The Best Milk Frothers of 2023

Who needs a barista? Make specialty coffee, tea, and other dairy-based drinks at home with the best milk frothers.

By Jasmine Harding | Updated Feb 17, 2023 11:11 AM

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The Best Milk Frothers

Photo: amazon.com

Milk frothers aerate milk by whisking or pumping it to create the tiny bubbles that bring a light, foamy texture to specialty drinks. Whether for a morning cuppa or an afternoon pick-me-up, many coffee and tea lovers enjoy owning a milk frother. Though they’re a bit of a one-trick pony, they make it possible to craft lattes, tea lattes, cappuccinos, and other dairy-based drinks from any home kitchen, so they’re well worth it for those who love serving and sipping these beverages.

Milk frothers come in manual, handheld, or countertop versions, but all of the best ones share the same few qualities. A quality model is easy to use, simple to clean, and creates a luscious foam that rivals that of a favorite coffee shop. Bring the cafe experience home with the best milk frothers ahead.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bodum Bistro Electric Milk Frother
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Breville the Milk Cafe Milk Frother
  4. BEST MANUAL: Bodum Latteo Milk Frother With Glass Handle
  5. BEST HANDHELD: Zulay Milk Boss Milk Frother With Stand
  6. BEST SETTINGS: Instant Milk Frother
  7. BEST DETACHABLE: Secura Electric Milk Frother With Removable Milk Jug
  8. BEST ACCESSORIES: FoodVille MF09 Rechargeable Milk Frother
The Best Milk Frothers Option

Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Milk Frothers

Many people like to start the day with a nice cup of coffee, and the quickest way to ruin that experience is with a finicky milk frother. For this reason, the main criteria we used to evaluate milk frothers were both ease of use and cleaning. The key features we looked for include simple controls, a design that feels comfortable in hand, and the ease with which the frother can be disassembled and cleaned.

For flexibility’s sake, we also considered the number of settings, prioritizing frothers with at least the ability to churn out hot and cold foam. Not everyone has the space for yet another gadget, so we also looked at size, taking into account how much space the frother would take in storage or on the countertop.

Since many people get a milk frother to save cash on a coffee habit, we took affordability into account as well, choosing frothers at a range of price points. Lastly, we also considered milk frothers reviews to get an idea of how well each product performed in real life at home.

Our Top Picks

There’s a milk frother out there for all types of java enjoyment, from those who want an affordable handheld frother for their Sunday coffee to serious daily drinkers willing to splurge on a countertop model. Whip up cafe-worthy drinks with one of the top-rated milk frothers in our lineup.

Best Overall

The Best Milk Frothers Option: Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother
Photo: amazon.com

The Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother looks and performs beautifully, earning it a favorable reputation amongst coffee lovers. It packs the convenience of a countertop milk frother into a small unit, measuring just under 4 inches in diameter (with the base), so it won’t crowd the countertop. The sleek design and quiet operation gives this frother extra points.

Using this frother is very simple. There’s only one button and two settings to make three preparation options. Press the button once for hot foam, or press and hold for cold foam. To prepare hot milk without foam, this model includes a separate hot milk whisk, which helps warm the milk without frothing.

For even more ease of operation, the frother automatically shuts off when the milk is ready. Since the carafe is nonstick, cleaning is a snap. As a bonus, it’s also waterproof, so there’s less to worry about if any milk or water spills.

Product Specs

  • Type: Countertop
  • Froth: Hot or cold
  • Settings: Hot or cold

Pros

  • A slim design and small footprint means this frother looks nice on the counter and won’t hog space
  • Reviewers note this unit runs quietly, which is ideal for morning use
  • With 1-button operation, this frother is very easy to use

Cons

  • Some folks may find it pricey for its rather simple features

Get the Nespresso milk frother at Amazon, Target, or Best Buy.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Milk Frothers Option: Bodum Bistro Electric Milk Frother
Photo: amazon.com

Some coffee fans opt for an at-home milk frother to save money they’d otherwise shell out at a pricey cafe. The no-frills Bodum Bistro Electric Milk Frother can help do just that, and doesn’t cost a lot either. While it doesn’t boast a bunch of fancy features, it still gets the job done at the touch of a button.

This frother can be used to heat and froth milk, or just heat milk without creating froth. It has an auto-shutoff feature to prevent milk from scalding. A downside, however, is its lack of a cold-froth setting. It’s also a bit clunkier and larger than our top pick, but for a fraction of the price, it’s a great choice for coffee fiends on a budget.

Product Specs

  • Type: Countertop
  • Froth: Hot
  • Settings: On/off

Pros

  • This milk frother is very affordable for a countertop model
  • Flexible unit; it heats up milk with options for froth or no froth to suit a variety of beverages
  • Frothing whisk is removable for easy cleaning

Cons

  • Lacks a cold-foam feature so it’s only suitable for hot drinks

Get the Bodum Bistro milk frother at Amazon, Target, or Wayfair.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Milk Frothers Option: Breville the Milk Cafe Milk Frother
Photo: amazon.com

Serious coffee aficionados who want a sleek machine should consider Breville’s the Milk Cafe Milk Frother, which offers a range of features that go above and beyond the standard. One of the main draws is the frother’s adjustable temperature. Users can make a cold froth or hot froth ranging from “Warm” (around 120 degrees Fahrenheit) to “Hot” (around 160 degrees Fahrenheit). Using induction heating, the frother heats milk gently and evenly to prevent scalding.

This milk frother has a larger capacity than most others, which are only designed to froth enough milk for one or two drinks at a time. The large carafe holds up to 3 cups of frothed milk. Plus, since the stainless steel carafe is also detachable and dishwasher-safe, cleaning couldn’t be easier.

Product Specs

  • Type: Countertop
  • Froth: Hot or cold
  • Settings: Cold Stir, Warm, Optimum Temperature, Hot

Pros

  • Adjustable temperature settings offer more flexibility than most frothers
  • Has 2 whisking disc options: 1 for lattes and 1 for cappuccinos
  • Dishwasher-safe carafe makes cleanup very easy

Cons

  • High-end features make this frother fairly expensive
  • At 10.4 inches high by 6.4 inches wide by 6.4 inches deep, it’s on the larger side, so it will take up more counter space than some models

Get the Breville milk frother at Amazon, Wayfair, or ABT.

Best Manual

The Best Milk Frothers Option: Bodum Latteo Milk Frother With Glass Handle
Photo: amazon.com

The Bodum Latteo Milk Frother With Glass Handle brings milk frothing back to basics, requiring a little elbow grease to froth milk. Users pour the milk into the carafe, pop on the lid, and pump the handle up and down to froth. The upside of this process is that no batteries or electricity is required. Though simple, this manual frother packs several user-friendly features into its simple design.

The glass jug that is microwave-safe to simplify heating the milk. The jug also see-through, making it easy to determine when the milk is adequately frothed. A pouring spout and curved handle make it comfortable to hold and use. All parts of this frother are dishwasher-safe, so simply pop it in the machine for an easy clean.

Product Specs

  • Type: Manual
  • Froth: Hot or cold (requires preheating)
  • Settings: N/A

Pros

  • See-through glass jug allows users to see when the milk is frothed
  • Large jug handle and pump handle make this frother comfortable to use
  • All of the components are dishwasher-safe to simplify cleaning

Cons

  • This frother carafe is made of glass, so it is breakable

Get the Bodum Latteo milk frother at Amazon or Wayfair.

Best Handheld

The Best Milk Frothers Option: Zulay Milk Boss Milk Frother With Stand
Photo: amazon.com

It’s hard to beat the overall convenience of a handheld milk frother. These small battery-powered devices have a handle on one end and a whisk on the other. To froth milk, simply place the whisking end in a cup of milk and turn on the device. The Zulay Milk Boss Milk Frother hardly takes up any space in a kitchen drawer, yet it’s powerful enough to produce frothy milk in minutes. Beyond frothing milk, Zulay recommends using it to mix matcha drinks and quickly stir together other liquids.

Due to its stainless steel wand, cleanup is easy. Just whisk the frother in soapy water, rinse, and let it dry. For countertop storage, this frother comes with a metal storage stand. To suit any personality, this frother is available in a rainbow of fun colors.

Product Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Froth: Hot or cold (requires preheating)
  • Settings: On/off

Pros

  • Rotating 12,500 times per minute, this is a powerful handheld frother
  • Shoppers can choose from a wide array of color options just for fun
  • Frother comes with a stand for display or storage

Cons

  • Unit requires 2 AA batteries, which are not included

Get the Zulay milk frother at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Target.

Best Settings

The Best Milk Frothers Option: Instant Milk Frother
Photo: bestbuy.com

When it comes to countertop milk frothers, the more settings, the more versatility. The Instant Milk Frother has four settings to suit different preferences and drink types: cold foam, warm foam, thick warm foam, and warming without foaming. These options give users options to customize drinks, like using a lighter foam for a latte and a thicker foam for a cappuccino. Two-button controls simplify choosing the mode and switching on the frother.

Besides its settings range, this milk frother is also comfortable to use. It has a pitcher shape with a spout and a side handle for a more controlled pour. For safety’s sake, the exterior of the frother stays cool to the touch, even when it’s heating up milk.

Product Specs

  • Type: Countertop
  • Froth: Hot or cold
  • Settings: Cold foam, warm foam, thick warm foam, and warming without foaming

Pros

  • Frother has 4 settings to control temperature and foam
  • The frother exterior always stays cool to the touch to prevent injury
  • A pour spout and large handle offer good pouring control

Cons

  • This unit is large and rather bulky; it does not look sleek

Get the Instant Milk Frother at Ace Hardware, Target, or Best Buy.

Best Detachable

The Best Milk Frothers Option: Secura Electric Milk Frother With Removable Milk Jug
Photo: amazon.com

One issue with many countertop milk frothers is that they’re difficult to clean. The Secura Electric Milk Frother solves this problem with a detachable, dishwasher-safe stainless steel carafe. Plus, it’s equipped with a proper spout and a stay-cool handle, which makes it well designed for pouring and even creating latte art—like a pretty heart or swirl.

This frother comes with a heating whisk and a frothing disk, giving users the option to either to heat milk (no froth) or froth cold or hot milk. This frother also has a hot chocolate setting to mix hot chocolate powder and milk, along with creating a small amount of froth to make a rich drink that’s not overwhelmed with foam. When not in use, the other whisk can be stored magnetically on the frother base to ensure it won’t get lost.

Product Specs

  • Type: Countertop
  • Froth: Hot or cold
  • Settings: Hot milk/foam, hot chocolate, cold foam

Pros

  • Carafe is easy to clean since it’s detachable and dishwasher-safe
  • Comfortable handle and pour spout make this unit especially user-friendly
  • When the whisk is not in use, it can be kept in the magnetic whisk storage slot

Cons

  • Some users note this unit is quite loud

Get the Secura milk frother at Amazon.

Best Accessories

The Best Milk Frothers Option: FoodVille MF09 Rechargeable Milk Frother
Photo: amazon.com

In some kitchens, there’s just no space for devices with a singular use. The FoodVille MF09 Rechargeable Milk Frother offers more uses than the average handheld milk frother with a few settings and extra attachments.

Three speed settings give users the flexibility to choose their frothing intensity. Along with a milk frother, this device also comes with two handy accessories: There’s a balloon whisk that’s excellent for tasks like beating eggs or whipping cream as well as what FoodVille calls a dough hook. However, that attachment isn’t really suitable for mixing dough but rather for mixing powders (like powdered milk or protein powders) into liquid.

This frother is rechargeable and comes with a charging base and cable, although it also has a built-in charging port so users can plug it right into the outlet.

Product Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Froth: Hot or cold (requires preheating)
  • Settings: 3 speed settings

Pros

  • Frother comes with 3 attachment options to do more than just make milk foamy
  • 3 speed settings offer even more flexibility for other mixing tasks
  • Unlike many handheld frothers, this one is rechargeable and does not use disposable batteries

Cons

  • It’s not as sturdy as an electric mixer, so it’s only suitable for light-duty mixing jobs

Get the FoodVille milk frother at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks

 

What to Consider When Choosing a Milk Frother 

Milk frothers agitate the milk to introduce air, creating a lighter, foamier milk, whereas milk steamers use hot, high-pressure steam to aerate and heat the milk, making a thicker, velvety foam. Steamers are technically different products from frothers (they’re usually found on espresso machines or some dual coffee makers), and this guide focuses on frothers only. The features to consider when choosing a milk frother include the device type, settings, milk type, attachments, and ease of cleaning.

Type

There are a few different types of milk frothers, including manual, handheld, and countertop, which we break down in more detail ahead:

  • Manual: A manual milk frother looks similar to a French press with a jug that holds the milk and a perforated plunger that froths the milk. These milk frothers are affordable and don’t require an additional power source. Manual frothers can’t heat milk and usually only froth enough milk for one drink at a time.
  • Handheld: A handheld milk frother resembles a small wand with a handle at one end and small whisking end at the other. These devices are battery-powered and can use either disposable or rechargeable batteries. Due to their smaller size, handheld frothers are portable and easy to store. Most only have the power to froth only a cup of milk at a time; they also won’t heat milk.
  • Countertop: A countertop milk frother, also known as an automatic or electric milk frother, is the most hands-off option, frothing milk at the touch of a button. As the name suggests, they typically need to plug into an outlet to run. These frothers usually have a carafe with a frothing disk inside. Some will froth one serving of milk at a time, while others can handle several servings. They can have a range of convenient settings, and some countertop frothers have an element to heat the milk as it froths.

Settings  

Manual and handheld milk frothers are simple. Manual models don’t have settings; it’s up to good old elbow grease to operate them—plunging gently up and down. Handheld milk frothers also rarely have settings. Most can just switch on or off with the touch of a button, although some do have whisking speed options.

Countertop milk frothers can have different settings depending on the complexity of the device. Some simpler versions don’t have settings, while others have a range of controls. Some setting options include a cold-froth option, temperature settings, foam-level settings, and modes to make the ideal foam for different coffee drinks (for example, lattes or cappuccinos).

Milk 

When using a milk frother, the resulting foam will differ from milk to milk. The foam texture depends on the milk’s fat and protein content, where a higher fat and protein content results in a richer foam. For example, whole milk is often considered the best milk for frothing because of its high fat and protein. Among nondairy milk alternatives, different types also produce different foam textures. When it comes to milk alternatives, look for options labeled “barista style,” which are formulated to froth similarly to dairy milk.

Milk can be frothed cold or hot, depending on the intended drink. When making hot drinks, the ideal temperature for milk is between about 140 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit. For manual, handheld, and some countertop milk frothers, it’s necessary to heat the milk before frothing. Countertop milk frothers with a built-in heater warm the milk while frothing, so there’s no need for preheating. Some countertop frothers also have a cold-froth option. Look for this feature if cold drinks are a priority since some countertop frothers only work for hot drinks.

Attachments

Some countertop frothers come with different whisk attachments for different froth textures—usually one to create a denser foam and another to make a lighter, airier foam.

Milk frothers are generally viewed as a single-use device, but that’s not always the case. They can also be useful to mix other drinks (like hot chocolate, protein drinks, or even cocktails), stir sauces, whip up eggs for a scramble, or fluff up batters.

Handheld milk frothers are generally the best for these versatile uses. Firstly, they are very easy to clean, so there’s less concern about leftover residue making it into the next cup of coffee. Secondly, some handheld frothers include extra attachments to tackle these other cooking tasks. The most common attachment is a balloon whisk attachment, which turns the frother into a small low-power electric beater. Other attachment options include small dough hooks or mixing attachments, which can help stir dressings or sauces without aerating them too much.

Cleaning

It’s essential to clean the milk frother after every use. Since frothed milk can be unpleasant to clean when it dries, ease of cleaning is an important factor. Manual frothers don’t have a power source, so they’re usually the easiest to clean because the entire appliance can be submerged. With handheld frothers, cleaning is also pretty simple by just washing the frothing head.

Countertop frothers can be more challenging to clean, so look for one that easily disassembles. With many countertop frothers, users need to take care to only clean inside the carafe and avoid wetting the outside where the electronic controls are. However, to make cleaning easier, some countertop frothers have a carafe and whisk separate from the base, which makes it possible to soak these items. Some are even dishwasher-safe for truly straightforward cleaning.

Tips for Using a Milk Frother

Milk frothers are fairly simple to use, but it’s important to use them correctly to get consistent results. It’s best to follow the directions included with the milk frother, but here are some general usage tips:

Milk expands when it’s frothed (sometimes doubling in volume), so to prevent a mess, don’t overfill the frother. Many manual and countertop frothers have a maximum fill indicator line to prevent the foam from overflowing. When using a handheld frother, fill the cup up to the halfway point, at most.

When using a nonheating frother to foam milk for heated drinks, it’s usually best to preheat the milk. Do this in the microwave or a saucepan, taking care not to scald it. Exacting folks can use a thermometer to check that milk is between 140 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit—the ideal temperature for many coffee drinks.

Hot milk quickly creates a skin when it’s left to cool, so it’s best to empty and rinse out the milk frother immediately after use. Also clean the frother as directed between uses, but a quick rinse can prevent any residue from sticking right away. Always clean the frother as directed, especially countertop frothers. Improper cleaning of countertop frothers can damage the electronic components and break the device.

In short, a few simple tips include:

  • Do not overfill the milk frother.
  • When needed, heat the milk before frothing.
  • Empty and rinse the frother immediately after use.
  • Clean the frother as directed each time.

FAQs 

Q. How do coffee shops froth milk?

Instead of frothing milk, coffee shops usually steam milk using a steaming wand attached to the espresso machine. This creates a silky and delicious foam. At-home milk frothers can create a similar (although usually lighter) foam to let folks replicate their favorite coffee shop treat.

Q. Do milk frothers really work? 

Yes, milk frothers really do work! They aerate the milk to create a foamy, silky texture, ideal for a range of coffee drinks.

Q. Should you froth with cold or hot milk?

Both cold and hot milk can be frothed; choose the appropriate temperature based on the drink.

Q. Can you froth almond milk, oat milk, and coconut milk?

Yes, it’s possible to froth almond, oat, and coconut milk. In fact, these three are some of the top nondairy milk alternatives for frothing.

Q. What drinks can you make with a milk frother?

You can use a milk frother to make any drink that calls for frothed milk, like lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, cortados, tea lattes, and more.

Q. How do you froth milk without a frother?

Wondering how to froth milk without a frother? Any device that can rapidly churn milk can produce a milk froth—for example, a blender, immersion blender, or electric mixer. If you don’t have any of these appliances, froth milk the old-fashioned way by pouring it into a large jar, screwing on the lid, and shaking vigorously until the milk increases in volume.

Why Trust Bob Vila 

Bob Vila has been a trusted source for home improvement tips for decades. The writing team at BobVila.com continues this helpful tradition, researching and vetting products to make life at home better. This piece was written by Jasmine Harding, a coffee and tea enthusiast who doesn’t let a day go by without a latte. Since she works from home, most of hers are made in her kitchen with a handheld milk frother. She consulted trusted third-party sources to narrow down the best milk frothers for fellow coffee lovers, taking shopper reviews into account to find the top at-home frothers.