Best Milk Frother: Electric and Handheld Frother Reviews

Do you like your coffee with a foamy milk on top? Do you get excited how your barista will serve your latte or cappuccino with that delightful layer of foamy milk? What if you could have this luscious coffee shop experience without stepping out of your home?

Today, we are going to show you exactly how you can do that! What’s your coffee drink of choice? Latte? Cappuccino? Macchiato? By learning to do milk frothing at home, you can have the best coffee drinks without having to put clothes on.

What could be better than that? Let’s take a look at what a good frother can do and why you should get one. Then we’ll help you decide which is the best milk frother for you....and which to avoid.

TOP PICK: The Breville BMF600XL

Breville Milk Frother

The Breville BMF600XL Milk Frother has the most functionality and far outperforms the other frothers on the market. The Milk Cafe comes with two frothing discs that allow you to make smooth or thick froths. This product can also warm milk to the perfect temperature and consistency.

It's easy to clean and dishwasher-safe. What's not to love?

Are Milk Frothers Worth It?

Why are lattes the most popular drink at a coffee shop? The answer is simple. Rather than just dumping cold milk into hot coffee, the milk is steamed and aerated before adding it to the drink.

Aeration is the process of adding air into the milk, making it foamy. This helps create a smooth, silky beverage. And with the right equipment, it’s not that hard to replicate specialty drinks at home.

Aeration at your own home has the potential to save you lots of money that you would otherwise be spending at the coffee shop.

You can craft your own signature beverage to your liking for less than $1 in ingredients. You can froth all types of milk: whole, skim, almond, soy, etc. The consistency of the foam will depend on the type of milk you decide to use. Plus, you can use it for more than a regular latte. Use it for hot chocolate, matcha, or chai lattes.

And if you're using a pod- or capsule-based coffee machine like a Nespresso, a milk frother is a critical piece of equipment if you want a cappuccino, latte, or other milk-based coffee drink.

How To Choose a Milk Frother That Will Do What You Need

If you’ve never used a frother before, here's a quick introduction.

The basic idea is to spin or pump the milk quickly in order to ADD AIR to the milk and create a nice foamy texture. This is what gives a milk based coffee its rich, velvety goodness. (Note: if you have a cappuccino machine, or a latte machine, you don't need a frother.)

a photo of thick froth being poured out from one of the best milk frothers

Sure, you could just violently shake the jug of milk before pouring it into the coffee, but this kind of frothy milk contains large, uneven bubbles. This isn’t very smooth and definitely not pretty. Besides, that only gives you cold milk froth, which is probably not what you expect in your flat white. (Nothing wrong with cold milk froth in iced coffee, of course.)

A good frother, in contrast, will be able to create a smooth, silky texture for you in as little as 15 or 20 seconds.

And some of them will produce hot froth, too. There are a few different types of these. Let’s take a look at what sets each milk frother apart from the others.

Automatic or Manual?

automatic milk frother

I prefer automatic

Some of the simplest frothers require pumping by hand repeatedly to achieve a foamy texture. These manual frothers resemble a French press. Simply thrust the pump up and down inside a glass beaker. It won’t wear you out by any means, but it does require a little bit of effort on your part.

There are also automatic milk frother. Some are semi-automatic, with a whisk at the end of a shaft. When you turn it on, all you need to do is gently move the handheld milk frother up and down while the battery-operated whisk does the majority of the work for you. Think of it as a tiny electric mixer.

Then you have the fully automatic electric frothers. These are the easiest to use. Open the top of the frother, pour in the milk, close the lid and hit power. In one minute your milk will be ready to go. You can walk away (or brew your espresso) while the automatic milk frother does its thing.

Does It Froth Hot? Or Do You Need To Give It Some Help?

“The temperature of milk used in a cappuccino affects taste, texture, and stability. “ - Perfect Daily Grind

Frothing milk and steaming milk are two different things. Many people think that a frother will also steam the milk, but that’s not typically the case. Only an espresso machine with a milk steamer will allow you to properly steam milk. (Need one? Check our guide.)

a closeup photo of milk

Some of the less expensive frothers simply turn normal milk into foamed milk. There's a time and place for cold froth (summer, and in iced coffee), but if you want a hot cappuccino in the morning, you have to heat the milk before or after frothing it. There are, however, some frothers that heat the milk as well, saving you time in your morning ritual. It’s nice to have it all done in one step.

Don’t overlook the importance of steaming your milk at the right temperature. It can make or break your brew! (1)

Froth-Speed

A manual frother can get your milk textured in as little as 15 seconds. The cheapest battery operated frother, however, can take up to 90 seconds just to froth.

The fully automatic electric milk frothers, in contrast, will froth and heat the milk in about 90 seconds. Some have temperature control to let you decide how hot you want it. (Don't forget, though, that fully automatic means you can step away from the milk frother and do something else, like make breakfast or brew an espresso.)

How much time do you have to devote to your milk every day?

Best Milk Frothers of 2019

Now you know what you want in a milk frother. You know how to choose the right one: the one that will keep your milk fluffy and warm for eternity. The one that will give you those silly looking milk mustaches on a daily basis.

Here are five milk frothers that will get the job done - and in some cases, and then some.

IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURES
hg-table__imageNorpro Glass Froth Master
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Fast results
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageMatchaDNA Handheld Electric Frother
  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imagePowerLix Milk Pro
  • Powerful
  • Comes with a stand
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageMatchaDNA Philippe Taglioni Automatic Milk Frother
  • Heats milk as well as froths it
  • Fully Automatic
  • Produces smooth, consistent foam
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageBreville Milk Cafe Milk Frother
  • Can heat milk in a wide range of temperatures
  • Comes with two frothing discs (for latte and for cappuccino)
  • Milk jug is dishwasher-safe
CHECK PRICE →
Norpro Froth Master

The Norpro frother froths the milk with a manual pump. It looks just like a small French press. It is very affordable and easy for anyone to use. Simply add ⅓ cup milk and pump for 10-20 seconds. For hot milk, microwave the glass beaker before or after frothing.

If you are simply looking for creamy foam to add to your morning coffee, this manual frother does the trick. Just note that it produces slightly larger air bubbles and the resulting foam is not quite as smooth as some other frothers.

Though the glass can be placed in the dishwasher, hand washing is recommended for this product, as it does contain some plastic parts that might not hold up well in the dishwasher.

PROS

  • Very affordable
  • Simple to use
  • Quick results (only 10-20 seconds to foamed milk)

CONS

  • Manual. Requires pumping
  • Made of glass (be careful when pumping or washing so you don't break it)

MatchaDNA Handheld Milk Frother

The MatchaDNA frother is the most affordable on this list. It’s a handheld, battery-operated frother with a stainless steel shaft and whisk. 2 AA batteries are required. The plastic handle is ergonomically designed for comfortable use.

Though this frother requires less work on your part than the manual frother, it takes upwards of 60-90 seconds to produce good milk foam. You are required to move the frother up and down the entire time, so you can’t walk away.

It’s not the most powerful electric frother, but it certainly gets the job done.
Cleaning is very easy. Simply rinse in hot, soapy water immediately after using and let air dry.

PROS

  • Most affordable frother
  • Easy to clean - Just rinse with hot soapy water

CONS

  • Not very powerful. Takes 60-90 seconds to froth milk
  • Not automatic

3. Powerlix Milk Pro - Best Handheld  Milk Frother

Powerlix Milk Pro

The Powerlix Milk Pro is powerful. With a speed of 19,000 RPM, this battery operated frother ​can produce a beautiful foam in just 15-20 seconds.

You still need to move the whisk in your milk pitcher, but it’s much faster than the MatchaDNA. It costs about twice as much, but your milk is ready in a fraction of the time.

Definitely worth it if you are in a hurry for your morning coffee. It also comes with a stand so you can store it next to your coffee maker. Its sleek black design will look nice in your kitchen. 2 AA batteries are required.

PROS

  • Powerful. This frother will get the job done in as little as 15-20 seconds
  • Comes with a stand so you don’t lose it or break it in a drawer

CONS

  • Can make a mess if you aren’t careful. Make sure whisk is submerged in the milk
  • Batteries may need to be changed more frequently, as it uses much more power

MatchaDNA Philippe Taglioni Milk Frother

This electric frother does more than just make foam - it heats the milk as well. Plug the base into the wall, pour the milk into the jug and close the lid. Hit the power button and in about 1 minute you will have hot, foamy milk for the perfect cappuccino.

Since the base is detachable, you can lift the pitcher and pour into your cup of coffee without a cord getting in your way. The consistency of the foam is much smoother than that of a manual or battery operated frother. You can also froth milk without heating if you are crafting a cold beverage. The non-stick coating helps make cleanup easy (though it's not dishwasher-safe).

Worried about waking up your housemates? This is the best option if you're looking for a quiet milk frother....whisper quiet according to some sources.

PROS

  • Fully automatic. Once you hit the power button, you can walk away until it is done
  • Heats milk as well as froths it
  • Smooth, consistent foam
  • Plug it into the wall. No batteries to replace
    Non-stick coating makes cleanup a snap

CONS

  • Price is much higher than battery operated frothers

5. Breville BMF600XL Milk Cafe Milk Frother - Best Electric Milk Frother

Breville Milk Frother

The Breville Milk Cafe is a high-end product similar to the previous automatic frother. It consists of a detachable base unit where the induction heating is controlled and a heater carafe where the milk is frothed and/or warmed. 

It is the most expensive frother on this list, but it has a few more features. Plus, its stainless-steel construction is up to Breville's usual high-quality standards. And the removable milk frothing jug means easy pouring into your coffee or espresso.

This product can froth your milk in a wide range of temperatures. Do you like your milk frothed cold, almost boiling hot, or anywhere in between? The Breville Milk Cafe can do any of that! In fact, you don't even have to froth your milk if you don't want to. You can use this product to make steamed milk, which, by the way, is one of its most popular functions.

Perhaps the best feature of the Milk Cafe is its two frothing discs: a smooth one for making smoother froths and one with slits for making thicker foam like in cappuccinos.

Another great thing about the Breville Milk Cafe is that it is easy to clean. It is made of stainless steel and its milk jug is safe to place in the dishwasher. 

best milk frother and mug

PROS

  • Can heat milk in a wide range of temperatures
  • Comes with two frothing discs: one for making smoother froths and one for making thicker froths
  • The milk jug is easy to clean and dishwasher-safe

CONS

  • Expensive!

THE VERDICT: Which is the best frother?

We are giving this one to the Breville Milk Cafe

Though the most expensive in our list, it is the most functional and arguably the best milk frother on the market. We love having the choice of heating the milk without frothing from time to time (hot chocolate, anyone?). Plus, the consistency of the foam produced and the fact it is fully automatic will make your life easier and more enjoyable.

“It takes practice and experience to become an expert home barista. But with the right equipment, lots of hard work, and a little tenacity when things don’t go right, you’ll soon be creating that fabulous frothy foam you’ve always dreamed of.” - Latte Art Guide
Breville Milk Frother

Have you used any of these frothers? What’s your favorite drink to make now that you have the power of a cafe right in your kitchen? Leave a comment and share your experiences below.

FAQs

What is the best automatic milk frother?

The best automatic milk frother should have a feature that can froth milk at different temperatures including warm, hot, and cold. It should also have a variation of froth milk that it produces, one feature can make smoother froth while it can also create thicker froth. In short, the best automatic milk frother should have features that will allow you to choose variations of froth milk according to your liking. Based on our comparison, the Breville Milk Cafe is the best automatic milk frother. Though it’s expensive, it is worth your money for it has the features that will suit your preferences to froth milk. 

What makes a good milk frother?

A good milk frother is one that is able to give you a beautiful, dense foam that is smooth and has consistency - in the least amount of time. It must do more than just heat the milk up - It must also froth your milk to the right texture (2). If it’s a handheld milk frother, it should do its job without requiring too much effort from you. If it’s an automatic milk frother, the more that it should be left alone crafting nice froth milk while you do other things, like brewing your coffee beans. 

What is the purpose of a milk frother?

A milk frother is used to achieve that pleasing foamy layer of milk on your latte or cappuccino. Gone are the days where you can only have this foamy coffee from the coffee shop. There are a lot of milk frother that you can use at home for your home-made latte. Steaming and aerating milk - the process wherein in air is added to the milk to make it foamy - creates a different experience for your tastebuds, allowing you to achieve the taste of specialty coffee in the comfort of your own home.

How much is a milk frother?

Milk frothers costs differently according to its features and whether it’s handheld milk frother or automatic milk frother. Cheapest handheld milk frothers starts from at least $6.00 while automatic milk frothers range from $30 to $120 and higher. When choosing which milk frother to buy, you should consider not only the price but the quality and features as well. At the end of the time, you don’t want a cheap but almost disposable milk frother who didn’t do its job.


References

  1. Klimanova, Y. What Temperature Should Your Cappuccino Milk Be? Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2019/02/what-temperature-should-your-cappuccino-milk-be/
  2. Coffee Stack Exchange, Why must the milk be frothed? Retrieved from https://coffee.stackexchange.com/questions/1996/why-must-the-milk-be-frothed
Alex
 

Alex is the Founder and Editor of Homegrounds.co. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee at home, and teaching others to do the same.

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