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Best Single Serve Coffee Maker: My Top 5 Picks

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

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After all my years writing about coffee, I decided it was finally time to write a thorough guide to the best single serve coffee maker. One-cup brewers line the physical (and virtual) shelves of retailers and already have a home in millions of kitchens, but how do you know which models are worth it?

After all my years writing about coffee, I decided it was finally time to write a thorough guide to the best single serve coffee maker. One-cup brewers line the physical (and virtual) shelves of retailers and already have a home in millions of kitchens, but how do you know which models are worth it?

That’s where I come in. Single serve coffee makers have made appearances in several of my articles, including my guide to the best drip coffee maker, but I figured they deserved their very own guide.

For the record, I’m only going to discuss single serve brewers that don’t require single-use coffee pods. I don’t like coffee pods for many reasons. For example, they are expensive, taste bad and are terrible for our planet. So, let’s leave them in the past, shall we? After all, there are so many coffee makers that offer pod-free brewing. Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites.

Best Single Serve Coffee Makers at a Glance

Here’s a sneak peek at the best single serve coffee makers I’ll be discussing today.

1Product List Image

Superb build quality

SCA certified brewer

Easy to use

2Product List Image
Best With Grinder

DeLonghi TrueBrew

Built-in grinder

Multiple brew styles

Fully automatic

3Product List Image

Very inexpensive

Easy to use

Compact footprint

4Product List Image

Multiple brew styles

Great value

Single cup or carafe

5Product List Image

Built-in grinder

Compact design

Large water tank

Why Buy a Single Serve Coffee Maker?

At this point, single serve coffee makers hardly need an introduction; they’ve been all the rage for decades now. That said, it’s still worth going over their widespread appeal.

I’ll start with the obvious pros: convenience and speed. These coffee makers get so much attention because they tend to be much faster than traditional drip coffee machines.

I mean, you just grind coffee into your brew basket or reusable k-cup filter, pop it into the machine and press the brew button. Bam, that’s it. A minute or so later, you’ll have a steaming cup of joe ready to be whisked out the door. We’re all about convenience nowadays, and single serve coffee machines are here to deliver.

Even if you’re not the type to drink coffee on the go, a single serve coffee maker could still be a good choice. As a whole, they tend to be remarkably easy to use. Even better, it’s a good way to cut down on coffee waste if you’re only brewing for one person.

DeLonghi Truebrew Filling With Coffee Beans

Alternatively, a pour over dripper is a great one-cup brewer if you’re open to investing some time and skill-building into the process.

Even in multi-person households, single serve coffee makers offer an easy option for a quick afternoon cup if you don’t want to drink the hours-old dregs from a carafe. They’re also great options if you aren’t a coffee drinker yourself but still want to offer coffee to guests.

Finally, single serve coffee makers can be useful outside of the home, too. I’ve seen plenty of one-cup brewers in barbershops, veterinary office waiting rooms, auto shop lobbies and other businesses where customers tend to wait around for a service. I always think that’s a nice touch!

Choosing the Best Single Serve Coffee Maker: What to Consider

Okay, now that we’ve covered why single serve coffee machines can be great, it’s time to get down to business. How do you know which model is the best single serve coffee maker for your needs?

As with any home appliance, there’s a lot to consider when making your choice. Let’s go over a few factors.

Your Budget

Again, I’ll start with the obvious. I’d bet that most of you don’t have piles of money to spend on new coffee gadgets, so it’s important to find a model that fits your budget. And I’ll be honest, you’re looking at a huge price range here.

I mean, in this guide alone my top pick costs over 10 times as much as my budget pick! But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the most expensive pick is the best single serve coffee maker for everyone.

While a higher price tag often correlates with better cup quality, a more durable build and additional special features, these features aren’t important to everyone. 

On the other hand, a higher price tag may simply be connected to more automatic features, which not every coffee drinker needs or wants.

All this is to say that I encourage you to keep your maximum budget in mind as you peruse my picks for the best single serve coffee maker. At the same time, don’t be fooled by the common marketing ploy that a more expensive machine is necessarily a better one.

Size and Design

Needless to say, your drip coffee maker is likely one of the most important appliances in your kitchen – but it’s not the only gadget you’ll need to tetris onto your kitchen counter. Especially if you live in a small apartment with limited counter space, you’ll want to break out your tape measure and see how much real estate you can spare for a new coffee maker.

Fortunately, most of the picks on my list are quite compact, though I have included one that’s a bit of a tank. What’s more, if you have overhanging cabinets or mobility difficulties, it’d be a good idea to take note of where the water reservoir is located and whether it’s removable.

Plus, I’d recommend evaluating a machine’s build quality and construction materials to make sure the thing will be able to serve you for years to come. In general, coffee makers with loads of plastic are going to be less durable than models with stainless steel parts.

Finally, and most importantly: does the machine fit your vibe? Are you gonna want to look at it and use it everyday? I mean, everyone knows that coffee tastes better when it comes out of a gorgeous machine, right?

Serving Size

Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CM401 Iced Coffee With Milk

Just because you’re buying a one-cup brewer doesn’t mean you have to compromise when it comes to serving size! Most of my picks offer more than one serving size and a few of them give you several choices.

In fact, you can even get a single cup brewer that doubles as a classic coffee maker – filter basket, carafe and all. If you’ve been concerned that a single serve brewer would be too limiting for your needs, look out for my more versatile picks.

While I’m on the subject, I should mention that coffee makers with quick brew times and large water reservoirs are also more crowd-friendly, allowing you to brew a few cups back-to-back.

Ease of Use

You likely don’t need to worry about this factor too much. After all, single serve brewers are almost by nature very easy to use. That said, design elements and special features could affect how easy it is for you to use a given machine, depending on your experience level and tech savviness.

For example a coffee maker that offers too much drink customization could be overwhelming to those who want a more streamlined brewing experience. Similarly, some users may prefer an interface composed of buttons over a touch screen control panel.

At the same time, some single serve coffee makers are fully automatic, so you don’t have to deal with dosing coffee grounds for each brew. Meanwhile, other brewers require a wee bit more effort on your part.

Special Features

Beyond the factors I listed above, some coffee makers have bonus features that make them extra appealing. Keep an eye out for these special features:

  • Built in grinder

  • Specialty brew styles

  • Bloom and other quality-forward design features

  • Milk frother

  • Pod compatibility

The 5 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers

Without further ado, let’s explore my top five picks for the best single serve coffee maker!

Technivorm Moccamaster Cup One: Best Overall

Moccamaster Cup One Main

PROS

  • Trusted brand
  • Superb cup quality
  • Automatic bloom
  • Reliable brew temperature

CONS

  • Small water reservoir
  • Quite expensive

Dare I say that the Technivorm Moccamaster Cup One is one of the few single cup coffee makers that actually prioritizes coffee quality?

Hear me out – this isn’t a diss on other brewers. After all, convenience and speed are practically the name of the game when it comes to single serve coffee machines. However, what makes the Moccamaster Cup One unique is its emphasis on a high quality cup, speed be damned.

The Cup One can brew one 10-ounce (330-milliliter) cup in four minutes, which is fast for drip coffee makers but quite slow for a single cup brewer. Plus, the fact that it can only brew one serving size could be a big con for some buyers.

But let’s look at the Moccamaster Cup One’s cup quality, which is its biggest selling point. Really, it’s the only reason I’d consider it to be worth its hefty $249.00 price tag.

The Cup One has an automatic quasi-bloom setting, which ensures a well-extracted cup every time. Add to this a reliable brewing temperature and the time-tested Technivorm design and you can bet your bottom dollar that your coffee will taste just delicious.

Still, the small water reservoir, relatively slow brew time and the necessity to buy a unique filter size could very well be deal breakers for some potential buyers. I mean, you might as well pay a fraction of the price and get a manual coffee maker like the Hario V60 or Aeropress instead.

See Also: Moccamaster Cup One Review

DeLonghi TrueBrew: Best With Grinder

DeLonghi Truebrew Coffee Preparation

PROS

  • Fully automatic with grinder
  • Beautiful design
  • Impressive cup quality
  • Several brew styles

CONS

  • Quite expensive
  • Must pay more for a carafe
  • No milk frother

The DeLonghi TrueBrew is quite a unique brewer, in that it carries some elements from super automatic espresso machines into the coffee maker market. Namely, this thing is fully automatic – just put your mug underneath the coffee spout and press a button! The TrueBrew will handle it all.

Really, this DeLonghi brewer is quite cool. It’s got a built-in grinder, internal brew unit and one touch controls. Plus, DeLonghi’s Bean Extract Technology controls the grinding dose, brew temperature and brew recipe, resulting in consistently tasty cups.

What’s more, the TrueBrew offers several brew sizes and styles. These include an iced coffee option (ice not included) and an espresso setting, both of which have impressive results!

Naturally, you’re paying for all of these special features: an eye-watering $459.99. At that price point, you’d expect even more bonus features, like a milk frother and an option to brew a whole pot.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. That said, DeLonghi does sell a TrueBrew model with a carafe, though you’ll have to shell out even more for the privilege.

Yet another downside is that the TrueBrew is pretty bulky and may not fit well in smaller kitchens. On the other hand, this machine really is a beauty and produces some stellar coffee. Could that be enough to make up for its flaws?

See Also: DeLonghi TrueBrew Review

Hamilton Beach Scoop: Best Budget

Hamilton Beach Scoop Cup on Platform

PROS

  • Very affordable
  • Stylish and modern
  • Reusable stainless steel mesh filter
  • Compact

CONS

  • Limited cup sizes
  • Can’t remove reservoir for cleaning
  • No grinder

On the other side of the spectrum, we’ve got the trusty Hamilton Beach Scoop. This is a budget coffee maker, costing only $44.85.

With this price tag, I can hardly make any complaints. After all, the cup quality is pretty decent and it’s got two serving sizes. That’s about all you can expect from a budget coffee maker, and the Hamilton Beach Scoop delivers.

It’s even got a couple bonus features: a reusable stainless steel mesh filter and an adjustable multilevel cup rest, which is basically a booster seat for smaller cups.

What’s more, this brewer is surprisingly stylish for being so inexpensive. Maybe this is my bias, but I expect budget coffee makers to look kinda cheap and flimsy. Fortunately, this one doesn’t!

My only real criticism of this brewer is that you can’t remove the water reservoir to clean it, but this really isn’t too bad. Besides, regularly cleaning and descaling it with a vinegar solution should help with any potential mold issues.

See Also: Hamilton Beach Scoop Review

Ninja CM401

ninja coffee maker tips

PROS

  • Versatile brew sizes, including a full carafe
  • Included milk frother
  • 4 specialized brew styles
  • Warming plate

CONS

  • No grinder
  • Frother doesn’t heat the milk

I’m a pretty big fan of Ninja coffee makers. They tend to be reliable and innovative midrange brewers, with a handful of advanced features and relatively inexpensive asking prices. As it happens, the Ninja CM401 Specialty Coffee Maker (CURRENT PRIME DAY DEAL! ONLY 119.99 $ INSTEAD OF 169.95 $) is no different.

First things first: The CM401 is stylish and easy to use, bringing a retro diner vibe to your kitchen counter. At the same time, it offers a good bit of brew customization, including six different cup sizes.

Most importantly, you can brew anything from a small single cup to a full carafe with this baby. In other words, you’re essentially getting a 2-for-1 deal with the CM401’s $159.99 asking price. Not bad, eh?

Even better, the Ninja CM401 offers four different brew styles. You want iced coffee? Hot coffee? An espresso-adjacent beverage? The Ninja brewer is on it.

The Ninja brewer even has a foldaway milk frother, which is a pretty neat add-on. That said, you’ll still need to heat the milk yourself – the frother isn’t a steam wand. Plus, the CM401 lacks a burr grinder, so you’ll need one of those too.

Still, as long as you’re okay with putting in a bit of effort on your side of things, you’ll get some pretty great coffee out of this versatile brewer.

See Also: Ninja CM401 Review

Cuisinart Grind and Brew Single Serve

Cuisinart Grind and Brew Main

PROS

  • Built-in conical burr grinder
  • Compact and pleasing design
  • Easy to use
  • Large water reservoir

CONS

  • Jury’s out on the cup quality
  • Grinder can be messy
  • Mostly plastic

The name says it all: the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Single Serve is a single serve brewer with a built-in conical burr grinder. Even better, at $118.99 it’s about a quarter of the price of my other pick with a grinder, the DeLonghi TrueBrew. Need I say more?

Okay, I guess that’s why I’m here; I’ll say a bit more.

As it happens, this Cuisinart brewer comes with a reusable filter cup that fits underneath the grinds chute, making it super easy to grind your coffee beans fresh. I’ll admit that the grinder can be a bit messy, but I’d say that’s worth the trade-off of freshly ground beans. Seriously, take a whiff of those coffee grounds and try not to smile!

What’s more, the user interface is remarkably simple, consisting of just a handful of buttons. Incidentally, three of these buttons are for choosing your serving size: 8, 10 or 12 ounces (230, 295 or 355 milliliters).

Plus, the Cuisinart Grind and Brew has a removable drip tray, so even tall travel mugs can fit below the coffee spout. Even better, a water level indicator will light up red when it’s time to refill the large water reservoir.

Basically, I’m telling you that Cuisinart really thought about convenience and the user experience when they designed this brewer, and it shows.

See Also: Cuisinart Grind and Brew Single Serve Review

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker Comparison Chart

Technivorm Moccamaster Cup OneDeLonghi TrueBrew Coffee MakerHamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee MakerNinja CM401Cuisinart Grind and Brew single Serve Coffee Maker
Manufacturer

Technivorm Moccamaster

De’Longhi

Hamilton Beach

Ninja

Cuisinart

Model number

69212

CAM51025MB

49981A

CM401

DGB-2

Product category

Drip coffee maker

Grind and brew coffee maker

Drip coffee maker

Drip coffee maker

Grind and brew coffee maker

Housing material

Stainless steel

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Stainless steel with plastic parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Plastic

Color options

Off-White, Polished Silver

Black

Silver

Black

Black, Stainless Steel, White

Carafe

None

None

None

Glass

None

Keep warm function

No

No

No

Yes

No

Milk frother

User interface

Buttons and dials

Touch screen with buttons

Buttons and dials

Text display with buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

10.1 fl oz / 0.3 l

60.9 fl oz / 1.8 l

16.9 fl oz / 0.5 l

40.6 fl oz / 1.2 l

50.7 fl oz / 1.5 l

Brew capacity

10 fl oz / 296 ml

24 fl oz / 710 ml

14 fl oz / 414 ml

50 fl oz / 1479 ml

12 fl oz / 355 ml

Single cup function

Reusable coffee filter

Coffee pod compatible

Brew styles

1

5

1

4

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Coffee strength adjustment levels

Hot water function

Water filter

Power consumption

1200 W

1500 W

1300 W

1550 W

120 W

Weight

4.0 lb / 1.8 kg

18.9 lb / 8.6 kg

5.1 lb / 2.3 kg

9.2 lb / 4.2 kg

8.0 lb / 3.6 kg

Dimensions

12.0 x 10.5 x 6.5 in
30.5 x 26.7 x 16.5 cm

16.0 x 15.5 x 12.0 in
40.6 x 39.4 x 30.5 cm

8.7 x 8.4 x 6.7 in
22.1 x 21.3 x 17.0 cm

15.0 x 8.8 x 12.0 in
38.1 x 22.4 x 30.5 cm

15.0 x 9.0 x 13.0 in
38.1 x 22.9 x 33.0 cm

Warranty

5 years

3 years

5 years

1 year

3 years

SCA certified home brewer

Notes

Included Accessories: User manual, coffee filters, coffee scoop

Included Accessories: User manual, Coffee scoop

Included Accessories: User manual.

Included Accessories: Recipe inspiration and quick start guide, Fold-away frother, Ninja Smart Scoop.

Included Accessories: User manual, coffee scoop/brush, capsule holder, reusable filter cup, water filter

Current price on Amazon

$249.00

$459.99

$44.85

$159.99

$118.99

Technivorm Moccamaster Cup OneDeLonghi TrueBrew Coffee MakerHamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee MakerNinja CM401Cuisinart Grind and Brew single Serve Coffee Maker
Manufacturer

Technivorm Moccamaster

De’Longhi

Hamilton Beach

Ninja

Cuisinart

Model number

69212

CAM51025MB

49981A

CM401

DGB-2

Product category

Drip coffee maker

Grind and brew coffee maker

Drip coffee maker

Drip coffee maker

Grind and brew coffee maker

Housing material

Stainless steel

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Stainless steel with plastic parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Plastic

Color options

Off-White, Polished Silver

Black

Silver

Black

Black, Stainless Steel, White

Carafe

None

None

None

Glass

None

Keep warm function

No

No

No

Yes

No

Milk frother

User interface

Buttons and dials

Touch screen with buttons

Buttons and dials

Text display with buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

10.1 fl oz / 0.3 l

60.9 fl oz / 1.8 l

16.9 fl oz / 0.5 l

40.6 fl oz / 1.2 l

50.7 fl oz / 1.5 l

Brew capacity

10 fl oz / 296 ml

24 fl oz / 710 ml

14 fl oz / 414 ml

50 fl oz / 1479 ml

12 fl oz / 355 ml

Single cup function

Reusable coffee filter

Coffee pod compatible

Brew styles

1

5

1

4

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Coffee strength adjustment levels

Hot water function

Water filter

Power consumption

1200 W

1500 W

1300 W

1550 W

120 W

Weight

4.0 lb / 1.8 kg

18.9 lb / 8.6 kg

5.1 lb / 2.3 kg

9.2 lb / 4.2 kg

8.0 lb / 3.6 kg

Dimensions

12.0 x 10.5 x 6.5 in
30.5 x 26.7 x 16.5 cm

16.0 x 15.5 x 12.0 in
40.6 x 39.4 x 30.5 cm

8.7 x 8.4 x 6.7 in
22.1 x 21.3 x 17.0 cm

15.0 x 8.8 x 12.0 in
38.1 x 22.4 x 30.5 cm

15.0 x 9.0 x 13.0 in
38.1 x 22.9 x 33.0 cm

Warranty

5 years

3 years

5 years

1 year

3 years

SCA certified home brewer

Notes

Included Accessories: User manual, coffee filters, coffee scoop

Included Accessories: User manual, Coffee scoop

Included Accessories: User manual.

Included Accessories: Recipe inspiration and quick start guide, Fold-away frother, Ninja Smart Scoop.

Included Accessories: User manual, coffee scoop/brush, capsule holder, reusable filter cup, water filter

Current price on Amazon

$249.00

$459.99

$44.85

$159.99

$118.99

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve found my buying guide to the best single serve coffee maker useful in your journey to making good coffee at home. After all, I really can’t overstate just how overwhelming the market can be. In fact, a quick Amazon search turns up over 4,000 products to parse through, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s an undercount.

So, you can trust that my top picks will serve you well. If you have any trouble deciding, reach out in the comments section below!

I’m sure you noticed that I didn’t mention any Keurig coffee makers in this guide. What can I say? I’m just not a fan of single use coffee pods.

That said, Keurig does make a pretty good milk frother. Maybe they can focus on that product line instead of building machines that encourage mindless waste. How’s that for a business plan?

What’s the best single serve coffee maker in your opinion? Tell me all about it in the comments section!

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker FAQ

I’m not sure that there is a single most popular coffee maker, but popular brands that come to mind include Keurig and Nespresso. That said, my personal favorite on this list is the Technivorm Moccamaster Cup-One.

“Better” is subjective, but the options I’ve given you today are all great alternatives to Keurig machines!

There are lots of factors to consider, including a coffee maker’s price tag, cup sizes, brew styles and whether it has extra features like a grinder or milk frother. Ultimately, whichever coffee maker fits your needs the best is the best choice for you.

Your coffee expert
Team Image
Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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