A Real Simple review of 52 different blender models by a diverse group of manufacturers chose the KitchenAid Five-Speed blender as the best all-around unit. It balances budget and performance, retailing for an estimated $90 as of 2015.
The KitchenAid Five-Speed blender, billed as a compact device at 16 inches tall, has a quiet and powerful motor, per the Real Simple synopsis. It is purchasable at a wide variety of retail stores, as well as from the company website.
The Real Simple review also notes four other blenders that excelled in other categories: best budget blender, best immersion blender, best "superpowered" blender and best single-serve blender. As a budget model, the Oster 12-Speed, which features a food processor attachment, was rated best. It retails for around $40 at stores. According to the review, it has a smooth blending action but is relatively noisy. The Williams-Sonoma All-Clad Immersion blender, valued at approximately $100, is the top rated handheld blender. Real Simple describes it as easily stored, able to puree efficiently, quickly and thoroughly. Similarly, the Vitamix 5200, chosen by the comparison as the best "superpowered" blender, is equally effective as a juicer. Sold directly from the Vitamix website, it is a versatile device that is sold for around $450. It features a baseless design for easy cleaning. Finally, the Cuisinart Compact Portable Blending and Chopping System is listed as the best single-serve blender. It comes with four plastic 16-ounce tumblers and a 32-ounce canister that can be used for juicing or chopping. It retails on the Cuisinart website for approximately $70.