Blue bowl-lift stand mixer next to a blue tilt-head mixer

Bowl-Lift vs. Tilt-Head Stand Mixer: What’s the Difference?

There are several key differences between KitchenAid® tilt-head and bowl-lift stand mixers. The bowl setup along with variations in capacity and the types of mixtures they handle best are a few. This guide to tilt-head vs. bowl-lift mixers will explore these differences to help you choose which one is right for you. 

KitchenAid® Tilt-Head Stand Mixer vs. Bowl-Lift

The main difference between tilt-heads and bowl-lifts is how bowls are attached and accessed. The top of a tilt-head mixer hinges back so you can twist the bowl onto the base. The bowl-lift mixer features a stationary head and uses a lever to raise and lower the bowl for mixing or adding ingredients.

Read on below for a closer look at these two styles of stand mixers.

Side profile of red tilt-head stand mixer with head tilted back Side profile of red tilt-head stand mixer with head tilted back


A tilt-head stand mixer’s head tilts back so you can attach the bowl to the base and swap out accessories as needed. It then tilts forward where you can lock it in place while the motor is running. When it’s time to add ingredients, simply release the head with a lever and tilt it back again for clear access to the bowl.

KitchenAid® tilt-head stand mixer bowl capacities range from 3.5 to 5 quarts allowing you to make up to 9 dozen cookies in one batch or a recipe for a whole family. This range includes the mini tilt-head stand mixer. Bowls can be purchased separately in additional sizes.

This lower profile mixer stands about 14 inches tall and fits under most kitchen cabinets for easy storage. For an even more compact stand mixer, the mini tilt-head stands at only 12½ inches tall. Tilt-head mixers also offer the widest variety of colors—over 40—to coordinate with your kitchen decor or add a pop of color to your countertops.

Side profile of blue bowl-lift stand mixer Side profile of blue bowl-lift stand mixer


Bowl-lift stand mixers are designed with broader bases and stationary heads. In addition, the bowl attaches to two arms that are raised and lowered with a lever. Accessories can be switched or ingredients added while the bowl is lowered. The powerful motor and sturdy design of the bowl-lift stand mixer provides the stability needed to help you create recipes from heavier mixtures.

KitchenAid® bowl-lift stand mixers come with 5–7-quart bowls which are perfect for mixing from 9 to 14 dozen cookies or multiple batches of recipes at once. Additional bowl sizes can be purchased separately, such as the 3-quart bowl with whip accessory for when you need less capacity to whip ingredients.

At around 16½ inches tall, the bowl-lift stand mixer is best stored on the countertop for easy access. This mixer is available in over 10 colors to complement your kitchen decor.


BOWL ACTION Twists onto base and remains stationary Secures to arms that raise and lower with a lever
STAND MIXER CAPACITY1 3.5–5 quarts 5–7 quarts
COLORS 40+ 10+
BEST FOR Single households, families and everyday use Large batches and heavy mixtures
SPEEDS 10 10
WEIGHT 18–26 pounds 29–32 pounds

1. Additional bowls in different capacities, materials, colors, finishes and patterns can be purchased separately. 
2. Ice Cream Bowl attachment is not compatible with the mini tilt-head stand mixer.


Blue bowl-lift stand mixer next to a black tilt-head stand mixer with “vs” in between Blue bowl-lift stand mixer next to a black tilt-head stand mixer with “vs” in between


The best stand mixer is the one that fits your cooking style, accommodates your recipes and fits your kitchen. While each type of stand mixer is a little different, tilt-head and bowl-lift mixers both use planetary action for maximum bowl coverage and feature powerful, durable motors that can handle a wide variety of recipes.

Both tilt-head and bowl-lift stand mixers are equipped with the same specialized accessories you need for most in-bowl techniques: whip, beater, dough hook and bowl. They also work with other stand mixer accessories such as Flex Edge Beaters which scrape the bowl while mixing, pouring shields to help prevent spills and bowl covers to store recipes directly in the bowl. Both are compatible with all stand mixer power hub attachments2 that allow you to grind meat, puree fruits, spiralize vegetables and so much more.

2. Ice Cream Bowl attachment is not compatible with the mini tilt-head stand mixer.

Woman making a galette next to a KitchenAid® stand mixer in Honey Woman making a galette next to a KitchenAid® stand mixer in Honey


The KitchenAid® line of 3.5–5 quart tilt-head mixers offers options to help every home cook and baker expand their menu, learn new techniques and make everyday meals extraordinary. This type of 10-speed mixer offers the widest variety of colors and bowl options from KitchenAid brand. Tilt-head stand mixers pack all of this possibility into a countertop-friendly size that’s always on standby for whenever inspiration strikes, but are still light enough to be easily stored away if needed. Tilt-head stand mixers come in two sizes: the standard 26 pound models and the smaller 18 pound mini stand mixer.


  • You’ll mostly make recipes for yourself and your household
  • Color is important to you; tilt-head models have over 40 options to choose from

  • You want to change up your decor for seasons, holidays, or just because; you can swap out 35+ bowls in different colors, patterns and finishes

  • You live in an apartment, have limited counter space, or need to store your stand mixer in a pantry or cabinet; choose a mini for an even more compact option

  • You want to tuck your stand mixer under kitchen cabinets for storage

Pink Artisan® Series Stand Mixer on a countertop surrounded by cooking ingredients Pink Artisan® Series Stand Mixer on a countertop surrounded by cooking ingredients

The largest capacity and most popular KitchenAid® tilt-head model is the Artisan® Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer. This mixer offers the widest palette of color choices and comes with a bowl with a handle for extra convenience. You can also use the Stand Mixer Customization Tool with this model to choose your color then bundle it with your perfect additional bowl, accessories and attachments. The customization tool also lets you add a free engraving to your mixer with a special phrase, date or other message to personalize the mixer for yourself or a loved one.

With a slightly smaller bowl, the KitchenAid® Deluxe 4.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer mixes up to 8 dozen cookies and comes in a range of hues. If your kitchen space is limited, the Artisan® Mini 3.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer is smaller while still offering the same power as the KitchenAid® Classic Series Stand Mixer. You can learn more about classic vs artisan stand mixers differences to find the perfect fit for your cooking needs.


If you’ll be making large batches or mixing heavy bread dough you might want to choose a KitchenAid® 5–7 quart bowl-lift stand mixer. This line offers larger capacity options, 10 mixing speeds and provides more power for thick or heavy mixtures. This heavy-duty stand mixer weighs more than tilt-head models, between 29–32 pounds, to provide extra stability. To avoid carrying it back and forth, you’ll want to make sure you have enough countertop space for storage when not in use.

Learn how to store your stand mixer.

Choose a KitchenAid® bowl-lift stand mixer if:

  • You often make large batches or recipes to share with a crowd

  • You plan to work with heavy or dense mixtures often

  • You have a large kitchen or somewhere to easily use and store your stand mixer 

  • Heavy-duty performance is more important than color or bowl options

  • You enjoy a professional mixer look

Blue Velvet bowl-lift stand mixer on countertop surrounded by cooking ingredients Blue Velvet bowl-lift stand mixer on countertop surrounded by cooking ingredients

The KitchenAid® Professional 600 Series 6 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer easily mixes dense, heavy ingredients and accommodates 13 dozen cookies in a single batch. The KitchenAid® Professional HD Series 5 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer offers the same power and performance with a slightly smaller bowl.

If you want to begin building a culinary center when you bring home a new stand mixer, look for stand mixers that come bundled with attachments or additional accessories. The KitchenAid® Professional Series 6 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer and Spiralizer Plus Attachment allows you to mix, knead and whip ingredients with ease using the stand mixer accessories, as well as spiralize, slice and peel with the included spiralizer plus attachment.

If you need a little more help choosing a KitchenAid® stand mixer, check out the detailed Buying Guide to learn more about how these mixers can inspire your culinary journey. And if you need tips on adjusting your mixer, this guide can help you learn how to adjust both tilt-head and bowl lift stand mixers.

You can also learn more about the difference between stand mixers and hand mixers to ensure you’re purchasing the right appliance for your baking needs.

Woman with KitchenAid® Artisan® Series Stand Mixer and fresh vegetabes

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