Best Manual milk frothers create velvety layers of froth an essential ingredient in cappuccinos, lattes, and other Italian-style coffee recipes without the need for batteries or electricity. Talk about sustainable!
But the benefits of manual milk frothers don’t stop there. They help you save on your electricity bills, produce large quantities of froth for the whole family, are environmentally friendly, and have super easy-to-use and easy-to-clean designs. Plus who doesn’t love the satisfaction of using a hand-pump milk frother?
When looking for the best manual milk frothers, the main feature I focus on is how easily it creates great froth. Then come the important details that coffee lovers appreciate: product durability, value for money, quantity of froth, looks appeal, and cleaning and storage. Let’s not forget the different types of milk froth for coffee beverages, too!
Table of Contents
Different Types of Milk Froth
Froth From Professional Steam Wands You find in Coffee Shops
Often found built in espresso machines, powerful steam wands creates micro bubbles for velvety froth. The steam wand is used for frothing and steaming milk. For latte, the milk is steamed, creating hot milk and partial froth. The steam wand allows you to aerate the warm milk giving control of bubbles and froth.
For cappuccino, the milk is frothed more with an air injection to create a micro foam that expands creating a professional, heavier texture.
Froth From Household Electric Milk Frothers
Most household milk frothers rely on a fast whisk to stir warm milk, creating micro bubbles, into a lighter froth than steam wands. Another technique with a household electric frother, is to whisk cold milk and warm it previously in a microwave (beware of rapid growth). See my article on how to make a cappuccino this way.
Froth From Manual, Hand Pump Milk Frothers
Manual, hand pump frothers can be affective devices to generate milk froth for cappuccinos or lattes, using the oldest power known to man: manual labor. But don’t fear, the best manual (hand pump) milk frothers are not labor intensive.
They typically consist of a perforated mesh plunger, a cylinder shape steel or glass jar, and a lid and should create a cappuccino style froth within fifty short hand movements.
Best Manual (Hand Pump) Milk Frothers
1. Bodum Latteo Manual Milk Frother with Glass Handle – 8 oz/236 ml Review
This frother is one of the most user friendly manual milk frothers. The plastic lid has a deep lip to prevent foam from escaping by the spout and through the plunger handle. The plunger handle is comfortable to hold, feeling pleasant and smooth to push and pull. Simply, pour in cold milk up to the clearly indicated mark, place the jug on a flat surface, place on the lid, hold securely and start to pump. Within 30 seconds, my test proved, you can feel the texture of the milk/foam becoming heavier.
Technophobe friendly, most able body people could work this simplistic device. You can create your milk foam in less than 40 seconds with ease. The borosilicate glass cylinder allows you to microwave (remove the plunger and lid first) your frother after you make it creating more voluminous froth. After use, handily, you can place each part of the milk frother into the dishwasher.
- Has a comfortable grip with a glass handle
- Foam has no chance to escape while pumping
- The amount of foam we produce is plenty
- It is made of microwave proof glass cylinder
- Dishwasher friendly to avoid cleaning issues
- Glass body may break if it falls but so do many things
2. HIC Milk Creamer Frother – Tough to Break, 14 oz/414 ml
The HIC has a shiny stainless steel body with a stainless steel lid consisting of a double meshed perforate, plastic plunger. Along with full cream milk and skimmed milk, it works fine with the almond milk, soy or cashew milk, and other non-dairy milk liquids.
What is it like pumping the HIC?
Due to the knob like handle it takes a simple 3 finger pinch to easily plunge and rise this well designed knob.
How to use the HIC
Pour milk in the pitcher, put on the lid, and pump the handle for about 40 seconds seconds. Your milk foam will be ready to serve. The steel body gives you a good grip and robust protection should you drop it and has an advantage over glass: easy transportation.
- The steel body has little chance of breakage
- Maximum serving capability with a larger cylinder (14 ounces)
- Easy to clean with soap and water
- Not microwave-proof because of the steel body
- Froth is not visible from outside, and thus is more difficult to measure the amount
3. Bialetti Manual Glass Milk Frother – Italian Style, 3 Cup. Best Manual (Hand Pump) Milk Frothers
Bialetti is an Italian brand that has a revered reputation selling house ware products, specifically coffee makers which gives them great experience. They also sell manual milk frothers as in the hand pump, manual style for adding foam to espresso coffee.
Large enough to whip up enough froth for just about two lattes, the double frothing action makes froth quicker than the usual manual frother. It’s convenient to use, and microwave proof but please don’t place the lid in with it. The frother has Italian style and would look stylish in most kitchens with its glass and black accents. Easy to clean, it has a non-slip base attached for safely pumping and creating a thick and creamy froth without slippage – something other manuals often don’t have. Please note the Bialetti does take some elbow grease to pump the 30 seconds needed. All said its a worthy addition to, the roll call of ‘Best Manual (Hand Pump) Milk Frothers ‘.
- Very eye-catchy outlook and unique design
- Large size (3 cups capacity) to serve more people at once
- A non-slip base ensures safety so that the jar won’t fall easily
- Microwave friendly glass body
- Dishwasher friendly
- The plunger does take a bit more effort to pump than some.
- The glass body may break if you drop it on a hard surface
- Not as easily portable as steel frothers.
4. Haptime Manual Milk Creamer Hand Pump Frother Large, Steel Manual Frother – 17 Ounces
Of 17 ounces, despite its staid look, this steel hand pump, manual milk frother, is an efficient device, that whips up a thick froth for two tall lattes in one go. With its double layered whisk, froth is whipped up in less than thirty seconds while the plastic knob allows for elbow saving pump action. A worthy number in, ‘Best Manual (Hand Pump) Milk Frothers.’
The downside with steel frothers in general, is you can’t see the level froth you’ve made, though it’s not the end of the world.
So simple to use, the Haptime, allows you to simply pour in milk, attach a lid and start pumping. Delicious froth is churned up in folds and announces with a yell that electric milk frothers are no longer needed,
- Highly portable
- Large for froth for the family
- Cannot see the froth being made
5. Ninja Coffee Bar Easy Milk Frother – 1 Tall Latte
This milk frother comes with a trifecta of bonuses. Firstly, it’s is designed to be dish washer friendly which is a plus. Secondly, it produces enough thick froth for two lattes in one go. Thirdly, a whipped cream like froth is created in 15 pumps. The glass jug feels sturdy too, so it shouldn’t break easily, while clear marks prompt you how high to fill the milk.
How to use the Ninja
Pour a few ounces of milk in to the Ninja, place it in the microwave for 30 seconds while your espresso machine finishes off a shot. Pump the Ninja speedily 15-30 times, depending on how thick and voluminous you like your froth.
Ninja claim the press has ‘press’ froth technology for a better pro style froth. The final results make it hard to argue against that claim and is certainly thick, creamy and adequate for two cappuccinos or one tall latte.
- A good tip is when you’ve used the frother, fill it with warm water and detergent and pump again to help cleaning.
- Microwave proof
- Easy to use
- Sizeable for just one latte
6. HIC Harold Import Co. Milk Creamer Frother – Classic Manual
You are bored of buying new batteries, and you want a competent milk frother for your home? You want the comfort a frother machine can offer you without compromising froth texture – exactly that’s why HIC Harold milk frother will be your best economic move.
This manual device is quite different from other electric or battery-powered milk frothers in every way possible. It can hold up to 16 oz and make your foamy drink ready within an amazing 20 seconds. You literally have hands on when it comes to the thickness you want.
This is a worthy addition to the list of “Best Manual (Hand Pump) Milk Frothers,”. It has an included plunger, which is attached to the lid. Pour your milk into the pitcher, put the lid in place, and start pumping the handle up and down. You can pump the handle for a few minutes but after 30 seconds, you’ll get a thick consistency.
This frother is safe for easy cleanup and an easy-grip handle helps you to pour your drink without any unwanted spilling. The HIC is made of stainless steel and glass and looks elegant on the kitchen counter.
- It’s a classic design
- Comparatively, it will cost you a lot less to buy than other electric milk frothers.
- The HIC is totally manual so you don’t have to worry about changing batteries or relying on an electrical power supply.
- The device is handy and can be cleaned under a tap in seconds
- It doesn’t heat the milk for you but neither do the others
Our Advice: Final Word On The HIC
This device will get you the thickest layer of coffee froths or the thinnest. As it is manual, you don’t need to worry about changing batteries and it always feels good to help the environment. It is handy, easy to use, and, most importantly – works fast in a fool proof manner. The HIC is a no nonsense tool for your home and a worthy choice in ‘Best Manual (Hand Pump) Milk Frothers ‘. However, if you have sore joints or don’t want the physical exercise opt for a powered device – not that it’s too strenuous to use.
Q & A
What type of manual milk frother is durable?
Try to get a stainless steel milk frother if durability and portability are key functions you require. The steel will not break or be damaged by heat and may serve you longer.
What are the benefits of glass manual, hand pump milk frothers?
The benefit of a glass milk frother is you can see the density of froth being made.
In Conclusion – Best Manual (Hand Pump) Milk Frothers
The price may vary from brand to brand and product to product but don’t despair, after all they’re all affordable – cheaper than half a dozen bistro coffees each in all cases.
If you want us to recommend you a milk frother which ticks many boxes, I will recommend Bodum 1446-01US4 Latteo Manual Milk Frother with Glass Handle due to its good looks, reputable brand, microwave friendly design and see through glass so you can see all the froth being made.