My feed

Our writers test and research products independently. When you buy through a link on our site we may earn a commission but this never affects our product choices.

Best salt and pepper grinders: our favourite mills and sets for stylish seasoning

From easy-fill grinders to efficient electric mills, we've rounded up the very best salt and pepper grinders and sets to add to your kitchen worktop or dining table. 

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Aug 21, 2023

Selection of the best salt and pepper mills

Whether you're a kitchen goddess or a microwave maestro, a good set of salt and pepper grinders can quickly enhance your dishes and add some oomph to your meals, boosting flavour and adding texture to instantly take your dinners to the next level.

Whilst easy to overlook, a high-quality salt and pepper mill makes a great investment for your kitchen and is arguably as essential as a decent chopping board or set of saucepans. However, it’s fair to say they’re not all created equal. With a choice of manual or electric designs, salt and pepper mills can vary considerably in terms of style, weight and practicality, so finding the right set for you is more than a little challenging. Fear not, we've done our research to track down the best salt and pepper grinders that make seasoning your scran an absolute cinch. 

From electric mills to manual grinders and everything in between, we’ve tapped into the Mumsnet hive mind to seek out tried-and-tested recommendations of the best salt and pepper mills to suit all budgets and dining preferences. 

Plus, for more kitchen staples loved by Mumsnetters, we also have guides to the best can opener and most accurate kitchen scales.

Best salt and pepper grinder 2023: at a glance

  • Best overall: OXO Good Grips Accent Mess-Free Salt and Pepper Set, £45

  • Best budget: IKEA 365+ IHARDIG Spice Mill, £6

  • Best electric: Cuisinart Rechargeable Seasoning Mill, £57

  • Most stylish: Le Creuset Classic Salt and Pepper Mill Set, £38

  • Best for ease of use: Kuhn Rikon Essential Adjustable Ratchet Grinder, £32

  • Best classic: Cole & Mason Clear Salt and Pepper Grinders, £24

  • Best premium: Peugeot Paris u’Select Salt and Pepper Mill Set, £73

  • Best battery-powered: Salter Electronic Salt and Pepper Mill Set, £22

  • Best luxury: Joseph Joseph Milltop Salt and Pepper Set, £42

  • Best for one-handed operation: Dreamfarm Ortwo Lite, £28

1. Best overall salt and pepper grinder: OXO Good Grips Accent Mess-Free Salt and Pepper Set

Price on writing: £45 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: ‎5.59 x 5.59 x 13.97cm | Weight: 780g | Operation: Manual 

What we like

  • Adjustable grinding from fine to coarse 

  • Stylish stainless steel design

  • Grinder at the top so leaves no mess

  • Sold with sea salt and peppercorns included 

What we don’t like

  • Costly 

  • Some reviewers found the fill cap hard to remove 

What Mumsnet users say

"I’ve got the OXO Good Grips which is really good so far." (Tried and tested by petalpower)

Another vote for the OXO Good Grips - recommended by my daughter when she had a holiday job with Lakeland and they’re still going strong.” (Rated by JellyfishandShells)

Our verdict

Just like other items from the OXO Good Grips range (including egg poachers and mandoline slicers), this salt and pepper grinder set is a popular and trusted choice amongst Mumsnet users and with good reason. 

Whilst the set doesn’t come cheap, these brushed stainless steel mills are both stylish and easy to use. They also come with a fully adjustable grinder, allowing you to change the settings from a fine to a coarse grind depending on your preferences. Pre-filled with sea salt and black peppercorns, they also have a practical clear body that allows you to see exactly when it’s time to refill. 

With the ceramic grinder mechanisms located in the top and the entire unit turning upside down to operate, you won’t leave a dusting of salt and pepper on your tabletop or kitchen counters. It’s no surprise, therefore, that these handy, mess-free gadgets have picked up lots of five-star reviews and ratings.

2. Best budget salt and pepper grinder: IKEA 365+ IHARDIG Spice Mill

Price on writing: £6 | Buy now from IKEA

Key specs

Material: Plastic, aluminium, glass | Dimensions: 12.5  x 6cm | Weight: 240g | Operation: Manual 

What we like

  • Mess-free operation

  • Budget-friendly price tag 

  • Durable and long-lasting 

What we don’t like

  • Smaller capacity than some salt and pepper mills 

  • Non-variable fairly coarse grind

  • Glass design may be less suitable for family dining  

What Mumsnet users say

“I've got a cheap IKEA salt mill. The mill is at the top so it doesn't spill. Not pretty, but it works.” (Tried and tested by catwomando

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a budget salt and pepper grinder that still offers mess-free functionality, you won’t get much cheaper than this grinder from good old IKEA. Despite the low price tag, Mumsnet users were impressed by the ease of use, durability and hard-wearing design.

With a clean, minimalist and modern look, this robust grinder attaches to the IHARDING spice jars to offer consistent grinding of salt, pepper or other spices. 

Whilst the glass design may not be the ideal choice for those with younger families, the grinding mechanism is conveniently located at the top, allowing simple and mess-free seasoning without leaving a build-up of residue in your kitchen cupboards and drawers.

Related: Discover the best knife sharpeners for effective meal prep

3. Best electric salt and pepper grinder: Cuisinart Rechargeable Seasoning Mill

Price on writing: £57 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 25.5cm | Weight: 998g | Operation: Automatic 

What we like

  • 2-in-1 design

  • Stylish and lightweight stainless steel design

  • Adjustable grind for fine or coarse results

  • Automatic operation

What we don’t like

  • The tall design may not fit every cupboard space 

  • More costly than a manually operated mill 

Our verdict

With an impressive, futuristic design, this stylish 2-in-1 brushed stainless steel mill can automatically dispense salt or pepper at the touch of a button. It’s easy to operate for those with limited mobility, and it simply flips 180 degrees so you can switch to your preferred choice of seasoning. 

With a built-in rechargeable battery, the Cuisinart Seasoning Mill can provide up to 20 minutes of use on full charge, before popping back into the charging stand to make an impactful statement on display in your kitchen. 

We love the adjustable grind for both fine and coarse results, while the one-handed operation makes seasoning a doddle, no matter how complex or pressurised your cooking may be. It is a fairly substantial size, however, so it may be less suited to those with smaller kitchens or limited cupboard space.

4. Most stylish salt and pepper grinders: Le Creuset Classic Salt and Pepper Mill Set

Price on writing: From £38 (depending on colour) | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Chip-resistant ABS plastic | Dimensions: 5.1 x 5.1 x 12.7cm | Weight: 270g | Operation: Manual

What we like

  • Choice of modern colours 

  • Simple to refill

  • Rust and corrosive-resistant adjustable ceramic grinder

  • Easy to wipe clean 

What we don’t like

  • Set is smaller in size than the standalone Le Creuset Salt and Pepper Mills

  • ABS plastic material, not wood

  • Costly 

What Mumsnet users say

"The Le Creuset ones are lovely and grind the salt and pepper super fine. They are pricey but not ridiculously so…You won’t regret it. Best grinders ever.” (Recommended by Ladyratterley)

Our verdict

From frying pans to baking trays, Le Creuset is a name we have come to trust in our homes, and these gorgeous salt and pepper mills certainly don’t disappoint. Available in a range of modern, vibrant colours combined with a classic, timeless design, they make a great visual addition to your kitchen or dining table.

It may surprise you that these beautifully styled salt and pepper mills are made from chip-resistant ABS plastic and not wood, however, the result is a set of compact and hard-wearing mills that are practical, ergonomic and easy to use, even for younger family members.

With an efficient ceramic grinder that is resistant to rust and corrosion, these adjustable mills can finely grind your sea salt and peppercorns for a welcome boost of flavour or add a more coarse and crunchy texture to comforting soups and salads. 

If you want more capacity or larger mills for dinner parties and special occasions, you may want to consider the Le Creuset standalone salt and pepper grinders, which are weighty but almost double in height.

5.  Best easy-to-use salt and pepper grinder: Kuhn Rikon Essential Adjustable Ratchet Grinder 

Price on writing: £32 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 25.1 x 9.5 x 6.7cm | Weight: 240g | Operation: Automatic 

What we like

  • Simple ratchet operating system

  • Attached spice jar for storing ground spices 

  • Easy fill ‘door’ 

  • Includes lid for storage 

What we don’t like

  • Less easy to store due to ratchet design

What Mumsnet users say

I like this one by Kuhn Rikon. Instead of twisting, you move the ratchet to and fro, which I find much easier. Very easy to refill, the front drops down.” (Recommended by WhereYouLeftIt)

Our verdict

The unique design of the Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder is ideal for those who have limited mobility or grip strength and makes a fun option for younger family members, too.

Unlike traditional mills which require significant movement at the wrist which can be tricky for children, this grinder is incredibly easy to use, using a simple backwards and forwards movement to operate. With an adjustable grinding stone, it can also produce coarse, medium and fine grinds depending on your preferences.

The handy viewing window clearly shows when it’s time to add more peppercorns or sea salt, with a simple door that pops open for stress-free, no spill refills. It doesn't have a compact design, however, so it can be a little tricky to store, and you may wish to leave this one out on display in your kitchen for quick and convenient access when cooking.

6. Best classic salt and pepper grinders: Cole & Mason Clear Salt and Pepper Grinders

Price on writing: £24 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Acrylic | Dimensions: 14.5 x 11.8 x 5.9cm | Weight: 88g | Operation: Manual

What we like

  • Easy to use 

  • Durable and hard-wearing acrylic 

  • Adjustable coarseness 

  • Partially filled 

  • Lifetime guarantee 

What we don’t like

  • The positioning of the grinders in the base may result in small amounts of spilled contents after use

What Mumsnet users say 

“I've spent a fortune on pepper mills over the years. I picked up a Cole & Mason set, they're great. I think they have a lifetime guarantee on the grinding mechanism.” (Recommended by 12345kbm)

Our verdict

A popular choice in kitchens for well over 50 years, the Cole & Mason classic salt and pepper set is a trusted and timeless tool for your kitchen that comes well regarded and recommended by Mumsnet users. 

Made from durable and hard-wearing acrylic, they are easy and fuss-free to operate, adjusting the grind from fine to coarse by simply loosening the dial on the top. Coming partially filled with Vietnamese black peppercorns and Belgian sea salt, they’re ready to use straight from the box, whilst the clear design allows you to track the contents and visually see when it’s time to refill. 

Producing consistent results and built to stand the test of time, the ceramic and carbon steel grinding mechanisms on this set come with a lifetime guarantee, so you can buy with confidence knowing you’ll be seasoning your dishes with them for many years to come. 

The mechanism is situated in the base, however, which can result in a small scattering of contents on the table after use. If you wish to prevent this, you may also want to purchase the Cole & Mason Salt and Pepper Mill Tray, which will conveniently collect any resulting dust. 

Related: The best woks, as recommended by Mumsnetters

7. Best premium salt and pepper grinders: Peugeot Paris u’Select Salt and Pepper Mill Set

Price on writing: £73 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Steel, plastic and walnut | Dimensions: 20.5 x 8cm | Weight: 480g | Operation: Manual

What we like

  • Adjustable coarseness settings

  • Ergonomic, easy-to-hold design 

  • High quality

What we don’t like

  • Costly 

  • Wood design may chip or dent if dropped

  • Limited choice of colours 

What Mumsnet users say

I've got a Peugeot one and it's great! Works brilliantly.” (Recommended by Babymamaroon)

I did a lot of research a few years back and bought a Peugeot. Definitely the best grinders there are.” (Rated by RandomlyChosenName)

Our verdict 

You may traditionally associate the Peugeot brand with cars, but did you know they’re also quite the expert on salt and pepper too, having produced high-quality French seasoning mills since the start of the 19th century?

Whilst they may cost a bit more than your average salt or pepper mill, these statement wooden pieces are beautifully designed, and are praised by Mumsnet users and reviewers for their smooth and consistent grind, easy grip and simple operation. 

Made from sustainably sourced PEFC-certified wood, these luxury salt and pepper mills do require handling with care in order to avoid dents and knocks, but if you’re looking for some peace of mind on your investment, the steel grinding mechanisms come with a lifetime guarantee.  

With an adjustable grind that offers six unique settings, Peugeot mills crack and grind peppercorns and sea salt to a range of coarseness settings without crushing them, ensuring maximum flavour when seasoning your food.

8. Best battery-powered salt and pepper grinders: Salter Electronic Salt and Pepper Mill Set

Price on writing: £22 | Buy now from Lakeland 

Key specs

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: ‎5.3 x 5.3 x 22.5cm | Weight: 563g | Operation: Automatic 

What we like

  • 10-year manufacturer’s guarantee

  • Built-in LED light 

  • Battery-powered one-button operation 

  • Choice of fine or coarse grind 

What we don’t like

  • Requires 4 x AA batteries for each mill (not included)

  • Tall design isn’t the easiest to store 

  • Noisy operation 

What Mumsnet users say 

We have these. They have a lid attached to the bottom and are battery operated. Press the button, instant grinding and a light comes on, too. Endless entertainment for a miserable January!” (Tried and tested by campion)

Our verdict

Made from sleek and stylish stainless steel, these automatic salt and pepper mills from Salter are battery powered - ideal for preparing those manically busy midweek meals for your family. With one-handed operation that makes seasoning almost fun, you can easily adjust the coarseness to suit your requirements by turning the dial on the base.

We love the built-in LED light that illuminates at the base - it allows you to clearly keep track of how much salt and pepper you’ve added to your food. You can even replace the protective cap after use to keep your salt and pepper fresh, while preventing mess and spills from building up in your kitchen cupboards. At less than £25, they’re also super affordable for a battery-powered set. 

The downside? The automatic operation on the Salter mills can be a little on the noisy side, so they're perhaps less suited to those late night batch cooking sessions. They also require four AA batteries each, which aren’t included, so you may want to factor that into the price.

9. Best luxury salt and pepper grinder: Joseph Joseph Milltop Salt and Pepper Set

Price on writing: £42 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: BPA-free plastic and stainless steel | Dimensions: 16.8 x 6.9 x 6.9cm | Weight: 24g | Operation: Manual

What we like

  • Adjustable between fine and coarse grinding 

  • Durable and hard-wearing

  • Efficient to use 

  • Top grinding for mess-free operation 

What we don’t like

  • Smooth design whilst stylish, doesn’t provide the best grip when cooking

  • Costly compared to other manual grinders

What Mumsnet users say

"Highly recommend my Joseph Joseph. Grinds out the top so no flakes etc on the table. Large easy-fill hole." (Tried and tested by Nearlyadoctor)

“Joseph Joseph pepper and salt mills. The grinder is at the top so no mess.” (Recommended by Bonnealle)

Our verdict 

Joseph Joseph is another popular kitchen brand amongst Mumsnet users, with their high-quality products proving to be a big hit thanks to their combination of style and efficiency. 

The Milltop Salt and Pepper Set is no exception, with grinders that are both practical and stylish enough to keep out on display. The minimalist design looks at home in both your dining room and kitchen, although can be a bit slippy with wet hands, so make sure you keep your tea towels close at hand. 

Unlike traditional pepper mills, these adjustable grinders are inverted during use with the mechanism based at the top, allowing excess granules to fall back into the unit instead of making a mess on your countertop. 

We love the adjustable coarseness which is achieved via a simple twist mechanism, with a visual indicator clearly showing which setting is in use.  

Related: The best cutlery sets for any kind of dining

10. Best salt and pepper grinder for one-handed operation: Dreamfarm Ortwo Lite with Extra Jar-Salt

Price on writing: £28 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Wood and ceramic | Dimensions:‎ 24.2 x 12.2 x 6cm | Weight: 540g | Operation: Manual 

What we like

  • Simple one-handed operation 

  • Ideal for cooking 

  • Dishwasher safe

What we don’t like

  • May be more difficult for younger family members or those with small hands 

Our verdict

This unique looking seasoning mill offers a versatile and easy-to-use tool for home chefs, allowing one-handed operation to season your dishes with ease.

With two wide-mouthed jars that screw on easily and are easy to fill, this grinder offers six different settings from a coarse grind to a fine dusting, allowing you to flavour your food with precision to suit your tastes. The 3-degree angle inside the grinder ensures any excess falls straight back into the jar, so you won’t find yourself constantly wiping away those pepper dustings after your dinner. 

Whilst younger children or smaller hands may find it tricky to operate, adults will love the flexibility of one-handed use or two-handed use for additional speed. It’s dishwasher safe too, making it a breeze to wash up and reuse time and time again.

How to choose the best salt and pepper grinders

To ensure you choose the right salt and pepper grinders for your needs, you may wish to consider the following:

  • How will you use it? - Think about how often you cook, whether you eat at home every day, and where you eat (whether that’s the dining room, kitchen or even on a lap tray). Some salt and pepper grinders are very obviously practical and functional so are best suited to your kitchen worktop, while others make a style statement and are perfect to add to your dinner table.

  • Ease of use - Are they suitable for those with limited mobility or for younger users? Can they be used one handed whilst cooking or do they require both hands? Consider who will be using them and whether they are suitable for your family’s needs.

  • Adjustable coarseness - Not all salt and pepper mills come with adjustable coarseness, so if you’re keen to get the perfect balance and consistency of your seasoning, it’s worth paying the extra to tailor the results to your taste. The best salt and pepper mills will have an easy-to-adjust dial which clearly demonstrates the setting in use. 

  • Ease of refilling - The larger the refill door, the easier they are to top up without making a mess or losing valuable condiment. Can you visually see when the contents are running low? 

  • Mess-free operation - If the grinding mechanisms are located at the base, you may find the salt and pepper mills shed some seasoning on to your table tops or inside your kitchen cupboards. If this bothers you, you may prefer to choose a grinder with a mechanism at the top. Inverted during use, this allows any excess to fall back inside the unit, reducing the amount of clean up required.

  • Ease of cleaning -  Salt and pepper mills can easily get grubby, especially if constantly grabbed by ketchuppy fingers or dropped into a bowl of pasta sauce!  Look for designs that are easy to wipe clean, or for added ease, have dishwasher-safe parts.

  • Price - The price of salt and pepper grinders varies quite considerably, with most price differences being due to features, style or automatic operation. Look out for products which have long guarantees, as this can provide peace of mind when investing in a higher value set.

Types of salt and pepper grinders

There are two main types of salt and pepper grinders, with pros and cons to both depending on your requirements 


Automatic grinders are very simple to use, with one-handed operation via the touch of a button. They are easy to operate for children or those with limited hand mobility and can produce fast, efficient and consistent grinding results - ideal for during cooking or when serving up quick family dinners. The downside is that automatic grinders often require batteries or regular recharging and the noise can be a bit annoying. 


On the flip side, the more traditional designs involve manual operation, either twisting the base, flipping and twisting the top, or pressing a ratchet to trigger the grinding. Many prefer the control of a manual salt and pepper mill, especially with adjustable grinders that allow precision over the quantity and coarseness of your seasoning. Many manual salt and pepper mills have a traditional design which looks great on display, but can create some mess if they use a traditional grinder in the base. 

Is there a difference between a salt grinder and a pepper grinder? 

You may think salt and pepper grinders could be used interchangeably, but in most cases there are some subtle differences - allowing them to produce consistent grinding results with either sea salt or peppercorns. 

Most salt grinders tend to use ceramic or nylon grinding mechanisms, whereas pepper mills often use carbon steel, which is stronger and more suitable for harder peppercorns and will not deteriorate over time. 

What's the best material for a salt and pepper grinder?

Wooden salt and pepper mills can offer a stylish and traditional look, but they need to be handled with care. Glass mills can be a concern around children, whereas plastic and stainless steel tend to be the most robust and hardwearing. You should also consider whether they allow visual recognition between salt and pepper - i.e. a labelled top or viewing window.

How often should you clean your salt and pepper grinder?

A wipe over with a damp cloth or a kitchen towel with a spritz of anti-bac spray at the end of every meal is the ideal scenario - but of course this will depend on the amount of fingerprints they encounter! It's also worth bearing in mind that very few grinders are dishwasher safe.

You should also keep the grinding mechanism clear of particles to keep everything moving smoothly and effectively.  

What's the best salt and pepper grinder to buy?

We plumped for the OXO Good Grips Accent Mess-Free Salt and Pepper Grinder Set based on its price, looks, and positive reviews across different platforms.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which salt and pepper grinders discerning Mumsnet users had bought. We compiled a list of grinders they recommended for being practical, stylish, and easy and effective to use. We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which salt and pepper mills had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what authentic customer reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the salt and pepper grinders that we thought would make the best buys and offer the best value for money.

About the author

Lucy Cotterill is a mum of two and a Content Writer at Mumsnet, specialising in baby/child and lifestyle product reviews and round-ups. Having written product reviews on her own blog Real Mum Reviews since 2012, Lucy loves to research and explore the pros and cons of baby products, scrutinising reviews and consumer feedback to help parents make confident purchases that benefit their families.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

Read next: The best egg poachers according to Mumsnetters