What's the difference between a blender and a juicer? As a Kitchen Appliance Editor, this is the one I think deserves space on your worktop

We help you sort the Nutribullets from the Ninjas

White metro tile kitchen
(Image credit: Future PLC/Caroline Mardon)

Should you invest in a juicer or a blender for your kitchen? If worktop space is at a premium in your home, it can be a difficult question to answer.

Both the best blenders and the best juicers can make a bang average morning into a fruiter one, with the chance to add apples, bananas and berries bursting with vitamins and fibre into your diet. But while smoothies and juices might seem like similar end products, blenders and juicers actually provide vastly different functionality in a kitchen.

To help you sort the Nutribullets from the Ninjas, we're putting these appliances head to head to see which is best for giving you the wellness boost you want.

Blender vs juicer - the big difference

The basic facts, provided by Eran Tibi, Executive Chef at Bala Baya & Kapara, are this 'Whether you're blending up a storm or joyfully juicing, both tools are valuable for home cooks and chefs alike and process fruits and vegetables into tasty and nourishing drinkable forms.'

He goes onto say 'A blender takes the whole foods and pulverises everything to make into a smoothie-like consistency, whilst retaining the fibre. On the other hand, juicers extract the liquid from the fruit and vegetables, separating it from the solid fibre, pulp and seeds to leave a very smooth liquid.'

To be more specific, blenders use a high-powered motor to rotate a blade, with a shape that helps to push whatever you put inside (within reason - we've all seen Blendtec's Will It Blend series) towards that element.

The created vortex will pull everything in and puree fruit, vegetables and more. Usually, but not always, you'll want a liquid element in your blender along with solid ingredients, in order to help along the process of breaking down.

With a blender, though the texture of your fruit or veg will change, the nutritional value stays the same, whether you're making a sauce or a smoothie.

kitchen area with white wall tiles and plenty fruits with cupboard

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Juicers are a little more complex. A juicer, unlike a blender, involves extraction, leaving you with a thinner liquid after the mechanisms of the appliance have squeezed all of the moisture possible out of fruits and veg.

There are plenty of different types of juicer on the market. Centrifugal juicers, as evidenced in our Phillips Viva Centrifugal Juicer review, chop the fruit and veg with sharp blades before straining the mix through a fine spinning sieve.

kitchen room with designed plates on white wall and white tiles wall plants pot on counter and fruits in bowl

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Fiona Walker)

Masticating juicers, also known as cold press juicers, use an auger that squeezes ingredients to produce juice, leaving a byproduct of pulp behind. Our Ninja Cold Press Juicer review provides insight into this type of appliance.

Citrus juicers are a pretty 'does what it says on the tin' appliance, giving you freshly squeezed OJ whenever you fancy, or helping take the fuss out of juicing limes, grapefruit, mandarins, pomelos and more.

Why pick a blender over a juicer?

Buy a blender if you want more of an all-rounder kitchen appliance. Plenty of blenders we've tested, like the Ninja Foodi Blender and Soup Maker, have cold and hot functions, aiding you in so many different cooking scenarios. Soups, sauces, dips, drinks, protein shakes - you name it, you can probably blend it.

ZWILLING’s Resident Chef, Paul Bough, is inclined to agree, saying 'A blender is more versatile than a juicer, and can be used for making smoothies, cocktails, soups, sauces and even nut butters.'

Of course, a blender is also what you want if you're looking to become a certified smoothie drinker. The arrival of new portable blenders like the Smeg Personal Blender, allow you to finish the process on the go too, which is welcome news for gym-goers.

There can be added health benefits for opting for a blender too. Pavel Baranvos, Head Chef at UBA, says 'Blenders retain all the ingredients’ fibre, whereas in a centrifugal or even a slow juicer, much of this will be lost. Fibre is important for gut health and digestion, and with juicers there’s a chance that a lot of the goodness in these fruits and vegetables won’t pass through.'

Wood fitted kitchen storage shelf, white kitchen units, marble worktop.

(Image credit: Future PLC/Clive Doyle Photography)

If you're short on space, a blender also has the edge, as multi-functional models or hand models offer versatility without taking over your kitchen. The Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor with Auto-IQ BN800UK is the perfect example, with the ability to chop and blend all in one.

Why pick a juicer over a blender?

You should buy a juicer over a blender if juice is your main priority. Resident Chef at ZWILLING Paul Bough says 'If someone is primarily interested in making thin consistency, concentrated and vitamin-rich fruit and vegetable juices at home, a juicer will be a better option than a blender.'

Whether that's citrus or green juice, mixed up with a range of veg as well as fruit, a juicer is its own star appliance for a reason. And the taste in difference that a top class juicer can provide will prove to be immediately worth it.

If you're a more experimental chef, then juicers can help with getting a certain consistency needed for certain recipes too. Eran Tibi, Executive Chef at Bala Baya and Kapara, says 'Juicers might be a preferred choice for those looking for a quick nutrient uptake or for cooks who are creating which demand a clear, smooth juice or intense, concentrated flavours – juicers create the perfect liquids that can be folded into bread, snuck into cakes or even folded into fritters for an extra flavour kick!'

A white kitchen with a white Smeg fridge

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Which is more affordable?

A blender is likely a more cost-effective option thanks to the often multi-functional designs of these appliances, giving you more to work with for your money. That's not to say that you can't find an affordable juicer out there. Our top-rated juicer in our buying guide is the nutribullet Centrifugal Juicer, which you can pick up for less than £100 on Amazon.

Which should you buy?

Juicers, while incredibly useful and great for boosting nutrition at home, are fundamentally a bit of a one-trick pony. David Rees, a kitchen expert from Home Supply, agrees saying 'While neither of the appliances will make something that is healthier than the other, a blender may be a better option for most people as they can be used for many other functions, whereas juicers can only be used to make juice.'

If you're in the market for one over the other then, whether that's due to space or cost, a blender will probably be your best bet, and prove to be a worthwhile kitchen addition immediately.

Molly Cleary
Kitchen Appliances Editor

Molly is Ideal Home’s Kitchen Appliances Editor and an all-around baking and cooking enthusiast. She joined the team in September 2022 as an Ecommerce Editor after working across Real Homes, Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She's been reviewing products for 4 years and now specialises in weighing up kitchen essentials' pros and cons, from air fryers to bean-to-cup coffee machines. 

She's always been a keen reader, so after graduating from the University of Exeter in 2020 she was thrilled to find a way to write as a full-time job. Nowadays, she spends her days at home or the Ideal Home test facility trying out new kitchen innovations to see if they’re worth a space on your worktop. Her most beloved and hard-working appliance is her Sage coffee machine though she also takes the title of Ideal Home’s in-house air fryer expert after writing about them religiously over the past few years.

When she's not thinking or writing about kitchen appliances, she loves getting around London exploring new places, going for a dip at the Ladies’ Pond and consuming every bit of pop culture she can get her hands on.