If you’ve ever tried to whip milk at home for a cappuccino, you’ve probably created a lot of disappointed hopes.
Using a blender doesn’t give you the consistency or temperature you need. A professional espresso machine will have a steam wand, but those espresso machines are expensive and have a steep learning curve.
Baristas at coffee shops train for months and practice for years on espresso machines to get the perfect milk foam for espresso drinks.
But you don’t have to go through all that. Making perfect steamed milk for your coffee drinks at home has never been easier.
Keep reading to get the low down on the best milk frothers on the market in 2021, or if you’re in a rush, here are my 3 favorites:
Types Of Milk Frothers
Handheld milk frothers cost less, so they’re a great starter frother if you’re new to frothing milk at home.
As the name implies, you hold them in your hand, much like a small immersion blender. They don’t heat milk or control the temperature.
They often don’t come with any container to froth the milk in. At times handheld frothers are called manual frothers.
Handheld milk frothers are a no-frills solution that is often durable, but manual frothers do require more effort on your part.
Success depends on your technique. How you hold it, at what angle, and how long you froth milk will vary and change the results.
Also, if you’re not careful and raise the whisk too high, you might spray milk on your countertop.
The next step up is the automatic foam maker. It’s a simple container with a heating element that whisks your milk into foam.
Automatic milk frothers generally don’t have a removable milk jug, but these milk steamers do give you the convenience of just pressing a button, and they heat milk and froth it for you.
You don’t have to learn foaming techniques or worry about milk being sprayed around your kitchen.
This makes them simple to use, but it also means you may have less control over temperature and how much you can froth.
They do generally have an auto shut-off feature, so you don’t have to worry about burnt milk.
Since the container isn’t separate from the heating element, you can’t pop automatic milk frothers into the dishwasher.
On a positive note, automatic frothers tend to be less expensive than countertop jug -tyle frothers.
This type of frother is ideal for milk or vegan milk, but you might run into problems when you try to whip up eggs.
Cleaning the container would be a chore, and the temperature might not get high enough to melt chocolate pieces.
The most complex type of milk frother is the more expensive jug-type frother. They cost more because they offer more.
These automatic frothers come with a stainless steel jug or mug-style container that you can froth the milk in.
The milk pitcher is separate from the heating element and can be put in the dishwasher. A removable jug also makes it easier to pour out the milk or scoop out milk froth.
They generally heat the milk for you, and they might have an auto shut-off feature. They sit on your countertop because they’re a bit heavier to move around.
They offer maximum versatility, are easy to use, and create velvety foam.
Countertop jug-type frothers are a great choice for you if you’re looking for a simple, hands-off way to froth milk.
Best Milk Frother 2021
To get creamy milk froth perfection, you don’t need a fancy espresso machine.
All you need is a milk frother. You might be asking which is the best for you: handheld or automatic. I’ve reviewed a host of options so you can find what’s right for you.
So if you’re looking for a way to get café-quality cappuccino foam, velvety latte milk, or thick hot chocolate, check out our list to find the best milk frother for coffee pairing.
1. Bodum Bistro Electric Milk Frother
The Bodum Bistro Electric Milk Frother is automatic, easy to use, and makes satisfying foam. It’s the best milk frother for beginners or for people who love simplicity.
- Easy to use
- No settings
- No control over temperature
- Capacity: 1 cup of milk (300 ml)
- Type: Automatic
- Heating: Yes
- Dimensions: 4.38 x 5.63 x 7.88 inches
Most milk frothers in this price range are handheld. But this Bodum Bistro electric milk frother is automatic, fast, and creates good foam.
Just plug it in, and with a touch of a button, you can steam milk foam for your latte art.
The simple and sleek design would fit in any kitchen. This electric milk steamer has a 10-ounce capacity (about 300 ml).
It brings that amount of liquid up to temperature in just 1 minute. One switch heats up the milk, making it simple to add frothy milk to your coffee drinks.
The stainless-steel body has a non-stick coating on the inside to make cleaning easier. The heavy-duty motor gives you a high froth volume. This milk frother even foams non-dairy milk (like almond milk) quite well.
You can see the progress of the foam through the transparent lid. The cord fits into the removable base and makes it easy to store.
What’s the drawback with this electric milk frother? The lack of settings. The one simple button means there’s no way to regulate the temperature or time.
If you’re looking for automatic milk steamers that give you total control, this isn’t the one.
The auto shut-off kicks in when the milk reaches the target temperature (158 degrees F or 70 degrees C). Unfortunately, you can’t adjust that temperature though which is a bummer.
And if you want to foam for longer, the auto shut-off feature doesn’t let you continue. Also, the milk steamer won’t turn back on until it’s cooled down.
That lack of control over frothing time and temperature can be frustrating for some coffee drinkers.
As is the case with automatic milk steamers, it’s not dishwasher safe. At times, it browns the milk on the bottom.
Like most automatic milk frothers, there are some small durability concerns. But at this price range you might still consider it a good deal.
2. Breville BMF600XL Milk Frother
Make perfect steamed milk or create fine microfoam for your drinks at home with this high-end Breville BMF600XL milk frother.
- Large capacity
- Offers temperature control
- Greater versatility in types of foam
- May be large for some households
- There are more affordable models
- Capacity: 1- 3 cups (25 ounces)
- Type: Automatic jug-style
- Heating: Yes
- Dimensions: 6.1 x 6.4 x 10.3 inches
This Breville BMF600XL milk frother will give you thick foam with an irresistible velvety feel.
What’s the secret?
The Breville milk frother uses two interchangeable frothing discs to create two distinct types of froth, one for cappuccino and another for a latte.
This milk steamer is still easy to use. Choose the preferred disk, insert it in the milk frother, fill the jug with cold milk, select the temperature, and press the start button.
The milk frother takes care of the rest, giving you smooth milk for your latte or thick froth for your cappuccino.
The Breville milk frother makes foam just the way you want it. It’s so versatile. It can even make hot chocolate from powder or syrup. In spite of all the options on the dial, it’s still easy to use.
The temperature can be regulated,, so you can choose from cold frothing, warm, optimum, and hot modes. When the temperature is reached the auto shut off feature kicks in. Notice that you have the option to froth cold milk for your iced lattes.
The jug is dishwasher safe, and the cord fits into the base of the frother, and you can adjust the length according to your needs.
Since this milk frother heats milk through induction heating, there’s no burnt milk or milk residue stuck to the bottom of the stainless-steel jug. It also creates good foam with non-dairy milk.
To make sure the frothing mechanism works well, fill with liquid above the minimum line. That minimum line for liquids is high, so this isn’t ideal for one cappuccino.
Also, the large size takes up a lot of counter space, and at 3.6 pounds, it’s a heavyweight. As with many milk frothers, there are concerns about how long it lasts.
3. PowerLix Handheld Milk Frother
The handheld Powerlix milk frother is economical, easy to use, and durable.
- Highly portable manual frother
- Doesn’t heat liquid
- Needs two AA batteries
- Capacity: Hand-held milk frothers have no limits
- Type: Hand-held
- Heating: No
- Dimensions: 9.76 x 2.87 x 2.83 inches
The Powerlix milk frother won’t break the bank, costing under $15. However, it produces good foam and frothy milk.
Since it’s a handheld milk frother, it doesn’t come with a container. Instead, you can heat cold milk to warm it and then froth it right in your mug, jug, or saucepan.
You can make foam for hot drinks and also froth cold milk. With a manual milk frother you can also think beyond the coffee mug.
Feel free to whip up your milkshakes with this or whip your eggs for breakfast.
This lightweight manual frother weighs just 5.6 ounces, so it’s easy to hold or take on the road with you. The handle is soft to the touch and comfortable.
You do need to hold the button in while frothing, though this isn’t a problem for most people because the powerful motor froths milk in less than 20 seconds.
This simple milk frother is powerful, so be careful about lifting it above the surface of the liquid, or you’ll spray your kitchen counter. It works well with almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk.
It makes virtually no noise, so it’s ideal for those times when you need to sneak in a cappuccino.
It’s easy to clean, just rinse under hot running water. It comes with a stand and doesn’t use much counter space, making it easy to store on your countertop or in a cabinet.
You don’t need to worry about durability either because the company offers a lifetime warranty. It comes in a wide range of colors – choose from over 14.
It’s not electric but battery-operated. The good part of that is there are no cords to fight with and less clutter on your kitchen counter. But that does mean you have to change the two AA batteries every once in a while.
4. Aevo Milk Frother
This versatile frother gives you the versatility to make steamed milk the way you need it and is easy to use and affordable.
- Variable temp control
- In built modes for different brews
- Dishwasher safe
- 4 settings to get the froth you want
- Easy to use and clean
- Less attractive design
- Made of aluminum
- Capacity: 150 ml (10 ounces) for milk frothing; 300 ml (10 ounces) for milk steaming
- Type: Automatic jug-style
- Heating: Yes
- Dimensions: 4.92 x 4.92 x 7.17 inches
This milk frother gives you the versatility that other frothers lack. There are separate buttons to heat milk or froth it.
Press the frothing button once for warm cappuccino foam. Press twice for cool cappuccino foam. You’ll recognize the button because the drawing on it has a little head of froth over the cup.
Press the heating button once for warm latte foam, and press it twice for warm milk or to add to chocolate.
Since the heating element is separate, you can easily pour milk out and do another batch without cleaning the jug.
It doesn’t let frothed milk scald, and you can also froth cold milk. You can froth milk that’s plant-based quickly ans easily too.
The removable aluminum jug heats up fast and has an easy to pour spout. On the other hand, aluminum doesn’t hold up as well as stainless steel.
The jug is dishwasher safe, although the lid should be washed by hand.
The whisk is attached to the top, so it comes out easily when you remove the lid, and you don’t have to try to get the foam out from around the center whisk.
The buttons are a bit loud, but the frothing mechanism is quiet. While the design might be a bit clunky for some kitchens, It comes with a heavy-duty cord and the bottom is skid-proof. Handy if you ask me!
5. Smeg Retro Style Aesthetic Frother
The Smeg Retro Style Frother wins in design and foam quality.
- Heavy duty build
- Premium aesthetics
- 7 froth settings
- Attractive design
- 7 frothing and heating settings
- Creates thick foam
- Takes up more counter space
- Capacity: 20 ounces for heating, 8.5 ounces for frothing
- Type: Automatic jug-style
- Heating: Yes
- Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 2 inches
Leave it to the Italians to design a beautiful and functional milk frother that makes thick frothed milk for espresso drinks. The retro look design can’t be beaten and comes in a variety of colors.
Multiple speed settings give you more control so you can create the drink you want. Two whisks give you 7 settings, including a manual one for ultimate control.
The 7 settings include hot chocolate, hot milk, hot froth (light), hot froth (thick), cold froth in either light and thick, and a manual milk frother mode. Just press the button and begin frothing to get velvety foam.
The induction heating system is efficient but it can take up to 5 minutes to heat milk and froth it if you’re doing a large quantity.
This large machine has a large capacity, which is good and bad. It’s roughly the size of a small blender, which will take up lots of space on your counter. But it’s the machine to use if you’ll be making frothed milk for several people.
Think beyond coffee! You can not only froth milk, but you can beat eggs or make tea. It also works well with almond milk and barista-style oat milk. You can use chocolate pieces but make sure they’re small so they melt.
The stainless-steel jug is removable, which makes it dishwasher safe. The lid has a measuring cup.
The start button is backlit, making it easy to see in dark corners of your kitchen. The built-in cord wrap is convenient, and the silicon feet keep it stable on the counter.
Choose the color you want, since it comes in blue, green, pink pastel, or solid black, red, cream or white. The price tag is a shocker, but the durability may just be worth it.
Your Buying Guide To The Best Milk Frothers & Foam
What Is Microfoam?
You create foam when you trap gas in a liquid. Microfoam is when you trap very tiny gas bubbles in a liquid. They’re so tiny, they make up a smooth texture, and you can’t even see the bubbles.
When we’re talking about coffee, foam is created by milk. This is because air gets trapped in the milk proteins and creates foam.
To create the best foam, you need to incorporate air into the milk. Creating a stable foam – one that lasts for a bit while you sip your coffee – takes some practice.
Milk proteins foam up easily. Proteins in other liquids don’t. They will froth, but not as easily, and they don’t hold the foam as well.
That’s why barista blends of plant-based milk often add additional ingredients, such as oils and lecithin, that help create a denser foam.
Milk Frothing: Different Milk Types
Milk types include cow’s milk with varying amounts of fat as well as non-dairy milk.
Cow’s milk generally comes in nonfat, 2 percent, whole, or heavy whipping cream. This refers to the amount of fat left in the milk. The amount of fat affects both the taste and the texture.
Nonfat milk is the easiest to use when frothing milk and stays stable. However, the texture of the milk won’t be as smooth, and the taste can seem rather flat if a person is used to full-fat milk.
The next step in milk is 2 percent milk. A higher percentage of the natural fats in milk are left in. Those fats help improve the texture and taste while still providing a bit fewer calories than full-fat milk.
Whole milk has all the fat still in it. That higher fat content provides a smooth, velvety texture. It also foams very well in automatic milk frothers. The taste and mouthfeel are generally more satisfying.
Heavy whipping cream is generally too heavy for an automatic milk frother. Even a handheld frother will only whip to a certain point.
Can you use plant-based milk in frothers?
There’s an entire world beyond cow’s milk for your coffee drinks.
You can choose from a wide variety of non-dairy milk such as almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, and coconut milk. Check around in your supermarket and try out the different vegan milk.
What’s the best milk to use?
Which is the best milk for automatic milk steamers? You’ll get the best results from 2 percent or full-fat milk.
The added fat will help make a denser foam that lasts longer. Cafés can often achieve incredible foam with nonfat milk, but they have special blenders and steam wands to get those results.
Your success in creating a good texture with vegan milk will depend on which you use, which frother you have, and your frothing technique.
If you want the most froth from plant-based milk, look for ones that say “barista” in the title. You can also try milk that has a higher fat content, like some soy, almond, or coconut milk.
Related Read: How To Steam Milk
The Final Verdict: Best Milk Frothers
If you’re searching for a completely automatic frother that you can just press a button, the best one for you may be the Bodum Bistro Electric Milk Frother. It’s easy to use, sturdy, and affordable.
On the other hand, the best handheld milk frother is the PowerLix Milk Frother.
This affordable frother creates incredible foam in just a minute or two. You can froth small amounts of milk or larger quantities for your coffee drinks. And the PowerLix milk frother is durable.