Top five stand mixers for 2020
By Rebecca Duff
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 whipping a food mixer takes much of the effort out of everyday baking jobs.
We've tested all the major brands, from Kenwood to KitchenAid and Sage, to find the mixers that turn out perfect bakes. Our top picks are also robust, a breeze to use and easy to clean.
You don't have to spend a fortune either. We've found some great cheaper mixers, so there's no need to splash out unless you really want to.
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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 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.
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.
Last updated November 2019. Not found the product for you? Browse all our 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 that are slow and ineffective at mixing, leaving your batter lumpy or your meringues lacking height.
These mixers failed to impress in our tests:
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.
This mixer can produce OK results for common baking tasks such as mixing batter and kneading dough. But it falls down on basic processing jobs by slicing unevenly and leaving a lot of ingredients unsliced. It also has a few irritating quirks, from the chute being too small to fit ingredients through, to the attachments knocking the splashguard off when the arm is lifted.
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
Stand mixer design hasn't moved on all that much in decades, but in recent years we've seen a wave of handy extra features make an appearance, such as glass bowls and built-in lights for improved visibility when mixing, timer controls and even additional mini mixer 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.