Top five best capsule coffee machines for 2021
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 it's worth making sure they can make a tasty brew before you buy. And, as each capsule brand makes a variety of you'll want to find the one that makes the best coffee and is easiest to use for you.
We've rounded up our top five capsule machine picks in the table below to help you quickly choose the best model for you. Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by .
Last updated: November 2020
And here’s three to avoid...
You might think that one capsule machine is pretty much the same as another, particularly if they use the same capsule system, such as Nespresso – but our tests have shown that isn't the case. We've found some models that fail to impress on taste, turning out an underwhelming espresso. These are the pod coffee machines we recommend steering clear of.
How to choose the best capsule coffee machine for you
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.
For more advice on picking the best system for you, see our .
- Size and capacity
If you don’t want to keep refilling your 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.
Why Which? capsule coffee machine reviews are better
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 .