If you ask coffee aficionados what their favorite brew is, take a seat — you’re in for a long-winded story! But asking about the best milk frother often requires mere seconds of thought before receiving an answer. Frothing milk doesn’t need as many complicated steps, ingredients, or methods to achieve the perfect foam.
Best Milk Frother – Comparison Table
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But like brewing coffee, there are several ways you can foam milk, and everyone has their preferred method.
Whether you’re a novice barista or want to impress your snobby java friends, we’re here to help. There are several kinds of milk frothers, each with its own set of pros and cons. Our guide will help navigate through the ever-growing market of milk frothers so you can make an educated, budget-friendly decision.
What Is a Milk Frother?
If you’re reading this, chances are you already know what a milk frother is. But in case you don’t, let us explain. A milk frother adds air to milk by vigorously moving the milk in a circular motion. It adds texture and volume to the milk.
The milk separates into two layers: liquid and thick, frothy foam. This foam is the perfect addition to coffee to make foamy cappuccinos and hot chocolate. It’s warm, delicious, and adds a touch of whimsy to any hot beverage.
Foam vs. Steamed Milk: What’s the Difference?
Image source: Pexels
While they may sound similar, there is a stark difference between foamed and steamed milk. The best milk frother adds warmth, texture, and volume to the average container of milk. Frothing milk, however, does not leave a rich velvet-like finish.
The trick to adding that smooth finish is steaming rather than foaming milk. Steaming milk uses pressurized steam to heat the milk and add that beautiful velveteen finish. Instead of the large bubbles caused by foaming, steaming results in tiny, uniform bubbles called microfoam.
Most at-home brewers like using the best milk frother instead of steamers because the process requires less technical skill. Plus, steaming requires an espresso machine with a stainless steel wand. Meanwhile, there are several ways of frothing milk.
Are There Different Kinds of Milk Frothers?
Yes! There is no one-kind-fits-all solution when it comes to the best milk frother. Finding which one works for you depends on how often you use it, your budget, and your personal preference.
We’ll go through all three kinds of milk frothers so finding the right one for you is easy.
Hand pump milk frothers
As its name suggests, hand-pumped milk frothers are manual contraptions to froth your milk. You’ll need plenty of time, strength, and stamina to achieve your desired frothiness. Chilled milk (not room temperature or warm) garners the fastest result.
Hand-pumped milk frothers are either made of glass or stainless steel. Stainless steel ones are more popular, although you’ll have to peek inside every once in a while to check the milk and see if it is thick enough. You don’t have to open glass milk frothers at all, as you’ll be able to see if the milk is frothed to your liking.
Motorized wand milk frothers
Motorized wands use electricity to aerate the milk by spinning it in a circular motion. These are handheld instruments either battery-powered or plugged into an outlet. These are reasonably easy to use, small, and inexpensive. For some, this may be the best milk frother for pure convenience and budget’s sake.
They are generally made of plastic while the wand which touches the milk is stainless steel. Some are dishwasher safe while others are not. While it does not take as much effort to use as a hand-pumped milk frother, it does require some technique to achieve desired results.
Electric milk frothers
An electric milk frother is the most expensive kind available on the market but also the easiest to use. It does not require any prior knowledge or milk frothing technique and is also a lot faster than the other two methods. Just pour your milk into the frother, plug it in, turn it on, and you’ll have perfectly foamy dairy in a few minutes.
The downside is that they are usually expensive. These milk frothers cost anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on the manufacturer and its capacity. Make sure to shop around and read customer reviews before buying an electric milk frother.
How We Reviewed
To find the best milk frother, we looked into several makes, models, and types of frothers. We’ve selected a handful of electric, hand-pumped, and wand milk frothers by looking at their overall star rating. We also took real customer reviews and feedback into consideration before making our final decision.
Choosing the Best Milk Frother
We’ve included the best frothers from all three categories mentioned above. Take your budget, frothing knowledge, and living situation into consideration before making your final decision.
First, we’ll look at the no-hassle, no-cords-needed manual pump milk frothers. Roll up your sleeves and grease up your elbows: it’s time to flex those muscles! Achieving the perfect foamy milk only happens with a few minutes of effort.
The Ninja Easy Milk Frother is part of the Ninja Coffee Bar set. However, many purchase it separately without having any of the other components simply because it’s a great milk frother.
You might think the container looks similar to a french press — and that’s because it does. The process is practically identical except with a milk frother, you’ll need to repeat it over and over again. While cold milk usually gets better results, you can use warm milk as well (if you’re mixing it with coffee afterward).
Pour milk into the glass carafe (we recommend a quarter full up to halfway full). Next, place the plunger and its lid onto the carafe. Hold the top with one hand and use the plunger to froth the milk using an up and down motion for several minutes.
Don’t be discouraged if this takes more than two to three minutes. Chances are you’ll spend more than five minutes doing this, but the results are worth it.
The glass beaker is dishwasher-safe. All other parts need a rinse with hot, soapy water. This milk frother is available wherever Ninja Coffee Bar sets are sold, as well as via third-party retailers and the manufacturer’s website.
There is no warranty information available regarding this milk frother from the manufacturer. However, Amazon usually has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Bellemain Stainless Steel Hand Pump Milk Frother from Amazon is our second choice for the best milk frother for those who dislike electric frothers. It works the same way at our aforementioned manual pump but is slightly smaller and is made of stainless steel.
In terms of material in regards to texture, there is no significant difference between using glass versus stainless steel. The only big difference is visibility: You know how much foam is enough by looking at the container. Meanwhile, with stainless steel containers, you can only judge by peering inside every once in a while.
The stainless steel parts are dishwasher safe. However, we recommend washing the interior pieces in warm soapy water, as they are delicate. Because no electricity is needed and is made of durable stainless steel, this 14-ounce hand pump travels well.
Over 80 percent of customers gave the Bellemain a 5-star review, which speaks volumes to its quality. The manufacturer provides a two-year warranty.
Now we’ll look at some of the best electric wand (also known as handheld) milk frothers. Measuring a mere 11 inches in height and weighing less than 4 ounces, the Elementi Milk Frother is the little device that can.
Available in both black and red, this milk frother promises fluffy, delicious foam in a mere 30 seconds. Using it is also a breeze. Fill cup three-quarters of the way with milk, tip the stainless steel whisk into the milk and click the button at the top.
The manufacturer describes the motor as high-torque, which means your milk froths up much faster than even the best milk frother using a manual pump. It’s corded so while it may get in the way sometimes, you’ll never run out of power.
While none of its pieces are dishwasher-safe, it’s relatively easy to wash up, as it is stainless steel. Wash with warm, soapy water and either blot or air dry. Also included in this package is a stand to keep your frother off the surface when not in use.
The manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee if the wand never rusts. They also have a general 2-year warranty if you are not satisfied with the product for whatever reason.
Our second option is a cordless, rechargeable milk frother as well as a handheld mini whisk. The FoodVille MF02 Rechargeable Milk Frother on Amazon features three RPMs (rotations per minute): 19000, 21000, and 2300. The higher the speed, the less time necessary to create your white foam.
The manufacturer claims to have a premium motor that is vastly superior to other milk frothers. And considering this package brings both a milk frother as well as a mini balloon whisk, it definitely needs one. The whisk attachment is useful to whisk anything from eggs for an omelet to small batches of cake batter for a sweet treat.
This device’s defining feature is its rechargeable battery, which eliminates the need for a cord. This means it’s never in the way when you’re making a cup of frothy milk for your next macchiato. The manufacturer doesn’t state how long the battery lasts but when it does die, the USB connector makes it easy to recharge.
It’s only available online using third-party sellers such as Amazon, which is a bummer if you want to buy it in person.
The manufacturer offers a three-year warranty, including a free replacement policy and a money-back guarantee if you dislike the device for any reason.
If you often prepare foamy milk for macchiatos or cappuccinos, purchasing a sizeable electric milk frother might be your best bet. They’re much simpler to use than manual pump milk frothers and less time-consuming than wands.
Some, like the Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother from Amazon, have the option of frothing the milk or just warming it up. It holds 250 milliliters of milk; however, you should only use 125 milliliters for foamed milk. Filing it halfway gives the milk enough room to aerate and bubble appropriately.
Once you’ve filled the stainless steel container, plug it in, and press the on button. Then select either the warming button or the frothing button.
There is also a third option when you click and hold the frothing button for two seconds. The light turns blue instead of red. This function is for cold foam, which may sound strange at first. After all, isn’t foamy milk always warm?
But the Secura can froth milk without actually warming it. This is useful mostly for cold drinks (such as iced coffee), where you don’t want the hot foam to heat your cool drink.
This 120-Volt electric milk frother package includes a tall brush for cleaning the interior, stainless steel mechanism. Use warm soapy water and a soft sponge to clean the kettle’s non-stick interior, preferably right after use. As this is an electric appliance, none of the parts are dishwasher-safe.
The Secura costs are significantly more than the other milk frothers. The manufacturer also includes a two-year warranty.
VAVA Milk Frother
The second best milk frother we’ve chosen in the electric category is the VAVA Milk Frother. Although the stainless steel milk frother body is the same, four handle colors are available: black, blue, red, and purple. Only the black-handled frother is currently available on Amazon, so we’ll focus on that one.
The VAVA milk frother looks very similar to the previous model except for its handle design. It also offers three settings: warming, frothing, and cold froth.
This milk frother follows similar recommendations for capacity for warming as well as frothing milk: 240 millimeters for warming and 115 for frothing. It also boasts a super-quiet, near-silent motor, so your morning quiet isn’t disturbed by a rumbling machine.
If you were using a wand or manual frother, we would recommend using skim milk. Using skim milk is easier for beginners as it has the greatest chance of producing foam.
Whole milk produces more sturdy foam but is the hardest to achieve and best left to the professionals. However, since this is an automatic frother, feel free to use whole milk as the machine does all the work.
The one significant difference between VAVA and Secura is the warranty. While Secura offers a two-year warranty, the VAVA only provides a 90-day warranty.
Verdict: Which Is the Best Milk Frother?
Choosing the best milk frother, in the end, is indeed a decision based on budget, convenience, and usage. If you’re an avid coffee lover, chances are you own an espresso machine with a built-in frother.
But if you don’t have a built-in frother, we would take our chances on one of the inexpensive wand milk frothers.
The best milk frother in our opinion for beginners is the FoodVille’s rechargeable handheld milk frother. It’s small, powerful, and doesn’t come with annoying cords that get in the way while in use. While it does not include a stand like the Elementi, it does come with a mini balloon whisk, which is very handy for small jobs.
Which type of foam do you drink more — hot or cold? Tell us all about your favorite coffee drink in the comments!