The 10 Best Blenders for Protein Shakes of 2021

How to choose a blender for protein shakes that is right for you

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Verywell / Chloe Jeong

A great blender is the perfect addition to any kitchen but is particularly helpful for those who enjoy smoothies or protein shakes. If you frequently enjoy a protein shake from a smoothie bar after the gym, then you likely already know this can take a considerable chunk out of your monthly budget.

Blending your own smoothie or protein shake at home has many benefits. If you typically purchase a protein shake, smoothie, or cold-pressed juice a few times per week, you could easily rack up a hefty monthly bill. DIY versions are typically more affordable, and you get to choose the exact flavor combo you're craving. If this is you, there's good news. Investing in a quality blender eventually pays for itself and allows you to create your own blends. Start saving money and supercharging your nutrition by shopping our top blender picks.

What to Look for in a Blender for Protein Shakes

Type of Blender

There are three main types of blenders: countertop, high-performance, and single-serve. 

Countertop blenders have a classic large pitcher with a handle and are mounted on top of a motor base. These are user-friendly and come with various functions, like mix, crush, blend, and puree. 

High-performance blenders have the most functionalities as well as the strongest motors, often yielding the smoothest consistency. From grinders to food processors, these multifunctional appliances can be used for a variety of ingredients, including tougher items like nuts and ice. 

Single-serve blenders are the most space-efficient of the three. The pitcher is much smaller—serving only one portion—and often doubles as a to-go cup. Given their size, single-serve blenders typically have less power, making them better suited for softer ingredients.

Motor Size

The motor size indicates the type and amount of food the blender can process at a time. The stronger the motor—reflected by a higher wattage—the better the results. Blenders with 1000 watts or more can not only handle tougher ingredients but also last longer. Additionally, they’re much larger in size. Lower powered units can have challenges when crushing ice and harder ingredients. They also tend to have a shorter life span with heavy use. On the other hand, lower-powered blenders come with a much cheaper price tag.

Variable Speed Control

Blenders with variable speed control enable users to start slow and gradually build up speed to reach their desired consistency. This function also allows users to layer in multiple ingredients at different times with varying textures. Variable speed control also puts far less stress on the motor, helping extend the life of a blender. Some blenders offer a manual speed control knob, while others have a digital touchpad with pre-programmed settings. Whether you prefer a manual or digital control system is a matter of personal preference. 

Material

In general, investing in a high-quality appliance built with top materials pays off in terms of durability and longevity. When choosing a blender, always opt for stainless steel blades as they’re usually the sturdiest.

Blending pitchers are typically made of plastic or glass. Glass doesn’t absorb odors like some plastics do and is preferred for blending hot food (like soup), but can be heavy and shatter easily. A plastic pitcher should always be BPA-free. Some high-end plastics can be expensive and are not always dishwasher safe. Do your research to find the best balance between quality, safety, and value.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you need a blender to make protein shakes?

    No. You can add protein powders to any liquid, place in a closed container (such as a mason jar or water bottle) and shake it until thoroughly combined. However, using a blender gives you the versatility to combine other ingredients to yield your desired flavor, texture, and nutritional composition. For example, you can blend frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables as well as ice, seeds, nuts, and nut butter.

  • Is it better to mix protein powder with milk or water?

    This depends on your personal preference and your desired nutritional intake. Mixing protein powders with milk or milk alternatives creates a creamier texture and can provide added nutrients such as protein, calcium, and vitamin D, depending on the type of milk. If you are not looking to add additional nutrients, choose water.

  • Should you drink a protein shake before or after a workout?

    Fueling your body with carbohydrates and protein is important both pre- and post-workout, whether it is from a protein shake, a small meal, or a snack. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends getting a combination of protein and carbs in your body one to four hours pre-workout and within one hour post-workout.


    The specifics of what you need pre- and post-workout should be personalized to what you enjoy most and what makes you feel best. This may take some experimentation, but in general, you want a source of protein and carbohydrate.


    Some evidence suggests that protein supplementation after endurance or resistance training may enhance muscle recovery and rebuilding. Incorporating a shake with one-serving of protein powder (or yogurt), fruit (try banana), and milk or plant-based milk alternative will help replenish carbohydrates and electrolytes lost through exercise and support muscle recovery post-workout. If you need a meal post-workout, adding rolled oats and nut butters to the shake can increase satiety.

  • How do you clean protein powder out of a blender?

    Cleaning protein powder out of a blender depends on the blender you are using. Some blenders have a self-cleaning option in which you add warm water and a small amount of dish soap and blend to clean. Others are dishwasher safe and some require hand washing. Due to the texture of some protein powders, they may require extra scrubbing with a brush or sponge to remove any remaining grit.

Here are the best blenders for protein shakes on the market.

Our Top Picks
The stainless steel blades reach high enough speeds that the friction alone can heat a soup in approximately six minutes.
The 175-watt motor and stainless steel blades easily crush ice for smoothies and icy beverages without taking up too much space.
The high-efficiency blender takes up minimal counter and cabinet space and is a breeze to use and clean.
Best for Juicing:
Vitamix 5200 Blender at Amazon
It's a top pick among juice connoisseurs as it can blend and perform whole-food juicing with its variable speeds.
Best for Smoothies:
Vitamix One at Amazon
A powerful blender that'll help you preserve counter space, it's perfect for smoothies, dips, and dressings.
Its sound enclosure system enables the machine to operate quietly, so kitchen conversations can still be had.
Best for Grinding Nuts and Seeds:
Tribest PB-250 Personal Blender at Amazon
The single serving blender is ideal for making daily smoothies and grinding nuts or coffee beans with minimal mess.
This blender features five speeds—stir, chop, mix, puree, liquefy—and comes in 23 inventive colors.
Use it to make a variety of meals, from smoothies and shakes to dips and doughs.
It uses an impressive 900-watt motor to blend all of your ingredients into one smooth concoction.

Best Overall: Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender

vitamix e310
Pros
  • Powerful motor ideal for versatility and performance

  • Long-lasting

  • Easy to clean

Cons
  • Expensive

The Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender is the “Swiss Army Knife” of the kitchen; it truly does it all. From creating rich and velvety protein shakes with freshly ground nut butters to healthy soups and sauces, the Vitamix is an easy way to make various crave-worthy dishes.

The 48-ounce container is made from BPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester and fits under most cabinets, ideal for those cooking for one or making small family meals. This blender features a variable 10-speed control knob enabling users to craft their ideal texture. The added pulse feature adds quick bursts of power when needed. The Vitamix’s stainless steel blades reach high enough speeds that the friction alone can heat a soup in approximately six minutes.

The 1380-watt unit features a self-cleaning function. With just one pump of soap and 30 seconds, the blender will clean itself. No need to take the unit apart or put it in the dishwasher. This high-performance blender comes with a mini tamper and cookbook and is available in black, red, and slate. The Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender measures 11 x 8 x 18 inches and weighs 10.5 pounds.

Type of blender: Multi-purpose | Liquid capacity: 48-ounces | Portable: No | Care: self-clean option | BPA free: Yes | Multi-Speed: Yes, 10-speed | Pulse option: Yes | Weight: 10.5 pounds

Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Personal Blender

Hamilton Beach Single Serve Blender
Pros
  • Inexpensive

  • Easy to use

  • Compact design

Cons
  • One-speed only

  • Low motor wattage

The Hamilton Beach Personal Blender is a go-to for on-the-go smoothies and protein shakes without breaking the bank or taking over precious counter space. This simple one-button operation is easy to use and ideal for simple drink recipes—just press down and blend. The 175-watt motor and stainless steel blades easily crush ice for smoothies and icy beverages. 

The included BPA-free, 14-ounce blending jar doubles as a to-go cup with a portable lid so you can blend and be on your way. This one-speed personal blender is perfect for the office or gym. Fill the cup with fruits and veggies in the morning and blend and enjoy at your convenience. This compact unit measures 11.8 x 3.94 x 3.94 inches and weighs 1.8 pounds.

Type of blender: Single-serve/personal | Liquid capacity: 14-ounces | Portable: Yes | Care: dishwasher safe jar and lid | BPA free: Yes | Multi-Speed: No, One speed | Pulse option: No | Weight: 1.8 pounds

Best Single Serve: NutriBullet Pro 13-Piece High-Speed Blender

NutriBullet Pro 13-Piece High-Speed Blender
Pros
  • Compact design

  • Easy to use and clean

Cons
  • Some reviews note leaking

Whether you live in a cramped dorm room, a small studio apartment, or want to trim down on bulky appliances, the high-efficiency NutriBullet Pro blender takes up minimal counter and cabinet space and is a breeze to use and clean.

This 900-watt blender delivers a high power blend with a durable construction. Simply push and twist for a hands-free protein shake in under 60 seconds. It's powerful enough to blend your favorite ingredients—including leafy greens and ice—into a silky-smooth protein shake.

This 13-piece personal blender set includes the NutriBullet Pro base, one emulsifying extractor blade, two high-impact BPA-free 32-ounce cups, two flip-top lids, two-handled lip rings, two comfort lip rings, and a hardcover recipe book. This unit measures 12.01 x 7.72 x 15.94 inches and weighs 4.7 pounds.

The NutriBullet Pro is available in various colors, including Berry, Champagne, Clover, Cobalt, Coral, Onyx, Rose Gold, Silver, Sky, Violet, and White.

Type of blender: Single-serve | Liquid capacity: 32-ounces | Portable: Yes | Care: hand wash blade; cups and lids are top-rack- dishwasher safe | BPA free: Yes | Multi-Speed: No, one speed | Pulse option: No | Weight: 4.7 pounds

Best for Juicing: Vitamix 5200 Blender

Pros
  • Powerful motor ideal for versatility and performance

  • Easy to clean

  • Long-lasting

Cons
  • Expensive

The Vitamix is so much more than a typical blender; it makes everything from smoothies and juices to piping hot soups, ground nut butters, freshly churned ice cream, and kneaded dough.

The Vitamix 5200 Blender is a top pick among juice connoisseurs because it can blend and perform whole-food juicing. For the thinnest consistency, users can run the juice through a filtration bag or strainer to remove excess pulp. For optimal nutrition, Vitamix recommends leaving the pulp in, as it's full of dietary fiber.

The Vitamix 5200 Blender features variable speeds that allow for full control of your favorite blended food and beverages' texture and thickness. Additionally, one of the many highlights of this model is the one-minute self-cleaning function. With just one drop of dish soap, the machine will clean itself—no breakdown or dishwasher necessary.

This unit measures 8.75 x 7.25 x 20.5 inches and weighs about 10.5 pounds. The Vitamix 5200 Blender comes with a 64-ounce BPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester pitcher, laser-cut stainless steel blades, a tamper, and an ultra-powerful 1380-watt base. This model comes in black, white, and red.

Type of blender: Multi-purpose | Liquid capacity: 64-ounces | Portable: No | Care: self-clean option | BPA free: Yes | Multi-Speed: Yes, 10-speed | Pulse option: No | Weight: 10.5 pounds

Best for Smoothies: Vitamix One

Vitamix One
Pros
  • Sleek design

  • More affordable than other Vitamix options

Cons
  • Less versatile than other Vitamix options

One of Vitamix’s more affordable options, the ONE was designed to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary. An ideal blender if you don’t have a lot of counter space to spare, it features an hourglass-like design that rivals bulkier options. Its base’s built-in handles make for smooth portability, whether you’re bringing it on vacation or moving it around the kitchen. 

The Vitamix ONE does come with its limitations. With a speed dial and only one function, it doesn’t have specific settings like crush, puree, grind, or dice. And while it can whip up smoothies, dips, cocktails, and frozen treats, it’s not suited for hot liquids, nut butters, or grains. It boils down to your favorite meals and beverages and what you intend to use the blender for. 

While the dial simply needs to be turned clockwise for higher speeds, turning it less than halfway proves powerful enough. If you’re in a pinch, there’s no need to worry about defrosting any frozen ingredients beforehand. The included mini-tamper, which can be used during blending, is especially helpful in crushing particularly large or stubborn ingredients. 

The ONE measures 8.1 x 7 x 16 inches and weighs 6.2 pounds. Overall, an ideal pick to add to your appliance collection, especially if you’re a smoothie enthusiast—and you don’t intend to rely on it for all your cooking needs. 

Type of blender: Multi-purpose | Liquid capacity: 32-ounces | Portable: Yes | Care: self-cleaning option | BPA free: Yes | Multi-Speed: Yes | Pulse option: No | Weight: 6.2 pounds

What Our Editors Say

"The last blender I had shattered, so I appreciate that this container is made of BPA-free plastic. A no-frills option, I mainly use it for smoothies, and I know it'll provide the desired texture in a matter of seconds. It’s perfectly sized for my limited counter space, though I do wish it was a bit quieter. I also appreciate that post-pour, it doesn’t trap liquid buildup, so I can minimize food waste. Lastly, it’s very easy on the eyes!" — Tori Zhou, Associate Health Commerce Editor  

Best Quiet: Blendtec Professional 800 Blender

Blendtec Professional 800 Blender
Pros
  • 11-speed pre-programmed blend cycles

  • Quiet blending

  • High-powered motor

Cons
  • Expensive

Calling all the early birds! If you’re the first in the house to wake up and are known to make a ruckus in the kitchen, look no further than the Blendtec Professional 800 Blender. Blendtec’s sound enclosure system enables the machine to operate quietly, so conversations can still be exchanged at a normal volume, and you won't disturb the whole house while blending up breakfast.

The accompanied BPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester WildSide+ jar has a capacity of 90 ounces with measurements listed up to 36 ounces.

The intuitive interface features an 11-speed touch bar menu with six pre-programmed blend cycles and an LED display, giving users full control over the precision and speed of the enclosed contents. Simply slide your finger up or down to adjust the speed.

This 1800-watt blender measures 8.5 x 9.13 x 17.25 inches and weighs 16.2 pounds. 

Type of blender: Multi-purpose | Liquid capacity: 90-ounces | Portable: No | Care: Self-cleaning option | BPA free: Yes | Multi-Speed: Yes, 11 speeds | Pulse option: Yes | Weight: 16.2 pounds

Best for Grinding Nuts and Seeds: Tribest PB-250 Personal Blender

Tribest PB-250 Personal Blender
Pros
  • Multiple blade options

  • 16-ounce and 8-ounce cup options

Cons
  • More difficult to clean

  • Lower powered motor

Supercharge a protein shake with protein-packed, nutrient-dense nuts and seeds. The Tribest Personal Blender and Grinder is a compact single-serving blender ideal for making daily smoothies and soups, as well as grinding nuts, seeds, and coffee beans with minimal mess and easy storage. Simply blend and store the concoction in the fridge with four cups and four lid options. 

This unit features two modes of operation; the one-touch pulse along with the press and twist for continuous blend or grind. The Tribest Personal Blender PB-250 Complete Blender and Grinder Package comes with the personal blender 200-watt motor base, one four-pronged stainless steel blending blade, one two-pronged stainless steel grinding blade, two 16-ounce and two 8-ounce BPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester cups, three cup lids, and one commuter lid.

With the 16-ounce container and blending blade attached to the base, the unit measures 5 x 5 x 12.3 inches and weighs 4 pounds.

Type of blender: Single-serve/personal | Liquid capacity: 16-ounce or 8-ounce | Portable: Yes | Care: hand wash | BPA free: Yes | Multi-Speed: No | Pulse option: No | Weight: 4 pounds

Best Colors: KitchenAid Diamond Vortex 5-Speed Blender

Pros
  • Colorful design

  • Automatic speed adjustments

Cons
  • Heavy weight

Add a splash of color to your kitchen with a vibrant new KitchenAid blender. Designed in various shades, this classically sleek blender uses Intelli-Speed Motor Control to sense the added contents and automatically adjust for optimal speed and power throughout the blending process.

The KitchenAid Diamond Vortex 5-Speed Blender features five speeds—stir, chop, mix, puree, liquefy—as well as a pulse mode and crush ice feature. The BPA-free 60-ounce diamond pitcher is shatter, scratch and stain-resistant. It’s also dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.

The 500-watt die-cast metal base features an electronic control panel that simply wipes clean after use. This unit measures 9 x 8.5 x 16.5 inches and weighs 10 pounds.

Type of blender: Multi-purpose | Liquid capacity: 60-ounces | Portable: No | Care: dishwasher safe pitcher | BPA free: Yes | Multi-Speed: Yes, 5-speed | Pulse option: Yes | Weight: 10 pounds

What Our Editors Say

"Nothing is worse than a blender that gives you a smoothie with different size ice shards. I'm pleased to report that this KitchenAid blender can take frozen fruit, fresh fruit, ice cubes, and more and turn them into the perfect texture. I find that the puree speed does the best job of creating the creamy smoothie I want time after time." Ashleigh Morley, Editorial Director, Commerce 

Best Food Processor: Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System

Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System
Pros
  • Versatile

  • High-powered motor

  • Multiple piece set and cookbook included

Cons
  • More difficult to clean

Make a day’s worth of meals with the Ninja Mega Kitchen System. This versatile blender and food processor duo is your go-to appliance for blending, food processing, and nutrient extraction. Use it to make a variety of meals, from smoothies and shakes to dips and doughs.

The 1500-watt blender is a master of shakes and frozen drinks, processing ice in just seconds. Choose from single servings to family-sized portions with the included XL pitcher and 16-ounce cups.

The Ninja Mega Kitchen System comes complete with a set of dishwasher-safe, BPA-free accessories, including an 8-cup food processor bowl, 72-ounce pitcher, two 16-ounce Nutri Ninja cups with lids, and a 30-recipe guide. This unit measures 9.6 x 15.7 x 18.3 inches.

Type of blender: Multi-purpose | Liquid capacity: 72-ounce pitcher and 16-ounce cups | Portable: No | Care: Some hand washing required | BPA free: Yes | Multi-Speed: Yes | Pulse option: Yes | Weight: 9.20 pounds

Best Compact: Ninja Nutri Pro Compact Personal Blender BL456

ninja-nutri-pro-compact-personal-blender
Pros
  • Compact design

  • High-powered motor for single-serve blender

Cons
  • Not as versatile

Personal blenders take the guesswork out of portion sizes. Make the perfect-sized protein shake in the Nutri Ninja Pro. This single-serve blender is space-efficient and easy to operate—blending and crushing when manually pulsed. 

The Nutri Ninja Pro includes a 900-watt motor base, a mixing blade, a 24-ounce blending cup, an 18-ounce blending cup, two sip and seal lids, and a 75-recipe cookbook. All parts are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. This unit measures 6 x 6 x 14 inches.

Type of blender: Single serve/personal | Liquid capacity: 24-ounce and 18-ounces blending cups | Portable: Yes | Care: dishwasher safe| BPA free: Yes | Multi-Speed: Yes | Pulse option: Yes | Weight: 4.75 pounds

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a blender that's powerful, versatile, and self-cleaning, consider the Vitamix 5200 Blender (view at Amazon). It has a mighty 2 horsepower motor, manual speed capabilities that enable users to perfect the desired texture of their foods, and a self-cleaning function that cleans the unit in under 60 seconds.

What Experts Say

"A high-quality blender is a great investment in your health, especially if you use it for protein shakes and smoothies. A powerful blender allows you to get creative and add in a range of different foods (and nutrients) that make up a balanced and satisfying shake. I always recommend including a source of protein, healthy fat, and fiber in smoothies and protein shakes."—Merrill Brady Krusen, MS, RD, CDN

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Emily Stone researches and reviews products for Verywell Fit and Verywell Health. Her favorite blender at the moment is the NutriBullet Pro (view at Amazon). It makes perfectly blended, grit-free smoothies, is easy to clean, and takes up minimal cabinet space.

Additional reporting to this story by Anne Cook Carroll, MS, RD, CDN

As a Registered Dietitian, Anne Carroll uses her clinical expertise to cut through marketing claims and get down to the science. These are all products that she has researched, vetted, and would recommend to her clients in private practice and incorporate into her own cooking. She currently uses the Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender (view at Amazon) in her kitchen to make healthy smoothies, soups, sauces, dips, and more.

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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Mohr, Christopher R PhD, RD. Timing your Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. July 2019.

  2. Cintineo HP, Arent MA, Antonio J, Arent SM. Effects of protein supplementation on performance and recovery in resistance and endurance trainingFront Nutr. 2018;5:83. doi:10.3389/fnut.2018.00083