Best Single Serve Pod Coffee Makers (** Detailed Buying Guide **)

Looking for the best single serve pod coffee makers for your home in 2019? Look no further…

A good cup of coffee gets us through the day. Wasting and drop of good coffee is a sin for most coffee lovers. 

Single Serve Pod Coffee Makers reduce waste and give you a fresh, hot (or even cold), personal cup of coffee every time!

Best single serve pod coffee makers

I’ve found the best single serve pod coffee makers and reviewed them so you can get right to brewing your favorite cup of coffee.

What Are Pod Coffee Machines?

Pod coffee machine is a coffee maker that uses pre-loaded grounds in a small, often plastic disposable or non-disposable cup.

The cup is then placed in a single-serve capsule holder and pierced by the machine to run hot water through the cup.

One pod is usually measured for just one serving, which gets you a perfect, consistent cup of coffee every time.

Are Coffee Pod Machines Any Good?

While I don’t typically recommend pod coffee machines for the best cup of coffee, pod coffee makers have a lot of upside compared to competitor coffee machines that can save you time and money!

You save time on your coffee brew, on clean-up and you save money on grounds.

Convenience beats coffee brewing as an art form here. Typically the pods are pre-packed, and are made by the same company that make the machine. I’m sure you’ve already heard of K-cups, Keurig and Nespresso, to name a few! 

Since how the coffee is brewed by the machine can’t be changed, the grounds really make the cup of coffee “good” with coffee pod machines, and at one point, options were extremely limited for the type of pod coffee available.

Now, due to convenience, easy clean-up and the single serve, grab-and-go factor, there are more and more brands popping up that create the pre-loaded cups that can work in most pod coffee machines, offerings a lot more choice and variety in coffee. 

There are more than 100 different brands for k-cups today, so you’re sure to find a flavor you like best. 

Cleaning your Single Serve Pod Coffee Machine is probably one of the single most important things you can do every 3-6 months to keep your pod coffee tasting great and your machine working well.

Watch this video to see how to clean your Pod Coffee Maker easily with household items:

Are Pod Coffee Machines Worth It?

Pod coffee machines are worth it if you:

  • Generally have 1-2 cups of coffee per day
  • Like a variety of ground coffee flavors
  • Are looking for a quick, efficient way to brew coffee in your home
  • Have limited counter space
  • Don't want to bother with clean up!
  • Like drinking a simple, black cup of coffee most of the time, or with a little cream and/or sugar. 

All this being said, the pods themselves can get expensive. The key to making your pod coffee machine worth it is to buy pods in bulk, or buy when there's a promo offer to take advantage. 

I often buy the bulk of my pods around the holidays to get the best price on my pods, when there's bogo offers and more.

Typically, you can find pods for your single serve pod coffee maker for less than $0.75 if you play your cards right! That's a solid 

If you're not interested in a ton of variety for your coffee machine pods, wholesalers like Costco, BJ's and Sam's Club are a great place to buy jumbo boxes of pods for machines similar to Keurig brand.

Again, you can typically get your pod cost down to under a dollar a cup when you do this, which is an awesome deal compared to the $2.35 coffee you might pick up at your favorite coffee shop.

If you want a more elevated coffee experience, with the similar low-maintenance machine, Nespresso brand does a great job of providing both.

Just know that the pods for Nespresso tend to approach a $1+ per cup, and you'll need to buy the accessories that compliment your single serve pod coffee maker to get the most out of it, like milk frothers.

What Pod Coffee Machine Should I Buy?

If you're into more traditional, mainstream coffee, like Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Green Mountain, and others, then I recommend a Keurig-type machine for a single serve pod coffee machine for your home. 
If you’re into fancier drinks, like lattes, stronger coffee blends, and a more elevated coffee experience, Nespresso is really leading the market for pod coffee makers that feel gourmet.

While Nespresso make their own coffee capsules they have a wide range of blends to choose from, (my favorite is Melozio!).

Recently, competing pod brands have cropped up as well to make other branded coffee that is compatible with Nespresso. So it won't be long before you can get most cups of coffee with both Nespresso and Keurig. 

Top 5 Best Single Serve Pod Coffee Makers:

  • Use any K-cup pod to brew coffee at different brew 'strength settings' and 4 coffee volume options
  • Includes 'shot' button to brew espresso shots from your favorite k-cup pod for lattes, cappuccinos and more
  • Includes dishwasher safe milk frother

This all-in-one coffeehouse brewer includes both regular coffee and espresso options, which make it a great choice if your taste in coffee changes throughout the day! It has a 6 tp 7.2 inch mug clearance for both small and regular size mugs. This is one of the best K-compatible machines that also makes lattes and cappuccinos, while offering an espresso option. For the regular coffee setting, you can also choose 4 brewing volumes: 6, 8, 10 and 12-ounces. The heated frother that this machine comes with is particularly impressive (I can't believe how creamy it gets 2% Lactaid!), and the fact that the frother is dishwasher safe is pretty awesome. While the machine has a larger footprint the the classic Keurig brewers and other coffee pod machines out there, the heated frother is worth it, in my opinion. Last but not least, as most pod machines go, this isn't an overly noisy option for those that don't like all the clicking and whizzing that pod machines can make!

  • Smaller, lower profile option
  • Among the more affordable of the Nespresso machines, with the best specs
  • Includes 5 coffee sizes, including espresso and double espresso

This is the more affordable and lower-profile of the two Nespresso machines on my top 5 list, but the Nespresso Vertuo Machine by Breville is comparable to the deluxe version with one difference, a much smaller water reservoir. If you don't mind refilling the water tank regularly, you'll still get the great features from Nespresso brewing, like a variety of coffee sizes, including espresso options, and the natural crema in every cup, without using any dairy or milk. For a more elevated coffee experience closer to what you may get in non-pod machines and brewing options, I recommend the Nespresso Vertuo line every time. 

  • Simple, 1-button operation with automatic capsule ejection and water heat-up
  • Creates naturally formed "crema" (yum) and includes 3 cup sizes
  • Barcode reading technology for blend-specific brewing helps get you that more artisan brew taste 

Among Nespresso machines, I like the two middle of the way ones on my top five the best, with the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Maker by De'Longhi being the one with a few more buzzers and whistles. You can use two different capsule sizes for this machine, which includes a coffee option and a true espresso version (not just a stronger cup of regular coffee pretending to be espresso). I always loved the little bit of natural crema that Nespresso is able to create through their machines, giving each cup a more elevated feeling coffee experience. While this machine does take up space, the shifting reservoir is nice because it allows you to move the reservoir depending on your counter space. The main difference between the VertuPlus and the Deluxe versions is the water reservoir: On both the DeLonghi and the Breville, the VertuoPlus has a 40 oz reservoir and a black cup rest. The Deluxe model has a 60 oz reservoir and a chrome cup rest, and if you're anything like me, you hate refilling the water reservoir and should go with the bigger reservoir each time!

  • Discrete and sleek, I love the European design of this minimalistic machine
  • A great, affordable option for singles and couples (smaller households)
  • Includes BPA-free certification and quality warranty

For the price of this machine compared to others on my list and on the market, you get everything you need for a basic pod-cup of coffee and can use almost any variety of K-cup with it. The Mueller Ultimate Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker covers all the bases for Pod Machines, with 3 volume settings, auto-off, and quick-brew times. While it doesn't have the extras of some of the other, larger machines on this list, the European design and low profile of the Mueller, make it great for smaller spaces and countertops. At around under $80, this pod machine is great for those who like their coffee simple and straight forward, while not taking up too much space.

  • Honestly, comes in brushed gold color, which I'm obsessed with
  • Large, 75oz water reservoir means you'll brew at least 8 cups before you have to refill
  • Programmable, and includes iced coffee setting for those summer brews and week-day mornings when you're grab-and-go

From programmable, auto on/off feature, to 5 volume settings from 4 oz to 12 oz, to small foot-print yet large water reservoir -- the Keurig K-Elite Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker matches all the basic features of other pod machines, and one-ups most of them with additional features like an iced coffee option and a hot water feature for soups and teas. I especially love that this particular machines is the quietest of all, with what Keurig is calling their updated "Quiet Brew Technology". While some pod machines can be slow to heat up water and filter through the coffee pods, this machine also brews each cup in less than a minute. A bit vain, but the icing on the cake for me with this machine is that it comes in 3 great metallic colors, including brushed gold, which I'm obsessed with.

My favorite single serve pod coffee machine on my top 5 list is the Keurig K-Cafe Single Serve Latte and Cappuccino Coffee Maker. For the price, I just love that you get all the benefits of a solid pod coffee maker for everyday coffee brewing, tons of options for grounds and flavors, and that it can handle a lot of cups and wear and tear. I also love that you have a built-in option for lattes and cappuccinos for hosting and special treats, while other machines require a bunch of additional accessories. The dishwasher-safe attached milk frother is totally worth it!



Business woman. Traveler. Self-Declared Host. If you're here, you know the amazing, hits-the-spot feeling of good coffee. The key to my heart (and to keeping the engine running) is coffee, and I've sipped and savored A LOT of coffee over the years and around the world. I'm on a mission to bring great coffee and the warm fuzzy feeling of coffee culture into your home and life, every cup, every day, every time.

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Business woman. Traveler. Self-Declared Host. If you're here, you know the amazing, hits-the-spot feeling of good coffee. The key to my heart (and to keeping the engine running) is coffee, and I've sipped and savored A LOT of coffee over the years and around the world. I'm on a mission to bring great coffee and the warm fuzzy feeling of coffee culture into your home and life, every cup, every day, every time.

About Hot Mug Coffee

Life’s too short for bad coffee  so Hot Mug Coffee was created to help you learn about and find the best coffee, machines, accessories and more so that you’ll always have great coffee in your mug, whether your at home or on the go. Coffee lovers rejoice!

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