We could be coy and write approximately 600 words about rigorously testing 20 blenders in order to determine once and for all which brand reigns supreme. But we’ll spare you. It’s Vitamix. You know it, we know it, reviewers at Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, and Epicurious know it, and Vitamix and all its competitors know it. We use Vitamix blenders here at Bon Appétit, and they are the industry standard in professional kitchens.
Thanks to their powerful motors and sharp blades, they make the absolute creamiest soups and silkiest purées. They will liquify greens so you can almost forget there’s kale in your smoothie. And those coarse foods that a regular blender can’t handle? A Vitamix makes easy work out of grinding nuts for nut milk, crushing chickpeas into hummus, or even turning rice into rice flour.
Ready to invest? Read on to determine which Vitamix blender is the best Vitamix blender for you.
How much will the ne plus ultra of blenders cost you?
All this does not come cheap. You can expect to spend anywhere from $200 on their most affordable model (the Vitamix One) to $600 on their most expensive model (the A3500). The one used in the BA Test Kitchen, the Vitamix 5200, sits roughly in the middle at $480. Regardless of the model, each one is an incredibly durable, high-quality kitchen appliance that we would consider an “investment piece,” and most of them come with five- to ten-year warranties. Vitamix also sells certified reconditioned (a.k.a refurbished) blenders with three- to five-year warranties; not only do these used machines come at a reduced price, but since you’re not buying new they have a smaller environmental footprint too.
Below are three of the best Vitamix blenders at different price points.
The 5200 is the standard, classic model, and it’s among the most popular within Vitamix’s Legacy Series. Here’s why we love it: First, its iconic, simple three-switch control panel makes it super easy to use. Second, its tall container has a 64-ounce capacity that works great for large batches. And most importantly, its variable speed controls give users peak precision while blending. If you want a no-frills, premium blender that’s extremely efficient and packs a ton of power—this one’s for you.
On the more affordable side, you’ve got the E310 Vitamix model, which is currently the only blender in the Explorian Series. Vitamix touts it as an introduction to high-performance, professional-grade blending. While not quite as powerful, it’s a lot like the 5200 blender with a similar control panel and a 10-degree speed dial that offers precision and control. It can crush ice cubes and make creamy peanut butter in a flash, and it has a shorter, squatter 48-ounce container that’s ideal for medium-sized batches. The low profile container also makes for easier storage, whether it be on the kitchen countertop or in a kitchen cabinet. Associate food editor Kendra Vaculin considers the E310 Explorian the best Vitamix blender for home cooks.
Vitamix Ascent Series blenders get an upgrade in both design and smart technology. With a sleek touchscreen control panel, built-in wireless connectivity, and five pre-programmed settings (for smoothies, hot soups, dips and spreads, frozen desserts, and self-cleaning), the A3500 Ascent model is the most expensive Vitamix blender on the market—even more pricey when you purchase one with a stainless steel container. It’s available in a variety of colors including black, white, red, and metal finishes (matte black, copper, and brushed stainless), and the container size is the same as the Explorian. With a hefty price tag, this is our top pick for someone who wants all of the bells and whistles.
Do you need a Vitamix?
A Vitamix blender is undoubtedly powerful and versatile, but if you’re the type of cook who breaks out your blender only once in a while for relatively straightforward tasks like smoothies or salad dressings, it might not be a worthwhile investment for you. Whether you’re in the market for your first blender or thinking about upgrading your current machine, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you often find yourself not making a recipe because it calls for a blender, or, if you already have a blender, being disappointed by the results?
- If you have a blender, are you using it every day? If you don’t have one yet, do you expect to use it almost daily? Do you know no other breakfast than a morning smoothie?
- And in addition to those daily smoothies, can you see yourself using a blender for a wide range of other uses, from making almond flour to blitzing ice for frozen margaritas?
- Are you a texture perfectionist? Is a rogue lump in your butternut squash soup most unwelcome?
- Do you have a food processor? Or do you need your blender to pull double duty on heavier tasks like making nut butters and veggie burgers?
If you answered “Yes, yes, a thousand yeses,” you may want to start saving up for a Vitamix.
And if not…
If you only dabble in blending, opt for a solid consumer-quality machine like the $100 Ninja 72-Ounce Blender.
Or, if you’re short on storage space, consider Vitamix’s immersion blender. While it will never be as fast or thorough as a traditional blender, it’s fine for small jobs like making salsa, liquifying a can of whole tomatoes, whipping up single-serving smoothies or milkshakes, or puréeing re-hydrated chiles. And when it comes to hot soups, immersion blenders are actually the more convenient choice: Instead of ladling the hot soup into a blender bowl, you can stick the immersion blender right in the pot, hassle-free.