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Monday, June 17, 2024

The 4 Best Blenders for Smoothies of 2024, Tested & Reviewed

Straight to the Point

We have picks for high-speed, personal, and budget-friendly blenders. Our recommendations include the Vitamix 5200 Professional-Grade Blender and Blendtec Designer Series.

For creamy smoothies, you need a powerhouse blender. You’ll want one that keeps the pace when you crank up the speed, leaving you with smooth drinks without any fibrous bits that are hard to get through a straw.

Over the years, we’ve tested nearly 40 blenders (yes, 40!) and put together a list to help you choose the best one for smoothies and any and all blended drinks. You’ll find winners from our reviews of high-speed, personal, and budget-friendly blenders. We’ll also answer questions you might not have thought to ask, like whether smoothie buttons and presets actually make a difference.

The Winners, at a Glance 

Things to Consider

What Makes a Blender Good for Smoothies?

The Vitamix 5200 blender has a narrow pour spout that aids in pouring.

Serious Eats / Will Dickey

There are a few features you should look for in a good blender for smoothies: blunt blades, a tapered jar, and simple controls. It may sound counterintuitive, but you don’t want to invest in a blender with sharp blades. The edges are bound to diminish from processing hard ingredients like frozen fruit. Plus, you risk cutting yourself during cleanup if you encounter knife-like points in the jar. Instead, look for dull blades with four or five points that blend ingredients without getting stuck.

Scope out your blender’s design specs, too. In terms of digital features, pre-programmed settings are nice to have but not completely necessary (more on that later!). You’ll want a blender with a tapered jar. This shape helps create a vortex, which pulls ingredients down, keeping them close to the blades. This is the process that turns fibrous produce into silky, smooth beverages. The tapered shape also helps emulsify ingredients, should you use your blender to make a sauce or mayonnaise. And don’t discount the spout! Narrow pour spouts keep spills at bay.

Are Smoothie Buttons and Pre-Programmed Settings Really Necessary?

Preprogrammed settings can be helpful for smoothies, but variable speeds are even better.

Serious Eats / Will Dickey

The idea of pressing a button and letting it do all the work for you sounds nice, but having autonomy over the speed matters even more. After testing blenders at various price points, we discovered that pre-programmed settings restrict your ability to tinker with your beverage consistency. When you can slowly ramp up to a quick pace, you’re more likely to end with fully blended, chunk-free smoothies.

Are High-Speed Blenders Better for Smoothies?

Powerful motors and variable speeds help create creamy smoothies.

Serious Eats / Will Dickey

The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no. Horsepower (or higher wattage) determines the speed of the blender. In theory, a strong motor means quick pulverizing. However, based on our tests, models with lower wattage can still perform similarly. That’s because the factors we listed above—dullness of blades, variable speeds, jar shape, and speel control—contribute to the overall performance and result. 

Do I Need an Expensive Blender If All I Use It for Is Smoothies?

Pricier smoothie blenders tend to come with generous warranties.

Serious Eats / Joy Kim

If you want a blender that’ll last years, get a model with the above-mentioned specs. Those typically cost more. Budget-friendly options exist, but many struggle to process fibrous ingredients, leaving you with pulpy smoothies. If you decide to snag a less costly pick, choose one with the most variability in speed controls and a serrated blade (in tests, those performed the best, but keep in mind over time, they’ll get dull). It also helps to go for one with a decent warranty. 

The Criteria: What to Look for in a Smoothie Blender

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore / Rochelle Bilow

Make a lot of smoothies? You’ll want a powerhouse blender with variable speed settings, allowing you to ramp up slowly. Blenders come in many designs, but the best have tapered jars. This shape excels in creating vortexes necessary for pulling rock-solid ingredients down toward the blades. While it sounds a bit backward, choose a model with dull, blunt blades to preserve the longevity of your machine. Once you find one with all those qualities, you can get picky about those nice-to-have add-ons like colors that match your kitchen decor. Options on the quieter end—typically anything under 88 decibels—preserve the peace of your morning routine. 

Our Favorite Smoothie Blenders

Vitamix 5200 Professional-Grade Blender



What we liked: It’s worth noting: For the past decade, the Vitamix 5200 has been our favorite blender for every task. It can make a pulp-free smoothie in 30 seconds, even when fibrous kale and blueberries are in the mix. It’s equipped with a 10-speed dial, allowing you to slowly ramp up peacefully (it was the second quietest model in our decibel test). It is thoughtfully designed with a tall, narrow, tapered jar and four-blade configuration: This combination creates a vortex. Plus, it’s versatile, so you can also use it for other cooking projects like soups, pureés, and nut milks. It’s available in three shades: cherry red, sleek black, and shiny white. 

What we didn’t like: This blender weighs 10 pounds, so it could become annoying to lug back into a cabinet daily. Its rubber lid doesn’t have the locking mechanism found on Vitamix’s newer models, but in tests, we never had issues with it remaining snugly in place. While it excels in smoothies, it didn’t have the best performance for frozen margs (it left behind a few chunks of ice during a recent re-test). 

Key Specs

  • Jar capacity: 64 ounces
  • Weight: 10.9 pounds
  • Type of interface: Analog
  • Speed settings: 10
  • Warranty: 7 years

Serious Eats / Will Dickey

 Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender



What we liked: The Blendtec performs similarly to the Vitamix, with a few distinctions. The biggest is its design. While we’ve determined that the 5200 is a powerhouse, it takes up a lot of space since it’s tall. The Blendtec is significantly smaller and lighter, making it easy to carry and store in tinier kitchens. Plus, it performed the best when crushing ice into a snow-like texture (perfect for those happy hour margaritas!).

What we didn’t like: The wide, square jar caused the liquid to bounce around too much and splash when blending. While this doesn’t matter for making smoothies, it becomes practically impossible to execute emulsified projects (think homemade mayo or hollandaise sauce) where a strong vortex is needed. The jar design makes it difficult to pour without it dripping. 

Key Specs

  • Jar capacity: 32 ounces
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Type of interface: Analog, with digital timer
  • Speed settings: 10, with pulse feature and six presets
  • Warranty: 2 years 

Serious Eats / Will Dickey

Zwilling Enfinigy Personal Blender



What we liked: Sometimes, automated smoothie functions don’t work as well as they promise, but the Zwilling stood out. Its pre-programmed setting delivered creamy, well-mixed smoothies during our tests in only 40 seconds. It’s developed with a user-friendly interface allowing you to pulse manually, giving you more control. It’s easy to clean because there’s no cross-blade. The sleek and compact design makes it a chic addition to your kitchen that you can easily tuck away if needed.

What we didn’t like: During our tests, we had difficulty removing the jar from its lid even though the grooved plastic gave the impression that it would be easier to twist off. 

Key Specs

  • Jar capacity: 20 ounces
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Type of interface: Pre-programmed, manual-pulse
  • Speed settings: 1
  • Warranty: 3 years 

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

Breville Fresh & Furious Blender



What we liked: When investing in a blender, you can easily end up shelling out $400, but this Breville model is half that. It’s designed with a five-blade configuration, giving frozen ingredients enough space to cycle through without getting stuck. There are five speeds to tinker with: perfect for ramping up to produce emulsified smoothies. It has a pre-programmed auto-clean feature, which we liked.

What we didn’t like: Since the blade is serrated, the edges will become dull over time, making the blending process more difficult. The spout tends to drip when pouring contents out of its jar. Although it left some pulp behind, it still outperformed competitors within its price range. 

Key Specs

  • Jar capacity: 50 ounces
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds
  • Type of interface: Pre-programmed, analog
  • Speed settings: 5
  • Warranty: 3 years 

Serious Eats / Will Dickey


What type of blender is best for smoothies?

When choosing a blender, consider your specific needs. If you enjoy making smoothies daily or want to use it for other recipes, invest in a high-quality one. Look for a well-designed, powerful, easy-to-control, and durable model that will last for years. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a temporary solution, plenty of affordable options (like Breville’s Fresh and Furious Blender) can still help you make creamy drinks.

Are personal blenders good?

Personal blenders deliver one to two servings of smoothie and offer streamlined controls, making them user-friendly. They’re typically cheaper than full-sized models and, based on our tests, can still produce delicious blended drinks. A few factors factor into value, like the cup size (you’ll want one that holds 20 to 32 ounces), if it is powerful and quick, easy to clean and store, and whether it pours without making a mess. One of our reliable favorites, the Zwilling Enfinigy, passes all of these tests.

What’s the best way to clean a blender?

It’s always a good idea to read the care and use instructions for your blender. We recommend rinsing the container immediately. Fill the jar halfway with warm water, add a few drops of dish soap, and put the lid on. Then, run the blender through a cycle, starting at the lowest speed and gradually increasing to the max. Let it run for about 30-60 seconds, then pour the solution into the sink, rinse it again, and let it air dry upside down. Finally, use a damp cloth to wipe any residue off the base of your appliance.

Why We’re the Experts

  • Ashia Aubourg is a freelance writer with experience researching cooking appliances and working in kitchens (and farms!).
  • Her work with Serious Eats spans gift guides and product reviews. 
  • For this story, Ashia combed through our numerous blender reviews, comparing winning models in every category.

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