Whether you want to make daily smoothies or blend icy drinks for a party, a great blender is a must-have kitchen appliance. It can create healthy concoctions for a fraction of the cost of pricey juice bars and specialty stores.
Ninja and Vitamix produce top-of-the-line professional blenders that make blending and cleaning up easy. While both are more expensive than basic blenders, they offer high-powered blending as well as systems that include extra cups and storage.
Ninja makes an entire line of kitchen appliances that deliver top performance. The company was founded in 1993 and is currently based in Massachusetts. With a strong development team, it's one of the leaders in appliance innovation.
Many Ninja appliances work as a system, reducing overall cost and storage needs without sacrificing utility. For instance, there are attachments to convert a blender into a food processor, and Duo Systems combine pitcher-style blenders and smaller personal blenders into one easy-to-store appliance.
Ninja also makes individual serving blenders with smaller bases. This is ideal for those who want something compact and affordable for a single serving of smoothie or juice. The individual models are also easier to store because the to-go cup can come off the base and includes a travel lid.
Price is one of the standout pros for choosing a Ninja blender. They are a fraction of the cost of a Vitamix and comparable across most features. Even the highest-capacity Ninja blenders are around $200. These include extras, such as to-go cups and storage containers.
They also have plenty of small-capacity blender models. These come with individual cups that can go right on the base. Even the smaller models have 900-watt motors and multiple Auto-IQ presets.
Some are loud, especially when operating on the highest settings. They also take up a lot of space due to their large, powerful motors and multiple accessories. If you do not use individual storage cups, these can easily get lost in your cabinets.
The blades can dull over time. Replacement parts are easy to order but add to the overall cost.
Combining 1,000 watts of power and a 72-ounce pitcher for batch blending, it's one of the best values from Ninja and can work for everything from crushing ice to pureeing fruits and vegetables. The pitcher is dishwasher safe, making clean-up easy as well. It doesn't come with the individual containers some of the pricier Ninja models have, but they can be purchased separately.
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This smaller blender is perfect for your daily smoothie. Its Pro Extractor blades grind up fruits and vegetables, while the included personal cup can go right in the dishwasher when you're done.
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It seems a bit unfair to call a Vitamix a mere blender. It can make smoothies and purees just as most blenders. It also purees soup until it is piping hot, makes nut butter and can grate hard cheese to a fine powder.
Vitamix has been making blenders since 1937. Its focus has always been on whole foods and nutrition, a message that resonates with many Vitamix enthusiasts today. Many of its models are used commercially in bars, restaurants, schools and healthcare institutions.
All Vitamix blenders have 1,200 watts of power and a 2-horsepower motor. The superior power output means they can blend ice and cold items as well as create hot soups. The torque of the motor keeps it from overheating even after five minutes of continuous use.
The blades are made of aircraft-grade stainless steel for maximum durability. The blenders come with up to a 10-year warranty, among the industry's longest-lasting.
Vitamix blenders are expensive. The top models cost as much as three times a comparable Ninja blender. That is a lot to pay for slightly higher power and blending capacity.
All Vitamix models are pitcher-style. You can purchase an individual serving cup, but it requires an expensive adapter to be used with the Vitamix base. These additional parts are almost as expensive as the entire Ninja system.
This is one of the best blenders money can buy, with 10 settings, including some labeled for their use, such as soup or ice. The pulse feature works to keep soup or salsa chunky, and the 64-ounce pitcher is low, which makes it easy to store on a kitchen counter under a cabinet. This is one of the most expensive Vitamix blenders, but it comes with a 10-year warranty so you know you'll get your money's worth.
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For those wanting to try a Vitamix, this is half the cost. It has a slightly smaller pitcher at 48 ounces but can still make everything from smoothies to soup.
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Vitamix has the edge on power and features, but Ninja is more budget-friendly. If you plan to use the additional functions of a Vitamix to make soups or nut butter, you'll be happy with your purchase. For the best value for making smoothies and icy drinks, stick with Ninja.
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Katie Begley writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.