Centrifugal juicer vs cold press juicer: which should you buy?

Which is better for you – a centrifugal juicer or a cold press juicer? We compare them like for like so that you can see which is better suited to your habits

Breville juicer making beet juice
(Image credit: Breville)

Adding a juicer to your kitchen arsenal is essential if you wish to take that first step to a healthier lifestyle.

If you are on the lookout for the best juicers, you may be wondering whether to shop for a centrifugal juicer or the best cold press juicer but first, you must understand what both of these juicers can do for you, your household and your health. 

Below, I explain the differences, and what each is typically good at versus the other, too. At the bottom of the page are both appliances, listed with today's best prices.

Centrifugal juicer vs cold press juicer: which to buy

Packed with goodness, a glass of freshly made juice is the perfect way to start the day. Extracting your own not only allows you to create different flavor combinations, but also means your juice is as fresh as it can be, preserving more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than you’ll find in shop-bought blends. So if you want to get the whole family hooked on a healthy habit, we’ve decoded the differences between centrifugal juicers and cold press juicers, which are also known as masticating juicers.

Ninja JC101

(Image credit: Ninja JC101)

What are cold press juicers?

If you are looking for optimum goodness, it pays to pick a masticating juicer. They may be slower than centrifugal models, but they work extremely hard, crushing and squeezing fruit and vegetables to release as much juice as possible. The juice tends to be thicker, with more fiber and nutrients retained, but you may find there’s more prep work involved, such as chopping whole fruit into pieces to fit in the spout. 

Masticating juicers, also known as cold press juicers, can tackle green leafy vegetables and soft fruits, such as grapes, as well as harder produce. And although they’re usually pricier than centrifugal juicers, it’s worth the investment if you plan to use yours frequently, and the lack of a blade makes for a quieter, easier-to-clean machine. Available as horizontal or slim vertical models, choose the latter for a smaller footprint on your worktop.

Hurom H-AA juicer

(Image credit: Hurom)

What are centrifugal juicers?

For juice without the wait choose a centrifugal model. These work by shredding fruit on rotating blades, before spinning it at high speed to separate the juice from the pulp through a mesh. Ideal for hard fruit and vegetables, such as apples and carrots, they’ll get through a large amount in a short space of time, with little or no need for chopping or peeling first (apart from the thick skin of a pineapple). 

In the main, centrifugal models cost less than masticating machines, but incorporate more air into the juice, making it foamy and reducing its shelf life, so they’re best for juicing to order. They also produce a thinner juice with less pulp, will struggle to deal with green leafy vegetables and wheatgrass and can be noisier due to their powerful motors.

Centrifugal juicer vs cold press juicer: which is healthier?

A juicer, whether cold press or centrifugal, is the best way to extract juice and nutrients from a variety of fruits and vegetables. There are two main types of general-purpose juicers: masticating (cold press) and centrifugal. Both work in different ways and have their own health benefits.

Centrifugal juicer: Centrifugal juicers use a fast-spinning blade to chop up fruit and vegetables, using fine mesh filters to separate the juice from the pulp. The main benefit of this type of machine is that you can throw in whole fruits, giving you quick results with minimal fuss.

The downside is that these juicers aren’t as efficient, so some juice gets passed out with the pulp. With the air and heat that’s introduced, juice can be frothy, can oxidize quicker, and won't last as long when stored.

Cold press juicer: Masticating juicers use a crushing, squeezing element to extract the juice. Although also known as slow juicers, these products aren’t that much slower than their centrifugal counterparts. Though, masticating juicers are much more efficient, so you’ll get more juice from each fruit, and with less air and heat added, the juice tastes fresher, lasts longer when stored and the color looks brighter too.

Centrifugal juicer vs cold press juicer: my verdict

My verdict? While it's not suitable for every space, I'd pick a cold press juicer for my kitchen. However, if you're someone who isn't fixated on the alleged health benefits of cold press juice, are on a tight budget, or simply someone who doesn't have a lot of time to wait for a cold press juice, then a centrifugal juicer works wonderfully to give you juice on the go. The biggest difference between the two is the level of oxidation, so do keep that in mind when making your final decision. 

If you prefer smoothies to juices, you might want to consider investing in the best blender instead. It is vital that you understand the difference. When comparing juicers vs blenders, blenders mash everything together, while juicers are designed to separate the pulp from the juice, giving a smoother, more drink-like result.

'Not sure how much you'll actually use a juicer or a blender? Visit a juice bar and try some blends first,' says Millie Fender, reviews editor at Homes & Gardens. 'If you find lots of combinations that you like, you'll probably enjoy making your own.'