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In the world of personal blenders, there are many options available. But unless we’re talking about premium blenders that are also powerful enough to heat up soups, most do a satisfactory enough job of blending. When it comes to affordable personal blenders (also known as compact or mini blenders), there are two established brands that are at the top of the pack: Nutri Ninja vs NutriBullet.
Both these brands command millions of loyal followers, and are similar in build quality and function. Ultimately, while it may come down to personal preference, when deciding on a NutriBullet or Ninja there are some key differences you should know about. To find out if there is a clear winner in this head-to-head, we’ve reviewed each product in detail, but to determine which product is the best in class we also considered the intangibles.
We’ll start with a general overview of each brand, and take a looking at any unique features they may have. After that, we’ll pit them against each to compare their features, and tell you about any drawbacks you might need to know about. And finally, we’ll give our verdict on who the crowned champ is in the budget personal blender showdown.
What comes with the blender?
Fast prep time
600-watt cyclonic action motor
NutriBullet bills itself as as a “nutrient extractor”, because they see their product as more than just a blender. The company claims their blades are designed to cut through material more effectively, while cycling it through the blender.
The thinking here is that the faster the blades move, the more your fruits and veggies get cut on a cellular level. This makes the nutrients that much easier for your body to process. At least, that’s what NutriBullet’s marketing team tells us.
While we’re not experts on NutriBullet’s food science claims, it’s hard to deny their machines are sturdy little things, and do a decent job of blending up a breakfast smoothie.
The blender’s wide, chunky blades don’t shred fibrous ingredients as quickly as the Nutri Ninja’s blades, but it still provides similar results given enough time. However we found ourselves running the blender noticeably longer in order to get the same degree of smoothness.
All NutriBullet blenders are constructed from BPA-free plastic, which makes the cups and lids dishwasher-safe. That said, the plastic isn’t as durable as we’ve seen on other competitors.
WHAT WE LIKE
- Very easy to clean
- Compact (small apartment friendly)
- Cheaper than the Nutri Ninja
- Quieter blender than most
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
- Smaller motor than competition
- Requires longer blend times
- Only 1 year manufacturer warranty
Nutri Ninja Overview
What comes with the blender?
Nutri NinjaSingle-serve Blender
Pulverizes ice and frozen fruit easily
900-watt cyclonic action motor
If you’ve walked through any home goods store in the past decade, you’re likely familiar with Nutri Ninja’s full-sized blenders. They’re typically regarded as a great buy when it comes to low-priced, full-sized blending on a budget.
The Nutri Ninja personal blender is no exception, and is of equally good quality. These machines have tough, thick blades that are great for cutting ice, which is a nice feature if you’re looking to bust up some frozen fruit, or hankering for a cup of iced coffee in the morning.
Like NutriBullet, Nutri Ninja uses BPA-free plastic components. However, we found the cups that come with the Ninja to be sturdier and of better quality.
WHAT WE LIKE
- Great for blending fibrous ingredients
- Powerful motor
- Rugged construction
- Better ‘to-go’ smoothie cups
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
- Noisy when in operation
- Sometimes leaks when overfilled
- Only 1 year manufacturer warranty
To do a fair comparison, let’s first take a look at the general features that you can expect to see on both NutriBullet and Nutri Ninja blenders. After that, we’ll take a deep dive into some alternative models that each brand offers that could be more suitable for the lifestyle you lead.
In terms of the technology behind their motors, both manufacturers are more or less on par. However if we’re strictly talking raw power, the Nutri Ninja comes out on top. It has a 900 watt motor, while the NutriBullet coming in at 600 watts. In practice, that difference in power become obvious when we blended several recipes back-to-back.
The Nutri Ninja kept up without issue, but the NutriBullet motor started straining with prolonged use. We also noticed smoothies tended to be grainer with the NutriBullet vs the Nutri Ninja.
With its personal-sized container and smaller motor, the NutriBullet isn’t going to keep up with large families. That being said, considering it comes in at 300 watts lower, it still manages to do a good job of holding its own when it comes to blending small batch smoothies. And because of its smaller motor, the NutriBullet is not nearly as loud as the Nutri Ninja – a plus for apartment dwellers craving a midnight sack.
Besides the motor, the main difference between the NutriBullet and Nutri Ninja blenders lies in the blades they use.
The NutriBullet uses wide, duller blades for its approach to blending. Its design seems better geared for pulverizing food, as opposed to cutting and slicing through it. Compared to the Nutri Ninja, the blades are not as thick and even have a bit of flex to them. This, combined with the smaller motor, meant the NutriBullet is not as effective when it comes to blending ice or frozen fruit mixes.
Nutri Ninja takes the opposite approach with its blades. It uses thick, pointed blades like you see on their full-sized blenders. We found the blades were able to keep up with a variety of different ingredients, and resulted in a more consistent blend, especially when it came to frozen solids.
Nutri Ninja blade vs NutriBullet blade:
Both the NutriBullet and Nutri Ninja come with cups and/or bottles that are constructed from BPA-free plastic. Meaning you’re safe to drink directly from them, or store your beverage for extended periods without concern for toxins leaching into your food. Both brands are also dishwasher safe – although we recommend using your dishwasher’s top rack.
And if you’re worried about butter fingers, both blender cups are tough enough to withstand a drop or two, although try to moderate your expectations.
That said, the Nutri Ninja has a distinct edge in two areas: first is portability. Their cups all come with flexible, rubberized travel lids. This means you won’t need to pour your beverage into a travel container or carry your blender blades around in a cup all day. They’re also microwave safe, although the lids are not, so make sure to take the lid off before microwaving anything.
Nutri Ninja’s cups are also slimmer, which makes them easier to fit into a wider variety of cup holders. That said, the narrower base also makes them easier to tip over. You’ll appreciate NutriBullet’s wider cups if there are small children in the picture. The Nutri Ninja’s narrower base makes them a bit harder to clean, unless you have smaller hands or use a cleaning brush.
Popular NutriBullet Alternatives
Before we declare the winner of this head-to-head, it’s worth considering there are several other personal blenders on the market that may work just as well, if not better for you. It of course comes down to your lifestyle. Here are some of our top-picks for other personal blenders offered by each company.
The NutriBullet is available in several different varieties. The smallest model is the one covered in this review. If you’re from Canada or the UK, it also goes by the name of the NutriBullet Magic Bullet. It’s the best-selling model that made the company famous to begin with. But what if you’re looking for something higher up the food chain?
Beyond the original model, NutriBullet’s blenders range from 900 to 1,700 watts in power (for reference, the basic NutriBullet draws 600 watts). But power isn’t everything. Below we’ve rounded up three alternative NutriBullet models that deliver comparable results to the original without breaking the bank, all while offering some special features that may be worth considering.
Alternative #1: NutriBullet Pro
If you’re looking for more power, at 900W, the NutriBullet Pro gives you a motor upgrade, and includes a host of useful accessories that the original doesn’t, including flip-up sipping lids. And as one would expect, the upgraded model handles frozen foods a lot more efficiently. For our deeper dive review of the NutriBullet Pro, click here.
Alternative #2: NutriBullet Balance
If you’re a gadget geek, you’ll appreciate the NutriBullet Balance. It’s got to be one of our favorite smart-gadget blenders. It uses Bluetooth technology that pairs with a mobile app to allow you to set and track personal nutrition goals. When you pair the blender with your smartphone, this app allows you to select a recipe. It then tells you when to add your ingredients, as well as how much to add. It also bumps up the power specs with a beastly 1,200W motor.
All this comes at a steeper price tag, but if you’re looking for a blender with some truly unique features, it makes a compelling case.
Alternative #3: Baby Bullet
Finally, if you have a growing family, give the Magic Bullet Baby Bullet a serious look. This blender is specifically designed for making baby food, and has an adorable design on the batch bowl. After all, who doesn’t like smiley faces on things? The large bowl is sized to make six batches of food, and the kit appropriately includes six meal-sized jars. Each jar has a date dial on the lid, so you can keep track of batches if you’re preparing a lot of food over the course of a week.
Popular Nutri Ninja Alternatives
Nutri Ninja’s power bases tend to be on the large side. On the one hand, this is to be expected from a company who got its start making full-sized blenders. On the other hand, it can be a nuisance when we’re talking about space-saving, as it makes several of their models inconveniently large for storage. That said, they do offer a few personal blender alternatives that are worth considering.
Below we’ve rounded up three alternative Nutri Ninja models that also deliver excellent results, all while offering other unique benefits to consider.
Alternative #1: Ninja Fit
The fact that Ninja packed a 700W motor into the Ninja Fit’s compact housing is remarkable. If you’re looking for the goldilocks of blenders, it makes a compelling case. It’s not too big, it’s not expensive, and it has a good amount of power to deliver smooth blending results.
Alternative #2: Nutri Ninja with Auto IQ
If you’re looking for a blender that takes the guesswork out of making blending recipes, the Nutri Ninja with Auto IQ is a solid buy. It uses intelligent programming that allows the blender to automatically make adjustments on the fly, and to blend your food to the perfect desired thickness. It also gets a small power boost over the original Nutri Ninja, with a 1000W motor.
Alternative #3: Nutri Ninja with FreshVac
For individuals that are serious about meal prep or don’t have the time to whip up smoothies in the morning, there’s a nifty solution. Typically, smoothies has a limited shelf life no thanks to the oxidation that occurs during blending. The FreshVac blender comes with a pump attachment to remove all the oxygen in the blender cup prior to blending. This allows users to blend their smoothies the night before and it stays just as fresh for the next day.
NutriBullet or Ninja? Our Verdict
At the end of the day, which personal blender is the best choice for you is going to depend on what your priority is. Are you interested in the most budget-friendly option or one with more power?
If budget is your main priority, then the NutriBullet comes in at the more favorable price point. However, as far as getting the best bang for your buck, the Nutri Ninja comes out on top overall. Both blenders compete in the same value segment, and are of similar build quality, but the Nutri Ninja’s blade design and beefier motor delivered smooth, consistent blends in a shorter period of time, compared to the NutriBullet.
WINNER: Nutri Ninja
The Nutri Ninja gives you 900W of powerful performance to blend ingredients into delicious smooth results. Ninja Pro Extractor Blades break down fruits and vegetables for nutrient rich juices while crushing through ice, seeds, skins and stems for an even consistency every time. The twist-on sip & seal lids allow you to take your drinks quickly on the go.
Frequently Asked Questions
To use the NutriBullet app, you’ll need to pair your phone with your NutriBullet blender via Bluetooth. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be prompted to download the app. From there, you’ll get access to recipes, complete with instructions and the ability to control your mini blender directly from your cell phone screen.
In the basic NutriBullet, we wouldn’t recommend it, unless you also fill it partially with liquor.
In upgraded versions like the NutriBullet Pro and the NutriBullet Balance, frozen berries and pre-sliced frozen fruit will work just fine. You’ll still want to avoid loading these models up with large chunks of frozen solids, though.