Which KitchenAid Stand Mixer Should You Buy? We Compared (Almost) All of Them

Our longtime top pick is the KitchenAid 6-Quart Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer.

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a red kitchenaid stand mixer on a kitchen countertop

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

The KitchenAid 6-Quart Professional Series Stand Mixer (our top choice) is currently on sale for Cyber Week.

Straight to the Point

Our favorite stand mixer (for its power and versatility) is the KitchenAid 6-Quart Professional Series Stand Mixer. You can read more about it here.

We’ve maintained for a long time that our favorite stand mixer is the KitchenAid 6-Quart Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer. As Stella explained, it’s one of the only KitchenAids without a “foot.” With many other models, the bottom of the bowl has ridges (or a foot, if you will) that locks into the base of the mixer. Off the mixer, this makes it tougher to keep the bowl steady, unusable in water baths (like for melting chocolate), and more. 

But, also as Stella noted, this is a highly personal opinion. And there are plenty of bakers who like their KitchenAid Artisans and Classics—who find these models perfectly suitable for baking cakes, cookies, and breads. Which is why we wanted to test and compare (almost) all of the KitchenAid stand mixers, so you could decide which one is best for your kitchen. 

We rounded up five popular KitchenAid stand mixers, using them to make whipped cream, cookies, and bread. Here are the pros and cons of each.

KitchenAid 6-Quart Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Pro 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer KP26M1X

It feels only appropriate to start with the one we’ve stood by for years. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more practical-yet-powerful stand mixer—capable of even kneading high-hydration doughs without walking (when a stand mixer wobbles and moves about on a countertop) an inch. As Stella noted, there are many things that make this mixer a stand out. For starters, it has an all-metal construction (including gears). When I tested stand mixers some years back and removed to their tops to get a look at their gears and innerworkings, the KitchenAid stand mixers were some of the only ones that actually had mostly metal gears and parts as well as bodies, which speaks to their quality, heft, power, and longevity (they can actually be repaired). The Professional 600 Series is no different, and Stella notes she’s successfully, easily, and cheaply replaced the worm gear on hers.

Other notable advantages to this mixer are its flat, foot-free bottom, which means it can be used over an open flame or easily put over a water bath like a standard metal mixing bowl. Its lever allows you to move the bowl up or down—a better access and retrieval mechanism than a tilt-head, as the latter can loosen over time. The bowl also has a handle and is mega-wide, allowing you to easily scrape down its walls and bottom and make large-volume recipes (or even double batches of things) with ease. 

Best for: Any baker, really—especially if you make high-volume recipes or bread doughs. Most tilt-head, bowl-lock stand mixers will walk when kneading bread doughs (especially high-hydration ones, like ciabatta). A bowl-lift stand mixer like the Professional 600 Series has the stability and power (one of the highest wattages of all the KitchenAid models, in fact) to knead bread with ease and sans any wobble.

Challenges or shortcomings: Its bowl has two holes that hook onto corresponding prongs on each of the stand mixer’s arms and, sometimes, it can be difficult to seat it. The bowl can wobble a bit when in use, too. And at about 17 inches high and 11 inches wide, it’s a sizable mixer that eats up a good amount of counter space.

Price at time of publish: $549.

Key Specs

  • Wattage: 575
  • Number of speeds: 10
  • Comes with: Paddle, dough hook, whisk, pour shield
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • Warranty: 1-year
Pouring flour into stand mixer bowl

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

KitchenAid KSM7586POB 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Proline 7-qt Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer

This shares a lot of the same traits as the Professional 600 Series, but has a 1-quart larger stated capacity and a 970-watt motor compared to the 575 of the 6-quart. Like the 600 series, the Pro Line is a bowl-lift model, with an easy to operate lever and its bowl affixed to the mixer via two prongs with holes that fit onto the mixer’s arms. It’s the largest residential stand mixer KitchenAid makes. 

Best for: At $680, you have to be a very avid baker who frequently doubles up on recipes to justify the added price of this stand mixer. For most home bakers, we don’t think the added wattage or space will make a huge difference in performance or usability, compared to the 600 Series.

Challenges or shortcomings: Like the 600 Series, it can be a little finicky to seat the bowl on the stand mixer at times. It’s slightly wider and heavier than the 600 series, though not taller.

Price at time of publish: $680.

Key Specs: 

  • Wattage: 970
  • Number of speeds: 10
  • Comes with: Paddle, dough hook, whisk, pour shield
  • Weight: 32 lbs
  • Warranty: 5-year
A person adjusting the speed dial on a KitchenAid stand mixer

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Artisan 5 qt. Stand Mixer

The Artisan features a footed bowl that locks into the stand mixer’s base and a head that tilts and should be locked into place when in use. The tapered, footed bowl isn’t our favorite: it’s not as easy to scrape down the sides, and it can’t be placed over an open flame or a double boiler like a wide, non-footed bowl can. It’s best-suited for medium-ish baking tasks (we wouldn’t recommend doubling up on a recipe). If you’ve had your eye on a special edition KitchenAid, it’s likely the Artisan.

Best for: If you’re a casual baker and don’t often make bread at home, you’ll likely be happy with the Artisan. The Artisan’s compatible with glass and all kinds of printed and mixed metal bowls, too, which is fun from an aesthetics perspective.

Challenges or shortcomings: We wouldn’t recommend making breads with the Artisan—it has a tendency to walk and tilt-head stand mixers heads can loosen over time. In fact, I’ve loosened an Artisan's head making bread before.

Price at time of publish: $450

Key Specs

  • Wattage: 325
  • Number of speeds: 10
  • Comes with: Paddle, dough hook, whisk, pour shield
  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Warranty: 1-year
A front-on view of a tilt-head, red KitchenAid stand ixer

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

Kitchenaid Artisan Mini Plus 3.5-Qt. Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Flex Edge Beater

Stand Mixer

This smaller version of the Artisan is one of KitchenAid’s comparatively newer offerings. It has a 3.5-quart capacity, a 250-watt motor, and is about eight inches wide and 12 inches high compared to the Artisan’s 9-inch width and 14-inch height. If space-saving and standard-batch, occasional baking are your top priority, then the Artisan Mini may be worth considering. Like the Artisan, it features a footed bowl with a handle that’s locked into the base and a tilt-head that’s secured when in use.

Best for: The casual, space-saving (or in need of space-saving) baker will likely appreciate the Artisan Mini. It’s also compatible with a glass mixing bowl, if that’s something you’re interested in (though we do worry about its breakability). If you’re looking for the lightest weight, easiest-to-lift KitchenAid stand mixer, the Mini is the smallest it gets.

Challenges or shortcomings: The Artisan Mini has space limitations, as well as the same concerns of any tilt-head stand mixer (less power, less longevity).  

Price at time of publish: $379.

Key Specs: 

  • Wattage: 250
  • Number of speeds: 10
  • Comes with: Paddle, dough hook, whisk
  • Weight: 18 lbs
  • Warranty: 1-year
A hand holding a red stand mixer's tilt-head upright

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

KitchenAid Classic Series 4.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Classic Series 4.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

This is the least expensive stand mixer KitchenAid offers, despite being 1.5-quarts larger and having a 25-watt more powerful motor than the Artisan Mini. It’s also a footed, bowl-lock, tilt-head stand mixer. So, why the lower price? As far as we can tell, the bowl lacks a handle, and the mixer only comes in two colors (black and white). A stand mixer can be a focal point in a home kitchen, so this lack of color variety may well be important to you. 

Best for: The casual home baker who wants to get the most budget-friendly KitchenAid stand mixer and who doesn’t care about its colorway. 

Challenges or shortcomings: We wouldn’t recommend this stand mixer for frequent, heavy-duty use or a lot of bread baking. We’re not super fans of footed stand mixer bowls and dislike the fact the Classic’s bowl’s lacks a handle. It detracts from its usability. 

Price at time of publish: $330.

Key Specs: 

  • Wattage: 275
  • Number of speeds: 10
  • Comes with: Paddle, dough hook, whisk
  • Weight: 25 lbs
  • Warranty: 1-year
A closeup looking at the whisk attachment of a stand mixer

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

FAQs

Can you use any KitchenAid attachment with any KitchenAid stand mixer?

KitchenAid’s attachments (meat grinder, pasta roller and cutter, spiralizer, etc.) are compatible with every KitchenAid stand mixer and fit into the hub of each model, with the exception of the ice cream maker. This attachment is compatible with “all Tilt-Head Stand Mixers, except models KSM3316 and KSM3317” and bowl-lift models “except models K5SS, KSM5, KSM50, KSM500 and KSM450,” according to KitchenAid.

What do I do with a loose tilt-head stand mixer?

To fix a loose or wobbling head on a tilt-head stand mixer, KitchenAid has several solutions.

What’s the best KitchenAid stand mixer?

Our favorite KitchenAid stand mixer is the KitchenAid 6-Quart Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer.