Life

The 5 Best Handheld Milk Frothers

You can make top-notch lattes and cappuccinos at home with the best handheld milk frothers, but wading through the options can make the simplicity of adding foamed milk to your coffee feel like a chore. So here’s a breakdown of what you need to know.

First things first: you'll be choosing between manual milk frothers and automatic milk frothers. A manual handheld milk frother — which looks a lot like a French press — uses a hand-operated pump to aerate the milk. It takes some effort on your part, but you have greater control over the thickness of the foam. Manual frothers can also be used when heating your milk. If you prefer the convenience of a microwave, you'll want to go for a frother with a glass pitcher, but if you don't mind using the stove, a stainless steel version is a great option.

Automatic handheld frothers use a motorized whisk to aerate milk. You don't have as much control over the results, but the process is less effort on your part, since the whisk does most of the work; all you have to do is move it up and down a bit. Automatic frothers can be battery-operated or USB-rechargeable, and when it comes down to it — it's essentially a matter of whether you're better at remembering to recharge items or whether you're better at having spare batteries on hand.

For both options, you'll want to consider storage space and whether or not it's dishwasher-safe. (Hint: manual frothers tend to take up more space but are dishwasher safe; automatic frothers are smaller, but are usually not dishwasher-safe.)

Read on for our picks for best handheld milk frothers.

The Best Manual Handheld Milk Frothers

1. A Manual Frother That Can Be Heated On The Stove

This stainless steel milk frother can be heated on the stove — but not the microwave — and is sturdy enough to stand up to some rough and tumble milk frothing. The extra-fine mesh filter can make particularly dense foam, and at 27 ounces, the pitcher is big enough to make froth for two to three regular-sized cups of coffee. It's dishwasher-safe, and the thick, ergonomically-designed handle gives your hand a comfortable grip while you pump.

Glowing Review: "Perfect size and shape for frothing milk using my home espresso machine [...]. Nice shape, easy to hold."

2. A Manual Frother That's Microwave-Safe

Made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass, this handheld milk frother is microwave-safe, which can save you a good amount of time in the morning. At 8 ounces, it takes up less storage space than the other option, but you'll have to froth twice if you're making multiple cups of coffee. The dishwasher-safe frother features a stainless steel plunger and a deep rim lid to prevent foam from escaping.

Glowing Review: “Love this thing! Super easy to use. I heat the milk up in the microwave and then it is super quick to make it frothy."

The Best Automated Handheld Milk Frothers

1. A Battery-Powered Frother

With a 4.5-star rating, this Powerlix handheld milk frother is an industry standard that continues to garner outstanding Amazon reviews. Lightweight and ergonomically designed, it features a low-noise motor with 19,000 rpm for great frothing and a stainless steel whisk that's versatile enough to froth other liquids besides milk. Though not dishwasher-safe, some buyers recommend filling a cup with soapy water and letting the frother run for easy cleaning.

Glowing Review: “I LOVE this frother! I use it every morning to mix my bulletproof coffee. It's super handy and convenient, especially since I don't want to have to deal with a big mixer in the mornings."

2. A Rechargeable Frother

If you're looking to go the battery-free route, this USB-chargeable milk frother is a great bet. It offers four hours of frothing power on one charge, three speed options, and a double-layer whisk that foams milk more efficiently than a single-layer whisk. It also comes with a bonus balloon whisk attachment that you can use to aerate eggs and make whipped cream.

Glowing Review: “First of all, it is a very powerful frother with 3 speeds. Since it is rechargeable and holds a strong charge for a month or more depending on how frequently we use it, and we use it several times a day, we no longer need to spend the money on batteries as we did with our old frother.”

3. The Best For Travel

This travel-ready milk frother comes equipped with a mixing spoon (to scoop up all that delicious milk foam) and a zippered carrying case to make on-the-go frothing a tidy affair. The whisk is made from stainless steel and the main body is made from ABS plastic. Ergonomic and sized right for your palm, this frother is ready to make delectable coffee at home, at work, and on camping trips. It's battery-operated, and — like the other two automatic frothers — not dishwasher-safe.

Glowing Review: “Bought this for a road trip a few months ago and was very pleased. The frother is powerful and does a nice job. Nice grip on the base, too. Comes with a long spoon that proved very handy and they both fit nicely in the travel case which is the perfect size."

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently of Bustle's editorial and sales departments.