The best lattes and cappuccinos are only as good as their signature foamy tops. Even with a premium espresso machine, French press, or drip coffee maker, that frothy milk is an essential element to both the taste and art of coffee. That's why a milk frother is a necessary piece of equipment for serious coffee and hot chocolate lovers.
We found some of the most popular milk frothers, including a few favorites we use regularly at home. Read on for all the details on which milk frothers to buy, and the best in every category. Your latte game is about to get a major upgrade.
Your favorite coffee shop will always employ a tool that heats and froths the milk, making the ideal foam and consistency those classic drinks require. Like any useful kitchen appliance, you want your milk frother to be easy to clean, or even dishwasher-safe where applicable. Short on kitchen outlets? You'll want a frother powered by regular or rechargeable batteries. Need foam for the whole family? A larger size is a great idea. No storage space for another piece of equipment? A handheld frother can fit easily in a utensil drawer.
Frothers these days are not dissimilar to blenders in terms of portability and well, ability. The handheld frother is like the immersion blender: nifty and quick, but it can't heat your soup for you like the powerful Vitamix, or in milk frothers' case, a Breville or a SMEG. As mentioned above, milk frothers can run the gamut in terms of technology, size, and power.
A low-maintenance, good value option is the handheld milk frother variety, a zippy tool that runs on batteries and works best when foaming pre-heated milk. There are manual frothers that work much like a French press and electric options that are smaller than the large-volume tools with jug attachments. The automatic tools are great to set and let them run to the optimal temperature and froth consistency. It all depends on your budget and how hands-on you want your frothing system to be. Read on for all the specifics on our favorite frothing machines.
This little electric milk frother hits all the high notes. It's easy to use, with four simple settings for hot fluffy foam, hot dense foam, heating milk, and frothing cold milk for iced drinks. It's not oversized, so easily fits in a cabinet, and the nonstick interior makes cleaning a breeze. Though it recommends whole milk I've used the tool with both non-fat milk and even a protein shake with great results. At just under $40 it's an excellent choice for a tool you'll use more often than you think. It has a perfect rating from nearly 10,000 Amazon reviewers, too. It makes up to 4 ounces of froth, which is perfect for two lattes at a time.
To buy: $40 at amazon.com
Hot chocolate lovers, take note! This frother can whip up hot chocolate in minutes by just adding powder, flakes, or syrup into the heating milk. The Breville tool can make up to three cups of frothed milk at once, and since it works via induction, the jug itself is dishwasher safe, which means cleanup is simple. It’s also automatic, so once you set the dial it will turn itself off when the milk is at the optimal temperature. Comes with two frothing discs, for all your drink preferences.
To buy: $130 (originally $150) at amazon.com
The Zulay is the little frother that could. Amazon’s #1 best seller for milk frothers does exactly as advertised, all for just $20 and barely an ounce of precious kitchen cabinet space. Simply heat up your milk ahead of time and stick this tool in the cup to get things as frothy as you like. A bonus: it essentially comes in every color under the sun. Use it to whisk together protein shakes, matcha drinks, and all types of milk. Just pop in two AA batteries and you’re on your way.
To buy: $20 at amazon.com
Keep things simple with a manual milk frother that works just like a French press. This Ninja tool is fully dishwasher safe and the glass is microwaveable, so you don’t need to pour in and out of a mug just to get your flat white as you like it. It’s normally $44, but right now it’s just $20, which is a steal from such a quality brand (and the maker of our trusty air fryers).
To buy: $20 (originally $40) at amazon.com
You might not adhere to the pod life when it comes to coffee, but Nespresso’s milk frother is as efficient as its coffee maker machines. It’s quiet, portable, and completely dishwasher safe too. It can heat the milk up to 160-170 degrees (higher than less expensive competitors). It can froth up to 4.4 ounces of cold milk in just 60 seconds and can heat 8 ounces of milk in under two minutes. If you love your home coffee bar, this is the ideal accessory.
To buy: $120 at surlatable.com
The PowerLix milk frother has the same features as the Zulay with a powerful motor and stainless steel that froths milk in under 60 seconds, but it also comes with a stainless steel milk pitcher and stainless steel coffee art stencils. Latte art, anyone?
Happy shoppers have shared their favorable reviews, "No cord to deal with. Next to no counter space required and classy looking enough to leave out between uses. Simple to use and results are every bit as good as my $70+ electric Keurig."
To buy: $26 at amazon.com
As far as electric frothers go, this is one of the best-rated tools on the market. Froth hot or cold milk with a near-silent motor with two whisks for ideal heating and frothing. The handle makes the jug easy for pouring, and the interior is coated nonstick that makes cleaning a breeze as well.
Reviewers can’t get enough, as one noted, “All I can say is WOW! I have never written a review on Amazon before, but this product exceeded my expectations. It is beautiful, very well constructed, looks expensive.”
“I can easily recommend this frother since I have owned 2 other brands and neither held up over time," noted another happy shopper, "We prefer our homemade lattes to the coffee shop versions.”
To buy: $48 (originally $70) at amazon.com
This milk frother is the ultimate indulgence. It can heat a full 20 ounces of milk or froth over 8 ounces at a time, and the jug is removable, washable stainless steel. So yes, it does all styles of froth and exceptional hot chocolate, but it also has the look of a vintage sports car in Monaco. It comes in six classic colors that fit for a Vespa, and at 500 watts it could probably power one.
To buy: $200 at verishop.com
If you want the full espresso machine with a frother, you can go the whole nine yards with Breville’s luxury machine with advanced brewing technology. The steaming wand on this appliance will heat and froth milk exactly like the best coffee shops. It’s an investment, and a worthwhile one for a wedding gift, housewarming, birthday, and any special occasion in between.
To buy: $300 at williams-sonoma.com