviews (and a lot of them) or if you don’t anticipate using the mixer very often.
Here are picks for the top stand mixers you can buy.
Best KitchenAid Stand Mixers
Since KitchenAid makes the most popular mixers on the market, we’re devoting a whole category just to this brand.
Our Top Pick: KitchenAid Artisan 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
This is the classic stand mixer from KitchenAid. In terms of design, performance, and quality, this one is hard to beat. It comes in 20 different color options so you can absolutely find the best match for your kitchen décor. It also includes all the important attachments: flat beater, dough hook, wire whisk, and pouring shield. Attachments available separately include meat grinder, pasta maker, and more.
The Artisan features 325 watts, 10-speed settings, and a 59-point plenary mixing action – all of this ensures the best possible performance and plenty enough for the home cook or baker. It includes the stainless steel bowl (5 quarts) and has a dozen additional attachment options to get even more from your mixer.
A step up from the Artisan (and a larger capacity), the 600 model is a great option for anyone who needs a bit more power and room to mix. Aside from the capacity and motor, one of the biggest differences between this and the Artisan is the functionality of the bowl. This isn’t a tilting head model; instead, the bowl-lift raises the bowl to the proper location for added stability and efficiency. This model, like the Artisan, it has 10 speeds and it includes the important attachments (hook, whip, and flat beater). It also has the ability to connect to 15 additional attachments, and it comes in up to 20 different colors.
Best Stand Mixers (That Aren’t KitchenAid)
There are plenty of great stand mixers by manufacturers that aren’t KitchenAid! Here are a few of our faves.
Best Value: Cuisinart SM 50 5.5 Quart Stand Mixer
This Cuisinart is our pick for top stand mixer that isn’t a KitchenAid. With a 5.5 quart capacity and a price of under $200, this is a great option for any home cook. The SM boasts a 500-watt motor and has 12 speeds. It includes whisk, dough hook, and mixing paddle, as well as a splash guard. This mixer has its own devotees, so we think it’s one of the best options on the market if you’re looking for something besides KitchenAid.
Best Professional Grade: Ankarsrum AKM 6230 Stand Mixer
Swedish-made Ankarsrum is a highly respected name in the mixer world. The Original Kitchen Machine is more expensive than any of the other mixers we’ve covered, but it is well worth every penny for serious bakers who need the very best. It can easily handle up to 12 pounds of dough, making it a go-to for bakers who make lots of bread. The 600-watt motor is quiet and the construction of the whole machine is top notch. Ankarsrum’s 7-year manufacturer’s warranty is the best you can get. If you’re looking to upgrade your KitchenAid or other mixers and you’re willing to invest, this machine will not let you down.
Best Budget Mixer: Aicok 5 Quart Stand Mixer
If you’re looking for a stand mixer that won’t get a whole lot of use, and you don’t want to spend too much, this Aicok mixer might be right for you. At under $100, it’s way less expensive than even the cheapest KitchenAid, and it has plenty of capabilities. This mixer features a tilt-head and has 6 speeds, plus a 500-watt motor and compact size.
Do You Need a Stand Mixer?
In many cases, home cooks and bakers get by with handheld mixers just fine. That type of mixer is also preferable for folks who lack the storage or counter space for a stand mixer — after all, stand mixers take up quite a bit of room.
But the ease of mixing in a stand mixer cannot be understated. If you do a lot of baking, they’re practically a must-have. Plus, these devices can do so much more than simply mix up dough. You can use them (without additional attachments) for everything from shredding chicken to making fluffy mashed potatoes.
KitchenAid mixers in particular are extremely versatile once you start adding on attachments. We covered some of our favorites, like pasta makers and grain mills, in this article.
Additionally, stand mixers just look cool, and with the huge range of colors and styles available, you can add some flair to your kitchen decor.