The Best Single Serve Coffee Maker

Cuisinart SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System

Our Top Pick for 2016: Cuisinart SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $219.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Coffee is an essential part of life. For some of us, we can’t even hold a normal conversation until after that first cup of coffee hits us. However much we may love and crave coffee, often we are the only one in our household who drinks coffee, or we live by ourselves and just don’t want to make an entire pot for one person. If you tend to be the only coffee drinker in your home, or you find it dangerous to make an entire pot for yourself because you might just drink the whole thing, a single serve coffee maker is a great addition to your home. It would be much smaller than the traditional machine as well, and this review will cut some of the guesswork out of trying to find one you will enjoy.

Table of contents

Brew Your Own Ground Coffee With Single-serve Scoop Filter
80-ounce Removable Water Reservoir
Brews Directly Into 15-ounce Travel Mug
Brews Up To 14 Ozs
5 Cup Sizes Including Iced Beverage Setting
Stainless-steel Mug Tapered To Fit Most Vehicle Cup Holders
Travel Cup Or Coffee Mug
Fully Programmable Blue Backlit Lcd
Permanent Filter
Durable Stainless Steel Construction
Perfect For Both Personal Use And Entertaining
Auto Shut-off
Built-in Stand For Coffee Mugs
Built To North American Electrical Standards
Dishwasher-safe Mug

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Cuisinart SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System

Cuisinart SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $219.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerThis Cuisinart that made the very top of our list has amazing functions that are sure to give you exactly what you need every morning. As a Keurig model, you can use K-Cups for the single pod coffee machine. As opposed to purchasing bags of coffee, grinding out the beans, measuring out the correct amount of grounds necessary and then making a cup of coffee, now all that is necessary is to pop in a K-Cup and you’re all set to go. This definitely adds in a significant amount of time-saving for any cup of coffee you might want to make. Just think about all of the time you could save and extra sleep you could have if it was actually as simple as throwing a cup underneath a machine. With this Cuisinart, it is possible.

Since this model uses K-Cups, not only can you make yourself a hot cup of delicious coffee in the morning, but K-Cups are also available for a variety of different teas, hot cocoa and many other hot drinks you could be interested in. All of these can be brewed in just under one minute. Depending on just how much coffee you need in the morning, you will be able to choose between a 4, 6, 8, or 10-ounce cup with a single coffee pod. Once the machine is powered on, just move the up and down arrows to make your ideal cup of joe. No matter what size you decide to use, the Cuisinart Single Serve brewing system will produce the perfect cup of coffee every single time. Once you are done with your coffee, all you have to do is open up the lid and pop the premeasured cup out. No more scraping grounds that have escaped into the trash can. The K-Cups don’t make any unnecessary mess for you to clean up.

No more making an entire pot of coffee and pouring it into your travel mug. It is simply too hard to not spill it all over the countertop and leave one more thing for you to clean up when you come home from work. The drip tray on this machine can be removed to accommodate larger cups or travel mugs so the coffee can be brewed directly into the mug. Once you select the size of coffee you want to make, just press brew and you’re ready to go. Since this machine is dedicated to bringing you more simplicity in your life, there is a large tank of water that will hold enough liquid for multiple cups of coffee. Instead of measuring out the perfect amount of water for each cup of coffee, all you have to do is press brew and the machine will do the measuring for you.

With this machine you can even choose to brew iced coffee if you wish. All you have to do is place a tall glass filled with ice on top of the drip tray and put your favorite K-Cup into the machine. Just select the iced beverage setting and it will dispense however much coffee you selected. Every once in a while you should clean your Cuisinart coffee maker by using the rinse cycle to run through the machine. Prior to cleaning the machine out, make sure that all of the K-Cups are removed and lower the handle to select the word rinse. Press hot water and put a mug underneath and the Cuisinart will clean itself out.

If you are environmentally conscious, these machines come with the My K-Cup reusable coffee filter so you don’t have to use a new pod every time. This does mean that you will have to use your own ground coffee in the filter, but if you have a loyalty to a particular brand that is not available in the standard K-Cups or you want to consider the environment, then these are great options. It is dishwasher safe for easy and convenient cleaning. With the adjustable temperature control you are able to choose how hot you want your coffee to be depending on what your preferences are. This machine would also be ideal for offices and other open spaces due to the quiet brew technology that will make your coffee on the sly so it won’t disturb others around you.

With an easy to read, blue backlit LCD display you can make all of your size and beverage options you may want to have. Included on this model is a charcoal water filter for great tasting water that filters out any impurities it may have been contaminated with. Finally, it is fully programmable if you want it to start your cup of coffee in the morning right on time. This Cuisinart model is available on Amazon for $199.00 in black, $179.99 in silver and $229.00 in chrome.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker

View it on Amazon for $34.88*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerSignificantly less expensive when compared to the previous coffee maker, this Hamilton Beach machine is able to produce an amazing cup of coffee every time you want one. While it may not be labeled as a gourmet coffee machine, this doesn’t mean that the coffee produced from it is any less than delicious. You will have to grind up and purchase your specific brand of coffee with this model, however, as it does not employ Keurig K-Cups or any other form of coffee pods available for purchase. If you are looking for an 8-ounce cup of coffee, it will be able to brew in less than 90 seconds, and a 14-ounce travel mug in under two and a half minutes.

While this machine in itself is incredibly versatile and able to use grounds that are significantly less expensive than the Keurig K-Cups, this coffeemaker is as easy to use as any other coffee machine. All you have to do is take the scoop that also conveniently doubles as the filter to grab the already ground up coffee to begin your day. Then put it back into the machine and press brew. It truly is that simple.

One of the great unique features about this machine is that it offers you the versatility you want when it comes to the boldness of your coffee. Some people prefer the mainstream brand of coffee, while others would rather have premium brand coffee. No matter what one you choose this machine can adapt to give you the best flavor possible. You can choose to use the regular setting for a quick cup of coffee that will give you the automatic drip for your daily dose.

However, if you want something extra tasty that day, feel free to select the bold setting for finer grinds, decaf or stronger flavors that have options like vanilla or hazelnut. It is important to remember that the finer the grind of the coffee, the longer it will take to brew. When you select a bolder coffee, the water will pass through the grinds at a slower rate allowing it to have more contact time and better flavor extraction for a great cup of coffee.

If you are looking for a less strong or smaller cup of coffee you don’t have to go back to the old-fashioned way of getting out your measuring spoon to figure out how many grounds you need to scoop out for your cup. On the filter that also doubles as a scoop, it is labeled with two measuring lines for exact serving amounts. Just be careful not to overfill past the line if you tend to like your coffee stronger. Overfilling it won’t allow room for brewing and the water will overflow and spill over. This means that you’re going to get a weaker cup of coffee than if you used less grounds.

Before you start brewing on this awesome machine, make sure you adjust the L-Shaped cup to situate it as close to the dispensing nozzle as possible. This will allow less room for it to overflow and make a mess all over your counter. If you want to use a travel mug with the coffee machine, set the mug on top of the drip tray and brew it as you normally would. Unlike other coffee makers of its kind, a majority of this machine is dishwasher safe and doesn’t features many high-tech buttons that can be confusing. This Hamilton Beach coffee maker has a scoop filter, a secondary filter and a cup rest that can all be thrown into the dishwasher for easy clean up. If you want the machine to have a long lifespan, you should clean it internally once a month by pouring ½ cup of plain white vinegar and ½ cup of cold water into the water reservoir and brewing the machine.

As this coffeemaker was awarded the 2012 Good Housekeeping Very Innovative Products by Good Housekeeping Research institute it is sure to give you many cups of amazing coffee for years to come. If this sounds like your type of coffee machine, it is available to be purchased on Amazon in a silver chrome color for only $35.99.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Black & Decker DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker

Black & Decker DCM18S Brew 'n Go Personal Coffeemaker

View it on Amazon for $16.13*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardNext up is a very popular product created by the well-known company of Black & Decker. In the past this company has always been associated with touch machines that will last you a lifetime and this is definitely not any different. At first sight, this machine seems very simple and plain, but this is one of the things that makes it so easy to use. In a plain black color with chrome accents it gives you the coffee that you need without all of the confusing bells and whistles. However, this is one the main reasons why this coffee maker is so affordable.

The only button you truly need to know on this machine is the simple on off switch for brewing coffee. As per the name, this machine is truly a “Brew N Go” system. It will allow you to brew either one or two cups of coffee with either pods or grounds of your choosing. For easy clean up as well, there is a permanent washable filter you can use time after time instead of dealing with floppy paper filters that are messy to clean up. Not only do they usually break in half and spill over before you can get to the garbage, but they also make it so much harder to clean out of the machine. With this reusable filter, just drop the grounds in the trash can, wash it out and you are all set to go.

Since this works with either pods or regular ground coffee, if you want to use the pods you have to find the specific ones for this machine. The Black & Decker pods tend to be quite a bit cheaper than the name brand Keurig K-Cups that need to be used with other coffee machines. As with some of the other options in this review, you can also use reusable pods if you tend to be conscious about the environment. They can be used for a variety of different coffee types and have quite a long life. All you have to do is fill it up with your favorite ground coffee and you are all set to go.

This coffee maker is quite a bit smaller than the previous ones we have seen on this list so far. These would be ideal for students in dorms who have very limited space, or for people in small apartments that have little counter space to use. Even if you have extra counter space to spare, why would you bother to take up more space when you have the option to take up even less? One of the great things about this machine is that is already comes with a Black & Decker mug to go with it. This does not mean that you can’t use some of your own mugs, but this does work perfectly for the machine, and will be great to take with you on your morning commute. It holds quite a bit of coffee, but it can also fit into most cup holders in cars. The mug itself features a rubber handle for a safe grip and a lid to keep the coffee hot.

When you want to clean the coffee maker, parts such as the cup and the filter can be thrown directly into the dishwasher for simple and easy cleaning. All of the parts of the machine are durable and able to withstand years of daily use. This great coffee maker is available to be purchased on Amazon for the low price of $17.99.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Better Chef IM-102B 1-Cup Personal Coffee Maker

Better Chef IM-102B 1-Cup Personal Coffee Maker

View it on Amazon for $16.80*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickThe final contender on our list is a true budget pick that will ultimately give you the very best bang for your buck. Overall it is truly the most simple machine you could imagine using, however this is not only what keeps it so cheap, but it is also easy to use on a daily basis. This machine is capable of making only one cup of coffee up to 12 ounces. 12 ounces is significantly smaller than any of our previous cups of coffee so far, but for some, this is an ideal size. It is also possible to pack a few more grounds into the machine with less water. This means that instead of a larger cup of coffee, you can get a smaller cup of coffee that is significantly stronger than what you would normally go for. If you love espresso, this is about as close as you can get to that taste without purchasing an espresso machine.

You have the choice to use either ground coffee in the filter or coffee pods if you like. This will give you a wide variety of options to choose from no matter what you’re in the mood for. Also, if you plan on sharing this machine with more than one person, you can pick and choose what type of coffee is best for you. Again, this is all about your own personal options. There is a permanent filter included in the machine so don’t worry about purchasing any specially sized paper filters. This machine is not only efficiently compact and portable if you plan on traveling with it, but is also has an auto off function. Once you brew your cup of coffee, this will automatically turn the machine off to prevent and fire hazards that may occur from leaving it on.

Feel free to use your own coffee mug in this one as it does not come with one of its own. Finally, it comes with a power on indicator light to let you know that it is currently brewing a fresh, hot cup of coffee for you. With a 1-year replacement warranty on Amazon, you really don’t have anything to lose with this machine. You can purchase it today for only $10.23 in a solid black color.

Pre-purchase considerations

Do you have a specific taste for coffee?

Every single person you know likes their coffee a very specific way. Some like it like an espresso, some like it a bit watered down. Others like it with 2 creams and 3 sugars, and some others like to put ice cubes in their coffee to cool it down before they drink it. A few of the machines on this list will give you the option to choose between normal and bold brews to make it just the way you like it. The very first choice even lets you choose iced coffee for all of those who were going to put ice cubes in their coffee anyways. Keep in mind when you purchase your new machine what the tastes are of the people who will be using it.

Do you prefer to use Keurig K-Cups?

While most of the machines on this list give you the option to use some sort of coffee pod with the machine, this isn’t ideal for everyone. All of the machines can still be used without the pods, but if you prefer not to have this option at all, there is an option on this review for that as well.

Are you a fan of simplicity?

None of the machines on this review are necessarily high tech and super confusing, but depending on the level of simplicity you prefer, you can get yourself a great coffee machine with nothing but an on/off switch. Simplicity is a great thing for those who just don’t have time to figure out a million different buttons and their functions in the morning. You just want coffee and you won’t stop until you get it!

How big would you like it to be?

Living in a college dorm can be the time of your life. You’re surrounded by friends all the time and there is always something interesting you can be doing. However there are a lot of sacrifices that have to be made, and one of the includes your space. For some students, your living room is our kitchen is your bedroom is your study room and there’s simply no space for anything else. It’s at this point in your life that pretty much every spare inch you have left in your room becomes sacred and has to have a purpose. Being in college you drink a lot of coffee, but having a small coffee maker that fits into that tiny corner can save you a lot of money in the long run instead of running to the local Starbucks every morning. Keep your space requirements in mind when you are looking to purchase a coffee machine.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Overall, any of the single serve coffee machines you chose in this review you do exactly what they needed to do, which is feed your caffeine addiction. The only main difference between any of them is your exact preferences and what you will be using it for. No matter what you choose, rest assured that it will last you a long time and give you a hot cup of coffee every morning.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!


  1. Bed Bath & Beyond, Cuisinart Keurig Brewed Single Serve Brewing System
  2. Katie Pilkington, Cuisinart SS-700 Review: A Decent cup of diner coffee in your kitchen,
  3. Hamilton Beach, The Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker,
  4. Benji Walklet, Coffee Maker Review: Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop.
  5. Black & Decker, Brew’n Go Personal Coffee Maker,
  6. Newegg, Black & Decker DCM18S Black Brew’N Go Deluxe Personal Coffee Maker with Stainless Steel Mug
  7. Tiger Direct Business, Better Chef Personal Coffee Maker One Cup Up To 12 ounces Compact

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