best single serve coffee maker

How To Purchase The Best Single Serve Coffee Maker Of 2018

If you want a quick cup of coffee, a single serve coffee maker is what you want. They are some of the most efficient coffee machines around, and they can make coffee out of pods without leaving any mess. Here are the benefits of single cup coffee machine you can get.


What Differentiates Single Serve Coffee Makers Rom Normal Coffee Makers?

single serve coffee maker

Well, there are a lot of differences between single serve coffee makers and regular coffee makers – even ones that have a single serve option in them.

For starters, they are less messy than traditional coffee machines. This is what makes them ideal for an office setting where no one wants to deal with clean-up just because they want a drink during a coffee break.

The other major difference is that you can always have fresh coffee with one of these machines. You don’t have to make too much and waste it because it got stale. The convenience that a single serve coffee machine provides can’t be overstated, and it saves you money by wasting less coffee.

They are also easy to use, and you can get a quick cup of coffee with just the press of a button. Cleaning them is a breeze and setting them up takes next to no time at all. Anyone can use them without even thinking.

Overall, they offer a lot of different benefits, and we’ll go into the details of them in the next section.

Benefits Of Using A Single Serve Maker?

As we mentioned, using single serve coffee makers provides a lot of different benefits that can’t be overstated. We can’t list them all since there are so many, but here are some of the most important ones.

Benefits Of Using A Single Serve Maker

No Waste

With a single serve coffee maker, you never need to make more coffee than you can drink. In the case of most other coffee machines, you need to make a whole pot when you just want a cup, and you might end up wasting most of that pot.

Well, that’s not a problem with a single serve machine! Just make one cup, drink it, and that’s it. You waste far less coffee this way and save a lot of money.

It’s Convenient

One press of a button is what it takes to get a fresh cup of coffee out of a single serve machine. You don’t get such convenience with other types of coffee machines out there, and it’s one of the best benefits that a single serve coffee maker provides. Even a child can use it – not that it should, but you get the point.

Much Easier To Disassemble & Clean

Single serve coffee machines simply produce less mess than most other coffee makers and contain fewer components. This makes them easy to disassemble and clean out, so the process takes far less time. You don’t have to empty and wet filters or deal with a stained pot that just won’t get clean – all the coffee is brewed directly into the cup.

It’s also easy to manage and refill them at your leisure.

If you do have trouble cleaning them, here is a useful method to deal with that.

Single Serve Coffee Makers Are Highly Versatile

Even though these machines are called coffee makers, they can do much more. A machine like this can be incredibly useful for a house party situation or preparing breakfast for your family. With a single serve coffee maker, you can easily brew a cup of hot chocolate or chocolate milk. They can also make a wide variety of coffee blends, including decaf.

Overall, they offer a lot of different uses, and you probably won’t go a day without using your single serve coffee maker. 

Consistent Results, Maneuverability

Single serve coffee makers are much smaller than regular coffee machines, making them more portable. You can take one with you to work and leave it there or take one on a vacation to have fresh, cheap coffee available at all times. With a regular coffee machine, you wouldn’t be able to do that.

They are also far more consistent in making the type of coffee you want them to make than regular coffee makers. With a single serve machine, you always get exactly what you asked for.

Picking The Right Single Serve Coffee Machine

Even though single serve coffee makers are more simple than regular old coffee machines, they are still complex, and there’s a lot you need to consider before purchasing one. For some people, it can all be a bit daunting, but we are here to help – here are some things you should think about before making your purchase.

Category & Trademark


When we talk about the benefits of single serve coffee makers, we are talking in general terms. There are a lot of different brands, and types of single serve coffee machines out there and you ought to think about that before purchasing.

Some of the most popular and well-regarded brands out there are Keurig (read our detail review about Keurig K55 here), Tassimo, and Nespresso, all of which make good, but different single serve coffee makers. For example, Nespresso branded machines usually excel at making espresso.

There are single serve machines out there that specialize in making only one type of coffee. In stark contrast to such products are the single serve coffee makers that try to be as versatile as possible. Some of them can even make tea, hot chocolate and more.

While we mostly cover electrical single serve coffee makers in this article, manual variants exist and they can make coffee that is just as delicious while costing less. The downside is that they require a bit more effort to use.

Brewing Methods Available 

Brewing Methods

Not all single-serve machines brew drinks in the same way and different pods, k-cups or capsules are required to make them do their magic. The different brewing methods can also greatly influence the taste of the finished product.

Cone pour-over systems and use a cone-shaped paper filter for brewing. With a method like this, it’s easy to experiment to get the perfect taste. However, they can be quite messy.

Machines that use a drip method are probably the most common ones around, but they are slow, and single serve machines mostly avoid it.

Pressurized brewing systems are common in single-serve machines and can extract flavor much faster than the drip or cone systems. However, they require specialized coffee packs and can only sometimes be used with coffee grinds. The benefit is the lack of mess.

Espresso machines use a similar pump method that can produce coffee in mere seconds but is limited in use since they can’t be used with other blends.

There is a lot to consider, and it all depends on what you need.

Capacity Of The Water Reservoir 

Capacity Of The Water Reservoir

To brew coffee, you need water, and the amount varies depending on the blend and brewing method. It’s important to consider the size of the machine’s water container since this affects the amount of coffee it can brew before it needs to be refilled.

This also affects the size of the machine and its portability, so you should consider that when purchasing.

If you want your single serve coffee maker to be portable, buy one with a capacity of 1 or 2 cups since you probably won’t need to keep more water in it at any time. On the other hand, if you want to use it at home, in the office or at parties, you might want to get one that has a capacity of 4 to 6 cups.

Controling The Coffee Brewing 

Controling The Coffee Brewing

The amount of control you have over brewing the coffee in your machine is an important thing to consider. Various options can improve how your machine operates and allow you to get just the perfect coffee, exactly how you want it.

If you get a machine that has no control options or too few of them, you’re stuck drinking whatever comes out. So always consider all the coffee brewing options that a machine has before buying it.

Operating Costs 

Coffee makers can be costly up front, but even if you get a cheaper one the cost of running a machine like this on a daily basis can pile up over time and become overwhelming.

The cost of a machine like this primarily comes from the electricity it spends, but certain machines also require special coffee pods that cost more than just regular coffee blends. Consider how much it will cost you to run the machine before purchasing it.

What to Consider?

We picked a handful of the best products out there to showcase in this article and here are the things we considered the most when making our picks. 

Power Control

Power Control

Do you like weak coffee, or are you more of a fan of a strong, bitter, dark blend? Maybe your preference changes often? Well, if you buy the right coffee maker, you can have it all. 

The single cup coffee makers allow you to control the strength of your coffee and have any type you like – weak, medium, strong or anything in-between. Without proper strength control options, you will be stuck making one type of coffee, and that’s not what you want.

Regulating The Cup Volume

Regulating The Cup Volume

Depending on where you want to use your single serve coffee maker, having the benefit of adjustable volume can be a life-saver.

Not everyone uses cups of the same size at work, for example, and being able to adjust the cup size is a great feature to have, and it greatly improves the usability of a coffee machine like these. It just adds more versatility, and it allows you to have a large or a small cup of coffee if you want to.

Tank Capability

Tank Capability

The capacity of a coffee maker’s tank is an important thing to consider. If you get one with a larger tank you can make a bunch of coffee much faster and spend less time on maintenance.

However, if you want a more portable product you should get one with a smaller tank since that will make the machine easier to handle. It won’t be much of a chore to pour in some water when you need a quick cup.

It all depends on what you need your single serve coffee maker for, in the end. 


Brewing Choices

Most coffee makers these days have a wide variety of different options. You can make many different types of coffee and add various ingredients to it without a problem. They also have additional options for other beverages as needed.

Machines that offer a ton of different options are valuable and can save you a lot of time. They are great for house parties and offices as well as day-to-day use in a large household. 

The 6 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers On The Market


Product name

The Best On The Market

Hamilton Beach 49980A

Best No Pods With Carafe Made In The USA

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer System

Smallest Budget 

Adirchef Grab N' Go Personal Coffee Maker

Best Programmable Using K-Cups For Office

Hamilton Beach 49976 Flex

Best With Grinder And Timer For Lattes


Best With Hot Water Dispenser

Cuisinart CHW

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Hamilton Beach 49980A - The Best On The Market

This is, hands down, one of the best coffee makers that are out there right now, in 2018. It has everything you might want out of a coffee maker. It is easy to use with a push of a button, but it also has a ton of options that can tremendously improve the way you make coffee. It is programmable, with a timer, meaning that you can set it to make a cup of coffee right when you wake up.

It can also be used to make a huge batch of coffee, or for a single serve. It has a huge range of strength options and can be used with various kinds of coffee. You can even make tea with it.

On top of all that, it is quite strong and cheap for what it offers – one of the best deals you can get. It comes with a 12-cup carafe as well.

It has some issues though but these are relatively minor problems. For example, it doesn’t work with K-cups, and if people are used to those, it might be a problem for them. 


  • Comes at an incredibly affordable price for a machine of such great quality
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    A 12-cup carafe is included in the deal, and it can fit a wide variety of different cups
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    It is fully adjustable and programmable with a huge range of options that will satisfy anyone’s taste
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    Easy to use and maintain and can brew both single serve and in a large batch


  • It has no warmer, so premade coffee won’t stay hot for too long
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    You can’t use it with K-cups, only with coffee grinds which might be a problem for some
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    The pot can leak so be careful when pouring hot coffee out of it, so you don’t spill any on yourself

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer System – Best No Pods With Carafe Made In The USA

Overall, this is quite a good product. If you like your coffee with a bit of milk or cream, this might be the machine for you due to its inbuilt frother which can handle all of that for you. Though, it works only if the milk is fresh and heated up before being put into the machine.

While it does cost quite a bit, it justifies the price by including some great accessories. One of the best ones is the large glass carafe that looks great and is incredibly functional.

This coffee machine also has a huge amount of inbuilt options. It can serve a variety of different custom blends, and it has six different size options so you can make exactly the coffee you want.

It does have some niggling issues though, the worst of which is probably the leaky reservoir. When it is full, it’s fine, but when it gets down to about half full, it starts leaking all over the place, making a huge mess that you need to clean up.

The other major problem is how often you need to clean it for it to function well. When you consider the functions it performs, that makes sense and is worth it.


  • It comes with a great glass carafe included
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    The range of options it has is astounding, and it has a ton of different custom brew options as well as six different sizing options
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    It has a built-in frother so it can make specialty brews like lattes and so on


  • The reservoir can leak, big time, especially when it is not full
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    Isn’t able to froth any milk or cream that isn’t fresh out of the box and you have to heat it up manually before frothing
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    It needs to be cleaned incredibly often, to the point that it becomes a tiresome chore

For people on a budget, this is the ideal coffee maker as it is affordable for anyone and offers a lot of quality for that price. In addition to that, it is also one of the most portable coffee makers around, easily able to fit anywhere you could need it to.

The mug that comes with it is also great, it can fit in most cup holders, and it is insulated, meaning that your coffee will stay hot for a long time to come.

There’s also a permanent filter in the machine so you won’t have to bother dealing with all the mess that disposable filters usually leave in their wake. Another thing you won’t have to deal with is manual cleaning since this bad boy can easily fit in the dishwasher.

However, there are some issues with this product, the worst of which is how flimsy it is. The on/off button is the biggest sticking point – literally since it constantly gets stuck and the machine might stay on without you being aware.

It’s still one of the best coffee makers you can get for this price, and those downsides are something that can be dealt with. 


  • Comes at an incredibly low price and has a great quality-to-price ratio
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    It is one of the most portable coffee makers out on the market today, and the mug can fit in most vehicle cup holders with ease
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    It contains a permanent filter
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    You can clean it easily by putting it in the dishwasher


  • You won’t be able to abuse it too much due to its lightweight construction and plastic parts
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    The on/off button can easily get stuck, leaving the machine on for the entire day without you knowing that
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    It is difficult to tell whether it is working due to the bad on/off light and switch

Hamilton Beach 49976 Flex - Best Programmable Single Serve Coffee Maker Using K-Cups For Office

This is a great coffee maker for an office environment because it offers everything a large group of people might need. It’s a great 2-in-1 machine that works as a regular coffee machine and as a single serve coffee maker, with separate water tanks. You can even use both at the same time, leading to fewer arguments over the machine. It can also use both coffee grinds and K-cups.

There are a ton of different adjustments including a bunch of different cup sizes and so on. It is a bit difficult to adjust, to be fair, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.

It’s also quite easy to clean, disassembly is simple, and all the parts are easy to wash, nothing sticks to them.

There are some issues with this machine, primarily the fact that it is a bit flimsy and the fact that the smaller water tank will use up everything in it when you tell it to fill a 10-ounce cup. It is bigger than 10 ounces, of course, leading to spillage.

Read our detail review about Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 2-Way Brewer.


  • It can make a huge batch of coffee or be used a single serve coffee maker and at the same time since they have separate reservoirs
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    You can use it with K-cups or coffee grinds
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    It has a ton of different size options for different cups
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    You can disassemble it and clean it without much effort


  • The plastic it is made from is quite flimsy, and it can break easily
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    It is a bit difficult to use due to unclear directions and fiddly controls and settings
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    The single-serve tanks is larger than the largest cup size, and it makes coffee out of everything you pour in, leading to spillage

KRUPS EA8298 - Best With Grinder And Timer For Lattes

This is a great coffee machine all-around, and it has a ton of versatility. Some of the best parts of it are the inbuilt grinder as well as the in-built frother, so you don’t have to buy additional machines. The frother can be removed if you want to use it separately.

There is a lot of power packed in this machine considering how compact it is. The tank is huge and it can contain 60 ounces of water. You can easily remove it for cleaning. The frother doesn’t need to be cleaned since it has an automatic cleaning system.

You will also find that this machine has a ton of different useful adjustments and can be programmed to your liking.

The obvious downside is the cost. This coffee machine will set you back quite a lot, and you should judge whether it is worth the asking price. It has some other minor issues, but they aren’t worth mentioning, to be honest.


  • This machine boasts a lot of power in its pump system
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    It has an inbuilt grinder for coffee beans as well as an inbuilt frother
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    It has a huge, easily cleanable 60-ounce water tank and an automatic cleaning system for the frother
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    Comes with a ton of different adjustments
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    For a machine with this much power, it is rather compact


  • It is an incredibly expensive machine, and if you want to get it you should think twice before laying down the cash
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    It draws a lot of power – 1450 watts to be exact – and it will cost you a lot in the long run as well
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    The frother doesn’t do a good job heating up the milk inside it
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    It has a ton of plastic parts which is bad for this price

Cuisinart CHW – Best With Hot Water Dispenser

Here we have quite a deal. This is an incredibly versatile machine that has a lot of power and comes at quite an affordable price point. It can be fully automated to the point where you don’t even need to think about making coffee – just put in the ingredients and it will do the job flawlessly.

The hot water dispenser that is built into it is incredibly helpful as well since it can help you make things like instant soup or tea and you will probably find yourself using it a lot. Unfortunately, it can’t be automated like the rest of this machine.

This machine can also be used as a traditional coffee maker or as a single serve machine, depending on what you need at the moment and it is highly adjustable.

It is quite bulky though, and you might have trouble finding a good place for it. You also might experiences some failures since it is not incredibly durable. The timer seems to be the first thing that fails most of the time, causing the machine to shut off randomly.

Other than that, it is quite a good machine that we can easily recommend.


  • Relatively inexpensive for a machine with this many functions and this much power
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    It can be fully automated, and it is highly adjustable
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    It has an inbuilt automatic cleaning system as well as an in-built hot water dispenser that can be used to make instant tea, soups and more
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    Comes with a large, 12-cup glass carafe
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    You can use it to make a huge amount of coffee at once or as a single serve machine, depending on what you need


  • This is quite a bulky unit, and it will be difficult to find a good place for it in the kitchen
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    You might have troubles with some failures since it is made from cheap parts
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    The hot water system cannot be automatically turned off
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    The timer might be the first thing in it to fail, and it will happen quite quickly, causing it to shut off in the middle of work

Our Choice For The Best

Today, we must choose the Hamilton Beach 49980A as the best, that you can buy right now. It just has everything you might need from a coffee machine of this kind, offering supreme adjustability, good portability and a lot of good options and extras. 

Sure it is not as portable as the AdirChef coffee maker, but it makes up for that in power. While it is not as powerful as the KRUPS machine we mentioned previously, it also doesn’t cost that much and can still do most of the things that machine can. It’s just the best combination of affordability, performance, versatility, and reliability on offer today and that’s why we recommend this single serve coffee maker above all others! 

We hope this article as helpful to you and feel free to share it around if it was. Have a good day and good luck with brewing!