If you're a budding baker or simply want to save time in the kitchen, you shouldn't be without a stand mixer.
The best stand mixers mean you can effortlessly knead bread dough, rustle up cookie and cake mixture and whisk eggs with ease.
They're not just restricted to baking either, as the top stand mixers can also double up as blenders, food processors and even pasta makers, making them an essential accessory for the kitchen.
We’ve been evaluating kitchen stand mixers for the past eight years. During our most recent round of hands-on testing, we found that the durable KitchenAid Artisan stood out from all the mixers as the best overall. It blasted through every challenge we put it to and produced the results a good cook would expect. The KitchenAid Artisan offers impressive power, comes with three attachments and a splash guard, and you can buy 10 other versatile attachments.
KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
The KitchenAid Artisan whisks egg whites into airy clouds, kneads bread dough with longshoreman-like power.
Cuisinart Precision Master SM-50
Not the cheapest, but this versatile and well-designed stand mixer is great value.
KitchenAid Classic Plus KSM75WH
The KitchenAid Classic Plus is the perfect jumping off point for baking newbies.
1. KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer: best overall
The robust KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer outdid the other mixers we tested
Bowl capacity: 5 | Number of speeds: 10 | Locking tilt head: Yes | Number of colors: 40 | Warranty: 1 year
The robust KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer outdid the other mixers we tested, despite steep competition. This is a tilt-head mixer, so you simply tip the head back to get to the generously large 5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl.
With its powerful motor, the KitchenAid Artisan muscled through 10 minutes of kneading bread dough like it was nothing at all, and the result was a smooth, shiny and precisely blended ball of dough with virtually no leftover bits sticking to the sides of the bowl. As for whipping egg whites, this electric mixer whisked more air into egg whites than any of the other mixers we tested and did it in only three minutes. The result was a great volume of poufy, stiff-peak egg whites that could be used to create an elegant meringue. When it came to making chocolate chip cookie dough using the paddle attachment, each ingredient was well incorporated into the finished dough, with no flour residue and only tiny smears of butter on the sides of the bowl.
The mixer comes with a dough hook, whisk, paddle attachment and splash guard. However, you can purchase as many as 10 other attachments that make this KitchenAid mixer extra versatile. These include a meat grinder, pasta maker, sausage stuffer and more. On a whimsical note, you can choose from more than 40 colors (some are the same hue, but matte or shiny) to add pizazz to your kitchen décor. There are a few drawbacks: This does not include a timer, you get only a one-year warranty and there is no overload shut-off protection if the machine is working too hard, which could cause the motor to burn up.
- Read the review: KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
2. Cuisinart Precision Master SM-50: best value
For all-around value with an acceptable price tag, the Cuisinart Precision Master stand mixer is a great choice
Bowl capacity: 5.5 | Number of speeds: 12 | Locking tilt head: Yes | Number of colors: 6 | Warranty: 3 year
For all-around value with an acceptable price tag, the Cuisinart Precision Master stand mixer is a great choice. Its powerful motor can handle two loaves of wet, heavy bread dough, and it does a fine job of blending cookie dough and whipping egg whites.
In our bread test, the Cuisinart kneaded two loaves of dough in 10 minutes with no trouble at all. It did a fine job on cookie dough, incorporating all ingredients quickly and well, and when we added chocolate chips, they blended in nicely. And it aced our whipped egg whites test. It is equipped with 12 power settings and on the highest one you get some serious energy for aerating things like egg whites or whipping cream.
This stand mixer offers some excellent extras: The "low" setting is truly low, which helps avoid getting doused with flour when adding dry ingredients, and the 5.5-quart stainless steel bowl is the biggest of all the mixers we reviewed. The bowl also has a sturdy handle, which is helpful when you want to remove a bowl full of batter or dough from the base.
This comes with a whisk, dough hook and paddle, and you can separately buy a frozen dessert maker, a meat grinder, a pasta roller and cutter tool, and a pasta extruder. You get a choice of six colors, which is great compared to mixers with only one, but far fewer than the KitchenAid Artisan.
- Read the review: Cuisinart Precision Master SM-50
3. KitchenAid Classic Plus KSM75WH: best for basics
This is a somewhat pared-down model compared to its more expensive cousin
Bowl capacity: 4.5 | Number of speeds: 10 | Locking tilt head: Yes | Number of colors: 1 | Warranty: 1 year
The KitchenAid Classic Plus mixer doesn't have many features, extra bowls or a heavy-duty motor. However, it performed very well in all our kitchen tests, whipping up stiff egg whites, blending chocolate chips gently into cookie dough without breaking them and kneading bread dough until it reached just the right consistency.
This is a somewhat pared-down model compared to its more expensive cousin, the KitchenAid Artisan. For example, it doesn't come with such things as a splashguard or a bowl with a handle. Still, the KitchenAid Classic is a useful tool with a sturdy 4.5-quart stainless steel bowl, a paddle mixer, a whisk attachment and a dough hook. If you choose, you can buy extra attachments from KitchenAid – they let you do far more with your mixer, including grind meat, make pasta and shred cheese.
- Read the review: KitchenAid Classic Plus
4. Oster Planetary FPSTSMPL1: best compact mixer
Outperforms many bigger mixers at kneading bread dough
Bowl capacity: 4.5 | Number of speeds: 12 | Locking tilt head: Yes | Number of colors: 5 | Warranty: 2 year
The Oster Planetary FPSTSMPL1 is a fairly small stand mixer compared to others we reviewed, but it does a bang-up job mixing cookie dough and outperforms many bigger mixers at kneading bread dough. We got excellent results using this mixer’s dough hook to knead dough for two loaves of bread.
This mixer is designed to use planetary movement – the attachment orbits and the bowl rotates – so all the attachments touch nearly every part of the mixing bowl. As such, you don't end up with globs of flour or shortening stuck to the sides. The Oster comes with standard attachments, including a mixing paddle, a whisk and a dough hook. However, you cannot buy extra attachments to make pasta, which some mixers make available. The 4.5-quart bowl has a splashguard and a handle, and the mixer has a slow start feature.
- Read the review: Oster Planetary
How much do the best stand mixers cost?
Home stand mixers span an exceptionally wide price range. For an appliance that gets used as often as a mixer, a higher price tag can sometimes make a remarkable difference in performance, durability and quality.
Mixers by well-known brands generally start at around $70 but can cost more than $350 on the high end. Buying a top-rated mixer manufactured by a trusted company is worth it in the end. You can get years of service from a powerful, properly designed stand mixer.
How to keep your stand mixer sparkling clean
If you’re like most people, you no doubt wash your stand mixer attachments, wipe down the outside of the machine and call it a day, at least most of the time. However, from time to time, it’s good to deep clean your mixer to keep it sanitary and make sure it looks great on your countertop.
The user manual for the KitchenAid Artisan, a highly popular stand mixer, describes which parts can go into the dishwasher and gives some general information, but it doesn’t specify how often to thoroughly clean your mixer. Here's what you should do regularly.
It's recommended you unscrew the attachment hub plate – the spot where you secure attachments – and wipe the inside, while you should also clean the beater shaft, which is where you insert beaters, since fine ingredients can build up there.
In case you have a new stainless steel mixing bowl with residue that won’t come off with regular washing, KitchenAid suggests spreading olive oil inside the bowl, letting it sit for a while, and then washing it with hot water and detergent. You can also scrub the residue off with a mixture of lemon juice and salt or a baking soda and water paste. “By doing so, you are able to remove the residue safely. These are food safe alternatives with abrasive qualities that will adequately clean the bowl,” KitchenAid says.
Why trust us on stand mixers?
We have been reviewing stand mixers since 2011. During that time, we’ve invested hours doing hands-on testing for all the mixers we chose after researching stand mixers and coming up with popular and affordable products from well-known manufacturers. We wanted each test to be fair, so we measured all ingredients precisely, timed everything carefully and graded each mixer on the exacting standards we set for great results in foods and great value in a mixer.
We also sought advice from the experts. We checked in with Teresa Hunsaker, family consumer science educator at Utah State University Extension, to see what the typical home consumer should look for in a stand mixer. She strongly recommends that each individual think first about what they'll be using the mixer for most of the time and go from there when looking for features.
We also tracked down Lynnette Nielsen, bakery manager at Dick’s Fresh Market in Bountiful, Utah, who has worked as a commercial baker for almost 40 years. Given her extensive experience with giant commercial and home countertop mixers, Nielsen knows exactly what she would want in a home mixer: Power.
Without the oomph to make plenty of revolutions, a mixer cannot do the job it should, according to Nielsen.
More on Prep Appliances
We also looked at the website for renowned lifestyle expert Martha Stewart, who began her career in that area as a caterer and certainly knows her way around a kitchen. When discussing different mixer attachments on her website, Stewart said she is especially partial to the paddle attachment to tackle heavy jobs. In a video discussing various ways to mix ingredients for different foods, Stewart says, "This flat paddle is very good for breaking up large substances like a stick of butter, like beating in butter and flour, beating up meatloaf if – you're going to do something like that. Otherwise, you really have to use a wooden spoon and a bowl."
How we found the best stand mixer
Our latest in-house testing for stand mixers involved checking motor power, design, attachment effectiveness and overall performance. This included evaluating how well the dough hook could knead bread dough, gauging the blending and mixing of ingredients for chocolate chip cookies and whipping egg whites to the “stiff peak” stage that makes great meringues, but is considerably short of the generally undesirable “stiff peak-dry.”
We used each mixer to knead enough dough for two loaves of bread for 10 minutes with the dough hook. Two mixers could not handle that much dough, so we kneaded half that amount and made note of it in their reviews.
After the kneading process was through, we touched and handled the dough to see how elastic and smooth it was, and looked for any remaining bits of dough that might have stuck to the bowl. We awarded top grades to mixers with the smoothest and most resilient dough, and the cleanest bowl since that means everything was properly mixed.
Using the paddle attachment, we made a batch of basic cookie dough in each mixer, then added chocolate chips. Among other things, we noted whether the mixer lets you begin slowly to keep ingredients nicely in the bowl and avoid a flour shower, and whether we could incorporate chocolate chips without grinding them into sprinkles. We gave top marks to mixers that did not expel flour everywhere as we added dry ingredients, incorporated the chips in gently and, most importantly, fully mixed all the ingredients.
We used the whisk attachment to whip four ounces of room-temperature egg whites to examine each mixer's ability to volumize egg whites by whipping air into them. The goal was to get stiff peaks. The best stand mixers created the greatest amount of poufy volume and did this in the time we set, which was four minutes. Again, best marks went to the mixers that performed well in the time set. We also ranked mixers for the volume of poufy egg whites each produced and whether the egg whites were whipped to the stiff peak stage.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Performance||Convenience||Attachments||Bowl Capacity||Number of Speeds||Locking Tilt Head||Dishwasher Safe Parts||Number of Colors||Splashguard Included||Handle on Bowl||Paddle||Dough Hook||Whisk||Extra Attachments Sold||Warranty||Manufacturer Support||Online User Manual||Recipes (online and/or included booklet)|
|KitchenAid Artisan KSM150PSGD||View Deal||4.5/5||5||5||5||5||10||✓||✓||40||✓||✓||1||1||1||10||1||✓||✓||✓|
|Cuisinart Precision||View Deal||4.5/5||4.2||4.7||4.7||5.5||12||✓||✓||6||✓||✓||1||1||1||4||3||✓||✓||✓|
|KitchenAid Classic||View Deal||4.5/5||4.2||4.8||5||4.5||10||✓||✓||1||✖||✖||1||1||1||10||1||✓||✓||✓|
|Oster Planetary||View Deal||4/5||4.4||4||2.5||4.5||12||✓||✓||1||✓||✓||1||1||1||0||2||✓||✓||✓|
|Breville the Bakery Chef||View Deal||4/5||3.4||4.9||2.5||5||12||✓||✓||1||✓||✓||2||1||1||0||1||✓||✓||✖|
|Hamilton Beach||View Deal||4/5||4.8||4||2.5||3.5||6||✓||✓||1||✖||✖||1||1||1||0||1||✓||✓||✓|
|Bosch Compact Mixer||View Deal||4/5||4.4||3||3.5||✖||4||✓||✓||1||✓||✖||1||1||1||5||1||✓||✓||✓|
|Sunbeam MixMaster||View Deal||3.5/5||4.8||2.7||1.3||3||12||✓||✓||2||✖||✖||2||2||2||0||2||✓||✓||✓|