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6 best stand mixers to buy in 2021 from Kenwood, KitchenAid, Smeg and more

Caramel Quin
30 Nov 2021
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It's time to get your Great British Bake On with these top-notch stand mixers

Whether you're a fan of The Great British Bake Off, a seasoned baker or you just fancy flexing your baking muscles at home, there's simply no two ways about it – you need a stand mixer. The best stand mixers help you to be a better cook: they take the hard work out of mixing cakes and batter, and even knead bread dough so you don't have to.

If making cakes brings back painful memories of dead arms and aching hands, a stand mixer will be something of a revelation. The results are better than any amount of arm-breaking, muscle-aching hand mixing: cakes are fluffier, breads and pizza bases are lighter, and cream is whipped to perfection.

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While some kitchen appliances are more hassle than they're worth, a stand mixer saves you valuable cooking time without adding to the dishes. After all, you were going to dirty a bowl and a beater anyway and the attachments and bowl are often dishwasher-safe.

If you're new to stand mixers our in-depth buying guide will help you find your perfect match, whether you need something simple and easy to use or a feature-packed machine. If you've already done your research, scroll on for our pick of the best stand mixers we've tried, tested and reviewed.

How to choose the best stand mixer for you

There are a number of things to consider when shopping for a stand mixer. To help you decide which model is right for you, we've put together a handy video guide, arming you with all the information you need to make a well-informed purchase. If you'd rather read rather than watch, you'll find our comprehensive written guide below.

How much should I spend?

The good news is that you can get an adequate stand mixer for around £150. Spend more, though, and you get far better performance, better features and the kind of build quality that is purpose-built to survive years of obsessive baking action.

What attachments do I get as standard?

Stand mixers typically come with three attachments: a beater, a whisk and a dough hook. A few models also come with a soft beater that really scrapes the mix off the sides of the bowl like a spatula, saving you a job and pretty much halving the time of mixing.

Most also have a splash guard to prevent icing sugar explosions and batter splatter. Modern stand mixers have astonishingly powerful motors – dial up the power a little too high without a guard and you may find yourself wearing your cake mix rather than eating it.

What kind of accessories can you get?

Some stand mixers have power points on the top or above the bowl for attaching accessories like spiralizers, meat grinders and more. This is a handy space-saving option as it does away with the need for multiple appliances.

If you'd like extra accessories, look out for deals where the mixer comes bundled with them. More obscure optional accessories include sausage makers, ice cream maker bowls and pasta makers. If you're short of space on your kitchen surfaces, the more multi-talented a machine, the better.

What is “planetary action” and why do I need it?

All the best stand mixers use what's called planetary action. This lets you mix the contents brilliantly without the need for a great big spinning beater that's the size of the bowl.

Rather than spinning around a single, central point, the beater or dough hook moves one way while the drive shaft moves the other, ensuring that the attachments reach every corner of the bowl. The result is efficient mixing, minimising how often you have to scrape ingredients down off the sides of the bowl. Pretty much nothing goes unstirred, saving you a lot of time.

What kind of premium features should I look out for?

At a basic level, you should look for a stand mixer with a decent number of speed settings and the option for additional attachments. But if you want to improve or expand your cooking skills, there are other features worth considering.

Keen cooks might want to look out for digital features such as a countdown timer. This helps you keep track of time so you don't over-whip your eggs. Premium stand mixers will have present timers for basic jobs like kneading dough or making meringue and will usually have a pause button too, so you can add ingredients and then return to the same speed setting.

You might also want to look out for features such as a soft-start function, which reduces mess by going very gently at first. There's also load-sensing, which detects when you're mixing something that's especially tough or easygoing, and adjusts power so that the speed is consistent no matter what.

Finally, some models come with integrated weighing and bowl-warming. This is a fantastic time-saver but also means you can weigh, melt, mix and even prove all in one bowl.

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The best stand mixers to buy

1. Kenwood KMix KMX754RD: The best value stand mixer

Price: £399 | Buy now from Argos

It’s not often you find stand mixers under £400 that can stand up to or even outperform those in a high price bracket. Generally, you need to spend a fair bit to make owning one worth your while, but the Kenwood KMix is an exception to this rule. You can pick one up for under £300 via most retailers.

Not only does the KMix look great on countertops, but it also has an extra-large capacity that can hold 2.72kg of cake mixture and 1.35kg of bread dough, enough to make a couple of loaves or several Victoria sponges. Even when filled to capacity, the motor doesn't overheat, which proves it’s not just style over substance. It does get a little shaky while making bread dough but even heavy-duty machines such as the KitchenAid Artisan become lethargic when pushed to their limits.

Key specsPower: 1,000W; Capacity: 5l; Speed settings: Variable; Attachments: K beater, wire whisk, dough hook, splash guard

2. KitchenAid Artisan 5KSM175PS: The best stand mixer for intermediate and experienced bakers

Price: £499 | Buy now from Argos

If you’re a well-seasoned baker, or at least aspire to be, the Artisan’s four sturdy attachments and additional mixing bowl will see you through the toughest of bakes.

There are ten speed settings, giving you the flexibility to lightly whip egg whites, vigorously knead dough or do anything in between. Better still, it does all of this in next to no time, blending mixtures to perfection in a matter of seconds. It’s rather large but stylish enough that it’ll still take pride of place on your kitchen countertop.

On the surface, the Artisan seems like an expensive jump from the classic stand mixer. However, once you consider the additional space, power, attachments and bowl – the price hike doesn’t seem quite so outrageous.

Key specs – Power: 300W; Capacity: 4.8l (with additional 3l bowl); Speed settings: 10; Attachments: Non-stick flex edge beater, non-stick flat beater, wire whisk, non-stick dough hook

3. Smeg SMF03 Retro Stand Mixer: The most stylish stand mixer

Price: £419 | Buy now from AO

A good stand mixer will take pride of place on your kitchen counter, so surely it has to look good, too. If you're nodding in vigorous agreement, then Smeg’s retro stand mixer might be your dream appliance. Its sleek, curved design comes in three glossy colours: cream, red and black. That’s not heaps of choice, but they’re classic colours that should work well with most kitchens. Alternatively, if you've got a spare £1,000, you could nab this limited edition Dolce and Gabbana version.

It’s not just a pretty face, though. This stand mixer had no problem whipping up a double-helping of classic victoria sponge batter in a matter of seconds and made easy work of egg whites for meringue too. When pushed to its bread dough capacity, the machine did struggle towards the end of kneading and the motor’s safety mechanism kicked in to stop it overheating.

I wouldn’t say this is a deal-breaker, as it’s still a very powerful machine for home baking. If you’re planning on knocking out several loaves of bread a day though, you might want to go for something with a bigger motor.

Key specsPower: 800W; Capacity: 4.8l; Speed settings: 10; Attachments: Stainless steel wire whisk, aluminium flat beater, flex edge beater, aluminium dough hook

Buy now from AO


4. Kenwood Titanium Chef Patissier XL: The best premium stand mixer for seasoned chefs

Price: £750 | Buy now from Lakeland

The Chef Patissier XL is an all-in-one baking machine. Not only does it do everything a traditional stand mixers does – and does it well – but it also has in-bowl weighing and warming. This means you can weigh, mix and prove your bread dough all from one bowl. It’s also ideal for melting chocolate and butter, or even for making Swiss meringue.

In testing, we found digital screen to be a nice touch but it can lag at times. There are several preset options you can scroll through on-screen for both mixing and melting, or you can set times and warmth levels manually. In the box you get a large, stainless steel balloon whisk, a dough hook and a beater/scraper, as well as a huge 7-litre warming bowl and 5-litre classic bowl. All of these are also dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

Overall, this is an impressively versatile and stylish machine, and well worth splashing out on if you want those extra features and increased capacity.

Read our full Kenwood Titanium Chef Patissier XL review

Key specs – Power: 1,400W; Capacity: 7l; Speed settings: Variable; Attachments: Stainless steel wire whisk, flat beater, flex edge beater, dough hook, motor shield, additional 5l bowl

Buy now from Lakeland


5. KitchenAid 3.3l Mini Stand Mixer: The best compact stand mixer for small kitchens

Price: £349 | Buy now from Lakeland

When worktop or cupboard space is in short supply, this Mini mixer is the perfect solution. While it might be 20% smaller, it’s only a slight compromise on its bigger brother, the Artisan. For starters, it’ll still be able to whip up to eight egg whites, cream 2kg of mashed potatoes or mix 680g of plain flour in its 3.3l bowl, using ten speeds powered by a quiet direct drive motor. Plus, it has the same thorough planetary mixing action of the Artisan, and even an attachment hub on the front. This means you can power everything you can with a regular KitchenAid tilt head model – mince meat, slice vegetables, roll or cut pasta or squeeze, chop and process food – without hauling another appliance out.

It’s lighter than a full-sized mixer at 6.5kg and prone to being top-heavy when the head tips back but its performance is still incredibly good. Two of its attachments have a polyester non-stick coating and are dishwasher-safe, so there’s less cleaning up once you’re finished. No splash guard is a disappointment for the price but otherwise it’s a beautifully designed compact package.

Key specsPower: 250W; Capacity: 3.3l; Speed settings: 10; Attachments: Dough hook, flat beater, wire whip

Buy now from Lakeland


6. KitchenAid K45SS Classic Mixer: The best premium stand mixer for beginners

Price: £315 | Buy now from Argos

This is the smaller of KitchenAid's two popular home mixers with planetary action and it's pretty good. Our only concern is the mixer's power – 275W doesn't sound like enough. When other models provide dramatically more power for similar money, it does seem like KitchenAid is being a little stingy.

In practice, both mixers are powerful enough for home baking, but tough jobs such as kneading dough are a struggle for the motor – so if you plan to use your stand mixer for your daily bread, go for something more powerful. But if you're more of a GBBO cook, the KitchenAid won't disappoint.

Our other, smaller quibble is that it doesn't come with a splash guard, so you'll have to pay extra for one. This really should come as standard on a mixer at this price.

Key specs – Power: 275W; Capacity: 4.5l; Speed settings: 6; Attachments: Non-stick flat beater, wire whisk, non-stick dough hook

Buy now from Argos


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