Trying to find 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 are still capable of producing 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 30 blenders and below are our recommendations for the best cheap blenders you can buy. See also our recommendations for the best blenders, the best blenders for smoothies, and the best blenders for crushing ice.
The Magic Bullet Mini is the best cheap personal blender that we've tested. It comes with one 13-ounce and one 8-ounce jar as well as a lid and a lip ring so you can drink your blend directly from the jar or take it with you on-the-go. It's also very compact, which makes it easy to store when not in use.
If you like to make smoothies, it can make a good-textured blend in less than two minutes. Although it's a bit foamy, it can fully process fibrous ingredients like kale, resulting in a grainless blend. It's easy to clean up after making a smoothie as a water rinse gets rid of most debris. You can also put the jars in the dishwasher for a more convenient clean. Even though it has only one speed, its design is very easy to use.
Unfortunately, it can't hot blend or crush ice. It makes poor almond butter as it takes over ten minutes to make a sticky mix with a lot of unprocessed nuts. Cleaning the jar after making sticky food can be difficult as the blade assembly isn't dishwasher-safe, so you need to wash it by hand. Still, if you're looking for an affordable blender to make single-servings of your favorite smoothies, it's a suitable choice.
The Cuisinart Smart Stick Two-Speed Hand Blender is the best cheap blender with an immersion design that we've tested. This handheld model is decent for making soups as it can be submerged in hot food, and its blending shaft should be long enough for most pots or dutch ovens. Clean up after making soup is quite easy, too.
Since immersion blenders are best suited for processing food directly in a container, it doesn't really have the same blending abilities as others on this list. Although it struggles to process raw, leafy, and fibrous food like kale in a smoothie, it should do a better job of blending ingredients when stewed or softened. It also has two different speed settings, which gives you a little more control over the blending process.
Unfortunately, its design reduces its versatility. While it can make almond butter, it produces a crunchy mix that's somewhat hard to spread and could overheat the motor. It also has a sub-par build quality, and its blade shaft can't be put in the dishwasher for a quick clean. Still, if you're looking for something to help you make smoother soups, it's a suitable choice.
If you're looking for a sturdier immersion blender and you have a bit more wiggle room in your budget, consider the Braun MultiQuick 5. While it's less affordable than the Cuisinart Smart Stick Two-Speed Hand Blender and its performance making almond butter and crushed ice is much worse. It's made from good quality plastic and rubber, which makes it feel sturdy. Its blade shaft also can go into the dishwasher for an even easier clean. It makes a similarly foamy smoothie, but it does so in slightly less time. However, this shouldn't be too much of an issue if you're blending soft ingredients. It also has a pulse mode, which can be handy if you're looking to make a chunkier, more textured soup.
Check out the Cuisinart if you're looking for an immersion blender at a very affordable price point. However, if you're willing to spend a little more for a better-built handheld model with a dishwasher-safe shaft, go for the Braun.
The Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ is the best budget blender that we've tested. If you don't mind spending a little more than for the other options on this list, this full-size model comes with a 72-ounce jar, which can process a lot of food in one go. Cleaning is very simple since the jar, lid, and blade assembly are all top-rack dishwasher-safe.
Although it's a fairly simple model that doesn't come with any additional attachments, it has a few preset modes as well as speed settings that give you some control over your blends. It can make snow-like crushed ice in under a minute, which is fantastic if you like to make frozen drinks. It's alright for making smoothies, although it has a bit of trouble processing leafy or fibrous food like kale. Even though it's made from plastic, it also has a great build quality that feels solid and durable.
Unfortunately, it can't hot blend, so it's not recommended for processing soups or warm dips. It also has a hard time processing harder foods like nuts, and if you want to make almond butter, it can take several minutes to produce a mix that's dry, unevenly processed, and difficult to spread. That said, if you have a little more room in your budget for a full-size model, it offers a more versatile performance well-suited to feeding several people at a time, making it the best blender for your money.
11/09/2020: Minor changes to the text for verification and accuracy; no change in product recommendations.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cheap 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 cheap 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.