If you bake often, you might be considering upgrading to a stand mixer. KitchenAid stand mixers, which have been in existence for more than 100 years, are coveted by both professional bakers and serious home bakers. They can help you mix, whip, beat, knead, and fold a variety of recipes. These mixers also make quick tasks like whipping cream, beating egg whites to stiff peaks, and kneading bread dough far more convenient than whipping and kneading by hand. Stand mixers also offer greater capacity than a standard mixing bowl and handheld mixer, so you can make larger batches of doughs, batters, and frostings, which is perfect for bake sales, parties, and holiday cookie trays.
KitchenAid stand mixers aren't just for baking, though. There are more than 10 attachments sold separately to turn your mixer into a juicer, pasta maker, food processor, and more. The attachments are powered by the mixer's motor making this one versatile workhorse. With tilt-head, bowl-lift, and commercial designs, plus tons of color options and bowl styles to choose from, there's a KitchenAid stand mixer to fit your kitchen and cooking style.
Here are the best KitchenAid stand mixers.
KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Compatible with additional KitchenAid attachments
Mixes small amount of ingredients well
Paddle attachment has silicone scraping edge
Only single and double recipes recommended
The Artisan series mixers are very popular with users, and after testing it for ourselves, it was easy to see why. The mixer is substantial enough to tackle home cooking and baking projects with ease, but not so bulky that you’ll need a helper to move the mixer into storage if you don’t keep it on your counter. Testers say the 5-quart stainless steel bowl is big enough to hold double batches of cookies and royal icing and managed to mix cookie dough, whipped cream, bread dough, and even pasta dough efficiently during lab and home tests. The bowl twists into place at the base of the mixer, and the top motor housing tilts up to give you access to the bowl and make fitting and releasing the bowl and attachments easier.
We tested the KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart tilt-head model alongside three other mixers from KitchenAid's stand mixer lineup in our lab, as well as eight stand mixers from competing brands. Its performance in mixing, whipping, and kneading was consistently better than most of the other machines. Balanced with great design and value for the price, this stand mixer is essential for nearly anyone who's serious about baking.
There’s nothing this model can’t do. The motor is powerful enough to knead dough or whip cream, and the front power hub is compatible with more than additional 10 KitchenAid attachments. The tilt-head locks into place with a knob on one side of the machine, and the speed is adjusted with a sliding nob on the opposite side. There are ten speeds that range from a slow "stir" to heavy-duty beating. The included attachments are a silicone-edge paddle, wire whip, and dough hook. Plus, it’s available in over 15 different colors, so you’re guaranteed to find one that you love.
Price at time of publish: $450
Bowl Size: 5 quarts | Power: 325 watts | Weight: 26 pounds
"While this mixer isn’t a professional model, it’s a beast of a machine for home cooks with its powerful and efficient 325-watt motor. Even with lightweight tasks like whipping cream or mixing cake batter that could be done by hand or with a hand mixer, this machine proved its worth." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
KitchenAid Classic Plus Series 4.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Quieter than other models
Lowest-priced stand mixer KitchenAid currently offers
Same attractive design as more expensive models
Bowl doesn't have a handle
While KitchenAid stand mixers might never be considered inexpensive, this tilt-head model is the least expensive option for a new machine that KitchenAid currently offers. It's about $120 less than the Artisan 5-quart model, due to its slightly less powerful motor, smaller bowl size, and limited color options.
On the upside, the 275-watt motor is a little quieter than some of the other higher-powered models. The bowl has a 4.5-quart capacity and no handle, although it's still plenty large enough to mix two batches of cookie dough and a big batch of frosting. The machine weighs 25 pounds, which is heavy enough to keep it anchored to your kitchen counter while mixing. It can even tackle small batches of bread dough when mixed at lower speeds.
Otherwise, this stand mixer comes with the same three attachments as the other machines and the same attractive mixer silhouette. It's built just as sturdily as the other stand mixer models, is compatible with the same additional hub and bowl attachments, and can easily last you several decades of use when operated with care. While you can't choose from a rainbow of colors like you can with the Artisan model, you do have the choice of several classic KitchenAid colors, including Onyx Black, silver, and white.
Price at time of publish: $330
Bowl Size: 4.5 quarts | Power: 275 watts | Weight: 25 pounds
"The KitchenAid Classic 4.5-quart mixer was the very first stand mixer I bought for myself when I started baking seriously. I used it at home nonstop for 12 years before buying a larger model to accommodate larger projects, but the Classic still works just as well as the day I bought it. I've made everything from wedding cakes and bagels to ice cream (with the KitchenAid ice cream mixing bowl attachment) with this machine, and even bought an identical model for my mom to use." — Jenny Kellerhals, Baking Expert at The Spruce Eats
KitchenAid Artisan Design Series Blossom Stand Mixer
Bowl has two handles
Additional pastry blender attachment and bowl scraper
Soft thyme-green color and hammered copper bowl
Copper bowl is hand-wash only
The general shape of the KitchenAid stand mixer hasn't changed all that much since its original release. But in 1969, the first special edition model was unveiled in honor of KitchenAid's 50th anniversary, giving us the silhouette that we still use to this day. Since the fundamental shape of the stand mixer doesn't change, KitchenAid has found other ways to offer specialty stand mixer models, by playing with the machine's color palette, materials, and attachment designs. One of the newest KitchenAid mixer designs to hit the market is the "Blossom" stand mixer, which is a riff on the popular Artisan Series mixer.
The Blossom stand mixer comes in an exclusive and lovely light green hue that's described as "thyme green." Even the metal label band around the top of the machine is painted in the limited edition hue, with botanical designs that accent the overall theme. Instead of an entirely stainless steel mixing bowl, the Blossom mixer is fitted with a two-handle bowl that's made of attractive hammered copper on the outside and stainless steel on the inside. Unfortunately, the addition of the hammered copper means that you'll need to hand wash the bowl, and occasionally polish the copper. The overall look blends the comforting style of a French countryside kitchen with clean and contemporary kitchen performance. It's an aesthetic that's hard not to love.
The additions don't stop at the color and bowl design, though. This stand mixer model includes a fourth attachment on top of the typical paddle, whip, and dough hook attachments that come with all KitchenAid stand mixers. The "pastry beater" attachment is shaped generally like the paddle attachment, but with horizontal crossbars that are designed to break up butter and blend them into your dough. The manufacturer says the pastry blender attachment is also great for shredding meats and mashing fruits and vegetables.
Otherwise, this mixer provides the same power and efficiency that you'll find with the Artisan Series 5-quart stand mixer. While the specs for the machines are comparable, the Blossom edition comes with a substantial markup, costing several hundred dollars more than the Artisan.
Price at time of publish: $700
Bowl Size: 5 quarts | Power: 325 watts | Weight: 23 pounds
“One of my favorite unexpected ways to use my KitchenAid stand mixer with the flat beater attachment is to shred chicken,” says Jessica Randhawa, Owner and Head Chef of The Forked Spoon. “By hand, it can be very slow. Stand mixers are efficient at shredding hot, freshly poached chicken breast, baked chicken, or even store-bought rotisserie chicken. Once the chicken is quickly shredded in the mixer, it can be easily repurposed into your favorite chicken soup recipe or game-day chicken dip."
Best for Small Spaces
KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Smaller and lighter than other models
Nine popular color options
Easier to store when not in use
Doesn't fit all additional KitchenAid attachments
Sometimes it's not a special design or price that's the major factor when shopping for a mixer, but how much space it takes up on your countertop and potentially in your cabinets. Just because you live in a tiny studio apartment or have limited storage doesn't mean you have to forego a stand mixer, and since it's KitchenAid, you don't have to sacrifice style either. The Artisan Mini 3.5-quart Tilt-Head stand mixer is nearly an exact replica of the Artisan 5-quart model, but shrunk down by about 30%.
The footprint of the 5-quart model is about 14 x 8.75 inches and is around 14 inches tall, whereas the mini 3.5-quart model has a footprint of about 12.25 x 8 inches and is around 12.25 inches tall. When every inch counts, this mixer maximizes how much you can do with a small amount of space.
We put the mini 3.5-quart mixer to the test in our lab to see how it compared to some of the other KitchenAid models, and our testers found that it performed all of the same functions that the larger models did, just as well. It whipped cream to full volume quickly and quietly, paddled a single batch of cookie dough together with ease, and showed no signs of distress while kneading a small batch of bread dough. The only drawback is that the size of the bowl is really only appropriate for single and small-batch recipes.
This Artisan Mini mixer is also one of the lowest-priced mixers in the KitchenAid lineup, which is also helpful for someone who might not be looking to spend quite as much. It comes with the same three standard mixing attachments that all KitchenAid stand mixers have, including a wire whip, Flex Edge beater, and dough hook.
Price at time of publish: $380
Bowl Size: 3.5 quarts | Power: 250 watts | Weight: 18 pounds
"This mixer performed great for all tests, including kneading bread dough. It was noisier when the task became harder (i.e. when bread dough forms into a ball) but doesn't overheat or visibly struggle. The paddle attachment came with a rubber edge to scrape the bowl, which helps in mixing."
Best for Kneading Bread
KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Powerful and heavy-duty motor
Includes a slow stir-speed feature
No unmixed ingredients left at bottom of bowl
Attachments are not dishwasher-safe
The Professional 600 Series mixer is the perfect piece of equipment for serious bakers. During testing in our lab, we found the 575-watt motor was strong enough to knead dough for long periods without overheating, struggling, or damaging the machine — even when mixing multiple loaves of bread back-to-back.
This model comes complete with a slow stir-speed feature, which means the mixer starts at a slower speed, so you’re less likely to spew flour all over the kitchen or splatter wet ingredients before it’s all neatly incorporated. The larger 6-quart bowl can easily handle a double recipe of dough at a time. One of the trade-offs for being able to handle more is that the machine is also heavier than the smaller models, weighing about 29 pounds. So you'll need to consider leaving the mixer on your countertop when it's not in use if it's too heavy to pull in and out of the cabinets regularly.
The way the bowl attaches to the mixer is also different than the connection on the 5-quart and small tilt-head mixers. The bowl connects to the mixer at three points, over two pins on the lift-arms, and pressed into a metal tab at the back of the machine for stability. Our testers noted that it takes some practice to get the hang of attaching the bowl, and it takes a little more force than you might initially expect. But the tight fit ensures that the bowl will stay in place while the machine works hard.
This stand mixer model is currently available in at least ten popular KitchenAid colors, and includes a 1-year limited warranty. KitchenAid also offers extended 1, 3, and 5-year protection plans for the 6-quart bowl-lift stand mixer.
Price at time of publish: $550 for onyx black
Bowl Size: 6 quarts | Power: 575 watts | Weight: 29 pounds
"The Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl Lift model is ideal for professionals and baking enthusiasts who do some serious baking. I use this machine to knead babka, doughnut, bagel, and focaccia dough regularly, and it handles each dough with ease, even on busy basking days where it's in use for hours at a time." — Jenny Kellerhals, Baking Expert at The Spruce Eats
KitchenAid Artisan Series Limited-Edition Light & Shadow 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Black Ceramic Bowl
Clean contemporary color palette
Easily coordinates with other appliances
Dishwasher-safe bowl and attachments
Ceramic bowl may crack or break
Unlike some of the other limited edition stand mixers KitchenAid designs, the Light & Shadow stand mixer is attractive for its clean neutral tones, contrasting materials, textures, and special touches that can't be found elsewhere. The mixer is painted with a light matte finish in an exclusive color called "milkshake" with a graphite-colored band and front cap that are sleeker than the silver components on the regular Artisan series KitchenAid mixers.
There's no difference in how this mixer and the 5-quart Artisan mixer operate. It's still packed with a 325-watt motor and includes a paddle, whip, and dough hook attachment. The major difference is that this limited-edition model comes outfitted with a ceramic 5-quart bowl. The black finish on the natural bowl is a gorgeous compliment to the smooth metal machine, and the studded finish adds a clean but attractive geometric texture to the overall look. It was clearly made to be a feature on your countertop.
But there are a few downsides to the ceramic mixing bowl included with this machine. The biggest drawback is that it doesn't have a handle. And since the ceramic bowl is a little heavier than the metal mixing bowls, that can make it a little more difficult to twist in and out of the machine's base and carry around. There's also the fundamental problem that all ceramic bowls have — the chance that they'll crack or even break. If you're not keen on swapping the functionality of a metal bowl for the aesthetics of the ceramic bowl, KitchenAid also offers the Shadow & Light mixer with a black stainless steel bowl for a slightly lower price.
This limited-edition stand mixer is only available directly through KitchenAid and at Crate & Barrel. If it's not quite your style, check out the Holiday 2022 Artisan Series® Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, and be on the lookout for other seasonal and special edition mixers throughout the year.
Price at time of publish: $600
Bowl Size: 5 quarts | Power: 325 watts | Weight: 26 pounds (estimate)
“A flat beater attachment, also known as a mixer blade, is easily the most versatile attachment for a stand mixer. It can handle almost anything not too heavy or dense, such as cookies, cakes, frostings, mashed potatoes, and even ground meats for meatballs and meatloaf.” — Jessica Randhawa, Owner and Head Chef of The Forked Spoon
Best for Big Batches
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Heavier and harder to store
This mixer is the largest capacity bowl-lift mixer designed for home use, and can often be found in professional kitchens as well. Featuring the same attractive stainless steel design, this machine is a little larger and houses a 1.3-horsepower motor. The 7-quart bowl accommodates up to 16 cups of flour, making it the perfect addition to any kitchen that's whipping up large batches of baked goods on a regular basis. Most reviewers who bake regularly praise this workhorse of a mixer, and during our lab tests, we'd have to agree that it's incredibly powerful.
We whipped cream, mixed cookie dough, and kneaded bread in this stand mixer, and found that it was able to accomplish all of those tasks without a struggle. The 7-quart bowl can easily fit double, if not triple the amount of dough, although our tester noted that it might need to be scraped down to help thoroughly mix all of the ingredients in the larger bowl. We also found that, while this bowl is larger than the other home-use KitchenAid mixers, it's able to handle small quantities of ingredients just as well as large quantities.
However, weighing in at 32 pounds, it's heavy to move in and out of storage, so it’s best to find a permanent spot for it in your kitchen. When mixing heavier ingredients at a faster speed, the machine also gets a little louder, thanks to the more powerful motor. As with all of the other KitchenAid mixers, you'll get a dough hook, a flat beater, wire whip. It also comes with a pouring shield to help guide both wet and dry ingredients into the mixing bowl while it's in operation without making a mess.
Price at time of publish: $680 for onyx black
Bowl Size: 7 quarts | Power: 1.3 horsepower | Weight: 32 pounds
"The 7-quart bowl makes this mixer able to do larger jobs but does not take away from the ability to do smaller jobs either. It can work single batches and double batches with ease."
KitchenAid NSF Certified Commercial Series 8-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Bowl may be difficult to snap on and off
Choosing a mixer for a professional kitchen? Then this commercial-grade pick is the best KitchenAid mixer for you. This bowl-lift mixer is NSF-certified and features an 8-quart brushed stainless steel bowl. Its 1.3-horsepower motor is more than enough power for large or small batches, but you don't have to worry about the motor overheating. Several reviewers also report that it operates more quietly than previous KitchenAid models they've owned. You can choose to purchase it with or without a metal bowl-guard, which prevents extra ingredients from being added while the mixer is in motion.
Price at time of publish: $800 in nickel pearl without bowl guard
Bowl Size: 8 quarts | Power: 500 watts | Weight: 31 pounds
“The balloon whisk attachment is engineered for mixing light texture baked goods, like angel food cakes and chiffon. I also use it to aerate whipped egg whites and meringues, mixtures that can be used for fluffy toppings and frostings.” — Jessica Randhawa, Owner and Head Chef of The Forked Spoon
KitchenAid Mixer Ultimate Bundle
Includes most popular attachments
Both savory and sweet applications
Lower price than buying pieces individually
No customization options
There are those who wade into the world of baking one step at a time, and others who jump in head-first, ready to tackle everything all at once. This collection is for the latter. Not only does this bundle come with a 5-quart Artisan stand mixer and the typical three attachments, but it also comes with the ceramic bread bowl and insulated ice cream maker bowl, the 3-piece pasta roller and cutter set, a 7-piece spiralizer set, and metal food grinder. There's hypothetically nothing you won't be able to prepare with this bundle across a wide variety of cuisines and cooking styles.
For someone who knows they want to start cooking and baking with enthusiasm, it makes sense to buy all of this equipment in a bundle. Williams Sonoma is the only place you can find the bundle at the moment, and they're selling it for about $100 less than the suggested retail price, which is a nice bonus. The only downside, in our opinion, is that you can't choose the color of the stand mixer, which only comes in Medallion Silver with this bundle.
Price at time of publish: $995
Bowl Size: 5 quarts | Power: 325 watts | Weight: 26 pounds
The KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Stand Mixer (view at Amazon) takes our top spot because of its powerful motor and large capacity. Plus, it's compatible with more than 10 different attachments and is available in a ton of color choices. If you're looking for something larger to make big batches, go for the KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer (view at Williams Sonoma).
What to Look for in a KitchenAid Mixer
There are two types of KitchenAid mixers: tilt-head and bowl-lift. The motorhead of a tilt-head mixer pushes back to let you pour ingredients into the bowl and access the beater. A bowl-lift mixer has a lever that pulls the bowl up to the beater. There is also a tilt-head "mini" model that's lighter and more compact than a typical tilt-head mixer.
Size and Capacity
Tilt-head mixers typically have a medium build, meaning they fit pretty well under most cabinets and have a capacity of around 5 quarts. They're quite heavy, however, coming in at approximately 26 pounds. Still, they're not quite as heavy as bowl-lift mixers, which punch in at 29 to 30 pounds; their bowls can hold up to 6 quarts. Due to their size, however, they're meant to be displayed on the counter and not placed under a cabinet. According to KitchenAid, the tilt-head model is made for families or people who plan to use mixers every day, while the bowl-lift model is designed for cooking for a crowd or handling heavy mixtures.
Attachments and Accessories
KitchenAid has more than 10 motor attachments that work with all of its stand mixers. These include a juicer, food processor, spiralizer, and pasta roller, among others. There are also helpful accessories available, such as pouring shields, pouring chutes, and covers.
How do you use a KitchenAid mixer?
According to KitchenAid, follow these steps for success. The home appliance brand also features illustrated instructions of each step below, as well as more details about different models and accessories.
- Set your stand mixer on a flat, level surface
- Select your accessory and attach
- Lock your mixing bowl in place
- Add ingredients according to the recipe
- Lock head (if you have a tilt model), turn on, and select speed
- If you have splatter guard, attach it
- When finished mixing, shut off, unlock head, and remove bowl
- Remove accessory and wash
- Once finished with bowl contents, clean it and your mixer
- Dry and store mixer for next use
How do you clean a KitchenAid mixer?
Be sure the mixer is unplugged. Wash all attachments and the mixing bowl by hand in warm, soapy water. Dry thoroughly and store for next time. Wipe down the stand mixer with a damp sponge and mild cleanser. Get in all the nooks and crannies where food debris can hide, but be careful around knobs and levers.
If you have tough, stuck-on debris, concoct a paste using water and baking soda. Sometimes a toothbrush or cotton swab will help for coils and threads that are hard to clean. The attachment hub unscrews, so you can be sure to get all the splatters that creep in there. Flour and sugar can hide in the ventilation shaft, so be sure to dust for that with a hand vacuum or paper towel.
Once you have all surfaces clean and dry, lock the head in place and turn the mixer on its side to clean underneath. A damp sponge with a mild cleanser or even a paper towel should do the trick. Be sure everything is dry before you store the mixer. If the stainless steel bowl has water spots or fingerprints, you can use a stainless steel cleaner on it or a little Bar Keepers Friend (view at Amazon).
How often should you change the grease in a KitchenAid mixer?
Think about it like the grease on the bearings of your bicycle. You want to be sure the grease is sufficient to keep all the parts moving. Depending on how much use your mixer gets, most should be greased once a year. You need a few tools to undertake this endeavor: a putty knife, flat-head and Phillips screwdrivers, and food-grade grease (view at Amazon). Other products you may need in your arsenal are a container to store your screws and newspaper to cover your work surface and minimize mess.
Once you have assembled the tools, follow these steps to change the grease in your mixer, or make an appointment to have it done for you at a professional small appliance repair shop.
- Remove screws on back cover and screws holding the metal band
- Remove screws on planetary (the part that mixes ingredients)
- Remove the planetary pin and take the planetary off
- Remove remaining visible screws
- Lift the top off the mixer and expose inner parts
- Remove old grease from gears with putty knife
- Remove screws on gear tower and take it out
- Clean everything, and then put inner parts back in reverse order
- Apply new grease to all gears, surrounding area, inside cover, and any moving parts
- Put everything back together with original screws
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is the author of the cookbook, "Make Ahead Bread." She also reviews kitchen gadgets and other products for The Spruce Eats—so she definitely knows more than a few things about stand mixers. In fact, she's personally tested three stand mixers for our site, including one KitchenAid mixer.
This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who happily makes space for any gadget that makes cooking faster and easier. She specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats. Further updates were provided by Carrie Honaker, a restaurateur and avid home cook who knows the importance of finding the right tool for the right job. She loves her KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer for its durability and functionality. The vibrant mango color looks pretty on the counter, as well.
Additional reporting by Jenny Kellerhals
National Sanitation Foundation. What Is NSF-Certification?