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If you love smoothies, then you’ll certainly appreciate the need to have a good blender, food mixer or portable smoothie maker that can crunch frozen fruits and ice to make smoothies.
The best blenders for smoothies (also known as “smoothie blenders”, “smoothie makers”) can blend the toughest ingredients without stuttering – and give you fine-textured smoothies with no trace of grit or clump of fruit.
Our Top Blenders for Smoothies
These are the top rated best blenders to make smoothies in 2023:
- Best blender for smoothies: Cuisinart CBT-2000 3.5 Peak Hurricane Pro Blender.
- Best countertop blender and mixer for smoothies: Vitamix’s Professional Series 750 Blender.
- Best high-power blender for smoothies and ice: CleanBlend Classic Blender for Shakes and Smoothies.
- Best personal smoothie blender: NutriBullet NBR-1201 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System.
How we tested and picked
To find the best, we took real online consumer reviews and studied blenders consumer reports, before testing different smoothie makers. We took 9 highly rated blenders and mixers for smoothies and tested them against fibrous kale, frozen fruits, dense ice, and tiny oats and almonds to determine their strength and efficiency.
In this top blender for smoothies reviews, consumer ratings and buying guide, you will know which blender is best for making smoothies after rigorous testing, and learn how to choose the best smoothie maker to make smoothies and protein shakes in 2023.
Some of the best brands of blender include: Ninja, Cuisinart, Vitamix, NutriBullet and CleanBlend. After a series of portable, single serve, high-power and personal smoothie blender reviews, we have shortlisted the best blenders for smoothies and protein shakes below.
Here then is a reviewed list of the best smoothie blenders:
Best overall blender for smoothies: Cuisinart CBT-2000 3.5 Peak Hurricane Pro Blender
- Brand: Cuisinart
- Color: Gray
- Features: Variable speed control
- Blender capacity: 64-ounce (oz)
- Where to buy: Amazon US, CA, UK | Crate and Barrel
Why we chose it
Finely textured smoothies.
The Cuisinart CBT-2000 3.5 Peak Hurricane Pro Blender gave us better results than we expected from even our local smoothie shops, completely chopping kale into microscopic bits. It also crushed ice and successfully powdered almonds and oats – outperforming even the formidable Vitamix in the blueberry almond oatmeal challenge.
We particularly liked the Cuisinart’s churning power. Unlike many blenders, there were no hiding spots for powder to get stuck in, so our smoothies got their full protein-punch without any surprise pockets of dust.
Pre-programmed buttons and a dial.
The Cuisinart is the only one of our top picks to offer pre-programmed buttons as well as a dial for fine-tuning.
When we made our smoothies, we changed the settings fairly frequently, starting from low to churn softer ingredients and then ramping up to crush ice, and finally dropping to medium to ensure that all ingredients were meeting the blades.
Cuisinart’s CBT-2000 3.5 Peak Hurricane Pro Blender Smoothie, Ice Crush, and Soup options automatically match the power settings, so you can freely walk away and return to the perfect mix. We liked how the smoothie settings alternated between high power or low power, which did indicate that the Cuisinart is programmed to blend smoothies with different ingredients.
What we did not like (Points to consider)
It’s significantly louder than the other blenders we tested.
Although it wasn’t the loudest blender we tested (Blendtec was the loudest), we weren’t overly fond of the Cuisinart’s slightly shrill tone. It’s not a dealbreaker by any means, but it may not be pleasant to some people hearing every morning.
The lids were tightly fitted.
While we appreciated that the lid on the Cuisinart is ultra-secure to prevent the blender from wiggling loose when the blender is in action, it does require a little extra force to pry off.
Pros and Cons.
- Finely textured smoothies.
- Pre-programmed buttons and a dial for more effective blending.
- It’s significantly louder than the other blenders we tested.
- Tightly fitted lids.
Best countertop blender and food mixer for smoothies: Vitamix’s Professional Series 750 Blender
- Features: Variable speed
- Blender Capacity: 32-oz, 48-oz, 64-oz
- Color: Black, Brushed Stainless, Gray, Red, Silver, White
- Design/type: Countertop blender
- Quantity: 1 count
- Wattage: 1,200 watts
If you are in the market for a counter top Vitamix blender that can crush ice and frozen fruits to make smoothies, Vitamix’s Professional Series 750 Blender is the best pro grade Vitamix blender to make great quality smoothies.
Why we picked it
All-purpose large capacity food blender and mixer for smoothies.
Create a chef inspired meal or smoothie anytime with Vitamix’s Professional Series 750 Blender. With all the quality and precision of a commercial machine and a quieter, more elegant design, the Professional Series 750 offers five pre-programmed settings, including a self-cleaning option as well as various options for soups, ice, and more.
Superior quality blending with attachments and functions that work.
A 1200-watt motor capable of reaching 24,000 RPM makes this blender powerful enough to blend even the toughest of ingredients. A pulse function can be used at any speed which ensures a consistent desired result. A vented rubber lid with removable plug allows for adding ingredients to the shatterproof 64 oz. BPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester container while blender is in use.
The blender features a commercial-grade, powerful, 2.2-peak horsepower motor that propels its laser-cut, stainless-steel blades at up to 240 mph to blend the toughest ingredients, 64 oz. BPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester container that holds a large family sized food capacity and ingredients with an easy-to-use equipment that, when paired with the blender’s extreme versatility, provides for a seamless, easy operation.
Variable speed control.
In our test kitchen, we quickly noticed that Vitamix’s Professional Series 750 Blender has the ability to chop, cream, blend, heat, grind, churn, and more all with the Variable Speed Control and tamper that help process even more foods and ingredients.
We also liked that the Blender came with a spill-proof vented lid with plug that allows for safely adding ingredients while the blender is running. A cooling fan and thermal protection system keeps the blender from overheating and extends its lifetime.
Helpful accessories and thoughtful design.
Included with the blender is a Create binder that includes recipes for weekdays and weekends, which is further organized for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, helping you make every meal or smoothie easier, healthier, and more delicious. There’s also a Getting Started guide which walks you step-by-step through various blending techniques and recipes.
We also like the fact that it had a tamper which helps process thick mixtures like peanut butter and frozen desserts. The tamper fits securely into the 64-ounce container with a special collar designed to prevent it from hitting the blades.
What you should know and points to consider
Vitamix blenders are not cheap.
Granted, Vitamix makes some of the highest rated and best blenders in the market. However, with high quality performance and functions comes a high price tag. The price of Vitamix blenders typically ranges from $250 to $700. And the Professional Series 750 Blender sits in the middle of that price range.
Best high-power blender for smoothies and ice: CleanBlend Classic Blender for Shakes and Smoothies
Features: Variable speed, Ice crusher
Blender capacity: 64-ounce (oz)
Wattage: 1,800 Watts
Where to buy: Amazon US, CA, UK | Walmart
Things we like
- Budget friendly and inexpensive full-sized blender.
- Clear and simple control settings.
- Additional “temp” function for great user experience.
Things we dislike
- Pineapple kiwi smoothie is not as smooth as the result from other models.
Why we picked cleanblend classic blender as the best affordable blender for smoothies and crushing ice
Budget friendly and inexpensive.
The Cleanblend is not the cheapest and budget blender overall, but it was the cheapest full-sized blender that actually worked. It outperformed less expensive options, like the Hamilton and the Ninja, but also more expensive models, like the Breville and the Blendtec.
In our test kitchen, when compared to the Cuisinart blender (our top pick), it came very close. If you don’t mind the lack of pre-programmed buttons and slightly grittier smoothies, the Cleanblend smoothie blender is a fine option.
Clear and simple settings.
The Cleanblend Classic High-Power Blender for Smoothies, Juice and Soups ditches pre-programmed buttons in favor of a simple dial – on/off switch and a pulse mode.
Changing the speed setting is as easy as turning the dial clockwise or anti-clockwise (higher or lower). It was a nice relief from other blenders for making smoothies, where we wondered which specific setting – puree, grate, whip, or crush – was actually intended for making smoothies.
Motor sensors and high-power application.
One feature we really did like about the Cleanblend is: If it encounters a particularly tough object when in use, like a slab of frozen banana slices, the motor ramps up the speed on its own.
When it first happened, we were a little intimidated and wowed, because it’s the only blender that seemed to have an opinion on how to blend our smoothie, but we liked the results.
Useful tamp feature.
We also liked the Cleanblend’s tamp, which allowed us to push down chunks of frozen banana into the blades for blending. Only the Cleanblend and the Vitamix blender came with a tamp.
The function of a tamp in blenders is simple: If your blender isn’t making a strong enough vortex to pull food down into the blades and you don’t want to add more liquid to help create that churning effect, a tamp will make sure that all parts of your thick smoothie are blended equally.
What you should know and points to consider
Not so smoothly blended with certain vegetables and fruits.
While the Cleanblend also performed exceptionally well on our oat and nut versatility test, it struggled with chopping, giving us a pineapple kiwi smoothie interspersed with slight strands of gritty kale. It wasn’t a dealbreaker, especially given its price, but the end result compared to Cuisinart, wasn’t quite as smooth.
Best personal smoothie blender: NutriBullet NBR-1201 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System
If you are in the market for a personal smoothie blender, NutriBullet NBR-1201 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System is the best personal smoothie maker that is cheap and affordable right now. In our blender test, it produced one of the best smoothies and protein shakes in its category of performance and use circumstance.
Why we picked it
The NutriBullet smoothie maker gave us the best smoothie of the personal-sized blenders category we tested, and it was in the top three for best smoothie overall. (Only Cuisinart and Vitamix blenders gave us finer smoothies).
It created a very fine powder of almonds and oats, making for an excellent blueberry almond oatmeal smoothie, and although a leaf got trapped in the locking mechanism during testing, the rest of the pineapple kiwi kale smoothie was perfectly silky.
We liked the NutriBullet’s simple design: Once you lock in the blending canister, the blades turn on. Turn it slightly counterclockwise and they turn off. Even though it didn’t give us the option of going at a higher speed, it didn’t ever need to. It handled kale, ice, and frozen fruit without getting stuck.
What you should know and points to consider
It’s as bulky as a travel mug.
We can appreciate the simplicity of having your blender pitcher be your to-go cup, but the NutriBullet is somewhat bulky as a travel bottle and ill-fitting for a car cup holder (too big with the handle but too small without). The shape somewhat defeats the purpose, and you’re likely better pouring your smoothie into a separate travel mug.
Limited capacity makes it a single serve, small smoothie maker.
Even with its largest canister attached, the NutriBullet’s volume is limited. Its maximum volume limit is 20 ounces, which is about a third of most blenders’. The larger Cuisinart CBT-2000 and Cleanblend 3HP 1800-Watt Commercial Blender can both hold 64 ounces.
This makes the NutriBullet great for single smoothies, and its small jar is easier to fit in a cupboard, but it certainly won’t be your go-to tool for the whole family.
Buying Guide: Smoothie Blenders
How to Choose the Best Blenders and Food Mixers for Smoothies
Focus on blade design
After testing, we went back to figure out what separated the good blenders from the rest of the mixer for smoothies. All of our top performing smoothie blenders had two things in common: They had blades aimed horizontally and blades angled upward.
- The blades pointing upward, form and shape the vortex, which pulls down the mixture sitting on top. This determines how effective the blender will be at churning ingredients.
- The blades aimed horizontally cut through the mixture swirling around them.
Having both sets of blades allowed these blenders to produce a finer texture.
It’s also important to look at how close the blades get to the inside edge of the pitcher. The blades of the best-performing blenders were all less than a centimeter away from the edge.
These short gaps meant that the blades could reach more of the ingredients and cut through larger amounts of smoothie at a time than those with large gaps.
How to make great tasting smoothies with your blender
Layer your ingredients
Placing ingredients in the right order will improve the performance of your blender.
How to properly layer your ingredients in a blender to make smoothies:
- Liquids and powders go on the bottom, then fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Put the frozen fruit and ice on top, or add it later, so your blender has a chance to form a whirlpool before hitting the hardest ingredients.
For personal blenders: Personal blenders flip upside-down to attach to the blade unit, so you’ll want to add layers in reverse order. Hard or frozen ingredients first, followed by fresh items, liquids, and powders.
Methodology: How We Tested and Reviewed the Best Blenders to Make Smoothies
Highly rated blender models
Many brands promote their “high performance and high-power blenders” over the lowly and regular “standard blenders,” but there’s not really anyone willing to clarify what this means.
To truly assess long-term performance, we headed straight into consumer reviews on different ecommerce platforms: Walmart, Best Buy and checked Amazon smoothie blender reviews and ratings. We also read articles on top blender picks, juicers and food processors from foodie blogs.
We ended up with eight of the most highly rated full-sized blenders. Each has at least a four-star rating and is popular amongst smoothie aficionados. We also included two personal-sized blenders: the NutriBullet and Oster’s MyBlend to see how these popular small blenders compared to the larger smoothie makers.
Since Kale is closely related to other stalky fibrous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, it’s one of the toughest ingredients frequently added to smoothies. This served as the perfect vegetable to test out the chopping power of our top blenders.
The best blenders are able to puree that kale into smooth green goodness. If we found little chunks or large pieces, we’d know that blender wasn’t up to the task.
Cuisinart, NutriBullet, and Vitamix blenders did the best job blending the kale. Our taste-testers picked these out as not even having a trace of grit. On the other hand, Hamilton Beach was completely stalled by the kale. No matter how long we left it on, the Hamilton Beach Blender couldn’t get past our kale leaves.
Adding oats or nuts to a smoothie is an easy way to add protein and make it more filling. We used the smoothies to pulverize the oats and almonds first, without any liquid, before adding the rest of our ingredients to see whether each blender’s blades could reach every corner of its pitcher.
Good blenders were able to reduce every almond and oat to fine powder, while bad ones left behind large pieces that made our smoothie distinctly crunchy.
For our final test to get the best blender for smoothies and ice, we wanted to see how well the blenders crushed ice and frozen fruits.
Weak motors can leave large chunks or shavings of ice and can stall on large pieces of frozen fruit. The top best blenders won’t require us to crush our ice or chop up frozen strawberries beforehand. Surprisingly, all of our remaining contenders passed this test without a problem.