Best small coffee makers: 10 tiny but mighty machines, from $35

We've got the scoop on the best small coffee makers

A trio of the best small coffee makers on brown swirled background including Drink Morning, Aeropress Glass and Ninja Programmable filter machine
(Image credit: Future)
Best small coffee makers: Quick menu

1. The list in brief
2
. The quick list
3. Best small pod coffee maker: Morning Coffee machine
5. Best small bean-to-cup: Cuisinart Grind & Brew DGB-2
6. Best mini Keurig coffee maker: Keurig K-Slim + ICED
7. Best Mr. Coffee small coffee maker: One-Touch CoffeeHouse+ II
8. Best coffee maker for your office: Grind One
9. Best Nespresso coffee maker: Nespresso Vertuo Next
10. Best cheap small coffee maker: Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Plus
11. Best small coffee pot maker: Ninja Programmable XL 14-Cup Coffee Maker Pro
12. Best small 3-in-1 coffee maker: Aeropress Original
13. Best travel coffee maker: Wacaco Minispesso NS
14. FAQs
15. Types of small coffee makers
16. Where to buy
17. How we review

Sniffing out the best small coffee makers for your kitchen or home office? If you're currently working with an appetite for caffeine, a tiny cook space, 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 renovation.

We've found and tested ten machines that really are impressive. And they're packaged to be small enough to slide and sit in a corner. 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. After all, a great coffee maker is hard to come by, especially if you have a bunch of must-have specifications. 

Small coffee makers: Quick list

Good days start with one of the best small coffee makers

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best pod small coffee maker

Drink Morning pod coffee maker in whiteReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Morning)
A small coffee maker that's smart and uses any Nespresso OriginalLine pod

Specifications

Price: $392
Size (in): H10.04 x W4.02 x L15.83
Weight: 9.9lbs
Type: Pod
Water filter?: Built in TDS meter

Reasons to buy

+
Awarded the Red Dot for product design
+
World's first specialty capsule machine
+
Nespresso OriginalLine capsule-compatible
+
Aesthetic design with an interactive OLED screen and dial
+
1-year warranty (register to qualify)
+
Built-in TDS meter
+
10 default brew modes

Reasons to avoid

-
High price
Buy it if

💕 You're the first to jump on fashion trends: I'm telling you, few people are going to have this in their kitchen.

💕 You prefer the "old school" Nespresso pods: This pod coffee maker accepts OriginalLine capsules.

💕 You can taste the difference between tap and filtered water: This machine has a built-in TDS meter for those with the most discerning palettes. You know it makes a difference!

💕 User experience is just as important as the final product: The OLED screen is fancy and functional.

Don't buy it if

❌ You don't have cash to splash: A gentle reminder that this pod coffee maker is one of the most expensive on the market.

❌ You like those dome-shaped coffee pods: This machine won't take Nespresso Vertuo or Keurig capsules.

❌ You want something that's easy to use: 10 brewing modes might be a litlle overwhelming for someone who wants a simple cup of coffee.

The bottom line

✨ The Drink Morning coffee maker is the new iPhone of the coffee world. If you're torn between the convenience of a pod coffee machine, but want that elevated aesthetic, pick this gorgeous gadget from a Singaporean start-up.

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. 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. 

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. While testing, I could spend hours making tweaks to the water temperature and playing 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. 

It's a good small coffee maker, albeit expensive, and for the money you could probably invest in a good bean-to-cup machine, but it all depends on what you prioritize. 

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Drink Morning coffee maker test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignA modern, tech-forward coffee maker available in satin white or satin black.★★★★★
PriceUnder $600, but the most expensive in our guide.★★★
TestingPrecision controls in the console allow you to switch up the volume, pressure, water temperature, coffee flow rate, infusion time, and blooming cycles.★★★★★
FeaturesOLED display interface.★★★★★

Best small bean-to-cup coffee maker

Cuisinart DGB-2 Grind & Brew Single-Serve Coffeemaker

(Image credit: Cuisinart)
A single-serve coffee maker that accepts all types of bean currency

Specifications

Price: $149.95
Capacity: Beans: 3.5 oz ; Water tank: 48 fl. oz
Dimensions: H12.67 x W7.28 x D11.02

Reasons to buy

+
Compatible with beans, grounds, and K-Cup pods
+
Hopper holds 3.5 ounces of beans, with keep-fresh lid
+
Charcoal water filter 
+
Makes three drink sizes (8, 10, and, 12oz)
+
Removable parts for easy cleaning
+
Automatic shut-off 
+
Relatively quiet operation
+
Lightweight
+
Top-rack dishwasher-safe removable parts

Reasons to avoid

-
Grinding process can be a little messy and loud 
-
HomeBarista® Reusable Filter Cup hot to touch after brewing
-
No warming plate
-
No adjustable cup height
Buy it if:

💕 You want fresh-tasting coffee, but you have zero Barista skills: The automatic grinder and programmable machine does all the work for you.

💕 You want unlimited choice: With over 200 K-Cups and bottomless bean options in your supermarket, online, and available via independents, you can pick based on your coffee preference.

Don't buy it if:

You enjoy the art of making coffee: If you take pride in playing about with advanced settings, this might be too simplistic a machine.
You want a machine with a milk frother: You'll have to buy a separate appliance.

The bottom line

✨ Combining convenience with a conical burr grinder, the tri-functional Cuisinart DGB-2 Grind & Brew Coffee Maker is your ticket to a shop-quality brew on a budget. It's essentially a pod, drip filter, and bean-to-cup coffee machine rolled into one.

Bet you the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of a bean-to-cup coffee maker is something clunky with lots of bells and whistles, knobs, and a milk frother that you practically need a science degree for? Well, that's not the case with the Cuisinart DGB-2 Grind & Brew Coffee Maker.

The ability to switch between roasted cherries, pre-blitzed beans, or capsules is a game-changer and means that you can chop and change your coffee whenever you want. So much choice!

Naturally, grinding coffee is a noisy job, but it's expected with this appliance. And, if you use the eco-friendly reusable cup, it is a little hot (but so are disposable filter papers). Lastly, there isn't a warming plate, but the coffee dispensed is hot and delicious, so I can't imagine you'll need this feature, anyway. Personally, I just pre-fill my cup with boiling water from my faucet or kettle.

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Cuisinart DGB-2 Grind & Brew coffee maker test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignSleek, matte black with coffee beans on display.★★★★★
PriceUnder $150.★★★★
TestingEasy to use but noisy when grinding beans.★★★★
FeaturesCompatible with beans, grounds, and K-Cup pods.★★★★★

Best mini Keurig coffee maker

Keurig K-Slim + Iced Single Serve coffee makerReal Homes Gold Rated award

(Image credit: Keurig)
Get the best of both worlds with this K-cup compatible Keurig coffee maker

Specifications

Price: $130
Size (in): H12.14 x W4.76 x D15.2
Type: Pod
Weight (lbs): 4.5 lbs
Water tank capacity (liters): 1.36L
Water filter?: Sold separately

Reasons to buy

+
Brews three size and iced coffee setting
+
Quick set up and easy to use
+
Fast to brew
+
Compatible with Keurig Water filter (sold separately)

Reasons to avoid

-
Iced coffee setting only makes up to 6 oz.
Buy it if

💕 You switch up your order based on the weather (or your mood): There's no need for more than one machine with this 2-in-1 coffee maker

💕 You don't like diluted iced coffee: This coffee maker adjusts the temperature so you don't end up with a brew that's weak.

💕 You want to replicate your fave coffeehouse order for cheap: Keurig collabs with popular brands like Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Gloria Jeans, and more so you can create a drink dupe without paying for the overhead costs worked into the price of your go-to cafe drink.

Don't buy it if

❌ You don't care for iced coffee: There are better hot coffee makers on the market

❌ You do like iced coffee, in large quantities: This only makes six ounces of cold joe at a time.

❌ You don't like the color of this machine: It only comes in one color.

The bottom line

✨ The Keurig K-Slim + ICED single-serve coffee maker will slowly heal your wounded wallet, saving you money on regular trips to the coffee shop. Grab yourself some syrups, milk, and a can of whipped cream and the world is your oyster!

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.

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.

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Keurig K-Slim + Iced coffee maker test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignA neutral gray design with a removable 46-oz water tank.★★★★
PriceUnder $100.★★★★★
PerformanceFlavored varieties taste a little weak, with Classic Black tasting best.★★★★
FeaturesBrew over ice function stops coffee from tasting too diluted.★★★★★

Best Mr. Coffee small coffee maker

Breville / Mr. Coffee® One-Touch CoffeeHouse+ IIReal Homes Gold Rated award

(Image credit: Breville / Mr. Coffee®)
A small coffee maker that can make espresso, cappuccino, and latte

Specifications

Price: $349.99
Size (in): H12.8 x W14.01 x D10.47
Type: Accepts pods or ground coffee
Weight (lbs): 13.57
Water tank capacity: 1.4L water reservoir / 0.6L milk reservoir

Reasons to buy

+
19-Bar Italian Pump
+
One-touch control with progress bar
+
Built-in automatic milk frother
+
Removable 18 oz. milk reservoir
+
Adjustable cup tray
+
Easy clean cycle
+
Premium interface & accessories

Reasons to avoid

-
No pre-set Americano option
Buy it if

❤️ You want your drink to taste as strong as the local coffee shop: The 19-bar pressure will produce a rich and concentrated espresso shot

❤️ You want to know *exactly* how long it'll take to make your coffee: The progress bar is quite satisfying to watch

❤️ You want to elevate your milk-based coffee drinks: The built-in frother will take lattes to new levels

❤️ You don't want to steam milk in a metal jug: The built-in reservoir is really handy

❤️ People in your household like different-sized drinks: The adjustable cup tray will hold your mug at the correct height

❤️ You're done with cleaning messy coffee makers: This one is a breeze to maintain.

Don't buy it if:

You want an easy-to-program Americano: There's no pre-set option

The bottom line

✨ The Breville / Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse II has all the workings of a complicated coffee maker in a miniature format. In fact, rather than having lots of knobs and intricate settings, this machine is simplified by its one-touch operation, so you can spend less time making and more time drinking.

The white colorway and touch LED control panel will elevate your kitchen instantly (especially if you like 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. 

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 around two months. Oh and don't forget, come fall/winter time, this machine also transforms into a hot cocoa maker. 

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Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse II test results
AttributesNotesResults
DesignA modern coffee maker with LED interface★★★★★
PriceUnder $350 (mid-upper end of market)★★★★
PerformanceMakes coffee with grounds or ESE pods★★★★★
FeaturesAutomatic milk frother and 20 fluid ounce milk reservoir★★★★★

Best coffee maker for your office

Grind One Pod coffee machineReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Grind)
The small coffee maker you've seen on your social feeds

Specifications

Price: $375
Size (in): H10.2 x W7.32 x L13.23
Type: Pod
Weight (lbs): 6.6lbs
Water tank capacity: 1.2L
Water filter?: Reusable

Reasons to buy

+
Sturdy metal design
+
Easy controls
+
Adjustable coffee length
+
Compact footprint
+
Removable tank
+
Reusable filter

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Pods are made with organic, ethically sourced coffee
-
One-year guarantee with free repair included
Buy it if

❤️ You want an upgrade from a "plasticky" design: This small stainless steel coffee maker looks the business and if it breaks, they'll repair it for free under the one year guarantee.

❤️ Some days you want an espresso, others an Americano or lungo: Play to your strengths (quite literally) with the adjustable drink length feature

❤️ You care about the planet: Not only does this have a reusable filter, but the Nespresso-compatible coffee pods are also compostable at home too.

❤️ You want an energy-efficient machine: This coffee maker has a power-saver mode.

Don't buy it if

You're watching the pennies: This machine isn't cheap at $375, but it is meant to last.

Organic and ethically sourced coffee isn't high up on your priority list: If you don't mind drinking mass-produced, cheaper coffee, you're probably better off with a cheaper machine

The bottom line

✨ The Grind One pod coffee maker is our favorite machine for sustainability and sensibility. Yes, it's almost $400, but the pink-badged design is pretty iconic, not to mention, the coffee tastes great too. And, although you can use any OriginalLine Nespresso cap, Grind's own goods are housed in pastel pink tins that are too cute not to buy.

Sick and tired of plastic pod coffee makers (that no doubt come with pods that are questionably hard to recycle)? Then you need this metal model from 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 caps are compostable.

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.

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.

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Grind One coffee maker test result
AttributesNotesRating
DesignAn all-metal, plastic-free coffee maker with pink branding★★★★★
PriceUnder $375 (upper end for espresso maker)★★★★
PerformanceDispenses coffee pod via sleek manual lever★★★★★
Features19 bar high-pressure pump, programmable dosing and power-saver mode★★★★★

Best small coffee maker by Nespresso

Nespresso Vertuo NextReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Nespresso)
George Clooney endorses this small coffee maker (and we do too!)

Specifications

Price: $179
Size (in): H12.4 x W5.5 x D16.9
Type: Pod
Weight (lbs): 8.8lbs
Water tank capacity: 1L
Filter?: Reusable

Reasons to buy

+
Delicious coffee
+
Space saving
+
Made of partially recycled materials
+
Only machine that can make an 18 oz. carafe
+
Available in many colors and editions

Reasons to avoid

-
Lock and unlock mechanism takes effort to open
-
Limited to Nespresso Vertuo Pods
Buy it if

❤️ You want great coffee with choice: There's something for everyone, including coffee purists and sippers who scout out seasonal flavors

❤️ The Grind One is too expensive, but you still want something sustainable: It's made from plastic, but some of it is recycled material

❤️ You want a small coffee that delivers big brews: This baby can do half-liter servings.

❤️ You've got a bland rental kitchen that needs spicing up: This small coffee maker will act as your landlord-approved decor.

Don't buy it if

You like Nespresso OriginalLine or Keurig K-Cup pods: This machine isn't compatible with either of these capsule shapes. Plus, this small coffee maker uses modern technology to read barcodes on the caps (which neither have).

The bottom line

The Nespresso Vertuo is sustainable, loved by the stars and you've got heaps of choice when it comes to selecting your brew. From various intensity levels, to limited edition recipes, and vitamin-enriched drinks in its Coffee+ range, you'll be spoilt for choice with this small coffee maker. 

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.

Our previous ecommerce editor, Louise Oliphant claims this machine helped her scrap her $100-a-month coffee shop subscription. 

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Nespreso Vertuo Next test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignPartially-recycled plastic design, available in 15 contemporary colorways★★★★★
PriceUnder $180 (as expected)★★★★★
FunctionalityBarcode-reading coffee maker brews decent coffee with artificially-produced crema★★★★★
FeaturesWi-Fi connectivity, adjustable cup support and auto-off mode★★★★★

Best cheap small coffee maker

Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie PlusReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Lavazza)
The best small coffee maker for small households

Specifications

Price: $169
Size (in): H8.27 x W4.88 x D12.99
Type: Pod
Weight (lbs): 5.7lbs
Water tank capacity: 0.6L

Reasons to buy

+
All espresso fans need
+
Fuss-free operation
+
Convenience of capsules

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a huge choice of brews
Buy it if

❤️ You love short coffee drinks: If you live on shots of espresso (and need the caffeine base for your cocktails) this is ideal.

❤️ You know that coffee-making shouldn't require an engineering degree: This is a simple start-and-stop machine.

❤️ Ground coffee is too much of a commitment for you: This works with lusciously Italian Lavazza pods.

Don't buy it if

You like milky drinks: It's not impossible, but it is a 2-part process.

The bottom line

✨ Iconically Italian with a French-sounding nom, the Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Plus is an affordable coffee maker made for people who like petite drinks. If espresso is a yes(so), and macchiatos make you smile, this is the machine for you.

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.

While it does only have a 0.6 liter capacity removable tank, it’s perfect for individual usage, or if you live with roommates, 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.  

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Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Plus test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignAn elegant and premium design with Lavazza branding, available in black and silver★★★★★
PriceUnder $170 (akin to Nespresso Vertuo)★★★★
FunctionalityQuiet operation with coffee in approx. 35 seconds★★★★★
FeaturesEmpty water tank alert and ability to hold five spent caps in waste drawer★★★★★

Best small coffee pot maker

Ninja Programmable XL 14-Cup Coffee Maker Pro.jpgReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Ninja)
A small drip filter coffee maker that can make one cup or 14!

Specifications

Price: $99.99
Size (in): H14.35 x W7.87 x L10
Type: Drip filter
Weight (pounds): 6.39 lbs
Water tank capacity: 14 cups

Reasons to buy

+
1–4 cup function
+
Reusable coffee brew basket and filter
+
Delay brew function
+
Warming function for up to four hours
+
Ability to pause mid-brew
+
Removable water tank
+
Smaller profile with a sleek design
+
Self-cleaning function
+
Quiet brewing 
+
Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid

-
1–4 cup function will use all water in the tank, so it’s necessary to measure
-
Recommended measurements on scoop may be light depending on preferences
-
Classic and rich brew styles are similar in taste
-
Not SCAA certified
Buy it if:

❤️ You want filter-style coffee for one: You don't need to make a large vat of coffee if you know you won't drink all of it throughout the day.

❤️ You live with people who like different coffee strengths: Choose from classic or rich brew styles

❤️ You like super fresh coffee: With the freshness timer, you can always know when your last pot was brewed.

❤️ You don't like the feeling of wet filter papers: I've got sensory issues too. Thankfully, this has a reusable filter.

Don't buy it if:

You're not keen on filling up the tank each time you need to make coffee: Remember more water than you need = diluted brew.

Having a Specialty Coffee Association-accredited coffee maker is important to you: Nil points for Ninja on this one.

The bottom line

✨ The Ninja Programmable XL 14-Cup Coffee Maker PRO is the perfect people-pleasing coffee maker. In short, it's a small drip filter coffee maker that can dose a single serving or make a whole carafe.

The Ninja Programmable XL 14-Cup Coffee Maker PRO has a small footprint on the kitchen counter and an intuitive design. From the integrated coffee scoop (you won’t have to worry about misplacing it!) to the 14-cup carafe, which has a lid that screws on for no leaks and removes completely for easy cleaning, every detail of this simple coffee maker has been thought through carefully. 

In review, its biggest draw is that it brewed piping hot coffee and retained heat for up to four hours. We know everyone has dreams of leisurely sipping on their morning cuppa while it’s fresh, but somehow reality (dogs, bosses, roommates) always seems to creep in and interrupt the caffeinated magic.

Just so you know, this machine will use all of the available water in the reservoir, so if you only want to make a cup or two, you won't be doing yourself any favors by thinking that you're forward-planning your next coffee-making experience. You'll just be making a super weak carafe.

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Ninja Programmable XL 14-Cup Coffee Maker PRO
AttributesNotesRating
DesignA modern sleek design that will suit most contemporary kitchen schemes★★★★★
Price Usually $99.99, but often seen around $69.99 on sale ★★★★
Functionality Makes a tasty brew, so long as you don't overfill water reservoir★★★★★
Features4-hour keep warm function and freshness timer are useful★★★★★

Best small three in one coffee maker

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso MakerReview in progress graphic

(Image credit: AeroPress)

9. AeroPress Original Coffee and Espresso Maker

Our editor-in-chief's favorite small coffee maker

Specifications

Price: $39.95
Size (in): H5.31 x W3.94 x D3.94
Type: Portable
Weight (lbs): 1.3lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Brews in 60 seconds
+
Variety of coffee types
+
350 microfilters to prevent grit

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most stylish
Buy it if

❤️ You want a rapid cup of coffee: The Aeropress can fire out a shot of Joe in 60 seconds.

❤️ Variety is the spice of life: Make cold brew, espresso, and black Americano, all with this handheld small coffee maker.

❤️ You want a smooth-tasting coffee: Despite the DIY nature of this small coffee maker, it won't be grainy.

Don't buy it if:

You want a machine that does the hard work for you: This is a little more hands on than an automatic small coffee maker

You've got guests to serve: This isn't the most efficient way to make multiple coffees.

The bottom line

✨ The Aeropress is the small coffee maker that you can throw in your handbag. It's lightweight, made of Tritan and will deliver a smooth and strong coffee so you don't have to settle for freeze-dried instant granules.

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, that 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.

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.

Since switching her French press for an Aeropress, our global 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.

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Aeropress test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignA tubular chamber with plunger and rubber seal★★★★★
PriceUnder $40 (the cheapest in our list)★★★★★
FunctionalityPortable, convenient and easy to use with coffee in approx. 60 seconds★★★★★
FeaturesStirring paddle, measuring scoop and 100 filters included ★★★★★

Best travel coffee maker

Wacaco Minispesso NS coffee machineBronze badge resized

(Image credit: Wacaco)
The portable coffee maker that is a li'l pricier than the Aeropress

Specifications

Price: $54.90
Size (in): H6.89 x W2.76 x D2.36
Type: Portable
Weight (lbs): 0.8lbs
Water tank capacity: 2 oz

Reasons to buy

+
Portable
+
Simple procedure
+
Uses Nespresso OriginalLine capsules

Reasons to avoid

-
Effort required to make brews
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Small water tank capacity
Buy it if

❤️ You want a travel-friendly coffee maker: This is ideal for taking on the road and vacation

❤️ Coffee strength is important to you: With 8 bars of pressure, this will extract all of the good stuff

❤️ You like the Nespresso OriginalLine capsules: The mini coffee maker uses those dinky caps that provide a consistent-tasting brew.

Don't buy it if:

You're looking to invest in a standalone appliance that you can show off: This small coffee maker won't make that sort of impact

You live with multiple coffee drinkers or are making a group order: This isn't the most efficient use of your time or effort. Get a programmable machine, and go play host.

The bottom line

✨ Like the Aeropress, the Wacaco Minispesso NS coffee maker is best for individual / solo java drinkers. Both are manual gadgets, but what you lose in efficiency, you'll save in shop-bought coffee on the road.

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.

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.  

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. 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.

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Wacaco Minispesso NS coffee maker test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignA matte-black cylindrical design with utility-chic piston★★★★★
PriceUnder $55★★★★★
FunctionalityPortafilter unscrews easily and pierces capsule effectively, capsule fits snuggly into cup casing and piston operation is easy. Pumps well.★★★★★
Features8-bar pressurized portafilter, built-in espresso cup, brush and carrying pouch★★★★★

Compare these small coffee makers

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Comparisons
Small coffee makersPriceOur verdict
Morning coffee makerUnder $600A sleek Nespresso OriginalLine pod coffee maker for tech-savvy Java drinkers
Cuisinart Grind & Brew DGB-2 coffee makerUnder $150A 3-in-1 single-serve coffee maker that accepts beans, grounds or pods
Keurig K-Slim + IcedUnder $100A versatile machine for hot and cold brews
Breville / Mr. Coffee One-Touch Coffeehouse+ IIUnder $350Makes the whole coffee shop menu with a built in milk tank and frother
Grind One Pod coffee makerUnder $375A sustainable stainless steel coffee maker with a pop of pink
Nespresso Vertuo NextUnder $180Choose from 15 colors and 100s of coffee flavors
Lavazza A Modo Mio JolieUnder $170 A smart and small coffee maker for espresso and short coffee lovers
Ninja Programmable XL 14-Cup Coffee Maker PROUnder $100Smaller profile with a sleek design and self-cleaning function
AeroPress OriginalUnder $40Save $100s on your commute with this travel-friendly coffee maker
Wacaco Minispresso NSUnder $55A must for those who have that wanderlust spirit (with a coffee in hand)

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. 

FAQs

What is the best coffee maker for a single person?

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 person 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 tons of choices for when you don't want to sit by yourself in Starbucks. 

I'd choose the Lavazza Classy Plus (which appears to be one up from the Jolie Plus). It's quick and you can interchange the coffee pods with milk pods to create a whole menu of drinks.

What is the best small coffee maker for couples?

If you'd like to invest in something high-end — 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. We've organized these in alphabetical order, but generally speaking, home appliances do go on sale around Black Friday or right after December 25. 

How we reviewed these small coffee makers

Making a short strong espresso coffee using the MORNING coffee maker

Reviewing the Morning Coffee machine

(Image credit: Future / Christina Chrysostomou)

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 coffee. 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 coffee makers, 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. 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:

Size
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. However, if it's handwash only, we'll evaluate how easy it is to take apart and reassemble once clean.

Descaling process
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).

Coffee taste
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:

Christina Chrysostomou selfie
Christina Chrysostomou

Hey, I'm Christina, Real Homes' acting head of ecommerce. 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, like Cyber Monday, you can bet I am constantly tracking deals and adding them to our guides, so watch this space.

Headshot of Real Homes editor Melissa Epifano
Melissa Epifano

Real Homes’ former 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.

Millie Fender, Head of reviews headshot
Millie Fender

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.

Reviewed the Nespresso Vertuo Next
Louise Oliphant author image
Reviewed the Nespresso Vertuo Next
Louise Oliphant

Our former 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.

Reviewed the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse
photo of Nishaa Sharma, social editor
Reviewed the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse
Nishaa Sharma

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.

Reviewed the Keurig K-Slim iced
Jaclyn Turner photo
Reviewed the Keurig K-Slim iced
Jaclyn Turner

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 headshot
Sarah Warwick

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.

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.

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