Best Single Cup Coffee Makers Of 2020

Single cup coffee makers are convenient, quick and practical. Make sure the water reservoir is full, pop in a pod or reusable filter, hit a button and in a couple minutes you’ll be sipping your favorite coffee. It’s easy to understand why they’re one of America’s most popular brewing methods.

There are what seems like an endless amount of options on the market and it can be a daunting task when it comes to deciding on the best single cup coffee maker. 

To help you find the best brewer for your personal needs we evaluated highly rated single serve coffee maker models from some of the most trusted brands including Keurig, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, Ninja and Nespresso. 

Below you’ll find reviews of the 10 best single cup coffee makers and a buyers guide to help you make the right purchase.

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Quick Glance: What Is The Best Single Cup Coffee Maker?

  1. Keurig K-Elite: Best Overall 
  2. Cuisinart Premium Single Serve Coffee Maker: Best Customization
  3. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Coffee Maker: Best 2 Way Brewer
  4. Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker: Best For Specialty Brews
  5. Sboly Single Cup Coffee Maker: Best Value Pick

Best Single Cup Coffee Maker Reviews

1. Keurig K-Elite Brewing System – Best Overall

Keurig K Elite Single Serve Coffee Maker With Iced Coffee Capability - Best Single Cup Coffee Maker

The Keurig K-Elite is our winner for best overall because it brews the best tasting cup of coffee out of all the single cup coffee makers we reviewed while still offering a lot of customization options and being user-friendly. 

At 75oz you won’t have to constantly fill the water reservoir, it’s removable for added convenience when you do. 

Select from 5 brew sizes ranging from 4 to 12 ounces and hit the strong button when you’re looking for a bold cup.

The temperature control feature allows you to brew from 187-192 degrees Fahrenheit. This is right in line with the temperature range recommended by the National Coffee Association.

You can use the iced brew setting to make an iced coffee or use the hot water on demand button for oatmeal or soup. The hot water on demand is also handy if you prefer tea bags over K-Cups.

The K-Elite preheats in under one and a half minutes but, if that’s longer than you want to wait just use the auto-on feature to program what time you want the machine to turn on. 

Once it’s on it can brew a cup of coffee in under a minute.

In addition to pods, you can also brew ground coffee in a reusable filter. The filter can be purchased separately. 

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
75oz water reservoir Can’t program to brew at a specific time
5 brew sizesDoesn’t come with a reusable filter
Iced brewing option
Hot water on demand
Keurig K-Elite Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Brewer, with Iced Coffee Capability, Extra Included, 75oz, Brushed Silver Plus Filter Bundle
$199.00
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2. Cuisinart Premium Single Serve Coffee Maker – Best Customization

Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single Serve Coffee Maker with reusable filter.

The Cuisinart SS-10 is a great alternative to a Keurig and offers even more customization options.

The LED control panel is user friendly with surprisingly little learning curve. Our favorite feature on the SS-10 is the ability to program the machine to start brewing at a specific time. 

Use any coffee pods or the reusable coffee filter with ground coffee. No need to buy the filter separately, it comes with the machine.

You can choose from 5 different drink sizes and adjust the water temperature. Use the hot water button to make tea or other beverages. 

The programmable rinse cycle is a unique selling feature and ensures there won’t be any flavor contamination in between each brew cycle.

The 72oz removable water reservoir will limit how frequently you need to take time out of your day to fill it up. The SS-10 comes with a charcoal filter that’s tucked away in a compartment on the right side of the machine. 

The auto-off feature is very handy both for safety and energy efficiency. 

You can buy with confidence, Cuisinart offers a 3 year warranty on the SS-10 single cup coffee maker.

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
72oz water reservoir Noiser than other machines
Can be programmed to brew at a specific time
Fast brewing time
3 year warranty
Cuisinart SS-10P1 Premium Single-Serve Coffeemaker Coffemaker, 72 Oz, Silver
$111.99
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3. Hamilton Beach 49976 Flexbrew Coffee Maker – Best 2 Way Brewer

Hamilton Beach 49976 Flexbrew Coffee Maker with pod holder and single serve brew basket.

The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew is two appliances in one – a single cup coffee maker and a full pot machine. 

The Flexbrew allows you to brew a single cup or on the opposite side use the glass carafe to brew up to 12 cups. Choose from two strength settings, regular or bold.

You can also decide whether you want to use pods or ground coffee. A pod holder and single serve brew basket are both included. 

This machine offers the option to program your desired brew time up to 24 hours in advance. 

It also has the coveted brew pause feature allowing you to remove the carafe and pour yourself a cup during the brewing process without any drips.

The biggest negative about the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew is the water reservoir for the single cup side of the machine only holds 10oz. You pretty much have to fill it with water each time you want to make a single cup.

If you’re looking for a single cup coffee maker that offers the flexibility to also use a carafe the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew is a worthy contender.

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
You can brew a pot of coffee into the carafe or use single serve cupsCan only use one side at a time
Can be programmed to brew at a specific timeWater reservoir for the single cup side of the machine only holds 10oz
Works with ground coffee of pods
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Thermal Coffee Maker, Single Serve & Full Pot, Compatible with K-Cup Pods or Grounds, Programmable, Black and Stainless (49966)
$109.99
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4. Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker – Best For Specialty Drinks

Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker with built in milk frother.

It’s all in the name with the Ninja Speciality Coffee Maker. If you love coffeehouse style drinks keep reading. 

This machine offers a size for literally anyone – 6 of them to be exact. Starting with a single cup and going all the way up to a full carafe. Have a travel mug? No worries, it has a size for that too. It even has an XL travel mug size. 

Now for the speciality drinks. Make a classic or rich brew, iced coffee, or speciality drinks like lattes, macchiatos, or cappuccinos.

You can also transform hot or cold milk into the perfect froth with the built in frother. 

If you’re over using pods or just want to do your part for the environment you’ll love that this machine does not take pods. Use your favorite ground coffee to make the perfect brew.

The Intelligent Warming Plate can remain on for up to 4 hours. Choose between the high or low temperature setting. By default the plate is set to remain on for 2 hours on the high setting. 

This machine even has a clean button that will illuminate when a cleaning cycle is needed.

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
4 different brew typesDoesn’t brew true espresso
Built in frotherBig footprint
Dishwasher safe
SCA certified
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, Auto-iQ Tea and Coffee Maker with 6 Brew Sizes, 5 Brew Styles, Frother, Coffee & Tea Baskets with Thermal Carafe (CP307)
$199.99
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5. Sboly Single Cup Coffee Maker – Best Value Pick

Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker for Coffee Pods and Ground Coffee - Best Single Cup Coffee Maker

If you don’t need or want all the bells and whistles the Sboly Single Cup Coffee Maker offers a streamlined brewing experience for an incredible price. 

The water reservoir is 14oz and while that might be small this is meant to be a compact machine. You can fill the reservoir to your desired strength. The measurement marks range from 6-14oz. 

You can easily choose between using a coffee pod or ground coffee, just push the button for which one you want. The filter for the ground coffee can hold up to ¾ cup of grounds.

This machine will also automatically turn off after brewing a cup of coffee and comes with a removable drip tray.

Cleaning is very easy, simply press 2 buttons and the machine will clean itself. 

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
Works with pods and ground coffeeSlow brewing time
Small footprintDoesn’t work with travel mugs
Great value
1-year warranty
Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer for K-Cup Pod & Ground Coffee, Compact Design Thermal Drip Instant Coffee Machine with Self Cleaning Function, Brew Strength Control by Sboly
$49.95
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6. Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker – Best For Ground Coffee

 Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker functions like a drip machine.

If you’re looking for a single cup coffee maker that functions like a drip machine this compact, budget-friendly machine is worth adding to your short list. 

This machine operates exclusively with ground coffee, no pods. Fill the mesh scoop filter with your favorite grounds, select from regular or bold and you’re off and running. 

You’ll have to fill the water reservoir for each brewing session but, that’s to be expected with a compact design.

Use caution if grinding your own beans. The reusable mesh filter tends to let fine grinds through but you can supplement with a paper filter if you find it to be an issue.

Your 8oz cup will be ready in about 90 seconds and a 14oz travel mug in about 2.5 minutes. 

The Hamilton Beach Scoop is made of stainless steel making it easy to clean and at the price point offers a lot of value. 

This is a great option for a practical and eco-friendly single cup coffee maker. 

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
Accommodates different cup sizesFine grounds can get through the mesh filter
Extremely user friendly Prone to leak – be extra careful to not overfill
Compact design
Easy to clean
Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker, Fast Brewing, Stainless Steel (49981A)
$38.24
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7. Nespresso by De’Longhi ENV150GY VertuoPlus – Best For Espresso

Nespresso by De'Longhi ENV150GY VertuoPlus

Nespresso’s are not cheap but they’re known for their top of the line performance and reliability both of which secure their place on our best single cup coffee makers list.

The VertuoPlus is an automatic coffee maker and espresso machine. 

It offers the choice of 5 different cup sizes:

  • 1.35oz Espresso
  • 2.7oz Double Espresso
  • 5oz Gran Lungo
  • 8oz Coffee
  • 14oz Alto Coffee 

Nespresso’s technology shines using an intelligent extraction system that recognizes each capsule by reading a barcode. No need to adjust the settings, once the barcode is read the VertuoPlus adjusts the brewing parameters to deliver the very best in cup results. 

You’ll enjoy coffee or espresso at the touch of a button. 

The Nespresso Vertuo capsule system offers 16 brewed coffees and 10 espressos, you’re sure to find a favorite. The capsules are hermetically sealed for ultimate freshness and made of recyclable aluminum. 

Nespresso offers a recycling program with drop off locations or use the recycling bag for your used capsules and pop it in the mail when it’s full.

The crema is naturally formed of coffee and air during the brewing process. It really makes you feel like you’re at a coffeehouse. 

This machine also features a 40oz swivel water reservoir for a customized fit to your space. 

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
19 bar pressure pumpNot programmable
Swivel water reservoirOnly compatible with Nespresso capsules
2 year warranty
Nespresso by De'Longhi VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Machine by De'Longhi, Black
$125.99
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8. AdirChef Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker – Best Portable Single Cup Coffee Maker

AdirChef Grab N' Go Personal Coffee Maker with 15oz travel mug.

The AdirChef Grab N’ Go is ideal for tiny spaces like dorm rooms or RV’s. This is the best single cup coffee maker if you’re looking for a compact no frills design. 

With that comes the need to adjust your expectations to be in line with it’s insanely affordable price point. It’s all about function and less about features. 

This machine is exclusively compatible with ground coffee and is equipped with a permanent filter. 

As the name hints, if you like your coffee on the go you’ll find brewing directly into the included 15oz travel mug very convenient. It’s tapered to fit most vehicle cup holders and is well insulated. 

You won’t have to worry about turning this machine off, it has an auto shut off that will take care of it for you.

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
InexpensiveOnly compatible with ground coffee
Dishwasher safeSlow brewing time
Good for travel
AdirChef Grab N' Go Personal Coffee Maker with 15 oz. Travel Mug, Black/Stainless Steel
$19.95
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9. Keurig K-Cafe – Best Single Cup Coffee Maker With Frother

Keurig K-Cafe with milk frother

If you like the convenience of using coffee pods but also like frothy milk in your cappuccino or latte the Keurig K-Cafe is for you. 

At the push of a button it can brew a regular cup of coffee or a concentrated coffee shot. Hit the strong button to give an extra boost to your cup in the morning or use the iced setting to cool off in the afternoon. 

You’ll have 4 drink sizes to choose from ranging from 6oz to 12oz. In addition to coffee the K-Cafe can also make cocoa and tea.

The milk frother can froth fresh milk including skim, soy, and almond. It even features a cold setting for cold frothed milk.

We especially like that the frother will prepare hot or cold milk in under 2 minutes and it’s dishwasher safe. It even has a lid so that you can store any extra milk in the fridge.

Pro-Tip: put the lid on the frother if you want more froth or a thicker foam.

The removable 60oz water reservoir ensures you won’t constantly have to be filling up every time you brew. 

The auto off feature will automatically shut the K-Cafe down 2 hours after the last brew for peace of mind and energy efficiency. 

This is the best single serve coffee maker for anyone who wants speed and convenience while still being able to enjoy coffee, cappuccinos, and lattes. 

It combines the coffee and speciality drink world into one seamless brewing experience at a surprisingly affordable price.

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
User friendly with no learning curveNot programmable
Fast brewing timesSlow brewing time
Highly versatile
Compatible with K-Cups or ground coffee (K-Cup universal filter sold separately)
Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee, Latte and Cappuccino Maker, Comes with Dishwasher Safe Milk Frother, Coffee Shot Capability, Compatible With all K-Cup Pods
$169.99
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10. Jura E8 Automatic Coffee Machine – Best Single Cup Coffee Maker With Grinder

Jura E8 Automatic Coffee Machine with milk container - Best Single Cup Coffee Maker

We’ll start out by saying the Jura E8 is splurge worthy and gives us all the feels but, we want to be upfront that it’s a luxury purchase and priced accordingly. 

It’s like the Bentley of single cup coffee makers. If that’s not your thing you won’t want to waste your time reading this review. 

The Jura E8 has more features than we have fingers! 

The built in AromaG3 burr grinder has 6 levels and ensures your coffee is optimally ground every time. It doesn’t get any better than freshly ground beans.

You can choose from 8 different intensity levels and 12 programmable speciality beverages.

With the touch of a button this machine will automatically grind, compress, brew, and dispense the coffee you selected. You’ll have Barista quality coffee from the comfort of home. 

The double spout allows you to brew two single servings of coffee at the same time.

You can literally brew fantastic drinks that in our opinion are better than any Starbucks we’ve been to at the push of a button from home.

This machine is the bee knees and it is the best single cup coffee maker money can buy but, it’s for someone who is serious about making the best coffee at home.

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
64oz water reservoirDoesn’t fit a travel mug
Burr grinderRequires regular maintenance for optimal performance 
10oz bean hopper
One touch brewing with 12 drink options
Jura E8 Automatic Coffee Machines 15271, Chrome
$2,194.95
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Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose The Best Single Cup Coffee Maker

Brewing Versatility

Some single cup coffee makers come with features that make them extremely versatile while others are more budget friendly with less to offer.

Consider if you want your machine to provide brewing options in terms of size or strength. Some of the best single cup coffee makers can also brew specialty drinks or even have a milk frother.

Deciding on how much, or how little you want your machine to be able to do is an excellent first step is narrowing down your options.

Single use coffee pods, reusable filter, or whole beans:

Most single cup coffee makers are compatible with coffee pods or in Nespressos case coffee capsules.

The pods and capsules are pre-portioned and extremely convenient to use but, on the downside, they’re more expensive than ground coffee and they’re not good for the environment. Even those that are recyclable are not as eco-friendly as a reusable filter. 

Some single cup coffee makers come with a reusable filter but, if the one you purchase doesn’t they’re inexpensive to purchase separately. Just fill it with your favorite ground coffee and wash it in between uses. 

Our best single cup coffee makers list includes a machine with a built-in grinder and for that, you’ll want whole coffee beans.

The grind and brew machine will deliver the highest level of freshness and you won’t have pods to throw away or a reusable filter to clean.

Brewing Speed

Chances are if you’re always in a rush to get your cup of coffee you’ll want a machine that brews quickly.

If you’ve got time to spare a fast brewing speed may not be as important to you. There are single-serve coffee makers that can brew a cup in under a minute where others may take up to 3 minutes. 

Water Reservoir

The size of the water reservoir and whether or not it’s removable are both worth considering. The larger the water reservoir the less it will need to be filled in-between brews.

If you only have one cup of coffee a day odds are you don’t need one that holds a large capacity but, if multiple cups are going to be brewed each day, factor in the time it will take to constantly fill one that’s on the small side.

Removable water reservoirs are more convenient both for filling and cleaning.

Size

Will your machine have a permanent home on your counter or do you want it to be portable?

The larger machines are not meant to be moved and will need to be set up in a space that accommodates their size including factoring in space to access the water reservoir.

If space or portability are a factor for you, there are a couple of options on our best single serve coffee makers list that will thrive in tight spaces or being transported from place to place.

Price

If you’re willing to spend more to get exactly what you want then it’s just a matter of determining your must haves and narrowing down the machine you like best from there.

If you’re on a tight budget then we recommend starting with the price and then working backwards. 

Warranty

Some of the machines featured in our best single cup coffee maker review have extensive features and with that comes more parts that have the possibility of malfunctioning. All of the coffee makers we reviewed have at least a 1-year warranty and some go up to 3 years. 

Who Needs A Single Cup Coffee Maker?

  • Solo Coffee Drinker: if you’re the only person in your house who likes coffee a single serve coffee maker will avoid the waste that would occur from brewing an entire pot.
  • Only Wants One Cup: even if you have another member in our household who likes coffee if you’re only into having one cup instead of multiples this is a great way to go.
  • In A Hurry Coffee Drinker: single cup coffee makers will have your cup ready in a matter of minutes, some in less than a minute. They’re great for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of time.

Can I Make Different Drinks With A Single Cup Coffee Maker?

You sure can but, it will depend on which machine you buy. Not every single cup coffee maker is capable of making tea, cocoa, or cappuccinos and lattes if you’re talking specialty drinks.

If a variety of drinks is high on your list make sure to verify a machine is capable of making them before your purchase. 

How Do I Clean A Single Cup Coffee Maker?

Some coffee makers have a descaling function that will notify you when it’s time to descale. If yours doesn’t have that feature you’ll want to descale every 2-3 months depending on usage. 

Check your manual for specific instructions. Most machines can be cleaned with a water and vinegar solution but, there are some single serve machines that cannot be descaled with vinegar so you’ll want to be sure before you begin.

Final Word

If you’re still not 100% sure which machine is best for you we’d go with the Keurig K-Elite. It’s our #1 pick overall for the best single cup coffee maker because of its versatility, competitive pricing, and out of the box functionality.

If you’re on a tight budget we’d go with the Sboly Single Cup Coffee Maker. It’s a no-frills machine and offers a ton of bang for your buck.

We hope this guide has given you all of the information you need to select the best single cup coffee maker that will compliment your lifestyle. Happy Brewing!