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  • Christie Bolster

What Is The Best Single Cup Coffee Maker In 2023?

When all you need is a quick and easy way to get your caffeine fix, you’ll want a single serve coffee maker that brews one cup at a time. Here are the most personal reviews of the best options for the money.

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

1. Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

Top-rated: 73,608 ratings

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

Highlight: Less than 5 inches wide; perfect for small spaces.

Helpful review: "I was one of those very early buyers of one of the first Keurig K-Cup machines before they got to be such a common kitchen accessory. I’ve stuck with them when their machines went from well built to essentially throw away junk, and when they tried – and failed – to lock users in to only using their own brand of pods using a dubious lockout scheme.
Over time to get the quality I wanted I moved from their plasticky home brewers to their commercial products and at this point own a K-150 which I think is one of their best ever products. So point number one, I am not new to the Keurig ecosystem and point number two is I really didn’t absolutely need another brewer. At least I didn’t think I did.
However, as I travel I note that many of the hotels I’ve stayed in have the original Keurig single serve compact brewer so I always travel with a few coffee, tea and sometimes hot chocolate pods so I can brew a quick cup in my room. That hotel room version is (was) nice but poorly designed and not really suitable for home use. When I first saw this new upgraded K-Mini model I got really interested. I hoped it could be a viable choice to take with me when traveling due to its small size, to use at our cabin or vacation properties or even something even more special, something near and dear to my needs - as a single cup hot shot hot water dispenser for use with tea bags or other instant beverages.
You see, the world is in desperate need of a good single serve very fast hot water dispenser, but no one knows that. There is one very cheap model that’s been around forever that has more flaws than benefits, and a few models from Japan that are overpriced and also very flawed in design. Then there was one perfect model that was around for a couple of months that I should have bought a dozen of for fear that they would stop making it. They did stop and the one I bought still works but is now showing signs of slowly wearing out. I hoped this new Keurig could help me fill the void for something that I could use to make a boiling cup of water for a fast late night cup of tea or cocoa. And yes, this is it.
As a single cup coffee brewer the mini does what you would hope and expect so I won’t dwell too much on that. You put a single pod into the familiar snap down receptacle and pour a cup of water into the permanently attached reservoir and push a single button and a couple of minutes later out pours your coffee. The good news is that if you don’t put a pod into it everything else happens the same way except what comes out is hot clean water that you can use for tea or anything else. And what’s nice is that you can choose anywhere between about 6 and 12 ounces of water depending on how much you pour in. Most other similar units parcel out a measured amount of water, usually exactly 8 ounces. This one pours back the same as you put in to it so you can make your tea, soup or cocoa as strong as you like..
I typically reserve 5 stars for superstar products, the best of the best, and I have to tell you that this little gem has me very excited. It feels well made and not plasticky and the overall design is a lesson in simplicity yet perfection. The first thing I noticed is that there is a small cutout on the back to store some or all of the power cord in – and by the way it has a 3-prong grounded commercial grade plug. If you have it on your kitchen counter you can pull out only as much cord as you need to reach the outlet and if you travel with it you can easily stow the entire cord safely away. You literally don’t need any instructions, although they are well written, have large color illustrations, and are super easy to understand. After you plug it in you lift a hinged door on the top of the unit and pour water in, and you’re not limited to a fixed amount, you can fill it with anywhere between 6 and 12 ounces to suit your coffee strength taste or to fill a travel mug, and yes it will fill a full size auto mug with ease. After you put the water in you lift the handle, which automatically turns the power on, and insert a K-cup and press the handle back down and then press the very large brew button on top. When you do that the light surrounding the button stops flashing, the water heats up, and brews your coffee. 40 seconds after that, if you don’t do anything else like make another cup, the power turns itself off. I timed it from button press to filled cup and it took just under 1 minute and 18 seconds. And the water is super hot, cup after cup, unlike most similar brewers that get increasingly cooler for each cup.
One thing that interested me is that no water is wasted in the process, when I put exactly one cup into it exactly one cup comes out of it. Most coffee makers don’t do that. AND you don't have to clean it because there is no holding tank like full-size coffee makers, the water you pour in gets pulled right through, heated, and dispensed. No water sits inside to get moldy.
You can tell I am impressed and excited about this thing. When I saw it I thought it would be nice to have but had no idea I would ever use it at home instead of my big fancy commercial grade brewer. I was so wrong. I actually have the two sitting side by side now and use the mini every time I need a cup of hot water for tea, soup, hot chocolate or anything else. But what I didn’t anticipate is that I would be using the mini for those times when I want to make one single K-cup of coffee during the day and I don’t want to have to wait for the entire tank of water in my full size brewer to heat up or I certainly don’t want to make a pot of traditional coffee. With the mini the entire process of making one cup takes about two minutes and there is zero cleanup or leftover water that can develop a bad taste. Despite some reviewers who didn't understand what this thing is, in reality it is the FASTEST way to make a cup of coffee from scratch in my kitchen. That means I’m using this thing two or three times every day now and it has become something I can’t be without. You know what that means, I better buy several of them now just in case they ever get discontinued.
Nowhere is it claimed that this is a full sized and full featured coffee brewer. I mention that because of a couple of disappointed users who didn't understand that posted negative comments about the size of the water tank or that it isn't meant to be used with those fussy adapters that have to be manually filled with ground coffee. I have never seen the value in spending a half hour filling and cleaning those gadgets to save two cents - they defeat the entire purpose of the speed, convenience and zero cleanup of K-cups. And no, this doesn't even have a traditional multi-cup water tank, what you pour in gets heated and poured into your cup. That's why it's called a single serve brewer.
I’m baffled why anyone would think 2 minutes is too long to wait for a cup of coffee. The last time I was at Starbucks it took 10 minutes to get a cup of coffee, my full size Keurig takes over 10 minutes to warm up before I can make my first cup and my Bunn coffee maker also takes over 10 minutes. Most electric hot water makers take about 8 minutes to come to a boil and it takes about 5 minutes in a pot on my stove. Exactly what are they comparing it to that can boil a cup of water in less than 2 minutes?
If you compare this brewer to any other from the time you pour water into it until the time your cup of coffee is ready, at about 1 minute and 18 seconds this is the fastest I’ve ever seen. It’s a shame so many people are comparing a single-serve machine to full-size coffee makers that already have taken time to heat up an entire tank of water and all the user is doing is dispensing it. Duh, of course that’s going to be a few seconds “faster”.
The time it takes to boil a cup of water at sea level and at high altitudes is substantially different, that probably accounts for some people quoting different amounts of time for their brewer to heat up. That’s science, you can’t change it.
All Keurig brewers require that the brew button be pressed immediately after lowering the pod compartment handle. After several seconds the machine will go into standby and the handle will have to be lifted and lowered again. This likely explains those users who reported that their unit didn’t work or wouldn’t dispense water – they didn’t read the instructions.
Since the moment I opened the box this gadget has given me more satisfaction than anything I’ve seen so far this year. Everything about it is exactly as it should be. If you love the convenience of K-cups, like to make a quick cup of coffee, tea, cocoa or soup with zero prep time and zero cleanup, don't have a lot of counter space or need a personal brewer for a dorm room or office cubicle, or are looking for the perfect single cup hot water maker, this is what you're looking for. I recommend it." — PhotoGraphics

Get it from Amazon now: $99.99 & FREE Returns


2. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio Coffee Maker with Two Single-Serve Brewing Options

Top-rated: 40,592 ratings

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio Coffee Maker

Highlight: This programmable coffee maker has Easy-Touch programming for wake-up ready coffee. After brewing, coffee stays warm for 2 hours and the power automatically shuts off.

Helpful review: "While I'm not a fan of another appliance on my counter, I'm a bigger fan of convenient, hot, nicely-brewed coffee. I'm now a fan of this coffee maker that serves my husband and me each morning and gives me 12 oz of an afternoon cup. Providing a 2-in-1 unit needs to be larger than the standard maker and I'm impressed that Hamilton Beach designed smartly.
Our coffee maker needs to park under upper shelves--which this one does easily at 14" tall. We've been using a "handy caddy" pull-out under our makers for a long time. (Saved our wood counter tops for years...and now provides a smooth glide forward/back on tile) Both water-well lids require open space above, so we pull our brewer forward. While forward, the Hamilton Beach needs a big footprint... approx 12" left-to-right and 22" front-to-back. The good news, is that the top of the maker doesn't get as hot and steamer as our older coffee makers, so once the coffee is brewed, I can slide it back to its parking spot under the counter.
Preparing coffee by either option is simple, straight-forward, and effective. There's ample room in both for pouring and I haven't dribbled/spilled trying to navigate a too-small space. Very pleased by this positive feature for me.
I am in a lot of homes who have higher end coffee makers--lots of Keurigs. It's a large piece of counter-top gear too and I wouldn't trade this 2-option Hamilton Beach for a Keurig. For me, it feels wasteful to whip through the K-cups and I've yet to find the right ratio for my ground coffee in the "do it yourself pod". But, for an afternoon mug, I easily justify one K-cup in my favorite dark roast.
Carafe Side: The buttons over the carafe are clear and simple. The carafe slides in and out smoothly (no tugging or tipping to pull out or return). The coffee is very hot (a plus). The ground basket lifts out easily and the water well is ample for me to pour water without spilling/dripping/dribbling.
Individual cup Side: A step-stool design to (a) store do it yourself pods or a k-cup doubles as a cup rest for your cup of coffee. This riser easily lifts out if (a) you want to retrieve/replace or (b) you have a tall travel mug. Mine is 7 3/4" tall -- I do have to slightly angle it under the dispenser, but I found that smooth.
The finish is done in a black matte which better camouflages finger prints (than shiny). The back (black) cord is (approx) 21" long, so... probably like most coffee makers, it needs to be nearer an outlet (to provide for pulling it out to pour water if under upper cabinets).
What impressed me a lot, about the single-cup, is how much better tasting and stronger my usual K-cup brand came out (12 oz amount)...and hotter... than the Keurigs I have used. (I know the temperature can be adjusted on the Keurig and even then... this H-Beach without adjusting the temperature...was hotter). The carafe side also puts out a smooth and hot(ter) cup of coffee than our former HB coffee maker.
This brewer does not beep when done (which I have no worries that I'll forget to check)--I prefer "no beep"
For a 10 cup carafe; 9minutes 38 seconds.
For a 12 oz travel mug; 3 minutes.
The carafe side "noise" seems standard--with a lean to more quiet than many past makers.
The K-Cup side is louder, which is expected--but this isn't an issue for me--short cycle to heat and dispense.
Each side has its own exterior-viewing water-level gauge
Two-hour keep warm cycle
Programmable (which I don't use)
The only "con" I have witnessed is that there are a few (3) drips when the individual "K cup" is "done". (an easy wipe up for me)
I am VERY happy with this Hamilton Beach!" — Heather LaRee

Get it from Amazon now: $119.85 & FREE Returns


3. Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker

Top-rated: 89,170 ratings

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker

Highlight: Automatic descaling (an important part of cleaning your Keurig brewer) removes calcium deposits, or scale, that can build up inside a coffee maker over time.

Helpful review: "Up until recently, I had never been much of a coffee drinker except for the occasional seasonal flavored latte drinks but I was having trouble keeping up with my very active twin toddlers. We already had a standard coffee maker but I didn't want to brew a whole pot of coffee at once and single-serve coffee makers seem to be very popular so I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try. I had seen several different Keurig's from the basic ones to very fancy ones but wanted to purchase one that both fulfilled my needs to brew a single cup of coffee and wasn't too expensive so I opted to buy the Keurig K55 Coffee Maker in black.
When the Keurig arrived, I eagerly opened up the box to get it set up and start using it! I found it fairly simple to set up since there is a Use and Care Guide included and it's easy to follow the step-by-step instructions. I'd say the setup only takes a few minutes and then you are ready to brew your first cup of coffee. There are lights on the brewer that illuminate and walk you through the brewing process but once you are used to it, it becomes second nature and now, I don't even have to think about it, which is good in the early morning when I'm not thinking straight and need my coffee!
Brewing: To brew a cup of coffee is very simple. You'll need to turn on the brewer by pushing the power button. The power button and heating lights will illuminate and the Keurig will make some noises while it heats up. When the three cup sizes illuminate in blue, you know it's time to brew your coffee. Set your coffee mug on top of the drip tray and lift the handle for the K-cup pod holder. Place a K-cup pod in the holder and lower the handle completely until the three cup sizes are blinking. The three sizes are: small cup (5.25 ounces), small mug (7.25 ounces) and large mug (9.25 ounces). Select your size and the coffee will be ready in about a minute. If the water reservoir is low on water, the "add water" light will illuminate and the process won't continue until you've filled the reservoir. Once it's stopped dripping, you may remove your mug and enjoy your coffee! If someone else wants to brew a cup of coffee right after yours is done, all they have to do is remove your K-cup pod since they are single-use pods, add theirs and repeat the process.
Water Reservoir: The reservoir holds 48 ounces of water so you don't have to fill it up every time you want to brew a new cup of coffee, which is one of the reasons I selected this model. I make about two cups of coffee every day so I end up refilling the reservoir every few days. There are filters to use with the water but I purchase bottled water so I haven't used the filters at this point. When the reservoir needs to be filled, I remove the reservoir, take off the lid, fill it up with water, place the reservoir back in the Keurig and replace the top.
Cleaning: I feel this Keurig is fairly simple to clean. The drip tray is removable and I usually wipe it down with a damp paper towel a couple times a week and wash it in water, soapy water occasionally. I also like to wipe down the exterior since the front part of the Keurig gets splatters of coffee on it. You can also clean the pod holder, funnel, needles and water reservoir and lid. Be careful as the two needles used to puncture holes in the K-cup pods are very sharp.
Coffee Pods (the best part!): The Keurig K55 Coffee Maker uses the K-cup pods, which you can purchase nearly everywhere and there are many brands and flavors to choose from. You don't need to buy any specific brand with this coffee maker. As long as they are K-cups, they should work and I haven't come across any pods that don't work. I've been having a lot of fun purchasing different flavors and brands since I have several friends and family members who also have Keurigs so it's a lot of fun to swap coffees! I prefer flavored coffees and there are so many out there to try but my favorites are the Green Mountain flavors in Caramel Vanilla Creme and Wild Mountain Blueberry. There are K-cup pods in different price ranges and it's nice to have that option since everyone has a different budget. The nice thing with this brewer is that the flavors don't tend to blend from one cup to the next. For instance, my mom and I have brewed cups of coffee one right after the other (different flavors) and neither of us have noticed the other flavor in our respective cups. I've only brewed one cup of apple cider with this and haven't noticed the previous coffee flavor in the apple cider or the apple cider in my next cup of coffee. In this brewer, you can use all kinds of coffee flavors from flavored to medium and dark roasts to hot chocolate to apple cider. I typically choose the small mug (7.25 ounces) setting since I like the flavor. It isn't too strong or too watered-down for me but others may prefer other settings.
Programmable Auto Off Timer: You can set the brewer to turn off two hours after the last cup of coffee has brewed (included in the instructions). I just turn the Keurig on and off as I need it but it's nice to have that option.
Noise: Some people have stated that this brewer is noisy. I've found it's the noisiest when it's taking water from the reservoir and it sounds like a loud hum. It's not too loud when it's brewing the cup of coffee. I occasionally get up earlier than my husband and kids and brew a cup of coffee and no one has woken up (I'd say there is about 30 feet between the kitchen and bedrooms with the doors closed). When we have guests and they brew coffee before I wake up, I can't hear it at all.
This Keurig is made in China and mine had a packaging date of August 2016, a month before I purchased it. I've been using it for two months and haven't had any problems with it at all. It measures about 12 inches deep (from front to back), nine inches wide (side to side) and 13 1/2 inches tall. I've had several family members use it and my parents and in-laws have found it fairly simple to use after I show them how to brew the coffee since we all have different models. Ever since I started drinking coffee, I've had better success with staying more alert and awake to take care of my twins and buying this Keurig has been well-worth every penny we spent on it! I have no regrets buying it and have been having a lot of fun finding different flavors to try. As with all of my reviews and especially any appliances and electronics reviews, I will periodically update this review, add in any new information I discover and adjust my thoughts and star rating, if needed. If you, or someone you know, is interested in a Keurig, I highly recommend this one. It's a great model that is nice on your wallet and will brew a great cup of coffee as often as you'd like!
***Update: I've had this Keurig now for almost eight months and it's still working great for us! I typically brew four cups of coffee a day now to keep up with my kids and I've had no trouble with using this Keurig. When we have guests and are switching pods a lot, I never notice a strange taste at all (since we all like different flavors). I clean out the drip tray and wipe the whole machine down at least once a week to keep it looking nice. We only use bottled water in it so I've never had to use the filter. When we go away for a few days, I always wipe everything down and empty the water reservoir so it can air out and dry. I still highly recommend this Keurig if you want a good single-cup brewer that isn't incredibly expensive!" — Kristin B.

Get it from Amazon now: $149.99 & FREE Returns


4. CHULUX Coffee Brewer for Single Cup Capsules

Top-rated: 39,662 ratings

CHULUX Coffee Brewer for Single Cup Capsules