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Ninja Creami vs Lello Musso 4080 Ice Cream Maker

Ninja Creami vs Lello Musso 4080 Ice Cream Maker

Last Updated on June 15, 2024 0 Comments

I’ve been using my Ninja Creami for a while now. You can read my initial review of the Ninja Creami here. Or you can see how it compares to the Cuisinart ice cream makers (ICE-21 and ICE-100).

Spoiler: I like it a lot, and in my tests it made better quality ice cream and was more convenient to use than both the Cuisinart ICE-100 (by a very wide margin) and the ICE-21 (by a closer margin).

So the next step was to see how it compares to the Lello 4080 Musso Lussio, which is my favorite ice cream maker of all time!

Here's a summary...

Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker

Ninja Creami Specs








13.58 lb


0.5 quarts


71 - 81 db

Paddle Rpm:





1 year


Lello 4080 Specs








38 lb


1.5 quarts


75 Db

Paddle Rpm:





1 year


Ninja Creami Ratings

Build Quality


Ice Cream Quality

Value for money


Lello 4080 Ratings

Build Quality


Ice Cream Quality

Value for money


But let's get into the details...

Why the Lello 4080?

The Lello 4080 makes by far the best quality ice cream of all the machines I have ever tested. The ice cream, gelato and sorbet from the Lello is buttery smooth, without any trace of ice crystals.

The next best ice cream in my tests has always come from the Cuisinart ICE-21, and since the Ninja Creami has already just about beaten it for smoothness in my tests, it makes sense to conduct a head to head with the Lello, to see which machine is the ultimate champion!

Testing the Ninja Creami against the Lello 4080

For these head-to-head tests, I always prefer a no-cook ice cream recipe, as they tend to be less forgiving, which makes it easier to detect ice crystals and therefore easier to make comparisons between different machines.

And for this test, I decided to use a slight variation on the new “perfect no-cook ice cream recipe” that I used in the Ninja Creami vs Cuisinart test. The new version does away with the condensed milk from the original recipe (for a cleaner taste).

This variation adds cocoa powder and a little rose water, as I was a bit sick of all the vanilla ice cream after the Cuisinart test! I hadn’t tied this before, and it turned out really well, so I will add the full recipe at the end of this article.

Lello 4080 churning chocolate ice cream

Lello 4080 churning chocolate no-cook ice cream

I churned the base in the Lello 4080 first, until it reached 17.6 °F (-8 °C) and had the consistency of thick soft serve. I then transferred it to a special freezer that I keep at 12 °F (-11 °F), just for storing ice cream.

After that hardened over a couple of hours, I then spun the base I had pre-frozen for the Ninja Creami.

Chocolate no-cook mixture frozen for Ninja Creami

Chocolate no-cook mixture frozen for Ninja Creami

During the head to head with the Cuisinart machines, I discovered that the “Light Ice Cream” setting works best for me.

I keep my regular freezer at -2.2 °F (-19°C), and I can’t adjust that temperature because the controls are broken! Most of my recipes have a PAC of around 22. And the “Light Ice Cream” setting tends to raise the temperature of the mix by around 52 °F (11 °C).

All this means that I usually just need one spin of the “Light Ice Cream” setting to get very smooth, ice cream with a gelato type firmness.

Chocolate ice cream after one spin in Ninja Creami

Chocolate ice cream after one spin in the Ninja Creami

With this chocolate base, it still only needed one spin, but it was slightly firmer than the vanilla base I used in the Cuisinart test, probably because of the slight increase in solids from the cocoa powder (although I did reduce the SMP to compensate).

But it was still very good. Smooth, firm, gelato like, as in my other tests.

Then I did a head-to-head taste test between the Ninja Creami batch and the Lello 4080 batch. First impressions: both were exceptionally smooth. However, the Lello batch not only seemed slightly smoother, but it was also lighter and softer.

Since the Creami base was straight out of the machine and the Lello base was straight out of the freezer, this could be due to a difference in temperature. So I left them both overnight in the ice cream freezer, at a temperature of 12 °F (-11 °F), to even things out.

The next day, the results were the same. Both were very smooth, but the Lello ice cream was buttery smooth in a way that the Creami wasn’t quite (at least in this direct comparison). And the Lello ice cream was lighter and softer.

Ninja Creami vs Lello 4080 chocolate ice cream

Ninja Creami vs Lello 4080 chocolate ice cream

Since I used the same base, and they had been stored overnight at the same temperature, the difference in softness/lightness could only be due to the amount of air that each machine added to the mixtures.

The Lello clearly added slightly more air to produce a softer, lighter texture, and in previous tests I had measured the overrun (percentage of air in the ice cream) as 19% from Ninja Creami and 26% from the Lello (although these measurements are never very accurate).

In a blind test amongst family members, everyone preferred the Lello ice cream to the Ninja Creami ice cream (although they liked both very much), so the Lello definitely comes out as the winner here.

But if you're trying to decide which ice cream maker to buy, then it’s not just about which makes the best ice cream! There are other things to think about too…

Advantages of the Lello 4080

To be honest, the main advantage of the Lello 4080 is the exceptional quality of the ice cream. No other domestic ice cream maker produces frozen treats that are buttery smooth like the Lello 4080 does.

Other than that, I like the industrial styling and all stainless steel construction. It’s the only domestic machine with a metal dasher. It's the only compressor machine with analogue controls. And it’s the only machine without a removable bowl.

Lello 4080 Musso Lussino

The industrial build of the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino

The quality and simplicity of the construction and features gives the impression that it won't break down and should continue working for many years (which is not the case with all domestic compressor ice cream makers, which are delicate and prone to issues).

And indeed, unlike other machines I have used, I have never had any issues with my Lello 4080 over the seven years I have owned it.

However, the untouchable ice cream quality and commercial level build quality do produce several disadvantages…

Disadvantages of the Lello 4080

The most obvious disadvantage of the Lello 4080 is the price. It’s exceptionally expensive. You can check the price here [Amazon]. But I can assure you: it’s by far the most expensive domestic ice cream maker out there.

And it’s usually around 4 times the price of the Ninja Creami! You can check the price of the Ninja Creami here [Amazon].

It’s also very big and very heavy! It measures 12” x 12” x 18” (30 x 30 x 46 cm) and weighs around 38 lb (17 kg). This makes it far too big to permanently keep on the average kitchen countertop. And a bit heavy to be regularly moving from storage to kitchen countertop and back again, as well!

Lello 4080 Musso Lussino from side

It's very big and very heavy

This means that unless you are very dedicated (or you have the space to keep it somewhere where you can use it without moving it), that you’ll probably use it a lot less than you originally intended. Just because it’s a bit inconvenient.

So, the price, the size and the weight are the main disadvantages of the Lello 4080.

Some people feel that because there is no removable bowl (the ice cream is churned in a depression in the top of the machine), that cleaning the Lello is a bit complicated. You do have to take a bowl of soapy water to the machine and clean it in situ.

Cleaning the Lello 4080

Cleaning the Lello 4080 is actually much easier than they say

But to be honest, I don’t think this is a big deal. Once you’ve waited for any reside to completely melt, it takes less than 5 minutes. And it always cleans up really well. However, as we’ll see, it’s not as quick to clean as the Ninja Creami.

Advantages of the Ninja Creami

Apart from the incredibly smooth ice cream, the main advantage of the Ninja Creami is that the ice cream is ready to eat, straight out of the machine. Indeed, once it’s finished spinning, it has a perfectly dense, gelato like firmness.

No-cook base from Ninja Creami

The ice cream is ready to eat straight out of the machine

This is in contrast to every other type of ice cream maker, where the ice cream comes out of the machine with a soft serve like consistency and requires hardening in the freezer for a couple of hours before it has a more recognizable ice cream consistency.

With the Lello, you can run it a bit longer (because of its extra power), so the texture is much firmer than from the other machines. And sometimes you can get it to a gelato like firmness that you can eat straight from the machine.

But it’s never as firm as the ice cream that the Ninja Creami produces. And it will always melt much more quickly than we’d like.

In this head-to-head test, I could hear the Lello straining a little before it reached a gelato texture, so I stopped it. A quick comparison when the Ninja Creami had finished highlighted the differences: straight out of the machines, the Ninja Creami produced a much more pleasing, firmer texture.

Ninja Creami vs Lello 4080 chocolate ice cream

Before hardening, the Ninja Creami ice cream had the better texture

Once it had been hardened, the Lello ice cream had the better texture. But I think a lot of people don’t realize (or like) the fact that their ice cream won’t be ready straight out of a regular machine and there is yet another step and long wait before they can enjoy proper ice cream!

That the Ninja Creami does away with this step is a massive advantage!

The other big advantage of the Ninja Creami (especially when compared to the Lello), is its kitchen counter friendly size and weight. The Ninja Creami is slim and tall, and not too deep, looking very similar to a food processor like the Vitamix.

Ninja Creami vs Vitamix

The Ninja Creami is very counter top friendly

This makes it easy to keep on most kitchen worktops. In fact, it’s the only ice cream maker that I just leave out in the kitchen all the time. Which means I’m much more likely to use it regularly and get my moneys worth.

Another thing I really like is that, when the texture of your Ninja Creami ice cream starts to deteriorate over time (as it will with all the homemade stuff), you can just re-spin it, so the texture will always be as good as the first time you made it!

And you never need to put up with icy ice cream.

This is particularly useful if you’re trying to make low sugar or low fat ice creams. These will freeze into a solid icy block when stored in a regular freezer. And if you use a regular ice cream maker, there’s nothing you can do about that. With the Ninja Creami, you can just re-spin!

Ninja Creami gelato second spin

When the texture degrades, you can just re-spin!

So I think the fact that the ice cream is ready straight out of the machine, that you can spin it again when the texture starts to deteriorate, and the counter friendly form are the three big advantages of the Ninja Creami.

But there are more…

It’s very easy to clean.

I have read some complaints about both the Lello and the Ninja Creami being difficult to clean. As I’ve already said, I don’t find cleaning the Lello a drag. But as far as I’m concerned, the Ninja Creami is even easier.

The complaints about the Ninja Creami seem to focus on the potential for stray mixture getting into areas that are difficult to access and therefore difficult to clean (into the lid or up into the motor) and then going rancid.

Ninja Creami axle

Remember to wipe the axle clean

When I’ve finished spinning, I simply rinse the lid under warm water to wash away the majority of the mixture that has accumulated around the blade, then remove the blade and leave the lid to soak in warm soapy water. Finally, I give it a good rinse with warm water, making sure that the water flows through the holes where any mixture might have sneaked into the lid.

I then make sure to wipe any residue off the axle that descends from the motor, under the lip of the Ninja Creami.

It’s pretty straightforward, very quick, and I really don’t know what all the fuss is about!

Ninja Creami vs Lello 4080 clean up

The Ninja Creami is slightly faster to clean

The difference between cleaning the Ninja Creami and the Lello is not so much the time it takes to do the actual cleaning, but more the fact that you have to wait for the ice cream residue (that is frozen to the bowl), to melt before you can start the cleaning process.

So they are both easy to clean, it’s just that you can get the Ninja Creami cleaned up before the Lello.

One final advantage of the Ninja Creami is that the format is good for comparing different recipes. I like to make three variations of an ice cream recipe in the three different pint pots provided, and then spin them together (one after the other).

This makes it easy to compare the variations on a recipe in small quantities, while they are at their best. It’s a bit of a niche advantage, but if you’re working on perfecting a particular recipe it’s a big bonus!

Disadvantages of the Ninja Creami

The main disadvantage of the Ninja Creami is that you have to freeze your ice cream base for at least 24 hours before you can spin it.

And there are no shortcuts here.

So unless you already have a pint of mixture (or an unfinished print of pre-spun ice cream) waiting in your freezer, if the urge for ice cream suddenly hits you, you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow to satisfy it!

Ninja Creami with frozen chocolate base

You must freeze the base for 24 hours before you can make ice cream

Contrast this with the Lello, where you could whip up a no-cook mixture in 10 minutes, throw it into the Lello, and be satisfying that urge for ice cream in another 20 minutes (if you eat it sloppy) or 90 minutes (if you harden it up a bit).

Another disadvantage, is that there is a bit of a learning curve with the Ninja Creami. If you’re inventing your own recipes, then you need to learn how to balance them properly so that you get good results after one or two spins.

However, that’s the same with a regular ice cream maker (like the Lello). You can’t just throw any combination of ingredients in and expect to get great ice cream out. In fact, the Ninja Creami seems to be more forgiving (and flexible) than a regular ice cream maker.

Ninja Creami recipe book

The Ninja Creami recipe book is rubbish!

I should also add: all the recipes I have tried from my ice cream books have worked perfectly with the Ninja Creami (because they’re well-balanced), so you don’t need to worry about needing to adapt them. It’s only the recipes in the Ninja Creami recipe book that are rubbish!

One final potential disadvantage is the build quality. I haven't noticed any issues personally. But it’s an all plastic build, and it doesn’t half shake and shudder while the thing is spinning! I worry that something will eventually misalign and break.

Ninja Creami components

The Ninja Creami has an all plastic build

I have also read reports about the blade shaving slivers of plastic from the pots and distributing them through the ice cream. Which is obviously really bad. I have not had this experience myself, though, so maybe it’s something they have fixed.

However, I would have preferred metal pots, like you get with the Pacojet, which would make this impossible and give me peace of mind.

Lello 4080 vs Ninja Creami: Which one should you buy?

Ultimately, in this single head-to-head test, I preferred the ice cream from the Lello 4080 to that from the Ninja Creami.

But not so much because it was smoother (which is the biggest test of quality). I’m not even 100% sure it was much smoother to be honest (apart from the odd stray crystal). It was more because it was softer and lighter (because it contained more air).

While you can’t really control the amount of air a domestic machine adds to the mixture, you can adjust the recipe and the spin program (or the number of spins), to make the ice cream from the Ninja Creami softer which will make it seem lighter.

So while I still think the Lello 4080 makes the best ice cream of all the machines I have tested, the Ninja Creami is a very close.

ICE-21 vs Ninja Creami vs ICE-100 ice cream

The Ninja Creami ice cream quality is very very good

And when you consider the advantages that the Ninja Creami has over the Lello (price, size, weight, convenience), for a lot of people the Ninja Creami will be the better choice.

If you’ve got the budget and a practical place to keep it, then the Lello 4080 is probably the best option, because the ice cream is so buttery smooth, and you can satisfy an urge very quickly if you haven’t pre-planned, and you're in a rush.

But if you feel the Lello 4080 is just too expensive (check the price on Amazon) or where you might keep it is going to be an issue, then the Ninja Creami is the perfect alternative. It’s much cheaper (check the price on Amazon) and it’s the most kitchen counter friendly machine I have used.

In fact, for me, who has limited space, the Ninja Creami has taken over from the Lello 4080 as my regular ice cream maker of choice. I can leave it permanently on the kitchen counter, and I love that the ice cream is perfect (and gelato like) straight from the machine.

Whichever one you choose you’re going to be able to make fantastic ice cream though, so just think carefully about how and where you’re going to use the one you end up with, and you can’t go wrong!

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About the author 


Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, I'm always looking for the perfect ice cream. The "dream scoop". I document my findings, my successes and failures here...

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