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Hot chocolate in two mugs topped with marshmallows

The best milk frothers for making hot chocolate and coffee

Make perfect hot chocolate or milky coffee by investing in a good milk frother for heating and steaming milk. These machines can be operated at the touch of a button.

Milk frothers are a wise purchase for people who like to make professional-quality hot drinks at home. Whether you like a latte, flat white or cappuccino in the morning, or make lots of steaming mugs of hot chocolate, these machines heat and steam milk to perfection at the touch of a button.

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Hot chocolate super fans may want to invest in a specialist frother, where the chocolate is whipped in with the milk. These are fun to use and bring a super-pro finish to this lovely drink. They come in different sizes, and at various price points.

We tested a range of milk frothers, using them to blend hot chocolate to test blending capacity. These are our favourites. For more unbiased expert buyer’s guides, visit our reviews section to find 400+ round-ups of everything including the best coffee machines.

The best milk frothers to buy in 2020

Smeg milk frother

Smeg milk frother in white

The Smeg milk frother may be the most expensive we tested, but it delivered in bucketloads and was one of our favourites on the test.

For hot chocolate, it gave the best heat coming in at 70C, a great drinking temperature without burning the chocolate. The texture and lightness of the finished drink were outstanding, and on maximum fill, gave two decent mugs full.

Though the price may be high, this is a quality product, well made and super-stylish – it can sit happily on the worktop to be admired.

Using it for frothing milk for coffee is like having a barista in your kitchen, with different settings producing milk (including non-dairy alternatives) for many different coffee styles.

Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser

Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser milk frother

We love this stylish, simple hot chocolate maker from Hotel Chocolate, made by Dualit. This machine not only looks good, but it’s also so simple to use; put the chocolate in, add the milk, pop the lid on and press the button.

Two minutes later you have a foamed, smooth velvety chocolate, a great temperature at around 68C, and the lipped edge means a clean, smooth transition from jug to cup.

On the down-side, it only makes one cup at a time, so it’s a little slow when wanting to make several. The Velvetiser is designed to use Hotel Chocolat’s brand of hot chocolate, but does work with others too, and gives hot frothy milk too, great for coffee lovers.

Available from:
Hotel Chocolat (£99.95)
Amazon (£107.67)
John Lewis (£110)

Knoopifier hot chocolate machine

Knoopifier milk frother in silver

Not only do we love the name of this machine (from German-born Jens Knoop who opened his first chocolate bar in Rye in East Sussex back in 2013), we love that it is designed especially for making the perfect hot chocolate, and we were very pleased with the results.

The machine is high-quality stainless steel, and though bulky, the plus is that it makes two decent sized cups of chocolate. Our chocolate came out with a beautiful thick foam on top, and a deliciously hot (70C) creamy drink underneath in just two minutes.

Be aware that the fan keeps running long after the machine stops frothing and heating, we didn’t realise the first time we used it and thought it was taking a long time.

Available from Knoops (£99.95)

Lakeland milk frother

Lakeland milk frother

The Lakeland milk frother comes with four settings and is incredibly versatile for the price. It froths both hot or cold milk for cappuccinos, lattes and iced coffees, and also heats milk without frothing too.

You can also add chocolate with the milk to make a creamy hot chocolate with a lovely dense froth. The all-important temperature is around 66C, which is perfect for drinking straight away.

The machine has an insulated handle and a spout, so is safe to lift and easy to pour. Its non-stick interior makes it super-easy to clean, too. For the price, this is an excellent machine. The only downside is the maximum for frothed drinks is a rather small 125ml, but you can heat 250ml of milk at one time.

Dualit milk frother

Dualit milk frother in black

The Dualit milk frother is a small, compact machine and stylish enough to leave on show on the worktop.

It makes two decent cups of heated or frothed milk; you can’t add chocolate to the machine, so loosen it first by making a paste in a cup.

In full operation, we found this machine so quiet that we had to keep checking it was still working. It delivered a good temperature of milk (60C), but a few degrees hotter would have been appreciated, as our hot chocolate was a little cool by the time we’d added the paste. That was sorted by 30 seconds in the microwave, though. For the price, this is a lovely machine and useful for coffee and hot chocolate lovers alike.

Judge milk frother

Judge milk frother

This small, stainless-steel milk frother from Judge is really impressive, and can be used to heat milk on the hob (including induction), before frothing it. It took no time at all to make piping hot milk at 70C.

Pop on the lid, with its built-in frother, pump 30 times (not too quickly or it spits out of the top), remove the lid, and you have dense, creamy, frothed milk. And, at under £20, it’s an absolute bargain.

The hot chocolate was so good, and milk foam of this quality will save a fortune on shop-bought coffees. The jug also washes easily and is dishwasher-proof. What’s not to love?

Recipes for your milk frother

Best ever hot chocolate
All our top hot chocolate recipes
Flat white
Cappuccino
Latte
Macchiato
Mocha

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This review was last updated in December 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.