Best Single Serve Coffee Maker Reviews

If you want gourmet coffee in a hurry without leaving home, single cup, pod-driven coffee makers are a cost-effective and convenient asset to any kitchen.

In today’s single serve coffee maker reviews, we’ll give you a snapshot of 5 of the strongest performers in this highly competitive market.

5 Best Single Serve Coffee Maker Reviews

Whether you want a basic machine that will serve up capsule coffee at the push of a button or a more advanced appliance capable of delivering iced coffees or longer foamy drinks, read on for some of the strongest options at your disposal…

Keurig is practically synonymous with single serve coffee makers and the highly affordable and iconic K55 has long been a jewel in their impressive range.

This is a lower-end Keurig and there’s a great deal of plastic so keep your expectations realistic. If you drink a moderate amount of coffee and you’re looking for a cost-effective entry point into single serve machines, the K55 makes perfect sense.

The charcoal filter thrown in gets rid of over 75% of all accumulated sediment meaning you’ll get your coffee started with the perfect base.

As with all single serve machines, all you need to do is pop in any K-Cup pod and the machine does the rest. After a 4-minute initial warm up, coffee is served in less than 60 seconds.

The water tank gives you enough for 6 cups before you need to refill so you get convenience not just speed.

If you’re looking for an understated and keenly-priced single serve coffee maker from a brand you can trust, the Keurig K55 Classic is hard to beat.

Pros.

  • Rapid delivery in less than 1 minute
  • Use any type of K-Cup pod
  • Charcoal filter included
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Large removable water tank

Cons.

  • 110/120 volts only
  • Questionable durability

Although it’s made from plastic, the slick chromed-out SS-10 from the legendary Cuisinart is an entry-level single serve coffee maker that punches above its weight.

You’re spoiled for choice with drinks. You’ll be able to use just about any K-Cup pod if you like the security of capsule coffee or you can use hot water on demand if you want to branch out into hot chocolate, tea or other infusions.

The SS-10 does not have the far-reaching programmability of some single serve machines but you’ll be able to program it to come on or off up to 24 hours in advance so you can shave precious minutes off your morning routine.

Choose from 5 drink sizes whether you want a dinky 4 oz shot of espresso or a longer 12 oz Americano. The water tank comes with charcoal filtration and you’ll be able to make up to 8 drinks on a single fill.

For a user-friendly single serve machine that guarantees you great coffee at the push of a button, road test the Cuisinart SS-10.

Pros.

  • Programmable through 24 hours
  • 5 brew sizes
  • Compatible with all K-Cup pods
  • Get hot water on demand
  • 72 oz water reservoir for 6 to 8 coffees

Cons.

  • Fairly sluggish
  • No backlight on reservoir

Nespresso’s patented Centrifusion extraction technology spins the Grand Cru capsules at high velocity to ensure the very best coffee in your cup. Nespresso machines are single serve simplicity at its finest.

Unlike most single serve coffee makers which accept K-Cup pods, the Nespresso line uses capsules from its own ecosystem. This machine is compatible with Vertuoline capsules only not the Originalline variants. If you find you forget to re-order, consider joining the Nespresso Club. You’ll be able to order online or by phone 24 hours a day and you’ll also be eligible for personal support. There’s also a capsule recycling service if you live in the States.

The machine will automatically recognize the roast you use and will optimize settings to give you the best possible roast with the minimum of fanfare. You’ll get coffee as quick as instant without that weak and body-less beverage in return.

The water tank is not the largest but you should manage up to 6 cups before you need to refill.

If you don’t mind the ongoing expense of the capsules and you want a stress-free coffee in minutes flat, this single serve Nespresso machine is a must-try.

Pros.

  • Use large or small Nespresso capsules
  • Frother included
  • Touch button operation
  • 54 oz water reservoir makes 6 coffees
  • Starter pack of capsules

Cons.

  • Reasonably expensive
  • Cannot use K-Cup pods

Hamilton Beach has long produced extremely cost-effective kitchen appliances that pack a punch on the performance front.

If you can’t decide whether you prefer capsule coffee at the push of a button or a large carafe using your favorite pre-ground, get the best of both worlds with this 2-in-1 brewer. The trade-off of this functionality is a fairly bulky unit. If space is of the essence, you can choose this machine as a single serve only slimming the footprint right down at the expense of the carafe.

The base model comes with a glass carafe which will satisfy purists. You can also opt for a thermal variant if you want to keep your coffee warm on the go.

If you’re impatiently waiting for the 12 cup carafe to drip through, why not hit auto-pause and grab a sneaky cup? You’ll also be able to command the machine to automatically power down but that’s about the extent of the programmability here.

For a versatile and flexible machine capable of delivering gourmet coffee at the press of a button, the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew is well worth popping on your shortlist.

Pros.

  • 2-in-1 brewing system
  • Glass or thermal carafe
  • Make up to 12 cups of coffee
  • Auto-pause and auto-off
  • Extremely affordable

Cons.

  • Limited programmability
  • Pretty bulky

Last but by no means least in our single serve coffee maker reviews is a budget machine from Shark-Ninja of vacuum cleaner fame.

The Ninja Coffee Bar is an innovative take on the single serve that allows you to enjoy your drinks hot or cold and through pods or the reusable filter. You really are spoiled for choice.

You’ll be able to program in a range of specialty drinks which you can enhance with a short shot of highly concentrated coffee. Whether you want a latte or cappuccino, the integrated frother will put the finishing touches on nicely. This frother doesn’t steam the milk so if you want hot foam, you’ll need to microwave it.

Ninja offers up a solid array of accessories worth investigating. Whether you want a caddy to keep your beans fresh or a travel tumbler for your morning commute, kiss goodbye to the daily Starbucks run and say hello to hot and iced coffee from the convenience of home.

Combining speed, convenience and affordability in a strikingly designed package, the Ninja Coffee Bar is a strong contender for the best budget single serve coffee maker on the market.

Pros.

  • Use pods or pre-ground coffee
  • Hot or iced drinks
  • Classic and rich brews
  • Milk frother
  • Huge range of drinks

Cons.

  • Some issues with overbrewing
  • Substantial unit

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What To Consider When Buying a Single Serve Coffee Maker

While on the surface single serve coffee makers look very simple and also very similar, there’s a fair degree of difference between brands and models.

Now you’ve got 5 great machines in your crosshairs, here are some common elements to consider that will simplify your buying decision further.

Size

Single serve coffee machine vary quite dramatically in terms of dimensions.

If you’ve got a smaller kitchen, look for one that’s not going to eat up too much counter top real estate.

The nature of the design of most single serve coffee makers means you’ll need to flip open the lid in order to insert or remove capsules. Take this into account if you were planning to store your machine in any kind of cabinet. If so, look for one that’s not so tall it will make this problematic.

Capacity

How do you like your coffee?

Every member of your family probably has a different answer and there’s a single cup machine to cater for all tastes.

Drink sizes vary from a 4 oz espresso shot through to a 14 oz travel mug. Many of the best single serve coffee machines allow you to brew a whole carafe. Choose one that offers you the exact sizing you prefer to avoid disappointment.

Look, too, for the size of the water reservoir. This will dictate how many coffees you can brew up before scuttling to the faucet for a refill.

There’s no right or wrong answer here, just the right solution for you.

Type of Drinks

Some single serve machines are limited to pods while others allow you to use pods and reusable filters so broadening your scope and bringing down the price.

If you’re rolling with a pod-based machine, make sure the capsules in question are readily available and offer you the choice you’re looking for.

If you opt for a coffee maker with hot water on demand, you’ll also be able to rack up a soothing hot chocolate or a bracing cup of tea.

User-Friendliness

Even if you’re looking at tech-driven coffee machines, you’ll still want it to be a breeze to operate.

User reviews will invariably highlight any genuine flashpoints or glitches so pay close attention to these for honest and frank feedback.

Only you can decide whether you want a programmable machine or something more basic with simple push buttons.

All of the coffee machines we use here are a dream to navigate delivering the very best in single serve convenience without demanding a PhD to get up and running.

Cleaning and Maintenance

One of the serious downsides of many coffee makers is the fact they’re such a grind to clean out. Some super-automatic espresso machines are so much hassle to maintain it puts you off using them in the first place.

Look for components that detach for ease of cleaning and dishwasher-friendly if that matters to you.

Aside from a weekly clean and descaling your brewing system every 3 to 4 months, there’s little else you’ll need to do by the way of maintenance with the best single serve coffee maker.

Running Costs

When you’re budgeting, it pays to look beyond the bottom line. After all, it’s no use getting what seems like a bargain only to find the cost of capsules is prohibitive.

Make sure you look at the whole picture so you can determine how much your machine will cost you on an ongoing basis.

If you want the convenience of a single serve machine but you’re working on a tighter budget, it might be worth angling for one that allows you to use pre-ground coffee. That way, you’ll get the freshness without the price tag.

A Final Word

We trust you’ve enjoyed these single serve coffee maker reviews and you’ve found one that would make an asset to your kitchen.

Drop us a line with any queries or feedback and comebacks soon!

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