Cost is not always equivalent to quality. Lower cost options are frequently just as good as higher cost versions and that is very much true for stand mixers. Budget stand mixers sacrifice very little to bring their costs down, like a smaller mixing bowl or fewer mixing speeds and features.
The best stand mixer for your money is the Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer. A smaller capacity mixing bowl doesn’t hold this budget stand mixer back with planetary mixing and variable speeds, ensuring it gets whatever recipe you throw into it done right.
The stronger the motor contained in your budget stand mixer, the heavier and thicker batters it can effectively mix. Power is generally measured using watts and you’ll want 300 watts worth of power at a minimum.
The best stand mixers of all costs have to weigh enough to handle the force of mixing at high speeds, with most weights being 12 to 20 pounds. Budget mixers are usually lighter as their top speeds are usually slower.
Consider your kitchen’s counter and/or cabinet space. If you want to plant it on your kitchen counter, whether it’s in use or not, make sure it will fit before you buy. Ditto for if you want to store it in a cabinet when not in use. Measure measure measure!
Budget models frequently have smaller bowls, typically between 3 and 6 quarts. Select a bowl size that corresponds to the size of recipes you’ll be making.
There are two methods of motion that a stand mixer uses: stationary and planetary.
Stationary: Most budget stand mixers use stationary movement to mix. Two stationary beaters spin while the bowl rotates. This isn’t as consistent as a planetary mix, but it’s just fine for thin and/or light batters.
Planetary: In planetary mixing, a single beater spins and rotates around the inside of the bowl, leading to more contact between the mixer and batter. There are affordable planetary stand mixers out there, but not as many options since planetary mixing is superior to stationary and tends to cost more.
Budget stand mixers tend to use dials or levers to control the functions of the mixer. Some have touch controls, which are easier to both use and clean as dials and levers tend to get splashes of batter in and around them.
All mixers have variable speed controls. Budget stand mixers generally have at least three speeds and can go up to 12. The more speed options you have, the tighter you can control the mix.
Almost all stand mixers come with multiple mixing attachments. Typically you’ll get these three: a whisk for light batters, a flat beater for medium batters and a dough hook for heavy batters.
Stand mixers come in a huge range of colors. Pick one that matches your kitchen or one that’s your favorite color. A stand mixer is just as much a kitchen centerpiece as it is a useful gadget.
Costs for budget stand mixers range between $50-$250. Under $100 stand mixers typically have very few speeds and small bowls, while the most expensive budget models are practically identical to the high-cost stand mixers. For perspective, high-cost stand mixers are usually in the $350-$500 range.
A. Anything that needs to be mixed! That could be cookie and cake batters, bread doughs, ground meats, whipped cream or frostings.
A. That depends on how well you take care of it, but even the lowest cost best stand mixer can last for several years.
A. Most stand mixer components are dishwasher safe. For those that aren't, use warm and soapy water to clean.
For the exterior of the mixer itself, use a damp cloth to wipe it. A toothbrush can get into the crevices where old cast-off batter likes to hide.
Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer
What you need to know: The multiple speed options and planetary mixing with a splatter shield make all types of doughs a breeze to mix.
What you’ll love: Planetary mixing action ensures a perfect mix and the handle on top makes for easy lifting.
What you should consider: A small bowl can only handle a single batch of most recipes and the mixer can begin to rock on the counter.
Available at: Amazon, Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond
What you need to know: The design choices are a little suspect, but this budget stand mixer offers all the professional functions you can ask for.
What you’ll love: It has a larger bowl than what most offer, plus several color options make this budget model a popular pick.
What you should consider: The attachments aren’t safe to put in the dishwasher.
Available at: Amazon
What you need to know: Cuisinart is the brand to beat and this budget model continues that trend with a beautiful design at a competitive price.
What you’ll love: Twelve speeds and six beautiful colors combined with a tilting head for easy attachment swapping make this budget stand mixer stand out from the rest.
What you should consider: There are some reports of the motor dying after very little use.
Available at: Amazon and Macy’s
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.