There are some people that can’t break their coffee store habit because a basic cup of coffee is never going to cut it. Of course, you could always up your game and invest in a super-automatic coffee maker.
But, if you’re trying to save a few bucks and make scrumptious cappuccinos and lattes at home, you’ll need a milk frother.
Fortunately, you’ll find that many of the best milk frothers are less than $50. (Now how many coffees would it take for your new frother to pay for itself?)
There are two major types of milk frothers available (as separate units from semi- or super-automatic machines). And, there are electric milk frothers that plug into the wall and do all the work for you (except pouring milk in and out).
If you’re serious about coffee, we strongly suggest you opt for an electric milk frother, but if you’re just curious or on a strict budget, the handheld ones get the job done. Oh, and we’ve done all the hard work by researching the best milk frothers for you.
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Take a look at that price! Plus, there’s a 60-day money back guarantee and it’s available in both black and silver. That’s not bad for a budget piece.
The battery pack is a bit finicky. And, given the price, you really can’t expect this to last terribly long. Plus, the batteries aren’t included.
We’re not going to lie, this is totally bottom of the line. It just happens to be the best of the bottom, which makes it totally appropriate for people that really need to save their cash (cutting back on the coffee to go and whatnot) as well as sceptics that don’t believe they can make a good cappuccino at home.
If you happen to fall into the above categories, or you’re simply looking for a stocking stuffer for your colleague that can’t stop slurping back the lattes, you don’t really need to look further than this super budget, handheld frother.
It does what it says it is supposed to and it does it well. You have a choice of colours, albeit limited to black and silver, and there is a 60-day money back guarantee that goes with it. You don’t need any sort of instructions to operate this, nor to wash it – as long as you have common sense.
Sadly, the one area that disappoints us, even given the price is that the two AA batteries you need aren’t included. So, if you’re ordering off Amazon, be sure to pick up a couple packs of those as well.
Powered by: 2x AA batteries
Duration: It depends on the thickness of the foam you want, but it doesn’t take long at all.
Capacity: There’s no real capacity, but you don’t want to overfill your mug or you’ll make a real mess in the kitchen.
Material: Stainless steel whip with a plastic body on the handle.
Cleaning: Simply fill a mug with warm, soapy water. Run as usual, then rinse under warm water. You can use a damp cloth to wipe down the body. Dry and pack away.
Cost: The MSRP is $15, and you’ll pay even less than that. At the moment, it’s less than $7 which makes this great as a stocking stuffer for cappuccino lovers – or at any time of the year for those that need their fix.
Not only does this Nespresso milk frother do its job really quickly, the 1-button operation rocks. It has an auto-off function and looks darn sleek on the counter.
Besides the price tag on this countertop appliance, there are some users that don’t find value in it.
Before you click on the Amazon link and panic a little when you see the words discontinued, let us put your mind at ease. There are three different Nespresso milk frother options available on the same link. The older, discontinued model is on there – at an amazing price that will make you want to snap it up immediately. But, you should take a look at the black one or the chrome one if you’re looking for a “continued” model.
All three of these share some impressive stats – they do their frothing thing in a little more than a minute. And, they all heat the milk quickly. Let’s face it; they are all rather sexy looking too. But, the model you choose may have more to do with your budget and your needs than appearance.
We’re big fans of the one-button operation on the white and black models, but the chrome version – which is the newest and most expensive – has a couple of operating buttons and has a dishwasher safe carafe. The latter feature is a big plus when you look at competing automatic milk frothers; the former is really a matter of preference.
What we can tell you about all three is that they carry an amazing and world-recognized name. They’re part of gift sets that come with Nespresso coffee makers which should tell you that they are worth it. If only they were a little cheaper, we would give them more points.
Powered by: Mains operated
Duration: It takes about 70 seconds for hot or cold froth. That’s really not bad at all.
Capacity: The froth capacity is 4.1 ounces. If you’re merely looking for hot milk, you can get 8.1 ounces inside.
Material: Stainless steel
Cleaning: As you would expect, this is a hand wash item. You’ll clean the jug by rinsing and wiping it with a cloth or sponge.
Cost: It’s going to cost you nearly $100 for this Nespresso milk frother. If it was a little less expensive we’d move it a little higher on the list. Sadly, it seems you can’t have everything in one product.
With 3 temperature settings, the removable pitcher has a stay-cool handle and a large, see-through lid. There’s also an auto-off feature which is super helpful for busy mornings.
Some users report it quitting on them earlier than expected (others use it for years without incident). It’s a little on the pricey side as well.
Okay, we know this isn’t as pretty as some of the other electric milk frothers – and, you may be questioning its position as the best frother for entertaining. But, you shouldn’t. For a start, it’s got a decent capacity. Although it’s not the absolute largest on the market, the max of 12 ounces of heated milk is really, really good considering the average of 8 to 8.5 ounces.
And then there’s the ability to put the carafe in the dishwasher; you’re just not going to find that with most frothers. And, as every host/ess knows, fast and easy cleanup is a big part of enjoying the entertaining process.
Now, it does take a few minutes for the milk to heat, which is probably not going to be a big issue if you’re working with an espresso maker in the first place. But, once your milk is hot (or you’ve opted for cold milk), it takes anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds for perfect foam. That’s about average on the timing, but you have to take note of the numbers of users that believe it creates the most perfect foam out there.
There are also three temperature settings, which is a little unusual for the relatively low price you’re paying for this milk frother. They’re not very exact, mind you – just cold, warm, and hot. But, remember that you’re also not paying top end prices.
From the auto-off to the quiet performance, it’s difficult to find something to dislike about this electric milk frother. It really fills a specific area of the market. That said, it’s not the right one if you need something super snazzy or a super basic handheld model.
Powered by: You’ll plug this puppy into a socket; it operates on 120 volts (yes, American standards).
Duration: It can take a few minutes to heat the milk, but frothing takes users anywhere between 30 and 90 seconds. That’s not bad given the capacity.
Capacity: This is a wonderfully large milk frother! You can fit as much as 8 ounces inside if you’re frothing or 12 ounces if you’re just heating your milk. Nice, right?
Material: The black base has stainless steel accents. The milk pitcher and cover are made of plastics.
Cleaning: The removable milk pitcher is dishwasher-safe, which we believe is a massive bonus.
Cost: The MSRP is $75, which is on the higher side, but we don’t see why you’ll pay more than $55 for this milk frother. That’s not the most expensive, but it’s getting there. If you don’t do a lot of frothing or entertaining, you may actually want to opt for a cheaper version.
The money-back guarantee lasts for 3 months and this particular model is available in both black and red. It holds up well under frequent use and has a powerful motor.
It’s a lot smaller than you may think, and some users just never find any love for it.
If you’re not after an appliance that lives on your countertop, this is the one you want. No really. You can find cheaper versions (as found on this list), but you won’t easily find anything sturdier. Sorry.
Even though this is a small appliance that you’ll tuck into a drawer, you still have a choice of black or red handles. We can appreciate that. And, if you want to pay a little more, you can get a package set that includes those cute little stencils used for shaking cocoa over the foam.
The motor on this is solid and you get a serious 19,000 RPMs, so you know this works quickly whether you use it on cold milk for cappuccinos or hot milk for lattes. You should expect a cup worth of frothy milk in about 30 seconds. And, yet, it’s still remarkably silent. It requires two AA batteries, but the casing is solid and holds the batteries in place well, while still being able to get them in and out without any hassle.
Now, you can’t stick this in the dishwasher as the handle just isn’t built for that. But, you can just run it in a small cup (or a sinkful) of hot, soapy water. That’s not bad, especially since this isn’t going to rust on you.
Of course, we’re prepared to lament the 3-month guarantee because these types of mini appliances tend to wear out just after that time if they’re not going to last for years. Luckily, this seems to be one of the gadgets that does, in fact, stand the test of time.
Powered by: 2x AA batteries
Duration: It takes about 15 to 20 seconds for a mug full of creamy froth. That’s quite amazing when you think about it.
Capacity: Really, you can’t put a capacity to handheld milk frothers. If you have a giant mug, you can fill it about half way (maybe a little less), but the same goes for a small mug. That’s the way it goes.
Material: Stainless steel with a plastic casing on the handle.
Cleaning: Whizz this baby in a cup or mug full of hot water and a drop of soap. Rinse, dry, and pack away.
Cost: This is actually quite expensive for a handheld milk frother. The MSRP is around $45, but it will cost you a little more than $20 on Amazon. Against the automatic frothers, that’s not bad. But for handhelds, it’s the top of the line.
This electric milk frother works with both hot and cold milk and offers 3 settings for the results you want. It takes about 90 seconds for a good froth and the price is really rather reasonable.
Some users find this doesn’t hold up well over time, but they’re in the minority. Additionally, there are those that wish the inside lines would be more clear and that it had a larger capacity.
This electric automatic milk frother is downright amazing – especially given the price. It does a fantastic job with both hot and cold milk – and the heating function is stronger than many on the market. Users absolutely love the end product and find the quiet operation of this frother a real bonus.
It also does a decent job with almond and soy milk, which aren’t exactly easy to froth. Part of that has to do with the strength of the motor and the speed of the whip. The amount of milk it can heat or froth is merely average, but we’ll trade that in for a job well done.
We also like the detachable pitcher and that it doesn’t look bad at all on the counter. The carafe itself is vacuum-insulated and you can clean it with the included cleaning brush or by using the frother with a little hot, soapy water instead of milk (we certainly prefer the latter).
Now, there are three settings – hot froth, cold froth, and hot milk, and you really need to pay attention to which option you’re pushing; take a look at the manual – it will tell you exactly what you need to know.
Finally, you should know that there is a 2-year warranty which gives you a little bit of time to beat on this thing before you need to worry. We find that useful in a world filled with 30-day options and discarded frothers in cupboards and drawers.
Powered by: A heavy-duty internal motor working with 110 volts from and outlet
Duration: A complete cycle takes 90 seconds; that’s hardly the fastest, but you can walk away while it happens. Some users find it does the job much faster – in as little as 30 seconds. We’re happy either way.
Capacity: If you’re frothing milk, this can handle as much as 4.25 ounces at a go. If you’re just heating milk, you can do a full 8.5 ounces.
Material: Stainless steel with “vacuum-sealed” see-through plastic lid.
Cleaning: You can’t place this in the dishwasher, but if you run it with a little bit of soapy water in it, you can easily rinse it and dry it. Users report it being super easy to clean whether they use the included cleaning brush or not.
Cost: The MSRP is $70, but you can find this for under $45. That’s a totally reasonable price for an electric milk frother.
Katie’s Cleveland proud; but she’s also lived in Australia, Switzerland and now stays in South Africa. That’s a roundabout way of saying she can’t sit still; she’s always moving, always busy.
She has a BA in International Relations from Kent State University and work towards a Masters in Human Rights. She speaks French, is learning German and used to dream in Spanish. For years, Katie worked as a producer on fashion and advertising shoots before she realized her passion was the written word.
Katie’s far more interested in guy’s gear than women’s, except she has a wardrobe brimming with little black dresses. She drinks her beer out of the bottle and is raising her two boys to be better men.