This year you deserve to treat yourself. That’s why we suggest buying a not-so-necessary but still important kitchen gadget, such as the handy milk frother. After all, we deserve to have a delicious, rich latte or flat white in the comfort of our homes. Or, if coffee and home espresso isn’t your cup of tea, a nice, creamy hot chocolate. If you have zero knowledge of what to look for in a milk frother or how they work, we’re here to help. Ahead is our roundup of the best milk frothers to buy in 2021.
- Best Overall Milk Frother: Miroco Stainless Steel Milk Steamer
- Best Handheld Milk Frother: Zulay Original Milk Frother Handheld Foam Maker
- Best Manual Milk Frother: Bodum Latteo Manual Milk Frother
- Most Versatile Milk Frother: Souvia Automatic Milk Frother and Steamer Machine
- Best Value Milk Frother: Grunen Wolken Milk Frother Handheld
- Best Single Button Milk Frother: Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother
- Best Retro Milk Frother: Smeg Milk Frother
- Best Travel Milk Frother: Basecent Travel Milk Frother
- Best Steam Wand Milk Frother: Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine with Grinder and Steam Wand
- Types of Milk Frothers
This automatic frother from Microco is excellent all-around. It has straightforward controls for hot and cold frothed milk as well as steamed milk. It’s whisper-quiet and gives you lovely, thick frothed milk in under two minutes, and has an auto shut-off feature, so you don’t scorch your milk. The whisks are metal instead of plastic (as can be found in some automatic frothers), so there are no concerns about heating plastic. Plus, they give you two extra whisks in case you happen to lose small parts quickly. This milk frother is middle-of-the-road in terms of price but top-of-the-line in terms of quality.
If you don’t mind heating your own milk, this hand frother from Zulay is an excellent option. You control the duration and thickness of your foam. Handheld milk frothers like these are also great for homemade milkshakes and smoothies. Cleanup is easy by sticking the wand in some soapy water, turning it on, and rinsing. Zulay offers this frother in 27 different colorways, so you should be able to find one that matches your kitchen’s color scheme.
Bodum is known for its high-quality coffee products. This manual frother takes on the same design of the brand’s famous French press. Just plunge the frother 60-90 times and then enjoy the fruits of your labors. The borosilicate glass is microwave safe. So if you want your foam warm, just pop it in the microwave.
If you have a household full of people demanding heated, frothy milk, this automatic milk frother from Souvia is the one for you. This frother has the largest capacity we could find, making up to 11.83 ounces of frothed milk and 23.67 ounces of heated milk. Many automatic frothers don’t allow you to control your milk’s temperature; however, this one does. So, if you like your milk just a little warm or roaring hot, it’s up to you. This frother comes with two different whisking disks, a cappuccino whisk for frothier milk and a latte disc for a silkier result. Both of which can be stored in the machine while not in use.
This handheld milk frother is pretty much the same as the one from Zulay except cheaper. The main difference is this model only comes in blue and matte black. However, it still performs just as well.
If you like simplicity, this automatic milk frother from Nespresso is perfect. Just one button controls all four settings. For a hot preparation, briefly press the button. For cold milk froth, keep the button pressed for approximately 2 seconds.
Did automatic milk frothers even exist in the 50s and 60s? We’re not sure, but if they did they probably would look something like this Smeg milk frother. Smeg’s niche is people who long for a time once passed. If you fall into this category, this is the frother for you. Plus, it’s also a really great frother. It has a hidden cord wrap feature and has seven preset options; hot chocolate, hot milk, hot froth – light, hot froth – thick, cold froth – light, cold froth – thick, and manual.
This Basecent travel milk frother is excellent for coffee snobs on the go. What makes this one different from a regular handheld milk frother is its handy cover and rechargeable battery that can be plugged into any USB power source.
We threw in this Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine because we didn’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to have the best milk frothing experience. Now, you can buy commercial beverage steaming systems that are essentially steam wands without the espresso machine. But, those are way more expensive than this excellent espresso machine, and if you’re spending money, why not have both? We’ve heard from baristas that this model from Calphalon is the closest thing you can get to coffee shop quality in your home.
Steam Wands: Steam wands are the best ones out there because the steam-infusion makes the richest, creamiest frothed milk. You can adjust the level of foam for different coffee drinks. Unfortunately, steam wands are always attached to espresso machines. So, unless you’re ready to throw down a serious chunk of change on one, these are out of the question.
Automatic Frothers: The next best thing to a steam wand is an automatic frother. Auto-frothers vary in their features, but for the most part, all do the same three things: They froth hot milk, froth cold milk, and steam milk. Automatic milk frothers give you a thicker foam than handheld, but there’s more cleanup on the back end.
Handheld Frothers: Handhelds have their advantages, like being light, transportable, and easy to clean. Some disadvantages are they don’t heat the milk, the froth is typically more delicate (great for cappuccinos), and they go through a lot of batteries.
What Type of Milk Frother is Best?
Since steam wands only exist on espresso makers, the next best thing in our opinion is an easy-to-use carafe-style frother. These milk frothers heat your milk to its optimal temperature and hold it there for later use. They are also foolproof and you won’t risk the mess that handheld milk frothers pose.
What Can I Do With a Milk Frother?
Although most milk frothers are designed to only heat and froth milk, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment on your own. As we mentioned, milk frothers are great for making a velvety and delicious cup of hot chocolate. But, don’t stop there. Handheld milk frothers and carafe versions can be used to mix up delicious cocktails (sans ice obviously), especially ones that call for egg whites in the ingredients.
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