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8 October 2020

Top five best espresso coffee machines for 2020

Don't waste money on a model that doesn't suit your needs – our round up reveals the best espresso coffee machine for you.
Coffee cup 2
RM
Rebecca Marcus

Good coffee machines make tasty espresso quickly and easily, without giving you a headache from all the noise it makes. But the worst models will have you throwing your money away twice: on the machine itself and on the disappointingly watery coffee it leaves you with.

To help you find the best coffee machine whether you're a fan of espressos, cappuccinos or a longer coffee we've rounded up the top-scoring models across the board. Our selection includes capsule, ground coffee and bean-to-cup machines. And because they've all gone through our rigorous lab testing, you can rest assured that no matter which of these Best Buy coffee machines you go for, you'll end up with a delicious brew.

We've also highlighted three less-than-excellent coffee makers worth avoiding. The coffee from these machines was among the worst we've tasted, so it's worth steering clear.

Unlock our recommendations below by logging in or, if you're not a member, you can join Which? to get access to all our reviews.

Top five best espresso machines

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81%
Best Buy
£169.00
Reviewed

This cheap and compact capsule coffee maker is a great buy if you’re keen for a quick coffee hit but short on worktop space. Bought with the milk frothing accessory, it makes flavoursome espressos and tempting cappuccinos. It’s quick, quiet and easy to use.

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81%
Best Buy
£59.00
Reviewed

Compact, consistent and able to make delicious espressos, this simple and easy to use capsule coffee machine has it all. It's good value too. If you're after a cheap and simple way to make espresso, this is a great choice.

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80%
Best Buy
£207.00
Reviewed

This bean-to-cup machine is compact and simple, so you won't find the multiple drink options you get on premium bean-to-cup machines. It gets the basics right though - it makes excellent coffee and is easy to use and clean.

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74%
Best Buy
£189.00
Reviewed

This stylish compact coffee machine makes excellent espressos and cappuccinos, all while taking up much less space than your average ground coffee machine. It's a good bet if you want a top-notch traditional coffee maker with a small footprint.

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Last updated: April 2020

Not found the coffee machine for you? See all our coffee machine reviews

Three espresso machines to avoid 

Even the big brands can produce a dud from time to time. Among our list of disappointing coffee machines is a model from a popular capsule brand. This machine produced a poor espresso that left our coffee tasting expert underwhelmed.

Check the models below to avoid a mediocre morning brew.

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50%
£179.00
Reviewed

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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51%
£80.00
Reviewed

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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62%
£370.36
Reviewed

Our tests found this bean-to-cup machine to be slow, noisy and tricky to clean. While it makes decent espresso when using beans, espressos made with ground coffee are less impressive. Its cappuccinos aren’t bad, although the foam disappears fairly quickly.

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Not found the right coffee machine for you? See all our coffee machine reviews.

Choosing the best coffee machine

Coffee machines range in price from as little as £40 to more than £1500. There are three main types: 

  • Capsule coffee machines use pre-portioned coffee pods to make a quick and easy brew
  • Ground coffee machines – traditional pump espresso machines where you measure out and prepare the ground coffee yourself
  • Bean-to-cup coffee machines grind fresh beans on demand and make your drink automatically

Capsule machines are often cheaper to buy, but can cost more in the long run due to the higher ongoing cost of buying capsules vs ground coffee or beans.

To find out more about the pros and cons of the different types, and get independent advice on choosing the right model for you, head to our coffee machine buying guide.

Which? coffee machine tests

We've tested hundreds of coffee machines, and we do it more thoroughly than anyone else too. Our independent coffee-tasting expert Giles Hilton blind tastes coffee from every machine, rating the flavour, crema, texture and aroma of the espresso. As well as testing how good the coffee is, we also check how hot the coffee comes out, how noisy the machine is when brewing and how quick it is to make your drink. If the machine has a milk frother or steam wand, we froth milk for cappuccino and check how well it blends with the espresso.

Find out more about how we test coffee machines or see all our top-rated models in our round-up of the best coffee machines.

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