10 best stand mixers
Take the toll out of baking and food preparation with a multi-tasking machine
Love baking, but tired of all the hours you spend standing over a bowl in the kitchen while you whisk, mix, whip or knead? A good stand mixer will do it all for you.
First, work out if you need a pure stand mixer (that does all those things we’ve just mentioned) or a more comprehensive bit of kit that can also tackle slicing, blending, mincing and chopping. If you go for the latter, will the additional accessories required to perform these functions cost extra or are they included in the original price?
Regardless of what type you go for, check how solid the machine feels. Is it easy to set up and use? Can you put the parts in the dishwasher? Will you need to store it away? Some machines do some things, such as whisking, better than others, such as kneading, so be sure to check the machine you go for is suited to your individual needs. Some can be quite loud, so are noise levels a concern? How big of a capacity do you need?
Generally speaking, the cheaper models have only one mixing action, whereas higher-priced units have a spiral or rotating action that covers a wider area and gets closer to the side of the bowl – meaning less scraping is needed – although there are exceptions. Pricier machines also tend to have more power, more durable parts and all-metal construction.
Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer 175: £549, Lakeland
This retro-looking machine is, in our opinion, the most handsome on the market by a long shot, and there’s no shortage of striking colours to choose from. It’s brilliant at mixing, not missing a crumb, and it excels at kneading and whipping too, tackling its tasks quickly and quietly, with dishwasher-friendly parts to make your job easier afterwards. It comes with two different sized bowls and there’s an extra-long cord. You need some serious strength to move it, but who would want to when it looks so good?
Cuisinart Precision Stand Mixer: £299.99, Lakeland
This brand has been making kitchen accessories for over 30 years, so we were surprised to find this is its first stand mixer. But, boy, is it worth the wait. Available in a smart black or white, it has a whopping 12 speed settings for precision control and it whips, whisks and kneads to perfection. It’s a doddle to set up, use and clean and it is impressively quiet. You might need to scrape the sides of the bowl to gather every last bit of cake mix, but it’s a small price to pay for a magnificent machine.
Kenwood kMix KMX754: £179, John Lewis
We couldn’t fault the consistency of the whipped cream, whisked egg whites and kneaded dough that this machine produced and it doesn’t make the awful din that so many other stand mixers do. The six speed settings mean you can slowly build up speed to prevent sudden splashing, and you can bung everything in the dishwasher afterwards. It looks good too, with a matching kettle and toaster also available in a range of colours (including the new, on-trend rose gold). But the attachments aren’t the easiest to fit on and it’s heavy.
Bosch MUM9GX5S21 Optimum Kitchen Machine: £699, Amazon
The minute you get this beast (and it is big) out of the box, you know you’ve got a keeper. It’s just so well-built and robust. Performance-wise, it’s great if you’re pushed for time because everything is sensor-controlled and automatic, as well as exceptionally powerful, with the mixer attachment rotating as well as spinning, which makes for a very thorough job with no cake mix sticking to the side of the bowl. Best of all, it doubles up as a blender and food processor and even includes built-in scales. The instructions could be clearer, though.
Morphy Richards 400020: £75.49, Argos
Don’t expect the complex engineering of the pricier machines in this round-up. But for under £100, it’s not half bad and will serve breadmakers particularly well as it kneads beautifully. It whips pretty well too, although you’ll need a bit more patience when it comes to mixing and whisking and we often had to pause the process to scrape down the bowl. It’s got an impressive 10 speed settings plus pulse function and it’s very easy to keep clean. It weighs less than many of its pricier contemporaries.
Russell Hobbs 23480 Stand Mixer: £150, Debenhams
You’ll be hard pushed to fault this machine’s whisking abilities – our eggs whites wound up with fabulously fluffy peaks, all ready for some delicious pavlova. Kneading, mixing and whipping come in a close second and there’s a blender thrown in so you can make soups and smoothies too. It’s got 10 speeds, a good-sized bowl and it’s easy to use and clean. But while it claims to collect all the mixture from around the bowl to save regular pausing and scraping down, we didn’t find that to be the case, and other blenders are better at chopping.
Swan Retro Stand Mixer: £99, Amazon
Whipping is this machine’s forte – our cream had the ideal consistency, achieved in record time, too. Kneading is also noteworthy and although mixing gave us good results too, you might have to scrape down the ingredients from the side of the bowl once in a while. It’s let down a bit by the whisking, though, which is quite slow and the results are average. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the stand mixer only works for three minutes at a time.
Sage The Scraper Mixer: £179, Amazon
One of the quietest entry-level machines we tested, this is a boon for those who don’t want to cut all conversation dead the moment they get baking. It comes with two bowls (one glass, one stainless steel) and performs exceptionally well at whipping and kneading, while doing a good job whisking and mixing. But although it claims to be extra fast, we found it a bit slower than other machines. Shame there’s no splashguard included, but given the price-tag, it’s a worthy investment.
Kenwood KVC7300S: £599.99, Lakeland
The first version of this machine was launched back in 1950, but today’s futuristic-looking machine is a world away from the original. Yes, it’s pricey, but we found it excels in every task, is simple to operate and easy to clean, as well as being quiet. It has eight speed settings and there are a vast number of additional accessories you can buy including pasta roller, ice-cream maker and meat mincer. It’s a shame that none are included in the price, though, and the whipping function could be a bit quicker.
Judge Stand Mixer: £33.10, Amazon
There aren’t any bells and whistles to shout about with this one, but if you’re really pinching the pennies, this basic machine has five speeds and comes with beaters and dough hooks. Nothing happens in a hurry and you will have to scrape the bowl a few times along the way, but it does get there in the end and saves you the job of doing it all by hand. The bowl and attachments can go in the dishwasher when you’re done. It’s a good student option, although you might prefer a hand mixer as an alternative option.
The Verdict: Stand mixers
The Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer ticks all the boxes: aesthetically pleasing, high performing and extremely long-lasting. We love it. For something more comprehensive, the Kenwood Chef Titanium is as good as having your very own sous chef, but some accessories cost extra. Too expensive? The Cuisinart Precision Stand Mixer is our stand-out machine for under £300.
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