Finding the best blender for the money can be a little tricky, especially if you're on a tight budget. Luckily, there are affordable blenders out there that provide good overall value for their price. While they tend to be very simple in design, some can still produce a smooth blend, depending on your needs. Whether you're looking to make smoothies to take with you on the go or silky soups for your family dinner, these blenders can offer you a decent bang for your buck.
We've tested over 85 blenders, and below are our recommendations for the best affordable blenders you can buy. If you have a bit more room in your budget, you may also want to check out our list of the best blenders under $100. Also, see our recommendations for the best personal blenders and the best blenders.
The best budget blender we've tested is the KitchenAid K150. This full-size blender has a relatively small, lightweight design, so it's a good choice for cramped kitchens. It's very well-built and isn't very noisy when it's running. The 48-ounce main jar is on the small side but has a very versatile performance. It can make smooth broccoli soup and silky smoothies with tough ingredients like kale and frozen fruit. Even though it doesn't come with a personal jar, it's easy to use for single-serve recipes. You can blend hot ingredients for soup or sauce directly from the pan, and the two-part lid makes it simple to add ingredients mid-blend.
It doesn't come with a tamper, so if you want to stir your ingredients, you have to stop the blender and remove the lid. That makes it a bit less convenient for thicker mixtures, but it can still make smooth nut butter or hummus without a huge amount of effort. The manufacturer says not to crush more than six ice cubes at once, so it's not the best option for that. The non-removable blades can be tricky to wash, but it's decently easy to clean by hand, and you can put the jar and lid in the dishwasher.
The Oster Pro 1200 is a good cheaper option. This full-size blender isn't as well-built as the KitchenAid K150, but it's usually available for less. The main jar has a 48-ounce capacity and is made of glass, which you might find is less prone to scratches and discoloration than plastic. You can also use it for hot blending. It also comes with one personal jar for smoothies or protein shakes. It makes a smooth blend with fibrous ingredients like kale, which helps make it one of the best cheap blenders for smoothies we've tested.
Unfortunately, it's not the easiest blender for recipes like nut butter or hummus. It can crush ice for frozen drinks or add to cocktails, but the main jar is only intended to handle six ice cubes at once, so you're limited to smaller batches compared to most full-size blenders. Its mediocre build quality makes it less suitable for frequent ice crushing too. Its removable blades make it much easier to clean by hand than the KitchenAid K150, and the jars, lids, and blades are dishwasher-safe.
If you like to blend frozen drinks like margaritas and need a big pitcher to serve a crowd, you might prefer the Ninja Professional Βlender 1000. This blender takes no time to pulverize ice cubes into snow-like crushed ice. Its 72-ounce pitcher can handle big batches of blended cocktails and frozen drinks like cocktails. The lid has a pouring spout, so you can easily serve drinks from the pitcher without spilling. It's also significantly sturdier than the Oster Pro 1200, which is especially important if you use your blender for tough tasks like ice-crushing regularly. The sharp blades make it hard to clean by hand, but the jar and lid are dishwasher-safe.
However, it's less versatile than the Oster or the KitchenAid K150. It's not safe to use for hot blending. It also makes a grainy puree with fibrous ingredients, which might be disappointing if you want to make drinks that include fruit like pineapple. Like the previous picks, it doesn't have any blending programs, so you need to start and stop the blender manually. If you like having the ability to push a button and turn your attention to something else, you might prefer the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ. It's slightly more expensive but has a few programs, including 'Smoothie' and 'Ice Crushing'. Otherwise, it performs very similarly.
The Oster Pro 1200 and KitchenAid K400 can blend hot ingredients but can't heat them, unlike some pricier blenders. However, the ability to heat ingredients isn't limited to high-end blenders. If you want to use your blender for quick soups, sauces, and smoothies, you might want the NutriBullet Rx. This blender isn't meant for processing hot ingredients directly in a pot or pan, but it's a compact option that can help make one-pot soups from raw ingredients. It does a fantastic job blending fibrous vegetables like kale and broccoli, which is important for smooth, pureed soups.
The main jar has a small 34-ounce capacity for a full-size blender, so it might not fit a full recipe in one batch. There are also 40-ounce and 24-ounce jars included for drinks like smoothies. There's a cup ring so you can drink directly from the jars, but no resealable to-go lid for the personal jars, unlike the Oster or the NutriBullet Blender Combo. Still, it's versatile since it can also crush ice and make smooth, spreadable nut butter without a ton of effort on your part.
The best budget food processor/blender combo we've tested is the Ninja Foodi Power Pitcher System SS201. This blender doesn't come with a separate food processing bowl like some pricier combo blenders, but it's a less expensive option if you want a blender to help with food processing. There's a dough blade included that you can use with the main jar for forming bread and cookie dough. While it doesn't come with a separate slicing blade, it's advertised for chopping and slicing ingredients like onions with its main blade assembly. There are automatic blending programs for different purposes like 'chop', 'dip', and 'dough'.
It's fantastic for crushing ice and easy to make very smooth, spreadable dips and spreads like nut butter or hummus. Unfortunately, it's not the best for making smooth purees with fibrous ingredients like kale or fruit, so blends like soups and smoothies can have a grainy texture. It's not safe to use for hot blending. It's fairly loud and not as well-built as the Ninja Professional 1000 despite being more expensive. Like other Ninja blenders, the sharp blades make it harder to clean by hand.
Feb 20, 2023: Reorganized the article to focus on budget-friendly full-size blenders. Added the NutriBullet Ninja Foodi Power Pitcher System SS201 and NutriBullet Rx.
Dec 22, 2022: Added the Magic Bullet Mini to Notable Mentions.
Oct 26, 2022: Added the Oster MyΒlend as the 'Best Budget Personal Blender', the KitchenAid K150 as the 'Best Budget Blender', and the Ninja Professional Blender 1000 as the 'Best Cheap Frozen Drink Blender'.
Sep 07, 2022: Restructured article and added the Oster Pro 1200 as the 'Best Cheap Blender' and the ΒELLA Rocket Βlender as the 'Best Cheap Combo Blender/Food Processor'.
Jun 03, 2022: Added the BlendJet 2 as the 'Best Cheap Portable Blender'. Moved the Ninja Professional Blender 1000 and the KitchenAid Variable Speed Corded Hand Blender to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best budget options 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 under $100. 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.