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8 best electric hand mixers that whizz up a storm in the kitchen

Whether you’re mixing or whipping, these culinary aids are baking essentials

Andy Lynes
Friday 07 October 2022 16:15 BST
<p>We creamed butter, whisked egg whites and kneaded dough, to find the ones that stood out </p>

We creamed butter, whisked egg whites and kneaded dough, to find the ones that stood out

It’s probably great exercise whisking egg whites for 10 minutes by hand to make meringues, or beating the heck out of butter and sugar with a wooden spoon, for what feels like forever, to cream them for a sponge mix. In reality, no one should actually be doing that when you can pick up a basic electric hand mixer for a few pounds.

That will free up enough time so you can make a devil’s food cake and get some proper exercise at the gym, or more likely sit down and watch Bake Off with a slice of your latest creation and a cuppa.

Hand mixers are an excellent alternative to stand mixers if you don’t have the space or budget for one. They are small enough to store away in a kitchen drawer and every model we tested had a flat base, which means they can be stored vertically in a cupboard and will take up less space. It also means the mixers can be stood on their bases while adding additional ingredients to a mixing bowl, so the cake batter-encased beaters won’t make your countertop messy.

Although a number of the hand mixers we tested come with dough hooks, only one (the Smeg hand mixer, £149.95, Smeguk.com) was suitable for kneading bread dough. Generally speaking, you are at risk of burning out the motor if you try and mix heavy yeasted doughs, so stick to mixing lighter doughs and batters and whisking up egg whites, making mayonnaise, hollandaise and other emulsified dressings and sauces.

That said, an electric hand mixer is an essential kitchen tool for any keen home cook or baker, and one that will help you extend your cooking repertoire.

How we tested

We thoroughly tested each hand mixer to see how efficiently it operated and to use all the included attachments. We timed how long each hand mixer took to whisk egg whites to stiff-peak stage using the whisk attachment; to cream butter and sugar using the beater attachment, and, if included, to mix bread dough with the dough attachment and made a range of baked goods. We considered how comfortable the mixers were to hold and use, how heavy they were and how noisy they were in operation, and the effectiveness of any additional functionality.

The best electric hand mixers for 2022 are:

  • Best overall electric hand mixer – Dualit hand mixer: £74.99, Dualit.com
  • Best cordless electric hand mixer – Cuisinart cordless power hand mixer: £90, Cuisinart.co.uk
  • Best designer electric hand mixer – Smeg hand mixer: £149.95, Shop.smeguk.com
  • Best budget electric hand mixer – Russell Hobbs desire matte black hand mixer: £32.99, Russellhobbs.com
  • Best lightweight electric hand mixer – Bosch hand mixer: £29, Ao.com
  • Best electric hand mixer for multi-tasking – Gastroback design hand mixer pro: £119.90, Gastroback.co.uk
  • Best luxury electric hand mixer – KitchenAid hand mixer: £119, Kitchenaid.co.uk
  • Best electric hand mixer for keen cake-makers – Breville heatsoft hand mixer: £48, Argos.co.uk

Dualit hand mixer

Dualit hand mixer.png
  • Best: Overall
  • Weight: 1.5kg
  • Size: 20cm x 15cm x 10cm
  • Speeds: Four
  • Pulse action: No
  • Included accessories: Flat beaters, dough hooks and balloon whisk
  • Wattage: 400W
  • Dishwasher-safe attachments: Yes

The Dualit does its job brilliantly without making a song and dance about it. It would be an exaggeration to say we hardly knew it was on but it was the quietest in operation of all the mixers we tested. It was one of the most comfortable to use too, with the well-designed handle making it easy to grip and keep control. Although there are only four speed settings, there was more than enough variation to handle all the food prep tasks we needed it to, and we didn’t miss a pulse function. We loved the gleaming chrome finish (it’s also available in a cream ‘canvas’ finish) and the clever retractable power cord, which can be wound into the body of the mixer by twisting the base.

Although dough hooks are included, the mixer isn’t suitable for kneading bread and the hooks are designed to be used for initial mixing of dough and pastry ingredients. But it aced the egg-white test, getting to stiff-peak stage in about a minute. If you want a mid-priced mixer without too many bells and whistles, but that still delivers in all the important departments, the Dualit is an excellent choice.

  1. £74 from Dualit.com
Prices may vary
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Cuisinart cordless power hand mixer

Cuisinart cordless power hand mixer.png
  • Best: Cordless mixer
  • Weight: 1kg
  • Size: 11.4cm x 11.4cm x 7.7cm
  • Speeds: Five
  • Pulse action: No
  • Included accessories: Beaters
  • Wattage: 10W
  • Dishwasher-safe attachments: Yes

If you want to be free to mix wherever you want, this good-looking cordless model is the solution. Once charged up by USB (a full charge takes a little more than two hours), there’s enough power for about 20 minutes of continuous use, more than enough for a baker’s dozen of food prep tasks.

The operation couldn’t be simpler – one button turns the mixer on and off and another selects the five different speeds and one set of beaters that handles everything from whisking up egg whites (to stiff-peak stage in a very respectable 70 seconds) to making a cake mix.

As the mixer is cordless, we could easily and safely use it to beat a souffle base in a pan on the hob. Although this wasn’t the fastest or most powerful mixer we tested, the cordless operation was a real plus point and we couldn’t fault this quiet, compact and easy-to-store mixer for everyday cooking requirements.

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Smeg hand mixer

Smeg hand mixer.png
  • Best: Designer hand mixer
  • Weight: 1.15kg
  • Size: 14.6cm x 29.2cm x 24.3cm
  • Speeds: Nine
  • Pulse action: Yes
  • Included accessories: Wire whisks, flat whisks and dough hooks
  • Wattage: 250W
  • Dishwasher-safe attachments: Yes

From the Art Deco styling through to the smart grey fabric attachment bag, this hand mixer exudes Smeg’s signature upmarket style. But the great design is not just skin deep. The nine speeds, selected via a three-button control panel, allowed for precise control during the mixing process, so we could start slowly softening cold butter – so it didn’t fly out of the bowl – and gradually increase the speed as we added sugar and flour for a shortbread dough.

We loved the digital display that showed the selected speed and the time, so we could easily monitor how long we’d been mixing for and avoid overworking ingredients. The mixer automatically switched off after four minutes and 59 seconds, ensuring the motor wouldn’t overheat.

It might look like a show pony (the mixer is available in seven colours, including a fetching pastel green) but the Smeg turned out to be a workhorse. With the dough hooks attached, it did a fine job with a batch of pizza dough. With the twin whisks in place, it took about one minute to whisk egg whites to stiff-peak stage, and even at its highest speed setting was noticeably quieter than some other mixers we tested. Smeg style never comes cheap, but given it goes hand in hand with commendable performance, it’s worth the extra outlay.

  1. £149 from Smeguk.com
Prices may vary
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Russell Hobbs desire matte black hand mixer

Russell Hobbs desire matte black hand mixer.png
  • Weight: 800g
  • Size: 3.1cm x 7.7cm x 11.6cm
  • Speeds: Five
  • Pulse action: Yes
  • Included accessories: Wire whisks and dough hooks
  • Voltage: 350W
  • Dishwasher-safe attachmetns: Yes

This low-cost yet stylish hand mixer is accurately named “desire” as there’s lots to love about it. The elegant black and chrome design belies the affordable price point and, as one of the lightest mixers we tested, it was particularly easy to use – especially with the very comfortable enclosed handle.

With the whisks in place, we whipped up egg whites to stiff peaks in about one minute. The mixer made short work of creaming butter and sugar, completing the task in just six minutes when we used fridge-cold butter. Despite the included dough hooks, the mixer is not suitable for kneading bread dough and is intended just for the initial mixing of ingredients.

On the downside, the mixer’s slowest speed is still quite fast, which meant some of our butter and sugar escaped the bowl when we first started to mix them, but things soon settled down. The mixer was one of the noisier models we tested but, for the price, we really couldn’t complain. The desire is an entry-level mixer that will please the most experienced home cook or baker.

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Bosch hand mixer

Bosch hand mixer.png
  • Best: Lightweight electric hand mixer
  • Weight: 785g
  • Size: 14cm x 18.4cm x 7cm
  • Speeds: Four
  • Pulse action: Yes
  • Included accessories: Wire whisks and dough hooks
  • Wattage: 350W
  • Dishwasher-safe attachments: Yes

With its unassuming utilitarian white design, this compact and lightweight hand mixer is the sort of thing you’d probably find in your mother’s kitchen drawer. It may not have stood out from the crowd in our tests but it kept up with the pace, whisking egg whites to stiff-peak stage in just under a minute and dealing well with ginger-nut dough that included fridge-cold butter. It didn’t make a racket, even at its top speed, and was comfortable to hold.

The accessories include dough hooks and the manufacturer claims the mixer is suitable for kneading yeasted dough. However, we’d play it safe and stick to less-strenuous whisking and mixing tasks for cakes, muffins and biscuits, to avoid the risk of burning out the motor. The Bosch hand mixer won’t turn heads but, for the money, it’s ideal for casual cooks and occasional bakers.

  1. £29 from Ao.com
Prices may vary
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Gastroback design hand mixer pro

Gastroback design hand mixer pro.png
  • Best: For multi-tasking
  • Weight: 1.2kg
  • Size: 18.5cm x 16cm x 23.5cm
  • Speeds: Five
  • Pulse action: Yes
  • Included accessories: Wire whisk, dough hooks, beaters, blender, grinder and mixing container
  • Wattage: 500W
  • Dishwasher-safe attachments: Yes

The Gastroback may not win any beauty contests but its functional stainless steel and black plastic design mirrors its practical functionality and versatility. It’s light, compact, relatively quiet and comfortable to use.

Using the whisk attachment at the top speed setting, we beat egg whites to stiff-peak stage in just under a minute and used the flat beaters to cream sugar with butter straight from the fridge in about nine minutes. Although dough hooks are included, the mixer is not suitable for mixing bread but worked well when it came to mixing oat-cookie dough.

Setting this mixer apart, however, are the additional accessories that turn the hand mixer into a mini chopper and hand blender (including a tall plastic blending container). The chopper made short work of some parsley, which we then added to a mayonnaise mix that was quickly whipped up using the blender attachment. It’s worth noting that the chopper attachment does what it says on the tin and is not a food processor, so you can’t add any liquids. It is, however, perfect for things such as herbs, garlic and shallots – you’ll need to cut larger vegetables into pieces before using the chopping function, and the attachment is not suitable for nuts, seeds or chocolate.

We were impressed overall with the Gastroback, and the additional functionality it offers for a price lower than some of the other premium mixers we reviewed makes it a very attractive proposition.

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KitchenAid hand mixer

KitchenAid hand mixer.png
  • Best: Luxury buy
  • Weight: 1.36kg
  • Size: 8cm x 20cm x 15cm
  • Speeds: Six
  • Pulse action: No
  • Included accessories: Flex edge beaters and wire whisk
  • Wattage: 85W
  • Diswasher-safe attachments: Yes

KitchenAid’s instantly recognisable design style is present and correct in this efficient and comfortable-to-use hand mixer that’s available in black and red. Using the balloon whisk attachment at the highest speed setting, it took only 50 seconds to reach stiff-peak stage and it made a glossy, fluffy meringue mix in minutes.

The mixer’s motor is blissfully quiet in operation, and the rubber-tipped “flat edge” beaters also cut down on noise in the bowl. They also made short work of creaming butter and sugar for a Victoria sponge – incorporating the eggs and flour was also effortless.

We loved the cleverly designed storage clip that fits over the attachment apertures on the underside of the mixer, which enabled us to easily store the mixer and attachments together – no hunting for a whisk when you need macarons in a hurry.

As the manufacturer points out, the mixer isn’t designed to knead bread dough, so it’s not a substitute for a KitchenAid stand mixer but it is a useful and desirable piece of kitchen equipment.

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Breville heatsoft hand mixer

Breville heatsoft hand mixer.png
  • Best: For keen cake makers
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Size: 3.3cm x 8.5cm x 11.8cm
  • Speeds: Seven
  • Pulse action: Yes
  • Included accessories: Beaters, dough hooks and whisk and clear plastic storage case
  • Wattage: 270W
  • Dishwasher-safe attachments: Yes

Home bakers have to thank the brave Breville staffer who walked into a product design meeting and suggested combining a hand mixer with a hairdryer. It sounds positively batty, but it works an absolute treat. Pressing the heatsoft button blows warm air into the mixing bowl, which enabled us to cream fridge-cold butter and sugar in less than two minutes – the fastest time of all the mixers we tested. You wouldn’t, of course, use it to dry your hair but it’s a genuinely useful innovation, even if it does make an already noisy mixer a little bit louder. The mixer impressed even when we weren’t using the heatsoft function – whisking egg whites to stiff-peak stage in just 45 seconds.

A little chunkier than other mixers we tested, it wasn’t the most comfortable to use but that wasn’t a huge issue, and the included storage container that holds the attachments (although dough hooks are included, the mixer is not suitable for kneading bread dough), as well as the mixer unit, meant it was one of the easiest to store, despite its slightly larger size.

Although we were amused at first by what appeared to be a gimmick, our tests convinced us that the Breville heatsoft deserves to be taken seriously.

  1. £48 from Argos.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Hand mixers FAQs

What to look for in a good hand mixer

  • Speed settings – Hand mixers often have a range of different speed settings, with many offering anywhere between three to 10 speeds to choose from. The type of model you buy will largely depend on what you plan to use it for and how much variety you want or need. However, we’d recommend investing in one with at least three speeds. This is because it’s actually very important to have slower settings for tasks such as mixing dry ingredients, as this will prevent mess and splatter.
  • Weight – While this may not seem like an important factor in comparison with speed settings and attachments, after beating your batter for five minutes, even the lightest hand mixer can start to feel heavy. But, on the other hand, you don’t want a hand mixer that falls over at the slightest movement. The ideal weight of a hand mixer should be about 680g (without any attachments), which isn’t so heavy that you’ll tire quickly but also isn’t too flimsy.
  • Attachments – If you plan to use your hand mixer for more than just beating eggs, it’s worth investing in one that comes with a variety of attachments, such as a dough hook, whisk or spatula. Overall, stainless-steel beaters are more long-lasting and easier to keep clean, but if you don’t want to scratch your mixing bowls, you can find attachments that have a protective silicone coating.
  • Size – What size you opt for largely depends on what kind of cupboard space you have available. If you plan to sit your mixer in pride of place on your countertop, opt for a bigger, weightier product. But, if storage room is an issue, there are some great compact options on this list that can break down into smaller components.

Which should I buy, a hand mixer or hand blender?

While hand mixers and hand blenders sound similar, they are actually very different. Because they are similar in certain aspects, it can be hard to know which you will need for different types of cooking, but there is a general rule to follow. Commonly, hand mixers are used more for baking, as they’re specifically designed to beat together sugars and fats, while hand blenders are designed to create smoother textures, such as for sauces and soups. If you are more of a baker, we’d recommend opting for a mixer, while an all-around home chef should pick up a hand blender.

The verdict: Hand mixers

For high performance, intelligent design and durable quality that doesn’t cost the earth, we couldn’t fault the Dualit hand mixer, which tackled with ease every mixing and whisking job we gave it. If cost is a consideration, the Russell Hobbs desire matte black hand mixer over delivered in most departments for its very reasonable price point.

Looking for more baking recommendations? Read our guide to the best stand mixers that do the hard work for you

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