How to Choose the Best Blender For Smoothies – Your Ultimate Guide
Looking for a blender to make healthy smoothies or protein shakes?
How about some smoothie bowls, nut butters, dressings or soups?
The amount of information, choices and advice out there is overwhelming, and most blenders look pretty much the same - it’s no surprise if you might already feel confused!
That’s why we’re here to help you make this purchase easy, quick and… even exciting - after all, you’re about to buy an appliance that will help you feel better, look better and boost your health.
We’ve researched, used and reviewed every notable brand out there. Even better, all of us here are smoothie and juicing enthusiasts who love to share our experience.
This ultimate guide we’ve crafted for you, so you can easily find your perfect blender in just three quick steps!
How to Choose Your Blender in 3 Easy Steps
Here are your three quick steps to take, so you can choose and buy your blender - with minimal effort or confusion:
There are hundreds of blender models in the market, and just randomly selecting a model, or going by somebody else’s recommendation doesn’t make much sense, because everyone has different needs, limitations and budget.
That’s why the first thing you need to do, in order to find a blender that you’d be happy with, is realize that there are 4 main types of blenders. Each type fits different purposes and needs:
Hand Blenders, Personal Bullet Blenders, Traditional Countertop Blenders and top of the line High-Performance Blenders.
In Step 1, you’ll find out which of these types is perfect for you. Once you know which type of blender fits your needs, then it’s easy to zoom in on the model.
Do you already know which blender model you want, or you’ve already gone through our guides? Then jump to step #3 to easily get it!
Step #1 - Discover Your Ideal Type of Blender
This is where most people get really confused, so we’ve decided to take the challenge and make it as simple and easy as possible:
Just ask yourself what would you like to do with your blender. Use the table below to get ideas on what can be done.
You can also see in the table what needs and limitations each type of blender addresses, such as limited storage space, on the go single servings vs large number of servings, etc.
The result of this step is that you’ll know exactly what type of blender to look for, and what price range is reasonable to expect.
Soups, simple smoothies with soft ingredients
simple smoothies with soft ingredients, protein shakes, milkshakes
All types of smoothies (some models), protein shakes on the go
All types of smoothies, including the toughest ingredients. Also for nut butters, nut milks, soups, etc.
Not recommended - best for soft fruits only - see video
Takes the most time and effort
Crushes ice for frozen drinks
Makes nut butters or milks
Makes ice creams
Storage space required
How much can you expect to pay?
$$ - $$$
How to use the blender types table - examples
Suppose you’re mainly looking to use the blender to make vegetable & fruit smoothies (See here for tropical recipes!), single serve, blending your morning smoothie directly into a portable cup to go. You’ll see in the table that Hand Blenders as well as Personal blenders can do just that.
However, you can see that Hand blenders are not strong with smoothies. They’re only good for soft smoothie ingredients (bananas, strawberries) and not for many vegetables. Thus your choice narrows down to the Personal blender type.
Once you found the right type of blender for your needs, in this example Personal Bullet, just click the “Personal Bullet” heading to check which models would fit your requirements and limitations.
You’d like to make smoothies with ice, sometimes with tough ingredients like beet. Perhaps you’d also like the versatility of being able to make homemade hummus, almond milk, nut butters, soups and more.
In this case, the best blender type for you would be the “High Performance” one, so just click on it to check which models would fit your requirements and limitations.
Which types of blenders are good for smoothies?
The good news is - most blenders will be able to make smoothies. However, you need to know the differences between the types of blenders available, so you'd know which one would really fit your needs.
There are a few different types of blenders to choose from, such as immersion, bullet and high-performance - each of which have their individual pros and cons.
Here is an overview of the main types of blenders that are available so you can decide which will work best for your lifestyle.
These are hand held blenders, which often come with a range of adds-ons. This makes them highly versatile and can do everything from making soup and smoothies to marinades and mayonnaise.
One of the big advantages of a hand blender is its size. If you have a small kitchen, this kind of blender is the only one that doesn’t really take a good amount of space.
Here's our live test of how an immersion blender copes with somewhat challenging ingredients...
As the name suggests, this type of blender is much more likely to sit on your counter. They are a lot more powerful than hand blenders but many models won’t be able to deal with the same range of smoothie ingredients as personal bullet blenders or high performance blenders.
Personal Bullet Blenders
This type of blender is great for making one or two servings of smoothies or shakes (depending on the model). The famous Nutribullet is a great example of this blender.
Also, smoothie vs shake - which one is better? Find out here!
They are usually a little bit smaller than traditional jug blenders and have a bullet shaped blending cup that can be taken out and about.
Some of the more impressive models can handle a wide range of smoothie ingredients but this won’t always be the case.
High Performance Blenders
Quite simply, this type of blender is the most powerful that you can buy and is a pro at tackling even the most challenging smoothie ingredients with ease.
The result - your smoothies will have a silky smooth texture that’s the hallmark of this type of blenders.
The Vitamix and Blendtec are two of the well known blender names in this category, but we did find a few other blenders that did a good job, as you’ll see in our blender models roundup.
Other Types of Blenders
Single serve blenders
A lot of blenders are designed with more than one serving in mind, which is so frustrating if you know some will be wasted.
A single serve blender could be your new best friend. This type of blender makes it quick and easy to make smoothies - the average one takes less than a minute! There is also less cleanup involved as the blending jug doubles up as a serving cup.
Want to try your hand at juicing but not sure that you want to buy a blender and a juicer?
A juicer-blender combo can make smoothies and juices without the need for separate machines.
Battery operated blenders
The sheer convenience of smoothies means that sometimes, you may want to use a blender outside of the kitchen.
Most blenders aren’t portable but there is one option if you want a more portable blender: a battery operated variety.
Gas powered blenders
Another great option for a portable device is the:
It doesn’t compromise on power or performance. If you’re heading off on a road trip or going camping, this type of blender could be a great choice.
Should I buy a blender, juicer or food processor?
Let’s finish this step with clearing another confusing point, in case you’re still not 100% convinced you want a blender rather than a food processor or juicer.
A food processor, with its selection of blades and disks, works best for chopping, dicing, or shredding vegetables, as well as doughs and cake batters. However it will not make your smoothies smooth enough.
If you do need a food processor for other uses, for example it could be very handy for baking - then I'd recommend checking out the Blender-Food Processor combos.
A full-size blender is perfect for smoothies, and it makes much smoother purees and beverages than any of the other options.
A juicer is great for extracting just the liquid out of fruits and veggies. However, it discards the pulp and with it - important healthy nutrients.
If you do feel like making a juice occasionally, bear in mind that any blender can make juices, to some extent - you just make a smoothie as usual, then filter the pulp using a strainer. But a juicer can never make you real smoothies.
There are also a few Blender-Juicer combos, but they might be either expensive, bulky or hard to find.
Step #2 - Choose Your Perfect Blender Model
This step is very Important - you'll zoom in on the model you want, and ensure the model you’re considering is really right for you!
This isn't too difficult - we've done all the leg work for you, and hand-picked the best and most popular models of each type of blenders. To jump to the list of recommended models, click HERE.
What to consider when choosing a blender model
Once you know which type of blender would be perfect for you, here are the most important factors you should look into when choosing your model.
Most guides will start by highlighting the blender’s motor power. We’ve found this to be one of the least relevant considerations when choosing a blender. Read on to learn why, and what’s really important.
1. Number of people to serve
Some blenders come with family-sized jars, while others are single or two serve.
Be sure the size matches your family's need, especially if you have kids - this is your best bet at bringinging them healthier, nutrient-rich food that they would actually like!
2. Available storage space
Size also matters when it comes to storage. Do you have enough storage space for the blender and its various attachments, accessories and jars?
Is the profile small enough to enable you to store the blender on the kitchen countertop under kitchen cabinets? Up to 17 inch tall would probably fit under most cabinets.
3. Ease of cleanup
Is the jar dishwasher safe? Is it designed as an easy to clean 1-piece?
Blenders with touch pads are easier to keep clean rather than those that have knobs and dials..
4. Available blending controls
More blending speeds mean more control over the blending process. However, 5 speeds with Pulse are enough.
The Pulse function is useful when you have frozen or other tough ingredients. It also helps if you need to chop ingredients without over-processing or pureeing them.
5. How powerful is the motor
This is one of the factors that determine the quality of the results - will your smoothies be really smooth? Can the blender crush ice effectively?
Generally speaking, I’ve found that for really smooth, high quality blends, above 800 watts is recommended. Weaker blenders might give less impressive results.
Having said that, there are other factors which are just as important, and could affect your final results even more, such as the engineering of the blade and jar.
That’s why the watts feature is often overrated, as salesmen focus on what’s easier for them - comparing wattage numbers rather than actually knowing which blender produces better results.
How to get around this?
Compare between user ratings and feedback on how their beverages turn out, rather than comparing an often meaningless number.
We’ve done the work for you and hand-picked the blender models that received the highest user satisfaction reviews. You can find these models here.
6. What type of material is the jar (pitcher) made of?
Blender jars are either made of plastic, glass or stainless steel.
Plastic is preferred by many as it is lightweight and easy to handle. However it might absorb odors and can stain and scratch. If you’ve went for a model with a plastic pitcher, make sure it is “BPA Free” which is considered safer for food.
Glass jars are heavier and breakable, but do not absorb odors or scratch easily.
An important caveat though - glass jars could be less safe to use with powerful blenders, since if a metal object such as a spoon is accidentally forgotten left in a glass jar, it could shatter and potentially cause injury.
Stainless steel jar are an alternative if you don’t like plastic or glass. It is much less popular due to the fact that you can’t see the contents while it is blending.
7. How often will you use it?
If you do not intend to use the blender frequently, it might be tempting to purchase a cheap model.
But here’s the deal:
The results you get with a high quality blender are so good that people find themselves compelled to use it more often.
I strongly believe that if you’re already investing money and kitchen space in a blender, you’d better take one that you’ll enjoy using and fully enjoy its results.
If you crush a lot of ice and tough ingredients, over a period of years, will the blender survive? Does it have an overload shut off, and does it really work and protects the motor?
Usually the cheaper models get worn or burn quickly, sometimes even after a few months. You can usually expect the higher end models to function as new for years.
9. Accessories and attachments
Some blenders include a tamper to help ingredients move inside the pitcher and blend better, but in our experience it’s just another item to operate and to clean afterwards. Use the blender’s Pulse button instead to get the same effect.
10. Warranty period
Your warranty is like an insurance policy, and can save you from expensive repairs later on.
Higher end models offer 5-9 years, while lower priced models would usually give just one year.
11. Budget consideration
You can find blenders for as low as $20 or as high as $400, and well beyond.
Price is usually proportional to the quality of the smoothies and other blends it would produce, but there are a few exceptions.
On the one hand, some of the better personal bullet blenders aren’t that expensive, but their results are almost in line with more expensive, high performance blenders. We review these models here.
On the other hand, some of the expensive countertop blenders produce the kind of chunky, poorly blended results that are expected from most cheap blenders.
That's why consulting with online expert reviews as well as verified user reviews - is a must before buying.
Generally, with cheap blenders I’ve heard everything from motors quick to burn out and non-smooth smoothies, to plastic chips from the blender getting into the food.
If you’d like to own a quality blender but are on a tight budget, a refurbished high performance model could be a great idea.
Best Rated Blender Models
Here are the blenders we reviewed or personally used - check out these reviews to find out the good and the bad about each blender, and whether it’s right for you.
The models are arranged according to their type. It is important that you first choose which type of blender is best for your needs. You can easily do that in step #1 here.
Hand Blenders - Best Rated Models for 2018
Also called Immersion Blenders, these are the best models based on their user ratings and reviews, as well as our experience:
Traditional Countertop Blenders - Best Rated Models for 2018
Blenders in this category have features, size and price midway between budget blenders and high-end ones.
These are the best models based on their user ratings and reviews, as well as our experience:
Personal Bullet Blenders - Best Rated Models for 2018
Shaped like a bullet, these are relatively compact blenders that fit even in the smallest kitchens, and are ideal for a single or double serving.
These are the best models based on their user ratings and reviews, as well as our experience:
High-Performance Blenders - Best Rated Models for 2018
These blenders produce the highest quality smoothies, are very easy and quick to use and clean, and can also make things like hot soups, nut butters, nut milks, batters, dips, salsas and more.
These are the best models based on their user ratings and reviews, as well as our experience:
Step #3 - Order Your Chosen Blender
Many are still holding on to the habit of shopping for kitchen appliances by visiting a few brick-and-mortar stores.
The last time I did that, I was faced with a limited selection of coffee grinders and a sour-faced salesman who didn’t actually know much about his coffee grinders. That was the last time I shopped for appliances “offline”.
Not only did I waste a substantial amount of time driving to the store and had an unpleasant shopping experience - on top of that I discovered that the model I was somewhat interested in, is being sold for substantially less online - including delivery to my doorstep!
Yes, there is a certain disadvantage in not being able to see and feel the blender before you purchase it, but in this day and age you can get a pretty good feel for how it would look like by the multitude of photos and YouTube videos of the product.
Why shop online for a blender?
Shopping online for kitchen appliances makes a lot of sense, for many reasons:
- You can get any model you want, without being limited to the store’s inventory
- You get exactly what you need, and not what the salespeople push
- you to buy due to them getting higher commissions or trying to get rid of inventory
- You get the best price since comparing price online is so easy and quick
- You don’t have to carry the appliance home. This is especially true when buying larger items like a countertop blender
It’s as simple as choosing one of the models in Step #2, and within minutes your order will be finalized. Good luck with your purchase!
If you have any questions, or you’d like to share your own experience, please leave a comment below.
Best Blenders For Smoothies - Our Recommendations
Wondering which blenders are favorite among us team members at Easy Healthy Smoothie?
We have tried and used quite a lot of models in recent years, and these are the models that we've found to be the best for each purpose and budget.
Best blender for green smoothies
Best blender for fruit smoothies
Best blender for ice smoothies
If you're really into smoothies that are well-chilled, super refreshing or even slushy-like, be sure to check out our full guide on blenders for ice smoothies and shakes.
Best blender for purees and soups
Best High End Blender
Best Affordable Blender for Smoothies
Best Personal Blender
If you're usually making smoothies or shakes just for yourself, be sure to check out our full guide on single serve personal blenders.
Do you need more help in choosing the right blender? Have an experience with your current blender to share? Tell us in the comments below!
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