When it comes to buying a blender, the trick is to find a model that, on top of being efficient and thorough, suits the size and demands of your kitchen and isn’t so loud as to draw complaints from the neighbours.
We tested stand blenders using the same smoothie concoction (1 beetroot, ⅓ carrot, handful kale and 500ml water) to determine the overall quality and effectiveness of the blender and its all-important blades and motor.
Overall, we were looking for stand blenders that could efficiently and effectively blitz our vegetable mix into a glossy smoothie, without any leftover lumps. We also took the blender's size, ease of use, jug, volume, design, speed and functionality into consideration. Find more buyer’s advice below.
Russell Hobbs 24722 Desire Jug Blender, 1.5 Litre Smoothie Maker and Soup Liquidiser, Matte Black, 650 W
£58.49 FREE Delivery in the UK.
Simple and effective
It functions as well as more expensive models on the market, so much so it blitzed our tester smoothie so thoroughly you could be forgiven for thinking the drink had been made in a juicer, rather than a blender. It is compact, sturdy, leak-proof and gets a big thumbs-up on the value for money front.
£155.00 FREE Delivery in the UK.
Plenty of bang for your buck
The Magimix Le Blender is intuitive to use and sturdy, plus the jug attachment and lid feels secure thanks to the suction design. It was also one of the quietest blenders we tested, living up to its 'Quiet Mark' seal of approval. Overall, it combines design and functionality with finesse.
Professional quality at a price
Sage specialises in this kind of pioneering functionality, and The Super Q™ lives up to expectations. It has all the makings of a professional-level piece of kit but has been designed with the home user in mind: simple pre-set functions, an in-built timer, handy tools for scraping down the jug, a personal blending cup attachment and more. Most importantly, the blitzing results are excellent.
Vitamix Ascent Series A3500i Blender (Rotary, Touch, Glass Blender, Black, Polished Steel, Transparent, 1.22 m, AC, 1400 W)
This model's extensive repertoire also covers drinks, sauces, dips, spreads, soups, batters, dough, baby food and desserts, all using the same blades and jug. As you'd expect from an appliance brand often used in professional kitchens, it creates an impressively blended and well-mixed smoothie.
Best blender for making individual smoothies. You can make sauces and baby food if you do want to use this blender for other kitchen tasks.
The stainless steels are powerful enough to work through frozen fruit, plus they can make sauces and baby food if you do want to use this blender for other kitchen tasks. It's straightforward to use and surprisingly quiet, as verified by its 'Quiet Mark' badge.
This model created one of the silkiest smoothies of all blenders tested, with no sign of leftover sediment in the finished drink. It's easy to use and the compact, lightweight plastic jug feels durable. Its ergonomic handle means it stores neatly, as does the fact the cable can be tucked away in a cord tidy.
It takes on smoothies, soups, sauces and baby food with ease, plus has a useful hot foods pre-set option, which can handle liquids such as soups and sauces. The jug design is particularly good – it's dishwasher-friendly, BPA-free and a lot lighter than some of the others we tested. Additionally, it comes with a non-slip easy-to-grip silicone handle for added comfort.
Great for soups and smoothies
It comes with the added bonus of being a fantastic blender for other kitchen duties. There are two specific pre-set functions for this: ‘chunky soup’ and ‘fine soup’ to cater to different tastes and preferences, plus a useful keep-warm function. It also produces a well-blended smoothie and can be used to crush ice or make sauces.
electriQ 1800W Multifunctional Blender, Smoothie and Soup Maker
Best blender to rival a food processor. People with small kitchens might be reluctant to buy a separate blender and food processor and this electriQ machine solves that particular problem. Its Japanese stainless steel blades – and powerful 1800W motor – are able to pulverise ingredients, including nuts, seeds and grains, with ease, acting like a food processor.
Plus, all of its functions conveniently use the same blade, saving on time and washing up. Impressively, it can also rustle up a hot soup from cold ingredients in just five minutes.
Which blender should I buy?
Stand blenders come in all different shapes and sizes with a range of specifications and price points, so it's best to evaluate the overall demands of your lifestyle and kitchen, and also the space you have available. Some of the more advanced machines tend to be bulkier and heavier, with larger jugs and stands.
It's also worth identifying whether you need a straightforward blender, purely for the sake of blending smoothies and soups, or whether you'd like additional functions such as ice crushing, the ability to blend hot ingredients, or the power to pulse ingredients such as nuts and seeds.
Finally, if you're short on time, and looking to save on the washing up, it may be worth looking for a device which comes with its own to-go cup which you can blend smoothies directly into – you can find these at different price points, depending on your budget.
What we looked for when testing blenders
Blade strength: Could the blade easily blend our smoothie mix without struggling?
Speed of blitzing: How quickly and efficiently did the smoothie blend?
Ease of use: Was the blender easy to set up, put together, take apart and clean? Was it straightforward, or too involved?
The jug: How heavy and durable was the jug? Was it shatter-resistant? Plastic or glass? If plastic, was it BPA-free?
Safety: Does it come with a safety lock? How tightly does the lid fit?
Loudness: All blenders generate noise, but were there any that were quieter or louder than others?
Functions: How many speed settings? On top of blending, are there any other functions such as pulse, crushing ice etc? Any pre-set functions to make things such as soups and smoothies? Auto-clean?
Results: How well blended was the smoothie? Any lumpy bits leftover, or was it completely smooth?
Design and aesthetic: Is it well designed or bulky? How much space does it take up on the counter? Does it justify its size? Does it pack away easily in a cupboard?
Packaging: Is it well-packed, or does it come with excess packaging etc?
How we tested the blenders
We tested 15 stand blenders overall, from the basic and budget to the high-tech, using the same smoothie concoction (1 beetroot, ⅓ carrot, handful kale and 500ml water), to determine the overall quality and effectiveness of the blender and its all-important blade.
This is an impartial review written in accordance to the BBC Good Food editorial standards. All products were chosen independently by the BBC Good Food editorial team.