- A juicer that looks great out of the box
- Average results across the board in our juicing performance tests – a good thing considering its below average price point
- For the most part, extracts a juice with a relatively low percentage of pulp
- A juicer that’s very difficult to keep looking good with continued use over time
- Multi-speed functionality detracts from ease of use without improving performance
- A below average value because better options are available at its price point
A quick note on the model tested for this review
The Bella juicer we bought and tested for this review is the 5-speed 1000 watt 13990. Bella also manufacturers a 2-speed centrifugal juicer – the 13694. Please note that while much of the review below only applies to the 5-speed 13990 some of it also applies to the 13694, especially sections on food preparation (as both juicers have the same size feeding chute), durability (as both juicers are made by the same manufacturer and have a similar build quality), and value and recommendations (as we would recommend a different model juicer over either Bella juicer for those consumers looking to purchase a centrifugal juicer).
The Bella juicer is composed of a main body, filter bowl, filter basket, cover, food pusher, and juice and pulp containers just like most other centrifugal juicers on the market. As such, its assembly is almost identical to that of most other such juicers. To begin assembly, its filter bowl is placed on its main body, followed by its filter basket. The cover goes over the filter bowl and filter basket and is secured in place by rotating the juicer’s safety locking arm from a horizontal unlocked position to a vertical locked position where it hooks over grooves on the front and back of the top of the cover. Next, the pulp container is placed underneath the cover as well but to the side of the main body of the juicer. Finally, the food pusher is placed inside the feeding chute of the juicer (the feeding chute extends from the top of its cover) and the included juice container is placed underneath its juice spout.
All of the above steps are the exact same steps you would need to complete to assemble almost all other centrifugal juicers on the market. That being said, there are two additional steps required for the Bella juicer’s assembly, in particular. The first is to adjust its anti-drip spout from a closed to open position. The second is to lock two of the three parts composing its juice container in place. Let’s take a look at both of these additional assembly steps in greater detail.
The Bella’s Anti-Drip Spout
The Bella juicer is one of only a handful of centrifugal juicers we tested that feature an anti-drip spout. As such, its spout needs to be adjusted from a closed position to an open position before you begin juicing. Conversely, the plastic sleeve over the spout should be rotated to a closed position after you’re finished juicing and want to move the filter bowl to the location where you intend to clean it. The anti-drip functionality of the spout allows you to remove the filter bowl from the main body of the juicer and/or move the juice container away from the filter bowl without dripping juice out of the spout.
Anti-drip spouts are common among vertical masticating juicers. On these juicers, they allow for more than the anti-spill functionality we described above. Most centrifugal juicers do not feature anti-drip spouts, likely because manufacturers of such juicers may feel that their inclusion isn’t necessary. Again, on a vertical masticating juicer an anti-drip spout allows for more than just spill-free disassembly of the juicer. Its design is also such that it’s fairly easy to clean. On a centrifugal juicer spill-free disassembly is essentially the anti-drip spout’s only purpose and therefore manufacturers may not feel that this is sufficient reason to include it. In addition, the way in which anti-drip functionality is implemented on the Bella juicer makes it more difficult to clean. The plastic sleeve that is rotated to set the spout to a closed or open position cannot be removed from the spout. This plastic sleeve makes it quite difficult to clean the spout properly.
The Bella’s Unique Juice Container
Most centrifugal juicers come with a juice container composed of two different parts – the container itself and a lid that fits over the container and is specifically designed to fit around the juicer’s juice spout. The Bella juicer’s juice container is also composed of these same two parts but it is, at the same time, also composed of an additional part – a chrome sleeve. This chrome sleeve has no other purpose other than to make the juice container standing next to the juicer, fully assembled, more aesthetically pleasing. It also provides a handle for the handle-less plastic juice container, but the handle-less plastic container could have easily been designed with a handle if it didn’t come with this chrome sleeve to begin with.
We found the inclusion of this chrome sleeve to be much more of a negative than a positive in terms of how it affected the overall functionality of the juicer. The manufacturer truly was prioritizing form over function when it decided to design the juicer’s juice container in the way in which it did (with a chrome sleeve). In putting these two parts together (the container and the sleeve), we found it relatively easy to remove the sleeve from the container but found it quite difficult to put the container back into the sleeve. The sleeve is also an additional part that needs to be assembled – not a big negative but not a positive either.
The inclusion of the sleeve also affected the difficulty we had cleaning the juicer. We found it impossible to clean the juice container properly with the sleeve and container locked together. We therefore found it crucial to remove the sleeve each time we wanted to clean the juice container during testing. The sleeve itself was also difficult to clean and keep clean because of its chrome finish.
Summary and Score
Needing to adjust the Bella’s anti-drip spout really doesn’t make it any more difficult to assemble than most other centrifugal juicers we tested. However, needing to fit a sleeve over its juice container absolutely does. We found it very difficult to get the chrome sleeve surrounding its plastic juice container to properly fit into place. For the difficulty associated with assembling this part alone (the juice container) the Bella juicer receives a lower score for assembly than most other centrifugal juicers we tested – a 4 out of 5.
We measured the width or diameter of all of the feeding chutes of all of the juicers we tested for review. For every feeding chute we measured, the diameter we measured always exactly matched the feeding chute diameter specified by the manufacturer, except for this juicer’s feeding chute. We measured the Bella juicer’s feeding chute to be slightly less than 3 inches in diameter (about 2.8 inches) which makes this juicer’s actual feeding chute diameter ever so slightly less than the manufacturer specified 3 inches. Most centrifugal juicers on the market all have 3-inch diameter feeding chutes which also makes the Bella juicer’s feeding chute ever so slightly smaller in diameter than the diameter of those feeding chutes of all of those other juicers.
Note that this small difference in diameter is highly unlikely to make any tangible difference as to the size of produce that will be able to fit in the Bella juicer’s feeding chute. We juiced five different fruits and vegetables with the Bella juicer to test its juicing performance. Of those five fruits and vegetables, none had to be cut any smaller to fit into the Bella’s feeding chute than they had to be cut in order to fit into standard sized 3 inch feeding chutes. Take a look at the table below. Note how the feeding chute diameter is listed along with the size of the cuts required for the fruits and vegetables we juiced with centrifugal juicers. Note also how all of the juicers that this table gives data for, including the Bella (despite its slightly smaller chute), required exactly the same preparation (cutting) of the fruits and vegetables we juiced with each juicer to test it. That preparation, as the table shows, was negligible. Only apples needed to be cut into smaller pieces for all such juicers.
Most Centrifugal Juicers (including the Bella)
Note: the time above is in seconds. The Bella’s feeding chute diameter is slightly smaller than 3 inches but this made no difference with regards to its food preparation requirements which are the same as those listed in the table above.
The Bella juicer’s juicing performance results (along with those of every other centrifugal juicer we tested) are listed in this table, found in our general buyer’s guide. For more information about how we went about testing the juicer’s performance please see here.
The Bella juicer did quite well, considering its price point, in most of our juicing performance tests. There are, however, other centrifugal juicers that did better and are priced just as inexpensively. We talk about those juicers at the end of this review.
The Bella juicer has a chrome body. The speed adjustment knob on the front of the juicer and the sleeve of the juice container also have the same chrome finish as the body. All of these parts, because of their chrome finish, are very difficult to clean or rather, clean to the point where they look clean. The difficulty of cleaning them doesn’t have anything to do with wiping them clean or removing juice or pieces of pulp from them. It’s just as easy to wipe them clean as it is to wipe plastic parts clean. The difficulty has to do with cleaning them to the point where they actually look clean – to the point where they’re smudge-free and look brand new. Take a look at the photo below. This photo was taken after cleaning the juicer for the purpose of taking pictures of it. Note all of the smudges on the juicer’s body. These smudges were caused by simply moving the body from one location to another in the kitchen and with completely clean hands.
We already talked about the juice container’s chrome sleeve and all of the negative aspects to this design earlier in this review. Here we’ll simply reiterate that it’s very difficult to place the juice container into its chrome sleeve – something that needs to be done each time after both parts are cleaned – further adding to the overall difficulty of cleaning the juicer.
The Bella juicer has a clear plastic filter bowl and cover. We can’t really complain about its clear plastic cover because most of the centrifugal juicers we tested also have a clear plastic cover and most also have a cover of such a quality that it stains and scratches quite easily, just the same as is true for the Bella’s cover. The Bella’s filter bowl being made of a clear plastic is a more unique feature. Many other centrifugal juicers have an opaque and/or dark plastic filter bowl. Such a filter bowl is normally less aesthetically pleasing when the juicer is brand new but holds up much better to scratching and staining than a clear plastic filter bowl does over time.
Finally, we need to talk about the Bella juicer’s filter basket. Any centrifugal juicer’s filter basket is the part of that juicer that is most difficult to clean. The same is true of the Bella juicer’s filter basket. The manufacturer includes a specialized cleaning brush with the juicer for the sole purpose of cleaning its filter basket. It is of note that the cleaning brush included with the Bella juicer is of distinctly lower quality than those cleaning brushes included with more highly rated easier to clean juicers. For this reason, its filter basket is more difficult to clean than the filter baskets of those other juicers.
Dishwasher Safe Parts
The juicer’s manual states that all of its parts are dishwasher safe except for the main body of the juicer and its filter basket. Obviously none of the centrifugal juicers we tested have bodies that can be washed in a dishwasher. However, most do have filter baskets that can. Manufacturers even state as much. Breville juicers, for example, can have all of their pars cleaned in a dishwasher, including their filter baskets, but not their food pushers. It is highly irregular for Bella to state that their juicer’s filter basket cannot be cleaned in a dishwasher. That being said, we did not wash any of the juicer’s parts or any of the parts of any other juicer we tested in a dishwasher when we tested each for review. We do not recommend that you do so either
Cleaning Summary and Overall Score
The Bella earns below average marks in this category mostly because of all of its parts that come with a chrome finish. The chrome isn’t difficult to clean but it is difficult to clean to a point where it looks clean and stays clean. The main problem is that the chrome finish smudges too easily. Otherwise, we definitely don’t like (with regard to how it affects cleaning difficulty) the sleeve design of the juicer’s juice container and neither do we like the quality of the cleaning brush included with the juicer, intended for cleaning its filter basket. The Bella scores only a 2.5 out of 5 for cleaning difficulty.
Ease of Use
The Bella is a 5 speed juicer. We discuss the positives and negatives of multi-speed functionality in great detail in other reviews such as this one. In summary, our findings have been that multi-speed functionality does not at all improve juicing performance. All that such functionality does is make the juicer more difficult to use. With a single speed juicer, no thought has to be given as to the specific speed the juicer needs to be set to in order to juice a specific fruit or vegetable. With a multi-speed juicer such as the Bella the user has to either reference prior experience juicing the same fruit or vegetable with the juicer garnering good results or has to reference the juicer’s manual. The Bella’s manual includes a small table in which it lists different fruits and vegetables and which speed to select for juicing each one.
Weight, Power Cord Length, Juice and Pulp Containers
Other measured data relative to the Bella’s ease of use is listed in the table below. The juice container that comes with the Bella juicer.
Ease of Use Summary and Score
The Bella loses a few fractions of a point in this category because of its multi-speed functionality. It also receives a lower score because of its short power cord and well below average sized pulp container. Its short power cord means that you’ll be limited in terms of where you can place it on your kitchen countertop relative to wall outlets. Its small pulp container means that you’ll have to empty it more frequently than you would have to if it had been closer to average size. All things considered it earns a 3 out of 5 in the category.
Centrifugal juicer versatility or rather, lack of versatility, is discussed in detail here.
Build Quality and Materials
The Bella juicer’s build quality and the quality of the materials used for its construction are fairly good considering its price. That being said, both are of noticeably lower quality than that of more expensive options on the market.
Brand Reputation and Warranty
The juicer’s manual very clearly states on its cover that in order to receive product support for their purchase, customers should visit bellahousewares.com/welcome. This URL loads a product registration page. We did not fill out the form on the page to see whether it leads to further customer support pages. We did however, browse through the rest of the website (bellahousewares.com) to see if we could find out more information about Bella as a company. Unfortunately, the website – even the “About Us” page – lists very little such information. There is nothing on the website that tells us about the origin of the company or even the state of the company today. The website’s “Contact Us” page lists a toll free phone number, a Canadian physical address, along with downloadable instruction manuals for Bella products.
Further research led us to finding that Bella is actually a brand owned by Sensio, Inc. Sensio also owns other brands, namely Brim and the Authentic Throwback Appliance Company. The juicer is warranted by Sensio, Inc., not by Bella, as Bella is simply a brand while Sensio, Inc. is the actual company behind the brand. The limited 2-year warranty included with the Bella juicer has several unique limitations. For one, it only warrants “mechanical” parts. “Non-mechanical” parts are only warranted for 90 days. Secondly, the warranty states that any refund (relating to a warranty claim) will be issued at a “pro-rated value based on the remaining period of the warranty”. We did not find these unique stipulations in the warranty literature for most other juicers we tested.
Summary and Score
The Bella juicer receives a well below average score for durability, partly because of its below average build quality but also because of its highly limited warranty. It earns only a 2.5 out of 5 in the category.
Value and Recommendations
The Bella juicer is of very similar quality to most other centrifugal juicers at its price point. At around $80 its very similarly priced to juicers by Dash and Big Boss. Incidentally, Dash and Big Boss are both brands also owned by companies with unproven track records – companies that also don’t appear to be very transparent with either their history or how they’re company is doing currently (how many employees they have, where they’re located, etc.) – the same as is true for Bella and Sensio, Inc.
The most unique of the Bella’s features compared to the Dash and Big Boss juicers is its 5 speed functionality. Both the Dash and Big Boss are 2 speed juicers. The uninformed consumer might be inclined to think that the Bella is the best choice of the three simply because it comes with more speeds. But as we have noted in almost all of our centrifugal juicer reviews, multi-speed functionality does not improve juicer performance and one juicer having a greater number of speeds than another does not make it a better juicer.
In our Dash and Big Boss juicer reviews we ended each review by not recommending either, but recommending two other juicers instead, depending on budget. We make these same recommendations here. If you’re budget conscious and want to spend as little as possible on your juicer purchase, our recommendation is the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro juicer, not the Bella and not either the Big Boss or Dash juicers either. If your budget comes with a bit more wiggle room, we recommend the slightly more expensive Breville Juice Fountain Compact. The Compact is, we feel, the best centrifugal juicer currently on the market, especially considering its very affordable price tag.