If you’re in a hurry and just want to know what the best protein shake blender is, I recommend the Ninja BL770 as the best all-round option.
In the market for a new protein shake blender? Picking the best one is largely a case of balancing your budget with volume requirements and convenience. You might also want a full blending set that will tackle other jobs too.
To help you sort through the options, I’ve reviewed some of the most popular shake makers on the market today. Each one will suit different circumstances, so I’ve added some thoughts on who I think will get the most out of each one.
(Want to learn more about juicing and blending? Take a look through my collection of guides and reviews.)
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Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System
If all you ever want to make with your blender is a steady stream of protein shakes and fruit smoothies, you won’t need something as advanced as Ninja’s BL770 Mega Kitchen System.
In my opinion though, this is about the best general purpose food processor / blender system you can pick up right now.
If you think you’re going to want to make more than just protein shakes, and perhaps make salsas, soups, purees or even baby food, then it makes sense to invest in a system that can handle all those jobs in one set.
Ninja’s Mega Kitchen System includes a 72 oz blender jar, which far exceeds the 40 oz minimum I like to see in this sort of set.
You also get a pair of 16 oz serving containers with tight-sealing lids, which is good enough to store those all-important protein shakes for travel. Finally, there’s a food processing jar with all the blade attachments you’d expect.
It’s powered by a 1500 Watt motor base, which I assure you is enough to handle even the toughest ingredients. A 600 Watt motor will tear through even massive chunks of ice, so Ninja’s blender will tackle whatever you throw at it, and finish the job extremely quickly.
The BPA-free plastic parts are all dishwasher-safe, and you also get a recipe book out of the box. There are only 30 or so recipes in here, but it’s enough to get you started before you trawl the internet for some new favorites.
- An incredibly powerful all-in-one blender / food processor set that will pulverize anything you feed it!
- The 16 oz serving containers are perfect for your protein shakes.
- Offers more versatility in terms of other food preparation.
- As a bigger unit, you’re obviously going to need more spare space in your kitchen.
- If all you care about is making your protein shakes, this might be considered overkill!
- The bottom of the blending jar can be quite fiddly to fully clean out.
BEST OVERALL – “If you want to perform all of your kitchen blending tasks using one unit, the Ninja BL770 is a very versatile and powerful kitchen appliance. If you’re making more than protein shakes then this is an excellent all-in-one option.”
Ninja Professional Countertop Blender
If all you want is a blender that can make protein shakes and smoothies extremely well, then the Ninja’s Professional Countertop Blender is a good alternative.
The 1100 Watt blender motor is more than enough to blend even the densest protein ingredients, and it’ll crush ice with ease if you want something cooler.
If you want to control the texture and consistency of your protein shake manually, there’s a pulse button that you can use.
Alternatively this Ninja blender has a trio of speed settings, which means you can set and forget while you pack your gym bag, for example.
As with the Mega Kitchen System I’ve just covered, this one comes with a 72 oz blending jar. That’s really useful if you’re making protein shakes in one big batch.
You get a pair of 16 oz BPA-free plastic containers out of the box, as well as “to go” lids which will stop them leaking in transport. If you need more of these containers you can always purchase them separately. That way you can make a massive batch and then store the containers in the refrigerator, ready for when you need them.
- One of the most powerful countertop blenders for protein shakes and fruit smoothies.
- Ideal for preparing big batches ahead of time, as long as you pick up some spare containers.
- An affordable dedicated blender that still packs enough power to handle any ingredients you want to use.
- Super-sharp stainless steel blades.
- I’ve not experienced it myself, but some owners have had issues with the jar lid leaking during blending.
- Doesn’t handle seeds as well as other blenders I’ve reviewed.
- Suction cups on the base of the machine make it hard to move around if you want to store it between uses.
BEST FOR SHAKES & SMOOTHIES: “If you just need a powerful blender that will demolish smoothie ingredients as well as protein shakes, this is a great option. The blender jar’s big enough to make big blending batches for family meals too.”
Ninja Nutri Pro Compact
Ninja’s Nutri Pro Compact is its flagship personal blender. With a 900 Watt motor it’s more than capable of handling protein shakes, smoothies and more.
The patented stainless steel blades absolutely demolish raw ingredients. It also brushes off even big ice cubes when you want something a little more refreshing.
Despite the power of the Nutri Pro, it’s actually pretty quiet compared to some of the other micro blenders like the famous Magic Bullet.
By design you won’t be able to make more than one smoothie at a time, but it does come with two lidded Ninja Cups. You can prepare two protein shakes that way, and keep one of them in the refrigerator.
Any flipsides? It’s a pretty ugly looking thing, but it’s small enough to tuck away in a kitchen cupboard when it’s not in use!
- One of the most powerful compact blenders on the market, and ideal for single serve shakes.
- Noticeably quieter than many other personal blenders.
- Compact, without sacrificing power output.
- It doesn’t have the most appealing design.
- You can only blend one or two protein shakes in a single sitting.
BEST PERSONAL BLENDER: “You’ve surely heard of the classic Magic Bullet, but the Nutri appliance is so much more powerful at only a slightly higher price point. Ideal if you just want to blend the occasional smoothie or protein shake, but with enough power to tackle tough ingredients.”
Vitamix 5200 Blender
As a brand, Vitamix is one of the grand old dames of the blending scene, and the 5200 is one of the manufacturer’s best machines.
The blender jar is somewhat smaller than some of the other blenders I’ve reviewed though.
At 64 oz it’s fractionally lower than the standard Ninja offering, but that should still be ample for most users. You’ll need to pick up a couple of travel containers with the 5200 if you want to take your protein shakes on the go though.
As well as variable speed controls, the 5200 also features a sort of “self-cleaning” mode. Once you’re done blending, just fill the jar with warm water and soap and then run it on the highest settings. You don’t have to take the thing apart, just empty it afterwards and dry it off.
It’s one of the best blenders for protein shakes, juices, smoothies and pretty much anything else. If you want to blitz the heck out of anything and everything – for years and years to come – then Vitamix is a brand worth investing in.
- The 7 year warranty speaks for itself. This is a manufacturer that puts its money where its mouth is!
- Vitamix makes some of the best stainless steel blades in the business, and they keep their edge for years.
- “Self-cleaning” function makes caring for the machine very easy.
- You pay a premium to join the Vitamix club.
- The machines are well-known for making a lot of noise.
- Pouring the pitcher can cause a bit of a mess if you’re not careful.
BEST HIGH END: “Pricey, but Vitamix justifies that cost with a reputation for producing the best blenders that stand the test of time. If you want a pure, powerful blender that will provide you with years of service, the Vitamix 5200 is a worthwhile investment.”
Oster My Blend BLSTPB-WBL
Oster’s My Blend takes my pick as the best true budget portable blender in this round-up.
There are no fancy bells and whistles on this blender, and a 250 Watt motor also means you’re limited to using soft fruit and vegetables or protein mix and liquid.
You can get a maximum serving size of 20 oz with the My Blend as well.
Still, if that’s all you need I think it’s a pretty good option for a quick protein shake after a work out, or for cobbling together a basic smoothie before you head out to work.
It’s also one of the more colorful blenders I’ve reviewed. You can grab the Oster My Blend in these color options:
You’d expect a blender built around convenience to be dishwasher-safe, and the largely plastic build means that’s the care here. It’s worth noting as well that the plastic used in the blender bottle is BPA-free.
In terms of operation it’s very easy to use. A single button controls all of the actual blending, and there’s a neat anti-overheating function built in as well.
Blenders at this end of the market tend to have quite a short lifespan, but this feature should help keep the motor running a little longer than most.
- Super-compact design makes this one easy to tuck away in a tote bag, or store in any spare cupboard space.
- Anti-overheating function should help keep this budget pick blender ticking over longer than most.
- Fun color options for those who want something a little livelier than the usual blender designs.
- The cord is very short, so you’ll need the space to position it somewhere close to a power socket.
- Comparatively weak motor means this one’s limited to basic protein powder shakes and soft smoothies.
BEST BUDGET: “If you’re just getting started at the gym and want to see what all the protein shake fuss is about, The Oster My Blend’s a pretty good starting point. Expect to upgrade at some point though. I think the color options make this quite a nice, affordable gift option for a fitness fanatic friend.”
How To Buy A Protein Shake Blender
All five of the protein shake blenders I’ve reviewed are excellent at what they set out to do, and if you pick the right one for your circumstances you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
If you want to keep shopping around though, keep the following things in mind.
How Important Are The Blender Materials?
Although plastic-heavy blenders aren’t as durable as stainless steel, they’re typically easier to look after. Most of the parts – with the exception of the power base – are dishwasher safe.
They’re also usually cheaper to add to your kitchenware collection.
That said, some of the best blenders are constructed from stainless steel. Although these are often more expensive, they’re a lot hardier and will last longer.
As for the blender jar itself, you’ve typically got two options in front of you: glass or plastic.
I think BPA-free plastic is the way to go here. First, it can withstand the pressures of blending. Second, if your hands are mucky from prepping ingredients, if it slips and falls to the floor it won’t shatter like a glass jar could.
The one advantage a glass container has though is that’s it’s very easy to clean. You have to work a little harder with a plastic container, and it’s important that you do so as bacteria can build up within plastic scratches.
What Kind Of Blender Jar Is Best For You?
Not all that long ago you’d struggle to find a decent blender that didn’t use a cylindrical blending jar.
These are fine – to a point – but this shape often stops the ingredients from coming back into contact with the spinning extractor blade. Cue a lot of poking around as you try to keep everything moving!
These days you’ll find most high quality protein shake blenders have a sort of rounded rectangular design.
These act like a funnel, which naturally forces your ingredients back down towards the blades, rather than simply whizzing around the circumference of the jar.
There’s a flip side to this clever design though.
They’re not as easy to clean, as there are more grooves to get at. For this reason you’ll have to be content to put them through the dishwasher, or go to a little more effort with a manual clean.
One other thing to watch out for is clear measurement marks on the blender jar.
If you’re watching your food intake, you should make sure the measurements are really easy to see on the outside of the container.
What You Need To About Blender Blades
The quality of the blades in your protein shakes blender are hugely important. You could have the most powerful motor in the world, but it compensate for a blunted blade.
Some blenders have multiple blades in the box, which are designed for specific tasks. Individually they may not be as high quality as a single dedicated blade though, so make sure you use the right one for the right job.
In all circumstances you should choose a blender that makes use of a stainless steel blade. These last much longer than any other material, and some are even Teflon-coated to ensure they stay sharp and resist scratches.
You’ll still have to clean the blade unit regularly to keep your blender in good working order. For that reason, you should check it can be easily removed for careful cleaning.
You’d be surprised how much gunk can accumulate on the undersides of the blade. You really need to get rid of this stuff so it doesn’t become moldy.
Do Your Blender Speed Settings Matter?
Your protein shake blender will likely have one or more of the following three speed settings:
Pulse: Commonly found on personal blenders, you activate the blender by pushing the cup down onto the power base. When you stop pushing, the appliance stops blending. This requires you to be fully hands-on with the blending process – you can’t just fire and forget here.
Locked: Some – but not all – personal blenders allow you to start the blend with a “pulse” push, and then twist the cup to lock it in place and continue the blend automatically. You need to be mindful of when the right consistency has been achieved, so you can stop the blender.
Variable: Countertop protein shake blenders will likely have a huge variety of speed settings to play with. These require a bigger up-front investment, but allow you to get the shake’s consistency just right, whatever ingredients you’ve thrown inside.
As always, it’s a case of thinking about what you’re really going to need from your shake blender, and how convenient you need your life to be.
What About The Blender Container Volumes?
Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to choosing the best protein shake blender.
If you’re only going to need one serving, a compact personal blender like the Nutri Pro Compact might be all you really need. These small blenders usually max out at a 18-32 oz capacity.
It might be more cost efficient to buy a bigger blender if you think you’ll be interested in making other blended foods such as soups, for example.
With countertop blenders you’ll be able to get all kinds of jobs done. Most blenders will offer at least a 40 oz blending jar capacity.
At the same time, you really need to think about the amount of space you have to play around with in your kitchen.
Naturally enough, the bigger the blending capacity of the blender, the more space you’ll need on your countertop.
As with all these things it’s a balancing act you need to weigh up for your own circumstances and needs.
How Important Is Portability To You?
If you want to be able to drink your protein shakes on the go, it might be sensible to grab a single serve personal blender.
That way you can quickly throw your ingredients into the cup, blitz them, and then throw the blender into your gym bag.
As you’d expect though, the volumes of these things tend to be quite small. It really depends on how big you need your protein shake to be.
The smaller the blender, the more likely it is to have a lower Wattage too. That will have an impact on the kind of ingredients you’ll be able to use in your protein shakes, without damaging the machine.
If you like a big shake – and perhaps lots of them! – you’ll probably find that a countertop protein shake blender is going to be a better option.
Just make a batch of them when you can, fill some spare blender cups, and store them in the refrigerator so you can drink your way through them as the week wears on.
Is It Easy To Clean And Dishwasher Safe?
Although cylindrical blender jars are the easiest to clean, they’re not as efficient at forcing the ingredients back down towards the blades.
Hence why so many of the best protein shake blenders now feature a more intricate design that funnels the food downwards through the container.
These are trickier to clean by hand, so it’s worth checking if this element in particular can be put through your dishwasher. It’s an important buying consideration and most blender manufacturers will list it prominently.
How Much Power Is Enough In A Blender?
This isn’t as important a consideration as many make it out to be. In simple terms, the higher the Wattage, the faster the blender blades spin.
All the horsepower in the world won’t help if the quality of your blade and container design is lacking though.
Power’s still important, but it really depends on what you plan to use the machine for.
If you’re only going to be making protein shakes from powder and liquid, you can get away with a blender that has as little as 250 Watt power.
It’ll have no trouble mulching that stuff up into a perfect shake, and even the cheapest personal blender will get the job done.
Things get a little more complicated however if you’re using hard, whole food ingredients. These put the blender motor under much greater strain, and so it’s important to pack a heftier punch. Otherwise you run the risk of overheating and damaging the motor.
I would recommend choosing a protein shake blender that has at least 500 Watts of power under the hood, and perhaps even higher at 600 Watts if you want to play it safe.
Low power blenders can also really struggle with ice. If you’re using ice in your protein shakes, you’re definitely going to need this extra power. Some blenders even come with a blade dedicated for slicing ice, so make the extra effort to swap it in when necessary.
What happens if you go over the 500 / 600 Watt power range though?
Well, at this point you’re not really gaining anything extra in terms of how the shake blender processes the ingredients.
Once you’re above 600 Watts of power, the only benefit you’re really gaining is extra blender speed. That might be important for you if you live a very busy lifestyle.
For more information please see the list of Best blender for protein shakes