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Personal Blenders

“Personal blenders” have smaller footprints, lower price tags, and lids that allow them to transition neatly from jars to travel cups. Which is best? 

By and

Last Updated June 26, 2023. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 17: Refreshing Desserts

Update, June 2023

Our winning personal blender was discontinued, so we tested a few additional models. Our new winner is the Beast Health Blender. The nutribullet Personal Blender is our new Best Buy. 

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

We love our winning full-size blenders, but personal blenders have promising perks. They’re about half the size of regular blenders, with a smaller capacity of 18 to 33 ounces, so they take up less space in the kitchen. Many personal blenders come with lids that convert the blender jar into a travel mug, letting you take your drinks on the go, and many also have closed lids that make it easy to store your smoothies, milkshakes, or salad dressing in the refrigerator. They’re a bit more limited than full-size blenders. Because they’re small, you can’t blend large batches of food in them, and they lack the power needed for the tougher jobs we ask of full-size blenders, such as making nut butter or crushing ice. But they’re ideal for people who want to make a single-serving smoothie each morning or small batches of salad dressings. They’re also great for cooks with limited storage or counter space.

There are two main types of personal blenders. A few of the models we purchased are designed like traditional blenders—the blade is permanently centered in the bottom of the pitcher jar, and you can drink straight from the pitcher jar or pour into another cup. The others work differently. To operate them, you screw on a cover fitted with a blade and invert the pitcher jar onto the blender base so that the blade engages for blending; after blending, you remove the pitcher jar and flip it back over to remove the cover and screw on a travel lid. Some of the models offer variable speeds or settings, and others came with as many as 16 pieces, including superfluous handles and specialty blades. We focused our attention on the jars, the blades, and the travel lids.

What to Look For

  • U-Shaped Jar: The models we tested had jars with different shapes. We preferred jars that were U-shaped, as they flared gently toward the opening and thus provided more space for the ingredients to circulate. (The only downside to their wider shape: They don’t fit in most standard cup holders.)
  • Six or More Blades: We liked blenders with at least six blades that angled in different directions, as they sliced through ingredients in several locations simultaneously and didn’t miss any large chunks of food. 
  • A Leakproof Lid with a Good Drinking Spout: We preferred travel lids that offered a leakproof seal and a comfortable drinking spout. 
  • Hands-Off Operation: Personal blenders work in three different ways: Some models have a conventional on/off button that you press to start and stop blending. Others start automatically when their jars are twisted into place. And a third style had pulse buttons that had to be held continuously in order to keep blending. We pr...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.