What’s a Milk Frother & Which One Should I Buy?

What makes cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos that you buy in a coffee shop so different from the ones many people try to recreate at home is that they contain milk foam and milk froth instead of just regular milk. You can recreate this froth and foam – and subsequently recreate coffee shop classics – with devices called milk frothers. which are my number one recommended tool for any novice home-barista (excluding a coffee grinder, which I take a step further and recommend to every coffee drinker)

I actually have two cheap milk frothers myself – I have one from a brand called ‘Mind Reader’ and another, even cheaper one that was a gift and has no detectable brand name on it. I received the cheaper gift one first, and was thoroughly disappointed to find that, while it does froth the milk, the milk already had to be hot to start. It also took a long time to get anything remotely frothy, so by the time you finished frothing it, the drink ended up significantly cooler.

I was very spoiled; I was used to my super fancy milk steamer at the coffee shop, which frothed and heated the milk at the same time, and in record time. I bought the Mind Reader one as an effort to upgrade because it advertised that it was ‘for hot or cold’ and I naively thought this meant that it would heat the milk too.

I was wrong – it doesn’t heat the milk (no cheap, handheld one does) and it’s definitely no barista steamer, but it does do a significantly better job at frothing the milk than the $10 cheap plastic one did. It’s also the only one of the two that still works well.

If you are looking for a way to get hot frothy milk quickly, however, you need a more sophisticated, expensive machine that heats as it froths.

There are some benefits to going with a cheaper, handheld model – namely the price – but investing in a somewhat pricier machine is definitely worth it if you plan to make a lot of frothy drinks (like lattes or cappuccinos), especially if you don’t want to buy a full specialty coffee maker.

Below, I will list and describe several milk frother options at a variety of price points, from the cheap, hand-held, heat-less ones, to super sophisticated, fast-heating frothers.


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Zulay & Mind Reader Milk Frothers

I included these two cheap, plastic milk frothers because of their prices and because I started out with two just like them, and I’m glad I did. The Mind Reader milk frother is the one that I currently own and occasionally use. It is very slightly more expensive than the Zulay model, and – in line with that – it is of slightly higher quality. I don’t use mine very frequently, but it hasn’t died yet, so that already puts it above the Zulay, which the reviews make clear breaks extremely quickly.

There are many cheap milk frothers just like this on the market, at roughly the same price point. As long as you know what you’re getting, they could be a good option for someone who only wants to switch up their coffee game occasionally. It’s important to note though that it is cheaply made and probably won’t last long; mine didn’t.

However, if you’re only looking to try a frother out before deciding if you want to buy a better model, or if you’ll only use it very occasionally and really doesn’t want to spend money on a decent machine, it’s a decent option. This was my situation, and I’m mostly satisfied with it, keeping in mind the old stipulation that you get what you pay for.

Remember, though, that they:

  • Do not heat milk!
  • Take a long time to froth milk
  • Are more breakable/don’t last long
  • Have a plastic handle

I rate these two frothers super low because they are not very durable, they tend not to last very long, and because they don’t heat the milk while they forth. I include them in this list for a two reasons: firstly, because they do work, even if only for a short while, so – as long as you know what you’re getting into – they can be a nifty starter sort of trial-tool. Secondly, because there is a myriad of milk frothers on the market at this price point, and it’s important that you do know what you’re getting into when you think about buying one of these. The price may vary by a couple of dollars, but they are all incredibly similar, with the same features – or lack thereof – and they all tend to break down pretty quickly.

Miroco Milk Frother

  • Product: Miroco Milk Frother
  • Price: $39.99 (~$50 retail)
  • Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon
  • My Rating: 9/10 stars

This is my second-to-top choice in milk frothers, because it’s in the mid, decently-priced range, because it heats the milk while it froths, and because it also has outstanding ratings, earning a 4.7/5 star rating on over 7,800 customer ratings on Amazon. The only negative reviews cite the unavoidable, relatively rare manufacture issues that caused several machines to either not work at all, or to stop working after a short time.

This milk frothing machine has some really cool features. You can cold milk for iced drinks, or hot milk for hot ones – and it does heat the milk while it froths. It has temperature controls, it has clear lines and direction that make is super easy to use, it’s quick, it’s quiet, and it’s easy to clean.

As I mentioned earlier, this is my personal second choice in milk frothers because the features are great and the price is very right.

=>CLICK HERE for more information on this product<=

HadinEEon Variable Temp Milk Frother

This is another great option. It’s my top choice in milk frother, and I give it such a high rating because – while it’s a bit pricier than the last model – it’s not crazy expensive, it does have awesome reviews, and it comes with several more (really cool) features that the Miroco doesn’t have.

Firstly, it contains a stainless steel milk steamer that can hold13.5oz of liquid, which is more than typical for a milk frother. The milk jug detaches from the machine, which makes pouring and cleaning so much easier.

What makes this machine awesome, though, is that you aren’t stuck between only being able to heat the milk while it froths or keep the milk the slightly-colder-than-room-temperature it was at when you started frothing; it has an adjustable temperature control, so you can choose exactly how hot you want your milk.

This machine also has incredible ratings, which is why I have to give it a score of 10/10. It’s pricier, but definitely an excellent choice.

AEVO Detachable Milk Frother Machine

What sets this milk frother apart from the ones I’ve already mentioned is that firstly, it’s dishwasher safe, and secondly, it has four different frothing modes. It also comes with safety features like an automatic shut-off feature if the pitcher is detached.

This has great ratings overall, but there is an issue aside from those unavoidable rare manufacture issues – several unhappy customers brought up that it doesn’t do a very good job with non-dairy milks like almond or coconut, and that it really works best with whole milk and struggles with other types.

I give it 8/10 because it’s a great machine, but it is expensive and not completely without it’s issues.

Jura Automatic Milk Frother

This machine is the ultimate milk frother. Jura is a Swiss brand that specializes specifically in making excellent coffee-creating machines. It has temperature controls, it’s compact and easy to use, and it works super quickly.

The main reason this machine doesn’t get a full score from me is because of the price hike. However, you do get what you pay for, and this is an amazing, luxurious, and excellent-quality machine that might be worth the price if you’re making a lot of frothed milk.

The other reason I give it a rating of 8/10 is because.- despite having mostly raving reviews – several customers have also reported having a difficult time cleaning it thoroughly. A few others have also had trouble with the seal. Jura products do, however, come with a year long warranty and a 30-day guarantee, which is awesome.

Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

This is the last milk frother I will mention today. It’s the most expensive model I bring up in today’s review, and I bring it up because of how reputable and high-quality Nespresso products generally are.

This is a great milk frother- the pitcher is dishwasher safe, it has two frothing modes, and it has a 4.4/5 star rating on Amazon.

All that said, this model does come with a few issues, and that’s why I’ve given it a lower rating than some of the other models I recommend. Like many of the other models, it has problems frothing plant-based milk, and most of the negative reviews on Amazon bring up issues with the machine breaking down after a short time.  I also thought the fact that it doesn’t have a specific temperature control option

Conclusion

If you’re looking to make hot coffee shop-esque drinks at home – cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, macchiatos, etc – and you don’t want to buy a full specialty coffee bar, you need a milk frother. Buying a barista-level machine would cost thousands of dollars, but luckily, there are some pretty excellent options for everyday coffee drinkers on the market.

I believe that you should choose the milk frother and how much you want to spend on a milk frother based on how much specialty coffee you drink or would drink if you had milk frother. If you need creamer or milk to drink coffee and you like milk foam, then you’ll probably use it all the time, so it would probably be worth it to you to invest a little more in a better machine that has features you’ll appreciate more and that’ll last you much longer.

However, if you want a milk frother that you’ll only use to treat yourself occasionally, I recommend going with the Miroco or HaninEEon machines, as they have the most features for the best price, in my opinion. If you’ll only use it super rarely or just want to give milk frothing a try, then I’d consider going with the even-cheaper handheld models, just keeping in mind that they probably won’t last long.


Do you own a milk frother already? Do you have any experience with any of these brands? Did I miss anything, or do you have any other questions?

Please, leave me a comment below and let me know!

14 Replies to “What’s a Milk Frother & Which One Should I Buy?”

  1. Hey,

    I love your website and your articles. I am a huge coffee lover and I want to start making my own coffees that taste like something out of Starbucks or something. We have gone back into full lockdown here in the UK so getting a coffee from a coffee shop is going to be very difficult. We may need to start making our own from your recommendations above.

    I will let you know if I do invest in a coffee maker, and I’ll let you know which one and give it a review.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Tom

    1. Hi Tom, thank you so much for your positive feedback, and for sharing! In the states, our degree of lockdown varies based on location, but we’re all still highly encouraged to stay home. So I agree that this is definitely the perfect time to get into building up our own coffee bars – because it’s responsible to stay home, and because – if you’re a regular at a coffee shop – you’ll end up saving a lot of money you otherwise would have spent getting coffee out.

      Thanks again!
      ~Jade

  2. Thanks for sharing this post. I use to work in coffee shops and got “addicted” to making my own milk foam. I was skilled at making awesome foam and even better lattes and cappuccinos too. When I saw the milk frother machine for the first time, I was skeptical about it. However, after some time spent getting to know the machine, I started to change my mind. I was using something similar to the Jura Automatic (your last recommendation) and soon enough, it because irreplaceable. It’s a great device to have whether in a pro coffee shop or your home bar. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Ivan,

      Thanks for the feedback! I don’t drink that much frothy milk, but when I eventually get an espresso machine, I’m planning on also upgrading from my cheap Mind Reader model to something that can actually heat the milk and that I’d have more control over the consistency of. It’s great to hear from another former-barista that the Jura is worth it. I’ve accepted that nothing is going to be as nice as those industrial steamers we used at the coffee shops, but it’s great to hear that this one gets your approval!

      Thanks again,
      ~Jade

  3. Jade,

    That Miroco looks like a good fit, and honestly so does the HadinEEon (but that name… ugh) I like the separate frother jug/cup, so I may wind up bumping up to that one when I’m ready to buy.

    Sadly I’m going to have to stick with my cheap plastic frother for the time being. It still works and until we’re in our new place and I have the room for a proper “coffee alter” it’s just not going to work.

    We have a kitchen the size of a postage stamp, and getting my wife to move her kitchen gadgets for one of mine isn’t going to happen. When we’re able to get into a new place with a better kitchen it may be time for an upgrade though.

    Thanks,
    Sean

    1. Hi Sean,

      I have to agree, HadinEEon is… not a great name 😀

      I definitely understand your situation – it’s the same one I was in for quite a while, and the reason I haven’t yet upgraded my milk frother either, though I am thinking about going all in with the Jura myself. It’s weird- but amazing – having the space to really build an awesome set-up. You’re going to love it! And feel free to come back and let us know what kind of milk frother you end up getting when you do upgrade, and how your experience with that frother is!

      Thanks again,
      ~Jade

  4. Jade,

    I have to admit, I already have a milk frother at home, but I’m spoiled since it’s the one that comes with Nespresso. I’ve been using this machine since my husband bought it for me for Christmas about 4 years ago. I hate going to coffee stands now because I make it better at home with my own machine.

    I know the Nespresso one is more upscale – I’m not sure on the cost since I didn’t buy it, my hubby did. I’d imagine it’s probably in the $100 range, but again, not sure. It heats up the milk to the perfect temp and froths it perfectly. It also will froth cold milk for cold drinks as well, but I’ve only used that option once. It’s almost always cold in Alaska where I live, so cold coffee is not exactly craved often.

    I do like the options you included though in this article if I ever need a new one. Thanks for sharing!

    Katrina

  5. Hi Katrina,

    Thanks for the feedback! That’s awesome that your milk frother helps you make coffee that’s even better than what you can get at a coffee shop! Is it the Aeroccino? That one is also $99, and is super similar to the Jura model.

    I live in Wisconsin and it’s only warm enough for iced coffee here for a few months out of the year, so I can kind of relate, but also can’t imagine how cold it must be in Alaska!

    Thanks for the feedback,
    ~Jade

  6. I am really interested to know about the Aeroccino3 that is usually recommended by Nespresso. Can you maybe expand on how the Aeroccino3 compares to the products you mentioned in your article?

    1. Hi Shalk,

      I actually just updated my article to include the Nespresso Aeroccino4, which is essentially the same as the Aeroccino3, just updated, a little more expensive, and without the issue customers have reported of the ceramic lining coming off.

      As for how it compares to the other models I mentioned in the article – it’s more expensive, but Nespresso is a great brand. However, I rated it a little lower than the other models because -while most people seem to have had really great experiences with it – there were also a higher number of dissatisfied customers who reported having issues with it not working. It also apparently doesn’t froth plant-based milk very well, and while the other ones don’t either, I’d hope that something with that much of a price hike would do a better job and be a bit sturdier (the price was the other reason it was rated a little lower).

      I hope this helps, and please let me know if you have any other questions!

  7. Hi, Jade,

    I love coffee and have occasionally considered getting a coffee bar, but I have never gotten around it. Starbucks may be more convenient, but it’s expensive in the long run. I think having your own bar could compensate for this.

    Since I’ve never used a milk frother in my life, I’d like to test one out before buying a more expensive model. However, at the same time, I don’t want to get something super cheap that will break after a few uses, so I’d discard the Zulay machine based on that principle alone. Having said that, which one would you recommend: Miroco or HaninEEon?

    I might even get one for Black Friday lol. I look forward to your reply. Thanks for commenting.

    1. Hi Enrique,

      Thanks for the feedback! I agree that Starbucks gets crazy expensive in the long run – if you’re spending $5 every weekday on coffee, you’re spending $1300 every year! That’s nuts!

      I definitely understand not wanting to get a super breakable one off the bat – if you know you like lattes and will use it even fairly often, it’s definitely worth getting a more durable machine.

      I would say that the Miroco is good enough for people who will only use their milk frother occasionally, but the HadinEEon is worth upgrading to too, especially, like I said, if you know you like frothy coffee beverages (or frothy hot chocolate). It has better ratings overall, is easier to clean, and the temperature control addition is worth the extra $10 in my opinion.

      Thanks again for the feedback! If you do end up buying, please let us know how it goes and how your experience is!
      ~Jade

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