Finding the best single cup coffee maker can add a degree of convenience to your coffee drinking that’s ALMOST unmatched (we’re looking at you, instant coffee).
But with so many makers and models to choose from, how do you know which one is best for you? After all, if you choose the wrong one you might end up with something that’s poorly built, only lasts a few months and worst of all, ruins the taste of those great coffee beans you bought.
Fortunately, we’ve tried and tested some of the most popular one cup coffee machines on the market and assessed them according to their features, usability and overall experience. To find out which 5 machines made our list, keep reading below.
Best Single Cup Coffee Maker Overall: Russell Hobbs
The first, and in our opinion the best, single cup coffee maker to enter our list is the Russell Hobbs Brew and Go. With a mix of convenient and user friendly features and a price tag that’s not going to break the bank, anyone looking for a decent 1 cup coffee maker will want to try this one. Let’s dig a bit deeper…
One of the best features of the Brew and Go is the built-in delayed start timer. This essentially means you can set your coffee up ready for brewing in the evening and then wake up to a fresh coffee the next morning. This is especially handy for the night owls among us who hit the snooze button a few too many times in the morning.
We’re also a fan of the adjustable drip tray which lets you choose the perfect height for whichever mug you choose to use and thus stops any splashes.
Whilst the Brew and Go is one of the more expensive one cup coffee makers on our list, it’s not going break the bank and is certainly worth the price you pay.
Russell Hobbs have clearly focused on user experience with the design of the Brew and Go. It’s really simple to operate and the reusable filter is really handy. Making a coffee is basically a 2 minute process with this maker and gets top marks from us.
From a pure convenience standpoint, we were very impressed by this maker. The filter mechanics does well to get a great taste from ground coffee and the delayed start timer is a feature we never knew we needed.
The only issues we could really see was that the drip tray is a little small and the drips do tend to keep coming after the coffee has brewed. This makes cleaning a little bit more effort than you’d want.
Highly Rated Single Cup Coffee Maker: Tassimo
It’s not hard to see why the Tassimo My Way 2 is one of the highest rated one cup coffee makers on the market, despite its price tag. Giving a degree of personalisation that is unmatched by others on this list, the My Way 2 is adept at producing a unique coffee – if you find the right combination.
The My Way 2 has a fair few features to boast about with the most impressive being the Intellibrew system which automatically recognises which Tassimo pod you’re using and brews it accordingly to get the best taste.
It also has a Brita filter cartridge which was definitely my favourite feature. Not many people realise that an underrated aspect of making a great tasting coffee is by having clean, filtered water so having this built in means much less hassle.
This is the most expensive single cup coffee maker to make our list but for the extensive and advanced features it’s probably worth the money.
The My Way 2 isn’t exactly a difficult coffee maker to use even though it seems like it has many options. Really, it’s as simple as clicking 3 beans for a stronger coffee or tapping the temperature icon to change how hot you want it. Very straightforward stuff.
It’s also helpful having a drip tray with adjustable height. If you’re going to be using a travel mug of any size, simply remove the tray (for larger mugs) or click it into place for smaller ones.
We like how this machine gives you that extra bit of customisation when it comes to coffee pods. Typically you’d just pop your pod in and get what you’re given but the options to change temperature, amount of water and coffee strength is a big plus.
Best Single Cup Coffee Maker with a Grinder: Vitinni
The Vitinni is one of the cheapest bean-to-cup coffee makers on the market and whilst it doesn’t match up well against some of the more established makers, when it comes to single cup coffee it’s more than ideal.
The obvious feature that Vitinni has over the others on this list is the fact that it’s a single cup coffee maker with a grinder. This makes it perfect for those who want the convenience of a quick coffee whilst still maintaining a good degree of quality. It’s also worth mentioning that the coffee machine has a delayed timer which you can configure to have your coffee ready whenever you want it.
The Vitinni is a mid-range priced maker compared to the others on the market but of course has the added benefit of the built-in grinder which makes it very good value for money and that’s not mentioning the stainless steel travel mug that’s included in the price.
The machine is as simple as it gets. The basket contains enough space for a scoop of coffee beans but you can also use ground coffee if you prefer. Once your basket is full, simply press the button and the Vitinni will grind and brew in the space of a couple of minutes.
Note that you will have to clean the filter after every use which is a little bit inconvenient for a single use coffee maker.
My advice would be to think of this as a one cup coffee maker rather than a bean to cup machine. It doesn’t have the same quality as other bean to cup machines but for the price and convenience it’s a decent investment.
Single Cup Coffee Maker with a Timer: Salter
The Salter is a good option if you’re looking for a single cup coffee maker with a timer. It’s thin, compact, comes with a stainless steel travel mug and of course allows you to schedule your next cup of coffee.
The Salter has a simple LCD interface which allows you to control when your coffee starts brewing to the exact minute. Beyond this, the Salter is very basic!
In terms of single cup coffee makers, the Salter is in the mid to upper price range. For the lack of features I’m not sure if I’d personally buy this machine but having a precise timer wouldn’t be at the top of my priorities.
The Salter is very simple to use – it’s a case of filling up the 430ml water tank, popping some ground coffee or a coffee bag in the filter basket and clicking go. If you want to schedule your coffee, just follow the same principle but use the timer feature.
The Salter is a little bit overpriced for what it is in my opinion. The LCD digital interface is pretty handy and the machine brews in 3-4 minutes but you can get these features in other models at a lower price.
Single Cup Coffee Maker for Ground Coffee: Morphy Richards
The Morphy Richards one cup coffee maker is a cheap and cheerful model that is catered to those who already have their coffee beans ground.
The Morphy Richards isn’t going to win any awards for groundbreaking innovation with this machine – there’s literally an on and off button. However, it does have an auto-off feature whereby it turns itself off after awhile. Other than that, don’t expect too much. I’d also say that the water indicator is actually pretty spot on which, as people with filter machines might know, is not often the case.
As the above section probably demonstrates, the lack of any real features and the promotion of simplicity means this machine is on the lower end and is suitable for almost every budget.
Did I mention it’s just an on and off button? It’s very simple to use and also has a reusable filter which you’ll need to clean out after every use.
This is basically something that allows you to make a filter coffee for one with minimal fuss and minimal effort.
What Are the Characteristics of a Good Single Cup Coffee Maker?
Is it easy to use?
If you’re investing in a single cup coffee maker, chances are you want something that is simple to use. The higher end espresso machines can take months of learning to fine tune a good shot of coffee but with these machines, you’ll want something that has a filter for your coffee and a couple of buttons to get it brewing.
How good does the coffee taste?
Some of these machines, particularly cheap models, are prone to making even great quality coffee taste average. The issue we found with a couple of machines (which didn’t make this list) is that the water simply didn’t heat up enough to hit the sweet spot. A hot coffee is a good coffee.
Does it have a timer?
Part of the allure of one cup coffee machines is that they’re supremely convenient over other forms of coffee makers. If you can find one that has a timer, you can essentially wake up to a coffee or have it ready to go before you leave your home. This is definitely a feature I would look out for.
Are Single Cup Coffee Makers Worth It?
For convenience alone, single cup coffee makers are worth it. The fact that there’s minimal effort needed to clean, you can have them ready before you leave and you’ll often make the right amount of coffee backs this up.
Whilst you’re not going to get the quality that expensive home espresso machines can give you, they’re much better than instant coffee and for such a cheap price are worth every penny.
Single cup coffee machines are great for those who are busy and what a coffee to go every morning or those who are just starting their coffee journey. They’re often a good mix of value, quality and convenience with the best single cup coffee makers such as the ones on this list hitting all of that criteria.
Want to learn more about different coffees? Feel free to take a look at our recent “best instant coffee” guide!