Essential Tools

6 Compact (Yet Powerful) Blenders for Your Kitchen

According to home cooks, recipe developers, and authors.

July 21, 2022
Photo by Rocky Luten

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I've always loved having a personal blender around and have been whipping up morning smoothies a few times a week for nearly a decade. As I moved around in my early 20s, my handy-dandy Nutribullet provided a simple way to make a nourishing breakfast or snack without being burdened by a large base and tons of attachments—a key factor when I was living in apartments with extremely minimal storage.

But beyond smoothies, making sauces, soups, and purées at home requires the right blender. Large, traditional blenders are powerful but can be cumbersome to store. Luckily, there are tons of low-profile personal blenders that offer more convenience and whose motors still pack a punch.

While I had a recommendation of my own in mind, I also caught up with some kitchen professionals to hear about what makes their favorite personal blenders stand out from the rest. We saw a wide range of answers from the blender cups you likely think of when you picture a personal blender to immersion blenders and countertop blenders that they still found easy to store. Regardless of which style you choose, there’s a recommendation that’s ready to help you out with blending tasks when needed and can be tucked away quickly and easily when you’re done.

Photo by Amazon

1. Ninja Nutri Personal Countertop Blender, $110.17

A true personal blender in size, style, and simplicity, the Ninja personal blender packs all of the features you need into one small yet powerful 1,000-watt motor base and comes with one set of extractor blades as well as 18- and 24-ounce blender cups. For sipping on the go, they also include two spout lids that fit directly onto the cups. But going a step beyond popular one-setting models, the Ninja has both a pulse and a blend function that can be used manually or with their timed “Auto-IQ” settings. Recipe developer and creator of Midwest Foodie, Kylie Lato, recommends this personal blender because of how easy it is to use. “As someone who makes homemade dressing weekly, I rely on the ease and versatility of the Ninja personal countertop blender to help me make creamy dressing from scratch in just minutes,” she writes. “It also works great for smoothies, sauces, and pesto.” The blender is BPA-free, and its cups, lids, and blades are dishwasher-safe.

Photo by Amazon

2. Ninja Professional 72-Oz Countertop Blender, $99.99, $89.99

For the same 1,000-watt power and functionality of the smaller Ninja model with a bit more volume, chef and creator of Just Add Hot Sauce, Alex Hill, recommends this Ninja countertop blender whose 72-ounce pitcher is super versatile without taking up too much room. “For blenders to use at home, the Ninja blender is great!” she says. “It's high powered and can make smoothies, marinades, dressings, etc., and it's compact enough to keep in a cabinet to store away.” The set comes with the motor base, pitcher, and a lid with a convenient pour spout, which are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. It’s also equipped with three power settings and a pulse button so you can purée, blend, and even crush ice at your preferred speed.

Photo by Julia Gartland, Ty Mecham

3. Zwilling Enfinigy Personal Blender, $179 $129.99

Looking for a personal blender that combines the efficiency of German-made carbon steel with incredibly pleasing aesthetics? Meet the Zwilling Enfinigy Personal Blender, available in a sleek matte silver or matte black finish. The small, sturdy base holds its 500-watt motor, and the included 19-ounce blending cup is made of shatterproof, BPA-free Tritan plastic. “I recently bought the ZWILLING Enfinigy Personal Blender, and I'm in love,” writes food writer and recipe developer Arlyn Osborne. “It's minimal and sleek and pretty enough to keep on the counter…and I swear it makes the smoothest smoothies ever.” Osbourne may be right, considering the blender has a dedicated smoothie setting. That, along with an included to-go lid, makes the Zwilling a lovely pick for anyone who adores whipping up daily fruit concoctions. The blender also has a multifunction setting for chopping, pulsing, and any other blending tasks, and you can toggle between the two with a nifty LED-illuminated dial. The blender cup, blades, and lid are all dishwasher-safe.

Photo by MJ Kroeger

4. KitchenAid Cordless Hand Blender, $99.99

This immersion blender is great for anyone who wants the traditional functions of a personal blender to create soups and sauces right in their cookware. The cordless, rechargeable, and variable-speed hand blender makes blending and puréeing feel effortless. With over 12,000 reviews (and a 4.5-star rating) on Amazon, it's well-loved the kitchen tool you didn't know you needed.

Photo by Amazon

5. Breville Super Q Countertop Blender, $549.95, $434.99

Breville’s Super Q blender has the benefits of a personal and a full-size model with an 1,800-watt motor base that fits both a 68-ounce pitcher and a 24-ounce personal blender attachment. “This is one powerful and long-lasting blender and a serious piece of kitchen equipment,” writes the author of The Flavor Equation Nik Sharma, who has a current working relationship with Breville. “Not only does it do a fantastic job of making smooth and creamy nut butters and soups, it’s also fantastic for making dosa batters, cake batters that produce the spongiest cakes, emulsifications like mayonnaise, and sauces.” The blender automatically recognizes which pitcher is attached and optimizes its blending accordingly. It has five presets: two smoothie settings, a pulse and crush setting, a frozen dessert setting, and a cold-to-hot soup setting that allows you to craft homemade soups right in your blender pitcher. It also has 12 speeds and comes with both a tamper and a spatula so you can effectively scrape down the sides of the blender when needed. To clean the blender, just run the cleaning setting after filling it with water and soap.

Photo by Amazon

6. Nutribullet Personal Blender, $50.05

The Nutribullet is perhaps the most well-known personal blender, and for good reason. It’s easy to use, effective, and stores away without hassle. I used the same Nutribullet for about eight years to great effect, and only parted with it due to a misplaced box in my most recent move. And ya know what? I miss it! Throwing a bunch of spinach, frozen fruit, and some OJ in its blender cup made for a super simple and delicious morning smoothie, and storing it away was never a problem in any of the apartments I lived in in my early 20s, no matter how little kitchen storage I had. The set comes with the 600-watt motor base, an extractor blade, a 24-ounce cup, a screw-on ring lid, and a to-go lid. The cup and lids are BPA-free and conveniently dishwashable, and the blades are super easy to rinse off in the sink after use. It only has one setting, which is activated by screwing on the blender cup and pushing down. While I made some sauces in my Nutribullet to mixed results, I mainly recommend it for smoothie and milkshake-lovers in search of a budget-friendly personal blender.

This post was updated in January 2023 to reflect current prices and availability.

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Rachel Dunkel

Written by: Rachel Dunkel

Freelance writer in search of the best bread pudding.

1 Comment

Michelle July 25, 2022
If you’re looking for cost effective but efficient, skip the nutribullet — go for the ninja. After my second nutribullet failed, I switched and am so glad I did. None of the leaking or broken cup “tabs” that are so prevalent with nutribullet. Have had my Ninja for a year now and still love it!