Best Single Serve Coffee Makers 2020 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

By | Category:

For many people, their morning cup of coffee is a crucial part of the day. However, it can be time-consuming and wasteful to make a whole pot of coffee. A single-serve coffee machine supplies your caffeine fix fast, and without using excess coffee, water, and time.

There are so many single-serve coffee machines on the market, it can be hard to find the best one.

For this reason, we have studied the market to find the top 10 best coffee makers with single-serve options. You will find the best small single-serve coffee makers for different needs, preferences, sizes, and prices. We rank each one and highlight the pros, cons, and key features to make your choice simple.

Read on to find out which single-serve coffee maker is best.

Mueller Pro Ultima Single-Serve Pod Compatible Coffee Maker

Mueller Ultima Single-Serve Pod Compatible Coffee Maker

Product Award
Best-Rated Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Features:

  • 4 brew sizes (6, 8, 10, 12 oz)
  • 48 oz water reservoir
  • BPA-free water reservoir
  • Water level window
  • Compatible with most pods, including reusable

Pros 👍
✔ Extra hot coffee
✔ Heats up quickly
✔ Brews quickly
✔ Easy to refill and clean water reservoir

Cons 👎
✘ Can be tricky to clean the inner mechanisms
✘ Some find it dispenses grounds into coffee
✘ Not compatible with all K-Pod varieties

Our top pick is the Mueller Pro Ultima Single-Serve Pod Compatible Coffee Maker. This is the best-rated single-serve coffee maker and for good reason. It has a sturdy, attractive construction, and a simple method of use. You simply insert your pod (most brands, not just K-pod), select a 6, 8, 10, or 12-ounce brew size, and expect hot coffee in under a minute. It is compatible with reusable coffee pods, which is excellent for the environment and reducing your household waste. It also means you can use your own freshly-ground coffee.

Customers love that this machine heats up quickly, brews the coffee quickly, and most importantly, brews hot coffee. They’re also impressed with the large 48-oz water reservoir which gives 8 small cups of coffee (6 oz) and 4 large cups (12 oz) before having to be refilled. Refilling is super simple, (just slip the jug out of the holder, remove the lid, refill, and slip it back in). The window on the front of the machine shows you the water level so you won’t be caught out with insufficient water for your brew.

Considering the quality, durability, and easy user features, the price point is excellent. This is the best single-serve coffee maker for you if you’re looking for an attractive, reliable, fast, hot, and top-rated single-serve coffee machine.

Sboly Single-Serve K Cup Coffee Maker

Sboly Single-Serve K Cup Coffee Maker

Product Award
Best Compact Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Features:

  • Comes with pod basket and reusable ground coffee basket
  • Self-cleaning (Auto-clean Button)
  • 2-in-1 Brewing
  • Brew Strength Control

Pros 👍
✔ Small and compact
✔ Compatible with pods and fresh grounds
✔ Cleans itself

Cons 👎
✘ Takes a little longer to brew
✘ Small water reservoir

The runner-up on our list is the Sboly Single-Serve K Cup Coffee Maker. This is the best compact single-serve coffee maker, thanks to the mini design and fuss-free construction.

One of the best features is that it is compatible with pods and fresh grounds. You simply fill the provided basket with freshly-ground coffee then press the “ground” button, or slip a pod in and press the “pod” button.

The water reservoir is small, with a maximum of 14 oz. This is great for people who need a small coffee maker which will only be used by them. The small size is ideal for traveling, transporting, and storing discreetly.

Breville Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine with Aeroccino

Breville Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine with Aeroccino

Product Award
Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker With Frother

Features 

  • 5 brew sizes
  • Milk frother
  • Generous 40 oz water tank
  • Comes with 12 coffee pods
  • Fast heat-up time

Pros 👍
✔ Comes with a milk frother
✔ Heats up in 15 seconds
✔ Durable construction

Cons 👎
✘ Not hot enough for certain preferences
✘ Does not take off-brand pods

The third pick on our list is the Breville Vertuo Espresso machine. This is the best single-serve coffee maker with frother, so you can make creamy lattes and flat white coffee. There are 5 different brew sizes (1.35 oz, 2.7 oz, 5 oz, 7.7 oz, and 14 oz), adjustable via a simple dial. The 40 oz water tank is easy to fill and will provide multiple small-medium cups of coffee before requiring refilling.

One potential setback is that this machine can only take Nespresso pods, and cannot take off-brand varieties. If you are already a Nespresso member (perhaps with an older coffee maker model), this won’t be an issue for you.

Impressively, this single-cup coffee maker only takes 15 minutes to heat up, eliminating frustrating wait times.

This is a slightly pricier option, but it is a durable, attractive, and high-quality single-cup coffee maker to last.

Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee-on-Demand 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee-on-Demand 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Product Award
Best Programmable Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Features 

  • 24-hour programmable timer
  • Easy-to-remove water tank
  • Charcoal water filter
  • Keeps 12 cups of brewed coffee hot
  • Self-cleaning
  • Auto-off feature
  • Self-cleaning function

Pros 👍
✔ Removable parts for easy cleaning
✔ Holds brewed coffee for fast dispensing
✔ Keeps the water clean and pure

Cons 👎
✘ Only suitable for ground coffee (no pods)

The Cuisinart DCC-3000 is an affordable single-cup coffee machine with a difference. In fact, it brews up to 12 cups of coffee at once, and stores it in a reservoir. You can then pour a single cup of already-brewed coffee.

This is ideal if you often serve more than one cup of coffee at a time, but would like the option of a quick single cup. It’s a great compromise between a single-cup coffee maker and a full pot maker. Plus, the gauge tells you how many cups of coffee are left, so you know exactly when to brew another batch.

If you’re not into using pods and you’d prefer to brew your coffee for the day at once, this could be ideal for you. What’s more, the price is very reasonable.

AdirChef Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker with 15oz Travel Mug

AdirChef Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker with 15oz Travel Mug

Product Award
Best Personal Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Features 

  • 7 color choices (black, blue, green, orange, red, ruby, lime green)
  • Permanent filter included
  • Travel mug included

Pros 👍
✔ Small enough to travel with
✔ Comes with a custom 15oz travel coffee mug

Cons 👎
✘ Not as durable as other models
✘ Plastic construction

Number five on our list gets the award for the best cheap single-serve coffee maker, at an affordable price for anyone’s budget. The AdirChef Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker is a small, compact, and lightweight single-cup coffee machine that comes with a 15-oz travel cup.

The size is ideal for traveling and commuting, or for especially cramped kitchen spaces. There’s no need to buy and waste pods, as it comes with a reusable filter to fill with ground coffee. There are 7 bright color choices, which could make it ideal as a gift for students or office workers who prefer their own coffee vessel.


Best Single-Serve Coffee Makers by Brand and Type

Ninja Coffee Bar – Single-Serve Coffee Maker Bar with Hot and Iced Coffee (CF111)

Ninja Coffee Bar – Single-Serve Coffee Maker Bar with Hot and Iced Coffee

Product Award
Best Smart Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Key Features: 

  • Frother for hot and cold milk
  • Four brew sizes
  • Iced coffee option
  • Classic or rich brew options

The Ninja Coffee Bar offers the best smart single-serve coffee maker. It is an impressive machine with a built-in frother for cold or hot milk. There are four brew sizes (cup, XL cup, travel cup, and multi-serve). There are “classic”, “rich”, and “cold” brew options to suit different flavor preferences. A great machine for a reasonable price, with plenty of drink options. Note that this is a pod-free machine, ideal if you prefer freshly-ground coffee.

Hamilton Beach – FlexBrew Coffee Maker Single-Serve and Full Pot

Hamilton Beach – FlexBrew Coffee Maker Single-Serve and Full Pot

Product Award
Best Best Single-Serve and Full Pot Coffee Maker

Key Features: 

  • 12-cup pot and single-serve options
  • Comes with reusable filters
  • Programmable

The Hamilton Beach single-serve coffee maker is the best option for a single-serve and full pot or carafe coffee maker in one. You can brew a full pot to share, or make a quick single cup. It comes with reusable filters so you can use freshly-ground coffee as opposed to ready-made pods. The machine is programmable so you can have a pot of coffee waiting for you at the same time each morning.

Keurig – Fil K-Elite Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Keurig – Fil K-Elite Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Product Award
Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker for Multiple Servings

Key Features: 

  • Large, 75-oz water tank
  • 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 oz brew sizes
  • Comes with K-cup pods
  • High-quality brushed silver exterior

The Keurig Fil K-Elite is the best single-serve coffee maker for multiple servings, as it has a large, 75 oz water tank. You can make a round of coffee without having the refill the water. Users love the brushed silver exterior, sleek aesthetic, ease-of-use, and ultra-hot coffee. If this model is a little too large and expensive for you, but you’re interested in Keurig, consider the smaller, cheaper K-Classic Coffee Maker here.

Bella – Dual Brew single-serve Coffee Maker

Bella – Dual Brew single-serve Coffee Maker

Product Award
Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker Without Pods

Key Features: 

  • Compatible with pods and fresh grounds
  • Small and compact
  • 3 brew sizes (6, 10, and 15 oz)
  • Comes with reusable filter basket for fresh grounds

The Bella single-serve coffee maker is one of the best single-serve fresh ground coffee makers on the market, especially if you need a very compact machine. You can use pods or fresh grounds (with the provided reusable cup for ground coffee). Choose a small 6 oz coffee or a sizable 15 oz coffee, or simply use the hot water to make herbal tea.

Cuisinart – SS-10 Premium Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Cuisinart – SS-10 Premium Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Product Award
Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker with Hot Water Feature

Key Features: 

  • Compatible with all brand pods
  • Hot water dispenser
  • Large water reservoir (72 oz)
  • 5 brew sizes (4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 oz)
  • Programmable for 24 hours

The Cuisinart single-serve coffee maker SS-10 is a comprehensive option for people who require a generous water tank, many brew sizes, and compatibility with all pod brands. It has an excellent feature of a pure hot water dispenser so you can make herbal tea without having to boil the kettle. It comes with a reusable filter cup so you can use your favorite fresh-ground coffee.

How to Choose a Single-Serve Coffee Maker 

What is your budget/price range?

Decide your budget and maximum price range before you begin the search.

How much space do you have? Will you be transporting the machine?

This will help to determine what is the best single-serve coffee maker for you. If you have decent space and intend to leave the machine where it is, you could consider a more substantial machine with more features. Regular travel or very cramped spaces requires a compact model, without question.

Do you prefer pods, freshly ground coffee, or both?

Consider a machine that comes with a reusable filter so you can use fresh coffee grounds as well as, or instead of coffee pods.

How many cups will you make at one time?

Is the machine just for you, or will others in the home or office be likely to use it too? Choose an option that can accommodate this, to avoid having to constantly refill the water tank. You could also consider a combo single-serve coffee machine which has a full pot option too.

How To Use a Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Always read the manual for your specific model. However, the overall process is basically universal:

  • Ensure the water reservoir is filled
  • Open the top to reveal the pod or grounds receptacle
  • Add your pod or reusable basket for fresh grounds
  • Close the lid
  • Select the coffee brew size (and/or other options such as temperature and coffee type)
  • Wait for the machine to heat and brew
  • Clean your single cup coffee maker according to the manual instructions (usually once a month)

FAQ

Are single-serve coffee makers worth it?

Yes. If you drink coffee each day and you make a cup for yourself (as opposed to a whole pot to share), a single-serve coffee maker will help to reduce waste. You can use the exact amount of coffee you need (whether a pod or fresh grounds), and you don’t need to dirty a jug or carafe. A mini single-serve coffee maker will sit discreetly on your home or work desk, making your caffeine hit easy, fast, and waste-free.

How do single-serve coffee makers work?

A water pump draws water from the reservoir. It travels past a heating element, becoming very hot along the way. The hot water is then passed through a narrow needle to build pressure, pushing it through the coffee grounds and into the waiting cup below.

Who makes the best single-serve coffee makers?

It does depend on your preferences and what works for you. However, Keurig is considered a front-runner on the single-serve coffee machine market as it was the very first single-serve coffee machine to be invented. However, as you can see from our top 5 list, other brands are winning the race! Mueller, Sboly, Cuisinart, and Breville all offer fantastic single-serve coffee machines with various coffee options, smart features, and durable materials.