5 Best Personal Blenders, Tested by Food Network Kitchen
We shook, blended, and sipped through smoothies and protein shakes to bring you the best, no matter what your needs.
Our Top Personal Blender Picks
Tested by Beth Lipton for Food Network Kitchen
There was a time when you didn’t have a ton of choices when it came to blenders. There was basically one design, it stayed on the counter, you plugged it in and hit some buttons to make it work. Not anymore. These days, there is every kind of blender to fit your lifestyle: From shaker cups powered by elbow grease, to portable wireless electric blenders you recharge alongside your cell phone, to countertop models that can pulverize even the toughest frozen ingredients like a champ.
These personal blenders have become so popular that a variety of brands have gotten into the game, so not only do you now have to evaluate which type of blender you need, you then have to wade through all the different brand offerings to find the best one for you. So we did all that legwork for you; shaking, blending, and sipping to bring you the best personal blenders no matter what your needs and budget.
How to Determine What Kind of Personal Blender You Need
Before you start shopping, it’s a good idea to think about how you’re going to use your blender. Do you just need something to mix some protein powder and water to take to the gym (or the PTA meeting)? Or are you looking for a more powerful model that can blend frozen fruit into smoothies?
Here are a few other things to take into account: Some models come with more than one cup; important if you have multiple people in your household who will want smoothies at the same time. Also, is this the only blender you’ll have in your kitchen? If you need your personal blender to also make items like guacamole, or to grind coffee beans, you may need one with different-sized cups and the ability to pulse as well as blend. Of course, how much space you have and any budget constraints also will factor into your decision.
When you’re considering different brands, also think about the cups and lids that come with them. If you need a cup that will fit into a car’s cupholder, you’ll want to look for ones that are taller and narrower. Some cups are very wide and may be harder for people with smaller hands to grasp. The volume of the cups is another factor to consider: Do you want 16 ounces, or more like 20 or even 28? Some brands’ lids have retractable carry loops, which is useful if you’re going to toss the cup into a bag with limited space. If your needs will vary, there are some brands that include cups of differing sizes, so that might work best for you.
Other Blenders to Consider
One thing to keep in mind is that all of the personal blenders we tested are not to be used with hot liquids. So if you are looking for a blender that you can also use to make soups, you’ll need a more traditional bar blender or a high-speed blender. Alternatively, you can buy a personal blender for smoothies and such, then invest in an immersion blender for tasks involving hot liquids.
How We Tested
For all of the blenders, we bought several popular, well-reviewed models. We noted whether it came with instructions, and how clear those were. For the shaker cups, we blended a popular brand of protein powder with water. For the personal blenders, we made a protein shake and also made a simple smoothie with banana, fresh berries, and milk. For the personal blenders, we made the same smoothie with fresh ingredients, as well as a smoothie with banana, frozen berries, kale and milk. We also crushed a cup of ice, and made a batch of almond butter. For all of the tests, we evaluated how well the blender performed all the tasks, as well as its size, capacity and shape. We factored in any special features, such as extra cups and/or different sized cups, and clever lid design. We washed each one according to the package instructions, noting how easy it was to clean (or not).
This article has been reviewed since its original publish date for accuracy, pricing and availability. We stand by our list of top personal blender picks.
With its unusual hourglass-shaped design, this blender is eye-catching right out of the box. But it isn’t just good looks that won our favor; its powerful 1,000-watt motor delivers. The Beast made quick work of smoothies with both fresh and frozen fruit, blended ice into slush with just a few pulses, and made a good batch of nut butter without breaking a sweat (and without any metallic blender smell, thanks to internal sensors that prevent overheating). If for some reason the blender won’t start, color-coded lights indicate why (e.g., amber flashing lights mean the motor is overloaded; a flashing red light means the contents are too hot to safely blend). It comes with a storage lid and a drinking lid; the latter also has a drinking cap with an adjustable carry loop. One thing to note: The thick Tritan plastic 3-cup-capacity cup is wider and squatter than most other models. The wide mouth makes adding ingredients easy, and it’s also easier to remove thick items like nut butter from this type of cup. But this shape can be harder to grip for small hands, and the cup won’t fit in most car cupholders. Also, this model is hand-wash only, though the wide shape makes getting into the cup to clean it out pretty simple.
Here’s a solid little blender for a great price. It comes with 3 cups; two larger 1½-cup capacity ones, one with a handle, and one with ½-cup-capacity, plus two storage lids and a ready-to-drink lid–so it’s a nice value. It’s great for small spaces such as dorm rooms, as the base is only 6 ½ inches tall and 4 inches wide. At 250 watts, it does have some limitations; we found the smoothie with fresh fruit came out perfectly smooth after just 30 seconds; adding frozen fruit to the mix made it more challenging, but it did work after some additional blending time. It took longer than other models to make nut butter (3 1-minute rounds), but it did do the job. Because the cups are smaller than on other models, you’re limited in how big a smoothie you’ll get–but the flipside is that it’s easier to scrape the finished product out of these smaller cups. A bonus: All of the cups and lids are top-rack dishwasher safe.
For a combo of good power and versatility, plus great value, this is the one. It boasts a 900-watt motor, so it blended up smoothies with fresh and frozen fruit with ease, and crushed ice without a hitch (and all without any odor, too). It manages to do all that with a relatively small footprint; the base is only 7 inches tall and 4½ inches wide. Adding to the value part: The Ninja comes with 3 20-ounce cups, with 2 ready-to-drink lids and 1 storage lid, so everyone gets a smoothie to go. The cups are tall and narrow, so they’ll fit in a car’s cupholder. We didn’t love making nut butter in this one; the result was less evenly ground than some other models, and scraping it out of those long, narrow cups was a hassle. But since this isn’t the personal blender’s primary function, this is still a great value. The cups, lids and blade assembly are all top-rack dishwasher safe. If you are going to wash by hand, you may need a brush if you have larger hands, as getting all the way into those tall, narrow cups might be a challenge.
Talk about small but mighty. This light, small-footprint personal blender packs a lot of power. It made very quick work of a protein shake and a smoothie, both in 30 seconds thanks to a 5-volt motor and a blade that turns 275 times per second. For all of its blending ability, it’s relatively quiet. The BlendJet2 also has a handy pulse setting, useful for making guacamole or pesto. It’s lightweight, so you can toss it in your bag (and it has a lock mode, so you don’t blend by accident). You can also carry it via the strap on the twist-off cap. Charge the blender for an hour with the included USB cord, and it gets about 15 blends. The BlendJet2 is not dishwasher safe, but it cleans up quickly and easily by blending a little dish soap and water. Choose from more than 20 colors and fun patterns. There’s no opening to allow you to sip from the cap, which seems like an odd oversight, but overall, if you love your blended drinks on the go, this little powerhouse will spark joy.
This tall, sleek bottle has a unique curved design that gives it more than nice aesthetics. The hexagonal shape creates a vortex, so the powder and water inside are agitated and blended without the addition of a wire ball. Though the wider top makes the bottle feel slightly top-heavy, it also makes it easier to scoop in the powder, so it’s a tradeoff. Made of BPA-free Tritan plastic, the bottle feels sturdy but still light enough to shake without much effort, and it didn’t leak even with pretty rigorous shaking. It has a 28-ounce capacity, yet it’s also slender enough to fit in a cup holder. The opening in the lid that you drink through opens all the way out, so you can sip comfortably without any parts hitting your nose. When you’re done, both the cup itself and the lid are top-rack dishwasher safe.