The best single-serve coffee makers come in many shapes and sizes.
Keurig and Nespresso are the most dominant brands in this space, with a stranglehold on pod-based and capsule-based machines. We review all of their range in depth right here:
We also include plenty of options today from both of these powerhouse brands if you want the total simplicity of push-button coffee.
We will also highlight some dual-brew coffee makers that function well as single-serve machines. With these models, you can use both pods and freshly ground coffee for the most flexible brewing experience.
Beyond this, we’ll also throw in some manual coffee makers offering an alternative to the traditional French press.
While there is no substitute for a semi-automatic espresso machine if you want authentic espresso, not everyone has the time, space, or budget for this.
If you have no idea what to look for when comparing the best single-serve coffee makers, focus on the following pointers and you’ll have no problem choosing the right one for your needs.
So, if you want the convenience of coffee in less than a minute without resorting to a cup of instant coffee, dive in and explore our single-serve coffee maker reviews.
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The 16 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers
1. Our #1 Pick: Keurig K-Mini
Our favorite in today’s collection of the best single-serve coffee makers comes from Keurig, the brand responsible for kickstarted the single-serve revolution.
The K-Mini is one of the most popular models in this manufacturer’s deep bench of super-convenient capsule-based machines. Choose from hundreds of K-Cup pods, both proprietary Keurig blends and those from brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.
Aside from the push-button convenience delivered, perhaps the key selling point here is the remarkably small form factor. This machine measures just 5 inches across, making it the perfect choice for crowded kitchens, apartments, and dorm rooms, as well as the home kitchen.
Despite the compact footprint, you can slip tall travel mugs under the Keurig thanks to the removable drip tray.
The one-cup reservoir is not to everyone’s taste. If you have a large family all crying out for coffee in the mornings, you might find this tiresome to keep refilling. You can then brew any cup size you fancy from 6oz through 12oz by pressing a button.
Auto-shut-off is a nice touch and the machine powers down after 90 seconds of inactivity, conserving energy and preventing any accidents.
As with all Keurig machines, the water temperature stops slightly short of the recommended minimum for making coffee. If you’re prepared to accept this, you get one of the most convenient and user-friendly single-serve coffee makers on the market.
2. Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
Ninja is perhaps most famous for their Dyson-rivalling vacuums, but they also make some first-class coffee machines. How does this model stand and fall, then?
Well, this is among the most flexible of all the machines we review today. You can choose from the following 4 brew types:
This machine allows you to brew an intense coffee concentrate similar to espresso in intensity. Enjoy this neat or use it as the base for longer coffees.
If you fancy latte, cappuccino, or macchiato, the Ninja lets you make creamy coffees with ease. A fold-away milk frother onboard gives you the chance to take full control over the steamed milk and foam you need for these specialty coffees.
You get just as wide a choice when it comes to brew size, with 6 different options at your fingertips.
Although you benefit from all this functionality, the Ninja is also pleasingly simple to use, so you’re in safe hands even if you’re not the greatest tech lover.
The removable water reservoir has a 40oz capacity and couldn’t be easier to clean and refill.
Use your favorite fresh coffee beans and grind them directly before brewing to enjoy single-serve convenience without needing to rely on pods or capsules.
Whether you want a single cup of coffee or a whole carafe, this machine lets you enjoy your coffee just the way you want it.
3. Keurig K-Duo Plus
Another entry from the mighty Keurig next with the K-Duo Plus. If you’re not certain whether you want to use freshly ground coffee or pods, you don’t need to compromise on either with this machine serving double duty.
With a 12-cup capacity, you can confidently whip up coffee for all the family in the morning without needing to constantly top up the tank.
The thermal nature of the stainless steel carafe ensures there is no taint to the coffee in your cup, and it also helps to keep any leftovers warmer for longer.
You can position the water reservoir on either side, maximizing your options with placement on the kitchen counter.
As with all Keurig coffee makers, you might find the water temperature is slightly too low for your liking. If you’re a coffee purist, you should look elsewhere, but if you’re shopping based primarily on convenience then you can’t go wrong.
One of the key advantages of this machine is its highly programmable nature. Come downstairs in the morning to a fresh pot of coffee brewed, or return home in the evening to a house filled with the smell of coffee and a brimming carafe waiting for you.
For lovers of super-strong coffee, the intense options lets you enjoy this at the push of a button without tinkering around.
Overall, this is a highly effective coffee machine giving you a great deal of flexibility and the chance to use K-Cup pods or ground coffee to taste.
4. Keurig K-Cafe
Next up on our quest for the best single-serve coffee makers is another model from the inimitable Keurig. How does the K-Café stack up, then?
If you like shorter black coffees as well as long and creamy concoctions, you can cater for all your whims with this flexible machine.
Offset on the right-hand side is a manual milk frother. Use this to whip up some milk and foam for latte, macchiato, or cappuccino on demand. While automatic milk frothers are undeniably convenient, a manual frother lets you stay in complete control over your drinks.
The pod-based nature of this Keurig makes it an incredibly convenient way to drink coffee. All you need to do is slip in one of the 400+ K-Cup pods, add some water, and push a button. The drawback is a slightly tepid coffee which doesn’t use freshly ground coffee, so only you can decide whether this is a worthwhile tradeoff for coffee on demand.
The auto shut-off kicks in after a couple of hours of inactivity, powering the machine down.
While this model is compatible with Keurig’s permanent filter, this does not come bundled. Pick this up separately if you want to widen your menu and enjoy freshly ground coffee as well as K-Cups.
Ideal for making a broad array of different beverages, this is among the best single-serve coffee makers in a crowded market segment.
5. Hamilton Beach Scoop Single-Serve Coffee Maker
Hamilton Beach make some superb coffee machines that are priced firmly in budget territory without stiffing you on the performance front.
The first thing that strikes you about this machine is the design. Despite the budget price point, you get stainless steel in place of plastic and a coffee maker that makes a commanding visual statement.
Fortunately, it’s not a case of style over substance. The mesh filter serves double-duty as a coffee scoop, so you can measure your freshly ground beans with ease.
If you’re looking to brew a single 8oz cup, this will be ready in just 90 seconds. In less than 3 minutes, you can fill a large travel mug for your morning commute, great news if you are always rushing around in the morning.
The stainless steel build means this machine can withstand plenty of rough and tumble. Even though this is one of the cheapest single-serve coffee makers out there, you can expect plenty of faithful service from this thing.
Bold coffee is accessible at the push of a button, allowing you to ramp up the strength of your brew when required.
Aside from a handful of gripes about customer care issues, this is one of the best single-serve coffee machines you’ll find.
6. Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker
Next up comes a discontinued model from the Nespresso line. Given the fairly hefty price tag and the fact this model has been superseded, we feel you have plenty of stronger options, but read on if you’re looking for a powerful and portable coffee machine.
Use any Nespresso capsules from the Original Line in this machine. These older capsules do not use barcode recognition, so you can get away with using a wider variety of capsules.
The choice of drinks on offer here is limited. As a dedicated espresso maker, you should avoid this machine unless you’re looking for quick and easy shots without the involved process of a semi-automatic espresso machine. If you want longer espresso, lungo is available at the push of a button.
The high-pressure pump can generate up to 19 bars of pressure, more than enough for the 9 bars recommended when making authentic espresso.
Unlike Keurig single-serve machines, the water temperature is higher here, so you should get a superior extraction.
As long as you don’t mind that this model has been discontinued, the Pixie remains a valid purchase.
7. Keurig K-Classic
Keurig enters the fray once more, this time with the K-Classic. This flagship model is one of the most popular of the brand’s large stable of single-serve machines, and with good reason.
To kick off, the K-Classic is currently offered at an attractive discount, so act quickly and grab yourself a bargain for the looming holiday season.
Like with all Keurig machines, you’ll enjoy an enviable selection of more than 400 different blends of coffee, so everyone in the family can find a K-Cup pod they like.
Ease of use is another common characteristic of Keurigs, and the K-Classic is one of the most beginner-friendly single-serve solutions out there.
You can use a permanent filter if you prefer to use freshly ground coffee – this will always yield a superior cup of coffee – although you’ll need to pick up the filter separately.
Make 6oz, 8oz, or 10oz coffees with push-button ease and without spending a fortune with the Keurig K-Classic, one of the best single-serve coffee makers out there.
8. Cuisinart Programmable Coffee Maker
Cuisinart is a kitchenware specialist with a handful of great coffee machines, including this highly programmable and flexible model offered at an extremely keen price point.
If you have a bigger family and you’re tired of endlessly topping up the coffee machine, you’ll appreciate the substantial 12-cup capacity of this machine.
The ability to program this machine through 24 hours is ideal for anyone who wants to walk in and enjoy piping hot coffee ready to serve.
Your coffee is dispensed one cup at a time to cut down on waste. The thermal reservoir will hold up to 12 small cups of coffee inside, with the double walls improving insulation.
A gauge much like you find for the fuel tank in your car shows you how much coffee remains in the machine, making this one of the most user-friendly coffee makers out there. The interface is straightforward to navigate and the overall experience super-smooth.
The only real complaints we could find among a sea of positive user reviews concerns the amount of sediment that ends up in your cup. As long as you don’t consider this a deal-breaker, you’ll find this machine is a dream to use.
9. Nespresso Lattissima Pro
Another Nespresso machine up next in the form of the Lattissima Pro. How does this model differentiate itself in a crowded pack?
Firstly, you will need to dig deep for this model, one of the most expensive single-serve machines out there. As long as you can weather the price tag, what do you get for your money?
Surprisingly, and in spite of the price, there is quite a lot of plastic on display. The stainless steel color adds a touch of elegance to an otherwise reasonably brittle machine.
The Lattissima Pro comes into its own in terms of performance, though.
Arguably the main benefit is the cappuccino system baked in. This automatic frothing takes the sting out of making latte and cappuccino, allowing you to make creamy coffees like a barista by pressing a few buttons.
None of the milk will come into contact with the machine, and the tank is removable and also dishwasher-friendly for ease of cleanup.
The centerpiece of this machine is a highly effective espresso maker, with a pump rated at 19 bars giving you all the pressure you need for authentic short shots.
The remarkably rapid heating time – this is due to the thermoblock heating system – means you’ll never be waiting around for coffee again.
There is space inside for up to 15 used capsules, making this a low-maintenance machine across the board, and one of the best single-serve coffee makers out there.
10. Cuisinart Single-Serve Coffee Maker
Another Cuisinart up next as we power through our curated list of the best single-serve coffee makers.
While at a glance this machine looks like a hunk of stainless steel, it’s plastic painted to look that way. IN return for this preponderance of plastic, you’ll benefit with a very attractive price tag.
Unlike many cheap coffee machines, though, the Cuisinart won’t let you down when it comes to quality or performance.
Use any K-Cup pods to enjoy a choice of hundreds of blends to suit you and your whole family, as well as any guests.
The advantage of this model is the hot water on demand function, widening your drinks menu substantially and allowing you to drink tea, hot chocolate, or infusions, as well as all your favorite pod-based coffee.
A charcoal water filter included helps you get your coffee off to the strongest start and ensures you get a crisp, clean taste.
Aside from some minor grips about spillage, almost all user reviews for this Cuisinart single-serve are overwhelmingly positive.
11. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio
Next in line is the first of two iterations of the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew. This dual-brew coffee maker allows you to use either freshly ground coffee or K-Cup pods to taste.
Anyone looking to save space in the kitchen will appreciate having access to two different brewing systems in one, and the FlexBrew is a great idea if you live in an apartment or have a kitchen already overflowing with appliances.
The single-serve side of the machine lets you use any of the hundreds of K-Cup pods glutting the market when you feel like coffee at the push of a button.
If you want to make a whole carafe, this model bundles a permanent filter making this possible. The glass carafe has capacity for up to 12 small cups, ideal for the whole family.
The carafe side of the machine is programmable, too, so you can come downstairs in the morning to find your coffee ready to drink. Brew pause allows you to snatch a quick cup before the brewing cycle is complete if you are in the kitchen and waiting.
Like all the best 2-way coffee makers, this Hamilton single-serve comes equipped with a pair of independent water tanks to streamline operation.
With a quick brewing time of just 3 minutes, this is a powerful and versatile addition to any kitchen, and comes in especially valuable if space is at a premium.
12. AdirChef Single-Serve Coffee Maker
Next up for something slightly different with the AdirChef personal coffee maker. This nifty single-serve machine lets you brew directly into a travel cup for the most convenient way to start your day.
Using this machine couldn’t be easier. Grind some of your favorite coffee beans right before brewing and add them. Top it up with water, push a button, and enjoy great coffee in less than a minute.
The coffee is brewed into a large thermal travel mug. Grab this stainless steel gem filled with coffee and make your trip into work less unpleasant. The highly insulated nature of the tumbler means your drinks will stay hotter for longer, too.
All plastic components are free of BPA and other toxins that might otherwise leach into your drink.
The compact and lightweight nature of this single-serve machine means it’s great for travel purposes, and it also works well in small or crowded kitchens.
As a crowning bonus, the travel mug is also dishwasher-friendly, giving you a seamless experience from bean to cup and one of the best single-serve coffee makers up for grabs.
13. AEROPRESS Coffee and Espresso Maker
The AEROPRESS is an innovative device delivering a full-immersion brewing experience similar to a French press but with less bitterness.
You may have spotted these neat little devices in artisan coffee shops, and they are becoming increasingly popular in the home kitchen.
There is a slight initial learning curve involved, and this puts some people off. Stick with it and once you master the simple technique, you’ll be enjoying gourmet single-serve coffee with very little effort indeed.
Each pressing generates between 1 and 3 cups of espresso-style coffee. You won’t have the pressure to make authentic espresso, but the intense and concentrated coffee is a pleasure to drink.
Unlike a French press, you won’t need to wait around for 5 minutes. Brew coffee the right way in 2 minutes flat with no electricity required. This ensures the AEROPRESS is a faithful travel companion, too.
You get everything you need included, right down to some spare disposable filters.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the welter of Keurig and Nespresso machines dominating this market segment, look no further. The AEROPRESS deserves the hype it gets and is one of the best single-serve coffee makers out there.
14. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew
As we near the end of our single-serve coffee machine reviews, we have another iteration of the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew.
Living up to its name, this is one of the most versatile single-serve machines. Use any of the hundreds of K-Cup coffee pods when you want push-button ease, or opt for your favorite blend of beans freshly ground if you fancy a longer coffee.
This model comes in 3 different colorways to suit, all with rather too much plastic on display. That said, build quality is reassuringly solid, and we couldn’t find any complaints about lifespan, despite the budget pricing.
When you use fresh coffee grounds, you can brew up to 14oz of coffee, ideal for filling larger travel mugs.
The brisk brewing time of 3 minutes cuts out the waiting around that can accompany drip coffee makers. The single-serve side, of course, is quicker still, delivering coffee in less than a minute with no messy cleanup to consider.
The compact footprint of this model means it’s a smooth fit for kitchens where space is at a premium.
Aside from some gripes about the amount of noise this model kicks out, most user testimony is glowingly positive, so why not give the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew a shot?
15. Presto MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker
Anyone looking for a convenient travel coffee maker will appreciate the Presto MyJo. You won’t need any electricity, so there’s no excuse not to enjoy your favorite coffee, even if you’re camping, fishing, or out on the boat.
Using the MyJo couldn’t be simpler. Add some off-boiling water and then pop a K-Cup pod into the machine. Next, attach the pump and the water reservoir and simply pump the water through the pod.
Markings allow you to fill up the reservoir for a 6oz, 8oz, or 10oz brew.
Silicone is designed to stay cool to the touch, so you can handle this single-serve coffee maker with confidence and no concerns about scorching your fingers.
The only real blowback we could find concerning this model involves the valves. Several users report these wear out extremely quickly.
If you’re looking for the push-button ease associated with single-serve coffee makers, this model will initially disappoint. Once you use it and realize how easy getting great coffee is, you’ll wish you invested in the Presto MyJo years back.
16. Mueller Coffee Maker
Last but certainly not least in today’s roundup of the best single-serve coffee makers comes from Mueller, but is it any good?
In a word, yes. The compact footprint means this model will fit just about anywhere on the kitchen counter. It makes a good choice for anyone living in an apartment or studio, too.
You can use a wide variety of pods in this machine to get single-serve convenience and push-button ease, at the same time as minimizing cleanup. You won’t be locked into using proprietary pods either.
The 10oz water tank could be larger, but you need to make some sacrifices to achieve these space-saving dimensions.
The brewing time of just 3 minutes ensures you won’t be pestered by the family crying out for coffee in the mornings.
In terms of ease of use, this machine is hard to beat. All you need to do is add some water and a pod then push a single button.
Aside from a very short warranty and some reported snags with customer care, this is an affordable and highly effective contender for the best single-serve coffee maker.
1) What are the key benefits of a single-serve coffee maker?
Convenience is the main draw. Whichever type of single-serve coffee maker you choose, you’ll get gourmet results with no waste, often at the push of a button. Rapid brew times, minimal waste, and easy cleanup are the other main benefits of single-serve machines.
2) What are the drawbacks of a single-serve coffee maker?
Many pods and capsules are tough to recycle, so using a single-serve coffee maker is not the most eco-friendly way to make coffee. Some people dislike the taste of capsule-based coffee, finding it slightly artificial. If you are using pods or capsules, the coffee will already be past its freshest when you pick it up off the shelf.
3) How can I clean a single-serve coffee maker?
Cleaning most single-serve coffee makers is straightforward. Some machines come with descaling functions and recommended solution. Alternatively, top up the water reservoir using equal parts water and vinegar. Run a brewing cycle without using a pod. Run a few more cycles to flush away the vinegar and you’re good to go.
4) What are K-Cup pods?
K-Cup pods are terrible for the environment but give you convenience and coffee on demand with no wastage. You use these pods for Keurig single-serve machines, as well as some other third-party machines.
5) Is it really worth using freshly ground coffee?
Yes, it is. Coffee beans degrade very quickly when exposed to the elements. Both the flavor and aroma will be affected. By grinding your beans right before brewing, you will prevent this degradation. With pod and capsule coffee, by contrast, the coffee is already past its freshest by the time it hits the shelves. If you want the best quality coffee in your cup, use fresh beans ground directly before brewing.
6) Which single-serve machines are better, Keurig or Nespresso?
This comes down to personal preference, although each brand comes with their own strengths and weaknesses. Keurig offers an unrivalled choice of coffee, with over 400 blends sure to meet your liking. Their machines are cheap – many of them, anyway – and they are also very easy to use. The serious drawback with Keurigs is the low water temperature, below the minimum recommended by the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association). Nespresso offers arguably superior coffee with equal ease. Some of these machines (the 2.0 models) have barcode recognition systems, locking you into the proprietary capsules. Overall, Nespresso machines are probably the superior option when you’re looking for the best single-serve coffee maker.