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The 7 Very Best Stand Mixers

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When you think of a stand mixer, you probably imagine a KitchenAid — and when I talked with home bakers, professional chefs, cookbook authors, and Strategist contributors about their favorite stand mixer, KitchenAid was the brand we heard about the most. However, it’s not the only option on the block, and at about $400 a pop, its mixers are dreadfully expensive. They are the favorite for a reason, though, so if you’re ready to invest in one, we’ve broken down the pros and cons of the most popular models to help you choose. We’ve also included several other options that our experts love to whisk, whip, and beat with, including a mixer for that’s a quarter of the price and an expert-vetted commercial one.

What we’re looking for

Capacity

I’ve made a note of the capacity of each stand mixer’s bowl in quarts. I also asked bakers how many batches of dough or cookies those quarts equate to. A five-quart mixer is the standard size and has enough room for around 100 cookies’ worth of dough. If you’re pressed for space, I’ve also included an option that’s shoebox-apartment-size-friendly, as well as a commercial model if you’re cooking for a crowd.

Power and speeds

The power of the motor in your mixer will determine how much it can whip or shred through at a time: Anything 300 watts or above is considered powerful. As for speed settings, they’re crucial to the versatility of your mixer as different recipes or tasks demand a different speed. Beating eggs and whipping frostings, for example, will require a higher speed than kneading dough. The more speed settings you have, the more you can do with your mixer.

Optional attachments

Attachments are also key to the versatility of your machine. Each machine on this list comes with three standard attachments: a dough hook, a whisk, and a flat beater. (Each also comes with a splash guard to prevent splattering.) These are the essential tools you’ll need for baking and working dough and probably the ones you have in mind as you’re searching for a stand mixer. But other optional attachments are offered with most stand mixers, which elevate it to a truly multifunctional tool: from meat grinders to ice cream–makers to vegetable spiralizers. As every mixer on this list comes with the essential three attachments I mentioned earlier, I’ve made a note of how many additional attachments there are for you to purchase for the mixer.

Warranty

Stand mixers are not at all cheap, so to give you some peace of mind with your big purchase, I’ve noted what warranty each product comes under. A limited warranty covers any issues with the machine from manufacturer defects, but it doesn’t cover any damages from misuse or accidents, like dropping your machine — so be sure to use the mixer with care so as not to invalidate your warranty.

Best stand mixer overall

Capacity: 5 quarts | Power and speeds: 325 watts, 10 speeds | Optional attachments: 10 | Warranty: 1-year limited

They’re not cheap, but the love for KitchenAids is well earned: When it comes to power and longevity, no other mixer can compare. Just one example of its supreme power: Author Samantha Seneviratne told us that her mixer kneads through two batches of a yeasted dough at a time — without so much as a rattle. This model in particular, the 5-quart Artisan, is KitchenAid’s most popular, and all but one of the experts who we spoke to owned one (and used it regularly) themselves. It has a tilt head, which is easy to pull up and down when you want to add ingredients to the mix, and it’s big enough to knead nine dozen cookies’ worth of dough at once — a respectable size for even the most prolific home bakers. With ten speeds and a range of optional attachments, it can lend itself to a countless list of kitchen tasks, from grinding meat to spiralizing veggies. And as I mentioned before, it’s an appliance that’s built to last. Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis, the duo behind the Bad Manners podcast and cookbooks, have been kneading dough in theirs for over 17 years — and it’s still going strong. “This is a product you buy for life,” they told us. (Also, while rummaging through Reddit, I discovered that this is the very stand mixer used by contestants on The Great British Baking Show, which to me is a huge thumbs-up.)

Best less expensive stand mixer

Capacity: 5.5 quarts | Power and speeds: 500 watts, 12 speeds | Optional attachments: 5 | Warranty: 3-year limited

“I have a KitchenAid Professional at home … and guess what? I never use it because it’s huge,” says Lili Dagan, culinary director at Blue Apron. “I find that the cheaper and aesthetically similar Cuisinart gets the job done.” At 5.5 quarts, the Cuisinart Precision Master actually has a slightly larger capacity than the standard KitchenAid. It also has 12 speed settings to the KitchenAid’s 10. While its lower price tag includes the same three attachments as the KitchenAid’s, Cuisinart’s range of optional add-ons is much smaller (but does include a pasta roller and an ice cream–maker). The Cuisinart is available in 17 shades, from pastel blue to hot pink, so you can select one that matches the style of your kitchen. Its 500-watt motor is more powerful than most standard mixers’ 300-watt motors, and many reviewers, like Dagan, made a point to stress that it’s just as powerful as a KitchenAid model. The mixer also comes with a three-year limited warranty, meaning Cuisinart will repair or replace any faulty models.

Best budget stand mixer

Capacity: 4 quarts | Power and speeds: 300 watts, 7 speeds | Optional attachments: 2 | Warranty: 1-year limited

Even cheaper still is this stand mixer from Hamilton Beach, which we often see on sale for less than $100 (its list price is around half that of the Cuisinart). It has seven speed settings and three essential attachments (a whisk, dough hook, and flat beater), and comes in six colors, including Rose, a rather sweet dusty pink. Over 1,000 reviewers on Amazon have given it five stars, and home cooks have successfully used it to knead dough, mix batter, and even shred ground meat for meatballs. There are a few downsides reflected in the cheaper price, though — namely that the motor is loud when mixing, and even though it has a 300-watt motor, it’s not quite powerful enough to knead through several batches of dough at a time. However, for a beginner or someone who only bakes occasionally, at less than $150 you can’t really go wrong. And in case you do run into problems, the mixer comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Best bowl-lift stand mixer

Capacity: 6 quarts | Power and speeds: 575 watts, 10 speeds | Optional attachments: 10 | Warranty: 1-year limited

Unlike its Artisan series, which has a tilt head, the KitchenAid Pro series mixers use a bowl-lift mechanism. Bowl-lift machines use a lever to lower the bowl down for adding ingredients, and hoist back up for mixing, where it securely locks into place for wobble-free mixing. This, along with the more stable, broader base, makes the machine suitable for larger batches and more heavy-duty jobs. And it also means that bowl-lift mixers tend to be more expensive than tilt-head models. The Pro has all the same bells and whistles as other KitchenAids — useful attachments, a great range of speeds and colors — but its bigger capacity and sturdier build make it a better choice for those cooking larger batches at once. “If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen or know you cook for a crowd, the six-quart bowl-lift models are the way to go,” advise Holloway and Davis.

Best miniature stand mixer

Capacity: 3.5 quarts | Power and speeds: 250 watts, 10 speeds | Optional attachments: 9 | Warranty: 1-year limited

As an aspiring baker, Erica Murphy, senior commerce director at Hearst, had always coveted a KitchenAid of her own — but couldn’t find the space to store one in her shoebox city apartment. So when KitchenAid released the Artisan Mini, which is 25 percent lighter and 20 percent smaller than the full-size version, Murphy snapped it up straightaway. “The mixer can handle all the same attachments as its predecessor (minus the ice cream–maker) and comes in a rainbow of colors,” she says. “As for the mechanics, the Artisan Mini’s beater can still slice through thick batters with ease and mix together the smoothest cookie dough.” Its reduced size means a reduced capacity at 3.5 quarts, but if you’re pressed for space and in want of a quality mixer, this itty-bitty mixer could be the one for you.

Best industrial stand mixer

Capacity: 7 quarts | Power and speeds: 500 watts, 10 speeds | Optional attachments: 1 | Warranty: 1-year limited

The Wolf Gourmet stand mixer is big and powerful — as an industrial stand mixer should be. It has a seven-quart-capacity bowl and a 500-watt motor, so it can whip, knead, and beat its way through your ingredients. Like the larger KitchenAid, the Wolf mixer also has a bowl lift to prevent any wobbling, and it includes the same essential three attachments as every other mixer on this list. It was recommended to us by Dagan, who concedes that it does have a hefty price tag. Her advice? “Maybe throw it on your wedding registry, for that one rich cousin to buy.”

Best limited-edition stand mixer

Capacity: 5 quarts | Power and speeds: 325 watts, 10 speeds | Optional attachments: 10 | Warranty: 1-year limited

KitchenAids are already a pretty big splurge, but if you’re feeling extra fancy, you might be interested in its limited-edition machines. Each year, a brand-new design is released by the company, and this year it’s this mint-colored mixer with a hammered copper bowl. It’s Kanell’s favorite mixer, thanks to its refined and pretty finish. And while you can mix and match bowls and attachments across the KitchenAid range, the bowl and color of this mixer are exclusive to the 2022 model. This model also comes with the usual three attachments, plus a pastry beater.

Some more kitchen essentials we’ve written about

Our experts

Lili Dagan, culinary director at Blue Apron
• Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis, the duo behind the Bad Manners podcast and cookbooks
John Kanell, author of Preppy Kitchen
Erica Murphy, senior commerce director at Hearst
Samantha Senevriatne, author of The Joys of Baking
Grant Yoder, a baking YouTuber known as GrantBakes

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The 7 Very Best Stand Mixers