10 Best Single-Serve Coffee Makers of 2023

Become your very own barista thanks to these at-home machines.

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10 Best Single-Serve Coffee Makers of 2023

There's nothing better than starting the day off with a cup of coffee, and a single-serve coffee maker lets you brew a quick cup for yourself whenever you want. From a simple cup of drip coffee to a latte or cappuccino on demand, single-serve coffee makers are more competent than ever at making a tasty, rich brew, and they're often as easy to use as the push of a button. At the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab, we've tested all kinds of coffee makers — and tasted the results — to help ensure that you are getting a great cup of coffee every time.

Over the years we have brewed over 1,000 cups of coffee in various machines, from the simplest to the most hands-on, including drip coffee makers, French presses, portable coffee makers, Nespresso machines, cold brew coffee makers and espresso machines, to find the tastiest cups of coffee you can brew at home. We've tested nearly 30 best-selling and highly-rated single-serve coffee machines from brands we trust such as Keurig, Cuisinart, Nespresso and more. We evaluate each model for its ease of use including how easy it is to fill the water reservoir and how well it performs. We perform water temperature testing to make sure the brew is as flavorful as it can be — and of course, our coffee experts taste every cup.

You can read more about how we evaluated single-serve coffee makers in our Lab — plus everything you need to know to shop for the best single-serve coffee maker — at the end of this guide.

This machine from Keurig took the top spot in our tests and brewed the best-tasting coffee that was consistently flavorful, full-bodied and smooth. Its easy-to-use control panel has simple buttons that allow you to choose from five drink sizes (from 4 to 12 ounces) and regular, strong or iced brews. But take note: The serving size options on the control panel aren't clearly marked with ounce numbers. There are only pictures of cups at different heights.

The owner’s manual was clear and easy to follow, helping our testers quickly identify how to brew a cup of coffee. Out of all of the coffee makers we tested, the Keurig K-Elite boasted one of the largest water reservoirs at 75 ounces (or about 9 cups of coffee) — meaning you won't have to refill constantly. If you prefer to use your own ground coffee, there's also a reusable filter attachment that can be purchased separately.

Although our testers noted that it preheats in under 90 seconds, if you don’t like waiting, this coffee maker has an auto-on feature that allows you to set the exact time you want it to turn on.

If you're short on countertop space and want to keep your morning coffee routine simple, the BLACK+DECKER Single-Serve Coffee Maker is a compact brewer with a modest price tag. There's no fuss with this machine since it has just one simple start button and automatically shuts off at the end of the brew cycle. We found the included 16-ounce travel mug useful as a measuring cup to fill the water reservoir. The machine will brew all of the water you add, so be sure to measure your coffee accordingly.

In our testing, we found that the included reusable filter was easy to remove and clean. And all non-electric parts are top-rack dishwasher safe, so it's extra easy to clean up after making a cup. But beware if you decide not to use a travel mug: We noticed that when using a regular mug, hot coffee would often splatter while brewing.

The Cuisinart Premium Single-Serve coffee maker eliminates the need for frequent refills with its large 72-ounce removable water reservoir. It comes with a reusable filter that is brilliantly hidden in a compartment on the right side of the machine. Our testers found it easy to access and use. In our tests, we found it preheats very quickly, brewing a cup of coffee in under 90 seconds. It also consistently delivered a hot cup of coffee at 172º F.

Choose from five drink sizes on an easy-to-read LED-lit control panel. We found the arrow buttons weren't immediately intuitive but they became easy to use with practice. Its programmable rinse cycle flushes out residual flavors between brews, and our testers liked that it consistently brewed flavorful and well-rounded coffee.

Unlike other single-serve coffeemakers that only offer options to use pods or pre-ground coffee, this compact Cuisinart machine has a built-in grinder that dispenses coffee grounds into a reusable pod for a freshly ground single cup of coffee. The trade-off is that it adds an extra step in the process: grind the beans, put the pod in the machine then brew. We found it was worth the extra effort for the tasty, medium-bodied cup of coffee it brewed in our test.

If you're in a rush or want to use decaf, the reusable filter pod can also be used with pre-ground coffee, or you can load any single-cup coffee pod such as Keurig K-cups. We also found that this machine was intuitive to use without the instruction manual. The capsule was easy to clean and the water tank is detachable for easy filling at the sink.

According to our tests, the Nespresso VertuoPlus was one of the best espresso machines to offer the convenience of pods. It makes a well-rounded brew with frothy crema that was consistent in temperature and volume every time. It also brews other great-tasting single-serve coffee drinks including double espresso, lungo and regular coffee in sizes up to 14 ounces. Our taste testers were impressed by the smooth and foamy crema that made the coffee taste silky smooth; one tester didn’t even want to add milk even though that’s how she normally drinks her coffee.

The coffee maker features a sleek and modern design with a small footprint, and our testers found the machine easy to use. Coffee is ready with one touch of a button since the machine reads the barcode on the coffee capsule and brews it accordingly. The Nespresso VertuoPlus only takes large Nespresso capsules, but they come in nearly 30 flavor options.

RELATED: Nespresso vs. Keurig: Which Coffee Machine Is Right for You?

If you're looking for a no-fuss smart coffee maker, this Keurig machine is it. The new BrewID feature automatically recognizes the brand and roast of the pod and customizes the brew setting to the recommendations of the coffee experts who created it. However, you can still adjust the strength, temperature and size if you choose.

Our testers and experts alike were impressed with the tasty coffee and the option to further customize the temperature and strength of the brew. In our tests, we found both the control panel and the app to be intuitive and simple to use. Through the app, you can start the machine, make customizations and schedule a cup of coffee ahead of time. The downside to the coffee scheduling is that it must be confirmed on the app at the scheduled time before it starts, so it won't brew while you sleep.

Compatible with both single-serve pods or coffee grounds, the Ninja makes delicious lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos and other fun coffee drinks right at home. It offers four different brew sizes when using pods and six different brew sizes when using coffee grounds, and the variety of size options is great if you enjoy changing things up daily. Choose your brew style — classic, rich, over ice or specialty — and use the built-in frothing wand to upgrade your coffee to a cappuccino or latte. In our testing, we found it frothed both hot and cold milk well, but you'll have to heat the milk separately yourself; the wand doesn't steam the milk.

We also appreciated the onboard accessory storage so you'll never misplace your measuring scoop again. When you're done, the frothing wand tucks into the machine, and the slender design allows it to easily slide into storage until you use it again.

No matter what type of coffee you want, chances are the Spinn machine can make it. On top of regular drip coffee and espresso, it can also make cold brew and nitro-like cold brew. We found the cold brew had a surprisingly pleasant creaminess to it. The nitro-like cold brew also tasted creamy with a slightly thinner and smoother body. We were impressed with how different the drip coffee, espresso and cold brews tasted. This is thanks to the centrifugal brewing core that spins at varying speeds for each type of drink lending to their unique flavors.

There are a number of drink options available like Americanos, lungos, doppios and more. Keep in mind that the Spinn does not froth milk, so you will need a separate frother to make drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. However, the Spinn app walks you through how to make each drink and offers customization options to make it easy. The app also controls the entire machine so you can start a cup of coffee from your bed. The coffee machine still has a control panel with a few drink options if you want to skip the app.

We like the sleek design, large hopper and detachable reservoir. Simply load your favorite whole beans into the machine and it will grind them to order. Take note: You can only load one type of bean into the machine at once, so if you have a decaf drinker in the house, they'll need to use another machine.

This all-in-one machine blew us away in our testing. It froths the foam for cappuccinos and lattes automatically, then adds the coffee capsule to create a delicious drink. No need to follow multiple steps or switch to a different attachment. It even froths well with nut milk, which can often be trickier to work with, and there are three foam options so you can choose if you want more or less. Coffee options include a shot or double-shot of espresso, lungo, Italian-style coffee or a regular cup of drip coffee.

Our expert testers were "very impressed with this machine" and its unique abilities and found that brewing was easy, convenient and most importantly, created great-tasting coffee. You can either use Lavazza Blue or Lavazza Expert capsules or fill the reusable filter with ground coffee. Your desired beverage can be pre-selected during the 40-second boot-up time with just the click of a button.

Even better, this innovative pick is easy to store and won't clutter your countertop thanks to its small size. Of course, make sure to turn the machine off after use since it doesn't shut off automatically on its own.

The K-Duo Plus is compatible with K-Cups for a single cup and a reusable filter for ground coffee to make an entire pot. In our testing, it consistently brewed coffee at the same temperature and volume, not to mention the resulting coffee tasted flavorful and well-rounded. We love that the K-Duo Plus has multiple brew options and includes a thermal carafe that keeps up to 12 cups of coffee hot without a warming plate. It can also fit a travel mug up to 8 inches tall — the most space we saw in testing.

One of our favorite features is the 60-ounce removable water reservoir that rotates to the left, right or back to fit your counter space. Not only can you pre-program it to brew coffee up to 24 hours in advance, but this machine also has a button to pause the coffee maker mid-brew so that you can pour from the carafe while it's still brewing.

The kitchen gear experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute tested 26 best-selling models from brands we trust to find the best single-serve coffee makers.

When we test single-serve coffee makers we evaluate their ease of use and performance. We assess how easy each coffee maker is to set up, the clarity of the instruction manual, how intuitive each one is to use and how easy it is clean the coffee machine after use. We also consider ease of use when it comes to filling the water reservoir, preheat time and brew time.

When making coffee, we measure the temperature after brewing to ensure a hot cup every time. We brew multiple cups to check for the consistency and functionality of the machine. We also note anything that's not consumer friendly such as coffee splashing out of the mug while brewing or a difficult-to-read control panel.

Finally, we taste each cup of coffee in search of a full-bodied brew with little to no acidity or bitterness. We also consider the cost and availability of coffee pods, refills and paper filters.

✔️ Single-use coffee pods vs. reusable filters: Most single-serve coffee makers use store-bought coffee pods, like the popular K-Cup pods from Keurig. Pods are small plastic or aluminum cups that contain pre-portioned ground coffee and a built-in filter. K-Cups and capsules are convenient to use but are more expensive than using your own ground coffee. And while some pods are recyclable, like K-Cups, you need to remove the grounds and foil first and check with your local recycling facility to ensure they can process the type of plastic your pods are made from. Soft pods are a popular alternative: The ground coffee comes in a tea bag-like round paper filter, which eliminates plastic waste.

If you prefer a coffee maker with no pods, there are single-serve machines that feature a reusable filter to fill with your own ground coffee. Reusable filters are definitely the more eco-friendly option but the filters need to be washed after each use. All of the reusable filters we tested were easy to detach from the coffee maker and dishwasher-safe. We recommend adding 2 tablespoons of ground coffee into the reusable filter for a 6-ounce cup of coffee.

✔️ Water reservoir: Consider how often you brew coffee. For two or more servings per day, you would benefit from a large water reservoir which means less refilling. Some water reservoirs are removable and have handles that make them easy to carry to the sink to refill and clean. Others are permanently attached to the coffee maker so you may want to have a spouted pitcher on hand to refill it. Others lack a water reservoir altogether and require you to measure and add the amount of water you want to brew each time.

✔️ Brewing options: While some single-serve coffee makers brew only one cup size, some models provide more brewing options from single espresso shots to 16-ounce brews (perfect for a travel mug). Coffee choices range from basic (like regular or strong brewed coffee) to fancy (think iced drinks or even cappuccinos and lattes on more advanced models that have milk-frothing attachments).

✔️ Speed: One advantage of a single-serve coffee maker is its quick brew time. Some models have a powerful heating mechanism that can heat the water and brew the coffee in less than a minute. Others require you to heat and pour your own water over the ground coffee. In our tests, the average time it took to brew an 8-ounce cup of coffee was about two minutes.

Jamie Kim's first job at Good Housekeeping Institute was testing a variety of consumer products, including coffee makers. Since then she has tested and written about many coffee and espresso makers as well as kitchen-related and cooking tools. She has a passion for coffee and has even attended a coffee cupping class. Over the years she's taste-tested hundreds of cups of coffee. She holds an apparel and textile design degree as well as mechanical engineering.

Nicole Papantoniou has run the Good Housekeeping Kitchen Appliances and Culinary Innovation Lab since 2019; she oversees all the content and testing related to kitchen and cooking appliances, including coffee makers. Previously she worked in product development for small kitchen appliances and tools since 2014 as well as in several test kitchens, where she tested and developed recipes and food content starting in 2012. She has a grand diplome in classic culinary arts from the former French Culinary Institute and a certificate in culinary nutrition from the former Natural Gourmet Institute, now both known as the Institute of Culinary Education.

Jamie Kim is a consumer products expert with over 17 years of experience in areas of product development and manufacturing. She has held leading roles at both mid-size consumer goods companies and one of the most notable and largest apparel brands in the world. Jamie has contributed to several of the GH Institute Labs, including Kitchen Appliances, Media and Tech, Textiles and Home Appliances. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and working out.

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10 Best Single-Serve Coffee Makers of 2023

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