Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about coffee a lot — including the best coffee grinders, these editor-approved coffee makers, and the best drip coffee makers — here, we’ve rounded up the best single-serve coffee makers, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon. To determine the best-rated and the best-rated (less expensive) picks, we focused solely on non-pod brewers, but if you are looking for a pod coffee maker, there’s lots of options in the micro-picks.
Best-rated single-serve coffee maker
More than 2,500 reviewers give this single-serve coffee maker five stars, with many explaining why they prefer this over a big pot. “I only want fresh brewed coffee, so a one cup is my favorite,” one customer writes, while another says, “Most weekdays it’s just one cup before work, so a single-serve solution is a great fit for me.” Even one family of “avid coffee drinkers” switched to this machine with surprising success: “We saved a ton of money by switching to this machine vs. pot of coffee that burned or got cold and was dumped. Or when someone else wanted different brand/flavor, dumping the remaining coffee to make what they want.” Reviewers call out many of this coffee maker’s other accessories, like the reusable filters, and nearly 10 percent of them mention the included scoop for coffee grounds and beans. But one underrated feature, mentioned by nearly a third of five-star reviewers, is how easy this single-serve coffee maker is to clean. “Finally someone put thought into how something is assembled and how it can be cleaned,” one reviewer writes. “In less than 60 seconds you can remove, clean and replace the 3 pieces that make the dispensing area.”
Best-rated (less expensive) single serve coffee maker
This themed single-serve coffee machine is beloved by super fans. “Coffee + Wonder Woman = perfection,” one writes. And while the Wonder Woman version is the least expensive of all the options, you can choose from a variety of characters. Like this user, who went with the Batman version, who says, “This is a great way to make a fresh cup of Batcoffee without having to make a full pot.” Other reviewers appreciate that this comes with its own mug to further show off their fandom. And while a few point out that it is small, one says, “You can use larger mugs, as the water well can hold a few ounces more than the original mug.” The small mug however does fit the overall compact machine, which one reviewer says “goes wonderfully with limited counter space.” According to one reviewer who purchased the Star Wars version, this machine is only missing one thing: “That it needs a Wookie sound when it is done brewing coffee that would make it more amazing.”
And now for some micro-picks of every type of single serve coffee maker you might be looking for.
Best on-demand single-serve coffee maker
This coffeemaker can brew 12 cups of coffee in one go, but it still only dispenses one cup at a time, making it a favorite among reviewers who need to make a big batch but don’t like the traditional carafe. “Basically brews coffee into a heated ‘tank’ and then you dispense coffee by pressing a lever down,” one reviewer explains. One reviewer says they like it because “I can get up, have my coffee, and hubby can sleep in and still have hot coffee when HE gets up, with no additional effort from either of us.” Another appreciates, “not having that gross pot with the acidic taste of burnt coffee.” Others take note of the light that shines into your cup as you dispense the coffee and the fuel gauge that indicates how much coffee is left, but for this reviewer — and 15 percent of other users — they really like how hot their coffee stays in the dispenser: “The best for me is that I don’t have to microwave my coffee to get it hot enough, and the flavor is incredible!”
Best single-serve coffee maker with travel mug
Though this single-serve coffee maker comes with a travel mug, it’s not the only reason why it’s good for travelers. Nearly 15 percent of reviewers say this is good for travel because they can take the whole machine on the go. “I was off to Spain where they often don’t have hotel room coffee makers — needed something lightweight and physically small — this really fit the bill,” one writes. One combat engineer calls it, “Small enough for travel and tough enough for 6 soldiers to get hot coffee (1 cup at a time) during combined arms breaches.” Even one long-haul truck driver says, “I’ve been using my AdirChef Grab N Go in the truck daily for a month with no complaints beyond a few very minor issues.” Like many they agree that the included mug is well insulated: “The mug holds heat long enough to drink a 14-15 ounce cup at a leisurely pace of 15-20 minutes and it fits easily in the cup holders of small cars and big trucks alike.” Another appreciates, “It also comes with a reusable filter.”
Best manual single-serve coffee maker
One reviewer, who’s tried three different travel coffee makers calls this one, “most like the Keurig features — just manual and travel-sized.” It works with K-cups, which makes it an easy transition from other types of pod coffee machines, but as one points out “Of course, you need a way to heat water for it (electric kettle or something),” for “travel, camping, boating, etc.” However, one reviewer doesn’t seem to mind the manual labor: “I like the fact that you can microwave water in the reservoir for two minutes and then just put the fun rubbery thing on top of that same reservoir and then press 2 to 3 times and be done. You just set that all up on top of your cup.” Another reviewer agrees it is pretty simple to use, writing, “The pump-top works great I only need to push it down slowly 1-2 times to get a 6 ounces cup of coffee.” They add, “The thing is super easy to clean too. I just rinse it and air it out to dry.”
Best compact single-serve coffee maker without a water reservoir
“I like that it only holds one cup of water at a time,” one reviewer writers of this mini-Keurig. “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.” And since this machine is so compact, reviewers say the single-cup water reservoir is easy to travel with. “You don’t have to worry about stagnated water if you leave it in your RV since the only water it heats up is the water you put in for the cup of coffee you are about to drink,” one reviewer says. Even at home this saves space too. One says this is perfect “ in a small efficiency apartment with limited counter space.”