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Best Personal Blenders for College Students

Campus life can have its hurdles, but starting the day off with a nutritious smoothie is an easy ‘A’

An illustration showing several Personal Blenders for College Students
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It’s hard to know what your child is eating at college, but it’s probably not five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

A personal blender could whip him or her into shape—or at least make it easier for them to whip up a healthy snack. 

All they have to do to make a nutritious smoothie is stuff the single-serve blending cup with a handful of frozen fruit and leafy greens, some milk, and maybe a spoonful of almond butter, and screw on the blade and let it whirl for a minute or so. Then take off the blade, pop on the lid, and it’s off to class! These machines aren't limited to smoothies, either. They make it a cinch to prepare healthy soups, salsas, and more.

At CR, we test personal blenders by mixing up virgin piña coladas to gauge how well they make icy drinks and smoothies. To assess a blender's soup-making abilities, we purée vegetables and broth. Our ice-crush test assesses how well the blenders break up ice alone.

Here are four personal blenders (listed in alphabetical, not rank, order) that are small enough to stash away in any dorm room. For more options, see our complete blender ratings.

1

Black+Decker PowerCrush PB2000G
Black+Decker PowerCrush PB2000G

    Black+Decker PowerCrush PB2000G

    CR's take: The sleek CR Recommended PowerCrush PB2000G can crank out smoothies every morning, no problem: It earns an Excellent rating in our tests for making icy drinks. Your child’s roommate will be happy, too, because this blender earns a Very Good rating in our noise test—meaning it’s relatively quiet (all the other blenders we tested rate only a Good or Fair). Black+Decker’s personal blenders earn a Very Good rating for predicted reliability, based on data from CR’s member survey.

    2

    Breville Boss to Go BPB610BAL
    Breville Boss to Go BPB610BAL

      Breville Boss to Go BPB610BAL

      CR's take: A recipe book comes with the Breville Boss to Go, which allows your child to branch away from the standard strawberry-banana smoothie with confidence. This model earns a Very Good rating in our icy drinks test, so it’ll put the “smooth” in the smoothies. The Breville also scores a Very Good rating in our purée test, so your student could make soups for a healthy lunch. They'll just need to heat it up after they blend the ingredients if they want hot soup.

      3

      Ninja Nutri Ninja Pro Personal
      Ninja Nutri Ninja Pro Personal

        Ninja Nutri Ninja Pro Personal

        CR's take: The Nutri Pro doesn’t have any dials or buttons; to operate it, you simply put the blender cup on and press down. This model earns a Very Good rating for making smoothies and an Excellent for puréeing ingredients for soups, and the included recipe book makes it easy to get started. Ninja’s personal blenders also receive Very Good ratings for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction, based on information from CR’s member survey.

        4

        Ninja Personal Blender with Auto-iQ BL480
        Ninja Personal Blender with...

          Ninja Personal Blender with...

          CR's take: Ninja’s Auto-iQ technology takes easy-to-use to a whole new level. It features preset programs that automatically adjust the blending speed and pulsing needed, based on what you are making. The CR Recommended Nutri BL480 also has a unique digital countdown timer that displays exactly how much time is remaining while it’s whipping up a snack. It comes with a recipe book for making smoothies and soups. In our tests for those two tasks, the Auto-iQ earns Very Good ratings.

          Perry Santanachote

          A multidimensional background in lifestyle journalism, recipe development, and anthropology impels me to bring a human element to the coverage of home kitchen appliances. When I'm not researching dishwashers and blenders or poring over market reports, I'm likely immersed in a juicy crossword puzzle or trying (and failing) to love exercise. Find me on Facebook