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The 5 Best Mortar and Pestle Sets of 2023

We tested mortar and pestle sets from ChefSofi, Tera, HiCoup, and others to find the best sets
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Best Mortar and Pestle Set of 2023
Here we take a look at the sets included in our testing fleet.

Our Top Picks

By Liam Andrews-Bancroft ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 21, 2023

Those who have used a mortar and pestle in their kitchen know it has the potential to become a generational family heirloom. We scoured the internet to find the best mortar and pestle sets available today and purchased the top 11 for hands-on testing. We ground cumin seeds, garlic cloves, and uncooked rice (to name a few) to determine the top performers out there. We washed them, seasoned them, and left them on the counter to assess their aesthetics and durability over time. A good set can take your cooking to the next level, so we understand the importance of making the right selection. This review will help you narrow in on the right set for your flavor-enhancing needs!

An efficient kitchen can help make meal prep easier. Wish you had the right kitchen gadgets for all your culinary needs? You might be interested in our best salad spinner, garlic press, or spice grinder reviews. If you need to do mixing or grinding tasks with a little more power, check out our best blender and food processor reviews.


Best Overall Mortar and Pestle

ChefSofi 6-Inch

Material: Granite | Capacity: 2 Cups
Extremely efficient
Requires maintenance
Less comfortable pestle shape

The ChefSofi 6-Inch kept coming up in our research, so we knew we had to give it a shot. However, this mortar and pestle set even exceeded our expectations. With a beautiful unpolished granite basin with a two-cup capacity and a heavy-duty pestle with a wide bottom, this set was excellent at crushing and grinding anything we threw at it, from peppercorns to avocados. The textured granite makes for great friction when it comes to grinding, and the wide bottoms create a lot of surface area between the granite and whatever you're crushing. This set has a slightly longer pestle, which ensures your hand never collides with the bowl. This set was also a great mid-range size, making it extremely versatile and practical, and the thick granite is very unlikely to break.

The thick, widening shape of the pestle was not the most ergonomic we tried, and the pestle also had no sort of polish, which made it feel less comfortable in hand. Granite sets generally require a bit more maintenance — they need to be pre-seasoned and washed without soap, which can be a bit tough, as things can get stuck in the ridges. However, if you don't mind a touch more work for a higher level of quality, this set is an excellent all-around option for all your crushing and grinding needs.

best overall mortar and pestle
The brilliantly effective ChefSofi 6-inch.


Best Bang for the Buck

Health Smart Granite

Material: Granite | Capacity: 2 Cups
Easy grinding
Simple, classy aesthetic
Great price
Small capacity compared to others

The Health Smart Granite grinds efficiently and effectively due to its textured interior. We found it works well for grinding spices and crushing garlic cloves. Though it's not the biggest set we tested, it works great for smaller servings of salsa verde or pesto. We also like its aesthetic and sleek proportions — we had no problem leaving it out on the counter when it wasn't in use. The Health Smart is easy to use and clean, mostly due to its size, plus it sells for an approachable price. What's not to like?

The pestle that comes with this set is not the most ergonomic. The polished granite and tapered shape make it a little hard to handle, especially when grinding large quantities of food. We also struggled with the small capacity when making sauces and dips for more than two people. However, for a smaller-capacity budget mortar and pestle, it's hard to beat this granite set from Health Smart.

mortar and pestle - best bang for the buck
Our rice test, using the Health Smart. This granite set performed well in our efficiency tests.
Credit: Jane Jackson


An Eye-Catching, Large Capacity Design

HiCoup Unpolished Granite

Material Granite | Capacity: 2 Cups
Convenient size
Crushes and grinds easily
Hard to clean
Less durable

The HiCoup Unpolished Granite is exceptional across the board. Offering an ideal six-inch diameter with two cup capacity, it's excellent for nitty-gritty tasks and slightly bigger batches of things like pesto. Thanks to a clever ridged design, the inner walls are extremely textured, and there's enough surface area to get the job done. The pestle is also a bit narrower than some of the other granite models we tested and has a sleek polish on the part you grab, which makes it very comfortable to use. We also appreciated the attention to detail regarding this set's aesthetics, with a polished rim and beautifully textured exterior to complement its classic stoneware look.

While the inner ridging is great for grinding, there's no denying that it makes the mortar a bit harder to clean, as things get stuck between the ridges and don't come out easily. This was also the only granite set that ran into any durability issues, as the slightly thinner pestle actually came cracked in the mail. However, it should be noted that HiCoup states they will replace any broken parts. If you're seeking a super versatile and aesthetically pleasing option, this Granite Set may be a great fit.

mortar and pestle - an eye-catching, large capacity design
The HiCoup Unpolished Granite Set had no problem crushing up herbs like thyme.


An Aesthetically Pleasing Marble Set

Laevo Marble Set

Material: Marble | Capacity: 2 Cups
Wide pestle bottom
Uncomfortable pestle shape
Prone to chipping

The Laevo Marble Set is a stunner and adds flair to your kitchen. While it may not sport the classic stoneware look, the swirly marble exterior is eye-catching and classy. Beyond just looks, this set also has a great texture on the interior with a heavy pestle that can pound out with the best of them. It's a bit smoother than some granite models, which makes it easy to wash (although it still should be pre-seasoned and washed without soap), and its size and shape make it quite versatile.

Since this set is marble, it is a bit more prone to damage, and we did experience some small chipping over the course of testing. It should be handled with more care to prevent any breakage. We also found this one of the less comfortable pestles to hold, with an odd top that didn't really fit comfortably in hand. The pestle seemed to be double-sided, but neither way felt amazing. Despite this, for an effective set with high aesthetic value, look no further.

mortar and pestle - an aesthetically pleasing marble set
The elegant and sleek Laevo Marble Set.


A Comfortable, Introductory Set

Cooler Kitchen EZ-Grip

Material: Porcelain/Silicon | Capacity: 1 Cup
Very comfortable pestle
Very durable
Too small for large tasks
Not aesthetically pleasing

The Cooler Kitchen EZ-Grip is designed for comfort and durability and excels at both. Sporting a rubber-covered pestle handle that narrows in the middle, this was the most comfortable set we tested, and we felt like we could happily crush out herbs and spices all day with it. The folks at Cooler Kitchen also added some texture to the interior, which made this surprisingly effective at crushing and grinding for a porcelain model. The material is also quite thick and boasts rubber coating on the pestle and base of the mortar, which helps a lot with durability.

This is a smaller set than others, offering only about a cup of capacity, making it less of a candidate for something like guacamole or pesto. You'll probably want to stick to smaller batches. The inner layer also collected some lint from drying it with a dishrag, so you may want to air dry this set. Thanks to the rubber coating, we found this to be the least aesthetically pleasing of any of the sets we reviewed. Overall, this is a great introductory set that offers excellent comfort.

mortar and pestle - a comfortable, introductory set
The Cooler Kitchen EZ Grip has a comfortable rubber coated pestle.


High Quality Granite Set

Tera Polished Granite Set

Material: Granite | Capacity: 2 Cups
Great texture for grinding
Aesthetic flair
Less comfortable pestle

The Tera Polished Granite Set is a reasonably-priced, high-quality granite model. The interior is unfinished, and the rough granite makes quick work of herb and spice grinding, while the wide and heavy pestle makes grinding harder materials a breeze. We love the subtle accents on the outside and the uniquely shaped pestle. We also appreciate that this set includes a silicone lid to store guacamole, pesto, or salsa verde before serving. The 5.5-inch diameter and two-cup capacity are great for almost all uses, and it's portable and easy to store.

Granite sets take a little more care to maintain. Scents and flavors impart on the inside since the stone is porous. We used steel wool to clean it out and rinsed it often without soap. This set also features a widening pestle, so after extended use, we experienced a bit of hand cramping. However, the efficiency makes it so you shouldn't need to use it for quite as long. If you're looking for a granite set that will deliver great efficiency and look good in your kitchen, this is the set for you.

mortar and pestle - the tera is versatile due to its size and capacity.
The Tera is versatile due to its size and capacity.
Credit: Jane Jackson


Great for Big Batches

Vasconia 4-Cup Molcajete

Material: Granite | Capacity: 4 Cups
Huge capacity
Crushes and grinds with extreme efficiency
Hard to clean

The Vasconia 4-Cup Molcajete is the biggest set in this review. The classic molcajete design means it has a large holding capacity and a beefy pestle for grinding large quantities of spices and other materials. In terms of efficiency, this is one of our top performers, as the wide bottom allows for whatever you're crushing up to spread out and come in contact with the textured granite. Plus, the pestle is large and heavy. Even on the hardest tests, this performed very well. Its size also makes it perfect for big batches of things like guacamole, and you can serve right out of it.

Vasconia's biggest strength is also its biggest weakness — it weighs almost eight pounds, making it by far the heaviest of any of the sets we reviewed. As a result, it's more of a pain to wash (in addition to needing to be pre-seasoned) and really is not practical for any smaller batch. Realistically, you will probably not want to pull this behemoth out of the cabinet to crush up some peppercorns. However, if you're looking for a perfect molcajete to serve up guac for a dinner party or make pesto for 20, this set is the kitchen addition you need.

mortar and pestle - the heavy duty vasconia four cup molcajete.
The heavy duty Vasconia four cup Molcajete.


Elegant and Sophisticated

Gorilla Grip Original Set

Material: Granite | Capacity: 1.5 Cups
Effective texture
Classy appearance
Pestle is too short
Requires care

The Gorilla Grip Original Set is a slightly smaller granite model with a beautiful exterior polish. The inner granite and wide pestle bottom are good for texture and surface area, and the smaller design makes it easier to wash than other granite models. The outer polish also gives this a very classy and understated look, which will wow any visitor to your kitchen.

Unfortunately, the pestle on this set is just too small. We found that if we tried to grip it how one normally would, our hand would collide with the mortar every time, and it had to be gripped up high, making it both less comfortable and less efficient. The pestle has a nice smooth exterior, but it, unfortunately, can basically only be grabbed with your bottom fingers. However, if you're more after aesthetics than efficiency, this is a great-looking option.

mortar and pestle - the gorilla grip mortar and pestle has nice ridges for crushing up...
The Gorilla Grip Mortar and Pestle has nice ridges for crushing up hard things, like chili flakes.


A Durable Stainless Option

Tera 18/8 Stainless Steel

Material: Stainless Steel | Capacity: 1 Cup
Difficult to break
Too smooth for grinding
Too small for big batches

You could drop the Tera 18/8 Stainless Steel on more than one occasion and not see more than a few small dings. This is a big asset for a kitchen item you're constantly banging on, and it's unlikely you'll need to replace it anytime soon. The pestle is also very comfortable to grab, thanks to its narrow shape and smooth feeling, and if you like the sleek look of steel, this will fit nicely into your kitchen aesthetic.

The smaller size of the mortar prevents this from being particularly versatile. You'll mostly want to make smaller batches, and given that stainless steel is not as efficient for grinding harder materials, it will likely serve you for things that are easier to crush. However, for a set that you can really bang around, look no further.

mortar and pestle - the tera stainless steel set is small and portable.
The Tera Stainless Steel set is small and portable.


A Small Option for Spices

Sagler Mortar and Pestle

Material: Marble | Size: 1/3 Cup
Small capacity
Easy to clean
Not efficient

The Sagler Mortar and Pestle is a great option for grinding up smaller amounts of herbs and spices. It has a diameter of 4.5 inches and an overall capacity of three ounces, or around 1/3 cup. We loved the slender, ergonomic handle and the shallow dish of the mortar. The marble is aesthetically appealing and will look great on countertops. The price of this set is also hard to beat, especially considering the quality of materials used in its construction.

It will be hard to make larger dishes, like pesto or guacamole in this little set with its small capacity. If you are trying to make larger batches of sides and spreads, this may not be the set more you. But, overall, we loved this little mortar and pestle and found it great for spices in particular.

mortar and pestle - a small amount of fennel seed is the perfect task for the sagler.
A small amount of fennel seed is the perfect task for the Sagler.
Credit: Jane Jackson

Why You Should Trust Us

With hundreds of options on the market, it can feel like an intense chore to sift through and choose the right set. A high-quality mortar and pestle should be efficient, comfortable to use, durable, easy to wash, multi-purposed, and nice looking. We independently purchased the ten most promising sets, and after preparing each based on the provided instructions, we crushed and ground several foods in all of them and washed each one after every use. Through research and testing, we were able to determine which sets performed best so that you can make an informed decision and choose the best set for your needs.

Liam Andrews-Bancroft, our lead tester on this project, doesn't mess around when it comes to flavor. From time spent working in the food service industry to countless hours finding inspiration from cooking shows, Liam has honed his cooking knowledge and puts careful effort into every meal he prepares. Since he was a kid, Liam has been using a mortar and pestle for everything from crushing garlic and herbs to making batches of fresh guacamole and pesto. Over the years, he's learned that no other technique releases flavors quite like the crushing and grinding process of the mortar and pestle.

On the grind
On the grind
Feeling for comfort
Feeling for comfort

Analysis and Test Results

Many factors determine the quality of a mortar and pestle, and it can be challenging to weigh one against another. To quantify the quality of each set, we crushed several food items, including garlic, basil, chili flakes, and avocado, and prepared and washed each set according to instructions. In doing so, we took careful notes to test each set for efficiency, comfort, ease of cleaning and care, durability, versatility, and aesthetics.

Ease of Use/Efficiency

Ease of use and efficiency refers to how well each set can grind and crush food. The ultimate test of this metric was crushing a tablespoon of uncooked rice. We noted how quickly and easily we could crush the rice with each set. We also noted this category when crushing all other food items.

mortar and pestle - uncooked rice is very hard to crush, making it a great test of...
Uncooked rice is very hard to crush, making it a great test of efficiency and ease of use.

The Chef-Sofi 6-inch was extremely easy to use and efficient thanks to a wide, heavy pestle and good granite texture. The Vasconia 4-Cup Molcajete was also very efficient, thanks to a hefty granite and a wide basin.

mortar and pestle - the tara granite set crushed even the hardest of materials with...
The Tara Granite Set crushed even the hardest of materials with great efficiency.


Comfort refers to the ergonomics of the pestle and how comfortable it was to use over time while performing hard tasks. As we crushed and ground various food items, we noted which felt good in our hands and which led to cramping or chafing. Pestles with a straight or narrowing shape did better in this category than those which got wider towards the bottom.

mortar and pestle - enjoying the comfort provided by the cooler kitchen ez-grip.
Enjoying the comfort provided by the Cooler Kitchen EZ-Grip.

The Cooler Kitchen EZ-Grip was extremely comfortable to use thanks to a rubber lining on the pestle and a cleverly designed narrowing shape. The EZ-Grip design makes for a comfortable handle and minimal hand cramping during use. The Sagler was also comfortable due to its smooth steel material and non-widening pestle.

mortar and pestle - testing the comfort of the tara 18/8 stainless steel.
Testing the comfort of the Tara 18/8 Stainless Steel.

Ease of Cleaning and Care

Ease of cleaning and care refers to how easy each set was to wash and whether they required extra care. We washed each set after each use (including crushing some stickier items like basil) and followed any pre-care instructions. Smaller and non-granite sets tended to perform well in this regard, as they were convenient to wash and had fewer ridges and textures for food to get stuck in.

mortar and pestle - using steel wool to clean the hicoup unpolished granite set.
Using steel wool to clean the HiCoup Unpolished Granite Set.

Both of the marble sets - the Sagler and the Luevo Marble were easy to clean and wash, despite requiring pre-seasoning.

mortar and pestle - evaluating ease of cleaning on the bekith stainless steel.
Evaluating ease of cleaning on the Bekith Stainless Steel.


Durability refers to the set's tendency to break, crack, or chip during use and washing. Since the mortar and pestle are banged together during use, durability is important. To test durability, we carefully examined which sets suffered any damage during use and also factored in the material. Thicker, heavy-duty sets did best in this category.

mortar and pestle - stainless steel mortar and pestles can be very durable.
Stainless steel mortar and pestles can be very durable.

The Tara 18/8 Stainless Steel Set was extremely durable and took absolutely no damage throughout its use. The rubber lining and thick material of the Cooler Kitchen EZ-Grip also made it one of our top performers for durability.

mortar and pestle - the rubber lined pestle and mortar bottom of the cooler kitchen...
The rubber lined pestle and mortar bottom of the Cooler Kitchen EZ-Grip helped increase its durability.


Versatility refers to the number of tasks you can perform effectively with a given set. We crushed rice, herbs and spices, garlic, basil, and avocado in each set to test versatility. Some sets were capable of just about anything, whereas some were impractical (generally due to size) for certain tasks. The HiCoup Unpolished Granite Set was a great medium size, making it good for everything we tried it with. The Chef Sofi 6-inch was another top performer for versatility, having no problem handling spices, pesto, guac, and garlic. The HiCoup Unpolished Granite Set is great for basil, peppercorns, and everything in between!

mortar and pestle - garlic was one of the many ingredients we used to test versatility...
Garlic was one of the many ingredients we used to test versatility, as shown here in the Gorilla Grip Set.


Aesthetics refers to how good each set looks. Though it may not be the deciding factor in your choice of mortar and pestle, there's no denying that they are a fairly decorative item, and having a visually pleasing set can change the look of your kitchen.

Admiring the aesthetics of the Gorilla Grip Original Set.
Admiring the aesthetics of the Gorilla Grip Original Set.
The HiCoup Unpolished Granite Set has lovely attention to detail.
The HiCoup Unpolished Granite Set has lovely attention to detail.

The Luevo Marble Set was extremely nice looking, with a swirling marble exterior and an interestingly shaped pestle. The Gorilla Grip Original Set was also a thing of beauty, with a classy yet understated outer polish.

mortar and pestle - brunch, prepared with mortar and pestle crushed herbs, spices, and...
Brunch, prepared with mortar and pestle crushed herbs, spices, and garlic.


A quality mortar and pestle can bring your kitchen to the next level. We researched the top 25 sets available on today's market and narrowed it down to the top 10. We spent hours crushing, grinding, cooking, and washing each set to test for ease of use, comfort, durability, ease of cleaning, versatility, and aesthetics. We hope our review helps guide you toward the set that satisfies your needs, budget, and decor.

Liam Andrews-Bancroft