Our Top Picks
"Not too big, not too small, this 10-speed mixer can knead a double batch of cookie dough and mix small amounts just as easily."
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Stand Mixer at Amazon
"This has the same planetary mixing action as popular high-end mixers, at a budget price."
Best for Beginners: Aicok Stand Mixer at Amazon
"This stand mixer has the functions you need at a price that’s more affordable than the high-end models."
Best Large Capacity: KitchenAid Commercial Stand Mixer at Amazon
"It can hold up to 14 cups of flour, and the motor is the most powerful and quietest in the KitchenAid line."
Best for Small Spaces: KitchenAid Artisan Mini Series Stand Mixer at Amazon
"This small mixer is 25 percent lighter and has a 20 percent smaller footprint than the company’s classic mixer."
Best Design: Kenmore Elite 417602 Ovation Stand Mixer at Amazon
"Its patented Pour-In Top Design means you can add in ingredients without fear of splatters."
Best High-End: Ankarsrum Original 6230 7-Liter Stand Mixer at Amazon
"If you're willing to splurge on a professional-grade stand mixer, this one has it all in terms of build, power, and versatility."
01 of 07
Best Overall: KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand MixerWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Easily handles tough doughs
Heavy-duty bowl with handle
Impressive array of optional attachments
Coated attachments could chip
Wire whip is not dishwasher safe
Not too big, not too small, this 10-speed mixer can knead a double batch of cookie dough and mix small amounts just as easily. No matter what the task, our tester said this machine "proved its worth." It might not have all the integrated bells and whistles (timers, automatic shutoff, etc.) of some of our other picks, but what the KitchenAid lacks in technology it makes up for in attachments and market ubiquity. When someone says they have a stand mixer, they're most likely talking about a KitchenAid, and probably even this model.
There are at least 15 different attachments for this machine, including a grater, grain mill, juicer, pasta maker, spiralizer, ravioli press, ice cream maker, and more. (Although keep in mind they are all sold separately.) Since the brand is so popular, besides official KitchenAid-branded attachments there are third-party attachments and accessories available also.
You can get this mixer in a wide variety of colors to match or accent your kitchen décor, and the tilt-head makes it easy to switch from paddle to dough hook, add ingredients, or scrape the bowl. This mixer has a 5-quart bowl and comes with a flat beater, a dough hook, wire whisk, and a pouring shield.
"No matter what the task, we could just set up the machine and stand back and watch it." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
02 of 07
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Stand MixerWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Folding setting for delicate mixing
Head tilts high for bowl removal
Bowl lacks a handle
No splash guard
Paddle is plastic
This has the same planetary mixing action as popular high-end mixers, at a budget price, so your cake batters will be smooth and your whipped cream will be fluffy. There are six speeds, plus a special fold setting for gentle mixing. The 3 1/2 quart bowl is large enough for most baking needs, and non-slip feet keep the machine stable as it works. The mixer head tilts up for easy access to the bowl and locks down in use, so it won’t bounce when mixing thick batters and doughs.
This mixer is powered by a 300-watt motor and includes a splash guard, dough hook, whisk, and flat beater for versatility. The mixing bowl and attachments are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Our tester found it handled most tasks well but wouldn't recommend it for bread dough. Still, our reviewer called it "a great mixer for cooks and bakers with more modest needs."
"It’s not the largest or most robust mixer, but it did almost everything we asked it to do." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
03 of 07
Best for Beginners: Aicok Stand MixerWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Light enough for one-handed carrying
Capable of kneading bread and pasta dough
Suction cups hold mixer firmly on counter
Warranty may require return to China
Dough hook and paddle must be hand washed
Manual is a poor translation
This stand mixer has the functions you need at a price that’s more affordable than the high-end models. It also has one extra: instead of a single dough hook, it has double dough hooks, so it can handle your bread dough with ease.
This has six speeds, a 5-quart bowl, and it comes with the two dough hooks, a whisk attachment, a beater attachment, and a splash guard. The bowl has a handle that makes it easy to attach and remove and easy to empty.
The tilt-head design makes it easy to access the bowl, while suction cup feet make sure the mixer stays in place on the counter. The bowl and wire whip are dishwasher safe, but other attachments should be washed by hand. While this can do pretty much everything a more expensive mixer can, it’s a bit louder in operation. Our tester found it was able to handle bread dough and pasta dough, explaining, "We heard the machine’s motor slow down at times, but not enough to worry us."
"Although it had a few flaws, at this price point, we couldn’t argue with the little things we didn’t like." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
04 of 07
Best Large Capacity: KitchenAid Commercial 8-Qt Bowl Lift NSF Stand MixerWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Heavy duty bowl with handle
Compatible with all of KitchenAid's attachments
Motor can wear out after years of extensive use
Not as convenient for small batches
This giant stand mixer is designed for commercial use, but it’s still feasible for home use for those who often cook or bake large quantities for the family, freezer, or big gatherings. It can hold up to 14 cups of flour, and the motor is the most powerful and quietest in the KitchenAid line, so it can knead tough doughs without overheating. It has 10 speeds, from a slow mix to a speedy whip, with the traditional KitchenAid slide control.
This model has a bowl-lift design, which means the bowl moves up and down while the mixer head, which contains the motor, remains in place. Although this is a commercial machine, the attachment hub can be used to power all of KitchenAid’s standard attachments. It comes in a smaller color range compared to the Artisan line, but anyone who opts for this model is probably more focused on size and power than perfectly matching their mixer to their wall paint.
It includes a wire whip, flat beater, and spiral dough hook, all made from stainless steel, so they’re dishwasher safe.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best for Small Spaces: KitchenAid Artisan Mini Series Tilt-Head Stand MixerWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Plenty of power for small batches
Great color selection
Some attachments not interchangeable with other models
This small mixer from KitchenAid is 25 percent lighter and has a 20 percent smaller footprint than the company’s classic mixer, but the 250-watt motor and hob attachment mean that it’s compatible with attachments like the pasta roller, grater, spiralizer, and more. The beaters and bowls are not interchangeable with other models, however.
The tilt-head design makes it easy to access the bowl or change beaters, and the head locks in place to make sure the beaters keep in close contact with the bowl for even mixing. It has 10 mixing speeds.
This has a 3 1/2 quart bowl, so it won’t hold as much as the full-size models, but it’s fine for dozens of cookies at a time. This includes a coated flat beater, coated dough hook, and wire whip and comes in 10 different colors.
06 of 07
Best Design: Kenmore Elite 417602 Ovation Stand MixerWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Pour-in top eliminates mess
Convenient LED light on bowl
Not the best for really small batches
Short power cord
If using a stand mixer to bake gives you nightmares of flour everywhere, then you'll want to take a look at this less-mess design from Kenmore. Its patented Pour-In Top Design means you can add in ingredients without fear of splatters and without having to turn the mixer off. Plus, there's a 360-degree splash guard and a slow-start option for even more mess protection.
The 5-quart glass mixing bowl, while less durable than its stainless steel counterparts, looks sleek and features a convenient LED light that allows you to see your ingredients while they're spinning. This unique design doesn't mean you sacrifice power, either. The 500-watt motor and 10 speeds can handle almost any task you throw at it. The stand mixer comes with a wire whisk, dough hook, flat beater, pouring-shield funnel, egg separator, grater, splash guard, mixing bowl lid for easier storage, and a recipe book.
07 of 07
Best High-End: Ankarsrum Original 6230 7-Liter Stand MixerWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
High-quality, durable materials
Powerful and quiet motor
Can take practice for best results
If you're willing to splurge on a professional-grade stand mixer, this machine from Ankarsrum really has it all in terms of build, power, and versatility. Its 600-watt motor will power through the toughest of bread and pasta dough, and its 7-liter stainless steel bowl can handle all your large batches—in fact, it fits up to 21 cups of flour. In terms of features, there's a 12-minute timer so you can walk away while it works, an electronic speed sensor that automatically adjusts the motor torque depending on what you're mixing, and a speed dial that allows you to effortless move from 45 to 130 RPM.
If you want to make this your everything-in-one appliance, turn the mixer on its side and purchase separate attachments, and you'll also have a meat grinder, blender, veggie slicer, grater, strainer, cookie press, and more. This Swedish-made machine is built to last with chrome and steel, and it comes in a variety of colors. It comes with the 7-liter mixing bowl, dough roller, dough knife, dough scraper, dough hook, dust cover lid, a 3.5-liter BPA/BPS-free Tritan plastic mixing bowl, multi-wire balloon, and single-wire cookie whip.
The KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer is our top pick for its iconic design and powerful performance, and it more than proved itself in our tests. If you're looking for a more basic model, we found the affordable Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Stand Mixer also gets the job done.
Bowl size: The listed bowl size isn’t the amount of food it can hold, since you’ll need room for mixing without flinging food across the kitchen. Bigger isn’t always better, though. While a giant bowl is great for making double batches of bread dough, it’s not as efficient for making small batches of whipped cream.
Lift vs. tilt-head: Tilt-head mixers are the most common style, and let you get the mixer head out of the way of the bowl. However, if you plan on using the mixer under your kitchen cabinets, that head can get in the way when you lift it to add ingredients or remove the bowl. Bowl lift models are taller and the bowl can be lifted up down for filling and removal.
Power: Stand mixers can be used for everything from beating egg whites to kneading bread dough. Most mixers will have no trouble whipping thin liquids or beating cake batter, but if you plan on mixing a lot of dense cookie dough or kneading bread dough, a model with a heavy-duty motor will strain less, mix better, and last longer.