When we prepare espressos with milk, cappuccinos or lattes macchiatos at home, we always enjoy that fantastic layer of froth, soft and firm, that crowns our creations. Many times the coffee maker itself, through a vaporizer -for milk- or a pressurized filter -for coffee-, is capable of creating it, but other times we need to create the milk foam ourselves to make a homemade cappuccino as God intended, and in the process, avoid a trip to our favourite coffee shop every time we feel like giving ourselves this pleasure. To do this, nothing like using a milk frother, also called a whisk or milk emulsifier.
That is why we have compiled a comprehensive guide to milk frothers, which includes not only comprehensive analyses of all the important models on the market, but also a catalogue and summary of them. In our opinion, milk frothers and coffee grinders are the two best complements you can buy for your coffee machine. So, let’s get started!
Comparison of electric milk frothers 2020
A milk frothing machine can be of several types which, as we will see later, have nothing to do with each other. So we have no choice but to show you several preliminary comparative tables, without mixing them.
If you are thinking of buying your milk frother on Amazon, you will most likely end up with your eye on an electric model. Like these:
Comparison of manual milk frothers 2020
Manual milk frothers are very powerful and have great capacity, but they also require more time to skim the same amount of milk as with an electric one. The user has to do all the work.
Comparison of battery-powered milk frothers 2020
The most economical and simple segment of electric emulsifiers, they are battery operated (usually two AA batteries) and you only have to hold the button down to let the head spin and texture the milk. There are few performance differences between them, so you can choose the cheapest foamer at any time.
Some of these models have two interchangeable heads (to obtain different textures in the milk), but this is not the usual way.
And now we’re getting down to business.
These milk froth machines are still not very popular on the market and the user, who wants to get hold of one of them, often comes up against a huge information barrier. In the large department stores or physical stores where they sell this type of accessory, the specialization of the salespeople in the coffee sector is conspicuous by its absence. Lucky for us, we are here to inform you!
To buy a milk frother online, what do I have to consider?
As you can see, there are different types of milk frothers (electric, manual, battery-powered) depending on your needs, budget and taste when preparing the desired milk cream.
To be able to decide between all of them and to buy the emulsifier that best suits our needs, we should know all of them and also know what factors we should look at when deciding to buy. It is also important to know some basic guidelines about milk emulsions and the right accessories to work with them.
1. First, of course, the mode of operation. We have already explained it before; the operation of the frother determines to a great extent its size and also its price. You must evaluate to what extent these two factors are important for you, to know if it is convenient for you to buy an electric skimmer, a manual one or a battery-powered hand mixer.
2. Secondly, the capacity of the container. Most milk heaters and hand skimmers are big enough to prepare 100 or 150 millilitres of milk froth, which should be enough for two or three cups of cappuccino or latte. However, if you need to prepare more frequently, then you should opt for larger and more capable foamers, such as the Severin SM 9688 or the Clatronic MS 3326.
Remember that the containers can never be filled to the maximum, because the air bubbles increase the volume of the froth and if we start with a large amount of milk the cream would overflow and make our kitchen lose.
For this reason, all skimmer containers include two marks on the inside, which indicate how far we should fill them if we want to make froth, or simply heat the milk. In this photograph, which corresponds to a Caso Fomini Jet, you can see it better:
3. Thirdly, power (in the case of electric skimmers, of course). The more watts, the greater the consumption and the greater the energy expenditure, but also the faster and often also the higher quality – density – of the resulting foam.
4. It is also important to pay attention to the cleanliness of the frother. If we use it every day, it is very important that the skimmer container is dishwasher safe, especially for our convenience. You don’t want to have to scrub it by hand every day, do you? In this respect, bear in mind that there are electric skimmers whose container is completely separated from the base and others in which the jug has integrated buttons, control panels or any type of electrical component that naturally makes it dishwasher-safe.
5. Finally, a factor that should also be important and is not always recognised as such is the brand of our milk whisk. There are numerous firms such as Cilio or Caso, which are not very well known in the field of coffee machines (some do not even market coffee machines), but they are a reference in this type of accessory such as milk beaters, grinders or others. However, the leading company worldwide in the milk froth sector is the German company, Severin. Some of the best milk frothers belong to its catalogue.
Keep this in mind before you buy and don’t rule out a good milk frother just because the brand doesn’t ring a bell. Well, that’s what our website is for, right? With all this information you will be able to solve the typical questions that any novice buyer faces: which is the best milk frother? Which milk frother is best for my needs?
Types of milk frothers
Basically, we can differentiate the milk beaters into three types:
Each of these types of frothers has advantages and disadvantages. Although we have already published a specific guide for each class (we recommend that you click on them above), we will give a brief outline of each one to get to know them better:
Electric milk frothers
Electric milk frothers generate cream through a spinning wheel that runs on an electric current. Either with a plug or with batteries. The latter will be discussed later.
These electric milk frothers are also called milk heaters, because one of their functions is precisely to heat the milk without emulsifying it.
They are normally made up of two parts: a stainless steel container or jug, at the bottom of which the rotating wheel appears to produce foam, and an electric bass that is connected to the current and that emits heat and is capable of heating, by induction, the milk or liquid that we have served inside. Thus, in addition to frothing milk, we can also heat it at the same time.
Electric milk evaporators normally have three functions:
- Processing of hot milk froth.
- Milk froth at natural temperature.
- Milk heater (no froth).
The most advanced ones even allow you to choose between different outlet temperatures to obtain a milk froth just the way you like it. The milk heater function also allows you, with a little creativity, to make cocoa shakes or hot chocolate drinks.
When you buy a milk warmer and frother, you will notice that they come in different sizes and are naturally bulkier and more expensive than battery-powered handheld frothers. They range in price from 30-40 pounds for the most basic models, to over 100 pounds for a high-end frother such as the Nespresso Aeroccino, Krups XL2000 or Severin SM 9688. Not surprisingly, the best milk frothers on the market belong to this segment.
In this photo you see on the left the electric base, on the right the container, and below the little wheels (or interchangeable heads) that serve either to make cream, or to heat the milk without shaking it simply. All the components correspond to the model Clatronic MS 3326.
As you can see in the photo, the toothed head is the one used for frothing, while the smooth head serves to stir the milk without frothing.
We have found the best explanation of how one of these milk heaters works in this video by the prestigious firm Severin:
Battery-powered (or handheld) milk emulsifiers
Handheld emulsifiers are instruments similar to a small blender. In fact, you can also call them milk blenders. They are cordless, battery operated and very economical (between 1 and 15 pounds).
A cordless milk frother always has a rod with a little wheel on the end that spins when you activate the frother. We only have to introduce it in the container where we have the milk to produce the foam (or in the same cup, if we want to use it as a coffee frother). And the most sophisticated ones, allow to apply several speeds.
However, as the whole process is carried out manually, it is always advisable to use a stainless steel milk jug and follow some simple guidelines such as those you can read in the following article: How to froth milk correctly.
We are not going to expand much more on this type of skimmers, because we have already collected and treated all the information about them in this complete article: Hand milk frothers.
We just leave you with a video. It is how battery-powered milk frothers work:
Manual milk frothers
Finally, we have the milk frothing machines that do not work with any type of technology or electric charge, but operate with the brute force of the hand, or arm, of the user. To froth milk without a steamer, you will need to use one of these.
They consist of a container similar to the milk heaters we have seen before and a mast at the end of which there is a strainer or metal mesh.
How do you use the manual milk frother? Very easy: we only have to raise and lower the mast over the milk so that the metal mesh breaks up the liquid and generates the precious air bubbles responsible for giving the froth its texture. The final result will depend on the force used and the time we are shaking the milk: thinner, denser foam.
In this way, we already know how to cream milk without a machine. All you have to do is shake the plunger up and down.
Manual milk beaters have the disadvantage, compared to electric ones, that if we want to obtain hot milk froth, we have to heat the milk beforehand, for example in the microwave. In their favour, of course, is the price. The higher quality models can be bought for 50% or 60% of the price of an electric foamer. You don’t have to spend more than £20-25 to get one of these.
The standards of this segment of manual milk frothers are, without a doubt, the Bialetti Tutto Crema and the Bodum Latteo. Two prestigious firms in the sector for two of the best manual milk beaters you can find. So you know: if you want to froth milk without a machine, this kind of gadget will help you get it.
And if you have any doubts left, check out this video because that’s how you use a handheld milk frother:
The best milk frothers of 2020
We finally got to the section everyone was waiting for. If you are going to invest money, you always aspire to buy the best milk frother you can afford, or at least the one that comes closest to your consumption needs. To help you, we have made a list of some of the models that we think are the most outstanding, along with a brief review of each one. Without a doubt, a good starting point to begin your search.
Nespresso Milk Frother
Our list of the best milk frothers of 2020 starts with the well-known Aeroccino, Nespresso’s milk frother. The machine is now in its fourth version, although the Aeroccino 3 is still more popular.
The Nespresso milk frother is still one of the best milk frothers on the market, but its price is a little high for what it offers (this is undoubtedly the result of having the prestige of a brand like Nespresso behind it). It has a 240 ml capacity and is 100% electric.
In any case, it is one of the top accessories from Nespresso, a must if you have a Nespresso coffee maker and want to make your own cappuccinos at home.
- With 2 types of hot foam, hot milk and cold foam, you can prepare an even wider selection of coffee and milk drinks at home.
- Versatile and practical.
- You will have delicious, frothy milk in a matter of seconds.
Cecotec Power Mocha Spume 5000 Frother
We have chosen this model of Cecotec because it is one of the best frothing machines in terms of quality-price ratio in the market. As with everything else surrounding this Spanish brand, the product fulfils its functions very well and is gaining strength in the market thanks to its low price.
It is a high-capacity electric milk frother (400 ml) with 650 watts of power, whose greatest virtue is that it has four functions, instead of the usual three for this type of skimmer. More specifically, the fourth function is called Chocco-Made, which is the one used to make chocolate. Very recommendable if you want to buy your first milk frother!
- 650W milk frother in black and silver, with four modes for hot foaming, cold foaming, warming and hot chocolate mode, with 200ml capacity for foaming function and 400ml for heating function.
- Dishwasher safe and cordless stainless steel jug for easy handling and operation with maximum and minimum embossed capacity indicator, BPA-free and 360 base
- Supports foaming on all types of milk: normal, steamed, cold, lactose-free.
- Removable accessories to suit all functions and specific accessory for preparing melted chocolate.
- Change function while holding the button for several seconds. Non-slip and with auto-off function.
Lidl Milk Frother
What can we say at this point about Silvercrest appliances? The Lidl Silvercrest milk frother is the best option if you are looking for a very cheap emulsifier and also if you are lucky enough to find it when it goes on sale because you know that the items of this brand are only sold in their own physical stores and in very specific periods.
You know what this brand offers you: low prices, basic features, few surprises.
If you wish to learn more about this device, please consult the review we prepared at the time:
Severin Frother SM-9688
It is difficult to stay with just one of the whole range of Severin frothers, but if we have to choose the best of this German firm, we will choose the Severin model SM-9688.
Why? Because it allows us to select the temperature at which the milk leaves. That is, not only can we manufacture milk foam in a few seconds, but we can also obtain it at 45, 50, 55 or 65 ºC. Impossible to ask for more. A top-of-the-range frother in its own right.
- Detachable, dishwasher safe stainless steel container, suitable to froth 120 to 350 ml or to heat 120 to 700 ml of milk
- Cold or hot frothing, heat setting adjustable from approx. 40 to 65 C
- Automatic switch-off, on/off switch with LED pilot light and thermal safety cut-out
- Exchangeable magnetic attachment to heat or to froth milk. Magnetic attachment storage at the back of the frother
- Induction heat technology, no scorching
Vava milk frother
Vava milk frothers have triumphed on Amazon’s sales lists because they are among the cheapest electric frothers on the market. And the choice is clear among users who are buying their first skimmer on Amazon: they are looking for something comfortable, that works quickly and simply, and that doesn’t cost a lot of money. And that’s where Vava foamers come in.
We highlight in the review the model Vava Va-EB008, 500 watts and 240 ml capacity, but the brand has other models on the market with similar characteristics. You can choose.
- Hot, warm, or cold milk: refresh yourself with your choice of cold, warm, or hot milk so you can make cappuccinos, macchiato, lattes, flat whites, and more
- Note: Please use milk under 115ml/3.9oz for frothing, milk capacity under 240ml/8.1oz for heating. Please use whole milk for frothing.
- Extra whisks for more froth: comes with an additional set of whisks for frothy-goodness to delight the entire family
- Silent, secure, and smart design: quiet operation when frothing; STRIX temperature controls meet international safety standards; angled ergonomic spout minimizes spillages
- Safe and stick-free covering: clean-ups are quick with a safe, non-stick coating that leaves no trace elements in your milk
Milk Frother Ikea PRODUKT
Well, yes, our Swedish friends at Ikea sell everything, not just furniture. And that includes the Ikea milk frother, which, as is often the case with Ikea products, offers really basic features, without complications and at a very affordable price. If you are looking to buy a cheap frother and you have one of these department stores close to your home, then you can consider it among your list of options. That is, as long as you are able to find it among the store’s shelves, of course.
The Ikea milk frother is called PRODUKT, and it is a very simple battery-powered frother, black in colour, and with a ridiculous price that usually does not exceed 3 pounds. It means that you can often take it home as a souvenir or as an impulse purchase, one of the many tangles you get into once you have lined up your way out of the car park.
You can see what the Ikea milk beater looks like in the following image:
Lattiz milk frother and heater
The Lattiz milk frother and the heater is a radically different instrument from the rest of the beaters we see in this report, but it certainly deserves a place in the ranking on its own merits. It is a very professional device, not intended for domestic use but rather for intensive use by baristas, hotel and catering businesses and the like.
Its appearance is similar to that of a coffee machine, and its main objective is to save time and produce large quantities of milk froth in a few seconds. For this reason, we say that it is not a domestic milk creamer but rather business-oriented.
To use it, we have to fill the milk tank and press the corresponding button depending on the amount of milk we want to obtain. Maximum automation. We place our milk jug under the dispenser, and collect the amount we have programmed.
By using the Lattiz automatic milk frother, you will be able to obtain a maximum quality froth for all services, without any differences between them. No matter if you are inexperienced or not good at emulsifying milk, thanks to Lattiz, your froth will always be professional and homogeneous. And without waiting!
In short, if you are looking for a professional milk heater, this is your reference model.
Milk Frother ATMA CA7100
The latest model we review within our ranking of the best milk frothers of 2020 is this Atma beater. Atma is an American brand whose coffee machines -already analyzed in our web- are very popular in several Latin countries, but it has not yet managed to gain a foothold in the European market.
The Atma milk frother is an electric model, very simple and has two interchangeable heads: one is used to froth milk (the main function of the emulsifier) and the other simply to stir the milk while it is being heated. Without airing it and therefore without creating froth.
Otherwise, a very basic electric foamer. White in colour, with a 360º electric base and a single button operation. Let’s hope it arrives soon in Europe, because it is just the type of emulsifier that fits the profile of most users.
The best brands of milk frothers 2020
What is the best brand of milk frothers? Which manufacturer should I start looking for? What are the references in the sector? If this is the first time you are going to buy a milk frother, you will surely have come across these. We want to make it easy for you and we are going to summarize in this guide which are the best brands of milk mixers:
NOTE: As we always insist in our reviews, you should not look at all costs for the best brand of milk frothers, but rather for the model that best suits your needs.
Severin Milk Frothers
Severin is the best brand of milk mixers today. For everything: for variety, for quantity and for quality. It has the widest and most complete range of electric and high-end milk frothers. If you are thinking of buying a good milk frother, you should start by looking at this company’s catalogue.
Such is its level in this sector that we have dedicated a special guide to it: get to know everything about Severin skimmers.
We also have to say that the prices of these appliances are in accordance with their quality, so do not expect to find here any cheap or thrown away models. Quality must be paid for, and Severin electric frothers are mainly oriented to the expert consumer.
Bialetti milk frothers
In this case, Bialetti focuses on manual skimmers, although it also has some examples of electric and battery-powered skimmers. We will talk about them later, but here is a small sample of Bialetti frothers as a preview.
Clatronic milk frothers
Clatronic is the company that has more milk frothers in the market, so its mention in this list is mandatory. However, it’s a very wide offer. It is not too varied, as it mainly uses low-cost models and battery-powered skimmers. It is not the best choice for the top consumer, but it is certainly a good alternative if you want to get started in this world or try if you get used to using a milk emulsifier at home.
When buying a Clatronic milk frother, you can choose between several quite colourful models, although as we say all of them have a very similar price and features.
Bodum milk frothers
Bodum frothers wines are very well known among coffee drinkers, especially thanks to the Bodum Latte, an icon in this world. But the most interesting thing about this manufacturer is that it offers us a different sparkling wine of each type: one manual, one electric and one more simple battery-powered. Of course, if you are going to buy a Bodum milk frother, you cannot say that you cannot find one to suit your needs.
The Latteo model (perhaps the best manual milk creamer) and the Bistro, a mid-range electric one, stand out, but they enjoy the acceptance of the audience thanks to the inherent prestige of the brand. Without a doubt, Bodum milk frothers continue to be a benchmark in the sector.
WMF Milk Frothers
All of them are above the average in the sector, both in price and performance, so if you are thinking of buying a WMF milk frother make sure you use it often and know how to get the most out of it. To keep it in a cabinet most of the time, you’d better find a cheaper one. In the next gallery, you can see all of them in more detail:
Milk skimmers with accessories
Sometimes we may need to buy a milk frother with accessories, not only to make froth but also to experiment with latte art or to do our own barista thing.
Luckily, the market offers us several alternatives of milk foamers and accessories in the same pack. A complete barista kit for which we can also get ideas in our barista accessory guide.
When we go to buy a milk frother with accessories, we can find two types of accessories. Those oriented to the emulsion or blender function (with multiple heads that can be interchanged), and the specific ones to make latte art (templates, milk jugs and so on).
What is a milk frother for?
To make milk froth, is the most obvious answer, right? But the question many users ask themselves is: What do I want that milk froth for? What is the difference between using fresh milk, cream and foamed milk? How is a latte made? What are the different types of coffee that can be made depending on the ingredients? Is it worth buying a cappuccino milk frother?
To make things clearer, let’s take a look at a great computer graphic that shows some of the most popular varieties and preparations of coffee around the world, along with their composition:
After reading this, you’re probably much more convinced of how interesting it can be to have a milk frothing machine at home, right? By varying each ingredient and its proportions, you can discover a new cast of possibilities, which go far beyond the typical cappuccino or latte macchiato.
What does a milk frother do? Milk frothers are used to create professional milk froth and allow us greater flexibility and more options than traditional vaporizers that include some express machines. Yes, in the end, it is a matter of aerating the milk, but the result can vary greatly depending on the power and time the steam is applied.
If you make cappuccinos or lattes at home, and consider yourself a true fan of these drinks, having a good milk whisk accessory is almost a must. Frothed milk, well made, is capable of taking your creations to the next level.
And now that you know what a milk frother is for, it’s time to focus on handling it:
How does a milk frother work?
The operation of a skimmer is slightly different depending on the type of appliance in question (electric, battery, manual). If it is electric, you must pour the milk into the skimmer and start it up. Normally, the skimmer will work while you have the button pressed, and will turn off when you release it. You don’t have to worry about anything else.
If it is manual or battery-operated, it is just the opposite: you must insert the skimmer’s plunger or screen into the milk and move or shake it as appropriate so that all the milk is emulsified equally.
In both cases, the time you are aerating the milk will have a significant influence on the resulting texture.
Here is a brief demonstration of how a milk frother is used (in this case, with the Philips milk frother as an example).
Can you froth milk with the French press?
Yes, technically we can froth milk with the French press. The physiognomy of manual frothers and plunger coffee machines (or French presses) are very similar, and although the meshes at the end of the plunger do not have to be exactly the same, they can be used for the same thing. The result will not be identical either, but in many cases the milk froth will be acceptable. With enough movement, the milk will eventually aerate.
What we do recommend, if you plan to froth the milk with a French press, is that you use two different plungers and meshes, one to froth the milk and the other to make the coffee (which is what it’s actually supposed to be used for), so that neither the flavours nor the remains of the milk are ever mixed with the coffee.
If you can’t get hold of an extra plunger, then you’ll have to take special care to clean the mesh when interspersing the milk with the coffee brew.
How to froth milk with the Thermomix
Is it possible to froth the milk with the Thermomix? Well, where we say Thermomix, we really mean any kitchen robot, but the configuration we are going to explain is valid for the Thermomix. If you have another model, you will have to adapt these steps to the functions of your robot at home.
It is the configuration for making milk foam in the Thermomix:
Time required: 8 minutes.
Recipe for frothing milk in the Thermomix:
- Place the butterfly on the blades
Otherwise, it is impossible to introduce air no matter how fast we beat the milk.
- We programmed 3 minutes and sped 4
This step is done with cold milk, just to texture. As a reference, 350/400 grams of milk will produce cream for approximately 4 cups.
- We program 4 minutes, 80ºC and speed 3 or 4
Here we finish texturing the froth, and we heat it up. Choosing between speed 3 or 4 depends on the type of milk you use and how dense you like the result. In any case, remember that you should never use speeds higher than four if you have the blade on.
Buy a cheap milk frother
Cheap milk frothers are usually between 10 and 20 pounds in price (sometimes even less). As you can see, it is very affordable to get one.
When buying a cheap milk frother, you have to take into account that you will have to give up the comfort of the electric mixer, and of course the milk heater function.
The cheapest milk beaters are the ones that run on batteries and especially the smaller ones (portable milk frothers). If you don’t mind having to foam the milk manually and devote a little attention to the process, the savings are remarkable. You can take one home for just a few pounds or cents, as you will see below.
Of course, you can’t compare the quality and level of effort these requirements with those of a high-end electric skimmer, but if you want to buy a cheap milk frother, you know what you are aiming for.
In the case of the electric ones, in the range of 18 or 20 pounds, it is possible to find some basic models, but they can serve beginners.
Below, we explain two very obvious ways to buy a cheap milk frother: study the offers on Amazon, or opt for second-hand emulsifiers:
Great deals on milk frothers
These are not necessarily the cheapest milk frothers, but they are those that present a greater reduction (percentage-wise) with respect to their original price.
Second-hand milk frothers
Finally, another option to buy a cheap milk frother is to look at the Amazon reconditioned market. Second-hand froth machines are an excellent opportunity to get a high-end model with up to 20 or 30 pounds off the original price. Usually these are models with some small tare, rubbing or defect in the packaging, which does not affect the operation of the appliance in any way.
Where to buy a milk frother?
Well, we’ve reached the end of this article, and you have all the information you need to make your decision. All you have to do is make your purchase, and here you will find two basic alternatives:
- Buying your milk frother online: We usually recommend buying your milk frother at Amazon, because you can choose from a wider range of models and brands. And the offers are usually more attractive too, although this is often a matter of luck.
- Buying the skimmer in a physical store: this option allows you to see the device and perhaps try it out live before taking it home, but the truth is that skimmers are not the most popular items, and it will not be easy for you to see them in your usual store. If you live in a big city, you may be able to buy a milk foamer in large stores.
Best-selling milk emulsifiers in 2020
When buying your milk frother on Amazon, you will surely be interested in knowing which models are preferred by consumers today. Remember that these are the most popular and not necessarily the best milk frothers on the market.
As you can see, battery-powered emulsifiers and low-cost emulsifiers are the consumer’s choice, most of the time. The top models are usually reserved for a very low percentage of users (we tend to value the coffee maker more than any other accessory, including electric milk frothers).