Looking for a review and comparison of the Yonanas banana ice cream maker?
You've come to the right place.
In this article, you're going to learn...
- The pros and cons of getting a machine like the Yonanas.
- What other types of appliances might be worth considering.
- The difference between the Yonanas Classic and Elite and other soft-serve makers on the market.
If you're short on time -- read our summary below or keep scrolling for the entire guide.
What is a Yonanas Machine?
The Yonanas is a device that uses 100% whole fruit to make ice cream or sorbet.
It can make "ice cream" out of almost any frozen fruit, including:
- And more.
You can even add chocolate or cookies to it and create something more indulgent.
How Do You Use a Yonanas
The Yonanas is really simple to use:
- First, you need to take your frozen fruit and let it thaw out for a few minutes as per the user manual.
- Then, you turn on the Yonanas and push the fruit (ideally a frozen banana first) inside via the chute and plunger.
- Make sure you place a bowl under the bottom of the chute.
- You can then keep pushing more fruit through as desired.
- Finally, turn the machine off and remove the chute for cleaning.
- Clean with soapy water or put it in the dishwasher.
Does the Yonanas Work?
The Yonanas does indeed work!
It makes 100% fruit/banana soft serve as intended (with a few caveats).
First, check out this user demonstration below to see it in action - then we'll get to the caveats.
Here are the caveats…
One thing that many people don’t realize when they use the Yonanas is that the fruit should be slightly thawed. You need to it sit out for around 7-10 minutes (depending on the fruit).
You also shouldn’t run it for more than two minutes at a time. It’s designed to run for two minutes on and one minute off for a maximum of three cycles.
If you decide to get one, be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions so you’re not left scratching your head.
Is Yonanas Dishwaser Safe?
According to the Yonanas User Manual it is top rack dishwasher safe. However the base needs to be wiped down with a damp cloth and should never be immersed in liquid.
The components of the machine that are safe for the top rack of the dishwasher are the 5 parts of the chute assembly.
Yonanas Classic vs Elite
Wattage / Power
Dishwasher Safe Parts?
1 Year Protection Against Manufacturer Defects
3 Year Protection Against Manufacturer Defects
13.75" H X 6.25" W X 7.5" D
15.5" H X 6.5" W X 10.25" D
Quieter and more aesthetically pleasing than the classic.
Yonanas Classic vs. Elite: What's the Difference?
Given that they are both from the same product line designed to do the same thing, the Yonanas Classic and Yonanas Elite are actually very similar in many regards.
In the world of blenders and food processors, the price tag is often correlated to the warranty that the product comes with, and the Yonanas is no exception.
As you can see, the upgraded model - or the elite, has a warranty that's 2 years longer than its predecessor, but doesn't offer much increase in power.
This indicates that what you're paying for mostly is peace of mind. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but in our opinion, this is the major point to consider when choosing between the Elite and the Classic.
The other factors are going to be noise and aesthetic.
The Elite is designed to be a quieter unit, perfect for those who live in apartments or with members of the household who go to sleep early. The Elite also has a bit nicer look, is bigger, and is manufactured in a few different styles which have the potential to fit your decor.
So at the end of the day its the price, warranty, noisiness, and aesthetics that are going to be the differentiating factors. Consider these 4 points and choose what suits your lifestyle best.
Yonanas vs. Blender
If you’re stuck between getting a Yonanas machine and a blender, here’s what you should consider.
Let me first say that the Yonanas is really good at what it does.
Assuming you pick ripe bananas and thaw them out like the instructions say, you’re going to be making delicious banana ice cream.
But the downside to the Yonanas is that it’s a one trick pony.
I recently discovered that certain Ninja Blenders (with their multiple blade systems) are great at making banana ice cream too! They also run in a similar price range to the Yonanas.
A great example of this is the Ninja BL660.
Click the link above to check out the product or skip to the demonstration.
You can make fruit ice cream, but that’s about it.
In the right blender you can do things like smoothies, hot soups, hummus, sauces, etc.
But you need a high-powered blender or a blender with a tamper if you want to make banana ice cream without any liquid.
For example, I’ll often times make frozen fruit ice cream in my Nutribullet.
Yes, it comes out very thick and creamy, but I can’t do it without any liquid. I always just use a splash of soy milk.
The reason is because I don't have a tamper.
So my advice is this…
If you have your heart set on making banana ice cream and don’t have a lot of money to spend – go for the Yonanas.
If you have a bit of a budget and know you want to make smoothies, soups, hummus and sauces consider a powerful blender like the Vitamix 780.
Yonanas vs. Vitamix
When you’re comparing a Yonanas to any Vitamix, we’re really talking about apples and oranges.
A Vitamix is a powerful blender that’s capable of making any kind of blended creation you can imagine – especially with the use of its tamper.
It can 100% make banana ice cream without a sweat – even if the fruit is frozen.
In fact, here’s a photo of banana ice cream I made in my Vitamix without the use of any liquid.
All Vitamix blenders also come with a minimum 5-year warranty, even the reconditioned ones.
The Yonanas on the other hand can only make frozen fruit desserts. That’s the only thing it was designed to do.
But – we’re also talking about two completely different price points.
You’ll usually find Vitamix blenders costing above $300.
At the time of writing this, the MSRP on both Yonanas machines are much lower.
So honestly, it depends on your exact needs and what your budget allows.
If I could only pick one, it would be a Vitamix just because it’s so much more versatile.
And I would try to save a few bucks on getting a reconditioned model.
But if I really was only interested in fruit-based ice cream and/or had another small blender that I used for smoothies and sauces – then the Yonanas would be the way to go.
Yonanas vs. Ninja
There several Ninja Blenders available, but for the sake of this comparison, I’ll stick with one of the most popular – The Ninja BL660.
Even though it’s got less power and a lesser warranty than other blenders like Vitamix or Blendtec, its still a good alternative to the Yonanas.
The Ninja’s blade system doesn’t create the typical “vortex” like the Blendtec and Vitamix do.
Because it’s got multiple blades going from the top to bottom of the jar, you don’t have to deal with tampering the bananas – especially if they’re slightly defrosted.
Here’s a demonstration about what I’m talking about…
See Also: What's the Best Ninja Blender?
So given that it’s in a similar price range to the Yonanas, I think the BL660 is a fabulous alternative.
Plus – it can do other things (like smoothies) and comes with a wide range of cups and accessories.
Yonanas vs. Blendtec
When it comes strictly making banana ice cream, I would actually prefer to have a Yonanas over a Blendtec.
Unless I had a Blendtec Twister Jar.
Blendtec blenders are great, but when it comes to blending with all solid ingredients, they usually need a bit of help.
As the blender starts spinning, it can create air and space between the blades and the bananas.
Between blending cycles, you usually end up pushing the bananas down back into the blades because Blendtec doesn’t come with a tamper like Vitamix does.
My brother has made dozens of batches of banana ice cream in his Blendtec (without a twister jar) and in his experience, it required multiple rounds of pushing the bananas down into the blades, and the blender will overheat once or twice. The final product was always great though!
I've seen videos of users making banana ice cream in a Blendtec without overheating, but it would be much easier if you have a tamper or Twister Jar.
Below I’ve included a demonstration...
This is the Blendtec making banana ice cream without a Twister Jar.
Notice that you have to squish it with a spatula.
Notice how easy the frozen bananas blend when you have a Twister Jar.
Yonanas vs. Ice Cream Maker
The Yonanas and an Ice Cream Maker are two completely different appliances.
In fact, in a typical ice cream maker, it would be next to impossible to make “true” banana ice cream.
It might work you liquified bananas and put them into the ice cream maker, but that wouldn’t be very practical.
Ice cream makers require that you have a liquid blend to freeze.
Plus, ice cream makers can take up to 20 minutes to finish the ice cream. Not very practical compared to the Yonanas.
Here’s a demonstration on how an ice cream maker works.
But, if you did want to get yourself an ice cream maker, I would check out the Cuisinart ICE-30BC.
It's one of the most popular and most affordable on the market today.
Yonanas 901 Deluxe vs 902
The Yonanas 901 Deluxe was the older discontinued version of the Yonanas 902. The only difference between the two is the accessories.
The 901 came with some additional things like a bowl and popsicle molds.
However, it seems that most users don’t actually use them so Yonanas began to offer only the model in its standalone form (the 902).
Even though it’s discontinued, you might still be able to find the Yonanas 901 here.
Yonanas vs Magic Bullet
In my opinion, the Magic Bullet is not a suitable alternative for the Yonanas.
I've used the Nutribullet 600 many times to blend frozen drinks and struggled with it.
And the Magic Bullet's motor is weaker than the Nutribullet 600!
But let's not rule out the Bullet Blender line all together -- keep reading...
Yonanas vs Nutribullet
The Nutribullet 900 is really good at blending frozen fruit.
With a splash of non-dairy milk, you can make soft-serve that's similar in texture to what the Yonanas produces.
But I will say that it's quite difficult to blend frozen fruit without any other liquid.
Because there's no tampering device on the Nutribullet, you have to stop the cycle, take the cup off, and readjust the ingredients.
However, as with all the other blenders, you get more versatility than the Yonanas because of all the different blends you can create.
Yonanas vs Dessert Bullet
Compared to the Yonanas, the Dessert Bullet does have a stronger motor (350 watt vs 200 watt).
However, after watching several demonstrations of each machine, it’s pretty clear that both produce results that are strikingly similar.
Technically speaking, the Dessert Bullet is a little bit better due to its power, but practically speaking you’re not going to notice much of a difference.
You still have to thaw out the fruit like with the Yonanas.
At this point, the Dessert Bullet seems to be discontinued. The website has been taken down and it’s hard to find places where it’s available to buy.
You may be able to find some people selling it here on Amazon, but be mindful of accidently getting a used one.
By the looks of it on 4/10/2018 – most retailers are either out of stock or have used ones.
Yonanas vs Big Boss Swirlio
Compared to the Yonanas, the Big Boss Swirlio is a slightly less powerful machine in terms of wattage (~130 watts compared to 200 on the Classic).
As of writing this in 2018, the Swirlio seems to be mostly discontinued while the Yonanas is the market leader for fruit soft-serve makers.
From my research, it wasn't as positively received as the Yonanas and appeared to suffer from a lot of unhappy customers.
To be fair, it's possible that people failed to follow the thawing directions and there was not an issue with the machine itself.
At this point, it's hard to find the Swirlio available to buy anywhere.
Yonanas vs Gourmia GSI180
There aren't too many notable differences between the Yonanas and Gourmia other than the motor power and dishwashing instructions. The Gourmia is slightly less powerful with 150 watts compared to the 200 on the Yonanas Classic and 250 on the Yonanas Elite.
Both machines also have similar thawing guidelines and instructions on cycling the machine on and off every two minutes.
Interestingly, the Gourmia instruction manual says dishwasher use is not recommended while the Yonanas is top-rack dishwasher safe.
From all the demonstrations I've watched (video below), the results are very similar.
So if you're stuck between the two, I'd make my final decision based on the price.
But if the prices were equal, I'd pick the Yonanas because of the dishwasher safety.
Yonanas vs Food Processor
A food processor isn't a good replacement for a Yonanas if you're looking to make fruit soft-serve.
Yes, it is possible, but it's not that efficient.
You need to start processing then stop to readjust the ingredients.
Now, the upside of a food processor is that it's going to be more versatile. You can use it for chopping and loads of other things.
A popular and affordable food processor that's worth checking out is the Hamilton Beach 10-cup.
Who Should Get A Yonanas?
Someone With No Blender or a Weak Blender
If you currently don't have a blender or know that yours isn't ideal for producing these kind of desserts then we would highly recommend getting either Yonanas machine.
Given that its specially designed to create frozen desserts, you don't have to invest in a really high ticket blender to get the results you want.
If you have no plans of making blended sauces, nut butters, or don't have the budget for a super expensive blender, then the Yonanas (or Ninja we mentioned earlier) is the way to go.
Who Shouldn't Get A Yonanas?
Someone Who Wants Lots of Functionality
If you want a machine that can make similar frozen deserts as well as soups, sauces, smoothies, etc. a high powered blender is the way to go.
If you can get something with a tamper (like a Vitamix) it will function very similarly to a Yonanas because of the tamper.
Someone Who Has a Powerful Blender
If you've already got a powerful blender such as a Vitamix, it seems like this machine would just take up extra space in our home and wouldn't make much of a difference.
We make "nice cream" with our Vitamix all the time in our household and we're able to push fully frozen bananas and cherries right into the blades with the tamper even though a small amount of liquid is sometimes needed.
Having multiple appliances with dual functionality tends to be a bit wasteful and one of them tends to sit around collecting dust.
Where to Buy Yonanas
The Yonanas can be found at a few different retailers including Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, eBay and Amazon. You might also be able to find it locally at Costco.
In my opinion – Amazon (linked below) is probably the most convenient because they deliver quickly.