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Best single-serve coffee maker 2024 – for perfect, pod coffee

If you want quick, delicious coffee, we have the answers

breville nespresso vertuo creatista
(Image credit: Amazon)
Best single-serve coffee makers 2024: Jump Menu

Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. The list in brief ↴

2. Best overall: Nespresso Vertuo Next

3. Best pod-free: Cuisinart Grind and Brew

4. Best luxury: Nespresso Vertuo Creatista

5. Best smart: Morning Coffee Machine

6. Best Nespresso compatible: Grind

7. Best large: Keurig K-Supreme

8. Best for versatility: Ninja DualBrew Pro

9. Best compact: AeroPress

10. Best budget: Nespresso Vertuo Pop

11. How to choose

12. How we test

13. FAQS

The best single-serve coffee makers are some of life's greatest delights. They can make quick, delicious coffee at the touch of a button, as long as you do your research and spend your money wisely. 

Our team of experts has been testing the best Nespresso coffee machines alongside some of Keurig's most popular coffee makers too. We've looked at other, more understated brands, such as Cuisinart and Ninja who are offering versatile alternatives to the big names in single-serve coffee, so that we can bring you the best pod coffee machines on the market.

We look for models that are quick, slick, and easy to use. The coffee should be as good as some of the best espresso machines but without all the hassle. We've tested nearly seventy coffee makers in the last year and none of those reviews have been sponsored. So, when we say that some of these rival even the best coffee makers we've tested, we really mean it.

The quick list

If you like your information as quick as you like your coffee, here's the place to look. We'll give you the headlines for each single-serve coffee maker. There's more detail further down the guide.

The best single-serve coffee makers 2024

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best single-serve coffee maker overall

1. Nespresso Vertuo Next

An unbeatable coffee maker for quick, delicious coffee

Specifications

Tank size: 38.7oz./ 1.1ltr
Pressure: 19bar
Dimensions: H31.7 x W14.28 x D42.9 cm / 12.4 x 5.5 x 16.88in

Reasons to buy

+
Small footprint
+
High pressure 
+
Made from recycled plastic
+
Works with Nespresso Vertuo capsules

Reasons to avoid

-
No built-in milk steaming
-
Not compatible with Nespresso OriginalLine capsules

The Vertuo Next is my favorite coffee maker that Nespresso makes. It's compact, crafted from over fifty percent recycled materials, and offers a good range of cup sizes (18oz, 14oz, 8oz, and 4oz, as well as single and double shots). If you want a premium single-serve espresso machine that is still good value, this is the one you need.

Nespresso's Vertuo line uses a specific range of coffee pods. This means that you can't use pods from any other brand or line than the Nespresso Vertuo one. Whilst this sounds limiting, you only need to take a look at what they have to offer to see that there's a wide variety on offer. Nespresso makes over 30 different coffee blends on top of a rotating range of limited-edition releases (watermelon cold brew and peppermint pinwheel to name just two).

We've tested a smorgasbord of Nespresso's capsules and enjoyed them all. The machine heats up in just 40 seconds and can make a coffee just as quickly. The Vertuo Next will produce a thick, hazelnutty crema. Whilst this is great aesthetically, it's worth noting that the crema is false and made from 'centrifusion' technology. Nevertheless, the coffees it makes are undeniably delicious. They're some of the best you'll get from a single-serve coffee. 

The only thing this machine lacks is the ability to steam milk, but we would recommend investing in the Nespresso Aeroccino to complete the coffee experience. Sometimes, you can even find bundles where the best milk frother is sold together. 

You can read more in our Nespresso Vertuo Next review.

The best pod-free single-serve coffee maker

Delicious, fresh, waste-free coffee

Specifications

Coffee type: Single-serve
Dimensions: 11 x 7.3 x 12.7"
Brew sizes: 4oz, 8oz, 10oz, 12oz
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Integrated grinder
+
Compact design
+
Makes delicious coffee
+
Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid

-
No warming plate
-
Only makes single servings
-
No milk frothing functions

After we tested the Cuisinart Grind and Brew, it didn't leave our test kitchen for months. Our team of experts called it a 'prolonged test', but they really loved it too much to let it go. We all agreed that we've never had fresh, single-serve coffee like the Cuisinart's: it's bold, strong, and flavorful. Some might say the settings (4 oz and 8 oz) are a little basic, but it makes a good cup of coffee regardless.

The Cuisinart has reusable filter pods, which make this a great choice for those who want to be a little more eco-conscious with their coffee. They're convenient to use, reuse, and then reuse again. It's an easy upgrade to invest in.

Even those who are short on space won't miss out. This is compact enough to tuck under wall cupboards, nestling into any coffee nook. The only obnoxious feature is how loud this is when it's grinding. Coffee beans are effectively stones, so it's inevitable that this will make some noise. However, if you drink coffee before the rest of your house wakes up, you won't be making any friends by investing in the Grind and Brew.

The only things missing from the Cuisinart is a good steam wand (or milk frother) and a warming plate. If you're someone who slowly sips on coffee, you'll need to keep making new drinks and if you like the occasional latte, you'll need to buy a separate milk frother. 

You can find more detail in our Cuisinart Grind and Brew review.

The best luxury single-serve coffee maker

3. Nespresso Vertuo Creatista

A truly indulgent, celebrity favorite

Specifications

Dimensions: 8.98 x 16.41 x 12.64 inches
Capacity: 2 liters
Materials: Brushed stainless steel
Compatible pods: Vertuo

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive aesthetics
+
Makes delicious coffee
+
Expert steam wand
+
Straightforward controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Can overheat
-
Expensive

The Vertuo Creatista was a sensation before it was endorsed by David Beckham. Now that it has celebrity approval, it's been a sell-out and I'm not surprised. This is a machine that scores full marks for style and still delivers on substance too. 

Nespresso teamed up with Breville, another coffee giant, to design the Vertuo Creatista and it shows. The shiny, professional-looking exterior is reminiscent of specialist espresso machines. It looks like it should be ultra-techy, but, in true Nespresso style, this is incredibly straightforward. It's easy to use and even easier to make a delicious cup of coffee.

The steam wand makes use of a temperature probe and some sensitive scales to ensure that your cappuccinos and lattes are as silky and velvety as if a qualified barista had made them. On dairy milks, this was faultless. When I introduced some plant-based milks into the mix, the Nespresso overheated them. They didn't taste burnt, but they were just way too hot to drink. You can stop the Nespresso yourself, but the whole point of investing in a luxury machine is that you push one button and then the machine can do the rest.

This is also only compatible with Nespresso's Vertuo pods. That means that you're limited to Nespresso's range of coffees. 'Limited' might be an exaggeration, because Nespresso makes 30 different Vertuo pods and is always releasing specialist, limited edition flavors, but it's worth noting.

You can find more detail in our Nespresso Vertuo Creatista review.

The best smart single-serve coffee maker

Space-age style meets smart technology

Specifications

Coffee type: single-serve
Dimensions: L40.2 cm x W10.2 cm x H25.5 cm
Pressure: 20 bar
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to use
+
Customisable temperature, roast, and pull options
+
Fantastic coffee
+
Clear display
+
Handy app

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively expensive

Our experts described this machine as 'astonishing'. It's a real treat for coffee geeks and those who like doing a deep dive into their hobbies. You'll find no end of baristas who love the Morning Coffee Maker. That's really saying something because single-serve machines can be the object of a lot of snobbery.

The quick, quiet, and compact running features boasted by the Morning make it an easy choice for a range of people. It comes with the option for ten presets, where you can choose the size and temperature of your coffee down to the drop. It delivers on all its promises: we made some flavorful, delicious, and consistent coffee in the Morning machine. If you normally drink specialty coffee and you're not quite convinced by single-serve coffee, the Morning Coffee Machine will do the job. Alex, our expert tester, said that this delivers flavors that are 'simply in a different league' to all other single-serve models.

Another luxury of this smart model is how well it's connected within the coffee community. You can use just about any pod in it and research deep into the details of each one on the app. You can also buy your pod top-ups through the app where you can find suggestions for different roasts, alongside tips on how to brew them.

If you're not tech-savvy or particularly interested in the finer details of coffee, you're paying a big premium for features that you simply won't be using on the Morning. For most coffee drinkers, it's overkill. You can save a few dollars and still get a really premium Nespresso machine. It's also worth noting that the ultra-modern design might not loom quite as at home in cozy, farmhouse kitchens as it would it sleek and minimalist homes.

There's more detail in our Morning Coffee Machine review.

The best single-serve coffee maker for compatibility

5. Grind One Pod

The single-serve machine you'll see all over socials

Specifications

Dimensions: 13"D x 7"W x 10"H
Capacity: 1.2 liters
Materials: stainless steel

Reasons to buy

+
Makes delicious coffee
+
Sleek design
+
Compatible with range of pods
+
Easy to use
+
Eco-conscious pods

Reasons to avoid

-
Milk frother is a separate appliance
-
High-maintenance exterior

Grind's One Pod Single Serve Coffee Maker is everywhere. The brand's social-media-appropriate aesthetic has featured in almost all the 'fika' videos scattered on my 'for you' page, so I really wanted this to live up to the hype. Thankfully, it does.

The sturdy, stainless steel design is small enough to sit in a bedroom, dorm room, or compact kitchen. It feels like a machine that will last you for a long time. The stainless steel does mark relatively easily, but if you always keep a microfiber cloth nearby, you won't get swamped with work.

When it comes to making coffee in the One Pod, it couldn't be easier. The One Pod offers two coffee sizes, and adjustable coffee lengths, and is compatible with a range of coffee pods. This means that you can enjoy your favorite Nespresso flavors as well as Grind's eco-conscious, relatively cheap pods. It'll brew a delicious, flavorful cup of coffee in next-to-no-time, so this is pretty tricky to fault.

As with most single-serve machines, this doesn't come with a milk frother. Grind does make a good one, but you'll need to buy this in a bundle or separately if you want to enjoy a latte or cappuccino mid-morning.

You can find out more in our Grind One Brew review.

The best large single-serve coffee maker

6. Keurig K-Supreme Plus Coffee Maker

Perfect for big, coffee-loving families

Specifications

Tank Size: 66 oz.
Dimensions: 14.84 x 10.12 x 14.41 inches
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
Outfitted with Keurig's latest Multi-Stream technology
+
Brews iced coffee, too
+
Adjust strength and temperature
+
Makeup to 5 beverages before needing to fill the 66 oz. water tank
+
Works with reusable k-cup pod 

Reasons to avoid

-
No height adjustable cup platform
-
No instructions to set up water filter

The K-Supreme Plus, the largest Keurig edition, can make up to five 12 ounce coffees in one fill. For such a large water reservoir, you'd imagine the Supreme to be quite bulky, rather, we think it looks pretty sleek on your countertop. 

The core design update on the K-Supreme is the incorporation of its new MultiStream technology that extracts more flavor and aroma in every brew. Rather than the singular puncture in the center of the K-cup, the MultiStream uses 5 entrance needles instead of one to saturate the grounds more evenly throughout with water.

It also has features settings to customize your beverage according to the desired size, temperature and brew strength, as well as the ability to store user settings for up to three people, for even more convenience. And if the mood for iced coffee strikes, it also features a pour-over coffee maker ice function.  

Keurig's proprietary K-cups provide some of the most versatility in its pod machines with partnerships with top coffee brands, so you'll rarely have to compromise giving up your favorite blend. Our experts enjoyed the flavors produced by this Keurig, although we felt that they were a little two-dimensional. They do a good job of a basic coffee, but if you're looking to replace your local cafe, you'll need to keep looking.

Keurigs have a reputation as cheaper single-serve machines, but you really do get what you pay for. The build quality of this feels a little less than premium, the cup platform isn't adjustable, and it's generally more fiddly than other machines.

There's more detail in our Keurig K-Supreme SMART review

The most versatile single-serve coffee maker

7. Ninja DualBrew Pro

So much more than a single-serve coffee maker, this offers a range of brew styles

Specifications

Tank Size: 60 oz.
Dimensions: 11.39" L X 9.13" W X 15.54" H
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
Slim design
+
Touch-screen feels high end 
+
Brews a variety of sizes from 2 to 55 oz. to minimize waste
+
Built-in measuring scoop and whisk-style milk frother
+
Hot water option
+
Option to go pod-free, use K-cups, or brew 12-cups

Reasons to avoid

-
Not intuitive to use out of the box
-
K-Cup Adapter has to be removed to brew a carafe
-
Specialty coffee concentrate is not a true espresso and requires clean up to brew specialty-serve consecutively

There are really many reasons to love the Ninja DualBrew Pro, with the ability to choose to use K-cups or coffee grounds. The fold-away milk frother means lattes have never been easier, and the built-in coffee scoop takes out any measuring guesswork. 

There's no shortage of coffee combinations that you can make with the Ninja DualBrew Pro too: Classic, Rich, Over Ice, Specialty (sort of like super concentrated espresso), various cup sizes ranging, built-in milk frother, and even a hot water dispenser. But the real selling point, the opportunity to alternate between a k-cup compatible machine to a 12-cup coffee maker. The flavors are generally good across each brewing option, but the specialty coffee is a little flat in flavor. It's not a true espresso but will do a good job regardless.

The latest update feels high-tech with a digital touch screen that automatically knows which setting to use, and we're very into the boxy retro design. It doesn't take up much space on your countertop either, which is nice, though you'll want to find a space to store the K-cup adapter when brewing with grounds, but this is a small price to pay for having two coffee units out.  In all the DualBrew Pro Specialty Coffee Maker is like having your own coffeehouse on your kitchen counter.

The Ninja DualBrew Pro is one of the most feature-laden coffee makers we've seen in some time with numerous brewing options and cup customizations. The removable Ninja Adapter Pod works with K-cups and is removed to make single-cups up to carafe sizes. It arrives inserted into the filter-basket, and though it took some time to figure out, once you know how to use the DualBrew Pro and its many features, switching between grounds, k-cups or the hot water dispenser becomes muscle memory. 

You can read more in our Ninja DualBrew Pro review.

The best compact single-serve coffee maker

AeroPress Original

(Image credit: AeroPress)
Best compact single-serve coffee maker

Specifications

Dimensions: 1.87"D x 1.87"W x 4.63"H
Weight: 8.8 oz
Capacity: 10 oz
Materials: BPA-free Tritan

Reasons to buy

+
Portable
+
Quick to brew
+
Smooth filtration
+
Can use fine grounds (for sweetness)
+
Range of brewing options (espresso and cold brew)
+
Durable build

Reasons to avoid

-
Unscrewing needs some muscle
-
Lots of parts

AeroPress coffee makers are everywhere these days. They're no bigger than a bottle of water, but hold within them the power to make some seriously delicious coffee. In fact, these are so impressive that our experts ended up buying AeroPresses for themselves after using them. That doesn't happen often.

The AeroPress can make everything from espresso-style coffee to Americanos and cold brews. They're more hands-on than Nespressos and other single-serve coffee makers, because you need to boil water and grind your own coffee. However, once you've added a scoop of coffee and some hot water, all you need to do is press on your coffee maker to extract delicious, rich coffee.

Flavor-wise, this is the best of all the single-serve coffee makers on the market. It's perfect for small spaces, urban apartments, and those who are always on the go. However, the extra-involved process and immediate clean-up required means that it's a little more high maintenance than other models. 

You can read more in our full AeroPress review.

The best value single-serve coffee maker

A black Nespresso Pop on a white background

(Image credit: Nesrpesso)

9. Nespresso Vertuo Pop

The smallest and cheapest single-serve machine you can buy

Specifications

Dimensions: 5.3" x 16.7" x 9.8"
Weight: 7.7 lbs
Colors: Liquorice Black, Spicy Red, Coconut White, Aqua Mint, Pacific Blue, Mango Yellow
Water tank capacity: 20 fl oz
Coffee sizes: Espresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Mug

Reasons to buy

+
Tiny footprint
+
Range of color options
+
Quick to heat up
+
Great value
+
Makes nice coffee

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited size
-
Small water tank

This nearly took our spot for best compact single-serve coffee maker, but it's also exceptional value too. The Vertuo Pop is a team favorite because it's tiny and can still produce Nespresso-quality coffee in next-to-no-time. 

This was super-quick to set up. Our experts said they didn't need instructions for any part of the coffee-making process. The most fiddly part of the Pop is lifting the small water tank from out of the back, but that's only because we had this under a shelf. The water tank itself is small, so you'll need to refill it often. For that reason, we'd recommend storing this somewhere with easy access to the back of the machine. Whilst topping up a water tank can be quite time-consuming, it'll stop you from drinking stagnant water.

When it came to taste-testing, this seriously impressed our experts. It only takes the Original capsules, which means that you can't delve into the Vertuo line, but the Original capsules are great. We enjoyed Nespresso's trademarked Centrifusion Technology which made a thick, hazelnutty crema. 

We also liked the lack of buttons and controls. The Pop does all the thinking for you, using Automatic Blend Recognition to adjust brew sizes for you. There aren't as many options as other machines, but this is nevertheless good.

You can read more in our Nespresso Vertuo Pop review

How to choose the best single-serve coffee maker

Nespresso Vertuo Pop

(Image credit: Nespresso)

When it comes to single-serve coffee machines the most important factor isn’t actually the machine, it’s the type of coffee you enjoy drinking. However, depending on the machine you use, you will need to buy the pods that work with the machine. 

If you love a deep and complex shot of espresso, Nespresso’s excellent selection of capsules – both traditional and Vertuo - will keep you caffeinated. 

Nespresso is the most established pod brand and has the largest choice of machines, from the very cheap, to the eye-wateringly expensive. Most only produce black coffee in various volumes, so you may need a separate milk heater/frother for cappuccino and lattes.

Meanwhile, if you prefer a wide range of coffee options, Keurig has partnerships with tons of coffee brands from Starbucks to Green Mountain that are readily available online and in stores. In addition to standard coffee, you'll also find k-cups for milkier lattes, teas, and other specialty beverages.   The k-cups also tend to be more affordable than Nespresso pods. 

Many other brands have adapted their own machines to work with Keurig's k-cup technology or have created their own single-serve options that work with your favorite ground coffee. 

How we tested these single-serve coffee makers

A Morning Coffee Maker lined up next to a Nespresso Latissima One, a Nespresso Vertuo Pop, and a Nespresso Vertuo Next

(Image credit: Future / Alex David)

At Homes & Gardens, we are meticulous with our tests. Our team of experts are always looking for the best single-serve coffee makers on the market. When there's one we think you'll like, we take it to our dedicated test kitchen. There, we put it through a series of standardized tests so that we can see how well it fares against the other models on the market. We also make notes on any extra special features and whether they're genuinely good or useless gimmicks. 

We'll also let you know how it looks on the countertop, what it's like to clean, and other factors that you'll need to consider. If you're interested in finding out more, you can visit our dedicated page for how we test.

FAQs

How much should I spend on a coffee maker?

Single-serve coffee machines are generally quite affordable – from $50 upwards to $300 - but this price is often kept low in order to get you to buy specific branded pods, such as Nespresso. In fact, some brands offer discounted coffee machines if you buy a certain number of pods or subscribe to their coffee clubs.

Don't forget to also buy a coffee canister, to store your pods on your countertop — and in style.

Is a single-serve coffee maker better than drip coffee makers?

Nespresso coffee maker

(Image credit: Nespresso)

Single-serve, or pod machines, promise mess-free coffee with minimal fuss, you just pop in a pre-measured coffee pod, press the button, and wait. There’s no measuring, tamping, grinding, temperature adjusting...just quick, delicious coffee and minimal clean-up. It's convenient and requires very little ex