A good blender can nail time-consuming meal prep in seconds, with the top modern models able to chop, crush, grind, puree and more. So, whether you’re looking to mix your own protein shakes, whip up a nutritious smoothie or make a huge batch of soup to last the week, we reckon it’s a must-have kitchen buddy.
What blender should I buy?
The Men’s Health Lab’s resident culinary expert tested more than 30 of the best blenders on the market right now to find out which ones are worthy of your hard-earned cash.
These 10 made the cut:
- Best blender: Ninja 2-in-1 Blender with Auto-iQ
- Best blender for versatility: Wolf High Performance Blender
- Best blender for power: Tefal Infiny Mix Tritan
- Best for cooking: Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender
- Best looking blender: Sage The Fresh & Furious
- Best blender for smaller kitchens: Magimix Power Blender
- Best blender for meal prep: KitchenAid Power Plus Blender
- Best blender on a budget: Russell Hobbs Go Create
- Best quiet blender: Magimix Le Blender
- Best blender for smoothies: NutriBullet Blender Combo
What’s the difference between a blender and a smoothie maker?
Both appliances come in useful, but while smoothie makers tend to do what they say on the tin, blenders offer more food processing functions to help you prep meals.
Smoothie makers are usually smaller than blenders and can often only produce one serving at a time. They’re also less powerful, but they do come with handy grab-and-go cup attachments.
Blenders tend to boast more settings, giving you greater levels of control when chopping, grinding and pureeing, as well as liquifying ingredients. All blenders come with a pouring jug attachment as standard. This has a larger capacity, meaning you can make big batches of smoothies, sauces, soups and more with ease. A few blenders – like the NutriBullet Blender Combo and the Ninja 2-in-1 – also come with cup attachments, which is ideal if you’re partial to a homemade protein shake.
How do I choose a good blender?
You need to know yourself before buying a blender. That doesn’t mean packing your bags and jetting off to some far-flung mountaintop, but you do need to consider what features you’ll be using regularly.
Here are some of the most useful:
Speed settings – While most blenders tend to have at least two settings, some – like the Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Blender, with 12 speeds – go the extra mile to give you as much control as possible. Faster speeds are better for liquifying your mixture, while slower settings are good for chopping and keeping ingredients solid. If you’re a stickler for consistency, look for a blender with more options.
Preset programs – If you’re in the market for stress-free blending, take the guesswork out of the process by finding a product with preset programs. Selecting from a menu – usually including soups, smoothies and frozen desserts – simply involves pressing start, stepping back and letting your blender do its thing.
Cleaning – We enjoy getting creative in the kitchen, but we’re less keen on the mammoth clean-up effort that inevitably follows. Some blenders only compound this misery, with nooks and crannies that are nigh on impossible to wash. We recommend splurging on a model with removable blades or a self-cleaning program, such as the KitchenAid Power Plus Blender.
Accessories and capabilities – Some models come with attachments that make them more versatile. For example, a grinding blade attachment will make short work of coffee beans, herbs and spices. Others are able to carry out more heavy-duty tasks such as crushing ice and chopping nuts, which might damage blenders with weaker blades.
How much should I spend on a blender?
Not all blenders are built equal. As a result, the models on this list vary wildly in price, with the cheapest product priced at just over £30 and the most expensive falling just short of £650. In most instances, it’s very much a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. While cheaper models will do the basics and little else, premium products often have more more of the features listed above to improve performance and give users more control.
If you’re just looking for a tool to deliver the occasional smoothie or soup, a cheaper model may do the job just fine. But, if you’re an avid foodie, we’d recommend spending at least £99 on a more versatile blender that’s capable of food processing tasks as well as mixing. Meanwhile, experienced chefs may want to look towards the higher end of the price spectrum for the ultimate culinary companion.
How we test
We tested 33 of the best blenders you can buy to see if they lived up to the hype. We used each model to chop nuts, grind coffee beans and make mayonnaise, breadcrumbs and batter, all under the watchful eye of our Men’s Health Lab expert.
We kept a close check on the consistency of the ingredients, the evenness of the blending and the time each model took to finish each job. Ease of use, overall design, signs of leakage and any other natty features were also taken into account.
Wave goodbye to lumpy protein shakes with these lean, mean blending machines:
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