If you’re shopping for a full-size blender, Vitamix has a lot going for it, including power, performance, and prestige. The only strike against it is the steep price, with many Vitamix blenders costing in the range of $500 and up. That can be hard to justify, especially if your kid needs braces or you’re looking to go large with the family vacation this year. But if you do make the splurge, here’s some added peace of mind: In addition to its top standing in Consumer Reports' blender Ratings, Vitamix also tops our reliability estimates, standing out as more dependable than most other brands, based on feedback from nearly 30,000 Consumer Reports subscribers. 

It wasn’t long ago that $50 blenders from the likes of Black & Decker, Oster, and Hamilton Beach dominated the market. Retailers still sell a lot of bargain blenders, but high-performance models have seen a steady rise in sales. The shift started with the smoothie craze, and it’s been spurred further by consumer taste for blended soups, sauces, butters, whole-fruit juices, and more. Indeed, our survey found versatility to be the most important attribute among consumers looking for an upgrade to their current blender, with power coming a close second.

Today, Vitamix blenders join a bevy of other high-end brands in our Ratings, names like Blendtec, Breville, Cuisinart, L’Equip, Waring, and Wolf. Even some entry-level brands are coming out with premium models, like the $300 Oster Versa Performance BLSTVB and the $450 Hamilton Beach Commercial Tempest HBH650.

Vitamix blenders make great gifts.

Vitamix Vital Statistics

As you might expect, consumers who plan to do a lot of blending are willing to spend more on a premium blender. However, Consumer Reports’ tests routinely pick off high-priced duds. Our latest reliability data reinforces that caveat by showing how some of the priciest brands are also the most problem-prone. The one exception, no matter how you slice it, is Vitamix blenders. Here are the specifics:  

  • Our findings show that Vitamix is the brand least likely to encounter problems by the fourth year of ownership. Its estimated 6-percent problem rate is significantly lower than what we found with the majority of blender brands. Rates for Blendtec and Breville were 15 percent and 16 percent respectively, making them the least reliable of all analyzed brands. Reported problems for all brands included leaks, broken blade assemblies, and burned-out motors.  

  • Because problems experienced in the first year might prove particularly vexing for consumers, we also asked respondents about them. Vitamix blenders led here again with an estimated first-year problem-rate of 2 percent, compared with 4 percent for Breville and 6 percent for Blendtec.

  • Our survey also captured satisfaction with reliability, which controlled for such factors as price and the severity of reported problems. Once again, Vitamix blenders placed highest, with 96 percent highly satisfied. Blendtec was second with a 91 percent high satisfaction rate, while Black & Decker’s 77 percent high satisfaction rate was the lowest.

The case for Vitamix blenders is clearly a strong one, especially if you plan to do a lot with your blender. But what if it’s just not in the budget? Based on our latest test results and reliability data, another brand to consider is Ninja. Though it misses our recommended list, the $100 Ninja Professional NJ600 is very good overall, especially at smoothies and icy drinks, plus its problem rate is quite reasonable.

So is there ever a case to buy a super cheap blender? Maybe. For example, if all you’re after is the occasional fruit smoothie (hold the ice and other solid ingredients), the Oster 14-speed 6694-B, $28, should do the job. Just looking for a spare blender to keep at the office or summer home? Consider the Black & Decker Crush Master 10-speed BL10450HB, $40. Think of it this way: Even if you end up having to buy multiple models, compared with Vitamix blenders, you’ll still be up hundreds of dollars—handy for that unexpected orthodontist visit or to tack on a few extra days to your next vacation.

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