The 11 Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker Choices

For many of us, brewing coffee is a slow ritual, but sometimes, you just want to get a quick cup of coffee, especially if you’re still groggy in the morning.

When you think of single serve brewers, the K cups coffee maker likely comes to mind, but there are (many) other options! While most of these devices don’t rival manual brewing options, they are convenient and easy to use.

So what’s the best one? Let’s find out!

Below, you can find our reviews for the best single-serve coffee makers. But if you’re in a real hurry, here’s our top pick:

Top Pick
Breville-Nespresso Vertuo Next with Aeroccino
$209.95

Espresso like brews in a click of a button. Accompanied with the Aeroccino, it can froth milk too for super quick lattes. Features bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to keep your machine updated.

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Alternatives At A Glance

Best Manual Single Serve
Aeropress Go
$31.95

The usual Aeropress but with an inbuilt travel mug and cup, which doubles as a carrying case. Great for RV brewing!

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Best Keurig
Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker
$199.99

Unlike most single serve brewers, this one can use either K-Cups or ground coffee. Includes a 12oz thermal carafe too!

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Best Compact Pod Espresso Maker
Staresso Portable Espresso Machine

If you enjoy brews on the go, this compact coffee maker does the job all without electricity!

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Most Versatile K-Cup Brewer
Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker
$139.99

The ultimate Keurig to make hot or iced brews. If you enjoy the vast variety of K-Cups this is the ultimate go to brewer!

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Most Lightweight Dual
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Coffee Maker
$99.00

Enjoy K-Cups but also the freshest coffee? The FlexBrew has the best of both worlds.

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Most Compact
Mr. Coffee Single Serve Brewer
$56.92

Got limited shelf space but still want the ability to switch between coffee grounds and K-Cups? This brewer can use both!

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Quickest Brewer
Chefman InstaCoffee Single Serve Brewer
$35.99

From start to finish the Chefman can brew you a cup in 30 seconds flat!

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Best For Small Spaces
Sboly Coffee Brewer
$58.95

Small, easy to use and budget friendly!

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Best Insulated Pick
Black + Decker Single Serve Coffeemaker, Black
$25.73

A super slim single serve brewer, with an included thermal flask. Perfect for on the go!

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Easy To Clean
Gloridea Brewer
$59.99

Grounds or K-Cups, the Gloridea can handle both all while being super easy to clean

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The 11 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers

1. Nespresso Delonghi Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Maker

The Vertuo Next is the latest model in Nespresso’s long line of single-serve coffee makers. We’ve reviewed another version of this coffee maker awhile back, and it’s safe to say that this is one tech-laden coffee maker.

Top Pick
Breville-Nespresso Vertuo Next with Aeroccino
$209.95

Espresso like brews in a click of a button. Accompanied with the Aeroccino, it can froth milk too for super quick lattes. Features bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to keep your machine updated.

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PROS (+)

  • Makes espresso
  • Aeroccino makes frothy coffee easy
  • Single click operation

CONS (-)

  • Only compatible with Nespresso pods

It uses Nespresso’s patented Centrifusion technology to brew your coffee pods. It uses centrifugal force and water infusion to extract the best flavors from the coffee in a nutshell. Your coffee is topped with a silky crema because it is spun at 7,000 rotations per minute while blending in with the hot water.

A key feature of this coffee maker is that it is simple to use. All it takes is to place the capsule in the device and push a single button, and the machine brews your coffee for you. Just make sure you fill-up the 37 oz water reservoir before you start it, though.

The Nespresso scans a barcode on your coffee capsule, which automatically adjusts the brewing parameters, giving you a consistent cup of coffee every time you use it. It also dries up your used coffee capsules for you, leading to an easier clean-up.

If you’re after convenience and consistency in your cup of joe, the Nespresso Vertuo Next is the best single-serve coffee machine for you with its “one-touch” brewing method.

2. Aeropress Go

The Aeropress, this single-serve coffee maker has been my go-to brewer whenever I’m traveling. As portable brewers go, this one’s a must-have for caffeine fiends since it is known to brew some of the best coffee on the go. 

Best Manual Single Serve
Aeropress Go
$31.95

The usual Aeropress but with an inbuilt travel mug and cup, which doubles as a carrying case. Great for RV brewing!

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PROS (+)

  • Super affordable
  • Great tasting brew
  • No electricity needed
  • Possible to make espresso

CONS (-)

  • Need to heat water separately
  • Only uses ground coffee (no pods) 

It brews similar to an espresso machine, using pressure to extract all the tasty flavors in your ground coffee. The pressure used is less than what your espresso goes by giving a midpoint of a drip coffee with the strength and brewing time.

The Aeropress only needs at least one minute to brew your coffee, and it can serve up to three cups of coffee as a bonus. Its portability is also a must-have giving you the ability to enjoy your coffee wherever and whenever.

Unlike our other picks for single-serve coffee makers, the Aeropress is entirely manual, so you won’t have to plug it in when you want to use it. All you need is your coffee, hot water, and paper filters. It also includes 350 pieces of filters so you can brew straight away once it arrives on your doorstep.

If you’re looking for a good midway point between manual and automatic brewing methods, the Aeropress might be the best single-serve coffee maker for you.

3. Keurig K-Duo

Unlike most Keurig brewers, you can decide between grounds or K-Cups with this pick.

Best Keurig
Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker
$199.99

Unlike most single serve brewers, this one can use either K-Cups or ground coffee. Includes a 12oz thermal carafe too!

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PROS (+)

  • Use grounds or K-Cups
  • Programmable settings
  • Thermal carafe included

CONS (-)

  • Can’t make espresso
  • No milk frother

The Keurig K-Duo has a removable drip tray, and it can brew up to five different cup sizes ranging from 4 oz up to 12 oz, and it Includes a thermal travel mug. There’s also a gold tone filter attachment that’s perfect if you prefer using ground coffee.

Its convenience doesn’t stop there; it also has a programmable auto-off feature, which is handy if you’re in a hurry. The K-Cafe can also alert you if the machine needs to be de-scaled, ensuring the best-tasting brew possible from your K-Cup.

You can choose from four different cup sizes ranging from 6 oz up to 12 oz. The K-Cafe also has a 60 oz water reservoir allowing you to brew up to 10 cups of coffee depending on what size you’ll get. If you’re always on the go its thermal travel mug will prove useful, keeping your brew warm for upto 2 hours.

The Keurig K-Duo is the best single-serve coffee maker for you if you’re looking to enjoy K-Cups and ground coffee all in one!

4. Staresso Portable Espresso Maker 

The espresso might be the smallest type of coffee drink you can think of, and it usually takes a bulky steaming machine to brew a shot. Portable espresso makers break down those boundaries, and the Staresso isn’t just a piece of eye-candy. It can pull off a tasty shot as well.

Best Compact Pod Espresso Maker
Staresso Portable Espresso Machine

If you enjoy brews on the go, this compact coffee maker does the job all without electricity!

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PROS (+)

  • Super portable 
  • No need for electricity 

CONS (-)

  • Doesn’t heat water

Its compact size can fit inside your backpack, and it weighs around 0.97 lbs or just under 500 grams making it one of the best coffee makers to bring on your travels.

The Staresso is completely manual and easy to use as well. You’ll only need to use hot water, coffee grounds, and a manual pump that squeezes out 15 to 20 bars of pressure to produce a silky crema on top of your coffee.

The brewing chamber can hold up to 2.7 oz (80ml) of water and up to 0.4 oz (15g) of ground coffee. The chamber and the pump are made out of stainless steel, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking in your luggage.

It’s versatile, giving you the option to brew using Nespresso coffee pods alongside your preferred coffee beans. As a bonus for latte and cappuccino lovers, this single-serve coffee maker can also froth milk as well. Just make sure you have access to water before you brew, though!

If you’re looking for a way to brew a good-tasting espresso, whether your outdoors or in your home, the Staresso is the best single-serve coffee maker for your caffeine needs.

5. Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker

Keurig comes in with another entry with the K-Elite. This single-serve coffee maker for K-cups brings a more straightforward approach to brewing your coffee than the more complex K-Cafe.

Most Versatile K-Cup Brewer
Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker
$139.99

The ultimate Keurig to make hot or iced brews. If you enjoy the vast variety of K-Cups this is the ultimate go to brewer!

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PROS (+)

  • Easy iced coffee
  • Programmable settings
  • Single button operation

CONS (-)

  • K-Cups don’t rival fresh coffee
  • Can’t make espresso

The Keurig K-Elite has a removable drip tray, and it can brew up to five different cup sizes ranging from 4 oz up to 12 oz, which is perfect if you want to use a travel mug. If you’re craving for something cold, this machine also has an iced option. There’s also a reusable filter attachment that’s purchased separately if you prefer using your ground coffee.

This single-serve coffee maker also has a “Strong Brew” button, which increases the brewing time for your K-Cup. Sounds perfect if you want more kick in your cup of coffee during your mornings. You also won’t spend too much time refilling the K-Elite because of its 75 oz water reservoir, brewing up to 8 cups of coffee.

If you want a streamlined coffee experience, this coffee maker can also be programmed to turn on or off at your preferred time. It can also notify you if the machine needs to be de-scaled to remove all those pesky calcium buildups. You can also set the brewing temperature as well so you can control how your coffee is extracted.

The Keurig K-Elite is the best single-serve coffee maker for you if you enjoy the variety of K-Cup brewing.

6. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffee Maker 

The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew is a perfect addition to your home if you’re after a flexible (get it) way to brew using your coffee maker. K-Cups can be a convenient way to make your coffee, but with the FlexBrew, you’ll also get the option to brew using your ground coffee.

Most Lightweight Dual
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Coffee Maker
$99.00

Enjoy K-Cups but also the freshest coffee? The FlexBrew has the best of both worlds.

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PROS (+)

  • Brews grounds and K-Cups
  • Strength settings 

CONS (-)

  • The bold brew isn’t so strong

No need for any paper filters since it has its detachable pod holder and brew basket for your ground coffee. This single-serve coffee maker also has the option to choose brew strength. You can select the “Bold” setting if you want a strong coffee otherwise, you can pick “Regular”.

You can brew either an 8 oz or 10 oz cup when you’re using K-cups. If you want a larger brew for your travel mug, it can brew up to 14 oz if you use ground coffee too. The FlexBrew also has a 40 oz water reservoir allowing multiple cups, and it can also notify you when the water level is low.

All in all, It can brew a cup of coffee just a few easy steps. All you need to do is pop in your grounds or K-Cup inside the chamber, close the lid, and press brew.

The FlexBrew from Hamilton Beach can be an affordable pick whether you want to use your K-Cups or ground coffee.

7. Mr. Coffee BVMC SC100 Single-Serve Coffee Maker

If you’re struggling to brew your coffee using your ground coffee or a k-cup pod, well, why not get a single-serve coffee maker that brews both? The Mr. Coffee BVMC-SC100-2 works with standard-sized K-Cups, and it has a reusable coffee filter so you can brew using your preferred single-origin.

Most Compact
Mr. Coffee Single Serve Brewer
$56.92

Got limited shelf space but still want the ability to switch between coffee grounds and K-Cups? This brewer can use both!

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PROS (+)

  • Reusable filter
  • Fast brewer

CONS (-)

  • Lacks advanced features

The coffee maker’s compact size at 7.4 x 11.8 wide and 14.5 inches tall makes it one space-saving appliance for your home, and it’s not bad to look at either. Its simple to use since its a one-touch operation for you to brew your cup of coffee. Just make sure to fill up its 10 oz water reservoir and place your K-Cup or grounds before you brew.

It is also easy to clean with its removable drip tray, and you can adjust the height if you’re using a travel mug. The removable pod drawer makes cleaning your used coffee grounds hassle-free as well. The BMVC also automatically shuts down after brewing so you can just pick up your coffee and start your day immediately.

This might be the best single-serve coffee maker for you if you prefer a no-fuss, no-muss way to brew your cup of coffee.

8. Chefman InstaCoffee Single Serve Coffee Maker

The Chefman InstaCoffee coffee maker brings the time-saving convenience of instant coffee with the benefits of brewed coffee. It is capable of brewing a cup in 30 seconds which is perfect if you’re in a pinch and want your caffeine fix.

Quickest Brewer
Chefman InstaCoffee Single Serve Brewer
$35.99

From start to finish the Chefman can brew you a cup in 30 seconds flat!

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PROS (+)

  • Super quick
  • Brews coffee or tea
  • Compact

CONS (-)

  • No milk frother
  • Basic feature set

The InstaCoffee also has a 14 oz water reservoir, which can brew enough for your travel mug. You can brew using K-Cups but if you’re craving for something different, you can use the reusable filter for coffee grounds or even loose leaf tea. If you prefer a strong or delicate coffee, you can use more or less hot water during brewing.

This single-serve coffee maker also has a self-cleaning feature that prevents mineral buildup by flushing hot water through the pipes in the machine, It’s a perfect fit for smaller kitchens because of its slender profile at 5.6 x 7.6 inches wide and 14 inches tall.

You won’t have to wait long for your coffee with the Chefman InstaCoffee, its the best single-serve coffee maker if you’re the type who’s always in a hurry.

9. Sboly 1177 Single Serve Coffee Maker

Sboly has been making waves recently in the coffee scene with its versatile single-serve coffee makers for K-Cups. Its small frame might look non-intimidating, but it makes a decent cup coffee while saving space on your countertops.

Best For Small Spaces
Sboly Coffee Brewer
$58.95

Small, easy to use and budget friendly!

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PROS (+)

  • Travel mug included
  • Compact

CONS (-)

  • Brews black coffee only
  • No advanced features

You might wonder if you can use your ground coffee with the 1177, don’t fret because it’s also compatible using the included basket filter. It works will standard K-Cups, and it can make your coffee in 3 minutes as well.

This coffee maker also has a 14 oz notched water reservoir that measures the amount of water you put in. It’s a welcome addition if you want to adjust the strength of your coffee. 

The 1177 is easy to use. You’ll only need to fill the water, place in your preferred coffee, push the corresponding button, and brew up a cup of joe.

It’s also bundled with a 14 oz insulated travel mug, keeping your coffee hot up to 6 hours. You can also use it for cold drinks and insulate them for up to 12 hours. If you have a larger tumbler, you can easily remove the drip tray to accommodate them.

This machine might not be as well-known compared to our other picks, but it’s easy to use design and consistent brew, it may earn a place in your kitchen.

10. Black+Decker Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Sometimes a simple brewed cup of coffee does the job, and this single-serve coffee maker from Black+Decker goes back to the basics at its finest.

Best Insulated Pick
Black + Decker Single Serve Coffeemaker, Black
$25.73

A super slim single serve brewer, with an included thermal flask. Perfect for on the go!

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PROS (+)

  • Reuseable filter
  • Dishwasher safe

CONS (-)

  • Not great if you enjoy strong brews

You can brew using your favorite ground coffee or coffee pods with its reusable mesh filter and brew basket. They are also removable as well making it easy to clean and dishwasher-safe. The coffee maker is also optimized to use the ideal temperature for its hot water making for a consistent cup of coffee.

It can hold 16 oz in its water reservoir and brew directly into the included 16 oz travel mug. This machine automatically turns off after every brew, which is perfect if you’re in a rush.

It’s the lightest automated coffee maker compared to our other picks weighing in around 2.20 lbs. The coffee maker’s slender profile at 6.14 x 5.47 wide and 9.41 tall makes it an excellent space-saving appliance for smaller homes and kitchens.

If you’re looking for a machine that can give you more bang for your buck, then this single-serve coffee maker from Black+Decker is the best fit for you.

11. Gloridea Single Serve Coffee Maker 

This single-serve coffee maker from Gloridea can brew your standard K-Cup and even other coffee capsules from other brands. If you want to brew using your own coffee beans, there’s also a reusable filter included.

Easy To Clean
Gloridea Brewer
$59.99

Grounds or K-Cups, the Gloridea can handle both all while being super easy to clean

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PROS (+)

  • Cleaning is a breeze
  • Grounds and K-Cup compatible 

CONS (-)

  • Longer to brew than average
  • No milk frother

It’s packed with a 14 oz water reservoir, and you can choose from four different cup sizes. You can brew starting from 6 oz all the way to the maximum 14 oz, which is perfect for a travel mug.

You’ll only need to choose from two buttons to brew your coffee, and you’ll only have to select based on the type of coffee you’ll use. Pressing both at the same time initiates the coffee maker’s cleaning mode

The drip tray, water tank, filter, and k-cup needle and holder are all removable and dishwasher-safe, making for one easy cleanup. This coffee maker also has a quick brewing time of 3 minutes, ensuring you enjoy your coffee sooner than later. 

Sometimes the best coffee maker can be the simplest one to use, and if you believe in that adage, then this 2-in-1 brewer from Gloridea may be perfect for you.

The Buyers Guide To Single Serve Coffee Machines

There are a lot of choices for a single-serve coffee maker. Some may catch your attention because of its design or portability, but it will also depend on how you take your coffee.

If you want to brew a cup a conveniently as possible, maybe getting a machine with a large water reservoir and a one-touch brewing function is the best fit for you.

It will also have to use your preferred type of coffee as well. Some single-serve coffee makers for K-Cup use these capsules exclusively while others can also brew using a coffee pod or your coffee ground.

My preferred coffee brewer might not be the best one for you so keep your eye out for other types of single-serve coffee makers.

Espresso vs Single Serve

A good thing to remember is a single-serve coffee maker only makes one cup of coffee for each brew. 

A single-serve coffee might pertain to your regular drip coffee, or it can also include an espresso. The espresso is essentially a coffee concentrate that is brewed per cup. Espressos are also considered single-serve coffees because each brew can only serve one cup.

If you’re looking for a more convenient way to brew your coffee, getting a single-serve coffee maker might be the best way. Most are automated and easy-to-use, with some just needing a single button press to brew a delicious cup of coffee. They can also brew using a k-cup or coffee pods, which adds to the convenience factor as well.

However, one thing to consider is how your coffee will be brewed at the mercy of the machine. You can’t make adjustments on how the coffee beans are extracted. The coffee bean’s nuanced flavors might be lost during the brewing process with these machines.

An espresso machine uses pressure to brew an espresso shot, and it can bring out the natural flavors in your ground coffee.

A drawback of these coffee makers is that they are more expensive and bulkier than your standard coffee machine. It can also take a while for the machines to heat up because of its large water reservoir, sometimes needing up to 10 minutes. Don’t worry because there are portable options like the Staresso and Aeropress if you want something within your reach.

Pods vs Capsules

It might be confusing to differentiate coffee pods and capsules at first glance since they’re both essentially a small container for your ground coffee. The simplicity and easy-to-use features of these containers make them relatively popular for coffee lovers throughout the years.

What’s different about them is their packaging. Capsules like your K-Cups usually are plastic containers with an aluminum foil on top that holds the ground coffee. The coffee pod is essentially a filter shaped into a bag to hold ground coffee.

Coffee pods have more surface area, allowing the water to seep through more evenly, leading to a better-extracted coffee cup. The container is also biodegradable, and you also have to option to buy reusable pods for an eco-friendly cup. It is more aromatic compared to capsules, but it may make the coffee go stale faster. However, coffee pods have fewer options for other flavors, and it may be risky to brew a cup using pressure because the packaging might break.

Coffee capsules have more to choose from, with some ranging from flavored coffees to single-origins. It can also withstand pressure, so you brew using these portion-controlled capsules. 
They are a bit more costly than a coffee pod as well. Another thing to consider is that these capsules are not the best for the environment since they’re mostly made with plastic. The good news is that Keurig wants to transition to recyclable K-Cups by the end of 2020.

The Final Verdict

The best single-serve coffee maker is the Nespresso Next! It is designed to give you the complete cafe experience without the bulkiness of larger brewers. If you love to drink a lot of milky coffee during your day, the high-capacity water reservoir does its job well.

Top Pick
Breville-Nespresso Vertuo Next with Aeroccino
$209.95

Espresso like brews in a click of a button. Accompanied with the Aeroccino, it can froth milk too for super quick lattes. Features bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to keep your machine updated.

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If you want to have more control over your brew, the Aeropress might be the best coffee maker for you. The Aeropress can bring out more subtle flavors in your coffee, and its very portable as well, making it a good companion during any trips away. 

Remember, the best single-serve coffee maker will depend on your preferences, so take your pick! 

Philip Daniel Felongco

Philip Felongco

Ex-Barista and now coffee writer

A life long coffee drinker, Philip has been looking for new ways to enjoy coffee since he started in the coffee industry in 2017. His favorite coffee is a light roast Rwandan single origin. If he’s not binging on food shows or trying out new coffee recipes, you can catch him here at Sip Coffee!