As the summer sun beams upon us, I welcome the season with open arms. What’s not to love? The public pools are open for playtime, the fields are smooth and fresh for frolicking, and smoothie shops abound with frozen treats to beat the heat.
When I’m in my summer element, not much could put a damper on my free-spirited vibes. But last week, I sauntered into my local smoothie bar and was shocked at the updated menu: my favorite peanut-butter protein bomb now cost double its previous price.
Despite my audible dismay, I caved and bought the smoothie. But on that day, I vowed never again to spend so much on a blended beverage – I could easily make smoothies at home.
If only I could find the perfect blender.
Fortunately, I wasn’t alone in my quest for a splurge-worthy appliance. I reached out to those in the know: chefs, dietitians, and others in the food business whose pro tips shined the way to the best smoothie blenders on the market. And if you, too, are searching for that magical gadget to whip up your favorite smoothie — or even a frozen margarita or two — read on, because we’re about to up your summer savvy.
Here, our experts weigh in on how to choose the best smoothie blender for your kitchen.
What To Look For When Choosing A Blender
As it turns out, there’s more to buying a blender than you might think. To start, you need to consider what type of blender you need. For instance, an immersion blender — also called a hand blender — is a compact, handheld tool that can easily blend soup in a saucepan, whip up your cream, or make a salad dressing. For a smoothie, you can blend your fruits or vegetables in the blender’s beaker and enjoy a tasty treat for one.
A countertop blender takes up more space in your kitchen — and usually, more money from your wallet — but is much more versatile if you’re making large batches of smoothies. This multipurpose machine is optimal when your whole family (or neighborhood) wants to join in on your blending adventures.
If you’re looking for something that falls neatly between the two — more powerful than an immersion blender but less industrial than the countertop version — consider a personal blender, which is a smaller, less expensive version of the latter. This option is your best bet for a single-serve smoothie on the go (Hey, single ladies!).
Once you’ve pinned down your purpose, you should consider a few fancy features that might be important to your purchase.
What To Look For In A Blender: According To The Pros
Make sure it can blend ice. “A lot of lower-end blenders won’t blend ice, which can hold you back when making smoothies,” says Aysegul Sanford, a food blogger at Foolproof Living. “You want to be able to use frozen fruit hassle-free as well, which will also require this kind of stronger motor and blade. It means you can stock up on longer-lasting fruit and enjoy a wider variety without concern for your fruit spoiling.”
Make sure it’s powerful enough. “Smoothie seekers should look for a blender that is powerful enough to crush ice and frozen fruit,” says Kenzo Kishita, a retired cook and food blogger. “A high-quality blender will be able to pulverize the fruits and vegetables that you put into it, leaving behind nothing but the delicious juice.”
Make sure it’s the right size. “Smoothie makers come in various sizes. It’s essential to choose the right one,” says Vaishnavi Davande, a recipe maker and food blogger. “If space is a concern, it might be best to choose the compact one. For anyone who likes to prepare smoothies in advance or often makes them for family or friends, then it might be a good idea to upgrade to a generous one.”
Make sure the speed meets your needs. “Many smoothies come with automatic speed settings. Such makers automatically start when you place the jug on the motor and click it into place,” explains Davande. “Some smoothie makers may include manual speed settings or a pulse setting for greater control.”
Make sure you assess the material. “When it comes to blender cups, the two most common materials are plastic and glass,” notes Anna Silver, founder of CookForFolks. “I prefer glass because they are more resistant to heat and they are also easy to clean. However, glass cups can be heavy, so it depends on what your needs are.”
Make sure it’s portable (if you want). “It may seem like a minor detail, but I find myself more inclined to make a nutrient-packed smoothie for breakfast when I can toss a lid on the container I blended it in and take it on the go with me,” says Erin Quense, a registered dietitian. “It is much easier than dealing with the hassle of an extra container.”
Make sure it’s durable. “Very cheap models should be able to reliably crush ice and shed leafy greens very fine. But these blenders always have some problems when approaching the two-year mark,” explains Markus Maibaum, a plant-based food expert at veganivore.de. “My Vitamix has a 10-year warranty, and the high price is reasonable because I would need five mid-ranged priced blenders in the same timeframe.”
The Best Smoothie Blenders For Every Budget
Ready for our researched recommendations? We blended up the picks of our experts and staff to bring you this list of the top smoothie blenders on the market.
Best Immersion Blenders
This variable-speed blender features a removable bending arm with a 4-point stainless steel blade to quickly blend ingredients. The 3-cup, BPA-free blending jar with a lid is portable and primed to serve a smoothie or save it for later.
This control-grip blender features an ergonomic trigger grip and 15 variable speeds for efficient mixing. The stainless steel blade can reach up to 8 inches to blend ingredients in deeper pots and bowls.
This 5-in-1 blender features 9 speeds and a turbo boost for more difficult blending needs. The attachments are easy to assemble and include the blender, chopper bowl, measuring cup, egg whisk, and wall-mounted bracket.
This versatile hand blender features an easy-grip handle, variable speed selector, and stainless steel blending arm with a wire whisk attachment. The BPA-free product has a potent motor with a slim design for easy storage.
This Smart Stick blender features a DC motor that delivers powerful mixing with minimal noise. The blender is smooth to use with a variable-speed dial and push button to control continuous or pulse action.
This 2-speed hand blender features an 8-inch detachable blading shaft and extra-long 5-foot power cord to maneuver about your kitchen. The body is ergonomic and lightweight with detachable parts that are dishwasher-safe and easy to assemble.
Best Countertop Blenders
This 10-speed blender features aircraft-grade stainless steel blades and a pulse option to blend your best ingredients. The 48-ounce blending cup is BPA-free and self-cleaning for simple storage.
This high-performance blender features touch-screen technology with a potent motor and 7 functions to blend or crush. The sleek, stylish model has auto-clean functionality with removable, BPA-free parts that are dishwasher-safe.
This high-end blender features sharp, stainless-steel blades that you can control with pre-programmed settings. Plus, this model comes in various colors to match your kitchen decor.
This professional-grade blender features variable speed control, friction heat functionality, and aircraft-grade stainless steel blades. The 64-ounce self-cleaning container is optimal for blending large batches of your favorite soup or smoothie.
This Powercrush blender features QuietCrush technology to blend without the noise. The 4-tip stainless steel blending blade works its magic with a powerful 900W motor and 3 speeds, plus a pulse option.
This 1200W blender features a commercial-grade motor with 4 speed modes and 8 blending presets to control your texture. The model comes with Quiet Technology and is certificated with highest standard durability.
This high-speed professional blender features a 1200W motor with 9 adjustable speeds that you can control on an advanced LED touchscreen. The BPA-free pitcher has a built-in safety-protection system and is sturdy and durable.
This professional blender features a modern design with Total Crushing Blades in a 72-ounce pitcher. The model has 9 speeds and 5 preset Auto-iQ programs that you can control with the touch of a button.
Best Personal Blenders
This portable blender is compact and cord-free with a USB-rechargeable design. The TurboJet technology makes this model 5 times more powerful than the original BlendJet, and the battery capacity allows for more than 15 blends on a single charge.
This 500W personal blender features one-touch blending, a removable stainless-steel blade, and a Blend-N-Go cup with measurement markers. The 20-ounce, BPA-free bottle is durable with a spill-proof lid.
This combination blender features advanced technology to both blend smoothie ingredients and infuse your hydration in a stainless-steel chamber. The model has 2 blending speeds that can quickly pulse your beverage before you screw on the drinking lid and take it on the go.
This powerful personal blender features stainless-steel extractor blades with cyclonic action to blend the coarsest ingredients. The plastic cups are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.
This compact blender features high-performance technology combined with modern aesthetic design. The German-inspired model comes with a 20-ounce Tritan blending jar, complete with a to-go lid, that is dishwasher-safe.
This retro-style personal blender features a high-powered 300W motor with 2 speeds and heavy-duty stainless steel blades. The single-serve blender comes with a BPA-free jar and a smaller mason jar for easy drinking and portability.
This smart blender features wireless connectivity, variable speed control, and touchscreens with 5 program settings. “It has one of the strongest motors on the market, so it can blend fruits and veggies of all kinds,” says Sanford. “It is also very versatile, meaning it can be used to make anything from smoothies to sauces and hot soups, without needing to heat it separately!”
This duo blender and smoothie bowl features 4 preset Auto-iQ programs to create 1-touch smoothies or spreads. “The Ninja Foodi Power Nutri Duo is the best personal blender for smoothies I’ve ever tested,” says Hardland Adkins, a nutritionist and founder of Fast Food Menu Prices. “It comes with a pair of 24-ounce personal jars with resealable lids that you can use to make a fantastic smoothie on the go. You can also use it to blend hard ingredients like almond butter, so it can be helpful if you make thicker smoothie bowls or add hard ingredients like seeds or nuts to the jar. It’s loud at maximum speed, but unlike many personal blenders, it has a timed smoothie program that allows you to step away while it’s running.”
This multifunction blender features 12 versatile functions with an easy-to-read control panel. “It’s got a 700W peak blending powerful motor and comes with Ice Sabre blades and 12 functions that make it easy to whip up anything from smoothies to soups and sauces,” says Kishita. “Plus, the pitcher is made from durable plastic, so you don’t have to worry about it cracking when you wash it.”
What is your favorite portable smoothie blender? Let us know below in the comments!
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