Portable blenders have upgraded the blending experience for the better. These lightweight, single-serve blenders offer portability to users; you can take them with you to the gym for a post-workout protein shake, or in the car for your morning commute.
But, don’t let its smaller size fool you: these blenders are all businesses—they contain powerful blades that can blend and break down frozen fruit, ice cubes, and other food ingredients with ease.
Because there are many portable blenders on the market (mini blenders, personal blenders, travel blenders, etc.) these days, we tapped four registered dietitians to share some insight into the best portable blenders to invest in this year.
Our Picks for 2022
- Best Overall Portable Blender: BlenderBottle Classic
- Best Portable Blender for the Gym: Ello Splendid Glass Shaker Bottle
- Best USB-Powered Blender for Travel: BlendJet 2 Portable Blender
- Most Reputable Blender: The Original Magic Bullet
- Quietest Portable Blender: BLACK + DECKER PowerCrush Digital Personal Blender
- Best Luxury Portable Blender: Zwilling Personal Blender
What is a Personal Blender?
In case you need a refresher: “A portable blender is a lightweight, compact blender (which either comes with batteries or a rechargeable battery) that is strong enough to crush ice, and can make smoothies and protein shakes on the go,” according to Jaime Hickey, NASM, FMS certified trainer and ISSA certified nutritionist.
Portable blenders can be used to make practically anything you want—soups packed with nutrients, tasty baby food, or savory salad dressings.
Potential Health Benefits
Blenders and the blended food they provide can be particularly beneficial to gastrointestinal health. A 2012 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that when study participants consumed a blended soup (made of roasted chicken, water, and vegetables), it was able to reduce hunger and improve overall satiety.
Similarly, study participants who observed a diet of blended foods reported improvements in gastrointestinal issues and general well-being and the social benefits of family members being included in family mealtimes, says a 2019 study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
However, Hickey recommends being careful of what you actually put inside your blender.
“If you put ice cream, cookies, and fruit in, it will taste amazing, but it won’t be nutritious. If you stick to protein powder, fruits, and vegetables, you’ll have a very healthy snack on your hands,” she explains.
What to Look For
When selecting a personal blender, there are several things you’ll want to think about:
First, Hickey says you’ll first want to consider the strength and size of your unit.
“You’ll want your blender to be small enough to make it easily portable, big enough to fit all of your ingredients, and powerful enough to crush ice and frozen fruit without breaking or overheating,” she tells Celebribody.
Next up to bat is the factor of pricing, according to dietitian Colleen Christensen, RD.
“A full-sized blender can cost way over $100, so if you’re only mixing liquid with a powder, you may not need a full-sized blender,” Christensen says. “There are blenders, and even non-powered shaker bottles, that are great for mixing powders with liquids. Typically you can find these for $10 to $20.”
While some personal blenders may come with batteries, other USB-powered devices come with a USB cable. This cable allows your blender to be charged just like a phone, without requiring frequent battery changes. This gives USB blenders some edge over their battery-operated counterparts, especially since they can be charged quickly.
Finally, you’ll also want to evaluate the product’s materials—some blenders can use plastic materials containing Bisphenol A (BPA).
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used since the 1960s to make polycarbonate (a hard, clear plastic) used in many consumer products.
While the FDA has determined that BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods, the United States Environmental Protection Agency states that it has been demonstrated to be a reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicant in animal studies. If this is a concern, it’s best to choose a portable blender made with BPA-free plastics and materials instead.
Best Personal Blenders
Best for the Money
“The best budget blender is a BlenderBottle,” says Christensen.
“These are non-powered ‘shaker bottles’ that are great for mixing powders with liquids. If you’re not mixing ice or fruit, one of these should work just fine!”
Best for the Gym
“Even in a gym setting, I still think the average person could use a blender bottle over a portable powered blender,” Christensen adds.
“Though if you have a blender at home, that should work just fine- it’s OK to not get your post-workout fuel in the minute you step out of the gym.”
“There are many portable blenders that have power capabilities (charging or battery),” Christensen tells Celebribody.
“While they are more expensive than blender bottles, these blenders will be more able to blend fruit, veggies, or ice. I’ve tried this blender, and it successfully blended fruit and yogurt into a smoothie fairly well.”
“If you want the best of the best for all your blending recipes, the Magic Bullet is my top-rated gadget,” says registered dietitian Lisa Moskovitz, RD.
“It is a top-notch appliance, made from a reputable brand, and makes healthy eating a whole lot more convenient.”
If you are looking to try your hand at some flavorful smoothie recipes from your brand-new recipe book, trust that this worry-free blender will earn its place as your favorite kitchen appliance— its four-tip stainless steel blades, two speeds, and quiet technology work overtime to ensure food-grade material is blended.
And since this blender possesses a single-serve jar that skips out on the handle, it’s sure to fit nicely inside your car cup holders, on your crowded office desk, or even the back of the fridge.
This portable blender may have a steep price tag, but rest assured it’s worth the investment—its blades are ‘piranha-sharp’ and contain automatic shutoff with a break-proof, cold-resistant, and easy-to-clean BPA-free jar.
If that’s not enough, perhaps its smoothie and pulse settings will entice you. After all, if you are looking to up your meal prep ante for the week, of course, you’ll want to have a blender that can help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Point of a Portable Blender?
It’s not always feasible to use a full-size blender when you’re busy, so a personal blender makes it easy and convenient to make a healthy smoothie on the go instead of stopping for a sugar-laden drink or juice at a shop.
Is a Portable Blender as Good as a Full-Size Model?
While portable blenders can be a godsend for working people, be advised that full-sized units often have more features, Hickey explains.
“Full-sized models often have different options—pulse, crush, blend, or dice,” she says. “It does one thing: blend, which is exactly what you need for smoothies and protein shakes.”
How Do I Clean and Store a Portable Blender?
While portable blenders can easily be transported and used on the go, they must be stored and cleaned carefully.
“While the base (which contains a watt motor) should not be stored in the refrigerator, the container (if it is detachable) can be safely stored in the refrigerator,” registered dietitian Kristin Gillespie, RD, MS, LD, CNSC. “Similarly, while some containers and even lids are dishwasher safe, the base should not be washed in the dishwasher, and, instead, washed by hand.”