These 6 best milk frothers are the cream of the crop for easy barista-style beverages

Wave goodbye to coffee shop lines

Nespresso Aerocinno 4 milk frother in kitchen with various preparations of milk-based coffee drinks
(Image credit: Nespresso)

Investing in one of the best milk frothers can help you cafe-worthy drinks from the comfort of your own kitchen. Using one of these manual or electric gadgets is much easier than you think, and with a good coffee maker on your countertop, no pro barista skills are required for whipping up your go-to order. Put simply, a milk frother aerates the milk, forming tiny pockets of bubbles, which leads to delightfully frothy and foamy consistencies in your drinks. 

Now, depending on your budget or expertise, there are many different types of milk frothers out there. Does a budget-friendly handheld whisk appeal to you or a manual French-press style frother? Or are you ready to invest in something electric and automatic, or a tool that's similar to what your favorite coffeehouse uses?

If shaking it in the carton has soured your latte results, don't cry over spilled milk. We'll show you which milk frother is best for your budget and needs. You don't have to be a coffee lover either as many of these can elevate your hot chocolate, chai, or matcha, too.

Meet the 4 different types of milk frothers

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  • Electric: These are the most expensive and have a heating component. They most closely resemble an electric kettle, with a jug where the milk goes, a power base that heats up, a whisk, and a clear lid to see progress. Most involve just adding milk and selecting the desired setting, and it will shut off when done frothing. Electric milk frothers can heat and froth milk at the same time. 
  • Handheld: A budget-friendly choice, these have a handheld wand part with a small whisk at the end that is inserted into your milk. They either have batteries or are rechargeable, but they sometimes cause milk splatter.
  • Manual: These resemble a coffee press and include a carafe, either glass or stainless steel, with a lid, and a plunger where you will manually pump air into the milk. They require the most effort and take the most time, but you never have to worry about an electrical component not working and you have total control over the frothiness.
  • Steam wand: These are what you see in coffee shops, and are generally the most expensive and require more technique. They are built into some coffee makers and their mechanism pushes steam through a wand into the milk, creating fine and velvety foam giving it texture, not just bubbles. 

The best milk frothers to buy in 2024

We researched and reviewed the best milk frothers that will truly make your at-home coffee experience one to remember. But be careful, your one-a-day coffee may soon turn into a four-a-day latte habit and the need to constantly re-stock your fridge with milk. But it's all so, so worth it.

How does a milk frother work?

A milk frother aerates the milk by quickly stirring it. This action brings in air to the mixture, which in turn causes the milk to form a lather on top. This can be light or dense depending on the type of frothing device used. 

The frothed milk will complement your coffee's flavor while also making it creamier.

How can I do latte art?

Milk frothing is truly an art, and can make or break your coffee experience. You've heard of latte art, and the first step towards it is achieving the right foam consistency. If you're interested in making latte art, you'll want to choose a milk frother with a spout for easy and controlled pouring. And you'll want to look for videos to help you nail it, as it's harder than it looks.

What's the best kind of milk to use in a milk frother?

The hard truth: real milk froths best, the fresher the better. Nespresso also notes that protein content should be high as this leads to better frothing. Low-fat milk creates dry, stiff foam while high-fat or whole milk creates wet, silky foam. Milk that has previously been frozen will not froth.

Many reviewers across the models have noted that oat milk has worked and led to frothy results, but milk alternatives like almond, coconut, or soy milk often have a harder time yielding consistent results. A lot of it comes down to experimentation, unfortunately. We will note, that over the years more companies have released alternative "milks" that are getting closer to the real deal in terms of texture and what we'd call frothability.

What is the best milk frother?

We think the best milk frother you can buy is the Breville BMF600XL Milk Cafe Milk Frother.  However, if you're after a handheld, we think the PowerLix Milk Frother Handheld Battery Operated Electric Foam Maker is a good, budget-friendly choice.  

Real Homes milk frother review process

Latte Macchiato being prepared by Nespresso Lattissima One

Latte Macchiato being prepared by Nespresso Lattissima One

(Image credit: Future / Christina Chrysostomou)

We strive to test everything that we recommend at Real Homes, but in some cases, it's just not possible. And where this applies, we will only recommend products that are highly rated by reviewers. 

In the case of these milk frothers, we're working our way through this list with some of them already in our kitchens and others on their way there. We've tested (and we love) two out of this guide, and two more reviews are in the works.

Meet our milk frother testers:

Christina author photo
Christina Chrysostomou

Christina is our ecommerce editor at Real Homes and she reviews a range of small kitchen appliances, from our top-rated air fryers to small coffee machines and everything in between. She reviewed (and loved!) the Nespresso Lattissima One machine because of how easy it is to use, and how stylish it is on a countertop. She also thoroughly enjoyed using it to froth milk for her latte.

Annie Collyer illustration
Annie Collyer

Annie is our head ecommerce editor and has been reviewing products for Real Homes since 2018. Whether it's a robot vacuum cleaner, an air fryer, or a milk frother, she knows what she's talking about. She's currently reviewing the Nespresso Aeroccino4 after her previous Nespresso milk frother stopped working after a couple of years of continuous use. She'll be sure to update this guide with her verdict.

Jaclyn Turner illustration
Jaclyn Turner

Jaclyn loves to elevate her cold brew coffee by frothing milk with the PowerLix Handheld Battery Operated Electric Foam Maker in a separate glass to watch it quickly foam up. Or if she's feeling short on time and doesn't want to take out another cup, she'll whip it straight with the coffee to blend her milk and coffee.

It's super easy to clean with just a rinse under the tap. It also makes for a rewarding gift. It's one of those things you may not think to buy for yourself, unless you're reading this article, of course! Plus, it comes in so many colors and has a long-lasting battery that hasn't run out on her just yet.

Jaclyn was previously our ecommerce editor, but she now writes for our sister site Homes & Gardens.

Jaclyn Turner
Ecommerce Editor

Jaclyn is an eCommerce editor at Future Home Interest, where she oversees sleep content including mattresses and bedding – in fact, she has passed our five-step certification process to become a verified customer advisor on mattresses. She regularly scouts out the best of the best for buying guides to help you fill your home with only the best. She joined the team in January 2021. She has previously worked with sites like Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, The Spruce, The Spruce Eats, and MyDomaine, but got her start at the trade mag Home Furnishings News, which fueled her excitement for innovation in the home category and seeing the newest launches.  When Jaclyn's not working, she loves long strolls through HomeGoods, unwinding with a chilled glass of Rosé, and entertaining her Cavapoo  Reese. 

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