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A blender surrounded by fruit.

Best Blenders for Making Smoothies

Cuisinart, Ninja, and Vitamix are good choices to jump-start your day

Convenient as it may be to grab a smoothie on the go, it might have more calories, fat, and sugars than you want or need. Making smoothies at home gives you control over what you’re consuming, allowing you to keep an eye on the sugar content, include healthy fats, and load up on greens or other vegetables. (The fiber helps you feel full.) 

You’ll see close to 100 full-sized and personal blenders in Consumer Reports’ ratings. We put each through a battery of tests, including evaluations of ice crushing, durability, convenience, and noise level. 

Most relevant to smoothie-making are two specific tests, one involving icy drinks and the other focused on puréeing vegetables.

In our icy-drinks tests, we make batches of nonalcoholic pina coladas and use sieves of various mesh sizes to evaluate smoothness and thickness. “When a blender rates Excellent in this test, you can expect a smooth, consistent texture, especially when it comes to blending strawberries, bananas, and other soft ingredients,” says Cindy Fisher, CR’s chief blender tester. A Very Good rating means there are tiny bits in the mix. 

If you’re going to be blending apples, carrots, and other hard items, or adding greens, also take a look at our soup puréeing results. Certain greens are tough to blend; we include parsley in our puree test to see how blenders handle the challenge. “An Excellent rating indicates the blender serves up smooth smoothies and soups, with no stringy greens,” says Fisher. 

The Overall Score for each model combines results from these and other tough lab tests with data on predicted reliability and owner satisfaction from our survey of CR members about their experiences with 33,624 blenders purchased between 2007 and 2017.

Here are five full-sized blenders, in a range of prices, that will serve up terrific smoothies for years. They all aced the icy-drinks test and the puréeing tests, an achievement reached by only 15 blenders in our ratings. (They're listed in alphabetical order.)

Check out our blender ratings for all of the details and more options. and use CR's tips for making healthy smoothies.

1
Cuisinart Hurricane Pro 3.5 Peak HP CBT-2000
Cuisinart Hurricane Pro 3.5 Peak...

    Cuisinart Hurricane Pro 3.5 Peak...

    The Cuisinart Hurricane Pro CBT-2000 earns a rating of Very Good in our ice-crushing tests, turning out ice similar in texture to a snow cone. It holds 8 cups and is a whiz at puréeing. The container on this blender is plastic as is the case with all of the blenders featured here. Plastic can absorb stains and odors, so it’s best to clean it right after use. While all blenders are loud, this one is a little noisier than others on this list. 

     

     

    2
    Ninja Professional NJ600
    Ninja Professional NJ600

      Ninja Professional NJ600

      As a brand, Ninja rates Excellent in owner satisfaction, according to our member survey. The 1,000-watt Ninja Professional NJ600 is a CR Best Buy, combining impressive performance and an appealing price. The Ninja's removable blade helps make cleanup a cinch and is a reason this model did very well in our convenience tests. 

       

      3
      Ninja with DUO Auto-iQ BL642
      Ninja with DUO Auto-iQ BL642

        Ninja with DUO Auto-iQ BL642

        The 1,500-watt Ninja with Auto-iQ BL642 earns a rating of Excellent in our durability tests (in which each blender is made to crush ice 45 times over a two-day period). This blender performs similarly to the Ninja above but is more expensive because it can function as a personal blender, allowing you to make a serving-sized portable smoothie. Three small containers—which double as travel mugs—come with the blender. Simply attach one to the blender base, make your smoothie, remove the blade assembly from the mug, and go. 

         

         

        4
        Vitamix Professional Series 750
        Vitamix Professional Series 750

          Vitamix Professional Series 750

          The Vitamix Professional Series 750 easily serves up fine smoothies, with ice the texture of snow—perfect when margaritas are in order. And Vitamix as a brand rates Excellent for owner satisfaction. This 1,650-watt blender holds 8 cups and is a master at puréeing. In fact, due to the friction created by the fast-whirring blades, it can actually make hot soup. Following a Vitamix recipe for tortilla soup, testers used the highest speed to blend stock, vegetables, and seasonings for 5 minutes. The result? Smoothly blended hot soup.

           

          5
          Vitamix 5200
          Vitamix 5200

            Vitamix 5200

            You’ll see eight Vitamix models in CR’s ratings; this is the best one that goes for $500 or less. The 5200 has an 8-cup capacity and a seven-year warranty. It’s also skilled in more than smoothies—it can make hot soup, like the Vitamix above. Vitamix is the only full-sized blender brand that rates Excellent for predicted reliability. At 20 inches, this model is on the tall side. Measure your undercabinet space before you buy any blender. You can compare dimensions in our ratings

             

            See our blender ratings for all the details.  

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            Kimberly Janeway

            For years I've covered the increasing water and energy efficiency of washers and what it means to consumers, along with innovations in a variety of products, and whether manufacturers deliver on their promises. What I'm really trying to do is to help consumers, and consumers help me by posting comments and posing questions. So thanks!