Welcome to Blender Wars!–Where we test 7 of the best blenders and tell you which one takes the cake (or blends the cake?).
In our house, the blender is our most used kitchen appliance! We are daily smoothie drinkers and so we want a blender that’s going to get the job done and hold up to the test of time. We have zero complaints with our Vitamix but we had to put it to the ultimate test along with 6 other blenders to see if it’s really all it’s cracked up to be.
Blendtec | Ninja | Magic Bullet | KitchenAid | Hamilton Beach | Vitamix | Oster
The rules are simple! We borrowed some of the best blenders from friends and ordered a couple that ranked really highly on Amazon. Chris and I mixed up a simple smoothie blend in each blender and just went for it. Most of these blenders have a built-in smoothie setting and so we took advantage of that feature. For the blenders that didn’t, we tried to manually mimic the other smoothie settings to make it as fair as we could.
Here’s the simple smoothie we used for the test:
Pro tip from Chris to get the best blend! When you’re putting your smoothie ingredients in, always start with the leafy greens, then your powders, next your frozen goods, finishing with your liquid. Order matters.
We measured the same amount into each blender with the exception of the Magic Bullet, proportioning out a single serving. This recipe was shockingly delicious, but most importantly it tested a range of each blender’s capabilities. Spinach leafs tend to leave behind little leafy bits (say that 10 times fast). Mint is pretty fibrous and stubborn when it comes to being blended down. How does each blender handle frozen fruit? Maybe you don’t mind finding chunky fruit in your smoothie, but I sure don’t!
The criteria for coming out as one of the best blenders is simple. Blend the best! Along with Chris and I, our team tested the consistency of each smoothie, noting any loose leafs, ice crystals, chunky fruit. Outside of this test we would normally give the blender a bit of a shake or stir if we noticed it having a hard time blending. Assisting for this test was off-limits! No manual blender shaking or stirring allowed. Also noted (though not the most important), is aesthetics! How cute does each blender look sitting on the counter?
In no particular order, let’s get into it. A winner is declared in the end!
Raise your hand if your parents had an Osterizer back in the day! Right off the bat, this blender is beautiful! The blender itself is glass and the base is a brushed nickel. This blender does have a pulsing smoothie setting and for the first 40 seconds, we were crossing our fingers just waiting for it to finally get after all the frozen mango. Once it kicked in, it seemed to have no problem blending.
The smoothie was a little fibrous and ice crystally, but overall not too bad. It does come with an individual smoothie cup that you can blend right into if that’s important to you!
As you can see, a Vitamix is definitely an investment kitchen appliance. It’s easily known as one of the best blenders, if not the best. It kicked in with blending the frozen mango on the smoothie setting immediately. I’ll note, it does come with a stick attachment to assist with moving the contents around as they become stuck, but there was no need to use it!
Upon tasting, there was an immediate difference from the Oster. The smoothie was almost like whipped cream consistency. Very creamy and smooth, no chunks of leafs to be found. Something we noticed is that the smoothie didn’t stay very cold. It’s almost as if the intensity of the blending warmed the smoothie up a bit. That aside, it was definitely one of the best blenders.
This blender is as budget friendly as you can get! Similar to the Oster, it took about 30 seconds for it to finally “catch” and start blending the frozen fruit. Although it does have a smoothie setting, it didn’t have an auto shut off. The most minor inconvenience!
The smoothie itself stayed really cold as opposed to the Vitamix and we were really impressed with how well it blended! It was a tad bit grainy, but nothing alarming. Bonus points are given for being glass!
Looks alone? This is the most stunning blender there is. I wouldn’t even hide this puppy away in the appliance garage because it’s just cute. Getting it to start wasn’t as intuitive as you’d expect. We had to google it, but hopefully once you figure it out the first time it’s smooth sailing from there on.
The smoothie setting started blending at a low speed and gradually picked up. Over the span of a minute, it wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped. It’s a bummer because aesthetically it’s my favorite, but the smoothie was a bit stringy and fibrous. I think it has something to do with the square jar design. Particles tended to get stuck in the corners.
We had never used a Magic Bullet before so we didn’t really know what to expect. There’s no smoothie setting of course, so we just held it down for about 1 minute straight which is about how long the other smoothie settings were. Maybe we would have been better off pulsing it because it never quite caught ahold of the frozen mango. We actually had to give it a little shake (not a big deal at all) and gave it 30 more seconds.
We were really impressed with the consistency! Super smooth and refreshing. No chunks at all. Single serving smoothies isn’t super practical for us at all, but I’m sure for somebody it is!
This one comes with all the bells and whistles! Blender, two single serving blender cups, a food processor, and a dough blade for the food professor. Is more always better though?
This blender did not have a smoothie setting, but it does have multiple speeds so we tried to mimic a gradual increase like the other blenders did. Something unique about this blender is it the blades are on a cylinder, rather than at the bottom. Rather than gravity pulling everything down to the bottom to blend, it almost pushed everything to the walls of the blender.
By far the most grainy smoothie! Because of the blade design and square shape, the smoothie contents got stuck along the edges and never got blended up all the way. Bummer, because it’s such an affordable price for all that it comes with.
Last but definitely not least we have the Blendtec. We’ve had many a Blendtec and have loved every one. We couldn’t let our bias get in the way though!
The smoothie setting for this bad boy started with slow pulses and gradually picked up. There was absolutely no hesitation with blending up the frozen mango, but we did notice a few little spinach leafs getting stuck in the corners of the blender. That stubborn square-shaped design!
The smoothie itself was really smooth, but we did find a few loose spinach leafs hanging around. We really wanted to get a spatula and push those down along the edges to get blended, but for the sake of the test we held back. Besides that, it was super super smooth!
Do any of these test results surprise you?? As for the winners, we decided to rank the top two best blenders overall, and then the best budget blenders!
1. Vitamix – By far the best performing blender was the Vitamix. Our only criticism was that it was too powerful, it warmed the smoothie slightly. For my personal preference I don’t think I would have let it run for the entire duration of the smoothie program. Then it wouldn’t have warmed as much and wouldn’t be as “whipped.” But its main job was to blend, and blend it did.
2. Blendtec – If you can’t make the investment for a Vitamix but still want a great blender, then this is your blender! We caught a few loose leafs in the smoothie but that can be easily avoided with a quick pause to scrape down the sides.
1. Hamilton Beach – Shockingly the cheapest blender did an incredible job! The consistency was just a tad grainy, but there were no leafs of chunks, or anything. I would say if you’re looking for a great blender at a low price, this is for you! Perfect for college students, newlyweds, and small families.
2. Magic Bullet – If you’re mostly making single-serve smoothies, you can’t go wrong with the Magic Bullet. The smoothie was super smooth and it’s actually pretty fun to push down and pulse the blender.
Curious what blender you have and if you agree with our test results…
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I bought a ninja because everyone said it was an amazing blender… Like the cheap version of a Vitamix. I’m not surprised it was the most grainy of them all. I hate that thing! AND there are no replacement parts. Do if your plastic pour spout breaks, you have to buy a whole new lid. I like the individual serving cups, which are pretty good for a smoothie but you don’t get that Vitamix smooth. Thanks so much for the test! I’ve been wanting to replace my Ninja 😉
We absolutely love our Vitamix. We’ve had it for 6 years now. Our blender can make hot soup so you definitely heat it up if you blend too long. <30 seconds is the magic time for me. The only downside is that they do not offer a glass cup. I’ve written several times asking for them to make one. Citrus eats away at the acrylic/plastic cup and over time it turns cloudy.
Love my vitamix
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With a Blendtec always load the liquid first! They demo the blenders this way and it’s also in the user manual. I have made a spinach smoothie in my blendtec everyday for 10+ years, loading liquid first, and never had a loose leaf!
Our vita mix is 12 yrs old and going strong. We love it. So an investment but it really hangs in there.
You should test the Brandless one! I’ve been super happy with it for half the price of a vitamix. It’s way better than my Ninja.
We’ve had 2 vitamixes in the last 20 years and have been so pleased. However, my husband and kids prefer the nutri bullet for some reason & drag that out everyday??? No clue why
We have had a ninja pulse for probably 8 years now (at least!) and love it. We mostly use the single smoothy cups for of us daily (my family all likes slightly different flavors), but occasionally i will use the food processor attachment for a bigger batch or for making pesto. We love it!
I have a slightly different ninja set than that one and it does come with a smoothie setting. I don’t usually have leafy smoothies so I never have a problem with it. I also love to use the individual smoothie cups with it since it’s easier to wash and usually just me eating it.
We got a ninja for our wedding ten years ago, and I thought I just didn’t like smoothies! Then my hubs bought me a vitamix for my birthday last year and I actually love them! The ninja was a pain to clean, didn’t make smooth smoothies. Vitamix is where it’s at!
I’m so glad to see the Vitamix come out on top! There are so many blenders out there these days. My Vitamix is close to 15 years old. I use a Nutribullet while traveling, too :)
I have a Ninja and I love it, although my model is a little more expensive than the one y’all tested. I only use the single-serve cup though, so I haven’t tried making a bigger batch in the square main blender. I will say the main blender works great for margaritas :D but maybe it’s less of an issue with things getting caught in the corners because margaritas aren’t as thick?
The only downside I’ve found with the Hamilton Beach option is if you’re a heavy user (like daily smoothies), it tends to burn out pretty quickly. I’ve had my Ninja for four years and it’s still going strong. I had a Hamilton Beach before than and it burned out after a year or year and a half.
I have a Ninja and I agree, it never gets perfectly smooth. There are always tiny, grainy bits. I’m totally interested in trying the Magic Bullet! Love that its gives a smooth consistency and you can’t beat the price!
I invested in a refurbished Blendtec about 13 years ago. It has never let me down. Runs like a charm. I think I spent around $200 for it…? I have replaced the jar once just because I wanted a “fresh” one. Highly recommend!
I have that Ninja set and I don’t love it. I am not a fan of smoothies in general probably because they are never smooth! Ha! The bowl is useful in making sauces or dressings but not so much for cookie dough (not big enough), I never used it to make a batter. VitaMix has a series that is so powerful they can heat soup and it blends so I am not surprised that is seemed less cold.
Having used some of these blenders for years I can attest this review is spot on! Something to add! One of my big issues with blenders is the washing! I remember growing up how terrified I was of scrubbing the vitamix around the blades and cursed anyone who didn’t wash the thing immediately after using it. I always hated washing the vitamix jar.
Fast forward to me having a child with a feeding tube we blend all day long, every single day! Against all the vitamix evangelicals in my family we opted for the Blendtec with the silent cover :) as you mentioned, it’s not as perfectly blended as the vitamix when using the settings, though it can get the same results if scraping or blending for longer, but as is the blend is well enough to fit through the feeding tube, super quiet and washing it is super easy, the blades aren’t sharp at all and that’s part of the design.
So yes! Can’t go wrong with either one of these depending on what your needs are. I’m passionate about blenders haha thank you for this!
The vitamix made the smoothie warm because it was probably just on for too long. You can actually make hot soup in the vitamix – its motor is powerful enough to do that! All that to say, you just need to learn the nuance of running the machine and once you get the hang of it (which doesn’t take more than a couple of days) you’ll find you can make a delicious, icy cold smoothie!
We have the Ninja SS101 Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker & Nutrient Extractor. Although it only does up to 24 oz, it’s only $100 and AMAZING!! It’s so compact it fits in our regular upper cabinet. It has timed settings and things come out perfectly, even fibrous things like chimichurri. The only drawback it that its a little loud.
Right on point. Love love love my blendtec.
Super interesting! We have a Ninja and I love it, but I also always use the smoothie cups, which just have a single blade, so I wonder if that makes a difference. I rarely use the large blender.
We have had our Vitamix for more than 10 years. It was an investment and we love it. For smoothies, definitely less time and use the wand! It won’t warm up and it will blend super smooth every time. I would say we do about 30 seconds and the smoothie is perfect.
We also have the magic bullet. Its great for small things – our kids like salsa blended (no lumps!) so its great for things like that.
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