If you're like us, you count on that first cup of coffee to kick-start your day; the quality of that drink can make or break your morning. But brewing a magic elixir bleary-eyed and barely awake is not easy. Except when it is...and that's completely dependent upon having the right pod coffee machine. A great pod coffeemaker requires practically nothing from its foggy-headed owner. It's the brains of the operation, capable of delivering a barista-level beverage every dang time. Ready to upgrade? Below are our picks for the best pod coffeemakers. For more information on the pod coffeemaker, head on down to the bottom of the article.
- For fancy drinks in a small space
Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Maker by De'Longhi
- Best small footprint
Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine by De'Longhi
- Best classic machine
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
- Best affordable single-serve
Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker
- Best multi-purpose machine
Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker
- Affordable multi-purpose machine
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio 2-Way Coffee Maker
- Best single-serve multi-purpose
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffee Maker
- Best single-serve machine
Cuisinart Premium Single-Serve Coffeemaker
- Best classic multi-purpose maker
Cuisinart SS-15P1 Single Serve + 12 Cup Coffee Maker
Hotor Car Trash Can with Lid and Storage Pockets
Pudliki 2022 Upgraded Cleaning Gel for Car
Cindro Phone Holder Car
Honey-Can-Do Soft Storage Chest
Dirt Devil Vibe 3-in-1 Vacuum Cleaner
ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner
OKP Life K2 Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Black+Decker dustbuster QuickClean Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker
Henckels Solution Razor-Sharp 7-pc Knife Set
Hamilton Beach 7-Quart Portable Slow Cooker Serves
Greater Goods Gray Food Scale
Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill
Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench
Sunny Health & Fitness Squat Assist Row-N-Ride™ Trainer
Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell
KitchenClouds Kitchen Mat Cushioned Anti Fatigue Kitchen Rug
CGK Unlimited Queen Size Sheet Set
Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
Sleep Restoration Bed Pillows, Queen Size Set of 2
Rubbermaid Brilliance Leak-Proof Food Storage Containers
Budding Joy 90L Large Storage Bags
See Spring 12 Pack Shoe Storage Box
Zober Large Christmas Tree Storage Bag
"Works great," said a five-star reviewer. "Just keep it clean all the time and it's reliable and fast! More expensive than using a standard drip coffeemaker, but much more delicious and convenient. The little metal pods look nice displayed in the kitchen, too. The milk steamer is a MUST as well.... Really love the whole setup. The only drawback is that I might be drinking more (and stronger) coffee than I used to — but it's always delicious!"
A shopper says the Vertuo Next is "the best purchase I have ever made! I love Starbucks lattes and specialty coffee, so a Nespresso is ideal for me. I haven’t even thought about Starbucks since I got it.... It’s really easy to order pods and recycle bags from the app. The milk frother is what takes your coffee to the next level. I love to put flavored creamer in it; it is heavenly. Easy to operate and not a super bulky machine. If you have been thinking about getting [one], do it. You will not regret it."
"The only complaint I have about this is: It's too good," said one of 6,100-plus verified five-star reviewers. "It's too easy to use. It makes having espresso too convenient. I went from maybe having one espresso every few months to multiple ones a day. I hear colors. I find myself falling down weird YouTube rabbit holes at all hours of the night. I've become nocturnal. So, if you like to sleep, this is not for you. If you like random facts about how cold fronts affect catfish, BUY THIS!"
This superstar is endorsed by more than 72,000 five-star reviewers! "My first time using this type of coffeemaker, and am I happy!" said one such fan. "It makes delicious coffee, is easy to program and operate, and it is very attractive on the kitchen counter. It comes securely packaged with a user manual that is easy to understand and set up, and very reasonably priced for the excellent quality.... I highly recommend it!"
"Love it," said a happy shopper. "I ordered this machine to replace the giant one I had before, which finally died.... I like this one a lot better because the color is prettier and it doesn't take up so much counter space. I like that it only holds one cup of water at a time. My son had a bad habit of letting the water in the big, black Keurig sit around for a couple of days and then using it. Gross. Now I know he can't do that with this machine. It brews a great cup of coffee and seems quieter than my old machine.... I highly recommend it."
"This thing is amazing," said a five-star reviewer. "I love at least four things about it. 1) Easy to use. 2) It replaced a Mister Coffee brewer and a Keurig K-Cup brewer, saving a lot of counter space. 3) The reservoir can be placed right, left or back to suit your counter situation. 4) Mr. Coffee required you to add the right amount of water for the amount of coffee that you wanted. The K-Duo Plus will use the correct amount of water based on the number of cups (carafe) or ounces (K-Cup) that you select."
"This is the best multipurpose appliance!" said a reviewer. "To begin with, it's easy to use — use one side or the other. I normally program my carafe side the night before so my coffee is ready in the morning.... The single-serve, or K-Cup, side works great."
The size of the FlexBrew Single-Serve is perfect for many coffee drinkers, including this happy shopper: "I never wanted a K-Cup coffeemaker, [but] when I saw this one I was intrigued. The size is smaller, and it is flexible for making my favorite coffee or using K-Cups. I LOVE it. One feature I like is that you empty the reservoir each time you brew. The coffee-grounds insert comes with the appliance, as does the K-Cup insert. Can't say enough good things about this product!"
"I love this coffeemaker!" says one of 10,000+ five-star fans."I’ve had two now, one of the previous models for nearly six years and then this newer version... I REALLY like this unit’s features. For one reason, we drink different brands of coffee, which is what makes single-serve coffeemakers so convenient. For another, I love the added convenience of this particular single serve for the fact that I don’t have to wait for the water to heat up as I do with other brands. You just turn it on, pop in the pod, press the brew button and it INSTANTLY starts brewing without the wait for the water to heat. HELLO, who wouldn’t love that feature?!"
"I've had many coffeemakers over the years, and this is by far the best," said a five-star review. "I love this machine and have not found any issues in the few weeks I've had it. I generally make a pot of coffee in the morning and use the single-serve in the afternoon or evening. I have used several types of coffee, and each one tastes great. It is easy to use and clean. Very happy with this."
What are pod coffeemakers?
A pod coffeemaker is essentially a machine that makes coffee by simply popping in a pre-purchased "pod" of ground coffee. Add fresh water to the reservoir, add in the pod in the appropriate place, and press start.
What size drinks can coffee pod makers make?
You can make them in 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 ounces.
Why do people like pod coffeemakers?
As you might imagine, a pod coffeemaker tends to brew coffee a lot faster than a traditional drip brewer. What might take five minutes can often just take one or two minutes in a pod coffee maker. When you're in a rush, those few minutes are very valuable! Plus, cleanup tends to be easier too. Instead of having to deal with messy coffee grounds, you can just toss the whole pod.
What to look for in a pod coffeemaker?
Since the reason you would want a pod coffeemaker is for the speed and convenience, you should look for machines that offer fast brew speeds as well as those that are easy to operate and clean. Nespresso machines tend to have better-tasting coffee (some say the resulting coffee is a decent espresso replacement) while Keurig tends to have much greater variety of blends and coffee brands.
That said, don't expect the best coffee you've ever had. These machines tend to sacrifice taste and flavor for the ease and convenience of the pods. Those with higher standards should look for a great drip machine instead.
Do coffee pods expire?
If you tend to buy your pods in bulk, don't worry, as coffee pods will remain safe to drink long after their expiration dates. They're hermetically sealed after all, which helps reduce the chance of bacteria growth and mold. Their overall taste and flavor might diminish over time, but they won't make you sick.
Can coffee pods be recycled?
It depends! All Keurig K-Cups and Nespresso capsules are recyclable, as they're made out of aluminum rather than plastic. However, recycling them might take a bit more effort than one might think. Recycling a K-Cup, for example, requires peeling off the foil top, emptying the grounds, and rinsing the pod before tossing it in the recycling bin. While Nespresso capsules are also recyclable, not all towns recycle its specific type of aluminum. That's why Nespresso has its own recycling program; you can return spent pods to the company via prepaid UPS shipping labels or to any Nespresso Boutique.
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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication
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