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 love to make professional-quality hot drinks at home. Whether you like lattes, cappuccinos, or lots of steaming mugs of hot chocolate, these machines are capable of heating and steaming milk to perfection in minutes.
They're especially useful if you own a coffee machine without a steaming wand attachment. For hot-chocolate fans, there are also specialist frothers that whip the chocolate in with the milk for a professional, ultra-creamy finish.
We tested a range of milk frothers and used them to blend hot chocolate to test blending capacity, before picking out 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, best bean-to-cup coffee machines, and best iced coffee makers.
Check out expert barista Celeste Wong's recommendations for the best moka pots, gooseneck kettles, coffee grinders and decaf coffee to buy on our sister brand, olive magazine:
- Best moka pots to buy
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- Best coffee grinders to buy
- Best decaf coffee to buy
Knowing how to dispose of gadgets responsibly at the end of their life is becoming increasingly important, too. Read more about this in our guide to how to recycle your electricals and appliances, where you'll find a list of retailers that can recycle your appliances for you.
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- Best milk frother: Dualit handheld milk frother, £69.99
- Best premium milk frother: Smeg milk frother, £179.95
- Best value milk frother: Lavazza A Modo Mio MilkEasy milk frother, £49
- Most stylish milk frother: Melitta Cremio II milk frother, £49.99
- Best milk frother for oat milk: Nespresso Aeroccino4 milk frother, £99.99
- Best portable milk frother: ROK manual milk frother, £14.99
- Best manual milk frother: Bodum Latteo milk frother, £17.99
- Best milk frother for hot chocolate: Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser, £99.95
- Best milk frother for iced coffee: Lakeland milk frother, £59.99
Dualit handheld milk frother
Best milk frother
- Offers different frothing options
- Quiet in use
- Clear measurement markings
- No pouring spout or handle
Star rating: 5/5
This newer, upgraded version of Dualit's milk frother is as sleek and efficient as its predecessor, but what set its apart is its hot chocolate-making abilities – which allow you to use any pure chocolate bar (free from nuts, biscuit, etc.) to make smooth, chocolatey drinks.
It's compact and stylish enough to keep out on the countertop, and like the previous model it's whisper-quiet during use. There's no handle, which makes it more difficult to pick up with one hand – particularly as the body of the appliance is quite wide. On the plus side, this does mean it's easy to store.
In test, we achieved thick, silky microfoam at perfect drinking temperature in 2 minutes, 14 seconds – and this model worked especially well with barista oat milk, too.
Smeg milk frother
Best premium milk frother
- Creates an excellent frothy texture
- Easy to pour
- Different froth settings
Star rating: 4.5/5
Capacity: 250ml for frothing and heating, 500ml for cold milk
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.
Lavazza A Modo Mio MilkEasy milk frother
Best value milk frother
- Range of settings
- Operates quietly
- Wide body makes it tricky to lift
Star rating: 4.5/5
Capacity: 180ml for heating, 120ml for frothing
This Lavazza model was the most straightforward electric milk frother we tried, and its instructions were concise and easy to follow. Simply fill it with milk (using the 180ml or 120ml markings as a guide), then press once for hot froth, twice for hot milk, or three times for cold froth for iced coffees.
In use, it's efficient and quiet, producing impressively thick results similar to that of a dalgona coffee, though we struggled to get oat milk to the same consistency. Because the frother is quite wide, it's also not the easiest to pick up and pour into a mug.
It's not dishwasher-safe, though we had no issues washing-up by hand. It's also compact enough to keep out on the counter or pop in the cupboard when not in use.
Melitta Cremio II milk frother
Most stylish milk frother
- Easy to pour
- Good-looking design
- Range of frothing options
- No pouring spout
Star rating: 4/5
Capacity: 100-150ml for frothing, 100-250ml for heating
Ideal for hot chocolates, creamy coffees or desserts, this Melitta frother works with all milk types – though we found using skimmed milk worked best. We liked the large ergonomic handle, which allowed for easy pouring, and the attractive brushed-steel design. The non-stick coating on the base of the jug was also effective, though conveniently the lid and the whisk can go in the dishwasher.
There are two buttons to choose from (heating or frothing), which illuminate when the frother is switched on. You use this gadget to prepare warm cocoa, too: simply add chocolate powder to the milk, then select the hot milk button to create whipped, chocolatey froth in minutes.
Nespresso Aeroccino4 milk frother
Best milk frother for oat milk
- Ergonomic handle
- Works well with oat milk
- Base makes it more difficult to store
Star rating: 4/5
An upgrade from the Nespresso Aeroccino3, this sleek and glossy frother has three options (hot froth, cold froth, and hot milk) and a sturdy black handle that allows for seamless pouring. Simply add the milk up to the 'max foam' marking, select the desired button, and wait just 80 seconds for ultra-creamy, fluffy froth.
Everything except the base can be placed in the dishwasher, and because the design is so compact, you can easily store it or keep it out on the countertop. When it came to testing, we achieved the best results with oat milk using Aeroccino4. Our semi-skimmed milk was surprisingly less frothy, but provided enough hot, thick foam to top an espresso or hot chocolate.
ROK manual milk frother
Best portable milk frother
- Easy to use
- Produced good results
- Not the easiest to clean as all the components are joined together
- No instructions included
Star rating: 3.5/5
For those looking for a more hands-on approach, this manual pump-action frother lets you get fully involved in the process. It's both simple to operate and fun to use, and the compact cylinder design allows for easy transportability.
To use it, first heat your milk up in a cup or jug (we did this in a microwave) and lower the frother in afterwards, allowing any trapped air to escape. Then, manually pump the whisking digs to create bubbles, using your preferred technique to control the amount and density of the foam – we tried fast, slow, short and long during our tests.
It's also completely splatter-free as all the action happens inside the cylinder, reducing the amount of clean-up afterwards.
Bodum Latteo milk frother
Best manual milk frother
- Easy to use
- Susceptible to spillages
Star rating: 3/5
This premium glass carafe from Bodum comes with a sleek handle that's ideal for DIY milk frothing, and we found it one of the easiest to use, too. Simply fill the jug up to the line and warm it in the microwave for 30-50 seconds, then froth the milk with the manual pump until the volume doubles, and spoon it onto your drink of choice.
The Bodum Latteo produced a thicker, airier whip than other frothers we used, though we noticed a bit of spillage coming from the top hole and pouring outlet even when it was sealed. On the plus side, its compact footprint makes it an ideal choice for small kitchens, and it's dishwasher-safe and easy to clean too.
Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser
Best milk frother for hot chocolate
- Lipped edge for easy pouring
- Can only make one drink at a time
- Long handle makes it trickier to store
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.
Lakeland milk frother
Best milk frother for iced coffee
- Different frothing options
- Insulated spout for easy pouring
- Small capacity for frothed drinks
- Base makes it more tricky to store
Capacity: 125ml for frothing, 250ml for heating
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.
Other milk frothers tried and tested
- Dualit milk frother, £54.95
The milk frothers featured in this guide were selected from a longlist of over 20 products. All were tested in controlled conditions using the same criteria for semi-skimmed milk, Oatly Barista oat milk, and Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate flakes. We then scored each product out of five against the following areas:
- Quality of milk foam: We looked for ultra-creamy, thick results that could easily dolloped or spooned into a mug of coffee or hot chocolate.
- Ease of use and cleaning: Milk frothers that had easy-to-use features, like ergonomic handles and pouring outlets, scored highly in our tests. We also looked at the effectiveness of the non-stick coating (where applicable) and whether the product could be put in the dishwasher.
- Quality of materials: We questioned whether the product felt well made, sturdy and built to last.
- Value for money: Looking at the price point and quality of results, we evaluated whether the milk frother felt like a good investment.
- Design and appearance: Looks are a big factor if you want to store your milk frother out on the worktop, so we considered whether we'd be happy to keep each product on display.
The average score out of 5 decided the overall star rating. The additional criteria played into our decision making:
- Kitchen footprint
- Noise and speed during use
- Additional features
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