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10 Best Affordable Espresso Machines in 2024

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Read on to compare the most high-quality and affordable espresso machines.

I want an espresso machine that’s beginner-friendly, affordable, and durable. That led me to build this guide to compare various options.

We went with the De’Longhi Stilosa as our number one choice because it has a huge water tank, contains every feature a beginner would need, and doesn’t cost a fortune. Since it’s a semi-automatic machine, it’ll guide you with espresso-making due to automating some steps.

DeLonghi Stilosa Espresso Machine

De’Longhi Stilosa: Best Overall

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Semi-automatic
  • Dimensions: 8.07 x 13.5 x 11.22 in (D, W, H)
  • Bars of pressure: 15 bars
  • Boiler type: single
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Milk frother: yes
  • Water capacity: 42 oz / 1.2 l
    • Enough for: 40 solo shots

You may not like the machine’s size, or want something cheaper. Or with more quality-of-life features.

I’ll cover these throughout my other recommendations.

Let’s go.

Top 10 Best Affordable Espresso Machines

Here are today’s contestants:

  1. De’Longhi Stilosa: Best Overall
  2. De’Longhi Bar Pump: Most Affordable Maker
  3. The NEO by Flair: Best Affordable Manual Maker
  4. Siemens EQ3: Best Machine w/ Grinder
  5. Laekerrt espresso machine: Best for Tight Spaces
  6. Gaggia Classic Pro: Most Affordable Automatic Machine
  7. Geek Chef: Best for Canadians
  8. De’Longhi Bar: Best for People in Britain
  9. Capresso Espresso Machine: Best for Philippines
  10. Nespresso Vertuo: Most Affordable Nespresso Machine

Best 10 Cheap Espresso Machines

The following sections will cover a bunch of specs, pros and cons, and reasons why I found each machine worthy to make this list.

Before moving on, here’s a information that may prevent confusion:

  • Dimensions:
    • D: depth
    • W: width
    • H: height
  • PID = proportional integral derivative: monitors water temperature & makes minor adjustments to keep it to a set temperature.
  • ESE = Easy Serve Espresso: pods with pre-ground beans to make brewing drinks easier.

In the bulleted lists preceding each section, you might encounter perplexing terms. I provide clarification for these terms in the “buyer’s guide” section.

These prices could change at any time. Don’t take the numbers too seriously.

If you’re looking for commercial models, you can find all our cheap espresso machines.

Read on to learn more.

1. De’Longhi Stilosa: Best Overall

DeLonghi Stilosa Espresso Machine
Dimensions8.07 x 13.5 x 11.22 in (D, W, H)
Bars of pressure15 bars
Boiler typesingle
Warranty1 year
Milk frotheryes
Water capacity: 42 oz / 1.2 liter (40 solo shots)


  • Removable water tank for convenience
  • Huge water tank; requires less refilling
  • Ideal pressure


  • Relatively noisy when brewing
  • No other color options

The Stilosa works best for beginners willing to spend a bit more on a machine to get quality-of-life and critical espresso-brewing features. I’ll provide details below.

This sorta-compact machine checks every mark off the criteria I have under the buyer’s guide section later in this guide. It has 15 bars of pressure, ideal for preventing over- and under-extraction for espresso drinks.

The Stilosa includes a milk frother, mandatory for milk-based espresso drinks like macchiatos and lattes. You won’t find yourself disappointed with the water capacity. As it’ll take a while before you need to refill it.

It’s simple to use since it only has a knob where you select whether you want to steam your milk or brew your drink. And it includes a dual-nozzle portafilter. Making it possible to fill 2 cups (0.47 l) at once. Ideal for making drinks for 2 espresso drinkers.

All this at an affordable price. But if it still costs too much, you may prefer the next option.

2. Hamilton Beach: Best for Beginners

Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine
Dimensions12 x 9.6 x 11.6 in (D, W, H)
Bars of pressure15 bars
Boiler typesingle
Warranty1 year
Milk frotheryes
Water capacity: 50 oz / 1.4 liter (50 solo shots)


  • Affordable & easy to use
  • Makes 2 espresso shots simultaneously
  • Works with ESE pods & ground coffee.
  • Removable water reservoir


  • Not very durable
  • No temperature control
  • Loud & vibrates a lot

Hamilton Beach’s espresso maker works great for beginners who want to spend less than $100 for a machine with the most critical espresso-making features. Keep reading to learn more.

The enormous water reservoir, the ability to brew 2 cups simultaneously, included milk frother, and relatively simple user interface make Hamilton Beach’s espresso maker ideal for beginners. 

About the ability to brew a couple cups at once. Say you have 2 espresso drinkers in your home (who are in a rush).

The second person brewing a drink won’t need to wait for the first to make their drink, then for the machine to reheat. Instead, use the dual spouts to pour 2 shots at once. If you’re a lone wolf, use the 2 shots to make a doppio (double shot) drink.

It’s not the prettiest machine, but it’s practical. It has an ideal number of bars of pressure (15), removable components for easy cleaning, and frother for milk-based drinks.

Since you’re saving money on an espresso maker, use what you would have spent on a more expensive model on a high-quality coffee bean grinder. If you’re short on time, yet want high(ish) quality grinds, go for an electrical burr grinder.

I went with the Baratza Encore and love it.

Here’s another machine I’ve fallen for.

3. The NEO by Flair: Best Affordable Manual Espresso Maker

The NEO by Flair
Dimensions6.10 x 12.40 x 10.24 in (D, W, H)
Bars of pressure15 bars
Warranty5 year
Water capacity: 60 ml (1 solo shot)


  • Affordable & portable
  • Easy to assemble & disassemble
  • Durable


  • Steep learning curve
  • Requires some trial & error.
  • Brews 1 shot
  • No pressure gauge or a milk frother

The NEO offers the best bang for your buck if you don’t mind investing 10–20 minutes watching YouTube videos.

I wish I had put this thing as number 1, but it has a steep learning curve. Since the NEO’s a manual espresso maker, you must make all adjustments yourself. No hand-holding automatic makers typically offer.

The stainless steel and aluminum body, paired with the lack of electrical components, will result in this machine lasting much longer than automatic espresso makers (5+ years).

So long as you don’t treat it like crap.

While learning, I’d use cheap coffee beans. To prevent you from wasting money on higher-quality beans. Once you perfect your drinks, then use the better grinds.

Speaking of. You must buy a separate coffee grinder. Check out our list of recommended grinders to begin your research. And you’ll need a separate milk frother to make drinks like cappuccinos.

Not to worry. The money you’ll save buying this beautiful beast gives you a bigger budget for a grinder and frother. You technically should get a separate grinder, anyway. They generally result in more consistent grinds, leading to better-tasting drinks.

I have to restrain myself from praising the NEO anymore. On to an espresso maker that includes a grinder.

4. Siemens EQ3: Best Machine With a Grinder

Siemens EQ3
Dimensions3.90 x 6.69 x 5.94 in (D, W, H)
Bars of pressure15 bars
Boiler typethermoblock
Warranty2 years
Milk frotheryes
Water capacity: 49 oz / 1.4 liter (49 solo shots)


  • Grinds, brews, & froths milk with one touch.
  • Ceramic grinder
  • SensoFlow system
  • Removable brewing unit


  • No display or a touch screen
  • Must manually descale

The Siemens EQ3 works best for beginners who don’t want to buy Nespresso machines, yet want to automate the espresso-making process fully.

It’s not easy on the eyes. But it makes brewing espresso quicker and easier due to the included coffee grinder. And it’s easier to use due to the programmed drink buttons (e.g., caffe crema and latte macchiato).

In addition to those buttons, it has an LED that notifies you when your machine requires decalcification. You’ll need to perform this regularly to clean your machine, unless you want bad-tasting coffee and a clogged espresso maker.

Having this notification prevents you from needing to remember, or setting a calendar event, to clean your machine. And to make cleaning more accessible, you can remove the brewing unit.

The EQ3 demands a fair amount of counter space, which isn’t ideal for small kitchen counters. But it’ll automate most of the espresso-making process. Almost as nice as a capsule maker, but better due to the included frother.

5. Laekerrt Espresso Machine: Best Small Machine

Laekerrt espresso machine
Dimensions12.26 x 5.49 x 11.79 in (D, W, H)
Bars of pressure20 bars
Boiler typesingle
Warranty1 year
Milk frotheryes
Water capacity: 35 oz / 1 liter (35 solo shots)


  • Removable water tank
  • Compact & stylish design


  • Not many color options
  • Lacks thermoblock heating

Larkerrt’s espresso machine works best for anyone who wants a space-saving design and doesn’t mind paying a bit more to still have comfort features like a cup warmer.

Laekerrt’s espresso maker fits perfectly with small kitchens or coffee areas due to its compact size. However, its small size doesn’t remove too many features. It maintains a removable water tank (great for easy cleaning) and a milk frother, which you’d use for lattes.

Then there are the quality-of-life features.

The cup warmer readies your cups to make it easier to pour espresso. It’ll take 30 seconds to warm the espresso machine, which pairs well with its dual-spout portafilter. That’s useful because imagine you have more than 2 espresso drinkers in your home.

The dual spouts could make 2 shots for a single person. Or 1 shot for 2 people. Anyone else who wants espresso afterward must wait half a minute before their turn to use the Laekerrt.

Moving on.

6. Gaggia Classic Pro: Best Affordable Automatic Machine

Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine
Dimensions8 x 9.5 x 14.2 in (D, W, H)
Bars of pressure15 bars
Boiler typesingle
Warranty2 years
Milk frotheryes
Water capacity: 73 oz / 2.1 liter (73 solo shots)


  • 3-way solenoid valve
  • User-friendly indicator lights


  • No built-in grinder
  • No PID controller

Gaggia’s Classic Pro works best for anyone who wants an easy-to-use machine that doesn’t demand frequent water tank refills.

Semi-automatic espresso machines automate the water pressure and flow of espresso making, reducing a bit of manual input. And that’s what the Gaggia Classic Pro will do. It has a massive water reservoir, which means you’ll need to refill your container less.

Ultimately, saving time. As is the purpose of a semi-automatic maker.

It also includes a rotating steam wand, which gives you more control over frothing milk for drinks like cappuccinos. The more control you have, the better-frothed milk texture you’ll achieve.

And despite the price, Gaggia claims you’ll get a commercial-grade portafilter and steam wand. Meaning, the device will last a long time. Then the Classic Pro includes 3 easy-to-understand buttons; steam, brew, and power on/off.

What’s the 3-way solenoid valve? It’s a means to reduce the time it takes for your machine to warm or steam. It also helps prevent your portafilter and steam wand from leaking.

An ideal machine for beginners who want a robust espresso machine that’s easy to use, yet will give you much control over your drinks.

7. Geek Chef Espresso Machine: Best Affordable Espresso Machine Canada

Geek Chef
Dimensions26.92 x 19.30 x 28.45 cm (D, W, H)
Bars of pressure20 bars
Boiler typesingle
Warranty1 year
Milk frotheryes
Water capacity: 52 oz / 1.5 liter (52 solo shots)


  • Supports ground espresso beans & ESE pods
  • Removable water reservoir
  • Includes pressure gauge


  • No auto-stop feature.

Mostly, it doesn’t matter what espresso maker you buy for your country. Canadians may find the Geek Chef a bit better than the competition due to its 1-year warranty that works in most countries.

Aside from warranties, it has a massive water tank, ideal for serving more shots before refilling. Pair that with its dual spout, which homes will love if they have multiple espresso drinkers.

It supports Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) pods to add to the machine’s convenience. These pre filled pods remove the need to grind and measure coffee beans. Great for folks in a rush who don’t mind a bit of removed control over their drinks.

It has a 20-bar pressure pump. But the ideal number of bars you’d need is 15. Don’t look too deep into this claim.

And it includes a milk frother. A must-have device if you want to make milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

8. De’Longhi Bar: Best Affordable Espresso Machine UK

DeLonghi Bar Espresso Machine
Dimensions24.38 x 18.29 x 30.23 cm (D, W, H)
Bars of pressure15 bars
Boiler typesingle
Warranty6 months
Milk frotheryes
Water capacity: 35 oz / 1 liter (35 solo shots)


  • Works with ground coffee & ESE pods
  • No waiting required to brew the next espresso shot


  • Doesn’t include a built-in grinder
  • No cup warmer or a removable drip tray
  • May leak or drip water from the filter holder

Like the Geek Chef recommendation for Canadians, the Bar’s warranty outside the United States is decent. Making it, along with many other suggestions, great for folks in the United Kingdom.

Regardless of your country, the compact nature of the Bar makes it ideal for kitchens with little counter space. The Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods further enhance the machine’s excellent use of space. As it prevents you from needing a separate bean grinder.

If you’re curious, ESE pods are bags filled with pre-measured and finely ground espresso beans.

And you won’t need a separate milk frother. As the Bar includes one. It’s nothing too fancy, but it’ll give you the means to make milk-based drinks like cappuccinos.

It doesn’t include a built-in grinder, meaning you’ll need to invest in a separate one.

Check out the next recommendation if you’re looking for a more affordable option.

9. Capresso Espresso Machine: Best Affordable Machine Philippines

Capresso Espresso Machine
Dimensions24 x 19 x 33 cm (D, W, H)
Bars of pressure15 bars
Boiler typesingle
Warranty6 months
Milk frotheryes
Water capacity: 10 oz / 0.28 liter (10 solo shots)


  • One of the most affordable options around
  • Easy to hide in cabinets


  • Takes 2 minutes to heat up
  • Lack of water level indicator
  • Unsightly

Ideal for beginners due to the low price, Capresso’s entry-level machine provides somewhat easy-to-use buttons and a milk frother. Allowing you to tinker with all types of espresso-based drinks—whether milk-based or other (e.g., Americano).

It has an ideal amount of pressure (15 bars), but takes around 2 minutes to heat up. The single-spout portafilter allows for 1 espresso shot at a time. Making it (un)ideal for homes that have more than 1 person who wants espresso at once.

If you get this machine, don’t wait until the last minute before leaving for work to make your espresso. Wake up a bit earlier (if possible) and do it then.

Otherwise, I don’t like the way this machine looks. Though, it’s my opinion, and if you feel the same, you could hide this machine when you have guests. Due to its compact size.

Consider the next option if you’re looking for an espresso maker that automates everything.

10. Nespresso Vertuo: Best Affordable Nespresso Machine

Nespresso Vertuo
TypeCapsule maker
Dimensions11 x 19.25 x 15.25 in (D, W, H)
Warranty2 years
Milk frotherno
Water capacity: 5 cups


  • Super quick & easy to use
  • Large water tank for many cups


  • Only works with Nespresso VertuoLine capsules
  • No milk frother
  • No temperature control

The Nespresso Vertuo works best for anyone wanting to fully automate their espresso-making. Yet doesn’t mind spending extra on a milk frother and Nespresso pods.

I love using these when I feel lazy, since they take all the work out of brewing. Yet, they still brew drinks that taste identical to those made with other espresso machines. The biggest downside comes from the following—

Milk-based drinks.

Most normal espresso makers come with a milk frother. This one doesn’t. You’ll need to buy a separate frother to make cappuccinos, lattes, cortados, and other drinks. Based on experience with similar machines, I recommend the Aeroccino.

It’s somewhat affordable and is so simple to use. Even a baby could use it.

Get the Vertuo if you want quick, yet customizable drinks without having to invest a bunch of time manually dealing with other types of espresso makers. You’ll have less control over your drink, but you must make sacrifices to get quickly-made beverages.

Not too much of a sacrifice, though. I noticed that Nespresso machines generally have better-tasting drinks than most entry-level espresso machines.

Affordable Espresso Machine Buying Guide

The following sections will cover the following things to consider when shopping for a frugal-friendly espresso machine:

  1. Capabilities: What you can make.
  2. Water capacity: How many drinks you can make back-to-back.
  3. Whether it can froth: Essential if you want drinks like cappuccinos.
  4. Pressure: How varying pressure affects your drink’s taste.
  5. Cleaning: How easy they are to clean.
  6. Design & size: How it’ll fit in your kitchen.
  7. Durability: How long it’ll last.
  8. Boilers: How your machine heats water.

Each point will also cover why you need to consider these points. Learn more details in our Espresso buying guide.

1. Brewing Capabilities

When exploring affordable espresso machines, focus on these key brewing features:

  • Consistent temperature control: Crucial for extracting optimal flavor from your coffee beans.
  • Adequate pressure: Look for machines with 9 bars of pressure, the industry standard.
    • Using this pressure prevents drinks from becoming too strong or thick.
  • Pre-infusion: Allows for even soaking of the coffee grounds, enhancing extraction.
    • “Enhanced” extraction leads to a more flavorful & consistent taste.
  • Whether it includes a grinder: Most affordable machines won’t include one; meaning you’ll need to buy a separate one.

Aside from solo espresso shots, you’ll find different preparation methods like ristretto (concentrated), lungo (long), and doppio (double). With some training, you could use any espresso machine for these methods.

Higher-end makers—along with super automatic and capsule makers—usually include buttons or pods to make these automatically.

Speaking of drinks.

Here are all the beverages espresso machines can make:

Lazy EyeVienna CoffeeCubano
Manilo Long BlackMacchiatoZorro
Dripped EyeIrish CoffeeFreddo Cappuccino
Black EyeGuillermoRápido y Sucio
CappuccinoGalãoCafé Crema
Red EyeEspresso RomanoMarocchino
AmericanoCortadoLong macchiato
Flat WhiteCafé MediciAffogato al Caffe
LatteCafé BreveMocha
List of espresso drinks espresso machines can make.

2. Water Capacity & Number of Shots It Can Make

Key factors to consider:

  • Water tank size: A larger tank means fewer refills, but may take up more space.
  • Shot options: Single & double shots are standard; multiple shots are more versatile.
  • Purpose: Determine if the machine is for personal use or larger gatherings.

Water capacity determines how many shots your machine will produce before requiring a refill. A solo espresso shot uses 30–40 ml of water [1]. Meaning, a 1.5-liter water tank should yield about 37–50 shots.

Machines with smaller tanks (e.g., 0.5 liters) might be more compact but limit you to 12-16 shots. Making frequent refills necessary.

Also consider the number of shots your espresso machine can brew simultaneously. 

Most affordable makers offer single- or double-shot options, ideal for personal use or couples. If you’re entertaining guests, a machine capable of making multiple shots at once works better.

3. Whether It Can Froth Milk

Check if a machine includes a steam wand. This gadget—typically on the machine’s side— allows you to froth (aerate) milk for lattes and cappuccinos. They’re also handy for latte art.

Most budget espresso machines include a built-in steam wand, making your search easier than you might’ve thought.

4. Machine Pressure

Here’s a breakdown of pressure ranges to guide you:

  • >3 bars: Leads to under-extraction.
    • Under-extraction: Your drink doesn’t have much flavor.
  • 3 to 8 bars: Lower pressure, suitable for steam-driven machines.
  • 9 to 15 bars: Ideal pressure for pump-driven machines, giving you a perfect espresso [2].
  • 16+ bars: Unnecessary & could lead to over-extraction.
    • Over-extraction: Pulls out too much flavor from your espresso.

Aim for a pressure of 9 bars, which is the standard for extracting the best flavor. Most budget-friendly espresso machines offer pressure in the 9 to 15 bars range, ensuring you’ll have plenty of options.

On to cleaning.

5. Cleaning & Maintenance

Here’s a quick list of cleaning and maintenance essentials:

  • Descale regularly: Prevents buildup of mineral deposits.
  • Clean steam wand: Ensures quality milk froth.
  • Wipe machine exterior: Keeps your machine looking new.
  • Replace water filters: Maintains water quality for better-tasting coffee.

Regular cleaning is essential to a well-running machine that doesn’t produce bad-tasting drinks. If you don’t have as much time to clean your machines, check if it has easy-to-clean components.

Removable parts, such as drip trays and portafilters, make the process smoother. Many affordable machines will include such features, but won’t have auto-descaling.

Manual espresso makers are the easiest to maintain, since you don’t need to descale and clean steam wands.

Consider all these factors when shopping for a machine.

6. Design & Size

Here are some design elements to consider while browsing:

  • Material: Stainless steel or plastic, depending on your preference.
    • The former lasts longer due to enhanced durability.
  • Color: Choose one that complements your kitchen’s decor.
  • Indicator lights: Helpful for monitoring machine status.
  • Control panel: User-friendly interface is a must.
    • These make using the machine easier.

Smaller kitchens or limited counter space require a compact design. Meaning, you’ll need an espresso maker suitable for tight spaces. Fortunately, many affordable machines are also compact.

Also, mind the machine’s weight, as it affects stability during operation. Since you’ll have a smaller machine, it’s more difficult to find heavier machines. Unless you go with those made of stainless steel.

Since you’ll keep this machine in your kitchen, where guests can see it, you’ll want it to look good.

Speaking of materials—

7. Durability & Warranty

Here’s a quick checklist to help you determine a machine’s durability:

  • Material: Opt for stainless steel or heavy-duty plastic components.
    • These materials are less susceptible to cracking & melting.
  • Brand reputation: Choose a well-known manufacturer with a solid track record.
  • Customer reviews: Look for user feedback on the machine’s longevity.
  • Warranty: A decent warranty period is a good indicator of durability.

Most espresso machines use materials like stainless steel or heavy-duty plastic, contributing to their durability. These materials withstand daily use and resist wear and tear better than their counterparts.

Whether you’ll find an affordable machine that uses stainless steel or thick plastic depends on the brand. For instance, De’Longhi often uses stainless steel for most of their models. Even their more affordable models.

Opt for these materials. The longer your machine lasts, the longer you won’t need to buy a new one.

I specifically didn’t recommend knock-off brands in the above list because they aren’t from reputable brands. And they likely don’t offer warranties.

Usually, I’d recommend using reviews to gauge your purchase, but manufacturers can buy fake 5-star reviews [3]. Explore reviews from different sites, including forums (e.g., Reddit). Use those different perspectives to help paint a picture of what the machine’s really like.

8. Water Boilers

We also need to compare the ways espresso machines heat your espresso maker:

Single boilers:

  • Lower cost compared to double boilers.
  • Longer wait time between brewing & steaming.
    • Not ideal for serving espresso to multiple people.
  • Ideal for casual home users or those on a budget.

Double boilers:

  • Separate boilers for brewing & steaming water.
  • Higher cost due to more complex design.
  • Simultaneous brewing & steaming possible.
    • Great for serving espresso to guests.
  • Better temperature stability & control.
    • More consistent tastes with drinks.
  • Ideal for serious home baristas or small commercial settings.

Thermoblock heaters:

  • Rapidly heats water on-demand instead of a boiler.
  • Mid-range cost between single & double boilers.
  • Faster warm-up time compared to boilers.
  • Potential for less temperature stability.
  • Good for home users prioritizing speed & space-saving.

Now we’ll see the different types of espresso makers available.

Different Types of Espresso Makers Compared

I will discuss the following espresso machine categories and their specific features:

  1. Manual: No automation involved.
  2. Automatic: Handles grinding, tamping, & brewing.
  3. Semi-automatic: Controls pressure & water flow, while you manage grinding & tamping.
  4. Fully-automatic: Takes care of grinding, tamping, & brewing.
  5. Super-automatic: Automates the entire process.
  6. Capsule maker: Fully automated with capsules.

I will explore the automated aspects, advantages over other machines, and average pricing for each type. To learn more, read our article about the different types of espresso machines

1. Manual Espresso Maker


  • Maximum control: Customize every aspect of the brewing process.
  • Unbeatable taste: Rich, full-bodied espresso when done right.
  • Beautiful design: Often has a classic, elegant aesthetic.


  • Steep learning curve: Requires skill & practice to master.
  • Time-consuming: Brewing takes longer compared to other machines.

A manual espresso maker, also known as a lever machine, is a type of espresso maker that provides hands-on experience. It’s perfect for coffee enthusiasts who enjoy complete control over the brewing process.

These machines are often more affordable than most of their counterparts due to a lack of features. They’re usually $100 to $800. Go for something between $100 and $200 as a beginner.

2. Automatic Espresso Maker


  • Consistent results: Automated controls help maintain a uniform taste.
  • Simple operation: Less effort required compared to manual & semi-automatic machines.
  • Time-saving: Faster brewing process for those on-the-go.


  • Less customization: Limited control over extraction variables.
  • Higher cost: Generally more expensive than manual & semi-automatic options.

Automatic espresso makers automate the grinding, tamping, and extraction process. However, milk frothing and water refilling typically remain in your hand.

They work best for beginners looking for an easy-to-use machine. They’re usually between $300 and $3,000.

3. Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker


  • Greater control: Customize extraction time & pressure for personal taste.
  • Ease of use: Some automated features make brewing more straightforward.
  • Affordability: Less expensive than fully & super-automatic machines.


  • Learning curve: Takes time to master the art of espresso making.
  • Inconsistency: Results may vary based on user skill.

Semi-automatic machines automate water pressure and flow control, while grinding, tamping, and milk frothing requires manual input. These machines often cost between $200 and $800. You will likely find many of them under $200.

They work best for anyone who wants assistance from automation, yet gives them control over milk frothing, tamping, and grinding.

4. Fully-Automatic Espresso Maker


  • Consistent results: Produces uniform espresso with minimal user input.
  • Time-saving: Quick & efficient brewing process.


  • Limited control: Less customization options than manual or semi-automatic machines.
  • Price: Typically more expensive than other types.
  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning & descaling required.

Fully-automatic machines handle grinding, tamping, and brewing, while some models even automate milk frothing. The manual input required is filling the water reservoir and bean hopper, and occasional maintenance.

These often cost between $500 and $4,000.

It’s best for busy individuals who prioritize convenience over control and want a hassle-free coffee-making experience.

5. Super-Automatic Espresso Maker


  • Customizable: Offers a variety of settings & adjustments for personal preference.
  • Consistent quality: Delivers uniform espresso with minimal user involvement.


  • Price: Generally the most expensive option.
  • Size: Typically bulkier than other types of machines.
  • Limited control: Not as hands-on as manual or semi-automatic machines.

Super-automatic machines automate grinding, tamping, brewing, milk frothing, and even cleaning. The manual input needed is filling the water reservoir, bean hopper, and emptying the used coffee grounds.

Most of these machines cost over $600. You’ll have a hard time finding anything that’s frugal-friendly.

They’re best for folks who want a variety of coffee drinks with minimal effort. For instance, if you want a flat white drink, press a programmed “flat white” button, and it’ll brew it for you.

6. Capsule Espresso Machines


  • Ease of use: Simple, hassle-free operation.
  • Clean brewing process: No need to deal with coffee grounds.
  • Wide variety: Large selection of coffee pods available.


  • Limited customization: Less control over brewing variables.
  • Pod cost: Ongoing expense for purchasing pods.
  • Environmental concerns: Single-use pods generate waste.

Capsule espresso makers automate the brewing process, eliminating the need for grinding and tamping. Manual tasks typically include water refilling and milk frothing, if desired.

If you want a machine like a super-automatic, but don’t have the budget, opt for these. They’re usually between $100 and $300.

They work best for busy folks with a lot of extra money to spend on endless Nespresso (or K-Cup) pods.


Want complete control over every aspect of making your espresso drinks? Get the NEO by Flair. It’s affordable and will last a long time. If you’re the opposite and want the machine to do everything, get the Nespresso Vertuo. Though, you’ll need to pay more for the single-use pods.

For a traditional espresso-making experience that automates pressure and water dispersion, go for the De’Longhi Stilosa.

DeLonghi Stilosa Espresso Machine

De’Longhi Stilosa: Best Overall

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Semi-automatic
  • Dimensions: 8.07 x 13.5 x 11.22 in (D, W, H)
  • Bars of pressure: 15 bars
  • Boiler type: single
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Milk frother: yes
  • Water capacity: 42 oz / 1.2 l
    • Enough for: 40 solo shots
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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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