The best Vitamix for new owners
With years of daily blends using nearly every model, hundreds of reader emails, and dozens of conversations with Vitamix Customer Service, here’s what I’m telling friends about which Vitamix to buy: The Ascent A3300 is the best Vitamix for new owners. From smoothies to soups to nut butters to flours, nothing out performs it. It comes with a 10-year full warranty, Smart Detect technology, touchscreen and dial control (both!), and just the right amount of automation for new Vitamix owners.
1) Now through forever: (Starter Kit 1) Get a New Vitamix Owner Starter Kit with the purchase of any Vitamix through Life is NOYOKE. It’s a quick-start recipe cheatsheet, ebook, $20 coupon to LINY “U”, and Lifetime Priority Support as a thank you gift for buying through us. Read More »»
1) This is a really long post. Use the table of contents below to jump to sections. If you’d rather listen and watch me talk this through with you, here’s a video version we just published: Video: Which Vitamix to Buy in 2017
2) Canada readers. We made a special Vitamix Canada page for you.
3) International readers. Use the Vitamix’s International Machine Locator.
Summary of Picks
The Best Vitamix for New Owners
The A3300 has all the Ascent benefits (10-year warranty, Smart Detect technology, bluetooth) with a value-packed configuration that’s conducive to success for new owners.
This is the first time I’ve found an Ascent Series (our full review) to be the top pick for new Vitamix owners. Dollar for dollar, it makes the most sense giving you the most features for the money. This model does not have pre-programmed settings. But this is actually a good thing for new owners. Why? Over-reliance on pre-programmed settings early on can lead to confusion and disappointment for people new to Vitamix ownership. Still, owners of the A3300 can use the programmable timer to get a “walk-away blending” effect similar to machines with the premium, pre-programmed settings. The result of mostly-manual controls (in this case, variable speed dial plus a programmable timer) is generally the overall best user experience for new Vitamix owners.
Another great Vitamix pick for new owners
The Ascent A2500
Ascent technology, three pre-programmed settings, and classic switches make this Vitamix also a great pick for new owners.
The best Vitamix for single servings (and travel)
The Personal Series S50
Easy smoothies for one, blend-and-go, walk-away blending, and a no-frills feature set make the S50 the best personal-sized Vitamix pick.
The latest and greatest Vitamix
The Ascent A3500
All the bells and whistles, plus everything that comes with the new Ascent Series models. The best Vitamix money can buy today.
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Table of contents
Why you should trust me
I left my CPA consulting job in 2012 to start this site, Life is NOYOKE. Today, thousands of people trust me to help them buy, gift and use their Vitamix. Why? I spend 99% of my working hours thinking about, writing about, and using Vitamix blenders. I have (nearly) all the models and use one or another several times daily. You can think of me as a cross between a demonstrator you’d see at Whole Foods, a tester from The Wirecutter, a Vitamix call center employee, and a passionate health and wellness advocate. One that has a close, trusting relationship with a lot of the Vitamix team from C-Suite down to the Customer Service Center. Not sure if there’s another way to say it: I’m passionate about this product and the work I do with it is my livelihood.
Who this is for
This guide on which Vitamix to buy may be for you if:
- You’re trying to find the “best Vitamix.”
- You’re thinking about getting a Vitamix but want to be sure you don’t make the wrong decision.
- You just bought (or were gifted) a Vitamix and want to be sure it’s a good one.
Ultimately, if you’re reading this, you’re probably in the right place.
So, let’s move on to the important stuff.
2017 Vitamix models overview
Here are the big choices for people shopping Vitamix in 2017.
Personal Vitamix are far better than a Nutribullet. But, they’re far inferior to a full-size Vitamix. They’re dishwasher safe and come with a 5-year warranty. Why would anyone get one of these? If you’re only making small drinks for one. Grandma and the Road Warrior (who already has a full-sized Vitamix at home) are two good use cases. Related reading: My S-Series (Personal Blenders) Review
Legacy Vitamix machines come in a million different variations. Many of them are great. None are dishwasher safe. New models come with a 7-year warranty. Why would anyone get one of these in 2017? If you find an amazing deal. Perhaps you inherited some Legacy, secondary containers, like a 32-ounce, that is not compatible with Ascent machines.
Ascent Series are new for 2017. They have Smart Detect containers (8-ounce cup and 20-ounce cup compatibility!), wireless technology, and are dishwasher safe. Plus, they come with a 10-year warranty. Why get an Ascent? In 98% of cases, you should. Related reading: Our Ascent Series Review
All the Vitamix models in a nutshell
Overwhelmed by all the Vitamix models?
But believe it or not, Vitamix only has eleven different models.
Three series, with and without pre-programmed settings, with and without touchscreen.
(To clarify the graphic drawing above: C-Series machines ARE full power. G-Series, at 2.2 hp, are fuller power by tiny bit.)
Here’s the seven listed out with their alternate versions. You can click any of the variations to see that the difference is basically functionality and price.
- S30; an S-Series.
- S55; an S-Series with preset programming. Variation: S50
- 5200; a C-Series. 5200. Variations: Turbo Blend VS; CIA Professional Series; Professional Series 200; 5200 Super – Healthy Lifestyle; 5200 Deluxe – Complete Kitchen; Creations GC; Creations II; 1709; 1363; 1364; 1365; Total Nutrition Center (Canada); Aspire (Canada)
- Pro 500; a C-Series with preset programming.Variation: 6300
- 7500; a G-Series. Variation: Pro 300; Creations Elite;
- Pro 750; a G-Series with preset programming.
- 780; G-Series with preset programming and touchscreen.
- A2300; Ascent Series
- A2500; Ascent Series with preset programming
- A3300; Ascent Series with touchscreen controls
- A3500; Ascent Series with touchscreen controls and preset programming
(Note: I’ve omitted the two-speed machines. A Vitamix without Variable speed control is like a Ferrari with just 1st and 6th gear.)
So why so many different names and prices?
Vitamix creates special names and packages (different cookbooks, containers, and accessories) for their retail partners.
For example, the CIA Creations is just a 5200 with a different name. This helps QVC feel special (and sell more units). Same goes for Target, William and Sonoma, an all the other places where you can buy a Vitamix. Read more »»
Want to compare Vitamix models side-by-side?
Use the Vitamix model picker tool below to narrow your selection. Feel free to sort, toggle, and adjust the settings to narrow down the list of models.
When you’re ready, select two to compare. Then, press the “Compare Selected Blenders” button to see them side-by-side.
Note 1: You’ll need to manually add the 32-ounce container to your cart.
Note 2: You can read my in-depth review of Certified Reconditioned models (“recons”) right here.
Note 3: Links go to the US Vitamix website and are eligible for Free Shipping and a free starter kit with my affiliate code 06-007938.
Compare Vitamix Models
Note 1: There’s now a model comparison tool on Vitamix.com that’s worth a look.
Note 2: There’s now a Vitamix model builder tool on Vitamix.com that’s pretty great.
Note 3: There’s now a best sellers list on Vitamix.com that’s basically just a curated list of C-Series and G-Series models.
Do I really need pre-programmed settings?
Dozens of Vitamix buyers send me questions every day. Nearly all of them want to know if they should get a Vitamix with programs.
Well, here’s what I tell everyone:
There are a few things to keep in mind about pre-programmed settings on Vitamix machines.
1) You do not need them.
My first Vitamix machine did not have them. I was still able to manually use the variable speeds to make everything. In fact, it was probably better for learning how to “drive” my Vitamix. It’s kind of like a manual transmission car. I learned how to drive a stick shift when I was young. That was a great experience and probably made me a better driver. Some people, like several blender blogger friends of mine, actually prefer to blend without pre-programmed settings (even if their machine is equipped).
2) They do not get you “automatic blending.”
The pre-programmed settings are simply timers set to run your blender at various speeds for a set amount of time. There are no sensors or artificial intelligence making on-the-fly adjustments to the blend time and speed. For some recipes, though, you can safely press start and walk away. Green smoothies, hot soups, and cleaning, for example. In these instances, pre-programmed settings enable multitasking quite nicely. But other recipes like frozen dessert and nut butters, using the pre-programmed settings is merely a guide. You still need to be there to use the tamper and listen for the Vitamix to “tell you” when it’s done (or not). So back to the car analogy, pre-programmed settings are like automatic transmission. It definitely makes operation easier. But, the machine still needs you to drive it most of the time.
3) They ARE really nice to have.
As alluded to above, having a Vitamix with pre-programmed settings is quite nice. Admittedly, I was skeptical of its value when I first upgraded to a Vitamix Pro 750. I thought that, as an expert (Mr. Vitamix, apparently), I’d never use ’em. But eventually, I fell in love with the pre-programmed settings. When I make green smoothies, my cashew queso, or run a cleaning cycle, I always use a pre-programmed setting. Set it up, press start, and walk away. Although not a strength of mine, the programs really help me multitask (and be more productive). The analogy here, although it’s standard on most cars these days, is bluetooth connectivity. Can you live without bluetooth in your car? Absolutely. But if you have it, you love it and would miss it if suddenly it was gone.
So should you get a Vitamix with pre-programmed settings?
It’s really up to you.
Just know that like a car, either way you choose, it’s gonna help you get to where you wanna go. And in the case of your Vitamix, that means super smooth smoothies, frozen desserts, nut butters, hot soups, etc. Because with or without pre-programmed settings, your Vitamix can do all that. The difference is how much effort you will have to put in and whether or not you can multitask along the way.
One note: There is one sneaky benefit of having a Vitamix with pre-programmed settings: added safety. Because of how they’re configured, Vitamix machines with pre-programmed settings have a secondary on / off switch. This is nice for families with small children or mischievous pets.
Should I get touchscreen?
- Easy to use.
- Easy to clean.
- Well-made (so no need to worry about break-down or malfunction).
If you want to see them up close and personal, here are 10 video demos with the 780 and here’s an in-depth video from Vitamix headquarters with the A3500.
Here’s one reason to pick a Vitamix without touchscreen: You’re a Legacy owner looking to upgrade..
If you’re accustomed to using a pulse button, I’d go with a traditional model with switches. That’s what we missed when playing with a touchscreen model. If your current machine doesn’t have a pulse button, it’s probably not something you’ll miss. In that case, go for the touchscreen. We really did love the A3500.
Bottom line on touchscreen Vitamix options: Really, you cannot go wrong either way.
Should I Get an Ascent (instead of Legacy)?
On the fence between getting an Ascent or a Legacy Vitamix? I think it’s a no brainer.
Compared to Legacy Vitamix, all Ascent Series machines have:
- Sleek new design.
- 10-year, full warranty.
- 8-ounce cup, blend-and-go capability (!)
- 20-ounce cup, blend-and-go capability (!)
- Wireless connectivity (a technology that doesn’t do much now, but may be nice down the road as fitness and nutrition tracking apps become integrated.)
New owners: Go for the Ascent (our full review). Especially if you were considering getting a G-Series for its quieter run volume, sleek design, more efficient blends, consider getting into the Ascent Series. With the Ascent, you get all the good things from a G-Series plus so much more for about the same price.
Upgrade from Legacy?
Are you the owner of a legacy machine? It’s probably not necessary to upgrade. Why?
Why are we excited about this? The number one concern we hear about full-size Vitamix machines are the minimum batch size. With this, small batches of dressings, nut butters, etc. are easy.
So unless you have zero secondary containers for your Legacy machine and do not need 8-ounce container compatibility, stick with your Legacy Machine. The Ascent Series is going to be around for a long time.
Should I get a Certified Reconditioned Vitamix?
If you’re looking to save some money, Certified Reconditioned Vitamix machines are fabulous. They all go through an extensive inspection and are practically like new. Here are all the available reconditioned models. If you’d like a recommendation, I love the 5200 for $329.95 $299.95. Same machine with programs, the Pro 500 for $379.95 $299.95 is also great.
How the Costco models compare
So you’re looking at the Vitamix machines sold at Costco. Nice.
Two categories of models you’ll find at Costco.
1) Frankenstein models: 5300 and 6500
Here’s what you need to know about the 5300 and the 6500: They’re loud.
Like really, really loud.
G-Series’ shell is the primary reason it’s quieter than a C-Series. As such, a G-Series motor encased by a C-Series shell (a 5300 or 6500), will not only not look like a G-Series, but it will not sound like a G-Series; it will be MUCH louder.
So basically, these two models are G-Series motors held in C-Series shells.
If you don’t mind the “Frankenstein” nature of these models, go ahead. The more people with Vitamix machines in their home the better I’ve done my job.
2) Costco-style packages
Costco sells Vitamix packages that get you some extra value. A 5200 package which includes a dry grains container, for example.
Generally, I do not recommend these.
Sure, you’re paying an extra $50 to get another container worth $125. And that feels like getting $75 free.
But you’re still paying extra for an extra thing. And that extra thing will likely go unused.
Unused extra things lead to post-purchase disappointment. (Translation: you not meeting your goals.)
And since I’m all about you getting the most out of your purchase, I recommend baby steps, first. Get a 5200 – Getting Started package. And if you ever feel like you need a dry grains container, you can get one during the holidays when they’re typically heavily discounted. (You can read more about the secondary container situation here.)
Moving on, let’s hand out some awards.
Superlatives: And the award goes to…
In attempt to answer everyone’s “Which one is best for?” questions, here’s some superlatives.
Best Vitamix for smoothies
Okay, all Vitamix machines make smoothies very well.
But when I hear this, it typically means smoothies are the number one reason you’re getting a Vitamix. It also means you probably already have a blender (or had one). Since it’s the easiest and most cost-effective way to start or continue a smoothie regimen, I recommend the 5200 – Getting Started, also available in reconditioned.
Best Vitamix for the early adopter
The Ascent Series Vitamix machines are quieter than any Legacy Vitamix model before it.
Best Vitamix for Grandma
Some might think that an S-Series, personal Vitamix is best for the elderly. They’re small, light, and less of a beast, so to speak. But since S-Series blades are not fixed to the container, Grandma may struggle with unscrewing the blade assembly. Plus, her not-so-nimble fingers might struggle to get the rubber seal off to clean it. Thus, a reconditioned Pro 500 is my pick for Grandma. It’s easy to use, reasonably priced, and able to make small enough batches for her grandma-sized appetite. I just ordered one for my grandma. Read more »»*
You will find several Vitamix imitators. But, as most people find, there’s no comparison.
Here are a few comparisons showing Vitamix heads-up with he competition.
- Nutribullet: A video demonstration of the Vitamix S30 vs Nutribullet.
- Ninja: A long-form article and video of the Vitamix 5200 vs Ninja Professional.
- Blendtec: A matter of fact take on Vitamix vs Blendtec.
If you’re still on the fence
So you know, I couldn’t decide which Vitamix to buy either. I knew I wanted one, but couldn’t pull the trigger. It was paralysis by analysis.
My only regret?
I wish I hadn’t waited so long.
Want to see and hear the Vitamix (and us) in action? Here are 100+ minutes of us doing Vitamix demonstrations in HD video.