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Updated: 7 Jan 2022

Top five best capsule coffee machines for 2022

We reveal the best – and worst – coffee pod machines you can buy. Find out if Nespresso, Tassimo, Lavazza or Dolce Gusto models make the list.
Patrick Gallagher

Capsule coffee machines such as Nespresso machines are the ultimate in convenience if you want a quick, consistent coffee with minimum hassle. 

The main difference between capsule coffee machines and traditional ground coffee machines is the pod system. You simply put a pre-prepared coffee capsule into the machine, press a button and your espresso is ready. With ground coffee machines, you need to measure out and prepare the coffee yourself.

A pod coffee machine is typically cheaper than a traditional ground coffee machine, too. You can get a Best Buy capsule coffee machine for less than £50, but bear in mind that capsules cost more to buy in the long run.

Most pod coffee machines only take one type of capsule, so you'll want to find the one that makes the best coffee and you find easy to use.

See our top five capsule machine picks below or visit our coffee machine reviews to see all the machines we've tested.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.

Top five capsule coffee machines

  • 88%

    This fantastic coffee machine is one of the best we've tested. It quickly and quietly produces excellent espressos. It’s also really simple to use and clean.

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  • 86%

    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%

    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%

    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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  • 69%

    It’s not quite a Best Buy, but this is a high-scoring coffee machine from this popular capsule brand. This machine makes a great espresso and it’s simple to use, quick and quiet. It's compact, easy to clean and definitely one to consider.

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How to choose a capsule coffee machine

Woman drinking coffee

Here are some key features to consider when picking your capsule coffee machine:

What type of drinks do you like?

Each coffee capsule brand offers its own range of capsules to use with your machine. You are usually limited to that specific brand's range, aside from Nespresso Original machines, where there is a thriving market in third-party compatible pods.

Brands such as Lavazza, Illy and Nespresso focus on espresso-style coffees, whereas Tassimo and Dolce Gusto offer alternatives including teas, hot chocolate and chai lattés.

See Nespresso, Tassimo or Dolce Gusto? for advice on choosing a pod system.

Size and capacity

If you don’t want to keep refilling your machine's water tank or you prefer a longer coffee, then a larger-capacity model is what you need. Alternatively, if you have a small kitchen, look out for compact models that won't take up as much space on your worktop.

Milk frothing

If you want to make cappuccinos and lattés, you'll need either a model with a milk frother, or milk capsules. Nespresso, Illy and Lavazza machines can be bought with milk frothing accessories, while Tassimo and Dolce Gusto use milk pods to make frothy drinks.

See Best milk frothers, to read about the milk frothers we've tested. 

How Which? tests coffee machines

Whether you're looking for a variety of flavours, an intense espresso or a frothy cappuccino, you want a machine that will consistently produce good results. That's where Which? comes in.

Our rigorous lab testing helps pick the good from the bad. We look at how well each coffee machine makes espresso (and cappuccino, if it has this feature). We time how long it takes to brew and whether it is simple to set up and use. We also check how noisy the machine is and how hot your drink ends up.

Find out more in our guide to How we test coffee machines