Disclaimer: Although I personally have developed an aversion to puns over the years, the word froth is simply too resourceful to ignore. So get ready for some awful, awful wordplay (unfortunately, that title is just the beginning).
There are several stops on the long, winding path of the coffee enthusiast. The journey begins when you realize that instant coffee is, well, crap. So you start seeking out methods to recreate the perfect cup of joe in the convenience of your own home. You start off with a Moka pot, you upgrade to a drip coffee maker, you get a bit lost in the woods by purchasing a French press, but eventually, that gets tucked away in a cupboard and you find your way again, and then maybe, just maybe, you go and get yourself an espresso machine.
After you master the basics, like different types of grind, however, the road begins descending into the valley of finesse. You’ve spoiled your taste buds to the point where your palette will be having none of that Robusta nonsense, which is a hop, skip, and a jump away from realizing you really need a milk frother.
Because without that layer of perfect, silky foam, a cappuccino is basically just espresso with milk. You see, Froth Gild’st the Even (may Shakespeare forgive me for this atrocity), for without froth, your coffee, at best, would take on an unattractive brownish color after you’ve added a bit of that straight-out-the-fridge milk.
Of course, not having an espresso machine doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get in on that frothy goodness. Froth can turn any old cup of joe into a coffeeshop-worthy product. With that in mind – how do you get the full coffee shop experience in your home? Why, by getting a milk frother, of course! Fear not, young padawan, we have scoured the market and rounded up the best milk frothers for any home, budget, and preference, so you needn’t look frother than our product reviews to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Make sure you read our buying guide below the products, to get our advice on how to choose the best milk frother for you.
Best Milk Frother: Reviews of Our Favorites for 2020
Before we take a tour through our favorite milk frothers for 2020, here’s a quick look of what we have in store for you:
Best Overall: HIC Milk FrotherThe HIC milk frother isn’t just our favorite – it’s been a customer favorite, too, for a couple of years now. It’s our top recommendation for most people since it’s durable, easy to use, and provides truly beautiful results.
The HIC works with all kinds of milk, including non-dairy alternatives, and allows you to create thick cream that will last. It has a 14-ounce capacity and is quite easy to clean. The HIC is a manual frother, which means you’ll have to put some elbow grease to pump the milk and transform it into froth. However, this also gives you the opportunity to control just how thick your cream should be.
This milk frother offers excellent performance, without fail. The featured double-mesh aerator provides thick, creamy foam that will look beautiful on your cup of java and will taste just right. Some frothers make the foam too aerated, others fail to make it thick enough. The HIC strikes the perfect balance. Plus, the stainless steel pitcher keeps the milk warm.
The HIC milk frother is quite versatile. It allows you to create rich foam from both hot and cold milk. As we’ve mentioned, it works just as well with all kinds of milk, from dairy options like whole, skimmed or goat milk, to non-dairy alternatives, such as soy, almond, hemp, and cashew milk. This makes the HIC a wonderful choice for lactose-intolerant people and vegans, as they can achieve the same creamy results as dairy lovers.
This frother is quite easy to use. The pitcher comes with a plunger and a lid. Once you’ve filled the pitcher with milk, you need to secure the lid and pump the easy-grip handle on the plunger to turn that milk into foam. Officially, the process takes anywhere between 30 to 60 seconds, depending on how frothy you want your cream. Unofficially, it may only take a couple of seconds for the milk froth to rise to 2 to 3 times its size. You can experiment and see how much pumping provides your desired frothsistency.
The HIC is super easy to clean. You can wash the parts separately once your coffee’s ready. Plus, as it doesn’t have any electric parts, you can always stick it into the dishwasher after use.
Last but certainly not least, this frother is quite durable. For one, it doesn’t feature any electric parts that could break down or malfunction. For another, it’s made of sturdy stainless steel that won’t get damaged.
One drawback is that even if you secure the lid properly, some milk may leak out of the hole on the top which holds the plunger. Two tips we can give you if this happens are one, don’t overfill the pitcher, and two, do the pumping in the sink.
Best Portable Milk Frother: Aerolatte Handheld Milk FrotherIf you’re looking for something versatile, easy-to-use, and effective, you’ll love the Aerolatte handheld milk frother. The Aerolatte is battery-powered and lightweight, which makes it the ideal portable choice. It even features a travel storage case, for those of you who want coffeeshop-quality cream when you camp, travel or go to work. This is one of our most affordable recommendations.
Considering its price and size, the Aerolatte brings its A-game. The powerful mechanism will provide you with lovely froth in no time. It’s also quite versatile, as it works with both hot and cold milk. You can even use it to whisk eggs on days when you want them nice and fluffy.
Without a doubt, the Aerolatte is the perfect portable choice. It weighs only 4.6 ounces, and doesn’t require a power source to function – all you need are working batteries. As we’ve mentioned, the travel storage case that comes with the frother will make carrying it everywhere you go even simpler.
The Aerolatte is one of the easiest-to-use frothers on the market. All you do is turn it on, stick it in a cup of milk, and wait for 20-60 seconds, depending on how foamy you want your cream. It’s quite powerful, but not so powerful that it will have the batteries popping out. It’s also easy to wash – requiring only a bit of soap and warm water. Once you’re done washing it, you can just stick next to your cutlery – it takes up next to no space. Keep in mind that it’s not dishwasher-washable, as it features electric parts.
Although it’s small and lanky, the Aerolatte is surprisingly sturdy. It’s made up of stainless steel and plastic. The materials used are free of lead, cadmium, phthalates, and BPA, which makes it a safe choice for consumers. Additionally, this little frother is backed by a 2-year warranty.
Failing to mention how cute the design is would be a damn shame. You can get the Aerolatte in an adorable cow-print design, in black– if you’re a serious person, or in Union Jack design (the UK flag) if you’re a UK national that’s feeling patriotic, or simply have a thing for all things British ever since you read Harry Potter. Or should we say, Harry Frother (I’m so sorry, but you were warned).
While you could use the Aerolatte for all sorts of milk, it doesn’t work very well with non-dairy alternatives like almond or soy. It will give them some bubbles, but not much creaminess.
Best Electric Frother/Steamer: HadinEEon Milk Frother & SteamerThe HadinEEon is a great choice for those looking for a frother that doubles as a steamer. We really liked the versatile features and excellent performance of the HadinEEon. Although it’s a bit pricier than our other recommendations, the HadinEEon comes with one of the best warranties on the market and a friendly, helpful support team that won’t leave you hanging. You can use it for anything from milk to hot chocolate, and it froths both cold and hot beverages.
Plus, you can both heat your milk and turn it into perfect cream for your cappuccino all from one place! This is an electric, corded model so you’ll probably permanently need to sacrifice some space on your kitchen counter (unless you prefer stowing it away after each use).
In terms of performance, the HadinEEon will give you exactly what you want: perfectly dense, velvety foam to top off your coffee with, so you can skip Starbucks altogether. Whether it’s to froth milk, heat it up, or both, the HadinEEon will do it in no time – taking only a minute or so to get the job done with minimal input on your part. Plus, this frother features whisper-quiet operation, so no one in your household will be awakened by your early bird rituals.
The HadinEEon is one of the most versatile milk frothers we came across. In addition to it being a frother and a steamer at the same time, it can froth both hot and cold beverages, along with all kinds of milk, dairy and non-dairy.
We especially recommend the HadinEEon for busy people and households that need their coffee ready yesterday. You can just adjust the settings for what you want (cold froth, hot froth, or steaming/heating) and let this little gadget do the rest. As we’ve mentioned, it only takes about a minute or two. For heating and hot frothing, HadinEEon measures the temperature of the milk automatically, and always brings it up to 140℉, which is the ideal milk temperature for lattes and cappuccinos. Once it reaches 140℉, it automatically shuts off.
Operating and cleaning the HadinEEon is quite simple. There are intuitive LED-lit buttons on the handle that let you choose between cold frothing and heating/frothing. Once you’ve chosen a setting, the featured froth whisk or heating whisk will do their job. The jug is detachable from the heating element, so it will be easy to pour that foam with the elegance that your coffee deserves. Cleaning is super easy thanks to the non-stick coating on the inside of the jug that won’t allow grease to stick and make washup a nightmare.
Although customers have some doubts when it comes to electrics, the HaddinEEon is quite durable. The jug is made of stainless steel which provides excellent insulation. What will really make you comfortable about this purchase, however, is the 3-year warranty that the company offers along with the 1-year money-back guarantee, which has been tested and proven to be true, not just an empty promise.
This frother has a 4.4 oz frothing capacity for frothing and a 10.1 oz heating capacity.
One possible drawback is that the HaddinEEon won’t heat your milk past 140℉, so if you like piping hot coffee or chocolate milk, you may be disappointed.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that the volume markers are placed on the inside of the frother, which makes it a bit difficult to read. So beware of overfilling the jug – it may result in spilling.
Best on a Budget: Bellemain Hand Pump Milk FrotherOur favorite frother for those on a budget is the Bellemain Hand Pump Milk Frother. It’s quite similar to the HIC in design and functionality. You can use the Bellemain to both froth and heat up the milk, thanks to the durable stainless steel build. The froth it produces is long-lasting. Of course, you can manually adjust its creaminess. It has a 14 oz capacity.
The Bellemain brings coffeeshop-quality froth to your home workstation. This pump-based frother will allow you to produce delicious, creamy foam with a density that’s to your liking, as you’ll be doing the work manually, by pumping. Like the HIC, it can take anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds to get the ideal amount of thickness for your taste.
Along with the Aerolatte, the Bellemain is another great option for travel, and specifically, camping. It’s light and sturdy, so you won’t worry about it when you’re throwing around your backpack on airplanes, cars, or campsites. Although it’s a bit bulkier than the Aerolatte, it has the edge when it comes to versatility. This is because the Bellemain can be used to heat up your milk before frothing it, too, thanks to its durable stainless steel build. Of course, you’d want to steer clear of overheating it, as that can also damage the container.
The Bellemain’s versatility doesn’t end at heating. Not only can it be used for frothing cold and hot milk, but it’s also a great choice for preparing eggnog, salad dressing, cocktails, and hot chocolate, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You know what, go crazy with it. Do anything for froth’s sake.
Cleaning the Bellemain is quite easy. You can quickly wash it by hand, or stick in the top rack of the dishwasher.
The Bellemain offers great value for your money as it’s a durable little frother. It’s made of stainless steel that can withstand wear and tear, and it’s backed by a 2-year warranty.
While the stainless steel is indeed durable, the rubber piece on the lid which holds the plunger is a bit flimsy. It may grow loose after a couple of months of rigorous frothing. The worst that will come of this is some milk splashing about when you pump, in which case, as we recommended above – pump in the sink.
The HIC Milk Frother is our overall top choice for the delicious, dense, creamy foam that it can help you create. It’s the perfect choice for most froth-lovers as it strikes the perfect balance between price and quality. Yes, you’ll need to work a bit for your froth – but it’ll only take a couple of seconds to get a consistency that’s tailored to your taste. We especially recommend the HIC for non-dairy kinds of milk, as it’s uniquely successful in making the frothy.
Our favorite portable milk frother is the Aerolatte Handheld Milk Frother. This little machine comes with a lot of power that will turn your hot or cold milk into the foamy cream you desire for a beautiful finish to your cup of java. It’s tiny, lightweight, and comes with its own travel storage case! It will fit as well in a suitcase as it would into your kitchen’s top-shelf. It’s also quite affordable.
If you’re looking for more than a frother, the HadinEEon Milk Frother & Steamer is a great combination of frother and steamer. It can be used to froth hot or cold milk, but also just to heat your milk or hot chocolate. It’s a corded, electric model that does everything on its own – no hand-holding is necessary to get creamy froth for your coffee. Fill it up and tell it what to do, then come back for your foam a minute later. Keep in mind that this is our priciest recommendation – but it is durable and backed by a great warranty.
Our best budget-friendly recommendation is the Bellemain Hand Pump Milk Frother, a pump-based, stainless steel frother not unlike the HIC. The Bellemain is humble, straightforward, and durable. You can pump it as much as you like to achieve the desired density of your froth. It’s a great choice for campers that want a frother which they can also use for heating up the milk.
How To Choose The Right Milk Frother
Alright, so we’ve gone over what the best milk frothers are on the market – but which one is the right choice for you? Let’s take a look at the main factors you should consider when choosing.
What kind of milk do you drink?
As you may have realized, while all milk frothers do just fine with dairy milk, not all of them do as well with non-dairy alternatives. If you’re a vegan or lactose-intolerant, make sure you pick out a frother that works with almond, soy, and oatmeal milk, like the HIC.
Are you stationed, or on-the-go?
Some milk frothers, like the HadinEEon, are only good for homes and offices. As this model is corded, you can’t exactly take it with you wherever you go. On the other hand, if you prefer something portable that you can take with you when you travel or camp, you should consider one of our handheld, portable recommendations.
What’s your budget?
Consider how much you’re willing or able to spend on a frother. While all our recommendations are reasonably priced, there is a broad-ish range. The HaddinEEon is the priciest option, costing $39.98. The HIC comes second at a bit over $21.80. The Aerolatte and the Bellemain are priced at $15.99 and $14.95 respectively. Still, follow the links to these products to check their current prices.
A Few Words Before You Go…
Hopefully, our reviews and buying guide have been helpful on your journey to becoming a full-on coffee guru. And you don’t need to spend a lot of money on an expensive espresso machine to have a frothy cuppa coffee.
If you’re interested, you can check out more of our product reviews and guides, along with some tasty recipes that will help you convert your home into a make-believe coffeeshop. Especially if you’ve been cooked up in quarantine, trying something different can transport you – or at least your taste buds – to a simpler time (so like, last year).
In the end, all we’d like to say is may the froth be with you, and also, since we’re not picking sides, live long and frothper. :/
Want to see our favorite milk frothers one more time before you go? Here they are!
Amazon product information last updated on August 10, 2020. Images, prices and links from Amazon Product Advertising API.