How to Choose A Better Blender

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A blender is one of the most used small appliances in the kitchen. Mine is right there at the top after my Keurig (gotta have my daily 2 cups of coffee) and my crockpot.

Top vew of blender with fruit added in preparation of making a smoothie

Considering the popularity of smoothies and other healthy drinks nowadays, I’m sure this is the case for many of you. Let’s say that you don’t have one, or your old one just died. If you are in the market for a top a rated blender, you may be a bit flummoxed by the sheer number of options available today.

Here’s the deal:

They make personal, upright, and immersion options, and there’s a great deal of variation even among the same type. It can be hard to know what to look for when trying to make a purchase, so I’m here today to try to sort it all out for you.

First, I will go over the pros and cons of the different types of blenders, and then I’ll give you some options to compare to help you make the best choice for you.

Personal Blenders

Soaring in popularity right now are the personal-sized blenders, because it’s so easy to zap some fruit veggies into a healthy smoothie in the single-serving container that doubles as a travel cup.

Most brands come with multiple containers so you don’t have to worry about washing your to-go cup every day since you’ll have at least one more clean and ready for the next morning.

So, if a healthy morning smoothie (or maybe the guilty indulgence of an afternoon milkshake) is the one and only purpose you have, this type of machine is really perfect for you.

Magic Bullet

Magic Bullet Express Deluxe 26-piece blender with accessories on white background

Magic Bullet Express Deluxe 26-piece Mixer & Blender (25-piece with Bonus Ice Shaver Blade)

It seems that the king of the personal-size brands is the Magic Bullet. This machine is perfect for making smoothies in to-go cups, but it can also chop, mix, blend, whip, and grind small servings. You can get a 25-piece set, which includes 4 different travel mugs as well as a shaved ice attachment, for an affordable price. To me, this is a great buy.   Magic Bullet NutriBullet Pro 900 Series Blender-Mixer System with fruit and components side by side and in foreground - on white isolated background

Magic Bullet NutriBullet Pro 900 Series Blender/Mixer System

Magic Bullet also makes the NutriBullet line which all have more powerful motors (600 or 900 watts) than the standard Magic Bullet. That makes this line perfect if you plan on grinding nuts or seeds a good bit, or if chia seeds are a big part of your smoothie routine.

Full-Size, Upright Blenders

If you love smoothies but will also be using a blender for a multitude of other purposes, you’ll need something bigger and more powerful.

A better option:

A conventional upright model is also great for smoothie-making, even better, really, than the personal-sized option because it will have more much more power. Many models now even come with an additional personal-size container as well. Upright machines aren’t just for making tasty drinks, either.

They can be used for pureeing baby food, soups, sauces, and a myriad of other types of food similarly to that of food processors (although food processors can also chop without pureeing). They can even be used to grind up dry ingredients.

Mother and daughter pour a smoothie from a blender; they are behind a kitchen counter that includes oranges, kiwi,bananas and other fruit on its surface

With an upright model, things you may want to consider are if you prefer a glass or plastic pitcher (for plastic make sure to look for a BPA-free one), whether you prefer a round or square pitcher, if the height of the base with the pitcher attached will be an issue for you, if you prefer touch pad, dial, or push button controls, and definitely look for the length of the warranty.

Most brands will offer a 5-7 year warranty, but you will need to read each product description fully to make sure. Let me point out that, yes, there are plenty of options out there that are less expensive than any I mention here, but I did that for a reason.

When I buy a blender, I want one that will last, and all of these will work for years and years. If, for whatever reason, you run into any issues, all of these have fantastic warranties. Besides that, I am looking for a powerful motor that can handle the toughest of tasks with ease, and anything super inexpensive is not going to cut it.

Vitamix

If you know that you’ll be using your blender pretty much every day, I highly recommend going with one of the top of the line options.

One of the most well-reviewed blenders – the Vitamix 5200 series (available in five different colors) – is another great option if you are ready to spend a hefty chunk of change. These are at the higher end in terms of price, though you can pick up reconditioned models for less when they are available.

Among foodies and serious at-home cooks, the Vitamix is one of the most popular brands right now, and for good reason. This machine can puree, crush, and grind up pretty much anything you throw in there.

Vitamix 5200 Series Blender available on Amazon

With a motor that’s capable of functioning at a TRUE 2 peak horsepower, you will get one powerful machine that also is made with a high-efficiency cooling fan and a low-friction, ball-bearing motor that is built to last. All Vitamix models also come with a tamper tool to push down ingredients to help process thicker mixtures easily.

You can also purchase a separate dry grains container that comes with specially designed blades that are made to pull the dry ingredients down to process them as finely as possible (This is strictly optional, and the regular “wet” jar can process dry grains just fine, but the dry grains can cause pitting on the inside of the container down near the blades, which doesn’t look very nice and can cause odors to become trapped inside the plastic when you process wet ingredients in the same jar as dry ones).

Finally, the Vitamix 5200 comes with a 64-ounce, BPA-free pitcher, a recipe book, an instructional DVD, and a 7-year warranty. The only real downside to this product, unless you consider the price tag a downer, is that the base itself is really tall, and with the stock pitcher attached, it will not fit under the upper cabinets if you plan on storing it on the kitchen counter.

However, Vitamix also makes a variety of containers – both wet and dry – in 32 and 48 oz sizes which reduces overall height and allows you to fit your machine just about anywhere. Vitamix 48-ounce carafe on white background

Vitamix 48 oz Container with Wet Blade and Lid

Mike’s Note

I own and use a Vitamix on a daily basis. I’ve NEVER been able to bog the motor down. I’m convince you could grind up a whole hog into sausage if you could fit one in there. I love the fact that it is made in the USA and the fact that the motor is sourced from Sweden rather than from the lowest bidder in China where reuse of electrical wire scavenged from old appliances is rampant.

I love the quality, attention to detail, and CARE that this device is designed around and manufactured with.

The best thing about this blender is:

The fact that clean up is a snap thanks to the sealed blade assemblies – simply add a little water into the container with a drop of dish soap and hit high and dump and rinse. As long as you don’t let the remains of a smoothie sit all day, this is the extent of any clean up (every once in a while some liquids may escape down the sides that you’ll have to hose off).

For my money, this is one of the best blenders you can purchase and would be a near lifetime (at least decades) buy. You can read various customer reviews and you will find many others in agreement.

The only other blender that I would consider for a long term investment would be the Blendtec as I’ve read excellent reviews about them as well. Sorry for the interruption – back to Foodal’s regularly scheduled program on the best blenders on the market with Ashley.

See our full review of the Vitamix 5200 now.

Blendtec

The other contender for most popular, top-rated blender is the Blendtec. The Blendtec Designer Series, which comes with the huge 90-ounce “WildSide” jar is comparable in price to the Vitamix 5200, but it has a powerful 3-peak horsepower motor, which is the most powerful motor you will find for a non-commercial machine.

It’s also a little more “techy” in that it has an illuminated digital control panel as opposed to the manual dial on the Vitamix machine. It has several pre-programmed blending modes, such as a smoothie setting, and once you press that option, it displays a countdown showing you how long you’ll have to wait until the smoothie is finished. blendtec designer series blender

Blendtec Designer Series Blender with WildSide Jar

It also has an easy-touch control where you simply slide your finger across the panel to move through the speed settings manually.

The Blendtec is specially engineered to keep itself cool, but in the event that the machine does start to overheat, it is programmed to shut itself off until it cools down.

Additionally, Blendtec understands that certain ingredients blend better at slower speeds, so the machine is built to sense the ingredients, and then it monitors and adjusts its power to deliver just the right speed. These are two great features that the Vitamix just doesn’t have.

Like the Vitamix, though, it also comes with a recipe book and 7-year warranty AND IS MADE IN THE USA, however, the Blendtec should fit under most upper cabinets to sit easily on your kitchen counter. This device is also available in black as well as champagne.

Ninja

Both the Vitamix and the Blendtec are serious investments that cost several hundred dollars. A better option if you’re looking for superb power but aren’t looking to part with that much money is a Ninja. The Ninja Ultima Plus is even more powerful than a Vitamix with 2.5 horsepower.

What’s neat about the Ninja products is that they have two sets of blades that rotate at different speeds to most effectively crush and puree. They have “high speed cyclonic technology” to best puree foods down to a smooth and creamy state as well as “total crushing technology” to quickly break down ice, whole fruits, and vegetables.

Ninja Ultima Blender Plus (BL830)

Finally, the Ninja has 10 speeds as well as a pulse option, and this model comes with a 72-ounce BPA-free plastic pitcher.

What really sets the Ninja Ultima apart, other than it costs half what a Vitamix or Blendtec does, is that it comes with three single serve to-go cups that can screw onto the base, turning the Ninja into a personal-size smoothie maker as well. To get a little more bang for your buck, you can spend just a little more for the Ninja Mega Kitchen System. Ninja Mega Kitchen System Blender on white isolated background with accessories

Ninja Mega Kitchen System (BL771)

It still comes with the 72-ounce pitcher and to-go cups, but it includes an 8-cup food processor bowl as well that screws right onto the base. All in one box you get a full-size upright as well as a personal-size blender PLUS a food processor, so you pay one relatively reasonable price to get three machines.

That’s pretty awesome.

The standard Mega Kitchen System is that the motor is only a 2 horsepower (which is still significantly more powerful than most other machines). Read actual customer reviews at Amazon.

Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (BL820) Blend 3 hp motor with accessories

Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (BL820) with 3 HP motor

However, if you want a little more power, the Mega Kitchen System is also available with a 3 horsepower motor which should put it on par with Vitamix and Bendtec – at least on paper.

It too comes with its own food processor attachment making it extremely versatile.

Oster

Now, the next option I want to give you is not one that most would consider a top of the line but more of a middle of the road appliance, and that’s an Oster. I include it here because my mother-in-law has an Oster that she bought in the 80s that still works like a boss.

The 80s, guys! You can’t get more durable than that.

This is not the most powerful blender, but Oster has come a long way, and the Oster Versa 1400-Watt Professional Performance Blender is surprisingly similar to a Vitamix but with a price tag closer to that of a Ninja.  It comes with the same kind of tamper to help process thick mixtures and the reviews all claim that it makes smoothies just as well.

Oster Versa 1400-watt Professional Performance Blender, Including 64 oz Tall Jar, Recipe Book and 7 Year Warranty, BLSTVB-000-000

The Versa is sleeker-looking than a Vitamix but in the stock model offering it too suffers from a very tall pitcher that’s unable to fit under most cabinets.

Oster VERSA 1400-watt Professional Performance Blender BLSTVB-RV0-000

Oster VERSA 1400-watt Professional Performance Blender with Low Profile Jar + Bonus Cookbooks, BLSTVB-RV0-000

However, it is also available in a 64-ounce pitcher low profile version and  can sit on your kitchen counter under standard dimensioned upper cabinets. The sleeker look of the Versa is more reminiscent of a Blendtec, and like a Blendtec it has three pre-programmed settings- smoothies, soups, and dips/spreads. But like a Vitamix it also has a variable speed dial as well.

In addition, the Versa comes with two cookbooks, Gourmet Cuisine and Fresh and Fit recipes, which includes nutrition and caloric information. The reviews for this blender are also very good.

Like both of its more expensive counterparts, Oster also offers a 7-year warranty on all Versa models – although I suspect warranty procedures with Blendtec and Vitamix may be quicker and simpler as they are both a much smaller companies.

Also, I suspect parts would be available after warranty with the other two companies. The Oster Brand is owned by Sunbeam who is in turned owned by Jarden, an appliance conglomerate.

KitchenAid

The last option I want to give you is the KitchenAid 5-Speed that comes with a 56-ounce BPA-free pitcher. This is the least expensive machine that I’ve found that still does a pretty good job at getting ingredients really smooth. Even so, with the lower price tag you only get a 0.9 horsepower motor.

With that said, this KitchenAid has really good reviews, and it seems like everyone who has bought one after considering a Vitamix or Blendtec has been really happy with their purchase.

KitchenAid KSB560MC 5-Speed Blender with Polycarbonate Jar

Similar to the Blendtec, it has what KitchenAid calls Intelli-Speed motor control which senses the contents and maintains optimal speed to power through all ingredients. It has a “crush ice” mode as well as a pulse mode and digital speed settings.

With a soft-start feature, the blades are able to first pull the ingredients down to puree or crush really well before it automatically increases in speed to the desired setting.

These two factors equal highly efficient blending, so it may be a great option for those of you looking for a well-reviewed and durable machine without breaking the bank. The most exciting thing? It’s available in 13 different color choices.

Immersion Blenders

I’ve gone over both personal-size and upright options, but another type you may want to consider is an immersion blender. If you are really tight on space and just have no room on the counter, this is the perfect choice for you.

Attractive woman with immersion blender inserted into cotnainer behind kitchen coutner with fruts and vegetables scattered about on coutnter. Othe accessories also on counter.

With an immersion machine, the motor is housed in the handle to which a wand with blades on the end is attached. You then place the wand, blades down, into whatever vessel you will be blending in.

This makes it ideal for pureeing soups and sauces in the same pot in which they are made, saving you the trouble of transferring those hot liquids into an upright machine.

By the same token, though, it is something of a hassle to make smoothies and other drinks in a big bowl that you can fit the wand into and then pour the drink into your cup or serving pitcher. Another drawback to this kind of liquidizer is that with the motor being housed in the handle, it is smaller and therefore much less powerful than a full-sized version.

One redeeming factor, though, is that many of these products also come with a small food-chopper bowl to which the handle can be attached, and it turns into a mini sous chef to prep your veggies and fruits with ease.

Cuisinart

There are a few other decent options out there, but Cuisinart has cornered the market on this small appliance. With several different models available, these are the most well-reviewed of any immersion machines.

I have one myself, and I use it quite a bit for pureeing soups, and it’s handy for pureeing baked apples into applesauce as well. Mine came with a food chopper and a whisk attachment. I’ve never used the whisk attachment, but I would imagine it’s great for beating eggs or making whipped cream.

The best part is, Cuisinarts are very affordable (with some variations in price depending on power and available attachments and features), making them a great purchase if you do need to puree hot liquids frequently.

Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender

I prefer the Cuisinart CSB-79 Smart Stick 2-Speed 200-watt Immersion Hand Blender with Attachments pictured above as it comes with some great attachments and has every you need to get started.

Well, I think I’ve given you enough to mull over for one day. There are some really great blenders out there these days, and you really can’t go wrong with any of the choices I’ve given you. It really boils down to how you plan to use your new appliance and how much you are willing to spend. I hope this breakdown helps you out!

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About Ashley Martell

Ashley has enjoyed creative writing since she was six years old, when she wrote her first short story. She majored in English literature at the University of Montevallo. After years of professional work, she is now a stay-at-home mom of three, who uses her craft to write about her life and adventures in and out of the kitchen.

29 thoughts on “How to Choose A Better Blender”

  1. I have an immersion blender that I really like. I enjoy that it doesn’t take up space on my countertop. I haven’t come across a job it wasn’t powerful enough to do. I use it most often to make salad dressings or process canned tomatoes. I would recommend it to anyone!

  2. I’ve been using an antique blender for too long. It doesn’t even grind up ice properly anymore – I’m going to take some good pointers from this post. Thanks!

  3. I must say am spoilt for choice right here with all the options in place, glad though to have a blog i can rely on when the time comes to go shopping for a blender, i know i’ll get the best out there…thank you for the tips 🙂

  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE my magic bullet. It works amazingly and its so easy to clean. Also it makes it so much easier to make single serving smoothies. But it is also my go to when I need to chop onions. Cant recommend it enough.

  5. My blender broke after using it for about 3 months and I have been wanting a new one but never really got to it. Also, I’m always so clueless of how to look for the right blenders or the right anything for that matter. This reminded me of that and I think I’m going to get the Magic Bullet. For under $70, it seems like a great buy indeed 😉 Thank you for the useful information, saved me some time as well.

  6. Thank you for these tips, I only want the best for my family, and it makes me think what an ideal solution would be to have our blender where to prepare our daily dose of smoothies, or just quickly make a soup creamy.
    I think it’s a great object to put on my Christmas wish list, the life of our family will have a great improvement.
    And I don’t think it’s too much to ask at all!

  7. Great list here! I have a Nutribullet Hi-Speed and it does wonders. I really love that one. I also have a Hamilton Beach single server. I like that one too. It doesn’t blend as well but it’s easier and more space-efficient.

  8. My house is full of smoothie lovers and we are constantly using our blender to make delicious desserts/snacks. Our blender is okay now but we eventually want to spend the money getting a good one. I loved reading your take on the different blenders on the market and their different pros and cons! I will definitely be coming back to this article come the time we make our decision 🙂

  9. Thanks for the article. I have been looking for a new blender since my blender attachment broke on my processor. The Oster and Ninjas look great however are a little out of my budget and not sure if they are available in NZ. Can anyone recommend e a low range model that’s available worldwide or in Australia/NZ? How does the Ninja bullet compare to the Nutribullet?

  10. This article is awesome! I’ll definitely be getting the Magic Bullet! I’ve been wanting a blender for some time now, and one that is great for making smoothies, because that is the only thing I’ll be using it for. Unfortunately , I know absolutely nothing about blenders, and I most certainly don’t want to waste $150 on one, only to find out that it isn’t that great, but now I know! I also love how it is also a to-go cup, that will definitely come in handy!

  11. This is a great list. I’ve been using the Magic Bullet for some time now, and it’s great for smoothies and other small things. But sometimes you just need something larger and with more power. The Ninja Ultimate Kitchen System looks like a great deal–getting the benefits of a full sized blender, personal blender, and food processor all in one! I will definitely be looking into that.

  12. This is a really informative article. It’s really useful to have all the information in one place and not to have to waste time reading lots of individual reviews. It’s also reassuring to know that all the blenders mentioned here come with good warranties.

    I currently have an immersion blender, but it’s almost time for a replacement, and I am definitely considering an upright blender. Everyone in my family loves smoothies, and I make them daily, so it makes sense to get a full-sized one. It will also be useful for a multitude of other things, as you pointed out.

    The information put together here has made it much easier to decide with confidence which model to pick.

  13. Buying a blender that perfectly fits your lifestyle and will serve you best till its last centavo is a terrible dilemma. We have to consider the space in the kitchen, our budget, how often we will use it, power, wattage, durability and speed options. This article is great as it narrates all we have to know so we can own the best blender that suits our needs.

  14. Thank you so much for this information. I am in the market for a new blender. My husband keeps breaking ours so I think you have convince me that I need a blender with a good warranty. I like the idea of the Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (BL820) with 3 HP moto. I have been looking at recipes that keep asking for a food processor which I do not have. I would like having all the items. The personal blender so I can take my smoothies on the go is a total bonus for me.

    Growing up we hand the personal immersion blender. I loved using it to fizz up my milk and putting peaches in the milk. Memories oh sweet memories. I also like mixing up my juice too with the hand blender.

  15. I absolutely love the Vitamix but it’s devastatingly expensive. The quality is there it’s just the number made me fall out of my chair when I first saw it. Not sure I’ll ever be physically capable of handing that money over for a blender.

  16. I love this list. I personally have a Ninja Ultima Blender Plus. It’s amazing. I literally put everything in there and it chops it up to the perfect consistency. It’s also very powerful. The blades on it are super sharp and can get through ice one time. If your in the market for a new blender I would definitely consider that one.

  17. My blender is on its last legs, so I’m looking around at potential replacements. I love articles such as this one, that do the research for me, and point out the differences among the various candidates, so I don’t have to go to the trouble. I can’t see myself living with just an immersion blender, but I would like one, so I’ll probably ultimately buy both an immersion blender and a standard one.

  18. An acquaintance of mine wants a Vitamix, but after reading this guide I’m all about the Ninja. It’s still a bit out of my budget at the moment, plus I already have a blender that functions pretty well. But if it ever bites the dust, I think the Ninja Ultima Kitchen System will be calling my name. Like previous commenters I love the idea of the food processor attachment; multifunctional products are the best.

  19. We have a bullet and a regular cheap one that looks similar to the bullet. I love the bullet but the other one, I believe its a kitchen aid, is pretty good too. We have been making a lot of smoothies and the bulet really comes in handy. Just about 30 seconds and you are done.

    I just made a concoction with star fruit, strawberries, ice cream, sugar, blackberries, bananas and it was all smooth. the only thing that was cut up fully was the banana and star fruit. I also like that I can just take it off the base and drink it. That saves so much time.

  20. Choosing the right blender can really mean a world’s difference than choosing the wrong one. We had went through several blenders before we could find and awesome one to make really tasty and delicious smoothies without being such a hassle in missing junks of fruit or cleaning it. It’s so important to research before you buy as well!

  21. After my blender decided to die on me a few months ago, I have been looking for a new, more reliable machine for smoothie making. This post has been really useful as now I know if I want to use it for more than just smoothies I should get a larger more powerful model. After seeing this post I checked out the Nutribullet smoothie maker, and I think it is perfect for my needs. Thanks!

  22. I am truly blessed to have a roommate who is a vegetarian and is planning on bringing a NutriBullet to our dorm room. Right now, I own a Dash, which has so far suited my needs. However, I plan to save up for one of these fancier blenders; I’m a sucker for high-tech kitchen appliances. Thank you for this informative article!

  23. A blender actually saved me from a pretty bad soda addiction. I used to drink soda everyday and now that I have a pretty good blender I can make some fresh, fruit juice. I need to change it soon though, so this article might come in handy! 🙂

  24. I’d like to try the magic bullet. It seems like it work pretty well and I’ve heard a lot of great thing about it. The vitamix looks like the best one for me. It’s not too wide and thick, it’s nice and skinny. I don’t make a lot when I make smoothies.

  25. There are so many blenders in the market these days. I think how we diet definitely changes how companies come up with new kitchen equipment. Like for instance, making smoothies and juicing is what is making single serve type blenders more popular.We have a blender at home but it is mostly used for making fruit smoothies in the summer. Though if my mom has guests, she might make a few drinks for them using a blender.

  26. I wish I’d invested a little more time and money when buying my last blender, the blades just don’t seem to have enough power and there is too much space beneath them where lumps and things get stuck. I’ve given up on using it for green smoothies 🙁

  27. I have a magic bullet, and it does a fantastic job on smoothies, spreads, etc, and is perfect for one person. However, I have never managed to get it to chop anything. I always end up with liquid onion, but I’m sure it’s me. I have a talent that way.
    The motor’s beginning to smell a little burny lately, , so this is a timely article. Thank you very much.

  28. When I first bought a bender I tried to choose thinking about my small kitchen so I chose a small and not too strong one. It was a big mistake and If I buy another sometime in the future, I absolutely will chose those ice-breaker strong ones.

    I can make smoothies now, but ice cream are totally out of the question.

  29. Our Ninja just died so I’m not convinced that I should buy another one of those again. We got it about 3-4 years ago so it didn’t have the blades on the very bottom, like the one shown here does, so maybe this newer one preforms better. Things would always get stuck to the sides and I’d have to shake the blender around to get them to blend in, but then it wouldn’t be a very even consistency. I’d like a Vitamix, since I use a blender weekly for many tasks and want one that will last, but the price tag is quite steep. I suppose I’ll just have to make due without for now until I can save up for a top of the line model.

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