For many people, coffee is more than just the world’s third most popular beverage. It is part of their daily routine—a morning ritual that sets them up for the rest of the day. Getting the brew just right is important.
Fortunately, there is a vast range of coffee machines available, varying wildly in price, features, and even the style of coffee that they produce. From drip coffee makers to barista-style, bean-to-cup machines with milk frothing wands and even voice-activated coffee brewing, there is a machine to match your desired level of involvement and preferred brew.
Below are reviews of 10 of the best coffee makers in the UK, including single and multi-cup machines, pod machines, and more.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favourites in 2023
The 10 Best Coffee Makers in the UK
1. DeLonghi Dedica Style Traditional Pump Espresso Machine – Best Overall
|Type:||Bean to Cup|
|Dimensions:||33cm x 14.9cm x 30.3cm|
The De’Longhi Dedica Style Traditional Pump Espresso Machine is a slim espresso machine that can be used to make a variety of espresso-based drinks. It is a slim design with an attractive metal body. Despite being slim, it will fit two cups on the drip tray and delivers coffee equally between the two. The drip tray is also dual height, which is a useful feature that means you can make a good variety of drink styles in different receptacles. It also has a milk frothing wand and, as well as the standard filters, you also get an easy serving espresso (ESE) pod filter so you can use these pods, too.
The Dedica also has a cup-warming rack on top, although this is rendered unstable because the machine tends to vibrate and there is no guard to prevent the cups from rattling off. And, while the soft-touch buttons are elegant and feel good, their ease leads to errant and erroneous button pressing, at least until you get used to the design.
However, the attractive looks, small footprint, very competitive price, and good features, make the De’Longhi Dedica Style Traditional Pump Espresso Machine the best overall coffee maker in the UK.
- Slim form fits in most kitchen spaces
- Milk frothing wand built in
- Adjustable drip tray height
- Vibrations and small size make the cup warmer unsafe
- Easy-touch buttons
2. Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Espresso Coffee Machine – Best Value
|Dimensions:||33cm x 12.4cm x 21cm|
Coffee pods offer uniformity and ease, although they aren’t the most popular choice with all coffee drinkers. The Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Espresso Coffee Machine is a small, simple, and inexpensive pod machine that takes Lavazza Modo Mio pods. The water tank has a 0.6 litre capacity, which is smaller than a lot of others, but it does encourage you to refill the water more often so as to enjoy a fresher tasting espresso.
The pods are ejected automatically once the coffee is made and the machine has a maximum capacity of up to five pods. The machine is decent quality for the money, warms up in 25 seconds, and has a single button to operate the machine.
The cost and ease of the Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Espresso Coffee Machine make it our choice as the best coffee maker in the UK for the money, but it is only compatible with the A Modo Mio pods from Lavazza and it does offer very basic options.
- Small enough to fit in most spaces
- Very easy to use
- Basic functions only
- Lavazza A Modo Mio pods only
3. De’Longhi Dinamica Plus ECAM370.85.SB – Premium Choice
|Type:||Bean to Cup|
|Dimensions:||23.6cm x 42.9cm x 34.8cm|
The De’Longhi Dinamica Plus is a premium coffee machine, and it certainly has the premium price tag to match, but it is designed for drinkers that love customised coffee without the need to manually customise every element of the drink.
The burr grinder grinds coffee according to how fine you want it, the water warms up in just a couple of seconds, and even the milk frother is automated while allowing you to determine exactly how textured you want your milk. You can also store pre-set drinks to make it easier next time you want your favourite cappuccino with a double espresso shot.
The De’Longhi Dinamica Plus is an expensive coffee machine but it does make it easy to create custom coffee drinks without the need to grind, tamp, or froth milk yourself. However, if you enjoy the manual brewing process, the price tag will likely put you off.
- 6-litre water capacity
- Grinds, tamps, and froths automatically
- Heats up quickly so no long wait for your coffee
4. Smeg ECF01BLUK Traditional Pump Espresso Coffee Machine
|Dimensions:||33cm x 15.5cm x 33cm|
The Smeg ECF01BLUK Traditional Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is a small but powerful espresso machine with a distinctive Smeg design.
Although the machine is small, it does offer the opportunity to manually change settings like water temperature and automatic shut off, but the size of the device does mean that you are restricted to just three buttons so you will need to keep the instruction manual to hand to figure out the complex procedures. The frothing wand is also a great addition but for the price, you would expect to receive a stainless steel milk jug, and one isn’t included. You can choose between two drip trays, however, which means that you can opt for your preferred coffee cup size.
The Smeg Traditional Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is a good choice for those that prefer to tamp the coffee themselves and enjoy some control over manual settings but that have somewhat limited counter space.
- Small form makes it suitable for restricted spaces
- Good milk wand
- Range of manual settings
- Some complex button presses required for manual settings
- Lacks a decent milk jug
5. Sage Bambino Plus Espresso Maker
|Dimensions:||32cm x 19.5cm x 31cm|
The Sage Bambino Plus Espresso Maker is an espresso machine and a larger sibling to the Sage Bambino. Don’t let the name fool you, though, because the Bambino Plus is larger than you might expect. This does mean that it has an almost cavernous 1.9-litre water tank, but it takes up quite a lot of room on the worktop.
It does have a temperature control setting, but this can’t be adjusted manually, and the machine and water are warmed up and ready to go within 3 seconds of turning it on.
The Bambino Plus also has a steaming wand, which works manually and enables you to be the master of your own textured milk, or an automatic setting, which does an admirable job of providing a barista-style finish to your drink. Unlike the Smeg, it also comes with a good-quality stainless-steel milk jug.
- Milk frothing wand can be used manually or automatically
- 9-litre water capacity means you won’t run out too quickly
- 3 seconds to warm up
- Quite large
- Drip tray vibrates a lot during preparation
6. De’Longhi Eletta Fully Automatic Bean To Cup Coffee Machine
|Type:||Bean to Cup|
|Dimensions:||26cm x 46cm x 36cm|
The De’Longhi Eletta Fully Automatic Bean To Cup Coffee Machine is an expensive coffee machine, but it is feature-packed and will automatically produce espressos as well as cups of cappuccinos, lattes, long coffees, macchiatos, and ristrettos. It is a bean-to-cup machine, which means that you add beans, fill up the water and milk reservoirs, and choose your preferred coffee.
The machine will do the rest for you—grinding the beans, brewing the coffee, and even frothing and pouring the milk. As well as being able to choose your preferred settings, the Eletta also has a memory function so that you can enjoy the same coffee every time without having to remember the settings.
This is an expensive machine and best suited to those that want to automate the entire process of making drinks like cappuccinos. But, as is always the case with an automatic milk frother, the textured milk doesn’t have the same texture as it does when using a frothing wand.
- Bean-to-cup machine grinds, brews, froths, and pours
- Memory function means one-touch delivery of your favourite coffee
- 2-litre water capacity means less frequent reservoir filling
- Automatic milk frother does not produce the same textured milk as a wand
7. Nespresso Vertuo Plus Special Edition By Magimix
|Dimensions:||34.9cm x 22cm x 32.5cm|
The Nespresso Vertuo Plus Special Edition By Magimix is a pod machine that works with Nespresso Vertuo pods. There is a good range of pods, but Vertuo pods tend to be more expensive than the traditional Nespresso pods and the machine won’t work with any other style of pod.
It is a fairly basic espresso machine with no frother, but it is designed to be that way, offering the versatility and ease of a pod machine without any unnecessary complications. It has a decent 1.8-litre water capacity and one-button operation. The water tank can be removed and is easy to fill, and there are at least four drink size settings from single and double espresso. You can, of course, add your own milk or even frothed milk, but you will need a separate frother.
The Magimix Nespresso Vertuo Plus is a basic machine but it easily and quickly delivers good quality espresso using convenient and uniform pods. Its basic features also mean that it is an inexpensive coffee maker.
- 8-litre water capacity is generous
- Simple to operate
- Only works with Nespresso Vertuo pods
- Coffee gets too cold if you add milk separately
8. Tassimo By Bosch Suny Special Edition Coffee Machine
|Dimensions:||30.5cm x 16.7cm x 25.1cm|
The Tassimo By Bosch Suny Special Edition Coffee Machine is a pod coffee machine made by Bosch that works with Tassimo pods. It uses Tassimo’s Intellibrew features, which means that the machine reads the barcode on your chosen pod and then prepares the drink according to predetermined water temperature and volume settings and brew time to give you the desired drink. It is a cheap machine, and the one-push operation is designed in such a way that you only have to press your cup against the switch while loading it and the brewing process will start.
The Tassimo Suny Special Edition is very easy to use and there is a reasonable range of drinks, including teas, but there are no features to let you customise drinks to your preferred tastes. It does take longer than other espresso machines, and because it only has an 800-millilitre tank capacity, it is perhaps best for those that enjoy the occasional cup of coffee in the morning. Otherwise, it will need refilling regularly.
- Very easy to operate
- Decent variety of pods available
- No option to customise drinks
- 8-litre tank means frequent refilling
9. Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy
|Dimensions:||15.7cm x 30cm x 38cm|
The Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy is a pod coffee machine that has Amazon Alexa features built in. The coffee machine itself is a pod machine that uses Lavazza pods. It has very basic coffee functions that allow you to choose a short or long espresso and change the temperature settings. It also has a memory feature, although, with so few options, the memory function doesn’t feel necessary. Also, the coffee does tend to come out lukewarm, so it is best suited to those that like to drink their coffee straight away.
The standout feature of the Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy is that it comes with Alexa functionality built in. You can ask the Voicy to prepare your favourite coffee and add coffee preparation as part of a routine. It can also read the news, play music, and perform other Alexa features. To prepare coffee, though, you do still need to put a pod in the machine and ensure it is filled with water, while manual preparation is only a couple of button presses away.
However, the auto-order functionality is useful because the app tracks the number of pods you have left and orders them directly from Amazon when you’re running low.
- Auto-order function means you shouldn’t run out of pods
- Integrates coffee preparation into your daily routines
- Expensive for basic functions only
- Lukewarm coffee
- Alexa features aren’t that useful
10. Sage Oracle Touch Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
|Type:||Bean to Cup|
|Dimensions:||37.3cm x 39.2cm x 45.4cm|
The Sage Oracle Touch Fully Automatic Espresso Machine has the price tag and features that make it suitable for use in a café or other establishment. And, if you have a lot of room in your kitchen and really love your coffee machines, it could be suitable for your home, too.
This is a big machine that benefits from a 2.5-litre water tank capacity, so it should keep you going all day without having to refill between every cup. It has a self-cleaning frother wand, digital temperature control, and allows control over grind size. Drinks, including specialty drinks like flat whites and cappuccinos, can be selected using the touch screen and customised to your exact liking. You also get a stainless steel milk jug, some spare parts, and a cleaning kit.
The Sage Oracle Touch Fully Automatic Espresso Machine is a serious coffee machine, but it also has a serious price tag and will be too much for most homes.
- Touch screen is easy and quick to use
- Numerous drink customisation options
- 5-litre water capacity means minimal refills required
- Very expensive
- Over the top for most homes
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Coffee Maker in the UK
The range of coffee machines can be bewildering, especially once you take into account the different makes and models and include pod machines. However, if you want to ensure that you can get your favourite drink on demand, you will need to get the machine that best matches your preferences.
Coffee Machine Type
The main types of coffee machines are:
An espresso machine, quite simply, prepares espressos. A basic one will make a single espresso and may make a double or allow you to add extra hot water, while more featured machines may also afford you features like a milk-steaming wand. Basic models typically require that you grind the coffee yourself or buy ground coffee and then tamp it to your desired level of compactness. But, again, there are those that automate this process for you.
The espresso machine is the coffee machine of choice for those that enjoy the hands-on coffee making experience. You may have to tamp the coffee yourself and will usually have to grind the beans yourself, and things like coffee ground texture and compactness have a big impact on flavour, crema, and more.
Espresso machines do typically require a more hands-on approach, which some buyers are not looking for. This type of machine does not usually include advanced features like a steaming wand or automatic frother, and you may also need a separate milk steamer if you want to enjoy cappuccinos or lattes rather than espressos.
With a pod machine, the user inserts a sealed pod of coffee into the machine and then lets the coffee machine do the rest. These can include milk frothers and may allow a small degree of control over things like water temperature. In other cases, pod machines can be so automated that the machine detects the pod and the type of drink being prepared and alters temperature and water volume accordingly.
Pod machines offer the simplest method of preparing coffee at home. Check that the water tank is full, insert a pod, put your mug on the drip tray, and press the button.
Most pod machines offer little to no drink customisation options and pods do cost more than ground or bean coffee. Although some are compostable, coffee pods can be bad for the environment.
Bean to Cup
The bean-to-cup machine does basically everything for you, although a home machine usually has a water tank that needs filling, and you may need to put milk in the frother. Otherwise, it grinds coffee beans, brews and pours coffee, and then froths and adds milk.
The bean-to-cup machine really does everything from measuring and grinding the coffee to adding frothed milk. All you have to do is choose the coffee bean you want to use and choose the appropriate drink type.
Bean-to-cup machines can be expensive. They can also be complicated, initially, and for those machines that do have an automatic milk frother, the results are rarely as good as if you use a frothing wand and do it yourself.
As well as choosing the most appropriate type of coffee machine, there are important features that are found on some machines. The features you need will be determined by your preferred coffee drink and how involved you like to be in the process of making coffee.
Most home coffee machines use a water tank, rather than being plumbed in. This means that the tank will need refilling occasionally. The bigger the tank, the less often you have to refill. However, if you don’t drink coffee regularly, the water can start to taste a bit stale after a while.
Tanks usually range from tiny 500-millilitre tanks to vacuous 2.5-litre models. If you only drink espresso, you are unlikely to need anything much bigger than a 1-litre tank, but if you drink lattes and use the steamer and self-cleaning functions, a bigger tank may prove more beneficial.
One of the joys of the pod machine is its simplicity. You never have to change settings like water temperature or water volume. As well as being a blessing, this can also prove a curse because if the pods you buy don’t get things just right, you won’t be able to make changes.
The same is true of some automatic machines, too. If you want greater control over your coffee and the drinks you make, ensure you choose a machine that allows at least some drink customisation.
Milk Steam Wand vs. Automatic Frother
If you drink espresso-based drinks and enjoy them with creamed, textured, or frothed milk, you will need some means of preparing the milk. Separate milk frothers are available, but having one built into your coffee machine saves space. There are two options here:
- The steam wand is somewhat manual. Hot steam is blasted out of the end of the wand, typically in a conical manner. The wand is passed up and down the milk and you can achieve a similar texture as you would get in a good coffee shop, but it takes time and a little practice to get it right.
- An automatic frother does it for you, but it passes the milk through a steaming attachment. It warms the milk and adds air bubbles, but it doesn’t have the same texture as the froth milk on a coffee-shop cappuccino. It is easier and quicker than a milk wand, however.
Custom Coffee Grind
Some coffee machines grind coffee beans for you. It gives a fresher coffee taste than using pre-ground coffee. Like the milk frother, a coffee grinder can be bought and used separately, or you can have the coffee machine do it for you. Considering coarse ground coffee can have a very different finish to finely ground coffee, it is good to choose a machine that lets you determine the coarseness of the grind.
Coffee machines are an essential appliance in many people’s homes, and getting the right machine enables you to achieve the cup of coffee you want every time. Although the best coffee machine will depend on your preferences, while writing our reviews, we found the De’Longhi Dedica to offer excellent drink customisation features, although it is a little pricey. Still, it is our choice for the best overall coffee maker in the UK. The Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Espresso Coffee Machine, on the other hand, is a cheap pod machine that is easy to use and offers uniform coffee results, but it has very limited features and customisation. It is our choice for the best coffee maker in the UK for the money.
You might also be interested: 10 Best Espresso Coffee Beans in the UK: Reviews & Top Picks
Featured Image Credit: Paopano, Shutterstock
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