The Best Personal Blenders, According to Our Rigorous Testing
Blenders are an essential kitchen appliance (especially if you like to make smoothies at home), but they often take up a lot of space on the counter or in cabinets. That's what makes personal blenders so convenient. Not only are they space-saving in the sense that they're smaller and more compact than full-size models, but they also save you space because you blend in the same exact cup that you drink from.
To help you figure out which personal blenders are actually worth buying, we put 16 of the most promising models through a series of tests and took note of how they performed. In addition to evaluating their ability to blend fibrous greens and crush ice, we also rated each one on durability and ease of cleaning. Many smoothies later, we landed on the Ninja Nutri Blender Pro as our top pick. Read on for the rest of the best personal blenders.
Our Top Picks
After rigorous tests and many, many smoothies, we settled on the Ninja Nutri Blender Pro as our top choice for a personal blender. It has a powerful motor, automatic programs, and generously sized cups.
When coming up with a list of which personal blenders to test, our main criteria was that the blending cup doubled as a drinking cup (a.k.a. no pitcher-style blenders that also came with a to-go cup). Our product reviews team tested 16 different personal blenders in total to come up with this list of the best. We put each blender through multiple tests to find out how well they work for different uses. We made two types of smoothies: one with mostly frozen fruit, and a green version to see how well they blend fibrous celery and leafy greens.
Even though most personal blenders aren't designed to handle ice on its own, we also tested their ability to crush ice. (That's how we found out that the Cuisinart blender was best for crushing ice—it performed the best in that test by far.) We also made salsa in each blender, but we were actually disappointed in the results for most of them, since it often turned out looking like baby food. In between the tests, we washed all of the blending cups, lids, and blades by hand to see how easy they were to clean.
Finally, we put each blender's cup through a drop test (as long as it came with a travel lid) to test its durability. We tipped them over on the counter and then knocked them on the floor to see if there was any spillage or damage.
Factors to Consider
There's a lot to consider when shopping for a personal blender, so we outlined the most important factors below to make it easier to figure out which is best for your needs. Based on our testing experience, we've determined that these are the four most important things to think about before buying a personal blender:
The blenders on this list have motors that are anywhere from 250 to 1100 watts, which is a pretty big range. This is a good indicator of how powerful it is, so keep in mind that the higher the number, the stronger and more efficient the blender will be.
If you prefer bigger smoothies, make sure to pick a blender that comes with larger, 24-ounce cups. Some are as small as 12 ounces, so you may need to cut down your recipes to fit in them. If you plan on drinking your smoothie while on the go, make sure the blender comes with a travel lid with a spout.
Built-in programs and different speed settings give you more control over the results, but many personal blenders only have one setting (particularly those that you just place in and twist to turn on).
Don't forget to consider the value of a personal blender before you buy. Think about what features and aspects you'd be willing to splurge on or give up to get the best personal blender for your needs. For example, the most expensive option on our list is the modern-looking Beast for $155, but you can also spend almost half of that on a Ninja blender and get smoothies that are just as tasty.
What Didn't Make the List
Q: How do you clean a personal blender?
A: Personal blenders are generally pretty easy to take care of, but when it comes to cleaning, always make sure you follow the instructions for your specific model. That being said, you can generally assume it's safe to wash the cup, lid, and blade by hand with soap and water. The placement of the blade can definitely affect how you clean it; there are blenders on this list with shallow, easy-to-clean blades as well as blenders with multiple serrated blades that were quite intimidating to wash by hand.
The Food & Wine team evaluated a dozen personal blenders side by side, putting them through a number of steps to determine the best models on the market. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, the author of this list, then used the resulting data to curate the top recommendations. She specializes in writing home and lifestyle product roundups.