Whether you like ice slushies or margaritas, a blender that can crush ice into a fine texture is necessary for the perfect frozen drink. Although some blenders struggle with ice since it can get caught under the blades, others can make snow-like ice with an evenly-processed crush. These blenders should also be able to break down frozen fruit and veggies into a cold, silky smoothie.
We've tested over 75 blenders, and below are our recommendations for the best options for making frozen drinks. If you're looking for more blenders, check out our recommendations for the best blenders for crushing ice, the best blenders for smoothies, the best immersion blenders, and the best blenders.
The Vitamix 7500 is the best blender for frozen drinks that we've tested. This full-size blender is exceptionally well-built, which is important if you're blending tough ingredients like ice cubes regularly. It comes with a seven-year U.S. warranty, although it depends on where you buy it. It quickly crushes ice cubes into uniform, snow-like crushed ice, perfect for blended cocktails or desserts like slushies. The main jar's 64-ounce capacity is enough to make multiple servings at once, and it has a two-part lid that lets you pour in more liquid as needed or use the tamper for thicker blends.
Aside from its ice crushing ability, this blender also easily creates a silky blend with fibrous ingredients, so it's a great choice if you're looking for the best blender for frozen fruits. It doesn't perform as well if you're working with small batches, so if your recipe contains fruit, it will perform better if you fill the jar to its full capacity. There are plenty of speed presets to help you get the texture you want, but no automatic blending programs, so you need to turn the blender off manually when it's done. The jar and lid are not dishwasher-safe, but they're easy to clean by hand.
The best upper-mid-range blender for frozen drinks is the KitchenAid K400. This full-size blender takes a little longer than the Vitamix 7500 to crush ice cubes, but it's still very easy to use to make evenly-crushed, snow-like ice. Just like our top pick, it makes a perfectly smooth blend with ingredients like kale, meaning it can create a silky drink without bits of fruit skin left over. The main jar has a fairly big 56-ounce capacity, and it performs just as well with small batches of ingredients, which is nice if you sometimes make drinks for just one or two people.
It's very sturdy, with a metal base and a solid-feeling jar, meaning it can stand up to frequent ice crushing. That said, it's not as exceptionally well-built as our top pick and has a much shorter one-year U.S. warranty, which may be a concern if you use your blender every day. It's also a bit louder, but on the plus side, it has preset programs for 'Ice Crush', 'Icy Drink', and 'Smoothie', so you don't need to stand near the blender the whole time it's running.
If you're not looking to spend that much on a blender, you may prefer the Ninja Foodi Power Pitcher System. Its build quality is a step down from the KitchenAid K400, but like most of Ninja's full-size models, it's an outstanding ice crusher, making snow-like crushed ice in less than 30 seconds. The large-capacity 72-ounce pitcher is ideal for serving a crowd at a summer party, and its lid has a spout to make it easier to pour from. It does a fantastic job of processing big batches of fibrous ingredients like kale, so fruit-based blended cocktails will come out smooth. If you want the smoothest puree, the KitchenAid blender does a better job with fibrous ingredients.
It's not as well-built or as quiet as the pricier options on this list, but it's still a solid choice if you make frozen drinks occasionally. There are a few preset modes for automatic blending and a dedicated pulse mode that works well for ice crushing. However, the main jar is tricky to clean by hand because the blades are extremely sharp. The jar and lid also have some nooks and crannies that attract residue. Fortunately, the blades, lids, and jars are all dishwasher-safe.
The Ninja Professional Blender 1000 is a more straightforward blender from Ninja. If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, this full-size blender offers a big 72-ounce jar and performs just as well as any other blender on this list when crushing ice cubes into snow-like ice. It lacks blending programs and has fewer speed presets and accessories than the Ninja Foodi Power Pitcher System. Otherwise, its design is similar, including a lid with a pouring spout.
The biggest downside compared to the Ninja Foodi is that it makes a grainy puree with big batches of fibrous ingredients. It means it's not the best blender for frozen fruits. It has a good build quality, but some users have reported that the base of the jar is fragile and cracks or breaks quite easily. Also, unlike many more expensive Ninja blenders, it doesn't come with any additional jars or accessories, although you may prefer that if you mostly use your blender for frozen drinks.
Most of the time, you need a large-capacity blender to serve frozen drinks at a gathering. However, if you don't have a lot of space to spare and like to whip up blended cocktails or slushies for one or two people, the Ninja TWISTi is worth considering. Although it lacks the Ninja Foodi Power Pitcher System's 72-ounce capacity, it's a lighter, smaller, less expensive mid-range blender, so you may prefer it if you don't need a big pitcher. Size-wise, it's between a full-size and personal blender, with a 34-ounce main jar. It also stands out for its 'built-in tamper' feature, which consists of arms inside the jar that you rotate with a knob on top. It's very helpful for thick mixtures and hard ingredients, including ice cubes.
It makes snow-like crushed ice, although you can only fit about six ice cubes in at once. It also produces extremely silky purees with fibrous ingredients, so your frozen drink will be free of fruit grains or skins. It's well-built and offers a few automatic blending programs, including 'Bowl', which is meant for thick mixtures with frozen fruits or ice. There's also a personal jar included that you can use to blend single-serves. However, it's the loudest blender on this list and has only one speed setting.
Sep 12, 2022: Restructured article to help users find what they're looking for. Added the Vitamix 7500, the KitchenAid K400, the Ninja Foodi Power Pitcher System, and the Ninja TWISTi.
Jul 12, 2022: Checked that the picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
May 12, 2022: Checked that the picks represent the best recommendations in their categories and that the products are in stock.
Mar 14, 2022: Removed the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ as the 'Best Budget Blender For Frozen Drinks' because its price has gone up. Replaced it with the Ninja Professional Blender 1000.
Jan 12, 2022: Made the Vitamix A3500 the 'Βest Frozen Drink Βlender For Professional Use'. Removed the Βreville Βoss To Go Sport because it's currently out of stock. Removed the Ninja Nutri Ninja Pro as a 'Cheaper Alternative' to the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ and added the ΒlendJet 2 as the 'Βest Cheap Βlender For Frozen Drinks'.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best blenders for frozen drinks for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper blender wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no blenders that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for blenders, sorted by their performance crushing ice. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no blender is perfect, most blenders are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you look for them.