Blender brands are working hard to grab your attention, with recent models featuring everything from tilted blending jugs and air vacuums to friction heating and smart nutrition tracking. But do these unusual extras really make for better blends?
The Nutribullet may have kick-started a blender revival, but it has plenty of competition these days. Rival brands such as Nutri Ninja and Sage are attempting to outsmart it with innovative features designed to make ever-smoother blends and retain more nutrients.
If you're on the lookout for a new blender, we've rounded up five of the most exciting blenders currently available. Find out what they offer compared with rivals and get our expert verdict on their blending abilities.
The AEG Gourmet 7 Pro may look just like any other blender, but look again and you'll notice something doesn't look quite right. It's not a design fail, though, that's AEG's PowerTilt technology.
The blending jug is tilted slightly at a 10-degree angle. The idea is that this makes for unstable circulation of the ingredients, which helps draw them towards the blade and blend more effectively.
AEG says its technology is patented and claims it will guarantee quicker and smoother results, preserving the flavour and integrity of your ingredients.
The Gourmet Pro has a BPA-free Tritan plastic jug which is dishwasher-safe, and pre-set programs for soups, smoothies, crushed ice and cocktails, as well as several manual speed and pulse settings. You also get a sieve accessory for making juices.
Does a leaning jug make for a lump-free smoothie? Read our full AEG Gourmet 7 Pro Health Blender TB7-1-4CW review to find out.
The Nutri Ninja Smart Screen CT660UKV Vacuum Blender is one of a few new models that suck the air out of the jug before you blend. The claim is that its FreshVac technology draws out excess oxygen before you blend, helping to retain more nutrients and producing more vibrant drinks, with a smoother texture and less separation.
Other vacuum blenders can be quite bulky, but this Ninja is more compact, and works with the included single-serve blending cup, too, which is a rarity.
The vacuum part is a small battery-powered pump that fits on to the top of the jug or cup, so whether you're making a smoothie for one or a bigger batch you can get that oxygen-free feeling.
Read our Nutri Ninja Smart Screen CT660UKV Vacuum Blender review to find out if its vacuum tech turns out ultra-smooth blends.
The Balance connects via Bluetooth to an app on your smartphone or tablet, which you can use to monitor the nutritional make-up of your smoothies, as well as accessing recipes and blending tips.
The app allows you to customise and save your own recipes. You can also tailor them to personal goals, such as weight loss or heart health, or dietary requirements, such as dairy-free, vegan or nut-free blends.
How does it work? A sensor weighs what you put in the blending cup, while you tap what's going in on the app. You'll then get detailed information showing what's in your smoothie, including macro nutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fibre etc) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
This pricey, powerful blender from foodie-focused brand Sage is a shiny new rival to the high-powered blenders made popular by US brands such as and . It has a whopping 2,400W motor, making it the most powerful blender we've ever reviewed.
Like these brands, it has a program that will cook and blend soup from raw ingredients in less than 10 minutes, using just the friction heat generated by the high-speed spinning blades.
We've tried this feature on a few blenders before, including the Q's predecessor, the Sage The Boss BBL915UK blender. It can be effective, but it's worth bearing in mind having a blender on for this amount of time can be rather anti-social, as it's inevitably quite noisy.
This model alsocomes with a vacuum blending accessory, so you can suck the air out of your smoothie mixes.
This high-speed Philips blender has an external noise shield similar to those you'll see on professional blenders in cafes up and down the country. These act to absorb some of the noise while blending, for a less ear-splitting experience.
It's not that new any more, but it's a lot cheaper than it was when it first launched, so it could be a good chance to get fancy features for less. As well as the noise shield, it has a BPA-free Tritan plastic jug, five pre-set programs, 10 blending speeds and a digital LCD screen.
Read our full Philips Innergizer High-Speed Blender HR3868/01 review to find out if it really is quieter than rivals and if it blends brilliantly, too.
We put every blender through the same gauntlet of tough blending tests, to find the smooth operators that will make silky smoothies, super soups and perfect pesto.
Our carefully crafted test smoothie recipes ensure blenders can tackle hard-to-blend mixes including ingredients such as seed-packed berries, frozen fruit and leafy greens, as well as stringy chunks of ginger and extras such as nuts.
We also test how good each blender is at making pesto, a tricky low-liquid combination of stringy basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil.
We don't just make sure each blender makes good smoothies, soups and dips, we also check that it's simple to use.
We rate every blender for how easy each is to clean by hand, noting if it's particularly heavy and slippery when wet, or if food and drink gets caught in any small nooks and crannies that could be frustrating to clean.
We also check how noisy each blender is, taking particular note if it's makes an annoyingly high-pitched noise.
Ultimately, no blender will be like birdsong to listen to, but as we time how long they take to make a smoothie, we can help you find the ones that make quick work of your morning blend.