In this guide we’ll evaluate the best juicers for juicing leafy greens like…
- Chards including swiss chard
- Mustard greens
- Collard greens
- Turnip greens
- Lettuce (romaine and iceberg)
Table of Contents
Slow (cold press) juicers – vertical/horizontal masticating and twin gear juicers
Out of juicer yield
Most slow juicers we tested garnered a raw juice yield between 7 and 9 oz. when juicing 1 lb. (16 oz.) of leafy greens. This translates to a percent yield of roughly 40 to 60%.
Two outliers were the Tribest Green Star Elite and the Champion juicer.
On the positive side of things, the Tribest GSE garnered a considerably higher yield than all of the other slow juicers we tested. This was mostly due to its twin gear design. All other slow juicers we tested employ a single large auger to crush and grind produce against a static metal or plastic “drum” to extract juice. The GSE uses two gears – essentially two mini augers – that grind against each other (instead of a static “drum) to extract juice. This twin “gear” design allows for higher yields juicing most types of produce, but especially leafy greens.
In terms of raw numbers, the GSE garnered a raw juice yield of 11.6 oz. The next best performing slow juicer, the Omega NC800, extracted 9.9 oz. of juice. Again, most other slow juicers extracted between 7 and 9 oz. of juice.
On the negative side of things, the Champion juicer performed very poorly juicing leafy greens. It garnered a yield of only 5.9 oz. This can once again be attributed to juicer design. The Champion’s teethed “auger” crushes and cuts into produce to extract juice. It also spins much faster than the slowly rotating auger of the average slow juicer. The cutting (instead of crushing) and fast rotation (instead of slow rotation) of the Champion’s “auger” makes for poor processing (juicing) of leafy greens.
After sieve yield
So far we’ve talked about raw juice yield. Raw juice yield includes juice, pulp, and foam. After measuring and recording raw juice (out of juicer) yield for all of the juicers we tested, we poured the raw juice yield through a fine sieve to measure and record a new yield – an “after sieve yield”. This “after sieve” yield is more of a net yield, consisting of only juice.
Most slow juicers we tested garnered an after sieve yield between 6 and 8 oz. when juicing leafy greens. This translates to a percent yield between 37.5 and 50%.
Again, the two outliers were the Tribest GSE and Champion juicer. The GSE garnered an after sieve yield of 9.8 oz. – a 1.8 oz. drop from its out of juicer yield of 11.6 oz. This means that 1.8 oz. of the original yield was pulp and foam. 9.8 oz. was juice.
Again, the best performing regular (non twin gear) slow juicer was the Omega NC800. It garnered an after sieve yield of 8.5 oz. – a 1.4 oz. drop from its initial raw juice yield of 9.9 oz.
The worst performer was again the Champion juicer. It garnered an after sieve yield of only 4.1 oz. – a percent yield of only 25%.
Centrifugal juicers are poorly optimized extracting juice from leafy greens. The same mechanism that plagues the Champion juicer’s performance in the category is also applicable here (and here to an even greater extent) – namely, fast rotation and cutting instead of exclusively crushing/grinding the produce.
The Champion juicer’s teethed auger crushes and cuts produce. It rotates at 1750 RPM compared to 40 to 80 RPM for most slow juicers. We’ve already shown how poorly it performed extracting juice from leafy greens because of this design.
Centrifugal juicers forego an auger and use a quickly rotating “disk” instead. The disk has a myriad of tiny blades that cut into produce at high RPM. Most centrifugal juicers have “disks” that rotate at speeds between 5,000 and 20,000 RPM.
This design – blades cutting into produce at high RPM – does not allow for efficient juice extraction from leafy greens. It works very well for hard produce like carrots and even certain softer produce like citrus fruits but it does not work well for juicing leafy greens.
Our testing showed a maximum of 4 oz. of juice extraction with a starting weight of 16 oz. (1 lb.) juicing leafy greens with centrifugal juicers. This translates to a percent yield of only 25%.
In other words, it’s extremely inefficient juicing leafy greens with a centrifugal juicer. Can you do it? Yes, you can. But don’t expect a percent yield greater than 25%. And that means that 75% of the original dry weight goes to waste.
Do not buy a centrifugal juicer if juicing leafy greens is a priority for you. Buy a slow juicer instead.
Leafy greens easily fold into the feeding chutes of both slow and centrifugal juicers. With harder produce like apples you need to cut the produce before putting it into the smaller feeding chutes of slow juicers. However, no cutting is required when juicing leafy greens with slow juicers.
Time To Juice
Recall that a slow juicer’s auger rotates at a snail’s pace – usually between 40 and 80 RPM – while a centrifugal juicer’s cutting “disk” rotates at 5,000+ RPM. The end result is that it takes much longer for a slow juicer to process (juice) leafy greens than it does for a centrifugal juicer.
With slow juicers, it took us between 7 and 10 minutes to juice 1 lb. (16 oz.) of leafy greens during testing.
With a centrifugal juicer it takes as long as it takes you to put the leafy green into the juicer’s feeding chute. Processing (juicing) is instantaneous.
So far we’ve stressed juicing yield as the overwhelming factor to determine which juicier you should buy to juice leafy greens. However, that is not to say that there aren’t other factors you should take into account before making a final purchase decision. Factors such as
- Cleaning difficulty
- General ease of use
- Durability and
are also important. We do our best to keep all of these factors in mind as we make our recommendations below.
#1 – Omega NC800
The best juicer for juicing leafy greens is the Omega NC800. Its out of juicer yield of 9.9 oz. and after sieve yield of 8.5 oz. (with a starting weight of 16 oz.) were the best results among all non twin gear slow juicers we tested.
Because it’s not a twin gear juicer it’s also reasonably affordable. Twin gear juicer pricing tends to start in the $500 range. The NC800 usually retails for around $300.
The NC800 is also a very good juicer otherwise (outside of juicing leafy greens very well and doing so at a reasonable price point). It’s very easy to clean, it’s highly versatile (as a horizontal masticating juicer it can be used for more than juicing – e.g. making nut butters), offers superb build quality, and comes with a very long 15 year warranty.
#2 – Tribest Green Star Elite
The second best option for juicing leafy greens is the Tribest GSE. The Tribest garnered the best results juicing leafy greens among all slow juicers we tested. Its out of juicer yield of 11.6 oz. and after sieve yield of 9.8 oz. are more than 1 oz. better than that of the #1 recommended Omega NC800.
Why then, do we not have the Tribest as the #1 recommended juicer for juicing leafy greens? The answer: price and value. Yes, the GSE will juice leafy greens exceptionally well but it usually retails for at least $500 – almost double the price of the NC800. We don’t think this difference in price is worth the extra yield it provides. This is why the NC800 is #1 and the Tribest GSE is #2 on this list.
#3 – Breville Compact
We generally do not recommend centrifugal juicers for juicing leafy greens. However, you may fall into one of these two categories:
- You may not have more than $100 (approx.) to spend on a juicer
- You may really value the benefits of owning a centrifugal juicer – for example, the fact that it juices much faster, requires less prep work for juicing harder fruits and vegetables, etc.
If you fall into one of these two categories and you want the best centrifugal juicer for juicing leafy greens our recommendation is the Breville Compact juicer. The Compact is a great all around juicer and a terrific value with a retail price around $100. Keep in mind though that you will be losing 75% of any leafy greens you try to juice with it as waste ( wet pulp). 25% will still be extracted as juice but most of it will be lost as waste.
A quick word on cheap slow juicers
In this guide we’ve highlighted the fact that slow juicers juice leafy greens much better than centrifugal juicers. The issue for many consumers is that slow juicers tend to be expensive (at least a few hundred dollars) while centrifugal juicers tend to be much more affordable (many are $100 or less).
So, what if you, like many other consumers, want the benefits of a slow juicer – namely, the ability to juice leafy greens very well – but don’t have the budget for it?
Your first option is to just buy a centrifugal juicer. Yes, centrifugal juicers only extract about 25% of leafy greens as juice but they still extract some juice. And this is better than nothing.
Your second option is to wait on your purchase. The benefits of juicing are innumerable and a proper slow juicer is durable enough (and comes with a long enough warranty) to last through multiple decades of ownership. Waiting on your purchase is not a bad option if you can’t afford a slow juicer right now.
Your third and final option is to buy a cheap made in China slow juicer (all respected brands manufacture their slow juicers in Korea). This includes almost all slow juicers under $200. These juicers are poorly made and will give you much more headache than their worth over the course of ownership. We’ve bought multiple of these juicers for testing and almost all of them have major issues (eg. plastic chipping off of augers). We do NOT recommend these juicers. If you cannot afford a slow juicer made by a well-respected brand in the industry (Omega, Tribest, Kuvings, etc.) our recommendation is to either buy a centrifugal juicer or wait on your purchase.
Leafy Green (Spinach) Juice Yield For All Tested Models
|Raw Out of Juicer Yield||RAW|
|Pulp Free After Sieve Yield||NOPULP|
|*Each numeric value listed below is a final juice weight in ounces after a starting produce weight of 1 lb. (16 oz.)|