Best Blender 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Blenders are a common and highly versatile small kitchen appliance. They offer a range of different uses, such as making soups, smoothies and shakes, chopping vegetables, crushing ice and pureeing baby food.

Blenders were invented in 1922 and have since become convenient kitchen staples that saves a lot of time and effort. With the renewed focus in recent years on healthy eating and getting our five a day of fruit and veg, smoothie-making in particular has taken off in a big way.

Before buying, it is a good idea to consider your eating habits and think about what your machine will mostly be used for. There are lots of different types of blender, and each is suited to a different kind of lifestyle. The price can vary considerably depending on the model and its features.

The Best Blenders – Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Vitamix® A3500
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Vitamix® A3500 Ascent Series Blender
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  • Power: 1200W
  • Capacity: 2L
  • Dishwasher safe beaker
Best Value: Breville VBL062 Blend Active
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Breville VBL062 Blend Active Personal Blender
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  • Power: 300W
  • Capacity: 600 ml
  • Extra bottle included
  • Dishwasher safe
Best Hand Blender: Russell Hobbs Desire 3-in-1
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Russell Hobbs Desire 3-in-1 Hand Blender
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  • Power: 400W
  • Capacity: 0.5L Chopper and Beaker
  • Two speeds
  • Warranty: 1 year

Best Blenders 2018

Ninja CT610UK

Whether you want to stick to pre-set programmes or need something a bit more personalised, you can select the settings you need clearly and quickly thanks to the BL642UK’s touchscreen controls.

Auto-iQ technology lets you choose from smoothie, frozen drink or puree modes, or there are three speed settings (high, low and pulse). As it is touch screen, it is really easy to clean if there are any spills and you don’t have any difficult to reach areas, meaning it is very hygienic.

The pitcher is a generous 2.1L, so whether you want to make a personal drink or need to cater for a family, you have the space. An easy pour spout allows you to serve up without any mess, and it can be popped in the dishwasher for cleaning. The blades are also removable for more delicate hand washing.

The stacked stainless steel blades grab everything that needs to be blended, from ice to seeds and nuts. If you are ever stuck for inspiration, there is a recipe book included for you to try out some well-loved basics and something new.

Despite its relatively low price, it is very powerful and can tackle any contents quickly and smoothly. A real rival to a lot of the blenders which retail at £500+.

We like

  • Really durable and robust
  • Dishwasher safe container and blades
  • Total crushing technology to blend ice into snow

We disike

  • Powerful so therefore loud

Final Verdict

The power doesn't look like much on paper, but the effectiveness and performance of this blender is amazing for under £100

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 2.1L
  • Power: 1000W
  • Easy pour blending jug

+ Downloads

Ninja CT610UK Multi-Serve Touchscreen Blender User Manual

Download

Vitamix® A3500 Ascent Series Blender

The King of blenders. Incredibly powerful, it can tackle blending several batches of whatever you are making without a struggle.

It comes with five different containers for adaptability, whether you want to make a personal smoothie for on-the-go or need to blend a massive batch of dips ready for the barbecue or soup for winter.

Simply adjust the timings and speed for the container you have selected, and it will stop automatically when it is finished, so you don’t have to keep a constant watch over it when you’re busy doing other things. The timer displays how long the cycle has been going, so you know when it will be done and how long is remaining.

The tamper pushes all the ingredients towards the blades, so you don’t have to pause the machine to scrape the sides of the container or free any stuck frozen items. When it is all done, simply give the jug a rinse and pop it in the dishwasher for ease.

The base is heavy to lift and move, but there is a reasoning behind this – even with the toughest of mixing, it won’t start travelling across your countertop.

It is on the (very) expensive side, but if you are one to use a blender almost every day for making your own soups, smoothies, hummus, butters and even ice cream, it will soon have you wondering what you ever did without it.

We like

  • Incredibly powerful
  • Modern design and look
  • Auto switch-off

We disike

  • The power means it can be very loud
  • Expensive

Final Verdict

Incredibly pricey, but there is a reason for that - the performance it offers is pretty unrivaled.

+ Specifications

  • Power: 1200W
  • Capacity: 2L
  • Dishwasher safe beaker

+ Downloads

Vitamix® A3500 Ascent Series Blender User Manual

Download

Magimix 11630 Power Blender

This blending powerhouse is a lot of blender for your money and can now be bought for less than £200!

This is the alternative to the extravagant Vitamix blenders- it offers lots of power, various settings and is currently priced for as little as £180, depending on what colour you opt for.

This five-setting blender is the real deal, it has a big glass jug with a volume of 1.8L, it comes with various accessories and you can stir your shake whilst in the process of crushing. It has an incredible 1300-watt output and will have your smoothie with you before you know it.

Merge all of your vegetable and fruit goodness with the help of their recipe book, when you purchase this blender you get a breakdown of what you need and what flavour drinks you can enjoy.

This is our favourite of the lot because it’s a reliable, powerful and great value for money blender that can do it all. It’s not a make-shift product, it is one with an engine that has been made to last you for years to come.

It has four-speed setting and you can also use the settings to crush ice, set it to smoothie, soup, desserts and more.

We like

  • It comes in silver, cream, black or red
  • A simple yet sleek design
  • Has multiple settings
  • It is powerful at 1300W
  • Great price!

We disike

  • There’s no option for a smaller jug to take with you in a hurry.

Final Verdict

A sleek, formidable and great value blender. It’s everything you want for your kitchen and is up there with some of the most premium kitchen brands.

+ Specifications

  • Power: 1300W
  • Capacity: 1.8 Litres
  • Dishwasher safe

NutriBullet 600 Series Starter Kit

This compact blender is a fan-favourite for a reason! You don’t need to learn any new dials, just throw in your fruit and veg’ and you’re away!

This versatile blender is the perfect selection for both new starters and experienced smoothie makers alike- you can find everything you need in this kit with a quick start guide, recipes and the small pocket nutritionist book sure to help you transform to healthy living.

There’s enough to get you started with in an instance and you don’t need to play around with any buttons, put in your fruit, vegetables and other flavours- then screw the lid on and place on the base. You can then push it down to get the 600W firing and creating an incredible 20,000 rpm speed sure to obliterate all of your food down to the tasty nutrients that you need.

It’s combines easy-use and power into one plus it’s so cheap! This is the entry level blender that can last years, rather than purchase cheaper items you’d be better off going straight for this. It is easy to use, easy to clean is dishwasher safe. Get your health kick off to the right start with the help of Nutribullet!

We like

  • It comes in silver, cream, black or red
  • A simple yet sleek design
  • It is powerful at 1300W
  • Great price!
  • Has multiple settings

We disike

  • There’s no option for a smaller jug to take with you in a hurry.

Final Verdict

A sleek, formidable and great value blender. It’s everything you want for your kitchen and is up there with some of the most premium kitchen brands.

+ Specifications

  • Power: 600 Watt
  • Capacity: 600 ml
  • Extra bottle included
  • Dishwasher safe

Nutri Ninja with Auto IQ BL480UK

With the same one-touch principle as the Breville, this blender is super easy to use and will blend your drinks and smoothies up very quickly and easily, even with lots of ice. It uses vitamin extraction to ensure that you get the most nutritious end result, and the Auto IQ function blends the ingredients in the most efficient way according to what you’ve used.

With a powerful 1000W motor, you will not struggle to blend everything smoothly, with no gritty paste. There is also two different sized cups included, so you’re ready for however much you want to prepare.

The Ninja has two settings: Blend and Ultra Blend. Blend is best for things leafy veg, fruit and yogurt, whereas Ultra Blend should be applied to firmer ingredients like ice, tough vegetables and nuts.

This model also comes with a cool recipe guide to help get you inspired.

Features:

  • Nutrient and Vitamin extraction
  • Ice Crushing Technology & Pulse Function

We like

  • Convenient to use
  • Easily blends ice
  • Cup can be carried on the go

We disike

  • Won’t blend very ‘fine’ bits, like tiny seeds
  • The ridges on the side of the cup make it annoying to clean

Final Verdict

This high-quality on-the-go model is another great option for health-conscious individuals who are willing to invest a little more in their purchase.

+ Specifications

  • Power: 1000W
  • Capacity: 500ml and 650ml
  • 2 Sip & Seal Lids
  • Dishwasher Safe Parts

+ Downloads

Nutri Ninja with Auto IQ BL480UK user manual

Download

Vitamix Aspire Food Mixer Blender

The Ferrari of blenders- the Vitamix is well renowned in its sphere and that’s for good reason. It’s even been rumoured that it has the power to blend a phone- no, seriously!

 

If you are looking to change your life, then this could be the option for you. It has a number of settings and has been designed to blend just about anything. You won’t have any problems with bits in your smoothie, it is the most powerful machine on the market.

It’s pricey – but it delivers what no others can. You can enjoy reliability, performance and quality. You can use it for dessert, ice cream, smoothies and more.

It has 1200 W engine, it can store up to 1.4 litres and can turn your fruit and vegetables into juice in just one minute. They come with a lid seal, have a two part lid and a number of settings.

Despite it being known as one of the leaders, it is still very easy to use with a variable and high setting, an on-off button and then ten speed settings. Although made quite simple, it’s sleek appearance will ensure that it can easily fit into any kitchen.

We like

  • It’s the most powerful on the market
  • Simple but nice design
  • Has ten speed settings
  • It is 1200W
  • Very reliable

We disike

  • It is expensive

Final Verdict

This is a very expensive blender but it’s proved time and time again that it justifies its value. It has ten-speed settings, is durable and can crush just about anything you could imagine.

+ Specifications

  • Power: 1200 Watt
  • Capacity: 1.4 Litres
  • Dishwasher safe

NutriNinja Compact Duo

This blender acts as the perfect all-rounder with it being easy to use, easy to clean and also boasting a powerful 1200-watt engine.

If you love NutriNinja but need something with power and room to make big smoothies for the whole family then this is ideal. It comes with a 2 litre jug and has multiple pre-programmed settings.

Crush ice, blend nuts and seeds or mix up all of your favourite fruit and vegetables into a smoothie with perfect consistency. You can upgrade your health within minutes as extract all the nutrients that you need from foods of your choice.

It’s not as simple to work as their other edition but one quick read of the manual or attempt at this blender and you’ll be a trained pro. You can use the pulse button to blend it yourself, you can also choose the Auto IQ settings to let it do the work for you, choose extract or blend. Alternatively you can pick a speed, high or low.

It is a versatile item sure to make a smoothie, desserts and soups. It is one of our favourites and is a great pick for a family who don’t want to pay more than £100.

We like

  • The easy to use Auto IQ settings
  • The big 2L jug
  • The free recipe book
  • The price

We disike

  • What’s not to like?

Final Verdict

Both Nutri Ninja choices are always safe bets, this one offers more power and more capacity. It is perfect to start your health journey and you can easily blend anything that you need with blades capable of easy pulverising nuts and seeds.

+ Specifications

  • Power: 1200 Watt
  • Capacity: 2 Litres
  • Extra bottle included
  • Dishwasher safe

Breville VBL062 Blend Active Personal Blender

This personal 600 ml model is just the job for when you want to quickly whip up a healthy drink and take it with you. It is a one-person-blender with an additional portable bottle that makes it easy to carry around. The lockable lid means you’re safe from it leaking in your bag.

It is very easy to blend using this device, as it has a very simple one-touch operation – you just attach it to the base, twist it to lock and press the button – and off it goes. It’s great for preparing healthy drinks, such as smoothies, ice slushies and protein/sports shakes, so it’s a great buy for a health-conscious person that wants to make their own fresh drinks.

This is a much better device for making protein shakes than a simple shaker because you don’t get powder build-up around the edges.

We like

  • Easy to operate
  • Quick to use
  • Excellent value for money
  • BPA Free

We disike

  • Not great for blending tougher items
  • Easy to overload the motor

Final Verdict

This machine is not bad at crushing ice for drinks, but if you’re looking for something that’s going to be doing heavy-duty ice crushing on a regular basis, then you might need something more powerful.

+ Specifications

  • Power: 300W
  • Capacity: 600 ml
  • Extra bottle included
  • Dishwasher safe

+ Downloads

Breville VBL062 user manual

Download

Russell Hobbs Desire 3-in-1 Hand Blender

This immersion hand blender from Russell Hobbs comes with 4 attachments to solve all your kitchen needs in one handy appliance. With a whisk, beaker, chopper and of course the original hand blender, you’ll have no problem whipping up snacks and soups with minimal fuss and of course, less washing up.

From chopping veggies to whisking your cake batter and liquefying soups, this blender has you covered. The stylish design means the Russell Hobbs Desire Blender won’t look out of place in even the most sleek kitchens, but it is also small enough to store away in the cupboards if you’re low on space or hate clutter.

Features:

Attachments: Whisk, Hand Blender, Chopper, Beaker

We like

  • 4 attachments for maximum usefulness
  • Two speed settings
  • Durable
  • Stylish finish

We disike

  • Mini blender can leak if too much liquid is used

Final Verdict

An excellent choice for those who want a robust multifunctional blender.

+ Specifications

  • Power: 400W
  • Capacity: 0.5L Chopper and Beaker
  • Two speeds
  • Warranty: 1 year

+ Downloads

Russell Hobbs Desire 3-in-1 Hand Blender user manual

Download

Kenwood Smoothie 2Go SB056

Enhance your physical and mental health by incorporating smoothies into your day-to-day lifestyle. This Kenwood smoothie maker has been created to make health easy!

This smoothie maker comes at a fantastic price and although it’s not got the most powerful engine on the market, it’s got more than enough to help blend you a tasty smoothie. You can utilise this to blend your fruits and veg’s with ease, it has low, high and pulse speed options.

If you’re shooting off to work or the gym, you can take your smoothie away with you. It is quick and easy, plus you can put the lid on your cup and take it with you.

Comes with two drink lids, a jug and a base. It boasts 300-Watt power and comes in black. It will easy add to your kitchen with its inconspicuous sleek design sure to adapt to any setting.

We like

  • Very cheap
  • You can take your smoothie with you
  • It has a pulse setting

We disike

  • It has just 300-watt’s worth of power

Final Verdict

This is an option for somebody looking to start their health-kick, it’s a cheap blender but packs more than sufficient power to enjoy. It has a number of setting and lids that enable you to take your smoothie with you on the go.

Help and Resources

Blender Buying Guide

Types

There are many different types of blenders to choose from. They have also considerably improved in the past few years. Consumers nowadays are really spoilt for choice.

The initial thing to consider is whether you want a jug model, or an immersion (aka handheld) model. Jug-blenders, as the name suggests, have a jug attachment that connects to a motor unit. There is a blade at the bottom that spins when the appliance is turned on, which allows it to blend and chop food. Most jug-blenders hold around 1-1.5 litres and can be made of either glass or plastic. Glass is the sturdier of the two – but the plastic options are lighter.

Alternatively, if you will mostly be doing very quick blending and chopping, and less smoothie-making, you might do better with handheld immersion models, which you dip directly into a bowl of ingredients. They are less faff and excellent for making soups, as you don’t have to pour a bowl of hot liquid into a jug and out again. You can get hand blenders with a range of different attachments, such as a whisk – they make good all-rounders.

With jug-blenders, you will find different varieties for different needs. There are the high-performance models – these are the most expensive options, with highly powerful motors and fast blades. They will blend almost anything – even hard things like ice and nuts. Then there are the conventional models which are slightly less expensive – these are your standard smoothie and milkshake makers. Finally there are personal blenders – these are very popular with health and fitness fanatics – they are a new typ that allow you to make small smoothie and shake portions and take them with you on the go, doubling up as a travel cup.

Consumer Needs

Choose your blender based on what you intend to use it for. If you cook and eat a lot of veg, it would be beneficial to seek out an option that has a ‘chop’ setting as well as a ‘blend’ setting, so it’s useful for both. If you’re planning on only using it to make smoothies and milkshakes, you should make sure the appliance has a nice sturdy base that won’t go flying when the power’s on. A useful feature to look for is a lid that has a hole in the top, so you can add extra ingredients as you go without needing to take the lid off.

There are lots of different aesthetic styles out there, so it’s easy to find one that will match the look and feel of your kitchen – whether it’s steel, cream, colourful, retro or traditional. Bear in mind how much space you have and whether the appliance will fit comfortably on your countertop (or wherever you plan to store it).

Capacity

Blenders can be very small, for one person, or much larger. Consider your family size when deciding which option is right for you. If you’ll be serving the whole family, you might want a large capacity or even an immersion model. Chefs should certainly opt for a large capacity version, as you will save both time and energy. The smaller options tend to be less expensive – although that doesn’t always apply, as it does also depend on the number of fancy features that the appliance has. Usually, they will hold anywhere between 0.5-2 litres.

Blades

Blades are incredibly sharp and incredibly fast. More often than not, manufacturers make it so that the blade base is removable for easy cleaning. Look out for this in your purchase, as it will make things a whole lot easier. The blades to look for are made from stainless steel for greater durability and to stop them rusting. If you use a dishwasher, look out for options that are labelled as dishwasher-safe.

Power

Some are more powerful than others. Some will liquify almost anything, whereas another blender might struggle with anything tougher than frozen fruit. Ice and tough vegetables in particular can cause problems with the less powerful blenders, so if you are going to be using it for crushing ice, for example, then you might want to go with something more powerful.

Wattages tend to range between 200-2000W, so the difference can be quite significant. But not everyone needs super-duper powerful blenders – and don’t assume that because it has a higher wattage it is necessarily lots better. If you want a standard blender that will make you a nice smoothie, then you don’t really need to go higher than 500-700W. Above 700 is very powerful, best for grinding things down really small – they can be used for things like grinding coffee beans, ice and nuts as well as all the usual ingredients. A higher powered option is quite good if you want to make baby food out of tougher vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes.

Settings

The basic settings you might find on blenders are as follows:

  • Chop
  • Stir
  • Mix
  • Puree
  • Liquefy

Puree is best for things like soup, whereas for a smoothie you would choose the liquefy setting. Mix is great for combining ingredients, for example with a salad. It is all fairly self explanatory.

With conventional blenders (less so with personal ones) there are usually two speed settings at least, or different settings for different ingredients. Do some research to ascertain which settings are important to you.

Noise

A standard blender operates at around 88 dB (decibels), and they can be quite noisy. If you’re looking for a quieter option that isn’t going to wake up the whole house if you start blending early in the morning, you should opt for one that is sound-optimised, like this Bosch model, or keep an eye out for blenders with a low dB count, closer to 68 or 78. For context, a 88 dB model would be twice as loud as a 78 dB one.

FAQS

What are the best blenders for making smoothies?

If you’re buying a blender for making smoothies, you should opt for a jug model – either conventional or personal (depending on what works best for you). You do not really need a heavy duty option for smoothie-making unless you also plan on using it for harder things like nuts and ice, and it’s important to you that they are completely liquified.

What are the best blenders for juicing?

Blenders and juicers are separate appliances, unless you deliberately buy one that does both, like this VonShef Juicer, Blender and Grinder. With a blender, everything that goes into the container is consumed, whereas with a juicer you are simply squeezing out the juice, without any of the pulp and insoluble fiber. Some say that smoothies are the healthier option for this reason.

Who makes the best blenders?

There are many excellent brands out there who make blenders, among the best brands are:

  • Andrew James
  • Black & Decker
  • BlendTec
  • Breville
  • Hamilton Beach
  • Ninja
  • KitchenAid
  • Oster

Which are the best hand blenders?

Our favourite hand model is the recommended Hamilton Beach model, but there are many other perfectly serviceable options available too, such as this best-selling Braun immersion blender and this Kenwood model.

What are best budget blenders?

Unless you have lofty plans for your appliance and its performance, you can get a perfectly reasonable blender for about £20-30, like the Breville blender listed previously, or this Phillips jug blender. As previously mentioned, it depends on what you want to do with it and how challenging the ingredients are to liquefy – tough veggies might be a push.