Straight to the Point
We’re living in the golden age of alternative milk. Boutique coffee shops offer a dizzying array of milk options and grocery store aisles are lined with milk derived from every type of nut imaginable (and beyond—hello potato milk). Options have never been more plentiful for the dairy-averse (or those just looking to try something different).
If you want to get into semantics, nut milk isn’t *technically* milk—it’s a creamy emulsion of nuts and water. It’s made by soaking nuts (or oats) until soft, blending, and then straining out the solids. Some store-bought milk alternatives also include additional ingredients like preservatives and stabilizers.
For the truly committed, making nut milk at home with a nut milk maker (or a good blender and some cheesecloth) is a great way to control the ingredients so you know exactly what you’re drinking, as well as tailor the recipe. Nut milk can be light and sweet or rich and creamy—the ratio of nuts to water, the type of nut, and the nut quality can all affect the end results.
To find the best nut milk makers, we tested seven of them—going through pounds and pounds of nuts and oats.
The Winners, at a Glance
The Nutr Machine is sleek and compact. During testing it produced almond, oat, and cashew milk with perfectly smooth, silky textures. The Nutr Machine also includes helpful presets and a self-cleaning function.
This sleek simple nut milk maker took just seconds to set up. The fine mesh strainer screws neatly into a funnel, and the entire straining device rests on a simple borosilicate glass carafe. You’ll still need to get out the blender, but if you have a blender you love, this is a less expensive way to get started making nut milk. Compared to the cheesecloth method, this is a far neater and less fussy way to strain.
- Almond Milk Test: We used each nut milk maker to make almond milk, noting the consistency of the milk and how easy the machine was to use. We tasted the milk, evaluating its flavor and texture.
- Cashew Milk Test: We used each nut milk maker to then make cashew milk.
- Oat Milk Test: After the nut milk, we used each model to make oat milk, noting the consistency and taste of the milk and how easy the makers were to set up and disassemble.
- Cleanup Tests: After each test, we cleaned the nut milk makers according to manufacturer instructions, using the self-clean feature when available.
What We Learned
How the Nut Milk Makers Worked
To make nut milk, you start by combining nuts (or oats, etc.) and water. Nut milk makers are designed to grind these ingredients together and then separate the creamy liquid from the pulp. The models we tested varied significantly in design and function—the electric models all included blades that ground the whole nuts, while the Chef’n Nut Milk Maker required a separate blender. Some of the electric models strained the solids out inside the machine, while others required you to do so afterward.
Most of the electric machines had a single compartment for ingredients. The only exception was the ChefWave Milkmade Alternative Milk Maker, which is constructed like an espresso machine with a separate water reservoir in the back. A few models, like the Nutr Machine, Chefwave, Tribest Soyabella, and Idavee Brand PrestoPure, can produce hot or steamed milk, which is useful if you want to use your fresh milk in a latte or cafe au lait right away.
A Good Filter Ensured Smoother, Creamier Milk
If you’re adding your alternative milk to coffee or matcha, a creamy texture is best. And effective filtering is the most important step for achieving smooth consistency. If the nut solids aren’t completely removed after the mixture has been blended, you’ll end up with grainy milk (no one wants to chew their milk).
Therefore, a built-in filter sounds like an easy way to reduce the steps of making homemade nut milk. Unfortunately, not all of the built-in filters delivered high-quality results. The Almond Cow Plant-Based Milk Maker includes a built-in filter basket, but after pouring we found that a significant amount of pulp escaped the carafe. The milk needed to be filtered again before drinking. Other models, including the NutraMilk Nut Processor, offered more effective built-in filtration systems like a dedicated spigot with an attached screen. The Chef’n’s included filter is made of super-fine mesh—it yields an exceptionally smooth product, but straining takes a bit longer. Our winner, the Nutr Machine, came with a detached filter that can be used to strain milk after blending. This provides the option to keep the pulp and retain nutrients for applications like smoothies, or ice cream, or to filter it out when you’re looking for a smoother product.
Less Can Be More
The seven nut milk makers that we tested ranged from bare bones to fully loaded. Extra functionality can sound appealing, but ChefWave Milkmade Alternative Milk Maker and NutraMilk Nut Processor were so stacked with bonus features (the Chefwave can also make nut butter, smoothies, and caramel) that they felt overly complicated. Remember: the task at hand is relatively simple. When scrolling through ChefWave’s extensive digital menu or waiting for NutraMilk’s dispense cycle to complete, we started to wonder why we weren’t just using a blender. The bare-bones models, on the other hand, are basically just blenders. The Tribest Soyabella and the Idavee PrestoPure didn’t feel useful enough to justify their required storage space (which was considerable, since the Idavee is over a foot tall). The Nutr Machine fell right in the middle. It includes presets for specific nut milks that simplify timing, and the settings menu was comparatively concise and easy to navigate. The Nutr Machine also doubles as a kettle—it includes a heat setting that can be used to make hot milk or boil water. The simplest option, the Chef’n Nut Milk Maker, also stood out. Even though it requires a separate blender, making nut milk wasn’t more time-consuming than using a model without a built-in blending function, and it delivered better results.
The Criteria: What to Look for in a Nut Milk Maker
Look for a nut milk maker that provides a clear advantage over the blender and cheesecloth method—nut milk makers should be easy to use and clean, and shouldn’t require many additional tools to produce a batch of milk. Choose a product with a solid filtration system and a few extra features that make it worth your while, like being able to heat up milk for hot drinks.
The Best Nut Milk Makers
What we liked: The Nutr Machine is stylish, compact, and easy to use. For those new to the world of alternative dairy, the Nutr Machine’s presets make it easy to hit the ground milking. This model comes with a tablespoon measure and a strainer—you won’t need any additional tools to get started. The Nutr Machine is easy to clean and can produce a batch of milk in six minutes. It also doubles as a hot water (or warmed milk) kettle.
What we didn’t like: Although this machine is quick and easy to use, it’s on the small side. This is great for storage, but it might be annoying if you’re looking to make a large amount of milk. Each use yields about 1 to 1.5 cups of alternative milk. If you regularly consume more than that, you might need a machine with a larger capacity.
Price at time of publish: $190.
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 4.3 x 8.2 inches
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Capacity: 350ml (~1.4 cups)
What we liked: The Chef’n Nut Milk Maker might not do everything, but it does make the most painful part of making nut milk much easier. Transferring pureed nuts and water from a blender to a cheesecloth-lined colander can be messy, irritating, and take up too much fridge space. This simple sieve takes away the effort of rigging up a DIY filtration system, and the fine mesh strainer yields smooth, creamy milk. After testing with nut milk, we also used this simple filtering device to make homemade horchata and creamy, strained ricotta, with great success. At just over $30, this is the most affordable product that we tested.
What we didn’t like: With simplicity comes some limitations. The Chef’n Nut Milk maker requires the user to own a separate, high-quality blender. It also doesn’t offer a heating function—if you’re looking for warm milk, you’ll have to microwave or steam it separately.
Price at time of publish: $30.
- Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches (filter), 3.5 x 3.5 x 11 inches (carafe)
- Weight: 14.5 ounces
- Capacity: 1000ml (~4.2 cups)
- The NutraMilk Nut Processor: This is a big heavy machine with a big heavy price tag. The NutraMilk retails for around $500 dollars, and it weighs a whopping 26 pounds. Despite the cost, the plastic felt cheap and brittle. The machine is strong enough to pulverize everything from nuts to oats, but the built-in filter left a considerable amount of sediment in the finished milk.
- The Idavee Brand PrestoPure: This machine is essentially just an oversized blender. It offers heating functions but requires a separate (not included) filter. During testing, it was difficult to get this machine to operate, and while attempting to get the lid to close properly, it generated an electric shock that zapped our tester.
- ChefWave Milkmade Alternative Milk Maker: The ChefWave Alternative Milk Maker is a great option for experienced nut milk makers, but its complicated digital menu might not be the best for beginners.
- Almond Cow Plant-Based Milk Maker: This machine’s filter basket leaves behind a significant amount of pulp, resulting in grainy nut milk.
- Tribest Soyabella Automatic Nut & Seed Milk Maker (SB-130): This machine was slow, difficult to clean, and produced inconsistent results.
What is the best machine to make nut milk?
You can use a blender, a food processor, or a dedicated nut milk maker to process whole nuts or oats into milk. The best machine for you depends on your budget and how frequently you make your own milk. If alternative milk is a major part of your everyday life, our favorite nut milk maker is the Nutr Machine. We also liked the ChefWave Alternative Milk Maker as a budget option.
Is making your own nut milk better?
Making nut milk at home gives you complete control over the final product. You can use high-quality nuts, avoid additives, and control your nut-to-water ratio. Not only can you make a fresher product, but you can also tailor it to your exact tastes.
How do you clean a nut milk maker?
Some nut milk makers resemble blenders, while others are more similar to espresso machines or food processors. The best cleaning technique depends on the model that you own. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for an exact method.
Why We’re the Experts
- Madeline Muzzi is a freelance writer, editor, and video producer.
- She has written many reviews for Serious Eats, including wine decanters, mini mortar and pestles, and flatware sets.
- To review nut milk makers, we used insights from our lab testing and performed additional tests, which included making almond milk and oat milk with each machine. We also noted how difficult or easy the machines were to operate and clean.