The Best Vitamix Blenders on Amazon, According to Thousands of Rave Reviews
You've likely heard of Vitamix. It's the brand that most home cooks and professionals consider as the gold standard of high-performance blending. And rightly so. Almost absurdly powerful and versatile, Vitamix machines are strong enough to grind coffee beans and turn peanuts into velvety butter. Heck, they can even heat soup with the power of friction. And they've been the workhorses powering professional and commercial kitchens for a century.
But that quality typically comes as an investmentthe most no-frills model costs around $ Plus, there are about a dozen options to choose from, ranging from streamlined classics to feature-rich systems with touchscreen controls and stylish metal finishings. So if you're considering buying a Vitamix of your own, it can be a challenge to find the right fit.
Related: The Absolute Best Blenders, According to Tests
Thankfully, Vitamix blender owners are a passionate bunch, leaving thousands of helpful tips, tricks, and thoughts in reviews. And to see what they consider the best of the best, we trawled through the ratings from real shoppers who have purchased and tested out the blenders themselves. What we found were eight top-rated Vitamix blenders that work so well, users can't stop raving about them.
Here are the best Vitamix blenders on Amazon:
Keep reading to learn more about why Vitamix blenders are so celebrated, and shop the eight blenders customers love the most.
What makes Vitamix blenders so great?
"At a minimum, a good machine should be capable of processing tough, fibrous, and icy materialslike leafy greens, frozen fruit, and ice cubesinto a smooth puree," writes Sarah Karnasiewicz in our test to find the best blender. "It should also have strength and stamina, with a build quality that doesn't crack or leak under repeated use and a motor powerful enough that it won't smoke or sputter out at the first challenge."
Vitamix machines definitely go above and beyond that minimum for a couple of reasons. First, all Vitamix blades are made with aircraft-grade stainless steel, which easily tackles ingredients like nuts, seeds, and coffee beans. Plus, they're tough enough to last for years, meaning speedy smoothies for years to come.
Another component that makes Vitamixes last so long is their cool-running motors. Over the Ohio-based company's near-century of business, Vitamix engineers have designed and perfected a system that allows air to flow around the motor, channeling cooling temps to the spots that need it so it won't overheat. Not only does this make Vitamix blenders quieter than others on the market, but it also keeps those blades turning for decades.
Related: The 10 Best Food Processors for Chopping, Slicing, and Dicing in Seconds
A powerful blender is no use if it's confusing to operate or cumbersome to clean. Whether you opt for a tactile dial or a smart touchscreen interface, Vitamix machines are designed with simple speed controls that you can adjust throughout the blend. What's more, with a drop of dish soap and warm water, the Vitamix machine cleans itself in 30 to 60 seconds.
Lastly, one of the most beloved aspects of Vitamix is its customer support. New machines are insured by up to a year full warranty that covers parts, performance, and return shipping both ways. (Certified Reconditioned Vitamix blenders are covered by a five-year warranty.) In addition, the Vitamix website is chock-full of tips, tricks, and information on its machines, and also hosts a forum for passionate users to connect.
Now, on to the top-rated blenders.
Best Rated: Vitamix Blender
With nearly 4, reviews and 4, perfect ratings, the Vitamix is Amazon's best-rated Vitamix. Users gush about the machine's power and dependability, calling it the "Chuck Norris of blenders" and "a way of life." And it's not hard to see why. It features a classic, simple design that makes it a great introduction to the brand.
The , Vitamix's basic model, has a tall, ounce container and easy-to-use variable speed dial, which runs from truly quiet, low settings to electrifying high speeds with impressive subtlety. Its aircraft-grade stainless steel blades easily pulverize seeds and nuts for homemade butters, and are also capable of the famous Vitamix ability to transform cold ingredients to steaming hot soup in about six minutes. (And for adventurous bakers, the can also mill grains.) And unlike other blenders, the 's radial cooling fan and thermal protection system keep your machine from overheating.
"Just ordered a 3rd Vitamix ," said a small business owner. "I have had two since They each lasted about 8 years with heavy use. I use them in a small Espresso bar and I figure they each blended 25, to 40, drinks each before dying. For home-use the Vitamix should go forever."
To buy: $ (originally $) at amazon.com
Best Overall: Vitamix A Ascent Series Smart Blender
When people gush about Vitamix in practically reverent tones, it's likely they're thinking of the company's Ascent seriesand the A is the top of the line. With the A, you get the Ascent platform with its wireless connectivity and a system of Self-Detect containers, easy-to-clean touchscreen controls, a programmable built-in timer, and a clear locking lid to keep an eye on how your ingredients are blending. You can even pair your A with the Vitamix Perfect Blend App to get access to 17 programs and hundreds of recipes.
Hundreds of shoppers, including dozens who rate the blenders five stars on Amazon, swear by the power of the machine. They rave about how much quieter the A is than older versions, as well as how much of a difference the wireless connectivity makes.
"$ for a blender seems silly, but I would make this purchase again," one said. "The A is built like a tank, beautiful to look at, and noticeably quieter than my friends' older Vitamix models."
"The best of the best," a second shopper wrote. "I've been wanting a Vitamix for awhile now and I'm so happy I finally made the purchase. I use this thing everyday and can't help but smile with amazement everytime. This thing is a workhorse! As a peanut butter junkie, Vitamix scratches that itch. Making homemade nut butter is so easy with this and it's done in less than a minute. Not to mention peanut butter tastes so much better homemade than store bought. You can control what goes into every batch. Ice cream and smoothies are also a breeze with this machine. I was afraid of a learning curve, but the A makes blending so easy. My favorite feature is the set and walk away or maybe it's the use of the Vitamix app to control my blend? Either way this thing has changed my nutritional life and I'm so happy I pulled the trigger on it."
To buy: $ (originally $) at amazon.com
Best for Precision: Vitamix A Ascent Series Smart Blender
For a smart appliance that gives you tactile control, look at Vitamix's A Ascent blender. It has the same wireless and Bluetooth connectivity as the A model, but offers a variable dial control to manually fine-tune the texture of any recipe. It also features a built-in timer to make it easier to blend and multitask and automatically adjusts to Vitamix's wide variety of cup, bowl, and container sizes.
Amazon shoppers love their A machines for their convenience and performance, saying it's "the best blender out there." It's no wonder it's earned a star rating.
"Not only amazed by the power it has but also by the control," one said. "I do a lot of tropical fruit juices, passion fruit is a big hit at home (in Brazil). Blending passion fruit on speed 1 gets the pulp out without breaking the seeds, producing a much better juice."
Another added, "This thing tears through any food item you place inside of it. We purchased it to replace an aging Cuisinart blender, and the difference is night and day. Previous smoothies would sometimes have a few chucks left over, but with this it is % liquid."
To buy: $ (originally $) at amazon.com
Best Quality: Vitamix Blender (Renewed)
Reconditioned Vitamix blenders cost hundreds of dollars less than their brand-new counterparts. If something is too good to be true, it's ok to be a bit suspicious, right? Well, we have good news you can actually trust: Those Reconditioned Vitamixes are worth getting.
Yes, "reconditioned" means previously owned, but in order to make it into your waiting arms, certified-reconditioned Vitamix blenders go through a rigorous step process where all of the components are tested to ensure they work. During the procedure, specialists fix elements like dull blades or unstable rubber feet, as well as replace the container and tamper. In addition, any machine older than five years is automatically disqualified and recycled. After your blender is re-boxed and arrives on your doorstep, you can rest easy with Vitamix's three- or five-year warranty, which repairs or replaces machine parts at no charge (including shipping).
This is a prime example of when reconditioned just makes sense. Just like unused versions, it has those incredible stainless steel blades and simple-to-use speed dial. It also has a low-profile ounce container that is ideal for large batches and easily fits in kitchen cabinets. But while a new machine will cost you more than $, this renewed blender is just $ on Amazon. And judging by the hundreds of five-star reviews and star rating, it seems like customers are more than satisfied.
"When I discovered Vitamix's certified reconditioned blenders I felt, at first, that they were too good to be true," wrote a college student looking for a blender that would last. "But as soon as I saw it and used it I knew I'd made the best decision. My certified reconditioned Vitamix looked and smelled so pristine and new! It worked great the first time. I made a chocolate banana smoothie and it effortlessly pulverized the frozen banana and ice cubes in less than 30 seconds. The result was the smoothest smoothie I've ever had. I have used it several times and every time I am amazed!"
Another added, "Though refurbished, it looked totally new when I received it. I couldn't see any signs of wear and it's now been almost a year and I have to say it's one of my favorite and most used appliances. I opted for the model with a shorter profile to fit under my cabinets. I was worried that due to its wider proportions, I'd have a harder time blending smaller amounts, but that hasn't been a problem for me at all."
To buy: $ at amazon.com
Best Compact: Vitamix Professional Series
For home cooks looking for a classic Vitamix with a few more bells and whistles than the , check out the Pro model. It's the home model our blender tester relies on, featuring a peak horsepower motor, as well as five programmed settings to handle smoothies, hot soups, frozen desserts, purées, and self-cleaning without the guesswork.
Its ounce container features an ergonomically designed rubber handle for easy pouring. And while this model weighs about 12 pounds, you won't mind leaving it on your counter for all to admire. (If you do want to store it away, the low-profile container makes it a cinch to tuck under cabinets.)
On Amazon, the Pro has an incredible star rating, with consumers raving about durability and power.
"The Vitamix blows me away," one wrote. "It has so much power it grinds ice cubes into slush with no problem (a task that my Breville did, but labored to do). The base of the blender is built like a tank. I also really like the automated 'modes' which work really well."
Another added, "This is a really well made machine that makes easy work of all my blending needs. No more soaking nuts for cashew cream or nut butters. Perfect smoothies, sauces, soups, banana ice cream, and my own weird vegan-ish creations! I am in love and I never take it off my counter."
To buy: $ (originally $) at amazon.com
Best Professional: Vitamix Blender
If you're tempted by the 10 adjustable speeds of the Pro , but prefer to spend a little less, the Vitamix is a great option. Really, the only difference between the two is that the lacks the pre-programmed options, like smoothies, soups, or self-cleaning. But many Amazon reviewers favor the level of control, with more than of them rating the Vitamix five stars.
"Wanting to get into a blender with full control over the whole process, I opted for a Vitamix that had no built in programs," a reviewer wrote. "I saw no need for that level of automation over a process that would not last that long start to finish. As a result of several YouTube videos, we make a glorious green smoothie every morning and love it. We feel very good about what we are doing and the nutrition we are consuming, especially the added fiber from natural sources. The blender performs perfectly without a flaw and the power is nothing short of amazing."
Plus, the boasts that incredible Vitamix power: "We have searched as a family long and wide for good quality grinders of rice flour to make the south Indian delicacy, dosas," said a user. "Grinders can be huge and don't always work so we resort to trying different blenders and other techniques. This is one of the first blenders to have done the job rightit's powerful and easy to use."
To buy: $ (originally $) at amazon.com
Best for Simplicity: Vitamix E Explorian Blender
Vitamix's Explorian line combines the power and durability of its traditional blenders but in a no-frills package. They're ideal for buyers on a budget who also want a brand-new blender.
The E has many of the features you'd expect in a Vitamix: a peak horsepower motor, laser-cut blades, and a pulse function for heartier recipes. But rather than programmed settings, the E has a speed tactile dial for variable speed control. In addition, it has a narrower, ounce containerperfect for smaller families and tight kitchens.
The E is so popular that it's earned a remarkable star rating from more than 2, reviewers who say the device is versatile, durable, and high-quality.
"I am in college and I live alone so getting the smaller [and] cheaper blender made sense to me," said a customer who was looking for a sturdier blender. "It does the same blending that all the other models can do, but without the fancy extras such as touch screen and pre-programmed setting. This blender was a great upgrade for me and because of how much it can do Conclusion: If you are looking for a blender that can make small servings for only yourself or for you and a friend then look no further. While this blender is not cheap, it is the best blender you can get for this price."
Another user, who referred to Vitamix as the holy grail of blenders, described how well the E fit into her lifestyle. "What sold me ultimately was 1. the smaller size (the classic ones are larger), and 2. I thought about how much I spend (or would like to spend) at my local smoothie/juice bar. A ounce smoothie costs a ridiculous $8 to 9, and a juice at least that much, if not more. If I could afford it, I would have gotten one daily. So, this Vitamix pays for itself in about a month."
To buy: $ at amazon.com
Best Entry-Level: Vitamix One
To mix things up after years of crafting renowned blenders, Vitamix launched the One. It's the brand's most streamlined machine yetit forgoes blending presets and pulse options for a single dial to control its horsepower motorand also its most affordable. The One costs only $
The machine comes with a ounce container that easily fits under most kitchen cabinets and takes up a relatively small space with its inch by 7-inch footprint. The stainless steel blades easily break down ingredients for smoothies, dips, and sauces, and it comes with a mini tamper for superior textures. However, this model isn't made to handle hot soups, thick nut butters, or tough grains, so it's better for home cooks who are sticking to basic recipes, rather than experts looking to experiment.
Despite launching less than a year ago, Vitamix fans have already enthusiastically accepted the One. An Amazon shopper said, "I"ve got to say, I love my full sized Vitamix but it is BIG and takes up a lot of room on my counter. This is the solution. It's easy to use and has a much smaller footprint than my bigger blender and is sufficient for most things I use it for."
To buy: $ at amazon.com
Best for Small Kitchens: Vitamix Immersion Blender
This Vitamix blender is an excellent pick for anyone with limited counter or cabinet space. The handheld device weighs just under 3 pounds, but packs a watt motor and five speeds to easily blend ingredients directly in a bowl, pot, or a cup that's at least 3 inches wide. You can even operate with one hand while adding ingredients with the other. And because it wouldn't be a Vitamix without the thoughtful details, the immersion blender has a scratch-resistant guard to prevent its stainless steel blades from scratching your pots and pans.
Tons of happy customers have left reviews on Amazon, including one who said, "There is no match for this four-bladed Tasmanian whirlwind. This will make short work of blending anything you can think of and is easier to clean than a standard blender."
Another added, "What I really love is that I can blend it in any container (as long as it's wide enough) so I don't dirty as many dishes. I also like that I can blend small quantities that are too small to blend in my Vitamix Pro."
To buy: $ at amazon.com
The 9 Best Commercial Blenders in for All Your Cooking Needs
Welcome to the Thomas guide to the best commercial blenders in Thomas has been connecting North American industrial buyers and suppliers for more than years. When you purchase products through our independent recommendations, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Need a blender that can crush ice in seconds, or ensure your smoothie shop provides a perfectly blended beverage every time? A commercial blender can not only handle the wear and tear of constant use, but can also save your business valuable time and money. Stronger, and more heavy-duty than your average household blender, some commercial models have the same wattage as portable generators, meaning that they will pulverize anything you throw in them. Like any industrial mixing equipment, choosing the right tool for your needs is essential, and we’ve researched the best commercial blenders preferred by top chefs, from top brands like Mueller and Vitamix, so you can find the right one for you.
Image credit: Shutterstock/FOTOGRIN
How to Select the Right Blender for Your Needs
In addition to blending, chopping, grinding, and smoothing, modern blenders can do all kinds of other things like heating cold foods in minutes, and even cleaning themselves. Most commercial blenders are very user-friendly, with few speeds and minimal buttons but are made to stand up to continuous, heavy-duty use. For a busy restaurant, a large-capacity blender with easily replaceable industrial parts, and a long-term warranty is optimal. If your coffee shop is a haven for students, writers, or professionals coming to do some work, a quieter machine is going to reduce noise pollution and keep them coming back. For bigger families, you can easily find an economical model that takes care of making everything from smoothies and soups to salsas and nut butters. We’ve also found a couple of impressive hand and immersion blenders for whisking, chopping, and blending large quantities directly in the pot. Have a scroll down to see our top picks for the best commercial blender for every need.
Thomas’ Top 9 Picks for the Best Commercial Blenders in
1. Best Commercial Blender on Amazon—Cleanblend
At watts, and with eight stainless steel blades, even the hardest fruits and vegetables are guaranteed to be liquefied in the Cleanblend commercial blender which comes with a ounce, BPA-free container. In addition, Cleanblend offers a five-year warranty to keep your mind at ease. “Hands down the best blender money can buy,” described one satisfied customer. “I have owned blenders costing hundreds more, but Cleanblend is the best. It makes smooth creamy smoothies, pulverizes whole grains into flour, and turns oil and egg whites into mayo.”
BUY NOW: $, Amazon
2. Best Heavy-Duty Commercial Blender—Vitamix
Vitamix has designed this blender with the professional kitchen in mind. Featuring five program settings and 10 speeds, along with a ounce container angled for optimum blending, this tool can even make cold foods piping hot in under 10 minutes. With 96% satisfied customers on Amazon and a self-cleaning function, this machine is worth its steeper price tag. One happy customer shared, “The quality is superior, the container is thick plastic and won't break, and it blends frozen fruit chunks with ease.”
BUY NOW: $, Amazon
3. Best Professional Commercial Blender—Waring
This Waring Xtreme commercial blender was designed for making professional drinks in restaurants, bars, or coffee and smoothie shops. The BPA-free, ounce container has a four-blade design with a removable pour cap for easily adding additional ingredients while it's blending. It has a simple user-friendly design with just three settings—high, low, and pulse—so you won’t find any fiddly bells and whistles here. Though a little on the noisier side, buyers are thrilled with how powerful this thing is, and one customer wrote, “[It] just destroys anything that I put in it. Ice is a breeze, and finally I can enjoy a green smoothie with the consistency that I actually prefer.”
BUY NOW: $, Amazon
4. Best Budget Commercial Blender—WantJoin
At under $, this WantJoin blender has features you’d expect in a more expensive model, including a watt motor, a self-cleaning function, a timer that shuts off automatically between 1–5 minutes, and three different settings for making the perfect smoothies, crushing ice, or pureeing hot liquids. There are also an additional five untimed settings too. Its ounce container is BPA-free and designed to withstand high temperatures without cracking. One enthusiastic customer wrote, “Seems like a great budget alternative to a Vitamix, and is just as powerful.”
BUY NOW: $, Amazon
5. Best Quiet Commercial Blender—Blendtec
Blenders are not exactly known for their quiet function, but this Blendtec model has a specialized sound-reduction enclosure, and one happy buyer described it as “quiet enough to have a conversation over and powerful enough to blend to perfection.” It has a ounce blending capacity container that is made from a BPA-free material and has been designed to fold ingredients more efficiently and even heat frozen foods within minutes. With 11 speeds and a control panel that offers additional speed control, this tool flawlessly blends foods every single time.
BUY NOW: $, Amazon
6. Best Large Capacity Commercial Blender—Waring
With a one-gallon capacity, this Waring CB15 stainless-steel blender is perfect for those busy commercial kitchens, and at over 32 pounds, is also the heaviest and most durable blender on our list. It has three speeds and a pulse function and comes with a three-year warranty. One consumer, a restaurant owner, explained, “You have to get used to it because it's so powerful. Easy to clean, [and] use. Worth the investment. You will get your investment back just on labor savings alone.”
BUY NOW: $1,, Amazon
7. Best Self-Cleaning Commercial Blender—Vitamix
Anything with “self-cleaning” in the title piques our interest, and the Vitamix ounce commercial blender can do just that—clean itself—in under a minute. It has 10 different speeds that can change at the flick of a switch for optimal control when making perfectly consistent dips or creamy smoothies. The four blades are capable of creating friction heat to warm cold foods in around five minutes, and it comes with a seven-year warranty covering all parts of the machine. “Vitamix is a game-changer in adding healthy and highly nutritious food to [your] routine," described one buyer, adding that you can make "nut milks, green juices, nut butters, smoothies, and even warm soups [with] less prep and no straining. [It’s also] self-cleaning in seconds.”
BUY NOW: $ (Was $), Amazon
8. Best Commercial Hand Blender—Mueller
As Amazon’s choice for the best hand blender, and with 94% positive customer reviews, this tool includes a mini-food processor, a beaker that can substitute as a measuring cup, and two attachments for whisking, chopping, or blending. Its watt speed and 12 settings with turbo-mode make it useful for blending foods quickly. One customer raved, “This smart stick is amazing. I’ve had other hand blenders before but this one takes the cake by a landslide. The attachments all fit great and connect easily. I love the ability to adjust the speed dial in addition to the turbo power button.”
BUY NOW: $ (Was $), Amazon
9. Best Immersion Commercial Blender—Waring
This heavy-duty Waring stick immersion blender has a foot-long stainless-steel rod capable of mixing 10 gallons of food at a time. Its hands-free operation allows for continuous use without having to hold the button down. With 10 dial speeds, this appliance can whip sauces, soups, or dips to the perfect consistency. In addition, the rubber grip reduces hand fatigue when using for long periods of time. One restaurant owner shared, “It sees heavy use in a very busy commercial kitchen This blender has been accidentally fully immersed in BBQ sauce, and has not missed a beat.”
BUY NOW: $, Amazon
Best Commercial Blenders —Summary
For the busy commercial kitchen, we recommend the large-capacity Waring CB15 stainless-steel blender. For overall functionality at a great price, the affordable WantJoin professional commercial blender is our top pick. We hope our review of the best Commercial Blenders has been helpful. For more suppliers of blenders, including flour blenders, grain blenders, and liquor blenders, consult our additional guides or visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform.
*Prices listed in this article were as shown on Amazon.com as of March
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A blender is the only machine in your kitchen that can produce a beverage from chunks of ice and fruit in less than 60 seconds. And no other blender we’ve tested since can reliably produce silky soups, spoon-thick smoothies, and stable emulsifications like the Vitamix Yes, it’s pricey, but we think its powerful motor, nuanced controls, and long-lasting reliability make it worth the investment.
In our tests, from to now, Vitamix blenders have always performed the best overall. The classic Vitamix is the only one we’ve tried that can make creamy peanut butter and puree hearty soup without spewing molten liquid up the sides of the jar. It doesn’t have any preset buttons, but it does offer the widest range of speeds (far wider than on the comparably priced Blendtec Designer ) of any blender we’ve tested. It’s a favorite in many (if not most) professional kitchens and juice bars. We’ve also found the Vitamix to be one of the most reliable and durable blenders we’ve tested, and if the motor burns out within the seven-year warranty period, Vitamix will promptly replace the machine.
The Oster Versa Pro Series Blender is the best of a new breed of more budget-friendly high-powered blenders. Compared with similarly priced blenders, this 1,watt model offers more speed variations and runs more quietly; it’s also one of the few models that come with a tamper for bursting air pockets in thick mixtures. At 17½ inches tall, it will fit better on a counter under a cabinet than most other high-performance blenders. We don’t think this is the absolute best blender out there, and it doesn’t compare to Vitamix blenders in power and longevity (we burned out our Oster after two and a half years), but it does have serious blending skills, a user-friendly design, and a solid, seven-year warranty. If you don’t want to throw down almost half a grand on a powerful blender, the Oster is your best bet.
If you’re not ready to spring for the Vitamix, and you don’t mind trading the Oster’s longer warranty for a little more power, go for the 1,watt Cleanblend Blender. The Cleanblend’s strong motor helps pulverize berry seeds and ice, creating creamier smoothies and piña coladas than even the Vitamix can produce. This model’s jar is made of thick, durable Tritan plastic and has a comfortable, grippy handle. Unlike the Oster blender, the Cleanblend doesn’t have any preset buttons and doesn’t offer much variance between the low and high speeds. In our testing, the Cleanblend’s motor has held up better than the Oster’s and is still going strong after four years of regular use. But Cleanblend covers this blender with only a five-year warranty, in contrast to the seven years of coverage from both Vitamix and Oster. And since Cleanblend has been around only since , we’re still a little uncertain of the company’s staying power and the reliability of its customer service.
Not everyone wants to spend $, let alone over $, on a blender. If you want a blender for whipping up the occasional sauce or smoothie, the KitchenAid K 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender is the best model available for around $ With a ounce jar and a low profile, the K is the smallest blender we recommend in this guide. It produced coarser textures than any of our other picks did, and its motor isn’t nearly as powerful (so it’s more likely to burn out if overtaxed). Another compromise you make for the price is in the warranty, as unlike our other picks the KitchenAid is covered for only one year. But it’s a good, all-purpose blender that’s small enough to fit on the counter under most kitchen cabinets.
Why you should trust us
As a senior staff writer for Wirecutter, I’ve covered everything from chef’s knives to stand mixers, and I’ve tested every blender worth testing since I also have a breadth of cooking and entertaining knowledge from decades of working in restaurants and magazine test kitchens. This guide builds on the work of Christine Cyr Clisset, now a deputy editor at Wirecutter.
We reached out to Jonathan Cochran, a former blender salesperson who now runs the site Blender Dude, for his take on the best Vitamix and Blendtec models to test (his site has affiliate partnerships with both companies). For our original guide, authored by Seamus Bellamy, we consulted with Lisa McManus, an executive editor in charge of equipment testing at Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines.
Blender vs. food processor: Which one should you get?
Although there’s some overlap in what they can do, blenders and food processors aren’t interchangeable appliances. A countertop blender is a better tool for making purees, quick sauces, and emulsifications (such as mayonnaise and vinaigrette), and it’s the only appliance that can whip berries and fibrous veggies into a silky-smooth texture. Because a blender’s jar is narrow and usually angled at the base, it creates a vortex that helps pass ingredients through the blades more frequently than in a food processor, yielding smoother textures.
With a little effort, you can also puree wet ingredients (such as tomatoes for sauce) in a food processor, but the doughnut-shaped container doesn’t handle liquids as well as a blender’s jar does—it tends to leak. A food processor works fine for thick purees like hummus and is great for sauces with a coarser texture like pesto. But it can’t make a good smoothie and—since you can’t control the speed of the blades—is liable to shoot hot soup everywhere. Instead, a food processor is best for chopping, slicing, and grating. With the right attachment, it can even mix and knead dough. Many people use food processors for mincing vegetables, but this appliance is also your best friend for easily grating cheese, slicing potatoes for a gratin, grinding fresh bread crumbs, or quickly cutting butter into flour to make pie dough.
In short, blenders liquefy, food processors chop and slice. Depending on your needs, you might choose one over the other, or you might want both. We have a guide to the best food processors, too, if you’re interested.
What type of blender should you get?
A countertop blender delivers the silkiest smoothies, daiquiris, soups, and sauces of any style of blender you can buy. It’s more versatile than a personal blender (which is meant mainly for smoothies) because it holds more and can handle hot liquids. It’s also more powerful than an immersion blender, which is great for pureeing soups directly in the pot or making a quick mayo but doesn’t yield the velvety textures you get from a good countertop blender.
That said, a blender’s performance and longevity are usually proportional to its cost. High-end blenders are more powerful and designed to puree the thickest mixtures without burning out, something that inexpensive blenders simply can’t do. If you want a kitchen workhorse—a machine that can tackle everything from hot soups and sauces to thick frozen concoctions—a full-size, high-powered blender is the best choice. How much you should spend on one depends on exactly what you’ll use it for. Below is a breakdown of what each of our picks will do for you.
Get our budget pick, the KitchenAid, if:
- You use your blender only for the occasional smoothie, frozen drink, or soup.
- You don’t blend nut butters or other motor-taxing mixtures.
- A short, limited one-year warranty isn’t a concern.
Get our runner-up, the Oster, or our also-great pick, the Cleanblend, if:
- You blend no more than a few times a week.
- You rarely make nut butters.
- A five- or seven-year warranty is important to you.
Get our top pick, the Vitamix, if:
- Blending is part of your daily lifestyle.
- You frequently blend thick, motor-taxing mixtures like nut butters and spoonable smoothies.
- You want a blender with the widest range of speeds for easily doing everything from blending hot liquids to pulverizing ice cubes.
- A seven-year warranty is important to you.
Alternatively, if you just want to make a daily smoothie, you might be better off with a NutriBullet (we’ve tested them all).
How we picked
Since , we’ve researched or tested almost every decent household blender available, from budget models starting at $40 to powerful, high-performance models topping out at $ In all this testing, we’ve found the following criteria to be the most important to look for in a blender:
Jar shape and motor strength
A great blender should be able to smoothly process tough items like fibrous kale, frozen berries, and ice without burning out the motor. How efficiently a blender does this depends on a combination of the blade length and position, the shape of the mixing jar, and the motor strength. All three of those elements combine to create a vortex that pulls food down around the blade.
In our testing, we’ve found that tall, tapered jars with a curved bottom develop a more consistent vortex than short, wide ones with a flat bottom. But the better blending that you get from a taller, tapered jar comes with a trade-off: A fully assembled blender might be too tall to fit under low-hanging cabinets. Blenders with wide, short jars are better for countertop storage, but you’re sacrificing performance for that convenience.
A more powerful motor also helps to create a better vortex and blends thick mixtures more easily than a weaker one. But a blender’s power rating isn’t easy information to come by. Most blender companies advertise only “peak horsepower,” a spec that’s misleading if you’re trying to determine a motor’s strength. A motor works at peak horsepower for just a fraction of a second, when you start the blender, in order to overcome inertia. Immediately after, the motor drops to its “rated horsepower,” which is the amount of power it can sustain without burning out. As explained on Cooking For Engineers, you can get a ballpark estimate of a blender’s rated horsepower by dividing its wattage by (because watts equals approximately one unit of electrical horsepower). This equation doesn’t account for efficiency, but it does offer a more realistic approximation of a blender’s power output.
We’ve found that tall, tapered jars with a curved bottom develop a more consistent vortex than short, wide ones with a flat bottom.
Most of the blenders we’ve tested come with plastic jars. All of our picks have jars made of BPA-free Tritan plastic, which is very durable. Many of the lower-end blenders we’ve tested don’t advertise which material their jars are made of beyond a “BPA-free” note. But the majority of these jars are probably made of polycarbonate, which is more rigid than Tritan but also very strong. Both materials will crack if heated too high, which is why these jars should not go in the dishwasher.
We understand that some folks prefer metal or glass jars. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a powerful blender with a glass jar, and there’s probably a good reason for this. As April Jones explains in her article on Cooking For Engineers: “Due to the high-speed blades and high horsepower motors, glass isn’t the safest option for professional-grade blenders. If a metal object, such as a spoon or knife, were accidentally left in the blender, a glass pitcher could shatter and potentially cause an injury. Using polycarbonate plastics or copolyester is a much safer option to avoid the hazard of broken glass.” Stainless steel jars are durable but opaque, and we like to monitor the progress of purees and emulsifications without having to remove the lid.
Judging from buyer reviews, the holy grail for many home cooks seems to be a $50 or $ blender that performs like a $ Vitamix or Blendtec. But that isn’t realistic. High-end blenders priced at $ and up—often called high-performance blenders—offer more power, produce much smoother textures, and generally last a lot longer than lower-end, under-$ blenders. High-performance blenders also tackle tasks that you’d never want to try in a cheap blender, such as making peanut butter or milling grains.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with a cheap blender as long as you understand its limitations. Some people want an affordable midrange blender to make the occasional daiquiri or smoothie. So we’ve tested blenders in a wide range of prices with the understanding that, for the most part, you get what you pay for.
The most common complaint we’ve found about cheap blenders is that their motors burn out easily and their jars crack or leak. But it’s not impossible for even higher-end blenders to encounter burnout. As Lisa McManus, executive editor in charge of equipment testing at Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, told our writer Seamus Bellamy in an interview for our guide, “Blenders have a really hard job to do in that little space. The motor is only so big. If you make it do something difficult every day, a lot of them burn out. It’s a lot of stress to put on a little machine.” This is why a long warranty is important, especially if you’re paying a lot for a blender. Vitamix, Oster, and Cleanblend models all come with warranties of five to seven years, and—at least for Vitamix machines—we’ve read plenty of owner reviews saying the blender lasts much longer. You can’t expect that level of performance from dirt-cheap blenders, which is probably why most of them come with only one-year limited warranties.
Whether you choose a blender with manual controls or preset functions is largely a personal preference. But we appreciate a powerful blender with a simple interface that includes an on/off switch, a pulse button, and a variable-speed dial. These easy controls allow you to quickly adjust the speed or turn off the machine if things get messy.
Preset programs for making smoothies, mixing soups, or crushing ice can be great if you want to multitask in the kitchen while blending. But we’ve also found that these functions rarely deliver purees as smooth as when we control the speed and time with the manual setting.
In our years of testing, we’ve found that a tamper—a small plastic bat that lets you push food down into the blades—separates the great blenders from the good ones. When a blender is really cranking, air pockets tend to form around the blade, and a tamper allows you to burst them without having to stop the machine. The tamper that comes with a blender is designed to safely clear the blades of that particular model, as long as you use it with the lid on. Using a different tamper or another tool that might hit the moving blades is dangerous and could damage the machine. If your blender doesn’t come with a tamper, the only way you should burst air pockets is to turn the machine off, remove the jar from the base, and stir the mixture with a spoon.
So why don’t all blenders come with a tamper? Because forcing frozen and thick mixtures into the blades puts a lot of stress on the motor. Performance blenders that include tampers have powerful motors that can handle this stress—they’re designed for it. But cheaper blenders have weaker motors. If they were to include tampers, people would probably push these machines past their limits, ultimately prompting the motor to burn out.
How we tested
We judged each model on how well it performed everyday blending jobs such as making thick frozen smoothies and hot soups. We also wanted to see which blenders could emulsify eggs and oil into mayonnaise and pulverize nuts into a smooth butter. In each blender, we made a thick green smoothie packed with frozen bananas and berries, kale, and coconut water. We looked at each blender’s ability to create a consistent vortex without taxing the motor or needing additional liquid. Afterward, we tasted the smoothies to assess mouthfeel, and then we strained the remainder through a fine-mesh sieve to see how well the blenders had pulverized tough greens and berry seeds.
A blender can be a useful tool for making emulsified sauces such as mayonnaise, hollandaise, vinaigrettes, and Caesar dressing, so we tested each model’s ability to emulsify mayonnaise made with one egg yolk. Making a successful blender mayonnaise (or hollandaise or Caesar) hinges on the blades sitting low enough in the jar that they start whipping the egg yolk before you add a drop of oil.
To see how the motors handled dense purees, we processed raw peanuts into peanut butter. With our finalists, we made rounds of piña coladas to see how well they blended ice into slush.
Additionally, we noted how easy or difficult each blender was to clean, how noisy each model was, whether any of them produced a burning smell while the motor ran, whether the jars were difficult to attach to the bases, and how easy the interfaces were to use.
Our pick: Vitamix
The Vitamix offers the best performance you can get in a home blender. This model has been one of our favorite blenders since , and it’s the classic Vitamix that has remained the standard for pro chefs and blender enthusiasts. It consistently performed at the top of the pack in our tests, and it came recommended to us by multiple experts because it powerfully purees and pulverizes food more reliably, thoroughly, and elegantly than most blenders.
The Vitamix did not make the absolute smoothest smoothies of all the blenders we tested—that prize went to the Blendtec and Cleanblend machines. But when it came to consistent and graceful performance, the Vitamix won every time. This model was the only blender we tested that smoothly blended peanuts and almonds into butter. And whereas other blenders, such as the Blendtec, Cleanblend, and Oster, spit bits of mayo up the sides of the jar and out the lid’s center hole, the Vitamix kept the mixture smoothly and evenly moving around the base of the blade.
We found Vitamix’s variable-speed dial to have the best range among the blenders we tried. Its low is really low, and the blender produces a noticeable shift as you advance through each number. In our tests, this range of speeds made the Vitamix the best blender for hot liquids: You can start blending at a lazy swirl and slowly increase the speed so that the hot liquid is less likely to shoot up toward the lid and risk a volcanic, trip-to-the-burn-unit situation. In comparison, the Cleanblend has a forceful start on the lowest setting, which increases the chances of a painful eruption when you’re blending hot soups. The same goes for the Blendtec Designer , which in our tests was so powerful that the soup setting created a cyclone in a jar.
The Vitamix’s tamper is essential for breaking up air pockets and pushing ingredients down toward the blade while the machine is running. When using models without a tamper, we often needed to stop the blender to burst air pockets or scrape ingredients down the sides of the jar with a spatula. In some cases, we also had to add more water to the smoothie to get all the ingredients to move around the blades without the help of a tamper. For all these reasons, blending in the Vitamix with a tamper took about half the time as it took in the Blendtec with no included tamper. By keeping the ingredients moving, we were able to whip up a smoothie in about 30 seconds.
The Vitamix’s Tritan-plastic jar feels sturdier than those of the other blenders we recommend, and the grippy handle is comfortable to hold. We also found the tall, narrow, tapered shape of the jar to be ideal for creating a strong vortex that pulled ingredients down toward the blade. That feature helped the Vitamix blend more efficiently than the Oster, with its wider jar, and the result was vastly superior to what we got from the wide, blocky jar of the Blendtec. Like the jars of most other high-powered blenders, the jar of the Vitamix (which has the blade attached) is very easy to clean: After you make a smoothie or something similar, you should find it sufficient to just pour in a bit of hot water, add a couple of drops of dish soap, blend for 30 seconds or so, and then rinse out the jar.
No high-powered blender we tested could be described as quiet, but we found the noise from the Vitamix to be much less offensive than the high-pitched whine of the Blendtec, and it was quieter than the roar of our runner-up, the Oster Versa.
Should its motor overheat, the Vitamix is equipped with an automatic shutoff feature to keep it from burning out. In our experience, the Vitamix should be able to handle a lot before it gets to that point, but if your Vitamix does shut off, it’s best to let the machine rest for an hour before you try to use it again.
One thing that softens the blow of spending more than $ on a Vitamix is the comfort of knowing that it’s backed by a seven-year warranty. We called Vitamix’s customer service and learned that the approximate time between filing a claim and receiving your blender back in working order (or a certified refurb) is six to 10 days. For an additional fee, you can buy a three-year extended warranty for the If you purchase a new Vitamix from the company’s site or from a certified third-party retailer, such as Amazon, you have 30 days from the date of purchase to buy the extended warranty directly from Vitamix for $ After 30 days have passed, you can purchase the extended warranty up until the original one expires for around $
You can save some money on a Vitamix if you opt for a certified-refurbished model. Jonathan Cochran of Blender Dude highly recommends them. “My pick for ‘best bang for the buck’ continues to be the Certified Refurbished (Blendtec) and Certified Reconditioned (Vitamix) models. I have personally inspected hundreds of each, and for all intents and purposes they are indistinguishable from the new models at a significantly reduced price point,” he told us. A certified reconditioned Vitamix comes with a five-year warranty, with the option to extend coverage three more years for an additional $
Long-term test notes
We used the same Vitamix in our test kitchen for five years with nothing but excellent results. It finally did burn out, but only after we put it through strenuous use over the course of many tests for both this guide and others. Still, it easily outlasted the Oster, and it made many more (and better) batches of nut butter and extra-thick smoothies before we pushed it to its limit. Since our Vitamix was still under warranty when it burned out, we contacted customer service, and the representatives promptly replaced it.
I’ve also used a Vitamix at home for years, and it’s still my favorite household blender, period. I long-term tested the runner-up, the Oster, for six months and noticed some glaring differences: The Vitamix can handle more without its motor straining, and the Vitamix’s tamper is much better than the Oster’s, which is really hard to get down in there.
Over the years, other Wirecutter staffers have expressed love for their Vitamix blenders. Former special projects editor Ganda Suthivarakom, who had used hers since without issue, said: “I love that I can make a lot of vegan recipes for cashew creams without having to soak the nuts beforehand.” Senior staff writer Chris Heinonen, who has owned his Vitamix since , guesses that he has “used it more than all my blenders in the past combined.” The only minor complaint we’ve heard is from senior editor Kalee Thompson, who notes: “It’s so tall, it doesn’t fit under the upper shelves over my counters so I’m less inclined to leave it out, and once it’s away, I don’t use it as much.” That said, others have told us how much they appreciate the Vitamix’s large capacity.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
We know that for many people, the biggest issue with the Vitamix is its steep price. At around $ or so, it’s at least twice the price of our runner-up, the Oster Versa Pro Series Blender. In the past, we’ve even made the Oster our top pick because of its comparatively affordable price. But after years of testing the Vitamix and using it in our test kitchen, we think it’s truly worth the investment. It’s more durable and all-around more effective than any other blender we’ve found, and if you plan on using a blender regularly, it will make your life a lot easier. Plus, consider the cost of buying a smoothie rather than making it at home: A morning smoothie can run from about $5 to $13, so in two to four months you will have paid the same amount as for a A Vitamix, by contrast, will last you at least seven years (and it makes a lot more than smoothies).
At more than 20 inches tall, the Vitamix is a big appliance—too big to fit under some kitchen cabinets. But none of the other high-powered blenders we tested were much smaller. Though the Oster is a couple of inches shorter, it also has a beefier base. If size is an issue for you, Vitamix makes other lines of blenders (as mentioned below) that have a shorter profile. But we’ve found that the tall, narrow shape of the ’s blending jar is one of the components that help this machine create such an effective vortex.
Finally, the Vitamix doesn’t come with any presets, just a variable-speed dial. But even though it’s nice to be able to press a button and have your blender run through a smoothie-making program, it’s not really essential. You’ll probably stick close to your blender anyway in order to use the tamper to get things moving, and it’s not hard to adjust the dial if you feel the need to. With the Vitamix it’s also easy to get good results without any presets.
What about other Vitamix models?
The isn’t the only blender in Vitamix’s selection—if you want the blending power of the but strongly prefer presets, or if you need a shorter jar that will fit your space, consider looking into other models. (If you want a good breakdown of the different Vitamix models, Jonathan Cochran of Blender Dude compares them.)
That said, the original remains our favorite because every new blender from Vitamix comes with a squat jar that doesn’t blend small amounts as well as the ’s tall and tapered pitcher. We tested the , for example, and found that the base of its short jar was too wide to develop and maintain a vortex for making, say, a thick smoothie for one or two people. Check out the Competition section for more detailed testing notes on the
We haven’t tested any models from the new Vitamix Ascent Series, but we suspect we’d have the same issue with the shorter, squatter jars. According to owner reviews, the Ascent blenders seem to suffer from some other problems, too, such as a complicated adapter for the personal blending cup and a sensor that shuts off the machine if it detects that the mixture in the jar is too thick. Our favorite feature of the is its ability to blend absurdly thick concoctions!
Runner-up: Oster Versa Pro Series Blender
We don’t think you can beat the value of the Oster Versa Pro Series Blender. It isn’t quite as powerful as the Vitamix , but it is about half the price, and it beat out most of the other blenders in its price range at making silky smoothies, purees, and blended cocktails. It has one of the best combinations of variable and preset speeds we’ve found, and its settings are more intuitive to use than those on other models we’ve tried. It also offers features, such as a tamper and overheating protection, that are usually available only on more expensive blenders. We don’t think the Oster is as durable as the Vitamix (ours burned out after two and a half years). But it does come with a seven-year warranty, and it’s a great option if you’re not ready to spring for the Vitamix.
The Oster passed almost every challenge we threw at it. And although it failed to achieve the absolute smoothest drink textures compared with the Blendtec or the Cleanblend—it left whole raspberry seeds in smoothies and made a slightly grainy piña colada—its smoothies were still much smoother than any of the results from lower-priced blenders. As long as the Oster had about 2 cups of nuts to work with, it made a decent nut butter (albeit one that was slightly crunchier than the batch we made in the Vitamix). And it whipped up a velvety puree. The only thing the Oster really struggled to do was make mayonnaise; we were able to make an emulsification only once out of four tries.
We found the Oster easier to control than other blenders of a similar price, thanks to its wide range of speeds. Though not as varied as those on the Vitamix, the speeds on the Oster are far more diverse than those on the Cleanblend, which, despite its variable-speed dial, seems to have only two settings: high and higher. In comparison, the Oster’s low speed is sane enough that you can start pureeing a batch of soup without having hot liquid shoot up the sides of the jar (a problem with the Cleanblend).
The Oster is the only one of our blender picks to have both manual speed controls and preset programs for soup, dip, and smoothies. This makes it more versatile than the more expensive entry-level models from Vitamix and Blendtec, which have only variable or preset speeds, respectively. To get presets with a Vitamix, or a variable-speed “touch slider” with a Blendtec model, you need to spend even more.
The tamper that comes with the Oster is a little too short and oddly shaped. In contrast to the smooth cylindrical tampers of the Vitamix and Cleanblend models, the Oster’s tamper has three flat pieces of plastic that meet in the middle. But the design works sufficiently to burst air bubbles and help move things like peanuts around the blades, so it’s better than no tamper at all.
This Oster model, like other high-performance blenders, is a beefy machine. The base takes up 8 by 9 inches of counter space. But at 17½ inches tall to the top of the lid, the Oster will fit better on a counter under most kitchen cabinets than the Vitamix or the Cleanblend, both of which are more than 19 inches tall.
Also, like all the other high-powered blenders we tested, the Oster gets loud when you turn the motor up all the way—much louder than the Vitamix but not as annoying or high-pitched as the Blendtec. For now, this is just the way it is with high-performance blenders.
Like the Vitamix, the Oster shuts off if the motor is in danger of overheating. If the Oster’s overload protection stops the motor, you should allow it to cool for 45 minutes and press the reset button on the bottom of the base before you run the blender again. This procedure reduces the risk of permanent motor burnout.
The Oster Versa passed almost every challenge we threw at it.
Should it burn out, the Oster comes with a limited seven-year warranty that covers “defects in material and workmanship,” including the motor and the Tritan jar. That policy is about the same as the coverage from Blendtec and Vitamix, which offer eight- and seven-year warranties, respectively, on their models. In our experience, Oster’s customer service is courteous and quickly addresses any issues with a blender while it’s under warranty.
But if you’re thinking that the Oster Versa will deliver the longevity and performance of a Vitamix at a fraction of the cost, think again. The Oster model’s biggest flaw is its durability: We found through personal experience that the Versa can burn out after two to three years of moderate to frequent use (see our long-term test notes for this model below). We’ve seen some reviews on Amazon (as well as comments from our readers) that mention the same problem. But Oster honors its seven-year warranty and is quick to send a replacement (we got ours in about a week). Although it took three attempts for us to get through to customer service by phone during the busy holiday shopping season, we’re assuming that hiccup was due to the unusually high call volume that occurs at that time of year.
The blending jar, lid, and controls on the Oster also feel cheaper compared with what you get on the Vitamix. But given that this blender is typically almost $ less, we’re comfortable with the lower-quality hardware.
Long-term test notes
For three years, we used the Versa twice a week on average to make smoothies and soup, and it never quit on us during that time—although we occasionally detected a faint burning smell from the motor while we were blending thick smoothies. But the motor permanently died when we formally tested the three-year-old Versa again for our update: One minute into our blending the nut butter, the overload protection cut the motor. We should’ve let the motor rest for 45 minutes before restarting, but we let it cool for only 10 minutes before our second attempt—and that’s when the motor burned out completely. However, our blender was still under warranty, and Oster quickly sent a replacement.
Wirecutter’s audience development manager, Erin Price, uses the Oster Versa and so far has no complaints. She told us: “I’ve had the Oster Versa since , and it’s still going strong (though it sat in storage for one of those years). I mostly use it for smoothies, and it handles ice and greens so well.”
Also great: Cleanblend Blender
If you’re willing to take a chance on a shorter warranty from a newer company, the 1,watt Cleanblend Blender costs about the same as the Oster Versa and produces finer purees. In our tests, it blended silkier smoothies and piña coladas than many blenders that cost more than twice as much. This model comes with a durable Tritan-plastic jar and a tamper for you to help move thick mixtures while it’s blending. The Cleanblend doesn’t have any preset buttons, and its variable speeds aren’t as nuanced as those of the Vitamix, but its interface is simple and intuitive to use. Judging from our long-term testing, the Cleanblend’s motor is durable and able to handle tough jobs like nut butter better than the Oster. It’s also backed by a complete five-year warranty.
The Cleanblend made some of the smoothest smoothies in our tests, performing better than the Oster and even the Vitamix in that regard. When we strained the Cleanblend’s kale and berry smoothie, barely any raspberry seeds remained in our fine-mesh sieve; the only blender that did better was the Blendtec. The Cleanblend also came in second, behind the Blendtec, in blending a silky-smooth piña colada. We’re talking restaurant-worthy blended drinks here.
For blending other things, the Cleanblend has a few limitations. It doesn’t have as wide a range of speeds as the Oster or the Vitamix, and it kicks into high gear even at the 1 setting, which in our soup test sent hot liquid shooting up to the lid. Although the Cleanblend was better at making mayonnaise than the Oster, this model’s motor also seemed to produce a lot of heat; its mayo was noticeably warm. Like our other picks (except the KitchenAid, our budget pick), the Cleanblend comes with a tamper, but the bat is a little short. Although it works fine for most tasks, don’t attempt to make nut butter from fewer than 2 cups of nuts, because the shorter tamper won’t reach the mixture once the nuts are finely ground.
The Cleanblend made some of the smoothest smoothies in our tests.
Over our long-term testing, the Cleanblend’s motor has seemed more durable than the Oster’s, though we’re not sure it’s a match for the motor of the time-tested Vitamix. In our testing, our four-year-old Cleanblend and Vitamix blenders both powered through two rounds of nut butter without quitting. The same test fried our three-year-old Oster. That said, Oster offers a seven-year warranty on the Versa Pro Series Blender, but Cleanblend offers only a five-year total warranty.
For an extra $75, you can extend the warranty on your Cleanblend Blender to a total of 10 years. This is a great value when you consider that the blender, including the decade of coverage, still costs about $ less than a Vitamix. If you’re looking for the all-around great performance of a Vitamix for less than half the cost, you won’t find that here (or anywhere else for that matter), but the Cleanblend is a good value when you compare the numbers.
However, Cleanblend’s customer service is reachable only by email or a form on its website, and that might not inspire confidence in some people. Both Vitamix and Oster have a customer service phone number that connects you to a representative. Even though the Cleanblend seems more durable than the Oster, Cleanblend is such a new company that we’re not yet confident in its blender’s long-term reliability.
The Cleanblend’s base takes up 9½ by 8 inches of counter space, about the same as our other high-performance picks (our budget pick, the KitchenAid, is smaller). And at 19 inches high to the top of the lid, the Cleanblend is taller than the Oster, but it has just slightly more clearance under most kitchen cabinets than the Vitamix (which measures closer to 20 inches). Also, like all of the other high-performance blenders we tested, the Cleanblend is loud. But compared with the Ninja Chef’s thunderous roar and the Blendtec’s high-pitched whine, the Cleanblend’s sound is far easier on the ears.
Long-term test notes
Senior staff writer Michael Sullivan has used an older version of the Cleanblend at home for about four years and says he has never had an issue with it. He pulls it out about six times a month to make smoothies, sauces, soup, or occasionally emulsifications like mayonnaise. He has even crushed ice in it a few times, and he says that so far it has never stalled out.
Sabrina Imbler, a Wirecutter staff writer at the time of our tests, used the Cleanblend in her home for more than a year. She used it three to four times a week and never experienced stalling or burnout. She told us: “[My] only minor complaint is that sometimes the blender rattles a bit on top of the base, which makes me a little wary, but otherwise it’s great. I only use it for smoothies and mixed drinks, never any kind of nuts, but it pulverizes ice pretty quick. It’s also the perfect size for two smoothies. I tend to use the middle range of speeds, as I rarely need the highest, and the lowest is less effective for my needs. And I really like that it’s a dial as opposed to number buttons—easier to [crank] up if my stuff isn’t blending fast.”
Budget pick: KitchenAid K 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender
If you blend only the occasional smoothie, daiquiri, or soup, you don’t need an expensive high-powered blender. The KitchenAid K 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender will serve your needs. Offering a low profile and a ounce blending jar, this blender is the most compact of all our picks. In our tests, the K proved adequate at blending thick smoothies, but not without a couple of stops and starts or our having to add a little more liquid to get a consistent vortex going. It can’t puree tough berry seeds as our top pick can, nor can it produce such velvety-smooth frozen drinks. However, the K has a mighty motor for the price and will handle most simple blending tasks.
The KitchenAid K offers three speeds plus a pulse setting for crushing ice. For frozen drinks and smoothies, the second speed seems to be the sweet spot, as that’s where we encountered the fewest air pockets. As with most blenders at this price, you need to add more liquid to get smoothies and frozen drinks to blend with a continuous vortex; otherwise, you need to stop it a couple of times to break up air pockets. Overall, we were satisfied with the drinks we made in the K The piña colada was a little icy but not offensive, and the smoothie was what we’d expect from a good $ blender: very drinkable, with whole berry seeds and tiny flecks of kale.
When you turn the K on, the blades automatically start slow and ramp up to the set speed, a feature that’s great for safely blending hot liquids like pureed soups. But it’s still important that you take precautions when blending hot foods, such as starting on low speed and securing the lid with a folded dish towel.
We were pleasantly surprised that the K let us make a small batch of mayonnaise from one egg yolk and half a cup of oil. We didn’t think the jar’s wide square base and relatively short blade span would allow us to emulsify such a small volume.
As its name indicates, the KitchenAid K 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender does crush ice. We’re not talking professional-grade fluffy shaved ice, but it’ll do the trick if you want to make a few snow cones on a hot summer day.
The K is lightweight and compact—perfect for people who want to store their blender in a cabinet. It also has a low profile (15 inches) that allows it to fit easily in the standard clearance between kitchen countertops and upper cabinets (18 inches). But the pitcher is on the small side at 48 ounces, and it lacks the comfy rubber-clad handle on our other picks.
As an alternative to buying this blender as is (base, ounce jar, and lid), you can get it bundled with two personal blending cups for around $50 more. We haven’t tested the personal blending cups yet, but we’ll give them a try soon and report back. KitchenAid also plans to release a version of the K with a glass blending jar, though we prefer plastic blender jars for their durability.
At this writing the K seems to have some stock issues post–Black Friday shopping. We’re told that stock should be replenished some time in January in a broader range of colors. The KitchenAid K comes with a one-year warranty that excludes accidents, drops, misuse, and abuse.
Long-term test notes
Wirecutter staff writer Sarah Bogdan has the K, and she and her roommate use it a few times a month for smoothies. She says that it blends fruits just fine, but she wishes that it got a finer blend with the vegetables she adds like kale and spinach. However, her roommate who sticks to peanut butter, bananas, and protein powder has no issues with it. It’s been a little difficult to clean, but she also realizes that’s true of any full-size blender.
Blender care and maintenance
If you find that your blender is having a difficult time processing ingredients, don’t be afraid to be aggressive (within reason) with the tamper to get the mixture moving around the blades. Also, make sure the blender jar is at least 25% full. Although high speeds will help process smoother mixtures, a lower speed (PDF) may also help ingredients start circulating if they just aren’t moving. When you’re following a recipe, it’s also good to add ingredients in the order listed; blender recipe books tend to be specific with the order (Vitamix, for example, generally lists ice as the last ingredient).
To limit the risk of hot liquids shooting out the top of a blending jar, always start on a low setting and slowly increase the speed (in general, presets do this automatically). Never fill the jar past the hot-liquid fill line. And for good measure, to limit the risk of the lid popping off, place a dish towel over the lid, with your hand firmly holding the lid down, while you blend.
Hand wash the blending jar with warm, soapy water rather than running it through the dishwasher. This will help extend the life of the jar. In our own testing, we found that the best way to clean a blender jar is to use a bottle brush or a scrub brush; processing water and a little soap in the blender jar will help loosen up tough ingredients such as peanut butter, and the brush should do the rest.
Compared with our top pick, the Vitamix , the Vitamix has the same ounce capacity and speed-control dial, but it lacks the ultra-high-speed switch available on the It has a slightly higher peak horsepower, but any extra power is negated by the shape of the jar. In testing, we found that the ’s relatively squat jar failed to maintain a vortex as well as the ’s narrow, tapered one. Also, for smaller volumes—2 cups or less—the ’s tamper didn’t reach down quite far enough to burst air pockets. We had to add more liquid to thicker mixtures, such as date puree and hummus, because the tamper wasn’t cutting it.
The Vitamix Explorian E, available at Costco, is 99% identical to the A Vitamix customer service representative told us that the two blenders had the same motor base, jar, tamper, and functionality. The main difference between the blenders is that the has a small on/off switch located just below the control panel. On top of that, the E is available only as part of a package with two personal cups and an adapter.
Vitamix added the Explorian Series E variable-speed blender to its lineup in We chose not to test this model because we didn’t think it was a good value. Although it’s typically three-quarters the price of the Vitamix , the cost difference is directly proportional to the E’s smaller blending jar (48 ounces versus 64 ounces) and shorter warranty (five versus seven years). On the E, Vitamix also replaced the switch that flips the machine from variable speed to high power with a pulse switch, thus eliminating the option for one-touch high-power blending. If you have limited storage space in your kitchen, you might like the E for its shorter height (about 17 inches tall, compared with the Vitamix , which is about 20 inches tall). But if you’re going to shell out the cash for a Vitamix blender, we still think spending a little more on the is the best choice.
We bid a somber adieu to two near-identical former budget picks from KitchenAid: the 5-Speed Classic blender (still available refurbished as of May ) and the Diamond 5-Speed blender. The 5-Speed Classic was our budget pick for nearly five years before KitchenAid discontinued it and replaced it with the Diamond 5-Speed in In , the company replaced the Diamond 5-Speed with the K, our current budget pick. Buying the 5-Speed Classic refurbished isn’t a bad option if you want to save a little money, but keep in mind that it only comes with a 6-month warranty.
The KitchenAid K blender is more powerful than the KitchenAid K (our budget pick) but not enough to warrant its $plus price jump. And in our tests the K wasn’t nearly as good at blending fibrous kale as the less expensive Oster and Cleanblend blenders.
The KitchenAid Pro Line Series Blender is expensive, and it’s also the heaviest blender we’ve tested (22 pounds). In our tests it blended silky-smooth textures, though not quite as easily as the Vitamix , but it didn’t do well at emulsification. While its performance intrigued us, after a year of long-term testing this model, we found that it delivered results similar to those of the Vitamix. And the heft and size of this KitchenAid model make it a difficult-to-move space hog.
Will the Blendtec Designer blend? Yes, but not as well as our top picks. Despite Blendtec’s clever (if at times mildly sinister) video marketing campaign of blending everything from rake handles to iPhones, we’ve found its blenders wanting (we also tested the Total model in ). Although in our tests the Designer killed it in making smoothies and blended drinks, its lack of a tamper limits its usefulness. It failed to make peanut butter (a tamper would have helped), and the preset speed for soup was frightening, with hot liquid flying wildly around the jar. We do think this particular model is quite beautiful, with a sleek black, illuminated base. It’s a great blender if you want something that looks slick on your counter and can make amazingly smooth mixed drinks and smoothies. But we think a blender that’s this expensive should perform well at more than just those two tasks. For more on how the Blendtec stacks up against the Vitamix , read our article about testing the two blenders head-to-head.
We tested the Blendtec Total Blender for our review but found that it couldn’t compete with the Vitamix we tested at the time. The lid felt flimsy, and this model’s panel controls seemed cheap.
The Breville Super Q is a performance blender that’s packed with bells and whistles. In our tests, with its squat jar and powerful motor, the Super Q performed a lot like the Blendtec Designer , throwing smoothie up the sides and into the lid. At one point, the Breville shot bits of a smoothie in my face when I opened the cap to add more liquid. The Super Q pulverizes tough foods, but the Vitamix also does that for less money—and with less drama inside the jar. The Super Q also generated a lot of heat when we made peanut butter—so much that we had to stop the test early when we noticed steam coming out of the jar. Although the Super Q blended the silkiest piña coladas and came with lots of extra goodies (a ounce jar, a personal blending jar, preset blending programs, and a vacuum attachment that’s supposed to slow the oxidation of raw foods), we don’t think it’s worth the $plus over the Vitamix’s price, especially since most of those goodies would just clutter your cabinets.
In our tests, the Cuisinart CBT Hurricane struggled to process foods. Blending thick smoothies and peanut butter required adding more liquid, a lot of starting and stopping, and banging the jar on the counter. It did make mayonnaise on the first try, though, unlike the more powerful Cuisinart CBT Hurricane Pro. But without the Turbo button of the Hurricane Pro (more on that below), this model is just another middle-of-the-road blender.
The Cuisinart CBT Hurricane Pro performed similarly to the Cuisinart CBT Hurricane, except it didn’t make mayonnaise as well (we achieved emulsification on the third try only). We did find the Turbo button useful for creating a fine puree. But again, without a tamper to burst air pockets, this blender needed a lot of tending to produce uniform, smooth purees.
The Ninja Chef CT 1,watt blender is the first high-performance model from this company that doesn’t have sets of blades throughout the jar. Instead, the Ninja Chef’s blades sit in the base of the jar, as in normal blenders. This model also performed better than its predecessors. But it was extremely loud, and our top picks—the Vitamix, the Oster, and the Cleanblend—still blended silkier smoothies in our tests.
For the price, the Ninja Master Prep Professional is a decent blender, but we don’t think it compares to any of our other picks. It did a surprisingly good job of making smoothies, mixing bean spread, and blending margaritas, but the design is terrible for making mayonnaise (the motor is top-mounted, so you can’t drizzle anything into the jar). The stacked blades are also dangerously sharp, making them difficult to clean. The Ninja Master Prep Professional comes with three blending jars in various sizes; we thought that it added up to too many parts and that they would just end up cluttering our cupboards. Overall, the machine felt really cheap.
The Ninja Professional Blender didn’t perform well. The green smoothies we made in this blender had a weird, confetti-like texture. And the mayo this model made was especially loose, which meant that it was whipping in too much air. Every time we ran this Ninja blender, we detected a strong, burning-motor smell. The jar was hard to get on the base, and the lid was tricky to clamp on. Also, the base was big, clunky, and cheap feeling.
The Instant Pot Ace 60 Cooking Blender is unique in that it has a heating element in its base, so it can both cook and puree foods (some high-powered blenders also claim to “cook” soup, but they do so only with friction). After performing extensive testing, we found that this seemingly nifty feature was impractical. We made a decent broccoli cheese soup and a smooth butternut squash puree, but we had to blend each one for longer than the programmed setting to get a creamy texture. And we were disappointed to discover that we couldn’t adjust the temperature or sauté in the machine, since the heating element doesn’t start if it doesn’t detect liquid in the jar. As such, the Ace doesn’t produce the same nuanced flavors that you’d get if you started with a little caramelization. The heating element also introduces another possible point of failure into a type of appliance that is already prone to burning out.
The Ace whipped up smooth peanut butter and did a slightly better job of pulverizing ice cubes and tough kale leaves than most of the budget-level blenders we’ve tested. But it’s huge and loud, and its glass jar is heavier and less durable than the Tritan plastic jars of our picks. The jar’s wide base also makes it difficult for the Ace to form a powerful vortex (instead flinging ingredients all over the jar).
The 1,watt Hamilton Beach Professional Blender performed well in our tests. When we used the manual speeds, the blender’s digital readout showed a countdown timer, which was helpful because the instruction manual advised against continuously running the motor for more than two minutes. But the preprogrammed settings didn’t effectively keep the mixture moving when air pockets occurred. In addition, the on/off buttons are angled upward at the top of the base and thus susceptible to food and grime buildup over time.
The Braun PureMix is a small, tamper-less blender, and it didn’t impress us in the least, with a flimsy jug and a lightweight base. The PureMix had a hard time blending our smoothie, and we needed to add so much liquid to the mixture that the texture was way too thin—yuck! We disqualified the Braun after our first test.
The Waring Commercial Xtreme made notably smooth smoothies, and it felt substantial. But ultimately it didn’t perform better than our picks from Vitamix, Oster, or Cleanblend. If we were willing to pay this much for a blender, we’d instead go for a reconditioned Vitamix We do like that Waring has a metal jar that you can purchase for this machine.
When it comes to professional-grade blenders, Vitamix sets the industry standard for most chefs across the country. Although they are a pricier option, Vitamix blenders are unmatched in power and can blend up even the toughest ingredients (hello, almond milk!). If you’re looking for a high-quality blender that will stand the test of time, a Vitamix is the way to go.
“I love their power and efficiency, but what sets the Vitamix blenders apart is that they’ve been a leader in these features for many years and make incredibly durable machines that last a lifetime,” says James D. Perko Sr., executive chef of integrative and lifestyle medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, and coauthor of National Geographic’s The What to Eat When Cookbook. He likes the series for home use.
With a ounce container and blades that can reach speeds fast enough to heat soup—yes, really—you can easily make a full meal fast in this famous blender. It's also a winner for Rebecca Wilcomb, chef and partner at Gianna in New Orleans: “Vinaigrettes, marinades, grinding spices, making breadcrumbs, smoothies—a Vitamix is so powerful that anything you do in it takes seconds,” she says. “It is an essential kitchen item and totally worth the price.”
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The Best Quiet Blenders You Can Buy in
Blenders can be workhorses in the home cook's kitchen. They whip, crush, grind, puree, liquefy, and of course blend. They can make soups for dinner, smoothies for breakfast, and frozen treats for dessert. But for all the work a blender can do, there is one thing it doesn't do so well: be quiet. But not all blenders are jump-from-a-deep-sleep loud. In fact, a few companies have put a great deal of effort into making quiet blenders, or ones that don't emit quite as many decibels as their competitors.
Related:The 10 Best Blenders for Every Home Cook, Tested by Allrecipes
Quiet blenders can allow for you to make a morning juice or blend up a strawberry sauce before anyone else rises in your house - and you won't wake them up in the process. Here, we write about the best quiet blenders you can buy right now. Each one has noise-reducing technology that makes it a great buy if you're trying to blend without vibrating the whole house. Keep reading for more information about the five best quiet blenders you can buy.
Best Quiet Blenders at a Glance
What to Consider When Buying a Quiet Blender
Picking a blender isn't as easy as picking a flavor for the milkshake you want to make in it. You'll need to put a bit of effort and thought into how you use a blender and what you plan to make with one. We've identified six key areas to consider when purchasing a quiet blender for your kitchen.
Quietness: Obviously if you're looking to buy a quiet blender, noise is perhaps the most significant factor. Most of the sounds of a blender comes from the motor. Unfortunately, most blender brands don't release decibel ratings for their appliances, which would make picking the quietest blender easy. Instead, you'll have to rely on understanding the quiet-making features. For example, some brands use noise-reducing covers, placed directly over the blender container, to capture and contain sounds. Others use extra housing around the motor to dampen noise. Still, other features like rubber gaskets can have an impact on how quiet the blender ultimately is when it's in use. If you don't test drive a blender before you buy it, look for one that has as many of these noise-reducing features as possible.
Motor Power: The stronger the motor, the more likely it is to make more noise. But you may want a strong motor, as the blender's top speeds ultimately determines the food's final consistency and texture. Cheaper blenders usually have motors that reach to watts. More expensive brands can go as high as to watts.
Dishwasher Safe: A blender has to be cleaned well so it doesn't rust or create buildup. Some models have self-cleaning capabilities that require you put soap and a bit of water and press a button for a thorough cleaning. Others will require you to disassemble the whole apparatus in order to wash it. Dishwasher-safe parts make clean-up even faster if you do have to take the blender apart to clean it.
Warranty: Some blenders are an investment, with price tags to prove it. Before you make that investment, you want to be sure the blender comes with a warranty that will protect your purchase if something were to break or stop working. Most brands offer limited warranties on parts, labor, and shipping. Others have money-back guarantees. Depending on how much you're wanting to spend, you'll want to be sure you have a warranty that matches the investment.
Additional Features: Some blenders come with additional equipment as part of a bundle. Tampers, for example, are used to help make sure dense, thick foods are blended thoroughly. Some blenders come with two different containers, a single-serve size and a larger container. Here again, consider how you plan to use the blender and decide what, if any, other equipment is right for you.
Size: With the possibility of a large container cover, some of these quiet blenders will require extra space in your pantry or cabinets. Make sure you measure and understand what parts come apart so you can properly store the blender if you do not plan to leave it on your counter. And if you do plan to leave it on your counter, make sure the tall cover will clear your overhead cabinets and fit neatly under them.
Best for Drinks: Vitamix Quiet One Blender
Vitamix doesn't do anything small or halfway, so if they say this is their "Quiet One" Blender, they mean it - it's quiet. But it is powerful, with an W motor. To keep that powerhouse motor quiet, Vitamix uses vibration dampening technology and a sound enclosure that covers the blending container.
The extra-large ounce Tritan polycarbonate container is sturdy enough for daily use and can even take accidental drops or hits. The machine comes programmed with six pre-set blending programs. But Vitamix hides all kinds of additional programs in their machines, and this one doesn't disappoint with its 34 premium programs and 93 variable speeds.
While it was designed with coffee houses and smoothie bars in mind, there's no reason a family that loves mixed drinks, smoothies, and iced coffee won't also love this machine. It's made in the U.S. and comes with a three-year warranty for the motor base and a one-year warranty for the blade assembly and container.
One reviewer wrote, "The ear splitting noise and low power of our old blender was causing all kinds of headaches, real and metaphorical. We finally decided to splurge for a a new blender. After much research and debate we settled on the Vita-Mix Quiet One. It's everything we had hoped - more than powerful for even the most challenging smoothies that include frozen fruit (great when you can't easily get fresh produce), peanut butter and ice. They blend perfectly and quickly. It's indeed quiet. The cone of silence that you lower over the pitcher before blending actually works. Not perfectly of course. Don't try to put your baby to sleep and then make a strawberry banana daiquiri. But compared to our old blender - which was pretty high quality - it's significantly quieter. No one complains anymore."
Buy It: Vitamix Quiet One Blender, $; Amazon
Best Overall: Blendtec Professional Blender
If you need a blender that obliterates nut butters, whirs up soups, and crushes ice while still being many decibels quieter than its competitors, this Blendtec Professional Blender is the one for your kitchen. If I had not heard this blender in use many times, I wouldn't believe its claim that it is "operating at the sound level of normal conversation." You really can talk to someone without shouting while it's working.
With an W motor, the blender is a powerhouse appliance. It comes with a ounce BPA-free, impact-resistant plastic jar that's custom designed for Blendtec blenders. It's also made with an speed touch slider and six preprogrammed cycles (smoothies, batters, whole juice, mixed drinks, frozen treats, and hot soup) for ultimate blending control.
A plastic sound enclosure captures the noise, and the base is designed to block the machine's high volumes. It also comes with a year warranty for parts, shipping, and labor, and it's designed and assembled in the U.S.
Buy It: Blendtec Professional Blender, $; Amazon
Best Value: Hamilton Beach Professional Quiet Shield Blender
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