A blender makes a great addition to every home and the best blenders will serve you as well on day 1,000 as they did on day one. While they’re fab at making fresh smoothies, that’s not their only talent. They can also be used to throw together healthy soups and sauces all year round, making it twice as easy to get all the vitamins your body craves – and also making it twice as easy to justify the worktop space your new blender will use.
If you’re not so worried about space but are concerned about extra washing up, there are lots of clever blenders that have been designed with your struggles in mind. Many models now blend directly into a cup or bottle, usually with an attached lid, so you can sip it straight away or even store it for later without having to deal with any added washing up. Some even come with special cleaning cycles and dishwasher-safe parts to make clean-up even easier.
Not sure which features you need to look out for? Below we’ve put together a handy guide focussing on the features you need and the ones you don’t. If you’re already clued up or just want to browse before diving into details, you’ll find our regularly updated list of the best blenders and smoothie makers below.
Best blenders: at a glance
- Best compact blender | Philips Daily Collection Mini Blender
- Best high-speed compact blender | Nutribullet 600 Series
- Best budget blender | Breville Blend Active Personal
- Best mid-price blender | Salter NutriPro 1000 Blender
How to choose the best blender for you
Do I need a smoothie maker or blender with multiple speed settings?
Multiple speed settings provide more control when blending. In our research, many blenders have at least two speeds, while some have programs designed for specific tasks, such as milkshakes or ice crushing. If your blender doesn’t have an ice crusher setting, though, we wouldn’t recommend trying – it can blunt the blades.
What type of jug do I need?
Plastic jugs are lighter but can also get scratched and absorb odours over time. Glass jugs, on the other hand, are sturdier and more aesthetically pleasing but can be very heavy when full. You’ll pay a premium for high-quality BPA-free plastics such as Tritan, which is strong, light, and looks like glass, but it does offer the best of both worlds.
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If you get the entire household into a smoothie habit, it’s worth looking for a bigger blender that not only makes fruit and veg drinks, but can aid your healthy eating habits and add variety to your diet. More powerful blenders can often whip up dairy-free milk, nut butter, sauces, soups and frozen fruity desserts for the whole family. If that’s what you’re after, look for options that come with tampers or heat-proof jugs, alongside greater capacity and specific settings or programmes.
Will a more powerful wattage give me smoother results?
High-performance blenders with a high motor wattage will have an easier time of breaking down tougher ingredients. So if you’re making a simple thin sauce, a low wattage blender will do. If you want to make super smoothies with all kinds of ingredients or thick sauces and dips like hummus though, then you really should spend out on something more powerful. Some low wattage blenders can handle tough ingredients but you’re at a higher risk of burning out the motor and permanently damaging your blender
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The best blenders to buy
1. Breville Blend Active Personal: The best blender under £30
Price: £22 | Buy now from Argos
You don’t need to break the bank to get a blender that does a great job. With a choice of lime green, pink and orange models, the Breville Active Personal is more neon running shoe than classy kitchen appliance – although it does also come in a more tasteful blue – but at this price, it’s something of a steal.
It might not scale the perfect smoothie-crafting heights of the Sage The Boss to Go (below), but it produces consistently good smoothies time after time. It comes with two plastic bottles with easy-seal flaps so you can guzzle your fruit-based creations without having to reach for a glass. Sure, you might have to blend your creations for a little longer than some of its pricier rivals, but if you just want tasty smoothies without the expense, this is the blender for you.
Read our full Breville Blend Active Personal review
2. Nutribullet 600 Series: The best high-powered compact blender
Price: £70 | Buy now from Argos
With so many different models in NutriBullet’s range, you might find yourself with a bit of blender fatigue. Luckily, we’ve tested all the best NutriBullets you can currently buy and found the 600 series to be the perfect mix of affordability and power. It comes with one short cup for one-person smoothies or sauces and one classic cup ideal for two.
In testing, the blenders high-speed blades were no match for fibrous vegetables, nuts or seeds and whipped up a classic green smoothie in fewer than 30 seconds. Every smoothie or sauce made came out incredibly silky and bright. What’s more, we found that smoothies made in the NutriBullet appeared to keep their colour and freshness for longer than cheaper models.
While you can crush small amounts of ice in this version, we’d suggest opting for a higher-powered model – such as the 900 series – if you’re planning on regularly using it for super-tough jobs.
Read our full best Nutribullet roundup
3. Cuisinart On the Go: The best affordable cordless blender
Price: £100 | Buy now from Argos
If you’re fed up with cords that are too short to reach your plug socket or just find storing corded products a pain, then now is the perfect time to consider going cordless. Cordless kitchen appliances have been popping up all over the place recently and one of our favourites is this compact blender from Cuisinart.
With just one speed button, it’s incredibly easy to use both at home and on the go and the addition of a sipping lid means there’s no need to transfer drinks to a cup to enjoy. A single two-hour charge gives you enough power to blitz around eight full 450ml cups of smoothie before you’ll need to reach for the USB cable – though usage will vary depending on what you’re blending.
Despite its small motor, we were still able to blitz whole almonds and pine nuts into a delicious paste during testing. So whether you’re whipping up a pesto or a delicious breakfast drink, this tabletop blender is a must-have for anyone who wants to ditch the cord
Buy now from Argos
4. Sage the Boss To Go: The best blender under £150
Price: £129 | Buy now from Amazon
If you really love your smoothies, you owe it to yourself to save up for the Boss To Go. In keeping with the rest of Sage’s kitchen appliances, this fancy-looking blender is a cut above the average – and so is its price.
For your money, however, you get a very sleek, well-built blender. The brushed aluminium looks smart and snazzy, and the two thick plastic blending cups feel as tough and sturdy as you could possibly ask for. Fire up the Boss to Go’s 1,000W motor, however, and it scythes through fruit and vegetables alike to create smooth, delicious smoothies in a matter of seconds – this is a seriously quick blender.
There are much cheaper blenders here, but if you want the best then it’s definitely worth splashing out.
Read our full Sage the Boss To Go review
5. Salter Nutri Pro 1000: The best mid-range blender
Price: £59 | Buy now from Amazon
Thanks to a very substantial price cut since it first launched, you’re actually getting a £150 blender. It feels expensive, too, with a large, heavy base that houses the super-powered 1,000W motor. You also get three blending cups: two chunky 800ml cups and a third, taller one-litre cup for when you really want to go on a fruit smoothie frenzy.
The blending performance puts the Nutri Pro not far off the best we’ve tested. It struggles a little with tricky leaves such as kale, and requires a little longer than some to create a perfect texture if you use the larger one-litre cup, but give it an extra whizz and the results are worth waiting for. The only downside? This is a noisy blender.
Read our full Salter NutriPro 1000 review
6. Philips Daily Collection Mini Blender: The most versatile compact blender
Price: £75 | Buy now from Robert Dyas
The Philips Daily Collection Mini Blender is powerful enough to blend fruit, vegetables, nuts, coffee and even meat with ease, and thanks to its small footprint it won’t take up that much room on your worktop either.
Naturally, that compact design means the working liquid capacity is slightly on the small side at just 600ml in the 900ml jug. The on-the-go tumbler, which you can blend into directly, has the same working capacity so it’s a puzzle why the jug isn’t a little more generous. On the plus side, there are two speeds to choose from, giving this model more options than a single-speed design, and the jug is made from glass, which gives it a more robust feel.
Overall, this is a compact blender that can deal with plenty of different foodstuffs, but you’ll have to resort to a full-sized blender for a round of smoothies.
Read our full Philips Daily Collection Mini Blender review
Buy now from Robert Dyas
7. Kenwood Blend-X Pro BLP900BK: The best family-friendly blender
Price: £289 | Buy now from Amazon
When a blender comes with six reinforced blades made of aerospace-grade stainless steel, you know it means business. And considering that these blades can reach up to 30,000rpm, it’s unlikely that there’s a piece of fruit in existence that could escape being pulverised into your morning smoothie.
This isn’t just a fruit and veg blitzer, though: this stylish blender will also whip its way through frozen fruit to make sorbet, and turns nuts into butter and chickpeas into hummus. There’s even a soup programme, although you can only use this to process pre-cooked ingredients once they’ve cooled to room temperature. This is disappointing for a blender that costs just shy of £300. You’re also advised to steer clear of hard spices, such as nutmeg and turmeric root, to ensure the blades stay damage-free. Those conditions aside, this hard-working smoothie maker doesn’t disappoint.
8. KitchenAid K150 Blender: The easiest to use blender
Price: £229 | Buy now from KitchenAid
If you’re looking for a blender that makes light work of basic blending tasks and doesn’t come with bundles of unnecessary attachments, this entry-level offering from KitchenAid is ideal. With just three speed settings and a pulse function, it’s the most fuss-free blender we’ve ever used.
It’s relatively pricey for a basic blender, but the build quality is exceptional and you’re also paying for that classic KitchenAid design. In testing, the K150’s 650W motor made light work of ice, backing up KitchenAid’s claim that it can crush half a tray in just 10 seconds. It had no trouble blitzing through an entire tray in just over double that time either, making it ideal for iced smoothies, slushies and frozen cocktails.
The pulse function is a great addition for quickly incorporating ingredients without blending them into a pulp, or simply for giving certain fruits and veggies a quick blitz before cooking. We used it for everything from frozen berries and spinach to small chunks of onion and cooked chickpeas.
If you do need extra attachments, such as a citrus press or additional smoothie jugs, you can buy them seperately from the KitchenAid website. It may be simple, but for everyday blending, you can’t go wrong with the K150
Buy now from KitchenAid
For more information, please see more information about Best budget blender for smoothies