Why you can trust ZDNet
Our recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We may earn a commission when you purchase a product through our links. This helps support our work but does not influence what we write about or the price you pay. Our editors thoroughly review and fact check every article. Our process

‘ZDNet Recommends’ What exactly does that mean?

ZDNet’s recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of YOU, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form

Close

Best single serve coffee maker 2022: When one cup is enough

Ah, sweet elixir of life...

The average American drinks up to three cups of coffee a day, but that doesn't mean you want all of your servings up front. When all you need is a single cup of joe, you'll want one of these single serve coffee makers to do the job.

Here are our picks for the best single serve coffee makers in 2022:

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

Best French press

aeropress-coffee-maker.png
Amazon

At a glance

The AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker accommodates both American- and espresso-style coffees -- without any of the bitterness or acidity that can come with other machines. The microfilters are efficient in removing grit from your brew, and its signature rapid, total immersion brewing process takes just two minutes. When you don't have a ton of time to spare, this machine is a perfect solution. 

Each press makes up to three cups, so it's a great fit for both single and two-person households. Made of phthalate- and BPA-free materials, this coffee maker is designed for home use with clean-up that is fast and efficient, lasting just a few seconds. And everything you need comes in a convenient tote bag.

In the box

AeroPress, funnel, scoop, stirrer, 350 microfilters, filter holder, zippered nylon tote bag

Pros

Cons

  • Ready to go out of the box

  • Simple cleaning process 

  • Travel-friendly design

  • Subpar heat retention

  • Limited controls for brew strength

  • Not ideal for lighter roasts

Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker

Best for ground coffee

hamilton-beach-scoop-coffee-maker.png
Amazon

At a glance

The Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker can brew 14 fluid ounces in less than 2.5 minutes. When you brew an 8-ounce cup, the brew time is cut down to just 90 seconds. 

Included is a single serve scoop designed using a mesh filter, allowing for greater versatility when brewing different coffee varieties. There is also a regular automatic drip option, or you can upgrade to a bold brew. The automatic shutoff is a convenient addition to keep the home safe, while the sleek stainless steel design is easy to clean and offers great durability. Plus, there's a spill-resistant drip tray to cut down on clean-up time and a built-in adjustable stand, which accommodates different cup sizes.

In the box

Single Serve Coffee Maker

Pros

Cons

  • Adjustable stand

  • Simple cleaning process

  • Variable brew strength

  • Poor filtering

  • Some users report plastic-like flavor

  • Subject to overfilling

Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker

Best for iced coffee

k-elite-coffee-maker.png
Amazon

At a glance 

Keurig is a well-known name among coffee makers, offering several models that incorporate its exclusive K-Cup design. The K-Elite model's plastic construction is accented with brushed silver and features an oversized 75 oz. water reservoir. There are five different cup sizes available, including 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 oz. sizes, plus convenient buttons that give you full control of the brew type, strength, and size. The brew button allows you to choose a bolder brew, while the iced setting is excellent for warmer days. 

If you are in the mood for something different, like soup or oatmeal, the K-Elite has a hot water function that skips the brewing process altogether. The K-Elite is restricted to K-Cups and hot water, but if you purchase the additional Universal My K-Cup Reusable Coffee Filter, your machine can then accommodate coffee grounds, too.

The removable drip tray is a welcome convenience, holding an entire cup in case of overbrewing. However, your cup size is limited to 7.2 inches tall. Keurig also incorporates an exclusive maintenance notification that will remind you when it is time to descale and clean your K-Elite machine.

In the box

K-Elite machine, water filter handle, filter

Pros

Cons

  • Compatible with K-Cups

  • Five brew sizes

  • Separate beverage settings 

  • Higher price tag

  • May be too tall for some spaces

  • Lengthy warm-up process

Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine

Best luxury machine

nespresso-vertuo-evoluo-coffee-maker.png
Amazon

At a glance

Nespresso pulls out all of the stops with its popular Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine. Its silver design incorporates buttons for control, offering simple one-touch brewing with three different settings for your choice of espresso, alto, or coffee. You can even save your favorite settings, and warm-up time is just 25 seconds before you can begin brewing. 

Nespresso's Centrifusion technology delivers authentic-tasting espresso and coffee, automatically adjusting itself to brew the best drink possible based on your beverage of choice. There are dark and medium roast options that are available in three intensities: 6, 7, and 8.  

The machine uses its exclusive Vertuo capsule technology that works much like K-Cups, brewing up to 14 ounces at a time. Thirty capsules are included, and then you will need to purchase more to continue enjoying your machine. Like the K-Elite, there is a descaling reminder that lets you know when it is time to rid your machine of calcium and mineral build-ups. For those looking to go green, this machine is environmentally-friendly, too, thanks to an eco-mode setting that automatically turns the machine off after nine minutes.   

In the Box 

Coffee machine, starter set of 30 Vertuo pods

Pros

Cons

  • Exclusive Nespresso Centrifusion technology

  • Excellent for espresso

  • Descaling reminder

  • Restricted to Nespresso Vertuo capsules

  • Pricey to replace Vertuo pods

  • Not recommended for light roasts

How did we choose these products?

While narrowing down our choices for the best single-serve coffee makers, we considered these factors:

  • Brew function: Some single-serve coffee makers may offer a lighter blend, but only coffee makers that are capable of stronger brews offer an espresso option. 

  • Type of coffee: While some machines are compatible with normal coffee grounds, others may rely upon manufacturer-specific products, like Keurig's K-Cups. 

  • Brew time: The warm-up and brew process varies from machine to machine.

  • Construction: The machine's material will help determine not only how long clean-up will be but also how long the machine will last. 

  • Price: Single serve coffee makers range in price from budget-friendly and splurge-worthy. 

Which is the right one for you?

The factors above can help you find the right single serve coffee maker for your home or office. We recommend starting your search with the four machines featured on this list.

What is a single serve coffee maker?

A single serve coffee maker is designed to brew coffee, espresso, or hot chocolate in smaller servings than the traditional coffee maker. The smaller brew size allows for ultra-quick brewing, plus many machines give you the option to customize and even save your preferred settings. 

What brew strength is available from a single serve coffee maker?

Single serve coffee makers are traditionally known for weaker blends, but today's best machines incorporate options that allow you to choose from stronger blends.

How much does a single serve coffee maker cost?

The cost of single serve coffee makers can vary significantly based on its size and features. Our picks for the best single serve coffee makers range in price from $32 to $200, so there's something available for every budget. 

It's also important to consider any additional purchases that may be required to use your machine, such as Keurig's K-Cups and Nespresso's capsules.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

In our search for the best single serve coffee makers, we came across some great options. These machines almost made our list:

For more buying recommendations, check out our picks for the best French press coffee maker, best espresso machine, and best tea kettle of 2021!

Show Comments