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Thanks to the personal blender, the days of struggling to free a hefty blender from the depths of our cupboards, clearing counter space for it, and hand-washing its components after making a shake are blessedly behind us. Designed to produce a perfect single (or double) serving, these new-generation blenders are smaller, sleeker, and less cumbersome, not to mention effortless to use and clean. Today, smoothies and other frozen libations can be an everyday occurrence instead of a special treat. Plus, savvy home chefs can use these gadgets to make dressings, sauces, and marinades in a flash.
"When you’re shopping for a personal blender, I highly recommend splurging for a high-speed blender if you have the budget," says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats in Stamford, Connecticut. "This makes blending up anything from a fruit-based ice cream to a healthy smoothie so much easier. I also really like the personal blenders that come with a few different to-go cups, which cuts down on the meal prep process. And of course, look for a blender that’s BPA-free and dishwasher safe."
We researched the features that make personal blenders such compelling small appliances, including power, ease of use, storage space, and cleaning methods required, as well as the options that let you blend and sip from the same container—and even rechargeable models that require no cord or battery replacement. To find the cream of the crop, we sent a few of our top picks out for testing in home kitchens. The testers made strawberry-banana smoothies and coffee smoothies, taking notes on how the blenders handled ice, whether or not you needed additional pulses to handle air pockets, and how long the blending cycle took. Of course, they also tested for how loud the blenders were and the final cleanup.
Based on their at-home testing, the Ninja Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender is the clear winner due to its sharp blades, high wattage, and quiet operation.
To help you narrow down your choices, here are the best personal blenders that’ll keep you on the pulse of icy refreshment.
Best Overall: Ninja Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender
Highly rated online among thousands of reviewers, Ninja delivers a powerful, feature-rich personal blender that outshines all others, no matter if your beverage of choice has berries, honey, and oat milk, or tequila, agave, and lime. Nine hundred watts of power and unbelievably sharp blades are capable of easily breaking down ice, fibrous fruits, and entire vegetables—and it couldn’t be simpler to use. Fill the 18-ounce or 24-ounce BPA-free, dishwasher-safe cup, then manually pulse to crush and blend ingredients to an even consistency. Then, use the twist-on spout lid to tote your beverage wherever you go.
"I love this blender for many reasons, probably the biggest being the blender’s sharp blades that can crush ice quickly and allow you to make a super smooth smoothie," says Gorin. "I also find the to-go cups super useful, as they not only cut down on dishes to wash but make the process of getting out the door in the morning with a healthy breakfast in tow so much easier."
We sent this out for at-home testing and found that this is so quiet, it can even be used close to a sleeping baby. Blending both smoothies only took about 30 seconds to get to a great consistency, with both recipes having enough liquid to not need a second blend. Crushing ice didn't cause a noticeable sound increase, and everything was easy to clean.
"I like the design of this blender. It's bigger than I would have imagined a personal blender to be. The cup is a good shape to take on the go. It would definitely fit in a car's cup holder." — Julia Warren, VP of Commerce
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Personal Blender
Proving that you don’t have to spend a small fortune for your morning smoothie fix, this mighty Hamilton Beach personal blender is both wallet-friendly and packed with features. Stainless steel blades and a powerful 175-watt motor that’s one-touch activated make for fast blending for shakes and smoothies or to whip up marinades, salad dressings, and even baby food. It sports a compact design and multiple color options that make it perfect for the home, office, or RV.
Its 14-ounce BPA-free container does double duty as the blending jar and as a mug, plus a lid with a spout. So few pieces meant our tester was able to put this together very easily. We found that during both tests, the motor wasn't that loud, though crushing ice cubes did increase the decibels. Each smoothie took about 30 seconds to fully blend and it was much nicer to prep one drink with this instead of a full blender. A few cons did come up. First, the cord, which does conveniently wrap around the base when not in use, is on the shorter side. Our tester also wished it had an on/off switch, instead of holding down the power button for the whole blending cycle.
"I honestly feel like the blending capabilities are better in this handheld blender than my full-size blender!" — Milagros Cruz, Editor
Best for Families: Cuisinart SmartPower Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System
If the adults in your house crave frozen lattes for the a.m. commute while the kids want berry-banana smoothies before catching the bus, you need this personal blender that comes with four separate blending jars that multitask as travel mugs. The blender touts a 350-watt motor and two ultra-sharp self-aligning stainless steel blade assemblies. It also has an electronic touchpad with LED indicator lights and three settings: high, low, and pulse. Plus, it features standby mode and autostop, and the cord storage keeps it out of sight when not in use.
Four 16-ounce Tritan travel cups have lids through which you can sip or add a straw. Mix a larger batch of beverages with the ample 32-ounce blending jar, and chop, grind, or whip ingredients with the 8-ounce chopping jar. When we sent this out, our tester found that this ended up being quite a lot to unpack and made it necessary to double-check the instructions for assembling. For both smoothie tests, the blender was pretty loud, but it was tolerable since the drinks only needed a few seconds to fully mix. Even with the travel mug as the container, the blender was able to crush down ice cubes and date pits, and didn't need a second whirl. Cleanup was incredibly easy and though all the pieces are easy to store, you might need to place it all in a storage container so nothing gets lost.
"This personal blender had easy cleanup and I loved how lightweight the base and cups were getting it in and out of my sink." — Collier Sutter, Food & Drink Review Editor
Related: The Best Blenders
Best for Smoothies: Nutribullet 600W Nutrient Extractor
A powerful 600-watt motor is joined by sharp, stainless steel blades that use cyclonic action to break down tough ingredients including nuts, spinach, and fibrous fruits like mango and vegetables like kale, so you can enjoy your delicious go-to breakfast smoothie in no time. Just push and twist to blend.
The 24-ounce BPA-free vessel is both a blending cup and a travel mug and comes with a flip-top to-go lid. The blade easily rinses clean with soap and water, while the cup, lip ring, and lid are top-rack dishwasher-safe.
Best Portable: Magic Bullet 7-Piece Mini Blender
If you are in the market for a personal blender, it might be because you just can’t sacrifice the counter space required for the footprint of a full-sized one. Consider this little-but-mighty model that packs a lot into its small frame and is perfect for small kitchens, dorm rooms, and office break rooms.
The small base has a 200-watt motor and stainless steel cross blade that can handle whatever you want to mix, whip, grind, or chop. Included are two high-impact plastic cups—one 12-ounce and another 18-ounce—that you can use to blend, store, and drink from, thanks to the included stay-fresh resealable lid and comfort lip ring.
The cups are also top-rack dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. You'll be inspired with the recipes in the included book, or create your own.
Related: The Best Food Processors
Best for Crushing Ice: Ninja Fit Single-Serve Blender
Ninja is known for the strong, tough motors that power its blenders. This personal-sized one is armed with a 700-watt base that can deftly handle scoop after scoop of ice, as well as rock-hard frozen fruits and veggies.
Lightly push down on one of the two 16-ounce blending cups, and its pulse technology will cut through the hardest, most frozen ingredients for smoothies and milkshakes. Or, use it to crush cubes for shaved ice or water ice. Cover your drink with the spout lid to take it on the go; the cups, lids, and blade assembly are all dishwasher-safe. Plus, the slim design means you can store the blender in tight spaces.
The included booklet with 30 recipe ideas is bound to satisfy your thirst for cold and refreshing zero-proof or spirited tipples.
Related: The Best Immersion Blenders
Best for Travel: PopBabies Portable Blender
Looking for a personal blender for tailgating, to take to the beach, or for camping? Then cut the cord with this option from PopBabies, which gets its power courtesy of a rechargeable USB.
Charging it for up to 5 hours gives you a half-hour to an hour of blending power; you can even use it while it’s charging. It’s strong enough to crush ice cubes, frozen fruits, and seeds, yet it makes unbelievably creamy smoothies and shakes. Add your ingredients to the 14-ounce dishwasher-safe blending jar made from food-grade material, blend with the touch of a button, and go.
It’s available in several colors, and the no-cord design means that you never have to worry about voltage or adapters when traveling internationally, either.
Related: The Best Reusable Straws
Known for its powerful blenders, Ninja comes through again with its Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender, which claims our top spot (view at Amazon). This blender can break down ice with ease. Have limited counter space? You won't worry about sacrificing power with the compact Magic Bullet 7-Piece Mini Blender (view at Amazon). It comes with two high-impact plastic cups of different sizes.
What to Look for When Buying a Personal Blender
Personal blenders are designed to yield a single or double serving at a time, especially for smoothies. Since they are not made for heavy-duty jobs, they usually don’t have multiple speed settings. Still, speed is an important factor for a smooth consistency. Some personal blenders have high, low, and pulse settings for more control over speed, while others operate on a single speed setting.
The wattage of a personal blender ranges from 175 watts to 900 watts. If you’re looking for a personal blender to take the place of a countertop blender, opting for one with a higher wattage is the safest bet. It’s likely to be more powerful when crushing ice and pulverizing fruits and nuts.
Since the container of some personal blenders doubles as a drinking vessel, your model may include a few accessories. Usually, accessories include a lid for travel, various cup or container sizes, interchangeable blades, a user guide, or a recipe book. While these aren’t a requirement for some, they are a nice touch.
Can a personal blender crush ice?
Personal blenders with sharp, stainless steel blades and a powerful motor are capable of crushing ice. If blending ice-cold smoothies is important to you, a powerful personal blender is a must.
Can a personal blender blend leafy greens?
A personal blender can chop and blend leafy greens to make your green smoothie dreams come true. Some personal blenders pulverize leaves more efficiently than others, however.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Kelly Magyarics is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience covering beverages, food, lifestyle, and travel for a variety of digital and print publications. She has written about frozen cocktails, smoothies, and boozy shakes for publications including Liquor.com and Nightclub & Bar. Kelly loves to start the day with a kale smoothie and also makes a mean Piña Colada with dark rum.
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