Best Blenders for Making Smoothies

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

The top view of a blender.

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.

You’ll find over 100 full-sized and personal blenders in Consumer Reports’ ratings. We put each through a battery of tests, including two that speak directly to a blender’s ability to make smooth smoothies.

In the first, our icy-drinks tests, we make batches of nonalcoholic piña coladas and use sieves of various mesh sizes to evaluate smoothness and thickness. “If a blender rates Excellent in this test, you can expect a smooth, consistent texture, especially when 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. 

And if you’re going to be blending apples, carrots, and other hard items, or adding greens, be sure to check out the results of our puréeing test. 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 latest survey of CR members about their experiences with 29,031 blenders purchased between 2008 and 2018.

Here are five full-sized blenders, listed in alphabetical order, that will serve up terrific smoothies for years. They all ace our icy-drinks test, and some are even Excellent at puréeing, a rare achievement among the models we’ve tested.

Check out our blender ratings for all of the details plus more options, and our buying guide for tips. 

1

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

    Cuisinart Hurricane Pro 3.5 Peak...

    CR’s take: The Cuisinart Hurricane Pro CBT-2000 earns a Very Good rating 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 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

      CR’s take: As a brand, Ninja full-sized blenders earn an Excellent rating in predicted reliability, 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 Smart Screen DUO with FreshVac CT661V
      Ninja Smart Screen DUO with...

        Ninja Smart Screen DUO with...

        CR’s take: Ninja blenders garner a Very Good rating in owner satisfaction in our member survey. The 1100-watt Ninja Smart Screen Duo with FreshVac CT661V is a CR Best Buy, and comes with a battery-powered vacuum pump that attaches to the top of the blender when you want to vacuum out air before blending. Why would you want to do that? Our tests found that in vacuum mode, the Ninja makes smoothies that are smoother, less foamy, and more consistent in texture than smoothies made in regular mode.

        4

        Vitamix Professional Series 750
        Vitamix Professional Series 750

          Vitamix Professional Series 750

          CR’s take: 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 predicted reliability. 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

            CR’s take: You’ll see nine Vitamix full-sized models in CR’s ratings; this is the best one that goes for $500 or less. The Vitamix 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. 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.

            Want more budget options? Check out the best blenders for $100 or less.

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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!