KitchenAid’s stand mixers are iconic for a reason (some would say for much more than one).
They’re gorgeous in their looks and, with a variety of accessories and attachments, designed for much more than baking. When you buy a new one from KitchenAid’s website, you can even have it engraved for free.
But if you’re running on a tight budget, KitchenAid’s stand mixers can also seem highly overpriced. What if you don’t want to drop a whole paycheck on a countertop appliance?
Or maybe you like your appliances to look like they come from the 21st century and not your great-grandparents’ colonial farmhouse.
No matter why you’re not the biggest fan of KitchenAid, one thing’s for sure: there are so many stand mixers out there, it can be tough to make a choice.
Happily, if that’s why you’re here, I’ve got you covered:
I spent quite a few hours researching the best KitchenAid alternatives on the market—and then wrote this post—so that you and the rest of my readers can use it as a helpful guide.
Best KitchenAid Alternative on a Budget
Low-cost but still sturdy
With a stainless steel bowl, splash guard, and three attachments, this stand mixer is about as good as they get at its price point. It’s not the most powerful and doesn’t have the best looks, but it gets the job done—and that’s what counts.
Made in China / 300 watts / 7 speeds
This Hamilton Beach tilt-head stand mixer is the most affordable alternative to KitchenAid that’s still made by a reputable brand. It retails for less than half the price of the entry-level 4.5-quart model in KitchenAid’s Classic Series.
These savings naturally come at a few trade-offs that some of you may or may not be willing to make. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:
The body is made from plastic. Though you can choose from four color options (black, blue, red, and silver), neither looks as good and feels as sturdy as that of a metal stand mixer.
Some users report quality issues with the hinges on the tilt-head mechanism, which caused them to have to return their mixers and have them replaced under Hamilton Beach’s 1-year warranty.
The bowl has a capacity of 4 quarts, 1/2 less than the bowl of Kitchen Aid’s smallest stand mixer, but it comes with a handy splash guard that can save you hours of cleaning after you’re done mixing a dough.
It comes with three attachments—a dough hook, flat beater, and whisk—but no hub, and you won’t find any attachments to take the utility of your stand mixer to the next level, as you will with KitchenAid.
The mixing action is the same as that of KitchenAid’s and reaches all the way to the bottom, which can’t be said for most stand mixers on the market. The body stays firmly in place with suction cups and won’t rattle around that much.
The bowl is easy to clean up, and the attachments generally non-stick and safe to clean in the dishwasher.
The motor only has 300 watts of power. But it offers 7 speeds, which allow you to distribute that power evenly so that you don’t burn it out with a dough that’s way too sticky for the speed of mixing.
Take it or leave it; it’s about as good as a stand mixer at this price point gets. It’s designed by American company Hamilton Beach that’s been around since 1910, and manufactured by its subcontractors in China.
Most Stylish KitchenAid Alternative
Stylish and extensible
Stylish and beautiful, yet functional and extensible, this stand mixer features a powerful 600-watt motor with 10 speeds. It has an attachment hub that allows you to extend its utility with Smeg-built accessories and attachments.
Made in China / 600 watts / 10 speeds
Italian home appliance manufacturer Smeg is not as popular in the United States as it is throughout Europe. But, since it introduced a line of retro-styled countertop appliances, including this lovely stand mixer, it’s been winning the hearts of more and more American consumers.
This model, the SME02, is the second generation of Smeg tilt-head, planetary-arm stand mixers. It’s well-built and made from high-quality materials, and Smeg has a reputation for designing long-lasting consumer appliances since 1948.
Though Smeg makes its larger appliances, like ranges, dishwashers, and washing machines, in Italy, Appliance Retailer reports that it manufactures all of its countertop appliances in China.
The planetary arm gracefully reaches all the walls, but the jury’s out on whether or not the attachments go all the way down to the bottom of the bowl. Some owners are pleased with the mixing action; others say that ingredients get left out on the bottom of the bowl sometimes.
It comes with a powerful yet quiet 600-watt motor equipped with a smooth-start function that helps you keep splatter to an absolute minimum. You can choose from 10 mixing speeds so that you can keep tabs on the distribution of power no matter how sticky and hard the dough.
The 5-quart stainless steel bowl is spacious enough to turn this mixer into your trusty kitchen assistant, even if you cook for a large family and often find yourself having to feed a crowd. As a bonus, it comes with a pouring shield right out of the box.
The mixer is sold with three attachments: a wire whisk, a flat beater, and a dough hook. Just like KitchenAid, it has an attachment hub that makes it extensible—allowing you to purchase additional attachments like the SMFC01 fettuccine cutter, SMMG01 meat grinder, and SMPC01 pasta roller and cutter set.
All in all, I consider this to be the closest alternative to KitchenAid stand mixers by design, extensibility, and price. So definitely one for you to consider if the cost of KitchenAid is not the issue!
Best-Priced KitchenAid Alternative
“When in doubt,” as a friend of mine who works at a small-town consumer appliance retailer likes to say, “go for Cuisinart.”
I don’t know about you lot, but I think he’s right.
Owned by Conair Corporation, American home appliance brand Cuisinart has been around since 1971. While it’s best known for making feature-rich food processors, when making this stand mixer it looks like it took some of its decades of expertise—and applied it to it.
The SM-50R looks compact but is a heavy-duty, fully-sized stand mixer for seasoned cooks and beginners in cooking alike.
It sports a solid die-cast metal construction and a mighty 500-watt motor with 12 speeds. So this stand mixer gives you the most precise control over mixing speed and power distribution from all other KitchenAid alternatives on my list.
The 5.5-quart stainless steel bowl comes with a splash guard, which keeps the mixer from making a mess. The bowl itself is spacious enough for five dozen cookies or 6 cups of ingredients at a time, Cuisinart claims in the product description.
You get all the standard attachments when you purchase this one: a wire whisk, dough hook, and flat beater.
But, like KitchenAid, you also get a power hub for compatible attachments made by Cuisinart. These attachments include a meat grinder, pasta extruder, pasta roller and cutter, and frozen dessert maker.
The downside is that, like the Smeg, some owners say that it won’t reach all the way to the bottom of the bowl, and flour or other ingredients will get left behind now and then.
It also gets shaky at higher speeds, which is not uncommon for this type of household stand mixers. Still, if you follow the instructions in the owner’s manual and care for it well, it’s guaranteed to last you a long time.
Are Stand Mixer Accessories and Attachments Interchangeable?
Stand mixer accessories and attachments are generally not interchangeable between brands. So if you own a pasta cutter for a KitchenAid stand mixer, for example, you can’t use it on a Cuisinart or Smeg.
The main reason behind this is that, when it comes to stand mixers, manufacturers haven’t agreed on a single standard for accessories, attachments, and the power hubs they’re mounted on. Consequently, each brand has developed a technology of its own, which works only on its models.
One could argue that there’s a more sinister reason at play, and it’s called vendor lock-in. Suppose you’ve owned a stand mixer for a decade or two, and you’ve bought a few attachments for it. But, for some reason, it broke—and now, you need a replacement. If the accessories and attachments are not interchangeable, you’re more likely to buy from the same brand again.
Why Are KitchenAid Stand Mixers So Expensive?
At a few hundred dollars, they’re as much an investment as they are an aide. Have you ever wondered why KitchenAid’s stand mixers are so costly?
KitchenAid is a U.S. company that sources its parts from all over the world and assembles all of its stand mixers in its factory in Greenville, Ohio, which, as told by NPR, employs 700 workers who run three shifts.
When you buy a KitchenAid stand mixer, you’re doing more than getting a countertop appliance from a brand you trust: you’re supporting American business and manufacturing traditions relied on for well over 100 years.
As America’s Test Kitchen proved in the video below, it does make a difference:
It probably made an impression to some of you that, looking at the product picks on my list, most other companies, American or European, tend to outsource their assembly lines to China.
While that’s not necessarily a sign of lesser quality (in recent years, China has surpassed the West in many aspects of design, engineering, and manufacturing), it’s a way to cut costs and keep prices low.
When I buy something, I always ask myself two things:
- Is this (really) what I need?
- Do I know who I am supporting—and what they stand for?
At the end of the day, it’s your money and your choice. And, if someone claims to have the single correct answer, don’t listen.
Now that you know my picks for the best KitchenAid stand mixer alternatives, which make and model did you end up going for?
My picks again, for your convenience:
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