A latte is always a treat, and you don’t necessarily have to visit your local coffee shop to get one. The best latte machines come with at least 9 bars of pressure, but beyond that, it will come down to personal preference: Do you want a unit with semi-automation for more precision or automation for more convenience?
The first thing to consider is how much control you’d like over your lattes. A semi-automatic latte machine requires some know-how or a willingness to learn skills like wielding a steaming wand, and in turn, you get more customization over your latte as you determine your ideal espresso shot — with control over the extraction time and adjustment of water flow. Automatic latte machines are more convenient and particularly user-friendly; they usually have automatic milk frothers and automated brew presets.
Next up, you need to choose between a portafilter or pod style. A machine with a traditional portafilter, which is a detachable arm that holds ground espresso beans, allows you to reap the flavor of the bean of your choosing. Consider the bar pressure rating, which is the amount of pressure a machine uses to force water in the espresso grounds. A bar rating between 7 and 15 bars will deliver creamy espresso, but 15-bar pressure is considered premium. Conversely, a machine that works with espresso pods simplifies the brewing process and makes it less messy, although pods will be less eco-friendly.
Finally, consider extra features. Some latte machines have built-in burr grinders for coffee beans, eliminating the need for a separate grinder and making it even easier to have fresher-tasting coffee. A larger water reservoir on a coffee machine requires less frequent refills; a 40-ounce capacity means you can make a few lattes before refilling. Love iced lattes? Be sure to choose one with a frother that can make cold foam.
With an option for every budget, below are the best latte machines. Each pick is highly rated on Amazon, including several picks with thousands of reviews.
1. The Best Barista-Level Coffee Machine
For professional barista-level drinks, here's the best latte machine. This semi-automatic pick boasts a 4.6-rating with more than 7,000 reviews, and one reviewer who is a manager at a cafe with $25,000 worth of coffee machines commented, "It’s like I never even left the shop. Everything about this product is stellar."
Most semi-automatic latte machines don't have a built-in grinder, but this Breville machine stands out with the inclusion of a conical burr grinder that grinds fresh coffee directly into the 9-bar portafilter. It also features a dial for adjusting the grind size. The bean hopper holds up to a half-pound of coffee beans.
You can make single or double shots in less than a minute, and this machine's steam wan swivels 360 degrees for making micro-foam milk for lattes (and latte art!). Digital temperature control helps regulate the water temperature precisely for improved bean extraction, and the water reservoir holds up to 67 ounces.
This latte machine is easy to clean, according to reviewers, and comes with cleaning tablets and a cleaning kit; plus, a "clean me" button lights up when it's time. Choose from black or silver stainless steel to suit your kitchen's decor.
A helpful review: “After working as a barista for 4 years, the thought of leaving the cafe to go to grad school was upsetting. As an early birthday gift slash cafe departing gift my mom purchased this machine for me. It does everything I need it to in order to prepare any coffee shop drink! Perfect single or double espresso (even coming with dual wall filters to give decent espresso from pre-ground coffee), steam wand with acceptable pressure and good heat for texturing milk (latte art is a must for me and this machine allows me to achieve it 7/10 times), [...] I really love this machine and after 4 times daily use for the last 2 months I have yet to need to clean it with the tablets provided due to all of the self cleaning the machine does. [...]
2. The Best On A Budget
This more affordable latte machine is also semi-automatic with a swivel frother/steamer wand. Though there's no bean grinder on this machine, it boasts two filter setups: it can make one or two espressos using the 15-bar portafilter or you can use pre-packaged espresso pods. It even has a convenient (and removable) warming platform to keep your cups or mugs warm.
This pick can brew one or two rich espressos simultaneously in less than a couple minutes. Reviewers report cleaning the machine is simple, and it features a removable stainless drip tray. Its water reservoir holds up to 46 ounces and it's also removable.
A helpful review: “I don't often write reviews, but I had to come back for this one. I couldn't be happier with this machine. I've had it now for almost a year and it works like it did on day 1. I make a latte a day, but it easily makes more, heats up fast, frother is awesome with a little practice, and super easy to clean. I was recently staying with a friend who had one of those $500 machines that does everything for you and my drinks tasted [awful], the frother barely worked, and it took longer than this one does. I couldn't wait to get back home to my machine. [...]”
3. The Best Latte Machine For Beginners
The best latte machine for beginners is this Mr. Coffee machine with more than 5,000 reviews. The manufacturer lists it as semi-automatic, but its automatic milk frother makes it super appealing for beginners because it saves you from having to pump out the froth on your own and creates a more professional, barista-style froth. It also features one-touch buttons for espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes with a 15-bar portafilter that produces either single or double shots. The machine brews espresso in about a minute.
As for cleaning, it's easy, according to reviewers, and this machine has a unique auto-cleaning setting on the milk frother. The removable water reservoir holds up to 54 ounces. The machine is available in red, silver, or white.
A helpful review: “This is my first automatic cappuccino maker and it's great! Easy to make cappuccino, easily makes frothed milk, a no brainer. I'm not that particular about the cappuccino that I need the $1000 cappuccino maker and this machine makes the drinks as comparable to the popular coffee shops. The removable container for the milk is very convenient and cleaning it is a snap. Recommended for beginner and intermediate cappuccino drinkers.”
4. The Most Versatile
The best coffee pod latte machine automatically makes hot or iced lattes, as well as coffee in multiple sizes or cappuccinos. It's a highly rated pick with nearly 8,000 reviews. Just insert a Keurig pod or your favorite ground coffee beans in a universal reusable coffee filter and select your drink choice.
This latte machine has a 60-ounce removable water reservoir and a dishwasher-safe milk frother, though the brew time is unclear. Hundreds of reviewers report it’s easy to clean, and it's also compatible with cleaning pods. Choose from a charcoal or nickel finish on this machine.
And if you are interested in an even more convenient option for lattes, consider investing in this super automatic coffee machine that automates the whole process.
A helpful review: “Yes, yes, yes! I've been waiting for this for years! A Keurig that makes lattes, and I don't mean those fake powdered lattes or the ones with 'fake' milk — I mean real life lattes that taste like you went to a [barista]! This is it! First, like all Keurig's this is easy to use. [...] The shot of espresso takes about 1 minute and the frother takes about 3 minutes. Now, this is no big deal to me because it saves me money and time (going to my nearest coffee house). [...] I feel like this is going to be the gift of the year!”
Also Nice: A Standalone Milk Frother For Cheaper Yet Delicious Lattes
An automatic milk frother is an attractively affordable option that works with a simple espresso maker to make lattes at home. This particular one has an impressive 4.7 rating and over 10,000 reviews, and it can heat and foam milk to make hot or iced lattes in just a minute.
This frother has a 4.4-ounce maximum capacity for frothing milk and a 10-ounce maximum for heating milk The wide mouth of this jug and its nonstick coating make it easy to clean, and it comes with a cleaning sponge. This pick also has the benefit of taking up less room than most latte machines. Choose from a black, white, or red finish on this milk frother.
A helpful review: “I spend a lot of money on Lattes. I thought I could do just as well making my own lattes at home & save [money]. After checking product reviews on Amazon for milk frothers, I found this gem. I’m sooooo happy I did! This lightweight, convenient, attractive machine is impressive. I love its powerful blender & the way it froths my milk AND cream to perfection in under a minute. I’ve told all my friends that this little magic machine needs to be in their kitchen.”