Our Top Picks
Best Semi-Automatic: Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 at Amazon
“Extracts espresso and automatically froths layers of milk for a tasty cappuccino.”
Best Pod-Compatible: De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR at Amazon
“15 BAR pump produces rich espresso with grounds or pods.”
Best for Beginners: Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System at Amazon
“Versatile coffee machine that can produce different coffeehouse brews.”
Best for Home: Breville Barista Express Machine at Amazon
“Functional, stylish, and ideal for home use.”
Best Professional: Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine at Amazon
“Espresso machine with grinder and multi-use frothing wand.”
Best Budget: Mr. Coffee ECMP50 at Amazon
“For the significant cost savings, this machine gives you the features you need.”
Best Portable: MiniPresso Espresso Maker at Amazon
“It's operated by hand, and doesn't require batteries or electricity.”
01 of 07
Best Semi-Automatic: Mr. Coffee ECMP1000
Condense the coffeehouse experience into one touch with the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Cafe Barista Premium Espresso/Cappuccino System. Load it up with your fave grind and this semi-automatic machine extracts the espresso you’ve come to expect from your barista on the back of a 15 BAR pump. Then it automatically froths milk and layers it into a tasty cappuccino. Other easy-brew touches include removable water and milk tanks. It includes a measuring scoop-tamper, filter and recipe book for when you’re ready to take your home coffee shop to the next level.
02 of 07
Best Pod-Compatible: De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR
Looking for a powerful espresso and cappuccino machine that's compatible with pods? Check out the De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker. In addition to the 15 BAR pump that produces rich espresso and thick milk froth, other high-quality elements include a stainless-steel boiler and dual thermostats to heat up water to optimal brewing temps. It works with ground espresso or Nespresso pods, and a three-in-one filter holder keeps it simple whether pulling one shot or two.
03 of 07
Best for Beginners: Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System with Built-In Frother
This multi-use coffee machine makes single-serve coffee in a variety of styles. The built-in frother turns it into a major contender for making fancy coffee shop brews at home. It also makes a basic brew to get you out of the house in the morning with a standard cup of coffee.
Unlike many other coffee makers in this price range, this doesn’t require proprietary pods or cups, so you can choose the coffee you like for each style of coffee, whether you want dark espresso beans or a lighter breakfast blend. You can also choose the ideal size, from an extra large cup to enough coffee for multiple people.
The propriety AutoIQ brews the perfect coffee with one-touch operation and the frother works for making both hot or cold froth. There is also a setting for making iced coffee. This machine can do it all, including making layered coffee drinks. Coffee art, on the other hand, is up to you.
While espresso snobs might scoff at a machine that isn’t designed for espresso only, this is an easy way for beginners to make a large number of coffeehouse brews at home. Not only does it save money compared to buying a separate machine, but it also saves counter space (it has a compact design). As an added bonus, it includes a tumbler to take your hot or cold coffee to go.
04 of 07
Best for Home: Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
Make an excellent shot of espresso in the comfort of your own home with the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine—beloved by thousands of customers, this top-rated espresso maker is functional, stylish, and ideal for home use. Boasting a 15-bar Italian pump and 1600 W thermocoil heating system, the Barista Express pretty much does it all: grind your beans before extraction using the integrated conical burr grinder (choose among several grind settings depending on your preference), easily adjust your water temperature in precise, two- to four-degree increments, and use the stainless steel swivel-action steam wand to create the perfect cappuccino or latte. The state-of-the-art Barista Express makes a delicious shot every single time, so you never need to rush out to a cafe in the morning to get your caffeine mix again.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Professional: Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Made in Italy, this machine makes rich espresso and so much more. It has a frothing wand for cappuccinos and lattes, and the wand doubles as a hot water dispenser, so you can use it for making tea or any other beverage that requires hot water. It heats quickly for both brewing and steaming, so you won’t have to wait long for your coffee.
This machine has brought traditional brews to the modern age with an LED screen that displays icons for different drinks, so it’s simple to operate, yet you can customize the brew for the strength you want. Cleaning is easy, too, since the dregs drawer and drip tray are accessible from the front of the machine. The water tank is also easy to refill from the front of the machine.
This has a lovely brushed stainless steel front that looks elegant and thwarts fingerprint smudges, while the compact design means it can fit in a smaller space than many machines with these options.
This machine has an integrated burr grinder for the perfect grind every time, but it can also use pre-ground coffee if you prefer.
06 of 07
Best Budget: Mr. Coffee ECMP50
The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 is your best BAR for your buck, packing a 15 BAR in a sub-$100 package. This semi-automatic machine is a rung or two below the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 in terms of automation—the milk frother is manual and requires a separate nozzle and carafe. For the significant cost savings, this machine packs the professional features you need. The Mr. Coffee thermal block heating system heats the water instantly and single- and double-cup Portafilters deliver delish espresso.
07 of 07
Best Portable: MiniPresso Espresso Maker
This handy little espresso maker is perfect for road trips, camping, or any other adventure that you can think of! It’s operated by hand and doesn’t require batteries or electricity, so it’s completely portable. All you need is hot water, so put a kettle on the campfire and have an espresso with your s’mores.
This weighs less than a pound and is just 7 inches long, so it’s ideal for travel—whether you’re backpacking or staying in a hotel. Or keep it in your desk drawer so you can enjoy a shot of espresso without running to a coffee shop.
Of course, you’ll need ground coffee, but that’s easy, and this includes a scoop so you can measure out the perfect amount. If you prefer a cappuccino or latte rather than straight espresso, you’ll need to steam and foam some milk. But with this handy little espresso maker, you’ve got the hard part done.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
Our reviewers spent six hours testing a top-rated espresso/cappuccino machine. To get the most comprehensive results, they used it to make a variety of coffee drinks. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this machine, from its design to the quality of the drinks it creates. We've outlined the key points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in an Espresso/Cappuccino Machine
Pod usage Machines that use pods (or capsules) can be very convenient, but they limit you to the coffees that are available in those formats. Machines that use ground coffee let you customize the beans, the grind, and the amount of coffee, but they’re a little less convenient (and messier) to use.
Size No matter how big your kitchen is, counter space is always a consideration when purchasing a new appliance. If you have the room, get a large machine that can sit out on your counter at all times. Coffee drinkers with less kitchen space should opt for a compact machine, which is easier to store in a cabinet or your pantry.
Milk frothing Some machines have milk tanks — which makes heating and frothing the milk easier — but someone still has to empty and clean the tank after each use. If you’re often serving coffee to a crowd, the convenience of the milk tank might outweigh the task of cleaning. If you’re usually making coffee for one or two, a tank might not be worth it.
Test Results: Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 (Best Semi-Automatic)
What We Like
Nice variety of drinks
Quality flavor at decent price
What We Don't Like
Difficult to clean
Milk frother is flimsy
According to one tester, this machine is perfect for “someone who loves coffee but isn't a coffee expert.” Figuring out how to use it was a bit challenging, initially, according to our reviewers, but once it was set up correctly, the touch panel was simple to use. Testers really liked the variety of drinks available and found the coffee flavor to be good quality for the price. Additionally, they liked its compact size but noted that cleaning all the parts is time consuming.
The machine is loud, so beware if you plan on using it before other household members wake up. "It is louder than I anticipated it being," one person said. "The first time I used it, my roommate was still asleep, and I panicked and turned it off."