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11 Best Single-Serve Coffee Makers in 2024

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This is a review of the best single-serve coffee makers. Read through this post and you’ll find a lot of amazing options.

As the only coffee drinker in my home, I want a great coffee maker that doesn’t take up too much room. That inspired me to create this guide.

I chose the Breville Bambino as the top pick because of its robust stainless steel body and ability to brew great-tasting coffee. Making it a no-brainer for folks who want an affordable, high-quality espresso maker.

breville bambino

Breville Bambino: Best Overall

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 13.7 × 6.3 × 12 in (D, W, H)
  • Water Reservoir Size: 47 fl oz = 47 solo shots
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Type: Semi-automatic espresso maker
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Does it Use Pods?: No

You may not care for espresso or may not want to pay so much for a coffee maker. I’ll provide a bunch of alternatives.

Let’s go.

11 Best Single-serve Coffee Makers for Home Use

  1. Breville Bambino: Best overall
  2. Hario V60: Most affordable
  3. Hamilton Beach Gen 3 FlexBrew: Best with no pods
  4. Keurig K-Supreme SMART: Best machine with a large water reservoir
  5. ESPRO French press: Best entry-level machine
  6. Nespresso Essenza Mini: Best for small spaces
  7. Cuisinart Single Serve Coffee Maker: Best maker with grinder
  8. De’Longhi Dinamica Plus: Best for offices
  9. Nespresso Vertuo Next: Best maker with pods
  10. Ninja DualBrew Pro: Best maker with milk frother
  11. Cuisinart Premium: Best maker, Canada

11 Top Single-serve Coffee Makers

Use single-serve coffee makers if you’re making coffee for yourself. I wouldn’t use it for entertaining groups, unless you specifically want to serve them espresso. As almost all espresso machines are single-serve.

I’ll cover various types of coffee makers. Whether drip coffee, capsule makers, French presses, and espresso machines.

Buckle in; we’re jumping into our first pick.

1. Breville Bambino: Best Overall

breville bambino
Price *$$$
Dimensions13.7 × 6.3 × 12 in (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size47 fl oz = 47 solo shots
MaterialStainless steel
Coffee Maker TypeSemi-automatic espresso maker
Warranty1 year
Does it Use Pods?No


  • Quickly produces delicious espresso.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Milk wand offers impressive flexibility.


  • Lacks a built-in grinder.
  • Portafilters can be difficult to detach.
  • Water tank at the back makes checking the level inconvenient.

The Breville Bambino is a dream for city dwellers with limited kitchen space, thanks to its compact size. Its rapid heat-up time makes it ideal for those needing a quick caffeine fix before rushing out the door.

It’s a semi-automatic espresso maker that’ll only brew concentrated coffee. Not black coffee. The “semi-automatic” part of the name means you must manually perform every step of espresso making except for temperature and pressure control.

When it comes to value, the Bambino punches above its weight. Despite its affordable price, it delivers espresso shots that rival those from pricier machines.

As with most espresso machines, the Breville includes a milk wand. It’s built well and lets you swivel it within your milk-frothing cup. Ideal for giving you more control when frothing or steaming milk for better-tasting cappuccinos and lattes.

Most parts are easy to detach (e.g., water filter), making cleaning easier. However, the water reservoir sits on the machine’s rear. Not ideal if you plant this thing under a low-hanging wall cabinet.

Give the machine enough counter space so you can rotate it to access the water tank. And once it’s time to remove the portafilter, good luck. You’ll need to put a bit of elbow grease into removing it.

The Bambino uses a single boiler, meaning you can’t steam milk and brew drinks simultaneously. But it uses thermocoil technology, which heats the machine in 3 seconds [1]. Ideal for making drinks quickly.

I couldn’t think of many cons with this machine besides the price, so I complained about the lack of a grinder. You’ll need to transport coffee grounds from the grinder to this one. However, it’s a godsend that there’s no grinder. Because it’ll be much easier to clean the Bambino.

This machine doesn’t support Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods. They’re circular cloth bags that look like tea bags and filled with pre-ground coffee. However, many folks claim you could place the pods in a pressurized grouphead.

But that won’t result in the best-tasting coffee.

Out of your budget? Check out the next pick.

2. Hario V60: Best Budget Single-serve Coffee Maker

hario v60
Price *$
Dimensions4.7 × 5.5 × 4 in (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size10 fl oz = 1 6-fl oz cup
Coffee Maker TypePour-over
Warranty1 year
Does it Use Pods?No


  • Offers various material options
  • Easy to clean after use
  • Affordable compared to other brewers


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

The Hario V60’s cone shape and spiral ribbed walls allow for a balanced extraction. Making it ideal for those who enjoy experimenting with different grind sizes and brewing techniques.

It’s a pour-over coffee maker. Place a paper filter in the Hario, then some beans, and pour water over it. From there, gravity sucks the beans’ flavors into your cup. It’s a portable and affordable way to control your coffee brewing fully.

It consistently delivers a bright, complex cup of coffee that rivals more expensive machines. Its easy cleanup and variety of material options, from plastic to ceramic, add to its appeal. Making it a worthy investment for any coffee lover.

Due to the lack of electrical parts, this machine doesn’t require electricity to run or descaling. It’s a great candidate for camping, off-grid living, or when the power’s out. However, it requires a learning curve.

You must determine your taste preferences, pouring techniques to extract the most flavor, and more. However, it’s worth it. So long as you’re patient and don’t mind babysitting the Hario as it brews.

Otherwise, your cup may overflow.

Despite its barrier to entry, it’s accessible with cost and cleaning. Just pull out the filter and clean any coffee residue from the cone.

As with all other pour-over coffee makers, it’s not ideal for groups of people. Unless they don’t mind you brewing a cup at a time.

Don’t want a ceramic V60? Opt for a glass, plastic, or copper one. I’d recommend glass if you’re not like me and break everything you touch. As glass won’t leak any chemicals into your coffee.

Here’s a coffee maker that doesn’t only require pods.

3. Hamilton Beach Gen 3 FlexBrew: Best Single-serve Coffee Maker With No Pods

hamilton beach gen 3
Price *$
Dimensions10.2 × 9.4 × 13.6 in (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size40 fl oz = 8 5-fl oz cups
Coffee Maker TypeDrip coffee & pods
Warranty5 years
Does it Use Pods?Yes & no


  • Offers single-cup or travel cup brewing capability.
  • Features an easy button-based control panel.
  • Includes a brew strength controlling feature.


  • Plastic casing.
  • No programmable feature for single-serve brewing.

The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew is a fantastic choice for multi-tasking parents. Thanks to its two-way brewing system that allows for a single cup or a full pot of coffee. It’s also a boon for those who appreciate variety, as it’s compatible with K-cup pods and ground coffee.

Use K-Cup pods or customized pods that allow you to use your own coffee beans. I recommend the latter for avoiding single-use pods. In that case, it works like a drip coffee maker without a filter.

It’ll spew water over the ground coffee and into your cup.

When it comes to value for money, the FlexBrew stands tall. Its versatility and features like auto-pause, programmable carafe brewing, and brew-strength control make it a cost-effective choice.

I love the FlexBrew’s simplistic buttons. BREW REG pours water over your beans/pod like normal. BREW BOLD takes things slower; allowing more flavor extraction. CUP SIZE lets you choose between 3 cup sizes—one being travel cups.

I wish I could appreciate the machine’s body. It’s made of plastic, which likely won’t withstand wear and tear. However, that cut corner allows Hamilton Beach to price this machine competitively.

And the 5-year warranty also puts me at ease when I contemplated whether I should recommend this machine.

Otherwise, you can’t program this machine to power on at a specific time. Not ideal if you want the machine to do all the work for you. You have to walk up to the device and press the buttons.

The horror. Anyway.

You must be a Keurig fan. Keep reading.

4. Keurig K-Supreme SMART: Best Single-serve Coffee Maker with a Large Water Tank

keurig k supreme
Price *$$
Dimensions13.4 × 8.3 × 12.4 in (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size78 fl oz = 15 5-fl oz cups
Coffee Maker TypeDrip coffee & pods
Warranty1 year
Does it Use Pods?Yes & no


  • Offers remote programming & control via smartphone.
  • Personalized strength, temperature, & cup size settings.
  • Removable 78-ounce water reservoir with a pitcher-like design.


  • Can’t use 5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Doesn’t make lattes or cappuccinos.
  • Cannot accommodate tall travel mugs.

The Keurig K-Supreme SMART is an ideal choice for households with diverse coffee preferences due to its ability to save 10 custom brews.

Keurig machines like this one will scan the inserted pod and adjust brew settings per its specifications. Providing coffee enjoyers a convenient way to try various coffee types without effort.

Despite being one of Keurig’s higher-end models, it offers excellent value for money. Its advanced features and the quality of coffee it produces make it a worthwhile investment. Particularly for those who regularly buy coffee from shops.

Since you’ll have great-tasting coffee without paying around $5.00 per cup.

Whoever designed this machine’s water reservoir is a genius and deserves an award. First off, it’s removable; allowing for easy cleaning and refilling.

Unlike most machines, the handle lets you remove it from the front instead of the back and top. Ideal for those who don’t have much available height on their counters.

Do you need to put this machine in a narrow area that doesn’t have a wall cabinet above it? The K-Supreme SMART is like a Transformer. Adjust the water reservoir’s position to the back, and you’ll have almost a couple of inches of extra space.

I digress:

Control your machine via voice or an app with Google Home or Alexa. Also, use the app to adjust temperature, brew type, and cup size. You must connect the coffee maker to Wi-Fi when doing this.

And it can’t be through a 5 GHz connection. Has to be 2.4 GHz [2].

Now for the cons. It’s not tall enough to support travel mugs and due to a lack of a milk frother, it can’t make cappuccinos or lattes.

Beginner? Here’s something for you.

5. ESPRO French Press: Best Single-serve Coffee Maker for Beginners

espro french press
Price *$
Dimensions4.2 × 6.6 × 9.9 in (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size32 oz = 6 5-oz cups
MaterialPlastic & glass
Coffee Maker TypeFrench press
Warranty1 year
Does it Use Pods?No


  • Better “press” design.
  • Easier to clean than expected.
  • Less grounds mix with coffee due to design choices.


  • Doesn’t keep coffee hot for long.
  • More parts in the filtration system increase cleanup.

The ESPRO P3 French Press is a boon for solo coffee fans who crave a clean, sludge-free brew every morning. Its solid metal stem and double micro-filter ensure a grit-free cup of joe.

It’s a French press. Place your beans at the bottom of the coffee maker, add hot water, and let suction and immersion extract your beans’ flavor as you pull the plunger.

The ESPRO P3 French Press is worth the investment for those who prioritize convenience. Despite the need for experimentation to find the perfect brew ratio, the resulting coffee is rich and full-bodied. Justifying its price for true coffee enthusiasts.

Why not recommend any other French press?

This one includes a fine and ultra-fine mesh filter. Instead of placing your beans in the bottom of the maker, you’d put them in the filter. This mitigates the risk of grounds getting into your French-pressed coffee.

A common issue I’ve had with these types of coffee makers. And because of this, you’ll have better-tasting coffee.

Usually, this type of coffee maker has spiral plates that rest on cross plates. Both components press your beans down and are difficult to clean due to their design. The ESPRO doesn’t have such a flaw.

If you have super-fine coffee grounds that lodge into the mesh filters, then yeah. It’ll become hard to clean.

Since we’re dealing with a glass French press, it won’t keep your coffee warm for long. You better drink fast.

This next pick’s great for those living in small homes.

6. Nespresso Essenza Mini: Best Small Single-serve Coffee Maker

nespresso essenza mini espresso breville
Price *$$
Dimensions12.79 × 4.33 × 8.07 in (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size20.3 fl oz = 2 cups
Coffee Maker TypeCapsule
Warranty2 years
Does it Use Pods?Yes


  • Offers two programmable cup sizes.
  • Compact design saves counter space.
  • Energy-saving mode conserves power.


  • Limited to Nespresso capsules.
  • Lacks a milk frother.

The Nespresso Essenza Mini is ideal for city dwellers with limited kitchen space, since it delivers barista-grade espresso in a compact form. Its 25-second heat-up time makes it a perfect companion for those who need their caffeine fix in a hurry.

The above features are possible due to it being a capsule coffee maker. Insert a pod, press your cup size, and it’ll brew your coffee per the pod’s specifications. Did you enter a doppio pod? It’ll brew a double espresso shot.

Its ability to deliver high-quality espresso quickly and conveniently and its compact design makes it a cost-effective solution for espresso lovers with space constraints.

The energy-saving mode will save you money on electricity by powering it off when not in use. The compact design makes it a perfect fit for small kitchens or coffee carts, and the used capsule container fits 5-6 capsules.

Speaking of, you can only use Original Nespresso capsules. However, Nespresso offers over 24 different flavors. And it doesn’t include a milk frother. Bad for anyone who loves lattes.

Not to worry, you could buy a separate milk frother.

Here’s another way to automate coffee making without pods.

7. Cuisinart Single Serve Coffee Maker + Coffee Grinder: Best With Grinder

cuisinart dgb 2
Price *$$
Dimensions11.02 × 7.28 × 12.67 in (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size48 fl oz = 8 6-fl oz cups
MaterialStainless steel
Coffee Maker TypeDrip coffee
Does it Use Pods?No


  • Delivers fresh, high-quality coffee.
  • Offers easy cleaning & maintenance.
  • Provides adjustable cup sizes.


  • Grinder may produce loud noise.
  • Can be inconsistent in coffee grinding.
  • Some find the water tank small.

The Cuisinart Single Serve Coffee Maker is great for those who value fresh, personalized coffee and convenience in their busy lives.

This machine combines drip coffee and pod makers. Instead of using a filter like drip coffee makers, it uses a reusable filter cup, which is less efficient at removing fine coffee grounds than paper filters.

But it’s reusable.

Plop the filter in the outlet, and the machine will pour hot water over the filter cup. The resulting coffee will pour into whatever cup you place under the spout.

Considering its features, the Cuisinart Single Serve Coffee Maker is worth the price. Its ability to grind and brew fresh coffee in one step and its compact design and easy-to-use interface provides a unique coffee experience.

The control panel allows you to control the amount of coffee you’d want to pour into your cup, which is nice if you like to use varying cup sizes. And due to the machine’s removable water reservoir, it’s easy to clean.

Don’t put the Single Serve under a wall cabinet, though. Otherwise, it’ll prove difficult to access. You must reach around the back to access the water tank. And all the machine’s buttons are on the top.

Not the most user-friendly machine, but I digress.

It uses a stainless steel conical burr grinder, a welcomed surprise considering this machine’s price. Burr grinders provide more consistent bean grinds than blade ones. Resulting in more even flavor extraction.

But they’re not as consistent grinds as flat burrs. A burr shape that would make the machine cost much more if included. We have to make sacrifices sometimes.

Stainless steel burrs take a long time to lose sharpness due to its material. Meaning, you’ll need to wait longer before blowing money on a grinder repair or machine replacement. However, stainless steel burrs tend to burn coffee beans from overheating.

There’s no way to negate this effect unless you pay for an expensive coffee grinder with a specialized motor to prevent this. Or if you pay more for a ceramic burr grinder.

And as with any grinder, it’s loud. I wouldn’t use it when other folks in your home are fast asleep.

Those with offices will love this next pick.

8. De’Longhi Dinamica Plus: Best Single-serve Coffee Maker for Offices

DeLonghi Dinamica Plus Espresso Machine
Price *$$$
Dimensions16.9 × 9.3 × 13.7 in (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size60.9 fl oz = 12 5-fl oz cups
MaterialStainless steel
Coffee Maker TypeSuper-automatic espresso maker
Warranty1 year; 6 mo. outside US
Does it Use Pods?No


  • Offers a variety of coffee options.
  • Features an intuitive touch display.
  • Includes a built-in grinder for fresh coffee.


  • Expensive compared to other models.
  • Requires regular cleaning and maintenance.
  • Can be noisy during operation.

The De’Longhi Dinamica Plus is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a coffee maker that’ll quickly brew various espresso drinks without much effort.

Super-automatic espresso makers perform all the espresso-making steps for you. Making it an ideal choice for an environment where you don’t want someone taking forever to set specifications for their drinks (e.g., temperature). The machine will do that for you.

Despite its higher price point, it offers a range of features, such as a touchscreen display, app connectivity, and a quiet grinder. Its ability to produce excellent espresso and milk foam and user-friendly design make it a standout choice.

The machine’s build quality and 2-year warranty further justify its cost.

It has a built-in milk frother and coffee bean grinder that’ll automatically grind and froth/steam as per the drink’s specifications that you select on the touchscreen UI.

Want a latte macchiato?

The Dinamica will grind the ideal consistency, set an ideal temperature, and froth milk to an optimal texture.

Doing all this doesn’t come without a cost. As it’ll become noisy when grinding your beans. Don’t put it in an office area that requires silence. And you’ll need to regularly clean and descale your machine to extend its lifespan.

However, it has a removable drip tray, milk frother, and brew unit. Making it much easier to clean.

Surprise. Another capsule maker.

9. Nespresso Vertuo Next: Best Single-serve Coffee Maker With Pods

nespresso vertuo
Price *$$
Dimensions16.8 × 5.5 × 12.4 (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size8 fl oz = 1 cup
Coffee Maker TypeCapsule
Warranty2 years
Does it Use Pods?Yes


  • Offers a wide variety of capsules.
  • Brews coffee in around 40 seconds.
  • Can hold up to ten used capsules.


  • Water tank location is difficult to access.
  • Lacks options for adjusting coffee settings.

The Nespresso Vertuo Next is a wonderful pick for espresso enthusiasts who crave variety. Its ability to brew five different cup sizes, from a single espresso to a full carafe, makes it an ideal choice for households with diverse coffee preferences.

This type of maker uses Nespresso Vertuo pods instead of their Original pods. These come in different cup sizes or espresso shot sizes. For instance, if you have a single-shot Vertuo pod, the machine will automatically brew that shot size.

The Vertuo Next is worth the price for its convenience and versatility. It offers a wide range of coffee options, from espressos to full carafes, and its one-button operation makes brewing a breeze.

I like and dislike this machine for its simplicity. It’s beginner-friendly due to having a single button, but not ideal for anyone who wants to tweak coffee to their taste preferences. You also must get specific Vertuo pods for whatever cup size you desire instead of pressing different buttons.

That requires a bit more effort while shopping.

However, it’ll brew drinks in 40 or fewer seconds. Ideal for anyone who’s always in a rush yet wants coffee. So long as you don’t mind an inconveniently-placed water tank. It’s in the back of the machine.

A horrible design choice for anyone who has a low-hanging wall cabinet.

Need milk? This next one will froth and steam milk.

10. Ninja DualBrew Pro: Best Single-serve Coffee Maker With Milk Frother

ninja dualbrew pro
Price *$$$
Dimensions9.13 × 11.39 × 15.54 in (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size60 fl oz = 12 5-fl oz cups
Coffee Maker TypeDrip coffee & pods
Warranty1 year
Does it Use Pods?Yes & no


  • Offers multiple brew sizes & styles.
  • Comes with a frother for lattes.
  • Includes a reusable filter for ground coffee.


  • Lacks a strong coffee option.
  • Frother is not dishwasher safe.
  • Large footprint takes up counter space.

The Ninja DualBrew Pro is ideal for folks who crave versatility and convenience in their daily brew. It’s also great for those who appreciate single-serve and carafe brewing options.

This is a legitimate drip coffee and pod maker. Choose whether you want to plop in a pod and let the machine do all the work. Or if you want to place coffee in a paper filter and not have to deal with the waste pods leave.

Its unique features, such as the ability to brew different sizes and styles of coffee, coupled with its user-friendly design, justify the cost.

Don’t want coffee? Use the hot water dispenser for tea, cocoa, oatmeal, or whatever else you use hot water for.

The DualBrew Pro offers A LOT of brewing options. I felt a bit overwhelmed with looking at all the buttons, yet couldn’t find a “Strong” option. Many makers that allow brew customization have it and produce a stronger-tasting coffee by extracting more flavor.

It also includes a milk frother, which is plastic and not dishwasher safe. But it gives you a means to froth/steam milk for milk-based drinks like lattes.

You also have various options for cup sizes. You could brew coffee for yourself with a single cup. Or you could brew with a 12-cup glass carafe, which is fantastic for entertaining guests.

All these features don’t come without a cost. It isn’t the greatest for small kitchens due to its enormous appetite for counter space.

This next one goes out to folks in Canada.

11. Cuisinart Premium: Best Single-serve Coffee Maker, Canada

cuisinart premium
Price *$$
Dimensions28 × 23 × 30 cm (D, W, H)
Water Reservoir Size2.1 l = 14.4 147 ml cups
MaterialStainless steel & plastic
Coffee Maker TypePod coffee maker
Does it Use Pods?Yes


  • Brews various types of hot drinks.
  • Offers five cup size settings.
  • Includes a rinse feature for cleaning.


  • Takes up significant counter space.
  • Automatically shuts off after 30 minutes.
  • Requires frequent size setting adjustments.

The Cuisinart Premium is a top choice for those in Canada, the UK, and Australia seeking a robust, single-serve coffee maker. Its compatibility with a wide range of K-Cups and its included HomeBarista refillable pod makes it a versatile addition to any kitchen.

It’s a pod coffee maker, yet allows you to use your own coffee beans with their reusable pods. Otherwise, you could use K-Cups. Place a pod in the outlet, clamp the lid over said pod, press a button, and watch and your machine brews.

Its durability surpasses similar models, and the convenience of its design, including a side storage compartment and easy-to-clean components, justifies the investment.

The Premium offers 5 different cup settings (including travel mugs). However, you must always select the cup size, which could prove annoying if you only use a specific cup size. I’d prefer a setting that allows you to set a default cup size.

If you feel like drinking only hot water, use the water dispenser.

The automatic shutoff feature is usually a blessing for anyone who wants to conserve electricity. But not ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to bother powering on their machine later.

The Rinse feature will automatically rinse residue in your coffee maker, which will help ensure a consistent, clean taste.

Since the Premium includes many features, it takes up a lot of counter space. Making it unideal for smaller kitchens or studio apartments.

Learn how to clean a single-serve coffee maker.

How to Clean Single-serve Coffee Makers

Follow these steps to clean your single-serve coffee machine:

  1. Unplug your coffee maker from the power source.
  2. Remove the single-serve pod from the coffee maker.
  3. Empty the water reservoir & wipe it clean.
  4. Detach removable parts, such as the drip tray, & wash them separately.
  5. Use a soft cloth soaked in warm, soapy water to clean the exterior.
  6. Rinale the removable parts & the exterior with clean water.
  7. Dry all parts thoroughly before reassembling.
  8. Once reassembled, run a brewing cycle with plain water to rinse the interior.
  9. Repeat the water-only brewing cycle twice.
    1. Ensures you rinse away all the soap.
  10. Plug the coffee maker back in & it’s ready for use.

Now there’s descaling.

Descaling is the process of removing mineral buildup from your coffee maker’s interior parts. It’s crucial because these minerals can hinder performance, affect coffee taste, and eventually lead to machine failure [3].

The specific descaling steps can vary from one machine to another. Thus, follow your machine’s specific descaling instructions.

Benefits of Single-serve Coffee Makers

You’ll love coffee makers that make 1 cup at a time because:

  • They provide convenience with easy operation.
  • These machines offer a variety of flavors from different pods.
  • They create less waste, as you only brew what you’ll consume.
  • Cleanup is quick and hassle-free.

If you frequently entertain guests, a single-serve coffee maker may not be ideal. Its one-cup-at-a-time serving capacity could slow down serving refreshments to a crowd.

How to Pick the Best Single-serve Coffee Maker: Buying Guide

Refer to this checklist to learn how to buy the best single-serve coffee maker:

Size & CapacityIt’s crucial to ensure the coffee maker fits in your kitchen space & has the capacity to make the amount of coffee you need.
Coffee Maker TypeCan affect the taste & strength of your coffee, as well as the convenience of use.
ProgrammabilityProgrammability allows you to schedule brews, making your morning routine more convenient.
Brew Strength & Temperature AdjustmentsThis feature provides you control over the taste of your coffee, allowing you to tailor it to your preference.
Pods, Capsule, or FiltersThis determines the type of coffee you can use and the ease of cleanup.
Brewing OptionsWhat cup sizes you could choose from; great for varying coffee size preferences (e.g., travel cup vs. espresso cup).
CleaningEasy-to-clean models save time & effort; regular cleaning is vital for maintaining the machine’s performance & the taste of your coffee.
DurabilityA durable coffee maker is a better investment, as it will last longer & perform more consistently over time.

These sections will provide more clarity on what to look out for when shopping for a single-serve coffee maker. Use my knowledge to make the best purchasing decision.

1. Size & Capacity

The size of the machine impacts where you can store it in your kitchen. You want a coffee maker that fits perfectly in your space. A majority of single-serve coffee makers are compact and will fit in small kitchens, tiny homes, studio apartments, and other cramped spaces.

Additionally, the water tank capacity determines how often you refill it. If you’re a heavy coffee drinker or have multiple coffee enthusiasts at home, a larger tank means less refilling and more convenience.

2. Coffee Maker Type

Coffee maker type matters when choosing a single-serve machine. They’ll determine your drinks’ taste and the effort required to brew coffee.

I’ll provide a summary of who each type of single-serve coffee maker is best for after the buyer’s guide.

Pod coffee makers, like Keurig, offer convenience. Insert a pod, press a button, and you have coffee. However, the cost of pods can add up, and waste is a concern.

Brands like Nespresso deliver barista-style espresso shots. It’s an elevated coffee experience, but these machines may have higher upfront costs.

A single-serve drip coffee makers, like the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew, allow for ground coffee use. It’s cheaper and less wasteful than pods due to having biodegradable paper filters.

However, these paper filters are a double-edged sword. They’re often more difficult to clean due to their size and having to avoid leakage when removing them from machines.

French press or Aeropress offer control over the brewing process. You determine the coffee strength and taste. But, they demand effort due to the lack of automation.

Assess your needs, budget, and time commitment. Then determine what type of single-serve coffee maker you want.

3. Programmability

Imagine waking up to the aroma of fresh coffee, brewed exactly at your alarm time.

Set it up the night before, and a programmable single-serve coffee maker gets the job done. If you prefer different coffee strengths on different days, you’re in luck. These coffee makers allow you to control the brew strength.

Usually higher-end single-serve coffee makers offer this feature.

4. Brew Strength & Temperature Adjustments

By adjusting brew strength, you control your coffee’s intensity, tailoring it to your taste. Strong for a morning kickstart or lighter for an afternoon sip, the choice is yours. 

Temperature adjustments bring an additional layer of customization. Higher temperatures extract more flavors, while lower temperatures give a smoother taste. This feature gives you the power to experiment and find your perfect brew. 

Single-serve coffee makers over $200 tend to offer strength and temperature adjustment nobs or touchscreen UI. Anything under this price range may prove unreliable based on my experience and comments I’ve seen.

5. Pods, Capsule, or Filter

Single-serve pod coffee makers use pre-packaged pods filled with coffee grounds and are easy to use and clean, but aren’t as eco-friendly.

Capsule coffee makers use a similar mechanism, but the capsules are usually made of aluminum or plastic and often contain higher quality coffee.

Filter coffee makers use a paper filter filled with coffee grounds, offering a more traditional brewing process and often a richer taste, but require a bit more work.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of various popular single-serve coffee makers—

Pod Single-serve Coffee Makers


  • Simple to use & require minimal setup.
  • Offers a variety of coffee types & flavors.


  • Many pods are not easily recyclable & contribute to waste.
  • Coffee quality may not be as high as other methods.

Capsule Single-serve Coffee Makers


  • Contains higher quality coffee compared to pods.
  • Convenient & easy to use.


  • Capsules can contribute to environmental waste.
  • More expensive per cup compared to other methods.

Filter Single-serve Coffee Makers


  • Can produce a richer, more flavorful cup of coffee.
  • Creates less waste as the paper filters are often biodegradable.


  • Requires more work to set up & clean.
  • May take longer to brew a cup compared to other methods.

If you prioritize quality and are willing to put in a little more effort, a filter single-serve coffee maker could be the best choice for you.

6. Brewing Options

Some machines offer espresso shots, cappuccinos, or even iced coffee. Flexibility in brew styles enhances your coffee experience and saves a trip to the cafe. Or you may want the ability to choose your cup size.

Many pricier single-serve coffee makers also allow you to brew coffee in carafes and travel mugs. It adds more flexibility to what you can make and could prove useful when traveling or entertaining guests.

7. Cleaning & Maintenance

Quick and easy cleaning preserves your brew’s flavor and prevents buildup. Maintenance, too, is crucial. Regular upkeep extends your coffee maker’s lifespan, saving you money in the long run

Some single-serve models have automated cleaning and descaling features. However, they often cost over $300. 

8. Durability

High-quality materials like stainless steel prolong the machine’s life because it resists wear and tear better. It’s a cost-effective choice. Many single-serve coffee makers have plastic casing to cut costs and make the machine affordable.

Based on my experience, plastic coffee makers have lasted for over a couple of years.

A durable machine, while possibly more expensive upfront, saves you replacement costs in the long run. Frequent replacements also cause inconvenience.

Common Single-serve Coffee Makers Compared

Here are all the different types of single-serve coffee machines:

Coffee Maker TypeAverage Maker Price *Best For
Espresso Maker$100–$5,000Coffee-shop- quality beverages
Drip Coffee$50–$250Quick & affordable coffee
Thermal Coffee maker$50–$300Keeps drinks hotter longer
Clever Dripper$25–$61.99Balance & simplicity
Cold brew$27–$65Smoothness & low acidity
French Press$16.99–$32.99Beginners

Let’s go over who each machine type is best for:

  • Drip coffee maker: Producing black coffee.
  • AeroPress: Traveling & camping.
  • Nespresso/K-Cup: Quick, strong-tasting coffee.
  • Espresso maker: More control over brewing concentrated coffee.
  • Cold brew maker: Less acidic coffee.
  • Pour-over: Total control over coffee making & portability.
  • French Press: Camping & beginners
  • Stovetop coffee maker: Brewing concentrated coffee for groups of people.

On to frequently asked questions.

FAQs for Single-serve Coffee Makers

Here are frequently asked questions about single-serve coffee makers.

Which Single-serve Coffee Maker Makes the Hottest Coffee?

In my experience, the Jura 13626 Ena Micro was able to provide the hottest beverages. Also consider the Keurig K-Select, which supports the optimal brewing temperature of around 180 °F. 

How Much Ground Coffee for a Single-serve Coffee Maker?

Around 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for 5–6 ounces of water.

Is There a Single-Cup Coffee-Making Machine That Doesn’t Use Pods?

There are drip coffee makers that work with ground coffee and can brew one cup at a time. Also consider the Aeropress, which brews with ground coffee only.

What Size of Coffee Cup Does a Single-serve Coffee Maker Make?

The most common cup size for a single-serve coffee maker is 6 ounces. However, many machines brew different coffee volumes; including 8, 10, 12, and even 14 ounces.

How Much Power Does a Single-serve Coffee Maker Use?

Most home coffee makers use from 750 to 1200 watts.

Our Verdict

Here are the best 3:

  1. Breville Bambino: A robust machine that has an excellent milk frother.
  2. Hario V60: Affordable & portable maker that produces excellent-tasting coffee. 
  3. Hamilton Beach Gen 3 FlexBrew: Supports pods & ground coffee.

Despite not offering ESE pod support, the Breville Bambino is an ideal espresso maker for anyone who wants to balance price, durability, and great-tasting coffee due to its arsenal of features.

breville bambino

Breville Bambino: Best Overall

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 13.7 × 6.3 × 12 in (D, W, H)
  • Water Reservoir Size: 47 fl oz = 47 solo shots
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Type: Semi-automatic espresso maker
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Does it Use Pods?: No


* Price will vary by model, manufacturer, and vendor.

Photo of author


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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