If you want café-quality frothy coffee in style, you need the Smeg Milk Frother. Here's why.

Some like it hot, some like it cold, Smeg can do both

smeg milk frother in pastel blue on a countertop beside a latte and some biscuits
(Image credit: Smeg/Yahoo)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

$230 is a high price for a milk frother, but it’s worth it. Aside from retro style, this has seven different hot and cold settings, which can make velvety dairy and non-dairy drinks perfectly.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Speedy automated frothing

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    Range of hot and cold settings

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    Good with plant-based milks

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    Great foam consistency

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    Really quiet

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Milk doesn't get really hot

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    Big on the countertop

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Smeg milk frother makes up for all the disappointing milk frothers I've tried before. From the screechy to the sadly ineffective, there’s nothing worse than seeing a few large milky bubbles where there should be barista-quality cappuccino foam.

I've tested the best milk frothers on the market and Smeg is not only one of the best, it's also one of the most stylish. The iconic design will complement your kitchen countertops wonderfully. In fact, I loved it so much that I even invested in one to use in my own home.

I put this through a series of tests, across vegan milk, skimmed milk, and hot chocolate. The results were café-quality, frothy perfection. It’s more expensive than the average milk frother, but I’d choose it for my kitchen.

Smeg milk frother review


smeg milk frother in black on a white background

(Image credit: Smeg)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Dimensions9 7/8 x 7 1/4 x 5 5/8 inches
Weight7 lbs
Power cord length39 inches
Capacity20 oz
Materialstainless steel, chrome, plastic
Power500 W
Sound75 dBA
Colorscream, pastel blue, paste; green, pink, red, white, black

Unboxing the Smeg milk frother

smeg milk frother in black in front of the box on a marble countertop

(Image credit: Future)

Smeg has perfected easy unpacking. I slid out the milk frother, which was secured with cardboard, and found it pretty much assembled. There were some pieces of plastic wrapped around the stainless steel jug to keep it pristine. It would be good for them to be recyclable in the future. On the whole, it’s good to see that almost everything was recyclable.

Setting up, there was little else to do. This comes with a 39-inch power cord, smooth whisk, and notch whisk. The power cord makes it easy to position your milk frother anywhere on the countertop. All you need to do is rinse out the jug, place your desired whisk in, and you’re ready to froth. 

smeg milk frother beside all the plastic and carboard packaging on the countertop

(Image credit: Future)

Who would it suit?

smeg milk frother in black on a marble countertop

(Image credit: Future)

The Smeg milk froth is an obvious choice for the style-conscious. The iconic, retro appliance comes in a range of colors, from bright red to pastel green. It’s bigger than some other milk frothers, but this means that it can froth more milk at once. The 20 oz capacity could make hot chocolate for the family in one round. Press one button, and the machine can do the rest. You won’t need to stand by it, so you can carry on with your day. If you normally have drip coffee or French press, but yearn for some cappuccino froth, this can be your kitchen hack. In the summertime, you can make cold froths too. 

If you’re looking to cut costs, save on space, or need value for money, there are other options out there. This might not be the one for you, but it's an excellent option, so is well worth considering. 

What is it like to use?

smeg milk frother beside the stainless steel jug with a carton of milk behind it

(Image credit: Future)

As a barista, I’ve tested some more complicated steam wands, but I’ve also used some of the most simple coffee makers. Even though Smeg includes instructions, you don’t need them. It’s one of the most simple machines that I’ve used. 

The stainless steel jug is removable for you to fill it up with milk. There is a minimum and maximum line inside the jug to stop you over or under filling. The front dial has seven icons representing: hot chocolate, hot milk without froth, hot milk with light froth, hot milk with thick froth, and all the cold versions of the same. There’s a manual option too. 

Twist the dial, press go, and step away. The machine will make a small beep to let you know when it has finished frothing. The lid has a gap in the top with a detachable cap. You can use it to measure syrups, powders, or any other flavors that you would like to add to your drink.

Test 1: hot milk

Two glasses of dairy milk beside each other

The warmed milk is on the left and the latte is on the right. You can see some foam on the warmed milk

(Image credit: Future)

I started very simply. I heated 500ml of milk to test the most basic function. I used the flat whisk, so that the milk wouldn’t stick to the bottom, but also so that it wouldn’t froth. In just over a minute I had two cups of smooth, perfectly warmed milk. It was warm, but very drinkable. Not too hot and not too cold, Goldilocks style.

I was really struck by how quiet this machine was. Steam wands can screech, that’s one of the reasons why cafés can get so loud. I recorded 65 dBA of noise from the machine, which is around the noise of a business office according to the Yale University Decibel Level Comparison Chart. That’s quieter than a normal conversation. 

Test 2: hot foam

smeg milk frother with cappuccino milk and the jig in front

(Image credit: Future)

Next I tried a light foam. This would be perfect for lattes or flat whites. In a minute and a half, my milk was ready. There were no random large bubbles; the froth was a very fine, tight texture. It held its structure really well and made a very velvety drink. 

The heavier froth is well-suited for cappuccinos. In exactly two minutes, I had equal parts froth and milk. It was a little cooler than my plain, warm milk, but it was still a nice, drinkable temperature. 

I love a frothy drink, but this could be too frothy for your cappuccino. However, it’s easy to modify how much foam you pour out. Swirl the milk around in your jug, moving your hand in a circular motion. Don’t be afraid for the milk to lap up the sides; this is how you get the seamless, velvety consistency of milk and froth. Once your milk looks glossy, pour quickly at a steep angle in short bursts to have a more foamy brew. Pour slowly at a lower angle to get more milk and less foam. 

Test 3: cold foam

smeg milk frother milk with bubbles on top

These are the aerated bubbles that you tap and swirl the jug around to fix.

(Image credit: Future)

As a barista, we always used steam to froth milk, so I was skeptical that cold-froth would be any good. I started with cappuccino-style, maximum froth. I would say that it was a little less frothy than the hot milk, the ratio was more ⅝ milk ⅜ froth, but that’s still really good. I was pouring my pre-refrigerated milk in and, even after frothing, it was cold and refreshing in the glass. The foam was really velvety and smooth.

I tried the latte, light foam and this was really quick. In less than a minute, I had some good foam. It was a little more airy, but this is easy to fix. The stainless steel jug is very similar to the ones baristas use. Simply tap the edge of the bottom on the edge of a surface gently and if the bubbles don’t pop, try with a little more vigor. Do this with three small taps and then swirl your milk to make sure that the froth doesn’t settle and start deconstructing. It will take some practice, but helps to revive your milk.

Test 4: non-dairy milks

smeg milk frother behind two glasses of frothed oat milk

(Image credit: Future)

I used barista oat milk and re-created each type of froth, hot and cold. The results were really impressive. I couldn’t fault any of them. Granted, oat milk has a more open-texture foam, but that’s compared to whole, dairy milk and it’s only a slight difference. I would have been happy with all of the oat creations in a top-quality café. I’ve certainly been served worse. 

In this instance, the most important thing to remember is that you’ll want barista non-dairy milks. Their higher protein content can help them hold the foam texture and they’re much less likely to split. It’s also worth noting that non-dairy milks have different tastes: adding coconut, oat, almond, soya to your coffee will affect the flavor.

Cleaning, Storage, and Maintenance

smeg milk frother in parts in a sink

(Image credit: Future)

The detachable, stainless steel jug was easy to handle and pour. When it came to cleaning, it was even simpler to use. You can put the jug and lid in the dishwasher and it’ll come out clean and ready to use again. The rest of the machine can be wiped down with a damp microfiber cloth. It doesn’t really get messy so, if you do this after every use, your machine will always look super clean. The color and chrome are very forgiving in your kitchen. 

You can wind the 39 inch power cord around the bottom, and remove the jug to make the base easier to store. That said, it’s not the smallest appliance. It’s best to have this out on the countertop, if you’ve got the space for it. Aside from wiping it down with a wet cloth, this won’t require much maintenance.  

How does it rate online?

smeg milk frother dial showing the various settings

(Image credit: Future)

This rates really highly. Professional reviewers and customers alike give it top scores for quality, style, and performance. Even though it was expensive, customers were very pleased with their purchases. I read lots of reviews raving about how well this makes hot chocolate. It’s smooth velvety and can melt all the chocolate flakes and integrate the milk really well. It’s not as foamy, but it’s still lovely.

The main issue people face was with temperature. Older machines had instances of overheating and burning the milk, but newer models have been updated so that they don’t show this problem. I read a few reviews where customers felt that the milk was not hot enough. It gets to 160 degrees, so too much more warmth could burn the milk. 

How does it compare?

The Nespresso milk frother on a countertop with milk and a range of coffee types

(Image credit: Nespresso)

The Smeg milk frother is a premium product. It’s quieter than a steam wand and much better than a cheap USB milk frother. However, you are paying a premium for the Smeg label.

If you’re looking to save money, the Aeroccino milk frother costs less than half the price and achieves great results. It’s 6.7 inches tall and can hold 4 oz, whereas the Smeg is another three inches higher, but can hold 20 oz. This means that it’s better suited to compact kitchens, but not a good alternative for bigger households.

Smeg’s add-in lid is great for sweeteners and last-minute extras, which the Aeroccino lacks. Smeg’s jug is great for adjusting your milk if it gets too airy, or if you want less froth in your coffee. You just treat it like a barista would and you can achieve perfect pours, every time. However, given that Nespresso’s Aeroccino makes exceptional cold and hot frothy milks, it’s a competitive option.

Should you buy it?

smeg milk frother box

(Image credit: Future)

If you already own some Smeg appliances, you’ll know that they deliver premium products, but with a bit of a price tag. I really liked this. It’s an independent, capable, extremely quiet machine. The froth quality was really good, with a great range. The jug is also really useful for barista-style frothing. It’s not the most cost-efficient purchase; you could spend less and still enjoy a good frothy coffee, but I’m convinced. 

How we test

smeg milk frother with oat milk beside it

(Image credit: Future)

We took the Smeg milk frother to our dedicated test kitchen for thorough, hands-on testing. We used all of the settings and a range of different milks, so that we could be sure that this caters to a range of kitchen needs. We make notes and take pictures from the unboxing, all of the way through to the clean-up. We’ll assess the process as well as the results, so if it’s luxurious but loud, you’ll know about it. We also compare all of our appliances to other market-competitors. That way, we can check that they’re great value, good for performance, and user-friendly. 

We independently review all products, so that you have a balanced perspective on whether an appliance is worth the investment. We also put our expert testers through a rigorous series of training. I have been a barista before, but I also completed our Customer Advisor training, so I’m qualified to advise on all things coffee. This means that I’ve spoken to everyone from manufacturers, consumers, and professionals so that we understand the mechanisms, must-haves, and nice-to-have aspects of coffee products. We have more detailed pages on how we test if you would like to know more about the process. 

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

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.