Are you on the hunt for the best smoothie maker? The rise and popularity of blenders that make smoothies seems unstoppable.
Making and consuming drinks in your own blender is the perfect way to ensure a nutrient packed smoothie. And more importantly, you know exactly what is in it.
Fortunately, the selection of juice and smoothie bars are growing, as is the healthy choice of store bought drinks. But there is nothing quite as convenient and satisfying as making your own creation at home.
The choice of blenders on the market may seem overwhelming. How do you know which one to buy that will provide you with the smoothest blend? Can you grind nuts and seeds?
Smoothie makers can range in price from cheap to very expensive. You might be pleasantly surprised to know that some of the top-rated smoothie makers do not cost too much. We’ve put together this guide to help you decide which one best fits your needs within budget.
What To Consider When Buying A Smoothie Maker
Power – the higher the speed of your blender, the smoother your drink will be. How powerful your blender motor is, the more ‘hard’ ingredients it will be able to blend.
Capacity – they vary from cups made for 1 smoothie/person to larger 2 litre volumes. Consider what you need it for. A one smoothie a day for just you then just go for a smaller cup (they take up less space), but if you want to make larger quantities go for one of the larger cup sizes, or at least one that comes with the option of a larger cup.
Features/Settings – many of the mini blenders have a simple on/off button or a ‘pulse’ button. Or you work them by pushing the blending cup down and keep it pressed down whilst it blends. This gives great control over the consistency of your smoothie. Other machines might have extra settings, especially the more expensive models, where you have the ability to control the speed of the motor and blades. This is useful if you are making different meals other than smoothies.
Material – some blending cups are made from glass, some from plastic and some from ‘BPA’ plastic. The mini blenders are all generally made from BPA plastic and the larger jug blenders from glass.
Price – This varies considerably and always make sure you shop around for the best price. All the models mentioned here are made by trusted brands and will offer a warranty. You will usually pay more for a higher powered machine and one with more features (settings, accessories etc). If the cost of the higher priced appliances are prohibitive perhaps consider a refurbished model which are reportedly of great quality.
Best Smoothie Makers – Reviews
I compared all the smoothie makers currently on the market to find out which ones would make the best smoothies for my money. Below are the models that make it to the top of my list.
Personal ‘Mini’ Blenders
With the release of the Nutribullet, the popularity and demand for high speed personal blenders rose to incredible levels.
Retailer John Lewis state that they sold 1 Nutribullet machine every 4 minutes in 2015.
So what exactly is a personal blender? Typically they are high powered blenders capable of blending down fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds into a smooth drink. The drink is blended straight into a drinking cup that is attached to the blender machine, cutting out the need for a jug used by traditional blenders. The compact size of these blenders make them ideal for leaving out on your kitchen counter top at all times.
But not all personal blenders are created equal. Read on to discover which ones make the best smoothies.
Probably the most well known of the high speed personal blenders brands on the market. Heavily promoted on many shopping channels and across all the high street stores.
Currently there are 3 in the Nutribullet range;
1. NutriBullet Red 8 Piece Set
- 2 cups included (511ml & 680ml)
- 600 watt power
- 20,000 RPM
- Dishwasher safe (cups and blade)
The popular and best selling NutriBullet is the original one released.
It is the perfect personal high speed blender – compact (the height is 31cm), yet powerful. The power comes in at 600 watts with a motor of 20,000 RPM, capable of blending fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
The maximum capacity is 680ml, so more than enough room to produce a very sizeable smoothie, or 2 smaller ones. This model comes with 2 cups included (511ml and 680ml).
This stylish red coloured model looks great in the kitchen but there is a choice of 6 colours should you prefer a different shade.
The original NutriBullet is a fantastic cheap smoothie maker to invest in.
The 12 piece NutriBullet comes with all of the above as well as a milling blade, perfect for grinding fresh herbs, grains and chopping nuts. If you already own the 9 piece model you can buy the milling blade as a stand alone extra – it is compatible with the base.
- 900 watt motor
- 25,000 RPM
- Maximum cup size of 909ml
- Choice of 9 or 15 piece set
- Hardback recipe book included (15 piece set only)
- Dishwasher safe
The NutriBullet Pro model is a more powerful model than the original, and is worth paying the extra money for. The 900 watt power will blast through any tough skins and get those kale stems blended down to a really smooth texture. It also makes crushing and blending ice possible and works through frozen ingredients much quicker.
The 15 piece set represents excellent value for money with 3 different cup sizes and a hardback recipe book. The 9 piece set comes with 2 cup sizes (including the huge capacity 909ml cup) but unfortunately not the recipe book.
- 1700 watts
- 30,000 RPM
- 2 cup sizes (the largest is 1278ml)
- Heating function
- Pre-Programmed Smart Technology
- Recipe Book
The Nutribullet RX is a huge upgrade from both previous models, going from an already powerful 600 and 900 watts to a whopping 1700 watts! That is serious blending power. But there is much more to this model than increased power. The pre-programmed smart technology enables the blender to use the correct RPM required for what you are making. There is also a ‘SouperBlast’ mode that heats up soups and sauces in 7 minutes.
The huge 1278ml cup size means you can make up lots of smoothies at the same time – enough for the whole family in one blast!
Unfortunately, the higher price of this model might be off putting for some considering how economical a buy the previous two models currently are.
Nutri Ninja Reviews
Nutri Ninja are a serious contender when it comes to rivalling the Nutribullet for the best smoothie maker to buy. They started off with the original BL450 model and have continuously improved and expanded their range. You can’t go wrong with any of the Nutri Ninjas.
4. Nutri Ninja BL450
This is the original Nutri Ninja blender. Although it is their first model to be released don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not a great smoothie maker.
It has a very powerful motor that can crush ice, nuts and seeds and is so perfectly compact, it can sneak on to any kitchen counter without dominating the space.
- 900 watt motor
- Speeds of 21,000 RPM
- 2 cups included
- Dishwasher proof
This Nutri Ninja model can crush and blend a lot of different types of ingredients, including frozen foods. It copes well with nuts and seeds and it will blend ice cubes right down without damaging the blades.
It comes with 2 different size cups (500ml & 650ml) that have sip and seal lids. This makes them ideal for taking out and about with you without the need to decant the drink into another container.
4. Salter EK2002 Nutri Pro Blender
As the Nutri Ninja v Nutribullet debate continues, Salter has thrown another highly rated contender into the possibilities of high speed mini blenders.
- 1000 watt power
- 25,000 RPM
- 3 cups included
- Compact size (15cm x 15cm x 21cm)
- 50 recipes included
- 1 year warranty
The Salter EK2002 Nutri Pro comes with a powerful 1000 watt motor, enabling it to whizz through the skins of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
The cups are durable and made with quality in mind. There is 1 large blending cup and 2 smaller drinking cups, all of which can be used on the blender base. The sipping lids make them perfect for smoothies on the go.
Some users have commented that the blender leaks – but this is usually because the ingredients have been filled over the ‘MAX’ line. This is the case with all blenders and it is important to follow the manufacturers instructions to avoid this happening.
The Salter Pro is a cheaper alternative to both the Nutri Ninja and Nutribullet and should be given serious consideration.
Breville Blend Active Reviews
- 300 watt
- 2 x 600ml cups
- Dishwasher safe
If you are looking for a cheap budget buy smoothie maker, the Blend Active is a no brainer.
Although the 300 watt power means it will not blend certain ingredients quite so smoothly as other higher powered blenders, it is still more than capable of crushing through ice, seeds, nuts and frozen ingredients. You might just find the odd unblended chunk of strawberry as you drink your smoothie, but this can be resolved with a further blend.
The Blend Active comes in different sets, the one mentioned here and a family version which includes more cups.
6. Magic Bullet
Made by the creators of the Nutribullet, the Magic Bullet is the original high speed blender. It is often overlooked as a suitable smoothie maker owing to the popularity of the Nutribullet. Read on to see how it compares.
- 250 watt
- 3 cups
- ’10 second’ recipe book
The obvious difference when you compare the Magic Bullet to the Nutribullet is the power of the motor. At just 250 watts the Magic Bullet has the least power out of all of the blenders reviewed here. If you are only looking for a smoothie maker to blend soft fruits such as strawberries, bananas, mangos, avocados etc then the Magic Bullet is certainly up to the job. If you want to include nuts, seeds and frozen ingredients you should consider one of the higher powered models.
The Magic Bullet takes up very little space on the kitchen counter, or can easily be stored away in a cupboard.
When comparing this model to the Nutribullet, if cost is a major factor then you may want to consider the Magic Bullet as it is a much more economical buy.
7. Duronic BL3 Blender
The Duronic Blend and Go is another personal mini blender that can easily be compared to the Breville Blend Active mentioned earlier on. It is in the same economical price bracket and has similar abilities and features.
- 300 watt
- 2 cups
- Dishwasher safe
The Duronic blender is a very compact and lightweight blender that comes with a choice of white or stainless steel base.
The 1kg weight makes it the perfect blender to take on your travels should you wish to keep up your smoothie consumption whilst you are away.
This model comes with 2 BPA free 600ml cups so you can make up a smoothie to drink at the time and one to store for later on in the day.
The blending action works by pushing down the cup meaning you can easily decide what consistency you want your smoothie to be.
For such a great price, the Duronic should be a serious consideration for making smoothies to take out and about.
7. Russell Hobbs 21350 Mix and Go Personal Blender
- 300 watt
- 600ml capacity
- Dishwasher safe parts
- 2 cups included
The Russell Hobbs Mix & Go is very similar to the Breville Blend Active and Duronic personal blenders. It has a 300 watt motor and comes with 2 BPA free cups which hold up to 600ml in capacity.
The cups are both shatterproof, making them ideal for taking out and about or giving to children to take to school with them. The machine is really simple to use, just push down the cup when in place and it will blend away. You can also achieve a pulse action by pushing the cup down and releasing in short bursts.
This model is ideal for making smoothies and protein shakes and is also capable of crushing ice.
The slim line design means it can easily be kept out on your kitchen counter top, or stored away when not in use.
Another option for making smoothies is a jug blender. Where they differ from mini blenders is they tend to be more powerful and produce smoother smoothies.
The smoothie is made in a jug (usually a glass jug) with the need to transfer it to a cup to consume or store, rather than being able to drink straight from the cup as you can with mini blenders.
They tend to be more expensive than the mini blenders but as well as the higher power, they also usually have a larger liquid capacity and more preset programs.
8. Magimix Le Blender
Magimix are a well known and trusted blender name. The Magimix Le Blender is a fantastic high spec model. Read on to see the top features and why so many people love it so much.
- 1200 watt
- 1.8L capacity
- 4 preset programmes and pulse function
- Glass jug
- Manual mode
- 15,000 RPM
- Recipe book
The 1200 watt motor on the Magimix Le Blender will blend the toughest of ingredients into a velvety smooth smoothie.
The sealed lid comes with a 70ml measuring cup built that slots into it and a spatula for stirring.
The 4 preset programmes include crushed ice, smoothies (and milkshakes), soups and frozen desserts. These programmes have been set to run at the perfect speed for the best results. They will auto stop when complete, allowing you to get on with other tasks whilst it is running. There is a pulse button should you prefer to have complete control over the consistency of your recipe. The pulse button runs at the highest speed possible
There is also a manual mode control dial allowing you to set the speed starting at 1 for the lowest power, going up to 4 being the highest.
The glass jug is heat resistant meaning you can pour hot liquids in it and blend. Perfect for making soups and hot sauces.
If you want to make nut butters, grind coffee beans or grind spices, you might be interested in the mill attachment that can be purchased separately.
The Magimix Le Blender is a sleek and stylish blender that produces excellent results. It is more expensive than the previous mini blender models but you are paying extra for the higher power and blending capability, as well as preset programmes and a high capacity heat proof glass jug.
9. Vitamix Professional 300
Vitamix are the ultimate in blenders and food processors and are praised by avid smoothie lovers the world over. If you have a high budget to spend on a smoothie maker then you can’t go wrong with a Vitamix blender. They have a range of models available ranging quite significantly in price. Although still at the high end you can also consider a refurbished Vitamix blender that is also available on Amazon.
This is an incredible blender and is so much more than a smoothie maker. This is a definite model to consider if you want to be able to make a variety of recipes with one appliance.
- 1440 watt
- 2 litre capacity
- Hardcover cook book
- Tutorial DVD
- 10 variable speeds
- Pulse function
- 7 year warranty
The Vitamix Professional 300 is a popular and high quality model. The lid on the top allows easy access to add ingredients should you wish to while the machine is running, great for making things like mayonnaise that require you to do this. The spatula that comes with the Vitamix can also be inserted here to free up any ingredients that get stuck to the sides or clumped together. This is preferable to the above mentioned mini blenders where you have to stop the machine and remove the cup from the motor to give it a good shake.
The stainless steel blades are made in such a way that they provide the ideal sharpness to ensure a perfectly smooth blend as well as years of guaranteed use.
You are able to create a wide range of different recipes with the Vitamix including smoothies, soups, ice cream, dough, dips, sauces as well as grind and chop ingredients. The simple use of the manual control will ensure you have complete control over everything you create.
The machine is reportedly simple to clean too (this is a winner in my eyes!) by just adding some warm water and washing up liquid to the jug after use and running it on high speed for 30 to 60 seconds.
Vitamix machines (and most high powered blenders) are rather noisy. Not ideal if you are trying to make a green smoothie whilst the rest of the house is sleeping! However, Vitamix state that the Professional 300 is 40% quieter than it’s previous models (the C series). But don’t be fooled into thinking this model will be as silent as a mouse – you’re still going to hear a substantial noise coming from it, but that’s owing to the sheer power of the machine.
What is particularly great about this machine is that it is lower in height than previous blenders. It should fit comfortably under most kitchen cabinets, and as you are likely to use such an appliance multiple times a week, if not a day, it is vital that you are able to leave it out. This blender is certainly more suitable for the smaller, compact kitchen.
It comes in a choice of 3 colours, red, black and cream. I love it when manufacturers offer different colours for their appliances, you can’t beat a colour coordinated kitchen!
Vitamix have a lot of confidence in their products and this shows with their customer support and 7 year warranty that comes with the blender. There is a fabulous community over at Vitamix swapping recipes and tips so if you do purchase one of their machines be sure to head over there too.
Conclusion – What Is The Best Smoothie Maker?
There are a lot of high quality smoothie makers for sale from a variety of respected brands. the price tags vary dramatically too.
If you are only interested in making smoothies and you are after a budget buy, the best blender to go for is the Breville Blend Active. For more blending capability and a much smoother result you can’t go wrong with one of the Nutri Ninja or Nutribullet models, they are still an economical buy considering the power and capability of them.
If you are after a machine that is more than a smoothie maker – that is, you want to be able to make a wider range of recipes including soups and ice creams, a Vitamix blender is an absolute winner. Of course they are more expensive and a budget equivalent might be the Magimix.
The best low cost blender for making smoothies is the Nutri Ninja or Nutribullet.