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Best Cappuccino Makers of 2021: Our Top 5 Choices (for home use)

So you’re a fan of cappuccino? Seriously, though, how frustrating is it that you need to go to a coffee shop every single time you want one? It takes time, costs an arm and a leg, and is just plain inconvenient.

The solution? Get a home cappuccino maker. But… have you ever tried looking for one? Searching in Google gives you well over 2 million results! Talk about a nightmare of a time trying to sift through that mess…

Don’t bury yourself in a mountain of needless research and information. All you need is a good list of the best cappuccino machine reviews, which is exactly what we’ve done for you here.

TOP PICK

Sage BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

The Sage BES870XL gives incredibly high quality to both the manufacturing and the brewing process itself, helping you create an incredible cappuccino.

Things To Keep In Mind When Looking For A Cappuccino Machine

First off, let’s make one thing clear: this isn’t an espresso maker review, it’s a cappuccino machine review (but THIS is an espresso machine review). Some espresso and coffee machines come without a milk frother, so don’t make the mistake of buying one without a wand.

Our focus here is to help you find the best way to get that cappuccino you’re looking for.

Auto vs Semi-Automatic vs Manual

espresso being pulled into cappuccino cups
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It’s important to determine if you’re looking for a manual, semi-automatic, or automatic cappuccino machine. Each one can serve different needs, and in this case you want to answer your own needs.

While we love lever/manual machines; they are not the best idea if you’re looking for a quick cappuccino. They take time. This list is going to focus on semi-automatic and automatic espresso coffee machines, as they come equipped with the tools you’ll need to whip up a delicious cappuccino or even a flat white from start to finish. Learn the difference between flat white vs cappuccino.

Choose semi-automatic if you want to create a cappuccino yourself; Choose Automatic machine if you want to push a button to make a cappuccino.

The main difference between these two kinds is that a semi-automatic machine is going to leave a fair portion of the process in your hands, while an automatic (or super-automatic) machine is going to do as much of the process for you as possible.

Know Your Skill Level

This is an easy factor to overlook while you’re shopping, but it’s an important one.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew (or maybe we should say… don’t drink more than you can swallow)

If you’re just starting off, don’t get a £1000 machine right off the bat unless you want to make some expensive, crappy, cappuccinos while learning. Find a machine that fits your current skill level or challenges you on a reasonable level. If, on the other hand, you’re an old pro, consider a machine that’s going to give you the freedom and benefits you prioritize in your brewing adventures.

Cost: The Almighty Dollar

Let’s be real. Money is always a factor. Try to understand the range you’re willing to worth within.

If you’re just starting out, don’t drop big bucks on a fancy machine that you won’t be able to capitalize on. If you’ve used a skimpy machine for years, see if you can set a budget big enough for a machine that will take your skills to the next level.

The one time price doesn’t apply is if you’re choosing a fully automatic machine where you just push a button to make your capp. Those tend to me more expensive to begin with.

We’ve ordered our reviews from most affordable to the most expensive.

It will be fairly obvious to see that cost impacts things like quality of manufacturing, the variety and quantity of preference options, and the overall quality of the cappuccinos themselves.

The 5 Best Home Cappuccino Machines of 2021

Alright. It’s time to take a look at the machines themselves. Bring on the cappuccino maker reviews!

IMAGE PRODUCTS DETAILS
Our Top Pick Our Top Pick
“Sage
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Sage Barista Express
  • This one is built high quality and priced incredibly low
  • Arguably the best home espresso machine there is
  • Comes with a 360-degree swivel-action steam wand
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SEE ON AMAZON
Budget Pick Budget Pick
“DeLonghi”
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De’Longhi Stilosa EC260.BK
  • Affordable
  • Easy to Use
  • Great for beginners
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SEE ON AMAZON
swan
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Swan Nordic One Touch Espresso Machine
  • Convenient
  • Carafe with automatic frothing
  • A low-end option that does most of the work for you and even has a cappuccino button
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SEE ON AMAZON
manual gaggia classic
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Gaggia Classic Pro
  • Great for newbies
  • Comes with a steam wand
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SEE ON AMAZON
“Saeco
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Saeco Picobaristo Super Automatic Espresso
  • A high-end machine that does all of the work for you
  • Efficient
  • Storable milk carafe
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SEE ON AMAZON

1. De’Longhi Stilosa EC260.BK – Budget Pick

Best suited for: The beginner who is just starting to dabble in the world of cappuccino makers.

Things we liked

  • Extremely affordable
  • Easy to use

Things we didn’t like

  • Too short to fit a taller cup under the portafilter

For such an affordable little brewer, the De’Longhi Stilosa has a lot to offer, including a very tasty espresso. This should come as no surprise because De’Longhi is one of the oldest and most trusted names in home espresso machines. They know where they can and can’t cut corners to deliver a product that’s inexpensive and functional.

The Stilosa has a 15 bar pump and stainless steel boiler that promise a properly extracted espresso with a rich layer of crema. It comes with baskets for a single shot, double shot, or ESE pod, the latter being particularly convenient on a busy morning.

Though manually operated, the steam wand incorporates De’Longhi’s patented Cappuccino System. This makes milk frothing foolproof by perfectly emulsifying air, steam, and milk into a creamy microfoam.

The Stilosa is nice and compact, which is ideal for smaller kitchens, though the trade-off is the low capacity 1 litre water tank. If you drink a lot of espresso, you’ll find yourself refilling it frequently. It’s housed in a shiny black plastic to keep costs lower, but key elements like the control panel and drip tray are enclosed in a more durable stainless steel.

2. Swan Nordic One Touch Espresso Machine – Froths Milk For You

Best suited for: Coffee lovers who want the convenience of a cappuccino on demand, without having to invest a lot of money (or froth the milk themselves!).

Things we liked

  • Convenient
  • Carafe with automatic frothing

Things we didn’t like

  • Still a low-end option
  • Less durable for long-term or heavy use

Appliance giant Swan’s home espresso machines are known for their stylish designs, and the Nordic is certainly no exception. Its spare Scandinavian design, with accents of warm wood and shiny stainless steel, screams modern minimalism, and it’s available in a range of trendy colours.

But beyond its appearance, it’s the ease of use that makes this model stand out from the crowd. You can make a milky drink like cappuccinos and lattes at just the touch of a button, a rare thing in a machine this compact and inexpensive. 

Despite its small footprint, the Swan Nordic plenty of capacity, with a 1.7 litre removable water tank and a 500 mL milk carafe. The milk carafe not only froths your milk automatically, but when you’re done, it can be detached and stored in the fridge until next use. No need to clean it out every day!

Making this machine even easier to use is its compatibility with ESE pods. Combine that with its  90 second preheat time, and you can easily go from bed to cappuccino in a matter of minutes.

3. Gaggia Classic Pro Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker – For Intermediate Brewers

Best suited for: Those who want to begin developing their barista skills, but who aren’t quite ready to dive into a more advanced machine.

Things we liked

  • Professional manual steam wand
  • A good first step for budding home baristas
  • Iconic brand in the coffee community

Things we didn’t like

  • Only short cups will fit under the portafilter
  • Still a lower quality manufactured machine

This is the first machine on our list that begins to move you out of the realm of the beginner, into the more nuanced stages of your espresso journey.

The Gaggia Classic Pro is a semi-automatic espresso maker that comes backed by the quality of a good company (and a 1-year warranty). But, more importantly for your barista skills, it also gives you more control over the process.

Capable of making both single and double shots, this machine also comes with a commercial-style steam wand, which is an update from Gaggia’s earlier model, the Classic. This is perfect for those who want to use a steam wand but are still learning the tricks of the trade, as the wand is designed to make s teaming easier – helping you bridge the gap from inexperienced to master barista!

This machine is narrow and shallow, but it’s over fourteen inches high, so make sure to measure for space!

Read our Gaggia Classic Pro review.

4. Sage BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine – Best Overall Semi Automatic

Best suited for: This one is perfect for that home barista with some skills who wants to push their cappuccino-making prowess to the next level.

Things we liked

  • Gives you more control over the process
  • High quality at a reasonable price
  • Comes with a 360-degree swivel-action steam wand, perfect for cappuccinos

Things we didn’t like

  • Is slightly more complicated to operate

The Sage BES870XL is an incredible mid-range option that will challenge your barista skills by giving you much more control over the process, but still deliver an incredible cappuccino. You can get all the details about how this machine works as an espresso machine in our review here. However, here are the essential points to consider when it comes to cappuccinos in particular.

Once you’re ready to take on the challenge of making cappuccinos yourself, this semi-automatic espresso machine will both develop your skills and increase the quality of your cappuccinos. Its 360-degree swivel-action steam wand is also designed to help you make your cappuccinos, lattes, and other coffee beverages as easy as pie.

Not only that, but the machine is truly quality made. It’s hard to find anything that compares at this price range. It feels like a high-end machine without hurting your wallet.  The unit is quite a bit bigger than the others we’ve seen so far, and is particularly tall, standing at nearly 16 inches, so make sure you have enough room on your counters!

This machine is the perfect blend of excellent craftsmanship and affordable pricing, and the world knows it. It’s as popular as espresso machines get.

On a related note, we compared two of the most popular coffee maker manufacturers. Read our article on Breville vs Delonghi.

5. Saeco HD8927/47 Picobaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine – Best Overall Super Automatic

Best suited for: This is the ultimate machine for the serious cappuccino drinker who wants control, options, and convenience all wrapped up in one shiny, coffee-making package.

Things we liked

  • Efficient
  • Saves your personal drink preferences
  • Storable milk carafe

Things we didn’t like

  • This one is big. You’ll want a dedicated space for it!
  • Expensive

This one is for the hardcore espresso fans who want the ultimate quality cappuccino whenever they wish.

The Picobaristo is a super automatic machine that delivers excellent quality cappuccinos along with a vast array of other coffee options. It allows you to personalize your drink settings to your own preferences, too! You can tweak anything from the volume of milk to the shot length or temperature, and save your preferred settings for next time.  Simply put, it is a very high-end automatic cappuccino coffee machine.

And, more than any other model on this list, this bean to cup coffee machine does the work for you. All you have to do is sit back and relax while everything from grinding and brewing the espresso to frothing the milk is done to perfection.

Like the Mr. Coffee model above it has a removable, plug-in carafe that allows you to store the milk in the fridge between uses. And it’s efficient, too, delivering up to 5,000 cups before needing to be descaled.

When it comes to size, though, this super automatic is not small. In fact, it comes in at nearly 17 inches tall! So you’ll want to make sure you have clearance before you pop it up on the counter.

THE VERDICT

While these espresso coffee machine models are each excellent options for the best cappuccino machine in their own way, our choice for the best cappuccino machine for the home is the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine.

This machine answers the needs of both beginners and experts alike, bringing incredibly high quality to both the manufacturing and the brewing process itself. It’s also a semi-automatic, which allows you to remain a part of the process.

Make sure to also invest in the right cappuccino cups to complete the experience. Check our review of the best cappuccino cups here.

Breville Barista Express
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Which one is your favourite? What has you looking for a cappuccino maker in the first place? Share your thoughts and experiences with us. We’d love to hear them!

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I’m the resident, Italian espresso expert, sharpening my extraction skills from the rainy UK. I love the Oxford comma, and I have ink and coffee in my veins (not literally, or I’d be dead by now).

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