This page was updated in April 2021
The workhorses of a busy kitchen, stand mixers can do much more than whip up cake batter. Traditionally, they last many years, but will today’s models pass the test of time? We take a closer look at the build quality, efficiency and accessories of current stand mixers to find out – and whether cheaper models measure up.
Best stand mixers at a glance
- Best blow-out stand mixer for doughs: Kenwood Titanium Chef Patissier XL, £749.99
- Best stand mixer and food processor hybrid: Bosch CreationLine MUM5XW10 kitchen machine, £499.99
- Best lightweight stand mixer for storing: Haden 5-Litre stand mixer, £120
- Best compact stand mixer: Morphy Richards MixStar compact stand mixer, £159.99
- Best large-capacity stand mixer for affordability: Cuisinart Precision stand mixer, £275
- Best stand mixer for versatility: Kenwood Chef XL Titanium, £639.99
- Best stand mixer for baking: KitchenAid 6.9-litre Artisan stand mixer, £699
- Best affordable stand mixer: VonShef 1000W black stand mixer, £79.99
- Best stand mixer and blender hybrid: Crux Bake and Blend stand mixer with blender jug, £194.99
- Best mid-range stand mixer: Russell Hobbs Go Create stand mixer £99.99
- Best stand mixer for small kitchens: Kitchen Aid 3.3-litre stand mixer, £399
- Best stand mixer for luxe kitchens: Kenwood kMix Editions stand mixer chrome, £388.99
What is a stand mixer?
A stand mixer – also called a food mixer – is a machine that uses a rotating mechanism to carry out repetitive kitchen tasks. Thanks to the multiple attachments and large capacity of the bowl, they excel at making cakes, kneading dough, whipping and whisking, and work far more effectively than food processors in this respect (although the two are sometimes confused as they have a similar ‘spinning’ motion).
Stand mixers have a hinged main body with an output for various attachments, typically whisks, beaters and dough hooks, although you can often upgrade and buy a wide range of attachments. They are known to whisk egg whites, whip up a dough and cream butter incredibly quickly. They usually have simple speed settings and are easy to operate. They’re a medium-sized appliance, taking up around as much space as a slow cooker or blender.
Hand-held mixer vs stand mixer
A hand mixer performs many of the same baking tasks as a stand mixer. A hand mixer (sometimes referred to as beaters) also operate using rotating attachments, but are far smaller than stand mixers, which in turn makes them more affordable. They can be easily packed away for storage and are straightforward to clean. If you want a gadget just to do the basics, the best hand mixer will probably be sufficient.
A stand mixer is more powerful, with a higher wattage and larger capacity. They’re potentially more versatile, with some offering a wide variety of attachments. One major advantage is that, in binary contrast to hand mixers, they are entirely hands-free, allowing you to get on with other things while they work. The roomy bowls are designed to contain ingredients, minimising mess. They can also better handle heavier mixes like pastry and pizza dough.
Ultimately, a stand mixer is an upgrade from a hand mixer, but it depends on your budget.
What to look for when buying a stand mixer
Like batch-baking for cake sales? You’ll need a larger bowl capacity and perhaps a more powerful mechanism that will plough through larger volumes of mix. Buy the biggest machine you can afford that will fit in your kitchen.
Stand mixers can work hard with the right attachments, which include everything from pasta rollers to sausage makers. Study the number of bolt-on accessories available if you want to use your machine frequently for lots of kitchen tasks.
If you’re short on counter space and will be hauling the stand mixer in and out of storage, be aware that some of them can be very hefty. If you struggle with your back, this is a significant consideration.
Value for money
There’s no point splashing out on a gadgety machine with various accessories if you’re only going to use it to make basic cakes.
For more unbiased expert buyer’s guides, visit our reviews section to find over 200 round-ups of everything from the best slow cookers and best blenders to the best coffee machines and best food processors.
12 of the best stand mixers
Kenwood Titanium Chef Patissier XL
Best blow-out stand mixer for doughs
- Integrated weighing scales and warming function
- 7-litre EasyWarm bowl
- In-bowl illumination
- Large footprint
When it comes to modernity in the world of stand mixers, Kenwood is a front-runner. This one adapts the classic design to make it a game-changer for usability, so the step up in price from the Chef Titanium XL stand mixer model is justified. Key are its integrated weighing and warming functions which work in tandem with the deep 7-litre EasyWarm Bowl – this has two practical handles for simple loading and arrives with a second 5-litre bowl nested inside.
The touchscreen display shows your chosen metric for weighing. It also offers presets for controlling the warming functions, which prove dough and whisk egg whites among other things. Once set, you can walk away and periodically snoop on your dough through the transparent bowl cover whilst it gradually doubles in size – the chelsea buns produced were wonderfully soft. It’s features like this that afford you the best possible chance of achieving the same dough prove and rise every time.
In addition to the sophistication, you get all the basics you’d expect from a functional stand mixer like a beater, whisk and dough hook, except this model offers the capacity to make more, better and with great scope for personalisation. It’s an investment buy backed by a 10-year guarantee.
Bosch CreationLine MUM5XW10 kitchen machine
Best stand mixer and food processor hybrid
- Available from Bosch (£499.99)
- Integrated scales and timer function
- Dishwasher-safe attachments
- BPA-free plastics
- Overheat protection
- Outdated acronym in product name
- Weighs in increments of five grams
- Lacks pre-selectable processing time
Finding a stand mixer/food processor hybrid is hard to do. But the Bosch CreationLine machine also throws integrated scales into the mix and the result is a versatile multitasker that’s a pleasure to use as well as practical. Design-wise, the gadget sits landscape on the counter-top so has a relatively unobtrusive footprint for a stand mixer. The two-in-one nature means it’s also a space-saver when it comes to cupboard space.
A 1000W motor provides the oomph. All attachments arrive inside a two-pocket pouch, which is game-changing for storage. The patisserie set is tucked in one side (featuring a stirring whisk with silicone edge; height-adjustable beating whisk; and kneading hook with gear protector) and four food processor discs for slicing, grating and shredding in the other. All are dishwasher-safe.
Combined with automatic retractile cord storage, this stand mixer is an expensive but versatile multitasker with modern frills that’s fun to use.
Read our full Bosch CreationLine kitchen machine review
Cuisinart Precision stand mixer
Best large-capacity stand mixer for affordability
- 5.2L stainless steel bowl with practical handle
- Transparent splash guard
- 3-year guarantee
- No integrated scales
- Chef’s whisk is not dishwasher-safe
The die-case metal body with high-gloss finish gives this relatively affordable and large-capacity stand mixer the robust, quality feel of those twice its price. Features like its 5.2-litre stainless steel mixing bowl with practical handle contribute to the sense that what you get is great value for money.
It performs the basics well. The flat paddle mixer, dough hook and large whisk have good size and heft, sitting low in the bowl so as to pick up all ingredients. Its motor is 500W, which was less powerful than most tested but kneaded away without looking or sounding strained.
Covered by a three-year guarantee, this is a great one to consider if you want basic kitchen tasks done well, without a hefty price tag.
Read our full Cuisinart Precision stand mixer review
Haden 5-Litre stand mixer
Best lightweight stand mixer for easy storing
- Four sucker feet for stability
- Dishwasher safe 5-litre stainless steel bowl
- Plastic outer
If you’re after the classic mixer look and a practical size for batch-baking, the Haden is good value-for-money option, retailing at around £100, with plenty of user-friendly features.
The outer is plastic rather than die-cast metal; just one element you forfeit for the price along with integrated scales and a timer. Four industrial suckers secure it to the counter-top. However, it’s robust without being hefty which is immensely practical for moving it between a cupboard and the kitchen surface.
An 800W motor powers through basic kitchen tasks easily with whisk, beater and dough hook attachments, all of which can be thrown in the dishwasher after use. It’s noisy, particularly with kneading dough, so it may not be suitable for open-plan kitchen living areas but no stand mixer is silent. For anyone wanting an efficient stand mixer for cakes and bakes, the Haden is a practical size.
Read our full Haden 5-Litre stand mixer review
Morphy Richards MixStar compact stand mixer
Best compact stand mixer
- Available from Argos (£159.99)
- storage caddy allows you to store attachments inside the bowl
- easy accessible height and lid design
- non-slip suckers for securing to the counter top
- ‘new product’ smell
- missing the iconic stand mixer design
If space is at a premium in your kitchen, this innovative stand mixer by Morphy Richards is a compact alternative. It offers all the traditional functions from within a small footprint about the size and width of a large mixing bowl.
Dishwasher-friendly attachments for whisking, kneading and beating are stored within a caddy that slots comfortably into the bowl. It arrives fully assembled so you immediately know where and how everything slots together. Then it’s simply a case of loading your chosen attachment, donning its lid and peering over to watch it work. This is a great one to use with kids.
Read our full Morphy Richards MixStar compact stand mixer review
Kenwood KVL8300S Chef Titanium XL Stand Mixer
Best stand mixer for versatility
- Powerful motor with a 10 year guarantee
- Clever lighting
- Large footprint
Looking at the full array of test models we had for this round-up, the Kenwood Chef XL Titanium stood out from the crowd with its low, square design – and for being one of the more expensive ones. However, its quality and style shines through, with an enclosed guard for the bowl and lighting feature in the attachment head.
Like driving a flash car or wearing a good pair of shoes, you can truly feel the difference when you try a more luxurious model, and mixers are no exception. The controls and mechanisms on this stand mixer were a pleasure to use, with smooth actions, spring-loaded movements and satisfyingly solid attachments.
The whisk, hook and beater were hefty and fitted well into the head, plus if you want to get more adventurous, there are many interesting accessories to fix to its additional high- or low-speed ports.
For a high-volume, powerful helper around the kitchen, this is as good as it gets and we’d be happy to have the Kenwood Chef XL Titanium on hand for bakes, batch cooks and so much more.
Read our full Kenwood Chef XL Titanium review
KitchenAid 6.9-litre Artisan stand mixer
Best stand mixer for baking
- Large capacity
- Quiet even at max power
- Heavy to move around
This KitchenAid Artisan bowl-lift model has only been around since 2012, but it looks like a classic already. It screams ‘serious baker’.
If you’re working in an open plan space or like to hear the radio over the sound of your kitchen appliances, this is going to please you. The motor works surprisingly quietly, no matter how tough the mix.
The handled, stainless steel bowl has a whopping 6.9-litre capacity, which is big enough to whisk almost 2 litres of cream to airy perfection in minutes.
Set aside a rainy afternoon for a bulk baking session and this will be your trusty sidekick, powering its way through pastry, bread and batters. We also loved how it blended perfect mash for a freezer stock-up, tackling a bag’s worth of steamed spuds with ease.
As usual with KitchenAid, this model comes in a range of classic colours and looks good in every one. But whichever you choose, you’ll soon come to wonder how you ever cooked without it.
Read our full KitchenAid 6.9-litre Artisan stand mixer review
VonShef 1000W black stand mixer
Best affordable stand mixer
- Easy to move around
- Bargain price
- Small mixing bowl
- Plastic casing
This stand mixer from VonShef has a decent 1000W motor, so copes well with tough doughs and whizzes plenty of air into sponge and meringue mix. You may need to give it some time to achieve the best results, but that’s the payoff for its bargain price (around £100).
We suspect that over time the black plastic casing could pick up a few scrapes, but this model seems well put-together and is certainly light enough to be stashed away.
The 3.5-litre bowl can’t cope with huge quantities, but if you’re making occasional cakes or mixing dough for one or two loaves, it does the job perfectly well.
Read our full VonShef 1000W black stand mixer review
Crux Bake and Blend stand mixer with blender jug
Best stand mixer and blender hybrid
- Good build quality
- Added blender for making smoothies, sauces and soups
- Needs clearance height to allow for blender attachment
One of the biggest mixers we tried, this model takes up considerable cupboard space. However, if you’re also in the market for a blender, this will look after smoothies and soups as well as the usual stand-mixer duties, and may take up less room than two separate machines.
The heavy glass jug cannot go in the dishwasher, but the rest of the boxy machine is easy to keep clean; attachments and the stainless steel bowl are dishwasher-safe and the casing is easy to wipe down with an e-cloth and water.
It’s a stylish machine with a quality feel, the tilting mechanism and push-in attachments feel robust and likely to last.
Read our full Crux Bake and Blend stand mixer review
Russell Hobbs Go Create stand mixer
Best mid-range stand mixer
- Great price
- Good range of speed settings
- Can move when working hard
- Hand-wash bowl recommended
Combining generous capacity and power, this budget stand mixer is a good choice if you want something functional and care less about wowing with a statement piece. In tests, we tried various recipes that put the dough hook, beater and balloon whisk to good use and found it coped with everything we threw at it, although we had to push dry ingredients down into the mix at times.
Tough doughs saw the machine move slightly, but that’s to be expected when it’s not in the heavyweight league.
We liked the straightforward controls and found the attachments easy to twist into place – the bowl, too, although it’s the only element that can’t go in the dishwasher. The beaters can, and we found the whole thing easy to wipe clean.
Read our full Russell Hobbs Go Create stand mixer review
Kitchen Aid 3.3-litre stand mixer
Best stand mixer for small kitchens
- Smaller kitchen footprint
- Impressive build quality
- No splashguard
- Smaller bowl size unsuitable for big bakes
This built-to-last KitchenAid stand mixer is a mini masterpiece. It may not be the right choice if you have a large family or want to impress a bake sale with your battenbergs – the 3.3-litre bowl can only handle enough mix for around eight cupcakes at a time.
It’s gorgeous to look at, with all the design features you’d expect from this classic brand. The slide speed control is smooth and the top hinge opens effortlessly with the press of a button to lift the beater out of the bowl.
Although there’s no splash guard with this model, the half-speed control means you can start every mix gently and work up without ingredients flying everywhere.
Read our full KitchenAid 3.3-litre stand mixer review
Kenwood kMix Editions stand mixer chrome
Best stand mixer for luxe kitchens
- Available from Kenwood (£388.99)
- Attachment tools available
- Hardwearing and stylish
- Tricky to remove splash guard when beater is in place
- Shiny casing shows up finger marks
Kenwood’s kMix is available in a range of colours and metallic finishes, but we think it really suits this special edition chrome casing. Thankfully, it’s easy to wipe clean as with this sort of bling, fingermarks and splashes really show up.
All the attachments are hardwearing steel, so no danger they’ll chip in the future. They’re also fine to go straight in the dishwasher, which is a bonus when you’re baking – no one wants a sink full of doughy water.
At 1000W, the motor on this stand mixer packs enough punch to ensure that even tough doughs like wholemeal bread are no problem. Airy meringue is easy to make – turn the dial control straight from min to max and the machine accelerates gradually to avoid splashing.
Read our full Kenwood kMix Editions stand mixer review
How we tested stand mixers
We tested a representative sample of food mixers and used them to whisk egg whites for pavlova, make an enriched dough, and cream together butter and sugar before mixing a basic cake recipe. We tested all attachments, final cooked products and scored the machines against the following criteria:
Packaging: Like most high-value kitchen appliances, stand mixers often arrive with a lot of packaging. Those that had recyclable or biodegradable elements scored better.
Overall quality of materials: Well-made stand mixers with quality components should last. We looked for those that were robust.
Results of functions: A machine that efficiently mixed all the ingredients at the same time was a staple requirement. We looked for pavlova mixes that were glossy and well-whisked, cake mixes that were light with evenly distributed zest and finally, well-risen dough that was soft and light when baked.
Value for money: You can spend anything from £60 to £900 on a stand mixer. Whatever the performance and functionality, it must always match up with the price.
Processor versatility: Stand mixers should take on key kitchen tasks that make life a lot easier. Whisking, beating and kneading attachments are key to this and we awarded extra points to machines that offer more integrated features, like weighing scales, timers and extra attachments.
Ease of use and cleaning: Modern stand mixers can offer sophisticated features but being easy to use is incredibly important. Washing your stand mixer’s attachments by hand can also be a real pain, so we looked for dishwasher-safe accessories to make cleaning less of a headache.
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