The 7 Best Milk Frothers to Use at Home

Your latte game is about to get a major upgrade.

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SMEG, powerlix, and miroco milk brothers
Verishop / Amazon / Taotronics

The best lattes and cappuccinos are only as good as their signature foamy tops. Even with a premium espresso machine or drip coffee maker, that frothy milk is an essential element to both the taste and the art of coffee. That's why a milk frother is a necessary piece of equipment for serious coffee drinkers as well as hot chocolate fans.

We research dozens of popular milk frothers of all varieties, including a few favorites we use regularly at home. After examining a wide array of features, volumes, and froth types, we determined that the best overall milk frother is The Milk Café from Breville. Read on for all the details on the best milk frothers to buy in every category.

Best Overall: Breville Milk Cafe Frother

4.3
Breville Milk Cafe Milk Frother

Pros: This frother has the most precise and versatile temperature setting options, and it's easy to clean.
Cons: It does require some storage space and makes more foam than one person might need.

For households that want user-friendly precision for lattes and cappuccinos, The Milk Café by Breville is the ultimate tool. It has several features that set it apart from the rest, the first being the variable settings knob. The dial can fine-tune the froth from 120 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as cold stir or warm milk without frothing. That means your latte or cappuccino foam can be exactly as hot or ready-to-sip as you need it to be (it's great for moderating the temperature for hot chocolate for kids as well). This frother can whip up hot chocolate in minutes by just adding powder, flakes, or syrup into the heating milk. The settings are also fully automatic, so you can set it and let it run until the auto-shutoff kicks in at the perfect temperature and consistency.

Another big asset for Breville's frother is the stainless steel container's volume—it can make up to three cups of frothed milk at once. The measurements in the interior note exactly how much volume is required to heat or froth, and the removable cap insert also has measurements for adding the correct amount of cocoa for hot chocolate. Since it works by induction, the jug itself is dishwasher-safe, and it detaches from the base for easy pouring from the spout.

There are two froth disc options: latte or cappuccino. They both attach magnetically inside the container and offer either smooth, silky foam or thicker, cloudlike foam. A notch on the back of the frother easily stores whichever disc isn't being used. Both discs are also dishwasher-friendly. The base also contains a built-in cord wrap, which makes for cleaner storage, as well.

The Milk Café is not as quiet as smaller models while it operates, but the sound is no more aggressive than the coffee grinder you're probably using anyway. For smaller households it might require more milk and produce more froth than necessary. With all factors considered, overall the high-quality operation, variable settings, and ease of cleanup and maintenance make this our favorite pick for a milk frother at home.

  • Capacity: 25 ounces
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 6 x 10.25 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Accessories: 2 frothing discs; measuring cap
  • Price at time of publish: $150

Best Value: Miroco Stainless Steel Milk Steamer and Automatic Foam Maker

Miroco Stainless Steel Milk Steamer and Automatic Foam Maker

Taotronics

Pros: Low-fuss and easy-to-use, this frother both heats and froths well.
Cons: There's a minimal range for coffee drinkers who are seeking a very specific temperature or microfoam.

For a quality tool at a more approachable price, Miroco's milk frothers are an excellent choice. The MI-MF001 version (which includes a handle) has all the features your standard coffee drinks will require. It runs on batteries which means no fussing with cords for storage or portability. It has a decent volume at 8 ounces heated and 4 ounces frothed, and although it isn't dishwasher-safe, the non-stick interior wipes clean easily.

The Miroco frother has two settings and two whisks types (with an extra set as a backup) that allow for heating milk, frothing cold milk, or frothing hot milk. It's much quieter while operating than some of the bigger competitors and also features an auto-shut off, so nothing will overheat or send the froth out of control. The spout and handle make it simple to pour, and the interior also has marks to indicate where to fill for heating or frothing milk. It's a handy, affordable tool that'll make most daily coffee drinkers happy.

  • Capacity: 8.1 ounces for heating, 2.5 ounces for frothing
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.10 x 7.28 x 4.25 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Accessories: 2 heating whisks, 2 frothing whisks
  • Price at time of publish: $41

Best Barista-Style: Bellman Stovetop Steamer

Bellman Stovetop Steamer

Prima-Coffee

Pros: Thanks to the classic steam method typically used for latte art, it creates the best microfoam.
Cons: Some patience and technique are required.

For anyone who wishes they owned a full-service espresso machine setup with all the bells and whistles but lacks the counter space (or thousands of dollars), this quality stovetop steamer is the answer for heating and frothing milk all at once. Treat it like a tea kettle—fill it with up to 30 ounces of water (stopping short of the safety valve), screw the knob on so no pressure can escape, and set it on an electric or gas stove to heat for three to five minutes. You'll hear and see steam once it's fully pressurized. The two-hole steam tip works to create superior "microfoam" from a constant stream of steam into the mug of milk, creating a vortex for that signature latte art consistency.

The Bellman is portable and works well even for camping. Make sure to purge the steamer after use to prevent any leftover condensation in the steam arm (or milk remnants at the tip), and be mindful of the body of the tool, which will get scorching hot. It's easy to clean with soap and water and doesn't require batteries or electricity for an ideally consistent, heated milk froth.

  • Capacity: 30 ounces
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 8.5 x 8 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Price at time of publish: $109

Best Manual: HIC Fino Milk Frother

4.8
HIC Fino Milk Frother

Amazon

Pros: No batteries, electricity, or special technique are required to froth milk with this tool.
Cons: You'll need to heat the milk first before pouring it in the cup to froth.

Sometimes with kitchen tools it's nice to rely on something more simple, and a manual milk frother is just that. Easy to operate and easy to clean, Fino Kitchen's milk frother can froth hot or cold beverages in 60 seconds using a plunger much like a French press. The double-mesh aerator makes for acceptably fluffy foam, and the 14-ounce capacity leaves plenty for a couple of cups.

This pick is also the best option for non-dairy milks, since it won't scorch or curdle goat, hemp, oat or almond varieties. The manual operation makes it easy to decide exactly the froth consistency you require, and the small pitcher stores easily alongside the mugs in your cabinet. It's also top-rack safe for the dishwasher—an easy option for a low-maintenance frother.

  • Capacity: 14 ounces
  • Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 3.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Price at time of publish: $23

Related: 9 Top-Rated Coffee Makers 2020, According to Reviews

Best Handheld: PowerLix Milk Frother

PowerLix Milk Frother

Amazon

Pros: Portable, storable, and undeniably easy to use for precise frothing at home.
Cons: The wand can't heat milk and won't work as well for more than one cup at a time.

The PowerLix milk frother has a powerful motor in a compact, handy wand. The obvious benefit is that it stores away easily in a utensil drawer, but it does compete with most mid-range frothers despite its handheld size. The 18/10 stainless steel is easy to clean and resists rusting. It comes with a handy stainless steel milk pitcher, a stand, and coffee art stencils, if you're moved to make latte art.

The wand froths hot or cold milk in under 60 seconds, and it works best on whole milk (as is the case for most frothers). It takes two AA batteries to kick into gear, and they're not included. Despite the 19,000 RPMs the frother is also very quiet, which is handy for households with sleeping children or spouses working from home in the next room. Overall, this frother is a quality choice at an extremely reasonable price.

  • Capacity: Up to 12 ounces
  • Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Dimensions: 9.7 x 0.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Accessories: Stand, milk pitcher, and coffee art stencils
  • Price at time of publish: $25

Pros: The retro aesthetic is attractive, the large capacity is great for families, and two discs allow for more precise froth styles.
Cons: It takes up a lot of counter space if you aren't storing it in a cabinet.

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. It does all styles of froth and makes exceptional hot chocolate—all with the signature Smeg retro look. The Tritan lid won't crack or discolor, and it includes a measuring cup. It does require some counter space and storage space, so if those are at a premium, you might opt for a different tool.

The Smeg has a built-in cord wrap for storage and rubber non-slip feet so it won't slip on the countertop. There are two whisks, a notched one for hot/cold froth and hot chocolate, and a flat one meant for hot milk. Both the hot and cold frothing options can have thick or light froth. It comes in six eye-catching classic colors fit for a Vespa, and at 500 watts it could probably power one. The style and capabilities come at a cost, but if you are into a statement piece for your coffee station or are planning on giving a generous gift, this is the frother to buy.

  • Capacity: 20 ounces for heating, 8.5 ounces for frothing
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 9.2 x 13 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Accessories: Notched whisk and flat whisk
  • Price at time of publish: $230

Best Automatic: Nespresso Aeroccino 4 Milk Frother

4.2
Nespresso Aeroccino4

Pros: The buttons are easy to use, and it works extremely quickly, at higher heat than less-expensive competitors.
Cons: The price isn't far off from models with more advanced and precise setting options.

You might not adhere to the pod life when it comes to coffee, but Nespresso's milk frother is as efficient as its famous coffee makers. It's quiet, user-friendly, and completely dishwasher-safe. It can heat the milk up to 160 to 170 degrees (higher than less-expensive competitors). It froths up to 4.4 ounces of cold milk in just 60 seconds and heats 8 ounces of milk in under two minutes.

The frother is relatively simple with two foam consistencies and four direct buttons for cold foam, heating, dense hot froth, and airy hot froth. The features make it a good buy for anyone who is picky about their latte foam. If you love your home coffee bar, this is a great accessory.

  • Capacity: 8.2 ounces hot milk, 4 ounces froth
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7 x 8.25 inches
  • Materials: Chrome
  • Accessories: One whisk for all functions
  • Price at time of publish: $120

Conclusion

The best milk frother for you depends on your drink preferences and your household. All things considered, the best option with precise frothing and versatile features is The Milk Café by Breville (view at Williams Sonoma). For a more portable and budget-friendly option, the PowerLix Handheld Frother is the next best choice overall.

Factors to Consider

Types of Milk Frothers

Milk frothers come in two styles: ones that heat and ones that just froth. Depending on your drink preferences, you will get the most versatility out of a unit that heats, but these can also be significantly more expensive and larger to store. Frothers that just froth are usually small, stick-style tools that you can easily stash in a drawer. One benefit of a stick frother is an ability to adjust the amount of frothed milk you can create, whereas the pitcher style limits you to a pre-set volume of milk, which may mean multiple batches to serve several people.

Heating frothers usually consist of a base and a removable pitcher. In both cases, you will find both corded and cordless versions. Rechargeable cordless versions can be great, but have different battery life capacities, so if you are going to be making a large volume of drinks at once, you might want the extra oomph of a corded model.

Preferred Drinks

Milk frothers are often used for making barista-style cappuccinos, flat whites, and lattes at home without a giant espresso machine with a steam attachment. But it also can make for extra-special hot chocolate or frothy chocolate milk, or make a sweet foam that can be a fun garnish for a dessert.

Cleaning

In general, you should follow the instructions that came with your unit. Many frothers have dishwasher-safe parts, but if they have a nonstick coating, you will always get a longer life out of them by hand-washing.

Pro Panel Q+A

What does a milk frother do?

"A milk frother does just that," says Anthony Contrino, an Emmy-awarded culinary producer and the host of Saucy on NBCUniversal's streaming platform Peacock. "It froths milk by whipping or agitating the liquid to create small bubbles." The tiny bubbles create a thick foam that rises to the top of either hot or cold dairy-based beverages.

Do milk frothers heat milk?

"It depends on the actual type and brand; some do and some don't. A handheld device will just agitate the milk, while larger electric varieties will both heat and froth," says Contrino.

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

"Most plant-based milks will froth well, especially those with higher protein and fat contents. The more fat, the more luxurious the foam will be," says Contrino. If you choose low-fat or fat-free versions of plant milks, you will get minimal foaming, but there are also plant-based milks that are specially designed for foaming. Look for ones labeled extra-rich or barista style.

Our Expertise

Our team researches the top tools on the market today to develop a comprehensive list across all categories. The piece was updated by Megan Soll, the Senior Commerce Editor for Food & Wine. She has been writing, editing, and developing kitchen product reviews and content for four years. She is something of a coffee obsessive (she owns more mugs than she probably should) and is always on the lookout for what's new with coffee accessories and gadgets.

This piece was also updated by Stacey Ballis, a freelance writer, recipe developer, and product reviewer. Stacey has been published on Food & Wine, Eating Well, Allrecipes, MyRecipes, Delish, and more.

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