3 Best KitchenAid Stand Mixers, As Determined By Extensive Testing

KitchenAid Stand Mixers

KitchenAid has been the gold standard of stand mixers for decades and good reason. The greatest KitchenAid mixers are baking workhorses, capable of churning up delicate cake batters and sticky bread doughs easily and efficiently. They are staples in both home kitchens and professional bakeries. After putting five leading models through a series of culinary activities, the Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer is the winner because of its powerful performance, streamlined design, and general ease of use. If you’re a beginner baker or have limited kitchen space, the Artisan Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, which is less expensive and smaller, is a similarly impressive machine.

KitchenAid Stand Mixers

After extensively testing five KitchenAid models, I found the Artisan Series 5-Quart, the Artisan Series…. [+] The Mini and Professional 600 are the greatest stand mixers money can buy.

Though KitchenAid isn’t the only trusted kitchen device company producing high-quality stand mixers today, their models are easily the most recognizable because of their unrivaled power and premium, attractive design. “A KitchenAid mixer fans up so many worlds in baking,” says James Beard Award-winning baker Joanne Chang of Boston’s Flour Bakery & Cafe. “They look great with many colors, they last a long time if you care for them properly, and they have a reasonable range of speeds and useful attachments.” While you can make meringue, bread dough, and buttercream by hand, Chang adds, “A mixer gives you a better-finished product because the machine is stronger.”

The most difficult part of purchasing a KitchenAid is deciding which model is best for you after investing in one (or adding one to your wedding registry or Christmas wish list). After all, the firm sells a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and even the most inexpensive options are costly. Following is a list of the best KitchenAid mixers based on my testing:

Style: Tilt-head | Attachments: Beater, whisk, dough hook, pouring shield | Bowl capacity: 5 quarts | Weight: 26 pounds | Dimensions: 8.7 x 14.1 x 13.9 inches | Power: 325 watts

Best for:

  • Home bakers who are ready to invest in a premium stand mixer
  • People who make a wide variety of baked goods, from bread to cake
  • Those who want lots of color options

Skip if:

  • You typically make larger batches of stiff doughs

The KitchenAid Artisan received the top grades because, it offers everything a stand mixer might wish for. It has a 5-quart capacity, which is large enough for standard baking recipes but small enough to fit inside most kitchen cupboards. The tilt-head design and handy pouring shield, which attaches to the top of the mixing bowl and keeps wet and dry ingredients from flying over the sides, also make it easy to use. And, this stand mixer does an excellent job. Nothing I made in the Artisan turned out over- or under-mixed, from whipped cream to pizza dough.

The Artisan is KitchenAid’s best-selling stand mixer, and I could easily see why during testing: it’s an exceptionally versatile, professional-grade machine that’s both powerful and smooth. When I made whipped cream with the whisk attachment, it took less than 5 minutes to form medium-stiff peaks; even when alternating between medium and high speeds, none of the heavy creams spilled out. The mixer also made comfortable work of the kitchen sink cookie dough, completely mixing and dispersing all the mix-ins (shredded coconut, oats, raisins, chocolate chips, and walnuts). The soft sponge batter, which yielded a fragile, light cake, was also a breeze for the machine.

A common criticism of inferior stand mixers when mixing dense doughs is that they shake and bounce. There was no such movement with this model. The Artisan remained firm and secure on my countertop when mixing a batch of pizza dough using the dough hook—even at higher speeds. After about 5 minutes of kneading, the smooth dough ball was flexible and springy; when I made my fingers into its tacky surface, the dough bounced back. These characteristics suggested that the dough had been perfectly kneaded. I made tiny pizzas after providing the dough, which had soft (but not mushy) centers and crispy, golden brown rims.

The Artisan is an unbeatable model for most home bakers. Gratitude to its tilt-head design, it’s easy to pause the mixer to check on your dough, add extra flour, or scrape down the top of the bowl. I also liked how easy it was to swap out extensions without removing the bowl from the mixer, typically required with bowl-lift models. The pouring shield is also worth mentioning. This helpful addition allowed me to add dry ingredients to the running mixer without shipping flour and heavy cream flying during testing. Last but not least, this mixer is available in 27 stunning colors, including the famous Empire Red. (See my KitchenAid Artisan Series Stand Mixer review for additional information.)


2. KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

$300$380Save $80 (21%)

Style: Tilt-head | Attachments: Silicone-edged flex beater, dough hook, whisk | Bowl capacity: 3.5 quarts | Weight: 18 pounds | Dimensions: 7.8 x 12.3 x 12.3 inches | Power: 250 watts

Best for:

  • Those with small kitchens and minimal storage space
  • Newer bakers who want to learn the ropes with a professional-quality mixer
  • People who like to make smaller half batches of baked goods

Skip if:

  • You like to make large batches of dough at once

The Artisan Mini is an excellent alternative for newer or occasional bakers who like a premium stand mixer but need more time to be prepared to add a larger, more expensive model to their baking arsenal. This mixer is the smallest of the KitchenAid models, weighing only 18 pounds and no larger than a drip coffee maker. It’s simple to use as a tilt-head mixer. And, despite its diminutive size (at least in comparison to other models), it is an amazing powerhouse. It combined cookie dough, pizza dough, and cake batter as expertly as larger models during testing. (You can read my full Artisan Mini review here.)

While I expected to cut my dough recipes in half for this 3.5-quart mixer before testing, I quickly discovered that it would be unnecessary. I made complete quantities of each, and everything was perfectly mixed, folded, beaten, and kneaded, as proven by the final products. However, the mixing bowl had reached its capacity. Though nothing spilled, the cookie dough appeared to overflow at times. As I added more mix-ins and the dough thickened, the machine bounced, bouncing similarly with the sticky pizza dough. However, my recipes turned out perfectly: the cake was wet and tender, the pizza dough was light and crisp, and the mix-ins in the kitchen sink cookies were evenly distributed.

What distinguishes this little mixer from its larger brothers is its ability to handle smaller ingredients—for example, just enough bread dough to make a single loaf or a half batch of chocolate chip cookies. The larger models I tried struggled to completely mix a few egg yolks or a unmarried batch of cake batter because the attachments couldn’t reach far enough down into the bowl, but the Artisan Mini had no such problem. Furthermore, I made whipped cream in the mixer with only half a cup of heavy cream. If you’re just getting started with home baking and trying out new recipes, the ability to make tiny batches is far more valuable than the ability to make triple amounts of cookies at once.

The Artisan Mini also has an accessory that will benefit all bakers, especially beginners. The Artisan Mini comes with a silicone-edged flex beater, which features a relaxed fin that scrapes errant pieces of butter and dough from the sides of the bowl, in contrast to most KitchenAid mixers, which come with a flat beater. When preparing cookies, cakes, and muffins, it’s vital to pause the mixer now and then to manually scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are totally incorporated. But, because of the flex beater, which I found to be effective, I didn’t have to do it as frequently—a minor but much-appreciated convenience. This benefit could be recipe-saving for bakers who don’t remember to tend to the sides of the bowl frequently.



3. KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer

$430$550Save $120 (22%)

Style: Bowl-lift | Attachments: Beater, dough hook, wire whisk, pouring shield | Bowl capacity: 6 quarts | Weight: 29 pounds | Dimensions: 11.25 x 16.5 x 14.5 inches | Power: 575 watts

Best for:

  • Home bakers who like to double (or even triple) batches
  • Those who primarily make bread and denser doughs
  • More advanced bakers who are willing to invest

Skip if:

  • You typically cook single batches
  • You’re short on space or have trouble moving large objects

Larger, stiffer combinations are better suited for bowl-lift mixers because they are often heavier and more powerful than tilt-head mixers. The Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, a 29-pound beast with a 6-quart capacity, proved more than capable. If you’re an experienced home baker who routinely tackles more ambitious baking projects and have the necessary storage space, the Professional 600 is the model for you.

The Professional 600 is one of the large models the company makes. I could mix 5 cups of heavy cream in my whipped cream test with no spatter. The Professional 600 needed help to mix little pieces during testing due to its size. When I tried to mix egg and sugar for the sponge cake, the beater skimmed the top of the egg yolks, leaving a good amount of sugar in the bottom of the bowl. My result was an undermixed batter that yielded a collapsed cake. I had the same experience with pizza dough. When I made a single batch of pizza dough in the mixer, flour gathered on the sides and bottom of the bowl where the dough hook—or, more accurately, the mass of pizza dough that encircled the hook—couldn’t reach. However, after I doubled the recipe, the dough hook had no trouble kneading the ingredients together. When the smooth dough ball formed, its sticky surface immediately gathered up all of the flour that had accumulated on the sides and bottom of the bowl. It efficiently whipped cream into soft, gentle peaks.

A view of the kitchen sink cookies I made with my Professional 600 stand mixer.

Furthermore, the machine did not bounce or wobble even at high speeds when mixing the double batch of sticky pizza dough. I also found that the physical architecture of the bowl-lift design contributed to the machine’s stability; unlike tilt-lift models, the bowl-lift model’s head is fixed. To raise and lower the bowl of the Professional 600, you use a lever on the mixer’s body, which I found simple and intuitive. Even with the bowl fully lowered, I found it difficult sometimes to add ingredients and scrape down the sides of the bowl due to the attachments being in the way.

While inexperienced home bakers could easily learn the ropes with this stand mixer, it’s best suited to more experienced bakers who consistently make numerous loaves of bread at once or triple cookie recipes. This KitchenAid model is not just one of the most expensive (it generally retails for $550) but also requires a large amount of storage space. Though it fits easily into my tall kitchen cabinet, it needs its shelf. The Professional 600 is also suitable for those who need help to lift big objects, as the bulky machine is difficult to get from the pantry to the countertop. However, it will be more than enough if you can manage the mixer or intend to leave it out on your countertop.

Other Products I Tested

KitchenAid Classic Series 4.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer: This tilt-head mixer teasily tackled every test The Artisan 5-quart mixer, which offers the ideal bowl for most home baking jobs, has a lesser capacity than this one. It also lacks a pouring barrier, which I found quite useful in stopping ingredients from splattering while mixing. Overall, this model needs to include the mobility and simplicity of the Artisan Mini, as well as the capacity and beauty of the Artisan 5-quart model. (The Classic is likewise only available in black and white colors.)

KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series 5-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer: This machine is similar to the Artisan in that they both have the same list price, hold the same quantity of food, and perform well in testing. The key difference is that the Professional 5 Plus is a bowl-lift model, which is bigger and heavier, making it more difficult to store. It also lacks a pouring shield, which I found to be a really valuable utility.

I considered testing the Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, but it seemed too similar to the Professional 600 Series, with the primary differences being price and capacity. I also decided not to compare the Commercial Series 8-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer to the others;. At the same time, this model is very strong, it’s intended for professional kitchens rather than home baking projects.

How I Tested The Best KitchenAid Mixers

Because KitchenAid mixers are frequently large and heavy (not to mention pricey), you want to get it properly the first time. As I decided which models to test, I kept this in mind, attempting to pick a variety of machines that would appeal to bakers with varying preferences and skill sets. KitchenAid offers two types of stand mixers: tilt-head (the bowl attaches to the machine’s body, and the head hinges backward) and bowl-lift (the head is stationary, and the bowl connects to two arms that extend from the mixer’s body). While tilt-head mixers are shorter, lighter, and easier to store, bowl-lift models are heavy-duty machines with stronger engines. Each has advantages and disadvantages of its own. After extensive research and thought, I chose five top models based on functionality, capacity, power, and price.

KitchenAid Stand Mixers
I made basic whipped cream in each KitchenAid stand mixer to test basic operation… I took note of the loud level and splashing.

First, I measured each machine’s size, weight, and appearance. I then put each mixer through a series of culinary tests, utilizing the three attachments supplied with each model—a flat beater, dough hook, and wire whisk—to see how efficiently and expertly they tackled four classic recipes. First, I made whipped cream using the whisk attachment, a relatively simple process. This test allowed me evaluate how easy it was to switch between different speed settings when necessary because I used both medium and high speeds. Throughout the process, I also noted the noise level and any splashing. Then, in each machine, I made a large batch of kitchen sink cookie dough (enough to yield 48 cookies) with the paddle attachment. I wanted to examine if the mixers could uniformly mix a variety of mix-ins, such as shredded coconut, walnuts, raisins, oats, and chocolate chips. I checked the bottom of each bowl to see whether any ingredients had pooled after the top of the batter appeared incorporated. After baking the cookies, I checked how evenly the mix-ins were distributed.

I then tested the mixers by making a full batch of pizza dough (enough to hand-make two 14-inch pizzas). One of the most difficult aspects of creating pizza dough is avoiding overworking it; you want to blend it long enough to activate the gluten, but overworking causes the dough to lose its elasticity and yield a bread-like texture. As each machine (fitted with the dough hook) kneaded the ingredients into a sticky ball of dough, I closely watched whether the stand mixers bounced around my countertop or became particularly noisy when the machines were operating at high speeds.

My last recipe was significantly more delicate. I made a traditional sponge cake batter for each model, which takes gentle folding and can collapse if not properly mixed. In this test, I mixed egg yolks with sugar, gradually adding flour; I then beat the egg whites until soft peaks formed, which I then folded into the rest of the batter using the paddle attachment. I noticed how easily the two batters combined as each model took on the note.

Throughout each test, I noted how easy each machine was to use—specifically if it was difficult to change speeds, remove the mixing bowl from the machine’s body, change attachments, and add more ingredients. It’s also worth mentioning that all KitchenAid stand mixers come with a one-year warranty (except for the Pro Line, which has a five-year warranty).

How To Pick A KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Here are some things to remember when perusing KitchenAid’s numerous stand mixer models to help you pick the ideal machine.


The capacity of KitchenAid stand mixers ranges from 3.5 to 7 quarts. (While the brand does make larger models, they’re geared for business use). Consider how much you generally bake at once when deciding which capacity is best for you, as the length of the mixing bowl will influence the amount of food you can make. A 5-quart mixer should be sufficient for most home bakers. The Artisan Mini may be a better option if you only bake occasionally and want to make smaller portions of food, such as half-batch chocolate chip cookies or a mug of buttercream frosting. Consider a 6-quart (or even 7-quart) machine if you want a professional-grade machine that can mix numerous batches of dough simultaneously.

Remember that bigger is not always better. “Just because they sell a large bowl doesn’t mean you need a large bowl,” David points out. If you try to make half the meringue in a 6-quart mixer, for example, the attached whisk will most likely not have enough substance to grip onto. “If the bowl is too large,” David continues, “the whisk can’t do its job effectively because it can’t reach the ingredients—it’ll just scrape the top.”

Tilt-Head Vs. Bowl-Lift

There are two kinds of KitchenAid mixers: tilt-head and bowl-lift. The mixing bowl in tilt-head models is locked into the machine’s base, and the mixer’s head hinges backward. Remove the machine from the top and tilt the head backward to swap out attachments or add new ingredients. Bowl-lift mixers have a fixed head and two arms that attach to the machine’s body to hold the mixing bowl. An easy-to-use lever lifts the bowl up and down to handle the dough or scrape down the sides of the bowl; if you need to change attachments, you generally need to remove the bowl from the machine.

Tilt-head models are generally lighter, more streamlined, and easier to use. Bowl-lift models, on the other hand, are more powerful machines; due to their weight and design, they also tend to be sturdier, which is why they’re frequently recommended for bread bakers. “I find the bowl-lift models slightly sturdier when making bread dough,” David explains. “The tilt head can jump open while mixing tacky dough,” says Chang, who also thinks that “bowl-lift mixers are typically larger and stronger.” While she prefers that approach at work, she says, “For home use, I don’t have a preference between the two.”

KitchenAid Stand Mixers

The Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer and the Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl-Lift … [+] Stand Mixer, side by side.

Laura Denby

Size And Weight

Even the smallest KitchenAid stand mixers require some counter and storage space, so before you click “checkout” on a model, consider how much space you have available for the mixer. Consider the Artisan or Artisan Mini if you have limited kitchen space. The Artisan Mini is the smallest, about the size of a coffee maker, but it can also fit under most cupboards. Mixers like the Professional 600 necessitate substantial space, such as a cupboard or pantry, all to themselves.

It is also necessary to consider weight. KitchenAid mixers are large machines that weigh anywhere from 18 pounds (Artisan Mini) to 29 pounds (Professional 5 Plus). If you live in an apartment with shaky pantry shelves, you might not want to put a 29-pound KitchenAid on it; similarly, if you struggle to carry heavy goods and want a model that you can easily move between your counter and cabinets, you might not want to buy a larger model.


All KitchenAid stand mixers include three branches: a flat beater, a dough hook, and a wire whisk. Aside from that, the provided attachments differ by model. Some mixers, for example, include a plastic pouring screen that attaches to the top of the mixing bowl and prevents ingredients from splashing over the sides while the machine is running. The Artisan Mini also contains a silicone-edged flex stander, which features a flexible silicone fin to reduce bowl scraping, in contrast to other mixers, which typically come with a normal flat beater.

Along with normal mixing tools, KitchenAid sells many accessories and attachments that significantly increase the machine’s functionality: a pasta press, a meat grinder, and an ice cream maker, to name a few. Because KitchenAid stand mixers have a versatile power hub, all accessories that attach via the hub are compatible with all models and are available for purchase on the KitchenAid website.


KitchenAids, like the best stainless steel cookware and Dutch ovens, aren’t cheap, but as most home bakers will tell you, they’re worth the acquisition. These famous appliances are made in the United States and are built to last, thanks to their excellent construction. The KitchenAid Classic, a 4.5-quart tilt-head model, costs $330, while large-capacity bowl-lift models can cost up to $650. Consider buying a certified refurbished model to save a lot of money. These gently used models are sold through KitchenAid’s certified refurbished program and are restored to like-new condition at substantially lower prices.

My Expertise

As a full-time product reviewer specializing in kitchen equipment, I’m constantly looking for tools and appliances that make home chefs, and bakers feel more at ease and competent in the kitchen. Over the last five years, I’ve tested hundreds of cooking gadgets for outlets such as Food Network, Food & Wine, and Taste of Home, ranging from nonstick pans to air fryers to paring knives. I hold a culinary arts degree from the Institute of Culinary Education and spent years cooking in professional kitchens before starting to evaluate products. I also spoke with Jürgen David, director of pastry research and development at the Institute of Culinary Education, and Joanne Chang, owner of Boston’s Flour Bakery & Cafe, for this piece.

How Long Do KitchenAids Last?

KitchenAid stand mixers have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. However, their longevity is mostly determined by how frequently they are used and how well they are maintained. If you don’t abuse it, a KitchenAid mixer should last you a lifetime. “Make sure you don’t leave it running too long, wash it after each use, let it cool off, and dry it properly.”

Chang agrees with David: “Depending on the mixer and how frequently you use it, you should be able to use it for your entire lifetime—mine is 30 years old!”

Are KitchenAid Stand Mixers Really Worth It?

A KitchenAid stand mixer is an extraordinarily versatile machine capable of efficiently handling all types of dough. “You can do anything by hand, but it’s nice to have the luxury of having a machine that does the work for you,” David explains. “It’s faster and more efficient than mixing anything by hand.” While stand mixers make a variety of chores easier and faster, they’re notably useful for kneading tough doughs and aerating lighter ones. “With a mixer, you don’t have to use as much muscle power,” adds David. “Whipping things by hand is tedious and exhausting, but for cake batters and light and airy meringues, KitchenAid mixers are great for incorporating air.”

Should You Buy A Refurbished Model?

If you are still deciding whether to invest in a brand-new KitchenAid mixer, browse the company’s extensive selection of certified refurbished models. KitchenAid offers unused or gently used products thoroughly tested and restored to like-new condition through its certified refurbished program. It is a great opportunity to purchase a KitchenAid product at a reduced price, but buying a reconditioned model is also an environmentally friendly alternative. Each stand mixer has a one-year warranty if purchased directly from the company’s website.

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