Best single serve coffee makers 2024: as tested by our coffee experts

Best single serve coffee maker 2024: Jump Menu

Tchibo coffee machine design elements

(Image credit: Future)

The list in brief ↴
1. Best overall: The Tchibo Machine
2. Best budget: AeroPress XL
3. Best with grinder: Breville Barista Express Impress
4. Best premium: Breville Barista Touch Impress
5. Best with pods: Nespresso Vertuo Creatista
6. Best duo: Cafe Specialty Coffee Maker
7. Best mini: Nespresso Essenza Mini
8. Best for iced coffee: Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer
9. Best K-Cup: Keurig K-Elite
10. Best retro: Smeg Espresso Machine
How we test
Buying advice
FAQs

If you love coffee like us, you'll know there's no better way to start the day or improve the afternoon than to sit down with a gorgeous cup of your favorite. To get that, you don't necessarily need to splash out on one of the best espresso machines on the market, as excellent as they are. Some of our favorite coffee makers are simpler, single-serve coffee makers.

What is a single-serve coffee machine? As the name suggests, it's a coffee maker designed to make just one cup of coffee at a time. That means you don't have a jug of coffee getting bitter on a hot plate or, worse, going cold on you: you get a single cup, freshly made, whenever you want one.

There are several benefits to single-serve coffee makers. Because they're usually simpler, they're typically cheaper to buy. And because they're not expected to make coffee for an army, they're usually much smaller than other coffee machines, too—so they take up much less counter space. There are some exceptions—you'll find some premium and quite large machines among our picks here—but as a rule, if you're short of cash or space, then single-serve is the way to go.

This isn't our only guide to great coffee machines: you'll find some overlap between the coffee makers we've chosen here and our picks of the best coffee makers. But for this guide, we're focused specifically on single-serve machines, whether pod-based or ground coffee. If you're looking for the best single-serve coffee maker for your kitchen, you'll find it here.

The quick list

Below, you'll find a quick overview section of all the different single-serve coffee makers on our list, showing you exactly what you need to know - all at a glance. This allows you to jump to the more detailed reviews further down the page for the product you're most interested in.

The best single serve coffee makers we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best single serve coffee maker overall

The Tchibo machine is the best overall; simple, effective, reliable.

Specifications

Coffee type: Beans
Grinder?: Yes
Frother?: No
Dimensions: H12.4 x W7 x L15.6 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Self-maintains with its rinsing feature
+
Brews espresso, regular and large coffee
+
Boost button to make your coffee stronger

Reasons to avoid

-
No function to froth and/or steam milk
Buy it if

✅ You want to try different coffee bean varieties: Users have endless possibilities when trying different coffees.
✅ You don't want to generate waste: The Tchibo Machine’s bean-to-brew technology eliminates the need for coffee pods.
✅ You're looking for a highly customizable machine: The Tchibo Machine’s settings can be adjusted, e.g., the grinding degree.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're looking for a brewer that can steam or froth milk: The Tchibo Machine doesn’t incorporate milk frothing or steaming capabilities into its design. 
❌ You don't want to deal with coffee grounds: You'll have to empty the used coffee grounds, which can be messy. 
❌ You want to use pods too: This machine uses coffee beans only; if you want one that can use coffee beans and pods, consider a different machine. 

The bottom line

🔎 The Tchibo Machine made our reviewer extremely happy with its ability to brew fresh, delicious coffee and that she could adjust the grind to make her coffee stronger or more aromatic. Its only drawback is the lack of milk frother. ★★★★★

The Tchibo Machine seriously impressed our reviewer when she tried it. Due to its impressive performance and adjustable elements, she didn't hesitate to give it five stars. She loved it and would eagerly recommend this model to others. 

Design: Impressively, The Tchibo Machine fits on most kitchen countertops, occupying minimal space due to its streamlined dimensions of 12.4 x 7 x 15.6in (h x w x l) and a weight of 18.1 lbs. 

The design of this coffee maker exudes elegance, featuring a harmonious blend of matte and shiny surfaces in a simple black and silver colorway. Another slick design feature is that the buttons (except for the power button discreetly placed on the side of the brewer) are invisible when the machine is turned off, contributing to its sleek and modern aesthetic - and they illuminate blue when turned on. 

Performance: The Tchibo makes three different types of coffee: espresso (2 oz.), regular coffee (6 oz.), and large coffee (8 oz.), allowing for versatility, an asset to any household with members that have different coffee preferences. 

The coffee spout is also adjustable to accommodate different cup sizes, and you can change the pre-sets for the water quantity to suit. The Tchibo Machine is also easy to clean and alerts you when it needs to be descaled; plus, it has other alerts for things like re-filling the water tank, adding more beans, or emptying the coffee ground container. 

Value: The Tchibo is available on the manufacturer's website for $399.00, discounted from its usual price of $531.98. It is also available on Amazon for $399.00. This is a great price for a high-quality coffee maker, especially considering that some espresso machines cost up to $1,499.95. 

Read more: The Tchibo Machine review

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Test results
AttributeNotesRating
PricePrice is in line with similar brewers on the market and its high quality makes the price worth it too.★★★★★
DesignFits seamlessly on countertops, occupying minimal space and featuring a harmonious blend of matte and shiny surfaces.★★★★★
PerformanceMakes espresso and two different coffee sizes from bean to brew with one click of a button.★★★★★

The best inexpensive single serve coffee maker

The best inexpensive single serve coffee maker

Specifications

Coffee type: Ground
Grinder?: No
Frother?: No
Dimensions: H11.8 x W4.8 x D4.8 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Twice the capacity of the original AeroPress
+
Coffee is cleaner in taste and appearance than a French press
+
Different brewing styles, including immersion, aeration, and pressure
+
Easy to use and store
+
Great value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Not be the most stylish
-
Proprietary XL paper filters are required
-
Does not have a built-in milk frother
Buy it if

✅ You want something versatile: This coffee maker can make anything from an Americano to a cold brew.
✅ You like a clean taste: The paper filters used in the AeroPress XL help eliminate grit and produce a cleaner taste than a French press.
✅ You're on a tight budget: The AeroPress XL is priced competitively.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're tight on space: While the AeroPress XL is still easy to use and store, it may not be ideal for those with limited counter space.
❌ You can't get the filters: The AeroPress XL requires proprietary paper filters, which may not be readily available in all areas.
❌ You want something stylish: Its utilitarian design may not appeal to those looking for a more aesthetically pleasing appliance.

The bottom line

🔎 The AeroPress XL is a premium coffee maker that doubles the original brewing capacity while retaining all its features. It offers versatility in brewing styles, is easy to clean, and is durable. However, it's more expensive and less portable and requires patience and precision to master. ★★★★½

The AeroPress XL is a premium coffee maker that offers different brewing styles and doubles the original brewing capacity while retaining all its features.

Design: The AeroPress XL has a higher brew volume than the AeroPress Clear, with a chamber made of semi-transparent black plastic. The plunger, coffee scoop, stirrer, and cap are also black plastic, while the carafe is Tritan shatterproof plastic. The XL can hold up to 20 oz / 590 ml of coffee and measures 18in / 45cm at its tallest. Despite its larger size, it remains easy to use and store. While it may not be the most stylish appliance, it offers simplicity and substance, making it a great addition to any coffee lover's collection.

Performance: The AeroPress XL promises the taste of an espresso machine with the precision of a pour-over and the ease of a French press. The filter sits inside the plastic cap, which is then locked at the bottom of the chamber. The coffee grounds and water are added to the chamber and left to steep for up to three minutes before the plunger is pushed into the top.

The AeroPress consistently produces coffee that is cleaner in taste and appearance than a French press. The paper filters are fantastic at getting rid of grit and helping you control the flow of coffee into the carafe. The AeroPress has a 3-in-1 brewing process – immersion, aeration, and pressure. The Americano is the easiest to master. The cold brew produced in the AeroPress was surprisingly full-bodied. The latte claims are a little misleading. The AeroPress XL is easy to clean, but proprietary XL paper filters are required.

Value: The coffee maker costs $69.99 and makes twice as much as the original AeroPress. It's in the same price range as high-end French press machines but still cheaper than the best espresso machines.

Read more: AeroPress XL review

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Test results
AttributeNotesRating
Price & availabilityLarge amounts of great coffee made accessible★★★★
DesignEasy to use, easy to store even despite its larger size★★★★
PerformanceMixed results – some highly impressive, others a let down★★★½

The best one cup coffee maker with grinder

The best one cup coffee maker with grinder

Specifications

Coffee type: Beans
Grinder?: Yes
Frother?: Yes
Dimensions: 14.9 x 12.9 x 16.1 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Coffee tastes amazing
+
Looks professional
+
Steam wand

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite noisy
-
Burns through beans
-
Hard to switch between filter basket sizes
Buy it if

✅ You love to craft coffee from bean to cup: The Express Impress produces excellent coffee fast, and you get to enjoy all the banging, tamping, steaming, and frothing fun of a pro barista.
✅ You love a latte: The steam wand is wasted on black coffee drinkers, but this machine will deliver if you love a thick head of frothy coffee. (It isn't quiet, though.)
✅ You are a perfectionist: Those with exacting tastes will appreciate the option to manually control the grind dose and extraction time/quantities.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You are impatient: Yes, the Express Impress Auto modes make life easy, but this is not a simple press-and-go machine.
❌ You've no time for care and maintenance: The conical burrs (in the grinder), tamp system, steam wand, and drip tray all need regular TLC to keep that fresh coffee coming.
❌ You don't use/buy lots of beans: This machine burns through beans and does use a lot, so that will become an ongoing purchase for this machine. 

The bottom line

🔎 Breville Barista Express Impress is a genius espresso machine with a helpful degree of automation but plenty of ways to customize it. Both coffee lovers and novices will have no problem mastering the process. It is pleasing to the eye and produces truly outstanding coffee. It's expensive but worth every dime. ★★★★★

Most of the time, to get a really good shot of espresso, only a commercial machine, like the type found in decent coffee shops, will do. Enter the Breville Barista Express Impress Espresso Machine, which brings pro-barista-grade espresso to your home.

Design: A good-looking machine thanks to its brushed stainless steel construction. This machine is large but doesn't take up too much space on the countertop, and it should just about tuck under wall cabinets. And while it may be heavy, it does slide forward easily to help you get to the water reservoir at the back.

As well as looking good, the design is thoughtfully done so that the coffee-making process is intuitive and moves from left to right across the machine, from grinding and tamping to brewing and, finally, milk frothing. The water tank is easy to undock from the back to fill it. The LEDs are bright so that they can be seen. 

Performance: The Express Impress is a semi-automatic machine designed for easy use. It may take time to work out what grind size to use, depending on the beans you use and how strong you like your coffee. 

Once you've established your perfect ground size, the auto dose system will ensure subsequent grinds produce the same amount, and it should take just one or two tamps to fill the portafilter basket to the correct level.

Taste test: Our reviewer found that the Breville Barista Express Impress produced the best coffee and hot chocolate she had ever made at home. 

Comparisons: If you want to save a few dollars and a little space on your countertops, you might prefer the Breville Infuser BES840XL. It has a similar look and the same built-in pressure gauge and milk frother, but it does not have a built-in grinder.

Read more: Breville Barista Express Impress review

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Test results
AttributeNotesRating
PriceExpensive, but fairly priced for what you get.★★★★★
DesignJust beautiful – in shape, style and finish.★★★★★
PerformanceOnce configured, it delivers consistently great coffee.★★★★★

The best premium single serve coffee maker

The best premium single serve coffee maker

Specifications

Coffee type: Beans
Grinder?: Yes
Frother?: Yes
Dimensions: 16.4 x 12.9 x 14.1 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Can froth different milk types
+
Intuitive touch-screen menu
+
Grinder and puck system remembers your preferences

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium price
Buy it if

✅ You use non-dairy milk: The Breville Barista Touch Impress adds froth even when you're using non-dairy milk such as oat or soy milk, meaning that vegans and people with allergies can enjoy creamy, frothy coffees, too.
✅ You want a machine that will help you: The machine’s guided touch-screen menu will steer you through the coffee-making process by suggesting a grind size for your beans and giving options for froth level, temperature, and other details.
✅ You want a clever machine: This machine can remember your previous settings, making it easy to get a great-tasting cup of coffee every time and saving you precious time.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You’re on a budget: This machine is sold for $1,499.95 by retailers like Amazon, which may be slightly too expensive for those on a budget.
❌ You hate fingerprint marks: As the Breville Barista Touch Impress is made from stainless steel, it is prone to fingerprint marks and other stains. If this is a pet peeve, you’ll need to get used to wiping down the machine every use.
❌ You only drink plain espressos: If you're a faithful espresso drinker, you may quickly find that the variety of settings offered by this machine is overkill and not worth your money.

The bottom line

🔎 The Breville Barista Touch Impress makes a mean cup of coffee every single time. It is smart enough to also remember your previous settings, predict the best grind size, and optimize froth settings for various dairy or non-dairy milk. ★★★★★

The Breville Barista Touch Impress is a seriously impressive machine that'll last a long time and upgrade your daily routine with quick, rich coffee. Better yet, for vegans or those with allergies, it can handle non-dairy milk types upon demand by re-calibrating its pressure, temperature, and timings.

Design: Made from stainless steel, this espresso machine is sturdy and attractive, although you may need to remember to wipe away fingerprint marks. Cleaning tools such as a brush, descaling powder, and dishwasher-safe parts make cleaning easy. 

The 67-oz water tank capacity should impress, too, especially considering the machine's compact size. This machine packs lots of features, from an easy-to-use touch screen that helpfully guides you through drink options and settings to barista-grade advice for grind size, milk, temperature, and froth level. 

The machine can cleverly decide the best grind size based on your beans, although you can also customize some settings yourself, leaving you free to experiment. One of the most helpful features is that it can remember your settings for next time, speeding up your coffee-making routine.

For non-dairy folks, the auto MilQ has special froth settings for dairy, almond, soy, and oat milk. 

Performance: After the machine has ground the beans, you must press coffee into the puck using a tamp lever. This is easy to use. Plus, the machine only takes 3 seconds to heat up before extraction. 

During our testing, the machine always produced creamy, strong, and (most importantly) consistent coffee. It even produced frothy oat milk coffee, a tricky feat.

Price and availability: This coffee machine, available for $1,499.95 from retailers like Amazon and Best Buy, will set you back a bit. However, it rings true that you get what you pay for. There aren’t many compact coffee machines that can deliver barista-style coffee consistently and quickly or efficiently handle non-dairy milk.

Read more: Breville Barista Touch Impress review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignCompact stainless steel machine with excellent settings.★★★★★
PerformanceReliably produces great-tasting coffee within a few seconds.★★★★★
Price and availabilityAn expensive option but worth the cost for coffee lovers.★★★★

The best single serve coffee maker with pods

Nespresso Vertuo Creatista viewed from front on

(Image credit: Future)
The best single serve coffee maker with pods

Specifications

Type: Pod
Grinder?: No
Frother?: Yes
Dimensions: H12.7 x W16.4 x D9 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Very well built
+
Straightforward to use
+
Milk frother

Reasons to avoid

-
Coffee quality can't rival a bean-to-cup machine
-
Expensive
-
Bulky
Buy it if

✅ You want a sturdy machine: Its stainless steel finish and barista-style steam wand make it look and feel like a professional-grade coffee machine.
✅ You're a beginner: It's perfect for those who want a quick and easy caffeine fix without having time grinding beans or cleaning up messy grounds.
✅ You want a milky drink: The Nespresso Vertuo Creatista produces high-quality coffee with a rich and creamy crema.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're serious about your coffee: If you like to fine-tune your coffee to your exact preferences, this machine may not be the best choice for you.
❌ You're on a budget: At $749, the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista is significantly more expensive than other Nespresso machines and capsule-based coffee systems in the market.
❌ You're worried about cost over time: The Nespresso Vertuo Creatista uses Nespresso Vertuo capsules, which are more expensive than other coffee capsules.

The bottom line

🔎 The Nespresso Vertuo Creatista offers intuitive one-touch brewing and automatic milk frothing, but it’s expensive and bulky. ★★★★★

If you're a fan of capsule coffee machines, you can't do much better than the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista.

Design: The Vertuo Creatista boasts a sleek, modern design that exudes elegance. However, it does take up a significant amount of space on your countertops, almost as much as bean-to-cup espresso machines, which speaks volumes about its size. Thanks to the stainless steel finish, it looks premium and professional, and the barista-style steam wand adds to its appeal. 

The design is a testament to the attention to detail paid during its creation. You'll notice the generous finger loop that allows the steam wand to be tilted upwards and the indent for your hand at the base of the removable water container. The overall design is smooth, sleek, and well-considered, with no clunky elements.

Performance: Brewing coffee with the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista is incredibly simple. The only challenging part is selecting the right capsule. Once you've chosen, slide the lever on top to the right to unlock the brew head and lift it. Insert the capsule in the slot, push the brew head down on top, and slide the lever back into the lock position. Then, all left to do is press the button with a cup symbol, and your coffee will be ready. It takes about a minute to heat up initially, but it's good to go after that. The machine can make a single espresso in just 55 seconds or a double in 75 seconds.

Value: The Nespresso Vertuo Creatista is the most expensive Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine at $749, which is three times more than cheaper Nespresso models. It's available from Nespresso, Amazon, and independent retailers. Nespresso Vertuo capsules start at $0.98 per capsule, with prices varying based on size and type.

Read our full Nespresso Vertuo Creatista review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
PriceVery expensive, premium product★★★
Design Sleek design and good features★★★★★
PerformanceGood quality coffee but can't rival an espresso machine★★★★

The best single serve and carafe coffee maker

The best single serve and carafe coffee maker

Specifications

Coffee type: Beans
Grinder?: Yes
Frother?: No
Dimensions: H17.5 x W14.5 x D10.5 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in bean grinder
+
Brews single serve and carafe sizes
+
Wi-Fi enabled

Reasons to avoid

-
Brew basket swings out, drips and is fidgety when closing
Buy it if

✅ You like the elegant design: The coffee maker has an elegant and functional design with a removable water tank that's easy to fill and empty.
✅ You're looking for versatility: The coffee maker's controls are simple yet versatile, allowing users to adjust temperature, strength, and grind size.
✅ You value solid performance: It has a display panel that provides real-time status updates during the brewing cycle.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You hate mess: The brew basket sometimes leaks when opened immediately after the brew cycle.
❌ You're on a budget: The Café Specialty Grind and Brew Coffee Maker is more expensive than other coffee makers with similar features.
❌ You're worried about noise: The coffee maker is quite noisy while grinding the beans, which could disturb some users, especially if you plan to use it early in the morning or late at night.

The bottom line

🔎 The Café Specialty Grind and Brew Coffee Maker boasts a beautiful design, a built-in coffee grinder, and the ability to brew single-serve or carafe coffee. It's SCA Gold Cup certified and allows for adjustments. However, it's not for those who want something simple or don't want to take extra steps. ★★★★½

Looking for a coffee maker with an elegant design, a built-in grinder, and versatile controls? Check out the Café Specialty Grind and Brew Coffee Maker.

Design: Our reviewer used the Café Specialty Grind and Brew Coffee Maker for four months. The coffee maker arrived securely packed in a large cardboard box, with all the components well-protected from damage. Its design is elegant and functional, with a removable water tank that's easy to fill and empty. The coffee maker includes a charcoal water filter and a descaling function.

Its controls are simple yet versatile, allowing users to adjust temperature, strength, and grind size. The coffee maker is compact and available in three finishes with copper accents. It also has WiFi capabilities and a mobile app for customization and scheduling.

Performance: After unpacking the coffee maker, our tester washed all the parts and inserted the charcoal water filter into the reservoir. The coffee maker has a display panel provides real-time status updates during the brewing cycle. They tested the coffee maker with ground coffee beans and pre-ground coffee, which worked perfectly fine. One feature they liked was the GRIND OFF button on the display, which allowed them to bypass the grinder function and use pre-ground coffee in the brew basket.

However, the brew basket sometimes leaks when opened immediately after the brew cycle, so they left it closed for several hours until the filter was slightly damp and didn't leak. If they forget any steps, the coffee maker also displays helpful messages on the control panel, such as Add Water, Empty Brew Basket, and Add Beans.

Value: The Café Specialty Grind and Brew Coffee Maker is sold for $329 at Amazon, Williams Sonoma, and other retailers. Occasionally, it goes on sale for $299.

Read more: Café Specialty Grind and Brew Coffee Maker review

The best mini single serve coffee maker

The best mini single serve coffee maker

Specifications

Coffee type: Pod
Grinder?: No
Frother?: No
Dimensions: H8.1 x W4.3 x D12.8 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Compact but durable
+
Easy to use
+
Produces delicious coffee

Reasons to avoid

-
No milk frother
-
Can’t adjust strength or size
-
More expensive than other brands
Buy it if

You own a milk frother: The Nespresso Essenza only produces espressos, so you will need your milk frother to get the perfect frothy latte or cappuccino.
You are efficient: There’s nothing difficult about using this Nespresso model, as there are two size options, and you only need to press one button to brew yourself an espresso.
You don’t want to spend much: The machine only costs $179 from Amazon and other retailers, making it one of Nespresso’s most affordable pod machines. That means more money for groceries and other luxuries.

Don't buy it if:

You want to impress guests: While the machine is reliable, the design isn't very impressive. It's so compact that it might go unnoticed in your kitchen.
You drink out of a tall glass or mug: There isn’t much space between the drip tray and dispenser, so if you drink out of tall glasses or mugs, you may have to fork out on a new set.
You want more customisable settings: This coffee machine is as simple as it gets, with just two size settings. If you want to experiment with the size and strength of your coffee, look at a different model.

The bottom line

🔎 The Nespresso Essenza Mini is simple, affordable, and good at producing great-tasting coffee at the touch of a button. It’ll slot into a small space very easily, but you’ll need to invest in a separate milk frother if you drink lattes or other milky coffees ★★★★

The Nespresso Essenza Mini may be one of Nespresso’s simplest models, but it gets the job done. It is inexpensive and reliable, churning out great-tasting coffee at quite an impressive speed.

Design: The Essenza Mini is part of the Original range and is a compact machine, measuring only 4.3 inches wide and 12.8 inches deep. While it may not come in the most exciting colors, black, red, and green are available options for those who prefer a machine that blends in well with their kitchen decor.

With just the press of a button, you can brew an Espresso or Lungo (larger cup) using this machine. However, the 20.3 oz water tank is limited, so if you opt for Lungo, you'll need to refill the water tank regularly. The bin can hold around five or six pods before it needs emptying. Unfortunately, milk coffee drinkers will need to froth or steam their milk separately, as there is no milk frother included.

One thing to keep in mind about the design is that very tall mugs or glasses may not fit due to the limited space between the drip tray and the dispenser. However, the drip tray and bin are easy to slide out of the machine, making maintenance straightforward. 

Performance: The Nespresso Essenza Mini is a convenient coffee machine that is easy to use and clean and brews coffee quickly. It is perfect if you're looking for a simple and straightforward coffee experience. However, it has limited customization options, as it only offers two cup sizes, which are essentially espresso and double espresso. If you want to make a larger cup of coffee, you'll need to add hot water or milk yourself. The drip tray is also small, which could be a problem if you're using a larger cup.

Value: The machine costs around $179 at Nespresso, Amazon, Wayfair, etc. Other brands have similar basic pod machines, which cost less than the Essenza Mini. The Nespresso Vertuo Pop+ and VertuoPlus machines are also cheaper.

Read more: Nespresso Essenza Mini review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignCompact design with just two size options.★★★★
PerformanceA capable machine for espressos but the water tank needs refilling regularly.★★★★
ValueInexpensive and good value for a simpler design.★★★★★

The best single serve iced coffee maker

The best single serve iced coffee maker

Specifications

Type: Pod
Grinder?: No
Frother?: No
Dimensions: H11.5 x W10.2 x D12.6 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Range of brew options
+
Sleek and well-built design with a touchscreen control panel
+
Top-notch coffee quality with quick brew time

Reasons to avoid

-
B-Pods are pricey and have limited options
-
No milk frother or steamer included
Buy it if

✅ You like to have choices: This coffee maker offers a range of brew options, making it an excellent choice for those who want to customize their coffee according to their preference.
✅ You want something easy to use: The touchscreen control panel and fast brew time make the Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer very user-friendly.
✅ You want a sleek-looking appliance: The machine is well-built and looks great on any kitchen counter.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're unsure about B-Pods: The proprietary B-Pods are expensive, and the variety of options is not as extensive as other coffee makers.
❌ You want a milk frother: The lack of a built-in milk frother or steamer makes it challenging to create specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

The bottom line

🔎 The Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer is a sleek and easy-to-use pod machine that produces tasty coffee and espresso in under two minutes. It has a touch screen for customization, but the app isn't very useful. On the downside, there's a limited selection of pods available, and it can only brew up to 12oz ★★★★½

The Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer is a fantastic single-serve iced coffee maker that boasts versatility and user-friendliness. With its sleek design and intuitive touchscreen control panel, this coffee machine offers a range of brew options, making it an excellent choice for espresso fans who like to customize their coffee.

Design: The Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer is a sturdy and stylish machine with a user-friendly touchscreen control panel. It offers various brew options, although some may be restricted depending on the type of pod you use. The machine is a tad bulky compared to standard drip coffee makers, but it remains easy to handle. It employs B-Pods, which are similar in size to K-Cups but come with fewer options and a higher price tag. Unfortunately, the machine does not include a milk frother or steamer, making it less appealing to those who enjoy specialty drinks. However, you can always purchase a milk frother separately.

Performance: Our reviewer really likes the coffee from this machine. There are many options for brew sizes and styles, and using it is a breeze - all you have to do is insert a coffee B-Pod and let the machine do the rest. The brewing process is fast and surprisingly quiet, and it can even make espresso shots. While our tester didn't find the app particularly useful, it's neat to be able to keep track of your brews.

Value: The Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer is a great coffee maker, but it's expensive and has limited B-Pod options. The Keurig K-Supreme SMART Coffee Maker is a solid pick for a cheaper alternative. If you want to brew more than just single cups, the Ninja Dual Brew Pro is a great choice. But, if you want to make coffee house drinks, the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista is the way to go, although it's more expensive than the Bruvi.

Read more: Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer review

The best single serve K-Cup coffee maker

The best single serve K-Cup coffee maker

Specifications

Coffee type: K-Cup
Grinder?: No
Frother?: No
Dimensions: H13 x W9.9 x D12.7 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Large reservoir (75 oz)
+
Iced coffee option
+
Small, sleek design
+
Available in numerous colors

Reasons to avoid

-
Loose lid on water reservoir
-
No milk frother
Buy it if

✅ You like iced coffee: If you like iced coffee, you’ll like this coffee maker because there are different brewing options. From the strength and amount, you have full freedom over how you want your coffee made.
✅ You don’t want to constantly refill your water reservoir: For daily coffee drinkers, you might notice that you constantly need to refill your water reservoir. However, with the Keurig K-Elite, it’ll last you for several days since it’s so large (75 oz.) 
✅ You like an intuitive coffee machine: With a limited number of buttons, including those clearly labeled, it’s easy to select the settings you want without hesitation.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a more advanced coffee machine: Although it’s sleek and modern-looking, it can only brew hot and iced coffee. Unlike some of the brand’s other machines, it doesn’t offer the option to make lattes or cappuccinos.
❌ You’re looking to use a carafe: For some people, the ease of a coffee pod seals the deal. If you don’t envision yourself using coffee pods, then you won’t want to buy this machine, as it doesn’t have a carafe. 
❌ You’re looking for fancy features (milk frothers, etc.): Although this machine does have some programmable settings, it doesn’t offer additional features for the coffee itself (milk frothers, steamers, etc.)

The bottom line

🔎 Keurig K-Elite Single Serve Coffee Maker has a small, sleek design and a large water reservoir. This machine is easy to use and clean, and it quickly brews either hot or iced coffee. While not the most advanced, it makes good coffee quickly and efficiently. ★★★★½

The Keurig K-Elite Single Serve Coffee Maker is a great choice for those looking for a pretty standard, reliable machine that's easy to use without all the bells and whistles. Here's how it measured up across the following categories, according to our reviewer: 

Design: The Keurig K-Elite Single Serve Coffee Maker has a 75-oz water reservoir, a drip tray, and a water filter. Its contemporary design makes it suitable for a modern kitchen while remaining functional and not taking up a lot of space. The buttons can be seen from far away despite not being labeled, and they illuminate when selected for easy use. It is available in three colors: brushed silver, brushed gold, and brushed slate.

Performance: This machine offers a 'seamless' experience. Inserting your coffee pod and choosing your drink size—4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 ounces—is as simple as pressing a button. It's worth noting, though, that the cup sizes aren't written on the buttons; they're indicated only by pictures, so for your first use, you may need to consult the user manual.

This machine also doesn't make a lot of noise when heating up and brewing, and it's easy to clean, as the only removable element is the water reservoir, which can be put through the dishwasher. It brews a good cup of coffee you can make to your taste by selecting the 'strong' button before brewing. 

Value: The Keurig K-Elite Single Serve Coffee Maker makes a high-quality, tasty cup of coffee in less than five minutes. Like other Keurig coffee machine models, it is very lightweight and modern. It's more basic but slightly more elevated than the Keurig K-Select.  

That said, the K-Select is available at an approximate $30 cheaper price point, $69.99, on Keurig.com. If you're looking for a more elevated version, you'll want to check out the Keurig K-Supreme Smart Coffee Maker, which has five strengths and different temperature options.

Read more: Keurig K-Elite Single Serve Coffee Maker review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
Price & availability Great value on Amazon and Keurig.com★★★★
Design Chic modern design, perfect size for most kitchens.★★★★
Performance Quick heating time, little noise, makes good coffee.★★★★

The best retro single serve coffee maker

The Smeg Espresso Manual Coffee Machine adds retro vibes

Specifications

Coffee type: Beans
Grinder?: Yes
Frother?: Yes
Dimensions: 17.4 x 17.4 x 13.4 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Delivers rich, creamy coffee
+
Dual froth levels available

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very compact
-
Expensive
-
Only a few customizable options
Buy it if

✅ You love a splash of color: Just like many Smeg appliances, this espresso machine comes in various bright colors, including pastel blue, red, and green, adding some pizazz to your kitchen.
✅ Taste and consistency are important: Style without substance isn't desirable, but this machine consistently produced rich, aromatic espresso and frothy lattes during our testing.
✅ You’re often busy: If you want a quick coffee, the Smeg Espresso Manual Coffee Machine is quick to warm up, grind, and pour your coffee, ensuring you don’t get delayed in the kitchen.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You’re short on space: This espresso machine is bulky and heavy, so you won’t want to store it in a cupboard after every use.
❌ You’re easily confused: The manual controls can be tricky to get used to, so this coffee machine will require you to figure it out before you get into the flow.
❌ You want the ultimate customization: If you’re into experimenting with your coffee, you may find this machine lacks customizable settings.

The bottom line

🔎 The Smeg Espresso Manual Coffee Machine may be complicated to use at first, with all of its manual settings, but it produces great-tasting coffee every time, all while adding a retro vibe to your kitchen. ★★★★

The Smeg Espresso Manual Coffee Machine is a model every average coffee lover needs. It’s easy to use, produces a rich and creamy coffee without fail, and has enough customizable options to experiment without getting muddled. While coffee purists may find the machine too basic, it is excellent for novices and everyday coffee drinkers.

Design: For some, the Smeg's bulky, retro design and round edges might seem too cheap or colorful. However, for those who don’t mind a splash of color, it comes in various colors, including pastel blue, green, cream, white, and black. At 27 lbs, it’s too heavy to constantly shift around, so finding a suitable corner for your new kitchen staple is key. A sizeable 2.4-litre tank is provided, which is helpful if you brew coffee for the household.

The built-in grinder is handy, providing 15-stage grind size settings similar to those offered by a separate grinder. The Smeg Espresso Manual Coffee Machine is quiet, although the many manual controls are initially confusing and overwhelming.

Performance: You can also make a standard single or double espresso. When it comes to taste, the high water pressure and adjustable grind settings work together to create a rich, creamy coffee. The steam wand, equipped with two froth levels, also works well even on the lowest froth setting.

Value: Smeg appliances have a reputation for their retro look and great quality, so it’s no wonder that the espresso machine is more expensive than some, at $899. It's also more expensive than the Smeg ECF01 coffee machine, but it builds upon the previous model's features by adding a milk frothing wand and multiple espresso size options.

Read more: Smeg Espresso Manual Coffee Machine review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignCool retro design but the manual controls can be overwhelming.★★★★
PerformanceProduces great coffee quickly and has customizable options.★★★★
Price and availabilityAt $899, it's an investment but a smart one.★★★★

How to choose the best single serve coffee maker for you

If you're here reading this, you're likely on the hunt for a brand-new coffee maker, and you want quality and value for money. To help you decide if a single serve coffee machine is the right choice for you, it's worth considering these things first: 

What type of coffee do you like to use?
If you prefer drip filter coffee, which you can make lots of, keep warm, and go back to for more whenever you want, then a single-serve machine isn't the right choice for you. If you prefer to use pods for quick espresso-style coffee, the single-serve machine is perfect.

If you're buying a coffee maker for the first time and have no preference over a carafe or pods, I would recommend the Keurig K-Duo, as this machine gives you the choice of using a carafe AND pods - the best of both worlds. Whatever you prefer, it's worth noting that multi-feature models with a carafe and take pods will be more expensive than most single serve machines, but you are paying for that freedom of choice. 

Do you prefer to grind your beans?
While coffee pods are great, a built-in grinder for fresh coffee beans is a great idea if you prefer to buy whole beans and grind them for that real barista experience. Do remember, though, how messy grinding at home can be and how to properly dispose of those coffee grounds afterward. There are lots of ways to reuse coffee grounds; they also make amazing compost and even insect repellent.

What size coffee maker is right for you?
If you want coffee fast, a smaller single serve machine that heats up faster and gets you a single cup quickest will be perfect for you—also, the smaller the machine, the fewer parts to clean. 

Consider if you want other 'fancier' features
Some people want a straightforward coffee maker that'll pour out a nice hot espresso - simple as that. However, it's good to think about if you'd prefer more advanced features, such as a timer, to start brewing your early morning coffee ready for when you wake up. Or 'Auto-Pause' controls -  so you don't have to wait for the machine to finish brewing to grab a coffee mid-brew. Do you want accessories like a steam wand or milk frother to create lattes and cappuccinos? 

All these things are worth considering, as they can often affect the price. 

How we tested the best single serve coffee makers

Even though testing coffee makers is fun, we take it seriously so that we can provide reliable feedback and information to help you make the best purchasing decisions possible. 

To do this, our experts take a couple of weeks to test each coffee maker thoroughly we review. This gives them enough time to set up the machine, clean it before use, and select coffees to see how it performs. Our reviewing criteria focus on ease of set-up, the settings and functions, cleaning/maintenance, and (most importantly) how the coffee tastes.

If the reviewer uses the coffee maker for more than a few weeks, we test for longevity, like how it descales and maintains itself. It is important to know how to look after your machine in the long run. 

Find out more about how we test coffee makers, plus other appliances and yard tools.

Best single serve coffee makers FAQs

How much do single serve coffee makers cost?

Depending on the brand, make, and model, single-serve coffee makers can easily range in price from as low as $50 to more than $200; it all depends on the level of functionality you want from your coffee machine. Even the more affordable single-serve machines still produce excellent coffee and offer enough features to make them a great addition to your kitchen, not to mention save you money on buying takeout coffee.

It's worth considering costs when choosing between a pod machine and one that uses ground coffee. Pods can be quite pricey over time, especially if you sign up for a monthly subscription, so that's worth considering. 

How do single serve coffee makers work?

In filter-based drip coffee machines, pre-ground coffee is added into a compartment; sometimes, the machine comes with a built-in grinder for the beans. After water is added to the reservoir, the coffee machine heats it before slowly feeding it through the ground coffee. Some machines let you vary this drip rate, going slower to create a stronger blend. The coffee drips out into the jug/carafe, which usually sits on a hot plate, to ensure that liquid gold stays hot or directly into your mug, as with drip-style single-serve machines. 

Most single serve coffee makers are pod-only machines, but a few use either or both methods. With disposable pods, it's a similar process as above, only at high pressure and producing a smaller amount of espresso-style coffee. Always remember to recycle used pods. 

How to clean a single serve coffee maker

The main areas that need cleaning are the same across most coffee machines: the coffee compartment, the water reservoir, and the jug. Those last two can usually be removed and either hand-washed in soapy water or run through the dishwasher, but the coffee area can sometimes require a little more work.

With some machines, you can remove the coffee feed area and knock the grounds out into the compost before rinsing and placing them back into the machine. Some machines are less simple and use disposable filters that need to be removed, often meaning the machine may need a clean-out, too—always make sure you remember to do this to avoid any moldy nastiness.

The best coffee makers often feature easy-clean options worth looking out for. These can make your life much easier and can also ensure you have the freshest coffee and best-tasting results from your machine. 

We absolutely love coffee here at Top Ten Reviews, and we've reviewed plenty in our time, so we've gathered lots of helpful information on how to best care for coffee machines. Keeping your single-serve coffee machine clean is the best way to guarantee its longevity. Check out our handy guides, some with brand-specific info, like how to descale a Keurig with vinegar, how to clean a Keurig, and how to clean a Nespresso machine

Victoria Woollaston
TTR Contributing Editor

Victoria Woollaston is a freelance lifestyle and technology journalist with almost two decades of experience reviewing gadgets, beauty tech and household appliances for the likes of WIRED, TechRadar, Expert Reviews, Alphr and more. 

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