Best Blenders for Your Buck
We unpacked what you get at various prices so you can decide what's worth it
The first blenders hit kitchen counters in the 1920s—for whipping up malted milks—and gave busy home cooks a handy option to prep food and snacks. Well before microwave ovens and air fryers came along, blenders changed the game.
Nearly a century later, they’re still a kitchen staple (never mind at restaurants, bars, and Starbucks). And their versatility has advanced significantly, far beyond the classic milkshake. Today, they’re essentially kitchen power tools.
Certain newer models boast a wattage equivalent to 2 to 3 hp—as much power as a 50-cubic-centimeter engine on a moped—which means they can pulverize ice, fruit, vegetables, and most other foods in less than a minute. Some can also perform culinary feats that the average blender can’t, such as grinding nuts into nut butters and heating up ingredients as they’re being transformed into soup.
Blenders from Vitamix, which are considered “pro-style” or “high performance,” have dominated our ratings since we began testing the brand in 2006, earning a score of Excellent in many of the metrics we test and currently occupying the top five slots in our full-size blender ratings. They’re built to last, too; Vitamix models often outlive their 5- to 10-year warranties.
$35 to $70 Blenders
Budget blenders generally have glass jars with removable blades and smaller 5- to 6-cup capacities. Wattage is on the lower end, from 450 to 700. These models can handle lower-intensity blending tasks, such as making fresh fruit smoothies and shakes. But save the more strenuous tasks, such as grinding nut butters, for higher-wattage models.
$75 to $175 Blenders
If you see a model in this price range with less than 700 watts, you may be better off opting for a less expensive one. More wattage helps, and it’s a good indicator of the machine’s strength, but only up to a certain point before the excessive heat it generates hinders performance. What’s more important than a powerful motor is an efficient one that’s combined with a well-designed blade and jar.
Because of the increase in torque and speed, shatterproof plastic will replace glass jars. Typically, blenders with 1,000 or more watts can handle larger-capacity jars and complete tasks faster. You may also be paying more for premium finishes and accessories, such as personal-sized cups for to-go smoothies.
$200 to $400 Blenders
In what are considered “high performance” models, you’ll find improved motors with wattages equivalent to 2 hp or higher (1 hp is 746 watts). They also have the speed and torque to handle nut butters, whole-fruit juicing, and other heavy-duty blending tasks. Also expect thicker plastic jars (Eastman Tritan copolyester ones are the most durable and are BPA-free), sturdier blades (often permanently attached to the jar), and metal drive sockets for added durability.
Those factors also mean that a replacement jar can cost more than $100. Most blenders will come with a tamper to help push thick ingredients down into the blade, but because of the large and wide containers, you may need to buy additional blender cups for smaller jobs.
$425 to $650 Blenders
These top-tier picks might not outperform models in the $200 to $400 range, but they boast features such as microprocessor-controlled presets that take the guesswork out of blending, plus LCD touch screens, vacuum attachments, wireless connectivity, and more.