Thanks to the sudden surge in popularity of all kinds of coffee and hot cocoa drinks, milk frothers are in high demand these days for those of us who want to enjoy coffee house quality hot drinks in the comfort of our own homes. In fact, most of our favorite coffee house drinks, like cappuccino, macchiato, cafe latte, chai tea and cafe au lait all depend on the light and frothy milk that can only be made with a milk frother. The good news for consumers is that milk frothers are not exclusive to coffee houses any more. In fact, there are many milk frothers available for home use at reasonable prices that will have you making cafe quality hot drinks at home at a fraction of the cost of going out to the coffee house. So, if you want to add a good milk steamer to your home coffee setup, then keep reading for the best milk frothers on the market right now.
What Is A Milk Frother and Why Should You Own One?
Milk frothers are indispensable tools for making today’s most popular coffee drinks right in your home. Thankfully, the popularity of milk frothers and cappuccino machines has resulted in companies flooding the market with options, making milk frothers much less expensive than they once were.
Milk frothers work by rapidly agitating milk with hot air, causing is to become light and frothy. By aerating the milk with hot air, the milk frother actually introduces bubbles into the milk at such a high rate that the milk becomes a light and airy foam. When mixed with coffee, cocoa or tea, the froth increases the volume, making the drink light and creamy.
The flavor and aroma of the coffee are also improved as you have probably noticed if you have enjoyed any kind of cappuccino, cafe au lait or latte. If you want to enjoy coffee house style coffee at home, you will need a milk frother to get the results you are looking for.
Comparison: Top 7 Milk Frothers
Dualit Milk Frother
Aeroccino 3 Milk Frother NESPRESSO
VonShef Premium Stainless Steel Dual Function Electric Milk Frother
Andrew James Dual Function Electric Milk Frother
aerolatte Milk Frother with Storage Tube
Bodum LATTEO Milk Frother
Bialetti Tuttocrema Milk Frother
Best Electric Milk Frothers - Reviews
I spent some time comparing the different electric milk frother models on the market before selecting the best ones to consider seriously. After putting these milk steamers to the test against each other, I am ready to share my conclusions in the reviews below.
Dualit Milk Frother Review
If you’re shopping for an affordable electric milk steamer for your home, then look no further as the Dualit Milk Frother makes a great choice. It's sleek and practical design looks good in any kitchen.
- Triple Function - heat milk, make hot/cold froth in 70 seconds
- Cordless operation
- Removable whisk
- Capacity for 2 cappuccinos, hot chocolates or lattés
With three different options available, you can make frothy milk for pretty much any drink. From cold froth to steamed milk to hot froth, this Dualit frother makes it easy to be your own barista at home.
With the capacity to handle enough milk for two drinks at once, you can surprise your love with the perfect latte, cappuccino or other frothy beverage.
Since it is cordless, the Dualit frother is very easy to use and it's non-stick interior surface means that cleanup is very easy.
Aeroccino 3 Milk Frother NESPRESSO Review
If you are a serious coffee drinker, then you need a serious electric grinder like the Smart Grinder Pro from Sage by Heston Blumenthal. This top of the line conical burr grinder lets you make a precise amount of ground coffee, which means you get the best tasting fresh brewed coffee with every single cup.
- Duo Whisk included
- Triple Function - heat milk, make hot/cold froth
- Maximum capacity if preparing milk froth: 120 ml (4 oz), maximum capacity if preparing hot milk: 240 ml (8 oz)
- Quick and easy to use and clean
If you prefer a frother that has a more modern design, while still being affordable, then consider this Nespresso model.
This luxury designed milk frother can steam your milk, as well as offer a hot or cold froth for your drinks. It is a very quiet electric milk frother and it is very easy to use
Just add your milk and press the button. Within seconds you have your desired milk ready for adding to that beverage.
VonShef Premium Stainless Steel Dual Function Electric Milk Frother Review
For a cheap electric milk frother option, consider this VonShef model. It is a high quality frother that comes in a classic stainless steel (or copper) exterior that gives you kitchen a luxury coffeehouse feel.
- Dual function - Warmer For Hot And Cold Milk, Latte Cappuccino Foamer
- Cordless operation
- Frothing Capacity 115ml, Heating Capacity 240ml
- Includes a wire accessory for frothing and a plastic attachment for heating
This one is easy to use and clean, and it's heat-resistant handle fits well in your hand. And like the Dualit listed above, this one is also cordless.
This model has a stylish design, an easy to use 360-degree swivel base and it works quickly! In fact, when you add milk, it can heat the cold milk to around 65℃ in mere seconds.
All things considered, the VonShef automatic milk frother offers a good value for the money and it is a great choice for the budget conscious.
Andrew James Dual Function Electric Milk Frother Review
Another good option for a cheap automatic electric milk frother that will look great in the kitchen is the Andrew James Dual Function Electric Milk Frother model. It is made by a brand who have built a strong reputation in the industry when it comes to quality small appliances.
- Dual function - Warmer For Hot And Cold Milk, Latte Cappuccino Foamer
- 300ml capacity
- Also available in Red
The Andrew James Dual Function Electric Milk Frother has an classic design, which makes it look in pretty much any setting. And it’s easy to use and easy to clean up when you're all done with it.
Overall, it holds a generous amount of milk and works in a similar fashion to the automatic models listed above. This one has good price and is perfect for families who need the large capacity that this model offers.
Best Cheap Handheld and Manual Milk Frothers - Reviews
aerolatte Milk Frother with Storage Tube Review
If you want a compact milk frother or just a cheap milk frother under £20, then definitely check out this aerolatte model. It is a handheld unit, so you can't just leave it to froth up the milk. Instead, you have to hold it and move it around the milk to create the foam.
- Battery operated - approx. 150 uses from new batteries
- Works fast - just 20 seconds for frothy milk!
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Comes with a storage tube
- Can also be used for soups, sauces, dressings, meringues, and more desserts!
This little handheld milk frother is a great choice for people with a small kitchen. It doesn't take up much space and will easily fit in a drawer or stand up in the cupboard.
Unlike the electric models up above, you can use this one for things other than frothy milk. Use it for custards, sauces, and lots of other liquids.
This thing is super easy to use and clean. In fact, you just need some hot, soapy water and it cleans up quick and easy. And it's small size means that you can even take it with you to your mum's!
Bodum LATTEO Milk Frother Review
If you want the absolute quietest milk frother on the market, then check out this manual milk frother from Bodum. The LATTEO requires you to hand pump the milk to create that frothy foam, and it makes virtually no noise. But the best part is it's ultra low price.
- Heat-resistant glass handle
- Stainless steel components
- Dishwasher safe
- Silk plastic lid prevents foam from escaping through the spout
This Bodum frother is made of high quality heat resistant borosilicate glass, which means that you don't have to worry about burning your hands on the handle.
With this model, you have a capacity of 0.25L or 8 oz. of milk. The plunger is smooth to use and you don't have to worry about foam escaping the spout thanks to the deep rim of the lid.
Made of heatproof glass, it is dishwasher safe and very easy to operate. Plus, it's large size makes it the perfect choice for large families - or those who enjoy a LOT of frothy milk in their drinks.
This model is also a good choice for those on a budget since it has such a cheap, low price.
The only disadvantage to this model is the obvious one - it does not actually heat milk. In order to make heated, frothy milk, you have to actually pre-heat your milk in something else.
Bialetti Tuttocrema Milk Frother Review
Like the Bodum frother reviewed above, this Bialetti frother is also a manual model. However, there is one key feature that makes this model MUCH better than the Bodum one.
- Can be placed on the stove to heat the milk
- Capacity of 6 cups
- Dishwasher safe
- Non-stick interior
The best thing about this manual frother is that you can actually heat milk in it by placing the frother directly on the stove. It works on gas, ceramic, and electric cooktops. Just add your required amount of milk and heat it up on the cooktop. Then, pump it for the frothy bits and pour onto your beverage.
The non-stick interior makes it easy to clean and the frother itself is very easy to use. Plus, it is made by one of the best Italian brands in the coffee industry, so you know that you're getting something that is high quality when you buy this model.
Types of Milk Frothers
Milk frothers are designed to enhance both the flavor and aroma of hot drinks such as coffee, hot cocoa and chai tea. Not only is milk foam added to the coffee to make it lighter and sweeter, milk froth is also used as a topping on coffee drinks of various. This means that the milk froth that you will need to make high quality, coffee house drinks will need to be a variety of different consistencies. For this reason, there are several different types of milk frothers available today, each one offering specific advantages.
Electric (Automatic) Milk Frother - Electric frothers, also known as automatic milk frothers, come equipped with their own stainless steel pitchers in which the milk is brought to a froth by jets of hot air and an internal frothing mechanism that acts like a whisk to aerate the milk. Electric milk frothers make perfect milk froth for all of your favorite coffee drinks at the touch of a button. However, while electric milk frothers are extremely easy to use, they can also require cleaning and sanitizing after every use, which may make some people shy away from these models.
Stovetop Milk Frother - Stove top milk frothers are powerful tools for frothing milk in the preparation of a number of hot beverages including hot cocoa, chai tea, latte, cafe au lait and cappuccino. Stove top milk frothers are usually made of stainless steel. They are typically designed to generate a jet of steam through the compression of quick-heated water that quickly aerates the milk into a light foam.
Hand Held Electric Milk Frothers - Hand held milk frothers are electric milk frothers that are battery operated. They generally consist of a stainless steel shaft that you lower into a pitcher or carafe of milk. The stainless steel jet aerates the milk by forcing hot air into it. Hand held frothers are very convenient and easy to maintain and they are among the most price friendly options. However, they are not as easy to use as your standard automatic milk frother.
Hand-Operated Milk Frothers - If you do not want to use an electronic device to froth your milk, you can use a manual milk frother. These usually consist of an internal whisk or propeller that is operated through a pumping action. It is important to note that these do not heat the milk. You must heat the milk yourself before placing it in the frother.
Motorized Whisks and Milk Frother Wands - Motorized whisks and frother wands generally consist of a stainless steel shaft with a small propeller at the end which turns rapidly, also sending jets of hot steam into the milk. All of these hand held models must be used with care and, though easy to clean, may also be the most difficult to use.
All milk frothers are designed to aerate milk into a light froth by either quickly agitating the milk with the use of a mechanism of some sort, such as a whisk or a propeller, or by forcing steam into the milk, or both processes simultaneously. All milk frothers do their work in a matter of seconds, but each is unique when you consider the ease of use and the ease with which they are maintained. Since there is a wide array of milk frothers on the market today, you are sure to find a wide range of prices, generally ranging from under £10 for your basic hand operated milk frother all the way up to over £100 for your top of the line automatic milk frother.
Other Shopping Considerations
While it is true that most milk frothers will perform up to expectation, there are still several things that you must consider before you choose the best milk frother for your needs. The things you should consider before buying a milk frother include:
- Price - milk frothers vary greatly in price, so before you spend a great deal of money on a milk frother you should consider just how much you will be using it. If you are planning to use it nearly every day, then you are going to want to find a model that is both high quality and durable, which may be expensive.
- Quality - the general rule of thumb when buying a cappuccino maker or a separate milk frother is to look for the highest quality model available for your price range. Once you have settled on a price range that you are happy with, take a look at some online reviews of different models in that price range to see if they will perform to your specifications. If not, you may want to revise your price range to meet your performance expectations.
- Ease of Use and Cleaning - Many people spend a lot of money on a cappuccino maker with a milk frother, or a separate milk frothing device, only to find that it is so difficult to use and to clean after use that they never end up actually using it. For this reason, you may want to consider an automatic model that is extremely easy to use, despite the price.
- Durability - Another important consideration is durability. In choosing the most durable models, you will want to look specifically at the materials from which each milk frother is made. If you want a highly durable, long lasting milk frother, look for models made with aluminum and stainless steel and steer clear of those with plastic and glass components.
Proper Use and Maintenance of Milk Frothers
The proper use of a milk frother depends on which type you are using. If you are using a stove top steamer or an electric automatic milk frother, all you have to do is put the milk in and turn them on and they will literally do the rest. With hand held milk frothers, motorized whisks and milk frother wands, however, there is a bit more skill involved in getting the milk froth to turn out right. These hand held models must be submerged into the milk that you are frothing and moved about until all of the milk has been properly aerated. Because they also are likely to have rapidly moving parts that are exposed, the hand held milk frothers also bring up safety concerns.
Cleaning and maintenance also depends largely on the type of milk frother that you have purchased. A hand held milk frother is likely to be quite easy to maintain and keep clean, since all you have really done is submerge its frothing jet into a pitcher of milk. These models can literally be wipes clean with paper towel after use. If it comes with a stainless steel pitcher you will also have to clean that after every use, but with most hand held models you must supply the vessel in which you will be frothing your milk.
Cleaning of stove top steamers and automatic milk frothers can be a bit more involved. Not only will you have to clean the stainless steel pitcher in which the milk is frothed, it is also necessary to clean and sanitize the internal frothing mechanism. Each model is likely to have slightly different cleaning instructions so it is always best to consult the owners manual for clear instructions on the cleaning and maintenance of the milk frothing device that you have chosen.