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Shopping Guide for Best Stand Mixers

Quite often, kitchen gadgets end up gathering dust at the back of a cupboard, but a stand mixer is any avid cook's best friend. Even if you've already decided a stand mixer has a definite place in your kitchen arsenal, you might find yourself overwhelmed trying to pick just one model from the hundreds on the market.

If you're in need of assistance, you've come to the right place. Here at BestReviews, we pride ourselves on creating fair and thorough reviews that help you, the consumer, find the perfect products to fit your needs. We test items in our lab, gather data and opinions from existing customers, consult experts, and do extensive product research. Plus, to avoid any chance of bias, we never accept free products from manufacturers. Instead, we buy items off the shelves, just like you do.

When you're ready to make your purchase, navigate to the product matrix above to discover our top five stand mixers. But first, read on for our full stand mixer guide.

Stand mixers allow you to multitask in the kitchen, as you don't have to hold them or watch over them while they're running, so you can get on with other tasks.

What Can You Do with a Stand Mixer?

Before you commit to buying a stand mixer, you'll probably want to decide how much you'll actually use it. Many people aren't aware at first of all the different things you can do with a stand mixer. They often end up using it much more than they expected.

Here are just a handful of the tasks a stand mixer can tackle.

  • Let's start with the obvious — stand mixers can mix ingredients, for instance, to make cake or pancake batters.

  • Using the whisk attachment, stand mixers can whip things like egg whites and heavy cream.

  • Stand mixers make perfectly creamy mashed potatoes.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head

Features

The KitchenAid 5-Qt. Artisan Series has a five quart bowl and 325 watts of mixing power. We enjoy the extra bowl capacity, which is optimal for most home cooking demands. The generous 325 watts of mixing power make it easy to cream butter, knead dough, and whip cream, among other tasks. We rarely noticed the machine struggling to keep up with larger and heavier items, such as dough.

  • Most stand mixers come with a dough hook for kneading, which saves time when making bread or pizza from scratch.

  • Stand mixers are great for making pie crusts, shortbread, and other doughs that can become tough from too much heat and handling.

  • If you're making a large batch of guacamole, a stand mixer will save you time and effort.

  • Some stand mixers can use additional attachments that perform all kinds of tasks, including rolling out fresh pasta, grinding meat, milling grains, and even making ice cream.

DID YOU KNOW?

Stand mixers are useful for whipping egg whites to peaks — a much more challenging task with a hand mixer, since it's so time consuming.

Considerations for Selecting a Stand Mixer

Considerations

Beaters, Whisks, and Other Attachments

Without beaters, whisks, and other attachments, a stand mixer is no more than a glorified mixing bowl, so it's important to pay attention to which ones come with your mixer and which, if any, can be purchased separately.

These attachments generally come standard:

  • A flat beater for general mixing

  • A flexi-beater for mixing wetter items, or any mixture where you need to scrape down the sides of the bowl

  • A balloon whisk for whipping

  • A dough hook for kneading

Some stand mixers have extra mixing settings in addition to their speed settings, such as "fold" (for gradually folding flour into mixtures without deflating them) and "soft start" (for starting slow even when you put the mixer straight on high, so dry ingredients won't get flung out of the bowl).

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Some high-end stand mixers have a wide range of additional attachments, allowing it to do the jobs of a number of other kitchen gadgets and appliances.

Here are some of the attachments you may be able to buy separately:

  • Pasta maker

  • Slicing and shredding attachment

  • Grain mill

  • Ice cream maker

  • Meat mincer

  • Jug blender

  • Juicer

  • Spiral slicer

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Breville Scraper Mixer

Performance

The Breville Scraper Mixer Pro 5-Quart Die-Cast Stand Mixer offers a five quart mixing bowl and 550 watts of power. The generous capacity offers plenty of space for most cooking needs, but we really like how it also easily handles extra ingredients for larger recipes and batches. Despite its relatively high power, this stand mixer does a good job of mixing together lighter ingredients without creating a mess.

Considerations

Wattage

In simple terms, the higher the wattage of a stand mixer, the more powerful it is. However, this doesn't necessarily equate to better performance.

For instance, a high-end machine with a 300 watt motor will likely outperform a basic mixer with a 600 watt motor.

That said, wattage can be an indicator of whether or not a stand mixer will meet your needs (heavy-duty tasks will require higher wattage) when considered alongside other factors.

If you want your stand mixer to perform extremely heavy duty tasks such as kneading large balls of dough, we recommend a model with at least 500 watts of power.

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Considerations

Capacity

Think about the capacity of the mixing bowl and whether it will suit the volume at which you cook.

For instance, if you only cook for one or two, a 4 or 4.5 quart bowl should suffice, but if you routinely cook for a large family, a model with a 6 quart capacity will be more your speed.

EXPERT TIP

Don't choose a stand mixer with a large capacity if you tend to cook in small batches. Small volumes of ingredients will be more difficult to beat or whip in a large bowl.


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Considerations

Speed Settings

A stand mixer must have a variety of speed settings, as some ingredients need to be mixed at a slower speed than others, and some mixtures require the cook to start on a low speed and gradually build up.

High-end models may have 10 or 12 speeds, but most users find 5 or 6 speeds to be perfectly adequate.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Classic

Versatility

The Hamilton Beach stand mixer has a versatile attachment set that includes traditional dough hooks, beaters, and a whisk. This machine can also be used as a hand mixer. We find that the included attachments satisfy most basic cooking demands, whether it's creaming butter or mixing bread dough. Some users tell us that the dough hook does not seem durable enough for making larger quantities of bread dough.

Considerations

Splash Guard

Splash guards come as standard with most stand mixers. They sit over the top of the bowl to stop ingredients flying out when the bowl is especially full, or the mixer is on a high speed setting.

Your splash guard should be removable for easy cleaning, and so you have the option not to use it if you don't want or need it.

DID YOU KNOW?

Splash guards with a hole in the top allow you to add extra ingredients into the bowl without stopping the motor and lifting the mixing arm.

Stand Mixer Tips

Follow these tips to make the most out of your stand mixer:

  • If you start mixing on high right away, dry ingredients, such as flour or powdered sugar, tend to get flung out of the bowl. Always start on the lowest speed setting until the ingredients are combined, then you can ramp up the speed.

  • Store all the basic attachments in the bowl when your stand mixer isn't in use. It will save space, and you'll never have to wonder where that whisk went.

  • For the fluffiest whipped cream and buttercream, chill the bowl and beater before you get started.

  • The beater shouldn't touch the bottom of your stand mixer's bowl, nor should it be too far from the bottom, otherwise ingredients won't get properly whipped or mixed.

  • If you feel the motor getting very hot, turn off your stand mixer and leave it to cool for a few minutes before restarting.

  • Most people find they're more likely to use their stand mixer regularly if they keep it on the counter. Check the product specifications to see if the model you're considering will fit on your worktop.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

To avoid the motor burning out, always follow the manufacturer's guidelines regarding how long you can run your stand mixer in one session.

Stand Mixer Prices

High-end stand mixers are a bit of an investment, but you'll find some budget choices, too, which are fine for occasional use.

Price

Basic stand mixers

These cost around $30 to $70. They tend to have smaller bowls and lower wattage. They aren't usually compatible with any non-standard attachments, like ice cream makers or juicers.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

BODUM Bistro Electric

Capacity

The BODUM Bistro Electric Stand Mixer has a five quart bowl and a 4.7 liter mixing capacity. This machine also features 700 watts of power. We had to scrape the sides of the bowl several times during cooking, as the bowl is quite wide on the bottom. Several owners tell us that the wattage provides ample power for larger batches and stickier recipes, such as dough. Many satisfied customers note that they can add several cups of lighter ingredients without worrying about cleaning up a mess.

Price

Mid-range stand mixers

These cost roughly $80 to $200. These include good, durable models for regular — but not heavy-duty — use. At the top end of the price range, some are compatible with non-standard attachments, but most aren't.

Price

High-end stand mixers

Expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $500 for these. They are top-notch machines that will stand up to daily, heavy-duty use. Most are compatible with non-standard attachments, but you will need to purchase them separately.

If you want a stand mixer that can tackle more than standard mixing, whipping, and kneading tasks, make sure it's compatible with your desired attachments.

FAQ

Q. Are stand mixer bowls and attachments dishwasher safe?

A. This varies between different makes and models. If it's important to you, check the manufacturer's specifications to see if the stand mixer you're considering has dishwasher safe bowls and attachments.

Q. What do I do if the beater or whisk is sitting too high in the bowl and the ingredients aren't getting properly mixed?

A. This is a common problem, but the good news is, there's a simple solution. The beater height is adjustable, meaning you can lower the beater so it gets to all the ingredients in the bottom on the bowl. Check the instruction manual to learn how to adjust the beater height, as this varies between different stand mixers.

Q. Can I buy replacement bowls and attachments for my stand mixer?

A. You can buy replacement bowls and attachments for the majority of stand mixers. This is handy if one of yours gets lost or breaks. Plus, some people who do a lot of high-volume baking like to have an extra bowl and beaters so they don't have to do the dishes between batches.

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