Hand mixers work wonders for pancake batter, whipping cream, and cookie dough. And the best hand mixers offer options that put all the others to shame. Multiple speeds, attachments, ergonomic grips, and built-in storage solutions will ease you through all kinds of recipes.
Our shopping guide will introduce the various features of today’s best hand mixers and the important factors to consider in looking for the best one. We’ve also reviewed seven standout products with impressive speed options, sturdy builds, and (sometimes) a few perks worth a little extra money up front.
- BEST OVERALL: KitchenAid KHM7210ACS 7-Speed Digital Hand Mixer
- RUNNER-UP: Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Electric Hand Mixer
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: BLACK+DECKER 6-Speed Hand Mixer, MX3200B
- BEST HIGH-END: Braun HM5130 MultiMix Hand Mixer
- BEST BASIC: BLACK+DECKER Lightweight Hand Mixer, MX1500W
- BEST COMPACT: Dash Smart Store Compact Hand Mixer
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Hand Mixer
Hand mixers are not all of equal quality, nor do they all offer the same features. Consider what you will make with a hand mixer and how often you will use it. A basic, inexpensive product might be good enough for occasional use. Daily use might require a device with extra power and features.
Hand mixers run on 120- to 250-watt motors. For comparison, the motors in stand mixers range from 250 to 1,000 watts. That’s just a starting point in understanding the difference in power that these two kitchen appliances wield. Wattage isn’t always the best indicator of power. Motor efficiency and the quality of the parts play a role, too.
That said, the 175- to 250-watt range is usually enough power for frequent use. Models with less than 175 watts are still effective, but they’re better suited to occasional use.
At the very least, a mixer should have three settings—low, medium, and high. If you don’t plan to use the mixer often, a three-speed will probably do the trick.
More speed settings provide more precise mixing control. A midrange mixer may have five or six, while a premium or high-end product could have seven to nine. Most people find four or five speeds sufficient for most recipes.
Some mixes require precise control over speed to create the right consistency and trigger the right chemical reactions in the batter or dough. If finicky recipes often appear on your menus, it may be wise to invest in a product with seven to nine speed settings.
Size and Weight
Consider the mixer’s size to make sure you have a place to store it. Some devices are more compact than others. The ones that include a case, or snap-on storage for attachments and the electrical cord, are easier to store. There are mixers with shorter attachments designed for small kitchens, but these smaller attachments may not clear the rim of the mixing bowl when mixing up a large batter.
The mixer’s weight matters, too. A lightweight mixer won’t fatigue your wrist and shoulder, but a heavier one will stand up to thick doughs for bread and cookies. The key is to look for balance and get the power and durability needed at the lowest weight possible.
A comfortable design makes cooking more pleasant and allows you to mix without taking frequent breaks. Molded finger grips or soft-grip handles, built-in attachment release triggers or buttons, and digital displays make mixers easier to manage and use.
A swivel cord is another comfort feature. Using a hand mixer can involve some wrist gymnastics. Sometimes you mix from the left and other times from the right. But with this feature, you can move the cord out of your way as you work.
Storage in the kitchen always comes at a premium, so consider where to store a hand mixer before buying one.
Some hand mixers come with a snap-on storage case for the attachments and body of the mixer. The case adds a little extra size to the mixer, but the upside is that it will stack on top of other items.
Other hand mixers may have a separate storage bag for attachments. These mixers are easier to stow in tight spaces, but it may not be possible to stack them on other items in the cupboard. There is also the risk of losing track of the attachments.
The two most important attachments on the hand mixer will be the beaters and the whisk. Beaters handle thicker doughs. Look for a set of beaters
that don’t have a center post. They’re much easier to clean without that unnecessary piece.
Whisks whip lighter ingredients, such as eggs or cream. Some mixers only come with one whisk, but models that come with two whisks make the job go faster.
Many hand mixers also include dough hooks. While some of the most powerful hand mixers can handle thick bread doughs, they probably won’t be used for the entire kneading process because of how long it takes. Holding the hand mixer while kneading is sometimes just as tiring as hand kneading.
Most people use a hand mixer to get the dough prepped for kneading. If you regularly take on bread doughs, a product that includes hooks makes sense. But if not, it’s probably fine to choose a mixer that doesn’t include them.
Countdown timers, soft starts, digital screens, lights, and pause functions are just a few of the additional features found on higher-end hand mixers. None are absolutely necessary, but if you plan to use the mixer frequently, these added features can come in handy. With a built-in timer, it’s possible to time your mixing. The pause function allows you to pause mixing and start back up at the same speed. Soft starts gradually build to the chosen speed, reducing the chances of splattering ingredients all over the kitchen.
Our Top Picks
The best hand mixers offer power and speed as well as a few extra perks like built-in timers and lights to illuminate the mixing bowl. Many of these devices come from manufacturers well-known for their high-quality small kitchen appliances.
The KitchenAid 7-Speed is powerful, solid, and feels secure and steady in your hand. This gadget makes it easy to plow through mixes with minimal wobbling. The cord swivels and locks into place on either the left or right side, so you can get at mixes from any angle.
This device also packs in a few extras, like the soft-start feature. The KitchenAid starts slowly, no matter the set speed. That helps keep ingredients in the bowl and off the walls and countertops. A soft-grip handle helps you hang on without using a death grip. Finally, you can remove the attachments with a press of your thumb.
This Hamilton Beach 6-Speed with beaters and a whisk packs 250 watts of power to make quick work of heavy cream or cookie doughs. The QuickBurst button makes it easy to smooth out that last stray lump in the batter with ease. Grooves on the hand mixer’s body rest on the edge of the bowl so you can leave it while grabbing more ingredients or starting a timer. Everything stays together and well-protected in a snap-on storage case.
Black+Decker pares appliances down to the most effective basics. The lightweight body houses enough power for everything but the thickest of mixes. Wire beaters, a whisk, and dough hooks can take on all kinds of recipes.
The slow-start function prevents splattering, and the power boost option provides a quick pulse or burst of speed. It all packs up inside a hard, square storage case that’s easier to store than a bag or snap-on case.
One note: This device isn’t for frequent use with thick mixes, as it will wobble and shake when pushed too hard.
Braun packs a powerful punch in this 350-watt mixer. Its “smartmix” technology uses a vertical motor so the weight of the hand mixer rests over the bowl and not in your hand. That means you can even knead bread dough with less effort than with other mixers. Add to that a two-cup chopper attachment that makes quick work of onions and herbs, and the Braun MultiMix is a kitchen workhorse.
Use the one-handed variable controls to make precise adjustments for each mix. This model brings extra functionality and power that’s easy to control and simple to use.
The Black+Decker Lightweight Hand Mixer is a great option for anyone who gets worn out over a mixing bowl. But though this appliance is light, it’s still powerful. Black+Decker packs 175 watts into this small package. Its five speeds work well for most recipes, and the power boost pulses when needed.
The heel rest holds it upright on the counter while you grab ingredients or pour the mix into a baking dish. No matter the speed, the ergonomic grip offers comfort while mixing.
The body of the Dash Smart only measures 7.3 by 2.5 by 4.5 inches. It’s designed specifically for apartments and smaller kitchens, where storage is often limited. The beaters store inside the handle, so there’s no case or storage bag. But to keep space requirements to a minimum, this mixer doesn’t include any other attachments.
The Dash Smart weighs in at only two pounds, so you can power through your mix without a break. With only 150 watts, it’s not the most powerful mixer on this list, but its three speeds will take care of basic mixing tasks.
FAQs About Choosing a Hand Mixer
The best hand mixers save energy and time in the kitchen. For those who are unfamiliar with them, here are answers to some of the most common questions about hand mixers.
Q. What is an electric hand mixer used for?
Electric hand mixers are used to beat eggs, whip egg whites, and mix batters and doughs. Almost anything that can be mixed by hand, can be mixed with a hand mixer.
Q. What is a good wattage for a hand mixer?
A good, quality hand mixer runs on 175 to 250 watts. However, smaller models can be quite efficient at 120 to 150 watts.
Q. Can a hand mixer knead dough?
Technically, some hand mixers can knead dough, but it’s necessary to hold the hand mixer while it does its job. Chances are your arm and shoulder will get tired before the mixer does. This is one way a hand mixer can’t compete with stand mixers, which can knead dough to completion. Many people use a hand mixer to combine and do the first minute or two of kneading and then complete the process by hand.
Q. How long do hand mixers last?
The manufacturer’s warranty provides an idea of how long their appliances can be expected to last. An inexpensive hand mixer may only offer five years of use. However, some of the higher-end models can last for 15 to 20 years, depending on how often it’s used and what it’s used for. Light use will extend its lifespan.