For those partial to a cup of coffee, the aroma of freshly brewed espresso is the best way to start the day, or keep you going all day long. A home coffee machine is one way to not only save money on expensive coffee shop prices, but also the unnecessary wastage of reusable cups.


Coffee machines are a great way to brew professional-style espresso topped with silky crema at home; the staple which forms the basis of most coffee shop classics.

Whether you want fully-automated convenience and coffee at the touch of a button, or the gratifying connection to your cup of coffee that comes with a hands-on machine, there are lots of coffee machines to choose from. Prices of coffee machines vary from £25 to £2,000, and can be compact models or stalwarts of your countertop. There’s no point in paying for sophisticated personalisation features if all you’re after is a delicious americano, or dedicating half your surface to a machine that won't get used.

So, with this in mind, we’ve rounded up our tried and tested favourite coffee machines to help you make great coffee at home.

Treat yourself to the full experience and serve your coffee in one of our favourite espresso cups and coffee mugs. We’ve tried and tested a variety to give you the best results for what you need and are always on the look out for the best coffee machine deals to bring you a bargain.

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A coffee machine brewing espresso into a cup

Best coffee machines at a glance

Best espresso machines

  • Best mid-range espresso machine: SMEG ECF01 home espresso machine, £319
  • Best modern classic: Gaggia New Classic espresso machine, £359
  • Best compact machine for quality accessories: KitchenAid Artisan espresso machine, £381.65
  • Most stylish espresso machine: De’Longhi Dedica EC685.M manual espresso maker, £182
  • Best espresso machine for adventures: Wacaco Minipresso GR espresso maker, £46.90
  • Best mid-range buy for simplicity: Sage Bambino Plus espresso maker, £399.95

Best coffee pod machines

  • Best for user-friendly experience: Hotel Chocolat The Podster, £149.95
  • Best blowout coffee pod machine: Grind One, £275
  • Best basic coffee pod machine: Lavazza Jolie, £95
  • Best coffee pod machine for retro style: Lavazza A Modo Mio SMEG, £199
  • Best for energy efficiency: Illy ESE pod machine, £115
  • Best for versatility: Nespresso Vertuo Next, £149

Best bean-to-cup coffee machines

  • Best bean-to-cup machine for contemporary style: Smeg BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machine, £649.95
  • Best large capacity bean-to-cup coffee machine: Gaggia Cadorna Plus, £750
  • Best bean-to-cup machine: Sage Oracle Touch espresso machine, £2,099.95
  • Best smart bean-to-cup coffee machine: Smarter Coffee Machine, £199
  • Best mid-range bean-to-cup coffee machine: Delonghi La Specialista Maestro bean to cup coffee machine, £999.99
  • Best bean-to-cup machine for adjustable aroma intensity: Gaggia Milano Magenta Milk, £599
  • Best affordable bean to cup espresso machine: Breville Barista Max, £449

Types of coffee machines

The type of machine you buy will depend on the type of coffee you drink, priorities, budget, space available and level of personalisation desired. The more you pay, the greater the personalisation options you’ll likely have.

Bean-to-cup coffee machines: These coffee machines are fully-automated. They grind freshly roasted whole beans and the grinding, dosing and tamping are all done at the touch of a button. You can usually make two drinks at a time, they often have sophisticated customisation settings available and you can save your drink preferences. Some even have apps and WIFI connectivity which means you can set the machine to make your coffee while you’re still lying in bed.

Coffee pod machines: These accommodate pre-prepared coffee pods which provide a mess-free espresso. The machines themselves are relatively affordable, starting around £30, but the pods themselves can be expensive and difficult to recycle, unless you buy biodegradable versions.

Ground coffee machines: The closest you’ll get to espresso machines in a coffee house. These use ground coffee and have portafilters that you lock in place. You’ll likely need to tamper and tap out the grounds yourself with these machines which adds a satisfying hands-on experience. Providing its the right grind level, you can also switch up the coffee you use. Manual pump espresso machines are the most experiential of all, harnessing your own strength to apply enough pressure to produce espresso, rather than being plugged into the mains.

Filter coffee machines: These machines are a different beast, not requiring any power and generally taking longer than espresso machines. Comprising just a filter, coffee and hot water, the brewed coffee drips into a jug.

Best coffee machines 2023

Espresso machines

Gaggia New Classic espresso machine

Score: 5/5 stars

Gaggia Classic espresso machine

Best modern classic

If you're looking for an espresso machine that carries legacy as much as style, Gaggia's Classic effortlessly denotes quality and expertise. Made in Italy, its trio of rocker switches and steel outer case hide the trappings of a state-of-the-art machine for home use, including a solenoid valve for controlling water temperature. All the accessories are also professional grade.

SMEG ECF01 espresso machine

Score: 5/5 stars

SMEG ECF01CRUK espresso machine in cream

Best mid-range espresso machine
Unmistakably SMEG in its design, this espresso machine is deceptively simple. Behind its trio of buttons lies the option to tailor everything from coffee quantity and automatic shut-off timings to the water temperature. Its milk steamer wand is also incredibly efficient. Read our full SMEG ECF01 espresso machine review.

KitchenAid Artisan espresso machine

Score: 4.5/5

KitchenAid Artisan espresso machine

Best compact machine for quality accessories

Emblazoned with the brand's iconic logo across its front, this espresso will thrill coffee-loving fans of KitchenAid appliances. It's a short, compact appliance that would suit anyone who loves rocket-fuel espresso and has limited countertop space under cupboards.

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De’Longhi Dedica EC685.M manual espresso maker

Score: 4.5/5

De'Longhi Dedica EC685.B espresso machine

Most stylish espresso machine
De’Longhi is responsible for making some modern-day classics of the coffee machine world and its Dedica is quietly confident, packing 15-bars of brew pressure into the diminutive 14cm x 33cm footprint. At just under £200, it’s excellent value for money for the quality of espresso generated, if not a little unstable for warming your espresso cups. Read our full De'Longhi Dedica EC685.M espresso machine review.

Wacaco Minipresso GR espresso maker

Score 4.5/5

Wacaco Minipresso GR espresso maker

Best espresso machine for adventures
The quality of espresso this hand-sized espresso maker produces rivals the most expensive bean-to-cup machines. Its components stack and twist together with a water chamber at the bottom and then pump manually into the integrated espresso cup. At just under £40, it’s one of the most affordable espresso machines on the market and one of our ultimate favourite coffee gadgets. Read our full Wacaco MiniPresso GR espresso maker review.

Buy from Wacaco (£36.90)

Sage Bambino Plus espresso maker

Score 4.5/5

Sage The Bambino Plus SES500BSS espresso machine

Best mid-range buy for simplicity

Sage delivers on the style and quality front with its gadgets, known for its brushed-metal bodies and rocket-fuel espressos. With an efficient steam wand and intuitive button display, the Bambino is a reliable espresso maker to keep proudly on the countertop. Read our full Sage Bambino plus espresso maker review.

Coffee Pod machines

Hotel Chocolat The Podster

Score: 4.5/5 stars

Hotel Chocolat The Podster coffee pod machine against a white background

Best coffee pod machine for user experience

For its first foray into the world of coffee machines, Hotel Chocolat has teamed up with Dualit to create The Podster, its new diminutive gadget (compatible with Nespresso pods) to follow in the success of its Velvetiser.

It's intuitive to use, offering single and lungo options through a pair of soft-touch buttons. These are the tip of the iceberg for its satisfying build quality. The handle is gently textured and finished with a classy Rabot Estate coin, there's a softened lift and lock mechanism to loading the coffee capsules, the pod bin and water tank are both nicely textured to obscure the contents within, and non-slip feet offer practical resistance on the countertop. The machine is accompanied by five sustainably sourced Rabot Estate coffee blends – all were brewed with a good crema to finish.

Hotel Chocolat, £149.95

Grind One coffee pod machine

Score: 5/5 stars

Grind One coffee machine

Best blowout coffee pod machine

This model oozes industrial elegance, offering a remarkably hands-on experience for a coffee pod machine. Its small boxy design has a diminutive presence on the countertop and yet, it still steals attention, protected by a stainless steel outer. Its cup warmer is practical, the drip tray manually adjustable thanks to a series of notches and, once the coffee cap is locked in by the lowering of its handle, it produces rich, crema-topped espresso.

Grind, £275

Lavazza Jolie

Score: 4.5/5 stars

Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie

Best basic coffee pod machine

If you're looking for a small, neatly styled coffee pod machine that does the basics well and won't break the bank, the Lavazza Jolie is a reliable option. It's been around for a couple of years and still matches up against newer, flashier models, producing flavour-packed espressos and lungo coffees at the touch of the (only) button. Affordably, it also hovers just under £80.

Morning Coffee Machine

Score: 5/5

  • Available from Morning, £349
Morning coffee machine against a white background

Best for speciality coffee and variety

Released in 2022, the Morning coffee pod machine is one of the first of its kind equipped with the precision controls needed to get the best from a host of coffee varieties and roasts. It brings intricate features from professional espresso machines into the capsule style, measuring the extracted coffee in grams rather than ml, allowing for adjustable water temperature, bar pressure and coffee quantities. Ten pre-set coffee functions are on offer including a drip function for iced coffee, selectable using its touchscreen frontage and spinning outer rim. It's also Bluetooth and WiFi compatible.

Available from:

Morning, £349

Nespresso Vertuo Next

Score: 4.5/5 stars

Nespresso Vertuo Next coffee machine

Best for versatility

When it comes to coffee technology, the Nespresso's Vertuo machine is innovative . Each pod is marked with a barcode on its underside that tells the machine how much water to brew. Unlike any other espresso pod machine, it even tops its filter coffees with a thick crema, which is not as silky as those on traditional espressos, but still flavourful and aesthetically pleasing. The variety as well as the coffee quality impressed and it features in our list of the best Nespresso machines.

De'longhi Nespresso Lattissima One

Score: 3.5/5

De'Longhi Lattissima One coffe pod machine against a white background

Best for milky coffees

It's not often that coffee capsule machines offer the capability to heat and froth milk for a selection of coffees, but that's exactly what makes this model stand out. The result of a collaboration between De'Longhi and Nespresso, the Lattissima One has a milk system that pulls out from the front for easy cleaning and filling.

The container offers four little notches to guide you on the milk quantities for three milky pre-set coffee drinks: macchiato, cappuccino and latte, in addition to espresso and lungo options. It's a great option for households that like a variety of coffee drinks but not the mess.

Bean-to-cup coffee machines

Smeg BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machine

Score: 5/5 stars

Smeg BCC02 bean to cup coffee machine in red

Best bean-to-cup for contemporary style

Not only does Smeg's new bean-to-cup coffee machine carry the rounded lines, matte colour shades and statement style that's synonymous with its iconic 1950s designs, it's also the smallest of all the bean-to-cup coffee machines tested. The compact footprint makes it a convenient choice for homes with limited countertop space, but it should be a top choice for anyone looking for a bean-to-cup for a few reasons. The controls consist of four buttons from which eight functions are selectable. The single espresso is dark, packed with flavour and aroma, and topped with a swirling crema. Its milk steam wand is also efficient. Read our full Smeg BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machine review.

Breville Barista Max

Score: 4.5/5 stars

Breville Barista Max espresso machine

Best affordable bean-to-cup espresso machine

Requiring little set up beyond the attachment of its bean hopper and coming in at just under £400, Breville's Barista Max is an approachable espresso machine that has most of the trimmings of a professional bean-to-cup. Inside you'll find an accessories storage tray along with a multitude of cleaning tools. A stainless jug for steaming milk is also included. Read our full Breville Barista Max review.

Sage Oracle Touch espresso machine

Score: 5/5 stars

Sage Oracle Touch espresso machine

Best bean-to-cup espresso machine
If you have the budget to invest in a premium machine, then Sage is a sophisticated, brushed-steel number that’ll please coffee connoisseurs and beginner baristas alike. It combines full automation over the grinding, dosing and tamping of grounds with 11 present coffee-house classics, while leaving the drinker to load the portafilter and steam the milk. If you’re keen to experiment, elements like grind level, milk temperature and froth level are also adjustable. Read our full Sage Oracle Touch espresso maker review.

Gaggia Cadorna Style Plus

Score: 4/5 stars

Gaggia Cadorna Plus bean to cup coffee machine against a white background

Best large capacity bean-to-cup coffee machine

A slightly larger and more expensive option than the Gaggia Magenta Plus, the Cadorna Plus offers a much broader interface and the option to save the preferences of four different users. It's a great one for those with countertop space to dedicate to a serious bean-to-cup coffee machine, who enjoy the hands-off approach to coffee making.

Despite this, the option to personalise the espresso is on offer, with aroma intensity adjustable by defining the quantity of coffee ground per shot, along with the grind level. The efficient milk steaming wand stood out for its usability, made from stainless steel, and allows you to achieve good silky hot milk even while practicing.

Smarter Coffee Machine

Score: 5/5 stars

Smarter Coffee machine with smartphone

Best smart bean-to-cup coffee machine
Rather than focusing on producing short, dark espressos, the Smarter Coffee Machine comes with a glass carafe and measures its coffee settings from four cups (equates to 500ml so two mugs) to 12 cups rather than shots – making it a great option for larger quantities. The strength is adjustable, but the thing that makes this one special is its smart-home capabilities for connecting and controlling it remotely through an app. The front panels are also changeable for customisation of its design. Read our full Smarter Coffee Machine review.

De'Longhi La Specialista Maestro bean to cup coffee machine

Score: 5/5 stars

Delonghi La Specialista Maestro bean to cup espresso machine

Best mid-range bean-to-cup coffee machine
This is another espresso machine which combines full automation with useful range of personalisation features. It makes a refreshing change from the traditional box design of bean-to-cup machines, instead offering control of the espresso portafilter and milk steam wand. It's a great pick if you're after reliably good espresso with room for experimentation. Read our full De'Longhi La Specialista Maestro review.

Gaggia Magenta Plus espresso machine

Score: 4/5 stars

Gaggia Magenta bean to cup espresso machine

Best bean-to-cup for adjustable intensity

When it came to flavour, the espresso this Gaggia created was some of the richest we tested. It's a sleek machine, finished with statement red detailing which makes it stand out nicely on the countertop. But beyond the design is great usability. The coffee spout is height-adjustable, as is coffee temperature, quantity and grind-size. It arrives with a 500g bag of beans which is a nice touch. Read our full Gaggia Magenta Plus review.

How to choose the best coffee machine

There are specific features to consider before you buy your coffee machine.

Milk steam wand
If you like milky coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, a milk steaming wand should be on your list of features to look for. Some higher-value machines include a stainless steel milk jug specifically for this, but if not, we’d recommend investing in one.

Single cup and double cup functionality
It can be convenient to be able to make two cups of coffee at the same time, particularly in busy households.

Single and double espresso filter baskets
Ground coffee espresso makers should offer single and double espresso filter baskets for swapping into the portafilter.

Coffee grind personalisation
Customisation over how fine coffee can be ground is an excellent way to tailor your coffee to your own tastes. For example, fine-ground coffee is perfect for espresso.

Adjustable drip trays
This will enable the machine to accommodate your favourite mug, however broad or tall it is.

Water hardness adjustability
This is a sophisticated feature that the best coffee machines should all have, as water hardness can affect the taste of the espresso. Areas of hard water are also more prone to the build-up of limescale so machines may need more maintenance.

Self-clean functions
These can be anything from a self-purge cycle to simply an automatic steam wand clean after every use. Combined with the habitual efforts of wiping the steam wand after every use, you will prolong the life of your espresso machine.

How we tested coffee machines

This all depends on the type of coffee machine, but at the centre of our tests was the following core criteria:

Performance: The flavour, aroma and temperature of the coffee needed to be enjoyable, so every coffee and espresso function was tested to assess this. Bitterness, acidity or weakness were scored down.

Value for money: Its performance and versatility play into this one. These appliances may be one of the largest investments you make for your kitchen, so the price must feel right.

Ease of use: All were scored from unboxing, so they needed to be simple to unpack with easy-to-follow instructions. When the variety of settings is so broad, intuitive controls make the experience fun. Everything from milk-wand range of motion to adjustable drip trays and access for refilling the water tank and bean hoppers were considered here.

Convenience: is one of the biggest selling points for buying a bean-to-cup espresso machine so any fussing around with parts affected scoring.

Quantity of materials: Flimsy build-materials don’t warrant a high price tag and make things difficult to clean. They also affect the longevity of an appliance’s life.

Design and aesthetic for keeping on the countertop: Bean-to-cup machines are generally very deep and broad, so a good design plays into this.

The average scores out of five decided each product’s overall star rating. The additional criteria also played into our decision-making.

  • Variety of functions
  • Kitchen footprint
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Advanced features
  • Packaging

For coffee gifts and accessory guides, read on:

Best coffee gifts
Best coffee mugs
Best coffee subscriptions
Best coffee gadgets and accessories

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Anya GilberteCommerce and Reviews Editor

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