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Before silicone became such a popular material for cooking utensils, rubber was the material of choice for spatulas that were used for mixing cookie dough, scraping the batter bowls clean, or squeegeeing the last of the peanut butter out of the jar. While rubber worked well for those applications, it had heat limitations. Today, spatulas made from silicone are even more useful than the rubber ones, since silicone can withstand high heat.
Besides using silicone spatulas for mixing brownie batter, you can use them for mixing your scrambled eggs as they cook or stirring a pot of soup on the stove. And since they’re softer than metal tools, they’re safe for use in nonstick cookware and bakeware. Spatula shapes have changed as well. Now you can find them long, short, fat, skinny—and the list goes on. Sure you need one. But really, you need a nice handful of them.
Here are our recommendations for the best spatulas for all levels of cooks.
You seriously do need more than one spatula, so a set makes a lot of sense. This one includes a medium silicone spatula that’s great for most uses, a spoon spatula (sometimes called a spoonula) that has a bowl-shaped surface that makes it useful for scooping foods out of a bowl or pot, and a small spatula for small batches or for digging into jars.
For even more versatility, the medium spatula has a rounded edge that’s great for bowls and a square edge that helps spread batter into the edges of pans. All of these are heat resistant to 600 degrees so you can use them for all your cooking needs, and the handles have a soft, non-slip surface. They won’t warp, discolor, or melt, and they’re dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
This colorful set of spatulas looks fun and festive, and it includes four spatulas so you always have the one you need. The set includes two medium spatulas in green and blue, one spoon-spatula in red, and one small spatula in yellow. They’re safe to 450 degrees for cooking and dishwasher safe for easy cleanup when cooking is done.
The heads of these are silicone, the handles are BPA-free food-grade plastic, and the handles are designed to be ergonomic and easy to hang onto. The spatula heads are removable, so you can clean every corner and surface and the hole in the handle lets you hang them if you prefer.
This spatula is a bit more expensive than the bargain variety, but it checks all the right boxes. Once you try one, you’ll buy more, and they’ll last for years. The spatula feels good in the hand, and the head is the perfect combination of soft edges that scrape bowls and pots easily along with a firm center that lets you dig into stiff cookie dough with ease.
The spatula is heat resistant to 550 degrees, while the proprietary fiberglass core offers better heat resistance than similar spatulas with a metal core that can make the spatula too hot to handle when left in a hot pot. This spatula is made in a single piece with no seams, holes, or cracks where food could collect, so it’s easy to keep clean and is dishwasher safe.
These are available in multiple colors to add fun colors to your kitchen, and there are several sizes, as well, from a mini to a giant spatula for your largest soup pot.
You know what it’s like: The peanut butter jar is almost empty, but you know you could scrape another spoonful off the sides if you worked at it hard enough. Or you need just a little more mayonnaise for that potato salad, but the spoon doesn’t fit into that ring at the bottom of the jar. The jar spatula comes to the rescue, with a shape that’s perfect for getting the last bits out of tight corners.
You can also use it for cooking, since it’s heat resistant to 600 degrees, or use it for spreading that peanut butter on a cracker or smoothing the top of the brownie batter. This is safe for all of your nonstick cookware and bakeware, and it’s dishwasher safe.
While not the most decorative spatula you’ll find, what this one has going for it is that it’s a commercial-grade utensil, so you know it can stand up to heavy-duty use. Even better, this same spatula is available with either a flatter head or with a more spoon-shaped style. It’s also available in three lengths as well as a variety of handle colors.
The handle is rigid enough to keep from flexing, even when you’re mixing a dense dough, and stays cool when used for cooking. The silicone head is stain resistant and can handle heat up to 500 degrees while it also protects nonstick cookware from scratches, so it can be used for stirring a pot of soup or a batch of peanut brittle on the stove. A hanging hole on the end of the handle means it can hang on a hook to keep it nearby, and it’s dishwasher safe—even in a commercial dishwasher.
It doesn’t get much simpler than this spatula, and the price is right so you can fill your utensil crock with different colors. The soft silicone won’t damage nonstick cookware or bakeware, and it can also handle the heat up to 425 degrees. The edges are bendy enough to scrape corners of cookware or the sides of a mixing bowl, but sturdy enough to handle dense doughs.
This is a single piece of silicone with no creases or joints that could collect food, so cleaning is easy by hand or in the dishwasher. There’s a hanging hole at the end of the handle so it can hang on a hook. This comes in a variety of colors, handle lengths, and head shapes, so you’ll always have just the right tool for the job.
Great for small spaces, this compact spatula has two usable ends. One end is a wide offset angled blade that’s designed for mixing batter and scraping bowls, while the other end is a spoon for mixing batter and stirring sauces.
The spatula is made in one piece with no seams, so it’s easy to keep clean, and it’s dishwasher safe. When you’re not using it for stirring, mixing, and scraping, it’s also handy for frosting cakes and cupcakes.
The handle of this spatula is designed to be ergonomic despite the tool’s size, so your hand won’t tire while stirring and stirring, and it won’t damage your nonstick cookware or bakeware. The large size helps it do more of the work in less time (score!). The smooth surface and large size make it a great option for spreading (think icing cakes). It’s dishwasher safe, so cleanup is a snap.
Spoonulas are the perfect blend of spatula and spoon. You can use them for mixing and blending just like a standard flat spatula, while the shallow bowl makes it much easier to scoop out batters so you can transfer from bowl to pot more efficiently.
This spatula is made in one piece, so there are no seams where food or bacteria could collect, and it’s heat safe to 480 degrees. For easy cleaning, it’s dishwasher safe.
If you're just getting started, the OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set is a good choice that will equip you with what you need for all your mixing and baking needs. Serious cooks looking for something a little bit more heavy-duty should check out the Rubbermaid Commercial Products High Heat Silicone Spatula (view at Amazon).
What to Look for When Buying a Mixing Spatula
Silicone spatulas are used for far more than smoothing out cake batter. The average heat resistance of a typical silicone spatula is between 400 to 600 degrees. Anything less isn’t recommended. You’ll want a spatula that can stand up to the heat when stirring vegetables halfway through roasting in the oven or mixing your ingredients while pan-frying dinner.
While the heat rating applies to the silicone head of your spatula, it doesn’t always apply to the handle of the spatula. An all-silicone unibody spatula will have the same heat resistance the entire length of the spatula. Handles made from wood, plastic, or metal may have different heat ratings or recommended uses.
Flexibility and Rigidity
The beauty of the silicone spatula is in its flexibility—while still being relatively thin and sturdy. The slightly bendable head makes it easy to get every last drop out of the pot like a small hand-held squeegee. Flat and curved surfaces alike are easily scraped with this tool, and anything from heavy cookie doughs to light and fluffy meringue can be picked up with minimal effort and sticking. (Ever try and get all of the marshmallow fluff out of the canister with a wooden spoon? The horror!)
With that said, you don’t want the spatula to be too flexible. A silicone spatula head that folds in half when you’re trying to do simple tasks isn’t going to be effective or hold up during more intense projects. Look for spatulas that have a rigid core that extends up into the head. The silicone head itself should be thicker in the center and taper out towards the edges for the most support.
Regardless of which style of spatula you prefer, it’s a good idea to have a range of sizes to work with. Small, medium, large, and jumbo spatulas can come in handy for so many different projects. You can think of small spatulas as extensions of your fingers. Want to get that last bit of queso dip at the bottom of the jar? Or maybe scrape down to the bottom of your blender to get all of the smoothie ingredients mixed? A small spatula is there for you. Some smaller spatulas even come with longer and narrower handles just for such purposes.
Medium-sized spatulas are going to be your daily go-to tool. From cooking dinner to making a cake, an average-sized spatula is an incredibly versatile tool. If you do a lot of cooking and baking, it might even be worth it to buy one or two special spatulas at this size and a pack of economical spatulas to plow through projects that demand a lot of separate mixing components.
Large and jumbo-sized spatulas are here to do some heavy lifting. Least likely to be used in everyday cooking, this spatula makes folding together a large batch of chocolate mousse or similar whipped recipe easier with fewer deflating folds in the long run. Also useful for stirring large batches of soups and liquid that need to be scraped to the bottom of the pot, a large spatula moves several handfuls of ingredients more efficiently than a large wooden spoon or ladle with the benefit of the silicone scraping head.
As mentioned before, the majority of the mixing spatulas on the market today are made of heat-rated silicone that can stand up to almost every cooking environment. Plastic head spatulas should be avoided as they typically have lower heat resistance ratings and are likely to melt, bend, or snap while you’re cooking.
Handles are made from several different materials, including plastic and BPA-free food-grade plastic, wood and bamboo, metal, and fiberglass.
Plastic handles are generally less expensive than some of the other options, but care should be taken when using hot appliances. A plastic spatula left resting on the side of a hot pan might melt grooves into the handle or warp if used near very high heat or an open flame. Fiberglass handles are even stronger than plastic and make for a solid core. Check the recommended heat rating before using a fiberglass spatula near an open flame.
A wooden-handled spatula is also usually a more cost-effective spatula but can tolerate a higher amount of residual heat than plastic (but should not be used on an open flame). Unfortunately, wood is very porous and can easily absorb colors, odors, and ingredients that may never completely wash out.
Metal handles are sturdy, heat and flame resistant, and non-porous to avoid stains and residual scents. Typically metals are used as the core of seamless unibody spatulas or are coated with silicone or plastic for safe handling.
Since the mixing spatula is essentially an extension of your hands and fingers, it should feel comfortable to hold and use. Handles that are too bulky take too much effort to grip and use smoothly. Handles that are too thin or slick are difficult to keep a firm grasp on.
Look for a handle that’s easy to hold in a few different positions. A non-slip grip, textured, or handle made of silicone will go a long way when you’re working with something that splashes around or makes you work up a sweat. Many spatulas have a straight handle, but a more ergonomically-designed handle gently widens where you hold the handle most often and tapers for a tighter grip closer to the head.
Luckily, this essential tool isn’t going to put a hole in your wallet. Most spatulas are so reasonably priced that it’s worth it to pick up a set or several pieces of your favorite style to have on hand. Both reliable sets and high-quality standalone spatulas can all be found for less than $20. If properly maintained, they can last you many months, or even years. Once you’ve gotten your use out of them, they’re easily replaceable without a large financial commitment.
No matter what color, pattern, or seasonal design you’re interested in, there’s a spatula out there to match your tastes. Most spatula sets come in a variety pack of colors, although you can also pick and choose which colors you’d like to add to your collection. Designer collections, like Le Creuset, even have silicone spatulas that coordinate with cookware collections for a uniform kitchen color palette. Holiday-themed spatulas and specialty designs make mixing spatulas easy and ultra-useful gifts for friends and family who love to cook.
Flat spatulas make up the majority of the mixing spatulas on the market. The head of the spatula isn’t entirely flat (usually thicker in the center and tapered towards the edges) but is used flat for stirring, scraping, and folding.
The edges of the flat spatula vary, but in most cases, there is one squared-off edge at the top, and one rounded edge, making it easy to push batter into the corners of a pan or scrape the bottom of a round bowl, all with the same tool. Spatulas where the top edge is mostly flat are great for stirring and are able to evenly scrape more surface area of the bottom of a pot.
Spoon Spatulas (Spoonulas)
Spoon-shaped spatulas, occasionally referred to as spoonulas, blend the contemporary spatula with the traditional wooden spoon. A spoonula is a spatula shaped with a concave side that makes scooping batters, tasting sauces, and transferring ingredients from one bowl to another much easier. The spoonula typically also tapers out to the edges of the spatula and comes in small, medium, and large sizes. It is often part of a larger spatula set for the ultimate cooking flexibility.
Seen much less often and typically only in smaller sizes, the pointed spatula is made specifically for spreading or digging into very tight corners or scraping food at an extreme angle—like from the very bottom of a blender.
OXO Good Grips
OXO’s line of kitchen hand tools is where Good Grips began, and has only improved and expanded. Incredibly popular, OXO products can be found in department stores, home goods stores, and even grocery stores. Known for durability and ease of use, OXO hand tools are median-priced tools that will last several years when used appropriately.
A newcomer to the kitchen and home goods market, the New York City-based Vremi has set out to design functional household goods at relatively low prices. Its brightly colored line of kitchen goods is a step above generic, with catchy pop culture-pun related names.
Get It Right
More commonly referred to as “GIR," silicone products are what they’re made of—and some might argue that no one does silicone spatulas like GIR. The four different-sized spatulas GIR makes come in a whopping 16 different color options and are considered some of the best available because of their strong core and clean unibody design. That quality comes at a price, though, ranging from $8 to $16 per spatula. This is ultimately a small price to pay for an exceptionally comfortable and functional tool.
StarPack is an Australian-based company that specializes mostly in silicone hand tools for the kitchen at moderate prices. The line of silicone tools branches out from mixing spatulas to classic spatulas, tongs, spoons, pasta servers, and whisks as well. The only downside is that all of the tools are red, which may or may not match your decor if you have a specific color palette in mind.
Orblue makes an extensive line of home and professional food production tools, all at very affordable prices. With a focus on innovative tools, there’s a good chance you’ll find a few different tools to love for your home kitchen, including herb scissors, a corn peeler, and a rotary cheese grater—because who doesn’t want more cheese?
With the tagline of “Everyday Utensils," you might be surprised to see just how large Tovolo’s line of silicone and wooden spatulas, spoons, and hand tools is. A popular choice at most kitchen goods stores, Tovolo also sells mixing spatulas with playful prints, sparkles, and holiday themes for cooks with a playful spirit. These spatulas can get years of use, even if you reach for them every day.
Most silicone spatulas are dishwasher safe and easy to clean by hand. A few things you’ll want to pay attention to are food residue build-up in any creases or in a spatula with a detachable head. These may need to be scrubbed and rinsed out by hand to be thoroughly cleaned. Spatulas with detachable heads will need to be completely dry before being reassembled to avoid trapping any water inside the spatula or risking water draining out into your next cooking project.
If using a spatula with a wooden handle, make sure it’s dishwasher safe for thorough sanitizing at a high temperature. Once the handle becomes water-logged, shredded, discolored, or molds, it’s best to throw it out and get a new spatula.
While a silicone spatula head is heat resistant, it isn’t cut-resistant and can easily be sliced by the sharp edges of cans and other sharp tools. If you notice your spatula has been sliced, or that a chunk of it is missing from extensive use, it’s best to throw it away to avoid having any pieces of silicone break off into your food.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a food writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats, as well as the author of the cookbook, Make Ahead Bread. She's tried out numerous spatulas over the years for all her cooking and baking needs so she knows what to look for, and she specifically tested and reviewed the OXO Good Grips set for this roundup.