The best coffee machines: our complete guide, plus tips on cleaning and descaling
Find the ideal coffee machine for your taste and needs. Learn about the different types and top models in our expert guide.
A coffee machine is a kitchen must-have for any coffee lover, whether you're a seasoned barista or just starting to develop your coffee-making skills.
There are several types of coffee machines to choose from, including drip coffee makers, single-serve pod coffee makers, and espresso machines.
With so many available options, knowing which machine is right for you can take time and effort. However, here at The Recommended, we’ve done all the research to provide a comprehensive guide to the best coffee machines on the market. We will explore the different types of coffee machines available and provide detailed overviews of some of the top models.
Whether you're looking for a simple drip coffee maker or an advanced espresso machine, we've got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and let's find the perfect coffee machine for you!
- The best bean-to-cup coffee machines
- The best espresso machines
- Best overall espresso machine: De'Longhi Dedica
- Best classic espresso machine: De'Longhi Scultura
- Most stylish espresso machine: Swan Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine
- Easiest to use machine: Salter EK3131 Espressimo Barista Style Coffee Maker
- The best single-serve pod coffee machines
- The best filter coffee machines
- How do I choose the right coffee machine for me?
- What are the different types of coffee machines?
- What does coffee machine bar pressure mean?
- Are expensive coffee machines better than cheaper models?
- Is it worth buying a single-serve coffee machine?
- How do I clean my coffee machine?
- How do I descale a coffee machine?
- Are there any eco-friendly coffee machines available?
The best coffee machines
The best bean-to-cup coffee machines
A bean-to-cup coffee machine is a type of coffee maker that grinds coffee beans and brews them directly into a cup. These machines offer a range of features, like customisable grind settings and milk frothing capabilities. Here we have chosen the four best bean-to-cup coffee machines available to buy online.
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Best small bean-to-cup machine: De'Longhi Magnifica
Compact and convenient
This compact and versatile bean-to-cup espresso machine has a built-in grinder, customisable grind settings, and preset functions to make lattes and cappuccinos.
The De'Longhi Magnifica is a compact and stylish bean-to-cup coffee machine that offers a range of features and customisation options. The built-in grinder lets you choose from adjustable grind settings to create the perfect cup of coffee. It also has preset functions to make lattes and cappuccinos, allowing you to enjoy a wide range of coffee drinks with just the touch of a button.
Most stylish bean-to-cup maker: Melitta E 950-103 Pressure Coffee Maker
Style and substance
This top-of-the-line bean-to-cup machine offers a range of features and functions designed to bring the perfect cup of coffee right to your kitchen.
The Melitta E 950-103 Pressure Coffee Maker’s built-in grinder and adjustable grind settings allow you can choose the perfect grind for your coffee and enjoy a freshly brewed cup every time. The machine's high-pressure brewing system ensures that your coffee is brewed at the optimal temperature, resulting in a rich and full-bodied flavour.
The machine is both stylish and functional. Its compact size and elegant design make it a great addition to any kitchen, while its intuitive controls and user-friendly interface make it simple to use. The machine is also low-maintenance, with easy-to-clean parts and a simple cleaning process.
Best for large households: KRUPS Arabica Digital EA817040 Automatic Coffee Machine
Large capacity, fewer refills
This sophisticated bean-to-cup machine boasts a 1.7L water tank and 250g bean container, integrated grinder, with adjustable grind settings and programmable functions that allow you to create the ideal grind for your coffee.
The KRUPS Arabica Digital EA817040 Coffee Machine is a perfect blend of style and practicality. Its sleek and modern appearance will complement any kitchen style, while its compact size makes it an ideal choice for those with limited counter space. Its low maintenance requirements, including easy-to-clean parts and a hassle-free cleaning process, make it a fantastic option for coffee enthusiasts and those who just want a great cup of coffee.
Best user-friendly technology: De'Longhi Eletta, Fully Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
Great range of features
This fully automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine is equipped with a built-in grinder, and an automatic milk menu allows you to enjoy your coffee with a creamy and rich foam, whether you prefer a cappuccino, latte or macchiato.
The De'Longhi Eletta features a sleek and modern design, making it a stylish addition to any kitchen. It is also designed for easy maintenance, with dishwasher-friendly parts and a hassle-free cleaning process.
This coffee machine can remember your favourite drinks, so you can enjoy your preferred coffee at the touch of a button. With programmable functions, including start time and auto shut-off, you can customise the coffee machine to your preferences, making it a smart investment for coffee lovers.
The best espresso machines
From compact and affordable options to high-end models, these espresso machines offer a range of features to help you make the perfect espresso. Whether you're a coffee connoisseur or just looking for a quick and convenient coffee solution, these machines are sure to impress.
Best overall espresso machine: De'Longhi Dedica
Stylish with great features
This stylish espresso machine delivers authentic barista-style espresso with a slimline design. With adjustable cup height, easy-to-use controls and a thermoblock heating system for quick heat-up time, you can enjoy delicious coffee in no time.
The De'Longhi Dedica is a compact espresso machine that has a sleek design and a variety of features. It has a 15-bar pressure pump ensures a consistent, high-quality espresso shot every time. The machine also has a steam wand for frothing milk, making it easy to make lattes and cappuccinos. The Dedica has a 1.8-litre removable water tank, making it easy to fill and clean, and it also has a cup warmer on top of the machine.
Best classic espresso machine: De'Longhi Scultura Traditional Barista Pump Espresso Machine
Barista-quality coffee at home
This traditional barista-style machine has a manual steam wand for frothing and can be adjusted for different cup heights.
The De'Longhi Scultura Traditional Barista Pump Espresso Machine is designed for the home barista. It has a 15-bar pressure pump, a powerful steam wand for frothing milk, and a 1.4-litre removable water tank for easy cleaning. The Scultura also has a cup warmer on top of the machine and a sleek, stainless steel design that looks great on any kitchen counter.
Most stylish espresso machine: Swan Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine
This vintage-inspired espresso machine features 15 bar pressure and a steam wand for milk. It’s available in three retro-inspired colours and has a removable water tank for easy cleaning.
The Swan Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is a stylish and functional espresso machine. The machine has a 1.2-litre water tank and a built-in tamper. The Retro also has a cup warmer on top of the machine and a unique, retro design that will look great in any kitchen.
Easiest to use machine: Salter EK3131 Espressimo Barista Style Coffee Maker
Easy to use and clean
Enjoy barista-style coffee at home with the Salter Espressimo coffee maker with its 15 bar pressure, adjustable frother and cup warming tray. It’s easy to use and clean.
The Salter EK3131 Espressimo Barista Style Coffee Maker is a compact and versatile espresso machine. It has a 15-bar pressure pump and a steam wand for frothing milk. The machine has a 1.2-litre removable water tank and a built-in tamper. The Espressimo also has a cup warmer on top of the machine, and its compact design makes it easy to store when not in use.
The best single-serve pod coffee machines
A single-serve pod coffee machine is a convenient and easy-to-use coffee maker that uses pre-packaged coffee pods to brew a single cup of coffee. We have chosen the four best single-serve pod coffee machines to buy online.
Best affordable pod machine: TASSIMO Bosch Suny
Makes a range of hot drinks
The Suny has an intuitive LED display that makes it easy to use, and it can make a variety of drinks, including espresso, latte macchiato, and hot chocolate.
The TASSIMO Bosch Suny is a sleek and compact pod coffee machine perfect for those short on space but still wanting a great-tasting coffee. This machine takes Tassimo’s T DISC pods, which are specially designed to deliver a rich and flavorful coffee with every brew. It also has an automatic shut-off feature that ensures safety and energy efficiency.
Best for fast brewing: TASSIMO Bosch Vivy 2
Small and straightforward to use
The Vivy 2 has a compact design making it perfect for smaller kitchens. It also features an intuitive LED display that makes it easy to use. With a fast brewing time of just a few seconds, this machine is the perfect choice for busy coffee drinkers.
The TASSIMO Bosch Vivy 2 is a versatile and user-friendly pod coffee machine that is designed for a hassle-free coffee experience. This machine takes Tassimo’s T DISC pods, made from high-quality ingredients and available in various flavours and strengths.
Best small pod coffee machine: DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS Pod Capsule Coffee Machine
Compact and easy to use
The Piccolo XS has a compact design that makes it perfect for small kitchens and features a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy to use.
This stylish and functional pod coffee machine is perfect for coffee lovers looking for a high-quality coffee experience. This machine takes NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto capsules, and with its fast brewing time and automatic shut-off feature, this machine is the perfect choice for those who want delicious coffee at the touch of a button.
Best easy-to-use machine: TASSIMO Bosch My Way 2
Intuitive design and display
This stylish and functional pod coffee machine is designed for coffee lovers who want a high-quality coffee experience in their own home. This machine takes Tassimo T DISC pods, which are available in a variety of flavours and strengths.
The My Way 2 has an intuitive LED display that makes it easy to use and features a fast brewing time of just a few seconds. With its sleek design and automatic shut-off feature, this machine is the perfect choice for those who want a delicious coffee in a hurry.
The best filter coffee machines
A filter coffee machine is a type of coffee maker that uses a paper or metal filter to brew coffee. These machines offer a range of features, like programmable brewing and hot water dispensers. Here we’ve selected the four best filter coffee machines available to buy online.
Best for all-day brewing: Melitta 6738044 Filter Coffee Machine
Great coffee all day
This high-quality filter coffee machine is designed to meet the demands of coffee lovers. It has a 1.2L capacity and can make up to 10 cups of coffee at once, perfect for families and groups.
The Melitta 6738044 Filter Coffee Machine features an anti-drip function, allowing you to pause the brewing process mid-way to pour yourself a cup. It’s also equipped with an auto shut-off function that turns off the machine after 40 minutes, ensuring maximum safety and energy efficiency.
Best programmable functions: Russell Hobbs 20680 Buckingham Filter Coffee Machine
Set it to your schedule
With a sleek and stylish design, this filter coffee machine is the perfect addition to any kitchen. It has a 1.25L capacity and can make up to 12 cups of coffee, ideal for those who love to entertain guests.
The Russell Hobbs 20680 Buckingham Filter Coffee Machine features a glass carafe that is durable and easy to clean and a programmable timer that allows you to set the brewing time to suit your schedule. It also has a keep-warm function, keeping your coffee hot for up to 30 minutes after brewing.
Best eco-friendly machine: Aigostar Filter Coffee Machine Drip Coffee Maker
Energy efficient with a reusable filter
This compact, affordable filter coffee machine is perfect for small kitchens and offices. It has a 1.2L capacity, can make up to 10 cups of coffee at once, and features an auto shut-off function that turns the machine off after 40 minutes.
The Aigostar Filter Coffee Machine Drip Coffee Maker also has an anti-drip function, allowing you to pause the brewing process mid-way to pour yourself a cup. It’s also equipped with a reusable filter, making it more environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
Best large filter machine: GEEPAS 1.5L Filter Coffee Machine
Makes up to 15 cups of coffee
This large-capacity filter coffee machine is ideal for families and large groups. It can make up to 15 cups of coffee at once and features a removable water tank for easy filling.
The GEEPAS 1.5L Filter Coffee Machine also has a keep-warm function that keeps your coffee hot for up to 30 minutes after brewing and an anti-drip function that allows you to pause the brewing process mid-way to pour yourself a cup. It’s also equipped with an auto shut-off function that turns off the machine after 40 minutes, ensuring maximum safety and energy efficiency.
Coffee machine buyers guide: how to find the best coffee machine for you, and keep it clean
If you're in the market for a new coffee machine, you've come to the right place. This guide will help you answer all your coffee machine-related questions, from how to choose the right one for you, to how to keep it in tip-top shape.
In this buyers' guide, we'll cover the different types of coffee machines, from espresso machines to single-serve pod coffee machines, and help you decide which one is best for you. We'll also compare espresso machines and filter coffee machines and discuss whether expensive models are really worth the extra cost. And for those environmentally conscious, don't worry; we'll even touch on eco-friendly options. So, let's start brewing!
How do I choose the right coffee machine for me?
When choosing the right coffee machine, there are several factors to consider to make the best decision for your needs.
- Capacity and space: consider the number of people using the machine and the counter space available. Some machines are designed for small kitchens or offices, while others are intended for larger households or commercial settings.
- Budget: determine your budget for your coffee machine, as a wide range of prices and features are available. Consider factors such as upfront costs, recurring costs (e.g., coffee pods), and long-term costs (e.g., repairs and maintenance).
- Features and customisability: consider what features are important to you, such as programmable brewing, temperature control, and built-in grinders. Some coffee machines offer more customisation options than others, allowing you to create a variety of coffee drinks to suit your tastes.
- Maintenance and durability: consider the ease of maintenance and durability of the coffee machine. Some machines require frequent cleaning and upkeep, while others are more low-maintenance. Additionally, consider the manufacturer's warranty and customer support options, as well as the longevity of the machine.
By taking the time to consider each of these factors, you can choose the right coffee machine for your needs and ensure you enjoy the perfect cup of coffee every day.
What are the different types of coffee machines?
The different types of coffee machines include filter/drip coffee machines, single-serve pod coffee makers, espresso machines and bean-to-cup machines.
- Filter/drip coffee machines: Filter/drip coffee machines are the most common type of coffee machine and are ideal for those who prefer a straightforward brewing process. These machines use gravity to drip hot water over ground coffee beans, which are then collected in a pot.
- Single-serve pod coffee machines: Single-serve pod coffee machines are convenient for those who want a quick and easy way to make coffee. These machines use pre-packaged coffee pods that are inserted into the machine and brewed with a single press of a button.
- Espresso machines: Espresso machines are a popular choice for coffee aficionados and are designed to brew rich and intense coffee. These machines use pressurised water and ground coffee beans to create a concentrated coffee shot.
- Bean-to-cup machines: Bean-to-cup machines are a versatile option for those who want the convenience of a pre-packaged coffee pod with the added control and customizability of a traditional espresso machine. These machines grind whole coffee beans and brew them directly into your cup.
No matter what coffee machine you choose, it's important to consider your preferences, needs, and budget to ensure you find the perfect coffee machine for your home.
What is the difference between an espresso machine and a single-serve pod coffee maker?
An espresso machine is a traditional method of brewing coffee using pressurised water, ground coffee beans, and a portafilter to produce a rich and intense coffee. On the other hand, a single-serve pod coffee maker uses pre-packaged coffee pods or capsules placed in a machine and brewed with a single press of a button.
Espresso machines offer greater control over the brewing process and the ability to create custom drinks but require more skill and maintenance.
Single-serve pod coffee makers are convenient and easy to use but limit the variety of drinks that can be made and generate more waste due to the amount of coffee pods they use.
What is the difference between an espresso machine and a filter/drip coffee maker?
Espresso machines and filter/drip coffee makers are two popular methods of brewing coffee, but they are very different in design and brewing process.
Espresso machines force high-pressure hot water through a compact puck of finely ground coffee to produce a concentrated, flavorful shot of coffee. On the other hand, filter/drip coffee makers heat water and slowly filter it through a bed of ground coffee, producing a milder, less concentrated cup of coffee.
Espresso machines typically produce a stronger, more robust flavour but also require a higher level of skill and maintenance. Filter/drip coffee makers are much simpler to use and require less maintenance, but the resulting coffee may not be as flavorful or intense as espresso.
Ultimately, the choice between an espresso machine and a filter/drip coffee maker depends on personal preferences and the type of coffee desired. Espresso machines are ideal for coffee connoisseurs who want to experiment with different brewing methods, while filter/drip coffee makers are a more practical choice for those who want a simple and easy-to-use machine for their daily coffee needs.
What does coffee machine bar pressure mean?
Coffee machine bar pressure is a critical aspect of brewing a perfect cup of coffee. It refers to the amount of pressure used to push hot water through the coffee grounds.
The ideal bar pressure for a coffee machine is between 9 to 15 bars, which allows for the extraction of the perfect balance of flavors and aromas from the coffee beans. Higher bar pressure results in a stronger, more intense flavor, while lower bar pressure leads to a milder taste. Understanding bar pressure is key to getting the most out of your coffee machine and achieving the desired flavor profile for your coffee.
Whether you are a professional barista or a home coffee enthusiast, make sure to keep an eye on bar pressure for the best coffee-making experience.
Are expensive coffee machines better than cheaper models?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. Generally, more expensive coffee machines offer a wider range of features, higher-quality materials, and better performance than cheaper models.
Expensive models may have a more advanced brewing system, a wider selection of grind settings, and better temperature control, which can result in a better-tasting cup of coffee. Additionally, expensive coffee machines often have longer warranties and better customer support.
However, it's important to consider your individual needs when choosing a coffee machine. If you're only looking for a simple machine to make a basic cup of coffee, a cheaper model may be all you need.
On the other hand, if you're a coffee aficionado and want to experiment with different brewing methods, a more expensive machine with a wider range of features may be worth the investment. Ultimately, the best coffee machine for you will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and coffee-making goals.
Is it worth buying a single-serve pod coffee machine?
Whether or not it's worth buying a single-serve coffee machine depends on your individual needs and preferences. Single-serve coffee machines are convenient and easy to use, making them popular for busy individuals and households. However, the cost of the pre-packaged coffee pods can add up over time and can be more expensive than traditional coffee beans. Additionally, the waste generated from the coffee pods can have a negative impact on the environment.
On the other hand, there are now more eco-friendly options available, such as reusable coffee pods and compostable coffee pods, which can reduce the environmental impact of single-serve coffee machines. Ultimately, whether or not a single-serve coffee machine is worth buying depends on your priorities and the specific machine you choose.
How do I clean my coffee machine?
Maintaining and cleaning your coffee machine is essential for ensuring it continues performing at its best and producing delicious, high-quality coffee. Regular cleaning can also extend the life of your machine, saving you money in the long run. Here is a step-by-step guide for cleaning drop coffee machines, pod coffee machines and espresso machines.
How to clean a filter coffee machine:
- Unplug the machine: Before you start cleaning, make sure to unplug the machine from the power source.
- Disassemble: Take apart the carafe, lid, and filter basket and separate them from the machine.
- Clean the carafe: Fill the carafe with warm, soapy water and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Then, scrub it thoroughly with a brush or sponge to remove any stains or residue.
- Rinse: Rinse the carafe, lid, and filter basket with warm water and allow them to air dry.
- Clean the machine: Wipe down the machine's exterior with a damp cloth to remove any stains or residue.
How to clean a pod coffee machine:
- Unplug the machine: Make sure to unplug the machine before cleaning it to prevent any electrical hazards.
- Empty the used pods: Remove any used pods from the machine and dispose of them.
- Wipe down the exterior: Use a damp cloth to wipe down the machine's exterior, removing any coffee or water stains.
- Clean the water tank: Remove the water tank from the machine and empty any remaining water. Wash the tank with warm, soapy water, rinse it thoroughly, and let it air dry before refilling it with fresh water.
- Clean the drip tray: Remove the drip tray and empty any accumulated coffee grounds or water. Wash the tray with warm, soapy water, rinse it thoroughly, and let it air dry before placing it back in the machine.
- Clean the pod holder: Use a damp cloth to clean the pod holder, removing any coffee grounds or residue.
- Run a cleaning cycle: Many pod coffee machines have a cleaning cycle that you can run to remove any built-up coffee residue from the machine. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the specific cleaning cycle for your machine.
- Reassemble the machine: Reassemble the machine, making sure to replace the water tank and drip tray.
How to clean an espresso machine:
- Turn off the machine: Make sure to turn off the machine and unplug it from the power source before cleaning.
- Empty the water tank: Empty any remaining water from the tank and remove the portafilter.
- Backflush: Run a cleaning solution through the machine by backflushing the group head. This helps to remove any residual coffee oils that may have accumulated.
- Clean the portafilter: Soak the portafilter in a cleaning solution for 10-15 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly with water.
- Clean the group head: Use a brush or cloth to clean the group head, ensuring that you remove any coffee grounds or residue.
- Wipe down the exterior: Use a damp cloth to wipe down the machine's exterior, removing any stains or residue.
It's important to clean your coffee machine regularly to ensure it continues producing high-quality coffee. Following these simple steps, you can keep your machine in top condition and extend its life. Remember to consult the manufacturer's instructions for specific cleaning guidelines, as the process may vary depending on your machine type.
How do I descale a coffee machine?
Descaling a coffee machine is an important step in maintaining the performance and longevity of your machine. Over time, mineral buildup can accumulate in the machine, causing it to perform poorly and affecting the taste of your coffee. Here is a step-by-step guide for descaling your coffee machine:
- Prepare the descaling solution: There are several commercially available descaling solutions that are safe and effective for use in coffee machines. Alternatively, you can make your own solution by mixing equal parts water and white vinegar.
- Empty the water tank: Empty any remaining water from the tank and remove the portafilter.
- Fill the tank with the descaling solution: Fill the water tank with the descaling solution, making sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the recommended amount.
- Run the machine: Turn on the machine and allow it to run for several minutes until the solution has had a chance to circulate through the system.
- Rinse the machine: After the machine has run for several minutes, turn it off and empty the water tank. Rinse the machine thoroughly with fresh water to remove any residue from the descaling solution.
- Repeat: If the descaling solution has not completely removed all the mineral buildup, repeat the process until the machine is completely descaled.
- Reassemble the machine: Reassemble the machine, making sure to replace the portafilter and fill the water tank with fresh water.
- Brew a pot of coffee: To complete the descaling process, brew a pot of coffee to remove any remaining residue from the machine.
Descaling your coffee machine regularly can help extend its life and ensure that it continues to produce high-quality coffee. By following these simple steps, you can keep your machine in top condition and enjoy delicious coffee for years to come.
Remember to consult the manufacturer's instructions for specific descaling guidelines, as the process may vary depending on your machine type.
Are there any eco-friendly coffee machines available?
Yes, eco-friendly coffee machines are available for those who are conscious of their environmental impact. These coffee machines are designed to reduce waste and minimise their carbon footprint. Here are some of the eco-friendly features that you may find in a coffee machine:
- Sustainable materials: Some coffee machines are made with environmentally friendly materials, such as recycled plastics or biodegradable materials.
- Energy-saving mode: Many coffee machines come with an energy-saving mode that automatically switches off the machine after a certain period, reducing the energy it uses.
- Recyclable coffee pods: Some single-serve coffee machines use recyclable coffee pods rather than disposable plastic cups, reducing waste.
- Eco-friendly packaging: The packaging for some coffee machines is made from recycled materials and is designed to be easy to recycle.
- Water-saving features: Some coffee machines have features that conserve water, such as a built-in water tank or a water-saving mode.
- Biodegradable filters: Some coffee machines use biodegradable filters, which can be composted after use, reducing waste.
It's important to consider the long-term impact that your coffee machine may have on the environment and to choose a machine that is designed with sustainability in mind. Investing in an eco-friendly coffee machine can reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the planet.
Whether you're a coffee lover or just looking to make a more environmentally conscious choice, several eco-friendly coffee machines are available that suit your needs and budget.
If you want to read more of our kitchen-related product guides, check out our household page, where you’ll find more home recommendations, including the best blenders, the best air fryers, and the best mini dishwashers.This article was created with the help of the AI tool ChatGPT. The Recommended's team of human writers and editors fact-check and edit all content to ensure accuracy.