Best Single Serve Coffee Makers
There’s nothing more disheartening than to see carefully brewed delicious coffee being poured down the drain. In many homes and offices, this is a common occurrence every morning courtesy coffee makers which brew a minimum of four cups at a time. Apart from wasting your choicest ground coffee beans which are not cheap by far, it is also a criminal waste of water. If you too are guilty of wasting coffee, then maybe it’s time you checked out some of the best single serve coffee makers that we have lined up here.
These dainty little machines are perfect for a quick grab-and-go cup of coffee. Irrespective of whether you are the sole java addict in the household or if you are an empty nester, these fit the bill perfectly.
You can program them to automate your morning cup of Joe, alter everything from the strength to the size of the coffee grounds and clean it up in a jiffy. Most importantly, some of these coffee makers in our list can also brew multiple cups on demand.
So, sit back and enjoy our pick of these top 10 single serve coffee makers.
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#1 – BLACK+DECKER DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker
There are a lot of things that Black & Decker manage to get right with the DCM18S which is popularly known as the Brew’n Go Personal Coffeemaker. For starters, it has throwaway price tag (under $20). Further, it has a bunch of impressive features like one-touch operation, a removable filter basket and a permanent filter.
But before we get to the finer details, let’s talk about the stylish design. The Brew’n Go is signature Black & Decker. The casing is all-black and made of durable plastic. The idea behind the design is to make a portable unit that can be used for homes as well as tagged along for your impromptu trips.
At just 9-3/4 inches high and 7 inches wide, the Brew’n Go certainly qualifies as one. It will fit easily under your cabinets or even on the most space constrained counter.
The one-touch operation is perfect for people who hate tinkering with buttons to get their coffee. There’s just one on/off button and in case you forget to switch it off, the Brew’n Go will auto shut off after a few minutes of being idle.
You can use both pods as well as your own ground coffee with the Brew n Go. While using coffee grounds, altering the dose lets you change the strength of the brew.
However, the standout feature is that the coffee is brewed and poured directly into a 15 ounce stainless steel travel mug which fits easily into most car drink holders. So, if you are rushing for work, you can grab a cup and enjoy it while you drive back.
Cleaning is easy as most of the parts are dishwasher safe. The permanent filter can be rinsed under water for a quick cleanse. This also translates into savings otherwise spent buying replacement filters.
Final Word: Great design, multiple customizations, easy cleaning and priced under $17. How can you go wrong with the Black and Decker Brew’n Go? Highly recommended for brewing a fast cup of coffee without too many hassles!
#2 – Aicok Single Serve K-cup Coffee Maker
The Aicok Single serve coffee maker is a reasonably inexpensive K-Cup machine that works with a variety of K-Cups and can be used for brewing a steaming hot cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in as less as 1 minute. And while it is not mentioned anywhere in the user manual, it is also compatible with a couple of refillable K-cups which gives you the option to use your own ground coffee with it.
Out of the box, you are greeted with an eye pleasing design. It has a very compact form factor and stands approximately 9.5 inches tall and 7.4 inches deep. This makes it perfect for homes, offices, RVs and dorms.
The casing is mostly plastic and it is extremely easy to operate as well. You can just insert the K-Cup, rotate the knob to lock the brew head and press the button on the side which activates the brew process.
The fewer moving parts translates into easy cleaning and depending on whether you are brewing a small cup of coffee or a large travel mug, you can get your coffee in as less as 1 minute. The Aicok features a removable drip tray that lets you use cups or mugs of varying sizes.
Other features include an auto-shut off system and a 12 oz removable water reservoir.
Like we mentioned earlier, you can use any standard sized K-Cup with the Aicok including the Keurig 2.0 and the iFill K-cup. However, if you are looking to use a refillable one, then you’d want to use the Filip Coffee refillable ones or Brewooze – Reusable cups. Both are available on Amazon and allow you to use almost a teaspoon and a half of your favorite ground coffee with the machine.
Final Word: The Aicok Single Serve K-Cup coffee maker is a convenient, budget-priced way to enjoy your daily cup of coffee. With the option to use refillable K-Cups, it rivals some of the more popular brands like Keurig.
#3 – Hamilton Beach 49981A
We were quite surprised when we saw a lesser known brand like Hamilton Beach as ‘Amazon’s choice’ for the best single serve coffee maker. The category is dominated by brands like Keurig and Cuisinart after all. But a closer look revealed to us that this is very beautifully designed machine with some practical features that make it a worthy contender in this list.
For starters, it boasts of a stainless steel casing. How many coffee makers priced under $40 have that? Apart from being extremely durable and resistant to corrosion, it also looks like a professional-grade machine on the kitchen counter and is a welcome change from the mundane all-plastic designs that flood the market.
It comes with a single serve scoop filter which lets you use your own ground coffee and a built in L-shaped cup rest stand that can accommodate coffee cups of varying sizes. For mugs, you can use the drip tray. The water reservoir is approximately 14 oz in size and that’s also the largest volume that it can brew at a time.
The Hamilton Beach 49981A also lets you choose between a quick cup of regular coffee or a slow and more refined cup of coffee which it calls the ‘Bold’ one. When you use the Bold setting, the brew time is increased. However, this allows the water to pass much slower through the coffee resulting in a more flavorful brew. If you prefer Decaf or brands like Melitta, this is the setting that you’d want to use.
In the regular setting, the Hamilton Beach 49981A brews an 8 oz cup of coffee in just 90 seconds.
If you want to stop the brewing process midway, you just need to press the Bold or Regular buttons and it stops instantly. A built in auto shut off system switches off the coffee maker after brewing and conserves energy. Also, if you accidentally try to brew it without adequate water in the reservoir, it will not start.
Final Word: We are very impressed with the Hamilton Beach 49981A. It is durable, easy to clean and one of the few machines that let you pick everything from your own ground coffee to the strength of the brew despite having a one-touch operation.
#4 – Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single-Serve Coffeemaker
The SS-10 is one of Cuisinart’s most popular models that is K-Cup compatible and brews coffee in 4 to 12 oz cup sizes. Unlike the other models which we have picked in this list so far, this is at the higher end of the price range among single serve coffee machines.
And it is completely worth the extra buck.
Everything from the stainless steel colored plastic casing to the LCD display screams commercial and you’d love to add this to your kitchen counter any day. It does take up more space than normal single serve coffee machines because it is 14.75 inches in length and 13 inches in width.
The additional size is mainly due to the 72 oz removable water reservoir which prevents the need for frequent refills. A backlit LCD displays the many functions and a quick-access menu lets you automate the brew time every day as well as program the shut off time.
Apart from the brew, the SS-10 also gives you one-button access to hot water allowing you to use this to brew tea, make hot chocolate or just get hot water instantly for your pasta. The other dedicated button on the casing is the rinse function which flushes the brew chamber to remove any residue of the previous brew.
Also integrated into the Cuisinart SS-10 is a charcoal filter which removes any chemicals that can affect the taste of your coffee. You can choose your brew size and a removable drip tray lets you use travel mugs as well in addition to tall glasses.
The Cuisinart SS-10 includes a reusable filter cup which saves money and allows you the option to use your own ground coffee instead of K-Cups. The filter mesh is fine and you will not find coffee grounds in your drink.
Final Word: With less than a minute needed for brewing your coffee without any warm up time, the SS-10 is the perfect single serve coffee machine. It is fast, allows complete automation and self-cleans the brew chamber too. If you are looking for a coffee maker that will last you forever, then you’ve just found it.
#5 – Keurig K15 Coffee Maker
Keurig makes its debut in our list of the best single serve coffee makers with the K15, their most basic offering that still packs enough features to make it a great choice for home use. Like some of Keurig’s other models, there’s a whole range of color choices to pick from. There’s chilli red, black and white. The most stylish looking of them all is the white one. However, the black one is the most maintenance-friendly one.
It is also their most compact sized coffee maker that’s only 10.4 inches tall. This allows you to squeeze it into a corner of the counter making it ideal for dorm use too.
The tradeoff is that there’s no water reservoir. So, you’ll have to fill as much water as you’d like every time you brew. The minimum is 6 oz and the maximum is 12 oz. Using a K-Pod with the 6 oz brew size gives you the strongest cup of coffee while the 12 oz one will be milder.
Also, since the water is added every time, there’s a slight delay in the brew process and a single cup of coffee takes almost 3 minutes to brew.
The Keurig K-15 features a drip tray that catches any spillovers and keeps your counter clean. When using a large travel mug, the drip tray can be removed to accommodate it. A possible downside is that with the drip tray attached to the unit, it is so short that it can only accommodate a 6-8 oz cup.
The K15 retains Keurig’s signature design with rounded edges and a stainless steel colored PVC-free plastic casing. There’s a single backlit brew button in addition to a power on/off button on the front casing. Both buttons are large and easily visible.
It switches off after about 90 seconds of inactivity saving energy.
Now, there’s a lot of chatter in the online community about what K-Cups you can use with the Keurig K-15. We have used almost every K-Cup in the K15 without any problems whatsoever. That includes 2.0 as well as cheaper and biodegradable options like the San Francisco Bay.
Final Word: With a stylish design, great features and an endless number of flavor and brew choices, the K15 is a budget priced Keurig. It does have a few minor niggles but none of them are deal breakers.
#6 – Mr. Coffee K-Cup Brewing System with Reusable Grounds Filter
Mr. Coffee has been synonymous with single serve coffee makers in America for a while now. So, it would be imprudent to create a list of the best single serve coffee makers without one of their models.
So, here we have the SC100, one of the most versatile models from Mr. Coffee which features a K-Cup brewing system but is also compatible with coffee grounds.
The Mr. Coffee SC100 has a very sleek design that is approximately 13 inches tall but only 5.75 inches in width. This makes it the perfect size for under-counter use. It will not elbow out your other appliances or eat up into valuable counter space.
The casing is BPA-free plastic and is available in a dual black and silver tone with a stainless steel trim which looks stylish. There’s a single button on the top of the casing which activates the brew function. As always, Mr. Coffee keeps it minimalistic in the operation and even if you are half-sleepy, you can walk into the kitchen and easily brew your coffee without tinkering with too many settings.
It is compatible with a whole range of K-Cups. So, apart from your favorite coffee, you can also brew tea, hot chocolate or just use it to get hot water to add to your pasta or your museli. The SC100 also includes a reusable filter which lets you use your favorite ground coffee instead.
Since it does not contain a reservoir, the brew time for coffee is slightly higher than that of the machines with a reservoir. But that’s not really a deal breaker. Instead, most people are happy with the on-demand water heating on the SC100.
A single brew on the Mr. Coffee SC100 can be up to 10 oz or less. However, even with the drip tray attachment removed, the Mr. Coffee SC100 can only accommodate a 5 inch travel mug. Any taller and you may find it a tad difficult.
The SC100 is relatively easy to clean too. If you are using K-Cups, the pod drawer can be pulled out to discard the used pods without having to move the entire unit. Really makes maintenance easy.
Final Word: Irrespective of whether you are using K-Cups or ground coffee, the Mr. Coffee SC100 gives you much better value for money as compared to Keurig or Proctor. Also, it is priced just under $65.
#7 – Kitchen Selectives CM-688
With a futuristic design that resembles a space pod, the CM-688 from Kitchen Selectives will surely grab your attention even when it lies idle on the shelf in a supermarket. It is hands down, the best looking coffee maker in the market currently. But that’s not all. It is priced under $20 and also includes a 12 oz mug in the pack. How’s that for value?
Once you are done ogling over the design, you’d be surprised to know that the Kitchen Selectives CM-688 features a water reservoir too. It can accommodate up to 14 oz of water and there are dedicated markings at 8, 10, 12 and 14 oz levels.
Brewing is fast and it heats water to much higher temperatures than what most people expect it to. So much so, that it can scald you.
Do not open the lid right away after brewing. Once the unit is done brewing, let it cool off for a while before opening it. Also, it does not auto shut off. So, you’d have to keep that in mind.
Coming to the more important aspects, the coffee tastes delicious. In fact, if you were to do a blind taste comparison between coffee brewed using the CM-688 and some higher priced models, you’d find it almost impossible to pick between the two.
It includes a removable filter that lets you use ground coffee as well as K-Cups. You can just puncture the K-Cups and pour the contents into the filter as needed. This gives you unlimited flavor options.
A possible downside is the short cord which is only 27 inches. So, you will most likely need an extension to connect this to a power source.
Almost forgot to mention that all parts including the removable filter, the filter housing and the drip tray are dishwasher safe.
Final Word: If you are looking for a back up coffee maker for use in your RV or in your office without spending too much, go for the CM-688 from Kitchen Selectives. It does have a few minor niggles. But the pricing is unbeatable. And it brews a fine cup of joe! No complaints there.
#8 – Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker
Hamilton Beach is back in our list with one of the best coffee makers that we have ever reviewed. This is the 49980A that can brew a single cup of coffee as well as an entire 12-cup glass carafe on demand making it ideal for an extended household or an office. You can pick from a single cup, a travel mug or 12 cups of brew at a time.
The 49980A contains two reservoirs side by side. One holds up to 12 oz of water and can be used for the travel mug or an 8 oz cup of coffee. The other side holds enough water for up to 12 cups and there are measurements in increments of two cups. So, you can brew 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 cups as per your needs.
The casing is a dual tone one in black and stainless steel and there are four easy-access buttons in addition to a blue LCD display. The buttons let you program the timing for the brew, the auto shut off feature and alter the strength of the brew.
To choose between the carafe and a single cup, there’s an intuitively placed knob on the top. The single serve brew basket also doubles up as an attachment for a pod holder that lets you use soft pods with the coffee maker. However, it is not compatible with K-Cups.
The Hamilton Beach 499980A features a 2-hour automatic shutoff system which makes it perfect for automating your morning cup of joe without having to worry about revving up your power bills.
Final Word: Despite being packed to the brim with features, the Hamilton Beach 499980A is priced at just under $55 which is unbelievable. You would be hard pressed to find a better coffee maker at this price point.
#9 – Nespresso GCA1-US-BK-NE VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker
Nobody said that single serve coffee makers had to be about K-Cups and drip brews. If you have a penchant for a rich and oily espresso shot, then here’s the Vertuoline Coffee and Espresso Maker from Nespresso.
It looks identical to most other models from Nespresso and has a cylindrical design with an all-black plastic casing. As always, there’s just one single button to brew your coffee and no bells and whistles.
The GCA1 is the most basic model from Nespresso and features a 40 oz water reservoir which reduces the heat up time considerably. The used capsules are ejected into a container which is integrated into the unit and it can accommodate up to 20 used capsules at a time.
As the name suggests, this can brew a mean espresso shot as well as a conventional cup of coffee at the touch of a button. It is compatible with Nespresso VertuoLine capsules and you can use a smaller sized capsule for Espresso and a large sized one for normal coffee.
A possible downside is that it is not compatible with the original nespresso capsules.
The Nespresso GCA1 can brew one of the best espresso shots in the business. The preheating at the perfect temperature and pressure allows complete extraction of the coffee without scalding. It is flavorful, rich, oily and has a great crema. Club this with a frother and you can make great milk beverages too.
Final Word: The Nespresso GCA1 single serve coffee maker is sturdy, quiet and brews a great cup of coffee at the touch of a button. It lacks some of the bells and whistles of the other models in this list but more than makes up for it with a great tasting coffee.
#10 – BUNN MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Home Coffee Brewer
The final pick in the list of the best single serve coffee makers is a power packed one. This is the BUNN MCU that boasts of a barebones looking design but is packed with protean features that make it a great choice for any household.
MCU stands for My Café Use and this can very well be used in a commercial set up.
To top it off, it features two detachable brewing heads which can be removed like drawers and lets you brew everything from K-Cup pods, tea bags, tea pods, loose tea, green tea and ground coffee giving you a single solution for any hot beverage of your choice.
There’s a dedicated setting for dispensing hot water on demand.
The functionality is on par with the design. There’s just two buttons on the casing. One is for brew which brews a standard drink and the other is pulse which changes the extraction process into a slow one with multiple bursts which enhances the flavor greatly.
No matter what you brew, the drink quality is top notch. Coffee is flavorful and rich while tea is brewed at just the right temperature and extraction.
The only possible downside is that there are just two lights, one red and the other one green which blink for a variety of reasons. The green for example flashes if the unit needs water (no reservoir) and flash red and green alternatively if a drawer is not pushed all the way in. This may take some time for you to figure out.
Otherwise, the MCU is one of the top rated single serve coffee makers in the market currently.
Final Word: With the option to brew just about any hot beverage of your choice, the BUNN MCU is perfect for homes with varied requirements. It is compact, feature rich and extremely low on maintenance.
Buying the best single serve coffee maker
The very term ‘single serve coffee maker’ makes it appear like there’s hardly anything to consider while buying these machines. Like all of them are built alike and will churn out a cup of coffee no matter what one you choose.
That’s far from the truth.
As it would be apparent by now from the above list, single serve coffee makers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Not all of them can necessarily give you the kind of coffee you like. Here are a few factors that you must consider before picking one of these for yourself.
Water reservoir vs. adding water when needed
Some single serve units have a built-in water reservoir in varying capacities while others require you to add water every time you brew coffee or tea. The upside of having a water reservoir is that the brew time is reduced considerably since the water heats faster. However, some experts suggest that adding fresh water results in a better tasting brew. That’s subjective though and we wouldn’t give such claims much credence. Also, a unit without a reservoir is more compact and easier to store.
Most single serve coffee makers in the market are designed for one-touch access to your morning cup of coffee and will not allow you to alter the brew strength. If you prefer a stronger cup of java, then you’d want to pick a model that lets you choose between a regular and a stronger brew.
The term ‘Single serve coffee maker’ is a misnomer. There are units which can brew up to 12 cups at a time in this list. If you are looking for a unit for your office or you drink more than one cup in your household, then you will need one that lets you alter the brew volume. The normal sizes are 8 oz (standard sized cup) to 14 oz (travel mug)
Some coffee makers also let you brew tea, hot chocolate and hot water on demand. Depending on the intended use, you may want to consider a unit that is compatible with multiple beverages. Another important factor is the source of the coffee/tea that you will be using for the brew. The choices are ground coffee (most economical), K-Cups, Soft Pods, Tea Bags and loose leaf.
That’s it coffee aficionados. We hope that suffices to help you pick the best single serve coffee maker. If you wish to add to this or need more details about anything, feel free to give us a shot out. We will be glad to be of assistance. Adios!