With the increasing awareness towards healthy living and prevention rather than cure, more and more Americans are looking for ways to improve their diet.
Starting off the day with a glass of smoothies has been a highly recommended practice made by health experts, health authorities and physicians. With more and more people heeding the advice, it is no wonder that the blender market continues to grow. At least for brands like Vitamix, business is still growing despite the economic downturn.
Picking the Best Smoothie Maker
When it comes picking the winner for smoothie blenders, it is by no means a small feat. There are two reasons that contribute to this.
First, there is no universal standard that spells out what perfect smoothies should be like. What is considered to be good smoothies varies between individuals. Some people have higher expectations when it comes to smoothness consistency than others.
Just to illustrate this point slightly further. My eldest daughter loves the green vegetable smoothies that I made based on my own recipe that is a slight twist of Paula Deen’s green smoothie recipe. Give it to my son and you should see how much he hates drinking it. For him, ‘banana-berry’ smoothies (again it’s based on Martha Stewart’s twisted recipe) is his perfect morning smoothies.
Second, budget is obviously a major consideration when deciding which smoothie blender is best. Certain blenders cost as much as $500 while there are low cost alternatives in the range of $100. If you have set a budget of $100, what good will it do if someone tells you that the best smoothie machine is going to cost $500? Little, I guess.
To reiterate the difficulty in finding the dream machine which will make you that perfect smoothie every morning, let’s just take a look at few reports that have recently been making wave.
In July 2013, Consumer Reports voted Ninja QB1004 as the best blender, beating the likes of Breville and Blendtec Designer Series. In December 2013, Vitamix claims that the 5200 series blender has been named as ‘Best Buy’ by Consumer Digest. In another blender showdown carried out by Popular Mechanics, no Ninja blender makes it to the list. Instead, the surprise winner goes to KitchenAid KSB5600 5-speed blender.
If you’re looking for your first blender, I bet you’d be feeling nauseated and confused by now.
Instead of jumping straight into picking the winner, let’s set the rules of the game and we’ll decide from there.
To me, the first and most important of all is to set yourself a budget range in whatever thing you’re buying. I come from a family with strong engineering and business background. I always believe in the saying ‘There is no free lunch in the world’.
You get what you pay for. It is still reasonable to compare a product that costs $100 from an alternative that costs $50. Lower than that, I don’t believe they are created equal. An attempt to compare a $100 from a $500 product simply defies the gravity of business fundamental.
While this blender review is specific to picking the winner in making smoothies, it is common for blender owners to expect their blenders to do more than just that.
Make up your mind and stick to it. The winner will clearly be different if you are purely expecting to make nothing but smoothies compared to if you are expecting to make such things as peanut butter in addition to your smoothies.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to making appliance purchases. First, you believe that 5 years is a long time especially when it comes to electronic appliances and you are not expecting your appliances to last more than 3 or the most, 5 years. Second, you have a longer time horizon in the range of 10 to 20 years.
Clearly, the lifespan expectation you set will lead you to what constitutes best. The average blender manufacturers offer no longer than 1 to 2 years warranty. After that, you’re on your own.
The elites, like Vitamix and Blendtec, offers 7-year warranty period. This is something not every manufacturer is willing to bear.
The Ultimate Blender for Smoothie Lovers
Based on the criteria set out above, the smoothie blender winner goes to Blendtec Designer Series. Mind you that this is the ultimate champion that we’re talking about.
For this category, I set no budgetary constraint, expect the machine to do more than simply crushing fruits and ice and expect to look for a new blender in 10 years time.
If I can pick two winners, I’d pick the Vitamix 5200 in addition to the Blendtec. But I have to say the Breville blade design is among the better ones. What makes the design so great is that the curvy bottom will prevent the trapping of the food that you’re trying to blend.
It was a tough pick, but one that I firmly made up.
The Low-Cost Alternative for Smoothie Lovers
Priced at a fraction of what the ultimate champion (Blendtec Designer) costs is our champion for the low-cost alternative. It is none other than the great Ninja Master Prep QB900B.
Operating at a mere 400-watt power, you certainly have to set your expectation right. It is certainly powerful enough to crush ice, but don’t expect the extra fine smoothness and consistency that the high end blenders are expected to deliver.
If you’re expecting it to blend all sorts of food other than smoothies, you’re in for disappointment. Treat those as a fringe benefits that you get with the QB900B purchase and you will be all happy.
For those looking for the best value for money, Nutri Bullet NBR-12 is definitely worth of every consideration. It comes with 2 blade options and powered by a 600-watt motor, slightly more powerful than the QB900B.
We’ve looked at different aspects in picking up the best smoothies blender and we’ve shortlisted two winners (for different price category).
You might have your initial budget set out. But I urge you to give it a second thought.
What is it that you are investing in really when you want nothing but the best smoothie maker? To me, it is an investment for my health, my husband and my kids.
Since I’m able to produce both great fruits and green smoothies, I’ve saved myself dozens of trips to the Smoothie King bar. It is not only the amount of saving that I’m thrilled about. It is about the quality of my smoothies and the exact control that I have over the ingredients that goes into my smoothie cup.
Now, the final round is now in your hand. Only you have the answer to the questions that need to be considered.
If you can afford it, an investment in the Blendtec Designer Series with Wildside Jar is an expensive but oh so worth it long term investment. But if not, Ninja Master Prep QB900B might be the wisest choice.