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Our picks for the best pod coffeemakers of 2023

A perfect cuppa joe, every time. (Photo: Amazon)

If you’re like us, you count on that first cup of coffee to kick-start your day; the quality of that drink can make or break your morning. But brewing a magic elixir bleary-eyed and barely awake is not easy. Except when it is … and that’s completely dependent upon having the right pod coffee machine. A great pod coffeemaker requires practically nothing from its foggy-headed owner. It’s the brains of the operation, capable of delivering a barista-level beverage every dang time. Ready to upgrade? Below are our picks for the best pod coffeemakers. For more information on pod coffeemakers, head on down to the bottom of the article.

Quick Overview

  • Most versatile

    Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Espresso Machine by Breville

  • For fancy drinks in a small space

    Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Maker by De’Longhi

  • Best small footprint

    Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine by De’Longhi

  • Best classic machine

    Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker

  • Best affordable single-serve

    Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

  • Best multipurpose machine

    Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker

  • Affordable multipurpose machine

    Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio 2-Way Coffee Maker

  • Best single-serve multipurpose

    Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffee Maker

  • Best single-serve machine

    Cuisinart Premium Single-Serve Coffeemaker

  • Best classic multipurpose maker

    Cuisinart SS-15P1 Single Serve + 12 Cup Coffee Maker

See 5 more

“Works great,” said a five-star reviewer. “Just keep it clean all the time and it’s reliable and fast! More expensive than using a standard drip coffeemaker, but much more delicious and convenient. The little metal pods look nice displayed in the kitchen too. The milk steamer is a MUST as well. … Really love the whole setup. The only drawback is that I might be drinking more (and stronger) coffee than I used to — but it’s always delicious!”

A shopper says the Vertuo Next is “the best purchase I have ever made! I love Starbucks lattes and specialty coffee, so a Nespresso is ideal for me. I haven’t even thought about Starbucks since I got it. … It’s really easy to order pods and recycle bags from the app. The milk frother is what takes your coffee to the next level. I love to put flavored creamer in it; it is heavenly. Easy to operate and not a super bulky machine. If you have been thinking about getting [one], do it. You will not regret it.”

“The only complaint I have about this is: It’s too good,” said one of 6,100-plus verified five-star reviewers. “It’s too easy to use. It makes having espresso too convenient. I went from maybe having one espresso every few months to multiple ones a day. I hear colors. I find myself falling down weird YouTube rabbit holes at all hours of the night. I’ve become nocturnal. So, if you like to sleep, this is not for you. If you like random facts about how cold fronts affect catfish, BUY THIS!”

Best classic machine


Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker

Fans of K-Cup pods can’t go wrong with Keurig’s K-Classic — a great machine at a great price. With a 48-ounce water reservoir, it can handle after-dinner coffee for the whole gang. There’s an auto-off feature that shuts down the machine if it’s been idle for two hours. Oh, and the java is delish.

$120 at Amazon

This superstar is endorsed by more than 72,000 five-star reviewers! “My first time using this type of coffeemaker, and am I happy!” said one such fan. “It makes delicious coffee, is easy to program and operate, and it is very attractive on the kitchen counter. It comes securely packaged with a user manual that is easy to understand and set up, and very reasonably priced for the excellent quality. … I highly recommend it!”

Best affordable single-serve


Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

The K-Mini is a compact single-serve coffeemaker that won’t take up valuable real estate in the kitchen. One thing we love: The drip tray is removable, so you can brew directly into a travel mug up to 7 inches tall. The brew size is incredibly convenient when you’re making a to-go cup for your a.m. commute.

$86 at Amazon

“Love it,” said a happy shopper. “I ordered this machine to replace the giant one I had before, which finally died. … I like this one a lot better because the color is prettier and it doesn’t take up so much counter space. I like that it only holds one cup of water at a time. My son had a bad habit of letting the water in the big, black Keurig sit around for a couple of days and then using it. Gross. Now I know he can’t do that with this machine. It brews a great cup of coffee and seems quieter than my old machine. … I highly recommend it.”

Best multipurpose machine


Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker

For folks who like the choice of K-Cups or regular ground coffee, there’s the K-Duo Plus. This coffee machine comes with a 12-cup thermal carafe and a reusable coffee filter (nice for the planet). You can brew either a whole carafe or just a single cup.

$153 at Amazon

“This thing is amazing,” said a five-star reviewer. “I love at least four things about it. 1) Easy to use. 2) It replaced a Mister Coffee brewer and a Keurig K-Cup brewer, saving a lot of counter space. 3) The reservoir can be placed right, left or back to suit your counter situation. 4) The Mister Coffee required you to add the right amount of water for the amount of coffee that you wanted. The K-Duo Plus will use the correct amount of water based on the number of cups (carafe) or ounces (K-Cup) that you select.”

“This is the best multipurpose appliance!” said a reviewer. “To begin with, it’s easy to use — use one side or the other. I normally program my carafe side the night before so my coffee is ready in the morning. … The single-serve, or K-Cup, side works great.”

The size of the FlexBrew Single-Serve is perfect for many coffee drinkers, including this happy shopper: “I never wanted a K-Cup coffeemaker, [but] when I saw this one I was intrigued. The size is smaller, and it is flexible for making my favorite coffee or using K-Cups. I LOVE it. One feature I like is that you empty the reservoir each time you brew. The coffee-grounds insert comes with the appliance, as does the K-Cup insert. Can’t say enough good things about this product!”

“I love this coffeemaker!” says one of 10,000-plus five-star fans. “I’ve had two now, one of the previous models for nearly six years and then this newer version. … I REALLY like this unit’s features. For one reason, we drink different brands of coffee, which is what makes single-serve coffeemakers so convenient. For another, I love the added convenience of this particular single-serve for the fact that I don’t have to wait for the water to heat up as I do with other brands. You just turn it on, pop in the pod, press the brew button and it INSTANTLY starts brewing without the wait for the water to heat. HELLO, who wouldn’t love that feature?!”

“I’ve had many coffeemakers over the years, and this is by far the best,” said a five-star reviewer. “I love this machine and have not found any issues in the few weeks I’ve had it. I generally make a pot of coffee in the morning and use the single-serve in the afternoon or evening. I have used several types of coffee, and each one tastes great. It is easy to use and clean. Very happy with this.”

What are pod coffeemakers?

A pod coffeemaker is essentially a machine that makes coffee after you simply pop in a prepurchased “pod” of ground coffee. Add fresh water to the reservoir never exceeding tank capacity, add the pod in the appropriate place and press start.

What size drinks can pod coffeemakers make?

They can make them in 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 ounces.

Why do people like pod coffeemakers?

As you might imagine, a pod coffeemaker tends to brew coffee a lot faster than a traditional drip brewer. What might take five minutes can often just take one or two minutes with the best pod coffee machine. When you’re in a rush, those few minutes are very valuable! Plus, cleanup tends to be easier too. Instead of having to deal with messy coffee grounds, you can just toss the whole pod.

What to look for in a pod coffeemaker?

Since the reason you would want a pod coffeemaker is for the speed and convenience, you should look for machines that offer fast brew speeds as well as those that are easy to operate and clean. Nespresso machines tend to have better-tasting coffee (some say the resulting coffee is a decent espresso replacement), while Keurig tends to have a much greater variety of blends and coffee brands.

That said, don’t expect the best coffee you’ve ever had. These machines tend to sacrifice taste and flavor for the ease and convenience of the pods. A coffee lover with higher standards should look for a great drip coffee machine instead.

Do coffee pods expire?

If you tend to buy your pods in bulk, don’t worry, as coffee pods will remain safe to drink long after their expiration dates. They’re hermetically sealed, after all, which helps reduce the chance of bacteria growth and mold. Their overall taste and flavor might diminish over time, but they won’t make you sick.

Can coffee pods be recycled?

It depends. All Keurig K-Cups and Nespresso capsules are recyclable, as they’re made out of plastic or aluminum. However, recycling them might take a bit more effort than one might think. Recycling a K-Cup pod, for example, requires peeling off the foil top, emptying the grounds and rinsing the pod before tossing it in the recycling bin. While Nespresso capsules are also recyclable, not all towns recycle that specific type of aluminum. That’s why Nespresso has its own recycling program; you can return a spent coffee capsule to the company via prepaid UPS shipping labels or to any Nespresso Boutique.

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

Originally published

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