The Best Milk Frothers and Steamers
If you start your day with a cappuccino, a macchiato or a mocha, you need a milk frother or steamer in your kitchen. Frothers and steamers allow you to add a barista-style final touch to your coffee drink. They are also ideal for heating up milk for lattes and hot chocolate.
If you already have an espresso machine at home, you are likely to have a built-in steamer wand which you can use for frothing and heating milk. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase a separate tool. There are two main options available to you, a milk steamer or a milk frother.
These are distinctly different gadgets and which one is more suitable for you comes down to your own personal tastes and requirements. Read on to decide which of these is best for you.
A milk steamer uses pressurized vapor to heat and froth milk for use in hot drinks. These are generally very simple appliances to use. All you need to do is pour in the required quantity of liquid and push a button for hot and foamy milk.
Most of these tools are mains powered and will heat and foam milk from cold in less than 2 minutes. They are generally mess-free, keeping the milk contained within the appliance. The only downside is that they can be a pain to clean, particularly if you need to take the machine apart and wash the parts separately.
The majority of steamers will also froth your milk but milk frothers simply make the foam. You might wonder why anybody would choose a simple frother which performs only one function but there’s one very good reason; Convenience!
Frothers are portable and easy to move around. Many are battery operated and rechargeable and they are super easy to clean. Just a simple swirl in warm soapy water and a rinse is enough to keep them hygienic, not necessarily the case with steamers.
Whereas a milk steamer usually has a limited liquid capacity, handheld frothers allow you to work with larger quantities and on multiple drinks at the same time.
A frother is also ideal for making frappes and milkshakes and you can use it for beating eggs, whipping cream, making salad dressings and a whole bunch of other things. Not just a one-trick pony after all!
We’ve tried out a whole bunch of these gadgets and have come up with a list of our favorite milk frothing and milk steaming tools. Read on to find out which is the best one for you.
The Best Electric Milk Steamer
The Best product in this category for us was this attractive and highly functional model from Vava. Although there are a lot of cheap milk steamers on the market, this unit shows why it’s worth paying a little bit more. It delivers a high level of functionality with convenience, versatility and great customer reviews. We love how it looks, how easy it is to clean and most of all the great job it does at frothing, heating, and foaming.
VAVA Electric Milk Steamer for Hot and Cold Milk
Vava is an established home appliance brand name specializing in small household gadgets. This steamer is relatively new to the market and has been met with a lot of enthusiasm, gaining an average 4.5-star rating on Amazon with hundreds of positive customer reviews on the site.
How does the VAVA Milk Steamer Look and Feel?
VAVA has done a stellar job on the design of this steamer. It certainly looks and feels different from any other kitchen gadget in my collection. The futuristically styled streamlined black vessel is both beautiful and functional, ergonomically designed for an easy grab.
With an 8.1oz capacity for heating milk and a 3.9oz capacity for super dense froth, it should be large enough for domestic use. Minimum and Maximum liquid levels are clearly marked on the device so you never get it wrong.
The frother sits on a flat Strix Temperature controller which will rest steadily on your countertop due to rubberized anti-skid feet on the base.
How Easy is it to Use?
In spite of its futuristic appearance, there’s nothing complicated about the Vava Steamer. At the front of the gadget, you’ll see a circular control dial which provides 4 settings for use.
The first of the hot settings gives you plain hot milk, ideal for lattes. There are two more which allow you to choose between light airy froth or dense foam. These allow you to customize your hot drink exactly to your preferences and you can even make latte art!
Once you know which setting you are going to use, pour the appropriate quantity of milk into the flask using the level markers for guidance. Do not underfill or overfill the steamer or you could end up with a mess on your hands!
Close the lid and select your setting on the dial. Depending on which setting you have chosen, your milk will be ready in between one and three minutes. Cold milk is frothed in just sixty seconds so if frappes are your thing, that’s good news! The Strix temperature controller shuts off automatically when your milk is read and the double-wall will keep the milk hot or cold.
All you need to do now is remove the steamer from the stand, take off the lid and pour!
The Vava does an excellent job on each of the four settings and works well with Almond and Soy milk as well as dairy. We were especially pleased with how well the dense foam held, even when the coffee was stirred.
How Easy Is It to Clean the VAVA Milk Steamer?
Good news here! The VAVA is about as easy to clean as your average coffee cup or mug. The interior of the vessel is scratch resistant and non-stick so a simple rinse and rub with some dishwashing soap and a soft sponge or cloth is all you need.
You cannot wash the steamer in a dishwasher, but hopefully, you already guessed that!
To clean the frother attachments, just run under warm running water and leave to air dry.
Okay! The VAVA Electrical Milk Steamer operates on a standard US AC 120V / 60 Hz. It has 400W of power and a maximum liquid capacity of 8.1 oz. The entire unit weighs slightly less than 2 pounds when assembled and has a compact footprint of 3.9” x 3.9” x 3.9”.
The interior of the flask is scratch-resistant stainless steel and the unit comes with 2 heating whisks, 2 frothing whisks, a Stix Power Base and a user manual.
- Ergonomically and Stylishly Designed
- Four Settings allow you to make a variety of luxurious drinks
- Stainless Steel Interior is easy to clean
- Stix power base shuts off automatically
- Works great for cold drinks too
- Suitable for Soy and
- Almond milk as well as dairy
- You can make microfoam for latte art
- Mains operated only so the steamer is not portable
- Not the cheapest on the market but you get what you pay for!
Depending on your lifestyle, you may or may not need your frother to be portable. Even if you never need to take it out of your home, being able to froth without cables getting in the way or restricting where you work can make your life easier. You might be making cocktails in your yard in the summer or foaming milk for frappes on the terrace. Or maybe you don’t have enough power sources in your kitchen so a cordless milk frother is just more practical.
For plenty of people, a mains powered steamer or frother like Vava above is perfect. There’s no need to worry about batteries and charging and the mains often delivers more speed and power than battery-operated devices.
But portability is important for many people and that’s why there are so many handheld frothers on the market. I’ve divided this section into two categories, Rechargeable Handheld Frothers, and Battery Operated Frothers. Read on to find out the best of each!
Best Rechargeable Handheld Milk Frother
Personally, I like the convenience of rechargeable devices. Okay – yes, you do have to remember to charge them but IMO it beats having to buy disposable batteries which always go flat just when you need them most. Rechargeable kitchen tools are a more eco-friendly option and cut out the waste of standard batteries. My choice for the best rechargeable milk frother is this handy little gadget from FoodVille which comes with 2 detachable whisks, a wand for coffee and a balloon whisk for eggs, etc.
FoodVille MF02 Rechargeable Milk Frother
This lightweight and versatile tool from FoodVille is a top seller on Amazon with hundreds of positive reviews. It delivers high-speed results, is easy to use and clean and you can take it anywhere! Read on to find out why this rechargeable milk foamer is so popular!
How does the FoodVille MF02 Look and Feel?
I’m gonna be honest, appearance is not the number one selling point for this product. The MF02 is a bit of a Plain Jane but it’s functionality more than compensates for its unexciting design. The body is matte black with white power button and cable, but don’t let the mediocre appearance put you off. This little gadget is very handy to have around and while it’s lightweight, it’s also sturdy and well built.
How Easy is the MF02 to Use?
The tool is not difficult to use but there are a few things that you need to get used to. It’s easy to remove and switch the wands but the controls are a little unusual. There’s just one button on the gadget which you use for powering the unit on and off and for controlling the three-speed settings. To turn the frother off, you need to advance through the settings so here’s a good tip! When you have finished frothing or beating, remove the whisk from the liquid while you move through the power settings to turn it off. This way, you’ll avoid making a mess!
The Foodville milk frother is extremely powerful. On it’s lowest setting it rotates 1900 times per minute. Medium is 2100 rpm and at full power, you’ll get a massive 2300 rotations per minute. It is this high power which will cause problems if you forget to remove it from the liquid before turning it off!
In fact, this high power is my main criticism of the Foodville Frother and that’s probably a good complaint. Just remember that if you want to froth milk on this high setting, use a large container, with at least twice the capacity of the amount of milk you want to froth. That way, you’ll minimize any spillage from the powerful whizz.
Bear in mind that this device will not heat your milk. To make coffee, hot chocolate or other hot drinks you’ll need to preheat your milk by other means before frothing.
We had great results with Almond, Soy and Coconut milk as well as full-fat dairy.
How do you clean the FoodVille Milk Frother?
Like most handheld milk foamers, this one is a breeze to clean. Just whizz it on full power in hot water and leave it to dry naturally. You can add dish soap to the water but it’s not necessary unless you’ve been using it to beat something really icky. Never immerse the body of the unit in the water!
Charging the MF02
The frother charges via a USB connector and you can either plug this into a laptop / PC or tablet or use a mains powered block (similar to what you’d use for a cellphone). The good news is that it holds its charge very well so you won’t need to plug it in too often. Average use will give you approximately a month between charges. Not bad!
The unit comes with two interchangeable whisks which are easy to switch and one USB charging cable. You’ll also receive a user manual and the MF02 is covered by a 3-year hassle-free warranty. FoodVille has an excellent customer service policy so expect to have the entire unit replaced, no questions asked, if anything does go wrong.
- Rechargeable and the USB connection lets you recharge anywhere
- One of the most powerful handheld frothers on the market
- Balloon whisk attachment lets you beat eggs, make salad dressing and whip cream
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Excellent warranty and customer service
- Outstanding customer reviews
- Easy to clean – simply whizz in hot water
- The high-speed setting is great for non-dairy milk
- Single power button means you need to advance through multiple settings
- Nothing special about the appearance
- On it’s highest setting, the frother can make a mess – be sure to use a large enough container!
Best Battery Operated Milk Frother
With thousands of positive customer reviews, a great value price tag and choice of colors, we had great expectations for the PowerLix Frappe maker so we tried it out to see what all the fuss was about. We had high hopes and we were not disappointed. Read on to find out why this fantastic little gadget is the hands-down winner for handheld frothing!
PowerLix Milk Pro Handheld Frother
PowerLix makes an extensive range of small kitchen gadgets and accessories but this Battery Operated Milk foamer is the most popular in its product line. It is currently Amazon’s Bestselling frother and has more than 6,000 5-star reviews from happy customers.
How does the MilkPro Look and Feel?
Available in black and red, the Milk Pro is lightweight and designed for a comfortable grip in your hand. The appliance is comprised of a soft touch rounded control handle and a detachable stainless steel whisk attachment. It also comes with a matching stand which you can use to store the gadget upright on your counter.
How Easy is it to Use?
This is such a straightforward tool to use and there is very minimal assembly. All you’ll need to do to get going is to insert two AA batteries and screw the whisk into the unit base. Like all new kitchen utensils, you should wash the whisk attachment in warm soapy water before using it for the first time.
Once you are ready to go, pour out your milk into a suitable container and insert the whist at a 45-degree angle. Hold down the power button at the top of the unit and start the whisk. For best results, gently move the whisk around in the liquid – I like to use a figure-of-eight movement for this.
With 19000 powerful rotations per minute, this gadget truly is fast! You’ll have luxurious foam in just 20 seconds. Some users have complained that you need to keep your finger on the power button while it’s in use but we are talking seconds here, not minutes so for most people, this will not be a problem.
The handle is ergonomically designed and easy to grip so even if you are using it for large quantities or multiple drinks, it should remain comfortable in your hand. It’s also very quiet.
How Easy is it to Clean the MilkPro
Super easy!!! Just fill a cup or glass with hot water – you can add some dish soap if you wish. Whizz the whisk attachment for 30 seconds and allow to dry naturally. Caution! You should never immerse the body of the MilkPro in water.
The PowerLix Milk Pro runs on 2 x AA batteries and these are easy to change. You can use the tool with rechargeable batteries. When assembled, the gadget and stand have a combined weight of 6.4 ounces.
- Great Power – especially for a battery-operated device
- Takes AA batteries – you can choose whether to use rechargeable or standard
- Light and Portable – you can take this frother anywhere
- Easy to clean: Simply whizz it in hot water and leave to air dry
- 100% Money-Back Guarantee
- Comes with a stand for convenient storage on your countertop
- Lightweight and easy to manoeuver
- You have to hold the Power Button down the whole time you are using the appliance
- Does not heat milk