A stand mixer is a big step up from a hand mixer. They’re built to be more powerful, can handle more tasks, and are ergonomically easier to use. As with most kitchen appliances, there’s a wide range to choose from, so it’s important to think about which processes you’ll be primarily using it for. Do you make a lot of quick bread doughs or cookie batters? Are you a bread baker? Or will you be using it for other tasks like mixing meatloaf or whipping potatoes? After deciding how you’ll use it, think about how it will look in your kitchen, and consider the space you have available.
Each stand mixer should come with a wire whip, a flat beater, and a dough hook. These will manage most everyday tasks, but the great thing about stand mixers is that many have extra attachments available that handle other kitchen work—some of the options are meat grinders, pasta makers, shredders, and more.
"When considering a stand mixer, map out where it is going to live in your kitchen — countertop or cabinet — since it has a substantial footprint," says Jamie Hunt, a celebrity chef in New York City. "Pay close attention to the size of the bowl, attachments you will need, and power of the stand mixer." Though this list contains a few name-brand options, Hunt has her favorite. "The KitchenAid Stand Mixer is spacious, versatile, and powerful enough to meet the needs of most home chefs," she says.
This list includes the best of a wide variety of stand mixers, each with a set of different qualities that matter for the ways you want to utilize them.
KitchenAid KSM150PS Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
KitchenAid stand mixers have been the gold standard for many years now, and their excellent quality remains true. Though the company makes many different versions of their mixers, this Artisan 5-Quart Tilt-Head model is a hands-down favorite.
"The KitchenAid Stand Mixer has been a staple in my family for years," says Hunt. "I was re-introduced to this versatile tool in culinary school, and it has since become my best friend in the kitchen. It is durable, powerful, comes in a variety of fun colors, has some of the most versatile attachments, and it's kid-friendly. I recommend adding a glass bowl so you can easily see what is mixing."
With 10 speeds, it’s tremendously flexible, with the ability to fine-tune the job to make it happen at the speed you want, whether it’s for whipping egg whites or stirring cookie batter. The 5-quart stainless-steel bowl is large enough for the average family kitchen, and the size of the mixer is perfect for storing on a countertop underneath your cupboards. It’s powerful and sturdy, with a tilt-back head that makes it easy to add ingredients or scrape the bowl.
This mixer is available in more than 40 different colors and can be fitted with almost a dozen KitchenAid attachments.
Price at time of publish: $456
Dimensions (DxWxH): 14.1 x 8.7 x 13.9 inches | Weight: 23 pounds | Wattage: 325 W
Best Overall, Runner-Up
Cuisinart SM-50BC Precision Master 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer
Cuisinart's Precision Master stand mixer definitely rivals the iconic KitchenAid, and in some ways, may even be better!
Cuisinart's stand mixer has 12 speeds that cover any and all kitchen tasks, and with 500 watts, it’s quite powerful. If you’re a bread-maker, you’ll definitely appreciate how easy it is to use for bread dough! It’s designed to stay out on your countertop but is light enough to be easily stored away when not being used. This stand mixer can also be fitted with extra Cuisinart attachments, to expand the ways it can be used on an everyday basis.
The 5.5-quart bowl gives you slightly more room for big batches than the KitchenAid, and this mixer tends to be slightly more affordable too. There are only six different colors available, however.
Price at time of publish: $198
Dimensions (DxWxH): 14.2 x 7.9 x 14.1 inches | Weight: 17 pounds | Wattage: 500 W
Dash 6-Speed 2.5-Quart Stand Mixer
Dash is great at making compact kitchen tools at affordable prices. Its stand mixer is great if you’re seeking one that needs to fit into smaller kitchen spaces or for small batches of food.
This tilt-model mixer offers six speeds for its 2.5-quart stainless-steel mixing bowl and comes with two dough hooks and two mixing beaters. It’s great for cookie dough, batters for small cakes, whipped cream, and other everyday cooking jobs. It's also great as a gift for college students who are learning to cook or friends who are starting to explore baking!
The retro-designed mixer is available in nine colors and has a 1-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $50
Dimensions (DxWxH): 11.5 x 8 x 10.4 inches | Weight: 10.4 pounds | Wattage: 250 W
Related: The Best Hand Mixers
Best for the Home Pro
Wolf Gourmet WGSM100S High-Performance Stand Mixer
The Wolf Gourmet company has a history of raising the standards for the kitchen products it manufactures for home use. It brings the capabilities of a professional kitchen to home cooks who are looking for higher-performance products.
True to form, this brushed stainless-steel stand mixer is pretty amazing. The front-facing speed dial adjusts to whatever level you wish, with an additional pulse option, all of which maintain a constant speed during mixing. The bowl is seven quarts to handle large batches, with a special patent-pending bowl lift that works by simply turning the bowl.
It’s also tough and built to last with a 5-year limited warranty, which is longer than generally available for stand mixers.
Price at time of publish: $1,000
Dimensions (DxWxH): 11 x 18 x 18 inches | Weight: 29.5 pounds | Wattage: 500 W
Best for Bread Dough
Bosch MUM6N10UC Universal Plus Stand Mixer
This is the stand mixer to have if you’re really into bread baking, though it works great on all the other tasks that stand mixers regularly handle.
The approach this Bosch model takes to bread dough is to focus on what makes the best final loaf, which includes performing the kneading, stretching, tucking, and folding of the dough for the best development of gluten. The design of the body is compact and very solid. Though there are only 4 speeds, each one is set to manage any work your recipe requires, plus there is a quick pulse switch. The ample 6.5-quart bowl can handle as little as one egg white or up to 14 loaves of bread and has many attachments available separately.
Price at time of publish: $399
Dimensions (DxWxH): 15 x 18 x 14 inches | Weight: 17 pounds | Wattage: 800 W
Related: The Best Bread Machines
The all-time favorite of many users remains the KitchenAid Artisan 10-Speed 5-Quart Stand Mixer (view at Amazon), but the Cuisinart 12-Speed 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer (view at Amazon) is in the same league. If you’re looking for a stand mixer that makes a statement, the splurge-worthy Smeg x Dolce & Gabbana "Sicily Is My Love" Retro-Style 5-Quart Stand Mixer (view at Amazon) is truly exceptional.
What to Look for When Buying a Stand Mixer
A watt is a unit of power, so the wattage of a stand mixer can give you a rough idea of how powerful it is. Generally, stand mixers can have anywhere between 250 and 600 watts. The higher the wattage, the more powerful the appliance. If you plan on regularly mixing dense doughs, a higher wattage will come in handy. For simpler jobs, like banana bread, a lower wattage will suffice.
In any appliance, having more than one setting increases flexibility and versatility. It’s unlikely that you’ll use the same speed for mixing cake batter as you will for whipping egg whites. Depending on the job, you may need to start at a lower speed and gradually increase speeds as the ingredients become incorporated. You can expect a good stand mixer to have between 6 and 12 speed settings.
Stand mixers come with at least one attachment included with the option of purchasing additional attachments for various applications. Flat beaters and whisks are the basic attachments that will satisfy the needs of most home chefs. Dough hooks are a must for bread enthusiasts. Other attachments include pasta rollers, pasta cutters, vegetable slicers, meat grinders, shredders, and more.
What are stand mixers good for?
Stand mixers can be used for any task in the kitchen where you need to combine more than two ingredients together, like mixing cake batter or kneading dough. They also come in handy for long jobs where you’ll get arm fatigue before you're done (looking at you, whipped egg whites). Other uses include cutting pasta, slicing vegetables, grinding meat, mashing potatoes, and processing a variety of other foods. You can get a lot out of your stand mixer with just the basic attachments, but adding other attachments increases its potential.
Do you need a dough hook to make dough?
While a stand mixer with a dough hook saves time and elbow grease, it’s not necessary to make dough for bread. You can always knead your dough by hand if you don’t have a dough hook. However, other attachments, such as a flat beater or whisk, are not suitable for making dough in a stand mixer.
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 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 your given budget. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them makes all the difference in baking and cooking, and she curated this list with that in mind.
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