A coffee machine is a great investment, as many people continue to work remotely or switch to hybrid working models.
It’s crucial to choose the machine that suits you best. We have reviewed top-rated machines for coffee from brands like Smeg and Lavazza, as well as Gaggia.
There are many other factors that you should consider, besides price. What is the importance of convenience? What time do you need your coffee to be ready in the morning? Are you an espresso drinker, do you like a long filter coffee, or a latte?
You can start by reading our buying guide after the top 10 list. It provides some helpful advice about which machine you should buy. We also break down each category of coffee machine and discuss their pros and cons. If you’re interested in finding out more, check out the rest of this article.
Coffee machine reviews:
Breville Barista Max – Best value overall
- Great value
- Grinder of high quality
- Solidly constructed
- Kitchen counter space large
- The Barista Max espresso machine has an integrated conical burr grinder. This alone makes it very unusual. It is extremely rare at this price, considering its quality.
The beans go in the top hopper and can be ground directly into the portafilter. Although it isn’t as easy or as convenient as an automatic bean to cup machine like the Gaggia Naviglio, it’s still very enjoyable to use.
It comes with an integrated milk wand and milk jug, so you don’t need to buy any additional coffee-making accessories. This is a great thing, as it’s a large machine and will need a dedicated place on your kitchen counter. It’s sturdy and well-made, and will make you great coffee for many years to come.
Smeg Espresso Coffee Maker ECF01 – Most stylish
- Compatible with ESE pods and ground coffee
- Smeg’s espresso coffee machine is manual, so it requires more effort and time than either a pod machine (or an automatic bean-to cup machine). It’s worth the effort, we think.
You can use it to grind coffee or ESE pods. It has many adjustable settings including temperature and water hardness. You can make everything from a Cappuccino or an Americano with the milk frother built in.
This machine is beautiful and a joy to use. We recommend it to anyone who loves coffee-making at home.
Gaggia Magenta – Best bean-to-cup
- Interface is simple to use
- You have many options for customizing
- It’s fast and quiet
- Water container that is awkward No place for mugs
- This machine makes high-quality coffee in a matter of seconds.
You have many options for customizing the size, temperature, and strength. It’s easy to use with a colour digital screen that shows error messages and alerts you when your bean hopper is low.
Magenta has five beverages to choose from, but it is not completely automatic. If you want to make the most out of the Magenta, you will need to master the use of the steam wand metal and your own frothing.
If you are willing to do so and have the money for it, this machine will be a great addition to your kitchen counter.
Lavazza Voicy – Inbuilt Amazon Alexa device
- Built-in Alexa speaker
- Capsules that can be composted
- Impressive espresso
- No milk tank/fother
- Smart coffee options are limited
- Smart coffee machines are rare on the market, and for good reason. There is no way to do it completely hands-free. It’s still necessary to add a coffee capsule to your water tank and make sure it is filled.
This Lavazza collaboration machine is clever because it has a creative solution that makes the most of its smarts. It doesn’t rely on app control; instead, it comes with an Amazon Echo device and a speaker so that you can use your home assistant to make your coffee.
If the machine is set up correctly, Alexa can make an espresso for you. It’s really a clever way for Alexa to be integrated into your kitchen counter setup, and it works.
Although the machine is small and simple to use, it only makes black coffee. You can request upbeat music while you drink your morning espresso.
Lavazza Desea – Most versatile pod coffee maker
- It is simple to use
- There are many milk options
- You are tied to A Modo Mio capsules
- The Lavazza Desea pod/capsule-based espresso machine is our favorite, even though it is not the most affordable.
It is stylish and well-made, but it also makes a variety of coffees, from macchiato to espresso. Although it is complex, it is easy to use once you are comfortable with it.
The Desea makes consistent coffee, and can be adjusted to increase temperature or foam if necessary. The Desea is also quieter than any other coffee maker we have used.
Gaggia Naviglio – Best value bean-to-cup
- High quality coffee
- No digital display
- Although it doesn’t have the most luxurious features, such as a digital display or a touchscreen, the Gaggia Naviglio is sufficient for everyday coffee lovers. It is also very good value for the price.
Although the machine looks a bit shabby, it produces great coffee and has a blinking power light that can be annoying. The machine can be set to adjust the strength and volume of your coffee. There’s also an integrated milk frother that can make cappuccinos, as well as other options.
The Naviglio is the best choice if you are looking for great bean-to-cup coffee at a reasonable price.
Russell Hobbs Chester Brew and Grind 22000 – The best filter machine
- It is simple to use
- Grinds its beans
- Once the timer is set, it can’t be changed.
- The Russell Hobbs Chester Grind and Brew 2000 is a powerful machine at a very affordable price. You can achieve the right strength and smoothness for your coffee preferences, whether you use ground coffee or beans.
Although it may not be very smart, and it may only be able to make black filter coffee, what it does is excellent. It is a great machine for starting coffee.
You can heat your coffee for up to 40 minutes and set the machine to brew at a specific time. This will ensure that you have a ready-to-go pot waiting for you when the alarm goes off. Although it was an inconvenience, it did not detract from the fact this coffee maker is reliable and affordable.
Dualit DCM2X 3-in-1 espresso machine – Most versatile overall
- Compatible with Dualit, Nespresso capsules and ground coffee & ESE pods
- Plastic construction made of light weight plastic
- Dualit’s 3-in-1 coffee maker is the best choice if you want the convenience of a coffee machine that uses capsules, but you also want the ability to make espresso from ground coffee.
It is a good machine and not too expensive. If you’re wondering why it’s called 3-in-1, it’s because it also accepts ESE pods as well as Nespresso capsules (and Dualit’s NX capsules, which are Nespresso-compatible).
Morphy Richards Espresso Coffee Machine – Budget-friendly espresso
- It’s affordable
- Wobbly, lightweight build
- Home espresso machines are expensive. This is an affordable espresso machine. This compact, stylish machine makes great espresso. It is also easy to use. It can take either ground coffee or ESE pods.
The stainless steel-effect finish makes it look great and has many other nice features. It has a cup warmer, a 1.1 litre water tank, and a milk-wand. You can make one to two cups at once, or you can add water by pressing the brewing button.
It is made mainly of plastic so it is light and wobbly. We are concerned that it will not be the strongest addition to your kitchen.
Russell Hobbs Buckingham, Best Budget Filter Machine
- It is simple to use
- Scheduled brewing
- Hot plate stays hot for only 40 minutes
The Buckingham coffee maker is simple to use. It allows you to prepare your coffee in advance, set a timer, and then wake up to freshly brewed coffee.
You can use the machine to make 1.25 litres of coffee with either filter paper or a reusable basket. You can also brew smaller quantities with the same strength, which you can adjust to suit your taste.
Both the filter and carafe are dishwasher-friendly. The machine has a self cleaning programme.
The only problem is that the hotplate will not stay warm for more than 40 minutes.
Which one is best for you?
There are four major types of electronic/electric coffee makers. Each has its pros and cons. So you can choose which one is best for you, we have listed them all below.
Manual espresso machines
- These machines are perfect for espresso lovers. These machines can make a great cup of coffee, just like the one you get at your favorite coffee shop. Espresso shots are made using high-pressure steam, which can be mixed with milk or water to create longer drinks.
- These include a milk whisk, which allows you to make lattes or cappuccinos without heating the milk separately.
- Some machines, however, may have a bean grinder. Most don’t. You’ll need to either buy pre-ground coffee or invest in a separate grinder. Although the first option is more convenient, your coffee will soon start to oxidize and lose its magic taste.
- These machines can also be difficult to use. It takes a while to make a couple of cups of coffee and can result in a lot of mess. When you’re half asleep, it’s difficult to not spill some coffee between the container, scoop, and portafilter.
- You will need to experiment a lot, so manual espresso machines are best for people who love their gadgets just as much as they love coffee.
- A bean-to-cup coffee machine is less expensive than an espresso maker, but an espresso maker will likely be more expensive than a pod or filter coffee maker.
- Automate the entire process with a bean-to-cup machine. It is basically an espresso machine without all the work. Put beans in. Push buttons. You will see coffee. Coffee is what you drink. All is well in this world.
- You can adjust the settings to get your coffee just how you want it. Many have programmable profiles so that each member of your household can use one button to make their favorite coffee.
- The only problem is the price. Bean-to-cup machines are priced at around PS400/$400, but can go up to PS1,000/$1,000 for the best.
- They’re quick. They are easy to use. They’re faster than instant.
- A Nespresso or Lavazza machine will make a good espresso. A Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine might be right for you if you enjoy mixed drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, and more. You can also buy milk pods from the latter, which make it easy to make blended drinks. However, higher-end pod machines may not have a milk wand.
- You’ll be able to make your own hot chocolates, teas, and flavours by going down the pod route.
These machines are also the most affordable, starting at PS30 during a sale.
- You buy the pods or capsules once you purchase the machine. These can be more expensive than coffee ground, so even though your machine may be cheaper, you might end up spending more. It all depends on which brand you choose. Dolce Gusto capsules cost around 20p per cup. However, you may be able to find discounts on compatible and branded capsules that will help bring down the price.
- The taste is also an important consideration. While they aren’t as good as a home espresso machine, you will find some coffees more appealing than others if you try different brands.
- Then there is the problem of waste. Although pod machines aren’t the most eco-friendly, you can recycle used capsules through manufacturer programs. This can be found in our article.
- Although filter machines have been criticized, pour-over coffee is back in fashion. You should be able to get a delicious, lighter-than-espresso coffee if you add fresh ground coffee. However, it will still have plenty of flavor.
- These cups are perfect for making coffee for a large group.
- These machines strike the perfect balance between manual and pod machines in terms of price, taste, and ease of use.
- When buying a machine, be sure to check for the time it can keep your coffee warm after it’s brewed. Also, make sure to look at how many cups it can make at once.
- Filter machines are best for black coffee, or with milk from the fridge. Don’t bother with cappuccinos and lattes.
- Make sure you check to make sure the machine has a grinder. You can either use pre-ground coffee or buy a separate machine. It will really make a difference in the quality of your coffee.