Have you ever taken a second to calculate just how much money you spend at your local coffee shop chain? If you’re a regular visitor, I can assure you that once you’ve totted up the numbers on your daily coffee spend, you will be in for a shock.
In fact, if you purchase a $4 latté every day, your coffee habit will cost you $28 per week, which translates to $120 per month and a whopping $1460 per year.
Those double-digit lattés and cappuccinos cost a small fortune. But what if I told you that I could potentially save you a big chunk of change by brewing great-tasting coffee and frothing milk at home?
Our Top Pick: Best Value
By investing in a relatively cheap milk frother and a good coffee maker, you can cut your daily coffee cost by more than half, and you won’t be sacrificing on flavor or milk frothy texture to boot!
What is a Milk Frother?
For anyone that’s developed a love for espresso-based drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes, a milk frother is a device that will enable you to create perfect velvety-like milky foam with ease.
Many of the popular milk frothers typically resemble mini-handheld mixers. They tend to operate using batteries and are inexpensive to purchase. Unlike the steam wands found on expensive espresso machines that work by using steam, a handheld milk frother utilizes a small round whisk at the end to froth up your milk.
Another alternative is the stand-alone milk frother that heats and texturizes your milk with a push of a button. This type of device does a far better job at texturizing your milk, but that does come with a higher price.
Is it Worth Buying a Milk Frother?
Well, I will let you answer that.
Why do you enjoy a creamy latté? The answer is simple. I’m guessing you enjoy the fluffy, silky smooth aerated milk. You can’t achieve the same results at home by dumping cold milk into hot coffee.
So, is buying the best milk frother worth it to you? Think about it.
You can craft your very own coffee beverage to your liking for less than $1 using your preferred coffee beans and milk.
In fact, you can use almost any type of milk: whole, skim, almond, soy, etc. Plus, you can use the frothing device for much more than a latté – how about a tasty hot chocolate, matcha, or delicious chai lattes.
6 Best Milk Frothers For Home Baristas
So, if you’ve got this far, I presume you’re ready to buy a good milk frother to make great-tasting cappuccinos and lattés at home.
Below, I have handpicked six milk frothers that all create fluffy, velvety milk with ease. You will find top choices from all three categories: manual, semi-automatic, and fully automatic.
Powerlix Milk Pro – Handheld Milk Frother
The battery-operated Powerlix Milk Pro is the best semi-automatic milk frother I could find. It can churn your milk in under 20 seconds with a speed of 19,000 RPM – there’s definitely a lot of power in this tiny handheld frother!
Like any handheld frothers, you still need to move the whisk around to make sure that you frother every last bit of milk. But with a fast-rotating whisk frothing your milk is done in almost half the time compared to other handheld tools.
One feature I like about the Powerlix Milk Pro is the stand that lets you store your frothing whisk on your countertop next to your coffee machine.
The Powerlix Milk Pro is definitely worth the modest asking price if you are in a hurry for your frothy, milky morning coffee.
What We Love
- Best in its class when it comes to power, and you can froth milk in as little as 15-20 seconds.
- The Powerlix Milk Pro comes with a lifetime warranty.
- The incorporated stand allows you to keep your device handy at all times.
- Very lightweight and features an ergonomically designed soft-touch handle.
- Due to the speed of the rotating whisk, it can make a mess if you don’t fully submerge it in the milk.
- Will use more batteries compared to others due to the powerful motor.
Bodum Latteo Milk Frother
The Bodum Latteo looks like a French Press, but looks can be deceiving. The Latteo froths your milk by using a manual pumping action. You can produce some impressive milky foam by repeatedly pumping the filter up and down.
Simply fill the glass beaker with cold milk to the visible fill line. Place the lid and plunger firmly in place, and then plunge the frother up and down until you have the desired amount of milky foam. Remove the cover, gently spoon the milk foam out of the beaker, and add it to your coffee.
If you’re looking for an elegant device to add spoon fulls of fluffy, aerated, milk foamy goodness to your morning coffee, the Bodum Latteo ticks all of the boxes.
However, it is worth mentioning that it does produce larger air bubbles than some of the other frothers.
What We Love
- Very affordable and produces a large amount of foam from little milk.
- Extremely easy to operate, if you can use a French Press, you can use this.
- Quick results for bubbly frothy milk in only 10-20 seconds.
- Obviously, this device is manually operated, so you have to do all the work.
- Be careful cleaning the glass beaker as it will easily break in the dishwasher.
Breville Milk Cafe Milk Frother
The Breville Milk Café Milk Frother is not a cheap device for frothing milk by any means. So why the extra cost? Let’s take a closer look.
The Breville Milk Café Milk Frother uses induction heat to warm up the milk. Only the milk inside becomes hot and not the actual metal jug holding the liquid. The Breville Milk machine comes with two individual disks.
One is for creating froth (with surprisingly small bubbles that gives a stiff foam that lasts a long time), and the other disk is just for use when you want to heat your milk.
These disks fix to the bottom of the jug and rotate; this consent circulation of the milk helps prevent scalding as it heats up. A nice feature of the Breville is the auto-turn-off once your milk has reached the appropriate temperature.
This Breville can froth your milk to a wide range of temperatures. Do you prefer your milk frothed cold, boiling, or temperature in between?
The Breville Milk Cafe has simple settings to achieve any temperature you require. Have you had enough of frothy milk? Why not try steamed milk instead? Yes, you guessed it, this device can do that too! This unit is one of my personal favorites and that of many other reviewers too!
If you’re a fan of almond milk or coconut milk, the Breville can also froth that! Is there anything the Breville Milk Cafe can’t froth?
What We Love
- Effortlessly heat up and froth milk in a wide range of temperatures.
- Supplied separate frothing discs allow you to make smooth milky foam or a thinker bubblier froth.
- The device uses induction technology for quick heating.
- The milk jug is non-stick and easy to clean.
- It’s not cheap by any means!
- Makes a lot of foam so not suitable for a solo cup of coffee (wastage).
Nestle Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother
Another automatic device that takes the guesswork out of milk frothing is the Nestle Nespresso Aeroccino3. Using this machine is super-easy, and with one touch of a button, you can prepare both hot and cold milk.
Here’s how it works: press the button once for all standard milk preparations, or hold the button for two seconds to froth cold milk.
Once you turn on the device, the unit heats up really fast and is ready to be put to work effortlessly, heating your milk up to 160- and 170-degrees Fahrenheit.
The Nespresso Aeroccino3 is easy to clean thanks to the non-stick surface, and a smart auto shut-off feature ensures it’s not left on accidentally.
What We Love
- Easy to operate with just one button.
- Uses electricity to operate.
- Small compact size for easy storage.
- It only comes with one type of frothing whisk.
- The heating and spinning cycle could be longer to allow for a thicker foam.
Huogary Milk Frother, Electric Milk Steamer & Foam Maker
Another completely hands-off milk foaming device is the Huogary. This device comes packed with easy-to-use functions. It only takes a simple press of a button, and within 1 to 2 minutes, the Huogary heats up to 140℉ automatically and indicates once done, producing a smooth, bubbly milk foam to add to your coffee.
Just a heads up: the best milk temperature for a cappuccino or a latté is anywhere between 130℉ and 149℉ – so the Huogary is definitely in the ballpark range for these coffee beverages!
The three core options are cold-frothed milk (perfect for iced coffees) and hot froth for adding to classic espresso-based drinks such as cappuccinos, mochas, espresso macchiato, etc. And finally, you have a hot milk option that lets you create some good-tasting hot chocolate!
What We Love
- Easy to use with clear indicators for both hot and cold milk preparation.
- Large milk holding capacity (up to 130ml for frothing and 300ml for heating milk).
- The unit comes with two whisks so you can create dense foam or just heat milk.
- Automatically turns off when the milk reaches 140℉.
- Believe it or not, I couldn’t find any faults! – it’s a winner.
Bonsenkitchen Electric Milk Whisk Frother
This is by far the cheapest option for frothing up your milk at home. The Bonsenkitchen electric milk whisk is easy to use and operates with 2 AA batteries.
Like the Powerlix Milk Pro at the top of my list, you have to do some of the work to get your milk where it needs to be – it’s not a push-button and forget device.
The lack of a stand sets this apart from the Powerlix Milk Pro, so this device could potentially be lost and damaged in your kitchen cutlery drawer. Also, the whisk isn’t as powerful, which is probably why this unit is cheaper than the Powerlix.
But that doesn’t mean the Bonsenkitchen Electric Milk Whisk isn’t a good milk frother. If you are looking for a cheap, portable device for milk frothing at home or even on the move while traveling, makes it a clear winner.
What We Love
- Cheapest of the bunch!
- Small compact size can easily be thrown into your traveling luggage.
- Great for mixing protein shakes!
- Not as powerful compared to others.
How to Choose the Best Frother for Milk?
Choosing which type of milk frother to buy can be a little challenging. Do you want a whisk type, a manual pump variation, or a fully automatic push-button type? Will you be frothing cold or hot milk?
These are just some of the questions you will more than likely be asking yourself when you look to purchase your first frother.
Let’s see if I can help answer some of your common questions.
Do you want a Pump, Whisk, or Fully Automatic?
The simplest way to froth milk at home is by using a hands-on pump-action device that resembles a French Press. You add your milk and pump the plunger up and down inside a tall cylindrical beaker.
If you enjoy an early morning workout, pumping on this device is guaranteed to get your heart rate elevated and the blood pumping; it does require a little bit of effort on your part.
The second option is a semi-automatic battery-operated whisk type that does most of the work for you. Once you turn it on, all that’s needed is to slowly move the handheld milk frother up and down.
If you prefer a completely hands-off approach, a fully automatic electric milk frother will probably be the best option. This type is definitely the easiest to use. Just add your milk, close the lid, and press a button, and you’re all set! In roughly 1 or 2 minutes, your silky-smooth frothed milk is ready to add to your coffee.
Frothing Hot Milk or Cold?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s worth mentioning that frothing and steaming milk are two completely different things and shouldn’t be confused with one another.
Typically, the only way you can produce hot steamed milk is by using the steam wand built into many of the best espresso machines.
If you opt to use a whisk, pump, or automatic push-button frother, you will more than likely have to heat your milk separately, and these devices will only foam your milk, not steam it.
However, there are some exceptions to the rule, many of the best automatic milk frothers will also heat your milk, but they aren’t cheap; it’s nice to have it all done in one step. And choosing the best milk for frothing also plays a vital role.
Do you find that you’re always short on time in the morning, and trying to fit in a few spare minutes to froth some milk seems like an impossible notion?
If speed is a deciding factor on which device you will purchase, I recommend a manual pump action type. You can have your frothy, textured milk ready in as little as 30 seconds, albeit with a bit of manual elbow grease.
The semi-automatic battery-operated whisk type comes in a close second and typically takes no more than 90 seconds to froth up some milk.
But remember, you will have to allow some additional time to heat your milk beforehand with both of these types.
Or you could spend a little more and invest in a fully automatic electric milk frother that will take all of the guesswork out of frothing your milk.
This type will heat and froth the milk in under 90 seconds. The great thing is that you can push a button and then step aside to do other things like brewing your coffee or getting the kids ready for school and returning to hot, frothed milk.
Frothing Milk in the Microwave!
If you don’t have any of the above devices and you NEED some frothed milk, like, now! Here is a recipe to froth milk for cappuccinos in the microwave.
It’s super-easy – trust me!
All you need is some milk, a clean mason jar with a lid, and a microwave.
Making a frothy batch of milk in the microwave is only a 2-step process. All that’s needed is some 2% or nonfat milk poured into your jar. Shake your sealed jar vigorously with the milk inside so that it starts to bubble and foam up.
Once you’ve given it a good shake, place the jar directly into the microwave, push a button or two, and blast away for a few seconds on high.
Using the microwave helps stabilize the foam (if you didn’t use a microwave, the foam would naturally disperse and collapse).
See, I told you it was simple!
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Since the creation of the Bean Ground coffee blog in 2014, Mark and a small circle of coffee hobbyists have rigorously tested, reviewed, and researched coffee gear. In most cases, they have purchased the items themselves with the sole intention of rating and evaluating.
In that time, they have built up a list of quality points to look for and what makes specific equipment better than others. They cut through the noise and marketing hype that often surrounds products to give you their unbiased opinions so you can make clear decisions on your next purchase.