2023's Top-Rated Single-Serve Coffee Makers

Valerie Li Stack
Monica Petrucci
Co-authored by Monica Petrucci and Valerie Li Stack

Revised on March 16th, 2023

A quality cup of coffee that can compete with that found in a coffee shop can be brewed quickly and easily with the best single-serve coffee makers.

Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville is our go-to for a single cup of joe. (selling for $199.00 on Amazon) has an attractive appearance, and is unparalleled in its ability to produce a hot, flavorful cup of coffee with minimal effort, the ideal goals of any pod coffee maker. Although its 40-ounce water tank is the smallest in our roundup, the tank can be detached and stored away easily thanks to the swivel bottom handle.

The Keurig K-Cafe (available on Amazon) was the most flexible single-serve maker we tested, so we recommend it if your caffeine needs extend beyond coffee to include espresso and iced coffee. We recommend the Instant Dual Pod Plus (sold by Amazon) if you can't decide between Nespresso and Keurig brews because it works great with K-cups, Nespresso capsules, and compostable pods.

Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville best-overall-1dd23734500e340019f60b53dc78ce28.png

We found that the Breville Nespresso VertuoPlus was the best pod coffee maker.

The Keurig K-Cafe Smart shown on a kitchen counter with a glass of iced coffee prepared. editors-choice-0f342d934b36a60dbeaa8e847ae70af2.png

This appliance can sit on the kitchen counter because of its modern appearance and compact size.

The Most Adaptable

The Keurig K-Café Smart

  • K-cup pods are the most common type.
  • Sixty ounces is the maximum amount of water that can be stored in the reservoir.
  • Inches in size. 1 x 11 x 17 2 inches
  • Mass: 13 ounces

We found the newest Keurig, the K-Café Smart, to be superior to any model we've tried in the past. Includes a high-quality milk frother, and the accompanying app will walk you through making anything from iced coffee to mocha lattes.

Using the app, you can manage the machine, customize your brewing preferences, establish cleaning schedules, and more. Furthermore, the app serves as a store where pods and accessories can be purchased and subsequently delivered to the user. A wide variety of drink recipes are available for your perusal in the Café Creations section.

The water tank is simple to empty and refill (with the included handle), and the compact design is a bonus.

There is no reusable pod included with this machine, so picky coffee bean drinkers will have to purchase one separately. We also did not enjoy the espresso made by this device, finding that the shots lacked both a distinct crema and the bold, espresso-like flavor we were looking for. Therefore, our Nespresso champion (or a classic espresso machine) is the way to go if you're picky about your espresso shots. Explore our comprehensive Keurig K-Café Smart review.


  • An aesthetically pleasing and space-saving layout

  • With a wacky app, you can have complete control from a distance.

  • The water tank is spacious and simple to refill.

  • Excellent performance from the milk frother.


  • Not packaged with a refillable pod

  • Less-than-impressive espresso shots

  • Poor quality pods still produce subpar brews.

Product shot of the Instant Dual Pod Plus Coffee Maker on kitchen counter. editors-choice-0f342d934b36a60dbeaa8e847ae70af2.png

If you're a fan of pod coffee, you should buy this machine.

How we tested the coffee makers

In order to find the best single-cup coffee maker, we put nine models through rigorous testing.

I'm Valerie Li, and I'm a staff writer here at Reviewed who covers food and drink. Mornings don't begin until I have my first shot of espresso from my trusty De'Longhi machine. I've tried a wide range of coffees, from the instant jolts sold at 7-Eleven to the gourmet brews at Jamaica's Blue Mountain plantation.

The Tests

We prepared the best single-cup coffee makers and brewed a minimum of 10 cups of coffee in each one, taking note of how long it took to brew, how simple it was to refill the water reservoir, and whether or not it could also brew iced coffee, hot chocolate, or other beverages.

Over the course of a week, we performed this procedure on all of the machines and rated them based on how easy they were to descale, how pleasant they were to operate, how portable they were, how well they were constructed, and how simple it was to store them. We also made sure to take into account any concerns regarding security or unique characteristics.

We also considered how simple it was to clean and recycle the pods, how fast they brewed, how hot the coffee was, how quickly the machine could brew a cup, and how good the coffee tasted.

Here's Some Information About Single-Serve Coffee Machines That Use Pods

What you need to know about pod coffee makers

Keurig pod coffee makers have simple designs that make it simple to use the pods.

The introduction of Keurig machines for the home in 2004 caused widespread disruption in the coffee industry and altered the way in which Americans consumed coffee on a daily basis.

Keurigs, scientifically speaking, are very similar to drip coffee makers, but they are much faster because they use a pressurized system to quickly extract coffee juices from ground beans using hot water.

Following the expiration of the patent on the K-cup technology, numerous competitors entered the market, effectively ending Keurig's near-monopoly. Nespresso, a product of Nestle, is releasing the VertuoLine, a new line of single-cup coffee makers that uses centrifusion technology to dramatically enhance flavor.

The two firms are now the market leaders in the coffee pod industry.

Comparatively, making coffee with a French press or a drip coffee maker requires more time and effort than with a pod coffee maker. When shopping for a coffee maker that only makes one cup at a time, keep these things in mind:

Pods vs Filters that can be used more than once

Single-cup coffee makers may be more convenient, but the pricey pods they require add up quickly. The ongoing price of pods should be factored in before purchasing a single-serve coffee maker.

In comparison to Nespresso pods, K-cups are both more affordable and more widely available. Unfortunately, recycling K-pods isn't always easy. In contrast, Nespresso pods are more expensive and come in fewer varieties. Recyclable Nespresso capsules can be returned to the manufacturer via postage-paid shipping labels or dropped off at a designated collection location.

Filters that can be reused are another alternative. They have fewer negative effects on the environment, and you can buy them almost anywhere, even on Amazon. Silicone is one of the many types available. Keep in mind that it may be more of a hassle to clean a reusable mesh filter.

Water Storage Tank

Different pod coffee makers have vastly different sized water reservoirs. In our roundup, we looked at brewers with capacities ranging from 40 to 75 ounces. Smaller machines are more space-efficient, as they only produce a few cups at a time.

On the other hand, a larger reservoir is preferable if you plan on making multiple cups of coffee per day, saving you time and effort.


Pod coffee makers' water reservoirs come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Since the larger appliances will likely be permanently installed on your counter, you'll need to ensure that they have adequate housing. Coffee made from a compact machine still tastes great and is easy to store.

Care for a Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Taking care of your single-cup coffee maker is essential, regardless of the coffee pod brand you use.

Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville

Maintaining a fresh coffee flavor requires only periodic descaling of your coffee maker.

Descale your machine once every six months in addition to regular cleaning measures like wiping and rinsing. As to why descaling is crucial,

Coffee brewing water typically contains calcium and magnesium. Limescale forms over time due to the accumulation of mineral deposits. The resulting coffee may not be as hot or flavorful as you'd like. Your machine may malfunction in the future as a result.

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