Are you interested in a compact blender for making personal smoothies? Do you want to know more about the benefits of single-serve blenders? We’ve got everything you need to know about personal blenders and how to make them work for you.

Maybe I’m prejudiced, but I firmly believe everyone needs a blender. What I don’t believe is that everyone has to have a big, powerful countertop blender taking up all that permanent space. A personal blender with its compact size is a much better fit if you live alone or have a limited storage space.

A growing number of people have found personal blenders perfect for making smoothies, protein shakes, and even healthy dressings. You know – that stuff you’re spending a fortune on when you buy it from the store or at the gym.

One of the most annoying things about making smoothies is having to clean out a giant blender at the end of it. Is all you want just to make a small smoothie for yourself before you head off to work? The hassle of a large blender can make it more trouble than it’s worth.

Personal blenders are perfect for people who hate the cleanup but love the taste of smoothies. By using a blender that’s perfectly sized for one person, you can make the smoothie process much more manageable. Personal blenders also can come in handy for chopping nuts, or pureeing sauces.

The word “personal” seems to confuse people, though. You can think of this blender like an assistant who takes care of all your blending needs, so you don’t have to. That would be awesome, but it’s not the case. It’s just a tiny blender — a powerful one.

Personal refers to size. It holds only enough for your morning smoothie, and your single serve blender has it ready to go in less than half a minute. Now you’re on your way. You do all this directly in your travel cup, so there’s no need to transfer your smoothie to go. You’re ready for the day.

But how do you know which is the best blender for the job? Here’s what you need to know about personal/bullet blenders and which ones will give you the smoothie you’re looking for.

What is a Personal Blender?

A personal blender is a blender that’s smaller than your typical blender. While most countertop blenders make around 4-8 cups, a personal blender will make about 1-2. It also has a smaller engine than other blenders, usually around 200-300 watts.

Personal blenders also tend to come with a plastic jar rather than a glass jar. Single-serve blenders come in various sizes, from 14 to 32 ounces. Make as little or as much as you want, but no waste is created. You don’t need to pour your mixture from the blender into a cup – instead, you take the cup with you. It’s designed to be portable and convenient.

They’re named personal blenders because they’re meant to make enough to drink for one person. With many personal blenders, you can even drink from the jar itself. Several personal blenders will come with to-go lids that let you take your smoothie with you on the go.

Unlike traditional blenders, these appliances are built with one serving in mind. It’s a “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” kind of thing. The blender jar is usually only large enough for a single helping.

What are the Benefits of a Personal Blender?

Why wouldn’t you use a full-size model? It might seem like overkill. Simply put, a single-serve blender makes life easier and helps you make healthier decisions without putting a lot of effort into changing habits.

Here are the Pros you can expect from these small appliances:

  • They’re portable. Being able to take the smoothie with you in the jar itself is incredibly convenient. Most blenders require you to transfer the smoothie into a glass or to-go cup yourself. Personal blenders can allow you to take the smoothie with you, reducing the number of dishes you’ll need to wash.
  • Efficient Operation: Since the cup is also the blending jar, you can use the same container for everything.
  • Fast Blending: They may be small, but there’s a big reason why people like single-serve blenders. Toss ingredients in and get a smoothie in less than a minute. Meals on the go have never been easier.
  • They’re easier to clean. Because bullet blenders are so much smaller than countertop blenders, personal blenders are easier to clean. You also don’t have to worry about cleaning a lot of different parts, as most are pretty simple. Plus, most of these cups are dishwasher-safe.
  • You can take them when you travel. Because personal (single-serve) blenders are so small, they’ll easily fit in your luggage when traveling. You can even take them with you when you go camping!
  • They take up less counter space. The bullet blender’s small size also means that it won’t take up too much counter space, which leaves you more room for meal prep and storage.

Cons

Here are the drawbacks to using a personal blender:

  • They don’t make as much smoothie. The personal blender’s size is both their biggest asset and their most significant drawback. Because they’re so small, they don’t make large smoothies. If you prefer giant smoothies or smoothies for the whole family, you’ll want to go with a regular size blender.
  • They aren’t quite as powerful. Because single-serve blenders have smaller engines, they aren’t quite as powerful as countertop blenders. However, you can find some a little more potent that made for crushing ice/frozen fruit.

If you’re looking for a blender to make personal smoothies that aren’t too big, a personal blender may be perfect for you. You’ll also love them if you like to travel, or if you’re limited on kitchen space.

What to Look for in a Great Personal Blenders

I’ll repeat something here. “Personal” refers to size. As such, they should be compact, powerful, hands-free, and simple to use. Look for blenders with a small enough footprint to accommodate a dorm or tiny apartment – because that’s our lifestyle these days.

Here are the features to consider:

Power of the Motor. Do you usually blend soft foods (bananas or yogurt)? You’ll need less blending power than someone who blends dense vegetables, ice, or frozen fruits. That’s harder on the motor, so it needs more power or wattage.

Personal blenders range from 200 to 1200 watts. Get a blender with at least 400 watts, and you will produce smooth and high-quality blends. Anything less and you run the risk of taxing the small motor. A more powerful blender also allows you to more kitchen prep, such as grinding and mixing foods.

Keep in mind that higher power may mean that your blender will be a noisier – it could be a problem if you’re blending while people are sleeping.

Size of the Blender. On the average countertop, full-size blenders stand around 17 inches tall. The base can be up to 8 inches wide. Personal blenders reach heights of only 9 to 13 inches, with a base that’s often not much wider than the blending container itself.

This is one of the biggest selling points of a personal blender. It’s not a countertop space hog. If it is… how can it be a personal blender?

Quality of the Blades. Look for blenders that have stainless steel blades. Pass on a manufacturer who doesn’t make this a prominent feature. Stainless steel is durable, and it’s strong enough to crush ice.

Removable stainless steel blades are your best choice. The combination will increase the life of your blende. Plus, it will make it less susceptible to breaking and much easier to clean.

You’ll be able to easily remove the blades from the container and wash them with soap under running water by hand. Be careful, though. They’re sharp – and it’s also why it’s not wise to throw them in the dishwasher.

Speed Settings. Manufacturers want to stay competitive, so you’ll find that most personal blenders on the market feature at least 3-speed settings. That should take care of what you need. Move on if you find that it doesn’t offer you pulse control.

With 3-speed settings, you can start with the lowest before gradually increasing it for a well-blended beverage. The best setting doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Some blenders feature pre-programmed options, such as ‘smoothie’ and ‘soup.’

Controls. The controls on single serve blenders are more straightforward than those found on full-size countertop machines. Some blenders use digital controls, dial, or flip switch. Each control system has its advantages and drawbacks.

You can keep digital displays clean easily, but they can be harder to operate. Sometime, you might have to double-click a button to activate a setting or turn the blender off.

You might find dials and switches usually on less expensive machines. They offer smoother operation, but the downside is that there are more cracks and crevices where food can hide.

Size of the Cup. Every part of a personal blender considers the size. The blender containers themselves can fit virtually into any small area in the kitchen for storage – as well as into the cup holder in your car.

One of the reasons these blenders fit so well into our on-the-go life is that they come with a container that you can use as a cup. The container can be sealed with a lid so you can drink it on your way to work or school.

These containers are designed for a single serving (anywhere from 10 to 32 ounces). You can choose a blender that comes with several different sizes of containers to offer a few extra serving size options. Multiple size and extras make it easier to accommodate a family of regular smoothie drinkers.

The cup capacity – and the number of cups you get – are among the top features to consider. You won’t need to worry about a big cup capacity if you’re on your own, but if you’re the family’s designated morning smoothie maker, having one for a cup each person might be helpful.You can buy more cups for these blenders.

The material of the Jar. A blender jars are made of either glass and plastic. Many people prefer plastic jars. They’re lightweight and easy to handle, and you don’t have to be as careful.

The downside is that plastic can absorb odors or impart an unexpected taste to contents. Glass jars are breakable and heavy, but they don’t have these problems. The best solution is to make sure that the blender jar or container material is made of BPA-free plastic.

Level of the Noise. A powerful motor is a key if you want to reduce ice cubes and fruit into a velvety smoothie quickly – but you’ll pay for the privilege with a louder blender. In a perfect world, the manufacturer would tell you how loud – measured in decibels – their blender motor can be.

Ease of Cleaning. A blender should be quick and easy to clean, preferably with dishwasher-safe parts. Not all blender jars feature removable blades. These options can cut down your cleaning time.

Ease of Operation. The most popular personal blenders feature simple buttons or dials. The next step up are models that feature auto-blending cycles that flip between pulsing and mixing. If you’re partial to a certain kind of smoothie, you can likely find a blender that has automatic settings to match. Do the homework.

Pulse Feature. The inclusion of this feature is worth repeating. By using a pulse setting, you can better control the blending process because you can start and stop the blades in seconds. A pulse setting can also prevent over-blending. The common ingredients in smoothies, ice, and frozen fruit can make some satisfyingly thick drinks. But you can also melt the ice if you over-blend.

Type of the Lid. Lid types vary, but some even include a spout for your convenience: you can drink straight from the container. A personal blender could be the right choice for you if you like making single-serving smoothies.

Durability. One size seldom fits all. One speed on a blender hardly ever works, either. Look for a model that offers a range of speeds and settings. It’s a reasonable indication that the motor is capable of working efficiently at different speeds. In other words, it’s not a cheap one-trick pony. The motor and the blades are usually the two most important indicators of durability.

Portability. Being able to take a container with you is pretty impressive, but some manufacturers take it even further. Some blenders are designed for ultimate portability. A blender can be attached to a backpack as its lid comes with a carabiner.

I’ve put together an overview that looks at the size, power, and cup capacity. Side by side, you can easily compare these blender features.

Personal Blender, Immersion Blender, or Full-Sized Blender?

You’ve got three choices when it comes to blenders. In a perfect world, you’d get one of each. After all, each type of blender has a specific benefit that the others don’t match.

In the real world (and most of us live there), you don’t need to own three types of blenders.

After all, they use the same mechanics. They’re designed to blend or mix. Some do better jobs with non-liquid ingredients, to be fair. The best way to decide which type of blender is best for you is to consider what you need it to do.

Go with a traditional blender if you are not single. Chances are, you’ll mostly use it to make things for more than yourself – even if it’s a smoothie.

Upgrade to a high-end model from Vitamix or Blendtec if you want actually to cook and blend. These can make soups, as well as grind dry ingredients into flour or even nut butter.

Personal blenders are relatively new, so many of us still have a more traditional countertop blender in the kitchen. It remains the best choice for a family and for those who do like to cook or entertain.

Single serve blenders are something to consider if you don’t have a blender at all, or if you’re single (okay, maybe even a couple).

They’re easier to clean, store, and hide than their full-size blender cousins. And you would look a bit foolish sipping from the big jar of a countertop blender. You can take your blender jar with you – it was meant to do that!

I like to tell people that a personal blender makes sense if you don’t find yourself making a lot of anything quickly. Give yourself a pass on the full-size blender and go for the compact bullet blender.

It’s going to be harder to choose between a personal blender and a immersion blender, though. You might also call it a hand appliance which is useful and convenient.

They’re portable and easy to use machines, and they don’t have problems with hot foods. Really, their only drawback is that you need a container for them.

You might puree directly in the saucepot, but you’ll still have to put the soup in a bowl or transfer your smoothie into a container that can travel with you out the door.

There are plenty of combinations. A high-end countertop blender will be the jack of all trades, of course. But you might find that you can accomplish pretty much everything by pairing up an immersion blender with a personal blender — food for thought.

You’ve got three choices when it comes to blenders. In a perfect world, you’d get one of each. After all, each type of blender has a specific benefit that the others don’t match.

In the real world (and most of us live there), you don’t need to own three types of blenders.

After all, they use the same mechanics. They’re designed to blend or mix. Some do better jobs with non-liquid ingredients, to be fair. The best way to decide which type of blender is best for you is to consider what you need it to do.

Go with a full-sized blender if you are not single. Chances are, you’ll mostly use it to make things for more than yourself – even if it’s a smoothie.

Upgrade to a high-end model from Breville or Vitamix if you want actually to cook and blend. These can make soups, as well as grind dry ingredients into flour or even nut butter.

Personal blenders are relatively new, so many of us still have a more traditional countertop blender in the kitchen. It remains the best choice for a family and for those who do like to cook or entertain.

Personal blenders are something to consider if you don’t have a blender at all, or if you’re single (okay, maybe even a couple).

They’re easier to clean, store, and hide than their full-size blender cousins. And you would look a bit foolish sipping from the big jar of a countertop blender. You can take your personal blender jar with you – it was meant to do that!

I like to tell people that a single serve blender makes sense if you don’t find yourself making a lot of anything quickly. Give yourself a pass on the countertop full-size blender and go for the small blender.

It’s going to be harder to choose between a personal blender and an immersion blender, though. You might also call it a hand blender. These appliances are useful and convenient.

They’re portable and easy to use, and they don’t have problems with hot foods. Really, their only drawback is that you need a container for them.

You might puree directly in the saucepot, but you’ll still have to put the soup in a bowl or transfer your smoothie into a container that can travel with you out the door.

There are plenty of combinations. A high-end countertop blender will be the jack of all trades, of course. But you might find that you can accomplish pretty much everything by pairing up an immersion blender with a personal blender — food for thought.

Single-Serve Delicious Smoothies

One of the biggest arguments in favor of getting a personal blender is the ability to make smoothies on demand. Even if you have a big family, the chances are that few of you will like the same flavor.

So, you’re back to making individual versions. Hey, that’s a job for your personal blender. It was made for it.

Besides, few things are less appealing than a leftover smoothie sitting in the fridge. The freshly blended fruit will oxidize quickly.

The best solution is not to have any leftovers. It’s why a single-serving personal blender makes perfect sense. Why waste ingredients? Especially fruits and vegetables. You might be buying organic – and that means you’re already paying much more.

How Much Should a Personal Blender Cost?

Even if money is tight, you’re not going to break your budget if you decide to buy a single serve blender. The same can’t be said about buying a countertop blender – especially a high-end model.

Here’s the news you want to hear. A mid-range personal blender shouldn’t set you back more than about $100. Expect to invest that much in a kitchen appliance that will pay for itself by saving you and rewarding you with health.

Don’t fret if $100 is out of the question. Spend half that much and spring for the PopBabies Personal Blender. Here’s what you can expect for what you can afford.

Inexpensive: Yes, it’s possible to get a personal blender for under $20. It’s going to be a single speed. Basically, you can turn it on and off. But that might be all you need for a basic smoothie. For this price, you might also discover it’s battery operated.

Mid-range: If you’re prepared to spend up to $50, you can expect to find models that come with multiple containers and lids. They’ll be a bit more powerful and have more settings.

Expensive: An investment of up to $100 puts you in the position to choose from brands that will offer you options in container sizes, as well as lids. Some may even offer different types of blades. You’re also paying for power here. You can find personal blenders with up to 1,200 watts – enough to crush ice fine enough to make personal snow cones!

Premium: Shoot past the $100 mark, and you’re rewarded with models featuring digital controls, a wide array of container sizes and lids, and those containers just might be made of stainless steel.

Take Care of Your Blender: Simple Tips for Success

The right tool for the right job. We hear it all the time, and it can be applied to kitchen appliances such as blenders. Personal blenders excel at smaller jobs. Use it for those ever-popular single-serving protein shakes or morning smoothies.

Are you eating more healthy salads? Keep them healthy by making your own dressings. A personal blender can create a fabulous dressing from just a few ingredients in seconds.

It’s staying on the analogy of tools. You do have to use the right one for the right job, which in the case of a personal blender means you need to be sensible about what you can expect it to do. It’s a convenience machine, and it was never intended to be reasonable about what you can put in these blenders.

They are not kitchen workhorses. Here’s a list of tips to help you get the best results from your new personal blender.

Let’s start with something I strongly believe. Be truthful and fair. If you know the limitations of your smaller and less powerful personal blender but ignore it, you will damage and break this appliance.

Take the time to read the instructions and user manual supplied by the manufacturer. In particular, pay attention to what the manufacturer says you should or should not put in the blender.

Above and beyond playing by the rules, here a few more tips:

  • Stop at the fill line. Overfilling your blender will cause a mess, and it may lead you to think your blender’s container is defective. It isn’t. You didn’t’ play by the rules.
  • Blending hot or carbonated liquids is literally a recipe for disaster in a personal blender.
  • It’s a mini blender. You don’t have to mince finely, but do make sure to use smaller pieces of fruit to blend a smoothie – especially if it’s already frozen.
  • Did your machine come with a recipe book? Use them. They were developed specifically to work in your small-size blender.
  • Avoid burning out or severely damaging the motor by only running the blender for short periods. The instruction or operation manual will likely tell you what that time limit should be.
  • Register your blender to activate the warranty if it comes with one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Personal blenders and convenience go hand in hand, so I’ve assembled these frequently asked questions to help you understand why this appliance can be beneficial for you in the kitchen.

How long can I expect my single serve blender to last?

It’s been my experience that one way to get a general idea about the longevity of a product is to look at the warranty offered.

A personal blender manufactured from quality parts and that features a powerful motor has the right “genes” to operate trouble-free for a more extended period than one made of lesser-quality material.

Manufacturers know this, and it’s why they’re willing to protect their products for longer periods. The more extended the warranty, the longer you can expect it to last.

Beyond that, it’s going to depend on how frequently you use it and how closely you follow the operating instructions.

Do personal blender containers have measurement lines?

Remember, it’s all about convenience. You’d defeat the purpose if you had to pull out a measuring cup to figure out how much to put in your blender, so the containers are marked to make it easy to use the right amount. It also ensures that you do not overfill the container.

How big is the base on a personal blender?

The critical thing to remember is that the base is where the motor resides. The base has to enclose the motor and still leave enough room for air circulation. So, the size of the motor determines the size of the base. A more powerful motor will require a larger base – but the reward is better durability and longer lifespan.

Manufacturers realize it’s all about looks, so many of them strive to create bases that are the same size as the container.

What’s the difference between a personal blender and a mini blender?

They don’t exist but imagine there is a “shrink-ray” device. If you used it on a countertop blender, you would end up with a mini blender. Everything about it is diminished – from its size to its power.

Meanwhile, your personal blender is generally taller and slightly larger than a mini blender. It may hold less than a countertop blender, but the motor can be more powerful than the mini blender.

So, you have a smaller blender, but you didn’t necessarily give up the ability to use it to make smoothies or blend quickly. It’s the best of both worlds.

Is a blender the same as a juicer?

Absolutely not. A juicer extracts just the liquid from fruits or vegetables, and it discards most of the pulp. A blender – if it has enough power – liquifies fruits or vegetables. Nothing is discarded.

What is the Best single serve blender to make a quick green smoothie?

Creating a smooth drinkable liquid from green leafy vegetables can be a challenging task for any but the most powerful of personal blenders.

Many consumers recommend the Ninja Nutrition Pro because of its ability to liquefy the most common ingredients found in green smoothies. It features a powerful 900-watt motor, giving you the ability to create a smooth consistency from fruits and vegetables along with seeds, skins, and stems.

Conclusion: Which is the Right Personal Blender for You?

They’ve become so popular that it is difficult to make a definitive pick for the absolute best blending machines. Some brands are more popular than others. Here are three that stand out:

Currently, the most widely acclaimed single serve blender based on the reviews and sales is the Fitness Blender Ninja Collection. It’s only got 700 watts of power, so there are other brands with more muscle.

Even so, the thoughtful design makes it highly efficient at making amazing smoothies and shakes. It comes with a 16-ounce container and two on-the-go cups with sealed lids. This personal blender features quality stainless steel blades, and it has ten smoothie plus ten blended coffee recipes that were developed to use for the blender.

Consider the Tribest PB-250XL-A if you’re looking for more variety in container sizes. This blender ships with a couple of 23-ounce BPA-Free XL cups, two more 16-ounce BPA-Free large cups, and a couple of 8-ounce BPA-Free small cups. You also get five lids that fit any of the cups, as well as a commuter lid. What more do you need?

Rounding up this trio is a budget pick — the PopBabies Blender. “Baby” is an appropriate word, as this small blender has a tiny 175 watts of power. But the efficient design allows the stainless steel blades to hit 22,000 RPM. That’s sufficient to create some of the smoothest smoothies you’ve ever tasted.