by Garrick Dee
Updated December 18th, 2018
When you talk about high performance blenders, one of the first brands that come to mind is the Vitamix.
There is no doubt that it is one of the best performing blenders in the market right now.
So much so that you have competitors like Blendtec recording videos how their products are superior to the Vitamix.
This propaganda is fueled by Vitamix’s success.
The biggest downside would be the price.
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Even the most basic variant will easily cost over $300. This is a lot of money for a blender.
Other brands have downright copied its design.
One such product would be the Cleanblend that utilizes the same blueprint – a powerful motor, good blade design and tamper.
What I’m proposing are Vitamix alternatives that will not cost as much. But still provide comparable performance that does not necessarily reflect the price difference.
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3 yrs. blender
10 yrs. gear
Choosing a Vitamix alternative can be tricky and confusing because of the sheer number of blenders in the market all competing for your business.
But if you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll be a step closer to finding one that will suite your needs. And defining those needs is critical in the selection process.
How much are you willing to spend?
What do you make most?
How many people are inside your home?
Do you love to cook? Or make soup?
Do you often bake?
The answer to these questions oftentimes will help you narrow down your options to a more manageable two or three.
How much are you willing to spend?
Budget is the first thing you should sort out. This means set a hard cap on how much you are willing to spend. This eliminates most of the competition that are out of your price range.
The thing to consider would be the motor. To be more specific, we’re talking about power. Having more power is certainly better than having an underpowered blender that can’t handle the rigors of every day wear and tear.
Another feature to look for is the presence of a tamper. Vitamix I believe is a pioneer of this feature. All their products have this piece of plastic included.
Without going into fancy terminology, a tamper is a device that pushes ingredients down toward the proximity of the blade.
In recipes with even moderate amounts of liquid, a tamper isn’t needed.
But on recipes that have little to no liquid, this becomes an essential tool.
Pre-programmed controls help users make a certain recipe over and over again with consistency because it turns on the blade at predetermined intervals.
Most mid-level to high-end blenders have this feature. And it’s something to look at if you make a certain type of dish every day.
This is also is a useful feature to have for restaurant owners who are looking for a tool that can make recipes like soup with a level of consistency expected by their customers.
Another thing to consider when buying budget blenders is the length of warranty. For brands like Nutribullet and Ninja only have a one year warranty. The good news is Amazon offers extended warranties to all of these brands if you want more peace of mind.
Our Pick: Oster Versa 1400
Early generation Oster blenders always had one of those heavy glass jars that weigh like a small dumbbell. And while these glass jars resist heat well, the weigh can put a strain on your wrist and hands.
Thanks to advancements in technology their newer blenders now have lighter pitchers made from BPA-free plastic.
The Oster Versa represents a new new generation of Oster Blenders that come with plastic pitchers.
Variable speed is available through a big knob at the middle. The 3 pre-programmed settings that offer hands-free convenience for making smoothies, soup or dips.
What type of user does an Oster Versa fit?
People who like to make a lot of smoothies, soups, spreads, sauces and the occasional nut butter would benefit from the versatility it provides.
It also comes with a tamper that helps it make stuff like sorbets and homemade nut butter. Recipes that have little to no water content are possible with the Versa.
Quality control is another potential issue. Some of these include leaking pitchers and a tamper that’s too long.
For the price it’s hard to argue with the performance and all the goodies you’ll get. The big question is how it holds up in the long run.
Soup Maker: Nutribullet Rx
Nutribullet was the first brand to add power to a micro sized blender when they introduced the first Bullet to the market. Back then a 600 watt single serve blender was unheard of and Nutribullet was a pioneer in that regard.
This Nutribullet’s biggest and most powerful blender to date with 1,700 watts on tap.
And in true Nutribullet fashion they’ve kept the minimalist design with only a single button at the bottom.
This engages the pre-programmed 7 minute soup blending function – perhaps its biggest upgrade.
Aside from the upsized motor, the Rx also comes with the SouperBlast. This is a 45 ounce pitcher made from BPA-free plastic.
It comes with a vented lid that allows pressure to escape when the soup get hot during the 7 minute blending cycle.
For making smoothies, it comes with two containers – a 45 and 30 ounce. The latter has a comfort lip ring so that you can take your smoothie to the gym or work place.
Nutribullet also upgraded the blade. The new blade design has stiff, pointed blades that should last longer and not leak.
The blades in previous Nutribullets were blunt. It also had some play that was the primary source of leaks. This was the primary source of complaints from consumers from an otherwise good product.
Vitamix Clone: CleanBlend
What if I told you that there’s a blender in the market right now that has similar features that costs a lot less?
Cleanblend is a replica of the 5200 in terms of product design. It has the same interface layout and actually has a little more power. One thing it has over the 5200 is the pulse feature.
Even the pitcher looks similar only without the rubberized handle.
It also comes with a tamper that will allow it to make sorbet or nut butter.
Cool isn’t it?
If it’s capable of making nut butter then making stuff like green smoothies, salsa and frozen dessert isn’t going to be an issue.
This is probably the closest blender in this list to the Vitamix in terms of features and functionality. It’s got all the features that a 5200 has plus the pulse feature. Cleanblend also backs this up with a decent 5 year warranty.
Better Than a Ninja? Oster Pro 1200
Here’s another Oster in this list and the cheapest option of the 5 blenders here.
This is another proof that you shouldn’t discount less-popular brands like Oster when going blender shopping.
At least for making smoothies, salsa or blending cold drinks, the Oster Pro 1200 is a great option thanks to its 1,200 watt motor and 7 preset controls.
Oster says it can also make soup but you’ll need to heat the ingredients first over a stove before blending.
This is a slightly difference process compared to the Vitamix where you just put everything inside the pitcher.
I wouldn’t mind the extra step because of the price difference. You can literally buy an Oster Pro for literally a fraction of the cost of a Vitamix.
The biggest issue for any budget blender would be quality control issues. There some reports of leaking pitchers. But others have refuted the claim saying you have to align the protruding ends of the rubber washer to the lines on the pitcher.
Another potential issue would be the weight of the pitcher. It’s a throwback to early Oster blenders that used glass instead of plastic.
Now whether or not this will be a problem would depend on the preference of the user.
The Oster Pro 1200 is a great option if you want something with a little more versatility than a Ninja that costs less.
A Smart Ninja: Nutri Ninja Auto IQ
In the world of compact blenders there are two brands that people trust.
I’ve already featured the Nutribullet earlier and now let’s look at the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ.
The original Nutri Ninja did not have any preset controls. And this new version has two, the blend and ultra-blend.
You’ll get a 1,000 watt blender for less than $99! That’s cheaper than a Vitamix S50.
However, Nutri Ninja is one-dimentional in terms of what you can make. Unlike the soup-making Buttet RX, this blender can only make smoothies.
It can only make smoothies.
And you’ll always have to add water for it to work. Failing to add any liquid will overheat the motor and Ninja recommends adding liquid.
Those two preset buttons are there for hands-free operation.
Both options are only for making smoothies. Difference between the two presets would be texture. The blend option will make a chunkier drink while the ultra-blend will result in something smoother.
Another issue would be size.
This blender can only make limited batches of smoothies. Out of the box, you’ll get 3 cups at varying sizes – all for single serve sizes. So this isn’t for families but only for single folks looking for something compact and easy to use.
The Nutri Ninja Auto IQ is great for health conscious individuals looking for a compact blender that makes single serve smoothies. You’ll get a sip and seal cover that allows you to take this from the blender to the office without using multiple containers. This saves on time and effort not having to wash after blending.
To Wrap Up
All these cost much less than a Vitamix and would give consumers varying options depending on their needs.
When it comes to versatility and price, it’s hard to beat the Oster Versa. This mid-sized blender will not take up a lot of space but still packs enough punch to make nut butter and sorbet thanks to its 1,400 watt motor and tamper.
Gourmet soup lovers will love the Vitamix Rx. This super-sized bullet now has a 1,700 watt motor and a soup function that has a 7 minute cycle to make hot soup! It also comes with two smaller cups for making smoothies on the go.
If you are budget conscious then go with either the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ or the Oster Pro 1200. Both of these cost way below $100. The main difference would be service size and physical size.
Nutri Ninja specializes in making single served smoothies while the Oster Pro can make larger batches of smoothies, dips, sauces and even soup.
If you feel that I missed on any blenders let me know.