A blender is usually a kitchen necessity, but lower-powered blenders can be incredibly frustrating to use. They can overheat, require a lot of stopping and starting in order to scrape down the sides, and often fail to blend ingredients to a smooth consistency even if you add more liquid and blend for a long time. Good design can help minimize these issues, but nothing makes a blender more effective than simply more power.
Blenders with higher wattage tend to be more expensive than weaker models, but they can handle tough ingredients and thick consistencies well enough to produce velvety smoothies, silky nut butters, and sleek sauces. Some can even make hot soups—using either a built-in heating element or the power of friction produced by blades spinning at high speeds—and many offer connected smart functions and self-cleaning programs.
There's no official standard as to what constitutes a high-powered blender, but we tested dozens of blenders and dug through online listings and reviews, focusing on the ones in the top range of wattage. Here are the machines we've found to be the best high-powered blenders.
Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender
Inexpensive (for a Vitamix)
No preset programs
Vitamix has long been considered the gold standard of high-performance blenders and is still the brand favored by many professional chefs for its power, design, and durability. Its blenders are expensive, but their incredible performance and durability makes them worth the high price tag.
The Explorian range is Vitamix's new entry-level blender, offering high power at a more manageable price. It's still not cheap, but it's hundreds less than the brand's flagship Professional Series. In our head-to-head testing of Vitamixes, the Explorian performed just about as well as the rest. Its 1,400 watts of power breeze through smoothies, sauces, dips, hot soups, doughs, nut butters, non-dairy milks, and more. What most impressed us, however, it how easy it is to clean: Add a drop of dish soap and hot water, then run for a few seconds. (This even worked after making sticky peanut butter!)
The control panel here is very basic, offering 10 different speeds and a pulse function but no preset programs. The 48-ounce pitcher, made of heavy-duty, BPA-free plastic, is a bit smaller than some of our other picks as well, but it's dishwasher-safe.
Price at time of publish: $350
Capacity: 48 ounces | Power: 1,400 watts | | Speed settings: 10 | Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 17 inches
Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Professional-Grade Smart Blender
App-controlled smart programs
Can blend and cook
Incompatibnle with older Vitamix accessories
Vitamix's top-of-the-line model is only a tiny bit more powerful than the Explorian above, but it's a heck of a lot smarter. The Ascent comes with 10 speeds and five on-board blending programs, plus wireless connectivity and the Perfect Blend app, which lets you control the blender from your phone as well as download new programs for all sorts of specific recipes.
We put the A3500 through its paces and found amazing results with smoothies, peanut butter, whipped cream, cheesecake batter, potato pancakes, and mayonnaise—this is a really versatile machine. Maybe the most impressive thing it can do is cook food: The blades can spin so fast that the friction heats up the contents of the jar. It can bring soup to steaming in about 10 minutes, and we used it to make a smooth, lump-free chocolate pudding even faster than on the stovetop.
There are a bunch of useful Vitamix Ascent accessories available, too. These include a food processor, a container for milling grain into flour, a special aerating blade for whipping cream, shaking cocktails, and making emulsified sauces and dressings. There are also small bowls and cups you can use to take a smoothie or dip to go. And the machine senses the attachment automatically, adjusting its settings and options accordingly.
But then there's that eye-watering cost. This is a super-powerful luxury blender, sold for a luxury price. (If you're planning to upgrade from another Vitamix model, you should note that older attachments are not compatible with the Ascent series.)
Price at time of publish: $650
Capacity: 64 ounces | Power: 1,440 watts | Speed settings: 10 | Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 17 inches
"While a blender is never going to be silent, this one is surprisingly less noisy than we’d expect, given its power." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Oster Pro 1200 Blender with Glass Jar
Bonus portable cup
No tamper included
Limited speed and program options
Not very durable
This Oster model offers high power and quality at a very affordable price. It has a 1,200-watt motor that can tear through tough ingredients like kale, and comes with a heavy-duty glass pitcher that’s dishwasher-safe and resistant to thermal shock. As a bonus, the blender comes with a 24-ounce plastic cup that screws right onto the blade base for a quick and easy single-serving smoothie to go.
On the downside, it has only three speeds (low, medium, and high) and three preset programs (smoothie, milkshake, and salsa). Some users have also reported that their units broke or malfunctioned quickly, though it does come with a three-year satisfaction guarantee. For this price, however, it's also pretty replaceable. (If you'd like an even more multipurpose version of this machine, you can spend a bit more a get the Oster Pro 1200 with a food processor attachment.)
Price at time of publish: $90
Capacity: 48 ounces | Power: 1,200 watts | Speed settings: 3 | Dimensions: 7.3 x 8 x 14.3 inches
Blendtec Classic 575 Blender
Blendtec is a family-owned, U.S.-based manufacturer that produces ultra-powerful blenders beloved in professional kitchens. (You might know it from the "Will It Blend?" series of viral videos that use its robust motor and blades to reduce things like golf balls and iPhones to dust.) This household model features a 90-ounce jug, big enough to make six smoothies all at once. It's made of BPA-free plastic and is dishwasher-safe.
With 1,560 watts of power, the Blendtec Classic is the second-mightiest on this list. The motor can create hot soups through friction alone, and the unit has five speed settings plus four pre-programmed cycles. While it is expensive, this is a blender that can handle anything you throw at it. It's incredibly quick and effective, albeit a bit noisy. If you regularly make smoothies for large groups, large batches of soup, silky sauces or dips for entertaining, or icy blended cocktails, this workhorse of a blender is a solid investment. You could even use it to pulverize home electronics, though we wouldn't recommend that.
Price at time of publish: $410
Capacity: 90 ounces | Power: 1,560 watts | Speed settings: 5 | Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 15 inches
"I got this blender at a thrift store (best thrifting find of my life), and even though it had been used for an unknown number of years before me, it stood up to years of heavy use in my kitchen. I was a professional chef developing recipes every day and couldn't have gotten by without it." — Katya Weiss-Andersson, Small Appliances Expert for The Spruce Eats
Best Personal Blender
NutriBullet Pro 900 High-Speed Blender
Multiple portable cups
Only one speed
Personal blenders are smaller in capacity than full-size models, but this one really isn't much less mighty. When we tested personal blenders, the NutriBullet Pro 900 crushed the competition—along with a lot of ice—and we named it our best overall pick. It comes with two 32-ounce cups, each big enough for an extra-large smoothie and with separate handled and flip-top lids.
The 900-watt motor on this machine is less powerful than the rest of this list, but when it comes to small-footprint personal blenders, that's a lot. It had no problem breaking down and fully incorporating berries, kale, frozen banana, and peanut butter in testing, all within 60 seconds. It's also super-easy to use: Push the cup into the base, twist, and it locks and turns on. Twist the cup the other way, and it unlocks and turns off. The cups and lids are dishwasher-safe, and the removable blade unscrews for easy washing by hand.
The NutriBullet Pro 900 is perfect if you're a daily smoothie-drinker looking for a smooth and delicious breakfast. On the other hand, that's about all it can do. The single speed setting means you can only puree; don't try to achieve any kind of chunky texture. And the small capacity limits its usefulness for larger meals.
Price at time of publish: $100
Capacity: 32 ounces | Power: 900 watts | Speed settings: 1 | Dimensions: 7.7 x 12 x 15.9 inches
"This has had a permanent spot on my space-limited countertop for years. It blends as well as big-name blenders while being hundreds of dollars cheaper, not to mention easier to clean." — Katya Weiss-Andersson, Small Appliances Expert for The Spruce Eats
Best for Soups
Ninja Foodi HB152 Heat-iQ Blender
Cooks and blends
Many preset programs
Difficult to clean
Some high-powered blenders have a special soup mode that warms up the contents of the jar using only the friction generated by the high-speed blade. This one goes even further, with a built-in heating element that can cook food before, during, or after blending. The Ninja Foodi Heat-iQ features a 1,400-watt blending motor and a separate 800-watt heat source for precision control. It includes an impressive array of preset programs that let you throw in some raw ingredients, press a button, walk away, and come back later to a ready-to-eat soup.
With the heat turned off, this machine is a beast of a blender, with a large jar able to handle smoothies, cocktails, sauces, and all the other things the other blenders on this list can. The heating element is incorporated into the pitcher itself, which makes cleaning a bit complicated—you can't really put it under running water in the sink. However, the blade and innards have a nonstick coating, and there's a self-clean function that needs just water, a few drops of dish soap, and the included brush to work. Another plus: The blender also comes with a tamper.
Price at time of publish: $168
Capacity: 64 ounces | Power: 1,400 watts | Speed settings: 3 | Cooking programs: 12 | Dimensions: 8.8 x 7.9 x 17.9 inches
Cleanblend Commercial Blender
Extremely high power
Variable speed dial
Hand wash only
Looking to open a smoothie window or frozen-daiquiri shop of your own? This ultra-powerful blender could be the right choice. With an 1,800-watt motor, the Cleanblend can take on ice, kale, bananas, peanut butter, and any other tough ingredients. It also has a variable knob that goes all the way down to low speed for gently chopping veggies into salsa. The precise controls let you crank the speed up and down evenly and get a very smooth result.
With all that power, the Cleanblend carries an extremely reasonable price. It isn't the cheapest on our list, but it's close. The 64-ounce pitcher can only be washed by hand, which is a bit of a pain but not the end of the world. Most reviews are very positive, but some users complain about the unit being unstable on the counter and the jar not locking solidly into place after a few months of heavy use.
Price at time of publish: $179
Capacity: 64 ounces | Power: 1,800 watts | Speed settings: Variable | Dimensions: 15 x 13 x 18 inches
Best for Smoothies
Breville Fresh & Furious Blender
Built-in smoothie programs
With six speeds and programs specifically for crushing ice, making fruit-based smoothies, and making green smoothies, the Breville Fresh & Furious is the ideal machine for anybody who likes to drink their produce. Its special skinny blades break down fibrous ingredients into the tiniest of bits and can also whip air into the mixture for a rich texture.
The Fresh & Furious features an extremely tight-fitting lid that ensures you'll never have any leakage or messy explosions. But it also has a unique pull-ring that makes it easy to remove when blending is done. The pitcher itself is printed with clear measurement markings, too, so you can pour all your ingredients directly into it, no other dishes required.
If you're a hardcore smoothie-head, you should also check out Breville's Vac Q vacuum pump, which is compatible with this machine. It removes air from the pitcher before blending, which protects the ingredients from oxidation and makes for more vibrant colors and flavors.
Price at time of publish: $200
Capacity: 50 ounces | Power: 1,100 watts | Speed settings: 5 | Dimensions: 7 x 8.5 x 17 inches
For overall best performance and reliability, the Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender is our top pick, but if you're looking for something a little cheaper, we recommend the Oster Pro Blender With Glass Jar.
What to Look for in a High-Powered Blender
Power and Performance
There's no official definition for how much power constitutes a high-powered blender, but anything over about 1,000 watts puts you into the top echelon of machines. The highest-wattage home machine we could find boasts 1,800 watts. (Smaller-capacity personal blenders don't need as much power to do the same job, making the 900-watt NutriBullet on our list one of the more powerful personal models out there.)
Wattage is the most important determinant of power, but clever design features can help a blender do more with less. The number of blades, programs, spin speed, and pitcher shape also affect how well the machine performs. No matter how powerful a motor is, it can't chop ingredients that are stuck outside the range of the blade.
The whirling, food-chopping bits at the bottom of blenders come in lots of different configurations, with different numbers of individual blades, in different shapes, set at different angles. A good blade needs to not only break up ingredients efficiently but also create a vortex that keeps everything in the jar mixing for consistent performance. In general, blenders that have larger blades arranged in an asymmetrical pattern, and a greater number of blades, perform better than those with fewer, smaller blades mounted parallel to each other, which can create a space below the blades for food to get trapped.
Blender jars are pretty much limited to two materials: glass and plastic. There are pros and cons to both, and the best choice depends on your needs and preferences. Glass pitchers are heavier, but they are less likely to retain odors and stains. However, many high-powered blenders opt for hefty, BPA-free plastic, as glass can shatter at high speeds or if you add hot liquid to a cold jar. A minor issue with plastic is that blending hard things (like ice or nuts) over long periods can scratch the inner surface of the jar, making it cloudy. This is only aesthetic, though, and shouldn’t impact performance. If glass is your preference, look for a model that’s made from glass specially formulated to resist thermal shock.
Some blenders come with tiny cups designed for single servings of baby food, and others can handle nearly a gallon at a time. Bigger isn't always better, as a huge jar can't blend a small serving evenly (and is likely to cost more). Your goal should be to choose a size that fits your personal needs. A small personal blender is perfect if you make a smoothie for one every morning, while a larger one would be better for a big family that's always whipping up multi-serving batches of soup. With large-capacity blender jars, shape comes into play as well: Some are very tall and might not fit inside a cabinet, but there are also low-profile models that are shorter but wider.
Ease of Cleaning
Blenders break food up into little tiny bits, which means there are always lots of little tiny bits of food to clean out of a blender. Some models have entirely dishwasher-safe jars and blades you can just throw directly in the machine, while others have to be carefully scrubbed out by hand. Many blenders split the difference, with a dishwasher-safe pitcher and detachable blade you have to wash by hand. It may also be possible to clean a blender by running it with soap and water inside; check your manual. No matter how you have to clean yours, try to do so soon after use—if food dries and sticks to the pitcher and blades, it's much harder to remove.
One other very important rule: The motor base of a blender (or any other electrical appliance) should never be submerged in water or put in the sink. Use a damp sponge, cloth, or paper towel to wipe down the outside.
When making smoothies and smooth soups, a tamper can be an important accessory that lets you safely push stubborn chunks toward the blades without having to remove the lid. Some blenders come with a tamper, while others offer them as an optional, sold-separately accessory.
What is considered a high-powered blender?
There's no official industry standard of how much power is considered "high" when it comes to blenders. There are home machines on the market with as many as 1,800 watts and as few as 200. For the purposes of this story, we considered only blenders with 1,000 watts or more. (Personal blenders, with their smaller cups, don't need as much power as full-size machines. We made an exception for the NutriBullet Pro 900, as its 900 watts put it near the top of the range for personal blenders.)
How many watts does a blender need to be to crush ice?
Ice is quite hard, and it needs blades spinning really fast to crack it into still-frozen fluffy snow. A lower-powered blender takes longer to crush ice, generating heat and melting more of it in the process. If you will most often be using your blender to make smoothies with ice or frozen fruit, you'll need one with a serious motor. Look for a blender with at least 1,000 watts and preferably more. But keep in mind that higher wattage generally means a higher price.
What else can I make in a blender besides smoothies?
A high-powered blender is ideal for crushing frozen fruit and ice, but this machine shouldn't be saved for just making smoothies and frozen cocktails. Use the blender to make waffle and pancake batter, sauces such as homemade hollandaise, creamy soups, fresh mayonnaise, salad dressings, dips, peanut butter, and sorbet. You can even use a high-powered blender to do the job of a juicer by blending up your produce with a little bit of water and then straining out the pulp with a strainer or nut milk bag.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This article was written by Danette St. Onge, formerly the Italian Food Expert for The Spruce Eats and a features editor at Cook’s Illustrated magazine (part of America’s Test Kitchen). An avid kitchen appliance and utensil fan, she spends hours combing the internet, comparing options, reading reviews, and testing to find the best tool for every job.
This article was updated by Katya Weiss-Andersson, a writer and editor who has nearly a decade of experience as a professional chef. Katya is admittedly a blender snob after using so many blenders in her professional life, and aspires to one day own a Vitamix. It was further updated by The Spruce Eats commerce writer Jason Horn, who isn't the biggest fan of smoothies but loves a blender hollandaise.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bisphenol A (BPA) factsheet.