There is numerous way to kickstart one’s day. But there’s no denying the lure and appeal of having a cup of coffee in the morning. Coffee making has undergone drastic changes over the years. These days, It’s a lot easier for one to make a cup of coffee without grinding and brewing the beans themselves.
This is possible with a pod coffee machine; it speeds up the coffee-making process, and you won’t have to suffer a low-quality coffee taste. Further, the devices require little maintenance, and the brewing process is mess-free. Several companies manufacture pod coffee makers in different designs, prices, and sizes. Read further to know the best pod coffee machines in today’s market.
Our Top Picks
Below is a summary of the top picks from our JanusCoffee.com team. To help you understand where each pick ranked, we have included “badges” next to each pick’s key findings. “Best Overall” is a combination of price and value. “Best Budget” is great for coffee lovers who want a top-quality product but are on a tighter budget. “High End” is for coffee lovers who just want the best, and price is no object.
The Top Pod Coffee Machines
Here’s a detailed look at each of the product:
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio 2-Way Coffee Maker
You can remove the carafe while the coffee is still brewing,
It’s versatile and efficient
The 19 bar helps produce a rich espresso crema
There is no option to schedule a single-serve brewing cycle.
The machine is only able to brew on one side at a time,
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew is efficient, and you can operate it efficiently. It’s a 2-way pod machine that can brew pods, grounds, and espresso capsules. Furthermore, the device can brew a good quality coffee in under one minute without you refilling the water. It has a large 56 oz removable water reservoir, saving you time.
You can brew up to 5 oz of espresso using an espresso capsule and 14 oz if you’re brewing with a pod coffee. On another note, it has a powerful 19-bar espresso pump that provides a brilliant crema and two flavor strengths.
You can use the water window on each reservoir to monitor the water tank. This way, you do not have to open the top of the coffee machine to gauge the water level. You can use the storage compartment inside the single-serve drip tray stand underneath the drip tray for storing pods and k-cups for easy assessment. Additionally, reprime the brewer when you run out of water, but ensure the grounds basket and K-Cup pods are not in the machine.
AdirChef Mini Travel Single-Serve Coffee Maker
It has a permanent filter
It helps one be eco-friendly with its inclusive tapered vehicle holder mugs.
Designed to be easily transported
It’s a coffee infuser
It does not work with k-cups
AdirChef Mini Travel Single Serve Coffee Makers spoils one for choices with its design. The brand has seven different colors design, which is miles distant from the usual black, stainless, and white color coffee devices most brand offer. It’s eco-friendly and has a permanent filter, which helps you save money.
You do not have to buy paper filters anymore, and the mug has insulation, which prevents your drink from getting cold quickly. Furthermore, it has a universal design that allows it to fit easily into most cup holders and drink vessels. The mug has a comfort grip band, and the machine comes with everything you need to help its functionality.
Suppose you are always in a hurry in the morning and like having coffee while running errands; it’s an ideal machine for you. The machine brews into 15-ounce stainless steel, allowing it to shut off once the cup is full automatically. It saves power this way, and all you have to do is plug in the machine and brew a cup of coffee whenever you want.
Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro System 12-Cup Coffee Maker
It has nine grounds brew sizes for different coffee preferences
Four coffee brew styles for traditional and different coffee styles feel
It has a built-in fold-away frother and a ninja scoop
You can position the water reservoir in multi-position
Not compatible with finely ground coffee
The Ninja coffee series are excellent coffee brewers, and the Ninja DualBrew Pro is no exception. It’s versatile and built to last. You can make anything from milky coffee to iced tea, and its features include a “keep warm button” that keeps your coffee fresh for up to two hours. This is perfect if you’re someone that takes a cup of coffee now and then.
You can choose from rich to classic espresso, over ice and special brew, and the pod coffee machine will comfortably deliver. It makes things interesting because you can have any coffee whenever you crave it. But note the espresso extract varies, depending on the device’s grind size.
If the grind is coarse or you tamp the grounds insufficiently, it can lead to inadequate pressure brew. It wouldn’t make for a good coffee, so ensure you reprogramme the machine when you adjust the size and amount. If you wish to have a lovely coffee grounds and pods flavor, the device has thermal flavor extraction, which does the trick.
You get good value for your money
It offers multiple brew sizes
You can use the filter with the Keurig My K-cup machine
Its strength control is drip and single serve
Some customers have reported problems with the carafe leaking
It doesn’t come with a water filter kit
Keurig K-Duo Coffee machine stands out for many reasons. For one, the pod machine heats and brews smartly, and you do not have to wait for the machine to heat up before you start brewing your coffee. Also, it has a heating plate on the left side of the device to keep your coffee hot.
That aside, you can preset coffee lengths 24 hours in advance. You can set the timer, go about your business, and have your coffee waiting when you check in at the appointed time. In addition, if you’re in a hurry and want to have coffee, the machine allows you to pause mid-brew for 20 seconds.
You can quickly pour a cup from the carafe before resuming brewing. The machine offers options for strong and intense pod coffee brews and different brew sizes. You can brew 6, 8, 10, and 12 cups carafe and 6, 8, 10, and 12-ounce cups. And if you’re considering traveling with the machine, the unit can accommodate a travel mug that is 7 inches tall.
Coffee Maker by Cuisinart, Single Serve 72-Ounce Reservoir Coffee Machine
72 oz removable water reservoir
Programmable LCD interface with adjustable temperature control
The machine has an automatic on-and-off switch
Reusable Filter Cup for ground coffee or tea
3-year limited warranty
Brewing results in some splattering on the device and counter
The water reservoir does not have a light, so it is difficult to see when it is empty
The machine allows 72 fluid ounces, and you can remove the water reservoir with the drip tray. Coffee makers like this one will compete fiercely with other brands. It comes with a home barista reusable filter cup for tea and ground coffee, making for a better-tasting coffee. Another beautiful thing about the coffee machine is the backlight LCD.
It gives the machine an analogical look, which most people might enjoy. The display features auto on and off switch, and you can adjust the temperature control to suit your purpose. Cleaning the inside of the brew chamber also becomes a lot easier. The machine has an auto rinse feature which guarantees instant cleaning.
From the LCD settings, you can set five different brew sizes from 4-12 oz and modify the default settings with each cup you brew. Furthermore, the machine has a hot water button that will enable you to make instant hot cocoa, oatmeal, tea, or soup, and it saves you the time of seeking other alternatives to get hot water.
Mueller Ultimate Single-Serve Coffee Maker
Affordable coffee pod maker
Easy to clean and maintain
It shuts down automatically
Works with all single coffee cups
Portable due to its compact size
There is no capacity for more than two people
Features are not programmable
Mueller Ultimate Single Serve Coffee Maker is a compact design, and it’s fast and easy to use. It takes three minutes to brew a perfect cup of coffee. Compared to most of their earlier designs, you can fit it into tight spaces and it won’t clutter your counter space. Also, it’s lightweight, weighing approximately 4 pounds, and made from plastic.
Although the material is plastic, the machine has a sturdy construction, making it one of the best in the market. Further, It has a 10 oz water tank that supports standard-sized and larger coffee cups. The machine has a shut-off feature that enables it to turn off without aid after completing a brewing cycle.
The feature keeps the machine from overheating, which might be disastrous if you’re not paying attention. That notwithstanding, the Mueller Ultima single-serve pod is very easy to use. Open the machine’s top, put in your preferred coffee pod, and add water. And start brewing.
Proctor-Silex Single-Serve Coffee Maker
It can accommodate tall travel mugs that can hold 10 oz or more.
It’s perfect for small kitchens and dorms
You can use the machine with any k park
It has a removable brew basket
It does not include mugs
Proctor-Silex Single-Serve pod coffee Machine has an adaptable design that accommodates any single-serve K-Cup pack. If you’re a steady pod user or have a favorite ground coffee, you can use the machine to make either. The device works with other pod brands and has a removable brew basket for ground coffee.
This coffee machine has a 40-ounce water reservoir that can make four 10-oz brews without refilling.Furthermore, the device lets you use your favorite ground coffee to save even more money. It comes with a simple one-button operator that illuminates the coffee brews.
It’s an excellent feature that lets you know when the machine is operating. The illumination and the device will shut down automatically once the brewing cycle is complete. This way, if you lose track of time while brewing, you won’t have to worry about things getting out of hand.
Proctor-Silex Single-Serve Coffee Machine has a stainless accent and splash plate. The machine has an adjustable cup rest, which allows it to brew into different cup sizes. In addition, coffee machines splash coffee when brewing into shorter cups, and the device reduces those splashes effectively.
Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine
It has a different pod system that uses a barcode to ensure you’re using Nespresso capsules
Designed for flexibility to brew espresso shots
it heats up fast at 15 seconds.
It’s an innovative coffee machine
Nespresso Vertuo has a solid internal construction, so it will not break down easily
The Nespresso Vertuo capsule complimentary starter set may come different than what’s displayed in pictures
It locks out cheaper third-party capsules
The Nespresso VertuoPlus pod coffee machine is a bit pricey compared to the abovementioned brands. But, the quality of the product is evident in the silky smooth, tasty coffee it produces, which is worth the price. The brand designed it to brew five types of capsules for coffees from 0.3 to 17 oz.
The model is flexible and uses rapid capsules spinning to generate pressure. It uses capsule scanning technology to scan and determine the eligibility of the capsule you insert. The brand’s Nespresso machines do not accept third-party capsules. If the capsule does not align with its features, it locks it out.
That notwithstanding, they have various Nespresso capsules sizes for espresso, coffee, double espresso, etc. when the Nespresso machine starts brewing, it punctures a series of holes around the edge of espresso pods, allowing it to achieve balance when dispersing water. Further, it aids the spinner in producing a rich crema that alleviates the coffee texture.
The Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee machine has a large water tank and a capsule container that counts up to 17 used capsules. It has several other features like the automatic shutoff fat nine minutes of inactivity for energy saving. Also, it comes with a complimentary starter set of Nespresso Vertuo capsules.
Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker
Brewer maintenance reminders
It has brew strength and brews temp settings
High Altitude Setting
A light indicator for when the water in the reservoir is low
It brews quietly
It does not have froth milk
The Keurig K-Elite has a sleek modern brushed metal exterior look and performs with an exactness that showcases the brand’s dedication. In addition, it incorporates many familiar features like hot water on demand and cup sizes 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 oz. It also includes a strong brew button to increase the coffee’s flavor.
Keurig introduced most of these features with their earlier pod coffee machine but went all out with Keurig K-Elite. It has a 75 oz water reservoir and uses K-Cup pods to brew coffee, tea, and hot cocoa. It’s a bit pricy and does not have froth milk. But the design has an inclusive clock, considering the brand machines usually are screenless.
The K-Elite comes with a branded filter handle and water filter, and you can easily filter the water in the reservoir using it. Furthermore, the control panel has buttons for iced coffee, brew temp, brew Strength, and brew Size. It takes less than two minutes for the machine to heat up, and you can insert a K-Cup into the pod compartment while it heats.
What To Check Before Buying Pod Coffee Makers
It’s good to check the guidelines before purchasing a pod coffee machine. It gives you a good knowledge of the product’s capabilities, and you will know if its functionalities align with your desires. The same applies to pod coffee makers. Numerous pod coffee machine companies have different features, designs, and sizes.
Most of these brands have weak products that easily fall apart. The exterior will look sleek and shiny with the correct interface, but the reality begs to differ. So, if you do not do the required due diligence, you will end up disappointed by the product. Here are a few things to consider when seeking a pod coffee machine.
Companies try to outdo themselves by creating pod coffee makers that will be unique t their brand and satisfy their customers. As such, there are usually new products from major brands promising new designs that will excite you to wake up and make coffee in the morning, like LCDs. So, before purchasing a pod coffee machine, check for the product’s versatility, and there’s a product with features for every occasion.
Capacity and Cup Sizes
Ensure to check the capacity and size of the pod coffee machine before placing an order. You need to know if it will fit into your kitchen cabinet, counter space, dorm room, office, etc., and check the coffee maker’s ability to fit cup sizes. Further, there are coffee makers whose cup designs are too small for travel mugs, which puts a downer on situations for you if that’s your purpose for purchasing the machine.
As much as we like drinking coffee, there’s something to be said about being woken up in the morning by loud grinding noises from coffee machines. It’s not a welcome development for most people that are light sleepers. So, read reviews to determine if the pod coffee machine is noisy before purchasing.
Most brands making affordable pod coffee makers use lesser-quality accessories. As such, the brew speed might be compromised, which would slow time down for you if you need a machine that will make coffee in a heartbeat. Brew speeds differ from brand to brand. So check the speed rate for brands before deciding on their product.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much maintenance do single-serve coffee makers need?
Descale your pod coffee makers once every three months to maintain the internal system efficiently. Some brands indicate on the manual that you should descale with vinegar; others advise using a commercial descaler.
Either way, consult the device manual to see what the brand recommends. Additionally, pod coffee machines have different brewing and cleaning methods. But in most cases, some pod coffee machines have indicators that alert you to when to descale.
Do coffee pods expire?
Yes, coffee pods lose their freshness as time goes by. But it takes somewhere around eight months to a year before that happens. Additionally, some brands of coffee pods have a best-by date which helps consumers know how long they have before the pod coffee loses value. But pod coffee remains safe to drink long after its best-by dates.
Can coffee pods be recycled?
Some companies created an easier way to recycle capsules to tackle the waste issue associated with pod coffee machines. Lavazza now favors compostable capsules, discarding their capsule shells. Nespresso, on the other hand, runs a recycling service for espresso machine pod waste.
Fill the supply bag attached to the packaging with your used pods and send it to the company by post, or you can drop it at the nearest Nespresso bar for disposal. Also, the recycling bag can hold up to 100 VertuoLine capsules or 200 OriginalLine capsules. Keurig, on the other hand, produces K-Cups with recyclable polypropylene.
You do not have to visit any local coffee shop to have a decent cup of coffee, iced coffee, latte macchiato, hot chocolate, or double espresso. Companies have made it easier to access a tasty brew from the comfort of your home using drip coffee makers. Furthermore, most pod machines can make anything from half a dozen cups of hot coffee to single or double espresso using K-Cup. If you’re seeking the best pod coffee machines, you will do well to choose from the options above. There are excellent pod machines that will brew aromatic coffee, hot chocolate, and easy-serving espresso in a heartbeat.