Protein shakes. They’re cold, they’re usually thin in texture, and they’re usually sipped on the go at the gym or at a desk.
Well... that’s a bit of a generalization, who am I to say where and when people drink their protein shakes? But I think it’s safe to say that protein shakes are usually consumed by health-conscious people who need supplementary energy and sustenance.
So, how do you make a protein shake? You can use a shaker, sure. But it takes longer, and you risk leaving those unsavory chunks of protein powder.
Or, you can use a blender. Which one? That’s what this article is for.
What kind of blender is best for protein shakes? A pitcher blender or a personal blender? Do you need major wattage or does weaker wattage suffice? What features do you need?
Let’s work this out.
What Makes Some Blenders Good for Protein Shakes Especially?
The good thing is that for a blender to be a great protein shake blender, it doesn’t actually require too many fancy features or technical advances. In fact, some of the most simple blenders are the most suitable for protein shakes. Blenders that have portable cups made of BPA-free materials, a sip lid, and a consistent, fast blend are great for protein shakes.
This means you can incorporate protein powder, and perhaps a banana into your milk or water quickly, smoothly, and don’t have to transfer it into another cup in order to drink it right away.
What are the Key Features to Look for? (And Which Features Don’t Matter So Much)
Keep an eye out for these features when you’re on the hunt for a new blender for your protein shakes:
- Drink-safe blender cups: you’re likely to be drinking your shake straight from the vessel, so a BPA-free cup with a decent volume is key
- Leak-free sip lids: if you’re taking your shake in the car, to the gym, or just sitting at your desk, you need a lid that will prevent you from spilling the shake all of your car or computer keyboard. Look for sip-lids which can be sealed tightly
- Strong blades: sure, you’re not necessarily going to be crushing ice and nuts into your protein shake, but you want to have the option. Strong blades (and a decent motor) will be there to help when you decide to go crazy and add some frozen berries or almonds to your shake one day
- A decent motor: you don’t need the super-powered, 1000+ motors for a protein shake, but you do need something that won’t peter out on you mid blend
Helpful, but not Crucial
- Various speeds and a pulse button: you shouldn’t need a pulse button, as the ingredients will be smoothly incorporated by the power and strength of the blades and motor. However, they can be handy to give the shake those few last blasts to ensure any banana chunks or dry patches of protein powder are blended. Not crucial, but helpful.
- A pitcher or extra-large vessel: this is going to be crucial for you if you’re serving more than 2 people. Otherwise, a personal blender with regular-sized cups will be fine.
Now you're clear on that, let's break down the best blenders for protein shakes by 3 main qualifying factors. Pick what's most important to you out of easiest cleanup, quietest, and most affordable.
Easiest Cleanup Options
The thing about protein shakes is that the residue can stick to blades, cups, and parts if you leave it to dry for too long after the blending process. The trick is to choose a blender with minimal parts and preferably made from dishwasher-safe materials.
The Nutri Ninja BL456 is a great bullet blender, with super high ratings and strong, simple construction. It’s great for protein shakes because it has a powerful 900-watt motor and tough stainless steel blades. Liquids, protein powder and a banana will be pulverized into velvety smoothness with a few pulses.
The bullet cups are dishwasher-safe, and so is the blade, but a quick rinse and scrub is often all it needs. Because there are no heavy pitchers or fiddly parts, the clean-up job is fast and easy.
- 900 watts, more than enough for the smoothest, bit-free protein shakes
- Stainless steel blades with 4 sharp prongs for very effective blitzing
- Comes with 18 oz and 24 oz portable cups and to-go lids
- All accessories are dishwasher safe
- No fiddly accessories or extra pieces to worry about cleaning
- A small, compact, tidy base for easy storage
- Pretty great price for the power and quality
We have chosen the Comfee Smoothie blender because it combines a good price, great power, tough blades, and dishwasher-safe cups. The blades are stainless steel and have 6 prongs to quickly mix protein powder into whatever liquid you’re using.
It’s also great for smoothies with tough ingredients like ice and frozen berries. Great for when you need something a little heavier on occasion, to go with your protein powder. It's not a very well-known blender, but it's definitely worth taking a look at.
- 900-watt motor great for protein shakes, and harder ingredients for smoothie/protein hybrids
- Cups and lids are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup
- Push-control design lets you control the duration of blending and pulsing
Before you scratch your head in confusion, let me explain this choice. Yes, it does appear to be quite a bulky blender package. But the reason it gets a spot on the list is that it is versatile, easy to clean, and caters to on-the-go protein smoothies, as well as frozen drinks and smoothies.
I imagine this blender to be the perfect choice for families with protein shake drinkers, smoothie drinkers, frozen cocktail drinkers, and frozen dessert eaters. All of the parts are safe for the dishwasher, so you just need to do a quick rinse, then pop them in the top rack.
You get a pitcher with a total crushing blade (for the frozen stuff), and single-serve cups with single-serve blades for the protein shakes.
- Dishwasher-safe parts (blades, cups, and lids)
- Powerful 1100-watt motor for thoroughly blending protein shakes, smoothies, and frozen goods
- Three speeds, a single-serve button, and a pulse button
- Comes with a 72oz pitcher and 2 16oz to-go bullet cups
Blenders can be extremely loud. This is an issue if you’ve got roommates, light sleepers, or babies in the house whom you’d prefer not to wake with the deafening whir of a protein shake being made. These two blenders are easier on the ears than others on the market.
The Jamba Appliances Quiet Shield Blender comes with a built-in enclosure that muffles the sound of the blender as it does its thing. This is great, considering that the motor is has a 1.6 horsepower rating (around 1200 watts), and lots of power generally means lots of noise.
The stainless steel blades and various speeds make protein shakes a breeze, and a fast one at that. You get a pitcher for multiple batches and a personal cup and sip lid for shakes on the go. Even though you get a pitcher, bullet cup, base, and a shield, the whole thing is actually pretty low-profile.
- Built-in sound shield to muffle the whirring of your protein shake
- Comes with a 32 oz pitcher for multiple servings
- Comes with a 20 oz personal bullet cup and a sip-lid for taking your protein shakes on the go
- Comes with a tamper for when you're making more substantial things such as smoothies or desserts
- Dishwasher-safe cups, lids, and tamper
- Low-profile motor base
- Multiple speeds and a pulse button
This little blender doesn't have major wattage, but the 200 watts it does have are more than powerful enough to blend smooth protein shakes. What's more, it's quieter than the average blender. There are comments praising the quietness of the blender, with one person saying they use it at their desk without making too much of a stir in the office.
I like this model because it doubles as a grinder as well as a blender. There are small cups (with lids), and a grinding blade for coffee beans, nuts, seeds and more. The cups are extremely sturdy, so no worries if you drop your shake as you rush for the bus, I just hope it has a lid on it.
- Quieter than most personal blenders
- 200-watt motor, powerful enough for smooth protein shakes
- Small, compact design, won't take up too much space in the kitchen
- Two blades: one for grinding, one for blending
- Comes with smaller cups and lids for grinding, and larger cups and lids for shakes
- Easy to clean with a quick rinse (there are lots of reviews saying that they've put the cups in the dishwasher with positive results)
Most Affordable Options
A good protein shake doesn't require an expensive blender. In fact, there are lots of affordable options out there which will serve you really well. The following two blenders are affordable and have great features and accessories for versatile usage. NOTE: the two blenders in the "best mini blender" section coming up after this one would also be very welcome in this list, due to their super low prices.
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The Aicok Personal Smoothie Blender is gloriously cheap, but it's plenty powerful for protein shakes. It has a 300-watt motor, sharply-curved stainless steel blades, and two BPA-free portable cups (20oz and 10oz). It's super easy to clean as you can put the blades, cups, and lids in the dishwasher.
This would be a great choice for people with really limited counter space, or even for the office kitchen. By most accounts, it's great at blending not only protein shakes, but smoothies, dips, baby food, and frozen drinks. Great specs and benefits for a small cost.
- 300-watt motor, plenty for making protein shakes and smoothies
- Stainless steel blades
- 20oz and 10z BPA-free cups
- Small, compact, easy to store
- One-touch button, with a pulse feature for controlled blending
A classic favorite, we couldn't leave the Magic Bullet off the list. It's powerful, versatile, and of course, affordable. The Magic Bullet doesn't have the major wattage and fancy features of some other blenders, but for protein shakes, you really don't need all of that.
You just need to fill the provided cup, screw the lid onto the cup, click it into the motor and press down to blend. Done.
You can then pop a sip-lid onto the cup and take your protein shake with you. The Magic Bullet is actually really versatile, it can pulse veggies to make dips, grind nuts to make flours and butter, make icy-cold smoothies, and make baby food too if you're careful.
- Really affordable and good value for money
- 250-watt motor, strong enough for smooth protein shakes
- Small, compact design, won't take up too much space in the kitchen
- Comes with two 18oz cups and one 12oz cups, all with lids
- The cups and lids are dishwasher-safe (the blades should just be rinsed and left to dry)
Best Small Portable Options
If you like to make your protein shakes anywhere other than home, you need a portable blender with a compact size and single-serve sip cups. These two models are small, lightweight, powerful, and ideal for packing away to take with you to work, camping or tripping about.
This is a great little blender for many reasons, one being that it is extremely affordable. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it's really small and compact, with only a little motor and a slim personal cup.
The personal cup has been designed to double as a sports bottle, so you can rinse it out and fill it with water once the protein shake is gone. The 250 wattage is more than enough for protein shakes, and many reviewers have raved that it can handle frozen fruits for smoothies as well.
- A dishwasher-safe cup which doubles as sports bottle for all-day use
- Small, compact motor and slim bottle, great for transporting from work to home
- 250-watt motor, ideal for protein shakes
- No-fuss operation, just press the bottle into the base
This blender has been designed for traveling and taking from place to place. The motor base is small, with a power cord that wraps around the base for tidy storage. The 14oz cup has a sip lid and is designed to be used as a multi-purpose portable cup.
The wattage isn't high, it clocks in at 175-watts, but that's more than enough for protein shakes with liquid and powder. It's so affordable you could have one stashed in the car and one at work.
- Super affordable
- Very small, compact base with a power cord which wraps around for tidy storage
- Pulse button
- Strong stainless steel blades
- Dishwasher-safe jar and lid
- A bpa-free cup which doubles as a to-go cup with sip lid
Best NINJA Option
There's no doubt, Ninja blenders are powerful, reliable, and can blitz ingredients into submission. They combine powerful wattage, tough blades, great extraction technology, and various functions. My pick for the best for protein shakes specifically came down to...
To me, the Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ BL481 is a fantastic blender for all kinds of blended drinks. The powerful motor, deadly blades, and auto-blend buttons will blitz the smoothest protein shake in seconds.
The great thing is that if you should decide to have a heartier drink one day, with some ice, frozen berries, or tough leafy greens, the auto-iQ will do the job perfectly.
The price isn't too bad, it's closer to mid-range, but I think it's worth the money. You get 3 different cup sizes (18 oz, 24 oz, and 32 oz), with sip lids for on-the-go shake drinking.
- Dishwasher-safe cups, lids, and blade
- Powerful 1000-watt motor and extractor blades for fast and effective blending
- Comes with three different-sized cups
- Comes with sip lids for portable drinking
- On/off, pulse, blend, and ultra blend buttons for customizing your blend (i.e. a few pulses will sort out your protein shake, and a cycle of the )
And that's that! A list of great blenders for protein shakes, for a range of prices and needs. A protein shake blender needs a reasonable wattage, good blades, and easy-to-clean parts and accessories. You don't necessarily need super-high wattage, lots of cup choices, or special functions, but they are handy to have if you want your blender to be versatile.