Making your own smoothies is an easy way to front-load your day with fruits and vegetables. But with a blender that's not up to the task, you might be left with chunks of frozen strawberries or stringy kale leaves. No thanks.
You’ll find over 70 full-sized blenders in Consumer Reports’ ratings. We put each through a battery of tests, including two that specifically evaluate a blender’s ability to make smooth smoothies.
How We Test Blenders
In our icy-drinks tests, we make batches of nonalcoholic piña coladas and use sieves of various mesh sizes to evaluate smoothness and thickness. “If a blender rates Excellent in this test, you can expect a smooth, consistent texture, especially when blending strawberries, bananas, and other soft ingredients,” says Cindy Fisher, CR’s chief blender tester. A rating of Very Good means there are tiny bits in the mix.
If you’re going to be blending apples, carrots, and other hard items, or adding greens, check the results of our puréeing test. “An Excellent rating indicates the blender serves up smooth smoothies and soups, with no stringy greens,” says Fisher.
The Overall Score for each model combines results from these and other tough lab tests with data on predicted reliability and owner satisfaction from our latest survey of CR members about their experiences with 52,900 blenders purchased between 2009 and 2019.
Best Blenders for Smoothies
Here are six full-sized blenders, listed in alphabetical order, that will serve up terrific smoothies. They all ace our icy-drinks test, and some even earn an Excellent rating for puréeing—a rare achievement among the models we’ve tested.
Check out our blender ratings for all of the details plus more options, and our blender buying guide for tips.
Breville The Q BBL820SHY1BUS1
CR's take: The Q BBL820SHY1BUS1 pulverizes frozen fruits and renders even the stringiest produce into a smooth liquid, earning it an Excellent rating in both the icy-drinks test and purée test. It does well in the ice-crushing category, too, if you ever decide to swap a smoothie for a snow cone. Breville earns a rating of Very Good for owner satisfaction, meaning CR members would recommend Breville blenders to friends and family.
Cuisinart Hurricane Pro 3.5 Peak HP CBT-2000
CR’s take: The Cuisinart Hurricane Pro CBT-2000 earns a Very Good rating in our ice-crushing tests, turning out ice similar in texture to a snow cone. It holds 8 cups and is a whiz at puréeing. The container is plastic, as is the case with all of the blenders featured here. Plastic can absorb stains and odors, so it’s best to clean it right after use. While all blenders are loud, this one is a little noisier than others on this list.
CR’s take: As a brand, Ninja full-sized blenders earn an Excellent rating in predicted reliability, according to our member surveys. The 1,000-watt Ninja Professional NJ600 is a CR Best Buy. It combines impressive performance and an appealing price. The Ninja's removable blade helps make cleanup a cinch and is a reason this model did very well in our convenience tests.
Ninja Smart Screen DUO with FreshVac CT661V
CR’s take: Ninja blenders garner a Very Good rating in owner satisfaction in our member surveys. The 1100-watt Ninja Smart Screen Duo with FreshVac CT661V is a CR Best Buy and comes with a battery-powered vacuum pump that attaches to the top of the blender when you want to vacuum out air before blending. Why would you want to do that? Our tests found that in vacuum mode, the Ninja makes smoothies that are smoother, less foamy, and more consistent in texture than smoothies made in regular mode.
Vitamix Professional Series 750
CR’s take: The Vitamix Professional Series 750 easily serves up fine smoothies, with ice the texture of snow—perfect when margaritas are in order. And Vitamix as a brand rates Excellent for predicted reliability. This 1,650-watt blender holds 8 cups and is a master at puréeing. In fact, due to the friction created by the fast-whirring blades, it can actually make hot soup. Following a Vitamix recipe for tortilla soup, testers used the highest speed to blend stock, vegetables, and seasonings for 5 minutes. The result? Smoothly blended hot soup.
CR’s take: You’ll see eight Vitamix full-sized models in CR’s ratings; This is the best one that goes for less than $500. The Vitamix 5200 has an 8-cup capacity and a seven-year warranty. And it's skilled in more than smoothies—it can make hot soup, like the Vitamix above. At 20 inches, this model is on the tall side. Measure your undercabinet space before you buy any blender. You can compare dimensions in our ratings.
Want more budget options? Check out the best blenders for $100 or less.
Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2020, Consumer Reports, Inc.