The Best Blenders for Countless Cooking (and Drink-Mixing) Purposes
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As much as we love air fryers and slow cookers for how much easier they make life in the kitchen, a great blender is second to none in terms of versatility, power, and ease of use.
Yes, they're best known as smoothie-making machines, but they can also purée (and even heat up!) ingredients for soups, gently emulsify tomatoes, greens, or beans to make awesome sauces and spreads, and pulse nuts or oats finer and faster than a food processor can — and so much more. Best of all, no two are entirely alike, so different models will suit specific needs and cooking levels better than others.
A blender also makes a very generous gift, whether you're giving it to a new homeowner, a newlywed couple, or a fitness fanatic. These editor-tested blenders offer a wide budget range and lots of flexibility for whomever you're buying it for (even if it's just for yourself!).
The Best Blenders to Gift
What to Consider
There's a lot more to a good blender than meets the eye. So, before zeroing in on the nicest-looking or cheapest model to give as a gift, we suggest starting your search by looking at a different number: the wattage. This indicates exactly how rough and tough a particular blender can get when blending hard ingredients. The countertop blenders in this guide range from 900 to 1,400 watts, while smaller personal blenders may max out at less than 500 watts.
Opting for a cheap, low-powered blender may be more of a headache for your recipient in the long run than springing for a solid model that can blend whatever they throw at (or into) it. There is some correlation between power and price, so finding a reasonably priced blender isn't impossible. Plus, these appliances frequently get discounted during sales holidays.
Other features to look for include the size of the blending container, the control panel setup, and any other accessories or cups that come with the blender.
How We Chose
Our guide to the best blenders includes testing feedback from our editors after months of use, where they evaluated the appliance's size, noise level, and overall blending ease. Learn more about the best blenders that'll quickly become the crown jewel of the countertop.
With intuitive controls and four sizable blending containers that suit a variety of drink-mixing and meal-prep needs, the Ninja BN801 Professional Blender Plus Kitchen System with Auto-iQ is the master of versatility and the best overall blender in this guide. It can transform from a regular blender to a juicer to a personal blender to a food processor in no time. We think that this blender is the best for gifting to an experienced home cook, since they will get the most use out of its numerous blending functions and attachments.
Our tester Melanie Yates tried out each of its preset Auto-iQ functions and manual speeds over the course of a week, and she found that this Ninja blender really shines when making big batches, liquefying soft produce, and chopping up solid ingredients and stringy herbs. Its cyclone-shaped blades do a great job of evenly incorporating everything added to the blending pitcher, and the 1,400-watt motor provides the power to blend or purée ingredients without an issue — just keep in mind that it's also a loud device.
In her review of the Ninja Professional Blender, she says, “Overall, I was surprised at how easy it makes the whole blending process. It’s not a device that you’ll ever feel the need to upgrade or graduate from because it gives you pretty much everything you could want.”
The only struggle she had with this device was using the dough function, which she says “blended at a speed that was just too high,” making it the one feature that leaves room for improvement. Other than that, the device is an all-in-one wonder. All of the parts are also dishwasher-safe.
The Ninja BL610 Professional Blender is a rare combination of value and performance. It boasts the biggest blending container of this list, which is pretty outstanding for its price. This blender is a versatile machine fit for blending, puréeing, ice crushing, and controlled food processing.
Although this Ninja blender takes up a precious foot of counter space, its modern silver-and-black aesthetic makes it seamlessly blend into virtually any kitchen. It has only three speed levels, so it can't be as meticulously controlled as other models, but it does have a pulse setting to offer in between bursts for dislodging stubborn ingredients.
We think that this blender is an excellent gift option for frozen-drink lovers, whether their beverages of choice are smoothies or margaritas. Its sizable pitcher and automatic blending options make it a no-fuss appliance that serves up enough for multiple people to enjoy.
Our tester Bridget Clegg uses this blender for smoothies that contain frozen fruit and spinach, and she notes that it can blend in just 20 seconds, with only a few rogue spinach leaves left at the top of the pitcher. However, this blender does make some rumbling noise, especially when crushing ice or frozen fruit.
Best Speed Precision for Smoothie Lovers
Vitamix blenders may have a lot of hype around them, but it's definitely warranted. What sets them apart from the pack is their industrial-quality build and wattage — the Vitamix 5200 Blender has 1,380 watts of power, meaning that at full speed, it has the ability to pulverize in seconds. Best suited for homes versus small apartments (with equally small kitchens), it weighs just over 10 pounds, and has a fairly sizable footprint.
Subtle speed adjustments can be made using its dial, which makes the blending experience a lot smoother than toggling between two not-quite-right speeds. If you're gifting this to someone who makes smoothies on the regular, this blender will be a game changer for them. The blender's only included accessory is a tamper, which is a rod-shaped object that helps stir the blender's contents while in motion in case something gets stuck.
Our tester Christine Anderson says, “I’ve been a smoothie queen since getting the Vitamix 5200! They’re so much creamier than my previous blender, and the tamper is literally a life-changer.” She also says that this Vitamix’s motor is surprisingly quiet.
The Vitamix 5200 can also be used to blend soup, make nut butters and nondairy milk, knead pizza dough, and make baby food. It even acts as a food processor — its 64-ounce blending container provides ample space for nearly anything that's on the menu. We think this blender is best to get as a gift for newlyweds who are about to start a family, because its versatility will help them shift from cooking meals at home for just two to mixing up puréed meals for their baby.
Best Budget Vitamix
The Vitamix Explorian E310 is a great blender because it's powerful, simple to use, and highly effective. It looks almost the same as the aforementioned 5200 model, except that the blending container is a much-smaller 48-ounce pitcher.
This blender is controlled by a dial with variable speed control among 10 settings. It also comes with a tamper that's an essential part of helping the ingredients blend evenly. Our tester Melanie Yates tested this blender by making several different blender recipes including smoothies, soups, dressing, and oat flour. It makes achieving a smooth consistency very easy, each and every time.
The one drawback? It's a bit loud. On its lowest setting, the blade whirs at around 70 dBs (the same volume as a hair dryer, according to the Hearing Health Foundation) to 95 dBs on its highest setting (akin to a subway platform or car traffic). However, the sound is a low-pitched whir — not high and shrill. Certain blenders can be earsplitting, and this one isn't that bad.
Overall, the Vitamix Explorian E310 Blender offers nearly the same quality and amount of power as the top-of-the-line Vitamix for much less. We think it makes a fabulous gift for a solo dweller to up their cooking versatility — its smaller size fits comfortably on a narrow countertop, too.
Best for New Homeowners
The position of a control dial definitely has its benefits, and that's why the KitchenAid K400 Countertop Blender is such a great device. Unlike the Vitamix blenders, this model has a Soft Start function: So, even if the dial is set to a high speed, it'll pre-mix the ingredients together slowly at first, and then amp up moments later at full power.
This KitchenAid model is quite hefty, and it's definitely on the louder side. Best for larger kitchens with ample counter space, the blender container is slightly cumbersome, so keep its size in mind. However, our tester Scott Simone loves the contoured shape of the container, which keeps everything flowing to the blades. This shape also makes the blender super easy to clean. Due to its size, we think this one makes a great gift for new homeowners who are looking to trick out their countertops with high-quality kitchen appliances.
Best Personal Blender
Keep in mind: Not everyone has the kitchen countertop space for a blender to take up full-time. For gifting apartment or dorm-room dwellers, get the Nutribullet Pro — it's a small-ish model that's easy to store and pull out whenever it's needed.
This 8-pound blender delivers serious power for its size. Technically considered a personal blender because of its single speed setting and small 32-ounce container capacity, this Nutribullet blender can do everything that a food processor can — plus make cold drinks and small batches of dressings and dips. To operate it, just securely attach the blender top to the container, then hold it down onto the base and twist. It can also pulse when pushed down repeatedly.
Our tester Scott Simone loves the Nutribullet Pro's surprising versatility and enjoys blending up pesto with it. He also says that this blender has a moderate noise level that's not too jarring. As far as accessories go, there are two 32-ounce containers included with the blender, each with its own flip-up cap for easy, on-the-go sipping.
It also comes in a literal rainbow of colors to choose from, and the sub-$100 price point makes it a nice — but not too pricey — gift.
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