Whether you're whirling up bananas and berries for smoothies or making a pitcher of frozen margaritas, a quality blender should be able to process your ingredients into smooth, creamy perfection. The GolfHr Institute Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab tested nearly every model on the market to find these high-performance pros.
If you’re wondering what the best blender is for the money, keep in mind that the answer is largely dependent on how often you use the appliance. For infrequent use, an inexpensive budget option could very well be the right choice for you. Keep in mind that most high-end blenders can tackle just about anything, but some consumers complain that budget options have a tendency to burn-out.
Are expensive blenders worth it? A high price tag doesn't necessarily mean a better blender, but it does typically mean a longer-lasting one. For example, the pricey Vitamix, Blendtec and Kitchen Aid’s pro-lines come with upwards of 7-year warranties, where as inexpensive blenders tend to come with much shorter warranties: our Black & Decker budget pick only has a 2-year warranty.
Does wattage matter? Don’t be overly swayed by it: Though the blenders with higher wattage tended to perform better, this was not always the case. The overall design of the blender is more important in determining performance.
The blades: Whilst it seems counter-intuitive, better performing blenders do not come with sharp blades (which tend to dull overtime). Instead, they come with strong blades that stand the test of time and are able to pulverize just about anything. This also makes them much safer to clean.
A lightweight blender is preferable if you’re not planning to keep it on your countertop but is more likely to move around on the countertop when in use. If you plan to keep your blender on the counter, you may also want to consider the height as some models are too tall to fit neatly underneath kitchen cabinets.
Glass or plastic? Most high-powered blenders do not use glass jars because they cannot guarantee to be completely shatterproof. Many of our top performing blenders have jars made of BPA-free Tritan plastic which can withstand the high-speed blades.
If you prefer glass, it won’t retain odors or stain as easily and (so long as you don’t mind that added weight or need the high speed necessary to make nut butters or blend hard vegetables) are suitable for most people. Look for one that’s been thermal shock tested, which means you can blend ice in a canister that's come straight from the dishwasher.
In our Kitchen Lab, we test how well the blenders cab grind coffee beans, blend a kale smoothie, milkshakes, and frozen drinks. We also rate the helpfulness of each blender's manual, each blender's ease of use, assembly, and clean. We also consider how noisy each blender is while operating. Finally, we check how well blenders resist staining from tomato sauce, and measure the damage after 14 cycles in the dishwasher. Below are the top 12 blenders that passed our rigorous tests:
Best Overall Blender: Vitamix E310 Explorian
Best Budget Blender: Black + Decker XL Blast Drink Machine
Best Versatile Blender: Breville Fresh and Furious
Best Personal Blender: Oster My Blend 250-Watt Blender with Travel Sport Bottle
Best Countertop Blender: Nutri-bullet Balance
Best Professional-Grade Blender: Kitchen Aid Series Thermal Control Jar Blender
Best Compact Blender: Vitamix S-Series Blender
Best Blender for Juicing: Blendtec Designer 725 Blender
Best Blender for Soup: Instant-pot Ace 60 Cooking Blender
Best Glass Blender: Cuisinart CBB-1200 Inverted Blender
Best Splurge Blender: Vitamix Professional Series
Best Blender for Baby Food: Baby Brezza Glass One Step Food Maker
It’s a cult fave for a reason: Short of cleaning your kitchen there's nothing the showpiece Vitamix can't do. With pro-quality precision and control, it can make everything from perfectly smooth nut butters to hearty soups and more. The ultra powerful motor has 10 variable speed settings and its heavy duty base won't easily move on the counter when in use.
The controls are intuitive and fuss-free and this machine excelled in every one of our Kitchen Appliances Lab tests, easily grinding coffee beans and whirling up milkshakes and margs in seconds. It's an investment, but you won't find a better-performing more durable pick at a fraction of the cost of other Vitamix models.
Cons: Its only limitations are the steep price tag and the container is on the small side at just six cups.
Looking for an all-star high-performance blender without an excessive price? This Black + Decker is the one. It was also among the quieter models we tested, so you won't have to worry about waking roomies in the a.m. It comes with a koozie for the blender jar and a two-ounce measuring cup. Testers noted it easily powered through tough, fibrous kale for perfectly smooth green smoothies.
Thanks to its XL (eight-cup) capacity and ability to puree fruit and ice for frozen cocktails, the Drink Machine is ideal for those who like to entertain. Plus it's as simple to use as they come, and it earned perfect ease-of-cleaning scores thanks to dishwasher-safe parts.
Cons: Consumers do complain that it does not have a long lifespan and our testers noted that the jar showed some slight staining after testing, but it’s still a terrific bang for your buck.
This powerful Breville takes the guesswork out of making almost anything thanks to task-specific speeds (like chop and liquefy) and preprogrammed settings (green smoothie, anyone?). Experienced and novice cooks will love it). It earned perfect scores for ease of use has easy-to-read measurement markings on the plastic jar and a sleek brushed-stainless exterior to boot.
We were impressed with this state-of-the-art blender's versatility. In our Lab tests, it churned ice cream and milk into creamy, frothy milkshakes without liquefying soft ingredients, then quickly (and evenly) ground a hefty serving of tough coffee beans.
Cons: With its lighter weight, it skidded around on the countertop during our tests.
The Oster My Blend blender is our top recommendation for making smoothies or protein shakes to take on the go. Drinks can be blended directly in the sport bottle, meaning no extra dishes to do. Simply fill the jar with ingredients, twist on to blend, replace the blade with the lid, and you're off.
Cons: This machine is really limited to smoothies and protein shakes and it doesn't perform well with tough leafy greens.
If smoothies are your go-to breakfast, NutriBullet's Bluetooth-connected model can't be beat. Use its app for step-by-step instructions. With the built-in smart scale, you'll know when you've added the right amount of each ingredient, and the built-in tech automatically sets blending speed and time and the app includes the nutritional breakdown of every recipe.
With or without its connectivity, this delivers quality performance: It pulverized kale, liquified frozen fruit and took on a mountain of ice cubes without the need to stop and stir. There are no measurement marking on the plastic jar, but the scale means you won't need them.
We also liked that the base suctions to the countertop to prevent skidding on the countertop, and thanks to its small profile, it can stay put on your counter 24/7.
Cons: The blending cup comes with drinking lids, but we found the caniester a little too big to take on the go and the tech features take some time to get used to.
KitchenAid's sleek and beautifully-designed Pro Line blender is a true dream appliance. Yes it's pricey, but this high-performance model excelled at every test and comes with an impressive 10-year warranty. The controls feature an on/off switch, pulse switch, and dial that can be set from zero to 11- plus pre-programmed settings for soup, smoothies, and juice. The blades, jar and lid and removable handle grip are all dishwasher safe.
Cons: Even more pricey than the benchmark Vitamix.
If you've been lusting after a Vitamix but lack the necessary counter space, check out the more compact S-Series line from the popular brand. The package includes two jars, 20-ounce and 40-ounce, both of which sit atop a six-inch base. Plus, it offers even more blending options than the original.
Cons: Expensive for the size.
The Blendtec Designer 725 comes with a 1725-watt motor, which is the most powerful of all models we tested. Its control panel has a smooth touchscreen for easy cleaning, and delivers blender usage data in addition to quirky feedback on your drinks. You can choose from six pre-programmed settings or up to 100 manual speeds, providing ultimate control and precision when blending.
If that's not enough, Blendtec SmartBlend technology senses problems that arise while blending, such as air pockets or overheating, and suggests solutions. The unique WildSide jar with its extra wide base and fifth “wild” side helps create a smoother blend without the need of a tamper.
Whilst you’re technically not making juice in this blender, it’s so powerful and breaking down fibers with its “whole juice” setting that we think it deserves the credit. Testers also loved that the touch pad is faces upwards and is smooth making it easy to see and wipe clean.
Cons: All that power comes with a lot of noise and some consumers complain that despite the fifth wall, they would still like to have a tamper when blending greens.
Soup fans, look no further: Instant Pot's first foray into the blender category doesn't just pulverize fruit for smoothies: It's able to heat food inside the blender jar to temps upwards of 200°F, making it the ideal tool for processing foods like homemade soup, soy milk, or rice milk. It was able to get super hot when cooking and comes with pre-programmed settings for making ice cream, nut milk, purees, and more.
Cons: It wasn't the best performer when crushing ice or hard foods like kale.
The Cuisinart Inverted blender gets its name because it has a plastic jar that's wide at the bottom and narrow at the top. One of our top performers, this 1200-watt blender has a dial on the stainless steel front control panel that can be set to any speed from 1 to 10, plus an additional pulse setting. Though we found the controls very easy to use
Cons: Testers consistently had a tough time putting the lid on.
This super buzzy blender lives up to the hype. It has a large, 64-ounce clear plastic jar with a nonslip handle to facilitate pouring, and comes with a tamper to help process thick mixtures like nut butters and frozen desserts. The control panel has 10 speeds and five pre-programmed settings, allowing you to make a variety of blended beverages exactly the way you want them (read: not a single strawberry seed or fleck of spinach will be left behind).
Cons: Its only flaw is the price tag.
If your primary reason for blending is whipping up baby purees, look no further than the baby Brezza. This impressive machine can be preset to steam and blend without having to transfer food. This means you can set it and forget it, which as any new parent will tell you, is a lifesaver. It’s also dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
Cons: You won't get the super-smooth consistency of an high-powered blender and the size makes it suitable for small batches of food only.