A good rule of thumb for home purchases is the following: if you use something regularly (at least weekly, especially if it's daily!), you should always buy quality. A dirt-cheap blender (or even one that you might have "borrowed" from your parent's garage) is almost guaranteed to leave you frustrated with leaky pitchers and clumpy drinks. Say "No more!" to that boulder-sized ice or frozen fruit surprise in your morning smoothie or protein shake, and consider one of these 9 top-rated blenders under $200 (because sometimes a Vitamix is just not within monetary reach).
The most affordable option in our lineup, reviews of the Wave Crusher throughout the internet are top-notch (average 4.5 stars). Comments note that it gets through ice easily, and the pour-out spout on the top keeps dispensing of drinks (and even blended soups) clean and simple.
I grew up using Oster blenders in my childhood home, and they were rather indestructible. In fact, my parents may still have one somewhere in the garage that could probably whip up a mean margarita. The Fusion blender has a reverse button which fights clogs, and keeps things moving. The glass pitcher is dishwasher safe and tested to withstand extreme temperatures.
Who hasn't had an Oster Beehive blender on their countertops at some point in their life? This OG blender is simple with only two speeds, but sometimes, all you need is low and high (but mostly just high).
Our Previous Lists:
- The Best Rated Budget and Premium Kitchen Blenders
- Make a Blender Out of a Mason Jar
- Compact Appliances for the Countertop: Big Bang for Your Small Space
If you only ever pull out your blender for your morning smoothie, consider a compact blender like Cuisinart's. Sure, it has some other attachments (the chopper and larger blender compartment might come in handy at meal time), but for daily use, you just twist on the blade attachment to your personal portable cup, whirl up your chosen ingredients, and move on with your day! It also doesn't hurt that it has a near-perfect rating by a plethora of buyers who sing its praises.
I personally own this blender and am incredibly pleased with its performance. The pitcher is nice and large (I can mix up 3 large smoothies/4 smaller smoothies in one go!), it gets through large blocks of ice and frozen fruit that has clumped together with its 550 watts, and has just enough speed options (5) to work through most recipes. Just like any KitchenAid product, it's available in a rainbow of colors to match your decor. My only gripe is that the diamond shape at the bottom of the pitcher can be a little tricky to clean (protein powders tend to get stuck in the corners) but the power setting on my kitchen faucet easily breaks things up my sponge has issues reaching!
In my own personal pursuit for the perfect budget blender (by the way, it doesn't exist, but there are some pretty close options), I came across some die-hard Ninja fans who swear they're just as good as commercial-grade blenders 3 times the price. I've used a few at friends' homes here and there, and I'm always impressed with their power (after all, this model has 1,100 watts of crushing potential.) However, I skipped purchasing one in favor of my KitchenAid as some reviews around the interwebs claimed people l.o.v.e. their Ninja...until it stops working.
Other Good Resources:
- The Best Blender for Your Kitchen - Real Simple
- The Best Blender - The Sweethome
- Vitamix, Blendtec, and Breville: Which High-Powered, High-Investment Blender Is Right for You? - Kitchn
- Best Blenders for $100 or Less - Consumer Reports
If you're looking for a blender you can use in the early morning while the rest of your home is sound asleep, the Hamilton Beach Quiet Shield could be a good option for you. It has a perfect 5-star rating on Amazon, though users comment the internal pitcher is rather small (good for single-serve drinks), and doesn't have a handle, which makes pouring into your own tumbler or to-go container a little tricky and cumbersome.
The CleanBlend is probably the closest you can get in terms of power, styling and features of the coveted Vitamix, but at a considerably lower price point. It packs a punch of 1,800 watts, a metal-on-metal drive (many budget models are metal-on-plastic or even plastic-on-plastic), and the tamper ensures you can work with whatever substance you're whirling up if air pockets form. Plus, it comes with a 5-year warranty (4 more years than other standard models on the market.)
Skirting in just under our $200 budget, Oster's Versa blender is the brand's flagship blender. From 16 models tested by The Sweethome (a trusted source for product reviews), they voted this their top pick. From The Sweethome: "The Versa offers the best balance between performance and price that we've found, and it also has the most useful combination of variable and preset speeds. At $200, it performs as well as blenders twice the price."