Home » Best Single Serve Coffee Maker for 2023 (We Tested Them For You)

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker for 2023 (We Tested Them For You)

A single serve coffee maker is the best option if you want a quick and convenient coffee for one. These machines can be manual or automatic and brew with freshly ground coffee, capsules, or coffee pods. Yet, they all have one thing in common: making a single cup of coffee at a time.

How do you know which one is right for you with so many options? This guide explains what to look for when buying a single cup coffee maker. Below are the best single serve coffee maker brands on the market.

At A Glance:

  1. OUR TOP PICK: Keurig K-Elite
  2. BEST VALUE: Black+Decker single serve coffee maker
  3. BEST FOR COFFEE PODS: Nespresso Pixie

How We Tested Each Single Serve Coffee Maker on this list

It’s not easy to compare such a diverse array of coffee makers. In our tests, we used each coffee maker as intended, either with a coffee capsule, K-Cup, or ground coffee. For each brewer tested – many of which did not end up on our final list – we considered the quality of the coffee, the ease of use, the versatility, and the price. The top picks found in this article offer the best value. With these single serve coffee makers you’ll make easy and affordable coffee brewed at your home.

What is the best single serve coffee maker for 2023?

Homegrounds is here to help you choose the best of the best single serve coffee maker. Whether you’re looking for delicious coffee in a hurry or want the best price, we have an option for you.

image product detail
Best Overall Best Overall Keurig K-Elite Keurig K-Elite
  • Automatic machine
  • 13.1 x 9.9 x 12.7 inches
  • 75 oz capacity
Best Pod Machine Best Pod Machine Nespresso Pixie Nespresso Pixie
  • Automatic machine
  • 4.4 x 12.8 x 9.3 inches
  • 24 oz capacity
Best Keurig Alternative Best Keurig Alternative Cuisinart SS-10P1 Cuisinart SS-10
  • Automatic
  • 13 x 14.8 x 16.4 inches
  • 72 oz capacity
Best For Lattes And Cappuccinos Best For Lattes And Cappuccinos Ninja CM407 Ninja CM401 Specialty Coffee Maker
  • Automatic machine
  • 12 x 8.8 x 15 inches
  • 40 oz capacity
Best For Road Trips Best For Road Trips AdirChef Coffee Maker AdirChef Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker
  • Automatic machine
  • 6.7 x 5.1 x 10.1 inches
  • 14 oz capactiy
Best For Camping Best For Camping Aeropress Aeropress Coffee Maker
  • Manual machine
  • 4 x 4 x 9.5 inches
  • 8 oz capacity
Best Value For Money Best Value For Money “BLACK+DECKER Single Serve Coffeemaker” BLACK+DECKER Single Serve Coffee Maker
  • Automatic machine
  • 7.4 x 5.9 x 12.1 inches
  • 16 oz
Best All-In-One Best All-In-One Coffee Gator Single Cup Coffee Gator Pour Over Brewer
  • Manual coffee maker
  • 3.3 x 3.3 x 6.9 inches
  • 20 oz
Budget Pick Budget Pick Primula Brew Buddy Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew B​​Uddy
  • Manual coffee maker
  • 5.6 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches
  • 1 cup of coffee
Best For Ground Coffee Best For Ground Coffee Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker The Hamilton Beach 49981 Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker
  • Automatic machine
  • 8.4 x 6.7 x 8.7 inches
  • 14 oz capacity

1. Keurig K-Elite – Best Overall

  • Type of machine: Automatic 

  • Dimensions: 13.1 x 9.9 x 12.7 inches
  • Capacity: 75 oz
  • Brews with: K-cup, My K-Cup

Keurig coffee makers are the most popular single-serve option in America, with a Keurig machine found in approximately 22% of homes. Unlike other pod machines that make espresso-style coffee, K-Cup coffee makers brew single cups of drip coffee.

Keurig introduced the Keurig K-Elite as an upgrade to the K7575. K-Elite is now the best-selling single serve coffee maker on the market. It offers greater versatility than many other Keurig machines, with the option to adjust the brew temperature, cup size, and brew strength.

The K-Elite also has settings for iced coffee and high elevation brewing.

The K-Elite has many features for added user-friendliness, including a hot water button for making tea or hot chocolate, a maintenance reminder alert, quiet brew technology, a removable drip tray, and a large 75 oz capacity water tank. It’s made from plastic but has a brushed metal finish.

The Homegrounds team doesn’t like this machine’s environmental impact of using Keurig K Cup pods. However, you can opt for a reusable My K-Cup to avoid waste. It’s also larger and heavier than other single serve coffee machines, so it’s not great if you have limited counter space. Despite all this, K-Elite will be the best personal coffee maker for most people.

For more information, check out our full review of the Keurig K-Elite.

2. Nespresso Pixie – Best Pod Machine

  • Type of machine: Automatic

  • Dimensions: 4.4 x 12.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Capacity: 24 oz
  • Brews with: Nespresso pods

Nespresso was the first to introduce Nespresso pods which replicate espresso-style coffee at home with incredible convenience. Thus, Nespresso coffee machines are the best-known single serve coffee makers. The Pixie is one of Nespresso’s most popular single serve machines due to its compact design and fast brewing speed. If you’re a fan of espresso shots, this pod espresso maker is for you.

Nespresso Pixie features a thermoblock heating system that provides a 25-30 second heat-up time and a 25-second brewing time for single espresso shots. So you get freshly brewed coffee in less then a minute! The 19-bar pump ensures high-pressure extraction for a rich-tasting espresso and even a layer of crema.

…as smaller machines go, the Pixie pumps out surprisingly tasty and well-structured shots of espresso.

It has a 24 oz capacity water tank, which might seem small, but it’s enough to make 17 espressos without refilling. Although this personal coffee maker is mainly plastic, it has added sturdiness from the aluminum siding, which is made from recycled Nespresso capsules.

This is not the best single serve pod coffee maker if you like milk drinks or want to customize your coffee. The only option for adjustments you have is to change the preset water volume of the espresso or lungo – there’s no choice for a double espresso.

For more information, check out our full Nespresso Pixie review.

3. Cuisinart SS-10 – Best Keurig Alternative

  • Type of machine: Automatic

  • Dimensions: 13 x 14.8 x 16.4 inches
  • Capacity: 72 oz
  • Brews with: K-Cup, ground coffee

The Cuisinart brand has a long history of making kitchen appliances, but SS-10 one of its few forays into the world of single serve coffee machines. It’s compatible with Keurig k Cup pods and ground beans, making it a strong competitor for Keurig machines.

A Cuisinart single serve coffee maker is an excellent choice for anyone who wants the flexibility of using K-Cups and your favorite coffee. It also offers good versatility for coffee brewing, options for five different cup sizes, and adjustable brewing temperature for hot coffee.

The Cuisinart SS-10 features a 72 capacity water tank, second only to the Keurig K-Elite. It also features a programmable start time, a hot water button, a rinse function, and a built-in storage container for the ground beans filter basket. It has an all-plastic construction with a stainless steel finish.

The downside to the Cuisinart SS-10 is that it doesn’t brew as fast as other coffee brewers on our list. Some customers also find that the machine doesn’t puncture the K-Cups properly.

4. Ninja CM401 Specialty Coffee Maker – Best for Lattes and Cappuccinos

  • Type of machine: Automatic

  • Dimensions: 12 x 8.8 x 15 inches
  • Capacity: 40 oz
  • Brews with: Ground coffee

Ninja is an American brand well known for its dual coffee machines. These machines are single serve and pot coffee makers, landing Ninja a a regular spot on our lists of the top coffee brewers.

The Ninja CM401 is the best one-cup coffee maker for anyone who wants to make a wide variety of coffees, including cafe-style specialty drinks. You can choose brew styles, including Classic, Rich, Over Ice, or Specialty Brew, an espresso-style coffee you can use in combination with the built-in milk frother. Specialty Coffee Association certified it.

Features of the machine include six brew sizes: single cup, mug, travel mug, large travel mug, half carafe, and full carafe. It has a removable 40 oz water tank and a 50 oz glass carafe. The machine has plastic, stainless steel, and glass components.

The payoff to all this flexibility is that the Ninja Specialty Coffee maker doesn’t have the compact size and ease of use that make single cup coffee makers so convenient. And while it does froth hot or cold milk, it doesn’t heat milk.

5. AdirChef Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker – Best for Road Trips

  • Type of machine: Automatic

  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 5.1 x 10.1 inches
  • Capacity: 14 oz
  • Brews with: Ground coffee

AdirChef isn’t a big name in the coffee industry, but its Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker is the best single serve drip coffee maker for travel. It has the convenience of an automatic machine, but it’s small enough to pack in your suitcase. 

AdirChef coffee maker features an insulated travel mug that fits the direct brewing machine. The mug is dishwasher safe and tapered to fit most car cup holders. The machine will automatically shut off after the brew cycle to save power. You don’t have any brew settings to customize your coffee, but this makes the machine much more straightforward to use. 

The downside to this single serve coffee machine is that it has a small 14 oz water tank, and the plastic construction isn’t as durable as other machines. Some customers say that it doesn’t work as well with regular cups as with the included travel mug. 

6. Aeropress Coffee Maker – Best for Camping

  • Type of machine: Manual

  • Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 9.5 inches
  • Capacity: 8 oz
  • Brews with: Ground coffee

The introduction of the Aeropress brewing system took the coffee world by storm in 2005. It was designed by the head of a frisbee company who wanted to engineer the perfect cup of coffee. 

AeroPress is a trendy coffee maker due to its portability, ease of use, and the high-quality coffee that it produces. It doesn’t require electricity as a manual coffee maker, so it’s an excellent choice for camping. It’s also the only single serve coffee maker from this list that’s made in the USA. Also, coffee it produces can almost replace an espresso maker shot.

The AeroPress consists of just three parts: a brew chamber, plunger, and filter cup, all made from BPA plastic. It’s a simple piece of equipment but can be versatile depending on how you use it – with recipes for everything from French press style coffee to concentrated coffee like espresso.

The downside to the AeroPress is that you’ll need a way to heat water, and you’ll also need to buy AeroPress paper filters or a reusable metal filter. 

Read our full AeroPress review to find out if this coffee maker is right for you.

7. BLACK+DECKER Single Serve Coffeemaker – Best Value for Money

  • Type of machine: Automatic

  • Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.9 x 12.1 inches
  • Capacity: 16 oz
  • Brews with: Ground coffee, ESE pods

Black+Decker patented the first portable power tool back in 1910 but has since made all kinds of appliances, including coffee makers. This is one of the brand’s most inexpensive single serve coffee makers. This coffee maker’s price falls below $50, making it an excellent choice for anyone on a budget.

The Black+Decker Single Serve coffee maker is not only affordably priced, but it’s also easy to use and very compact. It’s one of the best small coffee machines in the market and it’s an excellent choice for small counter spaces like in a dorm room. It’s the only individual coffee maker on our list to use ESE pods, an environmentally friendly alternative to coffee capsules.

The machine features one-touch brewing, automatic shut-off, and a stainless steel travelling mug that you can place in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. 

The downside here is that the small footprint also means a small capacity, with a water tank of just 16 oz. You also have no option to adjust your brew.

8. Coffee Gator Pour Over Brewer – Best All-In-One

  • Type of machine: Manual 

  • Dimensions: 3.3 x 3.3 x 6.9 inches
  • Capacity: 20 oz
  • Brews with: Ground coffee

Coffee Gator is an American brand that offers a wide range of brewing equipment. That includes French presses, kettles, coffee scales, and cold brew coffee makers.

This Coffee Gator single serve coffee maker is incredibly convenient for making hot coffee the go, with both the pour-over brewer and the travel mug included. Coffee Gator products are durable construction backed by excellent customer service. 

It features a stainless steel filter mesh to reduce wastage, though you can add a paper filter if you prefer a cleaner cup of coffee. The stainless steel portable mug features vacuum insulation to keep your coffee hot for up to 6 hours or keep cold drinks cool for up to 20 hours.

The downside here is that pour-over brewing takes a little more technique than other coffee makers, and you’ll also need a way to heat water. 

9. Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew B​​uddy – Budget Pick

  • Type of machine: Manual

  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Capacity: 1 cup
  • Brews with: Ground coffee

The Primula brand produces a vast range of products for coffee, tea, and serving, but it’s the Brew Buddy single serve coffee maker that’s become a favorite travel coffee brewer. It’s not only highly portable and lightweight, but it’s also the cheapest single serve machine on our list.

The Primula Brew Buddy consists of a wide plastic rim that sits on the rim of your cup, with a fine polyester mesh filter. It’s effortless to use; you add your coffee grounds to the filter, then fill the cup with hot water. So, no need for buying paper filters all the time!

Primula advertises Brew Buddy as a pour-over brewer, but the filter sits inside the cup, making this more of an immersion brewing method.

The downside to the Brew Buddy is that you have very little control over the brewing process, and it also doesn’t produce as strong a flavor as you would get from a proper pour-over coffee maker.

10. The Hamilton Beach 49981 Scoop – Best for Ground Coffee

  • Type of machine: Automatic

  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.7 x 8.7 inches
  • Capacity: 14 oz
  • Brews with: Ground coffee

The Hamilton Beach brand is well known for its affordable kitchen appliances. These include a wide range of coffee makers, and the Scoop SingleServe Coffee Maker is among its best sellers. 

Hamilton Beach Scoop is a good choice for making coffee on busy mornings. The Beach Scoop is brewing coffee directly into a travel mug for coffee on the go. More precisely, it brews a 14-oz mug in 2.5 minutes or a regular eight-ounce cup of coffee in 1.5 minutes. 

The Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Maker features a removable filter basket, so you can measure your coffee grounds directly into the basket and insert them into the machine. You have the option of regular or bold coffee, with the bold brew setting recommended for finer grinds of coffee. You can adjust the drip tray to accommodate travel mugs as well as regular cups. It has a stainless steel construction with a few plastic parts, making it a great value.

The downside to this coffee maker is that it’s not as fast as a machine that uses capsules. Some users say it can leak if overfilled.

How to Choose the Best Single Serve Coffee Maker

There are a wide variety of single serve coffee makers, from automatic pod-based brewers to basic pour over set-ups. How do you find the best one for you? This buyer’s guide covers the important features to consider before buying.

Manual vs. Automatic Coffee Makers

Single serve coffee makers can be broadly categorized into manual or automatic, both of which have pros and cons.

A manual coffee maker, like a pour over dripper or Aeropress, gives you ultimate control over your coffee. You can tweak every variable – coffee dose, brew temperature, filter style, brew ratio, etc. – to craft your perfect brew. Manual brewers don’t require electronics, so they are usually smaller, more affordable, and less prone to breaking than automatic machines. The trade-off is that manual brewers are more hands-on. They take more effort, and there is more room for human error, according to James Gray, co-founder of Barista & Co (4).

“The main challenge that you have with this [brewing method is that] consistency is very difficult.”

An automatic coffee machine takes all the work (and guesswork) out of the process. Add coffee or a coffee pod, push a button, and await your brew. It’s hard to beat that level of convenience, but you trade a lot of control. Some automatic coffee machines let you adjust variables like water volume, brew temperature, and coffee strength. But they tend to be the more expensive models, and they still offer less control than a manual brewer.

What Style of Coffee do You Enjoy?

Single serve coffee makers deliver a wide range of coffee styles. 

  • Espresso enthusiasts should choose something that delivers a small, strong shot of coffee, like a Nespresso espresso maker, or the Aeropress. 
  • Specialty coffee lovers will want a manual pour over set-up to tease out the more complex flavors from their brew.
  • Fancy a basic cup of coffee? A regular automatic coffee machine or Keurig brewer will deliver a classic cup.

Coffee Pod vs. Ground Coffee

Recent years have seen the arrival of higher-quality coffee capsules and K-Cup pods. However, Home Grounds still prefers freshly ground coffee. Pre ground coffee is also an option, but only freshly ground beans guarantee the best flavor. Plus, fresh beans generate no waste and are thus environmentally-friendly.

Any of the coffee brewers on this list can be used with ground beans, though you’ll need to buy a separate refillable filter for the Keurig or Nespresso machines. Of course, we appreciate the need for convenience on busy mornings. So buy a coffee maker that uses pods or K-Cups if there are days when grinding your own coffee grinds isn’t an option.

Single serve brewing options

Does Portability Matter?

Do you plan to travel with your coffee maker, maybe on a camping trip or to the office? Then shop accordingly.

Most (but not all) single serve coffee makers are small and light enough to schlep to and from the office in a car. But for a road trip or camping adventure, manual brewers are a better option. They’re lighter, more durable, and don’t require electricity. The Aeropress is a cult favorite among outdoorsy types.

If you like to travel with your coffee but not necessarily your coffee maker, look for a model that includes a portable mug – or one with enough room under the spout to fit a travel mug.

Capacity Considerations of Single Serve Coffee Makers

Capacity varies considerably among the products on this list, although they’re all “single serve”. If you only brew for one person, any of these single serve coffee makers can do that. But if you need to brew for a couple or a crowd, some are more convenient than others. Also, think about how much counter space you have for the brewer you’re planning to use.

Look for a brewer with a large water reservoir if you plan to brew more coffee drinks. Alternatively, find the brewer that has multuple brew options, or buy a dual coffee maker like the Ninja. This will save you the hassle of refilling the tank between every brew. The Aeropress is also a good option for batch brewing, as its strong, espresso-style coffee can be diluted into several cups.

The Verdict

This list showed how varied and versatile single serve coffee makers can be. The best single serve coffee maker for you will depend on your exact needs and budget, but the Homegrounds team optsfor the Keurig K-Elite. Its user-friendliness, fast brew speed, and customization options all add to being our pick for the best single serve coffee maker.

“Keurig K-Elite”

This article was last updated on Jan 9 2023.


If a single serve coffee maker isn’t right for you, there are plenty of other options for you to choose from. The other options are: drip coffee maker, espresso machine, dual coffee machines, French press, pour over, stovetop espresso maker, percolator, iced coffee brewers and cold brew coffee makers.

If you need some help deciding, check out our guide to the best coffee makers of all types.

No, you can’t use K-cups in a Nespresso machine, or vice versa. First of all, the pods are of different sizes and shapes, so you probably won’t be able to make them fit. More importantly, Keurig and Nespresso machines use different brewing methods so that you won’t get the desired result.

Yes, Keurig machines work with ground coffee if you have a reusable K-Cup pod. You can fill these functions like a regular K-Cup, but with the coffee grounds of your choice. They’re a great idea if you want to save money or reduce your environmental impact, but they’re not as convenient as regular K-Cup pods.

Yes, you can reuse coffee pods. Remove the pod after use, reinsert it in the machine, and begin the brew cycle again. However, the brew will be significantly less flavorful the second time. This trick works with K-Cups or Nespresso capsules, but in either case, it is best with darker roasts, which have a bolder flavor.

A K-Cup contains between 8 and 11 g of coffee, on average. If you brew an 8-ounce cup, Keurig reports you will ingest between 75 and 150 mg of caffeine, depending on the coffee you choose. An average Nespresso capsule contains 5 or 6 g of ground coffee.

  1. Linshi, J. (2014, June 23). Here’s What You Need to Know About the War on K-Cups. Retrieved from https://time.com/2913062/k-cups-war/
  2. Hunt, K. (2018, July 17). 4 Eco-Friendly K-Cups You Can Swap Into Your Keurig. Retrieved from https://www.greenmatters.com/home/2018/07/17/Zcy0TY/eco-friendly-reusable-keurig-k-cups
  3. Tark, S. (2019, April 17). How to Store Roasted Coffee & Prolong Its Freshness. Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2019/04/how-to-store-roasted-coffee-prolong-its-freshness/
Julia Bobak
I love trail running, rock climbing, coffee, food, and my tiny dog — and writing about all of them. I start every morning with a fresh Americano from my home espresso machine, or I don’t start it at all.

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