They aren’t just for giving people those awesome bowl cuts. Unless you plan on mixing cake batter or tossing salad in the sink or that old bucket in the back of the cupboard beneath it, you’re going to need a quality mixing bowl.
It’s one of those items you don’t realize is essential until there’s cookie dough in your hair, on the ceiling, all over the counter, up your nose, in the living room somehow.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to keep the clean down to an absolute minimum. You’ve already worked hard enough on your food.
The last thing you need after a lovely meal or treat is to be cleaning through the night, or worse still, waking up to it on an all too sobering morning.
To a lot of people, a bowl is just a bowl, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Every small facet of design has either a practical or aesthetic purpose. Bowl design is deliberate and measured.
So, if you’re about to hook yourself up with some mixing bowls to expand your culinary horizons, or you do indeed just need to hook someone up with a charmingly dated haircut, I’ve rated and reviewed five of the very best bowls you can buy.
I’ve also kneaded together an in-depth buyer’s guide and FAQ section to help you on your search for the holy grail of mixing bowls.
OUR TOP PICK
This mixing bowl is a stone-cold classic. Your parents have one; your grandparents have one, their parent’s parents have one.
You’ll have seen this bowl in your favorite TV shows and movies, in kitchens all around the globe, and there’s a very good reason for their ubiquity.
Now considered a design classic, the Mason Cash Mixing bowl is made from chip-resistant earthenware to ensure a long life of tasty servitude.
It’s the perfect example to exhibit the deliberate aspect of design I mentioned earlier.
Though the outside may be a pleasing sandy color, the entire inside is a stark white, giving you unsullied visuals of the color of your mix.
At 2.27lbs, it’s just heavy enough to remain stationary on your counter as you mix those dense batters with both hands, but not so heavy you can’t cradle it with your arm and really dig in while moving about the kitchen.
The Cash’s wide, fairly shallow shape provides you with a decent surface area for kneading in the bowl itself, protecting your counters from powdered snows of flour and inevitable sticky bits of dough and batter.
Lovely as they are, the vaguely Aztec designs on the outside of the bowl are as practical as they are decorative.
When you take the bowl up into your arms, they provide you with shedloads of grip for some hardcore mixing.
Obviously, earthenware isn’t shatterproof. If you drop this bowl, you’ll be finding shards under your counters for years, but for sheer versatility and cultural significance, it cinches the top spot.
- Classic design
- External patterns look great and provide grip for holding the bowl
- White surface gives a clear view of your mix
- Heavy enough to resist shifting, light enough to hold comfortably
- Enough base surface area to kneed in the bowl
- Will shatter if dropped
Unlike my timeless number one pick, these zeitgeisty Umite bowls are a modern masterpiece, combining common materials to make one super bowl...or six anyway.
Each of these nesting mixing bowls has a completely stainless steel core and a silicone base for gaining traction on your slick kitchen counters.
Color-coded to make nesting and finding the correct size airtight lid easy as possible, these bowls offer clarity and simplicity in what can be an incredibly stressful environment.
Shove on the corresponding lid and you can pop them straight in the fridge. No need to use environmentally questionable foils and plastic wraps.
Ranging from 1.5 to 7 quarts, one set of these bowls will introduce hundreds of new possibilities to your kitchen.
The smaller sizes are great for light jobs. I use them for quick eats like immersion blending avocados, peppers, and garlic to make some fresh guacamole.
The largest bowls are for your cakes, bread, cookies, and large adventurous salads for get-togethers.
It must be said that although the grippy base is a fantastic idea, these bowls aren’t as wide or heavy as the Mason Cash.
You’ll need to hold them firmly in place to prevent them from tipping. The silicone also prevents them from use in cooking processes such as melting chocolate for brownies.
- Non-slip silicone base
- Reflective, fingerprint-resistant surface
- Comes in a nesting pack of 6 sizes
- They have color-coded airtight lids
- Can be used to store food
- Great price for the quality
- Dishwasher safe
- Grip might cause tipping
- Must be kept away from heat
- Not microwave safe
In third place is a no-nonsense set of bowls crafted with special attention to the old adage, less is more. They’re as simple as can be and I absolutely love them for it.
Arriving as a pack of six, these bowls are made entirely of mirror-polished stainless steel. They’re easy to clean by hand and completely dishwasher safe too, hurrah!
You can refrigerate them, you can tuck them into the freezer, or use them for cooking.
In fact, because of their rather attractive finish, you can even use them as serving bowls in a center arrangement at your table.
What’s more, they have flat bases for stability, and their capacities from ¾ through to 8 quarts, are marked on the bowls for clarity’s sake.
Just because these bowls are a minimalist triumph, doesn’t mean they don’t have a trick or two up their sleeve.
The wide-rolled rim allows a smooth pour with no excess dripping. It’s a hiding in plain sight feature you’ll be thanking your lucky stars for when it comes to splitting mixes.
A few customers claim that their set deteriorated quite quickly which is obviously no good, but these are the most popular mixing bowls on the list by a long shot, so there are bound to be some disgruntled customers among them.
My advice would be to inspect each one thoroughly upon arrival, checking for dents, scratches, and oxidization.
- Made from mirror-finish stainless steel
- Dishwasher safe
- Includes 6 nesting bowls
- Flat base
- Marked capacities
- Wide rims prevent spillages
- Amazing price
- Most popular on the list
- No lids
- Some customers aren’t satisfied with bowl longevity
- Not microwave safe
My penultimate pick is a handy little set to own even if you have a good selection of standard bowls, and that’s because they have measuring jug style pouring sputs, which is a simple yet ingenious touch.
Use them for pouring accurate amounts of mix neatly, or before you even need to, use them as a whisk or spoon rest.
Another quality addition to these bowls you’ll appreciate is the extended rubberized grip on the opposite side of the spout.
Not only does this give you a great hold for mixing, but offers leverage when using the bowls to pour heavy batters without straining your stalks.
The only problem with bowls that have these advanced, multi-purpose rims is that they don’t come with lids, and even if they did, they wouldn’t be airtight.
OXO has also opted for a non-slip base similar to the second set of bowls on the list.
The two smaller bowls pose the same tipping risk, but the largest is wide enough to make solid contact with a kitchen surface, remaining stationary as your whisk, kneed, toss, or stir your way to taste town.
Arriving as a pack of three, ranging from 1.5 to 5 quarts, you can choose between lovely pastel colors or classic white so you can match them with other utensils or a stylized kitchen aesthetic.
- Includes 3 bowls
- Dedicated pouring spout
- Extended grip for leverage
- Grippy base
- Reasonable price
- Come in a range of colors to suit your kitchen and style
- No lids
This last set of six bowls are perfect if you’re not looking for anything too special or pricey, but you still want a durable, reliable product available in a host of eye-pleasing colors.
They’re made from polypropylene, a lightweight yet tensile plastic, so even though they’re slightly thinner than the other picks, they don’t flex under strain.
Polypropylene doesn’t have great impact-resistant qualities, though, so if you do drop them, prepare for a crack or two.
While an airtight lid is an awesome addition to a mixing bowl, allowing you to store your food in the bowl itself, in some cases the lids for these bowls are a little hard to get off once on.
You may have to do a bit of prying with a butter knife, but at least you know they’re not coming off if the bowl tips.
You could even use the smaller ones in lieu of Tupperware for some diverse and healthy packed lunches.
Ranging from 0.32 to 5.8 quarts, these bowls will set you up for a huge range of culinary activities.
They’re BPA-free which is wonderful, and they’re the second cheapest on the list, perfect!
- Great price
- Dishwasher safe
- Microwave safe
- Comes as a pack of 6
- Comes with airtight lids
- Can be used for packed lunches
- Available in loads of lovely colors
- Lightweight yet tensile
- Thinner than other bowls
- Lids can be quite hard to get off
- No particularly special features
Best Mixing Bowls Buying Guide
There are so many mixing bowls on the market at the minute, it can all be a little bit overwhelming.
Before you know it, your brains start to feel over whisked, your soul kneaded into oblivion, your thinning will to go on requiring a thickening dose of cornflour.
At that stage, it’s tempting to buy any old bucket just so you can get it over with, but heeding some of the advice in my buyer’s guide will see you through with your sanity intact and a quality mixing bowl in your kitchen.
Many people go out with the intention of finding the cheapest mixing bowls they can find, and they’re right to hunt for a good price, but if you want something that’s going to last a while, you should allocate a little more funds to the venture.
I recommend preparing around $50. You may not end up spending it all, but it’s enough to buy some of the best mixing bowls around.
BPA is a chemical hardener used in the plastics industry. It’s typically found in cookware, food storage containers, baby bottles, the lining of tin cans, glasses lenses, CDs and DVDs...this stuff is everywhere.
BPA has a similar structure as estrogen hormones, and it can enter your body after leaching into your food during storage.
Mimicking estrogen, it’s capable of binding to estrogen receptors which can, in turn, affect bodily functions.
It's not yet a banned chemical, nor is it deemed to be a serious risk at normal levels of exposure, but it’s always nice knowing your mixing bowl isn’t sneaking alien compounds disguised as estrogen into your body.
If you're looking at plastics, make sure to check if they’re BPA-free.
Plastic mixing bowls are very resilient and practical products. They’re normally dishwasher and microwave safe, available in nests, and come with airtight lids for food storage.
They provide a very hygienic surface for working with food, but, as mentioned above you should always check if BPA was used in their production.
Good quality plastic bowls can be tensile and shatter-resistant, and they can be found in a bunch of really cool colors.
The issues I’ve had with them in the past is that they may eventually stain or absorb odors. You also have to be very careful around hot surfaces as they melt easily.
Stainless steel is an amazing material for mixing bowls and a favorite of commercial kitchens around the globe. Working as a chef, my steel bowls were an indispensable part of every service.
Whether it was for mixing up a quick sticky toffee pudding or simply holding peelings or fries, they were always to hand.
These sorts of bowls are easy to clean, incredibly strong, come in nests, and obviously don’t melt when heated, meaning you can use them in the cooking process.
The problem with steel bowls is that they’re not microwave safe and can dent if struck.
Ceramic is a favorite for the well-loved home kitchen. Due to their shatter-risk and possible chipping, they’re not as commonly used anymore, but they’re an eco-friendly alternative to plastics if you’re trying to do your part for the environment.
As you’ve seen from my number one product, a good quality ceramic mixing bowl will be chip-resistant, which is one less thing to worry about, and on top of that, they’re dishwasher and microwave safe.
They do, however, tend to cost far more than other materials.
Glass is another more traditional mixing bowl material. It’s great for gently heating contents over steam, but much like ceramic, it poses other problems such as chipping and smashing.
It’s not law, but it’s a commonly practiced rule that no glass whatsoever should be allowed into a commercial kitchen.
That said, in the home, it’s nice to have at least one small glass mixing bowl kept somewhere secure and out of the way.
If you really dig deep, you may indeed find mixing bowls made of things like copper or wood, but these products are harder to find for a reason.
Copper cookware is always pricey and because it’s such a weak metal, it’s normally only used in a decorative manner.
Wood is incredibly porous and ultimately unsanitary. Some commercial kitchens won’t even permit the use of wooden spoons.
Quarts are the unit you’ll find to indicate the capacity of mixing bowls.
They're a measurement of volume, each one representing a quarter of a gallon or just under 1 liter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are glass or steel mixing bowls better?
Glass is microwave safe and can’t be beaten for melting chocolate, but ultimately, steel’s durability, price and availability make it the better material.
Can I mix bread dough in a stainless steel bowl?
Yes, bread it up! Stainless steel is a non-reactive metal, leaving you a clean and neutral surface for working and rising your bread dough.
Just make sure it’s big enough to allow the dough to expand.
What can you not mix in a stainless steel bowl?
You can mix anything in a stainless steel bowl, but some prefer not to whisk to prevent the chance of microscopic metal shavings mixing with your food.
Can vinegar hurt stainless steel?
Only if exposed to vinegar for extended lengths of time.
Ready to Mix it Up a Bit?
There you have, chefs, five awesome mixing bowls for kitting out your kitchen and enriching your culinary exploits.
With one or a set of any of these to hand, you’ll be able to make more and keep your environment clean as a whistle.
There’s no need to choose just one type of bowl. As you’ve seen from our list, they have very different qualities.
If you’ve got the budget and space, why not treat yourself to a few. Happy mixing!