Sniffing out the best small coffee maker? If you're currently working with an appetite for caffeine, a small kitchen, and a minimal amount of countertop space, then say no more. You need a petite machine that will allow you to get your daily caffeine without resorting to a kitchen makeover. Yes, we've found and reviewed nine professional barista-style machines that really are impressive. And they're packaged to be tiny enough to slide and sit in a corner. And the best part is that most of them are nice and affordable.
A great coffee maker is hard to come by, especially if you have a bunch of must-have specifications. Many of our Real Homes editors and writers pay a pretty premium to live in the city, so a shoestring kitchen is pretty standard *no shame.*
So whether you want something easy to use, affordable to buy, or a pod machine for less mess, scroll on to see which petite appliances we appreciate. We've reviewed all of the machines featured for a set period, or better still, they've gone on to live in our homes forever. We've even included two portable beverage makers so you can enjoy your favorite blend on the go.
Hey, I'm Christina, Real Homes' ecommerce editor. My day-to-day role involves testing and reviewing small kitchen appliances and accessories, including coffee makers, kettles, and even travel coffee mugs. In this guide, I reviewed the Drink Morning coffee maker, and have just got my hands on an AeroPress. When there's a sale on, like Prime Day, you can bet I am constantly tracking deals and adding them to our guides, so watch this space.
Our top 3 small coffee makers
Size (in.): H10.04 x W4.02 x L15.8
Rating: 5/5 in our Morning coffee machine review
If you want a proper full-flavored cup of coffee, consider this the future of pod machines. Yes, bean-to-cup machines might appear more professional, but this specialist capsule-compatible machine is a little beast. The OLED screen and dial mean business and it has 10 default brew modes to make the ultimate beverage.
Type: Single-serve pod coffee maker
Size (in): H12.14 x W4.76 x D15.2
Rating: 4.5/5 stars in our Keurig K-Slim + Iced Single Serve Coffee Maker review
Is every day a toss-up between hot and iced coffee? Well, I have some good news! You can have both without having to fork out on two machines. And, there are tons of different flavors to try with over 200 K-Cup varieties (and counting). This dorm-friendly drinks maker quickly brews three sizes of coffee (including 6oz over ice) and is easy to set up and use.
Type: Ground coffee or pod machine
Size (in): 12.76 x 8.7 x 14.6
Rating: 4/5 in our Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II review Price: $267.90
While hardcore coffee drinkers will happily survive with a good espresso maker, some of us prefer to sip java topped up with a splash (or generous glug) of milk. But if you don't want to add cold milk straight from the fridge, or invest in a separate milk frother (for lack of space or budget), the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II is what coffee-flavored dreams are made of. No need to know how to froth milk, this machine will make the fluffiest-looking lattes and cappuccinos for you. Just add syrup.
Small coffee maker reviews
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Best small coffee maker
This sophisticated machine from a Singaporean start-up surpasses all other pod coffee machines we've tested before. As the world's first specialty capsule coffee maker, you can calibrate everything from water temperature, weight, pressure, coffee flow rate, infusion time, and blooming cycles. This smart and sturdy appliance also comes with its own app to record your own recipes and get referred roaster recommendations.
This show-off machine not only looks the part but is for those who take coffee seriously (seriously!) As long as you use the older Nespresso-style pod shapes, you can use any capsule you want. Switch up the volume, pressure, water temperature, coffee flow rate, infusion time, and blooming cycles. The world isn't just your oyster with this model. I almost felt like donning a white lab coat and some goggles when testing it. Out of all of the pod machines out there, this is one serious bit of machinery. There is a huge menu of compatible pods and the founders really care about the most subtle nuances in coffee profiles. This isn't your cookie-cutter machine. I personally could spend hours (on a lazy and rainy weekend) making tweaks to the water temperature and playing about with the Bloom & Brew feature to optimize the extraction of my coffee. And let's not look over how incredibly chic that OLED screen looks. This is one pod machine you won't turn your nose up at!"
Good to know
This is expensive and for the money you could probably invest in a good bean-to-cup machine, but it all depends on what you prioritize. Speed, convenience, or Barista main character energy.
The best mini Keurig coffee maker
You'll no doubt recognize Keurig as one of the most famous coffee machine brands out there. But if you're after the best Keurig appliance for personal use (perhaps in a home office), this is the perfect pick.
"For those after fuss-free [hot] coffee with a dose of iced coffee when the mood strikes, we can find no fault with the K-Slim+ Iced. Its slim design is also great for small spaces, coffee stations, dorm rooms, and the like, with an amply-sized water reservoir that won't leave you scrambling to refill after every brew," says Jaclyn Turner, one of our previous ecommerce editors.
Good to know
Keurig pods are some of the most versatile out there as the brand works with coffeehouses like Starbucks and Dunkin' to bring out new flavors so that your tastebuds will never get bored. As well as making conventional hot coffees, you can also switch things up in summer with a chilled drink.
The best Mr coffee small coffee maker
Hear me out, coffee is the difference between a good and bad day in my house. Now, that sounds a li'l extreme because caffeine is technically a drug, but if I can't have access to coffee, that means, I can't start the day right with my husband, nor can I invite guests over. Because not everyone likes tea, and offering up water is... just a no. Enter the Breville / Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse II.
I know it's a little shallow, but the white colorway and touch LED control panel *will* elevate your kitchen instantly (especially if you're a Vanilla girl who likes whites and neutral shades in your cook space). But the fact that you don't have to have a separate automatic milk frother or know how to froth milk is a lifesaver (especially when a picky coffee drinker comes around). Note that the milk compartment is a little tricky to clean at first, but like with everything — practice makes perfect! The Easy Clean feature actually uses steam to clean the reservoir if you don't manage to get every last drop out.
Good to know
At just under $350 — it's spendy. But I've done the math, and it's basically the same as 69 Venti lattes from Starbucks. So, essentially you could have your own machine for going cold turkey on Starbs for 2ish months. Oh and don't forget, come fall/winter time, this machine also transforms into a hot cocoa maker.
The best coffee maker for your office
Sick and tired of plastic pod coffee makers (that no doubt come with *ehem* plastic pods that are questionably hard to recycle)? Then you need this metal model from the oh-so-Metropolitan Grind. In London, Grind bars make a mean Espresso Martini which is based on their own coffee blend which you can buy direct, from Selfridges, or via Amazon. If you do decide to recreate happy hour at home, just know that their cute caps are compostable.
From London to LA, we've seen this small coffee maker all over our Instagram feeds so had to give it a go IRL. While we found the functionality rather basic, if you're looking to buy a simple machine that uses organic, ethically-sourced coffee that's delivered with a carbon-positive footprint, this machine ticks all the boxes.
Good to know
You'll definitely want to get your hands on a few microfiber towels and perhaps an antibacterial cleaning spray as this metal machine does mark easily. If you like milk-based drinks, this machine is probably not for you. That is unless you are OK with pouring cold milk into your drink or investing in a milk frother alongside your small coffee maker. I could see this one being used in your home office. It's compact, comes with all the eco-cred, and, if you do want a splash of milk... it's a great excuse to invest in a stylish mini fridge to sit underneath your desk. You can choose to dispense either a short or long shot of coffee — this is adjustable if you want it extra long. However, if you do want to top up a bulky mug you'll struggle to get it under the dispenser.
The best small coffee maker by Nespresso
The Vertuo Next is a fuss-free pod coffee maker that’s sleek, stylish, and perfectly practical in every single-serve way. Its one-button operation makes premium coffee easily, and truthfully we're struggling to find a reason why you shouldn't buy it. As far as Nespresso coffee makers go, it's a money-saving machine that's simple to use, looks amazing on your counter, and produces delicious coffee.
Capable of brewing coffee and espresso beverages, this small coffee maker provides the best of both worlds when it comes to making long and short drinks with differing strengths. But what makes this machine so special is that each Vertuo capsule has a barcode that is quickly read. The coffee maker then does its magic in bringing you the best cup of Joe based on the strength and length desired.
Good to know
Our previous ecommerce editor, Louise Oliphant claims this machine helped her scrap her $100-a-month coffee shop subscription. And, when she bought the machine, she got it for a fraction of the price by buying it on Amazon on Black Friday. Winner.
The best small retro coffee maker
While Smeg arguably does retro with relative simplicity, you can usually rely on KitchenAid to showcase a few bells and whistles. Whether it’s the six coffee programs, automatic turn-off, or 30-second heat-up time, this beautifully stylish small coffee machine will certainly make sure you never regret making the extra space for it. To make things even easier for you, it features a descaling option so you can keep it in great condition for a long time.
If you're more of a coffee than a cake gal (disclaimer: you can have both) then this small coffee maker by KitchenAid trumps their signature stand mixer. Unlike buttons, this one relies on a classic dial to ring through your coffee order.
Good to know
Though this is in our best small coffee maker guide, it does have large(r) dimensions that most in this guide. It is also a little hefty, at almost 20 pounds. Being tied to Nespresso pods shouldn't be a problem — there are tons of different flavors, strengths, and even decaff if you don't enjoy the caffeine buzz (or like to take it down a notch after midday).
The best cheap small coffee maker
Jolie means "pretty" in French, and with its gunmetal gray exterior, elegant silhouette, and soft lines, the Lavazza model suits its name.
Compatible with coffee pods, this stylish, high-pressured machine produces both single and double espressos with a smooth, rich crema. The stop-and-go backlit button allows you to create just the right quantity of coffee so you're not drinking a full cup just for the sake of it. Use compatible milk pods alongside its range of preset coffee settings to create your own drink, whether it’s a cappuccino or a latte. There's also none of that "did I turn it off?" panic, as this dreamy machine turns off after nine minutes after use. What's more, this machine ejects used capsules automatically, dumping 4-5 coffee capsules into the waste bin before reminding you to dispose of them (sensibly, of course)
Good to know
While it does only have a 0.6 liter capacity removable tank, it’s perfect for individual usage, or if you live with your partner/bestie, especially as it's a whisper-quiet 44 Db. Do make sure you like the Lavazza coffee range before you invest as you are tied to the brand's own caps once you've bought the machine.
The best small 3 in 1 coffee maker
One of the best portable coffee makers, AeroPress uses manual pressure to infuse the coffee flavor into the water. It’s easy to use, doesn’t take up any countertop space, and people rave about the coffee that it produces. So much so, our editor-in-chief named it one of the most useful kitchen gadgets she owns. Whether you’re planning a coffee-tasting trip to Colombia or heading on the express train to work, you can experience coffee wherever you are with this.
This 3-in-1 small coffee maker is capable of making cold brew, espresso, and your reg Americano. It's simple to use — add coffee and water, stir the brew, and then press the coffee into the mug. And the best part is that everything fits neatly into your cup or travel coffee mug.
Good to know
Unless you're carrying li'l sachets of ultra-heat-treated milk, you won't be able to make milky drinks with this small coffee maker. But it is great as a glamping gadget, 'cause your girl still needs coffee for Coachella. In fact, since switching her French press for an Aeropress, our editor-in-chief noticed a big increase in the taste quality over capsules and other presses. It also pumps out a single serving rather than three or four cups of coffee that often go cold before she gets to them. She prefers different coffee types and flavors compared to her husband and extended family, so this cuts out arguments over what grounds to use. See what else we found out when weighing up the Aeropress vs. French Press.
The best travel coffee maker
If you are particularly picky about your coffee but you’re struggling to find a large enough space in your kitchen for a full-sized coffee machine, this clever little portable espresso maker can be tucked neatly in a drawer until you’re ready to use it.
Weighing just 0.7 lbs, simply fill the base up with 2 oz of hot water, use the scoop to pop your favorite blend of ground coffee in its container, put it together, and pump until the pressure (8 bars of it!) starts pushing the water through the coffee — et voila, a creamy, luxurious espresso. Are you a gamer or cosplay lover? The piston function and utility aesthetic are for some reason giving off a Lara Croft vibe.
Good to know
If you’re camping, you could heat this on the stove, but otherwise, in many situations, you will need to bring a vessel of hot water with you. Buying so you can make a decent coffee at work or in hotel rooms? This won’t be an issue as you can fill it up with a good tea kettle. BTW, before you commit to this purchase, be sure you like the Nespresso OriginalLine capsules (or at least coffee caps that are the same shape) as Vertuo pods are not compatible with this device for on-the-go Joe. JSYK, if you spend a lot of time outside of the house and rely on this as your main source of caffeine, consider investing in the Minipresso tank+ (a water tank to make longer drinks) and the Minipresso case (especially if it gets thrown about in your work or schoolbag). Or, as an alternative, if you're serious about sustainability and podless coffee has won the pod vs. ground coffee debate, you might want to look into the Minipresso GR which uses loose, ground coffee instead. It comes with a handy scoop so you can measure just the right amount.
What type of small coffee maker do you need?
Before adding to your basket, it's a good idea to manage your expectations on the small coffee maker you'll be buying and using for months (or even years) to come. If you're stuck on choosing a type of coffee maker, let us help.
- Pod coffee makers are great for super quick cups of coffee and overall there are some great easy-to-use models on the market. There's no mess involved in grinding your own beans or decanting spend grounds into your compost bin, but the cost of capsules might tot up over time and true coffee aficionados say capped coffee is stale and doesn't produce the best end product. The jury's out!
- Single-serve coffee makers, generally speaking, give you the option to use pods or ground coffee. The settings on these are calibrated to offer a suitable-brewed individual cup, making espresso and Americano drinks (depending on how much water is dispensed, and how sophisticated the settings are). Premium coffee machines may come with a built-in milk frother, though these will typically be at the higher end of your budget.
- Drip or filter coffee makers are for coffee fans that generally have more time (and patience) on their hands to wait for their reward. A paper cone is filled with dry coffee grounds, and hot water is used to saturate the ground coffee, which slowly drips into a small carafe or vessel. Some say that this slower process produces better-tasting coffee, and many brands (like Moccamaster) pride themselves on making a machine that adheres to the "Golden Ratio" of coffee-to-water (1.9 oz/L ± 10%) and temperature (200°F ± 5°).
- Bean-to-cup coffee makers are often considered an investment purchase but have all the bells and whistles you'd associate with a professional machine you'd find at your local coffee house. Be prepared for more maintenance when it comes to grinding beans, using equipment (like a group head), and keeping your beans fresh. Some will have a built-in milk frother which allows you to heat dairy and plant-based alternatives to make milk-based beverages like cappuccinos and lattes.
What is the best coffee maker for a single woman?
Whether you're cuffed up or not, we all enjoy coffee, right? But being single may mean you can't go halves on the small coffee maker buying budget, right? In my opinion, the best coffee maker for a single woman is the Keurig K-Slim and Iced coffee maker.
Price-wise, it's middle-of-the-road, and it makes hot and chilled coffee so great for all-around use. K-Cups can be picked up in your local store or online, and there are tonnes of choices for when you don't want to sit by yourself in Starbucks.
If you're li'l miss Latte or a cappuccino cutie, I'd choose the Lavazza Classy Plus (which appears to be one up from the Jolie Plus). It's quick (so you won't get cranky at your BF/GF) and you can interchange the coffee pods with milk pods to create a whole menu of drinks. NGL, I'm not sure if they've got plant-based options so keep a carton of oat/almond milk on hand just in case.
What is the best small coffee maker for couples?
If you have the coin to spare, and want that #CoupleGoals aesthetic — it's got to be the Morning coffee maker. But at almost $400, that's not exactly accessible for everybody.
If milky drinks are more your thing, the Mr. Coffee One-Touch Coffee House is worth saving together for. It looks nice on the kitchen counter and is something you can go halves on.
Where to buy a small coffee maker
Don't assume that going direct will get you the biggest discount! Here's where to shop for the best small coffee makers. Obvs, we've organized these in alphabetical order, but Amazon Prime Day is soon approaching (11-12 July), and generally speaking, home appliances do go on sale during this promotional period. You heard it hear first!
- Shop small coffee makers at Amazon
- Shop small coffee makers at Best Buy
- Shop small coffee makers at Home Depot
- Shop small coffee makers at Target
- Shop small coffee makers at Walmart
How we reviewed these small coffee makers
Here at Real Homes, if we're not already sipping on a cup of coffee then you can bet we're messaging our colleagues to see when they're getting their fill of freshly-brewed java. We've got a professional bean-to-cup machine in the office and several coffee shops to choose from around our London Paddington office.
However, when we're WFH, we need a machine for modest spaces. And so, often when we're testing these machines, we won't just get the tape measure out. Nope, we'll take these appliances home to see if they can fit on the tiniest of countertops with shelves, cupboards, and alcoves added to the mix.
When we're testing multiple machines side by side, we prefer to travel to our test kitchen in Reading, UK. Yes, this does involve shooting several cups of espresso, but someone's got to do it. Heart rate aside, we measure how noisy the machines are, analyze their brew times, and discover what coffee types are available. Because you don't want to be stuck with a loud device that makes a terrible drink, right? Here's what else we consider while reviewing coffee machines:
Does the machine have a long cable to stretch to the few plug sockets we have? This is something we need to know. Can it sit flush or does it have to be displayed at an angle? Another query we think about while quaffing coffee.
Ease of cleaning
Let's not pretend that we like cleaning, so if the components can fit in our tiny dishwashers, then the small coffee maker will definitely earn some brownie points. Though, if it's handwash only, we'll evaluate how easy it is to take apart and reassemble once clean.
Cleaning the plastic and stainless steel components is not the only maintenance needed for a small coffee maker. You'll also need to descale it every couple of months. So the team will run a cycle, keeping an eye on how lengthy it is, and how thoroughly the agent can get to work. This is where we like to keep hold of machines to really push the limits on whether they can tolerate hard water (especially in our city dwellings).
People like different beverages, so we try and strip out subjectivity by commenting on coffee as part of a tasting panel. This might include other editors and writers across the Future Plc homes portfolio. After all, some of us like milk in our beverages while others prefer theirs black, and sometimes we'll add a splash of a plant-based milk alternative to keep up with the ever-changing options out there.
Meet our panel of small coffee maker testers below:
Real Homes’ editor in chief, Melissa, loves coffee and has tested a wide range of manual and automatic coffee makers at home. She has been an Aeropress convert for two years now and refuses to go back to her digital machines or French press. The compact gadget also takes up little room in a suitcase, so she brings it on vacations and trips home to visit family, which means a good latte is always guaranteed.
Real Homes' head of reviews Millie tested the Grind pod coffee machine in her South London kitchen. She thinks it's totally iconic and just as gorge in person as it looks online. She recalls that the shiny stainless steel does mark easily, but it also buffs clean with a microfiber cloth. Your options with this pod machine are limited, but what it does, it does well.
Our previous ecommerce editor Louise stays caffeinated with the Nespresso Vertuo Next. Thanks to this machine, she's canceled her coffee subscription and saved lots of money (and queue time) in the process.
Nishaa has the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse in her apartment, and it's been there since she moved in two years ago. She loves how easy it is to use, and it's saved her so much time and money on going out for a cup of coffee or a matcha latte.
During the warmer months of the year, cold coffee beverages are what fuel Jacyln throughout her day. Don't get her wrong, she'll happily drink a hot cup of java 12 months out of the year, too. So, the Keurig K-Slim + Iced Coffee is that happy medium with a convenient ability to brew iced and hot coffee — all in a compact footprint.
Freelancers who reviewed coffee machines for us:
Sarah Warwick, our freelance reviewer tested the Kitchenaid, Wacaco, and Lavazza branded coffee makers you see in this guide. She liked all of them for different reasons, but gave both the KitchenAid Artisan Nespresso 5KES0503 and Lavazza Jolie Plus four stars out of five.