Top five stand mixers for 2019
By Georgia Wilson
With some stand mixers costing more than an oven, you'll want to pick the very best. We reveal the ones to buy, plus some to avoid.
For keen bakers, a stand mixer is a must. Whether you're kneading, mixing, whisking or folding, these food mixers take much of the effort out of everyday baking jobs.
Prices vary enormously - the cheapest we've tested is just £70, while the most expensive will set you back more than £600. You don't need us to tell you how many mixing bowls and wooden spoons you could buy with that, so if you're going to spend that much on a mixer then it needs to be brilliant.
We've tested all the major brands, from Kenwood to KitchenAid - and the cheaper pretenders to the throne, too. The best mixers we've tested are robust, a breeze to use and easy to clean. If you want to be completely hands off you can even get mixers with countdown timers that turn off automatically. So, put down your spatula and see which stand mixers we recommend.
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Top five stand mixers
This stylish stand mixer is a fantastic all-rounder. It excels at all the main baking jobs, from whipping, mixing and whisking to kneading doughs, proving that you can have style and substance. It’s good value too, compared to popular rivals. If you’re after the complete package, this is one of our top picks.
This mixer has a huge bowl, which is perfect for making big batches of cakes, buns or loaves. More mix means it needs to work harder to get a velvety batter, but it had no problem mixing and whisking. If you need to cook for a crowd, this is a great option.
This brand might not be top of your list when it comes to choosing a mixer, but it has hit the sweet spot with this simple, stylish and good value stand mixer. What’s more, it held its own against the big guns in our tough mixing tests, achieving a Best Buy.
Not found the product for you? Browse all our independent stand mixer reviews.
Three stand mixers you shouldn't buy
Stand mixers are designed to take the effort out of baking, leaving you to do more important things, such as applying for next year's Great British Bake Off (or just watching it).
Unfortunately, we've found mixers with ponderously slow speeds, or mixing tools that mean you'll spend so much time scraping batter from the sides of the bowl that you may as well have done the job yourself.
We're on hand to point out those mixers that will add two tablespoons of frustration to your next bake - these are the mixers to avoid.
If you’re creating a big batch of cake batter with this mixer then you best set aside a few hours. It’s far too slow and, to make matters worse, it has to take a 10-minute break after five minutes of mixing. That’s disastrous if you want to knead larger quantities of dough or whip up a batch of buttercream, and more than enough reason for us to warn you off this mixer, which avoids being a Don’t Buy by a mere whisker.
This budget stand mixer might be easy to use and clean, but it’s incredibly slow at mixing cake batter, whipping cream and whisking egg whites. You’ll be better off spending a bit more and getting a better mixer, otherwise you’ll be left waiting around for less than impressive results.
This pricey retro stand mixer has a sleek and stylish design, but a cool aesthetic isn’t enough for us to recommend a stand mixer – especially at this price. It doesn’t particularly excel at kneading, mixing or whipping, and it struggles to whisk egg whites into fluffy and stiff peaks. It’s also more of a hassle to clean as no parts are dishwasher safe.
How we test stand mixers
Testing stand mixers has its own rewards - you get a cake at the end or, in our case, multiple cakes. How well that cake has risen and how even the bake is counts towards the overall score for each mixer, because if the mix isn't right then you'll end up with a stodgy, heavy bake rather than a delicious, light cake.
Before the mix gets anywhere near an oven, we've already monitored how quickly the machine mixes and how often we have to scrape the side of the bowl down during mixing to make sure all the ingredients make it into the batter. The best mixers are swift and leave the sides of the bowl clean. The worst will have you checking your watch and will leave the sides caked in flour.
But it's not all about mixing. If the mixer can knead, whisk and whip then we'll check to see if it does a good job. Whether we're making the perfect dough or whisking egg whites, we're looking for well-incorporated ingredients, voluminous results and speed. A mixer that can't achieve good results won't be recommended.
When the cake is resting on the stand it's time for the clean up. It should be easy to take the mixer apart and get the bowl and tools clean, so you don't spend more time clearing up than you did baking. Find out more about how we test mixers.
Choosing the best mixer
If you're looking for a stand mixer in 2018, there are more options than ever. We've seen a wealth of new features this year, including the rise of glass bowls and built-in lights for improved visibility when mixing, plus timers and even mixers with additional mini bowls for when you are only making small quantities.
If you bake regularly, you might find an extra mixing bowl saves on washing up, between making your sponge and your topping for example, while better visibility in the bowl can make it easier to avoid over-mixing, as you can easily see when your ingredients are incorporated.
To find the perfect mixer for you, browse our stand mixer reviews.