A stand mixer is the crowning jewel of any kitchen, and KitchenAid stand mixers have been the industry standard for over a century. They speed up tasks that would normally take a long time or effort to complete by hand, such as whipping egg whites to soft or stiff peaks, turning cream into whipped cream, churning out large batches of cookies, and kneading tough, heavy bread doughs.
For more than a decade, I’ve used a KitchenAid stand mixer on a daily basis — sometimes all day — while working in professional kitchens. I’ve had years of experience with each stand mixer in this guide: I’ve broken them, repaired them, and bought them for my own personal use, so I’m well-versed in their benefits and drawbacks.
But I didn’t rely solely on my prior experiences. For this guide, I researched eight models and put four top-selling KitchenAid stand mixers through a standard battery of tests. I used a King Arthur recipe for bagels, a stiff dough with a 10-minute mixing time; I made Compost Cookies from New York City’s Milk Bar (kitchen-sink cookies with five cups of mix-ins including chocolate chips, potato chips, and pretzels); and I put each mixer through additional tests to evaluate its capacity, mixing capability, and ease of use. More information about how I tested KitchenAid stand mixers can be found below, as well as how to shop for a KitchenAid and what to make with it.
Editor’s Pick: Top 5 Best KitchenAid Hand Mixer
What to Look for When Buying a KitchenAid Mixer
- KitchenAid mixers are classified into two types:
Tilt-head and bowl-lift. A tilt-head mixer’s motorhead pushes back to allow you to pour ingredients into the bowl and access the beater. A lever on a bowl-lift mixer raises the bowl to the beater. A tilt-head “mini” model is also available, which is lighter and more compact than a standard tilt-head mixer.
- Dimensions and capacity:
Tilt-head mixers are typically medium in size, fitting under most cabinets and having a capacity of around 5 quarts. They are, however, quite heavy, weighing in at around 26 pounds. They’re not as heavy as bowl-lift mixers, which weigh 29 to 30 pounds and have bowls that can hold up to 6 quarts. However, due to their size, they should be displayed on the counter rather than placed under a cabinet. According to KitchenAid, the tilt-head model is intended for families or individuals who plan to use mixers on a daily basis, whereas the bowl-lift model is intended for cooking for a large group or handling heavy mixtures.
- Attachments and Extras:
KitchenAid offers over ten motor attachments that are compatible with all of its stand mixers. Among these are a juicer, food processor, spiralizer, and pasta roller, to name a few. Pouring shields, pouring chutes, and covers are also available as useful accessories.
Best KitchenAid Mixer Reviews
1. Best KitchenAid Stand Mixer Overall
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The Artisan Series 5 Quart model is an excellent combination of power, size, and design. It quickly became my favorite mixer to use during testing. Because tilt-head stand mixers have a smaller base than bowl-lift stand mixers, the bowls are narrower and more cramped.
When you want to scrape down the mixing bowl, you frequently have to stop the mixer and tilt the head back. The Artisan mixer, on the other hand, had a large enough bowl that I could scrape the sides without having to adjust the head.
The bowl also has a sturdy handle for easy lifting and plenty of room for pouring in ingredients, which was especially useful when adding more than five cups of mix-ins for Compost Cookies.
While it shook a little when I was making bagel dough, it was never too loud, and I never felt like I had to babysit it for fear of it falling off the counter. To avoid overheating the mixer’s lower-powered motor, I wouldn’t make multiple batches of bagels in a row.
This model also allows for customization, with nearly 50 color options, the ability to engrave your stand mixer, or swap out the standard bowl for a patterned ceramic or glass mixing bowl.
We’ve been using this model at least once a week since it was first tested. It’s been through pierogi dough and filling, multiple babkas, and many batches of holiday cookies, and it still works (and looks) as well as it did when I first got it. We’ll keep using this model and reporting on its long-term durability.
The Artisan series mixers are extremely popular among customers. They’re big enough for home cooking and baking, but not so big that you’ll need help moving the mixer into storage if you don’t keep it on your counter. According to users, the 5-quart stainless steel bowl is large enough to hold two batches of cookies and royal icing.
There is nothing this model cannot accomplish. The motor is strong enough to knead dough or whip cream, and the front power hub can accommodate more than ten attachments. It’s also available in over 15 different colors, so you’re sure to find one you like.
Pros: Easily completes common cooking tasks, numerous customization options, and a work bowl with a handle
Cons: There isn’t enough power to make a lot of stiff or wet doughs on a regular basis.
2. Best Budget KitchenAid Stand Mixer
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If you’re a casual baker or just starting out in the kitchen, the KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer is a great place to start. It has the same metal parts as more expensive KitchenAid stand mixers, a powerful motor, and a reasonably sized work bowl. Even though it is on the small side, it can easily accommodate single batches of common recipes.
My first mixer was an earlier version of the KitchenAid Classic Plus. I used it a lot for about five years until it broke while I was kneading dough for hand-pulled noodles (a notoriously tricky dough, and one known to tax stand mixers). This problem first demonstrated to me how easily most stand mixers break and the importance of selecting a model designed for your typical usage.
For this guide, I tested a new version of this mixer, and while it happily worked through cookies, egg whites, and even hefty bagel dough without issue, it’s possible that with too much heavy use, such as making multiple batches of bagel or pizza dough back-to-back, the mixer can overheat or — in the case of my old mixer — wear down its gears. While the problem is repairable, you’ll need to see a KitchenAid repair specialist, which can be costly, so you’re better off buying a stand mixer with a wattage that meets your needs right away.
While KitchenAid stand mixers are never inexpensive, this tilt-head model provides slightly less power at a lower price. Customers have noted that, despite its 275-watt motor, this machine is quieter than other models and can still handle tough dough. This model’s soft start feature, which prevents flour from being thrown out of the bowl as it mixes, will also help keep your countertops clean.
Pros: It is relatively inexpensive, spacious but still maneuverable, and capable of handling most common tasks as well as occasional tough doughs.
Cons: The work bowl lacks a handle, and the motor is relatively low-powered, making it unsuitable for heavy use.
3. Best KitchenAid Stand Mixer for Bread
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Doughs that are stiff or heavy, such as bagel dough, pizza dough, and some noodle doughs, require a lot of power to knead properly, which can be taxing on many stand mixers. The 970 watt motor in the 7-Quart Pro-Line model allows for powerful and thorough kneading without overheating the mixer. The wider bowl-lift design also provides more stability during mixing, preventing the mixer from “walking” or shaking as much.
During a decade of working in professional kitchens, I primarily used this model. The machine is dependable, agile, simple to use, and surprisingly quiet for such a large mixer. It is capable of whipping two egg whites as well as mixing three batches of cake batter. While I haven’t tested the limits of KitchenAid’s claim that the 7-quart size can make up to 14 dozen cookies in a single batch (I love cookies, but I don’t need 14 dozen), it did make double batches of compost cookies and bagels with plenty of room to spare.
The large bowl is easy to remove from the mixer, has a large comfortable handle, and plenty of room for adding ingredients while mixing. Bakers, especially those who make bread, will appreciate its dependability — when I worked in professional kitchens, these mixers saw heavy daily use and rarely needed repairs. If you take care of this mixer, it should last you for decades.
Having said that, it’s a hefty machine and not the type of mixer you want to lug around, so it’s best for those who have plenty of counter space to devote to its large footprint.
Pros: Largest capacity of any residential model, bowl-lift design for stability when mixing, wide mixing bowl for adding ingredients, powerful motor that can handle all types of doughs, work bowl has a handle
Cons: It is heavy, takes up a lot of space, and is only available in a few colors.
4. Best KitchenAid Stand Mixer for Small Spaces
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When I moved into a 600-square-foot apartment, every square inch felt valuable. Because counter space was limited, I needed a mixer that was light enough that I didn’t mind pulling it out of a cabinet every time I wanted to bake. All of these criteria were met by the KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.
The Mini is about 25% smaller than our best overall pick, measuring just over 11 inches wide. While it may not appear to be a significant difference, the Mini is much more maneuverable, and I appreciate how easily it fits under my cabinets or on a shelf. Less surface area means less cleaning, and the Mini’s work bowl takes up no room in my sink or dishwasher.
Despite its smaller size, the Mini can easily make a single batch of cookies or biscuits. I’ve used the Mini to make muffins, pasta dough, bread dough, pizza dough, cake, frosting, and more cookies than I can count with no problems or changes to the mixing times specified in the recipes.
When I put my Mini through rigorous tests for this guide, it revealed some of its shortcomings. The work bowl barely fit all of the compost cookie mix-ins, but it began to overflow when I turned on the mixer. The bagel dough also came together well, but the mixer shook and “walked” around the counter during the long kneading time, so I had to keep an eye on it for the entire 10 minutes it was mixing.
However, if space is your primary concern or you only bake on occasion, the Mini is a great option for an unobtrusive machine that can do almost everything a full-size mixer can do.
Pros: Ideal for small kitchens, easy to maneuver, makes single batches of most recipes well, ideal for occasional bakers, a good size for children, work bowl has a handle
Cons: Too small for double batches, and shakes a lot when running at high speeds.
5. Best Design: KitchenAid Queen of Hearts Stand Mixer
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If you’re looking for a mixer that stands out, this limited edition Queen of Hearts mixer in passion red might be a good option. The trim band is embellished with tiny red hearts, and the custom power hub cover honors KitchenAid’s 100th anniversary. According to several reviewers, this mixer is an attractive addition to their kitchen and operates relatively quietly. However, some users have reported that when mixing large batches, the beater becomes a little loose.
A 5-quart polished stainless steel mixing bowl with a handle is included with the mixer. There are 14 different attachments available for purchase separately, allowing you to roll out pasta to the perfect thickness, make ice cream, and grind meat.
- Eye-catching color
- Easy to use
- Operates smoothly and quietly
- Beater may become loose when mixing large batches
6. Best for Big Batches: KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Quart Mixer
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This bowl-lift mixer has the largest capacity for home use. It’s the ideal addition to any kitchen that’s whipping up large batches, with an attractive stainless steel design, a 1.3-horsepower motor, and a bowl that holds up to 16 cups of flour.
Most reviewers who bake on a regular basis laud this workhorse of a mixer. It is, however, heavy to move in and out of storage, weighing 32 pounds, so it is best to find a permanent spot for it in your kitchen. To use with the mixer, you’ll receive a dough hook, a flat beater, a wire whip, and a pouring shield.
- Powerful motor
- Large capacity
- Attractive design
- Very heavy
7. Best Professional: KitchenAid NSF Certified Commercial Series 8-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
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Buying a mixer for a commercial kitchen? Then this commercial-grade KitchenAid mixer is ideal for you. This bowl-lift mixer is NSF-approved1.
and comes with an 8-quart brushed stainless steel mixing bowl. Its 1.3-horsepower motor provides more than enough power for large or small batches, and it does not overheat.
Several reviewers also say it’s quieter than previous KitchenAid models they’ve owned. You can get it with or without a metal bowl guard, which keeps extra ingredients from being added while the mixer is running.
- Powerful motor
- Bowl may be difficult to snap on and off
Our KitchenAid Stand Mixer Testing Procedure
- Size, capacity, and ease of use: I weighed and measured all of the stand mixers, comparing the stated versus functional capacity (measured from the bottom of the work bowl to the top of the mixing attachment) of each work bowl. I moved the mixers around and noticed how easy they were to move and handle.
- Power: We consulted the company to learn the wattage of each motor. Residential stand mixers range in power from 250 to 970 watts, and mixers with higher wattage motors can more easily mix heavy, wet doughs.
- Whipping: In each mixer, I whipped two egg whites to stiff peaks to test the mixers’ control during the gradual ramping up of speed. It also put the larger mixers to the test in terms of their ability to function properly even with a small amount of ingredients.
- Creaming: I used each stand mixer to make Milk Bar compost cookies with over 5 cups of mix-ins. This not only put the mixers through their paces, but also their ability to operate at different speeds — high for creaming butter and sugar, and low for incorporating delicate mix-ins like chips and pretzels without breaking them.
- Kneading: Each mixer was used to make a batch of King Arthur bagels, which required a stiff dough and a 10-minute mixing time. I took notes if any of the mixers shook, walked, struggled, or made too much noise during this difficult task.
- Durability: How a stand mixer performs over time is the true litmus test. While I included information based on my own experience working with these models for nearly a decade, I will continue to use the stand mixers in this guide and report back on any durability issues.
How To Choose A KitchenAid Stand Mixer
KitchenAid produces a dizzying array of models. Here are some things to think about to help you narrow down your options.
- Wattage: The higher the motor’s wattage, the more powerful the mixer. Higher-wattage mixers, such as the KitchenAid Pro’s 970 watt motor, glide through tough doughs and don’t overheat easily. If you bake at least once a week or frequently make heavy, wet doughs like pizza or bread dough, a larger, more expensive model with a high wattage motor built for power and durability will benefit you. If, on the other hand, you only use your stand mixer once a year to make holiday cookies, you don’t need the Cadillac of KitchenAids. Occasional bakers will do fine with 250 or 275-watt models, such as the Artisan Mini or the Classic Plus. Lower wattage models can also handle the occasional difficult task, such as kneading bagel dough once a year. Keep in mind that tough kitchen tasks can be hard on the gears of smaller machines, so if you’re making a hard dough in a lower wattage model, give it time to cool down between uses.
- Capacity: A KitchenAid mixer’s advertised capacity is not its actual capacity. The capacity stated or advertised refers to how much the work bowl can hold when completely full. If you tried to use a mixer at full capacity, you would not only have a huge mess on your hands, but it would also be ineffective because the ingredients would completely cover the mixing attachment. The functional capacity is measured from the bottom of the bowl to the top of the mixing attachment and is usually 1 to 1.5 quarts less than the stated capacity. One quart is roughly the size of a large deli container, so if your recipe consistently yields enough dough to fill four or five of those, choose a mixer with a larger stated capacity of 6 or 7 quarts. If you make a lot of bread, it’s also a good idea to buy a mixer with a larger capacity because the mixer requires a fair amount of clearance to effectively knead the dough.
- Storage and maneuverability: The larger the capacity and more powerful the mixer, the heavier and larger the mixer will be. In our guide, the largest KitchenAid mixers can weigh nearly 30 pounds. Unless you’re comfortable lifting a large appliance on a regular basis, you’ll need to consider a small mixer or have dedicated counter space. Larger mixers take up roughly half the width of a standard size counter and may not fit easily under your cabinet overhang. Consider a smaller, less expensive mixer if space is limited.
- Colors and customization: For some people, the color is the most important consideration when purchasing a KitchenAid. If a bright color is important to you, choose a mixer from KitchenAid’s Artisan series. Both our best mixer for small spaces and best overall pick are Artisan mixers, which come in up to 47 different colors. Our top pick also provides additional customization with interchangeable decorative work bowls in a variety of patterns and materials. The Classic and Pro Line series have a much more limited color palette, with only red and a few neutrals available.
Why Should You Buy A KitchenAid Stand Mixer?
While there are other stand mixer brands available, such as Breville, Sunbeam, Oster, and Bosch, none are as well-known or revered as the KitchenAid stand mixer. Some people consider purchasing a KitchenAid stand mixer to be a life milestone, and according to The Knot, the most-wanted product on wedding registries in 2019 was a KitchenAid stand mixer. Julia Child’s KitchenAid mixer is even on display at the Smithsonian Institution. But what distinguishes KitchenAid stand mixers?
KitchenAid stand mixers have been on the market for over a century. According to KitchenAid, the brand was named after an executive’s wife referred to the first home model stand mixer as “the best kitchen aid I’ve ever had” in 1919. Since then, the name KitchenAid has become synonymous with stand mixers. While there are a number of excellent stand mixers available from other manufacturers, KitchenAid stands out in a number of ways.
Durability: In my seven years of reviewing kitchen products, I’ve tried almost every brand of stand mixer on the market, and KitchenAid mixers are the only ones that use an almost all-metal construction. Other brands save money by incorporating plastic into the design, whether it’s in the mixer’s body, knobs and dials, mixing attachments, or even the gears. Mixers made of a lot of plastic are usually lighter and less expensive, but they are also much less durable. Because of their sturdy metal components, KitchenAid mixers can last for decades. While the higher quality construction comes at a cost — KitchenAid mixers are among the most expensive on the market — the durability makes them an excellent investment. Even the most basic KitchenAid mixer has a sturdy construction and a powerful motor, and it will last for decades if properly cared for. In addition, there is a large network of authorized KitchenAid repair technicians who can fix your stand mixer if something breaks.
KitchenAid mixers are much heavier than most other brands due to their all-metal construction. While they can be cumbersome to transport, the extra weight provides an important benefit: greater stability when mixing. Lighter machines have a tendency to shake or “walk” off counters. The weight of KitchenAid mixers helps them stay in place.
A mixer for everyone: Many stand mixer manufacturers only make one or two models. KitchenAid manufactures nearly a dozen models with varying capacities, power, and price points. This enables you to select a model that meets your requirements and excels at the tasks you perform the most frequently.
Attachments: KitchenAid is the only brand that offers a diverse range of attachments to enhance the versatility of its stand mixers. These attachments can transform your KitchenAid into a food processor, meat grinder, ice cream maker, spiralizer, pasta machine, and more, obviating the need to purchase separate appliances that are frequently larger and more expensive.
Colors: It’s undeniable that one of the major selling points of a KitchenAid mixer is the sheer variety of colors available. KitchenAid offers its mixers in a whopping 47 different colors — no other brand even comes close. While choosing an appliance based on color may appear silly to some customers, the ability to select a color that matches your personality or decor is one of the reasons people are drawn to KitchenAid mixers.
What Sets KitchenAid Mixers Apart?
Because they are, these mixers have a heavy-duty feel to them. The units’ weight is due to zinc castings, metal gears, and a motor. The mixer’s planetary action is powered by a small but powerful motor. This motion is achieved by spinning both the mixer housing and the paddle at the same time, ensuring that no part of the bowl is missed.
The trademark colorways of KitchenAid have made these products even more desirable, allowing them to fit into any kitchen color scheme. Not to mention all of the fantastic attachments that are universal across all models, ranging from a pasta maker to an ice cream maker. Uncommon knowledge: Because of its universal attachment design, the attachments from the first machines still fit into new devices. Check out this video to learn more about the history and production of a KitchenAid. Every KitchenAid mixer comes with a 10-speed switch, a mixing paddle, a whisk, and a dough hook as standard.
Here are the mixers available from Kitchenaid. Each mixer series’ essential functions are broken down. The availability of accessories, bowl size, and color varies from series to series. Whatever your mixing requirements are, this iconic brand has a stand mixer to meet them.
What is the best way to clean a KitchenAid mixer?
Check that the mixer is unplugged. Hand-wash all attachments and the mixing bowl in hot, soapy water. Dry thoroughly and store for future use. Wipe the stand mixer down with a damp sponge and a gentle cleanser. Enter all nooks and crannies where food debris can hide, but be cautious around knobs and levers.
If you have stubborn, stuck-on debris, make a paste out of water and baking soda. For difficult-to-clean coils and threads, a toothbrush or cotton swab can be useful. The attachment hub unscrews, allowing you to remove any splatters that may have crept in. Flour and sugar can accumulate in the ventilation shaft, so use a hand vacuum or paper towel to dust it.
After you’ve cleaned and dried all of the surfaces, lock the head in place and turn the mixer on its side to clean underneath. A damp sponge dipped in a mild cleanser or even a paper towel should suffice. Before storing the mixer, make sure everything is completely dry. If the stainless steel bowl has water spots or fingerprints, use a stainless steel cleaner or a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend to clean it.
How often should the Grease in a KitchenAid mixer be changed?
Consider it like the grease on your bicycle’s bearings. You want to make sure there’s enough grease to keep everything moving. Most mixers should be greased once a year, depending on how much they are used. To complete this task, you’ll need a putty knife, flat-head and Phillips screwdrivers, and food-grade grease (view at Amazon). A container to store your screws and newspaper to cover your work surface and minimize mess are two other items you may need in your arsenal.
Once you’ve assembled the tools, follow these steps to change the grease in your mixer, or schedule an appointment with a professional small appliance repair shop to have it done for you.
- Remove the screws on the back cover as well as the screws that hold the metal band in place.
- Remove the screws from the planetary (the part that mixes ingredients)
- Take the planetary off by removing the planetary pin.
- Remove all visible screws.
- Remove the mixer’s lid to reveal the inner workings.
- Using a putty knife, remove old grease from the gears.
- Remove the screws from the gear tower and remove it.
- Clean everything, then reassemble the inner parts in reverse order.
- Replace the grease on all gears, the surrounding area, the inside cover, and any moving parts.
- Reassemble everything using the original screws.
FAQs About The KitchenAid Stand Mixer
What kind of warranty do KitchenAid stand mixers come with?
Almost all KitchenAid stand mixers come with a one-year warranty, though an extended service plan can be purchased for an additional three years of coverage.
What should I do if my KitchenAid stand mixer malfunctions?
When a KitchenAid stand mixer breaks down, it is usually repairable. The machines are designed in such a way that inexpensive gears fail before the mixer’s core; often, a repair is as simple as replacing a gear. If your stand mixer is still under warranty, contact KitchenAid to request a replacement.
However, if you’re out of warranty, don’t expect much from KitchenAid customer service. While there are numerous KitchenAid repair videos available online, a paid repair from the KitchenAid factory or a visit to a reputable appliance repair service will yield the best results. Keep in mind that attempting to repair your stand mixer on your own may void your remaining warranty.
Is my KitchenAid stand mixer going to last a lifetime?
It is possible with proper care! Remember that technology evolves, so there’s no guarantee that a small appliance like a KitchenAid stand mixer will always be compatible with modern home wiring or safety standards. (Your grandmother’s toaster or microwave may still work, but it may not be safe.) While your stand mixer may not become a family heirloom, it should serve you well for many years.
How should I operate my KitchenAid stand mixer?
I’d start with a tried-and-true recipe for something you eat frequently, such as cookies or bread. A well-written recipe should guide you through when to add ingredients, what speed to use, and even when to scrape down the bowl once you’ve decided what you want to make. Cookbooks and food magazines typically contain well-tested and thoroughly written recipes. “Pastry Love,” “Black Girl Baking,” “Bravetart,” “Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book,” “The New Way to Cake,” and “The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook” are all good places to start.
It’s also a good idea to follow best practices, such as not overloading the mixer or adding too many ingredients at once, and gradually increasing the speed to avoid kitchen messes. Use your stand mixer only on a stable countertop or table, and never leave it running unattended.
Can I substitute an electric hand mixer for a stand mixer?
Electric hand mixers are best for light batters or frostings that require a lot of air and don’t require a lot of mixing to bring the ingredients together. You are still in charge of moving the mixer around the bowl while the electric mixer is spinning the whisks. This is significantly less efficient than a stand mixer, where the whisk rotates while also moving in a circular motion around the work bowl. Electric hand mixers are also unsuitable for heavy doughs or recipes with a wide range of textures, as these tend to get caught in the smaller tines of the beaters. While an electric hand mixer is a quick way to make brownies or frosting, stand mixers are far more versatile.
Why Should You Believe Us?
“Make Ahead Bread,” by Donna Currie, is a cookbook. She also reviews kitchen gadgets and other products for The Kitchen Aiding, so she knows a thing or two about stand mixers. She has personally tested three stand mixers for our website, including one KitchenAid mixer.
Sharon Pollard, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who happily makes room for any gadget that makes cooking faster and easier, updated this roundup. She specializes in testing and reviewing small kitchen appliances for The Kitchen Aiding. Carrie Honaker, a restaurateur and avid home cook who understands the importance of finding the right tool for the right job, provided additional updates. Her KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer is her favorite because of its durability and functionality. The vibrant mango color also looks nice on the counter.