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21 October 2021

Best coffee machines 2021

Choose the best coffee machine for you using our expert buying guide and independent coffee machine reviews
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Which?Editorial team

We've rounded up our pick of the best coffee machines from our independent tests to help you find the right model for your home. 

We’ve tested hundreds of coffee machines, including models from DeLonghi, Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Krups, Nespresso, Sage and Tassimo. The models below are some of the very best coffee machines money can buy.

To browse all the machines we've tested, see our coffee machine reviews.

Video: How to buy the best coffee machine

From cheap and cheerful Nespresso makers to commercial-style espresso machines, there's never been a greater choice of coffee machines. 

With prices ranging from as little as £30 to more than £1,000, it pays to spend a little time working out what the best option is for you.

First narrow down your options to either a bean-to-cup machine, a ground coffee machine or a pod machine, and then decide on a brand and model. 

Need more help choosing? See our coffee machine buying guide.

Which bean-to-cup coffee machines are the best?

Bean-to-cup coffee machines grind coffee beans for the freshest cup possible. They tend to automate more of the coffee making process and have self-cleaning functions for hands-free coffee prep. 

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Last updated: September 2021

Best bean-to-cup coffee machines

  • 87%
    £749.00

    This high-end coffee maker is easy to use, brews excellent coffee and froths milk like a champion. It's got a quiet grinder too. You can make a coffee from the comfort of your sofa, thanks to the smartphone app it connects with, and it's got plenty of scope for personalising your brew, too.

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  • 83%
    £1088.00

    This high-scoring Best Buy is a fantastic coffee machine, with easy-to-use controls, plenty of features, and a host of customisable options. It makes delicious espressos and cappuccinos, and it’s easy to clean. It's not cheap, but if you’re willing to spend more than £1,000, you’ll be rewarded with the the latest tech and plenty of features. It's app compatible, can use ground coffee or beans, and dispenses two drinks at once.

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  • 81%
    £399.00

    This Best Buy bean-to-cup coffee machine is quiet, easy-to-use and makes excellent espresso. The integrated milk frother produces delicious, creamy froth to create delicious cappuccinos. It's also really easy to clean and descale, which is always a bonus. It’s not particularly speedy, taking more than a minute to dispense the first cup of the day, but the espresso is worth it.

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  • 80%
    £339.00

    This Best Buy bean-to-cup coffee machine makes excellent espressos that are sure to please. It’s also quiet and easy to use, although it’s a little on the slow side – you’ll be waiting more than a minute for the first cup of the day.

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  • 80%
    £499.00

    This bean-to-cup machine isn’t the fastest, but the espresso is worth the wait. It makes cup after cup of tasty espresso, and can create a decent cappuccino, too. It’s easy to use and has a lot of useful features.

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See our guide to the Best bean-to-cup coffee machines 2021 for more recommendations.

Which capsule or pod coffee machines are the best?

Pod or capsule coffee machines are a good choice if you want a quick, consistent coffee with minimum hassle. These pod coffee machines tend to be small and simple.

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Last updated: September 2021

Best capsule coffee machines

  • 86%
    £329.00

    This coffee machine couldn’t be easier to use, but it gives you more control than most over what’s in your cup, whether you want a quick caffeine hit or an indulgent frothy creation. It’s quiet and incredibly quick, producing an espresso in less than 30 seconds. It scored top marks in our taste test too, securing its status as a Which? Best Buy.

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  • 85%
    £74.99

    This compact worthy Best Buy makes excellent coffee at the touch of a button. It has some handy features, including an espresso boost if you want a more intense coffee, an auto switch-off and a fast heat up, so you won’t be waiting long for your coffee. And it's super-slim size makes it perfect for small spaces. Pods aren’t the cheapest way to enjoy your espresso, though, and recycling them is tricky.

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  • 84%
    £377.95

    If you want to create lattes that look as good as the ones from your local coffee shop, this coffee machines which comes with an automatic steam frothing wand, could be one to consider. The milk frothing customisation options have eight texture levels and 11 temperatures, to help you create the perfect froth for your latte art.

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  • 83%
    £319.00

    Not only is this capsule machine incredibly straightforward to use, but it doesn’t take long to make a great quality espresso. It looks great, works quietly and is very easy to clean when you’ve finished. It’s an easy way to make fantastic coffee, and is a high scoring coffee machine worth considering.

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  • 82%
    £50.00

    If you're after the perfect espresso, this pod coffee machine won't disappoint. It was a Best Buy when we first tested it and continues to be a Best Buy today, maintaining excellent scores in our retest. It's really easy to use, very quiet, and not difficult to clean - so it's no surprise that this is one of our highest-scoring capsule machines.

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See our guide to the Top five best capsule coffee machines for 2021for more recommendations

Which ground coffee machines are the best?

Ground coffee machines are the classic coffee maker. You measure and prepare your coffee, and usually froth milk manually with a steam pipe rather than an automatic frother. They can take a little more time to get used to, but you'll have more control over the final taste of your coffee.

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Last updated: September 2021

Best ground coffee machines

  • 78%
    £117.04

    This affordable traditional ground coffee machine delivers a great espresso, cappuccino or latte at the touch of a button. There's no faffing about with frothing milk yourself as the steam pipe is attached to a handy milk tank so you latte is created with minimal effort. It's simple to use and looks great, too.

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  • 78%
    £147.00

    This coffee machine makes a decent espresso and cappuccino quickly, and it scores highly across the board for being easy to set up and use. It’s affordable, too, so if you’re after a traditional ground coffee machine without breaking the bank, this Best Buy should be on your list.

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  • 77%
    £69.95

    This budget coffee machine makes exceptional espressos and is incredibly easy to use. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything better at a price this low.

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  • 76%
    £319.00

    This beautiful Best Buy brews excellent espressos, and the steam wand whips up creamy cappuccinos. It’s not the cheapest option, but if you want a show stopper for your kitchen counter, this eye-catching coffee machine won’t disappoint.

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  • 74%
    £150.00

    This is a fantastic ground coffee machine, so whether you’re after a clean-tasting espresso or creamy cappuccino, this coffee machine delivers. It’s quick and easy to use, and quieter than most, all of which combine to make it a worthy Best Buy.

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See our guide to the Top five best ground coffee machines for 2021 for more recommendations.

Which coffee machines should you avoid buying?

Even the big brands can produce a dud from time to time. The coffee machines below are best avoided.

Coffee machines to avoid

  • 61%
    £2495.00

    This expensive coffee machine gave a mixed bag of results in our taste tests. Its cappuccinos are pretty much perfect, but espressos are disappointing, with a pale, thin crema and weak flavour. For the price, you'd expect it to be able to make consistently great coffee whichever drink you choose.

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  • 51%
    £119.99

    This capsule machine promises more control over your coffee, so it's just the way you like it. Unfortunately, it turned out underwhelming brews in our tests. Espressos lacked flavour and had a metallic tang.

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  • 50%
    £179.00

    This versatile coffee machine is simple and quick to use, however it makes disappointing espresso. For the price, we think you can do much better.

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With prices ranging from as little as £30 to more than £1,000, it pays to spend a little time working out what the best option is for you. If you are still not sure, we have reviewed hundreds of models from cheap and cheerful Nespresso makers to commercial-style espresso machines.

Read our latest coffee machine reviews - could one of these be your perfect model?

How we test coffee machines

Which? is independent – we work for you, so you can be sure our coffee machine recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes. 

Read how we test coffee machines to discover the lengths we go to to find a Best Buy.