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No matter whether you’re a serious home chef who owns every kitchen gizmo and gadget under the sun, or a takeout champion, who owns little more than a pot and wooden spoon, we’re willing to bet you have a blender. In the world of kitchen appliances, it’s a perennial classic that withstands the test of time. (Fun fact: The blender was invented in 1922. File that one under ‘cocktail party conversation.’)
And for good reason—few tools are quite as versatile. Whir together a green smoothie, make your own nut butter, blend a creamy soup to perfection, whip up a batch of piña coladas, the humble blender can do it all. That is, as long as you choose the right one. Per that point, it’s important to pick a blender based on what you’re going to be using it for (and how often you’ll be using it).
Here, the best blenders.
Best Overall: Vitamix Ascent Series A2300
There’s a good reason why Vitamix holds cult-like status in the blending world. Yes, they’re pricey, and even though this particular one is one of their mid-range options, it’s still expensive. But for those who are blending regularly—and want versatility in terms of what their blender can do—this is the way to go. It has a variable speed control that lets you fine-tune the exact texture you want, as well as a built-in digital timer.
Also cool: It comes with a special line of add-on containers in various shapes and sizes. Pop one onto the base, and it will automatically adjust the blending time based on the container you’ve chosen (credit built-in wireless connectivity). Speaking of, you can even sync up the blender to your phone via the Vitamix app, which does everything from automatically blend up recipes for you, to pair the calorie count in those recipes to any fitness tracking program.
Best for Small Kitchens: Ninja Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender BL456
A small kitchen calls for a smaller blender, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice when it comes to power or efficiency. This has 900 watts of power and can easily take down ice, seeds, frozen fruit, you name it, particularly ideal for whipping up smoothies and protein shakes (and milkshakes, because balance).
It comes with two cups, both with twist-on lids, and is compact enough to fit in a kitchen cabinet. Short on cabinet space? Don’t worry, it has a small enough footprint—and is aesthetically pleasing enough—that you can leave it out on the counter, too.
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Power Elite Blender
If you’re only going to pull out the blender once in a blue moon, it makes sense not to spend a fortune. That’s where this option comes in, ringing in at less than at a sweet budget price point. Still, you get plenty of ice crushing power and 12 blending options.
It also earns bonus points for coming with an interchangeable three-cup food chopper, giving you even more bang for your buck—it’s like two kitchen tools in one.
Best Splurge: Vitamix 7500 Blender
Yes, we’re back to the Vitamix. This is truly the crème de la crème of the blender world, and that’s reflective in the price. But here’s the thing: If you’re using it daily, the cost per use will quickly pay for itself. This particular model has a 2.2 horsepower motor, the most of any of their household blenders, and ten different speeds that let you create any type of texture, from chunky peanut butter to ultra-creamy soups.
Despite the fact that the cup holds an impressive 64 ounces, it still has a low enough profile to fit in a kitchen cabinet. It also comes with a seven-year warranty, which is always appreciated when you’re shelling out this kind of money.
Best for On-The-Go: Calphalon ActiveSense™ Blender With Blend-N-Go Cup
Blend up your morning green smoothie in the included 24-ounce cup, then pop it right off the base and take it with you. We love the convenience factor, almost as much as we love the technical specs on this one. We’re talking dual-direction blades that work lightning fast, five smart presets for various foods and beverages, and a helpful "add liquid" indicator.
Bonus points for the intuitive and easy-to-use digital interface. Oh, and it also comes with a two-liter cup for when you need to blend bigger batches, too.
Best for Smoothies: Breville the 3X Bluicer™ Pro
Meet the first "bluicer", a hybrid blender and juicer that gives you the best of both worlds. You can use it to either juice—there are an extra-wide feed chute and pulp bin behind the base to make that process even easier.
Or, use it to blend with the bowl and blade system that crushes, chops, blends, and even aerates, and has two pre-programmed smoothie functions. Or, juice your favorite ingredients and then blend them to create a "bluice" (AKA an entirely new type of smoothie).
Best for Soups: Instant Pot Ace Plus Multi-Use Cooking and Beverage Blender
From the brand that brought you the fan-favorite Instant Pot comes this brilliant blender. As you might expect, it touts foolproof cooking capabilities—yes, this blender not only blends, it can also heat up and cook food, too. (Don’t worry, the pitcher is made of tempered borosilicate glass, so you don’t have to worry about it cracking when it heats up.)
You can even set it and forget it, AKA delaying the cooking start by 12 hours, and keep things warm for up to two hours after. For creamy soups, this one can’t be beaten.
Best Immersion Blender: KitchenAid KHB2561OB 5-Speed Hand Blender
Hand-held, immersion blenders are a worthy buy, even in addition to your standard countertop option. They make pureeing soups and sauces super easy (no need to worry about transferring hot stuff from pot to blender), or can be used to emulsify salad dressing or homemade mayo.
This one earns our vote for all of the attachments it comes with, not only the standard blade ones, but also a whisk, plus a 2 ½ cup chopper attachment. It turns this into a mini food processor, perfect for speeding up tedious chopping tasks like cutting up garlic or herbs.
Best Style: SMEG 50's Retro Style Countertop Blender
Fashion meets function with this blender. We love the retro-inspired look and feel, and the wide array of seven different colors it comes in, everything from standard stainless steel to modern black to fun pastels.
Truly, it’s so attractive, we think it could almost double as kitchen décor. But don’t worry, it will still get all your blending work done, and also earns high marks for the addition of a self-cleaning feature as well.
Best for Individuals: NutriBullet Pro 1000
If you’re not cooking for a crowd, pick up this compact blender that’s ideal for individuals. It touts a 1000-watt motor, impressive for these types of blenders, and ergonomically designed cups (you get two included, in different sizes, both with convenient to-go lids).
It’s ideal for smoothies, as well as dressings, sauces, nut butter—this tiny but mighty bullet can handle them all and gives you exactly what you need. Nutribullets are also known to have a very long lifespan, so you won’t have to worry about buying a new blender for quite a while.
Best for Baby Food: Beaba 4-in-1 Steam Cooker and Blender
Sure, you could purée baby food in a regular blender, but using a product intended for that purpose, like this one, makes the task that much easier. Not only does this blend, but it also steams and cooks, and has different settings that let you create everything from completely pureed to solid foods, ideal for both babies and toddlers.
Not to mention this one is BPA- and lead-free, can get tossed in the dishwasher, and has a helpful automatic shut-off feature and timer. It's win-win all around.
Best Basic: Monoprice Pro High Powered Blender
If you want a high-quality blender that gets the job done but don’t necessarily need a ton of extra bells and whistles, this is the best option for you. It touts ten different speed settings that can be controlled even mid-blending, a roomy two-liter cup, and a helpful tamper that means you don’t need to stop and keep scraping down the sides (the bane of blender existence).
The motor is also made of copper for increased longevity, though this does come with a one-year warranty.
It's a favorite for a reason: The Vitamix Ascent Series A2300 (view at Bed Bath & Beyond) is versatile, reliable, and app-enabled. It's a sophisticated yet powerful workhorse of a blender, but that performance comes at a price. For a more budget-friendly option, you can't go wrong with the Hamilton Beach Power Elite Blender (view at Amazon). The only thing more enticing than this model's price tag are its 12 blending options.