The Best Handheld and Electric Milk Frothers for 2018

Updated on January 20, 2018
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Paul's passion for making and consuming coffee extends back over thirty years. An extensive traveler, he currently lives in Florida.

Thirty years of experience tells me that a thick and creamy foam is essential for gourmet quality coffee drinks, such as a latte or cappuccino. A good frother can give you the creamy consistency required for premium quality coffee beverages.
Thirty years of experience tells me that a thick and creamy foam is essential for gourmet quality coffee drinks, such as a latte or cappuccino. A good frother can give you the creamy consistency required for premium quality coffee beverages.

I've been passionate about making and drinking coffee for over thirty years, and if you are anything like me, you will know that a good cup of coffee is not purely about brewing the beans.

Getting the milk right is just as important if you want to make the perfect latte, cappuccino, or hot chocolate. Making great foam doesn't necessarily require any great skill or experience if you have the right equipment.

Important factors to remember are that:

  • A thick, creamy, and longer-lasting foam will transform your cappuccinos, upgrading them to coffee-shop standards.
  • An excellent milk frother will enable you to create gourmet-quality beverages in the comfort of their own home, without having to pay coffee-shop prices.
  • Handheld devices are often more affordable and very easy to use, but electric versions can also usually keep the froth hot or cold after whisking automatically, and they also function as a pitcher for serving.

Cappucino coffee drink featuring two love hearts on the foam.  A creamy and thick head is essential for cappuccino drinks.  Creative people use the foam to make engaging images and patterns for coffee drinkers in cafes and restaurants.
Cappucino coffee drink featuring two love hearts on the foam. A creamy and thick head is essential for cappuccino drinks. Creative people use the foam to make engaging images and patterns for coffee drinkers in cafes and restaurants. | Source

The Best Handheld and Automatic Milk Frothers

Handheld

  • The Kuissential Slick Froth: Inexpensive and convenient
  • Another Excellent Handheld: The Well Designed and Affordable IKEA Frother!

Automatic

  • The Secura Automatic: Affordable and easy to operate
  • The Epica Automatic: Quick and quiet

The Two Main Types of Frother

  1. Handheld frothers usually take the form of a small body used to grip the device and hold the batteries and motor, plus a stem and whisker. The device works like a small propeller, whisking the hot milk into a foam. The best handheld devices are often made from stainless steel to give them a stylish appearance and durability, as well as make them easier to clean. Handheld frothers are usually much more affordable than electric versions. They also take up less space in your kitchen
  2. Electric frothers take the form of pitchers with an electric motor, which drives the whisking automatically. They have several main advantages over handheld devices. Firstly, they are often less messy and time-consuming than handhelds. Secondly, you don't have to transfer the foam to a separate pitcher after you have created it, as the device acts as a vessel for the foam. Thirdly, electric versions will often keep the foam hot for you after creation. Electric frothers are also typcially made from stainless steel for an elegant appearance, durability and cleaning ease. With handheld frothers, you may have to also buy a separate pitcher too, but with the electric version frother and pitcher are effectively combined in one.

The Kuissential SlickFroth 2.0 is an excellent device at an affordable price.  With a stem and whisk made from stainless steel, this device is also durable and easy to clean.  The SlickFroth takes up no space in the kitchen and is easy to use.
The Kuissential SlickFroth 2.0 is an excellent device at an affordable price. With a stem and whisk made from stainless steel, this device is also durable and easy to clean. The SlickFroth takes up no space in the kitchen and is easy to use.

The Kuissential Slickfroth: Inexpensive and Convenient

I bought a Kuissential Slickfroth a few years back to replace the Aerolatte that I had previously. I found it superior frother, even though it cost me less money.

Although I almost always use an automatic around the home, I still often use the Kuissential when I go traveling. It's a very affordable handheld model, powered by 2 AA batteries, and creates the creamy foam required for lattes, cappuccinos, and hot chocolate.

Here are my pros and cons.

Pros

  • Looks and feels great.
  • Easy to operate, reaches full speed very quickly.
  • Cleaning is straightforward, just dip it in soapy water and rinse.

Cons

  • The power button can stick a bit after multiple uses. Not a big issue for me as I still feel I've got my money's worth.

I can't imagine a day without coffee. I can't imagine!

— Howard Schultz
IKEA deservedly have a strong reputation for making well-designed, affordable products and this device is no exception.  Easy to use and inxepensive, the Ikea frother does the job its designed for without straining your wallet.
IKEA deservedly have a strong reputation for making well-designed, affordable products and this device is no exception. Easy to use and inxepensive, the Ikea frother does the job its designed for without straining your wallet.

Another Excellent Handheld: The Well Designed and Affordable IKEA Frother!

The IKEA Produkt is another inexpensive handheld frother than I would recommend..I used one in my work for about six months and found it great for foaming up milk for my lattes.

I move the whip up and down as it's spinning to get the froth. It's best if you only use it with a reltively small amount of milk (2-3 ounces) and you do have to be careful not to over-froth.

Pros

  • Inexpensive. You can pick them up for less than seven dollars online.
  • A reliable and relatively durable frother in my experience. The stainless steel shaft and whip aren't going to break in a hurry.
  • Easy to clean. Just dip it in some soapy water and rinse it off.

Cons

  • It's only really suitable for frothing small amounts of milt at a time, around 2-3 ounces. You are better off with an automatic if you want to do larger amounts.
  • The technique and timing take a while to get the hang of. If you are not careful you can over-froth.
  • Loading the batteries seems awkward the first time that you do it.

Using the IKEA Produkt

I am a coffee fanatic. Once you go to proper coffee, you can't go back. You cannot go back.

— Hugh Laurie

Achieving the Correct Temperature

Getting the milk to the right temperature can be tricky, especially when using a handheld frother. If the milk isn't hot enough, it won't be at the correct consistency, if it gets too hot, it becomes scolded.

The most accurate way to get the temperature right is to use an espresso thermometer. The ideal temperature for frothing is around 150ºF to 155ºF, go over 170ºF and the milk will taste burned.

I love my Secura frother. It is perfect for making milk froth. It is hassle free and does everything with just the press of a button. It's easy to clean and when not in use, can be easily stored. I love the look and feel of it too.
I love my Secura frother. It is perfect for making milk froth. It is hassle free and does everything with just the press of a button. It's easy to clean and when not in use, can be easily stored. I love the look and feel of it too. | Source

The Secura Automatic: Affordable and Straightforward to Operate

After several years of messing around with handhelds, I decided it was time to get an automatic. Even if you are experienced at using a handheld, it's just so much easier to press a button and get perfect foam every time. I now only use a handheld when I'm off traveling.

After experimenting with different electric frothers, I settled on using a Secura Automatic as my main machine in the home.

I've listed the main pros and cons of it below.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Consistently perfect foam created with just a press of a button.
  • Straightforward to operate.
  • Nice look and feel.
  • Stainless steel outside and nonstick interior make it easy to clean, both inside and out.
  • Compact design makes it simple to store when not in use.

Cons

  • It does have a tendency to overflow even if I overfill it just slightly. The max line marker could be more visible.
  • It pours fine, but could be better.
  • It makes enough froth for two cappuccinos, that's ideal for me but may not be enough for some people.

I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.

— Howard Schultz
Constructed from stainless steel, the Epica Automatic makes making creamy, thick foam easy.  The carafe is detachable for versatile and easy use.  Ideal for use on an everyday basis, or at a dinner party.
Constructed from stainless steel, the Epica Automatic makes making creamy, thick foam easy. The carafe is detachable for versatile and easy use. Ideal for use on an everyday basis, or at a dinner party.

The Epica Automatic: Quick and quiet

I have an Epica Automatic in my work office. I use it mainly to create milk foam for my lattes and cappuccinos, but it's versatile enough to be used for iced drinks too. There are three settings, providing the option to make hot froth, cold froth, or hot milk.

Pros

  • Stainless steel construction makes it a solid, stylish and easy to clean frother.
  • It's simple and intuitive to operate.
  • Quick and quiet.
  • Durable and reliable, I've had mine two years and still works as well as the first time I used it.

Cons

  • As with the Secura, you need to be careful that you don't overfill, or the milk will spill over and create a mess.
  • Cleaning is easy if you do it straightaway, but is more challenging if you let the milk dry up.

Questions & Answers

    © 2014 Paul Goodman

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Kate 

        2 years ago

        Thanks for a nice acticle! I love latte and now I'm looking for a milk frother. I read a lot information about milk frothers and I think that automatic milk frother is more expensive but it's better in use than manual. I like Epica milk frother and I want to buy it. This frother is one of the best at many reviews. I saw also nice review at topreviews.best In their opinion it's really good choice

      • Sharkye11 profile image

        Jayme Kinsey 

        4 years ago from Oklahoma

        I had to click this hub just to see why on earth anyone would need to froth milk. Obviously, I'm not a coffee drinker! I had never heard of one of these little gadgets, but I'm marking them down as possible Christmas gifts for the coffee people in my life.

        Thanks for teaching me something!

      • Melinda Longoria profile image

        Melinda Longoria, MSM 

        4 years ago from Garland, Texas

        This is a cool little gadget. I need to get one some day.

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