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 85 blenders, and below are our recommendations for the best kitchen blenders 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 blender that we've tested is the Vitamix 5200. This premium blender has fantastic build quality and has a long, seven-year U.S. warranty (depending on where you buy it). It includes a 64-ounce jar, a two-part lid, and a tamper, and it's versatile enough for all kinds of recipes. If you like to make smoothies, it makes a nearly perfectly smooth blend with ingredients like kale and blueberries in just a few minutes. You can add hot ingredients to the jar for recipes like soup and sauce. It easily pulverizes ice cubes, so it's also great for making crushed ice for cocktails or smoothie bowls with frozen fruit.
Its controls are straightforward, with a pulse mode switch and speed dial that gives you lots of control over the blend. It comes with a taller, narrower jar than other Vitamix models, and it's easier to use for thick mixtures like hummus or nut butter since you hardly need to use the tamper. However, it doesn't have any extra features like blending programs or a timer. These features don't necessarily make for a better blend; however, if you like your machine to stop automatically or display the blending time, more expensive 'Ascent' blenders like the Vitamix A3500 come with lots of extra features and perform similarly. The A3500's jar is dishwasher-safe, unlike the 5200's, but both blenders are easy to clean by hand.
The KitchenAid K400 is a worthy option if you don't want to spend that much on a blender. This full-size blender isn't as well-built as the Vitamix A5200 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 smoothies free of unprocessed bits, and make snow-like crushed ice.
Unfortunately, processing thick mixtures like hummus is a more difficult task. It can make a smooth blend eventually, but it's a longer, harder process since it doesn't come with a tamper, and you need to stop the blender to scrape the sides of the jar. Otherwise, its design is well-suited for a variety of recipes. It has a good 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 best mid-range blender we've tested is the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender. This blender isn't as well-built as the KitchenAid K400, but it's cheaper and still very sturdy. It comes with a 64-ounce jar made of glass, which you might find doesn't scratch as easily as plastic. The jar has a heating element built into its base, meaning you can use it to heat and cook ingredients. It easily crushes ice cubes and is fairly easy to use for recipes like nut butter or hummus.
Although it makes a somewhat grainier blend with fibrous ingredients than the K400, it's still fantastic for blending recipes like pureed broccoli soup. There are only three speed presets for manual blending, which doesn't give you a lot of control over the speed, but it has several automatic blending programs for hot and cold recipes, like 'Smoothie', 'Saute', and 'Smooth Soup'. Unfortunately, it's harder to clean by hand than the KitchenAid, partly because you can't immerse the jar in water because of the heating element built into its base.
The KitchenAid K150 is a more budget-friendly option that offers solid performance. It looks like a more compact version of the KitchenAid K400 and has a smaller 48-ounce capacity. It's well-built, although not as much so as the K400. There's a two-part lid for the jar, and you can use it to process hot ingredients. It can do a good job with fibrous ingredients in recipes like pureed vegetable soup or a fruit smoothie. While it doesn't generally blend ingredients as quickly as the K400, it can process tough ingredients like nuts and ice cubes without a huge amount of effort on your part.
The controls consist of a speed dial with three speed presets and a pulse mode. You have limited options for fine-tuning the speed, but the pulse mode can be helpful when you're blending something hard, like ice cubes. Like the K400, you can't remove the blade assembly from the pitcher, making it a bit tricky to clean by hand. That said, the jar and lid are dishwasher-safe. The Oster Pro 1200 is another budget blender with removable blades, making it easier to clean. It's usually available for less than $100 and also comes with a personal jar for smoothies. However, it's not very well built, which is a major downside.
If you're not cooking for a lot of people and don't need to blend hot ingredients, try the Ninja Foodi Power Nutri DUO. Personal blenders are mainly intended for making smoothies and other single-serve drinks, so if that's what you use your blender for, they're a good option for saving space in your kitchen. This model has a short, compact motor base that's smaller than the KitchenAid K150 and comes with a pair of 24-ounce personal jars with to-go lids. It's a fantastic choice for all kinds of smoothie and protein shake recipes since it totally liquifies fibrous ingredients like kale or blueberry skin and easily crushes ice cubes.
It's more versatile than most personal blenders because of its 'Smoothie Bowl Maker' jar. There are arms inside the jar that you can rotate with a knob on top, which helps it process thicker recipes like smoothie bowls, nut butter, or hummus. It's easy to clean by hand, and the jars, lids, and blades are dishwasher-safe. However, since it's a personal blender, it has some limitations—there's only one speed setting, and it's not safe to use for hot blending. This particular blender is also the loudest option on the list. Fortunately, it has automatic blending programs, so you don't need to stay right next to it while it's running.
The best immersion blender we've tested is the Ninja Foodi Power Mixer System. There are a few benefits to an immersion blender versus a full-size or personal model: they're intended for blending hot ingredients and have blending arms that you can stick into a pot or other container, meaning you don't need to pour your ingredients into a blending jar. This very well-built blender has a detachable blending arm, so it's easy to clean by hand and compact enough to store in a kitchen drawer.
It does a great job of processing fibrous ingredients, so it can make a very smooth soup with leafy greens or broccoli. It's also a good option for fruit smoothies, especially since it comes with a 24-ounce beaker you can use for blending. There's a whisk attachment included for stirring salad dressing or making emulsions like hollandaise sauce. Unusually, it comes with two beaters and converts into a hand mixer for mixing cookie dough or cake batter. It's easy to switch attachments, and all of the different accessories are dishwasher-safe.
Jan 13, 2023: Made minor text updates and checked that the blenders are in stock.
Dec 16, 2022: Added the Breville The Q and Wolf Gourmet Pro-Performance to Notable Mentions.
Nov 18, 2022: Replaced the Vitamix A3500 with the Vitamix 5200 as the 'Βest Βlender', because it's cheaper and performs similarly.
Oct 19, 2022: Replaced the Oster Pro 1200 with the KitchenAid K150 as the 'Βest Βudget Βlender'.
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.
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.