Straight to the Point
Our favorite personal blender is the Zwilling Enfinigy Personal Blender. It’s powerful, pretty quiet, and aesthetically pleasing. We also like the NutriBullet Pro 900. It’s a great option for smoothies and comes with two cups and travel lids.
In many households (including mine) the day begins with the sound of a blender running. Someone is making their colorful breakfast smoothie before rushing out the door to work, or chugging their drink quickly before departing.
Thankfully, when it comes to blending up a smoothie for one, the days of painstakingly attaching blades, rubber gaskets, and various bits and bobs to a full-sized blender are over. Instead of breaking out the big blender, now you can use a smaller, simpler personal blender.
In order to find the best personal blender options (we excluded portable blenders from the lineup) we dove into testing some of the internet’s favorite and most highly-rated machines. We conducted tests to examine each blender’s power, usability, and durability and how easy they were to clean. Of the 9 we tested, two quickly distanced themselves from the pack.
The Winners, at a Glance
This personal blender was not only aesthetically pleasing, it was also easy to use, blended silky smooth smoothies, and was effortless to clean.
This blender’s power, speed, and whopping 32-ounce capacity impressed us immediately. This is a great option for those in a rush since it blends smoothies in a mere 20 seconds.
- Blend Kale and Mango Smoothies Test: We blended a combination of raw kale, frozen mango, orange juice, and fresh banana in each blender to see how they handled fibrous and frozen ingredients.
- Ease of Use and Cleaning Tests: While testing, we considered how easy the blender was to set up and use, how it performed during blending, what the final smoothie’s consistency was, and if the blender was complicated to clean.
- Blend Ice and Water Test: To test the durability of some of the machines (except those that explicitly warned against crushing ice), we combined water and ice cubes and attempted to use each blender to create a slush mixture.
- Blend Milkshakes Test (Winners-Only): We tested our top picks by blending a hardy mixture of ice cream, ice, and milk. During testing, we paid close attention to ease of use, the consistency of the milkshake, and whether cleaning was a challenge.
What is a Personal Blender?
Personal blenders are often designed for one to two servings and include streamlined settings and instructions. Their control panels are often made up of one to three buttons or knobs, rather than a fleet of options. The blender usually consists of a blending cup, an extractor blade that attaches directly to the cup, and a motor base. Since there is no lid, ingredients are all added ahead of time—once the blender is running, there isn’t opportunity to add anything else mid-blend. A handful of personal blenders have automated, timed settings for smoothies, while others rely on the user’s discretion.
What We Learned
Automated Blending Settings Did Not Necessarily Make Blending Easier
There’s something to be said for convenience, especially when preparing food. When we started testing, we were curious to see if the personal blenders with automated blending settings stood out against the manual-controlled ones. Would we be able to turn on the machine and let it run without paying too much attention? Would the finished product (smoothie, milkshake, etc) be flawlessly blended? The answer was a little more complicated.
Out of the full lineup, three of the personal blenders had automatic settings: the Ninja BN401 Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender, ZWILLING Enfinigy Personal Blender, and Nutribullet RX.
Typically, each automated blending setting ran for a set amount of time, and during the cycle, the machine would stop and start at certain junctures (we think this was in order to allow for ingredients to settle back down near the blade). Of the three with this feature, only the Zwilling stood out. The Zwilling’s automated blending setting lasted for 40 seconds and resulted in a creamy, well-mixed final product. We also liked that it had an easy-to-use interface with simple options (on/off, pulse, and smoothie), if we didn’t want to go the automatic route.
On the other hand, the Ninja’s automated setting lasted longer, clocking in at 50 seconds. The setting had allotted stop and start times, during which the ingredients were able to settle and shift so they could catch on the blade during the next rotation. However, it was very, very loud (like our parents at punk concerts, we spent the entire cycle reflecting on the merits of earplugs.) And, when the cycle ended, there was still a chunk of unblended kale in the mix. The Nutribullet RX was also very loud and had the lengthiest setting of the bunch (including when using the manual settings). Though after one minute of blending, the final smoothie was creamy and smooth. However, we did not think the result was impressive enough to warrant sacrificing both our hearing and our time.
Blending Cup Size Mattered
During testing, we poured out a fair amount of smoothies, slush, and milkshakes. It quickly became apparent that Goldilocks would have had an opinion: some blending cups were too small, some were too big, and some were just right. While we were pleased overall with the performance of the NutriBullet NB9-1301 K Pro, we did find the larger diameter of the opening led to light spillage. When tilting the cup to pour, all of the liquids—and any icy bits—rushed forward at the same time. On the other hand, the size of the cup (which had a 32-ounce capacity) was great for adding ingredients since larger items, such as leafy kale or misshapen frozen fruits, didn’t need to be squished down or added individually in order to fit. These similarities were shared between the Nutribullet RX (which measured the largest with a 4.5-inch diameter opening) Nutribullet Personal Blender, Nutribullet NB9-1301 K Pro, and the BELLA Rocket Extract PRO Power Blender.
Smaller blending cups, particularly the Ninja Fit which had a 3-inch wide opening, were slim enough that pouring was mess-free. However, the Ninja Fit’s narrow mouth made adding ingredients challenging. We had to push the kale leaves down into the cup rather than simply dropping them in. We found the ideal cups measured somewhere in-between: the Zwilling Enfinigy Personal Blender cup measured three-and-a-half inches and was neither too wide nor too narrow, but just right.
Only Some Personal Blenders Were Able to Crush Ice
This may come as no surprise, but personal blenders did not pack the same punch as traditional blenders. For example, four of the personal blenders had instructions that warned against ice crushing, so we could only test five blenders against the ice and water slushie test. For all five of the machines we tested, we found almost all of them struggled with crushing the ice evenly.
The Cuisinart CPB-300 350 Watt BPA-Free Blender, Ninja Fit, and the ZWILLING Enfinigy Personal Blender all required multiple stops and starts during blending. This was because the blades stopped catching the ice and water, so we had to shift the ingredients for them to catch the ice again. The final results consisted of slush with a few larger chips of ice.
The real standout was the Ninja BN401 Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender, which turned the ice and water into a lovely slush. And this machine had a particular advantage in this test: it had a specific “crush” setting which included an automatic timed program. However, the blender was extremely loud while working, especially when the blades were not catching any ice; this was usually because the slush shot up the sides of the cup and all that was left was a thin layer of water on the bottom.
The Less Counter Space Used, the Better
Counter space can be precious. As we tested each blender, we found ourselves moving them from table to counter, to the table again. Not only were the largest machines, such as the Ninja BN401 Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender and the Nutribullet RX, quite heavy (the bases were four pounds, seven ounces, and six pounds, five ounces, respectively), but they also took up a lot of space. We found the significant weight and size were a hindrance to our limited counter space, and these aspects also made storing and moving inconvenient.
Cleaning Was Easy—As Long As We Did So Immediately
One of our least favorite parts about using a traditional blender is cleaning (we couldn’t count the number of times we almost lost a rubber gasket down the InSinkErator). But we discovered many of the personal blenders were not as high maintenance. For one, each blender only had three parts: the motor base, the blending cup, and the extractor blade (which also served as the lid). That meant only two parts—and maybe a travel lid, if used—needed to be cleaned.
Even more conveniently, personal blenders were easy to fit into the dishwasher when disassembled. Every personal blender we tested included top rack dishwasher-safe blending cups and lids. On the other hand, whether or not extractor blades were dishwasher-safe depended on the blender itself (though, in general, we don’t recommend washing blades in a dishwasher since it can dull them faster).
When hand-washing with soap and water, we found the plastic blending cups were easy to grip and less likely to shatter if dropped (unlike some of the glass blending vessels we’ve encountered when using traditional blenders through the years). Washing was painless as long as we made sure to rinse the blending vessels and extractor blades immediately after blending. Otherwise, tough crud stuck in the grooves. Blenders like the Cuisinart and the Nutribullet RX had instructions for cleaning tough messes: simply add soapy, room-temperature water to the cup and blend, rinse, and then dry.
The Criteria: What to Look for in a Personal Blender
A good personal blender should be easy to use, clean, and store. Ideally, it has a capacity ranging between 20 to 32 ounces, is powerful (and fast), and has a blending cup that pours smoothly.
What we liked: The Zwilling impressed us immediately. It was easy to use since the control knob had three settings: on/off, pulse, and smoothie. We enjoyed that the settings included both a manual pulse option, as well as an automatically timed smoothie setting. This meant the user could choose their own adventure, rather than being stuck with only an automatic setting. Cleaning the Zwilling was especially easy too: typically, other machines had cross blades that were inset, meaning the extractor blade was set inside the lid, with grooved sides rising up on all sides. This made cleaning other personal blenders a little annoying as dried liquids and foods could get stuck in these nooks. The Zwilling’s cross blade, on the other hand, was set on the topmost part of the lid and any nooks and crannies were set along the outside for easy access when cleaning. The machine was also sleek, simple, and aesthetically pleasing. While it had a medium-sized motor base—measuring 5.75 inches wide—the square-shaped personal blender did not take up too much space on the counter. We were very pleased with how the Zwilling handled blending smoothies and milkshakes. The smoothie was even, creamy, and completely blended within the 40-second automated “smoothie” setting.
What we didn’t like: At first, we assumed that the grooved plastic on the exterior of the blending cup would make it easy to grip. However, this particular blending cup was actually more challenging to open: the grooves on the base were too small for our fingers to actually fit within comfortably while twisting, so we were left at a loss as to where to grip. The machine also did struggle a bit with the milkshake, leading to some chunks of ice in the finished product.
Price at time of publish: $85.
- Weight: 5 lbs
- Dimensions: 5.25 x 5.75 x 14.5 inches
- Cord length: 36 inches
- Capacity: 20 ounces
- Materials: BPA-free plastic, stainless steel
- Wattage: 500 watts
- Voltage: 120 volts
- Accessories: One to-go jar and one to-go lid
- Care instructions: The blender cup and drinking cup lid can be cleaned either in the dishwasher or by hand with dish soap; the blender lid can be run under running water and cleaned with a damp, lint-free cloth; the base can be cleaned with a damp, lint-free cloth.
What we liked: For those looking for efficiency and ease of use, and who might want to make multiple servings, the Nutribullet NB9-1301 K Pro is a good pick. It completely shredded the kale and mango smoothie in a stunning 20 seconds, and we liked the spacious blending cup, which was a whopping 32 ounces, the largest we tested. It was easy to load, so we didn’t need to squish or push down ingredients aggressively in order to make sure they fit inside the cup. The blender’s extractor blade lid was easy to grip when twisting and untwisting.
What we didn’t like: Alas, this Nutribullet was one of the machines with an explicit warning against ice crushing. Aside from that, our main complaint was the blending cup was very wide. While the width of it made loading very easy, we had to be careful when pouring so we didn’t lean the cup too far forward, which led to the liquid crowding the mouth of the cup and spillage.
Price at time of publish: $110.
- Weight: 9.68 lbs
- Dimensions: 7.72 x 12.01 x 15.94 inches
- Cord length: 30 inches
- Capacity: 32 ounces
- Materials: Plastic, stainless steel
- Wattage: 900 watts
- Voltage: 110 volts
- Accessories: Two blending cups, one extractor blade, one cup ring without handle, two cup rings with handle, two lids
- Care instructions: It was recommended that the rubber gasket not be removed while cleaning; all parts (aside from the motor base and extractor blade) are top-rack dishwasher-safe; the blending cups, lids, and extractor blade can be hand washed with warm soapy water; the motor base can be wiped down with a damp, soapy sponge or dishcloth
- BELLA 15 Piece Rocket Extract PRO Power Blender Set: While we really liked this affordable blender (it blended kale and mango smoothies impressively, mixing all the ingredients together almost immediately during blending rather than simply waiting on the layered ingredients to shift downward and hit the blade), it’s currently out-of-stock on multiple retailers.
- Ninja BN401 Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender: While we appreciated the multiple buttons and functions, such as “crush,” “smoothie,” and “pulse,” the Ninja was simply too large, too loud, too heavy-duty, and too slow (the automatic smoothie setting took 50 seconds).
- Ninja Fit: This machine was super easy to use, store, and clean. But we didn’t enjoy how much pressure we had to exert by pushing the blending cup down the entire time the machine was running (we prefer to build our muscles in the gym instead, thank you).
- Cuisinart CPB-300 350 Watt BPA-Free Blender: The slender, tall motor base was great for those with limited counter space. However, the extractor blade was challenging to remove after use, and there were still chunks of kale and ice following the smoothie and slushie tests.
- Nutribullet Personal Blender: While we liked many things about this blender, it simply did not have the power or speed to compete with similar models.
- Nutribullet RX: The sheer size of the machine was intimidating: it measured 15.16 inches in depth and 15.16 inches in width (which is larger than some traditional blenders). It was unnecessarily large for anyone looking for a simple pony of a blender as opposed to a workhorse.
- Magic Bullet Blender: This blender was so cute! But cuteness didn’t matter when we realized it was quite noisy. It also took a whopping one minute and 15 seconds of blending–manually–when we blended mango and kale smoothies.
- The BEAST Blender: Unfortunately, our test model for the BEAST broke before testing, so we were unable to see how the machine performed against other personal blenders. We are going to pursue long-term testing with a new model and will add our findings to this review at a later date. You can read our previous one-off review of this blender here.
What can you make in a personal blender?
Personal blenders were great for making small, single-serving portions of smoothies and milkshakes. Out of the machines we tested, none were built to blend dry ingredients. In fact, many of the instruction manuals spelled out specific liquid-to-solid ingredient ratios. Most machines were not powerful enough to handle ice-heavy ingredients, either.
How many servings does a personal blender make?
Each of the personal blenders we tested had the capacity to hold one to two servings. The overall capacity of each blending cup ranged from 16 to 32 ounces, but each machine had a different max line for ingredients.
What is the best way to clean a personal blender?
While perusing various instruction manuals during testing, we found the most popular recommendation was to hand-wash blending cups, lids, and extractor blends in warm soapy water. Many of these parts were also dishwasher-safe. As for the motor bases, submersion in water was to be avoided (as with anything with a plug!). Instead, wipe down the motor exterior with either a damp cloth before drying. For tough messes, some blenders could be cleaned by adding soapy water to the blending cup and then blending. However, we do recommend checking each individual machine’s instruction manual for the best instructions.
What is the best (and quietest) personal blender?
It’s hard to describe any of the personal blenders we tested as quiet. Much of what we blended was fibrous or frozen, so there was a fair amount of grinding noises. But we do think the Zwilling Enfinigy Personal Blender was the best overall personal blender, and much quieter than many of its competitors.