Some days there just isn’t time to wait for your coffee to be ready, but who can go without their morning caffeine fix? This is where a single serve coffee maker comes to the rescue — with just the press of a button, you can brew the good stuff straight into your travel mug and hit the road. Besides their convenience, single serve coffee makers guarantee that every cup is ultra-fresh and also make sure that nothing goes to waste. We’ve rounded up the top single serve coffee makers in 2023, taking into account brew quality and any additional handy features.
Best Overall: Keurig Single Serve Coffee Maker
Most Durable: Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Maker
Programmable: Cuisinart Single Serve Coffee Maker
Best for Coffee Pods: Mueller Single Serve Coffee Maker
Budget-friendly: Black+Decker Single Serve Coffee Maker
Comparing the Finest Single Serve Coffee Makers of 2023
LUXHAUS Moka Pot Single-Serve Coffee Maker Best Overall
List Price: $36.00
The LUXHAUS Moka Pot is the perfect coffee maker for those who enjoy the quality of freshly pressed espresso with the convenience of quick brewing at home. This espresso maker has the capacity to brew up to 12 oz of espresso, equivalent to 6 espresso-size cups, which are around 2 oz. This high-quality espresso pot is made with 100% food-safe stainless steel and offers a no-rust guarantee. This pot also works on induction stoves due to the steel’s quality and is compatible with gas, electric, and even camping stoves, allowing you to brew the perfect espresso from anywhere. Its no-spill spout makes pouring easier and stress-free while its pop-out dispenser makes cleaning the espresso machine more convenient. At an affordable price, this machine gives you great value for your money.
- Heat-resistant handle for built-in safety
- Brews up to 12 oz of espresso
- Works with gas, electric, and induction stovetops
- Hinge on top can easily weaken
- The bottom changes color due to heat
Keurig Single Serve Coffee Maker: Best Design
List Price: $122.98 - $149.99
The Keurig K-Classic Single Serve Coffee Maker is our second pick not only because of its easy-to-use design but also because it offers multiple remarkable features for such a compact unit. This model allows you to choose between three different cup sizes from 6 to 10 ounces — the 6-ounce option will give you the strongest brew, while the 10-ounce setting is ideal for a large travel mug.
Since this coffee maker is compatible with standard K-cups, you can switch up your coffee’s flavor with every brew. The large water reservoir allows you to make six or more cups before you need to refill it, and it includes a descaling light that lets you know when it’s time to clean the machine.
- Fast, one-minute brew time
- Energy-saving automatic shut-off feature
- Removable, easy-to-fill water chamber
- Plastic construction doesn't look very stylish
- Brewing options are low-volume
Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Maker: Most Durable
List Price: $39.99 - $56.99
Constructed from high-quality stainless steel, the Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Maker looks fantastic on a kitchen counter and is built to last. This option doesn’t take pods, K-cups or disposable filters. Instead, it includes a reusable filter that helps you save money and cut down on waste. You can also change up the flavor of your brew with every cup by selecting either the regular or bold brew setting.
This well-designed single-serve coffee maker features a mug stand that allows you to place a short mug underneath its dispenser for an 8-ounce brew. Remove the stand to make room for a larger cup or travel mug up to 14 ounces. Its brew time is approximately 90 seconds to two and a half minutes depending on the size of your brew, and when it’s done brewing, this coffee maker will automatically shut off.
- Durable stainless steel design
- Two-in-one scoop and filter for convenience
- Auto shut-off feature
- No milk frother
- Its brew is rather weak
Cuisinart Single Serve Coffee Maker: Programmable
List Price: $95.99 - $162.90
This premium single serve coffee maker from Cuisinart features a fully programmable backlit LCD screen. You can adjust things like cup size, change temperature settings and even run an auto-rinse for easy cleaning. This smart device isn't just for java, though. With its hot water button, you can also use this machine for tea, hot cocoa and even ramen, easily alternating between serving sizes that range from 4 to 12 ounces.
This single serve coffee maker features a large removable water chamber for more convenient filling. It also comes with a reusable filter cup that allows you to customize your brew while saving money and reducing waste. This coffee maker is also compatible with individual coffee pods as well.
- Removable drip tray to accommodate larger cups
- Built-in charcoal water filter
- Programmable on/off timer
- May be louder than other machines
- Not ideal for use with ground coffee
Mueller Single Serve Coffee Maker: Best for Coffee Pods
List Price: $129.72
This K-cup-compatible single serve coffee maker from Mueller is easy to use and is compatible with most other single-use pods. This allows you to enjoy all sorts of flavors and blends from different brands. It offers three different brew sizes, and all you have to do is press the corresponding button for either a short, medium or large cup to receive your steaming mug of joe in just a minute.
The water chamber is removable for easy filling and cleaning, and it can hold enough water for a few brewing cycles. This single serve coffee maker also has an auto shut-off feature, so that you won’t have to worry about turning it off manually.
- Fast brewing times
- Several programmable cup sizes
- Compact, countertop-friendly design
- No auto-rinse feature
- Loud while brewing
Black+Decker Single Serve Coffee Maker: Budget-friendly
List Price: $32.88
Despite its budget-friendly price tag, this handy single serve coffee maker from Black+Decker offers a lot of value — it even comes with a free travel mug and lid! Its stainless steel travel mug fits perfectly below the coffee dispenser and into most car cup holders, making this option an all-around great choice for some on-the-go joe.
This single coffee maker features a permanent filter that’s compatible with either coffee grounds or single-use pods. It boasts a compact, space-saving build, and its well-designed temperature control helps make sure that your coffee is piping hot with each and every brew.
- Operates easily with one touch
- Shuts off automatically for convenience
- Comes with a stainless steel travel mug
- Not K-cup compatible
- Difficult to clean
Buying Guide: Single Serve Coffee Makers
Single serve coffee makers are available in various designs, including pod, capsule, drip and espresso machines. The type that’s right for you will depend on a few factors, including your budget, the kind of coffee you prefer and how much space you have available.
Here are some important factors you’ll need to consider when shopping for a single serve coffee maker in 2023.
If you want to brew your coffee to go, you’ll need to ensure that the coffee maker is tall enough to fit your travel mug under its drip spout. Some machines even come with a thermal mug that fits under the dispenser — with just the press of a button, you can get the perfect brew to grab and go.
Most single serve coffee makers come in a compact size that’s ideal for small kitchens or even for placing on an office desk. There are also larger, pricier units available that come with additional features, such as dual-cup holders and milk frothers. Consider how much counter space you have available and also ensure that you can place it near a power outlet. Most machines open from the top to add water, coffee grounds or capsules, which means that there should be enough open space above the machine so you can lift its lid.
While some single serve coffee makers only hold enough water for one brew, many have a larger water reservoir — this allows you to make three or four cups without having to refill the water chamber after every brewing cycle. When it comes to accessibility, consider whether a single serve coffee maker’s water chamber is removable or permanently affixed to the machine.
If you’re someone who likes to change things up, a one-touch coffee maker might be too simple for you. Some single serve coffee makers allow you to brew anything from espresso shots to large travel mug sizes, or you can go for a cappuccino or latte model that has a milk frother included.
Coffee capsules, sometimes referred to as K-cups, offer a consistent flavor outcome in a single-serving size. These little capsules allow you to change up the flavor with every brew and can provide a no-mess, no-fuss brewing experience.
Coffee capsules come in small plastic cups, commonly used by brands like Nespresso. They fit perfectly into a special slot where the machine pierces the top foil lining and releases hot pressurized water through the grinds to extract a robust flavor. Their foil seal keeps these capsules fresh for longer periods of time than most other types of coffee.
Despite their convenience, there are some downsides to using K-cups. Not all capsules are of equal quality, and they’re generally a lot pricier than coffee grounds or beans. They also produce a lot of waste, which is not great for the environment. However, some companies have started manufacturing reusable coffee capsules, which allow you to add your own coffee grounds. Reusable coffee capsules are a great way to save money, reduce waste and ensure you’re able to enjoy your favorite high-quality coffee. Ultimately, you have to decide what situation will work for you.
It’s important to note that not all capsule types are compatible with every capsule or K-cup machine. Always check to make sure the capsules you’re looking at are compatible with your single serve coffee maker before purchasing.
Pods vs. capsules
People often refer to pods and capsules as the same thing, but they’re actually two different products. Soft coffee pods are similar to tea bags — these small, round bags contain ground coffee and are generally biodegradable. Unlike capsules, which are only compatible with select machines, pods can be used with various machines since they come in a standard size.
Because pods aren’t sealed as well as capsules, exposure to air, light and moisture can cause them to quickly lose their strong aroma and flavor if they’re not stored properly. For optimal results, store your pods in an airtight container that’s in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
Cleaning and maintenance
It’s important to clean your coffee maker regularly to prevent limescale, mold and residue buildup, so make sure to clean the grinds out of the filter after every use. If your machine has a reusable filter, you’ll need to wash this with warm water daily — grinds can settle in the filter holder and build up over time, which will prevent liquid from dripping through.
The user manual will provide instructions for more thorough cleaning; you should do this more in-depth cleaning every one to three months, depending on how often you use it. We recommend running a diluted vinegar blend through the machine once a month and a decalcifying agent through it once every three months.
Run a single cycle of equal parts vinegar and water through the machine without any grinds. After you’ve done one diluted vinegar cycle, run two or three more cycles with only water to remove any residual vinegar before using it for coffee again; the same process applies to descaling with a decalcifying agent.
People Also Asked
Q: Can I leave my coffee maker on the whole day?
A: It’s not a good idea to leave your single serve coffee maker on all day, as this can cause significant damage to the machine and may even start a fire due to overheating. Thankfully, many machines include an auto shut-off safety feature to prevent this sort of thing from occurring.
Q: How long can I leave water in a single-serve coffee maker?
A: If you don’t use all the water in your single serve coffee maker, we recommend not leaving it for more than two days. Water can become stale and contaminated if left in the chamber for too long, and you’ll likely start to notice a slimy layer forming around the reservoir’s walls. It’s generally not very healthy to ingest this slimy water.
Q: Will my coffee maker purify water during the brewing process?
A: No, single serve coffee makers won’t purify water that isn’t safe to drink in the first place. Using high-quality water will result in a better-tasting brew, so if the water doesn't taste great on its own, there’s a good chance that your coffee won’t taste great either. Make sure to clean your coffee machine regularly to prevent contamination and the buildup of chemicals and minerals, as this will also help to keep your coffee tasting more like coffee and less like stale water.
Q: How much coffee do I need for a single serve drip?
A: A general rule of thumb for the amount of coffee grounds needed for a single serving is two tablespoons of coffee for every 16 ounces of water.
Q: How long do single serve coffee pods last?
A: Single serve coffee pods don't usually have an expiration date, but should be consumed within 12 months for optimal flavor. If you're buying coffee pods from a specific brand, however, it's a good idea to check if the manufacturer provides a different use-by date for their products.
Why Trust Us
Our commitment to the consumer begins with product selection and ends with the last word we write in each article. Each single serve coffee maker is carefully vetted quantitatively through star ratings and number of reviews qualitatively through careful examination of reviews and the features each one has to offer. Leveraging our team of bargain hunters, we’re also always sure to keep your budget in mind while we find the best machines on the market. Our team of experts is dedicated to accurately depicting the pros and cons of each single serve coffee maker, translating technical product specifications into information you can understand. Our mission is to make sure you get the most bang for your buck…or in this case, the most caffeine for your cash.