The Nespresso Aeroccino 4 is a great single-serve, speedy, and silent milk frother. It's more expensive than other models, but more versatile, consistent, and durable too.
Can froth plant-based milks
Need barista plant-based milks
Doesn't get ultra-hot
More expensive than others
You can trust Homes & Gardens.
Nespresso’s Aeroccino 4 milk frother is one of the most popular models on the market. The ergonomic jug, easy controls, and silky texturing is tough to beat when you're making a coffee in the morning.
Nespresso has made many iterations of the Aeroccino, and the 4 is the latest. The 4 comes with lots of luxurious extras, including a greater range of froth texture settings, dishwasher-safe interior, and a useful handle. But while these features have secured it a spot in our guide to the best milk frothers on the market, they might not be enough for you to pay the premium price tag.
To make sure that Nespresso were still delivering quality without compromise, I took it to our test kitchen. I used the Aeroccino 4 to froth cold milk, hot milk, and plant-based milk, too. As a former barista, I was also keen to see how it compared to using a steam wand. The results were generally good, but if you want absolute perfection, there are a few things you’ll need to know.
|6.1"W x 6.69"H
|Hot milk, hot latte foam, hot cappuccino foam, cold foam
|4-8 fl oz
Nespresso doesn’t go overboard with packaging. The Aeroccino comes wrapped in completely recyclable cardboard and paper, which is great from a waste and environmental perspective. It only takes a rinse of the jug before the Aeroccino is ready to get started.
I love how this looks on the countertop. Whilst it might not be as small as the Illy Electric Milk Frother, it’s still relatively subtle. This comes in a stainless steel finish, which certainly brings the barista-factor into your kitchen. Even though the shiny finish can be a little high maintenance, it looks like the Aeroccino means business — and it does.
Who would it suit?
The Aeroccino has capacity for just one serving of frothed milk (4 oz) or two of warmed milk (8oz). It’s perfect for small households who need ultra-speedy, frothed milk. It’s also incredibly quiet — I would almost go as far as to say it’s silent, so if you want hot drinks in the early hours of the morning, this won't wake the whole house up.
If you use plant-based milks, you’ll need to make sure they are the ‘barista’ or ‘protein’ varieties. That's becuase while the Aeorccino 4 can get some froth on non-dairy milks, it’s not really a foam. Plus, the Aeroccino has a limited range of 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit, which can burn some plant-based milks, too.
What is it like to use?
As with everything Nespresso, the Aeroccino is easy to use. The touchscreen controls are responsive and straightforward, so there’s very little room for error. It’s a nice jug shape, so easy to pour, swirl around, and use as a barista jug. Those who want to do latte art can’t blame the Aeroccino if things don’t work well, because it sets you up for success.
Test 1: hot milk
Inside the Aeroccino are guidelines for where maximum and minimum fill levels are depending on what you’re making. Hot milk can reach up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. I poured in my milk – right up to max to see how it handled full capacity – and set it running. Within a minute and a half, I had 8oz of milk, warmed to 159°F. I've always been taught that milk should reach no hotter than 160°F, so this right on the line of perfect. It tasted smooth and sweet in my mouth. If you're pouring it into a coffee cup, make sure it's pre-warmed. A cold mug cools the milk down, so it will begin to feel tepid and less enjoyable.
Test 2: hot frothed milk
There are two settings you can opt for: latte (which is a little foamy) and cappuccino (which is much more foamy). I tested both and they were true to their promises. The latte milk had about one-two fingers worth of tight, silky foam. The cappuccino milk was about a 50:50 ratio of milk and foam, which might be too much for some, but if you pour slowly, you will be able to dodge getting big lumps of foam in your coffee. Both milks tasted smooth, gently sweet, and extremely silky. The temperature was perfect for adding to my morning espresso and it poured really nicely, too.
Test 3: cold frothed milk
Making cold milk in the Aeroccino was easy. Even though I had already frothed hot milk, I could instantly start frothing cold milk without any heat affecting my results.
It took a minute and a half to achieve a silky, creamy, cold milk. The ratio was about half-and-half for milk and froth, which might be too much for some people, but I would rather have more froth than less. As with warm milk, pour slowly and you won't get as much froth out of the jug.
However, I noticed that the froth disappeared quite quickly. I tried pouring the milk in glasses and mugs, and both times the cold froth would bubble down to nothing within five minutes. Opting for higher protein and higher fat milks will help to retain this texture, but if you don’t like those drinks, you’ll need to sip quickly.
Test 4: plant-based milk
I used two different plant-based milk with the Aeroccino. The first was normal (non-barista) almond milk. If you don't buy barista milks, this is the kind of non-dairy milk you're most likely to have in the fridge. For latte foam, my almond milk was untouched. It looked like the cafe au lait, which is just hot milk. I tried cold foam and the cappuccino settings with a little more success, but the results weren't as dramatic as with dairy milk. I was surprised that the almond milk didn't separate. In fact, the Nespresso heated it to a nice, warm temperature. If anything, I could have done with the milk feeling a little hotter. I can't complain though, because the almond flavors were sweet and delicate and the small amount of foam was tight and silky.
I was curious to see how this compared to a steam wand (the kind you would find on an espresso machine). I used my home espresso machine to steam the almond milk by hand and achieved much better results. The foam was even thicker, silkier, and it held its structure much more than the almond milk before. This isn’t a fault with the Aeroccino though. It’s a fault with milk frothers in general: they're never quite as good as a barista and a steam wand.
To give the Aeroccino a good chance. I also tried barista oat milk. The results of this were incredible; the milk was silky, velvety, and tasted deliciously sweet. It didn’t burn or curdle. It was consistent and incredibly difficult to fault. If you do drink plant-based milks, buy the barista versions, and you won’t have any troubles with the Aeroccino.
Cleaning, storage, and maintenance
The Aeroccino separates into a few parts: the clear viewing lid, the whisk, and the jug. All of these are dishwasher safe, so cleaning up after the Aeroccino is close to effortless. I would recommend keeping the whisk out of the dishwasher and storing it safely away. If you lose it, you won't get very far with milk frothing.
This looks great on the countertop and you could easily store it in a cupboard, but I don’t think you need to. It's more subtle than a toaster and is useful to have out, ready to use at the touch of a button. If you have a coffee maker already, you can start to build your very own coffee station.
How does it rate online?
The Aeroccino 4 is a popular milk frother. Just as you'll find it in most kitchens, it's also in most buying guides. One look at the Amazon reviews will tell you all you need to know. It's one of their 'best sellers' and comes with a 4.4 star average rating. People find it easy to use, consistent, and easy to clean when all is finished. The ever-growing trend for cold coffee and cold foams is evident, as most people praised the cold foam function on here.
The inside is lined with a non-stick coating, which is really useful for cleaning up. However, some people scratched theirs and needed to replace the Nespresso. Always use a soft cloth and not a sharp, scratching pad when cleaning, even if you've burnt milk to the base. Another point to note is that some reviewers tried to make hot chocolate from pure chocolate. They said that the Aeroccino doesn't get hot enough to melt the solid chocolate into the milk. You're better using a cocoa powder or syrup.
Unsurprisingly, the Aeroccino is one of the best milk frothers on the market. Whilst it's on the expensive side, it's still good value, delivering on both versatility and quality.
I tested this directly against Instant's popular electric milk model, which has the same range of settings. Whilst the Instant has a bigger capacity, the milk it frothed was slightly less smooth, with more air bubbles. It's also louder and feels less premium. The Instant will still froth milk well and is a good option if you're shopping on a budget, but if you have an taste for specifics, you'll want to invest in the Aeroccino.
If you have a bigger budget (and need more capacity) Breville's The Milk Cafe is in a different league. It has adjustable temperature settings, so you know you'll be frothing at the perfect temperature for your milk type. It's bigger and more dominant on the countertop, but it's also my favorite milk frother.
Should you buy it?
I love the Aeroccino 4. It looks the part of a good milk frother and performs like a top-quality model too. There's a reason that it's so popular. The main reasons that this is so popular is how speedy and silent it is. It's a good, reliable investment, but remember to buy barista versions of your plant-based milks for the best results.
How we test
At Homes & Gardens we always prioritize practicality. That's why we have a team of expert testers who take each product we recommend into our test kitchen to see how well they perform in real life.
I took the Nespresso and made notes on how well it frothed both dairy and plant-based milks. As a former barista, I was keen to see how well this compared to hand-steamed milk, so also tested this against my home espresso machine. If you'd like to find out more, you can visit our dedicated page for how we test.
Sign up to the Homes & Gardens newsletter
Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.
Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.
Jessica Alba's tile color combination was in style 'before any of us were born,' experts say
The classic color combination brings hints of Mediterranean beauty to the West Coast – and it's a look that lives through the centuries
By Megan Slack Published
Hilary Duff matches fragrances with her design choices – and her technique can amplify our interior style
The actress sat down with H&G to explain how scent complements varied design styles, and we can't wait to recreate it
By Sophie Edwards Published
These designers source and restore vintage furniture every single day – here are their top tips for shopping and reviving
Joe McGuier and Megan Prime – architects and co-founders of Brooklyn-based JAM and JAM Shop – share their best advice for finding, refurbishing and styling antique home goods
By Abby Wilson Published