Gone are the days where you have to go to the coffee shop for a nice drink. Now you can make that smooth latte or cappuccino foam right from the comfort of your own home! A milk frother is a perfect addition to take your milk-based drinks to the next level and surprise those unexpected guests with a delicious brew.
Milk frothers are particularly helpful for those who use manual brewing methods (such as French press or a manual espresso machine) or have an automatic machine (like a Nespresso) with no inbuilt milk frother. Milk frothers tend to be relatively affordable and may be just what you need to up the enjoyment of that morning coffee. So let’s take a look at the best milk frothers and what to consider before buying one.
Our Pick: Nanofoamer
The Nanofoamer is our pick for the best milk frother. It is a handheld frother that uses unique technology known as NanoScreens to produce exceptional quality milk. It is simple to use, affordable, and most importantly, produces velvety, glossy milk capable of pouring latte art. The Nanofoamer is hands down the best milk frother on the market.
What are Milk Frothers and how do they work?
Milk frothers work by quickly spinning the milk to add air and create a dense, smooth foam. They generally take anywhere from 20-90 seconds to froth milk. On our list of the best milk frothers there are several different types available:
A handheld frother is generally the cheapest type you can get. They look similar to a stick blender and consist of a handle with a whisk attached. You have to heat or cool your milk manually and put it into a jug; then, you use the handheld milk frother to froth your milk. The whisk spins at high speeds just below the surface of the milk to create a creamy foam. They generally take around 90 seconds to aerate the milk. Handheld frothers usually run on batteries and are easy to store away.
A jug milk frother is where the milk is frothed in a jug. There are two types:
If you were looking for a milk steamer similar to what you get on espresso machines, you could consider investing in a stovetop steamer. They look and work in a similar way to a Moka pot. Using a stovetop, you heat the water in it and create a build-up of steam. Once the pressure has built up enough, you can use the steam wand to froth your milk. A stovetop steamer produces very high-quality micro-foam milk. They also offer the flexibility of steaming milk to your desired temperature and texture. However, they do take 3-5 minutes to build sufficient pressure to steam milk.
What to look for in a Milk Frother?
The first thing you need to decide is what type of milk frother you want. Do you want an electric milk frother that will do everything with the push of a button? A cheaper manual one that you pull out on special occasions? Or a Milk Steamer that will enable you to create latte art? If you plan to use it regularly, we recommend going for an automatic milk frother for convenience’s sake. If you are short on space, consider a handheld frother that is compact and easy to store away.
Some electric milk frothers, like the Breville Milk Cafe, have adjustable temperature settings, whereas others have only one setting. Alternatively, a Milk Steamer allows you to steam your milk to your desired temperature.
Do you want an affordable entry-level model or a quality, durable machine? The more features a frother has, the higher the price tag. If you are plan to use it regularly, we recommend investing in a good quality one that will last the distance. There are milk frothers to suit every price range.
If you are buying an automatic milk frother, how many drinks are you planning on making? Is it just you using it or the whole family? Make sure you get one that will be able to cater to your needs. Also, ensure you know the minimum and maximum quantity it can froth – putting in too much milk can cause it to overflow and make a mess; putting too little in could cause it to overheat and damage the milk frother.
If your milk frother is a permanent fixture on your benchtop, make sure you invest in one you like the look of. The Smeg milk frother is the most stylish milk frother on our list and comes in a range of different colors.
The Best Milk Frothers of 2023
The Best Milk Frother
The Nanofoamer is a newcomer to the milk frother market but is already making waves. It is a handheld milk frother that works by spinning milk at high speeds through fine mesh screens known as NanoScreens. The NanoScreen breaks down any air bubbles creating velvety, glossy milk that blends perfectly with espresso. The Nanofoamer comes equipped with two NanoScreens, superfine or fine, to produce milk of varying textures.
The Nanofoamer comes paired with a few accessories; a wall mount and a protective travel case. There is also the option of adding on their Flow Tip Milk Jug, which allows you to heat milk on the stove. It runs on two AA batteries- but does chew through these. The one area it is let down in is build quality, which is somewhat lacking, but it is expected given the price. Overall, the Nanofoamer produces exceptional milk comparable with a steam wand. Given this, and the affordable price, we would say it is the best milk frother. See our full review here.
Breville Milk Cafe
Most Customizable milk frother
The Breville Milk Cafe is the creme de la creme when it comes to milk frothers. It uses induction heating to heat the milk and has two frothing disks (one to create a smooth latte foam and one thick, creamy cappuccino froth). It is made of quality stainless steel, with a durable, stylish design that will grace any benchtop. The Milk Cafe comes into its own in the customization of both temperature and quantity of foam produced. You can choose any temperature from cold milk up to 160F.
The Milk Cafe also has a large capacity and can serve up to 3 cups of milk at a time, making it ideal for a family. Clean-up is a breeze, with the milk jug being removable and dishwasher safe. And for you hot chocolate lovers out there, the Milk Cafe has a lid with a removable middle section, allowing you to add chocolate or flavorings while the milk is frothing.
Bellman Stovetop Steamer
Best milk Steamer
The Bellman Stovetop Steamer is currently the only steamer of its kind. As noted above, it works similarly to a Moka Pot; by heating it on a stovetop, you build steam which is then used for steaming milk. While the milk steamer takes longer to heat (3-5 minutes), it can rival most home espresso machines when it comes to steam pressure. The milk wand has a two-hole outlet designed to create creamy, silky microfoam milk (and the milk produced is a huge step up from the majority of milk frothers). If you want the capabilities of steaming milk without spending hundreds of dollars on an espresso machine, the Bellman Stovetop Steamer is for you. See our full review here.
Nespresso Aeroccino 4
Best for non-dairy milk
The Nespresso Aeroccino 4 is a good quality electric milk frother. It uses induction heating to warm the milk and a magnetized spinning disk to create foam. Like the Breville Milk Frother, it can produce two types of hot foam (for cappuccino and lattes) and hot milk. It uses one whisk for all kinds of milk. This milk frother particularly excels when using non-dairy milk, producing creamy foam even with Almond milk. It has a maximum capacity of 240mls for hot milk and 120mls for milk foam. It is relatively fast, taking 80 seconds for frothy milk and 150 seconds for hot milk. On the downside, you cannot vary the temperature or quantity of foam produced.
HIC Milk Creamer Frother
best manual milk frother
This is a good quality manual milk frother that comes at a great price. It is made from stainless steel and has a double mesh aerator to froth the milk. You put your warmed or cooled milk into the pitcher and pump the handle up and down for 30-60 seconds to produce rich foam. It has a large 14-ounce capacity.
Aerolatte Milk Frother
best handheld milk frother
This is a handheld milk frother that is battery-operated. It comes at an excellent price and is a great entry-level model perfect for those wanting to dip their toes into milk frothing. It is straightforward to use; you insert the Aerolatte into your cup of milk with the whisking head at a slight angle and froth the milk for about 20 seconds. It is a powerful milk frother and produces silky milk ideal for cappuccinos, flat whites, and hot chocolate. The frother also comes with a handy storage case to protect when not in use or when traveling.
Powerlix Milk Frother
Cheapest handheld milk frother
The Powerlix is another handheld milk frother that comes in as the cheapest on our list. You really can’t complain about much when you see the price tag! This milk frother is simple to use and produces creamy milk in 15-20 seconds. It is small and portable and runs off two AA batteries. As you can see, it comes in a stack of different colors. Overall the Powerlix is a safe option and the best handheld milk frother on a budget.
Secura Milk Frother
Best buy milk frother
The Secura is an affordable automatic milk frother capable of producing thick cappuccino foam (but not latte foam). Like all the electric milk frothers, it uses induction heating and a motorized whisk to create froth. It has a 125ml capacity for frothing milk or 250ml if heating milk.
This milk frother is easy to operate, with a single button to produce hot or cold foam. It has a detachable base to make for easy pouring. This is an excellent option if you are looking for a basic model that won’t break the bank.
Smeg Milk Frother
The Smeg Milk frother is a premium milk frother for those who love high-quality kitchen appliances. Like all Smeg products, their milk frother features their classic retro design and is available in multiple colors to suit all palates. Their milk frother has even won an award for its design!
So how does it perform? The Smeg milk frother comes with two whisk attachments and has seven different functions available, allowing you to make hot or cold light or thick froth, hot chocolate, hot milk, or a manual option. It has a large capacity to heat up to 590ml of milk at a time or froth 250mls. It is also dishwasher safe making for easy cleanup. This insta-worthy milk frother will grace any benchtop and last for years. See our full review here.
The Verdict: The Best Milk Frother
We hope this article has given you some insight into the best milk frothers on the market today. We would highly recommend the Nanofoamer for anyone wanting to invest in a milk frother. It produces high-quality microfoam milk comparable to a steam wand- a perfect pairing for your manual espresso machine! Alternatively, the Breville Milk Cafe is an excellent option to cater to a crowd. It has a huge capacity, produces thick and creamy foam, and allows you to customize both the temperature and quantity of foam produced.
Frothed milk is what most milk frothers will produce. It is created by adding air into the milk, usually via some form of whisking. Frothed milk can be made with either hot or cold milk. With frothed milk, the air bubbles are large and create a greater volume and lighter mouthfeel.
In comparison, steamed milk is created when a steam wand injects steam into milk. This simultaneously heats the milk and aerates it. Steamed milk is lightly aerated and has a lot smaller air bubbles (aka microfoam). This microfoam gives steamed milk a smooth and velvety texture, almost resembling wet paint. For coffee purists, microfoam milk is the key to creating the perfect coffee. It blends perfectly with espresso and can be used to create latte art.
You can use any type of milk with a milk frother, with the caveat that there will be differences in taste and texture. Whole milk will produce the best results, creating thick and creamy frothed milk. Low-fat milk is much lighter and produces a larger volume of foam when frothed.
Non-dairy milk (such as oat, almond and soy) are the most difficult to froth due to the low fat and protein content. You will notice that the quantity of froth produced is a lot lower with these types of milk.