Best blenders – the top models for making smoothies, soups and much more

Blenders are fast becoming a kitchen must-have, whether it's a green smoothie, warming soup or celebratory pina colada you're whipping up. These are the best models out there.

Welcome to the lump-free revolution – whether its nutritious smoothies, restorative soups or fun cocktails, the latest jug blenders will tackle them. Its easy to see why a good blender is an essential addition to your kitchen.

The latest models have moved on substantially from the lacklustre liquidisers of the past and now come packed with more power and innovative internal design than ever before. Never again will you find yourself sieving sauces or splashing money you don’t have on expensive smoothies. A good blender might just change your life.

Why do I need a blender?


Image credit: Jonathan D Jones

There’s just so much you can make with a blender. As well as the obvious smoothies and soups, you can create dips, spreads, sauces, milkshakes, nut butters and pestos. Those with a sweet tooth can quickly whip up brownie mixture, mousses, waffle batter, sorbets and ice cream. A versatile blender can take you through from breakfast to dinner, and from Spring to Winter, mixing, blitzing, milling and whipping. Importantly, it will save you time and mess in the kitchen.

How much should I spend on a blender?

How much you spend depends on what you want your blender to be able to do. The good news is that if you’re on a tight budget, you can find a decent, basic blender for under £50. Its motor may have less power than more expensive models and the features will be limited – but it should still be able to handle everyday tasks.

Spend more than £100 and you’ll get a better choice of attachments and extra blades, usually a glass jug or a thermally resistant plastic one, and more choice of speeds and programmes. At the other end of the scale are premium blenders that have evolved from those found in professional kitchens. These blenders will be far more powerful, sometimes enough to gently heat the contents. These blenders frequently come with a price tag upwards of £500.

Best blenders

1. Philips HR3652 Avance blender – best blender for smoothies and soups

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Most of us could probably do with eating more fruit and veg. Proven to motivate you into upping your five-a-day is the 1,400W Avance blender, which will turn unpalatable vegetables into smoothies and soups with ease. Its makers claim it produces 50% finer blending than a previous model – which is great news for the fruit and veg-phobic. For its price, it brings a lot to the table.

This blender has a two-litre glass jar with 1.5-litre working capacity, 13 speeds plus pulse, two one-minute programmes for smoothies and ice crushing. It has cable storage and a spatula that inserts through the lid to move contents around.

The manual speeds are only marked min to max without numbers between, so it’s more difficult to reproduce a recipe if you’ve already found the perfect setting. It also can’t be used for more than three minutes at a time. In tests, it turned a couple of handfuls of ice cubes into snow and made a fruit and veg smoothie, both using the dedicated programmes.

The smoothie was consistently blended, though some traces of pear grit and a little texture remained. The jug and blades split apart for cleaning and it’s all dishwasher-safe.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Philips HR3652 Avance blender, £125, Amazon

2. Kenwood BLP402WH Blend-X Fresh – best budget blender

best-blenders5-2 Kenwood BLP400WH_800x600 copy

It might not have the sleek curves or glossy colours of some models but look past the simple white exterior of the Blend-X Fresh. It is a very good blender at a pocket-friendly price. Boasting a 650W motor, three speeds and a pulse, it also has a nifty button for ice crushing, which works much like the pulse function but is more convenient to use.

The blender’s two-litre jug is plastic and not suitable for blending hot food, but it has a working capacity of 1.6 litres, making it a better proposition than comparably priced models. Also in the box is a multi-mill grinder for chopping herbs and spices. The blender jug disassembles for cleaning and is dishwasher-safe, although the blade unit has to be washed by hand.

In tests, the Blend-X Fresh performed well, processing a fruit and ice smoothie until no shards remained. It also made short work of ice cubes. This blender struggled with thick waffle batter on the lower speed, but raising it solved the issue.

Ideal Home’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Kenwood BLP402WH Blend-X Fresh, £44, Amazon

3. Braun Identity Jug Blender JB5160 – best blender for crushing ice

best-blenders-3 Braun Identity Jug Blender (JB5160) RRP £99.99

The Identity blender is a great choice if you’re looking to upgrade from a basic model to something with a few more bells and whistles. As well as 11 speeds and a pulse powered by a 1,000W motor, the blender’s illuminated dial features three preset programmes for crushing ice, pureéing soup and making smoothies. All of this takes place in a thermally resistant 1.6-litre glass jug. Its working capacity is less at 1.3 litres of hot liquid but the jug otherwise provides a workable volume.

The blender’s four angled blades are assisted by the design of the jug, which is sculpted to help with circulation. On top, the lid’s measuring cup features a small hole – perfect for drizzling oil in slowly. During testing, the Identity blender produced fantastic snowy ice on its preset programme, a finely blended smoothie that contained oats and seeds, as well as a creamy lentil soup.

One downside is that the blender is quite narrow around the blades, so scraping out thick mixtures was tricky, as well as cleaning the blades in situ. Fortunately, the blender blade unit unscrews from the jug for a proper clean, and it’s all dishwasher-safe.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Braun Identity Jug Blender JB5160, £107,Amazon

4. KitchenAid Artisan Power Plus Blender – best blender for power

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If the smoothest of smoothies is a priority, the Artisan Power Plus blender will deliver. Equipped with a peak 3.5hp motor and billed as the most powerful blender available, it liquefies everything from frozen fruit to nuts and grains.

There’s a choice of 11 speeds plus high or low pulse and three programmes for juice, smoothies and soups, plus a self-cleaning option. Its 2.6-litre blender jug is superbly designed – made from BPA-free dishwasher-safe plastic, it has a dual-wall construction so the exterior doesn’t become hot even when it’s heating soup. Inside the blender are four heavy duty 3mm-thick angled blades.

On top, a vented lid lets out steam, while a tamper comes in handy for solid food. The blender power cable also detaches for storage. Available in three glossy shades, the Artisan Power Plus blender is beautifully designed and rightly so – at 9.4kg, lifting it in and out of a cupboard would be a chore.

It’s more of an investment than your average blender, so you’d need to get lots of use out of it to justify the cost. It’s also an exceptionally noisy blender – anything over speed 7 may have you fleeing the kitchen. However, in tests, it gave a peerless performance with smoothies, soup and ice.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: KitchenAid Artisan Power Plus Blender, £649.99, John Lewis 

5. Ninja BL682UK Complete Kitchen System Blender – best for accessories

best-blenders-5 Ninja BL682UK Hero 2 full pack

What if your jug blender could be your food processor and personal blender, too? That’s the thinking behind the Complete Kitchen System – a machine that not only whizzes and blitzes but also chops, kneads and grinds. To which end, you’ll find removable blades for chopping and dough in the food processor bowl and a smoothie blade. There is also a formidable stacked six-bladed tool for blending. It’s all powered by a 1,500W/2hp motor and handled every blending task well in testing.

Functioning as three machines in one means that some blending features have been overlooked. For example, you can’t blend hot liquids, so you’ll have to wait for your soup to cool before popping it in the two-litre BPA-free pitcher. There’s a flap in the pitcher lid for adding liquids but no tamper and the lid locks in place – so the blender must be stopped to add ingredients.

Rather than a variable speed control, the blender has buttons for low, medium and high and four programmes. Its stacked blade is devilishly difficult to clean by hand (all the parts are dishwasher safe). If you need all three appliances and have space to store the kit, it’s a good-value buy, but it’s pricey for blending by itself.

Ideal Home’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Ninja BL682UK Complete Kitchen System, £140, Amazon

6. Tefal Mastermix Blender – best for families

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While some blenders try and cram in multiple extras, the Mastermix blender concentrates solely on blending – and doing so well. There are 15 speeds plus pulse, as well as two programmes for smoothies and ice. This means you can make a pitcher of margaritas as easily as ice cream milkshakes for the kids, without hunting for the instructions.

Another plus is its ease of cleaning – the two-litre thermal shock-resistant glass jug splits apart so its blade unit and gasket (included for a watertight seal) can be washed thoroughly. And it’s dishwasher-safe.

Inside the jug, there are six directional blades that draw ingredients towards them – during testing, it happily whizzed through a smoothie, raw soup mixture and ice crushing – powered by a reasonably sized 850W motor. The jug can be dropped on the base with the handle at either side, too, which is useful if you’re left-handed.

Where it could do better is its working capacity – the jug might be roomy but it recommends just 1.5 litres max for thick mixtures and 1.25 litres for liquids.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Tefal Mastermix Blender, £174.99, Amazon

7. Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender – best for keen cooks


The high-performance reputation of Vitamix machines precedes them, but as soon as you try one of these blenders you’ll understand why they’re sought after. The Pro75 blender is a more compact and stylish version of its professional standard machines with a commercial-grade 2.2hp motor that’s quiet enough to talk over. Its low-profile two-litre Tritan pitcher is designed to tuck under wall cabinets.

Inside you’ll find four laser-cut, stainless-steel blades that span 10cm to cover most of the diameter of the jug. Combined with 10 speeds, five programmes for smoothies, hot soup, frozen desserts, purées and self-cleaning and a tamper that fits through the lid to move food around, there’s no recipe this blender can’t handle. Other blender pluses include a long power cable at 1.8m, so there’s flexibility on where you can use it, and a recipe book with plenty of ideas for getting the most from the machine.

In tests, this blender made short work of smoothies, frozen fruit and made steaming hot soup from scratch in six minutes. However, you’ll probably have to make room on the worktop for it as it weighs around 5.7kg. It’s also not suitable for dishwashing. However, at a cost that’s substantially more than the average blender, it’s an investment buy for the serious cook.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Vitamix Professional Series 750 blender £650,Ebay

8. Rx blender by Nutribullet – best for smoothies

best-blenders-NutriBullet Rx Blender Black

Fans of the original Nutribullet looking to upgrade to something with more oomph will love the Rx. While some bullet blenders can leave behind flecks (of leafy greens, for example) the Rx uses its 2.3hp/1700W motor to create a flawlessly smooth consistency. Inside its blade unit, you’ll find four angled blades that screw into an oversized or short cup for smoothies or its Souperblast pitcher.

This comes with a vented lid, so you can use a special programme to blitz veggies into hot soup in only seven minutes. There’s no on or off button or speed settings. The Rx adjusts automatically to the contents and for the right amount of time – just drop the cup onto the base. In tests, it effortlessly blitzed smoothies using seeds and nuts. It easily tackled black treacle and broccoli too, all of which were thoroughly blended.

This super blender then made piping hot soup from vegetables and pre-made stock. It’s worth noting that it won’t brown ingredients, so some may need cooking beforehand. It was also used to blend creamy nut butter from almonds and oil. One downside is that the blades aren’t dishwasher-safe, so you’ll need to clean out any residue by hand. Also, the cups are bulky to drink from directly and the kit it comes with doesn’t have an obvious way to stack it for storage.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Rx blender by Nutribullet, £122, Amazon

How to buy the right blender for you

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Image credit: Vitamix

1. Check how powerful your blender is 

The wattage can work as a guide but higher doesn’t always mean a better blender. Take into account additional features that it uses to process food thoroughly, such as jug and blade design. A blender’s power can sometimes be displayed in horsepower (746W = 1hp) instead of watts. While basic liquidisers sufficed with two blades, most modern jug blenders will have at least four, sometimes with mini blades nestled around the stack. They’re usually angled, which helps them to whisk up pieces from the bottom of the jug and create a vortex to drag blender contents down from the top.

2. Check blender settings and speeds

Basic models tend to have just a few speeds while more feature-packed models will have several. Both will usually feature a pulse option for quick bursts of speed. You can also find blenders with programmes for blitzing specific foods, such as soup, ice crushing, smoothie, pureé and frozen desserts. A cleaning programme is another handy option, allowing you to clean the jug in-situ by running it filled with water and washing-up liquid.

3. Check blender materials

The blender jug itself will be made from either glass or plastic. Glass tends to be sturdier and less likely to become scratched but a good quality BPA-free plastic, such as Tritan, is a smart choice. This is because it’s strong yet lighter than glass, which can make all the difference if you’re lifting a heavy jug of soup. Jugs vary in total capacity and working capacity (ie how much they can safely blend without the contents trying to escape). This is usually lower for hot liquids. A 1.6-litre jug should cover most everyday blending but to be able to get the most of out of your blender, look for around two litres.

4. Check blender practicality

Look for blender jugs that have two-part lids, too, so you can add food or liquid as it blends. This is ideal for making sauces that can easily split, such as mayonnaise, or when processing hot food, so steam can be released.

5. Check for extras

The lids may include small measuring cups. Some blenders have additional milling and grinding blades (which can be used for seeds, nuts and sometimes coffee beans), mini containers for mincing smaller amounts of food, personal blender cups and even food processor bowls. Another useful blender accessory is a tamper. This fits through the lid of the blender so you can move solid chunks of food, such as frozen fruit, towards the blades.

What other key questions do I need to ask about blenders?

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Image credit: KitchenAid

Are blenders easy to clean?

You’ll get more use out of a blender that’s easy to clean, so look for those where all the removable parts are dishwasher safe. Some blender jugs will split apart so that the blades can be safely cleaned separately and more thoroughly. If the jug has fixed blades, it can be difficult to clean around them by hand, so always use a brush.

Are blender noisy?

All blenders will be noisy, though some more than most. The pitch can differ from blender to blender, too, meaning that some noises, while not louder, are more annoying than others. If possible, try before you buy.

Will my small kitchen accommodate a blender?

Blender cables can be substantial, so look for machines with built-in storage to prevent the flex getting out of hand. Unless you’re buying a machine that you’re happy to have on display on the worktop, your blender will probably live in a cupboard. If so, choose one that can be easily dismantled, is light enough for you to lift in and out and won’t take up too much storage room.

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