Our cooking expert likes this sifter's familiar, old-fashioned style.
Gets rid of lumps and helps make cakes lighter and fluffier. The lid will keep flour from flying out. Includes a bottom cover for storage in the pantry.
The lids do not always fit very tightly.
A fast option for people who bake a lot but don't want to use a crank.
Sifts quickly with ease. Has a 5-cup capacity. BPA-free material. Stainless steel mesh screen for sifting. The screen is easy to remove for cleaning.
Gap between the cup and the screen lets in flour without sifting.
It is both beautiful and practical and handles like a classic option.
Crank handle. Easy to turn. Made from stainless steel to prevent rusting. Includes measurements on the side for 1-3 cups. Great value for the price.
It does not have a lid.
If you do a lot of baking, this fine-mesh option has a large capacity.
Well-built and sturdy. Stainless steel. Hand crank. Large capacity of 8 cups. Designed for fine sifting. Also sifts sugars. Corrosion-resistant.
Does not have a lid. Size makes storage harder.
This hand-cranked sifter can hold up to 3 cups and has measuring lines on the side.
The stainless steel makes for a durable sifter and the hand crank makes sifting much easier. It also comes in 1- and 5-cup capacities, plus a squeeze version instead of hand-cranked in 1-, 3- and 5-cup capacities.
It should be hand-dried and not stuck in the dishwasher. The handle’s knob feels small to some.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.