KitchenAid makes stand mixers in two styles, a myriad of colours, and sizes ranging from 3L to 6.9L capacities in various price ranges.
With so many to choose from, how do you decide which one's right for you? Here is our guidance:
What do all stand mixers have?
- The same original 'planetary action' for fast and efficient mixing, regardless of mixer size.
- Enough power to accommodate the bowl capacity.
- A mixing bowl, dough hook, wire whisk and paddle (flat beater) as a minimum — some models have extra accessories included.
Tilt-head Vs. Bowl-lift mixer configuration
With this style, the head of the mixer tilts back from the base so that you can access the bowl, which is attached (screwed in) to the base.
Small-medium capacities: 3.3L, 4.3L and 4.8L.
- The tilt-head style makes it quick and easy to access the beaters. Simply tilt the head back and remove them. The head locks into place when mixing.
- This type of mixer is also slightly shorter in height, which is a consideration if you have low-hanging upper kitchen cabinets.
- Some people prefer tilting the head back to access the beater quickly and easily.
With this style, the bowl sits securely on the "arms" of the mixer and is raised with a lever. The head of the mixer remains stationary which makes it feel even more sturdy and solid.
Medium-large capacities: 4.8L or 6.9L.
- Several bowl-lift models come with a PowerKnead spiral dough hook which is a slightly different style.
- The bowl-lift has a professional look because it is generally preferred for frequent, heavy use.
- There are many models to choose from.
- Some people choose bowl lift mixers because they prefer the professional look.
Tip: If you're accustomed to a tilt-head, then you may find it less straightforward to remove the beaters and bowl on a bowl-lift version. It sometimes helps to go to a shop and assemble the bowl and the beaters to see which feels best to you.
The mini mixer for small kitchens
If you're tight for space, the mixer tilt-head 3.3L is a good option.
It has the same power as the full-size tilt-head stand mixers while being 20% smaller, 25% lighter.
Questions to ask yourself
Do you need a large capacity mixer?
- Do you regularly make double or triple batches?
- Do you have a large family?
- Do you make a lot of bread?
- You can make bread in any size stand mixer, but if you make large quantities, you may prefer a model with a PowerKnead spiral dough hook, which comes with select models of bowl-lift stand mixers.
If the answer to any of these is yes, then you may prefer a bowl-lift mixer, which comes in larger capacities.
Is colour important to you?
- Do you want your food mixer to be a style statement in the kitchen? KitchenAid offers over 50 colours and finishes.
- Would you like the mixer to be personalised or given as a gift, with an engraving?
- Do you want your mixer to match your personality, interiors or other kitchen appliances? Not all models come in all colours.
If the answer to any of these is yes, then you may prefer a tilt-head mixer, which has more colour and accessory options. The Mixer tilt-head 4.8L - Artisan Premium (5KSM185PS) and the Mixer tilt-head 4.8L - Artisan with extra accessories (5KSM175PS) have the most colours and a personalisation option.
How much space do you have?
- The smallest mixer is the 3.3L tilt-head mixer (5KSM3311X), which is 25% lighter and 20% smaller than the standard size.
- Tilt-head models are slightly shorter (3" shorter) than bowl-lift mixers, which can make a difference if you have low hanging upper kitchen cabinets.
- Tilt-head mixer overall height: 14.0"
- Bowl-lift mixer overall height: varies from 16 7/16" to 17".
Do you like to put your beaters in the dishwasher?
- All accessories that are 100% stainless steel can be put in the dishwasher, have long durability and guarantee.
- Some models come with anti-stick (white) coated beaters and these can also be washed in the dishwasher.
- Standard whisks have an aluminium head and so must NOT be put in the dishwasher, but hand washed in hot sudsy water and towel-dried immediately.
- You can double-check the materials that our accessories are made of in the product information on our website.
TIP: KitchenAid sells replacement beaters in both finishes for most mixers, so you can purchase an alternative if you prefer. Shop accessories here.
Do you prefer a handle on your bowl?
KitchenAid makes bowls in glass, ceramic and stainless steel in various sizes with several handle options:
- Some models come with a bowl with no handle.
- Others have a flat "strap" handle.
- Others have a comfortable, ergonomic handle.
- Heavy duty/professional bowl-lift models come with a handle that makes them stackable for easy storage.
TIP: Whichever bowl the mixer comes with, you have the opportunity to purchase a different bowl of any material and style. Shop bowls here.
Which type of mixing bowl do you prefer?
- If you love clear glass bowls with measurement markings, you can purchase one for all tilt-head and select bowl-lift models.
- Our ceramic bowls have timeless appeal and come in beautiful colours. They can withstand cold and hot temperatures which makes them oven, microwave and freezer-safe. Note: they only fit tilt-head 4.3L and 4.8L mixers.
- As well as the standard stainless steel bowls, you can opt for one in array of style options, from hammered to quilted, to copper finishing. These special stainless steel bowls are only suitable for tilt-head 4.3L and 4.8L mixers.
TIP: It's always nice to have an extra bowl when baking, as most recipes require working on different containers. Shop bowls here.
Do you want a splatter guard (pouring shield)?
- Some models come with pouring shields, which have the dual purpose of helping you to add ingredients, and prevent splashing.
- KitchenAid sells pouring shields for almost every model. Shop mixer parts here.
NOTE: The splatter guard sits on the bowl and is not compatible with glass, ceramic bowls, or hammered or textured metal bowls.