Last Updated July 15, 2015
The most common buyer’s question is some variant of, “I want a Vitamix to make smoothies, soups, and frozen desserts. Which model would be best for me?” The answer is that all Vitamix machines work great for those purposes; which one is best for you comes down to whether you want to pay extra for various features.
There are five main decisions to make when deciding which Vitamix to buy:
Everyone has to weigh the options for themselves to decide which ones are worth it. If you don’t want to go into all the detail I recommend choosing a variable speed, no preset, reconditioned machine. The question of Vitamix C-Series vs G-Series is more of a toss-up: I recommend the 7500 if you can afford it, but the 5200 is also perfectly good. (And for the best deal, check out certified reconditioned.)
Summary of Differences
The following comparison chart shows the relations between the different machines in the S-Series, C-Series, and G-Series. The machines within each box of the chart are identical, but they come with different accessories and cookbooks (except for the S50 and S55, where the S55 has 2 more presets than the S50). Generally I would say that the differences in accessories/cookbooks are pretty marginal, so I’d recommend going for the lowest price model within the box. The main exception is if a vegetarian/vegan/raw cookbook appeals to you, look at the TurboBlend VS, which comes with one, as well as a juice/milk filtration bag.
(“+” indicates there are also more expensive options in addition to the price listed in the chart. The following machines are not shown because they do not fit in with the rest: The Vitamix Two Speed lacks variable speed control, and the Vitamix 5300 and 6500 are a weird combination of the 6300 and 7500.)
Personal Blender? (S-Series vs. C-Series and G-Series)
(Vitamix S30 and S55 vs. 5200, 7500, et al.)
In 2014 Vitamix released a new model: the Vitamix S30. It is smaller than the other Vitamix models, and also comes with a combination blending container/to-go smoothie cup. The Vitamix S50 and Vitamix S55 came out in 2015, and they are the same as the S30 but add preset modes. Since these models are significantly different from all the other models, I put up a detailed Vitamix S30 and S-Series review. If you are considering a smaller blender, or like the idea of blending in a to-go smoothie cup, you should check them out. The S30 and S55’s smaller size of course means that they can’t blend as much as the other models, and they also have lower power.
(Vitamix Two Speed vs. 5200 and Vitamix 6000 vs. 6300)
The variable speed control found on all Vitamix machines except for the Two Speed and 6000 is useful for when you don’t want to fully liquefy your blend. Examples are pesto, salsa, or chopping vegetables. If you don’t have variable speed you can get away with quickly pulsing, but you won’t have as much control. The variable speed also makes the “bubble removal trick” more effective.
(Vitamix Two Speed vs. 6000, Vitamix 5200 vs. 6300, Vitamix Professional Series 200 vs. Professional Series 500, Vitamix S30 vs. S55, and Vitamix Professional Series 300 vs. Professional Series 750)
The preset programs on the 6000, 6300/Pro 500, S55, and Pro 750 allow you to select a program, turn it on, and then the machine will automatically ramp up the speed and then shut off after a certain amount of time. There are a number of reasons that people appreciate this function:
• You can start the machine and “walk away” to do something else.
• If you strictly follow recipes the presets can yield more consistent results.
• Presets can give new users more confidence with the machine.
However, the presets do not work perfectly every time. Sometimes ingredients require tamping to start circulating past the blades, so you can’t always “walk away.” Also, the preset time might not be the optimum blending time if you modify a recipe. You may find that your smoothie is not fully blended after the smoothie program runs, so you have to run it again. A commercial coffee or smoothie shop makes the same recipes over and over, so in that setting presets are extremely useful. If you constantly make new combinations and of differing amounts, as many home users do, the settings may be less useful. It’s not too hard to tell when something is sufficiently blended, and after a few trials anyone should be able to figure it out. For these reasons I personally would not pay extra for the preset settings. However I know many people who have the presets and love them. One thing to remember is that the machines with presets still have the variable speed knob for full manual control. If you don’t mind the added cost of presets, you can always switch back and forth to manual control.
C-Series vs. G-Series (Next Generation)?
(Vitamix 5200 vs. 7500, and Vitamix Professional Series 500 vs. Professional Series 750)
Vitamix released the “Next Generation,” aka “G-Series,” models in 2012. Both the base and the pitcher have an updated design. The base has slightly better sound muffling and also has better airflow which means that it can work a bit harder before it overheats. To go with the better-cooled motor, the updated pitcher has a 4-inch blade instead of the Standard/Classic “C-Series” 3-inch blade. The 4-inch blade is in a shorter and wider container that has the same capacity as the 64-oz C-Series container.
Advantages of the wider design:
• less need for the tamper (ingredients fall into the blades more easily)
• better chopping capability (you can course-chop more ingredients at a time)
• slightly easier to scrape thick mixtures out
Advantage of shorter design:
• potentially easier storage (at 17.5” tall, the container with lid on the base fits under standard kitchen cabinets)
Advantages of the 4-inch blade:
• slightly faster processing time
• under some circumstances marginally smoother blends
The one disadvantage of the new container is that for small volumes of under ~2 cups it does not work quite as well as the C-Series narrow container. The G-Series wider design causes two things to happen. First, there is more splashing up onto the inside of the lid and upper walls of the container, which means you lose a small amount of your blend unless you carefully scrape off the lid and walls. Second, you need slightly more volume to cover the blades and get good circulation going. The minimum volume to blend depends on what you are blending, and also on how much effort you are willing to spend pushing ingredients back into the blades. For example, for best results, the narrow containers can make nut butter easily by starting with 3 cups of nuts, whereas the wider Next Generation containers do best with 4 cups of nuts. For easier, more liquidy, blends, you can go below 1 cup in either container, but Next Generation containers will splash around much more.
This disadvantage is a non-issue if most of your blends are over 2 cups, or if you are willing to spend a bit more to buy a spare narrow container, which will give you the best of both worlds. I like the 32-oz container for this purpose, although the 48-oz container has the same narrow bottom so it works just as well. The 48-oz container is just a bit bulkier on the outside because it sits outside the centering posts instead of inside of them, and its top is wider as well.
(The narrow C-Series Vitamix containers are compatible with G-Series models, but the G-Series containers are not recommended for use on C-Series models. The longer G-Series blades increase the load, and Vitamix does not recommend the C-Series cooling system for those increased loads.)
If you decide that you’d rather not spend the extra money on a Next Generation G-Series model, but you still want to have a shorter container, consider a C-Series machine with compact (48 oz) container instead of the full-size (64 oz) tall container. The compact container with lid on the base is 17.4” tall, whereas the 64-oz narrow container with lid on the base is 20.5”. This combination is currently only available new and is not available reconditioned.
Buying reconditioned is a great way to save money. For more details on deciding about buying reconditioned, see my refurbished Vitamix page.
Continue on for more details of each model type…
The array of different Vitamix blenders is a bit confusing, but it turns out that there is a lot of redundancy between the different models. I am only discussing models made for consumer/home use. Their commercial blenders are not ideal for home use because they are generally more expensive and have shorter warranties (3 years vs 7 years for home use; they are warrantied for constant use—think of how many times per day a blender at Jamba Juice runs compared to at your home).
The Vitamix website currently lists over 30 different home models, but they are all variants of three main designs: “personal” (S-Series), “standard/classic” (C-Series), and “next generation” (G-Series). For each of these main designs there are a few different options, to make a total of 8 different machine types. The rest of the models have identical bases, but come with different containers and/or accessories.
If you don’t want to go through the nitty-gritty of the comparison, here are my quick Vitamix recommendations:
tight budget: reconditioned Standard (
personal/”to-go” blender: S30 ($399, or reconditioned for
the one I use: 7500 ($529, or reconditioned for $429)
most features and $$$: Pro 750 (
$639, or reconditioned for $519)
If the smaller size, dishwasher safe container, and “to-go” blending container appeal to you, please read the full details at my Vitamix S30, S50, and S55 review. For quick reference, the size of the base is 8.3″ deep x 5.9″ wide x 7.7″ tall. With the 20-oz to-go container the total height is 14.55″. The height is 15.66″ with the 40-oz container. These models have lower power, but they are still capable of making all of the usual Vitamix creations, just in smaller quantities.
C-Series Motors (Standard/Classic)
There are three types of bases of the standard variety. The differences are in the controls. The dimensions of the base of these machines are 8.75″ deep x 7.25″ wide x 8.25″ tall. There are three different container size options: 32 oz, 48 oz, and 64 oz, which result in height of base plus container/lid of 16.9″, 17.4″, and 20.5″ respectively.
Standard, no-variable speed (Vitamix TurboBlend Two Speed)
TurboBlend Two Speed ($399); available reconditioned for $299. This machine comes with a 5-year warranty and lacks the variable speed knob. Variable speed is useful for cases where you want to have finer control over the texture (i.e. if you don’t want a totally smooth purée). However, you can accomplish some non-liquefying chopping tasks by quickly pulsing the machine. Another task I use variable speed for is this trick to remove bubbles. While this is the most affordable new machine, I’d highly recommend looking at the reconditioned 5200, which has the same warranty and adds variable speed for $70 less.
Standard variable speed (Vitamix 5200 et al.)
Until recently this was Vitamix’s bread and butter, and they have a lot of models to show for it: 5200 ($449), TurboBlend VS ($449), CIA Pro ($529), Pro 200 ($479), Creations II ($449), and Creations GC ($499); available reconditioned for $329. These machines are essentially identical. Some are available with a shorter 48-oz container instead of the 64-oz container. The smaller container is nice because it’s more compact (and fits under standard kitchen cabinets), but of course its capacity is lower. The aesthetics of the switches and dial are slightly different between the different models. The Creations models come with a 5-year warranty, while the rest are 7 years. The 5200 comes with their “whole foods cookbook,” the TurboBlend VS comes with a vegetarian/vegan/raw cookbook and a nutmilk straining bag, the Pro models come with a cookbook with restaurant-oriented recipes (the CIA one—that’s Culinary Institute of America—comes with an additional recipe book). In my opinion the best Vitamix bang for the buck is the
$329 reconditioned Standard, which comes with a 5-year warranty and brand new container/tamper. Note that if you buy reconditioned, you cannot choose which of the Standard models you are getting; Vitamix will choose for you based on availability, but remember that functionally they are identical.
Standard variable speed + presets (Vitamix 6300 and Professional Series 500)
Pro 500 and 6300 ($649); available reconditioned for
$379. These are the same model; the only difference is that the 6300 comes with the “Savor” cookbook, which has a broader range of recipes than the Pro 500’s “Create” cookbook, which focuses more on restaurant-style recipes that tend to be richer.) They have 3 preset programs that run the blender for a certain amount of time and speed for smoothies, frozen desserts, and hot soups. Their switches are slightly different from the non-preset models. The non-preset models have an on-off switch, a variable speed knob, and a high-variable speed switch. The preset ones have moved the highest speed setting onto the knob and replaced the high-variable speed switch with a pulse switch. This is really a minor aesthetic difference, since you can achieve pulsing on the non-preset models by quickly flicking the on-off switch on and off. Some people love the presets because you can set it and walk away (assuming the mixture is circulating and you don’t need the tamper), and because they get more consistent results. However, the more consistent results will only hold if you always add the same quantities and types of items to the blender. For example, if you’re making a small smoothie, you can blend it for less time than if you were making a large one. One other thing is that you can set the non-preset machines and walk away—you just have to come back to stop them. I often use the blending time to rinse off the knife and cutting board that I used. You’re not likely to forget that the Vitamix is running because it’s loud enough to hear throughout the house. The variable speed knob goes to the same high speed as the previous models on high, but it’s lowest setting is a bit faster than on the 5200 et al., so you lose a tiny bit of fine control. Whether the presets are worth it is a personal question—I wouldn’t pay extra for them, but some people love them.
Standard no variable speed + presets (Vitamix 6000)
6000 ($599). Spring 2015 update: it looks like this model may have been discontinued. Released October 2013, this is more of a mash-up of existing machines than a truly new one. It’s a sort of blend between the Two Speed, and the 6300. It does not have variable speed control, but it has six preset timed blending settings. These settings will automatically ramp up the speed, and then turn it off after a specified time of 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 4.5 min, or 6.5 min. Like the 6300, the pulse control is spring-loaded so that it only stays on as long as you hold it down, and it blends at a medium-low speed.
G-Series Motors (Next Generation)
In 2012 Vitamix released a new generation G-Series base with improved airflow that makes it run cooler and quieter than the classic C-Series one. With the improved cooling, the G-Series base can use a new pitcher design that is wider and has longer blades. This design makes the tamper less necessary, and makes it easier to get thick mixtures out. The longer blades also process food faster and work better for chopping. The G-Series machines are compatible with the C-Series containers, so if you want to use the dry blade you can use the same classic dry container. Dimensions are 9.4″ deep x 7.7″ wide x 17.5″ tall (with new-style 64-oz container in place). For more details of sizes, check out the PDF footprints I made for my Vitamix S30 review.
Next generation motor (Vitamix 7500, Professional Series 300, and Creations Elite)
$529), Creations Elite ($557.50), and Pro 300 ($559). Now available reconditioned for $429–$449. These are all the same machine, but the Creations Elite comes with a 48-oz, 3-inch-blade container, while the other two come with the new-style 64-oz 4-inch-blade container. The Creations Elite also comes with a 5-year instead of 7-year warranty.
Next generation motor + presets (Vitamix Professional Series 750)
Pro 750 ($639). Now available reconditioned for $519. This machine has 5 presets: smoothies, frozen desserts, purées, hot soups, and self-washing. The presets are different from the standard presets in that instead of just being timed sequences of speeds, they use feedback from the blade resistance and a microprocessor to adjust the speed. So in principle these presets should work better because they can adjust to what’s happening in the pitcher. I haven’t found an objective source that evaluates how much better these work, but most of the opinions I’ve read of them are positive.
The Vitamix 5300 and 6500
5300 ($529) and 6500 ($599). These are “new” models for 2015, although they are actually just slightly strange mash-ups of previous models. They appear to be a hybrid between a 6300 and a 7500. They use the wide Next Gen (G-Series) container but they have a Classic (C-Series) base. The 5300 has variable speed and a pulse control switch, and has no presets. Meanwhile, the 6500 has the same three presets as the 6300.
The strange thing about these models is that previously Vitamix stated that Next Gen containers should not be used on Classic bases because they do not have the updated airflow design that cools the motor more effectively.
I strongly suspect that the 5300 has the same microprocessor speed control as the 7500, Pro 750, and 6300, just without the presets. (You can read about the speed control of the different machines on my Vitamix RPM measurement page.) The microprocessor speed control should help protect the motor when using the wide container at high loads and very low speeds, but otherwise, I don’t see how it makes a difference. The marketing copy for the 5300 says that it comes “with a faster, yet quieter, motor,” but I am skeptical of those claims. Also, the G-Series bases have sound-dampening technology not present in the C-Series bases. And finally, note that the 5300 and 6500 are the only models other than the 2-Speed and S-Series that does not come with a tutorial DVD. For these reasons, I would prefer the 7500 (reconditioned, if price is a concern).
Vitamix has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you have second thoughts you can return a machine within the first 30 days for a full refund and they even pay return shipping.
If your machine has any problems during the warranty period of 5 or 7 years they will repair or replace it, and they cover any shipping costs both ways.
I know I already mentioned reconditioned machines, but I want to restate what a great deal I think they are. These factory-refurbished machines offer the best prices you’ll find on Vitamix: S30 for $259, 5200 for $32
9, 6300 for $379, 7500 for $429, and Pro 750 for $519. If the model you want is out of stock, you can use my reconditioned Vitamix availability notification list. For more details, see my refurbished Vitamix page.
Clicking on any Vitamix link on this page will automatically apply a promotion code, which gives you free shipping on your order of a Vitamix machine in the U.S. or Canada. If you order via phone you can get free shipping by telling the representative that you’d like to apply promotion code 06-007021. For more details, see my page about the Vitamix promotion code.
Available Payment Plans
Vitamix recently improved their payment plan offerings. You can now opt to use a credit card to automatically make three or five monthly payments, with no added finance charges or interest. So, for example, you could get my recommended budget pick for as low as $65.80 per month for five months, or the most expensive Vitamix for $127.80 per month for five months (plus applicable local sales tax). Orders are shipped after the first payment. The payment plan options are available on the payment details step of the checkout process.
If you’re wondering if you should get a dry container, this new post is for you: Is the dry container worth it?
Phew… so that completes the Vitamix model round-up. I’m looking forward to getting back to describing some actual recipes!