Vitamix Containers: Everything You Need to Know
Update: Containers *do* go on sale periodically. Get on our deals list so you don’t miss a special.
I hear ya. The Vitamix container landscape is confusing.
And you don’t want to make the wrong decision.
The good thing is that you’re not alone. Questions and concerns about Vitamix containers are so common.
Maybe you do not have a Vitamix yet?
(You’re ready to take the plunge. But first, you want to make sure you’re getting one with a container that will suit your needs)
Maybe you have a Vitamix already?
(You want a second container. And you want one that’s compatible with your machine.)
Either way, let’s look at which Vitamix container is compatible with which model.
After that, we’ll ask three essential questions that will help you pick which Vitamix to buy. Then, we’ll walk through comparisons of several containers.
And finally, we’ll try to address the most common myths about Vitamix containers.
Table of contents
- Why you should trust us
- Vitamix Container Compatibility
- Container Links
- 3 Container Questions (for new owners)
- Buyer Profiles
- Container Comparisons
Why you should trust us
We could easily convince you to buy something you do not need. Or something that’s not the right fit for you. But we need you to be successful with your Vitamix. Because when you are, you tell your friends and family. And then they come to us for our help. And that’s how we’ve been keeping this website going since 2012. People use our links to make purchases and then make referrals. It only takes one bad recommendation to lose all that trust. This brand Life is NOYOKE, is our livelihood. We intend to keep it that way. Thanks in advance for supporting our work. Don’t hesitate to send us a note anytime. -Shalva and Lenny Gale
Vitamix Container Compatibility Primer and Chart
What Vitamix containers are compatible with your Vitamix?
Well, containers are configured by category of machine.
So let’s start there!
What’s Your Blender Type?
Are you look at a Smart System, Classic, or Space Saving?
Did it come with a clear, plastic lid that clicks into place? Is there a digital display and dial in the middle?
Then it’s probably a Smart System.
Still not sure? Check for the following model names:
A2300, A2500, A2500i, A3300, A3500, A3500i, Venturist V1200.
Did the container come with a rubber lid?
Probably a Classic.
Classic blenders include new, no-frills models branded Explorian:
Explorian E310 or Explorian E320
Also among Classic models are what used to be called Legacy machines. Legacy machines are (original) Classic and Next Generation . If your Vitamix was built after 1991 and before 2017, chances are it’s a classic and one of these five:
Tall and narrow: 5200 or Professional Series 500 (Pro 500)
Short and wide: 7500 or Professional Series 750 (Pro 750) or 780.
You may find your Classic machine to have a unique model name depending on which retail channel originally sold it. All of the following are Classic Vitamix machines:
Turbo Blend VS; CIA Professional Series; Professional Series 200 (Pro 200); 5200 Super – Healthy Lifestyle; 5200 Deluxe – Complete Kitchen; Creations GC; Creations II; 1709; 1363; 1364; 1365; Total Nutrition Center; Aspire; 6300; Pro 300; Creations Elite;
Did it come with a removable blade base that screws onto the bottom of a container? That’s probably a Space Saving.
Space Saving models come in a few variations: S30; S50; S55.
Okay, now that we know what Vitamix model we’re looking at, let’s look at which containers are compatible with it.
Vitamix Container Compatibility Chart
- The Aer Disc container, at time of publishing, does not show the “Self Detect” logo on its product page. But it is compatible with both Smart System and Classic models.
- The “FP” stands for Food Processor Attachment. This container is a rumored offering only. Nothing like this is currently available. The only information we have about it yet is rumors and some market testing we’ve seen. Sometimes we’re shown new products under non-disclosure agreements; but this is not one of them. Still, I’m pretty sure something like a Food Processor Attachment will be available in late 2018. And I am almost certain it will be exclusive to Smart System machines. And while Low-Profile 64-ounce containers are good at several food-processor tasks, they cannot shred like a true food processor. A container like the rumored Food Processor attachment likely will. wide containers can do some food processor tasks, this attachment will probably have true shredding capabilities.
- The “?” represents future specialty container offerings. Again, I cannot say for certain what these will be and when they will be offered. But the plan at Vitamix HQ is to build accessory containers exclusive to Smart System machines.
Not all containers are compatible with all Vitamix models.
In fact, several containers are not compatible with certain models.
A few examples.
Smart System containers are incompatible on Space Saving machines. They do not fit.
Implication: Space Saving machines are limited to batches as big as 40 oz and as small as 20 oz (No, the 8 oz Blending Cup for Smart System is incompatible with Space Saving machines. It fits, but doesn’t have the proper magnet to trigger Space Saving machine’s motor.)
Classic containers are incompatible with Space Saving and Smart System machines. With the former, the motor won’t drive the blade on a container without SELF DETECT. With the latter, they simply do not fit.
Implication: If you’re looking at a Classic container, it, unfortunately,there is not compatible with Smart System machines. Not ideal if you’re upgrading from Classic to Smart System and have a bunch of accessory containers. Same if you stumbled upon a Classic container at a garage sale.
8-oz Bowl with is only compatible with Smart System. No other machines, Classic or Space Saving, can operate an 8 oz bowl.
Implication: If you want an 8 oz Bowl for your Vitamix, you need a Smart System. If you want a 20 oz Cup on a Classic, you need a Personal Cup Adapter.
48-oz and 64-oz containers with SELF DETECT work with Classic, too. But you can only get the SELF DETECT features with a Smart System machine.
Implication: Because they’re more money and newer, it’s rare to have one of these and need to use it on a Classic. But maybe you’re taking your Smart System container on-the-road to a place that has a Classic machine? Either way, these containers work with all full-size Vitamix machines.
What Vitamix Container are You’re Looking at?
Looking at a Vitamix container? Not sure what type it is?
Let’s figure out exactly what type it is.
Smart System Containers
Smart System Containers are easy to identify. Notice:
1. The clear lid that snaps in place
The clear lid provides some added visibility while blending.
2. The larger blade assembly and straight (not wavy) container bottom.
The larger blade assembly accommodates the magnet and chip that communicates with Smart System machines. This gets you container-specific programming via built-in presets and the Smart Scale and app. For example, the Soup setting is 7.5 minutes with a 48 oz container but only 5.5 minutes with a 64 oz container. Bigger blade in the 64 oz container creates more friction and thus requires less time to heat.
3. Clear handle
4. “SELF DETECT” label
This feature unlocks features with the programs and app. Also, it’s an extra layer of safety; the machine will turn off if the container is nudged off the base.
Classic Containers are also pretty easy to identify. Notice:
1. Rubber lid.
2. Rubber handle.
3. Smaller blade assembly.
Space Saving Containers
Look for the notch. The notch is unique to the Space Saving and is there to help unscrew the blade base from the container. (The trick is to put a spatula or knife into the notch to get leverage.)
Space Saving 20 oz: These cups are identical to the new Smart System cups except for 1 key difference: The lip.
The lip on Space Saving 20 oz cups is small and does not have magnet strips.
Space Saving 40 oz: There’s really no other container like this. It is the only full-size-shaped container whose blade is not fixed to the bottom.
Okay, by now, you should know what Vitamix model you’re looking at, what container you can get, and why. To make things simple for you, here are the links you need to the containers that fit.
Vitamix Container Links by Model
Smart System Vitamix Containers
The Best Container for your first Vitamix: 3 Essential Questions
You’re looking to get your first Vitamix. You wan to make sure the container it comes with is a good fit for your home.
Okay, three questions for you:
1) What are you blending or processing today?
Pick a Vitamix that can do what you’re doing today. Do not pick a machine that might do what you’re doing tomorrow.
2) Do you know what all Vitamix “kit” containers can do?
The container that comes with your machine can do all essential Vitamix tasks. You name it, your Vitamix can do it!
Yes, certain containers are more ideal than others for certain tasks. And for some containers, there are some quantity limitations.
But since some containers specialize in certain tasks, you should consider…
3) What other containers are you considering?
Because some containers are exclusive to Smart System. For example, if you were looking at the 8-ounce Cup Starter Kit, those are not compatible with Smart System or Space Saving.
Okay, now that you have a basis for picking your Vitamix based on the container, let’s see where you fit in amongst the most common buyers.
Container Buyer Profiles: The 3 Most Common People We Talk to About Vitamix Containers
If you’re looking to get your first Vitamix (or upgrade), you probably fit into one of these three groups.
1. It’s just me at home. Which container?
Okay, so you’re making single-serve smoothies. And maybe small batches of nut butters or soup.
Also, you’re probably looking for the most versatility or the smallest investment, right?
Unless you need to do food processing tasks, get a Vitamix with a narrow container. Either:
An E310 (pictured)
One of these two Certified Reconditioned Classics:
You can always add containers later. Like if you want to do blend-and-go, you can add a Personal Cup Adapter.
The only thing you’re missing out on is the 8 oz bowls. And, any future accessory containers that are exclusive to Smart System.
The nice thing is that Vitamix machines hold their value well. So if you ever want to upgrade, you can easily sell your old one.
2. Best Vitamix Container Setup for a Family on a Budget
You live with your spouse. Maybe there are children or an aging parent.
You want a blender and container that’s big enough to make food for the whole family. But, you also want the ability to make small batches of baby food or sauces or dressings.
Maybe you’re starting to cook more and want to make doughs and homemade tomato sauce.
But you’re still a family on a budget.
Here’s what you do:
Get a budget-friendly Smart System.
Then, go from there. Add secondary containers are you see fit.
There’s no rush to get all the containers. The only rush is to end the days of not having a Vitamix in your home.
3. Minimalist Luxury Container Configuration
Looking for the best Vitamix setup without going overboard on accessories and add-ons?
This is what we use in our home, daily.
With these, you get the least loud, most feature-rich Vitamix. Plus, you get the most versatile secondary container.
We call it the Ultimate Vitamix setup.
We could easily sell you all the accessories, especially if you are not on a budget. But if you’re getting started and want the best, this is all you need right now.
Most Commonly Compared Containers
How does this Vitamix container compare to that one? Let’s try to answer all of those common questions.
Comparing a 48 and a 32 (as second container options)
How do the 48 oz and 32 oz containers compare?
The 48 oz and 32 oz containers are quite similar in their capabilities.
Aside from blends larger than 32 oz, they’re similarly skilled. They both handle smaller batches of thick blends well.
The shapes of the containers at the bottom are the same. So, minimum batch size between a 32 and a 48 is identical.
The benefit of the 32 oz container is that it’s a bit less bulky at the bottom.
See how the bottom sits on the inside of the four stabilizing posts? That’s smaller than the 48 that sits on the outside like most Vitamix containers.
The benefit to the 48 oz is that it has a larger capacity and is thus more versatile.
Which to get? A 32 or 48?
If you’re looking at a Classic Series, you have a choice between a 48 and a 32.
Get a 32 if you have a Classic 64-oz container.
Why? Classic 64-ounce containers, since they’re more similar to a 48-oz, pair better with a 32 oz.
Get a 48 if you have a Low-profile 64 oz container.
Low-profile 64-oz containers pair well with 48’s because those are more versatile. (That’s why there is no 32 oz for Smart System. And no, unfortunately, there’s no plan to offer a 32-oz for Smart System.)
20 oz vs 48 oz
So you want a secondary Vitamix container for smaller batches and are choosing between a 48 oz and the 20 oz kit.
What’s the secondary container for?
Keep in mind, that the blade on the 48-oz is fixed to the container. This makes cleaning it easier than the 20 oz, whose blade detaches from the container and uses a removable rubber seal.
The 48 oz comes with a tamper, allowing you to make small batches of thick blends.
Things like ice cream (Wendy’s-style frosty below), nut butters, or hummus need a tamper-compatible container.
The 48 oz container also has a vented lid, so you’re able to make hot soups in it.
Without a vented or tamper-compatible lid, the 20 oz cup is limited to smoothies, dressings, sauces, juices, nut milks, etc.
Another limitation with the 20 oz is its size. Especially if you’re using frozen ingredients, there’s some reduction after blending. (20 oz of ingredients might only get you a 15 oz drink.)
So why would anyone choose the 20 oz container over the 48? The 20 oz has blend-and-go (or blend-and-store) capabilities, while the 48 does not.
Make sense? Here is more of an apples-to-apples comparison of the two blend-and-go options…
8 oz vs 20 oz
Okay, so you’re trying to decide between an 8 oz Bowl Starter Kit or the 20 oz Cups Starter Kit.
Here’s the easiest way to decide:
Figure out the problem you’re trying to solve.
Because they both do blend-and-go nicely.
Are you making baby food or dressings or sauces for the family? Then the 8 oz is great for that.
We love using our 8-ounce container to make our Thai Peanut sauce for spring roll night.
Are you making a morning shake for your commute or salad dressing for a dinner party or no-filter nut-milk? Then the 20 oz is great for that.
In our house, we use the 8-oz bowl airly often. But, we hardly use our 20-oz cup.
Perhaps it’s because we have a baby and we don’t have space in our apartment to host dinner parties? In five years, maybe we’d use the 20 oz all the time and the 8 oz hardly?
Again, it’s about how you’d use them in your home. Related: Here’s a video showing how we use our Vitamix in our home.
How do you decide between the dry or wet containers?
So you want a secondary container that’s smaller and narrow but can’t decide between the regular (wet) one or the dry grains.
First thing: Aside from the blade, the containers are identical. That’s true for the Classic 32’s and the Smart System’s 48’s.
Okay, so how do the blades vary?
The wet blade is designed to pull ingredients down. The dry blade is designed to push ingredients upwards.
So the wet container is great for smoothies, juices, sauces, dressings, hummus, bread dough, and nut butters. (Yes, nut butters and bread dough are best made in a wet container.)
The dry container is great for grinding dry grains. Homemade flours (rice, bean, almond, wheat, etc), herbs, spices, powdered sugar, coffee, seeds.
At this point, we hear two common questions:
- Can the dry container also make smoothies?
- Can the wet container grind dry grains?
The answers are “Yes” and “Yes”.
It’s just they’re best at doing what they’re designed to do.
The difference may be negligible or significant. It depends on the task.
A Dry Grains container might be able to make smoothies and juices. And a Wet container may be able to grind dry grains. (Just like an 8 oz bowl can make a spice grind as seen here.)
But in the long run, you’ll be more satisfied using the container to do tasks it’s designed to do.
If you want a second container primarily for making flours, grinding seeds, or your own spices, go with a dry grains container. Otherwise, get the Wet one.
Is the Aer Disc Container Worth it?
Questions we get a lot:
Do you actually Use the Aer Disc container? Is it actually better at whipping than a standard container?
We did a review of the Aer Disc container a few months ago. Everything you’d ever want to know about it is there.
But here’s the summary:
The Aer container designed to combine without pulverizing. And, it aerates to create foams and other whipping tasks.
It’s good at what it’s designed to do.
In our house, we don’t work with milk or cream.
But cold foam, something people are excited about is a task in which the Aer Disc Container specializes. Starbucks uses this container for this specific task.
It really depends on what you like.
We love making mojitos with it.
Is the Wide Container too Wide? Should I get a Narrow One?
Most new Vitamix machines come standard with a Low-Profile, 64 oz container. See all Smart System “kit” containers.
There are some advantages to these wide containers.
- Counter-friendly. The wide containers fit under most cabinets allowing you to store it on your counter.
- Quicker heating. The 4″ blade creates more friction than the 3″ blade on standard containers.
- Easier chopping. The wide shape makes food-processor type tasks easier. See our detox salad demo.
- More accessible batters. We love making oatmeal pancakes and our special waffle batter in our Vitamix. And we prefer using the Low Profile 64-oz because it’s wider and makes scooping the batter easier.
Of course, the wide container has some drawbacks.
Thick blends require larger batches. For example, if you wanted to make almond butter in a low-profile 64 oz container, you’d need 3.5 cups of almonds. In a narrow container, you’d only need 2.5 cups.
Thick blends like ice cream, nut butters, and hummus require a tamper. The wider the container, the more ingredients you need to have them reach the tamper.
Also, in the Low-Profile 64-ounce Containers, small, liquid blends splash a bit. This is a minor annoyance. And only one that you’d notice if you put the container next to a narrow one. The resulting blend is the same. It’s just that you may have a bit more to clean off the sides and lid.
Now, I want to clear up two myths.
Myth 1: The wide container cannot handle single-serve smoothies and very small portions?
Reality: The wide container can absolutely blend as small as 8 oz blends of mostly liquid and fleshy fruit ingredients. It just gets tricky when you add thick or sticky ingredients.
Myth 2: Wide containers cannot do a vortex?
You can get a vortex with the wide container, especially with thick blends like our Bermuda Sorbet. The vortex maybe less apparent in juices and smoothies than it would be in a narrow container due to the more chaotic flow as mentioned above.
The classic conundrum: You think you’ll need a secondary narrow container but it’s starting to go past your budget. If that’s the case, consider a classic model that comes standard with a narrow container. Either an E310 or a CR Standard.
Another classic conundrum: You’re concerned that the wide container is a bad idea.
Here’s what I always tell people. If you think you’ll be disappointed, you probably will. So either reset your expectations or go with one of the above with a narrow container.
For what it’s worth, we have an A3500 and also a 48 oz wet container. We use them both often.
20 oz vs 20 oz vs 20 oz
No matter what series of Vitamix you have, there’s a 20-oz blend-and-go container
Space Saving comes standard with a Classic 20-oz.
Classic machines can use the Personal Cup Adapter which comes with two 20 oz containers.
And Smart System machines use the 20 oz cup with Self Detect and a blade base.
Of all the Vitamix containers, the 20-oz’s have the least forward and backward compatibility.
The Space Saving blender base only fits on Space Saving machines.
The Smart System machines will not operate a Personal Cup Adapter because it’s missing the Self Detect technology.
And the 20 oz for Spacing Saving is not compatible with any other series. You physically cannot fit a Smart System blade base onto anything but a Smart System machine.
Smart System vs Classic
Here are a few common sentiments we hear about these two different container styles.
“I heard the rubber lid is easier to clean than the clear one. True?”
The clear container is more rigid. And it also has a couple more small grooves. These two design differences can make it a bit more challenging to get perfectly clean than the Classic rubber lids, yes. But you’d only feel this way by comparison. The clear lids are not difficult to clean.
“I heard the tamper is more difficult to use on the clear lids than on the rubber one. True?”
Similar to the above, you’d only feel this way if you compared the two side-by-side. The rubber lid has a tiny bit of flexibility to it, so you feel like you can reach further. In reality, reach with the tamper is practically identical. If anything, it’s greater on Smart System’s clear lids because the lid itself is not as tall as the Classic’s rubber ones.
“So what’s the benefit to the Smart System’s clear lids?”
Some people really like hearing the lid click shut when you secure it to the container. The rubber one, by comparison, just wedges on.
People also appreciate seeing into the container during the blend.
One feature that might be worth considering: Smart System containers are dishwasher safe. Classic containers are not.
This debate you may be having about these two types of containers, Smart System and Classic, is addressed in a recent video we made.
How do containers heat hot soup? Is there a heating mechanism?
Vitamix containers use friction to create heat.
Best way to appreciate this?
Rub your hands together. Now do it very fast.
Feel the heat?
That’s what’s happening with the blade spinning at 2,400 RPM.
So how do you prevent smoothies from getting heated?
It’s a duration thing.
Take a frozen banana, for example.
Blend it in a Vitamix for 30 seconds and you get banana ice cream. Blend for one minute and you get a banana smoothie. Blend for 5 minutes, you get hot banana soup.
Do I really need a second container?
Vitamix machines are great because the container it comes with is generally sufficient.
But here’s the deal:
Having a secondary container can be nice, especially when you have a low-profile, 64-ounce container (a wide one). With a secondary, 48-ounce container, for example, you can easily make:
- Small batches of homemade dressings.
- Frozen desserts for two.
- Non-giant batches of nut butters.
In our house, we LOVE using our 48-ounce container for late-night frozen desserts.
Special diets, like kosher, are another instance where having a secondary container is nice.
So having a secondary container is nice when you have a Low-Profile 64. A wide one.
What’s up with the Plastic? Is there a glass or stainless container?
All Vitamix containers are made of BPA-free Eastman Tritan Copolyester
It’s a fancy title for plastic.
I could explain that it’s a more high-quality material than other plastic blender containers. It is.
But for some people, any plastic is a non-starter. I get that.
Unfortunately, with Vitamix blenders, there’s no way around it. The containers are plastic.
Now, let’s address glass and stainless questions.
- Glass. There is no glass Vitamix container. And from my experience, you don’t want one. I’ve broken several glass containers that came with other blenders. It wasn’t from being clumsy. Tapping it the wrong way is enough to break those containers in half — major bummer. Plus, even when glass containers are in their unbroken state, they’re heavy.
- Stainless steel. There is no stainless steel Vitamix container, either. Not since pre-1991 Vintage models. I’ve seen an aftermarket version, but can’t speak to it. Also, I’m pretty sure using aftermarket containers on your Vitamix makes your warranty null in void.
We try to avoid any plastic in our home. But we think the trade-off is worth it.
Assuming, of course, nothing is leaking from the containers. It is resolved now, but let’s discuss those black flecks.
Is the black speck thing still an issue?
Good question. This concern has been addressed, 100%.
If you’re not familiar, here’s the background. A while back, a handful of owners reported that their container seals were shedding tiny black flecks into their blends.
This concern was investigated by independent 3rd party and yielded the following findings:
- It was impacting a tiny percentage (like less than 1%) of units.
- The material was not harmful if ingested.
Still, Vitamix updated its manufacturing process to use new container seals. Meaning, while there was a less than 1% chance new containers had a harmless defect, now, 0% do.
Disappointing that it happened in the first place. But, good to know the concern has been addressed 100%.
In 2018, Vitamix voluntarily recalled the seals on their 8 oz and 20 oz cups. Most units available for sale today are made with new seals.
You can read more about this recall here.
Conclusion and recommendation
This nearly 4,500-word post should have covered every Vitamix container question you may have. If I missed something, please let me know.
And as always, thanks for supporting our work by using our links to make purchases.