Whether you’re looking to use your own grounds or you're on the hunt for more ways to improve your eco-friendly habits, the best single-serve coffee makers without pods make it just as easy to grab one cup on demand, directly into the mug of your choosing. The right machine for you will come down to your counter space, how much coffee you drink every day, and whether you want the flexibility to brew more than just drip coffee.
To find the best capsule-less machine for you, consider the following:
- Machine size: Single-serve makers are already inherently scaled-down versions of full-sized ones, however, if you're lacking room for another appliance (or plan to use yours on an office desk), an extra-compact machine with a slim profile will be more ideal. Just remember that the more streamlined the design, the more scaled back the features.
- Cup size: While 8 ounces is considered the standard size of a cup of coffee, machines with multiple brew sizes and strength settings will allow you to get exactly the amount and style you want. That said, you'll still want to pay attention to the clearance height under the spout to ensure your favorite mug, especially a travel-size one, will fit. To make it even easier for you, some models come bundled with compatible mugs.
- Advanced features: If you're willing to pay a little extra, you can not only find programmable machines but also ones that go above and beyond the norm with options for rich espresso-style concentrates or frothed milk.
- Filters: Going sans K-Cups means you'll still need to use a filter. A paper filter makes clean up between cups fast, but a reusable mesh filter helps you produce less waste and will cost you less over time.
Now that you've got the scoop on how to choose the best pod-free single-cup coffee maker, you'll find a list of some of the most highly rated machines on Amazon below!
1. The Overall Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker
- Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.6 x 13.5 inches (length x width x height)
- Brew size: 8 or 14 ounces
This Hamilton Beach scoop single-serve coffee maker has racked up over 3,500 five-star reviews on Amazon, making it one of the most popular options among caffeine lovers. Fans love its super-fast brewing speed (just 90 seconds for an 8-ounce cup), compact and sleek-looking stainless steel exterior, and optional "bold" setting for stronger-tasting coffee. For added safety, this machine also features an automatic shut-off function and a spill-resistant, removable drip tray. It doesn't come with a mug, but according to Amazon users, mugs up to 7.25 inches tall can fit properly under the spout.
It's designed with a washable mesh filter basket that doubles as a scoop. Simply dip the filter into the ground coffee and place directly into the coffee maker. No paper filters are needed.
Helpful review: “This is everything I hoped it would be and more. I bought it to replace a coffeemaker that took up a lot more space on the counter, and as the only coffee drinker in this house I never used the coffee pot function, so it was unnecessary. This single cup maker that lets me use my own coffee with a reusable filter is ideal. It looks fantastic in the kitchen, and is easy to use and makes great coffee. I chose this one because it has a bold feature, I like a bold blend, and it didn't come with a travel mug. I have enough of those and don't need another one.”
2. The Most Affordable Single-Serve Coffee Maker
- Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.3 x 13 inches (length x width x height)
- Brew size: up to 16 ounces in one cycle
If you don't need a lot of bells and whistles with your morning cup of joe, this affordable Black + Decker single-serve coffee maker might be for you. The machine makes a single cup at the press of a button. Simply scoop the grounds into the paperless, removable filter basket, add your desired amount of water, hit the power button, and within minutes, the coffee maker will brew directly into the included dishwasher-safe 16-ounce travel mug. Though there are no programmable settings, the device will automatically shut off after brewing for added safety. According to Amazon reviewers, there are only about 7 inches of clearance space for a mug under the spout, so most larger mugs should fit.
Note: For even less money, you could also get the much more compact 8-ounce size version.
Helpful review: “Small, efficient and prepared a fabulous mug of coffee! If you want a single serve coffee maker, this is the one for you!”
3. The Most Versatile
- Dimensions: 12 x 8.8 x 15 inches (length x width x height)
- Brew size: Concentrated for espresso (4 ounces), single-cup (9.5 ounces), XL cup (11.5 ounces), travel mug (14 ounces), XL multi-serve mug (18 ounces), half-carafe (25 ounces), or full-carafe (50 ounces).
This Ninja specialty coffee maker understands that you may want just a single cup on some days, while, on others, you might prefer an extra-large one or even a full carafe. Fortunately, this machine has multiple options, so you can make exactly as much coffee as you'd like without any waste (a removable mesh filter is included). You can also customize your coffee by selecting the "bold" setting for extra-strong java or the "over ice" setting for perfect iced drinks. Because it has a built-in clock, you can also program your brew start time, or use the handy "clean" setting to descale it.
For specialty drinks, like cappuccinos or lattes, choose the "concentrated" 4-ounce espresso-style setting and then use the built-in, fold away frother to turn hot or cold milk into a light foam to add to it. Though the device doesn't come with any glassware for single-serve pours, you can fit any type of mug up to 7.5 inches tall under the spout. For brewing full pots, however, there is a 10-cup glass carafe included in the box (or you can choose to upgrade to the thermal carafe version). Size-wise, it's taller than all of the other choices on this list, so you'll also want to consider your counter space before adding this one to your cart.
Helpful review: "We went on the hunt for a new coffee maker. And we are self-proclaimed coffee brats.I wanted single cup (ie: Keurig) to reduce our daily waste of coffee and we would get a reusable pod. He wanted the same thing but also the option to make a whole pot for guests. This coffee maker checked those two boxes and more!!"
4. The Most Stylish
- Dimensions: 10.3 x 6.5x 11.8 inches (length x width x height)
- Brew sizes: 10 ounces
For a coffee maker that will look more like a modern piece of art on your counter, this Technivorm Moccamaster is "worth every penny," according to Amazon reviewers. This high-quality, handmade on-demand coffee maker comes in three color options (pink, matte black, and polished silver) and boasts rapid water-heating, automatic shut-off after the reservoir is empty, and a 5-year warranty. In addition to a coffee scoop, it also comes with a cute 10-ounce porcelain mug (pictured), though its flexible design allows you to remove the cupholder to accommodate any mug up to 4.75 inches tall.
Note: Unlike other picks on this list, this one does require the use of paper filters, but to get you started, you'll get a box of 80 #1 white paper filters with your purchase.
Helpful review: “This is a fantastic machine. I truly never knew coffee could taste this good. My coffee is not sour or bitter at all! I am so in love with this, the look, the size, the ease of use and assembly, and most importantly the delicious coffee. I couldn't be happier with my purchase. This is one of the best machines on the market. It makes 10 oz of coffee at a time, the perfect amount for me. It only takes 4 minutes to brew and the temperature is perfect."
5. The One That's Also Compatible With K-Cups
- Dimensions: 7.30 x 5.4 x 11.6 inches (length x width x height)
- Brew size: up to 14 ounces in one cycle
With nearly 1,300 perfect five-star reviews, Amazon users are impressed by the excellent value of this Sboly single-serve coffee maker. Not only is it the slimmest personal coffee maker on this list, but it also lets you choose how you want your java delivered: Use the reusable filter to make it the traditional drip way or insert your favorite K-Cup for days when you're pinched on time. This model also has an auto-clean setting, a removable drip tray, and an automatic shut-off function. It doesn't come with any mugs, but per the brand, it can accommodate ones that are up to 6 inches tall.
Helpful review: “This coffee maker will work on ‘k-cups’ as well as coffee grounds. It is fast, provides a hotter cup than many others and offers a small ‘footprint’ on your counter taking up very minimal counter space. Perfect flexibility for anyone on the go and wanting flexibility in their coffee needs.”