A good single serve coffee maker lets you brew a fresh cup of rich, energizing coffee in just a few seconds. Better yet, there’s no clean-up. If you like your coffee fast and mess-free, you’ll enjoy the simplicity and convenience that a single serve brewer can offer.
Just like regular espresso machines, there are hundreds of single serve coffee brewers on the market. Search on Amazon.com and you’ll find options ranging in price from under $20 to $200 or more.
To help you save time and avoid products that aren’t worth your money, we compared a variety of popular single serve coffee machines on factors like value for money, brew quality, reliability, ease of use and more.
Below, we’ve listed what we believe are the six best single serve coffee makers currently on the market. All of our options are grouped by price, starting from the cheapest single serve brewers and working up to the most expensive, high quality options available today.
To view our full reviews, scroll further down the page to the price bracket that best matches your budget. Alternatively, you can use any of the quick links below to jump directly to the best single serve coffee makers on Amazon:
- If you’re looking for the best ultra-budget single serve coffee maker, we recommend the Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker, which makes excellent coffee and costs less than $40.
- If you’re looking for a reliable mid-priced single serve coffee maker, we recommend the Keurig K55 Single Serve Programmable K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker, which uses the K-Cup single serving coffee system and sells for less than $100 on Amazon.
- If you’re looking for a high-end single serve coffee maker with plenty of useful features, we recommend the Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single-Serve Coffeemaker, which also uses the Keurig K-Cup coffee system.
Filter or Pod System: Which is Better?
Single serve coffee makers typically come in two varieties: filter systems, which use a paper or permanent filter to brew coffee, and pod systems, which use removable coffee pods.
Both of these systems have advantages and disadvantages. Pod systems, like Nespresso, tend to brew the best tasting coffee and are our recommendation for use at home. Filter systems are usually smaller, lighter and much less expensive to purchase.
As a general rule, you’ll find filter systems in cheap single serve coffee makers priced at $30 or less. These systems typically use a permanent filter and don’t require the paper filters you’d use with a typical drip coffee brewer.
We’ve included a filter system coffee maker in our list, as one of our budget recommendations. It works well and brews good coffee, but it just isn’t quite on par with other systems from a brewing quality and taste perspective.
Pod systems offer several advantages. Since they use ground espresso sealed inside a capsule or pod, they’re extremely easy to use. All you need to do to brew a cup of coffee is place the pod in the machine and switch it on.
They’re also extremely easy to clean. Instead of wiping down the filter and disposing of ground coffee beans, all you need to do is remove the pod and throw it in the garbage.
The downside of pod machines it that they tend to be more expensive than filter systems, both in the short term and the long term. Since the coffee is sold in single use capsules, you’ll pay a little more for each cup than you would by using a regular espresso machine or filter machine.
In short, if you want simplicity and convenience and don’t mind paying ever so slightly more for each cup of coffee you brew, choose a pod machine. If you want the cheapest possible single serve machine with the cheapest coffee, you’ll get better value for money from a filter system.
The Best Single Serve Coffee Machines for $40 or Less
You don’t need to spend much to get a reliable coffee machine. The single serve coffee makers we’ve listed below both brew a satisfying cup of coffee, albeit without the extra features you can find on more expensive machines.
If you only need a simple cup of coffee in the morning and don’t care much for instant cleaning systems, coffee pods and other luxuries, you’ll be more than satisfied with the two ultra-budget single serve coffee machines below.
BLACK+DECKER DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker
The BLACK+DECKER DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker is a compact single serve coffee brewer that brews directly into a 15-ounce portable mug. Cheap, simple and extremely easy to use, this coffee maker is a great buy if you have a limited budget.
The DCM18S is a filter coffee brewer, meaning you can add ground coffee directly into the filter without the use of any pods or coffee capsules. This coffee brewer uses a permanent filter made from plastic and does not require the use of paper coffee filters.
Using the DCM18S is easy. This coffee maker warms up quickly and brews coffee with the push of a single button. SInce it uses a plastic filter, it’s easy to clean. The mug, filter, filter basket and lid are all made from dishwasher safe stainless steel and plastic.
By far the biggest advantage of this coffee maker is its convenience. The travel mug works well and is perfect for taking your coffee with you to work or class. You can also brew directly into a regular coffee mug or tumbler, if you prefer.
The only real downside of this coffee machine is the quality of the coffee itself. As you’d expect for such a cheap coffee machine, the DCM18S doesn’t brew world class coffee. Expect to deal with a small amount of ground coffee in the mug and a slightly watery feel to your morning cup.
Despite this, the DCM18S is a great budget coffee maker. It costs almost nothing (as of now, it’s available for less than $20 on Amazon) and it brews a single serving of coffee in very little time, making it a great option if you value speed, convenience and simplicity.
Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker
The Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker is our favorite sub-$40 coffee maker. This machine brews a single cup of coffee in very little time, with minimal mess and an easy brewing process that makes it perfect for rushed mornings.
Compared to the BLACK+DECKER DCM18S we reviewed above, the Hamilton Beach 49981A looks and feels like a premium coffee maker. It has a stainless steel exterior that feels solid and durable, with two simple control buttons on the front of the coffee maker for brewing.
This is a filter coffee machine, albeit with a twist. The filter itself doubles as a measuring scoop to help you quickly and easily measure the right amount of coffee for a single cup. Dip the filter into your ground coffee and you’ll have a single serving, all without any weighing or measuring.
The 49981A has two brewing settings — regular and bold — which brew a regular or strong cup of coffee, respectively. It can brew up to 14 ounces of coffee in one cycle, making it ideal if you like to fill up a thermos or coffee mug before you set off for work in the morning.
Other great features of the 49981A include a built-in stand for coffee mugs and a wide drip tray that easily catches any excess coffee. Since this machine uses any ground coffee, it also costs a fraction as much on a per-cup basis as capsule systems like K-Cup and Nespresso.
Priced just under $40, the Hamilton Beach 49981A is a high quality single serve coffee maker that delivers great value for money. If you’ve got a limited budget but want a machine that’s a clear step up from the DCM18S, we highly recommend the Hamilton Beach 49981A.
The Best Single Serve Coffee Maker for $40 to $100
In our opinion, you’ll get the best combination of quality and value for money from a single serve coffee maker in the $40 to $100 price range. Coffee makers in this category typically come with features like brewing strength control and occasionally accept pre-filled coffee pods.
We’ve picked out two mid-priced single serve coffee machines that we think deliver exceptional value for money. The first is a filter-based coffee maker that can brew one cup or an entire pot of coffee at once; the other is a quick and convenient pod coffee brewer.
Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve & Full Pot Coffee Brewer
The Hamilton Beach 49980A is a versatile coffee brewer that you can use to prepare a single serving of fresh filter coffee or an entire 12-cup glass carafe. This coffee maker is an excellent buy for couples and families that like to brew coffee for several people at once.
Compared to the cheaper single serve coffee makers listed above, the 49980A has two huge advantages. The first is the built-in timer system, which lets you program the machine to brew coffee automatically up to 24 hours in advance.
This makes it easy to configure the 49980A to automatically brew your coffee the moment your alarm clock rings, letting you wake up to the smell of fresh filter coffee.
The second advantage of this coffee maker is that it can brew either a single serving or an entire 12-cup pot of coffee at once, depending on your needs. This essentially gives you two machines in one — a regular filter coffee machine and a convenient single serving coffee maker.
Finally, the 49980A itself is a high quality machine. It has a stainless steel and plastic build that feels solid and durable. It also uses paper filters, giving you a smoother brew than a plastic filter coffee brewer with less of a chance of ground coffee ending up inside your cup.
If you’re looking for a two-in-one coffee machine that you can use on your own or with a group, the Hamilton Beach 49980A is a great choice. WIth its sleek design, good build quality and low price, this coffee maker is a great choice for couples, families and even small offices.
Keurig K55 Single Serve Programmable K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker
The Keurig K55 is a compact, simple coffee maker that excels at making tasty, perfectly brewed coffee. Designed around the K-Cup coffee pod system, the K55 is a great mid-priced choice for coffee enthusiasts who don’t want to deal with the clean-up of a traditional espresso machine.
Before we get into the K-Cup system, let’s cover the basics of this coffee machine. It has a large 48 ounce reservoir that will make at least six cups of coffee before it needs to be refilled. It has a simple button control panel that anyone, expert or novice, can use with ease.
It even has an automatic on/off function, letting you save energy by automatically switching the machine off after two hours of inactivity. It’s made of plastic but doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy, and it’s available in four colors, ranging from black and white to blue and rhubarb.
The biggest strength of the K55 is the fact that it uses the K-Cup system. Much like Nespresso, the K-Cup system uses single-serve espresso pods to reduce the amount of cleanup and effort involved in making coffee.
Instead of weighing, grinding and scooping up espresso, you can choose from a huge range of coffee pods from brands like Starbucks and Green Mountain Coffee. If you don’t already have a set of K-Cup pods, we highly recommend picking up a 40 piece starter pack.
Available for less than $100, the Keurig K55 is one of the best mid-priced single serving coffee makers on the market. If you love fresh coffee but hate cleaning your espresso machine after each brew, you’ll enjoy the simplicity and great results of the Keurig K55 Coffee Maker.
The Best Single Serve Coffee Makers for $100+
Step into the $100+ price range and you’ll find high quality single serve coffee brewers from well known brands like Nespresso and Cuisinart. Almost all of the coffee makers in this price bracket use capsule systems like Keurig K-Cup or Nespresso for a faster, easier clean-up process.
Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker
The Nespresso Inissia is a small espresso machine that prepares single servings of fresh coffee using Nestlé’s Nespresso system. Since this machine uses coffee pods instead of loose ground coffee, it’s a great choice if you value quickness, convenience and a simple clean-up process.
The Inissia is available in five colors, ranging from black and gray to red, silver and white. The machine itself has a rigid plastic shell that feels thick and durable. This is a relatively compact single serve coffee machine that can fit onto even the smallest of kitchen counters with ease.
One of the biggest advantages of the Inissia is its speed. This machine heats up in 25 seconds and brews fresh espresso in under a minute. It has two size options — one for a single shot of espresso and another for a ‘lungo’ sized cup of coffee.
Another advantage of this machine — and in fact the entire Nespresso system — is how simple it is to use and clean. Used capsules fall into the machine and only need to be emptied every few days, with no rinsing or washing of filters or any other items required.
Despite these advantages, the Inissia has a couple of downsides. If you prefer to make a pot of coffee, you might find the espresso or lungo size options limiting. The Nespresso capsules are also quite a lot more expensive than roasted whole or pre-ground coffee beans.
In short, if you like espresso and don’t like cleaning up, you’ll like the Nespresso Inissia. Since this machine uses the Nespresso coffee pod system, you’ll be able to use a range of roast and flavor options with it, depending on your tastes.
Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single-Serve Coffeemaker
The Cuisinart SS-10 is a premium single serve coffee maker that uses the Keurig K-Cup coffee pod system. With a large water reservoir, five beverage size options and huge variety of K-Cup coffee options available, this is a great single serve coffee machine for enthusiasts.
By far the biggest advantage of the Cuisinart SS-10 is the K-Cup system. This system is similar to Nespresso but gives you access to a much larger variety of coffee suppliers, ranging from the Green Mountain Coffee company to Torani, Starbucks and other well-known brands.
If you’re interested in buying the Cuisinart SS-10 but don’t have any K-Cup coffee capsules, we recommend picking up a sampler pack with the machine. This way, you can sample 40 different espresso blends before ordering your favorites in bulk.
From a functionality perspective, the SS-10 works very well. It has a large water reservoir that can prepare several day’s worth of coffee before it needs to be refilled. It can also prepare your cup of coffee in one of five sizes, ranging from four to 12 ounces.
Finally, it’s completely programmable, with an automatic on/off feature and a timer, allowing you to automatically schedule a fresh cup of coffee for the exact moment your alarm rings. It’s even equipped with an automatic rinse function to make cleaning up as quick and easy as possible.
As single serve coffee makers go, the Cuisinart SS-10 is definitely on the high-end side, both in its design and its price. However, if you value good coffee and can’t go without a fresh cup every morning, the SS-10 is definitely worth buying.
The Best Single Serve Coffee Makers: Quick Recap
Whether you have $50 or $250+ to spend, you’ll have no problems finding a single serve coffee maker to suit your needs.
At the lower end of the price range, models like the Hamilton Beach 49981A brew great coffee at a very modest price. For slightly more, products like the Keurig K55 and Nespresso Inissia are perfect for making quick, simple and convenient coffee with no cleanup.
Do you have a favorite single serve coffee maker that isn’t on our list? If you have a single serve coffee machine that you think belongs on our “best of” list above, tell us the brand and model in the comments and we’ll keep it in mind for future product reviews, roundups and buyer’s guides.