I’ve lived in far more small spaces than large. In fact, until I moved into our current home 3.5 years ago, I only lived in small homes, apartments and in some cases, rooms that I rented. Therefore, I know all about having to buy small stuff.
Moreover, when on my own, it never made sense to have a massive coffee maker. Often a small coffee maker makes way more sense since it takes up less space. For example, my home office has a tiny counter area where it best accommodates a small single serve coffee maker (which is currently the Nespresso Vertuoline – see below).
As part of our massive “compact appliances” series, we’re including this list of what we consider the best compact coffee maker options.
How we chose coffee machines for this list?
We didn’t try every compact coffee machine available. We bought 11 of them and from there researched our list of compact coffee makers and based on our use, customer feedback and price, put together this list of the best compact coffee machines.
Here it is…
Table of Contents
- 1. Cappresso 5-Cup Mini Drip
- 2. DeLonghi Compact 12-Cup Brewer
- 3. Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Drip Brewer (Programmable)
- 4. Bonavita 5-Cup Brewer with Stainless Steel Carafe
- 5. Black & Decker DCM18S Brew ‘n Go
- 6. Hamilton Beach 49981A
- 7. Brentwood Single Cup Coffee Maker
- 8. Mixpresso K4GRY00 Single Cup Coffee Maker
- 9. Keurig K15 Mini Plus
- 10. Tassimo T12
- 11. Nespresso Pixie by DeLonghi
- 12. Senseo Single Serve Pod Coffee Maker (HD7819/65)
- 13. Brillante BR-CP1-350
- 14. Bodum French Press
- 15. Faberware Stainless Steel 4 Cup Percolator
- 16. Tops 3 Cup Capacity Fast Brew Percolator
1. Cappresso 5-Cup Mini Drip
What do most people want from small coffee makers? A warming plate, automatic brewing, a drip-stop feature, and a timer is always nice. Cappresso gave their mini drip machine all that and more. You don’t even have to worry about paper filters since you can use a permanent one.
You can fit this device in any kitchen. No, seriously, try to find a counter-top that doesn’t have room for a small coffee maker that’s 6.25 inches in width, 8 inches in length and 10–inches in height. This little machine from Cappresso can fit inside a hobbit’s home.
- Easy to clean
- Compact and requires minimal space
- Reusable filter
- Feels a little flimsy
2. DeLonghi Compact 12-Cup Brewer
The DeLonghi compact brewer can brew 12 cups of coffee. We include it in our list because we wanted to include a compact 12-cup design. In fact, this is a really cool looking machine coming in at just 10-inches wide and 13-inches tall
It features front access for refilling water and ground coffee. As far as small coffee makers go, you can hardly ask for more.
Maybe you want your coffee already waiting for you in the morning. By using the 24-hour digital timer, it can do that. You can also program the machine to enhance the flavor of smaller batches by using the Aroma feature.
This coffee maker only weighs 6.35 lbs. which makes it easy to move around the kitchen. Although considering its dimensions, it’s hard to think you’ll need to rearrange the décor to fit it in.
- Sleek and compact; requires minimal counter space
- Programmable timer which you can set and have your coffee ready when you wake up
- Auto-shut off feature switches the heater off after two hours
- Front access panel is fragile
3. Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Drip Brewer (Programmable)
Our third drip brewer is an inexpensive 4-cup brewer by Mr. Coffee. This miniature coffee maker is compact, yet comes with some nice features such as scheduled brewing (i.e. set it to brew the next morning), drip pause (so you can pour a cup before it’s done brewing without it dripping all over the hot plate) and the ability to view water level from the front to avoid over-filling the water reservoir.
This machine has racked up a lot of sales and has thousands of mostly positive customer reviews.
Best off all, this machine is also compact in price.
This machine has some incredible features. First, as you’d expect for a coffee maker in this price range, it’s programmable. But it doesn’t end there.
If you’re particular about coffee temperature, this is good option for you as it heats water to 195°F to 205°F for best brewing temperature.
As you can see from the photo, the carafe is stainless steel, which looks great and in this case, is a thermal carafe to retain heat.
Compact Single Serve Coffee Makers
The thing with single serve coffee makers is there are many options including regular small filters (for single brew), K-cup brewers, T-disc brewers (Tassimo) and Senseo pod brewers (see our article comparing K-cups and T-discs). While Nespresso technically is a single serve espresso maker, I include it here because they have a tiny little brewer and it’s single serve and if you brew two espressos, you have a full cup of very potent coffee.
We organize this section by different types of single cup brewers. We include quite a few models because these machines are about as compact as you get.
5. Black & Decker DCM18S Brew ‘n Go
Type: Regular coffee grinds
If your spouse doesn’t wake you up before they leave and you’re in a hurry, there’s no need to panic. Your personal coffee maker, Brew ‘n Go can brew a cup of coffee to go. It takes this machine minutes to fill up a 15-ounce cup of joe.
Why rush before work to stand in line at a Starbucks when you can bring your mug from home? Yes, the Brew ‘n Go comes with a stainless-steel travel mug that will fit in almost any car cup holder. You don’t even have to drink it while driving. The stainless-steel travel cup will keep your coffee warm.
Why is this one of the coolest small coffee makers? You only have to press one button, you don’t have to change filters, and the machine turns off automatically. Even if your kitchen is packed, the Brew ‘n Go’s 7 by 10.2 by 6.9-inches design can find a place.
- Ideal for a quick cup of coffee
- Durable and lasts for more than 10 years!
- Perfect if you have limited space or live in a small apartment
- The check valve on the water tank tends to pop out
6. Hamilton Beach 49981A
Type: Regular coffee grinds
If you enjoy pretending to be a barista and keep showing up late for work, you may need to reevaluate your morning priorities. Or, you can use the Hamilton Beach 49981A and brew an 8-ounce cup of fresh coffee in a little over a minute.
You get to keep the hands-on experience of scooping your own coffee, adjusting your tray for height and pouring in the water. As a bonus, you don’t have to worry about spills because the coffee maker comes with a wide drip tray. You don’t even have to bother turning it off once it’s done brewing. It does that automatically.
The 13.5-inches in height may seem large, but it still falls under the small coffee makers category. The machine is 9.8-inches in width and 7.8-inches in length, making it easy to place. The extra height offers you control over what cup size you can fill. This is especially beneficial when making espressos.
FYI, there’s an adjustable tray on which the coffee cup sits so you can move it up to brew a regular coffee cup and move it down for taller travel mugs.
- Cheaper alternative to expensive pods
- Compact which makes it easy to clean
- Coffee not as hot as many would prefer
7. Brentwood Single Cup Coffee Maker
Type: Regular coffee grinds
The Brentwood Single Cup Coffeemaker looks like something right out of StarTrek. The curved futuristic design is impressive in black and red. The water tank opens at the top but considering the machine is only 7-inches tall, that’s not an issue for most kitchens.
You don’t need an engineering degree to make it work since the machine comes fully assembled. The on/off button on the side is all you have to operate.
Because of its space-saving design, the access point for the water tank and the filters is at the top. As long as you have a couple inches of room above the coffeemaker, you’re good to go. The drip tray can also be lifted for cleaning.
- Ideal for single people
- Convenient space saver
- Difficult to fit a standard sized coffee mug under it
8. Mixpresso K4GRY00 Single Cup Coffee Maker
Single-serve coffee makers are famous for brewing one perfect cup at a time. Of course, sometimes you might prefer giving up more counter space for a machine that can brew for an entire family. With the Mixpresso Single Cup, you don’t have to do that.
While it does brew one cup at a time, it has a 45-ounce water reservoir. You don’t have to open and refill in between servings. You can pour a large serving just for yourself considering the design can fit three mug sizes.
The Mixpresso Single Cup has a removable drip tray which makes it easy to clean. The window on the water tank lets you know exactly how much water is left and the machine turns itself off once it’s done brewing. Talk about a low-maintenance and space-saving kitchen appliance.
Finally, you can brew 3 different sized coffees, which is really great flexibility for a single serve brewer (especially a compact machine).
- Heats up quickly
- Narrow and requires little counter space
- Cup holder is small
9. Keurig K15 Mini Plus
This is a very simple machine, but does the job. The name of the game is compact, which it is compared compared to other Keurig machines.
In fact, I really like this design compared to other Keurig machines. I used the K10 in my office for some time; it worked great.
A good reason to get a coffee maker that accommodates K-cups is there are so many coffee brands that are sold in K-cups – more so than T-discs (see below) and Senseo pods.
The downside for this machine is price. It’s fairly expensive for a machine with only the very basic coffee brewing functions.
T-Disc Single Cup Machines
10. Tassimo T12
The smallest Tassimo machine is the T12. It uses T-discs and as you can see it’s quite compact with a contemporary design.
The reason I love Tassimo machines is they are built durable (they’re heavy solid machines) and they brew the barcode controlled T-discs.
These coffee pods have a barcode on them that the machine reads so it brews at precise temperature for that beverage and the precise amount of water. It’s super convenient and the coffee is fantastic (we like the Gevalia brand the most).
11. Nespresso Pixie by DeLonghi
Type: Nespresso capsules
Okay, the Nespresso Pixie is technically an espresso maker, but for me it’s a cross between a regular single serve coffee maker and espresso machine. I have this machine currently and use it quite a bit (buying the capsules is a bit of a hassle because they aren’t available in our grocery store).
It doesn’t brew super strong espresso. In fact, it’s more like strong coffee as far as I’m concerned. I do two brews into a regular cup and really enjoy it as a cup of coffee.
The flavor is good. The texture is amazing. I love the slight rich crema layer it produces; that’s what gets me using this machine as often as I do.
As for the machine, it looks great, is very small and easy to use. You can brew two sizes, but don’t let that fool you that the large size is a regular 6 to 8 ounce cup of coffee because it’s not. The large size is a large espresso. If you want a full cup of coffee, you need to brew it twice (using two capsules in the process).
This is a costly machine, but if you like strong coffee it’s worth it. Actually, when it comes to coffee machines, the cost of the machine is not all that important. It’s the cost of the coffee that’s a concern… speaking of which Nespresso capsules are more expensive that K-cups and T-discs.
12. Senseo Single Serve Pod Coffee Maker (HD7819/65)
I’m very familiar with Senseo since it’s the single cup maker my parents have. They have the larger version (brews two cups at a time which is cool). Since I’m focusing on smaller coffee machines, this list includes the single brew machine.
Senseo uses pods, which are like tightly packed tea bags but packed with coffee grinds. The coffee is rich (almost as rich as that which the Nespresso produces) resulting in a wonderful crema layer on top.
As you can see, the machine is very small. The reason my wife and I didn’t opt for this type of single cup coffee maker is because we liked the broader coffee options available with T-discs.
As with any single serve coffee maker, ensure you can buy the coffee pods or discs or k-cups easily and conveniently, otherwise it’ll just sit there until you get around to buying them. You also want to compare prices of each type of coffee since the coffee cost adds up quickly.
Compact FrenchPress Coffee Makers
Most French Press coffee makers aren’t all that big. However, they do vary in size and so I want to include some small French Press coffee makers.
Here they are…
13. Brillante BR-CP1-350
The Brillante French press makes other small coffee makers seem big. The glass beaker is only 3.25 by 4.8 by 6.75-inches making it just slightly bigger than a tall cup. Its capacity is around 12-ounces.
While you might enjoy the glass beaker the stainless-steel plunger is what you should get excited about. That’s the part that makes this coffee maker long-lasting. The ultra-fine mesh at the pouring spout filters out all the grounds but still allows the oils to mix in with the water to give it a robust taste.
Granted that using a French press coffee maker is a hands-on experience, it does make it more enjoyable. There’s nothing to turn on or off, and there isn’t any grinding noise to wake up to.
- Small enough to travel with
- Dissembles for easy cleaning
- Glass is fragile
14. Bodum French Press
Bodum is a very popular French Press coffee maker company; in fact so popular people refer to French Presses with the term “Bodum” just as Kleenex is now synonymous with tissue.
Materials include glass and plastic. Several colors to choose from (I like this yellow-green color).
One nice aspect about French Press coffee is there’s no waste other than compostable grinds.
There’s no filter, pod packaging… only grinds and whatever packaging your coffee grinds came in. In this day-in-age of single serve pods filling up landfills, you really have to seriously consider using a French Press.
One final big benefit is you have full control over the temperature of the water, which should be just below boiling. A lot of coffee makers don’t get water this hot.
15. Faberware Stainless Steel 4 Cup Percolator
However, some people prefer percolated coffee over drip brew and so you can buy small percolators.
The normal small is 12 cups.
The really small is 4 cups.
This Faberware model has a 4 cup capacity, making it one of the smallest percolators you can buy.
With a brew speed of 1 cup per minute, it doesn’t take long to enjoy your cup of coffee. Despite the hot contents, the handles stays cool.
Finally, this is one very popular unit and has very decent overall customer feedback.
Small Stovetop/Campfire Percolator
16. Tops 3 Cup Capacity Fast Brew Percolator
This can also be used camping on a propane fuelled camping stove.
Look closely and you’ll see it has a glass covering knob and wooden handle.
While it’s not some slick design, it’s durable and will serve you well.
This helps you pack light while travelling and/or camping yet enjoy coffee wherever you go.
Shopping for small coffee makers can be exhausting if you don’t know what you’re looking for. There are so many choices, and each come with their own unique features. Some brew faster and some brew slower but is that really the only thing that’s important?
You should think long and hard if you’re the type of person that just needs your fix in the morning. If that’s the case, then there are many electric compact designs that can fill a cup in seconds or even have the coffee ready by the time you wake up.
If you enjoy the ritual of brewing coffee but still don’t want a large machine occupying space in the kitchen, then small coffee makers that use a French press will be more your speed. Glass percolators may not be a bad idea either.