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Newsflash – you don’t need to spend time and money at the local coffee shop every morning in order to get that perfect cup to start your day. Imagine being able to enjoy your coffee as soon as you wake up in the comfort of your home. Plus, not having to rush out the door or risk being late to work anymore. Sounds like a dream, right? When you find the best single serve coffee maker for you, it’s a dream come true. It’s time to start doing your mornings better.

Here’s the ultimate single serve coffee maker buying guide to help you make the right choice.

10 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers in 2020

Once you’ve figured out a few things about what is the best single serve coffee maker and what the top features to look for are, it’s time to start shopping.

Here’s an overview of the 10 best single serve coffee makers available right now.

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker for Travel

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker for Travel

The AdirChef Grab N’ Go is ideal for coffee enthusiasts who are always on the go. The machine comes with its own travel cup that you can use to hold your fresh coffee and get on the road.

Plus, it’s so small and compact that you can take the whole machine with you when traveling! How’s that for ensuring you always have the coffee you want? The machine weighs less than 2 pounds and it’s eco-friendly, too. It comes with a built-in filter which means you don’t have to purchase and waste traditional coffee filters anymore.

Brewing your coffee into your travel mug is nice and all, but imagine actually brewing the coffee in the mug as you’re out and about. The Primula Coffee Brew Buddy can do just that. It’s a super light and incredibly innovative way to make single serve coffee.

The Brew Buddy is a lid that holds a coffee filter for freshly ground beans which you just pour hot water over when you’re ready to have your coffee. The lid is compatible with many standard mugs, Tervis cups, and other travel coffee containers. It’s basically like a mini pour over you can take on the go!

You can make hot or iced coffee with this easy to use single serve technique at any moment of the day. Use it to brew your afternoon cup at the office or take it on the road when traveling.

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker for College Students

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker for College Students

The Keurig K55 Single Serve is definitely not a road-friendly coffee making option. But, it’s one of the best single serve coffee maker models for at-home use. It’s not your average Keurig. These machines were originally made to create a simple coffee-making option for college students and on-the-go adults. They were to be used with the company’s trademarked K-cups, which sparked the inspiration for the various forms of coffee pods available today.

Now, Keurig has stepped it up a notch. The K55 Single Serve is also compatible with the game-changing My K-Cup, a small capsule for freshly ground beans of the user’s choice. The capsule can be filled with new beans every day to create the perfect cup of coffee with ease.

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker No Pods

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker No Pods

Another great option to consider is the Hamilton Beach 49981A. This is one of the more cost-friendly machines on the list, capable of doing everything you need with ease.

This Hamilton Beach model is made to be used with freshly ground beans only, no pods allowed. The water settings and amount of coffee made are versatile for people who share a home and like different kinds of coffee. This model comes with a 1-year warranty, but it’s said to last much, much longer (with good care, of course).

Best Rated Single Serve Coffee Maker

Best Rated Single Serve Coffee Maker

Up next is the BUNN MCU. This is the most versatile option on the list. If you’re having trouble deciding what is the best single serve coffee maker when it comes to pods or no pods, this is what you need. The BUNN MCU comes with four drawers which can hold K-cups, coffee pods, ground coffee, and regular hot water. All the compartments mean you can have quick coffee from a pod one morning and take your time to ground fresh beans the next. It’s also great for making tea when you can have hot water at the push of a button.

The water tank holds up to 14oz, and a standard cup of coffee (8 oz) can be ready for you in under a minute. Choosing this model is practically a no-brainer, at least if you don’t mind that it’s a bit bigger than some of the other single serve coffee makers. It’s no surprise that it’s versatility has received amazing feedback from customers, making it the best rated single service coffee maker. 

Best Value Single Serve Coffee Maker

Best Value Single Serve Coffee Maker

Haven’t found what you’re looking for just yet? Check out the Mr. Coffee Single Serve machine. This is about the same size as the BUNN MC, but it has a few more capabilities.

It works with K-cups and reusable coffee filters, and it works just fine for making tea, too. The water compartment holds up to 40 ounces, though! With this kind of storage space, you may be able to go the whole week (M-F) without having to stop and refill the water.  Just be sure you filter the water before filling the compartment, as there is no built-in filter in this machine.

Best Single Serve Coffee or Espresso Maker

Best Single Serve Coffee or Espresso Maker

Sometimes, all you need is a bit of espresso to get the day started. If you’re more of a small shot of coffee type of guy/girl than a big cup, you may need the Illy Y3.2.

It’s made to work specifically with Illy IperEspresso capsules, but it can also brew a full cup of coffee when you’re in the mood for more. The water compartment is easy to use and there’s even a nifty brew temperature setting that allows you to get your cup/shot just right. The drip tray can be adjusted to perfectly fit the cup you’re using on any given morning, and there’s a nice auto-shutoff feature for when you really have to go.

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker for Espresso

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker for Espresso

If you like the thought of espresso in the morning, you may want to see what the Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker can do. It heats up in under 30 seconds and makes a perfect shot of espresso every single time.

The machine only works with Nespresso coffee capsules, however, you can buy them in two different sizes for a little variety. One size is ideal for a small espresso shot while the other is better for a smooth cup of coffee or to be the base for a nice morning latte.

If you’re looking for a single serve coffee maker with grinder built in, this is the perfect option for you. Mr. Coffee is not only affordable, but it’s durable as well. The built in grinder allows you to just put your favorite whole bean coffee in, and out will come up 16 oz/ of fresh coffee. On top of that, it’s easy to clean, and most parts of it are dishwasher safe. Due to all of the features, we think this Mr. Coffee machine has earned the best cheap single serve coffee maker on our list. 

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker 2020

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker 2018

The Ninja Coffee Bar is the ultimate single-serve coffee maker choice for those who love a variety of coffee drinks. It’s ideal for when you feel like a regular cup of coffee or when you want to make the best-iced latte and test your barista skills.

The machine is pretty compact when you consider all the things it’s capable of. For only a bit of counter space, it’s able to create everything from small espressos to rich cups of coffee. There are no capsules needed (or compatible) with this machine. It takes freshly ground beans to make the coffee you’re in the mood for each morning.

The Top Features to Look for in a Coffee Maker

Before you make your purchase decision for the best single serve coffee maker, you have to know what to look for. A lot of coffee makers kind of look the same to an unknowing eye. Not to mention, many people think all single serve machines have to run on coffee pods, which simply isn’t true.

What is true, though, is that every great coffee maker has the following features:

Good Timing and Temperature

The faster you can get your coffee, the better. The ideal timing of a single serve coffee maker is somewhere between 2-5 minutes. This is just enough time for the machine to start up and heat the water to get that perfect cup without making you stir crazy while you wait.

Keep in mind that an extra minute or two isn’t always a bad thing, though. This helps the water in the machine to reach the ideal temperature before your coffee is made. Waiting a little longer during the brewing process can result in a piping hot cup of coffee that holds onto its heat well.

best heat press machine

Great Brew Strength

Speaking of the brewing process, consider how strong you like your coffee. Not all of the best single serve coffee makers no pods or with pods will result in the same kind of brew. Some are on the stronger side – like a strong shot of espresso – while others are a bit lighter – like a full 8oz or 12oz cup of coffee.

Either way, you need to make sure what you’re getting is the perfect taste and strength. You wouldn’t want to end up with an espresso single serve coffee maker if you like enjoying a large cup throughout the morning rather than taking a shot of coffee to start the day.

A Water Filtration System

Most people don’t stop to think about how their coffee is made.

Take a second to consider how long the water in a coffee maker sits there. Whether you buy one with a water compartment that you load every day or every few days, you want to make sure the water is as clean as possible. You need a water filtration system.

Not all coffee makers have this feature, but it’s one of the most important to look for.

3 Things You Need to Know Before Buying

Just as you may not have realized how necessary a water filtration system is, you could have some other assumptions about what is the best single serve coffee maker worth clearing up.

The best coffee machine isn’t always what you think. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive, and it doesn’t have to operate with only coffee pods, either. A few things you should know before buying a new coffee maker are listed below.

1. Cost Doesn’t Always Equal Value

Are you the person who goes to the fanciest coffee shop in town in search of the best cup of coffee? Are you willing to pay upwards of $5 or $6 just for a regular latte?

What you do with your money is up to you, but you really should try to make the most of it. Paying for a premium coffee maker doesn’t guarantee you’re going to have a premium cup of coffee every morning. You have to stop and think about the features mentioned above, and also consider how often you’re going to be using your coffee maker.

Things like longevity, maintenance, and coffee-making capabilities have to be considered before you make your purchase. More often than not, you’ll find your ideal single serve coffee maker can do more than you think even if you pay less.

2. You Can Go Single Serve and Use Fresh Beans

This may be the most common misconception about single serve coffee makers out there: they don’t all operate on coffee pods! It is possible to get the fresh bean flavor out of your morning coffee every day when you find the best single serve coffee maker no pods.

Such machines can either grind your coffee themselves and make it all in one smooth, simple process. Or, they’ll have a compartment for you to load your freshly ground beans each morning.

3. Some Coffee Pods Taste Better than You Think

As nice as it is to know you can enjoy freshly ground beans with a single serve coffee maker, sometimes, it’s worth having a few pods on hand. You may actually end up with one standard pod coffee maker and one fresh coffee maker. This is a good setup to have in your home if you know you’re prone to oversleeping and need something super fast before you head out the door.

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