I am going to start off by saying that I am to the core a comparison shopper. It simply is part of my nature. Part of it is that I love to shop. Not just buy, but actually shop. I see it as browsing through the Great Museum of Things. It doesn’t make any difference if I do it in person or electronically — at least it used to not matter. Of course, today it matters a lot.
Shopping onlnine has taken on a huge new level of significance today.
Actual comparison shopping usually involves looking at different brands and trying them out, then sifting through prices to compare them. You can’t fully know what it the best brand, make, or model unless you use them, or unless you find a reviewer you trust who has. Intelligent shopping takes in a really wide range of variables. But user experience is essential.
I have owned at least four different stand mixers in my cooking life. And I’ve used dozens more than that — either in other people’s kitchens or in cooking classes. But there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer is the hands down best stand mixer for a home kitchen.
My am partial to the Artisan based on price point, ease of use, ease of cleaning, the plethora of high-quality attachments available, the wide range of the machine’s ability, the quality of the output, and years of trouble-free use.
You can read more specifically why in my article about my personal experience with Artisan purchases. Based on my experience, an Artisan KitchenAid mixer is the best investments you can make.
So I have done all the comparison shopping and number crunching for you to bring you these links to the BEST of the BEST — taking into consideration the price-to-customer-satisfaction of each product. And, yes, if you purchase one of these by clicking through from So Frenchly to Amazon, we make a (very) small commission that costs you absolutely nothing additional on your purchase price. We are an Amazon affiliate — because for many items the best possible price and selection is from Amazon.
My suggestion for most home cooks is the KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart mixer because it is a workhorse. And it has been manufactured for a couple of decades now with most of the changes only being external color and finish. Each season a few new colors come out and few colors are discontinued. Usually the best prices are on discontinued colors.
Just be aware that at any given time, there are three or four different shades of red, and at least as many shades of pink, green, turquoise, blue, silver. There are even different shades of black and white. And some colors come in multiple finishes like matte or pearl in addition to the classic shiny gloss.
The most expensive versions are in the stunningly beautiful Custom Metallic Series like Chrome, and Brushed Nickel, and Satin Copper on Amazon. They are, without a doubt visually striking and would make a fantastic focal point for any kitchen. But these custom metallic colors are on the pricey even for KitchenAid mixers.
However, keep in mind this probably will be a mixer you pass on to your daughter or granddaughter because it is built to last. And it is seriously going to make you smile every time you walk into your kitchen. For sleek, modern decor, they sit in perfectly.
All three of these metallic models are packaged on Amazon bundled with upgraded beaters — the coated flat beater, a coated dough hook, and the wire whisk — as well as a 1-piece pouring shield that doubles as a splash guard. The price is pretty much the same for each color in the Custom Metallic Series, and each of these has either free delivery through Prime or free shipping regardless of Prime membership.
I will note here that the standard two beaters that come with the base unit are brushed metal — one metal flat beater and one metal dough hook. Sometimes you will see a wire whisk mixed in with them, too. The mid-range upgrades are white ceramic-covered metal that KitchenAid refers to as “coated” — the coated flat beater and the coated dough hook. The top upgrade includes the flex edge flat beater, the wire whisk, and the power dough hook, and even a double dough hook. You can buy each of these beaters separately and easily upgrade your beater collection over time.
You will find lower-priced Artisans often come with the two standard beaters, some throw in an extra beater, and some with only a small increase in price include a mini-bundle of the mid-range beaters in place of the standard brushed metal ones.
In most instances, if you purchase a mixer with the upgraded beaters you get a bit of a break on the price for them. For reasons I will explain in the next article, always get the coated version over the plain metal if possible. And as soon as you can, buy the flex edge beater and the wire whisk, too, if your purchase does not include it. Normally, lowered packages do not include the flex edge beater even if the whisk is part of the package.
The flex edge and the wire whisk are the two beaters I use 95% of the time. Chances are, you will find that to be the case for you, too if you have them in your kitchen available to use.
I will have a separate post tomorrow with links to what I have found to be the most useful of the dozen or so attachments for this mixer that include upgraded beaters, the wire whisk, and splash guards, as well as a wide range of the most useful kitchen appliance attachments. I’ve done the comparison shopping for you and give you all the information you need for the best cost-to-satisfaction ratio.
I did find another package deal that may be of interest to a lot of cooks, this one is at a lower price point than the pricier Custom Metallic Series I just mentioned. This package is quite different in several ways because instead of coming with the upgraded coated beaters and sleek metallic finishes, these mixers ship with a glass bowl rather than the standard metal bowl, with the standard beaters, and come in a wider array of colors. You will find this second kind of package marketed in a fairly wide range of prices, mostly color-dependent.
If you have your heart set on one of those beautiful clear glass mixing bowls, this package is a particularly good deal because the glass bowl alone will set you back upwards of $100. And that is if you can find one. The glass bowls seem to be discontinued both by KitchenAid and its auxiliary vendors because I have been unable to find one at any price over the past few months. And I have scoured stock pretty much everywhere to find one from any vendor at any price. They just look so beautiful on the counter.
A word to the wise here, as beautiful as they are, the KitchenAid glass bowls break a lot more easily that it seems like they should. I have broken two of them in my kitchen, so as gorgeous as they are, I just gave up and bought a second metal bowl. (And you might remember I had two sets of wine glasses for almost 50 years, so I am very careful with glass.)
I was interested in adding another glass bowl mostly because it looks so wonderful on the counter. And that’s where my mixer lives, right there on the counter where it is easy to get to. But….
You not only have to be careful with Artisan glass bowls, you have to be uber careful with them. And even if you treat them like diamonds, they are heavy — particularly when full. The standard stainless steel bowl is at least 75% lighter than the glass bowl. That’s important when you are struggling to pour batter out of the mixer bowl into a pan, trying to hold it with only one hand while you scrape the bowl with the other. However, even knowing those two drawbacks, if you are dead-set on a glass bowl, buying one of these packages with the glass bowl included looks like the only way to purchase one right now. And man-oh-man, they do look glitzy sitting out on the counter.
Here are the best glass-bowl-included deals right now.
You can get an Artisan mixer bundled with a glass bowl in the neutral but really elegant Starry Night on Amazon, one of KitchenAid’s shades of black, that includes both the glass bowl, the two standard beaters and a wire whisk. It is the priciest of this combo (since the vendor charges shipping on it), but the black certainly makes it an instant classic. And the glass bowl with the black is absolutely stunning on a kitchen counter.
But you can find the exact same package with a glass bowl for a lot less if you can live with the color called simply Copper on Amazon or the shimmering neutral shade called Sugar Pearl Silver on Amazon. And even a little less expensive than those two, but with the same glass bowl bundle, you can get an Artisan in Passion Red on Amazon. Personally, I love all three of these budget colors!
As you can tell offers that include the coveted glass bowl come in a fairly wide array of colors, and the pricing varies over about a $50 to $75 range. Be sure to read carefully which beaters are included and whether the glass bowl is part of the package because sometimes Amazon has different colors posted next to each other with different (or no) additional packages. Don’t go by the picture, go by exactly what the ad says. As of the date of this post, every one of the links I have posted here includes the glass bowl in the package and most have the coated beater upgrades. But be sure to read the ad carefully if the quality of beaters is more important to you than the color of the mixer.
Now there is one market anomaly you need to be aware of. Packages with the (once) expensive glass bowls are super-discounted beyond a slightly better bundle with a metal bowl.
On first blush this look like you can get a really great deal on your beloved glass bowl if you are purchasing a new mixer. And you can. But just know if (in my experience it is when) that beautiful bowl breaks and you have to replace it with a metal bowl, you are going to wish you had paid the same initial purchase price and gotten your mixer with the same beaters, a metal bowl, and a splash guard.
And I suspect that is exactly why these glass bowl packages are being offered at what seems to be a super-discount, based on past pricing.
But if you really, really, really want to have that glass bowl and this is either your first KitchenAid purchase or an intentional color change, you are going to get a much better deal on it right now than you wold have a year or five years ago or ten years ago when they first came onto the market.
The other kind of package for the Artisan right now, comparatively priced with the glass bowl combo I mentioned above, is one with a standard metal bowl and an assortment of three beaters and a 1-piece splash shield with a built-in ingredients spout that is extremely useful in keeping splatter to a minimum.
You have to look closely at what is included in these packages because some of them come only with the standard metal beaters, and some come with the upgraded coated beaters. (If it is doesn’t say “coated,” read that as “metal.”) The differences in price usually do not make the beater difference obvious. A lot of times you can get a unit with the upgraded coated beaters for the same price as with the standard metal beaters. Personally, for the same cost, no matter how much I might love the color of the mixer, I would opt for the better beaters. There are so many luscious colors to choose from that you can almost always find a great color that is a little bit better deal.
If you purchase the bare-bones Artisan alone, you usually can get the lowest price. But not always. Some newer colors add $50 to $100 to the purchase cost of the machine.
For example, if you are dead set on colors like Guava Glaze, Aqua Sky, Onyx Black, Ice, Empire Red, Crystal Blue, Grape, or Glacier Blue, you will pay a premium for them on Amazon compared to the colors I suggest below for the best values. Each one has the bundle of a standard metal bowl, an assortment of beaters (different qualities), a whisk, and a splatter guard. These higher-price designer colors are indeed less than what you pay for if you purchase a mixer from the Custom Metallic Series and they include a couple of additions the metallics don’t, but when you compare them to the lower cost colors with the same bundles, well. Let your taste and your wallet be your guide.
Just remember there is a huge variety of dreamy colors in the Artisan line and you very well may be able to hook in to the better deals and still love your new mixer just as much — particularly since I’ve already done all the math for you and it is clear where the deals are.
Whether you pay a little bit more for a package-deal with a few upgrades or whether you opt for the more bare bones machines and plan to upgrade pieces later is your call. One of the great things about the KitchenAid Artisan is that the same machine has been manufactured for so long that there are scads of optional attachments (more than 15 at last count) and a myriad of upgraded beaters that are all interchangeable, work on any KitchenAid mixer, and are easy to find in the marketplace. It is a snap to upgrade over time and add beaters and attachments as your cooking needs and skills change.
And with the “power hub,” as KitchenAid calls it, you have an almost unlimited kitchen of available gadgets run by one motor — your sweet mixer.
The two big things to look for — which I have already calculated for you — are the cost of shipping and the cost of return in the rare case you find you don’t really like the color when it arrives. Just please don’t look only at the advertised price because it is misleading when you are comparing mixers. This mixer is an extremely heavy item (one of the reasons it works so well and lasts so long), so if you pay for the shipping, it can get pricey. And keep in mind that return shipping is almost always higher than the shipping price noted next to the item because the vendor has a bulk rate and you do not.
There are several colors you can find on Amazon that are stripped down mixers with a metal bowl, the standard beaters, and maybe a whisk thrown in, like the Canopy Green on Amazon. I don’t really recommend this one unless you are simply married to that color, because at the same price point, you can get one in Bay Leaf on Amazon or Imperial Black on Amazon that at least include a splatter shield with the standard beaters.
But you can get an upgraded configuration for even less money on Amazon in other colors. You can get Amazon bundles of a stainless steel bowl, upgraded beaters, and a splash guard bundled with mixers in Pearl Metallic, Apple Cider, Green Apple, Imperial Gray, Persimmon, Pistaschio, Toffee Delight, or Watermelon. All of these colors cost less than the Canopy Green, Bay Leaf, or Imperial Black packages offered right now (that I mentioned above). And they all have the upgraded coated flat beater, a coated dough hook, a wire whisk, and a splatter shield with integrated ingredients chute.
There are numerous colors in this price range, but not that come with the extras the models I listed above do. That makes these the best offers in this price class. To my thinking, if you are going to buy a stripped down model and have to add beaters and accessories like a splatter shield to it later, pay less up front.
And fortunately, you can.
But you can put a KitchenAid Artisan in your kitchen for less money than that.
You will see that at the lower end of cost, there are fewer color choices. But you can get a great deal on some elegant colors that wear really well over time. KitchenAid does a great job on color.
The most budget-friendly Artisans I could find on Amazon, and by that I mean a before-tax price under $350 were one in Buttercup and one in Espresso. Both of these come bundled with the stainless steel metal bowl and the two standard metal beaters, but they do each include a wire whisk.
You can always upgrade beaters later as your budget allows.
But there are even lower-priced options.
If you don’t mind a factory-refurbished unit, you can find an Artisan in Almond Cream on Amazon that includes the standard metal beaters, a wire whisk, and a 1-piece splash guard with an integrated food chute at a really great price.
Refurbished machines can be one of the best deals out there if you purchase on Amazon since Amazon has a generous return policy, at least for a limited time after the purchase.
But, the most budget-friendly package on Amazon at the time of this post is not a used machine. It is a brand new unit in a color called Caviar (on Amazon) that is one of many variations of black that KitchenAid offers. It is a basic, stripped down mixer that comes bundled with a metal bowl and the standard metal beaters, but it does also include a wire whisk.
Dollar for value, this is the best KitchenAid deal on Amazon.
All prices related to this post factor in shipping charges, but not taxes. What is often an apples-to-watermelons-to-grapes comparison on Amazon, I have already pared down for you to give you true cost-for-value. I’ve done all the math for you. These are the bottom-line price ranks, listed from most expensive to least expensive get-it-into-your-kitchen upfront cost. Just remember, prices can change on Amazon in less than 24 hours, although apps like Honey can show you how recently a price has changed or how stable it is.
If you are wavering on the edge of whether to purchase an Artisan or not, be sure to read my article on my personal KitchenAid buying and selling experience. Nothing, and I do mean nothing that I own has held its value, remained in faithful trouble-free service, and appreciated over time like my KitchenAid mixer. Plus, it is a total joy to use. And nothing I have ever thrown at it caused it to remotely pause. I can’t say that for any other stand mixer I have owned. Or for that matter, for anything else I have ever owned.
In two words: THEY ROCK.
Ever so Frenchly yours,