How To Choose A Milk Frother

by Véronique Raymond
milk frother review

While you can achieve an excellent milk foam from the steam wand in your espresso machine or coffee maker, standalone milk frothers can do a lot more for you than you might think.

They are a fairly diverse kitchen tool, and it may be difficult to know how to choose the best one for your home.

They have the potential to turn your kitchen into your own personal coffee shop, but there are some things to think about before committing to a purchase.


Questions To Ask Yourself

What Do I Want A Milk Frother For?

While milk frothers are most commonly used for aeration (adding air to milk to create a foamy texture), they can also be used for whipping cream, beating eggs, and more.

Deciding on the main purpose of your milk frother is one of the first steps you should take, as it will affect the overall type of milk frother you need and any features you’ll want to prioritise.

How Much Can I Spend?

As with most product types, the more expensive you go, the better the quality will be.

When it comes to milk frothers, you won’t ever have to fork over any sizeable amount, but there is still a range in price that should be considered.

The price of a milk frother is mostly determined by its type.

Setting your budget early will help avoid the pitfalls of falling in love with a milk frother that just isn’t feasible at the time.

Warranty coverage is something to consider here too; a more expensive product with warranty coverage may save you money in the long run.


Features To Consider

milk frother review

Shopping for a milk frother is an exciting event, as it allows you to make your favourite frothy coffee drinks at home. However, it isn’t as simple as buying the first tool you see that is capable of frothing milk.

There are a number of features that come into play, and you should consider all of them before making your final decision.

Type Of Milk Frother

It’s no surprise that the type of milk frother you want should be one of your first considerations.

There are three main types of milk frothers: automatic, handheld electric, and manual.

Manual milk frothers work similarly to French press machines; you use a plunger to manually add air to a jug of milk.

The faster and longer you use the plunger, the denser the foam will be.

This does let you be very specific with your froth texture, but it may be difficult to replicate it exactly time after time.

This type of milk frother is more ideal for hot chocolate since the texture isn’t quite as important.

Manual milk frothers are the least expensive kind on the market.

Handheld electric frothers will still require some input from you, but they handle the actual aeration themselves.

They are versatile, still wildly affordable, and can be used in almost any environment since they don’t require access to electricity at all times or a countertop placement.

If you want a hot foam, you’ll have to prep the hot milk beforehand, but they are just as compatible with cold milk.

Automatic milk frothers are the most expensive type of milk frother, but they also offer the best functionality.

They are capable of producing the microfoam used in latte art and can heat the milk automatically before frothing if you select that setting.

Some advanced models even have settings for different coffee types so you get exactly the right texture every time.

Dishwasher Safe Vs Hand Wash

Most manual frothers will have dishwasher safe components, and many automatic frothers will have some removable components that can go in the dishwasher for cleaning as well.

All handheld electric milk frothers will require cleaning by hand in soapy water.

The type of frother you choose will affect the amount of work required to keep it clean, so that is something to keep in mind while you peruse your options.

Cold Vs Hot Foam Compatibility

Steaming milk is not usually a function of a milk frother, but some automatic models are capable of heating milk in order to provide a hot froth from cold milk.

Most handheld units and manual frothers can be used to create a hot or cold froth, but you’ll be responsible for heating the milk up before frothing unless you’re okay with a cold foam.

Power Source

There are four ways a milk frother can be powered.

The first is manual power; you will have to put all of the work in to introduce air bubbles into the milk.

The other three are all versions of electric power. A milk frother can be full-time corded for operation, USB rechargeable, or run on AA batteries.

Handheld frothers give you a couple options in power source, but automatic frothers will almost always be corded and manual frothers will, of course, rely on manual effort.

Type Of Milk You’ll Be Using

Not all milk frothers are made equal, and not all types of milk produce the same kind of froth.

The kind of milk you plan on using with your milk frother should factor into your purchase decision, and here’s why.

Whole milk is the easiest to froth, skim milk slightly more difficult, and non-dairy milks the most difficult of all.

Plus, certain types of milk frothers do better with non-dairy milk than others.

If you plan on using almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, or any other milk alternatives, you’ll have to read some reviews and find out how each milk frother model fares when working in those substances.


Best Milk Frother Brands

milk frother review

Whether you’re looking for a handheld milk frother or countertop model, an electric milk frother or manual, there are some high-end brands you’ll want to have a look at.

They can all be found on Amazon, Williams-Sonoma, and other online and in-store retailers.

The Nespresso Aeroccino 4 is one of the most popular automatic milk frothers on the market.

It is a versatile and highly-automated frother that can help you achieve the perfect froth for any type of specialty drink.

It is the ideal way to achieve barista-level coffee at home, whether you preferred caffeine fix is a latte (matcha or regular), cappuccino, macchiato, or any other specialty coffee.

The Breville Milk Cafe is a close second in this category.

Nespresso, Breville, Powerlix, and many other brands offer handheld milk frothers that are incredibly easy to use and clean.

The best handheld milk frothers from these brands will be equally effective in cold milk as in warm milk, and they have easy-to-clean stainless steel wands and ergonomic handles.

If you’re looking for a manual milk frother, Bodum is the best brand to look at.

They produce high-quality milk jugs, plungers, and frothing discs to ensure you always achieve a wonderful milk foam for your foamy cup of coffee.


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