Best milk frother 2022: The best stove top, jug and handheld options


Treat your morning coffee to some creamy foam and give your cappuccino a silky-smooth top

A cappuccino without a luscious layer of foam is no cappuccino at all, which is why we're constantly on the hunt for the best milk frothers around. Just because you don’t have a fancy, high-pressure steam wand at home, it doesn’t mean you have to go without a silky, frothy coffee. In fact, it's never been easier to achieve barista-style frothy coffee from your own kitchen thanks to state of the art milk frothers from the likes of Nespresso, Dualit, Smeg and more.

Today’s milk frothers do a surprisingly decent job without taking up a huge chunk of your work surface or costing you a bomb. Whether you're looking for something handheld, electric or a jug that works on the stove, we’ve sussed out the best milk frothers you can buy – as well as what to look out for – so you can be your very own barista. Below, you'll find our buying guide to help you find the right milk frother for your needs and budget, or you can simply scroll on for our top picks.

Best milk frothers: At a glance

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How to choose the best milk frother for you

What types of milk frother are there?

You don’t have to spend hundreds to get a gorgeous, creamy foam; you can get a decent milk frother for under £10, while even the best come in at under £100. You can break milk frothers down into three major types:

Handheld: these wand-like devices are basically small motorised whisks that aerate milk by working at very high speeds. The upsides are that they’re inexpensive, easy to pop in a drawer and you can use them anywhere as they’re battery operated. They can be used on cold milk or hot and you simply stop whisking when you reach the required consistency, giving more control than other types.

The downside is that if you want your milk hot, you need to heat it manually first, while there’s a knack involved in using the wand. Plus, if you use them regularly, the cost of batteries can mount up. There’s an alternative to the wand – a glass jar with a whisk built into the lid – but we’ve found these are prone to breaking and lack the power to produce a decent foam.

Jug style: these small jugs, which look a bit like a compact kettle, both heat and froth your milk, using a small induction ring in the base of the jug and a built-in whisk. They’re by far the most convenient and easy to use – once you’ve pressed the button, you can just walk away and let the machine do its job. Many come with a range of temperature settings, as well as the ability to choose the volume of foam, depending on whether you want, say, a flat white or cappuccino.

With some, you can heat milk without whisking it (good for hot chocolate) or make cold foam (good for milkshakes). The downsides are that some only let you prepare the milk to one temperature or consistency and some only work well with a small amount of milk.

Stovetop: these consist of a metal jug and frothing pump. You partially fill it with milk, put it on the hob, heat it up, pop the lid on and pump the handle to produce the foam. The upside is ease of use – there’s no need for batteries or electricity and they’re easy to clean, with most parts dishwasher safe. The downside is that producing froth requires more customisation than with other types.

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How easy are milk frothers to clean?

Ideally, your milk frother will be non-stick, with easy-to-clean parts as dried milk requires serious scrubbing. The good news is that most milk frothers are very easy to clean – some can simply be run under a tap, while others can be popped in the dishwasher. The more you use your milk frother, the more you’ll need to clean it – so the latter option is definitely best for coffee addicts.

The best milk frothers to buy in 2022

1. Aerolatte To Go: Best cheap handheld milk frother

Price: £11 | Buy now from Lakeland

The first thing the Aerolatte has on its side is the price: it’ll cost you around the same as three cups of coffee from Starbucks. The second is that it’s easy to store – it comes with its own tube and you just bung it in your drawer when not in use. You can take it anywhere and it also gives you a lot of control. Indeed, by controlling the distance the whisk is from the surface of the milk, you get more influence over the froth, which makes it more akin to a steam wand.

But – and it’s a big but – you need to know, or learn to know, what you’re doing as it’s easy to end up with all bubbles, no froth. The milk also needs heating first and you’ll need two AA batteries to make it work.

Key specs – Type: Handheld; Power: Batteries; Clean in a dishwasher: No; Warranty: 2 years (3 at Lakeland); Weight: 99g

2. Nespresso Aeroccino4: Best milk frother for hot and cold milk

Price: £75 | Buy now from Nespresso

Whisper-quiet in operation, speedy and stylish, the Aeroccino4 may just be one of the simplest ways to froth milk we’ve found. While it doesn’t have a huge amount of capacity (a maximum of 120ml if you’re frothing milk, or 240ml if you’re just heating), it’s effortlessly reliable at turning out smooth frothy milk with a satisfying amount of microfoam.

Unlike its predecssor, which only had one button, there are four on the base for cold milk, warm milk, medium foam or thick foam. These additional buttons give you the versatility to make a variety of drinks in one jug. All clean-up requires is washing the jug, whisk and lid under the tap. The lid’s seal also pops off, so every so often you can give it a thorough clean, while the non-stick interior of the jug is great at keeping it free from any milk hanging around.

Key specs – Type: Jug; Power: Mains; Clean in a dishwasher: No; Warranty: 2 years; Weight: 1062g

3. Lavazza MilkUp Milk Frother: Best overall jug frother

Price: £69 | Buy now from Lavazza

With 120 years of Italian coffee making – and a reputation for luxury – behind it, this company knows a thing or two about the right consistency of milk for coffee. We like the fact that the jug is removable – it means it can be immersed in the washing up bowl or put in the dishwasher after use – and the same goes for the frothing disc. Another handy feature is that you can add things such as chocolate powder directly to the jug. It’s a doddle to use (you just press the button) and it works fast, giving fantastic results every time if you want hot milk. Sadly, the same cannot be said for cold milk, which didn’t stay frothy once poured from the jug.

Key specs Type: Jug; Power: Mains; Clean in a dishwasher: Yes; Warranty: 3 years; Weight: 900g

4. Smeg 50's Retro MFF01BLUK Frother: Best jug milk frother for speedy results

Price: £149 | Buy now from AO

If you need a milk frother that's both speedy and stylish, this beautiful offering from Smeg is a no-brainer. It might be a bit of an indulgent buy, but it's so much more than just a pretty piece of kit for your kitchen. During testing, it whipped up 250ml of silky-smoothy milk in around 3-4 minutes – a lot quicker than some of the other frothers on this list.

It uses induction heating to gently warm milk through and has an impressive seven settings for both hot and cold frothing. So whether you want a thick, dense froth or a light, airy foam, this little jug can handle it. There's no getting away from the price but if you want the best of both worlds (style AND substance), then you'll need to cough up. For the style-conscious, we think it's very much worth it.

Key specs – Type: Jug; Power: Corded; Clean in a dishwasher: No; Warranty: 1 year; Weight: 1.8kg

Buy now from AO

5. VonShef Glass Milk Frother: Best jug frother for personalising your coffee

Price: £45 | Buy now from Amazon

Whether you like thick, dense foam, milk with just a little froth or something in-between, this glass milk frother does the trick. The clear jug enables you to keep an eye on milk’s volume and the hot cycle runs for a generous four minutes. This feels like a long time if you prefer a speedy cuppa, but you can stop it when the milk is to your liking. Leaving it for the full cycle produces a froth that is firm and creamy and even when we added a sprinkling of chocolate powder, it didn’t collapse. It also froths cold milk, which takes three minutes and leaves it silky but not quite as voluminous.

There are a couple of downsides, one being the minimum amount of milk you need to froth. 130ml is too much for the average cappuccino and makes this a better option for  when you’re making two drinks. The other downside is that it needs to be washed by hand. However, we found hand-washing easy enough – the wide jug and removable whisk means you can get a sponge or brush to the bottom to clean it thoroughly.

That said, there’s still a lot to like. An illuminated ring shows at a glance whether it’s frothing hot or cold, you can whisk up to 250ml at once and it even has storage for its accessories underneath so they won’t get lost in the drawer.

Key specsType: Jug; Power: Corded; Dishwasher-safe: No; Warranty: 2 years; Weight: 1.18kg

6. Dualit Milk Frother: Best jug milk frother for hot milk

Price: £55 | Buy now from John Lewis

This shiny black machine certainly looks the part, making a smart addition to any kitchen countertop. It’s also easy to use, with clear minimum and maximum marks, although the instructions aren’t very comprehensive. We found it made great hot milk time after time, regardless of how much milk you use, and the capacity is on the generous side. It’s not so good with cold milk, though. Initially, we thought we’d nailed it for the perfect milkshake, but by the time we turned back around, it had gone. On the plus side, it pours beautifully and we like the glass lid, which means you can see what’s going on. The lid and the whisk can go in the dishwasher, but the instructions say to remove them before the drying cycle starts, which some may find a bit of a faff. It’s also not the fastest machine, so no good for those in a hurry.

Key specs – Type: Jug; Power: Mains; Clean in a dishwasher: Yes; Warranty: 1 year; Weight: 1kg

Buy now from John Lewis

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