Which Type of Blender or Smoothie Maker is Best For My Family

You want to get going making homemade smoothies for the family and no doubt have found with blenders as with so many appliances the options are overwhelming so let’s make sure you know exactly which kind of blender suits your needs.

You can blend food in a whole array of different forms and the multi-purpose nature of blenders is certainly very appealing but if your primarily want to use it for making smoothies you need to focus on the ones cut out specifically for the job as we detail below.

If you’re still trying to work out if you actually want to make smoothies or juices you can find clarity on what you really want before you spend your hard earned dollars by reading our blog Juicer vs Blender – Which Should I Buy For My Family? 

Types of blenders and terminology

Before we dive into simplifying the blenders for smoothies options here’s clarity on all the types of blenders so you don’t get led astray and can work out what you will really get the use out of overall:

Kitchen Countertop Jug blenders – Varying sizes of jugs sat atop a heavy base, available in a wide variety of sizes and materials plus many additional functionalities – they generally have much more capacity than a single serve or bullet blender – great for making smoothies for all the family

Commercial Quality blenders Professional Kitchen Countertop / Jug style with extra power, longevity and functionality to also heat, chop, grind, blend and emulsify a multitude of other culinary delights – much more expensive but a great investment for those that will truly put them to use for more than just smoothies

Kitchen Systems / Blender Combo Systems – One single appliance that covers all your chopping, blending and food processing needs with additional attachments – not only good for smoothies but a solid investment if you will use all of the functions as it saves a great deal of space

Single Serve / Bullet / Personal blenders – Cup or bottle sized blenders (some in the shape of a bullet hence the name) – perfect for making smaller smoothies and transporting with special lids and drinking directly from the blender container

Portable blenders – Small and rechargeable blenders for travel or those on the move

Vacuum blenders – For those looking to really maximise their nutritional intake a vacuum blender manages to incorporate less air in the blending process and therefore reduces oxidisation and means your drink will have a little longer shelf life


Smoothie Makers – These were blenders that had a tap to pour out the smoothie however they have largely been discontinued as the taps tended to clog and the other blender types above are now what is meant by a smoothie maker

Blender Bottles – Plastic bottles with metal wire ball inside used to mix protein or other kinds of powders with water or your liquid of choice by hand, typically used before or after workouts, just add the liquid and powder, shake and drink

Immersion / Stick / Hand blenders – For quick blending of soft fruits for a small smoothie or cooked veg for soups and sauces – some come with attachments for chopping also

*In addition there are Stand / Hand mixers which often get pulled into the blender conversation as they mix batter which can also be ‘mixed’ in a blender – these are specialist appliances generally for whisking which is why they are often called cake mixers but the quality stand ones designed for for serious bakers have a number of attachments for things like dough and even sometimes blending grinding and cutting tools.


As parents we need any kitchen appliance to make our lives easier 

Now you’re a little clearer on the options that are more likely to suit your family and make your life easier we can get down to addressing the pro and cons of each type of blender for your smoothies and whatever else you may like to use them for or you can go straight to our Best 5 Blenders For Busy Families reviews based on the following criteria:

  • Affordability (Blenders can range from $45 into the thousands)
  • Effectiveness
  • Speed and ease of use and cleaning
  • Durability and longevity

To make the smartest buying choice it’s most important to be clear on the main things you’ll really use your blender for and make your decision based on which appliance does those things best. To help you easily understand the quality and power, durability, functionality and size that will suit your families needs ask yourself the following questions:

  • How often do you feel you will use your blender?
  • What will you use it for?
  • Are you making for a big family or just a couple of you?
  • How much space do you have on your kitchen counter?

Kitchen Countertop Jug blenders & Commercial Quality blenders

A countertop blender is a staple in many kitchens due to their usefulness in making not only speedy smoothies a variety of other things such as sauces, mayo, pesto and even soups, nut butters, nut milks, sorbets and ice creams depending on their power and functionality.

It can be so easy to get wooed by the multifunctional, more powerful, larger, more expensive all singing, all dancing machines but unless you genuinely believe you’ll get the use out of the extras detailed below you’ll be wasting your money.

What do Countertop Jug blenders do best?

  • Blend drinks like smoothies, milkshakes and cocktails – keep in mind they are designed for liquids!

Many jug blenders can also…

  • Make sauces, pesto, puree, baby food and cream soups (as long as what you’re producing has a high liquid content to it – the thicker the consistency the harder the machine has to work)
  • Chop a small amount like nuts and seeds or harder produce although the lower end models are not ideal for this 
  • Crush ice and blend frozen fruits although do not presume this as it needs a lot of power to do it without burning out the motor 

Most jug blenders will not…

  • Make juice – although some claim to filter the pulp they do not create the type of juice you’d get from a juicer
  • Blend hard fruits or veg well unless you add lots of liquid but the drink will still be very thick
  • Easily make sauces etc.. of a thick consistency such as hummus or chop or grind large quantities of dry or hard produce as they will stick without the liquid content and the motor can burn out (Commercial blenders and food processors are the ideal tools for these things)

What are the main benefits of Countertop Jug blenders?

  • Larger capacity
  • Can generally handle slightly thicker mixtures
  • Most have speed and pulse controls and many have special functionalities 
  • Those with 1000 watts of power or more will generally crush ice and blend frozen fruits without damaging the motor 

What are the potential drawbacks of Countertop Jug blenders?

  • They can take up lots of space in your kitchen
  • They are not food processors or juicers and it pays to know the difference

What are the main benefits of Commercial Quality blenders?

The higher end blenders deemed to be at or near the commercial level are not necessary for most families however if you are planning to really put your machine to use everyday and blend more substantial produce you may want to consider the investment of the extra power, functionality and performance that they provide.

  • More powerful motors and stronger build quality
  • Built to last no matter the usage – often used in restaurants
  • Blends thicker dips like hummus, iced drinks, chop and grind and make nut butters and nut milks and in some cases 
  • Designed to stop produce getting stuck at the bottom under the blade
  • Some premium versions have covers that dampen the sound 
  • For the tech lovers some can be pre-programmed and even have touchscreen bluetooth/wireless technology 
  • Some have self cleaning blades or functionality

What are the potential drawbacks of Commercial Quality blenders?

  • Considerable step up in cost (really should be seen as a long term investment)
  • Take up much more space
  • Many people find themselves dazzled by the idea of all the functionality but in fact don’t use a fraction of it 
  • Some models have been deemed difficult to clean but this can be easily dealt with by adding water and dishwashing liquid and turning the machine on 

Countertop Jug blenders and Commercial Quality blenders price range?

  • $45 – $1500 + (Typically commercial quality blenders come in at between $299 and $600 but there are the premium versions with the larger price ticket and brands like Ninja giving the likes of Vitamix and Blendtec a run for their money with great quality machines starting at around $120)

Recommendations for Countertop Jug blenders

  • Be careful not to drop any spoons or utensils or foreign objects into the mix or you will likely damage the blades and or motor
  • Ideally chose a blender with a proper spout for pouring as pouring from the corner of the jug can get messy
  • Apart from the some of the very high end blenders that are actually designed to heat soups for example do not blend hot liquids as they can combust or spurt out hot liquid or steam and burn you when you open the lid (when blending cooked soups wait for them to cool first)
  • Go for 3 – 10 variable speed settings to give you the best control
  • Adding water and dishwashing liquid to the jug and blending for a couple of seconds will help clean even stubborn residue and it’s always best to clean directly after use
  • Remember to buy based on the functionality you will actually use

~Discover your families own path to healthy eating happiness~

Which Type of Blender or Smoothie Maker is Best For My Family was first seen on Its Not About Nutrition