Best coffee pod machine for busy lives

Wake up and smell the coffee with no fuss and faff.

Best coffee pod machine

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

If you're limited on space and mornings are a bit hectic, then rather than the usual coffee machines, you'll need the best coffee pod machine to suit your lifestyle. And when the weekend brunch beckons with your besties, make a retro, Italian or futuristic coffee pod machine the centrepiece of your home coffee bar.

Brands like Tassimo and Dolce Gusto plus many other coffee subscription services offer over 50 drink options and are a great option if you're not sure how to use a cafetière. So, if you love Costa Coffee or Cadburys hot chocolate then you're in for a treat. Plus, if you feel like unleashing your inner barista, opt for a coffee machine model that has a milk frother, such as the Nespresso Creatista.

There are so many coffee pod machines on the market it can be overwhelming to decide which model is right for you. They do have some common features, including being convenient, compact and energy efficient. With a coffee pod machine, you have none of the time-consuming preparation required for a filter or bean-to-cup coffee machine. The latest models take up little space, but that also means they have a small water tank with capacity of around 1.2L or less. If you're a small household then anything around 1L will suffice, but shared houses, offices or large families may want to consider bean-to-cup or filter coffee machine options.

Best coffee pod machine at a glance:

Best coffee pod machine for large mug size: Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee Machine
Best budget coffee pod machine: Tassimo by Bosch, Suny 'Special Edition'
Best coffee pod machine for espresso: Lavazza A Modo Mio Tiny EspressoCoffee Machine
Best energy-saving coffee pod machine: De'longhi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus

In addition to having automatic shut-off when not in use, research by the University of Quebec found that making coffee in a coffee pod machine is more efficient than making traditional filter coffee. The precision with which a pod-based machine can heat the water uses less energy than a kettle. Also, because the coffee is pre-portioned in a single-serve pod means less wastage by being too generous with the serving size. You can even get

For more brew-how, scroll to the FAQs. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy our guide to the best coffee pod machines for every budget, size, and preference. Whether you're a coffee novice or a seasoned barista you can discover your perfect blend at the touch of a button.

Best coffee pod machine

Best coffee pod machine for large mug size

For lovers of one-touch tech, Nespresso Vertuo Next coffee machines are so easy to use; one button does everything.
This tall and slim machine is incredibly energy efficient and produces excellent coffee with an unrivalled crema and no mess. We love that this model can brew a hearty mug-size coffee (350ml) and also carafe size (535ml). In terms of taste, it produces more flavoursome coffee because of the high-pressure technology (Centrifusion™) used in the brewing process. Additionally, you can enhance your coffee experience by pairing the machine with the Nespresso app using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Just to say, the machine works perfectly fine without pairing too. Made from 54 per cent recycled plastic, this brilliant coffee pod machine can make five different coffee drinks.

Customer review: "It's quite big, but it's thin, so doesn't take up too much space on the kitchen side. All in all, the choice of coffees and the size (40ml, 80ml, 150ml, 230ml or Carafe pods) means that you can decide on how big your cups of coffees can be. On one negative my wife mentioned was that it didn't come with George Clooney, but hey, we can't always get what we want."


  • Large size coffees
  • Slimline
  • Nespresso quality
  • Delicious crema and strong coffee taste
  • Easy to use
  • Recyclable


  • Expensive pods
  • Wish more capsules were compatible with it

Best budget coffee pod machine

If you’re in the market for a new coffee pod machine but have a stricter budget, the Tassimo by Bosch, Suny 'Special Edition' might just be the one for you. If you love indulgent cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolates this is a good option. It’s ultra-simple to use, the front of the brewer is one large button, activated when a mug/cup is pushed against it. We also love how it automatically cleans between each coffee, so there's no tainting of flavours. The Intellibrew barcode reader reads the barcode on the pod, telling the machine the brewing parameters (temperature, brewing time and amount of water) to make that particular drink. You're spoilt for choice with over 70 drinks to choose from (including Cadbury's hot chocolate), and an adjustable cup stand means you can alternate between your espresso cups or latte glasses. Not to mention, you can also personalise your drink’s temperature, volume and intensity, with up to four ‘profiles’ that can be stored in the machine’s memory function.

Customer review: "Some pod coffee machines are not just expensive to buy but the pods can be too. I bought this for my daughter at a great price and she's delighted with it. She buys herself an array of flavours."


  • Wide variety of flavour pods
  • Affordable
  • No fiddly buttons
  • Intelligent brewing
  • Compact


  • Small water tank
  • Only takes Tassimo pods
  • Noisy

Best for making larger barista-quality coffees

Made in partnership with Philip, the L’OR Barista Sublime has dual capsule recognition technology, which automatically detects the capsule size, as well as 19 bar brewing pressure. Unusually, it features a double spout and an exclusive XXL capsule design, which means you can brew two espressos at once or combine the shots to make a larger barista-quality coffee. It's another compact appliance that's ideal for small countertops as it won’t take up too much space. This model is available in three stylish colours: white, red and black. Use with L’OR Espresso single shot capsules and the L’OR Barista XXL capsules, also a wide range of alternative branded coffee capsules are compatible including Nespresso Original pods, providing maximum flexibility and choice.

Customer review: "We've had this machine a few days now and it's brilliant. Much better than the nespresso machines and we've had a few. Coffee comes out quicker and hotter, plus you can use the extra large capsules if you want. Also the price is excellent. Only one fault I can find it could do with a light to show its switched on after plugging in."


  • Can make two drinks at once
  • Dual coffee pod compatibility
  • Compatible with other pod brands
  • Affordable


  • Menu and pod system can seem complicated
  • Pod bin fills quickly

Best coffee pod machine for espresso

Enjoy delicious espresso and all the black coffee benefits at home with this Tiny coffee machine from Lavazza. Use Lavazza’s A Modo Mio capsules, including their compostable eco pod range, to make quality Italian-style coffee. The Lavazza A Modo Mio Tiny Espresso Coffee Machine has a powerful 1450-watt output and heats up fast - so, your shot is ready within minutes. A simple one-touch button operates this compact machine. The removable drip tray allows you to place a mug under the spout, if you want to use a larger cup.

Customer review: "I love this coffee machine and the coffee. Makes perfect coffee, every time. Easy to use. Compact. Makes about two or two and a half good sized cups of coffee before requiring water tank to be refilled. The coffee pod holder slides in easily and is pulled shut with a little magnetic pull, so the pod sits perfectly in place without any adjusting required."


  • Quality Italian espresso
  • Removable drip tray so a mug will fit
  • Compostable pods available


  • Noisy
  • Only espresso

Best energy-saving coffee pod machine

Enjoy your favourite high street coffee brands with this small, powerful and easy-to-use De'longhi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus. This great value machine features a compact design but doesn't compromise on the quality of the brew, with the easy and fast preparation of over 50 coffee creations. The adjustable temperature means you can also make drinks like hot chocolate for the young (or not so young) ones and serve it at the perfect temperature for them. With a high-pressure system, your creamy coffee-shop-quality coffee will be ready in no time. Convenient, easy to clean and energy efficient with an eco mode which automatically switches the appliance off after one minute of inactivity. Additionally, the Genio S Plus has an adjustable drink size option that allows you to make a bigger drink for when you are on the go.

Customer review: "It automatically shuts off when it's reached the level you want and also has an adjustable temperature gauge… all very useful settings."


  • Compact design
  • Adjustable drink size


  • Smaller capacity
  • Can't fit a latte glass under the spout

Best high-end coffee pod machine

Nespresso Creatista Plus by Sage
Price: £329.95 (was £499.95)

If you love lattes or cappuccinos, then this coffee pod machine will be your most valuable product in the kitchen. Make authentic lattes at home. This model is one of the first portioned coffee pod machines to have combined milk texturing technology that you'd find on a professional barista machine. As it only takes three seconds to warm up, this is a real time-saving coffee machine. The Nespresso Creatista Plus by Sage has a milk jug for frothing your latte and three cup-size settings (from 25ml to 150ml). Elevate your cafe au lait into frothy joy with an automatic steam wand, eight texture levels and 11 milk temperature settings. Also, it features an intuitive digital display to guide you through coffee recipes. Perfect if you're a coffee-lover looking to create café-style quality creations - you can even try your hand at latte art. Choose from eight coffee selections, including cappuccino, latte macchiato and ristretto. It's easy to clean too, as the steam wand automatically purges after each use. The interface is also straightforward and seamless to use with Nespresso's superior information design and user experience.

Customer review: "It is very easy to use by selecting what type of coffee you want and very easy to adjust the settings for each option. You can select how much froth you'd like on your milk, how hot you want and the strength of coffee by varying the water content per pod. Once you have your preferred settings you never really touch it again. The steam wand is very easy to clean as it runs a clean cycle after every use which is nice to see and the catch tank in the base holds quite a bit of waste water until you need to empty it."


  • Easy one-touch programmes
  • Quick heat-up
  • Dense milk froth


  • Milk wand needs additional cleaning to prevent clogging

Best coffee pod machine for easy lattes

Savour authentic, silky cappuccino or latte macchiato, made directly in your cup or glass. Boasting an automatic cappuccino system, the Nespresso Lattissima Touch prepared quality coffee at the press of a button. Additionally, this machine features individual settings to personalise your coffee depending on how much espresso and milk you prefer. Choose from eight different types of drinks, including espresso, ristretto, and simple hot milk. With a reduced heat-up time that means it's ready to make coffee in just 25 seconds, you can make premium barista-quality lattes quickly, with less mess and in the comfort of your own home. Available in black or silver, this compact little number will fit snugly between the toaster and the kettle and become equally indispensable.

Customer review: "This is the best coffee machine we have had as it froths the milk at the touch of a button
Our other machines were far messier and complicated that this one tops them all."


  • Compatible with both regular coffee cups and taller latte glasses
  • Compact size
  • Quick heat-up time


  • Capacity could be bigger

Best luxury coffee pod machine

Make Grind One the centre-piece of your home coffee bar and impress your guests at your next weekend brunch party. This incredibly chic and compact polished stainless steel coffee machine from Grind stands out in a market that's dominated by plastic machines. OK, it costs a pretty penny but it has so many plus points, including compatibility with Nespresso Original pods and Grind's own range of compostable coffee pods. This machine brews the coffee using a 19-bar pressure pump that produces a strong, rich coffee with a wonderful crema. If you can't get to London to indulge at a Grind café then this is the next best thing. Currently you receive 30 free compostable pods with every machine. Plus, it's covered by a two-year guarantee, but rest assured that this is one coffee machine that's built to last.

Customer review: "Love love love Grind coffee. I am a decaf drinker and I have been searching for a great tasting decaf coffee for ages. I bought the machine and some coffee pods and I absolutely love the taste thanks Grind."


  • Stylish stainless steel design that's built to last
  • Compostable pods


  • Small coffee portion

Best Nespresso Original coffee pod machine

For an elegant morning coffee routine, the Citiz is a chic and convenient machine. It packs the power of a 19-bar high-performance pump to extract the very best flavours and aromas. The compact Citiz would look right at home in a small urban kitchen. In addition, with the Citiz and Milk, you get an integrated Aeroccino milk frother - ideal if you love cappuccinos but you're short on space and time in the mornings. The Nespresso Original system creates smaller coffees from 40ml up to 110ml using extraction by pressure, there are lots of cheaper dupe pods available - so this is a cost-effective option if you love Nespresso quality coffee and unparalleled milk foam.

Selfridges says: "Even coffee connoisseurs can appreciate the barista-level quality of the Nespresso Citiz coffee machine by Magimix. A retro-modern design, it’s kitted out with all the latest features, including automatic flow-stop for espresso coffee preparations as well as a removable drip tray for taller glasses. With an integrated Aeroccino3, frothy cappuccinos and hot milky lattes are easy, too. It’ll turn your kitchen into an Italian café; one capsule at a time."


  • Easy to clean
  • Great tasting coffee
  • Brilliant milk frother


  • Small coffee serving


How much does a coffee pod machine cost?

Coffee pod machines range from £50 to £300. However, you can be limited to a certain brand of pod/capsule – and often, buying exclusive pods from a brand can add up.

Nespresso coffee pods range from 45p to 75p per pod. In comparison, L'OR capsules can be bought in bulk and on subscription from Amazon for around 24p per pod. Factor in pod compatibility too. Many coffee pod machines accept the standard 44mm ESE (Easy Serve Espresso) pods. But be aware that Nespresso Vertuo machines only take Vertuo capsules. Similarly, Tassimo machines only take their branded T Discs.

Check the product specification before buying so you know what coffee pods are compatible.

What are the pros and cons of coffee pod machines?

A small machine doesn't have to necessarily mean small coffee. Yes, there are coffee makers like Lavazza A Modo Mio Tiny that are specifically designed to make espresso. But, there's the Nespresso Vertuo Next, with a footprint of just 14cm that can brew a hearty mug-size coffee. But it's worth noting that, unlike a filter coffee machine, you only get single-serve coffees from pod machines. Here's a summary of the pros and cons of coffee pod machines in general:


• Quick and easy to use
• Compact, takes up little space
• Large variety of coffee flavours
• Affordable price for a machine
• One-touch operation
• Convenient


• Expensive to buy coffee pods/capsules
• Limited to machine brand pods/capsules
• Some pods are recyclable but not all
• Weaker coffee than bean or filter

Is it coffee pods or capsules?

Pods and capsules are used interchangeably to describe single-use shots of coffee that get slotted into coffee machines.

What type of coffee pod is best for the environment?

Coffee pods being single-serve can result in a lot of coffee pod waste, with 29,000 pods going to the landfill every minute (Retail Times).

If you're environmentally conscious, opt for a compostable coffee pod that's made from plant-based materials. Corn starch and paper pulp will break down as organic food waste. Nespresso compostable pods are coming to France and Switzerland in 2023 and compostable pods from Grind are available in the UK. Because they don't have the oxygen barrier that aluminium and plastic pods have, how long you can store biodegradable pods is up for question. It is, in effect, like storing your ground coffee in a paper bag.

An aluminium pod is vacuum-sealed, so the coffee stays fresh for months. In addition, aluminium pods are recyclable, with a lifespan of 80-100 years. In most cases, you have to remove the used coffee grounds and arrange the recycling using Podback.

Some brands still use plastic pods, however, all the major brands have made a point of using recycled plastic. This can be recycled through schemes like TerraCycle.

Finally, there is the reusable coffee pod such as Bluecup Reusable Capsules. This is made from stainless steel, plastic or aluminium. It requires the effort of spooning ground coffee into the pod and sealing it with foil. It's worth the extra minute or two because it works out a lot cheaper, as well as being green.

Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Yours, specialising in home appliances. When she's not testing sparkling water makers, she flexes her creative flair as an artist.


Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us