When buying a mixing bowl, think about the kinds of tasks for which you might need to use. Are you making massive cakes, or just the odd batch of fairy cakes? Do you prefer high or shallow sides? Do you want one that can withstand heat?
One important thing to take into account, too, is the weight of the bowls – some are heavyweight, and some much lighter. Also, think about whether you prefer to grip it by the side or with a handle.
If you’re short on space, nesting bowls (with or without other utensils), are a great solution, but only if you will actually use them. Some of the bowls on our list were massive, so you might need to opt for a smaller one for practical reasons.
The best mixing bowls to buy
VonShef three-piece mixing bowl set
Best value set
Key features: nesting, three bowls, internal measurements, handles, pouring lip, non-slip base, dishwasher-safe
These three bowls – 5-litre, 3-litre and 1.6-litre – have all the features you could need, and are great value to boot.
We particularly like the well-designed handles on one side, which are shaped so you can get a really firm grip and tuck your fingers underneath. The other side has a pouring lip.
Together with the non-slip rubber base, the handle helps you hold the bowl steadily when mixing. It’s a great bonus when scraping mixture into cake tins, too.
Internally, there are four different measurements, including millilitres and cups. The stainless steel bowls are all very light and sit inside each other to minimise storage space.
Mason Cash innovative kitchen mixing bowl
Best mixing bowl design
Key features: dishwasher-proof, microwave-proof, tilts on side for mixing
Heavy, solid and sturdy, this 29cm bowl is perfect for large families, or anyone making big cakes on a regular basis.
What makes this one particularly clever is that you can tilt it on its side on the worktop to get extra air in it while mixing (note to self: don’t do this until the eggs are mixed in!). The tilting also really helps when scraping cake mixture out.
This one is microwave-proof, but when we tried to soften some butter in the microwave, we hit a snag as the bowl was too big to fit through the microwave door. If it’s an important feature for you, check your microwave first.
It also goes in the dishwasher, but it washes very easily by hand.
Judge at Horwood mixing bowl
Best budget mixing bowl
Key features: stainless steel; 23cm; dishwasher-, oven- and freezer-proof
Small and lightweight, this is a bowl that will earn its keep many times over. It will take up little of your precious cupboard space, and goes in the dishwasher, oven (up to 240C) and freezer. It has a relatively big base, so is stable when mixing.
With deep sides, it’s ideal for whipping up smaller cakes and sauces, and is attractive enough to use as a serving dish. The price is attractive too, and the 25-year guarantee is an added bonus.
Cornishware Cornish standard mixing bowl
Most stylish mixing bowl
Key features: dishwasher- and microwave-safe, 3.5-litre capacity
Too good-looking to hide in a cupboard, this medium mixing bowl could easily double up as a fruit bowl or anything else.
There is a small but useful handle on either side (well, more of a thick edge). We tested the traditional blue-striped bowl, but it’s also available in yellow and red, and there’s a pudding basin available in three colours, too.
This is weightier than the stainless steel bowls we tested, but lighter than some of the other ceramic ones, so it’s a good compromise if you want something more solid but not too heavy. We like the shallow sides of this one, which make it easy to scrape mixture down.
Tala mixing bowl
Best traditional mixing bowl
Key features: 5-litre capacity; 30cm; microwave-, dishwasher-, oven-, freezer- and fridge-safe
This traditional stoneware bowl is a whopper, and perches rather precariously on our kitchen scales.
We find the sides to be a perfect size: tall enough to stop ingredients like cocoa powder flying out of the bowl when mixing on a high speed, while low enough to ensure our hand mixer can still drip over the sides.
The Tala bowl is everything-proof, including freezer, and, unusually, the oven (up to 220C). It can also go in the microwave, which can be useful for tasks like softening butter, or reheating if you’ve used it as a storage bowl. However, it’s too big to fit into ours.
It scores highly for looks, with an embossed design, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything sturdier – though this does mean it’s quite heavy to lift with one hand.
It’s the kind of bowl you can imagine being handed from parent to child with much reminiscing about what it’s been used to make.
Joseph Joseph Nest 9 Plus
Most innovative mixing bowl
Key features: nesting, two bowls, colander, sieve, American cup measures, tablespoon measure, dishwasher-safe
This is several kitchen essentials in one, and is ideal for small kitchens or to give to a student leaving home for the first time. There are two bowls, a colander and sieve, as well as measuring cups and spoons. It all stacks neatly together, including the measuring spoons, so will take up minimal space, and it’s very light in weight.
The bowls have handles to grip, and non-slip bottoms. The largest is a roomy 4.5 litres, and it’s well designed – it isn’t too tall, despite its size, so the beaters from our hand mixer can be left to drip into it while fetching the next ingredient.
We also like the flat bottoms on the measuring cups that mean they can sit unaided on the worktop, leaving an extra hand free. The smallest measuring spoon has markings for both teaspoons and tablespoons.
The smaller bowl is 0.5 litres, and is good for tasks like making a sauce. It has interior measurements, too. The colander and sieve are good quality, with handles at the side.
Lakeland stainless steel mega mixing bowl
Best mixing bowl for batch-baking and big cakes
Key features: 7-litre capacity, pouring lip, non-slip base, internal measurements, dishwasher-safe
This has the highest sides of all the bowls on test, making it ideal for big batters and keeping ingredients firmly inside when mixing rapidly. The non-skid silicone base also keep it steady on the worktop.
It’s very lightweight, so if you prefer to pick up and mix, that’s no problem either. Stainless steel is exactly that – stainless – so you don’t need to worry about marks when you’re doing heavy-duty work.
This is a durable product, ideal for withstanding hard knocks and tumbles. Added touches are internal measurements in both metric and imperial, and a pouring spout.
What we look for when testing mixing bowls
Versatility Is the bowl dishwasher-safe? Does it offer extra features, for example, a pouring lip, handle and lid? Is it also safe for the microwave, freezer and oven?
Sturdiness vs weight We have two criteria: lightweight, but non-slip or heavy-based.
Durability Does the bowl mark easily? Can it withstand kitchen knocks?
Capacity The bowl has to be big enough for standard kitchen tasks, such as making a cake. High sides are a plus.
Ease of storage We opt for stackable bowls, and ones without an excessive footprint.
Easy washing Mixing bowls are inevitably messy, so it needs to wash up well and go in the dishwasher.
How we test mixing bowls
We road-test the bowls with a hand mixer to see how they fare with scuffing, noise and sturdiness. We try common mixing bowl tasks by hand, too, using a balloon whisk and wooden spoon. Plus, we test added features like pouring lips, colanders and handles.
What doesn’t make the cut?
The bowls have to withstand day-to-day wear and tear. For an everyday bit of equipment, being dishwasher-safe is deemed essential, too.
This review was last updated in December 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a mixing bowl you can’t live without? Leave a comment below…