The 7 Best Flour Sifters of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

The Bellemain Stainless Steel 3-Cup Flour Sifter is our winner

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Best Flour Sifter group photo

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Tested & Approved

The Bellemain Stainless Steel 3-Cup Flour Sifter can handle both coarse and fine ingredients, and has the capacity for larger baking projects. Those looking for a sieve sifter will love the budget-friendly Webake Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Round Flour Sifter Sieve.

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. To help you find the best, I tested popular options in my own kitchen with flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. I assessed each one for everything from design to whether or not I could clean them without chunks of dried dough.

From classic to contemporary, here are our favorite sifters for your next baking project.

Best Overall: Bellemain Stainless Steel 3-Cup Flour Sifter

4.8
Epica Products Inc Bellemain Stainless Steel 3-Cup Flour Sifter

Amazon

What We Like
  • Engraved measurements on the side

  • Sturdy construction

  • Lightweight handling

What We Don't Like
  • Possibility of rusting

Who else recommends it? Bustle, BestReviews, and Simply Recipes all picked the Bellemain Stainless Steel 3-Cup Flour Sifter.

What do buyers say? 92% of 9,200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

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, with the 3-cup mark below the angled top, so it can actually hold a bit more. Thanks to the markings, you can do a rough measure as you add flour to the sifter—although using a measuring cup will be more accurate—or use the marks to judge how much more you have left to sift. The sifting mechanism worked well in testing, and the sifter was comfortable to hold while sifting.

The manufacturer recommends simply wiping this clean with a cloth or hand washing it, but we threw caution to the wind and tossed it in the dishwasher. It suffered no ill effects, but it’s possible it could begin rusting with continued exposure to water.

Price at time of publish: $28

Bellermain_FlourSifters_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

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

Testing Takeaway

"This was easy to use and the handle is comfortable enough for the time it takes to sift flour for a couple cakes. The flour comes out light and fluffy."

Best with Squeeze Handle: Cuisipro Scoop and Sift Flour Sifter

5
Cuisipro Browne 3-Cup Sifter

Bed Bath & Beyond

What We Like
  • Single-hand operation

  • Scoops and sifts

  • Stands upright or hangs on bowl

What We Don't Like
  • Squeeze handle might be tiring

Crank-handled sifters are quite popular but require two hands to operate. This squeeze-handled sifter can be operated with just one hand. I liked that feature during testing and it worked quickly, but someone with weak grip strength might find that squeezing a bit tiring if there’s a lot of sifting to be done.

You can even scoop the flour directly into the sifter rather than pouring it in with a measuring cup, and we particularly liked that feature in testing. 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. When done cooking, this is top-rack dishwasher safe, and it came out of the dishwasher completely clean.

Price at time of publish: $17

Cuisipro Scoop and Sift flour sifter sifting flour onto a cutting board

The Spruce Eats / Donna Curie

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

Testing Takeaway

"Flour was nicely fluffy coming out of the sifter and this was really efficient."

Best Large Capacity: Williams Sonoma 5-Cup Stainless Steel Flour Sifter

4.8
Traditional Flour Sifter

William Sonoma

What We Like
  • Large-capacity sifter

  • Rust-resistant

  • Four wires, fast sifting

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 looks deceptively small—about the size of a typical 3-cup sifter. But since the screen is set lower and the top is straight, it holds more while taking less storage space. This can hold up to 5 cups of flour at once, although I preferred to fill it less than all the way full.

This sifter has four wires for moving the flour against the screen, so sifting is fast and efficient, and cranking was easy. This sifter is dishwasher safe, so you can let the machine do all the work for you. In testing, it came out of the dishwasher perfectly clean, with no signs of rust.

Price at time of publish: $25

Williams Sonoma Stainless Steel Flour Sifter

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

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

Good to Know

Sifting aerates flour, which is a requirement for recipes where you want a finer, lighter crumb. Whether you sift before or after measuring comes down to the recipe. If it says "1 cup flour, sifted," measure before sifting. But if it states "1 cup sifted flour," measure after sifting.

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

5
Webake Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Round Flour Sifter Sieve

Amazon

What We Like
  • Two sifters for multiple ingredients

  • Large-capacity sifting

  • Versatile use in the kitchen

What We Don't Like
  • Wider 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. In testing, these sifted quickly and efficiently using either method, although they spread the flour quite a bit wider than traditional crank sifters.

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. I’ve used this type of sifter for straining the whey from home made yogurt to create a thick Greek-style yogurt, with no other cloth or filter needed. These have a loop on one side to hang on a hook if desired.

Price at time of publish: $15

WeBake Flour sifters with small sieve sifting flour onto a cutting board

The Spruce Eats / Donna Curie

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

Testing Takeaway

"There are no handles, but I found them easy to hold. Moving them back and forth was my favorite way of sifting quickly, but tapping the side worked for more precise placement."

Best Mini: OXO Good Grips Baker’s Dusting Wand

5
OXO Good Grips Baker’s Dusting Wand

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 very 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. 

In testing, I had fun with it, dusting everything in sight with powdered sugar. It’s easy to use, simply shaking it or tapping it gently to sprinkle the powdered sugar onto a small area and it’s small enough to dip easily into a container to fill it. When you’re finished dusting, this hand-held tool is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, although we might just leave it in the powdered sugar container since that’s what it’s most likely going to sift.

Price at time of publish: $12

Oxo Mini Flour Sifter product image

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

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

Testing Takeaway

"This worked well with powdered sugar, which is what this is likely to be used for. It was also fine for powdered sugar and cocoa, which is kind of fun for dusting cookies and getting the two colors, or a mix."

Best Electric: Norpro Battery Operated Sifter

4.8
Norpro Battery Operated Sifter

Amazon

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. In testing, I was impressed with the speed of sifting—much faster than a crank-style sifter, with no work at all, and it was curiously fun to do.

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).

Due to the electronics, this isn’t dishwasher safe, but it can be partially disassembled for more thorough cleaning. I found that brushing it with a pastry brush was effective at getting most of the flour removed, followed by a wipe with a damp cloth.

Price at time of publish: $18

Norpro Electronic Flour Sifter looking down into the sifter

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

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

Testing Takeaway

"It worked well with powdered sugar and with powdered sugar and cocoa. Since this is so fast and easy to use, if more mixing is needed, it's simple to put everything through a second or even a third time, if it really needs it."

Best for Countertop Dusting: Tovolo 1-Cup Scoop & Sift

4.6
Tovolo 1-Cup Scoop & Sift

Amazon

What We Like
  • Measures one cup

  • Perfect for scooping

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Not great for large quantities

This ingenious sifter is a multi-purpose tool that can live happily right in your flour bin. It measures one cup of flour, and scoops the flour easily when you don’t need precise measures. Then it can sift the flour by simply shaking the scoop or tapping the side gently. In testing, I was pleasantly surprised that the flour didn’t immediately start falling through the screen, so I could get the sifter over our work surface without leaving a dusty white trail on the countertop.

While this might not be the best choice if there’s a lot of flour to sift for multiple cakes, I particularly liked it for dusting the counter with flour before kneading bread. Thanks to the 1-cup size, I could see how much flour I was using, and it’s compact enough to store it in the flour bin where it can stay handy. When it’s time for a cleaning, this is dishwasher safe.

Price at time of publish: $15

Tovolo_FlourSifters_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Material: Stainless steel, plastic | Capacity: 1 cup | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Testing Takeaway

"In theory it could be tapped gently until enough flour is through to make sense to tap or shake more aggressively, but it's faster to add less and shake more."

Final Verdict

The Bellemain Stainless Steel 3-Cup Flour Sifter 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 will save you from the extra cranking and shaking, making quick work of a sponge cake.

How We Tested

Each of our selected flour sifters was tested for hours on end by our product tester for the most authentic results. We paid close attention to the design of the sifter, including the comfort of the handle, any resultant hand fatigue, the possibility of rust, and the ease of cleaning. The sifters were each tested with all-purpose flour, confectioners sugar, and cocoa powder. Each was given a careful rating for design, performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning, and overall value.

Other Options We Tested

  • Norpro 8-Cup Stainless Steel Hand Crank Sifter: This massive 8-cup sifter can handle a large amount of flour or powdered sugar, but our tester found that if completely full, it might be too heavy for most people. Additionally, the handle wasn't very comfortable, with it becoming more awkward the more ingredients were added in. The flour also got trapped inside the sifting mechanism, which caused some to fall around the kitchen post-sifting.

What to Look for in Flour Sifters

Capacity

Sifters range from itty-bitty to giant, with most falling in a middle range. The tiniest sifters are best used for dusting powdered sugar or cocoa powder onto desserts, while the rest are used for sifting flour for delicate cakes. If you usually bake in large quantities, a super-sized sifter may be useful. However, smaller sifters can be refilled endlessly, and are easier to store. 

Comfortable Hold

Most sifters require holding the device with one hand while cranking or tapping with the other. For bakers who will use their sifter often, or for large quantities, being able to use the sifter comfortably for more than a few minutes is an important consideration.

Sifting Method

Crank-style sifters have been around for generations, and they’re still popular because they’re easy to use and they work well. But that’s not the only choice. There are sifters that can be used one-handed, and others with no moving parts. In other words, there’s one that’s a perfect fit for every baker.

Bellermain Flour Sifter sifting flour over a cutting board

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Mesh Size

Flour is a very fine substance, so it can fit through tiny holes on a sifter. So is a super-fine mesh the best? Sometimes it is. It may aerate the flour better, although sifting might take a second or two longer. However, if the sifter is used for mixing dry ingredients that might have a coarser texture—let’s say cornmeal or kosher salt—a sifter with a coarser mesh might work better.

FAQs

Why do you sift flour? 

Flour is sifted for several reasons, but the major reason is to aerate the flour, which in turn helps baked goods achieve a light, fluffy texture. Sifting can also break up lumps, which are more likely with ingredients like cocoa powder, which helps mix those ingredients more evenly. Back when flour was more … rustic … sifting also removed any bits of chaff or other impurities.

What is sifted flour? 

Sifted flour is simply flour that has been run though a sifter or fine strainer, fluffing it up.

Oxo Mini flour sifter sifting powdered sugar onto a brownie

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Do you measure flour before or after sifting? 

If you’re weighing the flour, it won’t matter. If you’re using volume measures, then it’s important to follow the recipe instructions. One cup of flour, sifted, means you start with one cup of flour and then sift it and use the entire amount. If the recipe calls for one cup of sifted flour, you’d sift the flour into your measuring cup. 

How do you measure sifted flour 

The best way to measure sifted flour is to sift right into the measuring cup on a clean surface or piece of parchment paper, then level it off. Any flour that falls outside the cup can be returned to the flour bin.

Norpro Electric Flour sifter sifting flour into a metal mixing bowl

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Should you sift flour for cookies?

Generally, no. Most cookie doughs are dense by design. However, if a recipe calls for sifted flour, it’s best to follow the recipe instructions to make sure the cookies turn out as expected.

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.

Additional reporting by
Jenny Kellerhals
Jenny Kellerhals

Jenny Kellerhals is a freelance writer covering food and beverage. She is also a pastry chef and an active recipe developer with more than a decade in the industry.

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  1. Calling All Bakers, These Top-Notch Flour Sifters Will Seriously Up Your Cooking Game. Bustle. https://www.bustle.com/p/the-4-best-flour-sifters-18739818

  2. BEST FLOUR SIFTERS. BestReviews. https://bestreviews.com/kitchen/baking/best-flour-sifters

  3. The Best Flour Sifters for Bakery-Worthy Cakes. Simply Recipes. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/best-flour-sifters-5201539

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