Named after their shape, bullet blenders are the ideal kitchen gadget for whipping up smoothies, sauces and soup. They’re normally compact (compared to jug blenders and food processors) and fit into tight spaces on your kitchen counter, saving you the faff of having to unpack and repack them from a cupboard with each use.
They come into their own though during a busy morning routine. Smoothies can be created in a few minutes – that includes everything from chucking the ingredients in the cup, blending and doing the washing up, with most models coming with additional sip-lids so you can drink them on-the-go.
Because of this though, most blending cups cater for one or two people max, so if you’re blending for the whole family this may not be the quickest option for you.
We tested bullet blenders on how quickly they crushed fruit, tough veg and ice (if at all), how easy they are to clean and use, and whether they come with useful accessories or extra settings.
1. NutriBullet 1000 Series 9 Piece Set: £129.95, High Street TV
In our opinion, NutriBullet is still top when it comes to making healthy drinks and smoothies. For the price, you expect more for your money and its latest design delivers. Although slightly bigger than other models, the base unit is strong and sturdy, with super-sticky pads on the bottom. You get two large cups (930ml and 820ml) – one is insulated to keep your drink cool and the large cup sizes mean the NutriBullet is ideal if you’re blending for a family. The blade does a great job of breaking down fruit, veg, stems, seeds and ice, and isn’t as noisy as many we tested. There’s also new, built-in smart tech where the model knows when to speed up, slow down and turn off automatically for optimum nutrient extraction. Although we couldn’t test extraction, it left our juice with a smooth consistency. There’s also a top tips and recipe guide, which we found the most useful of the bunch.
2. Nutri Ninja Pro With Auto-IQ Power Blender BL480: £119.99, Lakeland
Put anything from celery and kale to ice and frozen fruit in this blender and it will reduce it to a refreshing smoothie in less than 30 seconds. It’s simple to use: just place your ingredients in the cup, attach the blade lid and place in the base unit. Select the programme you want – “Blend” for softer ingredients or “Ultra-blend” for pulses and frozen food – and the Nutri Ninja will kick into action, with the countdown screen showing how long is left before your juice is ready. The pulse option will only work while that button is pressed down and the start/stop button is for those who want to control blending time (with a count-up timer), although you can stop the blender on any of the settings using this button. It’s a clever machine that comes with extra dishwasher-safe cups and sip-lids, as well as an inspiration guide. It’s a little noisy though, but that’s common with this style of blender. Overall, it’s well worth shelling out for, if you have the budget.
3. Morphy Richards Blend Express: £24.99, Morphy Richards
Designed especially for smoothie or juice making, this model comes with two 750ml cups and sport-cap lids so you can take your creation to work or the gym with ease. To use: fill the cup with your ingredients, attach blade lid, line up the padlock on the lid to the arrow on the base unit and turn on at the mains. Turn the dial to “I” to blend, “II” for a more powerful blend or “P” to pulse – return the dial to “0” once your smoothie is at the right consistency. The unit shakes more than most, especially on “II” setting but it created a smooth consistency in less than 30 seconds. It’s super-easy to clean too and looks good on your kitchen surface.
4. Lakeland Nutrishot Compact Personal Blender: £39.99, Lakeland
This is a simple and effective machine, which we found dealt easily with soft fruit and oats, making smoothies of a drinkable consistency within 10 seconds or so. It also didn’t have a problem with frozen fruit, ice or nuts. There are two different blending glasses (550ml or 800ml) and two blades (cross and flat), although the flat blade, for oats, nuts and seeds, only fits onto the smaller cup. To use the machine, fill up your chosen cup, screw on the blade lid, turn it upside down and slot it into the blender, turning it clockwise slightly and pushing down. Once it’s done, the cups can be used to drink from on-the-go, which is handy for cutting down on washing up. It can be very loud, however, and it gives off a mechanical smell on the first couple of uses, although this doesn’t affect the taste.
5. Salter Nutri Pro 1200: £39.99, Robert Dyas
This is a powerful yet easy-to-use machine. The one-litre blending cup means you can make more than enough smoothie for the whole family and put the rest in the fridge for later. Alternatively, you can pour it into one of the other two cups provided, which feature easy-drink lids for when you're out and about. A handy booklet featuring 50 simple recipes is also included, which is ideal if you're new to making smoothies and juices or just feeling stuck for inspiration. Our favourite aspect though is the powerful motor. With 1200 watts and a six blade attachment, it liquidised our ingredients (including ice) in roughly thirty seconds. Add to that the fact that all the cups are dishwasher safe, this machine is certainly a desirable option for cutting down prep times.
6. Russell Hobbs Mix & Go Cool Personal Blender: £29.99, Amazon
This streamlined blender is best suited to those who drink smoothies on-the-go. It’s a basic blender – add the ingredients and the blade lid, line up the arrow on the cup to the base unit, push down and twist to start blending. For softer ingredients you won’t have to wait more than 30 seconds to make a smoothie. It struggled slightly with pulses and harder veg – we had to shake the container to get the blade to work over these trickier ingredients. The two “Cool Tubes” you get with this blender though add to the appeal of taking the cups on your commute. You fill the tubes up with water and leave to freeze overnight. Then you can attach them to your cup lids when you’re taking your juice out the house. Don’t expect them to keep your drink ice cold but it certainly delayed them getting lukewarm in our bag. For those on a budget, this is a great option.
7. Kenwood SMP060SI Sport 2 Go Personal Blender: £19, Tesco
Gym fiends will like this one as you get two transportable 600ml bottles for those all-important smoothies or shakes. It’s super-easy to set up, there are two speed settings and you whizz up your concoction in one of the bottles, swap the blade for the lid and on you go. We found it really efficient making our breakfast smoothie, consisting of soft fruit, yoghurt and oats. It tackled the likes of carrots and frozen fruit too, though admittedly not quite as efficiently as some more powerful machines on the list (you might need to do a bit of stopping and shaking). It’s compact and easy to clean but you might need a brush to get all the way to the bottom. For this price though, we were impressed.
8. James Martin by Wahl Multifive Blender: £29.96, Asda
This simple blender from TV chef James Martin is another easy-to-use machine. Fill the cup with your ingredients, attach the blade lid, line up the arrows on the base unit and cup and push down to blend. We found you had to keep it pushed down yourself, so you can’t get on with something else while it’s in action. It’s also designed for softer fruit and veg so don’t expect it to crush everything you throw at it. But we think this model is best for someone wanting to make regular smoothies and is on a smaller budget. The blender looks stylish on your worktop, has dishwasher safe parts and comes with a James Martin recipe booklet for extra inspiration.
The Verdict: Bullet Blenders
The Nutri Ninja is a close second but the winner has to be the NutriBullet for a sleek, stylish model that produces smoothies and juices in seconds. If you’re looking for something cheaper, try the Morphy Richards Blend Express.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing