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Best Coffee Machine 2024: Make the perfect brew with these top performers

If you want a proper coffee-shop style hit of caffeine, you've come to the right place: find the best coffee machine for you.

Coffee should be thought of in the same way as wine. Actually, it should be thought of as a more complex drink than wine. Not only does coffee have a huge variety in terms of flavours, how it’s brewed and how it’s mixed with milk (or not) also have a massive impact on the final taste.

All of that is great news for getting a brilliant range of drinks, but it does also make life slightly more complicated when it comes to choosing the right kind of coffee machine. That’s where we come in. Having reviewed practically every type of coffee machine, we know what’s good and what’s not. And, we love our coffee, even roasting our own beans at home, so you can trust our recommendations.

The main choice you need to make is the type of machine you want. A pod machine is the easiest way to make coffee, although coffee is more expensive and the overall flexibility is reduced. Here, we’ve listed our top choices, but check our our guides to the best pod coffee machines and best Nespresso machines for a wider selection.

Then, there are ‘proper’ coffee machines that work with roasted beans (or at least ground beans). A manual espresso machine gives you the most flexibility and lets you make espresso just like they do in a coffee shop. These ones do need a bit of skill to use them properly.

A bean-to-cup machine is a good compromise: proper espresso, only a machine does all the hard work grinding, tamping and pouring. Bean-to-cup machines can be expensive and the results aren’t quite as good as for a manual maachine.

Finally, filter coffee is the traditional pour-over style. This gives a smoother cup of coffee and is well suited to those that like a pot on the go and prefer black coffee.

Best coffee machines at a glance


Find out more about how we test coffee machines

We put all of our coffee machines through the same set of tests, so that we can tell the good ones from the bad ones. For those that take coffee beans (or ground coffee), we use our own home-roasted variety; pod machines are tested with a variety of the manufacturer’s capsules.

We test milk frothing, coffee temperature and how easy each machine is to use. Find our more in our guide to how we test coffee machines.

Melitta Caffeo Barista TS Smart

The best bean-to-cup coffee machine
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  • Excellent coffee
  • App makes programming the machine easy
  • Excellent milk frothing
  • Lots of drink recipes


  • Drip tray tricky to empty
  • Occasionally reports an empty bean container too early

The Melitta Barista TS Smart is a top bean-to-cup coffee machine, capable of producing high-quality drinks – from spot-on espresso to enticing cappuccinos and lattes – all at the touch of a button. This machine has 10 user profiles, so everyone in your house can customise their favourite recipes. The “smart” part of the name refers to the Bluetooth app, which makes it easy to program your favourite drinks using your phone.

This machine has dual bean hoppers on top, so you can have different varieties for different drinks, or give two people in your home their favourite beans. This is a feature that we’ve only seen replicated on much more expensive machines.

What’s really important is that this coffee machine can produce excellent espresso that’s pretty much as good as you can get from a manual espresso machine. And, it’s rather good at steaming milk, too, producing excellent cappuccinos and lattes. If you want a huge variety of drinks but you don’t really want to have to do the job yourself, this is the bean-to-cup machine for you.

Full review: Melitta Caffeo Barista TS Smart review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

Beko CaffeExperto Bean To Cup Coffee Machine

The best budget bean-to-cup coffee machine
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  • Great value
  • Easy to use
  • Good coffee


  • No profiles
  • Espresso a little cool

Even though bean-to-cup coffee machines do cost a fair bit more than your standard filter options or even a good old cafetiere, the Beko CaffeExperto proves that you don’t have to spend an absolute fortune to break into this level of luxury.

With an RRP of £449.99 (and regularly available for less if you shop around), the CaffeExperto is much cheaper than most of its competitors but in spite of its low price, you still get a solid experience in return.

The digital display shows you exactly what types of drinks are available, and you can make two at a time which is handy if you’re hosting. If you prefer a longer coffee over an espresso shot, you can even override the default amounts to achieve your preferred level.

Our tests showed that the espresso shots themselves were a tad cooler than what we’d want (57°C), and you don’t have free reign on the level of steam emitted by the milk frother. Still, if you’re not too fussed about these issues then there’s still a lot to like about Beko’s great-value machine.

Full review: Beko CaffeExperto Bean To Cup Coffee Machine Review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

Melitta Latte Select

The best mid-range bean-to-cup machine
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  • Dual bean hopper
  • Simple to use
  • Programmable user profiles


  • Manual selector
  • Relatively expensive

Cheaper than the Melitta Caffeo Barista TS Smart, the Latte Select offers similar features for less money. Here, the bean-to-cup machine has a dual hopper, so you can run it with two kinds of beans. However, there’s a manual selector here, where as the TS Smart has an automatic one. Provided you remember to select the right beans that shouldn’t be an issue, and the Latte Select offers more choice of coffee than a traditional bean-to-cup machine, which only takes one kind of bean.

A simple touch interface makes it simple to chose the type of drink you want, from cappuccino to espresso. With a 2X button, you can even make two drinks at once. Melitta lets you override the default settings, including coffee and milk volumes, so the Latte Select can be programmed to perfectly fit your cups. The interface, controlled via a rotary dial, is a little fiddly to navigate.

Espresso poured brilliantly with our home-roasted beans. A good crema with a nice oily finish was good to see, and the bold acidity of our test beans shone through. It’s hard to find a bean-to-cup machine that would do better.

Automatic milk frothing is good, too. Tightly packed foam in our test cappuccino was good to see. A manual machine gives you more control, but if you want convenience, you’ll be pleased with the results here.

If you want an excellent range of drinks at your fingertips, this machine provides them at a great price.

Full review: Melitta Latte Select review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

De’Longhi Rivelia

The best bean-to-cup coffee machine for convenience
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  • Can swap beans
  • High quality coffee
  • Excellent interface


  • Needs a bit of planning to swap beans

Aside from the ability to make a good cup of coffee, there’s an argument to be made that the core function of any coffee machine should be convenience. After all, if a coffee machine doesn’t make the brewing process any easier then it’d be a much cheaper affair to simply make your coffee the old fashioned way. If you ascribe to that notion then you’ll love what the De’Longhi Rivelia brings to the table.

This bean-to-cup machine gives true coffee fans the chance to try out different blends on the fly thanks to its swappable bean hopper system. There are two bean hoppers included (although you can buy more separately), and they can be taken off or added to the machine at a moment’s notice, so if you decide that you want a different tasting coffee one morning, you aren’t stuck with the last beans you used.

To crank the convenience factor up a notch, the machine also boasts profiles wherein you can set your preferred coffee strength and amount, letting you pick right back up from where you left off, even if someone else has used the machine before you.

As a final cherry on top, the Rivelia can even let you know what milk frothing mode to use and the results from our testing were fantastic. So long as your budget can cover it, the De’Longhi Rivelia offers up a whole new level of coffee luxury.

Full review: De’Longhi Rivelia Review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

Breville Barista Max+

The best manual espresso machine for convenience
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  • Great espresso
  • Good price
  • Integrated grinder


  • Separate steam switch would improve control

The Breville Barista Max+ VCF152 is a great coffee machine, either as a first purchase for someone keen to make coffee the proper way, or as a step up from a pod or cheap espresso machine. It’s easy to use and capable of very good results, and has its own grinder built in.

The controls are simple to follow. There’s a dial that sets the machine to hot water or starts dispensing steam. In hot water mode, there are three buttons to choose from: manual control, single shot and double shot. The latter two are programmed at 30ml and 60ml dispense volumes by default, but you can press and hold the buttons for your desired volume.

The machine’s display shows a live count in seconds to help you pour the right amount of coffee. A 2.9-litre tank at the rear – which can accept a filter – ensures there will be plenty of water to make lots of coffee without having to refill it often. There’s also a wand for steaming milk.

It took us a few attempts to achieve the right grind and tamp for a double-shot of espresso, but that’s normal. With the right combination, the espresso poured well: like honey running through the group handle, finishing up with a thick, oily-looking crema on top that lasted a few minutes. The shot of espresso preserved the coffee’s acidity and hint of bitterness, while still being smooth. You have to spend a lot more to get better results.

Full review: Breville Barista Max+ review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine

The best small manual espresso machine
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  • Easy to use
  • Semi-automated features
  • Professional-style kit


If you’re short on counter space but want the flexibility to make your own espresso manually (dare we say, properly), then the KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine is the machine for you.

A stylish model, this is one of the smallest espresso machines that we have reviewed. As with the company’s mixers, the KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine is available in five colours.

Function hasn’t been replaced by style: there’s a cup warmer, a generous 1.4-litre tank of water, and just four buttons: one for toggling between coffee, steam and hot water; one for selecting one shot or two; one for descaling; and one to start the selected mode.

Single- and double-walled filter baskets are in the box. Single-walled are for coffee you’ve ground yourself; double-walled are for pre-ground coffee and help keep the right level of pressure. Both single- and double-espressos are catered for in both formats.

Coffee quality is excellent and we got a nice thick crema, with the coffee pouring like hot honey. We love the way that the amount of coffee can be programmed, so you get consistent results each time. Steaming milk is straight forward, although you will probably need some practice to get the best results.

If you want quality manual espresso at a great price, then the KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine delivers that.

Full review: KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine review
Reviewer: Rachel Ogden

Sage Nespresso Creatista Uno

The best pod coffee machine
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  • Great looks
  • Easy to use
  • High-quality automatic milk frothing


  • Small used capsule container

Pod machines are built for ease, not necessarily artistic ability. The Sage Nespresso Creatista Uno changes that, with a machine that gives you the ease that you’d expect from a pod machine, but the ability to free-pour milk to make your own creations like a professional barista. Taking a standard milk jug, the Creatista Uno can steam milk automatically; the pouring is up to you.

High-quality espresso comes at the touch of the button, with this model supporting Nespresso’s ristretto, espresso and lungo settings. Best of all, the coffee machine is excellent value and won’t take up much room on your worktop.

Full review: Sage Nespresso Creatista Uno review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima

The best pod coffee machine for long drinks
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  • Simple to use
  • Delivers excellent mug fulls of coffee
  • Excellent choice of pods


  • Need to plan cup size based on capsules used

As convenient as the traditional cone-style Nespresso pods can be for a quick cup of coffee or an espresso, they are limited in terms of the amount of coffee they can brew. If you prefer a long cup of joe then Nespresso Vertuo capsules are the way to go, and the Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima is the perfect machine to pair them with.

Because of their larger profile, Vertuo capsules can make taller coffees like cappuccinos or reversos, and the Lattissima knows the precise amount of water to apply thanks its ability to read the unique barcodes on the capsules themselves.

Just when you think it couldn’t get any easier, the built-in milk frother operates in a very similar fashion. All you have to do is fill up the carafe and the machine will know what to do. For anyone who has seriously limited time in the morning and just wants a great tasting coffee to go, the Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima has everything you’ll ever need.

Full review: Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima Review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro

The best filter coffee machine
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  • Enhances flavour
  • Easy to fill
  • Advanced customisation


  • Pricey
  • Small capacity
  • No timer

Even though there’s a lot to love about espressos, and nothing goes down smoother than a frothy coffee, the true aficionados out there know that if you want a proper cup of joe with plenty of flavour to boot then a filter machine is the only way to go. With that in mind, the Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro is our current top pick in this category.

Starting with the most important aspect – the Therm Pro is able to deliver a delicious cup of coffee. Our testing showed that a consistent temperature of 74°C was reached and the coffee itself was well developed, leaving us wanting for very little.

As an added benefit, the Therm Pro spreads the aroma of fresh coffee during the brewing process, whetting your appetite even further for that first all important sip. Where the Therm Pro really comes into its own however is with the included thermal jug. 

This jug is able to keep coffee warm for up to two hours without requiring any electricity to keep it going. This means that if you enjoy having an early morning brew to kickstart the day, followed by a mid-morning coffee to keep the juices flowing then you won’t have to go through the brewing process a second time.

Thanks to the dial on top of the device, you even have control over the fineness of the grind, so if you want a stronger coffee that extracts as much flavour as possible from your coffee beans then you can have just that.

The obvious counterpoint to all of this is that if you prefer having just one cup of coffee a day and a more mild flavour at that then the Therm Pro probably isn’t for you. We were also slightly annoyed by the fact that there isn’t a simple way to empty the grinder, so if you have a few coffee beans left over you’ll have to grind them in order to safely clear the hopper. Still, these are small gripes on what is otherwise a tremendous filter coffee machine.

Full review: Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

Moccamaster KBGT

The best filter coffee machine for simplicity
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  • Excellent coffee quality
  • Very simple to use
  • Easy to clean


  • Some parts feel a bit cheap

Handmade, the Moccamaster KBGT is designed to do one job: deliver perfect filter coffee time and time again. It’s rather industrial looking, and the parts don’t have the shine that rivals have, but the KBGT is a quality filter coffee machine for several key reasons.

First, everything comes apart easily. The filter basket, shower head and water tank can all be removed easily for cleaning, so this machine is easy to keep in its best condition. Secondly, it’s stupidly easy to use: put coffee into the paper filter, fill the water tank and then turn the machine on: excellent filter coffee pours out into the thermal carafe, which will keep the coffee warm for around three hours.

This machine can make 10-cups (1.25-litres) of coffee maximum, which is enough for a dinner party or just coffee-hungry families that like a brew through the day.

There are filter machines with more features, such as timers and grinders, but if you’ve got a good coffee grinder and care more about the final product than extras and looks, the Moccamaster KBGT is a solid workhorse.

Full review: Moccamaster KBGT review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

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What type of coffee machine should I buy?

There are two main types of coffee machines. Filter coffee machines are the simplest, dripping hot water through ground coffee to create a large volume of drink. The resultant coffee tends to be smoother and, as you can keep a pot on the got, are great for large numbers of people or just for having coffee ready to go.

Espresso machines deliver coffee as a shot, distinctive thanks to the foamy head on top called the crema. Manual espresso machines use ground coffee (or beans you grind yourself) and require some skill to get working. They typically produce the best results, though. A bean-to-cup coffee machine does the hard work for you, griding and automatically pouring the coffee. Quality can be great, but you don’t quite get the results of a manual machine; the trade-off being that the job is much easier.

Pod or capsule machines are the easiest to use: drop in a pod and hit a button and you’re done. The downside is that the cost per cup is higher and you don’t get the same extensive range of coffees as with a machine that uses beans or ground coffee.

Should I use filtered water?

Using filtered water can make your coffee taste better if you’re not a particular fan of the taste of your tap water. It’s worth trying if you’ve got a filter jug to see what difference it makes. More importantly, a water filter should be installed and used where possible in a coffee machine’s water reservoir, particularly if you live in a hard water area.

Using a water filter removes the impurities from your water, which can lead to better-tasting coffee. It also helps reduce limescale build-up, which will reduce problems with your coffee machine getting clogged up and requiring descaling. You’ll still need to regularly descale your machine (check it’s manual for the full details on how to do this), as a machine that has a lot of limescale in it will struggle to pour water at the right rate, and your coffee will be ruined.

Do I need a grinder?

Coffee stays fresher for longer if it’s not ground. If you’re regularly using a manual espresso or filter machine, a grinder is a good addition. In particular, for a manual machine, using a coffee grinder lets you adjust the grind to suit your machine and coffee, further fine-tuning the results. The downside is that while you can use a cheaper grinder for a filter machine, you’ll need to spend a bit more to get a suitable grinder for a manual espresso machine: that’s particularly true if you have a more expensive coffee machine.

What milk options should I look for?

If you have an espresso machine a way of making steamed milk opens up the potential to make a wide range of drinks from cappuccinos to lattes. A steamer wand is a traditional way of making frothy milk. You hold a jug under the wand, while steam adds air to the milk, swirling it around. A steamer wand gives you more control over the process, but the downside is that it can take quite a bit of skill to get the right results.

An automatic milk frother is a good alternative, producing steamed milk. These are typically available on bean-to-cup and pod machines. The simplest option is a system that steams milk and pours it, which is great for convenience, although the final results aren’t as good as pouring milk from a jug. Some machines can froth milk in a jug, or they use an external device, such as the Nespresso Aeroccino. You don’t quite get the results of doing the job yourself, but you can free pour your final drink to get the balance of espresso and milk that you want.

How many boilers do I need?

If you buy a manual espresso machine, you can get single- or dual-boiler options. A dual-boiler coffee machine can produce espresso and steam milk at the same time. This cuts down on preparation time and lets you make milk drinks in the optimal time. They are a lot more expensive than single-boiler machines, where you first steam your milk, then reduce the temperature of the system to make a shot of espresso.

What type of pod machine is best?

Nespresso capsules are the best by far. Nespresso is now available in two types. Original pods are designed to replicate the type of coffee that you get in a coffee shop. There’s a wide range of capsules available from Nespresso, although you can also choose from a growing range of third-party ‘compatible’ capsules. There’s a good reason to stick with Nespresso, though: it will recycle all of its capsules for free, either by organising a collection or by dropping old capsules into a Nespresso store.

There’s also the newer Nespresso Vertuo system, which uses large capsules. This system delivers larger mug-fulls of coffee and has a similar range of official capsules to the original system. Currently, there are no third-party options for Vertuo. All capsules are recyclable with Nespresso.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto machines are comparatively cheap, with a wide range of pods available in supermarkets. This system is a step up from instant coffee, but the reliance on powdered milk is a little disappointing.

Tassimo machines and pods are similar to Dolce Gusto, with a similar range of pod options available online or in good supermarkets. These use UHT milk capsules for some drinks.

What kind of maintenance is required?

All coffee machines require regular maintenance to keep them in the best working condition. The most important job you’ll do is descaling them, removing limescale from the innards to make sure that water flows smoothly through the machine. If you don’t descale your machine when prompted, you may find that the seize up, and water won’t pass through at the speed required to make decent coffee. Most coffee machines will warn you when it’s time to descale, based on the water hardness level that you set: the harder the water, the more often the job has to be done.

Espresso machines should also be cleaned with a cleaning tablet when prompted, which removes the oily residue from the beans. It helps keep your machine in the best working condition and ensures that you get the best taste.

If you have a steamer wand, this will need to be cleaned after every use. You can usually remove the tip to wash it in hot water to remove all milk residue. Make sure that you clean our drip trays (again, use some soapy water). For bean-to-cup machines, if they have a removable brew head, this should be removed and rinsed regularly, too.

Specs compared

Quiet Mark Accredited
Size (Dimensions)
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First Reviewed Date
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Coffee Machine Type
Integrated grinder
Cup warmer
Maximum mug height
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Number of boilers
Milk frothing
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