If you're the kind of person who loves barista-level espresso drinks, but doesn't love the idea of spending upwards of $5 for every latte, a good at-home espresso machine can be a great investment. But choosing the right one can be a trying endeavor. The best De'Longhi espresso machines make professional-grade espresso by applying at least 15 bars of pressure, have dishwasher-safe components for easy cleaning, and offer additional features like integrated milk frothers and burr grinders.
When choosing a De'Longhi espresso machine, first decide if you'd prefer a manual or automatic brewing style. Manual brewers offer a more traditional coffee shop experience, and give you more control over the brewing process. Automatic options are great for those who want consistently good espresso at the touch of a button, but still want to be able to choose their own coffee beans rather than relying on a selection of pods. Size is also something to think about, since your available counter space will to some extent determine which models will work best in your kitchen.
Whether you prefer manual or automatic setups, make sure your espresso machine can apply at least 15 bars of pressure, which is widely considered the level needed to produce the best-quality espresso. You can also look for other features, like dual-temperature controls that allow the water used for brewing to be kept separate from the steam used to froth milk. All the De'Longhi machines on this list include integrated milk frothers so you can make lattes and cappuccinos, and some also have burr grinders that allow you to automatically measure and grind the ideal amount of beans for your espresso. One also has a special setting for brewing over ice, which is great if you prefer cold coffee drinks.
With all of this in mind, I've narrowed down the massive De'Longhi line to the three best machines overall.
1. The Overall Best
- Bars of pressure: 19
- Style: manual
- Dimensions: 14.48 x 12.48 x 13.98 inches
- Weight: 29.7 pounds
If you want to feel like a real barista in your own home, the De'Longhi La Specialista offers professional-level performance without being too challenging for a beginner to use. It features an integrated burr grinder with a sensing function that not only achieves the perfect grind every time, but also lets you know when you're low on coffee beans. The attached smart tamper ensures that the ideal amount of pressure is applied when you put the ground beans in the portafilter, and thanks to this machine's one-second start feature, your machine will be ready to brew as soon as you are.
Two separate heating systems ensure that the water for brewing coffee and for steaming milk are at optimal temperatures, and the advanced foaming system lets you choose between flat micro-foam for making lattes or a richer foam for cappuccinos. There's also a separate hot water spout for making Americanos, or dispensing hot water for tea. This machine comes with a milk pitcher, descaling solution, and a cleaning brush, and is backed by a three-year warranty.
One fan raved: “Yes, it can! Great machine. A tad smaller footprint than I expected, but solid and well made. Stainless exterior. Relatively easy to use (my first foray into this type of machine). A lot of online videos really simplifies the learning. Saw videos comparing this to the "B" brand. I would still buy this. For me, there are enough settings on here to really personalize the drinking experience, yet enough built-in/automatic settings so one does not need to become an expert barista. For the math addicts, netting out coffee bean purchases against not buying k-cups, this machine will pay for itself (for me) in less than two (2) years. Plus, there will still be over 1 year left of the 3-year warranty! Impressive machine.”
2. The Best For Espresso Lovers On A Budget
- Bars of pressure: 15
- Style: manual
- Dimensions: 7.50 x 9.50 x 11.12 inches
- Weight: 6.68 pounds
This minimalist espresso machine is perfect for those who are just getting into homemade espresso and aren't ready to invest hundreds of dollars into a machine, or for anyone who lacks the counter space needed for a larger model. This sleek little machine weighs just under 7 pounds (which is lightweight for an espresso machine) and it boasts a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, with thousands of positive reviews.
Two thermostats separately control water and steam temperature, and a swiveling milk frother for makes perfect cappuccino foam. It's also compatible with both ground coffee and pods, making this a great choice for those who are looking to branch out from Nespresso, but still want the option of brewing with pods. The removable, dishwasher-safe water tank and drip tray make this machine easy to clean, too. It doesn't have an integrated grinder or the bells and whistles of De'Longhi's more expensive options, but this little machine will get the job done.
One fan raved: “I am Italian, born and raised. Moved to US at 30 yrs old. Moved to an area where there's no Italian-American influence, no chance of going out for an espresso. Only Starbucks... no thanks. Thought I could go by without espresso for 6 years (what was I thinking??? I don't know). Then sudden espresso cravings made me buy this espresso machine. De Longhi is a very common brand in Italy for any type of home appliances. I've had this machine for 6 months now, using it every day. It's awesome. Like the espresso cup you'd get in Italy "al bar". It gives a thick layer of "crema" on top of each cup.”
3. The Best All-in-One Coffee & Espresso Machine
- Bars of pressure: 15
- Style: automatic
- Dimensions: 9.30 x 16.90 x 13.70 inches
- Weight: 24.9 pounds
The best choice for anyone who wants one machine that can do it all, the De'Longhi Dinamica is a powerful automatic machine that can make both espresso beverages and drip coffee. The machine heats up in less than 40 seconds, and the integrated steel burr grinder has 13 settings that allow you to fine-tune your coffee from the very first step. You can program the strength and size of your drink with the touch of a button, including the steam level and density of your foamed milk — and the milk frothing functions work great with nondairy milks.
The Dinamica has a special function for brewing over ice that pre-infuses the coffee before brewing directly over ice, so whether you're making an iced latte or a drip-style coffee, your cold coffee will never be watered down. The removable brew unit and drip tray are both dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, and the machine is backed with a three-year warranty. It comes with a cleaning brush, a cute bean-shaped ice cube tray, and descaling solution.
One fan raved: “I purchased this machine a little over a year ago and I couldn’t recommend it more. I absolutely love it. It makes rich, deep flavored coffee, both hot and iced. It tastes like the cappuccinos and iced coffees in my favorite cafe. For the beans, I use Lavazza Super Crema. For the grind size, I like it slightly more finely ground than the factory setting. Don’t hesitate to get this amazing machine.”