Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Mr. Coffee Espresso/Cappuccino System at Amazon
“Has all the bells and whistles you could want out of a machine.”
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Breville Espresso Machine at Amazon
“Dual-boiler espresso systems are undoubtedly the gold standard for home or commercial equipment.”
Best Combination Machine: Ninja Coffee Bar System on Amazon
“Has advanced thermal flavor extraction so you won’t suffer from weak coffee when you’re looking for a rich brew.”
Best Budget: Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine at Amazon
“Quality espresso without a huge machine taking space on your counter.”
Best Stovetop: Original Bialetti Moka Express at Amazon
“A classic octagon shape that will look good on your stove or table.”
“Has adapters for most of the popular pods... and you can also use your own fresh ground coffee.”
Best Dual-Shot: Mr. Coffee Dual Shot Espresso System on Amazon
“You can make drinks for two in half the time.”
Best Manual: Flair Espresso Manual Press on Amazon
“With nothing to plug in, you can bring this espresso maker anywhere.”
01 of 08
Best Overall: Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Espresso/Cappuccino System
A best seller in its category, this espresso maker from Mr. Coffee has all the bells and whistles you could want out of a machine. Besides espresso, you can also make cappuccino or a latte at the touch of a button. There’s an adjustable cup tray that lets you change the height based on the size of your cup, and the milk and water reservoirs are removable for easy refill and cleanup. A drip catcher will keep things clean if anything spills over, and the machine comes with a single shot filter, double shot filter, measuring scoop, tamper, and coffee recipes.
Most people who have this in their homes are happy with it thanks to how easy it is to use and how delicious the coffee comes out. One person said they didn’t know how they managed without it. Some people did have issues with it breaking sooner than they would have liked, but they majority of those who own it were satisfied with the quality of the product.
02 of 08
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Breville BES920XL Espresso Machine
Yes, this espresso maker from Breville has a high price tag, but compared to some of the other machines on the market (like the $4,500 La Marzocco Linea Mini, which is a barista favorite) this machine is actually a steal. Plus, it’s reliable, durable, and produces consistently great coffee.
Dual-boiler espresso systems are undoubtedly the gold standard for home or commercial equipment: They allow the machine to maintain the optimum temperature for simultaneously brewing espresso coffee (195–205 degrees Fahrenheit) as well as for creating steam (closer to 250 degrees Fahrenheit), which means no waiting around, watching your crema disappear while you wait to steam milk. The Breville also has programmable options for softly pre-infusing the coffee, and has a control valve that monitors extraction pressure—two things most home machines don't feature. If espresso is your go-to coffee every day, this is the machine for you.
03 of 08
Best Combination Machine: Ninja Coffee Bar Glass Carafe System
Espresso is wonderful, but if you also like regular coffee with breakfast or decaf with dinner, this machine can do it all – and you can use your own coffee rather than proprietary pods or cups. Not only does this make a variety of coffee types, it also brews coffee in a large variety of sizes, from a cup to a carafe and four sizes in between, so you can make just the right amount, whether it’s just for you, or whether you’re serving company
This machine has the proprietary Auto-iQ system for the perfect drink every time, and it has advanced thermal flavor extraction so you won’t suffer from weak coffee when you’re looking for a rich brew. It also has a built-in frother so you can froth hot or cold milk for your fancy brews.
This also includes a 22-ounce thermal travel mug so you can take your coffee with you. This coffee maker has a lot of settings, but I’ve found that once I used it a few times, it was simple to understand and easy to set for the brew and size I wanted.
04 of 08
Best Budget: Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by De'Longhi with Aeroccino
This compact espresso machine boasts a 19-bar high-pressure pump for quality espresso without a huge machine taking space on your counter. It heats to the optimum temperature in just 25 seconds and the machine turns off in 9 minutes, saving electricity.
This operates with one button and can make two different serving sizes — either espresso or lungo, but it can also be reprogrammed for custom sizes. The folding drip tray easily accommodates different-sized cups.
To let you know when to refill the water tank, there are red backlights along the sides of the machine. The included Aeroccino provides a finely-textured hot or cold milk froth to add the finishing touch to your coffee.
This is designed for use with Nespresso capsules; 16 sample capsules are provided, so you can start making espresso right away.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Stovetop: The Original Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker
Made in Italy by a company that has been manufacturing coffee makers for over 80 years, this espresso maker takes less than five minutes to produce up to 3 demitasses (2 ounces) cups of espresso. It is made from polished aluminum in a classic octagon shape that will look good on your stove or table, while the shape also helps to diffuse heat perfectly. It has a patented safety valve for protection and is easy to disassemble for cleaning.
Making espresso is simple — just fill the lower pot with cold water to below the valve, insert the funnel and fill with ground espresso, then screw the upper part onto the base. Then, just heat until the water boils and coffee comes through the center post. When the top pot is full, the coffee is done.
This is available in other sizes to fit your caffeine requirements.
06 of 08
Best Pod: Gourmia GCM7000 Multi-Capsule Espresso Machine
Making the perfect espresso can be a labor of love, but not everyone who wants to drink espresso wants to do all that labor. Pod-based machines make it easier, but then you have fewer type of coffee to choose from. This machine solves both of those problems since it has adapters for most of the popular pods, including Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, K-Fee, or Verismo by Starbucks, and you can also use your own fresh ground coffee.
There are two programmable buttons so you can choose the size of your espresso shot and your preferred temperature, and the machine will remember what you like. This provides up to 19 bars of pressure and heats quickly, so your morning brew will be both easy and delicious.
The drip tray is adjustable to accommodate different cups, and the tank holds 1 liter of water, so you won’t need to refill often.
07 of 08
Best Dual-Shot: Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot Espresso/Cappuccino System
No one wants to wait in line for espresso, right? This machine lets you make two shots at once, so you can make drinks for two in half the time, and you can choose a single- or double-shot portafilter for different serving sizes. The machine has a 15-bar pump system and a frothing arm to make a creamy froth for your cappuccinos and lattes. An indicator light lets you know when the process is complete.
The thermal block heating system speeds the heating, while the removable drip tray is easy to keep clean. This includes a tamper so you can make sure the coffee is evenly distributed in the filter for the best results. The water reservoir holds 40 ounces, so you won’t have to refill often.
08 of 08
Best Manual: Flair Espresso Manual Press
With nothing to plug in, you can bring this espresso maker anywhere, and the detachable brewing head makes the head easy to heat before brewing, and super-easy to clean when the coffee is done.
The stand is aluminum and the brewing head is made from stainless steel for light weight and durability. When you want to take your brewing on the road, this comes with a handy carrying case.
This comes with everything you’ll need except the coffee beans including the funnel and measuring cup/tamper. If you want to fasten the post to the base more permanently, it also includes a bolt, washer, and wrench.
For multiple shots of coffee in quick sequence, you can purchase extra portafilters to make the process fast and easy.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
We bought a top-rated espresso machine and our reviewers tested it for more than six hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this espresso machine, from its size to its performance. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in an Espresso Machine
Ease of use Some espresso machines are simple to use, while others include many different settings to help you fine-tune your brew. No matter if you like experimenting with different features or if you’re happy to simply add coffee and let the machine do the work, there’s an option for you — just think about what you prefer.
Frothing A machine with built-in frothing capability gives you a wide range of fancy coffee drinks that you can create, but it also gives you one more thing to clean and maintain. Do you need to froth milk? Does this versatility offset the extra cleaning? Also, since there are separate devices that can froth milk, you may still want to buy a machine without this capability that's otherwise perfect for you.
Size A very large machine will likely make a permanent home on your counter, while a very small machine can easily be moved in and out of storage. Mid-sized machines can be moved if you need the counter space. Consider how much room you have, as well as how portable you’d like your machine to be.
Test Results: Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 (Best Overall)
What We Like
Nice variety of drinks
Quality flavor at decent price
What We Don't Like
Difficult to clean
“I’d recommend this espresso machine to someone who loves coffee but isn't a coffee expert,” declared one of our testers. “It's a fun little appliance that enables you to make lots of different drinks.” Our reviewers also liked its compact size and thought the quality of the coffee flavor was good, especially for the price. On the other hand, one of our testers thought it was “louder than anticipated” and difficult to clean. One reviewer also thought that learning how to use it was “a little challenging” at first, but easy once she got the hang of it.