The 7 Best Stand Mixers of 2022, According to Our Tests

We recommend the Breville Bakery Chef Stand Mixer for its versatility and impressive power.

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Best Standing Mixers

REAL SIMPLE / RUSSELL KILGORE

A stand mixer is a powerhouse kitchen appliance that allows you to whip up a variety of bakes with little to no effort. This convenience, though, comes with a pretty big price tag. To help you figure out which stand mixers are worth the investment, we sought out the advice of four professional bakers, including Paola Velez, pastry chef and co-founder of Bakers Against Racism, and Edan Leshnick, head pastry chef at Breads Bakery in New York City. 

Another one of the bakers we spoke to, Erin McDowell, recipe developer and cookbook author, advises consumers to research the capabilities of a stand mixer before buying. “Some mixers are developed more for bread baking, for example, while others can't handle the motor use of long mixing times for something like, say, brioche,” she says.

Anna Gordon, founder of New York City-based The Good Batch bakery, recommends choosing a stand mixer based on your long-term baking needs. “If possible, I always try to invest a little more upfront in my equipment so I don’t have to replace or upgrade sooner than later. In other words, purchase a size you can grow into,” she says. 

In addition to the advice we received from the pros, we tested 22 of the most popular stand mixers in our testing Lab. After assessing each based on ease of cleaning, design, performance, size, features, and value, our top pick is the Breville Bakery Chef Stand Mixer. This workhorse was able to effectively mix our whipped cream, cookie dough, and whole wheat dough ingredients easily. It also offered excellent features not found in other stand mixers we tested, including scrapers on the sides of the flat beaters and a light to help bakers see what’s inside their mixing bowl with greater ease.

Read on to learn more about our top picks and how to choose the right stand mixer for your baking needs.

Best Overall Stand Mixer

Breville Bakery Chef Stand Mixer

5
Breville Bakery Chef Stand Mixer

Breville 

Who it’s for: People who want a beater that has scrapers attached for easier cleanup. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a mixer with a large-capacity mixing bowl. 

This Breville model performed quite well through all the baking tests we put it through, which included making whipping cream and mixing cookie dough as well as whole wheat bread dough. Our tester described this stand mixer’s ability to whisk together heavy cream and sugar as “amazing” and called the extra features, such as the dough setting, a “game changer.” Not only that, but the beater was so effective at mixing our cookie dough ingredients that there was not a dry spot left on the bowl, which couldn’t be said for other beaters found in different stand mixers we tested.   

The latter phenomenon can be attributed to this product’s unique beaters, which feature scrapers attached to either side. This allows for a fully incorporated mix and ensures an easier cleanup. Other excellent features of this stand mixer include an integrated timer, 12 intuitive settings, including one specifically for whipping, and a light attached to the edge of the mixer, which provides greater visibility when baking. It also comes with two mixing bowls, including one 5-quart glass bowl and a 4-quart stainless steel bowl. Considering its quality and many helpful features, our testers wouldn’t hesitate to purchase this for themselves or recommend it to fellow baking friends.

Price at time of publish: $400

Product Details:

  • Attachments: Scraper beater, flat beater, dough hook, whisk
  • Wattage: 550 watts
  • Capacity: 5-quart glass bowl, 4-quart stainless steel bowl
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Speeds: 12
Breville Bakery Chef Stand Mixer

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Best Budget Stand Mixer

Aucma 6.5-QT 660W 6-Speed Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

4.2
Aucma 6.5-QT 660W 6-Speed Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want to spend less than $200 on a stand mixer.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a stand mixer for making bread.  

Finding an affordable stand mixer that also works well is no easy feat, but the Aucma Stand Mixer exceeds all expectations. Our tester told us that this lower-priced mixer “performed the same functions just as well” as other stand mixers we tested. This is especially important, considering that this stand mixer features fewer speed options (six total), meaning it can produce results to higher-priced stand mixers that have upwards of 10 speed settings. This Aucma model also comes with a 6.5-quart mixing bowl and standard attachments, including a flat beater, dough hook, and whisk.

We found that this stand mixer handles small to medium batches of bakes best. It performed great when mixing our whipped cream and cookie dough, though it came up short with mixing bread. This is where the lower price really starts to show—not only did the dough not properly knead, but the mixer shook “pretty harshly” according to our tester, and it blew out flour from the bowl while on its highest setting. The end result was a dough that was “too wet” and required a lot more kneading. Despite these drawbacks, our tester still thought it would be good for the average home cook and baker, so long as they stay away from big mixing jobs.  

Price at time of publish: $157

Product Details:

  • Attachments: Dough hook, flat beater, whisk
  • Wattage: 660 watts
  • Capacity: 6.5 quarts
  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Speeds: 6
Aucma 6.5-QT 660W 6-Speed Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Best Splurge Stand Mixer

Wolf Gourmet WGSM100S High-Performance Stand Mixer

4.2
Wolf Gourmet WGSM100S High-Performance Stand Mixer

Williams Sonoma

Who it’s for: People who don’t mind spending extra money on a professional-grade standing mixer.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t have a lot of counter space to spare.  

Passionate bakers who don’t mind spending extra money to ensure that their bakes are the best can be should consider splurging on this Wolf Gourmet stand mixer. McDowell told us that she owns this stand mixer and loves it, calling its quality “pro-level.” We found the Wolf Gourmet 7-Quart High-Performance Stand Mixer to effectively and efficiently mix not just bread dough, but also our cookie dough and whipped cream. In fact, out of all the stand mixers we tested, the Wolf Gourmet was able to mix the cookie dough the quickest (taking only 30 seconds!). 

What stands out about this stand mixer is its unique bowl storage system. Unlike other stand mixers that are tilt-head and bowl-lift in design, this Wolf Gourmet model features a deep opening at the base of the stand mixer, allowing you to easily take the bowl in and out without having to adjust other parts of the machine. It can handle 7 quarts' worth of baking ingredients and has a convenient speed dial and a splash guard attachment to minimize mess. 

Price at time of publish: $1,000

Product Details:

  • Attachments: Flat beater, dough hook, whisk
  • Wattage: 500 watts
  • Capacity: 7 quarts
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Speeds: Variable
Wolf Gourmet WGSM100S High-Performance Stand Mixer

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Best Compact Stand Mixer

Kenwood 5-Qt. Chef Kitchen Machine

4.5
Kenwood 5-Qt. Chef Kitchen Machine

William Sonoma

Who it’s for: People who are looking for a stand mixer with a powerful motor.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want a stand mixer that shakes when making bread dough.

One of the biggest drawbacks with stand mixers is that they take up so much counter space. This can be a big problem for people who have small kitchens and need to get creative with storage. The Kenwood 5-Qt. Chef Kitchen Machine is smaller than your average stand mixer, at less than 12 inches in height. (The ever-popular KitchenAid Stand Mixer, in comparison, is more than 14 inches tall.) This not only makes it easier to store under cabinets or on your countertop, but also gives you more room to lift up the part of the machine where you attach the included dough hook, whisk, and flexi beater, and the brand’s signature “K-beater.”      

In addition to its convenient smaller size, this stand mixer proved to be a kitchen workhorse. The 5-quart stainless steel bowl was big enough to handle our cookie and bread dough batches and managed to incorporate both recipes’ ingredients quite well. Our tester told us that the bread dough in particular mixed wonderfully, complimenting the elasticity and noting that additional hand-kneading wasn’t required, which can happen with some stand mixers. The one downside, however, was that the machine got louder and shook while mixing the dough.

Price at time of publish: $560

Product Details:

  • Attachments: K-beater, flexi beater, dough hook, whisk
  • Wattage: 750 watts
  • Capacity: 5 quarts
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Speeds: Variable
Kenwood 5-Qt. Chef Kitchen Machine

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Best Stand Mixer for Large Batches

KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer

4.4
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who frequently double the ingredients in their baking recipes.

Who it isn’t for: People who make bread often and don’t want to have to knead the dough more after mixing it in the stand mixer.

All of the bakers we spoke to prefer to use KitchenAid stand mixers. “They have been around for a long time and they are kind of the gold standard,” says Leshnick, and McDowell uses a KitchenAid to test recipes. “When properly taken care of, it can last forever,” she says. After testing, we can certainly attest to its famed quality. Our tester told us that the KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer performed great throughout our many tests, ranging from being able to adequately mix the ingredients of all our recipes together to ease of cleaning.

This model stands out for its large capacity, and it can hold 7 quarts of baking ingredients (many stand mixers usually hold between 4 to 6 quarts). This extra room is particularly convenient for people who work with large-batch bakes, including those who double recipes often. If you don’t fall under this category of baker, our tester assured us that its large capacity “does not take away from the ability to do small jobs either. It can work single batches and double batches with ease.”

This KitchenAid model has 10 speed settings and is a bowl-lift in design. Although there are plenty of pros with this machine, our tester said the dough hook’s performance could use some improvement. Our bread dough ended up coming out sticky, instead of the desired elastic texture, which means that it needed additional kneading by hand.

Price at time of publish: $650

 Product Details:

  • Attachments: Flat beater, dough hook, whisk
  • Wattage: 969 watts
  • Capacity: 7 quarts
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Speeds: 10
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Best Stand Mixer for Small Batches

KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

4.4
KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

Amazon

Who it’s for: Stand mixer beginners who tend to make recipes like cakes and cookies.  

Who it isn’t for: People who want a stand mixer with a high wattage.

Those who are new to the world of stand mixers may benefit from starting out with a lower-capacity stand mixer. The KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer can hold 3.5 quarts of ingredients and comes with standard attachments, including a flat beater, dough hook, and six-wire whisk. Plus, since this is a KitchenAid product, you have a bevy of fun colors to choose from, including shades of red, baby blue, and matte green.

Our tester said this Mini model was “well-constructed” and that it “performs as advertised.” The machine was able to accommodate and mix our whipped cream and cookie dough with no issues. However, the same cannot be said for our whole wheat bread dough. This can be attributed to its low wattage, which is 250 watts (a common wattage for hand mixers). Low wattage equals less power emitted, and since a lot of power is needed to knead dough, it’s not surprising that after nearly 14 minutes of mixing, we found that our bread dough was not properly kneaded. If you are a bread baker, you’re better off getting something with more power.  

Price at time of publish: $380

Product Details:

  • Attachments: Dough hook, flat beater, whisk
  • Wattage: 250 watts
  • Capacity: 3.5 quarts
  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Speeds: 10
KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Most Versatile Stand Mixer

Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Machine

4.2
Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Machine

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who make a lot of bread.  

Who it isn’t for: People who want a stand mixer that comes with more traditional attachments.     

 Our tester told us this Swedish-designed stand mixer is “able to handle large and small batches” and that it would “really work for any mixing job.” This stand mixer differs from others we tested in a variety of ways. First, it’s shorter (a little more than 14 inches tall) and lighter (19 pounds), making it a great option for people who would prefer to store their stand mixer in cabinets. Second, the motor is at the bottom of the machine, grounding the product so much that during our testing, it didn’t shake or move one bit. Third, you can use two different attachments at once. For example, you can use the dough scraper and dough roller together, which our tester said “helped to form a more natural kneading action.”  

 On top of the dough scraper and dough roller, the Ankarsrum comes with other uncommon attachments, including a double whisk attachment and double cookie beaters. You can fit 7 quarts' worth of ingredients in the mixing bowl and get 600 watts of power out of this machine. Our tester found the power quite sufficient, as it was successful in mixing our light whipped cream as well as our heavy whole wheat dough.

Price at time of publish: $1,000

 Product Details:

  • Attachments: Dough scraper, dough roller, double whisk, double cookie beaters, dough hook
  • Wattage: 600 watts
  • Capacity: 7 quarts
  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Speeds: Variable
Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Machine

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Breville Bakery Chef Stand Mixer for its ability to effectively mix a range of recipes, from light whipped cream to heavy whole wheat dough. We also loved its variety of features, including 12 speed settings, a timer, two different sized mixing bowls, the scrapers located on the beater, and the light at the top of the machine, which makes it easier to see what you’re mixing.

Our Testing Process

We tested 22 stand mixers in our Lab and assessed them on ease of cleaning, design, performance, size, features, and value. We measured the performance of these stand mixers by cooking up three recipes of varying textures, including whipped cream, cookie dough, and whole wheat bread. For each, we recorded how long it took the stand mixer to mix the ingredients, evaluated how effectively the ingredients were mixed, and noted if there were any design features that aided or hindered its ability to complete the mixing well and in a timely manner. We then noted whether the machine got hot, whether the motor got taxed while running at a high speed, and how loud it got while mixing. We also noted whether the machine shook while handling the thicker cookie and whole wheat bread doughs.

After that, we tested each product to see how easy it was to clean, including whether the bowl and attachments needed to be washed by hand or whether they could be thrown in the dishwasher. We also took noted whether the product required further disassembly to clean and whether the body of the stand mixer had nooks and crannies that made it even more difficult to wipe down. At the end of our tests, we asked our testers whether they would buy this model themselves or recommend it to family or friends. We used all of this data to come up with the best stand mixers.

testing best stand mixers

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

How to Shop for Stand Mixers Like a Pro

Capacity

Capacity is measured by how much you can put in the mixing bowl. Mixing bowl capacities can range from as little as 3.5 quarts to more than 7 quarts. The capacity you choose should be dependent on how much you bake. McDowell tells us that the biggest mistake she sees people make with stand mixers is not buying the right size for their needs. “For example, a ‘professional’ mixer with a larger capacity (7 quarts and up) might not be very helpful if you're into small-batch baking—it can actually prevent you from being able to mix small quantities effectively,” she says. “Think about trying to whip a half cup of cream in a super-large bowl versus in a smaller one—the whisk will have more contact with the cream in a small bowl, while in a large one, it may not even reach it!”

Gordon, on the other hand, believes that the bigger the capacity, the better. “A 4-quart bowl is fairly tiny, limiting you to a dozen or so cookies at once, and possibly a single cake layer depending on the cake size,” she says. “If you plan on doing a lot of baking, I’d recommend at least a 6-quart bowl.” If you aren’t able to afford a larger-capacity stand mixer but still do a lot of baking, Gordon recommends buying an extra mixing bowl or two. “An extra bowl will make it easier to accomplish more complex recipes at once, or make multiple batches without washing a ton of dishes between rounds,” she says. 

Velez tells us that some stand mixers actually allow you to use different-sized mixing bowls with their product, eliminating the need to buy a stand mixer based on capacity. Just make sure the stand mixer you’re interested in allows this before you buy. 

Attachment and Features

Every stand mixer comes with standard attachments, including a flat beater, whisk, and dough hook. Flat beaters are great for making cookies. Whisks are used for whipped cream and meringues, and dough hooks are for bread. Most bakes require just these attachments, but there are some stand mixers that come with other types of attachments that can prove helpful. They include dough rollers, dough scrapers, and cookie beaters. Although having extra attachments can be useful and fun, Leshnick recommends against spending more on a mixer if you aren’t sure whether you will use those extra attachments. “You can always get more attachments later,” he says. “Start with what you need to make what you have in mind.”

Other helpful features that often come with stand mixers are spatulas to help mix your ingredients by hand in between mixing sessions. These also help with cleaning. There are also splash guards that help prevent ingredients from flying out of the machine while mixing. Some also come with an additional mixing bowl that is different from the standard-size bowl.  

Wattage

Although wattage is often touted as an important feature to consider when buying a stand mixer, the bakers were mixed on whether it’s a surefire indicator of a stand mixer’s success. Leshnick tells us that one of the stand mixers used at Breads Bakery is 500 watts and “works beautifully.” Instead of focusing on watts, he suggests getting a commercial-grade stand mixer for strength, as these “can usually withstand more wear and tear.” 

If you’re still interested in using wattage as a decision-making factor, know that wattage in the 200 range is what you’d typically find in a hand mixer. So if you’re going to splurge on a stand mixer, which will cost several hundred dollars more, you might as well get something that starts at the 500-watt range.

person testing Best Stand Mixers

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

More Stand Mixers to Consider

Smeg Stand Mixer: We loved the retro design of the Smeg Stand Mixer as well as the pastel color options available. It was one of the easiest to clean, as the bowl and attachments are dishwasher-safe, and there was no ingredient splattering during any of our recipe testing. It did well in our tests, although our tester found that the motor has a high-pitched whine, no matter what speed it is on.

Cuisinart Precision Master 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer: We really liked the affordable price of this Cuisinart stand mixer, especially since it has features similar to higher-priced models. However, we didn’t like how the machine shook and got hot to the touch while making our cookie dough and bread dough. 

Questions You Might Ask

What are the benefits of a stand mixer in comparison to a hand mixer?

The biggest benefit of a stand mixer is that it cuts down on hand and arm fatigue. Anyone who has held a hand mixer for even just a couple minutes knows that it gets very tiring, very quickly. It’s worth it to go through this kind of workout if you only bake here and there, especially considering that the price of a hand mixer is typically hundreds of dollars less than that of a stand mixer.

Stand mixers actually mix ingredients more quickly than hand mixers do. They are also a lot easier to use for big baking jobs as well as tough baking jobs, such as kneading bread. However, because stand mixers are so expensive, they are only worth the investment if you bake regularly. 

What’s the difference between a tilt-head stand mixer and a bowl-lift stand mixer?

A tilt-head stand mixer requires you to lift the upper body of the machine up to add the ingredients and swap out the attachments. Meanwhile, with a bowl-lift stand mixer, the mixing bowl attaches to the machine and is lifted up to meet the attachments via a lever. 

According to our experts, one isn’t better than the other in terms of performance; however, some have found that the tilt-head offers slightly more in terms of convenience. Both McDowell and Velez told us that with a tilt-head, it can be easier to scrape down ingredients that have stuck to the sides of the mixing bowl. Leshnick also finds that tilt-head stand mixers make it easier to add ingredients into the bowl.

Another convenience difference between these two stand mixers is that bowl-lifts are usually bigger than tilt-lifts, so make sure you have ample counter space to store the machine before you buy one. For tilt-lifts, you also should be sure that you have enough vertical clearance for when you lift the upper half of the machine up.

person testing Best Stand Mixers

Real Simple / Russell Kilgore

What's the best way to maintain a stand mixer?

Stand mixers are considered kitchen workhorses, and when well taken care of, they can last for several years. Velez, Gordon, and Leshnick told us that one big threat to the longevity of stand mixers is overworking the motor. “The fastest way to burn out a motor is beating cold butter,” says Gordon. “The only time you should put cold butter into a mixer bowl is if you are making pie crust (pâte brisée method) or some type of dough where butter is slowly broken in,” she says. If you’re about to make something, and your butter is cold, she suggests leaving it out so it can reach room temperature, or softening it a bit in the microwave. 

Gordon also suggests starting your mixer on a lower setting, even if the recipe calls for a high setting. “You want to allow the motor a chance to build up to high gear,” she tells us. According to Velez and Leshnick, you can also overwork the motor by using too firm a batter or dough. “If the mixer struggles to mix the dough and is making weird sounds, stop and try to figure out why the dough is so stiff,” says Leshnick. To prevent that from happening altogether, Velez suggests finishing your thick dough recipe outside of the mixer. In addition to preventing the motor from overworking, this trick can prevent the machine’s gears from loosening. 

Another way to maintain your stand mixer is to clean it after use. In addition to washing the bowl and attachments (be sure to check whether they are dishwasher-safe), McDowell recommends wiping the machine down to prevent buildup of ingredients. She also suggests being mindful to keep flour or dusty ingredients from entering the main mechanism, such as the vents. And if you have a tilt-head stand mixer, she advises us to always return the tilt head to its lowered, secured position when not in use, which helps to maintain the internal machine. 

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. We researched the best stand mixers and tested 22 of the most popular options in our Lab, evaluating them on ease of cleaning, design, performance, size, features, and value. We also spoke to four professional bakers to get their advice on how to choose the best stand mixers, including Paola Velez, pastry chef and co-founder of Bakers Against Racism; Edan Leshnick, head pastry chef at Breads Bakery in New York City; Erin McDowell, recipe developer and cookbook author; and Anna Gordon, founder and chef of The Good Batch bakery.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. If that's the case, we test the product just like we test anything we buy, but we also disclose that we received it for free to be as transparent with you as possible. 

 Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

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