The Best (Affordable) Blenders and Juicers

I have to admit, since purchasing my first Vitamix nearly 3 years ago, I’ve been convinced that NO other blender could possibly compare.

vitamix blender blending coconut

The Vitamix is truly in a class of its own when it comes to power and efficiency.

Despite the hefty price tag, this blender has more than made up for it by helping me prepare homemade almond milk, grinding my own cheaper flours, and preparing silky-smooth shakes and soups, without having to rely on take-out or store-bought alternatives. It’s no wonder why the Vitamix is found in most professional kitchens!

While I don’t expect to need to replace it anytime soon, I would buy this blender again in a heartbeat.

However, according to the latest Cook’s Illustrated, another blender does compare. In fact, it was selected as the co-winner, alongside the Vitamix, as “Best Blender.”

chart comparing different blenders

[Click on the image above to enlarge | Image courtesy of my mom’s copy of Cook’s Illustrated]

As you can see from the comparison above, Cook’s Illustrated testers found the Breville Hemisphere Control Blender to be nearly as good as the Vitamix–> and at less than half the price, it might be worth a shot!

breville blender

Both the Breville Hemisphere and Vitamix received high marks across the board, with the Breville scoring only slightly lower in terms of noise, and when blending a kale smoothie or milkshake. (See criteria above for more details.) In terms of durability and speed, they scored the same! If the Breville model can truly crush ice as well as the Vitamix, I don’t see why it couldn’t perform all the other functions just as well.

Note: I do think it’s worth noting that the Breville Hemisphere only comes with a 1-year warranty, so the value may vary with long term use. The Vitamix model that I own comes with a 5-year warranty, and the higher-end model comes with a 7-year warranty, providing peace of mind with your investment.

While we’re on the subject of small kitchen appliances, Cook’s Illustrated also reviewed electric juicers in the same issue.

Guess which juicer came out the winner?

breville juice fountain

My personal favorite, the Breville Juice Fountain Plus!

This was the first juicer I ever owned and, after trying two other models, it’s still the juicer I use most often. My first one lasted over 5 years! It’s quick and efficient, yet gentle enough to handle leafy greens. And for the price, it can’t be beat!

Note: It seems that all the juicers reviewed by Cook’s Illustrated were all centrifugal juicers, which happen to be the most affordable and easiest to use. Masticating juicers produce an even higher-quality juice, but often come with a hefty price tag and are more labor intensive… so, I don’t recommend those for beginners!

I know many of you have been in the market for a good blender, but can’t afford the Vitamix, so I hope this comparison proves to be helpful!

Reader Feedback: Are you in the market for a blender or juicer? Have you tried any of the models above, or do you have any other recommendations to share? I’m not sure why the Blendtec was omitted from this review, but as far as I can tell, it’s just as powerful (and pricey) as the Vitamix, as well.

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I’ve found the Breville variable speed blender to be a fantastic blender. While it can be a bit noisy, it’s helpful 5 speeds are perfect for all my cooking needs.

Stephanie A.

I’d recommend Karmin’s blender. It’s the best I have ever used 🙂


I personally love my blender by Karmin 🙂

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