Blender Rating Sources
For this report, the team of professional testers at ConsumerReports.org spent hours crushing ice, preparing frozen drinks, puréeing soups and grating Parmesan cheese in more than 75 blenders. Using these test results and their ratings of each blender's noise level, durability and convenience the blenders are ranked from best to worst in an easy-to-read chart.
This testing was originally performed in September 2012 with editors challenging nine blenders, including several in this report, with a variety of blending tasks. Tests included crushing ice, making frozen drinks, and blending lump-free smoothies, milkshakes, and hummus. They also measured noise levels. The report was updated in January 2014 to include long-term durability results. Testing durability included putting the blenders through the same battery of original tests. Testers also made smoothies using fibrous ingredients, such as frozen pineapple and stringy raw kale, every day for a month.
TheSweethome.com updates their blender report on a regular basis. For 2016, the Oster Versa remains the top choice; although they note that the Vitamix 5200 is actually the best blender, they say the Versa is the best for most people. The review is thorough and includes research, expert interviews, evaluations of owner reviews, and testing. Each blender is thoroughly reviewed; they're also compared and contrasted, resulting in a very helpful guide to what blenders are suitable for a wide variety of blending tasks, from heavy-duty to light.
New to the blender testing world this year, TopTenReviews.com tested 18 blenders to come up with their top 10 choices for 2016. Each blender is tested for performance, design, prep and cleanup, and warranty and support. Blenders are then ranked and rated; three are designated Gold, Silver or Bronze Award winners. Testing appears to be thorough, although details are scarce, and the results are well-documented in various charts that compare the blenders to each other.
Also new to the testing scene, YourBestDigs.com puts 21 single-serve blenders to the test, finally narrowing it down to seven that underwent 40 hours of testing. They name a top pick, budget pick and a luxury option. Testing is well-documented and includes noise, blending time, ease of use, cost, included accessories and, of course, performance in blending an individual drink.
Testers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute put several dozen blenders through their paces, considering ease of use, customer service and performance in grinding, chopping and smoothie-making. Each blender is given a star grade (out of 5) and a list of pros and cons. Some of these reviews are older, but some have a 2015 date.
All of the blenders in this round up have undergone rigorous testing, charts in most of the write-ups include how they perform versus other tested blenders. The blenders are put through the basic tasks like making smoothies and crushing ice, as well as heavy jobs like milling whole almonds and grating entire 8-ounce block of sharp cheddar cheese. Elsewhere on this site, there is a 13-blender roundup, but it includes most of the blenders on this list. There is also a general list of blender reviews with links to the detailed review for those that have been tested.
Valentina Palladino tests five single-serve blenders, making drinks using several different ingredients -- yogurt, frozen berries, Nutella, ice cream, and fresh fruit -- to gauge varying consistencies and emulsification. She also looked at the size and weight of the machines, ease of operation, and portability. Each blender gets a thorough review and are rated on a scale out of 10. Reviews include pros and cons and a good description of features. Although this is an older review, many of the blenders tested are still available.
Amazon.com has thousands of blenders in all price ranges and sizes. It is an excellent source for owner reviews of blenders -- which often note durability problems that are missed by some professional tests. It's also a great way to learn how well the blender performs in real-world use. Many of these blenders from Vitamix and Blendtec get stellar ratings with hundreds or even thousands of reviews posted, and many cheaper models do as well as their more expensive competition.
BedBathandBeyond.com is a popular site for appliance purchases, and they have dozens of blenders to choose from. While there are not as many reviews for some blenders here as there is at Amazon.com, others get even more reviews. Owners provide detailed feedback, including pros and cons. There are also ratings breakdowns for value and quality, and a percentage listed of those who would refer the product to a friend.
Like BedBathandBeyond.com, Target.com has fewer reviews overall than at Amazon.com for individual blenders, but there are plenty of blenders on this site and many have dozens of reviews. It's a great resource for mid-level, general use blenders, which dominate the search results. Ratings are given for overall averages as well as for total value.
Walmart.com is a great resource for mid-level, general use blenders, as well as less expensive models that might fall by the wayside on other sites. The top blenders get quite a few reviews, sometimes hundreds. Reviewers can also say if they would recommend the product to a friend.
Editors say they tested 52 blenders; six are named the best here, based upon various categories like "Best Budget Blender" or "Best Superpower." However, the write-ups are extremely brief and it's not clear how the blenders were tested.
Only five blenders have been tested by editors of ChowHound.com and they date back to 2013. The reviews are quite thorough, however, and the blenders themselves are still available.
Cooking equipment expert Jessica Harlan reviews just a couple of blenders here, including the Ninja NJ600. The reviews that include her personal experiences with the blenders are thorough and informative, but there is no comparison to other blenders and there are too few models reviewed overall to make this a really helpful source.