If you’re shopping for a small coffee maker, chances are you’re looking for a brewer with a small footprint that can fit just about anywhere on your countertop. It seems simple: the smaller, the better, right? If you also want coffee that is full of flavor, doesn’t taste bitter, and is convenient to make, there are some more factors — like the quality and capability of the water heating element — that you need to consider.
There are tons of options out there that boast small dimensions and space requirements, but not all small coffee makers are created equal. That’s why we put together this list of reviews of our top picks! Our notes and pros and cons lists should help you narrow down your search and lead to a coffee maker that’s optimized for size and capability. Let’s get started!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||BUNN GRX-B Velocity Brew||
|Best Value||Bodum 11592-109 Pour Over||
|Premium Choice||Nespresso ENV155B VertuoPlus||
The 10 Best Small Coffee Makers – Reviews 2021
1. BUNN GRX-B Velocity Brew Home Coffee Brewer – Best Overall
This 10-cup coffee maker from BUNN is, in a word, impressive. It looks like a small and highly durable commercial coffee brewer, and we were happy to find that it brews like one too! We’ve used and abused this brewer for many, many brewing cycles, and it consistently makes delicious, bold coffee. The most impressive thing about this brewer is that it continually heats water for brewing, so it’s ready to make coffee with water at the optimal temperature whenever you are! BUNN boasts that this brewer makes a full pot in around 4 minutes, and they’re spot on. It features an easily removable basket for your grounds that makes cleaning a breeze, an easily refillable water reservoir, and a simple but ingenious spout design on the carafe that will stop coffee spillage when pouring.
Our favorite thing about this machine is the ability to turn the warming plate on and off because it helps avoid that burnt, bitter taste that’s common with other drip machines. We do wish the warming plate had a well to hold the carafe in place, but this is just a minor issue.
Out of all the machines we’ve reviewed, we consider this the best small coffee maker of 2021.
2. Bodum 11592-109 Pour Over Coffee Maker – Best Value
This Bodum pour over brewer is unique in that it ditches the water pump and water heater for a simpler, manual brewing process. Instead of hitting a “brew now” button, you pour hot or boiling water over the grounds in the filter. This will require you to have an external heating source and a kettle, but this brewer’s extremely low price will still lead to a cheaper set up than an electric coffee maker. Because there is no warming plate, this brewer delivers flavorful coffee that’s free of bitterness. This brewer is very visually appealing and will serve as decor as much as it will for function, and the reusable filter makes brewing simple even though it requires more work from you. The filter is easily cleanable, as is the carafe with its wide mouth and removable heat grip, and both are even machine washable.
The fact that the brewing process is a bit more involved and requires your attention kept this out of our number one spot, but, especially given the price, we think this is one of the best small coffee makers for the money.
3. Nespresso ENV155B VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee Maker – Premium Choice
If you’re looking for a premium coffee maker that makes delicious, full-flavor coffee and does all the work for you, you can’t beat Nespresso’s VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee Maker. Everything about this brewer is automated and simple. Pre-measured doses of coffee come in pods that you simply place in the pod holder. From there, all you need to do is hit a single button, and you’ll be rewarded with a perfectly hot and delicious cup of coffee. The brewer recognizes what kind of pod you’re using, and changes water volume and brew time settings based on the beverage you choose. Although it doesn’t come with a milk steamer, this brewer can make a variety of black, flavored espresso drinks. The water reservoir is removable for easy filling, and cleaning this coffee maker couldn’t be easier.
The brewer is very expensive, and the ongoing cost of coffee in the pods will add up over time, so the cost factor kept this out of our top two spots. If you’re looking for a simple and efficient way to make strong coffee, this is likely the option for you.
4. BLACK+DECKER CM0700BZ Coffeemaker
This coffee maker from Black + Decker is one of the smallest drip makers available, which means that it takes up a minimal amount of counter space and can even be suitable for traveling. However, with its small size comes a small capacity, and it can only brew the equivalent of about three 8 oz cups of coffee at a time.
Despite its tiny footprint, this brewer can heat water to around the proper temperature for full-flavor coffee, so you’re unlikely to get that bitter, burnt taste associated with many drip makers. It includes a reusable mesh filter, so you won’t need to buy any paper filters, and the carafe doesn’t drip when pouring like many others we’ve found. It does take a while to heat up to the proper temperature, but since you can set it and forget it, you won’t need to stand around waiting for your coffee to brew.
5. Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker
The K-Mini is Keurig’s smallest single-serve coffee maker, and it has an incredibly small footprint. It brews coffee quickly, and the water reaches the proper temperature for brewing. This brewer takes the guesswork out of measuring coffee with its single-serve pods, and there’s an option for using your own grounds with a reusable pod. The small size means there isn’t much room for a water reservoir, so you will need to refill the water after every cup is brewed. Additionally, the water reservoir isn’t removable, so you’ll have to fill it with another vessel.
It features an auto shut off after 90 seconds of inactivity to help conserve energy. When you’re ready to brew, the process is as simple as pressing a button, so you can let your coffee brew while you continue getting ready or doing other things. This single-serve brewer is affordable, but you will incur higher coffee costs if you use recyclable K-Cups.
6. Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Coffee Maker
This is another single-serve brewer, but this one uses a unique, single-scoop filter rather than pods, so the ongoing cost of coffee is relatively low. It offers two different boldness options, and it can brew single 8 oz mugs up to 14 oz cups of coffee very quickly. We did find that this brewer doesn’t heat water to the optimal temperature, so the result is coffee that isn’t as flavorful or bold as it is from other machines.
Another issue with flavor is that the pump that moves water from the reservoir to the grounds isn’t consistent, and you end up with cups of varying quantity even when the same size is chosen for brewing. The water reservoir isn’t removable, so you’ll have to fill it using a carafe or cup. The single-serve filter is easy to clean and machine washable, so cleanup is quick and straightforward.
7. AdirChef 800-01 Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker
This coffee maker is very small and ideal for travel. It brews only a single serving of coffee, which will be convenient for some, but it does require you to refill the water and coffee after each cup is made. The brewer is made of what feels like cheap plastic, and the travel mug that comes with the brewer is stainless steel on the outside but the same, cheap plastic inside.
To brew correctly with this machine, you need to use the included travel mug to measure the water and catch the coffee. As such, if you’re looking to make multiple cups of coffee each day, you’ll have to clean the mug between each use. The coffee it makes is of decent quality, so we’re confident the water gets to or near the proper temperature. The machine is very affordable, but we’d gladly pay more for a bit more convenience and higher quality coffee.
8. Mixpresso 5-Cup Drip Coffee Maker
This drip coffee maker from Mixpresso is small and compact, so it will fit just about anywhere on your counter. The carafe is marked up to five cups, but it only has the capacity for between three and four regular size cups of coffee. We also found that the carafe is rather messy when pouring and leads to spilled coffee every time you pour a cup. While the carafe is glass, the brewer itself is made of cheap plastic and doesn’t feel like it will last a long time.
The coffee produced isn’t very flavorful and lacks boldness and strength, so we suspect that the water isn’t heated to the proper temperature for making coffee. It includes a reusable mesh filter, so you won’t have to worry about buying paper filters, and both the filter holder and the filter are removable for easy cleaning. There is a hot plate to keep the brewed coffee warm, but we found that it leads to a burnt coffee taste rather quickly, so we would recommend against purchasing this if you’re looking for delicious coffee.
9. Mr. Coffee SK13-RB Coffee Maker
This drip coffee maker from Mr. Coffee is larger than the others on our list, but it does have the capacity to brew 12 cups at a time, so this excels at making larger volumes. The coffee maker is made out of what feels like cheap plastic, so we’re not confident it will hold up to regular use. We found that it doesn’t heat the water nearly enough for proper brewing, and the result was coffee that lacked flavor and boldness. It doesn’t include a reusable mesh filter, so you’ll either need to purchase one or continue to buy paper filters. Our biggest issue with this coffee maker is that there is no automatic shut off.
You’ll have to remember to turn off the coffee maker after each batch of coffee, and neglecting to do so can very easily lead to burning out the heating element. Although there is a light to indicate if the brewer is on or off, we would strongly recommend a different coffee maker with an automatic shut off for safety and the longevity of your brewer.
10. Better Chef IM-102B Compact Personal Coffee Maker
This is another single-serve coffee maker on our list, so it’s small and compact, but it only makes a single serving of coffee at a time. It includes a reusable mesh filter, but it will need to be cleaned between each use, and you’ll have to refill the water after each cup you brew. The machine is made out of what feels like very cheap plastic, and we’re not confident it will last very long.
The biggest problem we had with this brewer was that the water doesn’t get nearly as hot as it should for proper brewing, and the result is very under-extracted coffee that is unappealing. Unfortunately, the machine also takes a long time to brew, despite the fact that it doesn’t fully heat the water. We also found that the filter included wasn’t very good at filtering! Our cup had quite a bit of coffee grounds in it, which led to an unpleasant coffee experience. We strongly recommend against purchasing this coffee maker.
Choosing a coffee maker that’s made to be small and take up as little space as possible might seem like an easy thing to do. However, optimizing for the smallest size often means you’re sacrificing elsewhere in levels of convenience and coffee quality. Whether you choose one of the coffee makers above or continue looking for one that suits your needs, make sure you keep the below factors in mind to ensure you get a quality coffee maker.
One of the most significant sacrifices of choosing a small, compact coffee maker is often the performance of the heating element. The water for brewing coffee should ideally reach just under boiling temperatures, and many small coffee makers fall short of this critical feature. When you choose a coffee maker, make sure that the heating element is substantial enough to get the water to the proper temperature, as this will lead to flavorful, bold coffee without a burnt or bitter taste.
Ease of Cleaning and Refilling
Many small coffee makers also sacrifice convenience in favor of size. Since you’ll likely be using and cleaning your machine every single day, you want to choose one that is quick and painless to clean. A removable filter basket and a carafe with an opening wide enough to get your hand inside are vital factors in an easy-to-clean coffee maker. Similarly, a detachable water reservoir is ideal for convenience, and a reservoir that holds enough water for several brewing cycles will cut down on the time you spend refilling with fresh water.
Ease of Use
Again, you’ll be using your coffee maker daily, so using it should be convenient and straightforward. Depending on the type of coffee maker you choose — single-serve, regular drip, or pour over — ease of use can include a carafe that doesn’t spill coffee when you pour, a heating element that automatically turns off, and the ability to make multiple cups of coffee if desired. These may seem like small things to ask for in a coffee maker, but they make a big difference over time when you make coffee every single morning.
As you can see, more should go into choosing a small coffee maker than only thinking about picking the tiniest, most compact model. Little differences in how the brewer functions can lead to significant changes in coffee quality and how easy and convenient it is to use the coffee maker. Hopefully, these reviews and guidelines have helped you narrow your search and will lead you to the best small coffee maker for your needs.
Our top pick overall for durability, quick brewing, and the ability to make delicious, full-flavor coffee is the BUNN GRX-B Velocity Brew Home Coffee Brewer. This brewer makes high-quality coffee in record time, and it’s likely to last for many, many excellent cups of coffee.
If you’re looking for the best value and want to give your wallet a bit of a break, we recommend the Bodum 11592-109 Pour Over Coffee Maker. It requires a more hands-on approach to brewing, but it’s incredibly affordable and makes lovely coffee.
Still looking? Try one of our other favorite coffee makers:
- 6 Best Coffee Makers Made in the USA
- The Best Coffee Makers under $50 (with buying guide)
- Best Coffee Makers with Grinders (Grind & Brew)
Table of Contents
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Small Coffee Makers – Reviews 2021
- 1. BUNN GRX-B Velocity Brew Home Coffee Brewer – Best Overall
- 2. Bodum 11592-109 Pour Over Coffee Maker – Best Value
- 3. Nespresso ENV155B VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee Maker – Premium Choice
- 4. BLACK+DECKER CM0700BZ Coffeemaker
- 5. Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker
- 6. Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Coffee Maker
- 7. AdirChef 800-01 Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker
- 8. Mixpresso 5-Cup Drip Coffee Maker
- 9. Mr. Coffee SK13-RB Coffee Maker
- 10. Better Chef IM-102B Compact Personal Coffee Maker
- Buyer’s Guide