PROS / It has a better-than-average warranty that protects you from defective parts for two years.
CONS / This mixer did not perform well with our bread dough or cookie dough tests.
VERDICT / The Sunbeam Heritage stand mixer theoretically should have performed well with its newer mixing techniques, but when push came to shove, the mixer just couldn’t keep up with the higher-ranked competition.
Sunbeam was the biggest competitor for KitchenAid in the early days of home stand mixers, and the Heritage series’ stand mixer harkens back to those old days, in appearance at least. The 4.6-quart stainless steel bowl spins on a turntable-style disk while two beaters rotate in opposite directions. This electric mixer uses center-style agitation, but you can slide a lever below the bowl, which moves the bowl a few degrees and repositions the beaters closer to the sides of the bowl. This is supposed to ensure thorough mixing, but that’s not what we found.
The design, while lovely, is not functional. The eject button is easily bumped, so you could accidentally shoot the beaters out into the bowl. And the tilt-head button is located on the side, making it hard to reach. The best part of the design, though, is that it is very easy to add ingredients to the bowl, because you can move the bowl from the center to the side, giving you easy access.
When we started the bread dough test, the dough hooks seemed capable of handling the two-loaf recipe, but they hardly penetrated the dough, let alone kneaded it properly. The cookie dough test was only slightly more promising, because the dough managed to come together in the end, but it needed a lot of babysitting – we had to manually turn the bowl and move the bowl’s position several times. In the end, the dough was pressed against the sides of the bowl and a bit of dry flour was left in the center.
Surprisingly, the egg whites came together quickly and easily, producing more than six times the original volume. It was surprising, because this mixer only comes with traditional beaters and corkscrew-like dough hooks – no whisk is included.
There are no extra features with this mixer, but you can choose among eight different colors. Even the lowest speed setting seems to be too fast to fold ingredients together. The locking tilt head makes it easy to remove beaters or dough hooks, though. And all of the removable parts are dishwasher safe.
Sunbeam includes a user manual on its website that also has recipes in the back of the book. The company’s warranty ensures that your mixer is free of defects – that includes the mixer parts and workmanship. You can contact customer support by a form online or via phone.
Although this Sunbeam Heritage stand mixer did not perform as well as the best stand mixers on our lineup, it impressed us with the egg-white test. This mixer, with its eight color options, will look lovely on your counter, and it will do well enough with cake batter and other looser batters and dough, but it just can’t handle the heavier recipes.