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 2015, the Oster Versa takes over as the top choice from last year's pick, the Vitamix 5200. The review is thorough and includes research, expert interviews, evaluations of owner reviews, and testing. Christine Cyr Clisset even gives an overview of blenders she opted not to test and why. Blenders are 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.
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.
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 many have been updated for 2015.
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 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.