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Single Cup Coffee Maker Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on October 16, 2017

Editor's note:
It was a tough update this year, as many expert reviewers no longer bother to test single-serve coffee makers, so we ended up relying almost entirely on owner reviews. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Experts tend to be coffee snobs and most people just want a machine that makes a quick cup of good coffee -- and we found plenty that do just that.

Keurig K55 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Serving sizes - 6, 8, 10 oz. Water tank size - 48 Coffee type - K-Cup, grounds (with optional My K-Cup)

Best large pod coffee maker

There is no pod coffee maker more beloved than the Keurig line, and none that get better reviews from owners than the Keurig K55. Thousands of happy owners praise its ease of use, the wide variety of coffees, teas and other hot-water-based products that are available, and they adore that it comes in black and red. The K55 boasts a large, 48 ounce reservoir and offers the option of 6, 8 or 12 ounce cup size with the push of a button. See our full review »

Buy for $89.99
Keurig 2.0 K575 Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Serving sizes - 4 to 30 oz. Water tank size - 80 Coffee type - K-Cup, Vue, K-Mug, K-Carafe, grounds (with optional My K-Cup)

A more versatile large pod coffee maker

Need nearly unlimited single cups of coffee? Need to make coffee for a crowd? No worries, the Keurig 2.0 K575 has you covered. It can make single cups of coffee from four to 12 ounces, a mug of coffee up to 18 ounces, or a carafe up to 30 ounces. The large, 80 ounce reservoir ensures you don't have to refill too often, and it also has a dedicated hot water setting for soups, tea or hot cereals. It also makes hot, delicious coffee.

Buy for $159.99
Mr. Coffee K-Cup Brewing System Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Serving sizes - up to 10 oz. Water tank size - N/A Coffee type - K-Cup, K-Cup 2.0, grounds (filter included)

Best small one-cup coffee maker

It's not a Keurig, but it is. Mr. Coffee and Keurig have teamed up to bring Keurig's vast selection of K-Cups to one of the most respected names in coffee makers. This Mr. Coffee makes up to 10 ounces of coffee and is compatible with both the original K-Cups and the 2.0 pods. A filter for using your own grounds is included as well. Experts say it's a great, inexpensive introduction to the world of single-cup coffee makers and owners love how convenient it is to use. See our full review »

Buy for $79.95
Black & Decker DCM18S Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Serving sizes - up to 15 oz. Water tank size - N/A Coffee type - Grounds

Cheap one-cup coffee maker

The Black & Decker DCM18S Brew ÔN Go earns kudos from reviewers for its convenient operation. It's great for commuters, college students, or anyone who just needs the occasional cup to go because it brews directly into an included travel mug. In professional testing the DCM18S brewed the hottest cup of coffee among seven brewers tested, and owners say the coffee stays hot in the insulated mug -- which also fits in most cup holders. Best of all for some, it uses ground coffee.

Buy for $19.13
BUNN My Café MCU Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Serving sizes - 4 to 14 oz. Water tank size - N/A Coffee type - K-Cup, soft pods, grounds, tea bag

Multi-use single-serve coffee maker

The BUNN My Café MCU is a great choice if you don't want to be just tied to pods; yet still want that brewing option. It brews from K-cups, soft pods, tea bags and ground coffee. It also has a dedicated hot water setting. It's a top pick in one expert test and owners love its versatility, customizable brew strength, and the hot, delicious coffee it makes. While there's no delay timer to program it to start in the morning, it heats very quickly.

Buy for $132.97

Types of Single Cup Coffee Makers

Large Pod-Style Coffee Makers

Buying a larger pod-style coffee maker can be very convenient if you have a family, need coffee for a crowd, or just don't like the hassle of adding water before each cup. Larger pod coffee makers feature a removable water reservoir that can dispense 6, 8, 10 or more cups of coffee (depending upon the serving size) before needing to be refilled. The largest of these can even make larger quantities of coffee sizes so you can enjoy a large mug, or fill a carafe to set on the table and share with friends. Most of these use proprietary and/or generic pods, as well as having options for using your own grounds.

Small Pod-Style Coffee Makers

Ideal for light coffee drinkers, or smaller spaces like apartment or dorms, smaller pod-style coffee makers don't have a reservoir -- you have to fill them before each cup. Some heavy coffee drinkers prefer them too, feeling that it makes their coffee taste fresher compared to water that has been sitting in a reservoir. Like their larger siblings, these one-cup coffee makers often accept a variety of different pods as well as filters to brew from grounds.

Multi-use Single-Serve Coffee Makers

Some one-cup coffee makers are more versatile than pod-only machines and can brew ground coffee as well as accepting K-Cups, tea bags or soft pods. There are even a few drip-style, single-cup coffee makers around; the most popular of these are smaller machines that brew directly into a thermal travel mug for to-go convenience. What separates these from pod coffee makers that also have filters to brew from grounds is that these types of one-cup coffee makers tend to have larger filters so you can adjust your coffee strength.

There are a few downsides

While one-cup coffee makers are a great fit for some people, there are some drawbacks to owning one, including:

You can't brew for a crowd. The nice thing about traditional coffee makers, which we cover in a separate report, is that you can brew an 8-, 10-, or 12-cup pot that can be enjoyed by a large group at the same time. With single cup coffee makers, you only make one cup at a time, so everyone has to get in line. The exception is Keurig's Plus Series line of coffee makers, which can brew up to a 30 ounce carafe, as well as a single cup.

Pod coffee makers have higher ongoing costs. On a per pound basis, it's estimated that, if you removed the coffee from the K-Cup pods to make a pound of coffee, it would cost $50 per pound. By contrast, a cup of even the highest-end coffee is rarely more than $15 per pound.

Pods are mostly not environmentally friendly. Most K-Cups and other coffee pods are not recyclable or biodegradable, although some are. Keurig has a few recyclable K-Cups available and has pledged to make all of its pods recyclable by 2020.

We present these negatives only in the interest of full disclosure -- it's important to be sure a single-cup coffee maker will work for you or you'll be an unhappy buyer. However, for many folks, a one-cupper is the perfect fit. Also, most of the above downsides can be addressed by using ground coffee in your pod coffee maker. Most of the coffee makers covered in this report will brew from grounds, although Keurig machines require an optional My K-Cup filter accessory -- which one will depend upon which coffee maker you decide on (there are two).

If you do want to use ground coffee in your single-cup coffee makers, you might want to try grinding your own beans as well. In that case, you'll want to see our report on coffee grinders for some top choices.

Finding The Best Single Cup Coffee Makers
Our Sources
"The Best Single-Cup Coffee Maker"
2. Amazon
"Single Cup Coffee Makers"
"Single Serve Coffee Makers"

Single-cup coffee makers used to get a lot of coverage from expert reviewers, but that's no longer the case. While many of those professional roundups are still available, they are quite old and most of the products have been discontinued. ConsumerReports.org still tests single-cup coffee makers, but even though their tests have a 2017 date, quite a few of their tested coffee makers have been discontinued since that report was posted. We did find one new roundup at YourBestDigs.com, which has the added bonus of not being overly judgmental about pod coffee makers (most experts absolutely hate them, for a variety of reasons).

The good news is that actual people (including the editors here at ConsumerSearch) love the convenience and easy variety that come with owning a single-cup coffee maker. For this update, we evaluated thousands of owner reviews to help us narrow down our picks for the best single-cup coffee makers. Taste is highly subjective, so we largely ignored that input, but we did take a close look at how the coffee maker performs, how easy it is to use, and how well the coffee maker holds up over time.

Recently Updated
Single Cup Coffee Makers buying guide

What every best Single Cup Coffee Makers has:

  • Easy to use controls.
  • Customizable options.
  • Variable serving sizes.

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