Stand mixers can vary in price, from modestly designed models that get the basics right, to sophisticated and specialist pieces of kit, so choosing the right one for you can be a bit of a minefield. We’ve detailed all the things you should consider before buying a stand mixer and share our tried-and-tested top picks for a range of different cooks and their needs.
For baking inspiration, head over to our easy baking recipes collection. On our recipes page you’ll find all manner of delicious bakes, from easy sweet traybakes, easy cakes, the best cheesecake recipes, easy bread recipes and much more. Just getting into baking? Our best tart tins 24 best baking tips are a must read and, for your favourite baker (or even yourself), our best baking gifts guide is full of ideas.
Best stand mixers at a glance
Best smart stand mixer: Kenwood Titanium Chef Patissier XL, £559
Best stand mixer for bakers: Ankarsrum Assistent Original food mixer, £649
Best mid-range Kenwood stand mixer: Kenwood Titanium Chef Baker XL, £392
Best hybrid stand mixer and food processor: Bosch CreationLine MUM5XW10, £373.98
Best stand mixer for stylish kitchens: KitchenAid Artisan, £499
Best stand mixer for sweet bakes: Sage the Bakery Boss, £415
Best entry-level Kenwood stand mixer: Kenwood kMix, £257
Most user-friendly stand mixer: Kenwood Chef Baker, £337.99
Best colourful stand mixer: Smeg stand mixer SMF03, £449
Best basic stand mixer: KitchenAid Classic, £349
Best affordable stand mixer: Cuisinart Precision stand mixer, £247
Best stand mixer for small spaces: KitchenAid Mini, £349
What can a stand mixer be used for?
The original stand mixers were designed simply to assist as egg beaters. But through constant innovation and various redesigns most modern stand mixers now come with three attachments for beating, whisking and kneading. There are countless sweet and savoury dishes to create using any of these attachments. Use the beater to make cakes, pastry, cookies, and icing – it can even be used to mash potatoes. The balloon whisk is ideal for aerating egg whites for meringue, whipping cream and making whisked sponges such as genoise. The dough hook can be used for all manner of bread doughs – it tackles high hydration pizza dough, classic bread doughs, enriched doughs and pasta, plus much more.
Many stand mixer brands also offer a range of additional attachments to ensure you get the most out of your mixer. These can include food processor attachments, pasta and cookie presses, sausage stuffers, vegetable cutters and more.
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What to look out for when choosing a stand mixer
- Design: both aesthetics and the added design features of a stand mixer should factor into your decision making. If you’re planning on keeping your stand mixer on the kitchen counter, mixers that are available in a range of colours are a great opportunity to either add a pop of colour to your space or to tie it all together.
- Size: stand mixers range in size from mini models to hulking XL machines. Consider the space you have in the kitchen, not forgetting the height. Don’t forget, there will need to be a good amount of clearance space above the mixer for when the tilt head is fully extended.
- Capacity: familiarise yourself with the bowl capacity of the mixer you’re interested in – 3-4 litres is great for smaller bakes, 4-6 litres is the most common size, making it great for all bakes, whilst 6 litres+ is ideal for large bakes and batch cooking. Some stand mixers come with two bowl sizes, which is also useful.
- Weight: stand mixers need to be a little weighty to ensure they stay anchored to the worksurface when kneading heavy doughs or mixing at full speed. If you’re unable to keep your stand mixer on the kitchen counter, consider getting a lighter model but don’t go so light that it is a flimsy construction.
- Versatility: most stand mixers come with attachments for beating, whisking and kneading as standard. But many brands offer additional attachments for a variety of tasks, such as pasta making, sausage making, ice cream making and much more. If you’re looking to make the most of your new stand mixer, the option for additional bits of kit is a big plus. Some stand mixers have additional in-built features, too: do you need in-built scales, a timer or even bowl-warming technologies?
- Price: consider how much money you have to spend on a new stand mixer. They can range in price from around £200 up to £800. Weigh up the additions to work out whether they’re worth it for you, for the price.
Top tip: if your stand mixer doesn’t come with a storage bag for the attachments, line the bowl with a clean tea towel and store the attachments inside. This keeps all the attachments together and the tea towel stops them from scratching the bowl.
Best stand mixers to buy in 2022
Kenwood Titanium Chef Patissier XL, £559
Best smart stand mixer
Kenwood is one of the biggest names in the world of stand mixers and the Chef Patissier XL is its most advanced model.
This stand mixer is packed to the rafters with useful additions. The Patissier XL comes with two bowls (5L and 7L), integrated scales, an EasyWarm bowl and a touchscreen control panel with presets for a range of key baking dishes.
This model methodically and skilfully worked through all tests, producing high-quality and, most importantly, delicious results.
Don’t be intimidated by all the high-tech features, the Patissier XL is simply a joy to use. But it’s worth bearing in mind that these extra features come at a high cost, so this model is best suited to those who actually need them.
Read the full Kenwood Titanium Chef Patissier XL review
Ankarsrum Assistent Original Food Mixer, £649
Best stand mixer for bakers
This stand mixer stole our hearts. It stands out on this list for shunning the traditional stand mixer silhouette. But the differences don’t stop there. Rather than featuring a planetary mixing mechanism, the bowl rotates on the Ankarsrum.
Watching the Ankarsrum work is mesmerising, particularly when it comes to bread. It kneads dough with delicacy and respect, and, once baked, our cardamom buns were the most professional-quality of all the buns produced by the models on this list. Cake mixes will need to be helped a little, as the beaters alone weren’t able to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
But the Ankarsrum Assistent is well worth the investment and is clearly built to last. A must-have for bread bakers.
Read the full Ankarsrum Assistent Original Food Mixer review
Kenwood Titanium Chef Baker XL, £392
Best mid-range Kenwood stand mixer
If you’re enchanted by the additions on the Titanium Chef Patissier XL but have no real need for bowl warming or a touchscreen control panel, the Chef Baker XL is a fabulous alternative. It features the same in-built scales and comes with two bowls, ideal for batch baking.
Design-wise, the Chef range is very similar and therefore simple to use. The mixer accelerates at a gentle and considered pace, reaching high speeds thanks to the powerful 1,400-watt motor. The Chef Baker XL helped us achieve fantastic results across all cake making, whisking and dough kneading tasks, and comes at a brilliant price.
Read the full Kenwood Titanium Chef Baker XL review
Bosch CreationLine MUM5XW10, £373.98
Best hybrid stand mixer and food processor
This unique offering from Bosch is a hybrid machine: a two-in-one stand mixer and food processor. Included are the three standard stand mixer attachments, as well as grating and slicing discs. This model sits landscape on the counter and has a useful digital display.
In use the attachments rotate rhythmically around the bowl gathering up every ingredient. The cake and meringue tests were a real success but we found the plastic dough hook struggled to stand up to our weighty enriched dough. With lots of useful and well considered extras, the Bosch CreationLine machine offers real bang for your buck.
Read the full Bosch CreationLine MUM5X10 review
KitchenAid Artisan, from £449
Best stand mixer for stylish kitchens
The KitchenAid Artisan is the stand mixer that crops up on all the best cooking shows. It’s sturdy, reliable, comes with a wealth of attachments and, best of all, available in a whole host of exciting, daring and interesting colours. There are three different types of Artisan model to choose from – the differences are detailed in our full review.
The Artisan scored highly for its simple and intuitive controls, and easy to fit attachments. Its low wattage meant dough was a little slow to bring together but it excelled on the cake and meringue making tests. Additional features such as the useful handle on the bowl and range of KitchenAid accessories available make the KitchenAid Artisan a reliable and versatile choice.
Read the full KitchenAid Artisan review
Sage the Bakery Boss, £415
Best stand mixer for sweet bakes
Known for its sleek and impressive-looking appliances, Sage has a strong reputation when it comes to performance-focussed pieces of kit. A wealth of useful attachments and accessories are included with the Bakery Boss, highlights being the extra bowl and the scraper beater.
There are also some nifty additions that you don’t find on most stand mixers, including a bowl light and the 12-speed guide, which lets you know the best speed to use for a range of tasks. The Bakery Boss excelled on our meringue and cake making tests. The dough for our cardamom buns became knotted around the dough hook a few times and the necks of each of the attachment are short, meaning we got batter and meringue over our hands.
Read the full Sage the Bakery Boss review
Kenwood kMix, £257
Best entry-level Kenwood stand mixer
If you’ve been admiring Kenwood stand mixers for a while but feel the Chef range is either too technical for your needs or slightly more money than you’re happy to spend, the Kenwood kMix provides all the impressive power and high-quality attachments of its Chef counterparts.
Design-wise, it’s more fun looking than the slightly serious Chef range, and is available in a range of fun colours. The 1,000-watt motor powered through all our bakes with ease, producing a light and fluffy cake, and delicate meringue. The dough did get wrapped around the dough hook, which was a shame. But the kMix packs a punch and gets the basics done well.
Read the full Kenwood kMix review
Kenwood Chef Baker, £337.99
Most user-friendly stand mixer
The Chef Baker is Kenwood’s entry-level model to the Chef range. It’s more pared back than the Chef Baker XL and the Chef Patissier XL in this list but no less impressive, featuring a 5L mixing bowl and the same gentle speed dial. This stand mixer made light work of all three tests, producing exactly the results we were looking for.
Neat and compact, the Chef Baker is an attractive option that doesn’t take up too much space on the kitchen counter. It also features Kenwood’s interchangeable PopTops (removable coloured panels) that bring a pop of colour to the mixer. It’s not the quietest model and we noticed that the tilt head jolted a little when mixing the dough, but otherwise it’s reasonably priced and brilliant at everyday baking tasks.
Read the full Kenwood Chef Baker review
Smeg stand mixer SMF03, £449
Best colourful stand mixer
This is Smeg’s most up-to-date stand mixer. It comes in an attractive array of colours suitable for both muted and maximalist kitchens. Included with this model are all the attachments you’ll need to get started, as well as an unusual anchor-shaped scraper beater attachment.
This model performed well on the cake-making test, though the scraper beater didn’t work as we expected, so we opted for the traditional beater paddle instead, which worked considerably better. We found the SMF03 lacked oomph and as a result our meringue and dough tests took a long time to complete.
Best suited for the design-conscious cake baker.
KitchenAid Classic, £349
Best basic stand mixer
Instantly recognisable as a KitchenAid, the Classic is part of its mid-range collection. It’s slightly different to the Artisan in that it’s only available in black or white, comes with a 4.3L bowl (rather than 4.8L) and has a slightly lower wattage. Otherwise it comes with all the same attachments.
Given its wattage, we found this model a little slow to bring mixes together, which posed no real problems on our meringue test but did result in some tough buns. We couldn’t fault it on our cake making test, however.
This is the stand mixer for the occasional baker. It’s attractive, simple to use but doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of some of the other models on this list, which is fine, because some people just don’t need that.
Read the full KitchenAid Classic review
Cuisinart Precision stand mixer, £247
Best affordable stand mixer
Like the KitchenAid above, this Cuisinart model is only available in black and white. This wholly uncomplicated machine is simple and intuitive to put together. The attachments are reassuringly weighty and very well built.
This model did a brilliant job on our cake making and whisking tests but the low wattage meant that it struggled somewhat when kneading bread dough. We found the low speed settings a welcome addition, particularly when starting to mix doughs – the speeds are gentle and controlled.
Simple to use, well designed and budget-friendly, the Cuisinart Precision stand mixer is a high-quality, affordable option.
Read the full Cuisinart Precision stand mixer review
KitchenAid Mini, £349
Best stand mixer for small space
Short on space or just an occasional baker? The KitchenAid Mini is a scaled-down version of the iconic KitchenAid Artisan and Classic. It has a 3.3L bowl and the same 10 speed settings plus ½ speed starter as the Classic. It’s simple and easy to use but we did find the speed dial a little stiff to use. We’d have liked to have seen a handle on the slippery bowl, as we struggled to scrape out cake batter comfortably while holding it.
The Mini produced glossy stiff peaked meringues and a smooth, well mixed cake batter. The tilt head jolted a little when kneading the bread dough, though. If you’re after a space-saving option for occasional small bakes, the Mini hits the mark.
Read the full KitchenAid Mini review
How we tested stand mixers
The stand mixers featured in this review were tested in controlled conditions using a standardised testing criteria. We picked three classic olive recipes to test three key stand mixer tasks and their attachments. To put the beater to the test, we made olive’s easy chocolate cake recipe. For the dough hook, we made cardamom custard buns (skolebrød) and to test the balloon whisk, we whipped up a basic pavlova. All stand mixers were scored against the following criteria:
- Performance: the texture of the cake, bread and meringue were assessed before and after baking. We looked for fully incorporated ingredients, consistent bakes and bakes that were light, open and airy in texture.
- Ease of use: all models were scored for the ease and intuitiveness of their assembly. We looked for smooth controls and gentle acceleration – no aggressive jolting! Everything from the ease of fitting the attachments, heft of the tilt head and any features that added to the user experience, were assessed.
- Value for money: the models on this list range in price massively, so performance, versatility and included features were all considered. These appliances are a costly investment for some, so the price must be right.
- Quality of materials: stand mixers should be built to last, and that goes for their attachments, too. We looked for well built, sturdy engineering.
- Design and aesthetic: with many of the models on this list weighing in at around 10kg, you really don’t want to be moving your stand mixer every time you want to use it. We looked for attractive mixers with a high-quality finish. Being available in a range of colours or the option for customisable elements scored mixers extra points.
To find out more about how testing appliances is done at olive, head over to our how we test page.
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