Which milk frother is best?

If you love lattes, you don’t need to hit the coffee shop every morning on the way to work. The best milk frothers help you create a wide variety of espresso drinks, plus other delicious creations, right in your own kitchen. 

For instance, the Capresso Froth Max Milk Frother is generously sized to create pillowy puffs of delicious foam for your caffeinated cravings. 

What to know before you buy a milk frother

Cordless vs. corded vs. manual frothers

Milk frothers come in a variety of styles that can be used in the kitchen or on the go.

  • Cordless: Cordless frothers are great for camping or off-grid living. They also work well when traveling and are frequently smaller than their corded cousins, making for easier storage when space is at a premium. You need to lay in a supply of batteries, or make sure that your batteries are charged when you’re ready to go. 
  • Corded: This type generally has more power and works faster, but it requires a plug to work. Corded frothers are also less portable and tend to cost more. 
  • Manual: These use a pump, almost like a French press, to foam milk. They are simple to operate, and some are microwave safe for frothing both hot and cold milk.

Capacity

If you are in charge of coffee operations for two or more people every morning, you’ll want a larger capacity milk frother. This is most important if your frother holds milk in a container while it’s foamed. 

Battery-powered frothers need to hold enough of a charge to prepare milk for more than one beverage, too.

Frothing disk vs. wire whip

The frothing mechanism can vary, even if the effect is mostly the same. Electric frothing pitchers usually have a disc that is inset, but handheld frothers generally use a wire whip.

What to look for in a quality milk frother

Dishwasher safe

Dried milk can be challenging – and smelly – to clean. A dishwasher-safe milk frother eliminates this problem. Simply rinse and place in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Heated carafe

High-end frothers have a heated carafe that allows you to froth milk and then gently warm it. You control the temperature so milk does not overheat.

Microwave safe

The best manual milk foamers are microwave safe, too. Create froth with the pump before slowly heating it in the microwave.

Long battery life (or rechargeable)

If you opt for a cordless, battery-powered milk frother, look for one with a long battery life. Even better, environmentally friendly versions feature rechargeable batteries. 

How much you can expect to spend on a milk frother

Spend as much or as little as you like on this touch of everyday luxury. Most versions cost $5-$25.

How to create fluffy frothed milk

  • Start with ice-cold milk and a cold frothing container. You can place both in the freezer while you prepare your espresso.
  • Choose your preferred milk. Whole milk is sweeter, but low-fat creates piles of billowy foam.
  • Plant-based milk can be foamed, but look for special formulations designed to be frothed. Soy and some types of oat milk work best, but rice milk is nearly impossible to foam.
  • For hand-held frothers (corded or cordless), tilt the frothing container so that the tip of the frother sits in the middle of the milk.
  • Aim for smaller bubbles — tap the container on the counter and swish gently if bubbles get too big. You may also need to submerge the frother more deeply.
  • Once your foam is optimal, gently warm your milk to 140-155 degrees. Too hot and it will taste scalded and lose its sweet notes.

Milk frother FAQ

What can you use a milk frother for?

A. The milk frother isn’t just for creating foam for espresso drinks. You can also use it for:

  • Whipping cream
  • Mixing up protein drinks
  • Foaming hot cocoa
  • Beating eggs
  • Preparing powdered matcha tea

What’s the difference between espresso drinks?

A. Espresso drinks have different ratios of espresso/coffee to milk and foam.

  • Latte: 1/3 espresso, 2/3 warmed milk, dollop of foam
  • Cappuccino: 1/3 espresso, 1/3 warmed milk, 1/3 foam
  • Macchiato: espresso with a shot of steamed milk and dollop of foam

Other drinks that use steamed milk but no foam include cortados, flat whites and latte macchiatos.

What’s the best milk frother to buy?

Top milk frother

Capresso Froth Max Milk Frother

Capresso Froth Max Milk Frother

What you need to know: This is a convenient, pitcher-style frother that makes for easy serving.

What you’ll love: The pitcher is BPA-free and heats 12 ounces of milk (froths 8 ounces). It sits on a base and has a stay-cool handle with an automatic safety shut off.

What you should consider: It’s a lot of money to spend for a uni-tasking appliance. It’s also big for small kitchens with limited counter space. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top milk frother for the money

Zulay Original Milk Frother

Zulay Original Milk Frother

What you need to know: This is perfect for the occasional frothing of individual servings of milk.

What you’ll love: This is battery-operated and takes up very little counter space with its own stand. It quickly froths a wide variety of dairy and non-dairy milks and is available in 37 colors.

What you should consider: It’s not very durable — users report they stop working after extended heavy use — but it does come with a lifetime warranty against parts breaking or rusting. Two AA batteries are not included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Ninja Coffee Bar Easy Milk Frother

Ninja Coffee Bar Easy Milk Frother

What you need to know: This froths hot or cold milk easily.

What you’ll love: This uses press froth technology in a clear glass beaker with a plunger. It’s microwave safe — heat and froth in the same glass — and dishwasher safe, too.

What you should consider: Because it is glass, there’s always the chance it can break.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Home Depot and Wayfair

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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