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Where would we be without mixing bowls? We use them daily for making sweet baked goods, savory salads, delicious pasta dishes, no-knead bread, and more—and the experience can be rewarding or terrible, depending on the bowl.
A few things are important in choosing the right mixing bowl. First, size: If the bowl isn't big enough, it's difficult to work without making a mess. Then, there's the material it's made out of. If it's not a good material, it can stain or crack. The shape also matters. For example, bowls with a lower height are easier to work with ergonomically, while higher bowls prevent splatter when working with mixers. When it comes to design, does the bowl have a built-in handle, a pouring spout, or a non-slip base? And, looks matter. Some mixing bowls are suitable to use as serving bowls on a table set for an elegant gathering, while others work only for casual events.
In search of which mixing bowl or bowl sets are worth putting in your cart, we sent our top picks to a home tester to see how they performed in a normal kitchen. The tests included whipping a full pint of cream to see if wet ingredients sloshed over the edge or splashed up and made a mess. Our tester also noted whether the bowls moved around the counter during mixing. Various ingredients were poured from the bowls, both one-handed and with both hands, to see how comfortable the bowls are. After all of this, Gorilla Grip's Mixing Bowls came out on top.
Here are the best mixing bowls, tested by a home cook, to help you prep any recipe.
Best Overall: Gorilla Grip Mixing Bowls
What We Love: Lightweight, rubberized base prevents skidding across the counter, pour spout
What We Don't Love: Plastic can stain and retain odors
This two-bowl set from Gorilla Grips is exceptionally easy to use and practical. The bowls are lightweight and have a grippy handle, which makes for easy maneuvering around the kitchen. When you're mixing away, the rubberized bottom provides plenty of traction to keep the bowl in place, even when using an electric hand mixer. A pouring spout opposite the handle makes pouring liquids and powdered ingredients easy and mess-free.
When testing to see if mixing a pint of whipping cream made a mess in the smaller 3-quart mixing bowl, the high sides prevent splashes and splatters from covering our tester's kitchen. Plus, you can align your whisk flush with the bowl, thanks to the wide bottom and gently curved shape, which makes it easier to mix your ingredients evenly. These bowls stack neatly for storage and are designed for the multitasking cook, so it's no surprise that they're the top overall pick. While the plastic is not microwave-safe, the bowls are dishwasher-safe and available in dozens of attractive color schemes to match your kitchen aesthetic.
"This is an excellent set of mixing bowls. I would have liked one more size in the middle to complete the set, and plastic is never preferred to glass, stainless or ceramic, but it certainly has its benefits (lightweight, easy to use, rubberized)." — Lizzy Briskin, Product Tester
Material: Plastic | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Sizes Included: 3-quart, 5-quart
Best Budget: Pyrex 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowl Set
What We Love: Freezer and warm oven-safe, stacking, glass doesn't absorb stains or odors
What We Don't Love: Shallow design of largest bowl, can break
This three-bowl set is a good option for new kitchens. The bowls are made from the heavy-duty, durable glass you expect from the Pyrex brand. The set includes a 1-quart, a 1.5-quart, and a 2.5-quart bowl, which are appropriate for a range of culinary projects, from mixing brownie batter to holding prepped veggies for a stir-fry.
The tempered glass is durable and microwave-safe. The bowls can also be popped into the freezer for chilling batter and can even go into the oven for proofing bread dough (just warm the bowl before placing it in the warm oven). Clean-up is easy, as the smooth glass won't absorb stains or smells and is dishwasher-safe. For storage, the three bowls nest into a neat stack to take up minimal cabinet space.
In the home kitchen, our tester found that these bowls are heavier than other models and can be slippery when wet, which can make them more cumbersome to work with, especially one-handed. The largest bowl is also smaller than other sets with a shallower design, so you may have some splashing when mixing wet ingredients together or if the bowl is especially full.
Material: Glass | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Sizes Included: 1-quart, 1.5-quart, 2.5-quart
Best Stainless Steel: Vollrath Economy Mixing Bowl Set
What We Love: Easy to clean, won't stain or absorb odors, freezer-safe
What We Don't Love: Metal can become dented
This shiny and durable set of mixing bowls is the sort that you'd find in a commercial kitchen. Stainless steel is famously easy to keep clean and maintain. Plus, it won't break, scratch, or warp, even with years of use. This set includes a 1.5-quart, 3-quart, and 5-quart mixing bowl. The 5-quart bowl is spacious enough for big-batch bakers, while the medium and smaller bowls are handy for tossing roasted veggies and marinating meat.
The bowls have a signature wide-mouth design with a narrow bottom. They're very lightweight, which is useful for moving around in the kitchen and storage, but we found it also means that the bowls may not stay put on the counter as you work. One handy trick we discovered during tests that keeps the bowl in place is to set it on a coiled dish towel for support. The wide design of these mixing bowls means the sides aren't especially high, so spills and splattering may be more likely than with deeper models if the bowls are full. Also, be sure that your cabinet is deep enough to fit the 5-quart bowl since it has a 12-inch diameter.
Material: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Sizes Included: 1.5-quart, 3-quart, 5-quart
Related: The Best Blenders
Best Glass: Duralex Lys Clear Stackable Bowls
What We Love: Every size you'll ever need, nest nicely together, made from tempered glass
What We Don't Love: Can crack and shatter, smaller bowls might not get used as much
This is a great one-and-done mixing bowl purchase. Made in France, these tempered glass bowls are available in 10 different stackable sizes, from 1 ounce to 3.5 quarts, which cover everything from a pinch bowl to a full-sized large mixing bowl. The tiny bowls may come in handy if you're a home cook who likes to prepare your mise-en-place before starting a recipe, but the larger 2.5-quart and 3.5-quart bowls are likely to be the most used in many kitchens.
These bowls are made from thick, sturdy glass that has some nice heft to it. They won't skitter around your counter, even during our tests of vigorously beating cream with an electric mixer. While the largest bowl isn't quite big enough to prevent spills when whipping a full pint of cream, it can certainly accommodate a half-pint. The bowls are great for storage, as they stack neatly together. A lip prevents the bowls from knocking together too much and makes it easy to unstack.
This set is also dishwasher and microwave-safe. While the glass is durable, these bowls are certainly not chip- or shatter-proof (one did arrive shattered). If hit at the wrong angle or with enough force, the rim (or the entire bowl) will crack. We're also fans of the Duralex Picardie glasses.
Material: Glass | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Sizes Included: 1-ounce, 2-ounce, 4-ounce, 6-ounce, 10-ounce, 0.5-quart, 1-quart, 1.5-quart, 2.5-quart, 3.5-quart
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Best for Kids: Goodcook Touch Mixing Bowl Set
What We Love: Color-coded for fun in the kitchen, made from durable plastic, pour spout
What We Don't Love: Can stain or absorb odors
This set of three plastic mixing bowls can be used by both kids and grownups, but they're especially great for kids who are learning to cook. Each bowl is in a different primary color, which helps kids focus on the difference between the ingredients they put in each bowl. They're unbreakable even if they fall on the floor and have a non-slip base that grips the table, so they won't go flying away while being used.
These colorful bowls each have a good-sized rounded handle on top to hang on to, as well as a spout for easy pouring. The set includes 1.5-quart, 3-quart, and 5-quart bowls, which can be used in the dishwasher (top rack) and microwave.
Material: BPA-free plastic | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Sizes Included: 1.5-quart, 3-quart, 5-quart
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Best with Lids: Pyrex 8-Piece Smart Essentials Mixing Bowl Set
What We Love: Airtight lids make for easy food storage and travel, sturdy glass mixing bowls
What We Don't Love: Can shatter
These four clear, tempered-glass mixing bowls from Pyrex have matching lids for double-duty use: storing food and food prep. The bowls come in sizes of 1 quart, 1.5 quarts, 2.5 quarts, and 4 quarts. The smaller bowl is a great size for storing and transporting salad dressing, while the biggest bowl can hold a large salad for a crowd. When you're ready to serve, it's easy enough to add the dressing, pop the lid on the salad bowl and give it a good shake to combine.
For storage, the bowls stack neatly inside one another. The lids are top-rack dishwasher-safe, while the bowls can go everywhere from the freezer to the oven. In terms of quality, the Pyrex name lives up to expectations with sturdy and thick glass, but not shatterproof (it's glass, after all). The lids, which are made from BPA-free plastic, are a bit stiff and brittle, which could lead to cracks over time.
During our whipped cream test, the four-quart bowl could handle a full pint of cream, but the shallower sides on the bowl did not protect the kitchen or the cook from splatters. As we performed tests, the bowls didn't skitter around the counter since the glass is so heavy. A bonus is that if you ever happen to lose a lid, additional lids can be purchased separately. The set comes with a two-year warranty, but we think these bowls can last for many years.
"Made with tempered glass, these mixing bowls from Pyrex are affordable yet durable," says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, culinary registered dietitian nutritionist, and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. "These bowls are especially handy because they include lids—making it easy to prep ingredients and store in the fridge until ready to use. These bowls are best for busy professionals looking to use them for ingredient prep or leftover storage. Plus, you can easily heat them in the microwave or preheated oven."
Material: Glass | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Sizes Included: 1-quart, 1.5-quart, 2.5-quart, 4-quart
Related: The Best Hand Mixers
Best Melamine: Food52 x Rosti Ultimate Mixing Bowl
What We Love: Extra-large with an extra-wide mouth, whipping cream test didn't spill, wide pouring spout
What We Don't Love: Melamine can't be used with all ingredients
This beautiful and extra-large mixing bowl is a true statement piece created by an award-winning Danish firm and is a part of the design collection at the Museum of Modern Art. It has an extra-wide mouth and elegantly sloped sides that make it ideal for jobs like kneading bread dough and mixing big batches of muffins. While the bowl is easy enough to maneuver in the kitchen with one hand, it's certainly bulkier than other options.
The bowl has a wide handle on one end and a pouring spout on the other, which makes for mess-free ingredient transfers. It also has an especially large capacity of 6.3 quarts (6 liters). For this reason, the Food52 bowl performed better than most in our whipped cream tests. It could easily fit a full quart of whipped cream without spilling, though there were still splatters during the initial stages of whipping.
The bowl has a gently sloping interior that makes it easy to move beaters around, and you don't have to worry about nicks or scratches. It's dishwasher-safe, though you can expect it to dominate some serious real estate anywhere it goes. It's worth noting that the bowl has a 14-inch diameter that may not fit inside all kitchen cabinets.
The bowl is made of melamine, a hard plastic with a nice sheen and long life, though it shouldn't be used with acidic or very hot ingredients. Available in either classic black or white, this bowl both makes a design statement and can withstand consistent use.
Material: Melamine | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Sizes Included: 6.3-quart
Related: The Best Baking Sheets
Best Ceramic: Mason Cash 4.25-Quart Bakewell Mixing Bowl
What We Love: Can also be used as a serving bowl, freezer and oven safe, chip-resistant
What We Don't Love: Can break
If there's such a thing as a mixing bowl that evokes emotion, this is it. The Mason Cash company began making glazed earthenware mixing bowls in the 1800s in England and continues to do so today. This bowl is a delight, made of chip-resistant ceramic with a distinctive raised pattern on the outside, which offers a good grip.
It's a moderately heavy bowl, which helps with stability, and has a size of 4.25 quarts. It is dishwasher-safe and can be used in the microwave. It's actually more than a mixing bowl: It can be taken right to the table to serve pasta, salad, or whatever you like! Available in different color options.
Material: Ceramic | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Sizes Included: 4.25-quart
Related: The Best Gifts for Bakers
If you're interested in a mixing bowl that will likely become an heirloom, there are two on our list: the Mason Cash Bakewell Mixing Bowl (view at Bed Bath and Beyond) and the Food52 x Rosti Ultimate Mixing Bowl (view at Food52). If you're looking for a set with a lot of overall adaptability, the Pyrex Smart Essentials Mixing Bowl Set makes an excellent choice (view at Amazon).
What to Look for When Buying Mixing Bowls
Common materials used to make mixing bowls include plastic, glass, stainless steel, ceramic, and melamine. Each has its pros and cons.
Plastic is a lightweight material that's safe for kids and won't break if you drop it. However, they may stain or retain odors. Melamine is another plastic option that's durable and has a nice sheen, but it shouldn't be used with acidic or very hot ingredients.
Glass and ceramic are both oven-safe, freezer-safe options, but they're breakable and can be heavy. Stainless steel, while freezer-safe and easy to clean, can become dented. However, you'll find this material in many commercial kitchens, so it's good enough for the pros.
"When buying mixing bowls, think about who will be using them and for what purpose," Burgess advises. "If you want the kiddos to get involved in cooking, buy plastic bowls with grippers to prevent slips and breaks. On the other hand, if you are focused on preparing meals yourself, buying heat-resistant glass bowls is the way to go—this allows for easy prepping and reheating."
Mixing bowls are among the most versatile tools in your kitchen, so it makes sense to have a variety of sizes, even if it's just a few. Larger mixing bowls can be used to mix salads, batters, doughs, and more, while smaller mixing bowls help with smaller jobs like making dressings, marinades, and sauces. It's much easier to buy mixing bowls as a set instead of piecemeal, so make sure you have what you will need.
What size mixing bowl should you use with a hand mixer?
To avoid ingredients splattering out of the bowl, opt for a deep mixing bowl to use with a hand mixer. A 5-quart or 8-quart mixing bowl is likely large enough. When in doubt, go bigger. We don't want you to have to wipe down your kitchen for a few cookies.
Can you use a metal mixing bowl as a double boiler?
Yes, a stainless-steel or other metal mixing bowl can be used as a double boiler on top of a saucepan. A glass mixing bowl would also work for this purpose. In both cases, don't fill the saucepan too much with water, since you want to avoid direct heat touching the bottom. Also, be sure to safely grip the bowl with a kitchen towel, avoiding it from touching the stove.
Are mixing bowls ever safe to put in the oven?
Some mixing bowls made of glass or ceramic are oven-safe, though you should definitely check the maximum temperature they can withstand. They're also freezer-safe, but don't place a frozen bowl in a hot oven. Instead, allow it to come to room temperature first. Avoid putting plastic and stainless steel mixing bowls in the oven.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Karen Resta is an NYC-based writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. A former executive chef who began her professional journey as a pastry chef, she currently travels around the globe as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic food and pastries along the way. She spends a lot of her free time in her kitchen and is passionate about finding quality within any given budget. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them makes all the difference in baking, cooking, and eating, and she curated this list with that in mind.
This article was tested and updated by Lizzy Briskin, a chef, food writer, and recipe developer who is now an expert on whipping cream.
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