The 9 Best Flour Sifters

Simple tools that help your baked goods stay light and clump-free

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It may seem like an insignificant step at the beginning of a recipe, but taking the time to sift your flour before whipping up that next dessert will yield fluffier and more delicate results. Biting into a chunk of flour or cocoa powder that didn't properly disperse while mixing takes the fun out of your baked goods and could be the thing that's weighing your angel food cakes down.

Sifters haven't changed all that much throughout the years. Chances are, your flour sifter is going to look a lot like that metal hand-cranked model you found in your grandparent's kitchen cabinets. Keep grandma's tarnished vintage sifter on display for nostalgia's sake, and pick up a fresh sifter that's easy to operate and gives you the smoothest baked goods imaginable.

Not interested in doing the extra work to crank or shake out the dry ingredients for your recipe? There are also a few electronic sifters on the market to achieve the same results as the hand-cranked versions—without the extra work. From classic to contemporary, here are our favorite sifters for your next baking project.

Best Overall: Epica Products Bellemain Stainless Steel 3-Cup Flour Sifter

Epica Products Inc Bellemain Stainless Steel 3-Cup Flour Sifter

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Engraved measurements on the side

  • Sturdy construction

  • Lightweight handling

What We Don't Like
  • Will eventually rust

A basic crank-style sifter is a favorite among bakers, and this 3-cup sifter shows exactly why that is. The sifter is tough enough to handle different types of flour and other coarse ingredients, like bran or almond meal. The canister has measurement markings engraved into the metal to read on the inside of the sifter. This way, you can measure amounts as you pour them into the sifter or see how much more you have left to sift. The manufacturer recommends simply wiping this clean with a cloth rather than immersing it in water, but some reviewers have hand-washed the sifter, and others have washed it in the dishwasher with no issues.

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 3 cups | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes, but hand-washing recommended

Best with Squeeze Handle: Cuisipro Browne 3-Cup Sifter

Cuisipro Browne 3-Cup Sifter

 Courtesy of Bed bath & Beyond

What We Like
  • Single-hand operation

  • Scoops and sifts

  • Stands upright or hangs on bowl

What We Don't Like
  • Can be messy if too full

Crank-handled sifters are quite popular but require two hands to operate. This squeeze-handled sifter can be operated with just one hand. You can even scoop the flour directly into the sifter rather than pouring it in with a measuring cup. The handle is designed so you can hang the sifter on your bowl while you’re working with other ingredients, so it will stay neatly out of the way while you’re combining wet and dry ingredients.

Users noted that this works best if it’s holding 2 cups or less, although the manufacturer says it can hold up to 3 cups at once. When done cooking, everything is top-rack dishwasher safe.

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 3 cups | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes

Best Dishwasher-Safe: Williams Sonoma Traditional Flour Sifter

Traditional Flour Sifter

Courtesy of William Sonoma

What We Like
  • Large-capacity sifter

  • Rust-resistant

  • Elegant traditional design

What We Don't Like
  • Measurements not indicated on barrel

If you only use your sifter for flour, you may not need to wash it often, but if you plan on using the sifter to combine ingredients, washing between uses will keep your baked goods tasting fresh. But as every baker knows, flour and water make a sticky goo, and sifters have a lot of small nooks and crannies, making them difficult to clean.

This sifter is dishwasher safe, so you can let the machine do all the work for you. Reviewers commented that, even though the sifter is metal, it seems resistant to rusting, which is great news for your baking. The canister is large enough to hold up to 5 cups of flour at once.

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 5 cups | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes

Best Stand Mixer Attachment: KitchenAid Sifter and Scale Attachment

KitchenAid Sifter and Scale Attachment

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Weighs and sifts ingredients

  • Low-effort sifting

  • Sifts directly into bowl of stand mixer

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

If you're looking for the best flour sifter that won't make your arm sore after a day of baking, the KitchenAid Sifter + Scale Attachment is the best pick. It sifts and weighs the ingredients while sending them gradually into the mixer bowl to make sure everything combines evenly. The process is completely hands-off once the flour is loaded, so bakers can watch the process or stir a pot on the stove while the mixer does its job.

The hopper holds up to 4 cups of flour or similar dry ingredients but can easily be reloaded for bigger recipes. The scale can be used on its own to measure all your baking ingredients, and the kit includes a top plate for the scale when you’re using it on your counter. A storage case is included as well so you can keep all the parts neatly together when they’re not in use.

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 4 cups | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes (except scale and sifter housing)

Best Mini: OXO Good Grips Baker’s Dusting Wand

OXO Good Grips Baker’s Dusting Wand

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Ideal for serving tableside

  • Small size is easy to store

  • Easy to wash by hand

What We Don't Like
  • Only ideal for tiny projects

While you certainly won’t use this for sifting flour for a cake, it's the best flour sifter for small amounts of sifting and dusting. It’s perfect for dusting cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or cinnamon onto cupcakes, cookies, or drinks like hot chocolate, lattes, or eggnog. It can also be used for lightly dusting flour onto your work surface before rolling out dough or for dusting powdered sugar or cocoa powder to stencil a cake. The small size gives you the precision to dust the center of a cookie or cupcake without spreading powdered sugar everywhere. When you’re finished dusting, this hand-held tool is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 1 to 2 tablespoons | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes

Best Large Capacity: Norpro Polished 8-Cup Stainless Steel Hand Crank Sifter

Norpro Polished 8-Cup Stainless Steel Hand Crank Sifter

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Ideal for large projects

  • Attractive streamlined design

What We Don't Like
  • Can be cumbersome to hold if full

Serious bakers will love this 8-cup sifter that lets you load up large quantities of flour at once, so you won’t need to re-load as often when you've got a big baking job on your hands. This flour sifter is made from polished stainless steel that will look good on the counter, and it has a sturdy crank handle with a wooden knob.

Some users noted that flour puffs out of the top of the sifter, but that problem was easy to solve by using the plastic lid from a standard tin of coffee. Hand-washing is recommended for this sifter.

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 8 cups | Dishwasher-Safe: No, hand-wash recommended

Best Electric: Norpro Battery Operated Sifter

Norpro Battery Operated Sifter


What We Like
  • Great for low mobility use

  • Large-capacity sifter

  • Single-handed operation

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't handle thicker flours as smoothly

  • Batteries not included

No matter how you do it, sifting flour can be tedious if there’s a lot of baking going on. This battery-operated sifter makes it simple since there’s no need for cranking, squeezing, or shaking to get flour through the mesh screen—just press the button and let the sifter do all the manual work.

Made from white plastic with a stainless steel mesh screen, this looks clean and attractive in use, and it holds a whopping 5 cups of flour, so there’s no need to refill over and over when there are a lot of cakes to be baked. The sifter requires one C battery (not included).

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 5 cups | Dishwasher-Safe: No

Best Easy to Use: OXO Good Grips 3-Cup Stainless Steel Flour Sifter

OXO Good Grips 3 Cup Stainless Steel Flour Sifter

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • No cranking or sqeezing

  • Lid keeps ingredients from spilling out

  • Dishwasher-safe

What We Like
  • More expensive than comparable models

No need for squeezing a handle or turning a crank with this one-handed sifter. Shaking the sifter side to side moves the internal sifting mechanism—and the flour—back and forth, so the flour falls neatly through the screen at the bottom. If you use the sifter for combining dry ingredients or you want to switch from sifting flour to sifting powdered sugar, the sifter is top-rack dishwasher-safe.

If you only use this for flour, you can snap on the bottom and top caps and store the whole thing with flour inside. A pre-filled sifter is easy to grab when you need a little flour for your work surface for kneading bread dough or rolling out cookie dough. The compartment holds 3 cups of flour, so it’s not too bulky to store, but you won’t need to refill it for your average baking recipe.

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 3 cups | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes (top rack)

Best Budget: Webake Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Round Flour Sifter Sieve

Webake Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Round Flour Sifter Sieve

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Two sifters for multiple ingredients

  • Fantastic price

  • Large-capacity sifting

What We Don't Like
  • Larger than other options

For the price of most single sifters, this set offers two different flat sifters like the ones used in bakeries and restaurants. Known for professional use as a tamis, this type of sifter provides plenty of space for flour on the mesh bottom for quicker sifting. They’re great when there’s a lot of baking to be done and just as simple when just a little powdered sugar is needed to top a Bundt cake. With no moving parts, these are easy to use—just shake from side to side or hold the sifter with one hand and tap the opposite side like a tambourine.

This includes a 6-inch sifter with a 40 mesh screen and an 8-inch sifter with a 60 mesh screen. Beyond sifting flour and other dry ingredients, they can be used for straining liquids as well. These have a loop on one side to hang on a hook if desired.

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 4 cups (6-inch sifter) and nearly 7 cups (8-inch sifter) | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes

Final Verdict

The Bellemain Stainless Steel 3-Cup Flour Sifter (view at Amazon) is a classic sifter that will serve you well time and time again, whether you're sifting flour, cocoa powder, or almond flour for your next project. For a reasonably priced electric alternative, the Norpro Battery-Operated Sifter (view at Amazon) will save you from the extra cranking and shaking, making quick work of a sponge cake.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

The author of this roundup, Donna Currie, specializes in product reviews and recipes and is the author of the cookbook "Make Ahead Bread." Her search for the best cooking and baking gadgets is never-ending.

This article was updated by Jenny Kellerhals, a professional pastry chef in New York City and a freelance food writer. Jenny samples every type of cheese she can lay her hands on and spends her free time reading murder mysteries—usually with a batch of brownies in the oven.

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