We Tested 10 Salad Spinners—Here Are Our Favorite Models

Our top pick is the OXO Good Grips Glass Salad Spinner.

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A bunch of salad spinners on a wooden countertop

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

Straight to the Point

Our favorite salad spinner is the OXO Good Grips Glass Salad Spinner. It dries lettuce efficiently and is easy to use (plus, its glass base doubles nicely as a serving bowl). For a more inexpensive—as well as lightweight—pick, we recommend the Zyliss Swift Dry Salad Spinner, which is a longtime Serious Eats favorite.

Most of us will only ever use a salad spinner for one task: drying lettuce. However, dry lettuce is important. 

This is because salad dressings are oil-based and, as you probably know, oil and water don’t mix. If there’s water left on your salad greens, the dressing won’t adhere to the leaves and will instead collect at the bottom of the bowl. A good (keyword: good) salad spinner is the most efficient way to remove a lot of water quickly. 

We last tested salad spinners in 2016, where we named the Zyliss Swift Dry Salad Spinner our favorite. Since then, notable brands (like OXO) have come out with new models. That, coupled with the fact it’s been six years since we last reviewed them, meant it was time to retest salad spinners. 

So, we put 10 models through the paces, starting out with a small wish list. Our ideal spinner could handle enough lettuce to make a large salad to serve four or more and we didn’t want to have to take out a small loan to buy it (plus it had to be easy to use, as well as clean…but we’ll get to all of this below). We focused on models priced from $20 to $65, with a stated capacity of five quarts or more. 

The Winners, at a Glance

The Best Overall Salad Spinner: OXO Good Grips Glass Salad Spinner

OXO glass salad spinner

This newer offering from OXO was among the top performers in all of our tests. It dried lettuce efficiently, handled delicate herbs without bruising them, and was able to fit 10 ounces of mixed greens without compacting them. The spinner’s design, versatility, and stability put it ahead of the pack. On first impression, its bowl felt too heavy (and it still may be for some). During use, though, this weight provided an advantage and kept the salad spinner from wobbling. The glass base also doubled as a nice serving bowl.

The Best (More) Inexpensive Salad Spinner: Zyliss Swift Dry Salad Spinner

Zyliss salad spinner

Our previous favorite from our 2016 review held up. During testing, the Zyliss dried greens the fastest out of all the spinners and the pedal-style pump mechanism created a fast, smooth spin. Its all-plastic construction may be a downside for some but is reflected in its lower price tag. 

The Most Durable Salad Spinner: OXO SteeL Salad Spinner

This spinner shared many high-performing qualities with its glass counterpart. And in terms of durability, it’s hard to beat stainless steel. Its metal bowl is lightweight, dishwasher-safe, and shatter- and crack-proof.

The Tests

Salad spinners stacked on top of one another on a wooden countertop

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

  • Drying Test One: Dry five ounces of mixed greens to determine how effectively each spinner dries the lettuce. Weigh the greens (in grams) prior to washing, after washing, and after drying. Time how long each spinner takes to dry the greens. 
  • Drying Test Two: Wash and dry seven-and-a-half ounces of mixed greens to test the salad spinner’s ability to dry a larger amount of lettuce. Weigh the greens (in grams) prior to washing, after washing, and after drying. Time how long each spinner takes to dry the greens.
  • Drying Test Three: If the salad spinner is able to successfully dry seven-and-a-half ounces of mixed greens, dry 10 ounces of mixed greens, to further test its ability to handle a large amount of lettuce. Weigh the greens (in grams) prior to washing, after washing, and after drying. Time how long each spinner takes to dry the greens. 
  • Fragile Herbs: Dry an 80-gram bunch of cilantro, looking to see if the salad spinner bruises or otherwise damages the herbs. 
  • Clean Up: After each test, wash the salad spinner by hand. At the end of testing, run the dishwasher-safe components of each spinner through the dishwasher to ensure they come out unscathed.
  • Usability: Determine how easy each salad spinner is to use and store. 

What We Learned

Generally, Faster is Better

The OXO glass salad spinner spinning lettuce dry
The best salad spinners were able to remove more than 90 percent of water from the greens.

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

Salad spinners are like little centrifuges. As a salad spinner’s perforated basket spins, you’re observing several types of force in action. The water on the lettuce experiences centrifugal, or center fleeing, force. As the lettuce travels in a circle, the water continues to go in a straight line, escaping through the sides of the basket and leaving dry lettuce behind. The walls of the basket provide centripetal force—the force that keeps the lettuce moving in a circle around the center of the spinner. 

Centripetal force is measured using the following equation: Force = mass * velocity^2 / radius.

Amount of Time Taken to Dry (When Greens Appear Dry) Percentage of Water that Remained
Zyliss Swift Dry 30 seconds 6.18%
OXO Glass 45 seconds 5.49%
OXO SteeL 40 seconds 7.29%
OXO Plastic 33 seconds 9.96%
Cuisinart 45 seconds 11.90%
Farberware 30 seconds 10.41%
Mueller 35 seconds 12.80%
Prepworks Collapsible 55 seconds 18.84% 
Westmark 45 seconds 24.31%
Zyliss String 35 seconds 13.59%

For the purpose of choosing a salad spinner, it’s not essential to understand every part of this equation. It is, however, helpful to consider the factors that determine salad spinner efficacy. Salad spinners that generate more force will cause more water to flee, and will deliver drier greens. Mass and radius remained relatively consistent between all of the spinners tested and the greatest variable between the products was velocity. The faster-spinning models, those operated by pumps or pedals, generated consistently better, drier results. Our three winners all removed over 90% of water from five ounces of greens in 30 to 45 seconds. Slower models, like the Westmark and collapsible spinner from Prepworks, scored much lower. The Westmark was only able to remove 75% of the water and the Prepworks 81%, even after nearly a minute of spinning.

And if you’re thinking: will a too-fast salad spinner damage fragile herbs or, say, berries? In theory, it could. However, none of our favorite salad spinners bruised the cilantro. There’s also always the option of lining your salad spinner’s basket with paper towels to act as a buffer when drying more fragile foods.

The Spinning Mechanism Matters

Zyliss Swift Dry salad spinner in use drying lettuce
An example of a free-spinning salad spinner.

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

When it came to how they generated velocity, the salad spinners fell into two broad categories: we’ll refer to them as free-spinning or fixed rotational. 

Imagine you’re standing next to an old-fashioned merry-go-round. Your goal is to spin it as quickly as possible. Would you hang on to one handle and run in a circle so that the merry-go-round spins along with you? Or would you stand in one place and push the handles as they spin by, so that the merry-go-round rotates freely on its center axis, increasing in speed with each push? 

An up-close look at the Cuisinart salad spinner
An example of a fixed rotational salad spinner.

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

That’s kind of the choice you’re making when you choose between a hand crank-operated or a push-pump salad spinner. Fixed rotational, hand-crank salad spinners like the ones from Prepworks and Cuisinart will only spin as quickly as you're able to turn the handle. Free spinning, pump-style devices like the OXOs and Zyliss Swift Dry get a push from their spinning mechanism and then continue spinning on their rotational point. Push again, and you’ll increase the rotational velocity, generating more force and vigorously drying the lettuce. Obviously, we preferred these more powerful, easier-to-operate, pump-style mechanisms.

Capacity Issues

The OXO steel salad spinner with dry greens inside and its lid off
Our favorite models were able to dry 10 ounces of mixes greens easily, which is enough to serve four.

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

A big salad is great, but it’s definitely possible to overfill a salad spinner. According to the lettuce package, a serving size of mixed greens is two-and-a-half ounces. Following these guidelines, you’d need to wash and dry 10 ounces of lettuce to make enough salad for four people. All of the models we tested were able to handle five and seven-and-a-half ounces of greens (with varying degrees of success, as we covered above), but not every salad spinner made the cut when we increased the amount to 10 ounces.

When more lettuce is packed into a salad spinner's basket, there’s less free space remaining between the leaves. This makes it harder for water to escape. We found that basket dimensions, rather than the stated capacity, were the best indicator of high-volume performance. This is partially because some salad spinners list the capacity of the serving bowl rather than the basket. Our winning models all had basket diameters over nine-and-a-half inches and were able to remove more than 90% of the water from 10 ounces of greens. Models with basket diameters of eight-and-a-half inches or less either could not contain 10 ounces of greens or left significantly more water behind. 

The Zyliss Swift Dry full of dry lettuce with its disassembled lid beside it
The Zyliss's lid featured a detachable plate, which kept lettuce out of its lid's gears and made for easier clean up.

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

Drying more lettuce also meant that the leaves crept further up the sides of the basket, and sometimes touched the bottom of the lid. Some models that we tested, including the Mueller and Cuisinart salad spinners, had exposed spinning mechanisms on their lids' undersides that resembled the spokes of a wheel. These exposed elements trapped small pieces of lettuce and made clean up more difficult. The best salad spinners circumvented this. The Zyliss Swift Dry and OXO models featured detachable plates that kept lettuce away from their gears.

Examining Usability Differences

A look at the poorly designed salad spinner's spin mechanism that pulls out horizontally
Salad spinners with spin mechanisms like this moved across the counter more and were harder to use than pump-style spinners.

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

For any kitchen tool to make it into regular rotation, it has to be easy to use. A salad spinner is no exception. This came down to stability, features, storage, and clean up. 

While all salad spinners should be lightly held in place during use, some of the models we tested wobbled more aggressively than others. The direction of the force applied to make it spin was a key differentiator here. With pump or pedal-operated spinners, you’re applying force straight down into the counter. This helped stabilize the spinner, and it kept the lid in place. On models where the force was applied laterally, like the Mueller or the Zyliss Easy Spin, it was easy to accidentally displace the salad spinner while pulling on the bar or cord. The added lateral force also encouraged the salad spinner to move across the counter while spinning. 

A look at the OXO Steel's non-slip base.
The OXO SteeL Salad Spinner had a non-slip base that was entirely covered in rubber.

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

To add to stability, two of our favorite models also had non-slip rubber bumpers or a rubber-coated base. Another feature we found particularly helpful were brake buttons (typically located on top of the lid), allowing you to press down with one finger and stop the basket from spinning. 

A look at the OXO's brake button
Our favorite salad spinners featured a brake button and a lock to flatten their pump for easier storage.

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

As far storage, you’ll have to make some space for a salad spinner. Our winning models are all the size of a large bowl, and there’s no easy way around it. (The Prepworks collapsible model promised the best storage solution, but the gains in cabinet space did not make up for the poor performance and cumbersome setup.) In addition to size, handles presented a storage issue. Spinners like the Cuisinart or Westmark had fixed handles that couldn’t be collapsed. These models could be stored by turning the lid upside down so that the handle was inside the basket, but this made it more difficult to retrieve the spinner without knocking the lid off. Our winners offered improved storage with spinning mechanisms that could be locked down in a flat position.

For cleanup, the most important factor was the underside of the lid, as described above. All of our winners had lids that trapped minimal lettuce and at least one dishwasher-safe component. Basket design didn’t impact clean up too much, but baskets that were super tightly-woven did trap bits of lettuce more readily.

The Criteria: What We Look for in a Good Salad Spinner

The OXO glass salad spinner

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi / Amanda Suarez

The best salad spinners had easy to use, pump-style mechanisms and worked quickly and smoothly. They were able dry greens and tender herbs efficiently (and without bruising them) and handled enough lettuce for a four-serving salad. They were also stable on the counter as they spun and had added usability features like brake buttons that allowed you to easily stop their basket. For better clean up, our favorite spinners had dishwasher-safe components, and didn't trap too much lettuce in the lid or basket.

The Best Overall Salad Spinner: OXO Good Grips Glass Salad Spinner

OXO glass salad spinner

What we liked: The OXO’s pump-style spin mechanism was easy to use and generated plenty of force, spinning quickly and smoothly and drying large and small batches of lettuce with ease. However, its design and construction really earned it the top spot. It had a brake button, a lid that came apart for easy cleanup, and a lock that kept the handle flat for storage. Most of the spinners that we tested suggested using the base as a serving bowl for the eventual salad, too. The OXO Good Grips Glass Salad Spinner is the best match for this function, as its base looks like a simple glass serving bowl.

What we didn’t like: Although the heavy bowl provided stability while spinning, the large size and considerable weight (the entire device clocked in at eight pounds) may make using or storing this product a hassle for some. At $65 (at the time of publication), it was among the most expensive of the spinners we tested. 

Price at time of publish: $65

Key Specs

  • Materials: Borosilicate glass bowl; plastic basket and lid; rubber
  • Amount of time taken to dry five ounces of greens: 45 seconds
  • Basket dimensions: 9.5 in x 9.5 in x 4.75 in
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
OXO glass salad spinner on a wooden countertop

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

The Best (More) Inexpensive Salad Spinner: Zyliss Swift Dry Salad Spinner

Zyliss salad spinner

What we liked: The Zyliss Swift Dry was the winner of our 2016 testing and remained a favorite. This powerful model featured a pedal-powered spin mechanism that was intuitive and easy to use, generating a lot of force without much effort. Of all of the salad spinners we tested, this was the fastest. It dried five ounces of mixed greens in just 30 seconds. It also had silicone bumpers on its base that provided stability, a brake button, and a handle that locked flat for storage.

What we didn’t like: This salad spinner had more going on under the lid than its competitors. The pedal-style pump operated two plastic gears, which rotated to spin the basket. The lid itself featured a detachable plate designed for easy cleaning. However, this plate was looser then we’d like and can separate from the lid if bumped. Some customer reviews reported this spinner’s gears stripping over time. 

Price at time of publish: $40

Key Specs

  • Materials: BPA-free plastic; rubber
  • Amount of time taken to dry five ounces of greens: 30 seconds
  • Basket dimensions: 10 in x 10 in x 4 in
  • Care instructions: Hand-wash lid; bowl is dishwasher-safe
Zyliss Swift Dry Salad Spinner on a wooden surface

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

The Most Durable Salad Spinner: OXO SteeL Salad Spinner

What we liked: This model’s pump-style spin mechanism was easy to use and effective, making it one of the fastest salad spinners we tested. It handled large and small batches of greens (as well as delicate herbs without bruising them). It had a helpful brake button to stop the basket from spinning, a non-slip, silicone-covered base, and a handle that locked flat for storage. The stainless steel bowl was durable but lightweight. It was also dishwasher-safe.

What we didn’t like: To use, the basket rested on a raised rotational point and it was a little difficult, at times, to align the basket. The opaque bowl also meant you couldn’t easily check to confirm the basket was centered. Like the glass OXO, this stainless steel model was pricier.

Price at time of publish: $65

Key Specs

  • Materials: Stainless steel; BPA-free plastic; rubber
  • Amount of time taken to dry five ounces of greens: 40 seconds
  • Basket dimensions: 9.75 in x 9.75 in x 5 in
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
OXO stainless steel salad spinner on a wooden surface

Serious Eats / Madeline Muzzi

The Competition

  • Cuisinart Salad Spinner: In short: this was too small and rattled a lot when spinning. The hand-turned crank didn’t generate enough power and was harder to use.
  • OXO Good Grips Large Salad Spinner: This was a solid salad spinner and shared many positive attributes with its winning relatives. It dried lettuce well and could accommodate large portions of greens, but if you’re looking for a plastic model, we still think the speed of the Zyliss is hard to beat. Still, if you're interested in this spinner, it's worth buying.
  • Farberware Pump Spinner: This salad spinner performed solidly throughout testing. The pump mechanism was powerful and it dried lettuce well. However, it was hand-wash only and felt cheap.
  • Mueller Salad Spinner: An unusual “pulling bar” spin mechanism generated more force than a simple hand crank, but this still ranked toward the bottom of our drying tests. It was also unusually loud—enough to scare a (skittish) dog out of the room during testing. 
  • Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Salad Spinner: We had high hopes for the space-saving promise of this collapsible salad spinner. Unfortunately, this model underperformed in the drying tests and wasn’t able to accommodate 10 ounces of lettuce. Expanding and collapsing the bowl and basket took a considerable amount of muscle, too. 
  • Westmark German Vegetable and Salad Spinner: Inexpensive materials, a hand crank, and a slow-spinning speed landed this salad spinner towards the bottom of our results. 
  • Zyliss Easy Spin Salad Spinner: Cord-operated salad spinners seem to have a nostalgic appeal for some. But the long cord on this model made using it fairly awkward…and a considerable upper body workout. Customer reviews also report that the cord frays over time.

FAQs

What does a salad spinner do?

A salad spinner is a hand-powered kitchen centrifuge used for drying lettuce and other greens. Wash your greens, ready the salad spinner, and spin away. Salad spinners generate centrifugal force that sends water flying off of the lettuce. 

How do you use a salad spinner?

To use a salad spinner, start by rinsing your lettuce—you can do this right in the basket provided or by adding the greens to the basket, filling the salad spinner with water, and then lifting up the basket to drain. After the greens have been washed, it’s time to dry. Our favorite salad spinners use a pump or pedal to generate lots of force, but some are operated by a hand-turned crank or a string you have to pull (both of which we think you should avoid). After a minute or less of spinning, press the brake button or stop turning the basket, remove the basket, and enjoy your dry greens.

Do salad spinners completely dry lettuce?

The answer: nearly. Our winning salad spinners were able to remove more than 90% of water off greens in under a minute. 

What else can you use a salad spinner for besides drying greens?

Salad spinners can be used to dry berries or fresh herbs as well as greens. Try using your salad spinner to remove water from anything too small or delicate to dry with a towel. For easily bruised items, line the basket of your salad spinner with paper towels before drying to help prevent damage.

How should I store greens after I've washed and spun them?

Roll them in a slightly damp paper towel and place them in a plastic (or reusable) storage bag; they should stay fresh and green for around 10 days—this works for both herbs and lettuces/leafy greens. If you have the space (or want to keep your greens highly visible so you don't, um, forget about them), layer them with paper towels in plastic storage containers.

Article Sources
Serious Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Live Science, "What are centrifugal and centripetal forces?"

  2. Lumen Learning, Physics, Centripetal Force