The best stand mixers are the golden boys of the kitchen tech world. With the explosion in the popularity of baking, many people are buying them and ACTUALLY USING THEM, rather than having them serve their traditional purpose: looking nice and impressing visitors to your kitchen, who went away thinking you were baking all the time, even though you actually were not.
Our favourite stand mixer at the moment is still the utterly brilliant Kenwood Titanium Chef which is packed with features, fantastic to use and extraordinarily efficient.
However, don’t discount the superb Sage Bakery Boss and, of course, most bakers’ favourite mixer, the classic KitchenAid Artisan – although please note that there are many flavours of the best KitchenAid mixer…
Finally, for anyone really into baking – and we mean REALLY – there’s the bells-and-whistles Kenwood Titanium Chef Patissier X which has built in scales, a bowl-warming function and a computer-controlled interface.
How to buy the best stand mixer
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These industrial-strength ingredient wranglers are expensive beasts, but a good one should last many years, and they do make the creation of breads and cakes considerably more painless, as well as being able to whip up cream, meringues and the like with their whisk attachments.
Oh, and if you want to get into advanced studies, the Kenwoods and Kitchenaids of this world also take attachments that do everything from mincing meat to spiralising veg to making pasta. Ridiculous, frankly, but somebody out there must be buying them…
Stand mixers are serious bits of kit, and can be a serious investment. That's why our man Derek and his good lady wife have spent ages trying the following eight stand mixers, in order to rank them from first to last. The first four options are all extremely strong and none of them are bad. But if you need a different type of mixing, we also have guides to the best food processor, the best blender and more. Here are our stand mixer verdicts, though, as that's what we're all here for, innit?
The best stand mixers you can buy in 2023
This exemplary British-designed and engineered planetary mixer from Kenwood is still our number one choice, and for a variety of reasons. Its understated styling and unobtrusive gun-metal colour is suitable for a wide variety of kitchen designs and it doesn’t take up as much space as you’d imagine. It also comes with an abundance of 21st Century tech while being just as well built as both the Sage and KitchenAid products below.
Constructed almost entirely from die-cast metal and equipped with an ultra-powerful 1,500-watt motor (KitchenAid’s is just 300 watts), this high-end mixer weighs in at a substantial 9.2 kilos, so once it’s in position, it's best to leave it there.
Like most mixers, the heavy-weight top half articulates upwards to make it easy to remove the gorgeously shiny 4.6-litre stainless steel bowl (good for a dozen egg whites or 2.72kgs of cake mix) and change between the industrial strength stainless-steel K-beater, whisk and dough hook. Unlike some mixers which require manually lifting the heavy arm, this one is operated by a simple latch which causes the whole top to spring up on its own without any effort whatsoever. Nice.
The electronic speed control system is another tactile addition. Switch it on and the circular control dial lights up in readiness for you to select your preferred speed from one to eight. It also provides an extra low speed for gently folding in egg whites and a full-speed pulse function for rapidly blitzing whatever it is you want to rapidly blitz. The stainless steel bowl is a sight to behold and very practical too because it comes with a handle on either side. The plastic splash guard on top of the bowl slides on very easily and our test baker loved the transparent flip-up cover for feeding in ingredients.
Just when you think it can’t get any better, a light tap of the chrome slab on top switches on an LED that bathes the entire bowl in bright white light so you can see how the mix is going.
Another brilliant feature of this mixer is that it has not one but two separate accessory outlets, one for slow-speed attachments (pasta roller, meat mincer and grinding mill) and the other for high-speed accessories (food processor, glass blender and compact chopper). You can also buy optional beaters designed specifically for creaming and folding.
Our master baker, a dyed-in-the-wool KitchenAid devotee, loved pretty much everything about this mixer, especially the easy attachment mounting method, the spring-loaded arm-raising mechanism, the twin handle 4.6-litre bowl, the electronic speed controller and, of course, that brilliant bowl light.
The Kenwood Titanium Chef passed every whipping, mixing and kneading task we threw at it with effortless, speedy aplomb. It was also an absolute doddle to clean. Highly recommended, then, for so many reasons.
Known as Breville The Bakery Boss outside of the UK, this model doesn't go out of its way to look unlike a traditional stand mixer, but it still boasts a host of natty design flourishes. These include a very handy handle on the front of the articulated mixer arm, an LED-lit bowl, an LCD timer and a handy strip light that displays the speed setting you’ve selected, just in case you’ve forgotten.
The 1,200-watt motor is automatically ramped up when heavier ingredients are added. It really has been exceedingly well thought-through and designed.
The Bakery Boss comes loaded with everything required of the British Baking Show-wannabe: a 4.7-litre glass borosilicate microwave-safe bowl, an additional 3.8 litre stainless steel bowl and an abundance of tools, including a scraper beater with rubber edges to catch errant ingredients on the side of the bowl, a dough hook, a flat beater for heavier batters and a huge whisk.
Sage products rarely fail to impress and this speak and slim mixer is a prime example of that.
KitchenAid's stand mixers are the mainstay of many a TV cookery show – including the Great British Bake Off. The US company’s 'K' model mixer was originally designed in the 1930s and not much has changed since then. It still has the same, pleasingly old fashioned 10-speed lever with nice big speed lettering and a similar lever on the back to lift up the heavy-duty arm. Aside from a slot for adding pasta-cum-meat grinder type attachments on the front, that’s about it.
The 300-watt Artisan is available in 13 tantalising colours – including a very tasty honey colour – and comes with a 4.8-litre stainless steel bowl, a smaller 3-litre stainless steel bowl without a handle for smaller batches or extra ingredients for the same recipe, a balloon whisk, dough hook, flat beater and a brilliant Flex Edge beater with a rubber edge for scraping wayward ingredients off the side of the bowl.
The Artisan couldn't be easier to use – though you may beg to differ having seen some of the disasters perpetuated by some contestants on Great British Bake Off (notably with the speed lever and bowl attachment). Anyway, with this machine you simply chuck in the ingredients, lower the arm and slide the speed controller a few notches to the right. The motor fires up and much mixing is done. A clear, removable plastic lid protects against splash back and features a large portal for the addition of extra ingredients during the mixing process. And if you fancy making ice cream, there’s an optional attachment bowl for that, too.
Few modern mixers match this handsome retro beauty for style or blending efficiency. Granted, it has fewer high-tech bells and whistles than some of its competitors but you'll reap the benefits in reliability, durability, efficiency and, above all, ease of use.
If you have a large family or bake on an industrial scale and are looking for a mixer with a big enough bowl to accommodate a four kilo cake, then this is the model for you. Before divulging its premium features, let’s start with the basics. The Kenwood Titanium Chef Patissier XL comes with a huge 7-litre stainless steel bowl, a smaller 5-litre mixing bowl, four main attachments – a standard whisk, Kenwood’s excellent K beater, a creaming beater with rubber edges and huge dough hook – and a bright LED bowl lamp. Like its smaller stablemate reviewed above, it also features two external ports for adding a range of 25 optional attachments.
Nevertheless, what really makes this mixer stand head and shoulders above every other model on the planet is the inclusion of a computer-controlled interface, built-in scales and the ability to warm ingredients – in the bowl! The interface has six presets, including dough proving, chocolate melting, egg white whisking and dough kneading. However, most avid bakers will love the scale and bowl-heating functions most. To use the scales, you simply clamp the mixing bowl into position and select the scale function, change the units to your preference and pour in the ingredients.
No doubt, the scale function is a brilliant feature to have on board but it’s really the warming bowl that is most unique among stand mixers. Say you want to make a chocolate cake. With this mixer you simply throw in some Green & Blacks chocolate and butter, select a heat setting and get on with something else while it melts and gentle stirs the ingredients in readiness for the flour, etc. This setting alone may revolutionise your baking.
I should add that this mixer isn’t for everyone. Firstly, it’s not cheap and secondly, it’s huge and the 7-litre bowl is way too big for most peoples’ needs. But if you want a stand mixer that will produce a horde of goodies on a grand scale and with not too much fuss, the Kenwood Titanium Chef Patissier XL is probably the most advanced and feature-filled model you’ll ever buy.
Compliment your existing Smeg retro gear with this striking showpiece of ’50s splendour and visitors will probably ignore your greetings and head straight towards the counter top for a quick stroke of its smooth, glossy die-cast aluminium head (reminiscent of a Boeing 737 engine) and beautifully machined base. Then they’ll ask you to bake a cake.
The Smeg comes with a 10-speed, soft-start 800-watt motor (500 more watts than the KitchenAid) that makes light work of anything you throw into its equally gorgeous 4.8-litre polished steel bowl.
Given that the Smeg and KitchenAid are roughly within the same price range, it’s a genuine toss up between the two. We don't like the look of the Smeg as much, as we feel it’s less likely to fit into most kitchens. However, if you’ve already filled your kitchenette with other bits from Smeg’s art deco design roster, this cracking cake companion will fit in splendidly.
If you want to go beyond just bread and cake baking, consider this hugely efficient stand mixer-cum-food processor from Magimix.
The 5200 XL is available in black, silver, red, creme and white and pretty much covers all baking and food preparation eventualities, whether it’s kneading dough, whipping cream, whisking eggs, slicing, dicing and grating vegetation or chopping nuts. It’s also capable of making smoothies and fresh juices.
The 5200 XL is comprised of a heavy-duty main unit replete with a 1,100-watt motor and a plethora of accessories too long to list here. Highlights include a 3.6-litre stainless steel bowl, three extra plastic bowls and a whole bunch of cutting and slicing implements.
The main unit is easy enough to use as it has just three big buttons – stop, auto and pulse – but you can be sure your head will be buried in the substantially comprehensive manual for quite some time, if only to work out which accessory is best for the task in hand.
If you have the space to store it all, you won’t be disappointed with this machine’s performance since it excels at almost any job you throw at it.
Here comes another Kenwood. The Kenwood kMix has many modern design flourishes, including a varispeed 1,000 watt motor, a large five-litre mixing bowl and a big speed control knob. The kMix stands taller than the KitchenAid and is only slightly less sturdy while the polished stainless steel mixing bowl is light in the hand and pretty to look at.
The kMix's motor is fairly quiet and we like the way it slowly accelerates instead of starting off at full pelt. This unit comes with just a basic set of accessories: a balloon whisk for creams and cakes, a K-beater for dry ingredients and a dough hook. For best results when whipping creamy ingredients, we would suggest buying the optional creaming beater that scrapes the side of the bowl like a spatula.
The kMix looks grand in any modern kitchen and does the job well. It's cheaper than the KitchenAid and similarly well built, but the KitchenAid stills beats it (pardon the pun) for effortless operation, simplicity and stylish design.
This monumental 1,200-watter has three main USPs: it comes with a pair of stainless steel bowls (one large, one small), an LED that bathes the contents of the bowl in a cool blue hue and an extra SoftEdgeBeater with integrated silicone-edged spatula. No question, this is an extremely attractive hunk and, being of Teutonic/Swedish origin, you can be sure it's superbly built too.
Design wise it looks somewhere between the KitchenAid's unabashed retroness and the post modern clout of the Kenwood kMix. The AEG comes with a large, well-lit, 10-speed knob on the side and the usual range of accessories (spiral dough hook, whisk, flat beater and the extra spatula beater mentioned above).
It handled a banana cake mix with aplomb, its whisky thing making light, airy work of all the ingredients. In the pantheon of smart stand mixers, the AEG Ultramix does the deed and does it well.