It’s often the biggest selling milk frother on Amazon. In stores they’re sold in their thousands, But how good can a £1 milk frother really be? Will it actually make froth? Surely it’ll fall to bits in minutes? After all, you can’t get much for a quid nowadays.
Well, there’s only one way to find out. We took the £1 Ikea milk frother for a test run.
When is a £1 milk frother not a £1 milk frother?
The answer is when you buy it online.
If you’re fortunate enough to live near an Ikea store you can pop in, slap down a pound coin and pop the frother in your pocket.
But if you don’t have access to a store you’ll have to buy it online.
But the Ikea website doesn’t stock it. You can buy it from Amazon but it’ll set you back £3.50.
Certainly not a fortune but three times as much as you’d pay in store.
But, hey ho. Even £3.50 is still amazing value. If the frother does the job that is. Let’s find out.
Road testing the £1 Ikea milk frother
The first obvious difference between this and its higher priced competitors is the packaging. There isn’t any. Or at least just a plain plastic bag with some written documentation inside.
Don’t get me wrong. This is absolutely fine. With the Ikea milk frother you know you’re not paying extra for fancy packaging. The less packaging the more manufacturers can keep their prices down. So no complaints here.
What about the frother itself?
Taking the frother out of the packaging it’s immediately apparent how light it is. It’s also much shorter than other handheld milk frothers. As a comparison the Ikea frother is 20cms long and weighs 87 grams. The best-selling Zulay Milk Boss (my frother of choice) is bigger at 22.7cms and heavier at 106 grams.
Installing the batteries
Hang on – a whole section devoted to installing a pair of AA batteries? It can’t be that difficult surely? That’s what I thought.
It took me ten minutes to get the batteries in. What should be a straightforward two second job turned into a hugely frustrating wrestle trying to jam a pair of batteries into a compartment which is way too small.
From reading comments from other buyers I’m certainly not alone in finding installing the batteries a bigger challenge than the Times crossword.
Anyway, once I’d finally managed to get the batteries installed it was time to road test the frother.
Testing the Ikea milk frother
Holding the frother in the hand, it does feel very flimsy. As we mentioned, it’s shorter and lighter than other models. The whisk head is also noticeably smaller. To be blunt it feels cheap.
But the most important thing is – does it froth the milk?
It does. It does appear to be less powerful than the models at the top of the range but it still did the job. In my testing it doubled the volume of milk after around 40 seconds. Which isn’t too bad and certainly good enough for anyone who needs their foam fast.
Like most frothers of its type it has a plastic body which houses the batteries, a short metal stem and a small whisk head. It’s main feature is the smart on / off switch that is housed on the plastic body.
What can I use it for?
Although certainly not the most powerful of frothers you can use for different tasks. Of course the primary use will be for frothing milk for use with coffee. To be honest that is what most of us will do.
But you can also use it as a small whisk for light jobs such as mixing cocktails, gravy etc. You won’t be able to use it for heavier tasks.
However, as a milk frother it does do the job though it does take longer than the best handheld models to make a decent foam. And the froth it did make wasn’t as thick as other devices achieve.
What makes it stand out?
Price. That’s it. The attraction of the frother to buyers is simply the price. Although the Ikea brand also appeals.
But this doesn’t pretend to be a premium product. It’s very much aimed at occasional users who don’t see the point of spending much money on a device they will hardly use.
Actually, I’m being unkind. The fixed on / off button is a definite plus point. On other frothers such as the Bonsenkitchen you have to keep the button pressed while you’re using the device.
But with the Ikea you press the button and the motor stays on until you switch it off. This is a definite improvement and means you can hold the frother in a more natural position.
Should I buy the Ikea milk frother?
If you intend to have more than the odd cup of frothy coffee I wouldn’t recommend this frother. It’s more or less a throwaway device that if it lasted a few months of regular use you’d be more than happy.
My main concern about this frother is how long it would last under regular use. I’m guessing it wouldn’t be very long. It’s flimsy and not very powerful. If you want a frother to use regularly don’t buy this.
But of course there’s a flip side here. If you are going to be a very occasional user it may well do a job for you. And at a quid (or £3.50) it’s not going to break the bank.
But, for serious coffee lovers, or even someone who will use it once or twice a week, I’d recommend giving this frother a swerve and buying a Zulay Milk Boss or a Bonsenkitchen device. Both retail for under £15 and are a far more sturdy, well made and more powerful milk frother than the Ikea model.
But at the end of the day this is exactly what it purports to be. A very cheap device that will do the job it’s designed to do. Ikea don’t make any big claims about it and if you are a regular visitor to their stores spending a pound every six months or so on a replacement frother may well appeal.
But personally, I won’t be buying another one.
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