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The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Coffee Machine: Bean to Cup, Espresso, Filter & More
Last updated 2nd June, 2021

If you’re anything like us, coffee is a big part of your life. There is such joy in crafting a gourmet coffee experience in the comfort of your own home and enjoying that liquid gold. However, with the range of different types of coffee machines, brands, price points, and features – it can be a bit overwhelming to get the right equipment.

That’s why we’ve put this guide together. We’ve scoured the internet and visited physical stores to find the best of the best, doing all the research so that you don’t have to. Below you’ll find all the information you need to identify what coffee maker would be perfect for you, so you can take your coffee to the next level.

Without any further ado, let’s dive right in.

How Do I Choose a Coffee Machine?

Every person’s unique needs are different so you first need to decide on what type of coffee machine would be best for you – whether it be a bean to cup machine, an espresso machine, a filter machine, a French press, or a coffee pod machine. Then determine what your budget is, what your intended use case is, how much you value convenience, and the type of coffee that you most enjoy.

When you consider all those factors in combination, you’ll be able to choose the perfect coffee machine for your needs.

Why Buy a Coffee Machine?

Better tasting coffee

When you have a great coffee machine at home, you can craft the perfect type of coffee that suits your personal preferences, and you can enjoy it whenever you want. Typically, when you’re making high-quality coffee at home you’re going to be more connected to it and it’s going to taste much better than some of the standard options you might be buying from a franchised coffee shop.

Saves you money

When you make your coffee at home you’re going to save a lot of money when compared to constantly buying your coffee when you’re out and about. It may not seem like a lot on each individual cup but when you add it all together, the savings add up quickly. It can also save you time because you aren’t waiting in queues – you can fit it more natively into your day-to-day schedule.

Great for entertaining.

There are few better ways to welcome guests into your home than with a great cup of homemade coffee. With the right coffee machine you can be the talk of the town by crafting high-quality coffee for friends and family who come to visit. A little bit of effort goes a long way here.

What Type of Coffee Machine Should I Get?

Let’s run through each different type of coffee machine so you can answer which would be the best for you:

Bean to Cup Coffee Machines

A bean to cup coffee machine is best for coffee fanatics who want only the best quality coffee. These machines take coffee beans in their natural form and transform them into delicious quality coffee that maintains all the aromas and flavours that one would hope for. They are on the higher end of the price range, but they help to bring a truly gourmet experience to your home. There are an infinite variety of types and ways that you can create the coffee, so the space for experimentation is vast. The machines range from around £300 to £2,000 on the higher end of the range.

We’ve already created a comprehensive guide on bean to cup coffee machines which you can read here if you’d like to get more information.

Espresso Machines

An espresso machine is best for coffee aficionados and hobbyists because of the care that needs to be taken in order to grind the coffee perfectly and the strong acquired taste that you end up with. Espressos have a strong, bitter flavour and contain much more caffeine in them than with typical coffee. You tend to drink them in shot form and they tend to work out quite a bit more expensive than other varieties. The machines themselves tend to range from around £70 to £300.

We’ve written extensively about espresso machines here, so be sure to check out that guide for more information.

Coffee Pod Machines

Coffee pod machines are best for those who value convenience because once you’ve inserted the pre-made pod and pressed the button, you’ll have great coffee ready to go in no time. The pods themselves contain everything that’s required and there is no simpler way to get your fix. The downside is that these pods can get quite expensive and when you buy a machine, you’re often stuck with that brand of pods – you don’t get much flexibility. The pod machines range from a price of £40 to £200 depending on the brand.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on pod machines which you can read here, if you would like to dig deeper into this topic.

Filter Coffee Machines

Filter coffee machines are best for those who want simple coffee in larger batches. These machines take ground coffee and pass it through a filter to deliver coffee quickly and easily without much fuss. These machines are typically designed for larger quantities so they’re ideal for offices and other settings where you want to brew multiple cups at once. However, the quality does suffer a bit so if you’re a coffee snob, this probably isn’t right for you. The machines themselves range from £30 to £150.

We created a comprehensive guide on the good, bad, and the ugly of filter coffee machines which you can read here if you’d like to delve deeper into this niche.

French Press Coffee Makers (Cafetieres)

Cafetieres are best for those who want gourmet quality coffee on the go without any fuss. These machines are relatively compact, and they deliver high-quality coffee time and time again, while still being very easy to use. The motion of pressing down the coffee also makes for a unique experience that leaves you more connected than if you were just pushing a button. They are eco-friendly and a great choice for someone who wants quick and easy coffee with a dash of personality. The machines range in price from £30 to £100.

We’ve written extensively on cafetieres, and you can find that guide here if you’re looking for more information.

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Top 10 Coffee Machines

We’ve taken our top picks from each type of coffee machine as listed above, to collect all our recommendations in one place. But if you want more detail, or more products in each category – then be sure to check out the individual guides for each category that can found here:

1. Sage Barista Touch Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine

Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

If you’re looking for a luxury bean to cup coffee machine that delivers exceptional quality every single time, then you’ve come to the right place. The Sage Barista touch melds a robust build made of stainless steel, with cutting-edge touch screen technology which houses the interface. There are a thousand different ways to make your coffee, selecting between different types, strengths, milk textures and the like – so you can zone in on your perfect cup. It also includes automatic milk texturing so you can make foam that other coffees bow down before. This is the cream of the crop, without a doubt.

  • Coffee type: Beans
  • Capacity: 2 litres.
  • Size: 41cm (H) x 32cm (W) x 34cm (D)
  • Brand: Sage
  • Price: ££££
  • Retailer: John Lewis & Partners

2. De’Longhi Magnifica Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

Best Cheap Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

Bean to cup machines can get expensive, and that’s what makes the De’Longhi Magnifica such a marvel. It delivers really great coffee at a very reasonable price – a combination that is rare and special. Inside the machine, you have a built-in grinder and frother which opens the opportunity to make a myriad of different coffee options. And when you’re done, the automated cleaning functionality makes the maintenance an absolute breeze. At this price, it seems too good to be true – but golly, does it deliver on its promise. Highly recommended.

  • Coffee type: Beans.
  • Capacity: 1.8 litres.
  • Size: 38cm x 28cm x 36cm
  • Brand: De’Longhi
  • Price: £
  • Retailer: Amazon

3. Sage the Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Best Espresso Machine

You’ll feel like a fighter pilot with all the buttons you’ve got on this machine. But they are all dialed in to various functions that enable you to craft the perfect espresso for you and you alone. Select your preferred texture, temperature, strength, etc. and you’ll have an infinite variety of different coffee experiences to enjoy. Don’t forget the micro-foam steam wand of course, which allows you to create artistic masterpieces on the top of your drinks. This is the best espresso machine around and why wouldn’t you go with anything but the best?

  • Coffee type: Ground.
  • Capacity: 2.5 litres.
  • Size: 37.3cm (W) x 37.3cm (D) x 37.1cm (H)
  • Brand: Sage
  • Price: ££££
  • Retailer: Best Coffee

4. John Lewis & Partners Pump Espresso Coffee Machine with Milk Frother

Best Cheap Espresso Machine

Espresso machines are notoriously expensive, but this one bucks the trend. They’ve managed to pack an insane amount of functionality into a robust, compact build that doesn’t. break the bank. It uses a pump mechanism and an integrated milk frother so you can tailor each component of the espresso to your unique taste. It’s a steal at this price and you won’t regret it when you’re sipping world-class espressos in the comfort of your own home.

  • Coffee type: Ground.
  • Capacity: 1.2 litres.
  • Size: 32.3cm (H) x 20.1cm (W) x 32.3cm (D)
  • Brand: John Lewis & Partners.
  • Price: ££
  • Retailer: John Lewis & Partners

5. Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa Espresso Coffee

Best Coffee Pod Machine

This Lavazza pod machine is a premium coffee maker that will blow your mind. The first thing you’ll notice is the sleek, modern design that will upscale your kitchen’s sophistication in a heartbeat. Then, you’ll realise that you have a wide range of drink choices to choose from – all of which take a pod and turn it into pure liquid gold. It’s a really great device that comes in three different colours – so you can mix and match to your heart’s content.

It’s also good to know that there is a smaller, cheaper version which delivers the same quality but in a slightly smaller frame. This is good if you can’t quite stomach the price of the bigger one.

  • Coffee type: Pods.
  • Capacity: 1.1 litres.
  • Size: 19cm (L) x 35.2cm (H) x 50.3cm (W)
  • Brand: Lavazza
  • Price: ££££
  • Retailer: John Lewis & Partners

6. Nespresso by Magimix Vertuo Plus (Limited Edition Red)

Best Cheap Coffee Pod Machine

Of all the coffee pod machines out there, this is probably the simplest and most compact. But don’t let that fool you. It’s a remarkably capable machine. When you plug in the Nespresso Vertuo capsules you’ll be able to select from 5 programmable cup sizes that can suit any occasion with ease. With just the push of a button, you’ll have great coffee going down the gullet before you know it. And don’t even get us started about the red finish. It’s enough to make any coffee fanatic’s heart skip a beat.

  • Coffee type: Pods.
  • Capacity: 1.2 litres
  • Size: 32.5cm (H) x 22cm (W) x 34.9cm (D)
  • Brand: Nespresso
  • Price: from £ to ££££
  • Retailer:

7. Sage Precision Brewer Coffee Maker

Best Filter Coffee Machine

You won’t find any better filter coffee machines out there than this one from Sage. It’s extremely intuitive and easy to use, giving you all the functionality you need without any of the fuss. It manages to blend elegant simplicity with a nifty design to create a filter coffee machine that you’d be proud to put in your space. It’s also nice to know that you can brew over ice if you’re looking for something a little different. It’s a great machine all round.

  • Coffee type: Ground
  • Capacity: 12 cups.
  • Size: 36cm x 16.8cm x 39.5cm.
  • Brand: Sage
  • Price: ££££
  • Retailer: Amazon

8. Melitta Look IV Therm Timer Filter Coffee Machine

Best Cheap Filter Coffee Machine

If you’re looking for a filter coffee machine on a budget, then you’ve come to the right place. This machine from Melitta packs a wide range of functionality into a product that doesn’t break the bank. It provides some of the best value for money on the whole coffee machine market, especially when you consider that it has an automated cleaning system that makes the maintenance a breeze. We can’t find anything wrong with this machine, and at such a bargain price – it’s a no-brainer.

  • Coffee type: Ground.
  • Capacity: 10 cups.
  • Size: 35.7cm (H) x 23cm (W) x 22cm (D).
  • Brand: Melitta.
  • Price: ££
  • Retailer:

9. Hario French Press Olive Wood

Best French Press Coffee Maker

The first thing you’ll notice with this coffee maker is how wonderful the design is. They’ve gone for a simple, yet sophisticated feel that belongs on your Instagram feed. Behind the design, the build is robust, and the capabilities are immense for creating great French press coffee or even tea, if you’re so inclined. This particular version is a 4 cup cafetiere, but they also have a1 cup cafetiere version available if you want something more compact or more portable. Regardless of size, you’ll get some great coffee out of here and it will look great in your kitchen at the same time.

  • Coffee type: Ground.
  • Capacity: 4 cups.
  • Size: 14.4cm (W) x 9.4cm (D) x 17.4cm (H)
  • Brand: Hario.
  • Price: ££
  • Retailer: Best Coffee

10. Homgeek Double Walled Cafetiere French Press Coffee Maker

Best Cheap French Press Coffee Maker

There are few coffee makers that are as versatile as this one, especially at this very reasonable price point. With no fuss at all you can switch between a wide range of different drinks, leveraging the two different filters to create one-of-a-kind coffee experiences. The product itself is thoughtfully designed and there is no wasted space – which enables tremendous flexibility at home and on the go. A nice bonus is the double wall insulation which will help maintain that perfect drinking temperature for much longer than you would have imagined. It’s a well-balanced coffee maker that delivers great quality at a price that’s hard to believe. What’s not to love?

  • Coffee type: Ground.
  • Capacity: 8 cups.
  • Size: 15cm x 14.5cm x 21.6cm.
  • Brand: Homgeek
  • Price: £
  • Retailer: Amazon

Buying Guide

Type of Coffee

The most important thing to get right when picking a coffee machine is that it can handle your coffee type of choice. Depending on what you drink (beans, ground coffee, capsules, etc.) you’ll need to get a machine that is designed for that type. If you like making your coffee fresh from the beans then you’ll likely want to go for the bean to cup machine. If you’re using ground coffee you could go with a filter coffee machine or an espresso machine. And if you prefer the convenience of capsules or pods, you’ll need to get a machine that can handle your pods of choice.

Consider how important coffee is to you and whether you want it fresh and at its best (leading you towards a bean to coffee machine or an espresso machine) or if you use coffee for fuel and are more than happy with a simpler, cheaper method.

Ease of Use

Coffee machines come at varying levels of convenience depending on how involved you want to be in the coffee making process itself. To get the best quality coffee you would be best served with a bean to cup machine, but it does take some effort to get the coffee at the end of the day. If convenience is more important to you then you could go with a French press or pods and find the whole experience that much simpler.

It’s worth noting that if you do go with pods, you are forced to commit to a specific brand of pods (e.g. Nespresso) so keep that in mind when purchasing your machine.

Your Budget

There is a significant range of prices when it comes to coffee machines so it’s a great way to filter down your options right from the beginning. Consider how much you can reasonably spend on a machine and how much value it is going to bring you. Is it a hobby of yours that brings you a lot of joy? Or do you not have that much of an attachment, and you could easily go for something quick and cheap?

Also remember to factor in the ongoing costs of whatever type of coffee you plan to buy, such as the coffee itself – because that’s a cost that’s less tangible in the initial buying process.

Number of People

Think about the common usage of your coffee machine. Are you going to be making for several people at once? Or is it just for you? Some coffee machines are better suited for bulk brewing than others. Make sure that the capacity suits your desired use case because there is nothing worse than having to wait for 5 separate coffees to brew back-to-back because you have the wrong machine for the job.

Coffee Accessories

When you’re narrowing down the machines that would be suitable, it’s also important to think about any accompanying accessories that might be required. The most common accessories to consider are milk frothers and coffee grinders. The machine that you get will dictate whether these are necessary, but we’ve also gone into a bit more detail further below.

Sourcing Your Coffee

There are a number of ways to buy your coffee and that is going to determine what machines are best suited for you. So, depending on whether you prefer to buy your coffee through a subscription service, from a local supermarket, a local coffee shop, etc. – be sure that the machine is well suited to your purchasing habits.

Coffee Accessories

When you buy your coffee machine, you might also want to consider some additional accessories to make the most of your experience. Some machines will come with these components already built in, while some require you to buy them separately. Some of the major ones are as follows:

Coffee Grinders

Coffee grinders are machines that transform your fresh coffee beans into ground coffee which can then be placed in a filter in your coffee machine. They can be electric machines that use a motor to grind the beans, or they can be manual where you’ve got to do the hard work physically.

You might consider buying a coffee grinder because it means that your coffee is going to be that much fresher. When you grind your coffee immediately before placing it into the machine, you’re going to retain more of the flavours and aromas than you typically do when you buy already ground coffee. Having an external grinder also can give you some more flexibility as to how coarse you want your grinds which affects the types of coffees you can make and how the final product actually tastes.

We’ve written a full guide on coffee grinders which you can find here, but if you’re looking for the shortcuts, here are our favourite options:

Sage the Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Grinder

This coffee grinder from Sage can do it all, truly. With 60 unique settings, you’ll never run out of unique ways to process your coffee beans. Any drink you can imagine can get a kickstart from this grinder and the filter itself can plug right into your coffee maker to speed up the process. It’s the best electric coffee grinder on the market, without a doubt.

  • Brand: Sage
  • Retailer: Best Coffee
  • Price: £££

Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Coffee Grinder

There is more than meets the eye here. While the design is minimalistic, its capability is not. As far as manual grinders go, you won’t find a more resilient product that does the job every single time. You can switch between different grind settings to get different levels of coarseness for whatever drink you’re looking to create. It’s a wonderful product that we can’t recommend highly enough.

  • Brand: Hario.
  • Retailer: Best Coffee.
  • Price: ££

Milk Frothers

A milk frother is a machine that can add a creamy, foamy texture to any latte, cappuccino or hot drink. If you think of those picture-perfect coffees that grace the Instagram feeds, your own milk frother can help you do that at home. The way they work is either by using a coiled whisk to spin the milk rapidly, or by pushing steam through the milk to create bubbles.

You might want to consider getting a milk frother if you enjoy that creamy texture on your drinks and want to recreate that at home. They make for really aesthetic drinks and can take your coffee to an entirely new level altogether.

We’ve already written a full guide about milk frothers which you can find here, but our favourite is:

Lavazza A Modo Mio MilkEasy Milk Frother

Best Electric Milk Frother

Not all milk frothers are made equal, and this one certainly stands out from the rest. It has a sophisticated design that makes it very accessible for beginners and pros alike, and it can create that perfect creamy texture in a very short period of time. Combine that with its compact nature and you’ve got a product that delivers on its promises and then gets out of the way so you can enjoy the fruits of your labour.

  • Brand: Lavazza
  • Retailer: John Lewis & Partners
  • Price: ££

Spotlight on Our Favourite Retailer: Best Coffee

Of all the wonderful retailers that we source our equipment from, Best Coffee really does stand out from the rest. They’ve been around for a good while now and have managed to curate one of the most comprehensive and thoughtful collections of coffee items anywhere on the internet. On their site, you can purchase a range of different coffees, coffee machines, accessories, and other equipment to craft the perfect coffee making experience at home. They have a well-designed app for mobile shopping and lots of content to help you make the right choice for you.

The buying experience itself is world-class. They offer next day delivery in most cases, free delivery If your order is more than £50, and a generous 30-day returns policy. It could not be more convenient and it’s just a delight every single time.

Here are the top reasons we love Best Coffee:

  • The Best Coffee Beans Subscription Box, which is a flexible subscription service that delivers high quality coffee to you on a regular basis for you to enjoy.
  • The Best Coffee app helps to connect you to the finest specialty coffee shops near you, so you can always get your fix.
  • Their expert content helps you to upskill yourself in the world of gourmet coffee with articles on sustainability, brewing, and so much more.
  • Coffee with a Conscience – They are strongly committed to their four principles for ethical coffee buying and they include profiles on each of their roasters so you can know exactly where your coffee is coming from.

If you’d like to support them and upgrade your entire coffee buying experience, be sure to sign up to their email newsletter and you’ll get 5% of your first order. It’s just a little something to sweeten the deal.


That brings us to the end of our ultimate guide for buying your own coffee machine. We hope that it has been of value. We did everything we could to scour the internet for the best of the best to bring it to you. We only selected those with stellar reviews, trusted sellers, and high-quality products so that you can be assured of world class coffee equipment, anywhere you go on this list.

Take some time to decide on the right one for you and you can take your coffee experience to the next level! We hope you enjoy!

Affiliate disclaimer: on some or all of the products above, we receive a small commission if you make a purchase via our site. This does not impact the price you pay, but it allows us to keep helping people by writing these reviews, so thank you!

Co-founder at The Coffee Makers Guide

Fascinated by how old coffee-making traditions and habits meet new technology, Tom loves to test out the latest coffee makers, gadgets and other accessories in search of that perfect coffee.