Although blenders are often associated with smoothie making, they're versatile and handy tools in any chef's kitchen. The best full-size blenders can help with all sorts of recipes, from silky pureed soups and smoothies to spreads like nut butter and frozen drinks like slushies. If you make a lot of pureed soups and sauces, you probably want something that can process hot ingredients. Features like a 2-part lid, tamper, and a wide range of speed settings also help make a blender versatile enough for any recipe. Plus, the good blenders aren't extremely loud and are easy to clean when you're done using them. Some even come with additional accessories, 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. If you don't see what you're looking for here, you might want to check out another type of blender. The best personal blenders are mainly intended for making smoothies to-go and tend to be smaller and cheaper. If you make a lot of soups and sauces, the best immersion blenders are intended for blending hot ingredients directly in a pot or pan, but usually aren't as convenient to use for other tasks. If you mainly want to use your blender for smoothies and other blended drinks, check out our best blenders for smoothies.
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, whether making a single-serve or a big batch.
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. It comes with a taller, narrower jar than other Vitamix models, and it's easy to use for thick mixtures like hummus or nut butter since you hardly need to use the tamper.
Its controls are straightforward, with a pulse mode switch and speed dial. However, it doesn't have any blending programs or a timer, so you need to stop the blender manually. These features don't necessarily make for a better blend, and the 5200 represents a cheaper option among high-end blenders that doesn't sacrifice performance. However, you might prefer the more expensive Vitamix Propel 750, which has automatic blending programs. For all the bells and whistles, go for the Vitamix A3500, which has even more blending programs in its companion app. The A3500 also has 'Self Detect', meaning it's compatible with the widest variety of extra accessories sold separately by Vitamix.
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, has a slightly smaller 56-ounce capacity, and its one-year U.S. warranty is also much shorter. However, it's very sturdy and delivers a versatile performance since you can 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 accessible with the speed dial. Like the Vitamix, it only comes with one jar, but you can buy a personal jar for smoothies from KitchenAid. 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 has an unusual design with some downsides, but it's a great option if you blend a lot of hot food, like soups and sauces. There's a heating element built into the base of the main jar, so it can not only hot blend but heat or cook raw ingredients like onions or tomatoes, meaning you can use it for one-pot recipes like pureed soup. There's a variety of blending programs for different recipes, like 'Saute' or 'Smooth Soup', and there's a mode to keep ingredients warm until they're ready to serve.
However, because of the heating element, you can't put the jar in the dishwasher or immerse it in water, so it's not the easiest to clean by hand. While it's particularly well-suited for hot recipes, it's an excellent multi-purpose blender. The KitchenAid K400 makes a smoother blend with fibrous ingredients, but it still does a fantastic job, meaning you can make a very well-blended broccoli soup or kale smoothie with very few unprocessed specks left over.
It's easier to use for thick recipes like nut butter than the KitchenAid, partly because it comes with a tamper, so you don't always need to stop the blender to stir. However, depending on the size of the recipe, the tamper might not reach the ingredients, which is a little inconvenient. Also, there are only three speed presets for manual blending, so you don't have many options for fine-tuning the speed to suit your recipe.
The KitchenAid K150 is a great choice if you're looking for a budget-friendly blender. This blender looks like a smaller version of the KitchenAid K400, and although it doesn't offer quite the same level of performance, it's still a very good option for all kinds of recipes. It's fantastic for processing fibrous ingredients, meaning it can make very smooth smoothies, soups, and sauces, even if your recipe includes stubborn ingredients. You might prefer it for recipes like nut butter and hummus since it produces similar results but comes with a smaller jar that makes it an easier process.
Unfortunately, it's not ideal for crushing ice since the manufacturer says to only add a maximum of six ice cubes at once. The K400 also makes a smoother blend with ingredients like kale and blueberries—most people will still be very happy with the results, but it is a step down from the more premium models listed here. It doesn't have any blending programs, but you can use pulse mode for ice-crushing or breaking up bigger chunks like frozen strawberries.
It doesn't come with a personal jar for smoothies, but you can buy one separately from KitchenAid. However, that can add quite a bit to the price of the blender. If you want a budget-friendly blender with a personal jar included, the Oster Pro 1200 is another good option. It's usually available for less than $100 and does an excellent job of processing common smoothie ingredients in its personal or main jar. However, it's not very well built, which is a major downside.
Good full-size blenders can handle most recipes in their main jar, including smaller batches for single-serve smoothies. That said, if you use your blender for smoothies or protein shakes regularly, you might want one with a dedicated personal jar that you can blend in and drink from. Many blenders also come with attachments for chopping or slicing and are meant to double as food processors. If you're interested in an all-in-one model, the best combo blender we've tested is the Ninja Mega Kitchen System. This full-size blender comes with a 72-ounce jar, at least one 16-ounce personal jar with a resealable lid, plus a 64-ounce food processing bowl with its own blade assembly for food prep.
Using one of the personal jars, it quickly blends fibrous ingredients like blueberries and kale, so it can produce a very well-blended smoothie with most recipes. The main jar is fantastic for making big batches of crushed ice or drinks like blended margaritas. However, dedicated home chefs might find some aspects of its design limiting. It doesn't include a two-part lid, so you can't add ingredients mid-blend, and its small range of speed settings doesn't give you much control over the blending process. It's also the only blender listed here that can't hot blend. If you're mainly interested in the personal jars, keep in mind that you can buy personal blending jars with to-go lids for the Vitamix 5200 and the KitchenAid K400 if you don't mind the extra expense.
May 05, 2023: Added the Vitamix Propel 750 as an alternative to the Vitamix 5200.
Apr 06, 2023: Removed the NutriBullet Rx as the 'Best Small Full-Size Blender' to focus the list on multi-purpose full-size blenders.
Mar 10, 2023: Made minor updates to the text and checked that the products are in stock.
Feb 09, 2023: Removed the Ninja Foodi Power Nutri DUO and the Ninja Foodi Power Mixer System to focus the article on full-size blenders. Added the Ninja Mega Kitchen System and the NutriBullet Rx.
Jan 13, 2023: Made minor text updates and checked that the blenders are in stock.
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.