The Best Coffee Makers Of 2021
You can’t beat the convenience of a single-serve coffee maker. Pop in a pod, push a button, and a minute or two later, you’ve got a fresh cup of coffee, brewed right into your mug of choice. The coffee practically brews itself, so it’s easy to see why single-serve coffee makers are one of America’s most popular brewing methods.
But with hundreds of single-cup coffee makers on the market, how do you find your perfect machine? We’ve done the hard work for you. Below, you’ll find our in-depth reviews of this year’s 8 best single-serve coffee makers, plus a few tips to help you shop. Our reviews compare price, warranty, durability, ease of use, appearance, and performance. We’re here to show you the good and the bad in each product so you can make the best choice, no matter what you’re looking for.
Out of all the machines we reviewed, the Keurig K55 is our top pick. It comes from the company that invented single-serve coffee machines, so it’s no surprise that it’s the best K-Cup coffee maker on the market. It’s reasonably priced, with a large 48-ounce water reservoir and a convenient auto-off feature. This machine also has one of the fastest brewing times available, at under a minute per cup.
The K55 is designed to work with official K-Cup coffee pods, but has the added flexibility of working with pods from other brands. It brews in three cup sizes, six, eight and 10 ounces, accessible via intuitive buttons. The simple interface also has indicators for water level, descaling, and heating.
The K55 is on the larger side, weighing 10.6 pounds and standing 13.3” high. While not ideal for a small kitchen, the added size gives the machine a solid, durable feel, and makes it easier to access the water tank and clean the machine. As long as you have room on your counter, this coffee maker could be a great choice.
Though we didn’t experience any in testing, we have found reports of pump failures, so you’ll want to register your machine to take advantage of the one-year warranty.
Breville BDC450BSS Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker
Breville’s BDC450 is one of a select handful of machines that’s certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). That means the water heats to the optimal temperature for coffee brewing, and for the optimal amount of time too.
The end result is a knockout cup of coffee. Suffice to say it’s always worth looking out for this hallmark when you’re shopping around for a new coffee maker!
You may never want to move away from this SCA mode, which Breville’s terms its Gold Cup preset. If you do want to experiment more, however, there are a number of different presets to explore.
You might, for example, want to increase the strength of the brew, speed it up, or optimize the process for iced coffee. If you don’t mind waiting, you can even experiment with the now-popular cold brew process, where you leave the coffee to slowly steep overnight.
It’s a very flexible machine all things considered, and I always appreciate having one appliance that can do many things well.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can play around with those settings to come up with your own presets. That means as your confidence grows you can tweak things precisely to your own tastes. I think that’s a nice touch.
It’s also very easy to use. You select all these options with a simple dial, and the options are clearly displayed on the display screen. You just turn the dial slowly to cycle through the options.
Topping it all off I think it’s a very smart looking kitchen appliance. The 60oz water tank is reasonably generous and located at the top of the machine for easy filling. The stainless steel carafe matches the brewing basket and main body of this coffee maker well too.
BLACK+DECKER CM2035B Coffee Maker
Enjoy full and rich flavoured extraction out of the Black Decker 12 cup coffeemaker. This device has vacuum seal to make sure the coffee remains hot for hours. No matter how lazy or sleepy you are in the morning, the function buttons are quite clear to catch your attention. As an added feature, it has the strength selector that lets you choose the regular, strong and bold flavour of the brew. Also, the LCD display has a fresh brew timer to indicate the pass time since the coffee was brewed.
Sneak your cup and the brewer will stop the flow of coffee to let you pour the first cup without making a mess at the counter. Why is it a great and budget friendly choice? Because it features 24 hour programmable auto brew, auto shutoff function, cord storage, dishwasher safe carafe, freshness indicator, small brew option, water level indicator, sneak-a-cup technology and all this under $50.
Cuisinart DCC 3200 P1 Coffee Maker
The Cuisinart DCC 3200 14 cup Programmable Coffee Machine isn’t going to win any design awards but if they gave out awards for creating large batches of delicious, cafe-quality coffee it would certainly be in the running. The DCC 3200 coffee machine presents an array of programmable features that allows pinpoint control over the size, strength and duration of the brew and the adjustable warming plate allows you to keep the contents of the carafe at precisely the temperature you wish.
The DCC 3200 coffee machine from Cuisinart is a large volume coffee machine that acts like a small volume coffee machine and the proof is in the pudding, or in this case the coffee. From first cup to last you’ll enjoy every drop you brew in the 3200 and your guests will likely be asking you if you use a coffee press or some other form of exotic brewing system to achieve such outstanding taste. If you like to take your favorite coffee for the go, make sure you check our guide to the best coffee thermoses.
BUNN BT Velocity Brew Coffee Maker
As you might expect from Bunn this 10 cup home coffee machine is as thoughtfully engineered as it is tastefully designed. It doesn’t waste any time in the performance of its duties, brewing a full 10 cups of delicious, robust coffee in just over 3 minutes. When it comes to brewing coffee Bunn has been at it a long time and they’ve poured just about everything they know into this outstanding value product.
The Bunn BT is as solidly dependable as any coffee machine on the market. Some purists may object to the stainless steel (as opposed to glass) carafe but we found it kept the coffee warm longer (important since there’s no heating pad) was generally easier to maintain and removed the threat of breaking or cracking glass. Most importantly though this coffee machine makes a superb cup of coffee.
Braun Brew Sense Drip Coffee Maker
Often, the most expensive small kitchen appliances are the best. A higher price point usually denotes a higher quality product. For once, in our opinion, the cheapest model is actually the best option.
The Braun BrewSense KF7150BK is affordable, compact, and looks great (if not a little quirky). It has a whole host of features designed to help you produce delicious coffee. If you can make your peace with a slow-ish brew time and a tricky to fill reservoir, we think you’ll appreciate this coffee maker as much as we do.
Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
If classic drip coffee is what you’re after, look no further than this dual-functioning device from Hamilton Beach. Not only can it brew a 12-cup carafe of coffee to serve a crowd, but it also has a single-serve option to fill up a single cup (or tall travel mug) for one. Other features that make this a customer-favorite include a programmable start time option so you can wake up to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee, a brew strength selector so you know you’ll get the flavor you love, and a hot warming plate to keep a big batch piping hot for as long as you need. If that’s not enough to convince you to add to your cart, perhaps one of the nearly 5,000 five-star reviews this coffee maker has garnered on Amazon will sway you. Shoppers love having the option to make different serving sizes, and say this handy machine works like a charm.
Cuisinart DGB-800 Fully Automatic Burr Grind & Brew
The DGB-800 is the most expensive machine on our list, but it offers a brilliant bean-to-cup experience. If you appreciate the flavor of freshly ground coffee, it’s a winner.
The beans are ground with a professional-style burr grinder, so there’s an even consistency for brewing. The grounds flow smoothly into the brew basket, helped along by the auto-rinse feature.
You can program the machine to grind enough coffee for anything between 4 and 12 cups. And you can adjust the strength of the brew from regular to bold, to extra-bold.
It also features a gold tone filter for the coffee and charcoal filter for the water. The bean hopper holds 8 ounces. And if you prefer, you can switch off the grinder and use pre-ground coffee instead.
There’s a 24-hour programmable timer, but it’s not as easy to use as some other models. Be prepared to spend a bit of time with the instruction manual.
And note that it’s rather tricky to get the last one or two cups of coffee out of the carafe. You’ll need to hold it at a sharp angle, and perhaps take off the lid too.
All in all, though, this is a great machine for anyone who loves really fresh coffee.
You already know you want a one-cup coffee maker. You’ve taken a look at our in-depth reviews of the 10 best machines on the market. But do you know what your perfect machine looks like? Here are a few quick tips to help you choose.
One of the first decisions to make is what kind of coffee to use. Are you looking for the convenience of pre-packaged pods, or do you prefer to buy your own coffee beans?
K-Cups, Nespresso pods, and other coffee pods can be expensive compared to buying coffee beans in bulk. You don’t have to grind or measure your own beans, but that convenience may cost you a bit more.
If you’re the only coffee drinker in your family, or your family members all prefer different kinds of coffee, single-serve brewers can be more efficient. People in the coffee industry joke that before single-serve machines, the sink was their best customer. Your coffee pods can save you money by helping you avoid using more coffee beans than you need or brewing more coffee than you can drink.
If you’re not sure, or you’re sharing your machine with someone with different priorities, you may want to look for flexibility. Many single-serve machines have the option of using pre-packaged pods or reusable pods that you fill yourself. Have a tea or hot chocolate drinker in the house? Look for machines with dedicated hot water buttons, or pick up hot chocolate pods for your K-Cup compatible brewer.
If you worry about the plastic from all those pods, choose a coffee maker that’s compatible with reusable mesh filters, or look into Nespresso’s pod recycling program.
What makes a high-quality single-serve coffee maker? Convenience is the name of the game here, so you want to avoid impediments to a smooth brewing experience. Before you shop, take a moment to think about what you’re looking for from a coffee maker.
Price: Are you looking to get the most out of your tight budget, or are you willing to spend a bit more to get exactly what you want?
Size: Do you have plenty of counter space, or are you shopping for a small kitchen, dorm room, or RV? Keep in mind that you’ll need enough space to access the water reservoir.
Appearance: Consider how your new coffee maker will fit into your kitchen. Are you looking for something fun and colorful, sleek and elegant, or low-key and simple?
Customization: Do you want to be able to adjust things like water temperature, coffee strength, and cup size, or is that more than you need?
Brewing time: Do you need your coffee ready as quickly as possible, or can you take a few extra minutes to brew?
Your time: Do you have the time and patience to explore a new machine, or do you want it to be ready to go right out of the box?
Once you’ve decided what you want, it should be simpler to find your perfect single-serve coffee maker. If you’re pressed for time, look for a streamlined machine with a fast brewing time. Short on space? Keep a close eye on the coffee makers’ dimensions. Travel a lot or shopping for an RV? Choose a brewer that weighs five pounds or less.