If you’re on a health kick, finding it hard to cram enough fruit and veg into your day or you just want to cut down on packaging waste, maybe it’s time to invest in one of our pick of the best juicers.
There are few things as delicious (yet healthy) as fresh juice. Packed full of vitamins and nutrients, juices are a great way of getting your five-a-day.
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Make your own and not only will there be less waste, but your juice will be exactly the way you want it and as fresh as possible. You can use any combination of fruit and vegetables, with as much or as little pulp as you prefer, and add in extra healthy ingredients, like fresh ginger.
The latest models are more efficient and easy to clean so there’s minimal mess and fuss, too.
Do I need a juicer?
It might not be as essential as a kettle or toaster but add a juicer to your worktop and you’ll find yourself using it almost as much as the best blenders out there. As well as creating exciting drinks to boost your breakfast, the same machine may be able to make frozen desserts, smoothies and even dairy alternatives, such as almond or rice milk.
Plus, if your kids don’t like eating fruit or vegetables, sweet homemade juice with spinach, carrot or broccoli hidden in it is a simple way to get more vitamins into their diets.
What are the different types of juicer?
There are two types of juicer, which are known as centrifugal and masticating. They use different methods to extract the juice and are sometimes referred to as fast and slow juicers.
Centrifugal juicers are high-speed machines that extract by shredding the fruit or vegetables with spinning blades, before straining it against metal mesh to separate seeds and pith from juice. As well as being speedy, centrifugal juicers are well suited to handling hard fruit and vegetables, such as ginger, apples and carrots. They’re also good for cutting down on food prep time as many have large feed chutes that can accommodate whole apples and veggies.
However, as the process adds more air into the juice, you may find that it doesn’t store for more than a day or two and discolours quickly. Centrifugal juicers can also be quite noisy although it won’t be for long. If you plan to use your juicer mostly for OJ, you may want to consider a straightforward citrus press instead.
Masticating juicers are also called slow juicers or cold press juicers, and work by ‘chewing’ fruit and vegetables before crushing or squeezing out the juice at a gentle rate. This provides a high yield and maximum nutritional content plus the juice may have a longer shelf life. Many ‘slow’ juicers have almost caught up with centrifugal juicers in terms of speed and they’ll also be quieter while in use.
Masticating juicers can tackle a variety of vegetables, soft fruit and nuts, so they’re worth spending a bit extra on if you plan to juice every day. Most have a smaller chute than a centrifugal machine, so food requires a bit more chopping and prep to prevent clogs. You’ll find horizontal machines, which are perfect for tucking at the back of worktops below wall cabinets, and upright vertical models, which take up less space on a worktop.
Best juicers 2021
1. Sage SJE830BSS The Nutri Juicer Cold X
Best juicer for beginners
There are probably three things that can stop juicing becoming a habit – extensive food prep, more hassle than juice and cleaning up afterwards. Fortunately, these are all points that the centrifugal Nutri Juicer Cold XL addresses.
It’s easy to assemble, feels reassuringly robust, cuts down on chopping with its 88mm chute (which can accommodate whole apples) and everything can go in the dishwasher, with the exception of the pusher, or be rinsed in seconds.
All of which means you can make juice quickly and with minimum mess. There’s also a quiet option for processing soft fruit, so you don’t have to let everyone for miles around know that you’re juicing, and a boost option for tackling hard veg.
Besides its speeds, there are smart design features, such as its large pulp container and two-litre juice jug with an airtight lid, meaning that you can juice a batch and it’ll keep for up to three days in the fridge, and a flexible nozzle that allows you to juice straight into a glass.
However, it’s worth noting a few downsides, such as the lack of recipes included and the fact that there’s no anti-drip spout, so it’s wise to keep a glass in place after you’ve finished or face cleaning up splashes.
In our tests we used the quiet speed to juice citrus fruit, which worked fairly well, although there was more moisture left in the pulp than we would have liked. Two oranges made about 100ml of juice, which was quite foamy and would have benefited from a separator within the jug. Spinach leaves produced a lot of waste with not much juice.
However, we had more success with apples on boost, which created a clear, sweet juice with no visible residue, and pears using the fast speed. Both produced minimal dry pulp and a good amount of juice for the fruit used.
As long as you’re not juicing wheatgrass, this is a great all-rounder of a machine, though you may need to experiment with the speeds to get the best results.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
2. EVO820 Evolution Cold Press Juicer by Kuvings
Best for serious juicing fans
Getting the most out of your fruit and veg isn’t always easy but this is the cold press juicing machine to solve all your yield issues. It’s ideal for tackling the trickiest ingredients, such as green leafy veg, as well as being able to make dairy-free milks from nuts and purées for baby food and sauces.
Bolt on the separate citrus module and it’ll also function as a reamer so you can juice limes, lemons and oranges without peeling. The secret to its success is in the clever design. Where it differs from many slow juicers is that it has an 82mm feed chute equipped with a flip gate rather than a fin to protect your fingers.
No fin means it can handle the larger chunks of fruit and veg (including small whole apples) most slow models can’t – so there’s less food prep and waiting around for your morning juice medley.
Other features we found useful include the drip-stop spout (so you can mix juice in the machine as well as protect your worktop from mess) and wrap-around brush for the filter, so clean up was straightforward (although it’s not dishwasher-safe).
In tests, we found it performed well with hard fruit, such as apples, as only dry pulp was ejected, while one piece of fruit produced a good 100ml of juice, and the same with oranges – three fruit yielded 250ml. Pineapple also processed efficiently, although mango and ginger root were trickier and tended to leave pulp wrapped around the inside.
It also made smooth almond milk – thinner than pre-made but with the bonus of being able to use the waste pulp in recipes. The only elements to be aware of is that it’s heavy, so best as a permanent worktop resident, and it’s pricey, so a more suitable choice for juice devotees rather than those who enjoy an occasional glass.
Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars
3. Braun J500
Best for value juicer for money
Efficient, easy to assemble and packed with features, the Identity Spin juicer delivers plenty of bang for your buck. Not only will it whizz through large pieces of fruit and vegetables in seconds, with even whole apples fitting down its 7.5cm chute, the anti-drip and anti-splash spout ensures your worktop stays spotless throughout.
A 900W motor and two speeds help it adapt to hard and soft fruit, while a 1.25-litre lidded jug with a foam separator allows you to store juice. The machine is especially noisy in operation. In testing, it produced a glass of juice in around 15 seconds, a good yield that was only slightly less than more expensive machines.
Where the Identity Spin may not appeal to everyone is in its equally efficient design – it’s rather chunky, and at a weighty 6.2kg, not as suitable for lifting in and out of a cupboard. However, clean-up is a big win for fans of low-maintenance kit – all the parts are dishwasher-safe and there’s a cleaning brush for whisking away stubborn fibres from the micro mesh filter.
Ideal Home’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars
4. HR1947 Avance masticating juicer by Philips
Best juicer for small kitchens
If the idea of yet another appliance cluttering your kitchen fills you with horror, you’ll love this clever compact juicer. Measuring a mere 11cm wide, it’s skinny, stylish and a doodle to stash away thanks to dedicated cable storage and parts that fit inside the pulp container. It’s simple to assemble and afterwards can be cleaned by hand in less than a minute.
The Avance has a few quirks, however. One is a narrow feed tube, so while you might save time on cleaning up, you’ll spend some of that chopping beforehand. It’s also prone to surges when food needs a firm push through, so it may splash the worktop. The recipe book would benefit from some extra guidance amongst the ideas, too.
Those things aside, the juicing yield is high, it’s near-impossible to clog as there’s no sieve, and it’s quiet enough to maintain a conversation while it’s in use. Pricey for a machine that only produces juice, the Avance’s diminutive size and minimal maintenance makes up for this.
Ideal Home’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars
5. Smeg SJF01
Best juicer for style
Start saving up now for this gorgeous, design-led masticating juicer. In contrast to all the contemporary versions on the market, this machine combines retro curves with modern technology – but it comes with a premium price tag.
Available in four colours, it’s not only impressive to look at on the kitchen worktop, it’s also fantastically functional. Inside it boasts a 43rpm squeezing system with a choice of two strainers – fine and coarse – for creating silky smooth or thicker juice with pulp.
These were more difficult to clean than some but the included brushes were invaluable. Another notable feature is its density regulator lever that helps to get the last few drops out at the end. The slow juicer performed well in testing, producing a high yield quickly from both hard and soft fruit and vegetables, but that’s not the only good reason to buy.
What’s just as convincing is its impressive construction: combining an auger made from durable material Ultem, a 150W induction motor and a sturdy base, this feels every inch a machine that’ll be happily juicing for years to come.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Buy now: Smeg SJF01 slow juicer, £449, Amazon
6. Cookworks Whole Fruit Juicer
Best basic juicer
If you’re thinking of starting a fresh juice habit but aren’t sure how much you’ll use a juicer, this straightforward centrifugal model is a good way to dip a toe in. It comes in at less than £50, however, you’ll still find handy features.
For starters, you can process whole fruit thanks to its wide chute – we were able to fit in whole apples and carrots without peeling – and there are two speeds, rather than the usual one you might find on a budget juicer, meaning you can juice hard and soft fruit differently.
There’s a lidded 800ml juice jug, too, and although it’s not airtight, it does have a double-ended lid, so you can receive juice into the jug at one end before using the other to pour it out. A final plus is that the pulp container is impressively roomy, with a 2.8-litre capacity, so you can juice for the whole family without having to stop to empty the waste out, and it has strong sucker feet to keep it in place.
In testing, while the juicer was easy to use and assemble, with a secure locking handle, the performance was disappointing. It was one of the loudest juicers we tried, vibrated when on, and took several seconds to quieten after being switched off.
The yield was lower than expected – an apple on high speed produced about 70ml of foamy, cloudy juice, while three oranges gave 160ml of thick OJ on the lower speed. Pulp also spattered into the lid of the container, and the juice spout dripped for some time after switching the machine off.
It wasn’t suitable for juicing leafy veg. There were also a couple of general downsides, such as a maximum run time of a minute, and that none of the parts were dishwasher safe, so all had to be cleaned by hand.
Ideal Home’s rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
How much should I spend on a juicer?
A machine that suits your daily routine is the best way to encourage you to make juicing a habit, so it’s a good idea not to buy on price alone. Instead, consider how much value different features will add to your new juicing regime.
A basic model can be bought for as little as £30, but for reliable operation and better build quality, it’s advisable to spend more. Budget from £70-£180 for a centrifugal model and at least £125 for an entry level masticating design, with more advanced models costing £200 upwards.
What are the main features to look for?
- It’s key to choose a machine that’s easy to use and maintain. Time spent assembling and cleaning can become a reason not to juice regularly. Look for those that can be put together easily and have a non-drip spout. Ideally, they should have dishwasher-safe parts or dedicated brushes for clearing fibres and residue from mesh filters.
- Power is another consideration. If you’re opting for a centrifugal machine, its wattage should be at least 400W so fruit hitting the blades won’t slow it down. More than one speed, or automatic adjustment, will also be useful as centrifugal juicers handle hard fruit at high speed, but need a slower one for soft fruit. Masticating machines will be lower wattage, usually between 150-240W as the slower juicing process doesn’t require the extra power. One speed should do for all, with a reverse to clear blockages.
- Look for models that can make more than smooth juice if you’re keen to get extra mileage out of your purchase. Additional filters that blend smoothies, make fruit coulis or juice with pulp, and solid inserts that can process frozen fruit into sorbet will make your juicer really earn its place on the kitchen worktop.
Other things to consider when buying a juicer
- A recipe book is essential for getting the most out of your juicer. They’ll often include ideas for mocktails, desserts, savoury dishes, nut milks and more.
- Choose a model that suits your lifestyle. For example, if you want to juice straight into a glass, check the spout is high enough for one to fit below. Similarly, if you want to spend minimal time chopping up fruit, pick a juicer with a wide feed chute.
- The best juicers will have a good guarantee. Choose one with at least two years on parts and several on the motor.
- Other useful accessories include a lidded jug for making and storing juice ahead of time, and storage for spare parts.