Our reviewer was sent a sample of the Smeg Milk Frother to the test in their kitchen. Keep reading for our product review.
I normally use a trip to the coffee shop as an excuse to order a drink that’s tricky for me to make at home, like a latte or flat white—basically, anything with milk. I could never get the milk texture quite right or get used to the shrieking steam wand, and I always felt like I was brewing a knock-off, watered-down version of what I really wanted. That was until I owned the Smeg Milk Frother, which makes it easy to whip up a café-quality drink on my own.
Smeg Milk Frother
#1 Ease of use
The first time I used the Smeg Milk Frother, I skipped the instruction manual and went straight to making a cappuccino. Overzealousness and general impatience were certainly factors in this, but the main reason I started using the machine right away is because it’s so simple and intuitive. All you really need to know is what setting each of the seven icons on the dial represents.
We’ll discuss the settings in greater detail below, but going clockwise they are for: hot chocolate, hot milk with no froth, hot milk with light froth, hot milk with thick froth, cold milk with light froth, cold milk with thick froth, and manual frothing. Once a setting is selected, the only other step is to press the start/stop button and let the machine automatically froth the milk until it finishes with a noticeable but gentle beep.
There are a few nice touches to go alongside the hands-off frothing that made me further appreciate the item’s design. The detachable jug is convenient, dishwasher-safe, and pours smoothly (although, many other milk frothers have this feature, too). There’s a 4-ounce measuring cap built into the lid that can be removed while frothing is occurring to add powders, syrups, sweeteners, or other ingredients. At 39 inches long, the power cord should be able to reach any outlet, yet it can be secured into the base of the machine to keep it out of the way.
I would give the item’s design a perfect score, and that’s merely based on usability, not even mentioning the beautiful matte aesthetic for which Smeg is widely known.
#2 Milk quality
I have made many drinks over one-plus year with the Smeg Milk Frother—including lattes, matcha lattes, and hot chocolate—and have found the milk consistently thick and lush and any powders or sweeteners that I add to be smoothly blended. In fact, seeing the Smeg Milk Frother on my countertop every day has enticed me to make more milk-based drinks instead of defaulting to the quicker drip-coffee route, because the process is so easy and the drinks are so routinely delicious.
I tested four types of milk leading up to this review, and the froth from each one was suitable for a cappuccino. Not every type of milk was frothed to the same quality, but that has little to do with the Smeg Milk Frother itself. Some types of milk, particularly dairy ones, are naturally better to froth and pair with coffee because of the fat and protein they contain. In my experience, here’s the order from great to good: whole milk, 2 percent milk, oat milk, and soy milk. Whole milk, in particular, was topped with a velvety layer of foam, somewhat like microfoam. That said, I would still whole-heartedly recommend the Smeg Milk Frother for people who plan to use non-dairy milk. Oat milk is typically what I use when making a latte at home.
#3 Speed, sound, and temperature
Before owning the Smeg Milk Frother, I hadn’t thought about the many subtle but important facets that affect user experience. Details including how quickly the machine froths, how loud it gets, and how hot the milk is all factor heavily into whether the item is worth buying. I quickly found that the Smeg Milk Frother excels in these intricate areas and, luckily, can be quantified.
The first phrase that came to mind when I started the machine was “whisper quiet.” It turns out, I wasn’t too far off. It produces around 60 decibels of noise when measured right next to the machine, equivalent to an air conditioner or a normal speaking voice. I also measured the noise when standing on the other side of my (tiny) kitchen, and it peaked at less than 50 decibels, which is around the same volume as moderate rainfall. This means you should be able to use the frother in the morning without waking any members of your household.
Its frothing speed varies by setting, but overall, I think the time is standard for an automatic frother. The go-to setting I use, hot milk with light froth, takes two minutes and five seconds. The fastest setting is cold milk with light froth at exactly one minute. The longest interval I measured is heating milk with a full jug, which takes a full five minutes and 50 seconds. None of the settings ever feel too long, and since frothing is automatic, you can step away and do other things while waiting.
Once frothing is complete, the milk comes out at an ideal temperature to drink. The hot milk function finishes around 150 degrees, while the hot milk with light froth setting is a little lower at 130 degrees.
One final note…
Many automatic milk frothers are more affordable than the Smeg Milk Frother, some that even rival its performance and are a better value-for-money option, but overall, this is an excellent machine that lives up to its price tag.
Buy this if it’s in your budget.
I am consistently happy with the texture of the milk froth, how easy the frothing process is, and how great the Smeg Milk Frother looks in the kitchen.
Capacity: 20 ounces if heating and 8.5 ounces if frothing
Color Options: Red, pink, white, black, cream, pastel blue, mint
Dimensions: 5.625 x 7.25 x 9.875 inches
Weight: 4 pounds
Warranty: 1 year
Cord Length: 39 inches
Wattage: 500 watts
Voltage: 120 volts
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Derek Rose is the Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats. He has used the Smeg Milk Frother for more than a year, and he has interviewed experts in the coffee field about frothing techniques, what types of milk froth best, the difference between macrofoam and microfoam, and more. Derek has been writing for The Spruce Eats since 2019. He graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in Creative Writing and Marist College with a BA in Communications.