Nothing makes a latte or cappuccino better than perfectly frothed milk. Additional features, like milk frothers, can really drive up the price of espresso makers. Luckily, there are a number of affordable and easy-to-use milk frothers you can purchase separately.
We have reviewed simple hand-held frothers all the way up to automatic frothers that both heat and froth the milk at the touch of a button. Take a look and decide which is the best milk frother for you.
Our Top Picks
|Our Favorite||Breville Milk Cafe|
|Best Budget Milk Frother||Powerlix Milk Pro|
|Best for Milk Frother for Travel||Aerolatte|
|Best Automatic Milk Frother||Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother|
|Best Manual Milk Frother||Bodum Latteo|
|Best for Non-dairy Milk||Nespresso Aeroccino 4|
Do I really need a milk frother?
Are milk frothers really worth it? Can’t I just add milk to my espresso?
If you love getting a latte or cappuccino at your local coffee shop and want the same results at home, then yes. You absolutely need a milk frother.
Instead of just adding milk to hot coffee, your favorite barista first steams and aerates the milk before adding it to your favorite coffee beverage. Aeration is the process that adds air into the milk, making it rich and foamy, and it is hard to recreate that silky smooth texture without a milk frother.
Whether you are using a pod-based machine like Nespresso or an espresso maker without a steaming wand, there are a number of options out there that will let you create rich foamy milk to top your favorite drink. You can even use it with non-dairy milk, or to mix up a hot chocolate or matcha latte!
So what is the best milk frother to create these barista favorites? Let’s take a look.
Nespresso Aeroccino 4
- Dishwasher safe
- Great for non-dairy milk alternatives
- Multiple options for foam consistency
- Small opening makes for difficult hand washing
- Probably won’t fit everyone’s aesthetic
The Nespresso Aeroccino 3 has always been the go-to milk frother for non-dairy milk drinkers. This updated model comes with the same features but has added an option for denser and thicker foam. This thick foam, coupled with the ergonomic handle, make it the perfect frother to create amazing latte art.
It is easy to use too. Just pour milk into the frothing pitcher and with the push of a button, I will quickly froth hot or cold milk. You can have cold frothed milk in around a minute and hot milk froth in only two minutes.
This Nespresso milk frother attaches to an electric base and comes with a removable whisk for easy cleaning. The tall, narrow pitcher can be cumbersome to wash by hand but all parts (with the exception of the wired base) are dishwasher safe.
The stainless steel design may not suit the aesthetic of every kitchen but as far as function is concerned, it is top-notch.
The controls are easy to read and simple to use. They light up when turned on and begin to flash when frothing. It also comes with an automatic shutoff feature, saving you that extra step.
This automatic model is on the pricey side but we think it is the best milk frother for almond milk as well as other non-dairy milk alternatives such as oat, rice, hemp, and coconut.
Powerlix Milk Pro
- Compact and easy to store
- Froths Milk Quickly
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Does not heat the milk
- Batteries not included
This Powerlix Milk frother is quiet, fast, and affordable! Not only is it a great frother, but it is also available in a variety of color options.
This lightweight, ergonomic, and easy to clean handheld frother has an easy to use power button on the handle. Clocking in at 19,000 RPMs, it can also whip up a good foam in only 15-20 seconds and is even powerful enough to blend bulletproof coffee.
To clean the frother, just place the whisk end into a cup of hot water and turn it on, but be careful not to submerge the battery-operated handle.
The stainless steel whisk attachment requires two AA batteries to operate (not included). This makes the frother great for travel since no outlet is needed, but you also run the risk of the batteries running out mid-frothing.
It is small enough to stash in a drawer but also comes with a compact metal stand to allow for easy access and storage.
In addition to frothing milk, it can also be used to make bulletproof coffee, blend supplements into beverages, mix up your favorite protein drink, or even make a quick hot chocolate. It even works well with non-dairy milk alternatives.
- Compact and easy to store
- Two year warranty
- Froths non-dairy milk alternatives
- Does not heat the milk
- Requires batteries
Aerolatte was the original handheld frother and is still quite popular today. This frother is ideal for people with small kitchens or who travel frequently. It even comes with a storage case.
The larger whisk will froth milk in 20 seconds or less and does well with non-dairy milk alternatives.
This model is both lightweight and easy to use. It runs off of two AA batteries which are included and operates using a simple toggle switch.
The stainless steel whisk is easy to clean. Just run the whisk in a cup of hot soapy water, rinse, and dry. Be sure not to submerge the top portion of the frother.
If you would like to keep it out on the counter for quick and easy access, it has a stand that is sold separately.
Breville BMF600XL Milk Cafe
- Can froth multiple servings
- Two different foam options
- Dishwasher safe
- Precise temperature control
- Can froth cold milk
- Large countertop footprint
The Breville Milk Cafe is one of the top of the line milk frothers on our list. If you are looking for lots of options in your frother, the Milk Cafe is the best milk frother out there. It has a larger capacity than most, making it perfect for large families or corporate offices.
It’s not small, clocking in at around 6 inches in diameter and 10 inches tall but it can heat up to 3 cups of milk and froth up to 2 cups. An ideal option if you are making lattes or cappuccinos for several people. Keep in mind though that more milk means it takes longer to heat and froth (up to 5 minutes).
This Breville milk frother comes with two separate frothing disks, one for lattes and the other for cappuccinos, which can be conveniently stored in a compartment behind the electric base so you don’t have to worry about losing them in a drawer.
It has an easy to use dial to select temperatures ranging from cold to 180℉, in case you prefer your lattes extra hot. The lid even doubles as a convenient measuring cup for adding ingredients while the milk froths. Perfect for making hot chocolate or matcha lattes.
Don’t worry about cleaning either. Since this frother uses induction heating to heat the milk, the pitcher is dishwasher safe. The frother will also automatically shut itself off if the pitcher gets too hot so you can avoid bitter milk or burns.
- No batteries or charging required
- You can heat the milk directly in the glass jar
- The glass jar can break
If you are looking for a stylish milk frother and no need for electricity, the Bodum Latteo has you covered. Made by the company known for its french presses, this manual milk frother is just as high quality.
You can add up to 8 ounces of milk to the microwavable borosilicate glass jar, pump the mesh plunger up and down using the easy to grip handle, heat it up, and add to your coffee. You can skip the heating for cold coffee drinks as well.
The fact that the jar is clear means you can easily see the milk frother without removing the lid.
This is a great product to pair with the Bodum French Press if you like to top your coffee with creamy milk foam. Keep in mind, even though this frother resembles a French Press, it cannot be used to make French Press coffee since the mesh filter doesn’t fit tightly into the frothing jar.
Cleaning is a breeze since each part is dishwasher safe.
The only downside is that the glass design is easier to break than the stainless steel version many other brands use but the fact that you can heat the milk in the pitcher itself makes it stand out amongst its competitors.
Smeg Milk Frother
- Large capacity
- 7 different settings
- 2 whisk attachments
- Dishwasher safe
- Stylish design in multiple colors
- Takes up a lot of counter space
Smeg is a brand that is widely known for making high-quality appliances and their signature 1950’s style aesthetic and this milk frother does not disappoint.
This milk frother has 7 different settings to choose from, all controlled with an easy to use dial. It offers options covering everything from temperature control to milk consistency and even has a preset “hot chocolate” function.
In addition to its multiple settings, it comes with two separate whisk attachments. One is designed to froth the milk and the other is used to heat the milk without frothing.
The durable stainless steel container can froth up to 8.5 ounces of milk or heat up to 20 ounces. The container is also dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
This frother is definitely a splurge as it is the most expensive milk frother on our list but it is perfect for individuals looking for a quality milk frother with a lot of features and a retro aesthetic.
Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother
- Froths hot and cold
- 2-year warranty
- Only one foam setting
- Difficult to clean
This beautiful stainless steel milk frother from Secura will look great in any kitchen. The carafe is made from polished stainless steel and is vacuum insulated to keep your milk hot (or cold). This frother is versatile enough to make both hot or cold milk froth for lattes or cappuccinos.
It is smaller than some of the automatic frothers on our list, only heating up to a cup of milk or frothing up to a half cup, but it has a smaller countertop footprint as well. It is perfect for small kitchens but probably not the best for large families.
It is easy to operate, using a single button, and has a detachable base for easy pouring.
Cleaning can be a bit cumbersome but it comes with a brush to get into the crevices.
Capresso Froth Plus
- Froths hot and cold
- Ergonomic handle
- Transparent for easy viewing
- Dishwasher save
- Not suited for heavy-duty use
Capresso is a brand that is growing in the coffee world. Its coffee makers are on par with some of the best out there and this milk frother is too.
The Capresso Froth Plus is the perfect frother if you are making lattes for a crowd. Super simple and easy to operate, this frother has a capacity of 8 ounces of milk for frothing and 12 ounces for heating. You are all set for a dinner party.
The Froth Plus has a transparent container so you can easily monitor the frothing process. It has two frothing disks and one heating disk that stirs the milk simultaneously to warm your milk without burning it. The ergonomic handle and pouring spout means no messy drips on your counter.
It is easy to use and can produce hot, cold, or warm milk foam. It is also intuitive with only 3 buttons. You can add powders while it is frothing which makes it perfect for hot chocolate, and the pitcher is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
The downside is its limited mobility. Don’t plan on traveling with this guy. It is intended for kitchen use.
Types of Milk Frothers
You may have seen a number of online hacks for frothing milk at home using a french press, a blender, or even a mason jar. While your milk will be bubbly, it won’t have the same texture and silky smooth mouthfeel that is achieved using a milk frother.
There are several types of milk frothers to choose from, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.
Handheld milk frothers are battery-operated and work like little whisks that you place into your cup of milk. Similar to an immersion blender, the whisk spins continuously incorporating air into the milk as you move the frother up and down. The resulting milk is light and foamy with large bubbles.
These are often the most compact and affordable options and they are convenient little multi-taskers to have around the kitchen. They can quickly whip up scrambled eggs, salad dressings, and matcha lattes. They are also very easy to clean.
The downside to these handy little devices is that the batteries will need changing from time to time and you will need an additional heating source. Handheld frothers will foam the milk but have no heating element. They also don’t give the milk quite the same texture as an automatic model or a milk steaming wand.
Automatic milk frothers are electric-powered pitchers with an induction whisk inside. The whisk both heats the milk and spins to create a rich, smooth, and even foam. Automatic frothers are more expensive but we think they are well worth the extra money.
Automatic models are very easy to use and mostly hands-off. Simply add milk, and with the push of a button, it will heat and froth automatically. The resulting frothed milk is richer and creamier than that made with handheld models. Many even include extra features like temperature control and automatic shutoff.
The only downsides are that automatic models take up more counter space than their smaller handheld counterparts and they are a little more laborious to clean.
But what if I want an iced latte? No worries! Automatic milk frothers also have the ability to frother cold milk.
Manual milk frothers are some of the simplest milk frothers out there. Similar to the frothing milk in your french press hack, these frothers use a pump that you manually press up and down inside a glass beaker. While these frothers will give you some larger bubbles, you will get better results with an automatic or handheld model.
If you prefer the manual method, we suggest you save your money and just use your french press.
The final type of milk frother we will discuss is the steam wand. Steam wands are built into the espresso machine itself and serve as both a milk steamer and frother. They use pressurized steam to heat and froth the milk giving it texture and creating a rich and velvety foam.
Steam wands definitely produce the best microfoam but they are also the most expensive option since you need to purchase an espresso machine that already has a steam wand built-in. If you prefer the rich creamy milk that tops your latte at your favorite coffee house and don’t already own an espresso machine, you may want to spend a little extra on a great espresso machine with a built-in steam wand.
How do I choose a milk frother? Features To Consider
With the many different kinds of milk frothers out there, making a simple choice is not as easy as it seems. You should consider a few things before making a final selection.
As we mentioned earlier, there are several types of milk frothers so it is important to consider what you need the milk frother to do. Some are electric while others run on batteries. If you want to take your frother camping, a battery-powered version is ideal, but if you froth milk several times a day, constantly replacing the batteries can get expensive.
If time is an issue, an automatic frother that will heat and froth the milk on its own at the touch of a button is probably your best choice.
How much milk will you need to froth on a regular basis? Are you frothing enough milk for one latte or two? Maybe you need to froth enough milk for a family hot chocolate night.
It is important to consider the capacity of the milk frother as well as your particular needs.
The capacity is typically measured in milliliters, which is the volume of the milk that you can froth in your device. The capacity of the best milk frothers out there can vary greatly, ranging from 100-500 milliliters.
Less expensive handheld milk frothers can take up to 90 seconds to froth milk, but that doesn’t include the amount of time it takes to heat the milk. Automatic versions, however, can froth and heat the milk in that same amount of time. Some even have temperature control so you can decide exactly how hot you want it (a great feature if you plan on using any non-dairy milk).
Think about how much time you have to devote to frothing your milk every day. Spending a little more on an automatic version that will let you press a button and walk away may be worth the extra money.
Does it heat the milk?
Steaming your milk at the right temperature can make or break your brew. The temperature of the milk used in a cappuccino will affect taste, texture, and stability. And if you prefer to use soy milk, heating the milk past 140℉ can result in a burned and bitter-tasting beverage.
Handheld milk frothers will create milk foam but will not heat the milk. Some automatic milk frothers will do both but don’t have temperature control.
If cappuccinos are your drink of choice make sure you either use a milk frother with temperature control or go all in and purchase one of these great espresso machines that already have a steaming wand attached.
Ease of Use
Handheld frothers are some of the simplest to use. Simply plunge the whisk into the milk, hold down the button on top, and move the frother up and down to quickly foam the milk.
Some automatic models have a number of different settings that some coffee drinkers find cumbersome. Others are even easier to use than handheld frothers but don’t come with extra features.
Consider how particular you are with your coffee drink of choice. The cumbersome controls may be exactly what you need to get that perfect cappuccino foam, but if you are a morning latte drinker, opting for an easy to use, fast frothing unit, can make brewing your morning coffee fast and simple.
Ease of Cleaning
Having the best milk frother out there may be awesome but remember, you also have to clean it.
When it comes to cleaning, handheld frothers are simply the easiest to clean. Rinse off the whisk and you are good to go.
Models that use a built-in pitcher are a bit more work. To make your life easier, look for a model that has a dishwasher compatible whisk, pitcher, and lid.
Size and Portability
Automatic milk frothers can be bulky and take up precious counter space but are often the easiest and most convenient to use.
If you are short on counter space or travel frequently, a handheld frother may be your best bet. Handheld frothers are small, portable, and run on batteries, meaning you don’t have to worry about finding an outlet to froth your milk. Most models are even small enough to stash in a purse or briefcase.
Some types of milk are easier to froth than others. Whole milk is one of the easiest to froth due to its high fat content. Unfortunately, if you are one of the many that are lactose intolerant, dairy is just not your friend.
Non-dairy milks can be more difficult to froth than their bovine counterparts. If you prefer to use soy, oat, rice, hemp, or coconut milk, look for a milk frother with a high frothing speed.
All milk frothers will create milk foam in some form or fashion. However, higher-end models come with added features such as adjustable temperatures (a must for cappuccinos or non-dairy milk), automatic shutoff, and the ability to make both hot and cold foam.
Let’s face it, no one wants an ugly appliance cluttering their countertops. If you plan to stash your frother in the cabinet or in a drawer, the way it looks is less important. However, if you plan to display all of your coffee gear on the countertop, think about its looks as well. Some milk frothers are sleek and modern while others look a little more utilitarian. Will the frother you are considering blend in with your aesthetic or will it stand out like a sore thumb?
Some frothers come with a variety of different whisks to create different kinds of foam, while others come with only one whisk. Those extra whisks could be convenient or could end up lost in the junk drawer. Consider the extra accessories and decide if you really need several whisks, or if a less expensive model, without the extras, will work for you.
Milk frothers are relatively inexpensive but the overall price range varies greatly. With hundreds of possible options, finding a frother in your price range is easily achievable. Some of the frothers on our list are even under $20.
What is the best automatic milk frother?
The best automatic milk frother is one that comes with all the features mentioned above. It should be able to froth milk at a variety of temperatures, including cold foam. It should also be able to produce a variety of milk froth textures from light and foamy to think and creamy. It should also be easy to use. While it definitely comes at a premium price, we love the Breville Milk Cafe. It has all of these features and will let you make any kind of coffee beverage you wish.
What makes a good milk frother?
A great milk frother is one that will create a creamy foam that is rich and smooth. Not only should it heat the milk to the selected temperature, but it also should froth the milk to your preferred texture.
Even the best handheld milk frother will not heat the milk but should create great foam with very little effort from you.
What exactly does a milk frother do?
A milk frother creates that thick foamy layer of milk that tops your favorite latte or cappuccino. It can also create a delicious cold foam to top your favorite iced coffee.
It creates this foam by incorporating tiny air bubbles into the milk
Do Milk frothers heat the milk?
Some do and some don’t. Handheld frothers do not heat the milk but are small and portable, which makes them a favorite among frequent travelers.
A good automatic frother will heat your milk using an induction whisk as well as create a rich and foamy milk.
Whether you are looking for a manual, automatic, or handheld frother, we have something on our list for you.
We personally think the Breville Milk Cafe is the best milk frother for home or office use. Between the specialized frothing discs, variable temperature setting, larger capacity, and the consistency of the milk foam, it just can’t beat!