If you think stand mixers are unitaskers, think again. They go way beyond just making cookies. For several models, you can buy attachments that can shred, juice, grate, grind, or even make pasta or ice cream. Other stand mixers, however, are designed to just be mixers, or they have a limited number of attachments. And when you do want to make cookies, they save you time and won't tire your arm muscles. Plus, most stand mixers employ planetary action when mixing, where the whisk, paddle, or... dough hook spins at the same time it travels around the bowl for more thorough mixing.
While you can find stand mixers in a wide variety of capacities, keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better. A giant mixer with a big bowl might be able to knead triple or quadruple batches of dough, but it won’t work as well when you want to make small batches of food. On the other hand, a small mixer might strain at mixing the dough for two loaves of bread. A bigger bowl size is great for larger quantities, but you also need a strong motor for mixing or kneading dense doughs. Look for a mixer that can handle both the size and the type of foods you’ll be mixing. Here are seven of our favorites to start your search.
01 of 07
Not too big, not to small, this 10-speed mixer can knead a double batch of cookie dough and mix small amounts just as easily. It might not have all the integrated bells and whistles (timers, automatic shutoff, etc.) of some of our other picks, but what the KitchenAid lacks in technology it makes up for in attachments and market ubiquity. When someone says they have a stand mixer, they're most likely talking about a KitchenAid, and probably even this model.
There are at least 15 different... attachments for this machine, including a grater, grain mill, juicer, pasta maker, spiralizer, ravioli press, and ice cream maker, and more. (Although keep in mind they are all sold separately). Since the brand is so popular, besides official KitchenAid-branded attachments there are third-party attachments and accessories available also.
You can get this mixer in a wide variety of colors to match or accent your kitchen décor, and the tilt-head makes it easy to switch from paddle to dough hook, add ingredients, or scrape the bowl. This mixer has a 5-quart bowl and comes with a flat beater, a dough hook, wire whisk, and a pouring shield.
02 of 07
This stand mixer has the functions you need at a price that’s more affordable than the high-end models. It also has one extra — instead of a single dough hook, it has double dough hooks, so it can handle your bread dough with ease.
This has six speeds, a 5-quart bowl, and it comes with the two dough hooks, a whisk attachment, a beater attachment and a splash guard. The bowl has a handle that makes it easy to attach and remove and easy to empty.
The tilt-head design makes it easy to access the... bowl, while suction cup feet make sure the mixer stays in place on the counter. The bowl and wire whip are dishwasher safe, but other attachments should be washed by hand. While this can do pretty much everything a more expensive mixer can, it’s a bit louder in operation.
03 of 07
This mixer has 12 speeds and a 10-minute timer with an auto-off function and load-sensing technology that protects the motor. A pause function temporarily stops the mixer and pauses the timer as well. Rather than a flat metal paddle, this mixer comes with a scraper beater that scrapes the bottom and sides of the bowl, so there’s no need to stop the mixer to make sure everything is completely mixed.
Speeds are controlled with a dial, while an LED strip indicates which speed is selected. Another... LED display shows the timer. The tilt head locks in place and there are handles to make it easier to lift and transport the mixer. The cord stores in the base.
This mixer comes with a scraper paddle, wire whip, dough hook, and pouring shield. It’s available in three colors.
04 of 07
This has the same planetary mixing action as popular high-end mixers, at a budget price, so your cake batters will be smooth and your whipped cream will be fluffy. There are six speeds, plus a special fold setting for gentle mixing.
The 3 1/2 quart bowl is large enough for most baking needs, and non-slip feet keep the machine stable as it works. The mixer head tilts up for easy access to the bowl and locks down in use, so it won’t bounce when mixing thick batters and doughs.
This mixer is powered... by a 300-watt motor and includes a splash guard, dough hook, whisk and flat beater for versatility. The mixing bowl and attachments are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
This giant stand mixer is designed for commercial use, but it’s still feasible for home use for those who often cook or bake large quantities for the family, freezer, or big gatherings. It can hold up to 14 cups of flour, and the motor is the most powerful and quietest in the KitchenAid line, so it can knead tough doughs without overheating. It has 10 speeds, from a slow mix to a speedy whip, with the traditional KitchenAid slide control.
This model has a bowl-lift design, which means the bowl... moves up and down while the mixer head, which contains the motor, remains in place. Although this is a commercial machine, the attachment hub can be used to power all of KitchenAid’s standard attachments. It comes in a smaller color range compared to the Artisan line, but anyone who opts for this model is probably more focused on size and power than perfectly matching their mixer to their wall paint.
It includes a wire whip, flat beater, and spiral dough hook, all made from stainless steel, so they’re dishwasher safe.
06 of 07
While Sunbeam isn’t the first name you’d think when someone mentions stand mixers the company has been making them for a long time, and this machine has features that more well-known brands don’t include. It has 12 variable speeds so you can do a soft start to minimize splashing. The bowl is offset instead of centered, so it’s easier to add ingredients while mixing—no need to tilt the head up to pour ingredients into the bowl. The mixer has two beaters that spin independently, and the bowl also... spins, for three different mixing actions.
This bundle includes two bowls, so you can work with two different batches or recipes without washing a bowl in between, or you can choose which bowl to use based on the amount you need to mix—the bowls are 4.6 quarts and 2.2 quarts. It includes chrome beaters, dough hooks and whisks and is available three different colors to match your kitchen decor.
While this machine is capable or kneading bread dough or thick cookie dough, it’s not as powerful as more expensive models and could struggle with some recipes.
07 of 07
This small mixer from KitchenAid is 25 percent lighter and has a 20 percent smaller footprint than the company’s classic mixer, but the 250-watt motor and hob attachment mean that it’s compatible with attachments like the pasta roller, grater, spiralizer, and more. The beaters and bowls are not interchangeable with other models, however.
The tilt-head design makes it easy to access the bowl or change beaters, and the head locks in place to make sure the beaters keep in close contact with the bowl... for even mixing. It has 10 mixing speeds.
This has a 3 1/2 quart bowl, so it won’t hold as much as the full-size models, but it’s fine for dozens of cookies at a time. This includes a coated flat beater, coated dough hook, and wire whip and comes in 10 different colors.
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