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5 top-rated stand mixers for all of your baking needs

Whether you’re trying your hand at desserts or baking fluffy bread, these stand mixers from KitchenAid, Breville and Cuisinart can be a useful baking tool.
Two women in kitchen with red kitchen aid and hands on a white kitchen aid
When shopping for a stand mixer, experts advised looking at price point, capacity and included attachments before investing in one.Kara Birnbaum / NBC News

Electric stand mixers can be useful for both at-home and professional bakers alike: You can whip up fluffy meringue and airy cakes, knead dough, mix cookie batter and much more. These tools can also take away a lot of the physical work of baking: While hand mixers need to be physically held while they whip the ingredients, a stand mixer does everything on its own at the simple flip of a switch.

“Where manually mixing is possible in some recipes, it is so much more thorough, easier and faster when you use a stand mixer,” said Helen Fletcher, a pastry chef who runs the blog Pastries Like a Pro. Plus, with the right attachments, you can try your hand at everything from homemade ice cream to meatballs to shredded chicken and pork.

Whether you're looking to buy a stand mixer for yourself or planning to gift one to your favorite baker, it’s no surprise that the kitchen appliance can be pricey — a good quality stand mixer can cost hundreds and even upwards of $1,000. To help you find the right fit for your cooking needs, we consulted baking experts and recipe developers about what to look for when shopping for a stand mixer and rounded up some highly rated ones they recommend.

LEARN MORE How to shop for a stand mixer


Electric stand mixers to consider

To recommend the below stand mixers, we compiled a few highly rated options from Select reader favorite brands that we’ve previously covered. Based on our experts’ guidance, each of the following stand mixers include stainless steel bowls, multiple speed settings and attachments like dough hooks, whisks and flat beaters.

KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer

If you’ve researched stand mixers in the past, you know KitchenAid is one of the most popular brands on the mixer market, and most of the experts we spoke to agreed that it’s worth the investment. The brand’s Artisan Stand Mixer — a Select staff favorite due to its durability and sleek design — is versatile and strong enough to power through large cookie dough batches and bread kneading, while the multi-speed control function gives it the ability to beat and mix as quickly or as slowly and precisely as you need, according to the brand.

The Artisan mixer features a strong motor with ten speeds ranging from slow stirring to high beating, a 5-quart stainless steel bowl that locks into place and a tilting head to help you easily remove the bowl and beaters. It also comes with multiple accessories — including a flat beater, dough hook, wire whip and pouring shield — and comes in multiple colors. If you live in a smaller space, consider getting the KitchenAid Artisan Mini, which comes with a 3.5-quart bowl. This top-rated mixer has an impressive 4.9-star average rating from more than 29,800 reviews at Williams Sonoma.

KitchenAid Professional 6-Quart Bowl Lift Stand Mixer

Another top-rated KitchenAid option, the Professional Stand Mixer is one of the larger and heavier duty options you can get and worth considering if you’re baking in large quantities. The mixer — which boasts a 4.7-star average rating from over 8,400 reviews at Bed Bath & Beyond — has a 575-watt motor (compared to the 325-watt motor of the KitchenAid Artisan Mixer) and ten speeds, along with a spacious 6-quart bowl.

The mixer has a bowl-lift configuration that involves using a lever to slowly lower and raise the bowl for greater contact between the beater and the ingredients while mixing, and it can allow you to easily add ingredients to your batter when needed, KitchenAid says. However, with more strength comes a heavier machine: This one weighs 29 pounds, the heaviest option on this list.

Breville The Bakery Chef

Breville’s The Bakery Chef comes with multiple accessories, including a double-sided scraper beater that has a flexible edge to wipe the sides and bottom of the bowl with every turn. It comes with two bowls — one 5-quart glass bowl and one 4-quart stainless steel bowl — along with a light that illuminates the inside of the bowl so you can see your mix come together. The integrated timer also automatically stops mixing when the time is reached, allowing you to focus on other tasks without constantly looking at the clock. The Bakery Chef has a 4.8-star average rating from more than 80 reviews at Breville.

Cuisinart SM-50TQ Stand Mixer

This stand mixer from Cuisinart is powerful enough to do most of what you want in a mixer — its 500-watt motor and 12 speed settings can withstand everything from heavy bread dough to a large quantity of cake batter, according to the brand. The mixer equips a 5.5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl, a splash guard to avoid messy countertops and a tilt-back head to help you better add in ingredients. It also comes with a variety of attachments, including a chef’s whisk, dough hook and flat mixing paddle. You can also purchase multiple accessories for the unit, including a pasta roller and cutter, pasta extruder, meat grinder and frozen dessert maker. It has a 4.5-star average rating from more than 30,800 reviews on Amazon and comes in six different colors.

Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer

This affordable option from Hamilton Beach comes with a smaller 4-quart mixing bowl and a less powerful, 300-watt motor compared to other mixers on this list, but it can still get the job done when mixing light-duty doughs like breads, pizza and cookies, according to the brand. It equips an upwards tilting head so you can add ingredients to the bowl and quickly change its attachments, which include a splash guard, dough hook, whisk and flat beater. The stand mixer also offers seven speeds and a guide that lets you know which speed to use for different mixing types, Hamilton Beach says. It boasts a 4.5- star average rating from more than 7,600 Amazon reviews.

How to shop for a stand mixer

Stand mixers are larger kitchen devices that typically come with a mixing bowl and several attachments used for different types of mixing, whipping and kneading. Unlike a hand mixer, a stand mixer doesn’t need to move from the counter or be monitored to do its job, so you can leave it running while doing other activities in the kitchen. “If you are considering moving from a hand mixer to a stand mixer, you will be amazed at the difference when baking with one,” Fletcher said.

When shopping for a stand mixer, experts said certain features like size, price and attachments can be crucial considerations before investing in one. “Figure out what is most important to you and your baking needs when it comes to a mixer and then look at as many brands as possible,” Fletcher added.

Size

The size and weight of a stand mixer can be important factors to consider for a few reasons: They are directly related to how much space you have in your kitchen to store it, how often you’ll be moving it around and how large your batches will be, either due to a big family or otherwise. “If you don't anticipate making large batches of things, there is no reason to spring for a large mixer,” said Michelle Lettrich, a food blogger and creator of Brown Eyed Baker.

The capacity of a stand mixer bowl can vary from 4.5 quarts to over 7 quarts. Fletcher said you should consider a stand mixer with a higher capacity if you’re making multiple loaves of bread at a time or if you usually double or triple your favorite cookie recipe. However, she added that home bakers don’t typically need a large capacity mixer — which is usually more than 5-quarts — unless they regularly double recipes. “The biggest problem with larger bowls is they don’t always mix smaller amounts [of ingredients] well,” Fletcher noted.

Bowls and attachments

Attachments can make a mixer multifunctional, allowing you to prepare a variety of dishes without needing to invest in other large kitchen tools. Experts told us some mixers include accessories like an ice cream maker, which usually equips a freeze bowl and rotating dasher, as well as a pasta maker, which cuts pasta sheets into noodles of varying thickness. Though there are plenty of attachments out there depending on the stand mixer brand you choose, our experts noted there are three standard attachments that come with most stand mixers.

Dough hook: A C-shaped — and sometimes spiral-shaped — attachment used to develop gluten that can be great for kneading bread and pizza dough.

Whisk: This attachment is used to whip and mix different types of ingredients, including eggs, frosting and butter.

Flat beater: Also called a paddle attachment, this versatile tool can be used for creaming sugar and butter or gently folding and mixing cake batter, mashed potatoes and cookie dough.

In addition to attachments, most stand mixers include either a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl. While both have a similar function, a stainless steel bowl can be a more functional option than glass because the latter “can easily shatter if dropped by accident,” noted Jessica Hylton, a photographer and home chef who runs the food blog Jessica in the Kitchen. “Stainless steel bowls are lighter, more durable and don’t break,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher suggested investing in a second bowl, whisk and paddle attachments so you don’t have to wash them in between tasks, especially if you bake frequently and in large quantities. “There is nothing more annoying than having to stop and wash a bowl and beater before being able to continue with the recipe,” she said.

Power and speed

A higher wattage means a more powerful motor, which can come in handy if you have large quantities of food or heavier dough, according to our experts. Most good quality stand mixers we looked at have wattages ranging from 250 watts to upwards of 1000 watts. If you’re planning on using a stand mixer for more heavy-duty baking projects, 500 watts or more is a powerful option for most professional bakers.

Speed settings can also be a feature worth considering: Most stand mixers come with anywhere between five and 12 settings. Different foods require varying speeds to adequately mix them, from a slow start and low mixing speed to a medium-high and high speed for faster beating or whipping.

Price

A stand mixer can be a hefty investment. Experts told us the typical home baker should stick with those in the $200 to $700 range, as commercial models costing upwards of $1,000 are typically only used for large batches in heavy-duty, professional settings. “There’s no need to grab a commercial size stand mixer if you are a home-baker who only bakes cookies,” said Katie Stymiest, a recipe developer and founder of the food blog Caked by Katie.

“If you’re on a budget, you don’t need to purchase the newest model — the older versions are still a great option,” Hylton added.

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