10 best coffee machines to use at home

Invest in a good coffee machine so you can enjoy a proper coffee in the comfort of your own home.

Best coffee machines

by Sophie Knight |
Updated on

If you're keen on a coffee shop latte, then why not consider one of the best coffee machines for your morning cup? There are all sorts of models, from bean-to-cup machines to simple filter coffee makers. What you choose should be influenced by your lifestyle, coffee requirements and style. Luckily, we've done most of the work for you.

At the moment, when you might be looking to save money where you can. There are plenty of ways to still enjoy a proper cup of coffee at home. The odd £3 on coffee isn't going to radically change your finances, but instead of visiting a coffee shop and spending those coins, they will easily add up over the course of a year, especially if you have a coffee subscription too.

Best coffee machines at a glance

Best of the best: Sage The Barista Express Machine
Best for a bargain: Russell Hobbs 20680 Buckingham Filter Coffee Machine
Best for convenience: De'Longhi Magnifica Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

Crank up your machine every morning and make yourself your favourite coffee - whether it's a latte, espresso, or you prefer to reap the benefits of a black coffee. Here are our top picks for the best coffee machine featuring our coffee pod machine picks and more. Most importantly, we have details on where you can make the biggest savings.

Best coffee machines

Best of the best

Sage-Coffee-Machine-Barista
Price: £498.95 (was £629.95)

Sage is well-known for professional espresso machines. This Sage The Barista Express Machine is a bean-to-cup appliance, featuring precise water temperature control, plus a steam wand for foaming milk. Plus, there are 18 grind settings to really control how your beans are ground.

Customer Review: "The ultimate absolute best home coffee machine that money can buy and that comes from a former barman who used to make over 20 cappuccinos and lattes per order. If you want to learn about coffee and want to experience true taste, then this machine is for you even if you don't know what you're doing. There are pressurised baskets for you to get one of the best shots around (all the other automated coffee machines basically use them), but that's like cheating, you better master the non-pressurised ones to learn how to extract the perfect shot. Really good quality product!"

Pros

  • Classic stylish design
  • Heats milk fast
  • The water tank can be filled in the position
  • Versatile

Cons

  • A bit of a faff to clean

Best coffee machine starter kit

A recognisable and popular De'Longhi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Mini Me Coffee Machine Starter Kit comes with six boxes of pods which adds to the value of the offer. This coffee machine has a compact design, ideal for households with limited countertop space, and is both easy to use and clean. To use, simply slide in your chosen pod, and set the dosage and the machine will automatically stop the water flow at the right moment.

Customer Review: "Very well designed and compact. My old machine was a Krups and lasted 8 years. This machine is straightforward and easy to use. Each pod is designed with a set amount of water to make the perfect drink which I agree with other reviews give a teacup size drink. I sometimes use two pods, and if it's strong coffee I add more water afterwards to give me a larger drink. I'm disabled, and I have found my independence with these machines. My husband fills the tank before going to work, and I can make a hot drink on my own which is totally invaluable."

Pros

  • Includes six boxes of capsules
  • Compact size, easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • A wide range of compatible products

Cons

  • Tank is smaller than most - can do just three to four coffees with one tank

Premium coffee machine

As it only takes three seconds to warm up, this is a real time-saving coffee machine. The Nespresso Creatista Plus by Sage comes with a milk jug for frothing your latte and with three cup-size settings (from 25ml to 150ml). It has eight texture levels and 11 milk temperature settings and comes with an intuitive digital display to guide you through coffee recipes. Perfect if you're a coffee-lover looking to create cafe-style quality cuppas - you can even try some latte art!

Customer Review: "I love my Nespresso Creatista Plus by Sage, Brushed Stainless Steel machine. I bought this in December 2018, so have enough experience to write a review. The machine produces great coffee, just as good as the previous machines. The steamer function produces better foam than the Aeroccino did. There are two main areas that make this machine stand out. The preprogrammed settings for coffee drink types and the housekeeping functions are built in. The water doesn't run out - you are told to refill before the tank runs dry. The steamer wand self-cleans after each use and tells you when to manually clean the tip of the wand. And the machine tells you when it needs descaling. So, the machine ensures that it is always in tip-top condition. Love it."

Pros

  • Fast heat up
  • Easy one-touch programmes
  • Fuss-free, easy-to-read display

Cons

  • Quite expensive compared to other coffee pod machines

User-friendly machine

Easy to use, with over 70 drinks to choose from, and an adjustable cup stand means you can alternate between your espresso cups or latte glasses with the Tassimo Bosch Suny 'Special Edition' TAS3102GB Coffee Machine.

Customer Review: "I am so happy with this machine. For the price I paid for it, I really think it's great. It works smoothly, and the drinks taste fine. A great purchase, which if you didn't have a coffee machine before, will save you money if you were buying takeaway coffees before :) And of course, you can make other drinks like hot chocolate. Would 100% recommend!"

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Two years manufacturers warranty

Cons

  • Small capacity compared to others

Best for convenience

De'Longhi-Magnifica-Coffee-Machine
Price: £412.98

This best-seller gives you versatility in your coffee making as you can either choose to use fresh beans with this machine or use ground coffee. The integrated coffee grinder has seven adjustable coarseness levels, and the machine features a milk frother so you can be your own barista at home. Whether you like a strong espresso or long frothy cappuccino, this De'Longhi Magnifica Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine will deliver the ideal drink and keep it warm with a cup warmer.

Customer Review: "Bought this to replace a Nespresso pod machine because I'm concerned about all the waste from pods. Delighted with the machine, it's so easy to use. The instructions are a bit daunting, but once we'd made a couple of cups it was easy. We keep an empty cup for the water that it burbs out when it cleans itself at the start and end, and that saves cleaning the tray out so often. Fantastic value and great coffee. I can't see any benefit from buying machines that cost more."

Pros

  • Self-cleans
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonable size
  • Can create great-tasting coffee to your taste

Cons

  • Is quite noisy when cleaning and grinding

For lovers of frothy coffee

De'Longhi-Eletta-Cappuccino-Coffee-Machine
Price: £429 (was £899)

ao.com

The De'Longhi Eletta features an automatic latte and cappuccino function to get really creamy milk, plus 13 different settings on the bean grinder.

Customer Review: "I bought this last week and very happy with it, it makes a lovely frothy cappuccino which tastes just like one I would buy in a restaurant. Really easy to use and clean too, no negatives so far."

Pros

  • Easy to clean and use
  • Slimline design

Cons

  • Some reviews mention they thought it made the coffee quite slowly

Perfect for espresso

Steam milk for lattes and cappuccinos, or use the hot water setting for Americanos or tea. A stylish little machine, available in other colours such as black and red.

Customer Review: "Small, easy to use and makes great coffee. Very happy with it. Perfect for small kitchens."

Pros

  • Narrow design
  • User-friendly control panel

Cons

  • Cleaning the filter takes time

Best coffee pod pick

This coffee machine features individual settings to personalise your coffee depending on how much espresso and milk you prefer; it has eight different types of drinks to choose from, including espresso, ristretto, and just hot milk.

Customer Review: "This coffee machine is absolutely fab. Straight forward to set up with your water hardness settings and your coffee-to-milk ratio. Super easy to clean after each use and you can pop all the milk container elements in the dishwasher every two days as advised and also can keep it in the fridge between uses. Very happy with my purchase. I am definitely considering purchasing reusable pods, but I'm still researching to find the best. Highly recommended."

Pros

  • Compatible regular and taller glasses
  • Choose from eight drinks

Cons

  • Capacity could be bigger

Best for a bargain

Russell-Hobbs-Coffee-Machine
Price: £76.01

Go a bit old-school with this Russell Hobbs 20680 Buckingham Filter Coffee Machine and make it feel like a dinner party in the 80s. You don't have to use filter papers, though, as it has an in-built filter that can be removed and washed.

Customer Review: "Efficient coffee machine, nothing to complain about"

Pros

  • One to four-cup option
  • Built-in filter saves waste

Cons

  • Capacity could be bigger

Energy-efficient option

Krups-Arabica-Coffee-Machine
Price: £400

ao.com

A large-capacity water tank and 250g bean container mean you can make up to 10 cups of coffee from one fill of the Krups Arabica Digital Coffee Machine. Plus, it's rated A+ for its Energy Class - very impressive.

Customer Review: "The different grinding setting is very useful to get the best out of the beans being used. However, the steaming nozzle is temperamental at best. It has a tendency to come off whilst steaming causing the milk to be splashed everywhere. Caution is required and a fast hand."

Pros

  • Generous water tank size
  • Easy to read and operate

Cons

  • Steam nozzle is tricky to use

What to look for in the best coffee machine

Coffee machine type

The type of coffee machine will affect which features are included; these include bean-to-cup, filter coffee, and coffee pod machines. We've included a selection of these in our pick of the best. But, overall, the right one for you will depend on your lifestyle and coffee preferences. We've explored these in a little more depth in our FAQs section.

Milk frother

If you prefer milk-based coffee drinks, choose a machine with a milk frother or steamer that will whip up froth or heat the milk in a contained jug for you to add to your drink. However, you can also buy these individually (milk frothers make great presents!). You'll need a frother or steamer if you want a latte or cappuccino.

Settings and controls

Machines will have different settings so you can personalise the strength of your brew, keep your cup of Joe warm, or auto shut off once your cup is full. Some newer models are smart, too. You can connect via an app to set it to make a coffee while you're still in bed or on the sofa. Talk about living your best life!

Size and capacity

This appliance will be a permanent fixture on your kitchen counter. So, you may want to consider the size of the machine if you're limited in space. Filter and pod machines tend to be smaller than bean-to-cup machines. You can even create your own coffee bar so that you have a designated space.

You'll also want to consider the capacity of your machine. A larger water tank and/or bean hopper capacity is ideal for frequent coffee drinkers or those looking to refill less frequently. However, if you're more casual in your coffee-drinking habits, a coffee pod machine or one with a smaller capacity may be more suitable.

Best coffee machine FAQs

Which type of coffee machine should you buy?

There are several different types of coffee machines, so think about what your favourite drink is and how much time you might have in the morning. Plus your budget will come into play, obviously - before deciding whether to buy a capsule appliance, one that uses ground coffee or a bean-to-cup version.

Bean-to-cup coffee machines

Quite literally take the coffee beans and at the touch of a button, you'll get the freshest coffee at home. The coffee beans are freshly ground, pressed, and filtered for a perfectly smooth and aromatic blend.

Filter coffee machines

Choose your pack of ground coffee, pop it in, and off the machine goes. You can buy ready-ground coffee or buy a separate coffee grinder and grind fresh beans yourself. This type of coffee machine is arguably the most cost-effective and simple to use, and ideal for making a no-frills black coffee to fuel your day. You can have control over the strength of your coffee, unlike a pod machine, however, it can take some trial and error to get the measurements right. You may even want to learn how to use a cafetière and make your coffee this way which is a great way of making numerous cups.

Capsule coffee machines

These use little capsules, like a Nespresso machine. Pop the capsule in and off it goes. No messing around with beans or grinds, so these appliances are real-time savers and need less tidying up after. One for you if time is precious.

However, you're often limited to one type of capsule, and then there's the matter of recyclability of single-use plastics, so they're not the most eco-friendly - and they can be pricey.

Woman using coffee machine
©Getty Images

Is it really cheaper to make coffee at home?

We compared the cost of high street coffee shops compared to buying the homebrew alternatives.

High street coffee shop costs:

If you were to buy a medium Americano from these coffee shops every day for a year, you'd spend:

Starbucks: Tall Caffe Americano £1.95 - £711.75 per year

Costa Coffee: Medium Americano £2.20 - £803 per year

Caffe Nero: Americano Regular £2.80 - £1,022 per year

Home coffee costs:

In comparison, you could buy the below for a much more affordable price:

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Starbucks House Blend 12 Capsules: £5 - £152.08 per year

Starbucks House Blend Medium Roast Ground Coffee 200g (10g per serving): £4.40 - £80.30 per year

Tassimo Costa Americano Coffee Pods x 12: £4.50 - £136.88 per year

You could save yourself over £600 a year and even more when buying the non-high-street alternatives.

How to clean a coffee machine?

You'll need to be prepared to take good care of your coffee machine, regularly descaling and cleaning to make your machine last longer and perform at its best.

You should refer to the manufacturer's instructions which should come with a clear guide to help you maintain your machine. Fortunately, many of these appliances now alert you when they need cleaning or descaling. Some even have handy features like automatic cleaning that can make this job a little easier.

For most machines, you can add a suitable descaling solution into your machine's water tank which will flush through the system when switched on. The easiest machine to clean is a coffee pod machine, followed by a filter coffee machine which requires you to remove the coffee beans before cleaning. In comparison, bean-to-cup machines require the most attention. It'll require more maintenance to prevent blockages in the pipe system. If not, these could lead to potentially expensive repairs to stop the build-up of limescale.

Sophie Knight is the Group Commercial Content Editor for Bauer Media, working across many of Bauer's high-profile brands including Mother&Baby, Yours, Heat, Closer, Empire, CAR, Parkers, MCN, and launching WhatsTheBest.

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