How we pick our products
Pod coffee makers are fast replacing traditional coffee makers in American homes and offices. They are efficient, easy to use, and make a great cup of coffee every time. There are a wide range of products with different features available on the U.S. market, and some are even capable of making drinks other than coffee.
Selecting the right model can be tough if you don’t know what you’re looking for. You need to know right out of the gate what features are most important to you, and to be able to evaluate them. The following guide was made specifically to help make that process more straightforward. After reading it, you should have everything you need to make the right purchase for yourself.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best pod coffee makers on the U.S. Market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about pod coffee makers
- 4 Shopping Guide
- 5 Summary
- Pod coffee makers brew individual cups of coffee, and there are a wide variety of product available. Some only prepare coffee, while others are able to make tea and hot chocolate.
- There is a staggering variety of pods out there. There is bound to be one for every occasion.
- You should always consider the primary features of each coffee maker before you get your wallet out. Always focus on value for money when possible. There are so many differently-priced products on the market, it can be hard to know what kind of quality you are getting for your money.
Ranking: The best pod coffee makers on the U.S. Market
In the below list we have compiled a list of the top five pod coffee makers currently available on the U.S. market. While they offer somewhat similar features, there are differences to consider as well. All of them also keep the fundamental value-for-money criteria at the forefront. There is bound to be something in this selection that has just what you’ve been looking for.
No. 1: Keurig – K-Elite
Keurig is undoubtedly one of the most popular, if not the most popular names on the market. Their K-Elite single cup pod coffee maker comes with fantastic temperature and strength control options you get a perfect cup of coffee every time. This machine is a great options because it can also make iced coffees for those hot summer days. It makes up to 12 ounces at a time, and comes in either brushed silver or brushed slates colors. This product also comes with a bonus 6-count K-cup pod variety pack, so you can start brewing your favorite Keurig coffee right away.
The max amount you can brew at one time is 12 ounces, but you also have the option to make 4, 6, 8, and 10 ounces if you would like less coffee. The extra-large 75 ounce water reservoir means you can brew multiple cups of coffee before having to refill – great for those groggy morning where all you want to do is push a button and start your day. Another nice feature of this product is that the spout is fitted high enough from the base that it can comfortably fit travel mugs up to 7.2 inches tall.
No. 2: Mueller Austria – Ultima
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Mueller Austria’s Ultima is another great single-cup K-pod coffee maker that fits all 1.0 and 2.0 K-pods, and most other pods. Many coffee makers only fit one kind of pod, so this coffee maker gives you extra variety, which means you get to enjoy more great flavors. This machine lets you brew coffee in four different cup sizes (6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces), and Mueller Austria’s rapid brew technology ensures you get a fast, delicious cup of coffee on time, every time. The 45 ounce removable water tank holds enough water that you can brew multiple cups of coffee without having to worry about a refill.
The BPA-free water reservoir and UL, ETL brewer certification allows you to brew your favorite blend of coffee confidently. This is an incredibly easy machine to use. Just life the brewer handle, put your favorite blend or flavor in, and push down on the handle. Select your brew size, and instantly get a great cup of coffee. This is the perfect machine for work, home, or to take with you to friends and family. For the price, this is a great, easy-to-use coffee maker that gives you fantastic tasting coffee easily.
No. 3: CHULUX – Single Serve Coffee Maker
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CHULUX’s single serve coffee maker might not have the brand name recognition of a Keurig or a Mueller Austria, but it is a very popular machine that makes a great cup of K-pod coffee using virtually the same technology. It is compatible with most of the single cup pods on the market, and it comes with reusable filters, so you save money and cut down on waste. This coffee maker brews delicious coffee in just under three minutes, and makes up to 12 ounces at a time. A great compact pod coffee maker that can be easily packed up and taken with you on the go.
This really is one of the easiest pod coffee makers to operate on the market. With just one touch you are only three minutes away from your favorite cup of coffee. Like any good pod coffee maker, the water reservoir is BPA-free and UL certified, so you can drink your favorite beverage with peace of mind that it is clear and free of toxins. Another great feature of this extra compact pod coffee maker is that it is dead easy to assemble and disassemble, so cleaning it is a snap.
No. 4: Mixspresso – Single Serve Coffee Maker
Mixspresso is another name you are likely to recognize when talking about and researching pod coffee makers. It is compatible with K-cups, so you have access to a wide selection of different blends and flavors. One touch automatic function lets you put your coffee in and be drinking it in less than one minute. This is thanks to this maker’s powerful 800 watt motor that works hard and fast. This easy to clean coffee maker has a sleek design that looks great on any kitchen counter or office desk. It comes in black and grey, so you know it is going to look great no matter where you put it.
Cleaning this device is also so simple. Simply remove the tray (which can be machine washed), and rinse the drawer under the tap. If you don’t absolutely fall in love with this product, Mixspresso will give you your money back. It is also covered by the company’s one year warranty. This is a great machine for people that don’t have the time in the morning to wait around while their traditional drip coffee brews, and for people who just want to make one cup of coffee at a time and avoid unnecessary waste.
No. 5: AICOK – Single Serve Travel Coffee Brewer
AICOK’s Single Serve Travel Coffee Brewer is the perfect product for coffee lovers who absolutely must have their morning coffee regardless of where they are in the world. Measuring 7.5 x 4.3 x 9.8 inches, this incredibly compact pod coffee maker is perfect for putting into checked luggage, or even a carry-on bag. One of its most attractive features is its broad compatibility. You can use this product with most of the pod types on the market, so you are not restricted to one proprietary pod or another. You can also use this with the reusable K-cup filter. This one touch coffee maker is one touch to brew, and automatic shutoff so you can grab your coffee on the way out the door without worrying.
It is BPA-free and comes with a great two-year warranty. It is a good idea to brew just plain water every morning to give the water tank a quick rinse, making sure you get the purest, best tasting coffee possible. It also makes it easier to get that nice layer of crema on top of your drink. While AICOK may not be considered “brand name” as far as pod coffee makers go, people love this affordable, effective little travel single cup device and it is showing up more and more in kitchens and on office desks all over the U.S.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about pod coffee makers
Know that you are more familiar with the different types of pod coffee makers on the market, you should know about the major important factors to consider to ensure that nothing is left up to chance. The below sections have been created with that in mind, and aim to provide you with all of the most salient aspects of pod coffee makers. Keep all of it in mind and you will be able to buy yourself a product that best meets your needs and standards.
What is a pod coffee maker and how does it work?
A pod coffee maker makes many different varieties of single cups of coffee. Many models let you vary the amount of water and the size of each cup of coffee you make, as well as the temperature of your brew. Some allow you to program these changes so that they are easily selected. Most of the pods that come with these products are made of aluminum and/or plastic, and most hold between 0.18 go 0.28 ounces of coffee.
Every coffee maker comes with a water tank, and some even have milk tanks for making milk-based drinks. As the water is heated by an electric motor, it is pressurized and blasted through the pod, brewing the coffee. It then drips into your cup and voila! you have a great, easy cup of coffee. After you are done using a pod, it is ejected and dropped into the used pod container in the bottom of your machine.
What additional features do pod coffee makers offer?
Personal use is one of the major things to keep in mind when buying your product. You want to get the best-tasting coffee possible, but there are other features to consider. Below are what some of the most popular brands out there offer:
- Nespresso. As of today, Nespresso models can only make either short or long coffee. However, the Nespresso+Aeroccino range can also make milk-based drinks as well.
- Dolce Gusto. These coffee makers are capable of making both straight black coffee as well as milk-based coffee drinks, on top of hot chocolate and teas.
- Tassimo. Tassimo pod coffee makers are made to brew normal black coffee, as well as milk coffee drinks, hot chocolate, and teas.
- Senseo. This brand of coffee maker offers models that only make coffee, while others make milk-based drinks and hot chocolates.
What is the pressure in pod coffee makers?
There are pressure bars included on many machines that also need to be taken into account when making your purchase. They tell you the pressure at which the coffee is brewed. Some have adjustable pressure, while others are fixed. The pressure at which the water is blasted into the pod determines the intensity of the flavor you get.
|Pod coffee maker||Bars|
You have noticed that there are significant differences in bars between each brand.With that in mind, you should also understand that all of them are designed to make a fantastic cup of coffee.This is one of the ways that these coffee makers differ from others like Italian coffee makers (aka mocha pots). Keep in mind the pressure features of each machine when making your decision.
How much do coffee pods cost?
Many people complain that the price of the pods is the main downside of these coffee makers. While they do cost more than if you were to brew your coffee with a different type of coffee maker, they still cost less per-cup than what you would pay outside of your home. We’ve put the pod prices per brand in the table below:
|Type of coffee maker||Type of pods and price|
|Nespresso||Original pods are priced between 40 and 60 cents, while compatible pods cost between 20 and 35 cents. The first ones are only sold on Internet or in official shops. The latter are found in shops and supermarkets.|
|Dolce Gusto||The original pods are priced at around 35 cents. Compatible capsules are cheaper, costing between 20 and 25 cents. Both can be purchased online or in physical stores.|
|Tassimo||The price of original pods for this brand ranges from 18 to 27 cents. As of writing this article it doesn’t have compatible pods. They are available in Tassimo online stores, and in various supermarkets.|
|Senseo||Senseo also only offers original pods for the moment. Its price varies between 15 and 25 cents. You can find them in online shops, department stores or supermarkets.|
Why have a pod coffee maker at home?
You might have viewed a pod coffee maker as just another kitchen appliance when you first debated buying one. You likely already have at least one kitchen appliance in your house you don’t currently use. Maybe you’re worried the same might happen with your new pod coffee maker. Below are some reasons this is unlikely to happen:
- Speed. In terms of speed, it is hard to go back to traditional coffee makers once you have started making coffee in mere seconds.
- Cleaning. Cleaning these devices is dead simple. Everything can be disassembled and thoroughly cleaned, and many even feature dishwasher safe components.
- Taste. With other kinds of coffee maker, the taste of your coffee can vary each time. Pod coffee makers give you more consistency.
- Versatility. Other coffee makers only allow you to prepare coffee. Many models of pod coffee maker also let you make milk-based drinks, teas, and hot chocolate.
- Personalization. Each person likes their coffee a different way, and different flavors. Only with a pod coffee maker can every person in a household make coffee just how they like it using the same machine.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of pod coffee makers?
For the sake of further clarity, below we will lay out some of the main pros and cons of pod coffee makers. Knowing these will let you make an informed decision when purchasing:
There are some main features to consider when buying a pod coffee maker. Understanding them and knowing how to look for them will let you get the model that best suits your needs. You will get a great product that you will thoroughly enjoy if you take into consideration the following:
- Water tank
The kind of pod a coffee maker uses are one of the first considerations. The price of a product is heavily influenced by the bran name, and many models only take a certain kind of pod. If you are forced to buy one kind of pod all the time, you are likely paying more. Some brands only make their pods available on their website.
Brands like Nespresso and Senseo only have coffee pods, while others like Dolce Gusto and Tassimo allow you to prepare other types of drinks, like tea or hot chocolate. This is great if you plan on using your coffee maker for more than just coffee, and if you like to mix up your beverage on a regular basis.
Pod coffee makers only make a single cup of coffee at a time, but you don’t want to have to refill your water reservoir each time. Most feature water tanks that are capable of holding Pod coffee makers were indeed designed to prepare individual coffees, but that doesn’t mean you want to be filling up your tank all the time, regardless of whether you only prepare coffee for yourself or if you have to make several in a row. The capacity of these coffee makers generally ranges between 27 and 51 ounces. The models offering less, often 20 ounces will force you to reload the water tank more often.
With all of the new, fly-by-night companies trying to capitalize on the pod coffee maker phenomenon, it is best to go for a reputable manufacturer, or you run the risk of your favorite pods one day disappearing from the market. Many of the less reputable brands will not give you the same warranties, guarantees, and customer service. Also consider this when making a purchase.
Most pod coffee makers are built out of aluminum or plastic. The vast majority feature an aluminum layer underneath of plastic film, which ensures the coffee is always separated from the metal and, therefore, tastes as it should. It is generally advised to get a plastic coated aluminum model as they are typically more robust and will last longer.
A pod coffee maker makes sense if you want to be able to make a wide range of different coffees fast. Variety is the spice of life, and being able to make different drinks with the same machine will make this machine a fast favorite at home, in the office, and really anywhere you decide to take it.
There are so many models available in the U.S. and each one has different features you should know how to evaluate and analyze so you always get the right one. Always consider the price of each model, and understand the implications of the kinds of pods required by each.
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(Source of featured image: Kimtong: 44614156/ 123rf.com)