After looking at dozens of milk frothers, reviewing their capabilities and comparing them to each other, I’ve determined that the best milk frother is the Breville Milk Café. It may be on the expensive side but its extra features and build quality blow its competitors out of the water.
Packed with features that none of its competitors match, the Breville allows you to customize your milk temperature and density all within a removable, stainless steel jug.
Read on to find out how I choose my top milk frother. You'll learn what you need to look out for when buying milk frothers, as well as a detailed guide handheld and jug style frothers.
What Is A Electric Milk Frother?
Everyone loves waking up to a frothy cappuccino or smooth latte. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures that gets you up and going.
But In the past if you wanted to enjoy this treat you would have to buy an espresso machine just to make some foam.
This was a very expensive proposition as espresso machines can cost upwards of $1000!
Frankly I don't think anyone could justify spending that much money to froth milk.
Luckily this is no longer the case.
We now have electric milk frothers that create delicious foam to complete your morning brew. They're ten fold cheaper and focus on doing one task and doing it well - making great tasting foam.
But what you may not know is that there's two electric milk frother types to choose from.
Let's compare the two so you can decided which model better suits you.
Handheld vs Jug Milk Frothers
The two types of milk frothers are the “handheld” and “jug” style. Both have the ability to create foam, they just go about their job differently.
Handheld Milk Frothers
Handheld frothers are simply a motorised whisker that create foam by spinning a whisk at high speeds below the surface of milk. They are battery powered and due to their simple design very affordable.
The downside of handheld frothers is that you’ll have to heat up your milk separately in either a microwave or stove before you start frothing away — cold cappuccinos are a no-no in my books.
Jug Milk Frothers
Jug milk frothers on the other hand combine milk heating and frothing functions in one product.
They work by using induction coils to heat the milk in the jug while using a motorised whisk to create tasty foam. This means no fiddling with your microwave and less things to clean up!
I’m a fan of devices that make a process easier. That’s why I prefer jug style milk frothers to handheld ones, and I also find they make the best frothed milk.
Now that we’ve gone through the technical features let’s get into juicy stuff – the milk frother reviews.
I’ve decided to divide the frothers into five winning categories:
Best Milk Frother Reviews: Top 5
1. Breville Milk Cafe - Best Electric Milk Forther
The Breville Milk Café is my favorite frother because it has the ability to create the exact foam you desire while throwing in extra features that none of its competitors can match.
First off the Breville is the only milk frother that allows you to set both the temperature of your milk AND the amount of foam you wish to create. Simply use the circular dial to set your milk temperature anywhere from cold stir to 160 degrees (70C).
To control the amount of foam you wish to create the Breville comes with two interchangeable frothing disks, one to create smooth latte micro-foam and the other to create dense cappuccino foam. The Milk Café also gives you the ability to create enough foam for up to three big cups of coffee with its huge capacity, is dishwasher safe ( you can separate the jug from the base), has a striking stainless steel design, and can make a mean hot chocolate (throw in some choc chips and see what happens).
But what I really like about the Milk Cafe is its attention to detail that makes using much more pleasant. This seems to be a trend with Breville products. For example the Milk Cafe has an actual jug spout unlike cheaper models that are completely circular. This makes it easier to pour the milk out smoothly and consistently rather than splashing it all into your cup. It also comes with an innovative lid enclosure that allows you to add chocolate and sirups while the milk is frothing without messing up your kitchen.
On the negative side there really isn’t anything wrong with it, my only complaint is that the frothing disk can get loose when the jug is not clean as its held on by magnetisation. However a good rinse after each froth and you won’t have this problem. It’s actually recommended that you give the jug a rinse after each use as you don’t want to reheat old frothy milk as it’ll affect the flavour of your foam. All in all if you’re looking for a top of the line frother that gives you customisation abilities that none of its competitors can match, then the Breville is the perfect milk frother for you.
2. Nespresso Aeroccino - Runner Up
When you buy the best of the best it usually comes with a price premium. This is when you look for the product that gives you the best value for money. In terms of milk steamer the Aeroccino takes out this category.
For its price point the Nespresso is a great milk frother in terms of value as it has the ability to create nice dense foam while being half the price of the Breville above. Like the Breville it also uses induction heating to heat up the milk and a magnetized spinning disk to create its foam. It comes with two disks as well, one to create dense cappuccino foam and the other to make latte milk. It’s also much more straightforward to use as you only have to press one button to start frothing. In my experience the frothing process takes between 70-100 seconds and creates enough foam to complete 1 large or 2 small drinks.
But what does the lower price point compromise? It’s mainly greater customization and extra features. Unlike the Breville the Nespresso does not give you the ability to set the temperature of your foam (other than hot and cold).
The Nespresso always brings your milk up to 160-170 degrees (70-76C), which is the optimal milk temperature to bring out the natural sweetness in milk. If you like your milk hotter you run the risk of burning it, but you can always give it a microwave blast.
The heat incline is not as stable as the Breville but it works well the majority of the time. Another thing to note is that the Nespresso Aeroccino is not dishwasher safe. You’ll have to clean it by rinsing it under your tap after each use. If you’re making multiple coffees for several people each day then the Aeroccino may be too small, however it is the ideal size for one or two people.
In the end if you’re looking for a milk steamer machine that can create dense foam at a quick pace and for a good price, the Nespresso Aeroccino is a great choice. Further, if you already have a Nespresso coffee maker, this frother will suit match the design of your coffee maker.
3. Secura Milk Frother - Budget Pick
The Secura is the best budget milk frother. I like to think of it as the white-labelled Nespresso Aeroccino as it shares many of its features.
The Secura uses induction heating, has the same capacity as the Nespresso (125ml for foam preparation and 250ml for hot milk), the same two heat options (cold or hot to 140 degrees), and is a stainless steel build. Of course when you’re buying a product with a lower price point there are always a few compromises, but if you’re content with a decent milk frother without all the bells and whistles then the Secura is a great choice for you.
Secura vs Nespresso Aeroccino
Now lets get into the differences between the Secura and Aeroccino. The main difference is the way the Secura froths its milk. The Nespresso uses magnetisation to hold its frother in place and comes with 2 interchangeable disks. Whereas the Secura uses a motorised whisk that clips onto the bottom of the jug to create foam. Further it only has one whisk attachment that creates dense cappuccino foam. Also like the Nespresso the Secura is not dishwasher safe and has to be rinsed after each use to maintain it. In my opinion the Secura often leaves a milk crust at the bottom of the jug so it’s essential to clean it after each use, so not to the affect the taste of the next batch of foam. Another difference that favours the Secura is that it’s easier to choose between cold or hot frothing as it has two distinct buttons – I think that’s a bit more user friendly.
So which one should you get? The Nespresso Aeroccino or Secura? The Secura is usually a good 20-30 dollars cheaper than the Nespresso. So if you’re a bit more budget conscious or looking to test out a automatic milk frother before potentially upgrading, the Secura is the way to go. However the Aeroccino is the better value frother due to its ability to create different levels of foam, clean-ability, and more striking appearance.
4. Subminimal NanoFoamer - Best Handheld
The Nano Foamer is a Kickstarter backed milk frother that solves the issues that many milk frothers have - they can't froth milk for latte art! The Nano Foamer has patented technology that is designed to be able to make great micro-foam with the same consistency as an espresso machine. It really is impressive! Even our top pick, the Breville, can't make foam like this! However, it does require some practice to get right.
The most impressive thing about this frother is that it can froth milk like an espresso machine. If done right, you can make nice microfoam that is the same consistency as when steaming milk with an steam wand on an espresso machine.
Now the con of this frother is mainly the price. It is expensive for a hand held milk frother. Also I believe the target market for it is a little narrow.
This is because, if you are interested in making latte art you would most likley buy a proper espresso machine so you can combine the espresso and milk for the best results. And if you just enjoy very frothy milk and don't have an espresso machine to produce the espresso needed for latte art, I think you're better off getting a cheaper $10 handheld frother like the Slickfroth below.
Also, even though you can get the right consistency with this handheld frother to make latte art, actually doing it is hard. Mastering latte art takes time - heck, that's the whole reason I made this website! To teach people how to make it.
So if you don’t care about latte art, or don’t have an espresso machine, I think you're probably better off saving money and getting a cheap handheld frother, or for a similar price point, get one of the above jug frothers.
But if you're interested in learning it or even have a manual espresso machine, like Flair, this is the best handheld option in terms of quality of foam it produces.
5. Kuissential Slickfroth - Budget Handheld Frother
The Kuissential SlickFroth is the best budget milk frother. Unlike the Subminial above, you can grab this one for $10! Making it very good value.
Although I noted that I’m a bigger fan of jug style frothers as they combine the milk frothing and heating steps, there are people who prefer the manual control handheld frothers offer.
So when picking a good cheap handheld frother it had to satisfy a few key points: durability, ease of use, and frothing capabilities. The SlickFroth came out on top for each of these points for a good price point.
In respect to durability the SlickFroth has a stainless steel handheld and whisk with a solid ergonomic handle and rubber grip exterior. This means it’s not only striking to look at but it wont break if it falls off the counter compared to cheaper plastic models. In terms of ease of use the SlickFroth couldn’t get easier. All you do is slide the switch forward to get the whisk spinning right away. What I found the SlickFroth excelled at when compared to other handheld frothers is that it has a much faster torque, whereas cheaper models tend to take a few seconds to get up to frothing speed. The SlickForth gets to full speed in less than a second.
How's The Foam?
So the SlickFroth has a good build and it’s easy to use, but how does the foam turn out? It makes tasty frothy milk. Thanks to the torque you can make great cappuccino froth in less than 20 seconds. Simply insert the frother underneath the surface of the milk, turn it on, and rotate it around your cup until you get as much foam as you desire. It also comes with batteries included unlike some models. The foam it produces is very thick, perfect for cappuccinos. However, it can't produce the nice small bubbles needed for latte art like the NanoFoamer. But if you dont care about latte art, and just want a good value frother, this oen is a non brainer.
That wraps up our look at the milk frothers. As you can seen there’s a quite range to choose from. I’ll continually be updating this page as new products come to market so make sure to keep an eye out.
Your goal now is to pick the milk frother that’s right for you. Also if you're interested in a full on machine check our our best latte machine picks for home. Let us know which milk frother you end up buying and if you agree with my selections.