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A milk frother works like a miniature blender to aerate milk, creating bubbles that yield a thick and luxurious foam that are essential to cappuccinos, macchiatos, and matcha lattes. But you don’t have to own a pricey espresso machine or be a certified coffee pro to use one. Thanks to a slew of at-home milk frothers on the market, you can create barista-worthy hot or cold foam for lattes, cold brew, even silky hot chocolate. Several models on the market also serve as milk steamers, perfect for no-foam lattes, flat whites, or tea lattes. Keep in mind that some are designed for optimal performance with full-fat milk only, while others are equally adept at frothing dairy-free alternatives.
Milk frothers also go way beyond the cup. They can emulsify small-batch sauces, such as salad dressing, aioli, or hollandaise. Trade-in your whisk and use a milk frother for your next batch of fluffy scrambled eggs or cloud eggs, or whizz up egg whites for classic cocktails like a whiskey sour. Steamed milk or cream can also be used to garnish soups, like this creamy sweet potato soup.
Here are the best milk frothers to stock your kitchen and step up your at-home beverage game.
Best Overall: PowerLix Handheld Battery Operated Milk Frother
This milk frother delivers coffeehouse foam in a lightweight, handheld device. It boasts a powerful motor that spins the spiral whisk at 19,000 rpm, whipping hot or cold milk into frothy goodness in under 30 seconds. Its intuitive design, with the button on top and an ergonomic handle, makes it easy to operate. Many reviewers share that it works well for blending other drinks, including bulletproof coffee and protein shakes.
It’s also easy to clean by whizzing it in a glass of hot water. We also appreciate that it comes in a rainbow range of colors and comes with its own storage stand for easy counter access. It’s moderately priced and comes with a lifetime warranty to boot, which makes it a great gift-giving option, too.
Best Overall, Runner Up: Miroco Stainless Steel Milk Steamer and Automatic Foam Maker
This automatic milk steamer effortlessly creates hot and cold foam for all manner of drinks, including cappuccinos, hot chocolate, and macchiatos. The Miroco also acts as a milk steamer, so you can create no-foam lattes and flat whites.
Heating and preparing foam in under two minutes, it wins points for design features like a sleek stainless-steel exterior, a milk level indicator to ensure the right amount, and an angled spout to minimize spillage and facilitate trying your hand at latte art. Other features include an automatic switch-off when the foam is ready, a nonstick interior, and a detachable base that makes cleanup a snap. It also comes with two replacement whisks.
For best results, it’s recommended you use whole milk with a fat content of 3 percent or more, though several users have had success with non-dairy milk, particularly ones higher in fat, such as coconut milk.
Best Budget: Bodum Schiuma Milk Frother
This handheld frother is easy to use and even easier on your wallet. It creates milk froth with the push of a button, but with just one setting—on/off—it doesn’t offer much control over the power or speed. It does provide enough power to create foam for lattes and the like, as well as for light mixing jobs like salad dressing, cocktails, and protein shakes. The flexible steel wand easily rinses clean.
You’ll need two AA batteries to operate it, and some reviewers noted frustration on difficulty inserting/replacing batteries, but it was a non-issue for others. Reviewers also noted that the frother’s power is proportional to the strength of batteries, so be sure to have extra batteries on hand. Overall, this battery-operated frother is a good pick for occasional use or if you’re curious about trying out a milk frother without a costly investment.
Related: The 7 Best Espresso Machines in 2021
Best for Non-Dairy Milk: HIC Harold Import Co. Milk Creamer Frother
This manual milk frother creates rich foam in under one minute, without the need for electricity or shelling out money for batteries.
The stainless-steel frother is easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of elbow grease—just pour milk in the 14-ounce pitcher, place the plunger inside, secure the lid, and pump the handle to froth. It works for a variety of milks, including non-dairy options such as hemp, almond, soy, or cashew milk. Reviewers concur, with soy and almond cited most often, though some note that when using non-dairy milk, more pumps are required to obtain ideal foam levels.
It wins points for being top-rack dishwasher safe, while its lightweight and portable design make it a perfect travel companion for camping or road trips, too.
Best for Hot Chocolate: Secura 4-in-1 Electric Automatic Milk Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker
If you’re looking to create serious foam volume at the push of a button, this automatic milk frother is for you. With its large volume, it promises to deliver 17 ounces of milk into creamy foam, twice the capacity of a basic milk frother. It also lives up to its billing as a hot chocolate maker—simply add all the ingredients to the pitcher and use the foaming disk to create creamy hot chocolate. A few users report success making non-dairy hot chocolate in it, too.
To steam milk, simply swap out the frother disk for the heating disk, which can be magnetically stored under the base when not in use. The machine stirs the milk while it’s being heated to prevent scalding, making this an effortless way to heat milk for recipes such as mashed potatoes. Other features include a scratch-resistant, nonstick milk pitcher with a stay-cool handle, see-through lid, and a jug spout to reduce splashing while pouring.
The dual auto-shut-off feature ensures safe operation and reduces overheating. The pitcher removes easily from the base and is dishwasher safe, too.
Related: The 8 Best Coffee Grinders in 2021
Best Rechargable: FoodVille Professional Milk Frother
This model from FoodVille can save you further cash thanks to a built-in rechargeable battery. It comes with two stainless-steel whisks, including a frothing head for whipping up silky foam for coffee drinks, and a balloon whisk for light blending jobs, like incorporating protein powder into shakes, emulsifying salad dressing, beating eggs, or making small batches of whipped cream. Reviewers also report having success using it to blend bulletproof coffee.
Thanks to user feedback, this latest model promises a more user-friendly experience with effortless whisk removal. Another notable feature is that it is designed with three settings so that you can quickly change speed depending on needs. To reduce splashing when switching between speeds, it’s recommended that the frother is immersed in the liquid before adjusting.
Related: The Best Coffee Makers in 2021
Best for Durability: Bellemain Stainless Steel Hand Pump Milk Frother
This manual frother is designed with a hand pump that allows users to foam about 7 ounces of milk at a time, enough for two drinks. Its heavy-duty stainless-steel construction promises to resist dents, scratches, stains, and rust. It’s also dishwasher safe, making cleanup a cinch.
It works well with hot or cold milk, though users note that manually pumping the milk creates a thicker, creamier foam than the airy foam yielded by hand-held or automatic frothers. It can be used with dairy-free alternatives like rice, nut, or soy milk. Since this frother doesn’t require electricity, it’s a good pick for toting to campsites and hotel rooms, too. It also comes with a two-year warranty.
The PowerLix Handheld Battery Operated Milk Frother (view on Amazon) gets top marks for its powerful motor and ease of use. If you only need a milk frother occasionally, we recommend the relatively affordable Bodium Schiuma Milk Frother (view on Amazon).
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Food writer and avid home cook Layla Khoury-Hanold is the person friends and family turn to for recipe ideas and product recommendations (she once made 16 cheesecakes to find the best springform pan). An intrepid researcher, she mines her own experience along with internet guides and consumer reviews to do the legwork so home cooks can find the product that best suits their needs.
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