Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: July 27, 2021
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Looking for that energy booster to get you up and awake every morning of the week? Well, a single-serve coffee maker may be exactly what you need! This is one of the quickest ways to prepare your favorite beverage and get that morning jolt you need every day. And we’re here to make sure you get the best single-serve coffee maker!
In compiling this guide, we reviewed more than 30 coffee makers in the market and rounded off with the top ten. Our editor’s choice, the Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, is mentioned at the top of our list and is our absolute favorite because of the short brewing time, different brew sizes and automatic functions. Nine other products are also included to help you pick the one that best suits you.
Various online and off-the-net sources were referenced to provide you with a guide that covers features worth considering when buying a single-serve coffee maker. These include coffee types, capacity, dimensions, weight, and warranty. Carefully read about each of them as they form the cornerstone of your purchase. To help you with the buying process, our team has compiled a summary table to give you a bird’s eye view, along with detailed product reviews and an extensive buying guide. Moreover, frequently asked questions by the consumers are also listed at the end of the article so that all your doubts are cleared beforehand. Finally, our verdict narrows down three of the products that we liked the most. This way, you’ll make a well-informed decision that you won’t regret!
One of the best single-serve coffee makers of all time, the Keurig’s K Classic is our top choice. This coffee maker is well-liked by users and offers everything the office or home brewer could ask for.
It can brew up to 6 cups of coffee with the help of its 48-ounce water reservoir, giving you that much needed wake up call morning after morning! A self-cleaning function makes maintaining the coffee maker super easy, and a removable drip tray will allow you to fit a travel mug in there. You can select the size of the cup to the minimum to achieve the strongest and boldest brew with K-cup pods or ground coffee. The best part about this machine is that the coffee gets ready in less than a minute, and you can start your day right away!
On the downside, it can be a bit heavy and bulky weighing in at just over 10 pounds and standing tall at 13.3”. However, that makes the product more durable, stable and easier for you to access the water tank and clean the machine. Additionally, this machine will automatically shut-off as soon as the cup of your favorite beverage is ready.
The best option this amazing single-serve coffee maker by Hamilton gives you is what they like to call ‘The Scoop’ – brewing directly into a travel mug! In just about 90 seconds, this single-serve coffee maker can brew 8 oz. cup for you. And a 14 oz. travel mug will take just about two and a half minutes. That is why many people love this unit.
This measuring scoop is also a stainless steel filter where you put ground coffee. Simply slip that scoop with coffee into your maker, make sure there’s water, and just push the button! One of the best parts about this single-serve coffee maker – no pods, filter papers, or capsules are required.
It also features a switch for bold and regular brewing, and the ‘bold’ brewing is recommended for more finely grounded coffee. One issue that can arise is that overfilling the coffee scoop can result in spills. However, with this reusable filter, the whole brewing process is simplified. With a single push of a button, you will enjoy your cup, and you also don’t have to worry about switching it off, as it will do that automatically.
What are its best features?
Stainless steel measuring scoop is also a filter
Easy and fast brewing
What could be improved?
Overfilling the coffee filter may result in spills
For avid coffee drinkers who prefer a barista-style coffee, the Nespresso Pixie by Delonghi is one option they should definitely consider. One of the best single-serve coffee maker for lattes, this Delonghi is a high-end model that produces flavorful coffee with the help of a high-pressure pump that will fully extract the notes of the coffee beans, making it a praiseworthy brewer.
It is a fast and simple alternative to barista-style coffee, and this makes sure that a trip to the local café is not that necessary (unless you’re in the mood to go out!). You can choose different Nespresso Original capsules to make sure that the coffee is exactly to your taste.
One disadvantage is that it is quite loud when operating. However, the unit can brew exactly that size and strength that suits your taste, and you just have to press the button to do so. Moreover, it quickly heats water from the tank in less than thirty seconds. If you want to minimize the consumption of energy, the shut off occurs after nine minutes. Even though it’s expensive compared to an average coffee maker, it is designed to give you some of the best tasting coffee that’ll keep you longing for more! You can also buy Aeroccino separately for this machine.
The Keurig K-Mini is one of the slimmest coffee makers you’ll come across, making it the best compact single-serve coffee maker on our list. Thanks to the sleek and space-saving design, it can fit almost anywhere and is perfect for small spaces and offices. It delivers delicious, freshly brewed coffee from your favorite K-cup pods or ground coffee in minutes.
This maker produces the right amount of coffee you need by brewing cup sizes from 6 oz. to 12 oz. For the K-Mini model, fresh water needs to be added for each brew. It’s also travel mug friendly, and a removable drip tray will hold mugs that are up to 7.0″ tall. The unit will also hold an accidental brew so you can conveniently clean it. This versatility is what makes us call this model the best coffee maker with a compact design.
Compared to other brewers, this coffee maker takes a bit more time to brew, which puts it at a disadvantage. Its sleek yet simple design will meet all the modern-day requirements of the avid coffee drinker. The Keurig is available in a number of matte-finish colors. If you have a kitchen with tight space or small office space, then this coffee maker can be an ideal choice.
This coffee maker comes in five vibrant colors and is considered to be a simple pod brewer. The weight is just less than three pounds, making the Chulux very portable. It stands just 9.4” tall, which makes it a good option if you have tight spaces. A locking lid and a power button are also attached.
It can easily fit a cup with a maximum height of 5.3”, but unlike the previous model, this coffee maker is not travel mug friendly. Furthermore, the water reservoir is small at 12-ounces, which means that the user will have to measure it carefully and refill it before each brew. But it’s inexpensive price tag makes it a great option for those of us who’re not willing to break the bank because it is still a decent brewer.
Moreover, this maker is compatible with all standard pods and can be operated very easily with the help of one button. Automatic shut off function ensures that energy is saved, and you are not going to expect high electricity bills. If you’re a regular traveler and have an RV, then decorating your RV kitchen with this cute brewer in one of your favorite colors isn’t bad either!
The Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single Serve Brewer is a versatile unit that’s compatible with K-Cups. Also, you can easily use multiple coffee types you like as the coffee maker comes with a reusable filter cup. With the help of the gigantic 72-ounce water tank, the Cuisinart SS-10 doesn’t require refilling after each cup. It brews five different cup sizes: four, six, eight, ten and twelve ounces.
The reason why this Cuisinart coffee maker has a competitive edge over others is that it boasts a ton of features, such as the programmable brewing that allows you to set a specified time as the coffee maker has a digital screen along with the clock. A hot water button is also very useful if you want to make other beverages like tea. Water temperature can also be adjusted depending on the brew. However, despite this gadgetry, some people didn’t like that their coffee maker didn’t have a brew strength selection. And a few others complained about water not being hot enough. Still, this astonishing versatile coffee maker comes with a three-year warranty to ensure that your product is going to last for a longer period.
Another great unit on our list – the Chefman InstaCoffee Single Serve Coffee Maker. It’s a highly compact brewer that makes one cup at a time. It can brew from 6 to 14 oz. of coffee, depending on how much water you add. You can also select between Keurig K-Cup pods and ground coffee. The product weighs only 4 pounds and is very easy to move from one place to another.
A removable drip tray allows you to fit small travel mugs, and this coffee maker brews coffee quite fast. You can also activate the self-cleaning function by pressing both buttons on the side to make the cleaning process way simpler.
Some users have complained about the machine being too frail and fragile compared to other coffee makers. Besides, not everybody likes to pour water in it because the area is too small. On the other hand, the product does have a one-year warranty in case you encounter any defects upon delivery. Lastly, many people loved the customer service and their fast responding time.
What makes it stand out?
Amazing customer service
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Complaints about the product being too frail and fragile
One of the best single-serve coffee and espresso makers on the market is the Nespresso GCC1-US-GM-NE. It features Centrifusion technology that can brew both espresso and coffee with the touch of a button.
As this coffee maker is Nespresso compatible, the first welcome pack contains 12 Nespresso Grands Crus capsules to make sure that you can start right away. It is also designed to be used with two capsule sizes; the small capsule size is to brew espresso, and the large one is for coffee brewing. The GCC1 model has code reading and capsule recognition technology that blends coffee for specific parametric brewing.
The capsules can also be inserted and ejected easily, and there is no hassle when it comes to cleaning. However, the main drawback here is that it has limited compatibility with only specific Nespresso capsules, namely the Nespresso VertuoLine capsules.
On the other hand, with its fast processing, the water can be heated in 15 seconds! You can put up to 54 oz. of water in the removable reservoir, while the container for used capsules can hold 17 capsules. Moreover, this unit has a convenient shut off function after nine minutes of inactivity.
What makes it special?
Capsules can be inserted and ejected easily
Code reading and capsule recognition technology
Easy to operate
What cons did we find?
Only compatible with Nespresso VertuoLine capsules
The Senseo Original Coffee Pod is uniquely designed and produces flavorful coffee at the touch of a button. The coffee operating system is hassle-free as the machine uses pre-measured coffee pods. It is easy to clean and will provide fresh, delicious beverages every time.
The design is beautifully made into a curved cylinder, which has a round base. There are two pod holders – one is a deep filter that will hold two of them for two cups while the other one is made shallow to hold one coffee pod per cup.
One of the best features of this machine is that the brewing process is simplified and is very easy. You can brew up to ten 4-oz cups with its generous reservoir capacity. The coffee maker also has many removable parts, like the water reservoir, the plastic drip tray, pod holders, coffee spout, and the metal cup tray. All of these are also dishwasher safe. A one-year warranty comes with your purchase, which is helpful in case of any faults or design issues. As there have been some user complaints on leakage issues, the Senseo warranty can surely come in handy!
The Illy Y3.2 Espresso/Coffee Machine is incredibly easy to use. It will effortlessly prepare coffee and espresso with a click of a button.
The coffee maker features two cup settings and can be easily adjusted to fit almost any cup size to ensure that the user can enjoy drinking coffee in their favorite mug.
This unit requires Illy iperEspresso Capsules to make coffee or espresso just the way you like it. They provide a barista-style coffee that’ll make sure you don’t drive all the way for it.
The machine is somewhat fragile and thus has to be used carefully. Some users have also complained about leakage issues after initial usage. The brewer has a removable water tank with 25.4 oz. capacity, and there is an automatic ejection of used capsules. The drawer can hold up to 7 capsules at a time. As the water tank is removable, the cleaning process shouldn’t take much time. The coffee maker is quite compact, so it won’t take a lot of space in your kitchen. Moreover, its design and variety of available colors should fit any décor.
What makes it stand out?
Brews regular coffee and espresso
Two cup size settings
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Quite fragile unit
Things to Consider
With a huge variety of options available on the market, it can be tough to pick the best single-serve coffee maker. The following buying guide is designed to make your life easier and your decision-making process shorter. It will ensure that you have all the necessary information at your disposal to help you get your hands on the best product. Here, we are going to highlights features and specifications worth looking at before making your purchase. Continue reading, and you will learn everything you need to know about these units.
How to pick the best-single serve coffee maker
Picking the best single-serve coffee maker is about knowing what you should look at. We are going to take a closer look at different coffee types and brewing methods that these units offer. Next, we will learn more about their capacity, ease of use, brewing time, dimensions, warranty and some other important features. Finally, we will discuss the prices of these coffee makers. While reading, it can be a wise idea to take down some notes of what you want to get from your unit.
This is an important feature to consider when buying a single-serve coffee maker since there is a variety of coffee pods and capsules on the market. Many users prefer K-Cups as they provide constant brewing without error and a variety of flavors. However, the downside of K-Cups is the negative impact on the environment and that you can sometimes find poorer quality coffee. Still, they are very convenient and allow to make coffee incredibly fast.
Nespresso capsules, on the other hand, are 100% recyclable and have a low price tag. There is also a lot of different flavors. Since the capsules are sealed, their contents stay fresher over longer periods, and they’re just as convenient as K-Cups. The Nespresso GCC1-US-GM-NE coffee maker uses Nespresso VertuoLine capsules and boasts that it brews some of the best coffees your buds will ever come across!
Another popular method of brewing coffee is by placing ground beans into the reusable filter, as some of the units, just like the Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, allow you to enjoy your favorite consistency and flavor extraction.
You can also find Senseo pods and iperEspresso capsules, which are less popular, but still capable of providing a unique taste to your coffee cup.
Many people would argue about which coffee type is the best. Ultimately, it’s up to your tastes and personal preferences.
The amount of water you need to brew your beverages depends entirely on your usage. If you live in a large family and most of them love and crave coffee, then you need a coffee maker with a large water reservoir. The Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single Serve Brewer fits the bill in this case with its gigantic 72-ounce water tank that can be used to brew multiple cups. Each member can enjoy hot coffee instantly as they wake up in the morning and get the morning jolt they require. Moreover, this model has a hot water dispenser, which is perfect for cocoa, soups, or tea.
Capacity is also relevant when it comes to cup size. Some coffee makers are small and compact and can thus only cater to small cups. This is not good news for those of us who like a larger mug of coffee every morning. Therefore, if you are a person who needs more coffee, go for a unit that can support at least one travel mug.
Ease of use
Having complicated machines can make your mornings tiresome, and this is not the start of the day you were hoping for. Hence, ease of use is essential when you are hardly awake. For this purpose, go for a coffee maker with a one-touch operation. Many coffee makers nowadays are simple, so you only have to pour water in the reservoir, add coffee and press the button.
Coffee brewing time should be fast, as nobody likes to wait for their beverage more than a few minutes to get done. When you are half-awake, with your bed calling you back and you have to reach work on time, the only solace at the time is a hot and steaming cup of coffee. That cup of coffee gives you the will to get up and get to work. In this case, the Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker is one of the best options out there, as, alongside with many of its other features, it can brew coffee in less than a minute!
When it comes to buying any kitchen appliance, dimensions are an important factor to consider.
For small office space, an RV, or a small apartment, you should always check that the size of the coffee maker is also small enough to fit the space.
Many single serve coffee makers boast compact designs that can fit any kitchen and not look out of place. One such coffee maker is the Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker, which has dimensions of 12.1 x 4.5 x 11.3 inches. Although you can find even smaller models, none of them can offer that many features and reliability like this unit.
It is also necessary that a coffee maker should not be very heavy, as that will make it difficult to move and maintain.
A portable and light coffee maker can be placed almost anywhere easily. On the other hand, if your unit weighs more, that provides more stability. Also, a light weight of units is somewhat correlated with fewer features they offer compared to their heavier counterparts.
If you want your single-serve coffee maker to weigh as little as possible, go for the CHULUX Black Single Serve Coffee Maker. At just 2.31 lbs., it doesn’t lack any features and has a 3.5 bar pump and auto shut-off.
Some users have complained of leakage issues with their single-serve coffee makers, along with minor faults that can come with any device. Due to the low weight, some single-serve coffee makers are also fragile and may come with defects.
A warranty is very important since it ensures that your product and your money are protected. In case of any defects, you get your money back, or your unit replaced.
A one-year warranty is usually offered by most companies, and this gives you enough time to check your product and be satisfied with its manufacturing and workings. The Cuisinart takes that a step further, providing a three-year warranty with their SS-10 Premium Single Serve Brewer, allowing for both repair and replacement.
Other important features
Apart from the features mentioned above, you can find something else that makes the product more attractive to the user.
If you are someone who wants to pour a travel mug, then coffee makers with removable and adjustable trays are the best options for you. Moreover, some coffee makers have self-cleaning functions, and this makes sure you don’t have to spend a long time washing the appliance. Another desirable feature for a coffee maker to have is an auto shut-off option for more safety and better energy efficiency. Many coffee makers will shut off after 9 minutes, so that you save on your bills.
The most important factor when buying any product is the price tag attached to it. Many high-end single-serve coffee makers indeed have many different features that set them apart, but they also raise the price tag at the same time. With regards to price, you have to look at your budget and then decide which product to go for. Our list of ten products offers different units with unique features. Therefore, they may vary by price, and you can get the best one in your budget.
On the other hand, for people with a more generous budget, one can go for the Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker. It costs somewhere near $80 and allows you to use both K-cup pods and ground coffee. Moreover, it is one of the fastest appliances out there.
If you are looking for a premium model that can make both regular coffee and espresso, check the Nespresso GCC1-US-GM-NE that costs about $180. It boasts a large removable water reservoir, ease of use and comes with a welcome pack of capsules. Therefore, it is still a bargain as you get your own homemade espresso and coffee station.
It is not recommended at all to buy and use any other capsules or pods that are not specified by the manufacturer. With each product, the manufacturers highlight the capsules and pods that can be used, and not abiding by those instructions can be detrimental for your maker. For example, even with Nespresso products, some coffee makers are only compatible with a specific kind of Nespresso capsules like VertuoLine, so using other types of capsules even from the same brand or company is not always possible. As an alternative, you can always opt for ground coffee with K-Cup reusable filters. But do not buy any capsule or pod not mentioned by the manufacturer.
Cleaning single-serve coffee makers is not an arduous task, and many coffee brewers provide different cleaning features that reduce effort on your part. In some coffee makers, the used capsules are automatically ejected, and you don’t have to remove them manually. Moreover, some coffee makers have a self-cleaning option, so the units are cleaned automatically, making sure you don’t have to lift a finger. When doing it manually, it is recommended you carefully wash all the removable parts with lukewarm water after use.
The answer to this question depends on the model. Some units are very durable and are known to last as long as five years. However, cheaper appliances can break within months. If you stick to our list and buy a reliable unit, generally, it should work at least three years or more with proper maintenance. Most coffee makers come with a warranty that will take care of any issues that may arise. Quality products will serve you well, depending on how carefully we use them.
Now it’s time to announce the winners of this competition.
The Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker is the best option overall, in our opinion. It has a variety of functions, like the automatic shut-off and selectable brew size. It also makes coffee in less than a minute.
Lastly, the Delonghi Pixie EN 125.S stands out among the rest because it can make barista-style espresso with a high-pressure pump. Furthermore, it heats water quite fast and has an auto shut-off function.
We hope this guide can help you pick the best single-serve coffee maker that aligns with your needs and requirements. So, you can have that energy kick every morning!