When the weather gets warmer, there’s nothing better than cooling off with a relaxing frozen drink.
Unless you plan to visit Sonic every day for their delicious nugget ice drinks, your next best option is to make one at home.
For that, you’ll need a quality blender that can easily handle all sorts of ingredients and freezing temperatures without breaking a sweat – or a blade.
For that reason, we’ve put together an in-depth buying guide on blenders so you can find the perfect frozen drink blender for your needs, budget and favorite type of drink.
There are plenty of blender options but don’t worry – this article will help steer you towards what matters most when looking for iced blended perfection: budget, type of beverage (frozen fruit), speed settings, etc.
So, let’s dive in.
What’s Your Budget?
The price of a blender does not always correlate with how well it will work for your needs.
Sometimes, the cheapest blender is precisely what you need.
You’ll see models costing anywhere from $100-$300 – or higher.
You might think there must be some correlation between how much something costs and how well it blends smoothies – but if you look into customer reviews, this is simply not true: some highest-rated models cost less than $100.
So, what causes this disparity?
And how much should you spend on a blender to make sure it’ll meet your needs?
Some blenders cost less, not because they are of lower quality, but because they can only do one or two things.
For example, if all you want is an appliance to crush frozen fruit and ice, then go ahead with that $100 model.
If you want a good-quality blender to make frozen smoothies, you probably do not need to spend more than $200.
If you’re looking for something more powerful, though, it might be wise to spend some extra money on the budget. Someone who wants more functionality may need something like the high-powered Cuisinart CBT750PCA Blender, which has five speeds plus a turbo button, giving you plenty of options when blending fruits or smoothing out sauces.
Blenders in the $200-$300 range have more power and can make creamy smooth frozen smoothies. Some can also make spreads and dips.
If you want a blender for more than homemade margaritas, then check out premium blender brands like Vitamix. These $400+ blenders can pulverize almost anything you throw at them – seeds, coffee beans, frozen fruits, veggies, cake batter, and so on. They’re versatile in every sense of the word – from making bread dough to preparing hot soup right within your blender jar!
In the end, you are the one who will decide what price meets your needs.
If you want a simple blender just for blending drinks and ice, then you can definitely find an excellent choice for under $200.
Many people have their favorite blender brand.
Some of the most trusted brands include Magic Bullet, Oster, Ninja, and Vitamix.
What’s In This Buying Guide
In this guide, we present and review our top picks for blenders that make high-quality frozen drinks.
We’ve broken down our top picks into three budget categories: Budget (<$100), Midrange ($100 to $400) and Premium (>$400).
All of our top picks can be purchased online from Amazon.com and other quality appliance retailers.
So, let’s dive in!
Best Budget Blenders for Frozen Drinks (<$100)
The blender has a 6-point blade that spins in both directions, providing thorough crushing and frees up the blades if they get jammed.
It is very easy to use with pre-programmed settings on the blender, which allows for the customization of drinks without any fuss at all. With just one press, you can create your perfect drink out of seven preset options, and each setting will affect how fast or slow the blades spin as well as their direction.
Speed levels range from low to high pulse. Then there are two other preset buttons for frozen drinks and food chop, which increase speed and cause the blades to automatically alternate between forwarding spin or backward spin to ensure a smooth blend without jamming up.
Whether you’re looking for a quick, frozen smoothie or the ingredients that will make your next cocktail stand out from the rest, all it takes is pressing one button and blending away!
For durability, the blades are made from hardened steel. They can handle frozen fruit and large ice cubes without any problem.
The jar is made using tough glass that is dishwasher safe.
As for the drive, Oster uses an all-metal system backed by a ten-year warranty just like their most expensive blender models do.
With a sub-$100 price tag, the Reverse Crush Blender is a great value.
As they say, “less money equals more time drinking.”
If you want a high-quality, multi-functional blender that is extremely budget-friendly, I highly recommend this one.
The SharkNinja brand is known for its affordable but high-quality and powerful kitchen blenders.
At 1100 watts, the BL660 is more powerful than the Oster Reverse Crush Blender and costs a little bit more.
So, what do you get with all that power as well as some extra dollars?
Well, for one thing, this blender is able to crush ice – like a Ninja.
In just a second, even the largest chunks of ice are transformed into powdery snow.
If you like to make frozen drinks or smoothies, the powerful BL660 will make them come out creamy and soft without any noticeable ice chunks floating around.
This Ninja Professional Blender opts for simplicity over versatility. It has just four settings, which increase the speed from 1 to 3, while a Pulse mode gives you more precise control of what type of blending process is needed.
In terms of functionality, the BL660 lags the Oster Reverse Crush which features pre-programmed functions and speeds; but, if you want a powerful blender to pulverize ice and make smoothies, then this product will suffice.
The Nutri Ninja Classic Personal Blender comes with an XL capacity jar perfect for serving enough smoothies to go around at your breakfast table.
However, the actual fluid capacity of the jar will be less than what you’ll find in its specifications.
With a max volume of 64oz being the maximum liquid it can contain, this blender still has plenty to offer when hosting parties for 4-8 people.
There are also two 16 oz cups included, each with their lids so that you can take them on trips.
Both the cups and jars are dishwasher safe and BPA-free.
The only issue customers have mentioned is that the blender can be loud, likely due to the added motor power.
Keep this in mind if you have young kids or pets who are scared of loud noises.
For the tiny price of around $50, the Ninja Master Prep is another simple but high-quality blender for frozen drinks.
Though it is best known as a smoothie and iced drink maker, this 3-in1 machine also functions as a food processor & chopper.
With three jars – a 48oz pitcher for blending soups or other blended beverages; a 40oz jar that can be used both as an affordable coffee grinder or spice mill; and a 16 oz container with blade attachment perfect for small chopping jobs like garlic cloves or nuts – you’ll find plenty of ways to use your versatile new appliance.
One of the best features of this blender is its versatility.
You can make everything from a vegetable smoothie in the morning to frozen fruit and beetroot dips for lunch, or chop vegetables when cooking dinner–and all at such an affordable price.
There are some limitations, however.
For one, it has only 400 watts of power, significantly less than other models; while still good enough for tasks like chopping veggies, there may be times where you’ll need more power to get through tougher jobs (like making certain sauces).
The blades may not be able to crush your ice and frozen fruits as smoothly as a more powerful blender would.
The jars are also not built that well. I recommend sticking to fruit smoothies, veggies, and other soft foods.
This unit can do some decent coffee grinding, but the jar will most likely start cracking with just one year of warranty, so it’s probably better for those who don’t need something that lasts long-term or has high expectations regarding stability/durability (such as chopping vegetables).
With this said, though, if you want an affordable, simple machine that can make delicious recipes and the occasional frozen drink without making too much noise, then the Ninja Master Prep is great.
Best Midrange Blenders for Frozen Drinks ($100-$400)
In the budget blender category, we talked about mixers with a power rating of so and so watts. In this category, we stop talking about watts and start rating blenders according to horsepower or HP.
So, if you’re willing to spend a couple hundred dollars more on your blender purchase, our favorite model is the Cleanblend 3HP Commercial Blender.
You get powerful blending capabilities to handle anything from grinding coffee beans to making frozen drinks and smoothies at volume.
This durable unit works equally well at home and in high-volume commercial settings.
The 3HP motor pulverizes anything quickly, making smoothies creamy and ice cubes into snow.
It can take on more challenging jobs like making nut butter by grinding nuts up correctly, which is something many blenders can’t do.
With stainless steel blades, this appliance will last a long time.
To create the perfect smoothie, make sure the blender uses a tampered wand. This will break up trapped bubbles while blending to give your drink a creamy consistency.
The blender jar is also BPA-free, so it can withstand years of wear without cracking.
The blender is really easy to use. The variable speed knob allows you to change the blade’s cutting velocity without having to stop and restart it.
In addition, a pulse button gives more control when needed.
With a 5-year warranty, you’ll use this blender for many years to come.
I like to whip up interesting recipes using a blender.
After a while, making smoothies gets boring and repetitive (and I’m not the only one who feels this way).
This is why we should experiment with different types of blenders as well.
Many modern blenders have more versatility than your basic home model; these machines can create ice creams, margaritas, soups – so much variety for such little cost.
A great example of a high-value / high-feature blender is the Oster VERSA Pro – which comes with two full-color cookbooks to help you get started.
So, when you want a change of pace, flip through the several recipes provided. They include easy recipes for soups, smoothies, spreads, and even baby food!
The Oster Versa Pro is equipped with a super-powerful 1400 watt motor that produces exceptionally creamy smoothies and frozen drinks. The blades run up to 250 mph, so nothing escapes their grasp.
The durable all-metal drive of this blender ensures it won’t break after a few months.
The base is designed not to shake or tip over during operation.
If you are concerned about durability, don’t be – this machine comes with a seven-year warranty, which should be more than enough time to decide whether or not your new purchase was worth the cost.
The Oster Versa Pro is a blender that makes it easy to make smoothies, soups, and dips or spreads.
The three pre-programmed settings offer different types of blending magic with the simple press of a button.
There are plenty of recipes available in their cookbook for your inspiration when you’re cooking up some soup-inspired creations.
The Oster Versa Pro is a great choice for blending soups. When operating in “soup” mode, the blades spin at an insane speed generating enough friction to heat your soup to the boiling point.
The blender can easily break down ingredients and be blended right in its container, so there’s no need to transfer it from one dish or pot into another after processing.
The Oster Versa Pro doesn’t cost as much as other blenders that offer similar functionality like Vitamix 5200.
If you want to get a “super blender” without blowing your budget, I recommend going with this Oster.
Best Premium Blenders for Frozen Drinks ($400+)
If you want a blending beast and don’t mind paying more – much more – for it, then the Vitamix 5200 is perfect for you.
This blender promises to make all of your culinary dreams come true for double and triple what most blenders cost.
It can do the basics, of course: it will blend smoothies, make purees, and pulverize up your veggies into a frothy treat.
But many other features set this blender apart from the rest, like mixing dough or making ice cream with ease.
This powerful 2HP / 1,500-watt machine has no problem doing anything at all–even heating soup by mixing in hot water while still blending simultaneously.
No one likes to spend this much money for it to break a few weeks later.
Luckily, Vitamix blenders are designed with durability in mind and will last you years of heavy use before they need an upgrade or replacement.
As long as you take the proper precautions during your blending sessions (such as not overheating), this machine will likely do its job for many years.
The Vitamix 5200 is a top-of-the-line blender that comes with an impressive seven-year warranty. This kitchen appliance should last for years with durable parts, powerful speed, and the ability to blend anything you throw at it.
The Vitamix blenders are not overpriced because they have a much longer lifespan than any other blender.
It’s because they can do so many things, from making baby food and nut butter to cake batter and dough to smoothies, hot soups, salsas, and dips.
The better question here is what CAN’T it make?
In addition, the blender is so powerful that it can make anything into the perfect smoothie. It’s gentle enough to handle delicate leafy vegetables and hard nuts alike, with its sharp blades able to pulverize everything down until there isn’t a single seed left behind.
You’ll spend almost $500 buying the Vitamix 5200, but you can be sure that you won’t have to buy any other for at least 7-10 years or more with this machine. Within that period, a person would most likely go through 3-4 cheap blenders and still not come close in terms of quality as well as longevity like your Vitamix blender will do.
The Vitamix 5200 has all the features you need to make your experience smooth. It is a high-speed blender with variable speed that can be changed without stopping blades and includes an easy 64-ounce jar attachment for quick processing of large quantities in no time at all.
The Blendtec Pro is not your usual blender both in price and features. It stands out with its high-tech features and surprisingly low noise level.
For instance, while the premium Vitamix 5200 has clunky buttons that make it look outdated, the Blendtec uses a touch interface to control all of its innovative functions—including a pulse function for food processing!
With such an immensely powerful motor (3.8HP, or about 1,800W), you can pulverize just about anything you put into this machine’s jar – even ice cubes!
Vegetable smoothies, which often come out stringy, are super smooth. Fruit smoothies in other blenders may feel chunky, but the Blendtec Pro 800 blender becomes deliciously creamy and silky-smooth.
The sound level is not an issue as it produces a conversation-level noise – something you would expect from this high-quality machine designed for your needs!
The sound of the powerful motor is deadened using several innovative features built into its base. The housing has been tightly sealed to keep noise from disrupting kitchen conversations, so you can normally talk while whipping up a morning strawberry banana smoothie.
It’s quieter than other less powerful blenders used for making margaritas or creating other foods and drinks in your home!
When it comes to using the blender, there is a lot to wow over. I especially love that you can try out different recipes with just one light touch of your fingertips, and no complicated dials or buttons are involved! With 11-speed levels and pulse mode for high-speed bursts, this machine has something to offer everyone.
There are also pre-programmed settings so you can make margaritas, smoothies, hot soups, dips, and ice cream, all without any hassle from this sleek, futuristic-looking device!
The Blendtec Pro 800 is the perfect tool for those who want to live a healthier lifestyle. With its ten-year warranty, this blender will be your best friend in the kitchen and on the go! Even better yet, you can find plenty of customer reviews that explain why it’s worth every penny.