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Do You Really Need A Vitamix?

by jenny sansouci on September 30, 2013

Ah, the Vitamix. One of the most favorited and coveted pieces of machinery in the health food world. I remember the day I decided to get one. It was right when I finally made the decision to enroll at nutrition school, and I knew my life was changing. All of the people I had read about and respected in the nutrition world would mention the Vitamix. I wanted to be legit. I wanted to make green smoothies that would absolutely blow my mind. I ordered one.

The Vitamix did truly change everything for me. I started making green smoothies every morning — throwing everything imaginable in there, and the Vitamix made it into the smoothest liquid ever. No bits and chunks, just incredibly, insanely smooth smoothies. I started to feel more vibrant and alive just starting my day out with these green magical potions. I had never experienced this kind of power or results in any other blender. Not to mention, I started making soups, sauces, almond milk, hummus, desserts and whatever else I could come up with – and everything came out perfectly. I ran around telling everyone how much I loved my Vitamix. I pretty much shouted it from the rooftops.

There is a catch, though.

1 – The Vitamix is a big piece of equipment. It takes up a good amount of counter space (especially if you live in a small apartment).

2 – The Vitamix is about $500. Yeah. It’s a big investment.

For me, I absolutely do consider it worth it. I’ve used it a million times since I bought it over 3 years ago. It’s like a family member to me.

BUT – I speak to a lot of people who say they don’t need such a huge powerful blender, or that they would never pay that kind of money for a blender. Which of course, I get. We all have our priorities.

But these people DO still want to make delicious smoothies.

In comes an alternative that’s much smaller and much more affordable, but still works awesomely. The NutriBullet.

I’ve been hearing about the NutriBullet “superfood nutrition extractor” for awhile now from my superfood pal David Wolfe, but wasn’t sure how it would really measure up to my beloved Vitamix.

I was at my sister’s place in LA last week and she has one. We made “nutri-blasts” (according to the NutriBullet peeps they are “not smoothies” – but really they are) every morning. We piled in the kale, spinach, chia seeds, blueberries, spirulina, hemp, cacao, maca and whatever else was around. 2 things we used that particularly excited me were blue-green algae and aloe, which you can learn all about in this video from Health Ranger Mike Adams.

They came out amazing. I was impressed.

So how does it measure up in price?

The NutriBullet is around $115 on Amazon, compared to closer to $500 for the Vitamix.

The NutriBullet can only make enough smoothie for 1 person at a time, which is different from the Vitamix, which can make a huge blender full of smoothies. So we each had to make our own, but it was fine because we could customize them.

Also, of course, because it’s smaller, it’s less powerful and I can’t say that the smoothies were TOTALLY as smooth as the Vitamix. But definitely incredibly smooth compared to having to drink down chunks of kale bits from a regular blender.

So here’s what I say.

If you are looking for something smaller (1 smoothie at a time) and more affordable, but still powerful – go with the Nutribullet.

If you’re looking for something super high-powered that can do a lot more and make a lot more at once, and willing to pay for it, go for the Vitamix.

What’s your opinion? Have you tried the NutriBullet? Gimme the scoop!

Juice + Smoothie Recipes

For more amazing resources on nutrition, check out the videos on GaiamTV – they have everything, including this awesome video about the Power of Green Foods.




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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Chad Whetman September 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

This is a very good article about the two, but I think it really falls short on the other benefits of the Vitamix. I have had mine for over 10yrs and make soups, dough, sauces, cocktails, marinades, almond milk, etc, etc. The nutribullet, IMHO, seems like a one trick pony. Also, I keep hearing about rust with the NB leaking into your drink if you are not careful about how much you are making. My bottom line is, as a cook, for the cash you are getting way more than a single purpose machine, like a Kitchen-aide, way more bang for your bank.

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jenny sansouci September 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Thanks Chad! I agree. The Vitamix can do a lot more than the NutriBullet. And I’ve never heard the rust thing before, but that’s super uncool.

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Michelle September 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Hi
I started out with the Nutribullet which I got for Christmas last year. It is a great little machine and does a good job of blending up whatever I put in there. I’ve made smoothies, raw date balls, soups (when cooled), and made lots of cashew cheese. After much use and abuse by me I have found it leaking at the top so be very careful not to overfill, which I do. Got my Vitamix a few months ago and love it. I love that i can put hot stuff in it. I do find it too big for just me sometimes, like when making cashew cheese, so I’m happy I have both. But if you are on a budget or just starting out, I think the Nutribullet is a good choice. Just clean it really good and do watch for the rust on the bottom, clean there too.

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jenny sansouci September 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Thanks, Michelle! Yes – I made hot soup in my Vitamix the other night and it was awesome. Appreciate your input, and now I’m hungry. 🙂

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Mara B September 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm

There are a lot of blenders out there between $115 and $500! I’ve been moving around and subletting for the past 2.5 years which has meant I’ve used quite a few different blenders in that time!

There was a MagicBullet – I found the cup is just too small for the amount of veggies I like to put in my smoothies but I think it’s still a great option. I ended up using the pitcher for the weird juicing contraption and covering it with a jar lid while it blends. I have also used an Osterizer from the 70s that works great! As well as several newer Osterizers, a Black & Decker, a hand blender and a mason jar and a few others whose make I can’t remember.

Some blended better than others. One thing I noticed was the weight of the base and material of the pitcher makes a big difference! Something with a heavy base and a glass pitcher worked best!!

Ultimately, though, it’s taught me that I can make do with whatever’s around and still make healthy eating happen – yea!

With that said… I know I’ll have a Vitamix some day 😉

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jenny sansouci September 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Thanks Mara! Yes, I used to have a Magic Bullet too and it was great for sauces and stuff, but I didn’t find it quite worthwhile for the kinds of smoothies I wanted to make.

Whenever I’m on vacation or something I use a regular blender and you’re right, it totally does the job, but I just don’t like drinking smoothies with any bits or chunks, and the Vitamix turns everything into silk. 🙂

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Mara B October 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I hear ya – there’s no putting kale stems in a regular blender unless you want a mouth full of stringyness – no bueno!

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Tracy Johnson October 4, 2013 at 9:09 am

I love my Vitamix for soups and also chopping, too – I’ve used it to grind nuts for a fantastic maca fudge! I have a model called the Vitamix Aspire, which is smaller than the full-sized version, and gives a couple of tall glasses of smoothie at a time. Maybe this is only available in the UK, where I live, but it fits better into my tiny kitchen, and cost about £300.

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jenny sansouci October 5, 2013 at 9:18 am

MACA FUDGE! Want.

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Clarisa mompremier October 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm

This helped me immensely..want to start green smoothies but vitamix seems to overwhelming right now in every way. Not the best fir for right now..I’m a beginner to green, vegan living. And I’m taking it one step at a time. I was told about the nutribullet by my mom so that should have old me it was awesome my mom always gave me the scoop on healthy gadgets, it this article confirmed it. Time to invest in a nutribullet. My fave part is that it can only make enough or one person. My husband and I have very different preferences so customisizing is great!!!

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Tracy Johnson October 8, 2013 at 7:01 am

Jenny – if you want the maca chocolate fudge recipe, find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tracy.johnson.587 and I can share it with you. Bizarrely I have a photo of the recipe and I can’t upload it here…

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Kevin October 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I’ve been traveling up and down the coast in California for several months…for awhile I used the nutribullet since it was smaller. Now I have the Vitamix 5200. It is still super easy to carry it into a hotel. I also like that I can buy the pre-washed spinach and mixed greens at grocery stores, dump the whole plastic bin into the Vitamix, and then add an apple and I’m done (I add other things for more advanced smoothies, but really just spinach/mix green pre-washed package + apple is my minimal smoothie).

This makes enough for me to drink about 4-5 smoothies per day. If there is a refrigerator in the hotel room, even better…I’ll take out a shelf and stick the blender in there as well as a few vegetables for the next day.

Everyone has already remarked on the “smoothness” of the Vitamix…I much prefer it over the nutribullet, plus the nutribullet is only single serving. As I travel now, I use the Vitamix to blend, and the nutribullet container as my to-go single serving from the Vitamix.

I’m going to Belize this week and I think if I bring one of the blenders with me, it may be the nutribullet, but not sure. I may find room for the Vitamix. So road-trips = Vitamix. Flights = maybe nutribullet although I’ve known people to take their Vitamix.

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Hadley Gustin October 14, 2013 at 11:08 pm

I love that I just came across your blog on this, Jenny. I am days away from purchasing a NutriBullet, lol! After years of using my beloved Vitamix, I want to give the NutriBullet a try and see if I can’t make due with something a little more compact. I really appreciate your reviews on both products. It definitely reaffirms for me that I am making the right decision at this time. 🙂

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Kathleen November 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I’ve always wanted a vitamix but can’t validate the price and the nutribullet it too small for me since I make one big batch of smoothies and freeze them for the next coming days. I just ordered the ninja which I’ve heard some good things about–so we shall see!

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Joan Hair January 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm

I love my NutriBullet in so far as ease of use and clean-up is concerned and I will probably stick with it. I don’t want a big cumbersome machine to deal with and don’t need to make large quantities. I have not experienced the rust issue mentioned above, but have only had my Bullet for about 9 months. I have read that in order to get the highest nutritional value, a green smoothie should be consumed in the first 10 – 15 minutes after blending, so I have no interest in making more than one at a time and I am completely happy with the smoothness of my nutriblasts. I like the small size of it and the large cup is perfect for one green smoothie. On the down side, if the lid isn’t tight enough or you put a little too much in it, it WILL leak and is forever after, messy looking. You can not completely clean the stuff from the base once it leaks. I bought mine at Bed Bath and Beyond, using a 20 percent off coupon and got it for $80. Since I use mine on a daily babsis, I fully expect to have to replace it befor it is 18 months old and will certainly do it.

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Cassidy January 19, 2014 at 6:57 pm

What are your thoughts on the ninja? I have it, as well as it’s army of choppers..I feel it’s reasonably priced and works very well.

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Geoff February 13, 2014 at 12:26 am

I’ve been reading that the Nutribullet’s blades rust rather quickly. Have you seen / heard anything about this? I looked into both machines too and even though the Vitamix costs a lot more I think you get what you pay for.

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Connie May 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm

I have the 600 watt Nutribullet and love the drinks it makes. I was making a healthy smoothie for breakfast every morning and really felt better. For one week. After one week the gasket in the blade assembly came loose, wrapped and knotted itself around the blades, and blew chunky liquid all over my kitchen. And it sounds like lots of people have had this happen, or had the motor overheat and catch on fire. And customer service does not honor their “warranty”. So it sounds like the Vitamix is well worth the money.

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Nikolina May 5, 2014 at 2:02 am

I have the Nutribullet and I absolutely love it. I’ve had so many great things to say about it that most of my family and friends have now bought Nutribullets of their own. So far, no one seems the least bit disappointed. While it is true that it makes a single serving, it is really a good sized portion and, if you want to make another for someone else, it takes almost no time at all to throughly clean it, and make some more. Making a lot and refrigerating it doesn’t make sense because the nutritional value is gone 30 minutes after you make the smoothie. And being healthy is the main reason why people make smoothies in the first place?

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Bob May 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm

I started out with just a plane bullet. Worked OK. About a year ago I bought a Vitamix. I got it at Bed, bath and beyond. I had a 20% off coupon and they were on sale. Got it for around $300.00. I absolutely love mine. I have 2 large glasses of green juice/smoothie plus one regular meal a day. There are times I skip the meal and just have 3 big glasses. I actually crave my juice during the day. At 50 I feel better than I have in years. If mine broke tomorrow I would be getting another right away. I have read that the Ninja works pretty real also.

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Fiona November 26, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Im thinking about getting a vitamix. Would it work to make single sized smoothies in the vitamix? I knowbthe nutribullet is great for single size, just wondering if can do the same in the vitamix or if it wont work properly for small amounts? Also i love the fact that with the nb you can first grind your flaxseed in the milling container amd then add it to your amoothie and blend. Can one do this with the vitamix if one doesnt have the dry container? Please advise as very torn between which to get – nutribullet sounds great but i love the sound of making soups and sorbets in the vitamix…

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jenny sansouci December 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Hi Fiona, you can definitely make small amounts in the Vitamix. I’ve never ground flaxseed in the Vitamix but I’m sure there’s probably a way. 🙂 Either way they are both good, just depends on what price you want to pay and what you’ll be using it for most!

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jessy February 3, 2015 at 2:23 am

I have used a vitamix for 7 years and a last month i decided to try nutribullet/magic bullet. At first I was elated at the low price, smaller size, portability and ease of cleaning. Then a few days ago one of the little chips on the side of the tall cup fell off, making the cup unusable so I have to be on the hunt for a new cup. Not happy about that, what else is going to fall apart so quickly? I don’t trust this product anymore and I am going back to my old trusted vitamix.

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Lori February 11, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Hi Jenny! Thank you so much for this simple article. It just helps confirm a lot for me. I seem to be CONSTANTLY researching the mixers lately, obsessed, as to make the wisest investment. I have the Ninja which, sadly to say, I tested to see how “smooth” a smoothie I could make. LOTS of blending, and it’s still chunky. I almost want to gag getting it down, but the nutrition benefits are what I’m aiming most for. The NutriBullet to me is too small and not enough versatility. SOOOOOO, I’m investing in the Vitamix. YAY!!!! And just for those who are seeking that more pricey investment, QVC has Vitamix every few months and split into 5 payments!!! So excited!!!

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Sue Turner July 26, 2015 at 8:49 pm

I have / had a Magic Bullet (very similar to NutriBullet) and I found the plastic just under the chopper blade chipped badly over time and I must have been actually ingesting it! Very worrying for someone who is health conscious. In comparison, my wonderful Vitamix has a fully stainless steel blade. The price here in Australia is $800 but still worth it. I use it about 4 times a day for various smoothies, nut milks, chopping veggies for stews and soups and much more.

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Mel August 17, 2015 at 1:28 am

I was at Costco the other day and they had vitamix for sale(500). I stayed for about 20 min or more and tried a whole meal. Smoothies, soup, vegan mint chocolate chip ice cream ! I was so blown away. I run a small church and I make alot of food. I felt this would make my life a million times easier! I also justified the cost because it would service many people of the church and it is a church investment. I dont know that i would buy it if i only used it myself.( I would buy it if I could afford it for only myself!)
I previously had the ninja . I did not like the clean up and the plastic pieces broke after a bit making it a pain to use. I never could get it fully clean. I got my vitamix not from costco but via their website. They now offer 20% down and 5 easy payments! I couldn’t find the costco model on their site, so I’m guessing it’s for costco exclusively. Sometimes you have to be wary about that. The company may not build or use the same materials as the more expensive option. Many places will make a cheaper version for certain stores. I don’t know if this is the case with costco vitamix. But I can think of several brand that do this.

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Misty August 18, 2015 at 11:21 am

Hi Jenny!

I have a question about the Vitamix blender. Can you use the big cup to make single servings? For smoothies I’d make just one, but I need the one w/ 4 servings because I’m also going to grind flour and other things

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Tom September 11, 2015 at 12:28 am

I’ve had the nutribullet for almost 2 years and use it almost daily. So far not a single problem, other than the lid that has the little lever broke, no big deal. At $80, small size, easy to use and clean. It’s a no brainier for people that just want to make the smoothies.

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