The 10 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers

Updated September 05, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Why brew a whole pot of coffee and waste all those grounds when you only want one cup? These single-serve coffee makers deliver a delicious brew one at a time, which is great for small households. But they also work quickly enough to serve well in an office break room or even at a party, where people want to enjoy different brands or flavors on demand. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best single serve coffee maker on Amazon.

10. Aicok Compact

The Aicok Compact doesn't have all the bells and whistles of higher-end brands, but gets the job done at an affordable price. It's probably best for occasional use only though, as its quality is not up to handling a busy, high-demand environment.
  • housing stays cool to the touch
  • great for travel use in hotel rooms
  • may leak water at times
Brand Aicok
Model TF62685
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Black + Decker CM618

The Black + Decker CM618 takes convenience to a whole new level. It comes with a 16-ounce travel mug to brew and go without a hitch and is super versatile, as it can use both coffee grinds and pods. If you like your beverage piping hot, though, this unit won't suffice.
  • machine washable components
  • mug fits well in most car cupholders
  • mug's lid doesn't close tightly
Model CM618
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Hamilton Beach Scoop

With the Hamilton Beach Scoop you can make your coffee in a more traditional way using your favorite grind, but in a single-serve option. It has a small footprint, so it doesn't overcrowd your kitchen, and the stainless steel housing looks snazzy on any countertop.
  • regular and bold settings
  • measuring lines on the filter
  • won't run without water for safety
Brand Hamilton Beach
Model 49981A
Weight 5.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Keurig K15

The Keurig K15 will fit perfectly into a small kitchen or dorm room, and is even compact enough to allow you to brew a cup right at your desk. It features a convenient removable drip tray that makes cleanup a piece of cake.
  • bold retro color and design
  • brews in less than two minutes
  • need to fill tank for each cup
Brand Keurig
Model 119419
Weight 9.6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Hamilton Beach Brewer

The Hamilton Beach Brewer gives you the option to prepare a whole pot of coffee or just one cup to get you through that midday slump. It's perfect for the family (or roommates) who operate on different schedules but who all want their coffee fresh.
  • mesh filter is simple to clean
  • programmable brewing time
  • doesn't work with k-cups
Brand Hamilton Beach
Model 49980A
Weight 9.4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Keurig K55

The Keurig K55 features straightforward buttons to simplify your morning routine. It produces a fresh and rich brew with every use, and you can choose either a six-, eight-, or ten-ounce pour size to customize the strength based on your preference.
  • available in four stylish colors
  • programmable auto off function
  • handle opens and closes smoothly
Brand Keurig
Model K55
Weight 14.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Cuisinart Coffee-On-Demand

The Cuisinart Coffee-On-Demand combines good looks and function at a decent price. Thanks to its included charcoal water filter, you can have peace of mind that each cup will be free of that chlorine taste and any other contaminants to guarantee the best flavor.
  • convenient digital clock
  • alerts you when it's time to clean
  • beeps when the brew cycle ends
Brand Cuisinart
Model DCC-3000
Weight 10.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Keurig K575

The Keurig K575 is a monster of a machine that can produce up to 10 cups of coffee without refilling the water, as it features a large 80-ounce reservoir. Its high-tech color touchscreen is super user-friendly, which makes operation a breeze for anyone.
  • can dispense hot water for tea
  • strength and temperature settings
  • three different carafe brew sizes
Brand Keurig
Model K575
Weight 14.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Mixpresso Single

If you just want a simple cup of coffee made for you on the spot without all the frills, look to the Mixpresso Single. The water tank is shaped for easy grabbing and holding, plus the machine takes virtually any brand of K-Cup, even the unlicensed ones.
  • illuminated water level indicator
  • can accommodate travel mugs
  • compact size fits well in a corner
Brand Mixpresso Coffee
Model pending
Weight 7.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo

The Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo is like having your own personal barista. This lovely-looking unit gives you a delicious cup of gourmet coffee at the touch of a button. It heats up in less than twenty seconds, so you never have to wait long to get your java on.
  • patented centrifusion technology
  • comes with a milk frother
  • can make coffee or espresso
Brand Nespresso
Weight 20.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Benefits Of Single Serve Coffee Makers

Convenience is one of the main reasons most consumers and offices first switch to single serve machines. One can make fresh, hot coffee in less than a minute, without having to deal with filters or grounds. Many models also contain a large reservoir, so there often isn't need to add water to a machine before every brew. Unlike with a traditional drip machine, one isn't left with a large carafe that needs to be cleaned out once the coffee is finished. Instead, single serve machines brew coffee directly into the serving cup. Being able to brew individual cups of hot beverages can be great for dinner parties, too. Instead of serving all of your guests the exact same thing, each guest can choose their beverage of choice.

Using a single serve coffee machine results in significantly less wasted coffee every day, as well. No matter whether we live alone, with friends, or with family, it is almost inevitable that we will make more coffee than we need. With a standard machine, it is not uncommon to pour a cup or two of coffee down the drain with each pot. Single serve coffee makers eliminate that waste. Each individual can make a cup for themselves, whenever they want it. There is no need to brew a large pot in the hopes that there will be enough for everybody, while at the same time hoping that everybody will actually drink a cup and you won't be left with half of a pot to dump out.

It isn't just home consumers that can benefit from a single cup coffee makers, but businesses, too. Nearly every office has that one coworker who always takes that last cup of coffee, but never makes a new pot or washes out the old one. This can quickly cause feelings of animosity in other workers. There is also the problem of having regular and decaf drinkers. Before the advent of the single serve coffee maker, offices would need to have two machines, one for decaf and one for regular. Single serve machines also allow businesses to provide their customers with fresh coffee or tea at a moment's notice.

A Few Things To Consider When Choosing Your Single Serve Coffee Machine

Not all single serve coffee makers are created equal. You can choose from high-end models that are capable of making cappuccinos and espressos that can rival those from your favorite coffee chain, all the way down to basic models that do nothing more than make a single cup of drip style coffee. No matter which type you choose, there are a few features that you may want to consider before making your choice.

If your budget allows, it is always best to choose a model that features adjustable brew strength settings. These allow you to customize the cup of coffee to match your taste. Generally, single cup coffee makers achieve different strengths by altering the brew time. When selecting the strong brew setting on a machine, it will increase the brewing time so that the water spends more time in contact with the coffee grounds.

An adjustable brew size is also a nice feature to have. On lazy weekend mornings, you may only want to make enough coffee to fit into the standard 8 or 10 ounce home mug, while on workdays, you may want to make enough coffee to fill your 12 or 16 ounce travel mug. A model with an adjustable brew size gives you the freedom to do just that.

Ideally, you should also choose a model with an adjustable temperature range, as brew temperature can have a serious impact on the end result. If the water is too hot, it can over extract the flavor from the grounds, resulting in a bitter taste. Water that is too cold can result in a weak, watered down cup of coffee. Having a machine with an adjustable temperature range gives you one more tool at your disposal to customize your java.

The size of the reservoir can play a huge role in how convenient you find a particular model to be. Some models have a large reservoir that can make 10 or more cups of coffee before being refilled. Other models may require you to fill them before brewing each cup. The trade-off here is that models with large reservoirs will require more counter space.

K-cups Versus Coffee Pods

The terms coffee pod and K-cup are often used interchangeably by the uninitiated, but they actually refer to two very different products. The majority of consumers with a single serve coffee machine use K-cups. These are small plastic cups that contain a paper filter and coffee grounds. They are completely air-tight and sealed with a combination foil and plastic lid. During brewing, the machine pierces the lid and the bottom of the cup so that pressurized hot water can pass through it. Most people appreciate the K-cup for its convenience. Many machines automatically move the used cup into a receptacle bin, but even those that require manual removal won't get the users hands dirty or wet, as the exterior of the cup will be completely dry.

Critics of the K-cup often lambast it for not being easily recyclable, though when put into perspective, it can be said that they make up for the waste in water conservation. Either way, the controversy has prompted Keurig, the main manufacturer and license distributor, to make a recyclable version, though this too may have its failings.

Coffee pods are packaged ground coffee beans that come in a filter bag. This bag is placed directly into the brewing chamber of a single serve pod machine. Hot water is then either dripped over the pod or forced through it by pressure. Pods are slightly less convenient as they require the user to open the chamber and remove a damp filter bag. The brewing chamber of pod machines also needs to be cleaned more often. The upside is that they are often fully biodegradable, making them more eco-friendly.

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Last updated on September 05, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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