Best blender 2021: our top picks for smoothies, soups, ice and more

Pick up the best blender for smoothies, soups, protein shakes, and crushed ice. Our top picks from Ninja, Nutribullet, KitchenAid and more...

best blender kitchenaid
(Image credit: KitchenAid)

The best blender is one of those pieces of kitchen equipment that even the most casual of cooks needs every now and then. Liquidizing ingredients for everything from soups to pancakes in seconds, it's a small appliance that's eternally useful, affordable and that doesn't take up much kitchen cupboard space.

Check out our pick of the best blenders for your kitchen. If you're looking for more kitchen appliance recommendations, head over to our best air fryers page. 

K400 Variable Speed BlenderReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: KitchenAid )

1. KitchenAid K400 Artisan blender

The best blender we've tried hands-on

Specifications
Dimensions: W 7.59 x L 9.02 x H 15.8 inches
Material: Plastic
Capacity: 56 ounces
Wattage: 1200 watts
Reasons to buy
+Automatic settings+Ice crush function+Self-cleaning design+Super powerful
Reasons to avoid
-Emptying can be tricky, because blades cannot be removed 

We tested the KitchenAid K400 Artisan Blender hands on, and found that it could handle anything we threw at it. It's also available in a range of amazing colors, and has a selection of smart settings. 

What we love

The KitchenAid K400 Artisan Blender has three specific recipe programs: Ice Crush, Icy Drinks, and Smoothie. The dial also allows you to pulse, and go from one through five in strength. 

Automatic timing means the whole process can be hands-free. While it only comes with one pitcher, you can buy single-serve and small batch attachments for increasing the range of uses.

Things to know

While the self-clean setting did help, we found it hard to get into every little spot because the blade cannot be removed from the pitcher. 

Ninja Smoothie Bowl MakerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Ninja)

2. Ninja Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker and Nutrient Extractor

Best blender for smoothies

Specifications
Dimensions: 15.25 x 14.5 x 6.5 inches
Material: Plastic
Capacity: 14 oz, 24 oz
Wattage: 1200 watts
Reasons to buy
+Empty List
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

If you love a homemade smoothie or a fresh açaí bowl, the Ninja Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker and Nutrient Extractor is a top pick. It doesn't have a large pitcher, so it is better for personal use, but its strong blades are more than capable of crushing ice and frozen fruit.

What we love

The Ninja Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker and Nutrient Extractor has well-timed preset modes to extract nutrients, make a smoothie, a smoothie bowl, or a spread. 

We found that the bowl attachment requires barely any liquid to make smoothie bowls and spreads. We were able to twist the top to mix up the contents of the bowl and make sure that the blend was even and that no ingredients were left out. 

Things to know

Pre-frozen açaí packets need to be thawed and broken up to fit below the max fill line. While the capacity is adequate, it won't fit large items like frozen bananas without breaking them up first. 

SmegReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Smeg)

3. Smeg Blender

Best blender for families

Specifications
Dimensions: 13.65 x 7.75 x 6.4inches
Material: Tritan, aluminium
Capacity: 53oz
Wattage: 800 watts
Reasons to buy
+Lovely to look at+Slick design+Easy to clean+Ice crushing mode is very powerful
Reasons to avoid
-Can't blend hot ingredients

It may only have one large tritan jug and no personal attachments, but the Smeg Blender is a great blender for families. The jug is sturdy and easy to clean, and you can twist the blades away from the base of the pitcher.

What we love

You simply lift the pitcher away from the base, no need to twist it into place or unscrew it. It has a classic retro look, but the Smeg Blender comes with a selection of smart modes. There is an ice crush setting that really does power through even large ice cubes. 

As for the design? Well, you don't need us to tell you that the Smeg Blender couldn't be more easy on the eyes. It comes in a range of colors, too. 

Things to know

While it certainly feels like the tritan jug can handle hot liquids, Smeg advises against it. That's a shame, because we had to let our soup ingredients cool before blending them.  

  • Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Breville blender

(Image credit: Breville)

4. Breville The Super Q

Best powerful blender

Specifications
Dimensions: 18 x 12.75 x 11 inches
Material: Brushed stainless steel
Capacity: 68 oz
Wattage: 1800 watts
Reasons to buy
+Very powerful motor+Soup and smoothie modes+Carry cup and large pitcher+Not too loud
Reasons to avoid
-It's very expensive

Breville's The Super Q is a top-rated blender. It has five modes to mix, blend, chop, puree, and mill. There are also modes to crush ice and make soups and green smoothies.

What we love

Noise suppression really make this powerful blender a joy to use. It's commercial-grade, and includes a tamper and spatula to make blending easy. 

There are dishwasher-safe attachments too, meaning you can clean up easily when you're done. 

Things to know

At 7.9lbs, it's a heavy option for any kitchen. While performance is quality, you do pay a premium for it. 

Vitamix blender

(Image credit: Vitamix)

5. Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Blender

Best professional blender

Specifications
Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 17 inches
Material: Tritan
Capacity: 64 oz
Wattage: 1800 watts
Reasons to buy
+Self-clean+Tamper included +Smart timer and settings+Speed control
Reasons to avoid
-Noisy

Famed for its professional use, the Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Blender has five programs for smoothies, dips, and frozen desserts. It can even self-clean, and the attachments are dishwasher-safe.

What we love

Programs allow you to adjust timings and the display shows a clear countdown for hands-free control. You can also use the pulse and variable speed settings.

With the blender you'll get a variety of containers that connect to the base wirelessly, signalling to adjust blending times automatically. This is great for grinding, making personal smoothies, and blitzing family-sized soups. 

Things to know

With professional-level blending comes the noise of an industrial blender. While it's immensely powerful, it's also a loud option. 

How to find the best blender

Vitamix blender

(Image credit: Vitamix)

1. Power

Not everyone needs the most powerful blender, but if you want something that can crush ice and blitz out leafy greens, the higher the wattage, the better. 

We listed the power for all of our best blender picks, so if it's a case of the more powerful, the better, just take a look at our top 5 entries.

2. Size

When you buy a big blender, make sure you have the space to store it when not in use. Many like to leave their blender on the kitchen counter between uses, but if you want to store your blender in a cupboard or on a shelf, it's worth checking that the blender is light enough to be lifted easily, and that it isn't too tall for your intended space.

3. Attachments

Blender food processor combos are perfect for cutting down your appliances and having two in one space. 

If you do already have a food processor, buying a blender food processor could be an unnecessary expense. 

Millie Fender
Millie Fender

Millie joined the Real Homes team in 2021 after working at TopTenReviews as a Staff Writer. She is constantly on the hunt for the latest (and best) kitchen appliances, and reviewing these products hands-on. As a baking enthusiast, Millie’s job at Real Homes is the perfect excuse to cook up an endless supply of snacks. When she’s not in the kitchen though, she loves knitting and exploring London's top food markets.