The best blenders can be game-changing when it comes to your kitchen sessions. Whether you’re a cook and already know all the ways you’ll use it or you dabble in baking and you’ve heard it’ll up your game, these good all-rounders can chop, grind, pulverize and purée in minutes.
They’ll make light work of everything from blending fruit into smoothies and pureeing vegetables into soups to whipping up silky sauces and even decadent sorbets. The problem is there’s a lot of choice and each blender offers a different set of features. For example, do you need a juicer or a smoothie maker? What's the difference between a blender and a food processor? It can be confusing to figure out which one you need.
Blenders are best-suited to liquids and soft produce such as fruit and cooked vegetables, although some can also crush ice, while a food processor is the best option for slicing, chopping, and mixing thicker ingredients. Unlike the best juicers, which extract the juice discarding the waste pulp, a blender retains every aspect of the ingredient leaving you with a thicker, smoother mixture. So if you're looking for one device that does a lot of things, a blender might be the best option for you.
Smoothie makers have a smaller capacity and are more compact than a blender. Aimed at those that want to enjoy puréed fruit and vegetable drinks solely, they’re less powerful and use an on-the-go cup rather than a jug. Blend your ingredients, then attach a lid and take your drink with you.
There are lots of high-performing, great-looking blenders available to buy right now. You’re looking at a price that’s anything from around £100 through to £800 for a premium model. To find out whether it’s worth investing in one of the latest blenders, we’ve tried and tested a selection of the most enticing designs and rated them on performance, ergonomics and versatility.
We’ve focused on traditional jug blenders, which have been designed to serve as a firm staple on your countertop, although we have also included a smaller blender that’s designed for a quick drink fix for on-the-go.
When you’re shopping for a model to suit your household, consider how durable the jug is, how quiet the operation is and whether there are easy to clean parts and pre-set cleaning modes. Some blenders also come with special features such as vacuum blending that will suck the oxygen out of the jug before processing ingredients to give you a less foamy finish.
How we tested
To give each design a fair trial, we compared and contrasted a number of key features covering style, performance, and practicalities.
We rated each design on how many settings it offers, how many ingredients it can tackle, and how durable and easy to clean the body and parts. For each model we wanted to know whether it came with useful features such as a tamper to prod ingredients as you blend, a brush to clean, or a recipe book for inspiration.
In each design, we made a banana, avocado, and spinach smoothie. Aside from the three main ingredients, this recipe also includes a squeeze of honey, half a glass of oat milk and a handful of ice.
We compared the consistency of each finished blend, looking, in particular, to see if the spinach was suitably combined and the ice satisfactorily crushed. Including the mix of leafy, more solid, and hard ingredients means we could fairly put the designs through their paces. We monitored the noise levels using a Decibel App too. Incidentally, we’d definitely recommend trying out a banana, avocado and spinach smoothie as it’s delicious.
Best blenders for 2021: rated
With 16 pre-set options to take the guesswork out of preparing everything from smoothie and soup to jams and deserts, the Ninja HB150UK Blender & Soup Maker is one of the best on the market.
It comes with a built-in heating element so you can use the ‘sauté’ program to fry onions, garlic, and spices, while the ‘cook’ button you can cook soup ingredients for up to 60 minutes, so can even use raw meats such as chicken. It even offers food-processor style functions so you can ‘chop’ and ‘blend’ - ensuring it’s a one-stop-shop for making smooth and chunky soups in around 20 minutes.
When we made a banana, avocado and spinach smoothie we were impressed at how quickly the spinach shredded into the drink. At 82 decibels it was one of the quieter models in our test too, although, during the soup-making, it did rev up quite some speed and get rather noisy at the end of the process, however.
It features a specific clean mode that heats and pulses rapidly to remove residue from the non-stick coating, but to ensure every last bit of food was cleaned off the base, we gave it a little hand wash too. You will need to be careful not to submerge the jug fully in water as this can damage the heating element.
While the design is a little on the bulky side, we think the two-in-one option the Ninja HB150UK Blender & Soup Maker offers is worth considering, even if you’re tight on worktop space.
Read our full review: Ninja HB150UK Blender & Soup Maker
Whether you’re whipping up smoothies, soups or sauces, the Tefal Infiny Mix Tritan BL91HD40 High-Speed Smoothie Blender can ensure they’re silky smooth, thanks to a 1600w motor - it’s the most powerful blender we’ve review. Tefal says it can produce up to 40x smoother results than regular blenders, and in our review, we certainly found that to be the case. As well as liquids, it also pulverizes nuts and crushes ice too.
The blender comes with a 2-liter plastic jug, and a 600ml on-the-go cup that can be used to make smoothies and take them with you. There are five presets for different tasks such as sorbets and soups with default time settings, along with manual controls so you choose the speed and time of your preference. There’s also a ‘clean' setting that helps to dislodge any ingredients around the blades in around 30 seconds.
The blender comes bundled with a tamper that can be used to push down ingredients mid-blend, and a brush for cleaning the blades, if the clean setting doesn’t remove all of the debris. We measured the noise levels at 84 decibels, which while not as low as our best blender, was lower than some of the blenders we have tested
Read our full review: Tefal Infiny Mix Tritan BL91HD40 High-Speed Smoothie Blender
If your priority is smoothies, dips and blending small quantities of ingredients, the Ninja Blender with Auto-IQ BN495UK, which comes with two 700ml single-serve cups and spout lids that attach to the serving cups for easy transportation.
In our review, the 1,000W motor made light work of fruit and vegetables, as well as tougher ingredients including fruit, nuts, seeds and ice, but it was also noisy measuring in at 99dB when blitzing a berry smoothie. However, the sound is balanced and bearable, unlike some blenders we’ve tried.
The compact blender has a manual control, and a pulse feature along with several Auto-IQ programs that limit the guesswork of preparing items such a Blend’, which runs for 50 seconds and is good for drinks with fresh or frozen fruit, liquids and ice; and a 60-second Max Blend setting, for tough ingredients such as skins, seeds and stems.
The control panel’s buttons are clear and evenly spaced, which as well as looking sleek and stylish, is extremely easy to use when you’re in a hurry.
Read our full review: Ninja Blender with Auto-IQ BN495UK review
With a 1800w motor and a 24,000rpm, the KitchenAid 5KSB8270 Artisan Power Plus blender is the most powerful blender on the market. When we used it to make a banana, avocado, and spinach smoothie the machine mixed the produce to a super smooth liquid in less than 30 seconds, although git did get up to 99 decibels during this time.
We particularly like the flexibility the machine’s control panel gives you – offering the choice of four pre-set ‘Adapti blend’ programs for the usual favorites such as smoothies, juices, soups and self-cleaning. There is also an adjustable dial that ranges from 1-11 that is useful when you’re tackling tough produce such as nuts and ice. It also comes with a sturdy tamper tool and useful measuring cap.
The KitchenAid 5KSB8270 Artisan Power Plus blender is attractive in design and looks and feels like a premium model. It does however have a hefty price tag compared to the other blenders we have featured in our round up and it’s not an appliance that can be easily moved and stored. But in short, if you’re a fan of KitchenAid’s wide range of appliances it may feel like a natural choice to add this to your culinary setup.
Read our full review: KitchenAid5KSB8270 Artisan Power Plus blender
With a slightly slower motor than its bigger brother, this Tefal blender is a more affordable way to get smooth results when blending soups, sauces, and smoothies. It’s actually the least expensive in this round-up but still comes with a lightweight unbreakable jug that is durable enough to drop on the floor without breaking.
When we used the Tefal Perfect Mix+ Tritan to make our banana, avocado, and spinach smoothie, it produced a very smooth and silky finish, but ramping up to a noisy 104 decibels, it did make its presence known. It also beeps when locked into place, which means you instantly know when you’ve positioned the lid securely and it’s ready to use.
The control panel displays its settings neatly and has handy smoothie, ice crushing and smoothie presets. The easy to control light-up-dial then lets you manually control how fast you want the blender to perform.
Read our full review: Tefal BL82AD40 PerfectMix+ Tritan blender
Nutribullet, which is more commonly known for its range of powerful personal blenders, also offers this multi-use blender that can be used for hot and cold ingredients and has a larger 1.6-liter than its other devices in the range.
The Nutribullet blender comes with the same unique stainless-steel extractor blade that’s designed to pulverise ingredients without losing any of their nutrition, found in Nutribullet’s personal blenders. The blender proved very versatile in our review, offering up silky smooth, well combined results for smoothies, soups and delicious dips, and even crushed ice and broke down nuts too.
The control panel features two speed settings and a pulse function, although you can’t use the pulse setting if you’re liquidizing hot ingredients, so this blender is best suited for smooth soups, as opposed to chunky on. The jug lid has a vented cap, which can easily be removed mid-blend to add cold (but not hot) ingredients, and it also comes with a tamper that allows you to scrape any rogue ingredients towards the blade during a blend but we were disappointed a brush to clean the blades wasn't included.
Read our full review: Nutribullet Blender
Like the Tefal and Smeg blenders in our round-up, the Philips HR3752/01 High-speed vacuum blender also comes with a robust Tritan jar, which feels lighter in hand compared to a glass jar. However, it trumps them with a vacuum feature that sucks out the oxygen from the jug before it blends, helping to make a fresh-tasting drink, with less bubbles and foam than you’d usually find using a standard blender.
The blender has four pre-set programs on the façade for vacuuming the ingredients, vacuuming the ingredients and processing, pulsing and ice crushing. On first look, we found the control panel a little tricky to decipher, but once we’d consulted the manual we were able to confirm which icon does what.
It also has ‘Advanced ProBlend 6 3D blending technology’ to ensure the ingredients you include are blended as finely as possible – a plus point if you primarily want this blender to tackle nuts and seeds. The design features a manual dial that lets you choose your speed setting easily and while there isn’t a pre-set cleaning mode, the detachable parts on the blender are dishwasher safe. When we used it to make a banana, avocado and spinach smoothie on the pre-set smoothie setting, the noise levels reached 100 decibels.
Read our full review: Philips HR3752/01 blender review
With its die-cast aluminium frame that comes in a range of eight glossy colours including cream (pictured), red, pastel blue and pink, the Smeg BLF01PBUK blender has a head-turning design. Although its 1.5-liter capacity jug is the smallest we’ve featured in our round up, which is a plus point if you have a small kitchen, and a minus if you’re looking to blend large batches. Either way, the design is compact and the Tritan jug, like the Tefal and Philips models, is relatively lightweight to hold and robust.
The control dial has two pre-set programs for ice crushing and smoothies and speed settings that can be manually controlled from 0-4. This comes with a soft start so the speed is built up gradually for an even blend of the ingredients.
Noise-level wise, when we used the Smeg BLF01PBUK blender to make a smoothie, it reached 103 decibels - a little above average. The blend was smooth, albeit a little frothier than say the finish of the Philips vacuum blender design.
It’s worth noting that the Smeg BLF01PBUK blender doesn’t have a pre-set cleaning button – you can add warm soapy water to the jug and turn it on to dislodge any stubborn ingredients, and then finish by washing it by hand. You can take out the blade using the measuring cap in the top of the jar that doubles up as a key for the blade, which makes for an ergonomic design feature.
Read our full review: Smeg BLF01PBUK review
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