There are several types of juicers to choose from (more on those in How we picked), and even within the same type, different machines don’t always handle soft fruits, hard roots, and leafy greens equally well. Ultimately, we found single-auger slow juicers to be the best all around, and our picks reflect that. But which one you choose may depend on what type of juice you want to make. Our top pick was the best all around, but our runner-up makes smoother green juice, and our budget pick is best for juicing hard roots and fruits like carrots and apples.
The major disadvantages of this type of machine are the noise, heat, and oxidation resulted from their great speed. This oxidation can cause a loss in nutrients in the juice, thus reducing the juice quality and fridge life. Besides, while they’re good for thick, hard, crunchy fruits and veggies, these juicers are much less efficient in handling leafy greens.
Chef Liana Green told us that a good juicer can “juice green leafy vegetables and produce a high yield from ingredients.” The most efficient juicers will squeeze your fruits and veggies dry. The centrifugal juicers averaged a speedy two minutes per glass of juice, but they also tended to be quite messy, splattering juice everywhere if we placed our own glasses beneath the juice spouts. The cold-press juicers were generally quieter and neater during juicing, leaving us with a much cleaner countertop — but they required about seven minutes to fill one glass.
Centrifugal juicers grind up produce with tiny teeth on a rapidly spinning basket. The juice is then forced through a fine mesh sieve. This method works quickly but tends to produce a lot of foam which some find unappealing or feel causes oxidization of their juice. Centrifugal juicers work best for juicing carrots, apples, and other hard fruits and vegetables versus high fiber leafy greens like wheatgrass and kale. They’re light, easy to set up and use, and easy to clean with removable dishwasher safe parts. These juicers are speedy but tend to be loud (which could be an issue if you’re juicing early in the morning while people are sleeping). They’re affordable and great for those just getting into juicing with quality models starting at $50.
We found vertical masticating juicers like the Tribest Slowstar to be easier to assemble, use, and clean than horizontal models with a sleek modern look for your countertop. Made by a company specializing in the wellness market; the Slowstar’s double bladed auger creates a double cut, doing twice as much work compared to a traditional auger while operating at a low hum. It has a generous feed tube that makes it easier to prep produce with no motor jams at all–even putting whole leaves and stems of kale directly into the juicer. The pulp from the Tribest Slowstar was also the driest of all the tests–this juicer machine squeezes every bit of juice from produce with high yields. We loved the slightly thicker results of the carrot-apple juice test but if you don’t care for pulpy juices this may not be the best model for you. The Slowstar also serves as a multi-purpose kitchen tool; an included Mincing Attachment lets you make sorbets, nut butters, and even cookie dough. It comes with a generous 10-year warranty and is our top vertical masticating choice to keep on the counter for juicing and other kitchen tasks.
The Tribest Solostar 4 is a horizontal juicer, like our budget pick, the Omega J8004. It has a slightly squatter body and a marginally smaller footprint, but compared with that Omega model, the pricier Tribest Solostar produced smoother juice but at a significantly slower pace. The whole juicing assembly on the Tribest wiggled in a tight circular motion while the motor was running, and gave a bit every time we pushed produce through the feed tube (we tested two different units of the same model).
We were pleasantly surprised at how well the Hamilton Beach stacked up in taste testing, even against pricier cold-press models such as the KitchenAid (which featured sizeable chunks of celery in its juice. Many testers praised the smoothness of the Hamilton’s juice, noting that the Black & Decker and Oster were both grittier. You’ll get less juice and more foam than a top-performer like the Hurom, but the Hamilton Beach offers tasty results and a respectable performance for a much smaller price tag.
Yes, the Breville Juice Fountain Plus is fast and popular. But this centrifugal juicer paled in comparison with the slow juicers we tested. The yields were low and it was the least effective at juicing greens. In my one-bedroom apartment, you can’t hear the television in the living room when a Breville Juice Fountain Plus is fired up in the kitchen. It also has only a one-year warranty.
The US Department of Agriculture warns against relying on juice as your sole source of nutrition. This kind of diet won’t give you enough protein or fiber to maintain muscle mass and keep you feeling full. When we spoke with nutritionist Shereen Lehman, she reiterated this point. “Juicing alone won’t fix an unhealthy diet,” she told us. “It’s also important to cut out the junk foods and eat more lean protein sources, dairy or calcium sources, whole grains, and more fruits and veggies.”
In our testing, we focused on making green juice from 8 ounces each of curly kale and green grapes. This test showed us how each machine handled both soft fruit and tough greens. Fibrous greens are hard to break down, and a high-quality juicer will squeeze more juice from leaves than cheaper models. Soft fruit, like seedless grapes, is a challenge for juicers for the opposite reason—it lacks the fiber that helps the juicer pull the fruit completely through the chamber, and can gum up the works.
Like all slow juicers, the Tribest doesn’t overheat the final product. Starting with room-temperature produce (around 72 degrees Fahrenheit), we never produced juice warmer than 85 ºF—similar to the results we achieved with the other single-auger juicers we tested. The juice had a small, but pleasant, amount of pulp. If you don’t like pulp, Tribest includes a stainless steel hand strainer to catch solid bits. The Tribest isn’t dishwasher safe, but is fairly easy to clean with practice—there are five parts to rinse and no sponge-shredding teeth anywhere. John Kohler of DiscountJuicers.com also cites the Tribest as one of his favorites.
Juicing isn’t for everyone. Registered dietitian Sylvia North warned us that “if you have a clinically diagnosed inflammatory bowel or kidney disease, some nutrients found in high concentrations in green juices may not be appropriate.” If you’re navigating any health challenges, it’s best to talk to your registered dietitian or doctor before you shop for a juicer.