It’s time to take your hot drinks to the next level with a milk frother. Whether you’re a cappuccino aficionado, hot chocolate fan or simply want to liven up your instant coffee, milk frothers will give your classic brew a creamy barista-style boost.
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Best milk frothers at a glance
- Best mid-range milk frother: Lavazza A Modo Mio MilkEasy milk frother, £49, John Lewis
- Best portable milk frother: ROK manual milk frother, £14.99, ROK
- Best top-of-the-range electric frother for hot chocolates: Smeg MFF01CRUK milk frother, £150, Selfridges
- Best mid-range buy for simplicity: Bodum Latteo milk frother, £24, Robert Dyas
- Most stylish milk frother: Nespresso Aeroccino4 milk frother, £78.90, Amazon
- Most practical everyday electric frother: Dualit milk frother, £48.99, John Lewis & Partners
- Best mid-range frother for hot chocolates: Melitta Cremio II milk frother, £68.94, Wayfair
Best milk frothers to buy 2021
Best mid-range milk frother
Lavazza’s ‘MilkEasy’ name certainly aligns with the results of this milk frother. This was the easiest electric frother we tried thanks to its simple, easy to follow instructions: fill with milk up to one of the markings (you can heat up to 180ml or froth 120ml), press the button once for hot froth, twice for hot milk or thrice for cold froth for iced coffees or lattes.
We were pleasantly surprised by how quiet and efficient it is, producing that perfect just-below boiling temperature. Using semi-skimmed milk offers an impressively thick, fluffy whip that’s enough for two cups; this is definitely one of the thickest froths, resembling a creamy dalgona coffee. The froth produced using oat milk is not as thick by quite some margin – it’s airier, with lots of thin liquid. Another thing to note is that due to the frothers wide design, it’s not the easiest product to pick up and pour into your mug.
The inside is easy enough to clean, though you cannot get the base wet, so it’s not dishwasher-safe. It’s small enough to keep on the work surface, but compact enough to slot into a cupboard. Overall, if you like to experiment with different methods, this is the most reasonably priced product, offering barista-style whipped milk that’s ready in minutes.
Buy the Lavazza milk frother from John Lewis & Partners
Best portable milk frother
The ROK milk frother is a small, manual pump-action hand frother sporting a compact cylinder design. The frother arrives in a small cardboard tube with little to no instructions; it’s pretty self-explanatory to use, but we refer to the website for guidance and tips.
This nifty frother is very easy to operate: first, heat the milk in a cup or jug (we use a microwave to do this). Once the milk is heated, lower the frother in (allowing trapped air to escape) and let the whisking disks go to work. As you manually pump the disks, they engage the milk to create fine bubbles. It’s completely up to you to control the amount and density of foam (we try various techniques: fast, slow, short and long). It’s also splatter-free, as all the action happens inside the cylinder, saving on extra cleaning. Both the semi-skimmed milk and oat milk create a light foam with bubbly sensation. Though it’s easier to clean than some of the heavier electric frothers, it’s not the easiest as the cylinder and disk are joined together.
We particularly like this for its transportability – if you’re after an inexpensive frother that you can pop in your bag, this is the best option. It’s also fun to do it yourself. For a hands-on approach, a manual frother lets you get fully involved in the process so you can achieve the desired consistency.
Buy the ROK milk frother from ROK
Best top-of-the-range electric frother for hot chocolates
If you’re looking to invest in a sleek electric milk frother to complement your kitchen, Smeg is the answer. This model is made from stainless steel, with a separate dishwasher-safe jug that has visible measurement markings embossed on the inside. This frother had the largest volume of all we tested: a 600ml heating capacity and 250ml frothing capacity. The on/off button is clear to see and there are six settings to choose from: hot or cold milk with light or thick foam, hot milk and chocolate, plus a manual function.
This frother is the only one with the option to make coffee or hot chocolate, taking away the fuss of making the drink separately beforehand. It’s louder in use than the other electric frothers, but the transparent lid means you can watch while the whisks work their magic. This produced the smoothest hot chocolate of all the frothers, with a silky, velvety texture and just-below boiling temperature. It also works a treat with non-dairy milks.
It’s very easy to clean as there’s only the detachable jug to wash. Its retro 1950s design will look good in any kitchen (plus there’s a range of pastel colours to suit different tastes). It does however command some space on the counter – it’s a high-quality piece of equipment you wouldn’t want to hide in a cupboard. This means that if you’re not too going to be using daily, it may be too expensive to use as an occasional piece of equipment – we’d recommend going for something cheaper if this is the case.
Buy the Smeg milk frother from Selfridges
Best mid-range buy for simplicity
At first sight, you may mistake the Bodum for a large cafetière. But, as you look closer, you’ll realise it’s a high-quality glass carafe with a sleek handle that’s perfect for do-it-yourself manual frothing.
A very simple instruction guide is on the packaging and also in the manual, so we find this one of the easiest to use: first, fill with milk up to the line on the jug and warm in the microwave for 30-50 seconds. Once hot, use the manual pump to froth the milk until the volume doubles. The whipped milk is then ready to spoon into your drink of choice (it’s worth noting that this frother doesn’t come with the option to make coffee or hot chocolate). We do notice a tiny amount of spillage coming out of the top hole and pouring outlet even when sealed. The foam itself is surprisingly smooth on its own, but lighter and airier than other frothers, which produce a thicker whip.
It’s dishwasher-safe and easy to clean, the same as you would a cafetière. Plus, the small footprint makes it perfect for a kitchen with little bench space or low-hanging cupboards. Overall, if you’re after a quick and easy to follow model that offers plenty of froth with minimal effort, this is a brilliant value option.
Buy the Bodum milk frother from Robert Dyas
Most stylish milk frother
Nespresso’s Aeroccino 4 is the new and improved version of its earlier models, featuring a convenient black handle and elegant pouring outlet. With the options for hot foam, hot milk and cold foam, this product offers you choice. The instructions are simple: pour in the milk to the ‘max foam’ marking, select the desired button and wait approximately 80 seconds for your milk to froth.
This product is the obvious winner if using oat milk, producing an ultra-creamy and fluffy foam that’s soothing to sip on its own. The semi-skimmed version is surprisingly not as frothy, but still offers that hot, thick foam that’s perfect for topping your coffee or hot chocolate.
Except for the base, the Aeroccino 4 is dishwasher-safe to ease cleaning. The design is compact (making storage easy), though its glossy, modern look makes a smart addition to any kitchen space. If you’re into your whipped milk but don’t want to spend too much, then this hits the sweet spot: it’s convenient, versatile and offers barista-style whipped milk in just over a minute.
Buy the Nespresso milk frother from Amazon
Most practical everyday electric frother
Similar to the Lavazza, this electric frother has a one-touch triple function: heated milk, frothed hot milk or cold froth. In use, we’re surprised by how quiet and quick it is, with milk turning frothy in 70 seconds.
Although you can’t add chocolate flakes or coffee granules to the machine, it makes two cups of thick, creamy milk topping. The manual recommends using milk with a higher protein level, such as semi-skimmed, rather than full fat. The oat milk hardly froths at all, so we’d recommend a different frother if you’re hoping to use plant-based milks. It delivers a warm temperature of milk (60C), which may not be hot enough for those planning on making ready to drink hot chocolates and coffees.
The handle is a simple but valuable feature, and it’s easy to move in and out of storage, though compact and stylish enough to leave on the work surface. Versatile, quick and easy to operate, this is a failsafe frother with a reasonable price tag to match.
Buy the Dualit milk frother from John Lewis & Partners
Best mid-range for hot chocolates
Melitta’s Cremio frother gives you the option to make hot froth, hot milk and cold froth, perfect for creamy coffees, blended hot chocolates or desserts. This machine works with all types of milk, but we found using skimmed milk worked best, creating a thick, whipped froth which you can dollop onto your drink of choice.
The ergonomic handle is a defining feature, as is the non-stick coating for efficient cleaning (the lid and whisk is dishwasher-safe, too). The capacity for frothed milk is 100-150 ml, which is ample for two drinks. It’s also worth noting that you can prepare warm cocoa with this frother – simply add the chocolate powder to the milk before pressing the hot milk button.
This product is similar in range and aesthetic to the Dualit, with the bonus feature of preparing hot chocolate. All in all, the ergonomic handle, non-stick surfaces and clean brushed-steel aesthetics make this stylish container a sturdy and reliable kitchen accessory which you’ll be happy to invest in.
How we tested milk frothers
The milk frothers featured in this review were the best performing appliances chosen from a longlist of more than 20 products. All were tested in control conditions using a standardised criterion with semi-skimmed milk, Oatly Oat Drink Barista Edition and Hot Chocolat hot chocolate flakes and scored out of five against the following areas:
- Quality of milk foam
- Value for money
- Ease of use
- Quality of materials
- Design and aesthetic for keeping on the countertop
The average score out of 5 decided the overall star rating. The additional criteria played into our decision making:
- Variety of functions
- Kitchen footprint
- Sound in use
- Speed in use
- Ease of cleaning
- Advanced features
This review was last updated in June 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at oliveweb@.