We Tested 10 Potato Mashers—Here Are The Best Ones

Our top picks include the Tovolo Silicone Potato Masher.

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a group of potato mashers against a white background

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray

Straight to the Point

After mashing through 60 pounds of potatoes, we landed two favorite potato mashers: the Tovolo Silicone Potato Masher and All-Clad Stainless Steel Potato Masher. One's cheap, one's more expensive. However, both mash efficiently and are comfortable to use.

This year's potato-focused Starch Madness (which is back and spud-tastic!), made us think: What tuber-related kitchen gear have we not written much about? As you can probably guess, the answer was potato mashers. Now, despite its name, a potato masher can be used to mash many a thing. Beans, chickpeas, avocados, bananas bound for bread, and even ground meat can benefit from a good potato masher's ability to evenly break things down.

To find the best potato masher, we tested 10 of them: models with perforated disks, S-shaped wires, and a couple less traditional styles, including one that was shaped like a hand mixer's beater and another like a plunger. After mashing 60 pounds of potatoes, we landed on a few favorites—ones that did the job efficiently (saving your arm a workout) and were easy to use and clean.

The Winners, at a Glance

The Best Wire Potato Masher: Tovolo Silicone Potato Masher

Tovolo Silicone Potato Masher

This model from Tovolo made quick work of mashing potatoes and its silicone-covered head made it easy to use and clean (and safe for all cookware). Plus, it's cheap.

The Best Perforated Potato Masher: All-Clad Stainless Steel Potato Masher

All-Clad Potato Masher

This stainless steel masher mimics the results you'd get with a ricer but is easier to store and clean. Hands down, it produced the smoothest spuds of any of the models we tested, but at about $50, it doesn’t come cheap. (If the price is a no-go for you, this model from OXO is our runner-up favorite perforated masher.)

The Best Potato Masher for Those Short on Storage Space: Joseph Joseph Delta Folding Potato Masher

Joseph Joseph folding potato masher

This model folds flat so it can be easily stashed in a drawer, and it did a good job with a moderate amount of potatoes (though it did struggle more with a larger batch).

three mashers against a white background
Our three favorite potato mashers.

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray

The Tests

  • Yukon Gold Test: To evaluate how well each masher did with a creamy potato type, we boiled 2 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes (peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes) in a 4-quart saucepan until soft, then drained these and mashed them, logging the amount of time it took to reach a smooth consistency.
  • Russet Test: To see how well each masher did with a starchier potato and larger amount of potatoes, we boiled 4 pounds of russet potatoes (peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes) in a 7-quart Dutch oven until soft, then drained these and mashed them, logging the amount of time it took to reach a smooth consistency.
  • Usability Tests: Throughout testing, we recorded UX observations, determining how comfortable each masher was to use.
  • Cleanup Tests: After each test, we washed each potato masher by hand, evaluating how easy they were to clean.
  • Dishwasher Test: We ran all of the dishwasher-safe models through the dishwasher, to ensure no discoloration or otherwise damage occurred.

What We Learned

In General, a Bigger Potato Masher Head Was Better

A saucepan with mashed potatoes and a potato masher in it.

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray

The size of the mashers' heads varied widely, and we found this to be key in how efficiently the mashers worked. Whether perforated or wire, the best mashers had the largest heads, while the lower-performing models were upwards of nearly an inch smaller length-wise. A larger amount of area making contact with the potatoes meant more mashing with fewer overall downward strokes. The average time it took larger mashers to mash 4 pounds of russet potatoes was just 69 seconds. The smaller mashers, though, took on average 113 seconds, 44 seconds longer. We can tell you: Forty-four seconds feels like a long time when you're mashing potatoes.

Perforated vs. Wire vs. "Innovative" Mashers

The Dreamfarm potato masher mashing potatoes in a saucepan
We found mashers with "innovative" heads, like the one shown here, to be ineffective.

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray

Most of the mashers we tested had either perforated or wire heads. The former is a stamped piece of plastic or metal with varying shaped holes that force potato through them, similar to a ricer, as you push downwards. We found that perforated mashers with lots of small holes produced the smoothest, fluffiest spuds in the least amount of time. However, there was one wire masher from Tovolo that did a comparable job to the perforated mashers. This masher had tighter, wider coils coupled with a large surface area and was able to create similar results in roughly the same time.

potatoes made with two different styles of mashers
Smooth mashed potatoes (left) made with our favorite perforated masher vs. chunky mashed potatoes (right) made with one of the "innovative" mashers.

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray

As for the innovative-style mashers, like the ones from Farberware and Dreamfarm, we found them to be ineffective. They had smaller heads and took far longer than other mashers to even somewhat mash potatoes, resulting in gluier spuds that still had lots of un-mashed bits.

Handle Length and Shape

We were surprised that handle length didn't make too big of a difference in how easy the models were to use. (You'd think shorter handles would cause you to knock your knuckles into the sides of a taller pot, like a Dutch oven, but we didn't experience this even with handles that were a full 2 inches shorter than other models). Of course, if you have larger hands, you'd probably prefer a longer-handled masher (like the Zyliss or All-Clad). Handle shape, however, played an important factor in how comfortable each masher was to hold and use.

Some mashers had handles that were too wide to fit comfortably in a smaller hand, while others had squared edges that bit into our palms. For example, the oblong shape of the GIR masher made it extremely uncomfortable to use, especially over a prolonged period of mashing. Another masher, from Zyliss, while a solid performer in other ways, featured flared ends and a narrower center that made it so your hand had to be positioned just so in order to hold it comfortably. Overall, we preferred more rounded, narrower handles that fit nicely in hand and allowed you to choke up on the masher if need be.

Analyzing Material Differences

A closeup of the Tovolo's silicone head mashing potatoes
The silicone covered head of the Tovolo made it a cinch to clean.

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray

Material may have had a slight effect on mashing, but definitely had a large impact on how easy the mashers were to use and clean. In particular, the silicone coating of the Tovolo was incredibly easy to clean...spuds seemed to slide right off of it. For those who can't stand the sound of metal repeatedly scraping on metal, you'll also like using the Tovolo. That said, stainless steel heads were another top material: These all cleaned up easily and the performance differences among them could be attributed to factors outside of the material (i.e., head size and style).

The one material that proved more difficult to clean was nylon. Potato tended to cling to the textured surface of nylon mashers, even after being run through the dishwasher.

Notes on Cleanup

As far as cleanup went and outside of the differences that could be attributed to the masher's materials, we also looked to see if the mashers had harder-to-reach nooks or crannies that potato got trapped in. These spots were tougher to clean and tended to be on the handle, either on the outside or on the inside where it connected to the masher head.

(Note: All of the potato mashers we tested were dishwasher-safe and emerged from the dishwasher unscathed.)

The Criteria: What We Look for in a Potato Masher

One of our favorite potato mashers from Tovolo

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray / Chloe Jeong

An ideal masher, above all, should mash potatoes quickly and efficiently. Perforated mashers with a large amount of small holes or wire mashers with bigger, tighter loops created smoother potatoes in less time, and the larger the head, the better. Handles that were rounder in shape were, overall, the most comfortable to hold. For easy cleanup, look for a stainless steel masher with either an all-metal construction or one with a silicone head (like that of one of our favorite mashers, shown above).

The Best Wire Potato Masher: Tovolo Silicone Potato Masher

Tovolo Silicone Potato Masher

What we liked: The Tovolo masher produced smooth spuds and was the only model that was almost as fast as the All-Clad. It mashed 2 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes in just 42 seconds and 4 pounds of russet potatoes in 51 seconds. Its performance—which was leaps and bounds above some of the other wire mashers—can be attributed to its larger overall surface area combined with the tight spacing of its larger loops. The silicone-covered head of this masher made it very easy to clean and safe for all types of cookware (it won't scratch pots or pans). Its handle was smooth, rounded, and comfortable to hold.

What we didn’t like: The large size of the masher head could be tricky to fit in a narrow drawer or crowded utensil crock. If you're using a small saucepan, the larger head could also pose some maneuverability issues, but we didn't find it to be a problem in a 4-quart saucepan or 7-quart Dutch oven. Some Amazon reviews state that the handle has durability issues. We did not experience this.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Silicone and stainless steel
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
  • Handle length: 4.5 inches
  • Length and width of head: 4.33 inches long x 3 inches wide
Tovolo potato masher against a white background

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray

The Best Perforated Potato Masher: All-Clad Stainless Steel Potato Masher

All-Clad Potato Masher

What we liked: The All-Clad masher mashed faster than any other model, bar none, and produced the smoothest mashed potatoes. The super-thin yet oblong holes of this masher's head pushed through a lot of potatoes, while producing a fluffy final product. It tackled 2 pounds of potatoes in just 37 seconds and 4 pounds in 47 seconds. The ergonomic, smooth, rounded design of its handle was comfortable to grip even when mashing a large amount of spuds. We also liked the All-Clad's durable, all stainless steel construction.

What we didn’t like: The only thing not to like about the All-Clad is its price. It was the most expensive masher we tested. However, if you want a masher that seems to be built to last and delivers flawless performance, it could be worth the investment.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
  • Handle length: 5.25 inches
  • Length and width of head: 4 inches long x 3 inches wide
All-Clad potato masher against a white background

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray

The Best Potato Masher for Those Short on Storage Space: Joseph Joseph Delta Folding Potato Masher

Joseph Joseph folding potato masher

What we liked: The unique design of this masher means it can fold flat to fit in any drawer. Its perforated head mashed 2 pounds of potatoes easily, in just 52 seconds, and produced smooth, fluffy spuds. Its smooth, rounded silicone handle was comfortable to hold. It's also inexpensive.

What we didn’t like: Potato clung to this masher's textured nylon head, even after a stint in the dishwasher (we recommend hand-washing it immediately after use). It struggled more with a larger amount of russet potatoes, taking 1 minute 13 seconds to mash them.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Nylon, stainless steel, silicone, and plastic
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
  • Handle length: 4.75 inches
  • Length and width of head: 4 inches long x 4 inches wide

Joseph Joseph potato masher against a white background

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray

The Competition

  • OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Potato Masher: This was our runner-up favorite perforated masher. However, it just wasn’t the fastest. We did like that its handle design allowed you to use both hands to push straight down for extra power. 
  • Farberware Professional Nylon Masher: The Farberware masher was disappointing. The thin blades of the masher's head and its small stature (it resembled a hand mixer's beater) meant that barely any mashing happened. And no matter how long we mashed, potatoes were still lumpy.
  • Dreamfarm Smood Lite: This masher, reminiscent of a plunger, was also a disaster. It's designed so that it's flexible and the center of the handle pushes down while the sides push up. But, this is useless and we were never able to get potatoes smooth with it. During some unofficial testing, the Smood did well for softer foods, like beans. 
  • GIR Perforated Potato Masher: This masher neither mashed the best nor the worst, but the handle was uncomfortable to hold and difficult to clean. 
  • Zyliss Potato Masher: The Zyliss had a smaller head, which meant it took longer to mash than other perforated models. Its handle wasn't as comfortable to hold as we would've liked either. However, for those with larger hands, it did have the largest handle of the bunch, which might make it more preferable.
  • KitchenAid Gourmet Stainless Steel Wire Masher: Despite having a larger head, the wide spacing between this model's wires passed a lot of un-mashed potato between them, so it took longer to yield the results we wanted.
  • OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Potato Masher: This masher's smaller head took longer to mash. We didn't find its handle to be the most comfortable either.

FAQs

What's the difference between a potato masher and a ricer?

A masher is a fixed, manual-style tool that uses arm strength and a rigid, flat, (usually) wire or perforated design to mash food. A ricer forces food through a sheet of small holes. For recipes that require ultra-smooth potatoes, such as gnocchi, a ricer is essential. A ricer is bigger than a masher, has more parts, and is, therefore, more finicky to clean and takes up more storage space.

Is a potato masher worth it?

The answer to this question really depends on two things: how often you mash potatoes (and other foods) and if you have the storage space. Potato mashers sometimes won't fit in drawers, but are nicely at home in a utensil crock.