Here's How to Choose the Right Type of Juicer for You
The right type of juicer depends on what you’re aiming to squeeze out of your fruits and vegetables.
The best juicers are ones that match your juicing needs. Whether you’re a hardcore juicer who presses fruits and vegetables morning, noon, and night, or you’re one who only occasionally wants a thirst-quenching sip of celery juice after an intense workout, getting the juicer that fits your space, your needs, and your preferences will help you get the most from your budget.
Before you make an investment in your first (or even next) juicer, read more about the three main types of juicers. Though individual machines may have special features or unique attributes, their basic functions will come down to one of these three: centrifugal, masticating, or triturating. These juicers vary in how they extract juice, how quickly they work, how high the quality of juice is, and even how loud they are.
The right juicer for you may depend on the type of investment you’re willing to make, too. Juicing can be expensive, as can juicers. Expensive juicers are an up-front investment, but many of them are designed to extract the most juice from your produce possible. That ultimately saves you money and reduces food waste. Less expensive juicers may not cost as much right from the pocket, but they may not produce a high juice yield. In the end, you’ll need more fruit to get the amount of juice you want.
Read on to find out about the three main types of juicers, their pros and cons, and which features are worth seeking out if you’re ready to buy a juicer. Then, head over to our buying guide to see our picks for the best juicers.
Types of Juicers
Centrifugal juicers grind up produce with tiny teeth on a rapidly spinning basket. The juice is then forced through a fine mesh sieve. This method works quickly but tends to produce a lot of foam, which some find unappealing or feel causes oxidization of their juice. Centrifugal juicers work best for juicing carrots, apples, and other hard fruits and vegetables, versus high-fiber leafy greens like wheatgrass and kale. Most centrifugal juicers are light, easy to set up and use, and easy to clean with removable dishwasher-safe parts. These juicers are speedy but tend to be loud (which could be an issue if you’re juicing early in the morning while people are sleeping). Centrifugal juicers are typically the most affordable and great for those just getting into juicing; quality models start at $50.
Masticating juicers mimic “chewing” fruits and vegetables, using augers with sharp metal teeth. They then press the maximum amount of juice from the pulp, which results in high yields and very little foaming or oxidization. This slow juicer technique allows for easy juicing of leafy greens, such as wheatgrass, spinach, and kale. Also known as “cold-press” juicers, masticating juicers take more time to produce juice but don’t heat it up. That is thought to preserve more nutrients in the final juice. These juicers tend to be quieter and operate at a low hum. Their stronger motors come at a higher cost but enable additional features like making nut butters, baby food, sorbets, and even pasta. Masticating juicers cost upwards of $200 and are more of an investment for the serious juicer.
If you can’t get through a day without your glass of fresh juice, the best juicer for you may be a triturating juicer. These juicers use rotating twin gears to crush and then grind produce into very small, very fine particles. The gears then push the most juice out of the food bits, leaving behind very dry pulp and high-quality juice. This type of juicer is particularly great with hearty vegetables and leafy greens, but it can also get a great deal of juice out of soft fruits, too. Like the masticating juicer, a triturating juicer is much quieter than a centrifugal juicer, but the grader off here might be the large footprint. Most of these machines are horizontal juicers, which means they need more space on your countertop or in your pantry. As a trade-off, many of these juicers are also capable of several other great culinary tasks, from grinding seeds and nuts to chopping veggies. If this sounds like the right juicer for you, be prepared to make an investment. Most models start around $400, and they can easily cost several thousand dollars.
What to Look for in a Juicer
Yield/Type of Produce
When deciding which type of juicer is for you, the first thing you’ll need to think about is what kinds of juice you’d like to make most often. Look for a juicer with high yields for the produce you’ll be juicing. Masticating juicers work best for leafy greens, producing high amounts of dry pulp, which mean less juice waste and lower cost in the long term. If you’ll only be juicing fruits and hard vegetables, a high-quality, less expensive centrifugal juicer may be your best bet.
Size and Storage
Another important consideration is where you plan to store your juicer and how easily you’ll want to access it. While horizontal masticating juicers can churn out high volumes of juice, you may not have space for them. They tend to weigh more and be difficult to move from closet to counter. On the other hand, the small footprint of vertical juicers is ideal for smaller kitchens with limited counter space; they often easily tuck under cabinets. Lightweight centrifugal models are perfect if you need to move your juicer from storage space to counter. Just make sure whatever model you pick can handle the volume of juice you plan to make: smaller juicers equal smaller amounts of juice per batch.
Speed and Noise
Make sure your juicer suits your lifestyle in terms of how quickly and how loudly they work. Masticating juicers are much quieter than centrifugal juicers, so household members should remain undisturbed while you get your juice on. If you need to make your juice fresh and fast in the morning, speed may be a concern, however. Masticating juicers are slower, but some centrifugal juicers can juice an apple in just 30 seconds. Juicer models with multiple speeds are helpful because they extract the most juice out of your produce. Slow juicer speeds are great for juicing soft fruits, like grapes and strawberries, while high speeds are better for firmer items like apples and carrots.
Ease of Use/Cleanup
Juicers that are simple to set up, use, take apart, and clean will get used more often. Complicated juicers may be relegated to the bottom of a closet in a jiffy. However, if you want a multifunction juicer that also makes nut butter, sorbets, or baby food, it may be worth some extra assembly. Juicers with large feed tubes significantly reduce produce prep time and also the time it takes to feed it into the machine. Juicers with external pulp containers allow you to continue juicing in bulk without pausing to remove pulp. Juicer cleaning can be daunting so seek models with specialized brushes that make cleaning easier, and dishwasher friendly is always a bonus.
Juicers vary wildly in price, starting as low as $50 and going up to $1000 for high-end models. Generally, the more you pay, the higher the juice yield and the lower and drier the pulp. How much you’re willing to invest will depend on how often you plan to juice and what type of produce you want to juice. It’s important to consider the price of juicing over time on top of the cost of the juicer itself. Juicers that produce lower yields mean you'll be spending a lot more on fruits and veggies. Expensive juicers also often come with a lengthy warranty to ensure years of quality juicing.