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If you love the idea of creating barista-style lattes and espressos from the comfort of your own kitchen without the faff of grinding beans or measuring out ground coffee, a pod machine could be a handy addition to your kitchen worktop. The best coffee pod machines can whip up frothy coffees in seconds with the touch of a button, so you can enjoy hassle-free hot drinks at home.
However, disposing of coffee pods can be an environmental concern. Thankfully many brands now provide recycling options for capsule collection as well as compostable pods.
Choosing between coffee pod machines can be tricky so we've compiled some tried and tested recommendations from coffee-loving Mumsnetters to help you get a quality caffeine fix for a price that suits your budget.
Here are the best coffee pod machines to buy this year.
1. Best overall coffee pod machine: Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Espresso Coffee Machine
Price £74 | Buy now from Amazon
"Lavazza coffee machines are good - the pods can be recycled too" - recommended by Mumsnet user, 1sunnyday23
"Lavazza pod machines are far better for the environment than Nespresso and have more coffee in per pod and taste better" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, bebeboeuf
If there’s one brand that Mumsnetters can rely on for whipping up a top brew when in a rush, it’s Lavazza. And this machine is well-reviewed for being fuss-free and compact, with an easy-to-use interface that will make good coffee in seconds with the touch of a button. You can run another cycle straight after the first one has finished - great if you’re wanting to fill a jumbo mug to get you going in the morning (just remember to lift up the lever to shut it off when you're done). It’s available in an eye-catching red or a sleek white and components can be thrown in the dishwasher after use. You can recycle the eco pods as part of a nationwide TerraCycle scheme.
- Pod brand: Lavazza
- Milk frother included: No
2. Best budget coffee pod machine: DeLonghi Dolce Gusto Infinissima Pod Capsule Coffee Machine
Price £34 | Buy now from Amazon
"My son has the Dolce Gusto one and loves it. B&M do the pods cheaper but Asda tend to have them on a lot at 3 boxes for £10. They do their own Asda version too at under £3" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Touchofclass
If you love the idea of starting the day with a flat white but you're on a tight budget, this no-frills coffee pod machine from Dolce Gusto is the one for you. It’s compatible with all Dolce Gusto capsules so you can easily stock up when you’re at the supermarket. It produces hassle-free hot and cold drinks - great if you’re a fan of an iced-coffee in the summer. You’ll have to invest some time to work out how much water is needed for each pod, but that’s nothing to fear and it’s pretty plain sailing after that. Dolce Gusto runs a recycling scheme via Collect+. You’ll need to order a Podback recycling bag first and drop off at a local Collect+ retailer.
- Pod brand: Dolce Gusto
- Milk frother included: No
3. Best eco-friendly coffee pod machine: Grind One Pod Machine
Price £275 | Buy now from Amazon
Coffee pod machines can be heavy on the plastic, which is why we like this sleek unit from hipster coffee brand, Grind. It's made from stainless steel which is infinitely recyclable and thanks to 19 pressure settings, you can create the perfect crema-topped coffee at home. All packaging is compostable and the Grind pods are free of plastic. It’s at the upper end of our price list but it's a great investment for eco-conscious coffee lovers. We love its industrial look and the adjustable coffee length controls. It’ll look great on your kitchen worktop, let’s face it. Being stainless steel, it will mark easier than its robust plastic counterparts, so you’ll have to be very selective about who uses it. You can add a milk frother to the unit for an extra £75.
- Pod brand: Grind own-brand pods
- Milk frother: No
4. Best coffee pod machine for families: Tassimo Bosch My Way 2
Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon
"I've got a Tassimo My Way & have bought refillable pods. We use one for coffee & one for hot chocolate, plus I have a hot water disc for making tea. No pod wastage, we can use the coffee of our choice (Illy) & no crappy powdered milk for a latte - milk in microwave for 40 seconds, shot of coffee & it layers up just like from a coffee shop" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Nat6999
With a sizeable 1.3-litre water tank and a handy auto-clean function, this Tassimo machine is a great buy for families. It can whip up drinks using branded pods from the likes of Costa, Cadbury's and Kenco or you can use refillable pods instead (as recommended on the Mumsnet forums). Intensity, size and strength can be adjusted with the touch of a button and the in-built Brita water filter reduces the amount of lime content and chlorine found in tap water - a brilliant feature if you're in a hardwater area. The flexible cup stand can be adjusted to hold reusable coffee cups so you can make a quick brew before heading out the door. Available in a choice of colours (cream, white, black, red) it'll suit most kitchens and is frequently on offer so you can pick it up for much less than the RRP of £100.
- Pod brand: Refillable/branded pods (Kenco, Costa, Cadbury's etc)
- Milk frother: No
5. Best coffee pod machine with a milk frother: Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa Espresso Coffee Machine
Price £118 | Buy now from Amazon
To get a rich, creamy texture in your coffee, you'll need a milk frother in your life. This model has a built-in frother and offers some great features including five milky drink programmes - cappuccino, large cappuccino, latte macchiato, hot milk froth and cold milk froth. And you can choose from three different types of black coffee - long espresso, espresso or long coffee. The best bit? It has a one-touch interface to create barista-style blends in an instant which is both extremely satisfying and great for entertaining. It even features an alert system if you get distracted and need a quick reminder to return to base so you won't have to deal with any spills. The cleaning cycle will keep things clean no matter how many cups you brew. The water tank is a sizable 1.1 litres and the unit works nicely with Lavazza’s eco-friendly pods.
- Pod brand: Lavazza
- Milk frother: Yes
6. Best easy to use coffee pod machine: Senseo Quadrante hd7865/60 Coffee Machine
Price £135 | Buy now from Amazon
"We have a Senseo machine and love it. The pods are just paper, so as environmentally ok as tea bags, I suppose" - recommended by Mumsnet user, TerpsichoreanMuse
Senseo is another reliable coffee pod machine brand that is recommended across the forums for its ability to whip up quality brews. The pods are made from paper and can be thrown straight into the food waste bin, which is music to our ears. The drip tray is height adjustable so you can personalise your beverage to suit your mood and the dual function means you can create two cups at a time. Online reviews confirm it makes good coffee with an impressive crema and its parts can be placed in the dishwasher, making it easy to take care of. Be aware that it doesn’t come with the two glasses pictured and there have been mixed reviews as to whether it comes with a UK plug so a converter may be needed.
- Pod brand: Senseo pads
- Milk frother included: No
7. Best small coffee pod machine: Tassimo by Bosch T12 Vivy
Price: £62 | Buy now from Amazon
"Tassimo every time. I'm on my second one now & love it. You get a great variety of drinks and it's dead quick & easy to use" - recommened by Mumsnet user, Redglitter
"I have a Tassimo and use the pods, there is a place about 7 miles from me that will recycle them. I save them all up then take them over. The pods were the only thing that put me off getting a machine so I was glad when I discovered this" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, captainprincess
"We've used it most days all year. Kid1 likes the Costa caramel latte or the carambar cappuccino.Kid2 has 2 hot chocolates a day so we get the suchard one - you get twice as many to the packet and he adds fresh milk.My favourite is the Chai latte" - SuperLoudPoppingAction
Tassimo gets a lot of love on the Mumsnet forums for its barista-friendly features. This machine features an impressive barcode system that scans compatible (Tassimo) pods and adjusts settings accordingly to create the perfect brew. It’s as user friendly as it gets and comes in five fun colours including pink and blue to add a pop of colour to your kitchen. It’s pretty compact too so will work well if space is limited. Tassimo is also part of the Podback recycling scheme so you can drop capsules off at a Collect+ retailer.
- Pod brand: Tassimo only
- Milk frother included: No
How to buy the best coffee pod machine
It's worth considering the following features when you're looking to buy a coffee pod machine:
Milk frother: If you want to recreate your favourite barista-style brews at home, choose a machine with an integrated milk frother. This allows you to whip up silky steamed milk to add a luxury touch to your mug of Joe. Although some models feature two-stage pods (a milk element and a coffee element) so you can create a frothy cappuccino pretty quickly without a frother (but you'll end up using double the capsules). Of course, you could always froth milk separately using a recommendation from our best milk frothers roundup.
Coffee settings: Coffee pod machines should offer the option of creating a longer shot (lungo) as well as a single shot. If you enjoy customising your coffee, pick a coffee pod machine that allows you to adjust the height of your drinks as well as the temperature and coffee strength. Some of the cheaper models may not offer as many features to play about with so think about what's important to you in terms of how you drink your coffee. It's also important to look at the shot settings to determine how much water your machine pulls through each pod.
Dual-height drip trays: If you'll be switching between standard coffee mugs, espresso cups and reusable coffee cups on a regular basis, it's worth looking for a cup stand and drip tray with an adjustable height to make sure you avoid any unnecessary spills.
Removable pod bin: You’ll want to be able to empty this and clean with ease when those pods fill up. You should get away with emptying once a week or so.
Some Mumsnetters use and recommend Nespresso pod coffee machines. Nespresso is owned by Nestlé. Mumsnet refuses advertising from all Nestlé-controlled companies as part of the Nestlé Boycott, a campaign run by Baby Milk Action to put pressure on formula manufacturers to act responsibly – particularly in the context of developing countries. We haven't included any Nespresso machines in this roundup as part of our support for the boycott.
Can you use any capsules in a coffee pod machine?
This will depend entirely on the brand you buy. Many manufacturers use one standard pod type which varies from brand to brand. Tassimo machines for example are only compatible with Tassimo coffee pods. On the other hand, Nespresso machines can work with different kinds of pods. All supermarket brands tend to have their own compatible version at a cheaper price. You can also look at refillable options and use your favourite ground coffee inside.
Can coffee pods be recycled?
The disposal of coffee pods has always been an environmental concern but coffee companies including Lavazza, Dolce Gusto, Nespresso, and Tassimo are trying to do the right thing and most now offer ways to recycle capsules. Some schemes may require you to dispose of your pods at a nearby centre, so be aware of your coffee brand’s scheme before you purchase. We recommend always buying eco or compostable pods, and avoiding pods made from a mix of aluminium and plastic.
What’s the best coffee pod machine to buy?
The Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Espresso Coffee Machine is our top pod machine. It’s a brand recommended on the forums for its ability to make good quality coffee. It's an affordable option, easy-to-use and will make a sleek addition to your kitchen worktop. Although it only has one coffee length, there are plenty of flavours and coffee styles to try out and the parts can be put in the dishwasher, making it easy to maintain. Its eco pod range can be easily recycled at a nearby centre so it's a good all-rounder in our opinion.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which coffee pod machines parents were recommending and had bought. We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which coffee pod machines had been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best coffee pod machines on the market.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.