The best blenders 2020

best blenders

Whether it’s cooking up a storm for the whole family, blitzing soups for last-minute dinners, or whizzing your five-a-day into a healthy smoothie, here’s a rundown of the best blenders to buy right now, as recommended by parents.

Whether you want to make smoothies, sauces, soups or purées, a good blender will fill a hole in your life – and your kitchen cupboard.

We selected 15 of the best blenders on the market and tested them thoroughly over the course of six months to help you find the right one.

Read our blender reviews | A buyer's guide | How we tested and why you should trust us

How real-life comparative testing makes Mumsnet Reviews unique

To ensure comparisons are accurate and products are tested fairly, all the products we review are tested by just one person, side by side.

Many review sites also test in testing kitchens, but we think it’s important that products are tested in real-life family settings – ones that don't have acres of gleaming quartz islands or someone else to do the washing up, but that do have cramped cupboards and children accustomed to pushing unhelpfully at buttons. So all our blenders were tested in a real kitchen by a parent tester and her two very real children.

And the results are in. Here are the best blenders to buy in 2020.

1. Best Value Blender 2020: Tefal Perfect Mix+ Tritan

1. Best Value Blender 2020: Tefal Perfect Mix+ Tritan

The Tefal Perfect Mix+ Tritan BL82AD40 jug blender (RRP £119.99) impressed us most during testing and we think it's as good as many of the more expensive blenders on the market.

It stood out from the crowd for its two-litre Tritan jug, which looks exactly like glass but feels light like plastic. Despite dishwashing it several times, our tester found the jug never clouded and, after a few dropkicks to the floor to test for sturdiness, found it to be 100% break-proof. A big tick for busy family kitchens.

The smart, brushed-chrome motor unit has a similarly pared-back look to the Philips Avance, which we also tested. Like the Philips, it sits tall on a workbench but comes apart easily for storage.

Safety features are good: as well as that unbreakable jug, the Tefal Perfect Mix+ Tritan has suction feet to keep it steady, beeping to let you know when the lid is properly in place. Its dial also lights up as you turn it for ease of use.

As well as ice-crush and smoothie functions, which can also be used for batter and sauces, the Perfect Mix+ Tritan has an automatic washing-up function, which we found to be slightly more effective than the pricier KitchenAid K400 Artisan.

In terms of final score, the Tritan fell just short of the highest-scoring models, but the difference was often negligible. It blitzed ice to small chunks rather than a perfect snow and created an airy, smooth texture for soups. The purée was generally well-textured, but wasn't quite smooth enough for babies new to weaning.

On the soup and smoothie it took a little longer to blend than the KitchenAid, particularly on fibrous ingredients such as dates, but the finished results were more than adequate for everyday needs.

With six stainless-steel, titanium-covered blades, strong enough to chop nuts and breadcrumbs, and an uber-robust jug, the Tefal Perfect Mix+ Tritan is a versatile blender that should last years.

Pros

  • A bargain price for the quality and design features on offer
  • Double action blades – they cut vertically and horizontally
  • Great safety credentials
  • Self-cleaning but also dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • Sometimes needs a little longer to blend
  • Tall, but will fit into a cupboard in two parts

Need to know

  • Power: 1200W
  • Capacity: 2L
  • Modes: Smoothie, ice crushing, and auto-clean
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Accessories: Comes with Tritan jug, motor base and tamper

Best price: £119.99

Buy now from Argos

2. Best Jug Blender 2020: KitchenAid K400 Artisan Blender

“I have the shiny silver one and it's fantastic!”

2. Best Jug Blender 2020: KitchenAid K400 Artisan Blender

A sheer joy to use, the K400 Artisan Blender 5KSB4026 (RRP £279) from iconic brand KitchenAid is a great addition to any kitchen.

KitchenAid is known for making small appliances look sexy (hello shiny cake mixers) and the Artisan is no different. Not only is its design attractive, but it's reassuringly bomb-proof with a sturdy motor base and classic 1.4-litre square glass jug. Plus, it comes in no less than 11 different colours.

Clearly much thought has gone into this blender, from the asymmetrical stainless-steel blades, angled to hit every bit of food in the jug, to the soft-start motor which whirrs quietly into action and then ramps up to full speed – a sedate start to your morning smoothie.

The blade design also stops food splattering up the sides as it starts, so you rarely need to push food back down into the jug. It also features ‘intelli-speed control’ so it’s able to sense how much food there is in the jug and adapt its speed accordingly. Genius.

The Artisan feels intuitive to use, with a five-speed dial and pulse function as well as three automatic functions (ice crush, icy drinks and smoothie) and an automatic wash-up programme, which is always very thorough.

In testing this blender really impressed, never leaving any food unblended and working quickly, quietly and efficiently. It made a decent jug of crushed ice – not quite as ‘snowy’ as some but very good nonetheless – and the purée was completely smooth, which is ideal for early weaning.

It aced both the smoothie and the soup tests, and we felt it was the best smoothie produced by any of the blenders we tested.

Pros

  • Three-part blender system
  • Professional-level quality, design and features for a domestic price
  • Eight speed settings (five variable and three pre-set)

Cons

  • On the pricey side
  • Heavy (6.6kg)

Need to know

  • Power: 1200W
  • Capacity: 1.4L
  • Modes: Pulse, ice crush, icy drinks, smoothie, and self-cleaning
  • Warranty: Five years
  • Accessories: Extras include a tamper, plastic jug, blender jar, citrus press and cups (all sold separately)

Best price: £279

Buy now from Currys

3. Best Family Blender 2020: Ninja Foodi Blender and Soup Maker

“I love my Ninja!”

3. Best Family Blender 2020: Ninja Foodi Blender and Soup Maker

If you’re looking for a sleek, chic blender to whizz up large amounts of sauces, soups, smoothies and more, you can’t go far wrong with the Ninja Foodi Blender and Soup Maker HB150UK (RRP £149.99).

It’s the only blender we tested that also markets itself as a soup maker, which unsurprisingly also made it the best blender for soup. With a built-in heating element, you can quickly and easily whip up delicious homemade soup from scratch – just chuck your ingredients into the jug and you'll have a piping hot meal in a mere 20 minutes.

There are settings to chop spices and sauté your veg first if you wish. Then you'll need add your stock before finally selecting either ‘smooth’ or ‘chunky’.

As well as soup, the Ninja also has auto-cook functions for sauces, jams, frozen drinks, milkshakes, desserts and smoothies. If you prefer a little more control, there’s also a manual blend and cook setting, a pulse button and three blending speeds.

Thankfully, among all the clever features, Ninja didn’t forget the all-important auto-wash-up and the jug has a non-stick coating to make cleaning easier. While this came in really handy, our tester found the jug retained a slight smell of onion after a few soup cook-ups, but this didn’t seem to affect the taste of subsequent recipes. Before washing, she also occasionally found it tricky to get the last of the food out of the jug (particularly with thicker blends), but some nifty work with a spatula soon sorted that.

While we think this is an excellent option for busy families who are looking for good bang for their buck, if you want your smoothies super smooth, you might prefer either a NutriBullet or a KitchenAid.

Nevertheless we had no complaints about any of the recipes the Ninja turned out and, if you like the added bonus of being able to cook in it directly and want a blender with a very neat footprint, it’s worth the compromise (and the counter space). Plus it's called Ninja, which means instant approval from any child in your house.

Pros

  • Robust with chrome trims and a light-up touch screen (which even says 'hello' to you when you turn it on)
  • Cooks as well as blends
  • 10 Auto-iQ programmes
  • High-speed crushing blade to blend both hot and cold foods

Cons

  • Short cord
  • Tamper doesn’t quite reach the sides of the jar with the lid on
  • Sometimes left a few tiny lumps on blending
  • Hand wash only

Need to know

  • Power: 1000W
  • Capacity: 1.75L
  • Modes: Smoothie, dessert, frozen drink, milkshake, smooth soup, chunky soup, jam, sauce, chop, sauté, auto-clean, keep warm
  • Warranty: One year
  • Accessories: Comes with motor base, 1.7l glass jug with built-in heating element, jug lid with removable cap, tamper, and cleaning brush

Best price: £149

Buy now from Amazon

4. Best Personal Blender 2020: NutriBullet 1000 Series Blender

“My NutriBullet is brilliant. Far better than my jug blender.”

4. Best Personal Blender 2020: NutriBullet 1000 Series Blender

Most would argue that NutriBullets single-handedly made smoothies popular and the NutriBullet 1000 Series Blender (RRP £99.99) was our favourite for ease of use and for delivering delicious smoothies at speed.

Smart technology allows this blender to work out, as if by magic, what you’ve put in the cup and how fast or slow it needs to blend for the perfect smoothie, using automatic bursts and then switching itself off when finished.

A cyclonic action ensures food gets pushed through the blades and it blitzes everything, from fibrous veggies to nuts, to a beautifully smooth consistency. You can pretty much shove any fruit or vegetables in the 1000 (before adding your liquids, protein powders, seeds etc) and leave it to do its thing while you make packed lunches, shout about teeth cleaning and locate everyone’s shoes.

Your smoothie is ready to go in 45 seconds. Just unscrew the blade unit, replace it with a lid and off you go. One tip: give the blades a rinse straight away to get the worst off. They’re easy to clean, but not when they have eight-hour-old banana cemented underneath them. The cups and blades are dishwasher-safe, though.

NutriBullet 1000 sits neatly on the worktop, but also stores well. So if you find, come winter, that an ice-cold smoothie isn’t what you want on your frosty trudge to the bus, it’s easy to pop into a cupboard along with the accompanying accessories – we tested the nine-piece set.

For £100 this is a stellar product. It’s ideal for small kitchens, and works just fine blending small quantities of soups, pesto and baby food. You could get a family blender for not much more that would do bulk amounts, but this made the best smoothies of all the models we tried. So if it’s smoothies you want, or you’re short on space, this is your best bet.

Pros

  • Small footprint
  • Fast clean-up – dishwasher-safe cup and blade
  • Blends small amounts easily
  • Insulated stainless steel cup keeps drinks cool for eight hours

Cons

  • Can’t blend hot liquids
  • Isn’t designed to crush ice (but you can add ice to your drinks and it performed well in our ice test)
  • Smaller capacity than other blenders we tested

Need to know

  • Power: 1000W
  • Capacity: 0.93L
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Accessories: Comes with one stainless-steel and one plastic cup, a recipe book, flip-top lid, cup lip ring and cup grips

Best price: £99.99

Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

5. Best Hand Blender 2020: Kenwood Triblade Hand Blender

“I have a Kenwood stick blender and I use it all the time. It's fabulous for making soups and marmalade.”

5. Best Hand Blender 2020: Kenwood Triblade Hand Blender

We tried three hand blenders in total, but the Triblade HDP406WH by Kenwood (RRP £104.99) pipped the others to the post with its raft of attachments and sensible design.

This is a practical choice rather than a beautiful one. A simple dial at the top of the wand allows you to change speeds while in use and the rubberised grip means you won’t drop it, even with messy hands. Large housing around the blades prevents splashback and each of the three blades is curved in a slightly different way so as to pick up every last morsel of food.

The Triblade stick blender performed really well in testing, giving the sort of smooth consistencies we were expecting. It puréed small amounts well for a weaning baby and made the best smoothie of all the handheld blenders we tested, all without spraying food out of the bowl.

It comes with several attachments, including a whisk, potato masher and large soup blade, which did a fine job of blitzing our soup directly in the pan. Included in the box are also a small chopper (like a mini food processor) and a 0.75 litre jug to blend in.

Crucially, once we were finished blending, it washed up quickly and the blades removed easily from the stick for cleaning – something we found a little fiddly with the Bamix DeLuxe (more below).

At just under £105 (RRP), it doesn't come cheap, but the extra attachments mean this machine does a lot of jobs that make it worth every penny.

Pros

  • Blends soup in the pan with no need to cool
  • Practical grip
  • Plastic attachments save pans from scratches

Cons

  • Not as fancy looking as some

Need to know

  • Power: 800W
  • Warranty: One year
  • Accessories: Comes with 0.5L chopper, soup and masher attachment, whisk and 0.75L plastic beaker

Best price: £95.87

Buy now from Amazon

6. Best Budget Blender 2020: Braun MultiQuick 7 Hand Blender

“I have a Braun MultiQuick which is a hand blender with a mini food processor attachment. I probably use it more than my big food processor, and it's very easy to take apart and clean.”

6. Best Budget Blender 2020: Braun MultiQuick 7 Hand Blender

Smart looks, nifty design features and a lot of extras, we think the Braun MultiQuick 7 MQ745 (RRP £104.99) is the best blender for under £100.

The standout feature on this shiny chrome hand blender is the 21 speed settings activated by increasing and decreasing pressure on the speed button. It gives you complete control, making this blender particularly ideal for baby food and weaning: you can start with a completely smooth purée (it blitzed our peas so smooth that they were giving Jazz FM a run for their money), then use a lighter touch as your baby tries more textures.

It was quiet in use, though not as quiet as the Bamix DeLuxe, and the extra-hard stainless-steel blades powered through everything we put in their path, performing just as well as some of the more expensive blenders in testing.

A clever safety lock stops tiny hands from switching this stick blender on, and it was quick and simple to clean. The blending wand and attachments are also dishwasher-safe.

The Braun MultiQuick 7 is available without the additional extras if you’re on a budget, but the accessories mean you won’t need an electric whisk, jug blender or food processor. Be aware, though, that it doesn't come with anything to house all these extras so you may end up with a multitude of parts in drawers and cupboards.

Pros

  • Super-strong blades
  • SPLASHControl technology to prevent any splashing
  • 21 speed settings in one button

Cons

  • Accessories could do with some sort of included storage solution

Need to know

  • Power: 1000W
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Accessories: Comes with a 350ml chopper for meat, hard cheese, nuts etc, 1.25L jug blender/chopper, and 600ml beaker and whisk attachment

Best price: £80.86

Buy now from Amazon

7. Recommended Buy: Sage The Fresh and Furious Blender

7. Recommended Buy: Sage The Fresh and Furious Blender

While it looks and feels like it would cost a king’s ransom, with its brushed chrome style and round Tritan jug that slides satisfyingly onto its base, the Sage The Fresh and Furious SBL620SIL Blender retails at just under £200 (RRP £199.95).

It behaves like a more expensive model too thanks to a pleasingly quiet motor and surgical-grade steel blades that can whizz through almost anything. The design of the tough Tritan jug also allows food to be pulled towards the blades to ensure no food is left behind.

The four auto-functions (auto-clean, green smoothie, regular smoothie and ice crush) make The Fresh and Furious really easy to use. During testing, it made a beautifully smooth soup and smoothie, and ice was turned into a lovely snow consistency. It sometimes struggled with smaller quantities, but a family-sized blender like the Sage wouldn't generally be used for tiny amounts.

We also liked the intuitive speed settings, named for the task they best perform – mix, chop, blend, purée and liquefy – which allow you to go off-piste, away from the main auto settings.

As a family blender, this is as safety conscious as you’d expect, with rubberised feet to keep it steady and a looped lid designed exclusively for grown-ups. The auto-clean function did a grand job during testing, but the jug is also dishwasher-safe.

So if you have champagne taste and a prosecco budget, the Sage The Fresh and Furious Blender is certainly one to consider.

Pros

  • Creamy and even texture for soups and smoothies
  • Five intuitive speed settings
  • Nine task controls

Cons

  • Struggled with very small amounts of food

Need to know

  • Power: 1300W
  • Capacity: 1.5L
  • Modes: Green smoothie, regular smoothie, ice crush and auto-clean
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Compatible with the vac Q™ pump (£80), which draws air out of your smoothie for an enhanced flavour

Best price: £179

Buy now from Amazon

8. Recommended Buy: Magimix Power Blender

“Magimix – big heavy-duty base and huge glass jug. I love it.”

8. Recommended Buy: Magimix Power Blender

Magimix is a leading name in kitchen appliances and the Power Blender (RRP £199.99) is just as good as we'd envisioned.

Its subtle retro curves and colour choices – four in total – means it'll look great in any kitchen, traditional or modern. It feels satisfyingly solid and the borosilicate glass jug is really tough (though quite heavy) and capable of mixing both hot and cold foods, which is a plus whenever you’re making soup.

Some clever design ideas allow the Magimix 11630 Power Blender to produce a more superior smoothie than other blenders. It has a gradual start to reduce splashing, its BlenderMix system promises a finer blend (and delivers), and the jar is made from a material that keeps food at the same temperature, which means that your smoothie won’t be warmed by the blades’ friction – this can be a problem with cheaper models.

The five auto-functions make using this blender really simple but, if you want a little more control, there are also eight speed settings and a pulse.

In testing, it performed well for soups and smoothies, blitzing both to a velvety consistency. The pea purée wasn’t totally smooth, but would nevertheless be suitable for a baby who’d already started weaning. You could buy the mill attachment separately which would make smaller amounts easier to blend.

For less than £200, the Magimix Power Blender is a nice-looking, sturdy model that we think would last and last.

Pros

  • Awarded the Quiet Mark
  • Smaller footprint than some jug blenders
  • Large jug capacity

Cons

  • Jug is heavy to manoeuvre
  • Ice crush function melted the ice slightly in testing

Need to know

  • Power: 1300W
  • Capacity: 1.8L
  • Modes: Smoothie, ice, soup, desserts and auto-clean
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Accessories: Comes with a spatula and recipe book, and there’s also a really good Magimix app to go with it

Best price: £199.99

Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

9. Recommended Buy: Bamix DeLuxe

“I have the Bamix hand blender. Classic version. Not cheap, but strong as an ox.”

9. Recommended Buy: Bamix DeLuxe

Foodies will love this Swiss model from Bamix (RRP £139.99), known for its precision manufacturing and design credentials. It was the most expensive hand blender we tested by about £50, but you can clearly see why.

Firstly, it comes with a stand, so you can leave it out on the worktop. It also has an extensive selection of blades to attach, which means it functions as more than just a blender. With the different blades it can chop, mince, purée, emulsify, whip and more. It even froths milk for your morning coffee (yes, we're serious).

The blades clip onto a small unit that can stand alongside it, though if you have children able to reach your kitchen worktop, you may want to store them elsewhere.

The other thing you’d need to watch out for safety-wise is that the blades lack the enclosed housing around them that other hand blender blades have. The lack of housing also means it’s a somewhat splashier experience with the Bamix.

The instructions and customers reviews say there’s a knack to using it (basically a diagonal up and down motion as you blend) and that became easier with use, but the first few tries were certainly a messy experience for our tester. On the plus side, those open blades are so easy to clean – just whizz in soapy water before drying carefully.

Those concerns aside, the Bamix DeLuxe is a great little machine. It’s light, super quiet and feels really smooth to use. It only has two speed settings, but the blade attachments make up for that as each is dedicated to a specific task.

Pros

  • Lots of blade attachments
  • Neat to store and can be left out on the stand
  • Very easy to clean

Cons

  • Trickier to use than other hand blenders
  • Safety features not outstanding

Need to know

  • Power: 180W
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Accessories: Includes multi-purpose blade, whisk blade, beater blade, grinder and stand

Best price: £124.95

Buy now from Amazon

10. Recommended Buy: Vitamix Ascent Blender A3500i

“Vitamix – it's the nuts. Can make ice cream and hot soup, and it's easy to clean too.”

10. Recommended Buy: Vitamix Ascent Blender A3500i

The smart, solidly-built Vitamix Ascent A3500i jug blender (RRP £675) was, without a doubt, the most expensive model we tested. At £675, we expected something amazing and (good news!) you can see where the money has been spent here.

As well as boasting five one-touch pre-set programmes, the Ascent has a variable speed control and pulse, so it’s completely bendable to your will – a big plus for those who like to experiment in the kitchen. It also has touchscreen controls, a programmable timer, safety features that prevent the machine operating unless everything is securely in place, and wireless connectivity that allows you to connect it up to apps and more at any point in the future.

In testing, it made a fabulous smoothie and soup at a really good consistency. We had only two complaints: firstly, that it claims to be able to cook food as well as blend it by using the friction of the blades – while it was perfectly blended, the taste of onion was strong. Secondly, it struggled to blend purées of very small quantities so we’d recommend you buy the additional blending bowls for small amounts.

Overall though, this is a brilliant, long-lasting blender for a keen cook with a food-loving family. Despite all the fancy features and large two-litre jug, at its most basic level the Ascent is very easy to use and to clean, which is especially useful for busy families often pressed for time.

It’s worth pointing out that we tested one of the top models in the Ascent range (prices start at £449), but each blender has the same power and blending capabilities, which means that you could easily opt for one of the cheaper options. But, for amateur chefs with the cash to splash, the Vitamix Ascent A3500i is a great buy.

Pros

  • Excellent capacity, features, programmes and extras
  • Powerful motor and blades
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Pricey!
  • Not so good at blending small amounts

Need to know

  • Power: 1200W
  • Capacity: 2L
  • Modes: Smoothies, hot soups, dips and spreads, frozen desserts, and self-clean
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Accessories: Comes with a tamper and cookbook

Best price: £675

Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

11. Recommended Buy: Philips Avance Collection Blender

11. Recommended Buy: Philips Avance Collection Blender

If you want a modern jug blender for a family kitchen but your budget won’t stretch to a KitchenAid or a Vitamix, the Philips Avance Collection HR3652/01 Blender (RRP £160) is a great option.

At £160, it's affordable and has similar functions (albeit fewer) to many of the pricier models we tested, including speed dial, automatic features for smoothies and ice crushing, and a useful pulse button. A powerful motor helps it create soft smoothies and soups in bulk, chopping through fibrous fruit and veg with no issues, and the ice-crush function works perfectly for cocktails or slushies.

We liked the pared-back, modern look of the Philips Avance which made it very intuitive to use. It also has good safety features for families, including suction feet to keep it steady and cord storage for the wire. With a small footprint, this blender is very tidy, but do check the height of your kitchen cupboards as it's quite tall.

In terms of extras, the recipe book is useful for a smoothie newbie and there’s also a free Healthy Drinks app that you can download detailing more recipes and advice.

Pros

  • Large two-litre, dishwasher-safe jug
  • Integrated cord storage
  • Powerful motor – ideal for batch cooking

Cons

  • Can be loud
  • Tricky to clean – it can be hard to get all the food out from underneath the blades

Need to know

  • Power: 1400W
  • Capacity: 2L
  • Modes: Smoothie and ice crushing
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Accessories: Includes tamper, recipe book and downloadable app

Best price: £156.99

Buy now from Amazon

12. Recommended Buy: Sage The Boss To Go

“I have a Sage The Boss To Go. It's great and can take frozen fruit without any trouble.”

12. Recommended Buy: Sage The Boss To Go

While we generally preferred the NutriBullet 1000 Series, the Sage The Boss To Go (RRP £129.95) offers something slightly different for those with their eyes set on a personal blender.

With very similar capabilities to the NutriBullet, the Sage is a shorter, boxier and more unobtrusive option for family kitchens. It's also slightly easier to store and comes with two travel cups for those on-the-go moments. Additional cups are available to buy should you need them.

In testing, the Sage blends weren't quite as smooth as those on the NutriBullet, but we found it worked well for baby purées and for small quantities.

We were intrigued by Sage's claim that the blender's Kinetix motion would draw every last particle of food towards the blades and you could see the food being drawn down the cup to create a smooth blend, though it lost a point for missing one of the dates almost entirely on the banana smoothie.

We also suspected the promises of microbubbles were a bit of pseudo-science, but were impressed to see that our mixes were airy and contained tiny bubbles that gave a really light texture.

Overall, we think the Sage’s simple good looks, clean lines and brushed chrome base are very appealing and, as the Boss To Go is something you'll want to leave on your kitchen worktop, you might well be happy to pay that little bit extra.

Pros

  • Blends quickly and effectively
  • Easy to use
  • Fairly quiet

Cons

  • Can only blend for one minute at a time
  • Can’t blend with washing-up liquid for cleaning

Need to know

  • Power: 1000W
  • Capacity: 0.5L
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Accessories: Comes with two Tritan cups

Best price: £109

Buy now from Currys

Related: The best vegan cookbooks

Why do I need a blender?

Blenders can do all sorts of jobs. You might want one for general family use – blending soups or pasta sauces – and, if you have a baby and know you'll soon be weaning, you’ll want one for pulverising their meals, especially in the very early stages.

Blenders also great for making drinks, such as smoothies and milkshakes and, after all that blending, maybe a mojito over crushed ice?

What is a jug blender?

Jug blenders, also known as stand blenders, are comprised of a motor unit with controls and a jug (usually glass or plastic) with blade attachment that sits on top. They’re good for large batches of soup or smoothies and often have more features than other, smaller types of blender.

What is a hand blender?

Sometimes called a handheld, stick or wand, hand blenders offer the user more control than a jug blender and have a neater footprint, which means they can easily be stored away – ideal if you have a small kitchen.

Some come with their own containers to blend ingredients in while others come with additional attachments, such as whisk heads, potato mashers and a selection of blades for chopping different items.

What is a personal blender?

Designed largely for smoothie-making, these are a new tribe of blenders that are used for making one drink at a time. They usually come with one or two travel cups and lids – you simply blend straight into the cup then just screw the lid on – and are effective at blitzing vegetables like kale to a fine, drinkable consistency.

How do I choose a blender?

First, think about what you’ll mostly be using it for. If it’s primarily for smoothies and you want to grab one every morning on your way out of the door, a personal blender will do the job. If you want to be able to blend larger batches, a jug blender is best and many also double up as juicers, food processors, cookers and more. And if you’re about to start weaning, a hand blender allows you to blend small amounts of food for baby purées.

Think about your kitchen – in particular your surface space and storage. Check the dimensions of each blender carefully to make sure you have the worktop space, and don’t forget to check the height if it’s going to sit under a cupboard or be stored away between uses. Check you’ve got room to house any extra attachments as well.

Which type of blender is best for baby food?

Stick blenders allow you to purée a little bit of food at a time, which is helpful when you’re starting out with weaning and still discovering what your baby does and doesn’t like.

If you think you’ll use a jug blender more over time, it'll work just as well for baby food. You may just need to blend larger amounts and then freeze a few portions.

What else can a blender be used for?

Soups and smoothies are the obvious ones, but you can also use some for iced drinks, ice creams, pancake batter, bread dough, sauces such as hollandaise and mayonnaise, pesto, hummus and other dips.

Depending on the model, some make crushed ice, grind coffee and spices, make nut butters and will even mince meat. Check before buying that yours will do what you’re hoping for, but you might be surprised at just how versatile it is.

How does a blender differ from a food processor?

Essentially, a blender is for liquid-based food and drink, like soup and smoothies, and a food processor is for dry ingredients like breadcrumbs and chopped vegetables. However, many pricier blenders are now capable of doing the jobs you might have used a food processor for. Generally, the more you spend, the sharper the blades and the faster the motor.

What to look for in a blender

Ultimately you’re looking for something that fits your lifestyle (and kitchen cupboard) and does what you want it to effectively. Here’s a checklist of things to look out for:

Design features

Think two-part lids so you can add liquid as you blend, suction feet that stop a blender juddering, no-drip jugs, and somewhere to store the cable at the back so it doesn’t trail across the work surface.

Solid materials

Strong blades that are curved and hit the food at different heights, cover all angles and ensure no food gets missed. A sturdy jug is also a must – glass lasts longer, but materials like Tritan, which looks like glass but is light like plastic, can last really well. Plastic is also fine as long as it’s robust.

Automatic settings

For jug blenders, auto-clean programmes are really useful. Some also have special pre-sets for smoothies, soups and ice, which are handy too.

Speeds

Generally the more speeds there are, the more control you have, but make sure there are at least three. A pulse function is also useful.

Power (watts) and RPM

Don't be completely guided by this but, if you like to do your gadget research, this may well be your deciding factor between two blenders. Generally the more you pay, the more powerful the motor is and the more ingredients it can power through.

Extras

Accessories can include anything from tampers to cleaning brushes to blade attachments, recipe books and even connectable apps.

If you’re blending smoothies, a model that comes with cups and travel lids is really useful. Some more upmarket blenders also come with smart connectivity – the jury's still out on how useful that really is, but if we can programme Alexa to make us a breakfast smoothie every morning then we're definitely on board.

Cleaning

Many jug blenders now have an auto-clean function where you just add water and washing-up liquid before hitting 'clean'. Also check whether any parts are dishwasher-safe, and whether the jug and blades come apart easily for getting that last bit of stubborn banana out at the end – same goes for handheld and personal blenders.

How much should I spend on a blender?

You can pick up a blender for as little as £30, but we’d recommend spending a little more if your budget permits.

Professional-style machines from the upmarket brands such as Bamix, Vitamix and KitchenAid will probably last a lifetime and, if you’re really into your cooking, you’ll get a lot of use out of them too.

High-end brands also offer cheaper alternatives that give you the design, engineering and high-quality materials of those well-known models but without the hefty price tag.

Generally speaking, you can pick up a blender that performs well and does exactly what you want it to for around £100, but there are also plenty of options either side of that.

tefal blender

How we chose the products to test

We commissioned Iona Bower, a consumer and parenting journalist, to select the best blenders available and put them through their paces.

We asked Mumsnet users for their brand recommendations and she researched across the wider internet, noting which blenders the likes of Which?, national print media and other parenting websites also rated highly. She then studied online reviews to find out which brands fared best with customers.

Armed with that information, she went shopping, checking out the market in stores including John Lewis and Currys to get a feel for what was new and what our ‘best brands’ were offering right now.

After 45 hours of research, an original longlist of 35 had been whittled down to 15, including the Russell Hobbs Retro Blender, the Breville Blend Active Pro Food Prep Blender and the NutriBullet Balance. She then set to work testing them all.

How we tested the blenders

We tested the same four recipes on each blender: a carrot soup, a banana and date smoothie, pea purée and crushed ice. The recipes were worked out with a nutritionist and designed to test different aspects of the blenders, such as blade strength, speed and efficiency. Blender testing took place over the course of eight weeks, with a total of more than 50 hours of blending.

As well as scoring each blender on how well it coped with those four recipes, we also scored them on the following criteria:

  • Aesthetics – how the blender looked, whether we’d be happy to have it on display, and the range of colours available
  • Practicalities – size and weight, how easy it was to take apart and store, whether it was easy to set up and use following the instructions
  • Design – how well the design of handles, jugs and blades helped the blenders get the job done, and how quickly and effectively they did that, whether there was splashing or dripping in use and if any food was left behind unblended
  • Materials – we looked at what materials were used and why, and at any automatic programmes or other clever design ideas included
  • Cleaning – were they easy to wash and dry, were they dishwasher-safe or did they have self-cleaning features?
  • Safety and durability – how happy we would be to use this in a kitchen with young children and pets around? How well would the blenders wear? Did they seem sturdy or were there any parts that might come loose or wear over time? Were warranties or spare parts included?
  • Value for money – was each blender worth its price tag? Did they do jobs other than blending that would save money on additional kitchen gadgets?

These scores were added to those from our recipe testing to work out which of the blenders we would recommend Mumsnet Best winners, and which others deserved honourable mentions.

Why you should trust our reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust – brands can’t pay to be featured in our articles or win a Mumsnet Best award.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about how we tested the products we recommend. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the one's we'd recommend to our own friends and family.

There's no reason for us to respond to pressure from retailers or brands trying to promote new products. It's actually quite the opposite and we think it's a good system, one that keeps us focused on making parents lives' easier.

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