The Best Single-Serve Coffee Makers Our Allstars Love
Single-serve coffee makers are the perfect solution for those people who want to make one cup at a time instead of brewing a full pot. Not only are they convenient for those who live alone, but they are also a great option for couples and families, allowing each person to customize their cup. You can shop single-serve coffee makers for black coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, cold brews, and everything in between.
To help you narrow down your options, we turned to the coffee-loving Allrecipes Allstars to share their favorite single-serve coffee makers they use at home. After researching and talking to this network of home cooks and testing out some of the models ourselves, we determined that the most important qualities in a single-serve machine are its size, brewing options, and speed, as well as how easy it is to use and clean and how good the resulting drinks taste. Ahead, you can see why we chose Keurig's K-Elite Coffee Maker as our top pick, as well as the other best single-serve coffee makers on our list.
- Best Overall: Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker
- Best Budget: Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
- Best for Espresso: Nespresso by Breville Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
- Best for Iced Coffee: Keurig K-Supreme Coffee Maker
- Most Versatile: Instant Pot Dual Pod Plus 3-in-1 Coffee Maker
- Most Durable: Keurig Office Pro Commercial Coffee Maker
- Most Stylish: Cuisinart Coffee Makers Premium Single-Serve Brewer
- Best for Small Spaces: Keurig K-Mini Single-Serve Coffee Maker
- Best Portable: AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
We landed on Keurig's K-Elite Coffee Maker as our best overall pick because it provides incredible customization features without an expensive price tag. It's suitable for hot and iced coffee; it has five cup sizes ranging from 4 to 12 ounces; and it gives you the option to make your coffee extra strong.
How to Pick the Right Single-Serve Coffee Maker
Pods vs. Ground Coffee
Most single-serve coffee makers are compatible with store-bought, single-use coffee pods and reusable coffee pods (which are much kinder to the environment). Reusable coffee pods can be filled with fresh ground coffee an endless number of times. Other coffee makers will provide a reusable filter to fill with ground coffee, so if you don't want to use pods, whether single-use or reusable, these might be a better option for you.
Some coffee makers brew just one cup size, while others can brew a range of sizes from 2-ounce espresso shots to 50-ounce carafes. There are also many choices when it comes to the type of coffee drink, including standard hot coffee, iced coffee, cappuccinos, lattes, and more, as well as the brew strength.
For people who drink one cup a day, there's no need to commit to a coffee maker with a large water reservoir. But frequent sippers and coffee-drinking families should consider machines with large water reservoirs, as they save you from constant refills. When it comes to size, you'll also want to consider how much free countertop space you have.
Single-serve coffee makers are great for busy individuals, as they can heat water and brew coffee in a fraction of the time it takes traditional coffee makers to. However, not all single-serve coffee makers are created equal. Total brew time (including the water heating process) can range anywhere from under a minute to up to four minutes total. If speed is a priority, keep this in mind when choosing your coffee maker.
The more features your coffee maker has, the higher the price tag. For those who love specialty coffee, this could be well worth the investment. If you want a no-frills, no-fuss model, there are plenty of cost-friendly options available.
What's the difference between Nespresso and Keurig?
Nespresso and Keurig are both popular brands of single-serve coffee makers. Nepresso machines use Nespresso capsules to make espresso drinks, like lattes and cappuccinos. Keurig coffee makers use K-Cups and other compatible pods for coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Both brands have several different models to choose from, but overall, Keurig machines tend to be less expensive than Nespresso ones.
How do you clean a single-serve coffee maker?
One of the most common ways to clean a single-serve coffee maker is to fill the water tank with a vinegar and water solution. Simply pour white distilled vinegar halfway up the reservoir and then top it off with water. Brew the solution and then a pot or two of water until it's completely gone and doesn't smell like vinegar. You complete this cleaning every few months. For Keurig machines, replace the water filter every two months.
Why Take Our Word For It?
Allrecipes is a community-driven food brand that shares cooking inspiration with home cooks around the world. Our Allstars, a select group of home cooks who contribute content to our brand, offered their insights and product recommendations for single-serve coffee makers based on their own personal experiences.