Smoothies and protein shakes are a great way to pack a lot of nutrition into a single cup. But use the wrong tools to mix up your beverage, and you could end up with a lumpy mess. We’ve rounded up five blenders, from the super-cheap to the ultra-luxe, that will turn you into a true smoothie master.
1. Blendtec Designer 725
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line blender with a lot of bells and whistles, consider the Blendtec Designer 725. Consumer Reports declared it one of the best blenders for smoothie lovers in a 2014 test. Preprogrammed cycles make it easy to create shakes, salsa, ice cream, and soup, while the SmartBlend technology senses potential problems like air pockets and instructs you to correct them. At $649.99, it’s not cheap, but shoppers at Bed Bath & Beyond praised the device’s ability to make “truly smooth smoothies.” Get yours here.
2. Ninja Blender and Processor Mega Kitchen System
The versatile 1500-watt Ninja Blender is a workhorse in the kitchen. Not only will it chop large quantities of vegetables and mix up dough, but its powerful blending mechanism makes it a snap to turn whole fruits and veggies into smoothies and shakes. Plus, it comes with a 15-ounce to-go smoothie cup and an extra-large 72-ounce blender pitcher. Buy yours here.
3. Oster Beehive Osterizer Classic 4093
The cool retro look of the Oster Beehive blender will appeal to those who value both form and function in their kitchen appliances. This no-frills appliance capably crushes ice and liquifies fruits and veggies. Plus, at just over $50, it’s one of the most affordable blenders on this list. Both Prevention magazine and Good Housekeeping gave it high marks, noting that it’s easy to use and that all parts are dishwasher safe. The major disadvantage of this budget-friendly option is that it’s a bit loud. You can get one for yourself here.
4. Cuisinart Smart Stick Immersion Hand Blender
Immersion or hand blenders are less bulky and easier to clean than traditional blenders, making them an especially appealing option for people with small kitchens and limited time. The compact Cuisinart Smart Stick comes with a 2-cup blending vessel that’s designed for easy pouring, plus separate attachments for whisking and chopping. If you’re an occasional smoothie drinker looking for an efficient, multi-function appliance, this one is a good bet. You can buy the Cuisinart Smart Stick here.
5. Hamilton Beach Single Serve Blender
The single-serve blender from Hamilton Beach isn’t as fancy as some other blenders, but with a price tag of under $20, it’s a good entry-level choice for those who aren’t quite sure if they’re ready to commit to a more expensive option. The compact design fits in even the tiniest of kitchens, and the blending pitcher doubles as a drink cup that fits in most car cup holders. True smoothie devotees could even bring this tiny, 2.2-pound blender on vacation so they can mix up tasty drinks in their hotel room. Get one here.
6. All the Extras
A good blender is the key weapon in your smoothie-making arsenal, but there are a few other tools that will make creating delicious blended drinks a breeze.
- To chop the fruit and veggies that go into your smoothie, reach for the Victorinox Swiss Classic 4-inch paring knife. This little knife is highly recommended by the pros at Cook’s Illustrated and costs just $7.95.
- If your blender doesn’t come with a to-go cup, the BlenderBottle Classic Shaker, with its leak-proof lid, is a great way to transport your beverage. If your smoothie starts to settle, just shake it and the stainless steel ball inside will mix it up again. Or use the bottle by itself to for quick protein shakes.
- Reusable straws cut down on waste. These extra-wide stainless steel straws from Epica were specifically designed for shakes and smoothies.
- The Oxo Good Grips Bottle Brush makes it easier to remove the stubborn bits of food stuck to your blender pitcher and blades.
Follow Megan on Twitter @MeganE_CS