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 into 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 80 blenders, and below are our recommendations for the best you can buy. You can also check out our picks for the best personal blenders, the best immersion blenders, and the best Vitamix blenders.
The best kitchen blender that we've tested is the Vitamix A3500. This top-of-the-line model is a good option if you want to invest in a very well-built blender with plenty of extra features. It has a fantastic build quality, with metal siding around the motor base, and comes with a long 10-year U.S. warranty, although it depends on where you buy it. It comes with a 64-ounce jar and a two-part lid that allows you to use the tamper or add ingredients mid-blend. It takes very little time to blend fibrous ingredients like kale into an extremely smooth puree, whether you're working with small or big batches, so it's great for making single-serve smoothies or multiple servings of soup. It's safe for hot blending, superb for ice-crushing, and well-suited for processing hard ingredients like nuts.
It has a speed dial that gives you access to a wide range of blending speeds. There are also several automatic blending programs for different recipes, and if you want more, you can connect to a companion app via Bluetooth. As part of Vitamix's 'Ascent' line, it's compatible with the most extensive variety of extra accessories, like personal jars and food processing attachments, but they're sold separately. If you're looking for a solid, versatile blender and aren't interested in extras like Bluetooth, you may prefer a cheaper model like the Vitamix Explorian E310. It has a smaller, 48-ounce capacity, is much louder, and doesn't have features like blending programs or app connectivity, but it's just as well-built as the A3500 and delivers fantastic performance for most uses.
The best upper-mid-range blender that we've tested is the KitchenAid K400. This full-size blender isn't as well-built as the Vitamix A3500 and has a slightly smaller, 56-ounce capacity. Its one-year U.S. warranty is also much shorter. However, it's very sturdy and delivers a versatile performance since you can use it to process hot ingredients, blend very silky smoothies and soups, and make snow-like crushed ice.
Unfortunately, it's less well-suited for processing thick mixtures like nut butter. It can make a smooth blend with hard ingredients like nuts, but it's a longer, more difficult process since it doesn't come with a tamper, and you need to stop the blender to scrape the sides of the jar. It has a wide range of speed settings, so you can adjust the blending speed to suit your recipe. There are a few automatic blending programs you can access with the speed dial. The jar and lid are dishwasher-safe, but unfortunately, if you're cleaning them by hand, the lid and non-removable blades take some time to get completely clean.
The Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender is a great option in the mid-range if you're looking to spend a little less. Like the KitchenAid K400, its build quality is a step down from our top picks, but it's still very sturdy. The 64-ounce jar is made of glass, which you may find is less prone to scratches and discoloration than plastic. It's very well-suited for processing fibrous ingredients, but if your recipe includes tough additions like kale, it makes a slightly grainier puree than the pricier options on this list. That said, it's a superb ice crusher and makes very smooth spreadable nut butter. It doesn't come with a tamper, but the jar has a two-part lid, so you can pour in more ingredients without stopping the machine.
This blender has a heating element built into the main jar, so you can use it to make hot soup. There are a few blending programs for hot recipes and more common presets like 'Smoothie' and 'Frozen Drink'. However, there are only three speed presets for manual blending, so you have few options for fine-tuning the blending speed compared to the more expensive blenders on this list. It's also a bit louder than the KitchenAid and the Vitamix A3500. Unfortunately, it's hard to clean the jar because food can get stuck under the non-removable blades. The lid is dishwasher-safe, but you can't put the jar in the dishwasher or immerse it in water because of the heating element.
If you're looking for the best blender you can get for a budget price, consider the Oster Pro 1200. This full-size blender comes with a 48-ounce main jar made of glass, and it's the only blender on this list that also comes with a personal jar for single-serve smoothies. You can use the 24-ounce personal jar for a silky green smoothie or puree hot ingredients in the main jar, although it doesn't achieve the nearly perfectly smooth texture that you get with the Vitamix A3500 or the KitchenAid K400. It makes smooth, spreadable nut butter and snow-like crushed ice, although it can only hold six ice cubes at once and makes a slightly clumpier crushed ice than the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender.
You can remove the blade assembly from the jar, which makes it very easy to clean by hand. Both jars and their lids are dishwasher-safe as well. Unfortunately, the biggest downside is its build quality. Its gear design may not be very durable, and the blades are held onto the jars with a rubber gasket, making it easy to take apart, but you can't use the blender if you misplace the gasket. This blender is also the loudest full-size option on this list, so you're more likely to find the noise annoying when you're making multiple batches.
If you're looking for a compact blender and don't need to blend hot ingredients, try the Ninja Foodi Power Nutri DUO. You may want to consider a personal blender if your priority is smoothie-making since it comes with a pair of 24-ounce personal jars with resealable lids. You can use these jars to make fantastic, silky single-serve smoothies with fibrous ingredients like kale and snow-like crushed ice for frozen drinks like slushies. Its short, compact motor base means it takes up less space than the Oster Pro 1200, so you may prefer it if you have a small kitchen, as long as you don't mind its more limited capacity.
It also comes with a 14-ounce 'Smoothie Maker Bowl' intended for thicker mixtures. There are arms inside the jar that you rotate with a knob on top to stir the ingredients as they're blending, making it very simple to process tough ingredients like nuts into smooth, spreadable butter. It's easy to clean by hand, and all the jars and lids are dishwasher-safe. However, since it's a personal blender, it's more limited than the full-size options on this list. It has only one speed setting, so you can't adjust the speed to suit your recipe, and it's not safe to use for hot blending. It's also the loudest blender on this list, so it's unpleasant to stand next to it for more than a minute or two while it's running.
If you blend a lot of soups and sauces, you may prefer an immersion blender like the Ninja Foodi Power Mixer System. While the Oster Pro 1200 and the pricier full-size blenders on this list are safe for hot blending, immersion blenders are intended for processing hot ingredients directly in a pot or pan. You don't need to transfer your recipe into a blender pitcher, and you can store the blender in a kitchen drawer when you're done using it. This very sturdy model does a great job of processing fibrous ingredients like kale, so you can use it to make smooth, well-blended recipes like vegetable soup. It comes with a 24-ounce beaker you can use for smoothies or small batches of sauce or dip, and it has a lid so you can easily store what you make. It's also very easy to clean by hand, and all its accessories, including the blending arm, are dishwasher-safe.
This model also stands out from other immersion blenders since it comes with two beaters and converts into a hand mixer, so you can use it when you're making cookie dough or cake batter. There's also a whisk attachment for tasks like whipping cream or stirring salad dressing. However, it's not the quietest immersion blender, and like virtually all immersion blenders, it's not as versatile as the full-size options on this list. It's hard to use to make nut butter and can't crush ice.
Sep 19, 2022: Reorganized article and added the Vitamix A3500, the KitchenAid K400, the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender, and the Ninja Foodi Power Mixer System.
Jul 08, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
Jun 10, 2022: Added the Bamix Mono M133 and the Vitamix Explorian E310 to Notable Mentions.
May 13, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available.
Apr 15, 2022: Replaced the KitchenAid K400 with the KitchenAid K150 because it now costs more than $200. Added the K400, the Calphalon ActiveSense, and the Hamilton Beach Professional Quiet Blender to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best kitchen 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.