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If you’ve always wanted your own professional coffee machine, but you don’t have the barista skills you need to make the perfect cappuccino, there is an alternative. The best coffee pod machine on the market will give you a simple and accessible way to make a delicious cup of coffee, without background knowledge.
Unlike standard coffee machines, capsule or “pod” products are quick, simple, and usually mess-free. They simplify the process of creating amazing coffee options like a latte or an espresso, and there’s no grinding or manual milk-frothing required.
Of course, as more consumers look for a reliable way to get their favourite beverage at home, without the gigantic price tag, we’ve seen a huge selection of pod coffee makers appear on the market. There are now hundreds of options to choose from, including devices that specialise in certain kinds of coffee, as well as machines that make hot chocolate and tea too!
To help you track down the best capsule coffee machine, we’ve searched through tons of feedback. Here are just some of the popular devices we’ve found for people who are sick of instant coffee and complicated brewing methods.
How We Compared Coffee Pod Machines
To find the right coffee pod machines we considered multiple factors including:
- Ease of use
- Built-in or available milk frothing or steaming systems
- Tank Capacity
Our team planned comparison points and specifically looked for products that would cater to all kinds of needs. We spent countless hours researching, consulting customer reviews and comparing features to come up with this list.
To find out more about our process please see here.
Best Coffee Pod Machine Reviews – Top 8 Picks
If you’re looking for the best coffee capsule machine that requires minimal supervision, then the Delonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS makes an excellent pick. It is able to make both hot and cold drinks including espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and much more – by simply pressing a button.
The Dolce Gusto coffee pod machine features a compact upright design with a large 0.8-litre water tank on the back. It has a high-pressure pump with a frothing ability and takes about 40 seconds to heat up enough to start brewing your beverage.
In order to prevent messes, this machine is accompanied by an adjustable drip tray. An automatic Eco mode shuts the machine down after one minute to conserve energy. It is available in either red, white, or black colour options to match any kitchen decor. There is also an upgraded purchase option that includes a supply of coffee and drink pods with purchase. The Piccolo holds both Dolce Gusto and Starbucks brand drink pods.
Be aware, this coffee pod machine has a manual brew operation which means you have to hold the button down while brewing and there is no automatic cutoff. Also, due to its compact size, taller cups may not fit under the spout without a tilt.
- One-touch operation
- Makes hot and cold drinks
- Adjustable drip tray
- 0.8-litre tank capacity
- Compact and stylish design
- Taller cups may not fit under the spout
- Have to hold down the button to operate which may be an issue
There are some things in life that you can’t afford to compromise on. If your coffee is your morning lifeline, then you’re going to need the best pod coffee maker, no questions asked. The Nespresso Lattissima One Pod coffee maker is one of the excellent options on the market today and might be the option for you.
This coffee machine allows homeowners to create a range of café-style beverages. You can make a latte, an espresso, a Lungo and more. It is also our choice for the best coffee pod machine with milk frother. The milk jug holds just enough milk for the occasional creamy drink like a cappuccino or latte. Once you’re finished using it, you can just pop it straight into the dishwasher. The great thing about the Lattissima capsule system is that it froths milk straight into your cup, rather than needing a separate device.
Another fantastic thing about this machine is the eco-mode which helps to reduce the amount of energy you use on your coffee machine. The energy-saving function switches your machine off automatically if there’s been no activity for 9 minutes or longer. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many options with this Nespresso machine as other pod-using devices. However, if you’re looking for basic coffee, then it’s a good choice.
- Instant milk frothing system
- Includes a range of backlit buttons
- Compact milk jug for single-use
- 19 bar pressure pump system
- 25-second heat-up
- A small range of Nespresso drink capsules
- Need to clean very thoroughly
- Challenging to get advice and support from Nespresso
One of the biggest issues that most consumers have when it comes to capsule coffee machines is that they can’t always figure out how to replicate barista-style brew at home. Fortunately, you can get all the milk-frothing action and mixology you need, combined with an excellent user interface on the Bosch Tassimo Suny coffee machine.
Available in a range of colours to suit any kitchen design, the Bosch Tassimo capsule system makes everything from delightful espresso to sweet hot chocolate in seconds with its one-touch intelligent brew system. It’s also particularly good at making cappuccinos, lattes and other frothy or creamy concoctions. If you’ve been looking for the best coffee pod machine and you don’t want to spend extra time preparing, then this could be the ideal choice for you.
This is an excellent high-quality coffee machine, although it’s worth noting that sometimes the pods won’t fill your cup the whole way. You might need to run the drink-making process through twice to fill a large mug.
- One-touch operation
- Tassimo Intellibrew system included
- Excellent for creamy and frothy varieties
- Smart Start button for when you’re in a hurry
- Two years warranty
- Doesn’t fill big cups with one pod
- The water container is too small for several users
- Only uses Tassimo capsules
The Nespresso 11389 Vertuo Plus Special Edition coffee cup machine by Magimix uses unique Centrifusion technology to brew the best quality cup of coffee possible. This advanced mechanism actively spins the coffee capsule for as many as 7,000 times per minute – resulting in an even and creamy coffee product.
The Vertuo Plus offers an easy-to-use one-touch brewing system. It holds Vertuo-specific pods and has five adjustable coffee sizes. This machine also features an automatic blend recognition that brews your coffee capsule to the perfect strength without wasting any of the grounds.
The Nespresso Vertuo Plus comes with 12 coffee capsules included as well as a two-month-long coffee capsule subscription. It is available in various colour options in an effort to match your pre-existing kitchen decor. In addition, complimentary recycling is offered for Nespresso club members which can drastically reduce the amount of waste produced overall.
However, this machine is only able to brew very specific Nescafe Vertou capsules, as we briefly mentioned above, resulting in lesser versatility. You should also be aware that there are reports of the water tank leaking slightly and it may not make the hottest coffee.
- 12 coffee capsules included
- 2-month free coffee subscription
- 5 adjustable coffee sizes
- One-touch brewing process
- Centrifusion technology
- May not be compatible with other brand pods
- May not produce the hottest coffee
- Water tank can leak
As you compare coffee pod machines looking for the most compact design, the Nespresso Essenza by Krups will surely catch your eye. It comes in two different styles to match your decor and weighs only 2.3kg. Hence, you can easily reposition it or move it out of the way on busy mornings.
The Essenza Mini coffee pod machine features a stainless steel slim design that is available in several colours to suit your kitchen. Unlike some other coffee capsule machines, the Essenza is compatible with various brands of pods so you won’t be restricted when choosing your favourites.
Easy to operate, all you need to do is select the drink size and then watch it prepare your coffee. With a heat-up time of 25 seconds, you won’t be waiting too long, while the 19-bar pressure ensures a perfect crema every time.
Unfortunately, due to its compact design, the water tank may be too small for larger families where you may need to make several cups at once. Additionally, you may not be able to use taller mugs with this machine unless you’re happy to remove the drip tray.
- Compact and stylish design
- Automatic flow stop
- Compatible with other pod brands
- Energy-saving functionality
- Fast heat-up time
- The water tank may be too small for families
- May not accommodate larger mugs without removing the drip tray
The Delonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Mini Me coffee cup machine comes as a single serving starter kit that includes four boxes of Starbucks coffee pods with every purchase.
The black and grey Mini Me coffee cup machine may be compact in size but that doesn’t mean it has to sacrifice power. The pump pressure on this machine is strong enough to froth your coffee resulting in better lattes, cappuccinos, or even macchiatos.
To allow a customisable brew strength as well as to accommodate different sized cups, this Mini Me features adjustable volume selection buttons. It also has an eco-mode that automatically turns it off after five minutes. Overall, it is extremely easy to use and makes a great choice for anyone living solo. Plus, these small pod coffee machines can hold Starbucks or Dolce Gusto coffee and tea pods.
Of course, the Mini Me isn’t without its flaws. It runs a bit louder than some other options and has a smaller water tank capacity. Moreover, there are reports of people receiving duplicate coffee pod flavours instead of four different ones.
- Four boxes of Starbucks coffee pods included
- Adjustable volume buttons
- Super compact design
- Strong pump with frothing ability
- Easy to use
- Functionality may be noisy
- Smaller tank capacity may not be suitable for larger families
- May receive duplicate coffee pod boxes
Finding the ideal capsule device means walking the line between the best cheap coffee pod machines, and a device you can trust to deliver great results. The Jovia capsule system, by DeLonghi, is a stunning addition to your kitchen, designed to fit with any modern aesthetic.
Not only is it incredibly effortless to use, but the Jovia also comes with 15 bar pump pressure, for quality that mimics local café-style beverages. This coffee pod machine works with a wide variety of Nescafe coffee pods to make a great espresso, latte, cappuccino and more. It can create both hot and cold beverages too. Why not try an iced tea on a day when coffee might be too much? Available in a range of colours, this attractive machine comes with a two-year guarantee, and it’s ideal for everyday use.
Nescafe Dolce even has its own range of glasses you can use to add to your coffee shop experience at home. Unfortunately, the instructions aren’t very informative, and putting the water into the system can be difficult. Other than that, it’s a great piece of tech. Try searching for the instructions online using your model number as a reference.
- 15 bar pump pressure
- Can be cleaned and used easily
- Two-year guarantee
- Lots of flavours to choose from
- Only pictures available in instructions (no text)
- Adding water to the machine can be difficult
- Not automatic – you need to stop pouring manually
We covered all the benefits of the Mini Me bundle from Nescafe Dolce Gusto above. However, if you’re just looking for the best capsule coffee machine without any added extras, then you can try it without the bundled equipment included.
The great thing about this simple capsule system is how easy it is to use. All you need to do is pop the pod into the machine, choose the drink you want and hit the button to get started.
Additionally, the compact outline of this coffee pod machine means that it can fit well into virtually any kitchen, you don’t have to worry about assigning space for a massive piece of equipment. Nescafe even built in an eco-mode that switches your machine off after 5 minutes of inactivity, so you can avoid wasting cash on extra energy.
Like other Dolce machines, it is compatible with a wide range of flavours from well-known brands. However, it can be difficult to get the water tank filled as it’s often awkward to remove it from the machine. Additionally, this comes with a red cable which some people don’t like in their kitchen.
- Has an automatic function
- Excellent 15 bar pressure system
- More than 50 pod varieties to choose from
- Can be used and cleaned easily
- Eco-mode to save you energy
- Difficult to remove the water tank
- The red power cable is a strange design choice
- Can leak or overflow at times
Which Coffee Pod Machine Should You Buy?
If you’ve read through our pod coffee machine reviews above and you’re still not sure what kind of device you need, you’re not alone.
Just as it is with Nespresso machines, one cup kettles, or juicers, choosing the ideal coffee pod machine isn’t very straightforward. Particularly, this is especially true if you’re new to pod and capsule technology. However, if you can track down the right system, then you could have access to everything you need to make first-class espresso or café-style beverages in your own home without any barista training or prior knowledge.
1. More Than Just A Plain Cup of Coffee
Many people find that the high-quality coffee they get from their pod machines actually helps them to save money in the long run by reducing the amount of money they spend on professionally brewed beverages. If you can make your favourite latte at home, there’s no need to pay a pro to do it for you.
Single-serve coffee capsules are easy to use and packed with all the delicious ingredients you’d expect from your favourite brands. Here are a few tips on how you can choose the machine that’s right for your needs.
2. Different Kinds of Beverages You Want to Make
The first thing to think about when you’re choosing a coffee capsule machine is the different kinds of beverages you would want to make. Some of the models we covered above are specifically designed to provide high-quality coffee beverages. However, they may only offer a small selection of choices.
On the other hand, there are growing coffee pod brands like Nespresso, Tassimo, Bosch and Nescafe Dolce Gusto that have a wide range of beverages to choose from. These companies partner with other groups like Costa and Cadbury’s to bring you a host of delicious drink choices.
If you just want basic coffee brewed to a higher standard, keep that in mind when choosing your machine. If you’re looking for a device that can offer signature varieties from hot chocolate, tea, as well as coffee, then make sure you research the available capsules you can get before you buy a machine.
3. Ease of Use and Maintenance
Another critical point to consider when choosing your coffee capsule machine is how manageable it’s going to be for you to use and maintain over the years.
One of the biggest benefits of pod devices is how simple they are compared to traditional coffee machines. Most of the time, all you’ll need to do to create an amazing espresso is pop a pod into the device, add water, and press a button.
Some machines can be more complex depending on the additional features that they offer. For instance, you might choose a pod machine with an additional frothing or milk-steaming component for fresher milk-based options.
Everyday Usage and Clean Up
Try and get the right balance between functionality and ease of use. Also, it’s a good idea to ensure that your capsule system is a breeze to clean, so you don’t have to struggle to stop the nozzle from clogging or wash the model inside and out every time you use it.
Add-ons You Might Want to Look For
As standard, all pod-based or capsule coffee machines should be able to make delicious brews quickly and easily. However, many modern devices also come with additional features and capabilities to consider.
For instance, ensuring that the model you choose to buy has an adequate level of pump pressure is a great way to guarantee that you can enjoy the delicious taste of any coffee beverage each morning. Some machines even come with access to filters so that you can get all the benefits of a high-quality coffee, without any unwanted extras.
When browsing through the wide range of machines available today, you can also look at certain things.
Other Factors That You Can Look For
- Filtration options
- Back-lit buttons for ease of use
- Built-in or available milk frothing or steaming systems
- A large enough tank for multiple people
- A small device that’s convenient for your kitchen
You may even want to make sure that the machine you buy comes in colour and form that matches your kitchen. After all, you want your appliances to also look good while they’re delivering a consistently excellent taste experience.
Choosing Your Capsule Coffee Machine
For us, the best coffee pod machine on the market today is the Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS machine. Versatile and simple to operate, we believe this machine will suit most households. It features a 0.8L water tank and has a high-pressure pump so that you can quickly prepare your brew. Lastly, it has an adjustable drip tray so that you can use your favourite mug and save energy, thanks to its automatic eco-mode.
We understand that what we are looking for in a coffee pod machine may not suit everyone, but we are confident that there is something for everyone on our top 8 list.