We Tested 10 Stand Mixers—Four Stood Out Above the Rest

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three stand mixers on a grey surface
Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

A vast majority of baking recipes call for a stand mixer. And we’ve long recommended the KitchenAid Professional Series 600 Stand Mixer: it’s wicked powerful, has a flat-bottomed bowl suitable for double-boiling or using on the stovetop, can tackle nearly any recipe, and has a handful of other helpful, notable features that you can read about here

However, stand mixers are expensive—and take up a lot of countertop real estate. You want to be sure you’re getting the right one for money, needs, and space. So, we decided to (finally!) test 10 popular stand mixers (including the Professional Series 600) to find the unequivocal best ones. 

The Winners, at a Glance

The professional 600 series has a generous 6-quart bowl that allows for a large amount of dough or batter. However, the attachments are designed to mix closely to the bottom and sides of the bowl, so even smaller batches mix up evenly. The more vertical-shaped bowl also means that ingredients didn’t go flying or splashing out of the bowl when added. And the powerful 575-watt motor ensures the mixer doesn’t strain when you’re kneading stiff pizza or bread dough.

The KitchenAid Artisan series mixer is a 325-watt tilt-head stand mixer that is smaller, lighter, and less powerful than the above Professional Series. But it sacrifices power to be small enough to either store in a pantry or on the countertop without dominating the entire area. And it still had enough strength to cream butter, whip egg whites and heavy cream, and make pizza dough without struggling too much.

If you bake professionally or bake large batches of items frequently, the Wolf Gourmet is a great option. The stand mixer is one of the heaviest and largest machines we tested, and its bowl securely locks into its base. But the 500-watt motor easily creamed butter, whipped up heavy cream, and kneaded dough. And the generous 7-quart bowl was large enough to double the recipe amount we tested.

With an extra-large capacity, this super-stable stand mixer kneaded dough exceptionally well (it also was surprisingly fast at aerating whipped cream). While it’s expensive and has a learning curve, for serious bread bakers, it may be well worth it.

The Tests

Two dough balls on a marble surface
Serious Eats / Irvin Lin
  • Whipped Cream Test: We whipped one cup of heavy cream (sans gums or stabilizers) to see how easily the stand mixers could handle a small amount of ingredients.  
  • Pound Cake Test: We picked pound cake because the majority of its leavening is mechanical, created by whipping and creaming air into butter, with no or minimal assistance from chemical leaveners like baking powder or baking soda. We started out with a combination of room-temperature butter and cream cheese, beating with the paddle attachment, to see how that fared. We then sprinkled in sugar to see how fluffy the mixture got. Then, we slowly drizzled in a beaten egg to see if we could maintain the emulsified mixture. Then, we baked the pound cake to see if there was any difference in the final cake rise and crumb. 
  • Pizza Dough Test: We made Neapolitan pizza dough to see how well the mixer kneaded stiff and sticky dough with its dough hook. We checked to see how much the dough “climbed” up the hook, how often we had to stop to adjust the dough in the bowl, and how the dough felt and looked after the 10-minute kneading time. 
  • Usability and Cleanup Tests: Throughout testing, we evaluated how easy each stand mixer was to operate and how simple it was to add and remove its attachments and bowl. After every test, we cleaned the attachment and bowl by hand.

What We Learned

How Do Stand Mixers Work?

A person adjusting the speed dial on a KitchenAid stand mixer
Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

Stand mixers have a bowl attached to the base. Typically, they have one attachment that rotates in what’s called planetary action—meaning it moves in a circular motion while the bowl stays put. It’s sort of like how to the earth rotates around the sun. This rotating, circulating attachment ensures ingredients are evenly distributed and mixed (ideally).

Larger Attachments Were Generally Better

A closeup look at a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
Serious Eats / Irvin Lin

To be an effective stand mixer, the attachments have to fit the bowl shape. Mixer attachments need to come close to the bottom and sides of the bowl so that ingredients can smear, fluff, or stretch properly. The poorest performing mixers all had attachments that were set too far away from the bottom and sides of the bowl. Whipped cream in the Instant 7.4-Quart Stand Mixer had liquid at the sides and bottom, requiring you to constantly stop the mixer to scrape and incorporate the liquid cream. Pizza dough crept up the dough hook of the Smeg 50’s Retro Stand Mixer enough that we had to stop the kneading multiple times to pull it off the top. And Breville’s The Bakery Chef Stand Mixer’s paddle attachment didn’t come close enough to the metal bowl side to adequately cream the butter or incorporate the sugar, which meant we had to constantly stop and scrape down its sides. 

Our winners had attachments that perfectly fit their bowls, letting the machine do its job with minimal help from the user. 

A Stand Mixer Shouldn’t Be Tough to Use

A closeup look at a stand mixer's control panel
KitchenAid stand mixers are exceedingly simple to turn on and off.Serious Eats / Irvin Lin

Our winning stand mixers all had intuitive buttons, knobs, switches and levers that we could immediately figure out. The KitchenAid Professional 600 and the Artisan stand mixers had switches on the side that you use to increase or decrease the speed of the mixer. Easy.

The Wolf Gourmet had a large control knob dial in Wolf’s signature red color (though the mixer comes with exchangeable black and stainless steel dials) that smoothly turned on the mixer. It has 10 settings, with clear, printed numbers on the dial. There’s even a “pulse” mode on the Wolf—a nice addition when you don’t want a continuous spinning paddle, like when adding dry ingredients or mix-ins like chocolate chips.

We’ll admit that the Ankarsrum has more of a learning curve to operate (you don’t add ingredients in the typical way, which you can read about here), but once you got the hang of it, it was fine. What wasn’t fine: touchscreens. With this style of interface, adding or increasing speed became annoying, as you had to press the plus or minus button repeatedly, then press start. 

We Preferred Bowls with Handles

A person pouring batter from a stand mixer bowl into a loaf pan
Serious Eats / Irvin Lin

Though it seems like a small detail, having a handle on the bowl actually made a difference. Pouring batter or scraping out the dough was significantly easier to do when you could hold the bowl with one hand and tilt it.

Mixers that had bowls with large, comfortable handles were also easier to lift off and place back on the stand mixer. The KitchenAid Classic bowl in particular tended to jam tightly when we kneaded pizza dough due to the direction the dough hook spun, and it was exceedingly difficult to remove the handleless bowl afterward.

Your Stand Mixer Shouldn’t Go for a Walk

three stand mixers side-by-side
See these stand mixers? They were all stable.Serious Eats / Irvin Lin

Walking is great, unless you’re a stand mixer. In which case, you want it to stand still when it’s working. Some mixers are prone to “walking” across the countertop as they knead dough or rapidly cream butter. Most stand mixers are heavy for a reason, as their weight helps keep the mixer stationary. For example, our favorite stand mixers from KitchenAid and Wolf weighed 19.4 to 25.8 pounds. 

Some lighter mixers have suction cup feet to keep them steady. However, we found these annoying to use and move. 

The Criteria: What to Look for in a Stand Mixer

a closeup of a black stand mixer
Serious Eats / Irvin Lin

The best stand mixers can mix, cream, and knead ingredients thoroughly without any issues. Attachments should properly fit in the bowl, with minimal clearance on both the bowl bottom and sides, ensuring the stand mixers can handle both large and small amounts of ingredients with ease. 

Look for a stand mixer that is also easy to operate. The mixer should have simple and intuitive speed adjustments as well as straightforward methods of adding and removing its bowl and attachments. Heavier stand mixers are more stable and less prone to walking. More powerful motors ensure that the mixer can knead doughs of all hydrations and stickiness, without strain.

What we liked: The Professional series 600 stand mixer is a powerful machine with a 575-watt motor that kneads stiff and sticky doughs with ease. Because its attachments are well-designed and are properly aligned closely to the sides and bottom of the bowl, it does well with smaller amounts of ingredients as well. It whipped up a cup of heavy cream easily and smoothly and creamed butter to make a classic pound cake.

The large 6-quart bowl is big enough for double batches, though, and is shaped in such a way that dry ingredients don’t fly up when added and liquid ingredients don’t splash out when initially mixed. The lever on the side of the mixer makes it easy to lower the bowl, giving you better access to add ingredients or scrape down the sides when needed. Finally, it’s very easy to adjust its speed.

We’ve recommended this stand mixer for years, and our recommendation holds up after testing. 

What we didn’t like: The bowl doesn’t twist on, but instead has arms and notches it rests on. Making sure the bowl is on and settled can be a little finicky at times. It’s a fairly large stand mixer, too, for those with limited countertop space. 

Price at time of publish: $550.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 23.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.5 inches high x 14.5 inches long x 11.25 inches wide
  • Stated bowl capacity: 6 quarts
  • Wattage: 575 watts
  • Cord length: 40 inches 
  • Attachments: Paddle, dough hook, whisk, plus splash/pouring guard
  • Care instructions: Paddle, dough hook, shield, and bowl are dishwasher-safe; whisk is handwash-only 
  • Materials: Stainless steel bowl, metal, plastic 
a black kitchenaid stand mixer on a marble surface
Serious Eats / Irvin Lin

What we liked: For folks who don’t bake as often but still want a top-of-the-line stand mixer, the KitchenAid Artisan series is a great option. With a 325-watt motor, it’s less powerful than its Professional sibling, but still does a great job creaming butter, whipping heavy cream, and making cake batter and cookie dough. The smaller size means it doesn’t take as much space on the countertop, but the 5-quart bowl is still big enough for most baking projects.

Because the Artisan series has less power and a tilt-head, it does struggle a bit with stiffer bread and pizza doughs. However, it still got the job done, producing a smooth dough without heating up or becoming too loud. The Artisan series is solidly constructed and doesn’t move much when in use, as long as you knead the dough at a lower speed. It also has a variety of attachments that you can purchase for it, making it an exceptionally versatile kitchen appliance.

What we didn’t like: The motor is a little less powerful than other stand mixers, so it does struggle a bit with stiffer doughs. 

Price at time of publish: $400.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 19.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.5 inches high x 13.75 inches long x 8.75 inches wide 
  • Stated bowl capacity: 5 quarts
  • Wattage: 325 watts
  • Cord length: 38 inches 
  • Attachments: Paddle, dough hook, whisk, plus splash/pouring guard
  • Care instructions: Paddle, dough hook, shield, and bowl are dishwasher-safe; whisk is handwash-only 
  • Materials: Stainless steel bowl, metal, plastic 
a red stand mixer on a marble surface
Serious Etas / Irvin Lin

What we liked: If you’re a professional baker or frequently bake in large batches, the Wolf Gourmet High Performance Stand Mixer might be the machine for you. It has a large 7-quart bowl that twists and moves up and down as you lock it into place, which helps keep the machine ultra-stable—even during sticky, tough tasks. 

The large bowl also mixes up smaller batches just fine. It made airy whipped cream, creamed butter, and easily kneaded the pizza dough without struggling. It also had some nice features, like a pulse option and more adjustable speed settings.

What we didn’t like: There’s no way to get around it: this is a huge machine.  It takes up a lot of real estate on your countertop, and might not fit under some cabinets (measure first). And it weighs a lot, so moving or storing it is pretty difficult. It’s also a very expensive machine—nearly twice as much as the KitchenAid Professional 600. 

Price at time of publish: $995.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 25.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.5 inches high x 16.75 inches long x 10.5 inches wide
  • Stated bowl capacity: 7 quarts
  • Wattage: 500 watts
  • Cord length: 38 inches 
  • Attachments: Paddle, dough hook, whisk, plus splash/pouring guard shield
  • Care instructions: Bowl is handwash-only; attachments and shield are dishwasher-safe (top rack-only)
  • Materials: Brushed stainless steel, die-cast construction
A stainless steel stand mixer on a marble surface
Serious Eats / Irvin Lin

What we liked: Unlike many stand mixers, which use planetary rotation (e.g. the mixing arm spins while the bowl remains stationary), the Ankarsrum spins the bowl—we know, mind blown. As we noted in our review, this setup allows it to have a larger bowl capacity (seven liters versus the 6-quart of the KitchenAid Professional Series) and also means it can mix at higher speeds. It also features a unique kneading paddle, quite unlike the dough hook you might be used to. In our testing, we found it quickly and efficiently kneaded bread—which is why many bakers of loaves love it so much. We also found that the whisk attachment excelled at aerating whipped cream, doing so in a mere 35 seconds (!!). 

What we didn’t like: There’s no getting around it: the Ankarsrum isn’t exactly intuitive to use if you’re used to a planetary stand mixer. It requires adding ingredients in a certain order (liquids and soft things, like butter, go first before dry ingredients) and finagling the head, which can be adjusted to swing closer to the center of the bowl or the edge, takes some getting used to.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 18 inches
  • Stated bowl capacity: 7 quarts
  • Wattage: 600 watts
  • Cord length: 78 inches 
  • Attachments: Dough roller, scraper, kneading hook, two single-wire beaters, two multi-wire beaters, plastic bowl, lid, metal bowl
  • Care instructions: Attachments and bowls are dishwasher-safe; to clean the exterior of the machine, wipe down with a damp rag before drying
  • Materials: Plastic, stainless steel
the ankarsrum with the plastic bowl and lid, with the beater attachment used to make whipped cream
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

The Competition

  • Breville’s Bakery Chef Stand Mixer: This stand mixer had a lot of great features, including a built-in timer and a light that shines right into the bowl when the mixer is turned on. It also came with extras like a glass mixing bowl and a scraper blade. But when we tested the metal bowl for whipped cream, we found the whisk attachment didn’t mix quite as close to the bowl edge or bottom as other mixers, leaving a liquidy section. The smaller metal bowl also had a lower capacity and its thin, metal handle wasn’t comfortable to hold.
  • Smeg 50’s Retro Stand Mixer: This retro-, futuristic-looking stand mixer looks like it came off of the set of Bewitched or The Jetsons. And the slick-coated attachments were super easy to clean. But, unfortunately, the paddle attachment mixed too far away from the side and bottoms of the bowl, leaving a film of greasy butter that needed to be manually scraped and incorporated frequently while making pound cake. The mixer does come with a scraper blade, which might solve this issue, but kneading the pizza dough was also problematic. The dough kept creeping up the hook.
  • Instant 7.4-Quart Stand Mixer Pro: This budget-friendly stand mixer, from the folks that brought you the Instant Pot, seemed like a great idea. It weighed less than other mixers but had suction cup feet to help compensate and prevent the mixer from moving. However, we don’t love these feet: they make it harder to lift and move the mixer. It also had performance and usability issues (we didn’t like the touchscreen interface). 
  • KitchenAid Classic Series Tilt Head Stand Mixer: This entry-level KitchenAid mixer had a low-powered 275-watt motor, but still did a respectable job creaming, whipping, and kneading. But there was some noticeable strain on the motor when kneading the pizza dough and the smaller bowl and lack of a handle on it made it less user-friendly.
  • Cuisinart 5.5 Quart Stand Mixer: This reasonably-priced stand mixer was easy to use and clean. It did a great job with whipped cream and cake batter, but it struggled to knead pizza dough. The motor became extremely warm and made an alarming sound.
  • Frigidaire 4.5 L Retro Stand Mixer: This stand mixer looks cool and was very reasonably priced. But it performed poorly in all of our tests, with the motor running too hot and struggling with dough. The lightweight mixer also moved continually around the countertop when on.


What is a stand mixer? 

A stand mixer has a bowl attached to a stand or base, and a motor that powers attachments that mix, whip, or knead ingredients inside the bowl. Stand mixers come in a variety of colors, styles, and shapes. They are used to make the dough and batter for baking projects like cookies, cakes, brownies, and breads, automating the otherwise tedious repetitive task of stirring, whisking, or kneading.

What’s the best KitchenAid stand mixer? 

The Professional 600 series stand mixer is the best KitchenAid stand mixer. It has a robust 575-watt motor that easily kneads stiff bread and pizza dough, but also does a great job at smaller tasks.

Are any stand mixers as good as KitchenAid? 

We love KitchenAid stand mixers, but we also found the Wolf Gourmet stand mixer to be a great option, especially if you’re a professional baker that wants a large capacity stand mixer. It features a 7-quart bowl and has a more variable speed dial.

What’s the best tilt-head stand mixer? 

We found the KitchenAid Artisan series had the best tilt-head mixer in our testing. It creamed butter efficiently and kneaded pizza dough with minimal strain. It was also easy and intuitive to use.

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