Reading stand mixer reviews before making a purchase can help ensure you make the right investment in your kitchen. However, not all reviews are equal and knowing which ones to give weight to can save you time in the long run. Here are a few tips for reading stand mixer reviews to make purchasing your new appliance a quick and easy process.
Know What You Need
Knowing what you want from the get go will save you time and reduce the number of stand mixer reviews you have to read in the long run. If you need a large capacity bowl with all the latest attachments, then don’t waste your time perusing small three quart mixers. Consider making a checklist of your needs so you can narrow down the number of models you’re looking at. Read the product description for the mixer and go through your own checklist first. Reading the reviews should come second. Don’t know what you need in a mixer? Check out our guide on How to Buy A Stand Mixer.
What a Good Review Offers
A good review will be objective, honest, and outline whether or not the product lives up to expectations. The best reviews come from users who have bought the product and tried it out on their own initiative. So don’t bother with reviews from folks who were paid by manufacturers to try out the product. A good review will outline what the user used the stand mixer for (mixing dough, making pasta, ice cream, etc) and what did or did not work. Go through your checklist while reading the reviews and see if the mixer lived up to expectation.
What’s the Average Review Rating?
Websites like are ours are an excellent way to learn more about stand mixers and narrow the field of eligible contenders. We also suggest going to a store like Amazon.com and seeing what a large number of people are saying. There will always be one disgruntled person, so don’t be turned off by one or two bad reviews if the vast majority are positive. A stand mixer with a 4/5 star rating that’s been reviewed by 300 people is likely going to be more reliable than a mixer with 4 stars from 10 people.
Learn the Stand Mixer Vocabulary
Understanding stand mixer reviews and product descriptions will be a lot easier if you know the stand mixer vocabulary. Bakers and cooks new to mixers may want to brush up on the vocab so they aren’t lost when reading about flat beaters and pouring shields. Check out our Glossary to get started.
How to Buy a Stand Mixer
There are countless stand mixers on the market today offering a variety of sizes, speeds, and attachments. The best stand mixer for you will undoubtedly depend on your intended use and needs. A beginning baker with a love for fresh bread will likely need a different mixer than a professional cook in need of a meat grinder and pasta maker. When purchasing your mixer consider the following mixer characteristics, and your own personal needs.
Capacity and Bowl Design
Stand mixer capacity can range anywhere from 3 quarts to over 20 quarts. In general, a 5 quart bowl is ample for most home bakers. If you need to make several loaves of bread at a time, you may want to go for a 7 quart bowl. Anything larger than that and you should be considering going pro. In addition to capacity, you may also want to consider the shape of the mixing bowl. The best stand mixers today often have bowls with taller sides and a wider mouth. This design lets you mix recipes with fewer ingredients easily, and ensures that ingredients fall to the center of the bowl, requiring less scraping. The one downside of this design is that it can be harder to add ingredients while the mixer is running – look for a model that also offers plastic lid guards and feed tubes.
Manufacturers will boast that they have the best stand mixer with tons of power and speed settings. Be wary of these numbers as they are mostly marketing fluff. Manufacturers will report the wattage of their mixers, hoping you think higher numbers mean stronger mixers. Unfortunately, higher numbers simply mean more power is being used up by the motor, not produced. If power is an issue for you – look for energy efficient stand mixers. The best stand mixer will offer excellent results while using less power, not more.
Most stand mixers come with three standard attachments – a whisk, a dough hook, and a beater. However, the number of additional attachments you can purchase are seemingly endless. If you’re interested in a gourmet pasta press, ice cream attachment, meat grinder, or juicer – make sure your stand mixer can accommodate the attachment ahead of time.
One of the main differences between various stand mixers is whether they use a lifting mechanism or a tilting head to bring attachments in contact with food. A lifting mechanism will bring the bowl up to the attachment while a tilting head will bring the attachment down to the bowl. Lifting bowls are generally taller while tilting heads require a bit more space behind them. Neither is necessarily better and personal preference will win out on this one.
Other design considerations to take into account include whether the stand up mixer is dishwasher safe, includes storage space for its attachments, and includes a built-in timer. None of these design additions are completely necessary and will again be up to personal preference.
The determining factor in any purchasing decision is often price. Stand mixers can cost anywhere from $40 to over $1000. Mixers under $100 are comparable to hand mixers with a bowl attachment. A quality stand mixer for a serious at home baker will likely run in the $200-$300 range. Stand mixers in this range will offer more power, reliability, and can be used regularly for most baking projects.