Our Essential Blender Buying Guide

From chopping and crushing to mixing and puréeing, blenders can do it all. Use our blender buying guide to choose the right one!

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Purchasing an appliance for the kitchen, especially one that gets used as often as a blender, is a big move for a home chef. It doesn’t help that blenders can vary widely in almost every category, including size, speed and strength. From a simple machine to make piña coladas up to a high-end blender, they even range in price from $30 to well over $600. Before you shop, use our blender buying guide to point you in the right direction.

Consider the Size First

Blenders can vary in size from 3 to 14 cups. It’s important to choose the right one. If storage space a concern, it might be a good idea to choose a compact, single-serve blender. For anyone who likes to meal prep in advance—or often cooks for a group of family or friends—it might be a good idea to upgrade to a larger size.

Best Single-Serve Blender: NutriBullet NBR-1201 Blender ($60)

Best Family-Size Blender: Ninja Professional Countertop Blender ($100)

Think About Speed and Power, Too

Not every household needs a feature-rich blender—a simple but powerful machine can sometimes be the best. However, blenders can be used for surprisingly complex tasks like grinding meat, making nut butter and crushing ice.

Speed: Look for blenders with between 3 and 10 speed settings. Less than three won’t give you enough control, and more than 10 settings isn’t necessary. Having a pulse button is essential, though!

Power: 500 watts is generally enough for the typical blender workload, like making milkshakes and blending smoothies. (Here’s the secret to making a milkshake.)

Look for Special Attachments

I live in a small apartment in Brooklyn, so I don’t have much room to spare. It helps when I can double up on appliances and gadgets, so I have fewer things to store in my kitchen.

  • Personal Cups: Blend up a personal-size drink that you can grab n’ go.
  • Chopping/Mixing Bowls: Sharper blades help your blender do double-duty as a food processor.
  • Coffee Grinder: Grind and store coffee beans or spices.

Weigh the Price

Last but not least, price is a huge factor in purchasing the right machine. There are plenty of options for quality, durable machines on the market at an affordable price. There are also plenty of options for professional-grade machines at surprisingly high prices! Take the time to assess your budget and your needs before making a purchase.

Best Splurge: Vitamix 7500 Professional-Grade ($530)

Best for a Budget: Hamilton Beach 58148A ($35)

Psst… Here’s a surprisingly quick and easy way to clean your brand-new blender.

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Laura Denby
Laura is a New York-based freelance food writer with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and a degree in Journalism from Penn State. Her work has appeared in Taste of Home, Chowhound, the Culture Trip and Patch.