The best blenders will blitz ice, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and other ingredients to make anything from smoothies to soup. In reviewing the best blenders 2020 we tested their ability to crush ice, blend soup, and make delicious green smoothies from frozen ingredients. In some of our best blender selections, we even made almond milk and tested their ability with dry ingredients. Typically, the best food processors are your best bet if you want to make dough or other more dry recipes, but you can check out our guide to the difference between blenders and food processors to find out what sets them apart.
Some of the best blender brands manage to pack seriously powerful motors into even personal blenders, such as NutriBullets, Nutri Ninjas, and Ninja Professional blenders. Our top pick for budget blenders is the Oster Pro 1200, which has both a traditional blender pitcher and an optional to-go cup blender attachment for personal use and larger tasks. This is also a great food processor blender combo, because it comes with an optional processor attachment.
In our guide to the best blenders we’ve got some of the best brands you can buy, including the KitchenAid and Cuisinart. However, you can also find blenders on a budget if you’re willing to settle for a smaller blender which doesn’t necessarily come with the same range of functions, such as soup maker and specific ice crush settings. Along with the size and amount of settings, other factors you should consider when looking for the best blender include whether the pitcher is dishwasher-safe, how many sizes of pitcher and cups it comes with, and keep an eye out for a great warranty in case anything goes wrong. We accounted for all of this and more in our blender reviews. Keep reading to find out how they fared.
1. Cuisinart Hurricane CBT 2000: Best blender overall
Our testing did not lead us to a blender that was perfect at everything, but the Cuisinart Hurricane was perfect at the most things and good at all the rest. This one does not have the most wattage, but it manages to harness the power it has to make a really smooth smoothie, especially considering many of the other blenders we used left big chunks of fruit.
The Hurricane also was quite good at converting raw produce into hot soup. There is even a specific pre-programmed button for making soup. This model didn’t perform as well as others on the ice crushing test – we were able to find some uncrushed chunks – but still created relatively good raw materials for your homemade daiquiris and margaritas.
We found this machine to be compact and easy to use. It takes just a small amount of counter space, and its lay-flat controls are easy to understand and clean. It was not the quietest one we tested, but it was pretty close. The lack of a cord wrap makes it a little less convenient, but that is only important if you plan to stow it after each use or if its location on the countertop will be close to the outlet.
Read our Cuisinart Hurricane review
2. Ninja Professional BL610: Best blender on a budget
The Ninja Professional BL610 is a family-sized blender on a budget. Its 1000-watt motor can make work of blending ice and smoothies, and it has some thoughtful touches for such a reasonably priced blender. This includes a smart lid with a lift-up spout slot which will prevent you from spilling your soup or milkshakes when pouring from the 72-ounce pitcher. The pitcher is marked in both cups and ounces which makes it great for recipes.
Both the base and the handle of the Ninja Professional BL610 are non-slip and will stay secure both on kitchen counters and in your hand as you pour. The control panel also has a wipe-clean finish, but it has fewer settings than more expensive blenders. The settings are low, medium, and high, alongside the power and pulse buttons. The pitcher is also dishwasher-safe.
3. NutriBullet 600: Best personal blender
We all know the NutriBullet, and the NutriBullet 600 is a classic for a reason. Although 600 watts isn’t the strongest motor we reviewed, this personal blender made quick work of ice, nuts, and frozen fruit. There are no speed controls on the NutriBullet 600, so don’t expect to be able to switch it on low to make salsa or shop nuts. This blender is designed for personal use - its containers are in a variety of sizes, but all of them on the small side. There’s also two blade options, but we found that each of them achieved a similar result.
If you want a personal blender to make smoothies, milkshakes, protein shakes, and sauces, this compact and straightforward option is a really great choice. For the price and size though, don’t expect it to do the same tasks as a traditional family-sized blender.
Read our NutriBullet 600 Review
4. KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender: Best blender for smoothies
Looking for the best blender for smoothies? The KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond is a great choice. In our tests it wasn’t the most versatile and it struggled with nuts and soups, but it did a great job when it came to smoothies. The KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond can stir, chop, liquify, mix, and puree, as well as settings which pulse and crush ice.
The motor has a steel-reinforced coupler that provides the right amount of power for whatever task you throw its way. It also has a large 60-ounce pitcher and - in classic KitchenAid style - can come in a large variety of colors. The pitcher can be placed in the dishwasher and the flat control panel can be easily wiped clean.
5. Nutri Ninja BL480D: Best small blender
The Nutri Ninja BL480D is a powerful blender with a small capacity, but a bulkier base than the NutriBullet personal blender. It does come with cups of multiple sizes and sip lids for each, which makes it a great choice for protein shakes and smoothies, but you’ll struggle to make anything for more than one person in this blender.
In our tests, the Nutri Ninja BL480D was able to create great almond milk, and it broke down spinach and frozen fruit easily. It struggled with large ingredients like apples, so we had to cut these pieces more finely before it was able to blend them. The blender base is on the bulky side, but it has a smart control panel and suctions to kitchen counters to prevent spills.
Read our Nutri Ninja BL480D review
6. Oster Pro 1200: Best blender food processor combo
The Oster Pro 1200 blender can be bought with a food processor attachment which can make salsa, nut butters, baby food, and more. It’s also a super affordable blender for the amount of settings on offer - that includes low, medium, and high settings, and a pulse option.There’s even a food chop/salsa mode, a mode for milkshakes, and a smoothie setting.
This blender comes with a to-go cup and a 68-ounce pitcher to create large soups and smoothies for six. It does have a few quirks - for example, you’ll need to line up the lid perfectly to prevent any leaks, but Oster offers great customer service and a decent warranty in case anything goes wrong.
Read our Oster Pro 1200 review
7. Nutri Ninja Duo: Best blender for ice
The Nutri Ninja Blendmax Duo has both personal and family-sized pitchers, making it a reasonably priced and versatile blender. It wasn’t the best in our soup tests, but it does have plenty of other pre-programmed settings such as pulse, puree, crush, smoothie, frozen drink, and Auto IQ modes.
Auto IQ claims to detect exactly how best to blend whatever you add to the pitcher, but we didn’t find this the best feature, and maybe more of a gimmick. However, the range of settings is so impressive for a blender of this price. For a 1,600 watt blender, the Nutri Ninja Duo is also somewhat quiet and it has a nonslip base which holds to kitchen counters with ease.
Read our Nutri Ninja Duo Review
How we tested the best blenders
Since 2013, we have spent more than 240 hours researching and testing the most popular and well-regarded blenders. We’ve spent hours pouring over product specifications, user reviews and professional reviews to find the best of the best blenders — and that was all before we began our own tests. We only bought high-quality blenders for our in-house tests. There are many types of blenders, but we decided to focus mostly on full-sized blenders with large pitchers and the ones that cost less than $500.
We have done multiple rounds of testing with blenders over the years, each time having them perform common tasks that demonstrate their ability to create favorite foods, quickly and easily. We used a common mixed berry recipe for smoothies, using fully frozen fruits, and used the same proportions in each blender, analyzing how smooth the texture was at the end. We made fresh tomato soup with each of them in an effort to see which ones do the best job of emulsifying and heating ingredients. We tested their temperature at the end to see which blenders could get the soup piping hot and ready to serve. We also crushed ice with each unit to see how helpful they would be in party settings for frozen drinks.
Apart from performance, we considered things like user-friendliness. We measured how much noise each blender makes so you will know if you can make your early morning smoothie without waking your family – or the neighbors. We considered dimensions and made note of abnormally tall or wide machines that might be inconvenient in different ways. We considered how easy they are to clean, including whether or not their pitchers can go in the dishwasher and how easy their controls are to wipe down. We took note of how long their warranties last, as well, so you know whether you can count on the companies for long-lasting support of their product.
How much do blenders cost?
The prices of countertop blenders vary widely. The best-selling units on Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, and Best Buy average out to about $150. In our years of testing different blenders, we have found there are decent blenders at almost every price. Once you get above $200, you will always get excellent blending capabilities, though the ones in the $400 price range are even more impressive, quieter and more powerful. Below the $200 mark is hit or miss. We did find some inexpensive gems.