We spent 80 hours researching an extensive range of single-cup coffee makers to recommend the best. After considering each carefully, checking with manufacturers, browsing user reviews and cooking blogs, we choose the Hamilton Beach The Scoop as our favorite. This coffee maker yields a great cup of hot and flavorful coffee in 90 seconds, and it can brew enough fine coffee to fill a 14-ounce travel mug in under three minutes. One of the key benefits is that you can use the scoop for regular ground coffee, saving you a bundle over the cost of expensive pods.
Hamilton Beach The Scoop
You get a scoop with this aptly named single-cup coffee maker: Hamilton Beach The Scoop. Instead of using costly pods, you can save by using the scoop and ground coffee for your brew.
Black & Decker Brew ’n Go
Black & Decker Brew ’n Go single-cup coffee maker is modestly priced, and operating it is less expensive since you can use ground coffee – and you don’t even have to bother with paper filters.
Keurig K-Classic coffee makers are known for their convenience and quality design, and the Keurig K55 single-cup coffee maker is a formidable force with its quick brewing times and ease of use.
If you want hot, tasty coffee and you want it fast, Hamilton Beach The Scoop is a great choice. This single-cup coffee maker can brew an 8-ounce cup of coffee in 90 seconds, and it takes less than three minutes for the machine to fill a 14-ounce travel mug. You also can save money with this coffee maker since you don’t use prepackaged pods.
Instead, you use a scoop filter to measure ground coffee into the Hamilton Beach’s brewing basket. The scoop has measuring lines for specific amounts. Buying your own coffee, already ground or in bean form and grinding it yourself, saves money over buying the rather costly pods.
In addition, you can adjust the coffee’s strength by using the “regular” or “bold” settings. Regular works nicely with standard grocery-store coffee, while bold is better suited to finer grinds and gourmet coffees. The regular setting releases hot water quickly since that works best for the coarser ground coffee. The bold setting allows more time for the hot water to flow through finer coffee grounds to brew the finished product.
You don’t have to spend a lot to get a well-made, compact and easy-to-use coffee maker. The Black & Decker Brew ’n Go single-cup coffee machine can quickly dispense hot, flavorful coffee into the 15-ounce mug that comes with your modestly priced purchase.
You also will find this to be an economical single-cup coffee maker to operate, since you get a permanent filter and don’t have to mess with paper filters. Along with that, this Black & Decker coffee maker lets you make another economical choice: You can use regular ground coffee in it or you can opt for the more expensive pods if they suit you better.
This is a simply constructed machine with a basic on/off switch, and the machine automatically turns itself off once the coffee is done, so there are no worries about a hot carafe plate if you’ve left home in a hurry. The accompanying mug is made of stainless steel and tapers into a slimmer shape on the lower half, so it’s easy to hold and fits into most standard cup holders – including the one in your car.
The Keurig K55 is an affordable, convenient single-cup coffee maker that brews coffee quickly and easily thanks to its K-Cup brewing system. And you can make iced coffees and iced tea, as well.
The Keuring K55 heats up water and dispenses it within 90 seconds. While this is quick, it is a somewhat relaxed pace compared to other single-cup coffee makers. However, it still saves a lot of time compared to conventional brewers and helps you get your coffee fix quick.
It has a relatively large water reservoir of 48 ounces, and you can choose to make a 6-, 8- or 10-ounce cup of coffee. The removable drip tray makes for easy cleaning, and the company states you can fit a travel mug under the spout when the tray is removed. Though if you use a 16-ounce travel mug, you might need a couple of K-Cups to fill it.
The Bunn My Café MCU is expensive compared to other single-cup coffee makes we reviewed, but it's worth its price.
This multi-purpose machine makes several kinds of coffees and teas and even has a hot water drawer to make things like instant oatmeal or dehydrated soups. It's also fast – this machine can turnout out a cup of coffee in one minute.
This Bunn model is also quite versatile since it works with K-Cups, pods, ground coffee and tea bags. You can even brew a cup of tea with loose tea. This single-cup coffee maker includes a pulse brew feature that gets the greatest flavor from coffee without sacrificing speed. It also has a variety of cup-size settings, extending from 4 to 14 ounces, so you can grab a tiny cupful or a full thermos.
More on Coffee Makers
Best for Travel
If you travel frequently or have a tiny kitchen, the slender Keurig K-Mini Plus Single Serve Coffee Maker might be just the machine for you. Measuring a mere 12.1 x 4.5 x 11 inches and weighing just 4.6 pounds, this single-cup coffee maker is streamlined enough to pack in your suitcase and take with you on your journeys.
The K-Mini Plus has an onboard storage area that holds nine Keurig K-Cup pods, and there’s a recessed section to store the cord. You can brew 6 to 12 ounces of coffee, and removing the drip tray lets you fill a travel mug up to 7 inches tall.
One drawback is you can only use Keurig K-Cup pods or the Keurig My-Cup Universal Reusable Coffee Filter that you fill with your own ground coffee. Further, you must buy these separately. This is a basic machine, but it has some helpful features, including a “strong” button for a more robust brew and an auto shut-off that turns off the machine after it sits idle for 90 seconds.
- Empty any leftover coffee grounds or pod residue from the basket.
- Fill the water reservoir with a mixture of half white vinegar and half water. Vinegar is acidic, so it will loosen and remove grime from your device without introducing harmful chemicals. With this mixture in place, run your coffee maker through a cycle as though you’re making a cup of coffee (sans the pod).
- When the cycle ends, pour the mixture back into the reservoir, and run it again.
- Unplug the device.
- Wash the inside of the pot and reservoir with soapy water and a sponge or bristle brush to remove any residue.
- Do not submerge the device in water or allow water droplets to run into the electrical areas of the device, as this can cause the machine to short or break or lead to electric shock if the device is plugged in.
- Rinse the pot thoroughly to remove the taste of vinegar and soap.
- To make sure unwanted flavors are removed from the device, plug it in once more, fill the reservoir with fresh water and run the cycle again.
- To clean the exterior of your device, once again use a mixture of vinegar and water to remove grime. Just make sure you don’t get the electrical components wet.
- If the exterior is stainless steel, it’s harder to remove fingerprints. We recommend using hot water, dish soap and a damp rag to remove finger oils and then following it up with a cleaner like Windex to make your appliance shine.
- Check the instructions that came with your device to see how often the company recommends cleaning the coffee maker. Most companies say coffee makers should be cleaned every three to six months.