If you spend a lot of money buying espresso-based drinks from coffee shops, or if you are interested in having the ability to make espresso at home, it might be time to consider an espresso machine.
These days, there are a ton of options when it comes to espresso machines, at every price point. There are fancy machines, stovetop makers, and devices that play double duty by allowing you to make espresso or regular coffee. We reviewed some of the top selling and highest reviewed espresso machines to bring you this list of the best for any kitchen and budget.
In this article:
Best Overall: Breville
The BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine tops everyone’s list, despite its high price tag. Reviewers and customers alike rave about its quality espresso shots and the convenience and flavor provided by the built-in grinder.
The Breville ensures perfect espresso through precision temperature and dosing. You can program it just the way you want it and you can further customize your coffee with pre-infusion.
Steaming milk for espresso-based drinks is also a breeze with this setup. The steam wand and all the other parts and components are intelligently designed to make the experience of creating espresso drinks at home easy and consistent.
While reviews are overwhelmingly positive, the negative reviews are fairly consistent regarding how long the machine lasts, with some customers experiencing issues at the two-year mark.
Best Under $200: Mr. Coffee
The Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is a great option if you’re looking to stay under $200 but want an espresso maker and milk frother. It’s an espresso maker, cappuccino maker, and it makes lattes all in one place.
Its versatility does not mean it is difficult to use; on the contrary, it is easy to brew and craft whatever hot beverage you want at the touch of a button. Like any other espresso machine and coffee maker, regular descaling is required to keep it running at full capacity. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to do this.
Like the Breville, the most common negative experience with the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is how long it lasts. The poor reviews from reviewers indicate that the machine sometimes breaks (or dies) after a year or so. If you buy from Amazon, you might consider adding their 3- or 4-year protection plan for an extra $10-$20.
Best Under $100: DeLonghi
For casual espresso drinkers, a machine for under $100 is a great way to brew at home, and the DeLonghi Espresso Machine is our top pick at that price point. It is considered a “cappuccino system” because it includes a steam wand.
The budget price means you won’t be getting a top-quality cup of espresso, but many users find that it consistently produces a tasty cup. It’s very simple to use and easy to clean.
It is rather compact, which is good for storage but can be tricky for using. Negative reviews are mixed, with users experiencing a range of issues like leaks, weak espresso, and issues with the thermostat.
Best Combo Espresso/Coffee Maker: Ninja
The Ninja Coffee Bar System offers all the customization options you could want (like size and type of brew), plus the ability create a range of drinks thanks to the brewing system and the included frother.
The Ninja is also a good option because many of the combos these days actually require pods (if you want that, check out the Nespresso) but the Ninja does not. This gives you more freedom in using it and makes it a highly versatile machine especially given the price.
Potential issues include the need to clean it often, and there are a fair number of negative reviews that discuss ongoing negative experiences. This, like any of the other machines we’re discussing here, is worth a bit of research before you commit.
Best Pod Espresso Machine: Nespresso
If the pod-style espresso maker appeals to you, your very best bet is Nespresso. There are numerous options from the brand, like this under-$100 mini espresso maker or the combo espresso/coffee maker mentioned above.
Because of the pods, this can be a more expensive way to do things, especially if you plan to drink multiple cups per day. The Nespresso pods can be spendy, and you’ll need separate ones for espresso and coffee if you purchase the combo.
Reviews on the various machines are primarily good, but they are definitely mixed. Overall, however, Nespresso users are satisfied with their purchases as long as the pod style is what they were after to begin with.