In the market for a new blender? You're not alone. Sales of this small appliance have been humming in recent years, thanks in large part to the popularity of smoothies and whole-fruit juices. So-called personal blenders, featuring smaller containers that can double as a travel mug, have also driven interest to the category.
Whether full-size or personal, a blender is one appliance that's likely to be left out on the countertop. With that in mind, manufacturers are coming out with more upscale looks, along with the increased power and sturdier construction that we've seen for some years now.
Consider the types of food and drink you prepare, and use our Ratings to find the blenders that perform best in those areas. For example, if you're mostly mixing drinks, look for a machine with enough oomph to crush ice. Spending more will typically get you touchpad controls, extra power, and designer styling or colors to match your kitchen's décor. Most have glass or plastic pitchers. Big, visible measurement marks and easily decipherable controls add to ease of use. Our noise Ratings can spare you the grating, high-pitched whine. In fact, some blenders from our tests are loud enough to require hearing protection.
Other options in the blender category include handheld immersion blenders (good mostly for stirring powdered drinks or puréeing vegetables in a saucepan) and all-in-one machines (which claim to replace food processors and, in some cases, add cooking capabilities). But you might sacrifice performance or have to pay more if you follow either route. In most cases, a top-rated full-size blender will be just enough machine for your needs.