Blenders for Every Budget

We've gathered all our favorite blenders and a few tools that make blending tasks easier.

Blenders are essential for lots of everyday kitchen tasks. I use mine most often for pureeing smoothies and soups. They’re also great for whipping up quick sauces and dressings. For years, our team has recommended the Vitamix 5200. This commercial-turned-consumer luxury item is a top-notch blender, but its high price means it’s not for everybody. That’s why we’ve named the best blenders for every budget, including a favorite that comes in at less than $100. In this week’s guide, you’ll find all our favorite blenders, along with a few tools that make blending tasks easier and more efficient.

—Carolyn Grillo, Associate Editor, ATK Reviews

This quiet, high-powered blender has simple, intuitive controls. As for its blending capability, it was top-notch. It was able to produce fine-textured foods without incorporating excess air, thanks to its narrow blender jar. The tamper accessory was helpful when blending thicker foods, and the blender’s 7-year warranty insured our investment. It’s tall, at 20.25 inches, so it can’t be stored on a counter beneath a standard 18-inch-tall cabinet, and its narrow jar made scraping out its contents a minor challenge.

  More on this test

This new blender from Breville improves upon its predecessor in a few key ways. It’s more powerful, so it can get smoothies and almond butter even smoother, and it has a dedicated “green smoothie” button that completely blends fibrous ingredients into a silky smooth drink. It’s reasonably quiet and reasonably compact, and combined its ingredients efficiently with minimal pauses to scrape down the sides. Like the previous model, it still automatically stops every 60 seconds, which can be a little annoying during longer blends, but this wasn’t that big of an issue. Its timer makes tracking recipe stages very easy.

  More on this test

Solidly built, with a glass jar, this blender performed acceptably across the board, but it took time and effort because we had to stop and scrape to get results—it wasn’t hands-off. Its lowest speed was almost too fast to make mayonnaise, but it did manage. It was powerful enough to grind nut butter with a bit of effort on our part. The controls were slightly complicated but manageable.

Available for purchase at: www.blackanddeckerappliances.com

  More on this test

The Instant Pot Ace blender made great smoothies, crushed ice, mayonnaise, and almond milk. It wasn’t powerful enough to make almond butter, but we don’t consider that a deal breaker for a blender in this price range. The control panel is quite busy (sporting buttons for no less than three different kinds of milk, for example) but is easy enough to use. The glass jar is heavy and clumsy to wash because you can’t get the electronics on the bottom wet. The machine successfully cooked and blended raw ingredients into piping hot soup, something we’ve never seen from a blender before.

  More on this test

Our favorite blender capably turned out smooth margaritas and smoothies and creamy salad dressing. Like those of the other models in our lineup, its narrow cup opening was difficult to fill, but we appreciated that it came with a small silicone funnel to help. We also liked that this blender was easy to turn on and off with one click of a button. It withstood being placed in a duffel bag and dropped five times onto concrete. It did begin to leak on the 45th smoothie, but that was a lot to ask of a machine likely intended for simpler tasks, such as making one smoothie a day or a few batches of frozen drinks at the beach.

  More on this test

This blender’s two speeds were well calibrated and were all we needed to bounce from task to task with ease. It was the easiest to maneuver—light and slim, with a grippy body. It had a whisk for perfect whipped cream and a blending cup that contained splatter. We downgraded it a wee bit for leaving small, precise bits of kale in its (still perfectly drinkable) smoothie.

  More on this test

This model can feel oversized, but the long handle offers good leverage in deep bowls and pots. The large, flat blade makes quick work of folding whipped egg whites, which would suffer from too much agitation. You may not use it every day, but it can’t be beat for certain tasks. It lost points for staining, but it eventually did come clean.

  More on this test

This straw set came with two 8-inch-long and two 10.5-inch-long straws. Both were very comfortable to drink from, thanks to their 3-inch-long silicone tips. Because the silicone tips were detachable, both the straws and the tips were easy to clean. The 8-inch straw fit comfortably in a glass, a to-go cup, and a travel mug and came with an effective cleaning brush that had plentiful bristles and a grippy handle. These sturdy straws did not dent when we placed a weight on them for an hour and ably punched through the lid of a plastic to-go cup. The 10.5-inch-long straw is ideal for to-go cups and tumblers larger than 16 ounces. The downside is that this set did not come with a carrying case (OXO said it plans to release a set with one later this year); however, we felt that its performance, easy cleanup, and durability outweighed this drawback.

  More on this test