9 portable coffee makers for taking your love of coffee on the go

Get your coffee fix anytime, anywhere

Portable coffee makers graphic with 3 black portable coffee makers and 1 glass one
(Image credit: Future)

For true coffee lovers, a cup of Joe is not an occasional treat. It’s an everyday necessity – and some people drink coffee several times a day. If this is you, you'll know if you're not at home, work, or any other location with a stationary coffee maker to hand, the need for a coffee fix doesn’t just go away. And when you’re traveling, you may not even know where to find a good cup – or have the time to stop and search for it.

Thankfully, there are portable coffee makers that allow you to make a cup of Joe anytime, anywhere, and in almost any circumstance. Understanding that no two coffee lovers are alike, we found a variety of portable coffee makers with various designs and at various price points so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Whether you’re flying, driving, camping, sitting at your desk, or just walking around the city, these are the best portable coffee makers that are easy to use and carry with you, wherever you go. 

Once you're home, ff you want a machine for countertop use but only have a teeny amount of countertop space to work with, then don't miss our guide on small coffee makers

9 handy to use portable coffee makers

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How we chose these portable coffee makers 

Here at Real Homes, we like to ensure the products we are recommending have either been tested by members of the team or freelancers. Otherwise, we will only recommend a product with high customer reviews.

We've read the reviews and ratings on all of the portable coffee makers in this guide, and even had some hands-on experience with the Aeropress and think it's amazing. Our tester uses hers in her van and finds the compact size perfect for making lovely coffees for herself and her partner when they're on the road.

Otherwise, Terri Williams, who is one of our freelance reviewers, did the rest of the research around portable coffee makers for us. 

terri williams author
Terri Williams

Terri is based in Birmingham, AL. You can find her wise words everywhere from Architectural Digest to Real Simple and Apartment Therapy. Here's what she has to say about this guide:

First off, I'm a total coffee junkie, and can't go without my daily dose. So when it comes to finding a coffee maker to take on the go, I was invested in doing my research to make sure I found the best options out there. It's worth noting a few of these buys sit at the top end of our coffee maker buying guides, like the Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker being one of our favorite best Keurig coffee makers. Otherwise, they're by the coffee brands you know and love, and are often the smaller, portable versions of their popular plug in models. 

5 things to consider when buying a portable coffee maker

There are lots of options when it comes to portable coffee makers, from the abundance of best-selling buys from Amazon or a speciality mini-versions made by the specialist brands. But don't just pick up the first one you see, as there are a few things to consider first: 

1. Type
Another consideration is how you like to brew coffee. Do you prefer pour over, French Press, pods, pressure brew? Your answer will help to inform your choices.

2. Portability
The level of portability you’ll need will depend on how and where you plan to transport your portable coffee maker. For example, if you just want a coffee maker to use in your home office, when sitting in the backyard, or even when commuting to work on the weekends, most of the selections on this list will do. However, if you plan on using the portable coffee maker when camping or engaging in other types of outdoor activities, you’ll likely need one that has a spill proof lid and is easier to toss in your backpack.     

3. Size
Some people are fine after drinking one cup of coffee while others would prefer to drink two cups without having to start the brewing process again. If you’re the latter, a larger portable coffee maker would be a better choice.

4. Heat retention
Do you plan on drinking your coffee immediately after brewing it? If not, look for a model that can keep the coffee hot for several hours.

5. Brew time
Most portable coffee makers brew coffee in just a few minutes. However, if you’re really impatient, you might prefer one that can brew it in a minute or two.

Terri Williams

Terri Williams is a journalist with real estate, home improvement, and product review bylines at Architectural Digest, Real Simple, Realtor.com, Bob Vila, Yahoo, MSN, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Houston Chronicle, and Apartment Therapy. She also covers business topics, with bylines at USA Today, The Economist, US New & World Report, Verizon, and several other brands that you’ve probably heard of. Follow her adventures on Twitter