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We evaluated over 120 different blenders to find the best, then bought the 13 top blenders available today. We put each product through an extensive side-by-side testing process, including 21 scientific performance tests. Our tests compared performance on popular blending tasks like making smoothies, margaritas, crushing ice, milling flour, grating hard cheeses, mixing soups, and even making nut butter. We also scored each product on ease of cleaning and ease of use.
This review covers the best full-sized blenders. We also do extensive testing of smaller portable blenders. While smaller blenders don't offer the power and versatility of full-sized models, they take less space, are more affordable, and may cover all your blending needs. If you are mainly looking to blend soups and dressings, consider an immersion hand blender, which has minimal parts to clean and fits in a drawer. And if you want to specialize in smoothies, we'd recommend you consider a bullet blender for increased convenience. If you are not sure which style of these kitchen appliances are best for you, check out our detailed blender buying advice.
Editor's Note: This review was updated on June 3rd, 2022, to add three new elite blenders for our performance comparisons.
The Cuisinart Hurricane Pro takes the cake for the best blender on the market. While there may be another model in our test suite that slightly outperforms it, we couldn't ignore that it costs a fraction of the price. The Hurricane Pro makes silky-smooth smoothies and magnificently mixed margaritas. In addition to delicious beverages, this model easily powers through other tasks like milling flour and cornmeal or grating hard cheese without any trouble. It pureed velvety-smooth tomato soup and even heated it enough to serve right out of the pitcher. This top-of-the-line product is convenient and excels across the board. It would make an excellent addition to any kitchen appliance lineup.
However, we noticed some minor signs of wear and tear on the blade after our admittedly intense testing process. This should only be a concern if you plan to frequently do tasks that are hard on the blade, such as crushing ice without liquid, milling cornmeal, or making nut butter.
The Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series is a premium product that excelled in the bulk of our tests, including the most difficult ones like milling flour and crushing ice. This model does a fantastic job at pureeing soup, and it can even warm it up to piping hot, ready to serve. On top of all that, the blades on this burly device showed practically zero signs of wear after our testing, so if you're planning to use it daily, it should make an excellent choice and offer lasting value.
Unfortunately, this product is a pretty serious investment with a price tag a few hundred dollars more than our other top performers. However, if you are willing to fork over the cash, the Vitamix A2500 is the absolute best, according to our extensive testing, as it offers long-term value and can handle any blending challenge you throw at it.
If the top models' price tags are well outside your budget, check out the NutriBullet. We were surprised by this budget blender's excellent performance, holding its own against other models that cost significantly more. It makes excellent blended beverages and smoothies and excels in some of the more difficult blending tasks, such as grating hard cheeses and pureeing nut butter. The NutriBullet can even heat soup to serving temperature while it's blending — something only the most powerful models can do.
While we have mostly raving reviews, a price difference like this doesn't come without compromise. The NutriBullet is a bit less user-friendly and convenient to operate. It does not have a digital timer and lacks any automatic preset cycles for different blending tasks. This means that you have to get to know the different power cycles a little better before you can concoct the perfect margarita or breakfast smoothie. We also think it's a little difficult to clean under the blade. However, we found these issues to be forgivable due to the cost savings this product offers over the top-tier models.
If you're shopping for a blender on the absolute tightest of budgets, we think the Hamilton Beach 58148A is a fantastic choice. This model is usually one of the cheapest options on the market and holds its own quite well against some of the premium models. It delivered solid results when it came to making smoothies and blended drinks — even making smooth and creamy almond and peanut butter wasn't too much trouble. It's overall simple and easy to use, and cleanup is a breeze with a pitcher, blade, and lid that are all dishwasher-safe.
However, this lower power device struggles with some of the harder tasks. It didn't really manage to powder sugar, mill corn kernels, or grated parmesan cheese, even with the additional time allotted. It also doesn't have any timed presets, and the lid can be a bit hard to remove, but if funds are tight, we think this appliance is hard to beat.
Our testing protocol for blenders is extensive; we've conducted more than 420 individual tests to evaluate the 20 blenders we've tested over the last six years. Our tests prove that blenders vary widely in their performance and best application. To help you find the perfect one for your needs, we buy each blender ourselves, accepting no freebies from manufacturers to assure complete independence. Then we perform a barrage of 21 individual tests on each model.
Our testing is divided across five rating metrics:
Smoothie tests (30% weighting)
Ice tests (20% weighting)
Convenience tests (20% weighting)
Pureeing tests (15% weighting)
Grinding tests (15% weighting)
Each metric's contribution to the overall score is weighted based on how important we believe it is for most people's purchase decision-making. This exhaustive testing and rating process puts us in a unique position to help you find just the right blender for your needs.
The Smoothie metric is the one we weighted most heavily, for 30% of each blender's score. To assure scientific and fair comparison testing, we use the same smoothie and blended beverage recipes in each product. We created a berry smoothie, green smoothie, a fruit, nut, & oat smoothie, and an Oreo malt. Then, a panel of judges performs blind taste-testing without knowing which blender made them, scoring them on texture, consistency, and flavor. We also used each blender for less common but more difficult tasks, including milling flour and making nut butter. These tasks are much more taxing for a blender and truly pushed them to their limits! Finally, we tested ease of use, awarded points for top display interfaces, and rated each on how easy they are to clean.
Analysis and Test Results
The following sections detail the results of our tests, where we note which blenders stood out for their performance, good or bad, in each of our tests, so you can find the right blender for your needs.
Which Blender Offers the Best Value?
You will probably notice that all of the premium blenders come at correspondingly premium prices that could set you back a hefty amount. Examples include the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro and the Vitamix A2500. However, don't be discouraged if the idea of spending a few hundred bucks on a kitchen appliance inspires panic. The NutriBullet is an excellent all-around product that retails for less than half the price, and it held its own in the majority of our tests against the A2500 and the Hurricane Pro. It has plenty of power for grating hard cheeses, making nut butter, and milling cornmeal and flour. Its primary drawback is that it isn't quite as easy to use, but it's still a fantastic value option if you are shopping and trying to maximize your budget. If you are trying to spend as little as possible, then the Hamilton Beach 58148A is by far our top recommendation. Though it struggles with some of the more difficult tasks, it still does a great job with typical blending tasks and costs a mere fraction of the price of the premium models. If your main concern is ice crushing and margarita making, the KitchenAid K150 is an absolute steal. Still, if smoothies are more your priority, the budget-friendly Ninja Pro Plus is a great option.
Which Blender Makes The Best Smoothies?
Most people think of smoothies when the word blender comes to mind. That is why we deemed smoothies our most important rating metric. To rate each model's ability in this metric, we put them each to the challenge of blending three popular types of smoothies and one milkshake:
Our Berry smoothie test (30% of Smoothie score weighting)
Our Green smoothie test (30% weighting)
Our Fruit, Nut & Oat smoothie test (25% weighting)
Our Oreo milkshake test (15% weighting)
Each test was rated, weighted for importance, and then a total score was calculated based on the results. We followed the manufacturer's recommended instructions for blending a smoothie for each machine and had a panel of judges do blind taste tests to score the consistency and texture of each beverage that we mixed up.
The most impressive models are the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series, Vitamix Pro 750, and the Vitamix 5200. Any of these four would be a great match for a person or family that loves smoothies. A mid-grade price for a high performance in the smoothie department is the Breville Fresh & Furious
A couple of runner-ups that are a little more budget-friendly are the NutriBullet and the Ninja Pro Plus.
Results of the Four Smoothie Tests
Each blender was given a score for each type of smoothie. These scores were weighted for the relative level of importance and calculated into the overall smoothie score.
Berry Smoothie Test
For the berry smoothie test, we strained the final mixture, looking to see if the blender successfully destroyed all of the berry seeds and skins and completely blended all of the fruit.
The Vitamix products were just amazing in our berry smoothie test. The A2500 and the 5200 completely obliterated not only the fruit but the seeds as well. The Vitamix Pro 750 destroys all the seeds but leaves a few residual pieces of unblended strawberry.
The Cuisinart Hurricane can't quite match the performance of the trio of Vitamix models, as it leaves some berry seeds behind. We use the Fruit Smoothie setting, which runs for about 45 seconds. Though these products all boasted excellent performances in our berry smoothie test, the Cuisinart performed slightly worse than the Vitamix models.
The NutriBullet did an excellent job creating all four drinks in this metric, particularly the green smoothie. It chews through all the spinach and kale on its high setting in about a minute, only failing to liquefy a small clump of leaves. The finished drink had hardly any foam with a great texture and taste.
Lastly is the Ninja Professional Plus. It requires a little extra time than the manual suggests, and it doesn't obliterate the seeds like some of the higher-performing options, but after roughly 90 seconds, the smoothie is a nice consistency.
Green Smoothie Test
We judged how well each blender liquefied leafy greens for our green smoothie test. We again strain the mixture, looking for a completely liquid beverage. We also scored each smoothie on its texture and its flavor profile. Kale proved to be particularly challenging for many blenders.
The top-scoring blenders create a drink with a uniform texture and taste throughout, while poor performers have wildly varying tastes and inconsistency throughout the drink.
The Vitamix A2500, Pro 750, and 5200 completely liquify the leafy greens in 60 seconds or less. The Cuisinart Hurricane matches this performance using its Green Smoothie button. However, it takes about 35 seconds longer than the Vitamix brand models.
The Breville Fresh and Furious also produces a smooth consistency but very small pieces of especially fibrous greens like kale behind. This doesn't affect the overall taste or general enjoyability, but it may leave you with green stuck between your teeth.
Fruit, Nut, and Oat Smoothie Test
For the fruit and oat smoothie, we evaluated if each product completely broke down the fruit, almonds, and oats, as well as the texture. The best blenders achieved a smooth and creamy mix, while the mediocre ones created a thick and grainy drink. We also considered if we needed to scrape the pitcher to get it to blend successfully.
The Fruit, Nut, and Oat smoothie test proved to be a surprisingly difficult task for some blenders because there isn't any liquid in the recipe, only almonds, strawberries, bananas, oats, yogurt, and maple syrup. The Vitamix 5200 performs the best, but it takes a long time for the mixture to resemble a smoothie and a decent amount of coaxing with the tamper to get it to blend. The final mix is a little on the grainy side but consistent. The Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Breville Fresh and Furious, and Cleanblend blend the next best smoothies. They are all relatively smooth and give us no major issues in the process, but they are slightly grainier than the berry smoothies and are inferior to the fruit and oat smoothie made by the Vitamix 5200.
Oreo Milkshake Test
For our Oreo Malted Milkshake test, we rate each product on how well it completely breaks down the sandwich cookies, chunks of ice cream, and if we have to intervene to get the mixture to blend.
Some models demolished everything without issue, while other times, we had to repeatedly stop and scrape the sides of the pitcher to get it to liquefy.
The Vitamix Pro 750, Vitamix A2500, and the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro all delivered a flawless performance, creating a perfect malted milkshake without any additional effort on our part. The Vitamix 5200 also did well, but at the beginning, it took some nudging to get it blending. It also left some small clumps of ice cream unblended, but it was still an excellent milkshake.
The Breville Fresh and Furious and the Ninja Pro Plus both create an evenly blended product with a rich, smooth texture without sacrificing the satisfying thickness.
Crushed Ice Performance
Next up, we have our ice performance metric. While we love a good smoothie before work, we want to ensure that your blender can satisfy your craving for a blended margarita after a long week. Here we compared how well each machine crushes ice and the quality of a blended margarita made by each one.
Once again, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, and the Vitamix Pro 750 come out ahead of the pack, but this time they are joined by the NutriBullet and the KitchenAid K150. All five of these models offer phenomenal performances, crushing the ice cubes in 15 seconds or less, and none exhibited the slightest sign of a struggle. The Ninja Plus Pro, Blendtec Designer, Cleanblend Commercial Blender, and the Vitamix 5200 follow closely.
The Crushed Ice Tests
We rank and score each appliance on how it performed at crushing an entire pitcher of ice without any liquid and on its skill at blending a perfect margarita.
Straight-up Ice Test
The straight-up ice-crushing test is simple. We filled each pitcher with ice and followed the manufacturer's directions to crush it. We deduct points if the instructions say to add water, and we evaluate how well the ice feeds into the blades, whether it crushes continuously or if we had to pulse the power to get it to feed.
Most of the blenders excel at the ice-crushing test. The main thing this test does is shine a light on the select few products that perform poorly, including the Oster Versa Pro and Hamilton products.
Margarita Ice Test
We make the same recipe in each blender for our margarita challenge, again following the manufacturer's recommendation. Our panel then judged the texture and consistency of each beverage, only consuming them in moderation, of course!
The Cuisinart Hurricane, Vitamix A2500, Vitamix 750, KitchenAid K150, and the NutriBullet all performed flawlessly in this department. The Vitamix 5200 required us to stop, pulse it, and shake the pitcher until things were more thoroughly liquefied.
Next up, we have the Convenience test. We evaluated how much work it takes to use each product, with scores based on the difficulty of hand-washing, which parts are dishwasher safe, and how easy it is to remove the lid. Also, whether or not the pitcher can dry when left on the base. We even assess the quality of the presets on the machine and their labeling.
The Ninja Pro Plus is one of the easier models to use. It is completely dishwasher safe and provides lots of well-labeled presets that light up when they are in use. The lid also prevents the blender from starting up if it is not completely sealed. Our only issue with it is that it tends to be quite loud.
The KitchenAid K150, Vitamix A2500, and Breville Fresh and Furious are also dishwasher safe and easy to clean. The K150 can dry on the base and offers easy to interpret settings controlled by a singular dial, giving it a sleek and minimal look. The A2500 has three well-labeled presets, and the Fresh and Furious has a whopping nine. These presets help take the guesswork out of your blending.
We scored convenience on seven different factors. The ease of washing was the highest weighted factor, with simple to clean and dishwasher safe products getting the best marks.
We rated the ease of cleaning the components of each blender by hand, noting any problem areas that are difficult to reach or if it was hard to clean the blades without getting cut, like the Nutri Ninja's triple blade.
We also scored the ease of drying after washing. One factor we considered, for those of you who are hygienically minded (like we are), was whether or not it is possible to place the pitcher back on the base in a way that it would dry adequately after washing or if you needed to lay out all the components on a drying rack to prevent mold.
We tested and rated the ease of using the front panel and digital timer, whether the labeling is clear, how easy it is to remove the lid, and whether the product offers pragmatic and helpful presets.
We used a decibel sound meter to measure the noise level of each blender, but that test did not prove useful in separating the products. What we found was that all the blenders came out between 82 dBa and 88 dBa, which is really quite loud: louder than most garbage disposals, and just a tad less noise than a typical gas-powered lawnmower. We concluded that all the blenders we tested are noisy, with the best performing blenders a bit more so, and none of the products we tested would be satisfying if your top purchase criteria are low noise levels.
Our next metric is pureeing. While this may not be as important as making smoothies or margaritas, we still felt as though it played a role in each blender's versatility.
Receiving the best score possible, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, the NutriBullet, and the Vitamix Pro 750 all performed to perfection. The Pro 750 and the A2500 both produced a nice and creamy spread after about eight minutes of operation. The Hurricane Pro also took about eight minutes to finish, but the final product produced by the Hurricane was slightly grainier than the nut butter produced by the Vitamix.
The NutriBullet required just a tiny nudge to get going but didn't struggle once we added a tiny splash of oil. It also took about eight minutes to create some peanut and almond butter, and the resulting spread was smooth and creamy, with an almost perfect texture.
Our ratings for this category came from two very different pureed food tests. We made a pureed tomato soup and blended nut butter with almonds and peanuts in this metric. Additionally, we also awarded points if machines could heat the soup while it was being pureed, which is a hallmark trait of high-powered blenders.
The Vitamix A2500, the NutriBullet, and the Hurricane smashed our soup test. These appliances produce a uniform soup that pours right through a fine-mesh sieve. The Pro 750 falls a little behind these three. The sieve caught a few unblended chunks when we poured the Pro 750's soup through, but it did an overall excellent job. We were also impressed that all four blenders could heat the soup to a serving temperature while pureeing, with the soup measuring over 150 degrees Fahrenheit after blending.
Our Grinding metric offered some of the most difficult tasks for these products. To determine the scores, we made powdered sugar and cornmeal, as well as shredded hard parmesan cheese to see what these models could do.
Surprisingly, the Vitamix Pro 750 produced an extremely finely powdered sugar and cornmeal, with 99% or so of the finished product making it through the sieve. It also stood out in its ability to grind up the parmesan cheese, though it wasn't quite the best, remaining slightly coarser than the ground cheese produced by the Hurricane.
The Hurricane Pro, VERSA Pro, Vitamix A2500, and Vitamix 5200 all performed exceptionally in this department.
Grinding Performance Tests
We performed three different tests on each blender to score grinding performance: we milled cornmeal, grated parmesan cheese, and made powdered sugar to determine the scores.
The Vitamix 5200 and A2500 produced very fine powdered sugar, equivalent to the Pro 750. The mixture made by the VERSA was just a little grainier, which knocked down its score slightly. The powdered sugar made by the Hurricane Pro matched the Vitamix 5200 but took much longer than the manufacturer's recommended time to achieve that consistency.
In the parmesan cheese challenge, the Hurricane Pro did the best of the entire group, creating the most finely grated cheese, with the VERSA Pro tying the Vitamix Pro 750. The 5200 and the A2500 created a slightly coarser product than the Pro 750 or the VERSA.
The A2500, Hurricane Pro, Vitamix 5200, and VERSA all performed similarly at grinding popcorn into cornmeal, with about 95% of the finished product passing through the sieve, compared to the 99% for the Vitamix Pro 750.
Whether you are looking for a top-tier model that can do it all or a budget option that can easily handle your daily smoothie, we hope you now feel confident selecting a blender that fits your needs and budget. Although the enormous spread of prices and features can make picking the perfect blender a seemingly dauntless task, we are here to help, and hopefully, this review has accomplished that.
Austin Palmer, David Wise, Genaveve Bradshaw, and Hayley Thomas
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.