Best Coffee Machines for Pods (Best Single-Serve)

Inserting pod into the machine.

Pods are one of the most convenient ways to prepare your cup of coffee every day. These coffee pods are the equivalent of the teabag and this pre-portioned serving of coffee allows you to select the capsule or pod you prefer.

For the consistent quality of coffee made from pods, a good selection of machines is required. Among the innumerable pod coffee machines, certain brands have uplifted the feature by many folds. Not all single-serve pod machines are created equally so the quality of the coffee will also be different.

Upon going through their multiple reviews, I have listed down some best purchases for the pod that are easy to use and provide the best value.

Short answer: Keurig K-Elite and Black and Decker CM618 are two of the best options for the pods. Both of these have wonderful specifications and provide good quality coffees.

Go through the following sections as there are a lot of in-depth explanations regarding this.


Are pod coffee machines worth it?

Personally, I think getting a coffee pod machine is worth it as the best pod machines tend to combine, quality, speed, and convenience. With the fast brewing power and access to quick coffee cups, the popularity of pod machines has transcended the borders long before.

For easy and quick coffee doses, pod coffee machines are a super convenient and cheaper choice. Pods or capsule machines may not give you the best flavors like the coffee prepared by the automatic coffee machines, but it’s more budget-friendly and leaves you out of the fusses from manual handling.

Since all the coffee machines might not be equally efficient, you must look for the dimensions, accessories, brewing options, and maintenance features of the pod coffee machines.

The quality of capsule or pod coffees has tremendously improved over the years. Companies are sourcing better quality beans so that you can have superior flavors in your drinks. Also, the convenience of buying the capsule coffees that I especially want, makes the pod machines more appealing.

Not to mention, there is reduced brewing risk associated with the use of pod machines and thus saves a lot of time and energy.

What coffee makers can use pods?

A bean-to-cup coffee machine.
Not all coffee machines can work well for any kind of pod.

A single-serve coffee maker usually uses pod capsules and reusable pods to offer convenience and speed while making your coffee. While this sort of machine is usually used at home, you can also use this in your dorm and small office space.

There are several kinds of coffee machines available nowadays. Three of these varieties are widely used at home.

Let’s have a quick review of the basic comparisons between the three kinds:

ContentBean-to-cupPodEspresso maker
Built-in grinderyesnoyes
Consistency of the quality and control over coffeevery consistent and more controlconsistent but low controlless consistent and more control
Settingspre-set mostlycustomizable customizable
Price rangeexpensive but have cheaper optionscomparatively cheapexpensive but have cheaper options
A quick look at the distinguishing features

There are certain things you need to consider while purchasing so look for the one that goes best with your desired features. Look for better-personalized settings or smart control in the machines for durable uses.

Do all pods fit all coffee machines?

coffee pods in someone's hands

No, all pods might not fit all the coffee machines. For example, coffee pods might not fit the Keurig single-cup coffee maker since the K-cups are specially designed for them.

Most of the coffee pods have approximately 61 millimeters in diameter. But the weights of these pods may vary. The standard coffee pods do contain between 7-12 grams of coffee. In such cases, the heavier coffee pod tends o produce a stronger flavor due to the presence of more grams of coffee.

Some brewers use ‘soft-pods’ (usually 7-8 grams of coffee) that allow water to pass through the pod easily. On the other hand, the heavier pods require more pressure to push the water through and give a much rich texture to the drink.

This is why all pods don’t fit all coffee machines. The soft pods are specifically designed for compatibility with the select single-cup pod makers. The Keurig coffee makers don’t use such pods. If you wanna know what pods to use for Keurig, take a look at my other article when you’re done with this one.

What is the best pod machine for home use?

There are many pod machines available that can give you an amazing coffee experience. You can get a well-functioning pod machine within $50-$100. However, many budget-friendly varieties serve amazingly.

I have listed down some brands that offer the best pod coffee machines with a well-built construction and convenient functioning:

  1. Keurig K-Elite
  2. Black and Decker CM618
  3. Chulux Single Serve Coffee Maker
  4. Lavazza A Modo Mio Desea
  5. Bosch Tassimo Vivy 2 TAS coffee pod
  6. Nespresso Vertuo Plus

Before reviewing a particular one as the best, I would like to go for the things that you should be looking for while purchasing. Remember, you don’t need all the features in your pod machine but the most convenient ones. Always opt for better settings within the moderate price range.

What to look for when buying a single-serve coffee maker?

a pod machine

Nowadays some amazing selection of pod machines is available in the market. However, every machine might not be as suitable for use as it might seem. This is why you should look for some important features and functionality in your coffee machine.

Water reservoir

A good capacity tank is important for your machine as it will enable you to save time at a critical or urgent time. A large water reservoir means less filling. Some removable water tanks allow you to carry the tanks to the sink and ensure easy cleaning and refilling.

Brewing options

Most of the pod coffee machines offer single-serve. Some models provide more brewing options for up to 16 ounces. Go for the pod machine that offers varieties in coffees ranging from basic to fancy options such as lattes or cappuccinos.

Single-use coffee pods and reusable filters

The single-serve coffee machine usually uses store-bought coffee pods. The pods contain pre-portioned ground coffee and have a built-in filter. K-cups or capsules are convenient but more expensive. I would suggest using reusable filters as this sustains more and puts less stress on the environment.

How can you test a pod machine?

You can check the functionality credit of the pod machine you’re opting for by testing some of its features”

  • See how straightforward the set of the machine is, that is how easy it’s to understand the setting, use it, and clean it.
  • Look for the time taken to fill the water reservoir, preheat time, and brew time.
  • Watch for how the coffee splatters during brewing and how messy or clean the space remains.
  • Compare consistency of the coffee brewed at different times.
  • Look for the prices and list a budget-friendly option.

Best overall single-serve pod machine- Keurig K-Elite

A quick review of the functions of K-Elite

Key specifications

Type: Pod

Water reservoir: 75 oz

Strength control: yes

Automatic shut-off: yes

Quiet brew technology

Brew sizes: 4 oz, 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz

Temperature control: yes

K-Elite works exactly like a premium coffee maker because it combines moderate price and performance. K-Elites’s most notable advantages are the variation in the brew sizes from 4-12 oz. It has got LCD clock display and additional temperature control functionality.

There are iced beverage features along with a hot water feature for tea, oatmeal, or cocoa. Undoubtedly, this is the most convenient pod-based machine that ensures a perfect brew for the drinker.

Like all of Keurig’s coffee machines, add a K-cup, fill the water reservoir, press the button and just enjoy the drink!

Though there are many programmable settings like auto on-off, brew temperature, clock display, etc, K-Elite lacks a dedicated cleaning program. For this reason, you need to pour a descaling solution.

Aside from this, the K-Elite will work well for you once you can control the coffee strength. It offers a lot of customization settings and brew programs that can help you in experiencing better variations.

Pros

  • Brew strength and brew temperature settings
  • Large water reservoir
  • Compatible for all K-cups
  • Hot water dispenser

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a water filter kit
  • Fairly large in size
  • No dedicated cleaning system

Thus, K-Elite is a great machine and offers you varying brew sizes fixing your desired caffeine need. The programmable features are very convenient to use.

The only thing that got me is the lack of a cleaning feature for such a good pod machine. Other than that, it’s a great selection of pod machines and I am sure you would enjoy the strong taste of the coffee.

Price: about $179.99

Best value single-serve pod machine- Black and Decker CM618

Key specifications

Type: Pod

Capacity: 1 cup

Housing material: Plastic

Compatible filter type: Permanent

Water filter: no

Automatic shut-off: yes

Carafe: thermal

Black and Decker CM618 is one of the most budget-friendly pod coffee maker options that stands out for its easy usage and convenient settings.

If you look through the key specs, you’ll understand how simple yet useful the in-built settings are that will surely make your coffee experience much better.

The machine is ideal for the person, very active and prompt while making the coffee drink. All you need is to keep the coffee grounds or pre-packaged coffee pods ready so that you can brew the coffee directly into a mug.

While personally going through the customer’s review I was stunned by seeing the number of good feedbacks this pod machine got. This is undoubtedly one of the best inventions for coffee lovers.

Not only the machine is easy to use but also makes great coffee. The permanent ground filter that comes with the device is compatible with coffee grounds and pre-packaged pods.

The device can handle both types of grounds and pods so thus brews in two ways. The space-saving device is perfect for small kitchens and even for traveling in caravans.

Here’s the list of all the features that make this machine an absolute gem:

Pros

  • Budget-friendly choice
  • Compact design and portable
  • Travel mug included
  • Removable filter basket
  • Optimal brewing temperature
  • One-touch operation

Cons

  • K-cups can’t be used with this machine
  • No control over the brewing process
  • Not built for heavy usage

The Black and Decker CM618 is a budget pod machine. This is why the shortcomings of the machine can be overlooked considering the features it’s offering to the drinker.

Yes, I won’t recommend this for big families or people who want a long-term durable machine. However, for people always on-the-go and living in a small space, the Black and Decker is absolutely a winner.

Price: about $20

Final thoughts

Using pods can be a convenient way of fixing the caffeine dose every day since many of us don’t get enough time to brew the coffee traditionally. Though I have listed the best overall and best value considering customers’ reviews and my intuition, your personal preference may vary.

There are several other ideal machines as well that can suit your preference well.

While making the choice look for the better set of features in the machine so that you can get the ultimate experience by chunking on your coffee delight. Not all machines work the same for everyone, so make sure you’re choosing the best one for yourself.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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