Best Single Cup Coffee Makers

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Top Single Cup Coffee Makers

Single-cup coffee makers are a fast and convenient way to brew just the right amount of coffee. Many can brew a cup in 1 minute or less, and also take up less space on your counter than bulky automatic drip brewers. 

There are tons of options out there, each of which offers unique features and customization options. Let’s take a closer look at our 14 favorite models!

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Keurig is the leading name in single-serve brewers. The K-Classic is a convenient way to enjoy your morning joe, with a large water reservoir, an easy-to-use interface, and a descaling indicator so you know when it’s time to clean the machine.

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If you want to go beyond drip coffee, the K-Café is your answer. The included milk frother lets you easily make cappuccinos and lattes. Since you can brew from any K-Cup, it’s the most versatile Keurig single-serve brewer on the market.

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The slim profile of the Keurig K-Mini makes it the ideal option for small kitchens, or even on your desk at work. It can brew 6-12 ounce cups in minutes and has a removable drip tray to limit messes.

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The Cuisinart SS-10P1 is compatible with all K-Cups and single-serve pods, and also comes with a filter so you can brew from fresh ground coffee. Not only does it brew quickly but you can program also it up to 24 hours in advance so your coffee is ready and waiting in the morning.

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This versatile Hamilton Beach coffee maker has an adjustable drip tray, so it fits tall travel mugs but won’t splash when brewing into shorter mugs. It’s fast-brewing, too, with a reusable scoop filter that makes it easier to get the ideal coffee to water ratio every time.

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You get lots of options for customizing your coffee with the Keurig K-Elite. It has multiple cup sizes, a strength selection option, and even gives you the choice of making iced coffee. The hot water dispenser is a helpful feature, too, and the built-in water filter removes impurities that can alter your drink’s flavor.

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Want to brew a single cup without needing electricity? A French press like this one from Clever Chef is your answer. It’s also more compact than most single-cup brewers, making it both travel-friendly and easier to store.

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The Keurig K-Select is intuitive to operate and compact enough to fit easily on your kitchen counter. It brews straight into travel mugs, with 4 size options and strength selection for customizing your cup. The super-fast brew time is especially helpful when you’re in a rush in the morning.

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For travelers and office workers, the AdirChef Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker is our top choice. The included insulated travel mug is built to fit your car’s cupholder. You can take the whole coffee maker with you if you’d rather. This durable, compact coffee maker fits easily in your backpack or suitcase and won’t break during the journey.

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The convenience features of this Sbloy Single Serve Coffee Maker are its strongest features. The reservoir comes out and has a stepped design so you can easily tell exactly how much water you put in. It brews just 3 minutes from either K-Cups or ground coffee. The compact design is ideal for dorm rooms, RVs, and other places space is at a premium.

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The attractive design of the Mueller Single-Serve coffee maker will look right at home in any kitchen. It’s not just about looks, either. The simple operation, removable reservoir, and energy-saving auto-shutoff are all things we love about this device.

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Here’s another all-in-one option that’s great for travelers. This Black+Decker Coffeemaker is sized to fit the 16-ounce travel mug that comes with it. You’ll also get a permanent filter for ground coffee, though it’s compatible with pods, too, if you prefer to use those.

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The Mixpresso Single-Serve Coffee Maker is compatible with K-Cups from all brands. This includes the second-generation K-Cups, as well as reusable K-Cup filters (though that doesn’t come with it). Its heating element reaches optimal brewing temperature in just 30 seconds, while the removable reservoir holds enough water for up to 6 brews.

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Most single-serve brewers can’t give you a full carafe, but the Keurig K250 is an exception to this rule. Along with 4 single-cup sizes, it can also brew in full batches up to 30 ounces at a time. The touchscreen interface makes choosing your coffee’s strength and size easy.

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Single-Serve Pod Coffee Makers 101

While they might seem like complex machines, the internal operations of a single-serve coffee maker are surprisingly simple. Water is pulled from the reservoir and passed through a heating element. This hot water is then injected into the K-Cup through a tiny hole, where it mingles with the ground coffee and flows out the other side into your cup.

From a user perspective, the operation is even simpler. All you have to do is follow these steps:

  1. Make sure there’s water in the reservoir and that the brewer is plugged in.
  2. Put a mug on the drip tray under the spout.
  3. Press the power button to start heating the water.
  4. Open up the lid and put in your pod.
  5.  Push down on the handle until the lid locks into place.
  6. Choose your size and strength (if applicable). Once you’ve selected this, the brew will start automatically.

Is a Single-Serve Coffee Maker Worth It?

It depends on what you’re looking for out of your coffee maker. From a cost perspective, single-serve coffee makers have a similar price range to automatic drip machines, so you don’t need to spend more for speed and convenience.

Like any brewing method, single-serve makers have their strengths and weaknesses. While they’re not the perfect choice for everyone, there are settings and situations where a single-serve brewer is definitely worth the investment. These include:

  • Offices. Compact single-serve makers fit easily on a desk and are less messy overall than other brewers, a definite advantage in an office setting. Larger brewers with big reservoirs are great for break rooms and lobbies. Staff and visitors can brew up a cup right when they want it, rather than pouring from a carafe that’s been sitting there for hours.

  • Travel and RVs. Many single-serve brewers weigh just a couple pounds (or even less). Their compact size is perfect for going on the road. Brewing from pods spares you the need for other accessories like grinders.

  • Students. Dorm rooms don’t have a lot of space for kitchen appliances, so a compact single-serve brewer is a great choice. The fast brew time is also a big help when you’re running out the door so you’re not late for class.

Still not sure if this is the right choice for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons to help you decide.

Pros and Cons of a Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Pros

  • Convenience. Brewing from a pod takes the guesswork out of the process. It’s also fast and easy—just fill the reservoir, pop in a pod, and you’ll have a fresh, hot cup of coffee in minutes.

  • Variety. K-Cup pods come in every flavor and roast level. You can even make drinks like hot chocolate, apple cider, or chai lattes without any training or special ingredients.

  • Easy clean-up. Since the coffee grounds are contained to the pod, cleaning a single-serve brewer is a snap. Just throw away the pod, rinse the basket, and you’re good to go.

  • Space-saving design. Single-serve coffee makers are compact compared to other automated brewers. You can find models that weigh less than a pound, and most don’t have a large counterspace footprint. That’s especially helpful in small spaces like tiny homes and studio apartments.

 

Cons

  • Higher recurring costs. Brewing from K-Cups or pods is more expensive per-cup than brewing with your own grounds. You can get around this with a reusable filter, but then you’ll also cancel out some of the brewing method’s main advantages.

  • It’s not environmentally-friendly. All of those plastic pods add up, especially if you’re making more than one cup every day. Those who are concerned about the environment will likely feel guilty adding all that plastic to a landfill.

  • Taste. The coffee inside K-Cups is pre-ground and won’t be as flavorful or aromatic. Even if you grind your own to order in a reusable filter, many pod brewers don’t reach the temperature or water contact time you need for a truly bold, delicious cup.

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