Blender Basics

Glass or Plastic Jar Blenders?

by Carmen G.
Updated January 3, 2020

Wondering if you should get a glass or plastic blender? We discuss the differences below.

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So What’s The Difference?

In the past, all blender jars (or pitchers) were made of glass. But now the majority of blenders have jars that are made of BPA-free plastic.  And you’ll notice that glass isn’t even an option in all the high-end, high-powered, professional blenders like Vitamix and BlendTec. That said, some people simply prefer glass—and for very valid reasons.  Fortunately, you can still find a good glass blender. But before you commit to one material over the other, you’ll first want to decide which type best suits your needs by exploring the pros and cons of both

Glass Jar Blenders

Some people love having a blender with a glass jar because it’s heavier, it’s healthier than any plastic option (BPA Free or not), and it stays nice and clear throughout the years of wear and tear and washing. Tempered glass is also stronger than plastic if dropped and doesn’t discolor or get scratched up from blending hard ingredients like nuts, coffee beans, or ice.  In addition, a glass jar can also handle hot liquids and goes through the dishwashing cycle on both racks like a pro. The measurement markings will stay put on glass and what’s more, it won’t absorb any odors from the ingredients you blend like plastic typically can. Above all, glass is simply more environmentally friendly than plastic and nothing is going to leach into your food (really only a concern if you refrigerate your liquids in the pitcher over days). But on the downside, glass is heavy and more expensive to replace if you break it. And it’s just not an available option on higher-powered, higher-capacity blenders. An affordable and reasonably powered glass blender we like is the Oster Pro 1200.

Update: Ninja finally released a new high-powered glass blender that is worth checking out.

Plastic Jar Blenders

While it’s hard to ignore the many benefits of glass, the high-end blender companies like Vitamix and Blendtec insist that only plastic will support the high-powered, high-speed blending of their machines. So a blender with a plastic jar can certainly be your best option if a high powered, professional blender is what you seek.  But plastic is also a better route for you if weight is a consideration as a plastic jar is going to be way lighter on the hands and wrists when it’s filled with liquid. So think about the person that will be using it most before you buy. Another point to consider is that plastic is cheaper to replace if it breaks or becomes damaged. But on the downside, plastic can crack, scratch, and lose its clarity or measurement markings after wear and tear.  It can also absorb food odors or possibly leach chemicals from the plastic into your food if you store your blended batches of liquids in the pitcher. Simply put, plastic pitchers don’t have all the benefits of glass but they’ll be a fine choice if the blender you fell in love with doesn’t have a glass pitcher. In fact, many of the blenders we liked have BPA-free plastic pitchers.

Stainless Steel Jar Blenders

Well yes, sure, ok, there’s a third option if you don’t want to do plastic and still want a high-speed blender: stainless steel. Waring Commercial makes blenders with stainless steel jars but they also make one that fits a Vitamix and that can be modified to work with a BlendTec.  It’s expensive, but it fits and you don’t have to worry about any plastic leaching into your food. But of course, while a stainless steel pitcher is still pretty light, durable, and won’t shatter or crack, it can still dent. But the main downside to stainless is that it’s not transparent and that’s likely the reason they just aren’t commonplace. Simply put: you can’t see what you’re blending. You won’t be able to view any ingredients you’ve put in, check the blend texture, or utilize any measurements. Horrible for big blending jobs, but not too bad if you’re just making a daily smoothie that you’ve got down pat.  For those cases, you may indeed want to look at a stainless steel cup to use with blenders like Oster. It’s also worth noting that some people use their stainless pitchers for dry or harder ingredients so they won’t scratch up their plastic pitcher.

Check out the table below to help you decide.

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Doesn’t scratch
  • Doesn’t absorb food odors
  • Totally dishwasher safe
  • Fine for hot liquids
  • Very durable
  • Healthier
  • Won’t leach into foods
  • Heavier weight
  • More expensive to replace
  • Not for high powered blenders – glass can break.
  • Lighter weight
  • Dishwasher safe on the top rack (in most cases)
  • Cheaper to replace
  • Most are shatterproof
  • Best for high-powered blenders
  • Less environmentally friendly
  • Can crack more easily
  • Can get scratched
  • Can absorb food odors
  • Certain types can’t withstand hot liquids
  • Can leach into foods
  • Lighter weight
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Shatterproof
  • Healthier than plastic
  • Won’t absorb odors
  • Can dent
  • Expensive
  • Isn’t at all transparent
  • Can’t utilize measurements

Why Do Vitamix and BlendTec use Plastic Pitchers?

Good question! Both manufacturers cite safety and tout plastic as safer for their machine’s powerful high-speed blending. According to Vitamix, they have “…not found a suitable glass or stainless container design to meet the strict safety and performance requirements.” And if you ask BlendTec, they’ll tell you something similar and point out that glass jars have the potential to shatter during high-speed blending and “are heavier and more difficult to grip, pour, and store”.

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