These potatoes were made for mashing. 

Fluffy mashed potatoes are one of the most versatile side dishes around. But mashed potatoes are only as good as the potatoes you start with, and not just any old potato will do. Avoid a mashed potato blunder by choosing the best types of potatoes for mashing. 

What Are the Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes?

When it comes to choosing potatoes for mashing, it's all about the starch content. A high starch content is going to be easier to mash, and it will give you fluffy, smooth mashed potatoes.

But aside from starch content, choosing the right potatoes for mashing is largely going to come down to personal preference. But in general, you'll want to avoid waxy, red potatoes like Red Bliss, because they don't mash very well, nor do they absorb other ingredients like butter and milk. 

Yukon gold potatoes being mashed in mixing bowl with masher
Credit: Jason Donnelly/Meredith

Yukon Gold Potatoes 

Yukon Gold potatoes are a favorite for mashing not only because they have a high starch content (hooray!), but also because of their naturally buttery flavor. They also don't absorb as much water as russet potatoes (a.k.a. Idaho potatoes), which can get a little mushy if overcooked or not properly drained. 

Russet Potatoes

Like Yukon Golds, russets have a high starch content. Some prefer russets because they'll give you a fluffier mash, but they are rather flavorless compared to Yukon Golds, and will need some additional ingredients to zhuzh them up. To avoid watery mashed potatoes, make sure you dry the potatoes completely before mashing. 


Can't decide between team Yukon Gold or team russet? Some argue that a 50/50 combination of the two actually gives the best results. The russets lighten up the texture, while the Yukon Golds bring a buttery flavor and that little bit of extra oomph.