We spent over 35 hours crushing kale, blending berries, juicing and smoothing our way through a variety of fruits and vegetables to give you the best and most comprehensive information to make your blender buying decision worth it. We think that Nutri Bullet Pro 900 offers the best overall combination of pricing and power, all while taking up very little space on your kitchen counter.
Table of Contents
What Features Are Important
Choosing a personal blender or smoothie maker can be daunting because who knows what wattage will make a difference? Why isn’t your blender enough? What’s a chopping blade? A personal blender is going to give you a quick way to handle a small job or get that on-the-go drink that you might be spending a small fortune on at the juice or smoothie bar at the gym or as you dash out the door starting your day. And using a full-size blender often leaves you with excess drink, and isn’t as efficient for what you want to get done, in the time you want to do it. When looking for a personal blender, the motor wattage is a suitable place to start because you should have the power to liquefy what you’re mixing. And the foods we often want in our nutritional drinks are fibrous like kale, lemon peel, apples, ginger…which can make for a pulpy drink if not done right. Additionally, if a motor must work too hard, it can overheat – and heat up the drink as well. Warm green juice anyone? No thank you.
If you are only mixing up yogurts and protein powders, a less powerful motor will probably suffice. However, you’d be surprised at what other things you care about once you have your smoothie/personal blender in hand – don’t assume less wattage is enough to keep you happy. Next, you’ll want to look at the blade and cup or jar assembly. We recommend going with a model that does not have a built-in blade in the blending cup. We did test one model like this, and it felt a little odd to drink out of a cup while staring down at a blade. Will you be taking your drink on the go? Do you have a travel mug or cup or do you need yours to fit into your car cup holder? If you need a to-go cup, make sure that the lid provided is the kind that you like to drink from in a travel mug. We know, these things seem minor now, but can be frustrating after the purchase.
When choosing a personal blender, you’re looking for something that will save you time in two ways, first, eliminating the need to stop in the morning for your daily juice or smoothie, and second, giving you minimal prep and cleanup time in the process. With your (likely) on the go lifestyle, you have limited time and space, so looking for a powerful and small size product will top your list of what to look at in features offered and design. While their motors don’t compete with a full-size blender, you do want something that will crush smaller bits of ice and frozen fruit. If you’re looking for a product that will take on larger size cubes regularly, or assist with other culinary feats like heating and puree soups or sauces, you’ll want to consider one of the full-size blenders that are available on the market.
Like a lot of products, some manufacturers entice you with add-on products and features like a chopping blade, additional blending jars, additional travel lids, and cups and jars of varying sizes. Will you be chopping nuts, grinding coffee and making your homemade spice powders with your personal blender? If so, these are features you may want to include.
One feature that we didn’t even think about until we were using the blenders was a measurement indicator on the outside of the blending jar. While it’s good to have, some of the models just had a haphazard indicator on there that seemed like it was there for looks, not function.
How We Selected
Whether it’s a meal replacement, a sweet treat during the day, or a way to get more fruits and vegetables into our diets, smoothies are the way to go for nourishment and a daily part of many people’s lives. When you purchase one of these personal blenders, you will want one that’s durable, powerful, and easy to use. Because this isn’t a full-size blender and likely being used for one thing, we considered size to be a key factor. We looked for small models that contained a travel mug and a secure lid for commuters and people on the go.
With the basis of most smoothies being either fibrous vegetables or frozen fruit, we knew the ones that we selected for testing would have to have a powerful motor and work quickly without having to re-blend.
We also looked to other customers who had recently purchased smoothie makers or personal blenders for insight into their experiences. What did they like and dislike, and would they buy the same model again?
This process allowed us to take in the thousands of choices of manufacturers and models down to seven. We searched based on research within Consumer Reports, online buying guides, customer reviews from existing purchases, and then chose models that had high power, simple options, and a to-go cup. These are the blenders that we chose based on the criteria we know you’ll want to have when making your morning (or post workout, or afternoon, or evening) shake.
We knew that with the ease of use comes the hands-free option, which we made sure was a feature on each model. Because the personal blender is in general designed for one purpose, and that’s making a smoothie, we didn’t worry about multi-speed or additional functionality with the models. And finally, knowing that high power will take care of crushing ice and frozen fruit, we didn’t think it was necessary to look for models with multiple blending modes or choices.
Each of the choices come with a travel or to-go lid since we are usually on the move with our liquid meal, and we tested their ability to fit into a car holder as well.
How We Tested
To make sure that these blenders could handle the variety of fresh and frozen foods people most often blend, we made sure that we blended a variety of different items in each one of our test models. We tested ease of use, how well the seal held with the blending jar, and tests for noise and wattage.
For the consistency test, we did a 45-second blend on high for each machine and added a mixture of ingredients that was the same for each model. While our blend may not be tasty, it would show us how a blender would work with a variety of ingredients. Those items included ¼ of old fashioned oats, two apple wedges with the skin on, a handful of curly kale with the fibrous stems, three ice cubes, seven almonds, and 1 cup of water.
We then followed up by pouring the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to see the pulp and larger pieces that remained whole or that were not pureed, as well as looking at the overall consistency of the blend. Those recipes that we used for testing will follow this review.
We tested wattage while blending – it always starts out higher then decreases as the blending becomes easier for the machine. Below are the results. The EverKing produced the most watts.
EverKing – Most Powerful in Watts
Noise Level Test
We measured the noise level of each blender fro 12 inches away. The following measurements are in decibels. Keep in mind that every 3 decibels the noise level doubles.
Magic Bullet – Quietest
Hamilton Beach – Quietest
Opening Size Test
We also measured the diameter of each blender. See the picture below. The Cuisinart had the smallest opening at 2.75 inches while the EverKing had the largest at 4 inches.
Nutri Bullet 900 Pro Review
We wanted to find the newest and the greatest personal blender for under $100. We wanted to say that the Nutr iBullet is all hype. But it’s not, and it won our best overall product because it’s a solid product, with simple and straightforward functionality, and a smooth blend. The stainless-steel blending blade is constructed of 6 actual blades which create smoothies and juices that had little to no pulp after our 45-second blend.
While the Nutri Bullet did not come with smaller travel size mugs, it did come with two generous mixing jars which had travel lids, drinking “lips” and handles so that you can use them in a variety of ways. And lest we forget to mention the AMAZING hardcover recipe book that has so many recipes in it, you won’t be hard pressed to get started right away with adding more plant-based nutrition into your diet.
The product itself felt solid, had a sleek design which would be a fine addition to any countertop should you want to leave it out all of the time, and it worked like a dream. The noise level wasn’t bad, the blend was smooth and consistent with all of the food that we tested, and it was an easy clean. We also loved being able to walk away from the machine while it mixed and use it for pulsing nuts, coffee beans, or spices. We know the name Magic Bullet, and we like their other offering, not to mention they’ve been in the personal blender market for some time now, so we feel 100% confident recommending this as our top choice.
Magic Bullet Review
We view the Magic Bullet as the OG of personal blending (that’s ‘original gangster’ for those who don’t know) and offer our respect for bringing smoothie and blending to the masses. A solid performer, and terrific value at around $35.00, this blender will give you endless recipes in under a minute. It was originally marketed as a new kitchen appliance, and not for just blending or making smoothies. One of our testers was an original purchaser of this product years ago and found that this newer model had simplified the product while maintaining its efficiency as a versatile and much-used kitchen product. Arriving as an 11-piece set, the “high-torque power base” was well built with four grip legs on the bottom for stability. The stainless-steel cross blade is designed for use with either the tall or short cup, and able to smoothly blend chickpeas for hummus and frozen berries for a smoothie. This model has a push down start so that with a turn to lock into the safety notches, it runs as a blender. If you’re looking to pulse or chop food, a quick push-down invokes the pulse feature for salsa’s and other chopped recipes when you don’t want a consistent blend. The Magic Bullet’s slogan is it “does any job in 10 seconds or less!” and while it’s not going to provide you with the powerful motor found in of some of the other models, it does provide a fantastic and versatile addition to your kitchen. The comprehensive user guide also gives you a great starting point for recipes and ideas to use your Magic Bullet in ways that go beyond smoothies. Clean up is a mixture of hand washing some components and dishwashing others. Overall a great pick, but with so many components, you will be challenged on finding an effortless way to store these parts, and may likely only use one of the cups on a regular basis, while needing to find storage for the others. Oh, and if you want more recipes beyond the book? There’s an app for that.
Bella Rocket Blender Review
Bella gives you a solid product at a budget price. Comparable to the features of the Magic Bullet which include multiple lids along with a small and large cup, they up their game by providing you with a second blade for grinding. While we didn’t test the grinding blade, it’s made for dry foods like coffee and or for grinding your spices. Two additional lids allow for straining or shaking whatever you’ve blended or ground up. Most of the functionality that the chopping blade provides can be found by using the cross blade that comes in other models. However, it will give you a more concise “chop” if needed. Also available in other color options. All top parts (blade, jar, lids) are top-rack dishwasher safe.
Bella is our top pick for the budget category. Not only do you get a lot of product for that $20 range price tag, but you get a powerful little blender and chopper. We liked that it didn’t have buttons, but worked with a push start feature, so you don’t have to stand there holding the cup in place while it blends. Additionally, components are BPA free and dishwasher safe. A clear choice for a winner and great value at that.
Hamilton Beach Single Serve Review
This model is on the “no-frills” list because it had three components and while it said two motor speeds, we could only figure out how to use one. The straightforward model came with a base unit with one power switch and a blending jar /cup that doubled as a travel mug. The single switch also included a pulse feature. The lid for blending was the same lid that had the drink opening, and the blade was built into the cup, making a somewhat odd way of taking your drink to go. This built-in blade was a feature that wasn’t necessarily a problem, but more of a preferential dislike that all our testers did not like. The plastic component that moves the blade permanently built into the base unit. The lock-in jar did have a smaller bottom and was odd shaped, so it didn’t fit into a cup holder, and the liquid measurement markings were in the middle of the plastic and didn’t go beyond the 12-ounce mark. We did like the area on the base designated for the cord, which made for tidy storage, and the price point at $20 is reasonable for most budgets. For a quick solution, this will do the trick, but if you’re looking for a solid and long-lasting model, you might be better off putting your money towards a more solid unit. We do believe that the BPA-Free jar can is dishwasher safe, but the included manual had visual instructions that indicated hand washing was recommended, so you are better to err on the side of caution and hand wash.
We did not like how you had to stand by the machine and pulse your ingredients by pushing the button on and off, if there was a way to turn on the unit to run continually, we couldn’t find it. It crushed a few ice cubes quite well but left larger chunks of almond and apple behind, as well as a heavy pulp with the greens. A decent choice if you only want to mix powdered protein drinks or softer fruit smoothies but not recommended for users who want to try a variety of juices, blends, or smoothies with more fibrous foods.
Cuisinart CPB 300 Review
The Cuisinart was the model with the most “extras.” It featured four 16-ounce cups with travel lids and one small 8-ounce cup for chopping, and a separate 32-ounce blending container to be used for bigger tasks like a pitcher of drinks or smoothies – great if you are feeding a crowd or for more than one person. It also had a more powerful motor of the models that we tested, coming in at 350 watts. We did like the buttons on the front that lit up when in use and the sleek stainless-steel design. Cuisinart is known for their kitchen products to be quality, and this model had the feel and design that a discerning customer would appreciate – especially if they were leaving the appliance on the countertop.
When tested with apples, oatmeal, water, almonds, and kale on high for 60 seconds, the consistency was smooth, but the wattage went far above the 350 to 378, so it made the mixture warm. We tried a mix of ice cubes and water next, and it stayed under the 350 watts and liquefied the mixture in 20 seconds.
EverKing High Speed Review
Coming in at an impressive 1000 watts, the Everking was the largest container of the bunch, with two blades and two cups. The built-in safety feature of the product was something we liked, as it wouldn’t let the machine activate or start if the blade wasn’t assembled properly onto the cup or base. The machine will run for a solid minute but then will require a five-minute rest in between blending to prevent the motor from overheating. This required delay could pose a problem for families getting ready in the morning, but on the flip side, the larger size blending cup would allow you to make a larger batch so that everyone gets a drink with one go round. While the cups came with storage lids, they did not come with travel lids, so this would require a separate purchase.
We wanted to love the Everking. With its high wattage, two blades, and awesome blending, it could have been a winner. The product had the best consistency in the blending test, and quickly did the job with the smoothest texture. But the front panel label fell off during the first use, and there was no pulse feature as indicated by the buttons.
It would just continually run. We tried to figure it out repeatedly, but even the manual wasn’t clear. Everking also identifies this as a food extractor with the ability to switch to food fusion – but other than the two blades, we were baffled by that claim and couldn’t find any instructions on how to switch between the processes or what exactly that meant. When we unpackaged the Everking, it was heavy and solidly made, but its usability was confusing and doesn’t seem like it would go the long haul since it was coming apart during the first run. And as a side note, it arrived packaged with Styrofoam – the only one of our testing group like that. The rest were in a recyclable cardboard or cardboard component.
Elite Cuisine Maxi-Matic Review
The Elite model gives a decent performance, with two large travel mugs and colorful design. The blending did leave a few almond chunks and green pulp, so if you prefer that in the consistency of your green smoothies, you might not mind. It has a lock in place feature to use when blending, but this did put the blade on so tight that when we tried to unlock it, we came close to losing the contents as it unscrewed from the base altogether. It did crush the ice, which is one thing we look for in all models, and overall performed well, but we feel that you get a more solid product for the same price with the Bella model.
What We Liked
The affordability of these personal blenders makes adding one to your kitchen a smart choice and a fantastic way to save money and time. You’ll offset the cost by making your smoothies, and allow yourself to try new combinations – and even new foods, at a fraction of the cost you would spend by purchasing the same thing at a juice or smoothie bar.
Consider these an ideal gift for a college student or someone living an on the go lifestyle, because not only do they take up minimal space, but they provide a way to obtain nutrition on the go. And yes, even a cocktail or two, but only after you get that nutrition!
What We Didn’t Like
Each of the models brought features that were pluses and minuses, but ideally, we want high power, small storage, and quick results – with minimal cleanup. However, it wasn’t easy to find all those qualities in one product, and the market can be confusing.
Cleanup and storage can be frustrating, with exposed blades and components that need hand washed. We found that one of the easiest and most thorough ways to clean your blender is to take the blending cup, immediately rinse it after using anhd then add some water and a drop of dish soap, then re-blend! Voila – you’ve created a mini dishwasher! Even if you don’t do the soap blend right away, do a quick rinse because the plant fibers and natural sugars can make for a sticky situation!
Recipes Used in Testing
We wanted to make two separate types of drinks, one being a green juice and the other being a fruit based smoothie. These recipes gave us a good idea of how each machine could handle the most commonly blended items.
- a handful of kale
- a handful of spinach
- ¼ cup cucumber
- ½ apple cored and cut into quarters
- One medium celery stalk
- a handful of parsley
- 1” piece of ginger
- ½ of a lemon (with rind)
- 1 cup coconut water
- Five ice cubes
Blend ingredients together and enjoy!
- One tsp of manuka honey or regular honey(we recommend a good manuka)
- One tsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup of frozen blueberries
- ¼ cup of frozen strawberries
- 1 cup almond milk (may also use soy, flax, or any other kind of nut milk)
- ¼ cup oatmeal
- ¼ almonds
Blend ingredients together and garnish with fresh mint!
A personal blender is a great tool if you know it’s capabilities and you are looking for something to fit your on the go needs. Consider these an ideal gift for a college student or someone living on the go, because not only do they take up minimal space, but they provide a way to obtain nutrition on the go. And yes, even a cocktail or two after you get that nutrition!