There’s certainly no shortage of good mixers out there, and many will do a decent job of kneading and whisking your tasty treats, but if there is one that stands out for its iconic design and amazing versatility it would undoubtedly be the KitchenAid stand mixer.
Unfortunately, a good stand mixer (especially a KitchenAid) is a pretty big investment. After eventually getting over the eye-watering price tag of my mixer, I was so glad I got one. These machines are totally worth it. After all, KitchenAid makes the most popular stand mixers in the world (holding about 25% of the US market alone), so it’s hard to argue with all those happy customers.
Here’s the problem though: They don’t make it easy for you to pick the right one. As I write this, they have over a dozen different stand mixer models in the USA alone. There are a bunch more variations in the European range too. Getting all the facts you need to make a proper comparison is a pain too, you have to do a lot of digging before you find all the information you need to properly compare each model.
Drawing from my own experience, a little research, and endless hours of bickering with my baking buddies, here are my thoughts on the KitchenAid Bowl Lift vs Tilt Head debate.
Let me be clear, regardless of who I think wins the tilt head vs bowl lift battle, both of these KitchenAid mixers are amazing, they just offer slightly different advantages.
What Is A KitchenAid Tilt-Head Mixer?
The KitchenAid tilt head mixer does exactly what it says on the tin. With a simple unlock and tilt of the mixer head, you can easily switch out attachments like whisks or beaters. This feature also gives you ample room to add ingredients or scrape down the sides of the bowl, making your baking process smoother.
Once you’ve added your ingredients or changed your attachment, just lower the head back into its original position and lock it in place. It’s a straightforward design that streamlines your kitchen tasks, letting you focus more on the joy of cooking and less on the logistics.
What Is A KitchenAid Bowl-Lift Mixer?
KitchenAid bowl lift mixers are the heavy-duty champions of the KitchenAid lineup, designed specifically for those who take their baking and cooking seriously. Unlike their tilt-head counterparts, the head of a bowl lift mixer remains fixed in place. Instead, the bowl’s position is adjusted using a lever mechanism, allowing it to be raised into the mixing position or lowered for easy access. This design provides added stability and support, especially when dealing with heavy doughs or mixing large quantities of ingredients.
These mixers have more powerful motors compared to tilt-head stand mixers.
Differences Between Tilt Head vs Bowl Lift Mixers
Now that we know a little bit about the different types of KitchenAid mixers you can get, let’s take a look at the 10 differences I have found between the KitchenAid bowl-lift vs tilt-head mixers.
1) Stand Mixer Models
One of the main differences between the tilt head and bowl lift KitchenAid mixers are the models. KitchenAid has divided their range into these two types of mixers with different mixers within that range.
There are around seven models in the tilt-head range and around five in the bowl-lift range. There are more stand mixer models depending on which country you are from, and there are some extra 7-quart models as well as 5.5-quart stand mixers. Below I have listed all the main tilt head and bowl lift models.
The Artisan Mini is the compact powerhouse and the smallest mixer of the KitchenAid tilt-head series. Equipped with a powerful 250-watt motor and a 3.5-quart bowl, it’s designed for small kitchens and limited countertop space without compromising on performance. Despite its smaller size, it offers the same mixing efficiency and versatility as its larger counterparts due to its DC motor. Currently available in nine different colors, the Artisan Mini is perfect for occasional bakers or those who are just starting their baking journey.
The KitchenAid Deluxe is a step up from the Classic series, offering enhanced features for the discerning baker. With a 300-watt motor, it provides a bit more power for those tougher mixing tasks. While it maintains the 4.5-quart bowl size, it comes with additional attachments and options that make it versatile for a variety of culinary endeavors. Though not as colorful as the Artisan series, the Deluxe offers a range of 5 classic shades that fit well in any kitchen setting.
Classic & Classic Plus
The Classic and Classic Plus models serve as the most affordable KitchenAid mixers. Both come equipped with a 275-watt motor and a 4.5-quart bowl, making them reliable options for everyday baking tasks. While they only have two color options, they make up for it with their straightforward functionality and durability. The Classic Plus offers a slight edge with a few additional features, but both models are excellent choices for those who want a dependable, no-frills mixer that gets the job done. They are also the cheapest KitchenAid stand mixers
Ultra Power Plus
The KitchenAid Ultra Power Plus stand mixer is a versatile and reliable addition to any kitchen. Falling under the tilt-head category, this model features a powerful 300-watt motor and a 4.5 quart bowl that’s well-suited for a variety of mixing tasks, from kneading dough to whipping cream. While it may not have the commercial-grade capabilities of the bowl-lift models, it offers a balance of power and convenience for the home baker. With a range of available attachments and five color options, the Ultra Power Plus provides a blend of performance and customization, making it a popular choice for those who want a dependable mixer for everyday use.
The KitchenAid Design mixer brings a touch of elegance to the tilt-head series with its unique glass bowl, allowing you to see the mixing process in action. Equipped with a 300-watt motor and a 4.5-quart capacity, it offers both form and function. The glass bowl not only adds a stylish flair but also comes with measurement markings for added convenience. While the color options may be limited to 3 compared to the Artisan series, the new 2022 Design Stand Mixer, Blossom adds an earthy feel with its thyme mixer and copper bowl.
The Artisan 5 is arguably the most popular model in the KitchenAid tilt-head lineup, and for good reason. Boasting a 325-watt motor and a generous 5-quart bowl, this mixer strikes a balance between power and capacity. What sets it apart is its unparalleled variety of color options—offering nearly 50 shades to match any kitchen décor. This makes it not just a kitchen appliance, but also a statement piece for your countertop. Ideal for both novice and experienced bakers, the Artisan 5 is the go-to choice for those who want both performance and personalization.
Professional 5 Plus Series
The KitchenAid Professional 5 is a part of the brand’s bowl-lift series, designed for those who are serious about their culinary endeavors. With a robust 525-watt motor and a 5-quart bowl capacity, this mixer is capable of handling a variety of tasks, from kneading dense doughs to whipping delicate meringues. The bowl-lift design provides added stability, making it easier to manage heavier mixtures. The Pro 5 has six colors to choose from.
The KitchenAid Professional 600 takes mixing to the next level with its powerful 575-watt motor and a generous 6-quart bowl capacity.
Professional 6500 Design
The KitchenAid Professional 6500 Design Series stands out for its exceptional engineering, featuring a 1.0 HP motor and a 6-quart bowl capacity this mixer is not just powerful but also highly versatile, making it ideal for those who require a reliable machine for a wide range of culinary tasks.
The KitchenAid Pro Line 7 Quart mixer is the epitome of professional-grade kitchen appliances. Designed to handle the most demanding culinary tasks, this bowl-lift mixer comes with a 1.3 BHP motor that is capable of powering through heavy doughs and large batches with ease. With a generous 7-quart bowl capacity, it’s ideal for commercial kitchens or for home bakers who frequently produce large quantities.
There is also a newer 7 quart KitchenAid mixer with Redesigned Touchpoints. It features a half-speed for slow mixing and a double flex edge beater. It has a 500-watt motor.
The KitchenAid Commercial stand mixer is the ultimate choice for professional bakers and culinary experts. Certified by NSF® for commercial use, this bowl-lift mixer features a robust 1.3 BHP motor that can run for extended periods without overheating. With an impressive 8-quart bowl capacity, it’s designed to handle the largest and most demanding mixing tasks. The model also comes with an optional stainless steel bowl guard to prevent food from entering the bowl during mixing. Available in a select range of colors, its primary focus is on performance, durability, and reliability, making it an indispensable tool for commercial kitchens.
When you look at the bowl lift and tilt mixers side by side, you’ll instantly see a difference in functionality. In the tilt-head mixers, the mixing head tilts back to allow easy attachment or detachment of accessories and to add ingredients to the bowl. The bowl itself locks into the base at the bottom of the mixer.
The tilt mechanism is unlocked and locked by pulling the lever on the left hand side of the mixer. To lock the mixing bowl, place the bowl at the base of the mixer and twist it clockwise until it locks into place.
On the other hand, bowl-lift mixers feature a more complex but sturdy mechanism. The mixing head remains stationary, and instead, the bowl’s position is adjusted using a lever. By cranking the lever, you can raise the bowl to meet the attachments or lower it for easier access. This design provides added stability, especially useful when dealing with heavy mixtures like bread dough. The bowl locks into arms on the side of the mixer, ensuring it stays in place during even the most vigorous mixing.
3) Bowl Capacity
In KitchenAid’s tilt-head series, the bowl capacities generally range from 3.5 to 5 quarts. For example, the Artisan Mini comes with a 3.5-quart bowl, making it ideal for smaller tasks and limited counter space. The Classic and Classic Plus models offer a 4.5-quart bowl, suitable for most everyday baking needs. The Artisan 5, one of the most popular in the tilt-head line, features a 5-quart bowl, providing a bit more room for larger recipes. These mixers are generally better suited for home bakers who don’t require the massive capacities of commercial mixers.
KitchenAid’s bowl-lift mixers are designed for more heavy-duty tasks and therefore come with larger bowl capacities. These typically range from 5.5 quarts up to a whopping 8 quarts in the Commercial model. The Professional 600, for instance, comes with a 6-quart bowl, while the Pro Line offers a 7-quart bowl. These larger capacities make bowl-lift mixers ideal for commercial settings or for home bakers who frequently make large batches.
Tilt-head models are generally lighter and more compact, making them easier to move around the kitchen or store in cabinets. For example, the Artisan Mini, one of the lightest in the tilt-head series, weighs around 18 pounds. Even the larger Artisan 5 model weighs around 26 pounds. This lighter weight makes tilt-head mixers more convenient for those who may need to move their mixer frequently or have limited counter space.
In contrast, KitchenAid’s bowl-lift mixers are built for heavy-duty tasks and thus come with a more substantial build. These mixers are often over 30 pounds, with some models like the Professional 6500 Design and the Commercial series reaching 37 and 31 pounds respectively. Their heavier weight provides added stability, especially when mixing large or heavy batches, but it also means they are less portable and may require a dedicated space on your countertop.
To find out more about how much KitchenAid mixers weigh, take a look here.
5) Size & Dimensions
The physical size and the height of a KitchenAid mixer can be a crucial factor, especially if you have limited counter space or storage options. KitchenAid’s tilt-head and bowl-lift mixers differ in their dimensions, making each type more suitable for specific kitchen setups.
Tilt-head models are generally more compact, both in height and overall dimensions. For instance, the Artisan Mini stands at about 12.3 inches tall, making it easy to fit under most kitchen cabinets. Even the larger Artisan 5 model usually has a height of around 14 inches. Their more compact size makes tilt-head mixers ideal for smaller kitchens or for those who prefer to store their mixer in a cabinet when not in use.
On the other hand, KitchenAid’s bowl-lift mixers are taller and bulkier, designed to handle heavy-duty tasks. These mixers often have a height of 16 to 17 inches or more, making them less suitable for kitchens with low-hanging cabinets. The added height and bulkier build provide stability but also mean that these mixers are best suited for a dedicated space on your countertop.
Find out more about the dimensions of all KitchenAid stand mixers here.
6) Power & Motor Size
When it comes to the engine that drives these mixers, there’s a noticeable difference in power and motor size between KitchenAid’s tilt-head and bowl-lift models. This factor often correlates with the types of tasks each mixer is best suited for.
Tilt-head models generally come with smaller motors, ranging from 250 watts in the Artisan Mini to up to 325 watts in the Artisan 5. These motors are more than sufficient for most home baking tasks like whipping cream, kneading dough, and mixing batters. However, they may struggle with very heavy or stiff doughs. The smaller motor size contributes to the lighter weight and smaller dimensions of these models, making them more suitable for everyday home use.
In contrast, KitchenAid’s bowl-lift mixers are designed for more heavy-duty operations and come with significantly more powerful motors. For example, the Professional 600 features a 575-watt motor, and the Commercial series goes even further with a 1.3 BHP motor. These powerful motors are built to handle a wide range of tasks, from kneading heavy doughs to mixing large volumes of ingredients, without overheating or slowing down. The larger motor size is one reason why these models are heavier and larger in dimensions.
When it comes to price, it depends on the model, mixing bowls, and any special attachment that you buy. However, due to their heavy motors, bulky build, and larger capacity bowls, these stand mixers (capable of commercial use) are significantly more expensive.
The aesthetic appeal of a stand mixer can be just as important as its functionality, especially for those who consider their kitchen a showcase of style as well as a workspace. KitchenAid’s tilt-head and bowl-lift mixers offer different visual elements that may appeal to different tastes.
Tilt-head models are often seen as the more ‘classic’ KitchenAid look, featuring a smoother, more rounded design that many find charming and retro. One of the significant advantages of tilt-head mixers is the wide array of colors available. The Artisan 5, for example, comes in nearly 50 different shades, allowing you to match your mixer perfectly with your kitchen decor. This extensive color range makes tilt-head mixers a popular choice for those who place a high value on the aesthetic appeal of their kitchen appliances.
Bowl-lift models, on the other hand, have a more industrial and robust appearance, reflecting their heavy-duty capabilities. They often feature sharper lines and a more angular design, which some people find to be sleek and modern. However, when it comes to color options, bowl-lift mixers are generally more limited. Most models come in a handful of standard colors, focusing more on performance than aesthetic customization.
8) Attachment Availability
Both KitchenAid’s tilt-head and bowl-lift mixers come with their own set of attachments, such as whisks, dough hooks, and beaters, tailored to fit their specific design. All the accessories and attachments, except the ones made with uncoated aluminum, are dishwasher-safe. The power hub attachments are universal across both types of mixers, allowing for greater flexibility and ease of use. This means you can use the same pasta roller, meat grinder, or other hub-based attachments regardless of whether you have a tilt-head or a bowl-lift model.
For KitchenAid tilt mixers, you can choose from three main types of mixing bowls (35+ bowls in total) – stainless steel, plain and painted ceramic, and frosted glass that comes with or without handles.
For the bowl-lift, the main bowls available are glass or stainless steel. You can even purchase smaller mixing bowls for larger mixers. So even though you might have a bowl-lift 6-quart mixer, you can purchase an additional 3-quart mixer that will fit bowl-lift mixers.
Bowl availability however becomes a little scarce when wanting to purchase extra glass or ceramic bowls. Glass bowls can be purchased for most models, but the ceramic bowls are only available for the 5-quart tilt-head stand mixers. To find out more about KitchenAid mixer bowls, take a look here.
When it comes to storing your stand mixer, the type you choose can make a significant difference. Tilt-head models, being generally more compact and lighter, are easier to move around and can fit into smaller cabinets or under lower-hanging kitchen shelves. Their smaller footprint makes them ideal for kitchens with limited counter or storage space. Many people find it convenient to store the tilt-head mixer in a cabinet and bring it out only when needed.
In contrast, bowl-lift models are bulkier and heavier, often requiring a dedicated space on your countertop. Due to their height and weight, they are less convenient to move and may not fit in standard kitchen cabinets. If you opt for a bowl-lift model, you’ll likely need to allocate permanent counter space for it, which could be a consideration if you have a smaller kitchen or limited counter real estate.
KitchenAid mixers are expensive. There are no two ways about it. But, generally speaking, tilt-head models are more ‘budget-friendly’, making them a popular choice for home bakers and those new to the world of stand mixers. Models like the Artisan Mini or the Classic series offer a range of features at a more accessible price, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a KitchenAid mixer without breaking the bank. The cheapest KitchenAid mixer is the Classic at around $250.
Bowl-lift mixers are typically more expensive, reflecting their larger size, greater bowl capacity, and more powerful motors. These mixers are often considered an investment, particularly suitable for those who bake frequently or in large quantities. You can find the bowl-lift mixers anywhere between $500 to $800.
If price is a huge factor for you, luckily KitchenAid has regular sales on their mixers, with some being as much as $200 off. You can also get yourself a refurbished KitchenAid mixer which will cost a hell of a lot less than buying a brand new one.
Bowl Lift vs Tilt Head: What’s Your Pick?
You might be confused about which KitchenAid stand mixer you should buy and with good reason. After all, both the tilt-head and the bowl-lift models are efficient, sturdy, and durable.
Tilt-Head Mixer Pros & Cons
|Lighter and Smaller||Not Great For Sitff Batters/Doughs|
|Easy To Store||Less Powerful|
|Ideal For Light Mixing|
|More Color Options|
|More Range Options|
Bowl-Lift Mixers Pros & Cons
|Ideal For Stiff Doughs||Heavy|
|Larger Capacity||Not Easy To Store|
|Great For Commercial Use||Less Range Option|
|Less Color Option|
After seeing the pros and cons, is the tilt-head mixer better?
Your ideal mixer depends on your unique needs and how you plan to use it. If you’re short on space, frequently whip up cake batters, and appreciate a lightweight, easy-to-move appliance, the tilt-head model is likely your best bet. On the flip side, if you’re an avid bread maker, regularly produce large batches of baked goods, or even operate a small home-based bakery, the bowl-lift model would be more up your alley.
Tilt-head mixers are generally geared towards home bakers, while bowl-lift models are built with commercial use in mind. Both types are incredibly versatile and promise to deliver outstanding performance. If you want to see a more in-depth comparison of each KitchenAid stand mixer model, take a look at my KitchenAid mixer comparison article where I dive deeper into the specs of each model.
If you are still unsure about which type of KitchenAid stand mixer to get, take a look at Amy’s video!