Although blenders are often associated with smoothie making, they're versatile and handy tools in any chef's kitchen. An immersion blender, for example, is well-suited for blending hot food directly in your pot to make soup. In comparison, a personal blender can be a good choice for those looking to take their single-serve blends with them on the go. Finally, full-size blenders can hold much more food than other types of blenders, so they're generally more suitable for large families or professional use. Some even come with additional attachments, like a food processor, which allows you to make coarser chopped food like salsa or knead bread dough.
We've tested over 60 blenders, and below are our recommendations for the best kitchen blenders you can buy. See also our recommendations for the best personal blenders, the best immersion blenders, the best Vitamix blenders, and the best blenders under $100.
The best full-size blender that we've tested is the Vitamix A2500. This very sturdy model comes with a 64-ounce jar with a two-part lid, so you can use the tamper or add ingredients without stopping the machine. It has a dial with 10 speed settings and a few preset modes, including a self-clean program that makes it very easy to wash by hand.
It's a fantastic multi-purpose blender since it can hot blend, make snow-like crushed ice, and blend excellent smoothies as well as superb, spreadable almond butter. Conveniently, the jar, lid, and blade assembly are all dishwasher-safe. In addition to the speed dial, there are dedicated switches for on/off and pulse mode. You can also access more preset modes, like 'Baby Food' and 'Spice Grind', through a companion app that connects to the blender via Bluetooth.
Unfortunately, the digital timer feature may be a little disappointing for some since it acts more like a stopwatch that counts how long the blender has been running rather than stopping it after a set amount of time. Also, this blender doesn't come with any extra jars or attachments, although it's compatible with extras like personal jars that the manufacturer sells separately.
If you want a full-size model that comes with single-serve jars, you may prefer the Ninja Mega Kitchen System BL770. Unlike the Vitamix A2500, you can't use it to blend hot ingredients, but there are two personal jars included in addition to the 72-ounce main jar. You can make a fantastic smoothie in less than a minute using either of these 16-ounce jars, and they each come with a to-go lid, so it's easy to make a drink and bring it with you on the go. Using the main jar, it also makes excellent almond butter and snow-like crushed ice. There's also a 64-ounce food processing attachment included. Unfortunately, it's not as well-built and makes sub-par smoothies if you use the main jar.
If you're looking for a blender that can hot blend or has better build quality, go for the Vitamix, but try the Ninja instead if you want something that comes with smaller jars for single-serve drinks.
The best personal blender we've tested is the Ninja Foodi Power Nutri DUO. It's well-built and comes with two 24-ounce jars with matching to-go lids, so you can easily take your drink with you to work or the gym. There's also a 14-ounce 'Power Nutri Bowl' included with rotating arms inside it that push food towards the blades.
It has a few different modes that act as timers, and you can also set it to blend continuously. You can use any of the jars to make a silky smoothie in less than a minute. It crushes ice into a snow-like consistency and makes smooth, spreadable almond butter. When you're finished with it, it's easy to clean by hand, and you can also put the jars, lids, and blades in your dishwasher.
Unfortunately, like many personal blenders, you can't blend hot ingredients. Also, it only has one speed setting, and it's one of the loudest models we've tested. Otherwise, it's one of the best food blenders that we've tested and a great choice for mixing up single serves of your favorite smoothies or frozen drinks.
The NutriBullet Immersion Blender is the best immersion blender that we've tested. This budget-friendly model has a long blending shaft that you can use to blend hot ingredients directly in a pot or pan. It has a variable speed dial on its handle and has a faster maximum speed than most hand blenders we've tested.
It's decently well-built and can incorporate raw kale and chunks of frozen banana into a good smoothie. It does an adequate job of making almond butter, and you can use it to make crushed ice with an okay texture. The blending shaft is detachable, making it easier to store and clean, and it's usually easy to rinse clean.
Unfortunately, it's not ideal if you need to make a lot of crushed ice since ice tends to build up behind the blades. It's not dishwasher-safe and doesn't come with a jar or beaker. However, it does come with a whisk attachment intended for making foods like whipped cream.
The best blender in the budget category that we've tested is the KitchenAid K150. This full-size blender comes with a 48-ounce main pitcher and a two-part lid that allows you to add ingredients mid-blend. It's impressively well-built and delivers a versatile performance, so it's a solid choice for multi-purpose use.
It has a speed dial that has three settings, with a dedicated pulse/ice crush mode. You can use it to process hot ingredients for foods like soups, sauces, and purees, and it makes great almond butter and bar-quality crushed ice. When you're working with liquid ingredients, it's very easy to clean by running it with soap and water in the jar. The jar and lid are also dishwasher-safe, although the lid needs to go on the top rack.
The relatively small number of speed settings means you don't have many options for fine-tuning the blending speed. Also, while it makes okay smoothies, it struggles to fully process fibrous greens like kale, resulting in a slightly grainy drink. Otherwise, if you're looking for an affordable full-size blender, this is a versatile, well-built option.
Sep 30, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations in their categories and that the products are available. There were no changes to the recommendations.
Sep 03, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
Aug 05, 2021: Verified that picks still represent the best recommendations in their categories and that the products are in stock.
Jul 09, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
Jun 11, 2021: Replaced the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ with the KitchenAid K150 as the 'Best Budget Blender' because of its price and more versatile performance.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best blenders for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our blender reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no blender is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.