Blenders and juicers both turn fruits and vegetables into something you can drink, but one makes a “smoothie” and the other a “juice.” If you are looking for a juicer blender, then you are looking for a blender that makes juice. Yes, they do exist, but not just any blender will make a juice that you will want to drink.
To explain, a juicer will extract nutrients from fruits and vegetables by squeezing them and leaving much of the mass behind. Conversely, a good juicer blender will pulverize the whole fruit (almost everything, including seeds, fiber, etc.) into a liquid juice you can drink. Both machines will turn an orange into orange juice, but not in the same way. And, not all machines are made equal. If you want your machine to make juice and smoothies, then only a juicer blender will do.
Below we answer which we think is better — juicing versus blending — and which is our preferred blender for juicing.
In a Hurry? Our Top Rated Blenders for Juicing Are:
- Vitamix 5200
- Blendtec Total Classic
- NutriBullet Combo (ZNBF30500Z)
- Ninja Blender DUO with Micro-Juice Technology (IV701)
Want to know more? Read on….
Can you make juice with a blender?
Yes, but with a caveat. Blenders can only make juice from water-rich fruits and vegetables. Here is a list of 10 water-rich fruits, and yes, oranges are on the list. The secret to a good juicer blender is that it must be capable of blending the whole fruit or vegetable (everything within reason), pulverizing everything placed inside the container into a liquid juice. Naturally, the best juicer blenders are those that make the smoothest liquid to drink. We found making juice with a blender to be easier and much faster than using a juicer. This video demonstrates how to do whole-fruit juicing:
Pro tip! When making orange juice with a blender, make sure you include the rind (not the zest) to also get the flavonoids.
If you want to make juice using a blender from other fruits and vegetables — those that are not water-rich, it is possible. However, a blender may not be the best choice for making juice this way. That said, if you are determined to make juice from fruits and vegetables that are not water-rich, then this video will show you how to do it. Note that you will need a strainer and a mesh bag.
Juicing vs. Blending – which is better for you?
Making juice with a juicer often results in a more nutrient-dense beverage. Plus, the juicer process is better for those who need a low-fiber diet. Finally, you can typically get more calories per serving using a juicer. Juicing, however, is normally more expensive because you need more produce to create a serving (for example, 2 oranges, 1 stem of kale, ½ red pepper, 1 cup berries, and 1 stalk broccoli will make about one cup of juice or 3 cups of smoothie).
The output of blending is often called a “smoothie,” which retain most of the fruits and vegetables’ fiber. Fiber helps you feel fuller and improves digestive health. Also, you can add other types of foods to your smoothies like nuts, seeds, and yogurts to increase your intake of healthy protein and fats. This drink will be thicker than most juices.
You can read more about the nutritional difference between juicing versus blending by Melissa Montalto, a registered dietitian, here. This video also does a good job explaining it:
Do you lose nutrients when juicing?
“You do lose fiber in fruit and vegetable juices, and that results in juices having the ability to spike your blood sugar in a more dramatic way than if you ate the actual fruit or vegetable,” says Robin Foroutan, an integrative medicine dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That said, you do not lose fiber when you use a juicer blender to make your juice because they are blended into the juice.
Is juice good for you?
Yes! Most of the nutrients are in the juice. 100% fruit juice is a good source of nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. While juice alone is no healthier than eating the whole fruit or vegetable (of course), juicing extracts the liquid that contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the fruit according to the Mayo Clinic. This video does a good job of explaining why juicing is good for you.
Can a juicer blender also make a smoothie?
Yes, a juicer blender is just a blender with a motor powerful enough to turn whole-fruit juicing into a liquid juice. As a blender, it can still make a smoothie, so it’s more than just a juicer. Some people claim that a more powerful motor also helps them make better smoothies because it will blend fruit and vegetable chunks, protein powders, and other healthy items into the smoothie more thoroughly, making it less grainy or gritty to drink.
What makes the best blender for juicing?
The most common complaints about blenders in general are that they are difficult to clean (resulting in bad smells), they have too many options (making them confusing to use), they break (motors burn out, blades dull), they’re loud, and whirling blades are kind of scary.
This means these machines need to excel at all the same general things needed plus they need a motor sufficiently powerful enough to turn a “whole-fruit” into an enjoyably smooth liquid drink. But, more power than 1400 watts does not seem to add more value to this equation.
Best Blender Attributes:
Powerful Motor – Don’t look at the “peak horsepower,” which represents the force generated when the blades are stopped abruptly. No blender actually runs at peak horsepower since this would fry the motor. Instead, look at watts (sometimes called running power), which should be at least 1100 watts to do whole-fruit juicing, 1300 watts is better. More than 1400 watts does not seem to matter.
Dishwasher-safe – While “self-cleaning” is sufficient much of the time by running a blender half-full of warm water and a few drops of dish soap for 30-60 seconds, this will not always be enough. We only recommend easy-to-clean blenders that are dishwasher-safe for when self-cleaning is not enough.
Containers – The best machines all feature plastic containers, which are lightweight and less prone to breaking than glass ones (no one wants shards of glass in their smoothies!). Plastic can absorb odors and stain easily, though, so clean them promptly after each use. We only recommend products that are BPA-free to protect you from diseases that may be caused by to using BPA plastic products (Mayo Clinic). Additionally, look for a container with a wide mouth to facilitate loading and cleaning, as well as easy-to-read measurements.
Blades – It is amazing how many different styles of blades there are! We could not find any evidence that any one style of cutting blade was better than another. We were intrigued by BlenderTec’s blunt blades that essentially mash, instead of slice, the ingredients. The main advantage we see in this is that blunt blades are less stressful to clean than sharp ones. We found no definitive proof that one blade resulted in better nutrition than another. Accordingly, our ratings focus more on the motor size than the type of blade.
Controls – Touchpads, push buttons, dials, and flip switches each have their pros and cons, but we did not see a clear winner here. We did notice that customers tended to complain more about blenders with “fancier” controls. If you do not like reading directions, a blender with simple analog controls may be better for you. Our favorite preset controls were the digital timers that helped us follow the blender recipes.
Warranty – Longer warranties are better (obviously), but they tend to come at a higher price. If all other features are equal, then we rated the blender with the longer warranty higher.
What factors drove our ratings?
- Motor at least 1100 watts (minimum recommended by most manufacturers for whole-fruit juicing).
- Whole-fruit juicing – verified customers confirmed that they use the blender to make juice
- BPA-free plastic containers
- Dishwasher-safe containers (at minimum, can be placed in the top rack)
- Self-cleaning – verified customers confirmed that they clean their blender this way.
- Warranty – longer is better
- Price – cheaper is better
Our Top Rated Juicer Blender — Best Overall for Juicing
If you can, get a Vitamix. We are not alone in this opinion. When this article was published, 84% of customers on Amazon had given this product a 5-star review. People loved its ease of use. It has simple analog controls and enough power to get the job done. Customers like its self-cleaning capabilities and that it can be placed in the top rack of a dishwasher. It is great for both whole-fruit juicing and smoothie making. We liked it best in red!
We gave this professional blender our #1 spot for best juicer blenders because of its best-in-class juice and smoothie smoothness .
Sensible Gal (a verified customer) in February 2019 said, “And truly, I can’t complain about the results. My smoothies are truly SMOOTH!!! It even chops up chia seeds. CHIA SEEDS!!! I never expected that! It doesn’t get blackberry seeds though. I don’t think anything in the world can grind blackberry seeds. Dratted things. Any way… Yeah.” Many customers expressed similar opinions, giving us confidence to crown this blender as the best juicer blender.
Most customer complaints seem to be one-offs about parts breaking, so these may or may not happen to you. Usually, these customer noted in their complaints that once the broken item was replaced that the problem was solved. This kind of complaint was common for all blenders that had been in the market for awhile. Our advice is to test your blender thoroughly when you get it or contact customer service as soon as you encounter a problem. Vitamix has 7-year warranty and a loyal following for a reason.
Our Top Rated Juicer Blender – Best Premium blender for juicing
Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender with FourSide Jar
- Motor: 1560 watt.
- 75 oz jar.
- 8-year warranty.
- Whole-fruit juicing capable
- BPA-free containers
- Self-cleaning capable
- Patented blunt blades
- Can purchase extra attachments that extend the blender’s utility
- Dishwasher-safe (only on the top rack).
People love their Blendtec blenders! When this article was published, 71% of customers on Amazon had given this product a 5-star review. People loved its ease to clean and that it could be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher. Not only do many people use it for whole-fruit juicing, but many said they also use it as a food processor to make nut butters like almond butter (this was more common with the Blendtec customers than those who bought the Vitamix.) We were especially intrigued by Blendtec’s use of blunt blades, making them safer and easier to clean.
We gave this professional blender our #2 best juicer blender spot because not only is it good for juice and smoothie making, but you can purchase extra attachments like Blendtec’s Twister Jar to make thick blends like nut butters. The Twister Jar has an arm that scrape the sides of the jar with a twist of the lid while its blending – an important feature when making something sticky like homemade peanut butter.
J. Densen (a verified customer) in December 2019 said, “The blendtec total blender with the wild side jar was on sale for $237 ( now $367) on cybermonday. I bought it due to the $237 ( wife approved) price point and salesman at bestbuy stating all the advantages of this product and the videos showed the consistency of actual juice $300+ at Best Buy . I was “iffy” due to the reviews, but took the plunge. This product is great and gets all the fruit into a nice juice consistency with very minimal pulp (if any). It’s like the consistency of the naked fruit drinks but maybe a little thinner consistency depending on what fruit you add and how much water. ( I add approximately a half “measuring cup” of water per batch; and I fill about 1/2 to 3/4 full of fruit)”
The most common complaint was that the unit “dances” when it first starts to blend, causing you to need to hold on to it for a few seconds. Most of the other complaints were similar to those of the Vitamix. They mainly seemed to be one-offs about breakage, so this may or may not happen to you. Usually, the problem was solved by contacting customer service for a replacement part. Blendtec has an 8 year warranty for such issues.
Our Top Rated Juicer Blender – Best Budget Blender for Juicing
This blender was launched in mid-2019 and has been gaining lots of praise since then (87% of people give it 5-stars on Amazon). Several mentioned that it is better than their previous NutriBullet (and returning customers are always a good sign). You can use it for whole-fruit juicing, but it may not be as smooth as blenders with more powerful motors. Many customers talked about how easy it is to clean. Note, the word “combo” in the product title references that you can blend in either the the included jar or cups. NutriBullets are especially known for smoothie making.
We gave this blender our #3 spot for the best juicer blender because of its competitive price point and wide spread customer enthusiasm for the brand.
MJ Fisher (a verified customer) said in November 2019, “This is my third NB purchase and by far the most impressive product. The first two were 600 and 900 watts, which lasted about 3 years each when the motors burned out. I assume this was because of filling too close to the lines. This model has several improvements, including multiple speeds and functions, an actual blender, plus the 32 and 24 oz cups for smoothies; it is quieter and more high tech. The old style cup had rubber gaskets that were inset and fouled if not very carefully cleaned by removing them. The new cups have eliminated this problem. I expect to enjoy this NB more and for it to last longer than my first two.”
Fewer NutriBullet customers complained about breakage issues than the other blenders we reviewed, but this might be due to the relative newness of this blender on the market. Also, some customers said this blender was great for smoothies, but not ideal for whole-fruit juicing or for making nut butters.
Our Top Rated Juicer Blender – Runner up Budget Option
This Ninja blender was also released in mid-2019 and has functionality specifically for juicing. 74% of the reviews on Amazon gave this blender 5-stars by the time of publishing. People rave about its ability to make smoothies and some rave about its juicing ability too. Like all good blenders, it is also great at smoothie making.
We gave this blender our #4 best juicer blender spot because of its competitive price point and unique vacuum sealing functionality that might make juices last longer.
ML (a verified customer) in November 2019 said, “my FAVORITE feature, the smoothie cup and smoothie program button. I dumped some frozen chunks of fruit into the cup, filled it to the top line with apple juice, screwed on the blades, and pressed the smoothie button. The blender did the rest. It pulsed and then blended slightly longer, then pulsed again, and went long, etc. It came out great. I’ve used it to make several smoothies so far and I’ve only had to tap the cup a couple times to get the fruit to contact the blades (air pocket). I love it. So quick and easy. When it’s done, unscrew the blades and screw on the sip top. It’s the perfect cup with a nice sized sealable drink opening.”
Complaints about this machine were scattered such that we could not identify any common themes. This may be because of its newness to the market. We like how Motorpenguin (a verified customer) in October 2019 summed up his critical feedback, “If you’re looking for good smoothies and decent juice, it’s a good deal. If you’re looking for no-kidding JUICING, keep looking.”
When shopping for the best blenders for juicing, you are mainly focused on finding a blender with a powerful motor. This is the distinguishing feature that turns a blender into a juicer blender, enabling it to pulverize water-rich fruits and vegetables, the whole thing (fibers, seeds, and all), into a smooth enjoyable juice to drink.
The Vitamix 5200 Blender in our top rated juicer blender. It can easily transform the entire fruit, including the fiber and seeds (even chia seeds!), into an enjoyable smooth liquid juice. We also loved its great warranty, its strong 5-star review rating, and the brand’s loyal fan base. We are confident that you will love making juice with this blender.
Our runner up for best blenders for juicing is the Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender. We liked its powerful motor, its unique blade design, its great warranty, and that you can extend its utility by purchasing attachments. This blender is a solid choice for making smoothies, juices, and more.