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Updated August 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best hand mixers

While hand mixers lack the power of traditional stand mixers, a hand mixer is a versatile kitchen tool and a valuable addition to any home cook’s arsenal. Light and portable, these affordable kitchen appliances take up little space in a cupboard or on a countertop, allowing you to maximize your kitchen space while enjoying the benefits a handheld mixer provides.

Hand mixer features vary from one model to the next in subtle ways. For example, the ergonomic feel of the handle and weight in your hand may please you or make you feel a little anxious about its stability. Thus, the quality of the handle and weight of the appliance are important matters to many serious home cooks. 

If you’re preparing to add this versatile tool to your kitchen arsenal—or you’re considering a hand mixer purchase for someone just starting out on their own—it can be helpful to first examine the features and accessories offered by the best hand mixers.

hand mixer
Handheld mixers are not the same as hand blenders, also known as immersion blenders. Handheld mixers are primarily designed for combining ingredients, whereas immersion blenders are designed to liquify ingredients.

Hand mixers vs. stand mixers

Why should you buy a hand mixer when you could buy a stand mixer, which in some ways is a more comprehensive kitchen appliance? Here are a few reasons.

  • Budget: Compared to a stand mixer, which can come with a fairly hefty price tag, a hand mixer is one of the most budget-friendly kitchen appliances available.
  • Lightweight: A hand mixer is significantly lighter than a stand mixer. Removing a hand mixer from the cupboard is not problematic for most home cooks—even those with minor strength challenges.
  • Easy storage: Unlike a stand mixer, a hand mixer is compact and easy to store; it won’t consume valuable countertop space.
  • Versatility: Stand mixer beaters are designed for use with specific bowls (usually included with purchase), but hand mixers are versatile enough to be used with just about any bowl type.
  • Easy cleanup: To clean the elements of a hand mixer, you can detach the beaters or other mixing attachments and, in most cases, throw them in the dishwasher—most attachments are dishwasher safe.
  • Portability: Because of its small footprint and light weight, a hand mixer is highly portable. Are you looking forward to an afternoon of making whipped cream, bread dough, mashed potatoes, or other goodies at a friend’s house with your hand mixer in tow? No problem.

Do you want a mixer for making cookie dough? Although some stand mixers come with a dough hook, a dough hook isn’t usually necessary if your goal is to prepare cookie dough with a hand mixer. Dough hooks don’t perform any better than the standard beater attachments when it comes to preparing cookie dough.

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Important hand mixer features

Handle

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a hand mixer is how it feels to hold it—the ergonomics of the machine. The best hand mixers are designed to fit comfortably in the hand. A non-slip grip is also an important feature because it affords the home cook greater control over the mixer.

Weight

Along with the feel of the handle, it’s important to pay attention to the weight of the mixer. You obviously don’t want a mixer that’s heavy and cumbersome to lift out of a cabinet. However, it shouldn’t be too light, either, or you may have difficulty controlling it. Most people are satisfied with a compromise: a mixer of a medium weight that is neither too light nor too flimsy.

Attachments

Beater attachments: All hand mixers come with the classic beater attachments, which you can use for mixing medium to heavy batters (think cake batters and cookie dough). Make sure the beaters are a decent length so you aren’t limited by the size of the bowl you’re using.

Wire beaters: In addition to traditional beaters, you may find a set of wire beaters included with your purchase. Wire beaters without a thick center post are the easiest to clean. For the quickest clean-up, opt for a mixer with dishwasher-safe attachments.

Whisk attachment: A whisk attachment makes it easier to deal with heavy cream, to whip cream, to beat eggs and egg whites for meringue, and other mixing tasks. Before you invest in a hand mixer, take note of which type of whisk attachments are included.

Controls

Speed control is an important feature: The buttons that control the mixer’s speeds and feature settings should operate smoothly—in particular, you should be able to move from speed to speed seamlessly. With stiff controls, it’s easy to accidentally hit high speed when you actually meant to select a low speed or medium speed. When this happens, as you might expect, ingredients could scatter, and you could wind up with a mess.

Speed settings

In addition to speed control, take notice of the speed settings offered by the mixer you’re considering. Hand mixers are available with as few as three speeds and as many as 16 speeds. Ideally, you should opt for a model that offers a good range of speeds to make sure you have the right option for each task. Generally speaking, a mixer offering five to nine speeds is usually sufficient—and truth be told, you may not wish to spend more for extra unneeded settings.

You may also want to look for a mixer that offers a slow start and controlled acceleration. This feature allows you to select a high-speed setting, albeit with a slow start, or “soft start”—the machine gradually builds up to your designated speed rather than zooming off right away. This feature also helps you avoid unwanted splatter and mess.

hand mixer
DID YOU KNOW?
Some kitchen tools, including some of the best hand mixers, have control buttons that are protected by a plastic casing. This helps keep them from getting caked with ingredients—cake batter, egg whites, and such.
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Desirable hand mixer features

Stability

  • If you’re unable to maintain a solid grip on your hand mixer, the appliance could easily slip out of your hands and careen into your bowl of ingredients—yikes!
  • When you’re preparing a dish that requires multiple steps, having to lift dripping beaters out of the bowl when you move onto the next step can be an annoying extra task that creates an unwanted mess.

To avoid the aforementioned issues, look for a handheld mixer that features a stability indentation beneath the motor housing. This indentation allows you to place the mixer on the edge of the bowl when you walk away without worrying about it falling inside.

Pulse/boost

Hand mixers with pulse and/or boost features provide home cooks with even more control over the speed of their mixture. With a pulse function, you can use short bursts of speed to carefully start mixing your ingredients without making a mess. The boost feature provides an extra burst of power that overrides the current speed setting. This helps with difficult-to-mix ingredients and also avoids a mess. That said, with most models, you shouldn’t use the boost function in excess of 20 to 30 seconds at a time because the mixer could overheat.

A cordless hand mixer gives you the added benefit of portability. These mixers are not as common as corded hand mixers, and you may pay a few more dollars for one, but some people find the benefit worth the cost.

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Hand mixer prices

Compared to costly stand mixers from manufacturers like KitchenAid and Cuisinart, a hand mixer is a fairly modest investment. Typically, these kitchen tools range in price from as little as $11 to as much as $199.

Inexpensive

If you need a hand mixer for rare occasions, a mixer that rings in at $25 to $35 should have the basic speeds and settings that you require.

Mid-range

If you’re frequently baking brownies, making cookie batter, whipping egg whites, creaming butter, preparing soups,  baking bread, and doing other types of cooking, a hand mixer in the $69 to $99 range is likely to offer the features you desire. You can find hand mixers with satisfactory ergonomics and sufficiently powerful motors from companies including Cuisinart, Breville, Oster, and KitchenAid.

High-end

Electric hand mixers sometimes cost over $100. You will find these products from quality makers including Smeg and KitchenAid. However, in most cases, an investment this high is unneeded.

hand mixer
DID YOU KNOW?
When reading about the attachments that come with a product, you may see the term “balloon whisk.” A balloon whisk is a whisk whose wires form a bulb, or balloon, designed to incorporate air into your ingredient mixture.
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Tips

  • Consider working in batches. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of baking dozens of brownies, chocolate chip cookies, cakes, or other goodies for a party without the help of a stand mixer, work in smaller batches with your hand mixer. Prepare your batters and doughs ahead of time, and store the batches in the refrigerator or freezer until you need them.
  • For the utmost efficiency, look for a hand mixer with scraper beaters. Scraper beaters are designed to maximize the amount of batter you safely pull from the side of the bowl. In turn, this translates to less food waste. Many times, scraper beaters are coated beaters to make scraping batter an easier task with less wear-and-tear on the bowl.
  • Do not “wrestle” the beater attachments off of your mixer with great force. Removing beaters from your hand mixer should be easy. Locate and depress the machine’s eject button; when you do, the attachments should pop out of position without a struggle.
hand mixer
For folding and mixing ingredients, low speed prevents batter from splattering all over the kitchen. For whipping cream and egg whites, high speed is what adds enough air to the ingredients.

FAQ

Q. Is a hand mixer tough enough to handle a thick dough mixture, such as chocolate chip cookie dough?

A. Most hand mixers can handle a thick cookie dough with ease. When it comes to adding the dry ingredients, though, you may want to start mixing by hand with a spatula and switch to the hand mixer when the ingredients are mostly incorporated.

Q. What are the best materials for hand mixer beaters?

A. Stainless steel is a durable kitchen material. Stainless steel beaters and other attachments are usually the most durable. Some are coated with chrome, which holds up fairly well, but the plating can sometimes chip off. Be sure to check the owner’s manual before placing any beaters in the dishwasher to prevent damage.

Q. How do you clean a hand mixer?

A. Remove the beaters or attachments and clean those separately. If they’re dishwasher safe, you can toss them in your dishwasher’s basket for cleaning. Otherwise, run them under warm water, and wipe them down with a dishwashing liquid on a damp sponge or rag before rinsing them.

The body of your mixer is definitely not dishwasher safe, but if you unplug it first, you can safely wipe it down with a damp sponge or rag.

Q. I’ve always mashed potatoes by hand. How do they turn out with a hand mixer?

A. With a hand mixer, your mashed potatoes can be as velvety or as lumpy as you want them to be. If you like the lumpy texture imparted by the use of a hand masher, use a lower speed with your potatoes, don’t whisk them for as long, and consider adding less liquid. If you like velvety smooth mashed potatoes, we think you’re going to love the results you get from using a hand mixer to create the finished product.

 

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