There are a lot of people that depend on their morning cup of coffee to transform them from grumps to productive members of society. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them or you know one.
Coffee makers have come a long way in the past decade. You’re hardly limited to the 12-cup percolator to get you through the day.
And, whether you're after convenience or are just the only one in your home that needs a daily cup, the best single serve coffee maker options are adept at filling a need.
The good news is:
Whatever it is you’re looking for, you’re sure to find the best single serve coffee maker for your needs right here. We’ve spent weeks considering dozens of machines, reading reviews, and weighing all the pros and cons of each.
As you might have noticed, we’re part of the group that desperately needs a cup of coffee before we consider ourselves part of human kind, so you know this list is gonna be good.
There’s a wonderfully large 12-cup reservoir and 4 different cup sizes plus an iced beverage function. You can also adjust the temperatures.
Some users report continued issues with the descale indicator continually popping up. And a few report the machine wearing out long before they feel it’s acceptable.
This is the best single-serve coffee maker if you have a lot of coffee drinkers in your house, but you all enjoy something a little different. We chalk that up to the 80-ounce water reservoir. Yes, it’s removable, but you won’t have to haul it back and forth too often. There’s also a descale icon to remind you to clean it.
There are a fair amount of settings to play with, but if you want to just push a button – you can do that too. You’ll have the perfect cup in less than 1 minute and you can also brew an iced beverage too. Plus, you can save a few bucks (and, you know, the environment) by not having to use those pesky K-Cups required of most single cup brewing machines.
Pods or grounds? Use either a commercial style permanent filter, or paper filters, to hold your grounds in the removeable, easy-to-clean brew basket.
Reservoir size? Yep… big. It holds 12-cups which means you don’t have to fill it every other minute.
What are the adjustable options? You have a lot more options with this machine than you might expect.
Any other features? The filter basket is removeable and easy to clean. You also get a charcoal water filter and a filter holder in the box. That makes it easy to use this machine with tap water (where it’s safe and justifiable).
Will it break the bank? It’s not the cheapest singe serve coffee maker out there. In fact, you probably don’t want to pay more for one unless you’re heading into the super-automatic range. But, it does a lot more than less expensive options.
You get a 15-ounce travel mug with this single-serve coffee maker, though you could use this with standard mugs too. This maker also includes a permanent filter so you don’t need to invest in paper. And you have a choice of pod or ground coffee.
Some users have had problems with the permanent filters; they find grounds in their mug.
If you’re down with the basics, this is the best single-serve coffee maker for you. There’s an on/off switch and that’s about all you get. It does, however, have a permanent filter so you don’t need to invest a fortune. By removing that filter, you can also “boil” water for making tea and hot chocolate. Incidentally, the included mug and filter are both dishwasher safe. (Which means nothing in a dorm room situation, but it is a nice touch.)
Now, it’s not the fastest single-serve machine. You have to give it the 4 or 5 minutes you would need for a larger percolator. But, consider the price again before you walk away.
Pods or grounds? You’ll use this with ground coffee. So, the choice is yours in terms of how much you want to pay, but you don’t need to pay a fortune for your morning joe.
Reservoir size? All you can fit in the reservoir is the amount of water you need for a single cup. Whatever you put in is brewed. Obviously, you can’t put in too much. Nor can you expect all the water to come through to your mug. Some turns into steam and some is absorbed by the grounds.
What are the adjustable options? There aren’t terribly many options, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have some level of control over your coffee. You can control the strength of your brew by adding more grounds to the filter or less water.
Any other features? Um no. But for the price, did you really expect anything else? We certainly didn’t.
Will it break the bank? Nope and that’s what makes this so valuable for dorm rooms. It offers enough coffee for the single user – and it does it for under $20. Nice.
You can use this single serve coffee pot to brew coffee grounds, K-Cups, tea bags, and even loose tea. It’s wonderfully compact and features a pulse mechanism for stronger brews.
It’s not the quietest and it’s not necessarily cheap given that you need to fill the reservoir for every cup you make.
Life is a constant series of trade-offs and this single-serve coffee maker illustrates that better than anything. Overall, this is an appliance filled with positives, but there are a few things that may not be right for all users. The best thing about it is the flexibility of brewing what you want. From tea to K-Cups to grounds, this machine can handle it. You can also make your drinks as strong or as weak as you like.
But, it doesn’t have a reservoir to speak of. You add as much water as you want for the next brew. Now, that does mean that you have fresh water every time, and that allows for the tiny footprint of this machine. It also heats that water quickly for coffee in under a minute. But, we also feel the price is pushing it just a little bit.
Pods or grounds? The absolutely most brilliant feature of this coffee maker is that you have flexibility with what you brew. If you sometimes use K-Cups and sometimes grounds, this may be the best single serve coffee maker for you. You can also brew tea (in bags or loose).
Reservoir size? But, the biggest drawback to this machine is the reservoir. It cannot handle more than 14 ounces at a time. You will need to fill it for every single cup. That’s a bit of a pain.
What are the adjustable options? Sadly, you can’t control temperature, but you do have some control over the strength of your tea or coffee.
Any other features? We don’t know that you can call them features, but this has a tiny footprint so it works in even the smallest of kitchens and it still offers limited storage for pods, grounds, or whatever. There are also parts that are (top-rack) dishwasher-safe.
Will it break the bank? The MSRP sits at about $200. You can expect to pay between $160 and $175 on Amazon. The price doesn’t hurt much but you may feel a little sting every time you add fresh water to brew a cup.
There’s a sizeable reservoir (48 ounces) so you don’t need to run to the sink for every cup. Users have a choice of cup sizes, and, of course, there is the Keurig name behind this product.
No matter how much you love your Keurig, they are not known to last forever.
Remember when you didn’t know what a Keurig was? It’s hard to remember a time, right? Now, there isn’t just one Keurig, there are dozens of models. And this is one of the best single serve coffee makers – in general and for the brand. We truly appreciate the larger reservoir (48 ounces) as do most daily users. And, we’re fans of the cup size choice.
But, it’s the way this machine operates that set it apart in its class. It’s as simple as you can imagine, but there are indicator lights to guide you through if you can’t think until that first cup. Auto shut-off and pod storage make this machine feel intuitive, even if it is just a basic appliance. Add in the price and you can't help but smile.
Pods or grounds? K-Cups all the way. Of course, you could go the My K-Cup route and make your own reusable pods.
Reservoir size? We’re big fans of the 48-ounce reservoir. It will give you a decent number of cups before you need to refill it.
What are the adjustable options? You hardly get the control you would have with a super-automatic machine, but there is a way to control strength.
Any other features? There are indicator lights that will guide you through the brewing process (which means anyone in the house can use it). The drip tray is removable to accommodate larger glasses and mugs. You can program this to switch off automatically after 90 seconds and it stores up to 28 pods.
Will it break the bank? For all of that, the MRSP of $120 doesn’t seem bad, does it? And you should actually expect to pay about $80. When it comes up for even less, snag it.
The price of this single serve coffee maker is a serious plus; not just with the machine itself, but also because it takes grounds, not K-Cups. It’s relatively speedy for single servers using grounds.
The coffee just isn’t hot enough for serious coffee drinkers.
Okay, this is about as basic as it gets, but it’s worth it for a lot of people. You can expect an 8 ounce cup of coffee in about a minute and a half. Add another minute to that time if you want to fill your 14 ounce travel mug. That’s not bad given the price.
There are other pluses too. The reusable filter is dishwasher-safe, and you’re saving huge amounts of money because you’re not using K-Cups. Now, scooping the coffee and filling the reservoir for every cup can feel like a real pain, but if you’re after a low-cost machine, this is perhaps the best you’re going to get.
Pods or grounds? Grounds only. Hamilton Beach does make pod-friendly single-serve coffee makers, but they are more expensive.
Reservoir size? Up to 14 ounces only (enough for a single cup).
What are the adjustable options? Realistically, there aren’t that many options. But, you can adjust the strength through the amount of water you add.
Any other features? There is a dishwasher-safe reusable filter, though many users report going the paper route. But that’s about it.
Will it break the bank? The MSRP is $35, and if you pay anything less than that, you’ve gotten a good deal.
It preheats quickly – in 30 seconds – and it can accommodate taller glasses. Can also hold up to 10 used pods at a time.
Nespresso pods aren’t cheap and there aren’t as many choices as you might like.
If you enjoy a morning shot of espresso, this is the best single serve coffee maker for you. It’s very reasonably priced (for the machine) and you do get a few options on the size (including an Americano option – or Lungo, as Nespresso calls it).
We love that it preheats in a mere 30 seconds and appreciate the 9-minute auto shut off feature. But, the best things about this machine are the smooth, compact styling and that it’s remarkably quiet. That’s a big deal when you want to wake up to espresso, but you want the rest of the house to remain sleeping. Oh, and coffee snobs love it.
Pods or grounds? This only works with Nespresso pods. The selection isn’t as extensive as with K-Cups, but the pods are arguably better for espresso fans. They are, however, more expensive.
Reservoir size? The removable reservoir holds 24 ounces. That’s not huge, but it does help to maintain the slim design of this machine.
What are the adjustable options? Two rubber buttons on the top of the machine enable basic controls.
Any other features? It can deal with up to 10 used pods before you need to get in and remove them. That’s on par with the 24 ounce water reservoir if you drink espressos. If you’re primarily a fan of Americano-style coffee, you probably want another machine. It has an auto shut off feature which activates after 9 minutes of non-use. And, every machine comes with a 16-capsule starter pack, which makes for a good gift.
Will it break the bank? You’ll pay about $135 for one of these machines. That’s right down the middle in terms of pricing – and it is a great value for the money if you’re after a daily shot of espresso.
There are three different brewing sizes, a 48-ounce removable reservoir, and an energy saving mode. We also appreciate the K-Cup sample pack that makes this a great gift.
It can be a little noisy – and it is primarily designed for use in small offices.
Keurig is perhaps the first single-serve coffee maker that comes to mind. And, even though this one is designed for small office use, it’s definitely one of the best for multiple-coffee-drinker homes. The price is rather reasonable, but that’s not the only reason we like it. There are plenty of features at play - and you can catch many of them in this video.
Operation is super simple with an on/off button. A dial allows for a choice of cup sizes (between 6 and 10 ounces) and the button in the center of that starts the brewing process. It can take as long as a minute for a cup of coffee (depending on how long the machine has been off), but you will get a hot cup of coffee. There are some dishwasher-safe parts and the bonus box of 12 K-Cups makes this a terrific holiday gift.
Pods or grounds? It’s a Keurig system and it shouldn’t be a surprise that you need K-Cups for this puppy. However you feel about these systems, you have to admit that the brew selection is phenomenal.
Reservoir size? It’s a generous 48-ounce capacity. It’s not the biggest reservoir, but it’s also not as tedious as filling it every time you want a cup of coffee.
What are the adjustable options? You don’t get to control much more than cup size, which does affect strength to some extent, but there aren’t a lot of options.
Any other features? There are lights to let you know when you need to fill water (and the reservoir is removable for taking to the sink). There is also a drain button and a "time to descale" (clean) indicator. The energy-saving feature switches the machine off when not in use.
Will it break the bank? The MSRP is about $125 which is competitive, especially given that it’s designed to be used by several people in a small office setting. You can certainly find cheaper models, but you can also pay a lot more.