Best Flour Sifters

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
107 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best flour sifters

Last Updated October 2019

When you make a batch of cookies or your favorite cake, combining the wet and dry ingredients can be a real pain. Flour can be a particular problem, because it can easily get compacted in its bag and develop lumps. With a flour sifter, though, you’ll have a much easier time mixing all your batters and doughs.

A flour sifter is a tool that allows you to strain flour and other dry ingredients to remove any lumps or foreign particles. Most sifters feature a mesh screen that’s housed inside a larger container, which is open at the bottom to allow the flour to pass into a bowl or other container. As you pour the flour into the sifter, it passes through the mesh, which loosens up clumps, adds air, and helps lighten the overall consistency.

If you want to sift as easily as possible, though, you have to choose the right flour sifter. Do you prefer a manual or electric model? Plastic or stainless steel construction? A crank or squeeze trigger on manual sifters? If you’re not sure how to choose, our shopping guide has all the tips you need to select the best flour sifter for your kitchen. For the quickest, easiest shopping, we’ve also included a few specific product recommendations.

You may notice some flour at the grocery store that’s labeled as pre-sifted. During shipping, though, the flour often becomes compacted and may form lumps, so you should still sift it if a recipe calls for it.

Key considerations

Manual vs. electric

Manual models require you to physically squeeze or crank the sifter to allow the flour to fall through the mesh screen. An electric sifter is battery-powered, so it only requires you to push a button or flip a switch to shake the flour through the sifting screen.

Both types of flour sifters yield similar results. However, if you have arthritis or other hand pain, it may be difficult to squeeze the handle or turn the crank on a manual flour sifter. In that case, an electric model is a better option, though you’ll usually pay more for one.

Crank vs. squeeze

If you opt for a manual flour sifter, you can choose between models with a crank or a squeeze design. With a crank model, you must turn a crank by hand to help the flour fall through the mesh screen. To sift with a squeeze model, you squeeze the handle to push the flour through the sifting screen.

A crank-style flour sifter usually requires less hand strength to operate, so some home bakers prefer it. However, if you don’t have any issues with hand strength, a squeeze sifter is usually more convenient because you can operate it with one hand.

Materials

  • Plastic models certainly get the job done, but, in the long run, they are the least durable because the plastic can crack easily.

  • Aluminum is a slightly more durable option, but it can dent fairly easily, too.

  • Stainless steel flour sifters are usually the best option. They’re lightweight, which makes them more comfortable to hold, and also resist rust to offer greater durability. You will pay a little more for a stainless steel sifter, but it may be worth the investment if you sift ingredients regularly.
DID YOU KNOW?

A cup of flour that’s been sifted can weigh up to 30% less than a cup that hasn’t been sifted.

Features

Capacity

The size or capacity of a flour sifter determines how quickly you’ll be able to sift when you’re baking. Most sifters range from 3 to 8 cups in capacity. If you normally make single batches of cookies or smaller cakes, a 3-cup flour sifter is usually sufficient. However, if you regularly make large sheet cakes, multiple loaves of bread, or several batches of cookies at a time, a larger sifter allows you to work more quickly.

Mesh screen

The size of the mesh in a flour sifter’s screen determines how finely the flour is sifted. You can usually choose between sifters with fine, medium, or large mesh screens based on your personal preference. A fine mesh sifter will provide the airiest, smoothest flour.

Measure markings

To make it easy to know exactly how much flour you’re sifting, a sifter with measurement markings is your best bet. Choose a model that offers markings on both the inside and outside of the sifter, so you don’t necessarily have to measure the flour before sifting.

For durability, opt for a flour sifter with stamped measurement markings, so you don’t have to worry about them fading with repeated washings.

Ergonomic handle

If you opt for a manual flour sifter, it’s a good idea to choose a model with a comfortable handle. Opt for a sifter with a molded ergonomic handle that’s made of rubber, so you can hold it securely and comfortably. Keep in mind that the handle is an especially important feature for a sifter that allows for one-handed operation.

Ease of cleaning

Flour and other dry baking ingredients can leave a powdery residue behind in a flour sifter, so you want to choose a model that’s easy to clean. Some sifters allow you to remove the screen to make it easier to wash, but a dishwasher-safe model is always going to be the easiest to clean.

EXPERT TIP

Don’t use a flour sifter that shows any signs of rust — it might flake off into the flour while you’re sifting.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Cornstarch is another dry ingredient that can benefit from sifting.


Staff  | BestReviews

Flour sifter prices

Inexpensive: The most budget-friendly flour sifters are usually manual, crank-style sifters. They typically cost between $5 and $23. Models made with plastic or aluminum are usually the most affordable, while stainless steel crank sifters are slightly more expensive.

Mid-range: Manual, squeeze-style flour sifters are slightly more expensive. They typically range from $6 to $34. You’ll pay more for models that are larger and made of durable stainless steel.

Expensive: The priciest flour sifters are electric models. They usually cost between $13 and $42, but may be worth the investment for home bakers with arthritis or other hand pain or weakness.

Tips

  • It’s not always necessary to sift flour for a recipe, but if you’re making baked goods with a delicate batter, like an angel food cake, it helps to sift the flour for a lighter, airier texture.

  • Pay attention to the way a recipe calls for sifted flour. If it reads “3 cups sifted flour,” sift the flour before you measure it. If it reads “3 cups flour, sifted,” measure the flour first and then sift it.

  • You can save time when you’re baking by pre-sifting your flour. Transfer it from the bag that it comes in to another container using a sifter, so when a recipe calls for flour, it’s ready to go.

  • To minimize any mess — and prevent wasting flour — place a paper plate, wax paper, or parchment paper beneath the bowl or measuring cup that you’re sifting into. If any flour doesn’t make it into your container, the plate or paper will catch it, and you can put the excess flour back into the bag or storage canister easily.

Other products we considered

The Epica Bellemain Flour Sifter is an ideal option if you want an affordable manual sifter to use occasionally. It can hold up to 3 cups of flour and is made of durable stainless steel that won’t rust, dent, or scratch. We also love the MaMix Baking Hand Crank Flour Sifter, because it features a lightweight but durable stainless steel construction in a fun aqua color. It has two wire agitators that make its crank control extremely easy to use, so you can sift flour quickly and easily.

Even if a recipe doesn’t call for sifted flour, you may want to take the time to use your flour sifter. It’ll get rid of any clumps and make it easier to blend the flour into your wet ingredients.

FAQ

Q. Why should I use a flour sifter?
A.
Sifting flour aerates it, so it’s separated into extremely fine particles. That allows it to have a fluffier consistency than unsifted flour, which gives your finished baked goods an airier texture than many home bakers prefer. Because it breaks up lumps, it also allows you to mix the flour into your wet ingredients more evenly.

Q. What’s the best way to clean a flour sifter?
A.
If your flour sifter is dishwasher-safe, you can toss it in your dishwasher with your dishes and glasses to clean it easily. For sifters that require handwashing, fill the sink with some warm water and dish soap and let the sifter soak for approximately five to ten minutes. If you have an aluminum sifter, though, don’t soak it too long or it may start to rust. Use a toothpick or small bottle brush to scrape away flour if there is any stuck in the mesh screen after cleaning. Rinse the sifter thoroughly and dry it completely before storing it.

Q. Can I sift other dry ingredients with a flour sifter?
A.
You can definitely use a flour sifter to sift other dry ingredients. Other ingredients you may want to sift include powdered sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt.

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