Coffee—it’s that magical liquid that seems to bring people out of their morning slump and helps them become functional members of society (seriously, if you don’t drink coffee, how do you function? We need to know!).
If you want a bit of variety in your life and you want to drink some coffee that isn’t going to require a lot of clean up, then you might consider choosing the best single cup coffee maker that’ll fit in your budget. We say “in your budget” because if you’re looking for the best pod coffee maker, they can get pretty pricy!
So, what kind of features should the best single cup coffee maker have? Keep reading and we’ll shed some light on the features to look for, but also give you a quick review of some options that are available on the market. Finally, we’ll give you our recommendation of which of these six we think you may enjoy the most.
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Features Of The Best Single Cup Coffee Maker To Look For
Not all single cup coffee makers are created the same. Here are some notable features that you will want to look for when choosing your new single serve coffee maker.
- Reservoir Size – While you may be interested in brewing one cup at a time, maybe you’ll want a reservoir so you can brew one cup right after another. If you live with other coffee drinkers, you may want to find a machine that features a larger reservoir.
- Cup Height and Cup Variation – Small machines might take up less space on the counter, but they may not offer enough height to fit your travel mug if you plan on taking your coffee on the road. Check the high allotment for the cup before you make a purchase. Also, look for a machine that will allow you to select the size of cup and amount of coffee you want to brew.
- Brew Strength and Temperature Controls – Some people like their coffee strong, some do not. Some like their coffee boiling hot, others do not. Look for a machine that will allow you to control how long the water is in contact with the grounds (thus making the coffee weaker or stronger) and look for one that will let you control how hot the water can get.
- Pods – Some machines only work with K-Cups or other cups like ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pods, or even Nespresso pods. If you want to not be tied to any specific brand of coffee or you have your own favorite coffee that isn’t in a pod, look for a machine that will let you use a reusable filter. Not only will these refillable filters let you use the coffee you enjoy, but you’ll save money and help reduce waste!
- Storage - If you do decide to use pods, you may want to consider a coffee maker that comes with a storage system so the pods are neat and organized.
With the features out of the way, let’s look at six options that you may want to consider when trying to find the best single serve coffee brewer.
The Best Single Serve Coffee Maker Reviews
Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Cup Coffee Maker
The Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker gives you convenience that you’ve been hoping for at a very affordable price point. With this coffee maker, you can make either an 8 ounce cup of coffee for when you are reading the morning paper, or a 14 ounce travel mug for when you don’t have time to enjoy the brew at home and you have to hurry out the door.
Notable features of the Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker include:
- Costs pennies per cup, compared to leading competitors' single-size packs
- Proportions coffee exactly with single-serve scoop filter
- Brews an 8 oz. cup of coffee in less than 90 seconds
- Built-in adjustable stand holds standard-size cup and taller travel mugs
- One steel mesh scoop filter included; no need for paper filters
- Wide drip tray on base acts as a spill-resistant drain for excess coffee
- Settings for REGULAR (automatic drip) and BOLD coffee
- Durable, stainless steel features ensure coffeemaker's longevity
- Automatically shuts off after brewing
When looking at the reviews for the product, 76% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said how much they enjoy being able to use coffee grinds instead of having to pay a small fortune on coffee pods and cups. Customers also enjoy being able to make a single cup of coffee instead of a whole pot. They also like that there isn’t a water reservoir, which means the machine is always using fresh filtered water, instead of water that could get stale.
Of the remaining 24% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that their machine leaves a lot of “sludge” in the bottom of their coffee cup, thus making their drink taste horrible. Another customer said that since there was a plastic piece in the water way, the machine leaches the plastic and their coffee tastes like plastic.
Aicok Single Serve K-cup Coffee Maker
For those who aren’t interested in anything fancy and just want a single serve coffee maker that is easy to use, then you might be interested in the Aicok single serve K-cup coffee maker. With this coffee maker, you can use your favorite coffee, tea, and hot cocoa mixes that you find in a K-cup without spending more than $100 for a Keurig machine. Of course, you can also find refillable K-cup pods designed for the Keurig, which will also work in this machine.
Notable features of the Aicok Single Serve K-cup Coffee Maker include:
- Provides a cup of fresh coffee in only 3 minutes.
- Removable drip tray allows for larger cups and travel mugs
- Water reservoir allows you to brew several cups before having to refill
- One Touch Button Controls
- Travel Size
- 2 year manufacturer warranty.
When looking at the reviews for the product, 86% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said the coffee maker was perfect, as it was compact and efficient. Customers thought that because the instructions on how to use the unit, it made learning how to use the coffee maker that much easier—especially for visitors and guests who wanted to make some coffee and didn’t know how to use the maker.
Other customers liked that because the reservoir was smaller, which meant it didn’t take so long for the hot water to heat up. So they could turn the coffee maker on, make some eggs and their coffee would be done brewing in less than 4 minutes. A nice feature of the coffee maker that customers appreciate is that after the pot is done brewing, the machine turns off.
Of the remaining 14% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that the coffee maker leaked—a lot. One customer said they only put 6 to 8 ounces of water in the reservoir and it still leaked. Another customer said that when they made their coffee for the day, there was more coffee under the machine than in the cup. Another complaint some customers had was that their coffee was full of coffee grounds, so much that they couldn’t drink their coffee.
Mr. Coffee K-Cup Brewing System With Reusable Grounds Filter
If ever there was a well-respected name in the coffee maker industry, it would have to be Mr. Coffee! The Mr. Coffee brand has been perfecting the way we brew coffee since 1970, so we needn’t tell you just how reliable the machine can be, especially when the company partnered with Keurig, another well-known and respected name in the coffee world for this machine.
Notable features of the Mr. Coffee K-Cup Brewing System with Reusable Grounds Filter include:
- Brews K-Cup packs or your favorite ground coffee
- Make up to a 10 ounces serving to get you going!
- Automatic shut off when brewing is complete
- Includes My Grounds reusable filter
- Removable, Washable drip tray collects drips to keep brew space neat and clean
When you’re ready for your morning cup of coffee, the process of getting that coffee has never been easier. All you need to do is add fresh water to the reservoir, put your favorite K-cup pod (or the My Grounds reusable filter filled with your favorite coffee brand) into the machine and then press the brew button.
The coffee brews directly into your favorite mug or travel sized cup, so you never have to worry about cleaning any coffee pots. If you think there’s going to be any coffee splashing outside of the cup during the brewing process, you don’t have to worry about that, as there is a removable drip tray that will catch any spill over or splashed coffee.
When looking at the reviews for the product, 74% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said they loved the fact that you could use the My Grounds reusable filter and your own coffee grounds. This means you don’t have to worry about using the wasteful K-Cups. Another feature customers liked was that this is an affordable, basic coffee maker without any unnecessary bells and whistles.
Of the remaining 16% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that this product felt like it was an “expensive product to just boil water.” For these customers, the unit stopped being able to brew coffee (although it still got the water nice and hot) after merely 10 uses with a K-cup. Customers said that the device pokes the hole into the k-cup, but no coffee filters through.
Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single-Serve Coffee Maker
In the world of single cup coffee makers, you have the Keurig’s and then you have devices like the Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single-Serve Coffeemaker that do the same thing just without the fancy Keurig name. This Cuisinart single serve coffee maker is a product that is fully programmable so you can choose the right settings that will give you the best coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or even soup that you could ask for.
Notable features of the Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single-Serve Coffee Maker include:
- K-Cup compatible brewer makes one cup at a time
- 5 beverage sizes: 4 ounces to 12 ounces
- Hot water button lets you enjoy instant coffee, soup, tea and hot cocoa
- Rinse feature instantly cleans the inside of the brew chamber
- Fully programmable with useful features like: Auto On/Off and adjustable temperature control
- Charcoal water filter
When looking at the reviews for the product, 71% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said that the feature they like the most is the ability to use the K-cup insert from the larger Cuisinart SS-700. Customers also like that the machine features an automatic on/off feature that shuts the coffee maker off after 30 minutes. This is especially useful if you’re running late and forget to turn the coffee maker off.
Of the remaining 29% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was they were disappointed that the coffee maker wasn’t stainless steel as it appeared. In fact, they said the unit felt like was cheaply made because it was made from plastic. Customers also said the upper needle created a “sloppy hole that spews water and coffee grounds everywhere.”
Keurig K15 Single Serve Coffee Maker
With the Keurig K15 Single Serve Coffee Maker, you have the option to make three different amounts of coffee—6 ounces, 8 ounces, and 10 ounces. This coffee maker is a great option for people who want to take some coffee on the road with them so they don’t have to purchase over-priced coffee at chain coffee shops.
Notable features of the Keurig K15 Single Serve Coffee Maker include:
- Bundle offer that includes 36 coffee pods, pod storage drawer, travel mug, and coffee maker
- Storage drawer can hold 35 K-Cup, 15 K-Mug, or 15 K-Carafe pods
- Travel Mug features stainless steel outer wall, plastic inner wall
With this coffee maker, you can choose over 500 different K-Cup pod varieties from 75 different coffee, tea, and hot chocolate brands. This means if you feel like switching up coffee flavors, you can. You can even choose your favorite hot tea or hot chocolate K-Cups if you want a hot beverage to sip on while you watch the evening news. The typical brew time with this machine is under two minutes and all you have to do is press a button.
When looking at the reviews for the product, 71% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said they really enjoyed how compact this device is. They like that it doesn’t take up a lot of valuable space on the counter top. For those who have limited counter space like if you’re in a college dorm room, this could be a great feature.
Of the remaining 29% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that the pump stopped working less than 4 or 5 months of using it, and it since the pump doesn’t work, it only makes a teaspoon’s worth amount of coffee. Another complaint that is the coffee maker is so compact that users cannot place a normal sized 8 to 10 ounce coffee cup in the machine unless they remove the drip tray.
Keurig K575 Coffee Maker Single Serve 2.0 Brewing System
Keurig has been a well-known name among the single serve coffee makers for a long time now. The machines are able to brew the perfect amount of coffee just the way you like it, each and every time. With the K575 version, you can choose just how much coffee you want (or need), as the device can use K-cup pods that go up to 12 ounces of brewed coffee, K-Mug pods that go up to 18 ounces of brewed coffee, or K-Carafe pods that go up to 30 ounces of brewed coffee.
Notable features of the Keurig K575 Coffee Maker Single Serve 2.0 Brewing System include:
- Strength and Temperature Control
- Customizable Settings
- 80 Ounce Water Reservoir
- Variety of Brewing Sizes
- Large Color Touch Screen
- 6 K-Cup Pods
- Water Filter Handle
- 2 Water Filters
When looking at the reviews for the product, 59% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said how much more convenient this model is in comparison to previous versions. One customer said that they enjoyed how easy the touch screen menu is to use.
Several customers have said that they enjoy this model because you’re able to make single cups of coffee, but when they need (or want) more, they can pop in a K-Carafe pod and make more. Of the remaining 41% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that the coffee maker stops working because the coffee grounds have a tendency to get stuck in the upper needle.
Other customers have said that the coffee maker tends to break only after a few uses. Some of these malfunctions include water leaking after each cup of coffee that is made, water stopped filtering through the machine, and a less important but notable complaint was that the touch screen menu stopped working.
We’ve looked at several great options for single cup coffee makers, and they all have their benefits and downfalls. As with any product, you aren’t going to make everyone happy. With that said, we do have a couple recommendations for you to consider.
If you’re interested in choosing the best Keurig coffee maker between these two, the clear winner is going to be the Keurig K15 machine. It has a 71% user approval, but it’s also $55 cheaper. You’d be crazy if you were sucked into buying the K575 simply because it had a (temperamental) touch screen.
If you’re looking for an affordable coffee brewer that costs less than $100, then the Aicok Single Serve K-cup Coffee Maker is the way to go because 86% of customers who purchased this unit absolutely love their purchase. It’s easy to use, the instructions are printed on the side, making it a great unit for guest who aren’t familiar with the device.
Coffee is something that people all over the world reach for in the morning to start off their day. So for them, a coffee maker is something they are going to have in their home. However, these machines aren’t just good for the coffee drinker. If you have a tea drinker or if you enjoy a cup of hot cocoa from time to time, these machines can be used for that as well.
There are countless beverage selections with these machines, which increases their usefulness exponentially. We believe that whichever product you choose, either the Keurig K15 or the Aicok Single Serve, you’ll think to yourself, “Man, I really did choose the best single cup coffee maker!”