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11 Best Coffee Makers For Dorms in 2024

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This is a review of the best coffee makers for college dorms. Read on and save money otherwise spent on Starbucks coffee.

Having been a student, I understand the importance of having coffee for homework and tests. All while saving money. That’s why I built this list of great coffee makers.

I chose the Nespresso Vertuo Plus as the best because it saves you money otherwise spent on a coffee grinder, isn’t messy, and is compact. All of which brew a perfect machine that’ll fit in a dorm room and not require much maintenance.

nespresso vertuoplus

Nespresso Vertuo Plus: Best Overall

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 12.7 × 8.7 × 12.8 in (D, W, H)
  • Water Capacity: 40 fl oz = 8 cups
  • Milk Frother: No
  • Machine Type: Capsule coffee maker
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Warranty: 1 year

You may find it too expensive or not fitting to your tastes. I provide alternatives.

Let’s save some money on coffee.

Best Coffee Makers for College Dorm Rooms

Top Coffee Makers for Dorms

I ensured most coffee makers on this list will fit in small dorm rooms and won’t take up too much time in a student’s busy schedule.

Each mini review will cover the machine’s pros and cons, who it’s best for, noteworthy features, and an overview of why I picked it.

Presenting—the king of all dorm room coffee makers.

1. Breville Nespresso Vertuo Plus: Best Overall

nespresso vertuoplus
Price *$$$
Dimensions12.7 × 8.7 × 12.8 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity40 fl oz = 8 cups
Milk FrotherNo
Machine TypeCapsule coffee maker
Warranty1 year


  • Compact.
  • Can adjust water reservoir position.
  • Accommodates many coffee sizes.


  • No built-in milk frother.
  • Can’t program to turn on at specific time.

The Nespresso Vertuo Plus is ideal for those seeking convenience and variety in their daily coffee ritual.

A capsule coffee machine operates by inserting a coffee capsule into the machine and pressing a button. The machine reads the barcode on the capsule, adjusting its brewing parameters accordingly to extract the perfect flavor.

Its quick heat-up time and diverse coffee options make it a perfect fit and investment for busy students.

This type of machine is best for those who value simplicity and consistency in their coffee-making process. This convenience comes with an environmental impact due to the waste produced by the used capsules.

Nespresso Vertuo machines, unlike their Original counterparts, supports the following cup sizes [1]:

  • Espresso: 1.35 fl oz
  • Lungo: 2.7 fl oz
  • Mug: 5 fl oz
  • Alto: 8 fl oz
  • Carafe: 18 fl oz

Because of this flexibility, you could have an espresso shot to wake you up for your first class. Or a carafe full of coffee for all-nighters.

Speaking of your first class, you likely don’t want to be late. The machine will heat up in 20–25 seconds and brew in less than a minute. Then it’ll automatically power off after 9 minutes.

If you truly want to optimize your schedule, buy a smart plug that’ll automatically turn it on when you wake up. While you freshen up and get dressed, it’ll brew coffee. And once you’re ready, snag your coffee and dash to class.

Do you have a compact dorm room? Shave a couple of inches off the machine’s width by shifting the water tank’s position toward the machine’s rear.

You’re out of luck if you want to make lattes, though. Unless you get an Aeroccino (Nespresso’s automatic milk frother). If you get one, I recommend bundling it with the Vertuo Plus to save money.

Consider the next pick if you want more control over your coffee’s taste.

2. Gaggia Classic Pro: Most High-End Option

Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine
Price *$$$$
Dimensions8 × 9.5 × 14.2 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity / Enough for71 fl oz = 71 solo shots
Milk FrotherYes
Machine TypeSemi-automatic espresso maker
MaterialsStainless steel
Warranty1 year


  • Professional-grade steam wand.
  • Robust components & casing.
  • Easy to operate.


  • Takes long time to heat up.
  • Doesn’t include pre-infusion.
  • Lacks temperature control.

The Gaggia Classic Pro is perfect for coffee connoisseurs seeking control over their espresso preparation.

A semi-automatic espresso machine, the Gaggia Classic Pro, allows you to control the extraction process. It’s ideal for a college dorm room as it offers a hands-on coffee experience within a compact design.

The machine’s single boiler heating system prevents it from allowing you to froth milk and brew coffee simultaneously. It’ll also make the coffee maker take 10–15 minutes to warm up. Not ideal for anyone who is frequently in a rush.

Despite the boiler type, it’s built to resist corrosion and scale buildup. Fantastic for longevity.

It also doesn’t include precise temperature control features like Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) [2]. Something that allows you to micromanage your machine’s and drinks’ temperatures. 

You also won’t see pre-infusion.

Many high-end espresso machines around this price range also include pre-infusion. A feature that’ll gently wet beans before brewing helps extract more flavors and create a more aromatic beverage.

Why include it in the list at all?

Many espresso enthusiasts I’ve met and encountered have nothing but great things to say about this machine. It’ll outlive its warranty due to having high-quality components and casing. Which allows you to have a high-quality coffee maker after moving out of your dorm.

And it has a steam wand that’ll allow you to make lattes and cappuccinos that feel like they’re from coffee shops. Due to the wand’s excellent steam pressure and the ability to control it.

It’s also simple to operate. It doesn’t include a bunch of knobs, which would take a lot of time out of your day.

Since this machine produces steam and isn’t the quietest appliance, I’d recommend this only if you have a private dorm room with ventilation. Otherwise, you’ll risk pissing off roommates.

If you’re looking for affordability, I got you covered.

3. Hario V60: Most Affordable Student Coffee Machine

hario v60
Price *$
Dimensions4.7 × 5.5 × 4 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity / Enough for10 fl oz = 1 6-fl oz cup
Milk FrotherNo
Machine TypePour-over
Warranty1 year


  • Different materials support various use cases.
  • Portable.
  • Affordable.


  • Has a steep learning curve for beginners.
  • Requires time and attention during brewing.
  • Not ideal for brewing coffee for groups.

The Hario V60 is ideal for coffee fans who value control and precision in their brew

It’s a manual pour-over coffee maker. You pour hot water over coffee grounds in a filter, letting it drip into your cup. This process, requiring your full attention, is perfect for those who enjoy the ritual of making coffee.

This specific pour-over coffee maker uses a flat-bottom design, allowing more water flow. The design choice results in a more balanced cup of coffee due to even extraction. However, they’re more challenging to clean due to the ridges.

Hario offers this model in 3 material types: ceramic, stainless steel, and glass:

  • Ceramic: The first is best for general use.
  • Stainless Steel: Best for traveling thanks to its thick body.
  • Glass: Best for flavor, due to not leaking any chemicals into your coffee.

I wouldn’t recommend this coffee maker if you study in groups and are the designated coffee maker. Because it’s meant for brewing single cups of coffee, which require your attention throughout the brewing process.

You must add the filter, then the grounds, and finally the water. Meanwhile, you’ll need to master a pouring technique to extract the most flavor from your beans. However, some YouTube videos or reading the manual should expedite the learning curve.

You’ll also need a way to boil water. If you’re looking for a coffee maker that doesn’t require electricity, you’re technically out of luck. Unless your university has a kitchen where you can boil water. From there, you’d dump the boiled water over your beans.

Get this maker in that scenario, if you have 5–10 free minutes in your day to brew coffee, and have the patience to brew. Otherwise, stick with a Nespresso or Keurig.

Speaking of the devil, here’s a Keurig.

4. Keurig K-Duo Plus: Best Iced Coffee Maker for Dorm Rooms

keurig k duo plus
Price *$$
Dimensions15.88 × 7.68 × 14.19 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity / Enough for60 fl oz = 12 5-fl oz cups
Milk FrotherNo
Machine TypeCapsule coffee maker
MaterialsStainless steel & plastic
Warranty1 year


  • Offers K-cup & ground coffee functionality.
  • Programmable.
  • Uses a thermal carafe.


  • Constructed with seemingly cheap plastic.
  • Lacks standard features like temperature control.

The Keurig K-Duo Plus is perfect for those balancing taste and convenience, offering ground and pod brewing.

The K-Duo Plus is a capsule coffee machine. Capsule machines, like this one, use pods filled with ground coffee. You pop the pod in, press a button, and voilà. These machines are ideal for people with busy schedules who don’t want to compromise on flavor.

This Keurig maker offers the most flexibility of all the models thanks to its ability to brew single cups of coffee or in a thermal carafe. Then, the adjustable water reservoir allows you to strip a couple of inches off the machine’s width to fit better on smaller desk tops.

The fact it’s a thermal carafe means you’ll have coffee that remains hot for a couple of hours after brewing without a warming plate. A feature that usually burns coffee that sits in a glass carafe.

If you’re sick of K-Cups, you could opt for ground coffee. Though, I recommend using pre-ground coffee or beans you grind at a grocery store. Because you won’t want to deal with having a grinder in your dorm.

They’re loud, messy, and expensive.

It’s programmable. Meaning, you set a specific time for the machine to power on and brew. That’s great if you want it to brew coffee before you wake up.

All these features sound great, yet the machine’s affordable. What’s the catch? Its casing uses a cheap-feeling plastic.

Otherwise, Keurig couldn’t competitively price this machine. However, that material choice means it won’t last as long as stainless steel machines. Plus, you must pay extra attention to how you treat this machine to extend its life.

Descale and clean it regularly. And don’t smack it around.

If you need a smaller machine, consider the next mini-review. 

5. Nespresso Vertuo Next: Best Small Coffee Maker for Dorm Rooms

nespresso vertuo
Price *$$
Dimensions16.8 × 5.5 × 12.4 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity / Enough for37 fl oz = 7 cups
Milk FrotherNo
Machine TypeCapsule coffee maker
Warranty1 year


  • Offers a variety of beverage sizes.
  • Bluetooth & Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Heats up quickly for use.


  • Bluetooth & Wi-Fi connectivity isn’t practical.
  • Lacks an included milk frother.

The Nespresso Vertuo Next is ideal for coffee enthusiasts seeking convenience and variety in their daily cup.

This machine operates on capsules. Insert a Nespresso capsule, and the machine brews your coffee. The hassle-free process makes it perfect for busy college dorm living.

This is Nespresso’s most compact Vertuo machine. A Vertuo machine differs from the Original machines due to being able to brew more coffee sizes and black coffee. Instead of just espresso.

Making it an excellent option for those living in tight quarters, yet want to have variety with coffee.

You could connect it to the Nespresso app via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but only to know when the machine requires descaling. That’s nice for eliminating guesswork on when to clean it. But I was hoping for the ability to program your machine to brew at specific times.

To compensate for this weakness, get yet another Wi-Fi device (a smart plug) and power it on when you want to brew. After brewing, it’ll power off after 2 minutes, which is a boon for folks constantly in a rush.

Speaking of—it’ll take 30 seconds to heat up and less than a minute to brew. Giving you coffee quickly.

Like most Nespresso machines, it doesn’t include a milk frother. You must buy a separate one to make milk-based espresso drinks like lattes and macchiatos.

Look no further if you’re searching for a more portable option.

6. AeroPress Go: Best Portable Coffee Maker for Dorms

aeropress go portable coffee press kit
Price *$
Dimensions5.3 × 3.9 × 3.9 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity / Enough for8 fl oz = 1 cup
Milk FrotherNo
Machine TypeAeroPress
MaterialsPlunger seal: siliconePlunger & chamber: BPA-free polypropylene
Warranty1 year


  • Lightweight & portable.
  • It is easy to produce tasty, strong coffee.
  • Well-built, compact, & reasonably priced.


  • Smaller capacity than the original AeroPress.
  • The included filter holder doesn’t like to stay closed.

The AeroPress Go is ideal for coffee lovers who value portability and fast brewing times.

How does an AeroPress work? You place coffee grounds and water in the chamber, then plunge. Its compactness and easy cleanup make it a dorm room favorite.

Despite being portable, it requires ground coffee beans and paper filters for brewing. You’ll need a portable coffee grinder or pre-ground beans. I recommend the latter for a more consistent grind.

As coffee grinders in grocery stores will outperform a majority of manual coffee grinders.

The AeroPress doesn’t have much of a learning curve and will last long due to its thick plastic body. Making it an ideal tool to take hiking or while you’re vacationing during time off from school.

Meanwhile, it’s compact and doesn’t require a plug outlet to work. Ideal for tiny dorm rooms that have no free electrical ports. And since it’s compact, it’s not ideal for serving multiple folks. If you tried, it would take you a while to do so.

As you must perform the brewing and cleaning process multiple times.

Otherwise, many folks have complained about the filter holder not remaining closed, which could increase its chance of being messy. And since it’s a portable coffee maker, it doesn’t include any way to froth milk.

Here’s an alternative that’ll allow you to get sweet lattes.

7. Ninja DualBrew Pro: Best Coffee Maker for Dorm with Milk Frother

ninja dualbrew pro
Price *$$
Dimensions9.13 × 11.39 × 15.54 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity / Enough for60 fl oz = 12 5-fl oz cups
Milk FrotherYes
Machine TypeDrip coffee maker
Warranty1 year


  • Offers pod & ground coffee brewing.
  • Hot & boiled water dispenser.
  • Fold-away frother.


  • No reusable filter.
  • Did not include manual.

The Ninja DualBrew Pro is perfect for those requiring versatility in their coffee routine, offering options for single-serve and carafe brewing.

A drip coffee maker sends hot water through a filter containing ground coffee. This brewing method results in a flavorful extraction. It’s an ideal choice for a college dorm room, due to its simplicity, efficiency, and compact size.

As it lets students savor a gourmet coffee experience amid their busy schedules.

Don’t want coffee?

Use the boiled and hot water dispenser for tea, instant soup (and noodles), or whatever else. And if you don’t want to deal with messy coffee grounds, opt for using K-Cups, which the DualBrew supports.

They’ll create less of a mess and likely produce consistent-tasting drinks.

Yes, it demands a lot of counter space. However, you could fold the massive water reservoir behind the machine to shave several inches off the appliance’s width.

This machine has a million features. Some include:

  • 4 brew styles: Control flavor extraction of your coffee.
  • Programmability: Tell your machine when to brew coffee.
  • Warming plate: Keeps glass carafe warm for hours.
  • Supports 9 cup sizes: Small Cup, Cup, XL Cup, Travel Mug, XL Travel Mug, 15 oz, 30 oz, 45 oz, or 60 oz (Full Carafe).
  • Removable water reservoir: Makes for easy cleaning & refilling.

The drip coffee maker is nice for people who want black coffee. However, it doesn’t include a reusable filter like many coffee makers in this price range. Such filters would have eliminated the need for single-use paper filters and save money in the long run.

It also didn’t include a manual, which required folks to research online how to clean, descale, and operate the DualBrew Pro.

I almost forgot about the milk frother. It’ll allow you to froth milk to make latte-like drinks. And thankfully you can hide it by folding it into the machine. If you invite people to your room, you won’t have to burn their eyes with the frother’s unsightly appearance.

Do you need coffee for only yourself? Here’s a pick to consider.

8. Nespresso Pixie: Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker for Dorms

Price *$
Dimensions9.25 × 4.4 × 12.8 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity / Enough for20 fl oz = 4 cups
Milk FrotherNo
Machine TypeCapsule coffee maker
MaterialsStainless steel
Warranty1 year


  • Easy to use.
  • Fast heat-up time of 25 seconds.
  • Energy-saving mode.


  • No milk frother or steamer.
  • Can’t schedule time to brew.
  • No descale notifications.

The Nespresso Pixie is ideal for coffee lovers needing fast, high-quality brews in a compact design.

This machine is a capsule coffee maker. It requires you to insert a coffee capsule. And with a button press, the machine pierces it, runs hot water through it, and delivers your coffee.

This ease and speed make it perfect for a college dorm room, where space and time are often at a premium.

Are you sick of the cheap plastic bodies of most Nespresso machines? The Pixie outlasts its counterparts with a stainless steel body. Allowing it to withstand wear and tear much better, which means you’ll have a reliable coffee maker once you graduate.

So long as you treat it right.

The Pixie comes from Nespresso’s Original line, which can only brew espresso beverages. And not the milk-based ones (e.g., macchiato) due to the lack of a milk frother. Get a Aeroccino milk frother, and you’ll fix that issue.

This is Nespresso’s most compact model overall due to its small width. Making it perfect for small areas. Moreover, it’ll heat up in 25 seconds and automatically power off after 9 minutes of brewing.

It’s a college student’s dream machine, since it’ll give you a cup of concentrated coffee within a short time window. Then it’ll help save money on potential electricity costs by turning it off.

It doesn’t offer Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity. A feature some of Nespresso’s other machines offer that would give you the means to know when it’s time to descale your machine. You’ll have to pay attention to your coffee’s taste.

If it tastes funny, then you’ll know it’s time to descale—clean out mineral buildup.

And you can’t set a specific time to brew coffee. Fix that by buying a $20–30 smart plug that you schedule to power on whenever.

Don’t want to buy a smart plug? Here’s a machine you can program.

9. Mr. Coffee Pod and 10 Cup Space Saving Combo Brewer: Best Programmable Coffee Maker for Dorms

mr. coffee pod and 10 cup space saving combo brewer
Price *$$
Dimensions15 × 8.1 × 15.8 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity / Enough for20 fl oz = 4 cups
Milk FrotherNo
Machine TypeCapsule & drip coffee maker
MaterialsStainless steel & plastic
Warranty1 year


  • Buttons are on the machine’s front.
  • Features a thermal carafe for heat retention.
  • Removable water reservoir.


  • Water reservoir only accessible in machine’s rear
  • No automatic power-off.

The Mr. Coffee Pod and 10 Cup Space Saving Combo Brewer suits multi-taskers and space savers who cherish versatility and speed.

As a pod coffee maker, this machine uses coffee capsules to serve a quick, hassle-free cup. Insert the pod, press the button, and coffee pours out. Making it ideal for a busy college dorm room.

As the efficiency and minimal clean-up time means more time for studies or sleep-ins.

Most coffee manufacturers, for some reason, love placing buttons on the machine’s sides, which makes them a pain in the “A” to access if other appliances surround your machine. Mr. Coffee’s maker has them in the front.

That’ll make it easier for you to tell your coffee maker when to brew. No need to reach around to your machine’s side. Despite the win in design choice in this area, the water reservoir design choice isn’t ideal.

I get why they need it in the machine’s rear—due to its compact size. But why not make a window to know how much water remains? If other appliances or desktop items block the reservoir, you’ll need to move your stuff to know when to refill.

Thankfully, the water reservoir is removable. If you don’t have a sink in your dorm, you could remove the water tank and take it to a dining area to clean and refill it.

Let’s talk about the carafe. It’s stainless steel, which keeps your coffee hot for hours without a warming plate. It’s also durable, so you won’t risk shattering the carafe if you bumped into it.

I wish the machine automatically powered off before use, especially considering its price.

And the machine will support K-Cups and ground coffee. If you want more “traditional” coffee, opt for pre-ground beans. Or, for quick, mess-free drinks, use the pods.

You might want a quieter coffee maker, though.

10. Cafec Flower Dripper: Quietest Coffee Maker for Dorms

cafec flower dripper
Price *$
Dimensions14 × 4.25 × 3.75 in (D, W, H)
Water Capacity / Enough for10 fl oz = 1 6-fl oz cup
Milk FrotherNo
Machine TypePour-over
Warranty1 year


  • Allows for precise control over the brewing process.
  • Unique flower design enhances the extraction of coffee flavors.
  • Doesn’t require any electronics.


  • Requires separate water boiler.
  • The brewing process can be time-consuming and requires attention.
  • The ceramic material, while durable, can break if dropped.

The Cafec Flower Dripper is perfect for coffee connoisseurs who enjoy the ritual of brewing.

This is a manual pour-over coffee maker.

In this brewing method, you heat water and pour it over coffee grounds placed in a filter. The water drains through the coffee into a carafe or mug. Manual pour-over brewers best serve those who love the craft of making coffee and savor the nuanced flavors it brings out.

This coffee maker isn’t electronic, meaning it won’t make any noise. Perfect for anyone who has roommates. Since you could brew coffee at the butt crack of dawn without risking waking anyone up.

So long as you could access boiled water. If your building has an electric water boiler, or hot water dispenser, you could have the means to brew your coffee. And since the Cafec’s small, it’s portable.

Ensure you don’t drop it. Ceramic is fragile and can shatter if it suffers from impact.

The flower-shaped design and flat bottom help this maker extract more flavor from your beans. Since you’re optimizing water distribution and packing beans into your coffee maker. Unlike with cone-shaped designs, which require fewer beans.

Get this maker if you have patience and time. You have full control over your drink’s flavor. You must pay attention to how much water you pour and how it’s poured. Otherwise, you risk a bad-tasting drink.

If you need something with more automation, and you live outside the US, consider this last pick.

11. Nespresso Inissia: Best Coffee Maker for Dorms, UK

nespresso inissia
Price *££
Dimensions12.6 × 4.6 × 9.1 cm (D, W, H)
Water Capacity / Enough for703 ml = 4 cups
Milk FrotherNo
Machine TypeCapsule coffee maker
Warranty1 year


  • Features a very compact design.
  • Comes with an easy-fill lidded water tank.
  • Includes an energy-saving mode.


  • Water reservoir is located in the machine’s rear.
  • Can’t program to brew at a specific time.

The Nespresso Inissia is ideal for UK college students due to its rapid heat-up time, compact design, and easy-to-use pod system.

This is a pod coffee maker. Users insert a pre-packaged coffee pod and press a button to brew. Compact and effortless, it’s perfect for college dorm rooms where space is premium and convenience a priority.

You can’t schedule the machine to brew at a specific time. If you’re just tuning in, in previous points I recommended that folks get a smart plug to counter this weakness. Because you’d set a time for the machine to turn on.

And once it turns on, it’ll take only 25 seconds to heat. It takes less than a minute to brew your drink, then its energy-saving mode will power it off after 9 minutes. All these features contribute to a perfect coffee machine for students in the United Kingdom.

Because you’ll have a quick espresso ready before class without worrying about whether you turned off your machine.

Then, the compact design makes it fit in smaller rooms that don’t have much space for desks.

The water reservoir is difficult to access due to being located in the machine’s rear. If you have anything above your machine, good luck accessing it. Plus, the location makes it difficult to gauge when to refill.

However, it’s removable. If you need to take it to a sink outside your room, do so without carrying the entire machine.

That’s all for coffee maker reviews. Now learn whether you’re buying the best coffee maker.

How to Choose the Best Coffee Maker for Dorms (Buying Guide)

Consider the following factors when shopping for a coffee maker for a dorm room:

CriteriaImportance for Students
Coffee Maker SizeA smaller size is essential for dorm rooms due to limited counter space.
Drinks You Can MakeCaters to different taste preferences & study moods.
Machine Type: Pods vs. Ground BeansPod machines offer convenience & easy cleanup, while ground bean machines allow for fresher coffee.
FeaturesAdds convenience & safety, especially during busy study periods.
Time to Heat & BrewFast heat & brew times are ideal for busy students needing a quick caffeine boost before class.

Use the above checklist as examples of what to consider. And use it as inspiration to create your own checklist. As everyone’s preferences will differ.

The following sections will emphasize each point further and help you make the right purchasing decision.

1. Size

When shopping for a coffee machine, college students must consider size. Dorm rooms are often small, so a compact machine is a wise choice. It fits on a desk or countertop, leaving room for other essentials (like books).

While larger machines may have more features, they can prove cumbersome in a small space. They may offer more brewing options or a larger water reservoir, but the trade-off is the space they occupy.

Balance functionality with space efficiency. A smaller machine can still brew a great cup of coffee without overwhelming your limited space.

2. Drinks You Can Make

You’ll need to know what you can make with a dorm room coffee maker. Here are examples:

AmericanoCortadoLong macchiato
Black EyeGuillermoRápido y Sucio
CappuccinoGalãoCafé Crema
Dripped EyeIrish CoffeeFreddo Cappuccino
Flat WhiteCafé MediciAffogato al Caffe
LatteCafé BreveMocha
Lazy EyeVienna CoffeeCubano
Manilo Long BlackMacchiatoZorro
Red EyeEspresso RomanoMarocchino
Black coffeeVietnamese coffeeEspresso shots

If you get machines like the Gaggia Classic Pro and Nespresso Original line of machines, you can only make espresso-based drinks.

Breville’s Nespresso Vertuo machines will also allow you to make black coffee. As will Keurigs, drip coffee machines, pour-over makers, and AeroPress’.

None of the above machines (except the Gaggia) include milk frothers or steam wands, which are essential to make drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. Being in a dorm, you likely don’t want to buy a bulky milk frother that’ll demand extra space.

I have a solution.

Buy a $7.00 small, battery-powered immersion blender. After cleaning, store it in a desk drawer. Or get an automatic milk frother like an Aeroccino.

3. Machine Type: Pods vs. Ground Beans

Capsule coffee machines offer convenience and consistency, brewing single servings using pre-packaged coffee pods. Drip coffee makers brew larger quantities of coffee, using ground coffee and water.

For university students in dorms, capsule machines provide quick, mess-free coffee with minimal cleanup. Ideal for busy schedules.

Drip coffee makers are more cost-effective and better for serving multiple people. Making them suitable for group study sessions or social gatherings.

1. Capsule Coffee Makers

Best for: Students who value convenience & consistency in their coffee.


  • Easy to use: Just pop in a capsule & press a button.
    • Saves time, especially during hectic mornings.
  • Variety of flavors: Capsules come in a wide range of flavors & strengths.
    • Catering to diverse tastes.
  • Minimal cleanup: Used capsules are easy to dispose of.
    • Reducing mess in shared spaces.


  • Cost per cup: Capsules could cost up to $998 per year [3] **.
    • A potential issue for budget-conscious students.
  • Limited to single servings: These machines brew 1 cup at a time.
    • Not ideal for group study sessions.
  • Environmental impact: Used capsules can contribute to waste.

** Cost of Nespresso Original capsules each year if someone drinks 4 shots a day for 6 days a week.

Capsule coffee makers offer convenience and variety, but can be costly and less environmentally friendly. They’re ideal for students who value ease and consistency, but may not be as cost-effective as drip coffee makers for those on a tight budget.

2. Drip Coffee Makers

Best for: Students who enjoy making larger quantities of coffee.


  • Cost-effective: Generally cheaper than buying capsules.
  • Brews multiple cups: Ideal for serving several people at once.
    • Perfect for group study sessions or social gatherings.
  • Customizable strength: You control the coffee-to-water ratio.
    • Allowing for customization of coffee strength.


  • More cleanup: Requires cleaning after each use.
    • Can be time-consuming in a busy student schedule.
  • Longer brew time: Takes longer to brew a pot of coffee compared to a capsule.
  • Inconsistent results: Taste can vary depending on the coffee-to-water ratio & the quality of the ground coffee.

Drip coffee makers are more cost-effective and better for serving multiple people, but require more effort and time.

They’re ideal for students who enjoy the traditional brewing process and need to serve coffee to multiple people, but may not be as convenient as capsule coffee makers for those with busy schedules.

4. Features

Features that’ll make coffee making during your dorm life include:

Coffee Maker Features for StudentsWhy the Feature is Useful in a Dorm Room
Quick Brew TimeMinimizes waiting, great for busy study schedules.
Auto ShutoffPrevents accidents if forgotten in early morning rushes.
ProgrammableCan set to brew ahead, providing coffee on waking.
Single Cup OptionPrevents waste, suitable for single users.
Built-in GrinderSaves space & money on buying a separate grinder.
Easy to CleanTime-saving feature, reduces chores & maintenance.
Travel Mug CompatibilityDirectly fills a travel mug, perfect for classes on the go.
Quiet OperationWon’t disturb roommates during late night or early morning brews.
Energy EfficiencySaves on electricity costs, environment-friendly.
Affordable PriceGood for student budgets, doesn’t break the bank.
Durable & ReliableLasts longer, withstands rough usage common in dorms.

I mentioned many Nespresso makers throughout this post. That’s because they usually have these features:

  • Compact
  • Auto shutoff
  • Quick to brew
  • Easy to clean
  • Quiet(ish) operation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Affordable

They also don’t require grinders since you’re using Nespresso pods. Grinders are nice, however, I wouldn’t recommend getting one—or a machine with an integrated one—while living in a dorm. They’re loud, messy, and demand a lot of desk real estate.

Speaking of Nespresso makers. Many of the Vertuo models are compatible with travel mugs, since they’ll also brew black coffee. If these machines are too pricey, consider Keurig machines. They also use pods and are often compatible with various cup sizes.

5. Time to Heat & Brew

A fast-warming coffee machine is a game-changer. It saves precious time during those early morning rushes or late-night study sessions.

Nespresso machines, known for their speed, typically heat up in just 15–20 seconds.

Other dorm coffee makers can take a bit longer. Traditional drip coffee makers usually take about 10 minutes to heat up and brew a full pot. Single-serve machines, like Keurigs, can take around 1–3 minutes to heat up.

Invest a bit more, high-end espresso and drip coffee makers can heat up in fewer than 5 minutes. These machines often feature advanced systems like dual boilers or sophisticated temperature monitoring, which allow for this quick heat-up time.

Having a fast-warming coffee machine means less waiting and more time for studying, socializing, or catching those extra minutes of sleep.

FAQs for Dorm Room Coffee Makers

Still here? Check out these questions people frequently ask about coffee makers for dorm rooms.

Can You Bring a Coffee Maker to a College Dorm?

Yes, you can bring a coffee maker to a college dorm. It depends on the specific rules of your college. Some institutions may have restrictions on certain types of appliances for safety reasons. Always check your college’s housing policy.

Our Verdict

In summary:

Breville’s Nespresso Vertuo Plus tops this chart because it meets all the criteria for an ideal coffee machine for dorm rooms. It’s compact, brews quick, doesn’t leave a mess, and is somewhat affordable.

nespresso vertuoplus

Nespresso Vertuo Plus: Best Overall

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 12.7 × 8.7 × 12.8 in (D, W, H)
  • Water Capacity: 40 fl oz = 8 cups
  • Milk Frother: No
  • Machine Type: Capsule coffee maker
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Warranty: 1 year


  • * Price will vary by model, manufacturer, and vendor.
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Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create
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