We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Home & garden.

When you click on a retailer link on our site, we may earn affiliate commission to help fund our not-for-profit mission.Find out more.

6 October 2021

Best milk frothers for 2021

We tested milk frothers from Nespresso, Lavazza, Dualit and Aldi to find out which milk frother creates the best looking and tasting froth the fastest
OW
Olivia Woodhouse
Milk frother 2

Want to make barista-style coffee at home without forking out for a coffee machine? A milk frother can help you to create a professional-looking coffee or delicious hot chocolate in the comfort of your own home.

Electric milk frothers are a handy and effortless method of making foam fast. In July 2021, we tested eight electric milk frothers from Aldi, Dualit, Lavazza, Nespresso and more, to see which could create the most voluminous and creamy froth the fastest. 

We also compared a handheld electric whisk from Ikea and a cafetiere to see whether the froth from these cheaper alternatives stood up against the big-brand electric frothers.  

Prices and availability last checked 5 October 2021.

Want an all-in-one coffee maker instead? Check out our independent coffee machine reviews.

The best milk frothers

Only logged-in Which? members can view the milk frother test results below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the milk frothers we tested.

Join Which? now to get instant access to our test scores and Best Buy recommendation below.

Ambiano Aldi milk frother

Ambiano Milk Heater and Frother

Cheapest price: £19.99 only available at Aldi (in-store)

Minimum capacity: 100ml  

Maximum capacity: 115ml for frothing, 240ml for heating

Weight: 850g

Functions: Hot froth, cold froth, heated milk

Key features: three-year warranty

This milk frother from Aldi is the cheapest we tested. Its one-touch design, small whisk attachment and three milk functions mirror exactly what some of the other frothers in our line-up offer. But did it match their performance? 

To unlock our results join Which? now.

Dualit milk frother

Dualit Milk Frother

Cheapest price: £48.99 at John Lewis, also available at Amazon, also available at Hearts of Stur

Minimum capacity: 100ml  

Maximum capacity: 200ml for frothing, 350ml for heating

Weight: 900g

Functions: Hot froth, cold froth, heated milk

Key features: one-year warranty, whisk and lid are dishwasher safe

If you need a milk frother with a larger capacity, then this frother from Dualit could be a good place to start. It has a handle for pouring and its accessories can go in the dishwasher. But the results of our testing showed that it seemed to work better with one type of milk over another. 

To find out which, log in or join Which?.

Illy milk frother

Illy Electric Milk Frother

Cheapest price: £67 at Illy

Minimum capacity: 150ml  

Maximum capacity: 250ml for frothing and heating

Weight: 700g

Functions: Hot froth, cold froth, heated milk

Key features: one-year warranty, jug, lid and whisks are dishwasher safe

Illy is famous for its coffee, but how did this Illy milk frother do in our tests? We tested out both the heating and frothing functions on all of the frothers and found some striking differences with the Illy model. 

To unlock the rest of our results log in or join Which?.

Krups milk frother

Krups Frothing Control Electric Milk Frother

Cheapest price: £44.99, available at Amazon, also available at Currys, Very

Minimum capacity: 100ml  

Maximum capacity: 150ml for frothing, 300ml for heating

Weight: 850g

Functions: Hot froth, heated milk

Key features: two-year guarantee

This Krups milk frother has a handle and non-stick inner coating to make pouring and cleaning easier. It only has two functions though – hot froth and heating – which means you won't be able to make any iced macchiatos or iced cappuccinos.

Log in or join Which? to find out how its two functions did in our testing. 


Looking for some handy coffee accessories? Read our best coffee grinders and best portable coffee makers


Lakeland milk frother

Lakeland Milk Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker

Cheapest price: £49.99 at Lakeland

Minimum capacity: 100ml  

Maximum capacity: 125ml for frothing, 250ml for heating

Weight: 1kg

Functions: Hot light froth, hot dense froth, cold froth, heated milk 

Key features: three-year guarantee

With this Lakeland milk frother you'll get four different functions: hot light froth, hot dense froth, cold froth and heated milk. You can also add your hot chocolate powder to the frother to make hot chocolates. 

Log in to unlock our full test results or join Which?.

Lavazza milk frother

Lavazza MilkEasy Milk Frother

Cheapest price: £49, available at Amazon, John Lewis, Lakeland

Minimum capacity: 60ml  

Maximum capacity: 120ml for frothing, 180ml for heating

Weight: 900g

Functions: Hot froth, cold froth, heated milk

Key features: three-year guarantee if you buy from Lakeland, lid and whisk are dishwasher safe

The MilkEasy milk frother from Lavazza allows you to create frothed milk for cappuccinos, heated milk for lattes and cold froth for milkshakes or iced coffee. Though it doesn't have the addition of a handle, it does have a non-stick inner coating which, Lavazza claims, makes for easy cleaning and pouring. 

To find out what we thought, log in or join Which?.

Nespresso milk frother

Nespresso Aeroccino 4 Milk Frother

Cheapest price: £75, available at Nespresso, also available at Amazon

Minimum capacity: Not given

Maximum capacity: 120ml for frothing, 240ml for heating

Weight: 1kg

Functions: Hot dense froth, hot light froth, cold froth, heated milk

Key features: two-year guarantee, jug is dishwasher safe

We've tested a range of Nespresso coffee machines, some of which come with their own milk frothers. 

Read our top five best Nespresso coffee machines to see how they compare. 

This standalone frother has an added handle for greater control and cleaning but did this make any difference in our ease of use testing? 

To unlock our results log in or join Which?.

Smeg milk frother

Smeg Milk Frother

Cheapest price: £145 at Amazon, also available at, AO, Currys, John Lewis, Selfridges

Minimum capacity: 120ml

Maximum capacity: 250ml for frothing, 600ml for heating

Weight: 1.8kg

Functions: Hot dense froth, hot light froth, cold dense froth, cold light froth, heated milk

Key features: two-year guarantee

This Smeg frother will certainly take centre stage on your countertop and it's the largest of the milk frothers in our tests. It also has the most settings which, at its steep price, you might expect. 

Find out whether it's worth paying a premium for frothy coffee, log in or join Which?.


Tips for living well - get our free Food & Health newsletter: shop savvy, eat well, stay healthy


How does a battery-powered frother compare?

As well as testing out electric milk frothers we also tried out a handheld whisk from Ikea to see how it compared. And though we weren't blown away, for £1 it just about did the job. 

It added 14mm onto the semi-skimmed milk and an impressive 21mm onto the oat milk. It also didn't deplete too much afterwards. However, we did find the mouthfeel of the foam wasn't up to scratch, with testers noting it lacked in creaminess and had poor structure. 

To find out how it compared to the other milk frothers login in or join Which?.

Can you froth milk without a frother?

Cafetiere

If you're undecided about purchasing a milk frother, there is another way to achieve frothy cappuccino milk at home using equipment you might already own. 

We tested a small cafetiere out to see whether the rumours were true. To do this you have to heat the milk beforehand and plunge the filter up and down until the milk looks as though it's grown significantly in size. The result? 

Voluminous, frothy milk that scored slightly higher than our electric whisk for foam formation and taste. Again, don't expect perfect dense foam, but if you want a quick and easy alternative in the kitchen then we'd pick a cafetiere over a handheld whisk. 

How we tested milk frothers

We chose eight popular milk frothers sold at popular retailers and tested them in three key areas. Which? paid for all the milk frothers in our test so you can be sure we're bringing you unbiased, reliable reviews. 

Convenience 

A good milk frother should be simple and straightforward to use. We penalised frothers that were overly complicated to operate and looked at how easy they were to pour and clean. We also assessed how loud they were during use.

Performance

We frothed 120ml of oat milk and semi-skimmed milk in each of the milk frothers. To find which would provide the most voluminous milk, we measured the height increase of the milk in a jug and then again after five minutes to see which could best hold its own.  

As well as volume increase, we also timed each frother and took a temperature reading on completion.

Latte

Mouthfeel

Once we'd completed our technical tests we began assessing the final product. Two tasters completed a blind taste test of 10 oat milk and 10 semi-skimmed cappuccinos and marked them on appearance, taste, foam formation and creaminess. Included within the line-up were coffees made with foam from the cafetiere and the handheld whisk. 

Semi-skimmed vs oat milk: which milk is best for milk frothers?

The key to perfectly frothed milk is fat. That's why cafés and coffee shops use whole milk to make coffees as standard. To replicate that same froth for oat milk, and all other plant-based milks, you have to buy the 'barista' version which has added stabilisers to mimic the fats found in cow's milk. 

While the barista oat milk still didn't quite match the semi-skimmed milk in the tightness of its foam formation, it did add the same amount of volume for the most part. However, we did find that the oat milk seemed to deplete less after five minutes than the semi-skimmed. 

So, if you're after tight microfoam and decent creaminess then cow's milk is the way to go. However, if you like the sweetness that comes with oat milk and plentiful froth, then oat is a great alternative. 

Five things we learned testing milk frothers

  1. Regular oat milk doesn't froth. As we've explained above, plant-based milk doesn't have naturally occurring fats like cow's milk. This means you need to buy the barista versions which are more costly and aren't as widely available.
  2. Paying more doesn't always guarantee you better froth. Two of the most expensive frothers were outperformed by the cheapest frother.
  3. Cold froth might look great but don't leave it for too long. All but one of the milk frothers has a cold froth function and while they all produce consistently silky, blended froth, after five minutes they are completely depleted. 
  4. Little extras make a big difference. A lip or small spout on the jug and non-stick inner coating are great for pouring and cleaning. 
  5. If it tastes overly sweet it's burnt. We found, even though our readings showed reasonable temperature, the milk could still taste or smell burnt. It can often taste rather cloying, even caramel-like, which might sound nice but this isn't a good thing.

What drinks can you make with a milk frother?

Hot chocolate

Milk frothers aren't just for making coffees – you can use them to make cold-frothed drinks such as milkshakes, as well as other warming drinks for a fraction of the price they'd cost you in a coffee shop.

Here are some options you can make at home:

  • Latte macchiato – instead of pouring in the espresso in first, you pour your frothed milk in and add your espresso in at the end, letting it seep through the foam to the middle layer of your drink.
  • Milkshakes – using the cold-froth function, mix your frothed milk with a flavoured syrup and pour it over ice. 
  • Iced cappuccino – pour your espresso over ice and follow with cold frothed milk.
  • Chai latte – you can buy chai tea powder, or infuse your own spices in the milk before frothing, to make this warming spiced drink with hints of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Hot chocolate – whether you like using chocolate flakes, cocoa or hot chocolate powder, properly frothed milk will take your hot choc to the next level. You can add spices, flavoured syrups or marshmallows and cream for an indulgent treat.
  • Trendy café-style drinks – developed a taste for a turmeric latte or matcha latte? Both are easily made at home with turmeric or matcha tea powder, if you're brave enough. You can mix and match your favourite spices and use honey to sweeten your drink, for a truly personalised brew.

Check your milk frother's manual to see whether you can add the powder straight to the cold milk for a perfectly frothed, heated and mixed drink. Some advise against this, in which case you can mix your powder with a little hot water or milk separately and then add the frothed milk afterwards.