Smaller than traditional blenders, personal blenders let you blend right in your cup, making them ideal for on-the-go smoothies and protein shakes. Their cups come with portable, leak-proof lids, so you can blend your beverage and bring it to the office, the gym, or even out for a quick errand.
We put nine best-selling models through the paces to see how they fared in our tests of their blending prowess. We also evaluated them based on their style, craftsmanship, and, perhaps most crucially, how easy it was to drink from them.
Our testing methodology
Personal blenders may all look the same, but there is more variation among them than meets the eye. We put our top picks through their paces by putting them through a battery of tests that measured everything from how easy they were to use to how well they blended different drinks to how safe their lids were when traveling. Following extensive testing, we analyzed the results from each model on usability, design, maintenance, and performance, settled on our top two picks, and declared them the best blenders in the bunch.
Do you need a personal blender?
Personal blenders are an excellent option for individuals who only want to mix one or two drinks at a time and don’t want to deal with the hassle of cleaning a full-sized model’s giant pitcher afterward.
They are convenient for people who want to bring their smoothies everywhere they go, such as to the gym, school, or the office, because the cups are single-serve and have locking travel lids. They work wonderfully with meal replacement shakes, smoothies, protein drinks, and sports beverages.
Anyone who typically buys smoothies or green drinks from a smoothie shop can save money by making their own at home, regardless of whether or not they are on their way to a workout. Personal blenders are already appealing because of their low price (all of our best options cost $100 or less).
In addition, their modest stature makes them ideal for kitchens where a bulkier blender would take up too much valuable counter space.
A personal blender may not be as versatile as a full-sized blender or food processor, but it may still be put to good use in the kitchen. Some of the machines we evaluated have a second blade for chopping and combining dry ingredients, so you can use it to ground up flaxseeds and herbs or even masticate nuts for nut butter, depending on the unit’s power. Most personal blenders may also whip up tasty salad dressings and seasonings like mayonnaise, ketchup, and even hummus.
If you’re shopping for a blender but need to know if it has the horsepower or blending mode to prepare a particular item, you can often find the manual online and download it before you buy.
The King: Ninja BN401 Nutri Pro
The robust structure of the Ninja Nutri-Blender Pro offers the machine a substantial, premium feel, and its broad base provides a firm basis for its powerful engine. Compared to the other personal blenders we tried, this model’s intuitive control center was the easiest to use straight from the box.
The Auto-iQ feature of the Ninja Nutri-Blender Pro was our favorite, as it automatically determines a blending and stopping pattern for your desired combination and ends once the blend is finished. Other modes include crush, smoothie, and pulse. While we had our doubts initially, we found that this function allowed us to press a button once and then go about our business without worrying about the outcome, which was quite convenient. A simple touch of the “start/stop” button will disable this feature, allowing you to watch what’s happening and stop it whenever you like.
The Ninja perfectly blended every single one of our sample smoothies. It pulverized ice and frozen fruit with ease, as well as green and fibrous veggies. It mixed our powdered protein shake in approximately 10 seconds. Unlike other blenders, the Ninja’s blade assembly is angled vertically, so it never gets “stuck” and requires manual shaking to dislodge lumps of partially mixed materials.
The Ninja Nutri-Blender Pro’s travel cover was the finest of the bunch. An effortless twist of the cap and the lid cover flips up and out of the way during use, snapping firmly back into place afterward.
Even though they are labeled “single-serve,” the Ninja Nutri-Blender Pro’s 16-ounce cups are large enough to hold twice as much. The Ninja Nutri-Blender Pro is a good alternative for couples or families as it has two travel lids. The dishwasher-safe construction, ergonomically designed covers, blades, and big cups make cleanup a breeze.
The Ninja’s larger size relative to the various personal blenders we tested was an inconvenience but not a deal breaker. Consider an alternative, such as Magic Bullet, if you don’t have much room for a new gadget on your counter or kitchen.
The Queen: Magic Bullet Blender
To operate this small blender, fill the container, screw on the blade, and press down on the base. This ease of use and compact size (just around 4.5 inches in diameter) make it a top pick.
The Magic Bullet Blender, despite being smaller than our top selection, the Ninja Nutri-Blender Pro, was just as heavy and sturdy. All our testing showed positive results, except for a slightly longer blending time than the bigger, more capable models we considered. It outperformed nearly every other blender we tested with a powdered protein drink. Due to the small size of the cup – they are genuine single-serving cups — very little powder clung to the sides of the blender as it blended, a problem that plagued some bigger cups.
The Magic Bullet Blender is great since more than one person can use it, and it comes with two different-sized cups so that you can customize your blends to your exact needs. The cups may be cleaned quickly and only require a little storage space.
Unlike the spouts featured in the other models we looked at, the lids of the Magic Bullet Blender are flat. They have an aperture similar to that of a travel coffee mug. Though the shape makes it easier to pack and has a lower profile cover, we discovered it was more challenging to sip thick smoothies. This may be a matter of taste, but it’s worth mentioning for those who favor a spout-style cap.
While in use, the Magic Bullet Blender did some minor “walking” across the counter, despite its solid build and rubber feet. Still, it only budged an inch or two in a minute, so it’s not a huge concern.
To be clear, this is a fantastic blender. Still, we did not find it particularly useful as a personal blender. It’s an efficient choice that’s easy to operate and comes with four different cups (including a sizeable 32-ounce pitcher) and an extra blade for cutting. Unfortunately, it lacks a good travel lid for sipping on the move, a necessary feature for a personal blender.
All four of the provided lids feature drinking spouts. However, they aren’t travel-ready, and the fifth lid screws on tightly but are awkward to employ for everyday use. However, the Cuisinart CPB-300 is an excellent option if you don’t plan on transporting your blended beverages or don’t mind having to do so. Thanks to the included extra-large pitcher, it’s a full-size blender, and the cutting blade expands the range of items and recipes that may be blended.
This Hamilton Beach device is the least expensive personal blender available. Its single-button interface is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to mess with multiple settings. Its portability makes it simple to move items that aren’t “grabbing” the blade in the way you’d like. Unfortunately, this was common during our testing since the ginger and kale in our green smoothie proved difficult for the little blades. The blade component of this blender is permanently attached to the cup, making cleanup a pain if you plan to bring it to the office or the gym. Dried ingredients might be difficult to remove from cookware if you only have access to running water once you get back home.
All of the components can be cleaned in the dishwasher, so it’s not a disaster, but there are better options. The blender’s lid was the most complex and unhygienic to remove of any we tried. Some of the liquids were spilled due to the inefficient method of fastening the cover (pressing it down and snapping it into place rather than screwing it on).
The Original NutriBullet is an excellent alternative for those who value efficiency above portability due to its rugged design and construction. The robust motor easily blended everything we threw at it, and completed our tests in record time. The user-friendliness of the straightforward interface was a bonus. Attach the blade to the cup, place the cup upside down on the blender’s base, and press down to start blending. In terms of performance, the NutriBullet Original is comparable to the Ninja Nutri-Blender Pro; however, its lid is not as good, making it less ideal for creating beverages to take on the go.
While the cup was easy on the lips, the Nutri-Blender Pro’s spout lid has a more reliable clasp. However, this mixer could be an excellent option if you only need it for light household use and are okay with sipping smoothies and other drinks straight from the cup. Also, the inexpensive cost makes it a good option for thrifty shoppers.
Like the NutriBullet, all you have to do to start the blades of this high-powered blender is press down on the cup. Like the Cuisinart, it comes with various extras, such as five separate cups and a pair of blades, making it a viable alternative as a full-size blender replacement. It performed admirably in every test we ran and destroyed the ingredients we used to fill the cup.
Our protein smoothie powder clung to the sides of the 23.6 oz. large cup during testing, making it less than ideal for everyday blender use. Though it was airtight and secure, we did not enjoy the Bella Rocket Extract’s travel lid because it did not have an ergonomic spout and was not as enjoyable to sip from as our top picks. Still, it came down to the wire, and if the lid had been better built, this would have been a strong contender.
We hoped this ultra-compact blender would live up to our expectations, but we were ultimately disappointed. No need to worry about finding an outlet because it charges completely via USB.
Taking it with you will involve transporting both the cup and motor base. This was a significant safety concern for us, especially after one of us clicked the button that turned on the blade as we were using it as a drinking vessel. Although the lock feature can prevent this from happening, activating it feels counterintuitive: you push the power switch until the purple ring flashes three times. It would be nice if there was a dedicated lock button or switch, but that would detract from the minimalist one-button interface.
We encountered some performance issues with the BlendJet 2, but it could have been because the vegetables we used were so large. Perhaps if the kale had been finely sliced and the ginger pieces smaller, it might have been able to withstand the beverage better. However, it did an excellent job blending protein powder with frozen berries. The carrying strap was convenient, and while the lid didn’t have a spout or sipping hole, it prevented accidental spills because of its tight-fitting, screw-on design.
The Beast Blender is a beautiful piece of equipment with a much classier design than the other blenders we tried. The big fluted, ridged cup features a twist-on cap with a carry handle and was perhaps the most secure lid we tested. We liked how the all-white design (including the base and cup embellishments) looked and how the single-button control allowed us to choose between pulse and blend. Blend mode is a one-minute timed cycle with three 30-second blending bursts and two 30-second rest periods to let the contents settle. However, the Auto-iQ feature wasn’t as efficient as the one on the Ninja blender.
The ridges on the cup’s interior, while they look fine, make it difficult to clean, especially if you’ve kept it in your backpack all day and the fluids have dried on since the Beast is not dishwasher safe. There is no better blender than the Beast Blender if you value cutting-edge design.
The Oster My Blend has a strong motor and large blades, but the form of its cup prevented it from becoming a fan favorite. Its cup narrows in the middle, making it easier to hold but also creating an irritating bottleneck for components to get caught during blending, in contrast to the other, more tapered cups we tested. With protein powders in particular, it might be difficult to tell if the ingredients are thoroughly blended because of the blue color of the cup.
Additional features that we liked included the convenient drinking spout and the carry handles on the motor base. The Oster has a strong motor and can readily mix items if placed close to the blade. Even though it can be cleaned in the dishwasher, it was difficult to clean and required a long bottle brush to reach the bottom.
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