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Best blender 2021: ranking Nutribullet, Ninja and other blenders we've tested

Included in this guide:

The Kitchen Aid K400, the Sage the Super Q and the Vitaxmix A3500 - the best blenders you can buy right now - on a red background)
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The best blender makes light work of pulverizing fruit and vegetables into smoothies, as well blitzing together silky soups, creating creamy condiments and even rich dips and sauces. They can even be used to chop ice for cocktails or mill nuts making them one of the versatile kitchen appliances on the market. 

The best blender has sharp blades that rotate at high speed to combine fresh produce or emulsify ingredients creating a smooth, grit-free liquid. However, there are a number of different styles of the best blender to consider. 

Jug blenders feature a motor in the base that drives the blade at the bottom of a glass or plastic pitcher connected to it. These are the most expensive type of blender on the market but can hold large quantities and are the most powerful, meaning they can crush ice and blitz nuts as well as softer fresh produce.  

Meanwhile, Immersion blenders, which are also called stick or handheld blenders, are as the name suggests, a handheld wand with blades at the bottom that should be immersed in a bowl or pan of ingredients you want to blend. They are more compact and the most affordable style of blender on the market. Read jug blenders vs immersion blenders for a more in-depth look at these two styles. 

There are also the best smoothie makers to consider. They work in the same way as jug blenders but rather than a glass jug, they come with a plastic canister and a to-go lid so you can blitz your drink and take it with you without having to decant it first. For an in-depth look at pulverizing fresh produce, check out how to use a blender: top tips for soups and smoothies

If you’re looking to make refreshing drinks of fruit and vegetables, you may want to consider one of the best juicers, which extract liquid from fruit and vegetables, rather than combining them discarding the flesh and skin

The best blenders can be used for more than that just refreshing drink though. For some inspiration about what to make in this kitchen appliance, read the five best dishes to make in a blender

There’s plenty of choice when it comes to the best blender, with brands including KitchenAid, Smeg, and Breville, alongside cult names such as Nutribullet and Ninja vying for your custom. We’ve put a range of designs to the test, making smoothies, crushing ice, and blitzing nuts to discover the best blender you can right now. 

The best blender of 2021

Vitamix A3500 on a white background

(Image credit: Vitamix)

The best blender you can buy

Type: Jug blender
Capacity: 2.1-quarts / 2-liter
Speed settings: 10
Presets: 5
Reasons to buy
+Powerful  blades can crush ice, nuts and blend fruit+Array of speed settings +Dishwasher-safe parts  
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy  -Takes up a lot of space -Expensive compared to the rest of the market

The Vitamix A3500 blender means serious business and made light work of combining ingredients in our tests, without leaving any chunks behind. Ice cubes were blitzed up with ease, as were nuts.

This Vitamix blender has an impressive 10 variable speed settings, a pulse function, five programs with predefined speeds and duration for everything from smoothies, to dips and spreads. There's even a programmable timer so that you can set the blender to work and it’ll automatically switch off once the timer is up. 

However, the A3500 is quite bulky though, so take this into account if you’re short on space., it's heavy and it's the most expensive blender we've tested - with a price tag that's double, and in some triple that, of other blenders in this list.  

Read our full review: Vitamix A3500

The KitchenAid K400 on a white background

(Image credit: KitchenAid)

The best blender for style and substance

Type: Jug blender
Capacity: 1.5-quarts / 1.4-liter
Speed settings: 5
Presets: 4
Reasons to buy
+Stylish design  +Powerful  +Easy to use 
Reasons to avoid
-No additional accessories included -Didn’t work well on nuts 

The KitchenAid Artisan K400 blender has the brand’s signature style but isn’t lacking in substance either. There are seven color options to choose from and each model has four preset blending programs, a pulse function, and a choice of five-speed settings. All of the programs can be selected by using the dial on the front of the K400, making it simple to use. 

There aren’t any additional blending cups or accessories included with this KitchenAid blender, and while the K400 made light work of fruits and vegetables, nuts, unfortunately, turned to powder rather than being evenly chopped. 

If you buy this blender in the US or Australia, it’ll arrive with a plastic jug whereas, in the UK, it’s sold with a glass jug. 

Read our full review: KitchenAid Artisan K400 blender

Sage the Super Q Blender on a white background

(Image credit: Sage)

The best large capacity blender

Type: Jug blender
Capacity: 2.1-quarts / 2-liter
Speed settings: 12
Presets: 5
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity  +Easy to use +Comes with an additional smoothie cup
Reasons to avoid
-Takes up a lot of space -Doesn’t cope well with small quantities  

If you want professional-style smoothies, then Breville the Super Q is the option for you. This powerhouse blender wouldn’t look out of place in a professional kitchen. It's also got a personal blending cup with a travel lid included so that you can make smoothies for when you’re on the go. 

In our tests, we were impressed with the 12-speed settings and the preset programs for creating crushed ices, smoothies, and more. The smoothie settings did a good job of creating a silky mixture, but the green smoothie setting was particularly powerful for mixing up veggies. It was simple to use, too

The Breville the Super Q machine is really designed for making larger quantities and it struggled to mix small mayonnaise recipes we tried out, however, when it’s filled to capacity, the blender copes well and there were no leaks whatsoever.

This blender is great if you have a large household or just want to make large quantities of mixtures in one go, but the machine itself is also pretty tall measuring 18.1 inches/ 46cm high. 

Read our full review:  Breville the Super Q 

The Nutribullet Blender on a white background

(Image credit: Nutribullet)

The best blender for soup

Type: Jug blender
Capacity: 1.7-quarts / 1.6-liter
Speed settings: 2
Presets: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Suitable for hot and cold ingredients +Powerful  stainless-steel extractor blade +Impressive results
Reasons to avoid
- No bullet cups included for on-the-go - No recipe book included in the box 

Nutribullet, which is more commonly known for its range of powerful smoothie makers, also offers this multi-use blender that can be used for hot and cold ingredients and has a larger 1.7-quarts / 1.6-liter capacity than its other devices in the range.  

The Nutribullet blender comes with the same unique stainless-steel extractor blade that’s designed to pulverize ingredients without losing any of their nutrition, found in Nutribullet’s personal blenders - although you won't find any on-the-go cups bundled with this blender. It proved very versatile in our review, offering up silky smooth, well-combined results for smoothies, soups, and dips, and even crushed ice and broke down nuts too. 

The control panel features two speed settings and a pulse function, although you can’t use the pulse setting if you’re liquidizing hot ingredients, so this blender is best suited for smooth soups, as opposed to chunky on. The jug lid has a vented cap, which can easily be removed mid-blend to add cold (but not hot) ingredients, and it also comes with a tamper that allows you to scrape any rogue ingredients towards the blade during a blend but we were disappointed a recipe book wasn't included.  

Read our full review: Nutribullet Blender

The Ninja Personal Blender and Smoothie Maker QB3001 on a white background

(Image credit: Ninja)

The best smoothie maker

Type: Smoothie maker
Capacity: 0.5-quarts / 0.47-liter
Speed settings: 1
Presets: n/a
Reasons to buy
+Effectively blends fruit and crushes nuts and ice evenly+Comes with two 16fl oz / 470ml canisters+Compact
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for large quantities-Noisy-No way to add ingredients while blending

If you want a blender solely to make refreshing smoothies, then the Ninja Personal Blender and Smoothie Maker QB3001 is worth considering. On test, we found the blender blitzed tough, fibrous fruit and vegetables including Pineapple and Spinach into a smooth, silky drink without any grittiness.

Simple to use, the Ninja Personal Blender and Smoothie Maker QB3001 comes with two 0.5-quart / 0.47-liter single-serve cups and to-go lids, so you can pulverize ingredients into a smoothie and take it with you, without having to decant it first. However, it's not suitable for large quantities. 

We also found the blender effectively crushed ice and ground hazelnuts. Unlike many of the blenders in this list, there’s no way to add ingredients while the blades are spinning, which means it can’t be used to make condiments such as mayonnaise that require ingredients to emulsify, it was also one of the noisest blenders we tested too.  

Read our full review: Ninja Personal Blender and Smoothie Maker QB3001 

The KitchenAid K150 Blender on a white background

(Image credit: KitchenAid)

Best blender for crushing ice

Type: Jug blender
Capacity: 1.5-quart / 1.4-liter
Speed settings: 3
Prsets: n/a
Reasons to buy
+Effective at blending and crushing ice+Simple to use+Dishwasher safe jug and lid
Reasons to avoid
-Only three speed settings-No preset programs

If you’re a cocktail fan, then a durable blender to can crush ice with ease is a must-have, and the KitchenAid K150 is a worthy contender for a place on your kitchen countertop. While this may be KitchenAid’s entry-level blender, it certainly doesn’t compromise on power. On test, we found that it pulverized fruit and vegetables with ease, while also offering a uniform consistency when crushing ice and chopping nuts too.

The blender comes with a 1.5-quart / 1.4 liter plastic pitcher, and has three speed settings. While you won’t find any presets for making different dishes such as smoothies and sauces, we think this will appeal to those that want a simplistic blender that looks stylish too. 

It doesn’t come with a host of accessories, such as personal blending cups, but we think that’s acceptable considering this is the most-affordable blender KitchenAid offer. 

Read our full review: KitchenAid K150 Blender 

Sage the Fresh and Furious on a white background

(Image credit: Sage)

The best affordable high-power blender

Type: Jug blender
Capacity: 1.6-quarts / 1.5-liter
Speed settings: 5
Presets: 3
Reasons to buy
+Compact+Affordable for a Breville appliance+Effectively blends and crushes
Reasons to avoid
-Small blending jug-Some leaking out of inner measuring lid-Base is plastic

Breville offers a range of stylish, durable, and powerful blenders, but with eye-wateringly expensive price tags, they may be out of reach of many consumers, with the exception of the Breville the fresh and furious. This entry-level blender combines the brand's sleek styling, with power to create a compact blender that’s more affordable than other models the brand offers - although the base is made from plastic rather than metal. 

Simple to use, we were impressed with the Breville the fresh and furious - it was able to liquidize pineapple and leafy spinach into a completely smooth and lightly aerated drink, with no bits, as well as crush ice, chop nuts, and emulsify eggs and oil into mayonnaise. 

The blender comes with a 1.6-quart /1.5-liter jug,which is smaller than most other Breville blenders.  We also found there was a slight amount of leakage when the blender was filled to maximum capacity, but this was only in the well of the lid, and not enough to be a serious concern. 

Read our full review: Breville the Fresh and Furious

The Smeg BLF01 blender on a white background

(Image credit: Smeg)

The best retro style blender

Type: Jug blender
Capacity: 1.6-quarts / 1.5-liter
Speed settings: 4
Presets: 2
Reasons to buy
+Compact +Matching appliances in the range +Attractive design 
Reasons to avoid
-Can get noisy-No cleaning program

With its die-cast aluminum frame that comes in a range of eight glossy colors including cream (pictured), red, pastel blue and pink, the Smeg BLF01 blender has a head-turning design, while a range of matching appliances ensure you can achieve a stylish look in your kitchen 

The compact blender has a control dial with two pre-set programs for ice crushing and smoothies and four speed settings. During testing, the Smeg BLF01PBUK blender reached 103 decibels, making it one of the noise blenders we've tested.  

It’s worth noting that the Smeg BLF01PBUK blender doesn’t have a pre-set cleaning button – you can add warm soapy water to the jug and turn it on to dislodge any stubborn ingredients, and then finish by washing it by hand. You can take out the blade using the measuring cap in the top of the jar that doubles up as a key for the blade, which makes for an ergonomic design feature. 

Read our full review: Smeg BLF01

The Nutribullet Magic Bullet Kitchen Expres son a white background

(Image credit: Nutribullet)

Best blender and food processor in one

Type: Smoothie maker
Capacity: 0.5-quart / 0.47-liter
Speed settings:
Reasons to buy
+Mini-blender and food processor in one+Comes with two 0.5-quart / 0.47-liter cups+Compact
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for large quantities-Nuts and ice weren’t evenly chopped

If you’re tight on space on your kitchen countertop, this smoothie maker and food processor in one, is a great buy. Compact, and simple to use, the Nutribullet Magic Bullet Kitchen Express comes with two 0.5-quart / 0.47-liter single-serve cups, for blending smoothies in, and a 0.9-quart / 830ml food processor bowl, so you can grate, chop and slice food too, although not large quantities however.  

During testing, while the blender did a good job at pulverizing the fibrous pineapple, it struggled with leafy spinach, leaving a gritty texture to the drink as it wasn’t completely broken down, making it best suited to fruit rather than vegetables. 

It was also unable to achieve a uniform consistency when chopping nuts and crushing ice. However, we were impressed with its ability to grate carrot, slice cucumber, chop onions and make breadcrumbs.

As with similar smoothie-maker style blenders, it's not suited to making condiments like mayonnaise, as there’s no way to add ingredients while the blades are spinning to ensure they emulsify together. It was also one of the noisiest blenders we’ve tested too. 

Read our full review: Nutribullet Magic Bullet Kitchen Express 

How we test blenders

In a bid to compare each blender, we’ve put in hours in the kitchen preparing bowlfuls of mayonnaise, while also blending pineapple, spinach, and Greek yoghurt into a smoothie. As well as assessing how smooth the sauce and smoothie are, we’re also looking for ingredients that are well-combined without any curdling and whether there is residue trapped under the blade, or if the ingredients have leaked from the base or lid during blending.

We also evaluate how finely and evenly the blenders chop ice and nuts and compare how easy they are to use. For each model we rate how loud they are, how durable and easy to clean the body and parts are, and the useful accessories they come with such as a tamper for moving ingredients closer to the blade, extra jugs or containers, and recipe booklets for inspiration.

What to consider when buying a blender

When it comes to selecting the best blender for you, start by identifying the type of blender you need. 

Jug blenders feature a blade inside the plastic or glass receptacle, which spins when connected to the motor in the base units. They can blend large quantities but are usually bulky. 

Meanwhile, smoothie blenders, also known as personal blenders, come with a small plastic cup rather than a jug. Fill the cup with your ingredients then attach the blade, flip the cup upside down and attach to the base. When the ingredients are blended to your liking, remove from the base, unscrew the blade and screw on a to-go lid, then take your drink with you. 

Finally, there’s also immersion blenders to consider. Often referred to as hand blenders or stick blenders, they are designed to be inserted into a saucepan or container of ingredients you want to puree. These compact appliances should be swirled around in the liquid while the blade spins to ensure it’s blended uniformly. The blade can be detached from the main unit, containing the motor for easy cleaning too.  

Also consider the number of speed and power settings the blender offers. If you’re looking to crush ice and grind coffee beans, it’s worth considering a blender that has more control over how quickly it spins, to ensure you can chop the food to the consistency you want. 

Finally consider any accessories the blender comes with such as additional containers, a tamper to push food down during blending, and a brush to clean under the blades, as well as whether the parts are dishwasher-safe and simple to clean.  

Which blender is best for smoothies?

If you’re looking for the best blender to make smoothies in, we’d recommend opting for a dedicated smoothie maker rather than a jug or immersion blender. As we’ve already mentioned above, these feature a canister that the blade assembly screws on to, before being attached to the base. Once blending is complete, the blade assembly can be switched for a to-go lid that includes a spout, letting you sup on the drink without having to decant it first. Our pick is the Ninja Personal Blender and Smoothie Maker QB3001 as it strikes the right balance between price and the ability to blitz fresh produce into a smooth, grit-free drink. 

However, there’s no way to add liquid during blending, so it can’t be used to emulsify ingredients such as when making mayonnaise. In this case, we recommend the Breville the Super Q, as it comes with a pitcher so liquid can be added during blending. It’s also powerful enough to crush ice and pulverize nuts, as well as coming with a travel cup for smoothies - although you will need to decant the drink from the jug into the cup.  

Blenders vs juicers 

While juicers and blenders look similar, they perform slightly different tasks. Blenders use sharp blades to break down the contents of the blending jug. This means everything in the jug is turned into a smooth mixture. Juicers, however, extract liquid and leave behind the rest of the fruits or vegetables. As you might expect from the name, juicers are primarily used to make fresh juice so they can be quite limiting whereas blenders give you the means to make everything from smoothies to dips. 

For all the pros and cons of both of these appliances, head to our full feature on Blenders vs juicers: what’s the difference?

How to clean a blender 

Staying on top of cleaning your blender is key if you want it to last as long as possible and if you want to avoid any nasty odors building up. Many blending jugs can be placed inside the dishwasher but you can also clean them by adding warm water and dish soap to the blending jug, placing the lid on, and blending up the soapy solution. 

If you’re struggling to get rid of any stubborn stains, create your own cleaning paste using 1 tablespoon of baking soda and mix it with 1 teaspoon of white vinegar. You can add this solution to the stains by using a clean scrubbing brush or a clean toothbrush. 

For more handy hacks, read our how to clean a blender feature.