When it comes to choosing the best coffee maker for a single person, it’s no wonder that single-serve coffee makers are an optimal choice. I find that it’s a perfect size for me when I’m brewing my morning coffee and only need a cup or two. Check out some of my top choices for the best coffee makers for single person.
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What You Should Know Before Choosing a Coffee Maker
Before you choose a single-serve coffee maker, you have to make sure that all of its features and capabilities align with your needs. Do you love brewing your coffee traditionally with grounds, or do you prefer k-cups? Do you want multiple brewing options, or is a standard, all-around brew perfect for you?
Your personal preferences play an important role in the type of coffee machine you choose. While the best coffee machine for a single person typically has a maximum of two cups, you might want to browse other options if you need more than two cups a day. If you drink more than one or two cups of coffee throughout your day, a larger water reservoir may be a more suitable option.
On the other hand, coffee machines that provide more diverse settings are welcome for people who like to change up their coffee style now and again.
How Does a Single Serve Coffee Maker Work?
Single-serve coffee makers are much like they sound and are designed to brew one cup at a time. They do this through the use of either pods or grounds to create a single cup of coffee. These coffee makers are different from the traditional drip coffee brewers and often include faster heating times.
These coffee makers are ideal for people who live on their own or need a quick cup of coffee before they head out in the morning.
Below is a video on the key differences between single-serve coffee makers and traditional drip coffee machines.
Are Single Serve Coffee Makers Worth it?
It may surprise you, but single-serve coffee makers are more versatile than other coffee machines. They include more functions and settings to help you gain stronger or gentler brews, depending on your preference.
Additionally, some single-serve coffee makers can brew different coffee drinks from lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and iced coffee. Each machine is different, but single-serve coffee makers are known for their wide range of capabilities.
This versatility makes single-serve coffee makers worth your time and investment, especially if you’re an avid coffee lover.
In addition, the ease at which you can make your coffee is one of the best features when it comes to single-serve coffee makers. Often, these coffee makers require little time to heat up and brew your coffee. This feature is ideal for people who are on the go or who don’t have much time to follow through all of the steps for traditional brewing.
Furthermore, single-serve coffee makers often include means of measuring out the right amount of grounds or include specially sized pods to prevent overflow or waste. It’s especially beneficial at saving time in the morning trying to decide how much product to use when making your coffee.
What Differentiates a Single Serve Coffee Maker From the Rest
Aside from single-serve coffee makers, these machines differentiate themselves from ordinary coffee makers because of their brewing efficiency.
The best coffee makers for a single are known to heat up water to the necessary temperature in a matter of seconds. Additionally, these machines do not drip your coffee into your mug over a period of time. Instead, you can expect to fill your cup all at once whenever you need it.
This helps keep your coffee warm until you are ready to drink it. It also saves you from overflow or making more coffee than necessary. Efficiency is crucial for any good single-serve coffee maker, and that’s why so many people, myself included, love these machines.
Features To Consider in a Single Serve Coffee Maker
Below, I’ve compiled a shortlist of what to look for in a single-serve coffee machine. Again, it’s important to consider your needs as these machines are versatile and incredibly unique.
Pods or Ground Coffee
Two of the most common types of single-serve coffee makers are those that require pods and those that require grounds. Pods are the most common and often associated with Keurig (Keurig k-cups). Grounds are typically a part of traditional coffee making (drip coffee) but can also be used in single-serve.
When choosing the best coffee maker for a single person, first you should decide whether you prefer coffee pods or grounds. Though, some coffee makers include settings for both!
Single-serve coffee makers are known for their speed. That’s one of the features that makes them so great! Typically, twenty to twenty-five seconds is the amount of time it takes to heat up the water for a single cup of coffee.
Heating-up water reservoirs with larger amounts can take more time. However, brewing speed is dependent on how many cups of joe you need to brew at any one time.
Types of Brews
Not all single-serve coffee makers are the same. When it comes to choosing the best coffee maker for a single person, ask yourself what kind of brewing requirements you want. Do you need lattes? Macchiatos? Iced coffee?
Some of the best single-serve coffee makers include settings for all of the above while others tend to specialize in only one or two of these features.
Another thing to consider is whether you like strong coffee or prefer a milk-based coffee beverage. Some coffee products include attachments for a milk frother while others do not. Also, you’ll find that not all single-serve coffee makers are built to offer a strongly brewed cup of coffee.
Each coffee machine has different settings and capabilities, so make sure you know which brews your machine can make before making your final decision.
If you live on your own and only drink one or two cups of joe in the morning, a smaller machine might be for you. On the other hand, families may require a coffee maker with a larger water reservoir.
A more complex and versatile machine may be larger than a simpler one when it comes to features. Not only that but if your coffee machine comes with additional attachments, like a frother, you will have to have space to store them.
If you have limited counter space, you may not be able to fit a machine with a sixty-ounce reservoir.
Another thing to consider is the size of your mug. Most coffee makers can fit a standard mug size. One of the machines that I will review below can also fit travel mugs up to 7.2” tall. While each machine for coffee is different, it’s important to note whether or not you will require a large fill-up space for a travel mug.
The Advantages/Benefits of K-Cup Brewers
One of the most notable features of single-serve coffee machines is their use of k-cups or pods. K-cups are often associated with Keurig, but many brands provide coffee makers that utilize this feature.
K-cups are designed for easy use and offer some of the best single-serve coffee. They often come in sizes ranging from six ounces to ten ounces, though different brands vary.
One of the greatest factors when it comes to k-cups is that there are so many different flavors to choose from. Having a coffee machine that uses k-cups makes for an easy to use, simple morning experience.
Best Coffee Makers For Single Person Reviews
Now that you have a better understanding of what differentiates a single-serve coffee maker from the rest, we can begin diving into what I consider to be some of the best single-serve coffee makers for a single person. For each review, I’ve laid out bulleted lists of pros and cons to help you grasp a better understanding when choosing a coffee maker that’s right for you.
1. Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker – Our Top Pick
As one of the biggest coffee makers on this list, the Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker comes with a seventy-five-ounce reservoir that can brew up to eight cups of coffee. This coffee maker can brew multiple cup sizes from 4oz to 12oz depending on your needs. Additionally, it includes two fantastic features: a button for a stronger brew and an iced setting for iced coffee.
One truly unique feature of this coffee maker is that it also comes with a hot-water-on-demand button that allows you to pour hot water into instant soups and oatmeals. This machine includes several other useful features, including a removable drip tray, a descaling reminder, and the compatibility to work with both k-cups and grounds.
- Includes a seventy-five-ounce reservoir
- Comes with a button for a stronger brew and an iced setting
- Has a hot-water-on-demand button
- Includes a removable drip tray
- Is compatible with both k-cups and grounds
- The lid to the reservoir is not hinged
- The water level can only be viewed from the side
- The light in the reservoir is prone to burning out
The Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker uses a built-in scoop perfect for measuring grounds for a single cup of coffee. This coffee maker allows you to use your own coffee grounds and is capable of making your coffee within ninety seconds. It comes with a few different options so you can make your coffee stronger or weaker to suit your liking.
This coffee maker also includes “bold” and “automatic drip” options to help you find the perfect balance for your coffee. It’s made of durable stainless steel and is easy to clean and maintain, making it an excellent choice for someone always on the go.
- Includes a built-in stand for your mug
- Includes a measuring scoop for a single-serve cup of coffee
- Brews coffee in ninety seconds
- Comes with “bold” and “automatic drip” options
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Is not ideal for super-strong cups of joe
- Does not include hot plate
- Is not suitable for all mug sizes
The Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker is truly a classic and one of my favorites. As you’d expect, it uses k-cup pods (sizes 6oz, 8oz, and 10oz) for brewing. One of the most significant features of this coffee maker is the removable reservoir that can hold up to forty-eight ounces of water. This may earn up to six cups of coffee to be brewed before a refill is necessary.
Another great feature is the automatic shut off system. After being idle for two hours, this coffee maker turns off on its own, saving energy. Its simple set-up helps create a more effortless brewing experience, which is excellent for people who prefer a straight-forward approach to their morning brew.
- Utilizes easy-to-use k-cups for efficient brewing
- Includes an auto-off feature to save energy
- Comes with a detachable reservoir that can hold up to forty-eight ounces of water
- Capable of using 6, 8, and 10oz brew sizes
- Is compatible with off-brand k-cups as well
- Has a reputation for being short-lasting
- It has a slower brewing time
- Due to its simplicity, it can be harder to get a more potent brew
The Nespresso Pixie Original Espresso Machine by De’Longhi is a powerful, barista styled espresso machine. It comes with a nineteen bar high-pressure pump that ensures quality in brewing. It takes only twenty-five seconds to reach the ideal temperature and automatically turns off after nine minutes when not in use.
It’s an extremely versatile coffee maker as it includes the capability to make lattes, cappuccinos, and iced coffees in addition to a standard single-serve cup. The folding drip tray is accommodating for both large and small cup sizes, and the system includes an internal receptacle for spent capsules to be neatly ejected.
- Has a nineteen bar high-pressure pump
- It takes only twenty-five seconds to reach an ideal temperature
- Automatically turns off after nine minutes when not in use
- The folding drip tray can accommodate both large and small mug sizes
- The system includes an internal receptacle for spent capsules
- The reservoir can only hold up to twenty-four ounces
- It creates a lot of noise
- Sometimes water collects at the bottom of the tray
Another quality espresso machine by De’Longhi, the Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker, comes with a reservoir that can hold up to sixty ounces of water. This espresso maker has a heat-up time of only twenty to twenty-five seconds and includes an automatic shut off after nine minutes of being idle.
This espresso maker can make several single-serve cup sizes from 1.35oz to 14oz, depending on your needs. Each machine also includes a welcome kit with several flavorful capsules to try out.
- Includes a reservoir that can hold up to sixty ounces of water
- Heat-up time is only twenty seconds
- Includes automatic shut-off after nine minutes of being idle
- Can make a variety of single-serve cup sizes
- Includes a welcome kit
- It only works with specific espresso capsules
- Coffee comes out cool enough to drink, but not hot
- Works best with distilled water
The Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker is one of the most versatile coffee makers out there. It can brew coffee, lattes, and cappuccinos (hot or iced) and can accommodate several mug sizes up to 7.2″ tall. It includes a sixty-ounce reservoir that can brew up to six cups of joe before refilling. Additionally, its smart-start feature allows you to press one button for your coffee maker to heat and brew without having to go back and enter a cup size.
This coffee maker also comes with an automatic turn-off feature after two hours. But the best feature, in my opinion, is that this coffee maker also comes with a k-cup reusable coffee filter so that you can brew ground coffee in addition to k-cups. This is great because it offers you the choice between k-cups and grounds, depending on your preference.
- Can brew several different types of coffee, hot or iced
- Accommodates mug sizes up to 7.2″ tall
- Includes a smart-start feature that only requires one press of a button
- Has a sixty-ounce reservoir
- Is compatible with both coffee grounds and k-cups
- Requires its own outlet (not shared) as it uses a lot of energy
- Only includes simple on/off, start/stop buttons
- Some issues with frother
The Ninja CM407 Specialty Coffee Maker can brew several different types of coffee, including latte, macchiato, cappuccino, and other coffeehouse-style drinks. It comes with six different brewing sizes, from single-serve to full carafe to suit your needs. A great feature included with this coffee maker is the fold-away frother that helps create smooth and creamy froth only when necessary.
This coffee maker does not require pods and instead uses coffee grounds for an even brew. It also comes with a handy instructions booklet to help you create the perfect cup coffee.
- Can make several coffeehouse-styles of coffee
- Comes with six different brewing sizes
- Includes a fold-away frother
- Does not require pods
- Includes instructions
- The size of this coffee maker is relatively large
- Requires espresso beans to be well-ground before using
- The carafe is narrow and requires a small brush to be cleaned
Top pick for coffee maker for a single person
It’s no wonder that the Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker is the best coffee maker for a single person.
With a seventy-five ounce reservoir, this coffee maker surpasses the rest in its ability to brew an abundance of coffee. The size of this coffee maker is surprisingly compact despite the massive reservoir. This makes it easy to place on a counter with limited space.
But what really stood out to me was the versatility of this machine. It’s hot and iced settings make it perfect for people who like to change up their drinks now and again, and the hot-water-on-demand feature makes this coffee maker useful beyond a regular brew.
Of course, my favorite feature is that this Keurig is compatible with both k-cups and grounds. I love how I can switch up my morning brew whenever I feel like it, thanks to this coffee maker’s versatility.
Its ability to use both pods and grounds makes it unique in comparison to other single-serve coffee makers. While most single-serve machines are capable of only one or the other, this coffee maker stands out with its ability to use both.
This coffee maker has everything that a coffee lover could ever hope for with all of these fantastic features, including its removable tray and descaling reminder. It is an ideal coffee maker for nearly any home, whether you live on your own or with a family.
As an avid coffee lover, it’s no challenge to recognize why this coffee maker is the best.
Alternatively, you might want to check out the Nespresso machines which are also great machines for a single person.