Personal blenders aren’t only useful for whipping up healthy smoothies or protein shakes. A high-quality personal blender is a handy implement for a range of recipes, from chunky salsas to creamy salad dressings. What’s more, their compact size makes them easy to store and clean.
The best personal blender is powerful, convenient, and easy to use. Many also have blender cups that double as travel mugs, which makes it easy to take your fresh smoothie to go.
- BEST OVERALL: NutriBullet NBR-0601 Nutrient Extractor, 600W
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Oster BLSTPB-WBL My Blend 250-Watt Blender
- BEST FOR FAMILIES: Cuisinart CPB-300 350 Watt BPA-Free Blender
- BEST FOR TRAVEL: Hotsch Portable Blender, 13.5 Oz Personal Blender
- BEST FOR SMOOTHIES: Ninja Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender
- BEST AUTOMATIC: Ninja BL480D Nutri 1000 Watt Personal Blender
- MOST VERSATILE: Magic Bullet Blender, Small, Silver, 11 Piece Set
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Personal Blender
Despite their small size, the best personal blenders can concoct a surprisingly wide range of delicious sauces, drinks, dressings, and more. A quality personal blender should be able to crush ice and other solid ingredients easily and create smooth purees from soft ingredients. When choosing a personal blender for your kitchen, it’s important to consider its size, control options, and design.
Personal blenders are ideal for making quick single- or two-serving recipes, like morning smoothies, baby food, or salad dressings. For cooks who must blend larger-batch recipes like soups, however, an immersion or full-size blender is a better pick.
As you contemplate the right personal blender for your needs, consider the ingredients that you think you’ll be blending. If you expect your concoctions to contain ice and frozen ingredients, choose a powerful personal blender. On the other hand, if your primary goal is to make baby foods or sauces out of soft ingredients, a less powerful blender should do the trick (and is usually more affordable than a high-powered model). Some personal blenders can’t handle hot ingredients, so that is another factor for home cooks to consider.
A personal blender’s small capacity is one of its most attractive features. Home cooks like the idea that they can make smoothies or small recipes without pulling out (and washing) a bulky, full-sized blender. Personal blenders also take up less storage space, a boon for those who have limited cabinet or countertop real estate.
Although they are marketed as single-serving devices, many personal blenders can whip up more than one portion of a beverage or food. A blender’s capacity has everything to do with the size of its mixing cup, which generally has a capacity of 8 ounces to 32 ounces. Some blenders only include one blending cup, which often doubles as a travel mug. If you have a large household or your personal blender is used frequently, invest in a model with several blending cups so no one is left without one.
Corded vs. Cordless
Most personal blenders are corded and plug into the wall. They’re made for use in home kitchens and often include travel cups to take drinks on the go. Corded blenders are generally more powerful than cordless blenders.
Cordless personal blenders are battery powered, which makes it possible to take the whole blender—not just the cup—wherever you go. Cordless blenders are ideal for traveling, day trips, or to take to the office or gym. Many cordless blenders are USB rechargeable, which makes keeping the blender charged up easy. A single charge can power through a few blends to well over 10 blend cycles, depending on the model.
There’s no doubt that cordless personal blenders are handy, but more often than not they’re less powerful than corded blenders. They are also generally smaller in size, which is great for portability but makes them less useful for non-smoothie recipes.
Speed and Power
Personal blenders can range from 200 watts to over 1,000 watts in power. In theory, the more powerful a blender, the better it will break down ice and other hard ingredients.
While higher wattage means more power, it’s not the only factor to consider when looking for a reliable personal blender. The blender’s blade design and material can also affect its performance. Durable stainless steel blades, for example, can manage harder ingredients. Many blenders have multiple blades for more efficient chopping.
Other features that are important to consider are blend speed and a pulse function. For simple smoothies, blend speed may not be a deciding factor. Home cooks who plan to use the appliance to make a variety of foods, from smoothies to dressings and soups, may find a range of speed options useful, rather than just a single “blend” setting.
One-speed or single-setting blenders are easiest to use. Many home chefs find that these work just fine for quick recipes. Blender settings and speed controls offer more flexibility for cooks who plan to experiment with different kinds of recipes.
One blender setting worth having is the pulse feature. A pulse button can break down tough ingredients and move contents around in the blender when they get stuck. It can also chop ingredients without fully pureeing them.
Most personal blenders are operated manually—users can adjust settings and press or hold the blending button. Some blenders have automatic programs, which cycle through speeds and settings for different blending tasks. These automatic programs are made to tackle common recipes, like smoothies, as easy as possible.
The most common accessory included with personal blenders is travel or sports lids. These lids screw onto a blending cup, transforming it into a travel mug.
Other accessories worth looking out for are extra blending cups and insulated cups, which come in varying sizes. Extra cups are essential for multi-person households—you can blend custom smoothies one by one, and everyone can take their smoothies with them. Insulated cups can keep to-go drinks cold or soups warm. Some blender packages come with extra-large blending cups (smaller than a full-size blender vessel but bigger than a single-serving cup) that accommodate larger recipes. Finally, some personal blenders include accessories like reusable straws and convenient cleaning brushes.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Generally speaking, personal blenders are easier to clean than full-size blenders. Most full-size blenders have to be disassembled before washing them, but personal blenders usually only have two pieces (the blending blade and the cup) to clean.
Another thing that makes personal blenders so convenient is that their blending cups are typically dishwasher safe. Most of these cups are made of either plastic or glass, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Plastic is lightweight but can stain, scratch, and absorb odors, making it more difficult to clean. Glass jars are more breakable and can be heavy, but they won’t stain or absorb odors as easily.
Personal blenders don’t need much maintenance except for cleaning after each use. Never submerge the blender’s base in water—instead, wipe it down with a damp cloth.
Our Top Picks
Personal blenders are convenient appliances for home cooks and daily smoothie drinkers. Home cooks who have full-size blenders still find personal blenders useful for quick purees and smaller portions. The top picks for best personal blender were selected based on their construction and reliability and whether they’re versatile enough to handle a variety of culinary concoctions. Models that don’t require much counter space also factored into the top choices.
Topping the list is the original popular NutriBullet from a brand well known for its personal blenders. This compact but powerful blender has a 600-watt motor and tough stainless steel blades. NutriBullets are designed to create a “cyclonic action” while blending, which forces the contents down into the blades. Home chefs end up with a smooth final product because all the ingredients—not just the ones at the bottom of the blender—have been pushed through the blades.
This personal blender set includes the motor base, a blending lid, a 24-ounce cup, a to-go lid and lip ring, and a recipe book. The BPA-free cup is dishwasher safe and ideal for everyday use. The blender is very simple to use because it has just one speed setting: just push and twist the cup into the base to start blending.
What’s unique about the My Blend personal blender from Oster is that it comes with a 20-ounce sport bottle-style cup for blending rather than a typical bullet-shaped cup. The cup style is super sleek, convenient for on-the-go refreshment, and fits into most car cupholders. The cup’s travel lid is leakproof and has a carrying hook.
The blender has a 250-watt blending power and one-speed, one-touch blending control. When crushing ice, it powers up to 400 watts. The My Blend set includes the blender base, blender top with stainless steel blades, and the sport bottle-style cup with a drinking lid. This affordable blender is ideal for carrying smoothies and shakes outside the home, and the cup doubles as a sport bottle when it’s not used for smoothies.
With an extra-large blending jar and four travel cups, the Cuisinart CPB-300 leaves no family member sans smoothie. This sleek 350-watt blender has three touch pad power settings (low, high, and pulse) that give home chefs flexibility to concoct a variety of recipes. Its sharp stainless steel blade top and chopping blade can manage a range of kitchen tasks, from crushing ice to mincing herbs.
One helpful aspect about this Cuisinart personal blender is that its 32-ounce blending jar can handle many of the tasks that would otherwise be assigned to a larger blender, like making sauces and dressings. Because it comes with four 16-ounce travel cups that are compatible with the blending blade, its main function—making quick to-go drinks—won’t soon be forgotten. The CPB-300 comes with an 8-ounce chopping cup for food processing and makes light work of grinding flax seeds and herbs. The cups are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. The compact base has modern touch pad controls and stainless steel accents.
This cordless, battery-powered blender from Hotsch can be used up to 20 times on each charge. The built-in battery is easy to recharge with a USB power source, either by plugging it directly into an electrical outlet or a power bank. It fully charges in around three hours.
Because the entire blender weighs just 1 pound, it’s a convenient blender to carry to work or the gym or to use while traveling. This unit is very compact and has a 400-milliliter, BPA-free blending cup.
The Hotsch has a handy safety feature that prevents the blender from switching on unless the cup is in place. The blend button also requires a long press to start blending, so it doesn’t turn on accidentally while in a bag or suitcase. This handy cordless blender comes with a cleaning brush, so it’s easy to keep clean while on the go.
This personal blender from Ninja features a powerful 900-watt motor that can make quick work of ice and frozen ingredients. The blender has one manual speed and can pulse ice, fruit seeds, skins, and pulp into a smooth consistency.
Included with this set is the blender base, sip-and-seal travel lids, and 18-ounce and 24-ounce plastic blending to-go cups. The cups are BPA-free and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. This personal blender from Ninja packs a lot of power into a compact unit. The patented blade design excels at pureeing, which is perfect for smoothie lovers.
Shoppers looking for a high-tech rather than manual personal blender might want to consider the Auto-IQ personal blender from Ninja. The Auto-IQ feature has two preset programs that cycle through timed blending, pulsing, and pausing patterns for the ideal blend—it even has a digital countdown to let users know when the cycle will end. The Ninja also has two manual speeds for those times when manual blending is more convenient.
This blender has a 1,000-watt motor that powers through ice and whole fruits. This set includes 18-ounce and 24-ounce cups with sip-and-seal lids for taking drinks on the go. The parts are BPA-free and dishwasher safe for simple cleanup.
This 11-piece set from Magic Bullet includes the blender base and top, three blender cups, a flip-top to-go lid, and two resealable lids. The resealable lids fit on all the cups, great for storing leftover smoothies or dressings. The blender cups are top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Although this Magic Bullet has only one speed, it can be used to chop, mix, blend, and grind a range of foods. The 250-watt motor can blend in under 10 seconds. This blender comes with a recipe book, too, so home chefs can experiment with using it to make appetizers, desserts, and other treats.
FAQs About Personal Blenders
A personal blender is a convenient appliance for busy home chefs. Even those with full-size blenders can make good use of a personal blender. With useful travel cups and fewer pieces to assemble and clean, they’re super convenient to have in the kitchen. Here are some questions to think about when buying and using a new personal blender.
Q. What are the benefits of a blender?
A blender is a kitchen necessity that allows you to make nutritious foods quickier and easier. Blenders are great for making pureed foods like smoothies, milkshakes, soups, sauces, and much more.
Q. What is the best small blender for smoothies?
The best small blender depends on your preference when it comes to purpose, capacity, power, accessories, and more. The Ninja Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender is one of the most popular choices, and the budget-friendly Magic Bullet Blender, Small, Silver, 11 Piece Set is a great option for creating well-blended smoothies.
Q. How do I choose a personal blender?
Consider the blender’s size, power, style, portability, and whether it has the cups and accessories that best suit your needs.
Q. How many watts is good for a personal blender?
The ideal wattage depends on the ingredients you expect to blend. Most household blenders will handle soft ingredients. For crushing ice and blending frozen fruits, consider a blender with at least 300 watts of power, as a higher wattage offers more power.
Q. Can you put ice in a portable blender?
Portable blenders are generally less powerful than corded blenders, but some models can handle ice.
Q. Can I take a portable blender on a plane?
Portable blenders are permitted in carry-on baggage, as long as the blades are removed.