Table Of Contents_
When you don’t want to brew a full pot of coffee, the best single serve coffee makers are excellent. They’ll make just enough for a single cup. So we spent just over 15 hours of research to find the best single serve coffee makers. More specifically, we looked for pod-compatible coffee machines that offer a quick yet savory brew. All coffee makers on the list can whip up a single serving in just minutes. They hold enough water for at least one full cup of coffee, and some of them even have larger tanks which means more brews before you need to refill. They heat up quickly, brew coffee quickly, and are just as easy to empty and clean. It is no wonder the best keurig coffee maker is so popular. Speaking of popular, check out what makes the best coffee maker so popular.
Our top pick is the Boly Single-Serve Coffee Maker because it’s the only one that comes with a reusable coffee basket, so you can use either coffee pods or ground coffee. You’d have to buy that separately for any of the other options on the list. Speaking of the rest of the list, keep reading to learn more about some of the other best single serve coffee makers we chose.
Boly’s Upgrade Single-Serve Coffee Maker spits out a piping hot cup of coffee in just 90 seconds, which is about average for single-serve machines, but still much faster than traditional coffee pots. This single serve brewer works with K-cups (coffee pods), but also comes bundled with a reusable filter basket you can stuff full of regular coffee grounds. You won’t find a reusable basket included with any of the other machines on this list. Admittedly, most are compatible with reusable pods, they just don’t come with one in the box like Boly’s single serve coffee brewer. Some brands even go out of their way trying to prevent them from being used, like with Keurig’s latest coffee makers.
Related: Also check out our list of the best reusable coffee filters.
Boly’s machine is incredibly lightweight at 1.89 pounds and takes up minimal space on the counter. It has a self-cleaning mode and auto-shutdown feature. This coffee maker type is an important replacement for the coffee pots used in offices since they are not cleaned too often. Also, it holds up to 14-ounces of water in the water reservoir, enough for a single, large cup. A coaster sits below the cup to ensure any spillage is cleaned instantly. Because of its size and limited water tank, Boly’s machine is best for home and personal use, particularly for those who drink just one cup of coffee per day. This coffee maker type is a welcome change for those accustomed to conventional coffee pots. It is one of the best coffee makers out there.
The AdirChef Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker is, as the name describes, the perfect choice for people who are in a rush and always moving. It includes a 15-ounce travel mug that you can brew your coffee right into, as opposed to a traditional mug or carafe. It also has a permanent, eco-friendly filter that sits inside the unit. The eco-friendly coffee maker type also allows you to save money and cut out waste since there’s no need to replace filters. Besides cleaning it regularly, you don’t have to swap out the filter for paper-based ones. Also, you can use your favorite ground coffee with the machine, but that means it’s not compatible with pods or K-cups.
At 1.3 pounds, AdirChef’s single serve coffee brewer is the lightest on the list which means not only does it not take up much counter space, but it’s much more portable. You could easily fit the single serve brewer into a day bag or small luggage if you want to bring it with you on a trip. Better still, everything you need is included such as the water reservoir, filter, machine, and travel mug — you just need to supply the coffee, and that’s it. You may also like the best pour over coffee maker.
Two things make Mueller Austria’s Ultimate Single-Serve Coffee Maker appealing. First, it’s designed to work with virtually all pods (1.0 and 2.0) and K-cup sizes. You don’t have to be so choosy when picking out pods to use with the system, which means you can get them at just about any store. Second, the machine includes a large 48-ounce water tank or reservoir. Depending on what size brews you make, that’s enough to hold about five or six uses at a time. Most of the other makers on the list only hold enough for a single-serving. With this single serve brewer, you can choose from four different brew sizes, including 6, 8, 10, and 12-ounce servings. Plus, the system brews hot Joe in about a minute, on par with most other machines listed here.
It’s easy to clean, weighs 2.2 pounds, and doesn’t take up too much counter space. Mueller’s machine is perfect for anyone that makes a few servings of coffee at a time, yet doesn’t want to constantly refill the water tank. That also means it’s an excellent choice for an office or small business. Compare it to the best Cuisinart coffee maker.
These days, Keurig is pretty much a household name and the K-Elite Single-Serve Coffee Maker is no exception to that rule. The price also reflects that, as this machine is the second-most expensive on the entire list, behind only the De’Longhi a gourmet-grade machine. That said, the K-Elite offers several excellent features including a huge 75-ounce water tank — enough for about 8 cups — a removable drip tray, and a slew of brew options. The most relevant is that you can choose from five different brew sizes, including 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12-ounce brews. It has the most size choices out of anything on this list unless you count the De’Longhi Nespresso’s different drink options. The Keurig takes 20 to 30 seconds to heat up between brews so it’s quick.
The biggest drawback is that the Keurig K-Elite only works with K-cup pods, which are more expensive. Luckily, there are several third-party reusable pods, and Keurig even sells one now — the K-Cup Universal Reusable Coffee Filter. Keurig’s K-Elite maker is ideal for anyone that loves this style of machine and doesn’t mind the premium price. The bigger water tank means it can be used just about anywhere, whether for home and personal use or at a business or office. If you prefer to grind, check out the best coffee maker with grinder.
Hands down, just about any De’Longhi brand machine is going to be more expensive than anything else, and the Nespresso ENV135B Coffee and Espresso Machine certainly reflects that. It is the most expensive single-serve coffee maker on the entire list. Despite that, however, it can make several gourmet-style drinks including Espressos (1.35oz), Double Espressos (2.7oz), Gran Lungo (5oz), Coffee (7.7oz), and Alto (14oz). You’ll notice each one of those drinks is a different size, too. The Nespresso takes 15 to 20 seconds to heat the water between each brew, one of the faster brewing times.
It uses two different Nespresso Vertuo capsule sizes, one for coffee and the other for Espresso. Built-into the machine is a smart barcode system that scans the pod you put inside and automatically adjusts brew settings including the drink size. That also means you have to buy and use specific pods made for this machine, not even the original Nespresso pods will work — they have to be from the Vertuo series. De’Longhi’s Nespresso machine is best for those who want a gourmet-quality brew, and don’t mind the limitations. There’s also something to be said for the best drip coffee maker.
The Chulux Single-Serve Coffee Maker is perhaps best compared to the top pick, Boly’s Upgrade machine. It has a low profile and only weighs 2.2 pounds, so it won’t take up much space. It also has a small water tank, capable of holding a mere 10-ounces. That’s only good for a single brew at a time, so you won’t be making a lot of coffee with this machine in one sitting, but that’s the point. It takes single-serve capsules like K-cup pods, but you could also insert a reusable pod — unlike Boly’s unit one isn’t included with the Chulux, however. Have a look at the top kitchen gadgets as well.
It takes 2 to 3 minutes to brew a cup of coffee, which is one of the slowest brew cycles on the list, but again, still faster than traditional coffee makers. Because it takes longer, though, that also means the finished coffee is hotter — much warmer than a Keurig brew. A removable drip tray and filter basket are easy to take out and clean. Just keep in mind the filter basket is not suitable for use with ground coffee, you’ll still need a reusable pod. The Chulux is one of the cheaper machines on the list, on par with the Boly Upgrade but slightly more expensive than the last machine — Presto’s MyJo. It’s ideal for use just about anywhere from hotels to home offices, for those who only brew a single cup at a time and no more. If you don’t like pods, read about the best whole bean coffee.
The Presto 02835 MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker is the most portable on the entire list, even more so than AdirChef’s Grab N’ Go machine. It weighs just 14.1-ounces, less than a pound (0.88 lbs), so it’s not heavy at all and it’s small enough to fit in a bag. You can tote it pretty much anywhere. It doesn’t include a heater-unit built-in, however. You’re meant to heat the water elsewhere, like in a microwave, and then add it to the reservoir at the top. It still works with disposable K-cup pods though, which means you can insert a reusable pod, too. Its design is only suitable for one size serving, up to 10-ounces total at a time. To use it you attach the entire unit to the top of a mug or cup. If you want to upgrade to a Latte in the morning, take a look at the best espresso machine instead.
Presto’s MyJo machine is only suitable for personal use, primarily when you’re out-and-about. There’s almost no reason to use it at home, as it’s meant to be a secondary system. Even so, you will need access to something that heats water like a microwave or oven. The best coffee maker awaits.
All of the coffee makers you see on the list are different, that much is true but they do meet certain requirements. One of the most important features we considered during selection was compatibility. Except for the De’Longhi Nespresso machine — which gets a pass because it’s a gourmet-grade unit — you can pretty much use any K-cup pods or your own coffee in a reusable pod with the machines you see listed. You just have to match up the sizes to the machine you’re using. We recommend selecting an option that’s compatible with ground coffee and not just a pod coffee model since coffee pods don’t always offer the same variety as other options, and they can be unnecessarily expensive. If you’re looking to upgrade your coffee, check out the best espresso machine too.
All machines also have an auto-shutoff feature that will prevent them from using too much power when not in use. The only one that doesn’t is the Presto MyJo, because it has no heating element. Furthermore, each machine holds enough for a single-serving of coffee, starting at 10-ounces. A few of them include bigger water tanks and they hold enough water for multiple brews.
Finally, the last thing we considered was the taste, with the crema being a part of that. Does the coffee maker actually produce an enjoyable beverage? Rest assured, every machine on the list make full-bodied, delicious coffee. If you’re looking for the best taste, above all, De’Longhi’s Nespresso takes the cake and it makes an amazing layer of crema. You can’t go wrong with any of the others, either.
You can compare pricing, specs, and customer reviews by searching our Top Picks and other popular brands on Amazon.com.
Many of the newer single-serve coffee makers use a pod-based brew system, usually dubbed Pod 1.0, 2.0 or some other version number. They’re also called K-cups, which we’ll get to in a minute. Keurig, a brand you may recognize, made the pod design quite popular. As you might have guessed, its coffee makers use K-cup pods. Keurig is not the only brand that now uses the pod system, and it’s certainly not the only brand to have a proprietary capsule design. De’Longhi also uses pods for its coffee makers, exclusively called Vertuo capsules. Generally, pods hold enough ground coffee or mixture within to make a single drink. After you use them, you merely discard the pod and move on. They can be extremely convenient, especially in the mornings when you’re in a hurry. However, they also tend to be more expensive than traditional ground or whole bean coffee. Plus, if you want to use your favorite coffee, that might also be a problem as it can be tough to find specific pods — although most grocery stores do have bigger pod selections these days thanks to popularity. It is worth noting that you can buy pod-size attachments to pack full of traditional coffee. The attachments usually work like a filter, which you place inside your single-serve maker, just like a pod. As for whether or not you should choose a pod-based coffee maker over a traditional one, that’s up to you. Now that you better understand the difference, you merely need to decide between pre-packaged pods or K-cups, or traditional ground or whole bean coffees.
As you’re constantly filling the coffee makers with water, single serving or not, there’s always the chance that some nasty stuff might build-up inside. For the most part, if you’re using filtered water inside the unit you should be able to avoid frequent cleanings. Filtered water also tends to make the coffee taste much better than tap. If you’re worried the system needs a thorough cleaning, you can use a light water and vinegar solution to run through a cycle. Create a mixture of about ⅓ vinegar and ⅔ water and pour it into the water reservoir. Then, just run the coffee maker through a brewing process — sans the coffee, obviously — and it should clean out everything nicely. Repeat the process every few months or so, or when you feel like it needs to be cleaned. Vinegar and lemonade work well for descaling the coffee makers, too. Calcium deposits or scale might build-up inside the unit over time. The cleaning solution helps remove it and keep the maker running optimally.
As we mentioned in the first question, there are pod-like attachments you can buy which allow you to stuff ground coffee inside. After you brew a serving, you merely empty the used coffee grounds, give the filter or pod a good rinsing, and then you can use it again. They are reusable in the sense that you can keep supplying your choice of coffee, no matter what it is. Most proprietary pods and K-cups, however, are meant for single use only.
Depending on the coffee maker, most will brew anywhere from 6 to 12 ounce servings. Some of the units allow you to select the size you want, like the Mueller Ultima machine which offers four different brew sizes. Even at 12-ounces, you’re still talking about a single cup of coffee, albeit slightly bigger than usual. If you drink multiple cups each day it’s a smarter idea to go with a larger, traditional coffee maker. It’s also probably a lot cheaper.
Choosing the best single-serve coffee maker of 2020 is not a simple task, since, style, functionality and overall design can be subjective to the consumer. However, after rigorous hours of testing, we can confidently say that our Top Picks are some of the best single-serve coffee makers on the market. Depending on what you're looking for in your ideal coffee maker, Top Pick #4 – the Keurig K-Elite is a great choice. Other great models that just missed our list but are still considered fantastic 2020 models are the Hamilton Beach One Cup Coffee Maker, the Cuisinart SS-10 Single-Serve Coffee Machine, and the Boly Single Serve Coffee Brewer. The Hamilton Beach is easy to clean, with a reusable, eco-friendly mesh filter and gives you the option of using your own ground coffee. Plus, the stainless steel construction makes this model feel more expensive than its low price point. The only downside is the mesh filter, though eco-friendly, you may have to resort to using paper filters since the mesh lets fine grounds through. The Sboly Mini is great value for money, lightweight and compact; plus, it's compatible with both K-cups and ground coffee. Finally, the Cuisinart SS-10 offers tons of features and customizable options, with a large reservoir, self-cleaning program and dedicated hot water buttons alongside a three-year warranty, this model is definitely worth mentioning.