The Best Salad Spinner
If you’re looking for a salad spinner to keep your greens fresh and clean, look no further than the OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner. After 15 hours of research comparing 22 models and head-to-head tests between three salad spinners, we found the OXO to be simple to use, efficient, and gentle on our food. It managed to dry both hardy spinach and delicate raspberries without bruising—something the competition can’t do consistently. Even after overloading it with dill, its seamless mesh bowl was easiest to clean of those we tested.
Turns out everyone else is right. Salad spinners are simple things, and the Good Grips doesn’t add on anything weird or unnecessary: it just spins, and it does it damn well.
Table of contents
Should I upgrade?
If you’ve already got a salad spinner and it’s treating you fine, feel free to keep using it. You have our permission. If it’s getting your salad greens clean without too much trouble, there’s no need to upset the status quo. But if you’re unsatisfied, or if you’re using a small or cheap (or both) model like the IKEA Tokig, consider upgrading. It’ll make a big difference in both the amount of greens you can clean at once, and in how easy it is to clean them.
How we picked what to test
A salad spinner is a simple machine that needs to do a lot of things well; it has to spin fast enough to dispel water from your favorite greens quickly. It has to spin slow enough to wash delicate berries and herbs without ruining them. It needs to do so without being difficult or cumbersome to use. It needs to sit still and not wobble wantonly. It must be easy to clean, without tiny nooks and crannies perfect for bits of spinach to hide in. And it should be sturdy and hard to break.
People use their salad spinners for all sorts of things: lettuce, raspberries, spinach, herbs, washing t-shirts. It’s easy for a salad spinner to spin really, really fast, and that seems great on the surface, especially if you’re just using lettuce, which isn’t terribly prone to bruising or breakage. A great salad spinner tones that down a bit, making it possible to have a truly multifunctional machine without sacrificing drying speed and ability. It’s a tricky tightrope to walk, but absolutely necessary to separate the decent from the great.
It’s important that a salad spinner be easy to use, too. Granted, most of the ones we encountered weren’t difficult to deal with—just twist the handle at the top and push down on the pump or pull the string. But how much effort they took to actually spin the basket differed greatly. Some, like the Good Grips, required very little effort to get some decent speed going. Others required some serious cranking before they started moving. Yeah, those’re great for toning your arm muscles, but you’re making salad, not lifting weights. It shouldn’t be a difficult process.
We started out by surveying the main editorial on the subject: Good Housekeeping, Cook’s Illustrated, The Kitchn, Wall Street Journal, and Epicurious. We also looked at well-loved models on sites like Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond.
We found pullcord-based models, like the Zyliss Easy Spin, to be lacking. Not only were user reviews consistently low across the board, but our own editorial team’s experience with them convinced us that the cords are ultimately too fussy to use and, more importantly, hard to keep clean. With that decided, we kept to pump-action models, like the Good Grips, and handle-based models where you manually spin the bowl.
We also eliminated any spinner that held less than approximately 3-4 quarts of material. Greens are voluminous. Overstuff your spinner and your lettuce will have a hard time actually getting dry. Many manufacturers neglect to mention the capacity of their salad spinners—or, if they do, it’s the capacity for the bowl, not the spinning colander inside. So this took some guesswork: We took any spinner with “mini” in the name out of the running, and we were careful to read reviews to see if anyone complained about the model being too small.
Last, we looked at the model’s base. Going by Cook’s Illustrated’s prior research, we determined that disproportionately small bases led to wobbling and general unsteadiness. That meant that models like the Ozeri Freshspin were dismissed outright.
With those three criteria (and, of course, the weighing of positive and negative reviews), much of the field was eliminated, leaving us with only four contenders: the OXO Good Grips, the OXO Stainless Steel, the Xtraordinary Home Products Salad Spinner, and the Norpro Salad Spinner.
We tested in three rounds. First, we soaked one 10 ounce bag of adult spinach and spun it in each spinner six times. We weighed the spinach dry, after soaking, after three spins, and after six. Next, raspberries: Using a pint, we rinsed them clean and repeated the same process, paying special attention to bruising and parts of the raspberries that were torn off of the fruit. Last, we repeated the process with a bundle of dill, which is both delicate and messy as fronds break off. This helped test which spinners were easy to clean, and which were … well, terrors. Wobbliness and ease of use were also evaluated.
The Good Grips uses a pump mechanism: you just press down on a large button in the middle of the top and the machine does all the spinning for you, making it the easiest to use. We preferred this effortless, steady speed to the crank spinners, which require quite a bit of exertion to get the basket up to any sort of speed.
During testing, the Good Grips handled the unique differences between cleaning spinach, raspberries, and dill equally and efficiently.
Spinach, a hardy, sandy green, can withstand centrifugal force without damage. After six spins, the Good Grips removed 27 percent of water weight from the spinach, bringing them down to 119 percent of their original, dry weight. No, it wasn’t the best-performing machine, but our spinach was still dry — and as we learned, models that handled spinach great handled everything else terribly.
When we tested with raspberries, the Good Grips got them to within one percentage point of their original weight (to be precise, 100.52%, dropping to 98.45% after another six spins). That was by far the best performance. While other machines removed more water, but they also removed more raspberry. For example, the Xtraordinary Home Machines salad spinner removed more than 12 percent of the raspberries’ original weight, in addition to the water needed to clean them. That’s because they spin too fast, without any means to moderate the force. That’s okay if you’re only drying greens, but if you want to do anything else with your salad spinner, the ability to be effective and gentle trumps pure power.
Drying dill showed which spinners had crevices for fronds to get stuck in. By far, the Good Grips was the easiest to clean (except for the OXO stainless steel model, which was precisely identical in terms of ease of cleaning). Unlike the other machines, the holes in the colander are evenly spaced, so there are no hidden spots along the seams for little bits of dill or what-have-you-not to get trapped in. We just held it under the faucet and, ta-da!, clean. The others took a fair bit more poking and scrubbing to get out the little bits of dill that trapped themselves in corners.
Besides us, a lot of people love the Good Grips: Good Housekeeping says, “When it comes to salad spinners, Oxo’s Good Grips is tops.” Cook’s Illustrated liked how its “patented pump mechanism was the easiest to use among the models we tested, and its performance remained superb, holding plenty of greens and getting them drier than rival models.” Amazon reviewers love it, giving it 4.5 stars over more than 1,600 reviews. Jessica Harlan at About.com’s Cooking Equipment subsite gave it 5 stars, saying, “The iconic OXO Salad Spinner is an essential tool for making salads: it quickly washes and dries greens, and can also double as a salad serving bowl and as a colander.”
Flaws but not dealbreakers
We do wish it spun a little quicker, but as we learned in testing, that’s a false dichotomy: it does a great job drying greens still, and its more restrained RPM means it’s great at drying other things, too.
Last, its push mechanism does take up some room in the bowl we wish could be allocated to whatever you want to put inside. But considering the machine’s large size, it’s not really necessary—the Good Grips is still very, very roomy.
What if it’s sold out? (or if you want a stainless steel serving bowl)
Its drying performance was nearly identical to the Good Grips, as its pump mechanism and basket construction are, in almost every regard, exactly the same. It did manage to get the spinach six percent closer to its original weight than the Good Grips did, although that difference was small enough to be user error. With raspberries, it lost a little more than four percent of the raspberries’ initial weight after two sets of six spins. That’s slightly more than the Good Grips but still far less than the Xtraordinary spinner.
Because its base is smaller than the Good Grips’s, we found it just a bit wobblier in testing. Not as much so as either the Norpro or the Xtraordinary, though—it still was very secure. Because it has the same mechanism as the Good Grips does, it’s still super easy to use; it’s just, on occasion, a wee bit off-kilter. Similarly, its inner colander is constructed identically, and was equally simple to clean.
If you’re keen on a nice-looking stainless steel serving bowl, get this bowl. With the colander removed, the inside can double as a serving bowl. We wouldn’t recommend the stainless steel over the Good Grips for any other reason, but if your table setting really needs something extra, you’re not losing any functionality by opting for this version–just losing a bit more money.
Care and maintenance
We recommend washing greens in the bowl itself, separating the leaves and soaking them in water for a few minutes to remove sand and dirt before spinning. For more information, Colorado State University has a detailed guide to cleaning different kinds of produce.
The Xtraordinary Home Products salad spinner certainly spun fast, bringing the spinach down to only 104 percent of its original weight. But it decimated the raspberries, wobbled around, and was extremely difficult to clean. It might have a high RPM, but it fails almost every other test.
We eliminated the Norpro practically out of the box, thanks to its extremely difficult-to-spin handle. Considering its average performance in nearly every test, it’s clear we made the right decision.
The Excelsteel Cook Pro Salad Spinner has decent reviews on Amazon, but when weighing availability issues and the not-infrequent complaints that the machine broke immediately, we decided to pass.
Guzzina Latina’s great reviews made us almost call it in for testing, but after watching it for a while, we found numerous availability problems. And considering its price, we can’t imagine it’s $20 superior to the OXO—if you can even get it in-hand.
The Progressive Collapsible Salad Spinner was “not recommended” by Cook’s Illustrated, who said, “The single reason to buy this collapsible model is if your kitchen is very cramped; it has no other advantages.” Good enough for us.
I’ve had the IKEA Tokig for many years, and it is the worst (Sweethome and Wirecutter editor in chief Jacqui Cheng agrees). It’s small and wobbly and a pain to use. Sure, it’s $4. It’s worth every penny.
A lot of people like the Zyliss Easy Spin, but its pullcord can start to look and feel like a grimy, wet shoelace—not to mention numerous complaints of quick breakage.
The Ozeri Freshspin’s itty bitty base eliminated it from the running, as did the complaints that the salad spinner left their greens wet. Not good.
Cuisinart’s salad spinner design is so similar to the Xtraordinary’s, we wonder if they come from the same factory. Bad reviews make it a pass.
We took a look at the Progressive International Salad Spinner/Washer, but its design has a confounding flaw: the base has giant holes, so either you’ll have to wash over the sink every time or get used to your kitchen getting soaked.
Wrapping it up
We think the OXO Good Grips is the best salad spinner you can buy, bar none. It’s strong enough to wring water out of leaves and to dry berries without ruining them, and should you make a mess, it’s super easy to clean. Plus, it’s so simple a kid, or possibly even your pet, could use it. Everyone says it’s the best salad spinner out there, and we agree.
Salad Spinner Reviews, Good Housekeeping
Salad Spinners, Cook's Illustrated, April 1, 2013
The Best Salad Spinner: No Strings Attached, Epicurious, February 28, 2011,
Spin Right Around: 5 Salad Spinners to Consider, The Kitchn, February 17, 2011,
WSJ Test Kitchen: Salad Spinners, The Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2011,
Review: OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner, About.com,
Originally published: June 20, 2014